We had the good fortune of connecting with Sasha Hlavinka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sasha, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
To always listen to myself and my gut. In the past I sought outside validation from others. Now, with my business and my ideas, I trust myself. People like to suggest things I ‘should’ do. Although it feels really great when others get excited about my brand, at the end of the day Perpetual Shade is an extension of me and I know what feels best.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Perpetual Shade almost 10 years ago in NYC. At the time, it was the only brand exclusively selling sleep masks. I started it because I had a sleep issue as a kid- the light shining into my room disrupted my sleep. When I tried to find a suitable sleep mask that was comfortable and did the job, I was unsuccessful. So at 15 years old, I created my own sleep mask. Fast forward approximately 15 years later, I decided it was time to try and make a sleep mask business. There are and were other sleep masks out there, however, this mask was created out of necessity because I had a real sleep issue. I wanted to solve the problem but make it fun and fashionable at the same time. I focused on social media, mostly (IG) at the beginning as well as utilizing my contacts in the fashion industry. I thought of people I knew who may know others who could help. This taught me to step out of my comfort zone. I was a little shy and a bit scared to talk to new people. Now that has completely changed thanks to the business. I’ve learned that fear is fake. Once I got passed the fear and just did it, I learned that there was really nothing to be afraid of. I still struggle with overcoming fear- not nearly as much as before. I remind myself that growth does not happen in the comfort zone. Creating a business / brand was the best experience of my life and continues to be. I’ve learned so much and continue to learn. Not only about business things, but about myself and how far I can go. I want the world to know that we live in a world and a country where anything is possible. There are no excuses not to at least try.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Wally’s in Beverly Hills for people and car watching, great wine and charcuterie
Hotel Bel Air for a magical dinner, drinks on the patio or just walking around the grounds. Feels like you are in a magical storybook. Definitely say hi to the swans that swim in the little pond.
Cliffdiver in Malibu. It’s on PCH and is super chill with the strongest margaritas I’ve ever had. The mexican food is delish!
Find a secret beach in Malibu to escape the basic crowds in Santa Monica / Venice. Just be aware of the para gliders- they like to land right on the beach!
Drive up to wine country if you can- Santa Ynez and Los Olivos have some of the best vineyards and tasting rooms around.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents. They have always supported my ideas and pushed me to try new things. When I first started I told them that I wanted to create the best sleep mask and they loved the idea. I didn’t have a business plan, but I had the vision of what I wanted Perpetual Shade to be. They trusted me completely and to this day support everything I do.