CBB Exclusive: Skye Hoppus discusses her family, her clothing line and her book

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Skye Hoppus has lived a life that many of us dream of — she’s married to Mark Hoppus, +44 frontman, formerly of Blink-182, and together they have one son, Jack, 5 ½. She is the owner and creator of Childish Clothing, where she gets to clothe celebrities and everyday people in the hottest styles. She wrote a book, called Rock Star Momma. And, she isn’t anywhere near done. CBB got the chance to sit down and find out a little more about her, from career woman, to mom, to wife, we covered it all!

Click continue reading to see exclusive pics of Skye and the two men in her life and to read the entire interview.

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Childish Clothing

Maternal instincts for maternity wear:

I would say it started almost out of frustration rather then inspiration. It’s not easy being pregnant and looking good during your pregnancy. Especially when you’re getting big — I gained 50lbs during my pregnancy with my son. I was so big and so uncomfortable and it was the middle of summer and … I just had struggles, like so many women do.

I happen to be a little more near the spotlight, because of my husband, and I felt a little more on “display” during my pregnancy. There just wasn’t anything that I felt GREAT in. I had a makeshift wardrobe, out of vintage items or items that I would cut up and I found some things that fit better and I would just buy them in bigger sizes. So, I thought, “There’s really no reason women should have to struggle this much during pregnancy.” With that thought, came really cool, original designs for Maternity.

First comes maternity, then comes kids:

Then after having Jack, I noticed the lack in really cool, edgy designs for children. I hated all the teddy bears and sail boats and footballs, and there was just nothing that sparked my interest. And so I started the Kids line. The main source of inspiration has been my son. He’s just a huge inspiration, because you see these little people and they have such massive personalities and I felt that their personalities should show through their clothes.

With all the traveling we do I see some great things. And outside of clothing, too — with architecture, and with art, and with music, all those things inspire me. It’s been really easy I must say. The struggles haven’t been hard, with the design inspiration it’s mostly been keeping up with the pace.

Early morning musings:

To be honest, most of my concepts come in the middle of the night. I wrote half of my book, ‘Rock Star Momma,’ in the middle of the night. [The middle of the night] is when you allow your mind to settle and to go to a truly organic place. It’s where I think the best ideas come from. So most of my ideas spark at 3AM — Thank God I keep a notebook by my bed and I don’t need that much sleep anyway.

From there I usually come up with the design idea first. Then I steal or look at different fabrics, or even create one if it doesn’t exist. And with the color, we don’t really follow any sort of trend, we create our own.

We are known for doing bright colors in the fall because it’s different and unexpected and I like doing that. I like being separated from the pack, and it’s done really well for us at retail. Moms like it because during the winter they’re not putting their boys and girls in these deep colors. [Deep color] works with ready-to-wear for mens’ and women’s clothes, but with your kids? You don’t have to put your kids in these dark colors in the fall. Who says you have to? Just because the trend says you have to? I like that we don’t follow any rules.

Usually, 99% of the time, it works, and the other 1% if it doesn’t work that’s OK with me. I like that we stay true to our inspirations. It’s so easy, too, being a mom, I’m my own customer. Which I think, partly, is the reason for the success of Childish. I AM a mom, I go to boutiques and see the clothing. Again, I’m our target customer for our brand. So it just makes it really easy.

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Everyone needs a hero:

My favorite [item in the line] is the My Dad Is My Hero ($24) for the kids. It came from such a true place, of just looking at my son and how he absolutely adores and looks up to his dad and thinks his dad is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Out of that I could just see how my son looked at his dad, and it’s been our biggest seller.

We now offer it a couple of different ways, because the demand has just been there. And now the moms get all mad, you need a My Mom Is My Hero shirt.  We’ve since added that and we continue to grow off it. We’ve added My Dad Is Cooler Than Your Dad. Anything to do with being parents, especially being a parent, you see how your kids look up to you and you see how much they love you. It came from such a real place.

Come on baby light my fire:

We are doing so good with the three collections, you know we just added this new apothecary line with these new candles. There’s all these essential oils that pregnant women should and should definitely NOT be around — I found out about this when I was researching for the book.

And I thought, women love candles, I love candles. I didn’t want to do a beauty care line, because you really have to know the chemistry behind everything. But women love candles and what better gift could you give a pregnant woman then a relaxing, amazing-smelling candle. So. I did all this research with some amazing people who are in the business for essential oils. And we created this beautiful line of 100% organic candles.

We did a 9 Month Set with a first trimester set that had essential oils based to help calm the morning sickness and nausea and exhaustion. While the second trimester set has the oils to help energize you and give you that extra energy to get through. And then the last trimester one, when you’re really tired and really anxious, we put oils in there to help calm your nerves and give you a sense of tranquility.

We’ve had this amazing, amazing response, they’re beautifully packaged, we did everything in recycled paper and recycled glass. There’s absolutely nothing bad in the candles for women, it’s all soy wax and no fillers.

We launched [the candles] in December and they’ve been a huge success. Whether you’re pregnant or a new mom, it just smells amazing. There’s nothing artificial in there, we use the best oils in there. And I’m just so proud of it. It’s a really great gift for women, and it’s also something you can treat yourself to. What chick doesn’t love a candle? When you go to a baby shower you see all these clothes, some of which you like and some of which you don’t like, but this is something that’s FOR the mom. Because moms kind of don’t get anything at the baby shower.

There’s also a boy, girl and baby candle. For the girl we did more of a floral scent, more sweet-smelling. The boy we did a little more musky, more manly. And we did a Baby one, for if you didn’t know what you were having, one that catered to male/female.

Bling me:

We did a small collection of jewelry. They’re beautiful gifts and they’r
e a little higher priced, but they come with real diamonds and are in either white gold or yellow gold with “Boy”, “Girl” or “Baby.” It’s a great gift if a husband wants to buy it for his wife or a mom for her daughter. They’re all made to order, and you can also customize them.

The response we get from our customers, is that they love everything we do, but they want more gift stuff. Like the grandmothers that maybe don’t want to buy maternity clothes for their daughter, but wanted to give their daughter a gift.

Coming down the pike:

With maternity [clothes], people are getting into a lot more specialty fabrics. [Childish] is, for our Fall ’08 collection, doing an all organic line. Organic cotton is such a thing that’s so now and so important. Pregnant women and children should be around more natural fibers and away from the pesticides and away from the harmful chemicals. Just from what I know about how they grow cotton it’s unbelievable how much pesticides they use, and if you think about it, you know we work so hard during pregnancy to be healthy!

It’s something that’s very close to my heart and I feel every little thing you do makes a difference. So we decided to do an all organic line for Fall 2008.

I also think that maternity is somewhat getting away from prints. For so long people have been addicted to prints because they think it hides the belly, or kind of camouflages those parts of your belly that you don’t want people to see. I think that we’re slowly moving away from that.

Now the cuts are better, the lines are better, you don’t necessarily need the prints anymore. If you have a great pattern and a great style you don’t need anything that’s going to hide your flabby arms. There’s just a lot more flattering styles now.

We’re also seeing a lot more high design in maternity, where before it was a lot more safe, I think you’re seeing a lot more edge which is good. Because of all times, during the 9 months of your pregnancy you are probably having your biggest struggles with your wardrobe. So, you can take a little of what works outside of maternity and apply it to your maternity wardrobe. The empire cut for example, is such an amazing cut. It makes any pregnant woman look great. Finally you’re seeing a little bit more of the style-conscious designs in maternity.

The kids business is so interesting because every few seasons you’ll see a new crop of brands coming up. Now, you’ll see like a lot more funky stuff and the t-shirt lines have finally burst. For a while there you saw 6 million t-shirt lines, but you know there were very few collections that put together a whole look, from head to toe, you could get a great wardrobe for your kid.

That’s why Gap, and I hate to say it, is so well liked, because you can go in and put together a wardrobe for your kid in one place. But, if you don’t want that Gap feel — which is still the same Gap feel 10 years later, they aren’t reinventing the wheel – and you can put together a collection that you can get a t-shirt, shorts, a jacket and pants that all work together.

Kids grow out of clothes so fast, you don’t want to spend a fortune on your kid’s wardrobe. But you want pieces that can wear well with each other. So I think that’s why we saw this abundance of t-shirt lines, and now you don’t see them so much anymore, because, women/mom’s want selection. They want things that are real pieces.

We saw for a few seasons, this dress-wear trend, we saw Suri Cruise, for example, wearing these dressy clothes. Well that looks great, and if you’re Suri Cruise, the look works for you because you can send your clothes to the dry cleaners, but for moms that work, for moms that don’t have the time to go to the cleaners or to worry about it, you want clothes that you can toss in the washer and dryer and it’s still going to look fantastic after that. And the only clothes, right now, that do that are clothes that are A) made really well and, B) made out of really great fabrics that aren’t going to pill and won’t shrink after drying. Again you don’t want to spend $60 on a pair of jeans that, after drying, won’t fit your kids anymore.

So the savvier moms are knowing that they really want a collection that’s going to wear well and they can send their kid to school or the playground in and then toss in the washer/dryer and it’s going to look great after that. And that’s the beauty of being a mom and having a clothing line, is that I know.

Our stuff isn’t cheap, but our stuff is well made and it lasts forever and it looks great after the 10th time you’ve washed it and worn it and that speaks volumes. Fashion in kids clothes, thank god there’s a lot of it out there, but what’s really keeping the distance between other brands is that [Childish Clothing] lasts a lot longer and it looks great after the 10th wash.

Growing up and out:

There’s really nothing that bridges from the ‘tween lines to the 6-7s. But we already have 11 sizes, from layette to size 7. And perfecting 11 sizes has taken a few years. And as my son gets bigger, I’m sure we’ll go there. But I haven’t really gotten into [expanding the sizes] right now, because we’re having such great success right now.

Because I work 25 hours of everyday (my day has 25 hours in it!), I don’t ever want to take on too much. Because I think that’s when something is sacrificed. I want to make sure that everything that we do is done really, really well. I think maybe in the next year you’ll see an expansion of sizes, but for now we’re just kicking ass at what we’re doing.

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Rock Star Momma

Making sense of pregnancy:

I was actually approached to write a style book on celebrity pregnancy style because I worked with so many leading ladies during their pregnancies. And I just didn’t want to do that because I don’t think the women in Nebraska live the same life as Gwyneth Paltrow, as much as we all want to. It’s just not real.

I’m also not that kind of person, I love working with ladies and when they call and want stuff especially made for them, obviously I’m in the business, so I take advantage of all those opportunities. But, I didn’t want to write a style book on celebrity style, it’s just too narrow. Not every woman has access to a stylist or access to $300 jeans that are custom made for her.

So, after getting so much attention, I thought there is so much information, from working with so many women in Nebraska and Maine who don’t have the resources that leading ladies have, that why not write an overall great style book for pregnant women?

There was nothing like it in the marketplace. A couple years ago Liz Lange did one, but it was based on her styles, which again is a very niche market. So why not share all these tips and tricks and advice with everyday women so they can have the same resources these leading ladies have?

I started writing it and it started out as a fashion book, but then I thought there’s more to looking good through pregnancy then just your fashion. There’s all these skin issues and now that women have so much more information about makeup and some of the dangerous chemicals, and what not, that are in makeup and skincare products.

If you don’t have the time t
o research it yourself, because there’s an abundance of information and conflicting stories, why not just present all this information on well being, on beauty, on fashion, on anything that can help you look and feel better during your pregnancy, and put it all in this cute little guide that women can toss in their bags? And if she wants to know about skincare she can go to the index and find everything she needs to know about it. Have it be a great resource tool for women.

With the internet and pregnant women being so much more savvy, and wanting to know more, I wanted to take all the info that was valuable and put it in one great guide that you can either give as a gift or buy for yourself and just be a great resource for helping women look good during their pregnancy.

It took a good 2 ½- 3 years to write, after I decided I didn’t want it to be narrowed on fashion. I enlisted all these amazing people that I’m just so lucky to work with. From the doctors who created ProActiv to the editors at Fit Pregnancy, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more.

In very real terms, it’s just real information that wasn’t written by a publicist. It’s real women who have been pregnant and have had struggles of their won — People who have started companies, because at one point during their pregnancies they had a problem — Editors who are working with pregnant women every single day — Experts who, that’s what they do. Why not give people all this information and have it all in one place?

It really was so easy and so much fun to write because I got so much input. I had most of my clients share their stories. Women get pregnant every single day, women get bloated and share experiences, whether they’re Gwyneth Paltrow, or not. But, [Gwyneth] can give you a little tip on what helped her on those days and it might help you get through that day a little easier.

Notable parts from the book:

They’re all so different. I really liked how real Gwyneth was with what her own struggles were. And for Britney Spears, she was at one time in her life a pregnant chick, and she talked about how track suits helped her get through the days when she was bloated and gross.

I really love all the valuable input that the ProActiv creators had about skin care, the things to look for in your skincare products and beauty products. There’s just such a vast amount of information in there that to favor one over the other is just so hard.

The best thing about it is that’s it’s written as a very friendly guide and is kind of catty, which is how I talk and think half the time. I was so inspired by and loved ‘The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy,’ cuz it was the real deal. It wasn’t sugar coated, it wasn’t a doctor telling you this is gonna happen or this is gonna happen. It was your chick, girlfriend telling you the mucus plug is gonna fall out, and it’s gonna feel like this, and you’re gonna hate it. It was someone giving you info without any sugar coating on it.

I liked the honesty, I think if you can give anyone real advice from someone who’s been through it and paint a realistic picture, unlike the other books out there, it just gets you one step ahead.

Rock Star Momma the sequel?:

We just went into a second printing of Rock Star Momma, it’s doing so well. My plans were always to write the second version of it, which would be how to be a cool mom — mom of a newborn/mom of a toddler. The same way that Childish grows from being a maternity line to a kids line, I think will be the progression we’ll have with Rock Star Momma.

You have this baby now, OH MY GOD what do I do? I think the whole Rock Star Momma
thing is such an attitude to me, it’s about being an individual, being proud and having the attitude that you’re gonna get through it, you’re gonna get through it in style and you’re gonna get through it and kick ass.

And I think that if moms can have that attitude throughout being a new a mom when everything is so confusing and everything is just coming at you 100 miles per hour. You can get little tips and tricks for how to get through it easily. I’ve started writing little things down here and there, but I’m still so proud of the first book.

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Personal

From rock star to rock dad:

Mark had never really held a baby until our son was born, so to be honest he was a little nervous. I remember Mark saying, "I don’t know how to hold him. I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing." But with Mark it hit the second our son was born.

It’s just one of those things that you know as a parent, that’s hard to explain to people who aren’t parents. But Mark’s always been an amazing wonderful, hands-on parent, even when he’s on tour.

We make it a huge priority in our family to be together as much as we can, even though we don’t lead a “conventional lifestyle.” So if that means we get on a plane and go see Mark for a few weeks on tour, so that we can try to assemble some sort of family life, we do.

It’s just what you do. You make sacrifices; you make decisions to put your family first. And that’s always been our mentality. Mark has always been there, even during my pregnancy. He was on tour during the first part of my pregnancy, but he made sure that towards the end he was there and was just as involved as any “regular” dad would be.

I think it’s really important for kids to see that inspiration and have that inspiration from their parents. Some kids don’t have that and I think it’s really important to have that strong family unit. Even if, like I said, we don’t have the conventional lifestyle that our neighbors do, we still make it a priority to be together as much as we can.

Been around the world:

When [Mark] tours in Europe, Jack and I will usually go over and we’ll stay in one area, like we’ll stay in London for a month, while [Mark] travels out to Germany and France and Italy and on his days off he’ll fly back to London. Sometimes we just take our home a little closer to Mark.

Now that Jack is in school, he loves being in school and doesn’t want to be away from school as much. Which I think is good, it’s a sign that it’s OK to be away from your mom or your dad for a little bit. When that does happen, I’m always there. We have a really good support system from Mark’s parents and my parents, so Jack is never lacking for any sort of attention.

For this last summer tour, fortunately they were touring during the end of the summer. Jack and I would fly out to Chicago and take the bus around for a few weeks and then fly home so that Jack could have a little bit more "normal."

I think you make your home where ever your parents are and where ever your family is. It doesn’t really matter if you’re in your physical home, it’s just important that you’re together as a family.

Watching Jack grow up:

You know Jack is sort of an interesting kid, because he’s so shy right now. Which is so not my husband and I. I mean my husband is just, you know, I mean goodness, you know when he’s walked in the room. And I’m a little
more outspoken than most. But Jack’s a little, quiet guy.

He’s definitely not interested in being the center of attention. He loves playing on his computer and, when he’s not with his huge group of friends, he likes being by himself and reading and taking it all in.

He’s the kind of kid who takes apart a toy before he plays with it. I think he gets that from my husband’s side, they’re all teachers or engineers, he likes to figure out how things are put together and to take them apart before he starts to play with them.

It’s so interesting to see because he’s definitely a miniature version of my husband ,but he’s just a lot more shy and reserved at this point. And I like that … I LOVE that. And Mark, for as much as he loves the attention, that’s obviously his career, he’s never been the one to jump in front of the camera. It just naturally happened.

And with Jack, he’s just this quiet, little, reserved, sweet, sweet, good-natured kid will probably grow into being the exact version of my husband. But for now he’s just this really mellow, sweet kid.

Adding on to the family:

We are so day by day, Mark and I, one day we’ll be like, "Oh let’s try to have another." I’m 35 years old, so I don’t want to be too much older, so I’d like to get going on it. And I know this sounds so lame, but our life is so perfect right now. We’re in such a groove and our son, I can’t even tell you, is the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to us — he’s just further strengthened our marriage and our relationship.

You know, it’s easy and I know that sounds selfish, but we can travel and it’s just “easy” for us right now. We’re in such a groove and we can do the things that we all love to do.

I think that when you’re pregnant you have to go back to that place of being a little less selfish. You know with how things are right now, with Mark touring, it’s hard to do that. It was easier being alone some of the time during my pregnancy when Mark was on tour, because it was just me. If Mark were gone now during our pregnancy, it would be more difficult.

I was one of those pregnant women who took everything so seriously. Because I didn’t want to do anything wrong, not that anything that I would have done would have been wrong, but you want to do it right and that takes a lot of time and care.

It changes every day. Sometimes we’re dying to have another kid and others we think it’s just perfect and we could live like this forever. It really changes everyday.

When I was pregnant, my husband was on tour with Green Day — Blink was on tour with Green Day — and I became really good friends with Adrienne [Armstrong], Billie Joe Armstrong’s wife, and she gave me the best parenting advice for people in our “situation.” She said, “You know because of the lives we all live, you just definitely have to take every single factor into consideration.”

She’s a perfect example of a mother that puts her family first, she and her husband always put their family first. She taught me such a valuable lesson, that when you have a family, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about your kids, it’s about raising happy, healthy children and whatever it takes to do that, you do. It was really good advice. I had parents who taught me that as well, but they weren’t touring parents!

Click here for our previous chat with Skye.

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