Thrilled to interview Mama Muse Taylor McGuire Barber the impeccably stylish American mama to Wylder 3 and the co-owner of Dunlin, one of my favourite places to purchase exquisite artisanal homewares. Our shoot location was close to Taylor's home on the eastern suburbs of Sydney at the breathtakingly beautiful Tamarama beach. I have never met anyone who radiates more positivity than this woman and we laughed so much trying to catch Wylder as he ran after surfers and seagulls. Please enjoy the interview and photographs.
1. What do you love about being a mother?
Everything, every day is put into perspective. Focusing on Wylder's happiness has become my greatest joy. I love watching his little face light up when he explores something new or asks a wild question, it is the most wonderful part of our day.
That little three-year-old boy has no idea how much happiness he brings to Nic and I. There is so much love it physically hurts. It’s crazy to think that you jump into becoming a mother and it’s terrifying because you have no idea what to expect and then you have this growing belly. That's Wild. I remember asking Nic crazy questions like “what if I don’t love him?” and "is this going to ruin what we have?" It’s all just a bit overwhelming. There are so many highs and lows (especially in that first year, at least for me) but, I cannot imagine a life without him. Becoming a mom was the greatest decision I have ever made, hands down. Hands Down!
2. What do you find the hardest thing about being a mother?
Just when you think you've got it all figured out, and your days become just a little easier, your entire world is thrown upside down because they have changed. It’s such a challenge to recognise this change right away. I have found myself unbelievably frustrated until I realise he's just growing, learning & testing (or someone smarter than me points it out).
3. What are your go-to beauty products and any favourite brands?
My go-to beauty product of the moment is my Joanna Czech facial roller. It’s outta this world. I put it in the refrigerator and feels amazing in the morning and instantly depuffs -or so I tell myself. I know I'm not the only one obsessed with all things Joanna Czech. I’m dying to have a facial from her.
Other cannot live without is Goop exfoliating Insta Facial and my friend Jena's amazing beauty line Fitish . Her Fitish Don't Sweat it Spray holds all your makeup in place through workouts or a day at the beach! She’s an absolute genius.
4. How do you manage to stay in shape?
HA! This is something I am constantly working on. It's ever-changing. I grew up very athletic playing Divison 1 soccer in college and swimming, playing basketball, baseball, running - basically always training. I was conditioned to work out to the extreme. So now I do everything in my power to avoid training. It just feels like a job and I don’t want to dread something that should be fun. I have found yoga to be the absolute best work out for me as it works on my mind at the same time as elongating muscles and maintaining flexibility. I have very little "me" time. Running along Bondi with our dog Jagger is another one of my favourite quick workouts when I only have 20 minutes.
5. How do you find time to rest and relax?
Quick getaways. Currently, Nic and I are in Tasmania, just us. We're always working on our brands Dunlin and J'Jute but, also taking time to get away and focus on ourselves and getting back to at least 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is Power! And being together as a couple is a power as well.
6. Where are your favourite places to go in Sydney, restaurants, cafes, kids activities etc.?
So boring but, we love bopping into Woollahra with Wylder and grabbing a coffee & croissant from Taste Providore and then hitting the toy store. Such a simple thing but, there is something so comforting & cosy about that little stretch of Woollahra. We rarely leave Bondi but, it's just an easy little adventure just sitting together on the street, chowing down on the best croissants in Sydney and watching all the Woollahra pups walk by. We usually take Wylder to the toy store after and watch his little heart explode with excitement. He gets to pick out a little toy or book and it’s all wonderful until the meltdown.
Favourite Adult Restaurant: Apollo.
Favourite Cafe close to home: Sonoma Bondi,
Favourite Quick Dinner with Wylder: Gelbison's
Favourite Adventure with Wylder: Wild Play Centennial Park.
7. What are your favourite things to do together?
We live in Bondi, right on the beach so we can walk out the door in swimmers, barefoot and be at the beach just the three of us. There is nothing better. Walking along the rocks together exploring and searching for crabs, octopus and any other creatures we can find. This is the most special thing about living where we live. I still cannot believe how lucky I am that Bondi is my backyard.
When we’re not playing around Bondi we’re usually planning our next adventure around the globe. It’s a bit of an addiction for us. As Wylder gets older all we want to do is find somewhere that he will enjoy. Our next trip is in a few months visiting my family in Chicago, Palm Springs and then just the 3 of us to Hawaii on our way back to Sydney.
8. Any travel tips with small children or a new baby?
#1. champagne as soon as you hit the airport (some moms are stronger than me and don’t need this first step hahah). #2 Prepare yourself for the absolute, God awful worst. But, be surprised when you have 5 minutes of any peace and quiet.We have taken Wylder around the world with us and I never remember the travel bit. The horror of it all just fades away over time, haha. All that remains in the incredible memories from the trip itself. I try to remind myself on 15-hour flights that this is just a blip in time. If I can remain calm laugh off spills, tantrums and blowouts that is what will make the trip just a little bit easier. It’s really not the end of the world.
#3 (stolen from other mothers of course): Have a bag of small distractions in case of a meltdown. I usually have 10-15 surprises & endless treats on a long haul. Sometimes I use one & sometimes I run out.
9. Where is your favourite place to vacation with your family?
We had an incredible holiday in Italy this year. We visited a small beautiful island just off Rome called Ponza, and it absolutely blew our minds. We spent most of the time boating with Wylder. Nic and I love being on the water and exploring Italy by sea is always our top adventure. The Italians just know how to take joy in everything and it rubs off on you when you’re there. Nic and I fell in love with Italy together when we first visited Portofino together just the two of us. Our son Wylder’s middle name is Romeo as a tribute to our favourite place.
10. Who’s your favourite fashion brands and what’s your signature style?
My favourite fashion brand at the moment is Saint Laurent - Anthony Vaccarello is a genius. Dark, Sexy & Edgy.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I also love Tibi. I find it's a bit of an undercover brand with unexpected textures and silhouettes. My first stop back in NYC I always make a point of hitting up Tibi's only showroom. They have the best sales. For shoes, I have always been drawn to old classics like Prada & Miu Miu. They make the most comfortable 4-inch heels I ever worn. Bags of the moment for me are, Loewe. The quality and slickness of the leather is drool-worthy.
My style is in a bit of a transition at the moment. After moving from New York to Sydney. It's so much more laid back in Australia and I used to be in heels every day in New York for 12 years. Running all over like a crazy person and it was no big deal. Whenever I get dressed now I always ask myself, "would I wear this in New York" and if the answer is yes, then it's ago. I really appreciate Australian style and I let the Australian woman have it because they do it best. It’s important to me not to lose my American style but, I'm loving mixing in bits of this new laid back style with the old me and that’s what feels fresh.
Taylor wears Love Letters N necklace in 18k solid yellow gold.