When most stylish siblings settle for borrowing from each others’ closets, the founders of Between Ten decided to make fashion their business. The LA-based label was launched last year by sisters Brittany Steinmann, Monica Peterson, Stephanie Brusig, and Christina MacLean, whose ages span across ten years (hence the name).
“We always knew we wanted to create something in the fashion world together,” reveals Steinmann, who previously worked in Nasty Gal’s merchandise and planning department. Aimed at dressing moms, downtown dwellers, and beach bohemians alike, she tells us that she and her sisters wanted “to create a line that spoke to each one of our styles and age ranges. We were able to put the needs of multiple different women into one line and make sure every woman was able to think less when she’s getting dressed.”
The collection offers all-season closet essentials for every LA woman, like off-shoulder linen tops and chiffon dresses for summer, effortless duster jackets and chic silk blouses for fall, and breezy bell-sleeved button-downs that transition seamlessly from day to night. Even better: everything is made in LA and is easy on the wallet, with camis starting at $60 (on sale for $30!), dusters going for $120 (on sale for $80), and long-sleeved maxi dresses sewn from luxe Italian silk for $208.
Ahead of Between Ten’s fall collection launch, we chatted with Steinmann to find out the story behind the brand, how LA inspires its designs, why it was important for the quartet to keep production in LA, and more.
Read on below, then shop the brand online here or IRL at Artists & Fleas in Venice (October 22nd and December 3rd) and DTLA Arts District (November 19th).
What were you and your sisters doing before founding the line, and what’s everyone’s role in the brand?
I pursued a career in fashion after school, working in merchandising and planning at the headquarters of Nasty Gal for two years. Leaving a steady job to create a company with my sisters was a huge risk but something I knew I always wanted to do and wanted to do sooner rather than later.
Stephanie (who handles customer service, logistics, and operations), has worked as a customer service and operations manager for many years for multiple companies. She heads up everything from shipping to organizing various pop-up shops.
Christina is actually an orthopedic physician assistant; she heads up our financial department. Funny fact, she sometimes will help sew on labels on samples using her experience in the operating room!
Monica’s background is in marketing/PR and event planning. She uses her eye to help with design and also helps organize our pop-up shops.
Why was it important to keep production in the U.S.?
It is important for us to be as close to the product as possible, to see the process of sampling and production and perfect it every step of the way. To be able to go to our factory in 25 minutes to talk to our production managers about changes and fits whenever we need to is a luxury and only makes the product better for our customer in the end.
Knowing that our workers are being paid fairly and there is no child labor involved makes us proud.
We are able to turn our garments around in the whole process from sampling to production in just a few weeks, and this allows us to do so. Most importantly, it is important for us to keep our production domestic and create jobs locally; knowing that our workers are being paid fairly and there is no child labor involved makes us proud.
How has being an independent label in LA allowed you to thrive?
LA has so much to offer in terms of inspiration, network, and resources to create. Being independent, we are able to follow our own rules and guidelines and just simply focus on creating clothing that we know is wearable. We find fabrics we love, and make a garment out of them within just a week, since we are able to be so close to our factory. Seeing our work through to fruition every step of the way is extremely satisfying.
LA also has a very strong network of women starters and creators that we are inspired by every day. Whether they are creating social media companies, jewelry brands, meeting these women allow us to thrive within this network as we support each other and use word of mouth about each others’ companies and brands. There are so many times I meet women at an event and the next day they are shooting our clothes with their jewelry [and other products], which turns out to be extremely beneficial to both brands. And that is truly amazing.
How has LA inspired your designs?
LA inspires our designs in every way. From the weather, to the people, we are always creating for practicality. All of our designs lend to the versatility that all LA women embody. Living in the city, LA women are always on the go — so we aim to provide them with designs that allow easy transitions from day into night, from city to beach.
We want women to be able to think less, own less, and have to pack less wherever they go! Most of our designs are pretty simple and not so complex, making it easy for women to be able to wear multiple times in a span of a short time.
What’s coming down the pipeline for B10?
We are planning a few really awesome events in the coming months, for women to be able to try our clothing on in person. At these events, we are planning on letting our customers create too — stay tuned for invites!
We are also switching to a wholesale business, and will be selling to stores and other online boutiques starting spring ’17. We are so very excited about the new fabrics we’ve chosen and the silhouettes we are creating, that we wanted to expand our distribution.