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We first met Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves in the kiddie pool at one of our favorite Santa Barbara getaway spots when we complemented her on her daughter’s swimsuit.  Upon asking who made it, she confidently offered up that it was from her line Marysia.  Already a fan and owner of their Palm Springs Bikini, we were excited to learn more about the woman behind the brand.  Elegant and poised from her long years of ballet training, we quizzed her about how she started the collection, secrets to running the successful swimwear company while raising her two young daughters and if a universally flattering bathing suit really exists. Read on as she divulges:

 

How would you describe your personal style? 

Well, my children’s needs come first…so if I look like a disaster in the morning, at least I got my daughter to school on time! YAY!
 
How old were your daughters when you started Marysia? 
 
I only had my eldest daughter at the time and she was six months old.
 
As a busy working mom, what is your best advice for other working moms trying to strike that balance between work and family?  What is your biggest challenge? 

I hope someone can give me the answer as I struggle with this everyday.  I’m trying to move my parents here to help out.  It means I must hire more people but until you are making real money and have to do everything yourself, it’s a real struggle. Both my children and my business are important to me.  If not for the business we wouldn’t have the life we have for our children so it’s a real struggle I hope to solve one day.

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A model wearing the Balboa Maillot

As a mom, which age do you think has been most challenging in terms of finding enough time & energy to balance everything? 

Ha, my age or kids age??  I don’t think it makes a big difference as there are always important parts of both mom’s and children’s growth.

What does your typical day look like?  Schedule-wise.

Being woken up by my little one, getting the girls ready for the day, taking them to school.  Some days I get to go for a workout and my husband takes the kids to school, then I work until I have to pick them up and take them to a sport or something.  We try to eat dinner as a family at night and then get kids ready for bed.  We usually pass out with them…then i wake up and get myself ready for bed. Sometimes if we have the energy we watch something on Netflix , although its been months!  See?  Are you tired yet???

What do you do to carve out time for yourself?  Meditation / Exercise / Nights out with girlfriends, etc? 
 
I try to have a girls night once a week.  I sneak in a facial once a month during work hours and I do pilates with my employees twice a week to start the day.
 
How do you balance your time between work, your child and nurturing yourself? 

I go with the flow…my husband and I take turns.

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A model wearing the Broadway Bikini

What was the impetus for starting the brand?  Was there something specific you felt was missing from the marketplace? 
Yes, there were not many boutique brands that took a fashion forward approach to swim and really seemed to care about how women felt in their designs.
Is there a swimsuit style that is universally flattering? 
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Working in swimwear especially, what sort of messaging do you think is important to communicate to your daughters about body image and confidence? 
 
I really try not to talk about needing to lose weight even though I feel that was instilled into me in professional ballet school.  I strive to lead by example and be healthy.  
 
As you live in Venice, what are some of your favorite things to do with your kids?  Any favorite spots? 
 
We are still pretty new to Venice but we like going to the beach, getting ice-cream from the Van Leeuwin truck on the weekends.
 
What are some of your specific gadgets, organizational tools or aids that help maintain a stress-free work/family balance? 
 
I-calendar but i need to use it better.
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Marysia with daughters Elle and Antonia

 
If any, what changes did you make to your work hours/life in order to create more time with your girls?
 
I don’t have a set thing I do but I did attempt to take Fridays off last school year…didn’t always work out for me as there is always something pressing.
 
To what do you attribute your strong work ethic?  What do you hope your children learn from watching you work & run your business? 
 
My parents are both hard working in their own ways and my professional ballet school experience of rigorous practice in both life and “work” had major influence in how I am today. Having kids young has definitely made things more challenging because there is only 24 hours in a day and I like to do everything well.  It’s nice to have an involved husband to help with cooking and taking take of our pets.  I hope our kids realize that.
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Blogger Chriselle Lim with daughter Chloe both wearing Marysia

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? 
 
I like the natural look and i use RMS Uncover Up and bronzer to even out my skin tone and add a sun kissed look.  A little mascara and I’m good to go.  I usually wear my hair in a braid or bun.
 
What are your wardrobe essentials?  Do you have a daily uniform?
 

I just paired down my closet to only my very fave pieces.  I love high waisted everything.   I don’t really have a uniform but i love clothes and so I mix it up…it turn out I always seem to match the collection I’m working on designing.

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What is the most valuable thing motherhood has taught you? 
 
I have learned that taking care of my own well-being is most valuable to being a good mother.
 
What has been the most surprising thing about becoming a mother? 

The love you feel…I knew I would love my kids but you just don’t expect it to be so strong like nothing you have ever felt before.

What are your 5 Must Have Mom Essentials? 

Sunscreen

Neem Oil – It works on everything!
Peanut butter and Honey
 
Images provided by Marysia Swimwear

 

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