We are thrilled to introduce our Meet a Mom Amanda Schechter! Busy wife, mom of two and founder of the clothing line FORMERLY YAN, Amanda has created a beautiful collection that can be worn now, during and after pregnancy. Her designing talent continues to shine in quarantine while she enriches her son’s lives by creating daily activities. We talk about motherhood and the honest truth that we can all relate to in regards to balancing parenthood and trying to keep energized while doing it. Meet this inspiring Los Angeles woman who credits community, family and passion for a successful life.
Where are you originally from?
Where did you go to school and what is your current profession?
I went to Stern at New York University. I am the founder of a clothing brand called FORMERLY YAN. It is a capsule collection of 7 styles adjustable to wear flowy or fitted, casual or formal, pregnant or not.
Where do you live today and how long have you lived in this area?
I moved to Los Angeles after marrying my husband 5 years ago and now we live in Sherman Oaks. We’ve been here almost 4 years.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
Cai is 3 1/2 and Ro just turned 2!
What are your favorite things about living in Los Angeles?
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a pretty decent singing voice and in my spare time I write kid friendly lyrics to hip hop songs..haha
How was the concept of FORMERLY YAN created? What inspired you? Where did your passion for fashion originate?
I was pregnant and couldn’t find anything to wear so I decided to design my own. I’ve always appreciated fashion and consider myself pretty stylish. I was never trendy but I knew how to put trendy pieces together. My friends always asked for my opinion when it came to anything related to fashion. I also worked in the industry for years so I knew how the business worked. Aside from all that, I just love creating physical, tangible things.
What did you feel was lacking in maternity and post maternity clothing on the market?
We haven’t seen much newness or innovation in the maternity market for years. Maternity clothes are considered “dowdy.” The quality is poor because people won’t want to spend that much on something they will only wear for a few months. Some turn to non-maternity brands that happen to be maternity friendly but they tend to be more expensive….I know from first hand experience. A lot of designer dresses and tops are also only dry clean only and that is not sustainable for a mom. Becoming pregnant is such a special and exciting time. We deserve to feel beautiful and be able to get excited about going shopping for our new bodies. If we’re going to spend money on a new wardrobe, it should be something we can buy now, wear now, and be excited about wearing later.
As we know, a woman’s body changes throughout pregnancy and can afterwards. How do your designs accommodate a growing baby bump and lovely new curves?
We’ve incorporated design elements such as zippers, snaps, and ties that are also functional. Each style is adjustable to change the silhouette of the garment according to your changing body or your changing style. Change is good!
What does feeling beautiful mean to you and how do you hope women feel in your collection?
Beautiful to me means confidence. I hope women feel confident while wearing the clothes.
We love that FORMERLY YAN embraces the needs of modern motherhood with fashion forward design. It is refreshing to see maternity clothing that not only makes you feel your best, but look great too. What is your favorite piece in the collection right now?
The Convertible Midi Snap Dress. It is very ME. I have worn this dress to a gala at the Beverly Hilton, in Hawaii on the beach, to interviews, to work, and of course at home playing with my kids.
As a busy mom, wife and business owner, how do you stay balanced and energized?
I don’t? I’m always tired. I’m always frazzled. I put up a good front but behind closed doors I never feel like I’m doing enough for my family, for the business, or for me. All I can do is keep setting goals for myself in all those areas and work to achieve them to the best of my ability while staying happy most of the time. That is my barometer. For now, I am generally pretty happy (of course I have my moments) but I’m happy with what I’m trying to accomplish and if that ever changes then I will change something in my life.
How do you rely on the women of Los Angeles?
Now that I’m a mom, I’ve realized that there is definitely a mom’s club. It makes sense because humans bond by finding some common ground. There is nothing more powerful and genuine than finding a common bond through your kids…the people you love and care for the most in this world. Everything I’ve been able to do so far with this business is because of the mom community.
What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?
How are you doing during this crazy time?
I’m actually ok! I really appreciate having all this extra time with my kids. They’re growing up way too fast and now I get to spend all day every day with them. We laugh, we cry, we fight. It is really wonderful. As everyone knows, being a mom is the hardest job in the world. Now that I’m a full time mom, I am going to give it my all. I try to come up with new activities all the time. Half of them result in something edible. I might gain 20 pounds after this quarantine is over. We paint a lot. It gets messy but I try to remain calm. My husband helps me maintain sanity.
Can you give us some insights into your day to day and how you’re managing this new way of life during quarantine?
I had to set new work-related expectations for myself. In many ways I’m lucky that I work for myself and that I have a small, new business. For now, it is family first and work second. I consider myself a full-time parent and everything else is a bonus. My husband and I both agreed on this arrangement because I have the flexibility to make that choice at this moment.
Per the recommendation of Cai’s school, we try to follow the school schedule as much as possible. Free play, activity, outdoor play, etc. Instead of designing dresses, I design activities. (Follow me on Instagram to see our creations) We do a lot of art, cooking, and scooter riding. By 3pm, I call it a day and it becomes a free for all. Sometimes I have a meltdown. A tantrum will happen here or there. The TV turns on…I do a countdown to bedtime.
Last question – is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My husband Noah. He made everything possible.
Follow Amanda @formerlyyan
Amanda has given our moms 30% discount on her collection! Here
This link automatically applies discount. Or use the code: Westhollymom30 at checkout. Available until July 31st.