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Meet this week’s BCB Mom IRL (in real life!) Natalie Alcala, mom of 2, and Founder and CEO of Fashion Mamas — the first and leading members-only community for dynamic and diverse mothers who work in fashion and creative industries. This “power mom” and freelance fashion editor prides herself on leading a community that boasts a judgment-free spirit, productive networking opportunities, essential career support, and social justice efforts.
Name: Natalie Alcala
Kid(s) and Ages: One son named Diego who is 5 years old, and one daughter named Rio Rose who is 17 months.
Where do you live? Los Angeles
Cameron Jordan Photography
Other than a mom, what do you do? Natalie Alcala is the founder and CEO of Fashion Mamas — the first and leading members-only community for dynamic and diverse mothers who work in fashion and creative industries. Celebrating its fifth year in business, the network features nearly 600 members worldwide and garners a combined social reach of more than 15 million followers. Named a “Power Mom” by Red Tricycle and “LA Power Gal” by Los Angeles Confidential, Natalie has led her community to become widely coveted in the motherhood space for its esteemed member roster, judgment-free spirit, productive networking opportunities, essential career support, and social justice efforts.
Natalie is also a freelance fashion editor, and her work has been featured in a variety of noteworthy publications, including Vogue, Elle, Refinery29, Racked, Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, LA Magazine, LALA Magazine, and Blackbook Magazine.
What’s your background? How did you get to where you are today? I’m a former fashion editor. I launched Fashion Mamas when my son was 3 months old, as back then (five years ago) there were no relatable resources for modern, creative mothers who wanted to engage with like-minded women.
What are the five things you never leave home without (other than your phone)?
Besides my phone, keys, and wallet, I always have on me:
1) Big gold hoop earrings by Bagatiba,
2) My favorite red lipstick – “Major” by Sunnies Face
3) Hand sanitizer or wipes
4) Airpods for on-the-go podcast listening
5) FM tote bag because all moms end up at the grocery store at least once a day!
If there were one product or service that’s helped you survive motherhood, what is it? Organic squeeze pouches! Both of my kids have loved fruit/veggie snack pouches since they were babies. My son is five and still loves them. When I need a snack on the go, I know I can find a stash somewhere in my car. My son is vegetarian and my daughter and I are vegan, so when we end up at an event without snack options for them/us, I can just pull out a pouch and problem solved.
What are the three most useful products you loved when you had a baby? I loved my Sakura Bloom baby carrier for my second child! So much has changed in the five years since I had my son! Now that the motherhood movement is in full swing, the products on the market are just beyond amazing. When Rio was born in 2018, it was so easy to get her and I comfortable product-wise — from that chic and effective baby carrier to our beloved Beaba Babycook food maker to the incredibly lightweight Babyzen YOYO Stroller.
What’s your go-to easy family dinner? We all have different diets in this household, so it gets a bit tricky because everyone’s meal is a little different. I’d say that Mexican food is an easy dinner for us because everyone here enjoys rice, beans, avocado, and tortillas!
How do you balance it all? Do you have any #momhacks to share that makes this easier? I don’t have to balance it all, and as a lifelong perfectionist, I’ve learned to embrace that! It’s all about the small victories; instead of setting yourself up for disappointment by building a bottomless to-do list each day, start small and strive to tackle just three big tasks each day. For organization, I use Google Calendar, Trello, iPhone Reminders, and Google Spreadsheets — I have a spreadsheet for everything and it’s borderline hilarious but it’s how my brain works!
Talk to us about mom guilt…do you have it? How do you combat it? All the time! I love to work and I am passionate about my career, so when I’m away from my kids to focus on business, I’m hoping that I’m not missing an important milestone. And now that I have two kids, a new layer of stress is worrying about whether or not I’m giving them each an equal amount of attention and alone time. I’m learning to be gentle with myself and realize that their happiness and growth are proof that me and my husband are doing just fine!
What is one thing no one really knows about you? Oooh, I love a trivia moment! Here a few: 1) I’m allergic to strawberries and tomatoes, 2) I’m a former underground hip hop head (my nickname on the big bad streets of North Hollywood was “Mz Natalina”), 3) I named my daughter Rio after the Duran Duran song, and I named her when I was a little girl, hoping that one day she would exist!
What message do you think every woman should hear? Your only competition is you, and you’re doing an incredible job. The pie is big enough for all of us to share and uniquely thrive.
What motivates you most? My first thought was “any Rihanna song,” but mostly my kids. 🙂
What’s at least one regular family routine you have implemented to keep your family running smooth? Eating dinner together with no phones allowed has been a really sweet, wholesome way to connect each night. It doesn’t always happen and my husband or I find ourselves eating over the kitchen counter in a rush to accommodate the kids, but we do the best we can.
Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? My 600 Fashion Mamas members across the world. They motivate and inspire me constantly, and I thank the universe each day for giving me this calling of nurturing community.
What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? There is literally no playbook for your individual baby. You’re going to figure it out, I promise. Instinct is going to kick in as soon as you hold that baby, and you are going to know what works for that individual human. Trust your instinct. Also, enjoy the sleep and solo outings before baby arrives. Life is about to change forever, so cherish being selfish!
When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I work out, listen to podcasts, drink smoothies and go for a long walk, do something beauty-related like a facial or manicure.
Natalie Crane Photography
Katee Grace Photography
Check out Bump Club and Beyond for more moms we love! Are you doing something amazing that we should know about? Or do you know someone who we should meet? Be sure to email us with your recommendation at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
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