California native and celebrity lifestyle designer Wendy Bellissimo has partnered with Destination Maternity -bringing her California Boho chic, down to earth and always comfortable eclectic style to Maternity wear.
Wendy is all about creating products to fall in love with! What started as an endeavor -making decorative pillows in her living room over a decade ago quickly expanded into children’s bedding- bringing sophistication into the nursery. She is regarded as a leading tastemaker in family lifestyle.
Wendy, a mother to four beautiful daughters has defined the idea that becoming a mother is an opportunity to enhance your own sense of style, not leave it behind.
You can view The Wendy Bellissimo for Destination Maternity collection HERE
Wendy-what do you love most about being a mother?
What brings me the most joy with my girls are the simple thing; knowing they are happy, seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter. We play roses and thorns every night at the dinner table and everyone gets to hear the highs and lows of each other’s day. You learn so much and share the good and the bad. It’s one of my favorite things to get to do with them because so much comes out that you likely wouldn’t hear.
How do you balance being a working mom and bringing up 4 children?
First, for the sake of my own sanity, I acknowledge that there never is a perfect balance. Once you accept that and know that you are always doing your best for your family and your business (which is also for your family) then you can take it a moment at a time and get through it all. Also, planning our business to be able to be run from home helps a lot which sometimes works against you because your kids see you there at your laptop or sending a text and they don’t necessarily know that you’re trying to approve a sample or arrange an activity for them. But overall, we find our rhythm and our house is a crazy and happy place.
How do you find time for yourself?
I love being busy, so “me time” means immersing myself in whatever ongoing projects we have – whether that is a redesign of my living room or a collection, like my latest maternity line with Destination Maternity. Being able to channel my creative energy into design is relaxing for me, and this collection in particular was a great opportunity for that.
What’s your favorite part of the day?
Dinnertime through bedtime. I believe it is truly important to sit down together as a family as often as possible and to take that time to connect and laugh or even supportively vent about whatever is our girl’s have on their mind that day. I know, even with my older girls into their teens, that we all really appreciate this and it keeps us close as a family. We also spend a lot of time after dinner just hanging out as they are getting ready for bed. Our girls are paired up in their rooms and we move from room to room where one might be playing the guitar or showing us funny youtube videos or reading together. It’s a great way to end the day.
What is the best advice your mother has passed down to you?
The best advice from a mom is not advice – its setting examples by doing. My mom was a modern woman back in the 70’s. She raised me on her own – not by choice but she rose to the occasion with amazing strength and determination. She set amazing and positive family examples and had a very strong work ethic. Back then she was the only working mom I knew.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Always crazy. In addition to all the ongoing designs I have with Destination Maternity I have products in lots of other categories like nursery décor and baby and kids apparel. I have branded programs I also design for evite and Smith and Noble. Then there’s social media, which I do directly. I am also doing selective interior design projects. And with all this I have to design, review, approve, plan, coordinate. I don’t have an assistant because I’ve found it’s usually quicker for me to just dive in and get things done. So I am up in the morning before the girls. It’s a whirlwind getting them all off to school. Then, by 8 am I am answering emails and doing all that I mentioned above. The girls start to get home around 3 and from 3 to 6 it is still work with the occasional homework question to answer. They sometimes return the favor by giving me their feedback on new designs or ideas (I really do value their opinions and my girls and their friends even want some of the new designs from my Destination Maternity collection coming this spring). Then, it’s dinner and to bed, like I mentioned above and then, once the girls are all tucked away, I am back to work.
What are some favorite things to do together as a family?
The beach (all the girls are surfers). Disneyland. Yosemite camping. Catalina Island. Dinner together. Big pancake breakfast my husband cooks almost every Saturday and Sunday.
If you had more time for you what would you be doing?
Designing! I have loved expanding my line for Destination Maternity. Taking the knowledge I’ve amassed as a mom and applying that to the collection has been an incredible process. I would love to do more of it.
What can you not say no to?
Dinner out with my husband where we share a good steak and he brings his guitar and plays Johnny Cash covers.
What’s your earliest memory of fashion?
My mom wearing tan cork platforms, a powder blue tube top, white shorts and a powder blue and tan scarf. I was obsessed with that. She was tall, thin, beautiful and always so put together! She wouldn’t go out of the house not looking perfect and her home was always beautifully decorated too.
Describe your style-
Having roots in both California and Connecticut, my look is a balance of sophisticated eclectic style with a down-to-earth attitude. In all of my designs, from home décor to clothing, I find a way to incorporate relaxed, approachable style elements without over-complicating a look. I modeled my latest collection for Destination Maternity off of my personal boho-chic aesthetic, incorporating my favorite every day, easy-wearing essentials like billowy maxi-dresses, layering tops, and tribal-inspired sweaters to create a line new moms, and anyone for that matter, can feel comfortable and beautiful in.
What are some of your favorite children’s brands?
For baby and toddler clothing, I love the classic yet fun styling of my own collection. For kids, my girls and I love any kind of surfer wear especially Roxy and Billabong and they’re crazy about tanks from Brandy Melville. For a go to shoe, its Chuck Taylor High tops.
Favorite designer you wish would come out with a children’s line?
I’m not my own favorite designer, but my designs and aspirations grow along with my kids so I’m gonna say “me.”
Most treasured item in your wardrobe?
I would have to say right now it is my Wendy Bellissimo for Destination Maternity Cold Shoulder top. This is probably my favorite piece from my new collection, and I wore it during the launch party, so it has sentimental value. I am very proud of the line, and my brand, and I take pride in each and every piece in my collection because they serve as a reminder that hard work pays off.
What lessons have your children taught you?
That if you step back and give them the space they will truly surprise you. I tried music lessons for them and the structure didn’t really gel with them. Then I find my girls teaching themselves the guitar or piano and writing songs. My second oldest daughter, Cecilia, fought a very serious cancer from the age of 8 – 10 and I learned that kids can be truly brave…not only through her but from all of my girls who struggled along with her in their own ways. I think ultimately I learned that our kids are the best reflections of ourselves and that they have the ability to make you better in so many ways.
and finally…When your children grow up they want to be…
Mostly I think they want to do something creative that can also be a business. They really do recognize the potential of being able to create things and make a beautiful life from it and they definitely have the talent and ability to do whatever they ultimately decide. I think they truly know that the time and effort you put into things really does come back in a positive way.
Thank you Wendy!!