I’m always so excited for new posts in this series but I’m SO excited to share this chat with Lauren and Kaki of Dudley Stephens! If you’ve been following me on here or on Instagram, you know that I fell hard for this sustainable fleece brand and in the past year, have amassed a (rapidly growing) collection of seven pieces. While they’re on the investment side, I’ve found the quality to be unmatched–they don’t wrinkle, don’t show wear after being machine washed, air dry insanely quickly, and are so easy to dress up or down. If comfort is a priority to you when it comes to style, I promise this brand will become your new bff. We’re running straight into “Dudley season” with fall temperatures and I hope you enjoy this Q&A as much as I did!
And before we start, I have to mention their newly launched rewards program, Dudley Devoted. I’m not huge for signing up for “programs” and having one more login to remember (who else hate saving their payment methods?!) but the rewards here add up quickly! Plus, if you’ve shopped before, your previous purchases under the same email address will count towards your “tier” even if you’re just creating an account for the first time.
A QUICK CHAT WITH…LAUREN + KAKI OF DUDLEY STEPHENS
Hometown: Darien, CT (both)
Currently live in: Greenwich, CT (Lauren) and Darien, CT (Kaki)
Current profession: CEO & Co-Founder of Dudley Stephens (Lauren), COO & Co-Founder (Kaki)
Can you talk a bit about your backgrounds before starting Dudley Stephens?
Lauren: I worked in advertising post college for two years, switching to Celebrity Public Relations at Calvin Klein and then left for Gucci for a few years, and then back to Calvin Klein. I worked for a few years in PR for beauty brand Lancome at L’Oreal, before leaving to start Dudley Stephens.
Kaki: I previously worked in the sports and entertainment marketing world focusing on events and sponsorships for brands. Most recently I worked at Starwood Hotels, building out customer experiences for guests and their most loyal customers.
The Oxford Vest–size down!
I love that all your pieces are made in Brooklyn, NY! Can you give us an overview of the manufacturing process and why you decided to start a sustainable business?
We truly wanted to reinvent how people view fleece fabric! Our initial concept was that simple, we felt there was a void in the market where stylish fleece clothing was concerned, and felt that we could design wardrobe essentials in fleece fabric that would serve a greater purpose than casual wear. We wanted these styles to go from home, to gym, to lunch, to dinner, and beyond. When sourcing fabric, it was a no-brainer to use recycled fleece fabric.
What would you recommend as a good starting piece for someone looking to start building their Dudley collection?
What’s been the biggest “pinch me” moment so far?
Lauren: December 1st, 2017, we had one of our biggest sales days yet! It was a turning point for our business.
Kaki: Launching the website and getting our first sale!
Lauren + Kaki with their mom, Bonnie–the brand just celebrated 4 years today!
What’s your favorite part about working together as a sister duo?
Lauren: Having someone to bounce ideas off of, talk through problems, talk through strategy… knowing someone always has your back no matter what.
Kaki: I love that our strengths and weaknesses work well together. I definitely have a behind the scenes mentality and love working on the website, researching, studying analytics and all that nerdy stuff that Lauren could do without. She has been amazing at getting the brand name out there and networking in addition to the creative designs and ideas.
What is your favorite Dudley style?
Lauren: Right now, our Bijou Bubble Cardigan
Kaki: Brighton Boatneck
You guys have been releasing so many great products over the past couple of months, including your first tee, a coverup, and joggers! Can you give us a glimpse of what’s next?
We have a something REALLY exciting launching in December – we cannot wait!!
The Highland High-Low–one of my most worn year-round. It’s perfect for travel days!
Organizational tool you can’t live without? Google Drive
Last place you traveled? Georgetown, DC [Editor’s note: Can confirm Lauren + Kaki are just as lovely in person!]
If you could majorly splurge on a vacation, where would you go? Aspen (hint, hint!)
Favorite restaurant in NYC? L’Artusi
Go-to weekday lunch? Salads from Ada’s in Greenwich
Go-to cocktail? Margaritas
One piece of advice? Failure is the best thing that can happen, it will always lead to something positive.
The most incredible wraps–I have one in navy!
Photos via the DS blog, Pineapple Street.