Rachael Desztich is the founder and designer behind Rachael Harrah, a line of simple, elegant and insanely beautiful clothing that is meant to accent a busy woman’s life. She’s also the mama to two minis: Wynn, age 4 and Mar, age 8 months. We spent the day with her at her LA home to glean some advice about being a mom, an entrepreneur and staying creative. Because we’re all about life hacks—and sharing them with you.
How did you start your own line and what you were doing before? Rachael Harrah is all about foundational pieces for simplified dressing. After my son was born, I had a very clear moment where I realized that if I don’t create this brand now, I’m never going to do it. So, I went for it! Motherhood has always been at the forefront of my brand vision, because as a mother I struggled to find my uniform both during pregnancy and postpartum. I strive to make pieces that are functional and beautiful, that will work with every stage of motherhood.
What do you find to be the biggest challenges of parenthood? In this attention economy where we’re always “on” and always connected there are so many demands on our time, it’s important to me to be present with my children when I’m with them. I find it a constant battle to do so.
Do you have any personal parenting hacks you rely on to overcome some of these? Leave your phone in a different room! This is such a small, easy thing to do, but it makes a huge difference for me. Also, getting outside. Especially without a plan. We always discover something to get into, no devices or screens needed.
“It’s important to me to be present with my children when I’m with them. I find it a constant battle to do so.”
What are your "parenting essentials"? I consider myself more on the minimalist side of things when it comes to stuff. But here’s some of the gear + products that I’ve found really helpful during these early months with baby number two:
Rachael Harrah Short Sleeve: A great breastfeeding-friendly button-up shirt that I can wear day after day is so essential for me. This one makes me feel put together, works with my changing postpartum body, and is machine washable so I don’t have to worry about spit ups.
Solly Baby Wrap: I couldn’t get through the day without my wrap. I have my hands free to tend to my older son and do things around the house. And I swear this thing is laced with sleepy dust it’s a total lifesaver for naps at home and on the go.
Hauptli Haus Kids Nuscheli Scarves: I always have at least one of these on hand. I use them as burp cloths, spit up wipes, bibs (now that Mar is starting solids), and I also like to tie one on her to wear as a scarf when she’s teething and drooly. Plus they’re super soft, easy to wash, and organic + compostable.
Five Year Journal: I love how easy it is to write one or two sentences a day in this journal to record the memories of what my kids are up to, without the pressure of filling out in depth prompts. It’s quick and so special to look back on.
Nucifera Balm: I use this everywhere: on my face, my hair, my body, and even on Mar!
Baggu Pouch Set: These are so helpful for keeping organized when I’m on the go. I use the big one for Mar’s diaper stuff, the medium size one for my wallet and “purse” things like lip balm, a protein bar and keys, and the small one for makeup. I toss them in a bigger bag as needed.
Doddle & Co Pops and Chews: I spent weeks picking up pacifiers from dirty floors. To find one that automatically shielded itself was a game changer for me! Plus, Mar preferred the hospital soothie nipple and I love that the Pop had the same nipple, making it a very easy transition. I can’t wait for her to try the Chew now that she is teething!
Library Card + Libby App: I love to read and always keep a book queued up for late night feedings and winding down in the evening. Our local library is an incredible resource for ebooks and audiobooks, all for free. If you haven’t read the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, that’s a great series to download.
Eating dinner as a family: Okay, this isn’t an object, but sitting at the table together every evening is such an important part in our family rhythm. It’s grounding and gives us the chance to reconnect each day. It hasn’t been easy with a baby, but it’s still so worthwhile.
"It’s so easy to feel discouraged and 'not enough' as a mother, especially for me this second time around."
What makes you feel like you're winning at motherhood?
Radical gratitude. It’s so easy to feel discouraged and “not enough” as a mother, especially for me this second time around. Flipping the script to reframe frustrations and disappointments has helped—instead of “she’s awake already and I’m exhausted” I’ll reframe this to “I’m so grateful to be able to feed my beautiful healthy baby”. It’s not always easy, but it helps me keep the hard times in perspective. It also doesn’t hurt to hear my son say “Guess what mama? I love you.”
What makes you feel like you have a lot to learn?
Every single day with my children. They are growing and learning and changing so fast, I’ve really embraced being a beginner when it comes to motherhood. I’m constantly surprised by them.
What are the wisest words uttered to you by a child?
Lately Wynn has been telling me “Don’t worry Mama, that’s just how nature works.” It’s been surprisingly profound in our conversations about life.