Our beginnings begin with abandonment that leads to an understanding of the importance of human generosity and unselfish acts of kindness. At the age of seven, my mother was left abandoned on the streets of San Francisco. Rescued through adoption, she was one of the lucky ones, raised in a loving and nurturing home. Many years later, she was reunited with her siblings through an incredible miracle of events. Needless to say, these situations changed my mother’s life forever … and mine as well.
Like my mother, I was born and raised in the beautiful northern California hills. But I also found I was influenced by the southern traditions of my father. We would spend many Christmas and summer vacations in Anderson South Carolina, soaking in the warmth of big family gatherings, walking the garden with my granddaddy, watching him also brave the bee hives and amazed at how hard my grandmother worked to cook, can and quilt. Woven deep in my soul are the rich textures of their life, and I believe a big part of my longing for simplicity, care and generosity.
As I became old enough to understand my mother's story, it made a huge impact on my life, for she taught me the importance of forgiveness, kindness and how every life matters.
Early on in my design career, I began to long for a company where I could align my passion for design and fashion with a purpose for serving others. Yet, in the cutthroat industry of fashion, I found these types of companies and opportunities difficult to find. But I knew there had to be a way for world changers and fashion to collide.
When my husband, Karl, and I started our family, I experienced a new problem within the children’s clothing industry – I felt that baby and toddler clothes had too many embellishments, blinding colors, and an unnecessary amount of snaps. I needed simple pieces that were both easy to throw on a squirming child and timeless through their simplicity of style … yet this was impossible to find.
Over the past 24 years, as my children have grown into beautiful adults, I have been blessed with design engagements which have broadened my understanding of the importance of simplicity in a world of sensory overload. While living in Nashville, I have designed outfits for Trisha Yearwood, worked with Wynonna Judd, and been a wardrobe stylist for may TV shows and local bands. In 2011, I was invited to design for a new denim company, Southern Blues Denim Co. where the seeds of designing for a purpose took a deeper root in my soul.
In 2015, I decided to follow my long-felt passion and founded Will & Ivey with the focus of creating a children’s clothing line for the mini modern minimalist. A line of clothes for families interested in simple, timeless designs that are made with sustainable fabric and manufactured in the USA, while giving back.
Our mantra at Will & Ivey: To weave peace and purpose through fashion.
Peace through the ease of fit and the use of sustainable fabrics.
Purpose - through the support of Tennessee Alliance for Kids and TN Kids Belong, two organizations that support the needs of children in foster care.
Sandra started the TAK PAK program with TN Alliance for Kids which ignites the community to donate any amount to help provide backpacks filled with comfort and essential items for these children in a time of crisis. A percentage of every Will & Ivey purchased goes to support TAK.
To find out how you can help, go to www.tnallianceforkids.org
TN Kids Belong has a wonderful program called the I Belong Project which are videos that helps give the children a face and voice. These children need to be adopted. They are waiting for their forever families. We will do all we can to point to this need and give a percentage of sales to help fund these videos.
To find out how you can help, go to https://www.tnkidsbelong.org/
As Will & Ivey grows, my heart is to see our company stay true to our mantra and core values of peace and purpose. And it is only through caretakers like you who have become a village of support and have shared in our mission that make this a possibility. With your stories and love for our products, I find daily inspiration in the designs of our collections, and for that I am extremely grateful. Thank you for being a part of our story.