Brandice Daniel is doing it all. The entrepreneur runs several thriving businesses including a much buzzed about podcast discussing life, love, laughter and everything in between. In addition to being a devoted wife, loving mother, and engaged friend she works with brands, educational institutions, and entrepreneurs to support students, local designers, editors, and stylists of color. We spoke to the Harlem’s Fashion Row founder about the joys of pregnancy, teaching her daughter to work for herself, and why she’d be lost without her great girlfriends.
What’s the best parenting advice you’ve received so far?
There were two things. The first was to put Sky on a schedule. The person actually gave me the schedule that she used for her kids- she had triplets. Sky goes to sleep at seven o’ clock and it’s like the best thing ever.
What was the second piece of advice?
Give myself a lot of grace. As a mom, there’s guilt. I realize I have a different career path than most moms since I’m an entrepreneur. In the beginning I had SO much guilt over taking too many conference calls when I was with her. I felt like I should spend all my time giving her what she needs. When parents go off to work, and they have a traditional job the guilt is “I’m leaving my baby at home”. If you work from home the guilt is “I’m working so much I need to be spending time in the moment with my child.”
You’ve spoken on your podcast The Great Girlfriends about finding it difficult to accept help with your daughter. How did you get to a place where you could let your support system contribute?
I’m still working on it. I’m a work in progress with that. It’s challenging but I’m working through it. But I will say I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable saying “I need help” and scheduling things a little further out so I can ask for help with Sky earlier. It’s gotten a little bit better.
How do you and your husband find time to dedicate to your marriage since becoming parents?
I have an incredible niece, her name is Deondra, and she is so good about saying “okay guys you can have a date night. I’ll come watch Sky”. She lives in New York so that has been the biggest blessing. And then also we’ve gone on some dates with our daughter. She goes to sleep at seven so when the OJ series was on that was our date night. Neither one of us are schedule people so we’re spontaneous with it.
How do you maintain your friendships as a new mother?
My friendships? Oh my gosh. That gives me life! There’s no way in the world I could drop that. That’s where I feel like Brandice, not Brandice the mom, not Brandice the CEO, but Brandice. I’m kind of blessed in that most of my friends have children and they’re mostly around the same age as my daughter. Me and one of my friends connect once a week. She brings her daughter over or I bring my daughter and we swap it out where if I’ve got work to do she can watch both of the girls or if she’s got work to do I can watch both of the girls. It’s just fantastic. I just make the time it’s not even up for negotiation. It’s not if I’m going to hang out with my girls, it’s yes I’m going to hang out with my girls. We just do it with the babies now.
Do you think there’s ever a right time to have a baby?
I don’t think there’s ever a right time for it because there’s always going to be something else you can do. There’s always going to be something else you can accomplish there’s always going to be something else you can check off. If you would’ve told me last year that I would have taken on a whole other business, which I love but is very demanding, plus have a baby I would have told you “No way!” but God graces you with exactly what you need to get it done.
Would you like your daughter to be an entrepreneur as well?
I’m not raising my daughter to work for anyone else. I’m raising her as an entrepreneur. She can take on whatever she wants to take on but my dream is for her and Dylan to take over “The Great Girlfriends” one day.
What are your favorite “me” time activities?
I love going to get massages. I would do that every day if I could. And we just got a new place with a yard so for me sitting back there reading a book or having a glass of wine- I love it. Anything outdoors I love it.
What is your favorite activity to do with your daughter ?
Make her laugh. I have this little kissing game I play with her and that was the first time I ever heard her giggle. I can’t even explain what it feels like just to hear her laugh. That’s my favorite thing to do with her.
How are you facilitating your daughter’s learning?
My great girlfriend Sybil bought her the “My Baby Can Read” program. Both of her kids learned how to read very very early. She takes music class every now and again and we read tons of books.
How do you care for your daughter’s skin and hair? What are some of your favorite kid friendly products?
I’m just trying out this new product called Noodle and Boo. I’ve heard that’s all the rage. We’re trying it and seeing how we like it. I was using Burt’s Bees before. I still love the oil for her body. I also use organic cold pressed coconut oil. That’s what I usually put on her hair.
Being pregnant is such an amazing time in a woman’s life. What was the best part of the experience for you?
I loved all of it. I loved being pregnant. The first three months were horrendous but after that I loved it. It Pregnant women get treated well. People were so kind and so nice. I had tons of speaking engagements while I was pregnant and I remember I was backstage in the Verizon green room at Essence Festival and Lala Hathaway was there and she ended up actually singing to Sky. That was one of my favorite moments. That’s the one time in your life where people don’t feel that you’re a stranger. Either they know what it’s like to carry a baby or they want to carry a baby or they know somebody who has so they just feel this automatic connection to you. You feel protected by the world.