Zhanna Tsytsyn Co-founder and CEO
I believe in celebrating life, and life includes the good moments and the bad, the dreams, the hustle, and all the moments in-between. Growing up in a family of 10, there were many, MANY moments to celebrate. The biggest life moment was when our entire family moved from Krasnoyarsk, Russia to the US. I was 9 at the time and I felt like this whole new world opened for me. Coming to a new country without any English language skills, I quickly learned how to communicate visually, a language everyone understands. This really influenced my decision to study Art and Design in college and shortly after earning my degree, I began to nurture a new passion for helping others communicate their ideas through design as well. After ten years of doing just that, I saw first hand how good design can elevate a moment in time and make it memorable. That's when the idea for Ames and Oates was born. Ames and Oates has given me a platform to combine my design skills and the profound joy I get helping people celebrate all of life's moments.
FUN FACTS -
How do you take your coffee? Strong and Black in a cute espresso cup with a saucer.
Favorite Movie? The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
If you could only take 3 things to a deserted Island? A book, my computer (because how would I shop without it??), and red wine.
Favorite Fictional Character? Santiago from the Alchemist
Candida Maceo Co-founder and CCO
I've worked in the Fashion Industry for over 15 years. Some of my titles have included Model, Stylist, Buyer, and Fashion Director. When I look back at everything that I've done, all of my past experience, I definitely feel that all roads were leading me to Ames and Oates. Our business has really helped me incorporate all of the things that I've loved from my previous positions; buying, merchandising, creative direction, even some modeling (my shoulders and neck can be seen showing off our personalized necklaces) and my personal philosophy about life - You Must Celebrate It! And for me this means celebrating the incredible people in our lives and all the moments that make life so amazing and bring so much joy.
FUN FACTS -
Cupcakes or Cookies? Cupcakes all the way. I pretty much like anything that has the word "cake" in it.
What movie have you watched the most? It's probably a tie between Dirty Dancing (I used to watch it every weekend through middle school and HS) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang...because Robert Downey Jr! There are so many great lines.
What are you doing in your free time? Binge watching something on Netflix, internet shopping, or on Insta sending private messages to my friends with funny memes or cute animal videos.
Favorite fictional character? I actually have 3. Jax from Son's of Anarchy, Carrie from Sex and the City (of course!), and Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec.
Shafiq Hamadeh Co-founder and COO
The importance of giving was instilled in me at a young age. Gift giving on special occasions was the norm in my family, but we also put emphasis on “just because” gifts. Since I’m especially sentimental, I’ve always valued these types of gifts the most, surprising someone with an unexpected gift, making their day, there's a special kind of satisfaction when you give in this way. I believe that giving is so important - we need to give more. Giving brings people closer together, it makes us feel good when we give, it makes the receiver feel good - that’s a lot of good going around. This is what really excites me about being a part of the A&O team, I get to bring my years of experience in demand planning and supply chain management, to a start-up that’s focused on something that I really believe in - giving.
FUN FACTS -
If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your days? Nutella...no wait, Thai Food...no, Nutella...Ok, Nutella infused Thai Food? Oh damn, but what about hummus? I might have to get back to you on this one….
Favorite TV show growing up? Fresh Prince of Bel Air (honorable mention: Married With Children)
If you could jump on a plane right now and go anywhere in the world? Cuba
A quirky habit? Sipping on my coffee or tea all day. The colder, the better