Beyond Mom Interviews

Arah Van Roten

Founder of Jax & Dean

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Beyond Mom Arah Van Roten is the founder and creative director of Jax and Dean, a super chill kids apparel brand based out of New York City. As a full time mom and a native New Yorker, Arah wanted the t-shirt graphics to be a homage to an “authentic” New York. The vibe reflects the essence of a truly simple, gritty time filled with immense culture. While growing up in Chelsea during the 80’s and 90’s, Arah got to experience a completely different city and wanted to share that with her sons Jax and Dean. “I wanted to show my sons My New York”. Arah shares with us how she has grown as a mother, her favorite pieces in her “lux and casual” style and what keeps her balanced.

What makes you a Beyond Mom?

I am constantly pushing my boundaries, staying active and positive not only for myself, but for my children. I am selfless and no longer the #1 priority. I am everyone’s superhero, chef, kleenex, band aid, strength, guidance and so much more.

What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom? 

I’ve grown tremendously since becoming a mom. The unconditional love you feel the moment you lay eyes on your child, grows stronger each day. It has really changed my entire perspective on life. I’ve developed an immense respect for mothers. Something you can only understand when you yourself become a mom.

Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?  

One of my closest friends started her own line at the same time I was developing Jax & Dean. We never stopped motivating and supporting one another. Especially when we had moments of giving up, we were able to lift each other’s spirits, move forward and work harder. 

What relationships help you stay connected to yourself? 

I’ve been lucky enough to have great, long lasting friendships. It’s so important to have genuine, positive people in your life. People you can be yourself around and have a good laugh with. My children also continuously make me so thankful, and proud to be their mom.

 Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing?

 Launching Jax & Dean is a dream that has come to fruition. I used to do a lot of traveling…getting back to that would be nice.

What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?

I recently started taking Bikram yoga classes. Bikram along with acupuncture really help me stay balanced. When I have some down time I try to squeeze in a Headspace session, it’s a great App for meditation. Listening to music is also truly therapeutic for me.

How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?

It’s extremely important to always be yourself and embrace your own style. This enables you to feel more comfortable and confident. I believe style is so personal. Your stye should highlight your personality. Not every trend is for everyone. There are certain trends that would look ridiculous on me. I’m all about Lux casual…a hoodie and a pair of Loubs, or sneakers and a faux fur jacket. 

It’s really hard to narrow it down to a favorite because I like various designers for distinctive reasons. Right now Unravel Project by Ben Taverniti is EVERYTHING! My go to for basics is T by Alexander Wang. Three words come to mind when I think of Wang’s collection…avant-garde, versatility, and comfort. When developing my line these were key factors. I’m also obsessed with Nour Hammour.


Favorite Local Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:

The Highline, ABC Cocina, Lure Fishbar, Chelsea Market, Meatpacking District, Eataly

Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:

Non Alcoholic – Gregory’s Coffee, Kombucha, Cold pressed green juice

Alcoholic – Red or white wine (except Chardonnay)

Food – Crispy rice & Chirashi at Momoya in Chelsea, Red Mango frozen yogurt

Beyond Workout:

Bikram Yoga

On my last trip to LA I took a Soul Cycle class…it was incredible.  

Beyond Shopping:

For myself – Barneys in Chelsea (Contemporary)

For my kids – I love to support local businesses…My Little Sunshine, and Ever After