The Ongoings of Sotela's founder, Hanna

Slowing Down

Hanna circa 1990; Jesus Circa 1979

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was scared about what it would mean for Sotela. I’m pretty sure hormones had a lot to do with it, but I’d cry about how things would change for my budding business. I’m so passionate about connecting with the everyday woman through clothing, that I still get excited about my work week.  I built this company on my own last year and have been running everything since. I’ve had help from a couple of interns, but the majority of Sotela is me. I package your orders, write thank-you cards, respond to emails, messages and comments, write newsletters, source fabrics, design, and handle everything business related.

Since getting pregnant, things have definitely slowed down. I’m not as quick to respond to emails or package orders because there are a million other things I’m doing. For the whole second trimester, I took on another job to bring in additional income.  **Fun Fact: I still don’t take a salary from Sotela. Something I hope to change in the near future!** This third trimester has been another crazy roller coaster with helping my sister plan a wedding and preparing for a baby. Things have fortunately slowed down, but as I approach the finish line, I can’t help but think how life will be with a newborn.

I’m 37 weeks pregnant, so technically I only have a couple more weeks to prepare. However, it’s impossible to know when miss Olivia Rose will make her appearance.

Who Will Run Sotela?

The question I’m sure you are thinking about is who will run Sotela? Well, officially, me. I’m a one-woman show and can’t really take a maternity leave. Sure I could close up shop for couple months, but I’m terrified to think how that would affect my business and its current momentum. With the help of my husband, sister, and mom, we will package your orders starting in September. I’m going to try and continue with the personalized thank-you cards, but that’s something I can’t promise at the moment. I also can’t promise that everything will be packaged within 1-3 days. Starting in September (or when Olivia decides to come), I’m going to change my policy to 5-7 days. It will honestly depend on when I can have help come over to iron and fold each order.

How to Reach Me

I’m most nervous about how available I will be to respond to emails. I may take a week or two off from email as I adjust to motherhood, but will still find a way to get your order to you. Facebook messenger will be disabled for the next 2 months, so email is the best way to reach me. If you need to process a return, I will try to get you a return label as soon as possible. But please, bear with me as I try to find time with this new chapter! If I take longer than expected to email you back, that extra time won’t be added to the 21-day return policy.

What about the Fall/Winter Collection?

And this is where things get super tricky. My initial idea was to launch in September, but there is no way that is happening with a baby due in late August. I’ve started designing next season’s collection and have sourced fabrics, but haven’t started the sample phase. Starting a new collection begins with sketches, then moves on to sourcing fabrics, samples, multiple fittings, photography, and finally launch. I’m hoping to start sampling within the next couple weeks and maybe squeeze in a fitting before baby. Once Olivia is here, the new collection will be on pause for several weeks. Ideally, I’d like to resume in October for a late fall launch.

I’m trying to not rush the process, because that wouldn’t be fair to me or you. You deserve quality pieces and a collection you will be excited about. Even though nothing is set in stone, I’m hoping to add pants (!!!!), long sleeve dresses, and tops perfect for layering. Our sizing will also remain the same.

If you have any ideas of what to name the next collection, I’m all ears! I don’t want to necessarily call it the cold weather collection because there won’t be any heavy duty pieces meant for the cold. Maybe the Colder weather collection? ha! Or the Long Sleeve Collection? As you can see, my creative side is a little stumped at the moment.

Thank you again for your support and understanding of this new transition! If you have any suggestions or general advice, I’d love to hear from you. My personal email is hanna@sotela.co.

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