We are such fans of your activewear brand, Addison Bay! Can you tell us more about what led you to leave your long term job at Lilly Pulitzer and launch Addison Bay in 2018?
Prior to launching Addison Bay, I attended The University of Virginia, where I played Division I lacrosse. After leaving the world as a collegiate athlete, I dove into the fashion industry working at Lilly Pulitzer right out of college where I worked on the marketing team for seven years.
While living in Center City Philadelphia, I noticed women walking around the city and frequenting popular restaurants…in leggings. I knew busy, on-the-go women, like myself, were trying to find activewear that was polished yet comfortable - providing one look that could be worn from school drop off, straight into the office, on to drinks with my husband, and home with our kids.
Recognizing a need for polished activewear that can be worn from 7am to 7pm, Addison Bay took shape and launched in September of 2018. I resigned from a job that I loved – at six months pregnant – to start Addison Bay, with the idea that elevated activewear would become the everyday wardrobe and we could provide consumers with more stylish options.
Looking back at the early days of starting your business, what is one major takeaway that you learned since becoming an entrepreneur?
The biggest adjustment is the rollercoaster that comes along with being an entrepreneur - the highs are so high and the lows are so low. From that, one major takeaway that I’ve learned (and live by) is that you can kill confidence, but you can’t kill drive. I’ve certainly had very low moments on the entrepreneurial journey, but I wake up every day excited to continue growing the company into something great.
What is one thing you have learned you’re happy to delegate and what is something you continue to enjoy and own in your role as Founder?
I’ve done every single job at the company, which has been a helpful practice for managing others in these roles when it comes time to pass the baton. I really enjoy the creative & marketing side of the company and will continue to play a big part in building that side of the business for the foreseeable future. I’ve released the reins on customer service to a fabulous team and that has been very freeing - I take every piece of negative feedback incredibly personally, as the company feels like another child, so it has been a healthy transition to delegate that responsibility.
As a former college athlete and now a mom of two with a third on the way, what are your favorite workouts? Did you find you needed to change up your fitness routine during pregnancy?
I love working out - it’s therapy for me. With two kids at home, I don’t have as much time to attend workout classes like I used to. Fortunately, I have gotten in the groove of enjoying at-home workouts, like Peloton and DanceBody. I also LOVE going on walks/runs with my kids in the double jogger - I’ve slowed down a bit in pregnancy, but I’m looking forward to being able to get out as a family when the baby arrives.
Finding the perfect balance between work and motherhood can be elusive but have you settled on any best practices that help you manage a thriving business and parenting?
In my experience, this is the hardest code to crack! Some days, I feel like I am crushing both work & life and will make it on the cover of Forbes. Other days, I’m the worst mom & worst CEO in the world. Since taking on both roles, my rule has been to be fully present wherever I am. When I’m at the office, I’m fully present with my team to be the best possible leader of the company and when I’m at home, I’m fully present with my husband and children to be the best possible wife/mother.
How do you approach fashion and dressing while pregnant? Are you doing anything differently than how you might normally dress for the day?
I have different strategies of pregnancy dressing for each trimester. First trimester is definitely all about comfort - going through IVF for months prior to getting pregnant definitely causes some bloating so comfort is key during the first trimester. Second trimester is definitely when I start to infuse more fashion pieces into my wardrobe and have fun playing up the belly. Third trimester is all about showing off the bump! I love wearing really fashion forward pieces with a huge belly - I think it surprises people in the best way :)
What has most surprised you about motherhood?
Biggest surprise is that I didn’t think I’d be able to love another child as much as my first - is that horrible? :) Turns out, your heart grows 100x in size and there is plenty of room to love both equally. It’s so wild and exciting to navigate and I can’t wait to see how our third child changes my perspective on this all over again.
Where do you hope to see yourself and your business in the next five years?
I have big plans for Addison Bay with a full vision board of where I see the company in 5-10 years. I would like to open up several stores in markets that are a great fit for Addison Bay and spread the Addison Bay brand in person. I’d like to continue growing my team, and with that, move to new offices, with an attached warehouse, where everyone can feel motivated and inspired.
Certainly some random fun things - I’d like to get AB on the Today Show, be one of Oprah’s favorite things, be on the cover of Forbes, have a billboard in Time Square, lots of flashy but big moments that highlight the brands growth. There are definitely some very big financial goals aligned with all of this growth, so the list is very long.
Personally, my husband and I want to continue growing our family and having fun raising our kids. We are so blessed with happy and healthy children and I can’t wait to see them make their mark on this world.