We’ve always admired Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece for her elegance and poise. Our admiration only grew when the mother of 5 founded her internationally successful eponymous childrenswear brand in 2001 evoking the question, “How does she balance it all?” We’re so excited for the opportunity to interview HRH Marie-Chantal and to learn about how she prioritizes her career within her family life and strives to set an example for her children based on hard work and a healthy home environment. Taking advice from her own father, whose motto is “a full life with courage”, Marie-Chantal has created a beautiful family and a brand that celebrates the playfulness of childhood while also being stylish and contemporary.
Marie-Chantal has stores in London, Hawaii and Guam and retail concessions in Harrods, Le Bon Marché in Paris, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York. She’s recently launched a blog http://mariechantalblog.com featuring everything from recipes to DIY items for your kids and home.
What was the inspiration for starting the line in 2001 and what did you feel was missing in the marketplace?
I was expecting my third child and was desperate to work. I felt that the market needed a beautiful children’s brand, a one-stop shop offering party dresses to jeans all neatly designed in one place.
Marie-Chantal Angel Wing Onesies available here
Did having children of your own affect the type of clothing & product that you offer in the range?
For sure, they were my inspiration and my muses! As they grew the brand grew – it evolved with a broader and more focused offering.
What do you think distinguishes Marie Chantal from other children’s brands?
We talk to the nostalgia of childhood with a contemporary and modern twist for the stylish mother and child.
Marie-Chantal Bib & Blanket Gift Set available here
As a busy working mom (of 5!) what is your best advice for other working moms trying to strike that balance between work and family?
I prioritise. Family comes first and foremost and I always try and strike a balance between work and my family. I keep social engagements to a minimum and try my best to create a healthy home environment. It’s important to be there for them but also to create a work ethic and set examples.
What do you do to carve out time for yourself? Meditation/Exercise/ Nights out with girlfriends, etc?
I love to draw, paint and cook in my free time. Not to mention clean house and reorganize – that’s my form of meditation. I’m a Virgo.
What are some of your specific gadgets, organizational tools or aids that help maintain a stress-free work/family balance?
I created the Children’s Diary a few years back for busy mothers like me. It’s a great tool to keep you on top of all of the children’s activities in one tidy place!
If any, what changes did you make to your work hours/life in order to create more time with your kids?
I usually do 3 full days in the office and two workdays from home. I still have a 6 year old who gets out of school at 3pm. As he’s the last of 5 I feel it’s even more important that I’m super present for him.
With less time to get ready in the morning, what is your go-to look in order to look chic and put together for a full day and possible evening events?
As my husband and I get to go to some super formal events I keep my day to day quite casual. I’m a jeans girl but I’ll dress it up with blazers, pretty silk tops and great accessories. For me it’s all about the hair; if the hair looks good then I feel good.
Are any of your kids interested in clothing & the design process at all? Do you seek their input at all?
My 15 year old is desperate to start his own t-shirt line so he’ll do some interning this summer with us. Olympia, my daughter, will be studying business and fashion next year so I’m thinking it’s in the genes.
What is the most valuable thing motherhood has taught you?
Have you received any great advice about balance or is there any you would offer?
My father’s motto is ‘a full life with courage’. I like to stand by those principals.