Monday Mother is back! We are doing it a little differently. I’ve collared some super inspiring mothers to share their stuff with you, without being tied to one particular topic.
Today, it’s Clio Sigismondi, Partner at Black & Sigi Jewellery
Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.
The idea of going back to London to work after my first child was born, was something that made me sick to my stomach. My mother had been at home when I was growing up and it was great to have her there, and is something that I will always cherish. So it was something that I definitely wanted to do for my own children.
This is when it really gave myself and my sister the push to develop our business of jewellery. Although I wanted to be at home with my child, I have got to be honest, I couldn’t do it all day, every day. I needed something that I could separate from my duties as a mother, both for my sanity and for my identity as a person.
The hardest part of it all is how to manage the different roles throughout the day and trying not to mix them up. I may be at home with the children, and my brain in is overdrive as I know I need to make orders, send emails or take photos. It takes a massive amount of will power not to take away the childrens time only because the computer is at arms reach. It is why I have my set working hours that I try to stick to. It allows the time I have whilst wearing the different hats to be of quality to each role.
What kind of work did you do before having children?
I lived in Genova, Italy straight from uni and was lured into the glamour of shipping….Glamorous shipping??? I know, I was deluded, but at the time it was quite a big industry in Genova, it was my first job out of uni and the people who I knew working in the industry seemed somewhat grown up. In retrospect it was far from the sophisticated image I had painted in my mind !! But at the time I had a business degree and spoke English so fell into fairly easily, plus I made some really good friends from it, so I’m not complaining!
Through out my 20’s I then worked in shipping both in Italy and London, until I realised that actually what I really wanted to do is have my own business being creative.
How did you get into your current work?
Black & Sigi was born from a ring that my sister had made when she was 16. I had come back from Italy for a family visit and brought back a ring that I had purchased at a fabulous little shop that I found in the ‘centro storico’ of Genova. I thought it was completely unique and was raving about it and when I came home the ring she had made was using the same wire and beading technique, but 100 times better! That was it, I had a bee in my bonnet about setting up a biz since then!
It took us 10 years to actually do something about it, and when the time was right for both of us we went for it. We took a loan out to start up the business, and here we are.
What drives you?
I am a very ambitious person by character. I set mental goals that I want to achieve that year, and make sure that I tick off 80% of them by the end of that year! It is probably one of my negatives as well as one of my positives, as I start getting anxious if things haven’t been ticked off the list. At the same time though, it also makes me achieve so the ‘working under pressure’ scenario is something that motivates me for sure.
The list obsession is not solely a work thing, it extends out to life and children on a daily basis. It keeps me focused and organised in my busy chaotic life. Plus isn’t it satisfying when you scrub off something off that list!
If the list has achieved a smile, a job or a happier way of life, then I have done something right.
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?
It’s a hard job being a mother, a business owner and managing a house, but you make it work. Sure, its hectic and you are constantly trying to juggle childcare, customer meetings and cooking dinner but in the end you have to go with it. The lists help keep the focus, but at the same time you have to be prepared to go with the flow and if the washing up hasn’t been done that day, then so be it. Prioritising what’s important is the way forward.
What are you most proud of?
This is a hard question, because there are lots of things I am proud of in my life. It starts from creating 2 little people and helping them shape their own small world to be good people, to creating a business that is flourishing and growing from strength to strength.
Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?
We have lots of plans for BAS this year, new ranges, new collections and the hope to get our collections sold in fabulous boutiques in Europe! What do people think of a BAS home accessories?
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?
Don’t compare yourself to other mums! Everyone is different and there will be people who will find it easier than others, or there will be children who will develop quicker than yours. Take each day as it comes and always ask for help if you need to. You are not alone and no one will think of you as a failure if you do reach out, in fact its imperative that you get help for your own sanity!
Self care- what do you do to fill your cup?
The person you were before being ‘Mummy’ is still there, you just have less time to dedicate than you once did. I therefore, always try and go out with friends or have a date night with hubby at least once a month to re coupe and enjoy myself. It can get lonely as a mother so regular nights out can bring you back to life!
You can find Clio and her gorgeous work at
Do It Like A Mother supports women via hypnobirthing, postnatal support, and mama merch that does good work. Our core values are HONESTY, EMPOWERMENT, COMMUNITY. Our courses take place in Southend and Upminster, Essex. Our merch makes its way all over the UK.
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