Strategies for Transforming
Your Passion into
Ep. 232 with Ripley Rader
“I care more about making women feel great. Because looking great is easy. It’s how you feel and your clothes that matter.”
This episode is a must-listen for fashion enthusiasts, aspiring entrepreneurs, and anyone seeking inspiration to unleash their own passion. Delve into the world of Ripley Rader and discover how she fearlessly followed her passion, defying conventional norms and redefining women’s fashion along the way.
If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!
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In this episode you will learn about:
- How to believe in yourself and what you are offering.
- How to stay on top of your vision as your company grows.
- Why you should not play the comparison game.
- How to find your individual purpose and freedom.
- How to stay in the present and not distracted by the future.
- Is the DIY mindset okay for business?
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guests will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.
Okay, loves. If you’re watching this episode on YouTube, you are not looking at twin sisters. However, I do think that our guests this week Ripley Rader and I do have some genes that can be shared because, oh my God, there’s just so much that I love about this episode. I’m gonna have a hard time picking it out. But there’s some little nuggets in here, you’re gonna want to rewind, hit again, there’s one towards the very end before we go into the ad break that I’m like, Oh, yes, yes to all of this. So, I’m so excited to have this guest on because she’s a brand I see all the time. And she’s one of these brands that I’ve like looked at, and I thought like, oh my god, like she’s just getting, I remember her. I remember hearing about her 10 years ago. And now here she is just everywhere. She feels like she’s everywhere. She’s still growing. And it’s just so fun to hear the journey and meet the maker behind something and also get honest advice from someone in the world who’s doing their thing. And I think too often the world of Instagram and all these people trying to tell you like “be yourself,” you know? just do it. Like, how? That’s why this podcast exists. How. and I want the honest truth behind it. And you’re gonna get that from today’s guest. So Ripley Rader is our guest, she is the founder of those amazing pants that are always showing up in your feeds, and you are gonna look like a badass and then you’re gonna hear why she’s so obsessed with that. And I think, I think this is gonna be one of my favorite episodes you have, is one of my favorites. So, thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you very, very much for sharing the episodes. They are how, honestly, you sharing the episodes is how we get more listeners, how we can continue to get guests that inspire you to take messy action ditch perfection and Be It Till You See It. Here’s Ripley.
All right, Be It babe. I have fabulous guest. I’m gonna be really honest. When this person came across my radar, I was like, Is this the person whose pants are in my feed every single day? Because yes, I do want to talk to this amazing woman. I love to talk to women who have like taken an idea and then not only made it into fruition, but have like, somehow, you know, become omnipresent in our lives. Because these are the women that we can all learn from. So Ripley Rader, thank you so much for being our guest today. Can you tell everyone who you are? And in case they haven’t heard of you, what you do?
Ripley Rader 4:06
I, well, that’s like the nicest introduction. So thank you for that. You’re also my agent. My name is Ripley Rader. I am the founder and CEO of Ripley Raiders, same name, brand name, we sell women’s contemporary clothing. We’re particularly known for our pants. So, So, yes, but we are we are American made, American founded, ethically produced company, proudly.
Lesley Logan 4:34
That’s also not easy to do.
Ripley Rader 4:37
No, no, not easy to do. And not easy to do at our price point even though it is a little higher than some others. But yes, we, it’s something, it’s like a, it’s something that’s very important to me, and I won’t bend on it.
Lesley Logan 4:48
Yeah, I love that. I mean, like, I mean, we can go so many places, but the earlier this year, our websites were, our servers were attacked. And so all of our websites went down, the whole thing, and like it was, yeah, so insert like vomit gag, like all the chills, I just died. And they were done for six days. And so it’s just like daily, like, Okay, you still not up. Okay, so here’s another email. Here’s another post where I’m like, Hey, guys, thanks. But it was the values of transparency, authenticity, consistency, like, all the values that we like, you put together that was like, Okay, well, these are our values, and we have to live through them right now. And how do we get people that are on classes, and how do we do this so that like, they don’t have to be on the website, like getting creative and using the values. And so I love that you’re like, I’m not going to bend on this, it must be ethically produced and must be here, and we have to get a price point that is achievable. Even if it is on the higher end. I think that like, it makes it easier to know what to say yes and no to?
Ripley Rader 5:49
Absolutely, absolutely. Okay, you know, what’s right for you. And that’s something people always say, they used to say to me, when you get big, it’s not gonna. And I’m like, Well, we’re big. So we’re still doing it. So I don’t know what to say to you. Like, maybe you just, you know, you start your own company somewhere else. But with this, we we really stand true to it. We’re proud of it.
Lesley Logan 6:10
Yeah. So let’s like go into that. Like, I mean, obviously, being a woman CEO. It’s still a rare thing, unfortunately. And then, of course, you are told things like, Oh, well, you can do that now. But when you get bigger, you can’t do that. So how, how did you kind of basically go, I’m going to do this anyways? And then kind of how do you handle facing that kind of adversity?
Ripley Rader 6:30
Well, I have delusional self esteem. And I think that a bunch of idiots have started companies and become really successful. And so my whole thinking is, if one person has done it, there’s not a reason I couldn’t do it as well. And I’m not afraid to learn as I go. So, someone, I just resigned on someone relatively new in a position and she goes, I’m learning I’m so sorry. She was apologizing. I’m just getting the row, I’m just figuring out the ropes. And I was like, we’re all just figuring out the ropes at whatever level you’re at. So if you’re, if you can be vulnerable enough to be like, I’m just learning this, I don’t know what I don’t know, and, and learn it, whether it’s YouTube, whether it’s like I learned, I had, in the very beginning, when I started shooting during the pandemic, when I had to scale back financially. I like went on YouTube to go, how do I use a camera. And then I had in my, then I had incredible mentors come forward, like, Ripley, let me teach you. But I think that there’s a willingness to learn is the key to listen to yourself and then learn and not be there’s no shame in that. Like, there’s no shame in not knowing what you don’t know. And, so, then, with no shame, then you don’t feel constantly small. Because there’s an earnestness in building a business and I’m just as proud as the business 10 years ago, I started 10 years ago, as I am now. I’m also I’m prouder of that person. My life is much easier now. It’s bigger now. But the grind was eight years ago when like, I couldn’t get arrested by anybody. And, you know, you just keep doing it. And now it’s a lot different. But I think that that’s, you know, I also just don’t listen to many people. I have, like four people I listen to.
Lesley Logan 8:22
So okay, that’s yes. Okay. I, I, we, I as someone who’s on like, I’m on YouTube, I’m on all things and we gotta coach a lot of businesses and like, Oh, my God, these people are so mean to me. And I’m like, Are they on your list of people you listen to? Because if they’re not you gotta go, they’re hurting. Like they’re not like, you cannot take that in, because you could, and then on the flip side, you could, there’s so much information out there, you could be listening to 17,000 coaches for free between Instagram, and YouTube. And so I love that you’re like, I have these four people look like I get advice from and that’s where I go, that had to be really, it’s hard, kind of hard to turn out, turn up the noise. But then once you can do it, it really helps pave the way
Ripley Rader 9:08
It is. And I listened to, I mean, in some ways, we listened to anyone, when I was three years into the business, I brought on my husband to help and so he is running operations. And we talk all the time about people want to pitch us ideas and stuff will listen, but we don’t absorb. I mean we sometimes there’ll be something and we’ll be like ooh, that’s a little gem. Everything else you’re saying is complete crap. But that momentary like flash of brilliance will take but nothing like you say nothing permeates except if someone of it truly is about four people. If they say something I listen, one of which is my 18 year old intern. She is absent now. Now I brought her on as a full on assistant, she’s brilliant and smart and thinks outside the box and isn’t limited by what happens to you when you become an adult. So she’s one of the ones but I mean, I don’t think it has to be like, not actually none of the people who are my touchstones are like business advisors. They’re just people I really deeply trust and know have my back.
Lesley Logan 10:15
Yeah. I love that you have been 18 year old and I think I wish that we all had one just like, where are the 18 year olds?
Ripley Rader 10:23
They’re amazing. And they’re gonna save us Gen Z’s or Gen Z’s run my whole company, everyone under, besides me, I’m 42. everyone else is like 26 and under.
Lesley Logan 10:35
I love it so much. Yeah, yeah, we would, so my husband also came on now as a CEO. So like I was, everyone was calling me the CEO. And I was like, why am I in all these meetings? Like, Well, you’re the CEO. And I’m like, so I’m the ideas person. And when I heard Seth Godin go, no, there was like a CVO, there’s a chief visionary officer, like, that’s me. That’s my job.
Ripley Rader 10:58
Lesley Logan 10:59
You do the meetings. You can be the CEO, and you can hire all the people. Yeah, I’m gonna be over here with my ideas. I want to go back because you said something, and I want to highlight it. You have been doing this for 10 years. I, I want to highlight that, because I think so many people are seeing you everywhere seeing the amazing product you put out. And they’re thinking she just blew up. She’s an overnight success. It happened in the last couple of years that I’m paying to my app paid into my ads. That’s not true. You’ve been working your tail off for 10 years, probably more. And, and you said, like, that the version of you eight years ago, like my gosh, that what she had to do. You’re so proud of like, what? How is it like to like, just be like, holding the torch like, Hey, listen to me, arrest me by my pants? How was that to get to where you’re at now you have an 18 year old who can help you do the things?
Ripley Rader 11:55
I think this goes back to a really deep belief in yourself and what you’re offering. So I’m as proud of my products today, as I was eight years ago. I have the same pride in them. And I know they’re good. And I haven’t changed anything from eight years ago. You know, like, it’s the same products. I mean, of course, additional ones. But I think that it’s a matter of like, I just I think that you have to have delusional self esteem, a delusional belief in yourself and in your product. And, and that, and you have to be sort of tilted to it. Like, I forgot, who said that, I didn’t, I didn’t, that’s a quoting of someone brilliant that I’m blanking on. But it’s this idea of being mildly obsessed with what you do. And knowing that like, not being popular then had nothing to do with who I was, I just needed, I just needed to be, I needed more people to know me. And I knew if they knew me, my brand, they would love it, they would love them. And so I just sort of stayed true to that. So I really didn’t let it affect my thought of who I was or who you know, whatever. And I just kept thinking, if more people and that’s when marketing is wonderful, where they you and it’s the truth now that we are out to so many people. I have to respond all the time to people on Instagram. And a lot of times it’s me responding because we’re just growing our team in the past two years, we’ve exploded so we don’t have enough people to do everything. So I have people obviously on my team responding to customer service, but like we can’t get to everything. So it’ll be me personally responding going, We are not some Instagram marketing company. We are like a tiny team were our corporate team is a team of, including shipping and receiving, 10 people that’s including me, like any C suite people, any creatives any operations, like and then of course we have, you know, we have our factories and our you know, other teams subcontracted. But, we’re small, we’re small but mighty. And so I think because of that, I tried to show that there’s humanity, because I think we’re all conditioned to be like, where’s my thing and 28 hours? I mean, it’s like, ridiculous, you know. And so when I remind people that there’s humanity in this, there’s nothing more personal than a business. outside yourself or your family like you. There’s, I want to say to each of my clients, like every pair of pants that you buy, like helps our community and the money goes back into the community and back into America. And, and, and people are building homes and, you know, education for their children and that really means something.
Lesley Logan 14:58
Also in my own Instagram and I’m in the comments of all of them. And, and it’s really interesting when I respond to people because they’re like, I can’t log into this thing. And I’m like, Well, we do have customer support, like, we, there exists. But of course, in the day and age of social media, they’re like, I can’t log in, and I’m like, Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. And they’re like, Oh, hi. And I’m like, it’s Okay.
Ripley Rader 15:19
Like, we’re human.
Lesley Logan 15:21
I can’t help you, actually, because I’m not the tech person. But here are like, three things you should try right now. And also, here’s two places to reach my tech team, and then let me know that you’re in so I can like, note that and it’s that humanity, bringing that to your business is so key, because I think people also want to know, they matter. I mean, it’s probably why you created your line. It’s like, it’s not just to build a pant that didn’t exist in the world, it’s to because it’s because you want every woman who’s wearing them to feel like they matter. They’re the most beautiful, most confident, most amazing person in their own world. And so, you know, having humanity in your business is not easy, and especially as it grows, there are certain things like I was talking to someone yesterday, like, oh, how do we get you more out of the business so you could do these things over here? I’m like, full, there’s some things I just don’t want to let go of yet. Like (…)
Ripley Rader 16:10
Like Sara Blakely, wasn’t she, I mean, she was involved with Spanx hands on till the very end, till she quit. And she was she was like the main negotiator for the set for the sale of it. So like, this concept that you have to let things go, of course, things need to get delegated. But what you value, you should stay on top of. That’s what I think.
Lesley Logan 16:37
I agree. And I’m like, and I think I fight I have as far as like, I was like, I realize I’m fighting to be this busy with these things. But these things don’t bother me like writing the newsletter to my, to the people who’ve given us their email, like that’s a big deal. That’s their email. They’re saying, yes, you can email me. I’m gonna write that right now. And I love it. I love writing to them. I love that thing. And yes, it does take my time. But I’d rather that than like they’re getting an email from somebody who’s trying to be me.
Ripley Rader 17:05
Yeah, that’s the thing. Yeah, I’m really involved in that as well. And I, you know, that’s really important. It’s really important.
Lesley Logan 17:12
So how do you so you, I mean, also like, seeing an idea through to fruition, and like, now, here we are 10 years into it. Like, what are some things that you do to keep your eye on the vision of what you’ve been wanting to grow? Because also, I think, like, at some point, like you got there, right, like, people are wearing your pant, you’ve blown up really. Like, did you like go back to the drawing board of like, okay, what’s the next step? Like, what’s the next thing? It’s next mountain we’re going for? Or are you still working towards the same goal?
Ripley Rader 17:40
I am never satisfied, I am on fire all the time to an obsessive degree. And so I’ve always got more ideas on where we can go. And and so that’s part of my fire, I think. And then I have to have a team around me who’s like, okay, it’s not if, it’s how do we do it, and good timing, like, I’m not going to create a new big launch in the middle of another launch. Like, I’m not going to launch something fun and exciting and fire building in the middle of like, my pre fall launch. So we’re on a calendar, and then within that calendar, I go, how do I grow the company? How do I reach more people, and you know, in some fashion worlds, they do fashion shows, and they do that sort of world. I don’t play in that circle. For me, as a, you know, a self funded company, that financially it’s just not on the table. I’d rather you know, I’d rather that money go different places. And so but so I figure out where is it that I want to put my energy both in my brain and in my wallet, towards whatever I think will really benefit us. And also, like we have a new campaign coming out that’s called it’s like, it’s our jumpsuit, which is my original piece. But no one knows I was only selling jumpsuits for the first like three years of the company. I make like the best jumpsuit in the business, but nobody knows it because they all know my pants. And so I’ve got this jumpsuit that we’re relaunching as this like Sisterhood of the Traveling jumpsuit, we shot it on like five different women or 10, all different ages, all different sizes, you know, because hot is hot and and so it’s like this, imagine an army of women not afraid to stand out the whole concept behind it. And that to me is something I can sink my teeth into. Those are the kind of like launches and fire and brand building that I can get behind rather than possibly at this point in our game, you know, spending an equal amount of money doing a fashion show or something. I mean, meanwhile, I just came from the Fear of God fashion show at the Hollywood Bowl and it changed my life, I wept. So I do believe there’s value in it. But he’s a few steps ahead of me. And so I think I, if you’re gonna do it, you got to do it right. Like they did, Fear of God did and so it’s a matter of like, okay, until I’m there. What can I do on my scale to sort of widen the viewership, you know, widen the women I get to dress?
Lesley Logan 20:21
Yeah, I think that’s also there’s something about that kind of those kind of like limitations that get me a little bit excited, like, of course first I’m frustrated, I’m like, I want to do the thing. I want to do it. But then like, I find that the more limitations I’ve ever had, even though I hate, I hate them, I create something even better in that moment that I could have if it didn’t exist. And so there’s something about like, not seeing obstacles as like a stop sign, but rather like a way to like guide you and like challenge you in a way to take something to the next level. So I hear you, I think it’s really important to so easy for us to see the people in front of us and like try to keep up with them and not realize like we can actually do a really freakin Good job wherever we are. And we can do it a unique way that hasn’t been done before.
Ripley Rader 21:08
Yeah, and you’re just not in competition with anybody else. I mean, like, there are some incredible designers based out of LA, Heidi Merrick is one ALC is one. I mean, you have Mesa Los Angeles is one for Love and Lemons. These are incredible women who have started companies, and we all do different things. None of us, of course, like we’re all fighting for the same dollars in some ways, but like, not, my respect for them is so deep that I feel more than any competition. There’s just like, we’re all sort of in it together. And so I really, I really don’t play the comparison game with my brand. We have a no blame game and our company. Because we all mess up all the time, you know, and we don’t compare. I will look at other people and go God, their work was so good. Or man Tory Burch is like fashion show down like New York City street was like the most incredible thing. But I can just respect that. And I just the comparison game will kill you, I just I won’t. The only person I’m competing against is myself really on how to at this point how to continue to grow so we can continue to keep our staff and you know, that sort of thing. Like, I don’t think I just I stay out of that, because I don’t think it’s healthy. You know? If I can just focus on me and what we do, and, and how to, I don’t know, my own path is my path. And I just don’t play with the, I don’t. I mean, when I do I really try to step I mean, I’m not perfect. So there are days where I’m like, I have to unfollow or block mute this for 30 days. Like it’s too much for me. Yeah, and it’s wonderful. Yeah, it’s like a, it’s a wonderful thing I have, I work with a lot of teen girls. And, and I actually have a podcast where I interview them. And one of them was like, sometimes you just have to do it, you have to say what’s important for my mental health and, and so and it doesn’t mean that you love them any less. Whoever it is, it just means that right now you’re feeling vulnerable, and you need to take a step back from it, because their victories are not your failures. But yeah, you know, yeah, but I think you have to, we’re all human. None of us are perfect.
Lesley Logan 23:20
Yeah, no, that’s the whole reason the show exists. It’s like being imperfect, taking the messy action, but I thank you for sharing that, like a you’re not perfect. And also, you know, I think I agree. Like, we can’t be in competition with anybody, like one of my girlfriend’s her podcast is like thriving, and I had this impression that we like, start at the same time. I had this moment of like, Oh, my God, like, wow, I just really, I must have done something wrong along the way, like, you know, and then I looked, she started her podcast three years before me. So she should, she should be way ahead of me. Yeah, that is just a sign that like, Oh, time is also helpful in this world. So
Ripley Rader 23:59
And you never know, like, so much of fashion is funded differently. And so you don’t know if like, I don’t know if a certain brand is, is owned a whole, like I own 100% of my company. A lot of brands that are bigger than me don’t because they have a little bit more capital to throw into it. And so there are so many things at play that you’re like, you don’t that there’s just so much that you’re like, oh, it’s not a fair game. It’s not fair game. Yeah.
Lesley Logan 24:26
Okay. So we, we do business coaching for fitness instructors, and they’re like, Well, I charged with this what everyone else is charging. I’m like, you don’t know if they own the building. You don’t even know if they’re profitable. You don’t even know if they’re doing this for charity out of the kindness of their heart, you have no idea if they’re, they just have family wealth. And so this is like the way they kick the time around. You have to go off of your game
Ripley Rader 24:47
but you just has nothing to do with anybody else. That’s the thing. I think if we can constantly remind ourselves that like that it’s really just about you and your purpose. And if you can come I instantly go back to what’s my purpose? What’s my purpose, then you have this, like, freedom. And you talked about boundaries earlier. And it’s like, you know, when directors get to make a movie with no budget, it usually sucks. Like, no budget limitations, or, you know, most of my I’m married and I even think of my friendships like there’s, there’s boundaries in that, and whatever the agreements are, and whatever agreements you decide to make with your partner, or your friends or whatever, but within that you can thrive. And so it gives me I love it. Like, I have to say, I really have enjoyed, I decided not to take outside funding years and years ago, and because of that, I’ve been like when other people, you know, go like this straight up, I’m like, the little engine that could behind them. And, and I think because of that, I had to step out of the circus, I had the comparison game, because I knew I could not compete with people whose funding included, like, you know, an empire that you’re getting to use, you know, and so I just, I didn’t play, I don’t play that game.
Lesley Logan 26:07
Yeah, I, I think that like, it’s, I mean, it’s not if some if you’re listening, and you took an investment your business like, game on like,
Ripley Rader 26:17
oh, I want you to like, please, I think but for me, it was something that what happens in fashion often is if you get an outside investor, you lose some creative control. And I did not want that. And so and so that is the reason primarily that I didn’t take outside funding, because I didn’t want to lose the creative control. Now I know a lot of people who have outside funding and they’re still absolute chief creative officer and their word, but I I’m pretty I mean, I was a Broadway dancer, like and singer like, up to I didn’t go to school for fashion or anything. I just made my own clothes my whole life. And so I I don’t know about the fashion world at all. So I didn’t want like, I can’t pretend to know, so I just don’t play the game. I just stay out of it. Like, I always laugh. We could be selling hammers like we’re just it happened. I care more about making women feel great. Because looking great as easy. It’s how you feel in your clothes that matter.
Lesley Logan 27:16
What oh my gosh, okay, so I want to go to you didn’t go to fashion school. You just have recently made your own clothes. There had to be some Be It Till You See It moment. And like, I’m gonna like, I’m gonna go make clothes and I’m gonna make a business like…
Ripley Rader 27:33
well, it was interesting because I like being it, It’s funny because for acting and singing, I was it was total Be It Till You See It, it was like, I’ve got my eye on the prize and blah, blah. But with with fashion, it was like, I made my own clothes, and I swore I would never make clothes for other people because sewing was one of my greatest joys and I didn’t want to ever have to impress or please other people with my sewing or my designs. Cut to 10 years ago, I’m at a concert in maybe 12 years ago, I met a, no 10, I’m at a concert in Vegas wearing a jumpsuit I made in this woman who had by Fred Segal, which is arguably the best boutique in Los Angeles. Maybe the country, said, Well, I own a store at Fred Segal. If you make in America, and you can make this for this price point. I’ll sell you I’ll give you the launch you want.
Lesley Logan 28:19
Oh my god. I used to run a store inside of Fred Segal. No way. Yeah, inside of Santa Monica store.
Ripley Rader 28:25
Do you know Roxanne silk Joy Davis. So Joy is one of my dearest friends now. But she said to me if you do this, I will sell you and she’s like you I need three three different jumpsuit colors because I only made jumpsuits and I need two sizes. Oh I did first size and I did a tight like I did a small and an extra small because…
Lesley Logan 28:49
Oh my gosh. Okay, so I left Fred Seagal to go become a Pilates instructor. And that was really I didn’t want to but like I was getting so busy teaching but like it was so hard for me to let go because y’all at, so back in the day you see a mall without walls, I don’t know what happened when they sold. But I worked for Ice Accessories. And not to be confused with the I seen very different thing. This is like high end amazing jewelry, amazing bags, all the things, and also from one of the like top retailers like the retail like lords of the world. And so I was learning so much and I got 40% off every store in
Ripley Rader 29:31
Heaven heaven, any store!
Lesley Logan 29:33
I was like oh look at those jeans over there at the denim bar. Like, I love the denim bar. So that’s crazy. So you’re in Vegas, you’re wearing your thing. This person’s like I want you to make this for me and so you do, you end up in the most amazing, hottest spot to be we’re like literally celebrities are going and like doing their own shopping. And then what happened?
Ripley Rader 29:54
was like that she said that to me and I looked into it a little bit and then, a week later, I was at a party and the fashion editor for LA magazine, Linda Immediato. She came up to me because I was pretty broke at the time. So I’m wearing the same jumpsuit that I had made. And she goes, where do you get it? Because I would get stopped by women everywhere. And I said, you know, it’s funny, Linda, I made it and I think I might launch it, Fred Seagal, this is so crazy. I’m like a Broadway, I’ve just made clothes for myself, blah, blah. And she goes well, when you do, this is when blogs were very popular. She was like, I’ll do a blog story on you. And so, and then I called it a few favors from my fancy red carpet celebrity friends, and they wore me and then but I went on Craigslist and found a found these guys. And they were they were like part of a gang I think, I don’t know. But it was sketchy. It was like a really sketchy spot where they used to make my clothes. And because I never sewed my clothes for the masses. Like, I know, I can make clothes for myself, but I didn’t have the kind of training or the machines that I needed to go commercial. So so so they made my first like 50 jumpsuits. I think I sold 50 jumpsuits and, you know, six months or a year or something. And now if I sell less than 50 a day, I’m mad, you know? it’s like that thing.
Lesley Logan 31:15
Yeah, that is, what a story is. I love that because I think some people can get so caught up on like, Okay, I don’t know the buyers, I don’t know who this is, like, they caught up in the next steps, oh my God, and not caught up in like the thing that they could become obsessed with. And you weren’t even really trying to but like you didn’t, you didn’t let the cart lead the horse. You’re like, I love this jumpsuit. And I can make my own clothes. And oh, people are liking it. So I’m just gonna make this thing that they like.
Ripley Rader 31:41
You can’t overthink it. I think people are conditioned to think that conditions have to be perfect. It’s ridiculous. Like, just do it. Like, there’s nothing, think about it less than do it. If you’re being called to do something, do it. You know? Yeah, that’s the thing.
Lesley Logan 31:58
So what was the, like, so, then you go from being a performer, to being a business owner. And like, also, there’s like, when you’re selling wholesale, there’s like all these terms. Some people pay upfront. Some people pay on delivery, some people pay 120 days later.
Ripley Rader 32:14
Yeah, we don’t do any of that. We’re like credit card or nothing. You know, I think maybe one of our first accounts, we did a net 30 because I had a personal relationship with a buyer. But no, we didn’t. It was funny, it was like, but I didn’t you know, when I was starting, I didn’t know margins. I didn’t know anything. And I had, we had a sales rep rep us from the beginning on the East Coast. And she really taught us everything. She knew we had a really good product. And so she was like I think you guys have, and we just did jumpsuits at the time. So she was like, I really think that you guys have some legs. Let me sort of tell you how it should go. And we just listened to her word as gospel and like did this markup and this markup and, and I was like, I think we’ve got something here. And we were slow, we were the first couple years I think across the board and two years we got in like 100 boutiques, which is pretty big considering our slope like we weren’t, you know, explosive everywhere. But then we slowly got reps all over the country to rep us and just in the past like two years, three years we’ve gotten like what I believe to be like the dream team of reps across the country repping us and so we are and we don’t do deals that are crappy. I don’t care if it’s, you know, the best boutique in quotations or best major store. We don’t do things that won’t make us money.
Lesley Logan 33:42
So you guys, you have to understand what that means you have to like that to like put that on your board and keep it as gospel because I was when I was in retail so I started retail in 2002 and wasn’t until 2010 and there’ll be peace designers who just want I won’t say the name of the shop given other clothes but let’s I don’t need them to come after me. There’s just been particular shop in Hollywood that is well known for never paying, they would never pay and I would have designers would we’d sell their stuff at our store. And they would literally have to go in to the shop and just steal their own product back because they never got paid and if you and they wanted so badly to be seen in the store because that’s where like the paparazzi were at the time which was a big deal like all these things. And they sold they had this idea that if they’re in there, they’re gonna make it and it actually cost them some of them it cost them the opportunity to grow because they didn’t have any of the money and they didn’t get any of the thing
Ripley Rader 34:38
Yes, you have to have. That’s why we don’t do net 30. Why we take a credit card because we you know have a pretty good business mind and so does my husband and you know, I love art. If I just wanted to make art I would be making art on the Lower East Side and like you know, living in a garage somewhere but ultimately I want to dress a ton of women. And to do that means I have to grow and make really smart choices and the people we hire want to be able to pay them and like have them know that they can depend on it and grow their lives around it. And so like this is, you can’t Yeah, that’s what you can’t, you can’t get caught up in the glitter and bullshit of any business, there’s always going to be something someone telling you that you’re not capable of doing something or you need XYZ to make it happen. I’m like, until today, or until like this past week, actually, I’ve done my entire website, then, when we had three people a month to three people a second. And there are so many people who was like, oh, you can’t do your own website. It’s like, Yes, I can. Like, I bet you can’t like and I think that’s, that goes back to the belief in one’s ability. One’s abilities and capabilities.
Lesley Logan 35:54
Yeah, oh my gosh, I like I’m like, listen to takeaways in my head already. Because it’s, it’s so important to not let people scare you out of your own ideas. Oh, my gosh, yes. I’m sure you had many people who probably told you, you can’t do this. You can’t do that. Or like, overwhelm you with like, the, like, the obstacles that will be in the way which there will always be, but like, my goodness.
Ripley Rader 36:18
I know, we had someone come in, we just took over the top floor of our building downtown. LA our views are like, literally, I mean, they’re 360 views. And it’s insane. And this woman came up and she’s like, it’s going to be so hot up here. Because, you know, they’re all building. So just open the windows, and we have fans. But I wanted to say that’s what you’re that’s the comment you’re making. Not I can’t believe this insane space, like, good job. You know, I think that we so quickly go to the struggle. I don’t go to the struggle. I tried to not that I’m Pollyanna, but I think it’s like, for example, women can, it’s socially acceptable for women to say I’m fat, and everyone around her goes, No, you’re not fat. No, no, no, you’re not fat, you’re gorgeous, whatever. But it’s not socially acceptable for a woman to go, I look fucking incredible in this outfit. And my whole thing is giving women permission to say aloud, I want to get a job I want to get laid. That’s what somebody said to me once about getting my pants is that when they like wear my clothes, they could do it when they need to get a job or get laid. And that’s the thing that sort of went viral. That was the ad that went viral. And I didn’t say it, a client said it to me. But I thought to myself here we are giving voice to things like that, that are powerful, like so you know. So I think it’s questioning this social norms, like, what really is true to you? And what are you driven to do? And when you’re driven to do it, and you see something that needs to be addressed, then that is your calling to do it. At least that’s what I live by.
Lesley Logan 38:02
Yeah, I love that. Okay, what you mentioned already, but what are you about the new jumpsuits coming up? Is that what you’re most excited about right now? Or is there something else up the pipeline that you’re excited to work on?
Ripley Rader 38:13
I mean, maybe that’s the most exciting thing to me, because I it was like my baby, and I love this piece. And so I’m really excited to get that out there. I’m very, very excited for upcoming collection for fall winter, but I live in the future of the company. And so I’m actually designing SS 24 right now. So I’m like super excited. We had a fitting earlier today. And I’m like we have I’m super excited about this mess dress we have like I’m just like across the board. Like I’m like, excited for life and excited for growth. But I think probably, I think what I’m most excited about is being a brand that women have access to, to wear when they need to feel armored up. And I think that’s all and I don’t think that’s what I think I’m most excited about is reaching. And that sounds like some back thing of like, I just want to get fucking huge. Obviously I want to do that I want to be like the next Donna Karan. But I think there is a level of really what is the underlying thing you’re excited about as a business owner and it cannot be, I will not chase money. Because I don’t. I don’t. I’ve had so many years of not having money. Like I always, my husband and I joke about guacamole money like when will we have guacamole money where you don’t think about the price of guacamole when you go out to dinner?
Lesley Logan 39:39
As an ex LA person I know.
Ripley Rader 39:41
I mean that’s the thing. Like we’re like it’s a very big deal because you’re like $11 for, and you know and I think like you can’t chase the money because that is a cheap chase. And so for me I really I am committed to chasing like, growth of the, I want women, I see the fittings like they come into our studio, and they walk in as some person. And then they walk out with their turtleneck and their wide leg pant and their oversized blazer, and they are a boss. And I’m like that, do you need that everyday for me, I do. I like being I like doing that every day. But there there is a moment in their life where they need that and, and like clothes, you can live at the surface or you can go deep, everyone from a CEO to a stay at home mom, we all want to feel armored up and sexy. And I think like no matter where you are like, the more women I can reach to make them feel that way, the better. That is like what that is what I’m most excited about all the time. Like I just It lights me up all the time.
Lesley Logan 40:51
Yeah, you’re chasing this impact on the most amount of women as opposed to the dollars. And I totally understand that. And I think like it gets, it’s really easy for anybody who’s to like be obsessed with how much they’re gonna make or if they’re making enough, but it’s like if you actually chase the impact, and you actually are like, how do I make sure that I’m like, doing as much of this thing that it affects more people than the money just actually comes as a byproduct of that, like, yeah, works out?
Ripley Rader 41:18
Yeah, it’s a byproduct. And also, like, I just want to be comfortable. Like, I don’t need to have a ton of money, money, a ton of money goes through me a ton is relative, like, I sound like a Murdoch like money. A small amount of money moves through me as a business owner, and some of it sticks. Less than one less than one thinks like people are like you must be rolling. And it’s like, well, it’s like, it’s rolling through me. Yes, of course. But not, you know, it’s like things. It doesn’t all stick. I wish we could all of our products like oh, like your sales. And I’m like, we don’t people, like you get like 80% of your sales. It’s like, oh my god, I would die. I mean, what would happen if we got? So I think there’s a level of like, the bigger we get doesn’t necessarily mean the more money we make, right? And I don’t care. Like, I’m not going to drive the business into a hole. But that is not what drives me.
Lesley Logan 42:10
Yeah, it’s, we have we have products as well. And like, you know, people are like, Oh my God, you sold 300 decks like, I know that they can do a calculator in their head, like what that means. I’m like, so to print that.
Ripley Rader 42:22
I met all the hours that it took to create.
Lesley Logan 42:24
Yeah, oh my gosh, one of the things we made was I stopped counting over 300 hours of like, the time I just stopped was like, just don’t even tell me because at that point, I’m not going to think that we’re ever going to make a profit. So we’re just gonna walk away from that right now. But like, it’s the margins are real everyone. And I think like, I guess that’s what you have to just really focus on, like, on the impact. And also like what you just said earlier, it’s like, be obsessed, be a little bit delusional about what your idea is, because then it’s more fun. And you actually can show up every day, whether it’s good, whether it’s bad, what obstacles are. Okay, I have one more quick question. Before we take a break. You mentioned that you spent like you’re like in 2024 designing right now. I find that like, has it been sooner as well, I spent a lot of time in the future. And then I’m like, oh, today is what day is today. So what are some practices that you do to like, go oh, it is it’s still only 23? And we’re not even halfway through? Like, what how do you get present? Or are you still working on that?
Ripley Rader 43:22
I mean, listen, I’m a I’m a total work in progress. I go into my office and I say why do we still have these on the rack and my husband or my team we’ll say, Because that’s the season we’re in. We’re in SS 23. Like, we’re still selling these things. And I’m like, oh, that’s why I also hired a creative operations lead, which helps me navigate what’s happening now and what’s happening in the future. But I think there’s I think staying present is very, very difficult. I don’t I don’t have a wise thing to say about that. Except we’re all works in progress.
Lesley Logan 43:59
Thank you, you know, when you’re just like, am I the, am I, everyone looks so peaceful and calm. And I have the morning routine down, y’all. And I have told people that is the best. I love my three hours long, and it is all the things I want. And I still don’t know what day it is.
Ripley Rader 44:12
I mean, that’s amazing. I think we call ourselves Little Ducks all the time, because we seem super cool. And then underneath the water, I am kicking so hard that like you wouldn’t, and it’s not anxiety, it’s action. It’s its ideas. It’s movement. It’s balancing all the balls in the air. But you know, we can all look as cool as cucumbers. But you know, anyone who’s an entrepreneur is extraordinary hard worker, and there’s no way around it because you can’t fake it. Like I said to my PR team when I first hired them back in the day, we don’t have them anymore, but they’re amazing. But I said, you know when we get bigger, we’re just gonna hand stuff up. She looks at me. And she goes, when you get bigger, you just work harder. And I was like, why? Really? She’s like, Yeah, you just work harder and more. And she’s like, it’s awesome. But that’s the truth. And I thought, Wow, no one had been shooting straight like that with me. So it was like an awesome thing to hear. I was like, Huh, okay, and to be honest, now that I’m on the other side. Very true. Very, very true.
Lesley Logan 45:16
Oh, my gosh, Ripley, you are awesome. I feel like our paths probably crossed many a time.
Ripley Rader 45:20
And we look like sisters.
Lesley Logan 45:23
I mean, we really do.
Ripley Rader 45:24
We totally do. If my hair was down.
Lesley Logan 45:27
I know. (…) my hair up? You know? So…
Ripley Rader 45:32
Well, this is like such an example of business owning is that I planned on showering and getting gorgeous. But we had a shoot this morning and then a last minute fitting downtown in my office. So I had to run downtown. And then my team was like, You’re fine, you’re fine. Just stick your hair up in a ponytail. You know? And I was like, Okay, great.
Lesley Logan 45:50
I think in this routine, we are going to take a brief break. And then we’re gonna find out where people can find you, follow you, get more of your amazingness and your Be It action items. Alright, so where can people stalk you, or look like you, dress like you, all the things?
Ripley Rader 46:08
I don’t know if anyone wants to look like me, but I’ll take it. Um, well, our major platforms, our Instagram is probably our biggest platform. It’s @shopripleyrader.com. I also have a personal I mean, sort of a designer account @RipleyRader. So either one, I was great. It’s fun to sort of follow both sides. One’s very curated and incredible and one is a bit more process oriented. Our website is ripleyrader.com. R I P L E Y R A, D as in dog, e as an echo, R and, and so that’s it, that’s an awesome place. That’s probably the best places to reach me.
Lesley Logan 46:47
That’s perfect. Bold, executable, intrinsic, targets steps people can take to be it till they see it. What do you have for us?
Ripley Rader 46:56
Do more yourself. Don’t be afraid to take something on. Do it. Do your own website, do your own product testing. Do it yourself. Don’t believe that you have to hire other people to make things happen. Because if you feel called to do it, you’re probably intrinsically positioned to do the job. That’s probably my biggest thing. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own. And they might not be great. They might not be perfect, but they’re, but they’ll be done and you’ll learn from it. And then the next time it’ll be perfect.
Lesley Logan 47:30
Yeah. Yeah. I loved, somebody asked me the other day, like, you know, which which is better done or perfect. I was like, oh my god done every day.
Ripley Rader 47:39
Oh, my gosh, perfect. Perfect. Just well, and I, when I interviewed my teen girls about this, we did a whole thing on perfection. And I said to one of the girls, what would you rather be than perfect? She’s 15 She looks at me and she goes, happy, impactful. I mean, what else? Oh, and I was like, huh, because perfection doesn’t exist in our company. And I, and I don’t believe in it. And I think that the best things in life are. Perfection is boring. It’s like vanilla ice cream. Like it’s boring.
Lesley Logan 48:08
Yep, that’s what we see at the top of every show. And also, I’m like, nobody wants to be friends of perfect. Like, I have a couple friends in LA, who like I would be afraid to go to their house because it’s so perfect. And like, are my socks even clean enough for their floors? Like am I like am I or my jeans good enough for this white couch?
Ripley Rader 48:25
Yeah, we don’t, we’re not precious with anything around here. Like no, it’s there’s I’d rather be I say to all of my interns have a gaggle of young women and I’m like, the goal in life is to be interesting at a dinner party. It is not to be perfect. You need really good stories in your life because that will carry you everywhere you go. I mean, I’ve started this company, we’re successful. While but the most interesting conversations I have with people are when you were really poor and traveling Europe, What was your favorite hostel? This is the thing, right? like interesting is the goal, perfection, for losers!
Lesley Logan 49:01
Oh my God, saving that forever. Ripley, you’re phenomenal. I really do hope we get to cross paths because…
Ripley Rader 49:09
If you’re ever in LA please do hit me up
Lesley Logan 49:11
Oh, I will because of course I mean we do we absolutely looks like we’re related
Ripley Rader 49:15
We do, and I have another woman on my team who looks exactly like us as well. It’s like I only hang out with with other
Lesley Logan 49:22
Oh, I love it like attracts like well you’re a wonderful I’m so happy this happened. Y’all how are you going to use these tips in your life? Please tag Ripley Rder, tag the Be It pod. Share this with a friend who needs to hear how boring perfection is and how to be it till they see it, and until next time, Be It Till You See It!
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast. One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over on IG at the @be_it_pod on Instagram. I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of the ‘Bloom Podcast Network’.
It’s written, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell.
It is produced and edited by the epic team at Disenyo.
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.
Special thanks to Melissa Solomon for creating our visuals and Ximena Velasquez for our transcriptions.
Also to Angelina Herico for adding all the content to our website. And finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.
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