I Don’t Know How She Does It – Devon Branam
I met Devon many moons ago when we were both working at a big PR agency in Los Angeles. We worked together for a few years and then I went out on my own as a consultant and she went on to build a very strong resume for herself in PR, first at Michael Stars and most recently in her role as VP of public relations for Velvet. We kept in touch through the years even as our paths went their separate ways and I have always admired how she seems to balance a successful career with motherhood (her daughters are darling – Harper is 2 1/2 and Sawyer is four months), marriage and impeccable style. She is one of those women that answers emails promptly, always greets you with a genuine smile and is happy to sit down and share useful advice and tips for a happy, balanced lifestyle whenever she can. So here they are:
What time does your day start and how?
Typically I wake up around 6:30 with my four-month-old and get her fed before taking a shower, then wake up my 2 ½ year old and get her ready for pre-school before sitting down with her for breakfast.
What time does your day end and how?
I try to be in bed by 10pm every night. My daughters are usually both down by 8pm so it is nice to have a couple of hours alone with my hubby to have a kid-free dinner or just relax with a glass of wine and catch up on some DVR.
Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?
My job gives me the flexibility to work in the office or at home but generally I like to be in the office. I thrive off the energy and happen to have really awesome colleagues who inspire me every day. Our HQ is set up in a warehouse in Culver City where the front part is dedicated to corporate offices and the back is where most of the patternmaking, sewing, production and shipping occurs. It is really nice to work in the midst of so much action and see the process of the product come alive.
Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?
My two-year-old just started preschool so I do like to check in with whoever picks her up to see how her day was. We are still in transition mode with me returning to work and her being in a new environment 3 days a week so it is extra important to me to make sure she is adjusting well. Luckily we have two sets of grandparents that live less than 5 minutes from us so they rotate picking up my daughter from preschool while our nanny stays home with the baby. My husband and I both commute to work so our parents living near are very vital to both our survival and sanity. It really does take a village…
What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?
It may sound odd but sometimes it just gives me clarity. Things can get a bit hectic at home and sometimes as soon as I walk into the office, I feel like myself again. Not a mommy, not a wife, but me. I think the hardest thing is just trying to balance it all. As soon as I felt like I got it down with my first daughter, I got pregnant with my second and now I am desperately trying to get the groove down all over again. Also, the dreadful guilt that sometimes comes over me when my kids are sick and I can’t be home with them or be the one that takes them to the doctor because I am on a major deadline or have an event.
Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?
That they can be the ones to tend to their kid’s every need and be there for them especially when they need them the most. Also, the many more memories they will have of them, especially as babies and toddlers.
Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less.
Phenomenal husband, amazing nanny, super involved grandparents & coffee (lots) 😉
*photo of Devon and girls by Drew B photography in Orange County, Calif.
And here are Devon’s must-haves of the moment:
Clockwise from top left:
Angel Dear monkey a pair and a spare blankies (editor’s note: how genius is this concept and how come I never knew about it?!?)
Dior Lip Glow (editor’s note: a fave of mine, too!)