Susan Easton, Founder of From the Road
One of our favorite things we’ve encountered since launching Pause. is the community of supportive, entrepreneurial women we’ve crossed paths with. One of these inspiring women is Susan Easton. She was among the first to hear about our little fashion shirt business and she has been nothing short of positive and supportive from the beginning. So we want to introduce you to this noteworthy woman - someone you should take pointers from when it comes to both fashion and travel. Her background stems from graphic design and brand strategy, but her personal travels and appreciation for artisans around the world eventually led her to start her own premium label. Her signature scarves and throws can be found at major luxury department stores offline and online from Barneys to Matches Fashion. We caught up with Susan at her beautiful Manhattan abode as she shared with us the birth of From the Road (with the help of Donna Karan herself) and the exciting projects she’ll be launching soon!
How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I actually fell into it. I was a graphic designer and brand strategist by training and trade, but have always loved artisan-made goods and indigenous fashions. Whenever I traveled (which was often), I would look to see what each culture offered in the way of textiles, jewelry, or accessories. I started working with the artisans to make “my own versions” of what they had. In addition, I found ways to incorporate their work into my hotel branding projects. When I was in South America, I had a handwoven wrap/throw made that I showed to a friend. He showed it to Donna Karan who loved it and wanted to carry my line in her Urban Zen stores. From there, my life with artisan fashion started.
When did you get the confidence to start your own brand?
It just naturally progressed. Once I had our collection with Urban Zen, I decided to see if there were other retailers that would like to carry our handwoven limited editions too. Gratefully, a number of amazing stores wanted our work and my brand, From the Road, was born.
What is your favorite thing about From the Road?
I love traveling and working with artisans. I get inspired learning about their cultures and different indigenous hand arts. It feels great to collaborate on pieces that neither of us could have done without each other and I'm happy that our work helps to preserve techniques that are close to disappearing.
Where can we find pieces from From the Road?
We can be found in luxury boutiques around the world including Barneys, Matches Fashion, Isetan, and One Fifteen.
What piece of advice would you give other women looking to start their own businesses?
Do something that you love because starting a business is all encompassing.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from my travels and the artisans that I meet. I like to spend time in the countries where I produce so that the designs each season reflect their origin.
What do you wish you could see or experience more of?
I’d love to see the artisan sector grow and flourish. I enjoy working with the United Nation’s Ethical Fashion Initiative Artisans and want to continue traveling and supporting the hand arts wherever I can.
How has New York influenced your personal style? Who or what else are major influences to your personal style?
I love New York and have called it home for over 20 years. There is a vibrancy and energy that I have not found elsewhere. I get my modern sensibility from the city and pair it with what I find when traveling.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share with us?
We have a number of interesting, upcoming projects. We are collaborating with Monocle Magazine on holiday throws. We have beautiful new pieces arriving shortly to Donna Karan’s Urban Zen, and are launching handwoven wispy linen tunics and caftans for resort and spring on our website at fromtheroad.com.