We were thrilled to have Ian and Hannah Pratt model for the launch of our #heforshe collection this season. Besides being one of the cutest couples you ever did see, this husband and wife duo run The Weller Society – a social club and coworking community space in Portland, Oregon. They both are incredibly creative with an evident passion and gift for bringing out the best in people. We know you’ll be inspired as you get to know Ian and Hannah through this interview…
What’s something brave you’ve done recently?
Ian: Oh man, that seems like the most appropriate question for this season. The past 12 months have been one step of faith after another.
I got married, I took a month and a half off of running my agency to travel, I started a new business…
I’ve had some major curveballs this year and have had to make tough choices. I dusted myself off after some pretty big losses and walked away from financial security towards uncertainty and risk. I did these things because I believe my calling in life to be more important than my comfort.
I have this idea that has shaped a lot of my decisions: I believe rather than seeking comfort or security, my life is meant to be about creating meaning and opportunity, celebrating beauty, and sharing love and belonging with the people around me. So I move towards those things. It’s not always an easy journey, but it’s definitely the one I want to be on.
Hannah: Within the last six months, Ian and I started an amazing social club together called The Weller Society, I launched my catering business (Dandy Life Catering Company), and began selling essential oils. It’s been a lot to take on and I’ve never been trained in any of the endeavors that I’m undertaking. I haven’t always felt brave, but I’ve persisted in moving forward in the things I’m passionate about.
With the pressures of being an entrepreneur, what’s something that keeps you grounded when you feel like giving up?
Hannah: I’m a big advocate for crying and getting it all out. Sometimes I’ll turn on a sad movie or go for a walk in our neighborhood when I’m feeling down. I think practicing self-care is also super important. It’s helpful to step back, rest, recenter yourself, and then start again with renewed energy.
Ian, what does being a “he for she” mean to you?
Ian: Being a he, I have only a tangential understanding of what it means to be a she. Regarding the complexities and subtleties of being a woman in today’s world, I can only listen and observe, I can’t experience. I have a tremendous amount of awe and respect for women; I am amazed and impressed by the women in my life constantly. I will never fully know the struggles they face, yet they rise every day to make their mark, and they do it with an optimism and faith that makes me feel honored to be witness to it.
To me, being a “he for she” means using what power and influence I have to open doors for the women in my life, to celebrate them, to be their fan and friend, to support how I can, but mostly just to listen. To be witness to their greatness, to learn from them.
I think the future is being shaped now by incredible women, and I’m honored to be a party to it.
Hannah, how does Ian encourage you?
Hannah: I would describe Ian as my encourager and my safety bumper. He does a really great job of cultivating an environment for me to grow, succeed, find my passions and dream bigger than I already do. He pushes my boundaries to expand my limitations and my perception of what I’m capable of.
How do you think elevating women helps build a strong community?
Ian: Women are better at community… It’s that simple. Left to our own devices, men would get lost in the woods. Women are fantastic culture creators, they are natural caregivers, they love, they share, they listen… these are all things that men inherently are not as good at, and they’re all essential to a thriving community. A community of only men leaders would be a pretty bleak thing. Women add color. They add texture. They add creativity and strength and safety.
At Weller, we have a strong focus on elevating women and celebrating them. It’s incredible to see these women rise up and pave the way for our community to feel at home, to feel known and loved, to be able to explore creative ideas well. Through empowering and elevating women, we have built a community that is much more integrated, collaborative, beautiful, and rich.
What was your favorite Sseko item from the shoot?
Hannah: The Moody Floral Duster and the Sheba Handbag are absolutely exquisite. I love the size of the Sheba, it’s perfect because it’s right between a tote and a smaller purse. I love the comfort and length of the duster and how it transitions from a duster to a robe when I want to get cozy.
Ian: All the men’s items were amazing, so this may come as a surprise, but my favorite item from the shoot was the Moody Floral Duster that Hannah wore. It’s so versatile. From pajamas to poolside cover up to high fashion item, it’s one of my all-time favorite pieces for women.