Pam Moskowitz led a full life in Chappaqua, NY with her husband and three children. Then one day, she found herself an empty nester, ready for a second career. She successfully launched a jewelry line, 100PercentBeads. These days she falls into bed completely exhausted and jumps out of bed each morning ready for another great day. Here is Pam Moskowitz’s Second Career and her Life in Chappaqua, NY.
Describe your journey to Chappaqua.
In 1994 my husband, Jeff, our 1 year old daughter, Sara & I were living in NYC. Jeff was doing some work in Wingdale, NY (up off 684). One day he pulled off an exit and was quite certain he was in Chappaqua, returned to our apartment in NYC and declared that we should start looking for a home in Chappaqua. To this day, it remains a mystery which exit on which road Jeff pulled off of!
In addition, Jeff and I are both from the South Shore of Long Island. I had the very good fortune of growing up with a weekend home in East Hampton. We really enjoyed our time out there and wished to be able to find a home in a town that felt a tiny bit more rural, and had a lot of trees & woods.
What other towns were you looking at?
Our first day looking in Chappaqua was very overwhelming. I shared my dream of a rustic, house with our broker and was shown homes that required so much work beginning with basic wiring. It was not fun. We then began looking in North Stamford but the commute would have been too difficult for Jeff whose office at the time was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We were connected with a couple that we knew through friends in the city who recently moved to Chappaqua. Got in touch, saw their house, hired their broker and within a few weeks we found our home. We were a young family. We moved to Chappaqua with my first daughter and 2 rescue dogs.
When you moved to Chappaqua, did you know anyone?
No! Other than the “friends of friends” couple we did not know anyone. That did not scare me!
How did you make friends?
I honestly thought it would be so easy to make friends but it wasn’t. I had wanted to hold onto my job in NYC (Social Worker) so for the first couple of months, I commuted, bringing Sara to my parent’s apartment for the babysitter to watch her there. It was incredibly hectic and unsettling. I eventually had to leave the job. That first winter was brutal! More snow fell than I had seen in my entire life and we were homebound a lot. Our street had three houses. Both my neighbors were elderly and had little affection for dogs and a toddler. However, things got better by the following year, young families moved into our neighborhood, we joined the Chappaqua Swim Club across the street and Temple Bet Torah in Mt. Kisco.
Did you join a club (social club, newcomers) to meet people?
Between Bet Torah and Chappaqua Swim Club, we made super nice friends who we are still very much connected to today. We also met people when we joined Club Fit in Briarcliff. And we made new friends with the Mommy, Daddy & Me classes that we took with our three children.
Any advise for newcomers on the best way to meet people?
As I mentioned, moving to the suburbs meant that I wasn’t going to meet people in the elevator. And the built-in social outlet I got from working in an office no longer exists. In my experience, I had to be pro-active in meeting and engaging with people. I went to children’s programs at the library, went to the chaotic pizza place for dinner cause they had games for the kids and wine for me! We moved to Chappaqua for our family; the child we had and for the more children we were planning to have. I loved the community I grew up in and wanted my kids to have a similar experience.
Can you describe your social life?
Busy!! We have 3 kids. Each was busy with their interests and social lives and I can say pretty much the same thing about Jeff & I. These days, the kids are out of the house and we welcome the peace & quiet!
How would you describe Chappaqua residents?
I feel incredibly blessed to live in a community that cares. The residents support our Schools, our new Performing Arts Center, our Public Spaces, & Programs for All
What are your favorite restaurants in Chappaqua or in the area?
Le Jardin du Roi (Chappaqua), Craft Pizza and Beer (Pleasantville), Dai Sushi (Pleasantville), Mt. Kisco Diner (Mt. Kisco), Peppino’s Ristorante (Katonah), Quaker Hill Tavern (Chappaqua) and Indi-Q (Armonk)
What are your go-to places in Chappaqua or in the area?
Soul Cycle (Rye Brook), Saw Mill Club (Mt. Kisco), Jacob Burns Film Center, Footsie (Mt. Kisco)
What are some things you don’t like about Chappaqua?
I like everything!
Are you a member of a country club/beach club/yacht club? If so, which one?
We belonged to Chappaqua Swim & Tennis up until last summer. I play a lot of tennis and Jeff spends his time riding his bicycle outdoors. The Swim Club satisfied our need for a pool, tennis and socialization.
What has your experience been with schools in the area? What about preschools?
All of our three very different children attended Chappaqua Schools. They were all challenged and supported as needed. Sara & Zachary attended Bet Torah Nursery School. Zoe attended World Cup Nursery School as I returned to work and the driving demands increased for the babysitter.
Do you or your spouse commute to the city? What has your experience been with the commute?
I always worked in Westchester. Jeff drove to Williamsburg, Brooklyn everyday until October 2018 when he moved his business to Mt. Vernon. The ease of Metro North in our town is just great. Parking is always available and train times work. We often take the train into the city now to meet our son who lives there.
Any tips/advice you wished someone had told you when you were looking to move to the suburbs?
Moving anywhere requires time to transition. Account for that in everything! Making friends, where to grocery shop, what house of worship to join, which health club, favorite restaurant etc. I remember saying to my husband after that first brutal winter spending too much time with a toddler at home alone that I wanted to move back to the city! I am glad we didn’t.
You have a jewelry line- 100PercentBeads. Tell me more about it and how you got started.
I worked on and off for many years as a Social Worker in varying capacities and volunteered within my many communities since moving to Westchester.
In the fall of 2015, I began to think about how I was going to spend my time as Zoe, my youngest was a senior in high school and then hopefully off to college. More than anything I needed a flexible schedule. Lots of moving parts to consider: Sara, my oldest had moved to California and my parents had moved full time to Florida, I didn’t want to lose my personal activities and interests. Last and most important we were moving into being “empty nesters” and I was looking forward to spending more time with Jeff.
Beading has been my life long hobby. My mother made beaded flowers so she taught me at a young age how to string seed beads. As my interest grew so did my bead collections! My childhood bedroom had many fishing tackle boxes of all different kinds of beads! Then in Junior High School, I worked for a family friend who had a Jewelry Boutique in a Hair Salon in Cedarhurst. I loved every minute of it. When I lived in NYC, I took a few bead-making classes and continued making jewelry pieces in my spare time. However, all that came to a halt when we moved to Chappaqua and our family grew and the demands of everything increased. But in the Spring of 2015, I went back to beading when my mom brought home some Garnet and Labradorite gemstones from Albuquerque, NM. As I am making pieces, I am thinking about how good it feels to be touching and working with beads again. I continued beading in private and sold pieces on Etsy and did not tell any of my friends in Chappaqua until January 2016. I invited friends to my home asking them to be a focus group for an idea I had. The night was incredible! If I tell you that everyone was shocked that would be an understatement! No one in my Chappaqua life knew that this was a huge part of me! In summary, every piece sold that night and they told me that I was “onto something”, “buy 100PercentBeads.com before you go to bed”! By April 2016, I was a S-Corp and worked incredibly hard to get into any show/venue I could to show my jewelry. Throughout 2017 I began to get calls for Trunk Shows in NYC stores and local retailers started carrying my jewelry. One of the stores I was in had locations in NY, FL & CA!
100PercentBeads is 3 years old this month. I continue to fall into bed each night completely exhausted and jumps out of bed each morning ready for another great day.
This is your second career. Any tips/advice you can give to our readers looking to start their second career?
There are so many reasons not to do something but your dream and vision is the reason to forge ahead. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you. Starting something new later in life has its benefits: Age = Experience. I know what I know and there was a lot I didn’t know.
For someone starting a new business, I highly recommend SCORE. SCORE helps small businesses for no cost through workshops and mentoring. They were incredibly helpful and I highly recommend that people use them.
Try to find a support group. I was fortunate to start my business at the same time that two other local women started theirs, we saw each other regularly at shows and decided to get together once a month to talk about our businesses. I am so grateful for these amazing, smart and savvy women.
What is the most challenging thing about running your own business?
The business side of it is challenging.
What do you love most about running your own business?
There is not one thing I love the most! I love making pretty jewelry for everyone! I have met the most wonderful people in customers,
Where can we buy your jewelry?
If you are free on March 8 at
My pieces are also available at the following places: LV2BFIT (Rye Brook), Jolie/Jordan (Mt. Kisco) Beginnings Bleus (Scarsdale/Armonk), Havana Jeans (Rye/Stamford), KD Studio (Katonah), Yoga Journey (Boca Raton), A.J & Mos (Woodmere), And James (Katonah), The Pilates Line (Thornwood), Haute Healing Oasis (Stamford).
You can also shop online at 100PercentBeads.com
Follow Pam Moskowitz
@100percentbeads on Instagram and Facebook
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