Sigal talks about being a mother, running her business, and why the sum of all the little moments make her happy
- Sigal is founder and director of SIGAL and lead designer for apparel at Zumba Wear
- She confesses to be a control freak, but she’s learned to let that go because working in apparel, especially in mass production, means she has to be able to prepare to hand off something for someone else to finish. In her personal life, she was a mama bear with her first born, not letting anyone get near her baby, but she learned that babies are their own people and free thinkers and that helped her learn to let go.
- For Sigal, happiness isn’t permanent, but the sum of many small moments. It’s having moments where everything aligns to enjoy what she’s doing fully and being present in the moment. She used to be able to work on a single project or even one piece of artwork for days and dedicate herself to one task, which made her very happy, and now she doesn’t have that luxury—she’s a parent and a wife, and has a house and two jobs. So now having an hour or two and create in the studio; or leaving her phone behind and having half an hour to observe her kids; or having a day date with her husband make her happy.
- Sigal enjoys designing and spending months with ideas in her head (she writes down in a notebook or her phone) and then finally taking the time to take them out in a sketchbook, being able to execute it and seeing how it comes out so different than she initially imagined it. Making it happen and showing the world that she can put it on cloth, is the most invigorating thing.
- Being in the moment means shutting off everything—not just social media and phones, but also putting the mind to rest to focus on the moment. This translates into something as simple as opening the door to the back yard and listening to the sounds of nature and playing with her kids, or taking a walk to the nearby beach, or spending time with her husband without distractions.
- There’s no such thing as balance of life and work. There are days when her mind is focused on work because she has a deadline or needs to get a collection out, and then there’s going to be another week where her children are the sole focus. Every day is a challenge and every day is different because Sigal chose to work for herself rather than in an office, so every week something else calls her attention.
- Sigal isn’t always able to focus on the moment, but she makes herself aware of it and makes the best effort.
- Right now her children are little, but they will grow and she’ll be able to look back and see how much they’ve grown, will go to school and spend less and less at home; if then she looks back and she hadn’t start her own brand she would ask herself, “why not?”, so that moves her to work harder.
- The breaking point was when Sigal realized she had to fracture her mind, having to think of a hundred things at a time, but when she became a parent it hit home—working, designing, winning awards, traveling for work, studying abroad, nothing compared to being a parent. Sigal had to work hard to learn to be a parent, and having kids definitely changed her and showed her the need to slow down.
- How does Sigal reconcile perfectionism with having to split her mind? Part of it is modern technologies that help entrepreneurs make it easier, part of it is learning to work smarter, more efficiently, and using time wisely. To do lists and notebooks are very helpful too. When things get tough, the only way through is to take it easy, write to do lists, and take one thing at a time and schedule weeks based on what’s most important.
- You take so many things for granted; Sigal used to think she didn’t have to do so many things and now she looks back and can’t believe she used to say that. Your mind adjusts to different times in your life, and because happiness is not a permanent thing each moment has a different focus.
- Sigal has learned to not always give a 10 to everything, but some things can be a 7 or an 8, and she’s learned to be happy with that. Learning to be more efficient has helped a lot—this doesn’t always mean doing it in less time, but sometimes it’s about not feeling bad for staying up late working.
- Sigal’s ideal week would entail waking up at 7:30 – 8 (instead of 5:30 or 6), going for a run along the beach for half an hour, coming home and showering and by then her husband would have taken their two kids to school and she can go to a beautiful studio upstairs from her store, where she would have a huge drawing table and a screen printing studio, where she could spend the day working digitally and by hand, then have a quick lunch at a coffee shop and pick up her kids at school around 4 and spend the rest of the afternoon with her kids and taking care of them, and being able to then have a nice relaxing time with her husband and being able to go to bed early (9 – 10 PM); then having a day date over the weekend or taking the day off
Design makes Sigal happy. Being able to push a collection; color and creating unexpected color combinations; having this dream job with Zumba that allows her to be super creative; putting together a moodboard and then creating something that reflects her research and her intentions; creating a collection and having patterns that clash but can all work together in one outfit.
Jason Zappolo for editing and mixing this episode; follow Jason on instagram.
Orly Margulis for social media support; follow Orly on linkedIn.
Rocío Castañeda for ongoing support; follow Rocío on instagram.