Beatrice Valenzuela on Motherhood and Muses

Beatrice Valenzuela, fashion designer and mother of two, reflects on the balancing act of motherhood, the inspiration she draws from her children, and the boundaries she keeps around independence & sensuality.
Beatrice Valenzuela on Motherhood and Muses

“My kids are my muses. I see them as individuals, not an extension of myself. Sometimes people will tell me, ‘Oh they are just like you,’ but they’re not. They are really just like themselves, you know? They have their own personalities and ways of being. I don’t want them to be like me. I want them to be whoever they want to be.” 

Beatrice Valenzuela is a fashion designer living in Echo Park, Los Angeles with her two kids and partner. She designs women’s fashion, shoes, and jewelry – all with the same effortless expression she empowers in her kids. We often think of the relationship between motherhood and career as a balance of two very different jobs, but Beatrice finds threads of beauty, inspiration, and growth woven across both. 

“I love the way they wear their clothes. I, of course, buy the clothes, but it’s the way they wear them that I love. My son Dimitri has this look where he keeps his shirt unbuttoned and wears layers of necklaces. It's his little style, you know? He’s a really free spirit and walks around, hands on his hips, with this attitude; a certain cool.” 

“There are certain expectations, of course, that are very clear: it’s important to me that they are kind, empathetic, respectful, and loving. That they are upstanders. I don’t care if they are super academic. To me, the goal is a life you can feel proud of. A life that makes you feel fulfilled. You, with your own wants and needs. It’s important to be really truthful to yourself. 

BEATRICE WEARS THE PLUNGE IN BLACK

“I also taught my family that mama needs certain things for mama to be nice. If we want a happy mama, then mama needs her bath. That lesson feeds their independence, too, by teaching them about the things that feel good and the importance of giving those things to yourself.” 

Beatrice practices what she preaches. While she encourages her children to be true to themselves, she makes a point of setting boundaries and protecting self-rituals to keep her own independence – and the sensuality attached to that independence – alive and well. 

“Sensuality, to me, is a completely selfish thing. Something just for me. It’s the way I’m feeling at the moment. It’s not for my partner, my lover or my friends. When I was younger, I thought it was about being wanted by others, about my friends thinking I looked beautiful, or about my partner thinking I looked sexy.” 

“Once I realized that sensuality was about my state of mind, I realized I could be entirely covered up and still feel it. Or the opposite: I could be wearing the sexiest outfit and still not feel sensual.” 

“Sensuality is a state of mind. And I get there through self-care. A luxurious bath, a really nice shower, a mask, brushing my hair, little soothing, and self-loving actions. Even making myself a beautiful cocktail or a beautiful cup of tea, or reading a book that makes me feel excited or inspired.” 

While sensuality may be a state of mind, Beatrice knows it is closely linked to the act of getting dressed. Through the eyes of a fashion designer, she reflects on the ways that her style has reflected the state of her sensuality over the years – and how those experiences shape the clothes she creates today. 

“All the clothes I make are either over the top feminine blouses… or super masculine suits. In my experience, I’ve needed both. I learned, at an early age, that my sensuality, femininity, and body could be a tool. Presenting myself in a certain way – through fashion, in particular – opened me up to new worlds.” 

BEATRICE WEARS THE PLUNGE IN BLACK

“It’s frustrating, of course, to experience the other side of that response. When I was living in Paris, the French men were so misbehaved. I was interning for a production company and would wear suits and no makeup to cover up those parts of myself. They were amazing bohemian suits with velvet stripes, but my whole body was always covered. I never toned down sensuality more than I did at that time, but I knew they weren’t going to take me seriously if I showed more of my femininity.”  

“Thankfully, things are changing. I also no longer have to put up with anyone, because, in a sense, I’ve arrived. That sense of arrival didn’t come from others. It came from the moment that I realized I wasn’t being treated the way I wanted to be treated. The moment I walked away from certain friendships, relationships, and partnerships that were not healthy; were not making me feel loved, beautiful, or taken care of. And, in that moment, I came into myself.” 

Beatrice places importance on walking away from negative relationships, because she knows the power of the positive ones. A first-generation immigrant, who has lived around the world, Beatrice is quick to seek out quality connections in each community she lives in. 

BEATRICE WEARS THE SCOOP IN CLAY

“I’ve moved around a lot during my life. I am a first-generation Mexican; the first person in my family to be born in America. I was born in Los Angeles, but I grew up in Mexico City, then moved back [to LA] when I was eleven. So, home just means where I’m at that moment. I’m able to quickly adapt and enjoy that place, wherever it is.” 

“I lived in Paris from the age of 19 to 22. It was the most creative and intellectual growth I have ever experienced, simply from being around the magic of Paris, the art, and the people. I met my partner Ramsey there, but he lived in Los Angeles. When I moved back, I really felt the lack of community in LA and was pretty depressed, because I couldn’t find the people I wanted to connect with.” 

“Los Angeles is a tough city and not what I imagined it would be. I was styling hair at the time, and meeting all these people with little passion projects on the side – maybe they made beautiful jewelry or beautiful ceramics. So I decided to throw a little party in our front yard. Bring your goods, I’ll bring my goods, and we can trade with each other. Worst case scenario: no one comes, not one thing gets sold, and we all still have a good time with one another.” 

BEATRICE WEARS THE SCOOP IN CLAY

That front yard party turned into the Echo Park Craft Fair, a beloved Los Angeles event that has bi-annually convened and curated working artists in East LA for over ten years. 

“[That kind of community] was desperately needed and all I had to do was to listen. Listening is so important. Regardless of where we are all coming from, we all need similar things: community – and communication within that community. Not communication that’s competitive or jealous, but loving and kind communication. Positivity and curiosity about one another.” 

Another form of community that requires loving, kind communication is family. And when a mother is running a business and working as an artist, then honest, open communication becomes all the more essential. 

BEATRICE WEARS THE SCOOP IN CLAY

“It’s really, really hard when you are working full-time to then come home and be present with your family. Impossible even. If anyone tells you otherwise, it’s a lie. When I’m working a lot, family is on the backburner. But I’ve learned to be kind to myself – and to communicate kindly with those I love. If I feel that I’ve been a bad parent or a bad partner, I apologize. I speak from my heart and say ‘I am sorry.’” 

“This quarantine has really re-centered me as a mom. The path I had been going on, for the last three or four months, had been go, go, go. Work, work, work. Lots of time in the studio. I was so in my own world, which is OK, but this is a nice moment to enjoy the beauty around us and appreciate our time together.”

BEATRICE WEARS THE PLUNGE IN BLACK

Interview and Article by Molly Virostek. Photographed by Ira Chernova.

Tags: bodytalk , Womanhood

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She is so inspiring – thanks for featuring her!!

sarah morabito

May 2020


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