Each month, In The Know by Yahoo is giving everyday parents their time to shine in our exclusive Parenting Spotlight.
When mom of two Lauren Hayes founded kids’ clothing line Royal Nation in August 2021, representation was a top priority. After all, what she was seeing in the market was clothes with characters — but ones that lacked diversity.
“I’ve always wanted both of my children to feel free to express themselves, and I learned that a big part of that in being a child is through their ability to identify with characters they see,” Hayes, who is founder and CEO, told In The Know by Yahoo via email. “The problem is, representation in characters is lacking and therefore leaves Black, brown and multiethnic children very few options.”
That’s why Hayes created a children’s streetwear brand that includes characters of color, including a boy king and his loyal knights whose sweatsuits are really impenetrable armor in disguise.
Hayes’ kids — Roosevelt, 6, and Esme, 4 — helped by “simply being who they are,” she said.
“I learned so much by watching their choices, having conversations with them about how they view themselves and asking them questions about what they imagine,” Hayes continued.
“No one is perfect, and sometimes they call me out for working too much,” Hayes said. “They say things like, ‘How many jobs do you really have?!’ I’m always ‘Mom,’ but I like that they see me this way, wearing multiple hats. It’s authentic and true, and hopefully inspiring.”
What’s the parenting tip that everyone loves but you think is overrated?
“No co-sleeping” is overrated, in my opinion. Every parent is secretly doing what they need to do to survive the early years, and most parents co-sleep at some point! Point being, do what’s best for you and your family.
What’s your best parenting advice?
Be patient with yourself and ALWAYS apologize to your children when you are wrong. It helps create transparency around imperfection and breeds humility.
What would be the title of your memoir?
Unlock the Power in Your Imagination: Flesh Out the Details As You Go
What’s the weirdest thing you plan on saving from your kids’ baby- or childhood?
Which apps could you not live without?
The Wonder Weeks! It was amazing and so informative as my kids were going in and out of different developmental leaps.
What’s one parenting product you wish you’d bought years ago?
Probably a reward chart. We have one now, and the kids are kind of excited about receiving little rewards and acknowledgment. Not to mention they are low-key competitive, so it keeps things moving smoothly… for the most part.
What’s one life hack you wish you’d learned years ago?
Not so much a life hack, but life advice, is that you don’t have to have all the answers to pursue your dreams or something that you imagine. I wish I had realized earlier in life that it is OK to move forward not knowing what every single step is going to look like. I trust God, and I focus on one step at a time.
Who is your favorite celebrity/influencer mom?
Are there any parenting terms you wish you could retire?
Sleep training. I just don’t think it’s as black and white as some parents make it out to be.
What is one “mommy win” you’re super proud of?
I am grateful to be raising two incredible human beings who are kind, compassionate, loving, funny as heck and dream big dreams. They fully embrace their imaginations, and I am here for ALL of it!
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If you enjoyed this story, check out our Parenting Spotlight for Native American artist, Aly McKnight!
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