Holly is the epitome of style and so are her gorgeous little girls Alba and Alila. This is one very stylish girl gang! Holly's love for fashion is evident and she really knows how to put an outfit together, with a love for luxe accessories. If you want some serious wardrobe envy make sure you go and follow albaandi. We talk to Holly about her style, the ‘A Mother’s Love’ initiative, her girls and the values she hopes to impart.
Your girl gang is growing! Congrats on the recent arrival baby Alila. Tell us about Alba and her new little sister.
Thankyou so much! Yes our girl gang is certainly growing! We actually have three girls, as I have a 15yr old stepdaughter - Areiya who lives in Los Angeles with her Mom. She usually comes over once a year to stay with us, Alba just adores her! Alba’s personality is definitely alot like me as a child, such a tom-boy in so many ways but then at the same time such a girly girl who loves fashion and playing with makeup. She is such a kind and generous person just like her Father and is the most doting big sister to Alila. Alila is alot like Alba as a baby, such a joy and always smiling. Both of them are super active and never sit still though haha, they also never sleep very well, so this Mama is always tired!
And what does mothering them mean to you
Oh, it truly means the world! I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else right now, it gives me such a sense of purpose. Of course, I find motherhood very challenging at times but it really is the most rewarding thing to watch them learn and grow. And that feeling of unconditional love you get - nothing will ever beat it!
How do you feel second time round?
Haha - definitely a lot more relaxed. My personality is pretty OCD, so first time around I was super concerned about germs, doing things by the book, routines etc. You definitely learn to let go of things you can’t control the second time around and just go with the flow a lot more.
Your husband is Korean right? Can you tell us about the girls ethnicity and how your family encourages them to identify with both parts of that.
Yes, he is Korean, born in Australia and brought up in Los Angeles - so he’s definitely one of a kind! I’m so proud of my daughters being half Korean. Korean culture is so beautiful and something we really celebrate in the house. I actually teach Alba a lot of Korean words myself - I taught her how to say grandmother and grandfather and also how to say hello and goodbye. As a family we also LOVE Korean food, so we are always making Korean dishes at home. Alba’s favourite Korean dish is Kimbap (Korean Sushi roll) funnily enough whilst I was pregnant with both girls, I always craved Korean BBQ!
What values do you hope to instil in the girls?
Everything I was taught growing up and more! We will/are teaching them to always show kindness and help others in need. To be strong and independent and to do things for yourself. To be clean and tidy and organised. To know that money doesn’t mean everything and that the most important thing in life is your family and your health and the health of your loved ones.
Please share with us some practical things you are implementing to encourage your children to celebrate diversity.
Auckland is very much a multicultural city and as a family we have friends from all ethnicities and all walks of life. I think that in it’s own will go a long way in helping teach the girls about equality between ethnicities. Having a home environment where they meet and interact with so many different cultures will impact them in such a positive way. On any given weekend we will have friends over from Turkey, Iran, Japan, Korea, China and Australia all sitting around having a laugh and conversating with all our different accents, cooking and enjoying all different types of cuisines together from our different cultures.
Style is an intrinsic part of who you are. Can you share a bit about your background before Alba and what inspired you to start your blog and share your style on the ‘gram
Thankyou! I’ve always loved Fashion for as long as I can remember. I studied a Bachelor of Design at AUT after high school and since then I’ve worked for many amazing companies, such as Karen Walker, Workshop and Smith & Caugheys. I’ve worked in numerous jobs in the Industry including Visual Merchandising, Buying, Management, Styling - I truly love everything about the industry and couldn’t imagine not doing something involved with Fashion.
How do you balance a life online and motherhood
Some days can definitely be a real juggle! And some days are pretty effortless. I’ve always loved photography and playing around with styling - so it’s very much a seamless part of our day. But I definitely don’t let it get in the way of our family and our household needs. I find setting aside certain times of the day to do Instagram work and then leaving my phone on my desk the rest of the time really helps.
A big part of the blog is your ‘A Mothers Love’ initiative – can you tell us more about it?
Yes absolutely, this is something I absolutely love doing and that I hold very close to my heart. We didn’t have much growing up in our family and often had to rely on food banks and food grants to eat, we definitely never had any luxuries. So now that I’m in a better position in life, I really wanted to start something where I could help other Moms. Mom’s in tough situations either financially or emotionally, to provide a few necessities and a few luxuries they wouldn’t be able to buy for themselves.
Motherhood is unrelenting, what do you do for yourself, to recharge?
It really is! And this is something I really need to work on. I find it very tough to switch off and relax and find myself keeping busy even when I should be resting! I do love to walk though; it really clears my head and gives me a lot of creative energy and ideas. I find it very therapeutic and always feel so positive and ready to face any challenge after a good walk!
What is your dream day with the girls?
Definitely starts with coffee! And no tantrums whilst getting ready (hopeful). We love heading to a yummy cafe for morning tea then to the park or the shops. We love visiting Takapuna as it has great cafes, the park, the beach and some great shopping too.
How would you describe your style?
Ooh, I’ve actually never been asked this before(??) I would say it’s a mix of classic and on-trend pieces, always teamed with luxe accessories with effortless hair and makeup.
What is in high rotation right now
My Isabel Marant Crisi boots in Taupe, I pretty much live in these all year around! Also Maxi dresses with buttons - so perfect for this season plus they are super comfy, flattering and great for breastfeeding too! Some of my absolute favourites are from Zara.
Any must-haves for winter:
Yes absolutely! I must find a new Winter coat! I’m thinking a beautiful, beige longline one. I need to pop into Muse boutique soon, as they always have the most incredible selection of coats at this time of the year. I would also love some new Winter boots from Isabel Marant, she always does the most amazing designs and they are such beautiful quality.
What do you look for in a handbag?
Beauty first! Practicality second. I really do love a beautifully designed handbag, it has the ability to lift any simple outfit. I’m also a big believer in investing in quality over quantity when it comes to handbags. I don’t think of them as a seasonal thing, every bag I own, is a piece I will wear and cherish for many years to come. At the moment in terms of style, crossbody bags are definitely my style of choice - because Momlife!
What drew you to Saben style Saddie?
Firstly, the colour - It’s beautiful! I don’t have anything else like it. The style is also very 70’s chic which is an era I’m very much obsessed with at the moment. And as mentioned above, being able to wear it crossbody is a huge advantage for me with two little kiddies to wrangle.