Yellow Elephant: the Shopping Destination for a One-Of-A Kind Find

by Caitlin Rounds

Stephanie Westley has enjoyed thrifting and sewing from a young age. Throughout her lifetime she has built up a large collection of thrifted goods. With so many pieces and unique items, Westley found herself repurposing and combining the clothing material.

Eventually, she discovered there was a demand for her creations, so she decided to found Yellow Elephant, a clothing company specializing in handmade patchwork from recycled material. Westley has utilized her talents to make bold and daring designs most often seen on one of her signature jean jackets.

Caitlin Rounds writes and photographs Yellow Elephant a clothing store online and local to Austin founded by Stephanie Westley who customizes denim jackets and jeans with patchwork recycled material 
Isn’t that desert sunset a lovely sight?

According to Westley, being a female entrepreneur is a little different in her situation, “I’m a wife, but, because we’re a partnership, I have a lot of time to myself. But I do this on my own for fun.” According to Westley, having a partner has made her creative endeavors possible and easier. It has provided her with the opportunity to create full time and not have to work the average 9-5 shift. This has benefited her immensely as her products are one hundred percent handmade and can consume quite a bit of time to complete.

Caitlin Rounds writes and photographs Yellow Elephant a clothing store online and local to Austin founded by Stephanie Westley who customizes denim jackets and jeans with patchwork recycled material 
A punk vibe for this piece of denim

Westley says, “I do this full time so I have to motivate myself every day and I’m lucky to have more ideas than I can make”. One of those ideas includes a handstitched Lisa Frank jacket, created over the course of six months. Some of Westley’s other creations include a Frida Kahlo series, desert sunsets and a collaboration with fellow female entrepreneur Caitlin Lochridge, owner of To the Moon Bus.

Caitlin Rounds writes and photographs Yellow Elephant a clothing store online and local to Austin founded by Stephanie Westley who customizes denim jackets and jeans with patchwork recycled material 
A design from the Frida Kahlo series

Westley sells most of her items through Etsy and local vendors. These opportunities to sell her items at shows and events have been influential in gaining Yellow Elephant the perfect amount of balance and exposure. So next time you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind piece of denim, you’ll know just the shop. •

Caitlin Rounds writes and photographs Yellow Elephant a clothing store online and local to Austin founded by Stephanie Westley who customizes denim jackets and jeans with patchwork recycled material 
Check out the handmade, embroidered patchwork on this jacket

An Austin, Texas native and published photographer, Caitlin Rounds is a second year Public Relations major. This is her first semester writing for Spark Magazine. She enjoys trying new coffee shops, music and portrait photography. 

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