As most of us scratch our heads amidst work deadlines, packing lunches, soccer games, and the occasional date night (huh?), wondering where in the world they sell that magical pill called “Balance,” there is one mom who seems to be able to manage it all…and then some. Actress Tori Spelling is a working mom who does it all. From acting, to her acclaimed reality show, to her New York Times best selling books, and children’s clothing line inspired by her two darling tykes Liam, 4, and Stella, 2, Tori is one multi-talented (and multi-tasking) mama. Now, she’s branching out even more. As an avid collector and design lover, she recently opened up invenTORI, an antique store in Sherman Oaks, in the San Fernando Valley northwest of Los Angeles. LA Mom Blogger Jennifer Brandt, of Perfectly Disheveled, caught up with Tori to get the scoop on her new venture, life in LA with kids, mom clothes, and everything else in between.
Red Tricycle: How did you come up with the concept for invenTORI? Did you have most of the merchandise already?
Tori Spelling: I’m an avid collector of antiques. Over the years, my passion grew to the point where I had to put so many beautiful antique pieces in storage. So, I decided to open a store filled with my antique furniture and share with everyone my personal inventory. Then, we decided to stock it with new merchandise for home, kitchen, bath, kids, pets, garden,etc… All the things that we carry are personal favorites of our family—things we always use. I also love to stock items made by fellow mompreneurs!
Though you’re a “90210” girl, the Valley has really become your home. Tell me about picking a location for the store.
We decided to open our store in the Valley because I think the area is so family-oriented. We spend a lot of time there and I love our power block. My friend Lisa Rinna’s shop, Belle Gray, is on the corner of block before us and my friend Leslie, an amazing caterer, opened her delicious cafe Sweet Butter next door to us. We are three moms making it happen! Love that!
Okay, so Liam and Stella decided it was time to bunk up, huh? First of all, where did you find their darling beds and secondly, how do you think they’ll do sleeping in the same room? Will it be a constant slumber party?
Liam and Stella have become best friends and have to do everything together, and they decided they want to share a room. It was also Stella’s big move into a big girl bed. I decided to go old-school wrought iron antique for their beds. I searched for a while, and then found two amazing ones at the Long Beach Flea Market recently. And, I just got these amazing quilts for their beds. Stella’s is a vintage-y pink/orange floral and Liam’s is a green monkey pattern. Since they are in Stella’s room, next I’ll have to redo her pink walls to make the room gender-neutral. I’m always up for a room makeover! I asked Liam “What will we do with your old room?” He replied, without missing a beat, “Oh, that’s where I will need to put a baby brother!.” Ha ha! They are at that age where they constantly ask for a baby. Liam wants a brother and Stella a sister, of course.
We’re so lucky in So Cal to have gorgeous weather. But on rainy or cold days (you know, the 57 degree LA kind), what are your favorite indoor play spaces?
When we have occasional rain days the kids love to go to the Topanga Mall, which they call The “Panga” Mall. They love the train and carousel and little rides there and like to get pretzels and hot dogs and frozen yogurt. It’s a full day! And, good thing, my kids are just like me and love to shop! My kids also love to get manis/pedis with me and Dean. Spa day is family day for us! Liam likes to get blue and red Spiderman toenails and Stella picks princess pink fingernails.
When you and Dean get a chance for an adult date night, what are your go-to restaurants?
Date nights are hard to come by with two young kids. Most of our date nights turn into family nights. But, when we do get an evening alone we love to go get sushi. Our favorite is Katsuya hands down—baked crab handrolls! We also love a good steak so we’ll go to Arnie Morton’s or Mastros. Also, Shabu Shabu is a fun date fave. Who can resist interactive dining?
When Stella and Liam are in tow, where are your favorite restaurants to go with them?
Stella and Liam like any restaurant as long as they can go for Menchie’s frozen yogurt after! But their faves are Cheesecake Factory, Buca De Beppo, California Pizza Kitchen, Jerry’s Deli, and any place Liam can get fried calamari. No joke, it’s his fave. Which is funny because he’s such a picky eater while Stella eats anything and everything!
What’s your biggest piece of decorating advice for parents when thinking about a child’s room? Any tips on how to make it funky and functional without breaking the bank?
When thinking about decorating a child’s room, I think it’s important to decorate it so it can carry them thru the baby years to the toddler years with subtle adjustments. Pick a style and theme for the room that you personally won’t get bored of. And, I like mixing functional pieces with eclectic vintage pieces.
Has Stella or Liam’s individual personality inspired the designs for Little Maven?
Liam and Stella totally inspire Little Maven designs! Liam looks great in pops of color so that helps me dictate the color palettes for each season. Also, I make sure I have pants that are functional, cute, and cozy—and he loves that.
How do you feel about kids picking out their own clothing? Does Stella have a say in what she wears? How about Liam?
Stella is my little fashion doll. [She] loves dresses, color, and girly things so is always happy to try on and wear anything. Except blue. She doesn’t understand. If I try to put something turquoise on her she says “No mama. That’s a boy color. That’s for Liam”. I always want them to look stylish, but most importantly, be comfortable. That’s my motto when designing Little Maven. And, sometimes I’ll have a few different samples for graphic tees. I’ll always show Liam and Stella and let them pick which one to use. Liam now picks out what he wants to wear. He’s obsessed with Superhero tees and cozy sweatpants. It’s pretty cute. I’m like “Really? No cool skinny jeans?” And Stella usually wears pink everyday. And, she’s very particular about her shoes.
What’s a typical outfit for you on a day out with the family–going to the park, running errands, etc? What’s your biggest piece of fashion advice for moms to get out of the yoga pants rut? (Not that I know anything about that…)
I LOVE that leggings are so in! Makes life so much easier, because you can be in trend yet comfy. So, I’m usually in leggings, cute/comfy flats or boots, and a cute top or sweater. It’s easy, but you still look like you care which I think is important for us gals. Just because we are moms and busy, we have to remember not to lose ourselves. So, invest in a cute skinny jean or great legging and pair with cute tops. Remember, color is your friend! Pops of color will make you feel confident!