Last Monday on SS+C we had the great pleasure of spotlighting the burgeoning brand California Tailor. Today the founder, owner, and designer behind the beautiful Shirt No. 1 and The Tomboy Tee, Gill McLean, (pictured above styling her model) has graciously answered some of our questions.
We love to learn what makes other entrepreneurs tick and what inspires them. Read on to see the whole interview with Gill and a bonus style tip on how she likes to wear Shirt No. 1!
SS+C: What was the spark that started your business?
GM: I have always wanted to start my own business. Since moving to California, I’ve fallen in love! It’s such an inspiring place. I knew I could take everything that I love about California and my hometown of London, England and create something special. It was my aim with California Tailor to make the perfect button down woven. I have spent a year creating and perfecting Shirt No.1, which takes the tradition of London tailoring, then adds some California sunshine to create the perfect laid back woven shirt.
SS+C: What is the best piece of business/life advice you’ve ever received?
GM: Good question! Everything is figureoutable! This is a good one for when things become a little overwhelming. Take a deep breath, make a list!, and take one step at a time!
SS+C: What has been the biggest surprise since starting California Tailor?
GM: The biggest and most pleasant surprise has been just how supportive and encouraging everyone has been that I’ve met and talked to. It’s so great engaging with fellow entrepreneurs. You really feel like part of an exciting, creative community. It’s all about making positive things happen and supporting each other.
SS+C: What has been the most rewarding aspect of California Tailor?
GM: I love reading emails from happy customers who love their shirts. Hearing positive feedback really does make all the hard work worthwhile.
SS+C: What is your favorite way to wear Shirt No. 1?
GM: There are so many ways to wear a classic button down. It’s so versatile. I love the simple half tuck. Slightly tucked in the front and untucked at the back. Super easy and casual!
SS+C: What is your favorite accessory?
GM: My classic Bayswater Mulberry bag. It fits everything I need for a day in the City. The classic and casual English style is also just a lovely reminder of London.
SS+C: Why was it important to you to have your collection made in America and/or LA?
GM: I love the idea of locally made. Knowing that someone from your community lovingly crafted it just for you. I know all my suppliers by name and talk to them daily. It’s great to have your whole team on hand in your community, sharing the journey with you.
SS+C: Have you spotted a stranger wearing Shirt No. 1 in public? What was/would be your reaction?
GM: Not in public yet! But when I do, I think I will have to go and give that person a great big hug! I love checking into Instagram each day to see if anyone has posted a picture or shared a comment. It’s so much fun to see people enjoying the product.
SS+C: How do you gather and process inspiration?
GM: You can’t beat a day at the beach, reading magazines and relaxing in the California sunshine. That’s where most of my ideas come from. If all else fails… Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest!!
SS+C: Have you ever been to Maine/do you have a favorite “Maine” thing?
GM: I haven’t made it to Maine yet! I’m a huge fan though, and I’ve always wanted to visit. The beautiful beaches, Cape style cottages and super friendly people. Now that would be a great vacation!
All photos provided by Gill McLean and CaliforniaTailor.com.