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Talking Top Tens: Kirsten Dickerson

CEO and Founder of Raven + Lily

01.02.17

Kirsten Dickerson, CEO and Founder of Raven + Lily, an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering women through design, is a leader in the social business and ethical fashion industry. Motivated by a belief that each person is valuable and uniquely created, Kirsten is dedicated to empowering women to discover their full potential. She is passionate about promoting social business models as a means of providing a dignified way to alleviate poverty, especially among at-risk women. From humble beginnings, Raven + Lily has grown to nineteen artisan partnerships around the world and employs over 1,500 at-risk women at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, healthcare, education and a chance to break the poverty cycle. To learn more about Raven + Lily you can follow them on their Instagram and Facebook accounts. 

And more with Kirsten Dickerson…

Favorite Instagram account to follow:

I love following “the Kates”: @kate_zimm (her posts are a beautiful curation of food, animals, and design) and @katerenz (her posts are a gorgeous combo of landscape and fashion). Both of “the Kates” have worked for Raven + Lily and both of them are beautiful inside and out, so the beauty of their posts feel authentic.

Your biggest fashion faux pas, or a regrettable purchase/style phase:

I had really big curly blonde hair in the 80’s and early 90’s. I permed my naturally curly hair and even wore bows. When I see pictures I have a gut reaction of both laughing and cringing.  

Your current Netflix addiction:

My daughter LOVES the new show “Timeless,” so we watch it together every week. The star, Abigail Spencer, is a friend and fan of Raven + Lily. She’s an amazing, timeless beauty. It’s so fun to see the period clothes and looks they create for her each week.  

What do you love most about your work:

I love visiting the women in our design partnerships. I am so inspired by their cultures and stories. I started Raven + Lily for them, and I continue to grow Raven + Lily because of them. They are changing the world.

One piece of advice you would give your 18-year-old self:

Don’t be afraid to pursue your creative, off-beat dreams.  

Your most recent culinary discovery and obsession:

Flower Child. It recently opened near my flagship storefront at the Domain Northside in Austin, Texas. I’m becoming more of a vegetarian because I own a lot of animals, so this vegetarian restaurant is a dream. I could eat there everyday. It’s so delicious and the atmosphere is so unique and happy.

Your last great read and why you enjoyed it:

Homecoming. It was a unique, amazing book that took the reader through a generational journey of two sisters on the impact of slavery that started with the slave trade in West Africa and culminated in modern day times. It was heart-wrenching and fascinating. I highly recommend it.

You decompress each day by:

Spending time in nature, usually feeding the animals on my ranch and doing ranch chores that require physical work. My family and I currently live in a tiny glamping retreat called Green Acres just a half hour east of Austin. I love being outside in nature as the sunsets, and I love sharing our land with others so they can decompress too.  

Your celebrity crush and why:

I’ve always loved Chris Martin, and he’s one of the few I admitted I like to my husband years ago when Cold Play first hit the scene. Then a few years later we lived in a condo in Hollywood where I started to receive mail for Chris Martin. Apparently he lived there before us. It was hilarious, and I eventually had to contact his record label because I had a lot of mail from his mom.

Your longest lasting friendship:

My sister. I love her so much. We lost both our parents way too early in life, so I think we are pretty close because we’ve journeyed through loss and suffering together.