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MARISSA VOSPER Co-Founder, Negative Underwear
The kids are down, your work is done - how do you spend your “me” time, when you get it?
These days that honestly doesn’t happen often - life as a working mom with two little kids during COVID is no joke. When I can squeeze it in, I love to find time for a workout - Pilates is my workout of choice. Occasionally schedules align and I can catch up with a friend on the phone, or for an outdoor coffee / walk / meal - those moments really feed me. But I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to find them!
What is the thing you bought in the last three months that you have most enjoyed? (In any product category)
This sounds so ridiculous, but in normal life I’m a Glamsquad loyalist. I get my hair blown out while working from my bathroom and it’s the most productive hour of my week. In quarantine life, I invested in a new, highly-reviewed flatiron and that was truly a life saver. For me, if my hair is a mess I feel like my whole life is a mess!
What is the quality you most like in yourself as a mother?
Curiosity and self-reflection. As a parent it’s easy to go with your gut response. To react based on how you were raised / the media you’ve consciously or subconsciously consumed around parenthood / what you “think” a parent should say or do / what your friend does... It’s harder to think critically about why we react the way we do, what message we’re sending in the way we act, what outcome we’re looking to achieve, and why our children behave the way they do in the first place. If you approach parenthood as an opportunity to learn an entirely new skill set - the role of being a mom - it feels very different than assuming you know how to be a parent simply because you had a child.
What is the quality you most like in one or all of your children that they did not inherit from you?
My son Hart is a bit of a renaissance kid - he loves art, music, baking, books and make believe, but he’s equally passionate about basketball, tennis, Legos, cars and trains and dance parties. I was a kid who found the few things I loved and focused on becoming the best at those things. He’s only 4, but I love how excited he is to do and try so many different things.
What is the other career you’d most like to try out, given a second professional life?
My answer to this question changes a lot -- sometimes I think I might like to own a little healthy foods café (like a little slice of Boulder, where I’m from, in New York City), sometimes I think about my former career ambitions to go into politics… But right now, balancing Negative and motherhood feels like the best possible and most challenging career I could have chosen for myself, so I feel pretty content with that path.
What are the three beauty products you always have in your rotation? We always love to know someone's go-to lipstick color too...
If I had to choose three makeup items... Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint, Shiseido Eyelash Curler and Trestique Good Vibes Mascara. That said, I’m a big believer in skincare before makeup, so if I can add a few more… Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF 50, and Pratima Skincare Healing Neem Oil. I always think I look not like myself in lipstick… so I’m a clear glossy girl all the way.Where is the place where you feel like your best self - your happy place?
For the past 8+ years I’ve been going to this amazing detox spa in Palm Springs called We Care Spa. I started going annually as a solo trip when my husband launched his own company... and stopped taking vacation (lol) - but kept going because it’s 1000% my happy place. It’s this incredibly healing, grounding haven in the middle of desert. Whenever I go I leave feeling like the best version of myself. I went before I got married and before I got pregnant (both times). Not sure when I’ll be able to go back next, but hopefully in 2021… fingers crossed!
How important is routine to you? What parts of your routine are sacrosanct?
I feel like we’re living in a weird groundhog day right now where every day feels like it’s a replica of the last… Where routine is all we’re capable of doing because the world is so confined. It’s a strange time for sure. But 2020 aside, having young kids makes it challenging to not have a fairly set routine. Kids thrive on predictability and repetition. My experience as a mom is that life feels like chaos without it. Something I’ve tried to embrace this time around is pumping each morning after I nurse my younger son (he’s 10 months now). The first time around I truly hated pumping and gave it up as quickly as I could. This time around I’ve taken the opportunity to meditate each morning - even just 5 or 10 minutes - while I pump. Is it the most peaceful environment to meditate? No! But the fact that I get those minutes to myself, to close my eyes and sometimes maintain focus on my breath is a really helpful part of my day.
What are your professional goals and how do you go about achieving them?
The longer we’ve been running Negative, the more often I ask myself this exact question: what am I working hard for / what am I hoping to achieve with this effort / to what end. Sure I could say an exit - and to some extent that’s one truth -- the answer often changes to be honest. But recently I’m feeling especially proud of having built something that seems to make so many women so happy (myself included). Underwear might seem like a rather trivial or inconsequential thing in the grand scheme of things. But on the other hand, it’s your base layer - closest to your skin and the first thing on / last thing off - with a clear ability to make a woman feel amazing, or feel badly, in her own skin. If I stay true to that core guiding goal -- help more women feel good about themselves -- it serves as a continuous motivator to work hard and to keep going.
What are the things that make your home personal to you and your family?
We started a tradition in quarantine of making a big green smoothie every morning for everyone in the house - I use a version of the Bonberi recipe and it’s packed with nutrients and really good. So whether we have nannies living with us, my parents visiting, friends dropping by, etc. - we always make enough to share - my toddler especially loves it. In a year when it feels like your health is in the balance of the whim of the universe, I try to focus on what I can control - starting our day packed with greens is a small win in my book.
What maternity style or clothing item could you not find this time around that you most wish FH would create?
After two pregnancies I’ve tried so many maternity jeans (from H&M to designer and in between) and it’s really hard to get a good one! You’re always pulling and yanking them up, the belly bands tend to be made out of cheap, itchy materials (ugh - why??) and the ones without a band tend to stretch out and fall down. For me, I basically live in jeans, so finding the perfect maternity pair would be at the top of my list. Shop Marissa's Look:Tie Neck Top