I’m Rosalyn, the brain and soul behind OAT & OCHRE. Let me walk you through my wild ride to running a beloved, ethical fashion shop. It’s been a journey full of twists, turns, and unexpected detours. Imagine a teenager, totally enamored with the bustling world of retail fashion, yet quietly convinced she just didn’t fit the mold. That was me, feeling out of place, doubting my own creativity, and not seeing my potential (oh, how I wish I could go back and shake some sense into that girl!).
I eventually veered off into teaching, thinking it’d mesh well with my future family plans and my knack for connecting with kids more than adults. Teaching was fulfilling, in its own way. I gave my all to working with Indigenous youth, special needs kids, and the little ones in early childhood education. But deep down, I knew something was missing. Even as I juggled teaching with being a mom to my first son and then being pregnant with my twins, the passion just wasn’t there.
I took early maternity leave due to my high-risk pregnancy with the twins, stepping into a period of intense self-reflection. That’s when my family life really kicked into high gear—I was a full-time mom, navigating the chaos and joy of raising three boys. Then, along came my daughter in 2020, right when the world turned upside down. Stuck at home, dealing with a whirlwind of emotions and a touch of existential crisis, I found myself drawn back to my first love: fashion.
Diving into the slow fashion scene was like opening Pandora’s box. Amidst a sea of greenwashing and confusing claims, I sought authenticity and truth. Trying to get straight answers from brands felt like hitting my head against a wall. And the frustration of finding out a seemingly ethical purchase was anything but ethical? Infuriating.
That’s when the idea for OAT & OCHRE really took root. I was craving a space where ethical wasn’t just a label but the heart and soul of the business. Transitioning from education to entrepreneurship was daunting, but it felt right. OAT & OCHRE was my leap of faith, born out of a desire to make a difference.
This adventure has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. I’ve learned so much about slow fashion, about resilience, and about myself. It’s transformed me in more ways than I can count, making me a better partner, mom, friend—you name it. Diving into ethical fashion can be overwhelming, especially when you start grappling with the cost of truly sustainable choices. But it’s a journey worth taking, and I’m here to guide you through it.
OAT & OCHRE isn’t just a shop; it’s a movement. A place for open, honest conversations about the impact of our fashion choices on the world and the people in it. So, if you’ve got questions, or if you just want to chat about navigating the complexities of slow fashion, I’m all ears. Reach out anytime—via email, Instagram, or any way you prefer. Let’s embark on this journey together.
All the best,
Founder, OAT & OCHRE