It’s no surprise that we’re big fans of self-care over here. And one of the biggest forms of it is undeniably sleep. Thus, when we discovered the sleepwear brand Lunya, our hearts did a little flutter. Not only is everything about the brand chic and perfectly modern, but every piece of clothing that they produce is beyond comfy.
We sat down with founder and CEO Ashley Merrill to hear more about her story and how she’s evolved Lunya to the place that it is today. Scroll on down to read our interview with her and shop our faves from Lunya below. (You might just never want to get outta bed!).
It’s no surprise that we’re completely obsessed with every aspect of Lunya. Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey and how you’ve built the brand to where it is today.
Lunya was an idea born from a personal experience… I was wearing my husband’s old clothing around the home, and when I went to find something better that would be comfortable, cool, and flattering —I came up empty handed. I sat on the idea for a long time, finally jumping in what felt like a now or never moment when I got pregnant (ironically).
I built slowly, trying to conserve capital and learning the fashion business while I went. I eventually moved the business out of my home in 2014. From the launch in 2014, we’ve been building the team and iterating on the product building the best in class sleepwear company we have today.
What have been the highlights and challenges of this journey?
I feel like each day is full of both. Notable peaks are big campaigns we’ve launched like “I Come First“, product launches in Linen Silk, or just overcoming the less sexy but equally important internal operational hurdles. The valleys are usually painful business lessons or leadership missteps.
What is something that you’re most proud of both in life and in work?
Continuing to push forward no matter what the obstacle.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, either professionally or personally?
You can do everything, just maybe not everything at the same time.
What advice would you give to someone who has an idea about what they want to create, but doesn’t know where to start?
Ensure that there is a market with people that want what you have, so that you create enough value that people will pay for what you’re offering. Make sure that your idea is differentiated and that you are passionate and ready to stop at nothing to make it work.
You’re a mom, a CEO, and so many other things. How do you do it all?
I don’t. One thing I worry about greatly is the notion that we should be able to do everything. It always leaves us feeling like we’re failing in something. Lunya took so much out of me that I basically just survived my kids’ first 5 years. For those first years I barely slept (the irony of this is not lost on me) and I had a lot of help with a nanny and nearby parents. I also had to learn to say no to a lot of things — networking, off hours meetings, etc. I told myself that when my kids turned 5 family would be a clear number one. I have a 5 and 6 year old now and luckily Lunya is big enough that I’ve been able to hire senior leaders and get some flexibility back, but I don’t think any start up can provide this from the beginning.
How has motherhood changed you?
It has taught me how to prioritize and accomplish a huge amount in a very constrained amount of time.
What’s a daily ritual that you live by?
I workout almost everyday at lunch. It’s one thing I do to keep my head clear and my body healthy. I’m a big Classpass fan and my team has started to join me which is a nice way for us to get to connect outside of the office.
What’s next for Ashley Merrill?
I recently launched The Deep (thedeep.life and @thedeep.life) and I’m really enjoying the opportunity to engage with people in cerebral and challenging topics. It’s essentially a question platform that allows us to move beyond the polarizing style of interaction; to help people gain empathy and understanding for others while getting to know themselves better.