My business was always my baby. Now I have a new baby!, says the glamorous fashion designer Rebecca Vallance, who gave birth to a baby boy, Matthias, four months ago. Navigating motherhood is hard enough, let alone throwing a business into the mix, but Vallance is doing wonderfully. I try and get as much done as possible when Matthias is asleep. Hes a very relaxed and quiet baby, so I do take him to work two days a week, the other two days a week he stays at home with his nanny. On Friday, I try and keep the day free of work commitments so that we can spend the day together, she says.
It has been a busy year for the fashion publicist turned designer who made her New York fashion week debut last February and will be returning in September. This year is the best ever year of the business to date. Its really exciting, she says. Stocked at prestigious retailers around the world, her label is going from strength to strength. A key feature in our aesthetic is leather and this is what we have become renowned for, she says.
While running her own business brings flexibility, she says there are some days which are more challenging. On those days, I just have to stop what I am doing and focus on being a mother before anything else. Having your own business and an amazing team makes this do-able. I think the most important advice is to make sure that both the baby and business get quality time and individual focus. Motherhood has really taught me patience and how to prioritise.
On what her own mother taught her about motherhood:
My mother has been of invaluable help and guidance throughout my pregnancy and now. Since Matthias was born, my mother has emphasised the importance and benefits of breastfeeding and to starting to read to Matthias from birth.
On her beauty and fitness routine:
My beauty regime has remained exactly the same – I have just become much faster at it! Daily, I use Crème de La Mer, MAC Studio Sculpt foundation, mascara and eye shadow, Chanel eye liner and Nars blush. I see a personal trainer twice a week. Im hoping to increase that back to 3-4 times once Matthias starts sleeping through the night properly.
On Matthiass nursery:
The room is soft grey and white. The majority of the pieces in his nursery were sourced in Los Angeles. His cot and drawers were purchased from Restoration Hardware, the chair is an antique from the early 1920s in Paris. I had it reupholstered to work back with the colour palette in his room. The painting was a gift from one of Matthiass godmothers.
On her pregnancy:
Dr Keith Hartman at the Mater Hospital took such great care of getting the baby and I through the 10 months, we had quite a difficult pregnancy so it was wonderful to have him.
Matthias thrives on a routine. I follow the routines which are in Save our Sleep. I dont follow it strictly line by line but each day is structured according to this method, I think you also have to take in account how the baby is feeling on the day as well. The sleep deprivation was very hard to deal with, I found it the most challenging part of having a baby.
On her advice to first time mothers:
Be kind to yourself and dont be afraid to get help. Book a lactation consultant to come to your home on the 2nd day of being home. That was my secret to being able to learn how to breastfeed properly. I was really busy with work during the later stages of my pregnancy, so I didnt have a lot of time to do any reading. I found meeting with the lactation consultant and midwives at home invaluable.
On raising a child in Sydney:
Living in Sydney we have such a great quality of life, amazing weather and the option of being able to spend much of the year outdoors. Saying that, Matthias will get to experience the best of both worlds as his Father is European so he will be spending a lot of time over there as he grows up.
On her home:
We have lived in our home for almost three years. The interior is filled with French antiques set back against modern pieces, which we have collected throughout our travels. The lounge room is my favourite room. It is filled with sunshine and light. I find light always brings positive energy.
On shopping for childrenswear:
Im lucky enough that my job gives me the opportunity to travel internationally a lot throughout the year, so Id say Paris is my favourite place to shop for childrens clothes. I also love the childrens floor in Harrods in London. Thats seriously amazing. Locally, Jacadi in Queen Street, Woollahra, and for basics, I like Pure Baby for their organic cotton. Its so soft against sensitive baby skin.
Atelier/Child cashmere blend baby blanket, $225 (available from July).
Rebeccas little list of loves:
Spending uninterrupted, quality time with my son.
Going to the beach in on a Sunday afternoon and taking Matthias swimming.
Seeing my son smile and laugh especially first thing in the morning when he wakes.
Holidays away with our family and friends.
My glass of red wine each night with my husband.
Working with my team on the upcoming launch of my spring/summer 15/16 collection.
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