This week I am happy to introduce you to Shelly Rydell. Shelly is a successful Real Estate agent and super smarty mom. She is a Charlotte native and huge promoter of our wonderful city. She and her husband Shannon have two adorable girls Paige (5) and Libby (3) who keep them very busy. Hope you enjoy getting to know her and hear how she balances a demanding job and mommyhood.
As a successful real estate agent who has to show homes on nights and weekends, how do you find time to spend with your family?
Well, certainly there are things that have to be compromised. We try to do more socializing as whole families, so we use babysitters less. We spend Sunday mornings lounging around the house and cooking breakfast (where they help) instead of going to church where the kids are in a nursery (this is something we hope will work its way back into our lives at some point). We also make sure the TV is OFF as background noise. We only watch the news after the kids go to bed, and their TV time VERY limited.
Real Estate is all about networking, how have you taken this business skill to a personal level and network with other moms?
I have found that if I do things I like, and spend time with people I genuinely like being with, the rest comes naturally. When you connect with people on real things, it leads to a great support network. I never go into a group of people and TRY to network. I think through friendship, people learn that I am passionate about what I do, and that I am a competent hard working woman. Luckily, I get a lot of business through friends and their friends and families, but the biggest bonus is that I love every minute of it.
What is your favorite activity to do with the girls?
I love to garden, so when I can get them involved, it’s very rewarding. Sometimes that is as simple as “cleaning up” by picking up sticks to take to the street. But this fall I actually got them to plant seeds for fall lettuces and carrots. Now we are having fun watching our goodies grow.
What is your favorite activity without the girls?
Shopping. For anything. Furniture that I can’t possibly buy, clothes that I might buy. Shopping without kids is an indulgence.
What is your favorite clothing store for your girls?
I LOVE the hippie-chick, cool aesthetic of Mini-Boden, but I can’t afford much from there. Most of their everyday stuff comes from either Lands End or Old Navy.
What is your favorite park or community activity in Charlotte?
We don’t really do the park (yikes!). I have just recently been introduced to the White Water Rafting Center, and I think it’s an awesome place for kids. There are rocks to climb on, and once they are 4, you can take them canoeing. Plus you can just picnic and watch the real pros fight the rapids and get wet (admission is paid by the car load – I think it’s $5). I also grew up at the Children’s Theater, and it is a magical event to take a child to a production. We are REALLY fortunate to have that opportunity here in Charlotte.
What is the funniest thing that either of your children has ever said to you?
Gosh – it’s hard to pin that down. My 3-year old told my husband tonight that some of his hair was missing.
What is your favorite restaurant that you go to as a family?
We eat at Eddie’s for breakfast a lot, because it’s close by and they make “Minnie Mouse” pancakes all day every day. I also love the Roasting Company. But my kids ask for Arthurs by name (in the Belk’s basement at Southpark). They serve both PB&J’s and grilled cheese. They also have the best french fries in Charlotte.
What is your favorite restaurant that you go to with just your husband?
Roosters. The food is prepared so naturally….. almost everything on their menu is cooked using olive oil, salt and pepper. Of course, there are the selections made with BUTTER, salt, and pepper. YUM YUM.
The best birthday party you ever attended or gave for a child?
OH, I totally threw the best party EVER when my daughter turned three. It was “Paige’s Backyard Birthday Ball Bonanza.” We asked everyone to bring a ball with them to share. We scooped up all the balls we had lying around, added two bubble machines, and it was a party. There were balls flying everywhere. Whole families were invited, and we drew big circles (balls) up the driveway in chalk to lead guests to the back yard. We tied balloons all around the back yard, and the decorating theme for cupcakes was polka-dots. On the way out, kids found a bucket of little balls to take as party favors. We had found bundles of inexpensive balls you could purchase by the dozens. Some were bouncy, some were suction (throw them against a window and they stick), some were squishy….. Everyone told us the simplicity of the event made it awesome. Those kids had FUN FUN FUN.
Minivan or SUV?
Wagon. I rock it OLD SCHOOL.
What is the best thing about raising your family in Charlotte?
The People. Although I am a Charlotte native, I find that my “group of friends” is mostly from my last 5 years here. I lived in Washington, DC for a few years, and it was so hard to really connect with people. We are so lucky to have so many good friends, that hosting a party practically requires a rental venue. We love the people in our neighborhood, that we work with, and that our kids go to school with.
You could not live without?
My partner in crime – My husband, Shannon. It definitely takes two of us to keep this family cruising along.
I wish someone told me sooner about…
Pandora… My husband just got my iphone connected up. It plays all the songs I never realized that I love!
Favorite Charlotte secret that I love to share with new comers to the area.
Can I make a list? The Children’s Theater, Wing Haven, The Nature Museum, The Stowe Botanical Garden, White Water Rafting Center, And the Steeple Chase in Waxhaw and the Light Factory – we have some awesome organizations here.
Thanks Shelly for letting us get to know you. If you have someone you would like to “mominate” for Smarty Mom, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.