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Photo Credit: JC Martin

Featured Article

Love for the Local Ladies

Liz Pensiero is a homestager based in Stamford serving the Greenwich - Westport areas. She specializes in both occupied and vacant staging for properties of all price points. Liz and her husband are both lifelong residents of Stamford and she has been in business since 2014.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

I think resiliency is a perfect description for this time we are in right now. As we (hopefully) put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, I think we are more resilient than we ever thought we could be. As for my business, pre & post pandemic; I believe in consistency. Consistency in my message, brand recognition & business relationships is key. I try not to stray too much from the message. By keeping a constant open - dialogue with realtors; consistency in my brand message on social media and consistency in the quality of work & customer service keeps my value relevant and in front of the consumer. 

What's the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the impact the transformations have on the sale process! It is very difficult to go into someone's home and tell them what doesn't work. Trying to convince a homeowner to spend a good chunk of money on a home that they are getting ready to leave is often a very hard sell. However, once they commit and invest in the process of prepping the home for sale, the return on their investment can be enormous. My favorite projects are those that are filled with 40 years of family memories. Those well lived-in properties that have provided years of comfort to a family and need some tender loving care before hitting the MLS. 

What are your tips for growing your business?

It is absolutely imperative to learn the real estate market. Home Staging is far less about design & much more about real estate consulting. Knowing the real estate companies and the high-producing agents is important. Understanding the comps and the buyers who are flocking to the area is critical in providing value to your projects. Understanding the neighborhoods, school districts and traffic patterns will affect how a home is staged. Bring knowledge and understanding to the table so realtors and  homeowners view a stager as a valuable resource.  

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Loving Sole in New Canaan right now!

Favorite Store: Tie between Millie Raes in Westport & Wave in New Canaan

Favorite Coffee Spot: Humbled Coffeehouse in Stamford (hands down the best!)

Favorite Spa/Salon: Noble Salon in Stamford (I'm there every week)

Where Can We Find You: In my car! Project site visits, realtor consultations, sourcing inventory, warehouse visits or shuttling kids; chances are I'm in the car! 

Katie and Nancy are the two brilliant masterminds behind Watson Elsberry Designs based out of Cos Cob. They design homes to accommodate their client's lifestyle, interests and aesthetic. Collectively, they have over 45 years of experience and design knowledge. 

What's the best part of your job? 

The best part of our job is our amazing clients,  as well as constantly being educated within the world of design and being able to implement what we have learned in to our projects.

What does success mean to you? 

Success to us is establishing wonderful and lasting relationships both professionally and personally. We also love seeing our projects come to fruition.

What energizes you and brings you excitement? 

The design world is always evolving in new and interesting ways which keeps us inspired, excited and motivated.

How do you handle work/life balance? 

Family is of utmost importance to both of us. We make it a priority to have a healthy balance between the two aspects of our lives. 

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Grigg St Pizza 

Favorite Store: Heather Gaudio Gallery in New Canaan

Favorite Coffee Spot: CFCF

Favorite Spa/Salon: ....

Where Can We Find You: At work or with our familes

Suse Kreibich, L.Ac, LMT, LE is the owner of Darizen Spa & Wellness, she began her career in 2006 as an Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist in Brazil. A true inspiration, her unique services at her Spa will not leave you disappointed.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

As Nhat Hanh said, thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. I have had a few restarts in life. I started as a science teacher, and then became an acupuncturist back in Brazil. Then, I moved to the US and learned a new culture and language while redoing my education and becoming a mom. Finally, I graduated Summa Cum Laude, and now I am finally starting my business!  

What's the best part of your job?

Helping people and guiding them on a path to wellness. An amazing thing about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is that I can offer a treatment plan that is unique for every individual. For example, on the same day last week I had three patients all with lower back pain. They didn't receive one standard treatment because each one had a completely different TCM diagnosis. So, I spent time digging into the history of the pain, stress habits, family history, work habits, mental health, checking tongue and pulse, etc. Looking at the big picture of what else is going on with their health or what could have started their lower back pain.  

What's one thing about you that surprises people?

One thing that surprises people is how I blend different techniques in my treatments learned in China, Brazil, United States and Thailand. Since I hold three licenses, I am able to offer my patients an acupuncture treatment and a professional massage therapy in the same session, or an organic hydration and repair facial and a therapeutic neck massage to release the scalene muscle on the neck, or an acupuncture treatment.

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Louie's Italian Restaurant

Favorite Store: Darien Toy Box

Favorite Coffee Spot: Neat Coffee

Favorite Spa/Salon: Salt Cave of Darien 

Where Can We Find You: Darizen Spa & Wellness at 688 Post Rd Darien, 203- 984-9834,, Instagram:@darizenspa

Debra Ponzek has owned Aux Delices for 26 years with her husband Greg Addonizio. They are residents of Greenwich and have 3 children Remy, Cole and Gray (and 2 dogs!) Debra has loved building relationships with the community through her businesses.  

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

I love being creative and working on new menu ideas with our chefs and staff, as well as the day to day operations of the shops and all of the various aspects of our business. It's wonderful to see food ideas grow and change and then finally end up in one of the shops as a new menu item. Our team has so much camaraderie which makes it really fun to come to work and bounce ideas off of each other. 

What is something that inspires you to help achieve having successful businesses? 

I love when I am able to connect with other women in business, whether it is the food business or another type of operation. It's inspiring to be able to talk about what's going on in our industry and what's happening with their careers. I can honestly say that we definitely don't rest on our laurels and we are always looking for a better way to do things if it's possible. Consistency and maintaining our high quality is probably the most valuable thing a business can offer. We work very hard to make sure we give the same positive experience day after day-whether it is in the shop, or for a food delivery or for a catered event.

What keeps you motivated? 

Everyday, even after 26 years, I am truly excited to get up and go to work! I never get tired of trying new ideas-finding out about new products, going to food shows, or going out to eat to get more ideas! I love translating things I see into ideas for Aux Delices. We have a young staff and it's rewarding to see the relationships they have developed with our customers over the years. We value their opinions since they are the ones having the conversations with the customers everyday. We want new customers to feel as welcome as the ones that have been coming for all these years!

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Farmer and the Fish

Favorite Store: Diane's Books

Favorite Coffee Spot: Aux Delices

Fav Spa/salon: Maria Livesay Salon/ Delamar Spa

Where to find me: 1075 East Putnam Ave- Riverside, 3 West Elm - Greenwich, 1035 Post Road East- Westport, or 25 Old Kings Highway North - Darien

Melissa Needle is an experienced family law attorney with deep roots in Connecticut. In 2010, she started Needle | Cuda: Divorce and Family Law. The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named Needle | Cuda a Connecticut Top 10 Best Firm in Client Satisfaction in 2019, 2020, and 2021. 

What's the best part of your job?  

I am able to help my clients move forward with their lives when they are confronted with the prospect of divorce.  Divorce is very disruptive, disorienting, daunting and emotionally draining...Divorce can also be quite destructive if the process is not managed properly (adversely impacting kids, relationships, work, life's savings, etc.).  In an instant, the vision for one's future simply disappears and that person's path forward in life crumbles right before their feet.  Divorce is, perhaps, the single most difficult challenge any person faces in their life. Being able to guide people through such a profound crisis is extremely rewarding.   

What does success mean to you? 

Success is being surrounded by people who you love and who love you back -- AND -- having a positive impact on all the lives I touch. 

What energizes you and brings you excitement? 

I am super competitive and love a if someone says something cannot be done, I get very motivated and need to do it!

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Pepe's Pizza

Favorite Store: Intermix

Favorite Coffee Spot: Granola Bar

Favorite Spa/Salon: Mohegan Sun

Where Can We Find You: My office

Beth Krupa runs an 3X time national award winning Interior Design firm based out of Greenwich. Her intricate approach to design and 20 plus years of expertise, has allowed her and her team to create custom-curated and dynamic experiences within each space they work on.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love the fact that each new project is seen from a fresh perspective. We have tools that I have built over the years to help us visually see what it is the clients are wanting to express. Questionnaires can only take you so far, but when you and the clients can walk through visual wish lists of ideal colors, textures, many varied inspirations, then that gets us all excited. We really are able to make peoples’ dreams come true! 

What was your aha moment?

I came from 17 years as an executive in the Fashion Retail world…Buyer at Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Director of Merchandising for Calvin Klein… with my husband we have lived in 12 homes across 4 countries in our 28 years of marriage. The most important thing I learned about living abroad was how vital the home became to my family in creating a sense of belonging and harmony. I found myself being drawn more deeply into the home environments and absolutely loved seeing everyone thrive once they felt more settled in our home spaces. The same traits I used in the fashion world I found to be very much transferable with interior design, so much so that one momentous day in 2008 I had my “aha” moment.

What energizes you and brings you excitement?

Seeing the absolute joy me and my team can bring to our clients' lives, being able to deliver them their refuges and sanctuaries. I really do get out of bed each morning looking forward to the day ahead. I love walking into my studio with a fresh energy ready for whatever challenges may be coming our way. We are beauty-makers and problem-solvers for our projects.

The Fast Five

Favorite Restaurant: Applausi in Old Greenwich

Favorite Store: Saks 

Favorite Coffee Spot: CFCF Coffee on Greenwich Avenue

Favorite Spa/Salon: Tip Top Nails

Where Can We Find You: 6-7 days/week here at the studio, BKI 19 E. Elm

Street, Greenwich

  • Photo Credit: JC Martin
  • Photo Credit: KVON Photography