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Hannah Hale Redfern on Becoming a Mother and Starting a Business

by PageFly
Hannah Hale Redfern on Becoming a Mother and Starting a Business

Hannah Hale Redfern on Becoming a Mother and Starting a Business

Nothing can prepare you for becoming a mother.

As someone who has always been extremely career oriented, I candidly used to look down on women who chose to prioritize their families over their career. I was not born with natural smarts and had to work incredibly hard for my career advancements. I assumed when my daughter was born, nothing would change for me professionally... but that couldn't have been further from the truth.

When my daughter Rowan was born three years ago, everything shifted overnight. While I was so grateful to have her in my life, I remember those early days as some of the most isolating and lonely. Establishing myself as a new mother and building a new support community felt like completely starting over. I wanted to be present in my daughter’s life, but was unsure how to manage that with an all-consuming career. No amount of professional success can prepare you for how to be a mother and balance it all. I began to question what “success” really looked like.

After deep soul searching, I ultimately decided not to return to work. While I do not take this option for granted, it was an extremely difficult time as I looked to carve out my new identity.

As I was working to rebuild my community, I met many similar, like-minded women. Women who were looking to redefine themselves and wanted to balance their careers with raising a family. These women were incredibly talented, but struggled to find careers that afforded them flexibility and the ability to prioritize their families. I wanted to help solve this issue.

At the same time, I experienced a change in something I had always seen as a defining characteristic: my personal style. I ultimately decided to start my own company, Kilte Collection, to help solve this problem and give me the flexibility I needed to raise a family. While some people might say the worst time to start a company is after having a child, I found that it was the gift of having a child that enabled me to pursue my dream.

Kilte is that little bit of something extra that makes you feel like you can do anything (because you can). We offer luxury knitwear designed and built to go with you from morning routines to evenings out, and everywhere in-between. At Kilte, luxury lives in the quality construction, thought, and consideration that goes into each piece. All of our pieces feature easy, open sizing and are designed in Los Angeles.

Kilte is committed to creating flexible work opportunities for women. We are inspired by women who create their own destinies, and we support them actively -- because there’s no tomorrow like today for getting sh*t done and feeling extra fabulous while you do it.

While COVID-19 has presented a number of challenges for everyone, but one that I find particularly hostile is the impact it has had on women. The pandemic has taken such a toll on women trying to juggle it all: careers, children, family. With children at home, the overwhelming burden of unpaid labor on women is more present than ever. I sincerely hope that in this difficult time we can come together to recognize this fault and take steps towards reducing this gender gap. I also hope that women, in whatever small way, can take time for self-care and can find a moment amongst all this go-go-go to practice self-compassion.

We are all doing our best and that is more than enough.

Meet Hannah Hale Redfern

When you step back and look at it, our lives are a series of huge, world-changing moments disguised as day-to-day life. For me, everything changed when my daughter was born. My world shifted from pre-motherhood -- where I had worked in fashion and finance for years -- to the new, joyful and sometimes scary reality of caring for a wonderful new human. Along with that shift came a change in perspective on something I had always seen as a defining characteristic: my personal style. My new world didn’t match with my existing wardrobe.

I wanted to create a flexible work life for both myself and other women in retail. I spoke with hundreds of women in similar positions and saw that they felt the same way. With insight and thought came inspiration. A woman isn’t just one thing -- she's a mother, a partner, a friend, and more. I made Kilte for those women -- women I admired. I hope you’ll come along with us. -- Hannah

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