20+ questions with The Tot Co-founder Nasiba Adilova

Been up all night? You’re not the only one. It was 1:45am when Nasiba Adilova answered half of these interview questions from her Dallas home...

She’s pregnant with her second son and experiencing one of the less enjoyable parts of pregnancy: insomnia. She might be up a lot of the night, but you can’t tell – she’s one of the most glamorous women in the fashion industry and at the helm of one of the most exciting new destinations for mothers: The Tot (she co-founded the site with friend Miroslava Duma).

You’ve probably heard of The Tot. If not, it’s a one-stop-shop for mamas and mamas-to-be that provides unbiased information and advice coupled with innovative products. Want to get your nursery sorted? Easy. Looking for the best bottles? Their edit is the best. Basically, they do all the research for you so you can just sit back and, well, shop.

Given she’s already a mother to Thomas, Adilova is a pro at pregnancy. She’s got all the tips and tricks and we couldn’t wait to find out more about this inspiring entrepreneur.

Go to www.thetot.com

How has your second pregnancy been?

I can’t complain as both my pregnancies have been easy, which I am so grateful for! The second one is different in the sense that you know exactly what to expect and you are much more relaxed and easy going about it. I also launched my new company – The Tot – so I’ve probably stayed a lot more active the second time around.

Do you know the gender of your baby?

Yes I am having another boy! I do not have the patience to not find out the sex, so I did as soon as I possibly could!

What pram will you be using?

For the double pram, it’s the limited edition Bugaboo Donkey Weekender! For a single stroller, I have two: a Cybex Priam and a Joolz! For travel, my favorite is the new GB Pockit, and best part is that we have them all on The Tot!

What cot will you be using?

I will use a Moba basket, a Dockatot co-sleeper and my Lucite baby blue Nursery Works crib for naps! I am a big believer in co-sleeping so we rarely use cots – just for napping really!

What's the best advice you’ve been given about motherhood?

To trust my instincts. The moment I truly understood the meaning of this, everything I saw as a challenge was no longer one. As a mother we all have this inherent sense of intuition deep inside of us. Listening to it rather than countless books, friends and relatives will make motherhood fall into place for you.

Can you tell us about your childhood?

I grew up in Russia during communism surrounded by a very close knit family and very much loved. I was very fortunate that I had so much love in my life and that my family has played such an integral part in shaping me. I played outside all day long, I listened to stories on a record player, I loved to be read to before bed and I loved discovery and learning. It was such a simple time. It makes me very nostalgic thinking back.

When did your love of fashion begin?

I think I was always told by friends that I should be in fashion. It probably began when I was in school and after the collapse of communism when Western culture started slipping into our culture. We loved to dress up and I started asking for clothes instead of the usual gift choices my friends were going for, for holidays.

Can you tell us about the launch of The Tot?

It was a team effort. We have an incredible team led by our stellar CEO and every single person had sacrificed a more cushy, more secure job position to join our start up and believes in our core values and wants to make a difference. Our hope is to become a stamp of approval for the best and safest baby products in our market segment. We want to be a tightly curated one-stop shop that moms across the world trust. We also want to empower our consumer to be more conscious about what they buy by giving opportunities to small businesses especially ones led by “mompreneurs” and those having a really meaningful message and mission. We also want to break down barriers and make women feel like they can connect to any woman anywhere no matter of their social, economic, financial position or geographical location.

What are your pregnancy beauty essentials?

Starting from second trimester it’s good to get your body prepared and ready for all the stretching, growing and adjusting it’s going to do! Personally, I swear by stretch mark oil. I used it twice a day, all through my first pregnancy and truthfully, I never got any stretch marks. I used Organic Pharmacy’s Stretch Mark Oil twice a day morning and night. I also used the oil all over my body after showering – just apply to wet skin and then towel dry it off. You will feel amazing, trust me. I also love the stretch mark cream from Erbaviva – try both and see which works best for you. You’ll need to stock up as you’ll no doubt use them morning and night, like I did!

And don’t forget nipple butter – yep, you need it during pregnancy, too! We sell some great ones on The Tot. They’ve all been tested by us so you know they’re good for you and baby. Organic Pharmacy Miracle Nipple Cream helped me on more than one painful occasion! Earth Mama Angel Baby also does an amazing Nipple Butter that’s also great for cracked, dry lips, cheeks, heels and elbows.

In terms of skincare, I couldn’t look past Kahina. The brand uses natural ingredients like argan oil, rosemary and prickly pear seed, using ancient formulations from Morocco. I feel totally safe using their products and I swear by the Antioxidant Mask for giving me a much-needed pregnancy glow!

And what about your maternity fashion essentials?

When it comes to maternity style, I am all about comfort – but of course, I do want to look good, too! At The Tot, we sell the best pregnancy leggings and tops by Blanqi. They’re versatile, chic and honestly, the most comfortable pieces of clothing I’ve ever worn. I literally bought five pairs of the leggings and jeans, and that’s what I live in right now. I practically live in Blanqi’s Belly Support Leggings. The Belly Support Tank is also great for lounging around in. If you’re after cool pregnancy denim, try DL 1961’s Emma Maternity Jean. They are super soft and comfortable but also really flattering. There’s nothing an expectant mama needs more than her sleep, and right now I love sleeping in my Recliner Tee Dress. It’s made of bamboo jersey, so it’s super-soft and so comfortable.

What is your career advice to young women wanting a career in digital media?

It is such an interesting field, I would highly recommend exploring it. Today with the amount of time spent on handhelds I feel everyone has a least basic knowledge and exposure to digital media. If you are a talented and hardworking person you can work in any field! I think hard work, dedication and going beyond of what’s expected of you is always noticeable.

What are your top 5 go-to mama essentials?

12/12 organic staples such as T-shirts and leggings.
-100% organic Erbaviva personal care line for my little one – so gentle and wonderful.
GB Pockit stroller for travel and airports – especially on those long haul flights!
-Replay recycle plates and bowls in rainbow of colors – my tot loves the variety of colors and I love that it’s super safe recycled plastic.
Modern Twist bibs – they are the best silicone bibs and they fold so small I can pack them tightly in the diaper bag.

Best part of pregnancy?

Everything about the fact that you are creating a new life and bringing it into the world. It’s unbelievable and so magical really.

Juggling a successful career with raising children is challenging - what are your time management tips?

I am the worst at time management! It’s probably my worst quality. I’m a creative so my brain just works in another way. But I work very hard at being better at it. I try to have phone free evenings and weekends as much as possible so I can pay close attention to my tot.

Favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram is the main one I use.

What is your approach to health and wellbeing? What kind of food do you eat in a day and do you exercise?

I am a bit of a health nut! I always take a probiotic and drink a green juice in the morning. I also start my day with hot water with lemon. A couple of times a day I drink medicinal mushroom coffee which consists of homemade almond milk, chaga mushroom, reishi mushroom and lions maine mixed in a frother. I love quinoa and kale salads for lunch, and I eat salmon at least a couple of times a week for all my omega needs.

What has been the most challenging stage of motherhood for you so far?

I am so lucky, that every challenge I face with an open mind and heart and I think we are blessed with a pretty easy and loving child. I wouldn’t even call this a challenge because it was a choice, but the toughest time for me is the lack of sleep in the night because we chose to co sleep. I wound not trade it for anything as it has been the most rewarding experience of growing so very close to my son and giving him all the love I could possibly give by keeping him very close.

What are your daily beauty essentials and how long does it take you to get out the door in the morning?

I love a red lip so I often just do a red lip and nothing else! I also love big full hair so after I wash it I put a bit of sea salt water spray and sleep on it.

What is your definition of success?

Professional: reaching your goals and dreams. And personal: Watching my son grow up to be a good person.

What did your own mother teach you about life and motherhood?

That family matters above all.

What will we find in your handbag?

Red lipstick, reading glasses, a toy car or airplane, my Tesla car key and my wallet.

What are your fashion essentials?

Honestly I am probably most proud of a collaboration we did with the fashion designer Mary Katrantzou. So as a fashion must have, I have to say investing in one of these exclusive diaper bags will change your life as a mama on the go! I’ve personally bought and tried so many diaper bags and for me the issue was always that they were either not fashionable or they were not functional and didn’t fit everything I wanted. So we set out to create the best and most efficient diaper bag on the market and I truly believe it is the best mommy bag. We worked on it for a year, making sure that it’s not only a fashionable piece and one that can transform into a great tote or travel bag after the babies grow up, but it’s also functional. It has a compartment for everything which keeps it clutter free, the straps were tested to fit a variety of strollers, it’s waterproof and it has the changing mat attached on the side, so you are not digging to find it on the bottom of the diaper bag.

Nasiba’s little list of loves:

I love Loewe summer dresses.
Mary Katranzou clutch bags.
Vintage jeans.
Celine plain cashmere sweaters.
Gabriela Hearst bags.
Aquazurra classic flats.
Rosie Assoulin gowns.