How This Former Fashion Editor Started Beloved Nightwear Brand Sleeper

Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned.

From style icons like Leandra Medine to celebrities such as Chloe Grace Moretz, Dakota Fanning, and Zoey Deutch, Sleeper has easily won the hearts of the fashion community. Inspired to create transitional pajamas that were comfortable enough for a night-in, but also chic enough to wear out at any hour, co-founder, Asya Varetsa, has built a successful nightwear brand alongside other co-founder, Kate Zubarieva—with no fashion design experience whatsoever. Sleeper has now transpired into a luxurious collection of pajamas, linen midi dresses fit for any beach destination, and sophisticated silk slip dresses sold on major retailers such as Moda Operandi, Net-a-porter, and Shopbop. Impressively, the brand has generated $4 million in revenue last year alone since their initial investment of $2,000 in 2014 without any outside investment. 

Prior to Sleeper, Varetsa began her career at an advertising agency, and then as a fashion market editor for ELLE Russia for three years where she fully immersed herself in the fashion world by traveling on shoots, logistically coordinating designer samples from all around the world, and ultimately having an inside look into how exactly the industry worked. Eventually, Varetsa left ELLE and moved to Kiev, and coincidentally the same day, a revolution broke out in the streets of Kiev. Varetsa and Zubarieva noticed the growing trend of working remotely and being unemployed and the need to dress up for yourself; thus, Sleeper was born. “We achieved milestones in our past careers, so our individual experiences pushed us to create something new, something that belonged to us,” Varetsa commented to Second Life.

Head to iTunes to subscribe to Second Life, and listen to this brand-new episode to hear all about how Varetsa applied her past experience to create a brilliant sleepwear brand. And keep scrolling to shop our favorite pieces from Sleeper. 

Up next, meet Hillary Peterson, the CEO of transformative skincare line True Botanicals.

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