Meet Brittany Peltz Buerstedde, a Manhattan mother to daughters Eva and Lila Rae . Ex professional figure skater and model, she is now the founder of coveted children’s clothing line Leah +Rae.
Could you tell us a day in your life?
Although more rushed than we often intend, our mornings always start together with the girls helping Momma wake up with my morning coffee. They help in steaming my milk and making sure to save the fluffy toppings for themselves. We then take my eldest daughter to school before each of our busy schedules begin. Once the girls are settled in their routine, I head either to my office in Soho or to our factory to check on the latest production.
After work, I meet the girls at their classes or school before heading home for dinner and bath time. It is so important that we start and end each day as a family. Our evening story time and family cuddles are by far the best part of the day.
What is your favorite thing about being a mother?
The overwhelming sense of responsibility you feel to do good for your children and the world truly makes you a better person.I see this not only in myself but in all of the amazing mothers around me.
What do you find the most challenging?
Fitting in all of the roles – mother, wife, daughter, designer and friend. There is only one of me in the end but a piece of me rightfully belongs to each and every aspect. *** Undoubtedly, being a mother always comes first for me which makes prioritizing a bit easier most times.
What has surprised you the most?
The incredible women and friendships that have come from the bond of motherhood.
I am so grateful for the support system of the amazing woman around me, that have truly shown me the strength of women supporting each-other. It really makes you believe in the good in people.
What do you look the most forward to?
Expanding our family and watching and supporting our girls as they follow their dreams!
What are your favorite things to do with your daughters?
Dance, talk, read and travel. This summer more than ever made me realize the importance of traveling not only for us as parents and adults, but for the girls and our family. Having them see different colors, faces and places broadens their perspective and in turn allows them to be more empathetic individuals.
I also feel that it allows them to see us at our happiest and most relaxed state which is so important for them.
Besides Leah + Rae what are your favorite kids clothing and decor brand? Any favorite shopping destinations? (Can be worldwide)
ABC Carpet & Home is definitely one of my all time favorites! Its always such an experience when going there and I always find myself super inspired when I leave. Their design and curated selection of kids, decor and homeware is just perfection.
Club 55 Beach Shack is always a highlight of our trip. You truly can’t beat shopping by the Mediterranean with sand in your toes while your kids eat an ice cream at the beach bar. Their piles of exotic pillows and throws makes you want to turn your whole house into a boho beach haven and their bathing suits are always best for Mommas and babes alike.
You travel a lot with the girls, what ultimate travel tip would you like to share with other mothers?
Let go of all expectations and enjoy the ride! I’m usually quite strict about the girls routine but I’ve learned that during travel- expectation of a normalcy is just unrealistic. Once I embraced that, it took the stress out of it and allowed me to enjoy the break from our routine.
ON BEAUTY AND STYLE
You have the most amazing skin and hair. Could you share some of your beauty secrets? Favorite products?
As boring as this sounds I really do believe that healthy skin in large part comes from the inside out especially in terms of hydrating. I can tell the days I’m dehydrated because my complexion is much dryer and duller.
I’m constantly thirsty, so I drink a ton of coconut water which I totally swear by.
From the outside in, there are a few products that I love. I absolutely love the CocoKind Organic Rose Spray
, it feels amazing and smells amazing too! I don’t wear much makeup but I love the glowy look I get with Tata Harper’s Illuminating Moisturizer which I put on my cheekbones and under-brow for a dewy look. I love all of her products and feel great when I use them knowing that they’re derived from the freshest ingredients grown on her Vermont based farm. For Masks I love Tacha’s Violet-C Radiance Mask and their Luminous Deep Hydration Sheet Mask. When I’m feeling some unwanted wrinkles pop-up I go for Barbara Strum’s Glow Drops .
Thank you so much! I literally have the knottiest hair ever ; ) , so leave-in conditioner is a total must for me. I use UNITE 7 Seconds. I spray it all over the ends of my hair which helps me to comb through after a shower while protecting from split ends.
I literally have no clue how to do my hair so if I’m feeling adventurous I’ll spray some Rockaway, R+Co sea salt spray during summer for a beachier feel.
-When you have a moment to yourself what are your favorite destinations for a massage or face treatment?
Greenwhich Hotel Spa is definitely one of my favorites escapes in the city. Its earthy wood accents and Japanese roots are the perfect offset to the chaos and concrete of the city. One of the best parts is unwinding after a treatment by their cozy pool. Recommended alone or with a good girlfriend.
Did you do any specific work out during your pregnancies and after?
During both pregnancies I worked out with my amazing trainer, Rosalia Chann who focused primarily on exercises using resistance bands and ones own body weight. I found it super important to listen to my body and understand that some days I had more energy then others. I needed someone who would respect and understand that.
I found that in addition to physical workouts it was equally important to seek out the emotional and mental aspect of this hugely transformative period. I would seek out answers in books, blogs and articles alike and found some amazing resources including doula Lori Bregman who really hits on every aspect of pregnancy.
Could you describe quickly your pregnancy style? Did you give up at all into Maternity brands?
My pregnancy style was not hugely different from my style now- simple and comfy. I relied a lot on comfy leggings that I’d pair with chunky sweaters or form fitting t’s which showed off a little shape. I would dress it up with a cool shoe or jacket that made me feel like I still could be slightly stylish even in my larger days.
I definitely gave in to maternity brands at the end and it felt so good! I had a very big belly and really needed the stretchy band if I was going to wear anything other than stretch pants. I loved some of the Hatch pieces especially their faux leather leggings! They totally made me feel like I could still join the party! Splendid made super soft tops that were very practical for everyday and Cosabella made the best maternity/nursing bras from pretty lace that were stretchy enough to transition into the breastfeeding period.
ON LEAH AND RAE
When and how did you launch the brand?
I launched the brand after I gave birth to my second daughter and had a hard time finding clothes that resonated with me. I wanted to create beautiful pieces that were unique and also practical. I wanted them to encompass that magic of childhood.
After becoming a Mom to two girls I realized how important this really was with both of my girls equal part princess and tom boy. Being a mother informed every decision I made for the company and ensured our values were built on quality over quantity. As a mother we all want the very best for our children and I am not willing to compromise that value for anything.
Where do you get all your aspirations for? I think this was meant as inspirations?
Both Eva and Lila inspire me each and everyday and therefore have a very big impact on my designs from both an aesthetic and practical point of view. I am also largely inspired by my travels and childhood summers spent in the Cote d’Azur. I love their effortless sense of beauty and muted color palette that fits well with my understated values of beauty that lay in the delicate details instead of loud statement pieces.
What can we expect in the future?
Stay tuned for exciting events and pop-ups. One of the greatest things about being primarily online is the flexibility to curate fun events and collaborations without being tied to a particular location. We love connecting with Moms and are very excited to cast our net into other marketplaces and communities this season.
Lastly, whats your favorite charity Organization?
I’ve always been a supporter of St. Jude + Simon Wiesenthal because of the incredible work they do and am very excited to work with UNICEF in the upcoming months and create a meaningful partnership between Leah + Rae and their incredible global work.