ELEVEN SIX visits Courtney Somer, the founder of Lake & Skye at her new, Kingston studio-space. Courtney talks about the journey that led to starting her beautiful fragrance and aromatherapy line, daily inspirations and how she strives to find balance being a working mama.
How did the world of Lake & Skye evolve?
My journey in wellness started in my early 20’s with an escalating health issue. After months of trips to doctors with no resolution, on a whim I went to see a healer who helped to diagnose me and gave me various alternative treatments to heal in one session! It wound up being an experience that led me down a positive path of wellness. There was much less dialogue around mind, body connection twenty years ago than there is now. I became a seeker that went on to study various forms of wellness including reiki, nutrition, meditation, kundalini yoga and prenatal yoga over the next decade. Once I became a mother, I started to use essential oils for healing and this eventually led to a study of aromatherapy. As a long time lover of scent, I started working with a perfumer to develop fragrance and aromatherapy blends. After two years in development, Lake & Skye was born in 2015, named in honor of my two girls.
What inspires you day to day?
Our upstate community, women running businesses, music, my family, being in nature and taking time to myself. I’ve found that having extra time is such a luxury these days and whenever I am able to do something just for me, it really opens up extra space creatively.
What exciting projects are you working on right now?
We are finishing new products launching in 2020 and some other developments soon to be released! I’m excited to keep growing Lake and Skye and am taking it one step at a time.
What do you do to stay balanced as a working mama?
Its’ not always as graceful as I wish, thats for sure! Before I had children, I used a lot of my free time on spiritual outings and events. I would go to sadhana, yoga classes and meditation classes or hear healers speak. I loved doing that and always felt I was growing because of it. Once I had my girls (and pretty close in age to one another), any free time was devoted to them. I would long to go on a retreat but it just wasn’t happening. I spoke to one of my teachers about it and realized that my spiritual practice was right in front of me, learning to be present in the midst of the chaos. And if anything will wake you up to the parts of yourself you want to improve, it’s having children. Motherhood is life magnified—the good, the bad, the messy and the beautiful. It cracked me open in a way that no spiritual course could. One thing I do rely on daily is my kundalini yoga practice. I use the tools from the teachings for everyday things for example the mantra of protection every time I’m in a car or breathing techniques for stress.
What does the ELEVEN SIX brand mean to you and what is your favorite piece this season and why?
Living in Upstate NY means living in layers and in Eleven Six! The temperature can change 20 degrees from morning to afternoon. I love the soft gorgeous knits and cardigans, they are part of my daily wardrobe. This season I can’t pick one so am going with a the head-to-toe tonal look: The Tess sweater and Lea Skirt in cloud blue. They feel so soft and I love the way the skirt moves when you walk. Also I will be wearing the Charlotte hand-knit sweater for an all white look, its my new staple!