David Falkowski comes from a family who have farmed out east for generations. He grows his own mushrooms right here in Bridgehampton, and their healing properties are beyond belief. I had heard of him for many years, knowing other talented members of his family, but was always curious about his mushroom oils and hemp products. This year, David opened up his own OMO Apothecary in Sag Harbor selling all of his healing products and herbal supplements made from the mushrooms and hemp grown locally on his farm. I’d never truly believed in these natural remedies, but oddly a day after visiting the shop, my neck went out, and I was suffering in excruciating pain. I couldn’t move at all, and just the day before I’d been in perfect health. I had my OMO CBD oil and rubbed it on the areas where I felt stiffness and pain, as well as took droplets to dissolve under my tongue. Within 24 hours of using David’s products the pain had disappeared as of it were magic. Needless to say I’m now in love with these oils, and use them every night for aches and pains. There are so many incredible finds at OMO, I highly suggest going and stocking up.Read More
So despite all of our addictions to technology, I think most of you would agree that a good old-fashioned book will never go out of style. One of my favorite book stores in Sag Harbor has reopened in a different location in town, and it’s better than ever. Taylor Berry, has created Berry and Co, a space that feels like home, where you can go, grab a read, an herbal tea, and sit outside in the fresh air on her porch to enjoy some quiet time. The walls are covered in book pages of famous authors, which is fun to walk around and read, and makes the experience very welcoming. Berry has the best kid’s corner, with all of my favorites, where your children can go and have their own magical, uninterrupted story-time. Quiet time for both parents and kids, I call that a win win! If you are looking for books on school’s summer reading list, they are stocked! Also a great wind-down activity post-camp.Read More
For as long as I have been coming out east, I’ve been seeing Judith Desiree. She is a gem of a human being, and her talent when it comes to keeping skin heathy, tight, and hydrated, is unparalleled on the east-end. She recently opened up her new spa in Sag Harbor, creating a charming, serene environment for her treatments, where I typically dose off into deep sleep! Judy has become a dear friend. She has lived in the Hamptons for a lifetime, and is a great reliable source for me personally. Her techniques with Biologique Recherche are always innovative, and she always has the most updated equipment. In the summer time, when my skin is particularly dehydrated, she keeps me glowing, and I’m so grateful she is here. Book her ASAP as her schedule is already almost at capacity.Read More
Of all the farm stands on the east end, my favorite to visit is Bhumi, owned by friend and all around cool guy, Farmer Frank! Frank always made the experience of farming your own produce family-friendly, and my kids adore him. Recently, he has opened up a beautiful new restaurant in the town of Amagansett, with partner, Christina Isaly, to plate his farm fresh food for all of us local foodies out for summer. The chefs are innovative and creative in presentation, and the menu is seasonal. Rosie’s is a great place to bring the kids for a quick meal, and perfect for a romantic date night. Don’t forget to ask for the rose infused merengue after dinner, it’s special!Read More
Years ago, I shared a more temporary business Jeff Mayer and wife Angela De Vincenzo had established for summers out east. This dynamic duo has since made the Hamptons a permanent residence, and in doing so they have re-created and revamped their truck and biking facility Blocks, Trucks, + Art to be equipped for year-long use. Embarrassingly, a little secret about me, I learned to ride a bike out here when I was 11 years old. For whatever reason, I never spent time learning, but always wished I’d honed in on this skill that lasts a lifetime. Luckily, I have Jeff to thank for teaching my girls how to ride way earlier, at 5 and 7! They have been taking a few lessons and after just one, could pedal on their own for a few feet. I highly recommend this if you want to teach your children how to ride properly, and then accelerate to their incredible dirt bike path, where they get to listen to some great tunes from the DJ booth set up in the truck. Their track is a great way to encourage and facilitate both socialization and physical education. You may even want to join your kids for the ride!Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words…
I had to defer this question to Lauren and Ali… We always joke that we need to take class on how to talk about ourselves… or just talk to humans in general.
Lauren & Ali: Kaylee is loyal, open-hearted, and incredibly warm. She is literally the best!
How did you get inspired to create Milkit?
Milkit was inspired by the astonishing power of women and the transition into motherhood. Ali, Lauren, and I all became pregnant with our second children at the same time, and we were all overwhelmed by unnecessarily extensive checklists about how and what to pack for the hospital. We wanted to refine what mamas really need for that radically life-changing day. We also wanted to provide mamas with beautiful and ethical products to feel pampered and taken care of without having to think about it.
What is the story begins the brand?
We believe that aesthetics and ethics don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We feel we have a responsibility to how and where our products our made, and that conscientious drives our mission. So, we took our (almost 7) collective birth experiences to create simple, sleek, thoughtfully designed and ethically sourced postpartum essentials meant to take you beyond the delivery room and out into the world with your new babe.
How do you carve out “me time” being a mother of 3 boys, and co-founder of Milkit? How do you like to spend that time?
Well, I’m still baking number 3 right now, but it’s feeling increasingly difficult at the moment. Honestly, it’s not easy, but I couldn’t have a dreamier situation. I get to work from home with my two best friends and all of our children on a project that supports pregnant and postnatal women! It really couldn’t get better than that. It’s definitely challenging to get anything done when you have 6 kids running around. There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure. But, what we’ve created is really beautiful. We are raising our children with an actual village. A tribe. It’s a cliche thing people always say when you have kids, and it’s not easy to accomplish in this day and age with everyone’s busy schedules and location proximity, but somehow we all found each other and it all happened in an amazing organic way. I wish that for all mamas entering this world.
What are your favorite go-to products for this motherhood master kit?
My favorite products in our kit currently are:
The MIlkit Diaper bag. It's the perfect no fuss bag. I use it with or without my kids present. It also doubles as the perfect work bag. The large pocket in the back fits my laptop. The side pockets fit my water bottle and usually a snack or coffee beverage. It’s become my biggest necessity.
Our Milkit Robe. It’s so soft and cozy, with 3/4 sleeves and a shorter hemline so you don’t have to fuss with a bunch of extra fabric for all those million times you have to pee. It is the only robe I’ve found that completely covers my belly at 9 months, and gives my that extra flow when my belly isn’t massive.
Our Milkit x O-M Ceramics Mug. I drink my labor prep teas by Oat Mama every day out of that gorgeous mug. And I will be drinking the Lactation teas we provide in the bag, very soon.
Poppy and Someday’s Rose Quartz face spray for during and after labor. I’m pretty obsessed with it.
And last, but not least, the Erbaviva Relax Room Spray. It works as a room and body spray and HAND SANITIZER. It smells incredible and its safe for you and baby.
If you had to choose the next 3 products you’d want to introduce to your customer, what would they be?
We’re always on the hunt for new ethical brands. Right now we are all obsessed with Olio E Osso’s lip tints. Orez Lifestyle has these amazing reusable napkin/utensil kits you can add on or customize. They are so beautiful and smart. I feel like that’s something all moms could use on the go. Sakura Bloom is another brand that’s on target with our company, providing beautiful baby slings and carriers. We’d love to incorporate any or all of those items in the next limited edition run.
What are your favorite nutritious snacks?
We are all obviously very into the snacks we picked for the bag, but on a regular daily basis, I’m a trail mix person. I always have nuts in my car or diaper bags. It’s always about what I can bring on the go that my kids will also eat. All of us and our kids are very into the nut butter by SuperFat. The kids devour the Original and we keep the MCT + Probiotic pouch for ourselves. Another easy snack on the go is just an old fashioned apple or banana.
What is your beauty and exercise regimen to help inspire all of the new Mamas out there?
I’m a big proponent of self care. I always take time for myself to do something that relaxes me and or makes me feel happy or pretty or in a perfect world, all of the above. When I want to splurge I do a lymphatic treatment at Ricari Studios. And before I got pregnant, I would do infrared saunas or sweat lodges to top my workout routine with a little detox. I love yoga and pilates, but if I’m being totally honest, these days I’m feeling pretty solid about myself if I can just get out for a walk.
What are your favorite kid friendly/baby-friendly activities and restaurants in LA?
It can be difficult to find things my 5.5 yr old and a 2 yr old both get excited about, and lets be honest, my husband and I also want to be entertained! We all love a trip to Huntington Garden or Descanso Garden. They have beautiful seasonal events for the whole family and it gets you outside. We’re also a big fan of Kitchen Mouse in Highland Park. They have delicious vegetarian food and a kids play corner for those restless babes… which is basically every child.
Pay it forward and name 3 mentors in your industry (can be other female entrepreneurs)…
I’m constantly inspired by Rachel Craven and Beatrice Valenzuela. They are two best friends and mothers that started selling their crafts out of their back yard in Echo Park and 10 years later expanded into one of the most desirable Craft Fairs in the US. They have completely different aesthetics, but both equally beautiful. To me Rachel signifies the simple-no bullshit-woman who always looks elegant without ever trying. And Beatrice signifies romance, desire, in a zesty rebellious way. I love those ladies and I’m so grateful for their friendship. They helped us launch our company on Mothers Day at the Echo Park Craft Fair. We couldn’t be more proud to have gotten our start there with all of those talented vendors.
Gwyneth Paltrow is another force we absolutely respect and admire. I love that she’s using her platform to bring awareness to ways we can make positive changes for ourselves, the environment, and our workplace. Her emphasis on ethics, sustainability, and eco-friendly products are right in line with our mission, and her aesthetics are on point too!
What values do you hope to instill in your children?
The big ones in our family are kindness and respect. We believe that is the foundation of all things great in life. If you come at any person, obstacle, or endeavor with a respect for them or the opposing view and a kind heart, you can accomplish anything.
Where can we purchase the Milkit?
Right now you can only get it at our website.
Each run is limited and exclusive. We will be changing up the products every new release to showcase all of the amazing brands trying to change the industry. Get yours before we sell out!
Starting off my Hamptons features today, and I couldn’t help but share one of my favorite new shops, Cabana, in Southampton. Julie Heller started off selling her vintage finds, and we all know how I love a good oldie. She has great taste, and always curated the best pieces, all in great condition. She’s opened up a shop where you can buy your elevated basics alongside her racks of vintage for all summer occasions. I love that I can go to her for my favorite white t-shirt, jeans or casual shirt dress, and then also find something vintage to add to the mix, and make an outfit unique and personalized. She will be having a lot of fun events throughout summer, so swing by anytime.Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words…
Wife, Mother, Founder, Dreamweaver, Mompreneur, Activist, Manifestor, Philanthropist…it’s hard for me to just pick 3!
How do you manage to carve out “me time” being a mother of 5? How do you like to spend that time?
I am a big believer in “me time,” especially as a mother of 5. I practice a self-care regimen that I call my “goddess rituals,” which helps me unwind from even the most stressful situations. One of my favorite go-to’s usually involves drawing a warm bath full of essential oils, lavender, and bath salts. I’m addicted to anything aromatherapy driven, I love scents! I’m also a big fan of stealing time for myself by doing yoga, daily meditation (a non-negotiable, ESPECIALLY when you have 5 kids), or treating myself to an at-home massage. I also love a movie night with my hubby, even if it’s at home after I’ve tucked the kids in bed.
What are your favorite Miami activities with the kids?
We do a lot in Miami, which is an amazing place for kids. We love to go to the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Jungle Island, Frost Museum, The Poppet Project, or even the Miami Kids Museum. Also, my kids will never pass up a movie date, so sometimes it’s as simple as going to Ipic to see the latest installment of a Pixar movie. A movie night always keeps them in their happy place (which you can do in any city!).Read More
I remember the feelings of insecurity and anxiety when I was having my first baby, as if it were yesterday. Becoming a mother, and all of the unknown can be incredibly overwhelming, particularly when it comes to all of the baby “stuff” you need. The market is so saturated with products, and stores only promote and have knowledge regarding what they are currently selling. Moms need an honest and reliable resource for all things baby, and Monica Banks, aka the Gugu Guru, has filled this gap! Monica created an incredible lifestyle and parenting quiz, powered by an algorithm, that allows experts in the baby market to provide product recommendations suiting your personal needs. They are not fueled by any advertising dollars, it’s just straight up great advice from the people who know best. I cannot tell you how helpful this would’ve been for me in my beginnings of parenthood! It eliminates so much time stressing about giving your babies the best, and figuring out what that even means. Gugu Guru is your new BFF!Read More
There’s a new play space in town, and you’re going to want to sign up! The Wonder opened up its first location in TriBeCa, the Mecca of family life. This is a space for both kids and adults to congregate, truly bringing the outdoors in! There is a lot of open play space, filled with themed wooden toys, a cozy book corner, and room for arts and crafts. Unlike other play spaces, this one is also geared towards adults looking to sit and work or grab a bite in the cafe. There is a private room carved out as a workspace, as well as a soothing nursery to bring babies while the kids run around. I’ve never seen a more well-thought out environment for children and their parents in NYC. Founders and parents, Noria and Sarah, made this space a members only club you will want to be a part of, and it’s constantly evolving with the seasons to feel fresh and new.Read More
Heather Severs, is not new to the accessories industry. Having a career in fashion publications, over a decade as the accessories director at Town & Country, she knows jewelry WELL! It is of no surprise that her longtime passion became her newest venture, creating a new line of vintage charm necklaces called Netherfield. Each necklace is special in that it’s one-of-a-kind, vintage charms are made to order depending on the tales of your life’s journey. They are the best gifts, even for yourself, as they tell a story that you can build upon each year. Today we are giving you a head start with our giveaway on Instagram. Head over to my page @mamaandtata for more details.Read More
Describe yourself in three words
Loyal, Trustworthy, Driven.
How have your children inspired your work at Forerunner?
My older daughter Peri has greatly inspired me to continue achieving my dreams as a working mother. I remember one day when I was feeling defeated and overall guilty about not being able to pick her up from school every day (you know — the general working mom regret), and I asked her, "Peri, do you like that I work or would you rather I stayed home with you?"
Her response to me was simply: “I think working makes you smarter.” This little statement made me feel so much better and motivated me to a totally new level. I hope she didn’t say it because she doesn't want me around, but I'm choosing to look at the positive here. :)Read More
A dear, old friend of mine, Lilly Weekes, has launched her second business with friend Elizabeth Bonner, and it’s at the top of my Mother’s Day wish list. Heritage is a fairly new jewelry brand filled with chic, classic, everyday pieces that are the perfect accent to any wardrobe. They have rings, bracelets and pendents that you will want to collect, filled with meaning and heart, encapsulating family memories and significant moments in time. Their pendents are exquisite and timeless, and look best layered or stacked. These two close friends have created something very special, and their pieces are the ultimate Mother’s Day present. I'm excited to announce I’ve partnered with them to give away one of their signature mother of pearl Mommy & Me heart necklaces for Mother’s Day. Head over to my Instagram @mamaandtata to learn how to enter!Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words...
Loving, passionate and loyal.
What is your daily workout regimen?
My workouts! I love to mix it up with either my 30-minute full body or an abs/arms targeted flow. I also live for my power booty series. I share all of my workouts on my website and offer a 5 Day Free Trial for all people that are new to me.
What are your favorite go-to healthy snacks for both you and your children?
Mustache Munchies (they're like an insane vegan goldfish) for myself and my son, and then for my daughter, the Baby Mum Mums.Read More
Although I’ve never needed this service for myself, I noticed that more and more women around me are hiring stylists because they have difficulty piecing outfits together for themselves. Whether it’s a matter of women in business being too busy to shop for work and events, or just needing help figuring out how to make your clothing more versatile so you wear them well, this is a service that proves very beneficial. Nicole Russo has been providing this service for many years working as a top stylist at Net-a-Porter, and is now venturing out on her own with a new business called Let’s Get You. Nicole doesn’t follow trends, rather she looks to improve upon her client’s own personal style, by helping fill in the gaps to make a cohesive, sophisticated collection to be worn many ways, many times. She is as friendly and kind as they come, and has impeccable taste, encouraging her clients to take risks in their wardrobe. In 20 minutes of looking in my closet, she was able to pull 5 looks that I would’ve never thought to combine, and I am so excited to wear them this Spring!Read More
Fashion stylist Nicole Russo recently dropped by my home in NYC to talk with me about her personal styling business Lets Get You. She was also kind enough to put together a list of her 10 Must-Have styles for Spring/Summer 2019 for me to share with my readers on Mama and Tata. You can see her list below and if you would like to learn more about her business, feel free to read the full interview here.Read More
Sophie Thimonnier has created something very special. She transfers her positive, soulful, peaceful energy on to everyone she meets, so it was of no surprise that her newest venture, HeartKnit, a class dedicated to taking a break from technology and bonding over handmade creations, has become a big success. Sophie teaches group classes on how to knit with beautiful, colorful yarn, decorated with soothing florals and herbal teas. The event she creates allows women to really connect with one another, while honing in on a new skill, in an environment with no distractions. Similar to meditation, the experience is therapeutic and has been scientifically proven to have health benefits, giving its participants clarity. In my opinion, this is something we all need weekly, as we sometimes forget that life exists beyond our phones.Read More
Describe yourself in 3 words...
Mother. Art. Spirituality.
What inspired you to create Midheaven?
Midheaven was inspired by all the women I would meet who were tall like I am. It was a constant topic of conversation: jeans for tall women! "Where did you get your jeans? Ugh, I can never find them long enough...." I grew up to be very tall, very fast. I kept getting taller, and my pants kept getting shorter. I couldn't find a company out there that I could be loyal to, that would always have a selection of on-trend, beautifully made garments that were customized for women who had a taller than average frame. I really wanted to create a line of denim for others out there who cared about not only length, but who cared about fit and quality also.
Please share your launch story...
I had been marinating on the idea of creating this product for some time, when I happened to run into a neighbor of mine. We got to talking and it turned out she had been in the denim world for 30 years as a manufacturer. Her and her husband got out of the business in 2008, but still had all their contacts and offered to show me around and introduce me to their old factory, production manager and pattern maker. I started by making one pair of jeans: a mid-rise flare with a 38" inseam, something I hadn't been able to find in the right length. That pair of jeans took me 1 year to perfect, and during that year I learned as much as I could about the process of bringing a design to reality from start to finish. I kept going, and created three more styles with that particular team. During that time, I came up with the name "Midheaven," and decided to launch those four products as a small collection specifically for tall women, and advertise this would-be business on social media. We launched in January of last year and haven't looked back.
What has been the biggest help for brand exposure so far?
Instagram! What a powerful tool instagram is. We live in a world where everyone is so connected and we are able to bring forth our creations and expose those creations to a wider audience in a short period of time than was ever possible before. Not only am I able to target my specific demographic, but I am able to communicate with my customers and ask them what they would like to see next. That communication and access to my customer is invaluable and is solely because of social media.
What differentiates your denim brand from others in your market?
Most of the denim brands focus on the widest audience possible which means AVERAGE. Unfortunately, many of us fall outside of the "average" sizing scale. Midheaven caters to a very underserved demographic: the tall woman. While we carry product that a not-so-tall woman would absolutely love also, we really wanted someone to be able to shop Midheaven no matter how tall they are. We also carry plus sizes as well, so that no matter your figure, Midheaven will have product you can depend on that is both made to fit beautifully and offers a wide variety of styles for different body types.
How has your new baby motivated and inspired you to create?
Westlyn is a huge inspiration for me to go for my dreams and continue to create, no matter what. She is constantly moving, constantly laughing, constantly excited to see new and different things and people. I feel like my inner child is expressed through her. I don't ever want to allow my life to get so complicated that I stop doing what I love and being creative on every level. I love working hard. I love challenging myself. I love newness and exploring and educating myself. Business is so interesting to me, and in the beginning, I knew NOTHING about business. I loved the challenge and have learned so much not only about what it takes to run a business, but I learned so much about myself also. I want her to be proud and to see that her mother sets goals and achieves them. And when she is older I want her to understand the premise of Midheaven: that it is about confidence. Fashion is expression, and what we put on our bodies should help us express how we feel on the inside. My goal for Midheaven was to help women feel comfortable and confident in their clothes and that inevitably impacts how we operate. I like the positivity of the message and I like that Westlyn's impact on me as a mother and as a woman is absolutely part of each step we take in growing this business.
What are your favorite go-to fashion brands?
Stella McCartney - she is a pioneer in the sustainable fashion space and that is so inspiring to me. We source our fabric from Candiani, which is the greenest denim mill in the world. I don't think you can work in this business, or simply be a consumer of fashion without looking at its impact on the world and the environment. In building this company, I really wanted to make sure that I wasn't being reckless in trying to minimize my footprint. We pay a lot of money to get our fabric here from Italy, and the reason why we do that is because of the way the mill is aiming for sustainability as well. Their cotton is responsibility sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative and all of their waste products are recycled from their spinning, warping and dying departments. I am always researching ways we can improve our processes as a whole and what we can do to explore more sustainable means of production. We very much respect other brands who are doing the same.
What values do you hope to instill in your child?
I would love to teach her that being respectful and honest is so important in everything you do in life. Nothing is worth cutting others down for. We are living in such a beautiful time where women supporting women is being spotlighted and encouraged. I want her to feel the impact of the work that is being done right now and know in her bones that you give what you get. If you give support and love and encouragement and genuinely feel happy for others when they achieve their dreams or hit milestones in their endeavors, she will get that energy back in spades.
I also want her to feel connected with her spiritual life. I am religious and very spiritual. It has taken me a long time to find stride with my own personal spiritual journey. I was very encouraged by my mother to read as much as I could, to research as much as I could and think and explore and find my own connection to God as I felt truth in. I want to pass that on to my children as well.
What are your favorite go-to activities in LA for Moms?
Taking a hike up Runyon Canyon or any hiking in Malibu and Santa Monica... going to the beach or going to the Santa Monica pier and playing video games or walking to the very end and watching the fisherman... Taking a bike down the Venice boardwalk is definitely a weekly activity of ours. We also recently brought "Bean" (Westlyn) to the Getty Museum to see Sally Mann's exhibit. She absolutely loved it and stared at each piece we strolled her in front of. Highly recommend.
What would be your dream collaboration?
I would absolutely love to do a collaboration with a bathing suit company. My customers are always asking for bathing suits (mainly one-pieces) that are designed for taller women. I would love to do activewear too, which is actually in the works with a brand we cant reveal yet (yay!) Also, Cynthia Rowley is pretty amazing and has been one of my mentors since the beginning. I would love to do a pair of jeans or two with her at some point.
Jasmine Snow was an accessories editor for 8 years, and style is her nature. She, like many other women, couldn’t understand why there were so many unattractive bib options for her new baby when she first became a mother. She would purchase these adorable outfits for her baby, and spend all of this time dressing her up, and then slap on these colorful, printed bibs the second they got to a restaurant. She wanted to create a chic and unisex option, a forever baby accessory, and The Black Bib was born! This black leather bib, much like a great leather moto jacket, looks great with any outfit, and isn’t distracting. They are totally baby-proof, and can be cleaned with a wet wipe. My girls, even at this age, get very messy, so I’m waiting for Jasmine to make a few in their size!Read More
When my sister’s dear friend, Jennie Monness started her blog Mo’Mommies, I was thrilled for her, as she dedicated her life (pre-parenthood) to studying childhood development, and was probably the most prepared mother-to-be I knew. I loved the philosophy behind her play-based methods, and her blog helped her create an actual physical space for babies and children to come learn. Union Square Play is a new play-space which offers drop-in classes throughout the day where children are encouraged to explore the environment and find activities that foster their curiosities to expand their development. There is a beautiful community of parents that have found each other through their children in USP, who have created a very nurturing and supportive culture, that is unique and special. Jennie has also brought on one of my personal favorite activities, playAGAIN with Lisa Zaretsky, who now has a permanent space within USP, so go say hello for me!Read More