The gals at Under Wrapz officially belong to more etsy teams than any one else I've ever interviewed! Good thing there's two of them because they have their hands full selling gorgeous 100% cotton hand made kimono style robes.
With this sleek, classic silhouette and punch of color and invigorating prints - it's no wonder they're successful! (and gaining a few copy-cats!) Their story is a very practical, and very sweet one. You can tell a lot of love and care is their motivation, and it shows in the exquisitely executed finished product.
My favorite is the blue and green floral print below. I love the tonal colors and the vintage feeling of the birds and crests.
3. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
We make 100% cotton, kimono style robes. My business partner and I choose the fabrics from various vendors and sew the robes from her home in Upper Haight Ashbury.
Our story goes like this:
Two friends decided to design and sew a much needed lightweight 100% cotton robe that they couldn't find anywhere in the stores they were shopping in.
We needed a robe that wasn't the slinky, lacy robe your husband bought you, or a heavy terry robe that looks like your mother's (even though you are one) so we created this simple, sassy, robe for a couple of reasons. One, to wear when your teenage son arrives unannounced at your door at 10pm at night with his whole team, two, to slip on when you are blow drying your hair (so your wrapped towel doesn't keep falling down,) and three, for our college daughters to wear in their dorms at night. We are sure you can come up with many more reasons why to wear our beautiful, lightweight cotton robes.
4. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
Rhonda and Kate have been friends for 15 years here in San Francisco. Rhonda is married and has two teenage kids and Kate is married as well and has three teenage kids all attending schools here in San Francisco. Once the kids were older, both Rhonda and I (Kate) really wanted to start something creative together and honestly our story above really, really was the impetus for our creation. We really couldn't find anything out there quite like what we are sewing and that is how we came up with Under Wrapz. Rhonda and I donate some of our sale proceeds that go to local charities here in San Francisco and other money is sent to an all girl school in Uganda that Kate and her daughter have been raising money for for about 8 years now.
5. What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
Our signature robe is our Koto robe. It also happens to be our favorite. When Rhonda and I first decided to come up with this business, we headed to a fabric store and both gravitated to this print immediately. Ironically, this robe is by far our best selling robe on Etsy as well! It is our favorite because it makes you happy. You put it on and you never tire of the color and print.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your shop or your work?
Rhonda and I spent many hours sketching and talking before we were both satisfied with the design we came up with for our robe. Because we wanted the robe to be sassy and fun, yet functional as well, we thought long and hard as to what we wanted exactly our robe to be. The first thing we thought about were the sleeves. Kimono sleeves traditionally are more blousey and longer so we cut our sleeves to be 3/4 length so you could still use your robe and not worry about your sleeve catching fire on the stove, getting wet when your doing the dishes, generally just not getting in your way whenever you are wearing it. Second, we wanted the length to be above the knee. Many people have requested longer robes, but we are sticking with our theme of not wanting it to look too frumpy or motherly (even though we both are - definitely not frumpy, but mothers!) We also had our teenage daughters in mind for the length as well. We sell a lot of robes to moms that are buying robes to send off with their daughters to wear in their dorms when they are at college so we wanted to combine the multi generation of beautiful women into one and came up with our above the knee length that would work for everyone. We only work with 100% cotton.
7. Tell us about your first sale ever?
Our first sale ever was to a mother who was buying a robe for her daughter that lives overseas. What I love about ETSY are the personal stories we seem to get from people buying our robes. They feel compelled to tell their story and why they are buying the robe, who they are buying it for, why they are choosing the fabrics etc. in our email conversations. It is so sweet. Rhonda and I love the short term relationship that we have with some of our buyers and smile knowing that we are sewing up a robe for someone we may know a little about. Our favorite sales are to the brides. It is fun to watch them go through the process of choosing the right fabric/robe for their bridesmaid's personality and we have gotten some great pictures from them after they have given as gifts and they really do match the girls!