The EllieBlu Story
I grew up in a big Italian family where it was difficult to get a word in edgewise and outsiders always thought we were fighting. My mum was one of 12 and I grew up with 41 first cousins. Get-togethers were loud, a bit chaotic, and a lot of fun. Our summers centered on planting the garden in the hopes of having a good crop. We celebrated the feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve and it was my job to help prepare the fish. I can tell you with certainty I still don’t like eel!
No matter what we were doing, my mum was at the center of it. She was a true matriarch. She was strong and fearless, and she taught us about love and the importance of family. Despite having an eighth-grade education, she was both street smart and business smart, and she had an amazing way with words. She knew exactly what to say in any situation and that inspired my interest in learning what makes people tick.
In honor of the woman who was such a strong influence in my life, I’ve named the firm EllieBlu, a nickname I called my mum when we were being silly.
The Inspiration to Help Others
Mum not only taught us about family but she encouraged us to give back. It was at her suggestion that I began looking for a volunteer opportunity and I joined a suicide hotline as a crisis counselor. The lessons learned from this experience can’t be captured on a page. The experience taught me about the stigma around mental health, the joy of giving selflessly to help a stranger and the need for human connection.
I was already interested in what motivates and influences people and through my experience at the hotline, I realized that many of the techniques we used could support people in other situations and my love of HR was born! Listening skills are at the heart of crisis counseling, along with the ability to ask the right questions. This transitioned easily to HR and I still apply active listening techniques in my consultations today.
When the phone rang, remaining calm was key to working with a caller to get them through the crisis. In HR, there are many situations that can give rise to feelings of stress or panic – an employee resigns, serious financial issues, a mistake made on a client account – to name a few. My ability to remain composed in any situation has allowed clients to step back enough that together we can work on a realistic path forward.
Once I transitioned into HR, there was no looking back. I am passionate about HR consulting because it’s an opportunity to build deep relationships with my clients, to conduct work that is meaningful, to improve on something that is a pain point for a client. I strive to find new solutions to old problems. It’s an opportunity to recognize that firms don’t serve clients, people serve clients. That’s why it is important to focus on the people in your firm and how their experience is influencing their performance. I love the challenge of finding new ways to enhance the employee experience while increasing productivity and efficiency. I also love exploring what motivates people and how new approaches can serve small businesses. Every interaction with a client is personal and special, because of the opportunity it provides to help others.
Today, I live near the White Mountains in New Hampshire. The gardening legacy continues and my husband Daryl and I plant vegetables every summer and nurture 25 fruit trees we planted on our land. We love knowing what goes into our food and it’s been a wonderful experience to connect with other gardeners. In addition, we support the local farmer’s market and our beekeeping friends!
When I’m not in the garden, I can be found making all-natural soap, reading, playing piano, or traveling. We enjoy walks in the woods with our beloved rescue dog, Sierra. She is the firm’s Chief Happiness Officer as she brings smiles and comfort to anyone who meets her. Her Assistants in Fun are Dusty and Lola, our rescue cats.