In partnership with Swarovksi
Through adapting while staying true to its origins, Swarovski has endeavoured to showcase its heritage alongside hopes for the future, with jewellery being a timeless memento to be treasured forever. What better choice to gift your mother this Mother's Day, with the ideas of heritage and future central to a mother-daughter bond, as is the case with mother-daughter duo Yasmin and Maree Suteja.
Yasmin, a photographer and director, says the pair share a love for people and community, are optimistic and problem solvers. Maree echoes the sentiment, while also adding how they have learned so much from one another over the years. A bond unlike any other, being part of the Swarovski Mother's Day campaign has allowed the pair to celebrate their relationship, and themselves in a new way.
Here, we speak with Yasmin and Maree about how their mother-daughter relationship has evolved, what being part of the Swarovski Mother's Day campaign means to them and the wisdom they would pass on to future mothers and daughters.
Firstly, the bond between mothers and daughters is so unique and individual. Can you describe your relationship dynamic to me?
Yasmin: I’m a Sagittarius and mum is an Aries – two Fire signs. We both share a love for people and community and we’re a great team when it comes to socialising and bringing energy to a room. We both have a very optimistic outlook, and we’re problem solvers at the core! Mum is slightly less patient than I am, and a little more direct in her communication style. I’m inspired by my mum’s tenacity and fearless decision making. I think there’s a good balance between us – I show my mum a different perspective on a lot of things.
Maree: The bond between mothers and daughters is so unique and individual. When asked to describe my relationship with Yas, the only word that comes to mind is iconic. To be in Yasmin's world is to me the greatest achievement that I have in my life. From the moment I met Yasmin 30 years ago, I realised when I had her in my arms this little individual was going to make changes. She was going to be strong, kind and incredibly unique. I am privileged that she chose me to be her mum.
How/what have you learned from one another over the years?
Yasmin: I’ve watched my mum work extremely hard and do things everyone told her not to do. I’ve watched some of those decisions not work out as planned, but I’ve also watched her rebuild and turn a “failure” into a success through commitment and drive. She has shown me that “failure” is not something to be afraid of, and that risk taking is something you have to do if you want to challenge yourself and grow as a person.
Maree: I have learned from Yasmin to empathise. Yasmin has taught me to be kind, has taught me that there is greatness in the world and that overcoming barriers and human connection is the most important thing.
Tell us about working with Swarovski for Mother’s Day: how was the experience to come together for the campaign?
Yasmin: It was really beautiful. We shot this in the days before my mum was leaving for Bali after almost a year of being away from the family business due to COVID travel restrictions. It was a nice way for us to celebrate and reflect on that time we got to share together. I brought together a team of really talented young women to work on the shoot, and it was really beautiful to see the way that they were all reflecting on their relationships with their mums whilst bonding with mine. My mum is very funny, she loves to command the room, so there were also a lot of laughs.
Maree: It was the weekend prior to me returning to Bali and Yasmin said, “how about we get together and do this Swarovski Mother’s Day photoshoot before you go?” I was just so delighted she asked me. I couldn't believe it! I was like. “wow I'm actually going to be photographed with my daughter and it's for the most epic day of the year – Mother’s Day.” I was completely taken aback and we had such an amazing day because I got to see her for a whole eight hours! I don't usually get to see Yasmin for a whole eight hours because she is extremely busy. I got to watch her on set, see how she directs and improvises and how incredibly talented she is; I just sat there in awe and followed her directions.
What are your favourite pieces from the Swarovski range?
Yasmin: There are so many pieces I love from the range! Our stylist, Marisa Suen, did such an incredible job of layering pieces and bringing the whole story together. I particularly love the Gema Chandelier Earrings, and the Gema Ring.
Maree: My favourite Swarovski pieces from the range are the large crystal-type rings, especially the Gema ring. I really love large rings, even though I have small hands and they're quite petite. I also love the pink Lucent cocktail ring.
What is something/some words of wisdom you want to share for any new mothers, from both a mother’s perspective and a daughter’s perspective?
Yasmin: From a daughter’s perspective, I think my relationship with my mum has evolved into something really strong and inspiring now that I am in my 30s. I have a lot of respect for mum and all mothers, and the massive job that it is raising a child. They say that as you get older you are able to see your parents as people not just the parents who raised you. I really resonate with that. I’m inspired by my mum’s journey – a strong woman who is at the core a rebel and an innovator.
Maree: I would like to share with mothers and daughters this wisdom: life is pretty simple even though at times it seems pretty hard. I think the there are three things that we can take with us that are the secret to getting through this thing called life and it's this: One, find something to do, two, find something to love and three, find something to look forward to. If you can do those three things and have them in unison then I think you can just cruise through. That’s the kind of relationship Yasmin and I have. We can both give advice to each other, I think that's the most important thing with mothers and daughters – that they can advise each other. When she was a little girl I would advise her and now that she's a big girl I often ask her for advice and 99.9 per cent of the time it’s spot on.
Finally, what does the future hold for both of you as individuals?
Yasmin: I see my mum continuing to build the family business and the community around it. I see her spending more time immersed in Bali and Balinese culture and finding more ways to support and build infrastructure around the community. I see myself in a parallel way building community here in Sydney, investing more of my time and energy into telling stories and learning from others.
Maree: What does the future hold for both of us? I see Yasmin developing into this incredible director and you know taking on the world and pursuing everything that she could possibly dream of. I see myself sitting back and watching this beautiful human being that I created and watching her excel and that gives me so much happiness.
You can shop Swarovski Mother's Day gifts via their website.
PHOTOGRAPHY Yasmin Suteja
FASHION Marisa Suen
HAIR AND MAKEUP Yasmin Goonweyn
CAMERA OPERATOR Cheyenne Bardos
STUDIO Culture Machine Studios