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May 13, 2017

Mother/Daughter Dynamos

By Lori Draz

Marie Files and sisters Elizabeth Nolin and Anna Files

As we celebrate the unbreakable bond of mothers and their children this month for Mother’s Day, let’s meet three industrious sets of mother/daughter teams, working together in perfect harmony.


Marie, Anna, and the Files Family

The Files Family, with “Mama Files” in the lead, has supported Little Silver’s Markham Place School’s theatre for almost a decade. This team has been responsible for the staging, costumes, sets, producing, and everything else related to the student plays. The family does it all from the kindness of their hearts, donating their time and talent.

Mama Marie Files, nearly 67 years young, sews every costume by herself, and with an average of 50 kids in each production, that’s a lot of buttons and bows. She camps out in the school cafeteria every day for almost three months to custom fit her amazing costumes to every kid, all while keeping an eye on her eight-month-old, 16-month-old, and three-year-old grandbabies.

Daughter Anna Files is the ringmaster. She is a special education teacher at the school, and produces and directs the plays. The play is selected each summer, considering all the elements they will create and giving special thought to the songs, which will forever be burned in their brains after weeks of rehearsals. Three months before production, she camps out at the school cafeteria after teaching all day; in fact, many parents bring them dinner. Anna’s sister, Elizabeth, dolls up the decorations and sets. Mama Files even got the boys involved, with Father Files serving as the set carpenter and brother Rob painting the scenery. Her son-in-law and daughter-in-law serve as support to the production assistants.

Anna credits her mom for the family’s dedication, saying, “My mom always taught us to do for others. It’s just a way of life for this family. Truthfully, we really enjoy it. We’re making people happy, giving back, while being creative and enjoying each other’s company. My mom has been a great friend to me and a great example of loving and caring. She is selfless in so many ways and always puts everyone in the family first. I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my family, especially my mom. She is an inspiration!”


Andrea and Connie Giamanco (Photo by Anthony McMahon, Moments by McMahon)

Andrea and Connie Giamanco

Mother Andrea and daughter Connie are realtors with Robert DeFalco Realty. Andrea admits that she loved to go on car rides as a child because she loved looking at houses; it was only natural that would lead her to a career in real estate. Connie came to real estate on horseback. She says, “I started riding at the age of three, with my sister following me at the age of 18 months! The horse bug bit us hard, and we soon begged our mom to sell some of her investment properties and move to our very own farm. We loved it. We would be up at 5:00 a.m. learning everything. Not just riding, but hours of grooming, mucking stalls, graining, haying, tacking, hot walking. People noticed my sis and I had a real connection with the horses and soon we started a business breaking young horses, retraining problem horses, or restarting Standardbred horses into a new career as riding horses. I have ridden all over, from the Hamptons to Wellington, but my favorite thing is teaching riding and horsemanship. Because of my mom taking the chance on allowing us to have horses, I have taken my students to numerous titles and honors, many on a national level. I loved our farm so much, I got married there. She gave me the best she could offer, including instilling her love of homes in me. We had the best life growing up and now she’s given me a new career.” Andrea says, “I am in my new season of life. I am working side-by-side with Connie, and together, we help others to sell or find their dream home. We recycle history. I look over at her every day and think to myself, ‘How lucky am I?’ She grew up to be everything a mother dreams that her daughter will be, plus much more. I can truly say that I cherish every moment with her. Life is fabulous!”

Connie adds, “We love being a team. We combine the old and the new to create a fresh vibe, and bring a new wave to real estate. We love our job and each other, but most of all, we love helping people finding their dream home and helping them find their new season of life!”


Maria and Carly Lewis

Maria and Carly Lewis

For the sweet ending to our story, we introduce you to Maria and Carly Lewis, the mother/daughter duo who owns the sinfully delicious Nothing Bundt Cakes in Shrewsbury. They opened their bakery together in August of 2015 and the store has been gaining an army of fans who are crazy for their bundt cakes, in a variety of flavors. Maria and Carly have very different personalities and when they put them together, it was just the right blend.

Mom Maria says, “It is wonderful working together. It’s exactly what I hoped for. We each have very different strengths that equal a perfect team. Carly focuses on the hiring and training, as well as the marketing, while I oversee the operation of the bakery. We have a great rhythm together and have surrounded ourselves with a great team. I look forward to coming to work every day.  It is hard work, but rewarding, as well as a lot of fun. I could not imagine doing this with anyone else. Carly is an extremely hard worker with a youthful exuberance and an easy-going personality. Her sense of humor keeps us all laughing throughout the day. We have always been very close, but working together every day has brought us even closer and has strengthened an already wonderful mother/daughter relationship.” Carly adds, “Working with my mother is better than I ever imagined. Honestly, I never thought about working together. I was very content in my retail job, then this opportunity came up, and I could not pass up the chance to be closer with my mom while doing something we both enjoy. We have made so many great memories and have grown so much. Owning the bakery is everything and nothing like I thought it would be. We have the best customers. Every day, we experience something new, and if we have learned one thing as a mother/daughter team, it is that cake changes everything. Even when we encounter an obstacle, it just brings us closer. She is my best friend and the only one that I would trust with all the little and big decisions that have to be made on a day-to-day basis.”