Here at Twinseperable HQ, we are always looking for ways to give back. We are also no strangers to female strength and that is one of the reasons we cannot wait for the rest of the world to get to know Kalypto as we have.
For today’s WCW we sit down with co-creators and do-gooders; our soul-sisters, Ali and Sam Darrow. Gorgeous, on the inside and out, read below to get to know these women-bosses.
What is Kalypto?
Kalypto is a socially conscious and uniquely crafted underwear brand, built for women who want to make a positive impact and look good while doing so. For every pair of underwear purchased, a portion of the profit goes toward supporting women in rural Africa who don’t have access to feminine hygiene products. This epidemic causes more than 100 MILLION girls to fall behind or drop out of school every year, solely because their monthly period—a natural bodily function that literally sustains human life—is treated like a shameful disease. Together, we can enable them to stay in school and empower them to live up to their full potential.
Our brand and designs are inspired by the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree because it’s our definition of natural beauty and we’re in awe of how it sheds layers of bark to reveal its true colors. As a reminder of the importance of inner beauty, you’ll find traces of the tree’s colors woven into every pair of your underwear. We believe in supporting brands that align with not only your personal taste, but your personality. Kalypto is the underwear brand that empowers you to wear who you are.
How did you come up with the name?
While visiting my family in Florida, I (Ali) spent the day with my mom and grandma at an outdoor art exhibit in Miami. As we walked around outside I came across the most beautiful tree I have ever seen – the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. Mesmerized by how cool the bark was, I snapped a quick picture. Little did I know that months later I would find that photo I had taken on my iPhone, and it was then that I decided the unique bark would somehow tie into our branding for what became known as our company, Kalypto. After getting lost in a googling-spree, I discovered that the root word of “Eucalyptus” is the Greek word “Kalypto” meaning “to cover”, perfect for an underwear brand!
We were unsatisfied with the underwear shopping experience and styles available to us. We thought,
“Why do we feel loyal to brands in all other aspects of life, besides our underwear—the first garment we put on every morning that is closest to the most intimate parts of our bodies?”
We realized the majority of our friends were also buying their underwear by default, not because they were in love with the product or brand. This ‘AHA’ moment, combined with our undying desire to create a positive impact on our world, manifested in Kalypto—a socially conscious women’s underwear brand, inspired by natural beauty + our mission to empower women everywhere.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a startup?
Since neither Sam nor I (Ali) have a background in design, the hardest part has been perfecting all the details that go into creating our underwear designs. We’ve learned that even a seemingly simple garment like a pair of underwear has way more elements to consider than you’d expect. While at times it can be frustrating to learn everything from scratch (and sometimes the hard way), we remind ourselves that it is all part of the process and will be that much more rewarding when we can finally say that we are wholeheartedly in love with every little feature of our designs. We’re definitely perfectionists when it comes to our product!
Are there any specific entrepreneurs that inspired you?
Founder of TOMS – Blake Mycoskie, Founder of Spanx – Sara Blakely, Founder of Pencils of Promise – Adam Braun, Founder of Eff Y Bee – Alyssa Kuchta
Where do you see yourself in 2 years?
We see ourselves expanding Kalypto’s product offerings and growing into a complete lifestyle brand, joining Huru in Africa on their distribution trips, growing our team and building a company culture around creativity and collaboration. Most importantly, making a positive and powerful impact by empowering women to complete their education and live up to their full potential.
Is it just the two of you?
Sam’s boyfriend, Matt Goldstein has played an integral role in the early stages of starting up Kalypto. His background in business and finance have been super valuable and he consistently brings a fresh perspective to the table, earning him the title of Ideation Manager. Our parents have also been incredibly supportive from the very beginning and we’re extremely grateful for their belief in us and the examples they’ve set. They’re both self-employed—our dad, Frank has had his own chiropractic practice that he started over 30 years ago and our mom, Karen opened a yoga studio over 15 years ago. Fun fact: they’re located right next to each other in the same shopping center!
When do you hope to launch Kalypto?
We are aiming to launch in Fall 2017!
What are you most afraid of?
Not living up to our full potential and looking back on life wishing we had done something differently.
How do you hope this makes a global impact?
We feel so blessed to be born into a country and family where we’ve been raised to believe that we could do anything we put our minds to. We want all girls to have that privilege.
Q & A
What would the title of your biography be?
A: Purpose Beneath the Surface
S: Less is More
Describe yourself in one cocktail
A: An espresso martini – not only are they delicious, but nothing says work hard, play hard like espresso mixed with vodka.
S: Basil infused mezcal margarita. I like to keep things fresh and fun in life and absolutely love everything related to the Spanish culture! The music, food, way of life, etc.
What do you do in your free time?
A: Living in NYC provides an enormous variety of exceptional hidden gems to explore. I love seeing comedy and broadway shows when I can, and I’m also a huge fan of Classpass, which enables me to take workout classes at all different types of studios around the city. I try to go to Pop Physique’s barre classes as often as possible.
S: New York is one of the best places in the world to explore restaurants and this is one of my favorite weekend hobbies. I am a yoga instructor so I love to teach and take as many classes as I can, especially a nice sweaty hot yoga flow class. Traveling is very high up on my to-do list and I want to try and go to two new countries a year. This year is Iceland and Japan so I am super pumped for those trips. Being outdoors in nature is tough in New York City but there are pockets of relaxing outdoor spots sprinkled throughout the city.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
A: At the moment, my favorite place to travel is back home to south Florida. We’re super close with our family so whenever the opportunity to visit our parents and Grandma Mollie presents itself, I jump on it. It always feels like the perfect getaway to escape the hectic city for some sunshine and relaxing family time.
S: So far it was to Bali, Indonesia last summer. It is one of the most magical, spiritual, and beautiful places I have ever seen. Was a pretty indescribable trip and would recommend to anyone!
Coffee or Tea?
A: Large iced coffee with a splash of almond milk pretty much every single day… I will admit I have an addiction. That being said, I also first drink at least one glass of lemon cucumber water every morning to stay hydrated.
S: Bulletproof coffee all the way! If you’ve never heard of it check out Dave Asprey’s website, the creator of Bulletproof.
What’s the number 1 thing on your bucket list?
A: Taking a Europe trip is definitely #1, especially to Italy and Spain. I haven’t traveled to Europe yet, but I plan to make it a top priority in the next couple of years.
S: Stay in the ocean bungalow villas that are in the middle of the ocean in Fiji or the Maldives.
Who is a nasty woman that inspires you? Why?
A: I have listened to several podcast interviews and have read a lot about Sara Blakely’s story and I’m always left feeling inspired. Her willingness to consciously put herself in situations that are outside of her comfort zone time and time again has taken her from being miserable, selling fax machines door-to-door, to becoming America’s youngest female self-made billionaire. She is proof that anyone can succeed as long as you believe in what you’re doing and refuse to give up when times get challenging. She’s also an FSU graduate – go noles!
S: We recently met an amazing young woman named Alyssa Kuchta who is the CEO and founder of Eff Y Bee jewelry company. She started this company right after college completely on her own and has grown it now, 4 years later, into a profitable company that she is still is the sole owner of. It is extremely impressive how well she carries herself and is so well spoken. She does not have any background in business so it’s amazing how successful her thriving company has become!
Do you have a background in fashion/business?
A: No, I graduated from FSU with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a minor in Mandarin Chinese (ni hao!). Growing up, I always wanted to pursue a more creative path, I was just never really clear on exactly what I wanted to do. Being a social entrepreneur provides the freedom, creativity, and control of starting a business from the ground up, as well as the fulfillment and purpose of making a major impact on the lives of girls in rural Africa, who desperately need our help.
S: I do not have a background in fashion (quite the opposite, actually). I do have my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting and received my CPA license a couple years ago.
What is your favorite part about Manhattan?
A: There’s a special energy in the city unlike anywhere I’ve ever experienced and I feel like I have the whole world at my fingertips. Every time I leave the city I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to live here.
S: Everyone is super motivated and you can feel that energy at all times. It keeps you going when times get tough.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you or Kalypto?
A: If you’re not happy where you are or with what you’re doing, you really can change it. My advice is to start by surrounding yourself with the books, podcasts, people, environments that you feel inspired by and listen to your intuition. Remember, you don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step – it’s all about baby steps!
S: Fake It ‘til You Make it! Also, shout out to baby goats, the cutest and funniest animal of all time.