My 1:1 interview with Susanna Taylor of Earthen Warrior
I was stoked to connect with Susanna Taylor, founder of the beautiful brand Earthen Warrior. I came to find her gorgeous eye masks at ABC Home and was overjoyed by her beautiful selection and eco conscious craftsmanship. We are both like minded in our belief’s that Sleep is the cornerstone of happiness and peace and optimal living. Since Sleep is a fundamental component of the Joyful Approach, I am notorious for traveling with a sleep tool collection like a white noise machine, an eye mask, herbs that promote better sleep and the list continues.
I am so excited to own my own Earthen Warrior mask’s for a better look and feel at bedtime and I will also use them during my Breathwork sessions.
Get to know Susanna Taylor and the magic behind Earthen Warrior:
Susanna, can you tell us a little about you.. your background in fashion?
I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from UVM where I did my thesis on Ecofashion (I’ve always been on the path to combine my two loves: fashion and nature/environmentalism). I then got my Associate’s in Fashion Design from Parsons. From there I worked mostly freelance in NYC as a stylist, freelance seamstress and designer, tailor and then organically started making sleep masks when I realized there was a gaping hole in the market for affordable luxury sleep masks!
What inspired the evolution of Earthen Warrior?
Looking back on my life, and the last few years of being in business, I realize I’ve been putting the pieces together forever. I had a period in High School where I was mad at all humans for what was being done to the earth, but I didn’t want to be one of those angry activists. So I kept mulling it over and realized it wasn’t humans but the systems we were living in: the design of our human world. How we consume, how we make energy, disposable culture, immediate satisfaction. I am design and aesthetically obsessed and come from a family of creatives, so it was only natural to make things as my small way to contribute to conscious consumerism. Seems antithetical but it’s not!
The brand itself really has evolved from the first sleep mask I made in my bedroom out of old sweaters and leftover trimmings. However, it’s still true to the spirit of its beginnings: luxury and eco can coexist.
The fierce meaning behind Earthen Warrior?
The name Earthen Warrior came to me randomly. I was living in San Francisco briefly after college and started a tumblr blog and named it Earthen Warrior (dating myself here). Then I got an Instagram because it was new (again, dating myself) and named it Earthen Warrior. Then once I started making masks and putting them on my Instagram it sort of just became the name of my brand. That all being said, it still works now as the name and spirit of my brand as I expand, and it allows me to expand into all sorts of product categories. Recently it’s become more clear that part of my life purpose is the be an ambassador for the earth, to show people the beauty, strength and fragility of nature. To show that it needs protecting, to show how something that happens on the other side of the earth effects us all. And that meaning and purpose has been there all along.
Can you tell us about your process with creating your beautiful eye masks and sleepwear?
I currently have a home studio and sew everything myself with occasional outsourcing to a local, fellow one-woman show seamstress in Brooklyn. I incorporate new skills and knowledge that I’m constantly learning into my designs. I taught myself how to embroider, have taken a few natural dye classes, connect with wellness practitioners to learn about herbs, crystals, other healing tools. I got my Reiki certification this summer and I just took an amazing class called Urban Herbalism about ways to stay stress-free in the city. These are all things I find ways to incorporate into my products and my brand. Logistically-speaking, I have a pretty full back stock of items, but many pieces are made and dyed to order. I love dyeing something right before I send it so it still smells like turmeric or raspberries or whatever the dye is, for the person receiving it.
What do you hope to offer with your your pieces?
I hope to offer people something beautiful, inspiring and life-enhancing. I started with sleep masks because I think sleep is SO important and so overlooked. It’s this intangible thing that is the first to be cut away when things get busy. But being well-rested is life-changing. So I hope to offer a talisman or ritual object to celebrate something that is so important yet invisible. As I expand into more and more products I plan to continue to offer pieces that have a little reminder of our connection to the earth, be it natural dyes, animal graphics, use of flowers and herbs, crystals etc.
What is Joyful in your life right now?
I just quit my day job last week, so being able to concentrate on Earthen Warrior full time and catch up on projects, connections, and things like this which I would have had to turn down when I was busy all day, is extremely joyful!!