momBOSS Interview: Rosena Sammi Jewelry Designer, Who’s Sari Now Founder

There’s plenty of negativity in the world, which is dramatized ten-fold by our media. But, I’m often struck by the immense selflessness and global consciousness I encounter from the fabulous females in my life. As a member of the media I want to shed more light on the goodness in this world, especially if it’s a kick-ass, do-gooder mom like Rosena Sammi. See how this lawyer-turned-jewelry-designer is making sure we dazzle in her accessories, paying-it-forward via her charity collaborations, all while being a momBOSS to two adorable girls.

Rosena Sammi

Rosena Sammi. Photo Credit: Allaire Bartel

Pamela Pekerman: What gave you the courage to leave your profession as a lawyer and launch a jewelry business?
Rosena Sammi: I wish I knew, I would employ that courage and confidence more often! But, I think it had something to do with being in New York. This city makes you feel like anything is possible.

Pamela:  At what point did you feel fully confident in your decision to go into jewelry?
Rosena: I don’t think I ever felt 100% fully confident because it’s a journey, and each season presents you with new challenges. Having said that, after having children I truly appreciated the benefits of being my own boss and the flexibility that comes with that. I’ve been able to enjoy motherhood a lot more because of it.

Whos Sari Now Rosena Sammi

Head over to my Instagram page to see how I style these Rosena Sammi bangles, made from upcycled saris. #WhosSariNow

 

Pamela: At what point into your business did you become a mom?
Rosena: I became a mom about four years into the business. It drastically changed my ability to escape to India and spend months creating a collection, but it improved my efficiency tremendously.Rosena Sammi Chail RingRosena Sammi necklace

Pamela: What tips do you recommend for the mom who’s trying to find her passion and live her true path?
Rosena: Don’t be afraid of what other people think. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and take risks.

Pamela: How has motherhood changed your perspective on work?
Rosena: My perspective on what’s important in life became a great deal clearer, literally overnight. I find I don’t sweat the small stuff and I’m able to focus on things that matter.

Pamela: What does a typical morning look like for you?
Rosena: I’m early to rise, which helps because the morning is when I speak with India and deal with the production side of my business. Some days I’m able to fit in a quick workout before my girls are up at 6:30am, and our morning routine begins. It’s a lot of girl talk over the breakfast table and then off to school and pre-school. After that, I head to the office to see what the day holds. I’m fortunate enough to have an office in the city and a home office in Westchester, so I do my best to split my week between the two so I get the best of both worlds. I’m busy running my business, but I am also able to be the “Class Mom” for my daughter’s Kindergarten class.

rosena_sammi_family

Pamela: Class Mom and Mom Boss, talk about a real #mamager! What tools/services/people help you manage it all?
Rosena: My husband, despite his very busy work and travel schedule, is definitely a true partner in the home so he deserves my first shout out. Secondly, I couldn’t live without services like Fresh Direct and Amazon (not to mention Net a Porter!). And, it does take a village, so after school help, house keeping and my team (in office and virtual) are all important.

Pamela: You are very passionate about philanthropy, particularly the plight of women around the world. How has motherhood impacted your philanthropy choices?
Rosena: Motherhood and especially having two daughters encouraged my focus on the inequity in the world for women. The fact that in so many cultures we are second-class citizens is disheartening, and I’m trying to do something about that in my small way.

Rosena Sammi family

Pamela: How did you come up with the concept for Who’s Sari Now?
Rosena: I wanted to design something that was more “green” than my typical collection. After much research and experimentation, I hit upon using upcycled sari fabrics and the result is Who’s Sari Now?. I was also looking to give back to the community, after years in the business I realized that helping people was more important to me than jumping on the next trend. I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of Apne Aap, Ruchira Gupta. Her organization rescues women and children from sex trafficking in India, and provides them with a job and education. It was the perfect match. 20-25% of proceeds from sales goes towards educating these young children, and I employ many of the women in making the collection. Changing lives in this way has been so rewarding.

Olivia Wilde Rosena Sammi

Actress Olivia Wilde wearing Rosena Sammi, Who’s Sari Now bangles

Pamela: Leading by example, especially as a mom, is key. How do you teach your children the value of good will, and helping those in need?
Rosena: They love to learn and help me with Who’s Sari Now?. The tags feature a little Indian girl from Apne Aap, so it feels very close to home. We made mini-tote bags for a multi cultural festival at my eldest daughter’s elementary school and they helped me give them out.

Pamela: What has been your biggest professional success, thus far?
Rosena: The firsts always feel good. When my jewelry was first in Vogue, when I created an exclusive collection for Neiman Marcus, those are things I will always remember.

Rosena Sammi Necklace Ribbon Nilgiri Whos Sari Now

Rosena Sammi Necklace Ribbon Nilgiri from the Whos Sari Now charity collection

Pamela: What’s next for Rosena Sammi?
Rosena: More exploration of enterprise development with women’s collectives. It definitely feels good to do good.

Pamela: How do you find time for YOU in your busy life aka Meaningful Me Moments?
Rosena: It’s a constant challenge, but I’ve gotten better at it! I take a weekly French class at Alliance Francais, this is one thing that allows me quite literally to escape to a different world.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are your top makeup/skin products?
Rosena: UltraLuxe MoisturiserGuerlain Terracotta Bronzing PowderBobbi Brown Luxe Lip in Retro Red

Currently reading In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Currently drinking Hendricks and Tonic with a cucumber garnish

I hope my kids think mom is a good role model.

Motherhood is a challenge, but with the very best rewards.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was that I am capable of achieving anything if I work really hard.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *