I have always loved clothing. Dressing up has always been a source of joy in my life and a means of expressing creativity in a world that feels increasingly left-brained and analytical. Wearing fun clothing got me through hard days and made me feel good about myself.
When I became pregnant for the first time with my oldest, I struggled to dress myself in a way that felt true to my identity. I have a preference for modern, minimal clothing in more masculine silhouettes, and the available offerings from maternity brands all felt overly floral and cliché. It seemed to me that the floral dress phenomenon was a refection of society's expectation that once a woman crosses the threshold into motherhood, she leaves her other identities behind in order to become a good wife and mom. I wanted none of it.
Like many moms-to-be, I resorted to what was available to me: cheaply-made "maternity" clothing from fast fashion brands. I hated the feel of the synthetic materials on my skin and I didn't feel good about myself or my body. After I had my baby, I was so impatient to fit back into my old clothing that I went on an intensive keto diet, even though I was still breastfeeding, which resulted in a full-body rash that took weeks to resolve. As if I needed that on top of the sleep deprivation! A girlfriend of mine said to me, "Elena, just buy a bigger pair of jeans already!" She was right.
When I was pregnant with my second, I decided to do things differently. I shopped for high-quality pieces that were not maternity or nursing-specific but that were stretchy or oversized enough to accommodate my belly. I felt more justified spending the extra money knowing that I could wear them afterwards. I knew it would take a while for my body to bounce back, and I wanted to allow myself as much time as I needed. Although I felt better about myself and my style, I spent a lot of time looking for the right pieces - shopping between brands, ordering multiple sizes and returning - all at a time when I was working full time with a toddler and another baby on the way.
The whole time I kept thinking: shouldn't this be easier? Why aren't more brands catering to mothers? Afterall, some 85% of us chose to be moms! The entrepreneur in me saw an opportunity and, 6 months after my second baby was born, I left my corporate job and founded Hera.
The idea behind Hera is simple: we make clothing that is specifically designed to fit through pregnancy and accommodate nursing, but also look good for years after. The truth is you don't need a lot: just a few key pieces that you can style differently and wear over and over. Mothers don't need weird over-the-bump jeans and nursing tops with clips and snaps: a pair of mid-rise elastic-waist pants and a button-down shirt can work just as well and you are more likely to hang on to them afterwards.
I am also very proud of how our clothes are made. We source only the most ethical and sustainable fibers from domestic producers, we dye our pieces using plants and organic matter, and everything is ethically made in LA by a woman-owned production team.
I hope you enjoy wearing Hera's clothing as much as I have enjoyed making it.
Hera founder and mom of 2