Mother's Day: The OROTON team on finding inspiration from their mothers

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we asked the OROTON team to share the life lessons their mothers taught them – from building a career around a strong work ethic and the importance of living in the moment, to navigating daily hurdles with positivity and kindness in mind.

Dimity Mitsis,
National Retail Manager:

“My mother has always had this amazing emotional insight. Growing up, she was always there, completely dependable, and just the most inspiring person. It didn't matter what we wanted to do, she was encouraging, and I think that’s such a special quality. Mum also has this amazing empathy, she has incredible acceptance for people and was never judgemental, which is such a valuable life lesson in these times, now more than ever. She was a city girl who moved to the country with my dad, they had five children quite quickly, and yet she really carved out a life for herself, she was always doing things. You were never allowed to say that you were bored in our house, that was a big no-no. She pushed us to find our own creativity, to go outside exploring. She has this great sense of spirit and positivity which is a lesson I’ve been mindful of passing on.”

Monique Walker,
Executive Assistant to the CEO:

“Motherhood, for me, means raising strong independent and courageous women – and surrounding them with wonderful role models. My daughters have five aunts who are down to earth, loving women, all successful in their own right, and hard working. The girls can really see that it’s possible to achieve whatever they want to achieve if they put in the work. The other point is that you have this unconditional love for your child, you would literally walk through fire for these little people who come into your life and suddenly turn everything upside down. It can be chaotic at times, but in that sense I think motherhood has taught me to be a much calmer person. I’m more conscious of living in the moment – when I'm home I put the phone down, I don’t look at it again until the girls are in bed, I make an effort to be a hundred percent focused on our time together and I’m conscious of teaching them the same.”

Daniel Cerreto,
Chief Information Officer:

“My wife has this unbelievable resilience, I think that’s the major lesson I’ve learned from her, to always push forward. She has this incredibly measured approach to motherhood and such positive energy. Together, we place great importance on respect. Manners are a big thing. We are focused on teaching our kids to be respectful to the people around them, their family, and the planet as well. Coralie is also the fun mum, always coming up with new adventures and projects. There is a lot of joy and happiness in our house, and my wife has taught me a lot about patience, and the importance of taking time, encouraging your kids to do things in their own way. She has also made a point of really being conscious of those moments when the pressure builds up. Coralie has certain ways of decompressing, whether that’s about going to the gym or going for a walk, being mindful of stress levels and the importance of looking after yourself.”

Kristen Courias,
Head of Production:

“My mum has always been an absolute rock, incredibly strong, she was incredibly strong even when my dad passed away eight months ago. I definitely get a certain kind of strength from her. She taught me to value everyone regardless. Dad was in the army and would be away for months at a time. Mum worked hard, I remember she'd be out the door by five. I would get everybody dressed for school, make the lunches, then mum would come home, prepare dinner and maybe head out again for a night shift. Through all that, she was unbelievably positive, an optimist. She was the one who encouraged me to apply to fashion school. She really pushed us to believe in ourselves. The fact that she was so generous too, really left a mark on me. Mum was always open and loving and, if you needed a roof over your head, or anything, she would make it happen. She has an enormous amount of love in her heart, which is so inspiring.”

Anesya Cholid,
Financial Analyst

“My mother always demonstrated this unconditional love, she's so selfless. She was a working mum and would spend hours at work, but my brother and I knew quite strongly that she would do anything for us, she was always there. My dad was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s when we were young, so mum had a lot to manage: she was a carer and she had to work late hours to provide for us. And yet she made it very clear to us that family time was precious, this was quality time, and also our education had to be a priority. Mum also reinforced the message that you could do anything, that it was important to believe in positive thinking, to push through any challenges and work hard in order to achieve what you wanted to achieve.”

Elise Banks,
Financial Controller:

“Becoming a mother has made me appreciate my own mum so much more, I truly realise the selflessness, the unconditional love. My parents made a decision quite early on in terms of what was important – they prioritised education and travel, and so we had these amazing adventures. Mum was a librarian, she would research different places around the world, then plan holidays around the cities she had read about. She really gave my sister and I this wonderful view of the world and an appreciation for different cultures. Mum has also always had this calming presence, she has a very pragmatic approach to life and problem-solving, in the sense that tomorrow is a new day. That in turn has been so helpful in my life and my career, something that I hope my son sees in me and learns as well. There is so much going on in the world at the moment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, so I think having empathy and the ability to take a step back and breathe is such an important life lesson.”

Stacey Shalhoub,
Property Project Manager:

“There's nothing greater than a mother’s love. The love you have for your children, it’s hard to put into words, it's endless. When I think about my mother’s love, the greatest lesson is that she was always so very selfless, she put her family first and I really believe that shaped [me and my sisters]. Mum always encouraged us to have a strong work ethic, she was always very loyal and had our backs, but you had to work hard, and I feel like that is something that I have taken from her and am trying hard to instil in my kids. Mum taught us to be very respectful, well mannered. I think the other point is that she was quite amazing at juggling everything – running the household, at the same time fantastic in her job. Now that I am a part-time working mum, I know how challenging it is to get it all right. I look back now and think ‘how did she do it?’, we were always perfectly dressed, always had a beautiful home-cooked meal on the table, the house was spotless. She managed it all and she did so with such positivity, and I think that is a real skill.”

James Sheppard,
Head of Visual Merchandising & Store Experience:

“My brother and I were my mum’s number one priority, she couldn't do enough for us and was always so supportive. I loved fashion from an early age, loved experimenting with different looks, and she really encouraged us just to be happy, to be who we wanted to be. We used to spend a lot of time together in [London’s] West End, shopping in the department stores. Back then, it was all about these over-the-top window installations, so exciting – of course, it's called visual merchandising today, but mum really pushed me to pursue what I loved. She was determined for us to forge our own paths. Mum and dad both worked very hard, and I think that definitely rolled down to me and my brother – we both really love working and have always worked hard from day one. Mum taught us that if we push ourselves then amazing opportunities will open up.”

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