WFH Diary: Davina Ogilvie
Startup founder and new mom Davina Ogilvie on how she's juggling it all from quarantine.
After working in fashion for a decade, Davina Ogilvie struck out on her own to start Wovn Home, a service that makes beautiful custom window treatments more affordable and accessible. She launched her site in the fall of 2019 and was gearing up to have a big 2020 when… well, you know the rest. Now, like so many of us, Davina is making it work from home (in New York’s Greenwich Village), while taking care of her seven-month-old. Below, she lets us in on her day-to-day.
On Becoming a Mother
I had my son, Davis, in September, the week after I launched my ecommerce business. So that was a lot of babies at once! I’ve been surprised by how much I enjoy being a mom. Davis is a cheerful little guy, and he brings me a ton of joy.
On Adapting to Working from Home
The biggest shift has been a mental one—staying positive and just focusing on what I can do now, given all that’s going on in the world. Some things are a bummer in terms of the business, like a few trade shows I planned to go to were cancelled, and a lot of my suppliers are working at a limited capacity. But on the flipside, I’ve done a lot of virtual design consultations—talking to clients about which color palettes and styles make sense for their homes—and those are really fun. I’m focusing on the future and developing new patterns that I’ll launch when it makes sense.
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I try to resist the urge to multitask during the day. It’s easy to start juggling, and then at the end of the day, I feel like I didn’t get all my work done—but I also didn’t spend quality time with my son. It’s not always possible, but when I can, I like to dedicate time to one or the other. Even if it’s just going for a walk or playing games, I try to fully focus on Davis when I’m with him. But there’s no such thing as perfect balance.
I wake up whenever my baby starts making noise, which is usually the crack of dawn—5am or 6am. My husband and I play this game where we pretend we didn’t hear the crying, and then one of us eventually gives in and goes to get him. Coffee is the first thing I do once I’m up, and music is a huge mood-setter for me. I play Sam Cooke, and that perks me up for the day.
Davis is seven months old, and keeping his routine on track is good for him and for us. Now that both my husband and I are working from home, we’ve figured out a system that works: Each night, we compare calendars for the next day, and we schedule out who can take Davis when. We trade off, because there are only so many times you can do a call with a baby on your lap.
When I’m working from home, comfort is key. And when you have a baby, machine-washability is important because everything gets messy really fast. I wear a lot of tunics, black pants or jeans, and flats. That’s my uniform. Even though it’s tempting to roam around all morning in my PJs or athleisure, getting dressed helps me feel uplifted and alert. My favorite M.M. pieces are the Penelope top and the Morandi sweater. And I throw on my double-faced scarf when I go outside for walks. Although I’m not wearing them right now, I love my dresses. I wore the Cynthia Dress in white for my legal marriage, and I hope to break out the Makenna this fall for opera season. That’s my I-want-to-feel-pretty outfit.
On the “Home Office”
I have a makeshift office area that I made, but I usually end up working on my sofa, the floor, or at the dining room table. I try to keep our space pretty clean and organized, but one of the downsides of running my business from home is that there’s fabric everywhere. It looks a little bit like a fulfillment center in here.
On the Aesthetics of Home
I make my bed every morning, even when I don’t feel like it. Staying organized makes me feel more pulled together and keeps the space cheery. Sometimes I take a break and just start rearranging pillows and putting out throws. When you’re at home all day, it’s important to have a space that feels clean and uplifting. Plants and textiles are also a nice way to breathe life into your space.
On Staying Social
Being a new mom can be a little isolating in general, so it’s nice that so many people are connecting virtually these days. I’m actually talking to my friends who live outside of New York more than I have in the past. I attempted to host a hat party on Zoom, and that didn’t work out very well. It’s just a party where everyone wears different hats, and then I vote on who wins. It ended up being a bunch of college football hats, but we tried. Regardless, all this Zooming has been a nice reminder to talk to the people I love.
On Mother’s Day
When I hear ‘Mother’s Day,’ I think of my mom—who passed away many years ago—and my mother-in-law, whom I adore. And even my sisters-in-law. But it didn’t even occur to me that this year, I’m a mom too! We have no big plans, but maybe I’ll cook something fun.
I’ve been experimenting with new recipes, especially Thai recipes. I grew up in Thailand, and I miss the food a lot. Takeout Thai food doesn’t do it for me—it’s too sweet. The other day, I made a yellow curry from scratch, which was delicious, but it will probably never happen again—it was so labor intensive. For lunch, I usually make something simple like a chopped Mediterranean salad. And I may have gone overboard on pureeing food for Davis, because now when I reach for the Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer, all the baby food comes crashing out.