“I want to help women learn how to infuse elements of personal style and approach their own closet more confidently because it impacts how they walk into their day,” said Amanda Moatz, founder of Project Your Best and Towson mom of three. “I want women to be able to look in the mirror and truly see themselves.”
Project Your Best is a style coaching that helps moms (re)discover their personal style and build a sustainable wardrobe. To say it’s a passion project-turned-business would be an understatement; for Amanda, it’s a way of life.
To understand how Amanda got to where she is now, you really have to understand the ‘two beginnings’ of Project Your Best. When she and her husband Brad decided to move their family to Atlanta so that Brad could complete an orthopedic fellowship, Amanda (a former child life specialist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center) suddenly found herself as a newly minted stay-at-home mom of two young boys in a brand new city.
Or perhaps you could say, she lost herself.
“There I was, that mom showing up at pick-up in raggedy sweats. I was showing the world just how lonely and disconnected I felt. I decided that I needed to be able to get up, look in the mirror, and see me,” said Amanda.
So she started a blog. Her content focused on helping moms create a style on a budget (think “look for less”) and really focused on fast fashion. She wanted to be able to help the mom running to Target for diapers figure out what she could quickly pick up from the women’s department while she was there. The more she blogged, the more her own reflection came into focus in the mirror. The transformation was truly empowering.
“The way I walked into my day changed,” said Amanda.
Then the whole family moved back to Towson, she started a position as a child life consultant, and the blog was shelved because life, as it has a way of doing with little kids, got pretty busy. But the desire to help moms find their way back to truly seeing themselves never really went away – and would nag her from time to time. After Amanda welcomed her third child, she decided she needed to revive Project Your Best.
The concept, however, needed to change.
Amanda found herself turning away from fast fashion after watching The True Cost, a 2015 documentary about the human and environmental impact of the clothing industry.
“The majority of current practices within the fashion industry are not sustainable,” said Amanda. From harvesting raw materials to mass production to the disposal of garments, the industry thrives on making goods as cheaply as possible as quickly as possible. Environmental and human resources are being consumed and damaged in countless ways.”
With a desire to help women afford style, she looked toward building her business with an eye toward cultivating a circular clothing economy. Where did she start? Her own closet. Amanda has shopped exclusively second hand since 2019.
“I have never loved my wardrobe more!” said Amanda. “It truly reflects my personal style.”
Shopping second-hand doesn’t necessarily mean going through piles of clothes at your local Goodwill (although Amanda does find great pieces there!). Online marketplaces like Poshmark and ThredUP make it easy to shop favorite styles and brands from the comfort of your sofa. Both offer tools where you can pick a style for inspiration and immediately shop their available inventory, similarly to walking into a store with a merchandised display.
Although Amanda offers training for how to cash in on your closet by selling your own clothes or will even come and buy your no-longer wanted cocktail dress (if she thinks it has value in the resale marketplace) to sell herself through one of the platforms, it’s the style coaching that she loves most. And that brings her full-circle back to where she was when she started Project Your Best.
“I work with fellow moms who are lost in the trenches and want to climb out,” said Amanda. “We talk about how her body has changed after children and what silhouettes are most flattering now as well as color combinations that work with their skin tone, eye and hair color. We work together to create a Pinterest board that characterizes their true personal style.”
After the coaching session – which happens virtually – moms are equipped to go into their own closets or into their favorite store/app and find pieces that will have them confidently walking into the drop-off line or the boardroom or the PTA meeting. (Amanda has even taken this concept to the PTA. Her children’s school is creating a clothing swap for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week!)
Motherhood certainly transforms us all as our own identity lines to begin to blur and shift. Amanda is on a mission to help moms bring their reflections back into focus – one closet at a time.
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We love sharing what (cool) Baltimore moms are up to as part of our #CoffeeWith series! Know of someone doing something amazing? Maybe we should be having coffee with you, your BFF, your colleague, or next door neighbor? Introduce us! Send an email to hello AT coolprogeny.com!
Photos by Jen Snyder.