The Magic & The Mess: Karolina Petersson

Upper half of Blonde Woman looking directly at camera in Cranberry colored, eyelet flutter sleeve button up dress with waist ties.

We quickly realized that we hit the proverbial and sartorial jackpot with Karolina— a kind, grounded woman and a creative powerhouse. Her design cred runs deep, a graduate of Central Saint Martin’s College of Art in London, Karolina has worked with Phoebe Philo, Celine, Jill Stuart and Tamara Mellon—to name a few.

We look to Karolina’s hands-on approach to design and problem solving (a skill she also uses with 2 year-old son, Leo) as we create a collection for other moms and their kids. She has a knack for marrying practicality with beauty, which comes through in every piece we make. 

Here she chats with us about traveling with kids, hand-me-down gifts, and mom guilt. 

Hometown… Borås Sweden

Current home… I live outside NYC, at the tip of Long Island in a fishing village called Greenport. And sometimes in Greenpoint, Brooklyn too.

Kiddo… Leo, 2.5 years old

Profession… Fashion Designer

On dressing like your kids  … I totally dress Leo like I would if I was a guy, but I’m not into coordinating outfits with him—he looks so much like me anyway! It does however happen occasionally. Sort of how you and your best friend end up wearing the same outfits.

On your pre-kid, post-kid style…I wear waaay less high heels now! It used to be my everyday shoe choice; now it’s sneakers and flat sandals.

Blonde woman in a pink shirt with pansy floral print and lurex stripe leaning over the shoulder of a little girl off camera. Two images to the right are of the same blonde woman smiling and looking at the camera and smiling and looking down. She is wearing a pink pansy print top with lurex stripe in both images.

Favorite activity to do with your kids… Anything on the beach! When we’re not at the beach we play ball, draw, do puzzles, make juice, and have Swedish fika, which is when we go have coffee and a treat at a coffee shop.

Travel destination with kids… Anywhere and everywhere! We visit Mormor and Morfar (grandma & grandpa) and all our cousins in Sweden, London, Holbox Island in Mexico, and Coconut Grove in Miami....

Gifting off the registry… We love getting hand-me-downs, so whenever possible, we try to do the same. If not that, I’ve gifted vintage denim jackets a couple of times, Ruben’s dolls and wood magnet building blocks.

Best thing about being a mom… The unconditional love both ways!! And I can’t get enough of all the crazy funny things my son does. I have a whole new purpose in life to guide this little human to be a happy, good person. And I’m learning new things myself at the same time.

Most challenging thing about being a mom…  Finding the balance between being firm and setting rules—and letting my boy explore and be himself.

Most unexpected thing about being a mom… The cultural differences in parenting. I’m from Sweden and my husband is American. For example, I’m all for co-sleeping (as are my friends in Europe) but my husband is very against it.

Most underwhelming thing about being a mom… That you won’t be able to do all the things you did before—and that seems like a bad thing but it’s actually a treat! I just don’t have the energy to go out partying at night anymore, I use Leo as my exit ticket!

Three images of a blonde woman wearing a cranberry button down dress with tie waist and flutter sleeve. The eyelet is the color Cranberry.

What would you tell your pre-kid self… Enjoy all your last-minute, spontaneous decisions—yoga classes, date dinners, trips… Go!!

What would you tell your new mom self…Don’t rush your kid’s milestones! What’s the point?! There’s so much rushing in this country.

Thoughts on “mom guilt”... I don’t have it. Mum needs her own time to be able to be the best possible mum. I thought I had it in the first year but that was actually just me missing him.

One of our guiding principles as Baybala is living with intention—our clothes are designed to allow women to have more time to be present with their families. What are the little (or big) things you do to try and find those moments with your kids?

I work from home, which gives me the opportunity to continue my career and that makes me a happy mama. It also lets me decide my working hours.