This week’s Meet a Mom is Tiere Hessert, founder of MamaCollective, a local moms group that’s about sharing experiences and building community! Read on to find out more about Tiere, MamaCollective and what she looks for in a mom friend. Plus, this mom-of-three (soon to be four!) shares her summer reading list, and her favorite places to go in the area!
Can you please describe your family and where you live?
I have three boys (5 years old, 3.5 years old and 2 years old) and another baby due in December. My husband’s name is Bill and we live in Darien. We have lived here for 1.5 years. Before that, we were in Greenwich for a year and NYC for many years.
Why did you choose your neighborhood?
We chose Darien because of three main reasons:
1.) We love the cohesion of the community. The amazing public school system creates a tight community.
2.) It is the youngest town in CT and with that comes fresh ideas, lots of energy and lots of kids.
3.) We found a house that had great walkability with safe sidewalks and accessibility to a cafe and shops.
Where you are from originally and how did you end up there?
I am from a hippy beach town in North County San Diego called Encinitas. It’s a gem! I moved to New York City after college and fell into the vortex. Meeting my husband on NJ Transit and also falling in love with the seasons helped to keep me in the Northeast.
What is MamaCollective?
MamaCollective is an in real life community of moms who value deep connections to other mothers. The heart of MC is our small group discussions focused on one topic pertinent to motherhood. We also have other gatherings such as purposeful dinners, larger play dates and collaborations with members.
What do you love most about it?
My favorite part is connecting on a deeper level with moms and building friendships that are meaningful. Even if moms have different opinions or experiences, listening to each other and discussing leaves us all feeling validated. I love creating gatherings that are purposeful, different than the usual circuit, and that build a sense of community.
Which books are on your summer reading list this year?
I’m going to be re-reading for the third time one of my favorites: The Art of Gatheringby Priya Parker as well as The Art of Community by Charles Vogl. I have been super interested in placemaking and urban design and have The Great Good Placeby Ray Oldenburg on my list. I also can’t wait to read Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of the American Communityby Robert Putnam. Throw in a fun fiction read for my book club and
What’s your go-to cocktail or wine?
When I’m not growing a baby in my belly, my favorite is a Dark and Stormy, particularly at the Noroton Yacht Club where our family sails. Wine? I lean towards anything from California.
What are some beauty/fashion trends you’re loving for this season?
I love that women are being more mindful of what we put on our skin in terms of health and the safety of products. For fashion, I turn to my good friend Stephanie Trotta of the Girl Guide for all my styling needs. She finds the best pieces that make me feel good about myself!
Have you received any parenting advice you love to share?
NO EXPECTATIONS! My mother in law raised six boys and that is her motto. I try to remember it, daily. The philosophy of RIE has also helped me to relax as a parent of toddlers and really “see” my children.
How do you get through a tough day as a mom?
Putting on some good tunes, taking deep breaths and calling a friend or getting together with mom friends to vent. An espresso never fails!
What makes a fab mom friend?
I used to undervalue proximity and now as a mom of three kids, finding a fab mom friend close by is essential. A great mom friend for me is someone who is not afraid to get real, be vulnerable, open up, has a great sense of humor, is fun and genuinely loves being a parent. I guess I have no expectations for parenting and high expectations for mom friends! Luckily, many fit the bill!
We love to support local businesses. Can you share your favorite places to:
Grab a drink with friends: Bodega for margaritas.
Have a date night: Ideal date night is grabbing the best cheese from Darien Cheese Shop and taking it to a local beach or park to enjoy with wine from Sipstirs.
Spend time together as a family indoors/outdoors: Indoors, I love the Bruce Museum and Earthplace in Westport for rainy days. Outdoors, all the nature preserves are incredible- Woodland Park, Mianus, Greenwich Audubon, Sellecks Woods. Darien Nature Center trails (great for small kids), and Ward Pound Ridge for a longer hike. I just recently joined Darien Parks and Recreation Commission and am excited for all the amazing projects and events in Darien!
Spa/salon:For hair, I like Maison de Alexandre in Greenwich. Nails – To & From is top notch for their mindful nail concept. Facials, I like Williams & Co. For massage, I go to Kure Spa in Norwalk for reiki.
Grab coffee: Lorca in Cos Cob – my favorite morning with a friend is grabbing a latte there, one of their amazing breakfast pastries or sandwiches and driving over for a walk through the Montgomery Pinetum.
Any hidden treasures or other favorites you want to share? Darien Community Association’s Bird Sanctuary is our go to witching hour spot. All fenced in, with a beautiful trail and interactive nature play throughout.