That Amy (founder of OKREAL) is a brilliant, beautiful and driven young woman is obvious, it’s her sensitive and honest approach to single motherhood that is most compelling. Separated from her husband and relocated back to Auckland from New York, Amy is looking to bright new beginnings and challenges, while redefining her life along the way. We talk to Amy about raising Ra, and what she didn’t see coming.
Tell us about OKREAL
OKREAL is a curation of wisdom shared by strong, smart women. We started as a digital platform, and now in addition to online content, we host panels, weekly mentor circles, and do one on one coaching. We’ve hosted events in NYC, LA and SF, and have partnered with companies like Nike, TED, and Mattel. My mission with OKREAL is to enable women to define and create their own personal version of fulfillment.
Your move home
After living in NYC since 2009, I moved back to New Zealand late last year. I became a single mother at 5 months pregnant and gave birth to my sweet boy Rawiri Rain in February. Ra is now 9 weeks old and we are getting through the fourth trimester one day (hour?) at a time. My business OKREAL is still based in New York, and it’s been interesting trying to balance an overseas based business with a new-born. Having a baby pretty much lobotomized me and I have only been able to see, think, and breathe him. As I slowly emerge from the baby haze I’m starting to plan out the rest of the year which will involve several trips to NYC and also bringing OKREAL to New Zealand, which I’m really excited about.
Your viewpoint on motherhood
Do what gets you through the day. Or the night, for that matter!
Best part about becoming a mother
Ra’s morning smiles. The love I have for him is incomparable. It consumes me completely.
Words of comfort to single parents
On the days when I’m not coping, I think of all of the other mothers who have done what I am doing, with far less family support. Knowing that there is an army of mothers who are also doing this on their own gets me through.
Favourite parenting advice you received
You can always start again. On the days when things are not going to plan (most days) and Ra is having a meltdown, this is what my mum says to me. Reset the plan. Start again. This has, incidentally, become my mantra for life in general—the start of Ra’s life was also a new start to mine.
What you didn’t see coming
The multitude of identity shifts that I’ve had to process at once. Going from being a business owner in NYC working 12 hour days with an apartment, a husband and a plan for my future—to becoming a single mother in Auckland with a newborn. Motherhood within itself is an act of surrender, and I didn’t expect to have to let go of everything else at the same time. But I did it, and found out what I was made of along the way.
Values you hope to instil in your son
Kindness. Integrity. Honesty. Humour. Work ethic. A good handshake. Resilience. Empathy.
What you were looking for in a nappy bag.
Something that conceals the chaos and makes me look like I’ve got my shit together!
Amy wears NEW Saben style Freddie - designed with Mother's in mind. Large enough to fit all your essential items it also doubles up perfectly as a work bag, weekend bag, gym bag, hospital bag or carry-on bag. The optional shoulder strap allows you to go hands free, whilst numerous pockets and an elasticised bottle holders allows you to keep it all neatly organised.
Besties and business partners, Nia and Talia are the creative duo behind local womenswear brand Layplan. On the blog we chat about business, what inspires them and intentional design.