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#startupmom: Anastasia Dellaccio

July 13, 2015

What kind of mom are you?  

Great question! First, quite obviously I am a working one, but one that knows balance.  I tell my kids all the time that Mommy works to pursue my dreams and to do work that helps others to thrive around the world. I encourage them to follow their own dreams, not be afraid to try new things like piano, dance and sport, to always make sure to be kind and polite, and to never forget how important it is to give back to others.

My kids are incredibly close to each other and are really social and outgoing. Gianluca is five and a half and Valentina is seven. Gianluca is the jokester who keeps me rolling all of the time, he loves building things and is obsessed with animals and dinosaurs. He is an incredible athlete and a total Mama's boy. Valentina is like a big heart on legs, she is the sweetest kid, very social and open. She is incredibly smart and has recently surprised us with her natural piano playing abilities - she can hear a song played once and learns it! They are always holding hands and cuddling with each other, everyone always asks if they are twins.

What was a time you felt like you were doing this mom thing really well?

It had to be when Valentina and Luca were obsessed with finding a large cardboard box so they could build a lemonade stand and raise money for "Kids around the world."  They are my little global citizens.

Anastasia Dellaccio

Your day job is with Sister Cities International, but you also co-own a thriving and award winning startup with your husband - tell us all about it! 

Dolci Gelati is an authentic Italian, all natural, artisan gelato company. I launched the business with my husband seven years ago, he was a pastry chef from Italy with a family history in the gelato business and my background was in launching new brands. Together, we started the business primarily selling to restaurants and catering companies and did so by strapping a cooler to the back of a vespa dropping off samples.

Dolci Gelati Washington DC

Did you take time off or scale back when you had your babies? 

Yes. I actually quit my full time job when I had to go on bed rest with Valentina. After that, I concentrated only on launching Dolci Gelati and and growing and developing the business. I stayed home with my kids for three years working part time from home and completely focused on our startup. When Luca turned one, I decided to go back to working on the issues I am passionate about in addition to food, namely international development. That is when I started working with the United Nations Foundation (I recently left my post there to jump on board at Sister Cities International!).

What do you love most about being a #startupmom?

I get to represent an amazing brand and an amazing vision! Gelato brings universal happiness so my end goal is smiles, it doesn't get better than that!

What is the best advice you ever received from another mom?

I must say the best advice I have received from a mom was from my own mom! Encourage them but don't pester them, make sure they are always kind to others, and that they have a good global awareness. Also, they are kids,they need to enjoy life and play.

What do you do for “me time”?

Between being Co-Owner of Dolci Gelati, working full time as the Director of Marketing and Communications for Sister Cities International, my numerous philanthropic ventures and of course being a mom, I don't really have that much "me" time.  I recently started doing yoga once a week, that has been a great way to clear my head and focus. Having said that I like to keep busy all the time, that is what makes me happy, C'est la vie!

Where do you get your news?

Like a lot of millennials, I get much of my news from the twitter stream! My morning vice is Politico Playbook, I can't start my day without it. I also get great development news from the Global Daily and Devex.

How did you find your mom friends?

Through my passions! I just joined the Women's committee for the Washington Ballet and there are so many amazing moms that are part of it. Similarly, the Women's Foreign Policy Network is a great place to talk foreign policy and I have also met some great working foreign policy oriented moms there. Of course, I would be remiss to not mention my kids school, Creative Minds International.

What is your favorite charitable organization or cause?

Charity is personal and it is a massive part of my life. My mix supports various friends initiatives as well as a group of well rounded causes I am passionate about. I am a compulsive philanthropist, here are just a few I love to support: Future Civic Leaders, Girl Up, Show@Life, Millennial Action Project, Washington Ballet, Atlas Corps, Nexus Global Summit, and the Clinton Foundation. We also support a lot of causes via Dolci Gelati like Share our Strength, DC Central Kitchen and HRC

What’s the hardest part about being a #startupmom?

You can never give up on your startup - your customers, employees and fans depend on you.  Some days, I really wish I could just give up and quit gelato, but I can't, I have a lease and an amazing product. I just push through it and keep trying.

What’s your most recent brag-able accomplishment?

Dolci Gelati was just nominated for a RAMMY Award by the Restaurant Association!  The highest honor for a DC based food biz, huge!

What’s on your To Do List today?

I would rather not scare you! It can be out of hand but it does involves some meetings. writing a few blogs posts, talking points, responding to emails, a lunch and tonight I am hosting a dinner with Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard to raise money for the Women's Leadership Forum for the Democratic National Convention and I won't rest until we have a woman President!

Parting advice on first time motherhood/entrepreneurship?

Its hard, I live by my calendar. Schedule time for your family like you would a funder meeting, its important. Also, there is nothing more important with your business or at work than making time to watch your kids perform or play a game, these moments will never come again.

 Anastasia is a renaissance woman and you really should follow her #startupmom story. Here she is on Instagram and Twitter and while you're at is, do something fun for your tastebuds and support her startup on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Docli Gelati Blog. Global citizens, you can learn more about her work at Sister Cities International here

***Photography in top photo by Pruitt Allen Photography, first appearing on the What Do I Wear DC blog, which you can check out here

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