The Secret Ingredients: Meet the Seymour’s PT2 Fallon Seymour

August 8, 2018

FALLON SEYMOUR

(Two  of Two)

 

Everyone  has heard  the cliche: “Behind  every strong man is  a strong woman.”

 

Fallon  Seymour is  certainly that. Rather  than standing ‘behind’ her husband,  however, Fallon and John are both equal  parts – side-by-side, yin & yang – to a  greater whole. Often hailed “supermom” by close friends  and family, Fallon Seymour is not simply “John’s wife” but  a strong force to be reckoned with who worked hard to find a  unique balance between family and business. With her calm confidence  and Caribbean charm, it may look like the juggling of her multiple titles and  “jobs” come easy but Fallon recognizes how hard it was to get to a point that  was effective and fed her heart professionally and personally. When their children were  born, Fallon and John were surprised at the news they would be having not just their first  child; the Seymours were welcoming a set of twins.

At this point, Pops had become a neighborhood  favorite and John was ready to launch Sweet Chick. For the good of their budding family, Fallon decided  to ultimately be a stay-at-home mother and run the business from their apartment. It also became a wise  business decision later on, as Caribbean culture had not become mainstream until a few years ago with the explosion  of Rihanna and the West Indian icons across food, music, fashion and pop culture. “I don’t think anyone knew what I did  for Pops and how I worked from home. I was always in the shadows,” Fallon reflects. “But being a stay-at-home mom was hard.  Stay-at-home mothers in America are looked down upon, like they have their man taking care of them and they don’t have any aspirations,  but it takes a lot out of a mother to step back for her family. People just looked at me as a mother and a wife and that was all.” As  challenging as the initial period of Jette and Milann’s homecoming was, the Seymours eventually got to a point after the girls were older to hire  a nanny to assist for a few hours a day so Fallon could begin her newest chapter with Pearl’s.

 

This was also a difficult transition, as Fallon fought  to overcome “mom guilt” – a common internal conflict for women who are both mothers but also stepping back into the workforce. In many ways, women who face mom  guilt are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Fallon the dirty looks she received as a stay-at-home mother but was even more surprised by the negative comments she  has received about going back to work and using the additional help of a nanny. In particular, when the girls were doing bad in school, for example, Fallon wondered if she had  been around more often, would that have changed or affected their behavior? Should she have done their homework with them and ordered food instead of making them dinner that one  night? “But then I realize it is that mom guilt,” Fallon states firmly, realizing the paranoia of being a good mother is rooted in love and wanting the best for her children. Fallon  continues to carefully balance both her multiple passions with patience and grace in an effort to teach all three of her girls a greater lesson: “You can be a mother – a great mother  – and a working woman and have your own aspirations. Having children is the hardest and most important job you can have.”Another key tenet John and Fallon mindfully integrate into their parenting  of the girls is the importance of where they come from. From John’s Irish claddagh wedding  band to the  family’s celebration  of the West Indian parade,  the girls are always instilled with  a sense of their culture and roots from  both sides of the family. On John’s side of  the bloodline, the goal was to foster the signature  Irish work ethic. From Fallon, confidence as strong and  empowered young women was encouraged.

 

 

This  is also  an important  element of Pearl’s  conceptual culture –  being authentic and true  to who you are. But like  anything else, it was not always  smooth sailing even as strong of a  matriarch as Fallon is. Labeled a “white”  person by American racial standards in New York,  Fallon was greeted with controversy from some patrons  as Pearl’s opened its doors. The Trinidadian national has  received condescending comments or emails with confusion about  her heritage that often insinuated that she knew “nothing” about  black Caribbean soul food. Some, in fact, accused her family of being  slave owners in Trinidad, not knowing Fallon is actually a mixture of Portuguese, British,  Indian and African descent. She has even had a table who got up and left once knowing Fallon was  white, not knowing that Pearls is owned by a couple of Caribbean folks wherein Fallon was the only ‘white’  one. There is certainly a logical fallacy in applying American racial dichotomy to immigrants or those of international  backgrounds. Fallon had a specific response to an offensive email she received when she was asked how she “had the nerve  to open [Pearls]” due to her white appearance. “I emailed [the sender] back, saying clearly, she is not from the Caribbean because  if she was, she would’ve known that there’s every skin color under the sun in the Caribbean and that [in the media] it may seem like the  Caribbean is just people of African and Indian descent, but there’s Chinese, European, Spanish ‘looking’ people as well.

There’s so many combinations  of people, that you don’t even  know what their mix is.” Fortunately,  even with the misconceptions from certain  patrons, Pearls has been a hit and very much  a welcome addition to Williamsburg by both West Indian  folks and non-West Indian folks alike with a strong rating on  Yelp and busy restaurant most days of the week. To complement Pearls’ success,   Fallon and the rest of the owners opened up Clyde’s Quality next door – a  super chill, cozy and delicious cocktail bar with the Caribbean-inspired drinks fit  for mixology enthusiast in every New Yorker. “I want an American who knows about West  Indian food to say ‘damn, that’s good’ and I want a West Indian to come in and say that they  give it the stamp of approval,” Fallon laughs. For better or for worse, The Seymours – as diverse  and as unique as they are, have had to battle the paradox of the “White” and “Black” experience – two  things that are uniquely homegrown here in the States. “In America it’s so cut-and-dry,” Fallon muses. “But in  the Caribbean we celebrate all cultures and religions through food and culture. I want to teach that to my girls.

 

 

 

Photography by: Gerardo Mendez

Words by: Lizzie Mac

Visit PEARL’S CARIBBEAN 

Fallon threads provided by: TANAKA  

FILA

 








1 Comment

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