Fashion Designer | Artist | Printmaker | Textile Designer | Yogi | Retreat Leader
You probably know her name from the decades-long fashion career that began back in the 80’s. A true entrepreneur, Sigrid started her business in the upstairs of her barn while her kids were napping, in a studio outfitted with a long table for hand-printing yards of fabric, using stamps carved from potatoes.Sigrid was one of those lucky few whose work was ”discovered” by accident. One day, an apparel sales veteran walked into her shop in Rockport, Massachusetts and fell in love with the nature-inspired cotton prints adorned with images of birds, fish, flowers and leaves.
This started a chain of events that led her to the Garment District on 7th Avenue in NYC, to Hong Kong for manufacturing, and across the country with nation-wide retail distribution. At the 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 founded by Sigrid and 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 Sigrid's life changed overnight. Her 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 she discovered by meeting this challenge with an open mind:
As it turned out, Sigrid found a new calling. Spurred by a strong desire to stay connected with the tribe of women who fueled her career (both co-workers and customers) a brand new business was born. Creative Wellbeing Retreats allowed her 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, she has have 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 she will never walk away from designing).The new retreat endeavor has enabled Sigrid to emerge as a leading lifestyle-driven brand, with wellness and creativity at the heart of the concept. As a designer with an enthusiastic customer base, she is even more passionate today than ever before. Her goal is to inspire her 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 Sigrid lives and works out of a sun-dappled studio at her home on Siesta Key in Sarasota Florida. She recently became a certified yoga instructor and teaches classes on line, in addition to offering free online sharing circles and guided meditations. Her brand is her 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.