In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Michelle Wenke, co-founder of Monrow, a loungewear brand known for its timeless design and comfortable fabrics. Wenke discusses her and her co-founder’s career history in fashion design (0:46), the white space they saw when launching Monrow (2:00), and how they came together to create the brand (3:05). She shares how she stays inspired when working on each new collection (5:13), how her and her co-founder’s garment training makes Monrow’s apparel unique (7:17), and what led to Monrow’s expansion into its first ever activewear collection this year (9:03).

In addition, Wenke discusses how Monrow adapted to the surge in e-commerce demand for loungewear during the COVID-19 pandemic (10:02), the difficulties of leading a team during uncertain times (12:22), and how she’s overcome many challenges over the past decade at Monrow (14:06). She shares her advice for young entrepreneurs on how to stay innovative to survive as the industry changes (18:38) and emphasizes the importance of self-care as a successful business leader (21:01). Lastly, Wenke discusses what she sees in the future for herself and for Monrow (21:51).

Michelle Wenke and Megan George, the design duo behind Monrow, met during their education at the Otis College of Art and Design. After graduating with BFAs, the two initially sought out different paths. Michelle found herself working as a first assistant to famed celebrity stylist Jessica Paster before branching off on her own to style celebrities, music videos, editorial shoots, and television shows. Taking into account Michelle’s experience in styling and Megan’s knowledge of brand development, the pair built upon their strong fashion backgrounds and reunited to create Monrow. The Monrow brand is essentially rooted in its dedication to designing superior clothing for everyday life. Through the brand’s continued success, Monrow has made it clear that when it comes to fashion, the difference truly is in the details.

Date: August 3, 2021

Credits: Michelle Wenke

Duration: 23:15