Mom Crush: Emily McCoy and Kelly Smith of Posh Play Mat Dish On Friendship, Inspiration, and Lip Gloss
What’s better than two longtime friends collaborating on a dream project? How about when said project involves creating an extremely cool product line that’s eco-friendly, smart, and really great looking.
Enter Emily McCoy and Kelly Smith. The two high school friends are the brains behind Posh Play Mat, a line of PVC free, faux leather bibs, play mats, diaper clutches, and changing pads. The environmentally friendly, easy-to-clean, locally-produced pieces are high on form and function with, “the portability of a blanket and the look and stability of a rug.”
Emily and Kelly launched the line with classic chocolate brown collection, void of even a hint of the primary colors and cartoon characters that populate most children’s gear, and they have additional colors in development. We got a sneak peek of their ivory faux croc version last week and wanted to steal the diaper clutch to use as a purse that evening (it’s that good).
We had to know more about this dynamic duo, so we sat down with Emily and Kelly and chatted about, among other things, shared history, inspirations, how to balance friendship and business, and what they can’t live without.
Here’s what we found out.
(A few of Emily and Kelly’s favorite things…)
How did the two of you meet?
Emily: We met in high school in Plainview, Texas…Kelly was the cool girl with the red camaro.
Kelly: Yes, we’ve been friends for 20 years. And Emily shouldn’t be so modest; she was cool too… with her neck brace!
Emily: I had a small fender bender the week before. Hanging out in a neck brace was not cool.
What prompted the idea for Posh Play Mat?
Kelly: The Mat was born of necessity. I could not find a splat mat for George’s art table or a play mat for Rex’s tummy time that was aesthetically pleasing and functional. So, I tried making one.
Emily: The concept was Kelly’s idea, but when I brought the Posh Play Mat home for the first time (it didn’t have a name yet), my husband Mike thought it was the perfect product. I called her that night and asked if she wanted to go into business together, and with that, Posh Play was born!
How do the two of you work together? Who does what, and how do you work through conflict?
Emily: Kelly is definitely the creative one, and I’m the business-minded one. She deals with our manufacturer (Dallas’ own, Classic Caps), handles quality control and product development, as well fulfillment. I deal with finances, marketing, website and importing. We combine forces for our “packaging parties”, complete with dads, kids and cocktails!
What inspires you from a business perspective?
Emily: The challenge of it all, seeing other moms succeed in the business world and the desire to produce quality products that we are proud to make and our customers are proud to use.
Kelly: The creativity and freedom. We are our own bosses. We’ve taken on challenges and responsibilities and flubbed and teetered a few times. We try to say, “Well, what did we learn from this?” and keep moving. The risk is entirely ours and our families’, but the possibilities are endless. That’s exciting.
What’s next for Posh Play?
Kelly: We have a new fabric in the works: a hot pink faux snakeskin (also PVC-free). We’re always looking at new fabrics and testing them out, and we’ll be working on prototypes for other functional bags and small furniture.
How do you balance work and motherhood?
Emily: Stay organized and lean on the people around me, namely my husband Mike, who is an absolute stud.
Kelly: Lots and lots of help and understanding from the awesome people in my life.
Emily’s Top Ten
- My morning jog with Henry and Libby (our 5-year-old boxer)
- My iPhone (probably not a good thing, but it’s the truth)
- My lashes (yes, they are extensions, and no, I’m not ashamed)
- My Rangers and Mavs pocket schedules
- NYX Lip Gloss
- Wherever I Wind Up (by former Ranger RA Dickey)
- Some Nights (by Fun)
- Black skinny pants with a loose, light blouse and (of course) heels
- Fireside Pies (the perfect spot for family date night)
Kelly’s Top Ten:
- My boys: Ryan, George, and Rex
- My hand-me-down Bugaboo stroller. Rex and I have logged a thousand miles in that thing. Plus Emily and I have our daily “conference calls” between Dallas and Fort Worth during our morning baby walks.
- My iPhone. How did anybody get anywhere before Google maps?
- Well, if Emily’s going there with “eyelash extensions,” I’m going to have to say airbrush tans. Life changing.
- A giant Bubba’s Diet Coke
- Buxom Lips lipgloss
- Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah; James Brown, Get Up; Sir Mix-A-Lot, Baby Got Back
- Bootcut Jeans with heels or cowboy boots; button-down, collar up
- My favorite vintage jewelry: Whiting and Davis gold snake bracelet, and a gold frog ring with emerald eyes Ryan gave me for Christmas.
- The Porch for family date night