Ronny Bass | Organic Cotton Dyed By Hand
Tell us about the person behind the brand Ronny Bass:
My name is Dana, I’m nonbinary and use they/them pronouns. I’m originally from Chicago and live there now again, but have lived many places in between - most recently in a barn in Vilas, North Carolina where I started the brand in 2020. I’m passionate about the power of personal style, animals, and intersectional joy. I’m a Gemini, Virgo, Cap. A little dangerous.
What are you doing in your free/leisure time?
In my free time you can find me outside with my dogs, dancing around the house, or at the zoo. I consider it a big bonus when I get to do those things with my partner or friends.
Can share a bit about your journey of figuring out how to use fashion as a tool for self-love, self-care, and showing up for yourself?
Gosh yea, I mean I feel like this is one of the biggest parts of my life. It really just all comes down to the idea that when I’m able to present in a way that I feel emotionally aligned with, a lot opens up for me. I think confidence is a big catalyst of inner peace, which inspires more room for earnest connection, empathy, and honestly I think kindness. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time throughout the years figuring out what it takes to get to that alignment - and fashion has been my biggest tool.
Throughout the line of time my style has twisted and folded back on itself and most powerfully, made tangible some feelings that I didn’t have vocabulary for growing up, especially those surrounding my gender. Everyone’s journey is certainly their own, but what I’ll say is that the time spent getting to know myself through personal style has never not paid off somehow.
I absolutely LOVE the monochrome outfits you put together. What speaks to you about monochrome looks and gradient driven organization?
Thank you so much. I really feel good in a monochrome look, so this means a lot to me. I think across all mediums I’m very drawn to solid hues or color blocked energy. Something about a good chunk of color is just what it’s all about for me.
I think because of this passion, my wardrobe really shines in a gradient - but honestly, I like this organization tactic because for my very visual brain it’s simply the easiest to maintain. That’s the real key about successful organization. It has to be a no brainer to put things back.
What tips might you give someone else who wanted to incorporate more monochrome looks into their wardrobe?
I think a big first step is organizing your closet into that color gradient. I have five or so zones such as jumpsuits, shirts/sweaters, pants, socks, and caps - and items within each zone follow the same rainbow gradient. When I’m getting dressed the mental process is a lot of … ok I’m feeling this color…. Let’s say blue. So I pull my favorite denim, sift through that chunk of hanging tops, and (shameless plug) grab an indigo dyed RB cap and pair of socks to match.
Once you do this you can start figuring out which colors you can already create into full outfits, and when you’re interested in building on that - you’d be surprised how much less overwhelming it is to thrift shop when you only have one or two colors in mind.
So now that we know a bit more about you, can you tell us about your business, Ronny Bass?
Absolutely <3 <3 <3 Ronny Bass was founded nearly on a whim in the summer 2020, when I wound up living in a dreamy barn in Western North Carolina after relocating out of Brooklyn at the top of covid. Around the same time a group of local friends, my partner and I finished up a big fundraiser for Black lives, I went through a tumultuous exit from a subpar job - and the two experiences helped me understand that 1. There was a lot more out there for me than that, and 2. I had enough community backing this to help me make the leap.
I grew up with a big fat crush on #12 from the Titans, Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass, and as I came into my transness I realized I also grew up wanting to be him. We always had the same nickname anyway, so one day sitting day in the parking lot of a Toyota body shop it just all clicked for me, and I started the brand 5 days later.
Coming up on our 2 year anniversary, we've donated over $2,000 from sales, and fundraised over $25,000 together as a community. The RB line has grown from cotton masks to a wide range of smart basics for all genders, and sometimes even their pets, and I've got so much more lined up in the sketch book.
We recently relocated to Chicago, and look forward to a big season of growth made possible by the support first catalyzed in the high country of North Carolina. Excelsior Baby!
What are some of the brand’s values?
From a product perspective, Ronny Bass strives to always offer high quality goods and embrace the evolution of them. In terms of what I hope to offer to the world and those who work for RB - big 3 are kindness, connection, and honesty. I think shit is extremely fucked up right now, but I am a big believer in the power of community, and I do feel stronger together.
No racists, no jerks - but RB is winning if we function as a safe place for all genders, bodies, and folks to express and show up for themselves. I look forward to learning more and more about what it takes to create that.
As I fellow small business-owner, I know how hard it can be to find a work/life balance and take care of yourself. How do you find time to prioritize your mental, physical, and spiritual health?
By scheduling it. What… am I going to leave something unchecked for the day?
Do you have any favorite RB items or collections?
I wear Ronny Bass socks every day. It’s the cold hard truth. And if I wear a hat, which is nearly every day, it’s also Ronny Bass. We just do the basics right. You should check us out : )
Head over to https://ronnybass.com/ and use code URBODY for 15% OFF!