Entrepreneur, wife, mom, tennis fan and friend to all, describes Alyssa Tierney Angelbeck. Alyssa founded Monograms off Madison in the Spring of 2010 in a tiny townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side. But her entrepreneurial spirit started back in the '80s. Alyssa started two businesses while in high school - a lawn service and a quiche company. Strange but true, and she is proud of both ventures. While she leaves the lawn care to the professionals these days, Alyssa does love her garden especially her gorgeous hydrangeas. And she bakes a quiche at least once a month!
Alyssa attended the Morristown Beard School in her home state of New Jersey where she played three varsity sports all four years at MBS: tennis, swimming and lacrosse. Alyssa was the captain of the swim team and lacrosse team her senior year. She was also Editor of the yearbook, a job she absolutely loved and is very proud of. Alyssa graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with a finance and accounting degree in 1992. She loved her time in the nation's capital and would jump at the chance to live there again someday.
After college, Alyssa headed back to the Northeast and landed a job at Sanford C. Bernstein in NYC as a sales assistant. She learned about the equity markets, passed the Series 7 and Series 63 exams on the first try and ran the analyst luncheons for clients. It was that introduction to event planning that brought her to Price Waterhouse in 1995 to work in the marketing department planning internal and external events. When Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers & Lybrand in 1998, Alyssa was part of the 'Day One' transition and planning team. Later Alyssa joined Transition Services at PwC as part of the Accelerated Transition team. She worked as a consultant for 2 years until she decided to start A. Tierney, Inc.
A. Tierney, Inc. sold grosgrain ribbon accessories including belts, hats, totes, flip flops, hair accessories and more. It launched in October 2001 at Children's Club, a wholesale show at the Jacob Javit's Center attracting buyers from all over the country. At that show, Alyssa opened a dozen or so accounts including Best & Co. from Greenwich, The Red Wagon from Boston, C. Orrico from Palm Beach, and Punch from East Hampton. Soon after she started selling to Pinwheels in Nantucket, Piggy Toes in Chicago and Dottie Doolittle in San Francisco. She continued to work part-time at PwC though 2003. It was then that she took a giant leap and quit her corporate job; losing the steady pay check and going all in on her 3rd business venture. From 2001 to 2010 Alyssa worked side by side with her retail partners to produce best selling accessories for more than 500 stores. Some of the standouts were the infant sunhat, the watch, the preppy pendant and children's belts. She started offering monogramming services on her hats, totes, burp and bib sets to the stores that didn't have in-house capabilities. And that is when Alyssa decided to open Monograms off Madison. The A. Tierney, Inc. offices were on the ground floor of 29 East 93rd Street and she turned the front of the space into jewel box of a storefront.
Along with her husband Chris Angelbeck, Alyssa sourced products from around the world and filled the store with the best baby products, must-have hostess gifts, and everything in between. Alyssa loved being an integral part of the Carnegie Hill community and Monograms off Madison was a go-to for the neighbors and beyond for all their gifting needs. Customers became friends and were treated like family. Alyssa has an incredible knack for remembering faces, names, and gifting history. When a customer would come in for a first birthday present, Alyssa would instantly remember the baby gift she helped put together 12 months earlier for that baby. She simply loved what she did and customers were fiercely loyal in return.
In the Fall of 2016 when Alyssa learned that the beautiful townhouse was going to put up for sale, Alyssa made the tough decision to shut down NYC retail operations and move to an online model outside of the city. That transition happened in January of 2017 and while she misses the daily interaction with customers in person she spends a lot of her time on the phone, emailing, messaging and texting with those same loyal Upper East Siders. Alyssa still stocks the best baby gifts, birthday gifts, party favors and special hostess gifts. The turn around for stock/in-house items is less than a week! Orders are shipped from Norwalk, CT from an office with a view of the Long Island Sound. There is also a lovely showroom should customers want to schedule an appointment to shop and of course spend some time catching up with Alyssa.
When not at the office you can probably find Alyssa baking with her daughter, coaching her son's soccer team, or hiking with her golden retriever Maggie that is if she is not on the tennis court! After all, she doesn't keep retail hours anymore!