Editors Note: I met Michelle at the super fun Family Night she and her husband host at Pig And Pie, their delicious restaurant in the Mission. If you haven't been yet, head over on a Tuesday night and check it out. The whole family will eat well and have a great time! —Lesly
Name and Age
Michelle Ticknor. I'm 41.
What neighborhood do you live in, and where is your hometown?
We live in the Mission. I'm from New York and I moved here about five years ago, kind of on a lark. I came to visit my brother for two weeks and stayed for six months. After some time going back and forth doing consulting work, I gave up my rent-stabilized apartment back home, which pretty much sealed my fate. I’ve never looked back and couldn't be happier here.
Tell me about yourself.
I started my career in art and museum education in Washington D.C. and New York and eventually joined a contemporary art gallery that was one of the first to sell art online. Once I realized I didn’t want to open a gallery, I went to business school and worked in brand strategy for everything from lingerie to a waterfront in Abu Dhabi to retail destinations for Food Network and Target. Once I moved to San Francisco I did content strategy for a few startups and then spent the past few years at Art.com overseeing original content, influencer partnerships and curating our pop up shops and events in New York and San Francisco.
That work wrapped up a few months after I returned from maternity leave. Here I was, thinking about my next career move when right in front of me was my husband’s two-year-old restaurant that could benefit from my experience and passion as a marketer. This dovetailed with so many of our new parent friends lamenting the fact that they rarely get out for dinner anymore because it’s just too difficult with little ones. We decided to launch Family Dinner Night just after Thanksgiving at first to gather our friends, but it’s grown and the response has been so positive. People come from all over the city, bring their friends with and without kids and meet other SF families. One of the best and most frequent comments we hear is that parents feel like they can relax, have a beer or glass of wine with dinner, and let their kids run around and play without getting dirty looks. This of course makes us pretty happy. We’ve definitely tried to make the restaurant as accommodating as possible. Since launching Family Night we’ve begun inviting artists and storytellers to join us on Tuesday nights. There’s so much we want to do.
Tell me about your family!
My husband Miles and I met, married, and had our son Galileo within a couple of years. It’s been a whirlwind and so much fun. We call Galileo “Leo” for short so he’ll have some options when he gets older. He turns one this month, and we're having a blast with him.
What tips do you have for parents raising kids in San Francisco?
My husband will laugh hearing me say this but, try to relax as much as possible. We have as much to learn from these little people as they do from us. And socialize them as early and often as possible Galileo seems to learn so much from his friends in daycare and at the playground. We also got him into the pool when he was just three months old, which was a really great way to get him acclimated to the water and a super activity for us to do together as a family. We splurged on Petit Baleen lessons for a few months. Now we go to recreation swim at Janet Pomeroy pool, which is delightfully warm.
What’s your favorite stroller friendly restaurant in San Francisco, and your favorite family activity?
Of course Pig & Pie is our favorite stroller-friendly restaurant! And we hop in the car with our dog and go to Fort Funston as often as possible. It feels worlds away yet it’s just a quick car ride from our home in the Mission.
In one word, how would you describe raising children in San Francisco?