Inspired by her father who always told her that with hard work, "anything is possible", Manhattan-based mother to daughters Eva and Lila Rae, Brittany Peltz Buerstedde launched her beautiful childrenswear brand Leah + Rae back in February...
She launched the brand after giving birth to her second daughter and struggling to find clothes that resonated with her. “I wanted to create beautiful pieces that were unique and also practical. I wanted them to encompass that magic of childhood,” she says. We spoke to the chic mama to find and more and also get a sneak peek of her recent event with Maisonette. To shop, go to www.maisonette.com
Can you tell us how Leah + Rae came to life? Your background is in figure skating, how did the turn to children’s fashion design come about?
After giving birth to my second daughter I had a hard time finding clothes that resonated with my aesthetic. I wanted to create styles that were beautiful, unique and also wearable. I wanted to celebrate the natural beauty of children through my line by creating pieces that speak to that instead of distracting from it. My skating background definitely lent largely to my design principles. All of my costumes not only had to be beautiful but they had to allow for movement and expression. This is a huge principle that influences all of the styles I create for Leah + Rae, because I find it is paramount for children to be able to play and express themselves freely.
Your collections focus on quality, demure prints and subtle colours - what inspires you each season and how do you maintain a level of sophisticated style while keeping things kid-friendly?
As I have mentioned in the past, I am very inspired by travel, art and my summers spent in the Cote D’azur. I am so drawn to their soft color palette and timeless sense of beauty, but I am also largely inspired by motherhood. My own personal journey and the amazing journeys of the mother around me. Last collection, The Magic Within was hugely inspired by my good friend’s baby who was born with a unique set of genetics. She definitely had a rough entry into this big world and specialists quickly found out that she was truly one of a kind. Our “One of a kind” legging and “Hero T” were both named for her and meant to remind all children to celebrate their inner hero.
You have two daughters, how do you juggle Leah & Rae with the demands of motherhood?
My two girls are the center of my world and I always promised to put them first. I am very grateful to be in control of my hours even if that means sleepless nights of work to make the most of the day with them. There is no perfect answer or magic solution but it has made it a lot easier to manage by making certain parts of my day non-negotiable time for the girls and our family. We always start and end the day together which gives us all a huge sense of security and closeness.
What are some of your favourite things to do together as a family?
We all have such busy schedules, so some of our favorite weekends are the ones spent at home where we pass the time with endless crafts, cooking and the inevitable “big show” put on by the girls. The show is defined by Disney tunes, tutus and tiaras. Otherwise we love escaping the city for a nice dose of nature – something we all crave. Highlights of our country weekends are spent at the local farmers’ markets visiting the animals and stocking up on homemade goodies.
What kind of mother are you - strict, routine, relaxed, go-with-the-flow?
I am definitely a mother who thrives on routine especially when it comes to my girls. I strove to put them on a schedule from day 1 which in my experience was hugely beneficial for both us- it created routine and expectation for everyone and allowed us to plan ahead. In saying that, I am definitely a more relaxed version of my first-time- mother-self who would obsess over nap and bedtime to the minute. Despite loving our routines I totally applaud the go-with-the-flow Mothers and admire their spirit – I definitely try to take a page out of their book from time to time. I think we can all learn from each other.
You have such great personal style, would you ever turn your skills to womenswear design?
Thank you so much! Childrenswear definitely has my heart, but never say never!
Babies and business equals a very busy time - how do you take time out for yourself?
It is definitely a lot to juggle in the absolute best possible way- I truly would never have it any other way. That being said, making time for myself is not always possible and I cope with that by creating some time each morning to say my prayers and what I am grateful for. Although these five minutes are often rushed- there isn’t a day I leave the house without giving myself this time. It helps me center myself and set intentions for the day.