Meet Sally Bergesen
MEET THE MUSE: Sally Bergesen ~ runner, fashion designer, respectful rebel, founder of Oiselle,
I only leap out of bed if there’s a spider in it or if I’ve overslept. But the things that KEEP me out of bed, well into the night, include: a creative noodling (garment or graphic design), a worry which I feel I must attack, or on too few occasions, an 80’s music dance party with my posse.
What did you dream about when you were 8?
I had lots of dreams about flying horses. Wrote stories about them, in fact. I guess there’s a reason I transitioned to birds.
What do you dream about now?
World peace through sisterhood. And Peking Duck from Wild Ginger in Seattle. Yes, I eat birds.
What matters most to you?
Connectedness…both personally and professionally. The journey of togetherness with my crew (family and The Nest). But also seeing if Oiselle can be a catalyst for creating that connectedness among other women around the world.
What do you tell young people to do?
Young people should be telling us what to do. Having said that, my main message to youth is usually to keep going through the painful uncertainty. Like Dan Savage says, it gets better! I was 28 before I had a job I felt passionate about.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Personally, growing two humans out of my body; professionally, founding Oiselle – and with no credit to myself – being naturally free of fear to do so.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Helping women love and believe in themselves.
What is your motto?
If I’m running, and feel like my pace is deteriorating, I tell myself, keep it respectable. Others I like, for different situations include Head up, wings out! Onward! And from my husband, who’s a cyclist, Shut up and pedal.
Let’s dive deep:
What is holding you back from living the life you want?
Eating and showering! I mean, seriously, I love the athlete lifestyle, but it’s crazy how much time these things take. There’s the sport, and then there’s this huge chunk of time required to get the food in and the polish on. In seriousness, I feel in my heart of hearts that I’m living the life I want. And I have been ever since I had the opportunity to start Oiselle. That’s not to say it isn’t scary, tiring, stressful…but it IS truly what I love and want.
What is your greatest fear?
That we are not yet reaching the population of young girls and women who most need the sisterhood of sport.
What has been your greatest life lesson?
Persistence is everything. It outweighs all other benefits -intelligence, skill, status, money – by a long shot.
I also had someone tell me once, “You’re no better than anyone else, but you’re no worse either.”
Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides, is another good one.
What breaks your heart for others?
Unresolved loneliness or isolation. Feeling important and included is all we want as humans. I’ve found these things in my home and run family – but everyone deserves it.
How do you break your own heart?
Failing to reach out to others in a time of need. “Never worry alone,” is what my friend Bob Lesko told me once, and it’s so incredibly valuable. I’ve suffered alone a lot less these past 10 years.
If you had the world stage for one moment, what would your message be?
Move your body. It will lead your mind to amazing places.
Tell us about your work:
Tell us a bit about Oiselle:
I think of Oiselle as my third daughter. Ha, and she is often the neediest. My secret sauce is running + design. Those together equal Oiselle. I’ve been driven by the desire to bring great fabrics and designs to a sector that has often relied on cheap polyester
and poor quality. And to working against the fast fashion movement. I want our garments to be the one you buy when you need/want to use it for years.
What job | project | goal are you working on now?
We have some super secret experimental products going down. One which we’re about to release called Spandos. All made in the USA, it’s four silhouettes (2 bras, 2 bottoms) across eight wild prints, all hand selected from a print library in Los Angeles. It’s truly been a one-of-a-kind, sometimes painful, but in-the-end–
What is your why behind it?
Sometimes you have to take big risks and do weird things–
just to stoke your own creative fire, and delight your community along the way.
What should people know about your work?
I’m very picky, and have a designer’s eye. But I’m also very experimental. My mom had a phrase that she said in an appreciative tone: weird and wonderful. I want to keep
pushing, stretching, cross-pollinating to get to that place no one’s been before.
How can we support you and your work?
Conversations, in person meet ups, going for a run, dinner parties…The Muse Conference! All of the above.
How do you balance work and play?
Making work my play.
Share your inspiration with us:
When and where are you most inspired?
On a sunny Seattle day, in May or June, at about 9:30 am after two cups of coffee, ready to run, with no meetings scheduled.
If you could inspire one change in yourself, what would it be?
If you could inspire one change in the world, what would it be?
Where do you look for inspiration in your daily life?
Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes I cut open an avocado and I’m just like damn, that is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Who inspires you?
People who are true without being unchangeable. The Leskos, Lauren Fleshman, my husband, and my Dad – who inspired the original rebel in me, and how to respectfully question authority.
Want to share a quote or a poem or a song lyric that inspires you?
Love god herself. – Beyoncé
Thanks for the inspiration. xo, muse
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