Entrepreneur and CEO of Parachute, Ariel Kaye has had a whirlwind year! Herein she dishes on her first baby (Parachute), opening new stores, the excitement of getting married (then pregnant on their honeymoon five days later!), plus her thoughts on a very of-the-moment topic—maternity leave. @arielkaye @parachutehome

Girl or boy?

I’m due February 5th, and I am having a girl.

What’s your current state?

Today I’m doing pretty good. It definitely varies from day-to-day. I recently took my last flight of pregnancy and am so relieved to be spending the next few months grounded, focusing on relaxing, nesting and getting our home ready for our baby girl.

It’s been a big year for you…what was your journey to pregnancy?

This has been a very eventful year! I got married in Mexico on May 5th and pregnant in the days that followed while on our “mini-moon.” We were not quite trying, but we were open-minded and hopeful that we would get pregnant at some point this year. Considering my life is typically quite stressful, perhaps being on a beach and wholly disconnected with no shortage of tequila may have played a role in the fact that we conceived on our first try.

   

As an entrepreneur, how do you anticipate the transition into new motherhood and maternity leave given your important role at Parachute?

Parachute is my first baby, so the idea of maternity leave has been hard for me to wrap my head around. But it’s a hot topic and perhaps the question I get asked most these days. 2019 is going to be a big year for Parachute packed with many exciting launches plus store openings, and even if that wasn’t the case, I could never fully check out or disappear for months. However, I want to make sure that I’m taking time to be completely present for my baby girl and family when the time comes. I would hate to rush that process and regret it down the line. Therefore my plan is not to have a plan. I’ll likely be out of the office for 4-6 weeks, do weekly calls and be checking in on email. After which I’ll ease back into things…but honestly, who knows! That could all change, and I’m trying not to be too rigid, set unrealistic expectations, or cause any disappointment to myself and others. I really have no idea what to expect.

I am also fortunate to have the support of two sets of grandparents who live only a few minutes away of which I plan on taking full advantage of their help so I can take care of and nurture myself throughout this process.

Do you think it will be important for your child to grow up with her mom working and running her own business? Do you think this will positively impact him/her?

I grew up with a mom who very worked hard and still does. She loved her job, but she also managed to pick my sister and me up from school, attend all of our events and performance, plus cook dinner every night. I am confident that my mom’s hustle and passion for hard work played an essential role in my own work ethic. Personally, I can’t wait to tell my daughter all about my unique professional journey, and I look forward to sharing the lessons I’ve learned along the way, plus how rewarding it’s been for me to build the Parachute brand. I hope I can inspire her to dream big and know that anything is possible.

On how you launched Parachute and what’s next for the brand?

I was a super consumer of home goods, and when it came to bedding, I couldn’t find a single brand that was high quality, affordable and easy to buy. I also felt that no one had an association with brands when they purchased their sheets. As someone who built brands in advertising, I recognized a real business opportunity and a serious void in the market. This was when I had my “aha” moment!

In 2014, I launched Parachute as an online-only, direct-to-consumer company focused on creating excellent bedding products. We’ve since expanded our product offerings beyond the bedroom into many areas of the home, including bath, tabletop, nursery, gifts, and decor.

In 2016 we opened our first brick-and-mortar store in Venice, CA, and now we have five store locations and one pop-up, plus we plan to open 20 stores by 2020.

Do you think that motherhood will change your perspective on your business or the way you work?

I most certainly do – I hear from other mom friends that your efficiency increases tenfold. That sounds wonderful and productive!

Have you been working out throughout your pregnancy—if so, do you think this will help you in labor or get your body back post-pregnancy?

I love working out and have been able to stay very active throughout my pregnancy. I work out five or so times a week plus take long walks with my dog Lox as often as possible. For me, it’s just as much about feeling good physically as it is about feeling good mentally. I’m very hopeful that this will prove helpful during labor and after.

   

What are you craving this pregnancy?

I’ve been craving fresh fruit. And carbs. I went from eating no carbs, sugar or dairy at all leading up to my wedding to basically just eating whatever feels right at the moment. And that often looks like a pizza.

What does a regular day of eating look like to you?

There isn’t one! Early in my pregnancy when I was feeling nauseous, I ate a lot of crackers, pretzels, and french fries. As fun as that was, I’m glad to have a more varied meal plan at this point. I have felt a significant change in how quickly my food digests as pregnancy has progressed and so I’ve tried to be mindful of that. Overeating is extremely uncomfortable, so I do my best to stop at the earliest signs of being full which is SO hard to do when you’re starving! I try to drink a lot of water and have at least one serving of vegetables each day. It makes me feel better about the inevitable carbs and the daily desserts that I’ll be eating (being pregnant around the holidays is impossible!!).

What’s the first thing you want to eat post pregnancy?

All the sushi. All of it! It’s my favorite food and I’ve missed it terribly.

What has been your go-to pregnancy style?

I’m all about comfort – pregnant or not – so that’s definitely stayed consistent. For the most part, I exclusively wear dresses, jumpers, or overalls with clogs or flats.

Do you think it’s essential for women/moms to take time for self-care?

Oh my gosh yes! Self-care is critical to your well-being and happiness. Whether it’s sleeping, taking time to disconnect from work, having a great meal with friends and loved ones, getting a massage or making an effort to prioritize simple daily rituals and routines – making yourself a priority is key.

   

What’s been your number one wellness secret throughout pregnancy?

Massage. I started getting a lymphatic drainage massage almost weekly at about 20 weeks. I couldn’t recommend this more.

Feel about your body and boobs?

Watching my body change has been a very surreal experience. I am blown away by how my body has morphed into my baby’s home and find myself doing a double take in the mirror more often than not. As far as my boobs go – they have always been, and now they are even bigger! I’m in denial that they’re only going to keep growing once the milk comes in.

Any advice…

Be kind to yourself and others!

   

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