Soulful Sunday is a weekly dose of inspiration from busy Chicago women who still manage to stay balanced no matter what their career—or life—throws their way.
Soul Sister: Shernett Swaby, fashion designer and owner of Swaby boutique.
Shernett grew up in Jamaica and began sewing at the young age of eight. Shernett later moved to Canada and started her own clothing line, Swaby, in 1999. After 10 years of building her brand, she starred on the popular TV show, Project Runway Canada, where she ended the show as a finalist. Shernett then moved her fashion to Chicago in the summer of 2009. She uses her couture collection to express her inner rebel by coloring outside the lines with her avant-garde designs. She uses architectural aesthetic to portray an edgy chic look that will bring out the rebel in you. Most Swaby pieces are works of art stitched by Shernett herself.
What do you do that feeds your soul? Something that is just for you that not many people know about.
I can’t live without tennis. Whether I’m playing or watching, I love the sport. Even with a busy schedule, I try to make time in the mornings for a tennis match. I think it is important to stay active and clear my mind from my busy schedule. I also love playing my guitar. I try to pick up my guitar and play for at least a few minutes a day.
Do you have a motivational quote or mantra that comes to mind during an unusually stressful day at work?
I don’t really have a popular quote or person I follow for motivation. I have to believe in myself for my own vision to work. I believe that everyday you spend working on your dream is an investment in your future. Staying focused on the end result is what drives me to work hard, and every single day is a step closer.
How do you catch up with friends and maintain your friendships when everyone is so busy?
Most of my friends are designers and artists like me so they also have busy schedules. I often grab breakfast with friends before the day gets going. My other friends are ones I made from tennis or guitar lessons. It’s nice having friends with a common interest - we can spend time together while doing what we love.
Is there anything that you do on Sunday afternoon/evening to prepare yourself for the work week?
Sundays are actually just another day for me. I have appointments with customers at my showroom, fashion shows and networking events. I try to go home early on Sundays to rest and get in touch with my mom in Jamaica. Although I don’t take the day off, I feel lucky I get to do what I love. I live everyday passionate and soulful.