Happy birthday to our founder, Lindsay Albanese!
It's our founder, Lindsay Albaneses' birthday, and for those of you that may not know, her former life was spent traveling the world with celebrities as a fashion stylist. She worked with Sarah Hyland and Kristin Cavallari, as well as for American Idol and Britney Spears' music video, "Toxic".... before changing hat-wearers lives with TOPTOTE! So in honor of her birthday and the overwhelming support and success she's received since becoming an inventor and making her entrepreneurial dreams a reality- we thought we would take a walk down memory lane and chat about life leading up to TOPTOTE.
What made you get into fashion styling? Was it always a dream of yours?
L: I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer but then I went to design school and hated all the technical work. So I heard of a few friends assisting celebrity fashion stylists and the career really piqued my interest so I started to intern as well. The moment of my first experience with styling I knew it was what I wanted to do forever- or so I thought at the time!
What were your rose and your thorn of your career as a fashion stylist?
L: There are too many roses to count. But I think the first time I was ever recognized in a major publication for my work as a stylist. I was 24 years old and US Weekly quoted me about Awards season in their magazine as a celebrity stylist. It was that "I MADE IT" moment. This was 2004 and US Weekly was HUGE. My Mom even framed the article! Unfortunately, there are many thorns as well and those will be in my book, haha! But what I can say is that working with celebrities and in the entertainment industry is not for the weak or faint of heart. It is a cut-throat business with a lot of intimidation and overwhelming expectations at all touchpoints of the career. I cried many times!
When and how did the idea of TOPTOTE transpire?
L: Like most people, I was sick of the hat carrying inconvenience and I thought, there HAS to be a better way- and there sure was! I still can't believe I thought of something that no one has created before. I think about it every week.
Have you always been a hat-wearer??
L: I'm actually not that girl who's always in a hat. I typically mostly wear them for sun protection.
Did you ever think you would start your own company? Much less be an INVENTOR of a product?
L: NO.WAY. I thought I was going to be a stylist forever. Fashion styling was my first true passion in life. But I started very young and had an incredibly successful career and once I had a moment to breathe about 8 years in I thought, I think there's something else out there for me. I truly felt it in my gut!
What is your advice to people who have an idea for a product and or company that they are thinking about pursuing?
L: So much advice. Just go for it. Figure out small ways you can bring your idea to fruition. Small and consistent movements towards your goal will eventually help it build and grow. Consistency and persistence are the magic in what makes any dream a reality. Start and don't stop.
Did you think people would have such an overwhelmingly positive response to TOPTOTE?
L: No, I had only hoped. I didn't want to get my hopes too high because so much was on the line financially and well, I'm a bit "known" amongst my peers in the entertainment industry. What I did know was that I was dealing with this issue and there was no solution out there and I had to give it a shot before someone else did. I swear it was a calling that wouldn't go away!
And lastly, for those that are obsessed with TOPTOTE, because it's life-changing for hat-wearers and genius! Any new, exciting things in the works that we can look forward to?
L: YES. We are launching a collaboration with a very popular brand in November and we have 2 new products (non-TOPTOTE related) launching in 2020!