On letting your intuition guide you and how to raise a happy human
by Colleen Crivello
SHARE THE LOVE (& THE STYLE)
Other-worldly and oozing with passion, being with Mara is like finding yourself in an inspired alternate universe – one that I never want to leave. Open and honest, she presents her truest self with no pomp or circumstance, just raw beauty.
Originally from upstate NY prior to landing in NYC, Mara launched her brand straight out of college and has been evolving on this path ever since. Daring, hilarious and striking, she’s living a life led by energy and spirituality – a path that is evident through her son Joaquin’s vibrant nature. We spent the morning playing and dancing in her Brooklyn townhouse conferring about how she was destined to meet her husband, guiding her son through happiness and gratitude plus her big shift toward sustainability. Join us for an energized moment with Mara @marahoffman
On creating change:I believe that when great change comes along in your life, it isn’t always a choice but rather something you accept and let guide you. In my case the change I’m experiencing through cleansing comes with a great level of excitement for me as I’m seeing it appear in all different aspects of my life – perhaps most dramatically within my business and the changes that I want to make there, in addition to deepening my commitment to my truest aesthetic and voice. With change comes a great freedom – once you move through the fear of the unknown and open yourself up to relish in knowing that anything and everything is possible. This is where I am in the process currently.
On astrology and it’s role in your life:I was originally turned onto astrology in high school, then in college I really started to focus on it. Astrology has been one of those tools in my life that has proved really helpful in understanding other people, therefore I have held on to it. I’ve been able to navigate through certain life situations aided by astrology, although I try not to place preconceived judgements on people based on their signs. As far as how astrology plays a roll in my relationship with my son, it’s very interesting – he was originally meant to be a Taurus but he came 4 weeks early and is instead an Aries. Now knowing him it’s very clear that it was always meant to be this way; he’s such an Aries spirit. My husband, too, was a curveball in the sense that I never thought I would marry or even be with a Taurus and yet there is my husband, a Taurus and we are 12 years deep with one another… mind you, he has an Aries rising 😉 Point being, there are a lot of layers to these charts and we have a compatible chart. So yes, I do believe it plays a roll in people’s characters. Although, as for who they are fundamentally? I believe there is always room for evolution, even within one lifetime and one person’s attachment to their sign. Really evolved people have the possibility to transcend their sign and any attachment to preconceived characteristics within the zodiac.
On spirituality throughout the different phases of your life:It’s been my vehicle to get me through different phases of my life. My spirituality has been with me since as long as I can remember, as well as my relationship to spirit – this is what I would refer to as the energy and what’s unseen. After all, energy is in all things, from emotion to physicality, to the inanimate and animate. I can’t imagine going through this life without being a spiritual being. I know that people do, but for me having a relationship to spirit in this life is one of my great blessings.
On yoga and Joaquin embracing the practice: Yoga is important to me and has played different roles throughout varying phases of my life. In this moment, I’m not in a steady practice but it’s always been a part of my physicality. As for Joaquin, he definitely embraces yoga as does Javier, however we try not to make it a big deal or push it on him, as we’d like his approach to yoga to remain fun and be his own. One important aspect of yoga that we’re teaching him is breath work and how to use breathing to shift your energy – this way when he is freaking out he can implement deep breathing in order to shift his headspace.
As a kid you wanted to be? I was a ballerina and dancer growing up, so I originally wanted to be a professional ballerina. However, later on I shifted to a marine biologist, as I was super into the ocean (still am!) and then by high school I really understood that I wanted to be a fashion designer.
On meeting your husband and you knew he was the guy for you:I met Javier at a Valentine’s Day party 12 years ago. I tell this story a lot, but I woke that morning and felt that I was going to meet him, my Valentine. However, I had no plans for Valentine’s Day and nowhere to be, but I just knew. Then a friend called me and invited me to a party, which I accepted knowing that there was something bigger than an invitation waiting for me and when I arrived there he was! Very soon into the relationship, I knew it would go one of two ways – it would either be the fastest, hottest thing on the planet or it was going to be a lifetime together. At the time I didn’t yet know which, but I knew that it wasn’t going to be one of those confused, middle-of-the-road, drawn out relationships. I know now we are in it forever.
On how motherhood changing your perspective on the world: It absolutely did. I never understood or felt fear until I became a mother, because I never loved anything so deeply and heart-wrenchingly so. And when you love something that much, you can’t help but think of the other side, of loss and what that would feel like. The feelings are uncomfortable and challenge you to evolve past fear and demand that you be present or sink into dark places of “what-ifs.” So, I believe motherhood has taught me to be a little more present, perhaps in order to avoid these dark places.
On the kind of role model you want to be for Joaquin:I want to teach him to be kind. I also want to teach him that happiness should be a top priority. We’re aiming to raise a joyful human that seeks happiness in this lifetime. We also want to raise him with the understanding that happiness is not achieved by fucking off and resisting hard work, because I also believe that hard work, focus and doing meaningful, purposeful things in life gives a deeper sense of happiness. So bottom line, I want him to learn to be a hard-working, loving and kind individual who helps to save this world – because that is what all of our kids are here to do.
On the start and end to each day: I start with the normal stuff – wake up, brush teeth and coffee. Then I meditate in the morning for 20 min. Later in the day my entire company meditates together at 4pm – I’m really stoked about this! It’s so beautiful and rad, better than any mid-afternoon cup of coffee.
As for family rituals, when we eat together we give thanks. Joaquin will generally lead the practice of gratitude. His prayers are so sweet as he thanks God; it’s just so beautiful to hear a five-year-old recite what he’s grateful for… sincere and heart-breaking.
On complement each other as parents:We have the same vision for what this life is and are certainly in accord with one another in respect to what kind of human we want to raise. We’re coming at it from the same perspective, plus we actually have very similar parenting styles of teaching Joaquin through kindness, creativity and self expression. We encourage this through music, play and performance. We’re both really into the same stuff.
App that most changed your life:Instagram, although I don’t know if it’s for the better or for the worse. I think I have become less present in my life because I’m really attached to the relationship I have with social – I sometimes resent it. However, it also allows me to tell a visual story to the world and engage with more people. It created an opportunity to extend beyond me and expand my outlet as an artist. It’s a double-edged sword.
Your teenage style: Well, as an early teenager, I was super into Dee-Lite – this informed my style. I was 70s psychedelic and wore short skirts with platform shoes – it was a real 70s throw-back. Then my style transformed into club kid-style raver vibe.
Any recent health discoveries: For the past year I have been dry brushing which I would highly recommend. It’s great for exfoliating your body, getting glowing skin, reducing the appearance of cellulite and also promotes healthy circulation.
I’m also a facial addict. I get facials all the time and I like trying new treatments. Currently I’m getting IPL facials which help bring any skin damage or discoloration to the surface. I’m also into radio frequency facials. I think it’s important to do less invasive processes earlier on so as to avoid other more extreme beauty treatments for as long as possible.
Your morning and night skincare regime: It’s pretty similar – wash with a face wash in the morning and night. And then depending on my skin situation, I sometimes will use different serums or just my go-to, La Mer Oil Absorbing Moisturizer, which is great.
What does putting on makeup look like for you each day?It’s not an every day thing for me, but when I do wear makeup, it’s a really light BB cream tinted moisturizer on my nose, across my cheeks and under my eyes to even out the skin tone and fill my pores a bit. Then mascara – I love mascara. I’ve been using YSL Faux Cils for years. The flip side for me is that I really enjoy not wearing makeup on a regular basis, especially on the weekends. I feel it’s important to give your skin a break and a chance to breathe for a few days in order to promote glowing, healthy skin. I usually will take off two consecutive days and clear my skin of anything tinted and I really notice the positive effect once I’m back on with makeup – my skin always looks refreshed.
Beauty tricks that instantly refresh your look when you’re in a hurry: Honestly, this happens for me all the time because I’m working all day and then if I have an event in the evening, I generally find that washing and re-setting my face makes a huge difference to my skin – it brightens and lifts it. I also find that in the winter a little bit of self-tanner in your moisturizer goes a long way to make you glow.
Three staples of your closet: I’m a uniform dresser for sure. Denim is a staple. I wear jeans – vintage Levi’s, high-waisted 517 orange tabs paired with button down shirts and either Dries Van Noten oxfords or sneakers. I’ve also been known to wear all white. I love to be in all white – white Levi’s and a white button down. I’m surrounded by color, prints and texture all day so being in white gives me a little bit of clarity.
Do you believe in expressing yourself through style?Of course! It’s what I do for a living. Although, I do believe there has to be some perspective here. The further I get in my own existence and spirituality, I know that fashion shouldn’t define you and rather it should be something enjoyable and fun. It’s not who you are and it should not be, as we’re deep and spiritual beings.
Has your style changed since becoming a mom?Yes, probably deeper into the uniform. Honestly, I have also grown up a little bit and this has likely had an effect on my style as well.
Every woman should own:A rad pair of jeans
On Joaquin’s personal style: He has this weirdo surfer, 90s thing going on. I don’t know… I love his style. I feel like whatever he wears, he just looks so cool. I’ve actually really tried to avoid buying him new clothes as he grows out of them so quickly, so I love buying second hand or receiving hand-me-downs that we can give new life. His closet is a mishmosh of vintage and hand-me-downs, although, if I were to buy him something it would likely be from MINI RODINI.
On the perspective MARA HOFFMAN the brand gives you as your first career out of college: I think it gives me a very specific perspective because it’s the only place I have ever been, but I feel that I have learned so much from within through all the people and the experiences that have been part of building this brand. It’s been an interesting ride.
On the brand’s move towards sustainability: This is a big goal for my brand as we shift towards being more mindful; both internally and externally. It’s definitely a reality but we also understand that this is a journey.
Your Snapchat is a super fun door into your world, do you find that people respond more to this than to your Instagram? I’ve changed my Instagram recently to be more of a conceptual growing art piece rather than a really insightful look into my personality, although it’s still very personal. I’ve decided to use Instagram as a larger creative platform to tell a visual story. And my Snapchat has definitely become more of the personal vortex. So if you want to hang with me, Mara, then come on over to Snapchat. I’m pretty transparent with it, which has given me an outlet to express what my life is truly like, whereas Instagram is more of a visual space. I’m excited about both. I don’t really know where it’s going but people will either be down with it or they won’t; either way I enjoy the two as very different projects.