We are always looking to feature the latest trends in beauty and our latest obsession comes by way of Hope Smith, mother, wife, influencer, philanthropist and entrepreneur who saw a gap in the beauty space and wanted to fill it with an elegant clean product line that she believes celebrates motherhood. Hope also saw an opportunity to create a luxury product with high quality and effective ingredients so that her customers could have access to result oriented skin care. Hope wants you to MUTHA yourself daily, not just on special occasions, or when you feel beyond exhausted. MUTHA is an aspirational beauty brand that Hope Smith is building a lifestyle around. We caught up with Hope in the midst of her busy launch and while expecting twins to see learn more about the MUTHA brand, and the woman behind it.
MAMA GLOW: MUTHA offers stretch mark-preventing products that are a celebration of womanhood and the journey to new motherhood. Can you talk us through the moment in your life when you realized a brand like MUTHA needed to be out there for women?
HOPE SMITH: When I found out I was pregnant, I was really scared about a pregnancy taking over my body and afraid of getting more stretch marks. I already have them from puberty and knew genetically, I’m prone to getting them. I expressed my concerns to one of my celebrity makeup artist friend who told me the secret was La Mer Crème de la Mer and to wrap myself in it with saran wrap every day and night. I bought the biggest size they have, tried wrapping myself and in the middle of the night I tore it right off. It was hot, uncomfortable and I was sweating. I realized I wanted a product that was more natural and most importantly, pregnancy safe.
The MUTHA brand encourages its community to partake in self care. Are there any self-love rituals or practices that are a part of your daily practice?
Meditation, massages, being on the beach, cocktails with my husband, laughing with my best friends and of course time with my kids are truly the little things that I’m most grateful for. Leading a company that focuses on reminding women that self-care isn’t some sort of fancy indulgence but a mandatory right to make you feel your best is most important.
What evidence-based research backs the claim behind stretch-mark prevention and the combination of oils and butters used to create the MUTHA line of skin care?
When I was pregnant and trying to find the perfect stretch mark prevention product, I researched raw ingredients, which were known to be high in Vitamins A, C, E, K, and D, Fatty acids, Omegas and Antioxidants. I started ordering these raw ingredients and my kitchen became a science lab. I used the butter 2-3x a day, then my husband started using it and asking for more. To me that was the ultimate compliment since my husband Robert is such a product snob. At the end of my first pregnancy, I was stretch mark free. Later when I became pregnant with my second, I was really worried about the skin and what it would look like after two pregnancies in a row. I wanted the oil to help with stretch marks but also be able to assist with tightening my skin after being stretched so big for two years in a row.
MUTHA is about elegance and a celebration of motherhood. With so many products aimed at infantilizing the experience of mothering, why did you choose to elevate the experience through luxe products?
When a child is born, so is a mother. In that there is something that happens in a brain that makes you selfless and puts that life before your own for the rest of your time here. Having a daily ritual for Mothers that isn’t about a child but elevated can make you feel loved so you can show your family and world the best version of yourself.
While your product line is grounded in solution – to evade the tearing and excessive stretching of skin associated with pregnancy, how do we also acknowledge that many women will still sustain stretch-marks, and normalize and celebrate all bodies whether marked by pregnancy or not?
It’s all about the care you give yourself. It’s not about getting stretch marks or not. In the end when you take care of something, anything, it holds value to you and there’s nothing better than valuing ones self.
You’re a mother of 2 boys, and recently shared your surrogacy journey on social media where followers learned that you are expecting identical baby girls in January of 2020. What inspired you to share a story so deeply emotional and personal? What are you most looking forward to?
I see women struggling with infertility, miscarriages, sickness, PTSD, postpartum depression and anxiety and all the things we go through silently. Being a voice out there normalizing all types of things from autoimmune to surrogacy was important to me. When you feel like someone is going through the struggles you are you feel less alone. I was surprised at how the story touched so many of my followers and loved the stories they shared with me because of it.
Your interests move well beyond beauty, you are also a maternal health advocate working with International Medical Corps to help improve maternal health outcomes. Can you tell us how MUTHA’s mission ties in with your work with IMC?
I believe in giving what you would want and personally I had two home births with a midwife. When I learned of the risks associated with becoming a mother, I decided to focus on improving women’s health. The thought that a woman may die during childbirth broke my heart and when I learned these women that die isn’t just about leaving the baby, but also their older kids behind to become orphans. I knew we had to act. Through International Medical Corps we educate nurses and midwives in third world countries where infant and maternal mortality is the highest. IMC gave us the Humanitarian Award last year for our efforts worldwide.
What’s next for you? What else would you like to share?
MUTHA is a passion. To me this isn’t about a spreadsheet or profit. In 2020 we will expand into skincare. It will introduce our core technology, which is a combination of natural ingredients that have proven clinical results. I didn’t only want an effective skincare line – I wanted it to be more effective than my non-natural skincare regime. I wanted to push the boundaries. As with all our products, we address women’s skincare needs while also giving back to women around the world. We help you, while you help fund maternal and child health worldwide.