Sheridan French is a modern-day wonder woman. The wife, mother of three, blogger, and fashion designer had just completed an ultramarathon (thirty-one long miles...) the day before our shoot and still managed to wow us with her Southern hospitality. Known for her luxury resort fashion and accessories, the energetic entrepreneur's designs are never without a pop of color or dash of flair. From boho chic dresses to ikat print napkins, Sheridan does it all and she does it with style. Join us for a visit to her Fort Worth home for a behind-the-scenes look at this Texan girl with a heart of gold.
What five words best describe your fashion line?
Colorful. Comfortable. Chic. Wearable. Happy.
How did you get started in the industry?
I began designing clothes when I was eight years old with my mother and great-grandmother and knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion. That said, I was not planning on even attempting to walk that path until my children were grown and in school to allow me the time to have my own business. Long story short, I ended up starting my clothing line the week I found out I was pregnant with our second child (and my oldest was nine months old at the time). A friend from university turned in her resignation in London and moved to Bali to help me source, which was of course an opportunity I couldn't dream of passing up. I threw caution to the wind and took a giant leap of faith, and in four months had samples in hand.
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
Life! I refuse to design anything I would not personally wear, and I aim to make even the fancier items comfortable enough to withstand a twelve-hour day. Carpool to cocktails!
What are you most excited about for your 2013 Collection?
I am CRAZY about the Lillian skirt (named after my husband’s great-grandmother) and the Melissa dress, and I adore the silks used this year. They are the best combination of soft and chic, and feel better than pajamas. Wearable luxury.
Where can one shop your line?
Everything is available on my website and I have incredible retailers from one coast to the other.
When a woman wears a Sheridan French outfit, how do you hope they feel?
I want them to feel nothing short of outstanding, inside and out. My hope is that my clothing enables any self-conscious walls to come down, allowing confidence and inner beauty to shine through. Nothing complements my clothes better than a genuine smile.
Now on top of being a fashion designer, you’re a mother of three! Could you share a little bit about your family?
They are my everything! I certainly have three angels here on earth. Our oldest is three and he is Dennis the Menace in the making (and doing a far better job at it, I might add). Our middle child is two and she gives Cabbage Patch doll cheeks a run for their money. The baby is nine months and outweighs our daughter by five pounds. We have three dogs as well – an enormous white lab that we call our Zoolander dog, a pit bull-rottweiler rescue mix that climbs trees, and an eight-week-old farm rescue puppy named Dolly. Yes, we want more babies! But we need a breather. Three kiddos down...two or three to go!
What is a typical day in the life of Sheridan French?
In a nutshell: non-stop. My husband and I are both up at six in the morning, and that quiet time together really sets us up for the day. We know we won't have alone time for another fourteen hours, so the time is very precious. The kids are up around seven a.m.and we have a quick breakfast before getting to school by nine. I go to CrossFit and get some work done while my baby boy sleeps. We eat lunch as fast as we can so we can play outside (And get all that energy out!) before nap time. After naps we play some more and then have a candlelit family dinner as many nights as possible. I love candles and insist on NOT saving them for special occasions! I truly cherish those memories made at the table. On a good night everyone's asleep by 7:30 p.m., and my husband and I finally have some time for ourselves again. We either veg out and watch TV, always sharing a his and hers tequila mind you, or just sit and talk.
We love your blog! What do you enjoy most about blogging?
Thank you! I LOVE blogging because it enables me to connect with so many people in an instant. There are women that I have been emailing for three years now, since I began the Southern Eclectic, that I have never met in person but feel like I KNOW. I began my blog before I even started designing as a creative outlet when my oldest was just a baby, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Over the years I have received the most touching notes about how I have impacted people in a certain way, how I have inspired them, how I have touched their lives. Blogging has shown me just how much I enjoy connecting with people and how incredible the camaraderie is, so much so that it has planted the seed of one day having a talk show of some sort. Dream big, right?
What trends are you most excited about for spring?
Everyone keeps telling me spring is about white, all white, but I beg to differ! Color is sheer personality and should never be put on the back burner! I am excited to see how women express themselves through fashion, and in particular, how they style my clothing. There is hardly a more satisfying feeling than seeing a photograph that a customer has sent me of them wearing my clothes! I do it for them at the end of the day. Not me. And seeing their beauty shine is touching beyond description.
What do you love most about living in Texas?
How friendly people are! Fort Worth is small town to the core. There's not a day that goes by without at least five doors being opened for me, twenty “yes ma'ams,” a few tipped cowboy hats, and too many “howdy y'alls” to count. You just don't find that in many places anymore. Texas pride never ceases to blow me away. I love the food, the culture, the smiles, the family, and the “love thy neighbor” way of life. All that, and being down at the ranch looking out over hundreds of acres at sunset – just thinking about the beauty gives me the chills. Nothing is better.