GCA

Meet Alyson!

Photo credit: Pamela Einarsen

How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? My son just turned 4 and my daughter just turned 2! We moved to Westport two days after my daughter was born; we went from the hospital to the house (I don’t recommend this). I grew up here though – so it wasn’t new to me…but very new for everyone else.

How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? When I was in 7th Grade at Bedford Middle School (where Saugatuck is now) – we went on a trip to Washington DC for a few days. When I came home my mom asked, “So, are you going to be the first female President?” I responded confidently, “No! I want to be a tour guide.” This is how my journey into Museum Education and Art Education started. I always loved art, art history, and education so Museum Education was the perfect combination. I realized in college I was not going to be a professional artist, but supporting artists and teaching others about it was something I felt very passionate about. I interned at the Smithsonian, The Art Institute of Chicago and then worked at the Jewish Museum and the Guggenheim. These were all amazing jobs that I felt so grateful to have; truthfully, there has never been a time I didn’t love my job. When I moved to Westport, I was so excited to transition to One River School of Art + Design, an art school for people ages 3 to adult, so I could help provide amazing art experience for my hometown community.

What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns? Our family LOVES ice cream. It is the thing that we all feel equally strongly about – so trying new ice cream places is basically our favorite activity. When we discovered Ferris Acres in Newtown, we were in heaven! It was worth the long line. Our current obsession, besides ice cream, is landscaping so visiting nurseries like Olivers in Fairfield, Gilberti’s in Westport, etc. is something fun we like doing together.

What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids? My favorite thing on earth is listening to Bitch Sesh on the podcasts app. It’s all about the Real Housewives franchise and Vanderpump Rules. This podcast completes me. I then call my sister Meredith to discuss the whole episode as she is the only person who will engage with me on this! My four year old loves the construction apps where he can build trucks and trains.

What’s your can’t live without beauty product? I love my Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation and their eyeshadow palette.

If you could pick one restaurant or store to come to Westport that isn’t here now, what would it be, and why? Sweet Green or Chop’t – I loved those places in the city. Oh did I mention how basic I am? I shop the “bestseller” list on any website. My husband makes so much fun of me.

What are you most excited about in life right now? I am so excited about One River School finally opening! I was hired in January thinking it was a February 15th open date, but because of construction delays, we are finally opening June 15th! I have hired amazing CT teaching artists and I am just so excited to introduce the school to Fairfield County.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? People are usually surprised to learn that we bought the house I grew up in. Even more surprising is that I wanted to buy this house since I knew how to speak. I just loved everything about it, and whenever my parents would would talk about moving, I would cry. When they finally decided to move out, my mom rented the house for 12 years until I could buy it. Talk about a good mom! Finally, a few years ago, she called me on a Friday and said, “You have until Monday to buy this house or I am selling it.” We bought it on Tuesday. I am so thankful to my family for selling us this house and to my husband for agreeing to buy it! This was the greatest gift he could have ever given me.

If you weren’t doing what you are today, what do you think your career path might have been? Finance. Not kidding. Why didn’t anyone ever mention this career path to me?

If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do? I would sleep and watch TV, for 24 hours…

What is your most marked characteristic? Honesty.

What was your most memorable family vacation and why?  Last year, in the dead of winter, we went to the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island. Olivia was 8 months old and Sam was 3. We were not expecting much – we actually thought it might be a disaster. The beautiful beaches, family friendly hotel, the kids playing together for the first time, the amazing weather – we were in heaven. It was the best trip ever…and when things get hard…we will always have Amelia Island.

What is the best white lie you have told your kids? I haven’t. But when I was little my mom and sister told me that I was the prize in a cereal box and that’s actually how I was born. I believed them for yearsss.

What do you most value in your friends? Humor. I have found that all my besties laugh easily and have a great sense of humor. They are also honest and real.

What is your greatest regret? Not traveling more with my husband before we had kids. We are now waiting for 2027 – when both kids are at sleep away camp!

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