The Ultimate Q&A with Angela Saxena, LAV & KUSH
Lav and Kush is a women’s and children’s brand of fashion bamboo loungewear manufactured in Vancouver, BC., and founded and designed by Angela Saxena. The business was started after 2 kids, and 2 businesses, when Angela saw a need for stylish, versatile, and comfortable clothing. Lav and Kush is committed to providing women with fashionable, low-stress clothing that can be worn every day!
Q. Describe your brand in three words.
Stylish, comfy, awesome!
Q. What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
Basically, the standard procedure lots of hard work and perseverance! I had the dream of being a fashion designer since I was a child, went to college for design, but then actually landed a job in fashion wholesale sales, which I loved. But the dream never died, so I ultimately created Lav and Kush in 2007. (I’m still a fashion agent also!) This is why we are VERY customer service-focused; I’ve seen all different sides of the industry from consumer, sales, manufacturing, and retailing.
A passion to create and create versatile, amazing clothing that people will love and want to wear often. Becoming a working mom, I saw the need for super comfy clothing after sleepless nights with babies, that still look good, and if I have the energy to actually go out, it looks super stylish! I have a huge love affair with soft, high-quality natural and enviro fabrics, and become very inspired when I come across them. It’s my way of contributing to creating happiness for people which I love to do. All the while using sustainable fabrics and using ethical local production. We’re constantly sourcing for environmentally friendly fabrics that are beautifully soft, of excellent quality, and better for the planet.
Q. You produce in Canada, why is this important?
It’s important for me to support the local economy and bring back manufacturing business to Canada! Over the years so many large brands went overseas and we lost many good smaller contractors. So, when small businesses like us need local sewers and manufacturing, we couldn’t find it too easy. We need to grow and support our own manufacturing facilities. Also, it’s much easier to check quality being local and to run smaller batches allowing us to create new designs more often. Locally made, we can oversee everything. But having said that, a long-time dream is to ALSO have factories in developing countries where we can have full transparency and help the local communities.
Good question! Honestly, it can be quite challenging at times! As a designer, I have a bit of a “designer ego” meaning that I NEED to create my own unique designs and not be too similar to others. So, coming up with unique prints, silhouettes, fabrication can be difficult at times when there is only so much you can do with pants, or rompers, etc. But with our brand, we have a commitment that 95% of the line is made in Canada, we strive to offer stylish designs with cute details that will actually flatter the body; there is SO much value in having a piece of clothing that you slip into in the morning but dress it up in a snap to head out on fancy date night! Also, the fabrics are the softest, environmentally sustainable, and high-quality fabrics we can find. Many of our pieces are connected to a good cause like our Wild Heart collection which donates some proceeds to the BC SPCA; AND, we have matching kids!
I don’t think I have overcome many haha! Well, actually, every day there is something new that I am learning, or learning how to deal WITH. The interesting challenges of business, not for the faint of heart for sure. Time management is still very hard quite honestly, juggling family ( I have two little children plus elderly parents that need quite a bit of my help) prioritizing what is the most important jobs in the day, wearing pretty much ALL hats but not having the time to do it all, balancing cash flow and financials is super important! Learning to have realistic expectations about our growth and not being too hard on myself about growing the brand slowly.
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Q. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
I was born in the UK, raised in Lanigan, Sask ( holla my prairie peeps!) Loved growing up in the prairies! Couldn’t wait to move away when I was a teen, but then found myself always going back. Now my parents live here in Vancouver, and I really miss visiting! (in the summer!)
Q. Who is your hero?
Anyone trying to change the world for the better. It can be one of my super amazing working mamas, to my incredible hard-working, selfless parents, to the scientists creating vaccines and cures, to the child sending a sweet message to their teacher..
Q. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My chocolate monkey smoothies, but having 1 meal for the rest of my life? That’s another fear!
Q. What is your dream for Lav and Kush ultimately?
I’ve always dreamt of having a global brand and owning ethical factories in developing countries like Bangladesh. I literally fantasize about employing local workers, paying them a good wage, seeing happy employees, building and helping communities thrive, providing school to ALL children, and creating an impact on a global scale. Marrying fashion with philanthropy. HUGE dream.
Q. How would you describe your fashion sense?
Definitely casual, living right now in our Dream jogger and Crown sweater or Sweetheart sweater, or one of our rompers. I just can’t do sweatpants all the time, I love fashion and colour. Watch out for some fun spring colours coming soon! I’m always cold, so I bundle up quite a bit in fall and winter, but come summer, I love short rompers or dresses.
Check out Lav & Kush HERE