It’s hard to not envision Iris and Carolina as superheroes of their own comic book, backlit with the wind in their hair, and the ultimate power pose. The duo, behind Everybody.World, has a symbiosis that, when forces combined, can seemingly tackle any challenge you throw at them. Dressed in matching jumpsuits, and an air of sassy, but welcoming confidence, I sat down with these two on a hot arid morning out at Desert & Denim to discuss the inspiring points of a well-lived life, and the fundamentals of the perfect sweatpant.
Iris: I'm Iris Alonzo. I'm the co-founder with Carolina of Everybody World. I handle the brand and creative side, and sales.
Carolina: My name is Carolina Crespo. And I take care of manufacturing of all of our clothing that comes through.
Iris: Our company's Everybody World. Our main thing is recycled cotton t-shirts. They're made from a yarn that we came up and created in the Carolina's using waste from the manufacturing process.
So we make this new yarn, we bring the yarn to LA, we knit it into jersey, and then we cut and sew t-shirts that we sell to the wholesale industry, which get customized for all different kinds of businesses. There's everything from the tiny yoga studio to the tech giant... So competitive pricing is part of it, but it's really about an interesting textile that's made from waste that has a great feel and cut.
And then beyond that, we have a whole wholesale line that we customize in collaboration with people. Then we have a direct to consumer line that we sell online. We also do what we call ‘informal shops’, which is basically just packing up the car and going where the people take us.
Nativen: Awesome. What's your favorite stress-relieving hobby?
Iris: Gosh. I'm pretty into doing the meditation thing.
Carolina: A little meditation at night, trying to sneak one in in the morning if it doesn't get too crazy, but meditating.
Nativen: Who's the woman who's inspired you most?
Carolina: For me, it's my mom, who has been doing the hustle and the kids and work and running the family, running the show. I'm just like, how did you do it all, all at once?
I have two daughters as well. I have a 22 year old and a nine year old. And starting the business and family, doing everything and just trying to find the right balance-
Iris: And then looking back to your mom, that she did that.
There's a long list in my mind right now. But I think I'm going to say one of our contributors, her name is Delores Kerr.
I didn't get into this, but aside from our cotton basics, we have what we call our contributor collection, where we invite interesting people from all over the world, from all walks of life, all ages, all backgrounds, to... We say, okay, this is what we know how to make. We think you're fascinating, we think you have excellent taste. What's the piece in your wardrobe that's missing? And they come up with the piece de resistance, and then we manufacture it, and we sell this item with their name... So it's Margot and Ed’s flight suit, and then we have Delores's wrap top and wrap skirt.
So she is one of our contributors. She's in her mid-80s now. She's a retired nurse and schoolteacher. And she's such an incredibly-
Iris: ... vivacious, wonderful, wonderful woman that has had such a range of experiences. She grew up in extreme poverty. She's black. She grew up in the south, in Alabama, during segregation. Very, very poor family. but she basically made it against all odds as the first family member to go to university. She went to Tuskegee University, and she was the first dark-skinned woman to win Miss Tuskegee. And her middle name is Shine, and everybody would be like, "There's Shine, there's Delores Shine," and that's how she is. She's just glowing. Wonderful, wonderful woman, and she's basically used her life experiences to help better the lives of others. And just maintains such a wonderful poise and way of being.
Nativen: Yeah, that's wonderful. Especially seeing older women, or people in general, who have really lived life, and against all odds, held on to youth and curiosity in really inspiring ways.
Also Prakash. So he designed for us this really wonderful-
Iris: Yeah, the perfect sweatpants, which only come in gray because he thinks that sweatpants should only come in gray. So there's all these nuances to his sweatpants of how they should be. And then he also did this button-up shirt, the perfect button-up, which also has really interesting idiosyncrasies, but they're so subtle that maybe the average person wouldn't notice. But he's in his late 70s, and he wears the same things basically, every single day. So it was just really interesting, how much he's thought about this piece. Button up shirts always have this extra button at the cuff, and he said, "Why do we need that button? I only wear my shirts rolled up." And I said, good point. So the shirt that we made with him doesn't have that button.
I forgot to tell you that they receive 10% of each sale.
Nativen: Oh, that’s great. Okay, three women you'd love to sit around the campfire with, dead or alive.
Iris: Oh, okay. Now I can get into my big list… Dr. Sylvia Earl, is ... Do you want to do a joint list?
Iris: This will be our campfire. Okay, Dr. Sylvia Earl, she's an oceanographer. She's someone who's dedicated her life to saving the oceans. And anything else that is part of her life, she just said, "It’s all about this" ... She just ... No pun intended, dove into it-
Nativen: Or maybe all pun intended.
Iris: Yeah, or all pun intended. She dove into saving ... Doing anything she can that will help save the oceans. She's amazing.
Okay. Oh gosh. Well, I was thinking, what about Danielle Levitt? 'Cause she was always the life of the party, and-
Carolina: Yeah. She's hilarious.
Iris: Okay, so we have a friend, and also a contributor, named Danielle Levitt, and she's a firecracker. She's a self-made, very successful director and photographer. First of all, it's her personality that makes her extremely memorable and likable and probably what makes her a really good director and photographer. She’s just no fear. It's like she somehow brings you into this moment where-
Carolina: Just the energy that she has.
Iris: Where she's not telling you what to do, she gets in there. I think she'd be really fun to have at the campfire, 'cause she'd get everyone talking, and we'd learn so much more about these people that we never would have the guts to get down to the heart of it.
Nativen: So she's the emcee of your campfire, basically?
Iris: And then, let's think of someone that's not living. I mean, can we say Amelia Earhart? We're into these trailblazing women that don't take no for an answer, which is how we had to do our recycled yarn, 'cause basically, everyone was just like ... All these boys in South Carolina were just like, that'll never work.
Carolina: They were like "Sorry pretty ladies"-
Iris: "Little lady, that's so sweet that you want to do that." And we're just like, little lady? We'll show you. and we really had to just bulldoze through it. And I really love stories about women have been told no, and just went on ahead and proved everyone wrong.
Nativen: Yes, absolutely. Very inspiring. Against all odds.
Words of wisdom, or a nugget of advice for somebody who's looking to pursue their creative goals or start a business?
Iris: Caroline? You got your one line, that really has served us well, since we've started, which is “fake it 'til you make it.”
Carolina: We always say, "Yeah, we can do it, we can do it" and turn around and think, how the f*ck are we going to do that? But let's try to figure it out now, and we'll go and get it done. That's usually what we do.
Nativen: I think that's a really powerful way, also, to challenge yourself to learn, or to pull things off that you might not otherwise..
If you could spend a day in someone else's jeans, who would it be?
Iris: I'm going to say Elon Musk.
I was thinking last night, 'cause we were walking around and you could see so many stars here. And we were talking about... My dad was really into telescopes. And I was thinking, it's such a perspective thing, to really start looking at outer space. That would be a really good habit: once a month, to go and find a telescope, and put your mind into the rest of the cosmos. It's such a reminder of how small we are.
Nativen: So small.
What are three things that you cannot live without?
Iris: They're so simple and stupid, but-
Iris: And what's the third one? Chapstick, water ... Yeah, I'm definitely big on hydration. Oh, hot sauce.
Carolina: Oh yeah. You have an obsession with hot sauce.
Iris: I could live without hot sauce, but I gotta have a serrano chili..
Carolina: Something spicy.
Iris: Something spicy. Because for us, if it's not spicy, what's the point of eating it?
Interview by: Lily Hetzler
Photography by: Ashley Turner
This interview has been condensed & edited
all images copyright of Nativen