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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Moisturiser, Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder, Bobbi 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.