S+T IS TURNING 5!!!

Behind the Brand ·

FIVE. FREAKIN. YEARS!

Wow, how time flies! We honestly couldn’t have done this without our AMAZING #smashtessfam community that has been with us since the start and those who are just joining us now. We’ve had ups and downs starting a business, we’ve pivoted and we’ve found what (we hope) makes our community happy! We made Smash + Tess for you, to live comfortably and stylishly and we will continue to do so!

We couldn’t wait to share our favourite moments, memories, and learnings with our #smashtessfam from the past 5 years. Our founders sat down and reminisced over the past five years and shared some things you may not know.

ashley freeburn in smash and tess sunday romper


Hitting 5 years is such a huge milestone! What has been your favourite moment so far?

A: It’s impossible to pick a favourite moment. But I will say, every single time someone opens their S+T package, wears it, and beams with confidence, my heart LEAPS out of my chest!

M: Wow I can’t believe it’s been 5 years! Each year has gone by so fast with so many moments....one that stands out was our third b-day party! We had like 50 tickets for customers to sign up for. They went so fast we looked to see if we could release a few more and I just thought WOW people really like our stuff and they want to celebrate with us! It was such an amazing turnout and it was a dance party to remember!

T: Watching my daughter Ashley grow into this amazing young entrepreneur. Mama couldn’t be more proud.

What is your favourite memory - good, unique, or funny?

A: When we first operated out of a tiny studio on Main street. We had no elevator and Mercedes and I used to load packages into hockey bags or bins, carry them over to Shoppers Drug Mart down the street and then wait in line forever to ship out our packages… and irritate everyone behind us that just wanted to send one thing out. Sorry to everyone who ever got stuck behind us.

M: Would you believe Ash and I made the first packing slip on excel?! Yes, we would manually type in all the info including addresses on the box... and some definitely got sent back because of a typo 😬

T: The first time Ash made me a model for S+T. I honestly didn’t think they’d get anything worth using. But boy, thanks to great photography, amazing filters, great product to model and strong direction from Ash- I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Next career perhaps?

mama tess wearing the smash and tess anyday romper

When you first started S+T, where did you see yourselves 5 years down the line?

A: I had no idea. I knew that we had a great idea and strong work ethic, but it really was one of those things where we just tried our hardest and put our whole heart into it and hoped for the best! That’s all you can do really!

M: I can honestly say I didn’t think 5-year plan...it was that moment when we sold out of the Sunday Romper with Jilly that I was like - we just gotta keep up! LoL

T: I was always going for the moon and the stars! But even my enthusiastic approach to goal setting didn’t see us reach these levels of success.

Where do you see S+T in another 5 years?

A: Around the world, of course! There is a huge global market just waiting to try a S+T Romper and join the Romper Revolution!

M: Everywhere, like internationally!

T: Global domination.

ashley freeburn and tess wearing smash and tess romper


What is your all-time favourite Romper?

A: I’m going to stick with my Sunday Romper. It was the first one we ever made, and it’s still my all-time fave to this day! However, my RIGHT NOW fave is definitely the Midnight Mood Romper. We’re being safe, but when we can, I can’t wait to rock it on a date night!

M: It will always be Sunday Romper - the original! Although, the Wednesday Romper is really speaking to me right now.

T: Well, it was always the Saturday - I just feel so feminine in it. However, I am now obsessed with the black Jackie Romper. It is now my favorite dress up at home go to- just add a little black heel and a rope or two (or three) of Chanel pearls. OH, and the Anyday Romper in Midnight Black. It’s just so comfy to throw on and play with my grandkids in.

ashley freeburn in smash and tess midnight mood romper

What has been the biggest accomplishment for you so far at S+T?

A: Growing this incredible community. I love that we are a part of a group of women who uplift and celebrate one another. Serving this incredible community is what excites me the most!

M: Watching our team grow! I love seeing the amazing people we have brought on watching them pour their energy into our company, treating it like their very own!

T: Not any one thing - but my heart flutters when I randomly see someone wearing a S+T Romper. It’s so unexpected - and I am just so darn proud.

Is there anything you would have changed in the past 5 years?

A: Not one thing. It’s part of our journey.

M: I don’t think so, we learn and grow from bumps on the road. Everything happens for a reason.

T: Nothing - the journey has been exhilarating!

mercedes laporte wearing smash and tess

What advice do you have for others who may want to start a company?

A: To put one foot in front of the other. Don’t wait on perfection, because it doesn’t exist. It’s ok to learn as you go and grow.

M: Talk to as many people as possible! It’s truly amazing how others want to share their experiences. Build those relationships and create your support systems.

T: Start with a brand block - and then stick to it. Do not deviate...ever.

What is one thing that our #smashtessfam may not know about S+T?

A: That we didn’t start with a Romper! That didn’t come until our second collection. We started with a belief that clothes should exist to fit a woman, and not the other way around.

M: While we do our production in Vancouver now, our very first production run was in Ontario!

T: That I still think of us as a little company - with big plans - and I treat it that way - lots of love and care and feeding - just like we would when we started. up.

smash and tess Ashley Freeborn, Mercedes Laporte and Teresa Freeborn


Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A and T: We want to give a HUGE shout out to our #smashtessfam…. That’s YOU! You are the reason we are here 5 years later… and we are so grateful for you!

M: Just how exciting every year brings!! It has been an incredible ride so far, a huge thank you to our customers and our team members that make everything GO! ❤️

A HUGE thank-you to our community for allowing us to be in this space and make Rompers that you love. We couldn’t have done this without you. Here’s to the next 5, 10, 15+ years and the Romper Revolution!

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