I am so excited for you to meet Lyss Stern, a woman after my own heart! I absolutely love one of Lyss’s motto’s “If moms not happy, the children aren’t happy. And I want all moms to be Happy!”
Lyss Stern is the founder and president of Divalysscious Moms, www.divamoms.com the premier network and event company for the New York area’s well heeled and fabulous moms. She was recently tapped the editor-in-chief of The New York Observer’s new family publication, Observer Playground—the glossy, high-end parenting magazine that launched in September 2009 featuring Mary Louise Parker on its cover. Lyss is also the co-author of IF YOU GIVE A MOM A MARTINI….100 ways to find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself… supermodel and super mom Christie Brinkley wrote the foreword.
In 2003, after the birth of her first son, Lyss searched but could not find a single company catering to the needs of a new mother (like herself) who didn’t want to give up her high heels and make-up in order to embrace the life-changes brought by motherhood. So she combined her creative skills, chic sense of style, networking abilities, love of children, and dual masters’ degree in communications and early education to create Divalysscious Moms.
In just six years, Lyss’s company, which started with just a few friends (6 to be exact) has turned into not only the hippest mom event brand in the New York area but home to the most coveted mommy database in NYC, with more than 250,000 moms.
I wanted to learn more about how this diva does it all and still remains to be so fabulous, so I decided to interview her!! Hope you enjoy!!
Q: Why did you create Divalysscious Moms, www.divamoms.com?
Lyss: Founded in 2003, I sought to bridge the gap between my pre-baby lifestyle and newly bestowed motherhood after the birth of my first son, Jackson. Rather than eschew my beloved stilettos for strollers, I decided to embrace them both. My company’s name came from combining delicious–a friend’s word describing my work–with Lyss, and a pinch of “diva” thrown in for good measure. And voila! Divalysscious was born, celebrating moms that are strong, sexy, confident and (dare we say it!) even more fab post-baby. Divalysscious Moms is a luxury lifestyle company for mothers and their children in New York City – The Tri State Area that plans events ranging from fashion to fitness, and education to entertainment for the Sex and the City meets Mommy and Me set.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your book “If You Give a Mom a Martini: 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself”?
Lyss: “If You Give a Mom a Martini…100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes For Yourself” is the perfect bag of tricks for the mom who needs to recharge, we like to say take a “MTO” Mommy Time Out. Running the gamut from sweet to satiric, most of the ideas are practical, some daring, but mostly just plain fun. For stealing a few minutes of personal ‘me’ time, busy celebrity mom Kelly Ripa recommends watching Judge Judy and reveling in someone else having all of the answers for a change. “Although ten minutes is not long enough for an entire episode, it’ll probably get me through one juicy case. That’s okay. I’ll take what I can get,” says Ripa. Great tips from celebrity moms such as Keisha Whitaker, actress Jill Hennessy, fashion designers Catherine Malandrino and Cynthia Rowley, and TV personality Lara Spencer include taking the long way home from work while listening to your favorite tunes, strumming a six string guitar, and rearranging the furniture for a different perspective. Covering a range of topics from fashion, fitness, sex, and food among others, “If You Give a Mom a Martini” is a witty and quick read giving moms everywhere the tips and tricks to put the pep back in their step. With stylish illustrations by fashion illustrator Izak Zenou, this book is a reminder for modern moms that it really only takes ten minutes to regain some sanity and find the energy to go back to the playroom and face the music – even if it is “The Wheels on the Bus.”
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
Lyss: My co-author and dear friend Julie Klappas is savvy, stylish, and we are fabulous women who seem to have it all – except for ten minutes of much needed ‘me’ time. We put our creative minds together to give women ideas on how to create their own “mommy time out.” Something that Julie and I always struggle with between our busy careers, being a mom, wife we always laugh that we never have any time for ourselves. We said we should write a book about this, and from there the wheels started spinning and we put the book idea into full gear. Our second book coming out soon is To Glam-mas House We Go!
Q: You run some amazing Divalysscious events can you tell us a little bit more about them?
Lyss: Yes of course! I fill New York moms’ calendars chock full of mom and kid-friendly festivities all year long. Think shopping fêtes on Madison Avenue, makeovers at Barney’s New York and annual holiday bashes at FAO Schwarz and Dylan’s Candy Bar. Whether it is a private shopping soirée at the newest store or advanced movie screenings, events are replete with incredible prizes and coveted gift bags–filled with goodies like spa certificates, DVDs and beauty products!
Q: What are the top 3 things that inspire and empower you?
Lyss: My children Jackson and Oliver and my husband Brian.
Q: You are very passionate about giving back to the community, what philanthropic organizations are you most passionate about and why?
Lyss: The extensive Divalysscious Moms network has helped raise thousands of dollars for family-oriented charities, including Baby Buggy, Ovarian Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Research, The Hassenfeld Center among a multitude of others. Following the 2004 Tsunami, Divalysscious Moms participated in the Red Cross Tsunami relief function, raising thousands of dollars for the victims with a special rock concert from famed musician, Dan Zanes, a popular artist for the tot rock set. I am extremely passionate about the Hassenfeld Center, my son Jackson’s best friend was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was five years old. My father is also a cancer survivor so cancer research has a very special place in my heart. It’s very important to give back to the community, and for me to be a role model to my sons.
Q: What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received?
Lyss: The best piece of advice I have ever received is to learn from your mistakes, and don’t make the same mistake twice.
Q: You have created a community for diva moms and moms to be, and your membership is free, what are some of the divalysscious benefits to joining the community?
Lyss: Yes, Divalysscious Moms is a community for moms and membership is FREE. Just a few of the Divalysscious benefits by joining the community is that you will always be updated with the event emails, and will get access to sign up for the events before anyone else. You will meet some of your best and closest friends through our Divamoms events. We always keep you updated with what’s new and fabulous and the moms love our Divalysscious Discounts, and Diva Delish Deals. Everything we do has our Divamoms “Approval” stamp on it!
More on Lyss Stern:
Lyss has consulted in virtually every industry including toys and entertainment, fashion, organic children’s food, baby gear, jewelry, fitness, restaurants, hospitality and publishing.
Clients have included:
- Cookie Magazine
- Numerous blogs
- FAO Schwarz
- Juicy Couture
- The Madison Avenue BID
- Soul Cycle, Exhale Spa, Pure Yoga
- OCRF, BCRF, The Hassenfeld Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering
- Stroller companies, Quinny, Teutonia, Bugaboo
Lyss began her writing career with a weekly column, “Divalyssciously Yours,” for the style section of The New York Sun. She was also the lifestyle correspondent for Cookie Magazine, sharing her extensive knowledge and advice on the magazine’s media channel CookieVision. She has appeared as a guest on NBC’s Today show, CNBC, MSNBC and more.
Lyss lives in New York City with her husband, talent manager Brian Stern, their two sons Jackson and Oliver. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University, a Masters in Communications from New York University, and a Masters in Early Education from Hunter Graduate School. She is also the proud owner of a terrific sense of style and a wicked sense of humor!