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Motherhood & Business With Morgan Hutchinson of Shop Buru

Last year I retired my interview series, mostly because they didn’t perform that great but one lesson I’ve learned from Taylor at Glitter Guide is sometimes you just need to post content that makes YOU happy and not care about the rest. I personally love reading interviews with successful women and mothers so I’ll be posting a few every month. Have anyone you want to see? Shoot me an email info@themamanotes.com! Today I’m excited to chat with Morgan of Shop Buru. I’ve known Morgan for years. She’s the most fashionable yet down to earth mama and it’s been a joy to watch her business grow. I love the reminder that our kids are only little for a short period of time. I’ve thought of that sentiment countless times since I first read through Morgan’s answers.

Tell us about your business, Buru! How did you develop the idea and how has it grown since you started?

MH: When my daughter was born (our first child) a big portion of my wardrobe became obsolete in an instant. Not because I thought I needed to change my style to accommodate motherhood, but because motherhood required more from my wardrobe. I needed easy access to nurse, washable fabrics (who has time for the drycleaners every other day!?) and versatile styles to take me from play-date to date night.

I couldn’t find a single website speaking to stylish moms who wanted high fashion paired with high function, so I created it! I didn’t think it was necessary to reinvent the wheel, so I started by curating styles from contemporary ready-to-wear collections (like Mara Hoffman and Rachel Comey). Last August, we added our own private label, The BURU White Label Collection to offer our moms a more approachable price point without sacrificing style.

Since BURU launched, it has become much more than a shopping site—it’s grown into a community of incredible mothers cheering each other on. While we aim to #elevateyourmomstyle, the hope it that we also make it fun and create interesting content along the way.

How was pregnancy for you? Did you enjoy being pregnant with both of your kids?

MH: There are so many magical moments of pregnancy. Too bad they are countered with nausea, exhaustion, and adult acne, right?! But in all seriousness, I feel very lucky to have had two pregnancies free of complications and more importantly two healthy kiddos to show for it.

What’s one the most challenging parts of new motherhood?

MH: With Olive, I literally remember thinking, “Well, I guess I will never sleep again.” This time around, with Baby Schafer, I am fully aware that it’ a phase—a pretty short one in the scheme of things. I think the added stress of believing that you will never sleep again makes a mama even more tired. As with many things in life, it comes down to expectations. I fully expected to NOT sleep for weeks with Schafer, so when he gets a solid 4-hours at once, I feel like I have won the sleep lottery!

How has breastfeeding been for you? Did you have any struggles?

MH: The first time around, absolutely.  I was a nervous wreck that Olive was starving, and I honestly think that because of that, my milk wouldn’t let down. With tears streaming down my face, Brett cracked a bottle of formula for us to give to her on her 6th day of life, I swear the relief of knowing it wasn’t all up to me, relaxed me just enough. My milk basically shot across the room. (Okay…that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point!) After I stopped stressing so much, we were golden!  With Schafer, it’s been super easy, minus the challenge of juggling two little ones who both want and need you at the same time!

How did you jump back into work after having your 2nd baby? It seems like you hardly took any time off!

MH: I don’t think there is such a thing as maternity leave when you run your own business. I never really stopped to be honest. (There is actually a picture of me in labor with my laptop balancing on my bump!) Not sure if that is a good or bad thing—it’s just my reality. I created BURU out of necessity, but also so that I could do things on my own terms. My husband and children come first—no matter what, but BURU is like another child, and I give it the care it’s need to the best of my ability.

What does a typical day look like for you? Do you have help with the kids? Do you go into an office?

Every day is a little different.  And to be honest, I love that.  I don’t think that I could handle the same day in a day out. I love the fact that one day we are shooting a new collection and the next day I’m sifting through stacks and stacks of textiles working on new designs.  We do a lot of events as well, and I love being on the road with my family meeting our customers face to face and learning exactly what they want and need! Of course there are also a lot of stressful, not so fun tasks, but that is just business.  I’ve definitely grown a thicker skin since founding BURU.  It could still be thicker…I’m a work in progress for sure!
We live in a work/live loft space in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles.  This allows us to do everything from our building—which couldn’t be more perfect, as our kids are around a lot (it’s chaotic, but we know they are little for such a short period of time!)
We are outgrowing our current work space…but a new one just opened up in our building—we are hoping to snag it and expand in some exciting ways!
We do have help with the kids.  Almost impossible not to at this point.  Olive (our 5 year old) is in school full time and we have someone come to the loft to watch Schafer (our 18-month old) several days a week.  I know we could accomplish more with a full time nanny, but I like having him around…even when he goes all “boy” on me and starts launching the office supplies!
Our corporate culture is probably not the norm, but we are grateful to be together so much as a family (and we are grateful that our employees are cool with our chaos—even if they are faking it! Ha!

You’ve been super transparent and open with your personal life — how has this affected your business? I love that you’re an open book and share your struggles & successes.

MH: Thank you for saying that. I would hope that it has helped cultivate a more personal and trustworthy connection with our customers. I honestly don’t know how else to be. I was incredibly private for years and that approach to life was a disaster for me—I literally combusted! In this day and age of “perfect” social media, I feel it is my responsibility as a real mom to help other real moms know that they are not alone and that we all have our share of issues. I absolutely LOVE when women/customers from across the country reach back out to chat about their own personal struggles.

You’re seriously one of the most fashionable women I know — what’s your style philosophy and how has motherhood changed it?

MH: Wow! Thank you so much. You know a lot of incredibly stylish women, so I am super flattered! My style philosophy has always been to have fun with my clothes—I don’t take it too seriously, and I don’t worry about the rules. Motherhood has probably toned me down to a degree because fussy clothes tend to get in the way of mom duties, but if I really love it—I wear it no matter what! I also don’t stress about things getting dirty. I would rather ruin it while using it than let it go out of style on a hanger in my closet! (Perhaps with the exception of Chanel blazers—those are reserved for no-baby outings!) Most everything in the BURU White Label collection (and a great deal in our curated ready-to-wear) is washable. I think it is one of the most important features of a mom’s wardrobe.

Tell us about Buru’s white label? What’s it been like to design your own clothing line?

When BURU first started the idea was to curate styles that already existed from brands moms know, love and trust. I absolutely love being a buyer, but over the last three years, I have stockpiled ideas of styles I searched for, but couldn’t find in price points more attainable for a broader group of mamas. The BURU White Label provides a multi-tasking wardrobe for multi-tasking moms.  It also feels more inclusive. Not everyone can or wants to buy a $300-400 dress. With most items coming in <$100, BWL is more approachable and honestly, more wearable. It’s fashion without the fuss (or perhaps with just the right amount of fuss!)

What’s next for Buru?

MH: 2018 has been a big year for us already!  We recently launched our BURU Pink Label—a collection of limited edition pieces hand-made in Los Angeles, inspired by mother muses in my own life. It’s full of feminine, yet functional (nursing friendly) silhouettes in captivating, sustainable (and washable) textiles. There is a fair dose of lamè…mostly because I believe that changing a diaper in something shiny (and golden perhaps) actually makes it less gross!
On top of the BPL, we also just picked up our second BURU Bus (AKA a Mercedes Sprinter Van outfitted as a store and complete with a dressing room). Our first one—officially referred to as the BURU Bus South now resides in Birmingham, AL and runs the Southern Loop doing in-home appointments and pop-up events throughout the South. The 2nd Bus will tour the country this summer for 10 weeks—popping up at over 25 stops from coast to coast! Our events page is constantly evolving, but stays mostly up to date if any of you want to come see us during our BURU-to-You Tour D’été (summer tour :)).

What’s your favorite thing to splurge on?

Travel. I can’t get enough. I want to see everything!

How do you relax & unwind?

Hmm—what is relaxing? Ha! Life has been a bit busy of late, but I feel I actually flourish in those moments.  That said, a nice glass of wine while watching a documentary with my husband by my side helps me unwind.

What’s your favorite children’s book?

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Suess

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