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Meet Tiffany Wong of Velé in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Wong.

Tiffany, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My co-founder and I began our creative partnership fittingly in a middle school sewing class. We bonded over a shared love of essentialist style and self-expression through fashion. Years later, it was only natural that we venture into the world of fashion. Yet we were disheartened to learn about the industry’s general lack of responsibility in providing for the artisans behind the pieces we all wear and love.

If we were going to start a brand, we couldn’t simply make beautiful things. We wanted to support ethical craftsmanship and the makers that put care into every piece. That’s why Velé guarantees the artisans who handcraft every piece in Ubrique, Spain, fair living wages and dignity in their work. To further this vision, we’ve partnered with Not For Sale, an international non-profit investing in the future of those most vulnerable to exploitation through social business.

10% of every purchase supports their incredible work. There was one more layer of fashion we wanted to change. We were tired of the industry constantly throwing messages at women that they weren’t good enough; that if they only purchased this or that, they would suddenly find success or feel beautiful.

Velé is built on a foundation of supporting and respecting women, regardless of their shape, size, or color. We make pieces to enhance your life, not change it. That’s why each & every piece we make is stitched with a message of empowerment inside to remind you that no matter what the world is telling you, you are worthy, ‘You are wanted.’

Great, 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?
One of our biggest challenges was creating a supply chain focused on fighting human trafficking from start to finish. It took months of research to find a factory that we trusted was not only paying workers the minimum wage but a true living wage (3x Spanish minimum wage) and to find the most impactful nonprofit partnership.

While many nonprofits combat human trafficking through helping facilitate rescues and creating group homes, we really loved Not For Sale’s (our non-profit partner) rare approach to creating a social business in at-risk communities to stop human trafficking at its source.

It was important for us to be a part of creating sustainable solutions for fighting labor exploitation, so we were thrilled to find that NFS had a shared vision for ending labor exploitation through for-profit ventures with empowering supply chains.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Velé – what should we know?
For us, travel has always played an integral role in how we see, process, and are inspired by the world and people around us. When we were on-the-go, we wanted functional travel accessories without having to sacrifice style.

As we talked with our friends, we found that many of our fellow “women on-the-go” were looking to trade any sense of brightly branded logos and exclusivity, for timeless pieces that equipped us to seamlessly transition through our day.

For example, the Crossbody Clutch was created to transform from a hands-free crossbody as you run through TSA to a classic clutch for evening drinks. Wherever the day takes them, we hope our pieces equip women to conquer their day with confidence.

That said, besides our product itself, we’re most proud of our commitment to helping create a world without human trafficking through conscious production and nonprofit partnership.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think having grace for yourself and knowing your worth is one of the most important components for success. Our name Velé is derived from the Latin root of the word “wanted” because we believe that each of us is innately worthy and wanted.

Along with any journey, but especially in entrepreneurship, you’re going to be making so many mistakes, and trusting that your worth is intrinsic, rather than tied to external markers and variables is key to trekking forward.

Pricing:

  • $295 _ The Crossbody Clutch
  • $110 – The Simple Wallet

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lydia Yekalam

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