Kirsten Dickerson is the founder and CEO of Raven + Lily, a lifestyle brand dedicated to sustainable and ethical fashion. Before starting her business, she spent 15 years in global nonprofit leadership and worked as an art director in the film and fashion industries.
What was your biggest discovery in 2017?
The Texas Wine Country! Our family moved to the little German town of Fredericksburg as a midway point between his job (Director of Laity Lodge) and the headquarters of Raven + Lily (ATX). We love living in the Texas Hill Country surrounded by ranches and wineries. It’s quite charming, so I decided to open a pop-up store on Main Street in an old pharmacy building. I like living in a “slow” town with a “fast” life.
What hurdles did you face in 2017, and how did you navigate them?
Raven + Lily pivoted this year to be more strategic with our online sales, brand partners, and key storefront labs. It meant we let go of several smaller wholesale accounts to move towards greater margins and more sustainability. It was a bit of a painful pivot, but the pruning should show a lot of fruit in 2018. I have a dedicated, talented team that made the pivot possible. I’m so grateful for them!
What is getting you pumped up for 2018?
I’m super pumped about the 2018 collections! They are beautiful and represent the incredible work of the artisan women in our partnerships globally. I’m also excited to see our online sales continue to grow.
When you’re not thinking about business, what occupies your daydreams?
My daydreams are filled with cute animals and the great outdoors. I’m a travel junkie and love seeing the incredible landscape in different lands. I’m often dreaming of the African savannah and Andes Mountains.
What is in your “entrepreneurship” emergency kit?
- The Business of Fashion (for news and research) and Design Sponge (for inspiration) are two amazing online resources that I read daily.
- A life-changing book, podcast or movie: Stories About My Ass (my husband’s new podcast that supports his new movie, “Amanda and Jack Go Glamping”). While not necessarily life changing, both will make you smile and laugh, and we all need a little laughter to stay sane.
- I always carry a Raven + Lily journal for notes, lists, quotes, ideas, etc. I remember things better when I write them down. I still use a physical calendar too. Everyone makes fun of me, but I’m able to keep everything straight in my head when I write things down. I’m old school!
- My wonderful family (husband and two teens). I can’t run this company well without their support and encouragement. I’m also grateful for my lifelong college friends that love me for who I am, not what I do.
- I also start every day with a cup of locally roasted coffee, I feed all our animals (cats, dog, chickens), wake my kids for school, and watch the sunrise each morning to help get my day started.