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Qiana Rickabaugh Rich, Artist/Designer

At Floret Farms for the best day ever, where my flower and workwear worlds collided. Photo by Chris Benzakein

We are celebrating 5 years of Dovetail, highlighting the women who have helped build workwear by, for and with women. Meet our founders, employees, product namesakes, and wear testers. Learn about their work with Dovetail and see what they are doing now!

How did you originally get introduced to Dovetail?

Well before Dovetail, I volunteered with co-founders Kyle Marie, Kate, Sara and our customer service queen, Andrea, at our kids’ school. We led class art projects and helped to weed the school garden. Quite a bit of Dovetail was built from friendships at our public Japanese immersion school.

What kind of work were you doing at that time? And now?

I started out doing fine art, botanical oil paintings and illustration. My husband, Josh, and I then opened a graphic design firm, Quoin Design, which specialized in branding. The founders asked us to help with design as their business got off the ground– we were hooked from the start. Exciting times were had in Kate’s garage, learning about the dearth of options for women’s workwear, and how the Maven Slim was born to change that.

Arrangements from the Madefound <i>COMPOSTition </i>photography series
Arrangements from my COMPOSTition photography series

With a business and family, photography became a speedier artistic medium to feed my love of flowers. I started my IG, @madefound and started creating floral compositions using compost and non-traditional materials. Based on my floral photos, Kyle Marie asked me to shoot tradeswomen for the first product photos. I thought it was completely absurd! I had a lifetime of avoiding any people in my photography. I told her “no way,” but she said, “no, you’re doing it!” With more inspirational language than that– but basically, “you’re doing it!” So, I did, with Josh handling the technical side. It was one of the most exhilarating days of my life: a palpable, electric, adrenaline rush. I was instantly in love with capturing people!

Eleni, Dovetail's first model.

Eleni, the first woman I photographed, was always so exciting to capture on camera. My favorite part is getting to know all the working women, whether electricians, union organizers, landscapers, farmers, or women doing jobs I didn’t even know existed. I love learning about what they do. Their willingness to participate in these shoots has helped change what “workwear” means. When Dovetail started, googling “workwear” gave you photos of women in suits, skirts and pumps. Now, it’s dirty boots, tattoos, scars, genuine personality and durable pants. I’m proud to work with Dovetail to change the conversation, and help women to feel seen for who they are.

Fun fact: the outside ruler in the Baseline Bandana design is to scale! If you use it, measure thrice and cut once.

We did more expansive brand work, from product tags to web design. Plus, our Dovetail signature “schmutz” texture that appears across brand touch points. One of my first product designs was the Baseline Bandana. I also designed tee shirts and plaid patterns for our flannel work shirts, then started helping with choosing the full color palettes, and product names.

An original Dovetail tee, and one of my plaid Givens flannel work shirts.

In 2021, we came in-house with Dovetail and I began directing the photoshoots, in addition to everything else I mentioned! Now, my full focus is what you see in the designs on our apparel, from patterns on tops, to labels on pants, to the tags and packaging that come with each piece of workwear. I’ve traveled across the country for our lifestyle shoots and various conferences, festivals and events where we’ve had a booth. And, I still hop behind the camera each season to capture the new line of clothes on more incredible women.

A stop at Zion National Park after directing our Land Beyond Zion shoot with Shanti Hodges.
A stop at Zion National Park after directing our Land Beyond Zion shoot with Shanti Hodges.

Tell us something dirty. Sawdust, oil, drywall, paint: share the tale of your nastiest job/project.

Art school always left me covered in charcoal, paint, clay and wood dust. My messiest project was probably when I routed a sculpture from African Kingwood. The dust got everywhere, including into my nose, and I sneezed purple dust all over. I still wear mostly black because of those charcoal experiences. Now, when I get dirty it’s because I’m digging in the yard or working to capture women doing dirty jobs on shoots.

What are the top five things that are always in your pockets?

I hate purses and bags, so all my necessary things are always in my pockets. Especially now that women’s pants HAVE pockets! Keys, a cigarette case– full of ID and credit cards– dog poop bags, rocks, shells and seed pods. And yes, finding rocks and stuffing them in your pockets IS a necessary thing.

Dovetail Customer Care specialist Olivia and I in Denver at the Geological Society of America Conference.
At Mt. Hood Ski Meadows for a shoot with product namesake Anna Laxague– good thing our thermal denim is so warm!

Tell us something surprising about you.

My first name is a DuPont registered trademark for a silky fabric, so it’s funny that I ended up in the apparel industry. When Josh and I met, he already owned a vintage shirt with my name on the label!

Workwear by and for women—what does it mean to you, how does it affect your life, and why is it important?

When I’ve worked Dovetail events, I’ve seen how women react to our clothing for the first time: slack-jawed disbelief, tears, excited profanities, jumping up and down, pumping fists, and deep hugs. When women pull on a pair for the first time, and immediately drop into a squat to test them out, then jump back up beaming - it’s just the most fulfilling moment. A woman asked for pants that will help protect her while she’s studying volcanoes and scraping against sharp lava, and I could offer exactly what she needed to keep her safe. To see the relief and joy in her face – it’s profound.

Dovetail Customer Care specialist Olivia and I in Denver at the Geological Society of America Conference.

When women are seen for their capabilities, and have serious, well fitting clothing that also look super-cool, we can concentrate on our work and free up the mental space we waste on uncomfortable, unsafe clothes that make you feel like you don’t fit in. It’s so powerful! I could keep going on and on.

Oh wait, I will… I also want to add how wonderful it is to work with such a passionate and talented group of women who, while working hard, are open to trying new things. Being smack in the middle of Building Dovetail has been an amazing place to be.

Dovetail Workwear Disclaimer: We are not the boss of our Women At Work! They say it their way and wear it their way.