Moms are famous multi-taskers, and entrepreneur Kristen Ostow is no exception as the founder of clothing lines Southerndoe and the newly launched MessyMa. Southerndoe was born from a conversation with her husband, Justin, who replied to her lament at the lack of great outdoor apparel for women and girls with “Why don’t you make one?” Kristen took the idea and ran with it, developing a successful brand that was carried in more than 100 stores in 16 states and winning the inaugural Young Entrepreneur Program award from The Junior League of Tampa.
We sat down with this dynamic self-starter to hear more about her newest endeavor, MessyMa, her new clothing line that champions young girls, and how she embraces the chaos of life raising kids and companies.
1) What inspired you to create Messy Ma?
When Ella June was only 4 days old, I had to go back to work. Southerndoe, a clothing company I launched back in 2013, had just received an incredible order from Bealls Department Stores. It was an amazing opportunity and although I knew it would be tough to leave her, I kissed my newborn and headed into work. During one of my 3 a.m. feedings, running on about two hours of sleep and covered with spit-up, I realized that the sooner I embraced the tired, the imperfect, the messy house and the unwashed hair, the happier we would all be. When both Ella June and I finally fell back to sleep, I had a dream that I began making tees that were super soft with encouraging messages and girls were telling me how happy these tees made them. When I woke up, I started drawing out ideas for my second brand: Messy Ma.
2) As a mom-trepreneur, how do you do it? How do you find balance?
Well, I am still practicing. Balance is a word I’ve prayed for peace with. Some days, I win as a Mama. Some days, I win as a business owner. And some days, I lose at both. But then I wake up the next day, and I try all over again! I have been blessed with an amazing team of women who work alongside me daily. They have such contagious energy and I couldn’t do it without their assistance.
3) What is your ultimate Mother’s Day?
Spending the entire day with my husband and daughter just taking it slow. I love being outside – so time outdoors or by the water would be great! Maybe enjoy a really good latte too.
4) How can people order your product?
We launch MessyMa.com May 1. Customers will be able to shop all our designs along with pretty gifts I curated from brands I love! They can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram @messymadesigns