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INTERVIEW: Mother-Daughter Duo Debra Schoenau And Rachel Schoenau Doneger On Their Sleepwear Brand Polkadot England

Gabrielle Topping

Items from Polkadot England. (Courtesy Photo)

Polkadot England — a women and children's sleep and loungewear brand by Hamptons locals and mother-daughter duo Debra Schoenau and Rachel Schoenau Doneger — is a private label of retail store Relax in Sag Harbor. During the pandemic, Polkadot England has produced face masks and has donated a portion of those sales to various charities.

Rachel Schoenau Doneger, Henry and Debra Schoenau. (Courtesy Photo)

I spoke with Debra and Rachel about Polkadot England's newest collections, the charities they are donating to and inspirations.

What is your most popular sleep or loungewear style at Polkadot England?

DS and RSD: Our most popular styles are the slouchy tops, both full length and cropped versions, as well as our joggers!

What was the inspiration behind the three newest collections [Blue Florals, Sally Stripe, and Liberty London]?

DS: I design with the understanding that my customer wants to feel comfortable and pretty at the same time. I chose colors and patterns that are relatable and simplistic. I love everything feminine, hearts, florals. The Liberty London floral prints have been a favorite of mine my whole life, so it was a privilege to design with their fabrics.

How are both England and the Hamptons represented in Polkadot England's products?

RSD: Our collections have sweet and delicate details, a characteristic of vintage European brands that provide a sense of nostalgia and childhood memories. In addition, all of our products are manufactured in the English countryside 100 miles outside of London at a one of a kind factory that uses unique blends of special yarns that enhance the fabric's softness. Our designs are perfect to be worn in the Hamptons for easy casual living, so it makes sense that Polkadot England has a home in our store Relax in Sag Harbor, located on Main Street.

What is your favorite aspect of having a women and children's sleep/loungewear brand as a mother-daughter duo?

Items from Polkadot England. (Courtesy Photo)

DS and RSD: We work together very well as a mother-daughter team. We have different backgrounds and handle different things for the business, but always discuss and bounce ideas off one another. Having a business together has made our relationship stronger. We're on the phone with each other every single day! One of our favorite parts of owning the brand is seeing photos and receiving positive feedback from our customers in their cozy sets.

RSD: The mommy and me sets are unique, if I wanted to, I could match my mom and my son which is pretty special!

Since the pandemic began you have donated a percentage of all sales to different charities. Tell us about that initiative.

DS and RSD: During the pandemic, loungewear as a genre of clothing did exceptionally well. With our online success, we committed to donating a portion of sales to different charities close to our hearts and alternate donating between different ones. Philanthropic efforts inspire us as a brand and make our customers feel good about buying our products. The organizations we've partnered with include CDC's Emergency Response Fund, YourMomCares, River Fund, and The Retreat, All Against Domestic Abuse. Giving back is always important, but especially during these challenging times.

When not working on Polkadot England's next collection, how do you spend your time in the Hamptons?

DS and RSD: We love playing tennis, dining at Tutto Il Giorno in Sag Harbor, beach walks, and family BBQs! We cherished the extra family time that this summer provided.

Relax is located at 150 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit polkadot-england.com.

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