Our brand embodies a place that is chic, joyous, playful and fun,” says Gretchen Scott, founder, and CEO of Gretchen Scott Designs. Our mantra is: “Laugh More, Gripe Less, Ignore Critics, Say Yes, Order Dessert, Love Life.” These words are sewn into everything we make. We imagine people smiling as they read those words while dressing.
The brand was born in Gretchen’s living room when she began producing unique flowered baskets. Armed with glue guns, silk flowers, woven baskets, creative passion, entrepreneurial vision, and most importantly, determination, she began her journey. The company quickly outgrew the space and evolved into a lifestyle brand.
Gretchen worked in many different fields before starting her business. She was the former Market Research Director at Smithsonian magazine, sold advertising for Conde Nast, renovated and sold houses, and ran a decorating business. Gretchen says, “Having reinvented myself so many times, I’ve learned how important it is to evolve but to always remember the lessons. The lessons are what make you wiser.”
Travel influences Gretchen’s designs. She finds inspiration wherever she goes. Her designs reflect a global perspective. “India is an integral part of what I design,” says Gretchen. “Indian simplicity clarified even the most complicated design elements. Hand blocks, complex patterns, and vibrant colors define our look. India has taught me to keep my colors true and vivid.”
While Gretchen is always on the lookout for new inspiration, she also looks at the realistic needs of her customers and designs her clothes accordingly. “Clothing that packs easily, transitions from day to night, office to dinner or cocktails, carpool to the swimming pool. If we can provide that, with clean silhouettes and surprise elements – it’s a home run,” explains Gretchen.
Gretchen raises money for many projects. We donate 100% of our sales and cover our own costs. Our first philanthropic project was raising money for Elizabeth’s Hope, the founding root of the Children’s Brain Tumor Project at Weill Cornell. We designed and sold thousands of cotton blouses (now known as the Elizabeth’s Hope blouse, available online) and donated 100% of the proceeds.
Other projects we’ve funded include Loggerhead Marinelife Center, the Janeda L. Batchelor Foundation for Children, Me Strong, and various relief groups in New York and Florida. Currently, we are creating a scholarship program called Georgie’s Scholars at St. Lawrence University (Gretchen’s and her family’s alma mater) in honor of her father, George Sturtz’s memory. We will educate students with the proceeds from our new activewear line.
Gretchen currently lives in Bronxville, New York, with her husband and business partner, Lloyd Buchanan. Her family also includes her entrepreneurial daughter, Amanda, her 94-year-old mother, Helen, and a “mini zoo,” consisting of her boisterous Coton de Tulear named Digby (after the late professor E. Digby Baltzell), a rescue lab named Buttercup, a male cat named Lucy Petunia and an ever-changing menagerie of visiting animals.
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