Prior to what she calls a 鈥渢otal surprise鈥 pregnancy in 2013, former Racked LA senior editor Natalie Alcala spent her days in full-on fashion mode. It was the kind of stuff that movies are made of 鈥 press parties, celebrity interviews, red carpet outings, and furious story writing 鈥 and the news of a very small family member joining Alcala and her husband was the equivalent of a freeze-frame, record-scratch moment in that ultra-glam movie.

鈥淚 had never even held a baby before, and there really wasn鈥檛 an outlet for modern mothers doing both 鈥 career and motherhood,鈥 Alcala tells us. 鈥淢otherhood is quite trendy today, but back in 2013, it was a completely different scene.鈥 Alcala embraced her pregnancy and was an early adapter of the bump pic movement, but things got tricky in a whole new way when her son Diego actually made his appearance in 2014. She craved an outlet of her own outside of full-time motherhood but felt out of touch with her former all-work-all-the-time self.

#MerryChristmas from us 鈽冿笍

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鈥淚 was ready to continue succeeding in my career with a baby on my hip, and I knew there were other women 鈥 in my industry, specifically 鈥 who were, too,鈥 shares Alcala. 鈥淲e needed to band together and provide the ultimate support system.鈥 Enter Fashion Mamas: a members-only network for mothers with a background in fashion and other creative industries. Alcala launched the group with a brunch in December 2014 and never looked back, spreading the word organically and via in-person events and an online application process that ultimately grew the community to embrace moms outside of the initial group, which had been largely made up of friends of friends.

Today, Fashion Mamas supports its members with a panel series, a Mamas Making It Summit, a blog featuring stories of creative mothers killing it at work and life, and an online portal that offers members helpful resources and job opportunities. And while every mom out there might not be a part of the Fashion Mamas network specifically, Alcala is passionate about the community鈥檚 overall mission 鈥 which is one that mothers everywhere can embrace and appreciate.

Dinner partying with #fashionmamassf 馃尮 (馃摳 @melissademata)

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鈥淢y goal is to keep supporting and celebrating dynamic mothers across the world who are unapologetically passionate about their careers,鈥 she explains. 鈥淢otherhood can feel really isolating. Once you give birth, the game completely shifts, and you can easily become overwhelmed with new thoughts and questions.鈥

The creative outlet offered by communities like Fashion Mamas and the sense of sisterhood that only fellow new mothers can build is just as important 鈥 okay, maybe almost as important 鈥 for moms as sleep. 鈥淥nce a mother is released from that guilt of still loving her work and she realizes that she never has to 鈥榗hoose鈥 between family and career, that鈥檚 when she鈥檒l be set free and her creative drive will present itself stronger than it鈥檚 ever been,鈥 Alcala encourages.

Calling all moms: Tweet us how you maintain your own creative outlet @BritandCo!