I'm a Weather Anchor in New York City trying to balance career and motherhood (and everything in between). I write about my adventures with Princess, my job, and getting off the creamy crack . Please check back in to check out cool pics and interviews with other "Rockin' Mamas!"
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Dana's Jewelry Box (Giveaway)
I get inspired when I meet other women like myself who aren't afraid to pursue their dreams, while taking care of their little ones. Why can't we have our cake and eat it too? Some may say it's impossible to do it all. But, I beg to differ. While I do agree that sacrifices are a must, there's no reason why women can't be successful career moms. It's all about finding a balance. Dana Arthur of Dana's Jewelry Box, has managed to do just that.
Dana Arthur has always been an artist at heart, and has explored many mediums and enjoyed them all. She began making jewelry over 20 years ago. Her pieces have garnered attention from main street to Hollywood. Celebrities like Oprah and Vivica A. Fox have rocked her designs. I had the pleasure of chatting with Ms. Arthur about career, motherhood, and life lessons.
There’s no manual to being mom. You became a mother at a young age. How were you able to jump into that role? I had to grow up fast. Being a quiet and shy girl also made the transition easy for me. I was able to rise to the occasion with no problem.I just finished high school, and was determined to go to college. I also worked part time, and my daughter’s father attended medical school. I would get up early and drop her off at the babysitter. I lived in the Bronx and took public transportation. So, going up and down the subway stairs with a baby in one hand and a stroller in another became a part of my daily routine.
What kind of support did you have at the time?
Due to the demands of med-school, I had to do most of the heavy lifting when it came to looking after our child. I was pretty much taking care of her alone. My mom was also there to provide moral support.
What was some of the biggest challenges you faced as a mom?
Continuing my education was a huge challenge. I was a theatre major, and was looking forward to going out on acting auditions. I even got an audition for Juilliard and past the first screening. But, I ended up not going through with the second part of the process because I couldn’t afford it at the time. I decided to go to CCNY (City College of NY) and continued my theater studies there. But, I ultimately had to drop out after two years because I had to work to support my child. It was so hard being a full time student. I ended up taking classes whenever I could fit them in.
I became a founding member of a theatre group with a local playwright called, Loaves and Fishes, which means feeding the masses. The group allowed be to keep my creative juices flowing.
Your little girl is all grown up and you’re now a grandma. What were some important life lessons you've passed on to your daughter that prepared her for motherhood?
One of the first things I taught my daughter was not to get caught up in the superficial. As a child, my daughter was a natural performer. She was the kind of kid who would sing a song at the drop of a hat. The world was her stage. So, taking her on auditions was a natural progression. Despite her success at booking gigs, I decided to take her out of the biz because I grew concerned of the environment. It just wasn't conducive to the way I wanted to raise her, so I stopped taking her out on auditions.
I wanted to teach her the importance of education. I would always say to her “When you graduate college.” I never gave her an option, and decided early on that she would finish college.
I also wanted to expose her to culture. Even though she was no longer immersed in theatre, I wanted to expose her to dance and art as well. She continues to pass along these important lessons to her daughter as well.
In addition to being a great mom and grandma, you’re also a talented jewelry designer. I’ve had the privilege of rockin’ some of your fabulous pieces over the years. Describe your line and also the inspiration behind it.
My jewelry is very personal. I feel passionate about my work. My inspiration comes from nature and flowers. For example, I saw a peacock the other day. I was fascinated by its bright colors. I appreciate the beauty in everything around us, and want to display that in my pieces. I also love African, and East Indian art. But, most of my inspiration comes from nature.
You've also designed jewelry for some celebs. How were you able to accomplish that? When I first launched my jewelry line as a business, I was not able to afford a PR firm to promote my line, so I decided to choose the women I admired and figured out how to contact them. I wrote a heartfelt letter to Oprah and told her what an inspiration she was to me and women in general. I designed a special pair of earrings made with beautiful yellow jade sterling silver and sent them to her. She actually sent me a personal thank you letter!
A close friend of mine was interviewing actress Vivica A. Fox for her web magazine, and gave her a pair of my earrings which she loved. I feel very fortunate to have had these opportunities.
We've chatted about career, motherhood, and important lessons. Now let's talk hair! Ever since we first met seven years ago, you've been sporting natural curls. I’m now in the process of going natural. Do you mind sharing your hair care regimen? Also, what advice do you have for others like myself who decide to ditch the relaxer?
My hair is a total 180 from a relaxer. Water has become my best friend. I condition everyday and half rinse the product out in order to keep it soft. I use denman brush to minimize breakage. Once your hair is natural, my biggest advice is to not comb while your hair is dry. That would mess up the curl definition, and could lead to breakage. As you’re transitioning, make sure you trim your ends every couple months to avoid the big chop.
What would you like moms to take away from this interview? I want them to know that you CAN make a way out of no way. You can be a rockin' mama, and nurture, and follow your dreams as well. Sometimes you just have to put it on a shelf for a while and go back to it when the time is right. To prove that point- I am proud to say that my daughter Lynnette just completed her masters in education while working, and being a rockin' mama as well.
Ms. Arthur has graciously agreed to sponsor a giveaway. These beautiful earrings -normally priced at $65- from her collection are up for grabs. Enter below for chance of scoring them. You can also get 20% off any item from Dana's Jewelry Box by entering code: WAM001 (valid until May 15, 2012).
Sterling silver with iolite & blue topaz gemstones