Fashion Designer | Artist | Printmaker | Textile Designer | Yogi | Retreat Leader
You probably know my name from the decades-long fashion career I began back in the 80’s. A true entrepreneur, I started my business in the upstairs of my barn while my kids were napping. My studio was outfitted with a long table where I hand-printed yards of fabric with stamps I carved from potatoes. I am one of those lucky few whose work was ”discovered” by accident. One day, an apparel sales veteran walked into my crafts shop in Rockport, Massachusetts and fell in love with my nature-inspired cotton prints adorned with images of birds, fish, flowers and leaves.
This started a chain of events that led me 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, our 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 with two partners was acquired by corporate giant, Liz Claiborne, Inc and we 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 became a blank canvas. No meetings, no deadlines, no team of designers to manage or corporate goals to strive for. No future, it seemed.
But here is what I learned:
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 my co-workers and my customers) I created a brand new experience to replace the product-based business I had thought would carry me into retirement.
In 2009, just one year after my business closed, I launched my first Creative Wellbeing Retreat on the beaches of Tulum, Mexico. In the decade since then, we have traveled all over the world, from Tuscany to Provence, to California, Florida, New England and Mexico. One of my greatest pleasures is hosting women in these fabulous venues and giving them the opportunity to connect, contemplate and create. 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, my name has come to mean more than just fashion (though I will never walk away from that!). SIGRID OLSEN has emerged as a leading lifestyle-driven brand, with wellness and creativity at the heart of the concept. As a designer with an enthusiastic customer base, I am even more passionate about where I am headed with my brand today. My goal is to inspire 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 my home on Siesta Key in Sarasota Florida. My lifestyle and my brand are now closely aligned and every day more doors are opening.
To learn more:
My 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 my recently published memoir, MY LIFE, Redesigned, available on Amazon.com or here on my website.