July 19 2012
Filed Under: Modern Mom Series
The first time I shared the Modern Mom concept with good friend, Nick Francis, one name came to mind: Cara Crupi-Dulmaine. He didn’t go into details, but simply told me she’d be perfect. One minute into our meeting (at her store, Modern Vintage) and I was smitten.
Cara is totally our kind of Modern Mom. Not only is she smart and stylish, but she is a true talent. As part owner of Modern Vintage Design Studio she spends her days working on dreamy graphic and textile design pieces, everything custom and many of which are New England inspired. We swoon!
Modern Vintage Design Studio is simply a must because the custom work is simply breathtaking… just like Cara, and her lovely daughter Soleil.
What does a typical day in the life consist of?
A typical day… hmmm, I’m not sure if that exists! Ha!
These days, it usually involves a lot of running around— and I actually mean, running. My 15-month daughter, Soleil, does not stop! I’m constantly chasing her. And if it’s not her I’m chasing, it’s our bulldog through my neighbor’s yard… ha ha. No, but seriously, my typical day involves getting myself and Soleil ready for the day, a drop off at her grandparents, or my sister’s, and heading to Modern Vintage to design, sew and manage the business. Before you know, we’re closing for the day and then it’s off to enjoy a family meal at home. After dinner we always take our dog for a walk around the neighborhood… it’s a great way to spend some quality time before bedtime. I always enjoy the small amount of time I get to spend with my husband before I go to bed.
Days that I’m not working, we always head to the beach!
Tell us about “Modern Vintage” and the inspiration behind it?
Modern Vintage is the collaboration of my partner, Kristen, and me. We’ve known each other for forever, and both had the desire to create ever since we were children. For us, it was all about timing. She started getting into refinishing vintage furniture and creating pieces from salvaged goods, at the same time I was thinking about leaving my job at a production company. Instead of designing for large corporations, I wanted to design in a way that I was passionate about. I enrolled in a textile design classes and started to do that on the side. Kristen and I decided to try something together— so we started working on pieces collaboratively, and realized we had something. We created a blog, became a vendor at a few craft shows, and now we’re here— with our own shop!
Modern Vintage is us living our dream; taking the old, creating the new, putting our hearts into it, and making something beautiful with the hopes of inspiring you.
Aside of design, what are some of the other things you’re passionate about?
Lots of things… I really love life.
I love taking pictures and capturing candid moments. I love meeting people and hearing old stories. I enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures. I love trying new things— whether it’s food, drinks, or fashion. Most of all; I love spending time with my family and friends.
If you could describe your family in three words, what would they be?
Happy, fortunate and busy.
Who or what inspires your personal style?
I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings. In my twenties, I was inspired by my travels. I loved seeing new cultures and picking up trends on my journeys. I haven’t been traveling much since becoming a mom, but I still love anything bohemian or things that make a statement. Today, I am constantly inspired by my daughter. I think the joy she has brought into my life can be reflected in my designs — I’m really into bright colors right now and creating pieces that make you feel happy.
Who is your favorite style icon?
I never follow Hollywood, so I would have to say my mother. She always had a great sense of style and loves fashion. She’s a great bargain shopper too— luckily, I learned that from her!
What is the one activity you do with your daughter that you never get tired of?
We love going to the beach together and taking walks, but my favorite thing is holding her and putting her to sleep. After a long day for the both of us— like I mentioned before, she goes, goes, goes— sleepiness finally sets in. She gets silly, laughs a little, and gives me kisses. I read her a story or two. And her tiny hands touch my face. She giggles a little more and then crawls towards my husband. She nuzzles her face into him and then inches her way back to me. She curls into me and pinches my arms. She gets a little fussy and I rock her. I put my face into her hair and neck and take in her soft and sweet smell. Her eyelids get heavy— they flicker and close. A few stirs and maybe a punch or a kick, and she’s out. I kiss her on her forehead and just stare at her in amazement. And I think to myself, wow, this is crazy. I can’t believe my husband and I created this beautiful little creature. And she’s ours. Ours. And I thank God for how blessed we are.
What is one of your favorite go-to meals during the work week?
I don’t really have one. I enjoy cooking and creating new meals with whatever we have in the fridge.
Being a mother is a big job in itself. How do you balance between career and home life? Do you have advice for other moms?
With a lot of help. My husband is amazing and we are both so lucky to have our families close by. Without them, I would not be able to do what I do. Because of their help, we have regular childcare. My husband is also self-employed so if I’m really in a bind, he can rearrange his schedule to make things work for us. And when it comes to Modern Vintage – both sides have been there every step of the way constantly encouraging, inspiring, and believing in me.
I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff. If the laundry isn’t done or the dishwasher is still full, the world is not gonna end! It will get done when it gets done. My advice is to take it one day at a time and stay positive. Life isn’t always easy, and I really believe you create your own reality. I realize there are things that happen to you that are out of your control, but you choose how you react to them. If you’re not happy, you need to make a change. You’ve only got one shot at this thing called life so you got to just go for it. If you don’t, you’ll never know what you could have become.
Cara’s 5 Must-Haves:
Skin: Right now, I’ve been using my daughter’s Johnson & Johnson Baby lotion… I actually like it!
Make-up: bareMinerals Foundation & L’oreal Voluminous Mascara
Hair: Salt water! My hair is thin and fine, and it always feels so full after being in the ocean.
If not salt, I’ll take hot rollers. I don’t have the patience for curling irons!
Designer: Don’t have one… If I like something, I like it regardless of whose name is on it!
Food/Drink: Margaritas and my Mom’s sauce and pasta… there’s nothing better!