GRACE MOORE - GRACE'S SHOP
expertly crafted. ethically sourced. sustainably produced.
I sat down with Grace Moore, Founder of Grace's Shop to talk about the changing retail landscape and get some insight on the importance of socially conscious shopping. We also put together some great looks with her beautiful pieces.
ALICIA: What brought you to Nashville?
GRACE: I moved here to attend school at Belmont University, and my boyfriend! (Now her husband! #hearteyes)
ALICIA: Tell me more about your background in fashion and retail, and why it appeals to you.
GRACE: I shop a lot. I've always shopped a lot, but never considered doing it as a career. It was always a fun hobby. I enjoyed assembling outfits and playing around with colors and textures. I was doing some product photography for local boutique Miriam Designs and fell in love with the products and decided to make a career out of it!
ALICIA: You have a history of entrepreneurship in your family. Tell me a little about that.
GRACE: My mom has always been very supportive of wild dreams and my dad was in the oil industry. He built an oil and trucking company from the ground up. He was an American Dream kind of guy. Rags to riches, you could say. He never finished college. He invented a few random products, found success with one of them, sold it and dropped out of school. He spent the next six years traveling. Both of my parents are well-rounded with a work hard, play hard attitude.
"When I was a kid, I had a business selling candy at the local pool. I thought I was really cool making a profit off these kids who wanted candy!"
ALICIA: In what moment did you decide that you had to launch your business?
GRACE: I was sitting on the beach in Florida with my girlfriends talking about how I wanted to meet new people, do photography and somehow help people along the way. I couldn't stop thinking about opening a store.
"I've run through a million ideas and this one just stuck. I kept working on it and here it is! It's not just another idea. However, I do think that new ideas and the creative process are pivotal to professional and personal growth and fueling your creativity!"
ALICIA: Why is it so important to you that your shop features only items that are responsibly sourced and ethically produced?
GRACE: I watched a documentary called "The True Cost". It's on Netflix. It shows everything about fast fashion and raised the question of. "Who makes my clothes?"
"It's not as pretty as we all wish it was. It opened my eyes to that world and I want to be a part of the solution."
It made sense when opening my shop to support brands with social causes. I want my customers to know where their products came from and that their purchases are giving back to the community that created them.
ALICIA: In addition to ethically sourced products, what do you look for when choosing pieces for your collection?
GRACE: I want to keep my standards high in terms of quality so that my customers know they aren't risking it. Sometimes people think that because they're buying something tied to a social cause that it will fall apart. I look only for authentic leather, articles of clothing that are sewn well and products that are meant to last. Personally, I tend to shop for comfort first. I like soft fabrics that make me feel comfortable. I am drawn to earth tones, neutrals and unique textures.
ALICIA: How has your life changed since opening your shop?
GRACE: Every day is filled with the unknown! I'm always asking questions of my mentors and people who know the industry well how to handle certain situations. Everything has been so fun, and definitely not boring. I love all of the challenges along the way.
"It's scary freelancing and being self-employed. Anyone who has ever started a company can tell you that. But following that dream is so worth it!"
ALICIA: What has been the most challenging part of being a business owner? The most rewarding?
GRACE: The most challenging part to me are the days where there aren't any sales. I begin to think "What do I do if people don't buy it and what if I can't sell any of this! What if there are no customers! What if there are no more sales ever!?" But of course they do make purchases and there are sales.
"I am motivated by the weight of the problem we are trying to solve and The idea that clothes are made unethically in environments where women and children are not treated well. The problem is SO BIG THAT WE CAN'T IGNORE IT. It's rewarding to know that I'm taking part in solving it and that we're getting closer every day. It's obviously rewarding when your business is doing well but even more so knowing that with the sale of every bag or dress that we are making progress."
ALICIA: What's the best piece of advice someone has given you during the beginning stages of starting your business? What is the best lesson you have learned throughout this process?
GRACE: I expressed my fears of inadequacy with my professor and he told me, "If you never try, you will never know."
"People fail alL the time. You just Get back up and keep going no matter whaT."
I've learned to not be afraid to ask for help and ask questions. The question you think is stupid probably isn't. E-mail someone you admire and ask about their experience. Be very real and humble and remind yourself that it's ok to not know everything.
ALICIA: What would you say to someone who's considering starting a business of their own?
GRACE: I would tell them, "Don't give up!" Even if it's scary, you have no idea what tomorrow or next month will look like. If you believe in it, keep trying.
ALICIA: What's next for Grace's Shop?
GRACE: I'm going to continue to focus on the online shop and do pop-up shops around town so that people have more opportunities to see things in person. I'd love to have a brick and mortar store eventually, maybe in the next year or so!