London-based Carolina Bucci is one of those enviably chic women who can get away with wearing barely any makeup and still look fresh faced (mascara, a touch of blush and lots of beautiful jewels is all she needs). The Italian jewellery designer famous for her delicately woven fine jewellery crafted using a centuries-old Florentine textile loom, first launched her namesake line back in 2003. She’s since garnered a celebrity following which includes the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jessica Alba. Bucci lives in London with her husband, James Pyner, an art dealer, and their two boys, Lucas, eight, and Julius, six.
“It is a bit of a cliché, but I believe London has the best of both worlds - European in its traditions and yet very much a dynamic, global city these days. My husband, who is English, says that it is a very different place to the one he grew up in,” she says. The family lives next to London’s Hyde Park. ”The boys can run and run . I think New York, as much as I love it, can be a little suffocating for children. Central Park is not the same, and there is very little other open space.”
Bucci, who grew up in a family of jewelers, went on to study fine art and design in New York, before launching her artisan collection of jewels. Her pieces are all still made in Florence in her family’s workshops around the Ponte Vecchio. ”Each collection is very different in inspiration, but normally it starts with a single piece that I want for myself. The new collection, Looking Glass, is a more precious collection than ever before, based around a jeweled key that started after I was on holiday and wearing my room key on a chain around my neck. Ideas can come from anywhere,” she says.
Jewellery aside, the stylish mother favors brands such as Isabel Marant, Valentino and Prada. ”My personal style is like my jewellery. Very mix and match. My days are busy and varied and I need clothes that work in different environments. I love clothes but I cant stand lazy, brand driven shopping. Style is very personal and what works for one person often wont work on anyone else.” And naturally, she’ll always wear jewellery. “It’s strange when I am not wearing something, and people always notice.”
The birth of her first son Lucas inspired the launch of her Bambini collection, a whimsical range of jewellery for children. “I think the launch of my Bambini collection may have been a reaction to having a boy. I realised that the only time my son would wear a Carolina Bucci piece of jewellery was as a child. More seriously, it just felt right and I loved watching mothers and daughters shopping in my store together as I had accompanied my mother as a little girl. Somehow, having my own child, helped turn that into a collection.”
While running her own business means she works around the clock, she also has a lot of flexibility. To working mothers: plan, plan, plan. And be disciplined, she advises. “I am lucky in that I work for myself so I get to plan my own days to a large extent. I try to pick up the boys from school at least three days per week, and I normally carve out from 3pm until their bedtime just for them. Of course that means that I am often working past midnight, but that is ok as long as I am still enjoying what I am doing. As for time for myself not so much.” The Bucci family has also had the help of the same nanny for the past seven years. “She is very much part of the family and my day job would be impossible without her help.”
Bucci grew up bilingual and both her sons speak Italian and English. “I try hard to speak only Italian when I am with my boys. Most of the time they answer in English, but it only takes two weeks in Italy for them to drift into Italian very naturally,” she says. ”I grew up bilingual, and it wasnt through any structured teaching simply hearing both languages at home, as my boys do.”
While she can no longer list sleep deprivation as one of the challenges that motherhood brings, she says it’s always changing. ”The hardest part of motherhood changes. Obviously, it used to be sleepless nights. Right now, it’s controlling and understanding the sibling rivalry that is creeping in.” The best part? “When they tell me they love me, whether or not it’s because they want something.”
Carolinas little list of loves:
Isabel Marant slides.
Browsing 1st Dibs for antiques.
Berry picking with my sons at our house in upstate New York.
I just discovered Nashville perfect weekend TV.
Walks through Hyde Park to the Serpentine Gallery.
New Valentino bags.
Swimming in the Adriatic off the Montenegro coast.
Taizir, amazing reflexologist who comes to my home.
My new Looking Glass ‘Key necklace.
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