In a new series, VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers for their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit. Here, we talk to Fiona Stewart, the founder of SLIP.

The first thing you need to know about a Slip silk pillowcase is that it’s a beauty product, not a bedding product. And it’s divine. As with many luxury hero products, there is quite a backstory.

Fiona Stewart, who cofounded the company with her husband, Justin Dubois, was a longtime sufferer of painfully sensitive skin caused by cystic acne. Her dermatologist told her that sleeping on a silk pillowcase would be far more gentle on her skin and hair than traditional cotton or linen cases. Sleeping on silk has been “a longstanding beauty secret among grandmothers who used to sleep on silk scarves,” says Stewart.

And while today you can pretty much find anything on Amazon, locating a silk pillowcase in 2003 proved to be impossible. “I tried everywhere to find one back then, and I couldn’t,” she says. Desperate for relief when her skin worsened, she ended up buying a roll of silk from the fabric store and wrapping it around her pillow. “I couldn’t sew,” she laughs. Necessity is the mother of invention.

The switch to silk made a huge difference, almost immediately. Realizing the opportunity in the marketplace, Stewart and her husband collaborated on a small test run for friends and family, and the rest is history.

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