Shop Talk

Stylish SMU grads stock new online shop with hard-to-find fashions

Stylish SMU grads stock new online shop with hard-to-find fashions

Lauren Heffern and Naina Hotchkiss of 1975
SMU grads Lauren Heffern and Naina Hotchkiss started online shop 1975. Photo courtesy of 1975
1975 online boutique
The girls go to market in Dallas but find a lot of brands on Instagram. Photo courtesy of 1975
1975 online boutique
Pieces are all priced at less than $300, and they are all things Heffern and Hotchkiss would wear themselves. Photo courtesy of 1975
Lauren Heffern and Naina Hotchkiss of 1975
1975 online boutique
1975 online boutique

Lauren Heffern and Naina Hotchkiss struck up a friendship while attending SMU. Because they share a love for clothing — and gravitate toward the same pieces even though each has her own style — the 2006 grads knew they would make a great pair in business.

They discussed starting a blog but felt the market was too saturated. Heffern moved to Austin about two-and-a-half years ago, but their dream of starting something together never waned. And that dream turned into reality recently, in the form of online shop 1975.

The name of the company is the year Hotchkiss’ dad and Heffern’s mom immigrated to the United States. “We played with names over the years, but when we came to this realization, we felt it really identified who we are, both being close to our families,” Hotchkiss says.

The limited selection comprises pieces the girls would wear themselves — dresses, tops and bottoms, outerwear, swimwear, and jewelry — all priced under $300; most are $100-$200. Although they go to market in Dallas, they discover a lot of brands on Instagram.

“It’s so easy to run a business online these days with the expansion of social media,” Hotchkiss says. “We have found several brands on Instagram. Just by commenting on a post, we are able to connect.”

Both girls maintain day jobs, and their experience benefits the business in different ways: Heffern works for an ad agency in Austin, and Hotchkiss works for a Dallas-based retail brand in product development.

They update the site weekly and add new items at least twice a month. Spring must-haves include the Intrepid jacket by Gentle Fawn — “a great transitional piece,” Heffern says — and the black-and-white striped crop top by Blaque Label that “isn’t too revealing.”

With the ’70s making a comeback this season, Heffern and Hotchkiss bought some flared denim at market, which will be online soon.