#everydaymadewell: Restaurant Owner Sabrina de Sousa

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The restaurant business, to state the obvious, is nonstop. So for Sabrina, co-owner of Dimes (the cool-kid, clean-eating café in Manhattan’s Lower East Side), it’s the quiet moments—and the ease of a great jean and a tomboy button-down—that get her through it. We wanted a glimpse into those rare moments outside the restaurant, so we paid her a visit on a Tuesday before she headed over to work. Sabrina’s everyday, in her own words, right over here…

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I get dressed in one minute flat: jeans, a button-down, fun shoes and a sweater. Even before I get to work, I’m working, jumping from one task to the next. I make some kefir, play NPR, post an Instagram for Dimes and then answer emails.

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I wish my days were less planned, but I do like routine in my style. It hasn’t changed since I started working in restaurants 10 years ago: durable cotton denim and a boxy shirt. It’s the Charlotte Gainsbourg approach: less is more. I don’t have “work shoes” in the way someone might imagine a restauranteur to have. Sometimes I wish I dressed up a bit more, like so many women in New York City do, but my job has always been very physical and hands-on, so it’s really about dressing for that. I love denim jackets, boxy ones that hit above the hip. Just like my jeans, you can just throw them on and not think about it.

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I usually allow myself five minutes to meditate every day, just to center my breath. I love cooking—even though my work life keeps me in the kitchen, I still cook for myself. Lately, I’ve been perfecting a beef stew.

My dog Mars keeps me company on the walk to the restaurant in the morning. From there, it’s full-on. I try to escape for a few minutes during the day; I’ll use that time to call my mother, whose strength is an incredible inspiration to me.

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My biggest challenge is staying balanced, through work and life. I haven’t had time to figure that part out—I think we’re all searching.

SABRINA’S DAY

6:30am  Alarm goes off and I’m out of bed.
7:00am  Answering emails, having breakfast.
8:00am  At the restaurant. The focus of Dimes has always been serving simple, seasonal and affordable food.
5:00pm  Dinner service is up and running. I’ll take a quick walk home and call my family.
7:15pm  If I am not at the restaurant (which I often am), I’ll make plans with friends or cook for myself.
10:30pm  It’s hard to find energy to read, but when I do it’s The New Yorker before shutting out the lights.
11:00pm  Nothing seems cleaner to me than an all-white bed. No midnight snacking, no phone in bed, no distractions.

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Sabrina is wearing a Rivet & Thread Popover Workshirt, High Riser Skinny Skinny Cut-Edge Jeans and The Jean Jacket in Ellery Wash.

Meet more of our friends here and shop our assortment of denim here.

P.S. We want to see how Madewell fits into your day. Share your stories with #everydaymadewell. Check out some of our current favorite snaps, here.

Photography by Angi Welsch.