Sosa Knitwear Pitch Night
SHARE WITH US YOUR PITCH NIGHT EXPERIENCE. ANY STAND OUT MOMENTS?
Pitch night was a fantastic experience. I heard about Pitch night just a few days before the event. I was completely convinced that it would already be full, but I decided to go for it anyways. Two days before Pitch night I received an email that someone had dropped out and that I had a spot. I honestly couldn’t believe it. On the way to the event fear totally took over and I almost turned around about a million times. I arrived a little early and instantly knew I had made the right choice by showing up. Every brand owner and designer on line was wonderful. Talking through my nerves with everyone calmed me down and I felt so comfortable. It didn’t feel like we were competing against each other. It felt like we all wanted to see each other succeed.
By the time it was my turn to pitch SOSA Knitwear I felt like I had a team of people cheering me on. I honestly don’t remember much about the actual pitch. In the build up, three minutes feels like such a long time. But it went by so quickly. I just remember that it was much more of a conversation than a presentation. I barely got a chance to dive into what I had planned to say before Rachel reached for the Disco Beanie and put it on. I decided in that moment to throw away the script that I had planned in my head and instead just have fun. I even stuck around for a while after my pitch, because I wanted to support the amazing designers who had supported me. I’m really grateful for the experience and can’t wait to be a part of Love STORY!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START SOSA KNITWEAR?
After I graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago I started working for this accessories and swimwear brand, which was a great experience, because I got to learn so much and work with some amazing women. But because we were a startup there were a lot of mistakes made. I would go home at the end of the day and say “I wish we were doing this” and “why can’t we do things like that”, and I would get so frustrated. Finally I realized that all of that complaining was silly, and if I wanted to do things my way then I needed to have my own company. So I saved for about a year and in September, of 2014, when the company I was working for shut down I decided to take a leap of faith and jump into SOSA. SOSA was a nickname that my uncle gave me when I was really young. It used to really annoy me. But as I got older it became very special to me and whenever I heard someone call me Sosa I knew that I was at home. I wanted to start a company that could bring that feeling of home to my customers. There’s something special about knowing that someone took the time to knit a hat for you. I love what I do and I try to put all of that love into everything that I design.
ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?
I’m also a fiber artist. I use yarn scraps from my collection and other designers to crochet large scale abstract landscapes on canvases. Crochet was the first skill that I fell in love with and if I could get away with it I would crochet all the time. I’m actually going to be showing my canvases for the first time in March. So I guess it will only be a hidden talent for a little while longer. But if I had to choose a non knitwear related talent I would say it’s that I still know all of the words to “what would you do” by City High. It’s definitely my go to karaoke song.
WHAT’S THE MOST POWERFUL PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?
I’ve been lucky enough to have so many amazing role models in my life. But I learned something very important during my time interning at Donna Karan as a very nerdy teenager. It wasn’t so much advice as it was a life lesson. She taught me to love the skin you’re in. Donna Karan would throw on a jersey dress that had been made for the size zero model in front of the entire office. Then she would say “that’s why I love jersey”. Her confidence was infectious. I used to be very shy and self conscious. One day while I was busy comparing myself to the gorgeous fit model and picking apart my appearance in the large studio mirror, I noticed her starring at me from across the room. She stopped the fitting and asked me my name. Then she said “you’re gorgeous”. It was the first time that someone who wasn’t related to me and who wanted nothing in return had told me that. It meant the world to me. I’ve caught myself throwing on my sample size knits and thinking “that’s why I love knitwear”. If you have confidence in what you are wearing everyone else will come around. 9 times out of 10 we are our own worst critics.
WHAT’S A FUN FACT WE CAN’T LEARN ABOUT YOU FROM GOOGLE?
I used to be a dancer. For the first chunk of my life I was convinced that I would be a ballerina. I was a part of the Alvin Ailey summer intensive and was in a dance company. Being a dancer is an incredibly intense life. There would be weeks when I would go to dance 5 days out of the week and do my homework in the car on the way to classes. It definitely is where I got my work ethic from. You give up so much for dance that you have to be completely in love with it. I remember one day I was looking around the class and I realized that I definitely didn’t love it as much as everyone else. But I learned a lot about the way the body moves and that has definitely inspired the way I design.
DESCRIBE SOSA KNITWEAR IN SIX WORDS.
handmade knitwear straight from my heart