Elise DeCamp ’13 has launched Ocelot Market, an ethically sourced online clothing and accessory outlet. Partnering with artisans from around the world, Ocelot brings conscious consumption to the world of wearables.
Launched only four months ago, DeCamp explains what motivated her to take on this challenge.
“Traveling, really,” DeCamp says. “Last year my partner and I quit our jobs in tech and traveled for many months. We experienced cultures we could never have imagined and met the most inspirational people.
“Our eyes were really opened to how much we are not aware of in the Western world,” she continues. “We came back with designs, art and fashion for ourselves and our families from some of our favorite artisans. After a few months and many compliments, we realized there was an opportunity to give these amazing artisans a voice and a chance to grow their businesses.”
Her degree in studio art and her work experience after leaving Centre combined to set her on this new path.
“After graduating, I found myself combining my interest in business and aesthetics by working at small consumer-facing businesses. This required wearing tons and tons of hats: from building websites and merchandising in fashion to CAD designer in the high-end jewelry industry for several years.
“But it was working at a marketing tech company in sales and business development, where I spoke to dozens of consumer businesses everyday about their growth strategy, that inspired me to be on the other side again and start something of my own,” she says.
And she chose clothing and jewelry as her creative expression and her means of making a difference in the world.
“Fashion has always been an interest on and off in my life,” she explains. “I love that what you wear can be a creative outlet that can bring personal joy in daily life. But I’ve come to realize that it’s so much more than that. Fashion is an outlet for displaying your values, too. You can actually support other people and what you believe in through what you wear and the businesses you support. And that is what matters to me the most right now. Having an impact in the world through every little daily choice.”
DeCamp considers herself fortunate to have a wonderful support network of Centre alums near her base in New York City.
“It has been the most challenging and rewarding experience in my career, and I would not have it any other way.”
by Cindy Long
June 26, 2018