Career Code: How This Accessory Label Went From Idea to Reality in 365 Days

In honour of our co-founders Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($20), we’re running an interview series featuring 17 questions (to parallel the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of inspirational female leaders who are at the top of their fields. So far, we’ve tapped Lisa GershPip EdwardsKelly Wearstler, and more. Up next? Nina and Lara of the accessory label, We Eat Avocado Toast.

Photo:

We Eat Avocado Toast

Founded by two best friends, We Eat Avocado Toast (WEAT) is the fun (and functional) handbags you’ve been searching for. After years of studying business and fashion, the brands founders Nina and Lara set out to create the perfect handbag for their millennial lifestyle.

After a year and half of development, the first “TOAST” Bag was born.It has a distinct shape and unique triangular clip, making the bag more comfortable than typical cross-bodies. Whether sprinting through an airport terminal, or dancing the night away, WEAT’s bags are made to deliver. And they definitely do.

Impressed by Nina and Lara's business acumen and ability to identify a gap in the market for a stylish but functional bag for the millennial girl, we sat down with the founders to learn a little more about WEAT and how the brand has been built. For everything from career advice to evening rituals, keep reading for the full interview.

Starting your own company is like a roller-coaster. It’s full of ups and downs, and it’s never boring. Believe us. Every day is a new, exciting journey, and you never know for sure what will happen. Being your own boss definitely pushes you to your limits by making your own decisions. Being able to develop your creativity is an extraordinary experience.

When thinking about fashion and owing your own label, people usually think about the glamorous world pictured in glossy magazines, or the fancy events they see on Instagram stories. The truth is, it is not like that. Because in between hours on the road spent visiting our factories, long days in the office, and working on weekends; there are very little glamorous moments in our daily jobs.

Nina: To be honest I can’t recall. I guess I was going for something smart but still fashionable, like a nice blazer, heels and black pants. Usually I pimp up my outfits with stylish accessories.

This would definitely be Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s creative director. Not only do we love how she uses her power to empower women and bring attention to the disadvantages women still have to face in modern society but also as we admire her creativity (J’adior—how simple but brilliant is it?) and hands-on mentality.

Nina: To keep me up to date, I read the daily newsletter from the Business of Fashion, which always gives you the latest news about the industry and everything surrounding it. In our industry, it is also very important to constantly stay up-to-date on social media.

Lara: As I have an aversion for newsletters, the medium of my choice is definitely Instagram, as well as the usual fashion magazines.

 

On the one hand, we would have loved to gain more working experience before starting our business; but on the other hand, we believe that learning by doing is still the most efficient way.

Passion: Be passionate about what you’re doing.

Competence: Be good at what you do.

Courage: Willingness to accept challenges.

Inner strength: Don’t give up when it gets difficult.

Creativity: Think outside the box.

 

In order to feel powerful with what you are wearing, you have to feel comfortable in your outfit, and this really depends on your mood. Sometimes we go twinning in bright coloured suits. Sometimes it’s a mum jeans and sweater kind of day. It really depends, and as we are our own bosses, there is no one to tell us what to wear—which is pretty cool

We guess they would describe us as enthusiastic, positive, hardworking and say that we change our minds all the time.

Inspiration can be seriously found everywhere. That’s maybe why we also change our minds so often. For us, it's not a lack of ideas that is the problem, but deciding on which one to focus.

Always be honest with your supervisor and explain your situation in advance. Everybody will understand if you want to quit because an amazing opportunity came up for you. The same applies if you’re unhappy in your job. It’s not in anybody’s best interest for you to feel uncomfortable, so just be straight forward with whatever is going on. Communication is essential.

Usually we are just have a quick salad or soup in the office, but as we work and live in Hong Kong, there is no way around some yummy dim sum from time to time!

Rushing. An office is not a race track. Don’t rush with your tasks. Of course it is important to fulfil your tasks in time, but it is even more important to fulfil them properly. Iron out the mistakes which are caused by rushing or not paying enough attention. Take your time to get into your routine, and speed will follow.

We are totally in love with @tezzambHer style is just on point and each single pictures is a blast to look at!

 

Sleep! We'd rather sleep longer than spend a lot of time to get ready. Before we got our coffee, please don’t talk to us. In the evening we usually go to the gym or for a run to get our heads free.

We are not sure if it was really advice, but it is definitely true. Someone once told us: “Having your own business means you will solve problems every day. Some days they are bigger, some days they are smaller. But there will always be problems, and if there is a day where there are none you better start looking, because there is no such thing.”

We are excited about our look book of our second collection we want to try something new and build a story around it and think it could turn out super cool. Fingers crossed!

Opening Image Credits: We Eat Avocado Toast

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