Last weekend, I received an email from a woman named Maja Svensson asking if I would wear one of her dresses during my presentation at Green Festival NY. After perusing her website, I agreed to meet with her and chat. What a great decision. Maja is a finance executive turned fashion designer. She had a dream, a vision, and executed. The Elsa and Me dresses are lovely, custom tailored dresses made of organic cotton and manufacturer by a small group of tailors in the New York garment district. Their a perfect addition to any woman’s wardrobe as it is multifunctional; taking you from day to night and everything in between. It fits an array and looks different on various body types.
There are two versions available, the original 3/4 sleeve ELSA and the recently launched sleeveless ELSA, both of which are available in eight colors: Dusty Black, Vanilla White, Midnight Blue, Power Red, Sunny Wheat, Sweet Potato, Butter Cream and Hibiscus.
Here is a lovely interview with Maja and be sure to check out Elsa and Me.
Green Goddesses: Karama Horne of SavvyBrown.com | Natural Skincare Expert + Green Makeup Artist C Eden Di Bianco
How did Elsa and Me come to be? (tell me about you’re transition from finance to designer etc)
I have always wanted to run my own company. When I came to New York in 2008 for an internship in the Consulate General of Sweden, I immediately felt inspired by the city’s entrepreneurial vibe. I started to look for what a company of my own could be all about.
At the time, I was working in a corporate office environment and I saw a lack of diversified and feminine looks for the office. I decided I wanted to start making clothing that offered a conservative, yet stylish and feminine alternative.
Since I am not a fashion designer by training, I started experimenting with designs in 2009 with the help of a friend. I also got in contact with a pattern maker who helped me realize my first designs.
After receiving positive feedback on my first pieces, I decided I wanted to try making clothing for the professional woman.
The name Elsa has some powerful energy.
The inspiration for ELSA AND ME is my grandma Elsa, who has always had a very elegant and classic style. Her generation’s overall better care of resources like garments, heavily influence ELSA AND ME as well.
Who is the Elsa Dress for?
The ELSA dress is primarily for the woman professional looking for a dress to wear at work that can be easily transitioned for play. With the ELSA dress we want to give the alternative to dress conservative, yet stylish AND feminine at work.
I love this color she choose for me…Hibiscus, which happens to be a favorite flower o’ mine.
What do you hope to see happen over the next few years in sustainable fashion?
My hopes for sustainable fashion in the future is for sustainable to no longer be a word but rather an industry standard, meaning criterias are set for how materials are being produced, which materials are allowed to be used in production and how clothing is being manufactured.
I also hope the hype of fashion could be settled for being more focused on the combination of quality and style rather than focusing on the shifting trends and changes each season, which i think is part of today’s clothing industry craze that pushes the boundaries of the industry practices and morals.
I hope smaller brands and independent designers will be able to take a bigger stake of the clothing market in the future, serving consumers more aware of the cost of fashion and that allows for pre-orders and longer delivery times, which reduces the risk for the small clothing business and in turn better reflects a sustainable approach to fashion.
If you could do anything in the world, and you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
What I do now actually. That’s the perk of being your own, you’ve chosen what you want to do over what’s convenient/comfortable with the trade-off being the risk of failure.