A: In January of 2020, about 5 years after launching Mestiza, I announced I was pregnant for the second time. Mestiza’s website was really ramping up and we were starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel after what had been a very grueling half decade.
Twelve weeks into my pregnancy, I became sick with a virus which would later be formally diagnosed as COVID-19. New York City shut down, the stock market crashed and events were canceled. Ale and I panicked as we watched our first baby, Mestiza, start to waver…and I was about to go on maternity leave during what was one of the most tumultuous times in history and for our business.
Not only is there that lingering stigma of women and pregnancy in the workforce that was haunting me but, what was bad proceeded to get worse. Two weeks before my due date, I had a transient ischemic attack and was rushed to the hospital. The aftermath included crippling anxieties over the health of my unborn baby, my own health, and how I would be able to care for my business and family if I were to be debilitated.
As soon as Clementine was born, I sobbed tears of relief. I had delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I wanted so badly to be there for her and her big brother Elliott. The thought of being unable to care for my babies, who needed me so badly, was more than I could bare.
My dad said that sometimes you need a wake-up call to get you back on track. I think becoming a mom was that wake-up call for me. Having a second baby was huge change for me. I had to face the music that I was overwhelmed and to stop pretending like I had everything under control. While it was painful in the moment, looking back, I am so grateful that I’m ok and that I was able to work on myself. I focused on my health, streamlined my priorities and continued to educate myself. In doing so, I made space for more love in my heart and more clarity in my head. I went back to work more inspired and focused than ever. Mestiza is now growing and thriving, even more so than pre-pandemic levels. Of course, this has been truly a team effort with Ale overseeing my side of the business while I was on maternity leave, her beautiful designs, and our passionate colleague’s contributions. I feel so proud to be part of this incredible team and can contribute to this amazing (and resilient) collaboration that is Mestiza!