Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Southern Ocean County?
I was born in Dallas, PA but I moved to Ocean County when I was 4 years old. So it feels as though I have lived here my entire life since I don’t remember too much about PA. I lived on LBI during most of elementary school and then moved to a little town called Cedar Run, in Stafford Township.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have 2 teenagers, Paulie (16) and Ariah (14).
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Most people are surprised to learn that I got married in my senior year of college and that I had 2 babies within 2.5 years after graduating.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I would like to thank my partner in life and business, Pete for his support. We have been together for 9+ years and there are 4 teenagers between the 2 of us! Even though we decided to remain in separate homes, we consider ourselves one big family. He is my best friend and he has been the shoulder that I lean (or cry) on, for all of these years.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
My favorite thing to do with my kids is our family night. Once a week, we take turns choosing an activity that we will do together. The deal is that we can’t complain about the other’s choice. We respect that even if we feel like it’s something we don’t want to do, there is a bigger picture. We do it for each other and to stay connected. AND sometimes we discover that we enjoy the activity, even though we never thought we would!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world?
I am co-owner of both Swing Graphics and BreakerZINE. Swing Graphics is a graphic design boutique agency. We offer creative and innovative design solutions for every type of project. We also offer a long list of printed items, such as promotional products and marketing materials. Breaker Zine is a quarterly, independent arts and culture magaZINE of the Jersey coast. Both businesses are based out of Ship Bottom on LBI. I am also a fine artist and I make and sell my own original artwork in my spare time (when I find some, haha).
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
This community has an ever growing collection of artists, makers and small business owners. We have received so much support since the beginning of both businesses. Swing Graphics and Breaker Zine services both artists and small business owners, so we have many opportunities to get involved. I feel that The Makers Festival has also given art and handmade a context and has helped create a platform for the artistic culture in our area. As a member of the Makers Fest’s Creative Team, I have been able to be a part of this growth and understanding over the last 5 years and I believe this has really helped us stay connected.
What is your favorite restaurant in the area?
The Arlington and the Old Causeway are my favorite restaurants in the area. I am lucky that I am able to use both spots for “business meetings” quite often.