Rachel Roy, Designer, Mother to Ava and Tallulah. Los Angeles

How has motherhood changed you?

Having my daughters shaped me into the woman I was meant to be. Because of my love for them I began to love myself in a way that should have been taught to me in childhood. Having them made me want to live up to all that they deserved in a mother and in an example of a woman. I’m living my life to set an example for my daughters so that–when they see my struggles and successes–they know they can achieve their own goals. And that’s everything – from the smallest of accomplishments to major life decisions. Before my daughters, I dedicated every moment to building my brand. Now I believe in finding balance between home and business. I am dedicated to creating special experiences and memories with my family, and we travel to special locations together whenever possible. My last destination was Bermuda – it was a fantastic experience for Ava, Tallulah, and me!

Your daughters are a bit older now, so you guys must be pros at traveling as a family. Any tips you can share?

I love traveling with my girls, especially on work trips now that I make so many cross-country flights. However, our favorite place to go is the ocean. I find peace by the water– the sound of the waves is the best music ever written. I love Capri for the chic culture and beautiful locale. I love certain areas in Mexico for the ancient souls and energy I can feel in the air. No matter where you are, it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re on the beach. We recently went to Barbados for a week of meditation, yoga, clean eating, and general peace of mind. We have Bermuda and the Galapagos Islands on our travel calendars for the summer. Bermuda is a stunning location that everyone should visit with their family. I love the beachside barbeques at Tuckers, and the Beach Club at the Hamilton Princess, and the amazing marina views from Marcus’ restaurant. Not to mention the extraordinary art collection at the Hamilton Princess hotel. There is also a new spa in the caves that is perfect for relaxing after the flight! Ava is a thrill seeker, and I am excited to do paddle board yoga with her and Tallulah.

My advice is to pack light and bring items that provide you with instant comfort. For example, I bring pillows, socks, hand wipes to wipe down the arm rests, and blankets for all flights. I find a comfortable flight is worth the extra in carry ons, but I pack light in clothing–because how much to you really need at the beach? There’s nothing worse than struggling in the airport once you land. I bring versatile pieces that transition easily from the beach to lunch or dinner. Caftans and sarongs paired with a one shoulder swimsuit, for example, and Indian thong sandals work on all occasions for me. My daughter Ava is now big enough where we can share shoes, which makes packing a little more fun.

What advice were you given in preparation for motherhood?

Some of the paths I’ve come across in life appear broken, unsteady, and scary. What I have learned with time and from those around me is that the paths that seem the hardest to take can lead to peace and opportunities that surpass anything I could have ever dreamed of. What I know to be true is that, when you show up–despite your fear– and do the work, the result you want will be there. It happens every time.

What’s your current beauty routine like?

For my skin in the morning, I stick to something simple, like Dove soap that I’ll use in the shower. At night I’ll use Algenist Genius Cleanser – it’s a perfect hybrid. It melts into an oil and removes makeup, and then cleanses my skin perfectly. I don’t even need moisturizer after, so it’s amazing for saving time. Obsessed.

When it comes to makeup, if I’m just going to the office, I keep it simple: no foundation or powder. A little bronzer and blush for my cheeks to look youthful and rested and that’s it. I’m not great with lipstick during the work day because they require so much maintenance, but if I do use a lipstick I stick to something neutral, like Tom Ford’s Casablanca.

A product I do use a lot of is mascara. For me, eyelashes make me feel put-together and more like myself. It’s about looking relaxed and happy- the best version of you. But I do have fun with makeup and I love that it allows me to portray exactly what I want to say– strong red lip, smokey eye, bronze skin, whatever it is, I love to play with makeup.

As for my hair, Ted Gibson has been cutting my hair for years – he knows exactly what I like and what works. When I feel like indulging and am in New York, I’ll go to the Caudalie salon in the Plaza. Facials, like massages, are the best way to refresh and rejuvenate me. I love the individually wrapped tea bags they have and use them when I travel – they’re amazing for a quick pick me up.

The most important part of my daily routine is setting an intent for myself every morning with whatever I hope to achieve within the day. Whether it’s regarding work, or my daughters, or simply how I want to behave. It’s important that I set an intent for myself or the day can escape me in a million different directions that I did not want to go in.

And what about pregnancy style? Did you have any go-to pieces or silhouettes?

Dressing while pregnant was tough for me! I am 5’11 and gained 80lbs with my second child so not much made me feel great. A good car coat topper was my best friend during those months as were Wolford black tights and Roger Vivier buckle flats. What really got me through the larger months were men’s button down shirts. I had a variety in all colors and stripes.

Would you ever do a children’s line?

Yes! I have wanted to for so long now, everything shrunken down to little girls sizes look so adorable. I hope to begin work on a children’s line soon.

What’s it like raising kids in the city? Benefits or down-sides?

I had an inner voice telling me to move out of Manhattan and head to the ocean for about three years before I actually did. It was a tough choice, but Southern California is a great place to be in fashion and easily maintain my business, yet give my daughters a backyard, garden, a pool to play in, and their own rooms.  I could not afford to do that in Manhattan like I can in LA. We have an entirely different life now. Moving was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make but I couldn’t be happier. It is all timing. Everything is.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your daughters? For clothes or books or bedrooms?

My girls love Pink Chicken in both CA and NYC. Margherita is my favorite kids collection and it’s available at YOOX online or Nordstrom.

You’ve worked with and dressed so many cool and inspiring women like Michelle Obama and Lucy Liu. Who inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by hard working strong woman – both here in the US and abroad. I’m inspired by women like Anna Wintour who has an incredible work ethic, dedication to her craft and the CFDA, which she started as an organization focused on fostering talent within the fashion industry. Belonging to the CFDA is one of the most helpful tools I’ve had in business. I also look up to my girlfriends like Tyra Banks who has taught me so much about running a business. She gave a talk at Harvard Business School a few years ago and spoke about the importance of knowing the ins-and-outs of every part of your company. As in life, it is all in the details.

I’m also inspired by my grandmother, who is the kindest most loving and forgiving person I know. I lived with her every summer in Washington DC when I was a child and she taught me everything good I have within me. That self-loving confidence is something you can feel when a woman walks into a room. That supportive strength was something she lived, and from her I know what it is to be loved and have a standard of how I want to love my children.

I’m also inspired by women across the globe who work every day to support themselves and create better opportunities for their families. For years I have been working with Piece & Co., an organization that helps artisan women support their families and realize their dreams by providing them with employment. Whenever disaster hits, I hire Piece & Co. to source local artisans of that region and create product that they can manufacture for my company. People around the world want the same thing: self-respect and a means by which to take care of their families. These are the women that inspire me every day.

What the best career advice you could offer young women looking to balance career and motherhood?

Follow what moves your heart and find a career there. Make your life’s passion your life’s work. And once you do, do not compromise based on the opinion of others.  You have to know who you are inside and out to truly accomplish your goals, and working on your life’s passion will teach your children to work hard as well. Instead of guilt from working, there will be joy from setting an example. God forbid something happens to me, but I would hope I’ve raised children that have the tools to take care of themselves and to make themselves happy.

What do you hope for your daughters?

I hope to encourage and empower my daughters to be brave enough to live their best lives as the best versions of themselves, to be risk-takers for change, to speak on behalf of those that do not have a voice, to pursue with maximum force their hearts’ desires, to forgive themselves and to love themselves wholly.  We recently launched our SELF RULE campaign, encouraging women to take control of their own lives and create their own boundaries and their own rules. I want my daughters to know how to make themselves happy – through their own self-appreciation, family, friendships, philanthropy, and work. I hope to set the example that my girls should choose what they are passionate about and live out loud for those passions. I hope they are the change they wish to see in the world.

 

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