My Essentials: Izabela Minkiewicz

We talk the the Blue Almonds founder about becoming a mother again after six years

You’ve recently given birth to your second child, how are you finding life as a mother of two?

I was anxious to begin with, as Filip is now at school, and has been for a while, and the thought of starting all over again was daunting. However, now Matylda Mia has joined us, I can’t imagine our family without her. One thing I learned from Filip is that every stage is short, so I’m trying to enjoy it all. Filip has been my greatest life teacher and I hope to learn lessons from Matylda, too.

Filip is seven. How are you finding the age gap?

It has worked well, as Filip is able to enjoy spending time with his new sister, and is lovely and gentle around her. He helps me to look after her, and is extremely protective, which I love to see.

Has your approach to motherhood changed this time?

I have always been a family person, however, I have learned that the most important thing is to prioritise tasks so you’re able to have a healthy work/life balance – a challenge that many women face on a day-to-day basis.

Are you delighted to have a daughter to dress up?

Of course! For years I have been buying dresses and pink items for the store. Now I’m able to dress my own daughter in these, which is an absolute joy. My favourites have been the cashmere baby grows, pom-pom coats and hats I designed with Madeleine Thompson, and she was christened in one of the gowns we have from Isabel Garreton.

What were your favourite pregnancy treats?

My favourites were massages, walks in the park and movie nights with my family. And also a great Italian meal to eat. My boys took great care of me, and often my breakfast would be served in bed!

Any advice for new mothers?

Spend as much time as you can with your newborn as they grow so quickly. Stay as present as possible, and cuddle and kiss a lot!

What’s in your changing bag?

Aden + Anais muslins, nappies, Little Butterfly London organic creams, and lots of disposable plastic bags for changing time.
As Matylda will start teething soon, I’ve already equipped my bag with dummy clips and teethers, too. I will also be wearing necklaces from a cool brand called Nibbling that will soon be available at my store.

Inside the shop door of Iza’s Blue Almonds

How have you decorated your nursery this time around?

I’ve fiilled Matylda Mia’s nursery with all my favourite pieces from Blue Almonds. The room is decorated in baby pink and cream, with key accessories such as my favourite chair that I use to feed her and rock her to sleep. I love personal touches, such as named cushions and wall prints.

You’re originally from Poland. How different is it for your kids to grow up in London?

London is extremely international, and I’m pleased that my children are being raised with others from all around the world, as they learn to appreciate different cultures. I grew up during a time of communism in Poland, so we did not have such an abundance of items. The task at hand now is to strike the right balance, teaching them to practise gratitude rather than allowing them to get spoiled.

What’s your favourite thing to do in the capital with the kids?

London has so many beautiful outdoor spaces, so we love long walks and games in the parks, as well as all the charity runs we do together. This is all great for Filip, as he is such an active boy. We love theatre and cinema, and going for our favourite meals.

Which baby brands are you loving right now?

The Madeleine Thompson for Blue Almonds collection of cashmere is definitely a favourite, as well as the new Roly Pony label that my dear friends launched last year. We have just introduced Kenzo to our shop, and I feel it gives us an edge. And I have always loved boys jackets and skinny trousers from Il Gufo.

And your must-have product?

Anything from Aden + Anais. Not only are the products super cute, they also tick every box for what a mother needs day-to-day.

What trends are you expecting to see in the baby market?

I’ve noticed a move towards everything ‘mini me’ – think matching mothers to daughters and fathers to sons. Customers are also looking for more unusual and personalised items, such as a piece of art based on their child’s own drawing.

The Duchess of Cambridge has been spotted shopping at your store. How important is the royal seal of approval to you?

I was delighted when the Duchess of Cambridge visited Blue Almonds. She is a great role model, balancing her work commitments with her family life – and all very gracefully.

How do you strike that balance?

I’m very lucky to have a great team. From a very supportive mother and husband, to the team at Blue Almonds who have been with me for many years now. I trust them all implicitly.

What does the future have in store for Blue Almonds?

We’re finalising our new-look website, to be launched by summer, and will continue to add to our calendar of activity in store. We’re also working on an even bigger project, which I’m looking forward to announcing soon. Watch this space!