We chat to Megan Hunt, co-founder of Hello Holiday
My partner Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik and I met one night at CAMP, a workspace I used to own in downtown Omaha. We were both working on our own projects and we started talking about how we’d really like to do something more challenging, something bigger, something more meaningful for ourselves and other women. I think we’d both agree that the talk, the moment, was a personal crossroads in our lives. We began loosely discussing the idea for Hello Holiday, and continued meeting until we hired our developer and finally started building the website.
We wanted to create the online store that we couldn’t find: with lots of exclusive pieces from independent designers, clothes we can wash, clothes that represent the way we feel about ourselves deep down. A store that offers a friendly and accessible approach to fashion, and a store that really celebrates every woman in an industry that can be so closed-off and pretentious.
What do you hope that visitors to the website will find?
We created our store for women on the brink of a milestone in their lives: a graduation, a new job, a marriage, a new family member, a huge interview. These women have places to go, goals to accomplish, and ideas to share. Hello Holiday connotes arrival as we come into our own identities as women, and how we can use our clothing to make every day more festive, celebratory, and delightful. Wearing something we love is a way to escape the stress and monotony of our routines and lift us up. It’s a way we can go on our own little holiday and celebrate ourselves. We hope that the customers who visit our site will feel this spirit of celebration and self-confidence that believe every woman is entitled to.
How do you select and pick new items for the website?
When we go to market to get our inventory from designers, we never pick something that we wouldn’t wear ourselves and pay full price for. We look for things that are washable, things that don’t require a ton of upkeep as far as steaming or ironing, and things that have a special detail or quality making them pieces our customers will pull from their closets over and over again. We want fabrics that feel expensive, designs that flatter.
It all seems like common sense, but how often do you leave a store or boutique empty-handed because nothing seemed right? Fabric too cheap, price too high, quality too low? Picking the right pieces to carry in the first place is how we insure ourselves against the nightmare of customer returns. We’re proud to say that our intuition here is working because our return rate is very low.
What is it that you love most about fashion, particularly vintage and DIY?
What we love about vintage fashion is finding pieces that you can be certain no one else will have. The construction is usually amazing, there's great attention to detail, and such unique fabrics--things that are hard to find in stores today. This is also a big part of DIY culture--creating something unique, putting part of yourself and your love into a handmade thing for another person. This is why it's so important to us to support small designers.
How would you describe your own individual style(s)?
We love Nancy Sinatra, Sophia Loren, all those sirens of the ’60s. We both love the big hair, the winged eyeliner, and the casual style. As far as fashion, Megan's style is more minimal and she typically wears a solid-colored shift dress every day. She just love unfussy clothing, clean lines, and feeling put-together and simple. Sarah tends toward very vintage and 60s glamour-inspired looks.
What are your hot picks for summer 2014?
We feel like we're really having a poppy moment this Summer--lots of bright reds, shades of yellow, citrus hues. As always, we're offering a lot of vintage-inspired silhouettes and washable fabrics.
How does Hello holiday support emerging designers?
When we work with emerging designers, they are people who have not had a mainstream retail presence before. We are working with people who are gaining experience in selling their work. There is some risk that we take, but with our backgrounds in design and retail we can offer some mentorship and help with wholesaling, as well as a lot of open communication and trust for these designers who are just building their first retail relationships.
We wanted to take this risk and help develop new designers because we believe in independent business and want to support other small business owners. We also benefit by having exclusive pieces from these designers not available in other stores, which our customers love.
We choose emerging designers just like mainstream designers–quality of product and intuition about design–but we also look for professional characteristics such as reliability, maturity, and confidence in their voice and vision as a designer.
We encourage people to apply to work with Hello Holiday as an emerging designer by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.