Posts tagged "Interviews"
A Conversation with :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Apr 21, 2015
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.
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.
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)
Tags Interviews, Joanna Vargas, NYC Facialist, Pregnancy
Category Interviews, Joanna Vargas, NYC Facialist, Pregnancy
A Conversation with :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Apr 1, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
P.S. – Here’s a picture of Courtney with baby Nell in our baby bamboo!
(Images via Mother Magazine, Racked, & Storq)
Tags Interviews, Maternity Clothing, Pregnancy
Category Interviews, Maternity Clothing, Pregnancy
A Conversation with :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Feb 3, 2015
We chatted with Jak Burke, founder of the website Baby Does… NYC, on her favorite baby-friendly restaurants, hidden NYC gems, and how to survive long winters with baby:
1. Tell us about Baby Does…NYC and why you decided to start the site.
I’m a London born and bred girl but when I visited New York in 2001 I was instantly hooked. Within 12 months I had sold everything in the U.K and shipped out to NYC. I quickly began to work with families and small children in the city… I soon realized that there was an info gap for the 0-24 months age group. I also wanted to host a site that offered healthy, locally made goods and services for busy parents. In 2007 I registered my company and trademark Baby Does NYC. In 2012 we fully launched with a team.
2. In your opinion, what are the best parts of raising a baby in the city?
Oh where to begin! NYC is literally the best place on earth to raise a family. The city has everything: nature, enrichment, culture and some of the most progressive companies in the juvenile market. The city also feels like a collection of communities. Each neighborhood has its own unique scene and cultural vibe. Events for kids in NYC are also superior simply because of the concentration of talent and ingenuity here.
3. Can you let us in on any hidden NYC gems (parks, museums, play groups, etc.)?
To be honest everything in NYC is pretty spectacular and it’s difficult to pick a few things in particular but I am always pleasantly surprised by classes aimed at babies. For example, the Guggenheim has a stroller tour that is interactive (tots get to do stuff) as well as deeply enriching visually. It’s also a great social mixer for parents. The Mahayana Temple in Chinatown is an oasis of tranquility in a noisy neighborhood. See how your baby responds to the giant golden Buddha. On a similar theme, The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden in Snug Harbor, Staten Island, is sublime in terms of peace and beauty. For more boisterous fun I love to go to Coney Island and enjoy the historic boardwalk amusements and beach.
4. Winters in the city can be tough for anyone, but especially when you have a newborn. Any tips on surviving the season without just hibernating at home?
Yes, in fact I recently wrote a post all about winter and how to survive it. Feeling isolated and trapped while undergoing sleep deprivation can be brutal for new mothers. I recommend that moms prepare for inclement weather by weather-proofing their strollers and baby carriers, then get outside! If your building has a community garden or rooftop grab some sunlight and fresh air at least once a day. Book regular drop-in classes for baby in your neighborhood - Kidz Central Station lists hundreds of classes for infants by zip code. We partner with them every week to promote different events. Also check out what’s going on at your local library. The NYPL has a variety of weekly free events for children and babies in most neighborhoods. Join a local parent forum and attend meet-ups at places like Barnes & Noble. Reach out to other parents in your neighborhood and building – host coffee mornings or breast-feeding dates. Last but not least accept help. Allow a relative or a friend to babysit for an hour or two while you nap or take a walk. Remember a happy baby needs a happy mama too.
5. And when the weather’s nicer…What are some can’t-miss outdoor spots?
Once the weather is temperate it’s fun to go further afield and explore other boroughs and even islands! Take a ferry ride to Staten Island and visit Snug Harbor with its wonderful children’s museum and exquisitely themed gardens. Visit Roosevelt Island and take a tram ride and see the lighthouse. Take a free ferry and grab some art on Governor’s Island. You can also enjoy a bike ride and picnic alongside some amazing outdoor art installations. I also recommend that parents attend some of the glorious parks in Queens and the Bronx. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a wonderful place to enjoy springtime’s Cherry Blossoms.
6. Favorite baby-friendly restaurants?
NYC is pretty baby-friendly at least during the day and early evening. Navigating a tightly packed restaurant with a stroller is trickier though so bring a baby seat or booster seat and park your stroller outside. I personally love Bubbys on the weekends when the neighborhood’s families are feasting on pancakes. For an early supper try Cowgirl Hall of Fame in the West Village. Uptown The Indian Road Café in Inwood serves locally farmed foods and they also host live music. Brooklyn would require a food page of its own – neighborhoods like Fort Greene and Park Slope boast amazing eateries for families. I recommend you just wander. Queens has some fun ethnic beer gardens with outdoor music events. It also has some of the best Indian family-friendly venues in NYC. The Bronx hosts quite a few tasty Italian restaurants like Villaggio Ristorante and Patricia’s. For fun-dining on Staten Island why not go for some steak and sushi at Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar or Bavarian cuisine at Killmeyer’s Old Bavaria Inn? It’s good to remember that because your child is under two you can still opt for a menu that does not involve fries and pancakes – so make the most of it and be adventurous!
7. What baby gear or accessories do you think all NYC mom’s should invest in?
A good light-weight but robust stroller with a compact diaper bag (one that straps easily to the stroller) and a stroller organizer are must-have items as well as a supportive baby carrier. You can buy just about anything for a baby within a block or two’s radius so new parents can afford to travel light.
Thanks, Jackalyn! Head on over to Baby Does…NYC for more on all things baby.
(Image 2 via Bel & Beau, 4 via Annie Dean.)
A Conversation With :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Aug 28, 2014
Entrepreneur Rosie Pope wears many hats. In addition to her her eponymous line of maternity clothes & three stores in New York City and Los Angeles, British-born Rosie is also the founder of MomPrep, starred in her on reality show, Pregnant in Heels, and just launched a line of baby clothes. Most importantly, though, she’s a wife & mom of four! We had the opportunity to ask Rosie a few questions about pregnancy & motherhood, maternity fashion, & what’s to come. Thanks, Rosie!
1. Tell us how Rosie Pope Maternity was created. When, why, and how did you put your idea into action?
It was created with the belief that women should be able to feel their best while pregnant. Looking good, helps you to feel good which in turn gives you the confidence you need to enjoy this amazing journey into parenthood. For too long pregnant woman have been ignored in fashion and so I set about to change that and give them a destination for clothes that can make them look and feel good. I wanted to provide more than fashion though, as part of enjoying pregnancy (and then parenthood) is having the confidence in yourself that you are going to be good at it. Knowledge gives you this confidence and so from the very start I wanted to provide expert education as well as fashion to create a well rounded experience for pregnant shoppers. As my husband and I started trying to have our first baby I was overwhelmed with the need for a one stop shop like this and so decided to launch it for myself and women like me yearning for something different and relevant to them in the maternity fashion and prenatal education space.
2. How would you describe the Rosie Pope aesthetic? What is the spirit of the brand?
Contemporary in color and prints, yet classic in cut, fun, flattering and smart in innovation and education. I strive to help people Love With Confidence – both themselves, their partners and their children.
3. 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?
Firstly when you are putting on a significant amount of weight which you need to during pregnancy, you normal clothes are simply not going to fit and if you do manage to get them on they aren’t going to be very comfortable. People often go out and buy larger sizes in non-maternity but this really isn’t the best option. My maternity clothes are designed to grow where you grow rather than all over. For example your arms don’t get longer but simply buying a larger size in non-maternity the arms of the garment will get longer. Same goes for over all length and shoulder width. The result is very unflattering and I truly believe in feeling as good as you can during pregnancy. It effects your mood and your baby. Added to all of this and contrary to what you may think, you can get a lot of use out of your maternity clothes. Firstly, you wear them far more often and over and over than anything in your non-maternity wardrobe and you need them afterwards before you get back to your pre-baby weight. So buy ones you love and make you feel good in the budget you have.
4. What is your favorite part of designing & producing maternity apparel?
Happy customers! I love it when a design finally hits the floor and makes someone feel so special and comfortable in their new bodies.
5. In addition to your business, you are also a mom of four! How do you balance your career with being a mother?
It’s not easy and I don’t want to lie to you, I struggle everyday with this balance we all seem so obsessed with these days. There isn’t a lot of balance for me right now. It is all work or all kids and not much in between but I am okay with that. I see life in stages and this stage is all about the kids and building my business. I think this gives me the stamina and the excitement to keep going.
6. What do you wish you knew before you became a mother that you now know?
The things you stress about so much at he beginning are not the things that are going to define the health and happiness of your children – no matter what the very judgemental onlookers can say!! I wish I had had more confidence in my choices early on to enjoy all of those moments instead of worrying so much!
7. What are some of your pregnancy & newborn must-haves?
Give me some Aden and Anais swaddle clothes, some Belly Butter by Fairhaven, a BabyBjorn ONE Carrier, some Medela microwave steam sterilizing bags and EVERY item for my Rosie Pope baby layette collection and I am ready to go. I’m pretty low maintenance in the gear department – less is more for me!
8. Favorite toddler & kids’ brands?
Rosie Pope Baby! I also love Rikshaw Design, Hanna Anderson, Mini Boden, Tutu de Monde, Oscar de la Renta kids for very very special occasions, and Mini Melissa.
9. Has your style changed at all since becoming a mom?
My clothes involve less dry cleaning because there is far too much spit up for that and I probably wear less skirts…too much squatting down to play trains!
10. For moms (or any women, really) starting their own businesses, what advice would give?
It’s not easy and it won’t happen as quick as you think it will. You will make mistakes but the trick is to admit them, identify them and change course. It is also one of the most amazing things you can ever do, when you love what you do. If you have guts, and you need guts, you can be brilliant.
11. You’re also a published author, TV regular, & founder of MomPrep. Are there any upcoming projects in the works?
So many ;) Today though, a big focus of mine is Rosie Pope Baby (layette – 2 years old). I launched the line in February and it has been received with such success that I am expanding the line in depth and price point for January. I am so excited to make it available to as many beautiful cuddly babies as possible!
Tags Interviews, Maternity Clothing, Pregnancy
Category Interviews, Maternity Clothing, Pregnancy
A Conversation with :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Aug 21, 2014
Designer Ola Omami of OmamiMini, a new brand we are carrying this season, took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about why she launched OmamiMini, the line’s fall 2014 collection, & her views on children’s fashion. Enjoy!
1. We are excited to be carrying OmamiMini this fall! How would you describe the brand & its spirit?
We believe children’s clothes should not be very different from what we, parents, consider stylish and would wear ourselves. Kids are cute enough naturally, so there’s no need to add extra cuteness through clothing. And since I personally like all things simple and precise, I strive to make our garments very uncomplicated, but awesome.
2. You worked in interior design before launching OmamiMini. Why did you decide to shift gears and start your own children’s line?
When my daughter was born and I couldn’t find clothes for her (everything was so pink and cute I ended up buying half of her layette in boys’ sections) I decided to try and do it myself. I asked Natasha, a friend of mine and genius graphic designer who worked for Metropolitan Museum of Art at the time, to help me with logo and she got so excited about the idea that we ended up working together on the first collection and do it ever since.
3. Are there any similarities between designing an interior space and a children’s line, or they completely separate?
I think any design process is similar in a way. You have your general aesthetic vision, concept for a particular project or collection you’re working on and biggest chunk of work is always the technical details. In all cases design is turning something that exists in your head into something you can hold in your hands and it’s equally magical in all fields.
4. What has been your favorite part of designing children’s apparel?
The fact I can dress my daughter exactly the way I want to!
5. Walk us through your design process. How (or where) do you find inspiration before you begin a collection? Does sunny Los Angeles influence your design aesthetic?
We start with general concept and color palette, working in tandem on developing prints and patterns. Since we’re a bi-coastal duo (Natasha is in NY), we exchange hundreds of emails with ideas, links to inspiring pictures, fill up Pinterest boards, and text each other little schematic drawings when all else fails. Los Angeles is major source of inspiration to me – most of all that feeling of permanent vacation that is so easy to tune into with this perfect weather year round.
6. Your entire collection is designed & manufactured in LA. How important is it that you keep production close to home?
Very! The first aspect of it is practical – I have to overlook every step of production process to make sure everything is made in according to our specifications and standards. I also believe that we have to give back to the city we live in. In our case we do so by creating jobs and using local resources when it comes to every single detail of our garments, from zippers to labels. This is a great way to become a true part of the community. It might not be the most business driven decision, but it just feels right.
7. On your website, you say that a “wardrobe is not the most important thing in life. But the right clothes just make it way more pleasant. And fun.” Do you have a particular philosophy on how children should dress?
First of all, children should never sacrifice comfort for fashion. Second, there’s no reason for comfortable everyday clothes to be boring! I think parents job, among 10,000 other things, is to plant seeds of good taste and personality and one way to do it is through the way we dress our kids.
8. What other brands does your daughter wear?
Honestly, hardly any. We do have to get the shoes elsewhere though and I love the simple sandals by another LA based brand, Zuzii, as well as amazing Italian brand Pepe and French Pom D’Api. In general I tend to like European labels – they always have such elegant, timeless appeal.
10. Are there any fall trends that you are particularly fond of? What pieces from your fall collection at Estella are you most excited about?
I’m a true purist at heart and could just wear grey on grey all day, so I love the variety of textures this season brings – all the furs, chunky knits and quilted details are great for mixing and matching even if you stay within a very minimal color palette.
I absolutely love our faux leather leggings with lining. It’s a very simple item that takes any outfit to another level without trying too much. The silver chinchilla fur coat is another favorite. The fur is super soft and print of dots and cats on the lining adds even more fun to this stunning piece.
11. Do you have any fashion advice or stylish tips you could give to our readers?
Never underestimate the power of accessories! There’s not so much children would agree to, but think suspenders for boys or little scarf and hat for girls do wonders to upgrade any look.
Thanks so much, Ola!
Tags Girls' Dresses, Girls' Skirts, Interviews
Category Girls' Dresses, Girls' Skirts, Interviews