Meet Hillary, an inspirational entrepreneur and a good friend of mine who is also expecting baby #2 this summer! She is the co-founder of The Brandshop (you can read more about this concept here) and for this post we partnered together to share our tips and tricks on being a mama, an entrepreneur and trying to look good while doing it. (You can read my tips and tricks here.)
We are also both fans of making non-maternity wear maternity appropriate which is why we both selected House of Holland dresses to style for this shoot from the oh so chic shop, Buru. Here is how Hilary tries to balance it all while still managing to looking good.
Brandshop is such an unique experience. Tell us how you came up with this concept and how it all got started.
We started working with young brands a few years ago, and quickly realized that distribution and growth into cities outside of major fashion markets (e.g., NY, LA) was a universal challenge. Many of the brands we work with have small teams and are 5-6 years old (or younger) thus their ability to dedicate time and resources to growing in cities like New Orleans, Charlotte, Charleston or Nashville is limited. It’s our goal to help brands expand their distribution into new markets, whether that’s by meeting clients who will continue to shop with them online or through introductions to local specialty stores.
You have conquered some major cities so far and Brandshop has gained some great traction. What is next?
We have some exciting events planned for the next few months, including a pop-up shop in Nantucket & a September Soiree with DYG, and we’re excited to continue to bring new designers into our universe. We have big things brewing at Brandshop HQ as we seek to grow our concept even further– stay tuned for some exciting news this fall!
Tell me how you balance being a mom and being an entrepreneur.
Sometimes not very well 🙂 Seriously, I think if there was an easy formula, this would not be a question that was so often a focus of conversation in our community. I have a young growing business, and a young growing toddler (with #2 on the way) so both need my time and attention. I’m working to prioritize quality time (as opposed to quantity)– so that when I’m with my son, I can focus on him and try to spend time teaching him things, talking to him and experiencing new things with him. Same with Brandshop. But I’ll say, it’s a struggle every day to feel like you’re doing both well, and giving both the attention they deserve.
Have you figured out a maternity fashion formula? Do you have any go-to brands?
I really try to buy RTW that I can wear post baby. It’s not easy in the last few months of pregnancy but I’ve had success investing in pieces and lines that I know I’ll wear later. I know my personal style well enough at this point to say– maybe this is cute right now, but I’ll never wear that next March or April– and I have to say no! I love LemLem, CCH Collection, Derek Lamb 10 Crosby, Hatch Collection & just made a fun purchase from Mi Golondrina which I’m super psyched about.
How did you discover Buru?Buru has partnered with Brandshop, and their founder Morgan is a mom (a very stylish one) and entrepreneur. Have you received any tips or tricks from Morgan?
I first discovered Buru through my good friend Jackie Thompson who is the co-owner of Charleston-based PR firm Leapfrog. Morgan and I clicked pretty quickly and I think she’s super smart in the way she approaches her business and connects with her customers. In terms of tips and tricks– I’ve received some amazing style advice from Morgan. If you can get her in person at an event, I guarantee you won’t go away empty handed because she is an excellent stylist and knows how to fit many styles, shapes and sizes. One thing I love about her personal style, that I try to emulate, is the way she mixes pretty & sophisticated pieces with much more casual ones for a comfortable but elevated daytime look.
If you could pass on a tip (or two) to women who are trying to juggle running a company, being a mother and looking good while doing what would you tell them?
1) Don’t skimp on skincare– sometimes I don’t have the time to put on much makeup so try to keep my skin looking as good as possible! I’m a lover of Circ-Cell & Drunk Elephant Skincare.
2) Laura and I joke that once we find an outfit that we like, we often wear it many times over. If you see me cloning myself time and time again, it’s because I haven’t had time to come up with another great look that fits my constantly changing figure (thanks baby!) but at least I like what I’m wearing and it makes me feel confident & happy!
Head to The Brandshop to read more about this innovative concept and their upcoming calendar of events.