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