Maman of the Moment

A chat with with co-founder, mother, and Cara Cara Crush, Elisa Marshall

Elisa Marshall, mother of two and co-founder of beloved NYC-based bakery, Maman, invited us into her cafe’s Soho location one sunny afternoon a few weeks ago. Elisa’s charming children, Yves and Rêve, enjoyed the hot spot’s hallmark Chocolate Chip cookies as we talked entrepreneurship, motherhood, travel and more just in time for Mother’s Day. Read on for her take on it all….

What advice would you give to any working mother? Answer: Turning off being a mom is impossible, and also very difficult for business too, so finding those opportunities to blend the two and know that it’s ok and accepted, will give you more confidence as both a mom and a business owner.
Adrian Nina Photography

Has your style evolved or changed since becoming a mother?

I never wanted my style to change when I became a mom, and have seen this happen to too many I know! I refused to be a mom who always resorts to leggings, sweats and athleisure. I can confidently say my style hasn’t changed. I still enjoy getting dressed up just as much as I did before kids as I do now! I always dress for myself, my mood and my body, and do not let being a ‘mom’ define that!

Question 2: How do you manage both running a business and being a mom?  Answer: The biggest struggle for me is balance. As both my husband and myself are in the business together, often when we come home it’s hard to turn ‘off’ as it is for any entrepreneur, so we have decided to embrace an idea of blend over balance. I find balance suggests equity across parenting, home, marriage & work or family, which anyone can I’m sure agree with me, does not exist, so I prefer to look at it as a work/life blend as opposed to a work/life balance and parenthood and business to coexist with one another. I had to accept that it’s OK to step out of a meeting when my nanny calls, and OK to answer emails on the couch while my boys are enjoying solo play time. I gave myself permission to do two things at once, and that for me was the best advice in juggling a career while being a mom!
Adrian Nina Photography

What are your go-to pieces to feel put together on busy days?

Having just moved to South Florida, my new go-to is always a maxi dress! Easy, always cool, and I pair it with flip flops for casual in-store days or running around with the kids. It also makes for a super easy transition for meetings or going out in the evening to switch to heels and add a great pair of earrings to dress it up! I love the elegance, comfort and versatility! 

Question 3: Each Maman location is such an oasis within the bustling city. What are your favorite secret spots in the city to enjoy family time?  Answer: Living between NYC & Miami right now we are fortunate to have the best of both worlds. My favorite oasis in NYC is actually within one of our own locations - our secret garden within the back of Maman soho (where this photoshoot was taken). It is a beautiful spot that transports you from the NYC hustle, and many customers do not even know it’s there!  You can often find my husband and I working back there for some quiet outdoor time, or on weekends we love bringing our boys for a nice brunch, especially in the Spring!
Adrian Nina Photography
The Agenda