Lyss Stern turned her frustrations as a new mom into a booming brand, Divalysscious Moms, just 12 years ago. It all began after she took her newborn son, Jackson, to a new mom’s luncheon. Stern walked out of the luncheon with a bad taste in her mouth, but with a mind full of new ideas. She told her husband that evening that she was going to start a brand for new moms. That was how an Upper East Side mom began a global empire.
Now, a mother of three, Stern has created a support system with a million moms around the world. Divalysscious Moms strives to bring the spark back in moms’ lives. “I knew this company was going to help other moms if they’re feeling isolated or alone and it’s going to bring back their fabulousness, their inner diva and it’s going to make them feel good about themselves,” remarked Stern.
Divalysscious Moms started out as a blog, but has grown to special events, brand marketing and a wide array of philanthropic work. It’s the one-stop-shop for moms interested in learning about the best products in the market, fun events happening in the New York region and overall life lessons Stern has learned through being a mom. The best way to acquire tips is by what Stern calls “Word of Mom.” Moms trust other moms and Divalysscious Moms is the connector.
“My philosophy is that if you don’t take a few minutes a day for yourself, you’re going to go crazy,” said Stern. “We all know happy moms equal happy kids and happy life.”
A large part of Stern’s Divalysscious Moms brand has been the philanthropy. Divalysscious Moms will host Camp Divalysscious, a children’s oasis at Super Saturday 19. The Hamptons summer tradition hosted by Kelly Ripa, Donna Karan, and Gabby Karan de Felice will take place on Saturday, July 30th at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be an exclusive shopping preview at 12 p.m. and the day-long designer shopping extravaganza will benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, an organization very close to Stern’s heart.
“The reason I got involved with the event nine years ago was because my dad was diagnosed with cancer when he was 26,” recalled Stern. “He’d been in and out of remission his whole life. When he was 40, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and he passed away two years ago. He was 66 years old. My aunt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is, thank God, in remission, but my mom lost two of her close friends to ovarian cancer, so it’s very close to my heart. I think it’s also important for my children to see that mom is doing something to give back.”
Stern has fond memories of her dad and son Jackson at the benefit. “Super Saturday was my dad’s favorite event of every one that I ever did,” said Stern. “You could see the smile on his face, from ear to ear. He was happy I was doing something for cancer research.”
Divalysscious Moms holds events all throughout the year, but one of Stern’s favorites is the Mom Moguls Breakfast that is held every year, right before Mother’s Day in May. Next year’s will be the fifth annual year and nearly 300 ticket holders will have the chance to hear from some of the top moms in the industry. Previous Mom Mogul panelists have included Dylan Lauren, Amanda Freeman, Jenny Hutt, Rebecca Minkoff, Jennifer Fisher, and Kelly Rutherford. Participants also have the chance to partake in a question and answer session to ask the panelists their burning questions about how to start their own business while being a fabulous mom.
“I want to make moms’ lives easier,” said Stern. “When I started my business, everybody told me that I couldn’t do this. I learned from my own experiences that you cannot listen to the naysayers. You have to just focus in on what your goals are and to not listen to all the noise out there. Set your goals high and go for it. I always say to people that the worst that could happen is that you fail. The best case scenario is that you can succeed.”
Stern and her family have a lot cooking for the future. She has already authored a book entitled If You Give a Mom a Martini: 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Moments for Yourself, and is scheduled to publish another during the spring of 2017. In addition, Stern is working with her husband to create a comedy television show about her widowed mother. The show will be called #NanaDoll and Stern is confident it will be a great success.
“If you never try it, you’ll never know. If you have something in mind and have a passion, then go for it,” advised Stern. “Say to yourself, ‘I’m going to do this and I’m going to concentrate on this.’ It may take you one year to get there or twenty years to get there.”
Stern embraces her journey and is happy with where life has taken her. “I’m funny, I’m snarky, I’m truthful, I don’t hide anything, there’s nothing perfect about my life,” admitted Stern. “I hate judging other moms and I’m all about trying to be positive and letting the community know we’re doing the best we can.”
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