INTERVIEW | NATALIE BASSINGTHWAIGHTE
When you’re already a successful actor, singer, presenter and busy mother of two, what's next? Well, if you’re Natalie Bassingthwaighte, you delve into the whole new world of kids fashion of course! Natalie recently launched her super cool kids label CHI KHI- a stylish collection of monochrome, unisex basics for the minis. I had the pleasure of meeting Nat during the campaign shoot, and she is exactly as you would expect- warm, down-to-earth and effortlessly cool. In this interview, the rock star mama takes us behind the scenes at CHI KHI and opens up about jugging motherhood with her jet-setting career. Mumspiration? Absolutely. xo
Congratulations of the launch of Chi Khi. What inspired you to create a kids fashion label? Thank you. My children were definitely at the forefront of my mind when creating Chi Khi. I wanted to create something myself and watch it come to life. I’ve always been a big believer in thinking outside the box when it comes to life and career. I wanted to spend more time with my children and I have always loved Fashion. I wanted cool kids clothes that were designed and made well.
How has the process been for you? Are you involved in every step? I am involved in every step. The thing is when you start your own business you have to be. I like it that way. It feels like my baby. No one came to me and said hey do you want to start a kids line and or be the face of it. It was my concept and I made it come to life.
Before I had anyone working with me I came up with a name (which has since changed) and began by defining what the brand identity would be. Trademarked the logo then went about ordering samples of Bamboo fabric and researching the benefits. Both my children have sensitive skin and Bamboo fabrics were undeniably the best and I have to say the most beautiful. So soft! It is often compared to feeling like cashmere.
Honestly, It has felt like giving birth to my third baby in a way. You are probably thinking, yes but not as painful?? Well the truth is at times it has been. Because I was starting something new that I had never done before. So I have learnt everything from scratch. I am a huge believer in knowing your strengths and weaknesses so I am very fortunate now to have a great team working along side me.
Do you have a favourite item in the collection? The Allegra eyelash tee is pretty cute and made from 95% bamboo it is insanely soft, but the Evie dot Cardi is so striking. Mmm I could go on..
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of motherhood for you? The most challenging would be to fit it all in. I mean the whole, life work balance. I do feel fortunate that my kids can travel with me almost always for work but there are times when it is too hard. Like a quick four day international trip. Not fair on them and would be completely crazy. So I hate that part. Four days is just too long when they are so small. I come home and feel they have grown so much!! Also finding time for your hubby and of course friends. It is never quite the same.
The best parts are, watching these little people that you have made grow into them selves. It’s just so magical.
Did anything surprise you about becoming a mother? Like everyone says the love that you have for your child is truly remarkable. I remember them laying my daughter on my tummy and I just kept saying over and over. I love her so much, I love her so much.. Also the reality of sleep deprivation… how it turns you into a complete zombie
How were the early days for you? Were they different for each child? They were beautiful and challenging all at the same time. Holding this precious little bundle that is yours and caring for her was such a privilege. Then when Harper wouldn’t sleep, I couldn’t figure out why and I was sleep deprived myself I thought I was going completely mad. With Hendrix it was easier in a way because there were not as many questions, like what am I doing every step of the way. You know that it all works out in the end and take it in your stride a bit more.
You are incredibly busy, juggling many projects at once. How does motherhood fit in the mix for you. Have you found work/life balance and a dynamic that works for your family? That is the question.. It is soo hard I won’t lie. Everyday is completely different. It is hard to have structure when no day is the same. My husband and I work in the Entertainment industry so you never really know what is happening long term. Which coincidently is one of the reasons I really wanted to create Chi Khi. We are a team and it’s always been like that. We are both hands on parents and share all parenting duties. We also respect and admire each others dreams and goals. That certainly helps. The only things that are the same each week is Harper has kindi on Wednesday and Friday. She has Gymnastics on Tuesday and both Harper and Hendrix have swimming on Thursdays. Everything else gets slotted in to a tight schedule that is usually nutted out a couple of weeks in advance but confirmed the Friday before in order of priority from gigs to writing, meetings, photo shoots, interviews, play dates and couple time! Not in that particular order. Lol. It is so hard to plan anything to far in advance really.
We are lucky now to have a nanny twice week too. Which is heaven but both my husband and I work from home most days. My office is there and his studio is there. It makes for very long but at times funny days with the kids running in and out.
What are your favourite things to do as a family?As a family we love going for a walk. Just being together. No phones, no computers or ipads, just us. Oh yes and maybe a park!
You always look so glam and put together, what is your go-to outfit when you are just home with the family?Well you haven’t seen me first thing in the morning! Ahh my go to outfit is my low slung Scanlon jeans with Bassike tee and Loubitin loafers. It’s almost my daily uniform.
Who are your "mama crushes"? Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Gwen stefani. Strong creative women stamping their place in this world.
What's next for Nat Bass? Busy filming X Factor NZ. But hopefully before the year is through a nice big holiday!