Hi friends, I am SUPER thrilled to introduce to you my Playdate guests today! I am featuring one of my dearest cousins, Becky Hui Chan, founder/designer of Honey & Bloom, and her super adorable kids, which makes them my super adorable nephew and niece, Micah & Miela!
I grew up with Becky here in SF and have always looked up to her like my own sister. Her effortless style, refine approach to design and living, and even her personal values all have inspired and influenced me in so many ways. Now that we both have kids, we love chatting about work, mommy stuff, funny stuff, and best of all, watching our kids play and get silly! (Hayden is learning so much about Star Wars from Micah, haha!)
I really hope you enjoy our date. Anyone who knows Becky will tell you that she is one of the sweetest and most talented person you’ll ever meet! Thank you so much to Becky for her thoughtful insights on parenthood and personal style. She’s another inspiring mama you wanna get coffee with!
SST: A favorite place you like to go with your kids and why?
We love going around SF and acting like tourists once in a while. One of our favorite places to go to is the Ferry Building. We stroll in and out of the little shops, looking at all the savory and sweet treats and even picking up a few along the way to munch on. We usually stroll from one end of the market place to the other end and then head outside to look at all kinds of boats, ferries, and cargo ships that pass through. Micah loves making up stories about what’s happening out at sea. It can be that a cargo ship is delivering a million different toys to a far away place or even that there are a sea of mermaids swimming right beneath us. Its always fun to see the kids’ faces light up when a ferry docks. We usually end our little visit with some good eats at Gott’s Roadside. Hot dogs, fries, and a milkshake, please.
SST: The most challenging part to running Honey & Bloom and being a mom? It would be time management. On exceptionally good days I would be able to have most of my work done by 4-5pm. On days when things come up unexpectedly or my two year old decides to cling onto me for hours, I’ll probably only work for 2-3 hours and end up moonlighting the night away. I create a checklist everyday, prioritize it, and just work down the list. I also try to keep my Fridays open for my kids. I like spending quality time with them and Fridays are the best for us…before the weekend packed schedule of sports games, birthday parties, and play dates kick in. We call it M&M&M time (Micah & Miela & mommy time).
SST: What does a typical day look for you? I usually wake up around 6:45am, wash up and start getting my 6YO ready for school. As my 2YO tags along in the routine, we make breakfast, then pack lunches, and send both Hansen and Micah off for the day by 7:30am. Miela and I will then proceed to enjoying our morning cups of milk and coffee, together. She stirs her milk as I stir my coffee. We sip and chit chat for about 15 minutes and then we’re off to getting ready. My parents help me take care of Miela most days and will usually arrive before 9am. On very good days I can sneak away and work for hours before I hear Miela calling for me. On not-so-good days, she’ll be pounding on my office door within minutes of me stepping into the workroom. I pick up Micah from school at 1:50pm most days, so my days get cut short some times, but usually I can return to working once I’m back in the office. Micah and Miela are great together, so once he’s there, I can actually disappear and work for a few more hours before my parents need to take off. I usually end my workday around 5 and start prepping the kids for dinner. Micah will do his homework while Miela draws or watches me get dinner ready. We try to wait for my husband to return from work before we sit down for dinner, but there are days when we will eat before he’s home. Kids settle in for the night around 8/8:30pm and I either get to relax on the couch or return to my office to moonlight on some projects.
SST: Where do you shop for Micah’s clothes? Miela’s clothes? Mostly at Crewcuts, Gap Kids, H&M, Vans, and Zara Kids. Your favorite baby gadget? I don’t remember the last time I used a baby gadget, since Miela is now two, but the Itzbeen Pocket Nanny Baby Care Timer was definitely used for both my kids. It was great and easy to use and helped us track feedings, diaper changes, and sleeping patterns.
SST: Best place for kids toys?
We frequent Ambassador Toys in West Portal, The Ark in Noe Valley, and Target. We do most of our online shopping for the kids at The Land of Nod and Amazon. Sometimes we will visit Giggle in San Francisco for nice baby gadgets and gifts or jump online to purchase them.
SST: Do you own a diaper bag? No, I don’t have a diaper bag. My first ever “diaper bag” was a travel bag made by Stella McCartney; it had all the compartments I needed and more! My husband, Hansen, and I also used a Jack Spade Day bag. Currently, with two kids, I usually just go around town with a tote bag filled with essentials for them. (SST: Cousin, can I borrow your Mansur Gavriel bucket bag?!)
SST: Has your personal style changed since you had kids?
My style hasn’t changed drastically, but I definitely own a few more casual pieces than I used to. I’ve always loved the casual effortless look, so that hasn’t changed. My closet is filled with neutral colored pieces (black, gray, white, navy, camel, and denim). I love dark on dark and light on light colored outfits accented with bolder colored bags and jewelry. Recently I’ve been into mixing and matching casual with more dressy pieces; like a t-shirt with black tailored pants, or a sweatshirt and jeans with a chucky rhinestone necklace. Where do you shop? Mostly at Steven Alan, Aritzia, and Madewell. I also like to get some of my basics at JCrew.
SST: Where do you find inspiration for your work and design? Books and magazines are a must for me in looking for inspiration for my work. Whenever possible, traveling near and/or far is a great way to find inspiration and spark new ideas. Also, I am online daily looking for all types of inspiration for my design work. Favorite thing to do when you have time alone? My absolute most favorite thing to do is to sit down with a cup of tea and read and browse through my stack of magazines endlessly.
SST: Where do you go for tips/advices for motherhood and parenting?
Honesty, I don’t do much online searching and reading for tips on this subject because I mostly love chatting and asking my girlfriends and family about parenting styles and mommy related things. I always think the best resources are those in whom you trust and you know have been through it. Everyone raise their kids differently so I always take any advice with a grain of salt.
SST: Advice on marriage after having kids? Finding time for just the two of us is hard, but it’s a must! We are so consumed with our kids most of the time that we forget to make time for our relationship. So dropping off the kids for a few hours to have a date night or planning a weekend get-away are both great ways to get that alone time for catching up on things and having conversations that aren’t all about the kids. It reminds us of why we are together.
SST: What’s next on your agenda? Work wise? I want to continue making things I love for Honey & Bloom. There’s more to come for the jewelry line, slowly, but surely. Also, I will be exploring other types of accessories this year and will no doubt be doing more and more prints. Kids wise? My kids are growing up so fast and I have so much I want to do with them; one of my goals this year is to travel more with them. Before we had kids, Hansen and I loved traveling, we still do, but it’s a bit harder to plan and coordinate these days. So if we can, I think it we would sneak in a handful of places to visit and explore this year.
Photography by Ashley Batz.