It was a treat to speak with notable Bay Area doyenne, Farah Makras. Not only is she is passionate about helping meet the needs of children everywhere, she constantly explores and celebrates unique fashion and home aesthetics.

How do you find a good work-life-family balance?

Balance is a challenge, and I’m always thinking about ways to be more present for the kids or to give more at work. There’s no perfect answer other than to keep trying and not beat myself up if I can’t be at a meeting because my daughter has a game. There will be more meetings. There are always more meetings!

2. What are you juggling?

Being a mother, a wife, a friend, and a board member (Booker T. Washington Community Center, Family Builders, Drew High School, and the Opera Guild), and keeping the home fires lit for the family.

3. Is there anything with which you’re involved that might surprise people?

Chairing the 100-year anniversary gala of the new Booker T. Washington Community Center on November 14, 2020. Children’s charities. That’s where my heart is.

4. What or where do you turn for comfort and reassurance?

It’s a “who”—my husband, Victor. He’s my partner in this beautiful life! I’m also blessed with great friends.

5. Do you have a practice and/or hobby that helps you through hard times?

I love to listen to my Audible and go for long walks. I love good food, good friends, good wine, and lots of laughter. A night out with dear friends at one of our favorite restaurants is rejuvenating.

6. What does the word “family” mean to you?

Lately it means sheltering in place and playing Monopoly with the kids. It’s not ideal for the kids—they don’t want to be stuck in the house. But I love having them close, and we’re making the best of it. Of course, it’s stressful: schooling from home, we’re all on top of each other at times, and patience can wear thin. But we’re all healthy and safe. There are moments when I look around at the five of us enjoying a board game together and I just feel so fortunate.

7. Are you more scheduled or spontaneous or a combination?

I’m actually very scheduled in most things outside of the home, so I can be more flexible for the kids. One is an adult with his own child, but I have three teenagers: two still living with me and one at college. Kids require flexibility, but I can be very spontaneous when it’s for a good time.

8. What informs your philanthropy? When needs are everywhere, how do you focus?

Focusing on children’s charities has always been the priority. When the next generation is nurtured and given opportunity, they have the chance to grow up and change the world.

9. What is a fun escape or silly treat you enjoy?

Not very silly, but a flirty walk along the marina to the Golden Gate Bridge with my husband on a weekend morning is an indulgence for us. I have enjoyed going to fashion shows with friends in Paris and New York.

10. Thank you so much! Any words of wisdom to share?

It’s so hard to know what’s next in times of uncertainty. But making sure my family stays healthy and thinking about productive ways we can help—whether that’s through online giving now or philanthropic endeavors when the shelter-in-place is lifted—keeps me sane and hopeful.

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