Tell us about starting the label. What were you doing before?
Kara Smith: I was designing for different labels and working with mean spirited people, who I won’t name. I learned so much though, especially how to treat people in a stressful industry and how to balance owning a company with my home life. Finding that separation and balance is a huge challenge.
Brit Smith: I worked for jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer for several years before starting Elkin and loved it. It was such a mellow and fun experience – the opposite of Kara’s experience! Ultimately, Kara and I just knew we had too much creative synergy not start our own label and make our life into this fanciful weird world that stems from our imaginations.
What have been your biggest challenges with the business?
K: Remembering to stay true to who we are and not become what other people want us to be. Instant gratification is a killer.
B: Learning how to balance the creative side with the business side. The creative side is way more fun.
What’s it like to work together as sisters?
K: Half ‘Ughh” and half magic!
B: It’s really, really fun and really, really hard. We laugh a ton and we fight a ton. But at the end of the day, we love what we create together.
How are you two similar and different?
K: We really do share a scary, twinsy mind, and ultimately we are more similar than not. We have shown up to meetings in the exact same dress or shoes numerous times. But we do have differences. Brit likes being in the ocean, I don’t. I like black; Brit likes white.
What have been your proudest moments as designers?
K: Girls wearing our clothes and telling us how much they love them and how good the pieces make them feel. Knowing that someone feels confident and beautiful because of something you created feels awesome.