Today’s interview is with the wonderful Shannon – a lovely lady who I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know over the last few months. Shannon is impressive all around – a mother of two who runs her own business and who looks fabulous doing it all (often with one of her gorgeous Kelly bags on her arm). I loved learning more about Shannon and hearing her advice on everything from choosing a career, to finding the right jewelry pieces. Enjoy meeting Shannon!
Who are you? What do you do, and where are you from?
Hi, my name is Shannon. I am a married mother of two and a dentist. I am currently living in Western Pennsylvania.
You own and operate your own successful dental business. What’s a piece of career advice you could share?
I would definitely recommend getting prior experience in your desired field before you choose your main career. Note I say “main”. I hope to have a few careers in my life, although I will spend the majority of my life as a dentist.
As an example, if one wanted to be a surgeon, politician, journalist- get some kind of internship/externship or volunteer in that field before investing time and money getting a degree. I have heard many stories of graduates disappointed in the path they had chosen. As for myself, I wrote about twenty dentists while in undergrad (this was before email) and asked if I could just observe around the office. I ended up getting a job at one office, and that dentist in turn wrote me a wonderful recommendation for dental school!
As for the far future, I would like to have a “fun” career, something not as quite as stressful, that would get me out of the house- maybe selling shoes at Saks, perhaps? Or maybe selling ice cream! It would be the total opposite of my current career, people would be happy to see me! Yet I would still get the big smiles!
You are a business owner, a wife, and a mother of two. How do you balance all of your life’s responsibilities?
How do I do it? With a super type A personality! I am very schedule oriented. I guess with my career choice, running efficiently by a schedule is in my blood, ha. Ask anyone who knows me, I am always carrying around a “to do” list. I write it out on scrap paper the old fashioned way too. It gives me some kind of bizarre satisfaction to get everything done.
How would you describe your style and how do you dress for your work and off duty life?
As for work, quite conservative. Think J.Crew or Banana Republic trousers and a casual blouse. Occasionally, a skinny trouser. And of course Dansko clogs.
When I’m not working, I like to spice it up a bit. I am very fond of waxed denim, tunic dresses with embellished/edgy belts, statement necklaces, and printed jackets or blazers—but all with stacked or low heels. I haven’t learned the art of chasing kids in stilettos!
What’s an item in your wardrobe that you didn’t think you’d get a lot of wear out of – and you actually use it all the time? What about vice versa – an item thought you’d use it all the time and you rarely do?
For an item I wear a lot more than I thought, I would say my Chloe Susanna booties and Zara silk printed blazer. As for an item I rarely wear is my fox fur collar- I purchased from Saks several years ago. It is very luxurious, but I just feel a tad silly wearing it around town.
You have a lovely accessories collection. Can you share some of your favorite pieces? Which pieces receive the most wear?
Thank you! I love, love the Hermes Giant 140 silks. To me it is almost a combination of a GM shawl and a basic silk scarf. The size lets you have many options on how to tie and they seem to come in such beautiful patterns. I like the feel of them too, a bit less stiff than the typical 90cm.
You have a beautiful collection of jewelry. Can you share some of your favorite and most worn pieces?
I really enjoy most of my Van Cleef pieces. My favorites are my Magic two motif and three motif earrings, my butterfly between-the-finger ring, Socrate ring, and turquoise 20 motif necklace.
As for Hermes, the silver CDC bracelet make such a statement – it just gives me confidence putting that on! My most recent purchases are from Cartier, the Juste un Clou bracelet and a white gold Love bracelet. I wear most of my Cartier pieces for extended periods of time. I like the fact that I don’t have to worry about moisture damage (with Cartier) as I am washing my hands so many times a day.
In addition, I have been starting a new timepiece collection; my favorite brands are Audemars Piguet and Rolex. Just can’t go wrong with an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch. Who would have thought watches could be as addictive as jewelry? Ha!
Finally, J Crew has the best statement necklaces. Very bright, colorful and economically priced.
What would be your advice for somebody looking to build a classic and long lived jewelry collection?
Go with you heart and don’t be afraid to show your personality. Save; don’t settle. And, my husband taught me this- do not be afraid to negotiate! Even Van Cleef can ship free or eliminate taxes; you never know til you ask.
What’s a piece of advice about shopping and building the perfect wardrobe that you’ve learned over the years?
For trends, I always buy on the cheap. Forever 21, H&M, and Zara usually have the latest and for a good price point. As for denim, if you find something that fits, keep buying that brand. J. Brand denim fits me well, but I have strayed just to have something different and ended up not happy. Also, be aware of what you already have in your closet. I have made the mistake of buying similar items several times.
I know that you are quite the avid eBay buyer! What are some of your eBay tips for successful purchasing and selling?
For both questions – research, research, research! For bags, The Purse Forum has a wealth of information on pricing and authentication. And like I said above, don’t be afraid to make a reasonable offer.
What are some of your hobbies and passions?
I enjoy swimming, scuba diving and traveling. Trying new food is always fun for me, and then I try to re-create the dishes at home. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not!
What’s a piece of life advice that you could share?
I would say to me it is all about communication, and doing this with respect. It’s a little hard for me to give life advice as everyone lives their life so differently. But there is nothing like a good night’s sleep, and if you are sleeping soundly at night then it’s all good!
Finally – please share something surprising about yourself!
Call me a casino craps addict! Just talking about it gets my blood flowing. I actually had a great night in Vegas several years ago and bought my Van Cleef butterfly ring and several Hermes scarves with the winnings.
I love craps as well (even though I have to periodically re-learn it every few years), though I’ve never been able to go to Van Cleef for the winnings! I really enjoyed learning more about Shannon and especially appreciated hearing her career advice – so insightful and another proof point that careful career planning can pay off in big ways in the future. I know that after getting to know Shannon more I a) want to learn how to play better craps and b) am lusting after some gorgeous new jewelry pieces and watches! Thank you Shannon for being here today and sharing some of your life with us!