Get to know...
Britt Barkwell, founder of Trouvaille and mama to Izzie. Britt recently featured in a photoshoot with Trish Mennell Photography, talks to us about all things motherhood, work-life balance and so much more.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a mother? Biggest surprises? Biggest joys? Biggest challenges?
A: Izzie just turned three and it’s amazing to see her transformation from a baby into this little independent person. She has such a fun-loving and quirky personality—it’s so fun to spend time with her and to watch her grow and change. Motherhood has definitely made me slow down and appreciate all the small things. I love our little daily routines like going for coffee on Fridays before school. The biggest challenge is to find moments in my week for myself. It’s so important to reset and to make time for things that make you feel good. Whether that’s going to a spin class, seeing friends, or even just taking a long bath – I try to prioritize “me time”.
Q: You run the beautifully curated lifestyle, fashion and travel site https://trouvailleonline.com/ - how do you balance motherhood with your career?
A: It is absolutely a balancing act but in the best way possible. I feel really lucky that I can now control my schedule and be around when it counts. I think in the end, my kids will ultimately benefit from having a mother that is independent and passionate about what she does (at least that’s what I tell myself…).
Q: You are currently pregnant with your second, due in the spring. What are some key pieces you are loving this pregnancy?
A: It’s been a great time of year to be pregnant because there are so many amazing knitwear options that are comfortable but still polished. I’ve been living in sweater dresses and oversized shirting. We launched a design collaboration with Alfred Sung in November, which was actually perfect timing because the shirts work so well with a bump and layered with knits.
Q: Do you find your style has changed from pre-kids to your first to your second pregnancy or have you stayed fairly consistent over the years?
A: I think my style has stayed pretty consistent. I’ve always taken a less is more approach to dressing—I would describe my style as unfussy and simple. I feel the most myself in a pair of vintage denim and a crisp white blouse. This approach to dressing has definitely shaped Trouvaille as our goal is to help women simplify their wardrobes by making fashion choices that are timeless and built on a foundation of high-quality staples. We aim to be a resource that encourages women to live beautifully, simply in style—which I think is especially relevant when you’re a mom!
Q: What fashion trends should be on everyone's radar for spring?
A: At Trouvaille, we try not to be too trend-driven but rather encourage our customers to find the trends that work best for them each season. For spring 2020, your best bet is to invest in versatile and impactful styles with staying power like bermuda shorts, easy silhouettes with bold retro prints or innovative draping, and sculptural puffy sleeves. Pick the styles that will have longevity and you can actually see yourself wearing into another season.
Q: What inspired your daughter's name? Any thoughts on names for baby #2?
A: My grandmother and great-grandmother were both named Isabel and I’ve always thought it was such a beautiful and feminine name. I love that its being carried through generations. My husband and I also loved that she could be called ‘Izzie’, which now seems to perfectly suit her little personality. Baby #2 is a boy and we already have the name but you’ll have to wait and see…although Izzie seems to tell everyone that she meets!
Q: Go-to family restaurant in Toronto?
A: We go to Terroni on Yonge a lot. Unlike other family-friendly restaurants, the food and wine are delicious so it’s also a treat for the parents—especially in the summer on the rooftop. We also love Dim Sum brunches on weekends and Kwan on Yonge is a great spot for kids.
Q: Fave family vacation?
A: We did a family trip to Paris over the holidays last year. At the time, we weren’t sure if we were crazy for taking a toddler but we had the most incredible time. I lived in Paris briefly in my 20s and traveled there often for work over the years, so it’s a very special place for me. It was so amazing to experience it through Izzie’s eyes and felt like a whole new city. She was so excited to stroll around the streets and take in all the sites. She carb-loaded with croissants and crêpes, drank way too much hot chocolate, and the Eiffel tower blew her mind. My husband and I love to travel, and this trip definitely made us excited to show our children other parts of the world.
Q: Sunday night tradition? If not, any fun family traditions?
A: We usually have Friday night dinners at home together as a family. After a crazy week, it’s a great way to unwind and catch up. These days, we tend to make homemade pizza (at Izzie’s request) which is fun and delicious.
Q: How do you find time for yourself? What’s your ideal girls’ night?
A: You just make it happen. Being a mom is a 24/7 job and it’s never going to be easy but it’s so important. These days, a perfect girls’ night means ordering in food, drinking wine, and catching up. My close girlfriends are a huge part of my life and really ground me. Most of them I have known for decades—they know me so well and I feel like I can let my guard down with them. As a mother, it’s often hard to be vulnerable, but we are all just trying to do our best and it’s so important to have a support network to help you get through all the milestones and challenges.
Q: Any last words of wisdom for our fellow new moms?
A: Try to enjoy every moment, it all goes by so fast. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself and try to celebrate the daily wins.