Ali Landry: The Loveable Southern Girl Next Door11.22.10
Ali Landry is not just another beautiful face spanning the red carpet in Hollywood. The actress, model, wife and mother is also owner of Belle Parish, a luxurious children clothing line sure to make little girls smile. With a renewed perspective on life, read how the glamour girl balances it all and makes time for what’s truly important.
Cotton Candy: So Ali, have you started your holiday shopping yet?
All Landry: (Big sigh) I haven’t. (Laughs) I usually like to start early. But this year, I don’t know. We usually have our plans set for the holidays. This year we are having all of our family come to us. So, we’re sort of behind because we are making plans, trying to figure out where everybody is going to sleep. So we haven’t quite figured out what we are going to get for everyone. You know, I think it’s important for us to spend quality time together and not make it about spending so much money. Just do things together as a family and not worry so much about the gifts. And if we do give gifts, we can do very heart-felt, simple gifts. It shouldn’t be about the money this year because everyone is going through a really hard time.
CC: Your children’s clothing line, Belle Parish, would make a great Christmas gift wouldn’t it?
AL: Yeah, it would! One thing I have to say with Belle Parish is we wanted it to be timeless. This [clothing line] represents a lot of the clothes that I wore when I was little, that my mom
kept for me. I was inspired by that kind of style and design, the sort of clothes that never go out of style that a parent can keep and save for when their children get older and then pass it on to the [younger ones.] You have those heirloom pieces. So that was really a lot of the inspiration behind Belle Parish.
CC: How involved were you in designing the actual clothes?
AL: Oh! I did it all. I have a business partner. Her name is Annie Kate [Pons]. She’s also from the South. And we do everything ourselves. So it’s a very hands-on business. Our office is my garage. And we do pretty much everything ourselves.
CC: Business owner. Actress. Model. Mom. Even TV producer. How do you balance it all?
AL: I try hard every day. And a lot of the time, I’ll fail. I think with most women that’s really the thing. Try to find that balance and give yourself a break because most days we’ll always fall short, whether it’s your husband or the quality time you spend with your child or the communication that you have with your friends and family. There’s always something that gives. So [my advice] really is to just give yourself a break and realize tomorrow is a new day. All you can do is keep your priorities in mind and try your best.
CC: When you are able to manage a little down time, what are some of the things you like to do?
AL: It’s hard. It’s really hard to try to carve out downtime because there is always something that does need to get done. So, whenever I have any downtime, I really try to spend it with my daughter [Estela.]
CC: What has [your 3-year-old daughter] Estela taught you since before she was born and came into your life?
AL: I think she has really taught me to enjoy life. Now that I’ve had a child, I feel like I’ve experienced true, extreme joy and happiness from the depths of my soul. I let go of a lot of insecurities that I had before as a woman after I had a child. I don’t take myself so seriously. I really just take it all in, and now smell the roses. That’s really what she teaches me, to just enjoy those little moments in life.
CC: What do you like most about yourself?
AL: What I like most about myself is that I am absolutely NOT perfect. (Laughs) … Also, what do like about myself is that I accept constructive criticism very well. I always want to grow, learn and experience life. I want to learn about people, and I want to be open. As a woman, as an individual, I always want to continue to grow in my life. I never want to say, “I know it,” “I’ve learned it,” “I’ve lived it.” I always want to grow, and I definitely like that part of myself.
CC: How do you stay inspired?
AL: Even if something doesn’t go my way – a project or whatever it is – I take a moment … but I very quickly flip the switch. I think it’s kind of hard to do, but it’s very important for us to always really try to look at the positive things, pick yourself up and really move forward. If it didn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be. And there is a bigger plan for me. And there’s something much greater for me. I try not to be in the dumps for too long. However, if it is something tough to get over I allow myself just to have that moment, you know? Only for a moment though. People are going through a lot harder things than I am.
CC: You’re from the South, Louisiana. Do you ever miss the South?
AL: Oh always! Are you kidding me? I head back there every chance I get. All of my family is still in Louisiana. There’s nothing like people from the South. They are the nicest, and they are the funniest. I feel like people from the South speak the same language. I can always pick out someone from the South in the crowd. As soon as I start a conversation, I’ll ask, “Where are you from?” I know it instantly. The food of course is absolutely incredible. It’s just a way of life. It’s a culture. Beautiful.
CC: Do you want more children?
AL: We do! We absolutely want more children. We’re trying, but the Lord’s timing is better than our own. We’re patiently waiting for when He is ready. But we are definitely open and excited.
CC: Let’s talk fashion. Who’s your favorite designer?
AL: I like so many different people. I love Yes Saint Laurent. I love Ralph Lauren. I love Rachel Roy. … And then I also love Target! (Laughs) I love vintage. I feel like you can find special pieces from a lot of different people. I like wearing clothes that are special to me and whatever I feel really good in. That’s what I tend to wear.
CC: How can women recognize they are still beautiful, lively and sexy after they become moms?
AL: It’s easy to fall into that “mom mode.” You definitely want to stay in a “mom mode.” You’re sometimes, though, letting yourself go. You fall into sweats and tennis shoes. So I try – mind you right now, I’m in my work out clothes at my computer getting ready for a meeting – I try to dress really cute, even though I’m running around with [my daughter] Stela. In your relationship with your husband, that’s probably the most difficult. At the end of the day, you’re tired. You ran after your children all day. There are all the responsibilities of your household, your business and everything else. And usually the one who gets the short of the stick is your husband. At least for myself, at the end of the day I really have to give whatever energy I have left and try to perk up for my husband. (Laughs) Because he’ll feel it. And without my marriage I wouldn’t have any of this. That’s really one of my top priorities. I always just have to keep myself in check.
CC: Would you ever consider starring in a reality TV show?
AL: It just depends, I think. I’m actually producing a television show. It’s sort of reality, sort of scripted. I think it really depends on what it is. I’m a mom now. I have different priorities, a different perspective on life. … It really just depends on what the project is.
Written by: Nicole D. Smith