Elizabeth Street Meets Jewelry Designer Jennifer Fisher
We sat down with one of New York’s coolest and most creative moms to talk about kids, insane schedules, and how a beautiful necklace can really make everything feel better
When Jennifer Fisher gave birth to her son Shane seven years ago, she wanted a special piece of jewelry to commemorate the occasion. But to the former Hollywood costume designer and stylist (she dressed the stars on several Aaron Spelling shows), an ordinary pendant was not going to do. “When I had Shane, I couldn’t find a piece of jewelry that represented him appropriately. I felt everything was sort of flimsy or wasn’t edgy enough. I wanted something that felt special but had heirloom quality to it or felt higher end but still had a homemade touch—I didn’t want it to be so commercial,” says Fisher. So she sourced and made her first dog tag stamped with Shane’s name on it and that’s when Jennifer Fisher Jewelry was born.
What pieces from your collection do you wear every day?
I wear my charm necklace every day. On the necklace I have the first tags I ever made for Shane (her 7-year-old son) and Drew (her 5-year-old daughter). I always wear a black Tahitian pearl, a skull, and tags that say Patience and My Family. My necklace always makes me feel done. For rings, I always wear my wedding band, the cigar band, a skull ring and my finger bracelet. The wrist changes because it can be trendier. I wear a chain link with black diamonds every day. I also wear a couple of skinny pinky rings.
What’s your advice for moms looking to cultivate a jewelry collection?
I would start with something that you can wear on a daily basis—like a necklace that is either of a length that you don’t ever have to take off and something you can work out in, or a piece that’s really easy to take off so you don’t have to mess with a clasp. You also have to be sure to choose a length that’s not going to get caught in the stroller. It also has to be something that makes you feel special. When you’re a mom, there are some days you don’t feel so glamorous and you just want something to make you feel prettier and more dressed up. Jewelry makes you feel good! If I can do that for one mom each day then I’ve done my job and I feel really happy as a designer.
Do your kids wear your jewelry?
Drew has an extra small gothic “D”. Shane has a silver shark tooth on a leather cord from my Fawn collection, which I created for Bar and Bat Mitzvah gifts and kids. It’s fun and affordable—we do colored cords with those.
How do you manage to still have great fashion moments while juggling mommyhood?
I have to think about what I’m going to wear the night before. Otherwise it’s impossible—mornings are crazy! And the last thing I’m worried about is what I’m going to wear that day. This morning, one kid wanted waffles and the other wanted eggs, and I’m being pulled in a million different directions. I leave a lot of shoes and extra clothes here at the office—just in case.
How do you balance work and motherhood?
As a mom, you never have any time for yourself. It’s the best and hardest thing in the world because you always feel like you’re giving something up. You have to make sure you prioritize—time goes so fast. I try to take half days on Fridays. I’m with the kids every morning. I have no one living with me so it’s just us and we do breakfast and then I take them to school. I made a choice to bring these children into this world and I’m not going to have my nanny raise them. I make sure to be home by 8:00 so I see them before they go to sleep. Or I go home and cook dinner for them and then I go out. You have to make peace with your decision and if it doesn’t work then you change it.
What’s the best parenting advice you’ve heard?
My mother-in-law had the best piece of advice: “If they’re quiet, leave them alone.” I also subscribe to the advice “pick your battles,” especially now that my son is seven. I’m the disciplinarian in my house—I’m the tough one. I make the kids say: “excuse me” instead of “what” and “yes” instead of “yeah.” It doesn’t always work but I’ve tried. And when I’m not around, I make sure whoever is watching the kids does it too. I also think kids are who they are and you have to realize your kids’ personalities and don’t try and make them into something they’re not. —Melissa Schweiger
Photos by: Matt Borkowski