Describe yourself in 3 words...
How have your children inspired you to launch your own brand?
Having children changes your perspective on virtually everything. I felt this change the minute I was pregnant with my first. My business partner Danilo Giordano and I have been talking for years about launching a footwear brand together. I thought to myself: why am I working for others when I can build something for my children? Something I’m passionate about, something I believe in. Something they can be proud of one day. I hope to be a role model and an inspiration to by children, setting an example to always go after their dreams.
What has been your biggest challenge in motherhood to date?
My patience. At first, I had a hard time accepting that when spending time with my daughter, I can’t do anything else. Which is hard when you are launching a business because your brain is constantly working! I know that she could feel my disconnection. What I learned is that even when you are overwhelmed with several things, the key is to focus on one thing at a time. You can’t multitask when spending time with your children. Now when I spend time with them – I do it actively and consciously. Quality over quantity.
What are your favorite new baby products to hit the market?
A French children’s skincare line called MINOIS. I am completely obsessed with the texture, quality and smell of their products.
Pay it forward and tell us a few of your favorite shoe designers?
Of course, my favorite shoe designer is my business partner and Creative Director Danilo Giordano! His designs are so feminine and emotional – they just make you feel special when you wear them.
I love Gianvito Rossi for a simple and elegant look. Golden Goose sneakers to run around on weekends.
And Malone Souliers. They have a strong identity and make beautiful shoes with a twist.
What is your favorite shoe brand for children?
Elephantito for shoes and sandals; Superga for sneakers.
What is your favorite family vacation destination?
The South of France. My husband is French as his parents live there so we spend some time there every summer with my brothers- and sisters-in-law and their 11 children. The air, the light, the colors, the smell – it’s such a special place!
What are your go-to activities with your children in the Hamptons this summer? Any favorite classes?
Can’t beat the beach and a pool filled with floaties! When we want to take them for a walk we love the Walking Dunes trail in Amagansett and LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton. And of course, the Children’s Museum in Bridgehampton, when it rains. I also love to take the kids to the sunset Fridays and Saturdays at Wölffer Estate.
How did you find the process of setting up a new business? What advice would you give to women who are looking to become entrepreneurs?
I was completely clueless at the beginning. As confident as I was in regards to our vision and my knowledge of the industry – setting up a business was a whole other animal. I worked in corporate for very large companies my entire career – setting up a business was far from anything I had learned.
Do we opt for an LLC or a corporation? Where and how do I register the business? The legal aspect, trademarks, accounting, IT, logistics – you name it! I knew nothing about these things! My husband helped us write the business plan and I asked a lot of my entrepreneurial friends how they started their businesses. I asked them for recommendations and guidance. And somehow it just all fell into place. Listen to your gut and believe in yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses. It’s a lot of work, but unbelievably rewarding. After all, it’s YOURS.
What is your mantra?
Don’t dream your life. Live your dream.
What values do you hope to instill in your children?
To be grateful, open-minded, curious, confident, kind, determined, considerate, just and honest.