Local women design loungewear for comfort and support
Christmas PJ’s are a tradition in many families, and this year, there’s an option on the marketplace that will directly benefit two Eagle County women business owners.
PJ All Day is a locally-bred line of pajamas with women’s bra shelves built in: while those options do exist in the marketplace, founders Missy Erickson and Natalie Schroeder never found anything that fit exactly what they were looking for.
“My husband found one pair that sort of worked, but not really,” Schoreder said.
“But really expensive, that was the other thing,” Erickson added. “The price point wasn’t really there for the average woman.”
The PJ’s are made in America and come in several colors and cuts – pants, shorts and dresses – and are designed for women who want to be able to wear pajamas around the house, in front of houseguests or even for a quick trip to the store without having to decide whether they should put on a traditional bra. For many women, the answer to that question is yes and that often means discomfort in a situation where the number one goal is comfort.
“I wanted to be able to be downstairs, in my pajamas and not have to go up and change when I went to bed. I just didn’t feel comfortable in regular pajamas,” Schroeder said.
The idea had been nearly a decade in the making. Schroeder prowled stores, looking for a pajama that fit all her criteria. She never found quite what she was looking for, so she started sewing her own.
“Last year, I was sewing them for my girlfriends out of Walmart stuff. As loose as they were, they were still too tight and not that comfortable,” Schoreder said.
Her daughter and Erickson’s daughter are the same age, so the two of them have been friends for more than 20 years. In that time, Erickson’s family moved to Denver for a few years for her daughter’s schooling, but kept their house in Avon. Erickson, her husband and their two dogs moved back here full time once she graduated. Schroeder lives a few houses down the street and started seeing her old friend more often.
Before PJ All Day, Erickson’s company Moxy Evolution was focused on athleisure – some of the form-plus-function style principles carried over into the pajamas – but Erickson naturally knew she couldn’t compete with the big-name competitors. She was looking for a way to pivot her company to something else.
When her friend Schroeder mentioned her idea, Erickson knew she could make it happen. The two designed the garment, flew to Los Angeles to look at textiles and patented the Barely There shelf bra in their pajamas.
“It was just the perfect storm, us coming together. I don’t leave anything to fate, I think it was meant to be,” Erickson said.
While developing the business, the two founders fell into their own roles, filling in each other’s gaps and complementing each other’s strengths. Schroeder is the primary sales person, and Erickson is the primary behind-the-scenes person.
Even more than that, the business allowed them an opportunity to grow their friendship.
“Our personalities work really well together, we’re kind of polar opposites. It’s a perfect mix,” Erickson said.
“I love the fact that we’re selling to friends, and they actually love them,” Schroeder said. “When it stops being fun, we’re gonna quit doing it.”