Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ali Landry - Fashion Icon, Mommaista & a True Inspiration!

Ali Landry is no longer just known as Miss USA - she is a super-mom and a smart business woman who gives us great inspiration. She is quite amazing! We are more than thrilled to see her collection this weekend during New York Fashion Week and were so happy we had time to catch up with her before the show! Ali tells cupcakeMAG editor all about her super-chic line, Belle Parish, how she stays so fit and manages it all as a mompreneur while filling us in on a few things we don't know about her! 

You daughter is just beautiful! How has life as a mother changed you

Thank you:) Besides finding my wonderful husband, becoming a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I have never experienced as much joy and happiness in all of my life.  

I also love the bond that it has created for myself and other moms.  I feel as though I am now apart of this super exclusive club of women whom are all sharing the same experiences and are showing up to support each other in so many ways.   It is humbling. 

I have 3 girls and we just adore your line! I especially love the dress with the Cupcake! Where did the inspiration come from for Belle Parish? 

The inspiration for Belle Parish comes from my business partner's and I's southern upbringing and what we were taught as kids.  It's all about nostalgia, charm, being a lady, classic style, etc.

Belle is the inspirational character of the line, and she lives in Belle Parish--a world of simpler times.  I think that in this recession, our ideas about dressing children really resonate with people.  Most people are going back to the basics , thinking about how their parents did things, and Belle Parish represents the sweet simplicity of life.  

Starting your own collection is definitely work! What challenges did you face, if any starting up? 

First , I want to start out by saying that I have so much respect for all of you momprenuers out there.  I knew that by starting my own business it was going to be work, but I had no idea how hard it would be.  With that said, I am also enjoying every minute of it.  From the beginning we always knew that we didn't want to do just children's clothing.  Our goal is to build Belle Parish into a lifestyle brand.  That is my dream, and has been for a very long time.  

My business partner Annie Kate and I started this business with our own money , our office is out of my garage:)  We do everything from customer service, fabric sampling, shipping and receiving, bagging and tagging our garments, designing our website and running it, to selling to buyers at trade shows.  I do in store appearances for the boutiques who carry a large inventory of our product, and the list goes on and on.  This business is our baby and we have been there every step of the way and are loving it.  

What is next up for Belle Parish? Would you ever consider starting a women's line now that you have Belle Parish under your belt? 

Right now we are in major fashion show mode.  We are taking care of all of the last minute details to premier our new collection in  Elle Magazine, Style 360 and Beauti Control sponsored fashion show in New York City during fashion week.  It is such an incredible opportunity...we are so excited and of course a little nervous.  

This next year, what we are focusing on, is finding the right partners to help us to grow the Belle Parish Brand.  We see Belle Parish Lifestyle Brand expanding in apparel, accessories, a book series, dolls, and DVD's.  We would also like to expand into children's bedding and furniture.  We want to help parents create and environment where their children can grow and they can manage what comes in and out of that environment.  Not all parents have the time or resources to create the world they want their children to grow in, which is why many parents depend on products and services to help nurture that environment.  Belle Parish is about more than just products.  The ultimate goal of creating a world like Belle Parish is to place importance on values, family and relationships.  We want to nurture these ideas in children so that it's not a nostalgic thing of the past , but an idea of the present.

You have so much going on -- family, work - the biz! How do you balance it all

That is the million dollar question, right? All I can say is that I am trying to figure that our every day.  It is definitely a daily struggle.  It seems like something always falls short, whether it be not spending enough time with my husband and fulfilling his needs; not always being fully present when I am with my daughter;not giving enough focus to my business because I have so many other hats to wear; or even not having enough "me time" so can rejuvenate and be by best for everyone else.  The guilt is always there, but i try not to beat myself up about it.  i try so hard to do my best, and I know that some days I will do a better job than others. I feel very blessed for the life that I have, and at the end of the day, when push comes to shove and I have to make a choice--family wins, hands down

Okay, so we have to ask. You look amazing! How do you stay so fit

Before Estela , I would work out 5 days a week but I had a horrible diet.  Now, I eat much better, 3 healthy meals a day and 2 snacks.  Sometimes I will supplement one or even two of my meals with a protein shake when I am on the go.  I also try to drink 80 oz of water a day.  Water is my saving grace.  It curbs my appetite , helps digestion, and keeps my skin looking pretty good. Unfortunately I don't get to the gym as often as I would like, but when I do go, I feel amazing.    I guess I just have to make it a priority again.  I know there are no excuses...I just have to do it.

When running out the door do you have a go-to-outfit?

Well I guess it depends where I am going.  If I am working from home, picking up Estela from school, grocery shopping , cleaners and running errands.  It is usually a loose fitting dress and flip flops or skinny jeans, a cute t shirt and ballet flats.  If I am going to a meeting, it is usually nice jeans, heels, a cute top and a blazer.

You have accomplished so much! What is up next for you? 

I have lots of other wonderful things brewing on the business side that I am really thrilled about, but right now I am focusing on having a successful Fashion Show in New York and then I want to have some much needed quality time with my family.  

Past jobs: Cleaning my moms hair salon once a week for $20, salesperson at a high end women's boutique, selling Beauti Control cosmetics (it is how I put myself through college)

Pet -peeves: Negativity, everytime I go to the movies I eat popcorn with butter and m&ms , and I don't feel guilty about it.


I am passionate about architecture and design.  In most of my dreams, I am designing a room

I have 18 sets of aunts and uncles and 47 first cousins all living within a 30 mile radius in Louisiana.

My favorite food growing up was my grandmothers rice and gravy, I always licked my plate clean.

I love people who are positive and passionate about life.  

I took Industrial Arts for 4 years in high school and built all of the furniture for my bedroom.

I lived in Mexico and  studied Spanish there in order for me to be able to communicate with my in-laws.

I am from French and Spanish decent.  Both of my parents spoke french before they spoke English.

I got a modeling contract when I was 19, moved to Paris, then New York, but ended up not liking it very much, so I moved back to Louisiana and went back to college.

I was a tomboy growing up.  I spent all of my time with my Dad on a tractor and at the dairy farm.  

I try to drink 80 oz of water a day

I love to go grocery shopping.  I  go down every isle to see whats new.

Breastfeeding my baby was my favorite thing in the world.

I am scared of sharks and ghosts.

I love acupuncture

I climbed Mount Fugi in Japan

I still talk to my mother every day.

I want more children, God willing.

I very rarely say no to dessert.  

Stay up-to-date with all things Ali!

See! We told you she was an inspiration and did we mention her FABulous style! We will make sure to bring you all the great coverage from the Belle Parish show on Saturday at New York Fashion Week! 

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