A #MotherlyMakers interview with the fashionable mom and entrepreneur.
Morgan Hutchinson is the founder of BURU, the shopping destination of curated ready-to-wear clothing focusing on a mother's fashion needs – washability, wearability, and easy access for breastfeeding. Morgan's mission is to help every mama rediscover her #momstyle.
Before starting BURU, Morgan worked as a stylist in Beijing, China, while living abroad with her husband. She puts those styling skills to use on a daily basis as she combs through hundreds of collections to find unique, show-stopping styles that accommodate changing waistlines, bust-lines, and all the phases of motherhood.
Morgan currently lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, Brett and 2.5 year old daughter Olive Bee.
Motherly: Can you us a bit about yourself and your background?
Morgan: Born and raised in Kentucky, I am a girl of small town southern roots with big city dreams. After college, I bounced around a bit until I landed in NYC and met my husband Brett. From NYC we moved to Beijing where we spent almost 4 years before returning to the States to have our sweet “Made in China" baby girl, Olive Bee. Though I always had a hand in design and fashion, it was in China that I began styling for photo shoots and special projects. Putting looks together is a true passion, and it translates into every decision I make as I buy and style for BURU.
Motherly: Was there a moment when you realized that you needed to start BURU? What clicked for you?
Morgan: Absolutely. It was the moment I realized that stripping down to my bra and panties every 2-3 hours to breastfeed wasn't going to cut it! Olive and I were very fortunate to get the hang of nursing quickly, and I realized that my wardrobe needed a serious shift in the way of “boob access." With the help of my supportive husband, we spent hours in big box retailers like Nordstrom and Saks sifting through racks to find nursing-friendly styles. It was time consuming and overwhelming. I knew that other moms had to be feeling the same way. And so, the idea for BURU was born. The name actually means “to breast feed" in Mandarin – a small nod to our time there.
Motherly: How do you define “Mom Style" and how has your personal style evolved since becoming a mother?
Morgan: Becoming a mother does not mean that you can't still be you. I believe that fashion is one of the most fun outlets of personal expression. And though, there are certain styles that make mommy duties more comfortable and convenient, it is absolutely possible to wear a high-fashion look that works for mom life.
I would say that my style has evolved very little (minus needing full boob access for 14 months while I nursed!) I want special, show-stopping pieces. I want to wear heels. I want interesting shapes and textiles. I want the wow factor. The great thing is—all of that exists in a mom-friendly way! Aka—chic elastic waist bands, trapeze shapes to accommodate post baby tummy, new advancement in washable synthetic fabrics that feel fabulous and designers like Ace & Jig and Rachel Comey who are creating fashion forward styles in durable fabrics and easy to wear shapes.
Motherly: How is today's modern mom approaching fashion for herself and her children differently?
Morgan: In my honest opinion, it's the reverse of what it should be. I see so many mothers spend incredible amounts of money and time on their children's apparel while completely neglecting their own style. The truth is that no matter what you put on your child, years from now, said child is going to post it onto the “en vogue" social media platform of the moment with the hash tag #whymomwhy. If how we dress our children is meant to be a reflection of ourselves, then why is okay for our reflections to consist of tired yoga pants and ill-fitting tunics?
Motherly: What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Morgan: Every week my sweet husband, Brett and my loving mother, Mona, tell me (in their own versions), “Believe in you. Keep going. You are so close." Some weeks, it is easy to believe them, but most of the time, I am teetering on self-doubt. I believe that the entrepreneurial spirit is a tough one—a rough critic who is rarely satisfied. I will likely never be good enough in my own mind, but I am grateful for these two humans who encourage and motivate me daily.
Motherly: How has motherhood transformed your career? What's your secret to integrating work and family?
Morgan: Morning secret = coffee. Evening secret = a nice glass of red wine. Groundbreaking stuff, right?
To more honestly answer your question, love is the secret. Brett and I have a love for each other that conquers all. It took both of us quite some time to find each other and get it right, and I think because of that, we are more vocal and quick to solve issues. We support each other so that we can achieve our goals as professionals, as partners, and as parents. Spousal support is a necessary component of success. I personally don't believe you can succeed without it. (That said, if you are reading this and you don't have that support, then I totally want you to prove me WRONG!)
Aside from that, as a mother running her own business, taking advantage of every moment is crucial. When I travel for work away from my family, I occupy every second. I work on the plane. I meet people the second I land. I seek every opportunity to get in front of the mamas who need to know about BURU. I sleep very little. I assure you that working your hiney off while you are away does help to combat the guilt of being gone. I mean…by like a 1/100th.
Motherly: What keeps you inspired and excited every day?
Morgan: I would say that motherhood has given me more purpose and more motivation. I am among the first generation of women that really can have it all (whatever that is). We have husbands that support us. We have parents who love being grandparents and want to love on our babies. We have corporations that appreciate our brains. We have a voice.
It's our time. We may fail. We may be exhausted. BUT— we must always remember that we have it easier than our mamas, and than their mamas, and well—the list could go on and on…starting with Eve.
Motherly: What are your words of wisdom for other mothers wanting to turn their passion into a business?
Morgan: Tell as many people about your idea as you can. Gauge the response, noting that not everyone is going to get it. Focus on the people who do get it. Are they smart and trustworthy people? Would you have invested in the idea if they pitched it to you? If the answer is yes, then have a realistic talk with your family about what it will take to make your dream a reality. And whatever you think it is going to cost…maybe multiply that by 10. If that number doesn't scare you, then fight for it. Work through the wee hours of the night while baby sleeps and make your dream come true!
Motherly: What are your big dreams for BURU?
Morgan: I would say that I want us to be the Shop Bop equivalent for moms, but I actually want to be more curated and more personal than that. I want us to be THE go-to resource for #momstyle, for community, for motherhood tip and tricks, for laughs, for inspiration. I want the site to offer beautiful imagery paired with real life snapshots. I want BURU to spread confidence to those moms who are struggling to find their way back. I want us to find and share new brands that speak to all phases and ages of motherhood. I want the BURU brand to be synonymous with fashionable moms living life to the fullest!
Motherly: Who is your #momcrush?
Morgan: I have to name one?? Right now, I am having a major Jill Kargman moment. Odd Mom Out is one of the funniest shows I have seen in a long time.
Motherly: What does “Motherly" mean to you?
Morgan: Love. Simple as that. When you love – you care, you protect, your stretch your heart, you give your all. You are motherly.