Month: April 2015

A Conversation with: Joanna Vargas (+ A Giveaway!)

Joanna Vargas Facialist Interview

NYC facialist Joanna Vargas has amassed a loyal following over the years due to her effective treatments that leave clients with glowing skin and clear complexions. And, even if you don’t live in New York, you can still reap the benefits of her work with her line of all-natural skincare products. We had the opportunity to chat with Joanna on her beauty and skincare tips while pregnant, new mom must-haves, and her favorite parts about motherhood. Bonus: we’ve teamed up with the Joanna Vargas salon for the ultimate Mother’s Day giveaway – enter here for your chance to win a facial and Joanna’s entire skincare line for mom and an Estella bamboo baby romper, hat, and two organic toys for baby!

1. Are there any beauty products/ingredients/treatments that women should avoid and/or seek out when they’re pregnant?

I would stick to basics- doing gentle cleansing facials with lots of oxygen always feels right when you are pregnant.

2. A day at the spa can be such a treat for a new mom. What would you recommend?

I think a great exfoliation is both cleansing and relaxing. I love recommending a full body microdermabrasion because it thoroughly removes dead cells and surface dirt while helps to restore ones elasticity and nothing is better for a new mom! I also would recommend a nice oxygen facial to help cleanse the pores and soothe and hydrate the skin.

3. Are there any common skin concerns you see in pregnancy women or new moms that can be prevented or easily treated?

Common concerns deal with the sensitivity that pregnant women face with their skin and the hormonal breakouts. It’s really hard to prevent a hormonal breakout but you can easily keep it under control with the right regimen. I love using Eminence Organics on my pregnant clients because everything smells wonderful and is very safe for the baby.

Joanna Vargas Facialist Interview

4. What were some of your favorite ways to treat yourself during pregnancy?

Yoga was always a great way to treat myself during both pregnancies. I loved how it made me feel more energized and during my second pregnancy I found that plus Pilates made me sleep better, keep my lymphatic system working properly (so I didn’t have swollen feet) and my back felt great. My delivery was amazing and quick the second time around too because my body was so much stronger from the Pilates!

5. When you were a new mom, were there any must-haves (for you and baby!) that you always had on hand?

My must haves for both babies was Mustella Face Cloths. The smell is incredible and nothing quite takes away the smell of baby vomit like those. I also couldn’t live without Jurlique Calendula Cream for both kids’ skin. It keeps away baby eczema really well and is a great secondary diaper cream.

6. There’s so much talk about the work-life balance – as a mom and business owner, what has worked for you?

I think forgiving yourself for not being perfect is big. I don’t make a big deal about it if I mess up sometimes. I am very strict about my schedule and I always explain it to clients if I am unavailable because of a kid thing. No one ever begrudges you for needing to be at your kids school play. And I am pretty good about not bringing my work home. Once I cross the threshold, I’m just mom.

Joann Vargas Interview - Estella Blog

7. What is one thing nobody told you about parenthood?​

How wonderful it is and how it enhanced my whole life. I feel like I love my work so much more because it’s only a part of my life instead of my whole life.

8. Lastly, spring has finally arrived in NYC! What are some of your favorite kid-friendly spots or activities this time of year?​

My son takes Parkour classes in Central Park- it’s the best city park I have ever been to!

Thanks, Joanna! P.S. Enter our Mother’s Day giveaway here.

(Images via Joanna Vargas Salon)

Posted by Estella Editor in Interviews & Guest Posts, Pregnancy, 0 comments

Nursery Inspiration: Coco Rocha x One Kings Lane

One Kings Lane x Coco Rocha Nursery

Before welcoming her new baby girl Ioni last month, Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha teamed up with One Kings Lane to create a stylish yet practical nursery in her Westchester home. The resulting room is dreamy, chic, and functional; it seamlessly combines practical necessities with cozy details and lots of color, and with the exception of the crib, nothing is nursery-specific.

Says Rocha of the room: “I’d grown up with a very girly, pink room and I knew I didn’t want princess-y pink for my daughter. I also didn’t want a theme, like ‘zoo’ or ‘space’—themes feel so ’90s to me! I really think children can be stimulated by all sorts of colors and patterns, whether it’s themed or not […] We live in nature, in an older house, so we want the inside to reflect our modern take. It’s sleek lines, a lot of creams, taupes, grays, and pops of color […] I love that this room is a party full of color. And it’s also super relaxing. I’m so excited to curl up on the sheepskin rug and read with our daughter.”

Of course we were excited to see an appearance by a few of our organic baby toys, namely our taxi rattle, school bus rattle, and Trixie doll! Head on over to One Kings Lane to view the entire feature, learn more about the design process, and read about Coco’s secrets for a happy pregnancy.

Estella Taxi Rattle - Coco Rocha x One Kings LaneEstella Organic Taxi Baby Rattle Toy - Coco Rocha NurseryCoco Rocha Nursery - Estella NYC ToysCoco Rocha Nursery x One Kings LaneOne Kings Lane x Coco Rocha Nursery

(Images via One Kings Lane)

Posted by Estella Editor in Articles, Baby & Kids' Toys, Baby Accessories & Toys, Baby Girls, Brands, Celebrities, Estella Collections, For The Home, Pregnancy, 0 comments

Just in for Spring 2015: New Estella Rattles & Bamboo

Bamboo Baby Clothes: Estella NYC Spring 2015

Our new organic baby toys and bamboo baby clothes have arrived for spring 2015! Here are a few images of our new products, shot by NYC-based newborn and baby photographer Karilyn Sanders

Old bamboo favorites are back, including our long sleeve romper and mittens, as well as new styles and details, like the stitched moon on our footie romper or star on the baby hat. Our entire bamboo baby collection is available in six elegant colors and features a hint of spandex, so the garments will stretch as baby grows. (For more reasons why we love bamboo for baby clothes, check out this post.)

We have also added new characters to our collection of baby rattles. In addition to the endangered animals pictured here, there are also new seaside creatures (like the starfish, mermaid, or octopus), classic rattles that are perfect for expecting parents (a rubber ducky or pacifier, for example), and Brooklyn-themed rattles for little hipsters. These infant toys are all hand-knit in Peru by local artisans using soft cotton, and because they are now GOTS-certified organic, they’re also safe and responsible choice. Plus, their bold colors, soft feel, and friendly faces will engage and delight baby, making them wonderful baby gifts – on their own or as a gift set!

Organic Baby Toys: Estella NYC Spring 2015Nursery Decor: Estella NYC Spring 2015(Images via Karilyn Sanders)

Posted by Estella Editor in Baby & Kids' Toys, Baby Accessories & Toys, Baby Boys, Baby Clothes, Baby Girls, Estella Collections, Gifts, New Arrivals, Organic Baby & Toddler Clothes, 0 comments

A Conversation with: Courtney Klein of Storq

Maternity Clothes - Storq

Meet Courtney Klein, the San Francisco-based entrepreneur and founder of maternity label Storq! Courtney founded the brand with the belief that your wardrobe and sense of style shouldn’t have to change during your pregnancy. The brand debuted with four pieces (leggings, a skirt, tank top, and midi-dress) that can be purchased as a bundle and worn for all nine months. Each garment is available in a luxuriously soft black or white modal fabric (although the spring dress just launched in three new colors!), designed and manufactured in California, and meant to be mixed and matched with your current wardrobe. All-natural, pregnancy-safe creams and beauty items have also been added into the mix. We caught up with Courtney recently to ask her all about life with her baby Nell, newborn and maternity must-haves, and what’s coming next for Storq. Thanks, Courtney!

1. First off, congrats on your new baby! How has motherhood been so far?

Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It’s unreal. One of my favorite parts of being a parent thus far is getting to experience everything again for the first time through my daughter Nell.

2. What have been your go-to newborn essentials so far? Any favorite baby brands?

White onesies, Aden + Anais swaddle blankets, and the Baby K’tan wrap. As for baby brands, there are so many good ones. Obviously Estella bamboo baby clothes but also Makie, Bobo Chooses, Little Hip Squeaks, Moon et Miel, Wolfechild, Mini Rodini, Tane, Misha and Puff, Goat-Milk Kidware, Nature Baby… I could go on and on.

Maternity Clothing - Storq

3. What about for you? Anything new-mom items you can’t live without?

My Fjallraven Backpack in lieu of a diaper bag, a wide brim palm-leaf hat for shading the babe when we’re out and about, Storq tanks and leggings for getting comfy around the house, Portland Apothecary New Mom Tea to keep things running smoothly, Fat & The Moon Face Spray when I need a quick refresh, and WhatsApp to keep far away friends and family up to date on all things Nell.

4. Switching gears, tell us how Storq was created. When, why, and how did you put your idea into action?

The idea for Storq came about after listening to pregnant friend after pregnant friend passionately discuss maternity fashion, or the lack thereof. There’s a real desire to preserve a sense of identity and style while pregnant and not a lot of options out there for doing so.

Maternity Clothing - Storq

5. How would you describe the Storq aesthetic? What is the spirit of the brand?

We believe pregnant ladies are human, too. Our aesthetic is clean and minimal, the ideal canvas for a women to express her own sense of style.

6.  You also offer a body bundle and a beauty bundle. Why did you think it was important to offer these options, and how did you decide on the particular items to include?

Pregnant women have a unique set of concerns when it comes to what they can put on their skin and it can take valuable time to wade through everything out there to find great products. We’ve tested them all and selected our beauty and body favorites that are not only safe for moms-to-be, but also effective and luxurious.

Storq Maternity Line

7. Many women struggle with getting dressed and feeling like themselves while pregnant. Others don’t even think purchasing maternity wear is a worthwhile investment. What advice do you have for them?

To the women who make it through pregnancy without buying a single maternity item, more power. And for the most part, they’re right, you’re not really making an investment, per se. We focused on the pieces that help to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe so you can make the most of what you’ve already got and still feel like yourself, just more comfortable.

8. What is your favorite part of designing & producing maternity apparel?

Empowering women who are pregnant, who are doing this mind-blowing thing, to look and feel amazing.

Maternity Clothes - Storq

9. For moms (or any women, really) starting their own businesses, what advice would give?

The hardest part is taking the plunge. I say just jump!

10. What’s next for Storq? Are there any upcoming projects in the works?

More chic essentials from your friends at Storq. Stay tuned.

11. Your talent speaks for itself through everything you’ve already accomplished with Storq. Is there anything you don’t do well that you wish you could?

You are way too kind! Seriously. There are so many things I wish I was better at, but I’d be pretty excited if I was a great chess player.

Bamboo Baby Clothes - Estella NYC

P.S. – Here’s a picture of Courtney with baby Nell in our baby bamboo!

(Images via Mother Magazine, Racked, & Storq)

Posted by Estella Editor in Interviews & Guest Posts, Pregnancy, 0 comments