Being Mama: Marina Sevier and Chloe Riddell of Marloe London
The co-founders of luxury scarf swaddle brand Marloe London have four children between them. We quizzed them on staying sane while running a business, and why Marloe London scarves are the “Swiss army knives” of parenting products.
Tell us about your scarf swaddles – what was the inspiration behind them?
Marina: Both of us felt that since we had muslins with us more than any other accessory, it would be great to have something practical and versatile that was also wearable, beautiful and felt sophisticated, too. Marloe scarf swaddles are the ultimate motherhood accessory – everything from a scarf, nursing cover to a stroller shade or blanket and even a beach sarong. They’re not just for babies.
Chloe: Exactly! We wanted to create the perfect, luxury present for both a mother and a baby. They are all designed with our signature scallop-stitched hem and all arrive beautifully gift-wrapped. You can have them personalized, too, with a name, date or initials, which makes a lovely keepsake.
What’s it like working together?
Chloe: We are often exhausted but our partnership and friendship enables us to be supportive, understanding and pick up the slack for one another when it’s needed.
Marina: The great thing is that we are in the same boat, sharing the highs, the lows and the pressures of running a business and being full-time mothers with two young children. We know exactly what it’s like!
How did you prepare for your pregnancies? Were there any special routines, treatments or rituals?
Marina: I was lucky in that I got pregnant surprisingly quickly without anytime to prepare or embark on any rituals.
Chloe: During my first pregnancy I was working while moving house; my release was a newfound addiction to foot massages – preferably from a professional (from my husband’s perspective, anyway!).
What were your pregnancies like?
Marina: Both pregnancies were the complete opposite – the first one was nine long and sick months and the second, a breeze. Also, I was too busy with a baby and a new business to give it much thought.
Chloe: For me, they felt similar. I had cravings for fruit and juice, but that was about it.
How about the births? Did you have birth plans?
Marina: No birth plan for me, but did I have a doula – she was amazingly reassuring and empowering. I was completely open-minded about drugs but in the end, I had two textbook [vaginal] births. My philosophy was to trust my body, the midwives and doctors.
Chloe: My first was an emergency caesarean – he was 2 weeks late and showed no signs of wanting to leave. The second was a planned caesarean, which was calm and rather amazing by contrast.
Is there a typical day in your life?
Chloe: No day is the same! We leave the house by 9am with bags and lunch boxes packed for the day, dashing from nursery to playgroup. We spend most of the day out before coming home for tea and baths. Bedtime for the children is often later than I would like… and then I catch up on emails with a glass of wine.
Marina: For me, we all pile out of bed around 6.30am, get dressed and have breakfast together, my husband heads to the office and then my day becomes a chaotic juggling act between work on the go, play dates, nursery runs, synchronizing naps and food. At 7pm kids I put the kids to bed… and breathe.
How do you find balance for your career and your family?
Marina: It is a constant juggling act between the demands of both – but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Chloe: Definitely a constant juggle! But I’m lucky, too – I have huge support from child carers and my husband who gets the children up at 7am most mornings, giving me time to get ready for the day ahead.
What’s one piece of advice your mother gave you that has really resonated in your life?
Chloe: The more you put in the more you get out.
Marina: Tomorrow is always a new start. Children live exclusively in the present. It just doesn’t matter what happened yesterday or what is happening tomorrow. After a tricky day, there is never baggage into the next.
What do you find most difficult about being a mom?
Marina: That I will never know a sleep-in again!
Chloe: That I’ll never be as patient as I need to be!
What do you love about being a mom?
Marina: That children can make even the most eccentric adult seem boring… they are just so amusing.
Chloe: Seeing my children play – peacefully! – together is a real joy.
What learnings have you taken away from motherhood?
Chloe: I now have respect for every mother – whether they try and hold down a job at the same time or not, it’s hardcore.
Marina: There is no room for complacency or smugness. It always comes back to bite you. The moment I’ve shared a triumph about my baby sleeping through the night, he then wakes up. If I’ve claimed that my toddler is a good eater, she’ll inevitably refuse to eat her favorite food on a play date. Also, you can never have enough nappies, milk, patience or sleep!
Chloe and Marina’s maternity style
Chloe: “I lived in my dungarees!”
Chloe and Marina’s Tot edit: must-have pregnancy items
- The Hatch Easy Pant
- Hatch Hospital Box Set
- The Organic Pharmacy Pregnancy and Labor Kit
- And a Marloe scarf swaddle – it makes the perfect light blanket during hot summer nights and pregnancy
Chloe: “I was given a pregnancy belly band second time round and it was a godsend. It offers support whilst also hiding your tummy button and adding much needed extra length to tops. And a Marloe London scarf, of course! A stretch mark cream is essential but any moisturizer is good (I love all things rose-scented). And What to Expect When You’re Expecting was and still is my bible.”
Chloe and Marina’s Tot edit: must-have new mom products
Chloe: “A visionary dip dye Marloe London muslin– the equivalent of a Swiss army knife for mothers! Newborn gentle wipes are an essential – great for you and the baby. We have also had so much use from our travel cot and the baby bouncer was a lifesaver.”
Marina: “It would have to be a Marloe London scarf swaddle – it is endlessly useful and chic, the MOBA basket, Bugaboo Bee in grey, Cybex car seat and an ErgoBaby, by far the most comfortable carrier.”