Written By: Coco, daughter #2.
It’s funny to think about our mom before she was a mom. To us, she’s Kitty – bold, honest, charming, independent, strong and confident. But she wasn’t always like that. As a child, she was quite the opposite. French was her first language, but growing up in Paris as a dark-haired, dark-eyed, olive-skinned girl, she was an outsider. She wasn’t quite French enough, but not quite Persian enough either. This was a formative experience for her – though the effects on our mom are now buried deep beneath the surface.
Moving to New York and marrying our Dad were big changes in Kitty’s life. Raising three daughters, she made sure our life experience was everything hers wasn’t – stable, comfortable, accepting, and open-minded. In New York City, we weren’t considered outsiders, but rather “exotic.” Our heritage and dark features were a badge of honor.
But it wasn’t all hugs and encouragement. She was always transparent with us about our strengths and weaknesses – sometimes painfully so. As sisters, we were taught to respect those strengths and have empathy for each others’ weaknesses. To this day, my sisters and I attribute our close relationship to this strategy. We never get jealous because we genuinely want the best for each other. Also because we know none of us has it all! Whenever we felt compelled to follow our peers, our mom would empower us to be individuals – “Normal is boring, girls. Be different.” Of course she, more than anyone, wanted the safety and comfort of “normal” as a young girl. But she made sure we wouldn’t make the same mistake.
It’s hard to say today what is most impressive about our mom. Maybe it’s that she raised three great girls (told you we’re confident). Or that she started a business completely on her own and steadily grew it over the last 25 years – still, all on her own. Or maybe it’s the warmth and fun she radiates in any room she enters. Maybe it’s that, after all this time, she really just doesn’t give a damn. She is unabashedly, unapologetically, unwaveringly herself. And she is awesome.
I joined Zadeh a few months ago after helping my mom run her first pop-up. During those two months, I witnessed first-hand the incredible potential of this one-woman show. It’s a crazy thing for a daughter to develop a completely new, professional relationship with her mother – especially our mother! But I believe deeply that what she stands for needs to be shared. From its founding through today, Zadeh has been informed by the desire to make women feel good about themselves, to wear jewelry that is at once timeless and original, elegant but bold. A woman should be herself, and her jewelry should reflect – maybe even empower — that unique authenticity.
But what really sets our mom apart — more than her strength of character, more than her bold opinions, more than her chic style, more than her beautiful designs — is that little bit of mischief, that slow smile when she knows she’s got you, when you’re not sure whether to blush or just burst out laughing. It’s her ability to channel her inner kid and take us all along for the ride.
Kitty, you make us so proud. You are a badass, a rockstar, a legend. We are better women for having you in our lives.