Nancy Mills : Tabby Biddle Interview
Interview with Lotus Blossom Style Clothier Tabby Biddle
By Nancy Mills
Tabby Biddle is great. I know what a way to start an interview, but she is. A former yoga teacher (both certified and a Phoenix Rising yoga therapist), she stopped teaching last year to devote full time to her rapidly expanding business, Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company.
I've had the pleasure of knowing Tabby for awhile now, and one wild weekend we worked together selling her company's fabulous eco-friendly t-shirts at the Ecogift Festival in Santa Monica. I mean who would have thought we would have bonded over bamboo t-shirts?
Born in Philadelphia, educated on the East Coast, Tabby, age 39, eventually went on to earn a Masters in Education, became certified as a teacher of English as a Second Language from Cambridge, received a Creative Writing Certificate from Georgetown University, and graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School and Outward Bound. Wow.
In between all this, she has traveled to such places as Nepal, India, Tibet, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Tunisia, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, England, Ireland, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and she spent ten summers leading outdoor adventure trips in northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Another wow.
Currently a resident of California, Tabby who recently got married in India, runs her business from her home in Santa Monica. As she says, "On August 1, 2007, I conceived Lotus Blossom Style and began working on it right away. I wrote my business plan in two afternoons at the Santa Monica Public Library (as thorough as I knew how to get it at the time). I launched the website and sales three months later in November, 2007."
Now, over 20 stores carry her t-shirts, and she has a growing on-line business for her products as well. Founder and CEO Tabby Biddle has quite a story to tell. And...roll the drums...she is also moving in the direction of becoming a media queen. Go Tabby. I invite you to read her inspiring interview.
Q. Tabby, what is a yoga lifestyle company?
A. A yoga lifestyle company is a company that supports living a yoga lifestyle. To me, a yoga lifestyle means having a commitment to personal growth alongside a willingness to evolve and change and serve others in that process. A yoga lifestyle encourages healthy living physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Q. What are the types of products that Lotus Blossom Style carries?
A. Lotus Blossom Style carries Goddess Tees for women, Live Your Truth Tees for women, Live Your Truth Tees for men, Organic Love Onesies and Tees for babies and children.
Q. Are you the designer? If so, how do you come up with your designs and then transfer them to the t-shirts?
A. I am the main designer. I collaborate with a local artist and friend, Lindsay Frame, to create the artwork for the tees. I give Lindsay my vision and sense feeling of the design, she meditates with this information and then gets her own vision which always seems to be very in sync with mine. She draws the image and shows it to me, I give her feedback, she revises and we go back and forth a few times until the image feels just right to both of us. As for the shirts themselves, I have designed the bamboo inside/out stitch long sleeve tee and because of the minimum order requirements on your own designs, I have picked out blanks from other manufacturers.
Q. Your t-shirts are eco-friendly. What does that mean? And why do you feel it is so important to "go green", particularly now?
A. Eco-friendly means friendly to the earth. It means taking care of our earth the best we can. I created the company as an eco-friendly company because I couldn't imagine making clothing that was adding to the already high level of pollution and sweatshop scenario. Eco-friendly is not perfect. It does not mean no toxins or pollutants whatsoever, but is does mean fewer and it is a step in the right direction for clothing manufacturers. I thought that as more and more of us started small companies that were green, we would have an influence on consumers and eventually influence bigger companies to go green. Consumers have shown that they want to buy green and this has indeed influenced the bigger companies. It actually happened a lot faster than I thought it would. It is so important to go green in any way we can because we cannot survive polluting at the high level we have been. Everyone needs to make a change even in a small way and buying clothing that is made with fewer pollutants as part of the growing and manufacturing process is a step in that direction.
Q. I know your company primarily carries women's t-shirts to connect them to the divine feminine energy so when, how, and why did you start carrying a men's and kid's line?
A. I started the company for women and children. I wanted women to be empowered by recognizing the divine power of the feminine and wanted children to be surrounded by messages of love and blossoming into their potential. When I was creating the company I was in a Ladies Who Launch "incubator." The women there felt strongly that I should not cut out men from my clothing line and that they needed to be included in some way. I resisted. Finally I caved thinking that perhaps they were right that I needed to open up to the divine balance between feminine and masculine. This served me personally, but it has not served the company. Selling men's clothing has been an uphill struggle and one that I have finally let go of. I still have inventory, but have taken the men's clothing off of my website and trust that the clothing will find it's right home when the time is right.
Q. How would you like to see your company expanding?
A. I am at a transition point of finally acknowledging and accepting that my dream is not to be a famous clothier, but rather being a woman who is famous for empowering others to tell their stories and live their truth. Lotus Blossom Style was created for this exact purpose, but somehow I get caught up in the business aspect of it and lost site of its deeper purpose. Right now I am transitioning back to its deeper purpose and am leaning toward having myself, Tabby Biddle, as my brand and Lotus Blossom Style as one of the products that I offer as a transformational tool for women.
Q. You write the popular "The Goddess Diaries" blog. How does that fit into your company model?
A. I started the Goddess Diaries blog to initiate what I wanted to create for other women. It is my passion and purpose to inspire women to tell their stories and share our lives with one another so that we can understand each other and not live in fear or shame or isolation and can work together as a loving, compassionate team. I thought that if I wrote down my truth, others would be inspired to do the same. This fits into my newly developing company model with myself as the brand name. Once I started blogging for own my company, I was picked up by The Huffington Post, Intent.com, Yogamates.com, and Gaiam. Now I am writing a book. My new company model is unfolding and it looks like media will be a big part of it.
Q. What are your goals for Lotus Blossom Style? Personally (I understand you are writing a book?)
A. As I mentioned earlier, through the process of creating and building Lotus Blossom Style, I have discovered that my passion is not to be a clothier, but my passion at its core is to empower women. Creating Lotus Blossom Style to offer shirts that celebrate feminine power and wisdom was one step in that direction and certainly empowered me to become a businesswoman and use my voice in a bigger way.
Now I am onto the next step which is creating a brand around myself. I am in this process right now. What I know is that I am here to inspire and help other women tell their stories. My life has been about personal growth and transformation and I want to offer safety, community and support for other women to go through their processes and share their stories with the world. One step in that direction for inspiring many women is the book that I am writing right now which centers on taking a leap, trusting the process and living one's truth.
Q. Tabby, why do you feel that you are a Spirited Woman?
A. I am a Spirited Women because I live my passions and dreams. I never let myself fall into a place of doldrum and despair. I have been close, but I am a true believer in Life and that we truly can live our dreams. I have mountain climbed in the Himalayas, white water rafted class five rapids, gone after and received the jobs that I desired, taken care of young children, taught yoga for healing and empowerment to adults and children, traveled all over the world, found and married the man of my dreams, starred on stages in New York and Los Angeles to live out my childhood dream as a singer, lived in an Indian ashram, sat in silence for 10 days at a time in meditation on several occasions, met and studied with the Dalai Lama, fell in love with a Tibetan, lived out many romances that my heart desired, and more often than not take the leap!
© 2009 Nancy Mills. All rights reserved.
Nancy Mills is the Creator of the Spirited Woman Approach to Life, a self-inspirational writer for women, and the publisher of the highly successful Spirited Woman Blogger Team. More »