Meet Efe Cierkowski, a former HR Technology professional, who chose to leave the system behind and embark on a completely different life path.
Efe (which translates from her native Ghana as the day of her birth – Friday) now resides in Newstead, South Orange where she and her husband bought a house approximately three years ago. Efe is a beautiful, vivacious woman who is just bursting with energy and possesses an infectious smile.
I wanted to include Efe in my series “Home Grown” because she has an incredible backstory and is already making a big impact in a very short time in our community.
You may have heard of her new business A Sip of Art which opened its doors just a few months ago in West Orange. It is a spot for adults and families to pursue the art of painting – from beginners to skilled artists in a relaxed, inspiring atmosphere while also enjoying a “sip.”
But here comes the twist — Efe’s goal was to create a business that was more than just income based. She dreamed of creating an atmosphere where she could combine her love of kids (she has three of her own, all under five years old) with her entrepreneurial spirit and her commitment to serve the greater community.
A Sip of Art achieves all three goals. Efe donates a part of the proceeds from every special event and standard class to local charities. If it’s your event, you get to pick the charity. For Efe, she is partial to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Barnabas Medical Center where her own children were lovingly cared for.
And here is the really amazing thing about Efe. She grew up Ghana in West Africa and courageously came to the United States by herself to attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and went on to attend New York University for her MBA.
After college she was working in New York City where she met her very supportive husband and together they have three beautiful children. Her future vision is to expand her business to more studios so that she can make a contribution to other communities as well.
Boy, are we lucky Efe found her way to South Orange where her brains, energy and contagious smile have already made a very positive impact.
Fun Facts About Efe:
- She started playing the piano and studying music theory at age four.
- Her favorite color is orange.
- Her heroes are Maya Angelou and people who “live life on their own terms.”
DETAILS – A Sip of Art holds adult classes Thursday through Saturday evenings and family classes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. View some of the work as well as register for upcoming classes and kids’ camp here: asipofart.com. You can view pictures from classes and events here: www.facebook.com/ASipOfArt.
What is “Home Grown”?
I don’t know about you, but I am always bowled over by the incredibly interesting people I meet who reside in South Orange and Maplewood. When I speak with friends in neighboring towns and other areas of New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut they are equally as bowled over by the notable people who choose to make their lives here and the incredible contributions they make to the community.
That’s why I am starting a new blog series titled “Home Grown.” In it, I will profile South Orange and Maplewood residents who are having a measurable impact in their professional and personal lives including the arts, education, social justice, public service, parenting, innovative entrepreneurs, etc.
An important component of what makes these people notable is how different their backgrounds are, where they come from, and how they landed in SOMA. There will not be a financial component to being profiled in “Home Grown.”
If you or someone you know may be right for participation I welcome your recommendations. Please email me at [email protected].