This Mother’s Day we honor, pay homage, and send love to our mothers and motherly figures in our lives who have stood by us, supported us, and taught us to be the strong people we are today. These are the stories, remembrances, and gratitude we have for the motherly figures of the Juniper community…
A TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER:
LAI KUEN TAM AND MEI CHUN LEUNG
My grandparents, along with my mother, came to America in 1981. With very little grasp of the English language, they did their best to adapt and make a new life for themselves in a foreign country. My grandfather found work as a cook in a Chinese restaurant and my grandmother worked in a garment factory. My mother, who was 17 at the time, enrolled in design school and learned pattern making while working odd jobs.
A year after my mother had me, she decided to start her own company. It started small, she rented a studio around the corner from where we lived in Brooklyn and I remember, as a child, sitting on the studio floor while she was working.
Eventually, her business grew, and she moved her business to the garment district in NYC. As my mother’s business flourished and her workload increased, my grandmother stepped in to help raise me and my sisters.
Growing up, my parents spoke to us primarily in English, with the hopes that we assimilate in school. However, with my grandmother, we spoke in Cantonese. My grandmother would always take us with her to the Chinese supermarket to go food shopping and I would always sit in the kitchen to watch her cook traditional Chinese dishes while we talked about how our day went.
credit: Erik Van Derveer
Shop Yarrow's Mother's Day sale here
As I got older, entering the workforce, my relationship with my mother changed. I’d seek her out for advice, from career choices to business, to dating life. In between all those conversations, we built a relationship and I got reacquainted with my mother. I met a woman who is strong and vulnerable, a woman who has gone through life with regrets but is determined to move forward for the betterment of her family and her daughters. The older I’ve gotten, the closer my relationship with my mother has grown, and the more I’ve realized how similar we are. Despite those similarities, I am still in awe of her, of all the things she was able to accomplish in her life, as an Asian-American woman in the United States of America.
For me, Mother’s Day is about celebrating the mother figures in my life who have shaped me into the person I am today. I am thankful for my grandmother who showed me my past and for my mother who helped guide me into my future.
by Molly Dye
In high school, my mother taught me to sew. Forty years later it proved to be a skill that would shape my business! My mother has now been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and I created CareZips® to help her and others maintain their dignity. As the Founder of CareZips®, I realized that something could be done to redesign how pants function to accommodate briefs. I took out my more than 35-year-old sewing machine and went to work on the problem. Determined to find a solution, I asked anyone who had experience with sewing, fabric, and stitches if they had opinions on how to improve pants.
After three years and hours of work, I had a patented pattern ready for mass production. CareZips®—the pants—are a creation born from the need to maintain dignity and function for adults with incontinence.
The CareZips® legacy is for my mother. Due to her, they were founded!
by BE Alink
My mum passed away on the 16th of April 2020. A year ago we took our last trip together. She wanted to get on a plane and go home. She was sick and was about to pass. She was so happy to be in charge, to decide to go home and to be together the last months that I cared for her in her home in the Netherlands. We were so lucky to be together, with my brothers and my sister-in-law, doing this, all on her terms... It was her journey, and we took it together. So many times this past year I thought, 'Oh I’ll call Tonneke and tell her... Oh no, I cannot do that anymore...' Still adjusting, yet feeling peaceful...
Thanks to a comment that my mum once made, I invented and developed the Alinker. My mum also taught us to speak up against injustice and it made her prouder than anything, that people used their Alinkers to go out and express their voices, speak up against racism, and inequality.
by Alexis Kashar
My mother is the greatest inspiration a daughter could have. She taught me that no dream is ever out of reach. Being deaf herself, she grew up in a time when Sign language was not encouraged. As such, she did not have the opportunity to learn to Sign until her late teens. Despite this early language deprivation, she went on to become one of the first deaf female pioneers in the assistive technology space. She and my father co-founded a manufacturing business, creating notification products to make Deaf and Hard of Hearing people’s lives easier.
As part of this process, she and my father traveled to Asia often to work with their teams there. When I accompanied her on a few trips I was blown away by the relationships she had developed over the years. We walked down the halls of the world’s largest electronics show and people would step out of their booths greeting my mother like an old friend. She showed me the way not only in this space but also in how international relationships work. All the civil rights work I had done as a lawyer paled in comparison to what my mother had achieved.
by Jenny Gallienne and John Cook
Each day we are guided in our vision and mission by our mothers, Daphne and Wilma of blessed memory. Through their example they have taught us the true meaning of life and why we are here, to give back, and to help others. We designed our company logo with our mothers in mind. The hummingbird represents an ancient symbol of joy and happiness, two qualities our mothers both shared. Its colourful appearance brings good luck and positive energy to our lives. Daphne and Wilma of blessed memory are always with us, guiding us, and are represented by our DW Hummingbird Wings.
We would like to thank our mothers for their wise words, their wisdom, their love, and their support. Our mothers Daphne and Wilma will always remain our source of joy, inspiration, pride, and our light that guides us every day.
From Koolway Sports
by Resphi Chen
As an only child, I had always asked my mom to play with me when I was a kid and she always did even after a long day of work. When I grew older, she has become my best friend who always patiently and attentively listens to the ups and downs of my life and guides me to look at the brighter side of life.
She is not only a loving mom but also a caring daughter-in-law. She took care of my grandmom who had early/mid-stage Alzheimer's while going to work at the same time. She shows me the dedication and unconditional love she gave to her family. She is my role model! Happy Mother's Day to Hsiu-Yeh Yu, my supermom.
by Annie Lai
My mother has always put her children before herself. Her empathy and selflessness are something I can only aspire to achieve. Whether it was staying up late with me when I was studying or caring for me when I was not feeling well, she has always been by my side.
“A mother is your first friend, your best friend, and your forever friend.”
by Helya Mohammadian
I want to take this opportunity to celebrate my incredible mother and all the mother figures for Mother’s Day. Her strength and passion are what inspired me to keep going when times got tough, in both my personal and professional life. Being a daughter of an immigrant parent, I saw the sacrifices my mother made to give me a promising future. My mom is brave, resilient, and she represents the person I will always aspire to be.
From Slick Chicks
by Tracy Vollbrecht
I owe my fiercely independent nature to my mom. From accepting that I was going to pick out my outfits at the young age of three to teaching me how to manage my money so I can afford the experiences I want to have, my mom has always been a supportive role model to my sister and me. Encouraging us (and sometimes forcing us) to become individual, self-reliant women. Without my mom, I would not be the world-traveling, fashion-designing, ice cream connoisseur-ing, independent woman I am today.
by Nancy Connor
My mother’s name is Rose Marie, but most people called her Rose. My mother passed away in 2003, but her lovely spirit is around me all the time. My mother was funny without trying to be; she was also a fabulous cook and I still make her chicken salad recipe. Lessons my mother taught me: Be kind, you can do anything, sing when you are stressed, help others, do your best, and have fun. Our solid color blouses are named “The Rose” in her honor.
by Mara Perlmutter
My beautiful fashionista mom, Sally, was “my person.” She loved and believed in me personally and professionally, and was the biggest influence in my life. So when her health began to decline and her mobility became limited, I wanted to do everything to support her. I have dedicated the last four years to fulfilling my mom's request, and with the support of valued partners, I launched the first Trelawear Bluetooth collection of beautifully designed personal emergency alert pendants in February. As a tribute, I named the cushion shape pendant “Sally” after my mom and the round-shaped pendant “Bella” after my favorite aunt. Though my mom and aunt are no longer alive, their legacies fuel my passion to bring Trelawear to life and offer a beautiful, discreet solution to all who want safety with style.