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To help you better understand what our brand stands for, we conducted a mini interview with ourselves. If you still have any head-scratchers, send us a note through our contact page.

  • What inspired the name?
  • The name, Cotton Canary, comes from the “canary in a coal mine” saying. Coal miners would bring caged canaries to work as their defense against harmful gases. In that story, the canary is bold and strong, continuing to sing and do what it was made to do in spite of its unknown fate. The imagery of its bright yellow color in the midst of darkness is also beautiful. Then there were the times when the canary was a hero, having sacrificed its life for others. And we have seen this story line play out across time.

    Throughout history, we have seen women put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others — sometimes by choice and other times by force. At Cotton Canary we want to create a new narrative, and we hope to inspire women to break free from their gilded cages and walk in the fullness of who they were made to be. The Canary in our story represents hope, life, joy and vibrancy, and the cotton part of the name underscores what we stand for -- strength, resilience, versatility, and a blossoming from real life. Our first step is in the work place. As women are making unprecedented advances, fashion trends in the workplace have remained boxed in, resigning to pointedly humdrum, personality-squelching silhouettes. What we wear is an extension of who we are, and it is the one form of art in which we all engage. As women command more license to create, build, and break the traditional glass ceiling, women should also have the freedom to wear garments that allow them to be themselves – women who are elegant, powerful.
  • Are the clothes all made from cotton?
  • While we love the fabric, not all the pieces are made from cotton. The cotton part of the name is a symbolic reference. Cotton is versatile, strong and approachable. It’s not stuffy or pretentious. That’s what the brand is about.

    Rest assured, none of our clothes will ever be made from canaries. That's a promise.
  • How many orders do you need in order to produce an item?
  • We need to sell 30 orders per unique style to meet the production minimum.
  • When can I expect to get my order?
  • All items currently listed on the website are ready to ship. Processing time is typically 1-2 business days, and U.S. ground shipping is free. If your wait time is unusually long, send us a note, and we will look into it!
  • So you don’t take 100% of the profits? Did we hear that correctly?
  • (Ok, so we set this one up for ourselves.) But yes, you did hear that correctly. Cotton Canary will give a portion of its profits to charitable causes that support women who have lived through the horrors of human trafficking, loving families looking to extend their families through adoption, along with other charitable causes.

  • Every brand has some unlikely beginning. Does Cotton Canary have one?
  • You can say that it is the least likely of any beginnings. Let’s tally this up – I was not exposed to the fashion industry at a young age; I grew up and work in Washington, D.C.; I studied business and education in school; and I had no training in fashion design. Not exactly a promising start…

    To add, I have always chosen the practical path in life - consulting, finance, operations. I did this mostly out of fear of the unknown and leaving a career that was always safe and secure.

    Once I decided to stop living with this feeling and allow myself the freedom to take a risk, I finally took that first step towards building Cotton Canary.
  • Was there something that you encountered in your own career that inspired you to create a collection for professional, working women?
  • I have had great opportunities as a woman, a student and a professional, but being taken seriously in the workplace has not always come easily.

    Like so many other women, I have had to find my way to stand out, to not be overlooked, to have my opinion heard and to command respect. I know a lot of women have had similar struggles, and I wanted to create a company that helps us express ourselves with dignity. Cotton Canary is designed to celebrate women and give them the armor they need to tackle whatever the day may bring.

    I also wanted to empower working women to be more daring and true to themselves. I spent the last decade working in the capital of the most powerful nation in the world, surrounded by many women wielding tremendous influence. And yet, day-in and day-out I felt like I would leave my personality on the shelf on my way to work.

    Fashion in the workplace is still very stifled. We default to suits, or been-there, done-that pants with button-down shirts. The ultimate inspiration was to make clothing that begins to embody all the richness and personality we bring to the office, that isn’t just a slightly modified version of menswear for women to fit into.
  • How can I get in touch with someone at Cotton Canary?
  • For all questions, please contact us here.