I want to introduce you to my new friend, Ripley Rader. Her name alone has a ring to it, don’t you think? It’s easy to remember, catchy, and cool; and all of those adjectives perfectly apply to her. Ripley is a fashion designer… but there is more to her than just the beautiful clothes she makes. A former musical theater performer with stints both on and Off-Broadway, Ripley headed to Hollywood to seek the warmer weather and continue her career in show biz. However, all that changed for her several years ago while standing in a line in Las Vegas when a woman approached her and asked her where she got the jumpsuit she was wearing. She told her that she made it herself. It turns out that Ripley has been sewing since she was a child and the jumpsuit, with its flattering and effortless design, was her own creation. The woman turned out to be the owner of Rocks and Silk located in the iconic Fred Segal store; she asked Ripley if she could make more of them, and, if she could, she would put them in her store. And the rest, as they say, is history. She went from being a singer/dancer to fashion designer, almost overnight. Her jumpsuits were so popular that Ripley began designing other items of clothing, and, in no time, the fashion label “Ripley Rader” was born. Last year, Ripley partnered with Neiman Marcus, and can now reach women on a global level. Check out the entire Ripley Rader collection here.
Now I will admit, I had never heard of Ripley Rader until last week, when my friend and fellow influencer, Janet Gunn, of Grateful Gardenia, featured Ripley on her IG story. Janet shared that Ripley had designed fabulous facemasks in sequins and cotton. When you purchase one of her masks, she sends two to people who are desperate need: healthcare professionals, parents of children receiving chemotherapy, at-risk youth—all are recipients of Ripley’s generosity. “This all started as a whim,” she told me during our recent telephone conversation.” “I joined the #millionmaskchallenge, where sewers from around the country were challenging each other to produce as many masks as they could.” Ripley turned out 100 masks in two days; she then recruited a couple of her now quarantined employees, and before she knew it, they were turning out 2,000 masks per week. The masks ship out on the day that the order is received; she and her business partner husband fulfill each order. And she does this all with a spirit and gratitude that is palpable through the phone lines. And this week, Forbes just included Ripley as one of 30 fashion designers who are pivoting to make stylish Coronavirus masks, while serving the greater cause. Ripley calls her masks the Look Good Do Good Masks.
In addition to having a career as a fashion designer, Ripley has mentored at-risk teen girls particularly girls age thirteen-fourteen. She recently launched a day camp called Rocky Road Camp, where girls from across economic backgrounds come together to attend workshops led by successful female entrepreneurs, CEOs, and creatives, all of whom serve as outstanding role models for these future leaders.
I think that Ripley Rader is living the best version of hers or any woman’s life. She is a leader and role model who deeply understands gratitude and the genuine act of giving back. If you purchase one of her masks, you will also be giving back. To me, this is a win-win situation. In addition, you will be supporting a small business owner. That makes three wins! Ripley masks are also available to ship to Canada. Ripley Rader, you are my hero, a true inspiration!
To order your mask and provide two for those in need, click HERE.