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momBOSS Interview with Nicole Feliciano MomTrends.com Founder and Author

I’ve known Nicole Feliciano, the founder of MomTrends.com, for over five-years. I can’t recall how we met, but I can recall the countless amount of times she has shown up for me – at events I was hosting (even when she only had 15-minutes to spare), social media contests that I needed help promoting, even personal advice when I felt lost in motherhood land. She’s a girl’s girl, a sharer, a dreamer, a media mogul, and a natural voice for the next generation of moms itching to find their inner momBOSS.

Last week, Nicole’s first book Mom Boss: Balancing Entrepreneurship, Kids and Success hit shelves. Before kicking off her book tour, she sat down with me to share some wisdom about her journey from the corporate world, to mommy land and her happy formula for mom boss success.

Mom Boss Nicole Feliciano MomTrends Founder and Author

So many moms have dreams they never pursue. What gave you the courage to leave your corporate job, start MomTrends and become a killer momBOSS?

I’m so inspired by the women, like my mom, who worked so hard to give my generation of women OPTIONS. I was raised believing I could do anything I wanted. Now, I want to blaze one too–where women get to work on their own terms. I wanted to create a life full of family and opportunity, and I knew no one would hand me the life I wanted.

What was your original vision for MomTrends and how has it evolved?

MomTrends was always meant to be a resource for moms to find lifestyle tips and a emotional boost, in an otherwise busy day. All our content is meant to be pretty, purposeful, inspiring and social.

What does a typical morning look like for you?

I get up at 6:45am. My girls, now 11 & 8, usually come in for snuggles in the morning. Mr. Momtrends whips up breakfast, and we take turns walking them to school. I try to work out in the morning before I head to my We Work office in DUMBO.

Once at my desk I try to do something creative to kick start my day–either styling a fashion shoot or writing. Then, it’s time to dig into calls and strategy sessions with my team. In the afternoon, I try to attend networking events. Most nights we eat dinner as a family. I cook 5-6 nights a week. Unplugged time is sacred. I try to log off from 6-9pm when the family is together. I have special reading time with each girl. My tween and I are really into adventure books; right now we are knee-deep in Masterminds. I read with the little one second because she’s the night owl. Right now we are reading Melody, the newest book from American Girl.

I pop back online after spending time with the hubby. Usually writing and taming the beast of email until well after midnight. Did I mention I crave more sleep?

Mr.Momtrends and I have date night once a week where we go out and try to avoid talking about work and kids–it’s our time to rekindle the romance!momboss_nicolefeliciano_2

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Quite the schedule! What’s your biggest tip for juggling personal, professional and family needs?

Keep a calendar. When I look at my calendar I can tell if I am overcommitted. I need to see a month, week and day mapped out and where I need to cut back. Sometimes the kids’ calendars look too complicated and I trim those down, sometimes I have too many meetings for work. I am constantly trying to juggle the calendar.momboss_nicolefeliciano_5

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What other tools/services do you recommend for aspiring mom entrepreneurs?

Get a good accountant–one that will really hold you accountable for profitability.

In your book, I love that you say “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How do you avoid looking over your shoulder and comparing yourself to other moms, as it’s such a cultural epidemic?

When you have a pride in authorship, you know you are on the right path. When I truly enjoy what I am creating I tend to look forward to what’s next, not side to side to see who is doing the same thing. Stay interesting. Never stop learning and don’t be boring.

What advice would you give to a mom who’s been out of the game for 5, maybe 10 years and now would like to become a momBOSS not only in her home, but outside the home, as well?

Start small. Find a part-time gig and test out your skill set. Experiment trying on a few things–maybe at home sales, or setting up a small Etsy shop. Analyze how you feel with each step and what worked so you can make informed decisions about your future.

Many moms turn to social media and the web as a means to create a business, while still being more available to their family. Is there still space in the online world for new voices?

Absolutely! Find a niche that inspired you. New faces need to come in with a fresh voice. Ask yourself what makes you passionate? You need to be able to have a sustained enthusiasm for your topic. And figure out early on, is this a hobby or a business. If it’s a hobby, don’t get frustrated that you aren’t making money. If it’s a business, figure out early on how you are going to become profitable.

What tips would you give to an aspiring mommy blogger, vlogger or Instagramer?

Have a consistent look and voice. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. To create a true community you need to be niche. I suggest making a mission statement for your personal brand. What are you about? What topics WON’T you cover. Make a vision board and stick to it. Don’t chase trends, make trends.

What’s next for MomTrends Media?

The Mom Boss big book tour! Coming to a city near you!Mom Boss Nicole Feliciano book cover

Balance is a loaded, unrealistic goal, I prefer “Happy Formula”. In your book you also state “You have to embrace that you can only do a few things really well at one particular time.” What’s your Happy Formula for managing all corners of your momBOSS world?

I focus on family first, then work. If I feel like I am giving these two things my best I am winning. I say no to so many things. Saying no allows me to make more space to live in the moment. My girls are the delicious ages of 11 & 8 right now. I don’t want to miss a moment. Sleep gets sacrificed and pursuit of outside interests.

How do you find time for YOU #MeaningfulMeMoments in your busy life?

I run! I have two women who I regularly run with. I love multi-tasking. I catch up with my girlfriends AND get exercise. It’s a win/win! If you aren’t on social media or don’t run, it’s tough for me to maintain a friendship.

Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are your top makeup/skin products?

I love the Kiehl’s tumeric mask for a pick me up. I always keep a mask in my fridge to de-puff my eyes in a flash.

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Currently reading I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.

Currently drinking raspberry iced tea, unsweetened.

I hope my daughters think mom is inspiring.

Motherhood is my passion.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was never make a big decision when you are exhausted. Everything usually looks more clear in the morning.

 

momBOSS Quotes: Gold Medalist & Olympic Mother Kerri Walsh Jennings

In the spirit of Rio 2016 Olympics, I couldn’t help but get inspired by the personal story of Volleyball champ (to put it mildly) and momBOSS mother Kerri Walsh Jennings.

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Sometimes my passion is just to make it through the mornings. #momlife

In a recent NBC profile, I saw how Walsh Jennings’  manic mornings “mamagering” three children ages 7, 6 and 3, is no different than any of our mornings.

Sure, she has three consecutive gold medals in beach volleyball from 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics. 

Sure she’s poised to win another gold medal tonight, in Rio, with new partner April Ross. Tune in TONIGHT 8pm! (Okay, record it because chances are the kids aren’t sleeping, yet. Rggg daylight saving time. I long for it to get dark at 6pm so we can be back at our 7:30/8pm sleep time.)

And, sure Walsh Jennings has graced the covers of countless magazines.

But, were I to have the privilege to speak to her, I’m sure she would say that the hardest and most fulfilling job is these mornings with daughter Margery, and sons Joseph and Sundance. 

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Kerri Walsh Jennings at TheMoms event, dishing on motherhood.

Since I can’t phone into Rio to get a direct quote, here are some inspirational nuggets Walsh Jennings has said over the years. They don’t all directly pertain to her role as a mom, but I feel many of them can help us better ourselves personally and professionally.

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Translation: Stop judging other moms. Be the best mom YOU can be.

momBOSS mother Kerri Walsh Jennings

Tomorrow, I might actually be a better version of myself, but I’m in no way interested in being any version of someone else. #authentic #selflove

I hope some of these Olympic inspiration quotes from Kerri Walsh Jennings help you refocus and be better morning mamagers, when it’s time to … 

negotiate with toddlers, get everyone dressed, no shoes are not an option, feed yourself while you stand, comb hair (yourself included), put on their SPF, make sure everyone’s bag is packed with snacks because g-d forbid they go to day care where everything is 100% organic and yummy with a snack from mom … okay that was my morning! I’m documenting it on Instagram’s new Stories feature

momBOSS Interview: Rosena Sammi Jewelry Designer, Who’s Sari Now Founder

There’s plenty of negativity in the world, which is dramatized ten-fold by our media. But, I’m often struck by the immense selflessness and global consciousness I encounter from the fabulous females in my life. As a member of the media I want to shed more light on the goodness in this world, especially if it’s a kick-ass, do-gooder mom like Rosena Sammi. See how this lawyer-turned-jewelry-designer is making sure we dazzle in her accessories, paying-it-forward via her charity collaborations, all while being a momBOSS to two adorable girls.

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Rosena Sammi. Photo Credit: Allaire Bartel

Pamela Pekerman: What gave you the courage to leave your profession as a lawyer and launch a jewelry business?
Rosena Sammi: I wish I knew, I would employ that courage and confidence more often! But, I think it had something to do with being in New York. This city makes you feel like anything is possible.

Pamela:  At what point did you feel fully confident in your decision to go into jewelry?
Rosena: I don’t think I ever felt 100% fully confident because it’s a journey, and each season presents you with new challenges. Having said that, after having children I truly appreciated the benefits of being my own boss and the flexibility that comes with that. I’ve been able to enjoy motherhood a lot more because of it.

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Head over to my Instagram page to see how I style these Rosena Sammi bangles, made from upcycled saris. #WhosSariNow

 

Pamela: At what point into your business did you become a mom?
Rosena: I became a mom about four years into the business. It drastically changed my ability to escape to India and spend months creating a collection, but it improved my efficiency tremendously.Rosena Sammi Chail RingRosena Sammi necklace

Pamela: What tips do you recommend for the mom who’s trying to find her passion and live her true path?
Rosena: Don’t be afraid of what other people think. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and take risks.

Pamela: How has motherhood changed your perspective on work?
Rosena: My perspective on what’s important in life became a great deal clearer, literally overnight. I find I don’t sweat the small stuff and I’m able to focus on things that matter.

Pamela: What does a typical morning look like for you?
Rosena: I’m early to rise, which helps because the morning is when I speak with India and deal with the production side of my business. Some days I’m able to fit in a quick workout before my girls are up at 6:30am, and our morning routine begins. It’s a lot of girl talk over the breakfast table and then off to school and pre-school. After that, I head to the office to see what the day holds. I’m fortunate enough to have an office in the city and a home office in Westchester, so I do my best to split my week between the two so I get the best of both worlds. I’m busy running my business, but I am also able to be the “Class Mom” for my daughter’s Kindergarten class.

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Pamela: Class Mom and Mom Boss, talk about a real #mamager! What tools/services/people help you manage it all?
Rosena: My husband, despite his very busy work and travel schedule, is definitely a true partner in the home so he deserves my first shout out. Secondly, I couldn’t live without services like Fresh Direct and Amazon (not to mention Net a Porter!). And, it does take a village, so after school help, house keeping and my team (in office and virtual) are all important.

Pamela: You are very passionate about philanthropy, particularly the plight of women around the world. How has motherhood impacted your philanthropy choices?
Rosena: Motherhood and especially having two daughters encouraged my focus on the inequity in the world for women. The fact that in so many cultures we are second-class citizens is disheartening, and I’m trying to do something about that in my small way.

Rosena Sammi family

Pamela: How did you come up with the concept for Who’s Sari Now?
Rosena: I wanted to design something that was more “green” than my typical collection. After much research and experimentation, I hit upon using upcycled sari fabrics and the result is Who’s Sari Now?. I was also looking to give back to the community, after years in the business I realized that helping people was more important to me than jumping on the next trend. I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of Apne Aap, Ruchira Gupta. Her organization rescues women and children from sex trafficking in India, and provides them with a job and education. It was the perfect match. 20-25% of proceeds from sales goes towards educating these young children, and I employ many of the women in making the collection. Changing lives in this way has been so rewarding.

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Actress Olivia Wilde wearing Rosena Sammi, Who’s Sari Now bangles

Pamela: Leading by example, especially as a mom, is key. How do you teach your children the value of good will, and helping those in need?
Rosena: They love to learn and help me with Who’s Sari Now?. The tags feature a little Indian girl from Apne Aap, so it feels very close to home. We made mini-tote bags for a multi cultural festival at my eldest daughter’s elementary school and they helped me give them out.

Pamela: What has been your biggest professional success, thus far?
Rosena: The firsts always feel good. When my jewelry was first in Vogue, when I created an exclusive collection for Neiman Marcus, those are things I will always remember.

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Rosena Sammi Necklace Ribbon Nilgiri from the Whos Sari Now charity collection

Pamela: What’s next for Rosena Sammi?
Rosena: More exploration of enterprise development with women’s collectives. It definitely feels good to do good.

Pamela: How do you find time for YOU in your busy life aka Meaningful Me Moments?
Rosena: It’s a constant challenge, but I’ve gotten better at it! I take a weekly French class at Alliance Francais, this is one thing that allows me quite literally to escape to a different world.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are your top makeup/skin products?
Rosena: UltraLuxe MoisturiserGuerlain Terracotta Bronzing PowderBobbi Brown Luxe Lip in Retro Red

Currently reading In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Currently drinking Hendricks and Tonic with a cucumber garnish

I hope my kids think mom is a good role model.

Motherhood is a challenge, but with the very best rewards.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was that I am capable of achieving anything if I work really hard.

momBOSS Interview: Latham Thomas founder of Mama Glow

Pamela Pekerman:How would you describe yourself and what you do?
Latham Thomas:I’m a single mother with an 11-year-old son. I’m the founder of Mama Glow. I’m a maternity lifestyle maven, whose focus is to support women before, during and after pregnancy. I’m known as the celebrity doula, serving women everywhere as they journey into motherhood.

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Pamela: MamaGlow – the website, the book, the brand – is so much to so many.
Latham: How would you describe the mission of MamaGlow?
Mama Glow is a holistic maternity lifestyle hub that offers nutrition, yoga, and birth doula services to women during pregnancy and beyond. We are all about celebrating this special time in a woman’s life and helping her look and feel radiant for those precious 9 month and beyond.

Pamela: At what point did you realize, “Wow, I’m onto something big!”?
Latham:When I was pregnant with my son I was looking for resources and realized they didn’t exist, so the entrepreneurial spirit within me led me to found Mama Glow. I realized when I started getting cold calls from celebrities and when Vogue asked me to partner on an event early on, that this birth business I was cultivating could be a big deal. I still consider it something that’s growing on people. Not everyone is ready to talk about birth.Latham_Thomas_momBOSS

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Latham Thomas with Alicia Keys

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Latham Thomas with Deepak Chopra

Pamela: Who is the Mama Glow woman? How are you helping her Always Be Your Best You?
Latham: The Mama Glow client is a woman who is hip, savvy, trendy, fashionable and very conscious. She believes in the value of organics and limiting toxic exposures. She is educated and an active participant in her own well-being- she is also very driven and really benefits from the mindfulness area of our practice.

Pamela: What tips or daily rituals do you recommend for the mom who’s trying to find her passion and live her true path?
Latham: Writing down our goals and desires has a peculiar way of activating them in the world. It also gives the universe a clear indication that you are ready to take your thoughts, dreams and desires to the next level and spin them into action.  Start a Daily Gratitude & Desire journal practice. When you wake up each morning write down two columns: 1. What you are grateful for and be really specific here, and 2. what you desire- details are a must. When we call upon the universe to help send something into our orbit, we must be crystal clear on what we are asking for and be ready to receive.

Pamela: Do you have any tips for juggling personal, professional and family needs/obligations?
Latham: It’s a juggle. It’s not about balance, but about dynamic equilibrium and keeping the balls in the air and catching them when they come down. I believe in a strong self-care and self-reflective practice, whether that’s meditation, yoga, dance. Glow time is my self-care movement and it’s all about relaxation, whether you have 2 minutes or 2 hours.

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Pamela: Yes, I’m all about Meaningful Me Moments.
Latham: Exactly. When you indulge yourself, you honor yourself. You’ll be a better mother and better business woman for it.

Pamela: Speaking of business, is there something you do with him after a long day at work/being away?
Latham:We share highlights from our days when we get home. We have a tickle-time ritual where I tickle him and make him laugh after a long day away. I make sure to do an activity he loves with him like puzzles, Monopoly, or a game of pool.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are you top makeup/skin products?
Latham: Tata Harper skin care- Regenerating Face cleanser. Uma oils – wellness face oil to seal in moisture. Obsessive compulsive lip tar– it’s vegan, and I smudge some on the cheeks too. Boom! Done.

Pamela: What’s the coolest product for new moms, which you’ve recently uncovered?
Latham:Right now I am obsessed with Munchery Meal delivery service- It’s amazing. Moms get meals prepared fresh by chefs. It takes the guess work out of cooking and it’s a great price. You can order online.

Pamela: What’s next for you and Mama Glow?
Latham: Mama Glow is expanding into new territory. I’m launching a new platform based on rituals which I am excited about unveiling this summer. It’s all a blessing.

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Currently reading The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

Currently drinking Green Juice – always

I hope my son thinks mom is a woman who created a life of purpose and inspired him to be his very best!

Motherhood is MY BIRTHRIGHT.

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momBOSS Interview: Cozy Friedman founder SoCozy Salon Formulas for Kids & Cozy’s Cuts for Kids Salon

Youth has its perks – you have an idea, jump right in and lead with your ambition. That’s what I did after graduating college and launching my first business BagTrends, with a gorilla marketing campaign during New York Fashion Week. And that’s exactly what Cozy Friedman did 20-years ago when she decided their was a need for kid-friendly hair salons, and she would be the one to fill the void with the launch of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids.

But time and age have their own perks, as well. Great listening skills and team building on all fronts – personal and professional – has allowed Cozy to braid together a successful and family-full life, and continue to expand her SoCozy line of salon formula hair care products for kids. I’m so proud to share my new friend Cozy Friedman’s entrepreneurial tips and momBOSS journey.

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Cozy Friedman posing with her expanding SoCozy collection of salon formulated hair care products for kids.

Pamela Pekerman: Risks can be scary. What gave you the courage to go into a field in which you had no experience or education?
Cozy Friedman: This may sound naive, but I was young and didn’t see opening a kids salon as a risk, just an exciting opportunity. I was raised by courageous business go-getters and that focus and drive was instilled in both my brother and I. It just never occurred to me that the concept wouldn’t work out. And for that mindset, I’m thankful.

Pamela: Many moms have dreams, but don’t know how to take the first steps. What tips would you have for a mom who wants to launch a business?
Cozy: Take one step at a time and educate yourself so that you’re confident and prepared. Knowledge is power, and you should never go into a new venture blindly. In my case, I enrolled in barber school, worked at many different children’s businesses, and absorbed as much experience and information as I could, before launching my first salon on Madison Ave. Education is still at the pulse of my brand. It’s important to me that SoCozy is always offering the latest advice, solutions, tips, and trends.

Pamela: With Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, at what point did you realize, “Wow, I’m onto something big!”?
Cozy: When I was looking for a location for my first salon, I couldn’t find a landlord that was willing to rent me the space. They considered my business a risk because they didn’t understand the concept. However, I finally found the perfect location to launch my salon and within a few months, a landlord that had previously turned me down promptly called to offer me my next salon location. The tables had turned, and that’s when I felt I was onto something big.

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Cozy Friedman of SoCozy on TODAY Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

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Cozy Friedman with Ivanka Trump, at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids Salon.

Pamela: It’s been twenty years and two kids since the launch of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids and the start of what has become a hair empire. What was it like growing your baby while raising two boys?
Cozy: There’s no doubt that it can be tricky to grow a business and raise a family together, but “together” was always essential for me. I never saw my family and my business as two separate compartments. They were always very intertwined. My sons grew up at my salon. As kids, they would play there while I worked and as teens they experienced their first part time jobs there and often work at our corporate SoCozy office. It was always a family effort, with the support of my husband, friends and family. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by such a great “team”, and as a mom of two boys, it’s all about balance. I’m either leaving a soccer game to go to work or leaving work to go to a soccer game.

Pamela: In an average day what would you pack into the 7am-9pm grind?
Cozy: I wake up at 5am and meditate for 20 minutes. I’ll then run, spin or do yoga, which gets me ready to conquer the day. Next is breakfast with my boys and I take them to school at 7:30am. I’m then off to work. While commuting into the city, I work on our SoCozy social media, which is such a big part of our business. I love connecting with our consumers. Once I’m in the office, my days always vary. I consult with my team on various initiatives and then may head out for a speaking engagement, retailer meeting and/or event and of course visit my salons. I always enjoy wrapping up my day with family dinners and time to connect.

Pamela: What tools/services/people help you manage your momBOSS life?
Cozy: I fully believe it’s all about being part of a strong team. I wouldn’t be able to manage it all without my salon team, corporate office team and of course my family “team.”
What was the most difficult part of creating your hair care line, SoCozy? How did you deal with obstacles in productions, packaging, wholesaling etc.?
I faced the biggest obstacle when I needed to create custom formulations in small batches. I had to find manufacturers, and this was before the Internet days! That meant heading to tradeshows and networking the old fashioned way. I then had to convince the right manufacturer to take a risk and invest on creating these custom formulations. I’m proud to say that 14+ years later, we’re still working together.

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Cozy Friedman with her teenage sons and husband.

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Cozy Friedman and her family team.

Pamela: What differentiates SoCozy products from other hair care lines for kids?
Cozy: We specially developed salon-quality formulas that boast multi-functional use, so parents have a “go-to” that gets the job done quickly with great results every time. It was created for all kids and all hair types! We pride ourselves on SoCozy being safe with “no nasties” (i.e. parabens, phthalates, etc.)- just good, clean and completely non-toxic formulations that perform at the highest level. SoCozy also has incredible fragrances that kids and parents equally love- from notes of Peppy Pink Guava to Creamy Vanilla, Orange Blossoms and more. I’d also say our sophisticated packaging sets us apart as well as our motto, “Being You is Our Idea of Cool.” As a brand, we encourage and support individuality. For all kids and any hair type—our mission is to build confidence and inspire originality.

Pamela: What’s next for SoCozy and Cozy’s Cuts for Kids?
Cozy: SoCozy is really growing leaps and bounds. We’re increasing our distribution by teaming up with new retail partners in different verticals and expanding our product offerings – it’s an exciting time! In fact, I’m thrilled to share that our new Splash collection (for swimmer’s hair) will be hitting shelves this month- just in time for summer.

Pamela: How do you find time for YOU in your busy world? AKA what do you love to do during Meaningful Me Moments?
Cozy: I wake up an extra hour early so I have time for myself physically, mentally and emotionally- which makes me happy. By starting my day on a positive note with meditation, a good workout and family time- I’m able to pass on that positive energy to my family and colleagues. I think it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle. When you feel happy and strong you can perform at your optimal best- whether that’s at home or the workplace. I’m actually hitting a Soul Cycle class with my team later- and we’re all looking forward to it.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are you top makeup/skin products?
Cozy: I’m honestly not a big makeup person- it only takes me about two minutes to apply. I’m currently loving IT Cosmetics mascara and then I use eyeliner and BECCA blush. For me, it’s more about my hair. I use our new SoCozy Boing products for my curly hair and then I’m out the door.

Pamela: What’s your Happy Formula for managing marriage, two kids, your growing business, and finding time for yourself?
Cozy: The secret to my happy formula is to not view my marriage, kids, business, etc. inseparable compartments. I believe in teams and I’m just one part of those teams. Whether it’s my marriage, my business, child rearing- it’s all a team effort. I also take one day at a time and do my best to stay focused and present in each moment.

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Currently reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I love motivational books.

Currently drinking sparkling water or an evening Cabernet Sauvignon

I hope my kids think mom prepared them for everything that comes their way in life- and that they feel confident in themselves to go after their dreams.

Motherhood is everything! Nothing will ever prepare you for how incredible it is and how it changes you in the best possible ways.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was that everyone complains they don’t have enough time. However, she told me that if I wake up an hour earlier everyday… it’s the equivalent of adding an extra day to your week. That advice has always stayed with me and that’s why I start my day at 5am. Having extra time is so empowering.

 

Want more momBOSS inspiration? Check out my interviews with DivaMoms founder Lyss Stern and fashion designer Ramy Sharp of Ramy Brook

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momBOSS interview: Lyss Stern founder DivaMoms.com

Diva, it’s not a word most women use in a positive light. But, don’t be turned off by the term “diva”, Lyss Stern managers her own world with grace, confidence and divalysscious style. As for founder of DivaMoms.com, a multi-platform mom-focused media brand, Lyss turned her passion for sharing the go-to resources for the well-heeled mom into a brand that has her as the go-to mom whisperer for, well, everything you could possibly need in and around NYC. As a friend, she’s been my 411 for cool events, must-read books, and, of course, the latest updates on where to go for the perfect massage. Enjoy this momBoss interview with Lyss Stern.

Pamela Pekerman: How would you describe the DivaMoms brand and what you do?

Lyss Stern: Twelve years ago, before marketers were even using social media marketing to target moms, I created Divalysscious Moms as a way to get my groove back after giving birth to my first child and help other mothers find themselves post-baby. Today, with a database of a million moms across the country, DivaMoms is the premier network and event company for the New York area’s well-heeled moms.

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Lyss Stern with Kelly Ripa, hosting Camp Livalyssious in the Hamptons (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

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Lyss Stern with Rosie Pope, hosting event (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

Pamela: In an average day what would you pack into the 7am-9pm grind?
Lyss: At 6:30am Blakey Bleu (my 2-yea- old daughter) wakes me up for MILK. The day begins with checking emails, glimpsing at the online newspapers, and getting the kids ready for school. NO day is the same day! I try and get to either Exhale for a Core Fusion Class or Flywheel Spin class, in the morning, after school drop off. Then it’s shower and ready to tackle the day. This can mean anything from going to a lunch at Fred’s, a few Skype calls, running to a baseball game, taping a segment on Fox News, writing my next book with my co-author, making calls, feeding the kids dinner, could be going out for dinner with my husband and or a Broadway Show.

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Lyss’ daughter Blake.

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Lyss’s oldest son Jackson.

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Lyss’ younger son Oliver.

Pamela: I love that you make marriage a priority. So many moms, just focus on the kids, and forget about the man in their life.
Lyss: My husband and I try and have a #divadatenight alone at least once a week. And, then, honestly, I try and take a bath every night before bed (remember the commercial Calgon take me away) and I hit the pillow. Lights OUT. Nothing can wake me. It’s always a long, full day.

Pamela: You launched DivaMoms after the birth of your first son. Did you have a vision/grand plan or what it just an outlet?
Lyss: I honestly did not have any grand visions. I started a blog.. DivaLysscious Moms and took it one day at a time. Now, there’s no stopping me. My eye is on the grand prize.

Pamela: It seems like you’re getting close that that grand prize. In the past 12 years you’re written a book, hosted high-profile events including your Mom Mogul Breakfast, been tapped by top lifestyle brands to be an ambassador. Many moms have dreams, they never chase. What would you say to a mom who’s searching for the courage to follow her passion outside home life?
Lyss: I would say do what your heart tells you to follow. Do not listen to anyone telling you you can’t do it. You can! Be prepared. It’s not going to be unicorns and cotton candy along the way. There will be lots of bumps in the road. Stay focused! If I listened to everyone telling me that I should not start a business – don’t get me started. Most people laughed behind my back and to my face. Some told me I had postpartum depression, and should go back to bed. Well, here we are now.

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Lyss Stern with Fifth Shades of Gray autheor E.L. James, hosting event for James’ new book (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

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Lyss Stern with Fifth Shades of Gray autheor E.L. James, hosting event for James’ new book (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

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Lyss Stern with Donna Karen and family, in the Hamptons (Photo: heidi green photography // www.heidigreen.com)

Pamela: Wow. You definitely have that hustle spirit. What tip would you give a stay-at-home mom who wants to launch a business, but also wants or needs to be the daycare pick/dropoff, grocery shopper, laundry manager, etc.

Lyss: Ask for help. Ask a neighbor, friend, relative and/or significant other. It’s Okay to ask for help. The worst thing is that someone will say no.

Pamela: What tools/services/people help you manage your momBOSS life?

Lyss: My mom #Nanadoll is very helpful with the kids. She goes above and beyond as a grandmother. I also have a very supportive husband (yes.. we argue). However, at the end of the day, he has my best interest at hand. He’s an amazing father, and my children are very lucky to have him. I am all about the family schedule, we go over this every Sunday together. My close friends also help me keep it together. Oh, and, don’t laugh, I still use post-it notes for everything, and I write myself reminder emails all day long. I also really try and power down before getting into bed at night. It helps me have a much better nights sleep.

Pamela: You, sleep? When. I here you have a new TV project called “Bad Moms In History“. I think most moms, sadly, would say they belong on that list at some point or another. What’s the premise for this show?
Lyss: It’s an animated web series written and created by myself and Carrie Seim, for Scripps. Bad Moms officially launched last May, with six hilarious animated videos riffing on famously bad mom characters from cinema history. Each 2-minute episode stars a comically awful movie mother (think Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest” or the wicked step-mother from “Cinderella”). The fun twist is that each video puts a cheeky modern spin on these stories by bringing in present-day stereotypes like helicopter parenting, green-washing, and more. Whether you’re watching as a parent (and perhaps begrudgingly see some of your own bad habits) or as a child reflecting on your own parents’ ways, the tongue-in-cheek cartoons are sure to make you laugh and appreciate all the good things about your relationship with your kids, parents, and partner.

Pamela: Hosting. Hustling. Producing. Oh, and doing the daily mom duties. How do you find time for YOU in your busy world? #MeaningfulMeMoments are a must.

Lyss: That’s one of the reasons I wrote my first book, If You Give a Mom a Martini: 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself.  Sure, you love your kids, but your pre-mom self—the one who savored a glass of wine after work and exercised on her lunch break instead of shopping for baby food—had its perks, too. The “time-outs” in this book are for moms who love their kids, but also long for a few minutes when they’ve got nowhere to be, no one to listen to, and no diapers to change. One of my favorite suggestions from the book is to leave the kids to shop with your husband, while you slip into Brookstone for a rest in one of their giant massage chairs. I’ll take a nap whenever, wherever.

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Lyss’ first book, If You Give a Mom a Martini, published in 2009.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are your top makeup/skin-care products?
Lyss: Terry Baume de Rose for my lips, Cle de Peau under eye concealer, and Valmont skin care products.

Diva Moms

Currently reading The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Currently drinking a large iced coffee in the morning and evening a large Chardonnay

I hope my kids think mom is FabULyssly Fierce and Fun

Motherhood is a new adventure each and every day

The Best advice my mom every game me was always wear your lips and blush. You never know who you might run into

(PS If you’ve met Lyss’ fiercely fabulous mom, who would know that she never has a hair out of place. She owns my #AlwaysBeYourBestYou motto.)

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*momBOSS – She’s nurturing, compassionate and focused. She’s always directing, managing and scheduling. She IS home. She is the link that brings everyone together. She is her own woman. She is not perfect. She is juggling and trying to find her happy formula for a meaningful life. Her motto is Always Be Your Best You, which could mean a messy kitchen takes a back seat to applying mascara. 

Are you a momBOSS or know one that we should know about? Leave a comment below and you/she could be featured next. Check back every Wednesday for an interview with an incredible mom that, I hope, will inspire you to find your happy formula, whatever that may mean for you.

PS In case you missed it, I’m hosting a new mom lifestyle show Pamela+Vanessa #momsandwhine.

Check out  Pamela+Vanessa #momsandwhine every Monday 9:30pm EST. We’ll be laughing, whining, and wining. And we have amazing weekly giveaways!

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momBOSS interview: Ramy Sharp designer Ramy Brook fashion

Several years ago, while filming a makeover segment for CBS’s The Couch (RIP – I loved that show and crew), I met designer Ramy Sharp of Ramy Brook. Assertive, vivacious, impeccably coiffed, yet effortlessly casual, Ramy embodied her sexy, sophisticated brand. Several lunches and conversations later, I was hooked on the woman, her fashion brand (PS the Robi sleeveless top is a style staple) and the motherly wisdom she could share with me – I was a new mom with one baby, she already had three kids. I’m so happy Ramy was eager to be interviewed for this feature. She everything I think about when I envision a momBOSS*.Ramy Sharp of Ramy Brook

Pamela Pekerman: In your 20s you were a big shot advertising gal. When and why did you decide to take a break from work?

Ramy Sharp: When I graduated college I was determined to move to NYC. Once I decided not to go to law school, like both of my roommates, advertising seemed like a good field for me. It was corporate and social at the same time. After 10 years in the business, I had my first son. I went back to work on a freelance basis to keep my head in the game. However, it was tough for me to balance both work and being a new mom. So, I stopped working in advertising and took my skills into the philanthropic world where I could create my own hours, interact with adults, do good and be a mom.

Pamela: Since the launch of Ramy Brook in 2010, you’ve had tremendous success in a short period of time. Many moms have dreams, they never chase. What gave you the courage to follow your passion?

Ramy: When I launched Ramy Brook I was fulfilling a need for my own wardrobe. Every day, I would look in my closet and couldn’t find anything to wear. All I wanted was a sexy top to wear with jeans. I had no clue what I was doing, so I asked everyone I knew in the business for help. Jennifer Miller(jeweler) helped me secure the name, Stefani Greenfield (owner of Scoop) sat with me all day and taught me retail math among other things of how to build a brand. My friend hooked me up with her high school friend, Anika, a renowned pattern maker for a brand called Tuleh. Timing seemed to be on my side, as Tuleh closed its doors, so Anika and I worked day and night to create the first 7 pieces of the Ramy Brook collection. As I look back, I realize I didn’t have time to worry or question myself. I found a way to overcome my fears and stumbling blocks, because at the end of the day, I believed women needed these clothes as much as I did.

Pamela: With Ramy Brook, at what point did you realize, “Wow, I’m onto something big!”?

Ramy: I brought my collection to the famous personal shopper Betty Halbreich at Bergdorf Goodman. She had me hang my 7-piece collection in her dressing room. Betty had an appointment with Chelsea Handler’s stylist and when she walked in and saw the collection she wanted to take every top, I knew I was on to something. Chelsea ended up wearing the VR2 (very Ramy 2) in sky blue to her opening night at the Beacon.

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Pamela: Who are some of the fabulous momBOSSes wearing Ramy Brook?

Ramy: Cindy Crawford is one of my all time favorite “momBOSSes” and wears Ramy Brook. Julianna Margulies, Alyssa Milano and Lisa Edelstein are some of my favorite celebrities wearing the brand as well.

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Pamela: Who do you have in mind when you design the collections?

Ramy: Our girl is the multi-tasking woman who wants to feel confident in her clothing. She is busy, she is smart, she is happy and the clothes reflect that image to the world.

Pamela: What’s next for Ramy Brook?

Ramy: We have a few shops in the works, one in Southampton and one on the Upper East side. We are focusing on our website, in addition to scouting locations for a new brick and mortar store. Ramy Brook is a lifestyle brand and over the next few years the brand will grow in many other categories– accessories being one of them.

Pamela: How do you find time for YOU in your busy world? What do you love to do during Meaningful Me Moments?

Ramy: My free time is spent with my family– first and foremost. If my kids have a game, show, or school event I try to make it. Family dinners have become even more important, it’s a great way to connect even if it’s a few times a week. Because my days and nights are sometimes hectic I can appreciate the downtime more than ever before. I’m more focused when I have more to juggle.

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Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are you top makeup/skin products?

Ramy: Neutrogena face wash and perfect tinted toner is my savior. I like a lot of Neutrogena products– the eye makeup remover is my favorite. As for makeup, I’m a big Laura Mercier fan, especially the lip gloss. I usually carry two at a time.

Pamela: Balance is a loaded, unrealistic goal, I prefer “Happy Formula”. So, what’s your Happy Formula for managing marriage, three kids, a growing fashion/lifestyle empire, and finding time for yourself?

Ramy: I’m not sure I’ve found the answer, but I genuinely enjoy the way I live my life. My husband is my rock and a big supporter both at home and at work. My kids bring me joy every day, which isn’t to say they don’t drive me nuts, but they will always be my reason to smile! Work enables me to have a passion outside my home. I believe in what we are building at Ramy Brook and I’m excited to share it with the world.D86699E3-C70F-4709-93FA-A6235EEBCBD2

Currently reading my sister’s book, of course, Your Best Age is Now by Dr. Robi Ludwig.

Currently drinking Diet Coke by day and chardonnay by night.

I hope my kids think mom is smart and  cool.

Motherhood is a blessing.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was “Be true to who you are.”

 

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*momBOSS – She’s nurturing, compassionate and focused. She’s always directing, managing and scheduling. She IS home. She is the link that brings everyone together. She is her own woman. She is not perfect. She is juggling and trying to find her happy formula for a meaningful life. Her motto is Always Be Your Best You, which could mean a messy kitchen takes a back seat to applying mascara. 

Are you a momBOSS or know one that we should know about? Leave a comment below and you/she could be featured next. Check back every Wednesday for an interview with an incredible mom that, I hope, will inspire you to find your happy formula, whatever that may mean for you.

PS In case you missed it, I’m hosting a new mom lifestyle show Pamela+Vanessa #momsandwhine.

Check out  Pamela+Vanessa #momsandwhine every Monday 9:30pm EST. We’ll be laughing, whining, and wining. And we have amazing weekly giveaways!

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