Gaux Girl - Sarah Pierson2017-10-02
For over a year, we've dedicated the better part of #onthegaux to telling the stories of female leaders and entrepreneurs who are changing the face of modern style. What better way to continue the narrative than to tell the stories of the Gaux Girls who started it all? Enter this gaux girl and one of Margaux's very own co-founders, Sarah Pierson.
Sarah's meticulous attention to detail, passion for smart design, and commitment to quality and craft have shaped our product and ethos from day one. The self-proclaimed introvert of the pair, Sarah leads Margaux's "internal" efforts, from product research and development with our design partners in Spain, to inventory and financial planning with our business development team.
While running Margaux keeps her always on the move - and on her toes - this Gaux Girl has learned the importance of stepping back from the daily grind to find inspiration and headspace. With this in mind, Sarah invited us on an off-duty adventure in the West Village where we browsed the shelves at McNally Jackson's Goods for the Study and stopped by a favorite Village bakery, Mah Ze Dahr.
Read on to meet Sarah, who shares musings on smart design, the importance of travel, and her advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
Meet Our Gaux Girl:
Hi there! I’m Sarah Pierson, one of the cofounders of Margaux.
When was the first time you really saw the idea of “smart design” materialize in your life, and in your own words, what does it mean to your work at Margaux?
I’ve always been a tactile person, with an eye for (or rather, obsession over) the details. I suppose this was inherited from my parents, both surgeons, who give ‘precision’ a whole new level of meaning. It wasn’t until Alexa and I first began to – literally and figuratively – sketch out our plans for Margaux that my interest in both product design and experiential design truly materialized. We posed a fairly straightforward question – “Why can’t we find a flat we could wear anywhere with confidence and chic?”– and were then confronted with the challenge of translating that principle to design, from design into iteration, and from iteration into a full-fledged business. Because our brand originated in problem-solving for our customer (and ourselves), our design philosophy is rooted in a desire to combine form and function, effortlessly. With (of course) the added, invisible challenge of designing for comfort – Which means our dichotomy becomes a trichotomy, of form, function, and fit. With that in mind, “smart” design has come to mean one that can strike a balance between often competing objectives without missing a step (no pun intended!).
If you had to choose one Margaux collection that embodies your style the most, which would it be and why?
That’s like asking to pick a favorite child! Rather than picking just one collection, I can point you towards a few favorites from across our collections – The shoes I’ll wear again and again, and never tire of. You’ll notice there’s a common theme: I’m drawn to feminine neutrals and am a firm believer that – if you find the right shade – you can wear them all year round. The Demi in Ballet Pink is my travel essential that I’ll always make room for in my suitcase, no matter how small my bag is! I also love our Pointe in Cacao (a favorite from the debut collection of our pointed-toe flat), which I often pair with short dresses and skirts in the summer, and vintage denim in the fall. And from our signature Classic color wheel, there will never be a replacement in my closet for the Classic in Flint – A season-less neutral that has no parallel.
From visiting Margaux’s factory in Spain to swinging by Margaux’s pop-up on Nantucket, travel is obviously a huge aspect of your life. Where else can we find you on the go this season?
With things moving so quickly at Margaux HQ, the past few months have had Alexa and I on a particularly demanding travel schedule. I’ve found myself seeking short weekend escapes as a result, often to Winter Park, FL – the small town where I grew up. Once I leave the city behind, time seems to slow down a bit – And when wrapped in the deep quiet of a central Florida summer, where I only need my bicycle to get from place to place, time slows down even more.
I always come back to the office from these weekends energized and well-rested – with a few more freckles to prove it.
How has launching Margaux inspired you to live colorfully?
As an entrepreneur, “living colorfully” has assumed a meaning beyond its original sartorial intention. With our work keeping us constantly on the move, Alexa and I have adopted a live-in-the-moment approach to keep ourselves inspired – Often, this takes the form of fully experiencing the cities we’re traveling to in our spare moments. We’ve made a tradition of exploring our destination – setting off on an early-morning canyon hike in Los Angeles, for example, or lining up for morning biscuits at a Charleston stalwart before the start of a trunk show.
From a sartorial perspective, too, my understanding of “living colorfully” has evolved. I have come to embrace a lighthearted, exuberant approach to fashion these past few years as I’ve learned what I feel most confident and comfortable wearing. While I’m most often drawn to simple silhouettes, I’ve collected unique pieces that in turn have become my wardrobe signatures – My cerulean blue tote, for example, that I carry every day. Or a handmade signet ring I found one summer in Greece that has become synonymous with my summer style. And my ever-expanding collection of oversized earrings never fails me, either.
What does being "a girl on the go” mean to you and where do you hope you’re going next?
Being a “girl on the go” means embracing ambition, setting goals, and chasing after them – ‘going places’ both personally and professionally. It means never settling, but instead pursuing passion, cultivating curiosity about the world in which we live, and along the way, paving the way for the generations of women who will follow in our footsteps, and go places of their own.
Gaux and take a chance on yourself. Alexa and I always say that our breakthrough moments have stemmed from risks we’ve taken. When you have the passion, the drive, and the humility to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself, there’s no hurdle too high to clear – or ceiling too tall to break through.
Photos by Bridget Badore for Margaux