Williamsburg to London is a line of sustainably sourced t-shirts, hoodies and so much more, inspired by the power of language and positive affirmations. Clothing designer Angela Martini decided to create a company that focuses on helping people feel more confident and empowered, and Nectar News had the privilege of talking to her about what motivated her, what it’s like to be a mother and business owner and the importance of sustainability in fashion.
NN: Where did the idea for a clothing line focusing on positive messages generate from?
Angela Martini: The whole idea for the company started when I was at home with my newborn baby and I was trying to be the best mom and the best person I could possibly be, while also trying to figure out how I could help to create a better world for her to live in.
One day I received a book from a friend about the hidden messages in water and I found it so extraordinary that I decided I wanted to do something with it! Inspired by the fact that ‘no two crystals are exactly the same’, the author dedicated years of his studies to prove that water has the ability to memorize information. He exposed water to different words and phrases like ‘fool’ or ‘thank you’ and as a result, the water exposed to positive expressions created beautiful and well-formed crystals, while water exposed to negative expressions barely formed any crystals at all. And because our body is made up of 70% water, and 71% of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, it means that our words are so powerful to affect our bodies and our planet too. I think that’s amazing!
I worked as a fashion designer in Italy and London, while in New York at the time I was working with an inspiring company that has the aim of doing good in society. I also care a lot about sustainability, so I put together my knowledge and my interest in all these important things for me and started my own journey. With Williamsburg to London, I want to create beautiful designs, inspire people with my positive messages and be kind to our planet at the same time.
NN: Why Williamsburg to London?
AM: The name “Williamsburg to London” was created to reflect my journey and the origins of the company. I was living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn when the idea came to me and I live in London now. Both places are very meaningful to me.
NN: What are some of the messages you put on your clothing and where did they come from?
AM: I did research on what messages inspire more confidence in people and help our personal growth. “I am Enough” is the message that I put out on the first t-shirt. I was inspired by Mel Robbins, a well-known speaker, she is a very inspiring woman to me. I love this message because it is something that we don’t think about consciously but it influences our lives in each and every aspect. So many people don’t feel they are good enough to be loved or to achieve their goals, and if you have this negative belief, how can you be happy and live a fulfilled life? Then I did “You Are Loved” because it’s so fundamental for our wellbeing and we all should remember that. Next, I did “Do what makes you happy”, it makes our lives so much better when we do. I also did “I am grateful” because I believe it should be part of our everyday routine to be grateful for all we have. They are all simple messages but so powerful and important to be reminded of.
My original idea was to do children’s wear only, but then I realized that these messages are really for everybody, so I started a line for adults and children. On the website right now I have a variety of t-shirts in different fits and shapes, sweaters and hoodies and in the future, we plan to build a bigger collection.
NN: On the website, you describe the company as “ethically organic.” What does that mean to you?
AM: Yes, it was very important for me to use natural fabrics for our clothing. I became especially aware of this when I had my daughter because I wanted her to wear only clothes made of natural fabrics grown without using pesticides. So I researched for months looking for factories that were making clothes in a sustainable way while being fair trade and organic.
I came across a great British company that has a production factory in the north of India. Since cotton needs a lot of water, by being there, they can use the water from the Monsoons to grow their organic cotton. They use no chemicals at all, so the water needed in the production can be filtered to become so clean to be drinkable again. They use renewable energy from wind power systems and solar panels. They are also able to use every part of the cotton: they feed the seeds to cows, use the plants to produce oil and the cotton that falls on the floor during production gets pressed to make the envelopes for the packaging. The printing of the graphics happens in their factory in the UK in real-time when they receive the orders, so there is no waste there either. There is almost no waste and no plastic involved in the whole process! What they do is so amazing, that is why I decided to make my clothes with them.
NN: What a beautiful process. It seems like where we are at with the state of the world all clothing should aim to be made this sustainably. What do you think it will take for the fashion industry to make this necessary shift?
AM: I think we can already see a big movement of people that have decided to produce in a sustainable way. Of course, it is a slower process because the big industries are such giant competitors for us small business owners. But I think also that if the request for products made with natural materials in the respect of our planet is higher from consumers, then everybody is going to have to make a move in that direction.
NN: Where do you think the words that we use play a role in our sustainable movement?
AM: I think we should talk about sustainable issues more and spread the word. Every day we can discover how to get better at being sustainable and caring about our planet, therefore if we talk about what we know with our friends and families every one of us is going to do their part.
NN: What has your experience been like being a mother and a business owner?
AM: I started thinking about creating something natural and inspiring when I was at home with my newborn baby, but it took quite a while to get the project started. As a mother, I find time to be a challenge but I love having my own business also because it gives me the freedom to do what I love and spend more time with my daughter.
NN: What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs just getting started?
AM: Especially in the beginning there is a lot to learn, I would say that it’s not easy and there are many challenges, but you need to be patient and do one step at the time. I personally was so overwhelmed at a certain point that I became afraid. I wouldn’t give up because I had so much love for my project, but I felt discouraged. Then I talked with a friend and she gave me some great advice. She said “I don’t think you are ever going to feel ready to put everything out all at once, so why don’t you just start little by little? Let yourself learn and you can make more along the way, it is important to just start.” That advice really clicked for me because I am quite a detail-oriented person and I normally want everything to be perfect before putting my work out. But with certain things you will never be ready, you just need to take the leap and start.
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