SIGRID OLSEN is Back: New Designs for Living™ Re-launches American Designer’s Namesake with Revitalized Vision of Creative Well-being

American designer Sigrid Olsen has announced the reacquisition of the rights to her namesake (“Sigrid Olsen”) brand this May. With her past successes as a multi-million dollar national women’s fashion and lifestyle business, Olsen’s new business revitalization is potentially focused on a unique vision of mindful design, beautiful products, and holistic experiences, with a unique commitment to creative well-being, nature, balance, simplicity and joy. Establishing a select team based between New York and Florida, she sets new sights on the creation of a coastal creative headquarters in Sarasota and opens her next chapter celebrating 30 years, combined, as an independent artist, creative entrepreneur, American fashion and home designer, and healthy wellbeing advocate and global retreat leader.

Sigrid Olsen

Sigrid Olsen

SIGRID OLSEN: New Designs for Living(TM) could become my most vital chapter to date,” remarks Sigrid. “I’m excited that having years in fashion and lifestyle design, retail business, and the creative arts, now coalesces with my personal passion for creative well-being. I am committed to offering beautiful, mindful designs and healthier lifestyle experiences for a vast audience worldwide — especially women, in particular.”

SIGRID OLSEN: New Designs for Living(TM) is smartly positioned to be timely, relevant and expansive to the base. Her vision reflects an authentic breadth of creative talents and deep career experience, inspired by an impressive story of reinvention within the past six years. Sigrid turned near devastating life events into positive opportunities – enduring breast cancer, the corporate dissolution of her business during the economic crisis by the Liz Claiborne company, and the sudden death of her husband – shifting lifestyle priorities and enriching a challenging journey with new passions for nature, yoga, meditation, visual journaling, wholesome eating, modern simplicity, creative expression, and increased connection with community and self.


Add to this, her successful development in recent years of international retreats for women and proven professional instinct for understanding what engages the right customers at the right time. Olsen is on-track to attract more diverse and sustaining business development than ever with concerted focus placed on lifestyle product licensing, retail partnerships, co-op branding, self-help publishing, and expansion of her creative well-being retreat business model.

Sigrid’s vision holds substantial promise reflecting the trends and preferences to secure an increasing global clientele that invests many millions in health and well-being lifestyle designs, social-conscious endeavors, DIY craft and personal creativity, and holistic body, mind and soul-filled experiences. Several key market segments comprise her target audience, ranging primarily in age from 34 to 64 years, spending reasonable to significant disposable income, and highlighted by the Lohas niche sector (lifestyle of health and sustainability) accounting for over 20% of the U.S. adult population and the Naturalites (healthy/natural/green-conscious) adding another 25% nationally.

Importantly, Sigrid stands to re-engage her passionate following of loyal customers – those women forever inspired by Sigrid’s hand-crafted textiles, signature prints, successful fashion and lifestyle collections and true artisan spirit.

Sigrid Olsen has made her work about her life, demonstrated commitment to health and the creative arts, built a sustaining career, but especially, worked for years to listen to the customer and better understand the critical intricacies of consumer marketing, business development, and retail to wholesale design.



As she sees it, Today, my eye, my life and my work, are all focused on what moves me – because I know it’s also what moves others. Creative well-being works from the heart to shift the paradigm of business and redefine success.

Winners of 28th Annual Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition Announced By Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and New York City Department of Education

City-wide Winners Receive $500 Cash Prize; Winning Books and Honorable Mentions on Special Exhibit May 5-23 at Brooklyn Public Library

Manhattan and Brooklyn Students Take Home Top Awards

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, announced today the winners of the 28th Annual Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition for grades 3-12. City-wide and borough winning books, honorable mentions and all school-wide winning books will be on exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Library (at Grand Army Plaza) May 5-23.

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation/NYC Dept of Ed announce city-wide winners of 2014 Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition: top, Journey to the Stars, by Gianluca Pellegrini, Ping Wen Lin (Gr 5, P.S./I.S. 229, Dyker School, Bklyn); L: New York City, by Alex Trinidad, Brian Tzic (Gr 8, P77K/Dist 75, Bklyn); R: In Praise of Plants: Part V, illus by Aleksandra Stanisavljevic (Gr 12, Stuyvesant H.S., Manhattan). City-wide and other winning books on exhibit-Brooklyn Public Library Central Library May 5-23.  (PRNewsFoto/Ezra Jack Keats Foundation)

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation/NYC Dept of Ed announce city-wide winners of 2014 Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition: top, Journey to the Stars, by Gianluca Pellegrini, Ping Wen Lin (Gr 5, P.S./I.S. 229, Dyker School, Bklyn); L: New York City, by Alex Trinidad, Brian Tzic (Gr 8, P77K/Dist 75, Bklyn); R: In Praise of Plants: Part V, illus by Aleksandra Stanisavljevic (Gr 12, Stuyvesant H.S., Manhattan). City-wide and other winning books on exhibit-Brooklyn Public Library Central Library May 5-23. (PRNewsFoto/Ezra Jack Keats Foundation)

All of these talented young writers and illustrators embody Ezra’s legacy, working hard, often for months, to express themselves through their fine and creative books,” says Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “We hope this award will encourage them to pursue their dreams just as Ezra did.”

The Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition is divided into three categories: elementary (grades 3-5), middle (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12). This includes elementary, middle and high school winners from District 75.

In the grades 3-5 category, the city-wide winner is:
Journey to the Stars, written by Gianluca Pellegrini and illustrated by Ping Wen Lin (Grade 5)
P.S. / I.S. 229, The Dyker School, Brooklyn
Marie Dorval, Visual Arts Teacher; Tanis Coniglione, Teacher; Ann Keegan, Librarian; Robert Zappulla, Principal

Gianluca Pellegrini says, “One day, Ping Wen and I were reading The New York Times and saw a story about Voyager I. That’s how we came up with the idea for Journey to the Stars. It was really fun trying to find words that were descriptive and interesting and would work with Ping Wen’s illustrations. My teacher helped me fix any writing mistakes, which is okay because everyone makes mistakes!

Ping Wen Lin: “The illustrations for our book came before the story. I decided to draw Voyager I with a smile–I thought he’d be a happy spaceship because he was leaving the solar system. I used paint, special papers that my teacher got for me and pencils to do the drawings in the book. Voyager I had so many parts to his body that I’d have to say he was the most challenging part to make. It was fun working with a friend.”

In the grades 6-8 category, the city-wide winner is:
New York City, co-written and illustrated by Alex Trinidad and Brian Tzic (Grade 8)
P77K, District 75, Brooklyn
Amie Robinson, Visual Arts Teacher; Devon O’Shanecy, Teacher; Merryl Redner-Cohen, Principal

The winners say:
Alex Trinidad: “I had fun making the book with my friend Brian. We both like to draw pictures of transportation and learned a lot about types of transportation in class. One of my favorite pages to draw was the Staten Island Ferry with sharks in the water! I also liked using printmaking. First, we picked a color of ink. Second, we rolled the ink onto the foam plate. Then, we printed the foam plate onto the book page. I am really proud of the book we made together.”

Brian Tzic: “New York City is the first book I ever made! Our art teacher, Ms. Amie, showed us many different kinds of books. I liked the accordion book best because it showed all the pages at once. To make the accordion, we had to fold the pages and glue them together. We drew on Styrofoam plates instead of paper because you can print your drawings in many different colors.  It was fun working on the book with Alex. I am really good at drawing trains and buses and he is good at drawing boats and cars.”

In the grades 9-12 category, the city-wide winner is:
In Praise of Plants: Part V, illustrated by Aleksandra Stanisavljevic (Grade 12)
Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan
Leslie Bernstein, Visual Arts Teacher; Jie Zhang, Principal

The winner says: “In Praise of Plants: Part V is an excerpt from a poem by the noted Serbian poet Branko Miljkovic–I discovered an English translation of it on a field trip that my poetry class took to a Poetry Center. I was moved by the images and colorful descriptions. I decided to interpret the poem artistically which resulted in many elaborate pop-ups that I created, painstakingly, with an X-acto knife and mixed media. But the effort was worth it!

Founded by the late Caldecott award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries; cultivating new writers and illustrators of exceptional picture books that reflect the experience of childhood in our diverse culture; and protecting and promoting the work of Keats, the preeminent author-illustrator whose book The Snowy Day broke the color barrier in mainstream children’s publishing.  Keats. Imagination. Diversity.

The annual Bookmaking Competition begins each fall. Public school students are invited to come up with an intriguing theme, create engaging text, and integrate illustrations using a range of media. Expressive writing and artwork are encouraged. The process is integrated into classroom instruction with a strong emphasis on the study of picture books. Student books are created under the supervision of a teacher and/or librarian.

The judging panel, which is comprised of New York-based librarians, artists and teachers, focuses on the quality of writing, illustrations and presentation. This year’s panel of judges includes:
    —  Selina Alko, Children’s Book Author and Illustrator
    —  Barbara Genco, Visiting Associate Professor, Pratt Institute
    —  Barbara Moon, former Youth Consultant, Suffolk Cooperative Library System
    —  David Mowery, former Division Chief, Youth Wing, Central Library, Brooklyn Public Library
    —  Hannah O’Neill, Member, Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street and Assistant Manager, Bankstreet Bookstore
    —  Barbara Ornstein, former Children’s Specialist, Central Library, Brooklyn Public Library
    —  Rachel Payne, Coordinator, Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library
    —  Jo Beth Ravitz, Artist/Art Consultant
    —  Christine Scheper, Children’s Materials Specialist, Queens Library

At an awards ceremony to be held on May 16th at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Library , the city-wide and borough winners and honorable mention recipients of the Bookmaking Competition will be given medals. In addition, the city-wide winners will receive $500 and the borough winners will receive $100 from the Foundation.

Getting kids excited about reading and writing is critical for their long-term academic success. And I want to congratulate all of the talented student bookmakers who have shown that they understand and appreciate the link between narrative and image,” says New York City School Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We know that teachers are the keys to our students’ success, and I thank all of the teachers and librarians who have supported these young authors and illustrators. And I also want to thank the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation for creating and supporting this program for almost 30 years.”

We honor these students whose books are the result of inspired creativity and sustained thoughtful work. These books demonstrate the exemplary teaching and learning that happens every day in our public schools,” adds Karen Rosner, Coordinator of Visual Arts, New York City Department of Education, and supervisor of the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking initiative. “The exhibition of the winning books at the Brooklyn Public Library shows the talent and the rich diversity that exists in the New York City public schools.”

“We are delighted to showcase the talent of these young writers and illustrators,” says Rachel Payne, Coordinator, Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library, and one of the judges of the Competition. “This year’s city-wide winners–inspired by a New York Times article on Voyager I, a Serbian poem and even the New York City subway system–combined words with pop-ups, mixed materials and printmaking techniques to create wonderfully compelling books.”

The competition was also held in San Francisco where the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, San Francisco Public Library and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) joined together to present the second annual Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition on the West Coast this year. Participants were invited to an awards ceremony on March 2nd at The CJM, where all entries were showcased. The winning books were also on display at the SFUSD Arts Festival at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco March 15-23.

For a complete list of city-wide and borough winners, visit 2014 Bookmaking Competition Winners at the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation website.