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#MotherlyMakers: It’s not just business–it’s personal

A #MotherlyMakers Interview with the cofounders of the new community for creatives.

#MotherlyMakers: It’s not just business–it’s personal

Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler are cofounders of Heymama, a curated community of creative, talented and entrepreneurial mamas from around the globe. We chatted with Heymama about their mission to bring women together to collaborate and build beautiful things for themselves, each other and the world. (Where do we sign up? ??)


Before HeyMama

Before starting HeyMama, Amri was working in fashion in media, curating cool products as a fashion editor and stylist; Katya has a background in digital marketing, where tech and fashion meet.

Was there a moment when you realized that you needed to start Heymama? What clicked for you?

Katya: We initially started Heymama to connect moms like them to other moms purely for friendship, wanting to help women find meaningful friendships like ours.

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As we started meeting with women and doing research we realized that the women we really connected with were entrepreneurs and creatives building their brands. We started wanting to introduce these women to each other and realized there was a real space in the market for this kind of resource.

We had a lot of questions about building our own business that the information that these women were sharing was invaluable to us. So, we were pretty sure there were lots of women like us out there who wanted to start their own company that would love to hear insight from other successful women.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Amri: The best advice I’ve ever been given is to just get started. Starting is the hardest part, so just pick something even a small detail and just get started right away.

I can’t remember who told me, but it was around the time we started Heymama. We decided to focus on Instagram in the beginning and it was having that smaller focused initiative that helped us get off the ground.

Katya: The best advice I ever got is that building technology can be done, but building real community is hard. Build community and find your core fans first, then worry about the tech and money stuff later.

How has motherhood transformed your career? What’s your secret to integrating work and family?

Amri: Motherhood changed me as person, changed my priorities, which in turn affected my career choice.

Pre-baby I loved having work drinks, events, and dinners several times a week. Once Mari come into my world I wanted to make sure I was home to tuck her in. That being said, being a mama is my most important role.

I also believe it’s important for me to have something I’m passionate to work on, that I need that to be happy, and that in turn will make me a better parent.

I became really drawn to the idea of having my own business, making my own hours (although they are actually longer than before I started Heymama) and working with women who felt this same urge and face the same struggles.

I don’t have a secret for integration I just prioritize as I go. If Mari has a school play in the middle of the day I’m there and that day maybe I get a little less work done. Another day we may have a really early meeting and I’ll have to sneak out of the house before Mari gets up. I’m okay with that, I just do the best I can and try to really be present where ever I am.

Katya:

I think being a mom—and parenting overall—is an experience everyone can relate to. It makes things more personal, more real. It’s not just business.

People have families and lives and funny things that happened to them that morning. What their kids asked them on the train, and you share that at your meeting and it just equalizes everyone.

In terms of my secret to integrating.. HA! I’m still searching for it. I try to explain to my daughter that mommy’s work is important to her and that everyone has a job, all of which are important in different ways.

What keeps you inspired and excited every day?

Amri: We meet with so many creative and talented women everyday who inspire us, but its having a partner to share your dream with that really keeps us going.

We feed off each other and support each other through work and personal ups and downs.

What are your words of wisdom for other mothers wanting to turn their passion into a business?

Katya: We hope that the stories of success we share on Heymama will help mamas to realized anything is possible and there is a whole community of women out there doing it who are ready to help!

What are your big dreams for Heymama?

Amri: Right now working on building awareness around the brand and our recently launched website.

We’ll be hosting more events in the near future getting women together around the globe (look for us in LA, Philly and London this summer!!)

We’re passionate about creating really good partnerships for our members, and working with brands to create digital and social campaigns and events.

Who is your #momcrush?

Katya: At Heymama we have a new #momcrush every morning and night. You can check them out on Instagram at @heymamaco.

What does “Motherly” mean to you?

Amri: Motherly is a an inherent trait that makes us nurturers, to care for each other and be supportive to our family friends and colleagues. Becoming a mother makes you more giving more accepting and less selfish.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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