Mama Glow and Cybex have partnered to bring you distinct stories about families who embody the Mama Glow lifestyle to show you how they roll. We’ve followed these women and their families to get a peek at how they live and what they love. The CYBEX brand is an industry leader that offers design for parents, with a perfect combination of Design, Functionality and Safety/Quality aspects. CYBEX introduced a new Butterfly Fashion Collection. Designed for the trendy family, you can express your personal style while using a functional stroller meant endure the city environment. As parents who are “On the Go”, we know you value the precious moments you have with your children as well as capturing these fleeting and beautiful moments. Butterflies are elusive and always on the move. Much like butterflies, our children are always on the move, growing before our eyes. Our first Mama on the move is Julee Wilson, Fashion and Beauty Digital Director at Essence Magazine.
Julee describes herself on Twitter as “a tall glass of sass, dope wife, fab mother and the Fashion & Beauty Digital Director at Essence!” She is all of that and more. Time Inc tapped Wilson for the newly-created role, where Wilson’s task is to help define the voice and tone for the Essence website and fashion and beauty coverage. She also assigns, edits and develops stories across platforms, including social media.
When Julee isn’t delving into her work life, she is immersed in her family life. A resident of Harlem, with a 2 year old son Orion- whom she refers to as her #WombFire.
We spent the day with Julee and her Orion in Harlem and interviewed her about being a mama on the move.
MG: What do you love about living in NYC? And raising a son here?
JW: I love how worldly he is going to be. This city is an amazing melting pot of cultures, people… I can take him to the best museums in the world, the best plays and Broadway shows. I can take him to the best restaurants. I obviously want to take him around the world but taking him around NYC is the next best think to traveling around the globe in a private jet.
What are your top 3 go-to spots in Harlem?
Vineteria– One of our favorite neighborhood places is an Italian-American restaurant, Vineteria. The owners are sweet and amazing, the food is outstanding. We bring our stroller and they are so accommodating. My favorite cocktail there is called The Little Dragon. I am actually going there to meet my hubby for a drink before we relieve the nanny. (2211 Frederick Douglas Blvd, Harlem)
FlameKeepers Hat Club- It’s a wonderful hat shop in our neighborhood. I’m not shopping for hats every weekend but the owner has such great energy and we just love to go in and check out the hats. Orion loves to try on the hats too. I love dreaming about what hats I would buy and what I would wear with them. As a family we own a few of them. I love supporting black owned businesses and the quality of the hats are bar none. (273 West 121st Street, Harlem)
Vivrant Beauty- I love it because of all of the amazing indie beauty companies and discovering new brands. I always leave with something. I love supporting black owned businesses. As a beauty director I can get any products I want to try sent to me but I do love to explore the brands that the owner Desiree curates. (220 St. Nicholas Ave. at 121st street, Harlem)
Are there other places you love in the city?
We have a membership to the new Whitney Museum. It’s a trek from our apartment but he loves to take the train and have the adventure. He’s big enough now to interact with the artwork and enjoy the surroundings.
Tell us about your community, what do you love about Harlem?
Harlem has an energy that is indescribably I have lived there for 11 years now and its really become home for me. I am so lucky that I can live in Harlem. It’s like Sesame Street. I feel like I have created a village, whether its shop owners, neighbors- they are a part of our village. I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the city. Hopefully we won’t have to move! It’s getting expensive.
You’re a busy mom on the go with the new role as a beauty director, how do you juggle your responsibilities?
I don’t know if I have juggled succesfully. Having a strong squad makes it all possible. My husband is such a strong and amazing person in general. No matter what is going on he always reminds me of how blessed I am to be in the position I am in. He helps ground me and keep me centered when I get stressed. Its nice to have genuine people around me. I have a great group of friends who also help me keep my eye on the price. I may be Julee Wilson the Fashion and Digital Beauty Director at Essence but when that title is gone, who am I? I want people to know me for who I am, not just for what I do.
Cybex is all about mobility and style, How do you roll?
I roll with an open heart of opportunity and excitement. I have not become jaded by NYC. I am excited to experience more here. New York is constantly changing and I get to explore the city through the eyes of my son. Nobody gets excited about riding a bus, but riding a bus with Orion is amazing. He wants to look out the windows and it’s so fun. I dread taking the subway but with Orion, its an adventure. What can I show Orion that will make his eyes light up. I roll with a sense of wonder.
What are your fashion staples?
I love a comfy pair of boyfriend jeans you can dress them up or down and be very on trend. I love an MZ Wallace bag, chic and super functional. My diaper bag, weekend bag, and work bag is MZ Wallace. They just get me and my style. None of the bags are leather, so they are easy to clean and are durable and will hold up to my busy world. They are beautiful nylon and coated canvas. I also really love Strathberry bags.
My Rebecca Minkoff Motto Jacket is always with me. I wear it 3-4 times per week. It’s a black scuba material and comes from her ath-leisure collection. It can be dressed up or down. When it comes to shoes I kind of live and die for Loeffler Randal. I had to get them resoled because I wore them so much!
How does Cybex speak to your personal brand DNA?
It’s really smooth. It rides really nice. It’s a smooth ride. Being in fashion and beauty when you are pushing it it’s like handling a beautiful handbag. When I am pushing the stroller it completes the package of cool dopeness that I want to exude to the world. My squad is cool. Our stroller is just an extension of that. It falls inline with our cool factor. We just love the Cybex stroller. Orion loves the safety bar that goes across the front and he uses it as a track to roll his trains across when he is riding in the stroller.
How do you find glow time alone or with your son?
I really do love my downtime with my son but I do think it’s important to have personal down time. I went to Quaker boarding school so I am so used to taking time to be silent and tuning into the light of God within. I really find a lot of comfort and solace in silence and I cherish that time. I ran division 1 track and field in college so I know what it means to be physically active. I really love working out and trying new things and taking time to sweat.