Father’s day with Brad Holdgrafer

Father’s day with Brad Holdgrafer
Words by The Animals Observatory | Jun 19, 2022

Being a father is no easy job. Fatherhood is a changing task with different perspectives depending on cultures, countries and societies, but, from every corner in the world, a father’s main mission is to love their children. At The Animals Observatory, for the third year in a row, we’ve decided to spend this special day with Brad Holdgrafer and his family. Not only that, we chatted with Brad to know his perspective of a father’s role and how his life has changed after becoming the father of Leo and Georgia.

What does it mean for you to be a father?

I cannot imagine my life before these two kids, let alone life without them. To only think they’ve changed my life is too little thought. When you become a dad, it feels like you discover a version of yourself you never knew you could be. You sometimes find new lows of exhaustion you never thought possible. But between those, you also find new highs through parenting that ultimately can shape you into a better person. 

My dad was really young when I was born, and something I didn’t appreciate until I was older is how extremely generous he was with his time. I can’t think of a moment he wouldn’t drop everything to be there for me my entire life. If I ever had any wild idea growing up, he’d always find a way to help me make it, design it, or build it. I feel fortunate to have grown up being able to look up to someone like that.

I think my relationship with each of them is a tad different, honestly. Leo is so creative, emotional, and curious that I try to match that energy or find ways to encourage him. Georgia is so easy-going and fun and loves to dance and laugh, so we spend less time building things together and more time dancing on top of the toys. I try not to push my life experience into theirs too much as I just try and find ways to have their experience growing up shape mine. 

What have you learned from them?

Before I became a father, I thought having kids meant giving up on your dreams to focus on parenting and supporting your kid’s dreams. That always scared me about becoming a father. But, what I’ve learned is that the most fruitful way to inspire your children is to never stop dreaming in front of them. 

What advice would you give to someone who is about to become a father for the first time?

Know that it’s challenging. Everything becomes more difficult. Being a friend, a partner, and work becomes more challenging. Honestly, you feel like you have lost who you are at first. But I promise that you’ll come out of it finding a version of yourself you never knew existed in all that exhaustion. Let your kids inspire you and inspire them with how you live everyday life.

Source: @Brad.Holdgrafer
Source: @Brad.Holdgrafer
Source: @Brad.Holdgrafer

What do you want your legacy to be towards your children?

When I’m gone, I hope they know that I gave them every ounce of love I could muster up, along with the critical thinking to understand how to use that love to help people. 

How would you describe your experience of spending father’s day with The Animals Observatory these past three years?

Yearly, when Pol (the brand’s PR) emails me, I’m equal parts excited and stressed. I’m excited because I love catching up with him a bit and experiencing the new The Animals Observatory clothing, and planning another fun day with Leo and Georgia. I stress because I want to make the takeover better than the year before. What’s been nice this year is that both kids now look forward to it, they’re such troopers about the photos, they adore the clothes and I get to think about ways to engage them in the takeover too, like the Polaroid camera this year. I hope as the years go by, these takeovers can be as exciting for Leo and Georgia as they are for me.

How would you describe The Animals Observatory’s garments? 

The Animal Observatory is built with such quality. Every bit of clothing that Leo has had since he was only months old has been passed down to Georgia. And after Georgia, it goes to our nieces and nephews or has enough quality to be resold to another family. As the years pass, not only does the quality get better, they only become more stylish too. They must be made with anti-aging magic. 

What do you like about them? 

I like the design, of course. But over the years, I’ve begun to love the people behind The Animals Observatory. Everyone we’ve spoken to throughout the years has reminded us that the brand makes great clothing for children because the people who design and create the garments are great. Maybe it’s silly, but there is something about your kids growing up in clothes designed by good and creative and loving people that can inspire them to also be better people. Maybe that’s not true, but I like to imagine it is.

Source: @Brad.Holdgrafer
Source: @Brad.Holdgrafer

Follow Brad’s journey with The Animals Observatory in the highlights of our Instagram profile and if you like the looks remember you can find them all at theanimalsobservatory.com.

Father's Day, Interview

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