Gabrielle Gambrell reflects on motherhood and celebrates her daughter Gigi’s first birthday with a pretty-in-pink photo shoot!
First birthdays are a time of joyful celebration. A year’s worth of milestone memories from first words to first steps are just a few exciting things to celebrate in your baby’s first year of life.
During this special time, parents (particularly mothers) often marry these little victories with moments of reflection. And as all mothers know, parenting is not an easy feat. Especially for working and business-owning moms— the juggling act is real!
Our MunaMommy guest, Gabrielle Gambrell, is no stranger to the complexities of balancing motherhood and her career. As the Chief Communications Officer and Founder of Gift of Gabrielle and a Professor at Columbia and New York University, she has a lot on her plate. She is known for her expertise in communications, branding, and media marketing for major companies. These include industry-leading and award-winning sports, media, entertainment, consumer, technology, and lifestyle brands, as well as talent and influencers.
With two little ones at home, Gabrielle believes the act of mothering is born not only out of love for her children, but also out of service to her community. She is immensely passionate about speaking with other mothers on topics like finances, career development, and teaching children the value of money.
All these things give her joy and purpose in life. However, her two children are the true center of her world.
Gabrielle shares, “Prior to motherhood, my career came first and was my top priority. I made a lot of historic career moves after finishing my bachelor’s degree at 20 and my master’s degree at 22. My twenties were dedicated to career elevation and history-making. I also made a goal of being financially secure before starting a family.”
Once she married her husband, Jeffrey Gambrell, he became her new top priority. Then, the moment she became a mother, her whole world changed.
She admits, “My children now come first before anything and anyone. They are my first and last thought each day and my utmost priority.”
While motherhood is a tireless journey of change, learning, and growth, it is equally gratifying, commendable, and worthwhile. Even though her children’s calendars and personal dates now surpass her own, Gabrielle is perfectly okay with that!
When it gets hard, which it does (especially with more than one child!), I remind myself that this is what I’ve always wanted and how blessed I am to live my dream.– Gabrielle Gambrell
She and her husband and their son, Jeffrey Michael Gambrell II, celebrate Gigi’s first birthday with ample amounts of gratitude and love in this perfectly pink photo session! Captured by Laura Yost, Gigi is absolutely adorable in her pink tulle dress and silk bow!
We invite you to get to know Gabrielle and read about her journey into motherhood below!
- Featured MunaMommy: Gabrielle Gambrell
- Occupation: Chief Communications Officer & Founder of Gift of Gabrielle and Professor, Columbia University & New York University
- Children: Jeffrey Michael Gambrell II #BabyGambrell (11/10/19) & Galia Gabé Gambrell GigiGambrell (6/16/22)
On becoming a mother…
My husband and I were married on 9/9/18, you may notice that 9+9=18, a perfect equation, which is why we chose that date. Our wedding hashtag was #GambrellsNY2LA. I wanted to have children sooner than later as I was closer to 35. I also knew that I wanted my children close in age, no more than 3 years a part.
Thus, after our first year of marriage, we got pregnant. Both of my children were born at White Plains Hospital, just a few minutes from our home in Westchester, New York. My first pregnancy with my son was easy with no morning sickness at all. The labor was very long, but overall I wasn’t hesitant to do it again.
With my second pregnancy, I was sick every day. I was even sick at 41 weeks, including the day my daughter was born. Even though I was uncomfortable and sick, I would do it all over again, as the reward was worth more than I could have ever imagined. My daughter Galia is the sweetest, kindest person you will ever meet. She has my grandmother’s spirit and my Godmother’s heart.
In your parenting journey, who inspires you?
My parents, my grandparents, and my Godmother inspire me in my parenthood journey.
My father was a single father and was incredible. My mother is my defender and will conquer the world for me and I am the same with my children. Both of my parents are my cheerleaders and I am the same way with my own children.
My grandparents Walter and Bessie Simpson remain my anchors, and my late Godmother is my heart. My grandparents accomplished so much despite all the adversities being born in 1912 and 1917 respectively. They had five children, climbed corporate, entertainment, and government ladders, and kept God first. They also stuck together through everything that comes along with life.
Two of the most important women in my life are my grandmother, Bessie Simpson, and my late beloved Godmother, Gabé Ynes Grant (aka Gigi), whom my 1-year-old daughter, Galia Gabé Gambrell (aka #GigiGambrell) is named after.
My grandmother is the reason why after my children are married and ready to take on parenthood, I enthusiastically look forward to being a grandmother. A member of the illustrious Phi Beta Kappa honor society my grandmother, Bessie Simpson, was born in 1912, and was an honors alumna of Smith College (and one of the college’s first Black graduates), Eastern Michigan University, and Howard University.
My grandmother was a classical pianist, who spoke and wrote in multiple languages and more. I could go on and on about how amazing she was, but more importantly how much she loved God and exhibited his grace and glory. She’s a testament of God’s love. She’s the epitome of class, beauty, intelligence, grace, courage and success. I think of my grandma daily and her legacy will not only live through me, but also through my children. I strive to be like her in all that I do – career, marriage and motherhood.
My beloved Godmother, the original Gigi, was my very best friend who taught me that contrary to societal thoughts on parenthood and friendship, that you can have a true friend in your parents. Jeffrey Gambrell II (#BabyGambrell) and #GigiGambrell are definitely my besties. You may not always agree with your friends or see eye-to-eye, but love and respect should never waiver.
For your newest little one, Galia Gabé Gambrell (#GigiGambrell), share all the details of her birthday photo session!
For Galia’s first birthday photoshoot, we worked with Laura Yost. After doing a few photoshoots with photographers who do not specialize in children, working with someone with expertise in newborns, infants, and toddlers was crucial. Laura was kind, patient, and talented. Both children were actually very sick on the day of the shoot, but one would never know that.
The photos were shot at Laura’s studio in the Inwood/Washington Heights section of Manhattan, New York, two weeks before her first birthday which is June 16, 2023.
How do you and your husband balance your individual parenting styles?
My husband and I have two different parenting styles, but they balance each other out. He’s relaxed and chill while I’m structured and proactive. He’s very loving and affectionate.
We parent based on our love languages. My love languages are quality time and gift giving and my husband awaits what I buy the kids – which happens quite often – even if it’s a vacation, flight, or fun activity.
My husband’s love language is words of affirmation, and he constantly reminds the children how amazing they are and how much we love them.
What are your hopes and dreams for your children and individual goals as a #MunaBossMom?
I dream of my children having a personal relationship with God and nurturing that throughout their lives to moreover reap the benefits that come with knowing the Lord. I dream of my children fulfilling the personal desires of their hearts and their career aspirations. I anticipate being able to support my children in following their wildest dreams.
As a #MunaBossMom, I will continue to soar in motherhood, but also as an individual. It’s important to do things that bring me joy, to be successful in life, and moreover live each day to the fullest.