"Interview with Fam" Series – My Sister, Amanda Lee Lopez

Amanda Lopez is the much much MUCH older sister of mine. OK, she’s not that much older. Plus, I have to put that in in case you are like many other people who assume I’m older. So annoying!

Not Much Has Changed
Seriously, Don’t Ask

Amanda now lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her five-year old son Brayden who is probably the coolest five year old I’ve ever met. He seriously makes me look like Martha Stewart. Watch out ladies because he will be a heartbreaker!

She went to high school at a British International School in Mexico City called Greengates International while I stayed in Baltimore to study theatre. It’s there that she became fluent in Spanish (whereas I never learned), and developed her love for fashion and culture.

She now runs her own green realty company called style|house realty, and also delights every once in a while in the social media tool that is twitter. She goes by @style_house

She’s vivacious, driven and always makes me laugh. She’s my gorgeous older sister, it’s A-MAN…DUH!

1. What was it like to move to Mexico at the age of 15? How did you adapt to another culture? Did you find it difficult or easy? Do you feel it was easier being so much younger?

I guess the initial decision was pretty easy. without much thought, i kind of figured that ‘sure, why not?’ i mean i could always come home. actually getting there though and trying to fit in was a whole other issue in itself. i remember getting there and arriving to school and the instant icy looks from all of the girls who were instantly jealous that an attractive american girl was now their competition for the boys attention… needless to say, i HATED it when i got there. i couldn’t wait to come home. so that Christmas was my first chance at coming back to the states and that is when everything changed. I remember going back and seeing all of my friends and realizing at that moment that everyone was still doing the exact same things and here I was living in another country. So that is when i decided to come back to Mexico and make the most of it and I ended up staying for another 2 years. Perhaps it was easier being younger although i think i could do it again, have the same problems, realizations and really be fine with it again.

2. Once you moved back to the states, you decided to go to University. Did you find the reverse culture shock any harder or easier? Were Americans all of a sudden strange creatures? Explain.

yes, coming back was a huge shock! being in Mexico, i had gotten used to people dressing up for every occasion and wearing nice clothes. and then coming back here i was seeing people grocery shopping in their pjs! and wearing old flip flops, hair messy and just plain bad fashion all the way around! it took me awhile to stop judging people on their overall sloppy appearance but that was probably one of the most noticeable things. i guess too the overweight issues and just people not really caring about their health and well being and the clothing was ultimately a reflection of this. i did however enjoy coming back to a place where the mail was delivered daily, people showed up for their work when they said they were going to and the much more high intensity at which expectations of the work life were made. i did greatly miss all the social aspects though like parties, mariachi’s, going to clubs at the ripe old age of 18 too!

3. You’ve mentioned that you’d like to continue to travel a little bit every year. (As we did with you this past February going to Spain.) However, now you have a five year old son, and many people would say it’s much harder to travel with children, and especially as a single mom. Do you agree or disagree? How did you do it and how will you continue to? Any advice for other single moms out there with an interest to travel.

of course it is going to be different, but i guess it’s what you get used to also. no, you can’t sight-see the nightlife, bar hop around town or things like that. but you can still have nice meals, as long as you don’t give in to your child only eating pizza, but that is another blog entirely! i tried not to cater completely to him and everything that he wanted to do because afterall, it was me paying for this trip and i wanted to do things that both of us would enjoy. you also realize that being in the same place, children experience things that perhaps you would never had paid attention too. like every playground that was passed, or the colors on the walls of buildings.

so it is also interesting to see the world through the eyes of the children and they make you go slower as to where you HAVE to pay more attention to your surroundings.

i will surely continue to travel. we went to Washington DC a few weeks ago and are spending Christmas in NYC just the 2 of us. We plan on seeing the Rockettes show on Christmas day, ice skating in central park, the natural history museum with the dinosaurs, FAO Schwartz, Rockefeller center and much more!

Advice? just do it. be prepared with some games for the travel time, but you are the adult, make the decision to travel and your child will learn. that that is the way of life and that’s just what you do.

4. You run your own business now as a realtor. (You can see style|house here!) Explain the challenges (good and bad) you face as a business owner. Do you prefer it over working for someone else?

i love working for myself! not because it’s any less work, and often times it’s more, but i had too many ideas swirling around in my head as to what i wanted a company to be like and maybe it’s a control thing i have going on but I had nothing and everything to lose and well… i decided to jump ship and go out on my own. time will tell as to whether or not i am crazy but in the meantime, i am super happy!

5. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

in five years…i plan to grow my business up to a point where i am mostly managing and opening up new offices and attracting awesome people to come work for the company. i want to franchise my brokerage firm and have style house realties all over the country. ie style house nyc, style house dc, etc.

in ten years… i plan to have several offices that i have either sold off and am recieving residual checks from or a much larger company will see my vision and buy me out and i can enjoy my life and continue to travel the world and provide the best education for my son.

6. As a fellow Lopez sister, what would you say the best thing about being a Lopez is? And, you can’t say being related to me because that’s too obvious!

damn meagan, you stole the words right out of my mouth!! haha. best thing about being a lopez? well, it’s really just about being me. and whether i was a lopez or a jones or whatever, i think i’ve always found my place because i have a strong sense of me. and you do realize that lopez is really the ‘smith’ of the latin last names don’t you? i mean the only thing that makes us different is that we are PALE and lopez!


  1. Okay, I think I'm going to puke. (kidding!) I didn't think I could meet anyone much cooler than Meg but there you are Amanda. Gee wiz, someone upstairs really liked the Lopez family! You got more than your fair share of beauty and brains, that's for sure.
    You two are just too sweet for words and I'm dead jealous of your relationship. I have a sister that I barely get along with. We are so different from each other. I'm sure you realize how lucky you are so I won't state the obvious. You have a built in best friend for life. (Wiping tear from eye.)

    Amanda, I'm just down the road from you, just above Hagerstown. Howdy neighbor!


    1. Whoa there! mean, she's cool, but cooler than me? OK, yeah, you're right. I know my place. I know I will always be little lopez or mini mandy! You're right. She is actually much cooler than I will ever be, and I don't mind!
      But trust me, it wasn't always like this! As kids we were terrors who hated each other's guts! I guess we're just making up for lost time. I just wish we lived closer!

      Thanks Mel! You are too sweet.


  2. Your sister sounds so cool and I so envy your relationship now. I always wanted a great sister I could get along with. She also sounds very ambitious and I sure wish her the best with her new business venture! And…..You 2 are really the most gorgeous girls on the planet 🙂
    Have I said that I love reading about your family ? Yes ! 🙂


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