Fashion Designer | Artist | Printmaker | Textile Designer | Yogi Teacher
Artisan & Entrepreneur
You probably know my name from the decades-long fashion career that began back in the 80’s. I started my business in the upstairs of my barn while my kids were napping, I began by printing yards of cotton fabric by hand in a studio outfitted with a long wooden table, using stamps carved from potatoes. I was one of those lucky few whose work was ”discovered” by accident. One day, a gentleman walked into my shop in Rockport, Massachusetts and fell in love with my nature-inspired prints adorned with images of birds, fish, flowers and leaves.
This started a chain of events that led me to a showroom in the Garment District in NYC, to Hong Kong for manufacturing, and to hundreds of retail stores across the country that carried my collection. At it's peak, the line was in more than 2000 small boutiques, most major department stores and over 50 SIGRID OLSEN stores across America and Canada. In 1999 the company I founded 15 years prior with two partners was acquired by corporate giant, Liz Claiborne, Inc and became part of an enormous stable of over 40 brands.
Then in 2008 everything changed.
The economy hit a wall, and LCI Inc. had to downsize its holdings. After months of uncertainty, they decided to close the business and my life changed overnight. My existence became a blank canvas. No meetings, no deadlines, no team of designers to manage or corporate goals to strive for. No future, it seemed.
This is a nugget of wisdom that I discovered by meeting this challenge with an open mind:
As it turned out, I found a new calling. Spurred by a strong desire to stay connected with the tribe of women who fueled my career (both co-workers and customers) a brand new business was born. Creative Wellbeing Retreats allowed me to pivot from selling products to offering a unique, carefully crafted experience.
In 2009, just one year after the SIGRID OLSEN clothing business closed, the first retreats was launched on the beaches of Tulum, Mexico. In the decade since then, I've traveled all over the world, from Tuscany to Provence, to California, Florida, New England and Mexico, hosting retreats. The merging of art workshops with yoga & meditation has proven to be a very powerful transformative (and super fun) experience for those who have attended.
The most magical and passion-fueled ideas can come from this kind of upheaval.
Since that time, The Sigrid Olsen name has come to mean more than just fashion (though I'll never walk away from designing).The new retreat endeavor has enabled me to emerge as a leading lifestyle-driven brand, with wellness and creativity at the heart of the concept. I feel even more passionate today than ever before. I've found such delight inspiring my audience with a relaxed, upbeat approach to fashion, an inherent love of textile design, and an intense desire to dive deeper in life, with women who want to share the excitement of self-discovery.
Today I live and work out of a sun-dappled studio at our home on Siesta Key in Sarasota Florida. It is here that I design all my prints and plan for the future launch of BEACH to BISTRO--my new island-inspired fashion collection. Also...I recently became a certified yoga instructor and now teach classes on line, in addition to offering free online sharing circles and guided meditations. My brand is my life and vice versa.
To learn more:
Sigrid's story has been featured in many major publications including the New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, More Magazine, Boston Globe, Sarasota Magazine, and Coastal Living Magazine, as well as on radio and television and especially her recently published memoir, MY LIFE, Redesigned, which is available on Amazon.com or here on our website.