In 1998, Laurie McCartney gave birth twice--first to her son Jack, in October, and then to a start-up, Babystyle, in November. The idea for her Los Angeles-based company, which offers one-stop shopping for pregnant women and new moms, came to McCartney when she was pregnant and working in the retail division at Disney. "I was a time-starved working woman and had to go to 10 different stores to find things for myself, my baby, and the nursery," she says. McCartney says that being an expectant mother built credibility with potential investors, but running a start-up out of her home tested her endurance. "I'd feed Jack at 3 a.m., then answer e-mail until 5 a.m.," she recalls. These days, Babystyle sells $50 million worth of products annually, including Bugaboo strollers and classic wooden toys as well as fashionable maternity clothes, onesies, and diaper bags designed by McCartney (who cites Jackie O as her style icon). Overseeing Babystyle's 280 employees and 18 retail stores in seven states certainly keeps her busy. On the other hand, shopping for her second child was a breeze.
Jo Malone bath products, $165
"I take hot baths late at night.Â It's my time to relax.Â Malone's scents are fresh and clean."
F. Scott Fitzgerald book collection, $52
"I wrote my college thesis on Fitzgerald. I like his carpe diem philosophy and that a quest for love underlies all of his stories."
Hello Kitty beach cruiser, $300
"It has one speed. It reminds me of the banana seat bike I had as a little girl. Biking is my favorite family activity."
Anahata yoga mat, $22
"The playful orange and pink pattern reminds me of the beach. I go to yoga every morning, as soon as I put the kids on the bus and before I head into the office."
Hermès belt, $460
"The buckle is separate, so I can wear it with a brown or black belt. It polishes every outfit, from jeans to a pencil skirt."
…and What I Covet
Paris pied-à-terre, about $900,000
"I'd love one in the Place des Vosges, my favorite spot in Paris. It is steeped in history, yet has so many new designer boutiques. I go twice a year for fabric shows and am always inspired."