EEEEEEKK!!!

Big career highlight to finally share with you all today: my DRESS collaboration with Elisamama! 🙌🏼 You know I’ve been hinting at it here and there for a while now, and today is the day I can finally reveal both of our dresses to you! 

Mark your calendars, because they go on sale starting this Saturday at 10am CST! If you’re interested in purchasing one, you can pop your info in right here to be added to our launch list! (Note we were having some issues with the email list and figured this was easier. No need to re-enter your info if you’re already on the launch list!) Everyone on the list will get first access to purchase! 

How this collaboration came about: 

I’ve been following Elisamama since June of 2020, when Kelly posted about the brand–I fell in love with her beautiful designs for both women and girls, and even more with her brand mission! (More on that in a second!) I purchased the Hibiscus dress when I was pregnant and it has brought me so much joy! (I wore it to a friends’ wedding in Cabo in January!) I also bought the matching girl’s dress for June (yes, I bought a dress for my 1 year old daughter when she wasn’t born yet 😂) and I can’t wait for her to grow into it! (See all her mommy and me dresses here!) 

Fisayo, Elisamama’s founder, and I become friends in 2020 by chatting through Instagram, and this past December, she asked if I’d be interested in potentially designing a dress together in 2022. Of course, I said YES! And we ended up not being able to decide on just one design, so we decided–why not two!? 

Above: Fisayo with her beautiful designs! 

In this process, Fisayo has become not just a friend but truly an inspiration–she’s an incredible business woman, a talented designer (who, by the way, didn’t have a fashion background, just an eye for good design–but she didn’t let that stop her from starting her own clothing brand). She has a huge heart and strives to help empower women and create jobs and economic empowerment through her company–not to mention, she does all of this while being a mom of three with a full-time 9-5 job in project management. 🤯 

(Doesn’t just reading that paragraph of all she does make you tired!? She assures me that she also still finds time to sleep at night!? 🧐) 

 

The Elisamama Story: 

In 2018 during a trip to Nigeria, Fisayo had some dresses made for her daughter, Elisa. (Pictured above!) She loved the clothes so much, that she couldn’t stop thinking about them and the artisans that made them. She wanted to help create a sustainable solution that provided economic empowerment for these talented artisans–and the idea for Elisamama was born! 

To start, she hired Mrs. Fabiyi, a local seamstress, who was Elisamama’s first employee. She lived in this house (pictured above) in exchange for domestic services for the owner. She would bring the machine to the front of the house every morning to get enough lighting to sew since power was unreliable. The entire Elisamama business was in that plastic bag on the floor.

Elisamama’s e-commerce site launched just before the pandemic hit–she is now sold in Saks, Maisonette, in brick and mortar boutiques all over the country, and as a result, she has grown her team to 13 employees!

How an Elisamama dress is made: 

A couple times per year, Fisayo visits Nigeria to source all the fabric for her upcoming dress launches at the market in Lagos, and then each Elisamama dress is sewn with care by the team in the Elisamama workshop! They’re then shipped around the world to bring joy to customers like you and me! This is why each Elisamama design is so unique, and since they are small batch–when they’re gone–they’re gone! 

Introducing…our dresses! 

Now…the drumroll–introducing the “June” and “Elisa” dresses, named after our own little girls–as they are our biggest inspiration! These dresses can go anywhere and do anything–you can dress them up for a wedding, you can dress them down with sneakers. They’re designed to make you feel beautiful, confident, and comfortable in all stages of your life, and to be that one statement piece you can pull out anytime you aren’t quite sure what to wear, but know you want to look and feel your best! 

Let’s first meet the dresses, and then we’ll talk more details! Remember, they’re launching this Saturday at 10am CST and if you haven’t yet signed up for Elisamama’s email list, pop in your info into this google form and we will add you! (Again, doing it this way as we’ve had some people say they were having technical difficulties with the email signup!) 

The “June” dress: 

Meet the “June” dress! I was drawn to this dress immediately when I saw the fabric! After the past couple of years, it just seemed like THE thing I wanted to pull on and twirl in to embody joy, fun, and happiness. As for the design, the smocking means it’s easy to go braless. I love the square neckline, the exaggerated puff sleeve and full skirt, which make it feel extra special–and the back shows some skin yet isn’t so low that you can’t wear a bra if you’d like the support! (Note, you just may just need to adjust it a bit and tuck the straps behind the square neckline! I’ve tried it–it works easily!)

Dress the June dress up for an outdoor wedding, dress her down with some casual slides, sneakers, or an espadrille for a more low-key summer function. The best part? IT HAS POCKETS!! 🙌🏼

**Scroll down for more details on the June dress**

Price: $200 

Sizing: 

Dresses come in sizes XS-XXL and I believe are true to size, so order your regular dress size, which in my case is size small. I would not size up. The smocking is very accommodating for larger and smaller chest sizes alike! I also don’t think you need to size up if you’re pregnant! 

 

How to care for your dress: 

The ultimate low-key dress. You can wash it AND dry it in the dryer! (Although you know me, I recommend washing on cold and inside out, and tumble-drying on low to keep the colors looking vibrant!) Honestly, the material is even better after it’s been washed! It gets softer every time! I loved how the fabric fell even more after I washed it, so I’d go as far as to recommend popping it in the washer and dryer before wearing! 

What is Elisamama’s return policy? 

Items may be returned or exchanged within 14 days of receiving. Note that Elisamama does not cover returns as they are a very small business and covering free returns is not feasible at this time! 

Can I wear a bra with this? Do I need one? 

This is a personal preference! If you own a “nap” style dress, I would describe this as the same! The smocking is thick so I find I do not need a bra with this dress. However, you may find you need the support, so if you wish, you can wear a bra. Depending on the cut of the straps, you may need to position them just right to not show with the square neck, or you can go with a strapless bra, or a backless sticky bra! Lot’s of options here. 

Can I wear this to a wedding? 

Absolutely! This dress is a match made in heaven with my favorite Loeffler Randall Emelia or Penny heels! 🥰 Or if you prefer a simpler style, I wore my Elisamama dress with these Amazon heels to a wedding in January! 

Will this work with a bump? 

Absolutely! I think you can go with your normal size and you don’t need to size up. 

How tall are you? 

I’m 5’6 and it hits me a couple inches above the knee. You can see that the material is slightly longer in the back to provide extra coverage to make you feel comfortable! For shorter girls, I still think it would be cute even if it’s a bit longer! I also don’t think it’s too short that it won’t work for someone taller either–we tried to design it to be that perfect length on many different heights! 

The “Elisa” Dress

Then we have the Elisa dress! I fell in love with this one when I saw Fisayo’s design for the ruffled flutter statement sleeves! We made it our own together with the maxi length and we added smocking in the back for a more versatile and accommodating fit. The flutter sleeves compliment the fun print and bold blue perfectly. They’re a match made in heaven! We chose a maxi length in the event you wanted to wear it for a more formal summer wedding, but it’s just as easy to dress down with a pair of casual slides. 

**Read on for more details about the Elisa dress**

(I messed up and didn’t get a shot of the back of the dress in Florida–thus the add on snap from my living room! Standard Jess move.) 

Price: $220 

Sizing: 

Comes in sizes XS-XXL. This dress runs true to size, I am wearing a small! I would not size up–due to the smocking on the dresses they are very accommodating! 

How to care for your dress: 

The ultimate low-key dress. You can wash it AND dry it in the dryer! (Although you know me, I recommend washing on cold and inside out, and tumble-drying on low to keep the colors looking vibrant!) Honestly, the material is even better after it’s been washed! It gets softer every time! I loved how the fabric fell even more after I washed it, so I’d go as far as to recommend popping it in the washer and dryer before wearing! 

What is Elisamama’s return policy? 

Items may be returned or exchanged within 14 days of receiving. Note that Elisamama does not cover returns as they are a very small business and covering free returns is not feasible at this time! 

Can I wear a bra with this? Do I need one? 

I find the material is thick enough that I don’t need a bra with this one either, but it’s definitely less supportive than the June dress as it’s not smocked. If I wanted more coverage, I would wear petals or a sticky bra or a strapless bra with this dress.

Would a regular bra work with this dress? Yes–depending on the bra! A regular racerback bra would work with this dress (pending it connects lower on your back vs higher up below your shoulders) OR you could do the good ole hair tie/paperclip/safety pin trick to turn your regular bra into a racerback, or get a little bra converter clip

Can I wear this to a wedding? 

Absolutely! This dress is a match made in heaven with my favorite Loeffler Randall Emelia or Penny heels! 🥰 Or if you prefer a simpler style, I wore my Elisamama dress with these Amazon heels to a wedding in January! 

Will this work with a bump and/or postpartum? 

Absolutely! I do not think you need to size up when ordering for a bump/postpartum. There is plenty of material for a bump and you don’t want it to be too big after baby arrives! 

How tall are you? 

I’m 5’6! If you are on the shorter side, there is also an option to order a petite length on the product page! 

 

I hope you love these dresses as much as we do! I’ve never designed a dress before, so you have no idea how much your words of excitement and support mean! Huge thanks again to Fisayo for extending this opportunity for such a wonderful partnership and for allowing me to be just a little part of the Elisamama magic! Additionally, another huge thanks to the Elisamama WORKSHOP team in Nigeria for working so hard to turn the many iterations of these designs and samples around. You are all SO appreciated! 

Remember, these launch at 10am CST this Saturday, so make sure you sign up above to be the first to know when they drop!