Mom-of-two Kristi Yamaguchi does it all! She is an Olympic ice skating champion, the first woman to win Dancing with the Stars, an author, and now a fashion designer. Kristi is set to launch her limited edition line of women’s activewear, Tsu.ya, at select Lord & Taylor stores.
Kristi opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her new line of clothes that are “functional and comfortable, but yet fashionable enough to take me from the gym to running the kids to school and running errands.” She also talks about her two daughters – Keara, 8, and Emma, 6 – and keeping the kids busy over the summer holidays.
CBS: Tell us all about your new active wear line, Tsu.ya.
KY: “The Tsu.ya collection has a two-pronged design approach. There is the functional side with yoga pants, capris, and coordinating jackets that feature moisture-wicking and high-functional material, great fit, and comfort.
The collection also has a softer side, which you put over your workout clothes. This set consists of pieces like sweatshirt dresses and longer jackets, as well as soft cotton, drapy knits that look great over your active wear as well. You can have them on-hand to wear after your workout, so that you can get on with your day.”
CBS: What inspired you to start the line?
KY: “The inspiration for my line is basically where I am right now in my life. I look at my wardrobe and want clothes that are both functional and comfortable, but yet fashionable enough to take me from the gym to running the kids to school and running errands.
The inspiration is wanting to bring a product that could satisfy all of the needs that today’s active and busy mom and busy woman has. Hopefully people can feel good wearing the line and know that they can look great too.”
CBS: Are you hoping to do a kids line for/with your girls one day as well?
KY: “I would probably not do an active wear line for kids; I don’t know if they need that, but a kids line is definitely in the back of my mind. Tsu.ya is a lifestyle brand, and right now the focus is bringing the brand to the market.
A lot of inspiration has come from brands like TOMS Shoes and Newman’s Own—brands that also give back to the community. Building a children’s line is definitely something we are interested in eventually doing.”
CBS: We hear some of the proceeds will to your Always Dream Foundation. Tell us more.
KY: “Yes, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Always Dream Foundation, which focuses on early childhood literacy. We are in our sixteenth year now, and, being a small foundation, we are very proud that we have been able to go on now for sixteen years.
Now we are ramping things up and extending our board. Both of my girls are in public schools in California, and we wanted to make a difference there. We have focused on early childhood literacy, because we want to help children build the foundation for success not only in school, but also in life.
Under our program Always Reading, we are launching two programs in six different schools in California this year. We hope to expand that as time goes on.”
CBS: How are your girls doing? How old are they now? Are they excited to be on summer holidays?
KY: “Keara is 8-years-old and Emma is 6, and they are excited to be on the summer holidays. However, they love school and I think they miss going to school and seeing their friends in class. I think they miss that interaction.
They are keeping busy with other activities—my older daughter organized her own art camp at our house and invited her friends to it, and my younger daughter is involved in activities like skating and dance. Right now I am trying to keep them occupied, and make sure they have fun as well.”
CBS: How do you balance your career and motherhood?
KY: “I think I am lucky and believe that it takes a village, for sure. I am lucky to have incredible support, obviously from my husband, and also from our family. We live in the Bay Area, and my parents are here as well as my sister and brother and their families.
Bret’s family flies in often from Minnesota to help out if I am traveling. Between his mom, dad, and sister, we have an amazing support group. It is tough—my number one priority is my family, and I have to look after their schedules and try to fit in fun stuff where I can.”
CBS: Do you have another book in the works?
KY: “At this point, it is in the conceptual stages right now…there are definitely some ideas, and I am hoping to talk to my publisher and conceptualize what I want to do next. Yes, I am hoping to do another book.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
KY: “At this point, it is really just focusing on the launch of Tsu.ya on September 6th. It has been three years in the making, and it is like a dream that it is finally here. I am really hoping that the launch has success, and we are already working on the spring line and spring preview is coming up in August, so we are working on that as well.”