In Conversation with Siân Esther - Siân Esther London
In celebration of this week's #WellnessWednesday we've teamed up with Siân Esther London, a timeless, ethical and sustainable Luxury Nightwear brand.
Why and when did you start Siân Esther London?
The idea to start Siân Esther was born from a struggle to find quality, timeless pajamas which you would feel proud to give as a gift for a girlfriend, or to your Mum – like sending a hug in the post! The market was polarised with pajamas either being too sexy or too frumpy. I wanted to create PJs you could wear whilst hosting guests at breakfast, holidaying with friends or to be able to open the front door in. Effortless and chic, yet would stand the test of time.
My family have always had a passion for creativity and in particular sewing and knitting. My Grandmother had wanted to be a fashion designer but with the War wasn’t able to. She later bought the contents of a haberdasher’s shop and so we grew up with ribbons, buttons and lace to play with! Mum and I started trialing pattern ideas and when she died I knew it was something I wanted to build in her legacy and with her ethos of fewer, better quality pieces. Siân Esther launched in the Summer of 2018.
What have your biggest challenges been?
As a small brand, visibility has definitely been one of the hardest challenges, especially without large marketing budgets. There has been a lot of noise recently and I have tried to ensure our brand provides consistent and authentic messaging. As we evolve, I don’t want our message in supporting disadvantaged women to be diluted.
When I left my role in Buying to build Siân Esther, I also found the initial shift of working in a large team to it just being me as the driving force quite a shock. I love having the autonomy to make decisions and not having to have various sign-off meetings but I have also built up a network of female entrepreneurs who I can meet with to discuss ideas and issues. I’ve realized how important community is and probably even more so in recent months.
What makes your brand stand out from the rest?
Our focus is on quality, we want our pajamas to transcend the seasons and stand the test of time and so we use beautiful cottons and timeless cuts, rather than looking to the latest trends. We are all about simplicity and create effortless pieces that are easy and comfortable to wear for breakfast or for bed. We are a brand of purpose and our heart is to support disadvantaged women fulfill their dreams and so through our profits, we give back to our partner charities to help women in need. Hopefully, our pieces will be treasured, especially as we offer a special monogramming service which makes the PJs more of an heirloom to keep.
What's the one beauty product you can't live without?
I now have very little time for a beauty regime but I can’t live without the YSL Touch Éclat Concealer to hide the bags under my eyes! I now have my eye on the Irene Forte Orange Blossom Body Oil for its beautiful relaxing properties.
What are your top sleeping tips?
I try to prioritize sleep as it is so important for our wellbeing but with nearly a 1 year old daughter it is slightly more challenging, so early nights are a must!
My top sleeping tips are as follows:
Take a hot bath
It’s best if you take a bath 1-2 hours before you plan to sleep. Not only do baths help you relax but research has shown that the drop in your body temperature as you cool down after the bath makes your body think you have gone from daytime to nighttime and so you fall asleep more quickly.
Change into natural cotton or silk pajamas
The breathable nature of natural cotton or silk pajamas allow air to circulate around the body and therefore, promotes a better night’s sleep. We have a range of cotton and silk PJs which are comfortable to wear and often have customers feedback that they genuinely have a better night’s sleep when they wear them.
Go to bed at a similar time each night
Creating a routine with similar bed and wake-up times can help the body get into a rhythm and program the internal body clock.
It is harder said than done but it is best to switch off from your phone and screens an hour before bed as the light from them can impact your sleep. I go to bed with a notebook by my bed so that I can write down anything that comes to mind whilst I sleep and then worry about it in the morning. Dimming the lights also creates more of a calming environment before bed.
What does the future of fashion look like?
Consumers are increasingly wanting to know where their fashion items are made and the story behind their clothes. I think people will become even more conscious of their spending habits and look to buy better quality pieces that last. We are seeing fashion brands produce fewer collections each year, with less of a fast fashion approach. I can see consumers looking to buy investment, classic pieces and also a move away from mainstream high street brands and a stronger desire to buy into independent brands which have a different offering. Fashion will continue the trend of online shopping but I still think people will want an experience once the challenges of Covid disappear.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To not worry about what other people think and to focus on my own route and path. When I was younger, I definitely compared myself to others but now I understand we all have different purposes and gifts and it’s best to use them wisely rather than get distracted by what others are doing. I have become more confident in my own decisions.
What have you got in store for 2020?
Many of our plans for 2020 have had to be postponed or canceled. Winter for us is highly important in terms of gifting sales and we would normally take part in pop-up shops and Christmas Fairs but this year we will be more focused on online. We want to become more of a lifestyle brand and so will be offering customers tips and ways to support them with the art of unwinding and finding joy in the slower pace of life. We are hoping to be able to visit our partner charities whom we support as it’s so important to build lasting relationships and not just give money. Sustainability is top of our agenda and we are planning ways to improve our carbon footprint. We are introducing accessory lines created from fabric offcuts and hope these will be wonderful stocking fillers.