The Tot FIVE x FIVE: Mignonne Gavigan Smith
Each month The Tot FIVE x FIVE invites inspiring mamas to answer five questions on motherhood and curate five products they can’t live without.
This month The Tot talks to jewelry designer and mom of 21-month-old son, Fields, Mignonne Gavigan Smith.
Based in New York City, Beloved by celebrities like Jessica Biel and Selma Blair, Mignonne Gavigan started in quite a serendipitous way. Designer and founder, Mignonne “Maggie” Gavigan Smith, was fresh out of Parsons School of Design and living in New York City when one day, while experimenting with a beaded vintage grown, an embellished piece of fabric fell to the floor. Maggie picked it up and fastened it around her neck. While on her walk home through Soho, she was literally stopping (foot) traffic and getting compliments on her beaded scarf necklace.
Inspired by what would become the brand’s signature piece, Maggie left her job as a footwear designer for Loeffler Randall and launched Mignonne Gavigan. Today, the iconic range includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and even an Anna Wintour brooch! All handmade in India, each piece is a true work of art.
MIGNONNE ON MOTHERHOOD
- What’s the most challenging thing about motherhood? Juggling it all is HARD. Managing a career, running a business, a marriage and keeping Fields at the top of the priority list is not easy and I rarely feel like I’m doing it all well. But it is so worth it. I still travel a ton for work as we continue to grow Mignonne Gavigan. The time away from Fields and Gray makes me sad, but at the same time, I’m so proud of this company and I love being able to jump on a plane and keep building MG the best way I can.
- What’s your proudest mom moment so far? My proudest moment has been giving birth and raising Fields while building Mignonne Gavigan from the ground-up and balancing my Type 1 Diabetes health diagnosis. I feel overwhelmingly proud, thankful, and humbled by the entire experience of being an entrepreneur, a wife and a mom.
- What’s your biggest ‘mom fail’ moment? Oh man, this is a difficult one… Each day I feel like I’ve failed in one way or another. What’s at the top of mind currently is the ongoing dynamic of trying to secure childcare as a working mom. Our nanny quit on the spot several weeks ago for personal reasons, and juggling the immediate childcare need with everything else (like me traveling to five cities in three weeks during that time) was nothing short of complete chaos. We thankfully found an amazing temporary caregiver who is now with us full-time. We interviewed what felt like 100 candidates and in the midst of this daunting task, I felt like I was failing the little guy, not paying enough attention to my work, OR my husband. Luckily we are on the other side of it now, but I’m sure some other new challenge will reveal itself in the next few days!
- What kind of role model do you want to be for your child? My mom is the biggest inspiration and role model in my life. She continues to inspire me every single day and has always been my biggest supporter, so I hope to emulate this with Fields.
- How do you manage to juggle your career and your family? My husband and I make a continued effort to plan date nights or family dates. I’m lucky too that my brother and his fiancé live in NYC, so early Saturday dinners in our neighborhood are something I look forward to. We’ve also expanded our team at Mignonne Gavigan a lot this year, which has helped me to reprioritize some of my responsibilities and helps me feel pulled in a few less directions. It really helps to invest in brilliant team members whom you trust!
MIGNONNE’S BABY ESSENTIALS
“Ease is a huge factor when choosing kids products. Here are my Top 5 must-haves…”
- Bubagoo Ant: I travel a lot so having a light weight, compact stroller really helps us get going!
- Cybex Sirona M with SensorSafe2: A high-quality, safe car seat that was tonal was something I looked long and hard for – this one is awesome.
- Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib: An ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE for the mom on the go, this travel crib is super lightweight and so easy to open and close.
- Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair: Functional, chic and a cool aesthetic – LOVE!
- Medela Symphony Breast Pump: When pumping, it’s important to have a pump you can rely on….this one is the best.