Q&A with Tastemaker Maddy Hague
You could say Maddy Hague is the ultimate time management queen. In addition to raising her daughter, Aurora, and spending time with her husband, Devon, she manages to balance her time between being a graphic designer and running a variety of successful blogs and websites including The Kids' Dept., Confetti Pop, and Somewhere Splendid. Oh, and let's not forget she also founded the blog The Inspired Bride. With admitted obsessions for AMC's Mad Men, baking, crafting, and the New York Yankees, each project she's involved in seems to reflect her with touches of creative fun. We are so excited to showcase her as a BURU Tastemaker on Unbuttoned! To find out more, read her Q&A below.
BR: What is the Kids' Dept. Blog all about?
MH: The Kids' Dept. is a fashion blog for children, from newborn to preteen. My husband and I pick our favorite pieces available from current collections across many retailers, then pull it together with other complimentary pieces to create a completely styled outfit inspiration board. Each post is shippable, too, so you can click directly through to the clothing you love!
BR: What inspired you to begin The Kids' Dept.?
MH: We welcomed our daughter, Aurora, in March 2012 and we both loved pulling outfits together for her. Prior to that, my husband was an art director for Target's kids' fashion department and he found out that he really loved working in that area. SInce we both realized our passion for curating kids' outfits, we decided it would be awesome to collaborate on a blog together. There wasn't really anything out in the "blogsphere" quite like what we were envisioning, so we decided to go for it!
BR: How did you come to be a blogger? What inspired another one of your blogs, Somewhere Splendid?
MH: I started out as a wedding blogger, writing a popular wedding blog called The Inspired Bride. I started Somewhere Splendid as I settled into my life as a newlywed, realizing there were others out there like me who loved crafty, styled entertaining beyond their wedding day. I sold The Inspired Bride just before I had Aurora, knowing that running two blogs with a newborn would be way too much work. As I settled into my role as a new mom, I partnered with my friend Shauna on Confetti Pop, a party crafts and inspiration site that covers holidays, birthdays, weddings, gifts, and everyday entertaining. In the new year, Somewhere Splendid ail be evolving into my new party and decor line, Splendid Supply Co. (click to view), so that I can concentrate all my party content on Confetti Pop.
BR: What do you love most about being a mom?
MH: I can't really pick a single thing, honestly. Every day brings new surprises and Aurora continues to be the most amazing person we've ever met. Seeing he grow, develop, and learn is a continuous joy for my husband and me, and I feel so grateful that I've had the opportunity to be a work-at-home mom so I can witness it all.
BR: What is the number one way in which motherhood has changed you?
MH: I think I understand my parents a lot better. We've always been close, but I think once you become a parent, you truly understand how much your parents love you because you've experienced that love yourself. The love of a parent has for a child is unlike any other and, I think, you get a better sense of how deep and intense it is the second you become one.
BR: If you breast-fed your daughter, what wardrobe challenges did you face?
MH: I ended up wearing a lot of dresses with a wrap top because button-up shirts always tend to fit poorly on my larger chest, and tanks and tees were very clumsy when it came to breast-feeding (especially in public). It would have been nice to have other options at the time!
BR: What are your five favorite BURU pieces?
- Button Front Drawstring Dress: I love that the top is buttoned, which would make it perfect for breast-feeding once we eventually have #2. Also, the drawstring waist is very forgiving for those of us who have yet to lose all the baby weight. Heck, it's nearly two years later and I haven't been able to lose it all (real talk moment).
- Mint Lightweight Collarless Blouse: I tend to wear pieces that are very comfortable because I'm chasing after a toddler and working from home, so a trendy blouse with a relaxed fit is perfect for me. The color is fabulous, too!
- Eggplant Scalloped Hem Skirt: Aurora and I like to take a stroll around the lake that's a few blocks from our house when the weather is warm. This skirt would be perfect for a stroll when paired with some comfortable flats.
- Cropped Sweatshirt Jacket: The temperatures are hitting below zero lately here in Minnesota and sometimes all you can really do is curl up in some warm, comfy clothes. With this jacket, cozy can also be cute.
- Black and White Striped Skirt: The graphic designer in me loves a bold, high contrast pattern. A good stripe is a staple in any blogger's wardrobe, too, so this is right up my alley.
BR: What are your five favorite baby products? (This can include gear, clothing, toys, snacks, etc.) Why?
- Aden and Anais swaddle blankets were absolute must-haves for us. Aurora didn't like being swaddled for very long, but they worked as great lightweight blankets when we would go out for strolls as well.
- I wish I knew the Mom's One Line a Day Journal was available when Aurora was born. I would have loved documenting our time together in an easy, low maintenance way.
- Every mom I know is determined to make first solids for her little one, but never ends up having the time. I was no exception. Fortunately, Ella's Kitchen was available at my local Target. There's a great variety of health, well-balanced food options for kids 4 months old and up. Of the many varieties we tried, Aurora only turned her nose up at one of them, which, when you have kids on solids, you know is quite a win!
- I still love our Oeuf Classic Crib. It's a beautifully designed crib and, now that we've transitioned it to a toddler bed, I can attest that it is also quite lovely for bigger kids.
- Our Baby Bjorn carrier was a lifesaver for me when Aurora was very little. She hit minimum weight just as we lost our month of family support (my parents came for the first two weeks after Aurora's birth and my husband's came for the next two), so I was all alone during the day with little sleep and was exhausted and terrified. I learned pretty quickly that if I was having a hard time putting her down for a nap, I could put her in the Bjorn, slow dance or sway my way through two or three songs, and she'd be out– and I'd be following her into nap time pretty quickly.
BR: What is the must-have baby outfit for every new mom's precious little one?
MH: I love this outfit we put together for girls (left photo) and this outfit we put together for boys (right photo) on The Kids' Dept. (To view what's featured in each, click the photo.) Otherwise, one piece jumpsuits or bodysuits really are the way to go when they're very little. Some of my all-time favorites come from Winter Water Factory.
BR: How do you balance time with your husband, your daughter, Aurora, being Creative Director of the craft site Confetti Pop, and managing the blog Somewhere Splendid in addition to The Kids' Dept. and being a graphic designer?
MH: Sometimes, honestly, I really don't know. I went to Rhode Island School of Design (where I met my husband) and I often credit it with whipping me into shape on the time management front. During the day, while Aurora is up, I answer emails and do some light computer research (for future Confetti Pop projects or "shopping" for outfits for The Kids' Dept.) but spend most of my time with her. Aurora's very bonded to me, which I love, but it means that she doesn't do a whole lot of independent play. We spend the days drawing together, doing pretend play, doing learning activities, and watching My Little Pony or The Little Mermaid (her absolute favorites). During naps or time when Devon [Hague's husband] is home, I have to prioritize chores and all of my projects, and try to be as time efficient as I can be. I've always been one to work fairly quickly, so I'm fortunate in that respect.
BR: What is the one thing you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?
MH: I came into parenthood with pretty realistic expectations thanks to advice from friends and knowing the experiences of my sister-in-law before me, but I guess what I'd tell myself if I could hop back in time is really that your pediatrician will be your best friend and partner in the whole experience. We have a wonderful pediatrician who has been the best sounding board and source of advice. I weigh the thoughts and opinions of friends and family members when making decisions, but the person whose input I tend to value the most is hers. Some people have a tendency to be rude or condescending if you don't follow the same path as them (ESPECIALLY on the Internet, where they rely on anonymity). The best advice I can give is just to trust in your gut and the decisions you make with your doctor, realizing that no one will ever be a perfect parent. It's just as much your right to choose your own path for your child as it is the naysayer's right to disagree.
Thank you so much, Maddy Hague!
Shop her Tastemaker Sale HERE.
Check out her different blogs and websites by clicking their names titles below: