The Moms

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Claudia Castillo Ross

Public Relations

I will never forget the first time I photographed Claudia for San Francisco Fashion Week. I was completely taken by her, her sense of style, home decor, and her passion for work, travel and mostly family. Firecracker is an understatement. Over the years I have gotten to know Claudia better. I am continually amazed by all her amazing things, but I have also enjoyed seeing what a sweetheart Claudia is and how loyal and attentive she is to her family and friends. TMP spent the day with Claudia dressing for many the occasion, while she gave us her savvy tips on entertaining luxuriously while staying budget conscious.

I’m Claudia…I am Claudia Castillo Ross. Mother, Wife, PR Maven, Entrepreneur, Winemaker, Tastemaker.

As a working mom my life’s goal is to be balanced, happy and create an environment where my children can thrive and be their personal best. For work, I help build brands for my clients while also creating products which I believe and have a personal interest.  It is imperative that I find balance not only in everyday tasks but when approaching life’s greatest achievements.  

As an entrepreneur, I look to create.  I have a thriving pr business called Cross Marketing PR.  I am a partner in a branding company called House of Tres, Co-Founder of a Children’s snack food brand called Pipsqueaks, Co-Founder of our wine label, Double R Family Wines and a partner in a skincare company called ReVitalistic Skincare with Vanessa Williams.

I am a bit of a serial entrepreneur. I have had some really great successes and epic fails. When it comes down to it, I just love developing ideas and brands. On my most recent trip to Paris, I found there was a real need for that one staple item that could take you from day to evening, would add a bit of glamour to your look,  and would be perfect for entertaining and traveling. Collaborating with my girlfriend from college who currently lives there, a business was born Saint Stacia C. We will launch our first dress in Fall 2014.

As a marketing and PR business owner, often people think all I do is host events. That is actually a small aspect of my business model. We help build brands. We create a marketing and pr platform that helps create awareness, develop brand consciousness,  and sell product. I love it all! A few years ago when I realized I was good at this, I decided to take a vested interest and actually take ownership in brands I love.

My inspiration comes from wanting to be a good mom. To be a good role model for my children.  To be Good.  To do Good.

I want my boys growing up believing that they can be anything they want and can accomplish anything that they set their mind to.  It is about hard work, determination and a little luck never hurts.  They see how hard I work and we have the luxury of enjoying our success as a family.  We know how to give back and support causes that mean a lot.

I’m inspired by working single mothers who get it done.  I am lucky enough to have a partner and know that together we can do anything.

Keith and I met in highschool 28 years ago. We were friends first. Sophomore year, we were sitting at a bonfire and Keith asked me what I was doing the next night. I said nothing, but he persisted and I answered “yes!”. He then proceeded to ask me what I was doing for the rest of my life. We have been happy together ever since and married for nineteen years.  

 

“I bring laughter and lots of love.  My kids are such a blessing and they constantly remind me that its all going to be ok.”

 

In managing several businesses that entail a lot of travel and evening entertaining it’s hard not to be with my kids every evening and just spend quality time with them. I do have a rule that I won’t take work related projects on the weekends because so much of my time is filled with their activities and sporting events. Because I have a job that constantly entertains, when it comes to my personal life and being with my friends nothing makes me happier than to entertain at home knowing that my kids are there and we are all enjoying an evening together. We have created a home designed for entertaining that offers activities for the whole family. From winemaking to raising chickens, playing bocce ball to lounging in the pool, our greatest pleasure is being at home with the kids.


Kids: Jakob Ross-age 11, Lukas Ross-age 10

Jakob Ross…As a child he was obsessed with trains, everything from Thomas the tank engine to Legos galore. We’ve collected vintage model trains, as well as, an original train painting that was pulled from the original train station in Lodi, California from the 1920s. Of course his current obsession is Microsoft xbox minecraft. And for his everyday wear, as he is no longer allowing me to dress him,  Ralph Lauren for kids and he is all about neon Under Armor.

Lukas Ross…He was born with an incredible singing voice and has taken up strings with the violin and an electric guitar preparing for his first concert. He’s quite the fashion plate knowing what he wants to wear and defining his own personal style which includes Abercrombie & Fitch, and for sports only neon Under Armor.

When transitioning the boy’s room, we asked if they wanted to split up and both agreed that they preferred sharing. We needed to make the room functional enough to accommodate sleepovers, their xbox, and room for all their gear. 

We looked to Restoration Hardware and IKEA to accommodate their needs.

I start my day off with Vanessa Williams Revitalistic skincare  and typically wear make up by Laura Geller purchased on QVC. Laura is a friend and one of the most amazing makeup artists I know.

If I’m not in my Lululemon workout gear, I love spending the day dressed up in dresses that can take me from day to evening.  I believe in investment pieces. So I do splurge, but always on items that have longevity and timeless style. For everyday and evening pieces, I love shopping at The Real Real. Our agency worked on their opening launch party and I haven’t stopped shopping the site via their phone application. I can find all my designer favorites priced far below retail. And having a great tailor to do any adjustments makes the look.

For day, it is always one high end item and everything else is easy and relaxed. I love non-wrinkle shirts from Banana Republic a great pair of Paige denim jeans paired with a Hermes belt .

Claudia’s Tips on Entertaining Luxuriously on a Budget…

When entertaining, guests want to be greeted with a friendly smile and a drink! During the winter months, I light a fire and make everyone feel warm and welcome. I believe its not about the food, but the environment and great cocktails. When we were first married (almost 20 years ago), we lived in a tiny flat in San Francisco. We would throw card tables together in the kitchen to create intimate dinners with our friends.  Since then we’ve just added more space, but the friends and the fun are still the same. It really doesn’t matter about how much room you have, if you have friends, there’s always room.

One rule I keep, is to have someone help and clean if there are more than six quests. That way I can wake up to a clean house.  I also keep all my china, dishes, crystal, glassware, and linens ready to go, so I have something to mix and match to fit my mood.  

I keep the party planning simple and pretty and always coordinate with my husband as to what type of menu we want to serve. We love to pick simple recipes, so we can enjoy our guests and have fun. We also often times have our guests help in the preparation. For this party, we took raviolis, added burrata and truffle oil. Now a simple pasta is a delicacy. For dessert, it  is easy. Who doesn’t love chocolate pudding in a “Pot De Creme”. I will mix Tiffany& Co or Hermes China with Target dishes and crystal with glassware from Ikea. Its about the high and the low.  Most of my decor comes from vintage finds and inexpensive places like Target.

Target has done a great job in creating beautiful table top items all at affordable prices.  Just have fun with it! Linens are really hard to find because I have a long table and it takes two linens to cover, so I just buy bolts of fabric whenever I see a sale, take scissors and cut to measure. I also add a sheer overlay that sparkles for instant glamour. And lighting as many candles and votives as possible, softens the room and adds beautiful ambiance.

My house is my best showcase of how I mix high and low. I have treasured pieces that I have invested in, but most of my decor and furniture is found scouring flea markets. My anchor pieces are classic and I still love them 10, 20 years later!  I love beautiful antiques and I have a great upholsterer, so there isn’t a chair that I can’t make my own with my personal style flair. My favorite places to shop  are White Elephant Sale, Alameda Flea Market and Marche de las Puces in Paris.

 

Claudia Castillo Ross, I am a believer! Not only have I got my calendar set for White Elephant on March 1st and my iphone app ready to hit up TMP deals at The Real Real, but I am inspired by you through and through. Your zest for life, love, work, home, and family is a delight to see and seeing how much your friends and family love you shows how much they appreciate this in you as well. For discounts on Claudia’s favorite retailers and services, follow the deal links below.

 

A Day in the life

6AM
Every day is different. Fortunately running your own businesses you have more opportunities to be flexible and although I am completely committed to everything I do professionally, my kids come first. I have the luxury of working with my mother who helps me manage schedules, pick up the kids, organize tutors, plan play-dates and sports. But at the end of the day, it is me who wants to be the hands-on parent. I am blessed with two young amazing little men. It is always about finding a balance and blending their schedules with mine.
I try to schedule standing weekly meetings with my clients and my team. I have clients across the country, a partner in Paris and the most incredible social media team in Dallas. Meetings take place all the time, as my clients are everywhere.

 

7AM
With a few calls under my belt, we get the kids ready and off to school and I get in my one-hour workout. No matter what. There’s always a work out before I start my day. Its about clearing the mind and getting a great start to the day. My personal favorite is Next Barre in downtown Lafayette.

 

10AM
I consider myself super-organized, and so, getting ready is the easiest part of my day. I have a few go-to outfits that always pull me through whenever I am in a hurry, which is often. My beauty regime is pretty easy as I get frequent blowouts at Patrick Evan Salon (If left untamed, it would take a whole other hour!).

 

10:30AM
On my way into the city, I take calls that the office sets up or I catch up with the girls at the office to plan the day.

12PM
If there’s no lunch appointment. I usually skip lunch and just power through with a juice from Project Juice. They have a location just down the street from my office.

 

1PM
My afternoons are filled with meetings with editors, clients, and conference calls. My conversations are about building brands and creating opportunities for my clients.

 

4PM
If I have an event, I keep clothes at the office and do a quick change and off I go. If there isn’t something planned, I race home as my favorite thing during the week is to have dinner with my family.

 

5PM
Dinnertime, I don’t cook (noodles and butter are my specialty) so I am fortunate enough that my husband does. By the time I get home we discuss the days events and always do “ The best thing / The worst thing” to get the boys talking. It is also an opportunity for my husband and I to share what goes on in our lives.

 

8PM
After the kids go down, I plan the next day. I get back to work- checking email, scheduling the week, and working on various projects.

 

11PM
Then it’s off to bed; reading blogs, news, and a book on my iPhone. I rarely watch TV, but when I plop down to watch something, its usually on a rainy stormy weekend day and a marathon of episodes! Currently obsessed with Shameless.
On occasion, I run into some late nights with my philanthropic partner who loves catching up at 11:30pm at night!

 

9 thoughts on “Claudia Castillo Ross

  1. What a great article! Having known Claudia as long as I have, I can attest to her zest for life, her love of family, her loyalty to family and friends and not the least, her complete dedication to everything that she does. She is, without a doubt, one of the hardest working women I know who makes multi-tasking look easier than it is. It truly has been with great pride, that I witnessed Claudia become the best role model any young woman would want in her pursuit for a balanced yet fulfilling life. I am in awe of the loving and thoughtful woman, mother and wife she has become. Thank you for sharing the Claudia we know and love with the world.

  2. It really is amazing how she coordinates her time to be all that she has set her mind into! Not only, and best of all, a great mother and wife, but business conscious, entrepeneur, and loving with family and friends. She has always had a great personality, and being a care individual has set her for success everywhere! Me, as family, love her very much and wish her the best all the way through!!!!!

  3. She’s an inspiration to all of us entrepreneurs who are also full time mothers, friends, sisters, daughters, bosses, aunts, nieces, wives, volunteers, et al! She hit the road running at birth and hasn’t stopped. If you have the fortune of having met her, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t met her, find her, you won’t be disappointed.

    Loves, M

  4. I am honored to call myself Aunt to such a lovely woman. Although We live on opposite ends of the state, she is always in my heart. She has made all of us in the family very proud. Keep it up Claudia!

  5. Anyone would be inspired after meeting Claudia Castillo Ross. She is an exceptional human being who magically turns the impossible to possible. She celebrates life in everything she does and embodies the spirit of entrepreneurialism at its highest. Her impeccable taste, solid values and unmatched dynamism are inspiration to many, including myself. I am privileged to have known Claudia and her family for over 20 years, and can honestly say she is one of those rare individuals who excel at making a difference in people’s lives and in the world. Can’t wait to see what she is up to next. Cheers to you Claudia!

  6. A Firecracker…she is. Can never keep up with her! She is fearless when looking for new ventures, has a keen mind and thrives on impossible tasks, but never underestimates the importance of each endeavor. She is thorough and savvy about her business. Even though her schedule is more than full each day, she finds a way to balance her passion for work and the love for her family. Her sense of elegance and fashion is notorious. She is without a doubt a role model and an inspiration to all of us. I am very fortunate and proud to call her “niece”.

  7. It really is amaizing how she coordinates her time to be all that she has set her mind into! Not only, and best of all, a great mother and wife, but business conscious, entrepeneur, and loving with family and friends. She has always had a great personality, and being a care individual has set her for success everywhere! Me, as family, love her very much, and wish her all the best all of the way through!!!!

  8. Cheers to you, my beautiful friend. You are truly inspiring to me and everyone around you. If I didn’t know you to be such a truly wonderful friend, amazing mother, smart business woman and dedicated philanthropist, I might be jealous of your fabulousness (well, ok, I might be a little jealous anyway), but your caring heart on the inside reflects your gorgeous outside and your fabulous surroundings. Rock onward!

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