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Fashion, Living

Editor’s Picks: Ultimate Dream Gifts For You

December 8, 2016
editors picks

We’ve finished everyone else’s holiday shopping. Now all that’s left is us. What do we want? Well, we’re so glad you asked! We’ve pulled together our Christmas Wish-List, ranging from luxury items to things we actually need, there’s something for every price point too. If Santa got us at least one of these things, we would be brimming with tears. We’ll be leaving this browser open on our computers, hoping our guys will get the hint.

 

1. Something sparkly for the New Year:

editors picks

DANNIJO Madelyn Earrings, $495

Having something new and sparkly to pair with our NYE outfits will make us feel that much more stunning. Gotta start the New Year right!

2. A natural beauty product to help us look our best:

editors picks

Vintner’s Daughter 30ml, $185

The beauty serums of all beauty serums. It was named Glamour’s beauty product in 2016 and has had amazing press in Forbes, Vogue, Yahoo Beauty, Goop and so much more. Big price tag, but as all the testimonials say, it’s worth every penny.

3. A tee that stands up for something:

editors picks

Cynthia Rowley Safety Pin Tee, $40

This t-shirt not only stands for the recent social media campaign “You Are Safe With Me”, where having a safety pin on your shirt shows solidarity towards all humans, it also will donate $10 from every purchase to Everytown For Gun Safety Support.

4. A thoughtful gift from your man:

editors picks

Starling Olive Bezel Ring, $220

We all LOVE jewelry, especially when it comes from the person we love, it somehow makes it more meaningful. This simple ring is perfect for everyday and thin enough to stack.

5. A book about how to create positive change:

editors picks

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Nigozi Adiche, $7.15

Now more than ever, we need to stand up and fight for our rights. It’s the only way we can make a difference. In this book, the award-winning author, Chimamanda Nigozi Adiche, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness.

6. An amazing winter coat:

editors picks

Acne Studios Shearling Coat, $2700

Winters can be rough, so why not buy a coat that we’ll actually want to strut down the street in, even though it’s below freezing? A coat that makes us do that is definitely worth the extra dollars.

7. Snow boots that aren’t just for show:

editors picks

Timberland x Opening Ceremony Boots, $250

The rugged outdoorsy hiking boot might be in right now, but don’t let the looks fool you. If we want to buy a good pair of nice boots that we can actually use to shovel snow AND pair with a stylish outfit, these Timberland x OC boots are our go-to.

8. A Statement bracelet:

editors picks

Ash + Ames Haitian Black Leather Knot Bracelet, $150

Add a little bit of edge to any outfit with this cuff. Super versatile and goes with anything, slap it on and you’re good to go.

9. A good handbag:

editors picks
August The Sorrento Ice Ostritch, $278

An envelope is necessary to any fashion girl’s closet. Makes us really think about what we’re bringing with us all day, leaving us light with only the necessities. Plus, the comfort of being able to hold it under your arm when you need both hands is unbeatable. This one from August gives a backpack to Operation School Bell with every purchase.

10. Lingerie for you:

editors pics editors pics

Chantelle Presage Lace Bralette $79.00 and Hipster $52.00

11. A luxe robe:

editors picks

LUNYA Washable Cashmere Merino Robe, $398

A warm robe to wrap around us every morning, while we’re making coffee, getting the kids ready for school or curling up on the couch with a book. There is really nothing more necessary than a good robe. This one from Lunya is not only washable cashmere, but it’s cute enough to wear as outerwear.

11. The ‘it’ slippers:

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Gucci Princetown Leather Slipper, $840

Add some heat to your winter with these floral, furry slides. This ‘it girl’ item had been on everyone’s wish list for the past year. They’re THAT good.

12. Photo printer:

editors picks

HP Sprocket Photo Printer, $129.99

We store all of our photos on our computers and our phones, but printing photos has become a lost art. We wanna make our memories tangible with this portable printer from HP.

*Available on Amazon Prime

13. Donate: 

editors picks

NO.GIFTS, $ whatever we want

A great gift to give is giving back. Donate to a charity, or give the gift of giving with NO.GIFT, where we can choose a nonprofit and donate in the name of someone.

14. The perfect carry-on:

editors picks

Away Travel Carry-On, $225

Indestructible, scratch-free, compartments for everything, charges your phone… What else could you possibly need?

15. A vacation:

CasaMagna Marriot Cancun Resort, Starting at $273 per night

Literally, take us anywhere. Give us a breather from work, from the cold, from the fast-paced city life. There’s nothing like getting away, at least for just a weekend, to relax and live life at our own pace.

Fashion, Give Back, Living

12 Gifts Under $55 For Your Bestie That Give Back To Great Causes

December 7, 2016
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Tis the season for giving and giving back. Whether we donate our time or our money to a charity, it is ALWAYS a great help to those in need. A not as well-known way of giving back is buying products that donate or stand for a cause. Here are 12 great gifts that are both amazing AND give back to great causes, all under $55, so you can feel extra giving this holiday season.

1. For the writer:

gifts that give back

Moleskin (RED) Classic Notebook*, $19.99

For any friend that loves to write, or is overflowing with feelings, there is no better journal than a Moleskin. Trust me, I have like 50.

*A portion of the suggested retail price goes directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

2. For your friend who totes:

gifts that give back

FEED 100 Shopper*, $35.00

Out of all the gifts your friend will get, she’ll probably use this one the most.

*Provides 100 Vitamin A supplements to children in need.

3. For the skincare fanatic: 

gifts that give back

Keihl’s Collection for a Cause*, $45.00

Perfect for anyone who takes care of their skin or your gym buddy who always forgets her products at home.

*100% of net profits from the sale of “Collection For A Cause” benefits Feeding America®

4. The candle lover:

gifts that give back

Bright Endreavors Whitebark Pine*, $12.99

Give the gift of a soothing smell during a much-deserved bubble bath.

*Bright endeavors provides paid job training program, guidance and job skills young moms need to secure quality employment and begin on a path towards professional success.

5. The lounger who likes to wear her PJs as pants:

gifts that give back

Punjammies Lounge Pants*, $54.00

These PJs are permitted as loungewear & streetwear.

*Made proudly in India by women working to remain free from sex slavery.

6. For the feminist:

gifts that give back

Otherwild The Future Is Female T-Shirt*, $30

And if you don’t believe it, get outta here.

*25% of t-shirt sale proceeds donated to Planned Parenthood.

7. For the coffee addict:

gifts that give back

Gobena Coffee Sumatra Whole Bean*, $14.99

You can NEVER have enough coffee.

*100% of profit goes to orphan care

8. For your wonder-lusting friend:

gifts that give back

Soko Adventure Bracelet*, $40.00

A reminder to your bestie that there’s always time for an adventure.

*Benefits The Adventure Project’s hunger program supporting rural farmers in Kenya with irrigation pumps and training.

9. For your naughty friend:gifts that give back

Bare-Soaps Lump Of Coal*, $7.49

She deserves some char(coal) under the Christmas tree this year. With great benefits for their skin, of course.

*20% of the proceeds are reinvested in economic development

10. For that one friend that doesn’t drink enough water:

gifts that give back

Swell Shop White Marble*, $35.00

This bottle keeps water cold, coffee hot, and wine at room temperature. Perfect for any occasion, that’s for sure.

*S’well has teamed up with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help provide clean drinking water to children around the world.

11. For the accessorizer:

gifts that give back

Penh Lenh Black Choker*, $49.00

For any chocker lover. Pairs perfectly with an off the shoulder top.

*100% of the sales goes towards their mission is to empower marginalized and at-risk young women in Cambodia to pursue their life goals through quality education, vocational training, and advanced career opportunities. 

12. For your friend that loses everything inside her purse:

gifts that give back

Bordahan Bicycle Zipper Bag*, $25.00

She won’t spend the next 5 minutes scavenging her bag for her metro card, making you both miss the train. Bless.

*They practice Fair Trade labor practices to bring income and empowerment to native women in the Philippines.

Fashion

Bangles & Bling Over Champagne and Cake With The Accessory Junkie’s Winter Collection

November 22, 2016
heymama-the-accessory-junkie-dinner-1

One of our favorite things about what we do here at heymama is when our members join creative forces. When these members are two of the most entrepreneurial, charismatic and brilliant women we know, we couldn’t be happier. Michelle Reeves and Ursula Lyon are co-creators of The Accessory Junkie, a newly launched online emporium of covetable, one-of-a-kind accessories available in limited quantities. So when they sell out, they’re gone.

heymama-the-accessory-junkie-dinner-12

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

Ursula is the Accessory Junkie. She travels the world from London to Tokyo and everywhere in between to find the most gorgeous baubles and brings them together in seasonal capsule collections. Michelle is the Business Junkie. A woman after our own hearts, she passionately shared that the mission of The Accessory Junkie is to support small businesses around the world; helping the artisans and artists who are crafting these special pieces. Not only are the pieces unique, they are completely affordable with price points ranging from $40 – $500 (hello, holiday shopping!). Together, these two are creating a new kind of fast fashion in that it’s convenient and it sells out fast, but now you can also have something that’s one-of-a-kind. Because of the limited availability, you won’t be inadvertently twinning with anyone on your next night out.

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

With a combined five children under the age of 6 between them (Ursula has three, Michelle has two), both mamas totally get the struggle to get out the door looking and feeling great in an outfit that can go from drop-off to after work cocktails on a time crunch. Ursula’s secret weapon is to wear a white tank most days and then pile on her jewels like armor, as she drinks her coffee to prep for the day. “I live in jeans and white tees, adding a bold ring or necklace completely transforms the look. No one notices the outfit, they just see my amazing accessories and little do they know, it’s the same tee from the day before.”

heymama-the-accessory-junkie-dinner-13

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

When the site launched this past September, most of the Fall collection sold out within days. Not wanting to be left out, we decided to get a head start on our wish list from the Winter collection (launching Tuesday, November 22nd) and hosted a launch party and preview at our very own Alison Wyatt’s home in downtown Manhattan. It turned out Alison’s exquisitely decorated home was the perfect backdrop for our event and we were smitten with both Alison’s amazing art and each new item from The Accessory Junkie’s statement-making collection. One of our favorite silver beaded evening bags with multi-colored pompoms was quickly snapped up (sad face for me, happy for our lucky dinner guest!) and Ursula hinted that there are plenty more gems to come this Winter. Guests mingled and played with the pieces before we were seated for an elegant dinner of butternut stew, black miso cod with wilted greens, root veggies and scallion broth, finishing up with a chocolate beet pie (yes beet and it was delicious!), expertly prepared by our friends at Whealth & Co.

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie
We know that we loved what we saw and we’re sure you’ll find something to swoon over when the products become available next week. Special thanks to Alison Wyatt for opening her home, Wealth & Co for the divine food, David Family Wines for the delicious vino, Glamsquad for beautifying our guests, Stevi Sesin for capturing the evening, Billur Kazaz for the lovely invitations, and Lucinda Constable for the gorgeous interior styling to create such stunning tables for us.

the accessory junkie

accessory junkie

accessory junkie

Photos by Stevi Sesin

Fashion

The Ultimate Fall Wardrobe For The Expecting Mother

September 24, 2016
nydj

Olivia Trewatha started her blog, Corporate Catwalk, because she wanted to inspire the modern day corporate woman across all aspects of her life, with a particular focus on fashion and beauty. Originally from Kansas City, she moved to NYC in 2012, where she lives with her hubby, their french bulldog, Batman, AKA their first child, and now she’s expecting a new baby in December. We partnered with her and NYDJ to give you the best looks for an expecting mother on the go, just in time for fall.

 

Thursday marked the first day of fall and if you’re anything like me, you’re starting to pack up all your summer clothes in preparation for the cooler days ahead. As an expecting momma, one of my biggest concerns is having nothing to wear for the last trimester of my pregnancy, but not wanting to fill my wardrobe full of maternity pieces just to get me through the end.  One of the ways I’m able to avoid this potential hazard is by picking up a few key pieces to extend my wardrobe till my little one arrives in December. I’ve partnered with my friends at NYDJ (check out my last post with them here) to share the Ultimate Fall Wardrobe for the Expecting Mother, featuring their maternity line of denim. In the photos below, I’ll be wearing the the Ami skinny maternity leggings five different ways.

THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS

When it comes to staples in your closet, this little number will get your through those tough days when your baby bump grows overnight. I opted for a 3/4 length dress that can quickly transition from fall to winter with a pair of tight or leggings.

WORKWEAR: Throw on your favorite blazer or in my case, tweed jacked, comfy heels and oversized workbag for the perfectly chic workwear outfit.Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

DINNER WITH FRIENDS: Catching up with a friend on all the latest gossip, throw on something that will get your through dinner…comfortably.Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

OUT & ABOUT: If the only thing you want to wear is your tennis shoes, throw them on with your favorite hat and jacket and you’re ready to take on all your errands for the dayFall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

SHEATH WHITE DRESS

Ever since I saw Kristin Cavallari debut this dress during her pregnancy, a white fitted dress has been on my radar. This one in particular goes from day to night with minimal effort. As we know, white gets dirty easily, so I’ll probably have to keep this for date nights after the little one arrives. For these types of dresses that don’t have spandex, I always order a size up.

Workwear: Easy to throw on a long sleeve blouse for a daily workwear outfit.Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

Business Meeting: An easy dress to transition into business attire by adding a professional blazer and jacket.Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

Running Errands:  Feel like dressing up to run a few errands, love this casual and comfy look! The heels can easily be switched out for flats.Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

LITTLE BLACK MATERNITY JEANS

I’ve always heard that maternity jeans are a lifesaver during your pregnancy, oh were they ever right!  The Ami skinny maternity leggings are ultra soft and comfortable for the expecting mother. Since this little momma is 5’1″, a little hem at the bottom was needed, but the fit was perfect, especially for my busy lifestyle. A little difficult to see in photos, but the pants hugged my hips and legs in all the right places, leaving room for me to move without them feeling too baggy. These jeans fit in perfectly with my wardrobe, they can transition from casual Fridays at the office to cuddles with my kitty!

Casual Office Style:  Yes ma’ma, these are the perfect fit for those casual days at the office. Pick up a fancy blouse and heels (if still comfortable) and close our your workweek looking like the stylish momma you are!Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia TrewathaEveryday Outfit:  The black cami is till a staple in my closet during my pregnancy, especially with these longer vests. If you’re a little too cold, try a long sleeved top, like here.Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

Colder Days: I’ve found peplum tops are flattering and stylish for the growing bump. For colder days, toss on your favorite trench coat, especially if rain is in the forecast… just don’t forget the umbrella!Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

Dog Park with the Pup: Fall is Batman’s favorite season, mostly because he can breath better (yay! no more humidity!). We love to walk down to Madison Square Park to play with all his friends. Anyone who’s been to a dog park knows, keep it casual, you never know what little pup will come jumping on your lap with muddy paws. That is Batman’s favorite way to meet people and get momma in trouble!Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ

Cuddles at Home: We all need those days to just relax and unwind with our family, the NYDJ denim are comfortable enough for lounging around the house with a knit sweater or cardigan.  For these days, I typically need lots of forced cuddles from Pfeiffer (and a lint roller). If you ever meet her, you’ll know why, she’s so soft! Fall wardrobe expecting mother NYDJ Corporate Catwalk Olivia Trewatha

NYDJ is a brand founded by women for women. They make jeans that actually fit in all the right places, that truly flatter your body so you look and feel confident and chic morning to midnight, good day or bad day and every moment in between. Using their exclusive Lift Tuck® Technology that flattens you in the front while also lifting and shaping in the back, creates a fit that makes you look one size smaller. Check out the new NYDJ denim collection right here.

#LookGood, Blogger, Fashion, Shopping

Hilarious Fashion Moments And Fall Must-Haves From 7 Fashion Moms

September 13, 2016
fashion moms, notjessfashion, jessica wong, blogger, fashion week, new york


It’s that time of the year again, and oh how we love to see our favorite fashion moms strut down the street, getting their picture taken by all of the street style photographers. They tell us that Fashion Week isn’t always glamorous and shared some hilarious moments of their fashion weeks past along with their must-have items for Fall, because we need some inspo for our next shopping trip~

 

1. Kate Davidson Hudson

Co-founder, Editorialist

  1. Hilarious Moment: I was once trapped in an elevator for over an hour coming out of an Oscar de la Renta show with Andre Leon Talley, and about 6 other editors. The elevator stopped between floors so eventually the FDNY had to break through the ceiling of the elevator and we had to climb up a ladder out the top, through the elevator shaft as the firemen helped us out on to the landing. The worse part was, I was about six months pregnant with my son at the time. As uncomfortable and nerve-wracking as the experience was, the running commentary from a colorful set of editors was pretty amusing to think back on…
  2. Fall Must-Have: Oh- so hard to choose. I’m currently lusting after Proenza Schouler’s whipstitched Hava bag. It’s equal parts cool and coquettish…exactly what I’m in the mood for 😉

 

2.Nicole Chapoteau

Accessories Editor, Allure

  1. Hilarious Moment: My girls, Rajni Jaques and Shiona Turini, and I made our own Just Hold On, We’re Going Home music video on the streets in Paris and in our hotel room. We were hysterical.
  2. Fall Must-Have: Balenciaga denim jacket.

3. Jessica Wang

Blogger, NotJessFashion

  1.  Hilarious Moment: Not realizing part of my coat was covered in food stains from my daughter and got photographed all over.
  2.  Fall Must-Have: Anything velvet because luxury comfort is the key for this fall.

     

 

4. Rebecca Minkoff  

Designer, Rebecca Minkoff

  1. Hilarious Moment: When there was a blizzard on my first ever show and I had to be carried out of the venue because I had on open toe shoes.
  2. Fall Must-Have: Suede!

 

 

5. Patricia Chang

Designer and Blogger, Patricia Chang

  1. Hilarious Moment: This is from about 7 years ago! We used to work 40 straight days before a show when I was working as an intern for a fashion house. It was really intense. One day I snapped out of it and played hooky from work to go to a couple shows. It was so nice to just enjoy it from the other side instead of slaving away!
  2. Fall Must-Have: Oh yes! My shoe collaboration with Josefinas is launching this weekend! It’s a must have this fall because sneakers are in and when are cats ever not? The fur ball is faux, embellished with crystals and pearls. They are removable and attach to any pair of laces!

fashion moms, patricia chang, blogger, collaboration, josefinas x patricia chang

via Patricia Chang

 

6. Charlotte Groeneveld

Blogger, The Fashion Guitar

  1. Hilarious Moment: I remember a Haute Couture week in Paris when I was still breast feeding Stella. So in-between the shows, I was actually pumping in my hotel room… so charming 🙂
  2. Fall Mush Have: Been wearing this Valentino jacket for NYFW

The Fashion Guitar

7. Celine Aagaard

Founder and Editor in Chief, Envelope.no

  1. Hilarious Moment: I don’t know about funniest, but the funnest was at last year’s Diesel party in the apartment. It was insane. It was like attending a private house party with the best music and best people. We danced all night!
  2. Fall Must-Have: That’s tricky. After 3 days at NYFW, there’s so much in my mind. I love hoodies and bomber jackets, so that might be a thing. Style them cool and effortless. I would also say a pair of army boots is a MUST.

 

Blogger, Fashion, Kids Style, Mini Fashion

The 10 Best Kids’ Street Style Straight From Kindergarten

September 12, 2016
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We can’t believe that it’s almost midway through September, the heat is starting to die down (hopefully for good!), and our babes are entering a new school year. We asked you mamas for some serious kids’ style on our IG feed and you delivered! Here are some of our favorite back to school pictures:

 

1- @mysequinlife

back to school style

Good vibes and Adidas Superstars are the only way these kids roll.

 

2- @philosophiemama

back to school style

Start of School + Ice Cream = Best Day EVER

 

3- @whirlybirdwhitney

back to school style

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

 

4- @sa_anderson

back to school style

Street style blogger in the making over here.

 

5- @mamalovenyc

back to school style

“Hey, ma! How do our shoes look at this angle??!”

 

6- @diklagoren

back to school style

We love when our kids aren’t too cool for us <3

 

7-  @madisonjorg

back to school style

With this camo, he’s sure going to blend in.

 

8- @in_dfwfamily

back to school style

“And please say to me, you’ll let me hold your hand”

 

 

9- @sarahlovesbellani

back to school style

“Ma, I said no more pictures!” ~secretly loves all of the attention~

 

10- @madebylon

back to school style

Rollin up to kindergarden in those red kicks tho

 

 

#LookGood, Blogger, Fashion, Travel

How To Travel With Kids and STILL Look Like A Million Bucks

July 22, 2016
travel with kids

When transitioning from working in the fashion industry in New York City to a working-from-home mom in Texas, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let my whole closet go to waste in exchange for a few rotating pairs of yoga pants. (Not that there is anything wrong with yoga pants, there is definitely a time and place for them, as well!) Almost three years into motherhood and two precious little boys later, I have found my stride in mixing my former working wardrobe with casual elements that help me feel comfortable in my own skin and just plain comfortable. At some point in recent decades, traveling has become an excuse for people to literally wear their sleepwear in public. I, however, am from the belief system that if you are over the age of two, that is probably not appropriate. (With a few exceptions that include an overnight flight, for example.) That being said, I have found a way to travel with kids in comfort without sacrificing style. With this simple airport style formula, anyone can pull it off!

travel with kids
1. Bottoms up!: I always wear pants when traveling because I am usually cold on planes. Reach for
a stretching skinny jeans or equally stretching and comfortable skinny black pant.
2. Layer, layer!: Depending on if I am still nursing or not, I will wear a comfortable knit or button up top (the later if I am nursing). They don’t wrinkle; it’s comfortable, but presentable. (Check, check and check!)
3. Top it off: Next, I layer on a light piece of outerwear. A structured blazer adds more of a polished look to an otherwise casual outfit, but a cute boyfriend cardigan is also a perfect addition. (I have a camel cape that has travel the world with me, literally.) This item serves two purposes for me because it adds an element of style to a simple wardrobe, but it also will keep you warm on an air-conditioned plane. (If I am still nursing, I prefer to go with a cape or drapy cardigan that can also provide some additional privacy, when needed.)
4. Kick off your heels: Literally, don’t wear heels. Find a cute pair of flat slides that can easily be removed when going through security and are comfortable when lugging children and bags around the airport.
5. Bag lady: Between the car seat, stroller and (not to mention) kids, your hands are quiet literally full. I always stick to one roller bag (and make sure to check it at the curb) for my luggage, a simple cross-body bag (to easily access important documents) and a diaper bag or backpack for the kids. (If you have a toddler, let them carry their in flight entertainment in their own carryon. For babies, you will obviously need a lightweight diaper bag with all the essentials.)
6. Keep it Simple: Now is not the time to accessorize. A watch and a dainty necklace are all you need.
Now you are ready for take off!

travel with kids

Safe travels,
 Caroline Knapp
@houseofharper
http://www.houseofharper.com/
travel with kids
#SOCIALBOSS, Blogger, Fashion, Interview, Social Media

#SOCIALBOSS Samantha Wennerstrom of Could I Have That? Gives Us Aesthetic Envy

July 14, 2016
Samantha Wennerstrom

Creator of Could I Have That?, Samantha Wennerstrom, has one of the most beautiful blogs we’ve ever seen. Between her mimimal-cool mixed with California-beachy wardrobe and the beautiful magazine-worthy photographs, her blog is sure to give any fashion-lover some clothing envy. Read below as Samantha gives us some insight on how she does it all.

You started Could I Have That? in 2009 and then grew your brand organically, can you talk about some of the methods you used to foster that growth? 

At first it was a very organic growth for me. I was committed to creating regular content five days a week and promoted it each day on all of my social avenues. Pinterest and Instagram were fresh out of the gates at the time and both became great ways to expose my brand to new readers and generate new traffic. Now I pay close attention to analytics for my website and social channels and strategize a bit more as to when and what I am posting.

How has your social presence evolved since 2009? 
Everything in general has become more curated and visually impactful. I now treat my Instagram feed as if it were my blog (visually) and plan each post so that it works together like a quilt.
Samantha Wennerstrom
What are your top three must-dos for social media when building and maintaining a brand? 
Plan ahead; it makes a huge difference to have images waiting in the wings that you know are on-brand. Be thoughtful of your brand with what you post, if it doesn’t match your aesthetic don’t post it. Be personable, if you’re excited about it most likely you’re audience will be too.
We heard you’re really into podcasts. Can you tell us your 4 favorite not-to-miss ones?
Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin, Pardon My French with Garance Dore, The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe and Girlboss.
What are a few things that every business owner should know/do on social media? 
Zero in on what your business/brand represents, in other words, find your voice and tell the story within those lines. Everything should fit into your big picture.
 Samantha Wennerstrom
Your Instagram is very aesthetic. What does the behind the scenes of those images look like? 
Taking more than just one photo, a bit of editing and a few eye rolls from my husband now and then. He still loves me, don’t worry!
You’re launching Could I Have That? Mini this summer, how has getting ready for launch of this new project been different from your launch of Could I Have That? in 2009? 
Way different! Since I started Could I Have That? as a creative outlet it wasn’t much of a launch. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy promoting Could I Have That? Mini and working with brands to help spread the word as well. It’s been a labor of love! And clearly lots of fun when it involves such a cute subject!
Can we expect a social presence from the Mini magazine? How will that be different? 
Yes possibly! We will see!

COULD_I_HAVE_THAT_3.11.16_166

Do you have any tips for women who want to start a digital magazine and get into the social media space? 
Start with a clear vision. Also, it never hurts to write out a business plan and goal. Start following others that you admire and take note of certain practices you like and don’t like. For digital magazines, I always start with an editorial line up and deadlines. It’s such a big chunk of work that it’s nice to break it up and have a road map while in the process.
Any other ventures up your sleeve? What’re you looking forward to most over the next year? 
A summer travel series in California! I’m so excited to be covering all the different elements (beach, wine country, desert, mountains and city) of one of my favorite places in the world. Everything from what I’m packing and destination guides, to travel tips and family notes.
You’ve worked with a lot of brands. Can you tell us what campaigns have been the most successful and why? 
It’s all about deciding if it’s a natural fit and having creative control. Typically, campaigns that are spread out over a series of months and when they fit the aesthetic of my brand are the ones that do the best. I’ve learned to say no if it doesn’t feel like a good fit, which is hard to do at first but ends up being the greatest strategy in the long run.
Samantha Wennerstrom
Do you have a newsletter? If so, what do you do to make it successful? 
Yes, and currently fine tuning it! I’ve tried to (mentally) put myself on the other side and think about what my readers want to see or get directly in their inbox. The last thing I want to do is bombard them with too much.
Do you have any tips and tricks to make a giveaway successful? Any rules you follow? 
I rarely do giveaways but when I do, I try to make sure it’s something that I have a personal connection to, something that I would be really excited about possibly winning. Then I try to build the excitement with some social mentions ahead of time.
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Editor's Picks, Fashion, Kids Style, Shopping

9 Cool & Luxe Kid’s Fashion Brands to Love Now

June 20, 2016
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As mamas to 5 year olds mini fashionistas, we are always on the prowl for the newest coolest kid’s brands. Kymberly Marciano, mother of three and the creative brains behind Mini-Maven.com and Mini Maven Magazine rounded up her current favorite brands just for us. (Note we write current here because the stylish mom let us know that she is “smitten with so many brands” that her favorites can change daily.)

Check out her list below…

  1. Paade Mode: European based children’s casual and smartly designed clothing that collaborates with artisans and craftsman for their collections. U2A8029-706x470
  2. No Added Sugar: Born and bred in London, this British brand has both luxury and contemporary children’s clothing for newborns to 12 years!493
  3. Aristocrat Kids: Luxury children’s clothing with a royal flare.Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 9.55.16 AM
  4. Molo: Danish brand that is perfect for surf, sun, and city life.Molo_lookbookSS16-106_HIGH
  5. Gardner and the Gang: Soft and comfy clothing featuring hand-drawn original art.9 Cool & Luxe Kid's Fashion Brands to Love Now
  6. Bowie and James: California-based “beachwear for babes.”kids on the beach with a surfboard
  7. Stella Cove: Luxury beach wear and cover-up pieces for kids that also features matching mommy pieces.                   9 Cool & Luxe Kid's Fashion Brands to Love Now
  8. Milk N Soda Accessories: Aussie-based, featuring more accessories than you could ever dream of and select apparel.Milk N Soda Pom Pom headband
  9. Pink Chicken NY: Bohemian style brand with all the patterns, prints, and color your kiddie could ever want!9 Cool & Luxe Kid's Fashion Brands to Love Now

 

 

 

For more from Kymberly check out her heymama  profile here and follow her on Instagram here.

 

#STARTUPSTORIES, Business, Fashion, Startup Tips

Persistance Is Key, But Timing Is Everything…Jodie Snyder On Bizness, Luck and Beyonce Wearing Her Stuff

May 18, 2016
Jodi Snyder of DANNIJO and her daughter

We first met Jodie Snyder, one-half of the unstoppable sister duo behind the coveted jewelry line DANNIJO and new mama to Margaux, at Cafe Cluny. Her energy was contagious and we felt we could chat for hours about how they launched the brand from their early days creating at home with dad’s medical tools to DANNIJO dripping off of Beyoncé. 

You describe yourself and your sister as normal girls from Florida… how did you get the line off the ground and become such a mega-success?

Danielle and I have been making jewelry together since we were kids; we taught ourselves how to do wirework with our father’s medical tools and decided early on we wanted to have a jewelry company together, and launched DANNIJO after getting fired from our jobs in 2008. We made a capsule collection to raise money for a non-profit my sister had co-founded and Natalie Portman mentioned our collection as the gift to give that year in NYMAG. We started getting inquiries on the collection and launched with Bergdorf Goodman in 2008. It was the heart of the recession and people thought we were crazy to start a jewelry company but it was actually a great time– women were able to individualize their looks with our jewelry instead of buying a new wardrobe every season. Beyoncé purchased one of our statement necklaces and wore it all over the world. We started getting a lot of press because of it, and have organically grown the brand over the last eight years.

In the beginning there was you, your sister and… your dad’s old medical tools? What inspired you to pick them up and start making jewelry with them? Do you still have any of your “original” pieces?

My sister and I were in school and couldn’t find jewelry we wanted to wear. Danielle picked up my dad’s tools after studying my mom’s vintage jewelry collection. She was a natural. We started designing and wearing our pieces to school and everyone wanted to buy them, so we ended up selling to a local boutique. We have tons of our first samples because our mother owns just about every piece we’ve ever made. Her jewelry wardrobe is like a DANNIJO archive.

How has your aesthetic changed since the early days? and from when you started the company back in 2008 and now?
It’s funny because you can see how we’ve really grown up by looking at the jewelry designs’ evolution since we were kids. We design what we want to wear in the moment and it’s had a positive impact on the brand’s trajectory. Each collection builds upon the one before. It always has our DNA, but we continue to push ourselves to create “newness” with each season.

Jodi Snyder of DANNIJO and her daughter

Your big break was landing Bergdorf Goodman as a client. How did you manage to get your foot in the door? Is persistence really key?

Persistence is key, but timing is everything. We had been emailing and calling the buyer and initially received a standard ‘we’re not interested email.’ My sister called the buyer and the assistant buyer answered. We were in the area and asked if we could stop by to get advice on our collection. She said yes and we were at their office 20 minutes later. She loved the collection but thought it was a bit too edgy for Bergdorf’s. We tweaked the designs and came back two days later with more samples. They loved it and placed our first order!

Persistence is key, but timing is everything.

You work with a small team, but have big clients! How do you manage that?

We now have a team of 12 and as the team and company grows, it’s important for us not to micromanage. We divide and conquer.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received? Do you have any wise words of your own to share with us?

Don’t try to do everything. Do what you’re good at and find people who complement your weaknesses.

DANNIJO’s Instagram is poppin’! So many beauties are wearing your pieces around the world. How has social media affected your business? Can you share any secrets that could help newer companies increase their following?

Social media has created a platform that exposes your brand to people all over the world faster than ever before. It becomes a brand’s “window to the world” and has really changed how the consumer shops. Danielle and I started DANNIJO right when a lot of these platforms were introduced and, as a result, we were really able to grow by being one of the first brands to use these platforms. It is a great way to show your point of view and create a natural conversation with your audience.

Jodi Snyder of DANNIJO and her daughter

Celebrities are also wearing your jewelry left and right! Who was the first one to discover DANNIJO? Did this influence sales and popularity of your brand?

Beyoncé bought one of our first designs and wore it all over the world. It helped create a lot of buzz for the brand.

Do you pay influencers to wear your brand or is this organic?

It’s all organic. We don’t pay influencers to wear our product.

You started your company years before having baby Margaux. How did your life change after you had her?

I’ve become more efficient with my time and I schedule things in advance.

What’s your day to day life now as a mom compared to before? How do you manage it all?

When I’m at the office I’m 100% focused on work and when I’m at home I’m 100% focused on Margaux. It’s very important to find balance and not try to do it all at once. I don’t go out very often during the week so I can spend as much time as possible with Margaux after work.

What’s it like to work with family? Are there pros and cons?

It’s the best. We both constantly push each other and we’re able to split responsibilities since we both have different strengths. It’s amazing to get to work with my sister.

What are your separate roles?

We design together. After that I handle more of the business side and my sister handles more of the creative.

You can follow Jodie on her Instagram here.

#LADYBOSS, Business, Fashion, Tech

#LADYBOSS: Rebecca Minkoff Is An Ambassador For Women In Tech, Values Honesty Over Politeness & Knows The Power Of The Squad

May 13, 2016
Rebecca Minkoff with her son Luca at home

When it comes to female entrepreneurship and women in tech, Rebecca Minkoff is must-follow mama. Minkoff has built her fashion line on technology and is a MAJOR supporter of women in tech. While known for her cool fashion and accessories line, one of her latest projects includes a partnership with Intel for a female-only tech conference, which encourages women studying tech, science, engineering, and mathematics to pursue careers in those respective fields. Can you say #GIRLPOWER? Read on to learn more about Rebecca’s use of technology in fashion and all the kick-ass things she’s doing to help other female entrepreneurs.

Can you tell me more about this Intel conference? How did you become involved?

I’ve partnered with Intel for a series of conferences discussing women in tech. The conference consists of about 400 women in the Bay Area from UC Berkely and Los Angeles who are interested in technology, and myself, along with other professionals such as Julie Wainwright from The RealReal, Hillary Kerr from WHO WHAT WEAR , Jess Lee from Polyvore, Leura Fine from Laurel and Wolf, Diana Skaar of Google, and Brit Morin of Brit+Co discussing the importance of sticking with technology, and all the opportunities that may be available to them. The technology playing field needs to have more women in it. For example, there should be women who are able to design my wearables and a personal goal is to show women in tech, even those that are engineers and scientists that there are a lot of opportunities out there for them that don’t involve working in a lab, that there are so many fun and cool applications for their work.

Intel announced a very large commitment promoting females staying with their tech studies last year. After that happened, I reached out saying I wanted to help, so I’ve become an ambassador of some sort and involved in organizing the conferences.

Rebecca Minkoff and her family

…..there should be women who are able to design my wearables and a personal goal is to show women in tech, even those that are engineers and scientists that there are a lot of opportunities out there for them that don’t involve working in a lab, that there are so many fun and cool applications for their work.

 

Why do you think women are dropping out of technology and science related fields? Why is it important for women to be in these fields? 

As a female in tech, you know you’re going into a field that has more men in it, and is dominated by men. Maybe women think they can’t get a career in anything other than being in a lab, and I am trying to say no, there are more industries for you to get into. There is a whole need and desire for females in the tech space in pretty much every industry including fashion. You can have a really exciting and diverse career if you stick with it.

Biggest challenge working at the intersection of fashion and technology?

Today it is a new pioneering space, so being willing to be the guinea pig and accepting that we may come out with a wearable that is a little too big and bulky since the tech isn’t there for it to be smaller, is the key. You have to be willing to take risks while the technology is still evolving. You don’t want to be the company that waits for the microchip to be small enough and then end up losing out on the experience of testing.

I’m also interested in getting more women to be a part of the conversation. There was conversation that I had with a producer on one of our wearables, that reminds me of this, he said that the wearable couldn’t be metal and that it had to be plastic. And I was there saying, no woman is going to want to wear a gold plastic bracelet. A woman probably would’ve known not to suggest a plastic one in the first place – we have this sort of intuition on what will work in fashion that men lack. Another example would be the first iteration of Apple’s health tracker; it didn’t have a menstrual cycle tracker, something that would seem an obvious essential to a woman talking about health.  Maybe it would’ve appealed more to women if it had that.

In the past few years as business has grown and changed and there is so much focus on social media, do you still make a point to connect with your customers in person?

Part of every trip I do; I still do trunk shows and we have a ton of events at our stores, most of which I am a part of. Consumer engagement is important. I’m at a conference right now and we did a pop-up shop at the event so we could still engage on that level. I also just think the conversation is important on and offline. Online it’s through YouTube and Instagram, where they can connect on a more friend-based level.

Rebecca Minkoff and her family

You’ve been out there on social since there beginning. Whacky and most successful thing you’ve done on social for Rebecca Minkoff?

Whacky– at the time when Hilary Rhoda, Leandra Medine from The ManRepeller and I were getting ready for CFDA and no one was using video back then, we were really raw with it. (watch here)

Successful– we’ve done scavenger hunts with people around NYC, using social media. Also, our April Fool’s joke back in 2012 led to the creation of the men’s line. We had men wear Rebecca Minkoff and took fake photos around the city, but then men actually wanted bags.

We like to experiment with it, and play around.

Do you feel that your interaction with customers has had a big impact on your brand?

Totally! I feel that that’s why the consumer has embraced the brand. There is an accessibility factor that not a lot of designers are willing to have. At Rebecca Minkoff we engage in authentic, honest dialogue with our customers. I think they appreciate that it is accessible and that I am listening to them.

..we engage in authentic, honest dialogue with our customers. I think they appreciate that it is accessible and that I am listening to them.

In business we often get feedback that’s not to our liking – how do you handle that?

It never gets better. You learn to grow thick skin. Now, when I’m in a meeting, I’ll say “be honest I can handle it,” because I rather have them tell me than me hear it from someone else. If we can’t get to that place of honesty, I can’t change what I’m doing or do a good job. It’s being direct and circumventing people’s politeness.

Rebecca Minkoff and her son

 I’ll say “be honest I can handle it,” because I rather have them tell me than me hear it from someone else. If we can’t get to that place of honesty, I can’t change what I’m doing or do a good job. It’s being direct and circumventing people’s politeness.

How does community play a role in your life?

Community is a huge part of being able to grow and succeed and females especially get a leg up. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my good friend, when I was starting out. At the time she dragged me to all these fashion parties, she had nothing to gain doing that and she did it and that’s how I started meeting people. The ability to surround yourself with your squad is really important.

Community is a huge part of being able to grow and succeed and females especially get a leg up…..The ability to surround yourself with your squad is really important.

What does being a good boss mean to you? What do you feel is one of your strongest qualities as a businesswoman?

Knowing boundaries. Empowering others to be their own entrepreneurs within their jobs, being a good listener. I also try to make it about working as partners and not so much employees and a boss. I try to make it collaborative 99% of the time.

On being a good boss…..”Empowering others to be their own entrepreneurs within their jobs, being a good listener.”

I’m an excellent negotiator. I’ve learned a lot from our president who is an incredible negotiator who pushes people to boundaries– I can’t believe some of the questions she asks. If you keep asking all that can happen is people say no, so there is no harm in AT LEAST asking.

How has being a mom impacted you as a businesswoman? Has is changed the way you run your business at all?

I think the ability to multitask became a skill and time management, and again knowing your boundaries so you know where you no line is versus the yes line. I used to work all the time, and now if I want to see my kids I need to delegate and empower others and not micromanage. There are only so many bricks one person can lay.

You and you husband both travel a lot for you work, do you guys have any tricks for making two busy schedules work?

Gavin and I try to call each other during the day to plan out our schedules, that’s the only time we don’t really have anyone pulling on us. But really after the kids go to bed– that’s our time to connect. I’m not saying it works for everybody but we have made one of us being home with the kids a priority right now.

#LADYBOSS, Fashion, Great Places To Work, Mother's Day

Heymama Mother’s Day #LADYBOSS: Jenny Fleiss Co-Founder Of Rent The Runway

May 7, 2016
Jenny Fleiss Rent The Runway

Jenny Fleiss, is the Co-Founder and Head of Special Projects at Rent the Runway, the company that has, since it’s founding in 2009, made designer dresses accessible to every woman with an internet connection. Jenny and her co-founder, Jenn Hyman, sought to create a company that filled a gap in the retail industry and gave every woman the chance for a “Cinderella moment.” Jenny has been listed on Inc.’s 30 under 30 list and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs (you go mama!).

To celebrate Mother’s Day we’ve asked mamas for the best advice they ever got from their own mamas. It’s easy to see the impact this #LADYBOSS’s mama had when she said “why not do both?” Jenny, the mama of two, and soon the be three, seamlessly integrates  family and business. At Rent The Runway, they have created a workspace that empowers women, allowing kids to visit the office, and even arranging fun activities and events for them. Mamas are supported and encouraged to rejoin the workforce, as an appreciated and important part of the Rent The Runway team. We’ll be putting Rent The Runway high up on our list of great places for parents to work (coming soon).

Check out our interview with Jenny below for some RTR insight and inspirational advice to get you motivated.  

Tell us your startup story. Was there an ah-ha moment that told you ‘this is something I can make a business out of’? Did you raise money?

Jenn and my real a-ha moment came when we put together a rental pop-up and watched real customers first hand interacting with the designer rentals. The first girl tried on a gold sequined dress, twirled around in the mirror and said “I look HOT!” Her entire persona was transformed and it was then that I realized the service we were providing was to make women feel confident and happy in their lives. Everyone deserves a Cinderella moment became our mantra and we built a service business around this concept that to date rings true. We raised money right out of the gates from Bain Capital Ventures and were the youngest female co-founders to have been funded by them. We have now raised a total of $126M from various top venture firms.

How did you meet your co-founder Jenn Hyman? What made you two click?

Jenn and I went to Harvard Business School together and were in the same section, which meant we took every class and spent every day together. We became very close, very quickly, and loved discussing entrepreneurial ideas together. We also realized that we brought different skills to the table; I came from a finance and strategy background and Jenn brought her sales and marketing background to the table.  We also realized that we enjoyed spending time together, which is important since you spend a ton of time with a co-founder!

 

What was the hardest part or biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get RTR up and running?

We faced initial difficulty when pitching VC firms. They were predominantly men and just didn’t understand or get the demand for this type of service. We needed to figure out how to frame the message so it would make sense to our audience. To do this we started our pitch showing VC’s footage from the trunk shows we hosted to test our idea that captured the emotional connection the women had with the designer dresses they were trying on. The VC’s were able to see firsthand the changes in the way the women carried themselves and how they interacted with their friends as they showed off the dress.

What’s the best advice you received from a mentor, peer, or family member when you were first starting out?

It sounds simple, but the best advice I’ve received is just to go for it – whatever “it” is to you. So many aspiring entrepreneurs have amazing ideas but let the fear of failure get in the way of going after them, testing and iterating, and making it happen. Jenn and I also constantly remind one another that ‘No doesn’t mean no, it just means not right now,’ a spirit and fortitude that has enabled us to persevere through the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

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Can you speak a little bit about your decision to take RTR from an online platform to opening stores; I believe the first was in Bendel’s on Fifth Avenue. Tell us about that process.

We are constantly listening to our customers about what more we can do to provide them the best Rent the Runway experience. We continued to hear them ask for a physical location to try on dresses and see them in person. Like everything we do in our business, we tested the concept first on a shoe string budget, so that we could learn and iterate. With a small dressing room studio in our office and then one inside Henri Bendel’s we found that retail spaces would provide us with a new way for us to connect with our existing customers, gain exposure to new ones and really bring life to the brand. We were also able to prove out that the economics would be favorable and that we could use the stores as service centers to also let customers pick up and drop off their rentals. We now have retail stores across the country in New York, DC, Chicago and Las Vegas.

I know RTR is involved with the Project Entrepreneur Competition; can you speak about that a bit? Why and how you got involved, and what do you love about it?

We launched Project Entrepreneur in partnership with UBS because we wanted to empower other female founders and give them the tools, training, and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful companies. It’s extremely important to me to offer my guidance and mentorship to other female founders.

In March, we hosted our Project Entrepreneur weekend intensive where over 200 female founders came to New York to participate in the program. Twelve finalists were selected to pitch their businesses to a panel of experts. From that group, three were chosen to receive funding and also invited to participate in a five-week business accelerator program hosted at the Rent the Runway offices.

Jenn and I felt that doing this now, while we were still in the midst of startup life would enable us to offer the most valuable program to women. We additionally found that our brand resonated to consumers as an icon of women run businesses, which we wanted to celebrate and put further meaning behind.

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Any mantra’s you live by? Words to live by?

You’re never fully dressed without a smile. Whether it was the first customer who tried on a rental dress and showed us the transformational emotional power of designer rental, or our injecting real customer photos onto our site, this mantra is meaningful to me everyday. I also find that in leading and inspiring a company, bringing a positive attitude into the office is incredibly important – a smile goes a long way.

No doesn’t mean no, it means not right now. Persistence and perseverance are key in entrepreneurship as is keeping a positive outlook.

What advice do you have for women trying to make that transition from the financial industry into other careers?

Go for it. Even if you fail you will learn a ton on the way. If you aren’t ready to start your own company, try working at a smaller company to get the feel for it. If you aren’t happy in any role I advocate that, rather than sticking it out as resume builder, you should try something new. It’s not worth spending your life doing something that doesn’t make you happy.

What has been the most rewarding part of starting your own business? Any specific moment in time stick out for you?

Watching the company grow from just an idea to an 850-person company has been incredibly rewarding. I’m also very proud of the entrepreneurial spirit that still permeates the Rent the Runway company culture. Everyone feels like a founder here as we are constantly interacting with our customers, testing things out, and injecting new ideas into the company. It has also been amazing to see how our brand has evolved in its meaning to our customers who feel a true connection to the female-empowering business we have built.

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Why did you get into fashion entrepreneurship, could you see yourself doing anything else?

I have always been an entrepreneur at heart, from my early childhood lemonade stand to an online tutoring service I built in college. It was never as much about the industry as it was starting and building something from the ground up, innovating on an industry, and providing a new form of consumer value! I also love spending time advising other early stage companies.

What makes someone a good boss?

Giving your employees ownership over their projects and empowering them to take that opportunity and run with it. Hiring the right people to begin with – who you feel will be a fit with your personality and culture is also important in setting someone up for success. And, when all is said and done, celebrate the wins!

What are you keys to success?

Taking advantage of every minute of every day, whether that means multitasking a meeting and a manicure, running to or from the office for exercise, or having my daughter visit the office after school. I have also had a bias towards action; great things can happen when you just go for it!  Success isn’t just about business for me, it is about being able to enjoy and appreciate every aspect of my life.

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Can you give us any inside scoop of what to expect from RTR?

A lot of exciting things are happening right now at Rent the Runway; we just came off of the launch of our new subscription service Unlimited, which allows you to select three pieces from our inventory and swap them out as many times as you like, giving you access to an endless closet with endless options. This program is exploding and truly revolutionizing the fashion industry!

Our three Project Entrepreneur winners are setting up shop in the Rent the Runway’s office at the end of May to begin their five-week business accelerator program. We are constantly evolving and looking for new ways to innovate!

In light of Mother’s Day can you tell us the best advice your own mother gave you?

‘Why not do both’ was something my mother often said to me encouraging me to go after every opportunity and find a way to fit everything into my life to create fullness and composite happiness. She also constantly reminded me to slow down, smile, and enjoy life.

Photos by Stevi Sesin