Behind the Seams


About Dara Elliott, San Francisco-Based Curiosity Writer.

 

From Fashion PR to Minimalism

 

I began my career in the alluring world of fashion PR, where I picked up the habit of impulse shopping.

In 2014, I moved from New York to San Francisco with luggage and boxes filled to the brim.

After settling into the startup scene here in SF, I found myself wearing only a fraction of the pieces I had painfully lugged across the country.

This realization got me curious about minimalism.

I read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Greg McKeown's Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, and watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. I even gave uniform dressing and capsule wardrobes a try.

Among these perspectives, what really stuck was the idea of a minimalist wardrobe. Paring down my wardrobe gave me clarity on my personal style, getting dressed got simpler, and most notably, I became a deliberate shopper (yup, no more impulse purchases!).

 

The Aha Moment

 

Instead of aimlessly shopping, I made a list of the voids in my closet along with specific criteria I was looking for in each piece. On this list was an everyday jacket with the following criteria:

  • Must be super comfy
  • Must have a versatile, modern design
  • Must be easy to care for (aka no dry cleaning, no fabrics that pill etc.)
I searched and searched, and simply couldn't find a modern, go-to jacket that fit the criteria. This sparked my entrepreneurial journey. Curious about what it'd be like to develop, launch, and build a brand from scratch, I set out to create the Do Anything Jacket.

 

Moto jackets made in San Francisco, at a women-owned factory

Launching Brevity

 

On this design journey, I met an incredible team of San Francisco-based, women-led businesses.

I came across a local design studio and discovered Susan. We partnered to create the pattern for the jacket. She's a brilliant pattern maker, a genius at tailoring, and knows fit down to a science.

For production, I connected with Connie, a manufacturing fairy godmother, who's been making apparel in San Francisco for 30 years! She runs one of the only women-owned factories in the area and is known for her fair and ethical labor practices. In fact, most of her team has been with her since she opened shop!

It's was an incredibly rewarding experience to work alongside fellow female founders to launch a Kickstarter campaign, and bringing this idea to life.

Minimalist capsule wardrobe ethically and consciously made here in San Francisco
 

The Next Chapter

 

Brevity taught me to see life as a journey, and not a destination. It taught me to lead with curiosity rather than stick to a path that doesn't feel quite right.

While I enjoyed the process of building Brevity, the brand didn't feel fully authentic. Brevity was founded on the principles of minimalism, something I was experimenting with and found helpful, but not something core to who I am.

This realization inspired me to deep dive into what really makes a brand worth believing in. And this very insight led me to create Brand Sourcebook. My intention is to share my learnings and to continuously work to master the craft of brand strategy

If you're interested in continuing the journey, join me as I explore the fascinating world of brand strategy.


Dara Elliott SignatureDara Elliott | Brand Strategist

 P.S. A bit more about me here.