Amri and Katya first started heymama through a mutual admiration for one another and desire to collaborate and connect with other like-minded women. There is nothing that gives us greater joy than to see women forge not only friendships, but business partnerships through our community. Two New York City members, Lauren Gabrielson of the self-titled fashion line and Sarah Pearsall, co-founder of Sefte, have done just that and have merged their business expertise and passion for creation into a beautiful collaboration that is launching just in time for Valentine’s Day. We’re smitten with how these two women have joined forces to create the first Sefte + LG Lauren collaboration which includes the Bedford Robe and the Mercer Scarf and we can’t wait to get our hands on them. Read on…
We’re so excited you guys are collaborating on a new project together! Tell us more about each of your businesses.
Lauren: I am a Brooklyn-based women’s clothing designer with a self titled brand. My passion is to make really good basics like classic style blouses, dresses and jackets that are timeless and available in endless colors and fabrics.
Sarah: My twin sister and I started Sefte as a way to stay connected after I moved to NYC and she stayed in the Bay Area. Our passion for textiles took us to the high Andes of Peru where Sefte works with artisan communities to make handmade home textiles and loungewear.
How did the two of you meet?
Lauren: We met through a heymama event I did in the Fall!
Sarah: Lauren threw an event for heymama to launch her new collection and the first 10 people to RSVP won a LG Bomber Jacket. I won one! I immediately fell in love with it and her and the rest is history.
When did you realize you could take your relationship beyond friendship and move into business partner territory?
Lauren: We knew we could partner because we had the same vision for what we wanted to create together. You get a sense of the other person’s style and sensibility off the bat and you learn pretty quickly if you see eye to eye. It’s like, when you know, you know! Just like a romance. Ha!
Sarah: I saw the breadth of Lauren’s collection at the event and her work in silk. Silk is just about the only fiber that can match baby alpaca in luxury and softness – our staple. My sister and I have wanted to work silk into our growing loungewear collection and when I crossed paths with Lauren, it seemed meant to be. Not only did we love her “medium” but we admire her responsible production practices. We always love to align with other women makers and entrepreneurs, too.
What was the creative process like? How did you come up with what to create together?
Lauren: We know we wanted a wearable home piece that was the cross between both brands. Sarah had the idea of a silk robe and silk and cotton scarf. I use primarily silk in all of my designs which is how we brought a little LG to the mix. I love when people have the same love for silk as I do! The scarf was originally a blanket but I wasn’t sure how it would translate so we decided on an infinity scarf. I love how wearable and luxurious it is.
Sarah: The design process was fast as we met in late 2017 and are launching for Valentine’s Day 2018. I desperately wanted to design a silk robe with kimono sleeves — my sister and I love the idea of being able to take the serenity you enjoy in the bedroom with you. The double sided silk jersey cotton scarf was something we came upon while trying to design a silk throw blanket. The design lended itself more to wearables and we jumped on it to make our Mercer Infinity Scarf with Lauren!
What aspects of the collaboration do each of you own?
Lauren: I handle all of the production. I worked with a pattern maker on the patterns, then we made 1st samples to nail the fit and now we are in production in 3 colors for each style. My factory is in Brooklyn so I am there almost every day. I oversee everything from the way we finish the seams (we used french seams throughout), to where the label goes etc. I love it, production is my thing.
Sarah: I would say I owned the design and Lauren owned the development — “making it happen.” We split all the grunt work right down the middle. Lauren is SUPER easy to work with.
Lauren, you design and produce all of your clothes locally in New York. Tell us more about that process and why it’s important to you.
Gosh, from day one I liked to have my hands in it. I have a love of production and seeing the processes from start to finish. Producing locally allows me to see the product through and be there every step of the way. The quality is also a big thing for me and working with local seamstresses allows me to control the quality.
Sarah, you produce all of your products internationally. Tell us more about that process and why it’s important to you.
Our extended sisters in Sefte are the artisan women of Peru. I have always been drawn to the beauty of artisanship from far away lands. Peru’s craftsmanship enchanted me. After working in The Peace Corps it was important to me that my life’s work was something that stemmed from passion and also did some good. Working with the artisans of Peru does just that for me. Every time someone purchases Sefte they are helping lift up this beautiful community of women and their families.
The reality is there is so much room for us all to succeed, and we’ll all have a much better chance to do so if we come together and support one another.
What 3 words would you use to describe each other?
Lauren: Beautiful, hardworking, kind.
Sarah: YOUNG…she isn’t even 30!!! No really, Lauren is easy-going and her self-deprecating sense of humor kills me.
Why do you think it’s empowering for women to collaborate and work together? What have you learned most by working with other women?
Lauren: We can learn so much from each other and doing so we both benefit from the outcome. Especially when you are a small company, you don’t always work with a big team. Collaborating allows you to bounce ideas off of one another and build your team!
Sarah: There is this idea in most of the business world of scarcity – needing to get yours, not enough to go around, someone’s success is a detriment to yours and so on. The reality is there is so much room for us all to succeed, and we’ll all have a much better chance to do so if we come together and support one another. I think women innately understand this idea, but it’s often coached out of us in the workplace and elsewhere. It’s time for us to take it back. The support and mentorship via heymama is a great example – women banding together and nurturing one another can be very powerful.
You are both so busy running your businesses and raising a family. How do you make time for you mama tribe?
Lauren: The mama tribe is so important. It’s important to have time with your tribe away from the kids but also, if you can feed your kid with another mom while drinking a glass of wine, everyone wins!
Sarah: My mama tribe is implicit to my work. I want to collaborate and support and work with my fellow mamas. From the women who develop the products, to the women who make them, to the women who sell them and buy them…they are all my mama tribe. Heymama has been huge in fostering the female family!
3 pearls of wisdom
Own your decision making as a parent. Everyone will have their opinions when it comes to how you raise your kids. But if you own it, then it gives others less room to give their two sense.
Make messes! With food, toys and everything else. Don't worry about keeping your LO clean.
You will have days where you get nothing done other than caring for your baby and that’s ok. Tomorrow is a new day!
3 pearls of wisdom
Parent the child you have, not the child you wish you had.
Teach that sometimes it’s better to lose and do the right thing than win and do the wrong thing.
It’s the little things that your children will remember. It’s the notes you leave in their lunch box, the silly inside jokes you share that make you belly laugh, the secret hand shakes that they will really remember. It’s about the little moments. Isn’t that a pearl of wisdom in life?