This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Michaelan Cohen, the Greenwich Mom of two behind Stackables by MJC! With a background in law, she decided to stay at home when her son Asher (now 4) was born (she is also Mom 2-year-old daughter Adele). During the pandemic, she decided to start making handmade, custom bracelets for family and friends as a creative outlet, and her business grew from there. We loved her chic designs so much we asked her to create GMOM bracelet just for Greenwich Moms (buy it in our Greenwich Moms Marketplace!). We asked Michaelan to share about launching her business, her favorite holiday gifts and her family life in Greenwich.
Can you please share a bit about your family life in Greenwich?
I live in mid-country, Greenwich with my husband, Zhak, and my two little kids, Asher (4) and Adele (2.5). I’m originally from Chappaqua and Zhak from Israel/Miami, so we wanted a balance of white picket fence suburban living with a lively town full of restaurants and activities. Greenwich provided that perfect combination – in a single day we can get kids ice cream at the beach, hike, play tennis/golf and go for a date on the town!
How would you describe Stackables by MJC?
Stackables by MJC is a contemporary jewelry line that specializes in handmade, custom pieces. Stackables collection spans from bracelets to necklaces, anklets, mask chains and kids jewelry.
Why did you decide to start your business?
I was craving something creative! Before I had kids I was a lawyer working at Morgan Stanley. Truthfully, I never loved what I did, and when I was pregnant with Asher, my husband and I made the decision that I would stay home with the kids. That remains my number one (and most demanding!) job. As my kids started getting a little older, I found myself with more free time and a desire to use my creative side. I have always loved jewelry, and during COVID
I saw a beautiful beaded bracelet and thought, “I could make that!”. I proceeded to drive to Michael’s (a craft store) and buy my first set of supplies. I came home and not to sound cheesy, but after the first bracelet I made – I was hooked on perfecting the craft of beading and honing my skill. Stackables was a hobby at first while I learned the technique necessary to make quality pieces. I would send custom bracelets with a heart on it to my family during the pandemic to let them know I was thinking of them. Eventually, my hobby gained traction, more people wanted to buy my pieces, and just like that, Stackables was born.
What separates your product from other lines out there?
The level of quality, customization and customer service. I make everything by hand and customize the pieces with unique designs, words, colors and charms (including birthstones). I work closely with my clients to create and design a bespoke product, this includes communicating throughout the creation process to ensure the stack is exactly what the customer has in mind. For the kids stacks, I will often take a few favorite colors and make my own fun creation. I also pride myself on the quality of the beads I use. A lot of gold jewelry on the market is gold plated, which ends up tarnishing in water. My products are made with 14k gold filled balls (sweat and water resistant) and the finest beads.
What do your kids think about your business? Do you offer kids jewelry?
They are my most demanding and lowest paying clients! They love the bracelets. The best thing about little kids is their brutal honesty! I really do respect their insight though, especially in my kids collection. We do offer kids jewelry and mask chains – most of which is inspired by my own children and what I think they will like. I was a stay-at-home mom before I started Stackables, and although my kids were a bit confused when I started working (albeit from home), they are now learning the different facets of mommy and understanding that it is possible to still be there for them and also build my own business. It does not have to be a compromise. They have watched Stackables grow from an idea into what it is today, and I love teaching them that if you put your mind to something and work hard, you can do anything you want.
What are some of your most popular gifts for the holidays?
My most popular jewelry pieces are my custom bracelets. The most popular styles are the 4mm gold-filled ball stack and the black faceted bead stack with gold accents. Both are perfect everyday staples that you can wear from school pick-up into town for a nice dinner. I go away on December 20th but will take holiday orders up until Friday, December 17th.
What’s next for you and your business?
I love the momentum Stackables has had – it has grown so much over the past year and I am so grateful to be where I am today. Because it is just me at Stackables and I pride myself on my customization, I can only take on so much. Next year with both my kids in school more, I hope to take more orders and publicize my brand more. In my mind, this entails getting my website up and running (right now I use Instagram for orders) and having enough time and materials to set up a booth at some of the town’s holiday boutiques and attend in-house parties. Ultimately I hope to keep growing Stackables to the point that it is big enough to be a local household name but not too big where it loses the quality, customization and dedication to each piece that I am able to give today.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you so much for having me as a Greenwich Moms Meet a Mom! I feel honored and so lucky to be a part of such an amazing community. The best way right now to purchase Stackables is to check out my Instagram page (@stackablesbymjc), pick a style you like and direct message me to customize. If you do not see a product you love, as I mentioned earlier, I will work with you to create your dream stack. You can also email me at [email protected] if you do not have Instagram.
We love to support local businesses. Would you please share your favorite local places to:
Get dinner as a family – Grigg Street pizza
Have fun as a family (outdoors or in!) – Summer we love to kayak at Tods Point and go for nature walks at Pomerance Park. Winter we love to light a fire at home, make cocktails and order in pizza from Doppio.
Work out – Forme Barre
Grab coffee – CFCF
Shop for yourself – Veronica Beard