In honor of Mothers Day, we’re celebrating some inspiring mothers with their children. Mothers are the backbone of society. Here are a few of their stories.
Robin “Mama” Wang
Robin “Rong Rong” Wang is Ziran Founder Kelly Wang Shanahan’s mother. Robin is a world renowned Philosopher and Scholar. She is the one who thought of the name Ziran for Kelly’s clothing line. Robin is the core of Ziran and Kelly’s greatest source of inspiration and support. Everything Kelly does is a manifestation of the values Robin has taught her.
Without Robin there is no Ziran.
Robin was born to peasants in Communist China during the Cultural Revolution. At 15 years old she was sent to the countryside to work hard manual labor. For 4 years she only ate 1 bowl of rice a day.
Robin was a strong and inspiring leader in her work camp and was picked to attend college. She didn’t take this opportunity lightly and studied for 14 hours everyday. She taught herself English by reading the dictionary. Seriously. She graduated the best in her class and in 1985 was given the chance to continue her studies in the United States.
At age 30 (the same age as Kelly today!) She immigrated to the United States with $60 in her pocket. She started working at a Chinese Restaurant called Mark’s (very Chinese…) and slanged Chow Mein and Shrimp Fried Rice.
Of course she met Kelly’s dad, they got married, and Kelly was born. She got a PhD and became a Professor, raising Kelly along with her sister Mindy in Los Angeles. Side hustle story: Kelly + her sister never had a babysitter… Robin would hide Kelly under her desk while giving lectures. Her students never knew there was a baby hiding.
Today Robin is a crazy-ass Boss. She’s a highly esteemed leader in Chinese + Daoist philosophy and travels the world giving lectures, consulting, writing books, and being a force to reckon with.
Questions for Robin:
What does Ziran mean to you?
Robin: Ziran is an outlook of the world, it's a lifestyle and a way of living. Ziran is a Daoist way of guidance, and a way to cultivate authenticity.
What is your greatest joy as a mother?
Robin: One joy is seeing your children fully develop their potential. Another thing is to learn from your children and fill the gap between generations. I learn from you lots of technology, and it keeps me young!
Chiharu Uchida is at the helm of Baby Shine, a luxury kidswear line designed and made in Los Angeles. Her vision combines Japanese craftsmanship with modern streetwear silhouettes. She is also currently 7 months pregnant with her first child :)
Chiharu arrived from her native Japan to Los Angeles 5 years ago and is influenced by Eastern and Western concepts that she infuses in her work.
Questions for Chiharu:
What does Motherhood mean to you?
Chiharu: Motherhood is powerful. I have a lot of respect for my mom. She showed me that mothers are capable of doing anything. They sometimes aren't aware of their own power until the time comes for them to use it. My mother taught me lessons that I hope to share with my child when he arrives in the world.
You are 7 months pregnant with your first child. What are you scared about? Looking forward to?
Chiharu: I don't have any fears because I try not to attract that energy. I'm looking forward to finally meeting the little person growing inside of me. I'm also excited to see him wear my clothes and be my #1 model.
Tell us about Baby Shine!
Chiharu: Baby Shine is my vision for the world I hope to see for my own child. A world that is happy and where every child can shine. The line is influenced by Japanese culture and instills positive messages. It is inspired by the concept of tradition by using materials that are up-cycled. I love to use materials that are old and make them into something new, the same way traditions are passed down through generations.Instagram:
Mel Sobolewski + Nicki Farag
Mel and Nicki are badass, working women with a beautiful and energetic daughter named Lennon. They are also parents to Mojo, an extremely well behaved Labradoodle.
Mel: We went to rival high schools - and never really liked each other growing up... Later in life, a mutual friend suggested we meet again so we could each have "a gay friend." When we met for a drink we hit it off... We were shocked. So we went out again to see if we actually had a good time... And the same thing happened on date two....That moment became our ever after. We have been together for 9 years and married for 7. It has been a wild ride.
Questions for Mel and Nicki:
Mel you are an animal rights activist and seem to always be doing a million things. Nikki you are a top executive at Def Jam… how do you guys balance this with motherhood?
Mel: I haven't figured it out yet. I take everyday as it comes live in the present moment. Accepting that each day will be different is my balance. It's constantly moving. I do make sure I make time for my self care. I think that's critical.
Nicki: Motherhood becomes the priority. In my opinion, it's the only way working moms can do it all. Work around your child's schedule. If she gets up at 7am, then you get up at 5am - to have time for yourself. I'm also very fortunate to have a wife that has a flexible schedule. It allows me to excel at my job and not worry about childcare.
What values do you want Lennon to have when she grows up?
Mel: Compassion. Acceptance. Patience. Love. Equality. A love for nature, animals and all walks of people. I want her to see everything is connected and that you don't need technology to be connected to the world around you.
Nicki: It's vital that Lennon values the importance of giving, sharing, kindness and humor. A combination of all of those make for a well rounded human.Instagram:
Katherine is a single mother who has been married & divorced twice (by her own decision) and raises her four children without outside support. She co-parents with her two daughters’ father but the boys’ father is not present.
Katherine works full time as the Social Media Coordinator for HUF Worldwide, while also freelancing as a Social Media Manager. As if she isn't already conquering enough, she is also a writer and in her spare time expresses herself through client and personal projects, the most recent being a limited zine called, "Girls On Toilets."
Questions for Katherine:
What is the biggest misconception about being a single mother?
Katherine: The biggest misconception is that I need pity or help because I’m on my own. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard and I struggle, but I chose to do this and I knew what it meant when I made that decision.
I’m a single mother, I had my oldest son at 16 and my second at 18. I work a lot but I love what I do - so it doesn’t feel like work most days.
I carry a lot of guilt around with me because I can’t give them everything they want but I make sure to give them everything they need. I’m learning to be good with that.
How do you balance it all?
Katherine: I’m still working on finding a good balance. I’m not there yet but I know what areas I’m falling short in and try to catch myself before I put too much time/energy into things other than what I’ve committed to working on for that day. Whether it be quality time with my kids, squeezing in freelance work on my lunch break, or cleaning/maintaining a home with 5 people, 2 dogs, and a hairless guinea pig... there’s only one of me so I’m beginning to wonder if it’ll ever truly balance out or if it’s just something to strive for in the midst of all this chaos.Instagram:
Miracle is a full time model and mother to a beautiful baby girl name Lylah Lucille. When she isn't in front of the camera she spends time learning French with her daughter, gardening at home, and focusing on self care. She currently lives in Compton and is working on an art show with her fiance.
Questions for Miracle:
What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
Miracle: Motherhood has taught me to appreciate "me time."
What is your greatest wish for Lylah?
Miracle: I wish for Lylah to find happiness.