Maisonette Muses: Adriana & Tatiana
Adriana Chryssicopoulos and Tatiana de Boisanger are our latest Muses. These long-time friends co-founded website Nine in the Mirror with the goal of helping expectant women feel like their best selves during pregnancy, ditching traditional “maternity” clothing in favor of fashionable favorites from the designers they’ve grown to trust. The site seeks out, tries on, and sells clothing for women throughout all stages of pregnancy and beyond.
PC: Tell us about how Nine in the Mirror began – how much of it was directly related to your own experiences with pregnancy?
AC: Nine in the Mirror absolutely started from personal experience. Tatiana and I had both been through two pregnancies at the time. We were working in luxury e-commerce, and struggling to dress for work, as well as for our lives outside of work. We couldn’t find clothing both that fit us and reflected our personal styles. We found that brands and retailers communicated well with non-pregnant women, however, the moment you became pregnant you were no longer relevant; content wasn’t relevant, product didn’t seem relevant and we wanted to provide women the same feeling of connectedness that they were used to. We knew that other women must be feeling the same way we were.
TDB: We realized the answer was that you don’t have to be confined to maternity clothes - you just need to invest in the right non-maternity pieces. We wanted to take the hard work out of the equation by selecting the edit, trying every piece on a bump, and presenting the pieces on and off the bump for customers.
PC: What was your goal as you launched the business?
TDB: It was first and foremost to solve a problem. To give women the opportunity to dress in the pieces they loved, and that made them feel like themselves. We wanted to create the most fashionable offering for expectant women.
AC: Our goal was to be THE destination for fashionable maternity on a global scale. For that reason, we went the online route as we knew how limiting a local-only presence would be to our growth.
PC: What was the best business advice you received as you began to build the company?
AC: Not to see every expenditure as an expense, but as an investment into our growth. I also always remember my mother saying that there is no worse effort than no effort at all…
TDB: Never take no for an answer!
What’s the best part about running a business with a friend?
AC: The best part is just getting to spend time with a person whose company you enjoy, whom you admire and can have a laugh with. Tatiana and I bring different areas of expertise and strengths to the table, and we kind of let each other just get on with it. It’s also great to bounce ideas off each other and more often than not, we come together thinking the same thing..
TDB: I think you make better decisions as a pair. We are complementary – and lucky, as we very rarely disagree. The support is great when times are tough, and as we are both mothers of three, we have the same priorities.
How does your career help you to be better mothers, and how does being mothers help you in your careers?
AC: Although my last child was born 5 years ago, pregnancy and new motherhood is ever-present in my life, and I really enjoy and embrace that. I’m constantly having conversations with other mothers, sharing tips, hearing their stories, comparing notes, and ultimately this motherhood bond helps me be a better mother because I am conscious of the role I’m in and don’t take it lightly. I’ve learned so many tips (big and small) - whether it be about feeding little ones, getting through sleepless nights, educational tools or ways to communicate with my children. Working in the business I do really complements my other roles as a woman and mother. And of course work-wise, I’m able to bring a lot to the table from my own experience as a mother of three. I bring ideas on what stories to cover, personal insight on what to offer our customers, and a whole lot of enthusiasm ☺
TDB: I think doing something you enjoy helps you as an individual, and when you spend time with your children, you enjoy that time even more and value it. Being a mother puts anything work-related into perspective. Nothing is the end of the world. Nothing matters more than your kids. The rest is all a bonus.
“Being a mother puts anything work-related into perspective. Nothing is the end of the world. Nothing matters more than your kids.” -TDB
What are you looking forward to as you continue to grow the company?
AC: I’m looking forward to growing the business globally and ensuring all pregnant women around the world use Nine in the Mirror either to feel connected, beautiful, inspired, or to shop amazing pieces that reflect who they are.
TDB: I am looking forward to enlarging the product offering, including other categories such as bags and shoes and more baby products. I’m also looking forward to new customers discovering what we do and also growing the relationship with mothers-to-be.
Biggest change in your lifestyle since becoming mothers?
AC: Lack of sleep... and yet I wouldn’t ever trade any of the bags under my eyes!
TDB: I guess you just stop thinking about yourself - you actually come last in the list of concerns.
One thing you wish you’d known before becoming mothers?
AC: There isn’t anything I wish I’d known, because going through all the newness of it is what makes it exhilarating and wonderful.
TDB: I’m happy I didn’t know much as everything is a surprise, and even today, my third child still surprises me all the time. I think you have a tendency to forget the bad things when you are a mother and remember the good.
Best surprise about motherhood?
AC: The infinite amount of love you have for your kids, no matter what.
TDB: How children have such a definite personality from day one.
Best parenting advice you ever received?
AC: Embrace the chaos, don’t seek perfection, and the bumper sticker that says: “The simple fact that you worry about being a good mother means you already are one.”
TDB: Trust your instincts, no one knows better than you what is good for your child.
Greatest lesson you learned from your own mother?
AC: Patience, patience, patience.
How would you describe your style, and do you dress your minis to reflect it?
AC: My style is quite hard to pin down. I’m quite colorful, playful, and bohemian in the summer, whereas in the winter I stick to more classic looks and tones – mostly beiges and browns. I dress my little ones quite classically as well, however, I do let them mix and match and wear what they want – out of the selection I’ve brought home for them of course ;)
TDB: My style changes from one day to another depending on my mood. I admit, I have found myself dressing in the same colors or outfits as my sons on the weekend, and only noticing it when we are about to walk out the door!
Left to their own devices, what are the outfits your children might put together?
AC: One of my sons would definitely opt for a soccer outfit. The other one would choose Crayola colored jeans, a polo shirt and a preppy sweater. As for my 9-year old daughter, things are getting tricky. She has a closet full of “nothing to wear” but often settles on her favorite combination of bunny face tights, a jean skirt and a cute emoji sweatshirt. (My favorite selection too!)
TDB: My eldest would dress like a rapper or rock star. My second would be completely uncoordinated and wear his favorite things all at once, and my two-year-old would only care about wearing fancy shoes.
Can you share some cardinal rules of dressing oneself during pregnancy?
AC: Consider balancing the volume; when going big on top, keep the bottom fitted, and when wearing something loose or flowy on the bottom, keep your top fitted. It will balance out and ultimately be more flattering. Also, don’t be afraid to show your curves. Stretchy, figure-hugging dresses can look amazing in your second and third trimesters. Give it a go and see how you feel. Then choose accessories that draw the attention where you want it. Big earrings or an eye-catching necklace will bring the gaze upwards. Ultimately however, your bump us your best accessory- embrace it!
TDB: Invest in prints. Go bold with color. Aim for details around the neckline, sleeves and shoulders to draw the eye upwards. At the very early stages of pregnancy (or just after birth), try an A-line dress in a structured fabric. Embrace feminine shapes. Jeans and lingerie are the two items you can’t cheat with - invest early in your pregnancy as these pieces will be on high-rotation in your expectant wardrobe. Most importantly, remain true to your style and what makes you feel good.
One quick and easy way to look refreshed (and not shlumpy) - even at 9 months!
AC: Matching your top and bottom - even if it’s a knit track suit and sweater. Tone on tone, be it beige or grey or navy, can look really put together when paired with a slipper-style shoe.
One mama must-have? An item or tradition you cannot live without.
AC: A must-have would be baby wipes and a small pack of tissues in every handbag - a clear sign that I’m a mom. Also playing the animal guessing games with my kids at every meal ensures we don’t use our iphones at the table. It’s hard, but it’s my biggest pet peeve to see families not conversing at meal time.
TDB: Quality time with yourself - you need to find time to do one thing you love once a week. Put your phone down when you come home until your kids are asleep (It’s hard, but I try!)
Work/life mantra or motto?
AC: Don’t sweat the small stuff.