I had hoped that I would've shared more of my favorite owned mama shops with you by now, but man...life is busy! Between the studio, work and Wilder now on the move, there seems to be no extra time, or maybe I should say energy. The days are full and there is no stopping until our heads hit the pillow each night. It's a busy life, but I wouldn't trade these days with this boy for anything in the world. Being a mom is more amazing than I could've ever imagined.
Today I am so honored to share one of my favorite shops with you, Mama Gems. These necklaces are amazing for busy, teething babies! They are functional, nontoxic, and chewable. Wilder has been resorting to chewing on my shoulder a lot lately, but if I have one of these on then it'll keep him happy for a while.
The owner of this shop, Michaela started Mama Gems as a grief project after her daughter, Florence Marigold Evanow, passed away from complications due to Spinal Muscular Atrophy at age 3. They have committed to giving back by donating 5% of all the proceeds to the cause. Visit their Giving Back page to learn more about the organizations they have committed to.
I always love to learn from other women, especially moms, about how they juggle work, life and motherhood. Don't miss the interview with Michaela below to learn a little more about this incredible Mama!
Meet the Mama | Michaela Evanow
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START MAMA GEMS?
My daughter Florence was very sick most of her life, and couldn't move her muscles. She had Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a muscle wasting disease like ALS. I spent most of my time at home with her, because she was so weak we couldn't risk exposure to germs. When my son was born, I noticed his constant grabbing, chewing and pulling. I was so used to wearing all my jewellery all the time! But he kept breaking everything, so I looked around for some fashionable necklaces he could tug on. Nothing appealed to me! So I thought, what if I do it? Shortly after, my daughter passed away and I was devastated. I felt idle, even though my son kept me busy. I needed a grief project. So, Mama Gems was born.
HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANIZED AND ON TRACK? DO YOU HAVE SYSTEMS IN PLACE OR ARE YOU A FLY BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS KIND OF GIRL?
I tend to fly by the seat of my pants! Childcare is necessary, since my son is now a rambunctious toddler. I am learning to put aside time reserved for Mama Gems and also precious family time. I hate being distracted, whether with family or work, so separating the two is important for me. I don't want to miss a second of my son's toddler years. It is just magical.
DO YOU WORK FROM HOME OR DO YOU HAVE AND OFFICE OUTSIDE THE HOME?
I work from home currently! We are lucky to have a little office for me.
DO YOU HAVE MAMA GUILT WHEN IT COMES TO WORKING? IF SO, HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT?
If my childcare falls through, I certainly do! Sometimes I get overwhelmed, by grief or motherhood, and I just need to disconnect. I remind myself to take a deep breath, put work aside and get on the floor with my son. Play therapy is amazing.
WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A MOM AND OWNING A BUSINESS?
Working at home is really difficult. So I really only work when grandma can watch my son for the day. We have a schedule set up, so it's really helpful. I like to get into the zone, because I'm more efficient, driven and focused.
WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR AS A BUSINESS OWNER?
Hearing and seeing how mamas love their new gems! Instagram photos are amazing to see! Also when repeat customers come back, I'm so honoured. I love to see which styles are popular, and which ones are a surprise. Everyone is so particular, but there are some gems that just pull through as the clear winners.
WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INSPIRATION?
My mind! I've travelled a ton, and seen such beautiful things in some really hard places...India, slums, crumbling hospitals. Also, in my journey with my daughter, we've been to the ER, the ICU and a children's hospice. I've seen so much. I really think it's important to nurture our creativity and see beauty in brokenness.
Also, I love thrifting and often find inspiration in vintage jewellery, ceramics and colour palettes. I'm a big vintage lover!
HOW DO YOU RECHARGE?
Well, I honestly love to treasure hunt. I find it so relaxing. So a jaunt to a great vintage shop or thrift store does me good!
A glass of wine and charcuterie plate outside under the sun doesn't hurt either.