Check out our latest Meet A Mom interview below with local Madison mom Alice!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I am originally from NYC and was born and raised there in the lower east side of Manhattan and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Once my husband and I got married, we headed to the burbs with hopes of starting a family. We looked around the Madison/Chatham/Summit area and settled into Madison in 2015. It was a bit of an adjustment at first (No joke. It was too quiet for me.) but it didn’t take long for me to love it here!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have two little ones! Rose, who is 4 and Henry, who is almost 1.5.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
You know how you have your outdoor families and fitness families? Well I think I’d describe my family as a Foodie Family. One of the things we love to do together is eat! Prior to the pandemic we loved dining out with them and trying out new restaurants and cuisines! And since hunkering down, I’ve definitely tried to make an effort to learn to cook different cuisines at home. Locally, we also love taking them to nearby farms to pick fruits, visit the zoo and stroll through our lovely neighborhood and downtown Madison.
Favorite places to eat & shop in the area?
We have so many favorites! In terms of food we have eaten from the majority of restaurants here in Madison but we always have a great meal at Central & Main, Daddy Matty’s, Grillera and the new Sunday Motor Co. Cafe in Madison. In Chatham, Fleur de Sel and Serenade. In Summit, I love getting my ramen fix at Ani Ramen in Summit. I am Chinese and grew up eating a lot of Asian cuisine, so I will also venture out to Parsippany for most of my fave Asian restaurants (Hot pot at V-Yan, Korean bbq at Keoku, Korean Fried Chicken at Bon-Chon, Shan Shan Noodles for fresh hand pulled noodles and a few Vietnamese spots there as well!)
Tons of great shopping options too. I love The Collective consignment boutique and Paper Source in Summit. Tons of Toys, Sugar Rush and Pink Pear in Madison.
Favorite form of self care?
Prior to the pandemic, I enjoyed getting the occasional 90 minute massage at the Center for Relaxation and Healing in Chatham, grabbing a cup of coffee and croissant by myself and head into the city to spend time with my best girlfriends. But my most recent form of self care? Don’t laugh, but they are doing TikTok dance challenges. I love to dance. It’s been a quick form of exercise for me and just makes me happy. I also enjoy strolling through local estate sales to find vintage ink wells and calligraphy tools.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Before kids, I worked the corporate life, held a CFO title in a big financial institution but left that world to be home with my kids. I now am the Calligrapher and Artist behind Penned by Alice. I specialize in calligraphy for weddings, and other custom work. I also offer custom and personalized experiences by doing live event calligraphy for stores and other brand launches.
If you could give one tip to fellow Mom Entrepreneurs what would it be?
What I have learned and continue to remind myself about a creative business is to go at your own pace. Starting something on your own is hard. Starting something on your own with young kids is harder. Focus on your own journey and what’s important for you. Your peers in your field might be at a different stage of their business and you may feel the need to be where they are but it is ok not to be. Remember to do what’s right for you.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I know I mentioned it above but people seem to always be surprised that I love to dance. I look a bit shy so maybe that’s why. But my love for dance started at a very young age when I got recruited to dance in a non-profit dance organization called the National Dance Institute. It gave me a background in ballet, tap, jazz, voice but most of all, confidence to perform in front of a large audience. It’s brought me on to some really cool stages (MSG, Carnegie Hall, The White House, etc.) Today you can find me performing from the comforts of my kitchen in front of my 4 and 1 year old! 🤣
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I am so grateful for the relationships I have formed within our area. I am especially thankful for the network of moms here that have been so supportive of my little hobby turned business. Had it not been for that one local mom looking specifically for a calligrapher to do a sign for her workshop and another mom connecting me to her, I don’t know where I’d be today! It’s what actually kickstarted my creative journey.