How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
Hope: 3: two girls 11 and 8 and my son is 6
Alyssa: I have two girls, ages almost 11 and 8

How long have you lived in (your town)? What made you decide to live here?
Hope: We’ve been in Madison for 7 years. I love being close to the city and close to great hiking and farms.
Alyssa: We have lived in Chatham for eight years. We chose Chatham for the green grass, great schools and the relatively easy commute to Manhattan for my husband. The rest is all bonus that we didn’t research and we lucked out! We love our neighbors!

What’s your favorite family activity in Chatham, Madison or Summit?
Hope: Riding bikes at Loantanka.
Alyssa: I love the Farmer’s Markets and taking our dog to the dog park. My girls and I also love getting our nails done together at Lusso nails in Summit.

Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop in Chatham, Madison or Summit?
Hope: We frequent McCools and Tons of Toys!
Alyssa: We love to shop at Sugar Rush in Madison and to eat at Sorriso in Chatham. After my older daughter’s cheerleading, we get ice cream at Scoops in Chatham!

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Hope: Not surprising, I love food and flowers. Surprisingly, I’m half Cuban, half Pennsylvania Dutch. Both of my grandmothers grew up on farms (Matanzas,Cuba/Burnt Cabins, Pennsylvania) and have both taught me so much about plants and inspired my love for flowers. They also taught me how to cook a lot of one pot meals. It’s been an adjustment for my Irish husband but I love that ropa vieja and chicken corn soup are my kids norm.
Alyssa: My family and I are big animal rescue people. We have a full house of rescue pets: four cats, a dog and two fish. My girls love to host lemonade stands and bake sales to benefit St. Hubert’s.

Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Hope: Alyssa has been my constant since getting pregnant and a sounding board for all my crazy mom moments. Also my college roommate who has older kids, I swear she is wise beyond her years.
Alyssa: Hope and I have been best friends for THIRTY years and counting. We had our kids a day apart and then two weeks apart. I stopped with my two and then Hope had a third! BUT we spent every minute of our kids babyhood together, the good, the bad and the ugly!!!! Now we birthed our business together! HAHA My local community of moms has been incredibly supportive. We truly have each other’s backs! My mom friends lift each other up and our collective goal is to raise happy, healthy, confident kids!

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Hope: I’ve been doing flower arranging all my life and was an event planner before kids. Some of my favorite venues include The New York Public Library and The New York Historical Society. Turning a classic space into a unique and elegant party brings me joy. I also love anything tented! HopeLyss Romantics has been an idea we’ve had probably since the 7th grade and I’m excited we are finally at a point in our lives to make it happen.

Alyssa: Hope and I started HopeLyss Romantics this year to bring our love of flowers, event planning and event styling to life!
For a decade before kids, I specialized in events for companies including: Champagne Veuve Clicquot and O, The Oprah Magazine. I lived in Manhattan and traveled all over the country bringing my clients’ visions to life. I’ve lined venues with mannequins dressed in 80’s leotards to launch a 1985 Vintage Champagne, turned an industrial warehouse in Chicago into an intimate tasting event to fund after-school cooking classes for Chicago’s children. I’ve even given away cars in the midst of thousands of excited Oprah Winfrey fans waiting to see Ms. Winfrey take the stage live. The little details of all of my events were always my favorite. I love choosing florals, miniature desserts, and perfect gift bags for all of my events. I will never forget how special we made each and every event attendee feel, which is my goal when we started HopeLyss Romantics. Life is beautiful and we want to help you celebrate!

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Hope: Other women who have their own small businesses have been a wealth of information and support. It’s great to have everyone rooting for each other.
Alyssa: Our friends have such full, busy lives. My goal is to help my friends (and my friends whom I haven’t met yet,) to celebrate and remember all the special moments in their lives. The overwhelming love and support that we’ve received when we launched HopeLyss Romantics has been incredibly touching and encouraging. I am so thankful for all the texts, calls and kind words I got about HopeLyss Romantics!

What’s your favorite form of self care?
Hope: Yoga and running are my favorite to clear my head. Gardening has also been good for the soul.
Alyssa: Ohhhh this is a big one for me! As a naturally anxious person, I’ve recently started setting my alarm to get up a little bit earlier. I do a guided meditation, have a big cup of coffee outdoors with my dog before my kids get up. It helps my mind to be at peace and I find that I am a more patient mother. I cook the majority of our meals at home. I am a big fan of eating tons of vegetables and fruit every day. It’s a habit that I hope to pass on to my children (and dark chocolate for daily emergencies and a mood boost!) I take a walk and go to a Pure Barre class, go for a run or stream a workout at home. No matter the weather, we spend time outdoors every day! Nature has always been my biggest inspiration in life and in business. I do my best thinking when I’m moving in nature.

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