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13 September 2014

How Lunya Was Born

Ashley Merrill - How Lunya was born

I couldn't be more proud to introduce you to Lunya. Lunya is more than a woman's sleepwear company, it's the self actualization of a lifelong dream. 


As Diane Von Furstenberg once said, "I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be." I love the multifaceted opportunities and challenges afforded by modern womanhood; I wanted to be a mother, a wife, and a businesswoman.  My dream was to be an entrepreneur (how lucky to combine your passion and job into one thing?) but until I created Lunya I thought I would never find the project that I could pour myself into so completely. 


The idea for Lunya practically hit me over the head some 3 years ago. I walked past the mirror and happened to glance at my outfit and almost laughed out loud at myself. I was wearing my husband's boxer briefs and his oversized t-shirt. I thought to myself... perhaps this is what it looks like when you "let yourself go"? It sent me on a journey for something that would be both attractive and comfortable and... "me". 


Everything I found fell short. Lingerie felt like I was trying too hard to look sexy, which made the whole thing awkward (I'm married and want to be sexy, but in more of an effortless, less push-up-bra-baby-doll kind of way). I also found plenty of frumpy options. Not to hate on plaid, but nothing says I've hung up my sex life like an oversize head-to-toe PJ set in holiday plaid. 


Don't they say to make lemonade of lemons?  From this conundrum, Lunya was born. Though I was sold on this idea, I still sat on it. I sat on it out of fear of failure and a million other excuses I kept reciting to myself. I got in my own way until one day I found out I was pregnant and I realized that it was time to jump.  If I couldn't take the risk without kids there was no way I would with them... so I leaped!  


The thing is, I knew nothing about making clothes. I was instantly flung into a world with its own language and rules that I knew nothing about. Little by little, and through an amazing amount of generosity of my friends and their friends, I put one foot in front of the other and began to generate some momentum. Since its inception back in October 2012 Lunya has weathered my hectic business school schedule and the birth of both my children. It has been the little engine that could even when I thought there wasn't a chance that it would. 


Lunya today is much more than me. It is a team of passionate people who believe in creating comfortable and flattering sleepwear for the modern woman and a brand that women can trust. I'm proud of what it has become and of the impact each team member has made on Lunya. I sit here with my 11-day-old daughter on my lap and feel grateful that one day I will get to tell her how I was afraid and how I leapt anyway. How Lunya goes beyond fabulous sleepwear but how it is a dream come true and how sometimes when you jump you find out you can fly.


The Merrills - Ashley and Marc with Link and Vesper


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