WATCH: The Balance Of Motherhood With Rachael Russell & Isabela Grutman

Isabela & RachaelPhoto Credit: Haute Living

Tot Living by Haute Living hosted an interactive webinar featuring super moms and philanthropists Isabela Rangel Grutman and Rachael Russell Saiger. The best friends discussed balancing mom-time vs. me-time in quarantine, entertaining their children while at home, and their new and ongoing initiatives for their philanthropic organization, Style Saves—a non-profit that provides new uniforms, clothing, shoes, accessories and prescription glasses to underprivileged students internationally. Its mission is to unite fashion and philanthropy. Aside from running their philanthropic organization, Isabela is a mom to two beautiful girls, Kaia and Via, and Rachael is a new mom to a 9-month-old baby girl, Sunny. The conversation was moderated by Haute Living Managing Editor Paige Mastrandrea.

Highlights from the conversation 

On the balance of motherhood at home:

“Having two kids during this time has been really busy. But it’s showed me that I’m more powerful than I thought I was. Cooking and having the kids and a toddler and young baby at the same time has been challenging, as well as my husband. But at the same time, it gave me some kind of power that I feel like after this, I can do anything. I can cook any kind of food. I can make sushi or brisket. I can also take care of my kids. It’s some kind of power that I didn’t have before or didn’t think I had.” – Isabela Grutman

“My daughter is nine months. For me, it was really nice to have the time to stop with nowhere to travel. I have no events or dinners or any place to be in particular and really got to enjoy this time with my daughter and see all of these amazing moments as she’s developing and changing so fast. It’s really good to stay home and be present.” – Rachael Russell

“As a mom, it’s so important to figure out a good schedule so that you can have your mom-time and your alone time.” – Isabela Grutman

On the beginning of Style Saves: 

“The idea came to me when I was in college. I was 23. I remember there wasn’t really anything fashion-focused where you could give back to the community. I was with my brother and buying clothes for him to go back to school. And I remember how happy that made him feel and I thought, ‘wow that would be a really great charity for some kids. I’m sure everyone remembers what it was like to go back to school and have that new outfit. I thought about those kids that didn’t get to have the same feeling and that their self-confidence may not have been high, or maybe they were made fun of so they didn’t feel good, making them not do well in school. I wanted to build a foundation that could give kids that self-confidence and those basic necessities that they need for school.” – Rachael Russell

“I got involved because I said to my husband, ‘we need to work with the community. We need to do something to help the community. A friend of ours introduced me to Rachael and it was love at first sight—she’s my best friend and I love her so much and I loved what she was doing because it’s something so pure to help kids and help people—we just connected so completely because that’s what I wanted to be doing, too. Now, we’re just like a powerhouse because we can do it all.” – Isabela Grutman

On the Style Saves x COVID-19 Mission:

“When COVID-19 started, we had the idea to do a registry on Amazon. Almost like a baby registry, but we put in beans, rice and food, essentials, etc. There were a few families in Homstead that reached out to us in need, who got laid off of jobs and couldn’t afford to eat. We started putting simple things in the registry that families needed.” – Isabela Grutman

“A lot of the families reaching out to us were undocumented immigrants. And when it comes to the migrants, they’re not able to get the stimulus checks, they don’t qualify for welfare, food stamps. And a lot of them don’t have cars so they can’t get to the food bank. Having this registry was an easy way to get people to support and send stuff directly to the people affected.” – Rachael Russell

“Most of us stayed in the house because we had people to take care of, like the elderly or children, it was really surprising and incredible to see so many people willing to help, to donate. We had people DMing us saying, ‘hey, we have food, we’re going to come pass it out,’ or ‘my restaurant is open, I want to sponsor dinner for a family. It was really interesting to see that everyone was so willing to step up and help in the community. We didn’t reach out to anyone, they all came to us on their own.” – Rachael Russell

On Style Saves Back to School 2020: 

“For our Back to School event, we’re really excited because we’ve partnered with UPS. What we’re going to do is gather at MANA for three days, where we’ll need volunteers to help. We’re going to pack all the donations in boxes and we’re going to have UPS ship them our to kids who have registered with their addresses. In the box, they’ll have everything they need to go back to school”. – Rachael Russell

“We cannot let those kids down. I feel like a lot of families and kids expect our help, they need us and they know we’re always there. We knew [Back to School] had to happen this year….speaking to UPS and having them donate the boxes and label, they’ve been amazing and we figured out this was the best way to do it. I also think they will be so happy to receive a box and open it. It will be a beautiful box, like a little gift.” – Isabela Grutman

On staying positive through this time for themselves and the kids: 

“Sometimes I just go into my room when I feel frustrated or stressed. I take a deep breath and go back and I try to talk to my kids a lot. Even though Vida is only one, and she may spend the whole day just screaming, I try to speak to them and communicate, and keep them on a routine. I think a routine is really important for kids.” – Isabela Grutman

“Getting the kids out of the house is great, too. Take them for a walk, let them get out some energy, let them swim in the pool.” – Rachael Russell

To give back to Style Saves, please check out their site here, as well as Instagram page @stylesaves for more updates on ways you can give back. 

Watch the full webinar below