Audrey Pastelero is a self-made entrepreneur. From designing bags (she trained in Milan and at SoFa) to crafting children’s accessories and furniture for her label Fun Nest, she and her business partners have developed new concepts relating to motherhood—like her nursing bra line.
You have a lot of businesses, the unifying link clearly being motherhood. What aspect of this business inspired you to start?
My businesses are a good reflection or indicator of where I am in life. Starting them was also a matter of grabbing the opportunities that were presented to me.
What gap in the market were you attempting to address with your businesses?
They came about because I felt certain needs weren’t being adequately addressed in the market. When I was fresh out of college, for example, I couldn’t find the style of clothes I wanted in any of the malls. So my best friend and I started a clothing line called Moonshine.
You recently started Milk Easy, a line of breastfeeding bras. What’s missing in the conversation about breastfeeding?
For me and for many of my friends, breastfeeding was the hardest part about motherhood. It’s just not as easy for some, while others naturally have an overflowing supply. I had very little milk despite pulling all the stops.
Our difficult journeys in breastfeeding are what inspired me and my friends to come up with Milk Easy and our special nursing bras. We came up with three proprietary features that address these issues: a 2-in-1 pump and nursing bra, a strapless nursing bra, and angled flanges. You’re welcome, moms!
Motherhood and sex appeal aren’t often linked. I’m referring to realistic depictions of motherhood—at least in relation to sexiness, outside of the male gaze. Was this new business hoping to address that?
Yes! There are many unglamorous things about being a mom to a newborn. The least you can do for yourself is look good so you can feel good about yourself. It’s frustrating to have to change your wardrobe to suit your new “pump life,” so we came out with these new bras to address that. We even have a lacy black strapless one!
Right after giving birth, was there a period when you felt you needed to come to terms with your body? Or was adjusting to a postnatal body easy?
You definitely have to be ready to say goodbye to your old, youthful body. It just won’t be the same again. I still wear bathing suits and tell myself I look fine—for a mom, hahaha! A ton of my hair also fell off in the first few months, but I just chopped it off, added bangs, and voila!
What do we need to talk about modern motherhood?
Very few people will tell you how hard motherhood is. I hated motherhood the first three to six months. My baby was colicky, he kept me up all night for three straight months. I couldn’t even take a break from my work and my businesses. Keeping a brave face for the world and bottling it up will just pave your path toward postpartum depression.
Find a support group, and be comfortable in the knowledge that all the negative emotions and feelings you are experiencing are totally normal.
Is there a certain requirement for the kind of beauty products you use?
I have extremely sensitive, skin so I need to be very careful or my pores get clogged and I break out in rashes. I also hate the feeling of thick, oily stuff on my body—we already live in a humid country, I don’t need the extra layer of heat. So, my newest favorite is Dr. Perricone. It’s lightweight and made for sensitive skin like mine.
What are maternity-friendly brands that you admire?
I don’t really believe in maternity wear. I didn’t wear any while I was pregnant. If you already feel so bloated and preggo, why dress like it? Made me feel good to just wear normal clothes, too.
A breastfeeding wardrobe is another story, though. For that, Elin (elin.ph) would definitely be the best brand. The brand is owned by three stylish moms who understand what moms need.