What is your name, company name and product you sell
Zoë Foat Naselaris and Kaja Foat, of FOAT, Eco- Friendly ready to wear and Yoga/ Dance wear
Where did you grow up and where do you currently live?
K: We grew up together in Minneapolis, where I still live. Zoe lives in Charleston, SC now.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Z: Living in New York, I had many freelance jobs in the fashion industry and the arts. I worked for many people who worked for themselves. I did anything from styling photo shoots, budgeting projects, handling accounts, marketing, and PR. Once I moved back to Minneapolis, I became a yoga teacher. At this point what I new about Fashion was in print, not in the construction of it. However, there were no yoga clothes that fit. So, Kaja and I started making our own clothes. People wanted what we were wearing. So, we started a business designing and making clothes using only ethical practices.
K: We took yoga 5 times a week and we needed clothes that could withstand several washes and keep their hold after taking a beating in class.
How did you decide on the name Foat?
Z: We went to City Hall to register our business and hadn’t thought of a name. So we used our last name.
K: We wanted to keep our name in the family after we were married off… although I still have my last name 🙂
Tell us a little about your design process.
K: Well, Zoe and I design in several ways. Sometimes we start with an existing garment that we cut up and make into something completely different. We love to start with men’s garments and have an end product that is feminine and girly. We like to leave traces of what the garment used to be, so people can piece together what it once was.
In the Minneapolis studio, I tend to have large amounts of fabric to work with, where as Zoe has small pieces to scraps, so we work together on designs to get our inventory down. We don’t throw away any scraps so we’re constantly thinking of ways to use them.
Z: I have a daily routine- wake up, make a latte (this step is very important), and head into my studio. I make sure to clean off my cutting table, have pins and rulers ready, and I pull fabric from my shelves. Once I get a few ideas, I quickly make a few crude sketches along with instructions to myself so I don’t forget the essence of what I want. Then, I work out a pattern to fit with the fabric I have. I spend more time on patterns and less time on sketches. I’m constantly reworking, redrafting, redesigning until the fit and style is correct. The rest is easy. Just cut it out and sew it.
When are you the most inspired? What inspires you?
Z: When I’m swimming in the ocean. The calm water and the expanse of it keep me humbled.
K: When I travel I tend to allow my mind to switch from business to creative- and that’s when I get all those good juices going.
Name 3 things that you absolutely must have in your workspace.
K: My color coordinated bins of cashmere scraps, the fabric roller, and a good pair of scissors
Z: pins, inspiration board: which is comprised of a black board for drawing, and a cork board for fabric swatches; and a latte.
Outside of your business at Showroom, do you have any other hobbies?
Z: Yes. I practice yoga everyday usually with my 2 1/2 and 5 year old, I also go swimming at the beach or for long walks.
K: I like to be outdoors- hiking, swimming, skiing… I love all that.
Whats your favorite way to relax and “get away”?
Z: Reading, hanging out with my kids and going for long aimless walks through the city.
K: A good spa day!
With the Holiday season upon us, what are you most looking forward too in the next couple months?
K: I love the winter months because I like working with wools and thinking of various layering ideas to keep you cute and warm.
Z: Being with my family and friends, taking carriage rides at night, drinking hot cider, and making s’mores around the firepit.