Hanna Baror-Padilla // Sotela
As with Tiffany from Fair Seas Supply Co., I met Hanna through Factory45 and was able to watch her take Sotela from idea to launch. As someone who has clothes that span 4 dress sizes hanging in my closet, I absolutely loved Hanna’s idea for dresses that fit multiple sizes. Let’s just say that my body is an overachiever at fluctuations.
We are beautiful, complex, and changing every single day. As women we know our bodies fluctuate monthly, even daily, and there isn’t much we can do about it. So why only be limited to wearing one size?
Our Essential Dresses span multiple sizes so that you never have a “nothing in my closet fits” day. Because let’s be honest, it happens enough.
Size 1 fits traditional sizes 0-6, Size 2 fits traditional sizes 8-12, Size 3 fits traditional sizes 14-18
So I jumped at the chance to purchase The Jersey Swing dress during her Kickstarter. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this dress and have worn it everywhere: meetings, date night, grocery shopping, church, playing with my kids, napping. So incredibly versatile. And comfortable!
Best of all, Sotela is having a Sample Sale right now for this Jersey Swing Dress!
Tell us about your journey to launch Sotela and the story behind the name.
My journey to launching Sotela began over three years ago when I started blogging about ethical fashion. Even though I had a full time job as an urban planner, I spent most of my free time finding and promoting ethical brands. However, I noticed there was a need in the market for clothing that meets the physical realities women face everyday. Every piece spans multiple sizes so women don’t have to buy new clothing every time their body changes.
So-tela is actually made up of two words. Tela is the spanish word for fabric and So is a play on the word sew.
What have been the biggest hurdles and joys?
Emotionally, the biggest hurdle has been detaching my self-worth from my business. I’ve been working on not letting the highs and lows of my business affect me directly by practicing mindfulness. Once I find myself getting into a slump, I start thinking about all the things I’m grateful for, which can be as simple as being alive.
The biggest joys with Sotela has been seeing my dream grow. It’s so surreal seeing people I don’t know buying my pieces and wearing them.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Any connection to what you’re doing now?
I never knew what I wanted to be growing up. I remember going through phases where I wanted to be a doctor, politician, and entrepreneur. Interestingly enough, my favorite game as a little girl was playing with my Barbie’s clothing and having my sister purchase them with my plastic cash register.
I love the versatility of your dresses. What are your favorite styling tips to wear them for any event or any season?
Thank you! My favorite styling tip is wearing pants with my dresses. It obviously works to keep me warm during colder days, but it also just adds another layer of comfort to my outfit. Accessories are key to changing an outfit from day to night. You can add a belt, scarf, tights, and shoes and you have a completely different outfit.
Can you give us a glimpse at what is coming next for Sotela?
I’m launching the updated essential dresses in a couple weeks and the new spring collection in March. This collection is so different than the last and I’m so excited to see everyone’s response. I’m also using different fabrics like linen and organic cotton. Can’t wait!
Any advice for women looking to boldly start that thing they’ve been dreaming about?
I don’t want to sound like a cliche, but you have to just do it. I know it can be hard because of that overwhelming fear of failing, but your dreams are worth going after.