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When the co-founder of kindred (handmade children’s clothing) got in touch with us, we were psyched to learn about the line and it’s philosophy– taking an heirloom and repurposing it into something wearable. We were also so pleased to meet this NYC designer and mom to five-year old Ada, who has some inspired words of wisdom, down-to-earth common sense, and killer mood boards.

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?

I worked for 14 years in fashion design including show collections for Vivienne Westwood, Costume National, Loewe, and Narciso Rodriguez. Kindred is a line of handmade children’s clothing inspired by enduring European silhouettes. When I became a mother, my own mother sent me a box of children’s clothes that I wore when I was a child. I was amazed at the wonderfully simple shapes, at the quality of the fabrics and by how well they were made. My daughter loved to wear them and of course both me and Oma (i.e. grandmother) could share old and new stories surrounding the outfits. At the same time, my business partner Heike was experimenting, and she had created her daughter a jumpsuit from the fabric of her favorite blouse. At that point, kindred was sparked by our reminiscences about the simple beauty, preciousness and lasting quality of what we wore as children, and, as a reaction to the notions of ‘throw away’ culture. Each piece is made in New York City using earth-friendly repurposed fabrics and is designed to be a unique, precious keepsake, meant to be enjoyed now and passed down for generations to come.

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What would you say is your “mom uniform”?

I’m pretty much always wearing a trench coat, backpack and sunglasses.

Do you cook much–if you don’t, what are your ways around not cooking, and if you do, what are your go-tos–both for yourself, and for your kid?

I am dedicated to cooking almost everyday. We like spaghetti with homemade pesto (spiked with kale), lots of roasted squash, sweet potato and other vegetables. Steamed fennel with quinoa and rice is a go-to. Sushi night and gelato are our quick fix for busy weeks.

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What’s your weeknight family dinner routine?

Dinner together is a priority.  Ada will help me wash some vegetables and set the table.  We always have a candle and maybe a little fun music when we’re cleaning up.

How do you celebrate your Ada’s birthdays?

I bake some cakes and we do a picnic.  It seems to work, as both the kids and the parents get to relax and mingle.

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Best kid purchase/bang for your buck?

A jump rope and a scarf or piece of silk and some pretty buttons.  Also, bobskates for little ones, a tip from my Canadian husband.

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Any rules about TV/screens?

We’ve decided to take a no screen approach.  We don’t have a TV.

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What websites inspire you and for which parts of your life? Preferred social media is….?

Ted talks and NPR to listen to while I’m doing some work and Nowness for visual inspirations. They are both great in short segments that you can steal within a busy schedule. I love Instagram for following both my close friends and moms, as well as wonderful images from quirky and talented strangers.

Do you have a fail-safe beauty product or routine?

Cold and hot showers, morning running, swimming or yoga. Neal’s Yard is pretty fantastic as well.

Any personal/parenting “a-ha” tips?

Get down and look them in the eyes at their height.  It solves a lot of problems.

Best parenting advice you ever got?

The little ones really are imitating everything, so we need to be good examples even when we don’t feel like it.

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One Comment

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  1. Posted by: Susan Houser

    So inspiring! Want to run over and take some tips away with me. Happy you wrote such a wonderful piece!

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