How Entrepreneur Babba Rivera Kickstarts Her Mornings Without Caffeine
Welcome to Bedtime Stories, an interview series where we ask inspiring individuals to share their nighttime routine and sleep secrets – from the beauty products they can’t live without to the tricks they swear by when they’re too tired to function (no coffee needed). For this instalment, award-winning entrepreneur Babba Rivera shares the morning and night rituals that support her life as a businessperson and mother.
Swedish-born, NYC-based entrepreneur Babba Rivera unquestionably has a serious talent for kickstarting new businesses. She has cemented her position as a highly valued innovator and thought leader in the brand marketing space, and her chic style and beauty knowledge have also garnered her a loyal following on Instagram.
Some of her achievements include launching Uber in Stockholm, being the director of brand marketing for luggage company Away, and being a co-founder of HER USA, a community that connects conscious women leaders, influencers, entrepreneurs, and change makers. Babba was also listed in the 2016 Forbes’ list of the top '30 Under 30' in the marketing and advertising category, and was named Sweden’s ‘top talent’ of 2016 by Veckans Affärer, one of the country’s largest business magazines. Her latest venture is Ceremonia, a clean hair brand inspired by her Latinx heritage.
To top off her already busy schedule, Babba is also a mother. Which begs the question of how she is able to get the energy to balance it all? Below, the entrepreneur shares the morning and night routine that helps support her busy life and the beauty products she swears by.
You have a powerful online presence – how are you able to mentally switch off from it when needed?
I try to be more intentional with when I’m on my phone versus not. My husband and I love doing phone-free dinners and outings, and when we’re with our daughter we try to be our most present. I love capturing moments though, so oftentimes I’ll have my phone around as a camera, but then don’t actually post on social media until later. When I have important things to focus on at work, I sometimes put my phone away in a drawer or a bag, because out of sight means out of mind to me!
What time do you go to bed? Walk us through your bedtime ritual.
My husband and I usually try to be in bed around 10pm and will start winding down around 9pm. My bedtime routine always includes a proper beauty wind down moment. I love applying my own brand’s scalp remedy oil, Aceite de Moska, before going to bed as an overnight treatment. I usually apply it before I wash off my face for the evening, and then give myself a scalp massage with our Scalp Massager. I then put on a spa band, and do a gentle face scrub, Isla Beauty’s Snow Scrub is a fav! I then follow with serums, I love layering different serums, and then top off with a face oil.
During a good phase, my bedtime routine also includes things like listening to my HypnoBirthing audio ‘rainbow relaxation’ before I fall asleep, or reading a few pages on a book. But in a less good phase, my bedtime routine includes Netflix shows streamed through my iPad in bed. I never compromise on beauty rituals, however!
What sleep or beauty products do you swear by that you won’t go a night without?
I love beauty products that work overnight. My brand’s Scalp Power Duo is a favourite, and so is Swedish Cannabeauty brand MANTLE’s Dream Mask. I use these products together once a week as an overnight treatment. Wood Copenhagen also has a lip repair treatment I like to add. Another good night beauty staple is Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum and eye cream. I've been using these for 10 years and there’s truly nothing like it in the market. Lastly, I use the Vintner's Daughter Face Serum (which is basically an oil) every night after layering my serums.
What is your solution for those nights you simply can’t nod off to sleep?
I have a rainbow relaxation audio from the HypnoBirthing institute that I usually put on when I can’t unwind. It works like magic, both my husband and I always fall asleep within 20 minutes when tuning into it.
What are three things (besides coffee) that help you when you're too tired to function?
Unpopular opinion but I actually gave up coffee for water a few years ago and never looked back. Water is such a powerful energy booster! I start the day with a big glass of water and I never leave the house without a water bottle. Other tricks include eating a banana to boost blood sugar or a green tea.
What time does your alarm go off in the morning? Can you walk us through your morning routine?
Right now I sleep until 7am, but when I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding I like to be an early riser. I love a slow morning! My husband and I have this dream of one day going back to our “miracle morning” routine we had prior to becoming parents. We would wake up at 5am and go straight out on a 20 min no-pressure run to get the adrenaline going, and then we would come home and enjoy breakfast together without our phones. I remember having the best days after a start like that!
Our mornings look a little different right now as I’m pregnant and too hungry to do anything but eat as soon as I wake up. My husband usually goes up a little earlier to prepare breakfast, and we will then enjoy a family moment together with our daughter, all eating breakfast together. My husband then starts his day at around 8am and I enjoy a moment for my beauty routine, before I kick off my own workday.
What do you normally eat for breakfast to kickstart your day
I eat oatmeal every morning. My husband makes it each morning, cooking the oats in oat milk with mashed bananas and cardamom. We serve it with blueberries, granola and a splash of oat milk. It’s such a yummy and healthy start to the day! If I’m extra hungry, I’ll add Wasa crackers with cheese and butter or avocado into the mix and a side of fruit.
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