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one-hundred and fifty

Laura Schoorl, Oakland CA

Words by Elisha Kennedy

Images by Gina Esposito

Laura Schoorl makes and sources handmade textile goods for several small businesses she works in, as well as for her own personal projects. Committed to the provenance and feeling of these materials, she makes beautiful garments and accessories that make the wearer feel comfortable and at ease. We spend a sunny Californian morning in the back garden with Laura, hanging out the washing and sharing cups of iced tea.

 

In your own words, tell us about what you do.

I run a company called Pansy. We make simple organic cotton underwear and clothes. I also make handmade leather slides and bags and other things when inspired, and am co-owner of a sustainable, California-based sheepskin business called Shepherdess.

 

Can you tell us about your journey to starting Pansy?

There wasn’t any underwear out there made in a way I felt good about, so I decided to make it with my then business partner and dear friend Rachel Corry. We were both hand-making shoes at the time and neither of us knew anything about apparel manufacturing so it was a steep learning curve. I feel like I finally have the hang of it after 4 years.

There wasn’t any underwear out there made in a way I felt good about

What are some of the things that you love about the area in which you live?

I love the lake that we walk around every weekend to get to our favorite old movie theatre, trips to the farmers market, and the Laney College sign.

What do you like to cook for dinner alone?

I can’t recall if I’ve ever made dinner for one in the last decade. For lunch alone, I tend to make little chopped up fresh veggies with cheese and chips, something easy with whatever is in season—usually carrots, sometimes cucumbers or cabbage—and lots of avocado.

Can you tell us about some of the pieces in your home that you love, and the stories behind them?

I have a painting by my friend Jessica Niello. It’s a still life of white asparagus and a little plate. It feels so romantic and, at the same time, so Berkeley. My shearlings are so important to me. There is one on my couch from a farm that’s a couple hours away and it is very cosy.

Do you have any morning rituals?

I never set alarms. I try not to schedule anything before 11a.m. so that I can allow myself to sleep in as long as my body needs. After I wake up, I check emails and do work on my computer. Recently, I have switched from hot chocolate for breakfast to oatmeal with almond butter, honey, raw cacao, and whatever fruit is in season – right now it’s lots of strawberries and apricots.

I have switched from hot chocolate for breakfast to oatmeal with almond butter, honey, raw cacao, and whatever fruit is in season.

 

And your bedtime rituals?

The nighttime is harder for me because I sleep late and tend to stay up late as well. I’ve recently started playing through all the New York Times sudoku puzzles before I brush my teeth. I put on a lot of oil and go to bed, leaving my phone in the other room.

Are there any artists or other designers that you find you keep coming back to for reference or inspiration?

Always Agnès Varda and Viva’s Superstar.

I’ve never been that into modern fashion but I love nature and films, art and political activism.

 

What are you looking forward to this year?

Looking forward to moving into a little house in Berkeley, picking out my dream furniture, and setting up the new garden. I’ve been waiting to live in a bigger space for a while and I’m so grateful that it is finally happening.

pansy.co


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