Ep #5: Leading with Love and Empowerment with Amanda Dare

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I’m so excited to bring you my first guest on the new evolution of this podcast! My guest this week is Amanda Dare, the founder and fashion designer of the eco-chic fashion brand: The New Blak. She started The New Blak in 2015 with the mission to empower women through conscious fashion. Amanda has been a seamstress for over a decade, and her company is an ethical and sustainable fashion brand based out of Louisville, Kentucky, with a goal to empower local seamstresses through every step of their slow fashion supply chain.

After working in the world of fast fashion and looking into the behind-the-scenes of that industry, she decided she didn’t want to be a part of it any longer, and this is where her business idea stemmed from. Over the five years she has been in business with The New Blak, Amanda has built a community of women who serve, inspire, and empower each other to go after their goals, and she’s sharing the thoughts that have supported her in getting to where she is today.

Join us this week as Amanda gives us insight into building a business with commitment and all-in energy. She has faced challenges along the way – just like any entrepreneur – but she has come out the other side a successful and inspiring leader, and I can’t wait for you to gain so much value from this conversation.

We are so excited to announce that Amanda and I have co-designed a collection called Empower. We are empowered women who empower all women, and we have a variety of beautiful, comfortable clothes to serve all women. Supporting this collection supports not only us, but all the female seamstresses and women who work with us in our businesses, so check it out here!

Join my free training, Master Your Results in Quarantine, that starts today, Wednesday, April 22nd. You get three days of live coaching with me, a quiz to know exactly which type of achiever you are, and what tool you need to apply to finally create results so you can have an anything but average life.

If you are ready to finally commit to the change you want to create in your life, whatever area that may be, you need to join my Anything but Average program. You’ll learn the step-by-step process on how to make real change, and you’ll also get a lifetime of coaching with me and support in a wonderful community. Click here to find out more and I can’t wait to see you there!

What You'll Learn on this Episode

  • What got Amanda passionate about conscious fashion.
  • How Amanda got started in the realm of fashion and business for herself.
  • What drives Amanda to empower other women to grow into their best selves.
  • How Amanda built a sisterhood of likeminded women who empower each other.
  • The foundation of Amanda’s thoughts that got her to where she is today.
  • Some of the biggest challenges Amanda has faced so far.
  • What it’s like managing all the different pieces of her life.
  • The changes Amanda made to her business along the way and the reasons why.

Featured on the Show

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE

Click to Read Episode Transcript

Lindsey Mango: Hey guys, I am so excited for you to check out this episode with Amanda. But before we dive in, I have to make sure you are in my free training, Master Your Results in Quarantine, that starts today, Wednesday, April 22nd when this episode goes live. So here’s the thing about this training. What I’ve realized is there are three types of achievers. Yes, all of you are an achiever, even if you don’t realize it yet. And for each achiever, they have a specific block that is keeping them from creating results. So whether that’s trying to lose those extra five pounds or get healthy or finding your soul mate or signing clients and making more money or finding your dream career, whatever it is, we all have a unique style of doing things. And while that’s our greatest asset, there’s also a unique block that is keeping you from creating results.

So the focus of this training is to help you identify with a quiz that I created just for you to figure out which achiever you are and then a three day training that starts today, breaking down the exact tools you need to get around these blocks. So for me, for eight years, I literally tried to change my life, but because I didn’t have the tool that I needed and because I didn’t realize what was blocking me from creating results, I just kept doing the same things over and over again.

This training is going to solve that for you. So go to lindseymangocoaching.com/masteryourresults. We are starting today. You get three days of live coaching with me and you are going to know exactly which achiever you are and what tool you need to apply to finally create results so you can have an anything but average life. I love you guys. I’ll see you on the inside. Let’s jump into the episode with Amanda.

Lindsey Mango: Welcome to the Anything but Average podcast where I, life coach and mindset expert, Lindsey Mango, will teach you how to master your mindset and get into massive action to create a life that blows your mind. Let’s get started.

Hello, and welcome back to another week and another episode of the Anything but Average podcast. I am so freaking excited to be here today with the amazing Amanda Dare, especially because we – I feel like it’s been so fun to watch the progression of our businesses together when we first met and just watching you grow from afar and together and supporting each other it’s been so fun.

You guys know I don’t bring a lot of guests on my podcast, so when I do it is very special. So, I want to welcome Amanda Dare to the Anything but Average podcast.

Amanda Dare: Thank you so much, Lindsey. I’m so excited. I feel like every time someone asks me about podcasts and what I’m listening to it was always Soul CEO, so I’m happy to tell them now it’s the Anything but Average podcast.

Lindsey Mango: I love it, it’s so good. So, tell my audience what you do because you’re going to describe it way better than I can.

Amanda Dare: So, I own a company called The New Blak and basically our mission is to empower women through conscious fashion. The idea behind this is that we empower women through every part of our process. So, we empower seamstresses that are all local. I’m actually the Fashion Designer and Head Seamstress and I lead an all local to Louisville, Kentucky team of seamstresses who make our product.

They’re actually located right inside our store and studio combined and so it’s a very transparent process. You can actually speak to and learn the stories of the women that make your clothing and then as you are walking through this whole process you already feel really great about the product and then once you step into it and you feel how comfortable and luxurious and so –

Lindsey Mango: It’s so comfortable, guys.

Amanda Dare: So good, our premium bamboo fabric that’s also a sustainable option for fabric. Then you feel empowered in yourself to basically go out and take on the world.

Lindsey Mango: So good. Guys, so I didn’t explain this fully but Amanda and I – I was at like a what was it? It was like an event or an outdoor fair or something and I see this little bus and I had just launched my business and I see this bus and I’m like, “What’s on there?” So, I walk on. She’s on there with this big smile and these amazing clothes. I boss babe shirt and I was like this girl and this stuff is so good.

Then we started following each other on social media and stayed connected. She has a storefront and this massive business now, and it’s just been so cool to see how much you empower women. She does events at her store. It’s not just about clothing, it’s about something so much deeper than that. So, I’d love for you to share, why this? What made you passionate about this and how did you get started in it?

Amanda Dare: I this it was the New Lou Fest actually which is weird because now I’m in New Lou.

Lindsey Mango: Good!

Amanda Dare: I know, I’m so like full circle, but I actually five years ago started the business. I’ve owned it for since I was 25, I’m 30 now about to be 31 in a couple days. I was so excited to get started, but it really stemmed from a place of hurt and kind of negativity which is really kind of cool that you can take something that’s happening in the world.

For me it was working in fast fashion and working as a retail manager for multiple years in this really big box stores where I was just unpackaging sometimes 50 boxes of shipment a day and everything is in its own little package that’s wrapped in plastic that is creating so much waste within itself. Then I started to also look at the clothing and I’ve been a seamstress for 10+ years now, over a decade, so I was looking at these clothes and I’m selling them to these college girls for $5 apiece and I’m was like, “Man, this is really hard to make. How is this actually possible that this can be only $5?”

I looked into the behind-the-scenes of the fast fashion industry and realized that there’s a ton of human and environmental degradation that once I started to dive really deep into that I didn’t want to be a part of it any longer. But The New Blak is actually my fourth business, so I was an entrepreneur, seamstress and designer before I designed to go into retail management and I was just like, you know what? I can do this better and I can actually be a part of the fashion industry and have a stylish and comfortable and well-fitting wardrobe that I have as an investment in myself and putting that towards my future versus buying and going into debt over all of these changing trends all of the time.

So, kind of a conflation of all of that where I just didn’t want to be a part of a system that made me so upset all the time. I wanted to create something better, so that’s what I did.

Lindsey Mango: So good, and I love that you shared that you, what did you say? You had four businesses before that? Because I think it’s so important for all of you guys, I think Anything but Average podcast and life and everything that I teach and represent is all about creating a life that blows your mind. For a lot of you that will look like having a business or having something that is your purpose in the world.

I think so often we get caught wanting to make the one right decision in order to do that and almost every entrepreneur I talk to has had multiple businesses and had to figure it out to get to the beautiful storefront and the amazing business and the amazing clothing. So, I just think it’s really important to share. So, what was that process for you like kind of navigating all of that and getting to where you are today?

Amanda Dare: Oh man, it’s a 10-year journey. I guess I’ll just say that it started when I was making headbands in my dorm room and selling them. I was Resident Assistant, so an RA and I was selling them to my residents that lived around me. Then it built into my first studios and teaching myself how to sew because there’s no program in Kentucky that really has a great – well, where I was, I was in Louisville, that has a great program for that.

So, I took any amount of sewing or design or just anything in the realm of fashion courses and stuff I could take at school, but that was like two. So, I had to go on YouTube, there was a lot of trial and error. I actually made up my own internship for a while where I just made clothes for free for friends because I couldn’t find my own internship.

Then, eventually, it turned it into a store while I was still in college. I was still going to school, working on my second degree and realized that I wanted to follow this dream even though I still had to finish those degrees. I was like, “It’s time. I’m opening this store.”

It just built up from there to a bigger store and then a business where I designed and made clothing for other designers and then closed those things, got married, and worked in retail management where I really – because I don’t have a fashion or business degree. Really going into that “corporate world” really helped me to understand how to run a store every single day and how they actually accomplished the business side of things and management of 20+ employees and all of that stuff.

So, I combined those things and then from all of those experiences – I think of everything as a staircase so every step I take forward is a stair step upwards and when I take that step upwards it will lead me somewhere that has a better view in the end.

Lindsey Mango: I love that.

Amanda Dare: Thank you. So when I look back at it none of it was a failure or an issue even though at the time it might’ve hurt a little bit but it was an evolution and it was that stair step towards where I am now.

Lindsey Mango: So good. I love the stair steps, that’s so true and when you’re in it sometimes you’re like, “I don’t know how this is going upward, but I know it is.” But when you’re at the top it makes a whole lot of sense. So, for those listening if you’re on the stairs just keep going, you’ll get to the top. I love it.

So, tell me more. You are somebody who like if I were to think about a women in Louisville who brings badass women together and does amazing things for women I feel like I would immediately think of you, so tell me more about how your passion for that started. So, you start this fashion company and this business creating clothes, but then you start to evolve into bringing all these amazing women into your world. How did that evolution happen? What made you so excited about doing that?

Amanda Dare: I think when I got started, I didn’t really understand how my background really was going to play into this. So, I’m a middle child, I have two brothers, one older, one younger and I come from a long line of women that are really, really strong and really tough. I’m a pretty sensitive, artistic type of person and so when I was in these leadership positions I had to be that really tough woman working in retail management or whatever. I had so many women underneath me, but I started to realize that the women above me were really leading from fear. They were really pushing fear as their tactic for management and that I was supposed to instill fear basically into the women that were underneath me in order to create the results that they wanted.

That was really incredibly crushing to myself and so I was just like, wow, there’s so many other ways to lead and to bring women along with you and to empower them and allow them to finish a task and feel that amazing pride that you feel from there and then from there grow into their own form of themselves that’s bigger and better than before, but hopefully in the future remembering you as not leading from fear and not leading from this negative place.

For example, like I say I went into debt over these trends, so if someone didn’t walk into the store that I was working in and there was no traffic that day, if I didn’t make any sales I would be yelled at. If there was an issue, I would just buy the clothes so I wouldn’t be yelled at and I would wear them so that I could sell them and I understand that as a concept, but it’s still very frustrating that I was going into debt just to not be yelled at by my bosses and I was just like, again, there is a better way. We do not have to lead this way.

I felt like it was just really a negative situation and so, for me, my whole idea around it when I started to create my Girl Gang which is what I call my customers and all of my fans, all of the women that I love, is that women were giving as much to me as I was giving to them. For me, not having a sister and having one close female relative to me with my cousin I think I was just really deprived of a sisterhood and a lot of other companies there’s moms that have these really great mom groups and I think even online coaches you all are in the same realm.

There are not a lot of fashion designers that I know, that I’m a part of. There’s other boutique owners, but it is a different experience. We can definitely on a lot of things, so I didn’t have a lot of peers and connection and even for like yogis, they’re all doing yoga. So, for me, I realized well, what do I want to attract in? Who would I want to walk into my store and who would I want to give as much as they give to me back to? That was a creative girl boss, so when I started to push that out into the world and really dive into what my actual target market was, I was like, “Oh, it’s me. It’s me.”

You understand what I’m going through and you understand and you feel the same way I do about these clothes or maybe they needed to be educated about fast fashion which isn’t a problem, but it’s more of a creative flow that we were able to get into with each other. Now, I have this massive, amazing group of women that inspired me just as much as I inspired them and sometimes, they bring me presents, they bring me jam and flowers.

Lindsey Mango: Jam, I love it!

Amanda Dare: Yeah, jam, honestly that strawberry jam I got was one of the best things ever. It’s kind of cool that they feel so inspired by being in this space and being a part of that sisterhood that it feels like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now and meeting them in a way that promotes the empowerment of each other. Now, what I’m doing is actually connecting them all to each other because they’re all like-minded women that could use a little more sisterhood.

Lindsey Mango: That’s so good. So, it’s kind of like that saying, create what you wish existed and I feel like you’ve totally done that. Guys, if you live in Louisville, Kentucky or you come to Louisville, Kentucky you have got to go into Amanda’s store which is – where is it now? It’s in New Lou, right?

Amanda Dare: Right, so it’s on the corner of Washington and Campbell and basically, I always tell people if you know where Biscuit Belly is then I’m one block towards the river because everyone knows in this town where –

Lindsey Mango: I haven’t been yet since I’ve moved, but I’ve heard many good things.

Amanda Dare: It’s incredible and my doors actually open to their doors and not getting business every day is probably one of the biggest struggles. But yeah, before that I was actually – so I started selling in 2015 out of a tent, and I had three dress designs. Then in 2016, ’17 is when I had the mobile boutique, her name was Betty the Bus. Her full name was Whoa, Black Betty because she made a lot of noises.

Lindsey Mango: I love it!

Amanda Dare: It was like, “Whoa, what’s happening, Betty.” But she was like my little business partner for a while. My mom and I renovated the inside of that shuttle bus and it was really cool and I loved it. I actually miss it now, but Betty the Bus because I had moved into a really big mall that was here in Louisville – or still is here, the Oxmoor Mall, I was there for two and a half years. I just had so much invested into that that I didn’t have any extra time to take Betty out on the road and do any extra events.

So, I sold her to another female entrepreneur that’s planning to do mobile sewing alterations which made me really excited and then I guess about six months ago I moved from the mall to the new area which is kind of near downtown if you’re not familiar with Louisville, near downtown. I’m one block away from the soccer stadium that they’re building.

Lindsey Mango: So, such a hip spot.

Amanda Dare: Yeah, it’s so cool. Honestly, I knew I was going to love it down there, but then I realize that there’s about 30 women-owned businesses within six blocks of me and so now I have my own little community still, especially like right now there’s just some craziness going on in the world, but I feel like we’re all really coming together and I’ve got more sisterhood that we’ve been creating and I love it.

Lindsey Mango: So, if you guys are in Louisville, you have to go. I haven’t been to the new store yet, but I will be there soon. Her old store it was like the minute you walk in you can just feel the love and the sisterhood. It’s so awesome. I just love it so much. So, I feel like that is such a good example, also, of being committed no matter what.

Guys, she was like, “I’m going to get a tent and I’m going to sell three dresses. I’m going to get a bus and figure out how to make this work.” I feel like that’s such a requirement no matter what your dreams are to be like, “There’s a solution. We’re going to find a way,” and that’s what was the foundation of what she’s created today.

Also, by the way, we’re talking about empowering women and I just want you guys to stay tuned until the end because Amanda and I have something really exciting to announce to you guys, so stay tuned for that. But I’ve still got more questions.

So, I wanted to ask, what has been the biggest challenge in creating what you have so far?

Amanda Dare: The biggest challenge? Oh my gosh, there’s probably a really big challenge every day. I think what you’re talking about with the commitment to it is once I make a decision, I’m like all in. It’s never really –

Lindsey Mango: Our poor husbands, right?

Amanda Dare: My whole entire family and support system, poor them, and I’m just – I’m stubborn in that way and it will create beautiful, amazing things in my life, my stubbornness, but I mean my dad, he’s amazing, incredibly supportive, but it took my family a long time to really understand that I was serious and that this store or this studio I had or this biz or whatever, I was serious and I think it had to take – they’re always incredibly supportive, but to really understand I had to make my first like $100,000 in a year for them to be like, “Ohh, now I get it.”

Lindsey Mango: You’re not just like playing in the sandbox.

Amanda Dare: No. They totally understood it way more when they saw the numbers behind it and I was like, “Yeah, for real, this is an incredibly scalable, massive business opportunity and I’m not messing around.” Like, I’m going to be here. I just celebrated five years. I’m going to be here for so much longer and I think really just getting them to the place where they’re not like, “Wait, you want to do what? We’re going to move into a mall? You’re going to have a bus? You’re going to drive around? What are you doing?”

Not just my dad, but just across the board. I remember my dad, we were working on the bus and he was – it’s an old bus, so it needed some tar on the roof and he was walking down the middle with a big bucket of tar to finish the top and he fell through the roof of the bus.

Lindsey Mango: Oh my gosh.

Amanda Dare: It was like a cartoon moment at that point where my eyes got really big and I was like, “Oh my God! This is so crazy.” But I think at that moment he was like, “Take it to the dump. No, this is not working. I don’t understand this.” He had had a really rough day otherwise, but that pushed him over the edge and my mom and I had to calm him down.

My mom always says that we make it work. The Hines family, which is my maiden name, we make it work and that’s just who we are. She says to me all the time, “You and I have vision for things, so we can – when we see the pig we can smell the bacon,” is what she says. I’m like, “You’re right.” And she’s like, “We just had to figure out how to communicate,” that this is a really big opportunity for me, this is something that I’m completely invested in and not just expect other people to jump on the bandwagon, but to explain to them the power that you have and the commitment that you have to it and let them understand that.

When they understand that they’re beautiful, amazing people that love you that are going to support you past that, but I think a few of those little moments popped up and I went against what they suggested because I knew that I was going to make it work no matter what.

I think working through those moments with anyone in my family and helping them to understand how serious I was about this and that no matter what it was going to be something that I was passionate about and doing at whatever scale. So, they could support me in it and I would appreciate that.

Lindsey Mango: I love that. That was some of the toughest moments for me, too, and growing opportunities was getting the people that I loved and cared about – actually it wasn’t even getting them on board like you said, it was literally just holding my own belief in what I was doing and being willing to go against what they were comfortable with or what they thought about it.

I think so often no matter what it is you’re going after in your life, there’s going to be people who don’t agree, but if you relied on their opinion neither of us would be. Like, if I had listened to people it would never happen. So, maybe just take it as a good sign if you guys are listening to this and it’s happening in your life take it as a good sign that you’re a type of person who can see the bacon when you see the pig and that the right people will get on board with it, but it’s your job to decide and be all-in for yourself. I love that so much.

This other question I was going to ask was, how is it managing your life, and your personal life and all of the pieces and running a business with all of these people relying on you? How do you best manage the harmony of all of that?

Amanda Dare: Oh man, probably not very well. Well, if I think back on it, I’ve made considerable changes in the last year of my life for the betterment of myself and for my own self-care. So, let me give you an example, when I was working in the mall, had my own store in the mall, I had 20+ direct employees that I was managing at any point and if we had a slow day, obviously, that affects everyone and so not leading from a place of fear like my previous managers had and leading from a place of love and empowerment and growth was really an important step for me to always keep at the forefront.

So, every day at the mall we were open 13 hours a day, we were closed like 2 days a year, and I know why my parents suggested, maybe don’t move into the mall because it is so much of a commitment and I was like, “No, I’m ready for this, I’m ready to take my business to the next level,” but I had to make considerable sacrifices of time with my friends, time for myself, and time just away from my family, but there was things that I kept as boundaries that I’m really proud that I did like I spent and every Thanksgiving and Black Friday away from the mall and actually with my family.

I spent the whole week after Christmas visiting my husband’s family. His parents are divorced so they each have multiple people we have to go see, so we spent that time when they were like, “Man, we really thought we weren’t going to see,” and I was like the reality is that I am my own boss and I have this opportunity to create this amazing business that I want, but if it’s not serving me which at the end of when I was in the mall was really kind of a trying, difficult time for me. I was just hurting all the time because I cut and sew as well.

The majority of my days were still a lot of making the product and so I was just putting so much physical stress on myself, mental stress, and just worrying, “Is everybody going to show up for their shift?” Let me tell you why, because if they didn’t show up for their shift, we would be charged a fine in the mall. So, it was like almost as much as my rent, so I was freaking out all the time. “Hey, are you there? Just checking.” Trying to stay calm and not put the stresses that I was feeling on to my staff.

I’m not a perfect person, that didn’t always happen perfectly, but I definitely really tried to make sure that this is their job, this is my company. Yeah, this is my baby, and so when I would explain things to them like that, “This is my baby. Are you guys feeling good?” I was able to kind of relieve some of that pressure a little bit, but I turned 30 last April and I’m interested in starting a family with my husband. We’ve been together half of our lives at this point, so we’re interested in moving forward and when I turned 30 I was like, “You know what, we’ve got to make some considerable changes.”

I decided to move out of the mall. That was a really big, scary thing for me, but I just realized that the time we were open, the amount of hours that we were open and the limitations of even just the fluorescent light above me every day I just felt so creatively limited. I had to leave every time to design a new collection and I couldn’t do that while I was doing it.

It just never really felt like it was the right place even though the goal of me moving there was to introduce my brand to new people, was to challenge fast fashion right where it sits and to educate people that there is another option and if you’re interested in that let’s chat about it or try it on.

So, I still had really great, amazing parts of building my business up, but it really personally just felt super stressful. I just kind of decided, you know what, it’s my company and it’s not serving me any long the way I’d like it to be. I’m going to make these changes, moving out, changing my hours, being closed two days a week, so that I work the same hours as my staff.

Those are all things that helped me to be able to – my store doesn’t open until noon, but it’s because it’s I’m a night owl and I’m not an early bird, so getting to the store by 9 at the mall was actually really difficult for me and so, getting to my store at noon is a lot simpler. It just gives me that morning to just have my morning be for me and have my afternoons or when I’m at peak being for my business.

So, making just those little changes has taught me to better balance it, but right now I have a studio at my home because we have a pandemic, a global pandemic going on, and so I have a separate studio space. I still have my time at home and I have my time in my business. But also, one of the major things is that I definitely struggled not to talk about business all of the time because it’s my favorite topic. Why would I not want to talk about it?

Lindsey Mango: Me, too. Chris is like, “You’ve talked all day about all of your ideas, can I have an hour break?” I’m like, “Okay,” but I’m like, “Wait, I’ve got one more idea! Can I share it?”

Amanda Dare: You have to actively not talk the whole time and especially as extroverted people. I was in my store with people every day and my mother-in-law always told me that women speak 90,000 words a day and that men speak 10,000 so every once in a while I’ll come home and I’ll be like, I spoke my 90,000 today, I spoke about 100,000. I’m dead and tired and he’s like, “All right, sounds good. I’ve got the night off. I don’t have to worry about it.”

I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s incredibly supportive and will always listen and be amazing, but I have to make sure that we’re speaking about our future together and not just about my business’s future and I think that’s a hard thing to balance for sure.

Lindsey Mango: Totally. Well, I love all of that though because I think it really does illustrate how you find that harmony and to me you find the harmony by screwing it up a lot at first.

Amanda Dare: Yeah.

Lindsey Mango: Working for yourself is the best thing ever and you have to think about, like if you’re used to having a boss tell you what do to, where to be, you aren’t the boss of yourself which requires a lot of different things and I feel like you only figure out what works for you and your schedule and your time, what you need by doing it wrong, you know?

Amanda Dare: 100%.

Lindsey Mango: The store is not going to open till noon, that’s what works for me. For me, I’m the opposite. Like, I am not a night owl at all, so I’m like okay, past 4 I don’t work and I make sure that my day is adjusted for that and figuring that out I think is so important.

Amanda Dare: When you think about your ideal client and your – I think I’ve heard you say it before probably on one your podcasts that I listen to all the time when I would sew, but basically if you think about the people being nervous to change anything in your business, the people that want to be there and that will respect those boundaries will still be there. Anyone that is upset when you set a new boundary was planning to cross that boundary. If you don’t want them to cross that boundary you have to set it and keep it.

It’s as simple as time, it’s as simple as any of that, but it’s just taking that time for yourself and setting those boundaries really helps you feel more balanced and it doesn’t work every day, but when it does it’s really nice.

Lindsey Mango: We’re doing our best, right? That’s what matters.

Amanda Dare: The best we can.

Lindsey Mango: So good! Okay, so before we jump into this super exciting announcement I would love for my people to find out where they can connect with you just in general, on social media, I know you have a podcast that’s about to launch, so just share those details with my people.

Amanda Dare: Sure. My name is Amanda Dare, again, that’s my middle name. I have a long, hard last name, but –

Lindsey Mango: I didn’t even know that, so I’m glad you didn’t tell me because I would’ve screwed it up.

Amanda Dare: No, it’s fine, that’s why I go by it. My maiden name was Hines, but I’m married and my husband’s last name is Dougherty and my last name is Dougherty, but it looks like Dougherty or Doughtry or any other form besides Dougherty.

Lindsey Mango: Oh yeah, I knew that, but I –

Amanda Dare: No, it’s fine, and so I just go by middle name, so Amanda Dare. So, if you look for me on Instagram it’s ShopTheNewBlak and just so you guys know we spell blak a little differently, so it’s B-L-A-K, there’s no C and we do that because we consider even though we’re known for our little black dresses and timeless attire, slow fashion, all of that the word black, B-L-A-C-K is a color and we don’t only make a little black dresses, so B-L-A-K is the entire concept of sustainable, ethical and women’s empowerment all together.

So, it’s ShopTheNewBlak on Instagram, and then if you wanted to follow me personally, it’s LittleBlakBook, and again it’s B-L-A-K there. Then, if you wanted to go to our website to check out any of our amazing pieces and any of the other female makers that we sell within our store as well it’s www.thenewblak.com.

Lindsey Mango: We’ll put all the links in the show notes too so you guys can check it out as well.

Amanda Dare: Yes, perfect. I have the new podcast coming out soon because I made a promise to myself in my 30th year which I have a couple weeks left that I would put out The Little Blak Book podcast and basically it’s going to be – I just realized that since my husband and I have been together so long all of my “booty calls” in my little black book are all my biz besties basically. All the people I call late at night, there’s no other booty calls besides about business stuff.

So, for me it’s going to be just real fun and deeper conversations with other entrepreneurs just like we’re having now and talking about the reality and the highs and lows of being a go-getter and how crazy and complicated it can, but how beautiful it can be as well.

Lindsey Mango: I love the name so much, it’s so good.

Amanda Dare: I have so many plans for this name, Little Blak Book –

Lindsey Mango: You’re going to be like B-L-A-K everywhere, B-L-A-K, B-L-A-K. It’s going to be the new way to spell black. Okay, so we both have something really exciting to announce and I’ll let Amanda start with where her vision for a little partnership that it developed, where it all came from and the idea and all of that introduce that to you guys.

Amanda Dare: Sure, so basically, I come out with a couple collections a year because I am the fashion designer of The New Blak and all of the collections have a title, so a word that I design around and a concept and it’s usually however I’m feeling in that moment and for me this year in 2020 I came out with the collection Reflect and the collection Rise. I really wanted to reach out to other women that empower other women and really reach out to the other women that inspire me in so many ways and Lindsey really so much helped me with my mindset as an entrepreneur so I knew that you were the first person I wanted to reach out to with this cool concept.

So, I’ve asked Lindsey to co-design a collection with me and we’ve decided to call it Empower.

Lindsey Mango: Empower, yes! So good. We are so freaking excited. So, do you have more to add or what are your thoughts?

Amanda Dare: I think when I look at any collection I really think of it as what are pieces that this person could really add to their wardrobe and like I said, you were my inspiration for so many different things, but the empowerment part of it as well when we look at that and how we are empowered women that empower other women and that’s a concept that we push all the time within The New Blak and that we represent and that we live and breath and love. So, we’re going to have some really cool comfy things that you can wear while you’re working from home.

Lindsey also gets dressed up at home when she’s working in front of her computer for all of her amazing coaching opportunities, so we’ve made some really cool options that are going to be incredibly comfortable, breathable, they’re not going to wrinkle very much which is nice, and you’re going to be able to move around and really feel like you can take on the world from your home office.

I’m so excited because it’s going to be so comfortable. It’s something new that my audience hasn’t seen and as someone that inspires and empowers their audience to work with you on this has been just so exciting and has really rejuvenated a lot of my creative vibes. Kept them all going especially during this pandemic that we’re going through. So, I’m really excited to have teamed up with you for it.

Lindsey Mango: I’m so excited. When Amanda reached out to me, I was like, “Absolutely!” You guys know who follow me I also love style and beautiful things and her clothes are so comfortable. When we were talking about the name we were – I think it also fits so well with what’s going on in the world right now with COVID-19. You guys know I’m all about taking ownership and taking control over yourself and your part. To me, the word “empower” really describes that and I think now more than ever we need to empower ourselves and empower other people and support each other through all of this.

So, we actually didn’t plan on this COVID-19 happening when we first had this conversation, but just like everything else, it’s all happening in perfect timing and I cannot wait for you guys to check out this collection. So many people message me about how I dress up for my daily life which is why we selected these pieces because one of the biggest problems I have is that as soon as I’m done working I’m ready to rip my clothes off and put on some sweats or some yoga pants and so what we did was create – I mean, Amanda did that, I just added my small input, but created pieces that are beautiful, but also comfortable.

Things that I’m going to wear to cook dinner after I’m done working and can sit at my desk all day and feel like I’m wearing yoga pants, but I’m not, that look really beautiful, too. So, where can they check it out? Actually, I think this podcast when it goes live the collection will be live. So, where can they go check out all these amazing pieces?

Amanda Dare: Yeah, so this is going to be front and center on our homepage of our website so thenewblak.com is going to be the best way to check that out. Supporting this collection supports so many women not only myself and Lindsey it still supports all of the female seamstresses and makers, all of the women that work for both of us and work with us in our businesses.

So, remember that when you’re supporting these small businesses even though you feel like you’re supporting one person, they’re usually supporting so many others as well. Putting your money back into the community and especially into a female entrepreneurship I think is the best investment we can make right now.

Lindsey Mango: So good. Yes, check it out on the site. I will have links on my profile, I will be sharing all of the pieces with you guys on my Instagram. You’re going to love them. Can we tell them about the colors and all the things? Are we allowed?

Amanda Dare: Sure.

Lindsey Mango: Yeah, so we are doing a cheetah print which Amanda hasn’t done yet which is just going to be – it’s so amazing.

Amanda Dare: It’s been the most beautiful ever, too. I really love it.

Lindsey Mango: Wait, you guys, wait until you feel – like, I wish you could feel through a computer screen because this is just to die for. Then we also have like a tan color and some black pieces, some white pieces, right?

Amanda Dare: Yeah, so looking at your wardrobe all the time obviously you always rock really great ivory and someone who spills on themselves every day, I usually am rocking black. So, we’re giving a few options to everyone for different ways to style it. What’s great about this is that all these pieces can be styled together.

We also have some really, like we said, really comfy pieces so not only is the leopard print and the tan which is a really linen option and then the black bamboo that’s the most comfortable, softest thing. We always say with our little black dresses that you look really put together and professional, but you feel like you’re wearing pajamas and that you don’t have to unzip yourself out of something uncomfortable at the end of the day.

You can run around and go to a girl’s night or to a date night or to run after your kids on the playground, you can do whatever you need to do in these great fabrics because they’re so durable as well.

So, those are going to be really great and then we’ve got some great graphic t-shirts and a notebook as well that’s coming out.

Lindsey Mango: I’m so excited! So go check that out. Connect with Amanda. We’ll be blasting you guys on social media about these amazing clothes, answering any questions that you have. Amanda, I’m just so grateful for you and this experience together, but also just like your energy and who you are in the world and just having you as a part of my Girl Gang. So, thank you so much for being here and I cannot wait for everybody to see this collection! Thank you!

Amanda Dare: Thank you. I appreciate you.

Lindsey Mango: Bye.

Amanda Dare: Bye.

Lindsey Mango: If you want to take this work even deeper and coach with me in my signature program, go to lindseymangocoaching.com/anythingbutaverage. In this program I will teach you how to take this work and create results so you can have a life that blows your mind in the areas of money, purpose, health, lifestyle, and romance.  I can’t wait to see you on the inside.

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