Myka Meier, a two time best selling author and founder of The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program with Beaumont Etiquette, is the star of our Creative Chat today! We first met Myka in 2017 when she was the guest speaker at our Paper Petals Plates event (you can find that event recap here). Since that night, Myka’s etiquette lessons and graceful tutelage of the Upper East Side and beyond have only expanded, securing her position as America’s modern day Emily Post. Myka was gracious enough to touch base with us in the midst of her busy schedule. Continue scrolling to find out what Myka’s life has looked like during the pandemic as a NYC resident and what has been inspiring her recently.
What is currently inspiring you?
Language! I only grew up speaking English, but as my husband is Swiss, he wanted to raise our daughter Valentina quad-lingual like he is. There was a lot of strategy involved, so it sort of felt like a science experiment to me, not knowing if it would work. I was so uncertain if all the effort would pay off, but just recently it was like a switch flicked on in her beautiful little brain, and by 3.5 she understands and speaks all four languages, which is mind boggling for me to watch. I therefore was so inspired after seeing it work and decided to practice my Spanish again while having more time at home.
What is one positive to being at home for you during this time?
Having three meals a day with my family! Living in New York City, work hours can be long and life can be nonstop, so usually we only either get to all have breakfast or dinner together. During this time however, we often sit around a table multiple times a day together and feel super grateful for it.
How are you practicing:
Creativity? I just launched two Youtube etiquette channels– one for adults and one for children! The adult one includes lessons covering topics such as “5 Ways to Instantly Look Put Together” and “How to Hold Silverware in a Formal Way”. The children’s one was my way of wanting to help out fellow parents home schooling little ones, so it teaches kids manners with lessons like how to eat politely and being kind!
Kindness (towards yourself and others)? I know it’s been a hard year, so I started offering a series of free etiquette webinars on my website to give people a way to learn and enjoy safely from home.
Discipline (your work, your health, your routines)? Every day my alarm goes off at 7am (or possibly earlier if my little girl decides to wake me up with any early morning rendition of a Frozen song)! I think it’s important for me to get out of my pajamas and put on comfortable but casual clothing to get in the mindset that I’m going to be efficient that day. I have an ongoing to-do list but every day I highlight the top three things that have to get done before 1pm to keep focus. I workout every other day in some form, even if it’s just a good fast walk. At least twice per week I do the exact number of pushups as my age without stopping, which is my funny little strength test like to maintain and have done so since my 20s! In terms of work routines, when work is busy, I’m either at The Plaza Hotel teaching etiquette (we train children in the Eloise tea room and adults in The Palm Court) or traveling to do corporate training with my team. When I travel I have the worst mom guilt of all time!! I love to work because it makes me feel happy that I’m making a difference, but when I’m at home with her, I’m 100% focused on her and not looking at my phone. I have even been known to put my phone on airplane mode when I’m in mom mode.
Name one item in your home that is bringing you joy or that has new meaning in this time?
My bird feeder! I have suddenly turned into a crazy bird lady. I have a small backyard which in Manhattan is my slice of heaven right now, and so for my daughter I originally bought a little bird feeder for her to try and attract the cardinals. Now it has snowballed after we started going through a bag of bird feed per week and we now have an 8 foot tall bird feeder, three bird houses, two bird baths! We have created a little bird sanctuary of dozens of gorgeous birds that visit daily and let us sit yards away and watch them communicate.
Myka with the Dixie team at our 2017 Paper Petals Plates wedding event
We’re seeing a surge in physical correspondence as there is always something special about receiving a hand-written note and people now have more time. If you were to send a physical note to three of your Instagram friends, who would they be?
I LOVE a handwritten note and in my mind, it will never be replaced by a digital one. Handwritten anything are keepsakes….and especially on stunning note cards! I would send them to @thesunnygirl5 and @liveoutloudbrooke @Seekwisdompcw three women and IG friends I met while out in California who are making huge differences in empowering women on different topics (finance, mental health and entrepreneurship).
What are three of your favorite items or patterns currently on Dixie’s website?