I am so excited to introduce my new Small Business Spotlight feature! Once a month, I’ll interview an inspiring small business owner with wisdom to share. These conversations are geared to help us learn what building and running the business entails, and how we can apply these work ethics and advice to our own businesses.
My very first guest is Rivky Itzkowitz of Impact Fashion. In addition to being an amazing friend, Rivky inspires me and women everywhere every day with her fabulous fashion designs and her game-changing size inclusive line. Now you can get to know her, too!
Small Business Spotlight: Rivky of Impact Fashion
Michelle: I know you had an affinity for fashion before the launch of your business. Can you share that moment you realized that you’d make a full-time career out of your passion?
Rivky: There was no one moment where I said, ’this is what I’m going to do.’ It was more of a slow burn and realization that this could be something. I was working as a seamstress and dressmaker while in college in 2016 and was getting very burnt out. The long hours and me sitting at a sewing machine is the definition of unscalable. I had two options – I could either hire other seamstresses and grow my dressmaking and tailoring business or I could pivot to a manufactured line. I went with option B, but did so incredibly slowly. I set tiny goals – get this collection into 3 stores then another 5, make enough money to make another collection, etc. Slowly, those small goals built up and by the time I graduated in January of 2018 there was enough momentum that it seemed worth taking the leap, so I just never looked for a job.
M: What does your business, Impact Fashion, stand for?
R: I think of Impact Fashion as a space where women get to be unapologetically selfish. Most people think of Impact Fashion as a body positive space, and it is! My collection is available in sizes 2-24 and I’m really dedicated to helping the amazing women around me feel good in their skin using the power of good clothes. And for me that goes much deeper than how we feel in our bodies, it’s how we feel about ourselves. We’re so busy taking care of everyone else around us, I wanted to create a space where women come to relax into the realization that they deserve all the beautiful things life has to offer.
M: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
R: Every now and then someone will say they’ve shown one of my body shape educational videos to their teen or pre-teen daughter and that it helped her feel better in her skin. As someone who was really unhappy in her body as a teen, that’s just so freaking awesome. I’ll also have women write and tell me they bought something from my line and were honestly surprised at how good it looked on them. That’s also fun, because there’s real power in breaking the myth that you need to be a certain size in order to look and feel good…I like making good trouble!
M: How do you hope to impact and inspire your customers?
R: Clothes – especially great clothes that fit properly and are made to the highest quality – are a tool. I’m not here to preach to or inspire anyone, per se, I’m just here to supply already amazing women with the tools to see themselves in possibly a different light and go be their truest and fullest selves.
M: Where do you get inspiration for your clothing designs?
R: I’m within a year postpartum and my body is radically different than it was pre-pregnancy, so I’m slowly working on building back my own wardrobe. Lately that’s where my inspiration has been coming from. What do I need in my closet right now? What piece am I missing? How would I want that Shabbos dress to feel? What features would I need in it? Starting from there has been a great spring board for now.
M: What are some new goals you’re implementing into your personal/work life for 2023?
R: Personally, I feel good about the decisions I’ve made around being a working mom. I’m definitely much more hurt by criticism or judgement on those decision than I thought I would be, and I’d like to work on letting that go. Professionally, I’m hoping to outsource more of my admin work so that I can focus on designing the collection.
M: What’s something cool about you that people might not necessarily know?
R: I’ve gone skydiving and it was the most incredible experience. I’m definitely looking to do it again sometime.