We are starting a mini series! The i.a.m Series is a collection of stories that highlights the people who love i.a.m Jewelry & Creations, whether they be customers, employees, friends, and family. Occasionally, we will feature them and aim to showcase who’s in our community by sharing a little story about them!
Today, we start off our first series by highlighting an important person at i.a.m Jewelry & Creations, Gigi Gardoce! She is my beloved friend, brain organizer, and my assistant for EVERYTHING behind the scenes!
Here we go!
Q: Who are you?
My name is Gigi Gardoce. I am a mother to two beautiful, intelligent, and creative boys. I’m a wife to the most supportive and amazing man.
Q: What do you do for a living?
Besides being a mother and wife, I provide assistance to small businesses in multiple capacities ranging from administrative, sales, and customer service. I was hired to join the i.a.m Creations and Jewelry team to provide support to the company last year. After working in the corporate world for over a decade, I decided it was best and more rewarding to focus my energies on helping small businesses. I’m also a student working on my Master’s.
Q: Describe yourself in 3 words!
I am loyal to a degree, extremely generous, and intuitive.
Q: What do you love? What makes you happy? OR What do you do when you have free time?
I love being in nature! I feel at home in the forests, whether it be the tropical rainforest or ancient woodlands. When I have free time, I enjoy going on hikes either solo or with my family. It is because of my love for nature that I have turned my home into a jungle. I have a dwarf banana tree growing in my bedroom, in addition to the numerous monstera and pothos plants growing throughout.
There is nothing I enjoy more than being with my family. Being a mother to two boys and two pugs, every day is always full of activities. One of my favorite activities to do with my kids and husband is skateboarding. We would find an empty area near the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and simply skate around.
Discovering new recipes is also another pleasure I enjoy. When my oldest was younger, he was such a picky eater. However, for some strange reason, he loved Japanese food. I learned how to cook many Japanese dishes for him since. His favorite is chicken katsu, nikujaga, and anything with mochi. My youngest loves Filipino dishes so I learned how to cook many dishes from scratch such as kare kare, pork gisantes, and adobo. What I enjoy the most is creating my own recipes from traditional ones to cook for my family like miso butter pasta and banana ube bread.
Q: What values are important to you in your daily life?
It’s important for me to find free time for myself to take a breather, whether it be just a few minutes. I hide a box of See’s chocolates in the bathroom and devour them when I need to get away from the kids. I pretend I need to utilize the toilet, then I take the box out from its secret location.
Q: What are your biggest challenges and how do you deal with them?
A constant theme with i.a.m and a value I hold dear is to find balance. For me, balance is finding stillness in the chaos of my different roles: mother, assistant, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. There are times when these overlap and issues run parallel. Dealing with so many tasks at one time on a daily can get very tricky.
For example, there are challenging times when I have to deal with a deadline simultaneously while dealing with my kid’s homework and making dinner. Other times, I find myself dealing with family situations while trying to complete projects.
Honestly, there’s no easy way to deal with these challenges. I take one step at a time, one moment at a time. I complete a task and then take a breather to compose myself then on to the next. Sometimes I screw it up. Sometimes I get it done.
Q: How do you know Mai?
I was introduced to Mai many years ago through her boyfriend, Pancho. Pancho is like family to us so that immediately made Mai our family too. I always admired her for her creativity and passion. She is the epitome of a strong, dynamic woman.
Q: What do you like about i.a.m?
In the corporate world, profit reigns supreme. There is this facade for the value of customer service but it all depends on the bottom line for the company. With Mai, her value for her customers is truly genuine. She labors over the quality of her jewelry to ensure she creates only the best for her customers. She takes everything to heart.
Her authenticity is truly inspiring. I previously supported company CEOs, VPs, Directors, and upper management, but Mai is on another level. Her dedication and passion for what she does are truly magical. I can’t help but want to support her in her ventures.
In addition, her jewelry designs are amazing. They are so creative and well made. She combines basic geometric designs and blends them organically. I also admire how she applies her life philosophies and values to her work.
Q: Which is your favorite jewelry from i.a.m? How would you like to style it?
I love geometric designs as well as organic ones! I adore the Square Edge Elongated Hexagon Hoops for its gorgeous geometric design. For me, it stands out beautifully against my semi-curly hair and compliments whatever outfit I chose to wear that day!
The Golden Triangle necklace is also stunning. I would use that piece when I wear a business suit. It’s simple but extremely powerful.
Another piece I love is the Folia earrings. The organic design is absolutely beautiful. I would wear this when using a long flowing dress.
Lastly, one of my absolute favorite pieces from her (but not listed on i.a.m product page!) is my custom-made nose rings, with the textured nose ring as my most loved jewelry. These are part of my everyday wear and it goes well with whatever outfit and styles I use. If you are interested in nose rings, I’m pretty sure that she can make one for you!
Q: Any final thoughts about yourself?
Our lives are very chaotic. Stillness is hard to achieve. Sometimes stillness can only be achieved for a brief moment. But every day is different. We are constantly growing and evolving. When you lead your life with a passion for the things you love, the chaos is more bearable.
Therefore, I choose to continue on this path I find myself on. I take in the inspiration and beauty in my chaos. In my constant striving for authenticity, I find inspiration in others who lead their life with their own passions. As an ever-evolving being, I know I’ll take on more roles in the future and I will probably change roles as well. With that said, it is even more important to be true to yourself in knowing what brings you joy. Find your inspiration, whether it be people, ideas, values, or objects.
Thank you so much for answering all the questions Gigi! She is one of the super moms that I know who keeps the balance in all kinds of jobs between being a mom, wife, and my assistant!
So who will be next…? It could be you♡