Playdate 04 | Melissa Davis at Oakland Museum Of CA

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Hey friends, welcome to another one of my Playdate! This time, Hayden and I met up with Melissa Davis and her adorable son, Sammy, over in Oakland. Melissa is the founder and owner of a lifestyle PR firm, Ruby Press. Prior to running her successful biz of 10 years in SF/Oakland, Melissa was a fashion editor in New York at Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, and later, a Contributing Editor at Lucky. She has an abundance of experience in the media world so I was naturally drawn to her expertise. What I found out later was that she also has a 3 year old son who is just one month apart from Hayden. We loved talking about our kids and how they’re going through the same stages, so we thought ‘why not get our kids together’?!

Sammy and Hayden hit it right off! They were talking, interacting, laughing and goofing around! It was so cool to watch our tots communicating with each other (besides doing the parallel play thing). We had a blast hanging out! It’s so inspirational to be around someone like Melissa, who can pull it off together so well as a mother and entrepreneur. Check out the rest of our playdate and see how Melissa juggle life and motherhood!

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SST: Where is a favorite spot you like to go with your kid and why? MD: It’s so hard to pick just one! My husband Sam is my business partner as well as a stay-at-home dad, and he and I love taking Sammy out and about. We love Oakland Museum- it’s such an amazing museum for adults and kids. So many of their exhibits are hands-on, and really fun for the little ones. They encourage NOT using “museum whispers” and have exhibits that let kids create animation, sound effects for movies and design/illustrate movie costumes. It’s just as fun for Sam and me as it is for Sammy, which can’t be said of every kid-oriented outing! I usually take Sammy late Friday afternoon and then we hit Off the Grid (which is set up at the museum every Friday at 5:00) right when it opens, before it gets too crowded. We love it. We also love Fairyland (in Oakland), the Oakland Zoo, the steam trains in Berkeley’s Tilden Park, and our favorite spot for lunch and ice cream with Sammy is of course Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland.

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SST: What’s the most challenging part to running Ruby Press and being a mom to a young toddler? MD: Oh, it’s tough! I used to think I could do it all…and a friend of mine (who is a very successful entrepreneur and mother!) told me that when you have kids and are running your own business you have to accept that you might just be able to give 80%  to both work and your children, and that it’s okay.  I think of that often and it makes me a feel better when I’m stressed out about not being able to do everything, all the time.  When you own your own business there’s always something to work on, and I used to work long hours in the office, but now I leave at 5:00 everyday.  (That means I catch up on any work after Sammy goes to sleep!)  Of course it also helps when you have an awesome staff at work and an amazing husband like I do.

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SST: Where do you go for tips/advice for motherhood and parenting? MD: Wow, I certainly don’t feel like I have all the answers by any means, but I think that I rely on my intuition most of the time when it comes to being a mom.  Other times, I discuss with my husband, think about what my mother would have done, or ask friends for their take on something.

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SST: Do you own a diaper bag? If so, which one do you use or recommend?MD: Not really- I never bought a real “diaper bag”, although my husband did get a bag from DiaperDude when Sammy was born and he still uses it!  I have always just looked for a chic canvas or leather tote that I would organize with big Ziploc bags- one for diapers/wipes/changing pad, one for snacks, one with a change of clothes, etc.  My recommendation to new moms: don’t feel like you need to buy a bag that’s a “diaper bag”- just find a cool tote. It works! (At least it did for me!)

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SST: Your favorite baby gadget? MD: I would have to say my iPad Mini, and I think Sammy would agree!  It’s lightweight and easy for him to hold and it holds so many awesome toddler apps- for learning and for fun.  We fly across country often, and it’s a total lifesaver.

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SST: What is your favorite thing to do when you have some alone time? MD: I have been working on a book with a friend on weekends and evenings, so I have really had almost no relaxing alone time, but when I do have some free moments after working late at night, I do love trolling Etsy for vintage finds.  I can’t manage to make it to the flea market anymore (I went religiously pre-Sammy!) and it has totally filled that void for me!

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SST: Where do you shop for Sammy’s clothes? And yourself? MD: I have to say, I love shopping for Sammy!  It’s more challenging finding cute boys’ clothes, but they’re out there!  I love CrewCutsMini BodenH&MZaraGap, American Apparel, and Etsy and Oaklandish for cool tees.  For myself, I have been a J.Crew fan for more years than I care to count, and I think Madewell has been killing it lately. I shop a lot online as I don’t have a lot of time to run around, but if I get the chance, I love swinging by Atomic Garden and Hawthorn in Oakland.

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SST: Any beauty product(s) you swear by to help you get ready? MD: I swear by Marie Veronique Organics’ products. After learning that lotions clog your pores and can lead to breakouts, I switched to face oils and my skin has never looked better.  They have a new mask called the Exfoliating Moisture Mask in their Pacific line that has seriously changed my skin.  It’s truly like a facial in a jar- but it only takes 5 minutes out of my busy day, which I love!  And for hair, I love Olo’s Argan Oil Hair Tonic, which I pick up at Atomic Garden.  It has an amazing Cedar and Rosewood scent that I’m addicted to…

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SST: What are your favorite traits of your son? MD: Sammy is incredibly caring- if I sneeze or cough in another room, he yells out, “Mommy, are you okay?”  If I stub my toe, he immediately bends down to kiss it.  He’s also super silly and really quite funny.  He’s been making up knock-knock jokes lately, and they make us laugh out loud!  They’re actually really funny!

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SST: Being a mom sometimes mean (fill in the blank) _________ MD: …thinking about yourself last.  I have walked outside into the cold weather with Sammy all bundled up and no jacket on myself more than once!

Thank you so much to Melissa and Sammy for joining us here today! Don’t forget to follow Ruby Press on Twitter and Instagram!

Outfits: On Melissa – J.Crew dress, Marni shoes, Madewell tote bag. On Sammy – Crewcuts tee, Gap shorts, Native shoes. On me – The Podolls blouse, Gap shorts, Madewell shoes, Mulberry tote. On Hayden – Gap shirt + sandals, H&M pattern pants.

Photos by Shop Sweet Things.




  • melissa davis

    Thank you SO much for including us in your playdate series, Jeanne!! We were so honored- and most importantly, had so much fun!!! We are so in love with Hayden…can’t wait to see her (and YOU!) again soon! xx

  • Jessica

    These dates are always so cute with two little toddling ones. I’ve been getting out of the house by joining a mom’s group. It’s nice to wear the little ones out and be able to socialize with someone older than 2 every now and then. :)