Mother Essentials: Amanda Stewart Of Mochi Kids
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
Creating products that celebrate Asian-American culture is a 24/7 focus for Salt Lake City-based mom Amanda Stewart. Amanda is the passionate founder and creative director of Mochi Kids, a unisex children’s brand and lifestyle store that spins out comfy clothes embellished with adorable illustrations of food favorites like dumplings, dim sum, kimchi, gyoza, and ramen. Plus, a variety of toys that touch on AANHPI heritage—and much, much more! Below, the mom of three (Stephen, 11, Camilla, 8, and Jonah, 4) shares her current Mother Essentials that are helping her get it all done!
Robe Life. “I’m an avid robe-wearer. Being comfy and cozy when I’m at home is important to me, so I wear a robe around the house on a daily basis. Some of my favorites are from Parachute, Los Angeles Apparel, and Donna Wilson.” Cloud Cotton Robe, $76, Parachute. Heavy Jersey House Robe, $65, Los Angeles Apparel. Doodle Dance Woven Robe, $93, Donna Wilson.
Gua Sha from Mount Lai. “I love this tool so much. I carry a lot of tension in my face and jaw and the Gua Sha makes my face feel so good and helps me relax and unwind.” The Vitality Qi White Jade Gua Sha Sculpting Tool, $80, Mount Lai.
Long Showers. “Utah, where I live, is super dry and very cold in the winter. I love taking super hot steamy showers all the time, but especially during the cold months. One of my favorite bath products is Wiley Body’s Grapefruit + Juniper hand and body wash.” Wiley Body Hand & Body Wash, $24, Mochi Kids.
Hydration. “I am that mom who is constantly telling my kids to drink more water. Staying hydrated always makes me look and feel better. My favorite water bottle for mamas is the Day Bottle from Bink. It is chic and has marks on the side that help you track how much you are drinking so you can make sure you are drinking enough. And my favorite water bottle for kids is the Play Tumbler from Kinto. It stays cold for 6 hours and has a spout + a straw!” Kinto Play Tumbler, $35, Mochi Kids. Bink Day Bottle, $38, Mochi Kids.
Gender Neutral Clothing. “One of my biggest mom hacks is buying gender neutral clothing. I love that it can get passed down easily and gets lots of wear. We designed our entire clothing line to be gender neutral because it feels more sustainable.” Kimchi Sweatshirt, $48, Mochi Kids.
Reading. “When I was mothering newborns and toddlers it was difficult to make time to read, I would often multitask and listen to audio books and podcasts on double speed while cleaning or folding laundry. Now that my kids are more independent, I’ve made time to read actual paper books. It feels like such a luxury to sit down and take the time to read. I’m currently reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.” Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A Novel, by Gabrielle Zevin, $26, Bookshop and Amazon.
Planning. “I love to plan things visually. It helps me organize and feel less overwhelmed. My favorite tool for planning is the Spectrum Wall Planner by Poketo. I have one in my office where we plan out our entire year of launches and one in our family room where we have been planning out our summer for our kids. It helps them to know what is coming.” Poketo Spectrum Wall Planner, $48, Mochi Kids.
Chopsticks. “We use chopsticks on a daily basis at our house! I recently picked up these colorful chopsticks from the MoMA and I love how they mix and match so easily.” Rainbow Chopsticks, $39, MoMA Design Store.
Dumplings. “If you have seen my brand, you know that I love Asian food. Dumplings are one of my favorites. They are relatively time consuming to make, but there are really great pre-made/frozen options on the market. If you are local to Salt Lake City, you need to try Yagi’s Dump Truck. They handmake all their dumplings with fresh ingredients in their home kitchen. (We are actually fundraising for them during AANHPI month to help them finish their food truck). If you aren’t local, we love Mila! Their Xiao Long Bao are amazing!” Yagi’s Dump Truck, EatMila.com.
Inclusive Books. “Growing up, I rarely saw people who look like me in books and television. And when I did, they were often stereotypes of Asian Americans. Because I own a children’s store, I’m able to change this for the next generation in a small way. One way we do this is by selling inclusive children’s books in the store. One of our favorites is our own book, Counting at the Market, which is a numbers book introducing diverse foods to the smallest readers.” Counting At The Market, $9.99, Mochi Kids.
Music. “I love listening to music while I work, drive, clean, pretty much all the time. Music can help me set the mood and the tone for the day. My favorite musicians are Radiohead, The Velvet Underground, and Elliot Smith.”
Lunch with Friends. “I primarily work by myself, so I made it a goal to go to lunch with a friend at least once a month. This has helped me prioritize my relationships and connect with those I love on a more regular basis.”
Open-Ended Play. “The most tried and true toys in our home are those that foster open-ended play. I feel like my kids are constantly discovering new ways to play with open-ended toys. One of our favorites is this Forest Mushroom Set. They are great in a play kitchen and also double as trees in a block city.” Moon Picnic Forest Mushrooms in a Box, $47, Mochi Kids.
Gardening. “Gardening is super grounding for me and it’s a hobby I can enjoy with my kids. We grow a lot of fruits and veggies at our house, including peaches, nectarines, grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, pumpkins, and more! I love these gardening gloves.” Heirloom Carrot Gloves, $18.40, My Little Belleville.
Face Masks. “Another form of self-care I indulge in is doing a face mask a couple times of week. My favorite is the detox mask by Crude.” Detox Face Mask, $20, Crude.
Hair. “I’ve been on a journey to embrace my natural hair texture. One of my favorite hair products is this salt jelly by Cult and King. It smells good, adds weightless texture to my hair, and accentuates its natural texture.” Pink Himalayan Salt Infusion for Hair, $12, Cult + King.
For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on chef Camilla Marcus, artist CAROLINE Z HURLEY, Just Date founder SYLVIE CHARLES, food icon AMANDA HESSER, Prickly Pear founder MONA BAHRAINI, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITH, PR pro TEMI ADAMOLEKUN, HEIDI BAKER of OZMA, PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic, Sach Paneer founder JASLEEN KAUR, Essential Labor author ANGELA GARBES, The Mamas author HELENA ANDREWS-DYER, Olivia J founder SHAE JONES, author BRYNNE BARNES, TISHA THOMPSON of LYS Beauty, Blueland’s SARAH PAIJI YOO, Heirloom’s SRI BODANAPU, Lady Falcon Coffee Club founder BUFFY MAGUIRE, the mama-duo behind SPRING & MULBERRY chocolate, and Dear Bella Creamery co-founder ALICE CHERNG.
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