Meet a Mom – Lori Stern | Essex County Moms

Lori Stern


1.How many kids do you have and what are their ages? 


3- 20, 21, 25


  1. How long have you lived in 

Short Hills/Millburn/Livingston and what made you decide to live here? 


We moved here in 2000, just before our oldest son was starting kindergarten. I had always wanted to to settle in Short Hills. I loved the beauty of the town, the reputation of the school system and all the wonderful things I had heard about living here.


3.Tell us about your business and what other local things you are involved in!  And how did you get started? 


I started my business 16 years ago when I was outfitting my son for summer camp. My son’s camp outfitter was located in the Chicago area and their prices were very high. I tried to purchase everything on my own to save money. It took me forever to purchase everything on the list. I decided that I would try to figure out a way to make it easier for parents to outfit their kids more economically and by the following season


I started Camp Stuff 4 Less out of my basement.  We moved to our Livingston location years later.  Throughout the years I have been involved within the schools and with local organization with my children like The Friendship Circle and Homeless Solutions.


4.Favorite thing to do when you need “me time”?

I’m not really one who needs “me time” but spending time catching up with old friends would be something that I like to do when I have free time.


5.Favorite place for dinner with kids?


Our favorite place has changed throughout the years. My middle child, even at 21 still loves to go to Benihana. As for the other two, my daughter loves Sakura and my son loves a good burger anywhere. When we go out for a nice dinner we like La Pergola.


6.Most enjoyable place to hang out?


Our family is always happiest at home.


7.How do you balance your career and being a mom?


Truthfully, it’s been a challenge. My business is tricky. In camp season we work 7 days/week, but I never missed a school function or any of their “firsts”. For me, nothing was more important than being there for the little things.


8.Proudest mommy moment(s)?


Oh…ok…so many proud mommy moments…but one that really stands out…

Having my middle child, Daniel, who is a Midshipman at the United States Merchant Marine Academy give me a tour of the bridge in his dress whites on the NCL Pride of America when he was doing his junior year at sea. He has wanted to be a ship captain since he was 6 years old, and to watch him live his dream and be part of it for a brief moment was a very proud mommy moment.



9.Can’t believe that happened mommy moment!


I guess in keeping with our visit with Daniel…


We were leaving the ship, and my husband saw Daniel across the ship from us as we were leaving the gangway. We had said goodbye to him the night before, but did not see him that morning.


He was FAR AWAY from us (like really, really far away from us) and there were A TON of people around us leaving the ship. My mommy instant kicked in, and without even thinking, knowing I wasn’t seeing him for 6 months, I screamed, “I LOVE YOU!”. Needless to say, I realized immediately that what I did was completely inappropriate. But, there was nothing I could do. It was out there. Embarrassing, yup! Luckily he forgave me…


10.Best advice you have gotten from a mom?


Have patience with your kids AND your parents. If you don’t, who will?


11.Best piece of advice you can give other moms!


Let your kids do the things that make them happy, even if they are not the traditional things kids in town do for fun. In the end, they will be happy and if they are happy you will be happy.



12.One thing people would be surprised to know about you…


Even though I spend my days helping parents and children get ready for sleepaway camp, and think it is a gift you give your children, I am one of the unlucky few who did not live 10 for 2.



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