Startup Stories: Flexible Fashion for the Busy Women

Flexible Fashion for the Busy Women.

Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
Camilla Olson designs for women who do not have the time or interest to keep up with fashion and style. Yet most women realize how important appearance is when they walk into a room. My ideal wardrobe must be functional, flexible, and keep up with a fast paced life. Central to my collection are my Soft Shirts:
– Finished long enough to cover sensitive areas,
– Made from fabric that feels and drapes like silk, but is easy to care for, and
– Features unique design details
– Work just as well over jeans, yoga pants, and nicer bottoms to go confidently from desk 2 dinner.
My shirts join my popular separates to enhance the body and add a measure of confidence. Each piece fits into a foundation of building blocks so that 9 pieces make up 30 looks and is sewn in the US.

What inspired you to launch your business idea?
There are plenty of challenges facing a female venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. Figuring out what to wear shouldn’t be one of them.
Some years ago, I needed to go to a week-long strategy meeting in Nice, France. The Nordstrom stylist I consulted was somewhat helpful towards helping me decide what to pack, but when I found myself in Nice, everything was wrong. A knit sweater and skirt combination had seemed perfect in California, but once I walked into the lobby, I knew it was two levels too serious and more conservative than I’d imagined. It never came out of the suitcase. It was a painful week because the clothes I brought weren’t nearly casual enough, and yet the clothes I wore in the venue weren’t right for meeting with business colleagues.
Today, I see few improvements in the situation.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
While clothing is becoming increasingly casual, there are still few choices for the businesswoman. At the senior executive level, it’s easy to find designer diffusion lines. And at the entry level, Ann Taylor is there to help educate young women on acceptable office wear. But in the vast area between, there are too few choices.
When we’re serious about our careers, events, or other life goals, there isn’t time (or honestly, desire) to follow trends and stay up to date with fashion styles. And in this economy, few can afford separate wardrobes for work and life.

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
Access to capital and distribution.

I am in the process of participating in the inaugural crowdfunding class.
I am applying for grants too.

Stores like to carry what is sexy and fashion forward, “contemporary.” I don’t design overtly sexy. I like subtly and nuance.
I am trying to reach my audience directly, via e-commerce, direct sales in the work place, through her associations.
I am asking for help here on Project Eve.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
too soon to say. i just joined. I would love, love feedback.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
I love scarves. it can dress up any outfit, make an outfit look like 5 different dresses, and keep you warm. We used to carry great hand printed scarves. [but not now].
Here is a link to a terrific scarf tying poster.

An accomplished businesswoman, inventor & designer, Camilla Olson sees fashion as language to express self, intelligence & confidence. Camilla earned an Honorable Mention as “Best Second Act Reinvention” on the website

Company: camilla olson llc


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