A brides and her bridesmaids in Doie Lounge robes from Mill Valley resident Sara Kirsner Stith. Courtesy image.

PictureMill Valley resident Sara Kirsner Stith in one of her Doie Lounge robes. Courtesy image.

Sara Kirsner Stith knows a thing or two about getting just the right gift for a bridesmaid – she’s been one 12 times.

So it’s no surprise that after more than a decade in the fashion industry – much of it spent running her own clothing line – the longtime fashion designer has built a burgeoning business around a line of glamorous-yet-comfortable robes that serve as the perfect gift for a bride to give to her maids.

“There’s always somebody getting married,” Kirsner Stith says with a laugh. “And it’s a piece that you can have for years – it’s comfortable, pretty clothing.”

That business, Doie Lounge, is named after Kirsner Stith’s grandmother, “who even in her 90s was always impeccably dressed, glamorous, and had an enviable confidence – a true style icon,” Kirsner says.

As her six-year-old business continues to blossom, the Mill Valley native recently completed a circuitous journey back to her hometown. Kirsner grew up here, largely in the Scott Valley and Northridge neighborhoods, and attended Park School, Marin Country Day and Redwood High. She attended the University of Vermont and then lived in San Francisco for a few years after graduation before heading to the Parsons School of Design in New York after catching the fashion bug.

PictureDone Lounge owner Sara Kirsner Stith and her husband Chad Stith, a partner at OXB Studio Architects on East Blithedale Avenue. Courtesy image.

​During her time in New York, Kirsner interned with both Marc Jacobs and DKNY before working for Ann Taylor. With educational and real-world experience in her pocket, Kirsner took a leap of faith, launching her own clothing line in New York, later moving it to Los Angeles in 2008. Kirsner’s first collection included a robe and a number of pieces that “felt like pajamas but that you could wear them out to lunch – items that were comfortable but also really beautiful,” she says.

While the clothing line continued to prosper, Kirsner found that customers continued to ask about the robes, so much so that she decided to focus squarely on them in 2010. Made with eco-friendly fabrics, Doie Lounge’s line now includes 16 of the original signature robes in different colors and prints, as well as an all-silk line and a “destination collection,” which features shorter sleeves and limited edition prints.

Two years after she shifted to focus on her line of robes, Kirsner was drawn back to the Bay Area but decided to maintain her factory in LA. She got married earlier this year to Mill Valley-based OXB Studio Architects Partner Chad Stith, and they moved from San Francisco to Mill Valley, thus completing the circle.

“I have always wanted to move back to Mill Valley, and now that we’re here, it’s just amazing,” Kirsner Stith says. “Having grown up here, I always knew I’d want to make my home here someday. It really felt like the right time to come back home.”

Kirsner Stith is already connecting with like-minded businesses, as she has a trunk show set for Saturday, Dec. 3 (12-4pm) at Dolls and Dandy Nail Lounge, and she’s participating in The Hivery’s Holiday Market on Wednesday, Dec. 7 (5-8pm).

“There are just so many great restaurants, shops and businesses popping up here,” she adds about her hometown. “It’s getting to be a destination of its own and people don’t need to go into the city as much anymore. There’s just nowhere else I’d rather live.”

The 411: Doie Lounge sells its products direct to the consumer from its websiteMORE INFO.

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