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CHECK IN TO “CHECK OUT” From the moment you arrive, expect elevated attention to safety LET’S GET PHYSICAL A STAYCATION with temperature check upon arrivFor those looking to stay active, Fairmont Austin’s al, contactless check-in, ongoing 2,800-square-foot fitness center, located on the sixth floor DOESN’T HAVE TO sanitation and enhanced protocols of the hotel, offers a multitude of options. Enjoy wrapMEAN VACATION throughout the hotel. Find peace around views of Palm Park as you livestream your favorite of mind and set your intentions Peloton instructor. If being outdoors is more your style, “LIGHT” BUT RATHER for what your ultimate experience take advantage of the many water sport activities offered DOING VACATION RIGHT. on Lady Bird Lake. Access to the lake is less than one mile entails. Prefer getting cozy with breakfast in bed? Or are you ready from Fairmont Austin, and you can easily find your go-to to make a splash with a cabana and cocktail? option at Congress Avenue Kayaks. Here you can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and One size doesn’t fit all, and Fairmont Austin is enjoy the unique Austin skyline from the water. If you like, stick around long enough to experiready to bring your staycation to new heights. ence 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats that fly out from the Congress Avenue Bridge. POOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER Trade in those sweats for a swimsuit and stake claim to some swank chaise lounge chairs by the water! Fairmont Austin’s expansive rooftop pool, the largest and most luxurious in the city, offers a taste of what it’s like to live amid the clouds while beating the Texas heat. Order a side of fresh melon with Rules & Regs’ signature Frosé, a delicious frozen beverage with rum, coconut, Kombucha and, of course, rosé.
TREAT YOURSELF Finish your day of play with some la dolce vita inspired bites. Every Friday and Saturday, the hotel’s Revue Italian kitchen presents a popular Pizza Pop-Up from 6:00 pm to midnight, featuring classics like the Margherita pizza and Meatball & Burrata, as well as must-try appetizers and beverages to-go. Place your order online, pick up on the lobby level and take the elevator home to enjoy your slice. Cuddle up for a movie night, and if you’re still hankering for dessert, why not order from in-room dining too? You don’t have to travel far to bring tranquility or excitement into your stay. A staycation doesn’t have to mean vacation “light” but rather doing vacation right. We look forward to welcoming you with our Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star award-winning service, paired with that special Austin flair. Visit Fairmont.com/Austin for more details.
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A NEW DAWN
Photo by Shane Gordon.
BY REGINE MALIBIRAN
CONTENTS | SEPTEMBER
COUNT US IN Women in Numbers
GIVE BACK Kristina Gonzalez-Sander
A CHAT WITH Sajni Patel
BEAUTY Genevieve Padalecki
SEE HER WORK Pratiksha Muir
RECIPE REVEAL Lemon Lavender Cookies
HER ROUTINE Dog Trainer Christine Reisor
ON THE MONEY Building Financial Resilience
I AM AUSTIN WOMAN Shuronda Robinson
40 ATX WOMEN TO WATCH
10 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
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Austin Oral Surgery welcomes
We are proud to announce that Dr. David Szalay has joined Austin Oral Surgery! Dr. Szalay grew up in Austin, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with honors. He continued his professional education at the Texas A&M College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas, where he graduated at the top of his class and received the dental implant award from the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Szalay earned his medical degree from the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he graduated at the top of his class and was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He remained in San Antonio to complete his general surgery internship, his training in adult and pediatric anesthesia, and his professional training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He will be practicing at our Pflugerville location this fall.
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For more information on what’s happening at Austin Oral Surgery, visit AustinOralSurgery.com/WhatsNew?
A PUBLICATION OF AW MEDIA INC.
VOLUME 19, ISSUE 1
Publisher NIKI JONES
Creative Director CY WHITE
Managing Editor DARBY KENDALL
Interim Copy Editor JENNA NORTHCUTT
Web Editor MADILYN BISCOE
Marketing and Events Manager OLIVIA HUNTLEY, MONIKA KELLEY, KATY MABEE
Account Executives LESLIE WILLIAMSON
Sales and Production Coordinator CONTRIBUTORS
Editorial: Delilah Alvarado, Ariana Arredondo. Katya Bandouil, Jenny Hoff, Niki Jones, Trinady Joslin, Regine Malibran, Larry Reisor, Shuronda Robinson, Jennifer Xia Art: Mariah C. Harper, Dwayne Hills, Shane Gordon, Romina Olson, William Pepping, Madison Weakley, Jessica Wetterer INTERNS
Delilah Alvarado, Ariana Arredondo, Katya Bandouil, Kylie Birchfield, Alecs Franco, Jocelyn Jasso, Trinady Joslin, Nica Lasater, Mackenzie Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell, Evelyn Williams, Jennifer Xia
AW MEDIA INC. MELINDA GARVEY
Austin Woman is a free monthly publication of AW Media Inc. and is available at locations throughout Austin and in Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville. All rights reserved. To offer feedback, email email@example.com. For submission information, visit atxwoman.com/jobs. No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. Visit us online at atxwoman.com. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 512.328.2421 | 7401 West Slaughter Lane, Austin, TX 78739
CONTRIBUTORS This month, we asked our contributors: What’s your favorite birthday memory?
Divorce and Child Custody Surveillance / Undercover Background Checks Computer / Cell Phone Forensics Corporate Investigations Insurance Fraud Expert Testimony
MADISON WEAKLEY Illustrator, “From the Desk Of,” Page 24 • Has gotten into making margaritas • Rollerblading is her passion • She is a middle school art teacher Her favorite birthday memory: Having a giant Slip ‘N Slide party in her parents’ backyard
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DELILAH ALVARADO Writer, “See Her Work,” Page 40 • Has a best friend tattoo • Her family has four dogs • Is really into weightlifting and can lift almost twice her weight Her favorite birthday memory: Going to a jazz bar with wonderful music and getting drinks with her boyfriend
KATYA BANDOUIL Writer, “From the Desk Of,” Page 24 • Always carries a disposable camera • Loves watching French movies • Can recite the lyrics of any Taylor Swift song
Find Help for Your Small Business The City of Austin Small Business Division offers virtual training and online resources to support local entrepreneurs. Visit SmallBizAustin.org or call 512-974-7800. @SmallBizAustin
Her favorite birthday memory: Waking up at 5 a.m. to be in the Today show live audience
TRINADY JOSLIN Writer, “A Chat With,” Page 26 • Interviewed Jimmy Fallon • Has swum with a one-finned dolphin • Adores Disney’s Prom soundtrack Her favorite birthday memory: Spending birthdays at summer camp and having the entire camp sing happy birthday
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FROM THE EDITOR
This month Austin Woman turns 18. A symbolic age of transition. And like many other celebrations, our party will look different this year. Instead of having an in-person all-day event, we’re putting on a virtual threeday celebration to inspire growth in business and in life. (And, oh yes, participants will get to choose between two lunch sessions each day.) We’ve got lots of surprises and goodies for attendees, so be sure to check it out. You won’t be disappointed! Over the past six months this pandemic has taken its grip on our world. However, many celebrations still continue to happen. And boy, do they look much different! It has caused us all to shift and change our perspective in many ways. Our cover woman, Dawn Okoro, is an Austin artist who taps into the ever-changing world around her. Representing her perspective through beautiful bold colors and textures. She shares with us her journey as a Black artist and how she’s been adapting in 2020. We also chat with author Sajni Patel about her new novel, and Shuronda Robinson about her path to becoming CEO of Adisa Communications. I think you’ll certainly find this issue represents how Austin women continue to find their way to success in this crazy world. As this year has progressed, the Austin Woman team has continued to evolve and morph. We continue to produce a monthly printed publication that reflects the community around us. It’s been difficult in some ways, but it’s also been rewarding. We’ve most definitely grown stronger because of it. I hope that our work over the past 18 years has challenged and motivated our readers to achieve their goals and experience growth in their lives.
DAWN’S PICKS If you know me you know how important it is to me to support our local brands and businesses. Here are a few of my favorite local products from some pretty amazing women. 1. Dandy Rose - From local wine maker Rae Wilson. Let me tell you, her wines are perfect for sipping on a hot afternoon.
2. L adybird Provisions Coffee Bombs - Created in Austin by Sarah & Nicole who hustled at the farmers’ markets to get their brand off the ground.
3. W ondercide Outdoor Mosquito Spray - Founder Stephanie found a safe and effective way to keep the bugs away. With a little one playing out in our yard this summer, I was thrilled to find this amazing naturally based lawn treatment was born right here in the ATX.
16 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
Photo by Romina Olson.
Publication of Austin Woman would not be possible without the support of our monthly advertisers and sponsors, who believe in the impact we are making in the Austin community. The following businesses have stepped up their support of our efforts beyond traditional advertising and we are proud to recognize them as our partners. The team at Austin Woman is grateful for these businesses that have shown their commitment to the advancement of women in Austin and hopes you, as readers, recognize their efforts and support these businesses and all our regular advertisers.
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CONNECT WITH US
Can’t get enough of this issue? Check us out at atxwoman.com. Journalists Work From Home: In the wake of the pandemic, one of the hardest hit industries has been news media. Journalists, photographers and editors used to working in a busy office environment or out in the field have felt the effects of trying to balance their work lives and their home lives...especially because their work lives now are their home lives.
Austin Teachers Problem Solving During COVID-19: The COVID-19 virus has forced many educators to get creative with how they teach their students. It’s not enough to provide online lessons. Many students come from economically disadvantaged households, adding more pressure on teachers to fill the gaps. But teachers in Austin are stepping up to be the heroes these students need.
Austin Pets Alive: Dr. Ellen Jefferson of Austin Pets Alive! has worked tirelessly to ensure that shelter animals are kept safe during this pandemic. With pushabck from the city and a constant need for funding to keep workers safe, Jefferson is determined to get Austin on the right track to protecting animals in the nation’s largest No-Kill city. Obstacles be damned!
WIN THIS! SkinWave SkinQuench hydro-facial treatment Fall is the perfect time to treat your skin to a refresh after a summer full of fun in the sun. This month one lucky Austin Woman reader will win a SkinWave SkinQuench Facial Treatment at Skin Science Soul. Dr. Sholar and her team will help you undo what those harmful UV rays have done. It’s the perfect time to nourish and revitalize your skin with our remarkably effective all-natural SkinWave SkinQuench hydro-facial treatment. This luxe facial includes a detox AHA/BHA gentlepeel, hyaluronic acid dermal infusion, lymphatic massage, plus eye, lip and hand treatments. To enter to win, follow us on Instagram @austinwoman and stay on the lookout for the giveaway announcement. A winner will be chosen by the end of the month.
18 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
WHAT ARE BASAL CELL AND SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMAS, AND WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE? BY DR. LIQIAO MA
hile public knowledge about skin cancer, in particular melanoma, has increased in the last several years, less is known about the other more common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. In fact, many people are not aware that there is more than one type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer in the US, with median age of diagnosis at 68 years old. Although they can grow anywhere, carcinomas are most common on the head and neck. Basal cell carcinomas often appear as a new skin-colored or pink bump that starts to bleed and ulcerate over time. However, it can also look like a pink patch of eczema that does not go away after many months, even years. Thankfully, basal cell skin cancers rarely spread and cause death. If left untreated, however, they continue to grow and can start to invade and destroy local tissue. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, and also occurs in later years. Like basal cell skin cancers, squamous cell carcinomas are also more common on the head and neck. They usually appear as hard, volcano-like bumps that can be painful. They can also look like a pink patch of rash that does not heal after many months. Unlike basal cell skin cancers that may grow slowly, squamous cell skin cancers can appear suddenly and grow quickly over weeks. Unfortunately, squamous cell carcinoma can invade deeply, spread in the body and cause death. UV damage from sun exposure is the predominant risk factor for developing basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. If you have noticed any new or concerning growths, or have had a lot of past sun exposure, schedule an evaluation with your dermatologist.
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MEET OUR KEYNOTE PANELISTS AUSTIN WOMAN MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2019
Volvo. Recharged. We are recharging everything we do, from our cars to our factories and supply chain. Our ambition is to reduce our carbon footprint by 40% per car by 2025 compared to 2018. And to be climate neutral by 2040. Because we have only one planet.
Volvo’s safety and driver assistance technology is designed to provide everyday peace of mind by helping you stay in full control.
VOLVO CARS OF AUSTIN | 7216 N. IH-35 • 866-974-6096 • VOLVOAUSTIN.COM
©2019 Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. The Iron Mark is a registered trademark of Volvo.
Sylvia Acevedo Girl Scouts of America
“Pursue your passion and everything else will fall into place.” –Gabby Giffords
Make your holiday brighter and safer.
Every new Volvo model we launch will be electrified. Today, we are the only traditional car maker to offer plug-in hybrid options on all our models. And over the next five years, we will launch five new fully electric cars. It is our ambition that by 2025, half of the cars we sell will be electric. Learn more today at Volvo Cars of Austin.
Jamie Ivey Author and Podcaster
VOLVO CARS OF AUSTIN | 7216 N. IH-35 • 866-974-6096 • VOLVOAUSTIN.COM
©2020 Volvo Cars of North America, LLC.
Virginia Cumberbatch Rosa Rebellion
Dawn Okoro Artist
Emily Ramshaw The 19th
THE BREAKDOWN Join us each day for lunch! Wednesday, Thursday and Friday choose one of two curated breakout sessions to watch live on topics such as building your brand, racial inclusion, working from home and leading during Covid-19. Don’t worry, we’re recording all the sessions so you can watch the others later. Each session will end with an interactive Q&A, so bring your notebook! The Friday breakouts will be followed by our Keynote Panel and VIP Mentor Sessions! Plus, don’t miss our live small-business pitch contest on Friday!
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COUNT US IN
WOMEN IN NUMBERS
Starting September 15, Hispanic people in Texas and around the country will celebrate the 31st anniversary of Hispanic Heritage month.
48 percent The Hispanic population of Texas makes up 48 percent of the state's 5,952 COVID-19 cases while they make up 40 percent of the state's overall population.
BY ARIANA ARREDONDO ILLUSTRATIONS BY JESSICA WETTERER
52 years It's been 52 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson first proclaimed that Hispanic Heritage Week would be celebrated during the week of September 15. He praised and recognized the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States.
60.6 million According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019 the Hispanic population in the United States hit 60.6 million people. In the same year the Latinx population increased from 16 percent of the U.S. population to 18 percent.
$500 billionÂ According to Stanford University, Latinx-owned businesses account for $500 billion in annual sales. It is evident that Latinxs are a key part of the U.S. economy as the amount of Latinx-owned businesses has increased by 34 percent in the last 10 years.
22 |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
Ellen Ochoa spent over 1,000 hours in orbit after becoming the first LatinaAmerican astronaut in 1990. She was the first Latina in space and went on her first mission on the Discovery shuttle in 1993.
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You must be 21+ to shop and order online, receive delivery, or pick up in store. All deliveries require in-person veriﬁcation of a legal photo ID at point of delivery. Orders will NOT be left unattended. Limited delivery area and pick up only available at select locations. All in-store promotions and pricing do not apply to online order. Exclusions apply. Please drink responsibly.
FROM THE DESK OF
After launching her podcast highlighting women of color, the community builder shares what she's learned. BY KATYA BANDOUIL ILLUSTRATION BY MADISON WEAKLEY
Kristina Gonzalez-Sander never expected to end up in Austin. After a year abroad in Spain, travel blogging and teaching English, Gonzalez-Sander visited a friend studying at The University of Texas. The capital city’s creative energy and strong sense of community tied her in. While searching for a sense of belonging after college, GonzalezSander found it in Austin. Gonzalez-Sander had struggled with her Asian-American identity from a young age, growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood in the suburbs of Chicago. Initially she put off her idea creating a platform for women of color, fearing her identity wasn’t strong enough. Through encouragement from her friends and the Boss Babes ATX community, Gonzalez-Sander built up the courage to create In Bold Company, a community and digital platform for women of color to share their experiences through diverse storytelling and digital content. Thanks to her experience managing In Bold Company, GonzalezSander’s confidence grew in her identity as a Filipina. She wanted other women of color to feel the same way. In April 2020, GonzalezSander launched the In Bold Company podcast, which aims to understand and celebrate the experience of being a woman of color. Based on her experience starting In Bold Company and completing the first season of her podcast, Gonzalez-Sander compiled five things she’s learned as a community builder.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BELONGING “I think that innately everybody wants to belong in whatever community they find themselves in. As a community builder, I really intentionally take the time to listen. I think I’ve messaged almost every single person on Instagram that has followed us and had a conversation.”
INTENTIONAL REPRESENTATION IS REALLY POWERFUL “When you are representing an actual diverse group of people on any media or brand platform, doing it with actual intention and care is really important because I think that shows. Something I’ve been noticing lately is that people are resonating a lot with certain companies and brands that give off that vibe of authenticity.”
TRUSTING YOURSELF AND YOUR INTUITION “I think it’s really easy to get caught up in everything going on in the world; on social media, there’s a lot of information. I think as long as you continue to trust yourself and to trust your intuition, you will end up where you need to go.” 24 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
MAKING MISTAKES IS OKAY “We’re going to make mistakes. You should do them and learn from them. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure; you are learning. It’s not like I knew how to launch a podcast successfully in my sleep. I was really nervous, [wondering] what people were going to think. I just had to do it and make a bunch of mistakes.”
JUST DO IT “If you have an idea, I think you should just do it and don’t let yourself self-sabotage. Just start and see what happens. In the beginning, no one is paying attention to you yet. Just do it for yourself and do it for fun and then all of that other stuff will come. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make things really perfect and amazing. It doesn’t really have to be perfect and amazing, because you haven’t even done it yet.”
THE FACTS ABOUT WISDOM-TOOTH REMOVAL COVID-19 Measures: All visitors, patients and staff are required to wear protective face masks upon entering our practice. Because of the nature of our practice, all equipment that involves patient contact during clinical use is heat sterilized. Facility equipment such as X-ray machines, clinical chairs and room surfaces are thoroughly disinfected with hospital-grade disinfectants following every patient contact. Cleaning and disinfection procedures using EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant will be performed in clinical and non-clinical areas between each patient. High-touch surfaces or objects through the office such as door handles, chairs, desks, elevators and bathrooms will be disinfected throughout the day.
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
At what age should wisdom teeth be removed?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop. Eons ago, when our diets were much different and dental crowding was common, the third molars came in or “erupted” and provided another set of functional teeth. With today’s softer non-abrasive diet and the relative rarity of dental crowding, most often, there is not enough room for the wisdom teeth to erupt into place and be functional teeth that can be maintained by the patient. This is what is meant by “impacted,” simply that the tooth is not able to come into a functional position. There are patients who have the space for wisdom teeth, and in these cases, the teeth may be functional and beneficial. In cases in which the wisdom teeth came in appropriately, it is common later in life to develop decay or gum disease around these teeth first. They are difficult for some to maintain and your dentist may suggest removal rather than a filling or crown if this happens.
In general, younger patients are at a very low risk, as the teeth are typically less difficult to remove. For this reason, the recovery is commonly smoother and faster. The best approach is to image and consult a dentist or oral surgeon at a young age, typically during the teenage years, so an assessment can be made about whether the wisdom teeth will likely ever need to be removed. If it is likely removal will be necessary, earlier surgery is generally easier and more predictable. This assessment might happen with your family dentist, orthodontist or directly with an oral surgeon.
Who would remove my wisdom teeth?
What are the costs associated with wisdomtooth removal?
While your family dentist may remove erupted or exposed wisdom teeth, many regular dentists do not. Furthermore, impacted wisdom teeth, more complex teeth concerns or higher-risk teeth will likely result in a referral to an oral surgeon. A visit with your dentist or a look at your X-rays would likely answer that question best. Most patients having multiple wisdom teeth removed at the same time prefer sedation rather than being awake. Oral surgeons have extensive hospital-based training in anesthesia to make this procedure pleasant and astonishingly safe. The facility is almost as important as the surgeon, and offices that are board-certified in oral surgery are inspected and certified for anesthesia safety by both the State of Texas and a surgery certifying board. Certification ensures the monitoring and safety equipment mirrors that of a hospital environment.
Most insurance plans cover wisdom-tooth removal. At consultation, each wisdom tooth will be evaluated and coded depending on how it is positioned within the mouth and whether it is exposed or impacted. Likewise, anesthesia choices are usually discussed, and the level of sedation is agreed upon. The costs will vary depending on these factors, and your insurance coverage can generally be explored prior to the procedure. The best way to discover costs and insurance coverage, as well as discuss the procedure, is to set up a consultation visit with your provider.
Before you consider oral surgery for your family, call 512.591.9557 or visit austinoralsurgery.com.
A LEGACY OF EXCEPTIONAL CARE
*photo taken pre-pandemic
A CHAT WITH
AW: How much of your personal experience do you draw on when you write? How much of it is entirely fictional?
BY TRINADY JOSLIN
AW: How did it feel to release a book that mirrored a lot of your own experiences?
Fresh off the release of her debut novel, Sajni Patel talks representation in literature.
ajni Patel’s book The Trouble With Hating You is gaining a lot of attention. Released in May of this year, it landed on Mayor Adler’s 2020 reading list. But it wasn’t an easy road. The story switches between the perspectives of Liya and her love interest, Jay Shah. This not-so-typical romantic-comedy novel explores Liya’s struggle to fit into her Houston-based Indian community amidst gossip and the presence of her abuser. Patel spoke with Austin Woman about her growth as a writer, representation in literature and the inspiration behind The Trouble with Hating You.
SP: [The person who sexually assaulted Liya] was based on a real person. In real life, we don't clash as chaotically as [he] and Liya do. The way her parents treated it and the way the entire community shunned it, that's definitely fictionalized. But how Liya feels disconnected from her culture and from the community, that's based on how I feel a lot of the time. I didn't grow up really connected to the Indian community. I took some deep emotional scars and expanded this whole bubble around it. Like how it feels when someone doesn't open up to me or respond to me as kindly as they would with someone else who is ‘more religious’ or more involved in the community.
SP: When I wrote the book, I wrote Liya to be unapologetically herself. She's very outgoing and opinionated, and she's a lot of things that I wish I was more like. I let her write herself in the story. I didn't really have a pathway or a goal in mind. I wanted Liya to just be herself and then see where the story took both of us. As Indians were reading this, I felt very concerned. I didn't want to offend anyone. It's kind of a moot point because it's [my] personal experience ... There’s a stigma that goes on with writing a book that's based on your culture, when it’s non-white. Basically, people have the expectation that you're going to cover everything in that culture and that you're going to represent everything in a good light and not have any stereotypes. The reality is my life has a lot of stereotypes. That comes out in the book. I was very nervous with other Indian readers reading the book, but I believe I, for the most part, have received a lot of good reviews. It was nice to hear. AW: When you write, how much do you think about people expecting you to tackle everything within your culture? SP: Actually, initially, I started writing stories that were white-centric, because growing up, that's what I read. Then as I was creating stories, that's just how the characters would come out. ‘Oh they're white, because that's the default; that's considered normal.’ Then I made the decision to write about Indian main characters with this particular story. There has to be a lot [about] the community just because of the [novel’s] topic itself with arranged marriage and sexual assault. It just ended up being that way. I didn't want to have, of course, a negative view of everything that's Indian. But as I write more stories, some of them will have some cultural aspects to it and hit upon different themes and different viewpoints. I don't believe all of my stories will be cultural. It isn't my job as an Indian author to try to explain my entire culture to a reader. If a reader wants to know more, they can do their own research, but it is nice to have some cultural facets. You know, as you're writing a story, you also want readers to see themselves in the books.
SP: You really shouldn't judge a person from rumors or gossip. Liya is harsh and she has a lot of gossip around her, and some of it is true. But when you get to know... Liya, you can see that she has a big heart. When she is connected to someone, she's very loyal to them, like her friend group. One thing I wanted people to take away from [the novel] was yes, you can relate to an Indian character. Chances are if you are Indian, you may not connect to her. The other thing is, of course, the sexual assault. I wanted people to consider their own thoughts and actions if they've heard of someone who's been sexually assaulted. Are they automatically accusing that victim to have brought it upon themselves? Or are they siding with the perpetrator? Are they holding anyone accountable? Or are they in a society that shuns victims and makes it harder for victims to speak up about the truth? That was one of the other things that I want readers to take away. 26 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
Photo courtesy of Sajni Patel.
AW: What do you want people to take away from The Trouble With Hating You?
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WOMEN to WATCH Our pages are full of stories of Austinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most engaging, empowering and successful women, and this section is specially designed to provide you access to even more incredible role models and success stories. Be part of this amazing group and share your story with thousands of women. Contact us at email@example.com or call 512.328.2421 for more information. PHOTOS BY ROMINA OLSON
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WOMAN to WATCH
K I M PAU L S O N
FOUNDER AND CEO OF UNBOUND LIFE COACHING
ative Austinite and founder of Unbound Life Coaching, Kim Paulson, has a big heart to match her incredible mission of empowering women in Austin to exchange hopelessness, depression and loneliness for a brighter future of hope and belonging! During her dynamic six-week private sessions, women can expect to focus on restoring their spirit, soul and body to experience a more abundant life of significance, joy and faith! Paulson's unique coaching style was developed from her own journey through deep darkness, depression and shame. She teaches women how to love themselves through thoughtful prayers, supportive texts, weekly sessions, tailored action steps and guided journaling. "My deepest desire is for women to feel heard, understood and loved for the rest of their lives." unboundlifecoaching.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
DIRECTOR OF BROKER AGE, TMV BUSINESS GROUP
indsey Conner is the director of brokerage at TMV Business Group, a full-service business brokerage and business advisory firm specializing in small-to-midsize businesses and well-established lower middle-market private entities. Originally from Chicago, Conner has dedicated more than a decade of her career to wealth management for large financial firms like J.P. Morgan Asset Management, where she managed books of business exceeding $1 billion in assets. Conner first took an interest in finance to help individuals and families achieve their goals and provide them with financial security. Now Conner continues her mission in Austin with TMV Business Group. “I chose to work for a local business broker to work hand in hand with women business owners, [and] to help women understand the financial value of their companies and realize their goals through growth or with an exit.” In her free time, she is a proud cat mom and enjoys golfing with her husband. tmvbusinessgroup.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
BRIDGET KARAM PHOTOGR APHER
ridget Karam is a portrait photographer who primarily photographs pets and children—especially tweens! Her portrait style is both emotional and artistic. Karam has volunteered for The Adoption Coalition and The Heart Gallery for 15 years, creating photos for children in foster care seeking forever homes. She also works with the Meals on Wheels PALS program taking photos of clients and their adored pets. Karam has even had the pleasure of photographing Athia, the first therapy pig in Austin! Karam maintains a second website that includes stunning travel art pieces and reproductions of her late mother's abstract art, scanned and printed on acrylic or metal for a contemporary presentation. When her home studio in Northwest Hills safely reopens, she will offer her dog portraits and “school pics” for homeschoolers and distance-learning families. Until then, she has fun with her daughters, Jena and Alex, and their mighty little Yorkie, Rocky. bridgetkaram.com, shop.bridgetkaram.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
F O U N D E R , D U M B. A P PA R E L
s her feet touched the soil of the hill country over a decade ago, Carrie Knapp knew that Austin had captured her heart. This very inspired and artistic entrepreneur united her passion for fashion and her love for bringing people together. She founded dumb., an apparel-based brand designed for everyone, on the key principle to include and celebrate all people’s uniqueness. It is an acronym which stands for diversity, unity, morality and beauty. With a mission of “Inspiring mankind to act locally and think globally in ways to impact our world for the better,” the brand uses youth ambassadors as volunteers to serve in their local communities. Get ready for the first National Actdumb. Day on September 5! All are invited to head to their nearest park and bring along some fun outdoor activities to play. You’re there to show your support and acceptance for all. dumbapparel.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
T YA N N O S B O R N
FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT, OSBORN CONSULTING GROUP LLC
yAnn Osborn, founder and principal consultant of Osborn Consulting Group LLC, is a success guide and Strengths guru. Since 2012, she has helped thousands of people discover the value of their unique abilities to become more engaged, build stronger relationships and authentically show up in their daily lives. As one of the first Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches in Texas, Osborn delivers coaching and innovative solutions in the areas of Strengths-based performance, leadership development and organizational effectiveness, and she thrives when working with leaders who are ready for positive change. Pre-pandemic you could find her traveling the globe empowering people through speaking, coaching and training. Now Osborn shares her magic via virtual coaching sessions and training on topics such as discovering your strengths, navigating change using your strengths, expanding your strategic influence and more. These topics are designed to give employees, managers and leaders the tools to emerge from this historic time stronger than ever. Her mission in life is to help others “win at work and life.” tyannosborn.com
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WOMAN to WATCH
JA N M A C WAT T E R S
CHARTER SCHOOL LIBRARIAN
an MacWattersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mission to redefine the role of a teacher-librarian is the result of 28 years of teaching and library experience as a military wife. She is focused on helping students learn to ask the right questions and find the best answers with ease and accuracy. MacWatters is aware that learning to understand the increasing role of information in the 21st century goes hand in hand with learning to express their own perspective creatively. As such, she also teaches how to use a variety of readily available technologies. Her students learn to plan and manage a research project while honing their time-management skills. She also guides students through the process of developing a digital web-based portfolio that showcases their strengths. Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re homeschooling, part of a professional teaching team or an individual student, time spent with MacWatters will lead you toward developing the life-long research and tech skills necessary for success in the 21st century. thecharterschoollibrarian.com
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36 |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; AUSTIN | SEPTEMBER 2020 36 SPECIAL WOMAN PROMOTION | ATXWOMAN.COM
Photo courtesy of Matthew Yarnell Photography.
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One camera-ready Austinite shares her beauty routine. BY NIKI JONES
enevieve Padalecki may play a demon on the hit TV show Supernatural, but in reality this Californian-turned-Austinite mom of three is about as nice as they come. Austin Woman asked Padalecki to share some of her secrets to looking flawless. Austin Woman: Describe your daily beauty routine. Genevieve Padalecki: The first thing I do is drink water, followed by a shot of apple cider vinegar. Then I brush my teeth and wash my face. Because I have young kiddos, my routine is usually pretty quick; I usually go for convenience. I’ll grab a cloth and use Indie Lee Purifying Face Wash, then follow with Kari Gran Essential Hydrating Tonic or Versed Set the Tone toner, depending on how dry my skin is. I follow with a jade roller and use Olive + M Nourish + Energize Eye Serum. I finish with a Suntegrity sunscreen. AW: What is your favorite physical feature about yourself? GP: My favorite feature is probably my lips. They are crooked and used to make me feel self-conscious, but as I’ve gotten older I have embraced them, and I think they make me different. Oh, and I do have pretty great eyebrows.
AW: What is a current beauty trend you hate? GP: The beauty trend I hate would be the amount of makeup [it takes] to look camera- or social-media-ready. It seems there are a lot of steps involved, from primer to concealer, to highlighting and bronzing and shading and contouring. I love the art and precision that beauty bloggers produce. It’s certainly an art and skill set. Unfortunately I don’t have the time nor the patience. I like to do my makeup within five minutes. AW: What local beauty brand or company do you think is awesome? GP: I really love Olive + M. AW: What makes Austin women beautiful? GP: Austin women are amazing because they are down-to-earth mixed with Southern charm and grit. A little tough girl “I can do it myself” attitude…but still allowing room for chivalry!
Photo courtesy of Genevieve Padalecki.
AW: What is a current beauty trend you love? GP: [It’s] probably highlighting. I’m terrible at makeup, so I lean heavily on my friends Billy Mercer and Campbell Ritchie to help give me instructions or advice. They’ve taught me how to highlight my cheekbones, which gives a nice glow, especially when using LUMA Beauty Illuminating Highlighter.
ATXWOMAN.COM |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; 39
SEE HER WORK
PAINTING AGAINST THE GRAIN
An upcoming Austin artist finds her style after leaving the corporate world.
The artistic style of Pratiksha Muir combines elegant with edgy, using brushstrokes against canvas to form portraits with a distinct look. Ranging from classically sized pop art paintings to toweringly tall abstract works, Muir’s pieces are impressive both in their scale and creative spirit. While Muir’s artwork gives the impression she has been into art her whole life, that’s not the case. Muir took a risk in 2017, when she decided to leave her job in sales and to pursue a full-time career in art. “I've always been a little bit of a hobby hopper,” Muir says. “I moved to Chicago for a job, and I didn't have any friends there besides work people. Chicago gets really dark and cold in the winter, and I was just so consumed with my work at that time that I needed some sort of outlet.” She started her journey into painting following along with art tutorials on YouTube, and quickly her initial interest became a full-time hobby outside of work. She eventually gained the courage to post her art online, where she received recognition and commissions for her work. Soon, painting started to feel like more than just a hobby to Muir. The importance of her emotional and mental well-being became clearer as she realized she needed to make a change and leave the security of a corporate job. “After having a good job in the corporate
40 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
world I just got to a point where I was like, ‘Is this going to be my life forever? Is this it? Am I going to have to sit here and do the same shit I was doing five years ago forever?’” Muir recalls. “I decided if I'm ever going to pull the trigger on this art thing it would be now.” Muir’s inspiration for pursuing a passion also came from her dad, who had a day job and tried being an entrepreneur on the side. He invented a board game and even made an infomercial for it. But the game never took off, and after three years of battling ALS in the hospital, he passed away. “Him being able to come here from another country and be brave enough to take on a goal like that, whether it failed or not, that is the underlying reason, I think, where I'm just like, ‘Well, I'm gonna make this work,’” Muir says. “I'm gonna push for it.” Muir eventually left Chicago with her boyfriend for Austin and started expanding her business. She does both personal and business commissions, including a piece for local bar and kitchen Drop Kick. She hoped to be in some art festivals for 2020, but due to COVID-19 halting everything, she has been focusing on her clients and commissions more. However, she was a part of an online art exhibit called “Women by Women” earlier this year. The UK-based Hansford and Sons Fine Art Emerging
Artist Platform put on the exhibit in May. The virtual show opened up Muir’s world to other ways of showcasing her art and finding her personality in her style of portraits. “I started noticing that I really connected with a lot of [my] portraits.” Muir says “I believe in female empowerment, and women having a really strong spirit. Not only are they beautiful, but they're also pretty fucking badass.” Although she’s only been in Austin for two years, Muir does not plan on leaving anytime soon. “It's like one of those cities where you're just like, ‘How can you beat it?’ I really like it,” Muir says. “This is the place to be.” Looking to the future, Muir plans on expanding the ways she can share her art with clients, not only in Austin, but around the world. “I had no idea that my path would be this windy and crazy at all,” Muir says. “In my situation there can't be the safety net of, ‘Oh, well you could go back to a corporate job,’ because if I thought like that, then I would be setting myself up to go back to a corporate job. In my mind [the thought] has to be, ‘No, you need to make this work.’ And with that there comes highs and lows, but I'm still thankful and super grateful that I’m doing this.”
Photo by William Pepping.
BY DELILAH ALVARADO
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Photos courtesy of Pratiksha Muir.
With a quiet persistence and a commitment to challenging stereotypes, artist Dawn Okoro exemplifies artistry for Black people, by Black people. BY REGINE MALIBIRAN | PHOTOS BY SHANE GORDON
42 | AUSTIN WOMAN | AUGUST SEPTEMBER 2020 2020
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Dawn Okoro is a mixedmedia artist, journalist and lifelong tryer of new things. A thoughtful, intentional soul, Okoro’s observant nature presents itself in the way her art reflects some of her most hard-won life lessons. As a lover of fashion photography, Okoro’s body of work utilizes color, movement and texture to highlight the multidimensionality of Black people. Through Okoro’s practice of selfreflexivity, a reflection on “the circular relationship between cause and effect,” she believes that as an artist she is “impacted by what [she] takes in.” Okoro feels a strong responsibility to “impact her environment and spark change with what [she puts] out.” This is evident not only in her art, but also in the way her life challenges the idea of what Black is supposed to represent. Okoro’s relationship with Black identity has informed her perspective not only as an artist but also as a Black woman. Her mother’s family has lived in Texas for generations, while her father is from Nigeria. “My connection with Nigeria is complicated,” Okoro reflects. “My parents split up when I was a baby, so I was raised by my mom and my stepdad. I wasn’t raised around that culture; I was raised as fully immersed in American culture.” Okoro grew up in Lubbock, Texas. She remembers always being one of two or three Black kids in her classes. She admits to feeling lonely when she was young, often turning to fashion 44 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
magazines so she could see past her small town’s city limits. That loneliness only deepened when she moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas, where she saw even fewer Black people in her classes despite attending such a large college. She chose psychology for her major without much thought other than “that sounds legit.” She also pursued a minor in fashion design. “I always knew I wanted to be an artist, but not how to be an artist,” Okoro admits. She laughingly recalls that she ended up taking many more fashion design classes than psychology courses during her years at UT Austin. There was little precedent for her artistic dreams in her family or her hometown. Okoro didn’t have access to the mentorship or capital needed to kick off her career when she wanted. Making a sustainable living from art is unavoidably difficult unless all the stars of talent, creativity, skill, timing and entrepreneurship align perfectly. And that’s just for people who might already have connections to the art world. Never mind a Black woman building herself up completely from scratch. For Black artists, getting into the industry is a particularly complex challenge. A 2019 study by Williams College found that only 1.2 percent of artists exhibited in major American museums are Black and only 12.6 percent are women. The study compares these artist demographics with data from both the American Community Survey and the United States Census. It shows that the majority of artists shown in major American museums are more white and male than the general population. Even the Detroit Institute of Arts, based in a city that is 78.6 percent Black, has an exhibit catalogue that is 94 percent white. The question then is, why? “Smaller or underfunded art institutions that were supporting these artists initially got into the practice of not paying,” says Carre Adams, lead curator and culture and arts education manager of the George Washington Carver Museum. “They decided that the pay was the opportunity to exhibit their work.” This is not a new problem for Black artists. In January of 1969, The Metropolitan Museum of Art published the transcript for “The Black Artist in America: A Symposium,” which included a handful of prolific Black artists at the time. One of the artists at the symposium was Tom Lloyd, the opening exhibit artist for The Studio Museum in Harlem in 1968, which featured his electronically programmed light works. “The real job still remains in the hands of the art institutions—galleries and museums—to provide the Black artist with that kind of professional and prestigious support he needs for his continued development on both the economic and aesthetic levels,” asserts Lloyd.
Without the structural support Okoro needed to pursue art as a career right after graduating, she spent a few years trying to figure out what she wanted to do next. The lack of resources and support is endemic in the arts, especially in Texas, where the state legislature cut arts funding by 28 percent in 2017. Okoro moved back to Lubbock and entered social work to help people with the Medicaid eligibility process. Her path then took her to law school at Texas Southern University. “I went to law school because I didn’t know what to do with my life,” Okoro says candidly “It wasn’t until after I graduated that I knew that I had to pursue art full-on.” It took a few aha moments for Okoro, but she doesn’t speak about her twisting path with regret or impatience. Rather she weaves her journey together as parts of the whole that have made her into the woman and artist she is today. “I just finally realized that I had to live for myself and not just live to please my family. [It took] growth and maturity,” shares Okoro. After her post-law school epiphany, Okoro moved to New York City to pursue a career in art. But the reality of making a living from art hit hard for Okoro, especially combined with the unforgiving pace of the city and its art scene. “[After about a year] I just felt beat down from the hustle of that,” Okoro says. “I just enjoy creating, but trying to build art as a career was so stressful for me.” Individual and structural support for Black artists can be the determining factor in whether or not an artist continues to create. After Okoro left New York City to move back to Austin in 2012, she put her art career on standby to focus on journalism; she joined the team at Spectrum News, where she’s worked for eight years. Okoro didn’t return to pursuing art until a couple of major deaths in the family put things into perspective and inspired her to reflect on her own path. “It reminded me how short life is. You know, YOLO!” Okoro says. “[I realized] I need to really give [art] a try and live for myself.” Okoro’s first solo exhibit, Punk Noir, debuted in 2018 at the George Washington Carver Museum, 20 years after her first ever exhibition in New York City. She created the collection while still working full time as a journalist. After two decades of experimentation and patience with the process, Okoro had finally found the balance between creating and sustaining herself. Punk Noir is rooted in what she’s learned as someone living outside the norm, as someone who has been breaking stereotypes her whole life. The exhibit also strives to teach those same values to viewers. “Featuring portraits of Black musicians, filmmakers, photographers and other creatives—Punk Noir revels in the divine feminine and masculine energy of her subjects. Through color, pose and clothing Okoro conveys a sense of grit, glamor and grace. This is reinforced by her gestural use of copper to obscure the body and alludes to issues of erasure, self-agency and resistance. Indeed, Punk Noir offers an alternative to life
I always knew I wanted to be an artist, but not how to be an artist.
ATXWOMAN.COM | 45
I just finally realized that I had to live for myself and not just live to please my family.
lived in a Black body on a stark white canvas. For Okoro, punk has always been Black,” writes Carre Adams in a curatorial statement for the exhibit. Okoro’s Punk Noir and its subsequent success goes to show the vitality of Black curators and Black art institutions and museums. Since leaving the George Washington Carver Museum, Punk Noir has traveled to Bremerton, Wash., San Antonio and Dallas. Truly, Black institutions like the George Washington Carver Museum can serve as launching pads for Black artists. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s their only entrance into exhibiting in galleries. The duty to not only exhibit diverse art but also pay and provide resources for Black artists should not lie singularly with Black institutions and curators. The recent revitalization of Black Lives Matter protests has jumpstarted conversations about Black issues and structural racism beyond police brutality. Major art institutions like the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art both participated in #BlackoutTuesday, a social media campaign meant to direct attention to actions that individuals and organizations can take to support the Black Lives Matter movement. However, Williams College’s study found that the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s catalog of artists are only 2 percent and 0.2 percent Black, respectively. As a Black artist, Okoro observes an art world that had structurally shut her out now release Black Lives Matter statements. Though she sees it as a step in the right direction, Okoro is interested to see if the art world’s timely statements hold any sort of longevity and if there will be any actions (not just from institutions but also individuals) behind the eloquent words, especially in the city she calls home. “A lot of Black people that are from here have been driven out. For me anecdotally, it seems like a lot of non-people of color like to think of themselves as just so open-minded,” says Okoro. She knows what it means to be someone who has spent their lives navigating spaces that weren’t built to accommodate them. “So many people live in a bubble and there hasn’t been enough support for [Black institutions] like Six Square and the Carver Museum and Black creatives in general. The enthusiasm we’re seeing now, I just want to see that continue and not just be for a month or so.” Right now, Okoro is in the process of piecing together the lessons 2020 has offered. She has had to adjust her original plans for the year, which included the next legs of Punk Noir’s touring exhibit in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Lagos, Nigeria. It would’ve been only the second time she got to visit her father’s hometown, and she was planning on leveraging the environment for inspiration to create new work. But of course, 2020 had other plans.
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“When the lockdown first started, my first concern was are my basic needs going to be met,” Okoro says. The pandemic’s unavoidable effects forced Okoro, along with millions of other Americans, to go into survival mode. Okoro had to divert her energy from creating, focusing instead on making ends meet for her and her family. “At first, I wasn’t feeling really inspired at all in a creative way. As all of these changes become our reality, that’s naturally going to seep into my art,” reflects Okoro. She’s slowly getting back into creating, starting with smaller drawings and prepping her canvases for when she feels inspired to produce larger scale work again. Okoro’s experience has taught her the invaluable lessons of flexibility and self-awareness; she knows eventually that her spark will return once the initial emotional shock of the pandemic settles. In the meantime, Okoro is trying yet another new thing. “I’ve been learning how to skateboard,” Okoro says. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do the past ten years. A month or two ago I finally decided I was going to buy one.” Okoro’s husband has been skateboarding since the ’90s and now acts as her instructor. Her new pursuit is not only an opportunity to break the monotony of quarantine and do something with a loved one. It’s allowed her to learn lessons she can apply to life and art. “I just want to hurry up and be good at skateboarding. I get frustrated, but it’s important to take your time learning it and being patient with yourself,” says Okoro. “Learning something new and challenging and physical has been really good for me. It helps inform my creativity as well when it comes to art.” Despite the obstacles she’s overcome and the new ones that this year has presented to her, Okoro maintains her spirit and her passion. The twisting path she took to get to this point in her career and in her life gave her a clear sense of purpose that drives her forward. Whatever her next projects look like, her commitment to refracting her experiences to make an important statement will shine through her work. “For a while I’ve been wanting to start something new. What’s going on now has been a really big catalyst for that. I’m not totally sure what this new direction will look like for me, but I’m letting it just flow naturally with how I feel and saying what I want to say.” To any artists who feel like they have to make a decision between their art or making a living, Okoro advises, “Be persistent. Don’t give up. One of the hangups I had being an artist was not feeling like an artist unless I was doing art full time. Do what you need to do to survive; that doesn’t take away from you being an artist.”
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Learning something new and challenging and physical has been really good for me. It helps inform my creativity as well when it comes to art.
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LEMON AND LAVENDER
Oatmeal & Company’s lemon lavender cookies are this summer’s designated treat. BY JENNIFER XIA
arian Washington is everything. The headmaker. Accountant. Bagger. Delivery girl. Although Oatmeal & Company is her first venture running her own business, Washington comes from a lineage of entrepreneurs. As much as she grew up learning the taste of hard work and persistence, food was at the core of how her family showed affection. Every Saturday morning, her grandfather would cook a large meal for the entire family, a tradition that instilled in her that to nourish was to love. Washington continues that tradition with her son, Derek, an avid lover of oatmeal with an equally ambitious entrepreneurial spirit at age 13. After raiding the free samples in the merchandising department of the Whole Foods Market Global Offices where she used to work, Washington brought home a jar of overnight oats one Friday night. Unimpressed, her son decided they should make their own instead. With a few spices and dried fruit they had on hand, she and her son assembled the first of many jars of overnight oats.
“It’s been an amazing experience doing this together,” Washington says. “This is not just my journey. It’s his journey as well.” Before they started selling their oatmeal, Washington’s coworkers would leave empty pasta jars with money or filled with cookies or candy on her desk. They would become the people she tested her creative flavors out on in the beginning stages. From smoked peach bourbon and blueberry cardamom to bananas foster inspired by her sister’s trip to New Orleans, Washington’s bold flavors stand out against the blandness of regular oats. Although this is the first time Washington has ever been self-employed, she has never questioned whether she could be successful. “If I fail today, I wake up tomorrow and there’s my fighting chance once again,” Washington says. In moments of fear, she goes to the big mirror in her bedroom and gives herself her “bad bitch pep talk.” She pictures two versions of herself, with the strong one speaking to the part of her that is afraid. Turn your sour lemons into something sweet this summer with Washington’s Lemon Lavender Oatmeal Cookies using her very own oatmeal.
LEMON LAVENDER OATMEAL COOKIES WITH HONEY GLAZE Ingredients 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup butter, softened 2 eggs 1 tbsp lavender extract 1 tsp of vanilla extract 1 bag of Lemon Lavender Oatmeal 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt Honey Glaze 1/2 cup powdered sugar 4 tbsp honey
Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. I n a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until combined. 3. A dd the eggs, lavender extract and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and combined. 4. Stir in the lemon lavender oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until the dough comes together. 5. Using your hands, roll the dough into 1/2” balls. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart and then flatten them slightly with your hand. 6. B ake the cookies in the preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until set and lightly golden around the edges. 7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool off completely.
1 tbsp milk
8. T o make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, honey, vanilla, milk and melted butter in a small bowl.
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
9. Drizzle the glaze on the cookies and enjoy!
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
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Photo courtesy of Oatmeal & Company.
Dynamic trainer Christine Reisor fuses physical activity and passion. BY MARIAH C. HARPER
hristine Reisor, dog trainer extraordinaire, always knew the “desk-job life” wasn’t for her, but it took a stray puppy named Rex to show her the path she would follow for the rest of her life. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, 71-year-old Reisor left for Hawaii at the age of 18. After exploring the island of Oahu, Reisor made the city of Kauai her home. There she met her husband Larry and together they started a well-loved local diner. Though she grew up around dogs, Reisor ignited her passion for training on Kauai. This passion came in the form of Rex, whom she found hiding behind her dryer. Reisor promptly adopted Rex and dedicated hours to his training and socialization. The upbeat, involved process fascinated her, and Reisor continued to train dogs on the island. In 2003, after 36 years in Hawaii, Reisor and Larry sold their restaurant and moved to Texas. In Austin, Reisor pursued professional dog training talents at the Highland Lakes SPCA, making her way from volunteer to kennel manager. Next, she worked at the Bee Cave PetSmart and helped revitalize the location’s training program. She brought in unprecedented clients and revenue with her spunky personality, no-nonsense training style and quotable tips like, “your dog is only as good as you are.” Today, entrepreneur Reisor has trained more than 1000 dogs and certified 600-plus for the American Kennel Club’s Good Canine Citizen Certificate. After leaving PetSmart, she created an in-home dog-training program called Everybody and Their Dog, Training with Christine. She is wholly devoted to her furry patrons, teaching four to five 90-minute classes a day. Constantly on the go, she races from one session to the next and walks 17 to 20 miles a week with her canine clientele. It’s a lot of work, but Reisor enjoys the high energy and active nature of her job. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s how this dog communicator gets in her daily steps. THE A.M.:
“I wake up at 5:30 a.m. and walk about a mile and a half with my dog Dusty. I make sure everyone gets fed, including our three rescue kittens and Dusty. Later, I prepare for my classes. I cut treats, organize paperwork and stuff packets for new clients. I shower and leave for my first class around 11:30!” 52 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
“It’s a lot of work moving from house to house all day! I carry my office with me: files, handouts, my luggage carrier filled with leashes and treats, and my shoulder bag. In the actual sessions I’m constantly moving with lures [for the dog], walking around the room or getting down on my knees and back up again. I try to get as much done as possible in each session and I don’t think I’m still for the entire hour and a half! It also takes a lot of mental strength; I have to focus so the dog can focus.” THE DIET:
“I drink green smoothies with kale, spinach, fruit and apple cider vinegar. I’m paleo and allergic to dairy, so I watch for that. I also try to avoid too many carbs, which is hard because I grew up Italian with lots of bread and pasta! During the day I don’t have much time to stop for lunch; Larry typically packs me a protein shake, grilled chicken or pork tenderloin and fruit. Maybe also some cassava chips and cherry tomatoes.” THE GEAR:
“My favorite harness is Walk Your Dog with Love! It’s easy to put on and buckles under the dog’s legs. My go-to leash is Sadie’s 8-in-1 Adjustable Security Leash. It has loops all the way down so you can easily hold the lead from any spot. It was a birthday gift from a former student!” THE MOTIVATION:
“I love seeing the communication finally click between a dog and their human. Of course, it’s fun to train the dog, but the excitement humans show when their [canine] does what they want is priceless!” THE MINDSET:
“I have the best job in the world…it doesn’t feel like work. I love a challenge and I’m constantly provided that. Dogs are the most amazing [thing]. When Larry had colon cancer a few years back, I told the hospital if you let me bring Dusty, he will get better. They allowed it and, although Larry wasn’t fully conscious during Dusty’s visits, Dusty’s energy helped him. He got better.” THE P.M.:
“I usually have two classes at night. After, I come home, Larry cooks dinner, and then I drop!”
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Photo by Larry Reisor..
ON THE MONEY
BUILDING FINANCIAL RESILIENCE
Utilize these tips to survive times of uncertainty. BY JENNY HOFF
If there is one ability that is worth building in 2020, it may well be resilience. A global pandemic that led to an economic shutdown, millions of lost jobs and a very divisive upcoming election has induced financial, physical or emotional stress in many people. While there is no magic formula to find a stable, high-paying job in this climate or an assurance that the economy will become robust again anytime soon, there are steps you can take to make sure you can withstand what may come next. Building financial resilience is more than just putting away money for retirement—it’s about clearing your mind and building a strong plan to get you through any eventuality. “Get to the point where you don’t check out,” says Whitney Morrison, certified financial planner and founder of Holistic Money. “Don’t freak out about what’s going on, but become aware of what you have financially and start building your backup plan. That alone will help you reduce stress—focusing on what you can control when there are a lot of things out of control.”
SELL WHAT YOU DON’T NEED.
In today’s marketplace you don’t need to have a garage sale, or even meet people face-to-face, to make a deal. Using resources like Facebook Marketplace and Venmo, you can safely sell items sitting in storage or in your garage for more money than you think. Not only will you build up some money for reserves, but it will also free your space of clutter. BUILD A NEW INCOME STREAM.
Starting your own side business, whether currently employed or not, isn’t just a great way to save extra money, but also a way to plan for the future. If you think strategically about what you’re good at and how you can apply that online, you’ll be setting yourself up to survive other upsets in the economy. You can set up a profile with Upwork or take on some extra hours as a virtual assistant. Whatever you do doesn’t have to be huge at first; it’s just paving the way for an additional source of income that could also allow you to pivot your career in the future. “Just like you diversify your portfolio, you also need to diversify your income stream,” Morrison suggests.
“” You also need
to diversify your income stream.
SHED UNNECESSARY EXPENSES.
The more you can reduce your dependency on your current form of income, whether it’s a paycheck or unemployment check, the more powerful you’ll feel in controlling your financial fate. Subscriptions, gym memberships, lawn and/or house cleaning services, expensive car payments and eating out are some of the areas you can look at reducing or eliminating to increase your reserves. “Try to get your life as financially efficient as possible,” says Morrison. 54 | AUSTIN WOMAN | SEPTEMBER 2020
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET AROUND RETIREMENT.
“Many people think of their careers as a linear path toward retirement, but in today’s world it’s more of a jagged line,” Morrison points out. You may not work your whole life and retire at 65 years old, but rather go through spurts of work and non-work until you are much older. If you build financial resilience, the periods of non-work can be an opportunity to build new skills, try out a new hobby and spend more time with your family instead of coping with financial anxiety. There isn’t much you can control in the world, but you can control how you respond to events. Staying home doesn’t mean sitting still. By taking action now you can build the kind of financial resilience you need to weather any economic storm.
CAR AND DRIVING TIPS FOR SEVERE WEATHER BY CHELSEA BANCROFT
Hurricane season is upon us and it’s forecasted to be a very active one! While we may not get the brunt force of hurricanes in Austin, we still can get severe thunderstorms and lots of rain! We care about your safety at Roger Beasley Mazda, and want to share these safety tips for driving in severe weather:
Find Shelter and Pull Over
Keep Your Windows Clear
The safest thing to do in a thunderstorm or severe weather is to find somewhere to safely take shelter and wait out the storm. Ideally a rest stop or gas station, but if you do have to pull over on the side of the road, make sure you’re well cleared off the driving lane and have your flashers on so that other vehicles can see you.
Turn on your windshield wipers. While obvious, this shows the importance of making sure your wipers are in good, working order before you find yourself in a situation where you really need them. If your windows start to fog, be sure to turn on your defroster to keep them clear.
Slow Down and Drive Steadily Unfortunately, it’s not always an option to pull over, so if you find yourself driving in heavy rain, the best thing to do is safely slow down. Rain makes the road have less traction, so you will need to be more aware of your movements while driving. Avoid any sharp turns or quick starts and stops. Situations like these are why you want to make sure your tires are well maintained and have plenty of tread left on them to help your car grip the road better.
Turn on Your Lights
Because of the low traction on the wet roads, it will take you longer to brake, so keep a good amount of distance between you and the car in front of you.
Eliminate Distractions You shouldn’t ever be on your phone while driving, but especially not during a thunderstorm. Turn down loud music and eliminate any other distractions so you can focus on driving as safely as possible.
Beware of Standing Water + Flooding If you see standing water or large puddles forming on the road, exercise extreme caution when driving through. You never know how deep they actually are, or what could be hidden underneath the water (like debris that can damage tires and your car as a whole). If there is true flooding, the safest choice is to not try and drive through it. Even just 6 inches of water will reach the bottom of most vehicles and can cause loss of control. One foot of water will float many vehicles. Be safe, turn around don’t drown. If you need maintenance or a new vehicle, Roger Beasley Mazda is always here to help! Call 866.779.8409 or visit us online at rogerbeasleymazda.com for more information.
Photo courtesy of Mazda.
Rain can significantly decrease visibility while driving, so be sure to turn on your headlights. This will also help other vehicles see you. If visibility is really bad, consider turning on your flashers as well. Note: While it is legal in Texas, driving with your hazard lights in the rain is actually illegal in some states, so double check before doing so.
Keep Space Between You and Other Cars
Chelsea Bancroft is the strategic-partnerships and social-media manager at Roger Beasley Mazda and a blogger at onechelofanadventure.com.
I AM AUSTIN WOMAN
CEO Shuronda Robinson discusses the importance of communication and mindfulness in business.
Area Urban League. I was so proud to be in business working for an organization with such a powerful legacy and mission. That experience taught me the importance of aligning our mission and purpose with that of our clients. Alignment is key to everyone’s success. Twenty-five years later, we are an award-winning full-service communications firm specializing in public relations, community engagement and media relations. Our company is named after the West African Yoruba name Adisa, which means “one who makes himself clear.” I proudly sit in the C-Suite as a third-generation entrepreneur who has developed a firm that not only services Texasbased companies, but also corporations, public sector agencies and nonprofit organizations across the globe. However, the success I experience today did not come easy. As a Black businesswoman in Austin, I quickly learned that I had to be adaptable and over deliver in order to keep the doors open. In the early days of building the firm, I experienced racism and lack of opportunities—we were often hired to “talk to Black people” or fulfill a contractual requirement. We fought hard in the early stages, and still do today, to be seen as creative professionals who can solve big business and societal problems. And, even in this moment, it is my hope that the global awakening surrounding structural and societal racism will usher in more opportunities for business owners like me. Despite the obstacles, I remain passionate about running an organization that truly makes a difference for the clients and communities we serve. I attribute my passion to growing up in a business-oriented family that proudly owns and operates a community newspaper in Houston. Also, being in business for myself allowed me to set my own priorities about being a mom. I started working from home at a time when it “wasn’t the cool thing to do” so that I could pick up my boys from school, fix dinner and help with school activities. All but one has flown the coop, and I am grateful to myself for taking that time with them. From the very start of my entrepreneurial journey I have always believed that I didn’t have any competition—I only had to be myself and continue to improve my leadership and skills. After being in business for a few years and initially failing to achieve my goals, I learned how to build a great team composed of people who are passionate about fulfilling our mission, which is to create more peace and beauty on the planet. I began to study other CEOs and leaders. I also worked to understand the importance of building a strong culture. It’s an integral part of our DNA—to care deeply about the people and places where we work. Service to others is how we market ourselves. We believe that givers gain. Today we are able to take on complicated assignments that
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require innovative approaches and solutions. I am proud of the fact that we empower our clients and the communities they serve through impactful communication campaigns. My team is a diverse group of special people (right now we are all women) who are committed to their own personal and professional growth. I see it as my role to create a space for them to learn, make mistakes and express their innate genius. I am more of a coach than a manager, and as a boss I am keenly aware that I set the standard. It’s tough work to do every single day—to be “on” and to know that everyone is watching. But I love that part of being my team’s leader, and it pushes me to live our mission of peace and beauty. My team will tell you that I push, cajole, play and do whatever is necessary to pull out their best selves. For the past year or so, every Monday morning, I’ve hosted a “mindfulness hour” where we delve into a topic surrounding self-development, universal principles of truth and reflect on our own practices of personal development. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. When I first started my company, no one told me that entrepreneurship is akin to a spiritual journey. Being in business for yourself tests your character, your faith and your level of discipline. But I think most importantly, I’ve had to learn how to take care of myself first in order to keep serving others.
Photo by Dwayne Hills.
In 1995 Adisa Communications served its first client, the Austin
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