A fun look into the lives and lifestyles of some of our favorite mamas.
This month I sat down with the lovely Kate Marie Grinold Sigfusson, founder of Babies4Babies and mama to Theodore (3), Penelope (1.5) and one on the way, to hear all about her amazing company and her big move to Dallas.
BY CATHERINE HILL
I loved reading on your website that "We want women to define their motherhood and own it." Dondolo, as you know, is also all about empowering motherhood. What inspired you to start Babies4Babies?
Babies4Babies is a niche line of ethically and artfully made Bassinet to Beach™ blankets that I started while pregnant with my first baby about four years ago. The idea of creating a product in an ethical way instead of the cheapest and then giving away part of profits to mothers in need didn’t necessarily make the most business sense at the time, but I knew that mothers would love the product and the meaning behind it. Luckily, I wasn’t wrong! Today, it seems like every brand has a give back component (which I love), but at the time, Babies4Babies and Dondolo were among the few, which makes me really proud to have taken on the struggle and the risk.
Over the past four years I’ve grown in my roles as a founder and mother, but there have been a lot of moments where I’ve felt like I have no idea what I’m doing. I think all moms can relate and with so much out there to tell us we’re doing it wrong, too much shame and mom guilt, and the very unrealistic expectation on women to do it all, I want the message of Babies4Babies to be one of empowerment. So we create runway inspired blankets that allow mothers to continue to be their powerful, fashionable, unique woman selves, and while it’s only a blanket, I think the power of fashion and being original – whether it’s a trend-forward blanket for swaddling your baby or the pair of killer heals that make you feel like a goddess – can make all the difference for a woman on a journey to define and own her motherhood.
How has work and mom life changed since moving to Dallas this year?
It’s only gotten busier and busier as my business and babies continue to grow. Between two toddlers and getting our 2018 collection ready to go it feels like there are never enough hours. But since becoming pregnant with my third, I’ve been (trying to be) better about pushing back on non-essential commitments, learning to say no and making sure there is room for family downtime.
Any advice for expecting mamas?
I love offering guidance and encouragement to new breastfeeding moms (I breastfeed my babies forever so I feel like I’ve been through every breastfeeding challenge) and I’m always up for recommending my favorite ethical and non-toxic baby brands (like Babies4Babies and Dondolo!), but I try to only ever share my opinions and experience when asked. The most important thing for a new mom to remember is that only you know what’s best for your baby – what works for one mother, child or family has nothing to do with you, so take all of that conflicting, complicated and often unsolicited advice on feeding, sleeping, gearing up and mothering in general and if it doesn’t feel like a fit for you, simply let it go. You are the one who will define your motherhood – trust your instincts, listen to your heart and own it, mama.
How does it make you feel to know that when you buy Dondolo clothing you are providing jobs for single mothers in Colombia and giving needy children warm clothes in Colombia?
I actively seek out ethically made brands with social missions so Dondolo has always been one of my favorites. Not only are the pieces incredibly well made and adorable, but I can dress my children in them assured that the way in which they came to be was ethical. I am a big believer in having fewer, better things.
How would you describe the way you dress Theo and Pen?
For basics, I do solid color, logo-free looks and find these wardrobe staples at Basal Baby. I love a good bubble and have plenty of those plus our dressier wardrobe covered by Dondolo. And I like to keep room in the closet for a few funky pieces like fun leggings and Marimekko-esque dresses from Lillabarn.
What is your favorite Dondolo outfit and why?
Dondolo’s bubble short and side tie top sets are my absolute favorite. We have gone through a few and I just bought a size up in the Mia Duck Set for my daughter to wear this coming summer. They are the perfect practical yet adorable play outfits for my tiny girl, especially in the Dallas heat!
What are some of your favorite activities to do with the kids during the holiday season?
Give me all of it! Coming from Chicago, our family has been loving our first mild Dallas wintertime. So far we’ve been down to the Klyde Warren tree, on a holiday lights hayride, to Christmas markets in Bishop Arts and HP Village, the Trains at Northpark, and several trips to the Dallas Arboretum, which must be one of the most beautiful places on earth and is our favorite and most visited place in Dallas year round.
What is one thing you hope to teach Theodore and Penelope?
More than anything, I wish for my babies to grow up to be good people…and so I think the most important thing I will need to teach them is how to be brave.
You can shop the Bassinet to Beach™ collection at Babies4Babies.com (which is 50% off through December with “FINAL50”). Babies4Babies is also sold locally at The Tot. And you can find and follow Babies4Babies on Instagram @babies4babies and on Facebook.