Menu

Well Rounded Style: Deirdre Maloney

This fashion entrepreneur and her editor husband lay down NYC roots for their baby-to-be.

Well Rounded Style: Deirdre Maloney

As a city parent, it’s not unusal for a little self-doubt to creep in when half of your mommy group starts fleeing to the ‘burbs. “Will my child be well-adjusted if we stay in this glorious but mad city?” “Will he or she reach her full potential?” The answer: absolutely. Which is reassured every time you meet that native New Yorker that’s totally well-adjusted and has reached her full potential...and more. Especially when she’s geeked out about raising her own babies here. We recently spent some time with not just one but two native New Yorkers, who are now expecting their own native New Yorker: husband and wife power couple Deirdre Maloney, co-founder of international tradeshow Capsule Show and top PR firm BPMW Agency, and Noah Callahan-Bever, chief content officer for Complex Media. After bumping into each other at various work and friend functions for almost a decade without much more than a nod, they finally connected over a friend’s Christmas dinner in December 2013. Their first little girl is due this spring. We dropped by their gorgeous Chelsea apartment to chat with Deirdre about her career, pregnancy and raising her babe in the city. Check out her top 5 registry picks, and once you’re done reading, hop on over to Instagram where Deirdre’s taken over our feed! In what part of NYC did you guys grow up? I was born in Chelsea but grew up mostly in Brooklyn Heights. Noah was born in The Netherlands, but moved to NYC at age 5 and grew up in the Wall Street area. We went to rival high schools in Brooklyn. How did you tell your husband that you were pregnant? I just blurted it out! We had just decided that month to throw caution to the wind and not use birth control, so when my period was a day late (which is not uncommon for me), I picked up 10 pregnancy tests on my way home, figuring every month I would think I was pregnant (and likely not be). When the double blue line appeared, my eyes nearly popped out of my head. Noah came home shortly thereafter, and in my complete state of disbelief, it did register with me that I hadn’t considered how I would tell him. So, nothing cute--an hour into recapping our day, I finally just said, “I took a pregnancy test and it says I’m pregnant, and I think we should take more because maybe it’s wrong, but I wanted to wait for you," or something crazy like that. Since you both grew up here, how does that make you feel about raising a child here? We are really pro raising kids in NYC. The city is such a mecca of art, culture, entertainment, history, landmarks, sports, etc. Kids in the city receive a cultural education every time they walk out the door. Whether we want our kids to learn French, Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic, it’s all easily accessible here. If our kid is studying ancient Egypt in grade school, some NYC museum will have an Egypt exhibit. There is no limit to the availability of various extracurricular activities (for kids or adults!). You can’t put a price on being exposed to the diversity that New York City offers, from birth. So much narrow-mindedness and hatred in the world stems from the unknown. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I don’t know what I wanted to be when I was a little kid, but by high school I was convinced I would be the first woman President of the Unites States. Clearly, my parents instilled a lot of confidence in me. I graduated from Georgetown with a BA in Political Science, and also interned for my Congressman for two summers, but I was quickly disenchanted by, well, the “the politics” of government, so intern is as far as I got. How did you end being the co-founder of Capsule and BPMW? The summer before my senior year in college I interned at Bloomingdale’s in their buying office, and I really liked it. Having tried multiple internships besides the Congressman’s office (a law firm, a Top 5 financial institution, etc.), this was the first job that I actually looked forward to. I realized for the first time how important it was for me to have a blend of business/numbers and creativity in whatever I was going to do. Bloomingdale’s was great in that it got me into the business of fashion, put me in a position where I got a really good overview of the market, made really good contacts, and learned the basics of running a business. However I quickly learned that working for someone else was not really for me, and started plotting my foray into entrepreneurship. I came up with a bunch of bad ideas…but ultimately, along with my two business partners, came up with BPMW, and haven’t looked back since! Who are some of your biggest influences in your career? First and foremost, hands down, my dad. He has an amazing business mind and has been a great sounding board throughout my career despite having very little connection to the fashion world. He always seems to know the right answer, and if he doesn’t know, he knows someone who does, and can get them on the phone very quickly. My sister and I both call him for work-related advice all the time, and so do some of our friends. Also, being the men’s buyer for emerging designers at Bloomingdale’s was really pivotal for me because I was surrounded by entrepreneurs--the designers who were selling me their clothes. I was very inspired by their courage to believe in themselves and just go for it. How does NYC influence your work/life flow? NYC is extremely fast-paced. Since I grew up here, that seems really normal to me, and I thrive in high-paced, high-pressure environments. It’s important that my apartment serve as a haven where I can rest and recharge but…I can’t sit still for too long; NYC offers a million reasons not to and I appreciate that immensely. What helps you decompress after a long day? A good intense workout or the exact opposite; a glass or three of wine (pre-pregnancy, obviously) and a delicious meal. What life lessons as a woman have you learned that you hope to pass on to your daughter? There are so many, but one that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately (for obvious reasons) is to try to fully experience life before parenthood so that you feel ready to be more selfless. Travel the world, try new things, fail at some, succeed at others, change and evolve, take up new hobbies, really know yourself and be selfish for long enough so that after a while, being selfish gets kind of boring. What has surprised you about your pregnancy? It really is such a rollercoaster. And such different rollercoaster for everyone who goes through it! I think I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy compared to some of my friends, and for that I’m grateful. But still, the first 15 weeks or so I was pretty miserable; nauseous, exhausted, worried about the baby's health and about balancing work and family, feeling super emotional and needy (both somewhat foreign feelings to me) and feeling kind of isolated because we weren’t telling many people yet. Little by little, I started to feel better, and by around week 21 had relaxed into and embraced it wholeheartedly. The process is just so damn amazing; feeling her kick and watching my belly grow as Noah and I plan for our very different joint future is awesome. I feel so fortunate that it came relatively easily, and so lucky to be on the brink of being a mother. At around the 5-month point, I stopped obsessing about pregnancy and started obsessing about childbirth, which is scary and exciting. The thought of delivering this rapidly growing person makes a part of me want to stay pregnant forever, but now it’s getting tougher to sleep, and I can see that as I get closer to my due date, I’ll probably be less comfortable and ready to get the show on the road. How has your style changed since becoming pregnant? Not too much. Just longer shirts to cover the stretch panels in my maternity jeans, which I might just wear forever. Stretchy waistbands = never having to unbutton your pants after a delicious dinner. I still dress up a lot, and dress down depending on my mood. Leggings, turtleneck and Timberlands one day, dress and heels the next. Any brands maternity or non that you feel are working for you? I bought a bunch of Splendid long sleeve extra long t-shirts early on and wear those all the time under sweaters, blazers or just solo. For maternity jeans, I’ve really liked Paige and J Brand. But pretty much anything stretchy and cotton is my friend. What are you most nervous about? It changes all the time, but beyond the normal fear of anything health-related, I want to make sure we don’t raise a little jerk. The instinct is to give your kid everything you can because you love them so much. But you don’t want to end up raising spoiled brats with no ambition or sense of value. Finding the middle ground that I think Noah and my parents did, where you shower your kid with love but also teach them that they have to work for things, and appreciate things, and value things, is really important to me. Photography by Jonica Moore Studio

In This Article

    An expectant mama's to-do list can feel endless… but here's the good news: A lot of those tasks are actually really exciting. Planning your baby registry is especially thrilling: You get a say in what gifts friends and family members will buy for your new addition!

    But it can also feel a bit overwhelming to make sense of all the gear on the market. That's why we suggest mentally dividing your registry into two categories: items you need to prepare for your baby's arrival and items that sure would be nice to have.

    Here at Motherly, our editors have dozens of kids and years of parenting experience among us, so we know our way around the essentials. We also know how mama-friendly the registry-building experience is with Target, especially thanks to their recently upgraded registry and introduction of Year of Benefits. Just by creating your baby registry with Target, you'll snag a kit with $120 in discounts and samples. The savings keep coming: You'll also get two 15% off coupons to buy unpurchased items from your registry for up to a year after your baby's expected arrival. Change your mind about anything? The Year of Benefits allows for returns or exchanges for a full year. And as of August 2020, those who also sign up for Target Circle when creating a baby registry will also get the retailer's Year of Exclusive Deals, which includes ongoing discounts on baby essentials for a full year.

    Here are 10 items we agree deserve a spot in the "need" category on your registry, mama.


    A crib to grow with your baby

    Delta Children Farmhouse 6-in-1 Convertible Crib

    First-time mamas are likely creating nursery spaces for the first time, and that can get expensive. Adding a quality crib to Target registry gives friends and family members the option to join forces to make a large purchase through group gifting.

    $269.99

    A safe + convenient car seat

    Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat

    The list of non-negotiable baby essentials is pretty short, but it definitely includes a car seat. In fact, most hospitals will not allow you to leave after delivery until a car seat check is performed. We recommend an infant seat, which can easily snap into a base in your car.

    $99.99

    A traveling nursery station

    Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

    It's hard to beat a good playard when it comes to longevity. This item can be baby's sleeping place when they're sharing a room with you for the first months. Down the line, it can function as a roving diaper change station. And when you travel, it makes a great safe space for your little one to sleep and play.

    $99.99

    A swing for some backup help

    4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

    A dependable swing can be a real lifesaver for new parents when they need their hands free (or just a minute to themselves). Because many babies are opinionated about these things, we appreciate that the mamaRoo has multiple modes of motion and soothing sounds.

    $219.99

    An easy-to-clean high chair

    Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

    Our best registry advice? Think ahead. It really won't be long before your child is ready for those first bites of solid food, at which point you'll need a high chair. We like one that transitions to a booster seat atop an existing dining room chair.

    $99.99

    A diaper bag to share

    Eddie Bauer Backpack - Gray/Tan

    When you're a mom, you're usually toting diapers, wipes, clothing changes, bottles, snacks, toys and more. You need a great bag to stash it all, and if you're anything like us, you'll choose a backpack style for comfort and functionality. Bonus: This gender neutral option can easily be passed off to your partner.

    $64.99

    A hygienic spot for all those diaper changes

    Munchkin Secure Grip Waterproof Diaper Changing Pad 16X31"

    We can confidently predict there will be a lot of diaper changes in your future. Do yourself a favor by registering for two comfortable, wipeable changing pads: one to keep in the nursery and another to stash elsewhere in your house.

    $29.99

    A way to keep an eye on your baby at night

    Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor DXR-8

    Feeling peace of mind while your baby sleeps in another room truly is priceless.That's why we advocate for a quality video monitor that will allow you to keep tabs on your snoozing sweetheart.

    $165.99

    A comfortable carrier to free up your hands

    Petunia Pickle Bottom for Moby Wrap Baby Carrier, Strolling in Salvador

    A wrap carrier may be about as low-tech as baby items come, but trust us, this product stands the test of time. Great for use around the house or while running errands, this is one item you'll appreciate so much.

    $39.99

    A full set of bottles + cleaning supplies

    Dr. Brown's Options+ Complete Baby Bottle Gift Set

    Whether you plan to work in an office or stay at home, breastfeed or formula feed, bottles are a valuable tool. To make your life as simple as possible, it's nice to have an easy-to-clean set that is designed to work through the first year.

    $39.99

    Target's baby registry is easy to create from the comfort of your own home. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with the Year of Benefits featuring exclusive deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

    This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


    Our Partners

    It’s science: Vacations make your kids happy long after they’re over

    Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

    Whether you're looking for hotels or a rental home for a safe family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.

    Research indicates that family vacations are essential. They make our, kids (and us) happier and build bonds and memories.

    Keep reading Show less
    News

    Cameron Diaz on having a baby at 47: 'You really have to work hard for it'

    "The only pressure for me now is I have to live to be, like, 107, you know? No pressure!"

    This is the decade that saw the face of first-time motherhood change. The number of first-time mamas under 30 is shrinking, while more and more women are becoming moms after 40.

    Cameron Diaz is one of them. The actress and businesswoman, now 48, became a mom in January at the age of 47. In a new episode of Naomi Campbell's YouTube series, No Filter, Diaz opens up about what it's like to become a mom in your fourth decade.

    "A lot of people do it the other way around ... they get married [and] have a family in their youth," says Diaz."I'm kind of doing it in the second half of my life."

    Keep reading Show less
    News