While packing for a yoga retreat, got inspired by a garment and launched a fashion brand with no fashion background. Now a seven-figure business and a Certified B Corporation with 30 FTEs & grew last year's sales up to 70%. (Kristi Soomer)

canada fashion fte 11-20 podcast sales $3m-$5m aud Oct 04, 2021

In this episode, I interview Kristi Soomer, the Founder, and CEO of Encircled, a slow fashion brand based in Toronto, Canada, which makes workwear perfect for active individuals that embrace everyday adventure in style, and in comfort. Encircled is a Certified B Corporation, as sustainability and ethics are the core of everything they do. 

A former strategy consultant and no fashion background, Kristi bravely launched a fashion brand that was initially a travel-inspired clothing brand in 2012. It took her six months to refine her first product while working full-time. After 2 years, he left her full-time job and focused her attention on growing her small business which is now a seven-figure business with 30 FTEs, and grew last year’s sales up to 70%. 

Kristi says that what she loves the most in growing a small business is having the ability to impact. She always wants to create a product that gives impact to those who will be wearing it. It has been her favorite thing seeing people loving their products by wearing and tagging them.  

This Cast Covers:

  • A slow fashion brand that makes workwear that embraces everyday adventure in style, and in comfort.
  • Creating versatile, stylish, and ethically designs that work well with active individuals.
  • A Certified B Corporation, as sustainability and ethics are at the core of everything they do.
  • Started as a travel clothing brand where the idea was to travel more with less.
  • A former strategy consultant with no background in fashion but got inspired by a garment while packing for a yoga retreat.
  • Passionate about helping purpose-driven female founders.
  • Define success as a fulfillment of building a business aligned with the values.
  • Encouraging entrepreneurs to look at their profit and loss statements to really understand the key drivers in the business.
  • Described the biggest mindset shift throughout the small business journey that people can do anything if they work hard enough even without a background of it.
  • Emphasizing the power of gratitude and how this affects the people behind the business’s success.

Additional Resources:


“Success always leaves clues and you can’t see those clues unless you really look at the data.” —Kristi Soomer

“I always encourage people to look at the profit and loss statements to really understand those key drivers.” —Kristi Soomer

“There’s never going to be no work to be done if you have effective prioritization skills.” —Kristi Soomer

“Never underestimate the power of acknowledging people and their work.” —Kristi Soomer

“People make mistakes and there’s no problem with that, as long as they take accountability for their mistake and learn from it.” —Kristi Soomer

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