As a woman-owned, sustainable tech company operating in the fashion space, we love to feature fellow women who are making an impact in bringing eco-friendly practices to the industry.
We recently sat down with Greenlist client and Cécile de Fleur Founder, Jennifer Reyes, to discuss all things entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, and finding motivation to keep pursuing your dreams.
On Cécile de Fleur
First things first, Jennifer shared what Cécile de Fleur is all about.
“I design timeless and ethereal couture dresses with purpose and practicality. The collection features interchangeable sleeves and straps, creating different looks with the same dress. Inspired by lingerie gowns from the 19th and 20th centuries, but with a modern twist.”
Better yet, in true Greenlist fashion, one of our favorite features of the Cécile de Fleur product line is its unique fabric sourcing and sustainable production methods. All products are designed and made with Mulberry Peace Silk — raised mostly indoors in cottages without using any chemical spray, right up to the point where the cocoons would be stifled, or processed with heat, in order to kill the pupa and keep it from breaking through the cocoon.
“Cocoons are all allowed to hatch and breed, and the silk is processed from the hatched cocoons,” Jennifer shares. “In some cases, the cocoons can be pierced or cut open and the butterfly tipped out. This process saves lives of beautiful silk moths but also requires a quarter of the water for degumming compared to conventional silk.”
But Jennifer’s connection to butterflies — and the meaning they represent — doesn’t end there. They’re actually at the core of the Cécile de Fleur brand, stemming from its ethos, trickling down to each and every product made with care right here in the USA. When asked what inspired her to start her brand, Jennifer shared what butterflies meant to her.
“The butterfly metamorphosis process depicts what the brand represents: death and rebirth,” Jennifer explains. “It is fully expressed in the collection from the wildflower hang tags that can be planted and create new life to cruelty-free peace silk, where silkworms are allowed to complete their metamorphosis and transform into butterflies.”
On Entrepreneurship & Women’s Empowerment
Beyond the collection itself, Jennifer’s passion for the environment, entrepreneurship and empowering women all came to mind when describing her brand’s mission and impact.
“I have a strong desire to accomplish my life’s true purpose and create a successful platform where I can contribute to the environment, animals and empower women in a bigger way.” And her partnership with Greenlist is one way to achieve just that. “I get to partner up with kindred-spirited women who share the same core values and beliefs. And just like Girl Scouts who respect nature and protect the environment, we’re determined to make the world a better place than we found it. There’s no better feeling than being part of a sustainable mission with like-minded people.”
Indeed, Jennifer has a lot to be proud of.
“One of my biggest challenges as an entrepreneur is juggling multiple roles in my business, all while being my own therapist. Being a one-woman show on a budget has both its challenges and blessings. Yet I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I have gained more knowledge than what I started with in the first place. I managed to pivot and start a business during the pandemic shutdown, all while being jobless and left in debt. If it weren’t for my setbacks, there wouldn’t be an inspiring brand story to tell. Cécile de Fleur represents the resilient brand it is today and strength for all women.”
If Jennifer had to share a piece of advice with entrepreneurs, it would be to “strengthen your intuition. It’s a powerful tool to guide your business path. It will help you decipher the right manufacturers, the right team to hire or not, and the list goes on. Also, have patience! Patience will help you slow down, make wiser choices, give you a clearer lense and a rational outlook in your decision making. Sometimes, delays are a blessing in disguise to prevent bigger mistakes down the road.”
Throughout it all, Jennifer reminds us that, whatever life throws at us, we can survive it, and even thrive from it.
“Cécile de Fleur stands to remind women going through any life challenges, whether that’s finding your purpose or struggling with a startup. We’re all like a cocoon going through metamorphosis. With patience, faith, and divine timing, we’ll transform into a butterfly.”