Behind the Brand: Natalia Castillo of Escapada Living
Before setting out on a luxurious beach vacation, a woman typically fills her suitcase with colorful outfits. The brand that is quickly filling the suitcases and closets of the spirited, modern woman is Escapada. Whether the sun is shining or snow is falling, Escapada creates the feeling of an exotic getaway.
Based in Charleston, South Carolina, it is one of the fastest growing beach and resort wear companies. The company prides itself on providing the modern day woman with colorful, dynamic prints in classic silhouettes. Its relaxed, feminine styles are what make it Inc. Magazine’s second fastest growing company in South Carolina. The innovative brand is carried in boutiques and resorts around the world. It also has a heart for global welfare, donating a portion of its proceeds to charities focusing on childhood education and environmental issues.
The legendary Natalia Castillo, founder and CEO, talks to Carolina STYLE about Escapada and shares her vision of the future for the quickly growing brand.
Having worked with a variety of women’s clothing companies and manufacturers for more than two decades, what inspired you to start Escapada?
I was vacationing in St. Tropez in June 2009 and was inspired by the colorful resort wear in the French Riviera. I saw a void in the American market for bright, effortless clothing at a “lux for less” price point. Upon returning home in the fall of 2009, I took that inspiration and used it to launch Escapada.
How would you describe the Escapada woman?
The Escapada woman is fun, happy, and easygoing. She loves color and effortless style, and she has a genuine joy for life that she communicates through her vibrant wardrobe.
There is no typical day. Half of my time is spent traveling and the other half is spent in the office, strategizing with my team on creative projects, operations, sales, and human resources. I also spend a lot of time working with our production manager in Indonesia via Skype – the difference in time zones results in lots of late nights!
What is the biggest challenge for someone in your role? What is the best?
My biggest challenge is time management. There is so much opportunity and not enough time to get everything done. I try not to turn down any business prospects, and a dedicated, enthusiastic staff is key to that approach. It has been a huge challenge to hire, train, and manage great people.
The best part of my role is the constant change. There is always something new on the horizon or another fresh, innovative idea to implement. I’m never bored, and I am so grateful for that.
What are the three most important factors someone should have if they want a career in fashion?
Creativity, persistence, and the ability to react quickly to changing trends are all important characteristics in the fashion industry.
Photos by: Laura Bennett
The above interview is an excerpt from Natalia’s interview in STYLE: The Winter Book 2014