Mommy & Me: Natalie Alcala
Senior Editor of RackedLA and Founder of Fashion Mamas, Natalie Alcala, shares her insight on how to do it all with a baby on her hip.
Name: Natalie Rose Alcala
Hometown: Hollywood, CA
Occupation: Senior Editor of RackedLA / Founder of Fashion Mamas
Do you feel more creative before or after having a baby?
I feel like I’ve become more creative after having Diego because he showed me that you could do so much in a small amount of time. I try to cram in as much as I can while he’s napping, and it’s been amazing for me so far. I started the Fashion Mamas group when he was 3 months old because I want to make every hard-working mom feel rewarded for trying to do it all. I wanted them to feel supported without judgment or competition, and I want to prove you can still do everything, all while having a baby on your hip.
Diego seems to be your partner in crime in all the projects you spearhead, how does he influence your work?
I love seeing everything through his eyes. He reminds me that things can feel so fresh, organic, and innocent. The nature of my personality is to overthink, and in turn, become overwhelmed. Children think by instinct. I feel it’s important for adults to reconnect with that part of themselves from time to time.
We admire your ability to maintain your work ethic all while staying true to your family; do you have any advice to future Fashion Mamas about balancing your careers and motherhood?
My advice for mothers is to yearn to have it all, but also try to take care of yourself. You can rule the world, but know when it’s time to stop and recharge. Just like a battery, recharging will give you a whole new set of power and will allow you to begin again and start with a fresh new set of eyes. Taking the time to recharge and reenergize will give you a better outcome at what you’re trying to be creative at. Sleep is everything.
After doing it all, what is your favorite way to decompress?
My favorite way to decompress is working out. I love sweating. Before Diego, I worked out a lot and it was way easier to maintain, but what I’ve learned is that I had to work harder once the baby was born, and in turn grew so much love for it.
We know you're vegan and Diego is vegetarian, what are some of your favorite things to snack on?
Diego loves dried fruit, especially dried strawberries and mangos. We both eat a lot of fruits and vegetables; bananas, avocados, and apples are our fave. His first word was “apple!”
What has been your favorite post baby work out?
I love Hot Pilates. In the studio, I always sit in the front row right next to the teacher. It’s always scary to do, but I do it because I want to impress them. I inadvertently try to show off and that pushes me. It’s become an addiction in a good way.
In the 12 years that you’ve been with your husband, what has been your favorite place to travel together?
Turks and Caicos was our honeymoon and it’s still my fantasyland. We love it so much and can’t wait to take Diego one day. Otherwise, Palm Springs would be considered our quick getaway. We know our spots there, so we consider that our temporary fantasyland before we can get ourselves back to Turks and Caicos. We’re tropical, so we like it hot! We enjoy taco stands, pineapples and coconuts in our hands. That’s the world we want to be in forever; swimming all day and no makeup.
How did you come up with idea for Fashion Mamas?
When Diego was 3 months old, I was trying to find support for myself, as well as have him engage with other children as he developed. I would attend different mommy groups, and felt so different from the others because I was the only one in heels, mini skirts, and red lipstick. I felt judged a little, so I sought out moms who are in my industry that related to me. I like to think of Fashion Mamas as the “rebels of our mommy groups.” We have a great support system and hold the same conversations. I mean, we go to fashion shows with our babies on our laps! I thought at first this was just going to be a way to connect some of my girlfriends, but 10 girls became 50, and 50 became 130!
Being the Founder of Fashion Mamas, what activities do you do with the other members throughout the year to keep the camaraderie alive?
I always have one event per month just to check in with everyone. We do, however, always end up having more events because there are just so many fun things to do. We do everything from sponsored play dates with gift bags (many brands have reached out, and want to work with us) to kids’ fashion shows at The Grove.
You’re so up-to-date with LA’s crazy scenes, and write about the most current topics on Racked, how do you continue to stay current and in the mainstream?
It’s been interesting because I’ve been with RackedLA for 3 ½ years, so it’s considered my 6th sense now. When I’m driving and I see a “Coming Soon” sign, I will make that U-turn to investigate. We break a lot of news because my writers and I are really eager to report on the coolest, newest things in LA. Thanks to Publicists, I’m up to date with certain things going on and we’ve built a reputation where they want to come to us first. The best thing for me is to be out there and feel the vibe of LA. I’m still young, so why not enjoy the energy? I can talk to people, stay connected with bloggers, and maintain a positive energy all while being engaged.
Who/what inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always been into fashion. I remember watching E! back in the day with Joan Rivers on the red carpet, and always wanted to know what celebrities were wearing. I started on Live Journal (throwback)! I used to go on Style.com (rest in peace) and remember reviewing Stella McCartney’s 2009 Spring Show to no audience because I wanted to write these reviews for myself. I wanted to be Kathy Horan. I went to school for creative writing (graduated from Cal State Northridge), so I loved exercising my mind and seeing how far one idea could go. My very first break was with Blackbook Magazine, where I helped them build their fashion section. I wrote a lot of fashion reviews, tapping the shoulders of designers and asking what their 3 favorite things were. I loved interviewing people. Shortly after, I landed a spot with Elle, Style.com, Vogue, Bullet Magazine, and now RackedLA—all while having a full time job.
Are you planning to have another baby, and if so how do you think that will affect your daily work/personal life?
I want to wait until Diego is about 3 to have another one because right now, I’m really enjoying just having my little guy and my husband. Also, it’s fun to have my mojo back. I’m where I want to be physically, as well as work wise.
What’s your favorite Rafia Jewelry piece, and why?
I love the choker you guys made! I love it so much, I can cry! My son is the boss of me, so anything that has Diego’s name on it is perfect. Also, I’ve been wearing chokers since the 90s, so it’s a great tribute to that era, as well as a great tribute to him.
use code: natalie for 20% off all mommy jewelry!