#SMASHTESSFAM FEATURE - JULES LEYSER
MEET JULES LEYSER, CO-FOUNDER OF ALLIANCE OF MOMS
Have you seen the cute ‘With Heart’ Rompers on celebs like Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jordana Brewster, etc.? If so, then you’ll know that the Romper was created in collaboration with the Alliance of Moms, a not-for-profit organization that supports pregnant and parenting youth in foster care. Jules is one of the co-founders of the Alliance of Moms and her heart is HUGE!
Jules hopes through her work with the Alliance of Moms to honor the people who helped her own mother navigate a childhood that involved abandonment and abuse by serving young people in similar circumstances.
Jules grew up in England and started her career in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi in London, went on to start up M&C Saatchi and then joined the ranks of Bartle Bogle Hegarty before switching directions completely by writing and performing a play at the Edinburgh Festival. She worked as an actress and writer before moving to LA in 2003 and having her son, Felix, who is now six. The incredible joy of becoming a mother and her own family history inspired her to devote her time to creating the Alliance of Moms with her friends and co-founders.
Jules is one of those people that if you meet her, you instantly want to know more. So, let’s get started:
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THE ALLIANCE OF MOMS?
When I was pregnant with my son, two of my best friends and I hosted a play date fundraiser for pregnant and parenting teens in foster care. Once we had our kids, we decided that we wanted to do more than just fundraise. We wanted to share the experts and resources we desperately needed as moms with LA based girls and young women in foster care. The idea that these girls, some of them still children themselves, were facing the challenges of parenting without any support networks was unfathomable. We felt compelled to throw our arms around this vulnerable population and knew other moms in our own communities would feel the same. So, we came up with the concept of the Alliance of Moms. We are a membership-based organization where our members are both donors and hands on volunteers who help facilitate our educational programs that focus on early brain development.
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE THAT HAS SHAPED YOUR JOURNEY?
Take some time before you react to anything negative. The response you want to give is generally not the first response you have.
ONE TIP FOR BUILDING YOUR OWN BRAND OR BUSINESS?
Keep it simple - in your approach, brand offering and communications.
WHAT DOES YOUR ULTIMATE SUNDAY CONSIST OF?
Waking up late. A yummy brunch. Hanging out with my son and husband and our friend’s poolside. A massage. Dinner and a movie or even better, a trip to the theatre.
CURRENT NETFLIX BINGE?
Not Netflix but Amazon Prime – I just watched Season 2 of Fleabag in one sitting. It might be the most perfect piece of television ever. Phoebe Waller Bridge is a true genius.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
The women who make up Alliance of Moms; both the girls we serve and our members who take time away from their own families to volunteer.
Our young moms in foster care have so much on their shoulders. They are often still in school and also working to earn money but still make time on their weekend to attend our programs and learn more about developing their child’s brain because showing up for their kids is their priority.
And our member moms are also busy women who consistently carve out time to show up for our teen moms and their kids, be it for a program like Raising Foodies or Raising Baby or becoming a mentor or by sitting on our AOM Council which Smash & Tess’s Ashley Freeborn co-chairs.
DESERT ISLAND BEAUTY PRODUCT?
This is tough for me as I’m a beauty product addict. It’s a problem. But if I could only take one (other than sunscreen) it would be Vintner’s Daughter serum.
FAVE PLACE TO ROCK YOUR ROMPER?
Everywhere. After we launched the With Heart Romper, I bought more styles and colors because I’ve literally started living in them. They are especially incredible for travel.
WHICH GUILTY PLEASURE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS ARE YOUR FAVE INSTA-FOLLOWS?
Instagram itself is my guilty pleasure!
WHOSE POSTER DID YOU HAVE ON YOUR BEDROOM WALL WHEN YOU WERE 12 YEARS OLD?
Showing my age but I loved Michael J Fox from the Back to The Future Movies!!! And a little later, River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves. My husband patiently indulges my crush on Rafael Nadal and had a life size cardboard cut-out of him at my 40th birthday!
Jules is making an impact in her community and Smash + Tess is so honoured to be donating net proceeds of all sales of the ‘With Heart’ Romper to support the Alliance of Moms’ mission to break the intergenerational cycle of babies born to youth in foster care.
Support the cause, buy a ‘With Heart’ Romper.