Julie Merriman Wray of Olivine’s secret to integrating work and family

The #MotherlyMakers series highlights inspiring women who are remaking our world.

Julie Merriman Wray of Olivine’s secret to integrating work and family

We caught up with entrepreneur and mama Julie Merriman Wray to chat about her perfume line, Olivine and how it combines two of her longtime passions, beauty and retail. Her background is in creating beautiful things: Clothing stores, aromatherapy boutiques and perfume and beauty products. We love Olivine’s mission to help women feel beautiful from the inside out—and their insight (so crucial for mamas!) that “self love is the way to absolute happiness.” Julie, we’re in.

Motherly: Was there a moment when you realized that you knew you needed to start Olivine? What clicked for you?

Julie: I was in Hawaii on vacation with my family and I just knew it was time to create this line. I had a vision of what I wanted my life to look like and so the business was born!

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

Julie: I am a chronic multi-preneur, and I’ve never been able to do just one business at a time. I had a coaching session with Danielle Laporte and she said to me, “Julie, quit doing everything else and just make perfume.” It took me four years to listen to her advice!

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

Julie: It has definitely kept me aware of what my actual priorities are! My secret is outsourcing everything that I am not an absolute expert at to people that are amazing at those tasks.

Motherly: What keeps you inspired and excited every day?

Julie: I love to create, so as long as I am creating then I am excited about my business. Being in nature and with my family is what always inspires me.

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

Julie: Not everyone is cut out to own their own business, and that is a beautiful thing. The part to remember though is that if you never actually try it then you will never know! It can be a big, scary leap, but you’ve gotta close your eyes and jump every once in a while!

Motherly: What are your big dreams for Olivine?

Julie: I am living my dreams for Olivine right now!

Motherly: Who is your #momcrush?

Julie: Jennifer Shea from Trophy Cupcakes!

Motherly: What does “Motherly” mean to you?

Julie: Nurturing - myself, my child and everyone I love!

The #MotherlyMakers series highlights inspiring women who are remaking our world.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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