During this “Mother’s Day”-month on the blog, I instantly had Jackie of My Story Fine Jewelry on my mind. Every woman and mother has her very own story and so has Jackie. A very inspiring story, just like her jewelry.
Before becoming a jewelry designer, Jackie worked at Wall Street for several years which she then quit and traveled to places in Africa and India just to name a few. Once back in NYC she joined her family’s jewelry business. She felt much happier. Although, at that time, being 40 and single, something was missing. She wanted a baby. As we all know, at a certain age, getting pregnant becomes harder. Jackie tried some rounds of IVF without a positive outcome. But she never gave up. She realized she could adopt. And so she did!
She posted an ad in a local paper and thanks to this step, she finally had her forever family, that missing piece which now fills her heart and life with love.
Read Jackie’s full adoption story here.
To commemorate this unforgettable journey and celebration of motherhood, Jackie wanted a piece of jewelry, she created a ring with her daughter’s – Julia – birthstone. That’s kinda how My Story was born!
Besides the Julia ring, what’s your current favorite piece of your line? The Farrah locket is my latest obsession. In rose and oval.
What were the challenges to set up My Story?
Honestly, none ..I am very lucky. I never had any fears.. well, that’s not true, of course, I did. I thought I could end up homeless or living with my parents at 40 something if MS didn’t work, but I knew I had to try it to create the life I wanted with the balance for me to be a single mom and work.
Are there any boundaries between work and motherhood?
I want to create a business where women can work and also take the time that they need to be a mom. Leslie who works for me, has to leave every Mon and Thursday at 5 instead of 530 to be at cheerleading practice for her daughter, I would never say no. I think any mom is grateful for the extra time without anxiety to be a better parent. I hope that my boundary is that family time is for families, and work time is for work. They will be some gray lines, but for the most part, that you can give each facet of your life the best. I don’t like black and white (can’t leave early or come in late)
What has changed for you since you became a mom?
EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! I am a much nicer, softer person. I was on Wall Street for 12 years, which makes you not a very nice person. You are short, curt and have zero patience. When I became a mom, a thick layer of tough went right out the window. What also changed was my lifestyle. Nothing is about you anymore, its all for Julia. Vacations, money, time and how you make spend it.
Why name your daughter Julia?
After my grandma. Plus we have the same initials then and I can hand down all my personalized jewelry #winwin
Do you have any advice for future adoptive parents (that worked for you)?
Its the hardest thing in the world to hear, but you have to believe. When people used to tell me I needed to believe, I wanted to tell them to F themselves….but, you must believe that you tell the world you want a baby, and the world/G-d whoever you believe in, will bring it to you.
Are you in any way in touch with Julia’s birth mother?
Our agreement says that I mail her an update 4 times a year until she was 3 and then once a year until 18. This year sadly my update ( a nice book I put together of pics of our year together, with captions and all, was returned by FedEx. She moved and never updated me, and the cell phone changed as well. I was sad for Julia, because if ever wanted to find her, I don’t have the information anymore. And it breaks my heart that one day she might think, this lady didn’t even care enough to update my mom on her status.
How did you feel when Julia officially became your daughter. Describe that day.
I mean….its an explosion of emotion, and calm all at once. I knew Julia was my baby the moment I held her and every minute after.
Her heart, her spirit, her personality, her sass, she isn’t biologically mine…but every piece of her is molded by us, our life (except, of course, her gorgeous hair).
Do you let Julia be involved in what you do? Is she interested in what her mama’s job is and jewelry?
100% she LOVES it!! We are making a custom band for her teacher (repurposing her grandma’s diamonds ) and I let Julia help me size her finger.
What’s Julia’s favorite piece?
The Mimi heart.
Any tips on how to find a balance as a mom running a business?
I am very strict on my times. If I have a meeting, get to the point, and I always have a hard stop. I make a list of the things to do the next day (pen and paper) and cross them off as I do them. I wake up early to clear out my inbox BEFORE I get Julia off to school, and then come home and workout 2-3 days a week…THEN get to the office around 10-10:30 so I have a clear head and got all my nervous energy out with exercise. plus I feel like if you do all the things you have to do during the day, including taking care of yourself with working out, or whatever your guilty pleasure is, then you can be more present as a parent.
All images and info thanks to Jackie Cohen/My Story Jewelry