Minnesotan To Meet: Sairey Gernes of Urban Undercover
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Let's face it, we've all been there before: sometimes the clothes we put on first thing in the morning, don't always lead to instant comfort throughout the day. One St. Paul woman is trying to change that one pair at a time.
Sairey Gernes has lived a life style of adventure all over the world, places like: Spain, Texas, Miami, and Amsterdam before finally deciding to return to roots here in Minnesota. No surprise she calls herself an on-the-go urban woman.
It's why she decided to launch underwear line, called Urban Undercover and that's what makes Sairey Gernes a Minnesotan to Meet.
Call them what you want: Undies, panties, boy-shorts. For a long time, the St. Paul native was pretty much against all of the above.
"Although I'm the average size for American women (size 12) I couldn't' fit in larges. I just thought that was kind of odd," Gernes said. "I'm kind of problem solver and I was like 'let's see if we can make better underwear.'"
That's when for her going commando became a thing of the past.
"My friends thought I was crazy because when I told them, 'you know what, I'm going to try and make underwear, better underwear' they were like, 'you don't wear underwear.'" Gernes said. "I don't wear them because they're not comfortable."
She took the matter into her own hands one leg at a time 5 years ago.
"It's the first piece that you put on. So, you could have your favorite outfit on, but if you don't feel comfortable in your underwear, any layer you put on top of that isn't going to feel good," Gernes said, discussing how a bad pair can ruin your day.
Sairey used herself as the "fit model" for her first pair.
"We started with a thong, and then did our hipster and boy short. That's kind of our signature line those aren't going to go anywhere," said Gernes.
Gernes also has a patent on the pocket that sits on the waistband. The pocket isn't just to hide the tag, but really is meant for on-the-go and active woman .
"What I did was design them so they travel really nicely," said Gernes while showing how to fold up the underwear using the special pocket, "What you do, roll them right back up to the flap on side says 'let's go' and the other says 'nope'."
Her lace comes from Italy. The fabric is milled in California, but her products, as of this year, are all Made in Minnesota.
"We were manufacturing in New York, actually, and we are switching it. We found somebody locally. It's really nice to have it in your own backyard," Gernes said.
Her line has expanded into bags, candles, sleepwear and even this towel-topper, but Gernes said while her latest adventure has brought more comfort to her closet, her life as an entrepreneur has not necessarily been smooth.
"Wow I did this, they're all our own patterns, our designs," said Gernes as she reflected on her accomplishments, "I think just making it this far and not giving up because there have definitely been times where I am like what am I doing?"
And she loves that her travels bring her stories of the same dilemma she once
"You don't know how many times I've been told this might be too much information," said Gernes, as she told us about all the trade shows and pop-up shops she visits, "I'm like I hear it all time."
She really credits her "homecoming" with allowing her to take the risk of launching the brand.
She says the community has been really supportive of start-ups like hers.
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