Image by Ryan Garvin
Honesty is the best policy. And, if this is your motto it’s likely to follow you in all aspects of your life. For Los Angeles based designer, entrepreneur, lifestyle expert and philanthropist Breegan Jane, it's been just as important in raising her children as it has in becoming an expert in her industry.
We were of course interested in hearing how Breegan balances all of the amazing work she does while raising two active, young boys (the job she feels stands out above all others). And not to mention, the parallels she sees when it comes to design and fashion.
Many of us have really shifted our expectations with everything that’s happening right now - what serves us and our families, and how it may look different than what we wanted (or thought we wanted) a few months ago. What has been the biggest shift in expectations or plans for you and your family?
The biggest shift in expectation for my family is really trying to have a lot of grace and forgiveness for one another. Without it, there’s no way that we could get to this moment where we're all home together all the time. I'm making mistakes in parenting with frustration and my kids are adjusting as good as any four-year-old and six-year-old can to this time that we are in now. So really it's been a shift in expectations of their behavior and me learning that I was living in a world where everything was perfectly organized, structured, and our systems were in place. Having to adjust that meant I really needed to lead with forgiveness and grace as we settled into this new way of life.
You recently shared that you are deliberate about finding innovative ways to embrace the amount of energy that comes with two boys. Besides indoor skates and trampolines, what are your favorite techniques to keep them occupied?
We do love our skates and trampolines! Our newest addition is a boxing training ball that attaches to their head which always gives us a laugh. It is very difficult to keep boy-energy occupied when stuck at home, especially when we are inside for long periods of time. However, I've also added meditation to their practices. They begrudgingly started, but now they really don't fight me when I say “I think you need to meditate.” It's a very empowering tool that I hope they take with them as they grow older. I wish I had been taught at their age, and they really seem to enjoy it now. Our cue for meditation is “be like the monkey.” We found a cute little video with a monkey character that initially taught us how to meditate. So if I say “be the monkey!” they know that means go straight into meditation and they will!
You've also shared that motherhood is the job that stands out above all of your other endeavors. Where do you muster the strength and endurance to overcome the challenges of motherhood - children, maintaining your self identity as a woman, and juggling your aspirations while supporting theirs?
First and foremost, I aspire to be honest. I think that is important to remember that children live in an adult world, and adults shouldn’t create an unrealistic expectation of a child’s world. I feel like the American trend in parenting is to follow our kids around with a fork, shoveling the best organic free-range chicken into their mouths. My parenting style is: if you're hungry you'll go eat. I want them to learn to self-advocate, take care of themselves and learn how to sit and have patience. I make them go to nice restaurants with me and act accordingly. Every once in a while that means we have an embarrassing situation, but if I don't make them step up to the adult world that they live in with realistic expectations, what good am I doing for them? We all want to keep our kids in a bubble, but making sure they learn to adjust to situations and expectations appropriately is really important.
When it comes to my job it's “Mommy has to work and then I will come help you.” We actually have a visual symbol that says “I'm on the phone” in which they place their hand on my arm and I put my hand over theirs. They know that means “I see you” but it signals them to wait, and then I will come help them. I'm always here in case of an emergency. Naturally, with young kids there are tumbles that lead to screams and I will always come running.
In your opinion and experience, how are Interior Design and fashion alike? How are they different?
There are so many parallels between interior design and fashion. Honestly, I use fashion as an explanation with a lot of my clients when they're having difficulty grasping the idea of putting together a space. I create a visual “outfit” so to speak for their space. I like to refer to pops of color as the jewelry pieces and the neutrals as the classic, white linen shirt. It's a great way to clarify interiors for a client who is not well versed in interior design so that they can understand my designs and why they work.
It looks like a tied button down is one of your styling go-to's. Has your love for the tied up button down evolved over time, and do you see the trend staying around for the long haul? Why?
I think a classic button down is an essential in every woman's closet. Whether it’s worn as a top, tied or down, or as a cover piece on top of an outfit, it’s infinitely matchable and can go from dressed up to dressed down in an instant. Trends come and go, but I do think that the tied button down will never fully go out of style.
If Mother Oxford was a piece in a home, what would it be and why?
If Mother Oxford was a piece in a home, I think it would be the fabulous bath tub I designed for UNICA. It’s unique, beautiful and sleek. It’s approachably modern but also functional and beautiful. By being custom designed, you get exactly what you want out of a single block of stone.