Being Mama: Monique Péan
‘Engaging, evolving, thoughtful’. That’s how fine jewellery designer Monique Péan describes her parenting style and we couldn’t agree more.
The glamorous mom of one leads an incredibly busy life traveling all over the world seeking inspiration for her socially responsible fine jewellery but she has managed to fit motherhood in with ease.
“Your life doesn’t have to change too much [when you become a mom] if you are willing to be flexible,” says Monique. “Everyone told me that it would be a life altering experience, and it has been in a positive way, but we haven’t stopped traveling or slowed down our pace, we’ve just brought Seine along for the ride. She started flying when she was six weeks old and hasn’t stopped. They say if you start traveling early, babies become accustomed to it much more easily – so far I would agree.”
While Monique’s jet setting lifestyle hasn’t changed, she has had to be more adaptable at work. “Balancing being a mom with running a business has taught me to be as efficient as possible,” she says. “I like to start and end my day with Seine and I have had to reprioritize the time I spend on each aspect of my business to ensure this is possible.”
It’s a thoughtful plan but then you wouldn’t expect anything less from the incredibly high achiever who has had her fair share of life hurdles. Monique’s sister was killed in a car accident in 2005 when she was 16, the two were very close, often accompanying their mother and father on trips to Brazil and China to help with outreach programs.
“We chose Seine’s name to honor my sister Vanessa,” says Monique. “Seine is named after the river in Paris. After my sister passed away, we spread her ashes in the Caribbean Sea on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, where she had spent a summer surfing. We wanted to honor Vanessa and choose a name for our daughter with a reference to water as the rivers, oceans and seas in the world are interconnected. We specifically chose Seine as we were in Paris when I found out that I was pregnant and her French heritage from my father’s side was another connection.”
It’s a beautiful tribute from a mom who obviously puts a lot of thought and creativity into parenting. Seine’s nursery is another example of Monique’s special touches with a large-scale world map on a mirror in black with each country outlined in white hanging from the wall. “We hung this map with the plan to fill in each country that Seine visits and it has been exciting to already color in four countries with her,” says Monique.
She also loves to dress her now 17-month-old in beautiful, natural clothes, such as those from Bonpoint. “Their SoHo store is dangerously close to my design studio,” she admits. “I always pack a Bonpoint cashmere sweater and drop crotch pants to go over Seine’s airplane outfit as it acts as a wearable blanket and keeps her warm during flights.”
Monique also frequently shops at the Japanese boutique Makie in SoHo for everyday basics such as Japanese kimono onesies and beautifully handcrafted gifts. “I have recently fallen in love with Jungera, an organic and all natural sculptural clothing line for babies and kids designed by Asha Mines, Rick Owens’ former creative assistant,” says Monique. “Each piece is stunning with unique colors and minimalist designs.”
The 32-year-old was lucky to have quite a relaxed, all-natural birth with her daughter. “Everything went relatively quickly and smoothly,” she says. “I had a doula from Carriage House Birth who was excellent. Lindsey Bliss, our doula, made the process of having a child as painless, pleasant and informative as possible. Lindsey is a founder of Carriage House Birth, and recommended everything from what to pack for the hospital, what acupressure to try when the baby was late, and she helped me through each contraction.”
Monique also relied on pre-pregnancy Pilates, Mama Mio organic oils and MUN skincare products to help prepare her body for pregnancy and she was also very thankful for Siggi’s drinkable yogurt and Erbaviva’s organic mom-to-be kit with the Quease-Ease Lip Balm which helped prevent nausea.
Every element of Monique’s life has this same sense of consciousness. The healthy 34-year-old only eats organic and locally sourced meat without added hormones and antibiotics and tries to be as kind to the environment as possible. Sales of her designs, which have been worn by everyone from Natalie Portman to Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Lupita Nyong’o and Reese Witherspoon, contribute towards global charities such as those that provide clean drinking water and basic sanitation to people in developing nations.
“I hope Seine inherits a curiosity for the world and different cultures,” says Monique. “She loves animals and being taken to the beach in Zihuantanejo, Mexico. Seeing her so excited as she watched the horses on the beach was an amazing moment!”
Monique’s must-haves for a new mom
- A good car seat. We use the Anton Q which is a German car seat that works in both the US and Europe and converts for use on your stroller.
- Wubbanub plush pacifiers and Naomi Ito stroller clips to secure them. It’s great to have two pacifiers when traveling — one for the hotel crib and one for your travel bag on the plane. You can get two different animals so you can easily differentiate between them.
- A good sleeping bag! We use the panda bear one from the French label Antology.
- The Bloom CoCo Go Organic Lounger has a modern look and can be used as a travel lounger and sleeper while the baby is small.
- Comotomo baby bottles have an organic shape and a natural-feel silicone mouthpiece that mimics natural breastfeeding.
- The Lumio Book Lamp by Max Gunawan. It’s an amazing sculptural light source that allows you to control its brightness so as not to wake the baby when you go in and out of their room.
- Pedialyte for plane trips so your little one is well hydrated.
- Dapple, an all-natural bottle cleaner, and the OXO to-go bottle cleaner.
- Fishy Tails books for the plane/ car trips – babies love all of the textures.
- Andrew Zuckerman’s Creature ABC, Numbers, Sounds and Colors books for the plane and for reading to them every morning and every evening are must haves as well! You can create a sense of permanence while traveling if you read the same book to them in the morning and the evening.
Photo by Sam Deitch/BFA.com