Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Business Babe: Carolina Alvo

I randomly stumbled upon Carolina Alvo over a year ago through Twitter... I'm telling you Twitter can take you places, people! As a petite girl (I'm 5'1") I've always struggled to find clothes that fit. Roberto, the tailor in Malvern is a godsent, he's always taking up shoulders and hemlines for me.
Enter Carolina, a petite herself, she's designing a line of clothes specifically for petites! Umm why hasn't anyone thought of this before? Regardless, I couldn't be more excited to find clothes that actually fit from the first time I take them off the hanger. But this petite power house needs our help to make this pint sized dream a reality. She recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. So small girls unite! Let's learn more....

Why did you create your company, Carolina Alvo?

Carolina Alvo was inspired by a very personal frustration. I am as Petite as it gets; at 4’9” I’ve never had a shopping experience that wasn’t teeming with frustration.

I’ve seen it all: the pant leg so long I could have made a whole new pair with the excess fabric, the shirt that could be worn as a dress, the V-neck top that would have gotten me arrested for indecent exposure if worn in public. I decided that if no one was making the clothes that I needed, then I should take matters into my own hands and make them myself. And Carolina Alvo was born.

What is petite?

Petite refers to women who are 5’4” & under, regardless of shape or size. Whether you’re a size 2 or 16, as long as you’re 5’4” & under, you are Petite.

“Petite is powerful” serves as the Carolina Alvo slogan. We love it! Explain your reasoning for the catchy phrase.

A common complaint among Petites is that they feel like they are not taken seriously because of their size, particularly in the workplace. Carolina Alvo, whose mantra is “Petite is Powerful”, wants to help change this perception by creating a platform for Petite woman empowerment. For starters, we're naming each piece after a Petite woman we admire, starting with our Kathleen Dress, named after an inspiring Petite venture capitalist. 

Describe your personal style.

I tend to wear simple basic pieces – like jeans/t-shirt/blazer or dress – with funky statement accessories. I have traveled a lot and have amassed quite a collection of earrings, necklaces and rings from everywhere I’ve been. I love mixing different ethnic pieces with a wardrobe that otherwise would be super muted and simple. 

Carolina Alvo donates 1% of its profits to “Girl Rising”, an organization dedicated to girl’s education. Why is giving back so important to you?

Carolina Alvo was founded on the belief that businesses can play a big role in helping solve major social problems. That’s why Carolina Alvo gives 1% of their profits to Girl Rising, a global action campaign for girls’ education that drives donations to programs that help girls get in and stay in school.

My previous career was in the international development field and I saw first hand how the most fundamental things that we take for granted – like education – are still unavailable to millions around the world. It’s going to take a lot to make sure everyone has access to these fundamentals and I think there is a role for traditional business to play in raising awareness, funds, etc.

Where do you hope your company is in five years? In ten years?

I hope that Carolina Alvo is known as the go-to source for amazing Petite fashion that actually fits!

Thanks Carolina! 

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