FIVE X FIVE: Sarah Robinson + Noria Morales
Here we talk to entrepreneurs Sarah Robinson and Noria Morales about juggling motherhood and their latest exciting venture, The Wonder, a members-only club for parents that’s beyond your wildest dreams.
Sarah + Noria on Motherhood
- When did the seed get planted for The Wonder and how did you bring it to fruition?
Sarah Robinson: “When I had my son Henry I quickly found that if we wanted to go out together we had to choose something for kids or something for grownups. There was nothing for both of us. It was either a kids class with no place for parents to sit or a restaurant where he was immediately bored and I wolfed down my food to get out as fast as possible. There was no space we could go as a family and truly feel engaged and at ease. It was in one of those kids classes that I first had the idea for The Wonder.
Coming from a fashion background at MAC Cosmetics, and MADE Fashion Week I knew there was so much more that could be done to weave pop culture and creativity into programming that was engaging for both kids and adults. At the time so many community spaces were popping up, and yet there was nothing for parents, one of the biggest and most diverse communities on the planet. It dawned on me that no one has branded parenthood. No one has created a compelling brand story that I feel authentically connected to as a parent.”
Noria Morales: “Sarah first came to me with the idea for The Wonder about 1.5 years ago. As a working mother, I knew Sarah had tapped into a much needed concept, and I was instantly excited to partner with her to bring it to life. Professionally, I have always worked in fashion in some capacity- first in editorial as an editor at Lucky Magazine, then Popsugar, then I was at Target as head of design collaborations – which came into play with The Wonder when we began thinking of brand partners for the physical location and beyond.”
- What type of support systems do you have in place to take on so many awesome projects?
SR: “We surround ourselves with incredibly positive people who cheer us on. No energy vampires allowed. When I first started raising money for The Wonder I was 6.5 months pregnant and only had five hours of childcare a day. Once we raised the seed round I was able to transition into more full time childcare which was transformational for the amount of work I could take on.”
NM: “We both have incredible husbands who are both super engaged dads, and very supportive partners. We also have full-time caregivers five days a week. It’s an investment, but it’s worth it because it allows us to be fully present in our work.”
- How has motherhood changed your outlook on life?
SR: “When I was in my twenties, if I needed to get something done at work I would just stay late. Now that I have a family to go home to I am out like trout at 6:30. It’s important to me to spend time with my kids morning and night. I’ve learned to work smarter not longer.”
NM: “It’s helped me understand the importance, complexity and purity of love. Having kids introduces a whole new level of love and it’s changed the way I think about and build relationships. I’m more empathetic to all people, even those not related to me.”
- Do you envision The Wonder finding homes in other cities around the world?
SR: “We’re looking at ways to bring The Wonder to people in more ways than just physical space. Absolutely there is a global roll out plan, but you might see The Wonder pop up in some interesting ways that don’t necessarily include a physical space. ;)”
NM: “Yes! We’d love to add additional locations in New York City, and then expand across the country. We are already getting such an amazing response from parents who want us to come to their city, so I’m excited to see where The Wonder takes us.”
- Besides hanging out at The Wonder, what are your favorite family-friendly activities to do in NYC?
SR: “One of my favorite things walking around the block after dinner with the whole family and our bernedoodle, Wallace. In the summer we get ice cream and count fireflies in the park nearby and in winter we look up at the stars and see our breath in the air. Henry, my two and a half year-old, always provides great narration.”
NM: “Visiting the Botanical Gardens, going to a theater matinee- New Victory Theater is great, eating tapas with my kids at Boqueria, hanging out on the West Side Highway for a picnic (we like Pier 26 in Tribeca), and picking out books at Books of Wonder in Flatiron.”
FIVE Picks from The Tot from Sarah
- Tender Leaf Toys peacock colors: “Because I always tell Henry to look at the world through rose colored lenses.”
- Lullaby Set red & navy plaid set: “Because I love dressing up my little lady.”
- Baghera Speedster Rosalie Citroen: “Sunday drives with Henry are the best.”
- Louloulollipop ebi sushi teether: “I love to encourage Louisa to try new things!”
- Twee unicorn horn sidewalk chalk: “Because why not try a game of family hopscotch. Bonus, my kids think unicorns are real because we had one at our launch party!”
FIVE Picks from The Tot from Noria
- Loog guitars – mini: “My kids are a little older now, so it’s all about play. My youngest Hugo thinks he’s a rockstar so this Loog guitar is perfect.”
- Maison Deux eyes rug: “1000% obsessed with these eyeball rugs from Maison Deux. Do I even need kids to have them in my house?”
- Oli & Carol origami boats: “I like to give little gifts that are both sophisticated and silly. This origami boat is right up my alley.”
- Light + Nine DIY patch set: “I try to encourage self-expression, and style is one way. Patches are such an easy way for kids to assert their personality- and they are great gifts!”
- Hatch Women’s Taylor jumper: “So I haven’t been pregnant in over six years, but I still wear a Hatch jumpsuit because it’s so comfortable and can be dressed up or down. I pair it with big earrings and strappy sandals.”