Stacy Ross, Author And Founder, Stacy Ross Speaks {Our NJ Mompreneur of the Week}


Stacy Ross, our NJ Mompreneur of the Week, has always had a passion for writing, and by opening up her life on the pages, she’s also been able to help others. In 2020, furloughed from her marketing job during the pandemic, Stacy turned her focus to writing full-time and knew she had to tell her story—a coming-of-age memoir that is an open and honest portrayal of her experience as a parent and caregiver to her oldest child who has Borderline Personality Disorder. Her book, Searching for Slippers, is due out in late 2024, and when Stacy shared her story publicly for the first time, the response from those who were listening was so positive that she knew she had to take her experience and use it as a way to help others. With that, Stacy founded Stacy Ross Speaks and became a sought-after public speaker and media guest, as well as an advocate for parents and other caregivers of children with mental illness. We connected with this Fair Haven mom to Fin, 28, and twins Emily and Leo, 25, (and grandmother to one), on how she wanted to help other parents feel less isolated, what’s next for her, and where to find the best homemade Italian ice at the shore. 

Stacy Ross, Stacy Ross Speaks momStacy Ross is an author, speaker, media guest, and our NJ Mompreneur of the Week. Her memoir, Searching for Slippers, will be released in late 2024/early 2025.

Please share a bit about your family and background. I met my husband, Howard, on our first day of school at Cornell University. He went on to get his medical degree, and because of that, we moved around a lot. We lived in Philadelphia for quite a while, which is why we’re huge Eagles fans to this day. We settled in Fair Haven when our oldest, Fin, 29, was going into 6th grade, and the twins, Leo and Emily, 25, were going into 3rd. Fair Haven is special- it’s a great community, and I can easily bike and run to the beach. I have family and friends from high school and college nearby. 

Tell us about how you wrote a memoir and the business that morphed from it, Stacy Ross Speaks. Though I have my MBA in Marketing and held many jobs throughout the years, writing has always been a part of who I am. My oldest child, Fin, has Borderline Personality Disorder, and throughout the challenging ups and downs of the years, the one thing that was constant was that I always wrote. When the pandemic hit, I was furloughed from my marketing job and started writing full-time. My savior was Project Write Now, a non-profit writing community with classes for youth and adults, as well as services and events–it was just what I needed. I wrote a children’s book and continued working on my memoir. Through a friend, I contacted the publishing company Inspired Girl, and they were very interested in my memoir. My book, Searching for Slippers, a coming-of-age story about me, is due out in late 2024/early 2025, but presales begin this summer. Soon after I signed my book deal, I was interviewed for the Cornell Alumni podcast. Writing my book and speaking there made me realize that there’s a huge need for helping parents and caregivers of children with mental illness through coping skills and resources because, all too often, they feel alone and are silent sufferers. To help support others, I created Stacy Ross Speaks. 

Stacy Ross, Stacy Ross Speaks family

Our NJ Mompreneur of the Week (center) is surrounded by her family: twins Leo and Emily (left) and Fin and Howard (right).

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered since launching Stacy Ross Speaks? The fact that I can’t solve everyone’s problems and tie them up in a neat bow for them is a hard one, but the truth is that many of these stories don’t have happy endings, though they have lots of happy moments along the way. I share my story so people know they are not alone. I help connect people and also share the mental health resources that helped me and that they might also find valuable. It’s important to note that I’m not a doctor, so I avoid doctor recommendations. Still, I share things like NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), certain Facebook groups, and other sources they might not have found yet. Another huge frustration for me is the lack of help for people with mental illness, especially adults with mental illness. I’d love it if the groundswell of what I’m doing can make real change so that people can get the help they need since they get kicked out of the system at 18 and 21. When Fin’s gender changed six years ago, his ability to get pregnant did not, and when he was pregnant, he had to go off his meds. Afterward, he recognized symptoms of postpartum and reached out so he could get back on meds. He couldn’t get an appointment and was eventually told he’d have to wait until July. It’s heartbreaking and beyond frustrating and something that I can’t solve. I hope I’m starting something here that will help shed light and lead to solving this problem so that people with mental health issues can get the help they need promptly.   

Do you have any advice for families that are dealing with a child with mental illness? Regular family discussions and lots of therapy will help. When there’s a child with mental health issues in a family, often their siblings tend to feel like they must be perfect to a fault, but that’s not fair to them or healthy for them. My advice to other parents going through something similar is to be conscious about giving your other children time to misbehave. When we started healing as a family, I made sure Emily and Leo realized that they, too, could make mistakes and that they didn’t have to be perfect. I also want to mention that when there’s a sibling with mental illness, people tend to look at the negatives that come with that experience, but the truth is that there are positives, too. It definitely helped to make Emily and Leo more empathetic and understanding people.

Stacy Ross, Stacy Ross Speaks Paris

Our NJ Mompreneur of the Week recently enjoyed a one-on-one Paris trip with her daughter, Emily. 

How does your family feel about you doing this? My wonderful husband and I have been a team in this from the beginning, and though the kids might have voiced some concerns initially, everyone has come around and is comfortable with what I’m doing. Fin and I grew closer through this—he was concerned that it would be a tell-all when it’s really my coming-of-age story. It’s about me and my reaction to what happened in our home. Emily is now comfortable with it being out it the open and has shared with me that she would also be comfortable enough to sit in with me to share her sibling role perspective during a Q&A session. And, Leo is a big writer, too, so we talk about the mechanics of the actual writing. So many people reach out to me before, during, and after a talk, and I’ve found that it helps them feel seen, heard, and understood. I’ve done a lot of thinking about my objective, and it’s to give voice to an isolated and alone group of people. I can’t solve their problems, but I can share, offer suggestions, and help them feel less alone. 

Are there any causes or charities that are particularly important to you? NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization that offers support and educational programs for families and individuals affected by mental illness. I will be the keynote speaker at their annual meeting this year. I’m also a big fan of No Limits Café, a Middletown restaurant that trains and employs adults with intellectual disabilities. Not only does it empower them—it increases awareness of the potential of those with intellectual disabilities. And JBJ Soul Kitchen, in Red Bank, is another great one. It’s a non-profit community restaurant that serves paying customers and those in need. If you cannot pay for your meal, you can still enjoy a warm meal.

Stacy Ross, Stacy Ross Speaks Searching for Slippers

Our NJ Mompreneur of the Week is eagerly anticipating the launch of her memoir, Searching for Slippers, which is due out in late 2024 or early 2025.

What are some of your favorite NJ places and spaces? I love anything and everything that represents summer and the beach, and Strollo’s Lighthouse, our local Italian ice and ice cream spot, does not disappoint. It’s always a fun family outing for us. Also, we’re huge Eagles fans, and when they’re playing, Howie and I like to head to Tommy’s Tavern, sit at the bar, and order drinks and chicken wings, which are amazing. River Road Books is another great local place—it’s one of the few indie bookshops in the area and a very special place. Also in the mix is The Stone Pony and The Stone Pony Summer Stage for concerts, hiking in Hartshorne Woods, and the Carefree Boat Club of Red Bank, which we discovered during the pandemic. It’s basically a timeshare for boats. Howie and I got our boating licenses, and we love being out on the water, docking, and dining. 

Stacy Ross, Stacy Ross Speaks Grandson

Stacy, with her husband, Howard, and their beautiful grandson.

What’s next for you? Fin’s child, my grandson, is still an infant, and nothing would make me happier than having my children’s book published. My publisher and I have set the ball in motion to make that happen, and I’m really looking forward to it! 

What’s your best practical advice for a mompreneur just starting? It’s never too late, and you never know where it can lead. When I got laid off from my job, I never imagined that writing the story I wrote would lead me to public speaking and doing this. Being a full-time mom is extremely fulfilling, but wanting a professional life is OK, too. When speaking to groups, I share an essential message that it’s OK as a mom to matter—our feelings shouldn’t be ignored. I’ve always believed that I’m no good to anyone unless I care for myself, and I do live that. In life, if the caregiver isn’t OK, they’re not much help to the patient, and that goes for all caregivers, not just those caring for someone with mental illness.    

For more information on Stacy Ross and Stacy Ross Speaks, please see their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages. 

About Author

Nancy Weinberg Simon lives in Summit, NJ with her husband and two children, a 20-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter. She's a former beauty editor whose work has appeared in print and online in Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens,,, and, among others. After living in NYC for almost 20 years, Nancy returned to the Garden State when it was time to raise her family. She loves reading everything and anything she can get her hands on, entertaining friends and family, traveling the world, scouring estate sales, and crafting jewelry.