Long before we all had initials hammered onto multiple pendants, hung on a chain and clasped around our neck or fingers full of signet rings stamped with a child’s monogram, jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher was busy making her own personalized nameplate to commemorate the birth of her son Shane, now 10-years old.
The dog tag pendant she created garnered the designer tons of attention and shortly afterward she gave birth again, this time to her wildly successful jewelry collection now comprised of over 4000 charms – many of them very much mom-appropriate.
Between the daily design process, frequent travel and keeping up with her 8 and 10 year-old children, Fisher still manages to look not just stylish, but effortless, interesting and always decked out in some statement glasses and beyond covetable accessories (natch).
We caught up with the designer to see how she keeps it all balanced while looking (and staying) so damn cool.
Children’s name / ages: Shane, 10 & Drew, 8
How would you describe your personal style?
What was the impetus for starting your jewelry brand?
I grew up fascinated by the whole process of jewelry design and manufacturing. My grandfather was a silversmith and as a little girl I always used to go into his shop and watch him work. After my son Shane was born, I wanted a special piece to represent him. When I couldn’t find anything to buy that I liked, I decided to make my own dog tag and wore it on a long gold chain. People kept stopping me on the street asking me where I got it and I knew I had something.
How would you define the brand aesthetic?
Classical modern with an edge.
How would you describe your customer?
The Jennifer Fisher customer is every woman. I design with this in mind so that the collection is wearable regardless of age or style.
We read that you started your line after looking for a piece of jewelry to celebrate the birth of your first son….now your collection offers many custom pieces to commemorate special occasions. Which do you think are the most wearable and why?
I think the biggest tip I can offer is to stay true to yourself and your own style. I have all types of women wearing my pieces, and they each wear them differently in the way that expresses who they are and how they like to dress every day.
What are your thoughts on buying jewelry for yourself vs being adorned by someone who loves you?
I’m a big proponent of both; I love when a thoughtful husband or boyfriend comes in here and can pick out exactly what his wife or girlfriend wants, but by the same token, there’s something so special about the women who come in here after having saved to make a big purchase for themselves that they will always remember. There’s so much emotion when it comes to buying jewelry, and that’s what I love about it.
Which pieces from your collection would you recommend for busy moms on the go?
Moms constantly come in to purchase our burnish cuffs; they are a great way to show off your entire family on your wrist and they look better the more they are worn, so they are easy pieces to put on and never take off.
Our brass chokers are very comfortable and work with any sort of top, so I recommend those as well.
My last go-to for busy moms would be one of my trademark charm necklaces. Charms are perfect to commemorate the birth of a child, or a special anniversary or family event. The more charms, the better- which makes it perfect for a husband who can never figure out what to buy his wife.
As a busy working mom, what is your best advice for other working moms trying to strike that balance between work and family? What is your biggest challenge?
As much as I love what I do, the most important thing in my life will always be my family. It’s important for me to have success in my career, but more important to be a great mom, wife and daughter. Nothing means more than that, and that’s something I always keep with me.
As a mom of two, which age do you think has been most challenging in terms of finding enough time & energy to balance everything?
It was definitely more challenging when my kids were babies. Now they are almost as busy as I am with all of their after school activities and homework, so we are able to strike a nice balance, schedule wise. It just works!
What does your typical day look like schedule-wise?
Every day is different- either in and out of the office in back to back meetings, or with my team all day designing and planning for our next collection. The one thing I always, always must do is be home to make my children homemade breakfast every day. It’s my favorite way to spend the morning and I know it’s something they will always remember when they are grown ups.
What do you do to carve out time for yourself? Meditation / Exercise / Nights out with girlfriends, etc?
Lately, I have not been doing much – unfortunately! However, when I do work out, I love to train one-on-one at Body By Simone with Gabby.
How do you balance your time between work, your child and nurturing yourself?
Being with my family is nurturing myself, so that’s really all I need to do to find time for myself outside of the office. Carving out time for a relaxing manicure and pedicure doesn’t hurt either…
What are some of your specific gadgets, organizational tools or aids that help maintain a stress-free work/family balance?
I am constantly on my iPhone, but there aren’t any specific organizational tools that I use on a regular basis. Staying healthy usually helps minimize the stress in my life.
If any, what changes did you make to your work hours/life in order to create more time with your kids?
I didn’t really have to make any changes. My children and my company have both been steadily growing, so I have been learning as I go along.
To what do you attribute your strong work ethic? What do you hope your children learn from watching you work & run your business?
I’ve realized it’s not something you can learn. It ‘s been engrained in me since I was a child, so I can thank my parents for my work ethic. I was taught to work for everything I have, and I hope that my children will see that hard work and dedication is necessary to achieve anything.
With less time to get ready in the morning, what is your go-to look in order to look chic and put together for a full day and possible evening events (realizing that you might not have time to run home between the office and an event?)
I always keep preplanned looks ready to go. This way, when I’m leaving the house, I can grab a look to change into for night without much stress. Planning ahead is key. And a shoe and bag change…
What are your wardrobe essentials?
My wardrobe essentials are jeans that can go from day-to-night, as well as a good variety of colored basics to mix and match. I always try to pair designer pieces with multiple colored looks.
Which beauty products do you swear by?
You seem to have a flair for accessories in general. Besides jewelry, what are a few of your favorite accessories and brands? And what advice would you give to pregnant women or new moms on how to accessorize to maintain their personal style?
I love my Edie Parker bags for night (we just launched a collaboration on Net A Porter). Celine clutches and shoes are also staples for me. Paul Andrew’s gladiator sandals are currently my favorite shoes.
We love that your instagram always has such motivational messages. Are there any mantras you find yourself coming back to?
Just to keep it real. I feel that the more honest you are, the better. I post whatever my mood is… I do all my posts myself.
What are your favorite activities with your children in NYC?
Dining alfresco at Bar Pitti or Mr Chows in the warmer months and skateboarding or biking around now that they are older. They are getting older and are so scheduled with their sports and school activities that meals together are more important every day.
What is the most valuable thing motherhood has taught you?
I’m still learning, but I’ve learned patience for sure. This is something I work on daily. Having to slow down and breathe with children is the most important thing.
What has been the most surprising thing about becoming a mother?
How much kids make you laugh and cry. I am shocked everyday by how amazing kids are and how they see the world.