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Staying Resilient and Owning an Ethical Fashion Label

Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 8.16.41 PMKathryn Sterner is the founder and designer at Winsome Goods, an ethical women’s clothing label in Minneapolis, MN.  She is a wonderfully innovative designer with a mission of creating timeless and sustainable garments.  One of the most unique aspects of Winsome is that all of the clothing is made under one roof.  Keeping the whole production process in the same studio was something that was essential to Kathryn when building Winsome.  Today she works with her small team to produce versatile garments in their Minneapolis studio and storefront.  She continues to focus on serving the people most intimately connected with the production process, the men and women who produce our clothing.

PRIORITIZE THE LIFE YOU WANT

Listening to Kathryn share her story, you will feel like a longtime friend.  There is a familiarly about the way she modestly told us about the unfolding of Winsome Goods.  She shared about the importance of sustainability in her upbringing and her father who is a climate scientist.  You will hear the intimacy in her voice when she talks about her desire to make space for a family and her efforts in working towards a life with less stress.  Right now, one of her priorities is to set up her business so that she can have the relaxed, comfortable life that she dreams about.  Are you taking steps to make the life you dream about a reality?

MAKE TIME FOR THE LITTLE THINGS

Her passion and intention to contribute to the world in a more sustainable way are two 

of the reasons that Kathryn left her ‘safe’ job in a windowless office.  She spoke a lot about the top-down pressures she felt that encouraged her to take the leap to run Winsome full-time.  You will relate to Kathryn’s struggle to make time for herself now that all of her attention is going to growing Winsome.  She told about her effort to make time for the little things, like taking walks with her Chihuahua.  She strives to continue to make time for herself every day, and honestly shares her struggle to do so.  How do you keep going when you don’t reach your wellness goals?  We all know how tough it is to take time for yourself.  Kathryn is so inspiring to me, because she keeps trying and doesn’t let herself get too discouraged. 

BE RESILIENT WHEN THINGS GO WRONG 

One thing I loved about Kathryn’s story is her resilience to keep doing what she loves, even on days when everything goes wrong.  She spoke about her journey of learning to assume that things are going to go wrong.  She now focuses on accepting what she can do and letting go of the things that she can’t do.  She shared that there is not one “sustainable” answer. Every method and fabric has draw backs for the environment.  But for Kathryn, running an ethical label means making the right decisions day to day with the resources she has.  

You will love this episode, not only because of Kathryn’s amazing story, but because it will encourage you to ask the tough question: am I making choices based on my priorities?

I hope it also inspires you to be resilient.  Because life is going to get tough sometimes, and that’s okay!

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