You mamas are about to have a serious case of career envy. Meet Korie Conant, chief marketing officer and co-owner of Petunia Pickle Bottom and mom to Beckett (5) and Brixton (2). Full disclosure here: I do some PR work with Petunia Pickle Bottom but this interview was all pleasure, no business; I just really liked Korie from our very first meeting and became even more inspired to learn she was a mom of two and part owner of the company, which is already hugely successful and growing by leaps and bounds. She does it all alongside her BFF DeNai Jones, who is the company founder and designer behind all those addictive prints you love so much. And on top of it all, Korie has this effortless, bohemian cool style that could probably warrant its own Pinterest board, is super friendly and warm and smart, and apparently has impeccable baby-naming skills as well. Here is how she does it:
What time does your day start and how?
I have a spicy (and adorable) little two-year-old boy who ensures that my day starts around 6am. There is literally no need for an alarm clock; despite our best efforts, he’s pretty persistent about getting up when he wants to.
What time does your day end and how?
I’m a bit of a night owl, and though it’s awful to admit, my day doesn’t usually wrap up until midnight. If I’m honest, it’s more like 2am most nights. I always say, however, that the late nights are when I get my best work done. It’s also my only “me time,” so sometimes I’ll just stay up to indulge in a little Downton Abbey on Hulu.
Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?
I work in an office—and a lovely one at that. Our building is over a century old, with exposed beams, brick walls and concrete floors, so there’s a real sense of history and character. We’re also lucky enough to have a deck that overlooks the ocean, which we take full advantage of for parties, lunchtime Pilates and those quiet moments when you just need a moment outside to recharge and watch the waves crash onto the shore.
Back in the early days of the business, DeNai and I worked out of a small loft above her parents’ garage. At the end of each work day, we would take a walk down to the beach and pass by the building we’re now in. It was vacant at the time and had been recently renovated, and we would peer down through the basement windows and imagine what it would be like if we could just have that basement for our office. Eight years later, we now cover three floors of the building and feel blessed that Petunia gets to contribute to its storied history.
Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?
I do see and speak with my kids throughout the work day—though some days more so than others. My mom, who often watches the boys when I’m at the office, just got an iPhone and is learning how to text! She keeps me fully abreast of their shenanigans. And when they’re not with my mom, we have a wonderful nanny who brings them by the office for short visits, even if only to give them quick kisses.
At this point in the development of the business, I am able to stay home with my boys on Mondays and most Fridays. I truly treasure those days, during which I try to really be in the moment, forget my phone, forget email and just keep in mind how fleeting it all is.
What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?
Of all my roles, my favorites are definitely being a mom and a wife. But I also find a lot of fulfillment in my role at Petunia. I am in a creative field and love the people I have around me. I learn from them, laugh with them, stress out with them and grow as a person working alongside them. My career leads me to places and opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise experience, and I feel that these experiences enrich my life and, by extension, make me a more dynamic wife and mother.
Of course, the hardest thing is being away from my kids. I hate the thought of missing even one moment. Growing up with a stay-at-home-mom, I always thought I would be one as well. It has taken me years to reconcile the fact that I took a different path than my own mom, but I love what I do. And while it’s not always easy to juggle both roles, I sure do try.
Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?
I envy a lot about stay-at-home moms. My heart starts racing from the moment I wake up in the morning in anticipation of all I have to get done that day—even before the clock strikes 9am. I always joke that I feel like I’ve run a marathon before I even step foot into the office. In my mind—and this may not even be the case—stay-at-home moms have a little more freedom from the clock.
I am also really into nutrition and finding creative ways to serve my kids healthy food. Especially because we have a lot of food allergies in my family, I would love to have more time to experiment in the kitchen and the freedom to enjoy cooking and baking like some of my stay-at-home mom friends do.
Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less.
I smile and take it one day at a time. (Bonus words: my husband is an amazing partner and parent.)
And here are Korie’s must-haves of the moment for she and he and he:
Clockwise from top left:
My new favorite must-have beauty find is the Eminence Organics skincare line. I don’t have time to treat myself to facials very often, but these products make me feel like I just stepped out of an esthetician’s office.
I personally love Appaman clothing and Sperry Oxford Boots (bottom left) for my boys.
We also can’t get enough of Tegu Magnetic Blocks.
A favorite pick from Petunia Pickle Bottom’s new Spring collection.
My favorite must-have fashion item is Heather Gardner Jewelry. I love her bohemian collection and get tons of compliments whenever I wear her pieces.
*top image by Joy Prouty*