Ayesha Curry Talks Life, Motherhood, and Her New Collaboration
On Mother’s Day, we get to celebrate the special women in our lives who seem to have it all under control, the women who magically keep things moving both at home and at work, the women who keep us happy and fed and generally functional: our mamas. Ayesha Curry is one such superwoman. In addition to being wife to NBA superstar Stephen (better known as Steph) Curry and mother to two adorable daughters (Riley and Ryan), she’s a seriously budding personality in the food world. You may have seen her Food Network show Ayesha’s Home Kitchen, been totally drawn into her addictive Instagram feed, or fallen down the uber-delicious rabbit hole of the amazing recipes she posts on her site. As if that wasn’t enough, Ayesha also recently published a cookbook (The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well), launched a meal kit subscription box, and announced that her first restaurant will open later this year in San Francisco. Honestly, we need a nap just thinking about all of this.
To top it all off (yep, we’re still going), on May 14 (Mother’s Day, appropriately), Ayesha will launch Cheeky Baby — a line of reusable, high-quality plastic and silicone tableware for little ones — in collaboration with Cheeky. Think sippy cups, non-slip bowls, divided plates, silicone bibs, and more… all in adorable, soft shades, and decorated with sweet animal characters. The best part? For every piece of the Cheeky Baby line purchased (exclusive to Target), one meal is donated to a child in need through No Kid Hungry.
Luckily for us, Ayesha took some time out of her clearly chaotic schedule to talk about life as a boss mom, as well as the new Cheeky Baby products. Read on to learn more!
Brit + Co: What are the keys to your entrepreneurial success?
Ayesha Curry: Not putting a ceiling on myself has really helped — and setting goals, but not dwelling on them if they don’t happen. For me, it hasn’t been about working for those goals. It’s just been about working. It’s about putting forth my best effort every single day, and seeing what God has in store for me, but not focusing in on any one thing. When you focus on one thing, you don’t realize all of the other blessings that are happening. I make sure that I put forth my best effort and am working really hard to make myself better in everything that I’m doing every single day. That’s been a big key. I’ve also learned how to shake off the negatives that happen. The bad things have taught me to be resilient, so I can press forward and get better.
B+C: What lessons have you learned about how to shake things off? Has it gotten any easier to do that?
AC: No, it never gets easier. It’s really, really hard. I don’t want to sugarcoat things! When I get really stressed out or frustrated or something’s not going the way that I want it to and it feels like everything’s falling apart, I have to sit down, go on my Headspace app, and just breathe. Then, I’ll literally take out a sheet of paper and write down all of the positives that are going on with whatever it is I have my foot in at the time. I think it’s really important to always put things in perspective and to physically write down the ways that you can solve the issue. That works for me. As women, we tend to get really, really worked up over what’s really big in the moment, but it usually ends up being a small deal.
B+C: How do you manage all of your entrepreneurial projects with being such an active mom to two little ones?
AC: The first thing is lots of coffee. Also, lots of wine. (laughs) I literally have to schedule myself down to the second. It gets frustrating at times, but that’s kind of how it works for me. I’m a visual person, so I have to take a pen and paper and do it. What I’ve also learned is that it’s always quality over quantity. I suffer from chronic Mom Guilt, which I think a lot of people can relate to. As a mom, that never goes away. You’re always going to feel like you’re not good enough, you’re always going to feel like you’re not doing enough — but the truth is that you are. The important part for me has been to make sure that when I am with my girls, I’m disconnected and my phone is down and I’m spending quality time with them. I don’t try to work and play at the same time. It’s really about making sure that you divide the two and set aside the time for work, and then set aside the time to be a mom. You’re always going to have to worry and you’re always going to have guilt, but being able to separate your time and really focus on the kids fully and wholeheartedly is important.
B+C: In your nonstop schedule, how do you keep your priorities in check and stay ahead of your to-do list?
AC: This is repetitive, but I’ll go back to making lists! Visually crossing things off really helps me. You’re most likely not going to finish everything that’s on that list. Seeing everything that I actually did accomplish gives me peace of mind, so I’m not harping on what I didn’t finish. I keep perspective, though. My kids are healthy, I was able to feed my family that day, and everything’s okay… that makes me feel accomplished. Perspective is huge in my life. We’re all so blessed and we tend to look past all of the blessings and just look at the negative and what’s not right — instead of looking at what is right.
B+C: What is your favorite part about juggling your busy work life and family life?
AC: My favorite part about all of this is the adrenaline rush I get. When you really love what you do, the stressful times almost boost you up. Whether I’m in the kitchen developing recipes for the restaurant, or whether I’m at home or shooting [the show], I have these moments where the stress level is so high, and I feel like there’s not enough time to do anything that needs to get done. In those moments, my best self presents itself, because ultimately, I’m dealing with all of these hardships and stressors, and the fact that you’re able to get through and finish what you started is an accomplishment in itself. The high-stress moments and the adrenaline rush that comes with them is the best part of juggling everything and having a full plate.
B+C: On the other hand, what do you find to be the biggest challenge that comes with the juggling act?
AC: It feels like there’s never enough time to sleep! When it is time to sleep, I always feel like I could be doing more. I try to make sure that I’m taking care of myself, even though I have two little (Riley and Ryan) and one big (husband Steph) human beings to take care of on top of myself. Plus, I have all of these other endeavors. It’s about making sure that I don’t forget about myself, and it’s about setting that time aside. It can be something as simple as taking your vitamins or drinking enough water or taking that time for yourself to just breathe or be.
B+C: When you do get that time for yourself, what’s your favorite way to spend it?
AC: I love to light a candle that smells really peaceful and run a bath. I’ll pour a glass of red wine. I love to just sit in there and either read a magazine or just close my eyes. It’s my favorite thing to do. The funniest part about that, though, is that I think I spend more time running the bath than I actually do in it. (laughs) It’s a whole therapeutic process.
B+C: How has being a mom helped you become a better entrepreneur?
AC: I’m capable of multitasking and juggling several different things at once. After I had my first daughter, I thought to myself, “What was I doing with my time before?” Having kids, I’m able to do more than I was before and still be a mom. That’s something that I think is so amazing about being a woman, in general. We have this ability to multitask and juggle and still manage to take care of the people around us. It’s a really beautiful thing.
B+C: What about vice versa — how has working on all of your endeavors made you a better mom?
AC: Being a mom has taught me a lot of patience, and to simply breathe. It’s helped me be a more calm, serene, responsible person.
B+C: One of the things people love about your blog and your show is the chance to see your family life in action. What’s it like being on the inside of that overlap between the professional and personal?
AC: Sometimes, it gets a little weird and intimidating. At the same time, my family is my whole existence. They’re the reason that I do everything, and they make me extremely happy. My family is why I started on this journey in the first place. When I had my first blog “Little Lights of Mine,” it was there as a vessel for me to share all of the things that brought light and positivity and happiness into my life. Obviously, my family is the biggest part of that. My journey with food is the second half of it. Food and family go hand in hand. My whole mission is to keep the family meal and the camaraderie of simply gathering around the table and eating together alive. With social media, everyone’s always on their phones, trying to capture the moment. You spend so much time trying to capture the moment that you never actually live a moment, because you’re trying to create one instead of just being. My whole mission with food and sharing these parts of my family is to try to encourage people to keep that tradition alive. When you’re eating together and enjoying really good food, that’s where memories are made, and that’s where relationships are built.
B+C: What was the inspiration for your new product line Cheeky Baby?
AC: When I came on with Cheeky Baby, I was looking for stuff for my youngest daughter, Ryan, who was a baby at the time. I was looking for plates, forks, transitional cups, and all of that. Everything was either so ridiculously priced or really, really cheap and would break apart or spill everywhere. It just wasn’t functional. When [Cheeky and I] approached each other through our partner No Kid Hungry, I was like, “Yes! Let’s do this!” I signed on with Cheeky before Cheeky Baby was even born! The inspiration was finding the balance between being functional and aesthetically pleasing for the parents, but also super cute and fun for the baby. For me, a lot of stuff on the market is a little bit intimidating. I’m a big neutrals girl, and I don’t like anything that’s too bright and too loud. The product is such a happy medium because all of the colors are so serene. At the same time, every piece tells a story and there’s a character involved for kids to connect with. Ultimately, though, the fact that Cheeky Baby is a one-for-one company is what inspired me the most. For every piece you buy, a meal is donated through No Kid Hungry. Not only are you getting what you need for your children, but you’re also giving back to children in need… and teaching your kids how to give back too.
B+C: What else should moms know about Cheeky Baby products?
AC: The line is available at Target, and the price point is so competitive with the other products there. I’m able to share this moment with all of my friends and family, because it’s just so affordable — but we’re not missing out on that quality. As a mom, the most important thing to me is that things are dishwasher-safe (laughs), so you can throw it in the dishwasher and you don’t have to worry about it.
B+C: How does mealtime in your house look with Cheeky Baby?
AC: Mealtime, for us, is chaotic. We’re trying to figure out the best thing possible to feed [the kids], but we also want it fast and easy. Mealtime is fun now because we use all of our Cheeky Baby stuff. We have drawers that sit low in the kitchen, and I put everything into those drawers. It empowers [Riley and Ryan], because I can say, “Okay, girls, it’s dinnertime. Go ahead and pick out which plates you want today.” Usually, they’ll fight over the plates, and it’s kind of adorable. But it empowers them because they’re able to make a choice and get excited about the meal they’re about to eat.
B+C: When you’re not organizing meals for your littles ones, what are your favorite foods?
AC: I love Asian-inspired cuisine. It’s what I grew up with. My mom’s Jamaican, and Jamaican and Caribbean cooking have a huge Asian influence, so I love the mixture of that. I also love good old fashioned Italian.
B+C: What don’t know people know about you that you think would surprise them?
AC: I think people wouldn’t know that I’m a very nervous, shy, introverted person. I’m comfortable around family members, but around anyone else, I generally keep to myself. Also, I play the bass guitar. (laughs)
Are you excited to check out Ayesha’s Cheeky Baby line? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Cheeky and @ayeshacurry)