March officially marks the start of Women's History Month. At For Now we are continuously inspired by the incredible female founders we work with on a daily basis. Their dedication, innovation, and creativity, is unmatched and we want to share more of their stories with you.
Throughout the month we'll be highlighting our female founders and we're kicking things off with Meghan, co-founder of HarperSage.
Q: What were you doing before you started your business?
A: I was a women’s apparel designer in New York. I designed for corporate companies such as Anthropologie and J.Crew as well as smaller contemporary labels.
Q: What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
A: I was alone on a work trip in China, visiting a factory in a very rural area, about six hours outside of Shanghai, when I witnessed some crazy unethical things. I called my partner, now husband, right away via WeChat and just mentally broke down in the hallway, as I couldn’t even believe what I had just witnessed. That wasn’t the first emotional incident for me, after I had taken a couple work trips to India and China, my eyes were exposed to fashion’s “real” supply chains. I started to lose sleep at night knowing that I no longer could be a part of this industry as it is. After my last trip to India in 2018, I truly questioned if I should just switch careers. Instead I enrolled in a business certificate at Parsons and told myself to start my own fashion brand, but one where I knew the ins and outs of our ethical supply chain. One where I could choose to support women owned factories and empower women in an authentic, non glamorous way.
Q: What has been your proudest moment since starting your brand?
A: I think my proudest moment since starting HarperSage is seeing how we have built from the ground up and grown an authentic community of incredible multi-faceted women! We have even seen some women from our community actually become close friends with each other. They’ll admit, they would have never met if it wasn’t for HarperSage. Just knowing we can help create that connection on a local community level is everything to us at HarperSage.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring female founders, what would it be?
A: If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to learn how to become an incredible problem-solver and have a gritty - can do - attitude! (There is ALWAYS a way to figure it out). Becoming an entrepreneur has forced me in so many ways to become more creative than I ever thought. When you have a limited budget or your back is against the wall, you’re forced to rely on your own creativity because it is all about problem solving and being resourceful while still trying to achieve the closest outcome desired. It is truly a balance of a skill that is developed over time and a mental shift in attitude. I look back on my corporate days, and feel that this skill was so under appreciated or not used as often as a benchmark of success!
Q: In honor of women’s history month, who is another female founder that inspires you?
A: One of my favorite female founders that I look up to is Jess Morelli of Palermo Body. Jess is someone I had the opportunity to meet when I was first writing my business plan for HarperSage. She has since become a mentor, but looking back on the early days, she taught me what the true definition of resourcefulness and grit really was/is.