This week’s Featured WAG, Behind the Brand edition is with the brilliant and super sweet Ariana Torry, fiancé of Indianapolis Colts' Safety, Mike Adams. We had the opportunity to laugh at little (she has a great sense of humor!), talk about parenting and discover how she impressively manages both bedtimes and her brand new beautiful baby boutique, Milk & Honey Babies. Ariana has graciously extended a discount promo just for our readers! Go online to www.milkandhoneybabies.com to purchase, use nflwags10 and receive 10% off. Shop till you drop! Also, don't miss our new tradition; scroll to the bottom of the interview and click the video to meet Ariana in person!! Name: Ariana Horry
Player/Team(s): Mike Adams/ San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts
What #hashtag describes you best? #humblewithahintofkanye
Where are you originally from and how did you get to where are now? I was born and raised in New York City in the Bronx and attended to the University of Delaware for both my undergraduate and graduate degree where I met Mike. After grad school, I was offered a position at NBC as a digital researcher and when someone offers you a job in the city working for NBC, you take it! This was before children, of course. I became a full-time mother when I moved from NYC to Cleveland but when my oldest was around three, although I definitely enjoyed a sense of fulfillment from taking care of my family, I started longing for something else. I mean at this time my daughter was attending pre-school and Mike of course was killing it in the game ;) (he doesn’t believe in an off-season which is why he is blessed to be entering his 13th season) so I desired something I could call my own. After having our second daughter Avery in 2013 I began to notice there was a void in the baby retail market. I found it increasingly difficult to locate a lot of my favorite baby products in any one given store. And by “my favorite” I mean healthy, eco-friendly and innovative stylish products (either made from organic or natural plant based ingredients). So, once I knew we were going to call new Jersey home in the off season I jumped on the opportunity to open my own store back in New Jersey.
How did you meet your fiancé? Mike and I knew each other throughout college and we always had a great vibe. He always knew how to put a smile on my face and we finally got together in our senior year of college. So while he started his playing career, I was beginning my first year of graduate school. While working on my masters degree in Delaware I flew back and forth quite a bit to San Francisco where he was playing for the 49ers. After graduating and beginning my research career in NYC we were pleasantly surprised with our oldest daughter Maya and shortly afterwards I moved to Cleveland full-time where Mike was then playing with the Browns and after moving to Denver we had our youngest daughter Avery.
Tell us about this precious company, Milk & Honey Babies? Milk & Honey is like our third baby! We’ve been open since September (2015). Our store is located in Englewood, NJ. We decided to open in NJ because Mike is from northern NJ, Paterson to be specific and I’m from NYC. we like to think of Milk & Honey as a luxe one-stop-shop for new parents. We carry a premium selection of high quality nursery furniture, gear, toys, clothes, and specialty baby products. We’re really happy with our collection of what we like to think of as “must-have” baby items. We truly believe in the lines we carry and we’ve worked so hard to vet the lines we carry to help take guess work out of the equation for new parents. Our typical customer are new parents looking for sophisticated, safe and eco-friendly items that don't sacrifice on style.
Can customers shop online as well? I saw the website and it is beautiful! Yes! Thank you! We launched both e-commerce and our brick and mortar simultaneously. As a mom, I get that you want to come inside a boutique and feel the fabric, push a stroller, touch an item and if its your first time trying out a product; you want to see it (in person) and make sure its a good fit for your growing family’s lifestyle.
What’s big picture for the brand? I am still getting this baby off the ground but I am hoping to open a Milk & Honey Too down the line. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the community and its nice to know that people want us to expand. We often get asked if we will franchise but those ideas are much later down the road.
If you could expand anywhere, where? I am a New York baby! I love the East coast and Mike and I are both from this area but (Editors Note: a pause and a chuckle moment happened here as I could tell she didn’t want to betray her “stomping grounds”); IF I could let my mind go there to expanding then maybe the west coast like San Diego, one of my favorite cities. I have to add though that without our families, this dream I have, we could not have even executed. Without my family and Mike’s family helping out, supporting us, watching the kids while I stayed at the store late; none of this would have been possible without them. Family support was and continues to be crucial in helping to make our store a success.
What does your day to day look like? Well, since OTAs just started… Monday through Friday I always get up at 5:30. I have to drive 30 minutes to the store and my daughters’ school and after that, I am in the store until the end of the school day. The second part of my day is getting the girls home, helping with homework, preparing dinner, bath time and making sure they are in bed by 7:30 and I don’t play with bedtime! I then try to squeeze in a workout and after that I’m checking e-mails and preparing for the next day. Girls need their beauty rest, you know this! This is so true. My oldest wants to be involved with the process now. She tells me when her braid or bun is a little off or gives input on her outfit but that’s Maya for you!
If you were not an entrepreneur, what would you be doing instead? Hmmm, honestly I would have probably gone back to school and picked up with where I left off, on track to get my Ph.D and would probably be a college professor. After completing my Masters, I felt like I was a little isolated in the academia world. I was missing Mike, my parents and my sisters (I have five and we are annoyingly close). But I’ve always had a love for research and analysis. Give me a topic and I love to apply theory and make sense of it all! I love debate and thought provoking conversation.
A college professor, I love it. Well, now for something less rigorous than academia; a new tradition that we've started at #WAGR. Tell the people what they want to hear!
Now for the fun question (we have a new tradition that we love!): Lights, Camera & Action!