Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?
I’ve lived in Lake County my entire life. My husband and I have lived in the same community for more than 25 years. Our four children attended all Vernon Hills schools, K-12. We love everything about the area and are grateful for support of our community.
Do you have child(ren)? Age(s)
I have four grown children ranging in ages (24-36). My oldest two children are married and I have four grandchildren ranging in ages (1-8). Being a mother and a grandmother have been the most significant blessings of my life. I loved raising my children, and being a grandmother, (my grandkids call me Nonna), has brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined! My kids, daughter-in-law, and son-in-law have been a huge source of support and encouragement to me in the midst of starting my own businesses. I respect and value their opinions and input so much!
What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?
There are so many wonderful places to enjoy in the area. Independence Grove is a great place to spend time. I love taking my grandkids to the farmer’s market. Our favorite date night restaurants are Main Street Social, The Firkin, and Milwalky Taco.
In addition to the restaurants you mentioned, can you share your TOP 5 favorite local businesses? It could be stores that you frequent for clothes, kids, home decor, healthcare, fitness, wellness, beauty salons or spas, or family resources (photographer, financial advisor, lawyer)… We love supporting local.
I am a huge supporter of female entrepreneurs. So many women I know are ridiculously gifted, intelligent, and have such high energy and capacity. More than just enjoying products businesses have to offer, it’s important to me that I support the whole business including its hard-working owners. Bex and Elisabeth from Happy Little Flame are incredible, and I admire them and how they run their thriving business. 847 Running Company is another business that I respect and think they add so much to our community. Blu Violet Boutique is a newcomer to our community and I think the owner, Crystal, is innovative and brings her years of entrepreneurship to the table and has fun products in her shop.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have been a real estate broker for 26 years and in 2017 when I opened my home décor boutique and interior design business, Maison Chic Inspired Interiors, in downtown Libertyville, I also opened my own real estate company, Heritage Homes Realty. Helping people with all things to do with their home; buying, selling, and beautifying, brings me so much joy!
Are you involved in any volunteering or philanthropy? Do you have a favorite local non-profit or charity?
The Stepping Stones Network is a wonderful organization that helps women who have been victims of sex-trafficking. Each year the organization reaches out to 20 local interior designers and ask them to donate their time and resources to participate in the Festival of Trees Event. Each designer designs, assembles, and donates a themed Christmas Tree for this event. The trees are then auctioned, and the proceeds go directly to the charity. I’ve participated in this event for the last two years, and plan to continue to do so moving forward. Another local charity that does amazing work in Lake County is Love INC.
What are your favorite places to travel near and far and why?
While I was raising my children, I didn’t have opportunities to travel, but I’ve always dreamt about traveling the world. There are so many places I’d like to see, so many things I’d like to experience. In the fall of 2018, my husband and I took a trip to Paris, France. I fell in love. I cannot wait to go back and experience more of this amazing country, its culture and cuisine. We have plans to visit Italy in 2022 and are beyond excited. Both my husband and I are of Italian heritage and neither of us have been to Italy yet.
Which podcasts and/or TED Talks inspire you the most?
Brene Brown’s, The Power of Vulnerability, TED Talk was pivotal for me. I was also blessed to hear her speak in person shortly after her talk was released. To have a woman of her insight, knowledge, depth, and truth speaking ability, is priceless in today’s culture. We need more people speaking wisdom and truth in our society today more than ever before. Her books are amazing as well.
Tell me about your favorite books. I love receiving fiction and non-fiction recommendations!
I am an avid book reader – always have been. It would be too difficult for me to choose one or two favorites – there are so many! My go-to books tend to be more non-fiction; I love biographies, I think they provide opportunities for us to learn more about not only other people, places, and experiences, they also have the power to teach us things about ourselves we might not otherwise recognize without reading someone else’s story. I highly recommend Michelle Obama’s, Becoming, Conversations with RBG, Mademoiselle Chanel, and The Widow Clicquot. Historical fiction is my absolute favorite genre. Books by Michelle Gable, Kristin Hannah or Diana Gabaldon are tops on my list. In the spring of 2020, just as Covid became a part of our world, I started a book club through my boutique. So many women expressed interest and it has been so much fun! When the weather is nice, we are able to meet outside at Independence Grove, which is fabulous. Our discussions are always great!
What is your favorite thing about the Libertyville Area Moms Network?
When I was raising by children, organizations such as LAM were not in existence, and accessibility to a thriving community of other moms was very minimal. I think what LAM brings to the community and to women is fabulous; from resources, to information, to personal stories, to awareness – what an awesome organization!
What is next for you?
Earlier this year, I procured a new location for my boutique and interior design services and spent nearly four months completely renovating the new space. I’m so excited about the potential of my businesses in the new location and cannot wait to see what’s next!
*This post was sponsored by Maison Chic Inspired Interiors