We have been a huge fan of the textiles created by New York-based Caroline Z. Hurley for years now. Caroline has produced a lovely portfolio of textile designs and paintings that focus on simple abstractions and thoughtful use of negative space. Her design philosophy has been rooted in the belief that a grounded space can allow for more freedom and movement in the outside world. We are inspired by her creation and use of beautifully made and intentional products.
We were honored to have had the chance to ask this mama of two girls Penny and Juni and textile designer / maker some questions on motherhood, creating and business ownership and how she handles them all at once. In addition to reading on for some stellar advice, we recommend taking a look at her work. She has so many lovely fabrics to offer for kids, big and little - not to mention some exciting new launches in the works!
Q: Can you share a bit about what your family looks like as well as your work as an entrepreneur? How and when did your journey as a mother and business owner start?
A: I had my first baby in 2020 and I started my business well before that in 2012. To me there is a pre-babies business and a post babies business. I want to split my time between working and motherhood and there are only so many hours in the day so since my babies (I have a one year old and a three year old) I have really focused the business on fabric by the yard. It feels GREAT to have one core design task rather than having many sales channels and many DTC (direct to consumer) products, and while I still feel strapped for time, it does feel tackleable!
Q: Do you have any favorite childhood toys, games, activities or even spaces that stand out to you?
A: I love my mom's vintage montessori toys. She saved everything for my girls and they are so lucky! The designs are so beautiful so I don't mind having them strewn around the house.
Q: What is hardest for you to juggle or balance right now? Have you found any hacks that are helping?
A: Man, it's all hard! I have found that the hardest part of the day is from 3pm to bedtime. I finish work at 3pm and go pick up from school and it feels like a whole new "work day" begins. I have found the best solution to this time of the day is preparation. So, if I am able to prep dinner and an art project before school pick up I find the evening to be smoother. I try to have a couple activities that involve paint, clay, cutting and pasting etc. This gets the girls engaged in a (somewhat) independent way.
Q: I feel that being a mother often pushes you to embrace something that may not have initially come easily. For us it’s embracing the play and the mess. What might it be for you?
A: Motherhood has taught me to embrace going slower and stopping to smell the flowers. It's hard getting out of the house with two small girls and I've found when I am in a rush the process is way harder so I always give myself extra time so that the girls can take their time to do things.
Q: What are your favorite activities or places to enjoy with your little(s) nowadays?
A: I really don't like playgrounds, they stress me out. If we're not playing at home, I try to sign the girls up for music classes and dance classes in the neighborhood.
Q: If you are into quizzes and whatnot, do you care to share your horoscope?
A: I am a scorpio.
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a vet! I LOVED kittens. Ha!