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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