Impromptu dancing in dressing rooms, fierce Wonder Woman moves, art gallery field trips, drool-worthy foodstagrams and serious outfit inspiration, the Instagram feed of San Francisco’s Helen Yu Kuo is filled with all the things we wish we were doing. And sometimes are. We discovered Helen and her adorable mini-me Marni and instantly fell for the duo, along with her outfits punctuated with the three M’s: Maryam, Martiniano and Mari. She also happens to love the #startuplife so we couldn’t help but feel like we should be friends IRL. Luckily, she was still willing to share with us her thoughts on motherhood, style and everything in between.
TELL US ALL ABOUT YOU. Hi, my name is Helen. I was born in NYC but moved to California when I was five years old and have lived here ever since. I currently live in San Francisco with my husband Mike and 3.5-year-old daughter Marni.
I’ve always worked in tech marketing and have been lucky to experience startups that resulted in successful acquisitions or IPOs. I love my current company Atlassian, makers of team collaboration software including JIRA. You may have heard Jessica Alba say at Dreamforce “I don’t know how to code but I can put in a JIRA ticket.” Well, that’s one of the company products.
I also have a fashion blog (www.whatheleworetoday.com) but lately, I’ve been spending most of my spare time on Instagram where I post pictures of my daughter, food or fashion and sometimes all together.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Tomboy chic with a hint of fun.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER? My favorite designer is Phoebe Philo. Celine can do no wrong. But lately, I’ve also been obsessed with Demna Gvasalia. He’s killing it at Balenciaga!
WHAT’S YOUR DAY-TO-DAY GO-TO OUTFIT? You can most likely find me wearing jeans, a blazer or trench, sunnies, Martiniano or Maryam Nassir Zadeh shoes and a good beanie (if needed) paired with my favorite Celine bag at the moment.
WHAT’S THE BEST STYLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? From my mom: “Invest in timeless pieces. Splurge on a really amazing item instead of a bunch of trendy pieces. Because that one item will last forever.”
TELL US ABOUT MARNI. Marni, my almost 4-year-old daughter and an only child like myself, is truly a blessing in my life. She has such a charming spirit and her happiness is contagious. The best way to get a sense of her character is to explore #marniisms and #whatmarnisangtoday on my Instagram. I hope her singing videos bring you as much joy as they do for me.
HAS SHE STARTED DEVELOPING HER OWN SENSE OF STYLE? Yes! She is much more vocal about what she wants to wear these days. It’s pretty much dresses – especially “the Elsa dress” on repeat – all worn with her favorite Adidas sneakers.
In fact, her sense of style is so on-point that I now find myself asking for her opinion on which shoes go better with my outfit and I have to say her answers are usually my first choice too!
BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? There isn’t one best thing about being a mom. Here are a few:
- Exploring and seeing the world in her eyes
- Inspiring me to be the best version of myself
- Hugs and endless singing and dancing 🙂
HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND FAMILY? One of the main reasons I joined Atlassian was the company culture – it’s second to none. There’s even a value called “built with heart and balance” where the company really respects work-life balance.
HAS BEING A MOM CHANGED YOUR OWN SENSE OF STYLE OR APPROACH TO FASHION? Comfort is key.
WHAT STYLE ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE MARNI AS SHE GROWS UP? Be true to yourself. Wear what makes you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.
Follow along with Helen and Marni for endless outfit inspo and a healthy dose of silly @hyu915.