Hillary Cooper is the director of advancement and communications at the Mint Museum. Cooper’s responsibilities include brand development, marketing, strategic communications and community relations for the entire Mint Museums organization, which includes the Mint Museum Uptown and the Mint Museum Randolph. In addition to her career, she is also a wife and mother always on the go. 

Here is what her typical day looks like:

6:45 a.m. … Up and at’em! During the week, I’m usually up by 6:45 a.m. to get my boys (ages 11 and 14) to the bus. I wake up to my phone alarm, usually hit the snooze button twice and I’m finally woken up by Lexi, my white, English lab, licking my face. I would love to say that I am able to sleep until 9 a.m. on the weekends, but sporting events for the boys usually derail my beauty sleep. 

I’ll admit it; I check my email before I get out of bed. I also check it before and after breakfast. I basically check my email all day every day. 

6:55 a.m. … My breakfast is not the ‘breakfast of champions.’ I usually drink Diet Coke(s), yes sometimes more than one, followed by some animal crackers and maybe later a hot chocolate from the Starbucks conveniently located at the Museum. 

7:15 a.m. … The boys are on the bus and now it’s time to get ready for the day. While getting dressed, I have the Today Show on in the background. It keeps me up-to-date on the news. I also get my news by listening to the radio in my car on the way to work, and I read the Skimm everyday. 

I usually decide what I’m going to wear for the day the morning of while standing in my closet for about 5 minutes. When selecting what I’m going to wear, I think about the weather forecast and my agenda for the day. 

My beauty routine starts with brushing my teeth with my electronic toothbrush for a full two minutes. The noise drives my husband nuts, but signals it’s time to get up and face the day.  Next I put in my contacts, shower, and wash my face. Then I apply daily moisturizer and my drugstore makeup, and off I go! I cannot tame my own tresses, so I do spring for a professional blowout, if at all possible. I wear my hair in a ponytail at least two days a week after the freshness of my blowout has worn off.

9:15 a.m. … I typically arrive at the Mint around 9 or 9:30 a.m. When I get in, I know that I’m in for a busy, but rewarding, day of work. I love what I do.  My mornings until about lunch typically consist of meetings, fundraising calls, event planning, writing, responding to emails, and, most importantly, laughing with my colleagues. I’m fortunate to work with some incredible people. 

Noon … Lunch for me is often times at Halcyon Flavors from the Earth, our delicious Museum restaurant, with donors and supporters. And other times lunch consists of Peanut M&M’s® from the vending machine and another Diet Coke. I’m fortunate that some of my sweet colleagues will bring me a half sandwich from the Sandwich Club at least once a week to make sure I eat something.

1:30 p.m. … The rest of my afternoon is very similar to my morning… meetings, fundraising calls, event planning, writing, responding to emails, laughing with colleagues, etc.  There is always something going on and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

7 p.m. … I usually head home around 7p.m. most nights, unless there is an evening function at the Museum. I cannot seem to find time to workout during week. Before returning to work full time at the Museum, I used to really enjoy a class at the Hilliard Studio Method – love those ladies!  Sadly, I typically only workout on the weekends and that usually consists of fast walks and runs. 

My husband is a fabulous cook and usually cooks dinner – so I am very spoiled. I also love pizza, macaroni & cheese, and cereal, so I am super easy to please.  My husband and I are probably out at least 2-3 times a week, but love being home if possible.  At the Mint, we host a lot of wonderful events, programs, and happenings. There is always so much going on in Charlotte.  I try not to drink during the week unless we have events to attend. If I’m out and about, there is always some Chardonnay involved ☺ 


If I do go out for dinner on the weekends, I love going to the Customshop, Toscana, Napa on Providence, Charlotte Country Club, a friend’s house, etc. To me, weekends are for family, friends, fun, food, wine, travel, exercise, and recharging for the upcoming week.

If we don’t have any place to be, my nights consist of dinner, putting on my robe and slippers, having Lexi at my feet, watching mindless TV, and hanging with my boys. That is the epitome of me totally relaxed.


10 p.m. …  To end the night, I love a hot bath before bed with a good book or People Magazine. Then I make sure to give goodnight kisses to my boys.  Although at 11 and 14 they are less keen on that these days, I still do it every night.


11 p.m. … Lights out and time for bed!