Elsa & Sheila, Founders of FestiveKids
Elsa Gisondi - FestiveKids Co-Founder
Pleasure to meet you! I’m Elsa. My husband, Matt, and I have been married for 10 years and have been blessed with 3 healthy, happy daughters. Genevieve is our 6-going-on-16 year old who is an active gymnast. Emily is our strong willed 5 year old and aspiring artist. Our latest addition is Violet, who just turned 6 months, and has proven to us that easygoing babies do exist! (I’ll proactively answer the question we get all the time— no, we aren’t going for the boy. We love our Gisondi Girl Gang as is!)
I was born and raised in Rochester, NY where I still have many cousins today. My parents were Italian immigrants which shaped much of who I am today. They realized the American Dream, demonstrating to me that with determination, hard work and strong core values can overcome most obstacles life throws your way. After HS, I earned my Bachelors and Masters degree in Economics from the University at Buffalo, which is where I met my best friend and much better half.
Upon graduating we boomeranged from South Florida to Indianapolis and back again. Now that our family is established here, I can’t imagine being anywhere else! Becoming a mom is the single best thing that’s ever happened to me. My favorite days are any where we can just be together- swimming, playing games, cooking or blocking off the street for bikes, scooters, skates and races. As a full time working mom I don’t often get solo time, but when I do, I enjoy running, scrapbooking, cooking and hosting friends.
My hope with FestiveKids is to help busy moms like myself stay on top of important yearly milestones while giving families ideas on ways to connect and form lasting memories in the process. As my dad always emphasized with me and my brother, “Family is Forever”.
Sheila Dreher - FestiveKids Co-Founder
Hi there! I'm Sheila; proud momma of two amazing children, Sessilee, my 8-year-old artist and ballet dancer, and Jacsen, my 5-year-old adventurous boy with a passion for sports and dinosaurs. I met my husband Jesse in the most cheesy romantic way! Classic "after school special" where the best man and maid of honor fall in love and live happily ever after (fingers crossed).
I grew up in sunny South Florida although I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and lived there till the age of 7. I am grateful for my parents moving us to the U.S. at such an early age. Growing up in Miami was everything I could have imagined as a kid, hence the reason I never left! When we visit my husband's large family up North, I realize how much more I prefer hot weather.
After graduating High School I decided to stay close to home and pursue a Bachelor's in Business at the University of Central Florida with a focus in Fashion Merchandising at the Art Institute of Miami. I have a true passion for business and fashion and couldn't imagine studying anything else.
Being a wife (happy wife, happy life), mom and Real Estate Agent keeps me busy all week long, so weekends are for relaxing and having fun with my family. Trips to the beach, riding bikes, and relaxing by the pool are ideal plans for unwinding. And yes I'm the mom that gets excited for all the kid's birthdays' because it's an easy day of entertaining my children!
I'm a big believer that we are a product of our environment so I make sure I surround myself with like-minded friends whom I can always count on just like they always count on me. I never knew that motherhood came with such an amazing tribe of women going through the same joys and struggles. Family time and great friends give greater meaning to my life and bring joy to everything I do. I am truly grateful for all the wonderful people in my life.
Brought Together By Their Daughters
Elsa and Sheila met during an open house night at Genevieve and Sessilee's pre-school. Although the girls were only 2 years old at the time, they decided they would be the best of friends. They even looked so much alike, the teachers would confuse them. This became the topic of conversation for Elsa and Sheila that night.
Today, Sessilee and Genevieve are already in 2nd grade and still great buddies. Their friendship brought not only their moms together, but now their younger siblings are great buddies as well and, (coincidentally) share the same Kindergarten class .
Having kids not only opens new doors for you and introduces you to so many people sharing similar experiences, it also puts so much of life into perspective and you start to realize the things that really matter the most; quality time with family and great friends!