Haylie Duff wants to Educate America, One Children’s Tank Top at a Time

The actress, singer and cook discusses her new role as the founder and fashion designer at children’s clothing brand Little Moon Society

“I don’t think I expected my life to take such a huge change and for me to be as happy about that as I have been,” says Haylie Duff while assessing the impact that motherhood has had on her. A side effect of all this joy? A newly developed, keen interest in the quality of the clothes that her now 2-year-old daughter Ryan (with fiancé Matt Rosenberg) wears every day–an interest that eventually led Duff to establish her very own children’s clothing brand, Little Moon Society, with friend and partner Jessica Frank.

“I think there’s a real disconnect [between] where our clothes come from and where our money is going,” muses the 32-year-old. “I think that the way that people really started to care about where their food came from and the condition that their food was grown in, we’re on track to people caring about what they put outside of their bodies.”

While in Los Angeles over the phone, Duff discusses the ways in which she wishes to inform Americans about the importance of clothing manufacturing, life with Ryan and her future projects.

How did the idea for a children’s clothing brand come about?

Honestly, it wasn’t an area I thought I was going to dive into and then, when my daughter was born, I started wanting better choices for just simple, great basics. With better quality, better fabrics, fabrics that are made here in the U.S., using manufacturers that are here in the U.S. Kind of around that same time, I started learning about a lot of the conditions that most of our children’s clothes are made in and it just sort of was the perfect storm for me to feel passionate about stepping into an arena that I didn’t really know so well but that I felt like is a little untapped when it comes to giving people an ethical option for children’s clothing at a fair price.

Do you get the impression that buyers fret over where the clothes come from?

I ask myself that often. I think that people are starting to be more aware of it. Not that I’m drawing some hard line. I certainly shop in all different types of places but I think that, if we try to tip the scale a little bit and support smaller businesses and businesses that are making their products here in the U.S., it makes a difference.

What inspired the name Little Moon Society?

It is sort of like a play on a couple of different things. It was really inspired by the different phases. My partner Jessica and I both have kids and we were talking about all the different phases that they go through with their style. Sometimes they’re girly, sometimes they’re rough-and-tumble tomboys. Within a day, they want to wear so many different types of things and the moon phases have always inspired me across the board, throughout my life.

Do you guys design the products yourself?

We do, yes. I was just down at our dye house yesterday for like four hours testing out tie-dyes and every part of our business is Jessica and I doing it. We make our fabrics here, the thread that sows the fabrics together is made here and we’re very involved in every aspect of that because you have to be, right? 

You’re a first-time mom. What would you say was the most surprising thing about motherhood?

I don’t think I expected for my life to take such a huge change and for me to be as happy about that as I have been. I love being a parent, I love being her mother and she’s my whole life. Every minute of my day revolves around what she’s doing. If I can run out to do a workout, it’s because she’s taking a nap. The juggle is very real but I love it. I can’t even imagine what I was doing with myself before I was doing that. It seems like a different lifetime ago.

Do you plan on having more kids?

I think so, I think there’s one more baby for me. I feel like Ryan would like a sibling too, I just don’t know when.

You live in California but have been to New York plenty of times. What are some of your favorite local spots?

I lived in New York for about a year when I was doing Hairspray [on Broadway] and I used to go to Bar Centrale all the time. It’s a little tiny bar above Joe Allen.

What are your favorite neighborhoods?

I lived in Chelsea so I always have a soft spot for that area but I really love the West Village [and] the Lower East Side. I tend to be a downtown type of girl. I love the Upper West Side too, I spent some time up there but downtown tends to work for me.

Other than Little Moon Society, what other projects have you got going on?

I just finished this show with Rob Schneider for Netflix, it’s called Real Rob. It’s an over-the-top comedy and I don’t get to work on comedies very often so it was so much fun for me. I [also] just finished three movies that I believe will be on Lifetime and then one for the Syfy channel.