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9 Mother’s Day Gifts

Cuyana

Mother’s Day is May 13th, a.k.a. right around the corner. If you’re on the hunt for a gift for a mother figure in your life, here are nine beautiful options from Cuyana. They make thoughtful investment pieces, especially if you’re going in on a group gift with siblings or from the whole family. They’re the kind of things that your mother can use forever (and will always remind her of you)…

Cuyana has been one of our go-tos for leather bags and wallets since it was founded in California in 2011. Their motto is “fewer, better things,” and that’s definitely true of the classic leather tote, which is super soft and buttery, so much more than other bags of its kind. They now have three stores, including a New York location that’s opening this month.

What are you giving your mom this year? What would you most like to get? You can see all Cuyana’s beautiful items here.

P.S. Riding bikes, traveling and reading over the years with Cuyana bags.

(Top image by Tory Williams for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Cuyana, a brand we’ve used and loved for years. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Lena says...

    I just bought my mother in law the Turkish cotton robe. Thank you for the suggestions!

  2. Great tips! I think that a good bag will never be superfluous. And that parents often start saving on things like bags and purses.

  3. Julie says...

    Who knew the spiciest comments on here in weeks would be on a suggestion that some of us need bags to carry stuff in, and that maybe they should last? On that note, I bought a nicer-than-usual-for-me bag from Madewell back in 2014 (about $120) and it’s still going strong. Would love to try Cuyana, and thank you for your polite/thorough/patient response about brands you trust to related question above, Joanna.

  4. KSM says...

    Am I the only one who doesn’t know what to do with scarves! Never wore them and kind of find them one extra piece on my body :P. Any advice on what to do with them? I remember a post you did about how you didn’t understand Vests, your vest problem is my scarf problem…:).

  5. V.T. says...

    Love the dress (top photo) featured with the beautiful pink Cuyana tote too! Would you happen to know who made it? Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      reformation!

  6. Ro says...

    My mom is one of those people who loves to unwrap presents, but then she promptly forgets about them. Over the years I’ve showered her with jewelry and bags and sweaters — all of which she never ends up using. I often find the lying around in the gift boxes months later, covered in dust. Haha

    I’ve learned she’s way more into experiences, which is why this year we’ll be going to one of those “wine and paint” studios. This particular spot is hosting a Mother’s Day brunch, followed by a class where we’ll sit around painting flowers. It’s sooo up my mom’s alley, and I can’t wait to surprise her :)

  7. Claudia says...

    I really love wearing scarves! I recommend placing the “triangle” towards the front. You tie the knot towards the back of your neck (no too tight, you want it to drape a little). Hope this works for you!

  8. Jennifer says...

    Yes! Thanks so much, Joanna!! And I love Cuyana by the way! I first found out about them through Cup of Jo and have since purchased the mini saddle and their tote. Love the quality and their transparent supply chain! Total win win.

  9. Hannah says...

    My mom passed away from cancer almost 3 years ago and I still struggle to really enjoy this holiday since she’s no longer here (even with being a mother myself now). Any plans to do a post about how to cope with Mother’s Day when you longer have one?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I would love to talk more about this. I’m so sorry for your loss, Hannah. xoxo

    • SB says...

      This is such a good and positive question, Hannah, because my mom has been gone 11 years and I just pretend Mother’s Day isn’t happening (it wasn’t a big holiday in our family, thankfully, which makes it easier). But even after all this time it twists my stomach a bit. Reading Hope Edelman’s book “Motherless Daughters” brought me a lot of solace when I was finally ready to open it, 2-3 years after Mom died. Much love to you and everyone who loves your momma.

    • Hannah says...

      @SB The end of your comment made me tear up. Thank you for your kind words!

  10. Denise says...

    My Mom only wants to go for a wildflower hike, eat a picnic lunch, and take lots of scenery photos. These items are nice to look at but my Mom isn’t interested in anything like this at all. I personally am loving that pink is in at the moment though.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      a wildflower hike sounds so nice! and i totally agree about pink. xoxo

  11. Amanda says...

    Love you, and I’m really want you to monetize this blog because I want it to continue and see you benefit from your great work. But, the sponsored posts are starting to make me uncomfortable and question the trust I place on your advice and input.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your feedback. we’re doing a few more partnerships this month than usual because of mother’s day, but please trust that we only work with brands we love and use ourselves. we turn down most of the partnerships requests that come our way because we only want to recommend the brands we truly believe in — like mabo, babaa, brooklinen, allbirds, etc. and of course cuyana. we know the founder shilpa and she is wonderful and committed to high quality design. i hope this helps! thank you again, amanda.

    • sarah says...

      I’ve never regretted purchasing something I heard about from this blog. My favorite purchases have been the brooklinen sheets and the glossier lipstick/lipstain/whatever the heck it is.

      I’ve also purchased things Eva Chen recommends from her newsletter (which I signed up for because it was featured here) and have been super pleased with those items as well.

      I say make as much money as possible and keep recommending good shit.

  12. Lily says...

    The color of that wallet is perfect. I’m putting it on my own wishlist;-)

  13. Anu says...

    I bought their tall leather tote in caramel in 2014 and still use it pretty much daily and it has held up so, so well.
    I can totally vouch for the quality. Well worth every dollar I spent.

    • I recently bought the caramel tote and love it. It’s my third bag from Cuyana and each one is perfect for “mom life.” I love how easy and classic the designs are.

  14. Kate says...

    Any tips on how to style a silk scarf?
    I always look very ‘girl guides leader’ …

  15. Julia says...

    It’s pretty disappointing to see bags still being touted at “investment pieces.” “Thoughtful”, or not, it’s a misguided (and sexist) way to think about financial security.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your note! we mean that you can buy one well-made bag to use for years and years, instead of many less expensive bags that you will have to replace/will start falling apart/will look dated, etc. hope that helps xoxo

    • Gen says...

      Sorry have to disagree with this. I absolutely cannot stand cheap bags that wear out quickly after just a few months and constantly spending money & time searching for new ones. Maybe not everyone needs a sturdy handbag with handles that don’t fray after just a few uses, that they use daily for work, but I do. I don’t have a lot of handbags, but investing in one or two expensive bags (i.e <$400) have proved worth it to me, if you're able to afford it. I don't see how wanting these types of bags are sexist……?

      On another note, I was also going to say I adored Cuyana and have my eyes on one of their cute new summer dresses! Their colors and fabric are so lovely but also practical.

    • Anita says...

      This is such an interesting comment! I think the sexist piece is that women should “invest” in their looks (and the kind of objectification this implies). I DON’T think it is necessarily “sexist” to entertain the idea of “investing” in a bag but it is not entirely divorced from sexism either. Women are encouraged to be voracious consumers and to be hyper-conscious of physical appearance. While we might think that rejecting a “frayed bag” is simply imposing our own standards of put-togetheredness, we might also be conforming to a VERY HIGH AND UNFORGIVING STANDARD of what it means to be a “successful woman” that never ever really disregards our looks. I think the original comment is that our “investment” in our looks can even take precedence over women pursuing financial security for themselves by encouraging exorbirant spending on luxury goods, beauty, fashion etc. (think Carrie in Sex and the City who realizes she doesn’t have a down payment for her apartment because she has spent so much money on SHOES). For the record, I don’t think this is the ethos of CoJ, but we are all in it. It is very difficult.

    • Gen says...

      I actually think the opposite of investment pieces, i.e. companies that manufacture cheap bags/clothes that don’t last but do look cute or trendy, are the kinds of brands that tend to over market and encourage “voracious” female consumers and are the type that tend to be sexist. And to me having a “frayed bag” was not merely an inconvenience–having to commute into the city daily with the materials I had to carry into work with me would cause the handles of bags that I purchased to wear down quickly, so for me it was not a question of merely looking “good” or “put together”. Cumulatively when you buy trendy crap time after time it adds up to much more than what these “investment pieces” cost. Again, this is all assuming that you can afford prices similar to what Cuyana offers. But if you can afford it, I believe these are the kind of timeless pieces that are not only practical but more way more affordable than other more expensive and older name brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton etc. In my eyes, I truly respect the philosophy and concept of Cuyana and similar brands that are made by working women for other working women who need these kinds of things.

  16. Christina Carpenter says...

    Love my robe, sadly I put it in the dryer

  17. jade says...

    I have had my eye on that travel set for years! I will have to visit when I travel to New York in September!

  18. I love that travel case set – that would be a great Mother’s Day gift! I recently saw in a Mom’s of Facebook page a post by a mom hoping for a night away…alone. Wouldn’t that be tremendous? I’m not getting that this year but we are all taking a quick night trip away to a beautiful farmhouse Airbnb. My mom passed away well before my own kids were born…it’s always a bittersweet day. Hope everyone enjoys their day. If the Mother’s Day brunch from hell is involved I pray you get a nap after…ALONE!

    • Celeste says...

      My mom’s gone too so I know how you feel. Enjoy your time.

  19. Kassie says...

    Bought a Cuyana bag over three years ago after seeing a post about them on Cup of Jo. I take it to work every day & it still looks great!

  20. My friend Emily just published the most beautiful Scandi-inspired baby book called Dear One (mydearone(dot)com)! It would make a beautiful Mother’s Day gift for new moms.

  21. Lana says...

    Will you do another Mother’s Day Gift Guide? These are lovely, but I always like the ones you all put together so much better.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we may put a few things in the link list!

    • Anna says...

      I second this!

    • M says...

      I third this! I love passing on your ideas to my husband and kids. : )

  22. Jennifer says...

    Beautiful post. My comment is completely unrelated: I’ve been trying to locate a post you did a month or two ago that breaks down hi-lo style and I can’t find it– would you please direct me?

    Thank you!
    Jennifer

  23. I love the black tote and the floral scarf! I’m probably going to give my mom a new houseplant!
    -Felicia