What does sustainability mean to you? We ask Natalie Smith of Sustainably Chic today on Interview Friday! We first came across Natalie on Instagram as a blogger who focused on sustainability. These days, Sustainably Chic has become an online boutique, selling wonderfully handmade and sustainable products! SC is also a retailer of Wonderland Organics products, so be sure to purchase from the boutique here.
Wonderland Organics: Tell us about your background.
Natalie Smith: I have a background in Fashion Marketing and Management where I found my love for eco-friendly and ethically made clothing, and have been blogging about sustainability within fashion economics since July of 2014.
Wonderland Organics: That’s wonderful! How did Sustainably Chic come about?
Natalie Smith: I started Sustainably Chic, initially, as a blog and platform for any businesses that had adopted sustainable practices, and used the site as a place to share their stories. I had always wanted to have my own boutique, particularly a fair trade boutique, so one thing led to another and Sustainably Chic turned into something more.
Wonderland Organics: It’s great how you showcased smaller businesses working on sustainability! What’s the best part about running Sustainably Chic?
Natalie Smith: I can do it in my pajamas! Just kidding, even though that is a nice perk. The best part about running Sustainably Chic is networking with so many amazing people and businesses around the world. I have learned so much in the past 9 months, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Wonderland Organics: (We’re with you on the sweatpants). What new things do you have planned for Sustainably Chic in 2015?
Natalie Smith: For 2015, I plan to add several new brands to the online store, possibly some pop-up shops along the way, and, of course, sharing more stories about emerging sustainable companies. This is a one person show, so I don’t want to get too overwhelmed my first ‘real’ year of being a business.
Wonderland Organics: We’re so excited for you! Where do you find inspiration?
Natalie Smith: With my own private label, La Petite N-Kay, all my inspiration comes from my love of vintage and anything dainty. I deal a lot with lace and and old buttons, which are quite feminine and lovely.
Wonderland Organics: Your organic headbands are gorgeous! What are your current sustainable obsessions?
Natalie Smith: I’m pretty obsessed with everything I carry on the site. However, I do put Wonderland Organics on EVERYDAY, so that’s a daily obsession of mine.
Wonderland Organics: So glad to hear it! What are your contributions toward sustainability? Why is it important to you?
Natalie Smith: The simplest thing any of us can do when it comes to sustainability is to start talking about it. We can all make a great impact in the world of sustainability is if we change the minds around us and do less of whatever we can possible. Sustainably Chic is a conversation, and if it is helping others become more sustainable or aware of their purchasing power, then I’m happy. It is important to me to discuss positive consumerism because we, as consumers, hold all the power when it comes to buying products. Most of us like to buy new things for our wardrobe and our home, and Sustainably Chic’s boutique offers a sustainable alternative to those wants.
Wonderland Organics: This is a wonderful way of looking at it. What is a typical day like running Sustainably Chic?
Natalie Smith: I wake up at 8 am and go straight to the computer. I’m constantly updating the site, emailing businesses, and planning for the future. I swear, there are not enough hours in the day!
Wonderland Organics: There should definitely be 30 hour days! Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?
Natalie Smith: Put your whole heart into it, and never get discouraged about ANYTHING! There will always be ‘critics‘, negativity, and slow times. I’m always telling myself not to let things get to me, and to keep moving forward. Specially in the world of sustainability, there will always be someone calling you a hypocrite. I’m not perfect, nor am I completely sustainable – none of us are. I mean after all, I am selling you something you don’t really need. I love entrepreneurs because they are what promote a SUSTAINABLE economy. People forget that sustainability is not just about the earth, it’s about culture and economics as well.
Wonderland Organics: What’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog/site?
Natalie Smith: I love a blog that can give great tips and DIY tutorials, and Wonderland Organic’s blog has some wonderful information on cleaning green and skincare in some of their most recent posts. It’s definitely an area that Sustainably Chic needs to work on! Besides the blog, Wonderland Organics truly has amazing products. The scents, and the way my skin feels is lovely. Thanks so much, Alice, for being such a creative and sustainable entrepreneur.
Thank you for discussing Sustainably Chic with us Natalie! Have you checked out her wonderful boutique and blog? Be sure to do so here.