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AT HOME WITH... JODIE SNYDER MOREL & MARGAUX

As one half of the sister-run accessories brand DannijoJodie Snyder Morel went from new-to-New York college-graduate and fashion assistant to powerhouse entrepreneur and mother of two in the span of 10 years. Working side-by-side with her sister and best friend, Danielle, the duo, who used to make jewelry for fun as kids and sell to local Florida boutiques, has made their childhood dream into a full-fledged business with a loyal following (including Beyonce). After marrying the love of her life, the decision to start trying to have a baby was easy; the reality of balancing being and an entrepreneur is a daily lesson in letting go. Life with two little ones (Jodie welcomed her baby boy Liev three weeks after our shoot) may be an intricate juggling act, but it’s the role that has defined and changed her most. As the brand new mama of two explains, “My whole life changed in an instant when I gave birth to Margaux and all my priorities shifted. The moment I became a mother, I experienced an intense love and purpose like never before.”



“My mom loves this quote from the Dalai Lama and it really sums up how I want to raise my children”: ‘Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.’

On Jodie: LoveShackFancy skirt, Dannijo jewelry

Spoke Woven custom dreamcatcher


“I always wanted to be a mother but had no expectations. It’s hard to prepare yourself for motherhood. It’s the most incredible experience. My whole life changed in an instant and all of my priorities shifted—all of a sudden this little person became my world and all I want to do is love and protect her. The moment I became a mother, I experienced an intense love and purpose like never before. It’s the most magical experience and gets better and more rewarding every day.”

On Jodie: Vintage dress, Dannijo jewelry

On Margaux: Tuchinda top and skirt

Restoration Hardware bed, pillows from Ochre



I'm more efficient than ever before. I've realized how valuable my time is- if I'm going to be away from Margaux, I want to make sure that I'm being as productive as possible. I can't be in two places at the same time so when I'm with Margaux I want to be 100% focussed on her and when I'm at work I want to be 100% focussed on work. It's still a struggle, though, something I'm working on improving everyday. I'm pulled in so many directions and as much as I try to plan my day ahead of time, something always comes up. I was just getting it under control with one child and now I feel like I'm starting from scratch with a new baby. It's a bit chaotic right now and I'm just trying to keep up and juggle as many things at once as possible."

On Jodie: Dannijo jewelry

On Margaux: Mouche tutu


“I love how sweet and protective Margaux already is of her brother. As soon as she wakes up she wants to know what the baby is doing. She holds him every morning and gives him a million kisses, which is so sweet to watch. As soon as he starts crying she runs to his room and tells me the baby is hungry and needs to eat me. It’s amazing to watch her interactions with him and how much love and attention she is already giving him.”



“I’m most proud of my ability to be attentive and present yet still laid back and calm with Margaux. I think it’s really important to give off positive, calm energy for my kids because they absorb it like a sponge. Because of DANNIJO, I often find myself on my phone—I continue to try to unplug when I’m home because I think it’s important to set an example for Margaux and to be present. However, it’s something I consistently need to work on.”

On Jodie: LoveShackFancy skirt, Dannijo jewelry

Pillows from ABC Carpet & Home, and Eskayel



“I was finding myself constantly checking my phone when I was at home so now I leave it in my room when I get home from work so I can be unplugged at night and focus on my family. We never have phones at the dinner table because it’s important to me for us to have family conversations and spend quality time together. I always looked forward to our nightly family dinners when I was a kid and want the same for my children. It’s crazy how quickly kids get accustomed to phones and technology at such a young age. Margaux already knows how to find Netflix on my phone and access her shows. We don’t want her to spend too much time watching TV, so have limited her to one show a day. She can choose if she wants to watch it in the morning of after dinner. She’s a great negotiator and at two-years-old is already trying to find ways to watch another show. Luckily she loves arts and crafts and playing outside so I’m always coming up with new art projects and activities to keep her busy so hopefully she forgets about watching more Sofia the First.”

On Jodie: Vintage dress, Dannijo jewelry

On Margaux: Oh Baby tutu

 

Margaux's room...




Family photos and bright art in Margaux's room


Margaux's bulletin board and stuffed animal collection

Painting by Jenna Snyder Phillips
Kalon crib

Little Auggie crib bumper

Moroccan rug found on Etsy

Spoke Woven custom “Bonne Nuit” dream catcher wall-hanging

Vintage chandelier from Olde Good Things

Custom “Margaux” sign above crib from Etsy

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child bulletin board

Pillows from ABC Carpet & HomeLittle AuggieEskayel, and Atsuyo et Akiko
Restoration Hardware Baby & Child faux fur poufs

Tamar Mogendorff powder pink-peach swan

Custom “Margaux” sign above crib from Etsy

Jess Brown dolls

Ducduc changing table




“The transition from one to two is a lot harder than I expected. I figured since we knew what to expect this time around, it would be a lot easier but two is a different ballgame. Margaux is obsessed with her brother but her whole world changed in an instant when her he was born. She doesn’t want to nap or go to sleep at night so my husband spends a few hours getting her to sleep while I’m breastfeeding and taking care of the baby. It’s amazing to have two but challenging to make everyone happy because they have such different needs right now and I feel like I’m bouncing back and forth between the two of them. I’m only at week three so hoping it gets easier week-by-week.”

On Jodie: Vintage dress

On Margaux: Oh Baby tutu

Kalon crib

Spoke Woven custom “Bonne Nuit” dream catcher wall-hanging

“The biggest surprise about having my second baby is how fast I forgot what I learned the first time. It’s like riding a bike and everything slowly comes back to me but it takes a second to remember how to take care of a baby when I’m in toddler mode. Also, the first time, my husband and I were both focused on Margaux and this time it’s a juggling act. He’s primarily focused on Margaux and making sure she has enough attention so she’s not jealous of her brother. It’s a balancing act spending time with the baby and Margaux and at the end of the day there is not much time for us.”

 

Exercise...



“I do Pilates and boxing with my sister three to four times a week.  I love to exercise and it helps reset my mind and makes me better as a mother and more focused at work. I have to fit it in first thing in the morning. I stick to the same schedule every week so it’s routine. I used to take working out for granted until I had kids and it became even more important because it’s ‘me’ time that I can always look forward to. As much as I love spending time with my kids, they can test my patience and constantly keep me on my toes so it’s important for me to take breaks and find time to do things that make me feel better and more relaxed.”

On Jodie and Margaux: vintage dresses, Dannijo jewelry




“I’m extremely close to my sister. She’s my best friend and we have a very special relationship. I’m so lucky to have experienced life with her and always wanted to have two kids so they can have the same experience and bond that I share with my sister.”

Jess Brown dolls


“I’m lucky that I had great pregnancies and really enjoyed being pregnant until the last few weeks when it got uncomfortable. It’s amazing what our bodies are capable of and I enjoyed the different phases of pregnancy. My least favorite part about being pregnant is that I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies. All I wanted was carbs and sweets and had to be on a very strict diet, which was not fun at all.”

On Jodie: LoveShackFancy skirt, Dannijo jewelry

Pillows from ABC Carpet & Home, and Eskayel


Childbirth...

"All of my friends have had such different experiences that I decided early on that I wasn’t going to plan my births. I knew that I wanted to have a non-C-section birth if possible but would do whatever was best for the baby. I didn’t write out a birth plan for either birth. I love my doctor and trusted her to make the best decisions for my children and me. Since I had gestational diabetes both times,  my pregnancies were more challenging. Margaux came two days before my due date and luckily I wasn’t in labor very long. I just had my son last week and had to be induced at 38 weeks. At first, I didn’t like the idea of being induced because I always thought that the baby would come when he was ready but because I had gestational diabetes and his estimated weight was nine pounds at 38 weeks, my doctor wanted me to be induced. It was a very different experience than Margaux’s birth but the best part was I was never in pain. Liev came out on my first push and recovery was a lot easier the second time.”

On Jodie: Vintage dress and Dannijo jewelry

On Margaux: Vintage dress

Jodie's birth story, part 1...



“With Margaux, my contractions were so painful that all I wanted was an epidural. I tore and had to get stitches and couldn’t sit for weeks after. I was lucky that I only pushed for ten minutes but paid the price in recovery. I was in so much pain for the first few weeks that I couldn’t imagine ever giving birth again. Somehow I forgot about all the pain once I realized how incredible it was to be a mother. My second birth was a completely different experience. I had heard so many different opinions on getting induced—some people said it was easier and others said it was an awful experience. Because it was planned instead of spontaneous, I had lot more anxiety going into Liev’s birth. The first time, I was in pain and didn’t know what to expect so I really went with the flow….

 

Birth story, part 2...

“For Liev’s birth, I had a scheduled appointment at 5:00 AM, and when we arrived at the hospital they sent us home because it was too busy. We then went back at 11:00 AM and didn’t get in a room until 3:30 PM. We were in the waiting room for a long time and as hard as I tried to stay calm and relaxed, I started to get tired and a bit anxious. When we finally got in the room it was a much calmer process. It took until 10:30 PM for me to be fully dilated, but I was never in pain. Luckily, Liev came out on the first push. The only negative is that I had a small leak from the epidural and had a migraine for a week after giving birth.”



“I’m more relaxed and prepared with Liev than I was when Margaux was first born. As a first time mother, I was always worried that I was doing everything right. I think the second child is usually more laid back because most parents’ energy is calmer the second time around and you know what you’re doing.”

On Jodie: Vintage crochet dress, Dannijo jewelry

On Margaux: Tuchinda top and skirt


Best part about being a mama...

"The unconditional love and fulfillment I get from watching Margaux develop and grow up. There is nothing like the love I have for my children. From the second my children were born, there was this powerful connection. They give me an entirely new meaning and purpose in life. Even when I've had an exhausting day, I look forward to coming home and having Margaux run to the door with the biggest smile and tons of hugs and kisses that make everything better."

Jodie and Margaux in vintage 

Oeuf table and chairs

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child faux fur poufs



Hardest part about being a mama...

"Not being able to be two places at once. I love what I do, but it's still hard to miss out on her day-to-day activities. I don't want to miss anything and it's a constant struggle finding balance during the week because my job can be very demanding. Margaux always comes first and I'll drop anything for her, bushes already growing so fast and I want to be there for everything. She is obsessed with ballet and her teacher Miss Rachel. She talks about ballet everyday and practices her dance moves at home. She's been going since she was one-and-a-half years-old and I try to go to a class with her when i can, but it's amazing how much she has learned and improved every time I go with her. It makes it hard to miss all the classes in between."




“Now more than ever, it’s important for me to instill a sense of empowerment and leadership in my daughter. Being a working mother, I want to set an example for her. I want Margaux to be an open-minded, warm spirited, self motivated, confident thinker who can carve her path on her own terms.  She has such compassion and love for those around her, and I want to continue to foster that.”

On Margaux: dress from Jodie’s collection of vintage children’s clothing


“It can be overwhelming as a first time mother and it took time for me to find my rhythm and balance. So much of my life changed and it’s a lot to take in at once. I used to be much more spontaneous, but now I have to plan ahead. Greg and I didn’t want to change our entire lives when we became parents. Of course some things just have to change but from the beginning, we took Margaux everywhere and fit her into our lifestyle. It was very challenging and exhausting at first but now we have a great rhythm.”

On Jodie: Vintage dress

On Margaux: Oh Baby tutu

Kalon crib
Spoke Woven custom “Bonne Nuit” dream catcher wall-hanging



“We love to travel with her, take her with us to dinner and include her in as much as we can so she can experience life. For our first flight with her, I was so worried about her ears popping that I overfed her. She was perfect the entire flight and as soon as we got off the plane and were waiting for our stroller, she puked everywhere. All over herself and me. I had a change of clothes for her but not for myself so I couldn’t change until I got to the hotel. I quickly learned to pack an extra outfit for myself when we travel.”

Jodie and Margaux in vintage

Oeuf table and chairs

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child faux fur poufs

“I’m lucky to have the most amazing husband, and we were lucky enough to experience life together before we had kids. We have such a strong bond that becoming parents only made it stronger. We were both ready to be parents, and Greg is the most amazing father. I love him even more watching him with our children.”



“I can’t say that my husband and I have had much alone time in the last three weeks since Liev was born. Margaux has recently been fighting us to go to bed so by the time both kids are sleeping, we’re exhausted. We did celebrate our four-year wedding anniversary last week and went on our first date since having two kids. It was so nice to be out just the two of us, but of course we ended up talking about our kids part of the night. Even when they’re not with us, they’re such a big part of us that we sadly miss them. We’ve only been on two weekend trips without Margaux since she was born, but decided that we need to plan a weekend getaway at the end of the summer so we can have time for just us. It’s important to make the time for the two of us or we’ll never be alone again.”

On Margaux: Oh Baby tutu


“It’s too early to really tell, but I think what I learned from child first child has better prepared me for how I want to do things the second time around. We were so worried about Margaux sleeping that we always got in bed with her and transferred her when she fell asleep even though the doctor told us to let her fall asleep on her own. Now we’re paying the price and it takes us an hour and half before she falls asleep. We will make sure we don’t do the same with Liev or we’ll be spending our entire night putting the kids to bed.”

Kalon cribLittle Auggie crib bumper, Moroccan rug found on EtsySpoke Woven custom “Bonne Nuit” dream catcher wall-hanging, vintage chandelier from Olde Good Things, custom “Margaux” sign above crib from Etsy, pillows from ABC Carpet & HomeLittle AuggieEskayel, and Atsuyo et Akiko


Jodie at 35 weeks, just three weeks before welcoming her son, Liev, into the world.

On Jodie: Dannijo jewelry


Beauty...

“I don’t spend a lot of time getting ready. I’m a big believer in less is more. I don’t wash my hair everyday and love R&Co Dry Shampoo for a quick fix. I don’t wear a lot of makeup but always have an eyelash curler, mascara and a red lipstick on me because it makes me feel better at the end of the day if I have to run to an event. I also love Aquaphor for dry lips. Margaux helps me get ready every morning before work—she runs into my room and yells ‘lotion time’, ‘makeup time’, and it makes getting ready one of my favorite parts of the day.”

On Jodie: Dannijo jewelry


 “My sister and I were always creative from a young age. We used to make jewelry for fun and sell it to local boutiques in Jacksonville, Florida where we grew up. At one point, we opened a boutique as well. After graduating college, I moved to New York and worked in men’s fashion. Danielle had started a non-profit that fundraised for grassroots initiatives in Africa. The concept was to get young people to use their passion and talent to impart change. We made a capsule collection for the cause and it was a great success. It was 2008 and the heart of the recession and we saw that women were turning to fashion jewelry as a means to update their look (instead of buying whole new wardrobes). We cold-called Bergdorf Goodman and managed to land it as our first account (on consignment). Beyoncé bought a DANNIJOstatement necklace off the floor and wore it on tour around the world. Little by little the brand started to take off and the journey continues to be incredible.”

Margaux, wearing an Oh Baby tutu, holding one of her mama’s designs


“Since I’ve become a mother, I’m much more into versatile pieces that can work day into night. I’m always on the go, so I focus on buying more classic pieces that I can accessorize. I love vintage clothing and furniture, so I still spend a lot of time looking for the perfect vintage pieces. For decor, I’m eclectic but since having kids, I’m much more into clean lines and am constantly getting rid of things for more space.”

Wood giraffe from Studio Delle Alpi

Auris xylophone


“More than anything, having Margaux has taught me how to savor the present moment. I see how fast she changes and I want to soak up as much as I can.”

On Margaux:  Oh Baby tutu

Kalon crib

Custom “Margaux” sign above crib from Etsy

Moroccan rug found on Etsy

Article originally published on THE GLOW. Read full article here.

 

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