The Mom Behind the Brand: Libby Romano of LUXYMOM™
By: Melissa Harper | Date: June 26 2017
The Mom Behind the Brand: LUXYMOM™
1. Introduce yourself and your business.
Hi! I’m Libby Romano, and my business is LUXYMOM™. LUXYMOM.com is an online style destination specifically for moms, and my mantra is to showcase “It-Girl Style for Moms and Mamas-To-Be.™”
I publish the following content:
- Style advice (like how to style an outfit around different body concerns that us moms face (fourth trimester body anyone?), or how to pull off trends in a realistic way);
- Outfit inspiration (from mom fashion bloggers and other fashion bloggers that we can emulate); and
- Shopping round-ups and deals just for my readers
2. I love that LUXYMOM™ encourages moms to take care of themselves, too. Why do you feel this is so important in this season of life (while raising tiny humans)?
Simply put, I think taking care of ourselves is part of that well-rounded life we all crave. Being a mom is so hard and draining at times (okay, most of the time), and I’ve found that just by putting time on my calendar where I KNOW I’m going to shower with no interruptions; get a (quick) workout in to clear my head and recharge; and be able to put thought into the outfits I choose for myself – I’m going to feel happier and less stressed, and I’ll have more energy to give to my family.
I want my kids to see me happy. I don’t want them to see me drained, or God forbid feel like I’m drained because I’m a mom. Self-care is one of those buzz words right now, but there’s a lot of truth that a happy mom is a happy household!
3. What motivated you to leave your career in marketing and fashion design?
Putting my career on hold to stay at home with kids was never something I thought I would do. From the time I was a little girl, I was SO focused on having a business and being really successful with it. It was my singular goal in life. I just always considered myself a career-girl, and nothing else.
But as soon as I laid eyes on my first son, I had this really strong gut reaction of like, “Oh, there’s NO WAY anyone can part me with this child to return to work.” I just couldn’t go back. And at that time, I was very fortunate to be in a place where it was a good time to stop working, and that my husband was on the same page with this decision, and that we were financially able to make it work.
I’ve always been a self-starter, and I knew that I’d jump back in at some point, but that I desperately wanted and needed to be at home for a while with my kids.
I’ve continued to keep up with my industry over these last five years, even though I wasn’t earning a living from it, and I waited until I got that gut feeling again that it was just the right time to jump back in. And now here I am, five years and another son later.
4. How did you think of the concept behind LUXYMOM™?
LUXYMOM™ actually stemmed from another idea I had (for a clothing line), and is a much easier business to manage and execute while raising kids and trying to have a somewhat balanced work/family life.
The concept behind LUXYMOM™, as a style destination for moms and pregnant women, was just a natural extension of who I am, what I love, and the stage of life in which I’m currently living. It just made a lot of sense for me to write about and share what I live and breathe and know the most about.
5. Describe the moment when you decided to dive in headfirst and launch LUXYMOM™? What was the final factor that motivated you to take that leap of faith?
It was a combination of right idea/right place/right time; a strong business model; and having the full support of my husband, and a plan of how I was going to manage a business and raise the kids.
- I was at a point where my oldest was in full time pre-k and my youngest was not only sleeping 12 hours at night, but taking 2-hour naps during the day. I was no longer tired all the time, and I knew I could carve out some time in my days for work.
- I put together a business plan so I knew what my goals, objectives, and strategies would be for this venture.
- And I talked about this in depth with my husband. We’re a team in our family, and I happily consult him about my professional goals – because if it’s not going to work for the family, then it’s not the right idea, period. But this was one of those ideas that we both loved, and he supported me fully – so I went for it.
6. What has been the hardest thing about running your own business with two young children?
Time management. Hands down. I’m still figuring this out and tweaking it every single day. I live and die by my editorial calendar, and I have two planners – one for work and one for personal, so I don’t overlook something.
If I don’t refer to all of the above multiple times a day, something will fall through the cracks, because managing kids, a household, and a budding business is a very tricky thing to do.
I also basically burn both ends of the clock, because running a start-up is 24/7/365 – as is being a mom. I wake up before everyone else and work until the kids are up. Then I work while the youngest is napping or intermittently during the day if my schedule allows. And then, after both kids are in bed (the youngest goes down at 7:30, and the oldest goes down by 8), and after I get the house all settled and cleaned up, I start back in around 9 and work until however late I need to get everything done.
7. What’s one piece of advice you would give to other moms who want to launch their own business?
Have a plan in place for both how you want to run your business and how it’s going to make money (aka your business plan), but also be extremely realistic about how you can make this work for your family.
I stress the importance of making it work for your family, because at the end of the day, while it’s great to have a business for ourselves and our family, we also have to be present with them – and managing the two is not always balanced. Just really think about how you want to make it work for you and your family, so that you’re happy and not resentful – or that they’re not resentful – of the business you’re starting.
8. As moms and entrepreneurs, we’re always trying to find balance. How do you practice or keep balance in your own life?
Planning and organization are key for me, because I schedule my balance. I schedule my workout times, I schedule outings with the kids, I schedule babysitters so my husband and I can have some time together.
I keep an editorial calendar for the business, so I know what is being published when; I keep a professional day planner so I can see everything in front of me for the day/week/year/etc; and I also keep a personal day planner, because I want to make sure I see the family items separately from the work items.
This helps me separate my life. When I’m working on personal tasks, I’m not getting sidetracked with work, and vice versa.
But planning and organization are also learned traits for me, because I wasn’t born the best organizer. I’m always trying to be better at it. My husband has helped me a lot over the years, because he’s the most organized person I know, and he does more in a day than most people do in a year – I’m serious. But he’s super organized, and I think that is just one of the most important keys to success.
9. What does your average day look like?
I’m up anywhere from 5:30am to 6am, and I go to bed around 10 or 11pm. My day is a non-stop, coffee-fueled, continuous mix of kids, work, and housework.
I generally work in the early morning hours, coffee in hand, before anyone else in the house is up. Then I check back in over lunch and while the youngest naps, and then I hit the computer again after putting the kids to bed, and work until I can’t work anymore. I usually try to cut it off at 10pm, but you just never know how the day will go.
And then, when I’m doing my hardest job– raising my kids – my day is filled with a mix of changing diapers, making meals, getting kids showered and bathed and dressed and entertained and educated, trying to form them into nice little humans, cleaning the house, paying bills, grocery shopping, shuttling back and forth to school, and doing laundry, (I’ve probably forgotten a hundred other things that I do in a day, because mom brain) all while trying to keep myself sane.
10. What do your kids think you do for a living?
Ha! Well, that’s a good question, so I decided to ask my five-year-old directly. He said “I don’t know.” So I guess that’s an honest answer. I actually showed him my website about a week ago, but he wasn’t too interested.
Since my one-year-old is just starting to put multiple words together (he’ll be two in three months), I’m going to guess that he probably thinks my job is to change his diapers and play Hot Wheels or dinosaurs with him, or to just cuddle.
11. It’s often joked about (and many times accurate) that all moms wear yoga pants. I love that LUXYMOM™ encourages moms to keep their style alive through motherhood. What are your best tips for staying stylish through those early years of motherhood?
I have to preface my response by saying that I also own my fair share of yoga pants, and I don’t want anyone up-in-arms thinking I’m saying to never wear yoga pants again. I just prefer to wear them when I’m working out, and I actually don’t find them comfortable to wear throughout the day. I wish I did, because some women can really pull off the athleisure look and make it look chic.
I think that however I can make fashion and style easier and less time consuming for moms, that’s what I’m happy to do – because sometimes it’s hard for busy moms to take the time to think of a bunch of different outfits they can put together. So come to me, and I’ll give you the ideas – you just wear them.
My top tips for moms to stay stylish during early motherhood are:
- Invest in a few key pieces that you actually feel fantastic in – that really flatter your body. As your body changes with pregnancy, motherhood, and age, it’s important to recognize and learn what flatters your body, and to buy pieces that make you feel It will go a long way in elevating how you feel when you get dressed. These key pieces will become your go-to’s.
I have this one peplum tank top that was my lifesaver after I had my second son. It covered my muffin top and squishy belly as I was losing the baby weight, and it was really pretty. I wore it all the time.
- Save yourself time (because NO mom in the history of motherhood has ever had much time) by building a good capsule wardrobe. It’s a collection of basic pieces that can all be mixed and matched to give you a ton of options. I actually wrote an article a while back explaining this and illustrating how 17 pieces of clothing (that you probably already own) can combine to make 288 outfit combinations – that’s enough to literally cover you 78.9% of the year! You can read that article here.
12. Do you ever do one-on-one styling sessions or consultations for moms who might want to hire you to pick out wardrobe pieces for them?
I do, and I’m actually considering adding this onto LUXYMOM’s™ portfolio of services. I’m also working on an exciting technical add-on to the site that will help answer people’s style questions. I’m really excited about that.
For now, I encourage anyone with a style question to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally get back to you. Your questions will also help fuel ideas for new content that I can share with all moms, so I encourage you to please reach out to me if there’s a style issue you’re having. I’m happy to help!
13. What’s one piece of clothing or accessory that every mom needs in her closet?
Wow, this is so hard to narrow down to just one item.
I think it’s absolutely KEY to invest in a good-looking mom-bag. Once we have kids, we have to cart around all their necessities – diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles, sippy cups, toys… I joke that all I used to carry were my credit card, ID, and a few lip glosses, but now my bag weighs as much as I do and it’s filled with Hot Wheels, dinosaurs, diapers, wipes, snacks, sippy cups, you get the picture.
A bag is the final say in how your outfit pulls together. I could be wearing the simplest outfit – like black leggings and a black top – but a stylish mom bag or diaper bag could be THE accessory that makes the outfit.
It’s not something I take lightly, and you won’t see me carrying a frumpy looking diaper bag. You can find a great tote at any price point, from Target to Louis Vuitton, so there’s really no excuse for not finding a stylish mom bag or two.
14. What’s key for pregnant women who want to look and feel stylish?
Pregnancy is sometimes a hard time for women to feel stylish, because our bodies grow in such different ways – even between two pregnancies on the same woman – I would know!
I think women should pay attention even more during this time to the fit of their clothes, and I encourage them to showcase their bump with fitted tops and skinny jeans or leggings. I think it actually has such a slimming effect on the body, and you only get to showcase your bump for a few months of your life, so show it off!
I think it’s also important to take the time to find maternity denim that fits you and feels great. You need essentials like this for your pregnancy, and denim is a foundation of an outfit and a wardrobe staple.
15. What fashion trend are you loving right now?
I absolutely love all the ruffles and off the shoulder sleeves that I’m seeing right now! There are so many amazing styles out there at every price point – it’s so easy to wear these trends, and they’re so feminine.
I’ve seen so many cute maternity tops and dresses that also fit these trends – I just get so excited when I see them out there on all these fabulous moms of Instagram.
16. What does success look like to you?
To me, success is having a balanced life, in whatever way that means for you and your individual life. If I can have a happy marriage, happy kids, a comfortable and clean home, time to workout and recharge, and a business that I truly love, then I feel like I’m succeeding. It’s not so much a dollar value anymore as a lifestyle.
17. What’s next for you and LUXYMOM™?
I have so many plans for LUXYMOM™. This is one of the problems of having a creative mind – it never stops!
First and foremost, I’m continuing to perfect and grow my content so that I’m really addressing the fashion and style issues of my audience, and giving them articles that they actually care about and want to read!
I want to engage with my readers and know how I can help you with any fashion and style dilemmas you’re facing or questions you have. What about fashion and style is important to you, what speaks to you now that you’re a mom, or now that you’re going to be a mom? These are things I want to know and that I want to write about and address on LUXYMOM™.
I have plans to launch a quarterly digital magazine, and eventually a style subscription box and potentially product or clothing – in that order. But my content will always be focused on fashion and style for moms and pregnant women.
18. How can we support you and LUXYMOM™?
Email Me, Actively Read My Content, and Subscribe to Become Part of the Community!
Please connect with me! I would love for everyone here to email me at email@example.com and tell me what you want to read about, what I can help you with regarding fashion and style, and how it makes sense for your lifestyle.
As a thank you for your email, I’ll put you on my special preview list to let you know about new launches before anyone else.
And if you don’t feel like emailing me, that’s okay too. You can just sign up on the website simply by entering your email address here.
Follow the LUXYMOM™ Social Media Channels
While I’ve been on Instagram for a couple of months now, I’ve just launched my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest presence. I’d love for you to follow LUXYMOM on each of these channels, and help me spread the word.
19. Any special offers/announcements you want to share with our Tribe readers?
Yes, absolutely! I’m putting together some fun deals and discounts JUST for you guys and no one else – just enter your email address here if you want in. The more of you that take me up on this, the better my deals are going to be, and I’ll deliver them right to your inbox.
I have relationships with brands that moms like you are going to want to know about, and I want to tell you about them before anyone else – so you can be the ones with the inside scoop on what fashion is hot and what is going to work for you. You’ll also get to find out about my new site features before anyone else, so you can be ahead of the game.
If you’d like to be featured in our “Mom Behind the Brand” series, please email Kristin@momsandstories.com for more information.