SEWING PATTERNS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Meet Chantelle Paige-Mulligan
By Alexandra Fee
When Mill Valley Living met up with Chantelle Paige-Mulligan at one of her favorite local Mill Valley eateries, Le Marais Bakery, we had no idea we would be getting to know such a multifaceted and accomplished young woman. Her list of achievements range from singer-songwriting, acting and modeling, to a thriving influencer/content creator career, a devoted mother and now, an entrepreneur! No doubt her charisma, infectious warmth, sparkling eyes and bubbly personality quickly captivated us but it was after learning more about Chantelle’s conviction and love of Mill Valley that we concluded she clearly represents the youthful influx of creativity and entrepreneurship weaving its way into the fabric of our community. In introducing you to Chantelle, her family and her latest venture, we think you’ll equally enjoy learning more about yet another one of our inventive and visionary residents.
So what exactly is an Influencer/Content Creator? Influencers and content creators are social media personalities with loyal audiences they earn by sharing content that inspires, entertains, informs and connects with their followers. This direct line of communication empowers influencers and content creators to generate social conversations, drive engagement and ultimately set trends amongst receptive and socially savvy audiences to form personalized connections between consumers and products. As a highly successful influencer and content creator, Chantelle recently launched her own brand, Senna Case on October 6, a groundbreaking line of gender neutral kids and adult apparel.
Chantelle grew up in San Jose, home-schooled in between stints at Bret Harte Middle School and Valley Christian High School where she spent much of her childhood dancing, modeling and acting. But it was music that always reigned supreme for her. At just 17, a track she posted on the original social media platform, MySpace became an overnight sensation with thousands of listeners bolstered by an instantaneous base of eager new fans. As a result, Chantelle graduated high school a semester early to pursue a career in music which led her to joining the band, Flipsyde, composed of three talented male musicians with Chantelle on lead vocals. Signed to Interscope Records, they collaborated on their Top 40 Pop album with RedOne and Akon, culminating on tour overseas in Europe, highlighted by their hit single, When It was Good.
In Sweden, they ended up headlining a major concert! A track from their State of Survival album, Champion, was selected as a theme song for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China as well as becoming the primary song for the EA Sports video game, NBA Live 09. Despite Chantelle’s stellar academic record in high school, she made the bold decision to bypass college to go on tour with Flipsyde, which proved to be an enriching and worldly experience, garnering real life experiences while most of her peers were in college– definitely an education in its own right. Chantelle traveled the world and shared the stage with international recording stars, Akon, Ciara, N.E.R.D., Kevin Rudolf, T.I. and Ludacris!
Flipsyde later disbanded at which point Chantelle chose to go at it alone by moving to Music City, USA — Nashville — where she fell in love with its flourishing music scene and small town feel. Meanwhile, after her younger sister, Savannah Rose Labrant, a renowned and incredibly popular fashion blogger, photographer and social media influencer, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Everleigh Rose, Chantelle felt an undeniable calling to be present in her new niece’s life so she moved back to California, landing in Los Angeles to be close to them. Following some songwriting collaborations and K-Pop (Korean Popular Music) stints in Korea, Chantelle made a new life for herself in Los Angeles by waiting tables and working for an event company as she contemplated her next moves post her musical career.
As fate would have it, an impromptu reach out text to her former high school sweetheart, Coulter Mulligan resulted in them reuniting. Coulter, a University of San Diego graduate where he played on the football team, proved to be the love of Chantelle’s life. They eventually married and settled in San Francisco, thinking, like many of us do, that they would never leave the city – but like many young families in San Francisco, Chantelle and her’s relocated to Marin along with many of their friends, cementing their collective next chapter in Mill Valley together, with a built in, close knit friend group.
Chantelle revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic likely motivated the mass migration of her family and friends to Marin even earlier than expected. She went on to reflect on how Mill Valley and its sense of community reminds her so much of Nashville, a far cry from LA. She loves the small community feeling of running into neighbors on a daily basis, whether on the trails, the Boyle Park tennis courts or our quaint coffee shops and hip restaurants. And it sure makes life even more fun with their two children, daughter, Senna, now two and a half and son, Case, 15 months, never short of playdates, always surrounded by many of their friends’ kids along with their beloved pet pig, Prosciutto!
Senna Case, Chantelle’s latest venture, affectionately named after her two children, is her latest passion project. As a full time content creator on Instagram and TikTok for various brands ranging from Fisher Price to Portal by Facebook, she’s immersed in the world of social media posts. Her Instagram followers have grown exponentially through experiences and promotional opportunities, including Musical.ly, a music app and precursor to Tik Tok, from 10,000 during her music career to a whopping one million at any given time! The opportunity to leverage her base of followers by exposing them to her new clothing brand focused on comfort, unisex fit and color is a dream come true for Chantelle. She explained to us how her career in content creation helped enable her to launch a brand– her own line– where she could channel her passion for clothing into a viable brand fueled by our society’s evolving norms. She abandoned traditional sizes by instead, choosing to identify sizes with names based on some of her favorite destinations to promote a body positive mindset for the adult line. “You are buying the product that fits you best as opposed to the size of the label that you want to see everyday when you’re putting your garment on,” Chantelle told us. For the kids line, rather than fill the kids’ closets with the typical, unisex earth tone neutral colors–the greys and tans of the world– the Senna Case line is fueled with a colorful line of cozy kids wear in vibrant greens, bright purples and glowing oranges. Breaking out of the more traditional unisex, gender neutral palettes sets Senna Case apart as a unique brand that makes it really easy to pass down from sibling to sibling with the use of these bright, fun colors. “Boys can wear purple too and girls can wear blue!. Just because your clothing is gender neutral doesn’t mean it has to be colorless. Your clothes should be vivid, like the memories you make with your children.” Chantelle lit up even further as she revealed Senna Case’s upcoming plans for a new floral print for both boys and girls.
In creating a gender neutral kids clothing line with adult matching pieces, Chantelle carefully championed specific parameters to build the line. Many influencers simply pick from a menu of patterns presented to them in catalogs to develop their specific lines. However, Chantelle’s determination to fully design and manufacture here in California versus outsourcing overseas adds to Senna Case’s allure and thoughtful intentions. With the help of her good friend and fellow local Mill Valley resident, KK Cressman, founder of Dawne Florine, a sustainable swimwear line, all of the material for the Senna Case line is sourced in Los Angeles, including “dead stock” fabric, remnant rolls of leftover fabric that would have otherwise gone unused and wasted. As KK told us, “Chantelle was eager to manufacture domestically and I was excited to watch her turn her dream into a reality. I knew the perfect partners for her. We needed high quality, speed and vendors we could work with to improve sustainability in the fashion industry. I loved watching Chantelle get dirty and truly be hands on with all pieces of the development and production process. It was amazing to watch through her eyes all the areas the garment industry creates waste in. This upset Chantelle and spurred her on to effect change so she chose to keep that remnant 20% of fabric to turn those scraps into something cool.” Senna Case garments are all handmade, sustainably and ethically sourced with special attention to durability. “Kids grow too fast, so I wanted to make clothes that were purposely oversized and designed to last longer” Chantelle reiterated. KK also reminded us. “No founder has to do this, the margin is little to nothing, yet Chantelle can see the bigger picture and deeply cares about leaving the world a better place.”
The recent launch of Senna Case is intentionally geared direct to consumer, allowing the brand to reach consumers first hand. Chantelle now gifts other influencers with pieces from the line to help spread the gender neutral/unisex clothing movement. The reception to Senna Case has been overwhelmingly positive but her original dream to see her line in the likes of Nordstrom a year or two from now has changed– her focus steadfastly remaining on the importance of delivering product directly to the consumer. In fact, after consulting with other retail company founders, she learned their biggest regrets revolved around making the predictable switch to wholesaling. Instead, Senna Case’s goal to secure a brick and mortar location to complement its online presence further solidifies its commitment to fostering the brand’s relationship to its customers. This relationship extends beyond the brand’s loyal customer following to a philanthropic cause close to Chantelle’s heart–-Marin Foster Care Association–through both monetary and clothing donations to help aid turning periods of profound crisis in children’s lives into a time of security and healing. Meticulously and consciously curated every step of the way, Mill Valley based Senna Case is poised for booming growth,
Chantelle and her family represent the newest generation of Mill Valley creativity, poised to carry the torch of so many others who came before and surely continue to be an inspiration. We are so proud to call her one of our residents. Be sure to keep an eye out around town for babies, toddlers, kids and adults alike sporting radiantly colored Senna Case hoodies and joggers.