Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the area?
I grew up in the Chicagoland area! I lived in Boston while attending Harvard for my undergrad years, and then I moved to Manhattan for my master’s at Juilliard. I fell in love with the city and lived there for many years after graduating. I’ve lived out in this beautiful area for about 12 years.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have three daughters ages 10, 12, and 15! They love adventure and are very willing to help out with my crazy ideas!
Are you involved in a business venture or corporate world? Please Share!
My husband and I are the owners of the NJ Academy of Music and Creative Cube, located next to Monterey Fine Foods in Bernardsville! Our Academy offers music instruction in piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, voice, and percussion with top-tier faculty who have studied at some of the world’s greatest conservatories, as well as action-packed group classes and even a FREE class for 4- and 5-year-olds! Easy sign-up online! And the Cube is a space to relax and play or craft with friends. We have Open Play and Open Craft Tuesdays through Sundays, and parties, too!
So you have two local businesses, how do you balance it all?
I love creating and teaching, so my businesses together really encompass my passions, which keeps me busy and motivated…but it is definitely a juggling act! Fortunately, my family is willing to help out whenever needed. I am a violinist and violist and adore my students and the families in our program, and much of my time is dedicated to working with them and preparing them for performances, competitions, etc. In my spare time, I enjoy throwing on the pottery wheel, which is a great way to relax. I am very lucky to be able to do what I love every day. Staying organized and planning ahead are definitely crucial to maintaining my sanity!
When did you decide you wanted to open your own children’s activity center?
We had to do extensive renovations on our building before moving into it, so we started with the first and second floors, which are dedicated to the NJ Academy of Music. As we started planning out the space, we realized that the lower level would be an incredible space for creative arts and play, which would allow parents to bring their kids to one location for both a performing arts experience upstairs and a creative/visual arts downstairs. We ultimately finished off our lower level to include two art/pottery rooms, a creative play castle room, a café, and a gorgeous private backyard space to get the wiggles out or relax and chat with a friend! It’s the kind of space I had always wished was nearby before we opened the Cube!
Does Creative Cube offer birthday parties or summer programs?
We offer both! Our birthday parties are great across all ages with a lot of different choices for activities, including play time in our castle town, glass fusing, cooking challenge, slime making, wizard parties, and more! Our online booking system makes it super easy to view all your choices, choose your date and time, and select snacks, drinks, party favors, and other fun options. The room for the activity is exclusive to your party, so you can enjoy celebrating with your invited guests! Our summers are filled with Open Play and Open Craft time as well as camp weeks, which bring out the creative side of all of our campers! We had a blast this past summer—tons of projects, learning new skills,
making friends, making our own lunch, and much more! It was delicious and creative!
Has working with children always been a part of your life?
I have been working with children ever since I was about 12 years old, when I gave my first violin master class, which means that I taught several students, one at a time, in front of an audience so that they could hear my comments and watch how they help change students’ playing. It was a life-changing experience, and I realized that I could share what I have learned and help others become really competent at and confident in something. Music (and art in general) truly shapes a child’s life. I have taught all over the world, including in South America and Africa!
If you could give one tip to fellow Mom Entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Not every day will be easy, especially when juggling the “mom hat” and the “business owner hat” at the same time, but if you make a plan and stay focused on your passion, you will never have regrets.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Musicians are known for being “foodies,” and I am no exception…my true weakness is cake and cookies!
Ok 10 Fun LOCAL favorites – ready, go!
1 – Favorite thing to do with your kids? Get messy at the Cube, of course!
2 – Favorite coffee spot? I make my own!
3 – Favorite lunch place? Plaza Tikal
4 – Favorite farm to go fruit picking? Wightman’s!
5 – Favorite date night restaurant? Morini
6 – Favorite boutique? Rebecca Collection—a great “go-to” for all things Jersey (and more!)
7 – Favorite spot to grab a drink? Don’t have one – I’m all about dessert!
8 – Who has the best bagels in town? We love Bagels-4-U!
9 – Best slice of pizza in town? Chianti
10 – Favorite spot for ice cream? Penguin