Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Carollo.
Stephanie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Becoming a fashion designer wasn’t something I set out to do exactly, it happened organically. I had a nutrition consultant business for a few years before getting pregnant with my first son. After my second son was born, I was nursing him in the middle of the night when I had an idea of making a silk kimono that looked like it was watercolored. He was only a couple months old, so I wasn’t fitting back into my clothes yet. It wasn’t easy to find something in my closet that made me feel good. I was desiring something that made me feel sexy but still cool and light because of the hot summer weather. So I got some silk and started playing around with dyes with the intention of making myself a kimono.
Right away, I noticed the toxic smells of the dye and with my holistic health background realized that I couldn’t consciously wear something that smelled toxic, let alone nurse my baby while wearing it. I consciously make an effort to pay attention what I eat, and what skincare products I use. The biggest question was how can I create this kimono style that I have in my head that is also clean like the products I ingest and use. I dove deep into research and soon discovered the rich world of natural textile dyeing – playing with saffron, pomegranate, wildflowers, and other natural spices and herbs. Mom’s would start seeing me picking my kids up from school in my kimonos, and ask where they were from – which soon turned into dyeing for them. My Kimonos caught the West Hollywood store Roseark’s eye, and it was then that I realized I need an LLC. It’s been a steady organic progression since my initial vision of what Aurora Sage turned out to be, and it continues to grow by the day into this beautiful entity. I didn’t really see it coming, but I am so happy it did. This business is my passion in material form.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course with any business there will be struggles. First and foremost, I am the mother of 2 amazing, but wild young boys – the juggle of business owner, woman, and mother is a constant. I am happy they are able to watch me live this full creative business life, but keeping the balance and making sure their needs are being met is always at the forefront of my mind. My studio is at home, which is half amazing and half challenging. I love being closely involved in my children’s daily life, but there is also no separation of my home life and work life. I usually have a child hanging on me during some point of my work day. Which is quite humorous to watch considering the physicality of my job.
When I started Aurora Sage we were actually displaced from our home due to a massive pipe leak that required us to renovate our entire home. So I had a newborn, a toddler, and basically only a small suitcase of our belongings in our rental home when I had the crazy idea to make silk kimonos. It wasn’t the ideal time to start a business, but it apparently was the right timing, and I am so glad I didn’t think too much about how crazy it all was (and still is). I just followed my passion and inspiration. In addition to those interesting challenges, there is constantly mistakes with production, dyeing, and design that require innovation, adjustments and being able to go with the flow. It’s all part of the process. I try and take any stressful obstacles and convert them into creative energy, it actually thrills me.
Aurora Sage – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Aurora Sage is a naturally dyed silk clothing line. I hand dye each piece of clothing myself using plants, flowers, spices, medicinal herbs, and other natural dyes to create each unique piece. Some of my most popular pieces are my tie dye or bright colored kimono styles. I also make wrap dresses and skirts tops pants, and blazers. My easy to tie turbans are a favorite, and many of my scarves can be tied in a variety of ways as well. I always have mantra’s playing in my studio space while I am working, even if I am playing other music over it. I believe energetically it creates a high frequency that impacts the space and the clothing I am making. I am proud to be creating pieces of wearable art that make my customers feel beautiful, empowered, and special in. Even more so, Aurora Sage is dyed with plants that are gentle on the bodies that the clothing adorns, and is kind to our planet as well. I strongly believe that the consciousness surrounding clothing and how it was made is going to be something that will really matter to the masses very soon.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment I’ve had so far is when I received a message from a woman who has been following my work on social media. She had found such joy in what I was creating with Aurora Sage that the severe depression she had been dealing with was momentarily relieved. She had found glimmer of joy where she thought she’d never experience it again. I have the message printed out and hung on my studio wall so I can see it every day. It just reminds me that we have no idea how we are affecting others when we are sharing our true selves and our passions to the world. It reminded me that yes I may only make clothing, but my pieces can touch people deeply. And the way I express myself in the world can inspire others on a level I didn’t even know was possible. The world needs more of that from all of us. We all have so much to offer. That is why I do the work I do.
- Price range runs from $75.00 for smallest silk scarf all the up to $800.00 for velvet and silk lined pieces
- Most pieces fall around 300.00
- Website: www.aurorasage.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @aurorasagesilk
Lauren Naylor, Faith Buchanan