5 minutes with Natalie Norman, founder of By Natalie
Made from Tencel, a sustainable regenerated fabric from wood pulp, the pieces feel as soft as silk, but are easier to care for when wearing on high-rotation in your everyday life.
Pictured above: Natalie Norman adjusts a look for her winter collection campaign shoot.
Magpie Style: How did you get the idea for by Natalie? When was it launched? How was it launched?
Natalie: by Natalie has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember!
I studied fashion at university, and with my expertise in the sleep space – our sleepwear line reflects what I wanted to see within in the industry. I saw a gap for pieces that made women feel sultry and attractive, while still comfortable, and not too revealing for those unexpected moments when they don’t have the time to get dressed. We launched By Natalie online in October 2020 and are now stocked in retail stores throughout New Zealand. It's so rewarding and amazing to see both our sleepwear and pillows on the shelves of stores I have shopped at for years!
Pictured Below: The Sleepwalker Dress
Pictured above: New By Natalie camis and slips.
MS: You have an extensive background in the sleep industry from your family’s business Sleepyhead. How has this helped you in product development? Seeing a gap in the market etc?
Natalie: Growing up in the sleep industry has given me incredible knowledge about the sleep space, and I have spent many years perfecting products and fabrics, and therefore By Natalie was a natural progression for me into the sleepwear industry. I knew the importance of Tencel couldn’t be missed! Both by Natalie and my children’s specialty sleep brand Growbright both focus heavily on the material Tencel.
Pictured above: The By Natalie Batwing Dress
MS: Many of the styles in by Natalie can be worn as loungewear, sleepwear or outerwear. Was this intentional, or a happy accident?
Natalie: We will always remain a sleepwear brand at heart, although our styles have been designed intentionally to be worn inside of the home and out – we have more and more customers wearing our pieces as ready-to-wear, they love the versatility of our styles and we encourage them to do so too! We have more sleepwear orientated sets, but other styles can be worn dressed up – for example, our Sleepwalker Dress is perfect with a pair of boots and a belt, our Amelia V Neck is so elegant in summer with slides, or our Night Owl Pants can be worn with a pair of sneakers, a classic tee and blazer.
MS: What is your favourite piece / stye from the new collection?
Natalie: The Night Owl Set (shirt and pant) (pictured below) are new this season and are our more premium styles within this collection. I wear them together as a statement set, or as separates – the Night Owl Shirt is slightly oversized, with beautiful pocket and piping details that look and feel luxurious, and elevate any outfit if worn on its own. The Night Owl Pant are the perfect leg and are so comfortable, and also include the piping detail on the pockets.
Q: Why Tencel, and not silk? How do you best care for Tencel?
Natalie: Because Tencel is the most effective in the sleep space! The smooth, sustainable fibre is temperature regulating and has moisture wicking properties, and it is extremely soft, which prevents irritation to the skin. A brief background on Tencel – it is a sustainable regenerated fabric made from a cellulose fibre that is derived from wood pulp. Tencel is manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process, where the process of water is recycled and the solvent for treatment is reused. The final product is compostable and biodegradable, so can fully revert back to nature at the end of its life.
Best cared for in the washing machine on a low temperature and line dry in shade.
Pictured above: The new Navy zebra print. Available online and instore now.
MS: What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt from starting a new business?
Natalie: To never give up. There will be moments that are daunting and overwhelming, and if you need help – ask someone, although when you get through these moments – it’s all worth it.
MS: Where is your product made?
Natalie: Our core sleepwear and pillow ranges are both made in New Zealand – I am extremely passionate about supporting New Zealand made and working closely with our manufacturing partners to continue to do so. Not only is this important in today’s climate to continue support our own country and its industries as possible but it also helps from an environmental standpoint to only make what is needed when it is needed.
MS: How do you relax and unwind yourself?
Natalie: Spending time with friends & family – on the golf course, or at our beloved holiday home by the beach and prioritising time with my good girlfriends (and a glass of champagne!) – it is easy to get caught up in your career and ‘life’ can get in the way!
Why we LOVE Tencel - See below for more details