We are delighted to share with you our first interview of the new year, and we have chosen one that will hopefully inspire all of you who’s New Year Resolutions are to do with getting fit and adding a little more ‘zen’ into your daily lives.
Shanti Sundays in a British line of yoga clothing and accessories that are chic, fun and eco friendly. The line was founded by dedicated yogi and fashion designer, Tracey Ellis, to liven up earnest yoga studios, enhance everyone’s practice and put a smile on your face. The clothing collection is “Blink London”s choice whether we are heading to the gym, yoga studio or just hanging out on a (Shanti) Sunday! Its so refreshing to see such a cool, yet cute and approachable collection amongst all of the mandalas and Thai fisherman’s pants. The range of accessories and props is equally lovely, including pretty organic cotton bolsters, silk eye bags and meditation cushions. Each piece is individual and has gorgeous detailing such as pretty hand stitching and embroidery, carefully designed to promote deep support and relaxation.
We were delighted when Tracey agreed to our interview, and also to give us some great products for a couple of lucky “Blink” fans. More details at the end of the interview about the competition! So, over to Tracey…
What does Shanti mean and why do you think we all need a bit of Shanti Sundays in our lives?
Shanti is the sanskrit work for peace. When you are in a peaceful state of mind you naturally slow down and act from your heart rather than your head. This is always going to be a good thing. Everything in life is so fast and changeable now that I think it’s essential that we slow down in order to be able to keep up.
How does yoga impact on your life and why do you recommend it so highly?
It really is the best thing. It becomes a way of life that nurtures your inner and outer environment. I can be quite airy so it helps keep me grounded and focused when everything seems to be spinning out of control. I meet so many people, women especially, that are always striving so hard and giving themselves a rough time for not meeting their own expectations. Yoga helps you be more kind to yourself and accept yourself however you are. On a physical level it creates space in your body, reduces stress levels significantly and teaches us to breathe properly.
How do fashion trends impact on your collection?
I keep an eye on trends that are coming through as the whole concept of Shanti Sundays is that we are a fashion relevant yoga line that can compliment your daily wardrobe. You can find subtle colour palette and print references in my collections that make a nod to current trends.
What has been your most successful product so far?
Our floral printed bolster filled with organic buckwheat and lavender has been the best seller in the accessories line. From the clothing line the floral printed pocket sweatshirt has been a hit with everyone and has sold out several times over.
How does the idea of sustainability or ethical production impact on your collection?
We are sweat shop free and use organic fabrics wherever possible. All of our marketing materials and tags are fully recycled and we donate £1 for each sale to charitable projects overseas. As we are still fairly small it’s not yet possible to meet the minimums of some of the bigger factories that work with sustainable fabrics only, but this is the direction we are going in. It’s the only true and honest way to do business.
How would you describe your brand’s design aesthetic?
It’s all designed to make you smile. Easy, playful, colourful and energetic.
In a parallel universe where Shanti Sundays didn’t exist, what other job would you be doing?
I’d be working for the Red Cross or Unicef, making a difference in a hands on way.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I feel so lucky to be able to exercise my creativity in an industry I love. Designing products that go beyond just looking good but that also function brilliantly is really satisfying. And of course the flexibility of dropping into a yoga class in the name of research is a pretty cool bonus.
What advise would you give to somebody considering launching their own collection?
Write a thorough 3 year business plan as it really helps clarify how you will actually make your concept work as a business. And make sure you have enough finance in place as things don’t always go according to plan.
How have you found producing your line in India?
I love India. It’s such a diverse place. You have access to a wealth of traditional skills and resources which is really inspiring. As with manufacturing anywhere in the world, you can’t take your eye off the ball for a second, but stressing about a slight change in the shade of a colour can seem pretty ridiculous when you see what people have to live with there. So you have to learn to let go a little more, go with the flow and trust that things will work out.
I feel most creative when…
I’m practicing regularly and in my flow… or sometimes after a few cocktails with my favourite girlfriends! The former is much more commonplace these days though the latter is always a joy.
Any final word of advice?
Don’t be afraid to try. As Ghandi once said “If not you, who?”
And now we’re delighted to announce our first ever competition! Tracey has very kindly given us two perfect and practical Shanti Sundays shoppers, each with a gorgeous cap sleeve tee shirt inside. To win one of these sets we’d like you to complete the following sentence:
“My idea of a perfect Shanti Sunday is….”
You can leave your answer here as a comment or tweet it to us @BlinkLondon. The deadline for all entries is 24th January.
Can’t wait to read what you come up with! Lucy