You’re more likely to catch Jaime Hall in cool leggings than mom jeans. “I’m living in loungewear right now,” says Hall, a White + Warren senior account executive and single mom to 7-year-old son, Madden. Spearheading wholesale partnerships with leaders in the health and wellness industry, from Bandier to SoulCycle, Hall is an expert in athleisure. “Lounge is becoming an everyday item for us as more people, including me, are dressing up their sweatpants with cashmere sweaters,” she says. Take White + Warren’s trapeze cardigan, for example: “Paired with a sports bra,” Hall explains, “you can make it look really cool-girl.”
A self-described “boy mom,” Hall is always game. “I don’t want my son to think that because his dad isn’t around, he can’t do ‘boy stuff.’ If I need to be the soccer coach or a member of the Boy Scouts, I’ll do it.” She and Madden do it all: camping, crabbing, Lego wars—you name it. “We do boy stuff and girl stuff: We also like to bake and get pedicures.”
For Hall, her mother is her biggest cheerleader. “When I first moved to New York and had a kid by myself, a lot of people doubted that I would be able to do it,” Hall admits. “Knowing that your mom supports you unconditionally, which I do with mine, is so powerful.” Her mom is her rock, but she’s warm, too—and Hall is the same way with Madden. “As soon as my son wakes up, I pick him up and I hug him,” she says. “A lot of times, it’s less about what you say and more about your actions.”
Oftentimes, that means just showing up—something Hall recalls a fellow colleague-slash-mom at White + Warren mentioning in passing that struck a chord with her as a single parent. “You’re never going to look back and say, ‘Oh, I should’ve gone to that gym class’ or ‘I should have gotten into work ten minutes earlier,’” Hall says. “For me, being present is so much more than anything that I can ever give to my son.”
Part of remaining present means being a stickler for no screen-time for Madden in the morning at home. It’s all part of what Hall describes as their daily routine, which she credits for providing the same structure, organization and “peace of mind” they had in a pre–COVID-19 era.
In the evening, she’s having fun schooling Madden with movie nights as they watch iconic films, such as Titanic and The Sandlot. Once her son is off to bed, she’s been binge-(re)watching The Sopranos, which has inspired her to get in touch with her Italian roots and spend time in the kitchen during quarantine.
You might say it’s in her DNA; Hall’s grandmother is a fantastic cook. A few years back, Grandma Hall documented the family’s recipes and bound them in a homemade cookbook, alongside black-and-white family photos, that she made copies of and gave out as gifts. “It’s got everyone’s favorites in it,” adds Hall—including her grandma’s legendary macaroni with “Sunday Gravy,” which she shared the recipe for, below.
No matter what’s on the menu—or the agenda—Hall and her son are as close-knit as their admittedly massive Italian family. “Madden is my built-in best friend,” she says. “You never have to rally the troops of your friends to go do something, because he’s always down.” Hall takes every opportunity to expose Madden to new experiences. For example, they’re spending the summer in Florida, where they’ve taken up fishing.
While Madden is finishing out first grade via remote learning, Hall is the perfect substitute teacher, as she initially spent two years working toward a degree in elementary school education before transferring to Pace University in Manhattan to pursue marketing. “Teachers do so much. It’s really an under-appreciated career, because it’s a lot of work,” she says.
Naturally, Hall loves helping out with her son’s schooling—and she even helped two of Madden’s classmates, whose parents are both first-responders in New York (one is nurse, another is a doctor), to help them get acquainted with Google Classroom from a recreation center, which are open to children of first-responders. Hall FaceTimed them during lessons with Madden so that they could easily follow along.
After all, even moms learn on the go. “I’ve learned everything works out for the best,” Hall says. She is quick to admit: “Things I see new parents get upset about, like schools you want your kid to get into, I used to get upset about, too.” It’s all part of the job. “You figure out how to financially, physically, mentally and emotionally take care of them,” Hall adds. “It’s about learning to roll with the punches and being happy.”
“I love this recipe, because it reminds me of when we had lazy Italian Sundays with the whole family—all of my brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, grandkids and parents gathered around a giant table in the early afternoon having ‘dinner.’ (‘Dinner’ to American Italians on Sundays is normally between 2 p.m and 4 p.m.) It was always loud, messy and so much fun—the heart of the weekend.”