Our houses are two blocks from each other. In a way, that sentence sums up so much about the Everand® story—one of closeness and of home.
We’re two sisters who really, really like being together and working together. The working together part is something we’ve done for two decades. As the co-founders of EcoTools makeup brushes, we’ve long believed in creating products that are beautiful and useful but also do good—EcoTools is 100% cruelty free and has worked with environmental and social causes like 1% for the Planet and The Girl Project.
We knew that if we were going to start something new we’d do it together. Over the years we tossed around a lot of ideas, but nothing grabbed us. At the same time, we started getting more into our homes, doing renovations and interior design, buying fabrics online, and waking up at a ridiculous hour to drive to flea markets in another state to look for special pieces.
Thanks to a mash-up of our Instagram habits and the remodeling projects, we had a good idea of what was out there in terms of artisan-made goods for the home. As we scrolled through pictures, the product-developer parts of our brains would switch on: We could just buy the fabric and figure out how to construct it ourselves. We understand how to look at something and take it apart, how to forecast trends, how to suss out quality materials, how to source them, and how to mix and match fabrics. One problem: we can’t really sew.
Then Stacey got an email from RefugeeOne. It’s a Chicago-based organization that helps refugees who are fleeing war, terror, and persecution settle into their new lives. The email was publicizing its new Sewing Studio, which gives refugee women a chance to develop a marketable skill and a potential way of earning income from home—and they were looking for work for their graduates, women who had been through so much and often arrive in the US with only a suitcase.
That was it. We knew this was the business. To take the artisan-made fabrics we had been sourcing and commission refugee women to sew all our products and earn a living wage while doing it. And that conviction was confirmed ten times over once we visited the studio. It was really emotional for us: In a small room, where five to 10 women are sewing at a time, we saw one mother working with a baby strapped to her back. It was clear to us that this was the foundation for Everand: supporting women who are driving change in their lives.
When we picked up our first samples, it was a powerful moment, and not just because we were excited to see our concepts come to life: We had brought with us a check for Don, the woman who had crafted them all, and the entire studio stopped working and clapped for her. It was everything.
So we had a company, a mission, and a process. We just needed a name. We realized we didn’t want it to be about what we’re selling (scratch House of Pillow from the list) but about why we are doing it. Our goods tell a story—of the women who construct them, of the artisans who make the fabrics, of two sisters—and you have a story. We hope our chapters overlap, and that our collections inspire you to continue to tell your story through your home, for Everand® ever.