Meet Morgan Curtis, founder and CEO of Morgan Lane and Cozyland. A designer, successful business owner and mom, Curtis has made quite an impressive career for herself, despite her extremely busy schedule, balancing life and work.
Curtis has worked in the fashion industry almost her entire life. Her mother, Jill Stuart, is a world-renowned designer and business owner. Curtis grew up working with her mom’s company and clothing line in her stores as a sales representative.
Curtis has extensive experience and background in the industry. She went to Cornell University and studied fiber science and apparel design, and then studied abroad in Central St. Martins, studying knitwear.
After graduating college, she worked for Jill Stuart full-time. She worked in various departments, starting in fabrics, then moving into resource and development and later worked her way up into designing. Working for her mother at such a well-known company with such a high reputation gave Curtis the opportunity to take a deep-dive into the design industry.
Her time and experience in the fashion industry and at Jill Stuart inspired Curtis to create her own clothing line in 2014.
Hence came Morgan Lane, a luxury pajama line, using high quality silks and fabrics. Curtis said one of her goals for the company was to hone in on a market that could reuse fabrics and have versatile uses for the clothing. Although Morgan Lane’s pieces are typically viewed as sleepwear, Curtis wanted consumers to feel they could use the pieces for everyday wear and more than just pajamas.
“I kind of wanted to do everything she (Jill Stuart) didn’t do, basically,” Curtis said.
Curtis did all of the grunt work for her company by herself. She made the designs, put in the orders and started an entire successful company from scratch. This is no easy job for anyone – but her perseverance held strong.
A business strategy of Curtis’ was to focus on branding from the very beginning. She wanted her products and brand to be identifiable from the start of the launch. Her lines have been sold at various retail stores, and a lot of hard work and patience went into finding retailers to buy from her.
Since Instagram wasn’t as popular in 2014, Curtis had to travel in order to get her brand out there. She traveled around the U.S., as well as Europe, with her clothing line in the back of her car.
Her first major retailer that bought from her was Selfridges. She knew this was a difficult company to get in with, so she came up with a clever strategy. She told the receptionist she had an appointment with someone who she knew was on maternity leave, and so the receptionist allowed her to go up and show her line.
“I talked my way into an appointment that didn’t exist,” Curtis said.
Almost immediately after she left, she received a call asking her to come back because the buyer wanted to buy from her right away.
Since then, she has sold at Harrods and other large retailers, as well as at pop-up shops.
A huge turning point in her company and in her goal of incorporating pajamas into streetwear was when famous supermodel Gigi Hadid wore one of Morgan Lane’s silk sets out and about. The media captured this look quickly, and the idea of pajama dressing really took off.
“I think people just really want to be comfortable, but still look good, and they can feel more comfortable when they’re wearing looser clothing, whether it is at the office or at home on a Zoom meeting. So people started styling the pajama tops with jeans and the little silk pants with little heels and an oversized sweater,” Curtis said. “… Then the other thing is when you’re investing in a pair of $500 silk pajamas, you want to have other purposes for it than sleeping.”
Curtis even illustrates her own designs, using a pen and watercolor. She really is the mastermind behind her line and still remains the company’s driving force, now 8 years later.
Morgan Lane is still a successful business today, but Curtis knew she could do more. Recently, she decided to start a second business, “Cozyland.”
The idea for Cozyland was inspired by Curtis’ daughter. Curtis gave birth to her first child in 2019, very shortly before the pandemic started. Once COVID-19 hit and everyone was working remotely, she was able to spend a lot more time than expected with her first-born. The precious time with her daughter led Curtis to start Cozyland, a pajama line for children.
There is a lot of time, energy and well-thought out plans that go into Cozyland. The company makes it a priority to use the softest, 100% organic hemocottin from Peru. Much was put into sourcing this fabric and creating a sustainable and eco-friendly clothing line for children, but creating a sustainable line was a priority to Curtis – so she made it happen.
Both Morgan Lane and Cozyland are comprised of a small team of women who work for both lines and projects. This female-driven company stands as an inspiration to aspiring female business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s not easy to create one successful clothing line, let alone two, but Curtis beat the odds.
One of Curtis’s goals is to build the Cozyland team out into its own separate team eventually, Curtis said.
Working with both companies can be very time-consuming, she said. Being a mother is already a full-time job. But Curtis is a perfect example of how you can put both your career and your family first. She didn’t sacrifice her dream of having her own clothing line to have a family, and she didn’t sacrifice her dream of having a family to have her own clothing line.