Folks We Love with Amanda Bramante, mama of two
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.
Well I’ve Iived on both coasts of the US twice each since birth and landed up here in LA for the past ten+ years. I met my husband ten years ago so a big chunk of my life journey has been with him. When I was in middle/highschool my soccer coach quit coaching to open his own jewelry store and asked me to work there. That is when I found my passion for jewelry which is what brought me back out to California from New Jersey where I learned how to make and started my own jewelry line while simultaneously gaining a career with Tiffany & Co. up until I had my daughter. Then I switched my creative gears to help my husband with his commercial Real Estate business and started doing interior design, which has always been another passion of mine.
Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
Me Amanda, 30
Husband David, 34
Daughter Willow, 3
Son Arrow, almost 3 months
How did you choose your kids names?
Willow we chose after seeing a street name called Willow Brook, as soon as my husband mentioned it I told him “Willow is a cool name” and he agreed, so it just stuck from there.
Arrow on the other hand was a maybe name before we knew the gender with my daughter. When we found out we were having a boy the second time my husband mentioned it and we immediately wrote it off. He actually didn’t really suggest any names so I had picked out two but was still undecided once baby came. He was born just after midnight so we gave ourselves a few hours to decide on a name before we told our family… but the first day came and went and we told everyone we still hadn’t named him. Finally on the last day in the hospital my husband kept saying Arrow, and I wasn’t totally in love with the two names I had chosen so in our delirium we went with Arrow and although its a very uncommon name our family and friends loved it. Funny enough, we decided on our potential future kids names so I made my husband write them down and sign and date the paper, haha.
Santa Monica, CA
I used to be in jewelry, then after my daughter went to work for my husband in commercial real estate and currently I’m focusing on being a mom to a new baby for the next few months.
What’s on your manifest board?
Vacations, we put off scheduling them while I was pregnant so we are over due for some R & R.
Being a compassionate mom, it takes reminding to not get lost in the blur of daily chores.
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
On a typical Saturday we get coffee and breakfast from Erewhon and then get out on our bikes to the beach, Abbot Kinney in Venice or doing a little gardening in our backyard.
Also bedtime reading, dinner together and going on walks to pick flowers.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
I swear I have heard Arrow say his name a handful of times, I’m sure its a coo but it shocked me the first time I heard it.
Willow is really aware and observant so she has the best comments and questions lately. She loves to make a joke and then say “…no, is that silly?” Last week she asked if she could feed her baby doll, and then used my nursing pillow to help her “feed” her baby.
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
I knew in my heart that I wanted to move to Europe for a Jewelry Design School, there was no question. I took a class that snowballed into a two year program and met my husband while in LA and so here I am. Things do look very different but we haven’t ruled out moving to Europe, even if for just a few months.
What are some things you really believe in?
Gratitude, empowerment, self-trust, family time and giving.
Where do your passions lie?
Im very passionate about creativity. Since I gave up my jewelry line I have transferred my talents to weaving, calligraphy, macrame and taking classes on anything I can. Theres a store in LA called Poketo and they always have the most unique classes, so I have become a regular there.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
Yes and no. It has gotten stronger, we are each others rock and make sure to tell each other when times feel challenging. We make sure to have a babysitter every Saturday for a few hours to get out of the house together (with our baby for the next month or so). One weekend when we were really exhausted we had the babysitter over and just locked our bedroom door and watched movies and shows, we get very little alone time so that really recharged our relationship.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
You must be honest and open with your partner. I can be an introvert and I dislike arguing so I used to bottle up my thoughts. Long before getting married my husband got me out of that and told me that we are a team and we need to be open to make a relationship work. It was uncomfortable at the time but such a necessary lesson that I am grateful I learned.
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
Take him to Europe! Ha. I met my husband when I was 19 and at the time neither of us had a serious career yet so that would have been the time to up and move most easily.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
That I don’t have alone time anymore. When my daughter turned two she became a more independant and I got a little of my own personal time back for a girls dinner date or even just a bath by myself. I know I am in the thick of things now with a newborn but I am looking forward to him going longer stretched without needing a feed. (Although breastfeeding is such a special time too!)
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
There is so much beauty in the world, wherever you look for it.
Strength and compassion. They aren’t much without each other.
Less is more and give as much as you can.
What are 4 things you can’t live without as a parent?
My moms help. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the first two weeks after Arrow was born with out her help with both kids and house chores.
Our Uppababy double stroller, its critical to having a longer day out so that either or both kids can nap and we don’t have to rush home or drive around the block for an hour, ha.
Erewhon, the grocery store. It is the only store I know of that sells exclusively organic food so we can be sure that we are getting the most out of our food with lots of vegan options.
The internet! It cuts our shopping time majorly for a ton of things, to answer questions and stay in touch with family out of state via Skype and FaceTime.