A trained ballet dancer, New York-based French-Brazilian designer Laura Garcia went to art school at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) before landing her first design job at Ralph Lauren. She went on to start a ready-to-wear line called Abaeté in 2004, which she ran for eight years, before taking a break to reassess her career journey. She leaned out for two years, and in that time, found her voice again and also had her daughter Georgiana...
She launched her namesake fashion brand Laura Garcia in 2017, with the intention of growing slowly. “We have a wonderful and loyal customer base as well as great wholesale partners. I feel it’s about time to start perhaps expanding a bit, but I also want to keep it exclusive. It’s such hard balance,” she says.
Now a mother of two, we caught up with New York-based Garcia to find out more about her daily routine as an entrepreneur and mama.
Go to www.lauragarcia.com
Talk us through a typical evening in your home - what are your tips for getting everyone off to get/winding down for the day?
Morning is usually just a huge rush! We wake up around 7:15am and have to be out of the house by 8am for school. I’ll drop the kids and then work out or walk to work. At night, if neither my husband nor I have any plans for the evening, we will both come home around 6pm. I usually make sure the kids have done their homework and help them with their showers. Then we really try to have dinner as a family because I feel that time is very sacred. My family is 100% gluten free because my kids have celiac, so we actually eat in a lot. I sometimes have a wonderful girl named Huma cook some amazing things for us and leave them, or I love to cook as well. I usually have a glass of wine and make dinner. It’s really relaxing for me to do that.
What’s your wardrobe like - is it organsied?
I’m very organized and pretty minimal. Depending on the weather and calendar that day, I usually have about 5-8 outfits that are my go-to’s for the season in addition to jeans and one of my tops, which I keep in my primary closet. Then I have another closet where I keep my more formal dresses and party items.
What about school lunches…
I try to make lunches the night before. I usually just pack leftovers from dinner. Chicken with rice and veggies or a sandwich. The kids’ celiac makes it so that they cannot eat in the cafeteria. It is a bit of extra work for me in that sense, but I’m super thankful for the fact that they eat really healthily and organic.
Talk us through how you prioritise sleep and have your children been good sleepers?
My kids are great sleepers. I’m a person who needs my sleep or I cannot function. If I feel exhausted or feel that I need a little more sleep, I try to go to sleep at the same time as them. I do remember feeling sleep deprived during the baby stages of my first child but honestly that was a long time ago. We try to prioritize sleep in our home as it does impact our performance during the day.
What beauty products do you use in the night?
I love the beauty from Dr Macrene, 37 Actives. Her face wash and moisturizer are the best for me. They are natural, but they also have ingredients that work. I think she’s a very talented dermatologist and really understands the makings of skin.
What do you eat for dinner? How do you treat yourself?
We eat a lot of fish and salads. Pretty simple stuff, but we try to get the best ingredients. I like fish from Citarella. We are also meat eaters. I love this butcher from Harlem called Harlem Shambles – It’s worth the trip and the best grass-fed meat in the city. If I have time over the weekend, I try to get to the Union Square farmers market for produce, but usually I just get everything from A Matter of Health. They typically have better produce than Whole Foods. Food and ingredients are a bit of an obsession for me.
Do you exercise?
Yes, I try to get in some exercise after I drop my kids off at school, or if my husband takes them. One of my favorite things to do is run to the reservoir from my home. It’s a great three mile run, and I feel energized for the day. Otherwise, I do love to do yoga, and I usually just practice the Ashtanga series alone.
What are your time management tips?
Lists. Just make them and cross off. And I try to put my phone away when I’m getting through tasks.
Talk us through your career journey - from beginning to where you are now?
I went to art school at RISD, and I always knew I wanted to be in a creative field. I worked for Ralph Lauren in design as my first job. It was an amazing learning experience, and after that I worked at a few other places before starting a company called Abaeté. I had Abaeté for about 8 years but things got a bit difficult in 2008, and I decided to take a break. In that 2 years’ time, I found my voice again, and I also had my daughter.
I launched Laura Garcia in 2017 with the intention of growing slowly, and we have. We have a wonderful and loyal customer base as well as great wholesale partners. I feel it’s about time to start perhaps expanding a bit, but I also want to keep it exclusive. It’s such hard balance.
“ I try to put my phone away when I’m getting through tasks ”
What’s keeps you motivated/inspired/passionate?
Beautiful fashion keeps me inspired. I feel motivated by the act of designing. It’s really what keeps me passionate. I really love what I do.
What excites you about the fashion industry right now?
How fast it’s changing, but at the same time, if you do something that is real to you, it doesn’t have to change that much. People really appreciate authenticity, and I feel like the constant reinvention is a bit dated. I am quite excited to see how fashion will turn to a more sustainable route. Is it going to be about producing more sustainably (which we really try to achieve), or is it going to be about buying less, and better quality? I think it will be a bit of both. All I know is that fast fashion seems like something of the past.
What’s the biggest challenge you think working mothers face?
The fight with time. It’s challenging how busy the day can get with work and then trying to balance time with your children.
How do you unwind for the night?
I like to read. I’m not a big television watcher. I do love politics, and especially right now. It feels like something has to change, and I’m just very passionate about seeing this happen.
Finally, the best advice on motherhood you’ve ever been given?
Cherish the little moments. Those are the ones that matter.