Since its establishment in 2015, Ivy City Co. has been a trailblazing women-founded dress brand. They have revolutionized the industry with a strong focus on quality mommy and me fashion and size inclusion.
Notably, Ivy City Co. stands out as the first dress company to offer over 20 sizes in a single design, catering to women of all ages and stages. Their commitment to empowering women globally is unwavering, as they continuously seek new avenues to foster confidence and community.
Join the ranks of their loyal fanbase and A-List celebrities, including Serena Williams, Joanna Gaines, Mindy Kaling, Chrissy Teigen, and more, who celebrate their exquisite dresses.
We had the opportunity to chat with the founders of Ivy City Co., Natasha Thomas, Whitney Smith, and Madeline Hamilton. Learn about the journey of bringing the brand to market, their biggest challenges, and their words of inspiration for other female entrepreneurs.
Women’s Business Daily Chats with the Foudners of Ivy City Co.
What inspired you to start Ivy City Co.?
It all began from a stirring inside to create something that helped others see their beauty. We are all creators, and this is how we manifested that feeling!
What are some of the things you’re most proud of about Ivy City Co.?
Some of the “wins” closest to our hearts are being able to employ fellow women and mothers and being the first dress brand to offer over 20 sizes in a single design.
Tell us about your product development. Can you walk us through your process from initial concept to design to production?
Our design process is fed from two lovely sources. One, we have direct communication with our community of customers! Listening to them and their requests for new designs helps take out the guesswork.
Two, we are constantly inspired by the fashion of the past and present and designing by season. We find inspiration anywhere and everywhere!
We aim to design up to 12 months in advance to allow ample time to perfect samples and produce all our sizes. This process includes anything from hand-drawing prints, selecting fabrications, picking Pantone colors, movement tests, and beyond! Every detail matters.
Once a sample is approved for production, we work with our wonderful team of demand planners to consciously place orders with our manufacturing teams. Our incredible factories then bring the vision to life so we can help people around the world feel as beautiful as we know they are!
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a size-inclusive brand?
Years ago, when we first began sampling for plus sizes, we had a lot of pushback from manufacturers. None of them had experience with sewing above XXL as, unfortunately, the industry standard was and is still for most big box stores XS-XL.
We were flat-out told no. But we pushed, teaching about the important need for size inclusion. They listened, and we went for it. It’s so much more than just dresses.
What do you wish you had known about the fashion and manufacturing world when you first started Ivy City Co.?
So much!! We had ZERO experience in the industry, so we learned everything the hard way. If I could pick one thing, I’d say I wish we had learned earlier not to be afraid to reach out to people steps ahead of us for advice! There are many wonderful people out there who are happy to share and help others grow.
What are your goals for the future of Ivy City Co.?
There are too many to name!! We hope to bring more in-person and global experiences to our community! We also look forward to spreading our wings by broadening our range of product offerings, always keeping our hearts and minds focused on inclusion.
What do you think the future of size-inclusive fashion looks like?
Hopefully, we will see more and more shops offer broader ranges in sizing, not just online but in stores and in their marketing as well! We received an award last year recognizing our efforts in size inclusion which seems great. But truly we don’t think it should be an anomaly deserving of accolades. Being able to find your size anywhere should be a standard. Cheers to a better future!
What are some things you do to promote body positivity and inclusivity?
Showcasing every single size we offer on models across our marketing platforms in hopes that anyone can come to Ivy City and feel seen and heard!
What does your day-to-day look like – and what do you love most about what you do?
We have a hybrid schedule that allows us and our incredible team to find balance in working from home and collaborating in the office. A regular work day consists of meeting with different departments to ensure projects are on track and problem solving if they are not, reviewing data, personal communications with customers, and hopefully crossing off to-dos! Our absolute favorite part of what we do is the relationships we get to build with our staff and customers.
How do you practice self-care?
It takes a conscious effort to prioritize this! Getting outside in our Utah mountains is a special kind of healing. Also, we always put our families first and allow time for hobbies outside of work.
What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs who are starting their own businesses?
Don’t wait! There will never be the perfect time to chase your dream, so dive in even if you don’t have all the information you need.
Also, reach out to people in your industry you admire! Find them on LinkedIn, social media, and go to their speaking engagements! Ask questions and be a sponge.
What single word or saying do you identify most with? Why?
Compassion. Compassion allows us to find love in others and ourselves but also humbles us enough to learn from our mistakes and grow each day. Additionally, compassion creates opportunities for relationship building which is all a good business really is.
Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.
Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com