Kate Kirby is the founder and editor in chief of MINI Magazine, a digital publication for the modern parent. Having started the magazine while still in journalism school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Kate and MINI will soon be celebrating its sixth (!) birthday! She lives with her husband Michael and 6-month-old Golden Retriever puppy, Brovi, and is currently expecting her first baby this spring.
We are so thrilled to welcome Kate to our #BURUTastemaker Tribe! And even more excited that she will be joining the mom club so soon!
Be sure to check out MINI's latest issue featuring BURU Founder Morgan Hutchinson HERE!
I can’t wait to finally put the nursery together! The summer, fall and holiday issues of Mini tend to take over my schedule, but it’s almost time to slow down and launch baby prep into full swing. I also can’t wait to see Baby in all of the sweet little bodysuits and sweaters that I’ve been stockpiling for months.
I’m a little nervous about how I’m going to balance work and motherhood— my business has really been my baby for the last six years. But from interviewing so many working moms in Mini over the years, I’ve received some great tips on work/life balance, so we’ll just take it one day at a time.
Is it terrible if I say I don't want my business to change? With such a small team and overseeing everything myself (I still lay out every issue!), I do not want to lose momentum. But I am so lucky to be able to work from home, so I hope to simply adjust my work hours around Baby— even if that means going back to working late at night as I did when Mini first started.
Yes, I do! Fingers crossed all goes well! I have always been a huge fan of button-down Oxford shirts, popovers and tunics (Seriously, my closet probably looks very similar to Ina Garten’s), so I suppose I’ll be reaching for those even more than I already do for their easy access.
My bump is just now making its debut, but right now, I’m living in oversized sweaters (the HATCH waffle turtleneck is a fave), tunics and leggings and boyfriend jeans have always been my go-to. Of course, mine are a little bit more snug at the moment, so the belly band has become a new friend. Since the majority of my pregnancy will fall over the fall and winter, I plan to put all of my capes to good use (I have the coziest, most comfortable Abi Ferrin cape in Oxblood that I’m in love with). I’m also a huge fan of Rachel Pally dresses for their deliciously buttery jersey fabric that highlights the bump perfectly. The Anya dress is one of my all-time favorites and the mid-length black dresses are great for tossing my moto jackets over.
BURU White Label Maggie Shift Dress
BURU White Label Katie Cotton Tunic (I live for tunics— they give the bump plenty of space and look great with leggings)
BURU White Label Mary Midi Dress (So easy to throw on with booties for a meeting or date with the Mister)
HATCH The Classic White
HATCH Claude Jacket (With a monochromatic wardrobe like mine, I always spring for bold pieces like coats and shoes to allow for many different ensemble combos)
Rebecca Minkoff Neoprene Wes Moto Jacket (I tend to stick to monochromatic basics and throwing on a moto jacket makes it easy to take from pajama-like to dinner-ready)
Rachel Pally Super Long Leggings
Rachel Pally Yahaira Dress (Quite possibly the most comfortable dresses when you need to take it up a notch, but don’t want to feel restricted)
Goldsign His Jean Boyfriend Jean
Demylee Philippa Drape Cardigan (Long, drapey cardigans quickly elevate knit tanks and leggings when I need to run out)
Zoe Karssen Leopard All Over Relaxed Fit Sweatpants (Let’s be honest, joggers and athleisure pieces serve as my work uniform on many days)
I used to flip through Cookie Magazine (RIP) and adored the layout. I loved the subject matter, the art direction— I loved it all. After that folded, I noticed there really wasn’t anything like it, especially in the digital space, which was where publishing was headed. I mocked up a cover, then a feature (this was six years ago when I was still in Journalism school) and threw the idea out onto Twitter, starting a basic account. We had interest on Day One. It really just spiraled from there. I find myself looking back now on Mini’s early days and wondering “How did we even get here?” I still feel like we’re just getting started, but I don’t know if that will ever go away.
I really look at the who’s who in the fashion world, the tech world, on the silver screen— those who are making waves in their fields. If I love a brand or a designer or even a TV show, I look at who the parents or parents-to-be are that make them happen and set out to tell their story.
Be kind to yourself. It’s so easy to get down on yourself when you’re being pulled in a million directions (parent, business owner, spouse) and feeling like you aren’t devoting enough time to each, but remember that you are just one person. You are doing the best you can. On the same note, remember that everyone is different— breastfeeding doesn’t work for all, not everyone can fit back into their pre-baby jeans in mere weeks. BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
Remember that tomorrow is a new day. Some days, you have to just call it. But you always get a second chance in the morning!
Work/life balance is not a science. There is no perfect formula for balancing work and parenthood. All you can do is give 100% to your work while you’re there or during your given “hours” (if you work from home) and do the same with your kids. Being fully present with each task and aspect of your life is all you can do. Some days, that feels like balance and some days, it doesn’ You make it work.
Don’t compare. Only you know what is best for you, your business, your family. Don’t put yourself up against those that seemingly “have it together” and allow yourself to feel less than. Chances are, they’re feeling just as frazzled as you are! This is my #1 mantra.
REST. Don’t think all of the advice from Mini moms about resting now is wasted on me. I am taking full advantage of daily naps and “sleeping in” as much as I can before Baby arrives
I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my husband Michael (and our 6-month-old Golden Retriever, Brovi) and run Mini predominately out of my home office. We’re really lucky to have family-friendly locales like the Henry Vilas Zoo (a great FREE zoo!), Dane County Farmers Market and beautiful parks like my favorite, Wingra (with lake access, canoes, paddle boats and green space galore), so close. Downtown, the Memorial Union Terrace is a must-visit in the summer. There’s live music, local ice cream, food vendors and beautiful views of Lake Mendota.
Lately, I feel like I could give culinary tours around the city (I have pregnancy to thank for that!), so I can happily share a few of my favorite family-friendly restaurants: Gates & Brovi (a neighborhood spot my husband and I frequent a few times a week— we even named our dog after it!), Pizza Brutta (hands down, the best authentic Neapolitan pizza in town), the Old Fashioned (a Madison tradition), and Bassett Street Brunch Club (they have the most delicious house-made donuts!).
Wife: Bossy (Listen, I’m not denying it)
Business Owner: Dedicated
Bedtime Story: Anything by Molly Idle or Oliver Jeffers.
Lullaby: I can’t wait to hear the songs my incredibly silly husband will come up with to sing to Baby. Although, I have been playing Mozart and Beethoven to him or her (we do not know the gender!) through my Belly Buds.
Vacation Spot: My family has spent two weeks every summer at the same tiny beach resort since the ‘30s. It’s my favorite time of year where I can visit with over 50 (of 110) of my cousins, day after day. I can’t wait to introduce Baby to everyone and show him or her around this special spot that we love so much.
Restaurant: We are looking forward to the day when we can tote Baby to Gates & Brovi— our favorite local joint. Or Meat & Cheese in Aspen (where we spend our anniversary).
Children’s Brand: Marie-Chantal, LIVLY, and tinycottons— in addition to Baby GAP and Zara, of course.
“Leap, and the net will appear.” -John Burroughs
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