For our first blog post, we decided to sit down with our Creative Director and Owner, Anna Williams to hear a bit more about the inspiration behind the brand and what makes NOM different from other maternity lines.
How did you end up owning a maternity business?
My mom started Village Maternity, a maternity and baby boutique located in Seattle, Washington, so I grew up around maternity clothing. At the time, there were no stores in Seattle where women could ask questions about pregnancy or find stylish clothing that worked for a changing body. My mother's desire to create a community of moms was always a big driver of her business and 34 years later the business is still thriving.
Five years ago, I was working in merchandising and design at Kate Spade when my mom suddenly passed away and I inherited her business. As hard as that time period was, it was an incredibly healing process to be able to run the business that had been my mother's baby for so many years. Village Maternity has a lot of my mom's personality interwoven into its core values and it continues to be a place for women to share stories, try new styles and ask the many questions that come up during pregnancy and nursing.
From the archives... a photo of Bing - who's now been with Village Maternity for 34 years, Anna's mother and brother and Anna.
After a few years of running the store, I noticed a hole in the market for stylish maternity and nursing clothing. NOM Maternity was always my favorite clothing line and when it came up for sale, I jumped at the opportunity to apply my background in fashion to the maternity world. The more I learned about NOM Maternity, the more I fell in love with the brand. NOM was started as a chic boutique in Los Angeles called Naissance On Melrose (thus the name, NOM). The original founder set out to design maternity clothing for fashionable moms and moms to be and the brand quickly became the go-to maternity line for celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow, Britney Spears, Amy Poehler, and many more.
The brand has evolved, but the essence of NOM has remained. We want to offer clothing to dynamic moms and moms to be that may not have a ton of time to spend shopping, but want to maintain their style while pregnant and feel good about their body. I truly believe that moms make the world go round and it is so inspiring to work with such an incredibly group of women that inspire me every day.
What, according to you, makes the NOM standout and so popular amongst young expecting mothers?
As someone who loves fashion, I believe that you shouldn’t have to put your personal style on hold while you are pregnant. I also know that moms have a lot more going on than getting dressed every day so I want to offer styles that are easy, comfortable, stylish and will last longer than the pregnancy months. I can’t be bothered to wear clothing that isn’t also comfortable so I spend a lot of time finding and working with my mills to knit high quality fabrics that will last. I also believe in flattering fits so I work really hard to make sure that NOM clothes work for a changing body. We have 34 years of experience in selling maternity and nursing clothing so we have a lot of feedback from our customers about what works and what doesn't
What is the biggest challenge facing maternity fashion today and also pregnant women looking to experiment with it?
Maternity clothing has come SO far, but I do think there is a lot more opportunity in the maternity fashion world. When I look back at what my mom and her friends wore, I feel so lucky that my generation has more options. There has also been a big trend in showing off the bump. It is now acceptable to look and feel sexy while pregnant, instead of hiding the body. I love when I get customers to try on silhouettes that they would never consider while not pregnant and realize how good they look. Being pregnant can open up a whole new range of silhouettes for some women who wouldn't ordinarily wear body conscious dresses or tops.
I've always felt that your style should reflect who you are and pregnancy shouldn't be any different. I always recommend women try things they wouldn't ordinarily and I can't tell you how many times that ends up working. Everything about your life is new and different so why not reflect that in your wardrobe?
What is one thing you would never be caught leaving the house without?
It’s so sad, but my cell phone. Juggling 2 businesses and family means my phone is almost always in one hand. That and lipstick because lipstick makes everything better.
What trends are you currently loving?
I love that mules are back! I love Rachel Comey’s entire shoe collection, but every day I find myself slipping into her mules. From a clothing perspective, I am so happy that color is back. I am a big color fan so the minimalist black and white look was only interesting to me for so long. I can’t wait to break out my pink, yellow and green dresses for Spring.
What is your favorite travel destination? Where is next on your bucket list?
Travel is an incredibly important part of my life and offers a lot of inspiration for the collections I design. I recently went to Morocco for the first time and can’t wait to share more pictures. I absolutely fell in love with Marrakech, but I also loved getting out to the mountains. The colors, the food, the landscape, it was all pretty heavenly. Next on my list is Turkey. I have never been!