DuJour Navigation

Cleobella’s Orange County Roots and Global Reach

Designer Angela O’Brien of Cleobella offers stylish sustainability in Seal Beach

Growing up in Huntington Beach, Cleobella founder Angela O’Brien lived on the beach, which is why she and her husband chose Seal Beach as their home base when it came time to raise their own family. “Seal Beach is a charming town with a wonderful community spirit, which makes it an idyllic place to raise our children,” she says. “So much of our lifestyle is rooted in the ocean, and we love that we are walking distance from the beach.”

Before putting down roots in Seal Beach, O’Brien was inspired by her world travels to launch the eco-friendly, community-driven fashion and accessories brand Cleobella. The brand launched in 2006 with its signature Mexicana clutch after O’Brien and her husband left their jobs to travel across Asia, Africa and Australia. Since then, Cleobella has become known for woodblock-printed dresses, including the best-selling Magdalena, eyelet dresses like the Emmy and the newest, the Farlow. “With every new design, we start with global inspiration and our Cleobella woman as our muse,” says O’Brien. “My love for one-of-a-kind sustainable textiles was born and has grown into the foundation of what Cleobella is today. We now use 100 percent organic or natural fibers for all of our collections and are implementing zero-waste projects into our curations.”

Cleobella founder Angela O’Brien

While creating stylish designs that speak to Cleobella’s customers is a priority, O’Brien has a big-picture strategy that focuses on building a community, fostering relationships with local artisans around the globe and working to create a better world for her family. “Our strategy is to never compromise and to create timeless designs,” she says. With sustainable textiles, recyclable packaging, long-lasting relationships with artisans in India and Bali and a promise to donate 1 percent of proceeds to organizations supporting the environment, women’s empowerment, child education and artisan freedom, this ethical brand is giving back to families all over the world far beyond fashion and accessories. “I felt like there was a huge missing piece to the puzzle in connecting the artisan industry to the consumer,” says the entrepreneur. Next, Cleobella will launch an exclusive collaboration with Molly Sims and has plans for jewelry, accessories and home collections.