Not your mom’s Sunday-best silk scarf. Not your shabby teenage bandana. Squar’d Away is a happy fresh take on this unsung accessory, thoughtfully designed and produced. Their mission doesn’t stop at glamming up your everyday look though. They are committed to supporting research efforts for Parkinsons disease, one scarf at a time.
They just launched their FW17 collection, and we love every single design. Sara Harari-Buchnea, a veteran of the art world, is the design force behind the brand. She’s always been fascinated with the versatility of bandanas and their ability to soften a look or give it an edge. Reinterpreting this classic and giving it an updated modern twist became the focus of Squar’d Away’s first collection.
They say that something good comes out of every difficult situation, and that holds true in Sara’s case. After her father’s Parkinsons diagnosis 10 years ago, she felt compelled to do something (anything) to help. Squar’d Away donates a remarkable 20% of their proceeds to research efforts for the disease. She is inspired by her dad, who “lives life as the same positive, caring person he’s always been, joking around and taking time for others“.
Catch up with Sara about her handy hidden talent, how Squar’d Away came to be, and the positive effects of moving.
A little trivia about yourself
– Born & raised: Toronto, Ontario
– Cups of coffee a day: I’ve gotten it down to one! (although it depends on the day…)
– Currently reading: “Do Not Become Alarmed” by Maile Meloy
– The best brunch is at: FONDA in Park Slope
– Hidden talent: Impersonating people I know (shhhh! don’t tell)
– If I didn’t do what I do, I would be a… writer of nerdy Art History books (or a ballerina)
What inspired you to start your business?
I always knew I wanted to do something that was my own. Something that would allow me to draw from my background in art. At one point I realized I was starting to hoard bandanas because they’re so aesthetically pleasing and are such an outfit changer — but I also realized that there really wasn’t anything between a low-cost cotton bandana and a beautiful silk scarf from Hermes. I thought Squar’d Away should fill that gap.
What makes your scarves different?
First and foremost, Squar’d Away donates 20% of the proceeds from the sale of each square to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in support of my dad, who has been living with the disease for over ten years. The scarves are the classic bandana reborn in pure silk. They all feature original designs. We keep the sheen on the silk to a minimum to maintain a traditional bandana feel but they’re definitely luxurious to the touch.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I was a lot more cautious about everything when I first started out for fear of rejection and for way-overthinking everything. I know now that I always put in the hard work and feel good about what I’ve created, so if something doesn’t work out that’s ok. There are always new things to try and new opportunities to jump all over.
Any exciting plans for the next few months?
We are excited to introduce our Fall/Winter bandanas that just became available online. They’ll also be at Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar, of course! We’re also getting ready to release some handy “how-to” videos for our website that will show people exactly how to get the most out of their Squar’d Away bandana!
What do you love about your neighborhood?
I moved to Clinton Hill from Park Slope about three months ago. I’m loving that every awesome new place I go to is an exciting discovery for me! Also, being closer to my friends is icing on the Brooklyn cake!