Mom of three. Two middle schoolers and one second grader. Founder of Inspo + Ivy online women’s boutique and lifestyle blog. Sharing all the things from fashion to recipes to mom hacks and everything in between. If you aren’t following @inspoandivy start today, you won’t be sorry!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
Born in a small town in PA. We moved to Jupiter, Fl when I was 5 years old and remained there through college (Florida State- Go Noles!) and most of my adulthood until recently. Going against the typical retirement pattern of moving south, we opted to head north four years ago when my husband retired-
in search of four season weather and lifestyle.
Tell us about your Family!
We are a very active, somewhat hyper, never in one place too long, family of 5. Our newest little family member is Frankie the Bernedoodle. We have two middle schoolers in the house that keep it very interesting. My daughter Presley is in 7 th grade, and my oldest son Anthony is in 8 th grade. And we have a 2nd grader, Dominic who keeps up with the best of them. My husband retired from his baseball career 9 years ago. Up until that point I was a stay at home mom….on the road…on the move. Our oldest two children are Irish Twins and have had the adventure of living in 9 different cities all before kindergarten. Life has slowed down to say the least- and Inspo + Ivy was born.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in BioChem…and somehow landed myself in women’s fashion and eCommerce. I put off speech in college and despite my every day appearances on the Gram’, I have an intense fear of public speaking.
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
That you can do everything and anything for your children and still never feel like your failing most days. Get comfortable with it. Perfection doesn’t exist. You will forget to order a yearbook for one of the three. Picture day after your third child will forever go down as the worst picture the kids ever took. Some days you will forget their lunches. Some days you won’t make the bus stop. You will miss deadlines and sports schedules and registering for extra curriculars – what doesn’t kill them will build character. And you will never sleep a solid 8 hours ever again.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
I have learned to appreciate the change of seasons and all the things that come with it. Fall orchards, winter snow days, taking off to ski (and sitting by the fire all weekend), the proximity to NYC and all its excitement. The incredible amount of airports within reach. You really learn to appreciate summer. The
quaintness of Fairfield always appealed to us.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Where do I begin. When the kids are sick and on liquid prescription medication- take a sharpie out. Draw a line right on the bottle. AM | PM. And put check marks when they take a dose. Advice from a veteran neighbor mom- buy all the kids the exact same color and brand sock. Never have a missing pair again.
Tell us about your business, and when & why you decided to create this business! How did Inpo and Ivy start? When did it begin, why, where does the name come from? How do we find out more?
Inspo + Ivy started in the winter of 2019 (my very first winter in CT). Kids were all in school. Winter blues were starting. My husband and I both home…Something had to give. I took off to NYC one day on the train. Felt so adult- but also I had no plan at all. I ventured through a fashion trade show at the Javitt Center and plotted a business plan the entire train ride back. I knew I wanted to incorporate Inspo products (cute sayings, graphic tees, etc). Loved the name Ivy. I did a little investigation on the meaning of ivy. Happens to be the most versatile plant, that can grow in any environment. In a weird way- it made sense to the period in my life. I registered Inspo + Ivy with the state. Walked into Chase bank on Post Road with $40 and opened a business bank account and so it began. To this day I still remember the bank tellers reaction to what she called was my first investment into my company, “starting strong”.
How did you get into skincare? Can you tell us more?
Fast forward one year- it was March 2020. All my western warehouses shut down, as did the world. Everything I had been working towards and planning came to a complete hault. And we took to the gram. I started following a lot of make up bloggers, hair bloggers, and fashion bloggers out of boredom. Which led me to purchase the Lumispa. One of the greatest decisions of my entire adulthood. Little did I know that one purchase would lead to a second career.
Tell us about your background:
Studied bio-chem in college at Florida State. I had my hopes set on medical school. While in the admissions and application process to med school, I took on an internship with an oral surgeon. One week in- I withdrew my applications. I think it was partial cold feet and partial I’m not cut out for this. I then enrolled in a broadcasting program in South Florida and took up yet another internship, for 790am sports radio. About the same time I met my now husband. And just like that- everything I was planning took a detour.
What is your most memorable moment in this industry?
I think one of the most pivotal moments since starting Inspo + Ivy was the pandemic. It forced me to expand. No longer able to get products for my store, I had to find another means of engaging and interacting with my customers. So we starting cooking. The food blog was born. We starting washing our face. The NuSkin opportunity was born. We started Tik Toking- which led to nothing but hours of fun with the kids. We started at home everything. It really gave me a relationship with my little insta community. And for that I’m grateful.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
Take it from someone who was a stay at home mom for 10 years- you will have the mom guilt regardless. Organization keeps me sane. I have lists. I sharp shoot them from the moment I get up. Do we still forget things, yep. But for the most part it all gets taken care of. And raise them with just enough dysfunction to make them funny =)
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
I have been lucky to have so many independent women lead the way in my life. It starts with my grandmothers. Both strong Italian women. They both cared tremendous for their families. Holidays were exceptional. Family values were strong. My mother, hardest worker in the room- always. She has been a force since I can remember. My sisters- some of the finest mothers I know. I always say I am the least cool one in the family. They balance it all- kids, marriage, friends, work. And they make it look easy. And my mom friends. It takes a village- make sure you lean on each other.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
New Mom- start sleep training as soon as you can. Not one of my three children slept through the night until their 1st birthday. And on days where you feel like quitting. And can’t get out of your sweats. And have no time for make up or anything else. Wash your hair. The whole house could collapse, but if you have a fresh blow out- you feel like you can take it all on. Or at least fake it.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: Quattro Pazzi & Colony Grill
Grab a Drink with Friends: Nomad in Westport & Barcelona in Fairfield
Have a Date Night: Hudson Malone (it’s dark & cozy)
Spend time together as a Family: we are always entertaining at our house, I love a houseful of kids.
Whether its backyard BBQ’s or teenage sleepovers- we welcome the chaos.
Rainy day- hit Pinstripes at the SoNo mall. Food is yummy, tons of sports games on, kids are happy. It’s a
win for all.
Outside Activities: life revolves around sports at the moment, but when we are free we hit the Golf
Course as a family