Alyssa Lau on Balancing Motherhood

In celebration of Mother’s Day, we had the privilege of interviewing Alyssa Lau, the amazing woman behind New Classics and a new mom. Alyssa gives us a glimpse into her daily life and how she balances running her business and raising her son while simultaneously embracing motherhood.

Alyssa’s commitment to sustainable and socially responsible fashion is evident in her business, where she curates products that emphasize thoughtful design. Through her example, she encourages us to be mindful of our consumption habits and to think about the impact they can have on the world.

This interview is an inspiring tribute to mothers who do it all.


Alyssa wearing the Aila reversible wool+ silk top


What is your current role as one of the Founder of New Classics? 
Like many small business owners, I wear many hats. I play the role of photographer, creative director, stylist, web designer, customer service rep, buyer and social media manager amongst other things. 


What does a typical day look like for you? 
Every day is different but generally, my little family of three wakes up between 8 to 9am and we take our time making and eating breakfast while watching Bluey together. Then we’ll usually go out for a walk and visit a playground or two. During J’s nap is when I have time to do some work or run errands. In the late afternoon, we usually bring him to my parents’ so Eric and I can go bouldering by ourselves, go out for a jog or do more work.  Luckily, we live with Eric’s mom and she’s a fantastic cook so she graciously makes dinner for us most days. At the end of the day, we give J a bath, read some books, get him to bed and then I’ll do more work and/or watch a show with Eric in bed before heading to sleep at around midnight!


Does balancing motherhood and running a business feel overwhelming and challenging at times? 
Motherhood in itself is the most challenging undertaking of my life, so running a business on top of it all has definitely been tough at times. With that being said, I’m so extremely privileged to have a community of family and friends to lean on and an employee who makes my life so much easier. 
How do you manage to prioritize your time between work and your family?
During my son’s waking hours, most of my time and attention are devoted to him. If I’m particularly busy one day, my mother-in-law will take him out or I’ll drop him off with my parents while we get to work. 90% of the time, though, Eric and I are there with him when he’s awake, which is important to us because we know how fleeting every moment is. All in all, I only have time to work when he’s asleep, so let’s hope that he doesn’t drop his nap anytime soon. 


New Classics' curation of objects and products highlights the importance of thoughtful design, emphasizing its relevance to sustainability and social responsibility. Why is this important and how have you incorporated this value into your own life? 
Fashion is so much more than just pieces of fabric. Beyond the everyday decisions we make to determine what top goes with what pants, we ultimately need to redefine our relationship to our clothing and consumption to stop buying (and throwing away) so darn much. This is where thoughtful design and art do its job of provoking questions, learning and intentionality within spaces where buyers simply look at the price tags on clothes and think nothing else of them. So while we can’t solve a global climate crisis by buying things, we can at least become mindful in the way we consume to reduce our own impacts, whether that’s by shopping small, shopping secondhand, clothes swapping with friends and investing in repairs.
Through all this, I’ve made a personal commitment in my life to avoid fast fashion and be intentional about my own consumption habits by asking myself questions before I click “purchase”, such as “Do I need this?”, “Where did this come from?” or “Who made this?”. These questions encourage me to take a pause and really consider what my relationship would be to the purchase in consideration. 


What have you learned about yourself since becoming a mother, and how has that impacted your personal and work life? 
Parenthood is such a humbling experience and I’m constantly evolving alongside my son. Learning how to raise a toddler has forced me to reflect on my own upbringing, limitations, triggers, emotions and patterns of behaviour. And through this all, I’ve realized that I have a lot more patience than I realized, but I also have a lot more growing to do as a mother, partner, daughter, sister, boss and friend. All in all, I think one of the biggest realizations I’ve come to is that everyone is just doing their best. It’s allowed me to be more compassionate 


Motherhood can be simultaneously wonderful and disorderly, making it easy to neglect your own well-being. What are some things that you do to practice self-care and recharge? 
Disorderly is an understatement! Eric and I like to boulder as it allows us to bond and take our minds off everything else going on in our lives. Apart from that, my me-time is my shower and skincare routine as soon as the baby is asleep. I love taking my time pampering myself at night whereas in the day, I have maybe five minutes to get ready.
The best moment(s) of motherhood so far? 
It’s hard to pinpoint a singular moment that would qualify as the “best”, so here are a few off the top of my head: my son’s cheeky smile when he sees me or his dad first thing in the morning, the way he calls me “mommy”, when he surprises me with new words (like “no way”), and anytime he busts a move.


Can you share a special memory or tradition that you hope to pass down to your child? 
My family has always been extremely close and I have so many fond memories of growing up with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents all around me. We all still spend quite a bit of time together so I’m so excited for my son to also grow up with family everywhere!


Which is the most valuable piece of advice you've been given about motherhood that you would like to share with a new mother? 
This isn’t necessarily advice, but it’s a saying that resonates deeply with me: “The days are long but the years are short.” It’s a reminder to stay present because time goes by frighteningly fast and every moment with a little one is so incredibly precious.