Cecile Reinaud, founder of Seraphine
Cecile started Seraphine in 2002 with a vision to revolutionise the maternity
wear industry. Being the mum of two boys she wanted comfortable and well-
designed clothes that are on-trend. Clothes so beautiful you would want to wear
even if you weren’t pregnant! Today, Seraphine has a global reputation as the
go-to brand for trendy mums-to-be and a very long list of celebrity and royal
fans. Their flagship stores in London, New York, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong and
New Delhi offer the one stop shop for all your maternity wardrobe.
We heard you owe your great looks and high energy to yoga - can you tell us about your yoga journey so far?
Thank you, that’s very kind! And yes, I love yoga. I’ve always been a very active person – when I have spare time I love horse riding, scuba diving, skiing… anything with a bit of adventure. But when I discovered yoga it was a real a-ha moment for me. It’s the perfect combination of physical exertion and mental calm. It really helps me to relax & unwind and I always feel better - more inspired & energised after a session.
I also practiced yoga when I was pregnant and I’m a big advocate of the benefits for mums-to-be. At Seraphine, we created a beautiful range of activewear which is perfect for pregnancy and postnatal yoga. It’s a fantastic way to stay active, especially now, when pregnant women are advised to practice social distancing – there are plenty of classes available online which you can take safely at home.
Have you had any experience with meditation and if so, what has it been?
Yes, I have! I started practicing meditation about 5 years ago, after reading Arianna
Huffington’s amazing book, Thrive. I realised that between my business & the demands of a busy family home, I needed to carve out a bit of me-time to reflect & recharge. I started out by using an app, but the practice quickly became a part of my routine. I’d recommend it to anyone.
In your opinion, what is Seraphine's success secret?
At Seraphine we are famous for dressing celebrities & royalty through their pregnancies –from the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore Seraphine on dozens of occasions throughout her 3 pregnancies, to Hollywood A-listers like Marion Cotillard, Gwen Stefani & Jessica Alba. But these big names come to us looking for the same thing we offer every Seraphine customer: Comfortable, stylish maternity clothes, designed to make you feel fantastic.
We take pride in creating the most beautiful and innovative products for new mums & mums-to-be. Many of us on the Seraphine team are mothers ourselves, so we have a deep understanding of what it’s like to navigate through pregnancy and the journey into motherhood. We know exactly how to celebrate the beauty of a blossoming bump – the exact cut of a dress or style of denim that will flatter. But we also understand and address the challenges & insecurities that often arise – our skin to skin tops and postpartum support range, for example, have been real customer favourite.
What is your favourite activity to do with your kids or as a whole family?
I love it now that my boys are a bit older (they’re 11 & 16) so they can join in on all the more active things I love to do. Though having said that, we recently took a family trip to ride the roller coasters at Disney Land & I’m not sure who enjoyed it more – them or me!
How do you manage motherhood with your well-established business?
What is the key to finding a balance between a successful business and a happy family?
I started Seraphine back in 2002, the same year that I fell pregnant with my eldest son, so I’ve never really known one without the other! It certainly hasn’t always been easy – in the early days I used to feel terrible about having to split my time between family & business. But over the years I learnt that the quality of time is
so much more important than the quantity. As long as I can be fully present wherever I am, at work or at home, then I feel like I am doing enough.
Also, my top tip: I make a to-do list every morning with 10 things I’d like to achieve that day. Then I immediately cross off the three least important things and accept that they can wait till tomorrow. This makes the list more manageable and means that I have more positive energy to distribute between my family and my work.
Rebecca Saunders, founder of Seekology
Have you always wanted to be a mum and have a successful career, or did it just naturally happen?
I’ve always wanted both of these things – although of course, each has taken elements of luck. After I had my first child I left my corporate career and went freelance so that I could spend some time figuring out what I really wanted to do. It was great to have the flexibility and work part-time for a while, which enabled me to write the business plan for Seekology. It’s been pretty intense running a business and having a baby but I do believe women should have the opportunity to do whatever combination they want.
How do you juggle running your own company and being a mum of two now?
I won’t deny it’s hard, especially without any childcare or family support at the moment! There’s a lot of late-night working and snatching time to write emails during children’s naps. It also helps that my husband is able to multitask by looking after the kids whilst on conference calls some of the time.
How do you think one can strike the right balance without losing your sanity
How do you incorporate self-care into your busy life?
Making a little bit of time for self-care is crucial at the moment. For me, this is about time on my own, which is rare but important! Agreeing in advance with your partner is key to finding the time for whatever is important to you. I try to go for a walk on my own a couple of times a week, or if it’s getting late I’ll run a bath using some indulgent Seekology products.
Do you have any tips for working mums, now with the kids at home? What is your key learning to have this new routine work so well?
Having some kind of routine is helpful as a starting point, although flexibility is always required when children are involved. I manage this by discussing the next working day every night with my partner to agree on how we’ll “tag-team” through the working day. And maximising working efficiency during nap times is key!
What is your advice to the women who feel torn between the two (work/family) or feeling guilty about their choice?
Don’t beat yourself up too much! If the children end up watching more TV than you’d intended or eating fish fingers three nights in a row, that’s OK. I keep reminding myself that this extra family time will seem like an exciting adventure to a toddler. In fact, we’ve just spent half an hour making duplo space rockets, which hasn’t helped me with the business but has been great fun for both of us. Every
woman is different – and also nothing is set in stone forever. So if the balance isn’t quite right for you now think about how you might change it with a longer time horizon.