Style Features

CANDID: Rachelle Hruska MacPherson

Rachelle Hruska McPherson is the founder of Lingua Franca, a beloved brand known for its hand-stitched cashmere sweaters, chock-full of clever-isms, activist statements and many of our favorite song lyrics. It all started when Rachelle needed to burn off some anxiety and keep her hands busy, which led her to pick up a needle and an old sweater. The brand was established and quickly blossomed into not only sweaters, but a business case study in collaboration at its finest. A percentage of proceeds are donated directly to nonprofits built into the business model.

What are you doing to keep your kids engaged throughout the day while you’re all at home, and how are you approaching your work? The boys’ Zoom classes are keeping them pretty occupied through the mornings, which is amazing. I’ve been so impressed with the teachers’ commitment to their students during this unusual time. Work has been as busy as ever for me, and we have daily conference calls at the same time each day. I’m also joining our virtual embroidery classes every M, W and F, which keep me connected to our team. 

How are you lifting your spirits and keeping sane in the midst of this new normal? Playing the role of chef, housekeeper, teacher and mom, as well as working, has left me with little time to be depressed or anxious, which I’m truly grateful for. My husband and I both make sure to give each other much-needed breaks. For me, it’s usually a run, yoga, or Tracy Anderson workouts. I’ve never felt closer as a family unit, a silver lining in all of this. 

What’s your biggest challenge right now? Not seeing my team every day or connecting with family and friends has definitely taken its toll. On the other hand, I’ve made a point to do more phone calls and Zoom connections with old friends and acquaintances I haven’t seen in a while. 

What is your ultimate stay at home garment that’s giving you confidence and comfort? I put jeans on yesterday and felt like I was dressed to go to the Met Gala. Lol. 

How are you reinventing your Mother’s Day this year? I haven’t even thought about that yet! I’m hoping we get FaceTime with both grandmas and enough sunshine for a beach walk. 

About this interview series: As Mother’s Day approaches I’ve thought a lot about the importance of shining a light on all moms, particularly in the midst of this unprecedented new normal. The world is changing, but honoring and celebrating mom remains intact. Mothers come in many forms, those who gave birth to us or adopted us; our grandmothers and best friends; and those who found us in times of need and invited us into their lives. As part of my CANDID interview series, I had the pleasure of connecting with inspiring women who are mothers, founders and dynamic individuals. They share their stories of navigating the now and how they’ll re-invent Mother’s Day this year amidst this ongoing pandemic. I will add features daily to lauraksawyier.com until May 10, and all will be featured on townandstyle.com here as well. -LKS

Laura Katherine Sawyier is a women’s personal and wardrobe stylist and founder of the SALON X LKS event series. She is based in St. Louis and New York City.


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