Meet Nicole Feliciano, the New York City fashionista who is always ready to face the challenges of modern-day motherhood. This savvy “momtrepreneur” is the CEO and founder of Momtrends, an online lifestyle resource aimed to help the busy, style-starved mom stay in touch with her beauty within. Momtrends is filled with fashion, beauty and wellness tips, health, money and travel advice, and most importantly, articles for the hardworking, everyday mom to help her stay inspired to live with purpose and passion.
We had the opportunity to talk to Nicole about Momtrends, her background in the fashion industry, and the impact she’s made on moms all over the country! Learn more about Nicole and the story behind this go-to resource for mom-spiration.
Harney: Tell us a little bit about your background. What was it like working in the fashion industry and how was this a stepping stone for where you are today?
Nicole: There’s something to learn with every job. Prior to becoming the CEO of Momtrends Media, I worked in advertising, publishing and fashion. Each of these work experiences has influenced how I run my company. I settled into Ralph Lauren in 1997 working in retails sales and spent nearly a decade with the company climbing the corporate ladder. A few highlights: I loved working with customers when I ran the stores on Madison Avenue in New York City, but my favorite position at Polo Ralph Lauren was as the Women’s Buy for the US stores. I got to work closely with the fashion designers and Mr. Lauren himself as we assorted the Ralph Lauren clothes that went into the 40 US stores. He’s a wonderful leader. He had such a crystal clear vision of his brand and never veered off course. It was a master class for how to be a business leader.
Harney: Can you tell us a little bit about Momtrends and how it got started?
Nicole: When I was ready to start a family, I left Ralph Lauren and started picking up freelance writing work. The schedule of corporate life didn’t mesh with my vision of motherhood. I began contributing to Babble.com,Timeout.com/new-york-kids, and many more online publications. When I became a mom in 2005, I knew I wanted to be involved in the parenting space. Seeing a void in the blogosphere, I launched Momtrends.com in 2007. It is a lifestyle resource for moms. In addition to beauty and fashion tips, we provide health and money features and loads of travel ideas. It’s our modern version of a women’s magazine.
Harney: What is it like being a mom influencer?
Nicole: Most days it’s pretty awesome. I’ve created my own dream job and built a million-dollar business. Plus I get to work where I want with women who inspire me. I’ve built a team of seven women who I adore working with and we have a really productive and supportive work space. As a bonus, my commute to work is only one block. Sometimes it’s good to be boss. We are so proud of what we produce every day and how we help other busy moms get the best out of life. I love how being a mom influencer connects me to women who are trying to balance work and family. My passion is helping other women succeed. Along the way, I’ve been afforded some pretty amazing opportunities thanks to the business I’ve created. I got to cover the Vancouver Olympics, taken my kids to Costa Rica, and skied all over the United States, all thanks to Momtrends.com.
Harney: What advice would you give the modern-day mom?
Nicole: Don’t try to do it all. Pick the things that matter most to you and make them a priority. For example, I love to read and wish I could be in a fancy book club, but I simply don’t have time. My teen daughter and I have our own private book club, just the two of us. Family is my priority and my kids feel that every day.
Harney: What about fellow Momtrepreneurs who are just getting started?
Nicole: I tell a lot of entrepreneurs to do their research before launch. Start small. For example, open a shop on Etsy instead of renting a traditional retail space. Carefully study what your customers want and do more of that. We call it “following the clicks.” Thanks to analytics, I can see what my readers click on and what they read. We use this information to find out what type of content to produce. Find a way to test the waters, then go for it. I wrote a book called, Mom Boss, to help other women launch and run businesses. It’s packed with helpful advice for women trying to grow a brand or business and have a family life that inspires them. One other thing I suggest is to tap into your network. Ask for favors and set up networking meetings. Women want to help other women, but you have to make yourself known.
Harney: What are your closet essentials? Things you think every busy mom should have in her closet.
Nicole: I’m a shoe girl, I love heels, flats, sneakers, boots, all of it. I think a great pair of shoes makes an outfit. My closet is also full of dresses that make me feel pulled together. I love dresses because it’s one piece and done. When I don’t have meetings or presentations, I’m usually in jeans, flats and a print or colorful top. Whether you are working out of the office or in the home you need:
- 1-2 pairs of jeans that fit and flatter
- 1 crisp blazer
- A little black dress for date night
- A pair of leopard heels to dress anything up
Harney: Is there a past style or beauty trend on your blog that you regret? What about one that you love the most?
Nicole: I think style experiments are important. And it’s fashion, not brain surgery so it’s hard to conjure up regret for a misstep. If it doesn’t work let it go. I try to learn from my experiments and not call them regrets. I’ve never been a huge fan of neon or pastel - I steer towards modern prints mixed with black, white and navy.
Harney: What type of a role does tea play in your everyday routine?
Nicole: Not a day goes by that I don’t drink tea. Mr. Momtrends puts the kettle on (he gets up earlier than I) and I usually come into the kitchen to a freshly brewed cup of green tea. The warmth and the aroma get me going. It’s especially important on mornings where I have a long run scheduled or a big day of meetings. Having the warm start is the best.
Harney: Why do you love tea? What does tea do for you - a busy, modern-day mom?
Nicole: My mom is a tea drinker and passed along her passion to me. It goes back a long way. I remember my mom and I having tea parties when I was little and I carried on the tradition with my girls. I’ve taken the girls to proper tea in London and Singapore and they love all the rituals and fanciness involved. Now my teen daughter brews her own tea when she’s doing homework or makes some chamomile before heading off to bed if she’s had a stressful day. There really is a tea to suit every mood.
Harney: Do you recall the first time you had tea, or your favorite memory of having tea?
Nicole: I still love taking my mom and daughters to fancy tea in New York City. We’d tried quite a few spots. Now my teen daughter and I have a standing “tea date” on Tuesdays. We call it Cafe Tuesday. We meet at a local Brooklyn cafe after she gets out of school for tea, scones and girl talk. I mark my calendar religiously and don’t want to miss out on this time to bond with her. We take turns reading from a novel we are sharing and have kept up this transition for three years.
Harney: Do you have any favorite types of Harney & Sons tea?
Nicole: I paid a visit to the Soho Harney & Sons and am now smitten with the White Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips. When I have the time, I love to brew loose tea and give it time to steep. It’s such a treat.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us! To learn more about Nicole, Momtrends and her advice for the modern day mom, head to momtrends.com, or check her out on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. All photography has been provided by Nicole and the Momtrends Instagram account.