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.
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.
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!]
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.
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.