Here at LiveMom, we love meeting new moms (and dads) doing interesting things around town. Our monthly Feature series give us an excuse to learn more about these hardworking Austinites!
November’s featured guest is Christine Messina, owner of The Candy Jar. I met Christine at Gorgeous Millie, a now-closed center for parents and small children to play together, back when our kids were not even 2 yet. I was struck by Christine’s elegance, engaging smile, and authenticity, and we discovered that our children had something in common: her youngest and my only were both allergic to eggs. We bonded over muffin recipes and parenting trials, and we have kept in touch ever since.
Christine leads a busy, exciting life as both an entrepreneur and wife to a hard-working concert promoter, and she and her family are focused on carving out quality time together. More than three years ago, Christine told me about her plan to open The Candy Jar, and I knew it would be a success because she doesn’t settle for less than that. She is a smart cookie.
More about Christine here in our interview:
LiveMom: How long have you lived in Austin, and what brought you here?
Christine: I moved here to attend to UT for college in the 90s and graduated with a BBA in Marketing. This is my third time to live in Austin (after time spent mainly in Houston and a shorter stay in Dallas); I have been back for six years now.
LiveMom: How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
Christine: Two girls: Isabella, 11, and Gabrielle, 7. I also have four stepsons.
LiveMom: What is your idea of a perfect day with the family in Austin?
Christine: Sunday Funday family dinners at my house with our whole family, which includes my sister’s family; my mom; my stepsons and their wives; and our niece, who just moved back to the US after four years in Thailand.
LiveMom: If you had 24 hours to yourself in Austin, how would you spend it?
Christine: I’d first have a long, leisurely morning with my cup of coffee and the NY Times (on paper, not my iPad). I would have a massage therapist come to the house, then head out for a late lunch at one of my favorite spots, like Josephine House or Clark’s. I imagine it being a beautiful day, so I’d go to Umlauf Garden or Laguna Gloria – but not have to deal with the afternoon traffic near both those sites! And maybe end the day with a movie at iPic in the Domain.
LiveMom: What do you like best about Austin? What would you change, if you could?
Christine: It’s a great place to raise children and spend time with family and friends. It’s also beautiful and serene in many places. But like everyone else, I’d like to stop the rapid growth and everything that comes with it: traffic, construction and crowds.
LiveMom: What’s one piece of unsolicited advice you’d give to a new mom?
Christine: Trust your instincts
LiveMom: What is the best thing one mom can do for another?
Christine: Be loyal and honest
LiveMom: What kind of music do you like? Any local musicians? Kids musicians?
Christine: Being married to a concert promoter, I listen to a little of everything! I now listen to more country and adore George Strait – for his music but also who he is as a person. Locally, we’ve loved watching Gary Clark, Jr grow into an international star. And I don’t know many kids musicians, but an up-and-coming pop artist my girls listen to and like is Shawn Mendes.
LiveMom: What might we be surprised to learn about you?
Christine: I was a competitive athlete growing up – since I was 6 – and played soccer and softball year-round until I quit my senior year of high school from burnout.
LiveMom: What is your job, what is your title, and what do you love about your job?
Christine: I’m the Owner of The Candy Jar and the reason I opened this business was to provide a special place that would help build fun memories for the children and families in our community. I strive for it to be a place they will remember going to when they are grown up and maybe long gone from Austin.
LiveMom: Do you have any charitable organizations you like to work with/ donate to/ volunteer for locally?
Christine: Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin Children’s Shelter/SAFE, and UNICEF.
LiveMom: What is your secret talent?
Christine: I make great sandwiches
Find Christine and The Candy Jar at these links: