a message from the founder

Our Story

My love for sewing and design started at 7 when I learned how to use a sewing machine. It led me to pursue a degree in costume design at the University of California, Irvine. After graduating, I spent time traveling, teaching, and volunteering abroad before starting my career as a costume designer and seamstress. During that time, I deepened my skills through mentorships with numerous professionals—from tailors to fabric dyers to crafts people.

In 2010, I moved to France to pursue a master's in Luxury and Fashion Management. It was there that I first learned about social impact business which led me to seek a job in fair trade after graduating. I moved to New Orleans and became a manager at a fair trade shop. I dove into learning about fair trade and visited India in 2012 to learn more. I decided to start Passion Lilie in 2013 because I felt fair trade apparel didn't have enough stylish, well-fitting, and affordable options.

Color, print, and fabric give me joy. My inspiration comes from nature and from New Orleans. This magical city sparks my creativity: from the beautiful oak trees, to the vibrant houses, to the wonderful people in this city who are not afraid to be themselves.

I often find a lot of similarities between India and New Orleans: both have a strong connection to their culture, festivals, and arts and crafts. I believe wearing colorful, vibrant prints and patterns will brighten your mood. I find joy and inspiration from the ancient Indian artisanal techniques of dyeing and weaving. The print and color patterns allow for a plethora of design possibilities. 

I use streamlined silhouettes with a focus on fit and comfort. I try to create pieces that are timeless and seasonless to help eliminate the need for over consumption. I design for all ages and body types and every season, my goal is to create a collection that will inspire confidence in the person who wears it.

My heart and soul go into every piece. I hope to spread joy and goodness through Passion Lilie's thoughtfully crafted collections.

—Katie Schmidt
Passion Lilie, Founder & CEO