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About

At Lysande, we handcraft beautiful, comfortable headbands that stay put.

Headache-free
How does a wire make a headband more comfortable?  Your Lysande headband will effortlessly form to the exact shape of your head, eliminating needless slipping, pressure, and tension.

Unlimited style possibilities
Our signature wire means that you can bend, tie, and manipulate your Lysande headbands into any shape you dream up.

Handmade
Each Lysande headband is handmade in Connecticut and New York City using high quality materials and craftsmanship for pieces that last.


 

About Michelle

Beautiful woman in Central Park wearing a Lysande headband.Growing up I embraced math and fashion, using sketches of my designs to bookmark Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”. My grandma, daughter of an Armenian immigrant lace maker who worked at garment factories during the 1900s, stoked these passions. She taught me to sew when I was 7 – making me the 4th generation of women in my family to practice sewing, beadwork and lace making. Once I learned the power of a sewing machine I was hooked.

Over the course of growing up, I also struggled to maintain attention and to manage collapsing episodes that happened seemingly out of nowhere. I chose math over fashion because the finite nature of the work was possible with the symptoms I experienced every day.

I used my math degree to pursue a PhD in economics and was a 5th year in my program when I was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy: for the first time in my life I had treatment options and a community. When I learned that my experience (20 years from symptom onset to diagnosis) was the norm for people with narcolepsy rather than the exception I took pen to paper (or rather keyboard to Wordpress) and started a blog. I shared the realities of life with narcolepsy which turn out to be much less dramatic than how this neurological disease is portrayed in the media. Eight months in I was chosen as one of two people with narcolepsy to lobby for sleep research on Capitol Hill with the nonprofit Project Sleep, alongside two of the world’s leading sleep researchers from Northwestern University. Following this experience I worked with Project Sleep’s founder and CEO to run several social media campaigns to promote sleep and sleep disorder awareness and in the summer of 2018 I was accepted to Project Sleep’s Rising Voices of Narcolepsy speaker leadership program. Since becoming a trained speaker with Project Sleep, I was featured in their recent video series and have given two talks, most recently Ground Rounds at Yale School of Medicine.

Outside of advocacy, my biggest question following Diagnosis Day was: how do I create a life that caters to my narcolepsy so that I can be successful without letting narcolepsy run my life? A question central to the lives of many living with chronic illness. With medication to manage my symptoms, I used my newfound wakeful hours to return to my earliest passion, sewing and creating, and pivoted away from economics. I love working with my hands and the satisfaction that comes from creating wearable art, in the form of hair accessories, that makes myself and others feel amazing.

My current works reflect where my love for craft started: my grandmother. I was inspired by the feeling of digging through your grandma’s closet, to create something that harkens back to that experience. My grandmother was an avid world traveler, collecting beads, fabric, and trim wherever she went- a trait that she also passed down to me. Lysande’s SS2019 collection is reflective of my relationship with my grandmother, creating a feeling of heritage, adventure, discovery, and POSSIBILITY, all in headpieces that guarantee comfort and security.

Classic headpiece shapes constructed with extreme care and craftsmanship, glass beads, carefully chosen from an archive that I inherited from my grandmother, used to create free-hand bespoke details (coming soon!). I chose to use handwoven Indian Khadi as the base for these pieces because of its own special heritage, as the fabric that Gandhi used to empower India to create economic freedom- a story after my grandmothers own heart. Like the beads from my collection, the Indian Khadi was collected during travels, this time- my own. My goal with these pieces is that they become part of new stories- handed down for generations.