A Melbourne mother who quit her corporate job to start her brand was shocked to learn how popular she would become in such a short time.
Sherri Kiernikowski was sitting on her couch in “uncomfortable pajamas” feeding her twins when she had a blister moment.
The Melbourne mother-of-two was so determined to bring her idea to life that she quit her job in telecommunications to focus on building her now highly successful brand, Wanderluxe Sleepwear.
“I spent a lot of time at home in my pajamas which weren’t very comfortable and weren’t the one you wanted to open the door in either, so I decided I wanted to do something by myself, “Sherri told News. com.au.
She then spent the next two years researching the “perfect” blend of fabrics. Not finding it, she decided to create her own.
“Choosing the right fabrics took months and months of back and forth. We not only had to get the right mix, but we also had to make sure it passed the wash test and stood the test of time, ”Sherri said.
After finally upgrading it to her standards, the 49-year-old combined her “luxuriously light and soft” fabric – which is a blend of cotton and modal – with her desire to create a “shirt for her” style.
“I began to realize that sleeping in a men’s shirt was definitely not something comfortable or breathable. And when I couldn’t find the fabric I liked, I created my own mix.
After merging the two, she officially launched Wanderluxe Sleepwear in 2017, based on the principles of Savile Row tailoring.
“It was a big risk because we self-funded it, but luckily my husband believed in me,” she said with a laugh.
In the four years since Sherri launched the brand, it has grown steadily, with its biggest turning point at the start of the lockdown last year.
“Over the past 18 months we’ve doubled our sales, with our bestsellers being long pajamas in winter and boxers in summer,” Sherri said.
She explained that it was the little details such as the softness of the fabric and its sleek look that made the clothes desirable, especially during lockdown.
Sleepwear designers last year reported a 225% increase in sales from April 2019, with a sudden surge due to people’s desire for more comfortable clothing during the lockdown.
“For me the biggest excitement is when someone comes back and buys something again. It’s a victory for me, ”said Sherri.
“It’s because you often guess yourself – ‘Did I do right? Will people really like it? – and then when people come back for a product, that’s where all the manual labor is worth it.
However, much to Sherri’s shock, her success didn’t end there.
Her brand has not only attracted retailers like David Jones and The Iconic, who now stock her clothes online, but it has also caught the attention of racing royalty Kate Waterhouse.
“I met Kate at a Mother’s Day event in Sydney earlier this year and always loved her style. I thought it would be so amazing if she wanted to work on a collection and when I reached out and she said yes, I was so excited, ”Sherri said.
Kate, who also runs her own fashion website, told news.com.au that she immediately fell in love with the brand’s gorgeous design.
“If it’s a brand you believe in and love, it’s easy to collaborate,” Kate said.
The mother-of-two colleague worked on her collection with the nightwear brand during Sydney’s last lockdown.
“This is where I found a lot of my inspiration for the vibrant colors – capturing the blue of the sky, the purple of the jacaranda trees and the pink and red tones of the soft summer flowers,” Kate said.
She also joked that her collection is definitely one that you would happily respond to.
“I often take a shower and put on my pajamas straight away. This also applies to the rest of my family, with my daughters often putting on their pajamas immediately after school. This is really how we disconnect, slow down and relax, ”she said.
Growing up immersed in the family tailoring business, Sherri was exposed to the fashion world from a young age and developed a passion for luxury fabrics and tailoring.
And while she said being surrounded by this environment has certainly helped her succeed, like any small business, she still faced a lot of challenges along the way.
“Fabric making is a whole new learning curve for me – something I’ve never done before,” she said.
“And having a young family, I also had to make sure I was available for them,” she said, adding that “multitasking” has been key throughout her journey.
“I loved that running my own business meant doing things when I wanted to, whether it was 6:00 am or 10:00 pm Just having that flexibility helps.
“But I always made sure the kids had what they needed before I concentrated on the business.”
Sherri said she finally wanted to do something for herself and when she couldn’t find any sleepwear she liked, that’s when she decided this was his time.
“I was on maternity leave when I decided I didn’t want to go back – that it was time to do something for myself and see how far I could push myself,” she said. .
And that’s what she did, telling news.com.au: “It was an amazing trip.
“I’m pretty upset by how well everything has turned out and the fact that Kate wants to collaborate and take us to the next level has been so humbling.”
The new Kate Waterhouse x Wanderluxe collection is available for purchase at wanderluxesleepwear.com and David Jones (in-store and online) from mid-November.
Originally posted as Melbourne’s mother’s nightwear brand explodes during lockdown