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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
*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.