WITH KAROLINA KURKOVA
Karolina, you come across as the quintessential cool mom.
KK: Thank you! But we all have these fantasies about being the cool mom, don’t we?
Yes, it seems impossible to be any other kind of mom these days. So, please help us to define this, since you have two children!
KK: Well, she can be cool if she lets her children experience things around them without interfering all the time, while creating a safety net for them to fall back on. That is really important.
I think a cool mom also tries to reach harmony with things around her and her family. Everyone thinks a cool mom knows how to balance things, but I think that’s impossible. We are not machines and there are emotions involved if you have children. I think the word “balance” sounds almost
cold in that context, as if you weren’t a human being. And we all try to be so perfect today.
When I think back to when I was little, being a mother was just being a mother. Maybe with a job. Today, I tell myself: I am a good cook, a great mom, a great businesswoman. And then I think, but wait, Karolina, how can you be a designer on top of all this? It’s crazy to think like that, right? But this is often how women think these days.
I think a good parent is someone who is willing to be wrong and work on that. Someone who is not afraid to get down and dirty, whatever that takes. I also learned from my parents. They were always very supportive of each other. And that’s also cool!
Did your parents teach you how to become a modern parent?
KK: Of course, there is more DNA in you from your parents than you think. But to answer your question, yes, they did. They taught me to appreciate good manners, a love for good memories and moments. These days I experience moments with my own family that I remember having back then with my parents—sitting at dinner in the evening, having conversations, laughing and telling each other stories. I grew up seeing my dad and my mom cleaning the house, cooking and working together. Whatever needed to be done, they did it together. It was important to see the two of them so supportive of each other. And for the times I grew up in, that was very advanced, very modern. The result is that I am not afraid of doing anything in my life, since I have seen that you can help each other out and succeed. So of course, I looked for a husband that was a good team player.
Still, a lot happens to a woman in the transition from the cool girl to the cool mom. What changes?
KK: Well, everything! But to me it’s the evolution of life, it’s not all about you anymore. You ask yourself, why are you here? And maybe you’re doing what you love, but are you also doing what your family loves? One thing I find is very important: you need time as a couple and you need your children to know that about you. Also, you need to be adored and feel feminine. I think that is something very essential.
So when you had your first baby, how did you learn what to buy for your new life? Let’s say, a stroller…
KK: I am a big research nerd and I was curious. Everybody tells you something different. The first time as a new parent you think you need so much.
Then, with my second child, I learned that you need much less than you thought. Your focus should be on quality over quantity. I also learned that I want a changing bag that is stylish, and not just a changing bag!
When it comes to a stroller, you need something simple, but with personality; something safe, but stylish. That’s why I love CYBEX. You have wheels for the countryside or beach, skis for the snow, and a great car seat. But since I am a fashion girl, I also need something with style and of course something that isn’t polluting the planet. That has become a real must for me.
So, it seems like it would have been a perfect collaboration with CYBEX then, since you created an environmentally conscious collection!
KK: Sustainability has become very important to me. Not only for us, but also for our children. So, we included recycled plastic in the collection and I am super excited that we were able to create a stroller cover using 31 plastic bottles. That’s a huge step into the future.
At the same time, the collection is fun and about love and happiness. I liked it, not just comingup with something black, white or blue. I like the color and fun of the pattern, and the big kissing mouth. And it’s great that CYBEX understood what I was thinking of, right from the start.
How did you meet with CYBEX?
KK: Initially they sent me a stroller, when I had my son Noah. Then I met the founder Martin Pos in a CYBEX store in Germany, along with our families, children and parents, and we liked each other from the beginning. So we decided to collaborate very quickly.
I loved that I was involved in the design process, and didn’t only choose from ten different products that were presented to me. What I liked about the collaboration is that we were thinking about how to change the industry. With all the problems we are experiencing in the world right now, sustainability is one of the solutions.
Are there any more solutions?
KK: For me it’s all about acceptance, understanding and love. We can’t live without love. I can’t live without love for my kids, my husband, my family. While I was researching for the CYBEX campaign, I opened a book and read the line, “Love is unique, love is complete, love is universal.” That really spoke to me and got me thinking. Especially these days, life should be fun—happy, filled with love and connection. That’s what I am looking for as an experience.