I absolutely adore having the opportunity to learn more about women's businesses. How they're inspired, what their best day looks like, what their challenges might be. When I saw Aurora Sage silks, my jaw dropped. I had never seen something so delicate, beautiful and chic. Not to mention her ethos is in alignment with mine: using natural elements to create gorgeous garments. I had the opportunity to learn more about how she creates her silks and what inspired her journey. I hope you love reading our interview below!
1. Can you start by introducing yourself and telling us a little bit more about what you do?
Sure! My name is Stephanie Anavim and I naturally dye and design silk scarves and clothing in Los Angeles. I use flowers, herbs, and leaves, often from my home garden, as well as barks, seeds, spices and other traditionally used natural dyes. Every dye I use on my silk is organic, and sourced responsibly. A ton of love and energy go into each unique piece I create!
2. I would love if you could give me a snapshot of the dyeing process; how do you choose what colors to use and what are some of the steps to creating a one of a kind Aurora Sage piece?
Choosing the colors I use is most often intuitive. I go through phases where I feel called to work with a color. Most recently it’s been green! If I am making a piece for someone specifically I will discuss their preferences, otherwise I let my intuition move me through the process.
After my designs are cut and sewn in downtown LA, I take my blank canvas and get to work. There are many techniques I utilize in my designs to create interesting unique effects on the silk. Using hot or cold dye baths, eco printing, tie dye, jar dyeing, and painting are just a few ways I use my dyes. Depending on the look I am going for I will decide which combo of techniques to use. There is a lot of washing and hanging to dry between processes, and when I achieve the look I am going for I do a final wash and use a hot iron to smooth. It can be a long multi layered process, but for me it’s enjoyable and like a meditation. I usually chant my kundalini mantras while I am working, because I am a big believer that the vibration of the intention and energy will be embedded into the silk.
3. What inspired you to start Aurora Sage?
Aurora Sage evolved so organically I never could have predicted it, but in retrospect I see that of course this is where my path led me! Initially I wanted to make myself some silk clothing after having my 2nd child. I wanted something lightweight and easy to move around in, but that was also flattering and made me feel glamorous. I asked my husband, who works in the apparel industry, to help me source good quality silk. I had a vision in my head of the color, and it looked like a galaxy water color painting. Water coloring was something I loved to do in the recent years, the meditative state I go into while painting is relaxing. I wanted to create that same watercolor look and started researching how to paint silk, which I soon realized was an ancient dye technique in Asia. I began experimenting with the silk painting, but the dyes smelled so toxic! So I started researching natural dyes (which is much more aligned with my nutrition background and natural lifestyle anyways) and learned everything I could. After that moment everything started flowing quickly. Friends were responding to my designs in a way I didn’t see coming, and I realized I had an opportunity to share these silks with others. My intention has been to create beautiful clothing, but there are other levels at work, which i am very well aware of. The health benefits of the silk and plants used as well as the energetic benefits of wearing clothing that has been made with so much love and intention. I feel I have found an opportunity to bring awareness to how the clothing we wear and the environment it was created in effects our health, as well as empower the wearer of Aurora Sage to feel confident and beautiful.
4. What do you love most about working with silk and botanicals?
I have always loved silk since I was a little. My mom had a lavender silk nightgown that I would beg her to wear constantly. There is something luxurious, yet comforting about the look and feel of silk. I have always been a nature girl! I have very special memories of my childhood spent searching for crystals and arrowheads in my backyard, playing with the trees, flowers, and bugs! As I grew older, my love for nature turned into a love for nutrition. I have really enjoyed studying how herbs and plants support our bodies nutritionally. This has unexpectedly evolved into my love for using the same plants that I grow and eat into the dyes I use for my silk.
5. What are the benefits of silk for the skin and hair?
Silk has long been known as a beauty & health secret with the ancients. Silk is a hypogenic, strong yet smooth fiber, that does not wick moisture from the skin and hair like many other fibers do. It is very soothing to the body, making it an ideal fabric to use for those with dry frizzy hair, sensitive skin or eczema. Silk is a natural body temperature regulator, helps keep the heat close to the body in the winter, and release the heat in the warmer summer months. Besides the benefits of the silk, a lot of the plant dyes I use have fantastic benefits for the skin and hair. For example, Turmeric which I love to use, is fantastic for inflammation of the skin, and in combination with the silk benefits, makes it a fantastic choice for those looking to ease skin disorders. Most of the dyes I use have medicinal and energetic benefits to them, and take the silk benefits to the next level!
6. What does your most blissful day look like?
My most blissful day would begin with me waking before my family and getting in some alone time to practice my kundalini yoga meditations, journal, read, and get ready for the day. After a morning cuddle with my boys, I would play around in my garden, and probably do some dyeing. Next I would head to the Korean Spa here in LA for an afternoon of scrubs, saunas and massages. I then would probably meet up with a friend or my husband for some really satisfying nourishing food, most likely some place vegan since LA has a nice variety of healthy spots. I then would go to a relaxing evening candlelit yoga class with a gong bath to finish. Make it home in time to cuddle and watch a movie with my two sons and husband. Sip on a honeyed lemon balm tea, which is my favorite go to nighttime tea. Then drift off into the most amazing deep sleep.
7. What is your current favorite self care ritual?
I am definitely a bath lover. I will dry brush my body and then massage myself with a delicious oil, and get into a hot bath. I love to add crystals, essential oils, salts, herbs, and other fun things into my baths. And I will take a book with me and relax. After I get out I will do a face mask, and massage essential oils like ylang ylang & frankincense into my scalp. Sometimes before my bath I get into my infrared sauna for 30 minutes. There is nothing more relaxing than an infrared sauna session and a bath!
I hope you all loved the opportunity to read more about this amazing woman and her incredibly decadent silks. I haven't taken mine off since I got it! You can truly feel the love infused into this piece. I opted for a silk square so I could wear it as a scarf, a shawl, use it as a throw on the couch or lay it over my pillow at night. There are a million different ways to use it! Next up, I think I'll have to get the silk pants & top. I'd probably live in them.
Find Stephanie's beautiful work here: www.aurorasage.com
Thank you so much for reading!