Annabella Daily, Founder and CEO of Map My Beauty on Starting a Beauty Tech Startup
You look amazing in your Katie Dress! How do you feel in it, and how did the Katie Dress help with you trying to juggle business and mommy duty?
The Katie dress is the most genius piece of clothing I have ever come across! It became an immediate staple in my wardrobe, allowing me to not only look and feel stylish post-birth (I love the loose but chic fit!), but also to easily transition between breastfeeding Miles, and running to a meeting, and coming back for another feed.
I didn’t want to leave Miles for the first few months if I could avoid it, so I even took him with me to the Springboard Accelerator bootcamp four weeks after his birth, so I could feed and cuddle him in between presentations and talks. The Katie dress, paired with a blazer, was like made for this occasion. But beyond business occasions, I have been wearing the Katie dress a lot on the weekends and in the evenings, with or without a cozy cardigan, just to feel pretty! It’s the only dress a breastfeeding mom can really wear!
Was finding an appropriate and stylish wardrobe an issue for you during pregnancy/after baby? What does a company like Mitera mean for working mothers and their style?
I didn’t really want to change my style (which was pretty much all dresses), but when you are breastfeeding, you can only wear things with a quick and easy access to the chest! As it takes a while for your mid-section to return back to normal, you also need things that are not too form-fitting. So my post-baby style has been a lot of Vince leggings and flowy button-downs from everywhere I could find them. Mitera gives an option to actually get chic pieces that make breastfeeding really easy. Breastfeeding alone can be hard enough - it’s a massive commitment that changes how you structure your day to day life - so to have something that makes you feel stylish while making it all bit easier (just zip it down!), is amazing.
You are a mom of Lucas, 2, and Miles, 8 months. What does motherhood mean to you?
Having Lucas brought quite a major identity crises. I wasn’t quite sure how to combine the “old” me and my business ambitions with the “mother” in me. I couldn’t really find good examples of women really doing both, prioritizing both. For me it was a lot about clearly identifying the most important things to accomplish in my business and the most important times to fully be present with my kids, and letting everything else go and being OK with that. It’s was also learning to enjoy both the magical and the mundane moments of everyday as while children thrive on a routine, it’s not always so exciting for the new mom:-) It’s about slowing down enough to notice all the tiny “firsts”; being that aware is an incredible skill for a businesswoman too.
What difference(s) did you notice with your pregnancy, birth story, and/or nursing experience between your two children?
Giving natural birth for the second time was amazing; such a beautiful experience with none of the worries! I highly recommend the Roosevelt Birthing Center in NY, NY and midwife Barbara Sellars! It’s such a gift to be able to be in charge of your own birthing experience and really becoming completely attuned to your body to welcome your baby. The Roosevelt Birthing Center is like having your private hospital wing that doesn’t even look like a hospital and incredible private nurses because it’s hardly ever full. Their nurses set me up for the best nursing experience with Miles: they work with you day and night to help you get off to a good start. With Miles, I set a goal of nursing for 12 months instead of 6, as I had a chance to really plan ahead to make nursing as easy and as comfortable for me as possible. It’s key to being able to stay committed!
What did you find when you returned to work post-baby? Any surprises? What advice would you give to moms transitioning back to work?
As I left the corporate world, albeit a more creative one (Conde Nast), to run my own business, I set out to create a mom-friendly working environment. It was a necessity as I didn’t actually have any maternity leave at all - I had just closed a round of funding! My office is two blocks away from my apartment, and for the first few months, I just brought Miles with me. I waste no time in commuting and even when he’s not with me in the office, I can easily stop by home to nurse. I also requested that the WeWork DUMBO, where we work, build a New Mothers’ Room which they did.
I do wish the corporate world was better set-up for allowing mothers (and all parents) to stay on a successful track while also making family life a bit more manageable. Instead of being a volume game, it should be a quality/ results game. If you are in a position at all to negotiate a flexible schedule and to live close to your workplace, it will make a tremendous difference. Luckily there are companies that do appreciate the talent over face time; two of my mom friends in a more traditional corporate environments received promotions shortly after they came back from extended maternity (which they had negotiated), and one of these promotions even came with a flexible schedule! The more we ask for what we need to make it all work a bit better, and the more we show that it can work well, I’m very hopeful that we can really create change in the way we work and succeed.
As the founder of the MapMyBeauty app, you are elevating the way women interact with their beauty products everyday. Tell us more about it!
If you love getting your makeup done and getting insider secrets to looking your best, you will love Map My Beauty - as now you can get all that right on your phone, completely customized to you. As a busy professional (at YouTube, Hearst and Conde Nast), and as a busy working mother, there was no digital platform to get a luxurious, individual beauty experience like you would in a store. I wanted to discover new brands, get personal look and product recommendations and learn custom tutorials without having to spend a lot of time or energy on - and especially with kids, it had to be on a digital platform! I saw how the beauty customer was in general gravitating towards mobile discovery and shopping and I wanted make it easier and more fun for all of us busy women to get individualized inspiration, recommendations and instruction, with touch-of-a-button shopping, right on your phone. As you see our 5-minute step-by-step tutorials right on your selfie, based on your unique features and preferences, you really never again have to wonder how to look your best.
Find out more about Annabella's revolutionary new beauty app, Map My Beauty here.