Hello there 🙂
Welcome on our latest editorial initiative, Who wears what SpotlightHere we will use our editorial platform, social networks and ad inventory to spotlight small businesses that need our support now more than ever. Every week we will introduce a new fashion or beauty company. If you own a small brand and would like to be considered for the program, please apply here.
For the fashion set, the pandemic ushered in a myriad of new styles and priorities, including deliberate shopping and the acceptance – no, encouragement – of loungewear. With the advent of deliberate shopping, we saw ourselves shopping directly from small businesses, even if that meant shopping on social media or reselling clothes apps like Depop and specifically buying custom items to reduce our carbon footprints. So you could say Golden Girly, Brooklynn McCray's made-to-order brand of customizable loungewear sets, is the epitome of a pandemic fashion company, aside from the fact that McCray founded Golden Girly back in 2019. Did she know she was going to do perfect? meet market demand in a few months? Of course not. (Remember how blissfully unsuspecting most of us were of pandemics in 2019?) But McCray had his hands full filling orders for sweat kits in neutrals, pretty pastels, and color-blocking colors. How beautiful it is to see the fruits of a young woman's dreams flourish when, more than ever, we need joyful stories.
McCray was only 21 when she started Golden Girly and responded to the urge to design her own clothes even though she had never learned how to design clothes professionally. Taking advantage of the plethora of how-to videos YouTube has to offer, McCray taught himself how to make those loungewear sets that are already making waves in the fashion world. In October, just when we were all in need of refreshing loungewear inspiration, none other than Gabrielle Union posted a video in which she sips shyly from a glass of white wine, throws her head back, and flashes the brightest smile that absolutely glows a green golden girly Bra and shorts set. Orders were taken, Complex noticed, and McCray has been in full swing ever since. I suspect she will outgrow her Depop platform very soon. Read on for my interview with McCray and order exactly the loungewear your heart desires, because that's what it's all about.
Can you tell us something about yourself and your company?
My name is Brooklynn McCray. I am 23 years old and I was born and raised in Ohio. My business, Golden Girly, started out in 2019 with Depop, a clothing reselling app. After many attempts and mistakes to find a niche for my depop shop, I finally landed on loungewear. This eventually led to me creating my own loungewear designs. To add my own creative touch, I offered my clients the opportunity to choose their own colors and pieces to create their own lounge set that my followers thankfully loved!
What if you had to summarize your business in five words or less?
How did you get into clothing design? Do you have a formal education or are you completely self-taught?
I've always been fascinated by the fashion world and it has always been part of my life in some way. I have a modeling background and went to a fashion merchandising school, but I've never really got into the design side of fashion. Everything I do now has become completely self-taught from watching lots of YouTube videos and trying it out through experimentation.
What inspired you to start Golden Girly?
I love being in full control of my daily life and future, so being an entrepreneur was perfect for me. I came across Depop through my friend and he convinced me to open my own shop. From there it grew to what it is now.
It seems like you started your business just before the pandemic. How have social distancing and home assignments affected your business? Did it force you to change your expectations and processes?
The pandemic had a tremendous impact on my business as it was the perfect time for loungewear to thrive. I had already sold my custom lounge sets before launching so luckily not much has changed in the actual process. Though, with the surge in orders, I have had to learn to keep up with the growth of my business, which can be challenging at times.
What was your proudest moment since starting Golden Girly?
It was really exciting to see actress Gabrielle Union wear one of my sets and post a video on Instagram.
Was there a moment when you noticed your brand was taking off? Have you felt overwhelmed by the number of orders you have received and if so, how do you go about it?
There have been a few times that I've seen a big increase in sales. One of them was during the BLM movement. There was a lot of support for black-owned companies large and small. Another being was YouTuber Macy Eleni, who called my store after buying a set.
I definitely felt overwhelmed, but I had and still had the support of my mom, Danielle McCray, who came home from work to help me complete and ship orders, which was hugely helpful. She is now a full time member of Golden Girly and continues to help me run my business to this day.
How do you see customizable clothing that fits into the future of fashion?
I offer a new and fun way to shop by allowing my customers to essentially design their clothes. This is also beneficial for those who are usually either too small or too large for most garments as each item is tailored to their specific measurements. Finally, I want to expand the depths to which my loungewear can be customized by and for the consumer to make the shopping experience even better.
We'd like to give other brands a little spotlight love. Which two or three of your favorite brands do you like to support and why?
One of my favorite brands right now is Skin Buttr, a black owned skin care brand that has the best smelling body scrubs that I love.
Another brand is Brandon Blackwood New York. I haven't bought any of his bags yet, but I love each one and they are definitely in my mental cart.
Next, the best buyers of sustainable branded fashion know.