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Happy Mother’s Day: Celebrating Those Who’ve Made Us

BY Danielle Zito

Their love, resiliency, care, and tenacity have crafted us into
 who we are. We sat down with 9 members of the Shinola family
 to celebrate our mother figures, what makes them great,
 and how they inspire us in return.  

A mother figure is a maker. Just by being who she is. Her love and care nurtures us, showing us how to show up for ourselves and others. Her resiliency and tenacity molds us, teaching us to never stop looking at the world with wonder.

The qualities that make her iconic are woven into who we are. They give us strength, make us laugh, and although there are some we might like more than others, they remind us to be endlessly grateful for our mothers.

It’s why this year, we sat down with 9 members of our Shinola family, Simon Cayedito, Paige Stefan, Caleb Moss, Marina Goldi, Bailey Mattacola, Cherub Thomas, Molly Wang, Rachel Bertolini, and Miya Petrovic, to celebrate our timeless appreciation for the remarkable women in our lives.

Top to bottom from left to right: Miya Petrovic, Rachel Bertolini, Simon Cayedito, Bailey Mattacola, Cherub Thomas, Molly Wang, Marina Goldi, Caleb Moss and Paige Stefan.


From all the carpools to the movie theater when she was younger to every late-night phone call, the sacrifices and time her mom gives, even when there isn’t any, is what Miya appreciates most about her mom.

Her mother has shaped Miya into the woman she is today through the life she built and the challenges she faced throughout her journey from Serbia to the United States.

“My mom came to this country when she was just 8 years old, not knowing any English, not having anything,” said Miya.

“She lived in a single-family home with four other families. She went on to become the CEO of United Health Care before she retired. Not succeeding was never an option for me and my sister. We were taught that we could do anything boys can do, if not better. That has instilled in me this drive to be not only successful in my career, but successful in my relationships, family, with myself—making sure I put the things I enjoy doing first.”

But when it comes down to the one quality Miya admires the most, it’s her mom’s huge heart.

“My mom gives with everything she’s got. She takes in everybody and everything. She loves so much and just wants to help people as much as she possibly can,” Miya smiled.

Miya with her mom Jelka.

“I think it comes from the fact that her family didn’t have much help when they moved here. We’re very active in our Church community and anybody who has come to this country from Serbia, a war-torn country, she’s always included them in our family gatherings and making sure they have somewhere safe to go to, a table to sit down at, and food to eat.”

Her nickname for Miya?

“She just calls me Margita, my full name—whether it’s good or bad, I’m in trouble or she just wants to give me love. She is the one and only person who calls me by my full name.”


For Rachel Bertolini, Shinola’s Senior Photo Retoucher, it’s her mom’s creativity that has guided her passion.

“My mom has been such a big creative influence in my life. She taught me how to make Ukranian easter eggs and steppingstones. We were always painting, stamping, and every other art and crafts project you can imagine. All of this has transferred into my career as I’m in a creative role now.”

Rachel with her mom Beverly.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to work alongside Rachel knows that she is a ray of sunshine in human form—it’s a quality she attributes to the woman who raised her.

“Something that I admire most about my mom is that she cares for everyone in my life like they’re her own. She treats everyone with kindness and always showering them with love, food, and gifts—just how she treats me. It’s meaningful to me because everyone in my life is important. For everyone getting to experience that kind of love as well is a special quality.”

They don’t have nicknames for each other, but rather special greetings.

“Whenever we call each other, I’ll say, “Hey, my mama!” And she’ll answer, “Hi, my baby!”’


On top of their weekly phone calls, just his mother being around offers Simon Cayedito, Shinola’s IT Support Technician, all the security in the world.

“She’s shaped me in a big way,” Simon said.

“My mom made me, and my brothers, feel like we could be anything. We had a huge sense of choice about big ideas from an early age. If we asked, she would always tell us about her view on any subject but made it clear that we had a choice to think and view it anyway we wanted to.”

Having that approach to so many things in our lives gave us the feeling that anything is possible and helped us look at the world with so much curiosity and wonder. It was up to us to figure it out.”

When it comes to the one quality he admires most, it’s her resiliency.

“She is a sensitive person who’ve experienced quite a bit of loss in her life, but she still manages to be a kind and loving person despite it all,” Simon added.

Simon’s mother gifted Simon with the most endearingly unique nickname, “Slime Bomb.”

“Slime kind of sounds like my name, Simon, but I’m not sure where the “bomb” part came from. The name caught on with the rest of my family and it really stuck throughout my whole life,” he laughed.

Simon with his mom Blithe.


Her mom’s way of showing her the endless possibilities and unwavering confidence are what helped shape Bailey Mattacola, Chief Operating Officer.

“She makes me feel like I can do anything. She’s my biggest cheerleader. From the days to sitting on the sidelines of my basketball games, to today writing embarrassing comments on my LinkedIn, she’s my biggest fan. Whenever I doubt myself, I go to my mom.”

Bailey with her mom Candyce

“Her bad a**-ness and tenacity” are the two qualities that inspire Bailey the most.

“She never gives up, never sits down, and just continues to push forward. She started her own business a few years ago. She’ll work so hard all day and then come home and be in the garden until 9pm. She just has this drive to get stuff done that I absolutely admire.”

Bailey’s mom lovingly calls her “Boo.” Why, you ask?

“She’s called me that for my entire life because when I was a baby, my eyes were really big and always looked like someone had scared me!”


Cherub Thomas, Shinola’s Social Media Coordinator, is endlessly inspired by her mom’s work ethic.

“My mother is the hardest working person I’ve ever met, so in turn I believe I have taken on that quality and always work very, very hard.”

“Her relationship with God inspires me to be a better person and work towards having a better relationship with God,” Cherub said.

When it comes to nicknames, giving is mutual between mother and daughter.

“My mom has two super crazy and embarrassing nicknames for me. The first one, which is my personal favorite, is “Cherry Berry Muffin.” The other one is “Miss Boopty,”’ Cherub laughed.

“Mine for her is “Dolly.” My Uncle always called her that, so I just joined in. I don’t know why he calls her that, but I always thought it was so cute.”

An ordained minister, Cherub’s mother’s faith is the light that continues to guide her in life.

Cherub with her mom Darcel.


A teacher in her field and in life, Senior Designer Molly Wang’s mother offers precious lessons that continue to help craft who she is.

“My mom always talks about being responsible for your own actions and that has always impacted me when it comes to making my own decisions. When I make a decision, I just go for it and don’t regret it. That has always been the way I look at life,” said Molly.

Molly with her mom Shirley.

Molly’s mother also invested a lot in education and taught her and her family to never stop learning.

“She’s still always learning something new and that’s been a big influence on me. I always try to learn new things both at work and outside the office. I believe that helps me flourish.”

Her mother’s commitment and consistent care for her family’s well-being is what she admires most.

“She never missed making a meal at home. She was a full-time high school teacher working 7-5, but every day she would come home and cook for us. We would always come together and have dinner,” Molly recalls.

Molly’s nickname for her mom always keeps her in check.

“Sometimes I call her “Teacher Tsai.” Since she was a teacher for decades, sometimes she will talk and act in a very teacher-like way. I have to make fun of her sometimes for it.”


For Marina Goldi, Shinola’s Social Media Manager, her mom helped shape her in two big ways.

“The first is taking pride in everything that I do—from doing laundry, to a class project, to my relationships, just how I see myself. The second is tradition. I grew up in a big Sammarinese family.”

“Those traditions throughout my life which I have been able to share with my siblings and cousins are a part of my core and I love being able to share them with the people I surround myself with.”

A true force of love and safety in her life, the one quality that Marina admires about her mother the most is her loyalty.

“She is fiercely loyal to her family, friends, job, and hobbies. It’s something that I admire and have instilled in myself. I’m probably loyal to a fault at times, but the love that goes behind it and believing in the people around me, supporting their dreams, and having that returned is something that both my mom and I stand by,” Marina added.

Marina with her mom Milena.


What makes a mother figure is more than who they are to us, but how they care for us. Caring for others and responsibility are some of the biggest values that Graphic Designer, Caleb Moss has learned from his mother.

“One thing that my mom has molded me into is a very punctual person. I hate being late to a fault. I’d rather be 2 hours early than 20 minutes late,” said Caleb.

Caleb with his mom Olivia.

“She’s also taught me to be service driven. I think it helps that I don’t always focus on myself, I’m always looking to help other people. That’s something that she’s always prided herself on and subconsciously has done the same thing through me.”

The way she cares for others is also what Caleb admires most about his mom.

“I would say her level of care is something that I think about often. Her ability to separate from herself and serve others is something that doesn’t get spoken about a lot, but doesn’t go unnoticed,” Caleb added.

When it comes to nicknames for his mom, Caleb likes to get creative.

“I call my mom a lot of different variations of “mom.” I usually just keep going to see how far I can go before I irritate her. I also keep getting louder and louder because she ignores me on purpose. Usually, I can get her attention when I call her by her first name…because I don’t get to do that,” he laughed.


Paige Stefan credits her mother’s kindness to what has shaped her as a woman.

“My mom has always taught me to be kind. She’s taught me to be open minded and do whatever my heart leads me to do. That’s something that has brought me to where I am in my career, as well as brought me into relationships and friendships that I really value.”

Her mother’s resiliency is what inspires Paige the most.

“No matter what happens in our lives, she’s always very strong. It’s a quality that has influenced me to be confident,” she said.

When it comes to nicknames, her mother recently inherited one that’s future proof.

“My husband calls her “Lulu”, so when we have kids, I know that’s going to be a nickname that sticks around.”

To every Ma, YaYa, Auntie, sister, and mother figure out there, happy Mother’s Day from Shinola.

Paige with her mom Louise.

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