Started and still manages her own company, “Clare Hare Darien” — for the past 15 years — focusing on the design and manufacturing of golf & resort wear. Performs consulting work focused on strategy and marketing for for-profit and non-profit companies at McKinsey & Co. Graduated with an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and a BS from Brown University in Applied Math and Economics.
Has an interest in the arts, as well, and has worked for and volunteered with several arts organizations in the past, including the Yale Center for British Art and the Waterhouse & Dodd Gallery in NYC. Recently elected member of the Board of Governors of the Brown Alumni Association and served as Treasurer.
THE HARE STORY
I grew up playing golf at a country club with my family in Rochester, New York. Several years later I married my love for golf with my passion for sewing and design. After successfully, starting a business focused on wrap skirts, a friend from Greenwich approached me — who had worked at J-Crew — and said that I should adapt the skirts into a golf skort— hence my business was born.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
To be creative and accomplish something meaningful. I really like to be productive and find that stimulating my mind with innovative ideas and thoughts keeps me moving. I am also fairly competitive, so if I am aware someone is doing something better than me, that propels me to improve upon that.
What prompted you to develop your own clothing line?
Knowledge of sewing, loving textiles and design and wanting to create my own product. I used to play with “paper dolls” endlessly when little, had my own “design toy” which traced patterns and would make wooden figures of woman where I cut strips of fabrics to clothe them.
How does your brand differentiate itself from all others in the category?
I focus on all cotton, imported fabrics with longer hem lengths. I intentionally try to stay away from performance wear since it doesn’t last for more than one of two seasons.
How has women’s apparel evolved to where it is today versus what was being done 5-10 years ago?
There is a large focus on “athleisure”: being able to workout and/or play sports and wear those same clothes all day long. My clothing line allows you to go from the course to lunch and even cocktails later in the day.
Biggest mistake women make when deciding upon golf apparel is what?
Buying clothing that is too tight or all polyester–not flattering. Most women don’t see themselves as others might view them on the course. Especially, since golf involves a lot of bending over, women should want something that covers up the unattractive features of their bodies.
Describe who your customer is.
An older, fit woman who appreciates excellent construction and luxury fabrics and wants to portray a classic, timeless look. I am not a “pink and black” clothing manufacturer–I err more on the Vineyard Vines side, but not as preppy.
You can change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
Have people focus on buying natural fabrics and only buy items which come from companies that operate with fair and safe labor practices. There are several companies which sell golfwear made overseas in Asia. Terrible factory fires in the past few years have showcased unfair and unsafe labor practices abroad.
The major golf organizations — USGA, R&A, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, LPGA — are all attempting to get new people into the game. This is especially so for Millennials, women and minorities. If you were advising them what would be your recommendations especially on the female side?
Make people aware of the athletic benefits of golf and the companionship aspect–golf is a game everyone can participate in for a large portion of his/her life. Golf satisfies everyone’s exercise requirement and it is fun as well. Most people don’t expect that they will like it as much as they do when they start.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
“She (he) who has patience, can have whatever she(he) wants .” — Thomas Jefferson.
Complete the sentence — Clare Hare is …
A styish golf wear alternative with superior styling, Made in the USA, of excellent construction with sustainable, safe labor practices.
For more info go to: www.clareharedarien.com