Let's Celebrate

Lessons from My Mom...

How to care for others. Be fearless in love. Kitchens are for dancing! When you think about all the big and little lessons the mother figures in our lives have passed down to us, they've played a huge part in shaping who we are today, what we stand for, and paved the way for the things we'll pass onto our future generations. As a tribute to all moms this Mother's Day, we asked a few Papier pals to share the gems of knowledge, wisdom and inspiration they've learnt from their wonderful moms.


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Amanda Randone, Writer & contributor to Teen Vogue, R29 & more

The biggest lessons you've learnt from your mom?
My mom is incredibly tough, so she’s definitely set an example of what it means to be resilient. She’s taught me to tackle issues head on, without fear, and without feeling bad for myself. I have so much to be grateful for, and I've learned to let this awareness guide me in overcoming any obstacle life throws in my path.

The best little life hack your mom has passed onto you?
The term “best friend” should be earned, not overused.


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Elizabeth Taufield, Senior Fashion Editor at Moda Operandi

Biggest lessons you've learnt...
My mom planned events for over 30 years and taught me that precision and direct answers save you a lot of time and energy (both at work and in your personal life). Though it may feel uncomfortable at first, it’s much better off in the long run.

She’s also taught me that everyone's feelings are valid. Even if you don’t know the root cause of something, try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and be a good listener. You never know what’s happening behind closed doors.

The best little life hack...
Always write a handwritten thank you note! Ideally, immediately. When it comes to writing emails and letters, veer on the side of formal with proper grammar and full sentences – warmth can still come through! “Don’t press send on anything you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of The New York Times,” she loves to say. And, lastly, it will never hurt you to read over something one more time to avoid errors. I have to admit, I’ve adapted a bit more of a casual approach but her ‘isms’ never seem to stop ringing in the back of my head.


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Danielle Kroll, Brooklyn based artist & Papier designer

Biggest lessons you've learnt...
Through my Grandma Mary I learned how to be at peace with the adversities that life brings. She taught herself how to sew after she became a widow at 65 and would spend her days making beautiful pillows for family and dresses for my dolls. When her arthritis progressed and she started to lose her vision due to a botched cataract surgery, she couldn't sew anymore but never complained about it and remained a joy to be around. She would then spend her time sitting in a rocker on the porch, listening to audiobooks, and praying the rosary.

The best little life hack...
My mom taught me not to waste anything, which is especially pertinent now. She always makes sure to squeeze every last drop from her shampoo, face wash, salad dressing, etc. by storing them upside down. And just when you think that bottle is empty, cut it open and scoop out what's left into a travel sized container.


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Talia Abbas, writer & editor at Glamour

Biggest lessons you've learnt...
My mom taught me how to respect others, to believe in myself, and to always follow my heart – whether it's work or love. I'll always be grateful for this.

The best little life hack...
She has yet to share her tiramisu recipe with me (Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m waiting!) but until that day comes, I’d say one of the best tips she passed down to me is to never leave the house without a little lipstick and a red manicure!


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James Vela, founder of jewellery brand VELA NYC

Biggest lessons you've learnt...
Growing up, my mother was a stickler for manners. From common courtesy to behavior habits, I knew exactly what was expected from me. It has shaped the person I am today, which I am so grateful for.

The best little life hack...
My mother taught me how to sew at a very young age, so trips to the tailor for quick fixes were never necessary. I spent a lot of time hemming my own jeans, reattaching buttons, reworking vintage and eventually, started sewing my own clothes. What began as a simple life hack and skill, led to one of my favorite hobbies!


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Nina Nash Long, Interior designer

Biggest lessons you've learnt...
My mother is strong, amazing and beautiful and I’m truly so lucky to have her. She has just taught me so much but one of the things that stands out is her selflessness – she is a giver. It makes her happy to see others happy and she does so much for others, whether it’s just a little something thoughtful or a favorite food, she’s also a very talented cook. Every time I come over, she has a little surprise for me, I just think that’s the sweetest. And she loves to feed people so I have learned that no one should leave my house hungry!

The best little life hack...
We are Italian and grew up with a large, close family. Holidays and life celebrations were always very big and important for us. Since I was a child and since she was a child, these special occasions meant so much to us and are part of who we are, so we continue the traditional foods and gatherings that have been passed down. Those special times are something I will treasure and will carry on for future generations to come.


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Austin Mill, Design publicist

Biggest lessons you've learnt...
My mother, without fail, always taught, and still teaches me to see the best in people and to never judge a book by its cover. Growing up she would always remind me to tolerate people and to love them for who they are, no matter their background or appearance. It was this sense of tolerance and grace that really instilled in me a valuable life lesson. Another lesson is her ability to always be positive and to look at the bright side of things. This was in some ways her way of teaching me about gratitude – always being grateful for the things you have and to never take life for granted. As a child, and even today, she is always upbeat and genuinely cheerful, and that's something I try exhibiting in my own life. Finally, a practical life lesson I've definitely gained from my mom is a sense of planning. She lives by an organized calendar and an organized, well-planned day! In running my own business, being organized is key, and I take this from my mom who was the master planner of our lives growing up!

The best little life hack...
Desserts are my mother's forte. She definitely passed on to me a sweet tooth, and even more importantly the ability to whip up a dessert in no time at all. I remember miraculously, as if out of nowhere, chocolate oatmeal fudgies, pecan tarts, or lemon love notes would appear instantly, just in time for an evening movie or a weekend party. To this day, I make some of the same desserts she used to and know how to whip them up in no time at all. A very valuable life hack for when sweet cravings hit!


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