Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth D’Oleo-Puig.
Elizabeth, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was a practicing attorney when I became a mother. That is when I decided to put my JD aside and start a new career where I could also be a full-time mother. For as long as I can remember, art has been running through my veins, so I decided to pursue my love of fashion. Everything I know I learned from my mother, I wanted to honor her with my work that is why I chose her maiden name (nilsapuig) for my brand, being also that I inherited her love of bows, linen, details, and good taste. Fashion is a medium in which women can blend power and femininity in a subtle way. Through fashion, a woman can radiate self-confidence in the subtleties of her clothing and this quality is perhaps reflected in her career endeavors as well as being the sentimental custodian of her home. Hence nilsapuig is all about producing romantic-heirloom pieces that enable a woman to feel beautiful and confident.
For ten years, by the grace of God, I have managed to produce this ready-to-wear brand remaining true to what inspires me, respecting our environment, and working with natural fabrics.
I don’t believe in trends. Rather, I believe in the sophistication and spellbinding beauty that is inherent in old-fashioned graces.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In a world where fast fashion is king, nilsapuig is inspired by a slow fashion ethos. Every piece is made-to-order, ensuring waste is kept to a minimum. To ascribe to the principles of responsible design and fair labor practices is no easy task for a small, unknown, independent designer. It is particularly difficult when you concentrate your work on classic and modest designs. In numerous times I have felt completely out of place, swimming all alone against the current.
It is interesting that you hear many influential voices in the fashion industry speak about supporting emerging talent and opening doors for everybody, but I have yet to experience such support.
I keep on keeping on because I am committed to this dream.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Named after my mother, nilsapuig was born out of love for organic-natural fabrics and quality craftsmanship. We have a commitment to produce handmade tailored one-off pieces with a focus on zero waste.
Contrary to fast fashion, we at nilsapuig focus on manufacturing a permanent collection of one-off pieces and, despite the immense profit incentive, stay away from large scale mass production.
The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful industries in the world, emitting about the same quantity of greenhouse-gas emissions per year as the entire economies of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined. (Source McKinsey)
Considering said environmental predicament, we try our best to concentrate on ethically crafted pieces. Using natural fabrics, each piece is 99% of the time created by a single sewer from start to finish. We find this is the best way to guarantee minimal fabric waste.
We are constantly trying to improve ourselves and aiming to keep our commitment with smart design. We believe there is a place for shopping small even in a globalized world that seems to close the doors to lesser-known independent designers.
We know the fashion business is bursting at its seams, but we are determined to bring newness and exclusivity to the table. All with a focus on ethically manufactured clothing.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
So many different things I do to help me do my best in life… from praying to baking to practicing sports (I currently play tennis, I use to practice horse jumping) to reading books and magazines. I am a bit of a nerd, always hungry for knowledge, so I constantly look for new courses on classical education to broaden my understanding of the great poets and great classical artists. Regarding books:
-Every morning the first thing I do is read a portion from the Bible.
-Every night I read either from one of my favorite authors (Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes, and others) or books/magazines related to fabrics, home cooking, tea parties… I have a wide array of books and magazines.
Regarding apps and podcasts:
-I use the “Duolingo” app for fun to practice my French, Italian, and Portuguese;
-The “Grace to You” podcast on Christianity;
-The “TBOY” podcast on daily market news.