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Interview with The Founder, Nyla Jano

 

What is your favorite style and/or print in the line?

I'm a big fan of our clutches and backpacks. The backpacks are great for bike riding, festivals and hikes. I use mine every day for work, to carry my computer, paperwork and accessories. My friends and I seem to end up with our clutches on our nights out. I use my clutch every day as well. 

Where do you draw inspiration from for the style of the bags?

Traveling, noticing other peoples’ wears, checking out magazines, outdoor stores and just my own ideas. 

How would you describe your own personal style?

I think I have an artistic but sporty style. It’s not extreme in one way or another. I try to balance my outfits with soft and hard textures, masculine and feminine, tight and loose, big but not too much jewelry, patterns and solids but coordinated colors. I don’t wear many bright tones. A fun balanced outfit to me would be a day dress with sneakers or cut off shorts with boots and a nice top. I also love me some sneakers, boots, scarves, high waisted jeans and big rings ;)

Has owning your own sustainable fashion company changed the way you shop?

I am definitely more conscious and curious about how things are made and company values. Although I love our local brands and shops, I must say I have a soft spot for shopping in New York when I visit my brothers. The options are endless and the style is usually one step ahead. And of course, vintage and thrift shopping will always be a staple in my life. Not only do I find one-of-a-kind items but I am practicing our core value - reduce, reuse, recycle! LA and Portland have incredible vintage stores.

What advice do you have for others that are looking to live more eco-friendly and naturally?

Start small. One of the biggest choices we have is the food we eat. Eat organic and try to eat local. Farmers markets are a fun and easy way to start eating this way. If you live in the Portland area, Sauvie Island is a thrifty and fun way to buy local, as well as the downtown park blocks. But pay attention, sometimes a farm is organic but they can’t afford to have it “certified organic” so ask the vendors.

Read labels – on your food, makeup and anything else you put on your body! The less ingredients the better. I use pure coconut oil as my body moisturizer (coconut oil is actually wonderful for everything). Add a dollop of your favorite essential oil and you have an amazing lotion.

Check out your local reused clothing shops. Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads are always great ones.

If you had to choose one era and place to live in, where and when would it be?

I would choose to live in New York in the West Village in the 50’s amongst the strong conviction of the Beat Movement. The postwar anti-materialism, literature, music, art, spirituality, adventure and the introduction of Asian religion during that time captures and colors my soul. I would then embark on the journey to California in the 60’s ;)

Name a few things we can find you doing on a typical day in Portland.

Yoga and climbing are big aspects of my life. I also run a couple times a week around Laurelhurst park. I try my best to be active everyday. I am at the studio or working at my kitchen nook everyday. If I can swing it, I love going out to eat for lunch, happy hour or dinner. The restaurants here are unmatched and I love exploring the new ones that pop up daily. I usually see music or go to an art show, bbq or other fun event at least once/ week.

If you give one piece of advice to everyone you meet, what would that be?

Be kind. Everyone has their own story.

 

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