Dr. Carrie Panoff believes there is no time like the present. She is a hardworking obstetrician, mom and business owner. Working in the world of pregnancy and motherhood has opened a whole new door of empathy and understanding for her. Searching for balance Dr. Panoff utilizes her down time making beautiful jewelry creations. She owns and runs her jewelry line, The Balancing Stork. All of her items are handmade in the USA with semi-precious stones, genuine leather and gold and silver filled castings. Most recently Dr. Panoff collaborated with her brother to launch a prenatal meditation series paired with her nine month necklace. Find out how Dr. Panoff balances pursing her career, a passion project and family!
What makes you a Beyond Mom?
Like many women these days, I juggle many titles however “mom” is my absolute favorite. In the professional world, I’m a physician and a partner in private OB/GYN practice in Rockland County. I also sit on the board for Columbia affiliated physicians and I lend my expertise to a few pharmaceutical companies on contraceptive products. In my personal life, I am a wife and mom of three young kids. I am also a girl scout leader. And I’ve recently added a new title: Business owner. I started my jewelry line, The Balancing Stork earlier this year. The backstory is this: I’ve always been a “crafter” and I spent many a nights working on crafting projects in the labor and delivery on-call room during my down time. What initially began as one of my “projects” to clear my mind and find balance evolved into my jewelry line, The Balancing Stork.
What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?
I always pride myself on being a sympathetic physician, but pregnancy and motherhood opened a whole new door of empathy and understanding. Motherhood is no joke. Those little people are born without instructions and are completely dependent upon you and your community to mold them into responsible beings. Parenthood has taught me the importance of patience as it relates not only to my children, but to my patients with their questions and concerns. On many occasions, I have pulled from both my professional and personal experience to comfort or explain a situation to a concerned patient and I feel it has matured my care.
Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?
I am a gynecologist with female partners, a girl scout leader and the oldest of four girls. My girlfriends are an integral part of my village, I rely upon women for their collaboration on a daily basis. However a specific collaboration that immediately comes to mind is my collaboration with Jen West. Jen is a midwife whom I met at a medical conference. Jen had an idea that she had patented almost a decade ago and I had just launched The Balancing Stork and was searching for the perfect piece that truly married my passion for creating jewelry and my life’s work as an OB/GYN. In partnership we created the Nine Month Necklace™ which is now available for expecting moms. The Nine Month Necklace™ is a handcrafted piece of jewelry designed to celebrate and support each month of pregnancy and beyond with a beautiful gemstone. Jen had the brilliant idea and together we collaborated to bring it to life.
What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?
I married my college sweetheart. He has known me for more than 25 years so we’ve grown up together, for better or for worse. He’s a wonderful support and helps me strive to be my best self every day. I also have deep connections with my sisters and lifelong girlfriends that I consider sisters. We all have our individual strengths and I am fully cognizant that I could never accomplish what I do without their support. But most importantly, I have three kids. My teenage boys keep me on my toes, but my daughter more than anyone keeps me connected to myself. I am fully aware of the impact my actions have on my daughter. I speak, dress and behave fully aware that she is watching, emulating and growing. I’m constantly reminded that I must practice what I preach in order to raise a strong woman.
Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing? If so, please share…
At this point in my life, my “Beyond” dream is to stay balanced and connected to what is important. I don’t think there’s such a thing as work/life balance. It’s just balance. And balance is a challenge that I am continually striving to improve. Right now I have found balance with my “passion project,” The Balancing Stork. I feel that since its inception, I have been a better mother and physician because I have that creative outlet that keeps my head clear. Yes, it has kept me incredibly busy, but I feel I am more present. Many of us decide to put our “passion projects” to the side because we can’t imagine where we can find the time. I say there is no time like the present. Right now The Balance Stork is exactly where I want it to be so I guess you could say that I’m currently living my “Beyond” dream. I get to share my jewelry with people each day, I have the time to design and handcraft the items myself and most of all, I’m feeling incredibly balanced.
What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?
I love to run. I need to run. I am a much kinder person when I run (just ask my husband). I can put on my headphones and get fully lost in my music. My schedule does not allow me to run every day but I set goals for myself because I’ve found that setting appropriate goals for myself prevents disappointment. When I am running 3-4 days per week I am content with that balance.
How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?
When It comes to what I wear and the jewelry I buy, I always try to find something slightly unique. I’ve never understood the purpose of showing up looking like everyone else I guess that is why I love handmade jewelry, by nature no two pieces are identical. I have been told my style is tailored bohemian, sort of J Crew meets Anthropologie. That being said, I would not say I have a favorite designer.
Favorite Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:
Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:
Red wine at a girlfriends kitchen table
Running with a new playlist
Woodbury Commons upstate, I love a good bargain hunt!