Maja Svensson, Owner & Designer, Elsa & Me
Last week I hosted a dress fitting with the wonderful designer Maja Svensson of Elsa & Me. I knew it would be fun, but I didn’t realize just how much fun it would be.
Maja and Emily are ready for the party to start!
Maja arrived with a huge purple suitcase about 30 minutes ahead of our other guests. Within no time, she had unpacked and set up a rack with about a dozen dresses. They were black, red and deep navy. They had a variety of sleeve lengths. They were one of Maja’s three silhouettes – Elsa, Ida or Ruth, all named after important women in her live, including her grandmother, the Elsa in Elsa & Me. We had wine, bubbly, delicious snacks from the Bushwick Bakery.
Once our guests Beth, Kinthi, Emily, and Lauren arrived, Maja gave a lovely presentation about her company. Originally from Sweden, Maja was deeply influenced by her grandmother’s style, as well as the simplistic and practical aspects of Nordic design. Her concept is unique in that she can offer the luxury of custom fit and high quality at a reasonable cost because she provides a fixed set of features that you can select – silhouette, neckline, sleeve length, and color.
She serendipitously met the owners of Panâh, the fashion production house that she now partners with to make her dresses. Panâh is located in Kenya and employs talented local women and underprivileged young people to cut and sew the designs. These jobs offer skills development and economic opportunities for people who may not have access to safe, fair employment otherwise. Most of the fabrics Maja currently uses are produced in Kenya as well. They are soft, yet strong and flattering.
Lovely linzer cookies from Bushwick Bakery
Maja spent about 20 minutes with each of us that evening, taking numerous measurements and then taking them again to be sure. It was amazing to see how beautifully the sample dresses fit each one of us, regardless of our individual shapes and sizes. While this was happening, the rest of the ladies discovered countless connections, both business and personal, just as I had hoped.
Our dresses should arrive from Kenya within about 4 weeks, and we will be receiving email updates throughout the process. When they arrive, I will share the final results. I can’t wait to see how gorgeous we all feel in our new outfits!
Thanks to Maja for this great idea and wonderful designs. And thanks go my friends for such a great evening!
If you’re interested in coming to another event, let me know! I’d be happy to host you and Maja any time.
~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City
This beaded necklace from Kenya will soon be available from Elsa & Me
Lauren, Beth, and Kinthi are ready for their dress fittings.
Maja takes Lauren’s dress measurements
Beth’s final arm measurement
Mine’s going to be black. The next one will be blue! Or maybe red. It’s so hard to choose!
Everyone’s pin cusion tells a story