Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to one extraordinary Smarty Mom, Mary Ann Ciciarelli. Mary Ann has a vibrant personality, a huge heart, and the skills to accomplish anything. She is a wife, a mom, a friend to so many, a director of product marketing, a jewelry designer, the co-founder of the Timothy Syndrome Alliance (TSA) that she started in 2015, and much more. Wow! This is one busy lady.
Mary Ann is actively raising money for TSA and the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS) in honor of her late son Lee Ciciarelli or as many know him “Super Lee.” “Super Lee” touched so many with his sweet smile and energy for life and he is dearly missed. Mary Ann has experienced something few mothers can even comprehend, losing her son, Lee, and yet she continues to give of herself day after day to help others. Mary Ann is always hosting a benefit or fundraiser or sale to raise money for TSA and SADS. Her spirit shines bright to all that know her just like her son Lee. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Mary Ann over the past few years, but also had the honor of talking with some of Mary Ann’s friends and they describe her below.
“Mary Ann has open arms and a open heart. It’s like she never meets a stranger”
“Mary Ann is someone with a creative spirit and unwavering strength…an amazing mother to Evelyn Ann and a great friend.”
“Mary Ann is the type of person the world needs more of. She has a huge heart. She is a great listener and is passionate about creating positive change in our community and beyond…not to mention she has the best belly laugh.”
“Mary Ann is so strong and so determined.”
Read on to find out more about Mary Ann and her family, interests & passions. And yes, you’ll totally want to hang out with her after you read more. She’s that kind of person.
Smarty Mom: Mary Ann Ciciarelli
Married to: P. Christian Ciciarelli
Children: Evelyn Ann age 2, Lee in heaven would be 7 on April 5th
Years in Charlotte: 10 1/2
Originally from: Raleigh (but lived in SF for 4 years while my parents lived in AZ for 15 years)
Occupation: Director of Product Marketing for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Alma Mater: Elon University
We were thrilled to include you in our recent Smarty Pants Holiday Giveaway where we shared your fabulous line of jewelry, Leela and Lee Designs. Tell us how you got started in jewelry making and what inspired your beautiful line of jewelry, Leela & Lee?
In June of 2015 I held “Style with Heart”, a Pop up Shop at my home as a way to raise money for Timothy Syndrome under the SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome) Foundation in honor of Lee. Dr. Anitha Leonard, a local Charlotte pediatrician, was one of the vendors with her line of Beads for Babes necklaces and bracelets. She and I quickly hit it off after she learned more about Lee’s condition and knew she wanted to support a charity with some of the money she was making from her jewelry. She and I stayed close over the summer of 2015 and I helped with designs for her jewelry line. After a long night of beading together we decided to give jewelry designing a try as a business partnership. We knew that to be taken more seriously as a business, we needed a new name. Anitha’s daughter is named Leela, and she also shares a love of making jewelry. So it was a no brainer, Leela & Lee had to be the name of our company. With Anitha’s knowledge of how to make jewelry from her Indian heritage and my eye for design, it has continued to be a fun partnership. We are proud to give 10% of all sales to the Timothy Syndrome Alliance under the SADS Foundation. Moxie Mercantile on Commonwealth Ave in Plaza Midwood carries our jewelry and you can also find us on facebook and instagram. We hope 2017 will be the year Leela & Lee is carried in more boutiques through out the country as well as create an online shop. Read More →