I recently retweeted an article for HadleyStilwell customers that Elisabeth Dale of TheBreastLife.com had posted. EFBizGrants (Eileen Fisher Business Grants) then retweeted my tweet. The end result: With just three tweets, we spread the word about an important issue throughout our global women's community and increased its reach exponentially by supporting each other. At the same time we helped each other's businesses. Cheers to that!
Community is important...don't go it alone! Neither moms nor entrepreneurs (and definitely not mom entrepreneurs!) are meant to go it alone. Not only do we help each other solve common issues, we all thrive in doing so.
I am thrilled to be invited to participate in Eileen Fisher's 3rd annual Inspiring Women Event. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect directly with three Seattle area entrepreneurs as well as executives from Eileen Fisher to ask questions and hear how these women have been able to turn their passions into successful, socially responsible businesses. The event will be held May 6th, 5:30-8:30pm, at Eileen Fisher's retail store in downtown Seattle.
Breastfeeding is not a lifestyle choice; it's about your baby's health!
This week, the AAP updated its breastfeeding policy statement. Reading it took me back to my previous corporate life when I would try to glean seismic shifts in policy through subtle changes in wording (in corporate Annual Reports or combing through new legislation on Russian privatization, for example). In the corporate world it's called "reading the tea leaves."
With motherhood comes a new order of priorities. Most likely, they are Baby, Partner, Self in that order. A Valentine's Day contest hosted by milkmakers lactation cookies shifts the Baby, Partner, Self mindset to the more holistic approach of Breastfeed, Love, Self. Read more...
Valentine's Day is a good time to reflect on the shift in the relationship dynamics that happens when a baby enters the picture. The primary "couple" is now mom and baby in their new breastfeeding relationship.
Partners can feel left out, but did you know that the most important factor in committing to breastfeeding is the support of those around you? Read more...
Nicole Pearl from TheBeautyGirl.com recently did a fashion and beauty segment for new moms on WGN in Chicago featuring the HadleyStilwell Crossover Top and Jet Set Dress. The points she makes are the keys to HadleyStilwell clothing and designs.
A recent Babble article continues the momentum for getting you (us!) moving. Like the Moms That Move campaign from milkmakers, this article is written especially for tired, hectic mothers. Who hasn't said "I'm too tired" or "I just don't have time today"? This piece will speak to you as it did to me!
I exercised my first New Year's resolution already (yea!) by cleaning out my closet yesterday. In the process, I discovered so many clothes I had forgotten I even owned, but that I actually like. It was like going shopping for free! Who doesn't like that?
I was also ruthless in tossing items into the pile to donate. What was my criteria for donating? Anything constraining, fussy, or super-chic but not comfortable.
Hygeia, who has long been commited to truly supporting nursing moms, recently posted on their blog with tips for maintaining a healthy breastfeeding relationship through the hectic, often stressful, holiday season. It's a worthwhile read for every nursing mom. It's another great reminder that we need to take care of ourselves now that we have a little one (or ones) depending on us. Just "pushing through" the stress without taking time to relax will often lead to hitting a wall and losing milk supply - definitely not what we want.
Kaiser Permanente is the largest health care system in the U.S. caring for mothers and babies. Kaiser recently committed that by 2013, its 29 hospitals that offer maternal and child health services will be designated as Baby-Friendly. Kaiser Permanente hospitals already have some of the highest rates of exclusive breastfeeding upon discharge.
My goal is to empower mothers through the HadleyStilwell clothing line, so when I came across American MoJo, an apparel manufacturer that employs single mothers living in poverty, it was a match made in heaven. Imagine being able empower mothers on all levels of the business!
Have you read this PHD in Parenting blog post yet? It eloquently speaks to the issue that mothers living in poverty are much less likely to be breastfeeding, and thus spending more money on formula than mothers who are living on a reasonable income.
The United Nations Population Fund selected October 31, 2011 as the 1 Billion milestone date and National Geographic produced a great video to put it in perspective.
What a great reminder to celebrate babies around the world, appreciate the life we live, and remember to treat our planet with care as the growing population demands more and more of it. Be proud of yourself for breastfeeding – it’s the natural, back-to-basics way to feed your baby that doesn’t strain our Earth.
Breastfeeding during winter means lots of cozy snuggling, but it also means you will likely need to breastfeed in the cold, and that can be challenging.
Talk about not wanting any skin exposure! That challenge is what originally drove me to add fleece to the HadleyStilwell collection – a design that continues to evolve to meet the many needs of moms on the go.
I met Seattle KIRO Traffic Anchor (and mom extraordinaire) Jenni Hogan a year ago when she was returning to work after having her first baby. She was planning to pump, and given the requirement of looking pulled together on the air (regardless of being sleep deprived!), she test drove my designs and generously tweeted and facebooked about them to her viewers. In just a year's time, she has become a vocal advocate for breastfeeding and has spearheaded numerous initiatives around empowering women (and continued previous efforts).
Jenni interviewed me on her new blog MissionHotMama upon returning from the Eileen Fisher NY trip...
Short note before bed to say that the Eileen Fisher (EF) women I met tonight at our first dinner were as amazing as I knew they would be. One woman's job is to confirm that the textiles they use originate from socially responsible manufacturers, down to the farms where the sheep, for example, are raised for wool...
A week from now I will have somehow gotten myself, my samples and everything else onto an early morning Sunday flight to NY for the 3-day celebration for the Eileen Fisher grant. This is a dream come true, but how does one dress when spending 3 days at the headquarters of a world famous clothing brand? Queue up the ultimate test for HadleyStilwell... Psst: Click through to 5-ounce version for private sale alert!
It is with gratitude and inspiration that I will spend the first 3 days in May at the Eileen Fisher headquarters in New York meeting mentors in the apparel business and participating in various events.
And it is with equal gratitude to you dear customers for believing in my designs, and for offering constructive feedback and support along the way. To this end, I'll be offering ongoing promotions on the website with coupon codes that you can access by signing up for the newsletter in the gray bar below. The first code is listed in the press release here.
It's now April 5th, so I promise you, this is not another April Fools joke. If you're reading this, I'm making an educated guess that you prefer the option of breastfeeding to formula. (Just the facts - no judgment.) So at first glance, an article about the Chinese government pursuing an alternative solution to formula is refreshing and surprising...
Back in town and finally made it to the store today to purchase the latest issue of Fit Pregnancy magazine...which includes the Signature Tunic and Skirt Set under the category "Nursing Clothes That Don't Suck"! What's really exciting is that...
The stopover in Narita (the Tokyo airport) was indeed surreal in that it was completely uneventful, while everything we are seeing and reading about the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor damage lies only a few hours away. It was eerily quiet because many train lines are not working, so people can’t easily get to their flights.
So why am I in China? It’s a business trip unrelated to HadleyStilwell. I am privileged to serve on the board of a public company that has a top tier healthcare network in China. Unrelated to HadleyStilwell, yet it turns out, completely related...
This is the first overseas trip in my life where I have felt a reluctance to leave. Sure, I’ve been away on other domestic business trips, but those felt like earned sanity breaks - catch up on sleep, focus on one thing at a time, uninterrupted bathroom time – enough said! But with the world in the state that it’s in this week, I was tearful when dropping off my daughter Hadley at pre-school this morning, and I actually had the conversation about “what happens if” with multiple family members...
This article by Texas A&M Associate Professor of Anthropology and Nutrition (i.e. primate behaviors on infant and child feeding) Kathryn Dettwyler gave me great solace and validation in my now almost 4-year motherhood adventure, which includes a wonderful breastfeeding experience, co-sleeping...and major sleep challenges.
It hasn't been easy, in fact there have been downright dark moments of sleep deprivation, but my I've followed my instincts and as my daughter approaches the 4-year mark, she is finally starting to sleep through the night. That's right, I can count the number of nights with 8 hours of sleep in the past 4 years on one hand.
But as physically hard as it's been, I've kept the big picture in mind (not always successfully) that this is fleeting, and the comfort and soothing I've given in the wee hours of the night somehow feels like an investment in her future well being. Note: No judgment from me for those who chose a different night time route.
Finally, the link that Kathryn Dettwyler illustrates between the cause of SIDS and how co-sleeping is a preventative measure seems so logical, and is indeed what was going through my mind in those early months. Here's the link: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html
Part Deux of below: If you plan to combine breastfeeding with a job, double the need for breastfeeding and pump-friendly clothes. It’s one thing to not want to bare your breasts to your family and friends, and/or want to retain your sense of pre-motherhood style, but it’s another situation completely when you require combining the need for looking professional with quick and discreet access to breasts for pump (or breastfeeding) breaks in often semi-private locations...and in a situation where every minute away from work counts. It’s no wonder there is a steep decline in breastfeeding when women return to work.
I think it was while pumping in a hotel room naked because I was wearing an impenetrable wool sheath dress/suit, that the inkling of HadleyStilwell was born. No wait, maybe it was the time I was sitting in a parked car with an unbuttoned blouse and a pashmina for a semblance of privacy. I can’t remember anymore. At any rate, if you plan to breastfeed for a year,you will get more mileage out of investing in wardrobe staples that mix and match with your current wardrobe and with each other than you did with maternity clothes that you wore for about six months.And my goal with HadleyStilwell designs is that you will want to wear them whether or not you are still breastfeeding. Lately I’ve been wearing the Signature Tunic with the matching skirt and either the Signature Jacket for more formal situations, or dress it down with a denim jacket, or switch out the skirt altogether for leggings or wide bottom pants. The other piece I’ve been living in this winter is the Fleece Cowl Neck Nursing Tunic.It’s like wrapping a blanket around yourself except that it’s also tres chic…
HadleyStilwell designs help busy moms breastfeed or pump outside the home, not to mention provide quick pulled-together looks, but it's not just about the clothes. Read Milk Notes for detailed guidance on combining breastfeeding with work, and watch for guest posts from various experts. ---Holli
A double welcome to the HadleyStilwell website, and to my very first blog post! These posts will aim to be informative yet not too heavy – carrying around a child whether still in utero or in a baby carrier is quite enough weight for a new mother.
As a first-time mother during pregnancy, I can’t say I was thinking as far ahead as breastfeeding. I was consumed instead by the weekly and monthly development of my baby, and devoured those automated e-mails from baby blogs and the chapters from What To Expect.Anything after the big due date (and having the world’s best birth experience) just didn’t exist yet.
So, one thing that caught me completely off guard was the change in clothing needs literally overnight. Sure, I had a few old and bulky nursing bras from a friend, and one outdated nursing top, but I hadn’t thought through the fact that anything in my wardrobe that didn’t allow quick and discreet access to breasts (i.e. most of it) was instantly out of circulation, and given that my breastfeeding experience has lasted 1 year plus, that equals a clothing crisis!
OK Let's stop there until next post and I bid you bonsoir and happy breastfeeding. ---Holli