An Uncommon Journey…

Originally featured on Thrive Global Community.

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After spending many years working my way up in the lingerie design field, I had made strides. I had traveled to many far lands and built great personal and professional relationships. Yet I was burned out. I did not feel like I was living up to my potential in any facet of my life. I was also not feeling as good as I wanted. I was surrounded by many women who were also trying to make sense of balancing successful careers and gratifying personal lives. Inside they probably felt much the same as I did.

Then from an admittedly unwelcome professional change of circumstance, I received the gift of being able to slow down and focus on what was important. It gave me the time to reconnect with people on a deeper level. I was able to connect with the people I love. I was able to listen to new sources of inspiration, in particular Thrive.  From this, I learned some very important life lessons, all of which would touch me in ways that I could never predict. I used my new-found time to network and reconnect with friends and former colleagues. This led me to Pam Rice, an executive leader in our industry, a colleague and friend who I hadn’t seen for some time. We met to catch up personally and talked about the lingerie market and our shared passion for it. We both believed that there was an opportunity for a brand to offer a more holistic and less binary choice for women to indulge in….lingerie to live in and a community who appreciated that everyday luxury.

After many late evenings brainstorming, rehashing years of customer insights and industry knowledge, our concept began to take shape. Even with many new entries into the market, we still saw a void and an opportunity. We were able to do customer interviews, in which we continued to hear that most women wanted the feeling of something beautiful underneath it all—an everyday indulgence.

We spoke to countless stylish, confident women who like so many of us, had very full lives…in fact brimming over. And the consistent theme was that so many thought they had to make compromises…that they could not both look good and feel comfortable in their lingerie.

We also heard that she didn’t want to have to box herself into having to declare if she’s casual or sexy. She’s complicated…a spectrum…and she can be either or both at any given moment. We heard that she was missing taking enough time for herself. All too often we heard that things that should be common sense, simply weren’t available to her. And thus, Uncommon Sense was born.

From sleep to beach to everything underneath, we designed pieces that can layer on and off to take her wherever the occasion or mood strikes.

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Uncommon Sense is about a community of ambitious women who have so many phases of their busy lives. We know and love this about them. Hearing this ignited a passion to create a destination to support and reflect their ideas, aspirations, dreams and everyday actions like a friend would. Through product storytelling, we want to put a positive sentiment around self-care and mindfulness, while highlighting sleep innovations that give new meaning to beauty rest. Our mission became delivering accessible, leisure-worthy lingerie, sleep and swim essentials so soft and intuitive that they slip effortlessly into her everyday life.

We worked tirelessly on a business plan, and were fortunate to get connected with the Executive Leadership Team at RetailWinds, in particular CEO Greg Scott, who brought us on board to bring the concept to life. I led the design and development of the product for this brand, while Pam worked on the brand strategy, business development, and marketing.

That said, no garment, photo, label, or blog article would ever have been possible if it weren’t for a large community of women who put in so much time towards this endeavor. From partners in New York, LA, Asia and Sri Lanka we are globally strong and connected with each other by our passion for the product and the concept.  Our mission is to celebrate what makes each of us unique and uncommon as well as what brings us together.

Prior to launching this brand, I would have had no idea of the fulfillment that would come back to me by taking on this new adventure. Common wisdom goes; if I work hard, I can achieve, if I can get in earlier, I can get farther ahead. The list of advice goes on and on about how an individual can change their trajectory. I subscribed to this philosophy for many years. Uncommon Sense has taught me that what is much more vital, fulfilling and propelling is what we can do together….that what is ultimately most important is Us.

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Suzy Haber Wakefield

Chief Design Officer of uncommon|sense, Suzy has over twenty years of experience designing lingerie, sleep, and lounge. Her passion, drive, and experience all culminated in the creation of Us with co-founder Pam Rice. Avid crafter and DIY-er, she’s a lover of vintage finds, inspirational quotes, and above all, her family. This industry power house can be found spending her weekends in the Jersey burbs with her husband and two boys.