Our entrepreneurial journey has been like a winding road meandering down several bends. We knew we wanted to create something together before we knew what that something was. Finding that something took lots of early morning and late night Whatsapp chats and deep-delve phone calls while driving, the only times our children were safely buckled in so that we could have uninterrupted conversations. At least until they started talking and singing! :)
Our original idea was dress shirts that are convertible to a different style in 3 steps or less. Over time it evolved to what it is today: modular ensembles that can be configured in different ways with various add-ons. We loved the original idea, but kept iterating, wanting to create something far-reaching we would be proud of, that would keep us engaged for a long time. I am so glad we did because a lot of the ideas discussed during this journey form the basis of our vision and brand values today.
If ellylla was a person, she would embody these qualities.
The inspiration for ellylla came from experiencing motherhood and wanting to contribute to the type of world we want our daughters to inherit. One with limitless possibilities, so they could be anything and all that they want to be. We want this for them and for girls and women everywhere. The creation of an angel investing LYL fund for women owned start-ups is an example of the how. The LYL fund has its own algorithm, where every $250,000 in ellylla sales, the percentage pledged increases by 0.5%. Mentorship is another way we will support the recipients of the fund. These decisions came long before the product was finalized. We are intentional and thoughtful about the ways we weave in value, and multiplying the effect of each of them.
In tackling sustainability, using sustainable fabrics was a given, but we wanted to find other possibilities. Our collars and sleeves and bodice parts don’t have to be washed as often to save on water and electricity. We are using up-cycled fabrics in some add-ons like sleeves and collars, and for all pockets. And we hope that using our clothing system means consumers will choose to buy less because they can achieve the feeling of newness organically by switching up add-ons.
All our decisions are grounded in our purpose: redefining the status quo in meaningful ways by creating possibilities. We are not creating a clothing line, we are creating a clothing system that is timeless with its built-in potential for limitless permutation. We want to hand down this system and the thought behind it. So that the same way I wear some of my mom’s pieces from the 70’s with so much joy, one day our daughters will proudly wear ellylla clothing as a badge of honour in a world where transformable clothing is not as novel. If we can help nudge women’s clothing in a new direction, challenge the single use norm towards multifunctional, transitional, transformative, modular clothing, we are moving it closer to and grounding it in a new paradigm. We want to be part of this movement towards more mindful consumption and see more clothing businesses launched with a broader definition of value than just a monetary one. It’s a tall order but we are up for the challenge.
We are handing the creative choices to our customers so they can play with possibilities and have fun. We want building this thing to be a trip! We want our future employees to love waking up in the morning to do their part. We want to delight our mentors.
What you put out there multiplies. We are intentional about maintaining a sense of playfulness and wonder, embracing the unexpected, with openness, and humour. We joyfully accept the vulnerability and opportunity in admitting we don’t have all the answers. You have to start somewhere and we are excited about where we are starting.