1) Tell me a little bit about you, where you are from, family etc. Also please tell us some of your important life philosophies and values.
As a maternity photographer, I have met many small business women in San Francisco, Seattle and New York who also cater to this wonderful population of women. Many of these women should be famous because of their contributions to pregnant women. Anna Williams is one of them. If you want to look and feel sexy when you are pregnant in Seattle, Village Maternity is your destination. I have profiled her here.
My name is Anna Williams and I grew up in Seattle. After high school, I chased the sun and completed my undergraduate and MBA in Claremont, California. From there, I started working for Banana Republic, first at their corporate headquarters in San Francisco, and then in their design office in New York. I spent five years in New York and worked for both Banana Republic and Kate Spade during that time before moving back to Seattle to be closer to family.
2) Tell me about your business, how you got started and why you were drawn to this profession and this population?
Village Maternity was started by my mom in 1983, after she had me. She wanted a store where women could ask questions and share stories, find products that were right for them and their babies, and feel good about their changing body. In my eyes, she did a lot more than that! She built a community that over three decades later is still serving moms and moms-to-be with the best product and (hopefully) the kind of answers she once hoped to find.
Unfortunately, my mother was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer a few years ago and passed away soon after. I have since taken over the business and now understand why she loved it so much. I get to work with an incredibly talented, strong, and passionate group of women. One of my teammates, Bing, has been with the store since it opened 33 years ago! We are also extremely lucky to have wonderful customers. Everyday I hear incredible stories from our customers (women and men) about their families, their birth stories, their plans for the future… it is a really fun part of someone’s lives and we get to be a part of it! There are times where I am the first to know that someone is pregnant or the first to find out the gender of someone’s baby – it is definitely an incredibly joyful place to work!
I am also very excited to announce that I will also be designing maternity and nursing clothing under the label, Nom Collection. I am so thrilled to be able to take the feedback from our customers and turn it into fashionable and comfortable clothing line. Nom Collection will be sold at Village Maternity (and other boutiques) starting in fall 2015!
3) What do you feel passionate about?
I feel really lucky to have found a career where my passion for creativity and business have seamlessly come together. While in NY, I realized that while I LOVE business, I also need a creative outlet… whether that is working with creative people, helping someone find an outfit that makes them feel good, or designing a new collection, the ability to express that side of myself is really important. I am also really passionate about working with people. I am constantly in awe of the women I work with and all that they accomplish. The sense of teamwork at Village Maternity is something that was very important to my mom, and something that I feel very strongly about, as well.