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Michaella Solar-March CMO, Tishman Speyer
The kids are down, the dog has been fed, and your partner’s otherwise engaged - how do you spend your “me” time, when you get it?
Me time during the week is limited. Often I'll have work from the day that I need to finish up, but on quieter nights I tend to read or watch TV. Since being pregnant with #2 I've been so tired by the end of the day that, more often than I'd like to admit, I'll switch on a serial or reality series to try to turn my brain off. I find I gravitate to the mindlessness of shows like The Bachelor really easily when I'm exhausted!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from a mom that you’ve held on to because it felt resonant?
There was a point early on in my son's life that I was struggling to balance the demands of new motherhood and a professional career, and my mom gave me some incredibly basic and hugely helpful advice. She told me that I don't have to do everything perfectly; that good enough was OK. At the time I found it incredibly comforting and freeing, and I still remind myself of it in high-stress times today.
What is the thing you worried lots about when your child was first born that you’d tell other women to lose less sleep over?
I appreciate a routine and a schedule in my professional life, and I definitely brought that to my experience of motherhood. When my first was born I immediately dove into a strict routine and while it was helpful to a point, in retrospect I realize that I could have been a little more flexible. Babies are constantly changing and adapting, and as soon as you think you have figured out a routine - it changes! Going into the birth of my second I think I am a lot more relaxed and less focused on a strict schedule. I'll always appreciate having a routine, but I recognize that flexibility and adaptability are the real keys to success! I also worried with my first that I had to have all the right baby things - the perfect stroller, the perfect crib, the perfect rocker - it was a scientific endeavor with research, endless trials, and surveying everyone I knew! This time around I know that newborns really don't need anything, and I've been a LOT more relaxed in the pre-baby prep.
What’s the other career you’d most like to try out, given a second professional life?
Magazine Editor. I've always approached brand-building and marketing with an editorial approach - from creative content to cultural programming to strategic partnerships - and I've always been obsessed with magazines. I hugely admire the editorial and aesthetic sensibility required to weave content and culture into a unique and cohesive conversation. I'd also loved to have been a gallery curator, for the same reasons. I am an incredibly visual person.
Where and how did you meet your best friends? How do you stay in touch and support each other?
Early on in my professional life, I was a radio host in Sydney, and I am still so close with many of the people I met during that time. We came together over a shared love of music, art, and culture and have remained life-long friends since. I also have a really strong group of girlfriends here in New York. We all moved here from Sydney within a few months of one another and instantly bonded - not just because we were Australian and trying to make sense of a crazy new city, but because we shared incredibly similar world views and an appreciation for great food and great culture. We've supported one another for the past decade and I am so grateful to have them.
What are the nicest things your partner does for you, and you for them?
Alex, my husband, is incredibly grounding and I think the best thing he does for me is forcing me to relax! I have a tendency to go go go and he's the first person who has been able to get me to slow down. Conversely, I think my ambition and drive is a really good motivator for him. We make a good team.
What traditions are you building - or planning to build - for your family? Whydo they matter to you?
This might be small, but we make a big point of eating dinner together at the table as a family. When I was growing up my parents made a point of family dinner time and would ask my brother and I to share one good thing that happened to us that day. I remember those times quite vividly and ensuring strong communication as a family unit is really important to me.
What are the things in your closet that you know you’ll be using and loving inthree years?
I have very different wardrobes for the weekends and weekdays. My weekend go-to's are Acne white shirts or tees, a pair of wide-leg Christopher Esber pants that I've worn to death or well-worn AGolde jeans, and either Common Projects sneakers or Celine slides. Weekdays are a more formal affair; I have a few blazers by The Row which go with everything and that I know I'll be wearing for years, and I also have a few pairs of Celine and Acne dress pants which look great dressed up or down and are a great fit and timeless classic cut.
What’s the last thing you celebrated?
I think the last thing I celebrated was New Year's Eve, but I was in bed by 10:30 pm! We were with some of our closest friends in New York who just had a baby, and between the newborn and pregnancy, we were all very grateful for the early night!
I wish I celebrated Hanukah last year - I grew up celebrating all the Jewish high holidays with my extended family and I loved those traditions, but because we don't have any immediate family in New York we tend not to celebrate. It's something I've been thinking about a lot and want to start doing.
What has been the hardest part of pregnancy dressing? What product wouldyou like FH to add to our assortment?
In my last pregnancy, I was at Soho House so I could wear whatever I wanted. It was also Summer, which was far easier. With my current job, I need to dress more formally, and I've found it hard to dress for a corporate environment and still feel like myself. I've ended up buying a lot of non-maternity clothes in larger sizes, as well as a few staple pregnancy pieces. I'd love FH to introduce a classic pair of dress pants in a breathable fiber. I've not been able to find anything that looks chic and feels great.