DR. MELANIE ROSS MILLS BUILDING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS AND KNOWING YOUR SELF WORTH
TISHA HOLMAN CHANGING HOW DALLAS PLANS EVENTS
7 TIPS FOR SUMMER NETWORKING CHARITY LEWIS MAKING HER MARK ON THE DALLAS FASHION SCENE
DALLAS SPECIAL EDITION
WOMEN MAKING MOVES IN DALLAS
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CONTENTS 05 FROM THE EDITOR CEOMOM Magazine is celebrating the city of Dallas, where it all began. We are excited to feature 15 women who are making our city better.
32 MOM WITH IMPACT: KELLEY JOHNSON Leading the path to diversity and faith in the workplace
72 HAUTE MOM: CHARITY LEWIS This stylist is making her mark on the Dallas fashion scene.
10 MEET MELANIE
FIT MOM: VERONICA TORRES HAZLEY We talked to Veronica about her love for family and the city of Dallas.
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DALLAS. MOTHERHOOD. IMPACT. Editor-in-Chief Vonna Matthews Contributing Designer Photo Editor Cheryl Polote-Williamson Photography Dr. Melanie Ross Mills Photography Danyel Surrency Jones Photography Ebony King Photography Kelley Johnson Photography Chef Vannessa Brown Photography Lisa Freeney Photography Tisha Holman Photography
Taly Melo Krystal Jackson David Gort Kelly Williams Kauwuane Burton Lrochelle Photography R. Louise Photography Montez Kendall Logan Albritton, Gordon Graham Toni Estes Photography
Editorial Office Little Elm, Texas 75068 +1-972-302-9150 | firstname.lastname@example.org CEOMOM Magazine is published by For Her Media Little Elm, Texas 75068 | +1-972-302-9150 www.ceomommagazine.com
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR WE'RE CELEBRATING WOMEN MAKING DALLAS BETTER
I love Dallas. It is where I was born and raised and have lived most of my life. With the exception of college and a few professional projects, Dallas is the place I have always called home. It's also the home of CEOMOM Magazine so we are excited to celebrate our city by featuring 15 moms who are working to make it better. These women are making moves in business, philanthropy, the community and the arts by bringing new ideas, visions and approaches to this wonderful city. What makes this Special Edition Dallas issue so incredible is the compelling story of each of the women. Their paths to success and greatness were paved with determination and an immense desire to leave Dallas (and the world) better than they found it. We are honored that they shared their stories with us and can't wait for you to be as inspired as I was. This Special Edition issue is personal for me, because it celebrate the life of my grandmother, Elinor Taylor, a true Dallasite who loved the Dallas Cowboys and spotlighting her city as a realtor for over 30 years. We are releasing this issue on her birthday, June 11 to honor her legacy and her life. My grandmother left this world 10 years ago this year, and my world has forever changed. One of the classiest and most beautiful women I know, my grandmother left a legacy of hard work, creativity and a sense of self that I hope to carry on for my children. I am confident she would have been proud of the lives we're impacting through CEOMOM. There's nothing she loved more than helping others be all that God called them to be. We hope as you read the stories of these 15 dynamic women, you will not only be inspired to elevate your own lives, but you will celebrate all that you have are accomplished.
Editor-in-Chief VONNA MATTHEWS
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Photo Credit: Ovidiu Creanga
1. Foster an "Outside" Connection to Learning! Summer is the perfect time to show kids that learning doesn't just happen at school. And one of the best ways to make at-home learning fun during the summer is to take it outside! You can conduct simple experiments that may be too messy for indoors, find various bugs and birds, give writing prompts about nature, examine flowers, trees, and gardens or try a nature-themed art project.
on periods of dedicated learning time each week throughout the summer. Our line of Big Fun Activity Books for kids in Preschool, Kindergarten and First grades keeps kids in the habit of sitting down for skills building, but with a heaping dose of fun perfect for summer. The mazes and puzzles in our activity books come to life through vibrant colors and reinforce multiple skills with each stroke of the pencil. And, they're perfect for taking outside or on the road.
2. Choose a Framework to Keep Summer Learning on Track Having a framework is very helpful for parents in focusing their children
3. Play Summer Games While there are plenty of games specifically designed to build math skills, you probably already have a
few options sitting in your garage. For instance, a yard game like cornhole requires on-the-spot addition. Monopoly also requires players to count. Math Slam, Connect Four, Ticket to Ride, Even Steven's Odd, and Rush Hour are just a few others that help foster math skill building. Even hopscotch helps build valuable skills! 4. Show Them the Value of Money One of the best ways for kids to practice math is by learning to control their own summer spending money. For older kids, you may give them more control over saving and spending. For younger children, you may need to mentor and monitor
8 TIPS FOR COMBATING SUMMER SLIDE FROM HIGHLIGHTS LEARNING
Highlights' unique ability to integrate skills practice with beloved puzzles, mazes, Hidden Pictures activities, and humor lowers the barrier to learning and raises the level of fun for kids. CEOMOM | 10
more closely. Either way, allow your child to earn money and then practice spending it in ways she chooses. Ask your child questions about the purchases she makes-if she buys a candy bar, how much money should she expect to have left? What could she purchase with her money? Is there a larger-ticket item she wants to save for? Help her meet her goal by setting up a weekly budget. 5. Get in the Kitchen Summer means more time to take things slow. And by asking your child to help prepare meals, you're also developing his math skills. Choose a recipe that has a lot of measurements and halve or double it for an added math challenge. For younger kids, this may require a bit of assistance. It's a great way to visualize different measurements, perform some calculations, and end up with a tasty treat-all in just an hour or so! 6. Take a Trip Many families choose to take trips over the summer, and this presents a great opportunity for children to practice math skills. Get a paper map or find an electronic one, and ask your kids to calculate potential distances. You might even involve your child in planning a route or comparing distances, choosing the best routes based on traffic or construction, or adding up the legs of a journey.
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7. Listen to Audiobooks and Podcasts Listening is an excellent way for kids to engage with material that they might not otherwise. Choose educationoriented or fun podcasts that you can listen to together or alone, preferably ones that speak to your child's interests. Try videos as well; there are many videos for kids to practice their vocabulary words or you can make a video together. 8. Make Reading a Family Affair Maintaining a reading habit over the summer is essential for staying up to speed-it can also be a great avenue for family bonding. Try starting a family book club that meets on one scheduled night or morning a week. If your children are at different reading levels, one might read the book solo, while the other works with you. Let them choose the topic. There are many great tools to help you select the right book; check out the booklists at Common Sense Media for reading list inspiration. Pose questions like "What surprised you most about the book?" or "Who was your favorite character?" You'll learn more about what your children have on their minds, all while keeping skills sharp for the school year ahead.
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moms with impact
moms who are changing lives in their communitiesÂ
DR. MELANIE ROSS MILLS TALKS BUILDING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS AND KNOWING YOUR SELF WORTH Dr. Melanie Ross Mills is on a mission to heal and nurture our human relationships. Through her work as a Life Strategist, Relationship & Friendship Expert, and licensed Temperament Therapist, Dr. Mel has discovered that the one relationship we neglect the most is the one we have with ourselves. Her mission is to help women realize their self worth to build healthy relationships with themselves and others. Dr. Mel is a nationally acclaimed and award winning Relationship Expert with appearances on FOX News, ABC, CBS and NBC as well as host of her Life Bonds™ Podcast on iTunes and contributor of magazines such as Self, Essence and Time. Receiving the 2016 Women of Excellence Award, she has dedicated herself to equipping women to achieve excellence in every area of their lives. You can’t help, but to be inspired by Dr. Mel. CEOMOM was honored to chat with her about building healthy relationships, the role faith plays in her life and why knowing your self worth should be a priority.
Who is Dr. Melanie Ross Mills? I am a woman on a mission to help people navigate life in healthy ways, remind them of their worth, and inspire purposeful exchanges. How did your career as a relationship expert begin? Graduating from the University of Texas (hook ‘em horns), I earned a degree in Applied Learning and Development. Initially, I set out to become a teacher with the hopes of becoming a counselor someday. However, my course took a different direction for a bit. I received a job offer I couldn’t refuse from a publishing company. I worked my way to becoming a Marketing Director by the age of 25, I loved the challenge of meeting my numbers, the fancy title on my business card, but what I enjoyed the most was connecting with my clients. Life took over. I got married and focused on being a wife and a mother, placing the corporate world on hold. What I didn’t place on hold was my pursuit of a counseling degree. After a 10 year period of taking
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courses at night and on weekends, I finally completed my Master’s. I loved all that I was learning so much so that I continued on and completed my Doctorate in Temperament Studies. During this time, I also led small groups in my home. Together, we would read and discuss books related to overcoming past hurts, breaking unhealthy habits, and releasing old hang-ups. Offering a safe place for women to connect, share, and support - fulfilled my heart. I learned quite a few things during this season. I realized that this type of environment wasn’t commonplace for many of the participants. Women craved an outlet that provided heart to heart exchanges. I learned that as I set out to help others, I was actually helping myself the most. You know the saying, “The teacher learns more than the student.” This was me! As I studied codependency, self-worth, forgiveness, fears, family of origin life patterns, etc. – I found myself experiencing deep personal growth and healing. My past hurts were dissolving and multiple unhealthy habits no longer plagued me as they had in the past. After administering over 100 Temperament Case Studies for my Master’s and Doctorate dissertations, I found that many people had difficulty answering a similar question. Highly successful businessmen, rockstar teenagers, beautiful young mothers, and retired grandparents struggled to answer the question, “Do you know why you have worth?” This broke my heart because I knew all things healthy stem from knowing our worth. Since our self-worth begins with being validated by the significant others and caregivers in our lives, these individuals had not received what they needed early on. This saddened me because without knowing our worth we cannot relate at the healthiest capacity while in relationship with others. No wonder the divorce rate is through the roof! The good news is, I knew how to help. There was hope because embracing our worth is learned and it is supported through relationships! Isn’t that wonderful! It’s possible for us to gain an accurate perception of ourselves, no matter what the past has or hasn’t handed us. We can validate the worth in people and they can contribute to us embracing our own.
I saw clearly how my personal past hurts, triumphs, interests, and giftings could come together. I could use my educational background, be open about my own struggles and victories – combine my heart for counseling, love for marketing and creativity, and deep desire for authentic connection. Resulting in the creation of my brand, LIFE BONDS™ that is based on authentic relationship building, reminding people of their worth. As a relationship expert, you help women create and cultivate healthy friendships. That’s usually not a mainstream conversation. Why do you think there’s so little focus on friendships as opposed to romantic relationships? What are your top 4 tips for maintaining healthy friendships? After I decided to write The Friendship Bond in 2012, the first thing I did was research the need in the market for this type of book. I found countless books focused on dating, marriage, divorce, re-marriage, blended families, online dating, re-kindling romance and overseas dating. You name it, there’s a book to help you with your romantic struggles. However, I found very few on cultivating healthy friendships. Why were people not talking more about one of the most transformational pieces to life? Friends. This is what I find interesting. Romantic relationships usually begin with a friendship (or at least they should). The foundational principles are the same. So why do we not focus as much on building strong friendships? I think it’s because we don’t see the great value of focusing on cultivating healthy friendships until we are tired of getting burned, hurt, misled, used, dismissed. It’s at this point that we seek to learn how to choose wisely. Until then, we let things slide that might be unhealthy exchanges. We excuse avoiders, placaters, and judgers allowing them to avoid when there’s conflict, criticize, and belittle. Some of us might actually be the type of friend that is the unhealthy one. These are not fun things to discuss or examine in our lives. We are created to share life experiences through friendship, but we are also worthy of being appreciated and valued. We also owe these exchanges to those we call friends.
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My top 4 things : 1) Make a conscious effort to keep your friends' best interest in mind in all that you say and do. 2) Be aware of the type of friend you are to others. Are you becoming the friend that you would want for your children, spouse, loved ones? If not, make the necessary changes (complain less, serve more, reach out, affirm, care). 3) Be a trustworthy individual. Be true and honest in word and in deed. 4) Reciprocate and respect. Don’t be a one-sided friend. Listen, love, and learn from your friends. Be open and teachable without easy offending. You are an expert in Temperament Therapy. What is Temperament Therapy. Why is it important to your practice? Temperament Therapy helps people understand their inborn traits. Sometimes we are going through life trying to be someone we aren’t created to be. For example, an introvert feeling exhausted because they pressure themselves to be on center stage only to find that they are experiencing constant internal stress. I use this piece of my background and education to help people understand how they are wired, how their traits are playing out in their lives and relationships. Helping them embrace their authentic self. You are an accomplished author, speaker, therapist and media contributor. To what do you attribute such a diverse career? Great question! I feel that as long as I am in keeping with reminding people of their worth, helping cultivate healthy relationships, and offering strategies for life - I can entertain and utilize any avenue presented as long as it’s in keeping with my mission. This is a wonderful gift because you have different audiences and unique reaches in each sphere. Issue 27 | 234
One of my greatest life lessons has been not falling into the lie of “balance.” There is no balance, only priorities. You did an interview where you were asked for your favorite scripture of the moment. You chose Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here I am. Send me.'” Why is that scripture so important to you? YES! God had a message to deliver to the nation of Judah. I envision Isaiah raising his hand as he replied, “Here I am! Send me!” The minute he said “YES,” was the moment his ministry began. However, before he could say “YES,” Isaiah was made aware of his own unworthiness. He admits to being unclean, ruined. He was heart broken seeing his humanness. This was part of his preparation and commission. After this, he was cleansed and his guilt was removed. Once he was forgiven, he immediately desired to serve God in any way He needed… without hesitation. This is me! I am an Isaiah. I am unworthy of my calling and mission, but I am forgiven and cleansed. I am ready to go where He sends me. God just needs people to say “YES” and He will take care of the rest. What does a day in the life of Dr. Melanie Mills look like? On an average week, I try and only plan one thing a day (unless I have scheduled meetings, Web Chats, appointments). I am a big believer in leaving margin in your day for the opportunities that present themselves. From a business call to helping
out a friend to meeting a client to taking a bubble bath. I believe margin keeps us healthy mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically. In addition, I schedule my own alone time (which is often during lunch) in order to be fully present for when I am engaged with life. In the evenings, you will find me with my husband, son, family, close friends having a good meal, playing Rummikub, or enjoying the nice weather on an outside patio (and then there’s my TV addiction to anything with Kevin James). When it comes to managing your family and career, what has been your greatest life lesson(s)? One of my greatest life lessons has been not falling into the lie of “balance.” There is no balance, only priorities. Initially, when I went back to work I thought I could do it all. Only to find myself worried sick that my family and friends would feel slighted or unimportant. Once I realized that my path was my path and I wanted to fulfill my purpose to the best of my ability – I had to let go. I gave myself permission to pick up dinner instead of cooking every night. My family could adjust to my traveling sometimes. It was ok if I needed to take a call at an inopportune time. I could take a step back and prioritize. I have had to reschedule travel plans for my husband’s birthday because a work opportunity was an assignment. I have had to pick and choose where I go and what I do according to what is in keeping with my calling/career (sometimes at the risk of upsetting some). Once I learned how to say no to the things that would take me away from my top priorities, then I could say yes to what I needed to say yes to. Therein lies, no balance – only priorities. To learn more about Dr. Mel, visit http://www.melanierossmills.com.
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HELPING OTHERS FIND THEIR SOUL PURPOSE When you talk to Cheryl Polote-Williamson, there is a power in her voice that is transformative. Her voice evokes such strength that you can’t help but to be inspired. Her biography reflects the life of a woman who fervently helps others pursue greatness. Cheryl is a nationally acclaimed best-selling author, transformational speaker, executive producer and success coach, who has dedicated her life to helping others realize their God-given purpose. She has won several awards for her work as an author and entrepreneur including the 2016 Female Success Factor Award, 2017 Indie Author Literary Trailblazer Award and the Global Smashers Award. CEOMOM caught up with this dynamic woman to talk about her books and what it means to live life on purpose. Who is Cheryl Polote-Williamson? Describe yourself in 5 words. I am a dreamer, a visionary, a friend to the friendless and an advocate for women. I am in relentless pursuit of excellence in all areas of my life. I am loving, caring, genuine, resourceful and empowering. Let’s talk about Soul Talk. What is Soul Talk about? What is the defining message of the stories in the book? Soul Talk is a book that has 20 stories of women who decided to let go and let God. This book came
about, because I felt called to help 100 people become servant leaders. I didn’t advertise, but trusted God to bring all 20 women to me to share their stories. He sent me every single woman. One of the women in the book is named Clara. I used to own 5 fitness franchises. I met this woman, Clara, who signed up and used to work out in one of my gyms. I told her that we were in each other’s lives for more than just working out. I never knew that Clara was a child soldier who fought for freedom in her home country, Zimbabwe. She didn’t understand how God would allow her to fight at the young age of 13. Soul Talk is the beginning of a movement. A lot of my books started out as a movement. The women share their hearts and souls. We tell stories of women who have been married to some of the most powerful men in the country, living in 2.8 million dollar homes to being homeless. Women who went through infertility treatments only to have husbands with their bags at the door saying they don’t want to be married anymore. When they let go and forgave every person who hurt them, they became alive. My desire is to turn Soul Talk into a series like The Women of Brewster’s Place.
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MOTHERHOOD IS IMPORTANT, BUT LIVING OUT YOUR PURPOSE BEYOND MOTHERHOOD ALLOWS YOU TO WALK AWAY KNOWING THAT YOU ARE FULFILLING THAT THING THAT GOD HAS PUT IN YOU.
What do you hope readers will get out of your anthologies, Soul Talk, Soul Bearer, and Soul Source? I would hope that readers will learn that forgiveness is the key to everything. Each of those books is about forgiveness. The most powerful things are a prayerful life and a life of forgiveness. When our hearts and minds are free we can pursue greatness. The freedom is already in us if we can unlock the greatness within us. As you motivate others you talk a lot about your own personal trials and triumphs. Describe a defining moment in your life when you knew it was time to make a significant shift. The most significant shift came in my life when I realized I was betrayed by people I thought truly loved me. God’s love empowered me to forgive. I heard God say, “If you don’t act out, I will show you great and wonderful things. I will elevate you in the eyes of the enemies who sought to destroy you.” That is exactly what He’s done. There are days I weep, because I can’t believe what He’s done. Your books encourage men and women to live life with purpose. How important is it for moms to pursue purpose beyond motherhood? Motherhood is important, but living out your purpose beyond motherhood allows you to walk away knowing that you are fulfilling that thing that God has put in you. That’s when you have truly lived. Purpose is wherever you are in that moment. When we start looking at it that way, that’s when we can do great things. For example, if you are going through tremendous loss, that is your purpose at that moment.
In CEOMOM Magazine we talk a lot about the challenges of work/life balance. As a mother of 3, how do you maintain balance when it comes to dealing with personal trials? When my children were younger I made them very reliant on God. When they are freaking out they pray before they come to me. I started that a long time ago. I am not their Savior. It is my responsibility to point them to the Savior. I always let my children know that they are important. They have dreams and purpose and so does their mom. I have a 17 year old, a 20 year old and a 24 year old. They always need time. You love to empower others to live their best lives which starts with personal growth. What is the first step to realizing a better you? Visualizing that it can happen and believing it will. Believe that you can be a better you. I would encourage everyone to visualize what it looks like, a better version of themselves. We are too often consumed by what everybody else thinks is better for us. I highly advise vision boards. I have seen the fruits of my vision board come to life. I put the term “soul renewal” on my vision board and all of my book titles are “Soul” something. Visioning and believing are critical. To learn more about Cheryl, visit https://cherylpwilliamson.com/theshop/.
It is very important we as women pursue that thing that is in our hearts. You don’t want to look back and say I wish I would have done this or done that. I am going to do this after my children are grown. Stop making your husband and your children the reason you are not doing the thing that God has called you to do. It’s fear. A lot of mothers operate in fear. When you can get past that fear you will stop blaming your husband and your children. We can do all things. We can be great mothers, great wives and excellent business women. Everything happens for a reason. Yes, that reason is God.
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DANYEL SURRENCY JONES TALKS THE POWER OF VISION AND GIVING BACK
anyel Surrency Jones is a business powerhouse with almost two decades of experience in executive leadership and entrepreneurship. This award winning entrepreneur is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of POWERHANDZ Inc., a global designer, manufacturer and distributor of innovative athletic training products, with an expanded focus in rehabilitation and technology. As CEO, Danyel has played a vital role in making POWERHANDZ a global company with brand ambassadors and partners in the NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA and WBO. For Danyel, success is not about what you have, but who you are. It is determined by the role you play in helping others achieve their personal best. As a selfproclaimed vision chaser, Danyel aims to leave a legacy for her children that is defined by selflessness and the pursuit of God’s purpose. CEOMOM enjoyed speaking with Danyel about her vision for POWERHANDZ and her passion for giving back. Who is Danyel Surrency Jones? I am God’s vision chaser. Whether I am in mommy mode, business mode or friend mode, I always try to channel what God wants me to be in that moment. This is no easy task at times, I often say, really God you want me to do what?! But I know my sole purpose on this earth is to do His will so that my life may glorify Him. I am also a connector. I never meet a stranger and at that moment, I want them to feel welcomed and God’s love in me. If I can connect them to someone to help with their business or personal mission, I will. Helping others with business strategy is a natural gift. I can listen to a small idea and shape it into a grand business plan.
So, there are many gifts God has given me, undeservingly. I have a great responsibility to put forth my best effort to get it right. Although it’s tough chasing His vision in each area of my life....all at once....I survive the challenge by never giving in to the pressure of being perfect. It just doesn’t exist. I am a free spirit with a big heart and strong business mind, but at the end of the day, I just want to make God happy as His Vision Chaser. What is the inspiration behind POWERHANDZ? Darnell and I started POWERHANDZ almost four years ago. We wanted to figure out how to help professional and youth athletes maximize their craft, by creating functional skill development products; instead of them just relying on their athleticism when playing sports. We recognize games are won during training and discipline is achieved before the game. We have created a business model where we focus on performance, injury prevention and injury recovery. Our expanded vision includes two markets, athletic training and rehabilitation. We will integrate technology into both of those markets. This new platform will allow us to provide athletes and patients with direct feedback and analytics when they use our products. So now, a patient with a neuromuscular injury of the arm, will know how their grip strength improved and a football athlete will know, how their hand speed and ball handling improved. What is it like building a business empire with your husband? Overall, it’s our ministry and we are blessed and thankful for this journey. It does come with pros and challenges you must manage. The one area that is invaluable is, you have a partner you can count on for life. Being entrepreneurial can be a very lonely venture.
When your business partner is your husband, the purpose and mission for making the business successful is greater. You have a lot to figure out as an entrepreneur, with no blueprint, but you will always have another passionate soul to help you navigate through the risk and unknowns associated with entrepreneurship. There certainly are challenges, because at the end of the day that person is still your husband and/or spouse. Having a strong personality with strong leadership skills, and an eagerness to learn, can be challenging. You have to balance “I am his business partner” with “I am his wife” and let him lead with the talents God created for him and then I lead with the gifts God gave me. It’s a balancing act sometimes; because at the end of the day, you have to remember you don’t have normal dynamics of other couples or other business partners. Expectations must be different and communication is critical. You have to remember why you chose each other for both jobs. Why did he choose me as his wife and why did we choose each other as business partners? If you can answer those questions, it helps you get through the tough times. You have to be mindful of the things that could cause additional dynamics, because you are living in 2 worlds, blending together business and personal goals and pressures. The rainbow is, the reward will be double the joy. Tell us about the POWER TO GIVE Foundation. How can people get involved? We started the foundation as an initiative on day one when we started the company. We didn't have money at the time to start a 501c3. We both come from humble backgrounds. We decided to make the POWER TO GIVE Foundation an initiative where a percentage of the revenue from every product sold will go towards helping kids in underserved communities excel in sports. We believe in the life long values youth and communities receive from sports and we want every child to benefit from them. Now a 501c3, we develop our own programs and partner with Boys and Girls Clubs, Dallas Parks and Recreation and other organizations founded by our brand ambassadors and professional sports organizations. People can get involved through our events, donations and being an advocate in conversation. We have several events throughout the year. Last year we partnered with Dallas Park and Recreation to launch a celebrity basketball game and tournament for the community. We also gave community leaders awards and made it a fun event for the kids. Currently we are partnered with NFL on all their free community youth camps. We are just trying to make a difference, one child at a time.
You are a powerhouse who has accomplished so much and continues to give back in a myriad of ways. What legacy do you hope to leave to your children? My legacy goes back to who I am. I want my children to understand their purpose and their gifts no matter what those gifts are, as long as they follow God’s vision. This is why we work tirelessly to pursue purpose. I want my legacy to help young girls and others see that you can rebound from mistakes, pursue your dreams with passion, take risks and love from a place that can never come from self. I pray my family and a stranger can say, my interaction with Danyel helped me pursue something better than what I thought I deserved. Where do you see POWERHANDZ in 5 years? We will be a global company that has products that expand across multiple sports verticals and healthcare. We want to help people get better who have neuromuscular challenges. We will be a global platform that will transcend the world of traditional athletic training and rehabilitation. Every youth, household and professional athlete will benefit from our products and mission. You have a website coming soon. What’s next for the Danyel Surrency Jones brand? The website I am building is based on my passions. Nancy Lieberman has a quote that says, “I am learning, earning and returning.” I am still in the process of learning and earning, but I can return at the same time. I am building a consulting company that will allow me to help other entrepreneurs build their dreams. There are so many unknowns when it comes to where entrepreneurs should go for financing, establishing intellectual properties, distribution channels, defining the sales and marketing strategy, etc., especially minority businesses. I want to be a resource for people so they can take their ideas and bring them to life without allowing the obstacles to discourage them. There will be tons of obstacles but it only takes a few strategic wins to launch your idea. I am going to help people pursue their God given calling. The website will highlight my strategic consulting services, speaking opportunities, philanthropic missions and resources for building your business. To learn more about Danyel and POWERHANDZ, visit https://powerhandz.com and https://www.danyelsurrencyjones.com.
I pray my family and a stranger can say, my interaction with Danyel helped me pursue something better than what I thought I deserved. CEOMOM
When your business partner is your husband, the purpose and mission for making the business successful is greater. You have a lot to figure out as an entrepreneur, with no blueprint, but you will always have another passionate soul to help you navigate through the risk and unknowns associated with entrepreneurship.Â Â
EBONY KING IS EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH FAITH
f we could use one word to describe Ebony King, it would be disciple. Her desire to help other women grow in their faith is evident in everything she does. This wife, mother, author, ministry leader and creative mastermind is blazing trails all over Dallas through her work as the First Lady of The North Bridge Church in Frisco, Texas, her leadership with Tabitha’s TEA Party and annual women’s conference, and her entrepreneurial endeavors in organizational development. Ebony is one of the most dynamic women you will meet, with an immense passion for service. Her beautiful and contagious spirit is changing lives by showing others the love of God. CEOMOM chatted with Ebony to learn more about the inspiration behind Tabitha’s TEA Party and why discipleship is so important to her. Who is Ebony King? I am from Dallas, Texas. I grew up in the inner cities of Dallas; East Dallas, South Dallas and Oak Cliff. I am the youngest of my 3 sisters. I am the wife to Chris King, mom to two daughters, Kristyn and Kree and bonus mom to Morgan. At this point, I see myself as a disciple. I believe God called me to be a disciple. I am going to school for organizational leadership, because I want to help companies move forward, especially as it relates to international business. I chose to focus on international leadership, because I believe it is my
calling as a disciple to bring different cultures together. I have found in my studies that how we do business is formed by our religions. I believe the Bible gives us organizational principles on how to have successful companies. I have the gift of ideation. I thought for a second that all of my ideas were for me. I realized that those ideas were really for me to pour into other people. Even with our church, I do our social media marketing and I designed the logo. Through my company, Signature Avenue Consulting, I do concept development. I help people to develop their corporate concept. I work with a lot of public figures who feel stuck, not knowing what they want to do next. I help them hone in on their identity. I worked with a church in Frisco, Texas that wanted to start doing more work around MLK. I helped them create a nonprofit organization and worked with them to come up with the name, design their logo and develop a color scheme. They are the first church in Frisco to host a MLK Scholarship Program. People always call on me for their creative projects. I am very creative and I love it. I love being able to see other people have that light bulb come on. Tell us about Tabitha’s TEA Party? What is the ministry and who do you serve? Tabitha’s TEA Party serves all women, young and old. We have a ministry called Tabitha’s TEANagers.
We will be serving girls from ages 13 to 17, preparing them for life after high school. The workshops will be driven around social awareness, self esteem and emotional health. The other aspect is female discipleship. The “TEA” stands for teach, empower and apply. We have monthly Bible studies that are free for women from all backgrounds. It’s for women to get the same feeling they get from empowerment events without the expense. I like to bring in monthly empowerment teachers. I do the biblical teaching, then I bring in an empowerment speaker. It is a woman who personally identifies with the Bible teaching for that month. The last piece is application. It is a workshop component. The women get together for a workshop that aligns with the lesson. Last month we did a tea party on forgiveness. We talked about forgiving from a biblical perspective. Our application piece was to identify people in our lives that we need to forgive. We also encouraged people to come together and pray for those individuals. It released so many women from strongholds. We encourage women to clean the slate. We are a nonprofit organization. We really thrive off of donations. I provide food and the Bible study. The other part of what we do is our annual women’s conference. This year is our 5th Annual Women’s Conference called Girl, Get Up! We will have speakers talk about the dead areas of their lives that they have risen from.
What has been your greatest challenge with starting a ministry? What motivates you to push through the challenges? My greatest challenge has been financially trusting God so we don’t have to charge. I have people tell me to charge. The biggest challenge is thriving off of donations. I know the women are not supposed to pay for the Bible studies. For our upcoming tea party we have over 60 people registered. I have to pay for 60 women to eat and get the materials. Every month God provides. I get through it by looking for the ram in the bush. I know this is my test. I have to always intentionally look for the ram in the bush. If it means working on this book to produce more products to make more revenue or pushing products like my devotionals. My solution is, “Okay God, where is the ram?” When I find it, I embrace it. Where do you see Tabitha’s TEA Party in 5 years? I see Tabitha’s TEA Party as an organization with chapters, like Tabitha’s TEA Party Texas. Chapters of women who are intentional about helping women grow in God will host their own tea parties. I would love to have a tea room which is more like a corporate office where women in the area can come. They won’t have to search all over for a location to host an event. I want to see women transformed in God. It empowers you. The ministry has motivated me in entrepreneurship. I love being able to be a light, empowering other women to do the same.
The other piece of what we do is our giving initiative. We believe in doing good and helping the poor. Annually, we partner with other nonprofit organizations to help them raise funds. We do toy drives for Make a Wish Foundation in Irving, Texas. What was the defining moment that inspired you to start Tabitha’s TEA Party? Actually, it was my husband becoming a pastor. Tabitha’s TEA Party was birthed out of our church. I thought it was the craziest thing he could have done to our marriage and me. I did not have any training in being a first lady. I thought, like all churches, we were supposed to have a women’s ministry. I thought, I will just start having small groups in my media room over a cup of tea. I had a friend who would bring these tea packets with inspirational quotes on them. We would heat up the tea on the stove and take it to the media room and have our Bible study. That’s what I would call it, a tea party. It started to grow and it became uncomfortable having women over to my house that I didn’t know. My husband did a lesson from Acts. I got to chapter 9 and verse 36 and read Tabitha’s story. She was a woman disciple who would help the poor. I told the ladies from then on we would be called Tabitha’s TEA Party. We moved the study to Nylo. Now we meet wherever we can find space.
I love being able to be a light, empowering other women to do the same.
What do you hope your daughters learn from watching you? I want them to see possibility. I want them to see their mom creating opportunities and possibilities. With man it’s not possible, but with God everything is possible. It’s not a guarantee that I will be a millionaire, but growing up I didn’t see any of this. I now thrive knowing it’s all possible. I want my daughters to see their mom truly believes anything is possible and she lives as that. I want them to see possibilities through our marriage with how I love on their dad. Having a healthy and successful marriage is possible. Having a successful business is possible. Having a successful ministry is possible. I pray I am the best
example they get. I pray they don’t have to get that example from anyone other than me. What’s next for Ebony King? I have 2 books I am writing. One is The TEAcher’s Guide, a Bible study manual. The book can also be used as a personal devotional. It is going to be the outline of all the tea parties we’ve hosted from 2017 until June of this year. It will be a study guide for women who want to teach, but don’t know how to start. The other one is Girl, Get Up! That will be a follow up from our conference this year, helping women get up from dead spaces. To learn more about Ebony King and Tabitha’s TEA Party, visit https://www.tabithasteaparty.org.
moms who are paving the way for new ideasÂ
KELLEY JOHNSON IS LEADING THE PATH TO DIVERSITY AND FAITH IN THE WORKPLACE
elley Johnson has made it part of her life purpose to help others achieve their highest potential. From her role as founder and CEO of Kelley Johnson Enterprises to her bi-weekly podcast, Cubicles and Christ, Kelley does everything with authenticity, excellence and purpose.
Tell us about Kelley Johnson Enterprises. What products and services do you offer? Kelley Johnson Enterprises is a consulting and executive coaching firm that specializes in diversity and inclusion. I work with national and local organizations to help them optimize and get the benefits of a diverse workforce and customer base. I tend to work with larger organizations. It’s usually This former Divisional Vice President, Diversity and pretty challenging for a small business to have a Emerging Talent for JCPenney, is a wife and mother dedicated diversity and inclusion strategy. It doesn’t of 2 who is transforming how American companies mean that they are not considering diversity within are integrating diversity into their corporate their business goals, but typically I am working with culture. CEOMOM enjoyed talking to Kelley about very large multi-billion dollar organizations. the future of diversity in corporate America and how she redefines work/life balance. My clients often ask me to assess where they are and help them build a strategic blueprint to create a Who is Kelley Johnson? What 5 words would you multi-year diversity and inclusion plan. The plan use to describe yourself? includes casting a vision and creating yearly If I had to describe myself I would say I am a Christ milestones. More specifically the plan often covers follower, a wife and a mom. My family is super talent and recruiting, leadership development, important to me. Not everyone will know this about framing, governance and infrastructure. I love me but, I am also a wellness geek. I enjoy reading strategic planning and working alongside my clients about herbs and natural holistic health. If I’m not to achieve great outcomes for their organizations. reading the Bible or a devotional, I am probably One of the things that makes me unique is that I reading about what lavender does and how have actually been in a chief diversity officer role in chamomile works. My default when I get sick is to a fortune 500 organization. try something natural before I go to a synthetic remedy. My family teases me about it because I am You were previously the chief diversity officer for so into it. JCPenny. How did you transition from a career in corporate America to being an entrepreneur? My 5 words are passionate, strategic, creative, It was definitely a God thing. My role was impacted intelligent and driven. during a corporate restructure. When I left I knew
that I really wanted to take some time to focus on my family and to get clear about what the next chapter in my life would be. For 6 weeks, I would walk and pray every morning and have candid conversations with the Lord about my dreams. From the time I was 16 years old, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I believe that you have to combine your faith with action so during this period of soulsearching, I would stay connected to my professional networks. These were strong professional networks I had built over the life of my career. From one of those relationships I ended up landing a client before I knew I was supposed to start my firm. When I got my first contract I established my business. I created a service offering. What’s my business model? How am I going to go about providing these services to my client? It wasn’t an easy transition because I had been working in corporate America for 20 years. I was used to having a team. As a business owner, I had to transition from this mindset of doing it all in partnership with a team versus supporting my clients and their end goals. As a corporate leader, I would see an initiative from start to finish. With a client I may only see a part of the initiative. That was a shift for me. When you are in corporate America you do have more of a holistic view.
How do you intertwine your faith with being a business owner in a secular world? Authenticity has always been important to me since high school. Spiritual authenticity is a new dimension that I hadn’t embraced until recently. As a Christ follower and business owner, my clients know that I will always operate with integrity and honesty. I advocate and speak for faith and career integration when the opportunity arises. I work with organizations and people to help them learn how to do this. I am currently researching the benefits and challenges of faith and career integration. I believe the workplace is the next frontier for diversity and inclusion as it relates to faith. When you think about diversity and inclusion efforts in most corporate organizations, most focus on gender, race, sexual orientation and disability. Those are the common core for diversity and inclusion efforts at corporate organizations. Few consider religion and faith as a dimension of diversity. Politics and religion are taboo in corporate America. Many are very reluctant to have a religious diversity focus. I feel with the recent election, the taboo of talking about politics at work has broken down a little bit. I just believe that religion and faith will be the next new wave of diversity conversations in the workplace.
You have a podcast, Cubicles & Christ, where you focus on spiritual authenticity. What does it mean to be spiritually authentic? To me spiritual authenticity is about aligning and integrating your faith into every area of your life. Whether that is work, home, your relationships, your finances… everything. I believe when we are spiritually authentic, we thrive in life. I know a lot of people focus on being successful. There are tangible accomplishments and milestones that we associate with success. I try to focus on thriving on the show whether that’s finding joy, peace, purpose or fulfillment irrespective of certain milestones or possessions.
Nearly every company is trying to make sure that they don’t discriminate. A part of that is creating an environment where employees can be their authentic selves. I am looking for a deeper level of inclusion where people feel more comfortable saying I went to church this weekend. I feel like a lot of people exclude that from workplace conversations. I am working to have more organizations create an environment where people don’t feel like they have to hide their faith.
On Cubicles and Christ I interview other believers. Most tend to be very accomplished women. We explore their journey to authenticity. The most rewarding part is I get to hear from so many people how the show is changing their lives and how they start their week on Monday listening to the podcast to stay focused and get through the week focused on God.
To me spiritual authenticity is about aligning and integrating your faith into every area of your life. Whether that is work, home, your relationships, your finances… everything.
With a growing consulting business and podcast, how are you redefining work/life balance? My definition is, a work in progress. When I first started my business I had less boundaries and structure around my work schedule. I had a separate work calendar from my personal schedule and that was always a struggle. I have become very intentional about time blocking my schedule. There are parts of running a business that are not glamorous to me like accounting and financing. I block time for those things now. I also block time for my personal stuff. I sync my kids’ calendar with my business calendar. I am very intentional about my time like having an occasional lunch date with my 3rd grader. I am redefining work/life balance by protecting time for what’s important. Spending a lunch date with my daughter is important, or chaperoning an event. I had to block and protect the time to do the things I want for the family and still meet my clients’ needs. With the summer season comes vacations and break from the norm. What are some of your family's favorite summer getaways? Our family can be defined by 2 d’s, Disney and Dominican Republic. We love those 2 places. Now that I am about to have a college student we have to change the way we vacation. To learn more about Kelley Johnson, visit http://www.kelleyjohnsonenterprises.com. Listen to Cubicles & Christ on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.
CHANGING HOW DALLAS PLANS EVENTS When it comes to planning events, Tisha Holman of Tisha Holman Events, has that wow factor that allows her to create the perfect soirée. For Tisha, it’s not just about the aesthetics, it’s about creating a luxury experience that will keep guests talking. With appearances on television shows like Good Morning Texas, it’s no wonder Tisha has become one of the go to Event Planners in Dallas. Tisha uses her expertise as an entrepreneur to help others propel their businesses. Through her brand Mind Your Business, Tisha has authored 3 books on her quest to help clients take a more strategic approach to brand development; Lights! Camera! Action! Get Your Brand on Television, The Social Media Makeover, and The Social Media Makeover: Managing Your Team. Tisha shared her vision for Tisha Holman Events and what it means to balance a thriving career with being a mom.
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How did you get started in event planning? My junior prom to date is still one of the worst events I have ever attended. I didn’t want our senior ball to be the same way. I ran for Senior Class Vice President, because that is the person who plans the senior ball. I won and planned an awesome senior ball for my class. From there it evolved into all types of events from corporate events and social gatherings to weddings. Tell us about Mind Your Business. I started Mind Your Business to help organizations build a strong presence through Digital Marketing, Brand Strategy and Social Media. Mind Your Business offers a variety of consulting services to organizations and we also are a Social Media Agency. Many companies recognize the importance of being on Social Media, but hire us because they don’t always have the time or bandwidth to manage the effort. How has your work as a Luxury Event Planner positioned you as a brand expert? Luxury events is not just about planning an event, it’s about creating both an experience and a great memory for my clients. My approach is to brand my clients’ events; from the first thing guests see such as the invitation to everything they will experience leading up to and during the event such as decor. It is all essentially a brand. This puts me in the mindset of always being innovative in that space and doing something for each client event that hasn’t been done before. I look at the planning and design of events in a different way - almost strategically - it is a skill set beyond simply coordinating details for a party. You have been featured on shows such as Good Morning Texas, FOX and CBS Local News. You even wrote a book to help others get featured on television. What is one tip you can share with our readers to help them get their brands on television? First develop a consistent brand. Before a producer considers accepting your pitch they are going to do their research on you as a brand and a business owner. Make sure the information they find about you is consistent and has a clear message. Make sure your best foot is forward. That is going to be their introduction to who they are inviting to their show.
What are some common mistakes people make when trying to plan their own events? One of the biggest mistakes people make is not seeking help. Event planning can get really overwhelming very quickly if you don’t know what you are doing. Something that started out as a great idea for a party, can end up being frustrating and overwhelming. If you are doing something small, make a list and check it twice; make sure your ducks are in a row. If you are tackling the planning for a larger soirée or social gathering, enlist the help of professionals. You want to be a guest at your own event. If you are stressed out, you will not enjoy the event, so get help. Where do you see Tisha Holman Events in 5 years? I see Tisha Holman Events evolving into even more of a boutique brand. I see us narrowing the scope of the type of clients we serve so we can really create bespoke experiences. As for Mind Your Business, already with the recent launch I am astonished at the response I am getting from clients across many industries who really need help with their Social Media strategy. I see Mind Your Business being a formidable player in the Digital Marketing and Social Media arenas.
Photo Credit: Izehi Photography
A great space, I love a venue with open space. That blank canvas allows me to create something awesome. Photo Credit: Farris Photography
What are your top must haves for creating the best summer events? 1. A great space, I love a venue with open space. That blank canvas allows me to create something awesome. 2. The right atmosphere. The atmosphere is the backdrop and a key element for a memorable party. 3. Awesome entertainment is another must have. That can really determine the tempo of an awesome party. Great music, dancing and incorporating the arts are apart of the recipe for a great event. 4. Great food and drinks are also vital to creating the perfect summer event. If drinks are flowing and the food is good, people will have a good time. As a mom and entrepreneur what does balance look like to you? Do you think balance is achievable? Balance to me is achievable. Before I am CEO, I am Sydney's mom. Balance doesn’t happen if balance doesn’t exist in Sydney’s world. If she feels that I have been working too much, then for me balance is off and somewhere along the way I dropped the ball without knowing it.
It is not uncommon for Sydney to come to client meetings with me. Sydney observing that dynamic has inspired the entrepreneurial spirit within her. She said, “Mommy I want to have a business like you.” She has a product line coming out soon. I am really excited for her. Since she is preparing to be a CEO, I’m giving her the tasks CEO’s have to handle. When the logo was being designed, I had her conduct those meetings to develop her ability to articulate her needs in a business setting. It is so awesome to see her creative juices flowing! It can be very delicate between being a mom and a business person. I believe allowing our children to see both sides instills something priceless in them that will serve them well in life. Learn more about Tisha at https://tishaholman.com and https://www.mindyourbizllc.com
The balance first starts with Sydney. I do a lot of work when she is asleep. I really try to use the time when she is at school or after her bedtime; those are my REAL business hours. I try to make the time I have with her count. Sometimes that means sleepless nights and long days for me. I have to make sure she has what she needs. CEOMOM | 39
EOMOM Magazine had the opportunity to taste Lisa’s Lemonade at Savor Dallas, one of Dallas’ largest wine and food festivals. We were immediately intrigued by the unusual ingredients in their Sweet Green Lemonade; spinach, Turmeric, ginger and celery. The lemonade was absolutely amazing. It was both refreshing and packed with flavor. Using all natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, Lisa’s Lemonade is in a league of its own. What started as a desire to eliminate sugar from her family’s diet, Lisa Freeney created a product that is both delicious and healthy. Lisa shared the heart behind Lisa’s Lemonade and why there's no other Lemonade like it. We couldn’t agree more. Tell us about Lisa’s Lemonade. What inspired you to create a lemonade brand? Lisa’s Lemonade was born from love and represents the sweet life that can emerge when we simply get creative, apply determination and decide that solutions are more important than problems! That's why our motto is Live On The Bright Side! When my son was in kindergarten he was diagnosed with ADHD. Sugar made a big difference in his behavior and ability to concentrate so I began a quest to make his life and mine easier by eliminating sugar, dye, preservatives, and flavorings. This was a massive change for us since I was a foodie who loved to bake, cook and concoct in the kitchen daily. Sugar was the most challenging to eliminate from our diet. However, ten years later, I can say it was a wonderful thing that happened because the result is a healthier family and a much more educated perspective about nutrition and ingredients. We all loved my homemade lemonade but without sugar as an ingredient, I was definitely in a bind. So many all-natural sweeteners had an unpleasant aftertaste in lemonade. I could not find anything on the market that was fast to prepare, tasted good and was free of sugar, dyes, and preservatives, admittedly I got a bit obsessed with conquering the problem. Batch after batch, trial after trial with lots of
lemonade poured down the drain, this quest was looking bleak. But eventually, a series of great recipes began to emerge and Lisa's Lemonade was born much to the delight of our friends and family! Over the years I kept waiting for a product similar to mine to show up on the market. It never did. In questioning what I was going to do as a newly single mom, I decided to solve this market problem myself. I was going to provide Lisa’s Lemonade for other lemonade lovers who wanted to eliminate cane sugar and still enjoy incredible taste and nutrition! With the same determination required to create this lemonade for my family, I set out to accomplish my new goal. That goal was to provide Lisa’s Lemonade for American families to inspire and make life healthier and simpler. What makes Lisa’s Lemonade different from competitors? When I set out to prepare Lisa’s Lemonade for the American Market, I made sure that every detail was the best of the best. I spent over a year testing the American Natural Sweetener Manufacturers for the best organic sweeteners that were never touched by chemicals. Here are the key features that make Lisa’s Lemonade different from our competitors. We have replaced cane sugar with natural sweeteners such as organic Stevia, organic agave, and organic erythritol. Our sweeteners do not impact your body like sugar making Lisa’s Lemonade diabetic friendly. Our lemonade is a much healthier version of an American classic. We are passionate about nutrition and hydration so we spent years perfecting this beverage that would be genuinely good fuel for the body and thrill the taste buds at the same time. Keeping the nutrition in the purest form possible with no additives, preservatives or artificial flavors, was our mission for this line of lemonades. Your lemonade is amazing. The Sweet Green Lemonade is my favorite. Describe your process for creating such unique flavors. Thank you, Vonna! I have always been one of those moms who is constantly watching out for the nutrition of my children. When they were babies I made homemade baby food for them as much as I could and never let them drink soda until they were older.
LISA FREENEY IS PUTTING A TWIST ON AN AMERICAN CLASSIC WITH LISA'S LEMONADE What inspired me to create the sweet green lemonade was a cookbook I read by Jessica Seinfeld called Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food. When my kids were younger I would add puréed cauliflower to their spaghetti sauce and put avocados in their brownies. So began a joke that my children laugh about now that they're older... "What's in the food today, mom"… "Mom, what are you hiding in this?” So when I began expanding our flavors for the lemonade line, naturally I wanted to put vegetables in them so I began a very long process of testing many different recipes to come up with the perfect balance that children and adults both loved and was good for their bodies! Lisa’s Sweet Green Lemonade ingredients are spinach, cucumber, celery, Turmeric and ginger! There is over a cup of veggies in each bottle. I feel incredibly satisfied when children drink it and absolutely love it. I also enjoy that I'm providing moms another way for their children to have great nutrition in a refreshing and satisfying lemonade. What advice do you have for a mom who wants to start her own beverage company? The first thing I would say is go for it! Believe in your dreams. Find your passion and live it… It will make a difference in the world if you do! Then I would say to reach out to the Small Business Administration and participate in their mentoring program. The SBA provides incredible help for American small businesses and there is no cost.
I would also add to really listen to your consumers. Don't be put off or discouraged by negative feedback. Learn what is needed in the market and how your product is different from anything else. Make sure your product stands out and provides something in the marketplace that is not available or is higher quality than what is available. Also, read Will It Fly by Pat Flynn for amazing advice on starting your own company. What have been your greatest challenges when it comes to balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship? How have you overcome those challenges? Mom Guilt. Being a stay at home mom for many years gave me the opportunity to spend most of my time with my children. When I began life as a single mom things changed, reducing the amount of time I could spend with them. And then when I began building Lisa’s Lemonade, my time with them decreased even more and guilt about the time I did not have for my kids set in. I manage mom guilt by making sure to go easy on myself! I remind myself that my children are watching me accomplish a great goal and even though they might be frustrated with me at times, because I don't have the same amount of time available for them, I really believe they are watching different seasons of my life and learning how to live their own lives that way! It's natural for kids to have incredibly high expectations for us as moms. We have to get comfortable with that and not fall into feelings of guilt because we don't measure up to those high expectations.
It's also a good opportunity for us to talk with and mentor our children to help them understand where their feelings of security should come from, themselves and not other people’s behavior. We can affirm our love and our support for them, but the deeper lesson is for us to teach them to find in themselves that place of self acceptance and love. Where can consumers purchase your lemonade? You can purchase Lisa’s Lemonade at the Taste of Dallas on June 22, 23 and 24 in the FUEL section a taste testing area of Taste of Dallas for natural & healthy food sampling. Other places you can find us is CiboDivino Marketplace, 1868 Sylvan Avenue, Dallas TX and Pacific Deck Grill, 1910 Pacific Ave Dallas. We will also be at the GO TEXAN Pavilion at the Texas State Fair on September 29 through Oct 22. Visit us at LisasLemonade.com to place an online order. Please follow us at Lisa’s Lemonade on Facebook at on Instagram at lisas.lemonade to find out when we are in a natural grocery near you. Where do you see Lisa’s Lemonade in 5 Years? We have exciting plans to sponsor many organizations that help Americans in transition through our profits! Our goal is to assist 40,000 Americans to Live On The Bright Side as Lisa’s Lemonade grows! We have our vision set on Whole Foods so please reach out to your local Whole Foods, Sprouts & Natural Grocery and ask them to carry Lisa’s Lemonade for you and your family.
OUR LEMONADE IS A MUCH HEALTHIER VERSION OF AN AMERICAN CLASSIC. WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT NUTRITION AND HYDRATION SO WE SPENT YEARS PERFECTING THIS BEVERAGE...
POLISHED EXISTS to gather young professional women to navigate career and explore faith. www.polishedonline.org
REDEFINING INTERIOR DESIGN WITH A MODERN TWIST
Chic, modern, eclectic and innovative are all words used to describe Brett Seidl’s interior design style. This wife and mother of 2 has an eye for design that reflects her world travels and creative flair. Brett started Brett Nicole Interiors to create flexibility for her growing family and to use as a creative outlet. She has changed the landscape of interior design in Dallas with her own unique twist of modern meets eclectic. Brett Nicole Interiors is an award-winning interior decorating company that caters to young families and busy professionals. CEOMOM chatted with Brett to discuss the inspiration behind her designs and her must haves for summer home decor. How did your career in interior design begin? I didn’t take the normal straight path. During college and after college, I built a career in nonprofit management working with marginalized communities, not interior design at all. I love the communities I worked with, but I wanted something more creative. That part of me was left wanting more. Just as a creative outlet, I started doing some art and that slowly began to manifest into interior design. I began designing my family’s homes and my homes because I was moving a lot. It started as a side gig as a creative outlet. After having my first child 3 years ago, I wanted something that provided flexibility and something I absolutely loved. I loved interior design so it made sense to take my clientele and turn it into a business. After hours of research and teaching myself software and reading design books, I started my business. The 9 to 5 wasn’t for me. Becoming a parent changes your priorities.
How would you describe your design style? If you walked into my house, that would probably be the best representation of my personal style which is modern eclectic. I like bright clean walls, simple foundations and little pops of really interesting details. I use items like a really weathered wood coffee table or heirloom pieces here and there, or big bold patterns. I love it when people walk into a space and it is bright and fresh and relaxing, yet not boring. When it comes to summer decor, what are your must haves? What are your tips for adding summer flair to your home? 1. My absolute must haves for the summer are fresh flowers everywhere. The first thing I think of when we get that peak of warmer weather is flowers. I love bright and fresh beautiful flowers inside the house, not outside because it is too hot. 2. My number 2 must have is a bar cart that you keep in your kitchen that you can roll outside for entertainment. Ideally, I would like it to be filled with cocktails, but when you have little kids it is usually filled with lemonade and juice boxes. I have to have a bar cart for indoor and outdoor entertainment. I would definitely say both of these things will add summer flair. 3. One thing I love that adds summer flair to your home is switching out curtains. Switch out the standard curtains that you would have in the kitchen or dining area to sheer curtains. It is cost effective and it brings in light and makes it seem fresher and cleaner. You want to bring the outdoor in as much as possible. You can find a pair of sheer curtains at HomeGoods for as low as $30. It’s less expensive than switching out throw pillows.
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I am not designing pieces that are going to go into a museum but spaces that will be lived in. Photo Credit: Brett Nicole Photography
You’ve lived in many places around the world which have influenced your design aesthetic? What city, state or country has been your greatest influence? That is a really hard question. I have lived in so many places and they are so different. I have lived in Ireland. I’ve lived in Central America in several different countries there. Living in Central America, I lived in Costa Rica for a little bit. I loved the rich colors and the family vibes that everything surrounds itself around. It’s all about family and bright colors as it relates to decor in Costa Rica. When I am designing a space, those things are always a part of my design. I am not designing pieces that are going to go into a museum but spaces that will be lived in. My other place would be New York City. I lived there for several years. You are just walking down the street and you see this completely ultra modern townhouse. Right next door to it is this 100 plus year old building that is completely different. It is the juxtaposition of the 2 that catches your eye. It is not boring. That influences my design, because it is unexpected. New York is my greatest influence more than any other place. Congratulations on your new baby! What advice would you give to a mom who wants to pursue a career in interior design, but doesn’t know how to get started? The first thing I would say is do your research. Make sure what you think interior design is, is actually interior design. With the prevalence of shows like Fixer Upper, which I love, interior design seems like something that it’s not. I spend in a week 70 percent of the time not doing design work, but logistics like invoicing and researching pieces and materials. Make sure you know what the industry is and what it demands. Connect with other interior designers so they can tell you what it actually looks like. As a mom, you are going to make a lot of
sacrifices. You want to know what you are getting into. Don’t jump in before you do your homework. How are you balancing being a new mom of 2 with managing an interior design business? I think for me knowing and accepting that there is no such thing as balance, and being okay with that is the key. It’s all ebbs and flows. For me it works really well, because I love change. I am not a fan of routine. What makes it work is knowing what my priorities are and remembering them for me. Yes, I am a business owner and interior designer, but I am a wife and a mother first. It keeps me grounded. It really does make me a better business owner. It helps me make the most ethical decisions because I want to make my children proud. It helps me to make better design decisions, making sure I keep my priorities straight. Another thing is having my support system. My husband is a rock star. He has a super demanding job, but he doesn’t believe that it is only my role to take care of the kids. He is amazing and has been so supportive of this crazy structure called a small business. Having that support system has been incredible. I also make sure I take care of myself. That means I can take a few days off or take a vacay by myself. Taking a drive to the grocery store without the kids is a vacation for me. Making sure I get some me time whether it’s going for a run or to the grocery store is vital. To learn more about Brett Seidl, visit http://www.brettnicoleinteriors.com.
Photo Credit: Britt Latz Photography
Photo Credit: Jen Morley Photography
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GINGER TAYLOR'S CUPCAKES CREATE AN EXPERIENCE WITH EVERY BITE
inger Taylor never thought of becoming a baker, but her love for praline candy and spending time with her two beautiful daughters led her to a cupcake business that creates a unique experience with every bite.
I taught myself how to do the designs for the cupcakes. I took one class with my daughter at Michael’s. I ended up teaching the class. I had 3 students in there who wanted to exchange numbers for me to teach them.
We see you just launched a new cupcake flavor infusing Sociologie Wine’s Red Berry Wine. What inspires you to create new flavors and designs? I love doing infused cupcakes. I think that’s what sets me apart from a lot of people. I try to work with well known liquor companies. They will send me their different flavors and ask me to come up with a cupcake flavor. I will see what is in the wine and then come up with my own flavors for cupcakes. I just like doing What inspired you to start The Cupcake Experience? infused cupcakes. One of my first ones was rum cake. I never thought I would be making cupcakes. I was a hairstylist for 20 years. A guy would come into the Which of your cupcake or cake flavors is your shop selling praline candies. I loved them, but he favorite for the summer? Will you be introducing any decided to stop making them. I wanted to start new flavors or designs for the summer? If so, tell us making red velvet candy myself, but didn’t know how about them. to do it. Someone suggested that I make red velvet My favorite is margarita. I like tequila lime. Summer is cake instead. I did and ended up with 30 orders always good for strawberries. I just made some immediately. I decided to stick with it. cupcakes using Dolce Vita Tequila. I am doing one for an event with honey. It will be a honey cake with lemon What has been the most challenging aspect of frosting. It will be a white cake with honey in it and the starting your own cupcake business? lemon vanilla buttercream will have Jack Daniels The most challenging part would be finding infused in it. That is a great one for the summer. customers. I get a lot of my customers from Instagram. I am just promoting on there, trying to How do you manage a thriving cupcake business with keep a consistent amount of customers. I do a lot of being a mom? birthdays and events. I bombard my way into most of I am very fortunate that I can work from home. I am the events I do. I will see something on Instagram and always here with the kids. If I have to go to an event, then contact the host to see if they want cupcakes. I my husband is here to watch them. That is a big help. tell them that they need to have The Cupcake Time management is big. I usually try to take the kids Experience at their event. to school in the morning. I make my cakes and cupcakes while they are at school. I try to be done What advice would you give to a mom who wants to before they get home so my time is just for them for start her own baking business? things like homework. Do a lot of practicing. Go to the school of Youtube. Try to involve the kids, too. I have 2 daughters and my To learn more about Ginger Taylor and The Cupcake oldest daughter wanted to do cupcakes 2 years ago. I Experience, visit told her that it wasn’t a good business. Everyone is https://www.thecupcakeexperience.com. doing cupcakes and it’s a lot of work. She did it a little bit and then she stopped so we decided to do it together. Ginger is the founder and head baker of The Cupcake Experience. She has bought her creative flair from California to Dallas and we are loving it. Her cupcakes and cakes are infused with a little surprise that sets them apart. Ginger spoke with CEOMOM about what makes her cupcakes so special and why practice makes perfect.
Photo Credit: Rashad Frizzell
TIME MANAGEMENT IS BIG. I USUALLY TRY TO TAKE THE KIDS TO SCHOOL IN THE MORNING. I MAKE MY CAKES AND CUPCAKES WHILE THEY ARE AT SCHOOL. I TRY TO BE DONE BEFORE THEY GET HOME SO MY TIME IS JUST FOR THEM FOR THINGS LIKE HOMEWORK.
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CHEF VANNESSA BROWN IS ADDING HER OWN FLAVOR TO TRADITIONAL COMFORT CUISINES
Chef Vannessa Brown has changed the culinary industry in Dallas with her unique take on comfort cuisines. As the creator and host of the cooking show, Goodness on Youtube, Chef Vannessa aims to not only make familiar dishes healthier, but give foodies an experience reminiscent of the bold flavors of Texas. As a classically trained chef studying culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu and the Art Institute, Vannessa transformed her desire to make healthier meals for her daughter into a budding culinary career that makes her a chef to watch. CEOMOM Magazine was so excited to talk to Chef Vannessa about her journey as a chef and how she adds a delicious twist to our favorite summer classics. How did your journey as a chef begin? I didn't have a plan growing up. I think that’s the best way to say it. I didn’t have the tools or the resources to help guide me or help me find what I wanted to do. I had my daughter in 2009. I wasn’t a single parent, but at the time her father and I didn’t live together. He was working and in college and I was working 2 jobs. I would work and then go home and have to feed my daughter. I always say I didn’t grow up in the kitchen but grew into it. I had to find a way to feed my daughter with something that had nutritional value. I started my journey as a chef right
at home. My journey started with me working in my own kitchen. I started going to cooking school at Cordon Bleu. From there, I transferred to the Art Institute of Dallas. I studied technique and ingredient selection. I just became a personal chef and then started to cater my own events. I started to take on different clients in culinary school and put myself out there as a chef even though I didn’t feel like one. I had to learn to put myself out there more. Going to school helped me to learn different pallets and views on nutrition. What would you say is your signature dish? How would you describe your culinary style? I have a couple of dishes that represent my culinary style which is comfort cuisine. I am a Texas girl so my dishes are full of flavor. I get a nostalgic feeling from the dishes I make. I want to create that same nostalgia in my flavors. On top of the food tasting good, I think that how the food makes you feel enhances the experience. I cook dishes like meatloaf that tastes just like your mom’s recipe but I tweak it with my own flavors and twists such as wrapping it in bacon. I love adding twists to traditional dishes.
She is such a supportive kid. I can tell her today that I have a new job that will start next week. The week will come and she will say, “Mom don’t forget about the new job.”
Where do you see Goodness with Chef Vannessa in 5 years? I want more exposure. I’m learning the value of exposure. My goal is not to just get any exposure, but the right exposure. I would love to appeal to all demographics but holding on to the niche I appeal to, and connect to them, is my focus. I am a customer focused person because I too am a consumer. When I pay for something I like to get the best service. I just want to connect with as many people as possible who want to connect with me. Those relationships are the most important. What is your inspiration for creating new dishes? I find inspiration in some of the weirdest and smallest things. I can be on Pinterest or I can be reading a book or cookbook. I can find inspiration anywhere, even from my daughter. She has been watching me. It’s funny to see her imitate me. We went to dinner one night and she asked me if she could take a picture of the food for me. She wanted me to turn the plate so she could get a really good angle. She will come up with dish ideas like shrimp and beef nachos. I find inspiration anywhere like driving by billboards. I have gotten some really great recipes by being in the moment. What have been your biggest challenges with balancing a business and motherhood? I truly feel like there is no such thing as balance. In the grand scheme of things you have to make it work. I don’t feel like that’s balance, that’s just life. What’s important to me is I don’t put my work before my daughter. Right now she’s in soccer, basketball and
she has projects due. I just make sure what I have going on never affects her activities. I never want to take her time, I just have to figure it out. Of course schedules and calendars help. Her being involved in my day to day and me in hers helps. She is such a supportive kid. I can tell her today that I have a new job that will start next week. The week will come and she will say, “Mom don’t forget about the new job.” She is just as involved and invested in the things I do as much as I am in hers. What lessons have you learned from starting your own culinary brand that may help another mom who wants to start her own culinary business? Know that there is always going to be a lesson to learn. I think that being an entrepreneur with a family is not so much hard or difficult, it’s just about being mentally prepared for the roadblocks. Every week it feels like there's a roadblock. Be mentally and emotionally prepared to keep going. My support system is my daughter and my fiance. Their support helps me get through those roadblocks. You are going to have more strong days than weak days. As long as your weak days don’t trump your strong ones, that’s important. I am almost a year in being a business owner and there's challenges at least once a week. Continue to push forward and see the vision when no one else does. It’s not for everybody to see your struggle. It’s for some people to wonder. To learn more about Vannessa, visit https://goodnesschef.com.
For summer, I make a really good watermelon salsa. People who like watermelon love it. Frankly I cannot stand watermelon, but I always make dishes for other people. It is sliced watermelon, fresh strawberries, some red onions, cilantro and sugar. You can serve it with some cinnamon and sugar chips or some fresh fish or chicken. It can easily become a staple for the summer.Â
Â My second one would be a caprese chicken. Caprese salad is normally made with mozzarella, tomato and olive oil. I make it with all of those ingredients, but just add a layer of grilled chicken. It pairs really well with summer because itâ€™s not too heavy. These dishes are great for beginners and for families.
Epic Waters - $10 AND UP Located in Grand Prairie, TX [in the DFW-Arlington region], Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark is an 80,000 squarefoot indoor-outdoor family entertainment destination offering year-round summer fun courtesy of a giant retractable roof [think AT&T Stadium] and a climate-controlled interior. In fact, it's the largest waterpark under a single retractable roof in North America. Billed as a "cruise ship on land", Epic Waters offers something for everyone, including 11 thrilling waterslides (three of which are "first in the industry"), a surfing simulator, the longest indoor lazy river in Texas, a children's area, an arcade, a cafe and a full-service bar. A giant outdoor wave pool will be added to the mix later this summer. https://epicwatersgp.com/ Klyde Warren Park - FREE Klyde Warren Park is the central gathering space for Dallas and its visitors. The 5.2-acre park sits over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas. Klyde Warren Park has a plethora of free activities for the entire family including festivals, outdoor concerts and movies. https://www.klydewarrenpark.org/ Monnig Meteorite Gallery - FREE The Monnig Meteorite Collection is one of the largest university-based meteorite collections in the world with nearly 3,000 samples from more than 2,300 different meteorites. https://monnigmuseum.tcu.edu/
The Tubes - Irving Bible Church - FREE The Tubes is a huge play area for kids that includes a toddler area, a fish tank and a tiny tot area. It's available for children 52 inches or smaller, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Bugs is available for children 36” and shorter. http://www.irvingbible.org/buildinginfo African American Museum - FREE Black art and history is housed in four vaulted galleries including a research library. http://www.aamdallas.org/
The Dallas Stars Rookies Programs FREE The Dallas Stars Rookies Programs are free 4-week programs for boys and girls ages 4-14 who are interested in playing the game of hockey. Each Saturday during the program, kids are provided with all equipment necessary for a fun and safe experience. Each class is 30 minutes with trained coaches. You even get to take home a free Rookies jersey! https://www.nhl.com/stars/starcenter s/rookies-programs
FREE & BUDGET FRIENDLY SUMMER KID ACTIVITIES IN DALLAS With the kids out of school, it's time to put together a summer activities schedule that will keep their minds and bodies active. Please contact the organizations directly for information on price updates. CEOMOM | 59
moms who are making health a priority
VERONICA TORRES HAZLEY IS BRINGING DALLAS TOGETHER THROUGH COLLABORATION, CREATIVITY AND INFINITE POSSIBILITIES
eronica Torres Hazley has many roles. She is a director, entrepreneur, health and fitness expert and community builder, but her most important roles are wife, mother and grandmother. Family is everything to Veronica, it is what has helped make her the powerhouse she is today. Veronica has worked for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau for over 15 years in a myriad of positions. Her mission is to share the best of Dallas while building the community through culture and awareness. Veronica has a passion for connecting communities that is evident through her advocacy work and community initiatives. From her work with the Dallas CVB to her community programs at V12 Yoga, Veronica is bringing Dallas together in the name of collaboration, creativity and infinite possibilities. Veronica shared her story of healing, the power of self care and how yoga can help build communities. Who is Veronica Torres Hazley? I am a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and wife. My life has always been about my family. Having my first daughter at the age of 15 was my first true commitment to others and my determination to succeed in whatever I wanted. My outlook on life was about being the optimist and team player. Having a true GRIT upbringing has really shaped me today. Losing my father very young and supporting my family and my young daughter was a true test to life. I experienced so much at such a young age, it makes today even more sweet. What is your role with the Dallas CVB? How did your career with the Dallas CVB begin? I am the Experience Director at VisitDallas, which is new and exciting. I oversee our Partnership side of our business. I have worked with VisitDallas for almost 15 years and in almost every department there. I get to sell and market Dallas to visitors and locals and develop partnerships in the community. It’s the PERFECT job.
Describe your journey into entrepreneurship. I opened my own yoga studio in 2014 with my husband. I was introduced to entrepreneurship through my grandparents. We learned early on about hard work and community from the age of 5. I knew that when I graduated high school I wanted to own something of my own and build a company. I started practicing yoga to heal my anxiety and stress organically. It changed my life. I then pursued my teacher training studies and then opened my own studio to invite people in my community to explore and enjoy the practice. Our studio does a ton of activities outside of the brick and mortar. We have a large corporate client portfolio that we work with to help with their health and wellness programming for their employees and fitness initiatives. Tell us about V12 Yoga. What separates it from other yoga studios? V12 Yoga is a true community studio. The energy in the studio is magical. I know this sounds like a proud mom talking, but really.. the view is incredible and the studio alone has a sense of pure community and life. I really feel like my studio is truly living and has its own spirit. The view of downtown is stunning too. I wanted the space to feel unique to Dallas and not too commercial. I knew the people who came to practice would be visitors from the nearby hotels and convention center; so I wanted the studio to have an “experience” about it. Our instructors are unique too. They are all special and committed to the city and to their crafts. They treat the studio as if it was their own and we give them the bandwidth to create their own flows and community. V12 Yoga hosted a Dreamcatcher workshop to help kids discover themselves through art. What inspired you to create that workshop? Will there be more? Well, having two new children in our home (19 months and 3) has been a big change in our busy lives. My 19 month old was a twin and we lost her brother a day after they were born. A lot of my close friends had kids the same age and I first thought it would be
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cool to create experiences for us to do with our kids. Then I parted ways with two of my close friends and fell into a dark place, feeling alone and still grieving. The workshops then became a form of therapy for me. I decided to create alone and use my space to build something fun that still fell into self care and self empowerment for moms and their babies. The first test I did was my daughter’s birthday party, I did a gingerbread house making party and it was amazing. The rest took off. The “I AM” Vision board for kids was beautiful and special too. The Dreamcatcher was the last one I did. I plan on doing them quarterly to complement my other self care workshops I am doing. We know that you love to read. What books are you reading right now? What role have books played in your success, both personally and professionally? Yes, I am obsessed with reading. I used to read maybe 10 books a year before I had my twins. I really started reading more when I was pregnant with my twins. I was doing research on having twins, raising twins, and surviving. Then, after losing my son, I became even more obsessed with books on grief and near death experiences and life after death, so much of which I experienced during my loss. The books taught me so much about self care and organic healing. I finally read books on clearing energy using sage and rituals. I researched and read more and started a workshop series of healing through sacred self care. Now I teach monthly workshops for women dealing with self help and healing. I read about 2 books a week mostly about meditation and spiritual growth. I really feel I am a totally different person from a year ago, mentally and spiritually. I have found a ton of women who are seeking a sisterhood to learn self care and growth. Right now I am reading a book called Communitas. It’s pretty deep and goes into the power of people in the same mindset building a power of energy through these sacred milestones in life. It’s pretty deep. I love challenging my mind. I am also reading a book called Slow Motion, a memoir of a life rescued by tragedy by Dani Shapiro. It's really about a woman who finds her purpose after death. I believe people are shaken into their life awakenings. I have become fascinated by that and dig deep to really learn about these experiences to share in my workshops. You love Dallas and it shows through not only your work with the CVB, but the connections you make and your advocacy work to promote diversity? What do you love most about representing Dallas? I love when I can change perceptions. I get to sell Dallas for years in advance and meet people who have never been to Dallas or Texas. When I can get them to commit to bringing their business and or family to Dallas, I am so happy and I feel like I am sharing the best of the city. My job allows me to build friendships with a ton of people who also care for Dallas and its future. It's really a blessing. When I can open doors for others and help my people grow their dreams and passions, it makes me so happy.
Photo Credit: Veronica Torres Hazley
I AM MINDFUL OF EVERY MOMENT. I TAKE A MINUTE TO LOOK INTO PEOPLE'S EYES, ESPECIALLY MY HUSBAND AND MY CHILDREN.
As a wife, mother, Experience Director for the Dallas CVB, co-owner of V12 Yoga and Rock Star Fitness, and a health and lifestyle expert, you epitomize what it means to be a superwoman. What role, if any, does balance play in your life? Wow, that’s a blessing to even be considered a “superwoman”. I know that I feel like every woman who has responsibilities to grow. I just want to be the best at everything I am surrounding myself with. I did a horrible job at balancing my life. This year of discovery has taught me to take care and love myself first. Take time to invest in my health, my mind and my spirit. The soul work is the only way to WIN. I started a daily meditation practice that has changed my life and my heart. I am mindful of every moment. I take a minute to look into people's eyes, especially my husband and my children. Losing a child and close friendships have really opened my mind to living a life of intention and gratitude. I have put my goals into action and my friendships are so much more meaningful and held sacred. I love it. When we take the time to do one thing at a time with intention and mindfulness, it doesn’t feel rushed or wasted. The savory feeling of knowing the colors of my children’s retina or lashes and dimples are all worth the time and effort to try to be still. To learn more about Veronica Torres Hazley, visit https://healthylatinalifestylecom.com or http://www.v12yoga.com. CEOMOM | 65
Jessica Boscarini always knew she wanted to be a mom. It’s no surprise that her career led her to helping other women excel in motherhood by making their health and fitness priorities. From baby planning to nutrition consulting to cooking to Pilates, there’s nothing Jessica can’t do when it comes to helping moms maintain optimal health.
People think eating healthy is cutting out all of the good things in life. I teach that you can take little tiny steps to make big changes.
Jessica started Healthy Fit Fab Moms to marry her love for motherhood with her passion for health. Healthy Fit Fab Moms is a service that makes sure mom’s needs are met before and after baby. Services include help with breastfeeding, development of a birth plan, meal planning and more. CEOMOM talked with Jessica about her I was in college for business management. I journey to a career in health and how went back to school and got my Master’s in busy moms can stay fit. Holistic Nutrition. After graduation, I was going to a gym twice a week. The gym How did your career in health and manager told me if I got my certification in fitness begin? fitness they would hire me. In addition, I got I grew up in gymnastics. I always had certified as a nutritional chef. I was a the healthy thing in mind as it relates to personal chef for different families and I exercise and nutrition. My mom would cater private events. That’s how my cooked at home most nights and she blog got started. thought she was doing what was best for us. When I was 15, my mom had a People think eating healthy is cutting out all herniated disk and had back surgery. of the good things in life. I teach that you Coming from a family of 5, I took over can take little tiny steps to make big cooking for the family. I quit changes. After I had my son, that’s when I gymnastics, resulting in my weight turned my focus on moms and moms to be. gain. Wanting to make a change, I Moms think they don’t have time to eat started eating healthy and cooking healthy or exercise. Being a mom doesn’t healthy meals for the family. have to be an excuse. You can run around with your kids. You want to be a good Eventually, I ended up becoming example for them. anorexic. A doctor told me that I wouldn’t be able to have kids if my What is Healthy Fit Fab Moms? What lifestyle didn't change, that was my products and services do you offer? turning point. I always wanted a family On my website, I do product reviews. I hook so I started researching what it looked up with companies to give an honest review like to eat healthier. That was early of their products. I don’t review products high school. By the time I was in college that I believe people shouldn’t be eating. I I would have girlfriends talk to me want people to go to my site and see what is about health. They would say, “Jessica, good. you know so much about nutrition and health, do something with it.” It is a I do nutritional planning for moms and story of inspiration for other people. I moms to be. My main focus is fitness plans. I have learned from my mistakes. I teach moms how to tailor an exercise plan learned what you think is healthy is to fit their lifestyle. I am also a Pilates not.
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instructor. I do private and group classes. My other services include motherhood consulting for everything from breastfeeding to creating a baby registry. I help moms who are struggling with nursing. I do baby registering to help moms figure out what products they need. When it comes to health and nutrition, I do private catering events, pantry raids and cooking classes. I tell you what staples you should have in your kitchen and how to cook them. I believe health and nutrition is a lifestyle. You can help people with a nutrition or fitness plan, but if you don’t learn how to carry it out yourself, you won’t be successful. What inspired you to start Healthy Fit Fab Moms? I grew up thinking I was doing something healthy for myself, but I was hurting myself. My eating disorder did not allow me to take care of myself. I knew I wouldn’t be able to have kids if I didn't stop. I wanted to have kids. I realized I needed to make a change. That was my aha moment. I am the only one who could make those decisions. I needed to make the decision to be healthy and be the best I could be. There were so many people around me suffering from headaches and other health issues. I wanted to make a difference and help others make the necessary changes in their own lives. Part of what you do is help women stay fit during and after pregnancy. What personal challenges have you faced when working to maintain optimal health during and after pregnancy? Thankfully, I really haven’t had many challenges when it comes to my pregnancies. My pregnancies have been really easy. My only challenge is during the first trimester when a lot of foods don’t seem appetizing. Nothing tastes good so I will have a bit of this and a bit of that. That’s hard. Besides that, I’ve had easy pregnancies and pretty easy births. Just being knowledgeable about the human body and how it works has really helped. CEOMOM | 67
Photo Credit: Brittany Sharp
JESSICA BOSCARINI IS HELPING MOMS STAY FIT AND FABULOUS What are your top 3 tips to help busy moms stay fit? 1. Exercise when you can, even if it’s doing squats while you brush your teeth. 2. Try to incorporate your children into your exercise routine. Play superman with them on the floor. Go for walks with them to the park.
people little changes. Take everything day by day. Don’t try to do everything at once. You are getting acculturated to your baby and your baby to you. It is definitely hard in the beginning. Take as many walks as possible. That for me was my saving grace. The baby will love the fresh air even if it’s just a walk around the block.
3. Be a good example for your kids. Think about how you want your children to perceive exercise. You don’t want your kids sitting in front of the TV all day. You don’t want your kids snacking on cookies while watching a show so you don’t do it. Try to stay active.
Don’t take on anything new. Your baby is new enough. You don’t need to make these huge changes and try to prove anything to anyone. Take the time to get to know your new baby rather than taking on something else new.
What are your go-to’s for healthy summer snacks that are kid-friendly and easy to make? I love an overnight salad or any dish you can make a couple of days ahead of time. Mango ceviche is one of my favorites. It actually tastes better over time. Foods that you can just pull out of the fridge and put together are great go-to’s such as fruit salad. My kids’ favorite snack is fruit.
I see in your bio that your desire to be an entrepreneur was as strong as your desire to be a mom. I love that. What sacrifices have you had to make to be able to do both? A huge sacrifice for me has been not spending as much time with my children as I would like. I work from home besides when I do Pilates or events. I am around so I can make my schedule what I want it to be. I am home when my son gets home from school. I write a lot so it does take up time. I would rather be playing a board game with my kids than working.
If you can get outside and grill fresh vegetables, that is really nice. I think vegetables should be the main portion of every meal, then you have your carbs and your meat. I would also say make your plate as colorful as possible. I try to incorporate as many colors as possible to make the plate look appetizing and pretty. You don’t have to style your food, but just make it look nice. There's also nutrients in all of the colorful vegetables. Becoming a new mom means getting used to a new schedule and lifestyle. Tell us a little bit about your baby planning services. What does that entail? With every child you are in a routine that the new kid is going to mess up. How do you take care of yourself while taking care of your new baby. It’s teaching
I do think it makes me a better mom to be able to do something for my own brain. I am constantly learning and striving to be a better person for myself so I can be a better person for my family. The world is always changing so it is always good to be learning something new for yourself. I want to set a good example for my kids. I work hard and I want to show my kids, this is what you get when you work hard, so work hard in school. Learn more about Jessica at http://healthyfitfabmoms.com.
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moms who are setting trends in fashion & beauty
Photo Credit: D. Lacy PhotographerÂ
Charity She’s a wife, mother, nurse, speaker and fashion stylist who does it all with a STYLE that cannot be duplicated. Charity Lewis has a passion to empower lives through fashion. She doesn’t just want you to look fabulous, she wants you to exude confidence that allows you to live your best life. This personal and fashion stylist started her career by connecting with 2 heavy hitters in the Dallas fashion and editorial scenes, Stylist J.Bolin and photographer, Kauwuane Burton, to form long lasting working relationships. With hard work, creativity and faith, Charity is making her mark on the Dallas fashion scene. Charity spoke to CEOMOM about the future of her brand and how she wants to use fashion to change lives.
Who is Charity Lewis? Charity Lewis is a regular woman, a wife, a mother a sister, a daughter and a registered nurse. I have always been interested in fashion. I was raised Pentecostal so I had to be conservative with my attire. My wardrobe consisted of dresses, skirts and tops of course. That’s where the fashion sense came from, learning to be creative with a limited wardrobe selection. I am pretty friendly and try to live up to my name. I believe I am a nice person. I try to live on purpose and enjoy life and take care of my family to leave a positive legacy.
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CHARITY LEWIS IS MAKING HER MARK ON THE DALLAS FASHION SCENE How did your career as a stylist begin? My career began in 2015. I graduated nursing school December 2012 and started working as a nurse on the labor and delivery floor. In addition to being a nurse, I wanted to do something in the entrepreneurial space working alongside breast cancer and domestic violence organizations, adding a fashion element to their services. I started following J.Bolin and noticed that he was having a stylist boot camp in Dallas. I felt the camp could benefit me, because of my desire to start a nonprofit to help women feel beautiful and encourage their self worth through fashion. My husband encouraged me to go.
Where do you garner inspiration when working with various clients? I like to get to know my clients. If it’s an editorial shoot, I am getting inspiration from the photographer or the client they’re shooting. They send me their style goals for the shoots. For my personal clients, I do an assessment to get to know their style and fashion goals. I do an initial consultation, "our meet & greet," in person to get to know more about their lifestyle, get to know them on a personal level. People sometimes feel like they don’t have style, but they can tell you what celebrities they want to dress like. (My job is to give them a "clew"...figure out their style and transform them.)
At the boot camp, as a part of a style squad, Jason had us bring our favorite items from home to create a trend. Our trend was glam Hollywood. We chose to present the trend as though we were debuting on the red carpet to stand out from the other stylists and their looks. He liked the presentation so much that he told us we could shadow him on set. I followed up with him...via email and phone call...one night as I was driving to Bible study, God spoke to me and said call J.Bolin...as I was leaving a message, I received a call on the other line and it was him... He remembered me and said he would be in Dallas soon, and for me to save his contact...he'd give me a call soon. A couple days later, after working a 12 hour night shift I received a text message before lying down to go to bed..."Hey, it's J. Bolin, are you available today?"I couldn't pass up this opportunity. I called him and met with him later that morning. From there, I began assisting him on other projects whenever he needed me to do so.
I want my clients to feel like celebrities, so I provide a luxury service for everyday people. I want them to feel like they can conquer anything when they look great. A lot of my inspiration comes from me researching trends, colors for the year or the season, and the type of events my clients will be attending or booking my services for. I am inspired by prints and colors. I look at what the client’s current style is and aim to take them to a different level by trying things they wouldn't usually go for.
After having my son, God told me to step out on faith and put together a plan. I took money out of my 401(k) and with the help of my team, which consisted of 3 of my close sorors/friends, my mom, aunt and hairstylist, I was able to create a concept, and execute a photoshoot for diverse women featuring everyday to night looks. Dallas photographer, Kauwuane Burton, saw my work and was impressed. He and his creative director, London Burton booked me for my very first editorial photoshoot and from there God opened many doors for me.
You are a full time nurse in addition to being a stylist? As a wife, mother, entrepreneur and career woman, how do you maintain mental and emotional balance to do it all? Recently, I had an anxiety attack. It was so scary.. I felt like my life was ending. At this moment, I realized that I have to slow down and take care of myself, talk about my feelings, seek therapy or counseling. I’ve learned to stay prayed up and read my Bible for positive affirmation. I pray regularly to stay stable and am currently working on meditation habits.
What are your summer fashion must haves? 1. I am all about color. 2. Eyewear, Sunglasses! 3. Big jewelry... dangling earrings, and bold necklaces always make a statement. 4. Off the shoulder clothing, because it’s subtle and sexy. 5. Maxi dresses, because anybody can wear a maxi dress and dress it up or down.
Right now, the only thing I am focusing on is moving forward and allowing God to use me in whatever avenue He wants. Often, I feel guilty because I am busy with nursing, styling work, and being a wife and mother. I'm always taking care of others. The days I am off, I am still working. I take time for myself with self care via mani/pedi or just have quality time with family or catch up on sleep. What do you hope your legacy will be? I hope it will be to just work hard. For people to understand, you don’t have to settle. I don’t have a background in business. There are plenty of resources for you to gain information. You can also ask questions from people in your circle, and industry. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach for your goals, don’t just dream. Go for it. You can be the best even if you didn't start in a certain area. You may not start out where you want to be in life, but if something comes up that you want to do, go for it. You don’t have to get approval from everyone; everyone isn't going to support you. If God put something in you, it is because it is a part of your purpose. Live in faith, don’t live in fear. God will get you where you need to be. You recently styled a producer for The Real Daytime Show for the Daytime Emmys. What was that experience like? One of my line sisters called me to style her for the Emmys. God will open up doors that you least expect. I was honored. Before her call I said I needed to get more contacts for pulls, via showrooms and had been reaching out...I'd also got a media kit produced by my web designer. After reaching out to some showrooms, I received more no's then I had confirmed to pull some amazing pieces for my client. Finally, I received a couple confirmations from showrooms in LA that would allow me to pull clothing for my client to wear to the Daytime Emmy Award Show. However, the showrooms weren't open on the weekend and I would have to get to LA during the week to put some looks together for this amazing opportunity.
It was an amazing moment, someone I admire was nominated for an Emmy Award and they trusted my work to book me to style her as she attended the Daytime Emmy Awards...my work was at the Daytime Emmys! I was ecstatic!! What’s next for C.Lewis Styles? I rebranded in February. I cut off all my hair. The crazy thing is I chopped off all my hair the day before my brand photoshoot, unaware if I'd like my new cut or not. After struggling with postpartum hair loss, I wanted people to see me, my insecurities, my strengths, my journey. I didn't want to hide behind my relaxed, straight hair pretending I was okay. We often look at other women whether or not they are celebrities and see all this glam, but no one knows the struggle. They don’t see the process, they just see the pictures. Right now, the only thing I am focusing on is moving forward and allowing God to use me in whatever avenue He wants.
I shared my opportunity with my nurse coworkers, because I had to get someone to work for me so that I could get to LA. My co workers were so supportive and excited for me! I arrived in L.A. and went straight to work...yes off the plane and straight to the showroom,...my best friend even came down and assisted me. This was my first time in a showroom and it was amazing, they had so many options at the showroom that would be fabulous on my client. She loved the looks. She said she didn't know what dress she wanted to wear, because she loved them all. We walked away with a few dresses and she loved her final choice.
When I rebranded, I decided to focus on personal styling. I want to help empower men, women and kids to be their best selves through fashion. At some point, I want to collaborate with a breast cancer organization and promote health awareness for things like breast cancer, children’s cancer, autism and other health/wellness topics. I want to incorporate those topics with fashion and awareness. I would like to integrate my nursing knowledge with my fashion career, hopefully get on television to host fashion topics, fashion shows, etc.
I was nervous. I always want to elevate my clients. I want people to look at them and ask, “Who is she?” I want them to exude a level of confidence that they’ve never felt before. When I styled her, I felt great and she felt amazing! Seeing her in pictures with celebrities like Vivica Fox looking amazing made me feel really good. The designer even contacted me to thank me for using her dress.
I'm honored to be a speaker for the Ministry Mates, conference hosted by Stephanie Carter & Tara Jenkins on July 10-11 at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. To learn more about Charity, visit https://www.charitylewis.com. CEOMOM | 75
BRANDI HICKS AND NATASHA YOUNG ARE CONTINUING THREE GENERATIONS OF FRIENDSHIP AND BUILDING A BUSINESS, BOWTIES & BRITCHES
Imagine your moms being best friends, then you, and now your children. Three generations of friendship have evolved into a thriving boys accessories line called Bowties and Britches. In addition to their 9 to 5 jobs, boy moms, Brandi Hicks and Natasha Young, have started a boys boutique that will grow with their 5 year old sons. Starting while they were both pregnant, these women are proof that you can mix business with friendship to create something amazing. CEOMOM interviewed Brandi and Natasha to learn what makes Bowties and Britches so special and what exciting new products we can expect this year. Tell us about Bowties and Britches. What products do you offer? Natasha: Bowties and Britches is a boys accessories line. We focus on bow ties, umbrellas, socks, wallets and backpacks. If it’s not particularly a boy’s accessory, it caters to boys, such as a boy wallet or boy backpack. What inspired you to open Bowties and Britches? Brandi: Tasha and I grew up together. Our mothers are friends. Our mom’s moms are friends. Both being from Fort Worth, we created a bond growing up together. We were pregnant at the same time and found out we were both having boys. We were so excited to share another generation together. In shopping for our boys, we couldn’t find anything that appealed to us. We found a lot for girls, but not for boys. That’s how our idea started. We started while we were pregnant. The business we started together has taken years to get off the ground. We started looking for the types of accessories we wanted to have. We talked about if we
wanted to go to market or make custom items. We even started working with developers for our website. We first started with the accessories. We look for those things wholesale. Recently we have been looking into creating custom items. We are working on a custom tie that will have versatility. You will be able to use the tie for multiple purposes. We are working on a patent for that. We have even started to play with what we want our denim line to look like. Are there other stores like yours? If so, what makes you stand out from competition? Natasha: It’s so funny, because we started this so long ago that there really wasn’t a lot of competition. There are other sites that are similar to ours, but they tend to focus more on boy clothes. We are definitely not a boys clothing line, we are boys accessories. I’ve noticed that there are other companies that focus on boys accessories, but they have a tendency to be more urban or more rocker. We are neither. We have a niche market with our own uniqueness. Brandi: What is also unique about us is we aren’t just drawn to what is really cool and trendy. We are focused on what will transcend, not just what is urban or hippy. We want Bowties and Britches to be long lasting. We look at color like blues that you can always keep in your closet. Things that are trendy don’t last. Natasha: One of the things you will notice with our line is that it will grow with our boys. We will have a line that centers around the growth of our boys. We will always have something that is focused around the ages that they are at the time. I guess the heart will always be with our own boys. We will be personally shopping through that. That is something that will always be different.
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Photo Credit for Bowties and Britches: Clamisha Wynn
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hat inspires you for each design and style? Are you involved in the design process? Brandi: We want to always keep a mix. Tasha is driven towards the preppy look. She loves good plaid and rolled cuff pants. She loves the suspenders. I am about the mix. I like the polo. That is what makes us different. Overall, we want a boy to feel comfortable whether he is in a hoodie or a button up shirt or suspenders. I love that about us, we can definitely play off of what the other likes. What can we expect from Bowties and Britches this year? Natasha: You can expect our new awesome launch party. You can also expect the launch of our Youtube channel once we lose our 20 pounds each and get a makeup artist. Our new tie is a very exciting fashion forward tie. There is nothing else out there like it. You can also expect a very fashion forward monthly subscription for the little people. It’s going to be something in there that moms and boys love. It is going to keep you with a good stock supply of boys accessories for special occasions like Easter. Do you have plans to expand to include girls’ accessories? Yes, we have actually talked about what the name would be and how it would expand into a full line. Being moms and boutique owners come with sacrifices. What have been your greatest lessons as you are working to balance family and career? Brandi: I will definitely celebrate the small wins. When we first started this process we were trying to
conquer the world. We were running full speed ahead and we didn’t have the money we had to focus on the things we really wanted to do and not try to do everything at one. We were working on the website and we were discouraged because we are so fast paced. Then I would say, “It’s okay.” Today we were able to create a database for the launch party. You have to keep that in mind as an entrepreneur. You can easily get discouraged. Natasha: Divide and conquer. Initially, we worked on everything together. Our process was, let’s both work on this. Finally we thought, this is so counterproductive. I trust you. You take on this and I take on that. That works so much better. Now, she has her stuff and I have my stuff and we can get things done. We were always trying to meet without our kids. That had a lot of limitations as well. Now we meet with the kids a lot. Half the time we meet is with our kids. We have come up with solutions that work. Where can moms shop for the Bowties and Britches brand? Natasha: You can shop at http://bowtiesandbritches.com. We will also have pop up shops for people who don’t shop online or who want to see the items in person. We hope to do that on a monthly basis.
Don't live your life Unfulfilled, Unhappy, and Stressed. There is a better life, it's time you tap into it! #dreambigger
HAUTE MOMMA Stylist, Charity Lewis shares her must haves for summer fashion. From bold colors to maxi dresses, Charity is helping us stay chic in the city this summer season.
BOLDÂ COLOR I am all about color so I love pink, purple, yellow and orange.Â
Summer Fashion Charity Lewis Shares Her Summer Must Haves
Photo Credit: D. Lacy Photographer
EYEWEAR Â Eyewear is very big. Besides protecting your eyes from the sun, it gives your look that perfect added touch.
Photo Credit: Kauwuane Burton
BIG JEWELRY & OFF THE SHOULDER Big jewelry... dangling earrings, and bold necklaces always make a statement. Off the shoulder clothing is subtle and sexy.
Photo Credit: Kauwuane Burton
MEMORIAL DAY IS THE UNOFFICIAL START OF SUMMER. MOST PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY PLANNED THEIR SUMMER VACATIONS AND ACTIVITIES THAT WILL HELP THEM UNWIND AND GET AWAY FROM THE NORM.
It seems like networking and making new business connections should be put on the back burner during summer, but this is far from true. Your strategy and approach to summer networking should change, but not be eliminated altogether.
4. Take your company’s social responsibility up a notch by adopting a cause. Summer is a great time to get on the committee of a nonprofit organization to help them plan their fall and spring fundraisers.
Summer is a great time to leverage the connections you’ve made throughout the year. You can also meet new people at social events which are more relaxed and less intimidating. Here are 7 tips to help you master the art of summer networking.
5. Participate in a summer run and gather a team. This team does not have to run with you, but can help with your fundraising efforts. Provide a variety of options so people can get involved at their own leisure.
1. Invite your contacts to a social event. This can be a plus one for private events or an open invitation for larger ones. Events such as golf tournaments, fashion shows or mixers provide great opportunities to interact with your contacts without the pressure of making business deals.
6. Attend local networking events alone. Although they will decrease significantly, there will still be business mixers in the summer. Go to those alone and make sure you have a purpose beyond passing out business cards. Invite people you meet to your events or others you will be attending. Go alone so you will be forced to meet new people.
2. Host your own event such as a brunch and invite those you want to get to know. Make it a small and intimate gathering so you can maximize effective interaction.
7. Join a local food tour group. These are groups that tour restaurants in a specific area, tasting new foods and wines. You can invite your connections to participate with you or go to meet new people. What better way to make lasting connections than over food and wine. Tours can also be customized just for you.
3. Throw a client appreciation party and allow them to bring a guest. Four must-have’s for a client appreciation party are a thank-you gift, a presentation highlighting company news and updates, delicious food and drinks and entertainment.
Summer is not the time to stop networking and business building. It is the time to have fun while making new connections and leveraging old ones.
STAYCATIONS SUMMER ME TIME IN DALLAS We can't say it enough, alone time is vital to maintaining sanity. As beautiful as they are, kids can be rather demanding on a daily basis. Add to that the demands of your career and it's easy to lose your sense of self. Here are a few fun things you can do alone in Dallas. Read a book at The Wild Detective. The Wild Detective is not your ordinary bookstore. It has a bar that allows you to enjoy a drink while you read. A good book can soothe the soul. Pick something that fits your mood or even your season of life. http://thewilddetectives.com/
Yoga in the Park Bring your own yoga mat and enjoy yoga in the park the first Saturday of each month at Klyde Warren Park. Reduce stress and enjoy serenity outside in the morning sun. Classes are led by Dallas Yoga Center. Sprouts also does giveaways for attendees. https://www.klydewarrenpark.o rg/Things-To-Do/events/yogawith-dallas-yoga-center.html Bivins Gallery Enoy beautiful art at the Bivins Gallery. Bivins Gallery has a concentration on modern and abstract expressionist. http://www.bivinsgallery.com/ga llery
MINI VACATION AT LEGACY WEST Legacy West in Plano has everything you need to create the perfect mini vacation fit for one. From hotels to restaurants to dessert shops to bookstores to spas, plan a getaway just for you. Stay a night or 2 at Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel. Wake up to room service or enjoy brunch at Earls Kitchen + Bar. Take a stroll and enjoy the sites and sounds of this new development. https://legacywest.com/ CEOMOM | 86
Here are our favorite pics from the Pink Lipstick Campaign. Learn more at pinkpeppermintcares.org.
PINK LIPSTICK CAMPAIGN
,SAM OF STYLE OF SAM
MY MOM IS BATTLING CANCER AS WE SPEAK. AFTER HAVING BREAST SURGERY TO REMOVE A LUMP, THE CANCER SPREAD THROUGHOUT HER BODY, (LUNGS,HEART CAVITY, UPPER COLON, SPINE AND HERE RECENTLY HER BRAIN). IT IS STILL CONSIDERED BREAST CANCER. WE ARE IN IT FOR THE WIN AND WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO LIVE!Â ~ Anita Hawkins
CONTINUING THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER MEANS THAT EACH DAY MY FAMILY/FRIENDS, MOTHER AND DAUGHTER ARE CLOSER TO THE REALITY OR LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST WITHOUT THE FEAR OR BURDEN OF THIS DISEASE. ~ April Raines
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gateway designs & photography
In this Special Summer Issue, we are celebrating the city where it all began, Dallas. We are excited to spotlight 15 women who are making ma...
Published on Jun 12, 2018
In this Special Summer Issue, we are celebrating the city where it all began, Dallas. We are excited to spotlight 15 women who are making ma...