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Life and Work with Andrea Spratt-Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Spratt-Williams.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was a secondary health education teacher in South Central, Los Angeles when I was 23. I had many moments while teaching that I was disillusioned by what my intentions were going into this career. I had good days and bad days but what really allowed me to feel a sense of accomplishment was sitting at my sewing machine and completing a piece I had imagined. Long story short, when I was about 25 or 26, I joined a circus troop called Clandestino. On my time off from teaching, I would make costumes for the group and perform with them. Our performances were fundraisers for Burningman or our expenses. I had a community of friends that became family and they supported my endeavors. Eventually, I was selling my pieces at events & festivals. I made each piece and each piece was unique. It has been over 15 years that I have been designing for KUCOON, all the way to recreating its identity. As I have changed from a part-time raver to a full-time mom and CEO, so has this company. Kucoon has allowed me to what I love.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t know a single company that has ever made it this far without its struggles. You have to trust your gut but at the same time be willing to take risks. The scary part about running a business is you must have the confidence you can recover when something didn’t go as expected. As a woman, it is easy to fall into wanting to hire friends or people interested in helping you get ahead. It is important that you make sure they are qualified and there are contracts in place. Always communicate what the expectations are, so that when you hire someone it is clear. If there is any confusion you can go back to your agreement. It is important to set short and long-term goals and make sure they are realistic. It’s important to always keep in mind your profit & cost ratio, it costs a lot of money to run a business so don’t overspend.

Please tell us about kucoon.
I am a women’s clothing designer that works primarily with knits. My line is KUCOON, I am a comfort line, allowing women to feel good in what they wear. I cater toward a well-traveled woman in the arts, an adventurous spirit that craves a simple yet classic wardrobe. My brand has matured over the years. I started this company in 2008 and have been making clothes since 2005. My work is a reflection of my desires. I would like to believe that I have the ability to create what my clients desire just by intuitively following what I am attracted to. I started off designing one-off pieces for festival goers but my audience and I have matured so I still cater to that customer, but I have a more refined twist to the designs.

Who have you been inspired by?
I keep the dare-devils close. I have always appreciated a person that dives into their dreams with no fear, just the pure desire to make it a reality. It is funny because I don’t even know if the people that I look back on as being an inspiration ever knew that that is what they were to me. When I first started taking the steps to run my own business I watched how my friend, Siobhan handled being a business owner when she opened up her coffee shop in Santa Barbara. I was in grad school at the time, sewing on the side and still teaching. I stayed in her trailer on weekends while taking classes and watched how she handled employees, customers, finances, as well as creating a beautiful space for people to come to share life. She was smart, strong, brave, multi-talented, resourceful, considerate and a total renegade badass. I have countless women who constantly inspire me and I keep them close. I am so lucky to have so many amazing women in my life.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

photographer Alyssa Lavine, Model Hailey, Margo Renate

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