Marin Milio is the co-creator of the custom women's clothing line, AprilMarin. In addition to launching her company two years ago, Marin recently became a mom for the first time. She talked to us about how she balances both her burgeoning business and new baby.
 
1. First off, congratulations on becoming a mom! How has your life changed personally, with the arrival of Grace?   
 
A baby changes your life because you no longer live for yourself. I do make a conscious effort though to incorporate her into our lifestyle as much as I can (for example- rather than not going out to dinner with friends, we go and bring her along!) There is no doubt that your lifestyle will change in many ways but your life does not have to drastically change if you have a good support system and friends and family that are willing to pitch in and help out! For me, it is very important to spend quality time with my husband at least once a week (date nights) and reconnect since it is easy to get caught up in baby talk, sleepless nights and changing diapers. Spending time with girlfriends is also a must!
 
2. Can you tell us a little bit about how/why you started April Marin? What were (and continue to be) your goals for the business? 
 
We started AprilMarin solely as a hobby at first. April and I met at Pace University in a marketing class and always toyed with the idea of having our own business one day. We would meet up once a week after graduating and brainstorm different ideas. We are currently speaking with some great boutiques and department stores about carrying AprilMarin and we are super exicted about that!
 
3. While you were pregnant, lots of great stuff began happening with your new business, was it hard to juggle the physical demands/drains of pregnancy with the increase in workload? 
 
I would say it is a little more challenging now having the baby to juggle the physical demands of the increased workload …although I got extremely tired during the end of my pregnancy, I had an unusual amount of energy most of the time which worked out well in terms of working! Luckily, I have a fabulous partner (April) who steps in when things get hectic — it has been really great having a partner with a new business — it’s  great to bounce ideas/goals, etc off of each other. Coincidentally we were also both pregnant at the same time, which was a blessing for me because I had her to lean on and someone who understood my crazy cravings!
4. Since Grace was born a little early, you noticed it was hard to find a selection of clothes for premies. Did this Get you thinking a baby/children's clothing line might be in the future for AprilMarin? 
 
It did cross my mind I must say! We have been working on a Mommy-and-Me line of accessories that we plan on unveiling in 2011.
 
5. How has your work life changed now that Grace has arrived? Do you work out of your home? And, was it hard to leave Grace the first time you had to attend a work-related event or was it easier than you thought?
 
Luckily, I am able to do most of my work from home aside from our events during the holidays. Initially, it was a little strange leaving Grace for the first time for events but it was nice to be back into somewhat of a “groove” and to have contact with the outside world — it felt like a mini vacation, although I did really miss her.
 
6. Has maintaining a work-life balance been a hard or easy transition for you? And, how is it for your husband?
 
I’d say at times it has been easy and other times harder … Humor is key to get through a busy work day … it is important to take a minute when you get overwhelmed and laugh at the lunacy of your life! We do it all the time! It’s funny I think the transition was a little bit easier for my husband since his day to day life did not change all that much … he is not a big fan of the middle of the night feedings but all in all it’s been an easy transition for him so far!
 
7. Can you give our moms some advice for great post-pregnancy clothes to wear? Say, an outfit for running to the store, one for work and one for going out that might be forgiving (they can be from your collection or others you like). 
 
Post pregnancy clothes … leggings worked very well for me — they go with any outfit and can be worn casually running out to the store or dressed up for going out at night with a pair of boots or heels. Also, the AprilMarin Dylan Ruffle Jacket and the AprilMarin Liberty Cape are staples in my wardrobe. They are perfect to throw on and they can easily dress up or dress down an outfit.  
 
8. Do you have any advice and/or words of wisdom for moms who are looking to start their own business? 
 
The best advice I can give is to do something you love so it doesn’t feel like “work.” Give yourself time to figure out what you want and then do serious research and planning to map out your action steps. It also helps to see how others in a similar position/field got started and read about their stories. Also, surround yourself with positive people that are supportive and encouraging and believe in yourself! Confidence is a woman’s best accessory!
 
9. What item can you not live without for Grace? 
 
The best thing I have found so far is the BUNDLEME blanket for her car seat…it’s like a built in soft cuddly blanket that keeps her warm and zips around her while she is in her car seat/ stroller..I swear she is so comfortable that she usually falls asleep and doesn’t make a peep!
 
10. What item can you not live without for yourself?
 Wine … haha!
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