Five x Five: Lele Sadoughi
The Tot FIVE x FIVE invites inspiring mamas to answer five questions on motherhood and curate five products they can’t live without. Here we talk to Lele Sadoughi, Founder of the eponymous accessories brand, and mother of two.
Lele on Motherhood
- When it comes to your career and personal lives, have you always had a ‘life plan’ or are you more of a just-let-it-unfold kind of person? “I have always had a life plan to have a family and be creative, but I never would have imagined how it has unfolded. Working hard and being open to opportunity has led me to a loving family and amazing career in accessories. I am definitely a ‘just-let-it-unfold’ kind of person because I have taken leaps from clothing design, to trims and jewelry, and now all accessories. I moved from Dallas to NY thinking it would be a just short stint for a few years, and 18 years later, I’m still here. I believe you need to do your homework and have your eyes open to see all potential opportunities in front of you.”
- What were your pregnancies like? Any bumps along the way? (No pun intended): “I was in my mid-thirties when I got married and wanted to start a family immediately. I got pregnant right away, had a miscarriage, and then fell pregnant again within 2 months. After my son, I didn’t want to lose any more time and realized it doesn’t always work out, so I tried for a second right away. My daughter was born 17 months after my son. My body had not fully recovered, and I had sciatica during my first trimester when I wasn’t even showing. It was difficult to get around and take care of my son. But having them so close has made them the best of friends. And, they have similar interests, so it’s easy for after school because they are often in the same classes.”
- How has your approach to work changed since having kids? “I had 2 kids in the first two years of my business. It was very challenging, but it worked out because I was working from home and could take breaks during the day to be with my kids. My business grew every year and the older the kids got, the longer they were in school. This enabled me to focus more on work every year when the demand was greater. It was only last year that I had both kids in school all day. I moved my office a block away from school and 2 blocks from our house. This way, I can take them to school and pick them up. It gives me great flexibility to be with my kids and I don’t lose any time commuting. It has always been important for me to be available and to take my kids to school.”
- What is your proudest motherhood moment so far? “My proudest moment of motherhood is seeing kindness from my kids. Learning to be a good person is the most rewarding attribute one can have, and when I see them share and think of others, it means I am doing something right.”
- What do you think is next for the Lele Sadoughi accessories line? “I see Lele Sadoughi as a destination for all accessories. This year, we have expanded from jewelry and headbands to home, sunglasses, hosiery, handbags, belts, and hats. I see this company as a full lifestyle brand.”
Lele’s Tot Picks
“Mom and mini look – I need this for Valentine’s Day! My daughter is 5 and still loves a matching mommy and me look. I want to do this as long as she will let me.”
“Exclusive to The Tot, the Strawberry Print headband is perfect for spring and is a piece that adds fun, flare and functionality to any hairstyle!”
“We love to play restaurant. My son is learning to spell and read and he loves to take our orders on an order sheet while my daughter plays chef.”
“I hope I can always be creative with my kids. Tools like paint kits allow for tremendous creativity. “
- ‘Built by women. For everyone.’ This is hands down one of our favorite taglines of all time and we have Amy Nelson to thank for it. When pregnant with her third daughter in 2017, Amy launched The Riveter, a network of communities and work spaces built by women, for everyone.
- Why do some little girls dream of having children while others don’t think about it at all? We investigate whether it could be genetic and talk to both types of moms…