“God is in the details.”
~ Sybil Yurman
Tracy Squillante, the founder, designer, and owner of HAVEN Collective is a native New Yorker who has “lived, loved, learned, laughed and cried in this city for over 25 years.” She started her career at Macy’s Herald Square and was the Vice President of Creative Development of David Yurman…
Until Tracy turned 43, signed up for a month-long yoga teacher training in Costa Rica, and decided to completely transform her life.
The rest is Consciously Created Fashion History.
Although in truth, this body-positive pioneer is just getting started.
We sat down with Tracy to talk mission, mentors, inspiration, intention, business, being a BOSS, and running a company that strives to always be nimble, creative, and honest.
And we got REALLY excited about shopping her collection at VIBEWELL.
Tell us about your company. What do you do? What’s your mission?
HAVEN collective is a yoga apparel & lifestyle brand, founded and led by a life long practitioner and instructor of yoga. We create a unique collection of easy pieces – all with eco sustainable fabric. We manufacture in the US. HAVEN was founded by a curvy yogi (me) with the mission of creating clothes for all bodies in motion.
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We LOVE this tone@on@tome FIND YOUR HAVEN – super soft French Terry set … The Short Roll Sleeve Sweatshirt is $80 and the drawstring Leah Pants are $115 … But GET THE SET for $140 and save $55! . . . #findyourhaven #yoga #yogagirl #poses #asana #huntington #sweatpants #sweatshirt #cute #style #fitnessmodel #madeinamerica
Who inspires you, and why?
I am inspired by women who LEAD. Whether it’s a single mom leading her family or my best friend who leads a global software company. Having a point of view and a plan to execute is not easy – and women who get up and take charge of their life everyday is inspiring!
Do you have any mentors? Who? How have they influenced you?
Yes Sybil Yurman – who co-founded David Yurman with her husband. She left home at an early age and moved across the country, following her passion for art. I had the honor to work for Sybil and David for over 20 years. She questions and listens to intelligent voices regardless of age. She respects the creative process and recognizes when someone is trying to “short cut” the journey. I learned you have to go through it, recognize when it is right and when it is wrong then adjust and move forward.
Sybil has a keen eye and taught me to keep mine open and integrate everything I see and feel into my work. While working with her she would look so closely at every design, reminding me with her favorite expression “God is in the details”.
“Yoga is my lifeline.”
What does “yoga” mean to you?
Yoga is my lifeline. It is the relationship that I am sometimes in deep with and sometimes move away from, but I always come back to my practice. I have been practicing for nearly 20 years – and now I teach 6 classes a week. Me and yoga are in it for the long run!
What’s your creative process like?
Well I guess you can call it “a process”. As a person who manifests ideas into material or physical experiences, you are almost always in the process. You’re in a constant state of collecting solutions. Hear a great song and you think “ this would be awesome for my Monday Vinyasa class”. Notice a vintage image of Sharon Stone in a sweatshirt and think “I could make that, it needs to come back”. So it’s an “always on” situation.
What have been some of your biggest challenges, biggest rewards, and biggest lessons as a female founder?
Managing expectations. And not those of other people, but my own. Accepting and celebrating the idea of where I am vs where I “should” be. You have to learn that you are in a process of learning not in a race.
As a woman, although times are changing I still struggle to find my voice – am I being too “aggressive”? Should I “tone it down”? My hope is that we are moving towards a culture where a woman can express herself with strength and the antiquated notions of her being too emotional fade away as a relic of the past.
“My hope is that we are moving towards a culture where a woman can express herself with strength and the antiquated notions of her being too emotional fade away as a relic of the past.”
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your business, what would it be?
This is a long game. Plan wisely for the long game.
How do you want women/people to feel when they wear your creations?
Easy. Whether it is the 14 pieces that are assembled into our Contour Leggings or the super soft brushed inside of our sweatshirts, the construction should feel easy on the body. We do the work behind the scenes so that by the time you wear an item it is completely figured out, we want the difficult to feel EASY!
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When the dynamic group of extraordinary women wear @havencollectiveyoga for their GODDESS Issue to launch this spring – you are filled with gratitude and love! You girls wear it well! Thank you! Xoxo Photographer: @paul_undersinger . . . #yoga #newyork #newyorkyoga #grateful #mindfulness #fitness #fitnessmodel #yogainspiration #findyourhaven #goddess
What “old school” ideas are you challenging with your brand?
Wholesale. The model is really challenging for a brand that is manufactured in the U.S.
In paying fair wages and using eco conscious mills our base manufacturing prices are much higher. To layer another margin on for the retailer makes it almost impossible to be price competitive. So we take it direct to our clients! Through our website and amazing events like yours we are able to touch the customer and share our beliefs in maintaining an ethical supply chain.
Want to learn more about HAVEN Collective’s Founder & CEO Tracy Squillante? Read on, NJ yogis!
Nineteen years ago, Tracy Squillante rolled out her mat for the first time at Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor. The practice became the counterpoint to her frenetic life as director of HAMPTONS Magazine and kept her grounded in the things that were important. It wasn’t long before Tracy noticed yoga studios changing. Once a hub for former ballerinas and models, they were becoming destinations for people of all body types. Women like her—fit, active, and curvy—had discovered the improved wellbeing and mindfulness that yoga could bring.
As her love of yoga grew, the next step for Tracy was to become a certified instructor. She completed her first program at Yogamaya in Manhattan and decided to deepen her practice with an intensive teacher training in Costa Rica. While preparing for her month-long trip, she couldn’t find yogawear that fit the needs of her practice or her form. “Why can’t the clothes we move in translate to our everyday lives?” she wondered. And so began Tracy’s journey to create a collection that helps women of all shapes and sizes look and feel great while they are in the yoga studio…and wherever else the day takes them. For 20 years, she had honed her creative and entrepreneurial skills working as Vice President of Creative Development at jewelry company David Yurman, and she was ready to start a brand that reflected her own passions.
Tracy is not only the CEO of HAVEN, she is currently actively teaching on Long Island, focused on both Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga. She hosts a series of Yoga FUNdamentals workshops ensuring the earliest stages of a yoga practice is met with the utmost attention to establish a practice for life. She remains an advocate for body positivity and emphasizes that Yoga is for EVERYbody.
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