What's your favorite F word?
“Food. Outside of my occasional
F bomb, my favorite F word is FOOD. Because: no other explanation needed.”
Katya Libin and her business partner Amri Kibbler are proof that two heads together are so much better than one. Their brainchild, HEYMAMA, isn’t just a constant source of wisdom, inspiration and support for its now 100,000 (and growing) community, but it’s simultaneously a safe haven and launchpad. From the women who run businesses to celebrities and influencers, they've tapped into a space that connects women in a way unlike anything else... motherhood. We’ve been admiring their intrepid partnership, and have been so honored to sit down with them to get a firsthand glimpse into their lives as women, fashionable founders, and mothers.
TAJ: You and your co-founder Amri created a new way to connect and build a community of women through Heymama. What rules were broken when you started your company?
Katya: “No matter who doesn’t understand or believe in our business, I have never let that phase me.”
TAJ: What rules need to be broken next for women to reach their full potential?
Katya: “The rules we write within create the narratives around what we can and cannot do. I think women too often under-credit or under-estimate what they have achieved. They don’t boast—they’re humble. While those are tremendous qualities to keep, women also need to go into a board room and be able to tell the story and really sell their companies and their unique capabilities if they want to change the funding gap.”
TAJ: As a woman in business you're always meeting new people across all backgrounds and industries, how does getting dressed play a part in your day-to-day?
Katya: “I love making outfits on Sunday night before the week. This is way more enjoyable than rushing during the day. I think, for me, making it fun and feel like dress up keeps that whimsical nature of fashion. No one wants to be running late, anxious about what they’re wearing, and feeling the “I have nothing to wear” mantra. Lack of time = less creativity, so I love making the space for that if I can.”
TAJ: You're a working mother. What's your stance on "having it all" and what's your advice to other working mothers?
Katya: “Stay in the game. If you have kids and you want to take a break, or leave a job, keep up with your network, go to the conferences, build relationships. So often those are the very things you want to lean on. My other piece of advice is delegate. Having it all? Yes, and delivered. Like Bette Middler said, “I do think I have it all, and that’s because I have my health, an amazing family, my loving partner, a business I love, and the opportunity to make an impact.” I think every woman can have it all, as long as she knows what that all is and goes after it. "
Rules I break:
There were a number of personal decisions I made that would have been thought to be ‘crazy’ at the time, but you have to follow your intuition.
TAJ: What's the best compliment someone can give a woman?
Katya: “Your have the best energy.”
TAJ: What does being fierce mean to you?
Katya: “Confidence from within."
TAJ: Advice for other Fierce Females?
Katya: “Find other fierce females, and love them hard.”
TAJ: What kind of accessories do you love? How do accessories make you feel?
Katya: “I love stacking rings. They make me happy every time I look down at them. I also really appreciate a good neck scarf! Really adds to a look."
TAJ: You're at a cocktail party, how do you meet people. Any secrets for breaking the ice?
Katya: “I always compliment people. It’s so simple and it makes people feel so good. I pick out things I truly love and use those as conversation starters."
TAJ: If there's one thing people take away after meeting you, what do you hope that is?
Katya: “I can do this!"
TAJ: Coffee or tea?
Katya: “COFFEE ALL DAY ERRRYYYY DAY."
TAJ: We always say the world is bursting with talent - so we travel to every corner in search of new talented designers. New York is bursting with energy, events, and things to do. What’s your favorite thing to do or favorite restaurant to go to?
Katya: “I love going to a comedy club in NYC and laughing my ass off. Nothing better.”
Left to right: with her business partner and Heymama co-founder Amri Kibbler, co-founders of The Accessory Junkie Andrea Siegel and Michelle Reeves
WOMEN IN TRENCHES: Special thanks to NYC designer and Fierce Female Michelle Waugh, for our favorite trench coats of the season. Katya wears the Sera headband and her favorite Audrey cuff from the Fall 2019 collection.