Lyss Stern is the epitome of fabulosity. As the creator of Divalysscious Moms, New York City’s premier socializing network for moms (and their fabulous babies!), Lyss organizes chic yet kid-friendly events for moms and moms-to-be. Recently, Lyss and her friend, television producer Julie Klappas, penned a new book called If You Give A Mom A Martini. With a knowing wink and a nod to the children’s book series, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, the book is full of great ten-minutes-to-yourself ideas for moms. Celeb moms like Kelly Ripa and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley contributed to the book with their own tales! Now, take ten minutes to read this fabulous interview!
Lyss, being so fabulous, you must have a fabulous beginning!
(laughs) I grew up in Flushing, and Long Island, NY! I was always creative, a thinker and dreamer. I got my Masters in Communication from NYU, worked in the world of public relations for a few years and then I taught pre-K and Kindergarten. My students were just so delicious! After I had my first son, Jackson, I dove into the mommy world for the first time.
I’m curious. How did you find the mommy world when you first entered it?
There were so many activities for kids and babies, but nothing that spoke to the moms and how their lives were pre-children. That’s when I decided to start organizing events for moms that were luxurious and fun. I created Divalysscious Moms, and it’s been a hit ever since.
Tell me a bit about Divalysscious Moms.
I create all of the events for Divalysscious Moms. Our first event was in April 2003. It was called Breakfast Babes at Bulgari. It was a champagne breakfast, with discounted Bulgari jewelry. After that, Dolce and Gabbana and other haute couture designers were calling me to do events with them. Today, we reach out to 125,000 moms in NYC. It’s amazing. Anything that’s fabulous, we bring directly to the moms. Our moms are the most influential mothers in New York City: The Moms In The Know!
And now you’ve brought If You Give A Mom A Martini to the moms out there. What was the impetus for the book?
My friend and co-author Julie also has two children under the age of 5, like me. We never have time for ourselves, and we thought, “Well, if we feel this way, other moms out there must feel this way. We should write a book!” and we laughed about it. My husband, who works in the entertainment industry said, “You should write a treatment and see if you can get a book deal.” So we wrote a treatment, and three weeks later sold it to Random House!
It’s so awesome that Christie Brinkley wrote the foreword.
I was thrilled. A percentage of the sales from the book go to one of Christie’s favorite charities, The Natural Resources Defense Council. Julie and I were so happy that so many celebrity moms wanted to participate and share how they spend their ten minutes of free time.
They just got it.
They did. They heard the title and instantly understood. They’re real moms, too, and frankly, who doesn’t need ten extra minutes a day to themselves?
What has the response been to the book?
It’s been incredible. The readers can relate to this book, and it’s an easy, fun read. The illustrations are beautiful, and our hope is that it will inspire other moms to take time for themselves.
How do you spend your ten minutes a day for yourself?
I think everyone needs ten minutes a day to themselves, whether you’re a parent or not. I firmly believe you have to take care of yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will. It can be something as simple as getting your hair blown out, or getting a massage, but you are entitled to and deserve a few minutes for yourself each and every day.
There’s talk that the book will be made into a movie.
Yes, that’s in the works right now. The book has been optioned by a Hollywood Legend and we are working with the most amazing production company for our TV show based on Divalysscious Moms.
With so much going on, how do you find your balance?
My recipe is very different from how other moms might do it. I juggle a lot; I get up super early and work before my boys, Jackson and Oliver, wake up. I have a great nanny, and a husband who also pitches in. It’s all about teamwork! And when the kids go to bed at night, I stay up really late working. People say to me, “Why am I getting emails from you at 3:00 a.m.?” You just make it work. I might have a meeting with Cartier and wear my Louboutins, and then change into flip flops to run to my kids’ soccer game. It’s all about being the best mom you can be, but being good to yourself, too. That’s the key to success as a mompreneur.