Meet Mama Kelli Murray

Coyuchi loves to learn how creative people incorporate sustainable living within their homes. So we partnered with the very talented, Kelli Murray, founder and illustrator of rylee + cru. She dives into the upsides of living an entrepreneurial life as a wife and mom of three, how to design a home with children and how important it is to integrate organic bedding for her family. “I don't pride myself on buying all organic, but when it comes to bedding, I became more aware of it's importance after having children…And I love that Coyuchi doesn't sacrifice comfort in these efforts as well. The fabrics are so beautiful and soft.”

Tell us a little about yourself, your family.
I live in sunny San Diego with my husband Sam and our three kids, Rylee (6), Cru (3) and Quincy (6 months).
Sam owns a mens retail store called Loneflag as well as a branding agency called Other Sons. I am the designer / owner of the children's clothing line, Rylee + Cru. We live a pretty busy life, but are learning to embrace the season!

What inspired you to start Rylee + Cru?
After having my first baby I found it a lot harder than I thought to find baby clothing that I really loved...specifically art and graphics that resonated with me. I was working as a freelance illustrator at the time but had previously worked for 6 years for a clothing company as a designer and merchandiser. I felt like there might be opportunity for me to combine my background and passion in art and design and create a children's brand of my own. We launched our very first collection in late 2014 and it's been a wild ride the last few years watching it grow and turn into such a viable business.

What inspires you as an artist?
My kids inspire me a ton. I want to create things that they love to wear just as much as I like to dress them in. A lot of the nostalgic memories that I have growing up as a kid are often inspiration to my art or design process. I love muted earthy colors and the combination of vintage and modern silhouettes. I am super inspired by vintage story books and most of my illustration work is inspired by nature.

We'd love to hear your pointers for decorating a kids room!
We live in a pretty small home (for 5 humans) so we have to make the most of the space we have. Bunk beds were a must since my two oldest have to share a room. I like keeping a neutral base...wood floors, white or grey walls, and timeless furniture. I love to then decorate with texture and small pops of color. You can always change out decor to freshen up the look of a room, but it's always good to have that neutral base. I am a sucker for Scandinavian design, so I love a more minimalistic look. But with kids, keeping that aesthetic is a lot more challenging. We have a lot of toy chests and storage furniture that look good on the outside but can hide a lot of the 'chaos' inside. My kids are still young so they don't mind me decorating their rooms for now, but I am sure there will come a day when they have more of an opinion on what they want, but for now, I am enjoying the role.

and nursery...
Nurseries are my absolute favorite rooms to design. I've done three now! Same principals apply as what I said above but I like to create more of a whimsical feel in a nursery. I think it's important that a mom feels really good in that space because a lot of your time is spent in there with a new baby. I love a room that is airy and calming and filled with light and plants. You don't necessarily want it looking 'adult' but sprinkling in baby toys and dolls and artwork totally pulls it together. Quincy's nursery is probably my favorite room in our home.

What mood do you try create in your space?
Calming. There is enough business and worry going on in our lives I want home to feel calming and cozy. I love a 'minimal' approach to design, but not so minimal that it feels cold or boring.

Why is purchasing organic important to you + your family?
I don't pride myself on buying all organic, but when it comes to bedding, I became more aware of it's importance after having children. Of course, you want the best for your kids....and organic bedding is minimally processed and free of any harmful chemicals. And I love that Coyuchi doesn't sacrifice comfort in these efforts as well. The fabrics are so beautiful and soft.

How does living in California influence your lifestyle?
We live in a small beach town called Encinitas and it is very relaxed and laid back. The beach is just a few minutes from our house so when we are not working, you can usually find us there. It's almost always warm and sunny here so a lot of time is spent outdoors and I love that. I am a sunshine girl through and through and our kids have grown up on the beach.

Where can we follow along with your family adventures?
My personal instagram is @kelli_murray and you can find me (occasionally) blogging at kellimurray.com.

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