A series that spotlights the inspiring women who are building inspiring things.
Evelyn Frison is the co-founder of Pivotte, functional luxury for work and beyond. We love the mission behind the brand, and their pants are pretty incredible. On a personal note, I wore their 24/7 pant recently during back-to-back meetings then on a red eye, and then to a super early AM meeting. I felt completely put together and refreshed the entire time – which says a lot because I hate flying and I really hate red eyes. Follow Evelyn's company Pivotte on Instagram to see the story behind their brand.
Why did you start your company?
Several reasons, but the main one was the complete lack of functional women’s fashion. I was *angry* that good-looking technical apparel existed for men but–there were zero viable options for women. I actually thought about it as an equality issue. Sounds dramatic but it’s true. Women’s clothing is mostly restrictive, delicate, and high-maintenance. It’s only purpose is to make you look nice. I want to get out the door quickly, be comfortable, look reasonably polished, and not worry about my “outfit” – I have shit to do.
We believe that apparel that limits movement or demands too much time or focus, is a distraction that can take women away from accomplishing more important endeavors. So we created Pivotte: Low-Maintenance clothing for High Performing Women. Our mission is to help women build a wardrobes that inspire confidence.
What was your most exciting day as a founder? What happened? Why was it the best?
The most exciting day as a founder was when we hit our kickstarter campaign goal. It was late at night and my partner, Yehua, and I were sitting next to each other when it happened. We basically did a high-five then went back to work. We had to put our heads down and get through some stuff, but we were shaking with excitement. In general, it feels good to make a realistic goal and achieve it. This was was amplified by the fact that this one particular goal felt life-changing. It was the birth of our company!
What is your biggest struggle in the hustle? (Be honest!)
Definitely Money. Fashion is a capital intensive business, and you need to front the money to get products made before potentially earning it back. This is basically a gamble, regardless of how much market research you’ve done.
Equally important is money for marketing. This is a critical part of running any business. But it’s essential for a fashion business and it’s important for the stage we are in.
Side note - I remember watching project runway when winners got $100k to start their businesses. It seemed like a ton. Now that I am in the thick of a fashion business, I know how that could go so quickly and easily. It could go faster than the time needed to really give a business a true shot.
What is the item on your to do list that you wish you never had to do?
Managing social media. It’s important and we want to communicate with our audiences on a regular basis. However, the fact that it’s always “on” makes it difficult to manage. We’re such a small team that keeping an eye on it all the time gets to be overwhelming. There is a rush though when connecting with people and that’s what keep us motivated to keep trying.
If there was a brand/marketing/PR genie that would hand you one achievement, what would it be?
Doubling customer acquisition rates month over month, which includes increasing traffic and conversions.
What is your favorite Instagram feed right now?
I don’t do favorites, but I’ll tell you what immediately came to mind: @wearetactile (really!), @yannell_rod, @lilywankenobi, @little_dig, @annielingphoto, @jen.rudy, @women_ofhistory, @smoonlin0106
What is an article you read / podcast you listened to recently that felt like the writer/host was in your brain?
This Ask Polly article in The Cut! Heads up - this is not going to seem relevant to my business, but it is: For the “Ask Polly” column in The Cut, Heather Havrilesky wrote “Nothing in My Life Feels Big Enough,” the most touching advice piece I’ve ever read. I don’t even read advice columns normally, but this caught my eye and I’m glad it did. What made me feel so connected to the feedback was that it was so honest. It was direct without being overbearing. The intersection of honesty, empathy, strong communication, and balance in feedback spoke to me because not only are these are some values and gestures I try to have personally, but these are priorities in the brand culture Yehua and I are building into Pivotte.
Let's end on a non-work note! Favorite place you have ever been?
Again, really bad at favorites - the four places that came to my mind all at once: Turkey, Peru, Iceland, and Patagonia.
CEO & Founder of Tactile