We’ve all been there… wanting to maintain our individual style, while needing to adjust our wardrobe to suit our changing pregnancy body. It can sometimes prove challenging to find maternity wear that fits our new shape but still embraces our desire to look and feel good. So it’s with a high-pitched squeak of excitement that we share with you new maternity wear label, Mama Muse! You could say Mama Muse is Stephanie Bailey’s fourth ‘child’ – she’s laboured away over many months curating the perfect collection of maternity wear staples.
Inspired by Stephanie’s years in London and then Singapore, the now Sydney-based mum wanted to give women like her urban essentials that would not only work for their pregnant bodies, but well into their mum life. She’s thought of everything – premium, breathable fabrics, versatile colour palettes and easy nursing access – all while looking super stylish.
We recently caught up with Stephanie to get the inside scoop on Mama Muse…
When did you first get the idea to create Mama Muse?
It all started four years ago when I was pregnant with my third child, Louis. Whilst maternity wear had come a long way, I still found it hard to find good quality pieces that reflected my own sense of style and could be worn post pregnancy without looking obviously maternity or like nursing clothes.
In 2015 I began properly laying the foundations for Mama Muse and by early 2016 I had trademarked the name and tagline, “Cool, coveted maternity wear”. With no formal design training, it all came from a place of passion, instinct and my own experience as a mum. I started researching the market, sketching designs and spent the best part of two years perfecting samples and obsessing over what pregnant women around me actually wore. The goal was to create a universally flattering collection of high quality, contemporary styles that could be easily worn pregnant or not, justifying the investment.
How would you describe the brand in a nutshell?
Our maxim, ‘Motherhood – new era, still you’ encapsulates the brand’s ethos. We’re all about premium quality, street fashion-inspired maternity and nursing staples that offer the perfect blend of comfort with cool factor. Pieces that transcend pregnancy, can be styled with your existing wardrobe and still make you feel like, well, you!
What have been the biggest challenges in creating a maternity label?
Probably the same challenges that face any new, self-funded start up. Funding is surely one of the biggest obstacles to growth, especially when you’re starting out. It underpins everything – your ability to promote the brand, develop new lines, engage the help of others and improve customer service. Secondly, time – I’m pretty much a stay at home mum with three kids under the age of six. It’s a daily struggle to find dedicated pockets of time to focus on my family, the business, the house, the general admin of daily life (myself!?!?) … the list is endless.
What sets Mama Muse apart from other maternity labels?
The emphasis on bringing longevity to maternity wear. Creating a collection that is timeless but with an element of edge – clothes that are relevant now but also years down the line for future pregnancies. Empowering women to breastfeed with confidence. Most of our styles have been adapted to allow for discreet and fuss-free nursing access.
It’s important the brand is synonymous with quality and thoughtful design. These are clothes that will be worn on high rotation and need to look polished despite repeated washing and a changing silhouette. We incorporate clever design details that go beyond simple ruching, such as hidden inner bust layers, flexible nursing-friendly necklines, soft shirring, delicate pleats, pockets, zip details, the use of double-layered fabric – they all add functionality and interest.
Lastly, Mama Muse is an independent brand, advocating responsible ‘slowly’ made fashion, that cares about women. Since launching we have supported mothers2mothers, an international NGO that unlocks the potential of women in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate paediatric AIDS and create healthy families.
As a stylish mum of three, do you have any hot tips on how to look good without too much effort?
Get the foundations right and invest in quality basics you’ll wear again and again. Having a small armory of well-cut stylish staples makes a big difference. Use accessories and statement pieces to add edge and personality – a little leopard print here, a pop of colour or bold jewellery there and you’ll achieve that ‘styled’ effect in a flash. Oh, and a pair of stellar sunglasses is a motherhood must – anything by Celine or Illesteva usually does the trick!
All photography courtesy of Mama Muse.
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