A conversation about business, passion and a good nights sleep with Carlotta & Georgie from linen bedding brand Carlotta + Gee.
It could be argued that the value of a good night sleep had been forgotten in the age of “the hustle” and “boss babe” mentality. For a long time, we were bombarded with information telling us that the secret to success was to hustle your way to the top, whether that be working ridiculous hours, prioritising work over self-care and relationships or foregoing sleep completely; in order to get as much work in as possible.
In recent months though, I’ve seen a shift in perception. People are craving a simpler, slower life and putting their personal needs and relationships above all. Self-care, meditation, daily yoga practice and a higher awareness of what goes into (and onto) our bodies are just some of the ways many are choosing to slow down.
How does Carlotta + Gee seek to support those who value self-awareness?
Carlotta + Gee’s business values are based on the idea ‘receive a good night sleep and watch what comes next’. Simply watch the people you admire who sleep well - you’ll tell the difference! Those people are the ones who will be succeeding in today’s modern world.
We enjoy the simple pleasures in life - the smell of fresh flowers, coffee brewing, the sun on your body - they may seem small but they certainly add up. Carlotta + Gee value those who understand the importance of investing in themselves, who think about the fabric they wear or sleep in, and the companies they wish to be associated with or go on the journey with as these are the tribe that surround them to grow.
We agree that sometimes to reach the top you have to invest hours in the office, in front of the computer and as you just mentioned – sacrifice sleep. All these things are pretty common for successful entrepreneurs but our question is what happens after this?
You have a business and money, but… what about you? The most important thing is to look after yourself. At the end of the day, a super successful business is amazing but what really matters is our happiness and how we feel about ourselves.
Everyone is now realizing the importance of taking care of yourself. Self-care and meditation are practices that all of us are incorporating into our lives and helping us to relax, think and enjoy little pleasures. These practices also contribute to a good night sleep and give our body a break.
A good night sleep is a break, it is relief for our body. If we don’t sleep we won’t have the energy to keep going. There are so many factors that can affect our sleep. These being a good mattress, the temperature of the room, type of mattress, how we feel with ourselves etc.
We spend ⅓ of our time in bed, our days can be determined by the first feeling we have when we get up. The value of a good night sleep affects the entire day.
Carlotta + Gee was born from a love of linen and a desire to bring a product to the market that was high quality, accessible and beautiful. Can you tell me more about the vision for Carlotta + Gee and what practical steps you had to take to bring the brand to life?
Carlotta + Gee started out as a passion project - two great mates who are obsessed with linen and how it makes them feel. We think that without this desire to love something, it wouldn’t have succeeded. The most important thing is to believe in your product, to know why and to help people make their lives better.
The journey has been difficult. We knew that our main priority was providing high quality linen and the most difficult thing was finding the best resources in France to provide this and then working prices to offer our product with reasonable prices.
Can you tell me a little more about French linen and why you chose to use French Flax linen over another blend?
Linen is a natural fibre grown from a flax plant. The cultivation of these crops is extremely expensive; it's more difficult to spin, and there are many labor-intensive stages to the production process. It's an investment.
Our linen comes from Normandy, France. The plant grows naturally without pesticides and irrigation. The process they use for making all flax into linen is eco-friendly.
Once the fibres are processed into fabrics we wash the linen with Malaysian stones to make it softer. Malaysian stone is a type of volcanic stone with many holes on the surface that make the fabric softer and more comfortable. We wash each product with these stones for 1 h using warm water.
There are linen/flax producers in other parts of the world which are characterised by different climatic conditions which are not as favourable to growth of flax fibres. For example, flax plants that are grown in the North Africa, where the climatic conditions are dry and hot, product a shorter fibre. When these fibres are processed into fabrics they have a tendency to break at lower thresholds leading some to a poorer quality finished product.
Flax grown elsewhere simply doesn’t grow with the same height or quality.
Both of you work full time which must make running a brand tough at the same time. In what ways do you support each other and how do you both contribute to the business?
We really do live the brand, in fact we sleep in the brand so there isn’t a time we aren’t thinking about Carlotta + Gee. As mentioned we live together which is great because we can ensure the business requirements move quickly.
Carlotta is the brains behind the style and aesthetic of the brand and product. Her background is events, production and brand styling. There is no way the business would be the same without her. We mentioned above the photo shoot in France this year, there will be plenty more throughout the world this year and years to come which Carlotta will run - check out our website or socials to see this magic.
Gee is the mouthpiece of the business. She comes from a PR and marketing background so knows the media landscape like the back of her hand. She has also recently been involved in a large influencer marketplace so has established the key influencer relationships and knows who should be promoting our brand.
Together we form the A team! We always say there isn’t anything we can’t achieve together and we genuinely believe it. Pushing boundaries is something we both enjoy and inspires us to reach higher.
Since your inception what struggles have you faced? Can you tell me about a particular incident and how you were able to work through it?
We are still learning so everything is new. But this is what excites us. If you aren’t fearful in life then you are too comfortable and not learning. We both know our strengths and our weaknesses and we don’t hide from them but rather, we work out how to fix them or better still delegate to someone else (i.e. accounts). This then gives us time to work on what we love and are good at.
A good example where we have learnt is how to build a website - we had the lovely Charlie from One Girl Agency build it for us but then we have had to learn the mechanics moving forward. She’s on hand whenever we need but otherwise we play around.
You stock a beautiful range of colours and patterns, how did you approach choosing these and do you plan on expanding them in the future?
Currently we have 12 different colours - originally we thought this was way too many, however, we have found that this has actually been our point of difference. We determine colours by watching what current colours are performing best and what the next season is.
In some locations, the natural tones work well and then in places like Bondi the bright colours such as musk or dark grey do well.
In our next order you’ll see a few new colours. Check out our website in early February - we can’t say too much!
Right now you stock bedding, do you plan to branch out and if so are you able to share any future plans? We won’t tell ;)
At the moment we only sell Carlotta + Gee on our website (www.carlottaandgee.com), via Instagram (@carlottaandgee) or at the markets such as Bondi on Sunday or other various markets. (We’ll always update our socials to let people know where we are). We were very fortunate enough to be asked to go into Facebook HQ in Sydney to feature in their internal Christmas market.
We currently have king and queen bedding in duvet covers, flat and fitted sheets. The pillow cases come in both standard and European (These have been extremely popular particularly for people’s beach houses).
We do receive loads of requests for table cloths, napkins, clothes….This is what’s exciting there are loads of options.
Tell me about your daily routines? How do you both like to start and end your day?
Our mornings start quite early. We both like to venture to the beach where Carlotta will swim while Gee enjoys yoga. Breakfast time is very important to both of us as it sets us up to be our best selves for the day. Tomato on toast with Spanish ham and salt is a favourite as Carlotta is Spanish. We’ve started making green smoothies too. We then venture off to our jobs for the day.
The evenings are filled with international calls to suppliers, media or contacts who are looking to collaborate both here and overseas. We then prepare orders which have sold throughout the day so they are sent the following day to our customers. Of course the whole time we are doing this it is with a glass of wine or music turned up extremely loud. That’s what makes it fun, there is always a sense of joy and lightness to what we do which hopefully resonates in the brand.
Finally, is there a woman that inspires you both?
Both of us hold our Mothers as our number one role model. Sue (Gee’s mum) and Moni (Carlotta’s mum) are leaders in their own right. They are inspiring, energetic, street smart, leaders and motivators. They have been a huge support in the making of Carlotta + Gee too.
Learn more about Carlotta + Gee