Q&A with Morgan Hutchinson of BURU
Mother of two and BURU Founder, Morgan Hutchinson, describes how she and her husband found the courage to try to conceive again after having a miscarriage, how’s there’s really no such thing as work-life balance and why expectations have a way of crushing truly joyous moments, so it’s best to let them go!
Q: What were your pregnancies like and how did they differ from each other?
A: I have been pregnant 3 times—resulting in 2 beautiful babies. The first time around didn’t hoptick, but thankfully, number 2 and 3 were relatively easy. With my daughter, I experienced extreme nausea for a solid 18 weeks, but with my son, it was over at 12 weeks exactly. In fact, it was my “unofficial” confirmation that he was in fact a boy—even before the genetic testing came back. At 37-years old, my pregnancy with him was officially labeled “geriatric”, so all testing was strongly encouraged. Seriously, why must it be called that?
Q: Did you face any issues or challenges with any of your pregnancies? If so, how did you overcome them?
It’s amazing how quickly you become attached to a little soul growing inside you. When we miscarried, my heart was broken. Overcoming the hurt and the fear was challenging. I was terrified that we would never get pregnant again. I also wondered if I could survive another loss if we were actually able to conceive, but experience the same heart-rending results. In the end, I prayed and I pushed forward. While we waited for my body to heal and recover, my husband, Brett, and I decided to focus on each other and create as much fun and adventure as we could—our last hurrah before diving all in to conceiving again. To take our minds off the sadness and focus on the future, we booked an over the top trip to Russia (we were living in Beijing at the time). In St. Petersburg, while indulging in champagne and caviar and strolling through breathtaking art museums and galleries, we reconnected with each other. We relaxed and we realigned. The very next month, back in Beijing, we made our sweet Olive Bee. The next 40-weeks proved terrifying waiting for the other shoe to drop, but each ultrasound got a little easier, and when they placed that perfect baby girl in my arms, I knew everything was just as it was meant to be.
Q: What were your children’s birth like? Did you follow a birth plan?
A: I’m quite a planner—to the extreme of mapping out my outfits for every day or activity of a trip or vacay. But, when it came to my “birth plan”, I didn’t map out a single thing!
I think I’d heard so many horror stories of birth plans gone wrong. I suppose I thought if I didn’t have one, then it couldn’t be wrecked. In a sense, it was my Murphy’s Law strategy. It worked both times, so I very unscientifically recommend it!
Q: Did you attend any labor coaching/birthing classes?
A: Brett and I took a birthing class just before Olive was born. I’m thankful that we did of course, but there is really nothing that can prepare you for the whirlwind of becoming a parent for the first time. I will say though that the absolute most helpful classes were the ones about lactation. Breastfeeding doesn’t come all that naturally to the vast majority of us. I strongly recommend asking for all the help you can get!
Q: Were you particularly conscious of nutrition and fitness during your pregnancies? If so, how?
For 8 months of my pregnancy with Olive, we were living in Beijing. We came back just in time to birth her on US soil! I knew our time there was coming to a close (after 4 years), so I spent my days exploring. This resulted in walking 3-5 miles every day. I also had a prenatal yoga instructor come to our home on really cold days so my body stayed active. The second time around, I pretty much stayed in shape just chasing after my original little one!
Any weird cravings or intolerances whilst pregnant?
If I could have installed a Pink Berry dispenser in our home, I would have totally done it! I also ate at least a pound of fresh strawberries every day until they were out of season.
Q: Talk us through a typical day in your life.
A: As an entrepreneur, every day is a little different, but in a nutshell—we rise and shine early. Brett and I try to wake up at least 30 minutes before the kiddos to have a couple quiet moments together, I make coffee and respond to top priority emails. Once the littles wake, it’s full on “get out the door mode” for school. Brett does drop off for Olive with Baby Schafer in tow so I can power through some work uninterrupted.
BURU is a growing small business, so although each team member has their own responsibilities, we still have an “all hands on deck” mentality. Some days are more focused on new products and design, while others center around marketing and upcoming promotions. In addition to our website, we are expanding our presence with a fleet of sprinter vans outfitted like mobile stores—aka BURU Buses. Our first outpost launched in the South this fall so I’m spending a fair amount of time helping to ensure it’s up and running to its fullest potential!
While Olive is in school, it’s nose to the grindstone, but after pick-up (which I do), we get an after school snack, complete homework and play a bit. Seeing as she is only 5, she’s tired after a full day of school. While she enjoys a little reward TV time (PJ Mask is her favorite right now) and Schafer has his afternoon nap, I’m back to working.
BURU is a legit family business and our kids are growing up in the heart of it. Luckily, we have an amazing team who love on our kiddos, making it much easier and more manageable. It’s chaotic of course, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way!
At the end of the workday, it’s dinnertime, bath time, story time and bedtime. All the times…
Q: What was returning to work like after having your children? When did you begin working again?
A: Ha! There was no returning. I never stopped. In fact, I recall doing work on my laptop as it rested on my pregnant belly during labor after my epidural kicked in!
Q: Tell us about BURU and your inspiration behind it?
BURU is a shopping destination of women’s ready to wear items curated, designed and styled for motherhood. We are mom style made easy! We focus on the practical needs of mothers while offering them on trend, beautiful pieces they love. We have a mix of designer brands (Ulla Johnson, A Piece Apart, Rachel Comey, etc) as well as our own label, The BURU White Label, offering more attainable price points in washable, wearable and easy access to nurse styles.
Q: Who’s your mom crush?
A: Blake Lively. I love her sense of humor about it all, her commitment to her husband and I mean—her hair. Seriously.
Q: Do you truly believe in “work-life-balance”? If so, how do you achieve it in your own life?
A: I really don’t believe in it. I think it will make you crazy trying to find “it”. You have to do what works for you. Not every day will balance out, but if the overall picture makes you feel good inside, then that’s really all you can hope for. I love this quote by JP Morgan, “I can get a year’s worth of work done in 9 months, but not in 12.” Point being, you have to take some time to decompress, then you can hit it hard again!
Q: How to you treat yourself to ‘me’ time?
A: I don’t really do a lot of “me” time. I like time with my husband, so I prefer “we” time. On top of being married, we also run this business together, so it’s crucial that we make time for fun just the two of us. We are heading up to Big Sur next week for a mini getaway to reconnect. No doubt we will still talk about our children and BURU a big portion of the time…but that is just the reality of parenthood and business ownership.
Q: What is one piece of advice your mother gave you that has really resonated in your life?
A: Though it sounded a bit harsh at the time, when I was 16, my mother told me that Prom was overrated. She wasn’t trying to rain on my parade, but rather open my eyes to a bigger picture—letting me know that I would have much more meaningful moments. Boy was she right. The lesson might seem silly, but what I really learned is that expectations have a way of crushing truly joyous moments. Stepping back from what we “expect” and letting life “happen” from time to time can be incredibly rewarding. It may not always look like what we think it’s going to. It may in fact be better. We just have to let it “be”!
Q: Any advice for your children?
A: Love hard. Take chances. Laugh at yourself. Pray.
Q: What are the attributes you find to be most important and that you’d like to impart on your kids?
A: Gratitude. ‘Thank you’ goes a long way—as children and as adults. I also believe that being grateful leads to contentment. This philosophy is a work in progress for me, but what an amazing way to live.
Q: What do you find most difficult about being a mom?
A: Teaching. I’m terrible at it! Olive is learning to read, and I think I am seriously the WORST. I am easily frustrated. Working on making it fun for her does not come naturally to me, so I am really trying to improve every day.
Q: What do you love about being a mom?
A: I love watching them experience new things. Schafer is so curious about everything and he loves to learn new skills. I love that they find joy in the simplest tasks. For example, I was painting a door jam over the weekend and Olive asked to help. I had her cover the brass hinges with painters’ tape. You would have thought I’d given her passes to Disneyland.
Q: How have you changed as a person since becoming a mom?
A: I’m a much dirtier human. AKA—I don’t shower every day. It is what it is. C’est la vie.
Q: Most surprising thing about motherhood?
A: How your heart grows with every child. I’m an only, so I was really nervous about loving Schafer as much as I loved Olive. That was so silly. The love is instant.
Q: What learnings have you taken away from motherhood?
A: Patience and multi-tasking. They do life in their own time. We have to find a way to live in the moments, while also keeping all the balls in the air.
Q: One piece of advice for new moms or moms-to-be that really helped you?
A: No matter what your child is doing, good or bad, don’t get used to it. They evolve, change and go through new phases daily.
Q: Describe your parenting style…
A: I take it day by day. I believe that your parenting style or method should adapt to your child’s (children’s) needs while remaining consistent in message and strong in love.
Q: How does your style of parenting differ from that of your own mom’s
A: Wow—super hard to compare. I grew up in a town of 15,000 people in Kentucky. Our children are being raised in Downtown LA. I went to the same school all 12 years and graduated with 100 people. Olive has already gone to 3 different schools and now attends a Chinese Immersion program in Chinatown. I think our methods are similar at the core, but they look quite different on the surface.
Q: What are your greatest personal and professional achievements?
A: Personal is super easy—marrying Brett and making these precious babies! Professionally, I am so proud of BURU but I know we have SO far to go. The sky is the limit and we are hustling to reach its fullest potential!
Q: Biggest mom fail?
A: I’m not great with doctor appointments. I’m always the delinquent one, getting calls from the pediatrician that it’s time for shots!
Q: Biggest mom win?
A: I’m most proud (and grateful) of Olive’s love for Schafer. It makes me feel like I didn’t totally fail at balancing my time between the two of them. She’s confident in our bond, so she doesn’t feel threatened by mine with Baby Schafer.
Q: Has your style changed since becoming a mom?
A: It’s all about washable clothes now. I’m anti-drycleaners.
Q: 3 wardrobe staples for busy moms?
- A day to night—easy to thrown on dress that transitions from season to season with easy layering.
- Good fitting jeans that feel fresh and on trend.
- Oversized sunglasses (not too pricey) that hide tired eyes!
Q: What’s your favorite weekend family activity?
A: We love long strolls, brunching and museums.
Q: What is your most important family tradition?
A: Last summer we took an epic 10-week road trip across the USA, visiting over 40 states. We had such a fantastic time that we are making it a tradition. We can’t wait!
Q: Describe your children in three words each
A: Olive—creative, sensitive, funny. Schafer—jolly, observant, cuddly.