Today we’d like to introduce you to Marie Miao.
Marie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The story behind our brand organically happened when I started to wear my handmade clothes to work. I started to receive comments about my outfit from my patients, wishing they had something comfortable “like that” to wear during treatment.
I have always loved fashion, textiles especially. Studying the texture, weave, patterns, and colors. Knowing the challenges that come from treatment, I knew I wanted to create a brand that would serve a purpose from the side effects they face. From there, my passion for helping the cancer community and fashion birthed irro irro.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Just like anything new you begin, there were obstacles along the way. The biggest struggle and still is funding. As a sole owner and funder, the growth is slower, but I also wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being creative about growing the business and putting in my own manual labor so things get done. While obstacles appear, it’s also a growing moment and a learning opportunity. I’m enjoying the process for what it is for now.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Irro Irro – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Irro Irro began when I noticed a need for clothing designs inclusive of medical needs we often oversee. As an oncology social worker, I was exposed to difficulties people with cancer face. Knowing the side effects that come from treatment, all of our clothing is designed with those needs in mind. No buttons and fibers that are soft and comfortable on your skin.
The brand focuses on minimalist clothing and accessories for everyday wear. irro irro designs are meant to be a blank canvas, using neutral colors and textiles that are comfortable and soft on your skin. To reduce waste in production and landfill, we recently switched to a made-to-order model from our previous small batch production. Each piece is ethically made in California with textiles that are ethically sourced and milled in Japan.
As a company, I’m proud that we are steadily growing with supportive customers who value the quality in clothing and the philanthropy behind our brand. I love that we are able to make clothing for people with physical limitations without diminishing the beauty of the clothing. Whether it’s a disease or disability, people deserve to feel and look good. It sounds cliche, but there really isn’t enough brands that focus on adaptive fashion. Our goal is to be a part of that change.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Future plans include additional sizes and switching to a made-to-order model. Extended sizing requires a whole new pattern, which means more cost and time to properly proportion the clothing. All good things take time, and I’m happy that this is the focus for this year.
I’m also excited about adding additional items into the store that serve the cancer community.
- Accessories $34-$40
- Clothing $40-$215
- Website: www.irroirro.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/shopirroirro/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/shopirroirro/