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These B-School Grads Created the Perfect $150 Day Bag

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Photo: Courtesy of Cuyana

I met Shilpa Shah and Karla Gallardo on one of the worst weather days this year and, to be honest, I was in no mood to conduct an interview. I felt tired, cold, and, for lack of a better word, meh.

But as soon as I entered their warm, bright, and very green pop-up shop, I felt instantly lighter. This essence of “lighter” is precisely what Shah and Gallardo strive for when designing the clothing and accessories for their brand, Cuyana.

Cuyana is an online women’s fashion and accessories line that lives by the motto “less is more,” or in their words, “fewer, better things.” Like editor-loved Everlane, the company sources and designs every product in-house, which allows them to cut both the middleman and the cost. So instead of charging you the usual mark-up, you’re practically paying wholesale for this amazing cashmere cape.

And it’s no wonder their business model is so sensible: Before launching Cuyana, Shah held a job at Punchcut, a user interface design company, while Gallardo cut her teeth at Apple and Goldman Sachs. Here, we speak to the savvy cofounders about the true meaning of Cuyana, the challenges of being female founders, and their must-have holiday buys.

Photo: Courtesy of Cuyana

Tell us a little about what you were doing before Cuyana.

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