An Introduction to Lauren

Photo Credit: @Juliadags

MEL many years ago for me! When reflecting on my professional path recently, I was amazed by all of the clues I found when backtracking through old journals and emails indicating my interest in expressing myself creatively. Most notable was in May of 2017. I was living in NYC at the time and working in financial services. That Spring, I sketched a bustier midi dress on a piece of computer paper and once finished, went on a quest to find a seamstress to help bring my vision to life.

After running several Google searches and sending a few emails, I found a lovely European couture designer located in the Fashion District who agreed to meet with me in her studio. She was incredibly collaborative, complimentary and encouraging. Ultimately, I decided not to pursue the project because of the cost to create it. As I contemplate the reason now, I can confidently say that it was due to fear of failing and feeling "out of my lane" and professional area of expertise. It's incredible to look back and realize how powerful limiting beliefs can be! 

MEL started to take shape when...I moved from NYC to my parents house in Upstate, NY in May of 2020. At the time, I was working for a prestigious law firm and my team was fully remote. While it was heartbreaking to pack up my apartment in Chelsea, I was ready for a change of scenery, more space and to ride out the unknown with my family. As time passed, and we learned more about COVID, it was clear that remote working and schooling, for myself and Mia were around to stay. While Mia and I were cocooning safely at home, our mother, Elaine, was going into nursing homes everyday, changing in and out of PPE, comforting patients who were separated from loved ones and on the phone with concerned family members.

In the evenings, we would curl up together in our favorite pajamas and share our dreams for the future as a way to escape from the monotony and stress of our days. We had all taken up a creative activity as well -- my mother enrolled in virtual painting classes through our local museum, I took photography lessons over Zoom and Mia taught herself to play the piano.

In June of 2021, my time living at home was coming to an end and I was preparing to move to Southampton, NY and Mia to Boston to attend BU. I remember gathering in my bedroom one evening, around my double monitors, and the three of us Googling local seamstresses who could help us make a prototype of the sleep dress we dreamt up. The year we had spent together was so special and the dream of making MEL a reality would allow us to stay connected beyond the comforts of home. As fate would have it, we discovered an instructor at our local museum who is also in product design and development with a NYC firm. We scheduled a conversation with her which led to more questions and introductions. It was when we were able to fully step into the role of student that MEL moved from an idea to actuality. 

Over the next year, we continued to meet via video to refine our vision and develop the product. It was around this time that we started shopping in real life again. I started popping in and out of boutiques on Long Island, looking for pieces to rebuild my sleepwear wardrobe but found it challenging to find anything at all. This experience reinforced our desire to create sleepwear that would appeal to every woman. 

My relationship to sleep is...improving. In November of 2019, I recall sitting in my dermatologist's office sharing with her how exhausted I was from lack of sleep. Based on my symptoms, she suggested that I speak with my OBGYN about PMDD which can cause insomnia. I had struggled with sleep for years and understanding the root issue provided immediate relief. I will always be grateful to her for her guidance and support. 

The items currently on my nightstand include: I'm a very sensory oriented person; my "must-haves" are 1) a Jasmin candle, 2) a small ceramic painted bowl for jewelry, 3) a glass of water and 4) Doctor Babor Refine Cellular Detox Vitamin Cream (the absolute best for dry skin!)

What I have learned most about myself so far: That living is synonymous with learning for me. I'm no longer afraid of failing, I'm more fearful of not growing and expanding as a person. My ultimate goal is to feel alive and connected to myself and others. I'm so grateful to be building a community of women alongside my mother and sister! 

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