Lindsay Pinchuk and Jamie Grayson Talk Unwanted Parenting Advice, Chicago Vs. New York, and Martha Stewart

Jamie Grayson is the baby gear expert behind the cultishly adored BabyGuyNyc. Lindsay Pinchuk is the CEO and founder of Bump Club and Beyond, a social event company beloved for providing moms and mothers-to-be with vital information and a sense of community. The pair — who’ve curated a selection of their favorite picks on this week — also happen to be the best of friends. Read on for an intimate conversation between the two.

When you two aren’t working on your businesses, where will we find you?
Pinchuk: With my family — with my two girls and my husband. Usually at a park or at a restaurant or a park in Chicago.

Grayson: At the theater. I love plays. Or you will find me eating or having a cocktail with my friends. I spend so much time traveling that spending time with my friends is very, very important.

Cocktail of choice?
Grayson: I do enjoy bourbon. If we’re doing cocktails, I love an Old Fashioned. If we are just talking drinks, I love an EPA. I do enjoy the beer. And I enjoy wine! I’m an equal opportunity employer.

Pinchuk: I would say on a warm summer day a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, or on a very cold winter’s day, a glass of Pinot Noir.

Grayson: And I always love a margarita!

Pinchuk: Who doesn’t love a margarita?

Grayson: Everyone should love a margarita. It’s like babies and puppies. If you don’t like a margarita I don’t trust you.

What’s the best baby advice you’ve ever gotten?
Grayson: I would say “Go with your gut is” the big one — and ignore the advice of strangers. People are too judgmental. And unless you asked for advice, don’t accept advice.

Pinchuk: Along those same lines, our mantra at Bump Club has always been, ‘Your best is good enough.’ And what works for you is what you should be doing. Don’t let people pressure you — whether it’s friends or grandparents or colleagues — to do things they way they did.

Grayson: Don’t live a life of comparison. It’s kind of the opposite of ‘Not my monkeys, not my circus.’ That is your monkey. It is your circus. You’re the ringmaster of your own family.

So: New York vs. Chicago?
Grayson: Chicago is a smaller, cleaner city than New York. I love both cities. I love Chicago pizza but I also love New York pizza. I live in NYC so it’s hard for me to compare them!

Pinchuk: From a parent’s perspective, I love New York and I would go any time to visit that I’m given the chance, but not with my kids…I want to visit New York and do adult things and experience the restaurants and go to the theater and go shopping. I think that being in New York with kids is hard and I give huge applause to parents who do that. As for Chicago, the parenting community there has been overwhelmingly accepting. It’s amazing to be a part of.

Grayson: New York is a double-edged sword because it’s such an amazing place. In New York, kids have the most amazing cultural opportunities with the museums everything else that they’re exposed to…but the down side of that is what they’re exposed to! So you have to to pick your battles.

Jamie, you got your start working in a baby store in New York during your down time as an actor. Any celebrities that made a positive impression during that time?
Grayson: Jon Stewart and his wife Tracy were always wonderful. And Tina Fey — I taught her how to use her strollers. Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams. Jeff Gordon. Molly Shannon was always a riot. She was great, great, great.

More recently, you appeared on The Martha Stewart Show — what was she like?
Grayson: Martha Stewart was epic. I grew up watching her on tv and reading Martha Stewart Living. We were raised by a single mother so we never really had the money for Martha Stewart-y stuff, but we always had Martha Stewart Living as something nice to look at. Putting the segment together was a lot, but we actually got along very well, and Martha asked me back the very next day to do another episode but then her show got cancelled! I told her how much it meant to my mother for me to be on the show and she wrote my mother a letter and signed one of her cookbooks for my mom. She said, you know, “You should be very proud of what your son’s accomplished,” things like that. And then she even wrote me a thank you note.

She never touched me though. Martha did not hug me. There was no physical contact.

Pinchuk: Maybe she’s a germ phobe.

Grayson: Maybe she is! I don’t know. But during the commercial break, she looked at me and said “You’re very good at this.” And I had been so nervous the day before! This was back when I only had like 3000 followers on Facebook. One of the moms was like, “You have to remember: If you’re going on Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart approved you.” And that set everything in my head right. What do I need but the Martha seal of approval?

So what’s next for both of you?

Grayson: I’m excited to be home for a couple of days! We’ve just launched the BabyGuyBox, and that’s been wonderful. The response has been great. So I’m excited for the box, and I’m excited for the new live-streaming video feature that Facebook has integrated. I did it the other night for three hours and we had over 14,000 people watching! I think it’s a game-changer.

Pinchuk: We have lots going on too. We’re planning for Gearapalooza 2016 right now and we’re planning with Nordstrom to hopefully do some more baby gear shows in 2016. We have some really exciting new things coming to our website that will make it a lot easier for people who aren’t in the cities where we host events to be a part of what we’re doing.

Lindsay, with all that’s going on, you obviously have to be ‘on’ a lot. How to you manage work-life balance?
The biggest trick is to plan ahead and make a plan for the day or the week or whatever it is, so you can get your stuff in order. The other things is to be as simplistic and minimal as possible. My makeup regimen is so easy — it take two seconds. I was with my mom this morning and she said she needed an hour to get ready and I was like, “An hour, to do what?” Whereas I got ready in ten minutes. I think it’s really important to just keep things simple and easy for you. Also, I always tell moms, “You’re wired to want to do everything, but you have to be able to ask for help.” If you can, that’s what’s going to get you through those moments when you want to throw up your hands.

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