Mac McMillan

Beach day every day: Mac McMillan with his two daughters.

Mac McMillan is a retail mastermind and father-of-two who seems to have mastered the art of taking things in stride. The apparel company he co-founded with his wife Katherine, Pierrepont Hicks, came about partly by chance (as most good things do) when the pair was picking out groomsmen wear for their wedding in the Scottish Highlands. They liked the woolen texture, unusual color schemes and skinnier cut of the ties found in local kilt shops, and decided to launch a line of ties stateside. Their modest online store carrying a small but smartly curated selection of neckwear quickly caught the sharp eye of style editors – and, seven years on, has grown to include outerwear and footwear for both women and men. (Think: hand-sewn moccasins in show-stopping teal and down-filled vests made with Japanese cotton.)

Next came the idea for Northern Grade, a roving market that supports American makers and their U.S.-produced wares, setting up (temporary) shop in cities like Richmond and Nashville. After several successful pop-up markets, Northern Grade established a permanent home in New York’s Seaport district. Then McMillan was shoulder-tapped to head up the Design Market at Seaport Studios, a showcase for independent lines, which opened in May 2016.

“Running three different businesses is hard enough and when you throw in two active little girls, it can be very challenging, McMillan relates. “It’s really a matter of scheduling and prioritizing on a daily basis and the girls always take precedent. Meetings, phone calls and emails take a back seat to my girls and their schedule. Always. There’s not a lot of time to relax these days, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have been unbelievably fortunate to be with them on a daily basis since they were born.”

“Having daughters undoubtedly has been a very rewarding experience and patience and tolerance are virtues that are constantly being challenged on a daily basis,” he continues. “Honestly though, the older they get, the better fatherhood becomes. As much as I want them to hold my hands forever and decide to join a convent in Switzerland when they turn twelve, I know that at a certain point, they are going to go their own way.”

“It’s my job to live in the present, enjoy the ride and guide them along through this very influential period in their lives.”

McMillan offered us a few gems for Dads and Dads-to-be:

Five things I learned since becoming a Dad:

1- Getting ready to leave the house with your kids always takes an extra 20-30 minutes.

2- Patience is indeed a virtue and something you better learn quickly once you pop out your first kiddo.

3- No matter what you do or how hard you try, things are gonna break, the car is gonna get messy and something is gonna get ruined… Relinquish your love for material items or hide things you really care about until the kids get older.

4- Waking up in the morning with your daughters next to you is pretty close to total happiness.

5- Being the dad of two daughters is the most rewarding experience I will ever have.

What have you learned since becoming a Dad – or what lessons did your Dad teach you? Let us know below.

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  1. Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    I loved the 5 things, as a father of two daughters number 4 is very true. However, when my oldest daughter got married and I felt I couldn’t give her away. Nothing outside of her birth will ever compare to dancing with her at her wedding and have her cry in my arms and say I love you Daddy.

  2. alexredgrave
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Sounds like we should start a running list of Things I Learned Since Becoming A Dad… Yours, John, is definitely up there. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Patrick
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    Awesome List! As a father of a 6 year old beautiful girl I can agree wholeheartedly with each.
    I think the idea of a "running list" would be very inspirational for us dad's. There is a great book I'd like to recommend that is aimed towards dads with boys " Rules for My Unborn Son" by Walker Lamond, that is full of tips like "Know her dress size. Don't ask." and "Be a vigorous dancer. However, you;re under no obligation to join a conga line." Reading through it I've often thought it would be great if there were a version for girls 🙂
    Thanks again!

  4. alexredgrave
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the recos and the lessons learned, Patrick! So great. Let's keep this running list moving – non-conga-line style 🙂

  5. jamescroskey
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

    think you

  6. giorgio borgono
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

    I have three daughters and it’s important to have time and patience for them .sometimes it’s hard because bills never stop s and we have to tried I not just time I about the quality of time that you give to them .I wish I old have more time to spend with with my baby’s but when I have it .I do it in full that’s the important thing always love your kids because they always r gonna love you and teach them that the most important thing in this life after your family is love.respect. and honesty because that is what they have to use in the.future for their own life.and I’m truly.happy to have three daughters it’s the most beautiful thing that I never had in my life and I won’t change it for nothing in this life thanks god a have a beautiful family

  7. Timothy Kelly
    Posted June 14, 2014 at 1:08 AM | Permalink

    I learned that when you put your trust in them, if something does go wrong when they're out, they will call you for help or advice. I come from a family of ten children and I have three of my own, ( I wanted ten, but my wife said if I carry the next seven then she'll have ten). My eldest is a girl and then she has two brothers. They are older now, 25,21,18, and I wish I could put them all back in pre-school and do it again. I absolutely loved watching them grow.

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