A peek inside The Compassionate Closet: your new source for gorgeous vegan products! Plus 15% off for Vegansaurs! »
What a suave, ethically fancy belt!
Stephanie Boyd is the owner of the brand-new gorgeous vegan online store The Compassionate Closet! Vegansaurus spoke to Stephanie about how and why she decided to open the store, where she finds her inspiration, and more.
Vegansaurus!: When did you start The Compassionate Closet, and where is the HQ located?
Stephanie Boyd: We launched in July 2014, making our debut at the VegFest CO and launching the website later that same month. We’re based in colorful Colorado.
What inspired you to start the store? What were you doing before Compassionate Closet?
My inspiration came from my very own closet. After going vegan and sort of “mastering” what’s on my plate (a task that’s never really done with new veggie food brands, new restaurants, and endless recipes to try!), I turned my attention to my wardrobe and realized that my closet was
a cemetery! Full of wool, cashmere, leather, and silk—I was shocked and disappointed by the lifetime of cruel choices I had made. So when I set out to turn over my closet, I quickly realized that—although there are vegan, cruelty-free, and fair-trade choices out there—you really have to search them out. That is when I decided to help bring vegan fashions to the marketplace and launch The Compassionate Closet!
Damn these shoes are fine.
Why did you choose to make Compassionate Closet online-only? Will there be a physical store in the future?
Although we’re primarily online, we are working hard to open a physical store in the Denver-Boulder area soon. Meanwhile, we’re making our way around to meet-ups, pop-ups, and festivals to promote and to connect with other like-minded, and inspiring people.
How do you choose which products to feature and sell in the store?
Great question! There is a lot of thought that goes into which brands and products we carry. We look for designers with the same values—ethical, sustainable, vegan, cruelty-free, and that give back—and with awesome style, of course! We look for both well-known and aspiring brands, but brands all must be trusted brands. We want to support designers that are leading the way in creating sustainable styles!
Vegan forever! So cool.
You feature some truly amazing, unique vegan products that can’t be found elsewhere (like the Colorado-Vegan sweatshirt I love!) Were you frustrated with other vegan stores’ limited offerings, or did you have a personal “aha!” moment that prompted you to create your own?
All of the above. I love so many of the vegan styles out there, but few one-stop vegan apparel stores exist, and I have a lot of ideas and inspiration spilling over! For example, I am a proud native of Colorado, and as one of the healthiest states in the country, a Vegan Colorado shirt
seemed like an essential for fellow Coloradans to show off their state pride and their vegan values. Now a best seller! Stay tuned for more original styles coming soon!
Cute mini goat bling you can buy from The Compassionate Closet!
Who are your vegan inspirations?
In this meat world, I am inspired by the growing community of fellow vegans and activists! No matter how long or the reasons that led you to veganism, we all have something in common (a core value that shouldn’t be downplayed): we strive to make compassionate, peaceful choices. We all have our own stories of struggles, transition, limitations, and support (or lack thereof); I am inspired by every vegan that has persisted, lives by example, and goes out of their way to educate others of the benefits!
This sweatshirt is great if you’re a vegan who lives in Colorado, or you happen to love Colorado vegans!
How has the reception been to Compassionate Closet? Are you finding it easy to spread the word about it?
A-MAZING!! Feedback and demand have been overwhelmingly positive! I get so many compliments on the website and, most often, “thank you for starting this business! We need more vegan apparel options!” The vegan community has been very supportive helping spread the word. Thank you for your continued support!
Is there anything else you’d like to add for readers?
Yes! We are committed to providing a better life for animals in need. Toward that goal, 5% of all purchases supports the admirable work being done for animal welfare by the people of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. WEAR NO HARM really means something and we want you to know every time you shop with us!
Vegansaurus readers! Save 15% OFF your shopping excursion on The Compassionate Closet with discount code SAVE15 through October 31st!
Denver’s getting it’s own full-time vegan store! Take that, Bay Area!
I already told you about our monthly pop-up, Neat Market, where I got my hands on my first-ever bag of soy curls. They’re so good I risk marital disquiet by picking them out of the stew whenever we cook with them.
Well now Joshua LaBure, Denver’s resident over-achieving vegan (he started Neat Market and Chomp! and I should probably interview him soon), has inked a deal on a storefront and hopes to open the place by July. He’s planning a Kickstarter campaign, so look for an update on that, and read more if you want on Westword's blog.
Meanwhile, in other Colorado vegan news: Reliable sources tell me Native Foods is opening in Boulder on May 29; Trader Joe’s is coming to Denver and Boulder within the next year; the Boulder farmers markets are in full swing and the Denver ones start this week; and on Friday, May 18, the Vegan Van will be parked in front of Sweet Action Ice Cream, serving something amazing and top-secret that may involve waffles and me fainting.
I love Colorado.