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BIZ CRUSH: Nine56 Studio

I met Meg at a pop up event last year where her enthusiasm & passion shined crazy bright.  We quickly discovered some similarities- our alma mater, favorite professors & love of sewing.  Her sister squealed with delight when I was the first person who responded "yes" to the question she'd been asking everyone all day, "Are you familiar with slow fashion?"


Since then, a lot of things have rocked Meg's world, but through it all her positivity shines through the darkness.  Read on to hear more about Meg's story & how she's working hard to create epic change.

 

 

What kind of kid were you growing up?
I was totally bossy as a little kid and very loud. I was always painting or singing or making up
games to play with the neighborhood kids. I definitely suffered from FOMO and wanted to be
a part of what every one was doing all the time. Luckily, I’ve learned to curb a bit of that in
adulthood but I still lean into creativity as much as I can!


How did that affect your path towards working in the fashion industry?
I always wanted to be creating something. I did play with paper fashion dolls when I was a
kid but that was only one of my very many projects. I continue to be so curious about fashion
because of how it is both so personal and essential for life while also being a form of play and self expression. I know that there is so much potential for how we dress to impact how we live our lives and that makes me endlessly excited.

 


What fueled your desire to create slow fashion?
In the beginning, it was about social and environmental justice. I had an education in fashion design but I didn’t want to join the industry that was so harmful to the world. That’s why I took a job as a seamstress for a slow fashion brand in Minneapolis and eventually started Nine56 Studio. As my brand developed though, and I leaned into what styles of clothes I really wanted to be making, I realized the huge potential for our clothing to serve us in a way that it’s not for most women. Slow fashion creates an opportunity for women to be more intentional about their clothing purchases and build wardrobes that will serve them and their lifestyle needs. Investing in better but fewer pieces so that we love everything we own is more that just a strategy for a clean closest, it becomes a lifestyle where we only buy what we need and love. When we understand and are proud of how our products are made, I think that’s where the big, world changing magic can happen.

 

 
If your story could fit into a 30 second commercial, how would it unfold?
My story might not fit into a 30 second commercial! It starts with my dad’s terminal cancer
diagnosis which really changed my perspective on what was most important to me. During
the time that he was sick switched to a plant based diet and became very focused about what we were putting into our bodies. I also married my husband and my dad walked me down the aisle and then moved to small town WI with my husband. I spent most weeks driving back and forth from MN to WI to be with my family. After my dad passed away, I found myself as a new wife, in a new home, working from home all day and I realized that to maintain my focus on my health and my family’s health, I was going to have to become very mindful about my everyday routines…….


What ultimately made you decide to do the lovely thing you do?
I saw a huge opportunity in fashion to make the world a better place.


Who’s positively influenced your path the most?
My parents, my college professors, and my former boss.


Favorite part about working for yourself?
Creating my own schedule!


Most challenging thing about working for yourself?
Accepting that it’s good enough and believing in myself! I’m a perfectionist and very critical
of my own work and that can be tough when building a business.

 


How do you get your creative juices flowing?
I have a morning routine of reading, meditating, and journaling and that really sets me up for
creativity every day!


Fill us in on your design process.
I start with lifestyle when I’m designing clothes. Although Nine56 pieces can serve so many
different lifestyles, we design for homebodies. These are women who might work from home, prefer creative or cozy weekends in, or are stay at home moms. And although their lifestyle revolves around their home, they still want to have great style. To serve these women, we design elevated loungewear that is comfortable to lounge in but can also be worn to run errands, to the office (in-home or otherwise), and for weekend get aways. This is the mindset that I start with when I design. I focus on clean lines, a relaxed fit, and soft fabrics with easy care. I keep all of these elements in mind to design a garment I think she’ll love.


If you could be a fly on the wall to anyone’s creative space {dead or alive} who would it be?
Ooh this is a tough one! I think Adrienne Antonsson of State the Label. She has such a
beautiful space and sweet kiddos! I love playful her design style is!


How did you land on the name “Nine 56 Studio”?
The name Nine56 represents the time 9:56am and my passion to support women in building
routines that makes 9:56am look different for each one of them. I believe so strongly in
creating a life that serves us. That looks not only like routines that serve us, but also
clothing, food, beauty products, self-care products, every single thing we use to build our
lives.


Talk about a failure you’ve learned from.
Man, so many failures to choose from haha! I think I am going to pick a really unglamorous
one that’s really important to growing a business and that’s costing your products correctly.
It’s something that I continue to struggle with and after having a launch where I met my sales goals and ended up losing money, it’s something that I need to dig into even more! I’m really trying to be mindful about what goes into my products from a money standpoint which can be tedious and horrible but so necessary!

 


What’s one of your proudest accomplishments in business?
I feel the most proud when someone reaches out to me and says that one of our garments or something I’ve written really served her. It’s the best feeling. It’s why I’m doing all of this!
What do you wish you knew when you first started that you know now?
The power of growing an audience to launch products to. I kind of had the build the product
and figure it out as you go mentality. After learning more about marketing, I realize the
power of getting people interested in what you’re doing before you invest all the money and
time into actually doing it!


What has been your favorite project to date & how did it come to fruition?
My favorite project is always the one that I’m working on! I think our product keeps getting
better and better and more inline with our mission of serving women by giving them tools to
show up as their best selves.


What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or experienced thanks to your career path?
Honestly, the coolest thing I’ve experienced is the change in myself. I used to be someone
who had serious FOMO and always needed to be busy and never wanted to be alone. Now, I’m still busy! But because I work from home, I’ve had to learn to create daily routines where I feel nurtured, productive, and joyful (and you can bet that my wardrobe played no small role in finding my work-from-home stride). I spend almost every day alone in my home and I
actually love it, which truly speaks the the personal development that has happened within
me because of my work. Not the answer you were expecting from a fashion designer? Haha!

 

What’s next / What are you most excited about?
I can’t wait to finally be launching new product for 2019! Our first launch is on April 1st for
our Austin Tie Top. This will be our first launch using our new model of launching products
one at a time, via pre-sale. I’m so excited about this model because it encourages
mindfulness and attention to lifestyle when women choose one of our pieces to support their
daily routines.

 


Time of the day you are most productive:
8am-11am


The app you couldn’t live without:
Headspace


Social media outlet you love most:

Instagram


Favorite account to follow on this outlet:

@erinloechner


Favorite podcast/internet radio station at the moment:

Rise Podcast by Rachel Hollis


Go to piece in your wardrobe:

My Anna Mock-Neck Tee from our last collection (still up online
by the way!)


Favorite Netflix binge:

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


Weirdest piece of equipment you use:

Probably a Hip Curve??? Haha I don’t know!


Favorite designer:

Elizabeth Suzann


The best “hidden gem” in the community:

Diamonds Coffee Shoppe


Favorite sustainability hack:

Capsule wardrobe

 

 

 

See more from Nine56 Studio here: Online | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

& visit her at Art-A-Whirl at the Thorp Building on May 17-19

 

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