Former NYC nanny and preschool teacher, Natalie Gentile always knew that when she became a mom she would need a creative outlet. She founded King Kidlet, a company that guides new parents through the unfamiliar and saturated baby-product market, developing registries tailored to fit the specific needs and personal styles of families living in the city. Natalie’s niche expertise allows her to skillfully guide expectant parents, ensuring that they are informed and prepared. She holds an MS in Early Childhood Education and is a certified New York State Early Childhood Educator. In this interview Natalie shares how birthing a baby gave her self-confidence and what has been the most essential to her mental health and journey as a mother. Find out more below!
What makes you a Beyond Mom?
I started my business before having my daughter with the intention of working from home once I became a mom. While I knew I wanted to stay home, I felt strongly about needing a creative outlet. That foresight is what lead me to starting King Kidlet. And while building a business and raising a baby simultaneously has at times been stressful and chaotic, it has been so worth it. I love being home with my baby girl but running a business energizes and stimulates me in a way that is different and very necessary for me.
What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?
I have learned so much about myself since becoming a mom! I’ve learned I’m not nearly as patient as I previously claimed to be, that I have trouble asking for help and that carving out “me time” makes me a better mom, not a selfish one. So these are all things I’m constantly working on! But on the flip side, I now have a lot less fear when it comes to putting myself out there and going after the things I want both professionally and personally. Birthing a baby has done wonders for my self-confidence. I mean if I could do that, I can basically do anything right?
Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?
One of my favorites things about running a business is that it allows me to meet and work with so many incredibly smart, ambitious women. When I was first starting King Kidlet, I reached out Melissa Elders from Nibble+squeak and we’ve now collaborated on several events for expectant parents. By working together we were able to create something new while also supporting each other’s Beyond Mom endeavors.
What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?
Maintaining my relationships with my pre-baby friends is so important in helping me feel connected to Natalie, the person who is more than a mom. But also finding my tribe of mamas to lean on, laugh with and compare stories with has been essential to my journey as a mom and my mental health.
Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing?
I’m a very goal oriented person but I’m working on being a little easier on myself. There are many things I cannot control now that I’m a mom. Schedules that change from week to week, unpredictable naps, and sickness can really throw my productivity off track. So my current ‘Beyond’ dream is to keep hustling but try not to put unnecessary pressure on myself and know that I’m doing the best I can.
What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?
I was a dancer growing up and trained diligently until I was 18 years old. When I decided not to pursue dance longterm, I did a complete 180 and stopped working out until I got pregnant! I knew I wanted to stay in shape during pregnancy and prepare my body for birth so I started practicing yoga and fell in love. I try to start everyday with a short yoga practice. I find even if it’s only five minutes that I’m able to carve out for myself, it makes a world of difference in my mood and how my body feels the rest of the day.
How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?
Feeling good in what I wear, whether it’s for a client meeting or a trip to the playground, is so important. I fell in love with Loyal Hana while pregnant and still wear several of their pieces and otherwise I’m a devoted Madewell shopper.
Favorite Local Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:
Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:
My favorite restaurant is Aurora in Brooklyn. My husband and I were married there so it’s a very special place for us. It’s great for both date nights and family brunches on the weekends.
My morning yoga ritual, oh and chasing my little one around the playground!