Welcome to Chicago North Shore Moms weekly Meet a Mom spotlight where we feature one local mama, what they’re up to both personally and professionally. But first we’d like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to our Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Law Firm. Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities!
This week’s Meet a Mom spotlight is the lovely and creative Lake Forest mom of five Ellie Nottoli of elliestyled, a modern luxe lifestyling brand specializing in event planning and styling. Ellie tells us how this career path began and what keeps her ticking – welcome Ellie! 📸 Jenn Marie photography
Hi Ellie! Please introduce yourself. Where are you from and where do you live now?
Hi, I’m ellie!! Born and raised in Lake Bluff, with a stint on the West Coast. I now reside in Lake Forest with my family. I love the history and roots I have in Lake Forest and the relationships that have been established over generations. I love being able to walk to town from my home and studio, and the support from our community is unmeasurable. I have 5 kids…Isabella 26, Nicholas 25, Vincent 16, Enzo 14, and Francesca 11.
Anything we’d be surprised to know about you?
I am NOT fancy! I’m most comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans, barefoot! I’m a bit of a hippie at heart, I love our earth mother and nature and don’t mind a bit of grit and organic dirt!
Some people are also surprised to learn I live a sober lifestyle. While I set up a most beautiful bar, I excused alcohol from my life three years ago. I have learned to breathe and work through my anxiety, and waking up with clarity and presence is the greatest gift I’ve ever honored myself with.
Do you and your family have any local favorite restaurants for takeout or dine-in?
My teenage boys rule the menu planning these days! I think the North Shore is restaurant challenged, although there are a few gems…The Gallery in Lake Forest, Sophia Steak in Wilmette, Towne and Oak in Winnetka, Deerpath Inn in Lake Forest.
Please tell us about your businesses, elliestyled and Scott Street Studio!
elliestyled was established in 2016. I worked retail most of my adult life and was a businessman’s wife raising children before starting my company. I have always loved art and design and I entertained at home constantly. Between business dinners, my kids birthday parties and friend gatherings at our home, I found a way to incorporate design into hosting parties. elliestyled began as a side hustle, working out of my home for years until I grew out of my space.
I opened Scott Street Studio two years ago as a place to house my collections, a showroom and meeting space, and a place to produce our events.
Would you like to give a shout out to any local peeps you currently collaborate with?
There is so much talent on the North Shore, I love meeting new vendor friends and expanding my list of collaborators. I especially love working with women like myself, starting a business through passion and seeking balance of family and work life.
What is the most rewarding aspect about being a lifestyle artist & event planner?
The most rewarding part of my work is being a part of creating magical experiences for clients through their most intimate and sentimental celebrations. It’s quite emotional, actually. I am always touched when I find the support, camaraderie and friendships established through working in this industry. Some of my dearest friends I have met through the events community.
What advice can you give other mamas out there who are looking to start a new business in the current climate?
Cliches are a cliche for a reason. Just do it. Follow your passion. Live what you Love.
What are common questions that people reach out to ask you with respect to event planning?
I am often asked about how I have time for my family. The answer is that it is a constant challenge to balance work and family life. It’s HARD! I prioritize my children and they are a true reason I started my own business. I wanted the flexibility to make my own hours and spend as much time as possible with them. We eat dinner together most nights, even if that means family dinner at the Studio while we work together! They have learned to help me with my work and pitch in when I need help.
People often ask for advice for their DIY parties, where I source things or how they could implement a beautiful party without hiring a planner/stylist. I’m pretty open about my vendors, I credit them all, but it’s also part of the work…to seek out the talent and interesting components to make an event special. That doesn’t come for free.
What’s on the horizon for your brand?
elliestyled continues to evolve and is ever changing. We become inspired and create limited runs of certain products and handmade items, gift boxes. Once they are gone, we move on to the next thing. I am a creative, there is always forward movement.
We have hosted pop up markets while collaborating with other female entrepreneurs. We will continue to celebrate by coming together and supporting one another! Stay tuned!
Thanks! How can we connect with you for more information?
firstname.lastname@example.org Insta @elliestyled Mobile 847.664.9370