L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

two happy young children dressed in Rosewood the Label brand eco friendly cotton pajamas
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) helped Ashlee Espinoza and her business partner Lola prepare their eco-friendly children's loungewear line, Rosewood the Label, to become investor ready. The pair enrolled in LACI's Founders Business Accelerator Program, which provides six months of business curriculum and executive coaching with a focus on creating a sustainable circular economy brand. Through the program, Rosewood the Label also widened their Los Angeles business support network.

Ashlee and Lola met more than a decade ago while working at a high-end women's fashion house in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). Both had a passion for fashion, decades of manufacturing knowledge, and an underlying desire to protect the environment.

In 2018, Lola conceptualized Rosewood the Label as a free-spirited clothing brand for mothers and babies, inspired by the birth of her own child and the Los Angeles Rosewood/Fairfax area. They put special care into creating an environmentally friendly material for their products using modal fabric manufactured from sustainable wood pulp. The fabric is soft, flexible and durable, meant to be passed down through time. The pair leveraged their network to partner with talented local women pattern makers, sample sewers, artists, designers, copywriters, photographers, and bookkeepers.

In 2021, after gaining some brand traction in the children's clothing market, Lola and Ashlee experienced adverse supply chain effects due to COVID-19. Forced to slow down, the founders pivoted their focus from eco-friendly fabrics to their best-selling elevated children's loungewear line. The pair turned to LACI for assistance in 2022, enrolling in Cohort 7 of the Founders Business Accelerator Program.

left to right, Ashlee and Lola, founders of Rosewood the Label, an eco-conscious children's loungewear clothing line
Ashlee and Lola, founders of Rosewood the Label, an eco-conscious children's loungewear clothing line
Rosewood the Label will relaunch their Spring Lounge Sets through an upcoming pilot project for a Community Children's Clothing Swap later this spring. The women founders are looking to attract local workforce talent in 2023 to help activate these new community clothing waste-diversion programs. Rosewood the Label is located in LA City Council District 5.

EWDD administers and provides financial support to several incubator and accelerator programs in the City of Los Angeles. Through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, providers offer year-round programs to support the acceleration and growth of sustainable companies like Rosewood the Label. These programs contribute to the City's innovation landscape by supporting the creation and growth of start-ups. Learn more about the various programs on our Incubators and Accelerators page.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of April 10, 2023. Read this issue and more.