When it comes to advice for adding some more magic into the lives of little ones, who better to turn to than Maria Dueñas Jacobs? The former ELLE accessories director created Super Smalls, a line of fun and fabulous costume jewelry for minis, inspired by her own three daughters and their love of dressing up. As a longtime Hamptons resident, we called her to get the suss on family activities Out East, rainy day options, hidden gems—excuse the pun—and crowd-pleasing restaurants. Pens and paper at the ready…
Can you give us a little background on how you parlayed your career in fashion into creating Super Smalls?
My career as a magazine editor gave me such a deep appreciation for beautiful design and also the accessories market—what is out there and what is possible. And with my three playful, creative, and sparkle-loving daughters at home, it just felt like such a natural evolution for me and my career journey. Super Smalls is truly inspired by their imaginative spirits. And just like adults use personal style as a way to express ourselves, I created the brand to give kids that same potential for joyful experimentation and personal expression.
How long have you called the Hamptons home?
I’ve been summering in the Hamptons ever since my first daughter, Luna, was born. She’s 8 now, which is wild!
Do you remember your first time Out East and how you first felt about being there?
I grew up in Miami, always going to the beach and being by the water. I moved to New York for college, and I remember really missing that aspect of life. I was first invited Out East to a college friend’s parents’ house and instantly fell in love with the Hamptons. It was such a breath of fresh air in contrast to my new city lifestyle. I immediately knew it was a magical place where I’d have to spend more time…
What are the top attributes that make the Hamptons so family-friendly?
The beach, of course! My husband and I love anything that gets us out on the water. My daughters love horses, so we do that Out East too. And just being able to spend quality time together as a family, whether it’s barbecuing at home or hanging out with friends at the pool. Depending on the season, we always have so much fun picking strawberries, apples, or pumpkins—there are so many amazing activities that are fun for the whole family, especially getting our city girls outside and in nature!
During summer, where do you spend Saturday mornings with your family?
Luna will usually have a horseback riding lesson in the morning and then we’ll come home and all jump in the pool.
What else does a typical Saturday entail?
My husband loves to fire up the grill and we’ll have friends over for lunch around the pool. Then, we’ll head to the beach in the late afternoon when it starts to cool off a bit. We also really love taking walks in town and, of course, going for ice cream!
What’s your favorite hidden gem for a rainy day in the Hamptons?
We love bowling in East Hampton or crafting at home! Our Make It Super DIY Bead Kit and Self Care Nail Kit are perfect rainy-day activities that the kids love.
You sound like beach lovers—what do you always pack for a seaside day out?
Definitely! Packing LOTS of snacks is key. We also always bring our Super Smalls Mermaid In Training Goggles (with rainbow gems + a watertight seal), Mermaid Pool Party Mega Set (these jewels are WATERPROOF!), and Brainstorm Baseball Hat (sun protection is so important!).
What restaurants are always a crowd pleaser for your family?
Highway in Wainscott and Main Street Tavern in Amagansett. The food always feels homey, and the ambiance is family-friendly. Plus, both spots have delicious desserts (our family has a bit of a sweet tooth). We also love getting prepared dishes from Round Swamp Farm.
For first-time visitors coming to the Hamptons with kids, what type of day itinerary would you recommend?
You have to do a beach day! Follow it with a walk through town, ice cream, and an evening at the movie theater in East Hampton. We also just love taking it easy, spending time at home, and hanging out poolside.
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What’s ahead for Super Smalls in 2022 and beyond?
We have so many awesome things on the horizon! Though we’re known for our jewelry and accessories, we have exciting new category expansions coming up. Keep an eye out, we are growing, and have lots of fun tricks up our sleeves. Also, we’ll be popping up in the Hamptons with a few of our friends later this summer! Find us at Ever After on August 8, Stoney Clover Lane the weekend of August 13, and LoveShackFancy the weekend of September 3!
Favorite family memory of summer 2022 so far?
Honestly, the quiet family memories have been the most special this summer. There are times when my husband and I will just sit back on the beach and watch our girls playing in the waves, and feel such awe at our intelligent, adventurous, and loving daughters.