Markey Hutchinson adores design for the home and fashion for all– even little ones! By combining tradition with fun and practicality, she designs The Beaufort Bonnet Company bonnets and bucket hats for babies and small children. The best part? They're all made in the good 'ole USA! Plus, there's more than just headwear. The Beaufort Bonnet Company also provides your little bundle of joy with britches, bloomer sets, and dresses. Find out more about owner, designer, Bu Ru Tastemaker, and mother Markey Hutchinson below!
BR: What do you love most about being a mom?
MH: I love reading to my children. I actually started collecting children’s books for my future children when I was in college– that’s probably one of those crazy things you’re not supposed to tell people! My mother read to me; it’s easily one of my fondest childhood memories. Reading to them is not just about the story, the pictures, and learning, it’s an excuse to snuggle up and just be together.
BR: What is the number one way in which motherhood has changed you?
MH: I’m more understanding and empathetic of all the women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, and mothers in general. Working moms and stay-at-home moms deserve far more credit and respect. The list of women who I admire has grown exponentially now that I am a mother.
BR: Did you breastfeed your children? Why or why not?
MH: No. And this was the hardest decision I have ever made. In 2006 I discovered I had the BRCA1 gene, I lost my mother to cancer, and then learned my sister had cancer as well. She was 29. I was 26 and single and didn’t know when or if I’d ever have the opportunity to have children. Becoming a mother is something I always wanted; breast feeding was an experience I thought I’d have. My sister had two young children when she was diagnosed and my mother was 54 when she passed. I made the decision to sacrifice all the benefits and the experience associated with breast feeding in hopes to be around longer for my children. (My sister is currently cancer free after battling the disease twice.)
BR: I read that you found The Beaufort Company through Facebook and your daughter Betsey received one as a gift. Why did you decide to help the company expand to Kentucky?
MH: The bonnet I fell in love with was sold in over 75 retail locations (but not in Kentucky). I had women with babies, women expecting babies, and women who wanted their daughters to make babies asking me where they could find a Beaufort Bonnet. Betsey was selling so many bonnets I decided to contact the company’s owner and see if I could possibly be paid for it– ha! A couple conversations later I was inquiring about purchasing the entire business! Three months later I was a business owner and Lexington, KY had a little bonnet business from Beaufort, South Carolina.
BR: I also read that you said "style and design have always been a passion" for you. What inspires your bonnet designs?
MH: I have a distinct taste and preference when it comes to all things design– from landscaping and architecture to interior decorating and clothing. As far as baby style my eyes smile when I see babies dressed like babies. When it comes to bonnets and baby clothes, I’m completely smitten and inspired by the 1950’s– the styles were simple, sweet, classic, and most importantly: clever.
BR: During and after your pregnancies, what was your day-to-day style? Did you ever wear maternity clothes during or after either pregnancy?
MH: Maternity dresses and maternity tights got me through my working/office days while pregnant with Wakefield (born Dec. 29 2009). I honestly found tights to be more comfortable than maternity pants. After my son’s arrival I quickly (and happily) passed my maternity clothes on to a friend. When pregnant with Betsey (July 29, 2011), I was bigger during the warmer months. I skipped the maternity clothing and opted for sundresses and maxis.
BR: What are your five favorite baby products? Why?
MH: Well, naturally my answer would be five products from The Beaufort Bonnet Company, but since that’s obvious I’ll go with: A&D and Aquafor (for baby bottoms), Target brand diapers (quality and price), Blabla mobiles (cuteness factor), the KidCo Go Pod, and the KidCo PeaPod (convenience and functionality).
BR: What is a typical weekend like for you, your two kids, and your husband?
MH: We live at the pool all weekend during the summer! During the warmer months my husband and I might get a babysitter one night and enjoy patio dining and drinks with friends. With the cold weather, you’ll find us in the living room by the fire reading books, watching movies, building forts, and having 'dance parties'.
BR: What's the number one Bu Ru accessory every Bu Ru mom needs?
MH: I can’t decide between the Diaper Pouch/Clutch and the Fix-It Kit!! LOVE!
BR: What is the must-have baby outfit for every mom's precious little one?
MH: Spring/Summer: Every baby girls needs a Beaufort Bonnet Company bloomer set and Beaufort Bonnet. Little boys need a Jack Keene jon jon (in every color) and a Beaufort Bucket Hat or Barringer Bonnet.
Fall/Winter: A boy in a peter pan collar shirt, corduroy Jack Keene jon jon, Beaufort Bucket Hat, knee socks, and classic saddle oxfords make me melt! Any little lady in a corduroy Caroline Color Block jumpers, knee socks, mary janes, and a corduroy Beaufort Bonnet is going to be the cutest girl in the room.
BR: What is the one thing you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?
MH: It’s a lot harder than it looks. Seriously, nobody told me. Maybe because it doesn’t matter; it’s all worth it.
Thank you so much Markey Hutchinson!
Check out The Beaufort Bonnet Company HERE.
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