Vesna Vrankovic is the creative force behind Bond Leisure which develops F&B brands throughout Dubai and Tribeca Kitchen and Bar. Vesna is also a model and has been working in the fashion industry since her early teens.
During her 18-year modeling career to date, Vesna has worked with a host of creative and talented people,all of whom have inspired her. Vesna has walked runway shows for some incredible designers including Carolina Herrera, Philip Plein, Galliano, Amato and Valentino.
Throughout her extensive travels Vesna has had the privilege of experiencing some of the world’s most exclusive restaurants, these later proved to be part of her inspiration behind Tribeca Kitchen and Bar. After the birth of her son, Vesna developed a passion for healthy living and began making changes to her lifestyle.
We spoke to Vesna to talk about her business and what advice she would give to first time mums.
How did you first hear about banking stem cells?
I first heard about banking stem cells in my first pregnancy from my OB, Dr George Michailidis, who delivered both my babies. However in my first pregnancy, I ended up having my son earlier than I anticipated and thus didn’t have enough time to research the topic.
Why did you bank your child’s stem cells?
In my second pregnancy I was much more informed about all of my options. I did a lot of research this time and felt that banking stem cells was the way of the future. As a more informed mum, I wanted to have peace of mind that I have done everything that I can as a parent to protect my children. I believe that we are blessed to live in an era where we have access to stem cell technology and I was really happy to learn that my daughters stem cells could potentially benefit my son as well.
How has your life changed since having your children?
My life has changed in many ways. When you are a mum you need to be a lot more organised, which is not really one of my strong suits! Add work to that equation and forward planning and routine become essential. It took me years to master it to some degree but it’s still not in my nature. There is a big gap between my children, my son is nine and my daughter is almost 3 months. Having children has made me more selfless and a little more risk adverse. I never knew how much I could love until I had children. You never stop worrying about them, my mum used to say this to me as a child but I always thought that she was being overbearing because I was an only child. However, I do find myself doing and saying much of the same to my surprise.
Tell us about your children. How old are they, what has your favourite moment of their development been so far?
My son Maksim has just turned 9 and my daughter Mila will be 3 months soon. My daughter is all about smiling at the moment, she has the most adorable smile that greets me every morning when she wakes up. It melts my heart every time. I love to see my son interact with his sister, he has been the only child in the family for 9 years so I feared that he may be a little jealous but he has shown to be a great big brother. He always checks up on her, wants to hold her and even rocks her to sleep. It’s adorable to see them together and I feel very grateful for them both.
How do you balance work with being a Mum?
I enjoy both working and being a mum. I feel I am happiest when I balance the two. Being a mum makes me a better worker because I feel like I have more purpose and motivation. At the same time, working and thus having less time with my children makes me more grateful and mindful of the time that I spend with them. The key is to hopefully be in a work environment where you are given the flexibility to work alternative hours and also work from home. My work, particularly Modelling, has allowed me to pick and choose my work hours, which has allowed me to be flexible. I also think that having help is a must, I was blessed to have my mum living in Dubai and thus I got a lot of help with my son. I now have assistance with a live in nanny, who I love and value so much. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if I didn’t have help.
Why is it important to you to carry on working?
I have always wanted to be a working mum. It’s important to me because I feel that I am more fulfilled when I wear many hats. I feel that being a mum is my first priority for sure but working and having adult interaction and responsibilities outside of my home is very important to me. I also try and meet up with my friends as often as time allows and have date nights with my husband. I strongly believe that mum, work, life balance is key to my happiness and satisfaction.
What advice can you give to first time mums?
I would say enjoy every minute of it. They grow up so fast. I still can’t believe that I have a nine-year-old. It feels like yesterday when I bought him home from the hospital. I also think it’s really important to do your own research. Google is amazing and we are blessed to be able to learn so much at the click of a button. I have learned a great deal about medical advancements such as stem cells by exploring the internet. There is a lot of information for new mums which I found really helpful such as breastfeeding advice, parenting styles, baby growth and development and so forth. Of course, for any major concerns you should always consult a doctor but I feel that being self-informed allows you to ask the right questions and make informed decisions for yourself and your family.
Have friends or family been encouraged to store cells because you did?
I have had a several friends reach out to me from all over the world and ask about stem cells. I really encourage people to read up about it as I really do find it fascinating. Once you educate yourself about the potential benefits, I believe that the decision is easy.