“I really thought I’d be a cool, laid back mum but it turns out I’m a complete she-wolf! As soon as Jacob was born I was very protective, I didn’t want people to touch him, I could sense it! He’s mine and it’s me who deals with him!”
Sarah tells us the story of her son’s name. “Benjamin and I travel a lot. We lived in the States, that’s where we met. We were on a flight from New York to Paris and behind us there was a young couple with a child, Jacob, two or three years old, blonde-haired and completely cute. My husband and I were thinking, what a nightmare! But he was absolutely adorable throughout the whole flight. So we thought it was a good baby name!”
Did you always know you would become a mother, Sarah? “It wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but I did want children – you always imagine yourself having them younger than you do. My mum had me very young. In my head I’m still a child myself! I really struggled to take the plunge, to become comfortable with the idea that I can’t back out anymore.”
And sacrifices? Did you feel like you had to make them in becoming a mother? “I think that you change for the better, but that requires you to sacrifice time, and you can’t be focused on yourself anymore. Being a mother isn’t an obvious thing to do when you want a career. You have to know where you’re going. Being both a woman and a mother is possible and important. You have to conserve a part of yourself as a woman and stop yourself from becoming only a mother. It’s difficult to find a good balance.
As for maternal instinct, I didn’t think I had one at all. Even my parents were concerned! But in the end, it came naturally.”
Sarah was born into quite a traditional family. With her parents and her little brother, they travelled a lot. “I was lucky like that. We went all over the world. My father was a dentist and would take lots of holidays. Every year we went away for three weeks or a month, to Canada, the US, Africa, Australia.”
I ask her if they roughed it or went glamping…
“My parents aren’t really ones for roughing it, I spent a lot of time in golf buggies! That made me want to read. I read a lot, and I saw some amazing things.
I got the travel bug, and it’s still very important to me. Benjamin and I aren’t afraid to travel with Jacob. We’re not afraid of jetlag. When he was barely three months old we took a ten-hour flight! You need patience, and you need to be prepared to walk up and down the aisle. Today I must admit that the iPad and cartoons work very well, without overdoing it of course!”
This mummy wolf is an artistic director of graphic design. She launched her first stationery company five years ago: Mister M studio. And under a year ago she created Timberpost. “My experience in the world of stationery made me want to take on this new challenge. Timberpost allows you to send pretty greetings cards by email. There’s an animation when you open the email. And if it’s an invitation, you can see who’s opened it and follow the RSVPs.”
What’s it like being a mother and an entrepreneur? “It’s really hard. I’m a massively hard worker. I was used to working long hours. I’m lucky to be able to take Jacob to creche and pick him up again at the end of the day – we don’t have a nanny. I get to spend time with him. But it’s difficult, the work of an entrepreneur is never-ending. At weekends, on holiday, you’re always looking to improve, to do better.”
During her childhood holidays Sarah got a taste for reading. The book she finds most memorable is Perfume by Patrick Suskind. “I love this book, and I love re-reading it. It captivated me – I have a weakness for anti-heroes!
I read a lot, and often fall asleep over a book. I like Laurent Gaudet and his slightly strange, poetic works… especially La Porte des Enfers. You’re in the real world and suddenly you fall into fantasy.”
The person Sarah most admires is her mum. “She has such power and personality. She doesn’t regret anything, she’s always looking forwards. We have a very strong relationship.”
Do you have a similar relationship with Jacob? “I have a special bond with my son, we’re pretty close. With my mum, the lines are almost too blurred.”
Sarah’s favourite hang-out: the Serres d’Auteuil, a botanical garden on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne. “I love that place. Benjamin works every other weekend. Jacob and I love going for walks there. When I was little I used to go with my grandmother to feed the fish, even if we weren’t supposed to! It’s an enchanted corner of Paris.”
Her hopes for the future? “That Jacob can do what he loves and be who he wants. And that he can live in a nicer world.
As for me, I hope for a second child and a lovely family, and to find a balance too!
And I hope that Timberpost works out!”