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Mother Essentials: Taylor Jay

Written by Erin Feher

For this week’s Mother Essentials, we are turning to the undeniably cool and incredibly stylish Oakland-based fashion designer behind the eponymous Taylor Jay. label. Her dreamy line is made up of pretty, minimalist basics, like jumpers, wrap dresses, floor-skimming skirts, and ultra-soft, off-the shoulder tops, that are ethically made, form-flattering, and easy to wear—making the line a cult fave with high-style moms and fierce women of all shapes and sizes. But Taylor’s company is about so much more than fashion—Taylor has built her business around the ideals of supporting women entrepreneurs, fashion inclusivity, and women’s empowerment and community. Last year, she shared her own heartbreaking story with Mother—how her daughter, Brenda Sheree, now 25, was conceived during a sexual assault when Taylor was just 13, and how the painful experiences of her youth have inspired nearly every aspect of how she runs her company, designs her clothes, and lives her life today. A biggie for Taylor? Always showing support for the community around her—as an Oakland girl, it’s no surprise her own list of must-haves includes plenty of fellow hometown brands. “I truly love Oakland and my goal is to support what is here!” Take a look through her essentials below to do the same.  

Statement Baubles. “Timeless and pretty jewelry never ever hurt a girl.” Ava Earrings, $70, Candid Art.

Kicks From Solespace. “This is my all-time favorite local shoe store. All my most cherished sneakers come from here!” New Balance 998, $200, Solespace.

Go-To Eyeliner. “This is my favorite eye dressing since forever!” Chanel Eyeliner, $33, Nordstrom.  

Red Lip. “A red lip is a must for me. My go-to is GloGirl FM Red.” FM Red, $16, GloGirl.  

Taylor Jay Jumper. “I want to look and feel good. So, my fave go-to outfit is my own design—the ultra super comfy Taylor Jay Berry Jumper.” Berry Jumper, $126, Taylor Jay

Boss Mom Sweats. “I love this hoodie! This is my mommy uniform when I am working out or running quick errands.” Classsic BossMom Jogger Set, $88.50, BossMom Nation.

Becoming. “This book by Michelle Obama is my current inspiration.” Becoming, $13.86, Amazon

Self-Care Routine. “The skincare and waxing services via my daughter’s practice keep me looking youthful and feeling super professional!” Brenda Sheree Esthetics

Airpods. “I feel lost without these. I am truly in love with my Airpods! They make life so much easier.” Airpods, $139.99, Amazon.    

Leather Carryall. “The brand Unoeth makes my favorite leather goods. I absolutely love these bags and I wear them daily. They are well made and fit any and all occasions.” Leather backpack, $248, UnoEth

Locally Made Heels. “My favorite are from the Oakland-based label Dopps!” The Greta, $410, Dopp

Thrifting. “I have been a thrifter since I was an early teen. I would rather find that special outfit in a thrift shop over Neiman’s or the mall. I know it’s weird, but I love thrifting and it’s like my therapy!” Goodwill.

Essential Oils. “My favorite is called Peace.” Spa Kit, $79.33, Doterra

Working Out. “Every morning I run the Cleveland Cascade stairs in Oakland. I gain so much clarity and it makes my day so much brighter!” Cleveland Cascade Stairs

For more on Taylor Jay, check out her Instagram feed. And for more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with clean living expert Kristian Henderson, Oakland retail queen Sherri McMullen, eco-fashion designer Alyssa KerbelShahidah Zareef of Bossmom NationJoanne EncarnacionLaTonya YvetteMorgan Walker of Make.doJeanne Chan of Harlow & Grey, and more.

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