Kelli Murray Larson is the Founder of Rylee + Cru and this week’s Meet a Mom interview! With a background as an illustrator, Kelli has created a gorgeous line of high quality, modern yet classic pieces.
Kelli says that her children, Rylee (11), Cru (8) and Quincy (5) have all inspired her work. “I didn’t really even think about stepping into the children’s clothing industry until I had my babies. When I had my first daughter, I was surprised at how little there was out there in the market in terms of well-designed baby and children’s clothing,” says Kelli.
We spoke to her about launching and growing her brand, her mom mantra, and more.
Can you please tell us a bit more about the “aha” moment behind your launch?
I saw an opportunity and had the idea of combining my experience in design and art to create a brand of my own. We launched our first Rylee + Cru collection in the Fall of 2014, and it has been growing ever since. My kids have always played a role in my inspiration and my ‘why’.
What helps you be both a present mom and a successful business woman?
Over the years and after much trial and error, I have realized it is less about balance (an impossible standard) and more about alignment. Aligning both my personal life and work life together with my values, purpose and vision. The tension of balance will always be there, but if the work I am doing and the decisions I am making are in alignment with the things that matter most to me (relationships, impact, purpose) that is where I find the most peace. I’ve also had to learn to give myself more grace (none of us will ever do this perfectly) and be ok with asking for help when I need it…especially when it comes to my kids. They have had a front row seat in watching my business grow and they know how much I love what I do….but my biggest goal as a mother has always been for them to know how much THEY are loved and valued, while simultaneously pursuing the things that I feel called to.
Any other mom mantra?
Give yourself a lot of grace! I believe in apologizing to my kids and asking for forgiveness….letting them know that I’m not perfect and sometimes I get it wrong too. We all make mistakes and there are always second chances. Some days are harder than others, but tomorrow is a new day.
How are you different as a mom than you thought you’d be?
I am a controller by nature, but in motherhood, there is so much of it that is unpredictable that I have had to learn to be more flexible and ‘go with the flow’. I have walked through all different seasons with each of my kids and I just try to be present and aware of their needs through each season and do my best to meet them where they are at. How I parent one kid sometimes looks different than how I parent the other simply because I know what each of them needs and how they respond. This is not at all something I was prepared for and have just learned through experience.
Lastly, please share some brands (besides your own, of course!) that you love!
For myself – Doen, The Great, Sézane, Freda Salvador, Loeffler Randall
For my kids – Odin Parker, Garbo & Friends, Plum & Sparrow, Solly Baby