DESIGNER Q+A – ANGELA TSAI

In honor of this Sunday (it’s Mother’s Day – get on it!), we’d like to introduce our friend and fellow designer, Angela Tsai. Angela is not only an entrepreneur, but also a mother of two little kiddos and a full-time traveler (her husband is Scar in the musical, The Lion King). Angela has designed a product intended to simplify and inspire new moms, but that can worn by anyone. Learn more below.

About Angela:

Angela is the founder and designer of Mamachic Co., whose first piece is an all-in-one scarf designed for new mothers, but to be worn by all. Made with sustainable bamboo fabric and strategically-placed snap buttons, the Mamachic can be used to nurse, burp and swaddle babies; though its wearability goes far beyond it’s function. As a TV host turned mom who travels full-time with her family, Angela saw a need for a product that helped to minimize baby gear while still letting a mother’s beauty and confidence shine through.

What is the meaning behind the name Mamachic?

Mamachic is my earnest, straightforward mission to literally make mamas of the world feel more confident, beautiful and chic. There’s a funny thing that happens when you have babies — those abs you worked so hard in Crossfit to sculpt? Gone. Most cute tops and dresses collect dust during the breastfeeding years, unless their necks are elastic, v-ed or button-down. With lack of sleep, the energy it takes to maintain your appearance is suddenly secondary to caring for your baby.  But it doesn’t have to be that way! I want mothers to reclaim their swag. I want them to embrace their new, strong role with positivity. I want mamas to know they’re beautiful — not in spite of being a mama, but because they’re a mama.

Do you have an ideal customer or muse? Who is he or she?

My muse is Jessica Alba! She’s the outspoken natural mama who seems so effortlessly chic, even when she’s toting her children around. My customers are women who are driven, conscientious about how their purchases affect their kids and the environment. They care deeply about both style and function, and aren’t afraid to pay more for quality. They don’t want ‘stuff’ just for stuff’s sake and are always looking for creative ways to do more with less. They appreciate beauty and define it on their own terms.

Tell us a little about your creative process. How do you come up with new ideas or designs?

I love collaborating creatively. There was something so wonderful about working with my husband Mike, a truly conceptual person, on our first few scarf designs. He’s an actor and I was a graphic designer and TV host previously. Neither of us had any fashion design background, but it didn’t matter — we were trying to solve a problem. Mike felt he needed something foolproof to protect his clothes when our baby would spit-up on him. We brainstormed together on everything. Then I would tweak little details along the way. We were psyched that the Mamachic evolved into something that solved many problems and looked great. Most recently with Factory45, I was able to get off the lonely island of entrepreneurship and bounce ideas off of other like-minded creatives. That’s when the most recent design fell into place and just ‘clicked’.

What does sustainable design mean to you?

Sustainable design to me is the creation of items or processes that will help us all — humans, creatures, the earth — stand the test of time. Whether it be sourcing materials that minimally damage the environment, creating jobs locally to give your community a fair chance at survival, or making a garment that’s durable and can be used in multiple ways; there are so many things we can do every day to make our lives last a little while longer.

You’ve got quite a full and exciting lifestyle! How do you manage to stay so balanced while launching a business, raising your kiddos and constantly moving your family across the country?

Ah, that work-life balance is a constant struggle!  I surely don’t have it perfected. However, my very extreme lifestyle forces me live minimally. We try not to accumulate too much stuff, since we move constantly and travel in our car. Without this ‘stuff’ there’s less to worry about day to day. So that’s nice. We’re truly thoughtful about our purchases. Further, my husband’s job with The Lion King is fairly easy schedule-wise, so he’s able to spend a lot of time with our kids during the day if I’ve got to crank on work. My kids — Max is 4 and Eva is 1 — are pretty adaptable, although transitioning between cities with them and our cat can push the boundaries of sanity at times. But the experience of seeing so much of the country is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This convertible pantsuit from Seamly.co. So many customizable looks, so comfy, so versatile! And of course, the Mamachic scarf would accompany me everywhere!

Finish this sentence. Simplicity is:

Surprisingly easy to achieve if we just stop overthinking so much!

Angela is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for her first production run. Check it out here.

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