How much do we love a mom who sees a hole in the marketplace, and has the tenacity to fill it? Christy, the mother of three kids, has just launched Willa, a brand new skincare line for tweens.
Give us a little background on yourself/what you do/how you came to it. How much did becoming a parent shape what your business is?
My company Willa (named after my daughter) was born during one of those extraordinary moments between mother and daughter around three years ago. I was giving my daughter Willa a bath, washing her with the J&J baby soap I had just used on her younger sister. She asked, “Mommy why do I have to use Julia’s babyish soaps? Isn’t there something for girls like me?” She was right. She had outgrown baby soaps and was ready to take ownership of taking care of herself…and she felt empowered with each new responsibility she could “own.” So we looked…at Target, Walgreens, Bloomingdales and every pharmacy in between…looking for natural skincare products Willa would love and I could trust. We found nothing, with the exception of Miley Cyrus made in China Strawberry Pink body wash….And it made me think of my tween and teen years–way too much sun, too much acne…what’s more I had my first skin cancer at 29 followed by Mohs surgery on my face. I didn’t want my daughter Willa to repeat my story. I wondered why science has shown up to 80% of lasting sun damage happens by age 18, but there is nothing on the market to care for our children’s skin precisely at the age when they can do the most to protect it….
I also wondered why our relationship with our skin begins with a “problem”–namely a breakout or a sunburn? We don’t wait for our children to get a cavity to tell them to brush their teeth nor do we wait until they are a diabetic to say “eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise” yet with our skin, our largest organ, the relationship begins with a problem.
Healthy skincare should be a lifestyle choice, a daily ritual…and it should start young.
Okay, we’re sold. So what about your daily life with three kids…let’s start with lunch–any strategies?
Willa is my best eater…and loves Fage yogurt and almonds and fruit…Julia and Jack are the carb junkies…so the only thing that makes both them and me happy in their lunch sack is a note!
Best kid purchase/bang for your buck?
Magnatiles for our son Jack that have grown with him….expensive but they are indestructible and possibilities are endless.
What’s your mom uniform?
What’s your weeknight family dinner routine?
Taco Tuesdays with chicken or steak…Breakfast for dinner at least once a month.
How do you celebrate your kids’ birthdays?
Breakfast in bed!
Low fuss entertaining?
Everyone in the kitchen while I’m cooking….and never again making something for the first time…It isn’t about the food–just good friends, low lighting, polaroid camera and a festive cocktail.
Any rules about TV/screens?
Only on weekends–that way there’s no ambiguity about the rules, and books become entertainment…Also films vs. tv– I worked in Hollywood for 10 years and my mentor made sure I saw all the classics….We are doing themes…doing musicals now–West Side Story and Meet Me in St.Louis are big hits.
What’s a typical weekend like?
Busier than any of us would like….usually too much going on but when we are able to “plan” absolutely nothing…those tend to be the best.
What’s the thing that always stays on your to-do list and never gets crossed off and nags at you?
I’ve given up on photo albums…my iPhone has become the default…
What do you do in your “spare time”?
Top 3 favorite books?
Do you have a fail-safe beauty product or routine?
Sleep, and sunscreen. Clarisonic, Willa spf 30 tinted moisturizer (replaced my Laura Mercier) and evens out my skintone flawlessly.
Best family trip?
Any personal/parenting “a-ha” tips?
Acknowledge the feeling….
You feel your best when?
I get a good night sleep, get some exercise, can pick my kids up from school and I have returned every call.
Proudest moment in parenting?
Eye contact and a firm handshake when interacting with adults and their easy smiles when I pick them up from school.
The Sunday New York Times