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EP 35 Ethical Manufacturing and Sustainability Do Exist in the World of Fashion With Kate Hawken

According to Salesforce, the year of the pandemic spurned the largest number of small businesses created on record. The entrepreneurs have taken over, but how can they make their company stand out in a larger crowd?

 

Joining us on today’s episode to give her perspective is Kate Hawken, co-founder of Maxwell and Geraldine, a digital first fashion company that she started with twin sister, Beth, in 2020. Their company’s strong brand story and focus on ethical sourcing manufacturing and sustainability has only made customers love their classic, but stylish, dresses.

 

The age of social media has caused a surplus of fashion brands, so how do you make yours stand out? Kate is on the show to share the start, struggles, and triumphs of Maxwell and Geraldine. She talks about the pros of creating a niche fashion line, and how keeping perspective has helped them survive every curveball.

 

Tune in and you’ll also learn how they found an ethical manufacturer, and ways they’re using the digital space to keep growing. Plus, Kate and our host also discuss this burning fashion question: is less clothing actually more?

 

It can be hard (even impossible) to figure out how to start a business on your own, so get some answers and insights when you listen to this episode!

 

Topics discussed in this episode:

 

  • The inception of Maxwell and Geraldine
  • Finding an ethical manufacturer
  • Kate and her sister’s background in public relations
  • Story behind Maxwell and Geraldine’s logo and name
  • Problems Kate has experienced as an entrepreneur
  • Perspective and 
  • Managing virtual employees around the globe
  • Making Maxwell and Geraldine a digital first company
  • How they successfully market to customers
  • Intentionally creating a niche dress line
  • Maxwell and Geraldine fall collection
  • High-quality, staple pieces vs. Lower-quality, trendy pieces

 

Find Maxwell and Geraldine:

 

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Read more about the power of perspective when you pick up Patty’s current read, Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine.

 

Connect with us at perseverepodcast.com and our LinkedIn group! Then, head to https://www.testforstrep.com/ and checkablehealth.com.

 

You can also find Patty Post on LinkedIn!

 

Transcript: 

 

0:00:02.5 S1: Welcome to The Persevere Podcast, powered by Checkable Medical and hosted by Patty Post, a female founder, entrepreneur, wife and mother of three, doing all of the things. The strength to persevere in business is powered by passion, grit, and hard work. The Persevere Podcast is for entrepreneurs and business leaders who set out to innovate and change the world with their ideas. Whether it's fundraising your startup, product development, marketing, branding, or scaling your existing business, this podcast is for you. We'll discuss everything it takes to persevere and build the business you've always dreamed of. Let's make it happen. Hello and welcome to The Persevere Podcast. This is episode 35 with Kate Hawken, co-founder of the fashion brand, Maxwell & Geraldine. Today we are talking with Kate about ethical manufacturing and sustainability do exist in the world of fashion. Kate and her sister founded Maxwell and Geraldine during the pandemic, they're a digital-first fashion company, and they are creating dresses that are timeless and a fashion statement. Hello everyone, my name is Patty Post, I'm the founder and CEO of Checkable Health, and I am your host of The Persevere Podcast, where we help founders create awesome business products, help them not run out of money.

 

0:01:42.1 S1: I started this podcast because I was a solo founder, and I was looking for information on how to start a business and how to fund a company, how to set it up legally, and I couldn't find it out there, so like an entrepreneur that I am, I decided to create the Persevere Podcast. Today, our question is, why is ethical sourcing and manufacturing of products so challenging in our world today, but specifically in fashion? Kate shares with us how she found her manufacturer, and she did it by picking up the phone and going with her connections. I love this episode because Kate is just a very approachable entrepreneur doing what she loves, she has a former career in PR as does her twin sister Beth, and they have totally shifted to full-time fashionistas running their fashion brand, and they have now launched their third collection, which is a fall collection, which we will hear about. I am a customer of Maxwell and Geraldine, my daughter Lily, and I have dresses, the one that I'm wearing right now is a Maxwell and Geraldine dress, and then Lily has a shorter dress. It's called the Brooke, and she has it in the purple gingham. It works for a classic look, if you are going to church or out to brunch or a groom’s dinner as I was going to wear it.

 

0:03:16.5 S1: So when we talk to Kate today, I think you're gonna feel super inspired and we're gonna have some good practical lessons in this podcast that you will draw out. I specifically related it back to Checkable Health, I can't help myself, but as in all businesses, medical and fashion, we can all find something to relate to. So I encourage you, if you have other entrepreneurs that are around you, talk to them about some of the challenges that you're going through, or look at what they're building and pick out what they're doing really well, and ask them... How that is contributing to the success of their business. So with that, let's get into it. With this interview with Kate Hawken. Hi, Kate.

 

0:04:03.7 S2: Hi, Patty, thank you so much for having me.

 

0:04:05.9 S1: You're very welcome. I'm wearing one of your many styles and many dresses. What is the dress that I'm wearing today? Would you have a name for them? 

 

0:04:16.1 S2: You’re wearing the Brooke. All of our dresses are named for fabulous women in our lives, and Brooke is my daughter, and it's one of our best sellers because people love the adjustable bows at the shoulder, and that beautiful Carolina blue. So that's the Brooke, thank you for wearing it. You look beautiful. You make us look good.

 

0:04:35.3 S1: Well, thank you. I have worn it to a wedding and I have worn it to church, and I also just casually will throw it on because it is so easy breezy to throw on and look... I don't know, I feel like I look glamorous when I wear it, and I get so many compliments. So I love your brand.

 

0:04:55.8 S2: Thank you. We do think it's easy polished, our dresses. Throw it on and you automatically step it up a notch and they’re comfy and easy. So thank you for saying that.

 

0:05:07.2 S1: That sounds nice. Easy polished. I'm gonna use that. I like quick sayings like that. So tell me today, we don't have your co-founder, who happens to be your twin sister Beth, the two of you started Maxwell and Geraldine, and I'd love for you to tell the audience your story, your why behind starting the company, and then we'll let it... Conversation go from there.

 

0:05:33.5 S2: Absolutely, Beth is my identical twin sister, and we ended up thankfully going to college together, and then have never lived in the same town since. She moved off to New York City, I was in DC, and then she moved to San Francisco. So we've always talked over the years about doing something together, and like so many new companies, we are a product of the pandemic. We had lots of time on our hands and our pie-in-the-sky conversations started becoming more real when we realized so much was moving online, including shopping for many years before that even, and we loved dresses. We love a good dress, and so we had been talking for a while about what we were calling The One Dress, which was that one dress you have in your closet that you always get compliments on when you put it on. And we just kept talking about it and saying, I think we can actually do this. Beth's husband worked at Kate Spade in one of his early career stops and had some contacts who he connected us with, and I'll tell you, for any entrepreneur out there, it's amazing how much people are willing to help. One person after another, connected us to someone else and lo and behold, we had a fabric guy, we had a manufacturer, and here we are, just over a year in, we were...

 

0:07:02.9 S2: Started a year in May, launched online completely. And it's been gangbusters ever since. Congratulations, one year, that's huge. Thank you. Yes, it's like we said previously, it's been a roller coaster, great highs, great lows, lots of learning in between and a ton of fun.

 

0:07:23.9 S1: One thing that you said right there that for the audience, I really want to make note of is when you ask for help as an entrepreneur, people are willing to help, and I think a lot of times we don't ask for help as entrepreneurs because we're do it yourselfers. But if someone is listening and they're thinking, gosh, I could ask that person, they could really help me make a move or put one foot in front of the other, now is your sign that you should do it, write it down, think of who you're going to ask, send that email, pick up the phone and call someone because you are proof that it works.

 

0:08:04.2 S2: Yes, and something else we always say is somebody always knows the answer, and if you don't know the answer, that doesn't mean it's the end of the road, it means that it's time to find someone who does know and ask them.

 

0:08:17.1 S1: Yes, yes. So you decided to... A couple of things, when building this company, one, you decided to do direct to consumer and be a digital-first company, and then second, you really focused on your ethical manufacturing. And I'm wondering if you can open that up a little bit for us, how did you make that decision to go digital-first, direct to consumer, and then let's get into that fun part of that, how you found your manufacturer... 'cause that must have been hard. It was very hard.

 

0:08:53.7 S2: Well, actually, it wasn't that hard, it's funny now, it is difficult for someone who's not in the industry to find a manufacturer, but again, because we had a great contact at Kate Spade, who connected us to a great fabric guy in New York who works with great mills in Europe who does great cotton, great quality cotton. We were talking to him at very early stages in the kinds of dresses we wanted to do, and our dresses are known, many of them feature smocking, sort of ruched, sewn stretch feature, which is something that's special for the garment industry, you have to specialize in it to do it. And he just happened to know this great manufacturer based in Madagascar, which is a tiny little island off the East Coast of Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world, where a wonderful woman started a company many years ago, and her whole reason to do it was to give the women of Madagascar a living wage, a purpose. Madagascar is also a country known for a lot of single mothers and a lot of abuse toward women kind of ingrained in their culture. So she saw an opportunity to have an enterprise of her own while at the same time helping these women and made it her mission.

 

0:10:19.5 S2: It took her five years to train the women in Madagascar to become proficient in smocking, and they are now some of the world's experts at both machine smocking and hand smocking. And we just, as soon as we heard she was giving them a living wage, 401(k), healthcare, transportation to and from work, we thought, this is it; this is an opportunity to not only make beautiful dresses for women, but also to help other women and know that every single dress we sold would directly help these women in one of the poorest countries in the world. That is amazing. And so that was the story, and it was almost like fate, you feel like stuff like that falls in your lap, that it was meant to be. Yeah.

 

0:11:09.2 S1: That it's not by accident that that happened. I mean, when I hear your story, I'm like, oh, that was purposeful, that…

 

0:11:17.5 S2: Was already planned before you even knew that it was gonna happen. That's really, really cool. It seemed divine. And I will also say this woman who is very shy and never wants us to talk about her is an amazing person. I mean, how great. Because that's a tough place to live. And this is a woman who was raised in the west to go back, she was there on vacation and had this revelation that she should do this. Oh my gosh. It's incredible. She did it. I mean, she really did it, she not only has the smocked clothing, she does lingerie right now, if she does athleisure, she has boomed, and all of it is first and foremost to support the women of her country. 

 

0:12:03.1 S1: She's changing generations, the sons and daughters of those women are directly impacted, she's changing the GDP of her country by doing that, how incredible.

 

0:12:16.4 S2: And giving them options in life that they did not have before, by giving them a living wage and a purpose and a place to go, so we're very thankful to her.

 

0:12:26.8 S1: I love that story, Kate, because when I think of buying, we have a lot of options in retail right now, and especially with being online and being targeted on any social platform or Google ads, but I think that knowing a brand’s story, and especially an emerging brand and knowing what they're about and looking down from the supply chain, not just looking at, oh, I like that dress, but then knowing where it came from and the why behind it, I am much more willing to open my bank account, I was gonna say pocket book, but I'm willing to spend more money, because I know that it's impacting others. Rather than, not to hate on Shein, but Shein is, okay, I'm gonna spend $11 on a dress and it's unfortunately really bad on our environment, we don't know where it comes from, from the labor to the supply chain to really anything of it, and there's not the story behind it. It's fast, quick, cheap clothing, and I love that you shared that, and that's your story behind your ethical manufacturing. 

 

0:13:41.9 S2: What is the woman's name by the way? Can we say it? She doesn't want us to say it. She really doesn't. I know, it makes me crazy 'cause I really think I could... Her story can be written up in so many places, but she does not want the publicity, so we honor her request, even though it kills us both as former PR people. Both of us, yes. I focused a lot on entertainment PR. DC is home to very few television networks, but I've worked at both Discovery Channel, which used to be based here, just recently moved to Tennessee, and then National Geographic Television. And my sister Beth was at Hearst magazines, doing special events and PR in New York City before she went to San Francisco, so that's our background.

 

0:14:35.9 S1: Well, no wonder you needed dresses for that everyday quick dress. It's a fast-paced life. You always need to look nice and polished, representing your PR brand and putting your best face forward.

 

0:14:50.2 S2: That says a lot too about... I think when I look at your brand, one, I love your logo. Did you, are either of you graphic designers? How did you come up with... No, but as I mentioned before, my sister's husband is an artistic visionary, I will say, and he did that logo for us. He used to be, before he was at Kate Spade, was at a branding company, so he has much experience in creating brands and kinda whipped that up for us very quickly. We love bees, so there are two little bees and because we're twins, so he made it meaningful and I think look good.

 

0:15:29.1 S1: Cute. Behind the name, can you tell us your story behind the name?

 

0:15:32.9 S2: Yes, so growing up identical twins, lots of people had trouble telling us apart, including our dad. And one of the ways that he would get around that was he would just call us by random names all the time. Harold, Schwartz, Geraldine, Maxwell, and when we were coming up with the name for the company, it's tough these days, a lot of names are taken, and every name we came up with that made sense to us was already gone, whether it was an Instagram handle or a URL. So we thought of our dad's pet names for us and realized they're really unique, and there's a great story, and it's part of who we are. So Maxwell and Geraldine was born. And you put it together.

 

0:16:20.7 S1: I love it. It's a great name. It's memorable too. That was one of the hopes was, it was also memorable. Do you or your child have symptoms of strep throat, such as sore throat or fever? Do you want to help an innovative startup validate their at-home strep test? Checkable Medical is currently enrolling children ages five and up, and adults for a strep throat study, go to www.testforstrep.com to see if there's a site near you. Again, that website is www.testforstrep.com. It seems like all of the cards have really fallen in the right places for you, but I know from experience as being an entrepreneur, there are a lot of missteps that we take, and I believe that we learn from those missteps, and I'm wondering if anything comes to mind when I say missteps or areas that you look back, you're like, probably should have done it different, and I definitely won't do it that way again. Are you talking about my current company? Yeah.

 

0:17:28.3 S2: Okay, I'll tell you something that's happening right now, which is we are getting ready, by the time this is broadcast, we will have just launched our fall 2022 collection, and we sent an RPO many months ago that had all of the items we wanted and the quantities, and were told that's what we would get, boxes came, and we just did our counts and they're not all in there. Oh no, we didn't get a heads up from the manufacturer, which it's hard to blame my manufacturer right now because one of the people at the very top of the company is having some severe health issues, so we are very understanding. But at the same time, it's a curveball and we didn't get a heads up, we didn't know what was happening, and we are now looking at our inventory and saying, how do we make this a silver lining? And one of the things we're doing for the first time is launching a girl's line of dresses to match the adults, is we have a couple of tartan pieces for holiday that we think a lot of moms like to match their daughters or wanna do a family photo shoot, and we now only have about five sizes of each style for the girls. And we're now deciding to look at it as this is a capsule collection, this is the first time we're doing this, and hopefully it sells out and you just have to find the silver lining and say it's okay.

 

0:19:05.0 S2: And again, you understand what's happening on the manufacturing side of things, which is they got a curveball too, so that's what we try to do when tough things come our way is try to look on the brightside, try to stay positive. It never helps to go into negative territory, which you often want to do, and so that's one thing that we're dealing with right now.

 

0:19:31.9 S1: So could you have... When the boxes arrived, did you count inventory right away? You did right away?

 

0:19:39.3 S2: We did right away. Thankful to my husband, actually, who is the one who's very... I probably wouldn't have done it, I would have just assumed it all came in. And every time the boxes come in, he makes sure that somebody is counting them, and every other time, it's been a perfect count. And again, I don't really wanna blame my manufacturer because I know they're dealing with a lot over there, and it's gonna be okay, it's not wildly off the count, we still have lots to sell and we will, but I also think I've been through a lot of careers at this point, and you tend to realize it's better to try to go with the flow. It's better to think everything happens for a reason and just try to move forward. It's not the end of the world. We're selling dresses, we're not curing cancer. So try and keep it all in perspective. And it usually works out.

 

0:20:41.4 S1: That’s a great way of thinking. Positive Intelligence is a book that I'm reading right now. I don't know if you've ever read it, there’s a training that goes with it. And how many employees do you have? The company is it you and Beth? Full time, it's Beth and I, and we employ a lot of virtual workers who are all part-time.

 

0:21:04.0 S2: And we have an agency that helps us with our backend of our website, and a couple of consultants. Again, all part-time but it takes a village for any endeavor, and we're very lucky to live in this virtual time where our manufacturer’s in Madagascar, our fabric’s coming from Europe, we have people helping us in Oregon, and in Tennessee, and Alabama, and New York City. So it's just the two of us doing a lot of the heavy lifting, but we have people, little elves helping us all over.

 

0:21:40.6 S1: Have you found that that can be challenging though, when there are consultants that aren't 100% dedicated to Maxwell and Geraldine, that it's your priority, but to them, you might fall third on their list and you want it done like now. Yes, and we've had to learn how to manage that, which is... 'cause we both come from worlds where we were full-time employees and we worked for companies that had all full-time employees.

 

0:22:12.3 S2: But I think our entire work industry is changing, and we've learned that as long as we set the expectation and the date deadlines, and get everybody to agree, that you can do it from afar. Even though we have people working on six different clients of who we are one, as long as we say, here's the plan, and we've learned to plan much further in advance. And they've told us, you have to tell us by this time or we can't plan for you, we can't fit you in. And that until you back that up to every step of the process, and we're still perfecting this, we'll probably never fully perfect it, but that's our way around that is just really having a plan and really setting expectations and deadlines and making sure everybody's meeting them and on the same page.

 

0:23:04.8 S1: Yeah, it's being very disciplined upfront, it sounds like. I learned from experience that you have to have those expectations and boundaries, or they're not... That's only natural though, right? If no one tells you when to be there, you're gonna show up whenever you want, but if you want everyone to be there at 7:00, you better tell them to be there at 7:00.

 

0:23:26.9 S2: Right? And we used to throw people projects and think, oh, they’ll get it done in a good amount of time. And then we realized, no, no, no, you have to give them a project deadline and check in and make sure everybody's... And have regular meetings where everyone's checking in. But we've actually found we've been able to go away from a lot of our meetings because we're keeping our strategy and our deadlines online in a document that everyone can follow together. It's so nice. Thank you, Google suite is what I like to say. Absolutely

 

0:24:07.2 S1: 100%. That's it.

 

0:24:08.6 S2: It's worth every penny to have all of those Sheets and Word Docs, every start-up knows what we're talking about right now, right? It's incredible, and it's incredible what we can do now that we could never even think about doing 20 years ago. Yeah.

 

0:24:26.8 S1: Oh my gosh, can you imagine 20 years ago? You had like a Nokia phone, right? Right. Not even a Blackberry. Right, not even a Blackberry. I was in my first sales job, I had a map book that I would have to look up the address in the back and then go to 4B and go to that page. I tell my kids and they’re like, how did you get around anywhere? I'm like, I don't know. I remember going down to Chicago 'cause I had to do some sales down there, that was a trip, right?

 

0:24:57.5 S2: Yeah, we figured it out though. There is no offline world anymore, which... It's funny, my dad is always complaining that nobody really knows where they're going, they're just following the blue line on Maps, and it's funny, he's like, nobody takes time to really understand where they are, which he worries for the world when he’s sure something's gonna happen and everyone's gonna be lost and have no idea to orienteer.

 

0:25:25.9 S1: Oh, like which way is North? Right. Okay, so digital-first company, Kate, tell us about... I'm actually super impressed that it’s you and Beth and then you have these groups of consultants because as an entrepreneur, you gotta know your passion, you gotta know your manufacturing, your supply chain, and then you have your design, you're doing social media, e-commerce, and then the finance... There's so many things stacked. You're running digital first, you said you have an agency doing your backend of your website, but there's so much of how to acquire a customer, could you open the doors on that a little bit, 'cause you guys have gotten very successful quickly, we'd all love to hear how you're doing it? 

 

0:26:13.4 S2: One of the reasons we thought we could start this company is because we started buying dresses from social media, and I’d see Instagram ads and buy a dress, and I thought if they can do it, I can do it. Yes. And so we love social media, we've always loved social media, we did PR, and towards the end of our full-time PR careers, we were both seeing the jump to social media in a big way, and the influence that influencers have, and the death of magazines and the rise of the influencer. So we really hopped on that trend and found influencers in our space who were known for fashion picks and sent them dresses initially and for free, and hoped they'd throw it on and talk about us, and have developed relationships. We also do Facebook ads and Google search ads, and we do as many pop-ups as we can. You reach so many more people digitally, but the kinds of connections you can make in-person are invaluable, and we have found... It's worth it. I know it's tough to lug all your dresses and all of your racks and set up and have to do small talk for hours at a time, but I make the best connections.

 

0:27:39.2 S2: So we're hitting it from all sides. We do influencers, advertising, pop-ups, and we've so far been successful enough that we haven't had to do the wholesale retail channel, which is what most fashion companies used to do anyway, and often still do, but that takes a ton. Again, talk about even more administrative work on the backend that adds so much more. So far, really just direct-to-consumer.

 

0:28:08.3 S1: One thing that you said about... I can't remember what you were saying about someone who was there... Oh it's your manufacturing is very good at that type of manufacturing, right. And with your dresses, you have a very niche dress, it's like we were saying before, on our pre-call, it's preppy. I think it looks sophisticated and you aren't really going outside of this fringe. And I think sometimes with entrepreneurship, we think, okay, we need to have this and this and this, and then I'll be the right company. And I love when I go to your website because I actually don't have a million options. I'm like, okay, I love what they have, I love the brand, and they have a few colors and then a few styles, so it actually makes it easier for me. And has that been a challenge for you and Beth of keeping within these boundaries? Yes.

 

0:29:09.8 S2: I'll tell you why. Two reasons, one is we were very inspired by a dress line that is no longer, that was called MDS Stripes, run by an amazing interior designer, Mark Sykes, who again, is just a guy with a great taste level. He did a very spare line of classic beautiful dresses, that just came in a couple of colors and patterns. They're beloved to this day, you still find them all over Pinterest because they're classic and they’re timeless. So he inspired us. And then the other thing that inspired us was one of the things that's come along with this new digital internet age is you can have these small niches and find your audience, because people can find you from anywhere in the whole world, and there's a lot of girls out there who like these dresses and just these dresses. And so it's also great for your budget to stay specific and to stay small and to yes, be very intentional in your offering so that there's no question of who you are. And that's how I'd answer that is we did, it was intentional, it has been intentional to keep it niche. It's really good. so that nobody has...

 

0:30:29.6 S2: Any trouble understanding what we do and what we offer.

 

0:30:33.1 S1: Right, it does. You're not confusing the message, right, if you confuse... Then people are like, I am not really sure what they do. And I've actually had... We've been plagued with that at Checkable because we've been doing this research for the at-home strep test, but then we have supplements coming out with other diagnostics, telemedicine, and you come to the site and you're like, well, I thought they had an at-home strep test, so why are they doing these supplements? So I have a lot of respect for what you've created in that way, but we have just a couple of minutes left, and this is really important, foreshadowed this a little bit, you have your fall collection that's launching on Sunday, so first, congratulations. That would be... Is this your second collection or your third? 

 

0:31:23.4 S2: This is our third, our third big collection. Yes. And would you tell us about it? Yes, so by the time this airs, it will have just launched last Sunday, and it features many of the same silhouettes that our customers love, but in new patterns. So we're offering a Black Watch plaid, which is a famous blue, a navy, black and green plaid that you'll know when you see it, and basically a holiday red plaid, and we're also, I'm wearing one of our new fabrics, which is this, we're calling it a moody floral.

 

0:32:03.2 S1: I love it.

 

0:32:04.4 S2: It's a new silhouette for us too, we're doing these cap sleeves with a little elastic for the first time, and then we're also doing a line of girls dresses, as I said, those will just be in the plaid blue and the red, because we find a lot of women like to either buy them just for their girls or match other girls.

 

0:32:26.5 S1: Oh, I will do that.

 

0:32:27.8 S2: Yeah, something I'm thankful that my daughter actually allows me to match with her, and something else I wanted to mention that you said, going back to the quality, we do take a lot of pride, and one of the main reasons we started this company too was we wanted women to have dresses that will hang in their closet for 10 years. This is not an Amazon dress that you're gonna wear for one season and throw away, it's really good quality, they're all very wrinkle resistant, they travel really well. When you touch it, you feel that it's good, and we really are very intentional in our design that it's a timeless look, that it's an elegant look, it's something you can throw a sweater over or a blazer over and you can completely transform it. They’re all easy to wear, they're all... You can throw them in your machine, wash them. Yes, yes, they wash very nicely. Thank you. Yes, we spend a lot of time sourcing the fabric for that reason, and that was a big intention for us too, like you said, there's so much trendy shopping and mindless shopping, and I'm guilty of it too, but we’ve become much more mindful about...

 

0:33:42.9 S2: It's funny, especially when you're young, it's such an impulse to buy the trendy thing, and as you get older, you realize if you save your money and you buy great pieces that pair well with other pieces, it takes you much further, but that's hard to learn at a young age. 

 

0:33:59.4 S1: It is. And it's much simpler to dress yourself when you have these nice staple pieces. I was reading that, that's what they do in Italy from a young age, that they'll buy designer brands, but they’ll, every year they will buy three pieces or whatever their budget can afford, and they'll have very limited pieces, but then they can layer, like you were saying, really nice cashmere cardigan, you can wear multiple ways. Right.

 

0:34:30.3 S2: Right. And you can wear it for years, it won’t pill, right. We have a couple of cardigans in our line that are... We hate getting a beautiful sweater and then having it pill within the first month, and I think we have a lot to learn from European women, they tend to invest in fewer pieces, but better pieces and have a very timeless look for the most part. So we definitely take some cues from European women, for sure.

 

0:34:57.1 S1: I'm moving that direction, so I have an appreciation for it, for sure. Especially with suits too, and even going to... We go to an office and you have this thing, I don't know if it's from high school or something, or even in grade school, it's like, oh, I gotta have a new outfit, and then you wear your new thing and then it’s not new anymore, it’s not as exciting. But you have to have more of a fashion sense and put a little more work into it, so you can keep your wardrobe looking fresh with accessorizing and having just nice pieces.

 

0:35:32.2 S2: Exactly, yeah. Focus on the accessories more than the big pieces of fashion and it's a learning curve for sure, but that's something we've learned over the years and try to do more of, for sure, and it's better for the environment and better for the workers, better for everybody.

 

0:35:50.2 S1: 100%. Well, I loved hearing your story, and I hope it inspired others because you have done it, visit Maxwell and Geraldine and your social channels, can you share with us your social channels and then any calls to action that you would like any audience members to take right now.

 

0:36:11.0 S2: You can find us at Maxwell and Geraldine on Facebook and Instagram, and maxwellandgeraldine.com online. Like I said, we just launched a new fall line with some beautiful holiday plaids and a moody floral, so we hope you'll check that out and some great girls dresses too. 

 

0:36:32.7 S1: That’s so exciting. Well, we will share the looks on our social channels too. It was an absolute pleasure, Kate. I am very excited to watch your growth and just see lots of other women celebrate good fashion this Christmas season when they sport all of your new looks in the fall line.

 

0:36:53.8 S2: Thank you so much and we are such big fans of yours and what you're doing to transform healthcare and make it so much easier for everybody. So bravo to you, we’ll be watching.

 

0:37:05.8 S1: Thank you so much, I very much appreciate that. With that, Persevere Podcast audience, thank you so much for tuning in. If you love this episode, please give us five stars and subscribe, that keeps us going. And if you have any guests that you would like us to interview, you can always direct message me, Patty Post, CEO, or follow Checkable Health. And we will get back to you and we'd love your suggestions. Thank you and keep on persevering with business. Well, that was just such a fun interview. Kate is such a sweetheart and what a great entrepreneur. Again, her link is MaxwellandGeraldine.com. If you wanna take advantage of that new fall collection, be sure to get on that and snag your holiday dresses. And also, if you wanna be an early adopter and if you love the Persevere Podcast, please head over to our LinkedIn group and join the Persevere Podcast LinkedIn group, we are going to be talking about the episodes as well as talking about entrepreneurship. Let's create a community of entrepreneurs so we can help one another move forward in persevere in business. This podcast was brought to you by the Checkable Health Media team and produced by the Grow The Show team.


0:38:32.7 S1: Thank you so much for joining me. See you next time. Thank you for listening to The Persevere Podcast, powered by Checkable Medical. Head over to perseverepodcast.com for notes, links and additional resources from today's show. To continue hearing insights and gaining knowledge from those persevering, succeeding and making their dream a reality, be sure to subscribe through your favorite podcast app. Now go make it happen.