Inspiring by Design

Brooke Shapiro is the founder and editor-in-chief of The F-Word Blog. She enjoys listening to 90’s R&B, having spontaneous dance parties, and studying feminism in film. 

Lillian Goodale is a seventeen-year-old entrepreneur, designer, and owner of Beaded Hippie, a fashion company inspiring young women and encouraging them to be confident in what they wear and what they do. We met at Buddy Brew for lattes and croissants to talk about what it’s like to run her own business and be able to inspire so many young women through fashion.

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On what inspired her to begin her company: 

“My grandmother, who recently died of lung cancer, really influenced who I am as a woman. She was into crafts and always had something to do, so she’s my inspiration.”

On how she got her start:

“I began making jewelry on my dining room table. I really wanted to pay my teachers back at the end of the school year, so I just made some pieces for them as gifts. My boyfriend and my friends were like, ‘You could totally make money off of this.’ So I just started a jewelry company and it kind of skyrocketed from there. I started getting a lot of customers. I began getting into stores, and I’m in three now. I’ve always wanted to do fashion and design, so as the year went on, I started doing sketches and drawings. Now I have t-shirts and jeans.”

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On trying to inspire other young women: 

“I feel like a lot of women now, especially growing up in this society, face a lot of standards that make them feel self conscious. So I just really wanted a company that supported anyone and any body type. Beaded Hippie is about me growing as a person and I want young women to feel as if they’re growing along with it and becoming more confident.”

On her current project, The Revolution: 

“I want to create this movement that’s all about peace and spreading happy vibes, like in the 60s. I definitely want to bring that back. Especially now, we’re just so used to bringing young people down. I want to have this movement and have this company represent encouraging others and just accepting people for who they are.”

“We are currently working on getting ‘The Hippie Movement’ t-shirts out. Each design is inspired by the hippie movement in the 60s. We have three designs right now. Make Love Not War, which is all about finding the peace within yourself and your community and realizing that everyone should be happy with one another. We also have the Hippie Movement shirt, which represents the revolution we are starting. The girl on the shirt is partly supposed to represent me. And finally, Always Think Hippie Thoughts, which symbolizes always being happy and always having a peaceful vibe.”

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On being a young woman in the business and fashion world: 

“It’s definitely challenging, but fun. Throughout the past year, I’ve had a lot of encouragement but I’ve also had a lot of ‘You’re too young to start a business’ and things like that, which makes it fun because I’m definitely one to take on a challenge and prove people wrong.”

“Entering any business can be difficult, but there are so many benefits. I’ve grown as a person and made so many connections. It’s all about finding the right people.”

On the challenges women face in the fashion world: 

“I definitely think body standards are an obstacle women face in fashion. For me, I’m not particularly skinny, I have a thick body, so it’s hard for me to find clothes and anything that fits my waist and thighs. So, with my company, I wanted to make clothes that fit all body types.”

On being a one-woman business: 

“Working on this entire thing by myself has been a challenge. I’ve definitely had some moments where I’m just like, ‘Oh god, what am I doing?’ But I love it and it’s something I will never regret doing. It’s become a passion of mine, and once something is your passion, you don’t think of it as a challenge or a hassle.”

“There are times when I wish I had the extra help or someone to talk to that understands. But at the same time, I’m a very independent person, so I love working by myself and figuring out the designs and stuff like that.”

On the future of Beaded Hippie: 

“I see it expanding. I’m doing a program in New York this summer to extend what I want to do in fashion. This program includes courses on marketing, designing, drawing, sewing, etc. I also want to broaden the company to different states and make it a bigger company than the small business company I have right now.”

“I’m currently working on building a team for the summer, especially for when I’m out of town. I want to have a couple of interns that work on spreading the movement, social media, and shipments.”

On forming a connection between herself and her customers: 

“A lot of businesses now, especially big brands, just give people what they want, but don’t create any connection between the company and the consumers. I definitely want to form that connection and establish a relationship with my customers. Especially doing a business alone, you want to have people follow you along the way.”

On collaborating with Surf Outfitter: 

“Surf Outfitter is a beach clothing store that just recently opened up in Hyde Park, Tampa. I walked into the store one day and I was looking at their jewelry and I thought it was cute. The buyer was like, ‘You’re so beautiful, we’d love to have you model.’ So we started talking and I began telling her about my company. She thought it was cool, so we set up a meeting and I met with the owner. He walked me through everything. It was really nice to have someone who understood where I was going. [Surf Outfitter] definitely helped me along the way and they still do. Their encouragement has been really nice to have, especially having a small business and being in high school.”

“Surf Outfitter always has my products in their store. Any time a new collection comes out, they support it. They also give off an amazing vibe. I love being a part of the SO family.”

On where she draws her inspiration from as a designer: 

“The 60s and Woodstock. Also, companies like Free People that are bohemian and have flowy designs.”

“When creating my clothes and jewelry, I want something that I would feel comfortable in and I would want to wear. My products represent who I am as a person, so as I’m changing, my products are changing.”

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On her favorite piece she’s created: 

“The Make Love Not War top is one of my favorites. I love the design, as well as the overall message, which is just loving one another and that we’re not at war with each other.”

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On the legacy she wants to leave behind: 

“I just want to encourage others to be confident in what they wear. I just want to empower women and help them realize that they can do anything.”

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Check out Beaded Hippie and their awesome products: beadedhippie.com

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Brooke Shapiro

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