I love it when chicks make things happen: in other people’s lives, on the planet or for themselves.  Which is what Chicks Conquering the World is about.  It’s fitting that the first interview in this new series involves revolution.  Please meet Shannon Whitehead and Kristin Glenn, the talented designers behind {r}evolution apparel, a sustainable travel clothing line for women.

Q)  You ladies love travel and design, so how did you come up with the idea to start a clothing company, instead of going the traditional boring route of round-the-world travel? 

A)  We actually went the “traditional boring route” of round the world travel first! Our experiences abroad directly inspired us to design the 10 pieces of our clothing line.

While traveling to different countries and living out of a backpack, we realized there was an untapped market for versatile travel apparel that was actually fashionable — we don’t do cargo zip-off shorts!

While in Central America, we started sketching out preliminary ideas for 10 different pieces that could be mixed and matched to create over 100 different looks. The ultimate travel line for women looking to minimize their wardrobes (or their backpacks!).

Q)  Tell us about your new product, the Versalette?

A)  The Versalette is the signature piece of our line and the first piece we debuted to the world. It’s one garment that can be worn over 15 different ways, as a skirt, dress, shirt, scarf, hood, purse, poncho and more.

We recently launched a Kickstarter project to initiate pre-sales of the Versalette, and we were blown away by the response we got. We ended up beating our 20,000 dollar goal by over 40,000 dollars!

Cute!

Q)   How can this product benefit female travelers?

A)  The Versalette is most practical for women who travel a lot, or like keeping a manageable wardrobe. It can be dressed up or down, but probably makes for better casual-wear. It can be worn on any body type, and different uses will flatter different shapes. That’s the beauty — the simplicity of the garment, paired with the complexity of its uses.

Ultimately, the biggest benefit is that it reduces the weight of your luggage by minimizing the amount of clothes you have to pack.

15 ways to wear the Versalette – unbeleivable!

Q)   Okay, fun question, what was the worst fashion disaster you donned during your travels?  I want answers from both of you!  No squirming out of this one!  In fact, I want pictures!

A)  Shannon: When I read this question my mind immediately flashed back to the “Great Belt Blunder of 2009.” For reasons unknown, my fashion sense went completely out the window during my travels in Cambodia. Why I felt the need to wear a belt in every outfit (and in all the wrong places!) goes beyond me…

Shannon in the belt


She wasn’t kidding about the belt

Kristin: I like to call mine jammie pants. I had this great idea of cutting off a pair of blue plaid pajamas at the knee and wearing them like a men’s swimsuit. Unfortunately, this was only a few years ago… #fail.

Not exactly Vicotria’s Secret


Too pretty to be in dude shorts. Just sayin’

Q)   Back to serious, why use Kickstarter to build your business?

A)  Well, for one thing, we really needed capital!

In addition to the financial benefits though, launching a Kickstarter campaign is an awesome way to test the market before manufacturing the product. We used it as an opportunity to see how our target market would respond to the Versalette instead of ordering hundreds, going into debt, and having them sit in a warehouse unsold if our idea wasn’t a hit.

Q)  Finally, how do you foresee {r}evolution apparel evolving?

A)  Since the successful completion of our Kickstarter campaign, we plan to start producing our first order of Versalettes. We will sell retail online, and wholesale to various boutiques and clothing stores across the country — we have big dreams of getting wholesale accounts with REI and Whole Foods…

Come summer, we hope to be traveling across the country, talking to America about sustainable fashion and versatile design. We also hope to have samples of our nine other pieces to take on the road with us!

Stunning, yet sustainable fashion

I’m feverishly plotting how I can get my hands on the Versalette.  How much lighter would Miz Chanel become?  Ah, pondering the glories.  Shannon Whitehead and Kristin Glenn blog about the ups and downs of starting a business at www.seamly.co/products/versalette. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and on the {r}evolution apparel website.

Are YOU conquering the world?  Have you triumphed over illness or adversity?  Saving orphans or starting a kick-ass business?  If you’d like to be featured or want to nominate someone for Chicks Conquering the World, contact me at: [email protected].