Natalie Kay Smith

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Natalie Kay Smith is an American entrepreneur. Natalie started Sustainably Chic in 2014.[1]

Natalie Kay Smith, founder of Sustainably ChicNatalie Kay Smith, founder of Sustainably Chic


Sustainably Chic


Early Career

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Sustainably Chic

Natalie started Sustainably Chic in 2014. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on Sustainably Chic?

I have an extensive background in fashion. I learned to sew at a young age, and my mom had a sewing machine store where I would spend my afternoons after school. I went on to study fashion in college in 2007, and towards the end of my studies, I found sustainability. I had grown tired of the fashion industry with its waste and unethical treatment of workers, so learning about sustainability made me excited about applying it to the fashion industry. Sustainable fashion was just not something you would hear a lot about, and I almost felt I had no one to talk to about it.

A couple of years go by, it's 2013, and I'm barely doing anything with sustainable fashion. I have an Etsy where I make recycled and organic accessories, which was fun, but I have to have another job to pay the bills. I'm working at a bridal and formal wear shop, and I have a great boss who lets me dream about future projects. One day, I'm talking to her about how I wish I were doing something impactful with sustainable fashion. I wanted a sense of community for this subject, but it wasn't easy to find. This is before #sustainablefashion was trending on social media, and there were very few sites dedicated to this topic.

I thought, 'Well, maybe I should start my own community and talk about sustainable fashion online. I could showcase brands who are adopting sustainable business practices and see if anyone enjoys it'. I thought of the name that day, bought the domain, and started to write. I never expected my Instagram to grow over 50k in the first two years, but people were genuinely interested in experiencing fashion more ethically.

I actually didn’t even know having a blog could produce an income. The first few years, I did everything for free. I was growing, and I had little knowledge of blogging. It wasn’t until I became so busy working over 40 hours a week that I knew what I was doing wasn’t sustainable. With a few handfuls of inquiries from brands a day, I decided to start charging if they wanted me to create content. That’s when Sustainably Chic started to become my job.

Source [1]