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April 2018







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CONTENTS 05 FROM THE EDITOR CEOMOM Magazine is celebrating 2 years by giving you our most global issue yet. We have been blessed to meet so many amazing moms across the world.

06 27&OAK HELPING MOMS GLOBALLY Using artisanship and entrepreneurship to impact Latin American and African communities

12 TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS Make others value your time


14 FIT MOM: NIKI CHENG OF CALLIGARIS We talked to Niki about how she uses yoga to stay centered.

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FAMILY. MOTHERHOOD. SUCCESS. Editor-in-Chief  Vonna Matthews Contributing Designer Photo Editor Mahisha Dellinger Photography Mahisha Dellinger Stylist Mahisha Dellinger Makeup Tam Wrigley Cover Photography Tam Wrigley Wardrobe Contributing Photographer Contributing Photographer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer

Taly Melo Krystal Jackson Kauwuane Burton J.Bolin Makeup by Jamie Dionne Megan Gill Photography Judy Copley Couture Keith Major Lauren Hillary Toye Releford-Penny Krystal Henry Alex Dastmalchi  

Editorial Office

Little Elm, Texas 75068 +1-972-302-9150 |   info@ceomommagazine.com CEOMOM Magazine is published by For Her Media Little Elm, Texas 75068  |   +1-972-302-9150  www.ceomommagazine.com


CEOMOM Magazine is celebrating 2 years by giving you our most global issue yet. Throughout the past 2 years, we have been blessed to meet so many amazing moms across the world. We are constantly inspired by women who give us insight into their entrepreneurial journeys. It is a pleasure to bring those stories to you in hopes that you will find nuggets of inspiration that will help you propel your life and career. In our Spring 2018 issue, we feature moms who have built million dollar businesses. These women have taken ideas and transformed them into empires that are impacting the world around them. Whether it is a new product or a failing business that was turned around, moms are proving that not only do we have dreams, but our dreams, along with our capabilities, cannot be put into a box.  We interviewed Tam Wrigley, an Australian television host, about how she built a real estate empire and why she intertwines family and career. We talked to the incomparable Mahisha Dellinger and learned how she turned her desire to control her own destiny into a multimillion dollar business.   One of our passions is to feature women and organizations who are saving lives through their philanthropic efforts. We are so excited to introduce you to 27&Oak, a ministry that invests in artisans in Latin America and Africa to design, create and sell handmade items. They are working to empower moms in the Dominican Republic to participate in the healing process of their communities. CEOMOM is grateful for the impact we are having around the world. We hope that impact continues to grow and that you will join the movement that encourages women to not compromise their aspirations for societal expectations.

Editor-in-Chief VONNA MATTHEWS

Vonna Matthews

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Photo Credit: Ivy Donnette


For many communities, entrepreneurship can mean freedom from generational poverty. Proper training, easily accessible resources, the right products and a hands on team, can bring hope in the form of economic strengthening. 27&Oak, along with the Country Director for Buckner Dominicana, Maria Alida Brugal, work with a talented group of moms to sell products such as Ezer bags in the United States. Every time an American consumer purchases an Ezer bag, they are helping a mom feed her family and work close to home. They are also helping these moms earn 3 times the minimum wage. There’s an old proverb that says, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 27&Oak is doing just that by empowering women in the Dominican Republic to be a part of their own economic growth for generations to come. CEOMOM spoke with Maria and Rocio Lopez, of 27&Oak about the vision of their artisan program and how you can get involved.

Photo Credit: Masiel Mateo

Hello, Maria. Tell us about your position as Country Director for the Dominican Republic and your involvement with 27&Oak. What does your role entail? Maria: I have been the Country Director for Buckner Dominicana for the last 6 years. I started in 2012 and it has been a blessing to serve with Buckner International. During that time, we have been able to permeate many areas. Working with 27&Oak has been a dream come true. It is a blessing to see all of these precious moms working with the program, allowing us to be a part of a solution that’s working.


Photo Credit: Chris Cato

It is a blessing to see all of these precious moms working with the program, allowing us to be a part of a solution that’s working. At Buckner Dominicana our focus is working with children and families in vulnerable situations. We are working to not only have vocational jobs that they can learn, but we want to offer entrepreneurial opportunities. Rocio: 27&Oak is an initiative of Buckner International. Our Buckner Family Hope Centers serve as a vehicle to provide services to vulnerable children and families. One of the services offered is economic strengthening. It looks different in the different Buckner locations. It may be vocational training that helps to equip people with skills, but in the DR it’s also about entrepreneurship. This is one of the main things that allowed 27&Oak to start with Buckner Dominicana because they were already providing entrepreneurial opportunities for moms to help them support their families. We decided to connect with the artisans they were working with since their products were already developed to fit the 27&Oak marketplace. We were easily able to work with them to sell their product to the U.S. consumer. We work together to talk about what will sell better in the United States as far as designs and colors, etc.

Describe the process for becoming an artisan with 27&Oak. How are artisans selected? How do you determine which products will be sold in the US? Maria: In the beginning, we start with the Buckner Family Hope Centers, church leaders and social workers to choose different families in the communities. We target ladies who already know how to sew, because for them to start from 0, not knowing how to sew, to being an expert who can make custom pieces, takes time. We couldn’t offer that training, however we do offer them vocational training. Our centers are very known in 2 communities in the DR, one being the capital city. We have a very good rapport with the institution that helps give the training. The social workers try to identify people who could produce quality products. The entire process is a joint and collaborative effort with 27&Oak and our team at Buckner Dominicana. Rocio: The women we work with are so talented, they make a lot of different things. Maria will bring me samples when she comes to the United States.

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"I WORK WITH FOCUS GROUPS HERE IN THE U.S. TO SEE WHAT IS MOST APPEALING FOR PURCHASE." She will bring samples of what they are working on and we will look at them together. I get to ask questions and make suggestions. For example, one of the bags originally had drawstrings. I asked if they could make them with buttons or zippers instead. It’s a back and forth process to see what will sell. I also work with focus groups here in the U.S. to see what is most appealing for purchase. That helps us decide on which products to sell and the quantity. It has really been a blessing to have support from the focus groups. The feedback brought us to the changes we needed to make to ensure quality. The ladies work to do their best, but there's always room for improvement. Describe some of the products that are sold in the U.S. We are actually selling products from similar partnerships from Buckner Kenya, Buckner Guatemala, and Buckner Mexico and are continuing to explore opportunities in other Buckner locations.  

Currently, from Buckner Dominicana, it’s just the Ezer bags. That is really the Dominican product that we were able to showcase last year, and we recently just put in a new order for more. There was a little bit of an adjustment to the design. We have had a lot of really great comments about the bag. Our customers love them and the cause behind selling them. We are working on developing some new products. You have a new product that you are introducing to the American market. Tell us about it. When will it be available for purchase? We are introducing a new jewelry line. The DR is known for this one stone. It is called larimar and it is only found in the DR. Maria has been working very diligently to figure out how to train artisans to learn how to cut, polish, design and set the stone. That has been coming along very nicely. We have been able to make some connections with some key people to move the process along. We have samples. There was a lot of excitement around it. It is a new area that we all are just learning. That is another great example of how we go back and forth on design.

Photo Credit: Chris Cato

The artisan program empowers families financially by helping them provide food, clothing and money for education for their families. It also provides spiritual and social support. Will you share one of your favorite life changing stories from working with the artisans? How have you seen 27&Oak change their lives spiritually? Maria: The last time we worked with the ladies on new products, they started sharing stories with social workers. We saw how the women were blessing and helping each other. I thank the Lord for the support they give each other. Most of them are believers but we have 2 or 3 who are not. What they are receiving from the believers is a thirst to believe and seek the Lord for their everyday lives. We are seeing God work in powerful ways. It is what the Lord is doing to us and through us. He is using us and 27&Oak and Buckner to reach their hearts.

As the artisans are learning the importance of quality in their products, they are engaging in professional partnerships. Describe some of those partnerships. Locally, in the Dominican Republic, they are engaging with the professors/supervisors who implement quality control and this is a professional relationship.

Rocio: Maria has been like a spiritual mom to this group of ladies. There is just this organic community that has developed. You can see their attitudes changing. One of my favorite stories is when we went last year and did a few interviews with the ladies. One of the questions was, “What was it like before you started the project and how is it now?” What we kept hearing from these ladies was they chose to be part of this project, because it not only gave back to them but to their communities. They wanted to be a part of the healing of their communities. The goal is not to give a handout but instead a hand up. We want to empower and equip them to give back. This is exactly what is happening. They don’t feel like the victim and now know that they can be part of the solution. Who else but God can transform a heart and break a cycle that has been going on for generations? In fact, we named the bags “Ezer” bags because it’s the Hebrew word for God is our helper, which is a common theme among these ladies.

How can our readers get involved with 27&Oak? It starts with creating awareness. That’s a lot of what we are doing on a day to day basis, telling people about the story and the artisans, but then also going even further to explain how it provides economic strength for these moms. We know that you can get a bag at Walmart or Target for $15. We know we have a higher price point so we have been sharing the story behind our bags with consumers. We are doing a lot of education on fair trade and fair pay. Also going to www.buckner.org and learning about all of the work that we are doing is another good way to get connected. 27&Oak is one piece of the big picture. When you have the bigger picture you see the significant impact. When you are purchasing gifts for birthday’s or Mother's Day, think of 27&Oak first.

Buckner Family Hope Centers at Buckner International sends professional social workers to equip and empower struggling families to reach their goals and end cycles of poverty and abuse. What are some ways the social workers support the participating families? The social workers work together with the families at the Buckner Family Hope Centers and go through a family coaching process where goals are created to help strengthen the families. These family plans are customized to the needs of each family. There are several services offered at the Buckner Family Hope Centers like life skills classes, medical services, education, counseling, financial empowerment, vocational training, parenting classes, spiritual development, client assistance, etc. They participate in this for an average of 12-18 months and graduate at the end. The social worker walks through this process with the families, to encourage, and be a resource.

Buckner Dominicana has partnerships with a local pharmacy chain in the DR, they attend conferences where they showcase their products and learn to market their products to potential buyers. The partnership with 27&Oak is a professional one as well. 27&Oak has visited these ladies and has interacted with them in a way that has taught them entrepreneurship skills as well as basic professionalism.

How can consumers in the U.S. purchase the products? We have a storefront in Dallas, Texas at the Buckner Humanitarian Aid Center. We also work with a retail store in Longview, Texas called Heartisans and they sell 27&Oak products. We have an online store on our website. Following us on social media is a great way to stay connected and in the know about what is coming up. To learn more about 27&Oak, their products and their work with the Buckner Dominicana, visit http://www.27andoak.com.


Mother's Day is a few weeks away and families everywhere will be gracing restaurants for special brunches, attending church services and showering mom with flowers, love and the traditional breakfast in bed. Children and partners aim to tell mom how much she means to them and why they can't live without her. It's the one day that is set aside to tell mom thank you and acknowledge all she does. As others shower you with love, practice a little self love and do things you like... without the kids. Yes, alone! Who says that celebrating Mother's Day has to be

a family affair? We as moms give one hundred percent to our families everyday. Although we appreciate all of the gratitude and gifts we receive on Mother's Day, the one gift that would mean the world to us would be rest, or simply "me" time. Here are 3 things you can do alone to celebrate you this Mother's Day. The beauty is in the simplicity.  Enjoy a day with the ladies! Go out with your mom friends. It's okay to hang out with non-mom friends, too. We emphasize mom friends, because who will better understand your need for a mini 

getaway better than fellow moms. Enjoy lunch and shopping just for you. Take a staycation. Book yourself a hotel, even if it's just for the day. Pack your favorite lounge clothes, order room service and take your favorite book.   Send yourself a gift. Is there a special item you've had your eyes on for a while? Purchase a gift for yourself online and then send it to you. Make it more fun by sending yourself something that will require you to leave the house to use. Keep it simple, but fun.


Mother's Day is a day for your children, partner and others to acknowledge what an amazing mom you are and the impact you've had on their lives. As others shower you with love, practice a little self love and do things you like... without the kids. CEOMOM  |  10

CHOOSE FREEDOM. REACT. Our goal is to combat human trafficking wherever we have a presence.


We all have the same 24 hours in each day, but for many people numerous hours in each day are wasted. Rather than wishing for more hours in the day, as is commonly done, entrepreneurs can be more successful when they get serious about managing their time better. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average adult under the age of 65 watches 2.7 hours of television per day, demonstrating where some of our time is going each day. Being a successful entrepreneur takes focus, dedication, and the ability to manage one’s time effectively, yet not everyone knows what that looks like or how to make it happen.

It's Your Time

Time Management Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know with Alex Dastmalchi

“We all live on borrowed time. I think about time management and how to hack it on a regular basis,” explains serial entrepreneur Alex Dastmalchi, chief operating officer of the Dastmalchi company. “It is the most precious investment that I make and I’d like to get the best ROI that I can for every single minute I spend in my day.” If every entrepreneur got serious about what they will get in return for the way they are spending their time, they would begin to see areas that need improvement. Entrepreneurs need to prioritize and keep in mind what is important to them, so they can manage their time accordingly. For Alex Dastmalchi, having a great work ethic and personal

life balance is extremely important to him. If he doesn’t manage his time well, then the time he invests in his work can cut into his time with his family.

Keep a list. Create a “not to do list.” This is where you can save a ton of time. Often, we spend our time on stuff that doesn’t pay any dividend at all.

One of the mistakes that many entrepreneurs make is that they don’t manage their work time well, which gives them less time to spend with their family or doing other things they love. By making efficient time management a priority in his life, Alex Dastmalchi has been able to become a successful entrepreneur, as well as have the personal life with his family that is so important to him and many others.

Manage projects. Follow these simple steps to manage projects: eliminate, automate, delegate. First, look at what you can eliminate. Next, determine what you can automate.  Finally, find as much as you can that you can delegate.

Alex Dastmalchi offers these tried and true time management tips that every entrepreneur should know: Meetings. Most meetings are a total waste of time and not necessary. Most meetings that are scheduled for 30 minutes could be cut down to 15. Collectively, that is a lot of time being put into a meeting when you add up all the time of everyone attending it. If you think that a meeting you have on your schedule is not necessary, don’t hesitate to cancel. You are not being polite by attending a meeting. Rather, you are in fact stealing time away from all others as well. Conference calls are much more efficient. Avoid time thieves. We all know people who are time thieves. Be direct with them and let them know that they are wasting your time. If you don’t put an end to it the amount of time they steal from you will quickly add up over the year. Emails. This is consistently the number one culprit for stressing people out and wasting valuable time. Use a few simple management hacks to manage it. These include telling everyone you will not take the time to read messages where you are in the CC field. If the message you are sending to someone doesn’t require a response, start your email by stating “no response required.” Refrain from using emails as a micro-management tool. You do not need to be involved in every conversation. Also, use tools such as SaneBox to help manage your emails. Action items. Sending an email, making a call or meeting in person is inefficient unless you walk in and away with action items. Make sure that you always know what the next steps are for all parties involved that have due dates attached to them for follow up. Change expectations. There is a fascinating concept called Parkinson’s Law, which states that we always expand our work to fill the time we have available to complete it. Keeping this in mind, set shorter deadlines. It is much better to miss a deadline every now and then rather than waste your valuable time.

Value your time. If you can find someone to do a task for less than the value of your time, go for it. This is an excellent strategy that can help you do more and make more money. Some of the things that Alex Dastmalchi hires people to do include grocery shopping, meal prep, and he routinely hires freelancers to work on projects. Prioritize tasks. The Pareto Principle says that we spend 80% of our time on things that yield no more than 20% of the results. Prioritize all of your tasks, such as urgent, important, not important, and work accordingly. If entrepreneurs want to be successful and make a lot of money, they need to get greedy with their time,” added Dastmalchi. “I am very greedy with how much time I spend for almost everything I do. This allows me to be a successful entrepreneur, and have plenty of time to spend with loved ones. It’s all about making the best use of our 24 hours each and every day.” Dastmalchi is a successful serial entrepreneur in America whose roots started in war-torn Iran. His corporation distributes products worldwide that all lend valuable solutions to consumers. His team works carefully to determine their packaging, branding, sourcing, and marketing strategy. Some of the brands in the Dastmalchi portfolio include Vanity Planet, Bradford Watch Co., Dazzlepro, Vitagoods, Kove, I Cook By Color, and recently acquired Gretchen Christine lifestyle brands from celebrity designer Gretchen Rossi. For more information on the company, visit: http://dastmalchi.com.

If entrepreneurs want to be successful and make a lot of money, they need to get greedy with their time...


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Niki Cheng

Photo Credit: Shahid Hasan

REDEFINING MODERN LUXURY W/ CALLIGARIS & CAMERICH IN NEW YORK Niki Cheng is proof that once you find a fitness routine you love, it can do as much for your mind as it does for your body. Along with her husband, Shaokao, Niki is the franchise owner of Calligaris New York, an Italian furniture store in the Chelsea, Soho and Upper East Side of New York as well as Camerich NY - a high end furniture brand from China- now open in Chelsea. With a passion for unique pieces and modern furniture, this award winning interior designer transformed a career as a twenty-something furniture salesperson to become a leader in the luxury furniture space. Niki, mother of 2, has mastered the skill of staying centered through a regular yoga routine that defies age. CEOMOM chatted with Niki to learn how she uses yoga to keep it all together and her vision for Calligaris and her new M Collection.

What is the passion behind Calligaris and Camerich NY? What separates these brands from similar companies? It’s a brand that has been around for 95 years. It’s one of the oldest furniture brands in Italy. I have been in the furniture industry since 2003. My husband and I brought over BoConcept which is a Danish brand. At the time I was 27 years old. I noticed that in New York City the modern looking furniture was lacking so we opened BoConcept in Manhattan. In 14 years we developed from 1 store to 7. Throughout the years, high end furniture retail changed and BoConcept no longer worked for us. We switched our stores from BoConcept to Calligaris, Camerich and M Collection.. It was a bold move, but I thought it was so necessary to make  

the switch. They are still an international brand. We parted ways amicably and we slowly transitioned to Calligaris. We decided in March 2017 and by September 2017 we had completely switched. We are the brand ambassadors for Calligaris in New York City. We are the only ones that can carry and represent Calligaris in New York. What can we expect from the M Collection showroom? It’s any interior designer’s and retailer’s dream. When I first wanted to own a business having a franchise made sense for me. Having a franchise helped me build a business and put my name out there. My dream is to have my own collection and brand. I think I have built a name in my community where I am able to promote my own brand. The M Collection is a collective brand from many different

FOR 90 MINUTES I DON’T CHECK MY PHONE. IT’S A SMALL SPACE AND I FEEL LIKE I AM IN MY OWN WORLD. IT GIVES ME SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO EVERY DAY. brands that I like. I put it together and called it the M Collection. Under the umbrella I have 5 other brands that I work with; EQ3, Canubia, Innovations, Sutya and M Collection private label. I wanted to bring the M Collection to New York City and Brooklyn. It was completely finished this past January. How did your career as a design entrepreneur start? I had an architecture and interior design background. I couldn’t find a real job so I ended up working in restaurants. I think because I didn’t have the passion to be in the restaurant industry, I got fired. I met my husband and he recommended that I work in a furniture store. I thought that was beneath me, but I put together a resume and walked into a furniture store, I got a job the same day. The job was commission only so I wanted to prove to the owner that I could be the top salesperson. That was 17 years ago. One of the products he carried was Calligaris. I learned about the products he sold. In my first month on the job I sold $60,000 worth of furniture. He taught me so much on how to sell and how to be sincere to the customer. And for 2 years, there was not one month that I sold less than $100,000. Right after I quit my job, I realized that I had a passion for selling furniture. I looked into franchising. I realized there was something lacking. How did you get started doing yoga? In New York City there is a culture of people working out. They make you feel like you need to work out as well. When I first started I went to the gym and did everything. I stumbled across a yoga class and after that class I thought to myself, “I think I can handle this.” I got to know the teacher and learned that she is very detail oriented. She would break down the poses for me. At that time, that is what I needed in my personal life and my career. I started taking her classes 2 to 3 times a week. After I got pregnant, I completely stopped working out. I gained 60 pounds during each pregnancy. After giving birth to my second child who is now 8, I told myself when he was 18 months that I needed to go back to the gym. My teacher told me if you practice everyday you can lose weight. I decided to practice every single day. I started several years ago, and I practice every single day. Ninety percent of the time I take classes in a yoga studio. I like yoga, because the outside real world is so fast paced in New York City, but in yoga it calms you. It makes you so steady.

Photo Credit: Michael Cutrone

For 90 minutes I don’t check my phone. It’s a small space and I feel like I am in my own world. It gives me something to look forward to every day. How has yoga helped you to maintain balance as a wife and mompreneur? It has helped me physically because kids are active, they run around a lot. Yoga helped me to become more active for them, because I don’t think I have the strength they have. When I had my second child I was 36 years old. I try to keep fit and active as much as I can. Yoga helps me to do that. As far as the mental, I get 30 to 60 minutes of me time. I feel like I can conquer the world after each class. What advice would you give to a mom who wants to start a new workout regimen? I think it doesn’t have to be yoga. It can be any form of workout as long as you commit to yourself that you are going to be disciplined and make it a lifestyle, you can do it. You don’t have to promise anybody, just promise yourself. Do it for yourself and for your family and for Instagram. You recently did a piece where you talked about intimidation. What would you say others find most intimidating about you? Maybe the way I look, because a lot of people are shocked when they learn that I am in my mid-forties. They are surprised that a woman in her forties models for yoga attire. To learn more about Niki and Calligaris, visit https://calligarisnyc.com. CEOMOM  |  15


Photo Credit: Mireya Acierto

POLISHED EXISTS to gather young professional women to navigate career and explore faith. www.polishedonline.org

Photo Credit: Kelvin Bulluck Pictures




By: Krystal Henry

Hi Moms! In case you read the title and thought, “I’m not a mom boss, I’m just a mom…,” think again, because you are definitely a boss- and a Mom Boss at that!  I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about the fact that a boss is a noun and a verb; so it is possible for us to be the very thing we are doing!  Now that’s hot!  This goes for all moms; whether you are in the work world, a full or part-time student or if you are a stay at home mom- YOU are a boss! So, what makes you a mom boss?  It is the ability to make moves, make an impact and make a difference in your life and in the lives of your children, family and community.  Do not think for a moment that it is easy to successfully manage a household, raise children, handle your personal affairs and do it with class.  It takes super mom strength to do all of this (and more) and make it look easy.  So, cheers to all of you!  

MAKING MOVES Moms are skilled in the ability to multitask. We can handle household and family business while pursuing our personal dreams.  Many of you have launched new careers, started businesses, taken risks to do something different and created new opportunities for yourselves.  By making these moves, you have set yourself up for greatness.  It takes a certain je ne sais quoi that moms possess to be able to reconnect with our hopes and dreams to see them come to life.  So, keep making those moves to leave your stamp on the world.   MAKING AN IMPACT Each and every day you step foot out of bed and do what you have been called and gifted to do; you are making an impact. Whether you are rocking out on your job, running your household with ease, building your professional network, being active in your community, church, or PTA- know that nobody can do what you do the way you do it!  You are leaving a lasting impression on everyone you meet with your unique blend of talent and strength- that is a true Mom Boss! MAKING A DIFFERENCE Each one of us can think of a woman who made a difference in our lives; it may have been your mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher, friend or neighbor.  You carry with you the lessons she taught and the investment she made in your life that helped you become the Mom Boss you are today.  I am confident that you share your time, energy, talents and love with others daily in an effort to make the same lasting impact on their lives. Your efforts do matter, and they will be treasured by your children, family, friends and community, so keep putting in the work to make a difference in someone’s life. Moms- words have immense power and what you say about yourself means something.  To say that you are a Mom Boss means that you are in the driver’s seat of your life, navigating the twists and turns that come with being a woman, wife/partner, mother, friend and all that you are.  When you look at yourself- know that looking back is a woman who is not only ready for the world, but she is making those big moves that make a difference and leave a lasting impact on the world...aka a Mom Boss!

To say that you are a Mom Boss means that you are in the driver’s seat of your life, navigating the twists and turns that come with being a woman..,

Krystal Henry is a working mother and wife living in the DMV. Learn more about Krystal at https://aroundthewaymom.com/

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AUSTRALIAN FASHION ICON & REAL ESTATE MOGUL Fashion icon, television personality and real estate mogul; you may not put these three roles together, but Tam Wrigley does it perfectly. She has married her love for fashion and exceptional work ethic with her propensity to achieve success on her own terms. One could call her the queen of transformation. Tam transformed an illness into a budding television career with Australia’s The Wine O’clock Show and a struggling real estate firm into a thriving property management company with over 1,000 properties. Tam is one of the most inspirational women CEOMOM has interviewed and we are beyond excited to share her secrets of success with you.

Tell us about your real estate empire. How did you get started? How did you build it into a multi-million dollar business? Like many young people, I didn’t start out my career with a plan. In fact, not only did I drop out of school at Year 10, I left without a clue of what I wanted to be when I grew up, what I was going to do with my life and without a job. I just knew the school education system wasn’t for me and I needed to find inspiration elsewhere. After a few menial jobs, at the age of 18, I landed a job in a local real estate office as a receptionist. A few months into the job the sparks began to fly, and my passion for real estate was ignited. Once I found a focus and a purpose, I threw myself into working hard. While all my friends were out partying on Friday night, I was the one staying home to get up early for my weekend inspections. All the hard work paid off and by the age of 23, I was the owner and operator of my very own agency. I was officially in love with the real estate industry, and I had all the enthusiasm of a new bride. Besotted by work, I started building a family of real estate agencies. In 2008, I was presented with the opportunity to take over the Carolans First National office in Nambour QLD. Unfortunately, the owner was terminally ill and the office was running into the ground. It wasn’t a big business, but I wanted to save it. My intentions were to overhaul the business, train the staff up and build on the property management portfolio. What a shock I got when on the day of settlement, I walked into an empty building, stripped of furniture, with no staff and a poor reputation. What started as a business acquisition, 

I’ve never separated my role as a mother from my career. To me they are all part of my world and I’ve adjusted accordingly. turned into a catalyst for change. I sat down and listed my 5-year goals -  financial and personal. In my typical overachiever style, my number one goal was to own the biggest and the most respected rental property agencies on the Sunshine Coast. So I started with the existing 150 rental properties, transforming the management style to be landlord focused and delivering effective, efficient and outstanding service. It wasn’t easy and it took a good 12 months to get the rental management side of the agency running to a high standard. From there, I started to build. Good service quickly transformed into a good reputation, and once word started to spread about Carolans First National’s outstanding service, business grew exponentially.

Individually, I won the 2010 Most Amount of New Business gained in Residential Managements QLD / Overall Most Amount of New Business gained in Residential Managements AUST and many more, including company awards. It was a meteoric rise and the rundown office I took over, with only my mum, sister and husband is now a multi-million dollar business with 20 staff. The Key to my Success: Hard work, determination, knowing your industry and knowing it well, promising on what you can deliver and exceeding clients’ expectations. This is my formula to creating business success and making employees thrive. My basic fundamentals are Knowledge is Power. Under Promise and Over Deliver. From working in real estate to being a brand ambassador to having your own show, how do you balance such a diverse career? It is a balancing act, that’s for sure. For me, it’s all about time management and having a well-oiled ship. I am a big advocate for routine and structure. I’ve also learnt the art of not letting people manipulate and monopolize my time, it took me a while to grasp the concept that it’s ok to say no to people and turn down invitations! Taking control of my day and time management is the thing that keeps me organized. I keep a diary and my day is planned down to the minute.

By 2011, I had grown the business by 75%. All my hard work was resulting in outstanding growth, and this growth was primarily generated from word of mouth – my business formula was working, and the Carolans Property Management now has over 1,000 rental properties on our books.

While I still own and operate my real estate office, I have invested and trained the right people to run the office in my absence. Having family members work in my business has meant that there is complete transparency in my absence – I might not be there physically but my eyes, ears and ethics are.

Not only was our success at a local level, our results were starting to make a mark nationally, and the awards followed.

I’m very fortunate that I haven’t worked alone in creating my success.

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By my side and my number one fan has always been my husband. And I might be a tad biased, but I have a great life partner and one who takes on equal responsibilities not only at work but around the house, too. We have a very gender-neutral mindset when it comes to running a business and a household. There is no set cook or cleaner, we take on whatever responsibility and task needs doing at the time. My husband supports me and I support him, I would not be able to balance it all if it wasn’t for him and vice versa. Being a Brand Ambassador for MYER and BMW is one of the perks of being a TV personality but they are also brands that I support as a consumer so it’s a good fit. I love fashion and style so working with Myer is a dream come true for me and I am very honored that they have supported me and my TV career.

We are in love with your style. What is the inspiration behind your most iconic looks? Hello, my name is Tam Wrigley, and I’m a shopaholic. Yep, there is no hiding the fact that I love to stay current with trends. I am one of those fashion tragics that can’t wait for the new season stock to hit the stores and I’m constantly inspired by new looks and changing fashion trends. I would say my style is fun and flirty with a smidge of sex appeal. I like to look good, I like to turn heads but it in a way that is classy. I work with my body shape and I’ve learnt to let my legs do the talking! What does work-life balance mean to you? What are some of the most common misconceptions about working mothers? Having a successful business and TV career doesn’t come easy and needs constant attention and consistent hard

work. I have set high standards for myself and my staff. I have worked hard over the past 10 years to build an agency of highly qualified property managers and have set job expectations, work standards and performance criteria. Having a stable staff base gives me more time to work on the business rather than in the business. Although this eases my time allocation in the office, there is no balance – adding in a TV career to my workload, means it’s not unusual to work 14-hour days. What works well for me is that I’m an early bird and my home office is beside the kitchen, so I’m organizing school bags and emails over breakfast. When I’m not working away, I stick to a strict time frame – I might start early but I always finish work at 5pm and from then it’s 100% family time. Phones and emails are off and conversation and family fun begins.

Photo Credit: Brian Rogers Photographics

#noregrets I am a mother of two active teenagers with equally active school and social lives. We’re a tight family, and for me, my family is a key motivator in being successful in life both in and out of the office. Children freshen your mind and challenge your mindset. They are a constant reminder of why I work, and what I want to achieve for my family and me. Having special family moments keeps me balanced. My family allows me to switch off the left side of my brain - the work, the stress the commitment and let my right side - my creative, fun side, to kick in for at least 8 hours. I believe that you need to be able to switch off from your busy, business brain and be able to enjoy the time you have with your family. When do I sleep? Well that’s a great question. It’s like my day – I start early, as I need a good 8 to 9 hours of sleep each and every night. This, I believe, is another key to success - re-charging overnight. Humans function better on good sleep. Problems and issues that by the end of day are flared seem clearer and more manageable if approached with a rested mind. How has your role as a mother impacted your career choices? It never has. I’ve never separated my role as a mother from my career. To me they are all part of my world and I’ve adjusted accordingly. My life still moves forward and in the direction I want it to go whether I am performing mother duties or office duties. Time management has become crucial, but I’m lucky in that because I’ve worked ethically, many of my business associates are also my friends. We’ll catch up and chat about children, fashion and career ideas. The development of technology means there is a plethora of job opportunities where you have the ability to work remotely from home. I do believe we can be whoever we want to be in life and having children shouldn’t impact that choice. I was 24 when I had my first child and 26 when I had my second child. I was running a successful real estate office, two actually, and doing unit and commercial development projects on the side. My children fit into my lifestyle, not the other way around. They would come to the office, work functions, job sites - they would go wherever I needed to be. I enjoyed having my children by my side as I worked – if anything it brought us closer together as a family as they understand the demands of business. I’ve educated my children to be respectful, mindful and aware of their surroundings. Choose your life path and choose it powerfully. #noregrets 

behind its creation? What’s next for the show? The Wine O’clock Show has a viewership of over 120,000 each week, which is more than some shows on our national TV channels in Australia! It is a fun, light-hearted entertainment talk show with loads of laughs and even a few cheeky games. The concept is simple, its Friday, it’s 6 O’clock (pm) and it is time to wind down from the week and catch up on all the gossip with our favorite Australian celebrities over a few drinks. I sit down with my celebrity friends, get comfy on the couch, and chit chat over a few glasses of wine and discuss the latest news and hot topics from our world and theirs. What I’m aiming to achieve with The Wine O’clock Show is for viewers to join a fun and smart conversation and get engaged via social media. What started as a show filmed in my own lounge room with a couple of thousand viewers, quickly started getting interest from high profile Australian celebrities and TV personalities who wanted to join in the conversation. Pretty soon, and hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer points later, I moved the filming of the show to Sydney and landed The Intercontinental Hotel as a venue. Latest episodes are attracting 130,000 to 175,000 people tuning in each week to watch the show. What’s next? I’m being led by the demand and interest of the viewers. You never know, I could bring the show to the USA! What is the one thing you hope your children learn from you? I hope that my children will look towards what I have achieved personally and in business and be inspired and motivated to create their own successes. My wish is that they strive to be as happy and successful as I have been. I am a strong, confident woman with my own purpose. I stick to my own lane and achieve the things I want to achieve. I don’t hold back, I’m a go-getter and a high achiever and I want them to be the same. I think people are a product of their own environment and I hope that I have provided the best environment and platform for my tiny humans to want to create great things for their own lives. Learn more about Tam and The Wine O’clock Show at http://www.thewineoclockshow.com.au.

Tell us about The Wine O’clock Show? What is the inspiration CEOMOM  |  25

5 TIPS FOR BUILDING A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS Real estate mogul, Tam Wrigley, shares her top 5 tips for building a multi-million dollar business.

CUSTOMER SERVICE This is the key element to any business, if you don’t have a high level of customer service then you don’t have customers, and you don’t have a business. Customer service is the core of every business. If you smile and are polite, customers respond favorably. If you look unhappy and communicate poorly, the customers will walk away.

EMPLOY QUALITY PROFESSIONAL STAFF Staff are the backbone of your office and the face of your business. They are the front line in keeping the customers/clients happy and feeling content that they know you are managing their property with care and efficiency. Having the right qualified staff is crucial to every business.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Policies and procedures in an office is a big must. It eliminates doubt and grey areas, no questions about how tasks are to be performed and carried out. All staff are to be on the same page and are to be doing the exact same process every single time. You can’t have staff doing the same task 5 different ways as it creates confusion within the business. Policies and procedures allow structure and direction so there are no uncertainties within the organization.

CONSTANT REVIEW OF OFFICE EXPENSES For me, reviewing office expenses is crucial; it makes us look at where the money is being spent. Once you understand the spending, you can look at controlling it and increasing the bottom line. Looking at ways to cut costs and decrease monthly expenses means having a bigger profit at the end of each financial year. I think a lot of businesses are complacent; they have been with their service providers for so long that it is just easier to stay. I am always looking at ways of saving our business money, what can I reduce in cost but still keep the high level of service. There are a lot of service providers that will jump through hoops to gain your business.

MAKING SURE THAT STAFF ARE AWARE OF YOUR GOALS AND WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE WITHIN YOUR COMPANY This is a big one for me, if your staff don’t know what your objectives and goals are they don’t know what to strive towards. It is good business practice to have regular, scheduled meetings with your staff and let them know your goals - long term and short term. You can’t achieve goals if your staff don’t understand their individual objectives. We set targets - the whole office gets excited every time any staff member reaches a target. I’m also a big believer in rewarding the staff for their hard work and effort, they are the ones who have allowed you to reach your goals. I take my staff to a lot of charity functions and events – it’s a win/win situation. I help out a cause and my staff get to socialize and enjoy a great night out.





It’s not where you come from, it’s where you’re going and how hard you work to get there. Mahisha Dellinger lives this mantra everyday, taking a tough childhood and transforming it into a life on her own terms. Motivated by a former employer who focused on her skin color rather than her talents, Mahisha decided to take her finances and career in her own hands and form CURLS, a leading curly hair supplier. She built a multi-million dollar business from the ground up, making sure that innovation and customer satisfaction are at the forefront. CEOMOM had the privilege of catching up with Mahisha to discuss her passion for helping women of color entrepreneurs propel their businesses, how she went from the projects to the penthouse and what’s next for CURLS.

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What inspired you to start CURLS? I started CURLS , because of my experience in corporate America. I actually worked for Intel for 8 years. I experienced corporate racism for the first time. I was a single mother taking care of my daughter. This guy wanted to get rid of me for no reason except I was a star player and working to move to the top. I was singled out and he put in a termination plan to get rid of me. He ended up moving to Malaysia. After he moved I was able to get into another department, but it was such a stressful time and I realized this man had my financial stability in his hands. I decided that I was going to take my finances into my own hands. I didn’t have rich friends or family to go to or lean on. I didn’t have easy access to funds. That‘s how I decided to start my own business. I hired someone to work on my logo and I found a chemist and I worked full time to build the business. With what has become a saturated market, what makes CURLS a leader in the hair care industry? Because it is a competitive landscape with a lot of hair care brands in the market, one of the things we pride ourselves in doing is continuing to evolve. I have a saying, “If you don’t evolve, you will dissolve.” I launched before there was social media. I am familiar with grassroots marketing and really doing the leg work to get your name out there. We always bring game changing products to the market. For example, when we offered the blueberry product line no one was working with blueberries. We decided to take that ingredient and create a line with it. It performs well, because it smells great and has great clinical data that supports hair growth, and restoration.  The next collection is the Cashmere line. You don’t see anything like that anywhere. We are working on a new collection with ingredients that haven’t been done before. We decided to do a vitamin in liquid form when most companies were doing capsules or tablets. The liquid form has a much 

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My kids and my family are super important to me. God first, family second, business third. higher absorption rate. We have decided to be a game changer in this industry. We are constantly bringing things to market that are innovative and have never been seen. You have done a phenomenal job branding yourself not only as an entrepreneur in the beauty industry, but as a community leader and mogul. What is the secret to your diverse and successful career? Grit is a big piece of it and my ability to get past a no. I have received way more no’s in my life as an entrepreneur than in any other time. I get past the no with grit. My background, which is a tough one, really prepared me for entrepreneurship. People who come from nothing tend to have more perseverance. Having that experience early on gave me exactly what I needed to be determined and work hard. What has been your greatest challenge in building a multi-million dollar empire? Sometimes i still experience racism, and prejudice from potential partners/suppliers.  I am currently expanding into a new category, so sourcing new partners is where i am in that journey. I engaged a potential partner that wasn't so eager to land the CURLS account.  I had to call SEVERAL

times. When I finally received a call back, his first statement to me was, "We have high minimums."  The assumption made was that I was a small, start up that wouldn't be worth his time.  When I create a product I go to market and I win. This company however looked at me as a black woman that they didn’t want to do business with. They were willing to leave a multi-million dollar account on the table, because they assumed I wasn’t worth their time.  Sometimes we still deal with that in trade, distribution and financing. When I first started I wasn’t able to get a business loan in spite of having personal good credit. I had to start slow and do my business organically over time. Those are challenges we deal with. They are all road blocks to make me stronger as a woman and an entrepreneur. You have a new television show coming up to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses. What can we expect from this much needed show? When will it air? We are about 2 to 3 weeks away from being able to talk about it. It is a show for black women entrepreneurs and I am the expert on the show. I help other black women owned businesses grow. I tape 5 days a week while still managing my business. Five days out of 7 I am gone which is really hard. It’s hard being away from my family for that time, but I believe it will be worth it. It is all about empowering black female businesses. We have over 300 percent increase in black female based businesses, but less than 3 percent make it to the million dollar mark. We are helping black businesses that are female based get to the next level. We are working to fill that gap. The show premieres in the Fall. With your new television show, your partnerships with several women focused events and your Black Women in Business #BOSSMOVES Series, it’s obvious you have a passion for helping women entrepreneurs, particularly  

women of color. Why are you so passionate about helping women entrepreneurs propel their businesses? We have it harder. We typically do not have the family ties to give us money. We don’t have fathers who are billionaires who can give us millions of dollars to get started. Most of us don’t have that leg up. We are already disadvantaged when it comes to running a business. It’s not limited to entrepreneurship. Say you want to be an attorney or a doctor, you still need that support. We are at a disadvantage because of our challenges fiscally. I want to give girls who look like me a leg up. I want to work together and do more of that as a people. I go back and reach out to young girls, because I see women like myself who are in need of assistance. If you don’t have the information, resources and access, you can’t reach your destiny. In your book, Against all Odds: From the Projects to the Penthouse, you chronicle your journey from the rough streets of Sacramento, California to building an empire. What advice would you give to a young mom who feels stuck and believes she can’t pursue her passions? It doesn’t matter where you started, it’s where you end. I was ashamed of where I came from for many years until I realized it was a blessing, because it gave me the grit I needed to push forward. It is about will power. I was listening to Steve Harvey one morning. He always provides inspirational nuggets. He said, “I know the power I have.” You have not because you ask not. I have to ask and I have to believe I will receive what I have asked for and then I have to work for it. Those 3 things are his tools for his success. I believe those same 3 things. If your dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough. I believe that 100 percent. Success does not depend on how smart you are, but how hard you work. A hard working person will learn what they need to learn. We’ve learned from speaking with different moms that balance is different for everyone. What does work/life balance look like to you? How do you manage your day to day? I am very clear about how I spend my time. My kids and my family are super important to me. God first, family second, business third. Sometimes it is not always possible to maintain that. For example, I have to do the taping for my new show which will have me away 5 days out of the week for 6 weeks. It is hard for me to make this commitment, but I know it is a small sacrifice for a short amount of time. My husband told me to do it and he could handle the kids. Balance is not always what you think it should look like. If you have the right priorities you can achieve it. It is no longer about me balancing all by myself, it is having a team around me to help me when I need to step back. We have 2 parents to help. It really is about having that ping pong effect. It is having that partner in the relationship to help with that ping pong management to make it work. It is no longer all about me. I don’t have to do it alone. Learn more about Mahisha and CURLS at https://www.curls.biz.

CEOMOM  |    31

I have received way more no’s in my life as an entrepreneur than in any other time. I get past the no with grit.

It doesn’t matter where you started, it’s where you end. I was ashamed of where I came from for many years until I realized it was a blessing, because it gave me the grit I needed to push forward.

CEOMOM  |    33 CEOMOM | 21

Tips for Building Business Credit presented by Sandra A. Bernardo w/ Experian Creditworthiness is vital to maintaining

investment, will then be reported to the

credit, and a separate business credit history,

a healthy business. From business loans

business credit report. The account must

financial challenges faced by the business

to vendor relationships, how well you

be in the business’ name, and not the

won’t threaten the owner’s personal credit.

manage your finances as a consumer will

individual’s personal credit. How can a business owner establish

play a role in your company’s growth potential. One way to maintain

c. Pay the bill on time, and as agreed

business credit as a sole proprietor?

creditworthiness is not only paying

under contract. Just like personal credit,

If an account is reported as “commercial” it

attention to your consumer credit

business credit histories show how the

can be added to the business credit report, so

reports, but establishing a separate

business manages its financial obligations.

an individual proprietor could have a business

business report. Sandra Bernardo of

The most important thing to do is pay the

credit history if the lender reports a loan to

Experian shares tips to build business

debt on time and meet the payment terms

them as a commercial loan. The key is that the


of your vendors. Doing so will result in a

lender has to report a commercial loan, not an

strong business credit report over time.

individual loan.

business credit?

Why is it important to have separate

Sandra A. Bernardo is the manager of Public

a. Establish the business as a legal

credit files (business vs. personal)?

Relations and Consumer Education at

entity. For small businesses, that

It is not uncommon for small and micro-

Experian Consumer Services, a division of

typically takes the form of a Limited

business owners to secure business

Experian. In her role, she manages publicity

Liability Corporation (LLC). Having a

financing with their personal credit

efforts and outreach campaigns to generate

legally structured business is necessary

history. Doing so makes them personally

awareness and understanding about credit.

to establish a business credit report.

liable for the debt. Establishing an

What are the steps to establishing

independent business credit history helps

Get tips on building personal credit at

b. Open a business credit account. A

to ensure liability for business debts


business account, such as a charge card

belong only to the business. With


or installment loan for capital

separate business

CEOMOM  |    34

It's our anniversary! Happy Anniversary!

CEOMOM Book Club April 2018: Leo Snowpard Book Series by Melanie Roemer Teaches Kids About Money Management How early should parents start talking to their kids about money? Melanie Roemer, author of the Leo Snowpard book series, believes as early as possible. Melanie presents 4 financial principles every child should learn. 1. Money is acquired from working - Leo Snowpard and His First Money 2. Saving should take priority over frivolous spending - Leo Snowpard and His First Scooter 3. Creativity can be used to acquire goods and services - Leo Snowpard and the Toy Exchange Project 4. Donating should be a part of money management - Leo Snowpard and His First Donation In our interview with Melanie, she shared how storytelling can be used to teach kids about money and why she is passionate about starting the conversation sooner than later. What is the inspiration behind the Leo Snowpard book series? I work with my cousin who has 3 children and is a business woman. We tried to explain to her children that money doesn’t grow on trees. The reason we have to start early teaching kids about the topic of money is to prepare them for the future by strengthening their economic understanding.

money with children. This is the reason we created the book series. People don’t speak enough about money and we want children to grow up with this education. When should parents start talking to their kids about money? Our book series is for kids as early as 4 years old. It is not for parents to spend a long time talking about money. Our goal was to provide an introduction. Using the Leo Snowpard book series as a teaching tool, what tips do you have for parents to start talking to their kids about money? Your goal is to help children to create a personal relationship with money. 1. Discuss the topics of the books together and record lessons learned. 2. Apply the principles to real life scenarios in your own life. 3. Keep the conversation going by identifying teachable moments as they arise. To learn more about the Leo Snowpard book series, visit https://www.leo-snowpard.com.

What do you hope parents and kids gain from reading this series? We think this book series provides an entry for parents to start the conservation about money. The topics presented in each story are relatable to kids. We use scenarios such as getting your first scooter and exchanging toys. Children can understand the topics from the stories, because they are age appropriate. We wanted to be sure to cover a wide age range. What are some of the misconceptions parents have when teaching their children about money management? We think the biggest misconception is that parents don’t need to talk to their kids about the topic of money at a young age. For example, Germany’s parents hesitate to talk to their kids. In many cultures, it is believed that you should never discuss

Photo Credit: Coop Zeitung, Heiner Schmitt


We think this book series provides an entry for parents to start the conservation about money. The topics presented in each story are relatable to kids.

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Tate Arnone

How She Built a Million Dollar Wig Empire Women continue to position themselves as leaders in entrepreneurship. According to CNBC, women entrepreneurs were a force to reckon with in 2017. Tate Arnone, owner of Sassy Secret, online shop for luxury hair extensions and lace wigs, is definitely a force to behold, running a million dollar debt free business. If that isn’t impressive enough, she is a wife and mother of 3, including a 1 year old daughter. When asked what separates her lace wig company from competition, without hesitation Tate Arnone says, “...superior customer service.” Since 2009, Sassy Secret has stood out as a brand that offers competitive prices and high quality products. CEOMOM Magazine caught up with this budding entrepreneur to find out her “sassy secret” to success. What inspired you to start a business in the hair extension and wig industry? I was struggling with taking care of my own hair. When I discovered lace wigs I thought it was an amazing way to get glamorous. When I was shopping for lace wigs I felt there was a 

void. It was hard to find wigs that were high quality, shipped quickly and were cost effective. I became frustrated with only finding wigs that were $1,000 and more. I’ve always been entrepreneurial. Since I like the product [lace wigs], I thought I could design my own wigs and sell them. I design a lot of the looks and I work with a factory to produce them. I tell them how to do the different curls and cap construction. I didn’t have a lot of experience in the wig industry as a maker or designer. The experience I have is wearing the wigs myself. What separates Sassy Secret from other online hair extension and wig companies? I would say superior customer service. That’s one of the things I have spent a lot of my energy on, making sure we have the best customer service, especially shipping out the products quickly. Ninety percent of the products on our website ship within one to three days. When our customers want their hair, they want it now. 

We stock all of our wigs. I have a warehouse and I have someone who does shipping and handling. If they order the wig by noon that day it ships out the same day. We also have somebody who answers emails and calls. If you call our customer service line you will speak to a live person who is well versed in the wigs. They can help you pick out the right wig for you. We also have live chat Monday through Friday. Congratulations on running a debt free business. What is the key to maintaining a low or zero debt company? When I started the business I got a small loan from my husband of $1000. Instead of spending my profits, I reinvested my profits. I was still working full time at my job. I would get off at 5 in the evening, come home and make dinner and then run my business at night. I did that for 4 or 5 months before I left my job. During that time I had the money from my job and from selling the wigs which allowed me to keep reinvesting the money in the business instead of buying things or paying bills. I did that for 2 to 3 years before I started paying myself a substantial salary. I think it goes more to my philosophy. My husband and I took a class with Dave Ramsey to learn how to live a debt free life. Spend what you have. That has been my philosophy. What is your most valuable tip for women looking to build financially thriving businesses? Start small and work your way up. One does not need to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars as an initial investment for business. Start with the lowest amount of capital possible and avoid taking out large loans. As I mentioned, I started my business with a $1000 loan from my husband. Where do you see Sassy Secret in 5 years? Sassy Secret will continue to provide women with the best in quality hair and become an industry leader in innovating new hair replacement systems. What is your biggest challenge as it relates to balancing a successful company with a family? I would say it’s balancing the time. Your business is like your baby. I’ve had to learn to balance the 2. I make sure that I am prioritizing my family by putting them first. I try to schedule my time for work during the day. At night when the kids go to bed is when I work. I work a lot at night so that I have time during the day to be with my son and daughters. During the weekend I try to keep my phone away. My weekends are dedicated to my children and my husband. As a mom running a million dollar business, what is one thing you've had to give up to realize success? One thing I have had to give up is my painting hobby. I love painting pictures of flowers, but this is a leisure I simply no longer have time for, having to juggle three little ones and a business. To learn more about Tate and Sassy Secret, visit http://www.sassysecret.com/.

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Talks Building a Multi-million Dollar Business on Her Own Terms Some people just have that “it” factor and Psyche Terry is one of those people. This wife, mother of 3 and founder of UI Global Brands, is a powerhouse who has made it her mission to empower women to live their best lives. With a passion for all things natural, along with her husband, Vontoba Terry, Psyche has developed Urban Hydrations Naturals which includes skin and hair care products. You can find UI Global Brands in over 6,000 stores including Target and Macy’s.

What advice would you give to a mom who is trying to get her brand into retail stores? I would suggest that she is very clear on her competition. She should be clear on her customers, her pricing and her value and what it is that she offers America that people can not live without. Once you have that, the rest is easy. What is the key to building a million dollar company? I think it is the same approach, having a faith driven company and brand. We strive to have 3 major things.

Although she has built a multi-million dollar brand, Psyche’s success has little to do with money, but rests in her desire to use her brand and business to elevate lives. CEOMOM had an opportunity to speak with this dynamic woman to learn more about her secrets to creating success on her own terms.

1. Integrity - be a good person and company 2. Have good ingredients. What is it about your products and services that makes your company stand out? 3. Philanthropy - when we give we receive.

Describe the process for getting your brands into retail stores. I got my brands into retail stores by having a great product and a great price and truly believing in myself. You have to go out there and pitch your product like there’s no tomorrow and that there is no way the retailer or division buyer could be living without your products. I have been in retail stores for almost 15 years so it comes easier to me.

It goes back to creating who we are. We are honest and we stand for goodness with our employees and our customers. We are honest in our ingredients. We are true and honest about what we put into our products. Philanthropy is a huge thing for us. When you get you give. When you put out there, more will come back to you. I think all mom owned businesses need to understand that it is not about the money but the foundation. If you have a weak foundation you will fail. If you are a $1000 company with a strong foundation then you can build strongly off of that.

There’s always opportunities for small businesses to do business with large corporations. Other than believing in your product, I encourage women to get registered as a woman owned business. I am a huge advocate for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). They support us through various initiatives and programs such as the buyer events for the bid communities for businesses to have lunch and network with big buyers.

What have been your biggest obstacles as a mompreneur? I think time and balance were initially the biggest obstacles and feeling like I had to be in more than one place at a time. I was constantly wishing I could split myself in pieces so everyone could get the better part of me. Another obstacle was wanting to be 100 percent mom,

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When you look in the mirror you don’t see your kids, your husband, your business, your social media followers, you don’t see your family. You don’t see your friends. You see you. You are the most important and you are the person that these things branch off of. Photo Credit: Kauwuane Burton

always there at every event and every play and every engagement but still also be 100 percent at work. It’s really hard trying to do it all and be it all. The way I overcame those obstacles was I sat down with my littles and explained to them what mommy enjoys doing and what they enjoy doing. When I am with them, I am with them. My cell phone is away and my focus is completely on them. When I am away, I don’t talk about kids. I focus on me and what I need to be doing. What words of wisdom would you give to a mom who is discovering that the concept of balance may be a myth? A while ago, a man asked me a question that I thought didn’t make sense at the time. He asked me, "When you look in the mirror what do you see?" When you look in the mirror you don’t see your kids, your husband, your business, your social media followers, you don’t see your family. You don’t see your friends. You see you. You are the most important and you are the person that these things branch off of. You have to have a strong foundation. You don’t have the option to let it all fall apart. There is no question of whether or not you get to shake and fall apart. If there are things or people that are pulling at our branches and preventing us from being and doing what we are supposed to do then we need to prune, prune, prune and focus on ourselves so that we can be everything that we are supposed to be to all of those that matter in our lives. Where do you see UI Global Brands in 5 years? I see us being a provider for more than just skin and hair and home care, branching out to other walks and ways of life where our girls are needing natural care for things like food, drinks and water. Whatever we can touch on that can help her be more natural, whether it be food or whatever, we want to get our hands on that. To learn more about Psyche and UI Global Brands, visit http://www.uiglobalbrands.com.

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Suzanne Rosnowski Expanding Her Luxury PR Agency, Relevance International, from New York to London Suzanne Rosnowski’s career has taken her from Hong Kong to Washington, D.C. to New York and now to London. With a passion for international business and a vision to build a global empire, it was only natural for this public relations powerhouse, wife and mom of three to expand her New York Cityheadquartered agency to London.


You can’t have a conversation with Suzanne without being inspired to expand your own business. Her unique approach to cultivating client relationships, global sensibilities and out-ofthe-box strategies make Relevance International the PR firm to watch. CEOMOM Magazine was excited to chat with this globe-trotting mom to discuss the future of Relevance International and how she does it all. Tell us about Relevance International. What does your company do? Relevance International is a public relations and brand strategy firm. We work with clients to garner media exposure, give them a competitive advantage with brand positioning and harness their target audience to drive overall visibility. We find out what their business goals are and develop strategies in order to help achieve them. We promote clients primarily in the real estate, hospitality, luxury goods and corporate arena. We also do crisis communications. Relevance New York was founded five-and-a-half years ago in New York. We recently expanded to London, and rebranded as Relevance International. As a global firm, we find that our target audiences could be anywhere. For example, a project we promote could be in New York, but the customer could live anywhere in the world. What is important is that you have a PR partner who can reach anyone, anywhere.

offer and have so by bringing on a talented team of all stars. We have been fortunate enough to handpick the best talent in each of their respective sectors of PR. We have seasoned professionals drive innovative account strategy. What is your role with Relevance International? I am the CEO and founder. When we started my role was very different than it is now. We began with a small office where I was wearing every hat. As we’ve expanded, my role has shifted more toward elevating and executing the firm’s strategic vision. I work to ensure our brand delivers and exceeds expectations, and provides consistency in what we offer. I also support the team to do what they do best. I am here for big picture ideas, creative ideas and strategy. A recent example of a creative idea I infused into a campaign was when one of our real estate clients partnered with a private jet company to provide a first-of-its-kind jet share amenity. This helped garner substantial media coverage and drive sales for the project. We teach big picture thinking at Relevance, so all of our staff learn how to think this way to add value and ideas to our clients on a regular basis. How did your public relations career begin? I went to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and was a PR major. My minor was international business, which I have always been drawn to. I was part of an international program, which allowed me to take several international consulting trips abroad. I also was able to subsequently work in Hong Kong, where I was fortunate enough to get thrown into the deep end of the fastpaced world of bilingual and global PR. I learned so much, so quickly. That experience sticks with me today because everything also happens quickly in New York. If you can make things work in high pressure situations at a young age, the more confident you become as you grow. Big issues shrink with experience.

After my experience abroad, I went to Washington, D.C. where I worked at a healthcare PR firm. I then conducted PR for a program of the United States Agency for International Development, where I helped produce press results for government officials in the U.S. and In addition to traditional PR, we have hired social media specialists and are offering expanded social and digital services. Asia. After I left D.C., I was a partner and part owner of a New York lifestyle agency, where I spent 10 years, then started Relevance. We have really stretched the breadth and scope of what we 

You have experienced rapid growth since your previous agency. To what do you attribute your success? I have been lucky and blessed to have an amazing family that has supported me and always encouraged me to follow big ideas and dreams. There are lots of times I need to travel for work, and my husband is there to be the backbone. I have also been fortunate to have an amazing team at Relevance who rally around the vision and brand. The team works extremely hard. I love Relevance because I love building something bigger than myself. I love that we are building something together as a team. It’s that feeling of ‘we’ not ‘me’ as a culture. I attribute my success to that. Everyone has to check their egos at the door. At Relevance, we genuinely work together and have fun. We work hard and keep an emphasis on great results. How do you stand out from other public relations firms who specialize in real estate public relations? First and foremost, we do not use a one-size-fits-all approach. Lots of firms, especially large ones, will tend to take a more routine approach to public relations because they are turning out a high volume of clients. We have done a good job of keeping that boutique sensibility. We think strategically for our clients and act as an extension of them. How are we creating that “aha” moment? How are we creating something truly original? Congratulations on your international expansion! How did you know when it was time to expand Relevance New York globally? What have been some of the biggest challenges opening your London office? We knew it was time to expand when the clients started asking, “Do you think you can get PR for my project but over here in this international market?” They started asking for a broader and broader reach. Growing offices around the world was always my vision for Relevance. It’s a combination of what I love and what the clients want and need. It was the right opportunity. It wasn’t easy forming an office in London, because I am not a UK citizen. It is quite the process to form an office internationally, but this was the next step toward going global and I am so glad we did it. It has been so rewarding. We have a fantastic team in London.

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Motherhood is a great teacher for entrepreneurship in terms of patience, multitasking and prioritization. These are skills moms use every day. Photo Credit: SNOWFLAKENYC

How has your role as a mom impacted your role as a PR powerhouse? I think it has made me better at time management. There are no better multitaskers than mothers. Motherhood is a great teacher for entrepreneurship in terms of patience, multitasking and prioritization. These are skills moms use every day. A lot of the great business women I know are moms. I feel like there is a lot of pressure for women to have to choose - do I want to be a mom, or a business person? I truly believe we need to stop having that conversation and let people do what feels right for them. If I have one piece of advice to give women who do want a career and to be a mom, it’s don’t wait for a perfect time to do what you want to do. I am where I am today because I didn’t hit the pause button when everything was moving around me. I was pregnant with my second child when I started Relevance. Where there's a will, there's a way. Based on your experiences as a CEO mom, what is one thing moms should give up when trying to manage a career and family? Let go of having to always do everything yourself. Realize you can prioritize and be hands-on with the things that

matter the most to you, and delegate things that are less important. There are always going to be times you feel torn. For me, it is not crucial that I am the one driving the kids to school, I can let go of the chauffeur time. But I can’t let go of my key quality moments. For example, I used to sing, so I bond with my kids whenever they do anything in the arts space – whether it is playing the piano, doing art or singing together. This is quality time to me.   The same thing goes for the CEO side. There are certain clients where it’s important that I am in the room. There are others where we can’t scale if I am always in the room, and I am not needed. Things may not always be done exactly as you would like, and that’s okay, so long as the important results are there. Let go of the control a bit and focus on important key moments. Prioritize, trust those around you, and focus on what is most important. Learn more about Suzanne Rosnowski and Relevance International at https://relevanceinternational.com/.

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GARLIC PASTA W/ BRUSSELS SPROUTS Recipe by Toye Releford-Penny of So7 Health

INGREDIENTS: BRUSSELS SPROUTS 1. 16 ounces Brussels Sprouts, halved (or any other glorious green) 2. 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil 3. Pinch each sea salt + black pepper SAUCE + PASTA 1. 3 Tbsp. olive oil or butter 2. 4 large cloves garlic, chopped 3. 4 Tbsp. arrowroot starch 4. 1 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk 5. Sea salt + black pepper to taste 6. 10 ounces, gluten free pasta (your choice) 

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and add Brussels Sprouts to a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and season generously with salt and pepper and toss. Arrange in a single layer and set aside. 2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (for cooking the pasta) and salt generously (1 Tbsp.). Set aside while preparing sauce. 3. Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and garlic. Sauteé for 3 minutes or until fragrant and very slightly golden brown. 4. Add arrowroot and whisk, then add almond milk and whisk. At this point, it will be very clumpy - this is normal. Transfer to a high-speed blender and add salt + pepper, and vegan Parmesan cheese (optional). Blend on high until creamy and smooth. 5. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more Parmesan for cheesiness, or salt and pepper for more overall flavor. 6. Transfer sauce back to the skillet and warm over medium-low heat until bubbly while whisking.  

The sauce should thicken, at which point you can lower the heat to low and simmer until pasta is cooked. Add Brussels Sprouts to the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown and tender. 7. Around this time, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain pasta and add directly to the sauce, along with half of the Brussels Sprouts and toss to combine. Season with a bit more Parmesan cheese (optional) for extra flavor. Serve. Note: Feel free to add your favorite poultry with this dish. It's Super Yummy! 

LENTIL & SWEET POTATO BOWL Recipe by Toye Releford-Penny of So7 Health

INGREDIENTS: LENTILS  1. 1 batch Lentils POTATOES  1. 1 large sweet potato, cut into rounds or small wedges 2. 1/4 tsp. sea salt LONG GRAIN BROWN RICE  1. 1 cup long grain brown rice 2. 1⁄2 cup water 3. Pinch sea salt 4. optional: 1/2 tsp. curry powder KALE 1. 1 bundle organic kale or collard greens, chopped (or other glorious green) FOR SERVING (OPTIONAL) 1. Thinly sliced red cabbage 2. Fresh cilantro 3. Lime wedges 

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Prepare a batch of Lentils. 2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 3. Add sweet potatoes, oil, and salt and toss to combine. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender and slightly brown on the ends. 4. In the meantime, prepare brown rice by boiling it over medium heat. Once done, add salt, and curry powder (optional). Stir to combine. 5. Lower heat to low and sauté for 3-5 minutes, covering to allow it to steam and stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Set aside.

6. Next, prepare kale by heating a rimmed skillet or pot over high heat and adding 1/2 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Then place a steamer basket on top. Add kale and cover. Steam for 2-3 minutes or until just wilted and bright green. Remove from pot and set aside. 7. Lastly, prep any remaining serving items, such as sliced cabbage or cilantro. (Optional) Combine in bowl and Enjoy! Meet Toye Toye is a wife and mom to three amazing daughters, She is a Simple, Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Strategist, A JumpFit Cardio Instructor & Certified Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coach at So7Health.com. 

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Jakkie Liberman

This mom created a product out of necessity and turned it into a million dollar business.

What started as a solution to her daughter’s skin reaction to disposable diapers evolved into a multi-million dollar business that includes a diverse lineup of products and a partnership with Disney. Under circumstances that may have knocked many people down, Jakki Liberman, founder of Bumkins, used creativity and strong will to build an international brand of baby products. With a tenacity that is both contagious and inspirational, it’s no wonder Bumkins is a leader in the baby products space. Jakki shared her secrets to success and how she was able to overcome divorce and bankruptcy to develop Bumkins into what it is today. What is the inspiration behind Bumkins? Initially, we launched Bumkins with the All-InOne Cloth Diaper, which I developed for my own babies. A few years afterward, we launched feeding items, including our award-winning SuperBib®. I wanted to create products that made life easier for other moms like myself. Describe the transition from cloth diapers to your current, diverse product offerings. Early on in the business, I felt the consequence of having a single product line. When trends change or big competitors step-in, things can change very quickly. I decided we needed to expand to ensure our brand and our company was not pegged to one line of business or not too vulnerable to trends. We first expanded into bibs, as the outer waterproof fabric of our diapers worked perfectly for keeping babies clean at the table. Eventually we moved into other mealtime products, as it made sense to build upon our success in that area. Tell us about your collaboration with Disney. How did your relationship with Disney begin? Our relationship with Disney grew from industry connections and good timing! We were seeking to expand to larger big box retail with our strongest products, and Disney was looking to align with strong baby brands as they developed their Disney Baby program. Our SuperBib line has a strong following and with Disney cobranding, our mission was accomplished.  One of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur can face is knowing when to close a business. Walk us through the mental process of closing Jakki & Company. Any regrets? I had no regrets about closing my design business, Jakki & Company. I had managed both companies for so many years that I welcomed the opportunity to put my focus in one area.

My business was never an overnight success; while we had some bumps up and falls down, overall, it was a long slow climb.

It was different than closing a business that wasn’t doing well; we had slowly stopped taking on new clients, so it was an easy transition. Bumkins was growing, making it the right time to reassess and realign. In the beginning of forming Bumkins you were going through a divorce and bankruptcy. How do you balance motherhood, managing difficult times and running a business? Days were very hectic. At the time there weren’t many options for working remotely, which was an option I needed at least some of the time with four young kids. I made it a goal to create a routine and environment that would allow me to manage all areas as easily as possible. I literally converted my garage into an office with our staff coming in daily, so I wouldn’t have to commute or worry about sitters on sick or no school days.  Additionally, I have always been an early adopter of technology, which helped me multi-task. Today, there are so many amazing digital tools that allow you to be productive anywhere and anytime. What advice would you give to a mom who believes she can’t start a business as a single mother? Opportunities are different now than they were when I started my business. Be patient and realistic about cash flow and what you need to live. It is a big decision to start or run your own business when you are depending on the single income it produces. You need to both make a living and create a healthy growing business. My business was never an overnight success; while we had some bumps up and falls down, overall, it was a long slow climb.

Describe your typical day. My days are much easier now than when my kids and business were younger. I start my day early, scrolling through email with my morning coffee. I walk my dogs, get some exercise, and get to the office by late morning. There, I help my staff and try to move projects forward. I have an amazing, talented team that is creating products, working with our vendors, customers and partners and carrying the load, which is really an exciting time. What are your top 3 tips for financing a startup? 1. Finding financing and making deals takes time, so initially be prepared to self-fund and bootstrap. It is far easier to get financing when your business is doing well and you can prove your concept. 2. Educate yourself on what pros and cons each type of financing can provide. The path to financing has many questions: How much will you need and for what will you be using the funds? Are you looking for partners or debt? Are you looking for long term or short term financing, traditional bank financing, or receivable financing? 3. Network as much as possible and develop relationships for the future. Generally lenders want to trust the person they are investing in, not just the business idea. For that reason, potential investors may want to see some history and progress before jumping in. To learn more about Jakki and Bumkins visit https://www.bumkins.com.

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PAJAMA'S It's no surprise that celebrities love the online boutique ModerneChild Shoppe. Have fun at a slumber party with your little fashionista with these trendy and affordable pajamas. Order at modernechild.com.

e M & y m m o M ModerneChild Shoppe &  Grace Eleyae


MOMMY & ME SWIMWEAR Does your daughter love fashion as much as you do? Summer is around the corner. Get ready with these stylish swimsuits from ModerneChild Shoppe. The celebrity-loved boutique just introduced NEW mommy and me pieces and accessories that your little fashionista will adore! 

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MUSTARD SATINLINED TURBAN Protect your hair while sleeping or out on the town with these stylish knot turbans with an elastic band. The elastic band helps keep the turban in place day and night. Get one for you and your little one.

Photo Credit: Grace Eleyae

The Grace Eleyae turbans come in different colors and designs. Â Get a turban for you and your little one at https://www.graceeleyae.com/collections/ turbans.

GRAY SLAP SATIN-LINED CAP The Grace Eleyae Slap (Satin-Lined Cap)® is a perfect addition to your daily look. Use the Slap to protect your hair as you go about your day running errands or meeting with friends. It complements a variety of styles while adding protection for your hair, both day and night. The Slap comes in a variety of colors including gray, black and wine red.

Photo Credit: Grace Eleyae

SLAPS FOR KIDS The various sizes allow you to protect your little one's hair in style. Order your Slap at graceeleyae.com/collections/satin-linedcaps-1

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Don't live your life Unfulfilled, Unhappy, and Stressed. There is a better life, it's time you tap into it! #dreambigger


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MAGIC OF FAMILY CON! Experience the One-of-a-kind family convention and fair! See special guest Celebrities, attend "Future of Family" keynotes, enjoy Meet ‘N’ Greets with your kid's favorite characters and play end-less thrilling activities. Mom and dad, kick-back for Luxurious Spa treatments, Exclusive VIP rooftop after parties, Live Comedy shows and more! We have something special for the entire family! Savor the moment at the largest family convention in America, where Super Families Meet Annually.

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April 2018








Profile for CEOMOM Magazine

CEOMOM Spring 2018  

We are celebrating our 2 year anniversary and this is our most global issue yet. We featured Australian fashion icon and television host, Ta...

CEOMOM Spring 2018  

We are celebrating our 2 year anniversary and this is our most global issue yet. We featured Australian fashion icon and television host, Ta...