The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer | 40 Under 40 Class of 2020
Sarah Jessica Parker
GET TO KNOW ABBY
Abby Gross, owner of CHANT, combines fashion with environmental consciousness. She creates eco-friendly clear handbags that are perfect for concerts, sporting events, live shows and music festivals. Learn all about what inspires this small business owner and fashion designer in her extended interview.
What inspired you to go into this line of work?
I’ve always had a passion for fashion and have become a large supporter of the environmental movement over the last several years, so being able to start a business that could combine the two in some way was the inspiration for my company, CHANT.
What challenge did you overcome to get where you are today?
I moved to Los Angeles from Nebraska right after graduating college, so being away from family and supporting myself financially in a large and expensive city for several years was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life.
Did someone help you get to where you are today, like a mentor?
Yes, my boss Pam from my previous job as a handbag sales and marketing director. She had 30 years of experience in our industry and continues to be a wonderful mentor and friend.
What do you love most about your job?
Getting to be creative and see my designs come to life.
Early Bird or Night Owl
Mountains or Beach
Cats or Dogs
Left Brain or Right Brain
Physical Book or Audiobook
Describe yourself in three words.
Passionate, driven and loyal.
Your life philosophy is…
Trust your journey.
What is the best piece of advice you received?
Never stop learning.
If someone handed you an airline ticket to a place of your choosing, where would you go and why?
Hong Kong! I’ve never been to Asia and that’s where my handbags are produced, so I’d love to meet my wonderful manufacturers face to face for the first time as well as explore the city and learn more about the culture.
What’s something you cannot live without?
Family, friends and my two cats, Charlotte and George.
Name a book you read that positively shaped you.
“#Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso
If you weren’t working in the industry that you are, what would you be doing instead?
I’d love to be doing something with music!
How do you unwind or relax after a long day?
I like to meditate and binge Netflix documentaries.
The most rewarding aspect of your job is…
Knowing that I’m providing fashionable as well as eco-conscious products to my customers, allowing them to help the environment and look good while doing it.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why?
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Help fight climate change for a better planet.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Drinking enough water every day. Who knew it had so many benefits?! Ha!
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Throw on a quick 10-minute meditation from one of my meditation apps on my phone.
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be money, time, energy, etc.)
Teaching myself how to code and create websites. I’m still learning, but it has definitely saved me lots of money, time and headache knowing how to do things to my business websites on my own.
Name a confident woman of character who you look up to? Why her?
My mother, Deb. She has always been an unwavering cheerleader in my life through all its ups and downs. She continues to help me out with my current business whenever I need it, and we always joke that she’s my forever Employee of the Month.