October 25, 2011

Brand Profile: Tipsy Skipper

The Tipsy Skipper is an awesome company owned and designed by Kearsley Lloyd (HOW COOL OF A NAME IS THAT?!?!). Kearsley has a storied line of experience designing for companies like Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines. Her cool history is even COOL (after Lilly, I figured you couldn't get much cooler but it does!), she's a direct descendant to THE Captain Morgan! Holy Cow! 
Her line of ballet flats and clutches are so cute! 
Link $90
 The high quality, cotton canvas flats are perfect for dressing up or dressing down and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
 Link $70

Check out how Kearsley responded to some of my questions about how she got her start!
When did you first decide to start your company?
I officially founded the company in 2010, but the concept evolved during my education at the Rhode Island School of Design where I studied graphic design. I had fabulous internships at Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer - designing prints and patterns for their clothing lines. These experiences planted the seeds of Tipsy Skipper as I learned a great deal about the business - from design to production. 

For my Senior Degree Project at RISD, my goal was to create a brand that would showcase my custom prints and patterns and compliment all sorts of products: home goods, women's accessories, technology products, etc. After a final review by a panel of professors and professional critics, I was encouraged to turn my project into a reality. So, without hesitation, I embraced the opportunity, set out to find US manufacturers, and embarked upon the journey of growing the Tipsy Skipper brand!
What is your inspiration?
I'm inspired by just about everything! As a sailor, I love the seashore and get excited by all things nautical. My iPhone has become an indispensable tool for me - wherever I go, I snap pictures of things that grab me - a pattern made by stones in the sidewalk, a clever cocktail napkin, etc. I'm always looking for inspiration, and I usually find it when it's least expected! Primarily, I'm crazy about COLOR!

Where did you first develop your style?
The funny thing about style is that it evolves subconsciously and insidiously, so I can't recall a specific epiphany.  However, growing up on the water, I have always felt happiest and most creative in a coastal environment.  I suppose most people would say I have a classic style with a nautical influence, but the trick is infusing it with fun, quirky accessories and unexpected pops of color. For example, I'm really into big cocktail rings! Nothing like throwing on a pair of white jeans and a top, then dressing them up with a pair of Tipsy Skipper flats and a clutch. It's fun, stylish and practical. 

What do you hope your products will convey about yourself and your style?
My products showcase my personality, but the important thing is that they are versatile and appeal to women with a wide variety of tastes and styles. I like people, and each season, as I design the prints and patterns, I post them online for fans to vote on. It's not only fascinating feedback, but a great way to involve YOU in the creative process and Tipsy Skipper brand. I'm delighted that Tipsy Skipper shoes and accessories appeal to preppy women, yet find their way into the closets of women who would not necessarily characterize themselves that way. I'm pleased that the brand has broad appeal - maybe I'm sneaking a little bit of preppy into everyone's life without really trying!
But, in short, I like to have fun, adore color, and never take myself too seriously - I hope that spirit infuses Tipsy Skipper designs.

What has been the hardest thing about starting your own business?
There's nothing easy about starting a business, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything else.  As a designer, I've had to go waaay outside my comfort zone to learn about things like accounting, shipping, marketing, website maintenance, etc. The sad fact is that, although I would prefer to spend every waking hour designing, I need to wear a variety of hats...and most of them require the MBA I don't have!

What other products do you hope to add to your portfolio?
I would love to add a men's line - I have a zillion new product ideas! In addition, it would be thrilling to design home accessories and create a Tipsy Skipper lifestyle.
Is there anything else you'd like mentioned?  

It's important to me that Tipsy Skipper products are American-made.  I have yet to see comparable quality in overseas production, and I believe contributing to our country's struggling economy is responsible and patriotic.  My products are manufactured in a number of states by people with tremendous pride of craftsmanship.  Fabrics are produced domestically, too, and although the costs can be higher to remain 'Made in the USA', I'm confident that, in the long run, providing my customers with the best possible quality is the way to go. 

How would you define today's 'Preppy' and how do you think it compare to the preppy past decades?   

The great part of 'preppy' is its timelessness.  It's tailored, sophisticated and, let's face it, looks good on absolutely everyone!  The style is always appropriate, and although we can twist and tweak its elements to make the look our own, the essence of 'preppy' always comes down to comfortable elegance that is quintessentially American.

To Learn More about Tipsy Skipper:
Twitter: @tipsy_skipper


  1. Thanks so much for introducing me to the latest and greatest designers!

  2. It's my pleasure Veronica! And if you hear of any other new ones that you'd like to see, please let me know!


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