Alisa Baer & Emily Levine
How your clients refer to you:
The Car Seat Lady
The Car Seat Lady, LLC
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
The initial inspiration came from Debbi - Alisa’s mother, and the original Car Seat Lady - identifying a need 30 years ago that unfortunately still exists today. Namely, car crashes were, and remain, a leading cause of preventable death and injury to children in the US. If parents used a car seat on every trip AND used it properly, this statistic would be different.
Alisa became involved through her mother and brought the business up to NYC in 1998 when she started as an undergraduate at Columbia. Emily, who met Alisa in 2nd grade, joined The Car Seat Lady in 2005 when Alisa was moving down to Philadelphia for her 3-year pediatric residency. Emily and Alisa now jointly serve NYC parents.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
The depth and breadth of our experience in the field sets us apart. The variety of backgrounds we bring to the job - pediatrician, NYC mom of 2 - informs our connections to our clients.
A distinguishing feature of our service is that we require a phone consultation prior to the installation lesson. It is during this phone consultation that we spend a significant amount of time discussing the pros and cons of various car seats to be sure each family purchases the one that will best fit their child and their travel needs. We also know which questions parents should be asking but don’t know to ask.
Unlike many, we do not take sponsors, advertisements, or anything of the sort so that parents can feel comfortable knowing that our recommendations are based on our experience and expertise, and not because a manufacturer is paying us to recommend a product.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Our longevity comes from our ability to adapt to parents’ changing needs.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
We save lives and instill confidence in parents in their ability to keep their child safe.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Seeing parents - who often come into the process full of anxiety and uncertainty - leave with the knowledge of how to protect their child properly in the car is extremely rewarding. Getting to watch the children grow up, change, and mature is definitely a perk of the job.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
Emily - Riverside park in the 100’s. It’s beautiful and free of tourists, there’s room for the kids to run around and you can’t really see the city from the lower levels.
Alisa - There is a small and impeccably kept garden in the West Village that is open to the public but prohibits cell phones. It is an oasis of calm and beauty.
How do you benefit mamas?
Shopping is fun, but maybe not when it comes to car seats. It’s anxiety producing to find a car seat that will keep your kids safe and work in your car and we take the guesswork out of it, so moms can have more time to do fun stuff with their kids (or to sleep more!)
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
Multiple clients have told us about car crashes that their kids have walked away from injury-free due to the proper use and installation of their car seats. That’s the best feedback we can ever get.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Vanessa Anton of Common Sense CPR - she is dynamic and engaging and will make anyone think that infant CPR is the most exciting topic they’ve ever encountered. She is one of the best teachers I’ve ever met.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Be the change you want to see in the world.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Make a schedule and stick to it, for work but also even for things like grocery shopping and laundry, so that everything gets done and happens within your ideal timeframe (mostly). Use a calendar to keep track of everyone’s activities and deadlines. Try do as much as possible the night before, so that the morning is easier and you can get yourself and your kids out faster. For example, after the kids are in bed I make their school lunches and snacks, set out their clothes, and sometimes my clothes too.