Meet Cocoanista Jacqueline Jacek & Jewelry Designer Cara Cotter

This special Mother’s Day Collection is dedicated to all the precious women in our lives. Edmonton’s talented jewelry designer and mom, Cara Cotter from So Pretty Cara Cotter  and our very own Cocoanista and mom, Jacqueline Jacek, have teamed up to treat ‘Moms of Gold’ across Canada.

 

Being a mom, what brings you the most joy?

Jacqueline: Oh gosh- there’s so much. Seeing him smile, some of the mature phrases/words that he uses (my fav remains him aptly telling his Daycare Teacher when he was three years old that “my mom makes chocolate… and my dad makes money”), spending time working on a project with him, his breath when he sleeps, playing ball hockey as a family, seeing him learn new things.

Cara: Being so busy I love the little and slow moments, reading at night when we get to cuddle or cooking/baking together and getting to talk about what’s going on in their heads. I also love watching them work really hard for something to achieve their goals (aka hockey).  When their eyes light up, they celebrate and have the hugest smile on their face there is nothing like it!

 

As an entrepreneur, what lessons are you hoping your son(s) will learn from you taking a more unconventional route?

Jacqueline: Work hard and don’t give up. Being able to pursue a dream is a privilege, and you don’t give up on it.

Cara: I want them to know that following their dreams is a given but they must work hard and put their heart and soul into it. If they do what they love “most” days don’t feel like work at all and life doesn’t get better than that!

 

Were there any surprises in having children that you didn’t expect?

Jacqueline: Although I am the parent, I didn’t expect that my son would teach me so much about myself. He has taught me to slow-down, to make time to play, and to be creative (pizzas don’t have to be round).

Cara: Honestly I’m surprised by how much I love the routine of it all. My kids thrive on a schedule and although ours is a busy one I love our family rituals. Early mornings at the rink, Sunday dinners when Ryan and I get to cook together, the local restaurants we go to over and over again, the same birthdays cakes, our go to vacation spots, holiday traditions and bedtime cuddles. After 13 years of marriage and two boys (ages 9 & 10) this rhythm makes me smile and my heart sing.

 

Do you have any strategies to try and attain a balance with running a business and being a mom?

Jacqueline: I think I gained a lot of clarity on this front when I made the conscious decision to get childcare (dayhome) when Oliver was young. For the first year, I thought I could run a business and be a mom every minute of every day, and turns out that I wasn’t able to do either well with this model. Now when I am home, I am far more present (or try to be!), and when I am at work I can focus better on the job at hand.

Cara: I’ve had to really prioritize and learn to say no. This year has been especially crazy as the company has grown so much so I’ve decided to I focus on three professional and three personal goals and make sure my choices align with those. I say no way more often then yes these days. It’s the only way I ca stay focused and do what needs to be done.

 

If you could plan a family vacation anywhere in the world for 2 weeks (unlimited budget of course), what would you do?

Jacqueline: I would rent a home in Tuscany and hire a private chef for the two weeks that would both cook and teach us. He/she would take us to buy the produce from the market and go meet the farmers. Of course, we would have to visit the vineyards as well, enjoy some beach time and do daytrips to the various towns.

Cara: We all want to go to Italy. We are a huge foodie family and plan our trips based mostly on the best food spots. Add in coffee, wine, beautiful coast lines and it’s at the top of our list!

 

What inspires you as a mom and/or a business owner?

Jacqueline: I am so easily inspired, but I’ll choose a couple! I am so inspired by my son’s curiosity. Curiosity is such a gift, and he constantly reminds me about the benefits of asking questions to learn new things, or to better understand a situation. More so now than ever, I am very inspired by the people around me who have challenged themselves to be better, and those that have overcome adversity. It’s easy to be strong when things are good, but I marvel at the people that exude strength and positivity in trying times. I am practicing to be more like them.

Cara: As a mom my kids love for something really inspires me. When they are passionate about a book or learning something new and won’t stop because they love it so much it inspires me to do the same. When they love something it makes me feel like they will find passion for something as an adult and will find joy too. Business wise inspiration is everywhere for me. In fact I have a hard time focusing sometimes when I spot something I love. I’m always snapping photos or jotting down notes. But what really gets me inspired is when I see something super classic that I can manipulate to create a new and exciting piece.

 

If you had a super-power, what would it be?

Jacqueline: To be in 15 places at once.

Cara: It’s selfish but I’d love to be able to teleport our family to different hockey rinks. It would save us a lot of time on the road and since I have two boys I wouldn’t have to miss so many games. Also could the groceries always be stocked too please!

 

If you could choose one super power for your child, what would it be?

Jacqueline: Time travel, so that he could satisfy his curiosity.

Cara: One of the hardest things as a parent is to see your kids little hearts get broken so somehow I’d create a shield around them so they would be oblivious to those moments.