Mother Essentials: Ellen Marie Bennett of Hedley&Bennett
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
Take one look at Ellen Marie Bennett’s Instagram feed, and it’s clear how obsessed she is with her 16-month-old son, Nico. And really, what’s not to love? “He is loud, proud, and a magical little man who we actually nicknamed Mr. Nico,” says Ellen. “His best friend is a sloth named Sandy and he very much still takes 2 naps and loves co-sleeping occasionally with us. Call me old school, but any time I can scoop him into my bed when he is chirping at night in his little portacrib in our room, I grab him and snuggle him for the whole night and feel A-OK about it.” The founder of Hedley&Bennett (makers of beloved aprons, chef knives, chef shoes, and more), is also dedicated to speaking to Nico in only Spanish. “I’m half-Mexican and we want to make sure he is 100% bilingual,” she explains. “I figure he will learn English, but I want to be certain he knows where he comes from.” Below, Ellen shares her favorite Mother Essentials—and Nico Essentials—getting her through her busy days.
Hedley&Bennett Knife Set. “I use the utility knife all day long for quick snacks. Small, nimble, and not as intense as our chef knife. The chef knife is amazing for when I cook meals! It cuts down on time and is the perfect fit for your hand. And of course what is a knife set without the perfect piece? Our bread knife cuts bread like it was butter! I’m so in love with our knives and will not stop telling people about them!” Chef’s Knife Set, $195, Hedley&Bennet.
Vintner’s Daughter. “I use this facial cleanser, toner, and serum for my morning routine. Not only is the brand female-founded, but it is such a clean product and you can feel how pure it is on your face. I love the fact that April, the founder, is actually the daughter of a vintner, so you know she’s the real deal. I’m obsessed!” Active Renewal Cleanser, $98, Active Botanical Serum, $195, Active Treatment Essence, $225, Vintner’s Daughter.
Jones Road Miracle Balm in Bronze. “It’s like chapstick for cheeks, but with color! It’s so easy to apply. If I have no time, I slap it on my face and run out the door. It’s Bobbi Brown’s new company and it’s even better than the original!” Miracle Balm, $38, Jones Road.
Sloth by Jellycat. “The love of Nico’s life! The concept of a stuffie didn’t really make sense to me until we saw him with Sandy the Sloth and now we have multiple to take everywhere we go! He’s a friend, he’s a co-pilot, and he’s Nico’s favorite little buddy.” Jellycat Sloth, $30, Amazon.
Bryr Clogs. “Red clogs with a red sole. Definitely my go-to footwear! I wear them everywhere!” Worker Clog, $296, Bryr. MOTHER readers can order the elusive red clogs (link here) by entering code “bryrlovesmothermag.” You can also use code “freeshipmothermag” for free shipping (to U.S. and Canada) through the end of the month!
OSEA Algae Oil. “We use it on Nico every night after we give him a bath! It’s so smooth, smells so good, and it’s just an overall amazing product!” Undaria Algae Body Oil, $84, OSEA.
Cuyana Leather Tote Bag. “I use this bag every day to just lug around my endless amount of things. I also have the red one and use it as my makeup bag!” Classic Easy Tote, $248, Cuyana.
Jumpsuit by Mille. “This is a super cute jumpsuit I can just throw on when I want to dress cute but not have to pick out my whole outfit!” Eva Jumpsuit in Montmartre, $194, Mille.
Frank & Eileen White Button-Up. “My go-to business casual look. Another amazing female-founded business! It’s not too formal and can easily be worn to almost any event. The quality of fabric they use is honestly some of the best out there. It’s my uniform as an entrepreneur and as a mother. It’s just perfect!” Relaxed Button-Up, $248, Frank + Eileen.
Go-To Jewelry. “I adore my gold hooped earrings by Jennifer Fisher and necklace by Maya Brenner. Maya always has really beautiful classic pieces. A lot of my friends engrave them with their kid’s initials and they always look timeless. I love these pieces and wear them everywhere!” Baby Michelle Hoops, $350, Jennifer Fisher. Asymmetrical Charm Necklace, $265, Maya Brenner.
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. “This is Nico’s favorite book!” Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell, $7.43, Bookshop and Amazon.
Nico’s Wagon. “This is one of the most functional, rad baby gear you could get yourself. It can carry anything, including your child. It’s super sturdy and has wheels that work on any terrain. It easily fits three children and can fold to fit in the car, so it’s easily the coolest thing ever!” Veer Cruiser, $699, Amazon.
Bottles for Nico. “This is the only bottle Nico loved and used for his entire infancy. I breastfed and bottle fed at the same time and this was the only one that worked! They also come with a little snack container, so it’s a great sustainable option for on-the-go.” Hegen Baby Bottles, $47 for 2, Amazon.
Midnight Hedley&Bennett Apron. “I wear it all the time! I’m always cooking and feeding Nico and need to protect my clothes while we have fun in the kitchen!” Midnight Blue Apron, $85, Hedley&Bennett.
Graza Olive Oil. “I use this almost every time I cook! It’s super pure and the flavor is amazing. The squeeze top makes it easy and fun to use. This product is loved by both home cooks and professional chefs!” Drizzle & Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $35, Graza.
Lomi. “This is an incredible odorless composter that is a staple for me while cooking at home. It’s the perfect product to reduce food waste!” Lomi Smart Waste Kitchen Composter, $499.99, Amazon.
Food Subscription Boxes. “I love these food subscription services: Lunch Bunch and One Potato! Everything comes in one bag and I can just quickly put it together with little effort!” LunchBunch.com, OnePotato.com.
Westholme Waygu. “I LOVE this product and use it when I’m feeling a little fancy.” Westholme.com.
Family Rules. “Casey (my husband) and I have a set-in-stone agreement that we don’t come home super late and we go to bed together every night no matter what. We always give Nico a bath and get him ready for bed as a team. Then we give him his bottle and give him snuggles in bed and read to him. Then we turn the lights down and go to sleep with Nico. It’s just the perfect end to all the hectic days!”
“When I get overwhelmed my husband will be my sounding board and make 3 lists for me. One labeled Work, one labeled Home, and one for all things Social. I’ll prioritize them and have a checklist of everything to do. It really helps me disconnect from the screen and be able to see the list go down.”
“I have weekly family meetings with my husband and we talk about finance, schedule, and everything we need to plan and align for the following week. We also go over everything we need help with. It gives us ‘life-time’ and helps us align on life as a couple.”
Dry-Erase Chalk Marker. “It makes it so easy to organize my refrigerator.” Chalk Ink Commercial Wet-Wipe Markers, $16.94, Amazon.
For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on Mochi Kids founder Amanda Stewart, 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, and Essential Labor author ANGELA GARBES,
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