Bedside Manners with Martha Fish + Laura Gelfand

Interview by Nell Diamond / Photo Courtesy of Le Lion

Martha Fish and Laura Gelfand founded Le Lion, a line of super-special personalized knitwear, after bonding over a love of keepsake items (and a little bit of sparkle!). We sit down to discuss long summer-camp sleeps, late night to-do lists, and their shared midnight snack of choice: homemade popcorn. 

What’s your bedtime routine?

L:  I have an extensive routine that involves lots of different facial products that I won’t bore you with and I also love a bedtime shower. But most importantly, I ALWAYS spray my pillow with Puressential Rest + Relax Spray - I buy it every time i go to Paris.  It has 12 essential oils, smells like a spa, and I swear it actually helps me sleep.  It’s really great for travel which is how I got hooked on it.

M:  My routine begins pretty early with my son Charlie.  He’s 11 now but we still get in his bed and read together every night.  Then it’s lights out and it’s our talk-time, or rather he talks and I listen.  It’s our most precious quality and quiet time each day.  From there it’s washing and hydrating my face with my vast and varied assortment of lotions and potions, and then into bed with a book or magazine, some tea or water.

What’s the best night of sleep you’ve ever gotten?

L: Probably when I was like 10 at summer camp in Maine.

M: I’m waiting for it to happen…

What’s the worst night of sleep you’ve ever gotten?

L: I travel a lot and notoriously have horrible travel luck - I’ve had to stay overnight at the airport too many times...

M: Night before I gave birth... no sleep happening that night! 

What time do you wake up?

L: Usually around 7am

M: 6:00am

What puts you to sleep right away?

L:  A glass of wine or a cocktail followed by a comfy bed with fluffy pillows, a fluffy duvet and a snoozing dog in a really cold room.

M: A well made and dressed bed.  Cold, clean, crisp, pressed sheets….Percale is my obsession.  Good pillows and a coverlet in summer, down comforter in winter.

What keeps you awake at night?

L: Anxiety and anticipation - ugh the worst!!!!!

M: My to-do list...

What’s on your bedside table?

L: Buly hand cream, Feret Parfumeur le Baume Lip Balm,  a LE FEU DE’LEAU Ivoire candle and a box of tissues.

M: 2-3 books, glasses, an assortment of hand creams, right now in rotation is Rodin, Buly and Vitablast C Hand Cream - random but it works!!, and FLOWERS, always flowers, even if it’s a single stem from my garden.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

L: Check our @lelioncollection instagram and my emails


What’s the craziest outfit you’ve ever worn to bed (or napped in)?

L: When we were on our first Le Lion work trip to Italy I had an awful cold and was freezing because the office we were working in didn’t have heat! Back at our hotel I fell asleep in our cozy oversized funnel neck with a piece of fennel taralli in my mouth.  We had become so obsessed with it from the local market there that I literally couldn’t stop eating it.

M: I would say the three Le Lion sweaters I had on at the same time during the above mentioned trip!  Trying to stay warm and not get sick! 

What’s your favorite hotel bed ever (and why?)

L: The bed at J.K. Place in Rome. After an exhausting trip to Puglia to visit the factory where our sweaters are made we stayed one night at J.K. in Rome and it seriously felt like a slice of heaven.  I had been so sick during our trip and it had been unusually chilly while we were in Puglia so that cozy bed was EVERYTHING!

M: I have to agree with Laura, after our very dicey trip and hotel options in Puglia, we had one night at J.K. Place in Rome before heading home and it felt like it literally saved our lives.  It was DREAMY.

Can you sleep on planes?

L: I almost always fall asleep soon after getting on the plane and wake up before we even take off! It’s so strange and annoying. Then I can really only sleep if I take something :)

M: NO!  With all the best intentions and accoutrement, I’m perpetually in that bizarre state between sleep and awareness.

Do you have any tips to beat jet lag?

L: When it comes to jet lag and exhaustion I have learned to just listen to my body.  When I feel tired I force myself to sleep, otherwise it always catches up with you.

M: Muscle through it and lots of coffee.  Just lots and lots of coffee. 



L: J.K. Place Rome (as mentioned above) and my very own bed!  There’s something about being in your own bed that’s always cozy.

M: As much as I love travel and hotels, it’s always my own bed.  

Midnight snack?

L: Popcorn - the worst since it gets stuck in your teeth!

M: Popcorn - homemade.

Sound to fall asleep to?

L: My dog Leo’s snoring

M: Nature wins, always.

Bedtime reading?

L: I love to listen to books or podcasts to fall asleep 

M: Yes, I always have 2-3 books in rotation.