Marla Beth Enowitz lives a full life in Rye Brook as a mom, artist and entrepreneur. She grew up in Westchester and always knew she wanted to move back to Rye Brook to raise a family. She recently launched her “happy art” website featuring a line of colorful and whimsical art. Marla took time off her busy schedule to talk to Suburbs 101. Here is a glimpse into Marla’s life in Rye Brook, NY.
Why do you like living in Rye Brook? How would you describe Rye Brook residents?
I grew up in Rye Brook and moved back four years ago to raise my family. I always loved the small town feel of Rye Brook and the sense of caring for your neighbors and environment. No matter where else I’ve lived, I always knew where my roots were and that I had Rye Brook to come back to.
Without fail, if you call Rye Brook home, you will know someone that someone else knows. We often play the “name game” or “6 degrees of separation.” Everyone is familiar in some way. I continually meet new people in Rye Brook, but no one ever feels like a “stranger” to me. There is an unspoken bond here and a shared love for community, education and friendship.
Any advice for newcomers on the best way to meet people in Rye Brook?
If you have children, getting involved in the Rye Brook schools is a wonderful way to meet other families. The Blind Brook PTA is extremely inclusive and always grateful for extra hands. Volunteering to be a ‘class parent’ also opens up an automatic social network.
There are also great Facebook groups such as “Rye Brook Residents” that post events and quick responses to those looking for a recommendation. The parks in Rye Brook, such as Pine Ridge Park, are also very friendly for dog walkers, tennis players and basketball pick up games. I would never feel shy to just say hello to someone and introduce myself. Rye Brook is just a friendly place!
Are you a member of a country club?
There are fabulous country clubs in Westchester along with public and private golf courses. I live in a residential complex in Rye Brook. My complex has its own community house, country market, pool, playground and basketball courts – so it was one stop shopping for me when we bought our home.
How old are your kids? What is it like living in Rye Brook with kids?
My son is 11 and my stepson is turning 14. I’d say I live in Rye Brook BECAUSE I have kids. Rye Brook is just a safe, friendly place. With all the craziness in the world right now, it gives me extra piece of mind when they are out riding bikes or taking a walk by themselves.
What has your experience been with Rye Brook schools?
The Blind Brook-Rye Union Free School District has always had a “School of Excellence” rating. It’s another reason I moved back to Rye Brook. The teachers are extremely involved with parents – not a day goes by without a school update or personal correspondence with a teacher. I also appreciate their focus on ensuring the children receive a well-rounded education that balances academics with athletics and the arts.
Do you or your spouse commute to the city? What has your experience been with the commute from Rye Brook to New York City?
Prior to the pandemic, my husband commuted daily from Rye Brook to either his office in New York City or New Jersey. The days he commuted from Rye Brook to New York City, he would usually do the 45-minute drive. If he took the train into New York City, he would park at the Rye Metro North train station. There is a 40-minute express train into Grand Central from Rye. Not bad!
Many people are moving out to the suburbs these days. Any advice you can give to someone moving to Westchester?
If you are moving to Westchester, I think it’s important to get involved with your community through volunteer opportunities – either with your school district or local outreach programs. Volunteering is also the perfect way to meet neighbors that may have common interests or to find new play groups/activities for your younger children. Everyone appreciates a smile and friendly ‘hello,’ even when you are the new kid on the block! Taking the first step in meeting someone new may turn out to be a long lasting forever friendship.
You are an artist. Tell me more about your art. What inspires you?
My artwork is inspired by the way children view their surroundings. I’ve always been drawn to the abstract – much like how young imaginations can look beyond what’s in front of them and run wild with their own creative spark. Think Willy Wonka. Who says skies must always be blue and grass always green? Today I may want purple grass! Art shouldn’t have rules. Follow a whim when the mood strikes. Create what you enjoy. I like when art challenges conventional thought… like purple grass.
Tell me more about your “happy art” website.
I recently launched a new website and online store at marlabethdesigns.com that features a curated selection of my paintings (ranging in size from 11×14 to 24×48) as well as a line of original 4×4 mini-works. Shoppers also have the opportunity to commission a custom piece.
This ‘happy art,’ as I like to call it, is meant to bring people together at a time when division is all around us. Some things can still be simple and pure. The creation of Marla Beth Designs has been a way for me to turn lemons into [pink] lemonade.
Photos of Marla Beth’s Artwork
About Marla Beth Enowitz
Marla Beth Enowitz, artist and founder of Marla Beth Designs, is transforming homes and businesses with her uplifting ‘happy art.’ Enowitz’s signature sparkle, captured in organic drips, playful dots and mesmerizing marbling effects, inspires with a refreshing message of optimism and positivity. The Westchester County mom turned entrepreneur specializes in creating large-scale custom abstract art, working with clients from concept to completion, while also offering a full line of mini original works.
Visit marlabethdesigns.com to shop available offerings or commission new work. For the latest news and updates, follow Marla Beth Designs on Instagram (@marlabeth_designs).
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