Michelle Kohanzo has played a critical role at high-end children’s furnishing company, The Land of Nod since 1999. She feverishly worked her way up the corporate ladder, after unintentionally shifting her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher to working in retail.
Michelle started out in the field as a sales clerk at The Limited, learning every granular aspect of the retail industry. She couldn’t resist the customer service interactions, which led her to become a jack-of-all-trades at Crate & Barrel. Today, Michelle is Managing Director of The Land of Nod.
How many children do you have? What inspired their names?
Four – Emily, Connor, Henry and Everett. Emily is a classic old fashioned name that I have always loved. 16 years later I wish I had chosen something more obscure, she knows a lot of Emilys. Connor was chosen because it was literally the only name my husband and I could agree on, I like how it sounds a bit formal and important.
Henry is an awesome name, it’s classic and it’s big, and it’s just really a perfect name. Everett is my favorite of my kid’s names. I love that it’s unusual, and it’s a family name on my husband’s side. I call him Everetty. All of the kids middle names are after grandparents or great-grandparents, it was important to me that a part of their name honored their history.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
I love to vacation with my family. We take one big trip a year, and there’s nothing I love more than the 6 of us altogether for an extended period of time and no responsibility, just fun.
Are there any children’s brands you find yourself buying over and over again?
Is it the worst for me to say The Land of Nod? It’s kind of ridiculous and very true. For clothes, always Boden – the style is the best and the quality is so good. My boys wear their clothes so hard, and when I buy Boden I at least have a shot at a hand me down.
How has motherhood affected your personal style?
I’m far more playful and much more aware of comfort and utility. It’s very important to me that our home is a reflection of our whole family, not just me.
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
The relationship my kids have with each other – it makes me so happy to see them caring for each other and wanting to be together.
What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
Seeing my kids struggle, whether it’s academically, socially, illness, etc. It’s so painful to not be able to protect them and make things perfect for them all the time.
Has your beauty routine changed at all since you’ve had kids?
Oh yes, it’s all about speed!
What have you learned from your kids?
I often see myself reflected in their personalities, and not always in the most flattering way. It’s been very humbling. They have also taught me patience, they demand it.
What is your favorite, easy, go-to recipe that your kid(s) love?
Pasta Carbonara! It’s pasta with bacon and egg – they go crazy for it and it’s so easy!