Meet PS Planning Ambassadors: Elisa Marshall and Ben Sormonte
As co-owners of Maman, Elisa and Benjamin, have had to be proactive planners while also being open to possibilities of life’s spontaneity every day to create the artful and unique experience of their shops. Maman, is an ever-evolving bakery, coffee shop and event space with locations throughout New York and Toronto. Inspired by fond memories in the kitchen growing up and wholesome family recipes, these business partners blended their ideas to create a welcoming setting for delivering quality food and exceptional experiences. Elisa and Ben each brought their own expertise and passion while concepting Maman but working together as a team has allowed them to expand locations and offerings, including their famous nutty chocolate chip cookies.
Learn more about how Elisa and Ben use planning tools while working together below.
What does your process for planning look like?
Ben: Elisa loves to plan, have things lined up, goals to hit and things to work towards, but more and more we are realizing how in the big picture of life, how unrealistic that can sometimes be since things pop up at any given moment.
Elisa: Ben is very spontaneous. Balancing being both proactive and allowing yourself to be open to possibilities is reflected in our planners! You don’t know what tomorrow will hold. Goals are important, but you have to open to things!
Are you better at short term planning or long-term planning? Why?
Ben: Seeing the big picture has always been the priority. If short term plans change or we hit a bump in the road, we always adjust to reach our final vision. We’re a strong team, and we really balance each other out. As business owners,
we learned early on that plans are always changing, so we always make sure to roll with the punches and do our best with what we have!
Why did you like about the calendar or planner you chose?
Elisa: I’m always running around, so this is easy to throw in my bag for on the go. I love the blue. It’s classic and matches the Maman aesthetic.
Ben: I love the simplicity, space and Kraft look, as well as the functionality.
While planning, what “view” do you prefer: month at a glance, day at a glance or week at a glance? Why?
Ben: With so many exciting dates and events to look forward to (professional and personal), we find ourselves bouncing between looking at month, week and day views to see what’s happening soon and what is more down the line! Elisa has always been a “yes” person and very opportunistic. There is always something happening – workshops, dinner parties, events, weddings, showers, and more.
How do you accessorize your planner? Is it for personal style or functionality/productivity?
Elisa: Both! Our cafes are designed to give multisensory experiences – a place to go where it smells beautiful, looks beautiful and tastes beautiful. Our planners reflect our personal style and the Maman style all in one while helping keep us organized.
What was your favorite part about back to school shopping growing up?
Elisa: All of the accessories! Post-it notes, pretty pens, highlighters, and notebooks. These were important in our childhood and still important to this day. They help keep us organized.
What office accessories are essential in a meeting?
Elisa: Our planners are with us everywhere. It provides a break from looking at the phone all of the time. Call us old-fashioned, but we love it. We juggle multiple locations, pop-ups and activations, so there is a lot to keep track of. The planners help us see them all laid out in front of us
Do you have any organization hacks or tricks you can share?
Elisa: Keeping our planners neat and aligned with our aesthetic makes us naturally more drawn to them and encourages us to use them more. Write down everything!
Would it be more chaotic losing your calendar for your personal/home life or work life? Why?
Ben: Our work is so intertwined into our lives. Our personal calendars and work calendars always have to work together! We need to know when things are happening at our cafes and when things are happening in our personal lives in order to coordinate most efficiently for both parts of our lives. We do our best to balance and try to be conscious of it, though! We love taking vacations upstate and to Toronto and France for a break. It’s a great way to get inspired, try new things and buy vintage gems for the stores. That brings us a lot of joy.
What would your ideal desk and work space look like?
Elisa: Marché Maman – our retail marketplace in Soho! It’s filled with everything you need, flowers, accessories, beauty and bath products, tableware, and you can eat there too. It’s the best home away from home!