In today's blogpost, we have interviewed Astrid Angell, who is the owner of the online boutique Ástríðr (Astrior). Her aesthetic is populated by timeless antique inspired silhouettes, colorful floral embroidery, and plenty of drape and frill. The guiding principle of Astrior is that the right dress can help an individual unlock the confidence to help her meet the day on her own terms.
1. First of all, could you please tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you started your small business?
Thank you so much for this opportunity. My name is Astrid Angell and I started my business, Ástríðr out of a passion to help people not only feel beautiful, but confident and strong in the garments they wear. Astrior is an online clothing boutique that seeks to encourage women to reframe and reclaim their perceived delicacy as a source of great strength.
On Mothers Day of 2021, Astrior released its first collection. This date carries a particular significance for me this year. As a little girl, I refused to wear anything but dresses. My mother, sensing the confidence and agency this instilled in me even as a child, encouraged me from then on to wear whatever I wanted, no matter what, so long as it made me feel strong. In May of last year she passed away. Astrior exists to honor the strength and wisdom that my mother imparted in me, namely, what it means to be defiantly delicate.
2. What does delicacy mean for you?
Embodying what it means to be defiantly delicate is the heart and soul of Astrior. Dresses, embroidery, drapery and the like have often been associated with ideas of feminine frailty. It looks pretty yet breaks easily. Astrior exists to resist these ideas. For me, the right dress with the right embroidery, or the right fit that lays on my body just so becomes a suit of armor that allows me to meet the world on my own terms, with confidence. Delicacy, by definition, describes something of fine craftsmanship, quality and structure that can stand the test of time. The goal of Astrior is to provide beautiful garments that meet these standards of craft at a price that’s affordable for all people.
3. When cottagecore meets vintage. How would you describe the perfect cottagecore inspired look?
Oh my goodness what a lovely question! I would say cottagecore is an aesthetic that has been around for decades and it is finally getting its claim to fame. It’s threaded its way through style and fashion in many different ways, from the renaissance era to the groovy seventies, cottagecore has always been around! The perfect cottagecore outfit would be a romantic floral dress, with a petite floral print. The garment would have an oversized peter pan collar with pretty crochet and lace detailing. The floral print would be bright, with yellow, blue and pink hues. It would have an oversized silhouette with exaggerated puff sleeves. Styled with a wicker basket, comfortable worn in vintage slides, and a dash of red lipstick. Perfect for sipping on tea and munching on biscottis in the summer heat with friends.
4. What does sustainable fashion mean to you?
Sustainability within the fashion and retail industry is an extremely important topic and it’s great that more people are putting this on their rader when deciding to purchase garments online. Sustainability means taking your time, carefully crafting the garments that you put on your body and ensuring that the pieces you wear aren’t further harming our Mother Earth. Ástríðr tries it’s hardest to find garments that can be worn throughout the seasons, year after year. Pieces that can be passed down through generations and give many life cycles. We carry half vintage (vintage will always be the most sustainable way to shop) and contemporary clothing. We spend hours and hours trying to find well crafted, sustainably made products that we can retail at an affordable price for our customers.
5. As a small business owner, it can be stressful sometimes. How do you slow down and recharge yourself?
For me, it was hard because I’m so passionate about my business. When I started Astrior, I was turning something that was a passion and a dream of mine into an actual job and it was hard to disconnect because I loved it so much. To be honest this is something that I still struggle with, and it can be hard to take time to give your mind and body time to rest and recuperate. As a small business owner, your mind can be constantly racing with new ideas, thoughts, sales, etc and it’s hard to slow down. However, what I’ve noticed is that if you don’t take that time to set away, your business will suffer and so will your mental health.
That being said, I definitely am a planner and setting scheduled hours to work on my business and time slots to get things done is helpful. Even if I don’t finish a project within a certain time frame, I set my computer down and say I’m done for the day. Taking the time to treat yourself and understand that self care is important, whether that be ordering your favorite takeout, getting your nails done, taking an extra long shower, will help you and your business thrive in the long run.
6. What advice do you have for women out there who want to start their own business?
To keep going! Take it step by step, day by day. If you want to start your own business it's important to start slow and to not overwhelm yourself. Be aware that not everyday will be glamorous, not everyday will be easy. Being a small business owner is hard but it can be very rewarding if you keep going. It is very important to believe in yourself and your dreams. You can do it!
Thank you so much Astrid for this interview. We are so excited to see your small business grow!
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