Behind the Scenes: Our first photo shoot

July 02, 2014

If you follow along on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen a few photos of our dresses popping up. We thought we’d also share some shots from behind-the-scenes of the shoot. The dresses used in this shoot are referred to as Fit Samples. This means they are the correct pattern, fit, and material, but are not the final colors. The final fabric for production must be milled and dyed. This process takes about 35 days. Once the factory has the final fabric, they will create our Pre-production Samples. These will be the final samples made before the order goes into full production. 

We chose to do a photo shoot using our fit samples because we are so excited to show the dresses to our future customers. And we hope you are excited, too! We think women will enjoy seeing the silhouettes and getting a sense for what the final garments will look like. In the meantime, you can sign-up here to see all 5 dresses and the final color swatches.

The Day of the Shoot

The day started off overcast, but the clouds quickly burned off. We were able to capitalize on the natural light spilling into the space. Rachel King, our talented photographer, used the sun in addition to a spot to fill the photos with bright, natural light.


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5 Myths About Chinese Factories

June 23, 2014

In early 2013 over 1,000 people were killed in the devastating factory collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. The event left another 2,000 injured and even more wondering how the factory conditions could get to the point of collapse. This accident and other recent scandals — such as the discovery of deplorable working conditions at Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturer — have significantly influenced the American perception of overseas production and contributed to the rise of Ethical Consumerism in the US.

It is incredibly important that we understand the conditions under which our clothing is made and we should be thankful that media outlets are shedding a light on these instances of dangerous working conditions. With this information we can all make better purchasing decisions that allow us to align our money with our values.

However, with most media today, stories that shock and awe are the ones that are most shared and most read. The widely-publicized coverage of Rana Plaza and Foxconn has come to define the overseas manufacturing industry. In reality, the media is showing only a fraction of what foreign production is really like and, in turn, it is putting an ugly spin on an industry that deserves a lot more.


The best part of my job is working with and traveling with my colleague, Abby, pictured here.

I have worked in sourcing and manufacturing for three years. I have traveled to China and visited several factories on behalf of our clients. My experience has taught me that not all factories are deplorable facilities managed by evil people looking to make a buck wherever possible. On the contrary, the vast majority of factories are trying to do good work. Well-managed factories consistently strive to make quality product with healthy workers in a safe environment, all while trying to grow their businesses.

My time spent in China working with my Chinese colleagues has been eye-opening. My experience there has dispelled many of the misconceptions I previously held and taught me that the bad conditions and mistreatment of workers we see from the media are the exception, not the rule. Below, are 5 commonly held misconceptions about manufacturing in China. I share some of my experiences in an effort to paint a more accurate picture of the industry.

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Here’s the Skinny on the Chubbie’s Business Model

June 03, 2014

I recently received an email from my significant other with this subject line: Can I wear these to your cousin’s wedding?

Intrigued, I opened the email and saw this:


“The Captain” Chubbies Short. It’s a classic, bro.

To be fair, my cousin’s wedding is at a camp in the Berkshires, so it’s not totally out of line to wear shorts. But, these aren’t just any shorts. These areChubbies. And, yes, of course, my boyfriend can wear Chubbies to the wedding. I would never deny him the chance to show off his thighs while supporting a company that has masterfully crafted a brand that appeals to millions — literally millions — of men.

There are many things to love about Chubbies. For one, they offer a shorter inseam (5.5”) than the average knee-length short. The brand itself has a laid back, far out and totally awesome attitude. They drink up life and encourage customers to do the same. They grew their Facebook following to over 500K when they offered everyone that “liked” them a free Chubbies koozie. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and this attitude clearly resonates with their customer.

One of the reasons Chubbies is able to be so amazingly bro-tastic has to do with their verticalized business model.

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The Myth of the Maxxinista

May 27, 2014


Do you search through the racks at TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack for that elusive half-off designer label? Do you detour to hit the J. Crew and GAP outlets on weekend road trips? If you, like many Americans (myself included), love the feeling of getting a bargain you might want to stop reading now. Spoiler Alert: I am about to shed some light on these so-called “discount” retailers. In the last few years, the rise of fast-fashion retailers (H&M, Forever 21, Zara) has severely affected pricing across the entire fashion industry. These companies are outperforming American fashion mainstays, like GAP, Banana Republic, and J. Crew, forcing these brands to reevaluate their pricing and production strategies.

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What We Value

May 20, 2014


Friends, it’s been a big week!  Jay and I made Brass official – yes, Facebook official.  We took the plunge and announced on our individual Facebook walls that we are starting a business, and we couldn’t have predicted the results.  We received an outpouring of support from coworkers, old friends, teachers, family and other long lost connections.  We even received a “Girl Power!” from one of our Aunts.  Yes, “Girl Power!”  Mel B and the rest of the Spice Girls would have been proud.  We sincerely thank you for the support!

Making this kind of announcement on Facebook can be daunting.  You are basically making yourself accountable for the commitment you’ve made to yourself and now the world…or at least your social network. But, it also makes Brass more real, and making Brass a reality is what gets us up in the morning.

Now that Brass is real to our friends and followers, we wanted to share some of the most important pieces of our business: our mission and values.  While we consider this a work-in-progress (choosing the perfect words to describe the business we’re building is a serious commitment!), we like what we have going on, and would love to hear your feedback.  Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Why Brass?

May 05, 2014


There are many emotions that come with telling family and friends that you are starting a business.  You feel a sense of pride for having the guts to give it a try, fear of failing and letting them down and an urgency to get things moving so you have something tangible to show.

Inevitably, the first question they ask is, “So, what are you calling this business?”  We tell them the name and they say, “Brass?  Brass.  Why Brass?”  Well, let us tell you!

Brass has 2 meanings.  The first is a bit more obvious and helps tell our story.  The second is more personal and we’ll share it with you today.  We will keep it in our back pockets as we continue this journey, knowing it’s a part of the brand we’re building.   

The first meaning of Brass is a reflection of the products we make and the customers we target.  As you know from our introduction, Brass was born out of frustration.  Jay and I were struggling to find quality garments.  The styles we love – like those produced by designers as Theory, Vince and Tory Burch – were like gold.  Beautiful, shiny and extremely desirable – but unrealistic.  It’s hard for a 28 year old woman to fill her closet with $400 dresses.  So we decided to fill the gap for women who want more than chincy fast fashion but don’t want to pay a premium for quality. Our dresses are being produced in the same factories as the world’s top designers, with the same attention to detail, quality, and craftsmanship. And we’re committed to offering our clothing at reasonable, attainable prices by cutting out the middleman and reducing markup. Therefore, we’re not gold and we’re not a designer label. We’re Brass.  

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Survey Says…

April 30, 2014

A couple weeks ago we asked our wonderful friends, family and supportive online groups (Marie Forleo’s B-Schoolers) to take a survey. Our goal was to learn some basic information about our ideal customer base. We wanted to know: Where does...
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Let’s Get to Know Each Other

April 28, 2014

First things first… Welcome! We are very excited to share our business-baby with you! We thought some of you like-minded entrepreneurial folk might be interested in learning about the process of starting up an online clothing business. In an effort...
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