What it's like to run Fashion Mamas, an organization that supports working mothers in creative fields
Meet Natalie Alcala, boss lady and founder of Fashion Mamas — an organization that Natalie describes as “the first members-only network for influential mothers who work in fashion and creative industries.” Fashion Mamas provides women in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City with support and networking opportunities.
Before Natalie began her own business focused on empowering working women, she was an editor at Racked LA. Since the success of Fashion Mamas, she still continues to work as a freelance fashion editor.
But Natalie can tell you more:
Here are three days in her life:
5:00 a.m.: This is my power hour. I *try* to meditate for at least 10 minutes before diving into my phone to lurk Instagram for 30 minutes, and then check my work emails. After that, I open my laptop and start working — responding to emails, finalizing event details, reviewing member applications, and sending my team the day’s tasks.
6:45 a.m.: My son, Diego, slowly wakes up. It’s cute to hear him talking to his “babies” aka stuffed animals on his bed, and randomly reciting some of his favorite new words and phrases. I let him have his moment until he yells “Mama, potty!” — that’s when I open the door to welcome him to a new day. I help him change out of his jammies and we make his breakfast together. Right now, he’s into almond milk yogurt, mini waffles, and fresh raspberries. He’s fancy like that.
8:00 a.m.: My husband wakes up and plays with Diego while I work a bit before my mom (Diego’s nanny) arrives to watch him.
9:20 a.m.: Three days a week I *try* to get a workout in, and my workout of choice is Pure Barre. Around this time, I grab my change of clothes and drive to my local studio (it’s super close!) to catch a 9:30 a.m. class. For those 60 minutes, I’m 20% thinking about the day’s workload and 80% focused on hitting my moves. It’s a great way to charge before a busy day!
10:30 a.m.: Class concludes, I change out of my workout closes and head to one of my three favorite juice bars and grab a smoothie. My favorite type of smoothie involves almond milk, bananas, cacao, spinach, and vegan protein powder (I’m vegan). I rarely get a second to eat during the day, so that smoothie always fills me up.
11:30 a.m.: I head to Fashion Mamas HQ to work a bit before my editor pal Nicola Fumo swings by so we can head to Santa Monica for a brunch hosted by my wellness pals, How You Glow founders, Tara and Jessie
12:00 p.m.: As predicted, the brunch is super Instagrammable, the food is delicious, and everyone is stylish and adorable. Jessie is a pregnant goddess and I have pregnancy FOMO right now for some reason (I’m def not ready for a second kid, I just loved being pregnant), so I spend most of the brunch rubbing her belly. I also squeezed in a card reading by Moon Deck, and it was actually eerily relevant to my current situation. Or maybe I just found a way to connect the affirmations to my life? No, it was definitely magic. I think.
1:00 p.m.: Nicola and I are stuffed, so we head out and I return to Fashion Mamas HQ to work a bit more before heading home to Diego. I’m currently in the middle of planning three major events across our city chapters, LA, NY, and SF; although I love having a team now, I still like to personally produce all of our events. It’s a passion of mine and I don’t think I can ever let it go.
2:30 p.m.: I’m back home with Diego and still sleepy from lunch, so we lay on the couch a little before heading out to the park. I cherish our lazy afternoons and try my best not to look at emails. (Although I 100% document these hangs on Instagram Stories, obviously.)
5:30 p.m.: Diego and I head home and I make him dinner, which is normally a quesadilla and rice. I love that he’s always down for Mexican food. This is definitely MY child. The TV is off during this time, and we listen to a lot of music. His current favorite artists are Kendrick Lamar, Disclosure, Drake, and Fetty Wap. He makes me laugh because he will literally cover his ears if a polite guitar player sings calming kids songs, but will immediately stop in his tracks when he hears the opening beat of “Trap Queen.” Again, my child.
6:00 p.m.: Daddy arrives home and Diego melts in his arms. They are so obsessed with one another, it’s the cutest. This gives me a chance to post on Instagram if I have some new content to share. This is my best time to post before it’s me and my husband’s alone time, which I look forward to every day.
7:00 p.m.: My husband gives Diego a bath, and then he hands him off to me for our bedtime ritual. Right now the ritual involves three books and me placing all of his “babies” around him like he’s some kind of shrine. Kids, man!
8:00 p.m.: Diego’s been sleeping for a while, and my husband and I are enjoying dinner while vegging out on the couch. I usually make myself a kale salad with tempeh, and my husband brings home dinner from work or orders something in. I’ve never been into cooking, although I do blend a mean smoothie.
10:00 p.m.: By now, my husband and I have watched a healthy mix of random reality TV shows, some news, and something fun on Netflix. I do my best to not open my laptop during our nights so we can just chat, BS, and bond. It’s the best way to decompress from the day! We doze off and that’s that.
5:00 a.m.: Same morning routine, except no workout and yes smoothie. Always a smoothie! I don’t drink coffee, so this is my fuel. Pro tip: cacao and maca do wonders for energy if you’re not a coffee person.
12:00 p.m.: I’ve been working for a few hours, and now it’s time for a meeting with my new Fashion Mamas Journal editor, Danielle. She was my associate editor when I was the editor of Racked LA, so to have her working for me again is a dream come true! We discuss story ideas and guidelines while her toddler wiggles around my office. I always have toys stashed in the office cabinet because I never know when a member will be popping by with their littles.
1:30 p.m.: All Fashion Mamas members receive a welcome box, so it’s time for me to ship a new batch of boxes. My lovely assistant puts them together for us, and I inspect each one to ensure they’re ready to present to our new girls.
2:30 p.m.: I head home to Diego, and we do our afternoon routine. This time, we switch it up and go to an indoor playground. I text/DM a bit while he’s playing, rotating conversations with my husband, some non-mama friends, and a few Fashion Mamas members.
5:30 p.m.: We’re home now, and it’s time for Diego’s dinner and daddy!
7:00 p.m.: Bedtime for Diego, then it’s hang time for me and my husband. Tonight we’re watching a new season of Master of None on Netflix. Aziz Ansari is just brilliant.
10:00 p.m.: Tonight happens to be a Friday, and while we should be raging, we’re just too damn tired tonight. Toddler life is REAL. Plus, I’m speaking on a panel tomorrow so I gotta be on top of my game.
6:30 a.m.: It’s Saturday, damnit! I slept in.
7:30 a.m.: Diego slept in, too. We wake up together and I make him a light breakfast since we’re going to head out for a — you guessed it — smoothie together. It’s an Alcala thing!
10:30 a.m.: We head back home to chill before I have to get ready for my panel. Today I’m speaking at the Super Mamas Social, and I’m on their “Mom Boss” panel. (Me, a mom? Me, a boss? It all still blows my mind.)
12:00 p.m.: I put Diego down for a nap, throw on a cute dress, and head to Downtown LA for the panel. Eminem’s Sirius XM channel Shade 45 is playing all the best ‘90s hip hop throwbacks, and now I really feel ready for the world.
1:00 p.m.: I arrive to the venue and almost pass out when I see that they’ve recreated the Beyoncé twin pregnancy announcement backdrop. (You know the one!) I pose in front of it and immediately know it will be my Instagram post for the day. Isn’t it the best when that happens?
2:00 p.m.: Panel is done! It was fun chatting with Super Mamas founder Bricia and Paulina about my business and my advice for anyone looking to start their own business. (Spoiler: just do it, and do it now. There’s no better time.) As soon as I get off the stage, I text my husband to see how Diego is doing. He’s still sleeping, so I stay out a little longer to visit the Echo Park Craft Fair.
3:00 p.m.: I want EVERYTHING here. It’s just so good. I bump into Fashion Mamas member Tammin Sursok there and also score my dream earrings: raw pyrite nuggets by Hinge Designs. The fashion editor in me still loves supporting indie designers whenever I have a chance.
4:30 p.m.: I’m back home with my fam, and ready to have zero obligations tomorrow.
8:00 p.m.: Diego’s sound asleep, my husband and I are chilling. Slowly we doze off and have the earliest Saturday night ever. And I’m exactly where I want to be.
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