WAH Nails founder Sharmadean Reid admits that becoming a mom, at the age of 27, threw a monkey wrench in her already hectic life. “In all honesty, the business would be a lot further on had I not had a baby,” says Reid, who's also a stylist and brand consultant. “There are a couple of companies that started the same time as me, like Nasty Gal. Essentially, I'm always going to be three years behind other companies because I had a child—but it's fine, because I have an amazing baby. When you have a baby, that's all you think about.”
During her pregnancy, Reid multi-tasked and soldiered through a globe-trotting schedule of opening pop-up shops in Tokyo, and managing her staff in London. Now, with a handsome and energetic four-year-old, Reid is mastering the many hats she wears with grace, style and an unwavering sense of cool. Below, she shares some wisdom on why being cool and being a mom don't have to be mutually exclusive.
Make your “me” time “we” time
Dividing her time between work, her son, and her friends can leave Reid little down time for herself. But she's found a major schedule hack that maximizes every moment. “My favorite thing to do is to mix my private time with my time with my son, so that I don't feel like there's a separation between me being a mom and me being me," she said. “I don't want him to feel like he’s not involved in his mom's life. We go to museums a lot because we can both learn something, or we go to the cinema where we both get enjoyment. If I've got to take him to the playground—cause he's a boy that needs to run and get energy out—I will do mood-boarding while he's playing. If he's following me around all day while I'm doing my boring shit, I'll always make sure that we end it by doing something that he wants to do.”
Maintain a well-edited turn up schedule
Reid believes that moms should still have a nightlife, albeit a very selective one. “I'm not gonna randomly go partying—it's a waste of time,” she said. “I'll only go out if the music is amazing or if it’s a friend putting on an event. I've been to places where I feel quite old as a 30-year-old mom, but if the music is good, who cares? I'll go to parties and stand on the side, watching what all the kids are doing; I find it fascinating to see what's hot right now. Clubs define culture, especially in London—that is just the fact of it.”
Don’t feel pressure to switch up your look
Motherhood hasn't altered Reid's trademark sporty-meets-trendy style. “I think it's funny how I can wear heels and look bossy, and then I'll go home and put on my Jordans, camo pants and a football shirt,” she said. “I try to always show every single side of me because I am a multifaceted person who likes different styles. My look hasn't really changed since becoming a mom, because becoming a mom goes hand in hand with the fact that I'm older. I’m 30 now, so it's all relative. As you get older you understand your personal style: you're less experimental, naturally, because you know what works and what doesn't.”
Let your littles one have a say in their style
Reid makes shopping with 4-year-old Roman a 50/50 split. “I don't find shopping for him to be particularly hard: I buy stuff that I know he'll like. He loves costumes, he's got about 10 different ones. Every day he'll dress himself in a superhero, knight, or pirate costume. I try to appeal to what he's already interested in. He has an opinion. The other day I was in Sainsbury's, which is a superstore. I went to look for some school shoes in their clothing section for him. He wears Dr. Martens to school, but you never know what you’ll find in Sainsbury’s. There was one thing we saw: a short-sleeved, banana-leaf print shirt. Straight away Roman was like, ‘Mom, that's like a Jamaica shirt!’ I was like, cool, let's get it. He also wanted these really ugly Superman crocs and I said, ‘I'm not getting those.’ His style is a bit of me and bit of him. While I'm paying for it, that's just how it is.”
And just like with adults, mix your kids' high street with low end
Like every stylish adult that’s assembled a wardrobe, Reid knows that a legit mix of quality investment pieces and less expensive fillers is a winning combination. “H&M has a really good kids section,” she said. “I'll mix [clothes from there] with a brand called Ruff and Huddle, this cool kids-only streetwear brand from London. Sometimes, I invest in things, and I'll know I'm being stupid when I get them. I got him a Comme des Garcons PLAY T-shirt. Like, why? But he looks really good in it for a special occasion! Like I said, a little bit of him and a bit of me.”
Don’t put everything thing they do on Instagram
Reid has close to 14,000 Instagram followers, but keeps plenty of mommy moments for herself. “Instagram is the tiniest fraction of your life. It’s not everything," she said. "I take hundreds of pictures, but there are loads of things I don't share. There are times when Roman is in private mode and I still take pictures—but it's just for me.”
And know that at the end of the day, the coolest thing a mom can do is show respect
Above all, Reid values having a relationship with her child that's rooted in mutual respect. “We have a really good relationship, but it's not forced,” she told The FADER. “You want to raise a person that's a good citizen, who feels loved, respected, and has respect for themselves. You don't have to be particularly ‘cool.’ I don't especially try to be a ‘cool' mom. I just think that this is how I would've liked to be raised. I treat him how I want to be treated. I try to engage him in whatever he wants to do, and make the world a fun place for him. Once you do those things, your son or daughter will love and respect you for life."