Mitera Collection, Top Pick for the Best Baby Gift Ideas

Mitera Collection, Top Pick for the Best Baby Gift Ideas

Mitera's Jennifer Maternity and Nursing Tank was a top pick for the best baby shower gift ideas by Good Morning Arizona! Check out the segment here.

March 16, 2018 by Mitera Collection
How To Dress for Pumping at Work

How To Dress for Pumping at Work

6 tips to make your pumping breaks at the office a whole lot easier.

Breastfeed. Be all hands on deck at home. Cook. Clean. Get back in shape. Eat healthy. Make time for your partner, your friends and your family. Crush it at work… while pumping… while looking stylish and feeling like yourself! The expectations on mamas these days are all-consuming and overwhelming, and finding your personal style that is both office and pumping friendly can be especially challenging.

Luckily, maternity and breastfeeding clothing has been on the rise and, to this day, continues to gain momentum. And thanks to big retailers and smaller brands alike, the modern mama can now create a professional wardrobe that looks and feels good and that allows her to step out of meetings to pump that liquid gold out with ease (and without having to strip down to her underwear). 

Want to make your office attire pumping friendly? Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when putting your work outfit together.

1. Get a few nursing or pumping friendly clothes. While you don’t have to heavily invest in items with limited wearability, I think purchasing a handful of versatile pumping-friendly pieces will take any pumping working mama far (and ensure a return on the investment). Items such as the Elif dress from Mitera, the Layla dress from Loyal Hana or the Chloe dress from Teat & Cosset. While your breastfeeding days may have a shelf life, these beautiful items can be worn beyond. No one will even know that they were meant for your breastfeeding days.

2. Stock up on nursing basics from more affordable brands like H&M, ASOS or Old Navy that can be worn on repeat from work to weekend and that you won’t mind donating when your breastfeeding and pumping days are over. I am loving this versatile wrap top from ASOS, this crepe top from H&M worn with anything from polished pants to jeans, and this cotton nursing t-shirt from Old Navy, which could be styled under a blazer for work, or as-is on the weekends.

3. Pack a pumping bustier with you. You won’t want to wear it under your clothes all day long, but once you’re ready for your pumping session, it will give you the hand-free mobility you need to keep working if and when needed.

4. Always carry an oversized wrap. Like that, if you choose to wear a non-nursing friendly item to the office, you will always have coverage on hand. Consider this oversized wrap from Madewell and this spring floral style from Anthropologie.

5. It’s all about boob access. When shopping for non-nursing brand items, pay attention to necklines that allow for easy access to the breast. Items such as button downs, and wrap tops/dresses work best. We love this belted shirt dress from DVF and wrap jumpsuit from Ulla Johnson.

6. Wear a nursing tank as a first layer. This will give you the flexibility to wear most silhouettes on top. This first layer will give you pumping coverage and easy access to the breast at the same time. We love this v-neck style from Ingrid and Isabel via Gap and this style from Bravado.

March 15, 2018 by Mitera Collection
Pregnancy Attire

Pregnancy Attire

Name:

Yoko Shimada

How your clients refer to you:

Yoko

Company: 

Mitera

Contact Info:

Email: yoko@miteracollection.com, Ph. (917) 675-3215, Website: www.miteracollection.com

How many years have you been in business in NYC?

Just 2 years.

How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?

I started Mitera out of a personal need. I was working at the World Bank as a health economist when I had my first baby.  Going through pregnancy and later pumping at work where I had to meet a professional dress-code made me realize there was a gap in the market for clothing. I needed something that helped me function confidently both as a working woman and as a mother. I had difficulty finding office-worthy and/or stylish and well-made clothing that I could wear through my journey as a mom.  I was in a state of euphoria as a new mom at the beginning, but these first few weeks and months were some of the most difficult months of my life. There is definitely another side of motherhood that no words can describe. Nobody really tells you how truly challenging it can be. Sleeplessness, hormone-induced sweating, post-pregnancy excess weight and saggy stomach, postpartum hair loss, lack of time for any form of self-care like showering, putting on decent clothes, and exercising. I struggled with breastfeeding, and when that got easier, I struggled with breastfeeding in public. And then I struggled with pumping when I went back to work as a global public health exec. I had to look professional, but also needed easy access to my breasts for pumping. Dresses were impossible.

Being a mom is by far one of the most important aspects of who I am, but it is not all of who I am. Through Mitera, I want to celebrate and support modern women who aspire to be awesome moms while climbing the corporate ladder, starting businesses, and making their own dreams a reality. 

What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?

Designs which include aesthetics and perfectly designed functionalities, like hidden zipper access for breastfeeding and deep pockets, and quality, including fabrics and constructions of the garments.  In addition, our commitment to spreading the love to improve the lives of less fortunate moms and babies around the world through our giving partners.

What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?

We don't chase fashion trends, but stay true to our style.  We focus on what’s always in style, which are timeless designs, quality fabrics and construction, and well-thought-out functionalities. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is when I get to interact with our customers.  I love it when our products truly impact their lives in a positive way and they are so happy.

What is your favorite secret NYC spot? 

Ok, it is nothing sexy, but I love going to Japanese supermarkets around town to pick up my favorite Japanese treats or ingredients for cooking.

Sunrise Mart on 12 E 41st St New York, NY, 10017 is the biggest. 

I also love hunting down the best ramen place.  My current favorite is Chuko (http://chukobk.com/)  or Ichiran(www.ichiran.com).

How do you benefit mamas?

While often all the attention goes to the baby when a woman is pregnant and has given birth, Mitera puts the spotlight back on the mom. We honor the process of creating and bringing life into this world, and celebrate the nurturer - the unique, beautiful, determined, multifaceted woman who gives all she has, while still remaining who she is.   Our clothing helps to give women the confidence and functionalities needed to carry them through the most crucial life stages – pregnancy, nursing, and early motherhood.

What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?

I always feel so honored to be a part of our customers’ motherhood journeys. We get so much great feedback, but one client stands out amongst the rest.  She is a partner in a law firm and has gone into early labor with her third.  Her baby ended up being in NICU for months.  She is so determined to do the best that she can for her baby that she bought all 6 of our dresses and commuted between home, office, and hospital to provide the breast milk for her baby. I felt so honored to be a part of her amazing motherhood and personal journey.

Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:

Sahar Wahbeh of Dumye (www.dumye.com ). She is a great friend. She is not only an amazing mama to two adorable kids, but is a passionate and dedicated advocate for most vulnerable children in the world and an amazing entrepreneur. She inspires me daily.

What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?

Follow your heart and trust yourself.

Mantra - You only live once.  So, live each day with love and purpose. You never get today back.  Easier said than done though!

As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick? 

Prep the night before.  Every night I try (ok, I try but don’t always succeed, I am a mom!) to lay out the kids’ uniform and what they need for pre-school and Kindergarten in their room, plan their lunch, and make sure my phone is charged and my keys are where they should be before I go to bed. This definitely reduces the chaos in the morning! I also lay out my clothes the night before. I was not always like this but now I am. Laugh at me or I dare you to try the trick!

September 18, 2017 by Mitera Collection
The Expectful Podcast

The Expectful Podcast

Finding confidence in your pre and postnatal clothing with Yoko Shimada, founder of Mitera. Could Your Maternity and Postpartum Clothing Help You Feel Empowered? Yoko Shimada thinks so. During her work in Global Public Health, Yoko became passionate about maternal health
September 17, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama

Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama

Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama
Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama

Mothers. We all have them. And most of them have sacrificed the entire rest of their lives to make sure that we are well fed, have clothes on our backs, and are pointed towards a bright future. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that this is the end of their careers and dreams. One may wonder just exactly how it is possible to balance the heavy needs of raising a newborn infant and thrive in the workplace. Well, Yoko Shimada, mother of 2 beautiful children and mother of maternity and nursing fashion line Mitera has just the answers.

Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama

Having been immersed in the world of public health in a plethora of countries for the greater part of her career life, the fashion industry was and is the last place that one would expect Yoko to enter and thrive in, including Yoko herself. Yoko, with 15 plus years of experience in helping start and implement global health programs across the world, not only realized the lack of suitable clothing options to raise a baby while holding down and thriving at work, but also took the initiative to create one.

Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama

After having her second child in 2013, Yoko started to bring the idea of Mitera to life. It all began when she actually had a dress made to accommodate her breastfeeding practices while at work. With the need to pump for her daughter at her office with a notable absence of a proper facility to do so, Yoko knew that it was time for a change.

With society constantly placing unspoken pressures and expectations on mothers to breastfeed in order to raise their babies in the healthiest manner, the first months and even year, postpartum proves to be a difficult stage. Creating Mitera was a way for Yoko to take a stand against these unpractical circumstances that new mothers are faced with in their personal and professional lives.

Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama

The dresses and apparel designed by Mitera are created with these struggles in mind. For example, these chic, stylish, and practical articles of clothing provide easy yet discreet access for feeding or pumping. With both the concerns of the mother and baby in mind, Mitera's goal is not only to help smooth women’s transition into motherhood but also to honor the process of creating and bringing life into this world and celebrate the woman, the nurturer - the unique, beautiful, determined, multifaceted woman who gives all she has, while still remaining who she is.

 

Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama

While undergoing the journey of starting and growing her fashion company, Yoko has remained focused on lifting the women up as they embark on this major transition into motherhood and helping, in her own little way, to shatter the notion that pregnancy and becoming a mother is akin to taking a career break, a set-back, a penalty, or a weakness. There are many successful women out there, who, when they become moms, have a bit of an identity crisis because it seems like they can’t continue their own paths, like they have to give themselves up for the baby.

It was no different for Yoko. Through Mitera, she wants to help give these women - working moms and stay-at-home moms alike their strength and self-confidence back, to feel even more connected to their bodies and self and to be empowered with this new gift of motherhood. Mitera celebrates and supports women all around the world throughout their motherhood journeys and as they become better versions of themselves through the incredible experience of motherhood.  

Chic and Practical Clothing for The Working Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mama

August 07, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Introducing the Pioneers who are Smashing the Glass Ceilings for the Next Generation

Introducing the Pioneers who are Smashing the Glass Ceilings for the Next Generation

When Yoko Shimada was pumping in her old office’s lactation room, a small, windowless space in the basement of the building, a lightbulb went off. “I was half naked, and I remember thinking.

When you hear the word “pioneer,” who comes to mind? The forefathers of our country? Davy Crockett? Elon Musk? Our history has no shortage of celebrated men who were given the circumstance (and the pomp) to rise to the occasion. While women like Marie Curie, RBG, and Toni Morrison have been able to tip the scale within the latter half of the last century, they’re few and far in between—or are they?

Introducing Womaneer, our new series that highlights and celebrates the oft-overlooked women of our day who are making waves in the fields of politics, STEM, and design. Each of these women have something in common: vision, grit, and a heady dose of persistence that keeps them going despite the odds.

These women are proof that the gender gap is closing… that is, if you fight for it. With some guts, you can become the next pioneering voice in your field—a womaneer. Meet our debut six.

August 06, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Global Healthcare Advocate and Mitera Founder Yoko Shimada

Global Healthcare Advocate and Mitera Founder Yoko Shimada

Global Healthcare Advocate and Mitera Founder Yoko Shimada

Photo: Yoko Shimada

The link between mother-focused clothing label Mitera Collection and founder Yoko Shimada's previous life working to improve healthcare in developing countries may not be apparent at first — but it will once you hear her brand's full story. Before creating her brand, she spent 15 years working with organizations like the World Bank and the Clinton Foundation. Though Mitera wasn't born until after her second child, she came up with the idea in her company's lactation room, "which was in the basement, I believe, or on the first floor in the back of the building, with no windows and with just four chairs facing each other."

"I was half-naked and I remember thinking 'Who designed this room? Clearly not a woman,'" she recalls thinking. She faced the challenge that so many other working mothers of newborns faced: trying to fit regular breast-pumping sessions into her office schedule. "I just wanted to make things easier for myself and make myself feel better — confident as a woman, a mother and a professional," Shimada says, so she decided to design two dresses that would transition seamlessly into her pumping and work wardrobes.

Now mama to Hugo and Emmeline, the New York-based entrepreneur has found a way to continue her mission of empowering women around the world through Mitera, an ethically-made, bump-to-breastfeeding clothing brand designed to be worn throughout all stages of motherhood. Here, she tells us the socially-conscious goal behind the company, the digital organization tools she can't live without, her best advice for others looking to make a major career switch, and more. Read on below, then shop Mitera's collection of breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe essentials online here.

Global Healthcare Advocate and Mitera Founder Yoko Shimada

Photo: Yoko Shimada

You've got a strong background working toward accessible healthcare around the globe — how does that mission continue with Mitera?

We all know that the United States does not provide federally-mandated maternity leave, so women have little choice but to go back to work after a very short leave. Not having an adequate leave policy really makes things difficult for working mothers and we definitely have a lot of work to do to improve that. My initial goal is to help make women’s transition into motherhood easier with beautifully-made, functional, and practical clothing so that they feel confident and happy in being a mom and at the same time pursuing their career aspirations, and doing stuff that they enjoy doing like going on date nights, attending events and weddings, and simply hanging out with friends.

Ultimately, my mission is about democratizing access to opportunities for women who represent more than half of the world’s population. Through Mitera, even if it is in a very small way, I want to contribute in creating a society where motherhood is seen as an advantage and not a hindrance, set-back, or a penalty.  

What's the story behind the brand's name?

Mitera means "mother" in Greek. I felt when you are pregnant, all the eyes are on you.  But as soon as the baby comes out, not many people ask about how you are doing as a mom. All the attention goes to the baby and often the mom gets forgotten in all the excitement of the baby’s arrival. So, I wanted to shine some well-deserved light onto the mom, honor the process of creating and bringing life into this world and celebrate the nurturer — the unique, beautiful, determined, multifaceted woman who gives all she has, while still remaining who she is.

Global Healthcare Advocate and Mitera Founder Yoko Shimada

Photo: Mitera Collection

You've probably experienced some incredibly impactful moments throughout your career. What are a few that come to mind that really helped shape Mitera's socially- and globally-conscious business model?

There are so many that come to mind. Throughout my 15 year-career in global public health, I was fortunate to have worked in so many different projects across 13 African countries, South Asia, North America, and Europe — [including] running studies on HIV/AIDS prevention messages in India to designing and implementing a performance-based financing system in Rwanda and helping to rebuild its health care system after a devastating civil war in Liberia. I learned so much from every single encounter with the people I was trying to help in my own small way. My experience taught me the harsh reality where one cannot control the circumstances into which he or she is born and the world is full of unfair and unjust things.  

But throughout my career working in the developing parts of the world, I also encountered so much beauty in humanity where I saw the ability of those who have nothing compared to us (in terms of money or materials possessions) to be happy. I realized, especially working with mothers and children, that what we all want as humans is the same no matter where you are born — we want to feel needed, sense of purposes, jobs, good health, good educations for children, and opportunity and hope for the future. When I became a mother myself, I felt personally more connected to the women and children I had the fortune to work with in Africa, India, and elsewhere and made a commitment to do my small part in improving the lives of those who happened to be born in less fortunate situation than me.

The first few years of a mother’s life, from conceiving to carrying to birthing to feeding to raising a baby, are profound and transformative — but they aren’t easy. In our part of the world, there is the career pressure to delay starting a family, discrimination at the workplace, absence of federally mandated maternity leave, and the challenges to breastfeed are just some of the obstacles women face. I believe that women, regardless of their circumstances and personal choices as mothers, deserve our support. That is really the underlying belief upon which Mitera was founded.

Global Healthcare Advocate and Mitera Founder Yoko Shimada

Photo: Mitera Collection

What were some of your earliest designs, and how has Mitera's aesthetic and design changed since then?

At Mitera, we have always focused on design first because we want our mamas to feel pretty and confident on the outside when many of us don’t feel so hot when our bodies are going through so many changes.  But functionality, comfort, and practicality (machine-washability and pockets, for example) are equally as important as our design. We design all our pieces in NYC and Tokyo and and they go through the "mom-tests" to make sure they meet our strict standards. We always try to elevate the designs and incorporate little functionality improvements to make moms’ lives easier.

Our aesthetics have not really changed much from the beginning. Most of our original products are still there but we keep adding more designs like pants as we go along based on customer feedback.  While our customers love the Ellen Dress (one of our best sellers), we are also adding more casual everyday pieces to our collection.

When you're not busy being a mom, working on Mitera, and participating in triathlons (kudos!!!), what are some of your other favorite ways to relax and unwind?

Exercise definitely helps me to unwind, because I am not on my phone while I am running or biking or swimming. I like the freedom from technology. Other than that, I love to go camping with my family again to be disconnected from technology even if it is for one night. If time allows, I like to catch up on politics via late night comedy shows or hang out with friends over dinner.

What are your favorite skincare or beauty brands right now?  

I am not really a beauty person. I never wear much makeup but I tend to use organic skincare lines such as SavorBeauty. For makeup, I do my brows, put some mascara, blush and lip gloss and I am out of the door. I need recommendations! [Editor's Note: Check out our members' favorite beauty and skincare products here!]

July 17, 2017 by Mitera Collection
This.Is.Motherhood

This.Is.Motherhood

The frazzled, overwrought mom. The mom who has everything together and smiles through it all. The helicopter mom who lives only for her kids.

We constantly see these stock-standard portrayals of motherhood, so much, in fact, that we start to question if there’s something weird about us being more complex, more nuanced, and more flat-out real. Please take this as our once-and-for-all statement that there isn’t. When it comes to motherhood, or personhood for that matter, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. Those who choose to become mothers, just like those who don’t, are learning their strengths and weaknesses, figuring things out as they go, and living life on their own terms.

July 16, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Build Your Breastfeeding Wardrobe

Build Your Breastfeeding Wardrobe

3 strategies to help you be your fashionable best when nursing on the go.

Now that baby is earth side, you’re probably eager to get back to your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. But if you are breastfeeding, you’ll probably have to wait just a little bit longer — especially if you plan on nursing on the go. Whether you want to be discreet or don’t mind putting your breast out there when baby needs to eat in public, wearing the right clothes can be a tremendous help in embracing this beautiful, natural aspect of motherhood comfortably and without sacrificing your style. So now is the time to get strategic about what you wear when strolling with baby. Here are 3 tips to make on getting a breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe to help your baby-nourishing breasts navigate between the comfort of your own home and the outside world as seamlessly as possible.

1. WEAR NURSING BRANDS.

Build Your Breastfeeding Wardrobe

Beautiful clothing brands, like Loyal Hana, Mitera and Kinwolfe, have developed their lines specifically with the breastfeeding woman in mind. With strategically placed zippers and layered fabrics, these brands are getting you ready to nurse wherever you go and be stylish, comfortable, and functional all at the same time. A few other brands that we love include Teat & Cosset, Fillyboo Maternity, Boob Design, and SeraphineGeBe for Asos launched this month!

2. USE A NURSING COVER.

Build Your Breastfeeding Wardrobe

If you just want to wear whatever you like, you can opt for a nursing cover, like this one from Bebe Au Lait or Bamboobie. Throw it atop your favorite shirt, and you are good to go. This is particularly great for nursing moms who’d rather not show skin when breastfeeding in public.

3. CHOOSE YOUR TOPS STRATEGICALLY.

Build Your Breastfeeding Wardrobe

Items like this button down from Zara or wrap dress from Auguste allow for easy boob access. If you want more coverage to keep things more discreet (totally fine if you don’t), keep an oversized scarf or shawl like this one from Madewell in your diaper bag throughout the nursing journey.

July 15, 2017 by Mitera Collection
The First Two Months: Essentials for Life with a Newborn

The First Two Months: Essentials for Life with a Newborn

Miss Jane is two months old today! I can’t believe it. I had a grand plan to write this post after her first month and share all of the essential items that got us through those initial weeks. But the first few weeks are a blur, and now two months later I finally got my act together to share all of the things that were super helpful for my recovery and for our survival as first-time parents! I read so many of these types of posts when I was pregnant and I loved hearing different experiences about what worked for others;  I hope my own experiences can be helpful for others too! The First Two Months: Essentials for Life with a NewbornEssentials for Mom: During the first few days home from hospital my number one essential was all of the help my husband and mom gave me. I have a tendency to push myself a little too hard and they both kept me in check to make sure I didn’t overdo it while I was recovering from the C-section. But since I don’t think I can lend out Mike and Mom to everyone reading this post, there were a few other key items I relied on during those first few days at home I thought I’d share!

First, I drank so much water when I got home. One of my nurses told me lemon water worked wonders for reducing swelling that happens from the epidural, and another told me that drinking tons of water was key for breastfeeding, so I was constantly hydrating and toting around my Swell water bottle (I love how it keeps water so cold!). I have been living on my homemade granola bar recipe too – it’s amazing how much hungrier I’ve been post-pregnancy. They’re key for quick snacks to grab when you have just a few moments between baby squeals to eat something.

Another key was staying comfortable – which can be pretty difficult post surgery – and I lived in some of maternity leggings, some oversized loose t-shirts, and a really comfortable sleeping nursing bra. I had a great experience with a sales associate at my local maternity store that assured me I needed these early on, and I was skeptical because I never wear a wireless bra, but they’re amazing. I’m still sleeping in them after two months, and have some very comfortable regular nursing bras I rely on during the day now too. The same sales associate convinced me to grab a cozy nursing wrap too, and it’s been my go-to item to grab and wear during late-night and early morning feeding sessions. During those first few days at home I was still learning how to hold Jane comfortably, and navigate carrying her up and down our stairs. I have an awesome pair of rubber-soled slippers (that barely look like slippers, bonus!) from Birdies Slippers that gave me a little extra security in my footing carrying my squirmy newborn in my arms.

After those first few weeks I’ve packed up the maternity clothes and yoga pants and am back in my pre-baby jeans (yay!), but still need to be conscious of my apparel being nursing-friendly. Nursing tops have to be the ugliest things in the world and I refused to spend money on them – I’ve instead been wearing Boden’s swing t-shirts that have a little extra room around the waist area, but still look fitted and stylish. They’re so soft too! That’s all I really relied on outside of my normal routine for the past two months for me. Jane on the other hand required a bit more!

The First Two Months: Essentials for Life with a NewbornEssentials for Baby: I should start this section with a caveat that Mike and I both agreed early on in my pregnancy that we wanted to be baby-gear minimalists. I get into a total funk when our house is cluttered and things are out of place, and he’s the same way. We’ve made a very conscious effort to only use the essentials, and say no to a lot of specialty items (wipe and bottle warmers? Nope!) to save on space and money.

During the first few days at home, sleep was the main priority for all of us. I hear from so many moms that the Rock n’ Play is the baby item they can’t live without, and it was really helpful for us during the first few days. I actually couldn’t get in and out of our bed because it was too high to climb into with my incision scar still so fresh, and similarly, I couldn’t bend over into a crib to lift Jane in and out without experiencing a ton of pain. So I slept on the couch and Jane slept next to me in the Rock n’ Play for maybe a week until I could finally move around more comfortably. Swaddles were another key to sleeping success — it really works wonders to calm down a newborn baby. We kept Jane in a variety of swaddles, I liked the Aden and Anais brand because they were nice and big, June and Januarymakes a nice cozy cotton version that seemed to stay very secure for our expert swaddle escapee!

There are so many different kinds of these sleeping swaddles and after a trying a few of them, we learned that Jane hated having her hands and arms restricted, in fact she always sleeps best with her arms wide out to her sides. We landed on the Halo Sleep Sacks working best for keeping her warm and cozy at night.

We also switched away from sleeping in the Rock N’ Play about a week after we got home from the hospital and have her sleeping in our room in the bassinet topper of our 4Moms Breeze. I love this thing, Jane sleeps really well in it and it’s been a literal “breeze” to disassemble and travel with.

Outside of sleeping, there’s lots of feeding and diapering! For feeding, I’m constantly using the Boppy Pillow. I know there’s tons of debate on which nursing pillow is the best, but I really this one because it’s aesthetically pleasing (get cute covers on etsy!) and doubles as a support spot for Jane to hang out now that she’s a little bigger. For diapering, I’ve already become pretty brand loyal to Target’s store-brand diapers and the Honest wipes (cute packaing helps, but I what I really like is that they’re big, unscented, and clean well!). One item that I thought was a little frivolous pre-baby was waterproof changing pad liners. Post-baby, I realize now that they’re a godsend and are so much easier to quickly replace and wash than the whole changing cover every time they get a little messy – which is often. For changing on the go I have a few essentials that I keep in a diaper clutch, and I move it from bag to bag because Mom still has to look cute!

A few other items we leaned on during those first two weeks:

  • Newborn Pajamas – There Is Nothing Worse Than Changing A Diaper At 3am And Having To Fumble With 15 Tiny Snaps! I Love The Pajamas From Gap, And Some Of The Options From Carters, That Have A Zipper Closure To Speed Things Up! Every Second Counts When You’re Getting A Few Hours Of Sleep At A Time.
  • Kimono Onesie – During The Daytime We Always Grabbed The June And January Side-Snap Onesies Because They’re So Much Easier To Get On A Squirmy Little Baby. I Have No Problem 2 Months Later Popping Jane’s Head And Arms Through A Shirt, But The Kimono Style Closure Is Really Helpful When They Still Feel So Delicate.
  • Car Seat. Jane Loves Her Car Seat; She’s Actually Sleeping In It Right Now While I Write This. Sometimes She’ll Fall Asleep In It Before We’ve Even Gotten Outside To The Car. I’m Really Happy With How Light This One Is And How Easily It Snaps In And Out Of The Bases. We Bought Two Bases, One For Each Car, And It’s Been So Much Easier Than Swapping Them Out Each Time We Change Vehicles. A Few Other Car Seat Accessories We’ve Loved Too: A Car Seat Mirror To Keep An Eye On Her While Driving, And This Black And White Stroller Toy – She Stares At It Non-Stop!
  • Baby Bjorn Bouncer – Remember When I Said I Wanted To Be A Baby Minimalist? I Think This Bouncer Seat Is A Prime Example Of That Mentality. It’s Got A Really Clean Design, And Will Grow With Jane Into A Toddler Chair When She Gets Older. I Pop Her In This When I’m Taking A Shower Or Making Dinner. She’s Been Enjoying Since She Was Probably 3-4 Weeks Old And It’s Incredibly Helpful When You Need Free Hands.
  • Nightlights. We Realized On The Very First Night At Home That Our Bedrooms Are Super Dark, And Turning The Lights On For Midnight Feedings Is A Quick Way To Wake Up Everyone. Mike Ran Out The Next Day And Bought Nightlights For All Of Our Bedrooms And It’s Made Such A Huge Difference Keeping Jane In “Sleep Mode” When We Have To Shuffle To Her Room To Change Her In The Middle Of The Night.
  • OxiClean. The Amount Of Laundry That We Do With A Baby Is Mind-Boggling. I Should Have Had Mike Write This Bullet Point Because He’s Really Our Laundry Champion. He Has A Whole System Set Up In Our Laundry Room And Swears By OxiClean For Pre-Soaking Clothes That Haven’t Survived The Diaper-Change.
  • Cradle. This Is Another Discovery By My Savvy Husband. It’s A White Noise App And It’s Magic How It Soothes Jane When She’s Having A Meltdown. We Both Have It On Our Phones, And Will Sometimes Use It To Help Her Get To Sleep, Or Stay Asleep If We’re In Restaurant Or Busy Place.
  • Moccasins. Okay Adorable Baby Shoes Aren’t Actually An Essential – But They Make Me SO Happy When Jane Wears Them. Baby Socks Also Never Stay On Her Feet, So I Make Sure She’s Wearing The Moccasins To Keep Her Feet Warm, They Stay On Way Better! 

I will not lie, those first few weeks are certainly amazing and filled with so much joy and love, but gosh they’re pretty rough too. At the time, it feels like you’re never going to have a “normal” again. Even with tons of help, the sleeplessness combined with the process of recovery and taking care of a tiny helpless human being, it can feel like you’ll never experience “normal” life again But after a few weeks you establish a routine, everyone falls into a rhythm, and before you know it you have a new normal.

Part of me can’t believe it’s been two months since Jane was born, because now it does feel so much like part of our everyday life, like she’s always been here. It feels like pregnancy and the labor and bringing her home from the hospital happened ages ago. And then at the same time I think about how incredibly short two months of time is, and how crazy it is that our world has been flipped upside down and filled with so much excitement and love in such a brief moment. I can’t wait to see what the next months bring!

March 20, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Chic Clothing Brands for Breastfeeding Moms

Chic Clothing Brands for Breastfeeding Moms

5 nursing fashion Brands you should know about

Are you a breastfeeding mama? If so, you probably know of at least one challenge that getting dressed after giving birth to baby represents: accessibility to the breast. Like I tell my styling clients, you want to invest in a few items specifically designed to help you function and fashion best over the course of your nursing journey. Still not sure where to look for stylish breastfeeding-friendly clothes? Luckily, super cool brands have been popping up over the course of the last few years. So when it comes to looking and feeling good while nursing in public, you’re covered.

Here are 5 of our favorite breastfeeding clothing brands.

Chic Clothing Brands for Breastfeeding Moms

1. Loyal Hana makes comfortable every-day pieces that you can wear from desk to dinner. We are loving the Cybelle Box Plaid Dress$125, buy here

Chic Clothing Brands for Breastfeeding Moms

2. Mitera features perfectly designed dresses, in luxe fabrics. This brand is an excellent choice for working mamas. How perfect is the Ellen Dress in ivory for spring? $235, buy here

Chic Clothing Brands for Breastfeeding Moms

3. Boob Design clothes are sustainable, stylish and wearable from the bump and beyond. Give the new spring Playsuit a try. $129, buy here

Chic Clothing Brands for Breastfeeding Moms

4. A Pea In the Pod creates easy comfortable pieces to wear throughout the pre and postnatal period. Check out this on-trend off the shoulder dress for all of your spring/summer parties. $125, buy here

Chic Clothing Brands for Breastfeeding Moms

5. Fillyboo is perfect if you want to channel your inner bohemian love child. These dresses are whimsical, airy and perfectly styled for summer days on the beach, which are right around the corner, right? We are in love with the Seeker Lover Keeper nursing dress. $240, buy here

March 19, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Nice Diapers Change - the Wrap Clutch

Nice Diapers Change - the Wrap Clutch

Which accessories does every mother carry around? Exactly - you diaper bag. That can be practical, boring and good. Or!  - A real fashion statement that's fun: the wrap-around clutch. Why should the noble vehicle only be searched in painstaking research and then 
February 27, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Randi Talks about Her Favorite Nursing Clothing, Mitera

Randi Talks about Her Favorite Nursing Clothing, Mitera

With Honest Feeding Stories, you’ll hear from parents like you about one of the most intimate and important experiences of family life. Happiness and heartbreak, serenity and struggle, joy and tears — it’s all here in their own words. Presented with our support and without judgment, these stories remind us that the choices we make to nourish our children are truly unique.

Randi Talks about Her Favorite Nursing Clothing, Mitera

I’ve discovered, two kids later, that feeding your baby is a discovery of your own mindfulness. What is mindfulness? It’s a term we hear in yoga class or on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday but its meaning and application is actually incredibly simple. Mindfulness is a practice of paying attention to what’s actually happening in the moment and that our actions play out from the truth that’s revealed. Breathing and an open-minded perspective accompany mindfulness, as both help us clear out emotions and preconceived notions.

As a yoga instructor and an entrepreneur, I use mindfulness frequently. It helps me breathe into a posture safely as much as it helps me listen to a question that a client might be asking me or solve a problem on my website when my programmer is explaining a glitch — mindfulness helps us pay attention and thus find solutions. How does this relate to feeding my baby you might be asking? I’m going to tell you.

Nursing my son was far from easy. He latched just fine, but hungry like a little monster, he tore my nipples apart and I discovered quickly that I wasn’t producing enough milk to satisfy him. Not producing enough milk was a disappointment for me and I still don’t know why it went that way, but using mindfulness and of course the practice of chatting with other moms (super important!) I realized that I had all I could give him and that whatever he still needed I would have to supplement. So for one full year, I nursed him, pumped a lot, and gave him formula too. Like many mothers, I prioritized exclusive breastfeeding but discovered that reality was a little different. I had to breathe, relax and accept what nature was doing in our situation and rather than fight against it, flow with it. This is an act of mindfulness.

When four years later my daughter arrived, I assumed that again I would produce less than my child needed. I even purchased a container of formula just in case I needed it to soothe my hungry babe in the middle of the night. Much to my surprise, my feeding story with my daughter was completely different. My milk flowed with ease, my daughter nursed like a champ and before very long, my freezer was full of baggies of frozen milk. This was unheard of in my prior story! I confess I felt like a goddess and remained incredibly grateful that this time things were different. But no story is simple right? This little girl loved nursing so much that she refused to take a bottle! The pressure in other aspects of my life began to build. My company demanded my time, I needed to hold meetings, I simply wanted to work out! But my baby screamed unless she had my boob! What was I to do??? And what was I to do with all that frozen milk? After a few days of panic and frankly the feeling of being trapped, I decided that I had to begin my mindfulness practice and assess the reality of the situation (not the reality that made me feel trapped by our overly successful nursing!).f

My conversation with myself went something like this: At three months old, my baby needs me a bit more than I’d assumed and I should breathe into that truth (deep breath). I’m a mom and I love my baby. Okay, so how do I show up for her, feed her, but also accomplish what I need to? Through this grounded dialogue with myself I recognized that in a month or two she would begin starting on solid food so the reliance on milk would ease a bit… so how could I, in the next few months, manage my time around her nursing schedule? As an entrepreneur, I decided that I would start holding meetings in my home or near my home, so that I had access to my baby. This is a luxury that not every woman has, but I do, so gosh darn it, I would use it. I invested in some beautiful nursing clothing (my favorites are Loya Hana and Mitera!) so that I could look presentable and professional but easily access my breast when I needed to. I would wait until she was down for a nap and get my workout in at that point. If she woke up before I got back home and she cried for a few minutes, she would in fact, be just fine (deep breath!). This schedule isn’t forever I began to recognize, it’s a brief moment in time and one that allows me closeness with my babe.

I began to relax.

And somewhere in that relaxed state, I began to feel grateful for this time and for how naturally nursing was going and for the blessings I had (from beautiful nursing clothes to a flexible schedule) which allowed me to be present for my baby. Somewhere in there, I tried giving her milk from a first stage sippy cup. At about six months she decided that sippy cups worked for her and, though bottles were not her thing, she would accept her milk this way from time to time. And thus began my ability to step away just a bit more.

I’m sure you can relate reading this through your own feeding story, of the unexpected turns and the presence we must have to find solutions. Mindfulness is key. Calming our anxiety down, taking deep breaths and tuning into the moment so we can really see what’s necessary for our kids and for ourselves.

-Randi, New York, New York

February 17, 2017 by Mitera Collection
5 Things You Should Never Wear When Breastfeeding

5 Things You Should Never Wear When Breastfeeding

What NOT to wear when you know you’ll nurse baby in public.

Breastfeeding requires you to make a few adjustments in your life, and that includes changing your personal style for easy, discreet boob access. Yes, getting dressed when you know you’ll need to nurse baby is complicated. Baby can get hungry (or should we say hangry) at any point during your daily escapades, and the functionality of your clothes really matters. So knowing what to wear is important; and knowing what not to wear, even more so. Here are 5 pieces of clothes that you should keep in your closet when you know you’ll need to breastfeed.

1. DON’T wear dresses that pull over your head. If you don’t dress in a wrap, button down shirt, or a style that’s specifically designed for nursing like this one from Teat & Cosset, there is simply no way to get to your breast without taking off your entire dress.

2. DON’T wear a jumpsuit unless specifically designed for breastfeeding, like this one from Loyal Hana. Overalls work well with a nursing top layered underneath. We love this one from eco maternity brand Boob Design.

3. DON’T wear a non-breastfeeding top unless you have first layer underneath. Wearing a specially designed nursing tank will give you easy access to the boob and enough coverage to nurse in whatever you’re wearing. The brand Mitera makes a great one.

4. DON’T wear a regular bra. Comfort is key when nursing, especially in the beginning. Nursing bras provide comfort, breathing room and easy snap down straps for accessibility. They really help keeping your breastfeeding sessions on the low. Try this one from Cosabella or this one from Bravado.

5. DON’T wear light, flimsy fabrics. In the early stages when milk is at peak, leaking is inevitable. Darker colors will help conceal any accidents, as will wearing nursing pads.  We love these from Lansinoh and these from Bamboobies.

Bonus tip: DON’T leave the house without a scarf, wrap or nursing cover. In the event that you simply aren’t wearing the right clothes, a nursing scarf, like this one from Nuroo, or an oversize non-maternity scarf will help provide coverage in public.

February 16, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Legit Mom Style: How to Wear Overalls No. 3

Legit Mom Style: How to Wear Overalls No. 3

Legit Mom Style: How to Wear Overalls No. 3

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog and that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. In a nutshell, this is the last time I’ll be posting here on Thoughts by Natalie. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this space I’ve had for so long, but it’s not the end of my blogging life completely! In fact, I’m so excited to be starting something brand new and wanted to share a little bit about it here for those of you who may not follow along on Instagram and have gotten the full update.

The truth is, I’ve felt a bit disconnected from this blog  since I started my jewelry business and have been debating whether to keep it or start fresh for at least a year now. This is a blog I started when I was a completely different person, in a different place, with different interests. Since becoming a mother and a designer, I’ve felt less connected to my identity as a “lifestyle blogger” and more of a desire to focus on my core business.

My biggest fear was losing my solid readership base since I’ve had this blog going on for so many years, but the more time goes by the more I realize I don’t care very much about stats or numbers, but rather authentically connecting with you all as customers and friends and fellow mamas and entrepreneurs. And that’s what I want to do here!

I honestly considered abandoning blogging completely because I felt like it wasn’t something people were as interested in these days, but after polling a lot of you informally via Instagram many of you confirmed that you either read the blog regularly, check it when I tell you on Instagram I’ve put up a new post, or at the very least enjoy being able to reference content I’ve shared before. So with that input, the blogging continues—just in a slightly new format.

So, there you have it—it’s time for a fresh start! I hope you’ll follow along over on the new blog here.

xo
Natalie

February 01, 2017 by Mitera Collection
Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

HELLO BABY! In September we welcomed our newest Babiekins, Ethan! Here is a peek into his Modern-Boho nursery featuring baby items we love! I am also giving away a multi-functional DockATot Deluxe baby lounger to one lucky winner! See details to enter and where to get must-have baby essentials below! ENJOY!
Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!


GIVEAWAY !!! Win your very own DockATot Deluxe! We absolutely love ours and so does baby Ethan. Visit my Instagram feed @0utsidetheboxfox to enter or comment on this blog post below. Good Luck!
Sleepykins: A Modern-Boho Baby + DockATot Giveaway!

Room E-styled by the Progency Shoppe . For more information about E-styling provided by the Progency Shoppe visit www.progencyshoppe.com/pages/design

Baby Essentials
+Dresses and “Le Diaper” Clutch from Mitera Collection. www.miteracollection.com
+Moses Basket from Plum+Sparrow. www.plumandsparrow.com
+Zig Zag Rug from Lorena Canals Washable Rugs. www.lorenacanals.us
+DockATot Deluxe from DockATot. www.dockatot.com
+The Ollie Swaddle from The Ollie World. www.theollieworld.com
+Organic Play Gym from Finn + Emma. www.finnandemma.com
+ Leather Changing Mat from GATHRE. www.gathre.com
+Blue “Azure” Newborn Baby Booties from Bink & Boo. www.binkandboo.com
+Crocheted Grey Baby Short from Cosy Cloud Kid. www.cosycloudkids.com
+Orange Crocheted Booties from Artizenbox. www.artizenbox.com
+Black and Grey Beanie from WildSunshine Threads. https://squareup.com/market/wildsunshine
+ Falsa Blanket ( on adult bed) Wildsunshine Threads. https://squareup.com/market/wildsunshine
+ Golden Soul Baby Wrap (on door) and Mint Teether by Little Willow Wraps. www.etsy.com/shop/littlewillowwraps
+Wooden Toy Car, “Barf Vader” Bib and Wooden “RALEIGH” Wall Art by MadeShops. www.madeshops.com
+Crib by IKEA. www.ikea.us
+Blue Ombre (Plant) Basket, Wool Ball Garland,Gorilla Plush, & Yellow Pillows from TARGET. www.target.com
+Mud-Cloth Pillow by HomeGirl Collection. www.homegirlcollection.com

November 16, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Everything You Do, Do It with Style

Everything You Do, Do It with Style

What inspired you to create “Mitera Collection”? Ultimately, my journey into motherhood inspired me to create Mitera but here is more on my journey. I am a passionate global health professional and an unlikely founder of a fashion company
November 15, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Partnership

Partnership

We love partnering with Mitera, bit contest giveaways or fireside chats. An amazing luxe fashion company created by a working mama to take you through all the stages of pregnancy and breastfeeding while still looking professional chic. Big bonus: every dress is machine washable + has pockets.
November 12, 2016 by Mitera Collection
The Bump Diary: Week 26

The Bump Diary: Week 26

I’ll admit, I was a little bit nervous when I posted my first entry in this new series. I wasn’t sure how people would react introducing this new part of my life into the content here. I did notice a few followers drop off from Instagram when I jumped into the topic, but overall I found it was some of the most engaging conversations I’ve had on blog posts in a long time! So, the verdict is the bump diary posts will continue — both for my own love of recording all of phases of life (seriously, I found a box of dozens of my journals in my parents attic when they were moving houses this summer!), and for the every so helpful advice and comments I’ve gotten from sharing my pregnancy journey here and on social media. The past five weeks have zoomed by faster than I can could have imagined, which brings many new changes and updates on my ever-growing bump! The Bump Diary: Week 26What I’m wearing: I’ve officially hit the maternity clothes stage! It’s sort of a crazy experience suddenly having to start your wardrobe from scratch when your body changes so rapidly during pregnancy. For staple pieces I have been loving H&M’s affordable maternity line and have a few t-shirt dresses and striped tees from there that I’m wearing on repeat with comfortable low booties. For work and a few events I’ve had to go to, Pink Blush Maternity sent me a bunch of their dresses to try out. I love that their styles are really designed to grow with you, they seem to be fitting well as my shape changes each week! There’s a classic black dress that I wore to a friend’s rehearsal dinner, a wrap dress that’s great for work, and a casual floral dress I’ve been layering with cardigans on the weekend.

What I’m eating: My cravings are leaning on two extremes of the flavor spectrum! I either want something super sweet (cinnamon buns and donuts are all I think about) or extra spicy (I’ve been pouring hot sauce on, ordering indian take out, and dreaming of buffalo-sauce covered everything). My obsession with sweets has also lead to a newfound addition to the Great British Baking Show, I could watch it all day long if you let me. The good news is most of my aversions have disappeared so I’m back to being a food-lover once again, phew!

What I’m drinking: I’m trying very hard to drink a lot of water, so I got a new Swell water bottle to keep me on track (the cute pattern helps, right?). I’ve been battling a cold too and trying to beat it with some honey chamomile tea, which is nice alternative to my love for caffeine.

What I’ve bought: Since our baby shower is coming up soon, I’ve tried really hard not to buy too much baby stuff knowing we’ll be getting gifts from our registry! One item I just couldn’t resist is a diaper clutch, a little bit of chicness for my future diaper bag. My cousin also sent us a huge box of her favorite things as a mom, and I’m loving all of the items she shared with us. I can’t wait to see our little girl in the cozy Hanna Andersson pajamas she sent (and snuggled up with some darling blabla dolls).

What I’m loving: I have been having so much fun planning the baby’s room and have a bunch of the big pieces ordered for the space — next I’m working on pulling together little details, like lighting and art for the space.

What’s next: Our baby shower is in just two weeks, and after that we’re planning a local babymoon to get away for a few days before we hit the rush of holidays and my inevitable third-trimester nesting bonanza!

October 04, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Breastfeeding Styling Tips

Breastfeeding Styling Tips

Breastfeeding Styling Tips

Breastfeeding has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. A hearty commitment reaping much return that will last forever. With that said, personal style through this season of life has been nothing short of challenging. Even me, a stylist, can totally relate to how complicated it is. By now, I’ve found a rhythm, living through 14 months and four weather transitions of getting dressed while considering necessary boob access. But it wasn’t always second-nature, and while I haven’t covered this topic here at length, now is as good a time as any. Because some of you are either planning to nurse OR are still in throes of it like me. So I say better late than never. These style tips are positioned to support your journey stylistically, and as always keep you feeling absolutely beautiful from the inside out. PS: Head on over to Loyal Hana (a gorgeous maternity/nursing-friendly brand) to check out their new site and new fall collection: styled by yours truly.

Breastfeeding Styling Tips

BREASTFEEDING STYLE TIPS: 

NURSING BRANDS: Regardless of how long you plan on nursing, having a few pieces specifically designed for it (think strategically placed hidden zippers) in your closet is game changing – and totally worth the investment. Most nursing brands (like Loyal Hana) are good for both pregnancy AND beyond so you’ll get more bang for your buck. Favorites from LH are: celia jumpsuit (styled here on me), frankie top, layla dressand wiley sweater. Other brands to check out: Mitera, Au Lait, Kinwolfe, and Fillyboo.

OFF-THE-SHOULDER: The off-the-shoulder trend did wonders for me this past Summer. Since many of these silhouettes are designed with elastic, the stretch allows for easy boob access. Pair it with the La Leche strapless nursing bra (which has been life-changing for me) and you’re good to go. For the more modest woman, throw a nursing scarf over you when out and about. I love this set from Vetta, and this Ulla Johnson (shown in above and below images).

DROPPED ARMHOLE: In warm weather, pair a cute bandeau bra with dropped armhole tank like this one from Free People. Move the tank aside when nursing. Apply this strategy in colder months and wear as a layering piece under cozy sweaters or under second layers such as a blazers, cardigans or light jackets.

WRAP TOPS: If you can wrap it, you can release it. The boob, that is. Stock up on a few of these for the season. I’m loving this one from Malene Birger, this one from MLM, and this one from Alexander Wang.

BUTTON-DOWNS: Back before breastfeeding specific clothing was available, women wore buttons downs. Because they are a no-brainer for nursing. So add a few new ones to the rotation like this wear-with-everything chambray from J.Crew, this super cute style from Hatch Collection (in a dress version too), and this classic wear-to-work style from Equipment that you can utilize before, during, and after.

OVERALLS: If you follow along here, read this post or join me over on instagram, you’ll have noticed that overalls have been a go-to style for me during pregnancy and beyond. Pair any of the above tops with them, and you have a super cute, functional outfit that is stylistically interesting and mom-friendly. These from Old Navy are cute and price sensitive, this style from Hatch Collection and I’m really digging thesefrom Current/Elliot .

SECOND LAYERS: Now that the weather is shifting to cooler temperatures, second layers are key when nursing. They provide coverage no matter what you’re wearing underneath. Stock up on a few cozy sweaters like this one and this one from Hatch Collection, and oversized blazers like this one from Smythe or this one from H&M which I’d pair with anything from boyfriend jeans, overalls or over a dress.

 

Breastfeeding Styling Tips
Breastfeeding Styling Tips
Breastfeeding Styling Tips
Breastfeeding Styling Tips
September 26, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Brilliantly Simple Career Advice From 9 Successful Female Entrepreneurs

Brilliantly Simple Career Advice From 9 Successful Female Entrepreneurs

These inspiring SELF-made women know a thing or two about success. Here are their secrets.
Justin Coit

Jessica Alba

The actress and SELF contributing editor started The Honest Company, which produces non-toxic family and home products, in 2011.

My Mantra "At every point in your career, you have to have hustle. Each milestone presents new challenges."

What I've Learned "I have mixed feelings about [going into business with friends]. I've hired some friends and family. It hasn't always gone well, but when it does, they're people you can confide in, in a unique way."

How I Stay Balanced "One day's so different from the next. If I get in four workouts a week, I'm like, 'I did it!'"

Courtesy of Under Armour

Adrienne Lofton

The seasoned brand strategist has ascended through the retail industry to land the role of senior vice president of global brand marketing at Under Armour.

My Mantra "Stay true to who you are and what you believe in. I know that if I show up each and every day at work as my true self, I won't have to sacrifice my personal beliefs and that's led to the kind of integrity and productivity I can be proud of."

How I Get It Done "I have never found success by working in a silo. Through every stage of my career, it's always been about team work, even as I've transitioned from contributor to leader. In my role now, I am responsible for delivering the vision, direction and guidance, but we as a team drive our brand to the next level. I wholeheartedly stand behind the decisions my team makes every step of the way."

My Advice "Try not to let yourself live with regrets. In taking chances and making mistakes, I've learned lessons that have helped me develop professionally and emboldened me to become who I am."

Courtesy of Liz Gateley

Liz Gateley

She left a career in law to pursue her passion: entertainment. After developing shows like Laguna Beach and The Hills at MTV, Gateley now oversees Lifetime's movies and series as executive vice president and head of programming.

What I Learned "Don't be afraid to take a step back to take a huge step forward. Years ago, I went from being a lawyer to being the happiest mail-cart pusher at a talent agency, because I was on the path I wanted to be on."

My Advice "Bring your boss solutions, not problems. I instill this in all the people under me that I work with. And be nice to assistants because they control everything. The assistant today is going to be the executive tomorrow."

How I Get Perspective "We all have those moments when we wake up in the morning—believe me, I have them once or twice a week—when you're like, 'I don't know if I can do today!' It's so relieving to say, 'Forget it! I've been around this merry-go-round enough times to know I'm going to be fine. The world will not end.'"

Sahar Wabeh

Yoko Shimada

When she became a mom and saw a major need for post-baby clothing, Shimada left her career in public health to found Mitera, a professional clothing line that makes breast-feeding and pumping easy for new working moms.

How I Get Inspired "Make your friends into your market testers for new ideas. Talking to other working moms helped me see a hole in the market, which made me decide to build Mitera and empower women like myself, who want to do it all."

What I Learned "You're more prepared than you think. When I started Mitera, every day I thought, 'I've never done this before, I don't know what I'm doing.' But people reminded me, 'You can relate to people, you've worked with high-level executives—you can apply that to networking with people in this new industry.' You might be doing something different, but you have skills that you can use in your new role."

How I Get Perspective "It's really important to have a support system. Not just for advice, but to be open with and share what you're going through. Every day I'm fighting my fears and doubts and wondering if this is worth it, and talking with other women helps me realize we all have these issues. It gives you more confidence and helps you realize you are doing the right thing."

Keith Morrison

Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin

The two former producers for NBC News partnered up to launch theSkimm, an email-based news delivery service.

Our Advice "People say, 'Be open to everything.' We follow a different trend: Say no—a lot!" says Weisberg. "It's how you focus and reach important milestones when you don't have a lot of resources," adds Zakin.

How We Made It Happen "Don't take no for an answer. There's obviously a fine line between being annoying and showing you can hustle and it's important to know that line. But we got turned down over and over again. Whether it was meeting with people who had been inspiring to us or fundraising for the first time, we heard no again and again. That's something you have to respect, but you need to know if you're a person who says 'Ok, I tried and it didn't work' or if you're going to do it no matter what," says Weisberg.

What We Look For In Employees "We hear all the time from people who want to go straight to a startup, but we both think it's really important to first have experience from a larger environment. That's where you learn how to be a professional," says Weisberg. "The foundation of our company is that we are a news organization, [which involves] journalistic integrity and ethics. That's not something you can wing."

Courtesy of Christina Sass

Christina Sass

Cofounder of Andela, an African-based employment training program that helps companies seeking tech experts find skilled developers.

My Mantra "Timing is never perfect; be ready to act! I walked away from a doctorate program to start Andela, because when my cofounders and I came up with the idea, I knew it was what I had to do."

What Sets Us Apart "We outcompete through diversity. At Andela, we set out with a goal of having 35 percent female software developers, which is an audacious goal. And it's part of the value proposition that we offer to our clients. Usually you have a team of largely male, white developers who come from a similar background. But our people are experts in emerging markets and they're going to approach problems in different ways. They're going to consistently look to problem-solve and add value from a different perspective."

My Advice "Fiercely protect the culture of the company you want to build. You can write down what your company's ethos is but unless you live it, unless you really protect it every day that will not be it. Culture is in the air—it's the unwritten rules. As the leader of the organization, if you don't stop and pick up that trash, no one is going to. If you don't take the time to say something respectfully even when it's hard, no one else is going to. You have to be the protector of the real culture that you think is necessary to help your company succeed."

Getty Images

Sana Amanat

The director of content and character development at Marvel is working to create a more diverse range of comic-book superheroes.

How I Stay Balanced "Find the little details of your job that give you joy—they get you through hard days. Personally, I love figuring out the look of a new character or even picking the perfect font for a story."

How I Get Inspired "At one point I was struggling with whether I should stay in comics and I wasn't creating anything that I felt connected to. It was actually my brother who said 'You have an opportunity with this company—you have a huge platform you can use to talk about things that you're passionate about. Don't underestimate that. It's a really great brand and a huge entertainment company; use that to share things that you're excited about through the stories you tell.' And I really connected with that. That was way before Ms. Marvel (a new Pakistani American and Muslim character) happened, and then suddenly I was thrust into the position to do just that with her."

What I Learned "When I started working in comics, I had a lot of uncertainty about whether I was good at this, whether I belonged. But then our chief creative officer told me, 'The reason we want you here is because of the unique creative voice we know you can bring. It's fine that you didn't grow up reading comics; you know great stories. And because you come from a different perspective, you're going to allow Marvel to evolve in a way that we never thought could be possible.' And I think that's the case for any industry—really unique voices are going to create opportunities to tell even better stories."

Courtesy of Sophia Amoruso

Sofia Amoruso

At 22, Amoruso started at eBay store selling vintage clothing, which led to the founding of her own line, Nasty Gal. She's the author of #Girlboss and the new book Nasty Galaxy.

My Mantra "Don't compare your hustle to someone else's highlight reel. People probably look at me and think that my life is perfect, but that's because I'm not posting about my bummer day on social media. It's easy to look at other people and think that you're not doing enough."

What I Look For In Employees "The ability to make order out of chaos. And, for me, managing up. It's so helpful when people are like, 'This is what I need form you' and learn how to use me in ways that actually get things done for them. That's really an art."

My Advice "Probably the biggest mistake female entrepreneurs make is thinking they're different from male entrepreneurs. The playing field is not level, but if you show up at the table like a peer—and this is only in my experience—people will treat you like one. And if they don't, then you prove that you know what you're talking about. Success is the greatest negotiating power."

*This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of SELF. *

September 23, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Pleated Sleeveless Dress with Belt Here…

Pleated Sleeveless Dress with Belt Here…

Pleated sleeveless dress with beltWorking mom wearing business casual dress from Mitera

The Woman: Fiona
I was born in China, and am the oldest of three (rare in Chinese families) with a pretty big age gap between siblings. I’ve spent half of my life in China and the rest on two different continents: 6 years in beautiful New Zealand and 7 years now in the US. I’m married with a son who is 5 months old now. Charlie was born four days before my school semester started and got his name because he was born at a hospital near Charles River in Boston.

Check back soon to read more about Fiona’s career!

 

The Look
Fiona’s pretty and pleated pale pink dress is both fashionable and functional. As mentioned before, Fiona is a new mother, so this Miteradress got to follow her through the entire maternity process and still looks fabulous on her post-pregnancy! The dress can be worn with the bow belt to flatter your figure, or without for a looser, airier feel. Fiona threw on some pearl earrings and nude pumps to complete her 9-to-5 look!
Read our review of the revolutionary maternity workwear brand, Mitera.

Check back soon to see more of Fiona’s styles!

August 17, 2016 by Mitera Collection
LURVE LOAVE LUF

LURVE LOAVE LUF

LURVE LOAVE LUF

 
Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.
 
 
Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count.
LURVE LOAVE LUF
August 12, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Le Diaper (and Thoughts on Minimalist Motherhood)

Le Diaper (and Thoughts on Minimalist Motherhood)

Legit Mom Style: How to Wear Overalls No. 3

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog and that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. In a nutshell, this is the last time I’ll be posting here on Thoughts by Natalie. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this space I’ve had for so long, but it’s not the end of my blogging life completely! In fact, I’m so excited to be starting something brand new and wanted to share a little bit about it here for those of you who may not follow along on Instagram and have gotten the full update.

The truth is, I’ve felt a bit disconnected from this blog  since I started my jewelry business and have been debating whether to keep it or start fresh for at least a year now. This is a blog I started when I was a completely different person, in a different place, with different interests. Since becoming a mother and a designer, I’ve felt less connected to my identity as a “lifestyle blogger” and more of a desire to focus on my core business.

My biggest fear was losing my solid readership base since I’ve had this blog going on for so many years, but the more time goes by the more I realize I don’t care very much about stats or numbers, but rather authentically connecting with you all as customers and friends and fellow mamas and entrepreneurs. And that’s what I want to do here!

I honestly considered abandoning blogging completely because I felt like it wasn’t something people were as interested in these days, but after polling a lot of you informally via Instagram many of you confirmed that you either read the blog regularly, check it when I tell you on Instagram I’ve put up a new post, or at the very least enjoy being able to reference content I’ve shared before. So with that input, the blogging continues—just in a slightly new format.

So, there you have it—it’s time for a fresh start! I hope you’ll follow along over on the new blog here.

xo
Natalie

July 20, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Working to Make Motherhood Easier

Working to Make Motherhood Easier

We all know that one woman in our office who finds a way to balance it all. She’s got two kids, is captain of the intra-office basketball team, and brings to-die-for lemon squares to share with the office on a weekly basis. But for the average working woman, maternity leave can be a trying and difficult time. Whether it’s the length of maternity leave policies or the lack of appropriate breastfeeding infrastructure, one thing is for sure: being a working mother is an (additional) full time job. New maternity brand Mitera is working to ensure that clothing isn’t another obstacle in your way on the road to motherhood and beyond.

Mitera wants to be there for every mother’s shining moments and her not-so-glamorous ones. That’s why founder (and mother of two) Yoko Shimada has made it her mission to make fashionable, functional, and comfortable designs that will help women transition from pregnancy, to nursing, and beyond.

Working to Make Motherhood Easier

After having children of her own, Shimada noticed that postpartum clothing really lacked practicality and versatility. For example, she wanted a dress that met a woman’s need to breastfeed in professional or social settings.

In an effort to stitch new lives together with old ones, Mitera has designed pieces that will nurture a mother just as she would her child.

 

Working to Make Motherhood Easier

Chest pleats on all of their dresses (shown here on the Mimi dress worn by our working mother) conceal zippers for easier breastfeeding capability. The dress features an A-line silhouette that will flatter any figure. It’s made of high-quality Japanese stretch fabric, so it will accommodate growing baby bumps and hold its shape for post-pregnancy wear, too!

 Working to Make Motherhood Easier

Spacious kangaroo pockets allow working mothers to carry essentials for both the baby and herself. The Elif dress’ cocoon-like structure looks comfortably chic on a motherly figure and hangs elegantly on a post-baby frame.

Working to Make Motherhood Easier
Mitera’s fabrics are all machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant which means less time in the laundry room and more time spent with the family.

 

Working to Make Motherhood Easier

The Ellen dress, available in black, navy, white, and, for a limited time, a beautiful blush color, is another Mitera piece that seamlessly transitions the wearer from pregnancy to nursing. It can be worn with a sash to accentuate a womanly figure or without for a looser, airy feel, perfect for summer weddings and outdoor events.

Beyond Mitera’s mission to design functional yet refined dresses for working women entering motherhood, they’re also working to effect positive change in maternal and newborn health with partner organization D-Rev. With every dress purchased, Mitera donates a portion of the proceeds to the organization’s Newborn Health Program to improve delivery conditions for fellow mothers and their babies in the developing world.

If you’re not ready to spend paychecks on maternity clothes that you may never wear again due to sizing or work dress code issues, choose to spend your money more wisely on a Mitera piece that will grow with you through all stages of motherhood.

July 19, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Summer Nursing Style

Summer Nursing Style

7 breastfeeding-friendly pieces to take you through the summer months.

No matter how down-pat you’ve got your summer style, the introduction of breastfeeding will probably throw you for a loop. Those cool maxis, sweet shifts, and even your fave worn t-shirts just don’t give you the nursing access you need on the regular. And while you can definitely improvise, you might want to invest in some nursing-friendly fashion to get you through the summer months. Here are 7 essentials that will have you (and your breasts) covered for every occasion. Bonus: you can wear them all during pregnancy too!

Summer Nursing Style

Home from the Hospital: Storq Nursing Caftan
The maternity experts at Storq have expanded into the 4th trimester and given you something effortlessly chic and totally nursing-friendly to throw in when the hordes of family and friends come through for their first baby visit. $148. Buy it here.

Summer Nursing Style

Brunch: Loyal Hana Anya Print Shift Dress
The only way to nurse in a non-nursing friendly shift dress is to lift the whole dang thing over your head. Loyal Hana’s version has hidden zippers on both sides for discreet nursing access. $105. Buy it here.

Summer Nursing Style

Everyday Basic: boob Design Simone Top
You can feel good about wearing the bejesus out of this boob design tank top since it’s made from organic cotton, using responsible production. Take our advice and order an extra. $59. Buy it here.

Summer Nursing Style

Date Night: Au Lait X-Back Maxi Dress
This lightweight jersey dress with a cool cross-over back detail will make you feel like the most fashionable gal in the room, even if you have to take a break from your fab dinner party to pump. $188. Buy it here.

Summer Nursing Style

Back to Work: Mitera Ellen Dress
You’ll feel confident and chic heading back to work in this classic, pleated power dress. The buttery soft Japanese crepe is machine washable (and retains the pleats!), and it comes with a sash for those days you want to mix it up. $335. Buy it here.

Summer Nursing Style

Fast Fashion: ASOS Nursing Embroidered Dress in Chambray
If you didn’t discover ASOS Maternity during your pregnancy, there’s still time now that you’re nursing. Tons of maternity styles — like this cute chambray number — convert for easy breastfeeding access, and they’re cheap enough to keep you on trend all summer long. $56.61. Buy it here.

Summer Nursing Style

Fave T-Shirt: Nom Maternity Ruched Nursing Tee
This Nom Maternity tee has all the same features as your old standby — comfy, flattering and goes with everything — but it also has discreet nursing access under those buttons. $68. Buy it here.

July 18, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Ethical, Sustainable Maternity Clothing

Ethical, Sustainable Maternity Clothing

Ethical, Sustainable Maternity Clothing

From top left: Isabella Oliver / Hatch / Boob Maternity / Storq

I never quite succeeded in creating a my dream capsule wardrobe, but before I got pregnant I was in a pretty good place clothing-wise. I'd found ethical versions of most of my wardrobe staples, sewn a few things, and curbed my purchasing habits quite a bit. I was hoping I could somehow adapt my wardrobe for pregnancy without having to spend too much.

After all, it seemed really lame to go out and buy a bunch of new clothes that I could only wear for > nine months. Talk about waste! Talk about being a target demographic!  I could work around the bump, right? Defy the expectations of society and Google Ads alike?

Oh, how naive I was. I'm only four months in and not really that big yet, but I've already had to put much of my "normal" wardrobe away.

One of the problems is that I didn't wear much loose, flowing clothing to begin with. Most of my dresses are fitted at the waist, and I tend to forgo knit blouses in favor of cotton or silk blends that don't leave much wiggle room. Even my looser shift dresses now make me look like a tent, and the hems of my blouses are rising to scandalous heights. I'm at a point that I need to find some ethically-made staple pieces, and fast.

I spent some time last weekend scouring the internet and other ethical fashion blogs to find the cutest sustainable maternity and maternity-friendly brands out there. Did I miss anything? Pregnant or formerly-pregnant ladies speak up!


STRICTLY MATERNITY

Ethical, Sustainable Maternity Clothing

Skirt by Storq


Ethical, Sustainable Maternity Clothing

Monika Top by Reformation

MATERNITY-FRIENDLY

  • Ace and Jig | Lots of loose, flowy stuff, if that's your thing.
  • M.M. Lafleur | Made in USA | Check out their blog post detailing how Maura Kutner Walters, the Digital Executive Editor of Condé Nast Traveler, adapted M.M. Lafleur dresses during her pregnancy.
  • Synergy | Made with certified organic materials using fair labor practices | Lots of jersey, lots of stretch!
  • Reformation | Sustainable and made in USA | Ok, so while 99.9% of Reformation's clothing is notmaternity-friendly, they do carry some gorgeous wrap tops, like the one pictured to the left, that could be layered over a maternity dress and tied above the bump. I'm going to try this one out, and hopefully have a cute wrap top I can wear post-baby :)
June 28, 2016 by Mitera Collection
That Mama: Yoko Shimada

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

A gorgeous mama of two beautiful children, Yoko is committed to making motherhood stylish. As founder of Mitera, a stunning collection of dressesspecifically designed for new and nursing mamas, Yoko’s mission began when she envisioned the perfect dress that would be suitable for all parts of her life – one that she could wear out to dinner or to the office and to breastfeed and pump – and then found that actually sourcing that perfect dress proved an impossibility. Yoko shares her amazing journey and tips for balancing motherhood with work here with us.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career?

My name is Yoko Shimada and I am a mother of two (4 yr-old Hugo and 24 month-old Emmeline) and the Founder of Mitera, a socially conscious brand of ultra-chic dresses for modern urban moms. Our focus is to create classic and high quality breastfeeding-friendly dresses that women can wear during pregnancy, nursing and well beyond. Before I started Mitera, I was a global public health specialist working at places like the World Bank and Clinton Foundation on a range of health projects; including but not limited to health financing and economics through to child health projects.

So, why did I start a fashion brand? Long story short, I believed in the benefits of breastfeeding. But after my (short) maternity leave (well, it is the U.S. after all) and after I gave birth to Hugo, I really struggled to find suitably professional clothes that allowed me to access my breasts for constant pumping at the office. I desperately wanted something that was well-designed and high quality that I could wear beyond nursing and pumping.

It took me three more years and another baby (Emmeline) to start Mitera. Though I never thought I would start a fashion brand, I feel that Mitera is an extension of my public health career and my passion in global health.Our mission is to celebrate and support moms throughout their motherhood journey inspiring them and empowering them along the way.  Because of my background and previous career, I am keenly aware of the disparity that exist in the world. So I wanted to make sure that Mitera’s commitment extended beyond fashion where we are working to improving maternal and newborn health especially in the developing world where most of the maternal and child deaths occur. We are so excited to partner with an innovative organisation, a SF-based non-profit medical device development company called D-Rev (headed by a CEO who is also a mother of two), to work creatively together on this issue.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Can you talk us through your career pre and post babies? How did you get back into the swing of things after having children?

I was working as a public health expert for the World Bank when I became pregnant with both kids. So, that meant frequent international travel, mostly to developing countries in Africa and Asia.  I feel I have been so fortunate to be able to visit these countries not as a tourist, but as someone who gets to learn so much about the local cultures and interact with the people living there – experiencing the country from within.

Getting back into the swing of things after my first child was rough. I remember being so worried about how my son was in his nanny share arrangement while trying to be a professional in front of all my colleagues. I thought I knew it beforehand, but it really was a hard realisation that child rearing is truly one of the most selfless acts that a person can do.

Society expects and everything in the media tells you that you are supposed to be HAPPY to be a mom. But having done it twice now, it is not that simple. I admit that my early postpartum period was both the happiest and hardest time of my life. Just four and a half months after Hugo was born, I went back to work. I was lucky to even get more than 3 months of ‘maternity leave’ but in reality, some of my leave was unpaid anyway, so I took as long as I could afford. Welcome to the world of no federally-mandated paid maternity leave (in the U.S.) and the tough world of working mothers.

The night before I went back to work, I stayed up late preparing all the parts of my breast pump, ice packs and breast milk storage pack. I started pumping in my office with a big sign on the door saying “DO NOT ENTER”. I pumped while checking emails. I pumped while eating lunch. I pumped while on conference calls. I pumped all the time. This is when, out of necessity, I started sketching my ideas out for nursing dresses nice enough to wear to the office. I then found a pattern maker in Japan to make the prototypes and the rest is history.

Post-kids, I don’t think my philosophy on life has changed, but I have definitely become a little more cautious about certain things because of my responsibilities to my children. I definitely spent many more hours Skyping with my kids from wherever I was in the world! I also became much more efficient at work because I couldn’t stay late. I’m much more focused on making every minute count because every minute does count when you are a working mom.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

How do you balance work and motherhood?

I try my best and with help. It sounds cliché, but I have an amazing husband who is truly committed to sharing the parental responsibilities with me. It is never a 50/50 split of responsibilities in any given time or we do the same things with our kids but just split them in half. We try to make sure that we get what we need done at work and we each spend quality time as a family. I also have to credit our nanny – she helps me with everything so that I get to be a mom when I come home from work and on weekends.

For me to feel that I am ‘balancing’ work and motherhood well, I need to compartmentalise work and motherhood as much as possible. I try to focus on work 100% when I am at work and when I am with my kids, I try to focus on my kids 100%. There is really no perfect balance though and it changes weekly, if not daily. What’s important for me is to appreciate small moments that make me happy, both as a professional and as a mom. Sure, I do have long-term goals, but you have to take small steps towards happiness!

I also believe in quality over quantity. You don’t have to spend every waking moment with your kids for them to feel loved and secure. When you are with them, try to really ‘be’ with them in the moment even if it means sans your iPhone!

That Mama: Yoko Shimada That Mama: Yoko Shimada
How do you save time? What are your organisational tips and tricks?

I tend to be organised. That said, it is sometimes really challenging to remember everything. I would say that the best time-saving trick for our family is to have a relatively strict schedule for our kids. Both of our kids still have either an afternoon nap (Emmeline definitely does) or a quiet time. They have dinner around 5-5:30, bath at 6 and in bed by 6:30-6:45.

Some people think we are crazy, but it works for us that our kids know their schedule and what they can expect daily. We don’t really deviate, so we experience minimum fuss and end up saving time.  Of course, sometimes we let them loose and let them stay up late, etc. When they get to do that, they really enjoy it!

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Do you have any tips for aspiring “mamapreneurs” and other working mamas in Dubai?

I don’t know if I can provide tips, but I can share my own experience. To those who are thinking of starting on their own, I would say go for it because you only live once. You never really know what’ll happen if you don’t try. Getting out of your comfort zone is tough and especially as a mom, you might feel you have all these responsibilities.

However I also believe that someday my kids will understand that I have other passions, interestsand talents beyond being their mom. I want them to grow up watching me work and work hard for all of us. I want them to watch me experience challenges, failures and successes outside of my role as a mom. I would like, as much as possible, to lead by example rather than teach by instruction.

To other working moms – I would love to connect and learn from each one of you about how you do it. I think one tip that I can share (which I said earlier) is to try to focus on work and motherhood duties separately so you don’t feel like you’re half a#$-ing being a worker or mom.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Favourite activity with your kids in Dubai?

Definitely camping in the desert. Before we moved here, we had no idea that we could just drive into the dunes and pitch a tent anywhere, but it has become the perfect weekend or mini-holiday activity for our family. We don’t have to worry about any dangerous obstacles for Emmeline to climb or a body of water for our kids to fall into. We just let them loose in what they called the “biggest sandbox” with our dog Gemma, who diligently follows and watches over them.

We have not given our kids iPads or let them watch TV (maybe the occasional video), and it is so nice to be away from all the technology that surrounds us constantly, which is especially true for us parents. It allows us have a really good, quality time.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Favourite kid-friendly restaurants in Dubai?

We find that most of the restaurants are so kid-friendly compared to the States or Japan. Many places have high chairs, kids utensils and kids menus. It is really amazing. Because we live in Arabian Ranches, we often go to Maison Mathis at the golf course because they have a play area at the restaurant where our kids can play while my husband and I can eat in peace… for a little while…

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Favourite family-friendly holiday spot?

Again, we find that many of the places easily accessible from Dubai are family-friendly. We love going to Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi (St. Regis or the Park Hyatt are both very family-friendly) or Oman for a relaxing beach vacation. We have also gone to Italy every year since 2008 – we both lived there before. We rent our friends’ villa and stay in one place for at least a week. Japan, my home country, is of course up there as it’s safe, people are friendly and food is out of this world!

That Mama: Yoko Shimada That Mama: Yoko Shimada
Do you have any tips for keeping the romance alive in your relationship?

By spending time together alone. We love our kids but we also love when they go to bed, haha! We put our kids to bed early so that we can have adult time. My husband, Collin and I both love competing in triathlons. We have fun cycling and running races around the region, so we generallyexercise together almost daily. We either go for a swim with the Dubai Masters Swimming Club at Kings, run around the Ranches or cycle on Al Qudra cycle track.

At least one weekend morning, we have our nanny wake up with our kids so that we can go on early morning group rides. Though we don’t go for romantic dinners or walks on a beach, we have time to catch up when we exercise together and it is really nice to have a shared hobby that we enjoy together.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Favourite date-night restaurants?

Ha! Well, I would say when we get a chance we head to Tomo, the Japanese restaurant at Wafi.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?

Trust your instinct as a mother. You know what’s best for your kids.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Give us your essential new mama advice that might never occur to other women.

I think I’ve given loads of advice already, but having done it twice now, I’ve realised kids are pretty resilient. I would say try to worry less about the little things, though I know it can be hard if you are a first time mom. I would also say to try to stay fit before and during pregnancy because it helps you during labor and delivery, as well helping you bounce back quickly after the birth.

The first few months as a new mom is really challenging both mentally and physically and it really helps to have that foundation. Though it might be difficult to be away from your baby as a new mom, remember to take time for yourself to exercise or to see a friend without your baby or get a pedicure. It’s so important for your sanity!

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

As a mama I wish I were better at…

Baking. One of our kids’ favorite activities is baking. Especially Hugo! We love baking together and we always have so much fun, but the end result is not always the best…

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

My most humbling mama moment was…

I am not sure if it is the most humbling moment, but lately Hugo has been saying that he wants to do triathlons like mama and papa. When we come back from our weekend group ride, he is often waiting for us on his own bicycle. Instead of feeling sad that his parents left him to go cycling, he is learning by example to lead an active lifestyle.

When I did my first half-ironman distance race (the Dubai International Triathlon) in November, Hugo ran the last part of it with me and we got to cross the finish line together. It meant so much to me to finish the race with him and he was so incredibly proud of me. He wore my finishers’ T-shirt for two days in a row to his nursery and talked constantly about how he ‘did the triathlon’ with mama. It’s humbling to know that he’s growing up watching us and it makes me want to be the best version of myself for my children.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

One thing I won’t sacrifice as a mama is…

No matter how busy I am, I try to come home to do the bath and bedtime routine with my kids. I love watching them enjoy their bath together as siblings and read them their favorite books before I tuck them in for the night.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about….

My to-do list. My ever-expanding to-do list… At least it feels like that!

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Even when my children have families of their own, I’ll still…

I’ll tell them how much I love them, shower them with kisses and hugs and support them wherever and however I can.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada That Mama: Yoko Shimada
My favourite moment of the day is…

It’s a tough call! I would say when our kids wake up in the morning. They are so happy and excited to be up and start the day!

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

I always feel saner after…

I exercise. I love waking up early (before the kids wake up) and exercising. It clears my head and I feel empowered and inspired to start the day. When I exercise, I always sleep better and I do respect my needs for a good night’s rest!

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

I wish I had more time for…

Personal care… My hair is long for a reason! I need to go and get a haircut… Also, to play my piano. I wish I had time to take lessons again. I miss playing music.

That Mama: Yoko Shimada

Bedtime is always smoother when…

When it is earlier. From our experience, overtired kids struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. So, when our kids go to bed on time, it goes smoother! Also, being Japanese, our kids take a bath every night. They love it and it calms them down before we read books together and put them to bed.

May 20, 2016 by Mitera Collection
14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

If innovative baby gear is any indication, we can confidently say this is an awesome time to be expecting. My youngest just turned 6 years old, so I’m only a few years out of the baby stage, and yet there has been so much amazing change in baby gear even since he was an infant that I am left feeling just a wee bit jealous of all you new moms.

From high-tech strollers that charge your phone to super smart breast pumps controlled by your phone — and even some gear that has nothing at all to do with phones — here’s our list of the coolest baby gifts and gear for new moms that we wish we had when our kids were born.

We’ll try not to be too envious.

CMP is an rstyle affiliate

Related: The Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide featuring 150+ of the coolest baby gifts

1. Oh, just a stroller that closes at the push of a button and charges your cell phone, too.

14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

The brilliant innovators at 4moms gave us everything we never knew we wanted in a stroller with their Origami stroller. Running lights so you can see (and be seen) in the dark. A no-hassle single-button power fold that’s so amazing, when Liz shared the stroller on a TV segment, the (male) crew couldn’t stop playing with it when cameras stopped rolling. And then there are generators in the wheels that create enough power to charge your cell phone. So you can use as much data as you need to find the nearest kid-friendly restaurant while you walk.

2. A stroller that folds small enough to fit in your tote bag. Seriously.

 

The gb pockit stroller not only folds up to tote bag size, it’s light enough to carry with one hand while you hold your baby on your hip with the other. But even though it’s the world’s smallest folding stroller, it’s no flimsy umbrella stroller. There’s a decent amount of storage space underneath and a sun shade above making it definitely one to consider if you’re a new parent.

 

 3. Baby carriers sized for dads. Whoo!

 14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

 

When my kids were infants, there were so few baby carriers made with dads in mind that; mostly we had to look for extra-large or expandable carriers, which were often created with dads as an afterthought. Now? Victory! At last there are tons of awesome baby carriers made just for dads from brands moms already love, like Stokke, BabyBjorn (above) and Ergobaby. We imagine the trend is just going to keep going, and our backs and shoulders are very appreciative.

Related: The coolest baby gifts and gear of the year: Editors’ Best of The Year

4. No-touch thermometers, so we don’t have to wake a sleeping sick baby.

  

Taking care of sick babies is exhausting, and when they’ve finally fallen asleep you do not want to wake them. So, we love smart thermometers — like Wishbone and Withings Thermo — that let us take their temperatures without waking them. We’re also fans of the Kinsa Thermometer which keeps innovating. And then there’s the Temp Traq thermometer that sends an alert to your smartphone if your baby’s temperature is high enough to warrant a call to the doctor. Now that’s some high-tech peace of mind.

 

5. An infant car seat that reclines, so your baby can keep on napping.

 14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms 

My kids would wake up every time I tried to transfer them from the car seat to the crib, so there is no doubt I would totally splurge on the amazing Cybex Cloud Q car seat, which has a full-recline option for when you’re outside of the car. Use it as a carry cot or pop it into a Cybex stroller for on-the-go napping. This way, your baby can keep on sleeping when you arrive at your destination. Where was all this genius six years ago?

 

6. Breast pumps that minimize the pain

 14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms 

I still have PTSD thinking about the fairly painful breast pump I used a decade ago. (I can’t say for sure if it’s the reason that my 32-Bs are now more like 32-longs, but that’s another story.) Now new moms can use the super-quiet Babyation breast pump that connects with your iPhone to help you control the pump and automatically track your sessions. We’re also jealous of new moms who will have access to the coming-soon Naya Health breast pump that uses hydraulics to mimic the actual feel of nursing — so much better than feeling like you’re being…well, milked.

 

7. Tell-it-like-it-is parenting advice books, hold the alarmist stuff.

 14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

 

While the classic books (you know what we’re talking about) have helped a ton of parents, we also know a few moms-to-be who were out on a ledge trying to stick to crazy diet recommendations and feeling guilty about everything they were supposedly doing wrong. While we still want to hear from the experts, we’re so happy that there are more and more humorous, helpful, in-the-trenches parenting advice books available.

We’ve always loved Armin Brott’s The Expectant Father, which is just out with a fourth, updated edition. (Did you notice the cover has gone from a pinstriped shirt to a more modern check? Yeah, we did.) Brett Berk’s The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting is a few years old, but it is still wonderful. For newer titles, our new go-to recos for new parents include Asha Dornfest’s amazing Parent Hacks, which is full of “aha” moments you’ll find useful long after giving birth. And Asha, along with co-author Christine Koh created Minimalist Parenting, a helpful guide to navigating a world of excess.

If it’s laughs you’re after, you’re in luck. we’ve become huge fans of Sh*tty Mom, and the brand new follow-up, Sh*tty Mom for All Seasons by Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner, which feels like a much-needed “yep, I get it” from your favorite, fun, wine-swilling mom friends. And we still laugh every time we open up any page at all of Let’s Panic About Babies by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy, because every single page is just that hilarious.

8. Modern baby bedding with no cartoon characters to be found.

 14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

 

Back when some of us first had kids, we actually hacked colorful adult bedding for our own babies’ cribs because the options in most stores — or at least the affordable ones — were pretty limited unless you were committed to Elmo, Tinker Bell, or Winnie the Pooh. So we’re loving that now so many companies make fantastic modern, gender neutral crib bedding that makes nurseries look as cool as the rest of your home.

Aden + Anais kicked it off, launching their now ubiquitous swaddlers right around when we launched, and now their vast line includes cool muslin bedding from aden + anais (above) which even promises to keep your kids in bed longer.

For a more indie brand love the super stylish swaddle blankets from Modern Burlap. And when you get to the big guys, Skip*Hop has expanded to crib bedding and even the giant PBK is offering some gorgeous black-and-white bedding. We like it so much, we even included it as a top pick in our Baby Shower Gift Guide,

 

9. A formula maker for sleepwalking parents.

 

Nighttime feedings are hard. We get it. But if you’re getting up in the middle of the night to make a bottle of formula, the Baby Brezza Formula Pro is your new best friend. This Keurig-like machine that measures, mixes, and warms your bottle for you is worth every penny, according to thousands of parents-turned-evangelists. We’ve loved this innovative company for ages and they’re even sponsoring our 2016 Baby Shower Gift Guide this year (yay!) which is great, because they’re now making so many other smart appliances to help parents who aren’t formula feeding, too.

 

10. Hot maternity wear that looks less and less like maternity wear.

 14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

There’s been a growing trend over the past decade in actually making maternity clothes cool, but we’re really reaching critical mass here with so many amazing brands that are figuring out the most flattering, modern styles that make our mothers’ muumuus a thing of the way way way past. (Thank goodness.)

Take a look at brands like Mayarya maternity collection, which is designed to work for women before, during, and after pregnancy. Rosie Pope has been doing great things for women’s minds and bodies for about eight years now, but her new collection of modern maternity dresses are just lovely and she’s even got a whole collection of little black maternity dresses (above). Mitera is making gorgeous clothes any woman would want to wear, pregnant or not.

And hey, let’s not forget that we can still be sexy under those dresses too, with great options like Cake Maternity’s sexy pregnancy and nursing undergarments, and even more fun options from Hot Milk.

One more option we wish we had when we were first pregnant: Borrow the Bump is a smart company that lets you splurge on designer maternity clothes by renting them for a few months, minimizing damage to your budget and your psyche. Hey, feeling sexy at 8 months pregnant is a really great thing.

 

11. Baby bottles that make it easier to feed on the go.

 

As a new mom, I loved to get out of the house, but memories of digging through my diaper bag to find everything I needed to make a bottle — from formula to warm water to the actual bottle — makes me think I would have really appreciated these b.box formula dispenser bottles. You can pre-load the base with enough formula for one feeding and fill the bottle part with water before you leave the house. Then, just release and mix the formula when your baby is hungry. Simple is good.

 

12. Apps, apps, and more apps. A.K.A. a second brain.

 14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

 

We’ve been there — the exhausted parents with no brain cells left to remember when the last dirty diaper might have occurred. So we could have really used all the new parent apps and resources that new parents have now, because they are total lifesavers. We highly recommend the Glow Baby app and Baby Bundle app that track everything from feedings and diapers to milestones and memories. Baby Bundle even reminds you about doctor appointments!

Then there are smart calendar apps,  organizational apps, and of course, loads of photo apps for those 8 million pictures a day you’re taking. Hey, there are even apps to help you find kid-friendly restrooms around town. If you’re a new parent, there’s an app for that.

 

13. Cool baby gifts for all kinds of families, and all kinds of kids

14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms 

Not all families fit the traditional model — in fact, the mom-dad-2.3 kids family is fast becoming the minority. We love that baby gifts are starting to reflect that more and more. New parents today are so lucky to have options like baby books for kids with same-sex parents and baby books for kids who are adopted. Then there’s the sweet Love Won onesies and tees that celebrate love, pure and simple.

There are so many more smart tees now for babies and kids that proclaim more aspirations than becoming future gold-diggers, heartbreakers, or pimps (oy).

And kids books are coming a long way too — like the book One Family by George Shannon and Blanca Gomez, which subtly shows that sometimes families aren’t just one color. And the very cool Crayon Crunch books, which will illustrate your own child as the main character in the story — disabilities and all, if they have them.

Related: How to talk to kids about prejudice with the help of these 13 favorite books

 

14. The next best thing to a caffeine IV drip.

 14 of the Coolest Baby Gifts and Gear We Wish We had When We were New Moms

Yes, caffeinated chocolate! As in, more caffeinated than traditional chocolate. A bite of these after one of those no-sleep nights with a fussy newborn will make the foggy haze fade fast, and they’re also perfect for parents who don’t tend to drink coffee. (We hear there are a few of you out there.) In fact, go ahead and get a case of these Awake caffeinated chocolate bars for any new parents you know, but warn them that these are definitely not an after-dinner treat. Unless they wants to be up all night…again.

May 18, 2016 by Mitera Collection
You're Invited! Talks in the Motherhood, Conversation no 1

You're Invited! Talks in the Motherhood, Conversation no 1

You're Invited! Talks in the Motherhood, Conversation no 1

⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅

 Friends, Clients, Mama’s and Mama’s-to-be!

Please join me on Wednesday May 18th from 5pm – 8pm, alongside Yoko Shimada, founder of Mitera Collection and a few other inspiring women in an open and honest panel discussion on today’s working motherhood! As a new mama myself, I’m familiar with the challenges of balance, transitioning back to work and staying sane in the process. I know some of you can relate! I can’t wait to chat with you all more about it at the event.

Shopping and refreshments will be available all day from 12p – 8p, along with a complimentary fitting with Yoko herself. Email help@miteracollection.com to book your appointment in advance.

Further details here and below.

Please RSVP here if you will be attending. And I hope to see you there!

May 11, 2016 by Mitera Collection
What's in my Diaper Bag?

What's in my Diaper Bag?

Ever wondered what changing bag I've done for this time and what I have in there?  If you're wondering, so make sure you check out this video :-)

Here I go through everything I believe is necessary to have in a changing bag and why! Hope you enjoy it

May 10, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Where should the Baby Live?

Where should the Baby Live?

Where should the Baby Live?

There are so many of you who are curious about how the new baby will get the room, about Nelia must share their room or if we have to lay down the whole walk in closet ;-) So I thought it was a good question to answer in a post: this house has four bedrooms, three upstairs and one downstairs. Downstairs we have a combined guest and fitness room, as well as that is where

May 05, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Ceci Johnson's Baby Picks

Ceci Johnson's Baby Picks

With the addition of Baby Elle and becoming a mom of 2, I now needed, more than ever, reliable, helpful (and, stylish!) products to count on as I navigated the early days of trying to juggle it all.  Here are a handful of helpful yet beautiful items to get us through this major adjustment in life called motherhood. Especially those afternoons when your baby just doesn't want to be put down and you have to get things done (thank you Lalabu Soothe Shirt, you've been a godsend!), and for the times when you just need to feel pulled together at the office but nothing fits anymore in your closet (Mitera Collection is my new fav for nursing mothers). And, of course, lets not forget the adorable products for the baby (can we talk about how cute the shoes are?). Plus, they all make great gifts, too!

Here's to keeping our sanity, one great product at a time!

May 04, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Tour Graphic Designer Ceci Johnson’s Bright Fashion-Forward Nursery

Tour Graphic Designer Ceci Johnson’s Bright Fashion-Forward Nursery

If you’ve ever seen or received a Ceci New York wedding invitation, you know you’re the lucky recipient of a breathtaking work of art. So when it came time to design her almost-4-month-old daughter Elle (“Ellie”) Hazel’s nursery, the award-winning graphic designer brought the same discerning eye, glam touches and personal details that are hallmarks of her luxe stationery. We talked with the creative director to find out her inspo for turning a white box into a trendy yet timeless colorful space she hopes Elle will enjoy for years to come.

What was your vision for the nursery?
I learned with my son Mason [now 4] that babies don’t remain little for very long. The money and the amount of work you put into designing the nursery kind of gets outdated quickly. So this time, I tried to figure out how I could leverage items I already owned, and bought new ones Elle would be able to grow into. I wanted the room to be fun, youthful and fashion forward—a mix of all the things I love and want to inspire her with. I also knew I didn’t want a typical princessy, fluffy baby room. I started with a clean black-and-white palette then added graphic impacts and pops of color in raspberry, pink, orange and red, along with the hints of brass and gold. When my 14-year-old stepdaughter Caroline first saw the nursery, she said, “I love this room—I want it to be my room!” So the fact that a teenager loves it, I’m like, “Okay, mission accomplished.

May 03, 2016 by Mitera Collection
The Bump Features Ceci Johnson's Baby Nursery

The Bump Features Ceci Johnson's Baby Nursery

Tour Graphic Designer Ceci Johnson’s Bright Fashion-Forward Nursery with one-of-a-kind artwork, personal mementos and bright pops of color help transform a traditional baby room into a chic, relaxing space.

If you’ve ever seen or received a Ceci New York wedding invitation, you know you’re the lucky recipient of a breathtaking work of art. So when it came time to design her almost-4-month-old daughter Elle (“Ellie”) Hazel’s nursery, the award-winning graphic designer brought the same discerning eye, glam touches and personal details that are hallmarks of her luxe stationery. We talked with the creative director to find out her inspo for turning a white box into a trendy yet timeless colorful space she hopes Elle will enjoy for years to come.

What was your vision for the nursery?
I learned with my son Mason [now 4] that babies don’t remain little for very long. The money and the amount of work you put into designing the nursery kind of gets outdated quickly. So this time, I tried to figure out how I could leverage items I already owned, and bought new ones Elle would be able to grow into. I wanted the room to be fun, youthful and fashion forward—a mix of all the things I love and want to inspire her with. I also knew I didn’t want a typical princessy, fluffy baby room. I started with a clean black-and-white palette then added graphic impacts and pops of color in raspberry, pink, orange and red, along with the hints of brass and gold. When my 14-year-old stepdaughter Caroline first saw the nursery, she said, “I love this room—I want it to be my room!” So the fact that a teenager loves it, I’m like, “Okay, mission accomplished.”

Did you reuse any items from Mason’s room in the nursery?
We brought in the long rectangular bookcase (the one with the mirror above it) and the tall white dresser (both from CB2), which I use to store changing and feeding supplies. I’m all about hiding gear and baby things to keep it as tidy as possible because that stuff can get messy on display! Elle’s also using Mason’s old crib, which converts into a toddler bed.

What was the first item you bought for the room?
I found the rug early on in my pregnancy. I came across it when I was searching for one for my office and thought it would be perfect if I were having a girl. I love it because it has a perfect balance of a beige foundation with poppy flowers that are very girly yet edgy. So when I found out her gender, everything fell into place, and I decided everything else was going to play off of it.

How did you build upon your inspiration?
Since I’m an artist and designer, I wanted to incorporate influences from the worlds of art and fashion as well as family mementos. I thought, “What are the little personal touches I want to put in the room and what are the things I want her to be exposed to?” I think whatever you put in the room, the children are exposed to it, see it, love it and learn about it. With Mason’s room, it was all safari animals, world explorers and baby-Indiana Jones vibes. He now loves animals. I can’t help but wonder if what I put in the room influenced his preferences. So I thought it would be really cool to try the same for her.

Tell us about those birds over the crib.
I drew and painted them. I love making special things for my children. The pink bird symbolizes Elle; she's the leader of the flock flying to her own happy song.

What made you put decide to put a daybed in the nursery—is it also being used as a guest room?
In Mason’s nursery, I had a pullout loveseat couch, but it was too small to comfortably lay on when it wasn’t opened up. When he was crying and I was up all night long and so exhausted, I would want to lay on the couch, but I’d regularly wake up with a sore neck and back. This time around, I thought, “Why am I doing that to myself?” So I wanted to make it more comfortable for me, plus Elle will be able to use this bed for many years to come. It’s also a trundle, so it will come in handy when she’s older and has sleepovers.

Where did you find all those fun pillows?
I first bought the orange Otomi print (on the rocker); I’ve always loved handmade embroidered prints and Mexican culture. Last summer I was in Mexico for a speaking engagement, and I was gifted the second Otomi print (the multicolored one in the middle of the daybed). I liked the bold color those prints added and then wanted to pair them with some graphic black-and-white ones for a sophisticated edge.

Most people thought I was crazy to do black and white for a baby’s room, but I think if you balance it with enough white and pastels and just touches of black and white, it becomes more sophisticated. When I was first teaching Mason that newborn Elle couldn’t see in color yet, he thought it was so appropriate that I had all these black-and-white items in her room.

What about the arrow motifs?
I didn’t want the room to be all one theme or print, but a curated collection of graphic moods and vibes. I’m big on symbolism, and everything in my work has to mean something. An arrow can represent courage as one moves forward in life, along with defense and protection from harm (which is similar to a mother's job, right?). I want her to be successful, and to me, the arrow graphically meant that movement and strength. I first found the large orange arrow that’s hanging above the chair, and wanted to tie it in somewhere else. I like that the crib sheets are graphically intense but in a softer, more babylike feel.

Walk us through some of the pieces on the gallery wall.
They're all sentimental. Starting with the top left inkblot, I painted the butterfly and hid ladybugs within the design since “ladybug” was one of our nicknames for Elle when I was pregnant. I also painted the top center one, using the flowers from the rug as inspiration to give her some fashion flair.

As a graphic designer, I wanted to the wall to not only be watercolor prints, but also have some typography in there since I love type. I say “I love you to the moon and back” to Mason all the time, so I thought it’d be nice to pick some fun phrases that I’ll be saying to her, and then when she learns to read, she’ll recognize these little touches of love.

I made the postcard-size perfume bottle (bottom left) at the opening for a Chanel art exhibition (it’s a tribute to the bottle design of their classic Chanel No. 5). It’s perfect because she’s our fifth baby (I also have two more stepchildren who are in college), so the design is significant in that way as well. Caroline also made three of these: the heart in the middle, the one with the stripes and the cat.

What about the the silhouettes on the other wall?
Artist Patti Rishforth usually makes these on the spot at events, but I sent her family pictures because she’s based in South Carolina, and she transformed them into these hand-cut portraits for me. I’m going to ask her to do one of Elle when she gets a bit bigger so we have one of everyone in the family. My stepchildren don’t live with us, but I want Mason and Elle to have their whole family present.

Tell us about the items on the bookshelves.
I found things I’ve collected in my life that I loved. Some of the stuff, like the little porcelain cat or the teddy bear on the chair, is from my room growing up, while others were gifts. When I was young, my grandmother did a cross-stitch of a little girl looking at swans, and the little booties on top of the books were from Elle’s baby shower. These things are sentimental, but can also become decor. Especially on that shelf, it’s a mixture of new and old. While you want to buy new stuff, sometimes you can start with things you already have and build your story around that.

Are there nursery items worth splurging on?
A worthy splurge would be a rug or nice carpet. I find that when you buy the less expensive rugs, they tend to shed and get in baby’s fingers when she’s crawling, walking and playing on the ground. You should also buy neutral on key bigger items like furniture so you can repurpose them if or when you do have more kids. I'm thankful I went with white and neutral woods for Mason’s crib and larger pieces. Now they work for Elle's room in a completely new and different way!

May 02, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Interview: Mitera

Interview: Mitera

 

Interview: Mitera
During my pregnancy I met Yoko Shimada – founder of Mitera, a motherhood centric brand for pre/postnatal life, specifically during breastfeeding. I joined Yoko, and the Mitera team as their on-site stylist for the Biggest Baby Shower event here in NYC, and at at 37 weeks featured the Grace dress in a ‘Style The Bump‘ post which to date is still one of my favorites of that series. That said, once Vida arrived I was excited to get back into the dress, utilizing the features and benefits of the hidden zipper for breastfeeding. I told Yoko in a current interview with the brand that when I wear the dress, ‘I feel like a breastfeeding Greek goddess in it’. The rest of the Q&A digs a bit deeper where I chat about my pregnancy, motherhood and breastfeeding journey, what parenting feels like from the perspective of a same-sex couple and my wish for Vida as she grows up. Click over to Mitera’s blog to read the full feature, and be sure to hit the shop tab on their site to peruse the beautiful collection.

 

Interview: Mitera

 

 

Interview: Mitera

 

April 05, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Creative Wife & Joyful Worker

Creative Wife & Joyful Worker

Products that are just as valuable to momma as they are for baby are truly a win win. I don’t often shop for myself so when I find something that I love to use that is also helpful for my little ones it is a good day! Today I am sharing three practical everyday products that you will.
March 18, 2016 by Mitera Collection
It's in the Bag

It's in the Bag

It's in the Bag
Le Diaper Bag || Wooden Teether || Solly Baby Wrap || Diaper Bag || Paci Clip + Paci 


Aside from often getting asked questions about what the girls are wearing, the other common question I get asked is how I manage outings with all 3 kids? As all mamas know, it usually take us forever to just even pack everyone up to leave the house that by the time you're ready to go, you're completely exhausted. I've managed to keep things simple with an easy to follow system that helps keep me organized, but more importantly, sane.
I have never been one that obsesses over diaper bags. Now strollers, thats a different story but diaper bags have never been something I like to fuss over. I try to make outings as easy as possible without having to lug around a suitcase. To make things much easier, I do keep a few times in the car that stays there and just gets swapped out or replenished when used. Here's exactly what goes into keeping our ventures fun and less stressful.

Main Diaper bag:

|| Solly Wrap - I like to carry Mila when I grocery shop to avoid having to lug around her carseat in shopping carts since she cant sit up yet. Plus, having a wrap readily available can be a life saver for fussy days.

|| 3 diapers + wipes - I only keep three in my diaper bag at a time just to cut down on space. I know what you're thinking..."what?! thats not enough!!!" Well, we'll get to that a little further down.

|| Paci - Mila isn't huge on taking a paci so its not a big deal but she has had days where it's been a life saver so I always keep one on hand and on a leash just to make sure it doesn't go missing.

|| 1 cute change of outfit including socks, bonnet, and bib.

|| A thin blanket - Saves space and is breathable.

|| A water bottle for Mila and drinks and snacks for Maya and Maddy.

|| Formula holder + bottle - I pre-measure each section of the container and fill it with formula servings to make things much easier and more convenient.

It's in the Bag
It's in the Bag

Thats pretty much IT for my day to day diaper bag. The list is simple and very minimal. The only thing that I need to do is make sure I've restocked her formula container, diapers, clean clothes, and water and snacks if I've used them. Everything else is pretty standard.

For shorter outings like going to the park or walks to our local library, I ditch the diaper bag all together and just grab my small Le Diaper clutch. Inside it are two diapers + a ziplock filled with a thin stack of wipes, paci, a onesie, and a zip lock with just one serving of formula. I usually have a pre-made bottle ready in addition to the extra formula. This takes care of Mila's essential needs and keeps things minimal. However, as mentioned, this is strictly for shorter outings and not meant for staying out for extended periods of time.

The last part of my "system" is my "stockpile bag" that stays in the car. This is pretty much just a readiness bag that is meant for back up. I always keep in it extra diapers, wipes, a thick blanket, 2 onesies + sweater for baby, and an extra paci in the event that I forgot to replenish any of the things used in my diaper bag or in case we go through them faster than I anticipated.

Leaving the house doesn't have to be a daunting experience and I find that preparation is always key to making things run smoothly...or as smoothly as possible!

It's in the Bag
March 17, 2016 by Mitera Collection
Market OTB: The 10 Stalls To Visit This Weekend

Market OTB: The 10 Stalls To Visit This Weekend

Although this weekend marks its last until next year, Market OTB is showing no signs of slowing down. Whether you're visiting for the first time or, like Team Bazaar, you're heading back for another round, here's our top tips on where to stop this weekend.

1. Ghina Designs 

Established in Lebanon in 2010 by Ghina Halawi, Ghina Design offers traditional furniture with a modern twist. 

 

 

2. KatChi Design

The 18 karat gold-plated jewellery pieces from KatChi Design, which was founded by Lebanese mother and daughter Katie Chidiac and Sacha Gemayel in 2010, are all inspired by Phoenician and Arabic styles. 

 

 

3. Aisha's Charms

After launching in 2008 in Dubai, Aisha's Charms specialises in 925 karat silver accessories, with materials sourced from an exclusive group of suppliers in Turkey.

 

 

4. Caramel & Sun

The brainchild of partners Paul and Olivia, Caramel & Sun brings trendy European design brands to the region.

 

 

5. Monaya F

Based in Oman, designer Monaya Fayoumi creates fashion-forward pieces, with a boho twist.

 

 

6. By Laha

This contemporary abaya label is a must-visit. 

 

 

7. Mitera Collection

A fashion brand focused on making mothers feel fabulous, this is your one-stop shop for all things practi-cool. 

 

 

8. Fatema Fardan

You'll find UAE designer Fatema Fardan's beautiful pieces at the Dubai Design & Fashion Council space.

 

 

9. Urban Yogi

Dubai-based eco- and human-friendly homewares brand Urban Yogi aims to provide the Middle East with ethically sourced and crafted home décor that's cool and conscientious in equal measure. 

 

 

10. Samar Sadik Illustrations 

Specialising in fashion and beauty illustrations, we dare you to try and walk away from Dubai-based visual artists Samar Sadik's stall with just one item. 

 

 

For the full list of vendors and for more information, see Dsfmarketotb.ae

January 28, 2016 by Mitera Collection
My Favorite Posts of 2015

My Favorite Posts of 2015

What a year 2015 has been! I’ve experienced my first FULL year being Jack’s momlaunched my own jewelry businesshad my first Madewell store eventcurated my own Mommy Mailbox box, collaborated with brands I love, and pursued minimalismwith purpose and intentionality. Though I’m feeling eager 
December 01, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Pumping In Style: Tips For Finding Pumping-Friendly Clothing

Pumping In Style: Tips For Finding Pumping-Friendly Clothing

It’s something every pumping mom faces at one point or another in her journey – that moment of “How am I going to pump in this outfit without stripping down to my underwear?” If you’ve ever been away from home and trapped in an impossible-to-unzip or otherwise inconvenient top or dress with a screaming hungry baby, or if you’ve just been frustrated at the lack of fashion-forward, practical apparel for moms, you’re not alone!

Yoko Shimada, a mother of two and a public health professional advocating for maternal and child health, founded a stylish, functional clothing line for mothers called the Mitera Collection around this very idea. Her story, mission, and her designs are an inspiration, and we’re excited to share her unique perspective in this Q&A, especially as we continue to celebrate the resources available to working moms on MedelaAtWork.com.

Pumping In Style: Tips For Finding Pumping-Friendly Clothing

What should working moms look for in pumping-friendly clothing?

Yoko: I wanted to make beautiful, stylish clothes that would last through pregnancy, nursing and going back to work. The dresses are flexible, washable, and have pockets. Functionality and versatility are important to me, as a mom. I recommend that all new moms, whether pregnant or recently postpartum, look for clothes that fit the following parameters.

  • Style: Because what you wear affects your mood! You definitely want to feel confident, pretty and empowered in your clothes. As a new mom, your patience, physical endurance and mental capacity are tested to their limits, so it is extra important that you take care of yourself.

  • Functionality: You wear many hats as a mom – you might be a professional, a wife, a sister, etc. Your clothes should serve you in all of your roles.

  • Washability: Being a mom is messy. Your clothes should be washable and easy to take care of! No dry cleaning necessary.

  • Sustainability/versatility: Your clothes should feel and look good through different phases of motherhood and the different situations you find yourself in, from a play date to a business meeting.

 

What is Mitera and why did you start the company?

Mitera focuses on making mothers feel beautiful, confident, and empowered. The clothing we create is designed for women throughout motherhood, from pregnancy to nursing, pumping and beyond. I began the company after spending many years as a public health professional working to improve maternal and child health around the world for organizations like the World Bank and the Clinton Foundation. After giving birth, I quickly learned how challenging motherhood is. It was made even more difficult when I returned to work in a very professional office environment and wanted to continue breastfeeding. I couldn’t find clothes that met my need as a working, breastfeeding mom.

This need, my passion for my work, and my desire to make motherhood easier, more enjoyable, and more beautiful all went into the creation of Mitera five years ago. Right now, our clothes are available at miteracollection.com.


Pumping In Style: Tips For Finding Pumping-Friendly Clothing

You can visit Mitera's website to learn more about the collection and how they support mothers around the world through their Mother to Mother initiative.

Pumping In Style: Tips For Finding Pumping-Friendly Clothing

November 30, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Pregnancy Party Fashion: Splurge or Steal

Pregnancy Party Fashion: Splurge or Steal

High and low pregnancy fashion for every holiday occasion.

You know what they say about the holidays: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Except when you’re pregnant and you can’t drink, you’re exhausted, and frankly, you’re not always feeling sparkly and fine. Don’t worry! Nothing a little retail therapy can’t fix! Whether you’re in the market for a splurge or a steal, we’ve got every pregnancy party look covered.

Pregnancy Party Fashion: Splurge or Steal

The Turtleneck
Splurge: Isabella Oliver Grayson Dress, $159
Steal: Ann Taylor Maternity Turtleneck Sweater Dress, $98

Pregnancy Party Fashion: Splurge or Steal

The Jumpsuit
Splurge: Loyal Hana Celia Jumper, $175
Steal: ASOS Maternity Minimal Jumpsuit, $72

Pregnancy Party Fashion: Splurge or Steal

The Sweater Dress
Splurge: Hatch Collection Agyness Dress, $278
Steal: Pink Blush Maternity Cable Knit Sweater Dress, $45

Pregnancy Party Fashion: Splurge or Steal

Boho Beautiful
Splurge: Collective Concepts Split-Neck Dress, $138
Steal: Topshop Maternity Embroidered Dress, $68

Pregnancy Party Fashion: Splurge or Steal

November 30, 2015 by Mitera Collection
What are tips for pulling together a great maternity look on any budget?

What are tips for pulling together a great maternity look on any budget?

It's easier than you think to look on point when you're pregnant—no matter what your budget is. The key is to splurge a little bit if you can on a few neutral maternity basics that can do double duty at work and on the weekends. Think: a nice pair of dark maternity jeans, a wrap dress, an elastic-waist skirt, and a few tanks or tees for layering. Then mix in pieces you already own
November 25, 2015 by Mitera Collection
The Big Reveal

The Big Reveal

The Big Reveal

To follow up on my post a few weeks back about breastfeeding-friendly styling tips, here’s a round-up of some non-specific nursing items to get you through this transition and beyond. It’s taken me a minute to create a temporary capsule wardrobe, but I think it’s essential to have an assortment that ensures you feel stylish, beautiful and put together. Breastfeeding for me has been an empowering experience, but when it comes to getting dressed there is a lot to manage: big boobs, the baby and easy access. While brands like Loyal Hana and Mitera create super stylish items equipped for nursing, strategic shopping amongst non-nursing brands will help give you plenty of options for now and later.

shop it (clockwise): 1. tracey reese fringed poncho //  2. madewell denim wrap dress // 3. 10 crosby by derek lam shirt // 4. topshop cropped shirt // 5. ace and jig kimono top // 6. cupro zip front dress // 7. topshop jumpsuit // 8. topshop hybrid shirtdress

November 17, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Trying to Get Pregnant

Trying to Get Pregnant

heymama co-founder Amri Kibbler opens up about her infertility journey with baby #2.

Trying to Get Pregnant

I got pregnant with my daughter Mari literally the first month that we went off birth control. We had no idea that we had practically won the lottery. This is one of many things in my life that came really easily, and now, looking back, I have such an appreciation for that gift. I had a really easy pregnancy and a quick delivery. Everything went so smoothly. That was my understanding of what it takes to have a baby.

My husband and I argued about having another baby right away. He wanted to wait and I was a little worried that it might take a while. By the time we were in agreement, Mari had just turned one. Six months later, we both went in to have everything checked out, but decided to keep trying on our own for little while longer. I had a suspicion things weren’t working, though, and I was becoming more and more frustrated and less patient with every passing day.

We went through over two years of fertility treatments; I would have complications between each cycle and have to wait to start another one. I remember hearing the stats that it takes most women 3 rounds of IVF to get pregnant and my brain saying, “Oh but that won’t be you, it won’t be that hard.” Wrong. It was really hard.

heymama founder Amri Kibbler

It’s a funny thing when you have one child, everyone just assumes that you can have another. Everyone including me. There wasn’t a day that went by that someone didn’t ask me when I was going to have another baby. I understand it seems like a simple question, but now I’m super careful not to ask anyone when they are going to have a baby — you just never really know what they’re going through. It’s not something that you can read on a woman’s face. I cringe whenever I hear someone asking a stranger when she’s going to have kids.

By the time we started IVF, I was really afraid to even get my hopes up, and was really guarded when friends would ask me about how it was going. It wasn’t really going too well. My coping mechanism is to keep my head down and focus on other things in my life.

In the middle of this process, I decided to leave my career in fashion. It was for many reasons, but a big part of me thought that if I would “relax” and “focus,” I could will myself to get pregnant. Not so. I just went batshit crazy with nothing to do but try unsuccessfully to get pregnant.

Trying to Get Pregnant

I had so many friends get pregnant during this time. Some of them easily and some of them struggled, like me. It was always hard because I really wanted to be happy for them, but it hurt. It was a reminder that I wasn’t pregnant.

I spent a lot of time biting my tongue as girls who had just the month before commiserated with me on our struggle suddenly joined the ranks of the “If you would just relax, and stop trying” team. They would literally have been bitching about, “How can people say that to me?” And then they’d turn around and say the same thing to me. That was really the worst offense, those who know what it’s like and then say thoughtless things. I tried not to talk to those people, who had clearly forgotten the raw nerve and the awful feeling of being told that this was partly your fault — that if you would just relax you would be pregnant too.

But I think something happens to your brain when you get pregnant, it makes you lose sight of whatever struggles you went through to get there. I’ve already forgotten the months of getting shots in my butt every night, unless you bring it up. Getting up in the dark to hit the IVF clinic before work. I think that must be what happens, women get pregnant and the hormones make them forget what it was like to try unsuccessfully.

Then there are those people that try to hide when others get pregnant, to “save” your feelings. But it just makes you feel like people are whispering about you. It’s all so hard. I think the best thing to do is be honest, and not act like you’ve figured something out just because you got pregnant. To me, it’s all a lot of luck. I certainly didn’t figure anything out, and I just kept trying.

I found out I was pregnant when heymama was really starting to take off. Yes, I was busy and distracted, but I know 100% that I didn’t get pregnant because I wasn’t stressing about it! I was not in a Zen place at all. But it was good having something else to focus on and such an amazing business partner and friend to support me through the whole thing. Katya really just let me do my thing and didn’t ask me too many questions unless I brought it up, which is really what I wanted.

amrinew1

When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t want to tell anyone, I felt like if I said it out loud it might not be true. It’s like I’ve been holding my breathe for 9 months, and it’s just now that I’m bumping into things with my belly and undeniable that there’s a little person in there that I’m able to enjoy it.

I totally look at it as a miracle, and it’s really just sinking in now that I’m weeks away from my due date that this is actually happening. My husband jokes that I’m the most unprepared pregnant woman he has ever met, especially since I spent so long trying to get pregnant.

I would tell other women struggling with this to seek out other women who are either going through the process or have gone through it. Try to see it as process that can be long, and don’t look at it as month-by-month struggle that can suddenly end if you get pregnant that month. I find that helps with the ups and downs, because even when you get pregnant there is still a long road emotionally to go through. Look at it as something you have to commit to and see through to the end.

November 16, 2015 by Mitera Collection
An Interview with the Founder of Mitera Collection

An Interview with the Founder of Mitera Collection

We sat down with Yoko Shimada, founder of Mitera Collection, to talk about her philosophy, inspiration, background and more!  Here's an exclusive offer for Bundle Organics customers:  Use code MITERA20 to receive 20% off all orders at Miteracollection.com (offer ends 11/23/15). 

1. How did you become inspired to found the Mitera Collection? Tell us about Mitera’s philosophy when it comes to pregnant and new moms. 

An Interview with the Founder of Mitera Collection

Mitera was directly inspired by my own experience of becoming a mother. When I became pregnant with my first child, I was working as a global public health specialist at the World Bank’s Africa Region. I saw firsthand the reality of maternal mortality due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth as well as the power of breastfeeding in improving maternal and child health in resource-limited settings. A lot of what I knew from my academic and professional work drove my decisions during my first pregnancy and childbirth. For me, it was my decision to give birth naturally and to breastfeed. Fortunately, I was able to have an all-natural birth assisted by a doula, which was an enormously empowering experience but breastfeeding was another story.

Though I came to really enjoy it after having initial problems, I found breastfeeding in public awkward and pumping at work really challenging after I went back to work after a short maternity leave. Though I was a strong advocate of breastfeeding, I realized how difficult and stressful it can be and that while the pregnancy and postpartum periods of women’s lives are often the most special times, they are also the times women feel most vulnerable. While mothers are told “breast is best,” and they are encouraged to do their “best” by breastfeeding their babies, there is little acceptance or support for public breastfeeding and pumping at workplaces after mothers return to work. Issues surrounding motherhood are complex and often highly politicized but I came to believe that women, regardless of their personal choices as mothers, need to be supported, period. I feel there is still a huge gap between the societal expectations of mothers – ‘doing it all’ like superwomen at home and at work - and the policies, resources and tools available to support them as they embark on and navigate through their motherhood journey. Maternity and postpartum wardrobe is one of those factors- it can either hinder or support women’s ability to successfully and happily transition into and navigate through motherhood. People might dismiss fashion as vanity but it actually has an important place in people’s lives not only as a means of self-expression but also as an important factor in instilling confidence and empowerment. This is where the story of Mitera began.

An Interview with the Founder of Mitera Collection

Mitera Philosophy

At Mitera, we believe in ‘Happy Mom = Happy Baby”. Our philosophy when it comes to pregnant and new moms is supporting each mom’s unique motherhood journey from pregnancy, nursing, going back to work and beyond. Our core mission is to make women and mothers feel beautiful, confident, inspired and empowered and we do this through fashion – by creating beautiful and contemporary but functional and versatile clothing that provides practical luxury to modern mothers experiencing pregnancy, nursing, returning to work and raising toddlers while holding down jobs and progressing in their careers!

Through our brand, we want to return the spotlight to those gorgeous, intelligent and successful women who are experiencing the magic of motherhood. For Mitera women, who they are as individuals feeds positively into who they are as mothers and vice versa, enriching their experience of motherhood with their own interests, passions and goals.

We design all the dresses from the point of view of a woman who is a mother. In fact, I designed the first prototypes to use myself, out of personal need- as a breastfeeding mom who could not find anything that worked for my style and functionality needs. Our dresses are designed to be first and foremost beautiful and then functional and practical. Our designs are chic, timeless and elegant and we want women to feel like they are done the minute they put on our dresses (as moms, we are always short on time, right?).   It was also especially important to me to design dresses that women would want to wear even if they are not pregnant or nursing.

All of our pieces are designed to be versatile – from day to night, brunch to dinner, playdate to cocktail, office to evening, and kids birthday parties to weddings. All of our dresses have the patent-pending hidden zipper system, which allows for discreet feeding and pumping. Three out of the six dresses have what we call a modesty bra, which is a thin lining or a loose sports bra offering extra protection when the zippers are open. The finishes on the dresses are impeccable. We don’t compromise on quality because our dresses need to survive all that moms endure daily while making them look fabulous. All of our dresses are machine-washable and several come with huge pockets for essential mom items like keys, phones and pacifiers. I know how messy ‘mommying’ can get, so I envisioned those days when I might be nursing a baby while dealing with a toddler covered in Nutella or some other sticky substance! Our pieces are meant to be worn through pregnancy, nursing and well beyond, through the joys and challenges of motherhood.

2. Prior to founding Mitera, what is your background?

 Prior to founding Mitera, I worked in the field of global public health. During my career as a global public health specialist, I have lived and worked in India and all over Africa. I worked on infectious disease control projects, maternal and child health projects, health systems reconstruction projects in places like Liberia and health financing projects in places like Lesotho and Swaziland. I worked at the Clinton Foundation Health Access Initiative brokering deals with international diagnostics companies on behalf of the developing nations to lower the prices of key diagnostics technologies in order to improve access to critical medical care. I have over 15 years of experience in implementing health programs worldwide focused on Public-Private Partnerships, health systems and financing, and program monitoring and evaluation working with a wide variety of governments, private sector enterprises, NGOs, and major donors and foundations. I feel extremely fortunate that my work in Africa, South Asia, North America, and Europe has provided me with a unique global perspective. 

3. What have you learned so far as a female founder/CEO?

I can never personally experience the difference between being a male CEO and female CEO because I don’t plan to have a sex change operation (lol!) but historical trends and statistics point out some of the stark differences between the genders. There are simply many more male CEOs than female CEO. A fraction of board seats are occupied by women and even less when it comes to the leadership seats. Start-ups founded by men and led by male CEOs get much more funding than companies with female founders, just to name a few examples. My experience so far as a female founder/CEO has been positive. As a start-up, the title CEO means little because I do everything from design, marketing and PR to arranging my own travel to cleaning up my office. What matters though is that as the company’s founder and CEO, I am ultimately responsible for everything. I think being a mother definitely influences how I run my business. I was surprised but being a mother has been a great preparation for running your own business and I truly believe that we as women possess so many unique qualities that can make us great leaders. Here are some examples - as mothers, we are used to running on a tight schedule. [Efficiency and productivity] We are therefore, super efficient and productive with our tasks. [Prioritization and Delegation] This also makes us great at prioritizing and delegating tasks. [Decision-making] As mothers, we often have to make important decisions in nano seconds due to extreme time pressure. We often go with our gut feelings but many are grounded in hours, days and months of research that rivals FBI investigations. We not only have superb research skills (what is the best stroller to buy, what pre-school?) but also dedication needed to dig deep into an issue (parenting style, sleep training). [HR and Team Building] Experience with hiring and managing a caretaker(s) for our kids is a great skill to apply to growing a team that can support your growing business. Giving praise, rewards, constructive criticism, managing tense (aka tantrums?) situations – been there and done that.

An Interview with the Founder of Mitera Collection

I think what I have learned about being a female CEO so far, I am fortunate to be learning from being a mother. In addition to all the elements I mentioned already, love, passion, sacrifice, sleepless nights, managing multiple deadlines, multi-tasking (as a mother you have no choice), persistence, grit, tenaciousness (you would do anything for your kids), coping with stressful situations, dealing with Murphy’s law (just to name a few) are all important things I learned through motherhood. Motherhood also taught me the importance of surrounding yourself with a community of likeminded people, women/moms, of asking for help, and of being resourceful which I apply to running my business daily.

4. How do you juggle being a mother, CEO?

That is the right word – juggle. There are so many elements to my life as a mother and a business owner. And with being a wife, a daughter, a friend, a triathlete, etc. thrown in there, my life is full and extremely busy and can often seem chaotic and overwhelming. Just like juggling, it is normal that sometimes I drop one ball – like this morning my daughter woke up with a high fever -   that throws off our ‘balance’ and our juggling act. I don’t believe in having a ‘balance’ but believe that it is truly a juggling act. You sometimes have more balls in the air, you sometimes drop one or more balls and you have to pick them up while trying to keep the others in the air. It is a constant adjustment, refinement, dealing with the unexpected as well as questioning, motivating, doubting and inspiring myself again and again to move forward as a mother and a CEO each day.

An Interview with the Founder of Mitera Collection

My husband is a true partner in parenting and I have help at home so that I can maximize my time when I am with my kids. It is never perfect and it is difficult not to have any guilt but I make it work, survive and try my best to make the most of what I have and I have been given. I feel so fortunate and grateful.

5. What’s next for Mitera?

We are currently busy designing our next pieces, which are due to debut early next year! We are also designing accessories, which should come out before the holiday. We are refining the designs of our current collection based on customer feedback and might be adding colors to our best sellers and much much more!

6. A message to readers:

I know most of you who are reading this are either pregnant or a new mom so I feel like I am preaching to the choir but I absolutely love being a mother to my two children and there is nothing that is more rewarding than being a parent. However, as I talked about before, the pregnancy and postpartum periods of women’s lives are far from easy physically and emotionally. In addition to sharing happy moments of parenthood (like thousands of pictures on Instagram!), it is also absolutely ok to admit that you have no idea what you are doing, share your feelings, complain and cry and ask for help. You just need to build a loving community of families and like-minded people – your husband/partner, other family members, mom friends and others who can truly be there for you without passing judgment.  

At Mitera, we are here to support each mom’s unique motherhood journey. I feel so fortunate to be able to work in this industry where I get to dream up and actuality make into reality things that can improve the lives of moms and kids. So, please reach out! I would love to hear from you all.

Fun Stuff:

An Interview with the Founder of Mitera Collection

1. What's your guilty pleasure? Oreos – my absolute weakness!

2. What's your go to outfit? – All my Mitera dresses. Though I don’t have to wear a suit everyday to the office anymore, I still want to look professional and feel confident.

Mitera dresses are beautiful, versatile and practical. I love that our dresses are machine-washable. With our dresses, I don’t have to worry about my kids’ hands full of Nutella hugging me when I kiss them good bye in the morning. I don’t have to worry about sweating in the sun when I go to watch my son’s soccer practice in the afternoon. I love that our dresses have pockets, too! Running around town from office to meetings to kid duties, I always have at least my keys and iPhone! I feel selfish but I did design all the dresses for me J My current favorites are our Katie Dress which I like to pair with booties and the Elif paired with tights and long boots!

3. What's your favorite game to play with your kids? Hide and tickle. They love hiding under the sheets in our bedroom and they want us to sneak up on them and tickle them! We end up laughing so much rolling on our bed and we get lots of hugs and kisses after words! 

November 04, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Business, Babies, and Breastfeeding: Challenges of  Motherhood and the Workplace

Business, Babies, and Breastfeeding: Challenges of Motherhood and the Workplace

On Thursday, October 8, Mama Glow–an online health, wellness,and lifestyle resource for expectant and new mothers–hosted a conversation on Business, Babies, Breastfeeding: The challenges + triumphs of modern motherhood + the workplace.

To kick off the conversation, guest were treated to light refreshments and a bite to eat before an hour of networking along the terrace of a private penthouse in SoHo. Once each guest took their seats, Latham Thomas, the co-founder of Mama Glow, welcomed the attendees and shared her company’s commitment to “helping women feel radiant throughout their pregnancy and into new motherhood.” Thomas then introduced the panelist Yoko Shimada of MITERA, who also presented the event, Jodie Snyder Morel a co-founder of lifestyle brand/jewelry line Dannijo, and the moderator, Rebecca Sinn an editor at Self magazine.


The evening’s panelists. Photo by Roni Martin Photography

Once the crowd finished applauding the women, Sinn began the conversation by asking Morel of her experience traveling with her child while breastfeeding.

“Your body changes depending on how stressed you are,” Morel said. While everyone in the crowd nodded their heads, Morel continued by discussing a particular trip where her breast milk was down for almost an entire day and once her supply did return she found her hotel was unable to hold her milk in their kitchen fridge. Morel also noted that it is always important to bring a portal crib to hotels and a change of clothes while in the airport, just in case your adorable baby decides to spit up on your attire, multiple times.

Sinn then asked each panelist if they had any confidence booster to help mothers who would like to travel with their children.

Morel started off by telling the crowd, how her life didn’t need to stop just because she had a child. Instead she adjusted her child to her own routine and lifestyle. She also noted that late night flights were easy, due to her child sleeping right through them. Shimada also believed that it was best to travel while her children were young and her favorite part of traveling was experiencing everything again through her child’s eyes.

As everyone wrapped up their thoughts, Sinn change the direction of the conversation from traveling and asked Shimada her experiences on balancing work while breastfeeding.


The panel in action. Photo by Roni Martin Photography

“There is no balance,” Shimada said. “It’s just hard. You explain to your employer that you have to pump, but they don’t really work around you, so you have to work around them a lot of the time.” Shimada continued the discussion by describing how she felt when she missed her pump session, how she never felt glamorous while pumping, to always bringing a change of clothes to work, and even discussed how much she hated the lactation room at work that she simply decided to place a sign on your office door, when pumping, letting everyone know not to come in.

While the crowd laughed, the conversation lead into how Shimada women’s fashion/maternity collection MITERA was born and how naming the collection took a yearlong process and even felt like birthing another child! She even went on to discuss the design process and how she wore the items in her line for five years before the collection was complete.

Before the discussion wrapped up, each panelist spoke briefly on why they decided to breastfeed, how long they stuck to it.

To learn more about Mama Glow, visit mamaglow.com!

October 23, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Babes and Balance

Babes and Balance

Babes and Balance

Hello and happy week. I hope it’s a good one. Mine seems to be quite productive since I’ve started to tip toe my way back to work. I’ll be announcing my official return soon but am trying to routinely post again, and on Thursday I’ll be attending my first event since June. Hosted by Latham Thomas from Mama Glowand Mitera, the event is focused on ‘Business, Babies & Breastfeeding’ which couldn’t be a more appropriate conversation for me to participate in. I’ll be bringing Vida along too. This whole work/life/new mom balance thing is tough. Since I’m the type of gal who likes to be present and 100%  focused, it’s been challenging to get sh*t done while Vida occupies the entirety of my mind. I expected to be back sooner, but this babe has gotten all of me. And I’ve absolutely loved and appreciated every second of it. It’s only now that I’m just starting to dabble back into work again. I know I’m not alone here, and expect to eventually find my groove, but do accept the process of finding my new normal. I’m grateful for the opportunity to ease back in slow. These past three months have been surreal and dream-like, and expanded my heart a billion times. It’s insane how quickly time has gone by. I feel like I was just prego! While I realize as we enter growth spurt number 357 and the teething phase that baby girl is growing up fast, I’m holding on tight to every last moment. For the part of me that is compelled to be full throttle at work, the other half says chill the f*ck out and be in the here and now. And so I shall.

Babes and Balance

Babes and Balance

Babes and Balance

In an effort to freeze these precious moments, I decided to document them via a mini photoshoot with my friend and photographer Lori Berkowitz. Dina who hates having her photo taken went down kicking and screaming, but is obviously psyched to have the prints (you’re welcome boo!). Vida was a little over it at first too, but after 10 minutes of kvetching became a pro. I’m super happy with how the photos came out and can’t wait to get a few up in frames. If you follow me on instagram, you know how much I appreciate a good snap. I can’t thank Lori enough, who also took my maternity photos and who I partnered with on a ‘Bumps and Babes‘ collaboration where I shared maternity styling tips. She too just had a babe a month after me. Lori has been a key part in documenting our journey and I’m so grateful to her for capturing such intimate and memorable moments that I’ll cherish forever.

Babes and Balance

Babes and Balance

Babes and Balance

I’m looking forward to sharing so much more with you all, and promise to cover content outside of mommy-hood and babies. For now though, it’s what I got. I’m hoping to be back here next week with a style post sharing style tips I’ve learned while breastfeeding (a whole new area of exploration!), but in the meantime, some faves from our shoot.

Cheers to hump day, babies and finding balance! xx

Babes and Balance

Babes and Balance

Babes and Balance

October 07, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Need to Know: heymama

Need to Know: heymama

The ladies behind heymama give us 6 reasons to shop “mom-owned” businesses while pregnant.

Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler

We are truly amazed by how many moms and moms-to-be we meet that are simultaneously bringing up baby AND a small business (or sometimes, a big business). As entrepreneurial moms ourselves, there is nothing more motivating and inspiring than seeing other entrepreneurial moms that are hustling…and kicking ass. And now that heymama is here we know where to find them. The site’s become a regular read, and we’re slightly addicted to Hey Mama’s Instagram feed, with its heartfelt stories of enterprising moms around the world.

We recently caught up with heymama founders Katya Libin (mom to Liliana, 4) and Amri Kibbler (mom to Mari, 4, and another little girl on the way!) and found out what inspires them, how they unwind, and what 6 “mom-owned” businesses every pregnant gal should know about right now.

Hey Mama founders

Why do you think it’s so important to build your mom community as a new mom?
Amri: It can be really scary and lonely to become a mom, there are so many things that you need answers to, things that only another mom can help you through. Just feeling like you’re not alone can make all the difference.

Who’s a hey mama?
Amri: Our members are entrepreneurs, businesswomen, stylists, content creators, bloggers, editors, writers and all kinds of creative women. When it comes to their style of parenting, it really runs the gamut: we have moms who are into attachment parenting, babywearing, home-schooling, breastfeeding, public schools, those that have nannies or rely on stay-at-home dads and more. We support anything that feels right to you has a mother. We are non-judgmental parents, and really want to create a support system for women that want to explore their passions and dreams outside of motherhood while being parents.

How do you divide and conquer on the day to day? 
Amri: We both weigh in on pretty much everything. Katya takes the lead on the agency portion of heymama and I handle more of the editorial front.

Amri Kibbler of Hey Mama

How does being moms influence your daily work?
Amri: From a logistic perspective… it takes a lot of organizing. When you’re a mom, you have to look ahead and plan everything out. Once you get the hang of that, it’s much easier to fit everything in. From a creative perspective, my daughter inspires me all the time. I love doing crafts and cooking and have so much fun sharing these activities with Mari. Cooking is such a great way to teach skills like math as well as practice working together. They open up your creativity in away you many have forgotten. You can be silly and really explore your artistic side.

When the workday’s over and the kids are finally asleep, how do you spend your “me” time?
Amri: Uh, ok you got me! At the moment I really haven’t been making much “me time”! When Mari is asleep, it’s back to emails. I do try to squeeze in frequent manicures and some early morning Pilatesonce a week. That’s what happens when you start a business, get pregnant, and move all around the same time. Totally guilty, but I’m going to do some meditation tonight before bed now that you called me out. Katya has some really great positive affirmations she listens to!
Katya: I love to go to the gym after a long day–it helps me destress and gives me “me time.” When not at the gym, NYC has no shortage of incredible restaurants to catch up with old friends. I’m also obsessed with Glam & Go, a membership service for blow outs.

Katya Libin

Give us 6 mom-owned businesses that every pregnant gal needs to know about.
1. Tubby Todd. Their products are not only all-natural, but smell delicious. I bought them for Mari but have been using them myself while pregnant. The lotion is moisturizing and not sticky. The package in super cute and my daughter loves it.

2. HATCH Collection. The best fashion-forward pieces for everyday! I’ve been living in the jumpsuits, dresses and sweaters. The pieces feel both like versatile basic but also unique, and transition from maternity to the rest of your busy life with baby.

3. Mitera Collection. This collection of chic modern dresses each contains invisible zippers that make breast-feeding a snap. It’s really hard to find office, meeting, and event appropriate breastfeeding friendly outfits. These are so beautiful you’ll wear them way past the time you and your babe have finished breastfeeding.

#ohheymama
4. Natti Natti. The collection is designed by an artistic husband and wife duo that owned and operated an art gallery for five years in Chelsea. The modern yet whimsical Brooklyn meets Sweden line of organic baby blankets, pillows, and toddler bedding are made in small batches, are super soft, and very special.

5. Kid and Coe. This site is a must for all families who love to travel! You can rent gorgeous family centric homes all around the globe. They come stocked with essentials like high chairs, cribs, and toys. It’s so much more comfortable to have a kitchen prep meals for little ones and a separate bedroom so you can get some rest.

6. DockATot. is a multi-functional lounging, playing, resting, snuggling station for your baby. It’s a comfortable and safe place to set your new baby while you take care of mama and perfect if you practice co-sleeping.

heymama.co

Photography by Amy Frances.

October 06, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Working Mom Must-haves

Working Mom Must-haves

3 inspiring working moms share the registry items they can’t live without.

It’s hard to know what life with baby will be like, but if you’re planning to be a working mom, there’s some stuff that’s just universal. Like: the daily struggle to find balance is real. A little support can go a long way. And, your baby registry is for so much more than baby–it’s also for stuff that you won’t be able to live without as a working mom.

We know, not every baby boutique will let you register for just what a working mom needs (MZ Wallace bag, anyone?). Which is why we went out and found you some pretty inspirational working moms to share those clutch items that will make your new life a breeze. It’s also why our friends at the personalized registry site Gugu Guru have added tons of them (and other unique registry recommendations related to your unique lifestyle) to their product picks. Because baby registries should be as much about mama as they should about baby, right?

Get these working mom must-haves on your own baby registry stat, then head over to this week’s giveaway and win a package that will help you go back to work with style and ease.

Working Mom Must-havesJULEE WILSON, Senior Fashion Editor at The Huffington Post
“The only way I can describe the day I went back to work is: bittersweet. I had spent the last 12 weeks getting to know this amazing little being and now I had to hand him over to a perfect stranger (albeit an amazing nanny). However, while I was sad to walk out the door, I was thankful that I would be walking back into a dope job, surrounded by super talented people, and living a career that I always dreamed of. You can’t have it all — but you can have a lot. I have a lot.“

JULEE’S WORKING MOM MUST-HAVES:
Working Mom Must-haves

 

  1. “Orion” nameplate necklace. Always gotta keep my baby boy close to my heart. Enough said.
  2. Moleskin notebook. I love these durable journals for working on stories as I ride the train to work and jotting down precious memories — like Orion’s minor and major milestones.The
  3. Belly Bandit. Much to my dismay — yet not surprisingly — my body didn’t bounce back to it’s former semi-taut state. With that said I needed some help pulling these together. Enter, the Belly Bandit. One word: amazing.
  4. MZ Wallace “Metro Tote” bag. Every gal needs a chic and reliable work bag and this is mine. I also have a larger camo-printed one for Orion’s diaper bag. In a nutshell: It’s as close as you’ll ever get to carryall perfection.
  5. Brother Vellies denim “Erongo” shoes. Transitioning back to heels took so time — so in the meantime I indulged in a pair of great casual flats like these dope all denim kicks by Brother Vellies.
    Get all of Julee’s picks here!

Working Mom Must-havesGRACE LEE, founder and CEO of Nine Naturals
“I’ve had to ease myself back into work. It’s a lot to juggle work with the schedule of two kids. I feel fortunate to have a job that allows me that flexibility and an incredible team that keeps things running smoothly at Nine Naturals, even in my absence. The things that make going back to work easier are things that add convenience and efficiency to my life.”

 

GRACE’S WORKING MOM MUST-HAVES:
Working Mom Must-haves

  1. Stylish nursing wear for easy access when pumping at the office are a must. I sure as DON’T want to be taking my shirt on and off at the office. My favorites for style and functionality are: the Au Lait Shop Tank and Mitera Collection Charlotte Nursing Dress (pictured above).
  2. A monthly membership to ClassPass. With ClassPass I can pick up a class anywhere in the city at a time and day that works for me. It makes it easier to squeeze in a workout when I have free time.
  3. Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer. A lot has changed in between my two pregnancies — including new, improved gadgets! The Baby Brezza One Step Sterilizer Dryer sterilizes AND dries your bottles and pump equipment. No more drying rack needed!
  4. A versatile bag that is both fashionable and functional. As a working mom, I’m always on-the-go! I need a bag that can take me from school drop-off to work to kids’ activities, while also big enough to carry my laptop, breast pump, diapers and the rest. My friend and fellow working mom, Jocelyn (the founder of the online store Tuckernuck) introduced me to the MZ Wallace Metro Tote. It’s the perfect carry-all and made of a lightweight fabric that is water- and stain-resistant.
  5. Meals from Plated. Plated is a weekly meal delivery service that sends you food ingredients and recipes. It takes the stress out of meal planning and I love being able to try new recipes.
    Get all of Grace’s picks here!

Working Mom Must-havesJESSICA SHORTALL, author of Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work.
“With my first child, going back to work sparked in me a really deep, terrifying anxiety. I sobbed while I was still in the hospital, and started having panic attacks while home on leave. I ended up battling postpartum anxiety, triggered by the combination of going back to work and being obsessed with being ‘successful’ at breastfeeding while working long hours and traveling a lot for my job. I couldn’t imagine a world in which I wasn’t with this baby ALL. THE. TIME. And I agonized over the idea that he’d somehow forget who I was (this is crazy, and did not happen).

The good news is that with my second baby, I didn’t have the same demons. I really leaned into that maternity leave…so much snuggling and napping together and binge-watching of Scandal. I worked hard at taking the breastfeeding pressure off of myself, even as I continued to breastfeed as much as I felt was healthy for me.”

JESSICA’S WORKING MOM MUST-HAVES:
Working Mom Must-haves

      1. Soothing gel pads for your nipples for early breastfeeding. No, this isn’t a work thing, but dude: your nipples are really going to hurt at first. I used the Medela kind, and cut them in quarters because they can get pricey. My top hack? Setting them on top of a cup full of ice for a few minutes before applying them. Can you say “ahhhhhhhhhhh”?
      2. Coconut oil. I never used the stuff because I didn’t know it was a thing, but apparently pumping women swear by it. You kind of grease the insides of your pump flanges and it makes the whole thing less terrible.
      3. Pump-friendly work clothes. This means crossover tops, wrap dresses (if you’re cool with having a very visible post-baby tummy and/or you own stock in Spanx), button-down shirts, shirt dresses, and layered camisoles and tops. You can certainly get dedicated pumping clothes from brands like Loyal Hana (pictured above), or ask from some gift cards from some mainstream stores and go buy some “I still look about 5 months pregnant but I’m not” pumping- and working-friendly clothes.
      4. Pumpin’ Pal breast pump flanges. These are compatible with most pumps, either as replacement flanges or to drop into the pump’s standard flanges, and I literally don’t have the right words to describe how game-changing they are if you’re going to be pumping all the time. They hurt less, they minimize spills and drips of milk, and they can even support greater milk output. I’ve met the founder — an inventor who was tired of seeing his wife struggle with the lame flanges that most pumps come with — and he is a great guy who really just wants to help working moms.
      5. Electric Pump. I’m assuming in all of this that the expecting mom’s health insurance is going to cover a double-electric breast pump. Obamacare requires most insurance plans to cover a pump, although double electric vs. single manual is not specified, so it can be hit or miss. If I were registering for a pump today, I’d go with the Ardo Calypso. I’ve never used it myself, but it gets great reviews and it is totally silent…no more lying on conference calls when people ask, “What’s that weird sound?”
      6. A My Brest Friend nursing pillow. Get over the silly name and get one of these. It’s so great when your baby is tiny, because it fits snugly against your body so the baby doesn’t kind of melt into the crack between the pillow and your body. And the fact that you can buckle it onto yourself and walk around the house (NOT with the baby still on it) makes it kind of amazing.
October 06, 2015 by Mitera Collection
The Fall Fashionista: Styling the Belly and Beyond

The Fall Fashionista: Styling the Belly and Beyond

You are pregnant! You’ve got a bump but see a bumpy road ahead of you in maintaining your sense of style? Or you are a new mom over the moon about the arrival of your new baby but not so excited about the prospect of wearing ‘nursing-friendly’ baggy T-shirt and button shirts for the foreseeable future?

Not to worry. Just because you are pregnant or nursing does not mean you need to ditch your sense of style all year long. Here are three examples of chic fall styles you can create at any budget level.

Autumn Chic

Nursing and Beyond? Yes, it is possible to look chic but be comfortable while pregnant or nursing! A Cocoon nursing dress with deep Kangaroo pockets and leggings are your best friends. Add a statement oversized sweater coat and chunky boots to complete the look. Don’t forget a scarf that can double as a nursing cover and a big enough tote to carry the baby items and/or breastpump.

The Fall Fashionista: Styling the Belly and Beyond

Dress like this one

Leggings like this one or this one

Sweater coat like this one or this one

Baby Wrap like this one

Boots like this one or this one

Bag like this one or this one

Back to Work

Is your maternity leave over? Going back to work never looked so chic! Show off your new curves in a body hugging dress with stretch fabric and hidden nursing access. Keep the accessories simple and add a pair of classic pumps to help you pump with confidence! Invest in a good coat for in-between seasons and unpredictable weather and a good pump. A classic hold-everything bag with a strap will be all your need to carry all your essentials as a new mom!

The Fall Fashionista: Styling the Belly and Beyond

Dress like this one

Coat like this one or this one

Shoes like this one or this one

Bag like this one or this one

Bangle like this one or this one

Pump by Medela

Don’t lose the Trend

No time to put together an outfit? Get dressed in one piece and stay on trend with a jumpsuit. A faux-fur coat will add great texture that your little one will love, too. Look for a bag that you can wear cross-body – you will need both hands free with a new baby. It is what you wear inside that counts. Stay dry with organic reusable nursing pads! Add sleek sequin sneakers and a baby carrier to tie the whole look together!

The Fall Fashionista: Styling the Belly and Beyond

Jumpsuit like this one

Jacket like this one or this one

Shoes like this one or this one

Bag like this one or this one

Baby carrier like this one

Nursing pads like this one

This is a Sponsored Post by the Mitera Collection 

 

October 06, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Talking Business, Babies, And Breastfeeding With Mama Glow

Talking Business, Babies, And Breastfeeding With Mama Glow

Mark your calendars for this Thursday, October 8, 2015! As part of their #MamaGlowSalonSeries, Mama Glow–the online health, wellness, and lifestyle resource for expectant and new mothers–is hosting a conversation on Business, Babies, Breastfeeding: The challenges + triumphs of modern motherhood + the workplace.

The conversation will be moderated by Rebecca Sinn of SELF magazine, Latham Thomas of Mama Glow, and Yoko Shimada of MITERA (an upscale maternity fashion collection designed for the expectant and breastfeeding mama, which is also presenting the event).

Attendees will be able to shop the MITERA collection and take home a gift!

This event takes place on Thursday, October 8, from 6:30-8:30pm at a private penthouse in SoHo. To RSVP and get info on the exact location, email your name and affiliation to Info@MamaGlow.com.

To learn more about Mama Glow, visit mamaglow.com!

October 06, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Dressed for Success

Dressed for Success

Yoko Shimada, founder of fashion label Mitera, tells Lilly Smith why she's passionate about supporting modern mothers

Yoko Shimada is a woman on a mission. Her aim is to make motherhood easier for women across the world- something she plans to do through her US_based fashion label Mitera.

October 04, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Happy Weekend: 10 Links I love

Happy Weekend: 10 Links I love

Happy Weekend: 10 Links I love

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog and that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. In a nutshell, this is the last time I’ll be posting here on Thoughts by Natalie. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this space I’ve had for so long, but it’s not the end of my blogging life completely! In fact, I’m so excited to be starting something brand new and wanted to share a little bit about it here for those of you who may not follow along on Instagram and have gotten the full update.

The truth is, I’ve felt a bit disconnected from this blog  since I started my jewelry business and have been debating whether to keep it or start fresh for at least a year now. This is a blog I started when I was a completely different person, in a different place, with different interests. Since becoming a mother and a designer, I’ve felt less connected to my identity as a “lifestyle blogger” and more of a desire to focus on my core business.

My biggest fear was losing my solid readership base since I’ve had this blog going on for so many years, but the more time goes by the more I realize I don’t care very much about stats or numbers, but rather authentically connecting with you all as customers and friends and fellow mamas and entrepreneurs. And that’s what I want to do here!

I honestly considered abandoning blogging completely because I felt like it wasn’t something people were as interested in these days, but after polling a lot of you informally via Instagram many of you confirmed that you either read the blog regularly, check it when I tell you on Instagram I’ve put up a new post, or at the very least enjoy being able to reference content I’ve shared before. So with that input, the blogging continues—just in a slightly new format.

So, there you have it—it’s time for a fresh start! I hope you’ll follow along over on the new blog here.

xo

September 02, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Modern Motherhood: A New Identity

Modern Motherhood: A New Identity

Happy Weekend: 10 Links I love

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog and that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. In a nutshell, this is the last time I’ll be posting here on Thoughts by Natalie. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this space I’ve had for so long, but it’s not the end of my blogging life completely! In fact, I’m so excited to be starting something brand new and wanted to share a little bit about it here for those of you who may not follow along on Instagram and have gotten the full update.

The truth is, I’ve felt a bit disconnected from this blog  since I started my jewelry business and have been debating whether to keep it or start fresh for at least a year now. This is a blog I started when I was a completely different person, in a different place, with different interests. Since becoming a mother and a designer, I’ve felt less connected to my identity as a “lifestyle blogger” and more of a desire to focus on my core business.

My biggest fear was losing my solid readership base since I’ve had this blog going on for so many years, but the more time goes by the more I realize I don’t care very much about stats or numbers, but rather authentically connecting with you all as customers and friends and fellow mamas and entrepreneurs. And that’s what I want to do here!

I honestly considered abandoning blogging completely because I felt like it wasn’t something people were as interested in these days, but after polling a lot of you informally via Instagram many of you confirmed that you either read the blog regularly, check it when I tell you on Instagram I’ve put up a new post, or at the very least enjoy being able to reference content I’ve shared before. So with that input, the blogging continues—just in a slightly new format.

So, there you have it—it’s time for a fresh start! I hope you’ll follow along over on the new blog here.

xo

September 01, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Bump and beyond: Chic pieces that work during pregnancy — and long after

Bump and beyond: Chic pieces that work during pregnancy — and long after

Bump and beyond: Chic pieces that work during pregnancy — and long after

Clockwise from top left: Thug Life Preggers Shirt, $28; Blanqi High Performance Belly Lift & Support Leggings, $64; Storq Basics Bundle, $250; Hatch Collection Caftan, $248; A Pea in the Pod Luxe Essentials Denim Mckenzie Straight Leg Maternity Jean, $85

Here are some pieces to get you through the early months, those big-belly days and beyond — when you need all the help you can get.

Dressing a bump is fun, there’s no doubt. It’s a rare time when our proportions get flipped around and a bulging belly is something to show off rather than disguise.

But that full belly is actually a fairly short blip in the whole process — a process that presents new challenges for dressing with each phase. And don’t forget about after the birth and the possibility of months of nursing.

With that in mind, here are some pieces to get you through the early months, those big-belly days and beyond — when you need all the help you can get.

 

August 03, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Modern Motherhood: the Postpartum Body

Modern Motherhood: the Postpartum Body

Happy Weekend: 10 Links I love

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog and that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. In a nutshell, this is the last time I’ll be posting here on Thoughts by Natalie. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this space I’ve had for so long, but it’s not the end of my blogging life completely! In fact, I’m so excited to be starting something brand new and wanted to share a little bit about it here for those of you who may not follow along on Instagram and have gotten the full update.

The truth is, I’ve felt a bit disconnected from this blog  since I started my jewelry business and have been debating whether to keep it or start fresh for at least a year now. This is a blog I started when I was a completely different person, in a different place, with different interests. Since becoming a mother and a designer, I’ve felt less connected to my identity as a “lifestyle blogger” and more of a desire to focus on my core business.

My biggest fear was losing my solid readership base since I’ve had this blog going on for so many years, but the more time goes by the more I realize I don’t care very much about stats or numbers, but rather authentically connecting with you all as customers and friends and fellow mamas and entrepreneurs. And that’s what I want to do here!

I honestly considered abandoning blogging completely because I felt like it wasn’t something people were as interested in these days, but after polling a lot of you informally via Instagram many of you confirmed that you either read the blog regularly, check it when I tell you on Instagram I’ve put up a new post, or at the very least enjoy being able to reference content I’ve shared before. So with that input, the blogging continues—just in a slightly new format.

So, there you have it—it’s time for a fresh start! I hope you’ll follow along over on the new blog here.

xo

July 01, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Style the Bump: 37 Weeks

Style the Bump: 37 Weeks

Style the Bump: 37 Weeks

When I first became pregnant, I had no intentions of publishing weekly Style The Bump posts, but about 6 months into the journey I realized while facing my own prenatal style challenges that others were likely going through a similar struggle. As I started to consider my changing shape, comfort, and not wanting to break the bank, I discovered styling strategies and techniques that I knew other women could benefit from. So alas, Style The Bump series for Your Soul Style was born. Which then lead to the launch of my *NEW* Prenatal/Postnatal Styling Package, which you can read details about here!

While I still have 3 more weeks to go (I’m 37 weeks today!), this babe could potentially be here at any given moment, and I wanted to share this recap with you before she arrives! So here are 6 key tips to apply while rocking your new bump…

⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅

FAVORITE MATERNITY ITEM

Hands down, my two favorite silhouettes were a jumpsuit/overalls & dresses. You can get a complete outfit in one, and make sure to look for styles without a defined waistline to ensure room for your growing belly. 

WHERE TO INVEST

A good pair of designer denim that you will wear until the end of your pregnancy is worth the investment. Especially if you’re a jeans gal and can wear to work. Keep in mind that if you want to buy maternity jeans, wait until your second trimester when the rest of your body (aside from your belly) starts to fill out a bit. This will ensure that you’re buying a size that will last. Other items to invest in are styles you will get a lot of use out of. Even if you don’t wear in postnatal life, if you are going to live in a piece over the course of 10 months, it’s worth it! For me, it was my Hatch Cashmere Onesie. I wore it endlessly. 

MATERNITY BRANDS I ♥ 

Hatch, Mitera, Isabella Oliver, Loyal Hana, ASOS, H&M, TopShop, Destination Maternity, Zara

BE CREATIVE

There are likely many items in your closet that will work during a pregnancy, but you need to get creative! Set aside some time early on in your pregnancy to go through your closet and pull out what will work and what will not. Store the items that won’t in a separate area so you have a clear point of view about the items that will. Create a new baseline for the next 10+ months. Items in your existing wardrobe that tend to work are dresses/jumpsuits without seams, dresses with stretch,  joggers (think elastic waist), extra-long tanks and tees, oversize sweaters, oversize button-downs, skirts with an elastic waist, blazers and cardigans. 

ACCESSORIES ARE YOUR FRIEND

When pregnant, you wear a lot of the same thing over and over since your wardrobe is limited. That said, items like scarves, bags, statement jewelry, and shoes can give a blank canvas such as a solid black dress many different iterations. 

DON’T NEGLECT SEXY

YES! You’re body is changing. YES! Your belly is getting bigger, along with your boobs, butt and likely legs too. But the new curvier version of yourself is just as beautiful and sexy. It’s just about shifting your perspective on what sexy actually is. Becoming a mother is one of the most empowering journeys that life has to offer so embrace it and own it. Wear clothing that highlights your assets and your womanhood! 

June 22, 2015 by Mitera Collection
The Best Places to Shop for Maternity Clothes

The Best Places to Shop for Maternity Clothes

Happy Weekend: 10 Links I love

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog and that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. In a nutshell, this is the last time I’ll be posting here on Thoughts by Natalie. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this space I’ve had for so long, but it’s not the end of my blogging life completely! In fact, I’m so excited to be starting something brand new and wanted to share a little bit about it here for those of you who may not follow along on Instagram and have gotten the full update.

The truth is, I’ve felt a bit disconnected from this blog  since I started my jewelry business and have been debating whether to keep it or start fresh for at least a year now. This is a blog I started when I was a completely different person, in a different place, with different interests. Since becoming a mother and a designer, I’ve felt less connected to my identity as a “lifestyle blogger” and more of a desire to focus on my core business.

My biggest fear was losing my solid readership base since I’ve had this blog going on for so many years, but the more time goes by the more I realize I don’t care very much about stats or numbers, but rather authentically connecting with you all as customers and friends and fellow mamas and entrepreneurs. And that’s what I want to do here!

I honestly considered abandoning blogging completely because I felt like it wasn’t something people were as interested in these days, but after polling a lot of you informally via Instagram many of you confirmed that you either read the blog regularly, check it when I tell you on Instagram I’ve put up a new post, or at the very least enjoy being able to reference content I’ve shared before. So with that input, the blogging continues—just in a slightly new format.

So, there you have it—it’s time for a fresh start! I hope you’ll follow along over on the new blog here.

xo

June 19, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with some epic maternity brands throughout my pregnancy, and in this week’s Style The Bump: 35 Week post, I bring you one of my newest faves: Mitera, “a fashion brand with a core mission to make mothers feel beautiful, confident and empowered. [The company] Mitera creates contemporary, smart and versatile clothing that provides style and comfort for nursing and pumping mothers and pregnant mothers-to-be.” I was super excited when Yoko Shimada, the companies founder reached out to connect because I’m eager to learn about brands targeted towards mamas looking to maintain their stylish lifestyle! And I love being able to bring that awareness to all of you! Yoko invited me to come and join the Mitera team at the Biggest Baby Shower event, acting as their on site Stylist for the evening, and I couldn’t wait to wear the Grace Dress shown in these photos since the second I tried it on, I felt beautiful, sexy (a sometimes hard to achieve feeling when 35 weeks pregnant!) and of course – stylish.

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

I’ve written about the challenge of styling maternity-wear in previous Style The Bump posts, but with companies like Mitera, women are able to invest into pieces that work for pre, during and postpartum life, while remaining fashionable and functional at the same time. This dress has so many aspects that I love. Between the gorgeous Japanese crepe fabric, to the meticulously placed knife pleats that run along the entire length of the dress and secret breast-feeding zippers, it’s nothing short of perfection. The dress is also machine washable, retaining its shape (and pleats), and constructed with “a patent-pending thin built-in front liner (kind of like a loose sports bra) so that your chest area is not immediately exposed when the zippers are open offering moms the ultimate functionality and peace of mind to help them enjoy life too as nursing moms.” It comes with a belt made of the same fabric which can be added during your postpartum days.

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Mitera is a company that believes in style from the inside out. More than just creating beautiful pieces that empower new mamas and help them feel beautiful, the company has created the Mother to Motherprogram. “For every dress you purchase, Mitera makes a meaningful contribution to innovative organizations working to improve maternal and newborn health in tangible, measurable and impactful ways.” Yoko is extremely passionate about this mission and believes as women we should all be supporting each other! A woman after my heart, I can’t wait to continue our partnership together.

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

Your Soul Style X Mitera. Style the Bump: 35 Weeks

June 18, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Modern Motherhood: Stay at Home, Work at Home

Modern Motherhood: Stay at Home, Work at Home

Happy Weekend: 10 Links I love

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog and that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. In a nutshell, this is the last time I’ll be posting here on Thoughts by Natalie. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this space I’ve had for so long, but it’s not the end of my blogging life completely! In fact, I’m so excited to be starting something brand new and wanted to share a little bit about it here for those of you who may not follow along on Instagram and have gotten the full update.

The truth is, I’ve felt a bit disconnected from this blog  since I started my jewelry business and have been debating whether to keep it or start fresh for at least a year now. This is a blog I started when I was a completely different person, in a different place, with different interests. Since becoming a mother and a designer, I’ve felt less connected to my identity as a “lifestyle blogger” and more of a desire to focus on my core business.

My biggest fear was losing my solid readership base since I’ve had this blog going on for so many years, but the more time goes by the more I realize I don’t care very much about stats or numbers, but rather authentically connecting with you all as customers and friends and fellow mamas and entrepreneurs. And that’s what I want to do here!

I honestly considered abandoning blogging completely because I felt like it wasn’t something people were as interested in these days, but after polling a lot of you informally via Instagram many of you confirmed that you either read the blog regularly, check it when I tell you on Instagram I’ve put up a new post, or at the very least enjoy being able to reference content I’ve shared before. So with that input, the blogging continues—just in a slightly new format.

So, there you have it—it’s time for a fresh start! I hope you’ll follow along over on the new blog here.

xo

June 17, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Modern Motherhood: Pumping at Work

Modern Motherhood: Pumping at Work

Happy Weekend: 10 Links I love

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog and that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. In a nutshell, this is the last time I’ll be posting here on Thoughts by Natalie. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this space I’ve had for so long, but it’s not the end of my blogging life completely! In fact, I’m so excited to be starting something brand new and wanted to share a little bit about it here for those of you who may not follow along on Instagram and have gotten the full update.

The truth is, I’ve felt a bit disconnected from this blog  since I started my jewelry business and have been debating whether to keep it or start fresh for at least a year now. This is a blog I started when I was a completely different person, in a different place, with different interests. Since becoming a mother and a designer, I’ve felt less connected to my identity as a “lifestyle blogger” and more of a desire to focus on my core business.

My biggest fear was losing my solid readership base since I’ve had this blog going on for so many years, but the more time goes by the more I realize I don’t care very much about stats or numbers, but rather authentically connecting with you all as customers and friends and fellow mamas and entrepreneurs. And that’s what I want to do here!

I honestly considered abandoning blogging completely because I felt like it wasn’t something people were as interested in these days, but after polling a lot of you informally via Instagram many of you confirmed that you either read the blog regularly, check it when I tell you on Instagram I’ve put up a new post, or at the very least enjoy being able to reference content I’ve shared before. So with that input, the blogging continues—just in a slightly new format.

So, there you have it—it’s time for a fresh start! I hope you’ll follow along over on the new blog here.

xo

June 17, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Fashion Find: Mitera Collection

Fashion Find: Mitera Collection

May 02, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Chic Nursing Outfits

Chic Nursing Outfits

Okay, I’m going to get one important thing out of the way first: The maternity and nursing clothing line I’m about to tell you about is a splurge. Like, a really big splurge. But if your best friend has the nerve to get married when you’re still nursing your baby; or say you’re pregnant and have a super-important work event for which you need a super-amazing dress that says I’m still in the game, oh colleague who’s eyeing my job; or even if you just want to gaze at the pictures of these amazing dresses and imagine yourself wearing them, then Mitera maternity and nursing dresses are definitely worth a look.

Created by mom and global public health specialist Yoko Shimada and made in New York, Mitera features a range of styles, from a more body-hugging dress to a couple of beautiful flow-y (read: forgiving) choices that are perfect for mamas adjusting to new post-baby bodies.

So if a splurge is exactly what the midwife ordered, take advantage of the fact that most Mitera maternity and nursing dresses are wearable in pregnancy and after, making them entirely justifiable purchases.

 

Chic Nursing Outfits

 

 Chic Nursing Outfits

Of course it doesn’t hurt to have fantastically toned arms and calves–plus a great haircut–if you’re going to go for something like the Elif dress (at very bottom), which could look a little potato sack-like on the wrong frame. The A-line Mimi Dress (above) may be the most universally flattering. And then there’s the va-va-voom Charlotte dress which is like that perfect LBD, only with zippers concealed in folds of beautiful fabric so that no one would ever know they’re for nursing.

Not that there’s a problem with someone knowing — it’s just nice to know the dress will last beyond the nursing years at this price.

 Chic Nursing Outfits

 

 

 Chic Nursing Outfits

 

 Chic Nursing Outfits

 

 Chic Nursing Outfits

 

 Chic Nursing Outfits

 

They come in sizes 2-12 so when I say they’re not for everyone, I don’t just mean budget. However Mitera’s designs  are pretty spectacular if you’re in the market for something spendy but wearable, especially if you plan on extended breastfeeding or maybe having another kid or two. In fact, these are designs that aren’t likely to go out of style anytime soon,which can help justify the price.

To top it off, Mitera donates a meaningful portion of their revenue to non-profit partner organizations like D-Rev to help improve maternal and newborn health. So buying that dress is pretty much your good deed for the day.

See the entire collection of the designer maternity and nursing dresses at Mitera Maternity Collection. But be warned: They are pretty. And spendy. And very, very tempting.

April 12, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Mitera Maternity and Nursing Dresses

Mitera Maternity and Nursing Dresses

Okay, I’m going to get one important thing out of the way first: The maternity and nursing clothing line I’m about to tell you about is a splurge. Like, a really big splurge. But if your best friend has the nerve to get married when you’re still nursing your baby;; or say you’re pregnant and have a super-important work event for which you need a super-amazing dress that says I’m still in the game, oh colleague who’s eyeing my job; or even if you just want to gaze at the pictures of these amazing dresses.
March 20, 2015 by Mitera Collection
Breastfeeding-Friendly Fashion

Breastfeeding-Friendly Fashion

You’ve mastered the art of maternity clothing and know exactly how to stylishly dress to be comfortable and complement your baby bump at the same time. Then, you give birth and an even bigger challenge presents itself: How exactly do you dress to make breastfeeding easy while still feeling confident about how you look?

Many new moms find themselves struggling to find clothes that make them look and feel good, but also allow easy access to breastfeed or pump. Luckily, nursing clothes have come a long way. It’s no longer hard to find pieces you love to wear that are fully functional. Whether you want to invest in designer styles, want to stock up on affordable basics, or a little of each, you may be surprised by the options available to you.

Splurge

There’s no shortage of great designers selling stylish breastfeeding tops and dresses. These are some of our favorites:

  • Au Lait – These gorgeous tops and dresses are made for breastfeeding, but don’t be surprised if your non-nursing friends start asking you where you got that amazing dress.

  • Loyal Hana – These on-trend pieces, which run the gamut from basic tees and sweatshirts to jumpsuits and tunics are designed with an barely-visible side zip that makes it easy to discreetly nurse.

  • Boob – A favorite of many nursing moms, this Swedish company carries comfy, cute, and functional tops and dresses that make breastfeeding a breeze.

  • Seraphine – With a huge variety of tops, dresses, wraps and more, Seraphine’s fashionable nursing clothes can help make it easier to feel like your fabulous self again.

  • Leche Libre – Hand-made in Chicago, these dresses integrate materials like organic hemp and feature either bold hardware or discreet zippered panels.

  • Mitera – Each of these beautiful, splurge-worthy dresses has a hidden zipper on the chest to allow for easy nursing and pumping.

Save

Breastfeeding fashion doesn’t have to be pricey. Get stylish and affordable finds at these retailers:

  • Motherhood Maternity – A go-to for maternity clothes, you can also find great nursing basics like cozy sleepwear you’ll want to wear all day.

  • Latched Mama – Started by a breastfeeding mom who was frustrated with the lack of clothing options, these affordable and comfy basics are all tested to make sure they’re easy to wear, easy to move in and of course, easy to feed in.

  • H&M – With built in layers and trendy designs and patterns, H&M’s MAMA line is perfect for the budget-friendly nursing fashionista.

  • ASOS – Drop-down panels, concealed openings and soft stretch cups make these perfectly on-trend tops and dresses convenient for nursing and pumping.

  • Pink Blush – These drapey tops and wraps look great with leggings, and the large selection of nursing dresses will keep you looking and feeling great, while making feeding baby a cinch. Lots of great plus-sized options, too!

Regular Styles that Work for Nursing

You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe for breastfeeding. With a little layering and creativity, pieces you already own can help ease the sometimes awkward transition from maternity to regular clothes.

  • Layers, layers, layers – Layers are a breastfeeding mom’s best friend. Wearing a cami underneath your normal tops allow you stay mostly covered when you’re breastfeeding in public or around friends.

  • Cardigans – Throwing a cardigan on over your cami or breastfeeding top is an easy way to pull a look together, while allowing easy access for nursing. You can even use your cardigan as a nursing cover.

  • Wrap tops and dresses – Not only are wrap dresses incredibly flattering on all body types, they’re perfect for making pumping a snap at work or during dressier occasions.

  • Button down shirts – Tops that button make access easy and are a more structured option, especially if you need to go back to work.

  • Scarves – The bigger the better! Oversized scarves can do double duty as a stylish accessory and a nursing cover.

Other Tips

  • Complete your nursing-friendly closet with bras and undershirts that are made for pumping and breastfeeding!

  • Nursing pads – As a breastfeeding mom, your breasts may leak milk. And when you’re looking and feeling good, the last thing you want is a wet shirt! Nursing pads help absorb the milk to prevent leaks from showing.

  • Nursing covers – There is no shame in the beautiful act of providing life-supporting breast milk to your child. But for those looking for full coverage in certain situations, these covers keep baby (and mom!) shielded from view, stay put better than receiving blankets, and come in cute and funky colors to fit your personality.

  • Slip-on shoes – It can seem like you never have enough hands as a new mom. Having cute and comfy shoes you can easily slip on hands-free gives you one less thing to worry about when you’re packing up baby, diaper bags, strollers, and more.

  • Accessories – As a new mom, you may sometimes feel like your personal style has to take a backseat to more functional fashion. But accessorizing with little things you love can make you feel instantly more put-together. Try throwing on a fun pair of sunglasses or your favorite earrings. These little touches can go a long way.

March 09, 2015 by Mitera Collection
'Medela Moments' recommending Mitera

'Medela Moments' recommending Mitera

"Mitera – Each of these beautiful, splurge-worthy dresses has a hidden zipper on the chest to allow for easy nursing and pumping."

March 08, 2015 by Mitera Collection
'Babiekins' featuring Mitera

'Babiekins' featuring Mitera

Thank you to Rachel at Babiekins, for featuring our Ellen and Elif dresses, and our Le Diaper bag in your article. You both look beautiful! 

November 16, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'Self Magazine' featuring Mitera

'Self Magazine' featuring Mitera

"Talking to other working moms helped me see a hole in the market, which made me decide to build Mitera and empower women like myself, who want to do it all."

September 23, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'MyDomaine' featuring Mitera

'MyDomaine' featuring Mitera

"Designed for the modern woman who is a professional, a mother, and everything in between, Mitera’s chic yet practical clothing helps ease the transition between work, play, and child-rearing."

July 31, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'The Chriselle Factor' featuring Mitera

'The Chriselle Factor' featuring Mitera

Mitera press mention: The Chriselle Factor

"I recently found this line Mitera, when I had an event to attend, and I was really surprised to find that they had the most beautiful gowns and evening wear for nursing women out there."

June 16, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'Thoughts by Natalie Borton' featuring Mitera

'Thoughts by Natalie Borton' featuring Mitera

"It’s ideal for those of you who are pregnant (or plan to be!), work in a professional environment and need to pump during the day, or non-pregnant, non breastfeeding moms who just want to wear high quality pretty dresses that they can wear and throw in a washing machine."

June 08, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'Cool Mom Picks' recommending Mitera

'Cool Mom Picks' recommending Mitera

"Mitera is making gorgeous clothes any woman would want to wear, pregnant or not."

May 18, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'Refinery 29' featuring Mitera

'Refinery 29' featuring Mitera

'Refinery 29' featuring Mitera

An alumna of the World Bank and the Clinton Foundation, Yoko Shimada has spent her career working to improve public health outcomes. After giving birth to two children, she shifted gears and launched a clothing line dedicated to supporting expecting and new moms." 

May 14, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'Well Rounded NY' featuring Mitera

'Well Rounded NY' featuring Mitera

'Well-Rounded' featuring Mitera

"A chic collection of nursing dresses to ensure you have one less obstacle postpartum."

May 13, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'The Bump' featuring Mitera

'The Bump' featuring Mitera

Thank you for featuring our Katie dress in your article on Graphic Designer Ceci Jonhson. 

May 01, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'Pregnancy & Newborn' featuring Mitera

'Pregnancy & Newborn' featuring Mitera

Pregnancy and Newborn featuring Mitera

“Designed to befit a bump and offer discreet nursing access, this pretty pleated number has you covered for motherhood."

April 17, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'Harper's Bazaar Arabia' featuring Mitera

'Harper's Bazaar Arabia' featuring Mitera

"A fashion brand focused on making mothers feel fabulous, this is your one-stop shop for all things practi-cool."

January 28, 2014 by Mitera Collection
'Baby London' featuring Mitera

'Baby London' featuring Mitera

"Yoko Shimada is a woman on a mission. Her aim is to make motherhood easier for women across the world – something she plans to do through her US-based fashion label Mitera."

October 02, 2013 by Mitera Collection
'The Seattle Times' featuring Mitera

'The Seattle Times' featuring Mitera

"... the Mitera Elif Dress ($340 at miteracollection.com) has hidden zipper access on the chest for convenient nursing or pumping access. Its edgy cocoon shape accommodates a growing belly, but looks ultra-cool after, as well."

August 03, 2013 by Mitera Collection