THE MNY SPOTLIGHT

Meet Gwen Whiting, Founder of The Laundress

Introduce yourself! 

I am Gwen, Founder of the Laundress @gwenlwhiting

Gwen wears the Torero Gown in yellow/ivory

After it dawned on you that the market was missing a fabric care collection that catered to specialty fabrics and treated garments without the harsh chemicals, you brought The Laundress to life. What was the most challenging and rewarding part of the journey?

I started The Laundress twenty years ago!  I had the personal need to care for my items beyond the choices of dry cleaning and the “all in one” detergent product in the market.  Creating a new and niche product while effectively inventing a new product category was a huge challenge yet incredibly rewarding – providing premium product to solve everyday problems for loads of laundry along the way.

Since founding The Laundress in 2004, you’ve been committed to using eco-friendly products, which at the time was ahead of the curve! Why has it always been important to you to use eco-friendly products?

The initial eco goal was to not have to dry clean… luckily it turned out that using plant derived ingredients were really the best, but no one used them at the time because it was more expensive.  Since I was creating a premium product, I was only going to use the best ingredients.  I have always been committed to key principles of creating the best, with purpose, function, design, and sustainability at the core.  No compromises.  

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What is your proudest career moment?

I have so many fond memories, however, it is really the small everyday moments that count along the way. Hearing a Laundress user gush about a laundry experience- from successfully removing a stain, to feeling empowered handwashing and not dry-cleaning, to the joys of their favorite scent or product.  Those are the joyful moments that make me pleased with my hard work.

Who are your favorite female role models and why?

I have been blessed with incredible mentors, role models and leaders along my journey. These people have helped form me, my journey, and manifest my successes. I am very passionate about mentoring and giving back.

Do you have a word of advice for someone looking to start their own business?

Be prepared! Do your homework, research, make a proper business plan you can defend over and over, and have looked at every angle. I always say, if you are not disciplined to plan properly, then you aren’t disciplined enough to start and run a company.

Go-to tip for making your garments last a lifetime:

Pre-treat always.  Hand wash when in doubt.  Sort well and store properly! 

What draws you to the Mestiza brand? 

 “Iconic styles for Iconic people”  …Done!

Tell us how you’re styling your Mestiza piece and where you’re wearing it! 

I am dying to be in the garden (party) with my Mestiza….so here I am!

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