Fashion designer Kit Willow made one of her first bold moves when, in her early twenties, she founded her first fashion label with no prior experience and a shoe-string budget. Today, Kit runs her second label KITX and is a pioneer in design-led, sustainable and ethical fashion. In conversation with our Ella Baché CEO Pippa Hallas, Kit shares three invaluable lessons that have helped her own her legacy.
To me, Kit Willow is a great example of someone who looks for the lessons and keeps moving, no matter what unseen obstacles come her way. Having founded her first fashion label Willow at the age of 23, Kit has endured the ups and downs of the fashion industry to create her second signature brand KITX through which she channels her passion for the planet and sustainable fashion. Creativity, kindness, integrity, and transparency are at the heart of both Kit’s brand and her story, to which I’ve devoted a chapter in my book Bold Moves: How to Stand Up, Step Out, and Make Your Next Bold Move.
Here, a few of Kit’s most important life lessons which I believe, have helped her to navigate a bold and successful life.
ALIGN YOUR VALUES
“When I started Willow I was very young, and I had a lot of incredible people around me on the journey. But then, towards the end, I went into partnership with new business partners and our values were misaligned. I lost my innocence through that experience,” admits Kit. “The values of the people around you, on every level—from suppliers to business partners, to friends—are important. Being able to align yourself with people with like-minded values is the best way to build a business, build a tribe and live your life.“
Build a tribe and
live your life
FIND YOUR FIRE
“The fire burning in my belly revolves around our planet and I have shifted my focus to new opportunities and materials coupled with strong design, hoping to make an impact the best way I know how,” Kit shares. “The more I learn about the planet, climate change, and the impact we are having on it, the more I want to share.“
The more I learn about the planet, climate change, and the impact we are having on it, the more I want to share.“
TRUST THE JOURNEY
“Leaping at the opportunities that were presented to me although not knowing how I was going to deliver is where I found my growth,” Kit admits. “In my later years, after splitting with my husband and starting my second label KITX, I had to make very hard and tough decisions, but I had to trust the journey and everything that I had worked for thus far—and when that all-too-familiar feeling of overwhelm creeps in I remind myself ‘this will pass’. There’s a quote I love and I remind myself of it often: Sometimes when I’m waiting for the whenever, I just wait and the whenever comes to me’. For me this rings true to how I practise life. I allow myself to let go and trust good karma, and of course work hard. Finding the balance can feel like a constant battle, but I like to think it’s a part of our journey.”
For more of Kit’s story, read Bold Moves: How to Stand Up, Step Out, and Make Your Next Bold Move.
Learn more from Pippa and the other amazing women who share their advice on how to live and celebrate a bold life here.