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MARCELLA KELSON Personal Development Strategist and Coach
The kids are down, your work is done - how do you spend your “me” time, when you get it?
During the week, I run toddler groups and see private clients after bedtime, since many parents have to use that short window to focus on themselves. I have always been a night owl and feel really productive at night, so it works very well for me. However, on a day when I’m not working in the evening, I’ll usually cook, sit down with my husband and have a glass of wine over a long dinner. We’ve always taken dinner very seriously.
What is the thing you bought in the last three months that you have most enjoyed?
Without a doubt- my Ninja Foodi 5-1 Air Fryer/Slow Cooker- everything doer. It’s a cooking appliance that I could never live without. I use it to batch cook for our family and it is so efficient and easy to clean up. It could essentially replace an entire kitchen of appliances. I highly recommend it to everyone.
What is the quality you most like in yourself as a mother?
It’s hard to pick one! I love that I take play seriously. I love that I can embrace a play, or food related mess and often encourage it. I actually ended up being way more adventurous as a mother than I ever thought I would be.
What is the quality you most like in one or all of your children that they did not inherit from you?
I think anyone who knows me and my son would tell you that we are opposites. He is so chill. He is like a mini-Buddha. He likes time to himself, I like to be around a lot of people. He is just so incredibly warm.
What is the other career you’d most like to try out, given a second professional life?
I’d love to own and operate a hotel. Or maybe be the head of HR for a huge organization where I could create healthy working environments and support huge teams of people.
Is there anything that quarantine forced you to change that you would like to - or will - maintain post quarantine?
I think I’ve made our household much more self-reliant and eco friendly. We now use plastic free cleaning products such as Dropps, and make our disinfectants at home, using products such as Blueland and Force of Nature. I will never go back to wasting the endless amounts of plastic and waste that I once did. I also love how easy it has become to batch cook at home. Though I am excited to support the restaurant business whenever possible.
What are the nicest things your partner does for you, and you for them?
Much like my son, my husband is an incredibly generous, warm, and thoughtful person. The nicest thing he does for me is ‘morning duty’ with our son as often as he possibly can. Because I am often up working late, and my husband is an early riser, he lets me sleep in on the weekends while he takes our son and dog out. This is literally the kindest thing I could imagine anyone doing for me. I think if you were to ask him what the nicest thing I do for him is, he’d say “take care of everything”. I know that he would say that because I just asked him. But in all seriousness, he loves when I cook his favorite meals and prepare a cozy dinner, or plan our holidays.
What are the three beauty products you always have in your rotation? We always love to know someone's go-to lipstick color too…
I recently realized that lipstick doesn’t usually suit me. Since I talk all day, for work, it wears off fast. So, instead, I only use the Precision lipliner by Nars, in the Camargue shade, but I wear it 24/7. I put a small dab of by Terry Rose de Baume Lip Gloss on top to smooth it out. I never leave the house without these two items. I also recently got my hands on a Joaquina Moisturizing Cleanser sample, which I use daily. My skin has never felt so hydrated and squeaky clean. I can’t wait until it’s released.
Where is the place where you feel like your best self - your happy place?
No question- London. There is something about the energy there, it excites me and calms me all at once.
How important is routine to you? What parts of your routine are sacrosanct?
I don’t know who I would be without my routine. Almost everything I do is on my Google Calendar, down to the minute. As a mother, my routine makes everything possible. Without walking you through every step, I will say my morning and evening skin care routine is something I always prioritize, no matter how tired I am. I struggled with acne for many years, so now that I finally have a routine down that works, I don’t mess with it or dare flake on it.
What are your professional goals and how do you go about achieving them?
I was fortunate to know at a very early age that I would want to do some form of emotional support or counseling for parents and children. In order to trust myself with that responsibility, I completed many years of formal education. I have two master's degrees. It was hard when I felt like a lot of my friends had careers that were taking off, and I was still in school or interning, but I am privileged and was able to continue to study without having to choose. Patience, persistence and excellence are the principles I try to live by in terms of work. I’d love to write a book someday that can help mothers feel less alone as they navigate their own identity and development.
What are the things that make your home personal to you and your family?
We love to host people for dinners or long lunches. I think what makes our home so special, it’s always filled with friends who are coming over to relax, kick back and enjoy a glass of wine over dinner.
How important is community to you, and how do you go about building and nurturing it for your family?
I have worked independently for so many years, and I realized at some point that I missed the feeling of being connected to a bigger community. A year ago, I reached out to my friend Jennie Monness at Union Square Play and asked her if she would have me on board to help them develop their Mom Groups alongside my private coaching practice. She welcomed me immediately, and it gave me such incredible access to a huge community of mothers. We run these groups for ourselves as much as for them. When it comes to nurturing community for our family, I would say my husband and I have an amazing group of friends and we prioritize time with them and their families.
What maternity style or clothing item could you not find this time around that you most wish FH would create?
This was hard to answer given that you literally have it all, but I always love a long, chunky cashmere cardigan to layer in the winter.