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Journal

THE GLOW: At home with... Monique Lhuillier & kids

03.10.17

Los Angeles, CA

The sprawling, art-filled home Monique Lhuillier has created for her family feels instantly inviting. The designer’s warmth of spirit and natural charm has clearly been passed on to her two children, whose manners rival those of some adults we know. On the day of our shoot, back in 2014, we were greeted by Jack and Sophia who immediately gave us a tour of the swoon-worthy space. Over the past 21 years, the Monique Lhuillier brand has become one of the leading fashion houses in the world, and the woman at the helm has learned first-hand how to create that often-illusive balance between being a mom and being a boss. The company, which Monique runs along with her husband, Tom, was founded in 1996, and is very much a family business. As Monique told us, “When you own a business and have a family, there isn’t the abundance of free time I once had and that can be difficult; a schedule provides balance. It’s so rewarding though to know that they see what we do and are proud of it.” Here, she shows us around her Pinterest-perfect Los Angeles home and shares her thoughts on all things motherhood–from fitting in exercise to incorporating Jack and Sophia into her business.

Monique is wearing a dress of her own design.  

“My husband Tom and I had been married for 10 years before deciding to start a family; we were definitely trying when I became pregnant so we were very excited. I found it doesn’t matter how much you prepare, you can never be prepared enough so you may as well go with the flow. I asked a lot of questions though, read as much as I could and we figured out what worked for us. The second time was a lot more relaxed, and both times a baby nurse was one of the reasons I could go back to work so soon.“

James Nares painting

"I’m very proud of the fact that my kids are so close. Jack and Sophia have created a really strong bond where they are proud and respectful of one another. We’ve taught them to be kind, respectful and caring of their family and those around them and I think it’s important for them to know that they will always have each other.”

Monique wears a dress of her own design

“Kids love routine, so creating a schedule and sticking to it is the only way for me to create a balance. If I can schedule out my day, and prioritize, I can accomplish what I want. I also found that newborns sleep a lot, I was able to take that free time to go back to my design and a healthy balance started early on.”

Beauty…
“My look is clean and natural, and so making sure skincare is part of my daily routine is important. I love Sonia Dakar’s products at the moment and the organic goop skincare line. From there, I use only a few products to enhance; a little Bobbi Brown concealer and a sweep of Dior mascara are my everyday go-to products for a quick polish.“

"One of the biggest motherhood surprises was realizing that my stomach will never be as flat as it once was, no matter how often I work out!”

“Beats headphones and iPads have been life savers on all our travels!!”

“I find it easier to stick to my workout program if I go straight after school drop off. Otherwise my days just get so busy and I end up not working out. I generally do hot yoga twice a week, and a dance class twice a week. After the kids are asleep, I take some time for myself, either a bath or a glass of wine with my husband to catch up and unwind.”

The family’s dreamy outdoor living room.

“Weekends are family time exclusively; we do sports, dance, entertain with other families. Tom and I also try to make sure we have a date night, like dinner out during the week, and we plan fun trips like a weekend to get away to make sure we also have our own time together.”

Gallery wall of family photos.

“I wish I was better at saying no!“

"It was very important to me to feel that I was inviting my children into my world, and not to change my life entirely. When you own a business and have a family, there isn’t the abundance of free time you once had and that can be difficult; a schedule provides balance. It’s so rewarding though to know that they see what we do and are proud of it. My children respect that I go to work every day and still come home to be with them, and they have a mother that they know loves what she does. I love that I can show them that family and a rewarding career can work seamlessly together.”

Hardest part about being a mom: “Knowing I only have a few more years until they only want to hang out with their friends.”

“I’m proud every day to be raising these two amazing little human beings.”

“I have less time in the morning, so my wardrobe has become more simple and classic. My style is less fussy; I like being able to throw something on without thinking. There is always a refined elegance but now there is more of a relaxed element.”

“My pregnancy and birth advice is just to breathe, and everything will work out. Let nature take its course! I had non-C-section births for both children, and I was in the office four days later. I would say I prepared beforehand like many mothers, being healthy and active up to the due date with daily walks and eating well. I also used oils on my skin every day to prevent stretch marks, of which I’m proud to say I have none! After the birth, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed visits and sharing with friends and family; for me it was wonderful to let everyone in and be a part of such a special time.”

Jack’s chore list (which actually seems like a great guide to a happy life) 

“Tom and I travel for business, so when we had our second child, Sophia, the packing and logistics of being on the move took a little more consideration and we had to be less spontaneous. Now that the children are older, we rotate our travel to divide and conquer so we can be where we have to for business and still be there for the kids. I also found that we built an organic support group of friends, and made new friendships through our children that are always there to speak to when there are challenges.”

Best part about being a mom: “The unlimited unconditional love. Since having children life has more meaning; I love deeper, dream bigger, everything is just enhanced.”

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