Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Michelyn Camen

They’re chic, intelligent, always in motion, and most important: they’re loving mothers.

Can Cynthia Rowley do any more in a day? Ms. Rowley is an innovative fashion and accessories designer, home and entertainment expert (her line Swell is fabulous), author, reality show judge (loved her on Project Runway), AND will appropriately launch her first collection of fragrances for Avon on Mother’s Day.

One of media’s movers and shakers, Lesley Jane Seymour is a groundbreaking Editor in Chief of magazines that have motivated millions of women – from teens to women 40+. Lesley Jane is the former Editor in Chief of YM, Redbook, and Marie Claire and now brings her talents as Editor-in-Chief to More, which recently ranked #5 on Adweek’s Hot List.

Both of these dynamic women attribute a key ingredient to their professional success is motherhood. Ms. Rowley and Ms. Seymour each have two children, prefers stilettos to sneakers, and balance a hyper-drive professional life with quality family time. How do they do it? They share their secrets and personal frustrations and joys in this Beauty News exclusive look at two ‘hot’ metro mamas.

Lesley Jane Seymour, Editor in Chief of More magazine

BN: Would you be where you are today without being a mom?
LJS: Being a mom means I can do any high-powered job, period. Without the support system from my family (even if my daughter is constantly berating me as a typical 12 year old), I wouldn’t be where I am now, since I rely on them for love and care. The job is a job. A great one, but having my true loves in my life at home – my kids and husband – means I can keep the job where it belongs, in its place.

BN: You have been at the helm of a teen magazine, a young women’s fashion magazine, a magazine for young moms and are now you are spearheading a magazine targeted to women over forty. Is this path parallel to your own life stages?
LJS: My career has moved from talking to teens (I even wrote a book for them: I Wish My Parents Understood) to young moms when I was one, and now to women over 40 (I’m one!). It’s nice to progress with your age and interests. For More, I can roll out of bed and have ideas. I can go to lunch with a friend and get a spin on an article. It’s really delicious when your life and your work are so in sync.

BN: The media has gone ‘bump’ crazy. So much hype and focus on celebrities and their babies. What’s your take?
LJS: Unfortunately being a mom has become just a pop thing in the media right now. You see that with sad cases like Britney and Jamie Lyn Spears: children having children. She wasn’t ready to be a mom but she did because it was ‘the thing’. However, I do think it’s nice that being a mom is no longer stigmatized, as it was when I worked at a very high fashion book years ago and an editor kept her baby in her office drawer – there was no maternity leave back then. So it’s a good thing to have kids, but the pop culture is glamorizing motherhood and women who aren’t prepared to have children are doing so. It’s the trophy kid.

BN: Off topic, your favorite beauty product?
LJS: Lip Gloss. I must own 2000! I still feel like I don’t have just the right color.

BN: If you EVER have two hours of alone time, what do you do?
LJS: Two hours of alone time? I go shopping at Bergdorf Goodman! I love just to see what’s new. I don’t have to buy. Which is why I have to be alone, if I shop with my 12 year old she has to buy – something!

BN: Please share some tips with our metro moms to help them keep pace with family, friends and career.
LJS: You have to make time for yourself or you absolutely will not feel great or sexy. Children, family and the job do nothing but take… take… take. For me, it’s important to work out daily since being physically fit helps me to keep up.

Cynthia Rowley, the ‘Renaissance’ Mom

BN: Cynthia, with your demanding career, what is it about having children that makes you feel more confident, creative, and able to consistently deliver as you do?
CR: Being a mom requires being extra-patient, extra-organized and extra-inventive in order to balance everything. It makes you do more than you ever thought you could. It also means having love and joy infused into every part of your life. Motherhood definitely makes you more creative. I’ve thought, “If I can create this, I must be able to create so many other amazing things.”

BN: Congratulations on creating Flower and Petal for Avon. It’s launching Mother’s Day. The timing is certainly not accidental…
CR: My mom wore a certain fragrance on big occasions when I was a kid. She used to spritz a little on me before she went out for the night, and I always associated it with something special, even when I stayed home with the babysitter. I wanted to make something to share with my own daughters, and for other women to share with the little ones in their lives.

BN: Are you planning more fragrances?
CR: There may be more fragrances with Avon in my future… (shhh!)

BN: Beauty must-have?
CR: In the morning, sunglasses are my best friend. I just throw them on and run the kids to school with no makeup. I have my makeup in a to-go case, and put it on whenever I get the chance. Sometimes it takes me all morning to get a full face of makeup on — but in the meantime, I have my sunglasses.

BN: If you have two hours of ‘alone time’, what would you do and where would it be?
CR: I never have “me” time — it’s always “we” time.

BN: As a Metro Mama, what are your tips for readers who are both moms and career women to help them stay confident, sexy, and successful — even if they barely have an hour for themselves?
CR: Whenever possible, try to include your kids in your busy life, including your job, errands and any other activities. The key to doing this successfully is making sure they’re getting something positive out of the experience in addition to getting to spend time with you. If your kids can visit you at work, great! I’m lucky enough that I have a work environment where my kids can come and visit, and it’s a space in which they can be creative. Sometimes, they work with me on projects – for example, my older daughter helped choose the notes in Petal. I think incorporating family into work is the way for modern, busy moms to keep everything balanced.

Flower and Petal by Cynthia Rowley will be available on http://www.avon.com for Mother’s Day.

Originally published May 2008
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