MOMS & TOTS MAGAZINE chats with Rashmi Budhram, the designer behind MOMMA COUTURE™ — the stylish diaper bag collection. Most women would agree that handbags and shoes are top priority luxury items. When you’re a momma you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style. Rashmi’s collection offers versatility, durability, and great style. These bags really do take you from diaper bag duty to a carry-it-all for your pre-schooler to your favorite bag du jour. SHOP MOMMA COUTURE™
Q & A
MOMS & TOTS MAGAZINE: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MOMMA COUTURE™ COLLECTION. WHAT SETS IT APART FROM OTHER DIAPER BAGS?
Rashmi Budhram: Momma Couture is a line of fully insulated Momma & Poppa bags. The bags use neutral colors and classic body styles, making them fashion forward. The insulation in the bags help keep baby wipes moist and contents of bottles/sippy cups at the right temperature. There is a unique on the go wipes pockets within some of the bags so that parents can simply store the wipes directly into the appropriate pocket. There is also a fully insulated wristlet — Momma’s Wristlet — which was designed to keep wipes moist or snacks fresh while on the go. Both the unique on the go wipes pocket and Momma’s Wristlet eliminate the use of plastic boxes or plastic bags traditionally used to store wipes and snacks. Also, items are kept warm or cold for up to 4 hours.
The other main feature that makes the bags unique is that they are CPSIA compliant. What that means is that all the materials used to create the bags — fabric and hardware — meet the CPSC lead and phthalate requirements mandated for apparel, toys, bottles and other items used for kids 12 and under. Kids put everything and anything into their mouths and the thought of a child putting a piece of the bag in their mouth and having lead/toxins emitted into them just didn’t sit well with me.
Currently, we have two (2) fabric options to choose from: the Linen and Leather collection, which is in-stock (and available for sale online), and our smooth nylon – or Everyday collection – can be pre-ordered now for March delivery.
MOMS & TOTS: WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?
Rashmi: My kids, of course! After I had my first child I could not find the right diaper bag for my needs. I was trying to use my own bags and of course spilling milk in them and ruining them – not good! I wanted something that could keep the snacks and milk I was always carrying around all at the right temperature. I also wanted something stylish of a neutral color. Many of the bags in the collection are small enough to be carried as an additional bag to your own. A lot of the women that I have spoken to wanted to carry their own handbags around after a certain point and just needed a little bag for their kids’ stuff. Hence, the design of my first bag, the Momma’s Helper. Soon after this inspirational design came the Stash & Go and the designs kept coming after that.
Rashmi Budhram with her kids
MOMS & TOTS: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE COLLECTION?
Rashmi: My goal is to expand the collection with products that are great extensions to the current collections with a steadied growth. Stay tuned. The one thing that I can assure is that all of the Momma Couture products will remain CPSIA compliant!
MOMS & TOTS: WILL YOU BE INCLUDING MORE STYLES, AND ARE YOU CONSIDERING EXPANDING THE BUSINESS TO INCLUDE ACCESSORIES?
Rashmi: Yes, I will definitely be adding more styles! I have been working on some fun designs and look forward to releasing them at the right time. Not sure if the line will expand into accessories, but of course you never know! I have also been working on new projects and can’t wait to introduce them to the collection. And, of course, I can’t wait to introduce it all to those Momma & Poppas out there!
MOMS & TOTS: DESCRIBE A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WORKING MOM OF TWO.
Rashmi: Hectic and I can confidently say that no one day is the same! Two kids and owning your own business definitely brings something new everyday. But if I had to describe a typical day it would start a little after 6am. Once my few morning minutes are up the fun begins. My daughter (Anjali 4) and son (Arin almost 2) are up and running early in the morning. I’m usually chasing after them trying to get them dressed and fed so I can drop my daughter off to school. Once my daughter is at school, depending on the day, I’m either off to a meeting in the city or back to my office to work or design. I try to balance work with my kids schedule’s as much as possible so when my kids have activities that they need/want me at I can be there. For example, I take my son to a Mommy & Me Together Time program which he attends at a local school in our neighborhood during the week. It’s some of the best couple of hours of my week—I get to see my son interacting with other kids his age, explore new concepts/toys and just run around and be a kid! The rest of my day looks like any other working Momma’s day. I’m always running around trying to get everything done during the day: making dinner for my kids, spending quality time with them before they are off to bed, enjoying dinner with my husband, and ultimately relaxing. I would love to say I turn myself off after normal working hours but it seems I’m never not thinking about my work.
MOMS & TOTS: WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL STYLE SIGNIFIER?
Rashmi: Interesting question. I’m not a big risk taker in fashion and really keep things pretty simple. I just like to make sure I’m comfortable. Right now I’m wearing jeans a lot with cardigans and silk blouses under them. Silk seems to be one of my new favorite materials. It makes me feel a little dressed up and the material is flowy so it’s comfortable. I always try to wear one thing to make my outfit not so basic-a piece of jewlery, belt, blouse, etc. Let’s just say I prefer to wear things I’m comfortable in so you’ll never find me in anything that hugs my body too much or 8 inch heels!
MOMS & TOTS: WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU BOUGHT AND LOVED?
Rashmi: My ipod!
MOMS & TOTS:IS THERE AN OBJECT YOU WOULD NEVER PART WITH?
Rashmi: A long gold necklace my mom gave me a few years ago. I remember my Mom wearing it a lot when I was kid. I would sit on her lap and play with it.
MOMS & TOTS: WHAT ARE YOU EYEING NEXT?
Rashmi: I’ve been eyeing, for some time now, a Chanel classic flap bag. I love the construction of their bags and how timeless they are!
MOMS & TOTS: WHAT HAVE YOU DISCOVERED LATELY THAT YOU WOULD CATEGORIZE AS “THE FIND” OF THE MOMENT?
Rashmi: Am I allowed to say the Momma Couture satchel bag? Aside from this satchel bag, part of the Nylon Collection, I’d have to say that “my find” of the moment are chunky necklaces. I love how they can take an outfit from boring to WOW!
Satchel Diaper Bag in Eggplant
For more information, check out MOMMA COUTURE™ bags online. You can buy the bags online or visit select retailers across the country for their famous Luxe/Linen and Leather Collection. Stay tuned for MOMMA COUTURE’S Nylon Collection due out this March. I’m personally eyeing the Grey Satchel diaper bag!