A tale of two brands...
I’ve always said the perfect collabs are simply making cool sh*t with cool people, and making this collection with Emma and Claire (The Salmon Sisters) has been exactly that. Honestly, I don’t know if there’s a more synonymous brand to have created these pieces with than The Salmon Sisters. Everything about it just clicks, and if I can fangirl for a moment, I have ALWAYS dreamed of making something beautiful with these two women, but thought Youer didn’t have the reach or audience to bring an equal partnership to the table. But last year, I decided to just try, and it’s a pretty wild story I think.
So, I bought a tasty box of their wild caught salmon and got to work figuring out how to manifest a collaboration. When the fish showed up, I realized I had accidentally ordered one of their cookbooks, and as I flipped through it I realized what a serendipitous accident this was. The cookbook is an incredible illustrated story of their life growing up by the sea on a remote Alaskan homestead in a fishing family – seeing old photos of them with their parents and seeing Emma’s illustrations of their family recipes really gave me all the feels. After reading the cookbook cover to cover, I felt like I knew them.
That night, I made their ‘Coconut Curry Fish Soup’ and thought “I HAVE to find a way to work with them”. I called up my friend Kelly and said “Kelly, I have a plan and I need your help. We’re going to go eat some tasty smoked salmon and stage a picnic photoshoot in the Treasure Dress, so I can post it on Instagram and tag the heck out of the Salmon Sisters until they notice me and want to make dresses with me”. Kelly is ALWAYS down for these kinds of adventures, as you can likely tell from her abundant appearance in our photography. She’s modeling both our collab pieces!
Here's a photo from that first picnic shoot last October.
A few days later, I was getting coffee with a friend of a friend who I had just been introduced to. Over coffee I was telling her about how I made this delicious curry fish soup recipe the other day from the Salmon Sisters cookbook and had she heard of them? Had she heard of them?! She KNEW them and had eaten this exact soup with them at their table many times! I was shocked. I told her my plan and she graciously offered an email intro.
I wrote a gazillion drafts of that intro email before I sent it, but in the end settled on something that drew on an interesting similarity that resonated with me – Emma, Claire and I were all homeschooled for parts of life.
You can probably figure out the rest of the story. We emailed, I sent them a couple dresses, they loved them, Emma drew up some gorgeous prints inspired by their life by the sea, and we got to work making dresses and leggings (we do have something else dropping later this fall).
This spring, while all our fabric was in production, I took a trip to Alaska and ended up finding my way to Homer where Emma and Claire live. They weren’t in town, but the vibrant little fishing town was alive with their presence. They have two shops (a Flagship store and their fish shop/warehouse) and I popped in to drop off some samples and got to meet some of their team. From conversations I had with locals, it’s pretty darn clear that what these two women have built in this small town is wildly impressive. They’re talented, humble, passionate and rugged. Every summer for the last 10 years, they’ve headed out on the waters with their fleet of fishing boats to catch Halibut and Salmon and keep their family fishing history alive. Emma just returned from a summer on the water, but Claire sat this one out because she just became a mom in June, to a baby girl who is already living life on the water.
So, I hope you truly love and enjoy what we have put together for you – a wild celebration of the mountains and sea, women-owned businesses, and brands with strong values and ethics. Welcome to Youer x Salmon Sisters. In this collection, you’ll find a Treasure Dress in a beautiful sea-inspired green we call Cirrus, Earned It Leggings in the print Seaworthy. A second Treasure Dress in Blueberry, will be available exclusively on the Salmon Sisters site and in their retail shops in Homer Alaska. For photos for this collaboration, Kelly and I headed out once again to a stunning Montana overlook and had another picnic. This time wearing the clothes the first picnic made :)