Lifestyle Guru Barrett Prendergast on Simple Meals and Great Gifts
Photos courtesy of Nicki Sebastian
If you've taken a look at Barrett Prendergast's Instagram feed, you know how easy it is to see the lifestyle influencer and gifting company founder as total #momgoals. The LA-based mama of two (she recently gave birth to her second baby boy) has already had past careers as both co-founder of a leather bag line and caterer, and with Valleybrink Road she's curating the ideal luxury gift boxes and cheery floral arrangements, so at this point when it comes to pretty much any domestic task, she's a wealth of knowledge. From whipping up a super-simple but nourishing meal to finding the perfect present for an expectant mama — all while taking care of a newborn and a toddler and running her own business, mind you — Prendergast seems to know how to do it all with style.
The fact that Prendergast has become such a popular source on everything from where to grab the best bowl of pasta to how to expertly pack your little ones' lunch isn't so surprising given the fact that she's relatable besides being simply well-informed. You want her as a friend, a neighbor, and fellow mom group member (which thank goodness, she already is). If you're not yet following along — or even if you are — we wanted to let you in on some of this lifestyle guru's hottest hostess tips as well as share a bit of her personal story, including how her unique career path led her to where she is now, and how she optimizes her "me" time.
You've already had such a unique career journey! Tell us about how it's all lead up to Valleybrink Road.
I never thought my hobbies could become a career but that is truly what happened with Valleybrink Road. It is my love of food, flowers, giving, and entertaining all wrapped up into one. I started saying yes to opportunities six years ago when I felt lost on my career path. That ability to try something new and say yes to those opportunities helped lead me to the place I am today.
Your company is named after your street in Atwater Village. How does your neighborhood, and your city for that matter, inspire everything you do?
We moved to Atwater almost 10 years ago. It was before we had kids, but I knew it would be a great place to raise children. The streets are flat, you can walk to the boulevard for a coffee or pastry, and it has a neighborhood feel that I think is really hard to find in Los Angeles these days. We have tree lined streets, lots of bougainvillea, and citrus all around. It's really beautiful.
As a former caterer, I think it's fair to say you're a bit of a foodie. Where and what would your "last meal on Earth" be — if you had to pick?
We closed the catering portion of Valleybrink Road two years ago to focus our energy on the gifting and florals. It was hard to cater at nights and on weekends with [my older son] Costa and I knew I wanted to have one more child. With that being said, I do still love food and it is a huge part of our life. My “last meal on Earth” would most definitely be at Antica Locanda di Sesto just outside Lucca in Italy. It is the most comforting, delicious meal I have ever had. The restaurant has been there since the 1800’s and they make their own wine, olive oil, pasta, everything. It is beautifully simple and always perfect.
And what's your favorite super-simple dish to make the family when you've had a hectic day but still want to whip up a little something?
A roast chicken. It just takes a few minutes to put together and you can always add whatever veggies you have on hand to roast in the bottom of the pan if you want. Roast chicken, good bread, some greens, and wine. Dinner is served!
Your company puts together some seriously beautiful gifts! What's your favorite assortment of goodies to give new moms or moms-to-be?
I love putting together a New Mom Box with things that will make her feel good. I usually like to include a Mother’s Milk Tea, some lip gloss (there is a great one by Henne Organics), a bath soak (Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Bath Soak is nice), some granola (Sommer House Organic Granola), and a little nursing balm (Erbaviva Nursing Balm).
What's next for VBR?
There are so many things I want to do: cookbook, products, collaborations, a cooking show. Believe me, we have some things in the works!
You also just had another baby boy! How has your daily life and the dynamic shifted so far?
I’m not gonna lie. Going from one to two children has been no joke. It is particularly difficult because of the sleep deprivation and trying to find a new flow with balancing a preschooler, a newborn, a husband, and a business. I am just trying to take one day at a time and give myself a little slack. It is harder to get stuff done so I try not to beat myself up too much if I only get five out of the 10 things done that day. It's about baby steps right now.
And what ways are you taking care of yourself, considering all you have going on?
A lot of face masks! Ha! I try to incorporate some self care when I am doing bath time with Costa, so I may do a mask or file my nails. Just something to make myself feel a little better.