We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Schechter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My friends and I had a need. We were pregnant, working, and had nothing to wear. So I decided to design a line of clothing that can be styled and adjusted to fit changing silhouettes. We haven’t seen much newness or innovation in the maternity market for years. Maternity clothes are considered “dowdy.” The quality is poor because people won’t want to spend that much on something they will only wear for a few months. Some turn to non-maternity brands that happen to be maternity friendly but they tend to be more expensive…I know from first hand experience. A lot of designer dresses and tops are also only dry clean only and that is not practical for a mom.
Becoming pregnant is such a special and exciting time. We deserve to feel beautiful and be able to get excited about going shopping for our new bodies. If we’re going to spend money on a new wardrobe, it should be something we can buy now, wear now, and be excited about wearing later. I’ve always appreciated fashion and consider myself pretty stylish. I was never trendy but I knew how to put trendy pieces together. My friends seemed to appreciate my input when it came to anything related to fashion. I also worked in the industry for 15 years so I knew how the business worked. Aside from all that, I just love creating physical, tangible things.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My first job out of college was at American Express. I worked in their marketing department for four years and moved to their Hong Kong outpost to help build the personal online loan business. While in Hong Kong, I started to get the retail itch. I moved back to New York and worked for Saks.com and then Bloomingdales.com. The biggest challenge for me was making the shift from corporate executive to entrepreneur. The most obvious difference is the financial risk. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband who urged me to pursue my passion. Being an entrepreneur is very much like being a parent. Everyone tells you it is hard and you know it is hard but you don’t understand the extent of it until you’re actually in it. I discovered just how difficult entrepreneurialism and motherhood can be at the same time. With both, you are working 24/7. The child, the business….they’re both on my mind around the clock. There was so much to learn because I had to do everything myself. There was no creative department to call. No finance department. There was no department to call for diaper changes or a helpline for screaming tantrums. And even when there is a hotline, you don’t have the ability to listen to the advice because a child is screaming in the background. We were lucky in that we did have the means to hire a nanny. I was also lucky to have work mentors with varying skill sets and access to important resources. The most important lesson I learned through my career is to develop relationships and build a support network. You never know when someone can help you and when you can help others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Assuming that this trip is happening after everyone has been vaccinated….
Breakfast at Nate n’ Als. Order the Tortilla Brie with extra salsa. It is not on the menu anymore but if they have tortillas in the kitchen they will make it for you. Ask for bagels on a string.
Farmer’s Market in Beverly Hills. Spend an exorbitant amount of money on Harry’s strawberries. They’re so good that they air on the side of candy more so than berry. Ride the ponies, pet the goats, walk around and try lots of fruit samples.
Go to lunch at Ding Tai Fung for the best soup dumplings. Ask for extra sauce with everything.
Swim at home. Order Carnies for dinner for the kids.
Go to dinner and a show at the Hollywood Bowl with the adults.
Go to the beach (but early to avoid the crowds).
Get lunch in Malibu Country Mart.
Afternoon swim back at home in the pool!
Disney has to be on the agenda. Spend two days, Rent a room for one night. It is worth it.
Griffith Observatory. One of the early morning shows allows kids.
LACMA. Sign up the kids for a membership and with every kid’s membership an adult gets a membership for free! There is a art center for kids. Eat lunch outside, try all the food trucks!
For dinner, get Ethiopian food from Meals by Genet! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Mom Community! We can come from all tracks of life but now there is a common bond. I don’t think any mom can survive without the support of other moms.