Street Style: Judy Heiser

Judy Heiser is so humble that she will never be the one to tell you how cool she is, so we couldn’t wait to feature her here. As I’m writing this, Joanne from our team is in the background saying, “I love her. She is one of the coolest women I know.” A longtime friend and client, Judy has an incredibly interesting background, many unique talents, and a passion for the Alexandria community. We’re excited to share some of her story with you here.

Prior to purchasing her first home in Old Town twenty years ago, Judy toured nationally as a professional dancer. When the company performed in D.C., she fell in love with the city: the Smithsonian, the history, the art and architecture. After dancing in Japan, she returned to California, where she’s from originally, and began doing disaster work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), helping manage riots, floods, earthquakes, fires, and hurricanes (you know — casual things).

Later, she transferred to work with headquarters in D.C., and the rest is history. Now, Judy lives in a spectacular waterfront home with her husband, three busy kids, and four pets. She is involved with Alexandria community theater in many ways, serving as a director, choreographer, set designer, and more. She also teaches recreational art therapy at Mount Vernon Hospital. In her words, “Performing arts and visual arts have my heart, and I love to teach and share whenever I can.”

One of the coolest things about Judy is that she is an incredible artist (you should check out her website). She describes her work as follows: “My painting technique is Contemporary in format with many newer mediums on the market today, though I also use ancient mediums such as wax encaustic, charcoal, inks, and, of course, oils. I begin the process with a loose narrative sketch, building up the story right on the canvas, turning the canvas and evolving the narrative. Then I paint the lines and pulling shapes that design a unique composition, layering and glazing color while simplifying the canvas with a journey. My inspiration is from places I go including water and skies; or people I meet, or observe such as spectators watching a baseball game, engaged, yet also pensive in their own world…I will sketch anywhere, paint plein air…but it is in my studio that I let loose, paint big, and experiment having all kinds of fun.”

Judy paints the town.

Judy is wearing a Tibi blouse and Mother jeans from The Hive and Marion Parke shoes from The Shoe Hive.
Photography by Sarah Marcella Creative




How do you spend your time? Painting, exploring, and observing real estate and landscapes

Neighborhood: Wellington

How long have you lived in Alexandria: 20 years

What is your hometown? Costa Mesa, California

What brought you to Alexandria? Doing disaster work with FEMA

You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? To fly; and lay a giant blanket over the world to grant peace, rest, and relaxation

Last book read or movie seen: Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, The Greatest Showman

Guilty Pleasure: Orange Chocolate Chocolate Chip at The Creamery

Phrase you overuse: Just do it

Facebook or Instagram? Instagram

Latest binge-watch: The Crown

Bucket list travel destination: Barcelona

If you only could have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? Wine





Define your style in three words or less: Comfortable, interesting, fun

The go-to piece in your wardrobe: Cashmere sweater

Favorite trend ever: Platform sandals with everything

Favorite current trend: Heeled sandals with everything

Beauty product you can’t live without: Eyeliner

Heels or flats? Heels





Favorite room in your home: Studio

Antiques, modern, or a mix? All modern

Last item bought for your home: Cobalt sofa

Next planned purchase: A trendy jacket to dress up a casual outfit

Favorite way to entertain: Backyard BBQ and pool party with a lot of kids and dogs

Clutter-free or well lived-in? Clutter-free zone, though with three kids and four pets, it’s just a pipe dream

Wallpaper — yes, totally modern or no, so dated: New, modern wallpapers with unique textures are gorgeous




Your go-to work-out: Sally’s Sculpt and Stretch in Belle Haven Shopping Center

Most fun way to exercise: Paddle boarding

Group exercise or solo: Need both

Fitness goal: Stay strong

Proudest fitness achievement: Toning my upper arms, shoulders, and back





Favorite spot in Alexandria: Founders Park

Last purchase in Alexandria: Jeans and blouse at The Hive

Best coffee / happy hour / date night spot: Hanks / Virtue, sitting outside

Favorite charity: ArtSpire, VA

Favorite annual Alexandria event: Alexandria Art Festival


  • The latest from Phyllis
Senior Vice President | The Patterson Group
Phyllis Patterson has been selling real estate in Alexandria for 35 years, specializing in waterfront and historic properties in Old Town, Mount Vernon, and along the George Washington Parkway, and now leads one of the top-selling real estate teams in Alexandria with her daughter and fellow Stylebook writer, Britt. Named the #113 top agent in the country in 2017 by REAL Trends and the Wall Street Journal, Phyllis is devoted to all things Alexandria and supports many local charities and organizations, from George Washington’s Mount Vernon to the Potomac Riverkeeper Network. In her (rare) free time, Phyllis enjoys spending time on the water with her husband, two daughters, two sons, and beloved lab, George.

The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving Alexandria, VA for over thirty years. We offer professional, hardworking, detailed and friendly service and a large network of contacts and resources accrued over our many years in Alexandria real estate. Comprised of seven Alexandria locals, six of whom are licensed realtors and three of whom are accredited staging professionals, The Patterson Group is passionate and knowledgeable about Alexandria, VA and here for all of your Northern VA real estate needs. Allow us to help you find your home here and discover all that the Alexandria lifestyle has to offer.

400 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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