My first contact with Karla Davis was back in November 2015, I had always been a big fan of her 1950’s inspired imagery @mintkarla and was thrilled to have the chance to get know her better and share beautiful photographs of her daughter Olive celebrating Thanksgiving. A couple of years on, Karla now has another daughter Ora and Olive has grown up so much! It is wonderful to be able to see her grow and her unique personality flourish.
Karla Davis is a talented filmmaker, director, photographer, storyteller, and most importantly wonderful mother. We speak to Karla about school routines, how she spends quality time with her children and her outfit of choice for when it comes to dressing her daughter Olive for school.
How do you like to prepare for the start of the school year?
Every year we proclaim the day before school starts to be “Kids Day”, and we surprise Olive with a special activity and stay out late having fun and just really spoil her. Maybe not practical with the schedule change, but worth it. This year it was Monster Mini Golf, she had a blast!
What tips would you give to parents when it comes to getting ready for school and out the door in the morning?
Lay out clothes the evening before! Also, cereal is a huge time-saver for us.
The first meal of the day is the most important.
What’s your favourite morning time meal for children?
Scrambled eggs and toast, a classic and does the trick. I have a special bullseye recipe that the whole family loves.
How involved do you get with homework and how strict are you with this time in the evening?
Olive’s school thankfully doesn’t stress homework so much for the elementary grades, so right now we are really enjoying our time together in the evenings. We love playing Uno, Candyland, and puzzles as a family! I look forward to storytime and prayers every night.
What after-school activities is Olive engaged in, and how important is it to you that your children are involved in activities outside of school?
We are really lucky that Olive’s school has a lot of wonderful activities during school hours that we think are important; they swim weekly, go to the zoo, and also have a little garden where they learn how to grow things. It’s really fantastic. James and I prioritise music in our family, it’s a huge part of our lives (we both play instruments and sing), and so this year Olive’s one after-school activity is a music class where she learns the basics. When she’s older we plan on enrolling her in piano and guitar classes.
We have it so simple here in the UK, with most schools requiring children to wear school uniform, in contrast to the US where most children go to school dressed in their own clothing. How do you approach dressing Olive for school and what do you think are the pros or cons of uniform vs no uniform?
I love that Olive can wear a variety of dresses to school and show her flair! Her school’s uniform specifies no logos and knee-length skirts and dresses, so we have a bit of flexibility there. When choosing outfits for school we prioritise versatile pieces that will work for various activities such as gardening and play on the playground. We love pieces that are durable and comfortable and I personally love a good collar on anything. Olive loves floral prints and tends to choose twirly skirts. As far as pros and cons, I think that dress codes in many American schools can unfairly play to gender stereotypes (it just shows how much work we still have to societally) and so uniforms do help with regulating that craziness.
When school is in full swing how do you find downtime, and how do you like to spend these quiet moments?
My husband James drops Olive off at school every day and I pick her up, so this gives each of us some special time with her in the car. Olive loves music so we are always listening to the radio and when she asks us to, we add songs to her Spotify playlist, which is like a master list of everything she loves. It’s so lovely for me to log on and see what songs she has added on her ride to school with her father. Some of Olive’s favorite artists are Michael Jackson, Queen, Vashti Bunyan, The Beatles, and the Ramones. We love driving and listening to music. After school is my time to spend with Olive and Ora so we usually go to the library or get ice cream or (weather providing) go for a nice walk somewhere!
What is your favourite La Coqueta look for school?
All of La Coqueta’s looks are classic. We LOVE the cardigans paired with floral and plaid dresses. Knee-high socks and mary janes or boots are a must! I LOVE La Coqueta’s shoes so much, they are some of the most high quality that I have found, and really stand up to playground and garden use!