Mother of Amina and Camille, owner of children’s store www.babesta.com, Jennifer Cattaui was also, until very recently, Chief Editor at Earnshaws Magazine. A tax lawyer by profession, Jenn took a pretty non-traditional career path after September 11 : she became an executive editor at several fashion magazines, she launched a jewelry line, she created a start up on the intersection of fashion & technology with partners.
Jenn and her husband Aslan moved to Tribeca in 2001. They have two beautiful daughters, Amina (9) and Camille (6) and three cats : Spike, Elvis & Baby Gaga.
I opened my store in Tribeca in April 2007, right before the Tribeca Film Festival. We opened “in Beta” (and I think we still are –but who isn’t?). This store focused on fashion and accessories for 0-12 year olds. We started selling strollers and furniture too out of this storefront “sight unseen” to test the market. We decided to open a second store to address these categories in 2009.
My plans for the future: Keep building Babesta—hopefully open another store, keep doing creative work, writing, and doing my part to help grow and support the indie fashion world. I don’t believe that fast fashion is where it ends. I love goods with a story that bring out emotion and represent a strong creative POV. My ultimate goal: continue to surround myself with great, inspirational and creative people and see where it all goes!
Time management is an art. I am a “To Do” list person. I’ve downloaded EVERY app on my iPhone for organizing my time, but continue to find calm and order by hand writing my list as the last thing I do before going to sleep. Obviously between the different hats I’ve been wearing, organization is the biggest struggle. But most importantly, I have been so lucky to have a tremendous team in the stores that I trust implicitly. They really know the Babesta brand and represent it well. At Earnshaw’s, I was lucky enough to work with consummate professionals and strong creative forces, from the brands defining the trends and the creative/art directors, Nancy Campbell and Trevett McCandliss to freelance stylist Michel Onofrio and top fashion photographers like Cleo Sullivan, Christophe Kutner, Katrina Tang and more. It is so inspiring to be working alongside people like that!
Kids trade shows
I am always so overwhelmed and excited by the trade shows—and March was no exception. ENK is of course an amazing overview of the market, but my heart belongs to Playtime. It’s like a jewelbox of kids’ fashion. Even though there are brands that don’t work for Babesta, I’m guaranteed to be blown away by nearly everything. And I always pick up a new brand or two—one I wrote in March was Little Creative Factory, out of Barcelona. It’s so well considered and interesting and I’m stoked to have them on board. Also I brought on Herschel backpacks, which I think will be fresh for back-to-school.
Tribeca & tips on restaurants
It’s a super cute neighborhood and I love it because it’s very personal—you walk down the street and know people -it’s not anonymous like cities can feel – it’s a real community.
I am a creature of habit when it comes to restaurants. My husband and I have kept the tradition of date night on Fridays and normally I am exhausted so am not as experimental. But I love love love Locanda Verde in the Greenwich Hotel, Mesa Grill (I die for their Queso Fundito & Sophie’s Chopped Salad), Mr. Chows, Bond Street, weekday breakfast at Crosby Hotel or Balthazar (scrambled eggs with asparagus & mushrooms). None are “kid” restaurants, but my girls are old enough to be good to come anywhere (finally!) If I’m thinking kid-first, we do Coffee Shop in Union Square (great veggie burgers, really nice service), and our pediatrician (Dr Michel Cohen, quite famous in NY) just opened a cool new spot in Tribeca called Saleya!