Meet a Mom: Chanel Horowitz of Little Miss Poppins! - Greenwich Moms

Tonight’s Meet a Mom, Chanel Horowitz, is the Mom of energetic twin boys, and the Co-Founder of Little Miss Poppins, a Nanny Agency whose mission is to give parents peace of mind knowing their children are in the best of hands.

Little Miss Poppins was born out of an organic need for great child care professionals in the area, and genuinely enjoying helping local families connect with them. Chanel’s partner, Anna McNally, was formerly a career Nanny who Chanel hired, and the rest is history! 

Chanel shares with us her advice for Moms struggling to find the perfect person to join their family, top qualities for a caregiver, and tips for the smoothest onboarding of a new nanny.

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Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally? 

Sure! I’m a wife and Mom to a set of high-energy and big-hearted 4 year old twin boys, Duke and Aiden. As an only child, being a Mom of twins is definitely a unique experience and one I never expected to have, in addition to being a boy Mom. Turns out I love both of these things, and they definitely keep me on my toes!

Where do you live in Greenwich? How long have you lived here, and what do you love about your neighborhood?

Our family has lived in Greenwich for 2 years now, and we love it! We’ve been renting in Greenwich Oaks in Glenville, and coming from the city, it’s been the perfect transition spot for us and many other families. We love how many similarly aged kids there are in the community, so there are lots of opportunities for play dates close by.

Please tell us about your background and how you came to start Little Miss Poppins?  

I have a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Maryland, and have always been interested in owning my own business one day.  Kind of like finding “the one” in love, I have been on a quest to find the right business for me. I started out working with Joan Hornig Jewelry as Director of Production and Merchandising, which is a non-profit high-end jewelry company that donates 100% of its profits to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. From there I transitioned to Sales and Business Development at The Echo Design Group (an NYC based textile company that just celebrated their 100th anniversary!) where I was for almost 10 years. When I first moved to Greenwich, I had hired Anna McNally, a career Nanny and my current business partner, to help my family during the transition. As we got to know each other we found ourselves naturally getting into a rhythm of matching families and caregivers, and we realized there was something there. Little Miss Poppins was born out of an organic need for great child care professionals in the area, and genuinely enjoying helping local families connect with them.  

What is your best advice for moms struggling to find the right person to help them?

The first step is writing up your wishlist of everything you would like in a caregiver, and then break that down into qualities and strengths that your family needs the most, and the ones that can be taught or learned over time.  Some families value the caregiver’s relationship and connection with the children most, while other families value a candidate’s ability to cook well or maintain order in the home the most. We know at the end of the day it’s all important, which is why receptivity to feedback, and ability to take direction well are some of the most important traits to look for in a caregiver.

What are the top qualities you look for in your caregivers?

Besides the more obvious qualities like relevant experience and a love of working with children, the ideal candidate has a flexible mindset, clear communication skills, welcomes and encourages feedback, has a sense of professionalism, and a bright and happy disposition.

Any tips for the smoothest onboarding of a new nanny?

In our opinion, the more specific a family can be about their expectations at the beginning, the better. We use a saying my Dad taught me years ago – “if you are going to write AT all, write IT all!” Most high quality Nannies appreciate written direction and regular feedback, and want to make sure they are doing a great job. 

How do you find a balance with motherhood with owning a business? Any advice for the rest of the Moms out there?

Knowing that I’m providing a service that’s helping families and Nannies alike is a great motivator, especially being a Mom that knows it’s impossible to do everything without a solid and reliable support system. For me, I’m a true type A personality that lives and dies by my list! I try to be realistic about what I can accomplish in a given day, and am careful not to overcommit to things. 

What do you like to do to relax/have fun?

My husband and I love to entertain, so we’ll invite family and friends over for brunch or dinner whenever we can. We also enjoy getting the boys involved with hosting and cooking, and it’s been fun to watch them get into it! I also love a good beach day (who doesn’t?), and lately I’m enjoying audio books, since I find myself in the car so much (Mom life)!

We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places when you are in Greenwich to:

Grab coffee: I’m a cold brew drinker all year round. Raphael’s and Granola Bar are great, and at the risk of sounding basic, I’m still a Starbucks devotee!
Workout: A walk around Binney Park with a friend, if that counts! Definitely room for improvement here.
Go out for ice cream: I’m more of a chocolate chip cookie person (in which case, Raphael’s) but for ice cream we like Van Leeuwen on the Avenue.
Go out to lunch: Sweet Pea’s Bakery in OG or outside at East End.
Pick up a special gift: Grayson de Vere.
Get your nails done: Cozy’s Nail Spa.
Have fun as a family: Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink in the winter, the farmer’s market at Sam Bridge Nursery in the Spring, Tod’s Point in the summer and nature walks through Mianus River Park in the Fall.

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