Monica Nassif Proves There’s No Lounging for the Driven
In July 2010, Monica Nassif left Caldrea, intending to take some time off. Her friends joked about spending all day lounging in her pajamas reading books—but when Nassif tried, she was disappointed with what the loungewear industry had to offer. At the time there were only three types of sleepwear available to women, according to Nassif: frumpy flannel, uncomfortable polyester and lace, and yoga attire. None of those are meant for lounging, she says.
So only weeks into her “time off,” she had the idea for her next endeavor—a luxury sleepwear line, Sophia Graydon, named after two of her husband’s ancestors.
She started by making a list of every gripe she’d ever had with her own pajamas—everything from fabric tangling between her legs to losing the tie to her robes. She teamed up with pattern maker Ida Matthys to create a line of nightgowns, robes, and separates. The online store, sophiagraydon.com, opened for business on August 14. Items retail for $175 to $3,195.
A team of eight employees based in a workroom in Northeast Minneapolis create samples using imported silk, lace, and cashmere, and once the design meets standards it is sent to New York, where Sophia Graydon’s manufacturing takes place.
Startup costs have been funded by Nassif, with the opening promoted through online marketing. Nassif plans to open a stand-alone store sometime in the future.
She says it is too soon to judge the concept, but customer reaction so far has been positive. “I wanted to make something that is not only gorgeous, but works,” says Nassif. “I can’t be the only one who would love a beautifully made pair of pajamas.”
This isn’t the first time Nassif has taken it upon herself to bring a bespoke idea to an old market: She created the Caldrea and Mrs. Meyers lines of cleaning products and later sold the brands to S. C. Johnson.
Sophia Graydon loungewear