2019 Travel and Leisure magazine named Époque Évolution among the best clothing brands for travel. I don’t mean LL Bean’s Iditarod parkas, I mean stunning pieces crafted from merino wool, designed to fit in a backpack and strut the catwalk. Really chic, contemporary and ultra-comfortable clothing for women.
So…friends, their brand is much more. Brave owners, Nancy and Hannah are bone fide industry disrupters- in a very, very awesome way! Époque Évolution sources eco-friendly production and fabrics that also provide a template to make a real social-impact on a global scale. Rarely do you find a brand that has been entirely designed to make you feel good mind, body, mind, and spirit- Sound familiar LIV + GRACE devotees?
My beautiful daughter, Grace and I modeled their line for our recent collaboration and love fest for each other and our brands. I’d like to share what makes them exceptional, especially regarding giving back. #evolvedgiving. Below, find the in-depth interview to get more insight on how they give back year-round and why we think these Bad Ass Female Founders are so awesome- besides their fabulous clothing collection.
How did you two meet? We (the proverbial "we" here being, FYI, Nancy [hi!] and Hannah [hey!], Époque Évolution founders and besties) met while working at Athleta. The friendship was instant. When we both left the company to pursue other opportunities, we pinkie-swore over a glass of rosé that we would meet in Marrakesh one year later. Fast forward to one year later: reunited in Morocco! Staying at the most gorgeously colorful riads sipping mint tea and sampling the street food, hiking the Atlas mountains and shopping the markets. All of this richness around us—combined with the fact that, through it all, Hannah had packed everything she needed in to just one chic little backpack for the whole trip—served as the ultimate inspiration (determination?) to find a way to live our lives and see the world and look good while going it. Such was the start of Époque Évolution.
What drives you both personally? Our passion for living life to its fullest- and looking chic while doing it. We are so passionate about changing the industry – designing clothes that fit for your real life, and in a sustainable way. We are passionate about producing responsibly from our materials, to our manufacturing and the wonderful people that make our product and even the care on the other end (it’s all machine/hand wash- no dry cleaning needed!). pssst…better for you and the environment.
What has been a defining moment in the history of époque? The moments when we are in front of the customer and we get to hear how much she loves the product and why. We are obsessed with learning and evolving with her. Meeting our factories in Portugal – We are so lucky to have amazing partners in manufacturing. The moment when we hit our yearly sales goals … 5 months before the end of the year. We were so slammed we did not even have a chance to celebrate until 2 days later!
Do you have plans for the holidays? What traditions do you have? Nancy: Dinner with my family! I have a garden and I lots of the dinner comes from there what I don’t grow I get from the farmers market and buy locally. Hannah: Family time! We all make pie, one per person- We are Midwesterners so we are very serious about pie. Then there is the recovery bike ride - where we go to the local playground and invent games where we see how many people can ride on one bike while also shooting baskets.
What does giving back mean to you? Nancy: It means diving in and supporting other people in the good work they are trying to do. Sharing food with others is another way I give back. I love to cook and I love making salads for friends. Hannah: Supporting people and letting them know they are doing great! Reminding them they can take it on and the messiness is part of it.
How do you give to the people you love- hugs/gifts/attention/hand-me-downs? Nancy: Advice & support & connection – I love mentoring young people and giving back to the community. There are so many people doing amazing things. I want to bring them together and shout about the work they are doing.
How do you give back to yourself, wine/ice cream/face masks, or daily meditation practice, or...? Nancy: A bike ride in the morning with my girlfriends – it gives me headspace to process my ideas and a sounding board for feedback on tricky problems and of course time with the women who always have my back and make me laugh! And I get out in Nature! Hannah: my morning practice, whether it’s a full hour or just 15 minutes those moments of silence and breath are what keep me going.
What are you grateful for (be it the existence of Netflix or your health, freedom and safety)? Nancy: My family! It’s the connections with people that matter in life. Morning baths- I know it’s simple but that quiet time for a soak and then some self-care while I brainstorm new ideas of how to move the business forward is my happy place. Hannah: meditation – I’d be a mess without it I need that silent time for myself. Oh, and natural wine – it’s been a game changer J I can have a glass and still feel great for my morning workout!
How have you evolved this past year? The way we see it, there is no achievement too small or too big to share. Nancy: Starting this business! It’s been the hardest most rewarding thing I’ve ever done other than raising my 2 wonderful kids. It takes a lot of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable! Also in my re-commitment to giving back to others. It’s all about filling each other up with gratitude and support life. It's just one damn thing after another and there is no room for bad energy. Hannah: Making the vision of the brand come to life and evolving every day in the direction it takes. Not being afraid to take some risks and being OK with Failure at times. Embracing the gifts of all that you can learn from failure. It makes the risk taking and creativity blossom.
If you could receive any two Époque Évolution gifts, what would they be?
Nancy: the everyday pant and the sweater tee turtle neck Hannah: the jet set trouser and the essential pullover sweater.
What Époque Évolution pieces would make the perfect gift? Nancy: the jet set! I’m giving it to everyone on my list & the Goat Milk Hydrator- It’s such a skin care game changer. Everyone should know about it! Hannah: the seamless sweater tees they are just so functional & versatile & the Liv and Grace Travel Kit – so perfect for making winter travel more pleasant!