Two years ago, my first company - Green Design Link - tripled, taking us to over $1 million in sales. It was maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was an incredibly bittersweet time filled with so much energy and awe for what I discovered myself capable of, and yet also so, so many growing pains and stress like I’d never known before. I really didn’t have any mentors or anyone I could turn to for help, so I mostly had to learn the business stuff on my own. But I did have a lot of discipline and motivation - including a bunch of women knitters who were gaining economic independence in a still very machista country thanks to the work we could give them. And the more I could grow the company, the more work I could give. 

Women are so strong. It’s something we “know” and interiorize as part of our 21st century vernacular, but these last few years it’s taken on a whole new meaning for me as I watch myself and our knitters dominating cash flows and gross margins. And working with artisans means all of these parents are able to be closer to their kids as they grow up, making them less likely to fall to negative influences. Nowadays Green works with over 30 knitting groups, representing 700+ knitters.

Lemons to lemonade

But behind all this beautiful human connection there’s been a real problem: yarn. It just kept growing, like a tumor. The more our company grew, the more yarn we had. When I looked to fellow factories, everyone had the same issue. Finally, after ugly crying to a documentary on the disappearing coral reefs and being sufficiently horrified by the fact that our industry - the textile industry - is the second most polluting to oil & gas, I finally realized that it was me who had to take action. I was that person David Attenborough was talking to. When I finally found Ellen, everything fell into place.

The Endery was born. In celebration of women, of craft, and what we can achieve when we come together, with a clear mission to bring a much needed shift in fashion, where sustainability dictates what gets made, rather than a blank check mentality. Our goal? To make it the brand sustainability pioneers have been waiting for. And to use up as much glorious leftover yarn as possible.

October 25, 2019 — Kelly Phenicie