Partners for over ten years, Eliza Blank and Steve Schlafman find magic in the moments they share.
- Photography: Kathy Lo
As the founder and CEO of plant design firm The Sill, Eliza brings the natural world home for her customers and clients. A venture capitalist, Steve has seen Eliza grow her business from the ground up, and proudly calls himself her biggest cheerleader. In life and in love, they attribute their success to the strength of their bond. We sat down with the couple for an inside look at their special connection, from first spark to wedding vows.
Tell me about the moment you met Eliza.
Steve: We actually met in a yoga class—her mat was next to mine. We went out to dinner that night, and have been together ever since. That was ten years ago.
Wow. So, what was your first impression?
Steve: I just thought she was so beautiful. I was shocked that someone that beautiful would be talking to someone like me.
Besides being beautiful, how would you describe Eliza?
Steve: When I picture Eliza, tenacity, fire, and fierceness come to mind. She’s just an insanely powerful woman who puts everything into what she cares about. Her family, her friends, her business, our relationship…she goes all in.
Eliza, how would you describe Steve?
Eliza: Well, obviously so handsome!
Steve: …Thank you.
Eliza: He’s also one of the kindest humans I know. He has a huge heart, and cares deeply about people. There is no such thing as a superficial relationship in Steve’s life. His connection with people always astounds me.
So, the proposal. How did it happen?
Eliza: Well, Steve proposed.
Steve: But I didn’t really propose.
Eliza: He didn’t really propose. We were visiting my grandmother, and I was working. It was a Saturday, and Steve knows me so well, he knew that around midmorning, I would want to take a break. So we went on a beautiful walk, and we’re sitting by this small pond when Steve turns to me and says, “You know, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” And I go, “I know, me too.” And then he just sat there, looking at me.
Steve: And she said, “Are you proposing?”
Eliza: I said, “What’s happening right now?” and then he just hands me this box. Then I said “Yes”.
Steve: You did.
Eliza: I said, “Yes” before I even opened the box.
Has your relationship has changed you at all?
Eliza: Well, we met at a young age, so we really grew up together.
Steve: And at the same time we’ve maintained our own identity. We’ve followed separate paths, both professionally and personally. But by evolving as people, we’ve become closer. It’s made our relationship stronger, because we are following our own paths but we are doing it together.
What would be a dream project to work on together?
Eliza: A family 🙂
Between two people in a relationship there is that chemistry, that magic. We call it alchemy. Tell us about your alchemy?
Steve: For me, the magic happens at the very end of the day. We’re in bed together, the lights are out, and we’re just lying there with each other. For me, that is just the best moment of the day, because I know I am with the person that I love, and it just feels right.
“The universe paused for us. That’s what it felt like.”
Can you describe a recent memory that felt magical to you.
Steve: About two months ago, we were driving upstate by the Ashokan reservoir and there was this moment of pure light, wind, and snow…it was unbelievable, we couldn’t even describe what we saw.
Eliza: That was the craziest thing.
Steve: We both looked at each other and shared this beautiful moment. Relationships are collections of highs and lows, but there are times where you catch the same thing, and you are seeing the world through the same lens. That was one of them—it was pretty amazing.
Eliza: Something happened. The universe paused for us. That’s what it felt like.