Co-founder of Littlemore Organics, mom of three kids, wife, sister, the middle child, and a chocolate addict.
Before Littlemore Organics.
I was born and raised in Long Island, New York. It was a fantastic place to grow up, but by the time I was ready for college, I wanted to be somewhere entirely different.
I decided to go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Go Tar Heels! I loved every minute of my time in the south and considered staying in North Carolina after college. However, I decided I would miss my family too much, so I moved to Manhattan to start a career in finance. I started working for Lehman Brothers and later a few other Wall Street banks.
I got my MBA at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in my late twenties and then worked as a consultant for McKinsey.
I stopped working full-time when I was starting a family. So, when Joana reached out to me about joining her to launch Littlemore, the opportunity felt too good to pass up.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
I'm inspired by Sarah Blakely. She talks about how her father encouraged her and her siblings to fail as kids. He'd ask them what they failed at that week, and if they didn't have something to report, he'd be disappointed. She's open about her failures when launching her business, which helped me reframe how I think about failure and its role in life's ultimate successes.
What was most surprising for you when you became a parent?
When my first son was born, it shocked me that I could love someone I had just met so much. It was overwhelming and a bit scary, to be honest. Mainly because even though I'd wanted kids for a long time, I'd never been much of a baby person before then.
When have you felt the proudest?
When I look at my kids, I feel insanely proud. I adore the tiny humans they're becoming and am proud of myself for growing and giving birth to them. I am also so proud of myself and my husband for raising them.
What's a challenging experience that you learned and grew from?
My husband and I struggled a long time with infertility before having our first child. I had four miscarriages, and multiple reproductive specialists told me I would never carry a baby to full term. Those were very dark days. We were seriously looking into surrogacy.
At the same time, I made many drastic changes to my lifestyle, including taking some time off of work, focusing on ways to better manage stress, and changing my diet. I also started going to acupuncture.
Low and behold, I got pregnant again and then twice more, and now have had three healthy babies. I really can't explain why, but I somehow knew that I would have a healthy baby when I got pregnant the fifth time.
This experience made me believe in the power of positive thinking and made me better understand the profound effects of stress on my body.
What's the luckiest thing that's ever happened to you?
Definitely meeting my husband. We sat down next to each other on the first day of business school orientation and have rarely left each other's sides since. I hit the spouse jackpot, and he's the love of my life. He is an incredible person, husband, father, and a real partner.
What resource has made parenting easier for you?
I listen, and re-listen, to Janet Lansbury podcasts. They keep me sane.
What are your top three parenting challenges?
My top challenge is remaining calm, or as Janet Lansbury says, "unruffled" when our kids act out. My four and two-year-olds know how to push my buttons. I've learned that nothing good comes from me yelling or becoming noticeably frustrated. When I stay calm while they're getting wild, things consistently improve.
What are your top parenting fears?
My son has several food allergies, and I am constantly afraid he'll have a bad reaction when I'm not around. This was one of the many reasons I felt so compelled to co-found Littlemore - it's so important that families have a simple, allergy-safe snack option.
I am also concerned about social media. My kids are still young, so this isn't much of an issue yet. Still, I am apprehensive about social media's impact on them when they're older. I think this has been the cause of so much anxiety and depression in our children and young adults, and it will probably only get more challenging to manage.
What's your go-to dish when you have to make dinner?
A Lebanese chicken and rice recipe that was passed down in my husband's family. It's full of warm spices, and everyone loves it.
What is your favorite item you've bought this year?
I have a rechargeable coffee mug that keeps my coffee warm for hours. It's life-changing for someone like me who never gets to finish a cup of coffee without interruption!
If you had one extra hour of free time every day, how would you spend it?
I'd love to pick back up some of the hobbies that I no longer have time for, like playing the piano, learning to knit or sew, or golf.
What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Downhill and cross country skiing. I'm looking forward to when our kids are proficient skiers, and we can enjoy the sport together.
What's your earliest childhood memory?
I remember my dad backing down the driveway to pick my mom and new baby sister up from the hospital when I was two and a half.
What is your favorite family tradition?
We started a new tradition last year of baking many Christmas cakes and delivering them to friends. It's a fun way to connect with people around the holidays, and the kids love baking and gifting and are so excited every time we give someone a cake. We'll definitely continue the tradition.
What's one of the most fun childhood memories you have?
Ski trips with my family in Vermont.
What's your favorite movie to watch over and over again?
Good Will Hunting.