Not Your Standard, founded by LA-based social media influencer Kayla Seah and her fiancé, Guillaume Viau, is a luxury home fragrance brand that specializes in creating clean-burning, non-toxic candles designed to enhance your living space.
Connection to nature, simplicity of living, and a strong sense of community and place were common threads in Shaina’s upbringing in Southern California. Hailing from a family of arborists, Shaina grew up in the back seat of her father’s strawberry-colored truck where she learned the Latin names of tree specimens. Her upbringing was steeped in the soulful honesty of a small family-run business. This, paired with her mother’s passion for rescuing and naturally training horses cemented her appreciation for — and protection of — nature.
Shaina discovered an innate interest in timeless fashion design and pattern making through her first job working at a designer and vintage store in her teens. It was in the slow moments of the day that she pored over the details and craftsmanship of forever relevant pieces by designers like Jil Sander, Prada, Donna Karan, and Giorgio Armani. This passion for design eventually led her to pursue a pattern making apprenticeship where she learned firsthand how to construct and fit garments.
At 19, Shaina took a role in buying, vintage archiving, and later creative direction for a clothing company in Los Angeles. Through her work in the new clothing department, she saw the disposable, trend-based and linear trajectory of the fast fashion industry. In the evenings after work, Mote would create patterns for her “ideal” pieces — centered around an ethos embracing thoughtfully-made, versatile, deliberately-designed pieces. This process organically unfolded into the founding of her eponymous line in 2010 at age 21.
Over the last decade, Shaina’s ethos has remained at the core of her brand with timeless pieces that embrace a circular production practice. Shaina’s story and brand are still evolving: In early 2021 she relocated to a farmhouse in Upstate New York with her partner, dog Enzo, and horse Amerigo to pursue a long sought-after dream — space to savor, live and work deliberately, and in many ways return to her roots in actively creating a more sustainable future for herself and her business.
We recognize that often what expands life most is what we choose to strip back. To us, simplicity means distilling life to its nuanced, soulful essence. In both the garments we create and the way we live, we strive to keep returning to what’s truly fundamental.
A MODERN APPROACH
While harnessing simplicity in design, Not Your Standard explores texture and colour to create form. Designs nod to fine art, sculpture, architecture and colour theory. Not Your Standard elevates an everyday object with the intention to subtly disrupt the neutrality of the bathing space.