Veronica Swanson Beard

As you know, we’re sort of obsessed with finding the one perfect product for everything. So it’s no surprise we think of the apparel brand Veronica Beard, whose main mission is to help busy ladies simplify oh-so-stylishly, like a soul sister.

Like her co-founder sister-in-law (whom we featured in the spring), Veronica Swanson Beard has a little troop of kids – boys aged 7, 5, and 1 – and a surefooted approach to the dance of business-running and parenting.

So of course she was capable of tackling the latest challenge for the Beard brand: denim. “Our goal is to design the must-have pieces of your uniform and the thing we wanted most was denim – the kind you’d feel polished enough to wear to a meeting or a dinner with your parents or boss.” And as an alum of Narciso Rodriguez, Alberta Ferretti and Parsons, we trust that she got it right. (Find out for yourself this October).

Save room in your denim drawer and now enjoy this in the meantime: good advice from a woman fit to give it.

My Everyday

I take my boys to school and head to the office where I move between design, sales and PR all day. I’m home in time for bathtime and then I put the baby to bed. For the older kids, it’s homework and roughhousing followed by a book at bedtime.

I’ve Got This Nailed

Always give kids two choices – for food, movies, outfits, play dates etc. They feel empowered and you know what you’re dealing with. But only buy clothes and shoes you would want your kids to wear!

The Pregnancy Uniform

Mine was a Veronica Beard blazer, blouses from Zara, J Brand maternity jeans and Isabel Marant booties. It’s really important to feel yourself when you’re pregnant. There is nothing worse than feeling like shamu the whale in a bad outfit.

New Moms, Listen Up

Stay home for the first two weeks and limit visitors to people you wouldn’t mind sobbing or leaking in front of.

The Magic Ingredient

Amparo, our beloved nanny is essential to helping me keep it together. She lives with us and my boys think of her as family. She allows me the freedom to run a business and have a happy marriage and not feel guilt about my kids 24/7.

The Perfect Moment

Bonfire on the beach at our home in Locust Valley, Long Island. There is nothing more magical than watching your kids chase fireflies, chow s’mores, and feel special because they’re staying up late!

#Momfail

They inherited my insatiable sweet tooth and I did nothing to prevent it from happening. Ice cream is a particularly lethal vice in the Beard home.

Best. Purchase. Ever.

The Sit’n’Stroll. I CANNOT believe it took me three kids to finally buy this machine.

How To Travel With Tots

Each kid has their own roller suitcase that holds their toys, lovies and DVD player. I get a good meal in them and then it’s junk all the way – whatever they want as long as they behave and stay in their seat.

Say What?

In our house, cuddle cuddle means snuggle time.

3 Hours Alone, 3 Hours With Him

Alone: Hunting through vintage, thrift and antique shops anywhere in the USA.
With him: Dinner with my husband at Il Cantinori.

I Still Don’t Get It

Cooking. And downloading pictures.

You Can’t Do It All, So Do This

I had to make the decision for myself that once I get to work, it’s all about business unless there is an emergency with the kids. They respect my love for my business and know that they’re always my first priority.

I Never Have Enough…

Wipes and LL Bean totes.

Becoming My Own Mother

I say and do everything she does! My mom would drag us around to all her favorite antique and thrift shops and now my boys have to do it too. I always let them pick out their own piece of treasure so they don’t mind it too much.

Photo: Courtesy of Claiborne Swanson Frank

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On Our Radar: January 30, 2015

onradar

Buggy Buttons
WHO: Parents who don’t want to wake a sleeping baby but must transport them to the car seat.
WHAT: Clamps attach to either side of the car seat to hold the straps out of the way, so when you place a sleeping little in it, you don’t wake them by fidgeting with straps underneath their tooshie. Doubles as a toy!
WHEN: If you haul the babe in the car a lot, immediately.
WHERE: squishandasqueeze.com

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Rylee + Cru
WHO: Parents with a California boho sense of style.
WHAT: New line of baby and toddler basics made in LA is made of super-soft slub jersey cotton and comes in sweet vintage-inspired prints (think swans and bunnies) in muted hues.
WHEN: Right about now.
WHERE: ryleeandcru.com

Biobu Kids Dinnerware
WHO: Parents of toddlers who are seriously anti-plastic.
WHAT: Chic dish sets for kids are made of biodegradable bamboo fiber with a 100% food-grade melamine binder, and are BPA-, PVC- and Phthalate-free. (And no, they’re not microwave-safe but you should put plastic in the microwave anyway!)
WHEN: Before dinner.
WHERE: unisonhome.com

Storq Body
WHO: Pregnant and nursing women who want safe but effective beauty products.
WHAT: Storq’s done the research, you just stay fresh and clean – knowing the shampoo/conditioner, belly balm, soap, and deodorant is EWG-approved.
WHEN: Like now.
WHERE: storq.com

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katia_beauchamp

We knew we were in for an honest heart-to-heart when Katia Beauchamp announced she had to pump during our interview. She’s the co-founder of the brillz beauty business Birchbox, which delights its subscribers every month with a delivery of trial-size beauty products tailored to their needs. It’s a win for brands (that exposure!) and you, since you’ll discover your new fav product without having to buy a full-size bottle.

The West Texas native (clear eyes, full hearts, y’all!) has been doing quite a lot of discovery herself recently: She gave birth to twin boys, Alec and Guy 8 months ago.

Katia’s finding her way in the working mom world, but she has a bone to pick with some other moms, “Everybody tries to make pregnancy and motherhood seem so easy. But it’s hard. And just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome and amazing. I wish more women would be honest about that.”

Read on for straight talk including, yes, beauty must-haves, as well as life-saving baby products, and much more.

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Truth About Multiples

Having twins is such a blessing, but it’s so important to find other moms with them – otherwise you feel like an alien! Nursing two is a whole different ballgame. Same goes for sleep training. I found my people through the Manhattan Twins Club. It’s such an active community: you put questions up there and people respond with great advice.

Life Savers

I’m obsessed with Wubanubs [the pacifier with a small “lovey” attached]. Initially I didn’t realize how helpful it is to have those stuffed animals on them – it helps them grab it themselves and find it in the middle of the night. I call it their wub instead of their paci.

I’m still using the Zipadee-Zip, a Shark Tank product that’s similar to a swaddle but still safe for babies to wear once they can roll over.

Obsessed

As a brand, I have been really impressed with Babybjörn. We use the bouncer, travel crib, and high chair, and I’m blown away by the design. I am so brand loyal because they are so thoughtful about how they make their products. My boys sit in that bouncer forever. The high chair is so sleek and easy to use but doesn’t take up space. And the playard is totally lightweight and easy to transport and they LOVE it.

How She Does It

I have an amazingly helpful husband who was born to be a father. We divide our responsibilities, besides nursing of course. We have an incredible nanny who quickly became part of our family. She started as our baby nurse, and I begged her to become our nanny. She loves the boys so much and cares for them so thoughtfully. It allows me to go to work and disconnect from home with complete peace of mind.

Great Nanny Tip

Our nanny stays over 2 nights a week – it allows us to have a date night, and we can each have a work commitment. It’s also 2 mornings that I don’t have to get up, so I get a really solid night’s sleep. Game changer.

Beauty 180

I have never been obsessive about ingredients, but I started paying a lot more attention when I got pregnant and changed everything. There aren’t a lot of truly organic, natural make-up brands out there, but W3ll People is such a fun brand. They are beautiful and such great products. For skincare I am so passionate about Tata Harper – I could see a difference in a week. I am so fastidious about skincare and am a diehard believer in her products.

Top 3 Beauty Products

1. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (You can sleep in it.)
2. W3ll People Multi-Use Color Stick (I love this.)
3. Oribe Apres Beach Spray (I just cut my hair off, and it’s been amazing for styling it.)

Baby Beauty

I’m so minimalistic about what I put on the boys. Sometimes I just use warm water so their natural oils can do their thing. Honest’s products are really nice, and I use Aquaphor as a diaper cream.

Morning Routine

I wake up, nurse the babies, and play with them for 30 minutes – they are so happy in the morning! It’s our special time. Then I take a shower when the nanny arrives. I run around in various states of being dressed and play with them again and again. Then I say bye 10 times before I finally leave. It’s so hard!

Just STOP

Pregnancy and motherhood is a whole shift in your life, and whatever you were doing before kids is still important to you, and balancing that is really challenging. I wish more women would be open to a conversation that we are going through this together as mothers.

Unwind

I have not been great at doing things for myself since the boys were born. I haven’t exercised much, and I did before them – I don’t have the energy or even want to right now. Cooking brings me joy, and I don’t have time to really cook, but I love preparing a meal from Plated while having a glass of wine. That works for now!

Brilliant Post-Baby Fashion Tip

We’re going to the Grand Caymans with the babies soon, and I needed a bathing suit that covers the dark line below my belly button that hasn’t faded yet. I found high-waisted on-trend bathing suits at Urban Outfitters that cover the line and are so cute!

Perfect Moments

Every morning, the 4 of us snuggle, laugh, and sing in our bed after I have fed the babies. It’s dark in our room and totally blissful!

3 Hours Alone, No Work, No Family

How many things can I do in 3 hours? I’d definitely go to a Soul Cycle class, then go on a meandering walk, stumble into a cafe for lunch with a friend, followed up by an afternoon cocktail. That sounds so delightful!

Secret Talent

I make amazing homemade salsa. I’m from Texas, and my mom’s Mexican, so I have that in my blood! The key is to roast the jalapeno on an open flame on the stove and everything else has to be super fresh fresh. People come over, eat it, and think you are a goddess.

The Name Game

Guy is a family name on my husband’s side. I wanted a name from my side of the family – my dad is Greek and I wanted a greek name, but Alecos sounds weird with our last name, so we went with Alec. His middle name is Austin, where I was born.

#Momfail

I was in my business partner’s wedding 2 months after the boys were born. First of all, we were driving upstate and realized one ZipCar was not enough to haul all our stuff and had to get a second. We get to the rehearsal dinner (they kindly included the boys), so we put them in white linen overalls from Paris, which were SO cute, and wouldn’t ya know it – diarrhea explosion! And yes, my husband got poop on his clothes too.

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Gift Guide

Before kids, Valentine’s Day was sort of a downer: You were either single and at home watching bad TV alone (man, that sounds like heaven), or you’re out with your S.O. having a cheesy prix-fixe meal – and slightly humiliated by it (gee, thanks hunny).

But once you have littles, it becomes a favorite holiday – there’s nothing better than explaining “love” to a toddler. Plus it’s a perfect excuse to buy heart-themed prezzies.

These are the ones we want. Mwah!

Bouquet

$35

Urban Stems

Heart Sunglasses

$16

Urban Outfitters

Jonathan Adler Heart Pillow

$165

Diapers

Scattered Hearts Scarf

$148

Cricket’s Circle

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Ruby Heart Ring

$3,000

Sarah Hendler

Angel Skin Heart & Arrow Studs

$595

Finn Jewelry

Stripe & Heart Sweater

$198

Amber Hagen

Gold Heart Eternity Band

$220

Cricket’s Circle

John Derian Shooting Arrow Tray

$110

John Derian

Heart Spatulas

$11

Huset

Hearts Back-Up Charger

$30

Ban.do

Spa Collection

$72

Herbivore Botanicals

Dyptique Rosafolia Candle

$65

Cricket’s Circle

Kiss, Kiss Postcard Set

$7

Cricket’s Circle

Edie Parker Heart Clutch

$1,295

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Wall Stickers

$21

Design Public

I Heart Color Doll

$25

Sophie & Lili

Kiss Hair Clips

$12

Hello Shiso

Conversation Heart Rings

$3

Shop Sweet Lulu

Milk & Heart Cookies Kit

$23

Acme

Pink Acoustic Guitar

$44

Cricket’s Circle

Wood Stacking Hearts

$46

Romp

Love Notes Mailbox

$20

PB Kids

Hearts & Arrows Card Kit

$13

Shop Sweet Lulu

Personalized Heart Apron

$19

PB Kids

Selima Heart Sunglasses

$55

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Elbow Sweater

$68

Cricket’s Circle

Llama Llama I Love You Book

$5

Cricket’s Circle

Lips Sweatshirt

$39

Atsuyo Et Akiko

Love Burnout Tee

$44

Darling Clementine

Kiwi Crate Card Kit

$15

Kiwi Crate

Radio Flyer Spin N Saucer

$25

Cricket’s Circle

Playforever Racecar

$40

My Sweet Muffin

Maroon Bow Tie

$22

Little Skye

Oeuf VW Bug

$68

Alex & Alexa

Stella McCartney Heart Tee

$25

Alex & Alexa

Love Notes Mailbox

$20

PB Kids

Heart Scarf

$20

Cricket’s Circle

Elmo’s Valentine Book

$4

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Teether

$12

Little Sapling Toys

Sweet Hearts Grasping Toy

$15

Romp

Heartbreaker Onesie

$20

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Hat & Mittens

$25

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Tights

$5

Cricket’s Circle

I’m So Glad You’re Here Giant Book

$100

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Diaper Cover

$17

PB Kids

Love Blanket

$40

PB Kids

Heart Onesie

$23

Cricket’s Circle

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