Jewelry Designer Jeet Sohal with her sons, Kieran 7, Simian 5, Taran 3.
There is a calming energy about jewelry designer Jeet Sohal. So calm and graceful in fact that one would never guess that she usually has three young boys, ages 3 to 7 years-old in tow.
Sohal’s easy going nature is reflected in her jewelry, Bare Collection – a 15 year-old line of beautifully sculpted, timeless and impeccably designed pieces that don’t have to scream to be heard. Think, gold stacking bands and dome rings and statement making nesting collars, everything is as elegant as the designer herself.
Of course we don’t doubt that like any mother, there are many harried times trying to raise three children and grow a small business, but Sohal has learned what works in order to alleviate excess stress from her and her family’s lives.
“I’d like to be able to say yes to every great and even every mediocre opportunity that comes my way;” Says the jewelry designer, “I grew up thinking that any opportunity is a great opportunity. As a working mom, it’s simply not possible to enjoy work and family if I always say yes.”
Here, Sohal shares more motherly wisdom, plus of course the beauty and sartorial tips that make her feel pulled together and able to take on the day, even while juggling her boy’s schedule and the creativity and skill that goes into making Bare Collection.
What was the most surprising element of becoming a mother?
How natural it felt. I never imagined having kids so when I became a mother I didn’t know what to expect. It was a big adventure! Aside from the first few weeks of complete and utter mayhem trying to figure out how to change a diaper, swaddle, etc., I settled in nicely. Thankfully, while the diapering did not come naturally, the nurturing did.
What stage have you found most difficult / most rewarding so far?
Thus far, I’ve loved all stages except for newborn. I tried my hardest to enjoy the newborn stage, but physically I felt like I was run over by a truck, and mentally I kept on overthinking everything. Newborns are incredibly cute and cuddly, but their fragility brings out the worrier in me. Plus, my hands are incredibly strong so I’m always afraid of doing damage to a newborn!
What’s your beauty routine like? What products do you like to use?
It’s pretty basic. I’ve never cannot handle a cluttered medicine cabinet or remember to execute an elaborate routine. What I’ve got has been cobbled together with the help of some beauty insiders that are also great friends. This past summer, I spent an afternoon at Knockout Beauty and Cayli (Cavaco Reck) really took my routine to the next level.
Shower: Jason shampoo, Yarok conditioner, Supracor bath mitt, unscented bar soap
Post shower: Vanicream lotion for my body, Nyakio Marula and Neroli brighetining oil for my face, Yarok feed your curls cream for my hair, and +- deodorant
Day makeup: Colorscience SPF powder, Maybelline pumped up mascara, Beauty counter lip sheer
Makeup night out: Kjaer Weis foundation, Colorscience SPF powder, Givenchy Phenomen mascara, Benefit boi-ing concealer, Laura Mercier artist palette for eyes and cheeks, Kosas lip color
Before I sleep: Wash my face with unscented bar soap and a light scrub with the Morihata binchotan facial puff followed by Nyakio Taminu firming face balm as a moisturizer
What 5 essentials do you recommend to new mothers who no longer have the time to put on a “whole face” but who still want to look pulled together?
It’s definitely nice to feel pulled together, especially when a mom. Getting dressed is transformative and empowering for me, even with a pretty bare face and air dried hair. I think its important to figure out what key elements give you some polish that don’t take much time. I pull my hair in a bun or pony tail, dab on concealer, put on some great earrings, do a statement lip, use a bit of that color on the apples of my cheeks, and finish with some quick mascara.
What is your daily uniform?
It’s generally some kind of midi day dress from a local boutique retailer, or pants and a cotton/silk/linen blouse. Because I have such sensitive skin, I prefer to keep things in the silk, cotton, linen families because when you handwash them (in the washing machine) with a fragrance free soap, they come out clean. Unfortunately viscose, polyester, etc need the fragrance to smell clean so they sadly do not have a home in my wardrobe.
Wardrobe staples include silk and cotton blouses from Equipment and Heidi Merrick. Pants that are in constant rotation tend to be from Ten Over Six from Rodebjer, Shaina Mote, and Cedric Charlier. Soyer sweaters from Des Kohan are a must. The day dresses can be anything from Rachel Comey to vintage and are generally from independent designers that sell to the boutiques I frequent. The shoes are always vans, but if I need to dress it up, I love a block heel from Chloe. I have 3 boys and I’m a jeweler. My daily wardrobe works hard for me! Plus, it helps me feel pulled together, even when I’m not.
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?
The biggest challenge is saying no. I’d like to be able to say yes to every great and even every mediocre opportunity that comes my way; I grew up thinking that any opportunity is a great opportunity. As a working mom, it’s simply not possible to enjoy work and family if I always say yes.
When it comes my family’s happiness, I can’t stress enough the importance of downtime. I love it when we aren’t in a rush to go anywhere and hustling kids out the door. My favorite weekends unfold organically and we end up where we end up. Our kids have been out of the nap stage for almost 2 years so we are not tied to any particular schedule. It’s pack a picnic and then mosey out of the house for a relaxed adventure.
What do you do to carve out time for yourself?
Monday morning, I exercise with my girlfriend who started LEKfit from 9:15-10:15. I’m at work at 10:30 which is later than normal, but her class is worth it. When I do it, I am more energized for the week ahead and need less sleep. Work is meditative so that helps me stay balanced.
I love nights “in” with girlfriends. If you are coming from work, coming from putting your kids in bed, coming from your workout, you aren’t worried that you are holding up the dinner reservation for the group if there is traffic, an important call, etc. Plus, it’s nice to gather at someone’s house and let the conversation unfold.
What are some of your specific gadgets, organizational tools or aids that help maintain a stress-free work/family balance?
Calendar invites on Microsoft entourage are the BEST organizational tool for my family. I tend to zone out while I’m at work so I need the audible alerts that I put into my calendar to pull me out and make sure I make my meetings and events. My husband and I use it to stay on top of each others calendars and family time. At work, we use evernote and dropbox. It’s a great way for team members to stay in the loop on a variety of projects and we can access our files everywhere.
What are your favorite activities to do with your kids?
I love to be outside with them. We lead a pretty low key life so it’s weekends working in the garden or kicking around a soccer ball. If we have a few days or a long weekend, it’s either skiing or camping.
What is the most valuable thing motherhood has taught you?
Motherhood has taught me that its important to always be present. Regardless of what we do, we will never have enough time so it’s important to enjoy the journey. My sister gave me a little note jotter when we were in college that said “life is what happens when you are making other plans.” I remember thinking that it was such a silly saying, but it’s really true. I try and slow things down so I get to really enjoy where I am.