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
Describe yourself in 3 words...
Driven, Dreamer, Optimistic.
What inspired you to create Good American?
When I started thinking about and exploring the opportunity for Good American, it was clear that so many women are ignored by the fashion industry, and I wanted to create a brand that bridged this gap. At the same time, I was pregnant with my daughter, so it was really important to me that I build a company not only I would be proud of, but she would be proud of too.
Please share your launch story…
I was very passionate about starting a company that was focused on inclusion and at first it wasn’t just about denim. I thought about the market differently and wanted to create clothes in a range of sizing beyond what many brands were already offering. After connecting with Kris Jenner and Khloé Kardashian, I came to Khloé with the idea of creating an inclusive brand and immediately, she was in. When we reached $1 million in sales on launch day, we knew we were creating something truly amazing.
How has working with your partner, Khloe Kardashian, helped build the brand? What are the benefits and challenges of having a partner in business?
Khloé is an amazing partner. Khloé and I are both very specific about the way the product looks, feels and fits, and we think about our product range from different points of view and offer unique perspectives. Khloé is the kind of partner that I can speak to honestly and candidly about everything, which really streamlines our decision-making process.
One challenge is that people can dismiss Good American as just another celebrity fashion label. However, the mission of Good American extends beyond one person. We celebrate all women and empower them to look and feel their absolute best. Since we’ve launched, we’ve seen the support and love of our brand from women across the world, and know that’s due to the extraordinary fit, quality and style of our clothing, as well as our brand values.
What differentiates your brand from others in your market?
First and foremost, it’s our design approach. We’re not a trend-based fashion brand, we make amazing fitting clothes that are really classic pieces that you can layer with more fashion. I believe that Good American really is different because not many fashion brands can say they are fully inclusive, and we are proud to be a pioneer in the space. We are also a benefits brand, meaning that everything we make has a benefit through the design. We approach product development with our customer’s needs in mind, with a fit-first philosophy. Most importantly, we always make sure our clothes fit and feel good, and our denim has no gaping, tugging or sagging - problems that are common among other denim brands.
How have your children motivated and inspired you to create?
Well - children are expensive, I need to stay motivated to work and pay the bills!! Haha!!
What are your favorite go-to fashion brands?
I wear a lot of Frame and Good American of course, and I also buy classic pieces from Céline, Balenciaga, and Chanel.
What values do you hope to instill in your children?
I think it’s important that my children develop a strong sense of empathy for others, especially in the times we’re living in. I really try to make sure that my children know they live a blessed life and I talk to them a lot about the charity work I do with Women for Women international and Baby2Baby, and all of the people I meet through that work.
What are your favorite go-to activities in LA for Moms?
I like taking them to LACMA because I feel like there’s something for all of us there but my children’s favorite spot in Los Angeles is the Venice Boardwalk, and then onto Santa Monica Pier to the old arcades! They will watch the skateboarders at the Venice Skate Park for as long as I’ll let them. Then, we’ll walk to Santa Monica to the pier. They love playing the games, working hard to collect as many paper tokens from their winnings as possible. I let them buy something completely useless from the arcade shop, but they’re so happy and excited about it!
We were very excited and honored to be featured in our favorite parenting publication, Mini Magazine. It was fun taking the opportunity to be self-reflective in answering their interview questions. The girls were giving me so much love in our shoot with Ana Gambuto, I didn’t want it to end. I appreciate the magazine capturing the authenticity of our home and family life, and creating such a beautiful spread that I’ll cherish forever. Visit their website to view the full issue along with my interview.
As we can all tell from my Instagram account, I have two very theatrical daughters who love the performing arts. When I was little, I volunteered for every play offered between camp and school, always hoping for a lead role, as singing dancing and acting were my passion. I’m happy to have found Broadway Bees, a short-term summer camp program that runs weekly, in Manhattan, the Hamptons, and Greenwich, supporting children’s acting skills and assisting with confidence building and public speaking. I believe that enrolling children in programs like this at a young age will facilitate strength and risk-taking, even for children who struggle with speaking up and voicing their opinions in the classroom. This program was founded by Valentina Berger, a Broadway veteran, who has worked as a producer in the industry for years, and I’m excited for the girls to try it out.Read More
My very dear, very old friend, Jamie Sigler, whom I love and adore for her openness, honestly, kindness, loyalty, and realness, has joined forces with her great friend Jenna Parris to start her next chapter, a must-listen podcast called Mama Said! What’s better than listening and feeling included in a conversation on the challenges and celebrations of motherhood from moms who really get it!?! I find that women, when embarking on motherhood, feel so isolated, and sometimes guilty for their struggles, but Jenna and Jamie are here to let you know, it’s all normal and it’s all okay. We are in this together, and it ain’t easy! Tune in and join their journey of hot topics that arise along the way- laugh, cry, and get involved. These ladies are here to stay..Read More
Way back when, when I was pregnant with my first child, approximately 7 years ago, there was only one shop I loved, and it was Giggle in soho. They were a small boutique, where I ended up befriending my regular salesperson, because she was just the coolest, and it made the search for the endless newborn products easy and enjoyable. They were well-curated with only the best products and furniture on the market, so even if you were new to the baby game, you kind of couldn’t go wrong in this shop.
I remember walking into stores like Bye Bye Baby and feeling so overwhelmed by the sensory overload surrounding me, I’d literally run out the door. I was sad to see Giggle go a few years back, even though I was past that phase of life, however they are now under new ownership, back as an online store, and better than ever!
Erin Moennich has found all of the best baby products and will even be starting her own line to add to her site. She has a very well-curated layette available for purchase and has partnered with Darian Ablon to create a quality private label collection of children’s pajamas and clothing at affordable prices. For all of you new Mamas out there, this will be your go-to for all things baby.Read More
As many of you know, I have a real affinity for vintage clothing and accessories. As the years have gone by, my collection has grown to be too large for my apartment, and I finally found a good place to sell it. Vestiaire, a platform for buying and selling used clothing and accessories, that specializes in vintage apparel. They have a tremendous collection on consignment from various collectors around the world, as they started a decade ago in Europe and have more recently opened up their site to the US. We all know about the Real Real, but Vestiaire has been providing this service as well, and their stylists curate a truly beautiful, chic online boutique.Read More
Manon DeFelice is a woman I admire. She has taken my mantra of women supporting women to the next level, opening up her recruiting company almost five years ago, catering to women requiring flexibility in the workplace. There are so many brilliant, talented women out there who held important positions at work but left after motherhood, and never felt empowered or encouraged enough to return to their previous employment because they wanted to be present for their new families. This is a challenge I see even with my own group of friends, who would love the opportunity to launch a company or assist in building a start-up, but feel it would take too much time away from their children. Manon created Inkwell with these women in mind, and helps place women in the work force who need to work remotely, or have a shortened work week. Flexibility is the foundation of her business, and she provides financial rewards to the clients who give referrals. Her business is what supporting women is all about, so if you are feeling the itch to get back in it, shoot her an email.Read More
There’s a new shop in town, and you all need to know about it. As busy women, whether attending work events, social gatherings, or philanthropic functions, we have a lot of occasions that require evening wear. This can be an extremely expensive endeavor, as well as wasteful, since the likelihood of wearing that memorable, special piece to multiple events is slim. We all like to feel confident and beautiful, and we deserve to be able to wear many important dresses and gowns, at a much more affordable price.
Nova Octo is a place where you can find all of the most luxurious designers, even some you’ve never seen or discovered in the states, and rent them for a small fraction of the price to wear to an event. The entire experience from start to finish is glamorous and fun, and owner/founder, Silje, is very accommodating to her clientele. For each rental, Silje gives back, making a donation to the client’s charitable organization of choice. She has a great eye and a kind heart.Read More
Lara Björk, a talented, seasoned art consultant, has launched a new business that both kids and adults can appreciate. The Letters NYC, are a series of artful alphabet portraits, covering multiple cities, using each letter to match with an iconic, artful place/landmark within the city. Lara comes up with the letter references and visuals and her partner illustrates them, using bright colors that appeal to children of all ages. These special works of art are wonderful baby gifts and birthday gifts, and each comes with their own explanation sheet to teach your children the meaning and history behind the art. Lara has partnered with the Soho House to create a new weekend activity called “Kids House,” where children can express themselves through art and creation with her team, we are excited to try it out!Read More