This week we go Under The Umbrella with the amazing Lisa Selwitz, CEO and Creative Director of Lily-Lark. Designing and producing handmade sun parasols with an incredible eye for detail, while supporting contemporary artists, Lisa Selwitz truly is the Queen of Parasols.
Name - Lisa Selwitz
Age - Ahem. Older than I look, due to good skincare!
Location - New York, NY
How would you describe your lifestyle?
I spend a fair amount of time working, but I balance it with time off. I’ve had a lot of adventures in my life, but the greatest thrill has been starting a company and learning how to make a go of it. The company is so important to me that doing what needs to be done doesn’t feel like work at all. When I’m not working on company business, I’m hanging with friends and family. I’ve been blessed with great people in my life and I love spending time with them. When you live in New York City, it’s important to leave and remember what nature looks like. This summer I’ve been able to take a few trips away to Colorado, the Poconos, and this past weekend to Long Beach Island in New Jersey. These getaways are so cathartic and important to stay sane!
When did skincare become a priority?
While I always took good care of my skin, sun protection didn’t become a major priority until my mid-thirties.
Why is your skin a priority?
I worked in the ageist industry of advertising, and couldn’t afford to be showing my age with wrinkles or age spots. So I always wore sunscreen and hats, and walked on the shady side of the street. And now that I’ve created a product that’s more or less in the fashion industry, I still want to maintain as youthful an appearance as possible. On a different note, I’ve seen enough people in my life get skin cancer, and know that protecting your skin in the sun needs to become a priority for everyone.
What is your healthy skin regimen?
I wash my face with a gentle cleanser morning and night. I still break out from time to time, so I use a product to manage pimples. I can also get dry skin, so I use a moisturizer on the dry patches, and leave the oilier areas alone. And I never ever go out of the house during the day, regardless of the weather, without sunscreen. Last, I protect my skin by using one of our parasols when I’m walking around in the sun. As the owner of the company, I have the pleasure of having the whole collection of parasols at my fingertips, and get to carry whichever one suits my mood and my outfit that day. It’s not an umbrella. It’s an accessory, like a handbag.
What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet, and why?
That’s a hard one for me. My weight has fluctuated in the past few years, so my favorite items have changed. One thing I can always count on is a simple scoop-neck, A-line, mid-thigh top that I can wear over leggings or jeans. It looks great with everything and I wear it year-round.
Which shoes do you pair with your little black dress? Your jeans?
Depends on the season, but I mainly only wear boots and sandals. Lace up shoes or pumps never did it for me. So with a black dress, I’ll pair some strappy sandals, and with jeans I’ll wear some low cut boots. Since sneakers have become big in the past few years, I’ll wear those with almost anything casual.
How would you define your personal style?
I tend to dress in very clean lines, but I do like fun details like a well-placed ruffle, a bell sleeve or faux-fur cuff. Like most women, I love shoes, and never feel satisfied with an outfit unless I love the shoes I’m wearing with it.
If you could go back, what do you wish you could teach your younger self?
Value yourself and don’t settle. Boundaries are so important and you have to demand others treat you well. By the same token, it’s our job to treat others well and to take care of those around you. Not just people you know and love, but everyone you meet. It comes back in spades.