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Q&A with Rachel Blumenthal

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Posted: Jun 29 2014

 

Rachel Blumenthal is not only the founder of Cricket's Circle, but is also the master of time management. Her resume is also enviable by every fashion lover as she's been a jewelry designer and a publicist for Yves Saint Laurent. As she prepared for motherhood, she found that there really wasn't a simple, go-to master list for what a new mom needs for baby. Refusing to sacrifice her passion for fashion and sift through excel spreadsheets and short novels sent to her by friends, she found a helpful "cricket," and thus, Cricket's Circle was born. Blumenthal shares with us her tricks n' tips for balancing time, her personal style and why Cricket's Circle is the end-all be-all resource for new and soon-to-be mamas. 

BR: What do you love most about being a mom?

RB: Your child helps you truly appreciate the small, special moments in life. Griffin's glowing smile when I say "yes" to the unexpected or when he sees how something works for the first time is something I cherish every time it happens.

BR: What is the number one way in which motherhood has changed you?

RB: I've actually become much more spontaneous. One of my favorite moments was two summers ago at the playground in Union Square. Griffin was a fairly new walker and he was showing interest in the water sprays. Typical me would have run up and moved him away from the the water because I didn't want him to get wet and have to take him home to change. In what was wildly uncharacteristic, I just let him explore. The faces he made as he experienced the feeling of the water drenching him were priceless. The two of us took such joy in that carefree moment of discovery. 

BR: Did you breast-feed? If so, how did it affect your wardrobe choices?

RB: I nursed and pumped for nine months. Finding a nursing bra that was comfortable, functional and cute was impossible for me to the point that I gave up and ended up wearing a sports bra for nine months– the uni-boob was not cute at all! So in that respect I sort of failed at nursing style. I desperately could have used BURU at the time.

BR: We are so excited about Cricket's Circle as a resources for moms! Please share a little bit about your new venture and what inspired you to create "Cricket"?

RB: When I was pregnant with my son, Griffin, what I craved more than anything was one master list of what to buy. Instead, I received dozens of spreadsheets and brain-dump emails passed from experienced moms to newbies like me. I felt clueless. When I asked a like-minded friend to tell it to me straight, I finally got truthful and clear answers– she spelled out the must-have products as well as what I didn't need (which was just as helpful). She was my "Cricket."

First and foremost, I want Cricket's Circle to be the short-answer solution for moms. We tell you what you need, what you don't and what's "nice to have." Beyond just the what, we tell you the why. We give you context to understand exactly why you do or don't need something. Right now we're focused on pregnancy and new motherhood, but as we continue to hear from members, we'll take their feedback into consideration when deciding which new categories we add (And when) and how we can continue to grow with her (and her child).


BR: How are you balancing life as a mother, wife and entrepreneur? We could use some tips as you make it seem so effortless!

RB: Everyday is a crazy balancing act. Here are a few of the tricks I try to abide by.

  1. Try to avoid multi-tasking. I must admit I'm an A+ multi-tasker, however, I find when I can focus on Griffin and nothing else, I'm more relaxed and I enjoy my time with him so much more– and he's the most engaged. I try to devote that full hour or two hours in the morning or before bed to him and nothing else (sometimes I'll sneak an Instagram of him in there) and then it's 100 percent work or husband time.
  2. There's no "right" way to do something. There are plenty of ways to try, and you should always ask for help and advice. 
  3. Delivery is your new best friend. We have a regularly-scheduled Monday morning FreshDirect delivery with the same items every week; the same goes for monthly deliveries from Diapers.com and Soap.com. You get back time and don't have to constantly think about schlepping out on an adventure just to get paper towel and diapers. Your time is more precious than ever!
  4. Make time for yourself. No mater how busy you are, try to at least give an hour to yourself at some point in the day. I do Bikram or hot vinyasa yoga– it's the best trick for calming down and having a peaceful moment to myself. It's way too hot to do anything but focus on breathing!

BR: During and after your pregnancies, what was your day to day style?

RB: My style has always been classic and girly with unexpected twists. I very much believe in dressing for your mood. The minute I found out I was pregnant I started wearing looser fitting tops. Jeans were abandoned as soon as the waistline was getting snug and I did not see a pair of jeans until six weeks after Griffin was born. Long blazers and cardigan sweaters were a staple as soon as I started wearing maternity leggings and once my belly popped, I went tight. Throughout my pregnancy, as consistent with my unusual style, it was basic separated in neutral colors and super fun shoes, bags and jewelry.

BR: What are your must-have pieces from BURU and why do they work in your mommy lifestyle?

RB: 

  1. Rebecca Minkoff Yellow Skirt: I love that you can dress this up with heels and a tank top or go casual with a sweatshirt or t-shirt and flat sandals or high-top sneakers. The color is happy.
  2. Rachel Antonoff Black Crop Top: Now that I have my body back, I'm pretty into these crop tops. I still won't show my belly, that's just not me, but I love wearing them with high-waisted pants or more likely with a longer tank top in a contrasting material underneath. 
  3. David Lerner Side Zipped Maternity Leggings: I'm not wearing these right now, but I LIVED (ever. single. day.) in great black maternity leggings throughout my pregnancy, and a couple of weeks following it. Finding a pair that is thick enough to hold you in but thin enough to nod add bulk and has the belly band that goes high enough not to squeeze is essential.
  4. Rebecca Minkoff Leather and Ponte Pants: These pants are everything. They have the style and edge of leather pants but the function and comfort of the ponte on the back. The best part about the ponte is it prevents your leather pants from stretching. I'd wear these with a silk top and a blazer or a casual sweater depending on the day.
  5. Bella Dahl Jogger Pant: These pants are amazing! Talk about style and function. I want to live in these every day. (BURU mamas...these awesome pants SOLD OUT fast, but we highly recommend The Odells Simple Cloth Track Pant as a wonderful alternative)
  6. SAM & LAVI Honeycomb Textured Blazer: To me, this is the perfect pregnancy and beyond blazer. It's long enough that it covers your tush but sleek enough that you'll always look polished.
  7. The Odells Simple Cloth Denim Skirt: This skirt would look good on anyone. It looks comfy too.
  8. David Lerner White V Neck Racer Tank: You can never have enough white tank tops and t-shirts. 

BR: You started your career at Yves Saint Laurent, quite a place to form your own sense of style. Is there one fashion item (as impractical as it might be for a mom) that you will never give up?

RB: I love fashion and will never give up anything that makes me feel pretty or inspires me. However, I dress very practically when I'm with Griffin– jeans, flats and I try to avoid white. There's no reason for my outfit to prevent me from having fun with him.

BR: Your little boy is a cutie! If you wouldn't mind sharing, we would love to hear about some of your favorite mommy and son moments.

RB: Early mornings involve building towers with MagnaTiles, making smoothies (which he never drinks– he just wants to make!) or diner breakfasts (I always bring markers to entertain him).

I've been making more of an effort to arrange my schedule around Griffin's so that even on the busiest of days, we can fit in some special time– just the two of us. Dinner and bath time are always a struggle so I come home at least two nights per week after he's done both and we go on an adventure. He decides where we are going and how we are going to get there (he always chooses the bus or the choo choo, AKA the subway). Our last adventure involved taking the bus uptown, searching for ice cream sandwiches, and eating them on the way home, back on the bus. Any activity where he takes the lead and we're not limited by scheduling is aways the most fun and carefree. 

BR: Tell us your favorite...

RB: 

  • Bedtime Story: Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site.
  • Lullaby: Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
  • Vacation Spot: East Hampton. We spend every weekend out there in the summer. Griffin lives for playing with the garden hose and going to the beach.
  • Restaurant: We take Griffin to any restaurant we would go to. My proudest moment is when he asks for sushi. No raw fish for him yet, but he loves avocado rolls.
  • Children's Brand: Zara, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Vilebrequin, and Boy + Girl.

BR: What's the one thing you wish you would have known before becoming a mother?

RB: No matter how organized you are, it will always take you four times longer than you think to get out of the house. I always thought, "Not me, I've got it together," and, boy, did my son prove me wrong!

Thank you so much, Rachel Blumenthal! Check out Cricket's Circle HERE and learn more about her HERE.

Shop her Tastemaker Sale HERE.

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