MELISSA: How did you get started in the fashion world?
NATALIE: There was a designer in Texas that I love, and I wore her garments exclusively. Every time I wore her pieces, I’d get compliments. I’d be at restaurants and people would interject and ask me where my dress is from. It’s because the designer’s fabrics are different, the construction and silhouettes are unique. They’re lady-like but different from what you see and what you can buy off the rack. It was frustrating to me because the only way you could buy her things was in this little store in Dallas. It’s impossible—there’s no online presence. The store was only open between ten in the morning to two in the afternoon, Monday to Friday. I started The SIL to give her more of a platform.
MELISSA: How many designers are on the site currently, and how do you find designers you want to showcase?
NATALIE: The premise of The SIL is that you can’t find the designers anywhere else on the internet. Much of it has been really organic. It’s mostly word of mouth, It’s mostly word of mouth, but one of the first to come on board was handbag designer Hayden Lasher. She was a client of ours and she agreed to do a couple of exclusive items. The jewelry designer Cassandra was a good girlfriend. It started out with friends and has grown organically from that. There is one girl in particular, Molly Moorkamp, who was working at Ralph Lauren and had a custom womenswear business on the side. She wanted to dip her toe in without fully committing to her own business. I offered to give her the platform to do that. She created two styles that have been best sellers, and since then she has started her own line called Molly Moorkamp.
MELISSA: How do you define your own personal style?
NATALIE: I’m really all over the place. The line I am wearing right now, Keehn Deutch, is feminine, sophisticated and elevated daywear. I always wear dresses because I don’t work in the corporate world, so I don’t have to wear slacks and button ups, but at the same time, I like looking sharp when I leave the house. I would never leave the house in workout clothes. I like wearing easy-to-wear, comfortable, easy to pull-off lady-like looks.