30 Under 30: Why Seray founder Lauren Sudeyko stitches sleepwear for women

The East Vancouver company uses premium materials like Tencel Modal

Lauren Sudeyko | Age: 29

Founder, Seray

Life Story: It was a crisp October morning in Toronto when Lauren Sudeyko and a couple of friends went biking along the city’s lakeshore. The path runs east-west, with two-way stops going north-south the other way. Sudeyko was clipped into the bike’s pedals. Then, after a car ran through the stop sign and sent her flying, she wasn’t. She landed some five metres away from her bike. Her helmet shattered into pieces. Then came the vomit. “When I got to the hospital, they were like, ‘Oh, your arm, your arm,’” she remembers. “And yeah, I had broken a bunch of bones in my arm. But all I felt was the head injury.”

The driver took off. “I’ve made peace with it,” she says with a relaxed smile. But the effects of the incident stayed with her for some time. “I was on long-term disability for six months,” she says. “I spent a lot of time in bed, and as my concussion symptoms started to get better, I wasn’t getting any better because I couldn’t sleep at night. I was sweating all night, trying to relax. I had more anxiety than ever before.”

She realized that going to bed in an old polyester gym shirt wasn’t helping. “You’re essentially sleeping in Saran Wrap every night. I was so uncomfortable.” She tried the higher-end sleepwear brands but didn’t find much success there either. In her search for better sleep, she found a sweat-wicking, cooling fibre called Tencel Modal. In 2022, the former Google and Pepsi employee moved to B.C. with the goal of launching Seray, a women’s sleepwear line that wants to be part of your evening routine.

“Our focus is 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.—it’s the feeling when you get home at night and put something on that you feel good in, versus the old sweat pants, old gym shirt,” says Sudeyko. “We liken it to back in the ’90s, when people wore their worst clothing to the gym. When you invest in something premium, you invest in yourself and you feel revitalized and motivated.”

Bottom Line: East Vancouver-based Seray has a team of three and manufactures most of its products in Richmond. The company sells its 13 SKUs online and in brick-and-mortar stores like Hill’s Dry Goods and Nettle’s Tale.