Hello my darlings! I found today’s Plucky Pioneer, Sarah Waldo Jagger of Sarah Waldo Organics, via her brilliant blog, Going Starfishing. One glance at Sarah’s Jackie-Kennedy-Moroccan-pouf-wedding-dress header and I was sold. I eventually drifted to her company’s website and my admiration soared to even higher heights. A graduate of the highly esteemed Parsons School of Design, Sarah creates the most darling, socially-responsible and environmentally-friendly children’s clothing you ever did see. All the pieces are made of organic and natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and silk and are colored with low-impact or plant-based dyes. The pieces are also all made here in the United States by people who are not only paid a livable wage, but also receive full benefits…truly admirable! As for Sarah, the Cape Cod native previously worked in the children’s wear design department at Polo Ralph Lauren and was the first ever children’s wear designer to be nominated for the Parsons Designer of the Year Award. A quick tour of her blog and you’ll also learn she’s stunningly gorgeous and funny to boot! Without further ado, Sarah Waldo…
Five words used to describe yourself.
Passionate, generous, resourceful, committed and thankful.
What inspires you creatively?
Children! I love their energy, innocence and joy.
How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?
It’s preppy, classic, and beachy. They’re fun, easy clothes kids feel great wearing that parents feel great about buying. [Below, Sarah at her wedding with her flower girls—she made their adorable dresses and boleros!)]
What propelled you to found your own company?
I was working in the industry during school for companies I’d dreamed of working for. However, I quickly found myself really uninspired working in the corporate world. I didn’t want to work in a place that required me to compromise my social and environmental beliefs. Also, the thought of not being able to spend my summers on the Cape was pretty depressing!
Most glamourous part of owning your own company?
I can wear my slippers to work.
Least glamourous part of owning your own company?
I wear my slippers to work!
Best business advice you’ve been given?
Don’t wait! it’s never going to be the “right” time or get any easier, so just jump right in!
Creative businesswoman you admire?
Stella McCartney has set the bar so high for responsibility without compromising design.
Generally, I admire all the creative business women who can balance motherhood and with work and model doing what they love for their children.
Moment you knew you’d “made it”?
When Violet Affleck was spotted wearing one of our pieces!
Describe your typical work day…
In the life of a small business owner, there is no typical day. I always seem to have a million things to do, but it always seems to start the same way: I get up early with my husband (who is a high school teacher) and pack his lunch while he makes us oatmeal. Once he leaves, I throw our pup a ball for a bit before settling in with my tea and google reader. [Below, Sarah and her new puppy…awwww]
Your dream project?
Innuagration day outfits for Sasha and Malia Obama.
What goals do you have for your business in the future?
Growth! Both here in the U.S. and expansion into Europe, while eventually adding boys clothing and layette. Getting to the point where I was getting a paycheck would be really nice.
Also, starting little shop would be such a blast–perhaps something seasonal like John Derian’s Provincetown shop that he runs out of his house in the summer. [Below, Sarah and her handsome hubby on their wedding day.]
Advice to other budding creative entrepreneurs?
Make sure you really LOVE what you go set out to do. It’s not easy or glamorous to grow a business from the ground up–you won’t sleep much, you may be working other jobs to pay the bills. But, if you believe in what you’re doing it’s all worth it. You don’t want to be burnt out on your dream by the time you get there!