Small businesses are often referred to as the backbone of the US economy. During the past year, that cornerstone came under pressure like never before. As the pandemic posed unique challenges, retailers were forced to adjust and adapt in true entrepreneurial fashion. In celebration of Small Business Month, Klarna is spotlighting a selection of small businesses within our network to share their stories of resilience and innovation.
Meet Wolven: Kiran Jade is the Founder & CEO of Wolven. Making sustainability sexy, Wolven creates empowering, eco-friendly apparel from recycled BPA-free plastic water bottles. Designed in small batches in Los Angeles, Wolven’s workout and swimwear prove that basics can be anything but boring.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I founded Wolven in college and wanted to merge all of my passions into a business — I am a fine art painter and was in yoga teacher training at the time and wanted to find a way to create sustainable yoga clothing that was inspired by my heritage, and by India, the birthplace of Yoga. My goal was to merge Eastern imagery with the western yoga practice in an environmentally friendly way.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business as a result of the pandemic?
Through the pandemic, many of our brick and mortar retail partners have had to close down. It has been sad to see so many yoga studios and boutiques close down, some permanently. We have made an effort to try to support our retail partners in their efforts to pivot to selling online.
Name a digital tool you couldn’t do business without.
Slack for workplace communication.
What have you recently read or listened to that has been an inspiration for your work?
I’m a huge fan of Brene Brown and absolutely love her Dare to Lead podcast. Her two-part episode on Armored versus Daring Leadership is one of my favorites.
What do you view as the greatest benefit to being an entrepreneur?
Every day is a little bit different, which keeps things exciting and keeps my mind working. I think I would be easily bored if I had to do the same thing every day so it is great to be in a fast-paced environment that is constantly evolving.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs on building and running a successful business?
One of my mentors always says “go slow to go fast” — and I love that. Sometimes you have to slow down in order to get to where you want to go. We live in a culture where people and businesses are often valued for fast, unsustainable growth. Sometimes it is more valuable to slow down, listen, reflect, and build from a strategic place, rather than to grow just for the sake of growing.
Are you a small business owner? Apply for your chance to be a part of Klarna’s Small Business Impact Initiative here.