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I’m an unapologetic sleep mask wearer. (My husband is too!) I need absolute darkness to sleep and our current bedroom is unfortunately quite bright and airy. It’s not our house, so instead of investing in light-blocking blinds, we started wearing eye masks – and now I can’t go anywhere without mine. I’ve tried several (and relied on my free airplane mask for far too long) and my favorite is definitely Perpetual Shade. The masks are oversized, preventing any stray light from getting in, and super luxe – which seems incredibly unnecessary but ends up being a nice little treat at the end of the day. Putting my mask on has become a bit of a thing for me… even when I’m sleeping somewhere dark and quiet, the act of putting the mask on somehow helps me turn off my brain and ready myself for sleep. And I’m totally willing to look a little funny (not that anyone watches me sleep!) in order to sleep well.

Read on for a great interview about sleep and American made with the founder of Perpetual Shade, Sasha Hlavinka. Sasha has also offered up a code for TAE readers which you’ll find at the bottom of this post AND we are giving away a mask on instagram! Treat yo self!

WHAT MADE YOU START PERPETUAL SHADE?

I have always had difficulty falling asleep due to any sort of light. I searched high and low for an eye mask that could help my problem, however, I found that none of the masks were comfortable, and frankly, most did not block out the light. I decided to create my own mask which I wore every single night. Friends and family became very curious about my mask and after many requests for their own, I decided to start Perpetual Shade.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Traveling to garment and fashion districts in different cities has been very inspiring to me. I recently spent time in Los Angeles and found that the fabric selection was completely different from the designs in New York City. That trip inspired me to create the Perpetual Shade Fall collection.

WHERE DO YOU DESIGN? WORK?

It depends. Sometimes, when I fall in love with a fabric or trim, I design around it. This means running around the garment district trying to find the perfect combination of materials to complete the look I created in my mind. Other times, I throw all of my materials on my bed and play around with possible combinations. Perpetual Shade headquarters is located in my home office. It is home base for creating, shipping, shooting our campaigns and administrative work.

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WHY DO YOU MAKE YOUR COLLECTION IN AMERICA?

In my mind, America is the best country in the world. There is so much opportunity here-it is just a matter of finding it. My parents immigrated to America from communist Czechoslovakia. They thrived here and proved that the American dream exists. I wanted to continue that dream with Perpetual Shade.

YOUR PRODUCTS ARE MADE BY HAND IN NEW YORK CITY… WHY IS AMERICAN MADE IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Manhattan was once the mecca for apparel manufacturing. Now, many brands have chosen to produce overseas, leading to a drastic decline in American made products. It makes me feel good knowing that my brand is helping sustain domestic production.

Not only are Perpetual Shade eye masks an American brand, but they are made in New York City. I live in NYC and love knowing that stopping by my factory to check up on production and visiting my vendors to choose materials is only a subway ride away.

American made is important to me because I truly believe this is the best county on earth. We have the resources to produce the highest quality products- this has been proven in the past and continues today. I believe that if people become more conscious about purchasing American made products it will only help our economy thrive
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WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER FAVORITE AMERICAN MADE BRANDS?

I love J Brand denim and anything Rag and Bone!

WHAT IS YOUR UNIFORM?

I walk A LOT, so high top sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt has been my uniform all season.

YOU STARTED PERPETUAL SHADE AFTER MAKING YOUR OWN EYE MASK TO HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER – WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER SLEEP REMEDIES?

Chamomile tea, lots of exercise, mediation and complete silence.

HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – AND MAKE SURE TO GET ENOUGH SLEEP – DURING THE BUSY HOLIDAY SEASON?

I like to keep a regimented schedule not only during the busy holiday season, but all year round. I find that waking up around the same time everyday helps keep my sleep schedule on track. Trying to keep healthy is very important to me. I am a huge advocate of drinking green tea throughout the day. Not only does the tea keep me moving, it also has major health benefits. Taking a vitamin D supplement has had a tremendous positive impact on my health and overall well being. It has increased my energy, mood and sleep. I am by no means a doctor, however, I believe that everyone should have their levels tested at least once a year.

One of my favorite ways to keep in shape is to attend a Refine Method fitness class at least twice a week. The workouts are addictive due to the motivating instructors and great music, and have become part of my weekly routine. They keep me fit, help alleviate stress (especially during the holidays), and relax my mind and body, leading to better sleep!
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Make sure to follow TAE & Perpetual Shade on Instagram, because we are giving away an eyemask! In order to help everyone else get some great sleep, Sasha has also generously offered a 10% discount code for TAE readers, TAE10. The code expires 12/25/14. Happy sleeping, friends!

DISCLAIMER: Sasha from Perpetual Shade sent me a mask to try this summer which I wore happily for many months. My first mask recently had an unfortunate party with my sheets in my washer and dryer so I purchased another mask at full price. Totally worth it. The old mask is actually still ok, just a bit bedraggled and has now become part of my dedicated travel-kit.

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What do you think?