We’ve been following Bettina D’Ascoli and her partner’s line Brooklyn Rascals on tumblr for about six months. The daily postings of the outfits are chic, locally made and we cannot wait until the online store launches. Meanwhile get to know Bettina in today’s Journey to Motherhood post. We’ll be doing a studio visit as they near their online launch, expect to see that towards the end of winter!
Name: Bettina D’Ascoli
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
How long have you been living in Brooklyn? 9 years
Occupation: Mother and fashion designer
When did you first become a mother? October 4, 2005
Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? I was one of those girls who always wanted to be a mother, I knew I was going to be one and I thought I was prepared for it, boy was I wrong. Luca was no surprise, he was planned and very much wanted, but I definitely was not prepared. The life change caught me off guard, poor guy had to survive an inexperienced mother.
How would you describe the first year? A roller coaster of emotions. He is so amazing to be around, he has taught me so much and I still learn from him. Breastfeeding was a challenge, he was a month old and still had not arrived at his birth weight. I was so worried, but was determined to breastfeed and we made it! I breast-fed him until he was 8 months old. But my biggest challenge was me, my life change, going to the corner store felt like a production. Not being able to go to the movies when I wanted to, not having my independence. My husband worked long hours, so I was alone a lot. The first few months I was trying hard to go back to “normal”, instead of embracing the new normal. I thought those sleepless nights were going to be forever! By the time he was 9 months old we took him on a road trip 3 hours north of Quebec. From Brooklyn it was a 12 hour drive, on our way back we stayed in Montreal for a jazz festival for a couple of nights. He was sleeping through the night and I was just having a blast!
Did you have a support system near by? One of my best friends had her child one month after Luca, and 3 other friends had children 1 1/2 or 2 years older than Luca. I have lovely memories of those times. So yes, I did had a support system, and one very close to my heart.
You have two young children, did you feel more prepared when the second came along? Oh Yes!!!! I was already a mother when Olivia came to this world, so that obstacle was out of the way. Luca was about to start kindergarten he had to grow over night, and he embraced it like a champ. All three of us our head over heels with our baby. I didn’t stress with the breastfeeding, I supplemented with formula, I just made my life easier. Olivia had to learn how to nap everywhere, the family altogether adjusted so naturally. I spent the first 4 months in Luca’s room with Olivia doing our thing all night long while the boys slept without interruptions and could go to work or school, there is no need for everyone in the family to be cranky. While at the house alone, instead of stressing about going back to normal, I did things I wouldn’t normally do like watch movies. I would feed the baby watching a movie, finish my feeding, pause it until my next feeding and resume my wonderful film. Sometimes it would take me two days to finish a movie and since I had the time it was all good, I haven’t watched a movie during the day since 2010. I feel she grew faster, I still call her a baby. I guess they will always be my babies.
You have a sweet line The House of Brooklyn Rascals, can you tell us a bit about the line? It’s a family business, I work with my sister in law (we are married to brothers). We started working together a little over a year ago and we are having so much fun. Our line is French meets Japanese with the daring colors of the Americans. We love to be playful so we make a lot of reversible items, we want them to feel like if it was a puzzle, the pieces can be mix and matched. The line today is handmade by us. We work as an atelier, so the quantities are limited. We have plans to officially launch the brand by Spring/Summer ’13, still doing our best to keep the production local. There will be a web store coming soon, for now we have a blog where we post a look of the day (almost every day). We’ll be keeping our blog for it gives us inspiration to keep on going, I enjoy working with the kids and choosing the look of the day. I’m amazed of how much Olivia enjoys it too and by how much she understands what is going on.
Any Tips for new moms? Relax, trust your instincts. Do not stress about going back to normal it will just come on it’s own and it will be the new normal. Stressing is a waste of time, they are little for a short period, enjoy it. There is a great park culture in New York, go and sit there with your baby and you will see that it’s like going to a party, you will be mingling all morning long. Don’t ever feel lonely, you have the best company ever. No one will ever love you like your baby, it’s the best!