I first came across London sleepwear brand Yawn a few years ago and was really taken with their super soft, made-to-last PJS – thoughtful patterns with a difference, comfy waistbands and well-considered pocketed designs…
Nothing beats the right pair of pyjamas when it comes to a good night’s sleep and even more so for lounging in on a slow Sunday morning…
This post is a paid collaboration with Yawn London
While I may not be a breakfast in bed kind of person (I prefer to make my coffee myself and drink it at the kitchen table – one medium strong latte with frothed oat milk, thankyou!) I have no qualms snoozing the best part of a Sunday morning away after a busy week, while the faint sound of cartoons from the TV downstairs keep a busy little eight-year-old mind temporarily occupied.
Yawn founder Alice Whiteley understands all of this and it was the search for the perfect pair of pyjamas that led her to create her own brand. I asked Alice to tell me more…
Can you tell me a little about your background and how you ended up making pyjamas and sleepwear?
Exhaustion! No seriously, I have always been interested in business and creativity – I had worked as a management consultant and in retail and TV. I ended up making sleepwear because I was a tired working mum, needing to relax and invest more time in myself – something I found hard to do. I went shopping one day (unusual for me) and saw a gap in the market for high quality, colourful, characterful nightwear. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to build a business – and Yawn was born!
Your new organic range is gorgeous! How and where are you sourcing your materials and manufacturing?
Thank you. We are really proud to have been able to create it. We source our cotton from India because we found the finest fabrics there – and we manufacture there too, in factories that we personally visit. This season is the first time we have hit the minimums required to manufacture our own organic cotton. We are keen to put sustainability at the heart of our business and are on a journey of constant learning and improvement. I most admire businesses that make an active contribution in this area – such as Patagonia and Eileen Fisher.
Your prints are playful and feelgood – what inspires them?
All sorts! We tend to think about what makes us happy and go from there. Whether it is wild swimming (Bums and Roses), playing cards with the family (House of Cards), a trip to Paris (Float Away) or being by the Devonshire coast (Port in the Storm – which I know you have).
What do you wear to sleep in? Do you have a favourite set or combination?
Always and forever Yawn. I find it hard to have a favourite set. Probably my Cat Nap pair because they were one of the first that we made. Our “build to last” philosophy inspires how we make our products and I am delighted that they are still going strong today. I would be wearing a nightdress at the moment as it is unbelievably hot right now but they sold out so fast there are none left – a lesson for next year!
Many of you will know my passion for photography – it’s one of the reasons I started this blog! To begin with, like many, I photographed flowers endlessly. As I got more comfortable with camera and lenses, my desire evolved into creating imagery that conveyed feeling and took advantage of light. Eight years down the line, I still pick up my camera with a sense of excitement and determined focus – I will capture that moment!
Here are my top tips:
- Give your photograph the best chance and a little extra magic by taking your subject to the best or most interesting light you can find – indoors this will be by a window, outdoors you might want to look at where the shade falls and then photograph just where the light starts to meets the shadow.
- Good composition always makes for an eye-catching shot. One of the easiest ways to implement is this using the Rule of Thirds – which really is a straightforward as it sounds, and eventually you will do it without thinking! Split your photo into three parts, this could be horizontally eg. 2 parts sea, 1 part water, vertically or in segments. When splitting into segments, placing you subject off centre. Use the grid to help pinpoint an off-centre spot (don’t go too far too the edge though, as your lens might struggled to focus).
- Set your focal point. You don’t have to come off Auto to do this, but it helps! By telling the camera exactly what it is you want to focus on, you are creating the story of your picture – you are telling you viewer what it was that caught your eye and what you want them to see first. Off Auto (eg. On Aperture mode, I explain how here) you can move the focal point to where you want it to be and have better control of what you want your picture to be about!