Taking Off With... Sarah Carson Founder & CEO of Leota

Sarah Carson of Leota with colorful dresses

Sarah Carson first launched her fashion line, Leota, as a solution to the lack of versatile, well-made dresses and for women on the go. Sarah longed for a perfect dress that she could wear to work, to dinner, on weekends, and on world travels. That dream dress didn’t exist, so she created it herself!


Since launching in 2011, Leota has become one of the fastest-growing women-led companies in the country. It’s now carried in more than 400 retailers, and shoppers equate Leota’s cheerful dress designs with empowerment and a positive attitude. Leota’s goal is to provide women from every walk of life with a “closet full of perfect,” and it more than rises to the occasion.


Sarah started her career on Wall Street, and she uses her business savvy and creative spirit every day to help Leota thrive. Sarah also takes that can-do energy with her on the road—she’s a passionate world traveler who never backs down from adventure. We chatted with Sarah about her most treasured travel memories and her packing must-haves. We are excited to kick off our Taking Off With series with Sarah Carson, an inspiring female entrepreneur, badass leader, and all-around fantastic friend.


When and where did you receive your first passport stamp?

I went to Mexico on a kayaking trip in the Sea of Cortez. I will never forget my kayak getting tipped over by a blue whale spouting, and paddling through a lagoon while hundreds of manta rays jumped out of the water into the air.

Pink buildings against blue sky in Morocco

If there is one city you could live in, other than where you are living now, where would it be? And why? 

Barcelona. That city is so chic and diverse and close to everything beautiful about Europe and North Africa. The fashion is 10 years ahead of New York.

What is your favorite city and country to visit? 

Marrakesh, Morocco (Ours too!). I went there with my best friend after she took the bar exam and we had no money, and we didn’t speak French or Arabic. Now that we’ve had more life experience, all been married and divorced and become moms and aunts and bosses, I’d love to visit again and see how my experience changes. I learned to always say I’m from New York. Everyone loves New York.


What city and experience is at the top of your bucket list?

My grandmother is a voracious traveler and has always wanted to visit the Taj Mahal. I’m trying to convince her to go with me. Life is short. 

Luxe swimming pool in Marrakech Morocco

Fill us in on...

...the one place you would travel to solo.

Alaska. I prefer to be alone in nature.

...the one meal from your travels that you'll never forget.

I drank snake blood in Taiwan, ROC. They drained it straight from a writhing cobra right in front of my eyes. It was supposed to be an aphrodisiac.

...the one item you would bring on a last-minute trip to anywhere.

A Leota dress because they are cute, comfy, and wrinkle-free. I hate to brag, but I am a master packer! With Hudson + Bleecker and Leota, I can pack for anything for any length of time in a single carry on. Having too many things is a burden in travel and in life.

Follow Sarah's adventures on Instagram and learn more about Leota here.

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