The Moms of Credo Beauty And their major baby-boom.

By Colleen Crivello

We’ve got a thing for moms (obvi), so when we heard that five ladies from our fave beauty retailer (that also carries HATCH Mama) were becoming moms around the same time, we knew we wanted *all* the deets. Enter: Credo Beauty, the San Francisco based brand who’s having a major baby boom!

Today on Babe, meet superstar teammates Emily Koko, Michelle Connelly, Lydia Kandel, Dana Esterkin, and Laura Frances as they discuss raising (and making) babies. Plus, the power of working for a company that supports mothers and work-life balance, and how their Credo Mamas Slack channel is where it’s at.

It was an absolute dream to get to sell in the doors of our favorite clean beauty retailer and even better to get to work with these incredible mamas.

Lydia Kandel

Adorable as ever and new mom to one, Lydia, the Senior Director of Marketing Credo, gets real on all things motherhood. Plus, catch her clever self-care beauty hacks like masking during bath time. Genius.

Current mood?

Thrilled the vaccine is rolling out, and 2021 is here! I’m dog-tired from working, mummying, cooking, cleaning! 

Balancing your role with work?

It’s a juggle, that’s for sure. But I have to say that I am super grateful my small child isn’t in school yet! We’re fortunate that our nanny share has still been going through the pandemic, which allows me to work during the day. My hours are a little shorter than usual due to everyone’s schedules, so I tend to jump back on the computer to answer emails at night – not a good habit but then again, there isn’t much else to do. The biggest bonus of not going to the office right now is that I can see my little man in the middle of the day to say hello and grab a quick kiss. 

Experience with your colleagues becoming new moms all together

We have a little slack group that we use when we have questions or find little life hacks. It’s lovely to be in such great company with coworkers that understand those sleepless nights/early morning wakeups and why you might have a fist full of yogurt on your shirt. All in all, Credo has been super understanding if Teddy pops up on the screen or starts screaming in the background it makes life a lot easier knowing that I don’t have to hide my personal life. 

Wellness hacks?

The few new additions to my life are 1) masking during bathtime. I apply 27 Rosier Ready Selfie Go Instant Mask while Teddy plays in the tub, it’s perfect since the bathroom is already a bit steamy. 2) I’ve started drinking The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost– all you do is add a spoonful to water, and I swear it has rejuvenated my skin in the few short weeks. 3) For the nights that are a bit shorter because someone woke up at 4 am, I apply Alpyn’s Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel while brushing my teeth- it’s a game-changer, and I look refreshed and had a nice 12-hrs of sleep. 

One hope for the next generation?

Been thinking about this a lot lately, it’s tough to pick just one. I hope that starting now and going forward, we seriously reduce the amount of plastic consumed in this world, it’s a product that does not ever leave this Earth, and I fear one day we’re going to have more trash than living environments. It’s lofty, but I think with perseverance and innovation, we can do it! 

Lastly, any advice you can leave us with? 

In the last 1.5 years, the one thing I’ve learned is that everything with babies and toddlers is temporary – thank god! I was so worried that Teddy would never give up the bottle or the pacifier until he went to college, and voila – 3 hard days, and he did it all by himself.

“Thrilled that the vaccine is rolling out and 2021 is here! I’m dog-tired from working, mummying, cooking, cleaning!”

Dana Esterkin

Looking gorgeous at 38 weeks pregnant, Dana, the E-commerce Merchandising Manager at Credo Beauty, gave birth to her baby a few weeks. Here, she gives us the lowdown on transitioning to her new life (hello, exhausted) and her go-to prenatal fitness app. 

Current mood?

When we shot this feature, I was 38 weeks pregnant and have since had my son, who is now 4 weeks old! That said, I am learning something new every day, in awe, watching my husband become a dad and transition into this new life. And also, I’m tired, very tired!

What was your experience being pregnant during COVID?

I found out I was pregnant the first week of lockdown in March and was already working from home. For the most part, I spent my entire pregnancy dealing with the unknown of COVID and how it would affect and continue to affect our lives. During this time, being pregnant definitely had some benefits, such as not commuting to work, sneaking in naps when needed, and living in sweats! 🙂 However, there were some downsides as well – I had to tell my dad the news we were pregnant via FaceTime, instead of in person, and the same for a lot of my best friends. Plus, my husband and I had to be extra careful on outings to the grocery store because the risk seemed so much higher with another vulnerable life involved.

Thoughts on maternity leave and balancing your new role with work?

I am enjoying my time off and feel lucky to have this moment to focus on being a mom, which takes all your focus! When the time comes, I will be eager to get back to work, plus a schedule (that is not decided by an infant), and contribute to my team again – though I know when the time comes, it will be tough!

Experience with your colleagues becoming new moms all together

It was awesome being able to discuss pregnancy products together. Moms know best, and I have reached out when I have a question during these early weeks. We also have a ‘Baby Mamas‘ Slack channel where we share tips, advice, and pics of the little ones.

Fitness while pregnant?

I worked out almost my entire pregnancy. I was an avid “gym-goer” and runner before getting pregnant and lockdown. With gyms closed, I stuck to at-home workouts and runs to a nearby park. During my pregnancy, I ran up until about 33 weeks. For workouts, I downloaded the app FitOn (it’s free!), which has tons of prenatal fitness. I did those up until about 38 weeks pregnant, along with stretches and pelvic floor exercises.

One hope for the next generation?

I really hope the next generation is just kind to one another. Simple as that; there’s so much negativity and animosity in the world. Kindness and understanding could go a long way.

Lastly, any advice you can leave us with?

Always do what works for you. Do what works best for you and try not to read into what ‘they’ say too much. Educating yourself is great, but every mom and every baby is different; don’t focus too much on internet opinions.

“We have a ‘Baby Mamas Slack channel where we share tips, advice, and pics of the little ones…moms know best!”

Emily Koko

Pregnant with her second, Emily, the Merchandising + Operations Associate Manager at Credo Beauty, dishes on pregnancy through Covid with a toddler. Plus the silver linings (like no pants or commutes), learning the power of small moments, and why every Zoom meeting at Credo begins with ‘how is everyone feeling and how are the babies?’.

Current mood?

Good! My pregnancy has flown by with Baby #2. I can hardly believe I’m already in my third trimester!

Experience being pregnant during COVID?

It has been interesting, to say the least. I am trying to go about my day-to-day as normal as possible, with extra precautions. The most significant difference for me between this pregnancy and my first is working from home. I would not say it’s the silver lining of COVID, but it has certainly made things a little bit easier. Plus there’s the added bonus of avoiding having to squeeze my belly into pants.

Thoughts on maternity leave and balancing work with your new role as a mom of a toddler and an infant?

I am fortunate to work for a company that is made of working moms and really supports us. I recently read an article about the small moments for a child. We can get so busy and focused on our own tasks that it can be hard to pull away for even a second. But, it really just takes a minute, or even a few seconds, to take a moment for your child. To us, it may be an insignificant second to look up when they say “Mom! Watch me!”, or engage when they want to pretend their baby doll needs to use the toilet. But, to them, those moments are important. Those moments become the memories of their childhood and influence how they engage with other people around them and us. So, I try to remind myself of that when I feel like I’m failing at balancing work and motherhood. I dont need to spend hours/days creating elaborate, memorable experiences to be a good mom (although those are nice too when we can). Sometimes it’s just the small moments that can make their day. That being said, it is never easy to leave the baby and go back to work! I’ll probably start considering a move to Sweden in those last couple of weeks of leave ;).

Experience with your colleagues becoming new moms all together

Yes! We have a Credo Mamas slack channel where we share pictures, tips, links to great resources. Everyone is super supportive and continuously checking in on each other. I don’t think I’ve had a single team zoom meeting that didn’t start with, ‘how is everyone feeling, how are the babies?’. It can be challenging to be a working mom at times, so it’s great to work with supportive and understanding women, even if they are not moms themselves.

What is one hope that you have for the next generation?

Empathy. I think so many of our problems can be solved with a little more compassion.

Lastly, any advice you can leave us with?

This one is for the new mama’s and papa’s – don’t let other people’s opinions and judgments affect you. Is your baby crying in the middle of the grocery store, and you’re afraid people will be disturbed? Forget them! You handle your baby the way you want to. There is too much mom-shaming out there!

“I am fortunate to work for a company made of working moms that support us.”

Laura Frances

New mama and Marketing Manager at Credo Beauty, Laura, shares her path to pregnancy and the loneliness of expecting during Covid. Plus, her daily routines and hopes for the future.

Current mood?

Happy! Tired. Stressed. And a little overwhelmed (#2020) but feeling happy, grateful, and weirdly at peace. 

Path to pregnancy? 

After two years of hardship and obstacles, we went through IVF and couldn’t be more thankful for what medicine can do these days. 

Experience being pregnant during COVID?

It was lonely and stressful at times. Lonely because I couldn’t connect in real life with my family, girlfriend, or other moms. Stressful because all our classes to prepare for birth and life with a newborn were canceled, so we had to find different ways to learn. And at one point, there was also doubt on whether my husband could accompany me at the hospital for the birth (thank goodness he was able to)… but at the same time, it allowed us to build our little cocoon and spend a LOT of time just the two of us before baby’s arrival, which is priceless!

Thoughts on maternity leave and balancing your new role with work?

I came back from maternity leave 4 months ago, and I’m not going to lie; it’s been an adjustment. The exhaustion is REAL. So is mom brain, by the way…it takes time to get into this whole new rhythm and find what works for you. I feel lucky to be in a company led by strong women (who are moms themselves) who support mothers and work-life balance.

I now start earlier in the morning and make sure to spend time with my little one from 5 to 7pm, until his bedtime. And because we’re all working from home, I feel so lucky to be able to go steal kisses throughout the day in-between meetings; it’s the best kind of break!

Experience becoming new moms at the same time as your colleagues?

It’s awesome! There is indeed a Slack channel situation, and everyone is so helpful and supportive. It’s been amazing to share this experience with them, and it has brought us closer together. I feel like I’m part of the gang now! 

Any wellness hacks or daily routines you can share?

I just started putting 30-minute blocks in my calendar to go outside for a quick walk which is a game changer. And then, it’s all about skincare for me! I take my time for my nighttime routine, go through each step slowly, and it’s my little self-care moment. I find it so relaxing. All clean beauty from Credo, of course 😉 

Working out through pregnancy?

Yes, I worked out until the very last month. Only pregnancy-safe exercises, of course, that prepared my body both for birth (hello 23-hour labor…) and to build strength to take care of the baby (spoiler alert: there’s a lot of carrying and kneeling involved). My workout coach was Alexia Cornu, and my yoga teacher Karin Karlsson . Both specialize in pre-and postnatal. 

One hope for the next generation?

Less fear and uncertainty. More hope, love, and a real, profound awakening regarding environmental issues. 

Lastly, any advice you can leave us with? 

Moms to be, new moms, experienced moms… be kind to yourself, take time for yourself, and listen to yourself. You’ll be a happier, hence better mom, wife, friend, and colleague.

“The exhaustion is REAL. So is mom-brain, by the way.”

Michelle Connelly

New mama and VP, Merchandising and Planning at Credo Beauty, Michelle talks about finding a rhythm while working from home with an infant, plus Credo’s baby boom!

Current mood?

Tired! We started working from home just a few weeks after returning to work from maternity leave, so I basically feel like I have been living in a bubble for the last 15 months. In the beginning, I was actually very grateful for the extra time with my 6-month-old while my husband and I worked a split shift schedule taking care of him. Eventually, we felt comfortable enough bringing him to daycare (in July), and he is much happier there than being on zoom calls all day.

Balancing your new role with work?

I spend a lot of time working during naps and after bedtime. Working from home blurs everything together anyway, especially the first few months when we had no childcare, and my husband and I were both attempting to work full time. I also found that working from home helped me nurse my son longer than I might have if I were back in the office (trying to look at the bright side of COVID… 😊)

Experience becoming new moms with your colleagues?

We do have a group slack channel! Credo had a big baby boom in 2019, which has trickled into 2020. Almost a quarter of the company had a baby within around a year! It’s definitely a supportive and understanding environment. There are always people to ask questions, and we’ve passed around many maternity clothes as well!

One hope for the next generation?

I really hope we can learn to treat our planet with more respect and kindness.

Lastly, any advice you can leave us with?

I definitely don’t feel qualified enough to give any advice—I’m just over here trying to get through each day with my 14 month old and hoping things turn out ok. 😊

Credo had a big baby boom in 2019, which has trickled into 2020. Almost a quarter of the company had a baby within around a year!