What drove you to start your own jewelry business?
Juju Supply was born in a chemo unit. I am a two-time cancer survivor. During the pain and exhaustion of debilitating treatment the 2nd time, I became increasingly attached to the charms, tokens and crystals that were either given to me or I had collected. I tied strings around my wrist, hung talismans from cords, and loaded up on stone rings. Each piece seemed to connect me to a person or place that I loved. The juju became my armor — it made me feel supported and empowered. Once I emerged from the fog of chemo, I decided to commit myself to designing a meaningful jewelry line to help people get through hard times.
What inspires your jewelry designs?
All over the world and throughout history, people have intentionally adorned themselves with jewelry. Pieces were chosen because they reflected the wearer’s personal needs — protection, healing, tranquility. Juju Supply is born of this idea. It’s not about flash, it’s about wearing jewelry that means something to you. Our charms are based on ancient symbols and our crystals are selected for their innate properties.
What is the best part of being a working mom and most challenging part of juggling your profession and motherhood?
The best part is working from home when I am not on the road sourcing. This means I have the extraordinary privilege of picking up my two kids (12 and 9) from school. For years I worked in an office and missed out on the after school shift. Now we go for bubble teas, I make dinner, I listen to stories from the lunchroom, we watch the Nightly News — it’s a major treat for me and I don’t take it for granted. The biggest juggle and challenge is common to every working mom out there…. to stay present and off the phone! I have a 12 year old daughter — seventh grade is no joke!
How do you carve out “me” time? And how do you like to spend this time?
Ever since cancer part two, I have truly committed to living an authentic life. So, I like to think that I have crafted a life that is very reflective of who I really am, and chock full of me time, even if I am with other people. If me time translates to alone time then this is what that looks like: pilates, grocery shopping, reading about the Holocaust, checking in on my family’s “you need this” text thread, eating dark chocolate, researching my next far away vacation and hanging with my cute as heck boyfriend.
What is your favorite kid-friendly vacation destination?
We go to Palm Springs a lot. I prefer the desert over the ocean and love a national park. Joshua Tree is like walking on the moon and the kids get to ramble up and down boulders all day. I also love hitting the dusty crystal shops and thrift stores in Yucca Valley. Lunch is always at Papi and Harriett’s in Pioneer Town.
What are your favorite kid-friendly restaurants?
Favorite kid-spot in NYC is Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights. It’s a delicious Italian restaurant and they take same-day reservations!
Where do you shop for your kids?
Zappos! Old Navy! Crew Cuts! Brandy Melville! Urban Outfitters!
What classes in NY have been most beneficial to your children?
My 9 year old son has been going to Gamelab in Parkslope for 3 years. It’s high-level board game playing. It has helped him develop all kinds of math and logic related skills. The games are so advanced that there’s not a single one we can play together! My daughter is a crafter. The Textile Arts Center in Gowanus has been a great spot for her over the years.
How has your strength from fighting cancer benefitted your relationships?
I am committed to living my live as energetically, enthusiastically and as authentically as possible. My kids see a version of me that was kind of under wraps before cancer. Now I show them all of my good qualities and I unabashedly share all my passions. Cancer gave me an acute sense of my own mortality and this feeling informs every single thing I do as a mother, partner and friend.