With Five Kids Between Them, Jemma Wynne’s Co-founders Have Some Words of Wisdom for Working Moms

Jenny Klatt and Stephanie Wynne Lalin have five children, all under age 10, and still manage to run one of the fastest-growing fine jewelry brands.

Jemma Wynne co-founders, Jenny Klatt and Stephanie Wynne Lalin, have five children between them (Jenny is mom to Livia, seven, Leo, five, and Eve, two; Stephanie is mom to Scarlett, six, and Mason, three), and they still manage to run one of the fastest-growing fine jewelry brands.

Known for their easy-luxury approach to design, they consider their pieces to be “the cashmere hoodie” of fine jewelry: rich, but comfortable, a sentiment any mother can get behind.

We asked them what they wish their pre-kid selves knew, and the best parts of parenting. 

Jenny Klatt (left) and Stephanie Wynne Lalin celebrated the 10th anniversary of their fine jewelry brand, Jemma Wynne, last year.

What do you wish you could tell your pre-kid self?

Jenny: Enjoy and appreciate your freedom. I should specify that it’s more of an emotional freedom that I miss, and I wish there was a way I could go back in time and not take it for granted. I have an amazing husband who supports me and encourages my independence, nannies that help us on a daily basis and family that lives close by and can help out when necessary. I go out many nights a week, go on girls’ trips, travel for work, make time for self-care, etc. While I am not limited, I feel limited. I’ll never be able to go out freely without a care in the world. But I always feel a pull back to my children. I think about them and worry about them constantly. Before kids, I would spend hours roaming around the city, exploring different areas, shopping, traveling. I made my own schedule and didn’t really have to worry about anyone but myself. Now I think about my kids all the time. I traded that emotional freedom for one of the most amazing responsibilities: motherhood. And in return I get to see what an incredible father my husband is, and the unconditional love of our three children. I still think, with all of that, it’s normal to miss the freedom pre-kids.   

Stephanie: Do more things while you have the time! Travel more, read more books, paint more, sketch more. You’re not going to have enough time to yourself or the time to work late after you have kids. At least until they are a little older. 

What’s an unexpectedly awesome aspect of parenting? 

Jenny: The perfectly imperfect chaos of it all and seeing the world in a different way through my children’s eyes.

Stephanie: It has been absolutely amazing to watch the relationship between my son and daughter blossom as they get older. They completely take care of each other, make sure the other is always okay and constantly cheer each other on. Scarlett likes to say she is Mason’s second mommy and will take him to the bathroom, read him books, and get him a BandAid if he says he has a boo-boo. She likes the responsibility of being a big sister. And Mason totally looks up to Scarlett and will copy almost anything she does. 

Stephanie’s kids, Scarlett and Mason, “constantly cheer each other on.”

What’s an unexpectedly NOT awesome aspect of parenting? 

Jenny: There’s no off switch, FOREVER. 

Stephanie: Since my kids are younger, I have to say I haven’t encountered too many things that are not awesome. Amongst my shortlist, though, is having to discipline them – and sunscreen! Putting suntan lotion on my kids is one of those things I literally just cannot stand! I know I have to do it, but it’s just so annoying and I hate it! [Ed: Here’s a quick guide to stress-free sunscreen application if you feel Stephanie’s pain!]

Stephanie with Scarlett and Mason.

What’s the craziest thing your kids have ever said to you?

Jenny: They all have a strong fascination with tampons. So many questions! It’s probably because I have barely been to the bathroom alone in seven years! Can anyone relate?!

Stephanie: Scarlett once said, “Mommy, my friend said her mom always says the F-word… what does it mean?” And I said, “It’s just a really bad word, I don’t want to hear you say it – ever.” And she persisted with, “But what does f**k MEAN?” How do you even answer that?      .

What do you hope your children learn from having a powerful, successful, working mom?

Jenny: Being a parent to my three children is my single most important job in the world.  But going to work and showing my children how important it is to follow your dreams and be passionate about something, to grow something, be collaborative as a team, and build a company is really a critical life lesson that I feel lucky to impart to them. I want them to see what it means to love what you do and work hard at it. I also know that it teaches them to be stronger and more independent, because I am not always physically present every step of the way.

Stephanie: For my daughter, I think it’s important for her to see I have my own passion and interests outside of being a mother. Although being a mother is my number-one job, I hope she sees that a woman can do anything she puts her mind to. Both she and my son see me sketch and know it’s for “work” – I like that they can see that one can do something creative for your career as well. I am a strong believer in the arts in teaching children! For my son, I think it’s important for him to see that a mother and father can both have careers.

Jenny with Livia, Leo and Eve. “I want [my kids] to see what it means to love what you do and work hard at it.

Most important question: Who would your kids be super-impressed to see wearing a piece of Jemma Wynne jewelry?

Jenny: Definitely someone from The Lego Movie.

Stephanie: Scarlett would love to see JoJo Siwa, and for Mason it would definitely be Batman.

Hilaria Baldwin is Here For The Me-Time Commitment

Hilaria Baldwin was currently in a car with four kids under the age of six listening to the Shrek 3 soundtrack, and somehow sounds completely cool, calm, and collected.

“What do you wish you could tell your pre-kid self,” I ask her.

She begins to answer, “The one [thing] that everybody says is, “I wish I had slept more,” but is interrupted by a series of missed calls from her husband. “Alec keeps calling me,” she says. “You know what, maybe that’s what it would be. It would be that everybody is going to want something from you and it’s really okay to step away and say you need a minute.”

Here, Baldwin talks “me-time,” how to talk to your kids about health, and the most unexpectedly awesome part of parenting four kids.

What do you wish you could tell your pre-kid self?

When you’re pregnant with your first, people are always like, “Enjoy sleep now, because this is the last time you’re going to sleep.” To be quite honest, you can’t sleep in advance. You actually have to sleep regularly.

What does one free hour to yourself look like?

One of my favorite things to do is go out for a run. I use that time to disconnect. When I’m running, literally nobody knows where I am. It’s just this moment where I can run through the streets and for a whole 30 minutes, I can have me-time. I have learned it’s about doing small things throughout the day. For instance, in the morning and night, I take a bath, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. Little by little I’m trying to take more frequent moments. It’s like the whole sleep thing. You can’t just bundle together a lot of me-time and then kill yourself the rest of the time. You’ve got to be [taking] care of yourself.

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As mothers, we all have those moments that stump us. This was the other night for me….it was messy, emotional, and wild. After all the tears, time outs, and raised voices, we all hugged and kissed before bed. It is amazing how quickly these little beings can go from complete chaos to the deepest demonstration of love. It is literally the rainbow after the storm. I shared with them that I am so happy to be their mommy, and like nothing ever happened, they wrapped themselves around me and told me I am the best mommy in the world (obviously they are biased 😂❤️). It is in these moments that I know my parenting is actually working…slow and steady, the messages of love and treating each other well are sinking in. As long as we find love and peace after the rumbling storm of crabbiness and learning, I'll always be reminded that I am a good mommy. Thank you to @babybum for this affirmation #YoureAGoodMom

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You are well known for being the picture of health. How do you talk to your kids about health without going overboard or making them anxious? 

It’s about [focusing on the] feeling rather than the way you look. You don’t want to say, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t eat this because you don’t want to be fat’ or ‘you want to eat this because you don’t want to be too thin.’ You want say, ‘You want to eat this because you want to feel good.’ And if people can associate what they’re eating with how their body feels, then they are going to have a big leg up in life.

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I told them I was giving them a pop quiz 😂…I always get asked how I eat. We eat a whole food, plant based diet in my home. This doesn’t mean that we don’t splurge or partake in special treats. Teaching my children that there is a cause and effect as to what they put in their bodies is important to me. I want to arm them with good tools and help them understand the importance of eating real foods so they can carry with them as they grow. Since I was little,I would always add small amounts of juice or fruit to water…I started drinking @spindriftfresh years ago—so when we teamed up last year I was so excited. I truly love this drink because it has nothing artificial in it only real squeezed fruit and sparkling water. It is a staple in my home! #realfruittastesbetter

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What does 7 a.m. in your house look?

Today at 7AM, I was taking a barre class, but every single day is different. I did an interview a couple days ago where they were asking me what my typical day is, and I literally don’t have one. Everybody’s a little jet lagged right now from [a trip to] L.A., so my kids have been sleeping really late which has been nice. I’ve used that time to get up and go work out.  

 

What does 7 p.m. in your house look like?

Evenings are a lot more typical. Around six o’clock we start having dinner and then we take a bath, then pajamas and stories and then bedtime. Usually by 7PM the boys are going down to sleep and Carmen stays up until about 8 o’clock.

What’s an unexpectedly awesome part of parenting?

One of the things that I feel really lucky about is that I get to see how many different kinds of people you can make. Alec and I had a girl first and thought, okay, [Alec] + Me equals that kind of girl. And then we had a boy. So you think, [Alec] + Me equals that kind of boy. And then, if anyone goes for a third child, you start to see, wow! Him + Me equals a boy that’s completely different. And in our case, the fourth one, Him + Me equals a boy that’s completely different from those ones. Everything is so science-based now, which is amazing, but there is something very magical and bit mysterious about where the soul comes from. I’ve really been able to marvel at that from having so many kids with the same gender. People really are born with their own personality. It’s really beautiful.

 

Know Before You Go: 6 Family Pack Hacks to Try This Summer

Vacationing with kids calls for next-level packing strategies. These simple tricks help lighten your load.

I recently moved countries with my husband and toddler, which was no big deal, just stuffing our entire existence into two-and-a-half suitcases. It did not help that I’m an active collector of non-stretch ’90s jeans, which is possibly the least practical thing to move en masse.

My initial packing prep was pretty much just YouTube-ing people studiously folding sweaters into beautiful little postage stamps… but it became very clear we’d need a much stronger strategy to coordinate not only my belongings but those of a two-year-old and a 40-year-old – both equally incapable of sorting their own stuff, for very different reasons.

The six packing tricks I’m about to share truly turned things around for us, but they’ll work just as well for all you summer adventure-seekers too, whether you’re traveling by air, land or sea. Away we go!

Hack 1: Pack by Outfit, Not Item

Consider each day of the trip and what you’ll be doing: sightseeing, museums, dinners out, beach days… Lay out an outfit for each kid for every day (include socks, underwear or diapers, and spare bottoms if potty training), then bundle each outfit in its own mesh bag. I like the big ones designed for fruit and vegetables. The bags are GENIUS because they’re cheap, see-through for easy identification, and mesh won’t balloon like a plastic bag, taking up precious inches.

Mesh grocery bags (right) are inexpensive, eco-friendly, and take up virtually no extra space.

Hack 2: Assign Colors

Color coding is the easiest way to keep everyone straight on their belongings. Use different-colored packing cubes, or, if you’re trying Hack 1,  knot a piece of colored ribbon around the zip of each produce bag. For specific occasion outfits (say, dinner or the beach) write it on a piece of paper to stuff inside, or risk your little wiseguy trying to rock a rash guard at the restaurant.

Hack 3: Break up Your Stuff

Divide your belongings between all your cases. This hack’s kind of crucial, especially if you’ve ever had an airline lose your bag (and don’t we all know someone?). While it might look adorable for a minute, none of you want to walk around in matching hotel gift shop sweatshirts.

Hack 4: Make a Cake

Not all of us pack our most practical (read: least fancy) items for a summer holiday. In fact, as a BM (um, Busy Mom), this trip might be your one chance to bust out all your Clothes From Another Life – the slinkiest slip dresses, waftiest wide-leg jumpsuits and most unwalkable heels – for the odd child-free meal. No way those beauties are getting rolled into a tight ball and shoved in the (gasp) mesh pocket of a ladybug ride-on.

If this is you, well, we should be friends. But also, you need to get on board with what I’m calling the Layer Cake Method:

1. Fill the uneven bottom of your case with rolled-up basics: tees, scarves, socks and underwear. You could include kids’ stuff in this base layer.

2. Fold pants and jeans in half at the waistband and drape them across one half of the bottom layer, making sure the legs hang out either side of the case. You’ll need them later.

3. Add another layer of rolled clothes to keep everything even.

4. Place lightly folded outerwear on top.

5. Finally, wrap the excess pant legs over the whole package. Done!

These guys definitely wish they’d tried the Layer Cake Method.

Hack 5: Zip Up

Secure all your electronics in Ziploc bags to keep sticky, grabby fingers off. To make a makeshift TV, clip your bagged-up phone to the seat in front using the lock on your tray table. Boom. Now they can settle in for some downloaded Daniel Tiger and you can stare straight ahead into a blissful void. Or a Kindle, whatever.

Hack 6: Bring Real Food

Kids are picky in the most everyday eating situations. I really didn’t want to poke that particular bear while airborne. Short of granola bars, crackers and dried fruit, I had zip. All my ideas sounded either too snacky or plain d-r-y. But then I came across this article from The Kitchn which broke down how easy it is to pack quality, filling foods. We survived our 20-hour flight using their suggestion of wax-wrapped cheese (hello, Babybel), frozen grapes and frozen vegetarian empanadas – which act as “ice packs” until you’re ready to eat. World. Rocked.

Frozen vegetable empanadas: a fresh, filling option the kids can eat one-handed.

CHEAT-SHEET BUYS FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS:

 

1. Anti-roll crayons that stay put on the tray table.

2. A roll of painter’s tape for covering outlets, softening sharp-edged furniture, and creating a decent nap zone by taping a blanket or towel over sunny windows. And this cool hack for Airbnb-ers on opening a tight jar.

3. A headphone jack splitter so the kids can share TV and tunes.

4. This supermarket steal seals off complimentary cups of juice and water handed out by the flight crew.

5. Lollipops come in handy to combat meltdowns and help with high altitude ear-popping.

We want to hear from you…

Moms don’t let moms mom alone. Share your best summer travel hacks in the comments!

Everything You Should Read This Summer (And What To Wear Whilst Doing So)

So it takes you a little longer to get through a book now that you have kids, what with the constant interruptions and all. The act of researching what you should actually read? HAHA! Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you. Here, five books we have on our must-read beach book lists and, for added enjoyment, great thematic pieces for you and your kids to wear. Happy reading!

More Than Enough, Elaine Welteroth

If you don’t follow Elaine Welteroth, head to Instagram and do so immediately. The former EIC of Teen Vogue and current judge on Project Runway just published her first book: a memoir that chronicles her journey to “claiming space.”

Looks great with: A statement tee. 

Shop here for mom and here for kids!

City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert

You read Eat Pray Love, and now you’ll read City of Girls, a novel set during the summer of 1940 in New York City. After flunking out of Vassar, Vivian Morris finds herself in an unconventional world unlike anything she’s ever seen. The world of the Lily Playhouse.  

Looks great with: A party skirt.

Shop here for mom and here for kids!

The Floating Feldmans, Elyssa Friedland

What will you want to do for the big 7-0? Annette Feldman wants her whole family under one roof … or rather, one sky. Read what happens when the well-intentioned Annette books a cruise for her ENTIRE family.

Looks great with: A bathing suit.

Shop here for mom and here for kids!

The Girl In the Red, Christina Henry

If fairly tale meets horror is more your speed, this page-turner is for you. Christina Henry takes us on a journey to a post apocalyptic woods where no one is safe. But the power of a red jacket proves immeasurable.

Looks great with: Red, duh.

Shop here for mom and here for kids!

Recursion, Blake Crouch

Sci-fi junkie, are you? Crouch’s follow-up to 2016’s Dark Matter is so good it’s already being developed as a feature film AND television series but none other than THE SHONDA RHIMES. So do some deep breathing, put on your most futuristic tees, and check out this thriller.

Looks great with: Metallics.

Shop here for mom and here for kids.