The Office of Angela Scott Featuring Ripley Rader

Introduce yourself! What is your name and a couple words your loved ones would use to describe you?

I'm Ripley Rader, the founder and Creative Director for my eponymous brand. We're proudly manufactured in LA and after 10 years in business we're on "overnight success". A couple words my loved ones might use to describe me (I hope) are "earnest" and "joyful". I think most people would throw in "driven" as well. When I put my mind to something, I usually make it happen.


How did you get into your line of work?

I've always made my own clothes. I started sewing with my grandmother at age 10. By the time I was in high school, I was making everyone's prom dress and 90s tops we all wore to festivals. At the same time, I was singing and dancing professionally so that was the direction my education at NYU and career went - but even on my Broadway tour, I would sneak into the costume department and sew as much as I could. Once I got to LA, I was unemployed and broke and started making all my clothes again and got scouted by a buyer at Fred Segal who said if I made them in America, she would launch me. It was an incredible launch.


What is the most exciting part about your job?

Connecting with women I adore - both in who we dress and with whom we work. I think fashion can either live at the surface or go deep, and I think we really take into consideration how sacred it is to dress women for important moments in their life. It lights me up, humbles, and inspires me.


What is something about your job that would surprise most people?

I spend about 3% or less of the time actually designing. Founding a company isn't for the faint of heart and there's many pieces in the puzzle. The larger the team we build, the more I get to focus on design and creativity, but it's never as much as I would like to.


How do you balance your personal life and work life? Any advice?

Balance? Ha! 

I think you can do everything - just not at the same time, so I'm really leaning into that. Building a company from nothing to millions takes a tilted mentality so rather than be hard on myself about that, I embrace that this is my season for hustle and growth. I also carve out time to take a dance class or a singing lesson weekly and of course therapy! At the root, I think it's about accepting the season you're in without judgment, knowing nothing is permanent.  


What does it mean to be a “Woman Who Means Business”?

All women mean business. I've never bought into the belief system that drive is masculine and passivity is feminine. WOMEN GET SO MUCH DONE. Wayyy more than men. I'm honored to make clothing that women can wear for all of it. 


What is the best piece of advice you've been given in your career?

My mentor and friend, Kate Sinclair, told me once, "A lot of people are doing themselves very well. Don't be them, be you". I think about that every day and impart it to every woman on my team. It's gold.