The Moms

Kimberly Bakker

Event PlannerPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

Every time I see Kimberly Bakker, I am inspired. First I scan her head to toe to see the fashion must-haves. Then as we walk into the house and she begins her stories of recent past, I race for my phone to jot down notes of the latest and best in everything…fashion-check, home-check,  decor-check…beauty, food, wine, kids, books, the who’s who and the what’s what. Kimberly is the 411 on everything in-the-know. And she’s an open book on everything she’s got. As Kimberly glides through the kitchen to offer me tea and treats from her favorite local gem Comforts Cafe, I again fall in love with this beautiful, fascinating, and amazing woman.

I’m Kimberly…I am foremost a mother, to my beloved daughter, Quinlan “Quinn” Antoinette Bakker, named after my dearly departed father, Robert Quinlan Jr. of Ross and San Francisco, my adored and departed brother Anton, very present mother and stepfather, Kaylea and Peter Bakker. My family came to California from Missouri (via Virginia) in 1848 as documented by the Society of California Pioneers on a plaque that proudly hangs in my home.  My great, great grandfather, Coleman Walker Graves was once the Assistant District Attorney of San Francisco and ran against Adolph Sutro for Mayor in 1894. A fact not lost on me when I went to work at City Hall in 2005.

I grew up spending my summers riding horses, crawdadding and inner tubing on my family’s cattle ranch. They were magical times. I was born at Marin General Hospital, so that my great Grandfather, Colonel Jefferson James  Graves could oversee my birth. We lived in a family owned building in San Francisco until the age of 3, when we moved back to my family’s summer home in Ross, originally purchased in 1914.

I now have the honor of living in the hometown of my ancestors. I am currently applying 25 years of event planning experience to private, memorable family events which are emotionally rewarding to both myself and my daughter. In addition, I am a business consultant specializing in marketing, public relations and quality control.

I have wanted to be a mom my whole life. They called me the, “little mother” as I strolled my baby brother, Anton endlessly up and down and our street. The gift of motherhood at 40 is the deep satisfaction of fulfilling a lifetime of longing for a child, the opportunity to have gotten out our “kicks” and thus be ready to joyfully focus on our children. My career has taught me to be resourceful and master multi-tasking, very good skill set with a 4 year old!

My daughter has taught me to live, speak, and love openly.


Quinlan “Quinn” Antoinette Bakker, age 4.

Quinn has transformed my life on every level. What a relief to get over myself and focus on the next generation. She is my legacy.

The best moments as a mom are every day as I watch Q develop into a kind, generous, smart human being who happens to be the funniest person I have ever met and my favorite person in the world.

The moment I held Quinn to my chest and we cried together was the best day of my life next to the birth of brother. I thank God, Dr. Laurie Green and my kick ass labor coaches Ryan & Trevor for bringing her into my life. Giving birth=humility.

Read Mitten Strings For God, reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by Katrina Kenison and hear her words.  Ask questions and more importantly, listen to your children, very carefully, they will tell you everything you need to know.


A list of Quinn’s Favorite Things…Quinn has a LOT of favorite things.  I am going to go ahead and blame my crazy generous friends for getting her hooked on the following. And I daresay, I am Quinn’s favorite thing.

1. Humming to the Sound Of Music

2. Frette baby Cashmere and Pratesi baby from our beloved Wilkes Bashford.

3. Baby Giraffe blankies. 4. Lovies and childrens serving pieces from Gumps

4. Silver rattles, cups and jewelry from Tiffany’s


One of the many wonders of motherhood is the widespread opening of arms into the circle. I have been truly awestruck by the generosity and kindness of mother’s to each other. I hope that Quinn cherishes most the family heirlooms, momentos, objects, and photos which grace her shelves (though that make take 40 years or so). I purposefully have her bed facing them, so they are her lasting impressions.

Quinn and I look and dress so much the same that she has mistaken photos of me as a child for herself!  I am all about old school for as long as I can get away with it!  I grew up in all things Dottie Doolittle, which was conveniently next to my mother’s boutique Ibis, and the european children’s fashion she brought home from her buying trips. Quinn is following in much the same fashion, infact, “Gramlea” recently returned from Paris with her first “ensemble” which she wore to Cirque Du Soleil last week. AMALUNA is “tribute to the work and voices of women”  I am so grateful to the men who took us to that inspiring show, take your daughters!

My  decor style is a combination of the family antiques and modern functionality. In designing and decorating my home, a welcoming, cozy and livable space for our family was crucial. Life is too short to worry about “things”. Quinn dances on the coffee table and there is no reason to cry over spilled milk in our sunbrella upholstered banquette. Quinn sleeps in one the twin beds from my childhood room, the other is in her grandparents home in Napa. I am grateful to my mother for vehemently holding on to all of our family pieces despite cries from all of us to “get rid of all that old stuff.” It warms my heart to see her rock in my rocking chair, take holiday photos in my miniature dining chair, and wear my heirloom children’s jewelry.

We appreciate and cherish the old school fashion labels; Bonpoint , Florence Eisman, Lily Pulitzer.

My style is classic with a current edge. Of course, I fall prey to a trendy piece here and there.  I give them to my cousin or god daughters and laugh at myself! The only “things” that have meaning to me are things that have meaning. 

Jewelry from family and loved ones. Family vintage gowns and purses. There are only a few favorite things I covet, including a crocodile satchel from my friend and designer Reyna Icaza.

The Marin Country Mart has dramatically increased quality of life in Marin. James Rosenfield and his team are brilliant and have created a mecca. We have been loyal fans since our first Farmer’s Market visit, you had us at ponyrides and petting zoo! We LOVE Poppy Store! Not only is it perfectly merchandised but they are so generous and thoughtful in the events they host for children, Soul Cycle rocks.  I could go on but trust me, get on the MCM mailing list, see you there.

Quinn and I live in J.Crew, we all know Mickey Drexler is a genius. Janie and Jack has NEVER looked better and their photography sittings are beyond professional and fun! We are SO lucky to have Busy Bee’s right here in Ross, they are spot on with their updated preppy twist on the classics. I have to actually look AWAY as I pass Toss, I am SO drawn to their brilliant merchandising and have a borderline embarrassing collection. I could not do my business without Alex and her team at Folio, they are patient, efficient, funny and fun. They do all my printables and I always find the best decor and gift items there. Main Street Flora Garden has become my go to event florist, very creative and responsive.  Woodlands Market makes grocery shopping fun, I actually go there to relax!




I wish I had time for a beauty “regime”,  I have not had my hair done in 7 months. But I am seeing Carlos at Benvenuto tonight! I do what I can, when I can, it’s just not my priority any more. Quinn has been using Noodle & Boo since day one. I LOVE the smell and the conditioning hair polish makes hair brushing painless + invest on Mason Pearson brushes (Equestrian tip here, hold the hair at the base of the nape tightly with one hand and brush the tail with the other) And last, Beautycounter, I can’t wait to get our first order of kids products.


My icons… my Great Grandmother-my “mamere”, Roberta Hewson whose portrait was hung at The Palace of Fine Arts for the 1915 World Fair at the age of 13 and was named “the most beautiful girl in the world.”  She was the most charming and patient caregiver to me.

It would be impossible to list the litany of people who have inspired me. I am the sum total of the endless list of brilliant and inspiring people I have had the fortune of knowing.

By my mother, Kaylea, who has insisted on carrying on those traditions with her own unique twist.

 By my father, who packed cloth napkins and family silver for our daylong horseback rides across the ranch and gave me my deep love and appreciation for nature, animals, food and ritual.

 By My step father, Peter Bakker who is a survivor.

Every teacher at Ross Montessori, Ross School, Redwood and Santa Catalina who has guided me along the way.

I recall the spark of inspiration by my Marketing 101 Professor at USC like it was yesterday.

I thank The Seligman Family who taught me about the family banking business and gave me the honor of helping to launch their Sterling Bank & Trust in San Francisco.

Layne Gray for believing in me and giving my core event training at LKE Productions, she is my “Fairy Godmother.”

By “The Chief”, Charlotte Maillaird Shultz, for whom I had the distinct pleasure of working at San Francisco City Hall, who taught me all the graces of a southern woman and a true lady and her husband George Shultz, who helped me pen letters to Asian Allies in conflict from his hospital bed at Stanford while battling cancer.  What a duo!

I watched very carefully as event planners Stanlee Gatti, Rita Barela, Paula le Duc, Dan McCall and Mark Guelfi of Hartmann Studios formed our team to host United Nations World Environment Day 2005 ( a week long International Exposition) whilst in my position as Protocol Officer under Mayor Gavin Newsom. They are the masters.  

And last, Heather Vandenberghe who gave me the opportunity to work for LVMH, and is perhaps the most inspiring marketing executive and mother I have ever known creating Elle’s law in honor of her daughter.


A Day in the life

No day will ever be the same; that is the true nature of my parenting style, business, and philosophy of life. This was an especially demanding job as I was planning and hosting, not the norm for me. But even so, it was a joyful day for me and I was able to step back and enjoy my co-hosts, guests and honoree.


Wake to see my beautiful daughter who has managed to find her way into my bed during the night, watch her sleep peacefully, and sneak out to run a hot bath with Kneipp Joint & Muscle oil + Beauty Counter Body Oil. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease in college, and this is the best way to loosen the joints and wake the body up. I drink peppermint tea and review my mental schedule and vision for the day.


After a few yoga stretches, I go to the office to review the event file, jot down morning priorities, and check email.


Pack the car with event items, including my event kit-a Home Depot Tool Kit filled with cutting tools, fishing wire, event day colored ribbons, every imaginable adhesive, label maker, empty Pottery Barn frames and Bach Rescue Remedy Pastilles and Gun (to keep me calm).


Pull clothes for the day. Start with a basic dress from fab local designer and friend Julie Chaiken. I have been wearing her clothes since she started and she designs the all-time best fitting pants. Add a pop of color with a Banana Republic necklace and ballet flats for now…Manolo Blahnik kitten heels for later. Roll my hair in curlers and Quinn starts to awaken.


Serve breakfast for Quinn, a power smoothie or Urban Remedy Meal Replacement for me.


Lita, my amazing nanny, arrives to take Quinn to the park and keep her happy until she joins the event. Today is a unique situation, a family event and she is excited to see “Mommy’s Work”. It is crucial to me that Quinn is happy, Lita updates me often with photos. Event Assistant Danielle arrives on scene to help unpack car; flowers, serving pieces, my mom/ grandmother’s silver, hand ironed napkins, desserts, a helium tank, and favor bags.


Co-Hosts Amy & Lesley arrive and we jump into motion setting tables, placing photo frames, outfitting the bathrooms. I love linens from La Travola appropriately named “The Tree of Life”.


Larry Richard, one of the best, old school servers arrives for my run-through and HoneyMoon Ice Cream arrives with custom made ice-cream and waffle cones served beside local fave Susie Cakes.

Race upstairs for a freshen up. I am a big fan of Trish McEvoy Face Shaper for quick touchups and Benefit ooh la la for the eye. I have one in my car at all times. Space NK is my fave beauty mart in Marin Country Mart. They carry all cult brands including Rodial Stem Cell super food line and Make-up by Terry.


Jen, Montana, Hunter, and baby Brooklynn arrive along with all hostess’ families to take “family photos”. We have hired the best photographer to record this special day.


Guests arrive, champagne flows, smiles and genuine joy fill the air.


Tea is served, I give a special toast that wells my eyes with emotion. It is such a joy to celebrate the miraculous birth of a baby. This is life for me, celebrations and rituals which mark our lives and those we most love.


Guests depart. The day has gone too fast, but I am happy and move into breakdown mode immediately, pack Jen’s car with gifts, flowers, and to-go containers for the honorees and hosts who never get a chance to eat ( I learned that from the master Paula Le Duc).


Four packed cars arrive at my house. I unload and lock the door to my production room, forcing myself to break with Quinn in the backyard. She plays with the leftover event balloons and we feast on the tea menu. I kick off my shoes, ice my back, and play my fave tunes on my mini-jambox. There is often dancing involved.


Bath-time. We do a bubble bath together on Saturday nights. I light Diptyque Candles, use California Baby Calming Bubble Bath and we laugh and talk over our best parts of the day.


Book time and cuddles. We love the traveling adventures of Katie Adventures by James Mayhew (mommy gets to travel in her mind).


Check texts and email, review the event in my head, beat myself up a bit for what I could have done better, then try and let go and focus on all that went right. Get in my crisp sheets, cover face with Beauty Counter Lustro Oil and hands with Rodan+Fields brightening treatment and gloves.


A little TV, Homeland, The Boss, or the Goodwife or read from my enormous stack of side table books which I never get through more than a chapter…dream of time off…and my next event!


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