Violet Gaynor is the magical mama of two and co-founder of The Glow, a raw and real documentation of the beauty and messiness of motherhood. Violet brilliantly co-hosted our Coterie Kids Launch event at The Wonder in NYC. We so loved sharing this special day with her that we wanted to know even more about her life, journey through career and motherhood and of course her must haves when getting together with friends. Read on for Violet’s pro-tips :)
Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I'm from the Upper West Side of Manhattan and that's also where I grew up and still live to this day! I currently live less than one mile from where I was born, in the same apartment that I have been in since I was 16. My kids' room is my old bedroom from highschool which is pretty wild.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what the roadmap to starting The Glow looked like!
I was one of those people who always knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life from the time I was five. At the end of my senior year in college, I landed my dream job as a fashion assistant at a magazine. That was the beginning of my 15 year career as a fashion editor. I was lucky enough to travel the world on shoots and become dear friends with some of the best, most talented people I'd ever met. In 2011, I had the lightbulb moment that the subject of motherhood was just not being explored in a thoughtful, authentic way and it was then and there that I decided to launch my own site, The Glow.
In 2015, after five years of juggling both my full-time job and my side project (oh and I had my first baby in 2013!), I decided to leave my job as an editor at InStyle to become a full-fledged entrepreneur.
Plum and Rome have such a loving bond. This is so special. How do you plan to encourage your kids to remain close as they grow older?
This is such a huge priority for me. It is my dream and goal in life to facilitate a strong, life-long bond and deep friendship between my kids. One way I work on this everyday is by reinforcing the fact that they are a team.
You seem to have surrounded yourself with a wonderful support network of women (mothers and otherwise!). How important is your girl gang to getting through the highs and lows of life?
Mom friends are everything. Motherhood can feel very isolating at times and the challenges are daily, so having a network of real, supportive, hilarious women in my life who make me feel sane even on my hardest days is the most priceless gift I can imagine.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My friends inspire me to be gentle with myself. My mom inspires me to let go and always look at the positive in life. My sister inspires me to laugh at myself. My children inspire me to be more patient.
What is one way to throw a party that is uniquely you?
Every year since Plum's first birthday we have thrown a big beach party for her in Amagansett near our home. We set up a long table filled with our favorite local food (including beautiful purple and yellow sugar plums from our farmers market), plus we always have a teepee that the kids love to play in and sneak extra slices of Momofuku birthday cake. Starting when Plum was 4, she began picking her theme around 10 months before her actual birthday. Then we spend months chatting and researching and getting so excited for her party. My favorite so far was when she chose Wizard of Oz and we had an actual yellow brick road laid out in the sand on the beach. This coming year for her 7th birthday party, she has chosen a French theme (she goes to a French/English school) and I can't wait for us to bring her vision to life.
How would you describe your hosting and entertaining style?
I love to dive into the research process and find as much visual inspiration as I can before narrowing down each detail. My mom is an expert cook and entertainer (she used to own a beloved bakery in Manhattan called Ruby et Violette) and she has taught me to prepare as much as possible in advance so that the day of the party, you can actually remain calm. I'm not quite there yet but working on it.
If you could party with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
I have one word for you: Oprah!
Any advice for moms that are in over their heads with planning for their kiddos big day? Or everyday for that matter…
I'm a big list maker, and these come in especially handy when planning Plum's parties. The list becomes the Bible for all details and deadlines and ideas. The most important thing to remember is that at the end of the day, as long as you've got a yummy cake, cute but simple decor, and are surrounded by loved ones, then your kids will be over the moon. I strongly believe that kids birthday parties do not need to be over the top or showy in any way. Simple, thoughtful, sugar-filled is always best.