Having been raised in France, the simple act of baking a weekly apple tarte brings back childhood memories for Charlotte Gaborit. A ritual now shared with her eldest daughter Sequoia, the significance of beliefs and ideals passed through generations is something Charlotte cherishes.
We recently shot Charlotte and her family, daughters Sequoia and Augustine, and husband Romello for BON and caught up with her afterwards to chat the importance of traditions, life lessons and heirloom jewellery.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family…
14 years ago, I immigrated to Australia from France and it’s been home ever since. I never imagined myself living so far from my motherland but I feel extremely blessed to have created a life here and to now be raising a family - my partner Romello and I have two daughters; Sequoia, 6 and Augustine, 14 months. Living by the ocean, life is inherently slower. The European in me loves to walk everywhere and collectively, we get our greatest enjoyment from cooking together, swimming and silly dancing each night. Both Romello & I are creatives, he’s a photographer and I’m ceramic artist who paused momentarily for motherhood.
BON is a brand centred around tradition, are there any traditions you grew up with as a child and have they continued through the generations? If not, are there any traditions that you’ve created within your own family unit?
I treasure traditions, I value the significance of beliefs and ideals passed down through generations, from my grandmother to my daughters is something I truly cherish. Being raised in France, I feel a deep connection to where I come from, it is very important for me to bring this into our home in Australia. It could be as simple as “the apple tarte” baking in my grandmother’s oven that I now replicate with my eldest daughter Sequoia, with the same love and simplicity almost every week. I was also instilled with a great appreciation for nature from an early age and I’ve already planted that seed for a love of the environment with regular nature walks and daily swims with my girls.
What is one of your favourite memories spent with family members?
One of my fondest memories were our family holidays spent in a tiny caravan on the mountains. My parents took us hiking for days to the French Alps whilst all my friends would spend the warm days of summer down the coast on the beach. My sister and I would be woken up at 7am, handed a backpack with a cut lunch and climb all day long. We’d be slightly grumpy at the time but infinitely grateful to this day. My parents made us appreciate the simplicity and beauty of life.
What has been your favourite thing about becoming a parent?
Other than stating the obvious that my daughters are the centre of my universe, they have taught me to be present in the moment and in effect ‘slow down’. Just the other morning I was walking home with Augustine, my 14 month old. She was stopping for everything… a small stone, the drops of water on leaves and puddles. My reaction was to insist we keep walking, though the reality was we had nowhere to be so why not just wander the way she wanted to? Too often as adults and parents we focus on getting from 'A to B' but there is so much more in between and my daughters continually remind me that the journey is greater than the destination.
What values do you hope to instil in your children?
I love to observe the uniqueness of their personalities unfold as they grow up. My wish for them is to always remain authentic to themselves. I will remind them that being humble is one of the highest qualities of the heart. Compassion is another trait I deeply value and recently I was reminded how ‘being a good listener’ is a very beautiful quality …to simply listen without judgment, to be there for another. I feel there is a profound acceptance of others in this.
At BON, we each have treasured items that have been passed down to us through our families, is there a significant family heirloom or keepsake that you’re now in ownership of? What does it mean to you and how does it make you feel?
A few years ago, I started wearing the pendant that I was given as a baby when I was baptized – it is a gold chain with a pendant of The Huguenot Cross. On a recent visit back home to France I discovered many women in my family are also wearing that same cross, even some of my younger cousins. I chose to wear it purely for its ornate aesthetic, but I now have a bond and affinity for it given the cultural and religious attachment that the rest of my family have to it.
We were honoured to shoot your beautiful family for BON and it brings us so much joy seeing you wear the Pearl Drop Charm Necklace. What significance does this charm have to you?
The Pearl Drop Charm seemed like an obvious choice as a keepsake to be handed down from generation to generation for Sequoia (my eldest daughter) and I. The gestation of the pearl within an oyster is such a perfect metaphor for our relationship and the inference of motherhood. That and the necklace itself is the thread that forever binds us to one another. Sequoia chose the shell pendant for her charm bracelet because each time she goes down to the beach, she fills her pocket with all kinds of wonderous mementos.