My name is Amy and I am the owner, designer and CEO of Evy's Tree, a luxury hoodie company.
I started my business almost 8 years ago when my son was two and a half and my daughter was about six months old. You can read about that HERE. I worked out of my house for about 5 years, where my typical outfit was PJ's and a hoodie. Between juggling two kids and a business I ran from home, I was lucky if I got a shower in each day, or got dressed at all for that matter.
Then in 2015 my husband and I took a big jump to create some separation between our personal life and our business and leased two 3,000 square foot warehouses that are home to our 17 staff members, our local shop and our inventory and shipping department.
Now, I go to "work" every day, and as much as I wish I could, I can't go in my PJ's! That means I have to be a little more organized about how my days unfold.
5:45 am /
My alarm goes off around 5:45 AM. Both Brandon (my husband) and I try to get a work out in before we the day begins, otherwise we will never find time for it. He works out in the garage, and I either attend a super hot vinyasa power class or run on the treadmill/do yoga at home. I don't eat or shower before I workout, I just jump into some workout clothes, grab a giant bottle of water, and go.
6:15 am /
If I attend yoga, I usually leave the house at 6:15 and arrive home around 7:45, just in enough time to help the kids get out the door. Brandon always takes them to school on his way into the office. After they leave, I cherish the only hour of quiet alone time I will likely get in the day and make a quick breakfast smoothie, take all my vitamins, glance over my daily calendar, make sure social media is running smoothly, and answer any emails before I jump into the shower around 8:15.
9:00 am /
I leave for work at 9 and arrive to my office around 9:20 with no makeup on and a hot cup of green tea in my hand. If my meetings for the day involve anyone outside my staff, I'll stop by the warehouse bathroom and put some mascara on before the meeting. ha.
9:30 am /
My first meeting is almost always at 9:30 and will vary between a meeting with my design team, my sales team, my financial analyst or really anyone else who needs me.
I keep track of all my appointments via google calendar. We are BIG google calendar people at Evy's Tree. We have a giant master calendar stock full of every single thing that's happening at almost any moment. We almost always know where everyone is at any time. We love the google hangout option, which we use often.
If I do have a free moment in my schedule, I always tackle my emails or look over our weekly cash flow. Emails especially get left behind often, as that is usually the first thing to go when my day is packed and everyone needs me. If that's the case, the emails will have to wait until later that evening if I can squeeze them in between dinner and kids functions, or the next day. Emails are the bane of my existence and someday I hope to hire someone who can answer them all for me. ha. But for now, I have to live with starting out each one with, "I'm so sorry I'm so behind!"
3:00 pm /
Our staff works in the warehouse from 8:30-3. Shipping is the only team who stays later depending on our shipping schedule. Since our company value is Family First, all of us are off picking up our kids, driving to sports, making dinner and doing all the "mom" stuff in the afternoons.
5:40 pm /
Usually, after all my kids sports activities, any grocery shopping I need to do or errands that needs to be run, either Brandon or I start dinner around 5:30 or 6. We try to meal prep ahead of time, so we know exactly what we are making. That helps us get dinner on the table quicker. While we are cooking, the kids are showering and doing homework.
7:30 pm /
Our kids are in bed by 7:30 PM. I know, super early. But our whole family needs our sleep and we learned the hard way that if our kids aren't rested, they won't have a good day. After the kids are in bed, Brandon and I clean up the kitchen, do a load of laundry and try to watch a show or a movie to unwind.
If our days were super interrupted, I will pull my laptop out and work for another hour or so before bed. I try not to do that though. Brandon and I find that if we don't spend time together, we suffer, so usually we cuddle on the couch, drink a glass of wine, or pop a bowl of popcorn and try to mentally unwind. No work talk! ha.
10:00 pm /
We are in bed between 10 or 10:30, no later, or else we can't get up in time for our workout the next day.
other interesting bits about Amy + Evy's Tree
what is the process of designing a sweatshirt?
Typically, we start with a calendar of releases we'd like to have for each season. For example, if in January we'd like to release eight pieces, we develop a google spreadsheet to share with our production team and factory; we place eight rows under a column for January, with about four more rows added for "extras".
When you design, you learn really quickly that pieces fall out.... a dream hoodie that you thought would be beautiful comes back in the proto stage AWFUL, so you put that one aside and work on another. To get eight pieces in a month, we typically design and plan for ten to twelve, knowing that not everything we design will turn out as we like.
After we get our "footprint" or spreadsheet (our spreadsheet is our design lifeline) all made up for the season, we start the fun part.
We come up with designs all different ways: sometimes we storyboard, sometimes we find a body of a particular piece of clothing (it doesn't have to be a hoodie) that we like and design vertical from there, using that as the base, sometimes we sketch or other times we find fabric we love and work a style into the fabric.
Our CAD artist and designer then develops a CAD for approval for us, at which point we move into proto stage.
Proto stage is typically available fabrics in available colors, so you really have no idea what you will get back, but the hope is the body will be what you want.
After we nail a body, we decide on colors.
Usually we pull the trending colors out and have them on our design board so we can create color schemes. When a proto needs a color, we spend some time discussing which color we should put where. After a color is chosen, a lab dip is presented with the fabric in the color we choose.
FABRIC DEVELOPMENT /
If we like it, we move to bulk fabric development...
...then top of production for approval...
All in all, the process can take anywhere from three months (if we work fast) to up to eight months. Some of our hoodies we have been working on for almost a year!
why is what you do so important to you?
I started this business because I didn't want to leave my kids and go back to work as a school teacher. I didn't mind working, I just wanted to be flexible and to be able to be there for my kids at any time they needed me.
I guess if you asked me why I love what I do, I would tell you my number one reason I do this is because of the flexible schedule.
I make my own timelines and my own rules. If my kids need me, I can cancel everything I'm doing to be there for them.
Our #1 value at Evy's Tree: Family First. And we mean that.
If anyone working for us at any times needs to put their kids or family first, we all will do anything in our power to support them. They can leave work at any time, drop everything they are doing, and stop a meeting at a moments notice. Our families come first.
I think that is the main reason why I do what I do is so important to me. Not only do I get to be flexible, but I allow a dozen other moms who work for me to do the same.
And let's not forget that I get to make some pretty cool clothes. ha.
All Evy's Tree product photography by David Sowers/DASO Photo/@dasophoto.
Born into an entrepreneurial family- both her parents, grandparents and great grandparents were self employed- owning a business just makes sense to Amy. Although being creative was not initially something she thought she thrived at, it has become a way of life for her and to this day she considers creating for Evy's Tree one of the best jobs she could ever have found herself doing. Amy's number one priority is her family, and in any free time she gets, she strives to spend it with them. Other interests include getting lost in a good book, cooking anything from Barefoot Contessa or Giada, watching movies with her husband, redecorating her house, and spending time with her friends and church family.
@amymiraflor / @evystree
see EVY'S TREE featured in issue 08 -- on the cover (the "Amy" shirt in polka dot) and business tips from Amy inside!
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Belong is privileged to have Amy and Evy's Tree as supporters and sponsors of ISSUE 08 and this blog post. We are beyond grateful. If you're interested in working with us, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.