Sit back, relax, and get to know more about how Ivy City Co came to be!
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The year was 2015; Taylor Swift was shaking it off on her 1989 tour, Hamilton was the hottest ticket on Broadway, and Adele singing “Hello from the other side” was stuck in all of our heads.
Meanwhile, Natasha Thomas was at home with her young babes, swept up in the feeling that she was meant to create something more in addition to her sweet family. Being a mom was her #1 priority, but she realized there was no reason she couldn't fulfill a lifelong personal dream AND be a mother. So she dove right in, deciding it was time to start her own clothing shop.
As someone who loves to be surrounded by friends and share her adventures, Tash sought out her childhood best friend Whitney Smith to join her in this new endeavor. Whitney, a certified CPA and a fellow fashion lover, seemed like the perfect match to couple with Tash's passion and experience.
It was an instant, "YES!!", "LET'S DO THIS!".
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
First things first, they needed a name. The 2 inspired best friends sat down and compiled a long list of name ideas...."Golden Pineapple" was one of them... until they wrote out "Ivy City Co" and it was settled. It felt perfect. Because the dream, after all, was to create something that would offer personal growth (like the plant, Ivy), curate a community of women (a gathering place, like a City), and that they could do together (Co... in company, as a team). Looking back it truly feels like fate.
FROM WHOLESALE TO SCRATCH
The girls deeply wanted to create their own unique designs but the risk was high, costly, and honestly... they had no clue where to begin. So, they did their research and decided to kick off in the route of wholesaling. The beginning consisted of Whitney and Tash flying around the country going to market after market, handpicking a collection of women's clothing from a variety of vendors. It was a scary start... putting everything on the line, investing their small budget into creating a website, logo, photography, picking out their first rounds of inventory, praying people would like it... all while taking care of their little ones at home. But they went for it! They launched... and to their shock and awe... people listened, and they SHOPPED.
They were hooked. They had the first members of what they now like to call "The Ivy League" and they desperately wanted to take care of them. So the cycle continued - off to markets, falling in love with dresses, shirts, pants, shoes..., taking the photos, running social media, shipping the orders from their own homes, answering customer service emails, all between the 2 of them. It was going great, until they realized the pieces they were selling were popping up in other local stores. What once felt unique was starting to become easy to find, and even more disheartening - the pieces they were finding at market were no longer living up to their quality standards. It felt like Ivy City was starting to lose its original sense of identity and purpose. That’s when they decided it was time to go back to the original idea. To design original, quality silhouettes that couldn't be found anywhere else. After a lot of soulsearching, sample making, sketching, and risktaking, the dream was coming together. The girls miraculously found a woman in the manufacturing industry who had the same dream. To break the norms, to create incredible pieces in small batches while also taking care of people.
SAYING YES TO THE DRESS
Now their big questions were... "What do Ivy City Designs look like?" "How do we set ourselves apart from a growing industry?"
"What do we love most? What is missing in our closets?"
"What helps women feel like their best selves?"
The answer came naturally to 2 moms with daughters who had major crushes on dresses. "What if we did mom and me matching dresses that were timeless and beautiful?! Unlike anything seen out there before?"
And they were off...
THE MISSING PUZZLE PIECE It seemed like everything was falling into place with designing and manufacturing. The Mom and Me Arabella Dresses were born but the girls were a little worried... over the last few months, while they had been investing in the future of Ivy, they had stopped offering new wholesale products to their customers. They weren't posting as much, and in some eyes Ivy City was MIA. So the next hurdle to jump was "We have a new beautiful and unique product... how do we let the world know about it!?" Meanwhile, local marketing guru Madeline Becker was feeling a pull to go all-in into her own business after spending the last several years in marketing, advertising, photography and fashion. The stars aligned and the girls met for lunch. It felt like they were the answer to each others prayers. Tash and Whit had the vision and Madeline, a fellow dress lover seeking to empower women, knew how to tell the world about it. She joined the team in 2018 and Ivy City Co 2.0 was officially born.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
Since the debut of Ivy City Originals + Mommy and Me the Ivy team has felt blessed to have quadrupled in size. Being able to provide customers with unique experiences and provide jobs to women with similar goals has been an absolute dream come true.
"Our promise is to always put our best foot forward in making special pieces that take away stress in a world that can't always be accommodating --- To help you feel confident in what you are wearing so you can focus on what truly matters - the PEOPLE around you. Because they and YOU are worth celebrating. We just happen to think dresses make that celebrating a bit more fun.
When we think about some of the most meaningful and precious moments that life can offer we realized there was a recurring theme... From weddings to baptisms, family pictures to school dances, interviews, first dates, award ceremonies, a girls' night out, performances, maternity photos, graduation days, baby blessings, and beyond... these special moments often come along with the experience of picking out and putting on a dress. What a curious and wonderful thing? Dresses have made their way through history taking different shapes and helping women celebrate special life moments with confidence and joy. We are here to continue this legacy by creating dresses for the women of today and tomorrow."
Hi I’m Tash! I am married to a super supportive and entrepreneurial husband and together we have 4 amazing kids! I am a licensed cosmetologist, and in 2015 I decided to follow my dream and create Ivy City Co with my long-time BFF, Whitney. I’m passionate about designing beautiful and functional dresses, and I love all things fashion and home decor. I launched Ivy City Co because I wanted to give women confidence and community, and I’m so proud of what we’ve built and excited for what’s to come. When I’m not working, I love to hike and hang out with my family, or read a really great book!
Hi I’m Whit! I went to business school and got a master’s degree in Accounting, and I’m a Certified Public Accountant. After working in a corporate setting for a while, I really wanted to combine my love for business and my passion for fashion, which led me to found Ivy City Co with Tash in 2015. I’m married to a handsome guy and have one little boy, one little girl, and a baby due any day now! I love that Ivy City Co has given me the perfect opportunity to do something that fuels my ambition and drive to create, while bringing beauty into the lives of women and girls. Outside of work, I love to travel with my family!
Hi I’m Mads! I’m a Texas-raised photographer, artist, marketing guru, and storyteller. I moved to Utah after college, and as soon as I saw the mountains I decided to call it home. I worked with some amazing companies in the marketing world for 5 years, and in 2018 I followed my dream of putting my heart and soul into my own business. I joined the Ivy City Co family as a co-owner and have loved every minute since! I am so proud of what we’ve built here at Ivy City Co, and I feel so lucky that I get to call this my job. Outside of work I love to read, write music, and travel the world with my incredible husband!
"We like to think Ivy is now known for beautiful and unique dresses for all women, girls, and babies. We’ve worked hard to become a safe haven of community, friendship, and encouragement, and we are SO happy that you’re here. Whether you’re buying your first dress or you have a full collection, you are a part of this family and you mean the world to us."