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Q&A with Tastemaker Kate Bellin

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                            Loving life in New York City, New York.

Balancing her role as a mother, a wife, and a business owner, Kate Bellin doesn’t seem to let the many hats she wears compete with her style. Her effortless sophistication exudes the charm of New York, the city she currently lives in. Bellin manages to transform simple into classic elegance whether she is meeting with clients for Kate Bellin Contemporary, her art consulting company, or feeding the ducks with her son and his grandfather. It is this harmony she keeps between her personal and professional life (as well as in her wardrobe) that makes Kate Bellin an excellent Tastemaker for Shop Bu Ru.

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

KB: The sense of continuity that a baby brings -seeing hime with his Grandfather Buddy and feeding the ducks at the same lake I did when I was little; finding myself singing to him the same songs that my mom sang to me at night, it all brings me joy!

BR: Why did you choose to breast-feed your son?

KB: I chose to breast-feed because I felt that it was what a mother was "supposed" to do. But I soon came to understand what a perfect bonding experience it could be.

BR: While breast-feeding, what was your day-to-day style? Did you ever wear maternity clothes during or after your pregnancy?

KB: I wore a lot of my husband's button-down shirts at the beginning. When I started to leave the house, I could never find clothes that worked for feeding and looked good. I would often sprint home at feeding time and strip off my clothes as I was walking in, throwing them on the floor and hopping into a robe.

BR: I've read that you were the accessories editor who was known to wear few accessories because you said you're "extremely picky." What accessories do you like to wear? What ones are a must? What's your favorite accessory to wear on a date night?

KB: I only wear my wedding band and engagement ring (both from Stephen Russell on Madison Avenue, my favorite jeweler in the world), a gold pinky ring with my husband's family crest on it, and my vintage Patek Philippe watch, which I bought at an auction at Sotheby's years ago. I buy only two bags a year and try to take good care of them so that they can be pulled back out later on. 

BR: What are the mommy must-haves in your purse/diaper bag?

KB: Three Guys Diner on Madison Avenue has a bowl of mints that are meant as an after-meal treat. Our little boy, Lucky (now 2 years old), goes crazy for them. If I ever really need him to do something, these do the trick. We recently bought a bag of 500 mints from the diner for $5. 

BR: I've also read that you're constantly jetting around during the day, often making heels, as you said, "not a daytime option." What footwear do you choose to wear during the day to maintain your chic style?

KB: I just bought some gorgeous navy felt Oscar de la Renta flats that are somewhere between loafers and ballet flats. For spring/summer, I always buy one or two pairs of flat sandals that last me the whole season. This year I found a Manolo Blahnik brown leather greek-style pair; last year it was Lanvin metallic with a criss-cross strap around the ankle.

BR: What do you like most about Shop Bu Ru and how it does it work into your mommy lifestyle? 

KB: I love all of Bu Ru's drawstring-elastic-waist-but-still-skinny-legged pants. About four months after giving birth, I was still wearing my maternity jeans and I remember saying to Andy, "these are so comfortable, I may just wear maternity clothes forever." He said, "Oh... PLEASE DON'T!" It was a great reminder...

BR: How did you design your son's room? What does it look like?

KB: We have treated Lucky as a big kid from the time he was born, and his room reflects that. One of my favorite things to do is find art that will work for children's spaces. Lucky has a watercolor piece given to him by our best artist friend, Carl Palazzolo,  which is a silver spoon on a green background and says, "a silver spoon for Lucky." He also has a Bill Wegman weimaraner puppy photo form my friend and mentor, Fredericka Hunter in Houston, a William Steiger train print from Pace, some orcas by Nikki Katsikas who shows at Louis B. James, and, my favorite piece of art in the house, a gouache of three ducks by John Wesley. To entice Lucky to stay in his bed during the night, we got him a plastic bed in the shape of a race car, which is utterly tacky and totally working.

BR: What is your favorite piece of art in your home? Where does it reside (hang, sit, live)?

KB: Stated above, but it's the gouache of three ducks by John Wesley that resides in Lucky's room.

BR: How do you balance owning and running your own business and family time with your husband and son?

KB: I am a Libra (the scales), so I crave balance. From 9 to 5 I am totally devoted to my job, and before and after that (5 a.m. -yes, you read that right- to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.), I am 100% present in my role as a mom. Andy and I both work from home, so we see a lot of each other, but we particularly like to have a long lunch (outside, if possible) on Saturdays and Sundays.

BR: What is a typical weekend like for you, your husband, and your son?

KB: Too hard to answer! Except that we enjoy long lunches on Saturdays and Sundays whenever possible.

BR: What is a the one thing you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?

KB: I had no idea that my cup-size would decrease after breast-feeding! Something I had always wanted! So I'm glad I didn't know.

Thank you so much, Kate Bellin! 

Check out Kate Bellin Contemporary at http://www.katebellin.com



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