Mommy blogs are cooler now than they’ve ever been. As the New York Times previously pointed out, blogs like A Merry Mishap and A Little Muse embrace an aesthetic in serving up advice on motherhood that’s minimalistic, sophisticated and, yes, fashionable.
Earlier this year Julia Restoin Roitfeld started her own site, Romy and the Bunnies, with a similar philosophy in mind. Just because a woman has become a new mother doesn’t mean she should give up the sophisticated style she’s spent years honing, especially not when she’s Carine Roitfeld’s daughter.
“It feels like suddenly you step into a different category of woman,” Roitfeld told Fashionista in May. “And suddenly you’re just a mom, and you have to dress differently and wear maternity clothing and it really bothered me.”
A new site is launching now, called Cricket’s Circle, which blends curated products, e-commerce and editorial content. It’s the brainchild of Rachel Blumenthal, who previously founded the jewelry line Rachel Leigh.
Blumenthal knows something about catchy branding. After exiting Rachel Leigh, Blumenthal helped shape the style of the startup her husband Neil had just co-founded, Warby Parker.
The idea with Cricket’s Circle is to minimize the time a woman spends parsing product descriptions while building out editorial content focused on lifestyle. The site shows a range of price points and style aesthetics; when a woman onboards, she is asked if she’s more into minimalist, contemporary or traditional design.
“We’re speaking to [mothers] like a modern adult, rather than talking down to her just because she’s now in the baby world,” Blumenthal tells us.
For any given product category, it whittles the hundreds of options down to the three best, as determined by their (very vocal) sounding board of mothers, a network they have been building out for over a year now.
Ideally the editorial content will be didactic, Blumenthal says: tips on how to travel with a baby, or how to do a smokey eye in under three minutes, for instance.
There will also be interviews with influencers like Meredith Melling, Molly Sims, Ivanka Trump, Jennifer Fisher and Rebecca Minkoff. But although these women’s tax brackets may be well above that of the average consumer, their advice should be universal. Parenting is a great equalizer, Blumenthal points out, noting that Lauren Santo Domingo had been raving about the Sleep Sheep recently. For $30 at Target, even parents without an LSD-sized budget can buy it.
Like Romy and the Bunnies and its counterparts, Cricket’s Circle is all about a clean aesthetic with “as much white space as possible” — think Net-a-Porter for baby products. Blumenthal recruited fashion illustrator Donald Robertson, who also happens to be one of the founders of MAC Cosmetics and the current head of creative development at Bobbi Brown, to add his freewheeling and humorous doodles to the mix.
“We wanted to acknowledge that she’s a sophisticated woman. She’s not going to spend a lot of money, but she reads the New York Times and The Cut. She’s shopping at J.Crew,” she says.
E-commerce is a natural piece of the puzzle, and Cricket’s Circle links out to the products it features, should women want to buy. But Blumenthal says that the site isn’t monetizing on those transactions just yet, and is not looking to push products on anyone. It’s a good way to build trust, and a way to learn from the user and figure out what she wants the site to be.