The Bump presents #MomBoss, a series dedicated to showing off all-star moms. We catch up with mompreneurs behind products we love, influencers who get real about motherhood and SAHMs who can multitask in their sleep.
Trendy, bold and fun. Those three words don’t necessarily come to mind when you think about your nursing wardrobe, but it doesn’t have to be that way. No really—just shop some of the stylish clothes on BURU, a curated selection of clothes dedicated to styling the modern mama.
After Morgan Hutchinson gave birth to her daughter Olive, she struggled to find a balance between functional clothes that were still true to her taste in fashion. It took a baby (and mom!) meltdown in the middle of a restaurant for Hutchinson to have her “a-ha” moment. It eventually led to the launch of BURU. The mom of two spills on her most versatile wardrobe pieces, the way she manages her bipolar disorder and how she tries to stay sane through it all.
Can you tell us a little bit about BURU?
The idea for BURU came to me about two weeks after our daughter was born. While wearing a high-neck, A-line dress (to hide my residual bump) on our first lunch date out of the house, our daughter Olive got hungry and began to cry. I instantly realized I had no way of breastfeeding her without completely disrobing, so naturally as a super-fresh, postpartum mom, I also began to cry. Why were my clothes working against me?
After a few more weeks of wardrobe struggles, I re-evaluated the tiny amount of my closet that actually did work for my new phase of life. Even if it was nursing-friendly, it was often dry-clean only. I started shopping online to find things I thought might work, but even that was time-consuming and overwhelming. I didn't feel like anyone was speaking to me as a mother, as a mid-thirties woman or as someone struggling with her body, and didn't necessarily love seeing clothes shown only on 5'11, 19-year-olds, sans stretch marks. I also didn't understand why nursing specific clothes were not fashionable at all!
After casually surveying some of my other mom friends, I decided there was in fact a white space for stylish moms, and I wanted to fill it.
What’s the idea behind the name?
BURU is actually Mandarin. We lived in China for four years, including most of my pregnancy with Olive, and we wanted to give a nod to that special time. And while easy access to nurse continues to be the undercurrent of our brand, we have evolved into a full clothing brand for stylish moms in all phases of motherhood.
What are three wardrobe staples every busy mom needs?
- A great white shirt. And if you can have a few of these to check off the boxes of classic, fancy, and fun, mom-dressing becomes much easier
- An easy "throw on and go" dress. Something that always fits, even when you're up or down 5 lbs. It should take you from carpool to cocktails, and boardrooms to bake sales.
- Wedge sneakers. This one is a little specific, but we all need something that gives us a little lift, while keeping us comfy, chic and ready to sprint after a toddler!
Walk us through a typical day and how you try to juggle work and family.
First, thank you for using "juggle" versus "balance. I'm not sure I actually believe in balance!
A typical day for us starts at 5:30 a.m. My husband Brett, who’s also my business partner, and I wake up about 30 minutes before our little ones arise to make coffee, get ourselves ready and check for "urgent-only" emails. Once the kids, ages 6 and 2, are up, it's full-court press to get them ready, make lunches and get them out the door for school. Brett does drop-off and I walk to the office—luckily, it's just around the corner—and start the workday. I love getting there an hour or so ahead of the team to really catch up on my own to do list. From there, I jump back and forth between design, production, marketing and team meetings. We are a small, growing business, and no two days are ever really the same. Brett and I rotate long days at the beginning of the week so that one of us is always home by 4:30 or 5:00 p.m.
You're so open about your bipolar disorder. What made you want to share your story?
It seems the more we talk about things that carry a stigma, the faster that stigma starts to go away. If my own bipolar journey can help even one person or start to break away from the stigma, then why wouldn't I share?
What advice do you have for moms struggling with mental health issues?
I can't stress how important it is to take care of yourself. I know that I can't be the mother my children deserve without regularly seeing my psychiatrist or taking my medications. If you’re struggling—seek help. Mental illnesses make you feel lonely and isolated, but you’re not alone. Reaching out to your support system is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.
What do you wish someone told you when you became a mom?
I wish someone would have told me that my child will still be happy and healthy even if her lunchbox isn't a perfectly organic bento box with a sandwich in the shape of a dinosaur. That would have been helpful. Oh, and that they do eventually sleep, even if you’re terrible at sleep training!
Is there a product you wouldn’t have made it through your first year parenting without?
Hard to pick just one, so I'm picking two. The Nose Frida is a game changer, and we could never survive without our Uppababy stroller.
Best parenting hack?
Oh man, I wish I had some hacks. I don't really feel like there are any shortcuts when it comes to raising children, but we have a few tricks that have helped our happiness levels. One thing I've started with our daughter is a rotation of the days of the week she gets to dress herself. I want her to have self-expression, but sometimes, she needs to dress a certain way for events or occasions. This is going to apply to her entire life, so I don't mind reigning her in. She feels comfortable with the days she gets to choose, and we've eliminated the morning power struggle by setting expectations. Clear boundaries seem to help with every aspect of parenting, to be honest.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I love to dip fresh blackberries into a container of Cool Whip while watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy. Perhaps I should really re-evaluate my options—ha!
Published June 2019
Plus, more from The Bump: