How It Started

How It Started

Posted by Julie Bent on

I remember getting my first pair of Jordache jeans as a kid and the elation I felt putting them on. There are photos somewhere that captured me posing in them around the house. I was six.

I quickly discovered the value of earning my own money so I could buy the beautiful things I desired. Vintage dresses, the most amazing black leather motorcycle boots, an RCA tube tv for my room. It felt amazing to not ask permission; to use my own money to fulfill my desires.

I have decades of shopping experience. My young love of fashion stayed with me through art school, then fashion school and working as a fashion stylist for film and television. Shopping became a highly developed skill set.

Over time, my awareness shifted around WHAT and HOW I was buying. As a newish mom, I found myself drawn to Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I dove head first into my first wave of KonMari

  • Taking inventory of what I owned was a powerful experience.
  • Remembering when and why I had purchased items began to shape my approach to new purchases.
  • Discerning which belongings still sparked joy for me and which ones no longer served me helped me better understand myself.

I began buying with a fresh perspective and far greater intentionality. I loved researching purchases in advance and making choices based on quality and longevity. As I grew more connected to shopping sustainably, I encountered road blocks and a lack of transparency on where products are made. 

I did my best to shift away from shopping big box stores and large brand names manufacturing in mass quantities. I found myself buying furniture made in USA and clothes from small brands that manufacture in LA and not overseas. It felt impossible to change all at once, but shopping intentionally became the quest.

What if I could purchase 100% in alignment with my values and only from the indie brands that I love and respect?

I was not doing that entirely in my own home yet, but I could challenge myself to do this in my shop. Tortuga emerged as a blank slate for me to refine my buying practices. I would focus on giving my money to people who shared my values around creativity, longevity and sustainability. 

 

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