Friends and female business partners, aka ‘Work Wives,’ Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo founded a website called Of A Kind in 2010. Their mission was to create a place where they could feature up-and-coming fashion designers by selling limited edition pieces and by telling their story. How beautiful is that? Supporting emerging talent and sharing all of the grit, passion and magic that goes into making each piece. In addition to loving the community they created, we are also fascinated by the dynamic and energy of two girls coming together to build a brand. Please read on below to learn about Claire, Erica, and the exciting new things happening at Of A Kind.
We fell in love with Of a Kind because it supports small, artisan designers. What inspired you to do this and how do you go about finding the brands you work with?
Of a Kind is really the confluence of our two interests: Claire’s passion for supporting up-and-coming creatives and Erica’s enthusiasm for storytelling. In the beginning, we cold-emailed designers we were excited about, but, now, more and more designers reach out to us. It’s been really exciting to build a business that speaks to people whose work we admire.
FREDA was also founded and run by two women, so we’d love to hear what makes your partnership work so well? What do you cherish about your “work wife” relationship and why do you think it sets your business apart?
For us, it boils down to the fact that we get to bring our whole selves to work: There is no clear distinction between the professional and personal in our lives. And, while we find that to be super satisfying, it also requires being vulnerable with one another—something that underpins our partnership and that we have to work on all the time!
How does FREDA fit into your daily lives?
When we started the business in 2010, we clomped around in stilettos more often than is advisable—possibly because we felt like it helped us look like real, grown-up businesswomen—but we’re confident enough not to do that anymore. In our post-heels lives, we’re very into a sleek mule, slide sandal, or Chelsea boot.
What is next for Of a Kind?
Well, we just launched a bunch of new apparel on the site that we are pretty obsessed with and are going to be wearing all through the warmer months. In longer-term news, we’re writing a book! It’s called Work Wife, and it’s about the power of female friendship to drive successful businesses. It’s coming out next January, and it’s been fascinating to collaborate in this new way.
Any advice for other female entrepreneurs out there reading this?
Build the thing you want to build! Don’t feel pressure to make it bigger—or smaller—than you want it to be. It can be hard to tune out all of the feedback and advice you get, but you’ll always know your business best.