Is that big clothing purchase really an investment? or a splurge you are justifying, with Ameliora founder Adrienne Kronovet

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Ameliora Founder and CEO Adrienne Kronovet started paying close attention to clothing as a child shopping with her grandmother, and shares her timeless insights on shopping strategies and lessons learned. 

In Adrienne’s money story you will learn:

-The role the perfect pair of jeans played in her success

-Her strategy to determine value when deciding what clothing to invest in and more

In Adrienne’s money lesson you will learn:

-Her specific tips to find the best values when shopping

-The different ways you can leverage confidence to make the best financial decisions

In Adrienne’s everyday money tip you will learn:

-How to look at the cost-per-use of an item

-Exactly what to look for when purchasing a work-appropriate wardrobe, especially when you are first starting out in your career

EPISODE LINKS:

https://ameliora.com/

Follow Adrienne and Ameliora!

Instagram @Ameliorany

Facebook @Ameliorany

Pinterest @Ameliorany


Transcription

Adrienne Kronov:
I found these jeans. They were bootcut, dark wash, denim. I think they were about $60. I put them on, and oh my gosh, I felt invincible.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grownup with me, certified financial planner, Bobbi Rebell, author of How to Be a Financial Grownup. And you know what? Being a grownup is really hard, especially when it comes to money, but it's okay. We're going to get there together. I'm going to bring you one money story from a financial grownup, one lesson, and then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey, Financial Grownup friends. How can you tell when an expensive clothing buy is really an investment piece and not just a splurge that you're trying to justify? There are specific things that you need to know, and our guest is going to educate us. First, quick thank you just for being here. Your time matters. We appreciate it. We try to keep the show around 15 minutes because you're busy. The show is also free to you. We've done over 100 episodes, and the only thank you that I ask is that you give back by telling a friend that you care about and helping them find the show. They may not even know how to listen to a podcast, so help them actually load it onto their phone or other device so that they can also benefit from the stories of these amazing high achievers that we get to speak to here.

Bobbi Rebell:
Now, to another high achiever, our guest. You guys are just going to love her. Adrienne Kronovet founded and self-founded her clothing company, Ameliora, remember that name, with a very clear mission that she's going to share, and she is already making a real difference. But it all started with some special shopping trips with her grandmother. Here is Adrienne Kronovet.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey, Adrienne Kronovet, CEO of Ameliora, hopefully I said that right, all of 23 years old. You're already a financial grownup. Welcome to the podcast.

Adrienne Kronov:
Thank you so much, Bobbi, and you pronounced it all right. I'm such a fan, and it's so awesome to be here.

Bobbi Rebell:
I'm glad you're being honest. But we did practice that, so we do try.

Adrienne Kronov:
We did.

Bobbi Rebell:
I've botched quite a few names, so we got past that one. So I mentioned your company, Ameliora, and we're going to talk more after [inaudible 00:02:28] but just quickly, since you're all of 23 years old, this is a self-funded, beautiful clothing company, the most elegant jackets and pants-

Adrienne Kronov:
Thank you.

Bobbi Rebell:
... named after extraordinary women. Just tell us a little bit about it.

Adrienne Kronov:
Yeah, absolutely. So I started Ameliora almost a year ago, which is so crazy to say, to make clothes that would make women feel confident and empowered. I really wanted to have clothes you would take out for a special occasion. If you had an interview to go to or you had a meeting or you were giving a presentation, I wanted to create clothes that you would grab for that special moment and put on that would make you feel absolutely invincible.

Bobbi Rebell:
And they are. I am the proud owner of the Carmen jacket, which we'll talk about later. They are beautiful, down to the fabric.

Adrienne Kronov:
Thank you.

Bobbi Rebell:
Part of that is because you learned the appreciation of clothing. You're from a family that was in the clothing business back in your home state of North Carolina, where your grandfather had a clothing mill, and you actually have a lot of childhood memories of, for example, shopping with your grandmother and a specific pair of jeans. Tell us your money story about these jeans. I think you wore them for almost a decade.

Adrienne Kronov:
I did. So every year for my birthday, my grandmother would take me shopping, and she did this for all of her grandchildren. And we all looked forward to it because my grandmother has the most exquisite taste-

Bobbi Rebell:
Wait.

Adrienne Kronov:
Yeah?

Bobbi Rebell:
Was this an outing for all of you at the same time, like one big day, or was it your birthday day?

Adrienne Kronov:
It was our birthday day, but we always when it was coming up. Grandma Maryann would call us, we'd pick a date, and then we'd head off to the mall. It was something that I know myself and all my cousins really looked forward to.

Bobbi Rebell:
And what was a day at the mall like with your grandma?

Adrienne Kronov:
It was an event. So my grandmother, she would pick us up. We'd go eat at the food court and we'd make a map of where we wanted to go and pick the highlights and stores we really loved. Like for my male cousins, I think she took them to maybe Dick's, and I know for me and a lot of my girl cousins, we went to Hollister and American Eagle. And she really custom tailored where we would go depending on our own personal taste.

Bobbi Rebell:
Was there a budget, or this was just the ultimate shopping spree?

Adrienne Kronov:
I mean, of course, there was always a budget, but it was really interesting because she never framed it around money. It was all about how the clothes made you feel. So, yes, there was a budget, but it never felt like one.

Bobbi Rebell:
Interesting. So then tell me what would go on in a typical shopping trip and about these jeans you want to talk about.

Adrienne Kronov:
My grandmother, it was such this treasured experience that she and I shared. So we, one day, I think it was I want to say my 12th birthday, and the two of us, we ate at the food court, and then we immediately headed over to Hollister. I tried on a bunch of stuff, different shirts, dresses, and all the sudden I found these jeans. They were bootcut, dark wash, denim. I think they were about $60. I put them on, and oh my gosh, I felt invincible, and my grandmother, she took one look at me. She saw how I felt in them, and she said, "You know what? We're getting them." So we got them, and I wore them from 12 to 21.

Bobbi Rebell:
Whoa, and by the way, just remind everyone, you're 23 now. Okay, go on.

Adrienne Kronov:
Right. I'm 23. Yeah. I'm 23 now.

Bobbi Rebell:
Miss CEO.

Adrienne Kronov:
[inaudible 00:05:48] right. So I wore these jeans at every place I had to go. I wore these jeans because I felt super, super invincible. I knew that if I wanted to look good, I would wear these bootcut jeans. I wore them to my first day of college. I have pictures and pictures of me in the same pair of pants. I mean, I wore them for almost 10 years.

Bobbi Rebell:
Did anyone ever notice? I mean, they're jeans, so most people don't, right?

Adrienne Kronov:
People don't. None of my-

Bobbi Rebell:
Yeah. Then it's a good thing it wasn't a crazy top or something.

Adrienne Kronov:
Oh my gosh. Exactly. And that was the best part because they were such a great, universal pair of jeans that I could wear them with a blazer if I needed to be more formal. I could wear a T-shirt if it was casual. They would work with heels, with sneakers, with slippers. I mean, I loved, loved these jeans.

Bobbi Rebell:
So what is the lesson for our listeners from this?

Adrienne Kronov:
I guess the takeaway would be get a good pair of jeans. I think the big takeaway from this is to be thoughtful in your purchases, make your buying really deliberate. I'd bought these jeans. When I got them, they were pretty universal so I could wear them with a blazer, like I said. I could wear them with really anything. They were so versatile. They were a forever piece in my closet, and just having that to turn to was so amazing knowing that I had a go-to item that would make me feel super confident.

Bobbi Rebell:
And speaking of investing in clothing or items that are going to really last, I love your everyday money tip because it's something that is becoming more of a discussion topic, especially as Millennials, like you, are moving up the career ladder and becoming more successful in business and wanting to present a certain way among their peers and colleagues.

Adrienne Kronov:
Yes. Absolutely. I think when, as myself and my friends, as we get older, we really want to look professional and we want to look polished. And so that leads me to my money tip, which is rather than just the initial sticker price is to focus on the cost per wear, which is basically where the value of the item is directly related to how much you use it. So if you have a $30 dress and you wear it once, the cost per wear is 30 bucks. But if you spend $100 on a dress and you wear it 20 times, the cost per wear is $5. I mean, I think my $60 Hollister jeans, I think the cost per wear was in the negatives.

Bobbi Rebell:
Yes. Pennies. Pennies.

Adrienne Kronov:
Pennies.

Bobbi Rebell:
Yes, which is excellent. Try to get to pennies in your cost per wear. Let's talk more about Ameliora, because, as I keep saying, you're 23 years old. You basically founded this right out of school, self-funded, which is incredible. You did have a family background. Your grandfather operated a clothing mill in North Carolina. This is not just about the clothing, though. Tell us more.

Adrienne Kronov:
Yeah, absolutely. It's all about how clothes can make you feel, the feeling I got when I put on those jeans and I felt invincible. It's about creating blazers and jackets and different items that you put on and you feel like you can conquer anything.

Bobbi Rebell:
And they all go together. They're all coordinated, which is great.

Adrienne Kronov:
Yes. Absolutely. Everything is made in the same black, except I will give you a bit of an exclusive-

Bobbi Rebell:
Ooh.

Adrienne Kronov:
We are in the process of developing and launching a new shirting that will introduce white into the collection, which I'm really excited about.

Bobbi Rebell:
Wait. I think I read a little bit of a hint about this. You're sourcing unusual fabrics, so there's also some innovation happening here.

Adrienne Kronov:
Right. What we're trying to do is we're trying to elevate the regular suit. So in our suiting and in our shirting fabric, we're using performance fabrics. So imagine the same fabric that's used in Lululemon legging but as a shirt, a professional shirt.

Bobbi Rebell:
I need to see this. I'm going to have to track you down in New York and come down and see it. So where can people get your stuff? Where can people get everything?

Adrienne Kronov:
Yes. You can find us 100% online at Ameliora.com. We live on the web. We're accessible 24/7 from any device.

Bobbi Rebell:
And social media, where can people follow you?

Adrienne Kronov:
Yes. Social media @AmelioraNY.

Bobbi Rebell:
On all the channels.

Adrienne Kronov:
On all the channels.

Bobbi Rebell:
Awesome. Well, thank you so much. This was amazing.

Adrienne Kronov:
Thank you so much, Bobbi. It was such a joy to be on.

Bobbi Rebell:
I can't wait for all of you to check out Ameliora. The pieces are stunning. I own a Carmen jacket and love it, and I love that she's expanding beyond black. Who knows what's next? Financial Grownup tip number one, if you do splurge on something you love, and then you realize you were wrong, return it. Now, that may sound obvious, but as everyone who has cleaned out his or her closet knows, you probably found some items with tags on it. You know who you are. And in fact, go through your closet right now and see, or after you finish listening, and see if any items have tags on them, and if it hasn't been too long, return them.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup tip number two, leverage what you know and who you know. I met Adrienne almost a year ago when she was just launching the line right out of college. Most people would say she should have worked at a fashion line behind the scenes and learned the ropes, but you know what? Because her family had been in the garment industry, she already knew the ropes, and she was able to use that to her advantage. A lot of people don't want to go into family businesses, but tapping into what those closest to you know and know well is a smart move, and that goes for friends who may have insights and connections in a given field as well. Use it. Life's tough enough.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hope you enjoyed this episode. We have some big new things planned that I will be talking about later this week, so be sure to subscribe and go into settings to make sure that you are in auto download mode so you don't miss it. Be in touch on Instagram @BobbiRebell1, and on Twitter @BobbiRebell and PM me what you want to see more of because we're making big changes here at Financial Grownup. And thank you to Ameliora's Adrienne Kronovet for helping us all get one step closer to being financial grownups.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell is edited and produced by Steve Stuart and is a BRK Media production.