We talked with Alyssa Wasko CEO and Founder of DONNI. She told us about how versatility is key to her designs, why she draws inspiration from Meg Ryan and how she loves getting into bed so early that her friends call her Bubbie.
When did you know you wanted to start your own business and what inspired you to see it through?
I actually didn’t plan to start a business. I made a scarf for myself and a friend shortly after my dad passed away, mostly as a creative outlet. When other people started wanting the scarves as well, I thought maybe there could be something there. My dad, Donald, inspired the first scarf, name of my brand, and follow-through until today.
What are your greatest inspirations for your lines and what did you aim to fill with DONNI that you didn't see in the fashion world?
Not one thing specifically. It can be a sweatshirt my dad wore in the 90’s or a cardigan Meg Ryan wore in You’ve Got Mail. I like to reinvent and elevate old classics and make pieces with the versatility to wear anywhere.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Always different but typically starts on the earlier side. I like mornings because they are peaceful and quiet. Usually a run or long walk with my dog, Olive, followed by drinking hot water with lemon. Then I go straight to the studio, and I am usually in and out all day, visiting different factories, fabric mills and going to meetings.
What do you do in the evening to wind down, do you have any rituals?
Laying by the fire…even when it’s not cold out. My favorite spot. Whether watching bad reality tv, working, or reading. Also, newly addicted to my Vitruvi essential oil diffuser. I play around with different mixtures. Right now, I’m into eucalyptus and lavender.
What does your best sleep look like, how many hours, etc?
I’m a grandma, people closest to me call me Bubbie. That being said, I love crawling into bed early. Dream night sleep is in bed by 9, asleep by 10 and up at 6.
How does your sleep routine affect your work life?
It’s more how does my work life affect my sleep! When I’m stressed from work (which is often) my head doesn’t stop and I simply can’t sleep. I can go a couple of days with no sleep, but then I crash. Balance is something I'm working on.
What Brooklinen product gets you most excited and what is on your wishlist?
I am a sucker for white bedding. The linen duvet cover is top of my list.