Mila is a local mom of three who grew up in Costa Mesa. After having a breast cancer survivor in the family and seeing so many women affected by breast cancer, she was inspired to create a natural deodorant that works, launching Bare Pits in March of 2017.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Orange County, but my family is from Moscow, Russia.
How many kids do you have?
We have 3 boys, all of whom are amazingly different, funny, and sweet (for the most part): Jacob (7), Avi (5), and Noah (2).
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
We love taking family trips to warm places like Hawaii or Mexico. All of us love the water so we enjoy swimming and going to beach. The amazing thing about Newport Beach and Costa Mesa is how many free activities there are for families: summer concerts, the Environmental Nature Center, police days, Crystal Cove learning hikes, camping activities and more. As a family of boys, I have learned about camping! In June we are going to go to Lake Kachuma. Family time is sacrosanct to us.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends? Why?
We love going to Mongolian BBQ with the kids (I ate there growing up), Bamboo Bistro, and Blaze Pizza at Fashion Island. It’s great food and very kid friendly. Obviously if we eat at Fashion Island, the boys can run around after dinner. With friends, we really enjoy Gulfstream, Sol and Vaca. The food and service is always incredible, and they have a great energy.
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
Growing up with a Russian background, we eat different kinds of soups. I make chicken matzo ball soup every week, and I buy the best chicken from Irvine Ranch Market.
Put the chicken legs in water on low heat, and as the fat goes to the top you remove it. Then when it’s all gone, you add celery, carrots, dill, and a brown onion with the skin on it. Add salt and pepper. Let cook for 2 hours covered on low heat.
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Furniture? Yourself?
I love Saks Off 5th for good clothes, Cotton On Kids, GAP, and Nordstrom Rack. The good thing with having all boys is that there are tons of hand-me-downs. We love Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn for furniture. My personal favorite shopping is various consignment stores in town, and of course my parents store, Knitwear Doctor. They have been in business over 40 years repairing and altering knits, and now have added designer clothing.
What are your favorite events in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach?
As a family, we absolutely love concerts in the park, Balboa Island walk events, Farmer’s Markets, Camp James, FREE Sunday museums, and the Spring Faire at the ENC.
As a couple, my husband and I really enjoy music at Segerstrom and plays and the OCPAC, and restaurant week.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
As a mom, I think you realize there are always challenging times, especially when there is more than one kid in the house. I think age two has been the best and the worst because they start to challenge you and “NO” is the new favorite word. As parents, we both try our best to stay consistent with discipline. Time outs and explaining as best we can to a two-year-old.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Find a good community you are supported in. Make a few good friends. Enjoy your kids even when you have things to do because they grow so fast. Have fun with them, and keep them healthy. Use every opportunity to teach them something new. Spend time with your kids. Do things for yourself that make you happy. Try to keep your phone away when you are with kids.
What do you most value in your friends?
I didn’t have very many best friends growing up, but I did learn so much being best friends with my mom. I made most of my best friends after I became a mom, and I have been so lucky to have met amazing ones. I know that they are there to laugh and to cry with. I know they are there to celebrate with, to be honest with, and who love my kids like their own.
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
I grew up in my parents business, Knitwear Doctor & Buttonham Palace. Going there many days after school, interacting with customers, helping them find clothes and buttons. When I was 19, I got my real estate license. After I got married, I helped my husband in his real estate company, Key Home Group. After having my 3rd son, I needed something creative so I started my own company, Bare Pits, organic pit care. We have family members that are breast cancer survivors so I was on a mission to create the best natural deodorant that works.
I am really happy I get to show my kids by example how to start a company and build it from scratch. I will be doing some really great things with Barbells for Boobs soon (based out of Santa Ana).
How do you relax and unwind?
I practice yoga 5-6 times a week for balance and grounding, and to be the best mom to provide for everyone around me. I love the Korean spa ISPA, and to get rolfed (a type of body work) once every 4 months. I also find it really important to have dates with my husband (even trips if we can), as well as laughing with girlfriends.
Thank you Mila!
If you want to find out more about Bare Pits, check out their website HERE, or email Mila at [email protected]. You can also find some Bare Pits products at Grit Cycle, Irvine Ranch Market, Facial Lounge and more. I’m personally a fan of the Lemon Pink Grapefruit Extra Strength and Magnesium Enriched Deodorant.