FEBUARY 2016 www.fw-chicago.com
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THE FOOD ISSUE THE TOP 20 WOMEN IN FOOD IN CHICAGO THE SEASONâ€™S MOST GORGEOUS LINGERIE BE YOUR OWN FINANCIAL SWEETHEART FIGHTING FATIGUE ON THE ROAD
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d o o f + love Love and Food pretty much sums up our February issue. Winter has settled in now. We stay indoors more and often retreat to our second love—food—whether it’s checking out a new restaurant during Chicago Restaurant Week or ordering in dinner more than usual. So here at FW: Chicago, it seemed fitting for this time of year to give you a taste of some of the most interesting and inspiring women on the local culinary scene. Delving a little deeper, we even spoke with several women in the business of food that you may not have heard of, but should know. We owe a special thank you to Stephanie Izard, who welcomed us into her home for our cover feature. It was our intention to show a side of her that you may not have seen before. We think you will find this innovative culinary talent as quirky, imaginative, and engaging as her food!
“My favorite part of putting this issue together was seeing the city’s food culture from the perspective of the many talented women at the forefront of making Chicago the culinary powerhouse it has become.” —Jennifer Smith Tapp, Editor
i love print
Lastly, the subject of love is sprinkled throughout this issue—brought to you with much love and passion from our team. We hope you adore this issue as much as we do!
Kendra Chaplin Publisher + Founder firstname.lastname@example.org
“Chatting with some of Chicago’s top female leaders in the food industry was beyond inspiring. After reading the issue, I’m sure you’ll agree that anything is possible as long as you work hard, never give up, and love what you do.” —Rebecca Taras-Lee, Managing Editor
You asked for it, and we delivered. Never miss an issue. Subscribe monthly at fw-chicago.com/iloveprint
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Where to find us! Distributed gratis throughout the city. You will find us at more than 500 locationsâ€” your local coffee shop, office building, mail room, and even the street corner boxes. For a full list of locations, fw-chicago.com/findus
Publisher + Founder
Kendra Chaplin email@example.com
Managing Editor Rebecca Taras-Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor, Print Jennifer Smith Tapp email@example.com
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Contributing Style Editors Brandon Frein Arlene Matthews email@example.com Design Director Travis Rothe firstname.lastname@example.org Digital + Social Media Manager Molly Koeneman email@example.com Director of Partnerships Liz Bonofiglio Reaney firstname.lastname@example.org Business Development Andrea Markewych email@example.com Account Executive Kiah Harpool firstname.lastname@example.org main office 806 West Washington Boulevard, Suite 204 Chicago, Illinois 60607 email@example.com | 312-957-4937 advertising 312-957-4936 | firstname.lastname@example.org pr + media For all PR pitches and related inquiries, email email@example.com. editorial submissions fw-chicago.com/editorial-submissions social life submissions fw-chicago.com/social-life event postings fw-chicago.com/events/submit.html Copyright 2016 FW Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. FW: Chicago is published by FW Publishing LLC. Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of FW: Chicago. www.fw-chicago.com CORRECTION: THE FASHION STORY IN THE JANUARY 2016 ISSUE OMITTED THE HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTIST CREDIT. THE HAIR AND MAKEUP WAS DONE BY KAREN BRODY OF CHICAGO MAKEUP ARTISTS. WE REGRET THE ERROR.
IS S U E THE FOOD
AT HOME WITH
STEPHANIE IZARD The A-list chef invited FW: Chicago into her home to discuss her career, her laid-back life at home with her husband, and the magic of giraffes.
IN FOOD Defining the food culture in the city. PAGE 26
The “Goddess” and caterer to rock royalty, Debbie Sharp, shares her recipe for this Italian classic.
28 T HE BUSINESS 34 R ISING STARS OF FOOD
Women behind the scenes of the food industry.
Four women to watch who are making their names in the food world.
LETTER FROM 4
8 CALENDAR 12
WOMEN TO WATCH 16
52 W HAT’S IN HER BAG? g Boutique owner Cheryl Sloane shares her surprising bag essentials.
PAY IT FORWARD 54 6
36 Tech Conversations
Love YOU Dress for yourself this Valentine’s Day in gorgeous and cheeky lingerie.
38 T HE MENTOR
Kathleen Henson on using creativity, smarts, and authenticity to get ahead at work.
21 GET CERTIFIED
The benefits of your company earning WBE certification.
12 FIND LOVE
What you need to start—and stop—doing to find love from Bela Gandhi.
14 On the road again?
Energizing yoga positions for the travel weary from Bija Bennett.
18 A CONVERSATION WITH... Jeanne Malnati on workplace culture, honesty, and communication.
Terri Brax talks to Sandee Kastrul and Elena Valentine about technology and economic opportunity for underserved communities.
A MAN IS NOT A FINANCIAL PLAN
The year of financial empowerment continues with Monika Black and Carolyn Leonard’s ideas for financial independence.
50 W anderlust
ichael Del Piero shows you how to M bring your world travels into your home.
Gandhi is the founder and president of the Smart Dating Academy, one of the nation’s top date and relationship coaching firms. Called “The Fairy Godmother of Dating,” she’s the dating expert on the Steve Harvey Show and a correspondent on major networks, including NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox. She also has been featured in Glamour, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and more.
Bennett is a Chicago-based author and speaker and founder of the international lifestyle company, YogaAway LLC. She has produced numerous films on health, yoga, lifestyle, and culture that combine the healing and performing arts. Her “On the Road Again?” article appears in the Life and Health section.
Kirsten Miccoli is an internationally published fashion and portrait photographer based in Chicago. She graduated with her BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and specializes in conceptual storytelling and creative portraiture. Miccoli photographed the “Love YOU” fashion editorial for this issue.
Be My Valentine Family Event Join the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation for its family-friendly event to benefit breast cancer research. Bring out the whole family for a delicious brunch buffet and a variety of Valentine’s activities for the kids, including sweet treat decorating and tips from Sweet Mandy B’s, jewelry making with ELTIF designs, and make-overs from Rock Candy Salon and Spa. Tickets are $65 for children and $85 for adults. The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ritz-Carlton Chicago, 160 East Pearson Street. For more information, visit lynnsage.org
FEBRUARY 10, 2016
Valentines are made by Samantha Sleeper who will be a vendor at Dose Market, February 14, 2016.
r u o y k r ma calendar
Professional Women’s Club of Chicago Luncheon: The Story of Chicago as a Sustainable City Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago, guides the City’s sustainability strategy and implementation, focusing on innovative, practical solutions for making Chicago more livable and forward-thinking. Weigert shares her story and the story of Chicago as a sustainable city at the PWCC’s monthly networking luncheon. Union League Club, 65 West Jackson Blvd. For more information, visit pwcc.org
FEBRUARY 14, 2016
FEBRUARY 19, 2016
Tickled Pink for Bright Pink
Celebrate Valentine’s Day this year at Dose Market as they present Dose Trousseau, a specially curated market for all the lovebirds out there. You’ll find delightful Valentine’s Day treats, artisanal crafts and items perfect for those planning a wedding, and unique clothing and accessories. You also can try letting Dose help you with your crush! Fill out their online form and get that special someone to meet you at Dose for a romantic Valentine’s Day. Tickets are $10. Dose Market is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Morgan Manufacturing, 401 North Morgan Street. For more information, visit dosemarket.com.
You’re invited to Chicago’s hottest party to benefit a great cause—Bright Pink, dedicated to the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer. The Tickled Pink event will feature scrumptious chef stations from Chicago’s Top 50 restaurants, live music, dancing, open bar, raffles, and more. Tickets range from $25 to $125. Tickled Pink takes place from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Morgan Manufacturing, 401 North Morgan Street. For more information, visit tickledpinkchicago.com
PHOTO CREDIT: EVA DEITCH
FEBRUARY 7, 2016
CULTURE WATCH FEBRUARY 19, 2016
Cocktails and Orchids at the Chicago Botanic Garden Come out to the gorgeous Chicago Botanic Garden for a truly unique experience. Celebrate an unexpected surprise of the winter season and enjoy 10,000 beautiful orchids all blooming at once, plus delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Tickets are $125. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL. For more information, visit chicagobotanic.org
FEBRUARY 20, 2016
Chicago Dance Marathon Break out your dancing shoes and join Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital for its annual dance marathon to benefit patients and their families. Spend eight hours on the dance floor while enjoying entertainment and inspiring stories from patients’ families. Tickets are $35. Chicago Marriott Downtown, 540 North Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit foundation.luriechildrens.org
FEBRUARY 21, 2016
ENOversity: Bubbles of the World Enjoy bottles of bubbly from around the world! Discover the difference between sparkling wine and champagne while highlighting the diversity of all the different flavors of sparkling wine and champagne selected by ENO’s expert staff of sommeliers. The intimate and interactive tasting also includes an assortment of cheeses and charcuterie to enjoy. Tickets are $55. The event lasts from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ENO Wine Room, 505 North Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit enowinerooms.com.
February 10–21, 2016 The Joffrey Ballet’s February show, Bold Moves, includes Forgotten Land, inspired by an Edvard Munch painting of women on a beach; World Premiere from prestigious choreographer Ashley Page; and RakU, a story of love, treachery, separation, and tragedy set in Japan’s past. Tickets range from $32 to $155. For more information, visit joffrey.org
FAMILY DAY AT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART February 13, 2016 The Museum of Contemporary Art is offering a free event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that the whole family can enjoy. Kids will have the opportunity to interact and have fun with pieces of fantastic art inspired by exhibits, including Pop Art Design; The Street, the Store, and the Silver Screen; and Surrealism: The Conjured Life. For more information, visit mcachicago.org
DER ROSENKAVALIER February 8–March 13, 2016 Head down to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to enjoy one of their fabulous February operas from Richard Strauss. Billed as “deliciously extravagant,” Der Rosenkavalier is full of love, sex, and questions of fidelity, as Marschallin attempts to find lasting happiness with her young lover, Octavian. Tickets range from $17 to $239. For more information, visit lyricopera.org
SNOW ANGEL February 16–21, 2016 Ideal for children ages three to eight, Snow Angel will delight as it uses movement, masks, and music in a wordless piece about a brother and sister who discover a magical winter wonderland in a new snowfall. Tickets are $28 for children and $39 for adults at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. For more information, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org
FEBRUARY 23, 2016
WomenOnCall 10th Anniversary with Madeleine Albright The USNC-UN Women Chicago Chapter hosts a panel discussion around ISIS, the Syrian refugee crisis, the unique obstacles faced by female refugees, and how legislative policy is affecting these issues. Panel begins at 6:30 p.m., reception following. Chase Tower, 10 South Dearborn Street. For more information, visit womenoncall.org.
IN SEARCH OF VAN GOGH February 16–May 10, 2016 Van Gogh: In Search Of is a photography presentation of the artist’s various residences during his career as a painter. Meant to run in concert with the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibit, Van Gogh’s Bedrooms, the photos in the show reveal Van Gogh was something of a nomad who never found the domestic stability he longed for. The photo exhibit is open on weekdays only in the Art Institute’s Ryerson and Burnham Libraries. For more information, visit artic.edu. FEBRUARY 2016
e t o n e k a t EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK
It should come as no surprise that women consistently are still paid less than men for comparable work. But in a recent study by americanwomen. org, 68 percent of men think that women in their workplace are receiving equal compensation for the same job and are, in general, treated fairly at the office. Fifty-eight percent of women believe that this is true, as well. The chart below tells the story of just how much work is left to be done. MEN ONLY
I believe that women in my workplace are paid the same as male coworkers who do the same job.
I believe that men in my workplace are paid the same as female coworkers who do the same job.
20% Describes well
Describes somewhat well
Does not describes well at all
Does not describe well at all
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Featured Artist Inspired by retro sci-fi films and the universe, the work of local artist Rory Scott is also informed by her deep interest in time travel and nostalgia. Her pieces have the look of optical illusions and, in her words, “construct an otherwordly reality.” Scott’s work is currently on display at RTKL Associates, 200 South Michigan Avenue, through March, and online at rksxo.com.
WORK LIKE A MILLION BUCKS So you took the leap and started your own business some time ago. But with the new year upon us, you might be in a position to take your company to the next level. In “Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big,” author Julia Pimsleur profiles seven women who chose the path of entrepreneurship and gives advice on how to network, raise capital, and grow a multi-million dollar business.
Get Your Sexy On! BOUDOIR PHOTOSHOOT For many of us, the idea of posing for a boudoir photograph would be as anxiety-inducing as anything we could imagine. But for photographer Jenny Taylor, the mission is to redefine “boudoir” as an instrument to empower women. For Taylor, the word “boudoir” simply means women— what they are comfortable with and how they can be celebrated. Learn more at jennytaylorboudoirs.com.
RECONNECT WITH YOUR PARTNER February is as good a time as any to learn how to get closer to your one and only. Through online workshops, private coaching, and retreats, Dr. Elsbeth Meuth and Freddy Zental Weaver help couples expand joy, pleasure, and creativity in their life and relationships. Learn more at tantranova.com.
Vaudezilla! Burlesque Cabaret This Galentine’s Day, celebrate with Red Hot Annie and her company as they perform in Chicago’s top rated burlesque show Vaudezilla! Burlesque Cabaret. Interested in joining the action? Register for pastie making with your gal pals; take a $3 taster class; and party vintage style with a Pinup Photoshoot, complete with vintage hair styling, makeup application, and pinup style shot. Up, down, round and round—celebrate being a gal with your pals and make heart shaped tassels this Galentine’s Day! Vaudezilla | 773-558-0081 | www.vaudezilla.com | email@example.com
d n i f e v o l by Bela Gandhi
Gandhi is the founder and president of the Smart Dating Academy, one of the nation’s top date and relationship coaching firms. Called “The Fairy Godmother of Dating,” she is the dating expert featured on multiple news and media outlets.
I am often called a psychotic optimist— because I believe that love exists for every single person on this planet. Approaching Valentine’s Day, people often ask, “What’s the secret to finding happy love?” The common denominator of every client that found love was that they’d stopped their self-sabotaging behaviors and replaced those with successful strategies. The “stop” and “start” behaviors were different for every successful person, but here are some of the most common ones that you might identify with— and can put you on the superhighway to finding love this year. If you’re not in a relationship and want to be, you can be. If you’re in one that’s not healthy, you can find a better one. Think hard about what you’re doing well and what’s not working— what to stop and what to start—and have someone give you a helping hand. I promise you, love exists for everyone—especially you.
believing in “types.” When STOP someone says “my type,” I hear “dating pattern.” If you have a type, you might just be doing the same wrong thing over and over again, with no success. casting your net wider, START because your mate will come to you in an unexpected package.
dating bad guys/gals.
dating high GHQ men (High START in Good Husband Qualities)! High GHQ men are kind, reliable, consistent, and “like you a little more” than you like them. Bad boys are, well, bad. You can’t fix anyone except yourself. And if you’re looking for a wife, “High in Good Wife Qualities.” “speed dating” and getting rid STOP of someone after date one just because there is no “chemistry.” giving love a chance to START develop. Chemistry can grow— and sometimes the real first date is the second date! Unless you see any deal-breaker behaviors (angry, abusive, addictive, critical), give him/her up to five/six dates to let the love develop.
having sex too early.
practicing “sexclusivity”— START waiting until you are in an exclusive relationship to have sex. Successful women wonder why sleeping with a man on the third date is a bad idea. Why? It usually stunts the emotional growth of the relationship. He should love you before hopping in the sack. Old school? Maybe. Good advice? Definitely. thinking butterflies in your STOP stomach are the sign you should be looking for! knowing that butterflies are START often a bad sign. Butterflies are often fear and anxiety and your body’s way of saying, “Danger up ahead! Run!” I don’t know any women who married the guys that gave them butterflies. fw
Plastic Surgery... For Your Man? This Valentine’s Day, instead of getting you a traditional gift, consider having him get a gift that actually keeps on giving. The guy in your life probably wants to feel more confident, too. In the office in front of coworkers… At the gym in front of other guys… And most importantly, at home in front of you. While women have been bombarded with plastic surgery images and stories, male plastic surgery gets far less attention. While men may have shied away from plastic surgery in the past, this is no longer the case. More and more men are getting Botox (or, “Brotox”), along with fillers to erase wrinkles and smooth lines and provide a youthful fullness. We have seen a tremendous enthusiasm for the newly released Kybella, an injectable medication which dissolves neck fat to get rid
of that “double chin”. And don’t think it’s just women who are getting energy-based treatments to lift, tighten, and brighten the skin. Of course, there is also the surgery side. For the boardroom, where aged wisdom is making way for youthful vitality, facelifting and eye rejuvenation surgery reign supreme. For the gym, liposuction of the chest, abdomen including high def etching to enhance the sixpack, and hip rolls are the most popular areas targeted. For the guys that just can’t get the definition they want from lifting, pec, calf, and buttock implants are game-changers. And for the bedroom? Well, watch what happens when your guy is happier and more confident. We’re happy to help him (and you) out.
847-579-9939 maeplasticsurgery.com FEBRUARY 2016
HEALTH + WELLNESS
ON THE ROAD AGAIN?
By Bija Bennett
Fighting fatigue on the road has just become easier, thanks to a series of exercises for body intelligence, stress reduction, mental focus, and enhanced sleep. PHOTO CREDIT: TODD ROSENBERG
For frequent travelers, learning how to move and breathe in a particular way helps relieve insomnia and gives you the tools to either Bija Bennett is a increase or calm your energy. Based on a simple series Chicago-based speaker, of movement and breathing techniques, mind-body health expert, and author these two post-flight exercises can of “Emotional Yoga: How the Body Can Heal the Mind” and “Breathing help reduce jet lag. fw into Life.” Learn more at bijab.com.
After flying East to West, this posture energizes you, helping you stay awake until bedtime. STABLE AND BALANCED POSTURE 1. S tart standing, feet parallel, arms at your sides; lengthen your head and neck, widening your back. 2. Inhale, rise onto your toes, and bring both arms overhead. Hold your breath in for 3 seconds, keeping your chest expanded. 3. E xhale slowly and lower your arms as you come back to standing. 4. Repeat this sequence 4 to 6 times. 5. Pause, and feel the increased circulation and awareness.
After flying West to East, this posture calms and relaxes you, preparing you to sleep. DOWNWARD MOVING VITAL ENERGY POSTURE 1. S tart lying on your back with your knees bent, feet off the floor, placing your hands on or behind your knees. 2. Inhale, move your knees away from your chest, straightening your arms. 3. Exhale, tighten your belly and gently bring your knees and thighs toward your chest. Exhale and hold your breath out for 2 seconds. 4. Inhale, move your knees away from your chest, straightening your arms.
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n e m o w to watch JULIE BOMBACINO
CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, REAL FOOD BLENDS Julie Bombacino is proof that necessity really is the “mother” of all invention. The northwest Indiana mom set out to find a solution for her young son, AJ, and ended up launching Real Food Blends, a company that is changing the way children and adults with feeding tubes eat. AJ couldn’t tolerate formula when he was put on a feeding tube at six months old. Bombacino started experimenting with pureeing and blending whole food to feed him through his feeding tube. She knew she was onto something when she saw AJ’s dramatic improvement. But cooking, blending, preparing, and packaging took a lot of time in the kitchen; and traveling required carting along a blender and supplies. She needed a solution that was simple, nutritional, and safe. So Julie and her husband, Tony, created one: Real Food Blends. The Bombacinos worked with nutritionists and food scientists to perfect the process, creating a product that is nutritious, shelf-stable, and free of preservatives and corn syrup.
What inspires you? My main inspiration comes from the Real Food Blends Chief Inspiration Officer, my son AJ. He is almost five, has special needs, and a feeding tube. I never even knew what a feeding tube was before his was placed! I am continually inspired by our customers—I get to talk to people every day who are trying to do better for themselves or their tube-fed loved one, and that inspires me!
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten? Business-wise, from my old boss: “When the circus comes to town, all the vendors sell more balloons.” I just love this. Deciding to launch Real Food Blends wasn’t easy, as this market has been dominated by a few really, really large companies. But I knew—and my son was living proof—that there was a giant hole in nutrition for people with feeding tubes. I saw an opportunity, so I brought my “balloons” to the table! fw
Suarez landed her first television job by age 20—a role on Nuestra Belleza Latina, Univision’s hit reality TV show. During this time, she gained an international fan base and repeatedly stood apart by demonstrating her facility with the Spanish language and her skills for on-air reporting. As luck (and a lot of hard work) would have it, Suarez was given the opportunity to begin working at Univision Chicago as the host of Despierta Chicago, while obtaining her journalism and advertising degree from DePaul University. During her time at Univision, Nicole was Emmy nominated, along with her team, for the “Chevy Heroes” campaign that recognized local leaders for their work within the community. Her passion for journalism has led Nicole to solo anchor a daily newscast on MundoFox and report for Hoy Noticias. Suarez was most recently awarded an Emmy for her work on a series focused on the impact of obesity on the Latino community.
Frustrated by trying to find educational gifts for her pre-teen sister, Makeda Ricketts, a current MBA student at the University of Chicago and an alumna of Wellesley College, started PinkThink in 2013. PinkThink is an interest-oriented and peer-supported web and mobile platform that makes (S)cience, (T)echnology, (E)ngineering, and (M)ath education powerful, relevant, and engaging for girls. PinkThink is known for creating cStyle Bracelets, an innovative wearable that girls can code to change colors based on things like ambient light and body temperature. PinkThink has won numerous awards and prizes for cStyle, including the Yale School of Management’s Education Business Plan Competition. Recently, Makeda also was named Maker of the Year by the International Alley Awards.
REPORTER & JOURNALIST
What inspires you? A constant fear of not amounting to anything in life motivates me to push and reach my goals. I was raised to believe that we all have a purpose on this earth. Whether we choose to fulfill that, or not, is up to each and every one of us. I work because I want to make an impact. I work because it’s my passion! However, my main motivation is my family. As a child, I saw how hard my parents worked to create a new life in the United States after leaving Colombia. Today, I strive to make the most out of the opportunities they worked so hard to give me. What’s the best advice you’ve gotten? Never stop learning. My father always told me that education is something that can never be taken away from you. I continue to take classes to perfect my craft. The difference between getting the job, or not, depends on how much you’re willing to work and study for it. fw
CEO AND FOUNDER OF PINKTHINK
What inspires you? Possibilities. In life, the idea that things can change inspires me to try and change them. I believe that anything is possible.Whenever I need motivation, I remind myself that I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but it might be something amazing! In business, I see those same possibilities when I work with girls. It is the idea that, if they feel encouraged and empowered, their future can be anything they want it to be. So the girls inspire me to keep trying to inspire them.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten? “Ninety percent of success is showing up.” People often wonder what it takes to successfully start a business or just be successful in general. Show up, respond to emails, go to events, apply for the job, and just keep trying. It’s actually really hard to do on a consistent basis, but I try to pursue as many opportunities as I can. You never know if an opportunity will lead to success, but you miss 100 percent of the chances you never take. So show up! fw
She might have a last name that is near
and dear to the hearts of pizza-obsessed
Chicagoans, but she is an accomplished
entrepreneur in her own right. Jeanne Malnati recently spoke with FW: Chicago about workplace culture,
honesty in the office,
and why communication is so important to
h t i w n o i t a s r e v n o c a
JEANNE MALNATI Interview by Jennifer Smith Tapp WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND?
I am a licensed clinical social worker, having received my Masters from Loyola University, Chicago, when my youngest child went to first grade. I was in private practice for more than 20
years focusing on women and mothers of teenagers. I also led therapy groups and did threeday therapy retreats. I loved all of it, until I didn’t, and it was time for a change. I have been married for 36 years, and so have been a part of the Malnati family pizza business for that long, too. On the front line, I’ve led communication groups with our company’s executive directors and store managers. Behind the scenes, I’ve coached and consulted with my husband about the people side of the business, which has helped us, I believe, to receive one of the Top Workplaces in Chicago for six years in a row now. Four years ago, after moving to the West Loop in Chicago from the North Shore suburbs with my husband, I “retired” from therapy and moved into the
Some believe “culture” is a new buzzword. It’s not. It’s here to stay, because the health of the interpersonal communication and relationships between co-workers and teams is of utmost importance. As Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” There are two kinds of culture focus. One I call “Cocktail Culture”—where companies compete to have the coolest “nap-room” or best prizes for their weekly in-house ping pong tournaments. There’s “Free Haircut Wednesday” or “Beer-Cart Friday,” but who wants to hang around after work and have a beer with people you don’t like? The second kind is a “Relationship Model Culture” where the focus is on the people. The relationships. The communication that is or is not happening. This is
the wounds that fester, causing dysfunctional places to work. No more band-aids, such as “let’s do a ropes course” for team building. We go into an organization and diagnose what the ailments are among the people and administer what is needed to create an organization where people look forward to arriving and performing together at work each day. We also teach simple yet powerful tools that literally shift the feel of an organization and the engagement of employees, within half a day’s time. It’s amazing. It works. It’s needed. HOW IMPORTANT IS OPEN AND HONEST COMMUNICATION TO CREATING A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE?
Open and honest communication is very important to have—consistently—not just once a year at
IT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT WOMEN LEADERS LEARN THE ART OF HONEST, INTEGRITYFILLED COMMUNICATION. business world, starting my own company, The Culture Group— The Business of Conversation. DESCRIBE YOUR WORK WITH THE CULTURE GROUP. WHY YOU THINK THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASED FOCUS ON WORKPLACE CULTURE IN RECENT YEARS?
what The Culture Group focuses on. Getting people in a room and “cleansing the relationship container”—having the difficult conversations face-to-face. Team members/colleagues must dig deep at times (be honest and express your thoughts and feelings) so to heal the “infection,”
a person’s 360 review. When the honest, difficult kind of conversations are not happening, there is gossip and complaining behind closed doors. There is blaming and passive-aggressive behavior. Cliques form. Fake smiles behind gritted teeth abound. There is not enough genuine kindness and care for one another. There is a
lack of trust and clearly a lack of respect. Instead, when you have the hard face-to-face’s, share feelings, take responsibility for your role in the mishap, commit to different behavior, and extend grace, you are on the way to creating a positive company culture. Oh, and have fun; lighten up. We all take ourselves and work way too seriously. WHAT DO IS THE BIGGEST STUMBLING BLOCK PREVENTING PRODUCTIVE CONVERSATION IN THE WORKPLACE? There
are a few major stumbling blocks: Pride (“Everything is fine around here.”); lack of self-awareness (“It’s not me that has the problem—it’s her.”); and a lack of knowledge/skills/tools on how to have productive conversations. Often people believe the stumbling block is time and location. You must have the courage, take the risk, and make this kind of communication (relationships) a priority. And yes, you can and need to have them even if you are not sitting across a table from each other. The
skills and tools can be applied virtually as well. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE ON HOW TO INITIATE A DIFFICULT CONVERSATION WITH A COLLEAGUE? This depends on
the depth of difficulty you are talking about. If it is something that has been festering and building for a long time, there are pre-steps you individually need to take before having the conversation. We teach this to companies. If it’s deep and wide, an outside trained facilitator is highly recommended. There is more to be done than just a quick convo. People often don’t take the time to analyze the difference and need. MANY WOMEN ARE INTERESTED IN CULTIVATING LEADERSHIP SKILLS TO ADVANCE THEIR CAREERS. HOW IMPORTANT IS EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN BECOMING A PRODUCTIVE LEADER? It is of utmost
READY TO BE INSPIRED? CHICAGO CATERING AT IT’S FINEST NEWLY HELMED, INSPIRED CATERING & EVENTS SEEKS TO BRING A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO THE CHICAGO CATERING SCENE. MOTHER DAUGHTER TEAM, KAREN AND GINA STEFANI, HEAD UP THIS NEWLY INSPIRED ENDEAVOR WITH WORLD CLASS SERVICE AND UNRIVALED CUISINE.
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importance that women leaders learn the art of honest, integrityfilled communication. Too often women are remarkably successful in their profession because of their high IQ in their respected field, yet their EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is still at the jr. high level. I have a mission in this world—that all adults, especially women, learn to be responsible, loving citizens modeling conscious speech, leading with purity of heart, and having compassionate action. fw
To learn more about Jeanne Malnati and The Culture Group, visit theculturegroup.net.
WBDC INSPIRING WOMEN
Open Doors for Your Business through Certification By Emilia DiMenco
Most state and local governments are committed to awarding contracts to women-, minority- and service-disabled veteran-owned companies. They have requirements to award a certain percentage to small and diverse firms. The business opportunities are significant, but before you can compete for contracts, you must go through a certification process to document your status. Here are three tips to ease the process. DECIDE ON THE PROPER CERTIFICATIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS.
ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THE PROCESS TAKES TIME. Getting certified is time
Certifications are available through third-party certifying organizations—such as the Women’s Business Development Center and the National Minority Supplier Development Council—and directly through specific government agencies. Businesses that qualify can choose to obtain multiple certifications, which can open doors to more contracts.
consuming. It can take weeks or months to pull your documents together and go through the application and approval process.
For example, to be eligible for the WBDC’s Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), a company must be at least 51 percent owned, controlled, and managed by one or more women.
You’ll need to assemble the required materials such as loan documentation, copies of leases, and income tax returns. Because each certifying body has its own criteria, you may need to apply for multiple certifications. Carefully assemble your paperwork to make sure it is accurate and complete. If a certifying body requests three years of tax returns and you provide only two, the approval process will be delayed until you provide the additional tax return.
KNOW THAT THERE ARE COSTS INVOLVED. Some certifications require an application fee and an annual recertification fee. However, some of the government certifications are free of charge. When the application is submitted, all certifying organizations conduct a thorough review and some include a mandatory site visit to ensure the company meets the criteria. This evaluation is necessary to ensure only qualified companies receive certification. fw
Once certification is approved, the real work begins. Getting certified doesn’t automatically guarantee contracts. It simply opens doors so that a business can begin marketing and selling its products or services to government agencies as well as major corporations. Emilia DiMenco is president and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center, an organization that provides services to prospective, emerging, and established business owners, including workshops, business counseling, and annual events. For more information, visit www.wbdc.org. FEBRUARY 2016
PHOTOGRAPHED BY HEATHER TALBERT. HAIR AND MAKEUP BY JENNA BALTES USING MAKE UP FOR EVER.
h t i w e at hom STEPHANIE IZARD The A-list chef invited FW: Chicago into her home to discuss her career, her laid-back life at home with her husband, and the magic of giraffes. by Jennifer Smith Tapp Jaded or not, most of us harbor a certain fascination about where and how famous people live. When our crew arrived at the Little Italy home of Stephanie Izard, we were immediately greeted by her dog, Burt, excitedly clutching a bright orange ball between his teeth. As far as he was concerned, new people meant more chances for a game of catch. The home—which Izard shares with her husband Gary Valentine, a beer consultant—is warm, quirky, and interesting—perhaps made even more intriguing by the fact that a world-renowned chef lives there. Anyone who follows the culinary scene even in passing is familiar with Izard and her superstar restaurants, Girl and the Goat and Little Goat. The Evanston-born chef has made a name for herself providing solid, unpretentious food for which fans have gladly waited months to secure reservations. Moving back to the area in 2000 after studying at the University of Michigan and attending culinary school in Arizona, Izard went to work at Spring. Owned by then-Chicago chef Shawn McClain, Spring gave Izard the opportunity to work her way up the ranks to sous chef. She decided to leave and landed at a small restaurant in Andersonville named La Tache. It was at La Tache that Izard found herself doing everything from learning how to order to running the kitchen. It was another cook on the line who mentioned to Izard that she should strike out on her own. “One day, one of the cooks was like, man, you should just open your own restaurant. So I quit my job the next week,” she recalls. Just a year later, Izard opened Scylla, a Bucktown spot, in 2004. For the three years that Scylla was open, Izard did a dizzying amount of the work herself. “I was the owner and the chef. I would do the hosting, calling back
reservations. I was an active manager and doing the books myself.” As anyone who has been on this side of the business can relate to, Izard was not taking days off and was paying herself just enough to cover the rent. Sensing that something even-
The turning point came when Izard was in the middle of calling a customer to confirm a reservation and suddenly fainted during the call. When she called them back after regaining her com posure, she fainted again. She asked her part-time manager to call the
came calling, and Izard went on to win Season 4 of the popular series (the first female chef to do so). She saw the prize as the perfect opportunity to make another go at her own place. With two partners she calls “the boys,” she opened Girl and the Goat and
CHEFS EITHER HAVE A MOM WHO IS A TERRIBLE COOK, SO THEY HAVE TO, OR THE MOM IS A GREAT COOK.
My mom was a really good cook. So I think that’s why I ended up doing this.
tually had to give, she actually tried to sell Scylla several times. “I’d call my realtor friends and tell them, ‘Put it on the market.’ Then I would get a good review, and I’m like, ‘let’s just keep the restaurant.’”
customer back and went to the hospital. It turns out she was just exhausted and dehydrated and suffering from general stress and not taking care of herself. Needless to say, she sold the restaurant. It was during this time that the TV show Top Chef
then Little Goat, as co-owner and executive chef. With the maddening schedule of Scylla behind her, Izard enjoys spending time at home with her husband. Home is one place where she doesn’t have to do
Chefs are often asked what they would like their “last meal” to be. But asking what their random cravings are is much more revealing about their everyday life. For Izard, her craving and her last meal would be the same: “I always say that my craving is the same as what my last meal would be—French fries and toro (the fatty belly of tuna). I also eat more Parmesan cheese in a week than most people probably eat in a year. I like putting cheese on everything.” One of the more interesting aspects of Izard’s and Valentine’s home are the themed rooms. They are all works in progress, but as of now there is a Star Wars room, a 70s room, and a giraffe room. Of course, the idea behind the last room begs a deeper explanation. After meeting a giraffe in Arizona, Izard and her husband wanted to buy one of their own. With Chicago not being the most ideal habitat for a giraffe, they decided to buy a large stuffed giraffe who lives downstairs. There are many other stuffed giraffes and images of giraffes in the space. Spending time with Izard, you observe that she is quick to smile and laugh and has the confidence of someone who has reached the pinnacle of her profession. But taking a break is not in the cards, especially with her new spot, Duck Duck Goat, opening this spring. We might have to check in with her again soon to see how the giraffe room is coming along. fw
...you didn’t know about Stephanie Izard Think you know Stephanie? It turns out there are hidden talents and fears unknown to the general public before now.
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With shows featuring strong female leads in her viewing rotation, it is natural to be curious about the women that Izard is inspired by. One of them is her mother. “Chefs either have a mom who is a terrible cook, so they have to cook, or the mom is a great cook. My mom was a really good cook. So I think that’s why I ended up doing this.” She also points to the lighthearted approach of Julia Child as a professional influence. “Just the fact that she was so funny and fun and not taking it so seriously in the kitchen,” Izard explains. Venus and Serena Williams factor high on her list, as well. Izard is an athlete herself and is part of a master’s swim team. “It’s just a nice way of saying old people’s swim team,” she jokes. Izard had been a swimmer when she was younger and now swims with the team four days a week.
r u fo s g n i th
SHE HAS A HIDDEN TALENT. “I am a fast skipper. It’s just amazing.”
STRAWBERRIES DON’T MAKE THE CUT. “I don’t hate them, I just don’t like to eat strawberries.”
SHE HAS A PHOBIA OF FANS. Specifically, she doesn’t like the feeling of air blowing on her. Her husband Gary tricked her into entering the tornado interpretive room at Lincoln Park Zoo. He caught her reaction on video.
SHE HAS ALWAYS WANTED TO HUG A MONKEY.
much cooking. “Gary actually does most of the cooking, since I’m working all day. He’ll tell me to put my pajamas on and sit down.” The couple entertains a lot at home—outdoor grilling plays a starring role at their parties when the weather allows. But like many of us, Izard also covets time on the couch watching TV. “I basically walk into my house, put on my pajamas, and watch really bad TV.” When asked which shows she tunes into, she lists Blacklist and “this really awful thing called Helix that nobody else watches. I also like to watch Madam Secretary and Homeland by myself.”
“I don’t know why, It’s on my bucket list.”
s u o i c i l e d Top Women in Food in Chicago
Chicago is one of the premier culinary destinations in the world. Here, 20 women who have made their mark on the local food scene. Some names you already know, others you should know. by Jennifer Smith Tapp and Rebecca Taras-Lee CHRISTINE CIKOWSKI
LEE ANN WHIPPEN
Fresh out of the culinary program at Kendall College, Cikowski and Josh Kulp wanted to create an underground dining scene in Chicago. With creative menus, locally-sourced ingredients, and an unconventional setting as cornerstones, Sunday Dinner Club was born. Originally for friends and family, it has grown to a 7,000-people mailing list and 12 to 15 dinners a month. All by word-of-mouth. The fried chicken dinners were so popular at the Sunday Dinner Club that Honey Butter Fried Chicken was born two years ago. But it is at the Dinner Club that Cikowski feels she and Kulp can flex their creative muscles. She says, “It is a unique dining experience and always something new to taste.”
Shows like Bobby Flay’s Boy Meets Grill may put a man behind the coals, but a girl can cook up a slab of meat just as well as any dude. Case in point, award-winning chef Lee Ann Whippen first made her mark in the Windy City back in 2010 with the launch of Chicago q, an urban upscale barbecue restaurant in the heart of the Gold Coast. Whippen is currently the chef pitmaster at The Local Chicago, where she brings the same level of expertise and creativity to the American comfort food table. Lee Ann also retails her mouth-watering southern barbecue eats at Frozen Foodies, a chef-inspired frozen food line based in Lincoln Park.
Co-owner, Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Sunday Dinner Club
Chef Pitmaster, The Local Chicago
It was the need for a flexible work life that led Singla to launch her company, Indian as Apple Pie (which includes a cookbook and a growing product line). Singla is on a quest to present the many nuances of Indian food—including the fact that, contrary to what you may think, there is no curry powder in Indian food. Authentic homestyle Indian food is much different than your favorite Indian restaurant. “Homestyle Indian food is clean, healthy, and simple to make. You need the right spices to make it authentic,” she said. To help bring her mission to the masses, Singla is in negotiations with WTTW to launch a show in 2017.
Having grown up in rural Indiana, Chef Regan was accustomed to cooking from scratch using fresh, seasonal ingredients collected from her grandfather’s farm. Regan has worked in restaurants since she was 15, handling everything from dishwashing to managing front-of- house to running numerous kitchens to making salads. By 2012, she had an investor and opened her restaurant, Elizabeth, named after her sister. “I’d say the hardest aspect of the career is being able to switch from business woman to chef to mother to mentor all within an hour,” said Regan. But multitasking isn’t slowing down this spitfire. Look for Bunny micro-bakery/ WunderPOP and Kitsune Restaurant and Pub opening later this year.
Cookbook Author and Entrepreneur
Owner and Chef, Elizabeth Restaurant
PHOTO CREDIT: ERIC KLEINBERG
THE BUSINESS OF FOOD
Co-founder and CEO, Isabelli Media Relations Name just about any well-known restaurant in Chicago and there is a good chance that they are on Isabelli Media Relations’ client list. Starting IMR after working in public relations with other organizations, Isabelli and her husband were initially planning to open a restaurant of their own. It was when Isabelli’s freelance PR gig grew to include seven clients that she and her husband, who had a background in restaurant management, made the choice to launch their own firm representing hospitality clients. This spring IMR celebrates its fifth anniversary. Isabelli and her team work overtime to help their clients’ messages stand out in such a crowded dining landscape. Isabelli explains, “At IMR, it starts with understanding that every client has its own story to tell—cookie cutter campaigns will lead nowhere fast. It is a tremendous responsibility to be entrusted with sharing someone else’s story, and we don’t take it lightly.” Isabelli takes pride in her city as a culinary destination and applauds the chefs who are seeking out new areas of the city to open their restaurants. She counts her first boss, Adrienne Weiss, as an inspiration and a constant voice guiding her own journey as a fellow entrepreneur.
LAURENE HYNSON Owner, Sweet Maple Café
Coming from a telecommunications and sales management background, Hynson was not looking to open a restaurant when she launched Sweet Maple Café in 1999. But she was looking for something that would accommodate her schedule as a mother, so she opened its doors as a neighborhood breakfast spot that closed at 2 p.m. The popular Little Italy spot now serves lunch, but you will still need to get there before 2 p.m. to sample Hynson’s version of country-style home cooking. Her advice for other entrepreneurs? “Have confidence that you can do it. Have a clear vision of what you want and stay true to it.”
MINDY SEGAL Owner, HotChocolate
With several nominations and awards under her belt, Mindy Segal has been placed on the map as one of the best chefs in the country. “If you’re good, I don’t think it has to do with being a man or a woman. It has to do with your craft,” said Segal. The go-getter with a prestigious pedigree (think Spago and Charlie Trotter’s) wound up owning a restaurant, HotChocolate, that has served as one of the most popular and steadfast eateries in Chicago for the past ten years. Not one to get too comfortable, last year Segal launched “Cookie Love,” a book about a new, edgier take on baking cookies, and her 2016 endeavor is a line of cannabis-infused edible products with Cresco Labs for medical marijuana patients. Props!
Co-owner, Owen + Alchemy With her Logan Square apothecary, Owen (along with partner, Chef Jared Van Camp) has almost singlehandedly made the case for a plantbased lifestyle for her many fans in Chicago. The chic, minimal branding PHOTO CREDIT: MARIA PONCE helps, but it is the chef-driven recipes made from sustainable locally-selected produce that continue to keep Owen + Alchemy relevant in the face of increasing competition from upstart juice purveyors. To Owen, this is an important feature that makes O+A stand out among the crowd. “People are more conscious and aware of what they are eating,” she said. “Consumers have real power, and it’s forcing big business to make changes.” Owen stays on track as an entrepreneur by finding support from the city’s network of fellow female business owners.
Owner, The Boarding House and Seven Lions From being recognized as the youngest female to pass the final level of the Master Sommelier exam to serving as the host of the Emmy Award-winning restaurant review television show, Check, Please!, and being nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award while serving as the director of wine and spirits for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, it’s safe to say Singh has made a mark in Chicago in more ways than one. Today, the spitfire is known for popular Chicago eateries, The Boarding House (Chicago’s first Master-Sommelier-owned eatery) and Seven Lions. “Change can be very frightening, but if you no longer feel fulfilled in your current position or know in your heart that there is something better out there for you, it’s time to take that leap of faith,” said Singh. The distinguished oenophile is also a member of the Choose Chicago Board of Directors and helped bring the James Beard Foundation Awards to the city last year.
THE BUSINESS OF FOOD
KATHY HERBERT Entrepreneur
Herbert’s background in food reaches back to a job bagging groceries at Jewel at age 16. She parlayed her interest in the food space into several C-level positions that included a stint as chief human resources officer of Albertsons. When Albertsons was sold, Herbert wanted to give back and focused her efforts on helping women food entrepreneurs get their enterprises up and running. Herbert observed that women did not always have access to the capital they needed in a male-dominated industry. She decided to make investments in female-led companies in the food arena. One company that Herbert backed early on was Happy Baby, an organic baby food line that has since grown into Happy Family, an entire collection of organic food for babies, tots, and kids, plus prenatal supplements and fruit and veggie blends for moms-to-be. Herbert is also on the Board of Directors of Hooray Puree and an advisor to Now We’re Cookin’ (also profiled in this issue). So what does Herbert look for when considering brands to invest in? She says, “I try to look at the product. Is it disruptive in the space? Is the person bringing the idea good at executing? Will they be able to get the product to end-stage?” Herbert wants to support businesses that “impact communities and work toward a greater good.”
LISA FOSLER KELLY AND JENNIFER WISNIESWKI Co-owners, Bread & Wine
THE BUSINESS OF FOOD
President and Owner, NWC Food Incubator Funk describes herself as “someone who is always looking for something new to do after awhile.” So, it follows that after a career in corporate banking, she decided to explore her love of cooking and started taking classes at the Culinary School of Kendall College at night. She began thinking about launching a catering company and connected with other Kendall students, who all lamented the lack of rental kitchen spaces in the city. Funk did launch a catering company, but it was in 2007 that Now We’re Cookin’ opened its doors in downtown Evanston. Now called NWC Food Incubator, the enterprise quickly grew to include a commercial kitchen space, an event space, and a business incubator that assists food entrepreneurs with product launches from concept to placement. When deciding which projects to take under the NWC wing, Funk says, “We want to make sure that we have an understanding of their intentions— are they serious about their products and their ideas?” Funk estimates that NWC talks to about 200-300 aspiring entrepreneurs a year, with participants in the incubator coming from all over the area, including the city, north suburbs, and beyond. With the food space becoming ever more diverse, NWC plans to evolve to keep pace. There are plans to open a space in the city and make entrance into the incubator more competitive. 30
Fosler Kelly and Wisniewski both had young daughters who were about the same age when they initially connected years ago. And both had the dream of opening a restaurant. Fosler Kelly was an attorney who had gone to culinary school and Wisnieswki was a former model who had worked in some of Chicago’s most iconic restaurants. After two years of planning and raising capital, Bread & Wine opened as an American bistro and wine bar four years ago in a space that was a former laundromat on the city’s northwest side. Regarding advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs, Wisnieswki said, “You have to do your homework. It also helps to be in the business of the business that you want to open. You need to know the ins and outs.” Fosler Kelly added, “Know your strengths and weaknesses and constantly review them.”
Founder, Vosges Haut-Chocolat Born and raised in Indiana, Katrina Markoff developed an early passion for baking in her family’s kitchen. “I’ve always had strong female influences in my life,” said Markoff. “My mother is an entrepreneur who worked in a male-dominated industry.” This year, Markoff is launching new products and flavors for Wild Ophelia, the diffusion line that highlights regional American foods. The chocolatier plans on expanding the brand’s philanthropic platform—inspiring, encouraging, and empowering female entrepreneurship by donating a percentage of profits to organizations that fund women-owned businesses. Vosges Haut-Chocolat gave its first grant to Chicago’s 1871 WiStem program, which fosters opportunities for women in technology.
Co-owner, Baker Miller and Hot Bar Since opening all-day brunch spot Baker Miller in Lincoln Square with her husband Dave, Miller has been at the forefront of a movement involving more thoughtfully-produced dishes that often start with grains milled on site. A James Beard Foundation Award nominee, Baker Miller has grown PHOTO CREDIT: JEN SHELLEY into a neighborhood gem that recently gave rise to Hot Bar, a commuter-friendly offshoot in Ravenswood Manor that offers creative grab-and-go pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Miller lists Ina Pickney, Dana Cree, and Mindy Segal as her “industry girl crushes” and offers this advice for business owners: “Be patient and start small, and decide how much money and time off you need to be a healthy, happy person and stick to it from the very beginning of your business adventure.”
ROHINI DEY, PH.D. Founder and Owner, Vermillion
Dey was inspired to break away from her management consulting career by an entrepreneurial desire to serve as an ambassador of Indian cuisine. She achieved her goal by serving as the founder, owner, and culinary director of Vermilion restaurants in both Chicago and New York. As a woman restaurateur and female supporter, Dey co-founded the James Beard Foundation Vermilion Women in Culinary Leadership Program (WICL)—backed by a roster of nationwide restaurateur-mentors and celebrity “Chefs for Women.” She also started the nonprofit MSEdGEducate Girls Globally to which all her writing proceeds go. “While I had to learn a highly challenging industry outside in, I didn’t face any handicaps as a woman,” said Dey. “But I would suggest counseling women on investing, becoming financially literate, and building strong ‘external’ (confidence, leadership, allies) skills, if they want to excel.”
President and CEO, Robinson Hill If you’ve grabbed a snack at the airport, chances are Dee Robinson had something to do with it. She’s the founder of a Chicago-based concessions management firm with an airport focus. Robinson Hill owns and operates a range of food/ beverage, news, and gift licenses; franchises; and joint ventures at Navy Pier and O’Hare, Midway, Boston Logan, and Reagan National airports. “2016 should be an exciting year with a focus on growth and scaling up the company,” said Robinson. “The reimagining of the airport will bring new revenues, new partnerships, new jobs, and enhanced services.”
Owner, Southport Grocery and Café
When she opened Southport Grocery and Café in 2003, Santos was ahead of the curve with respect to the recent focus on more carefully-sourced ingredients. Part boutique grocery, part cozy eatery, this spot is a mainstay on the Southport Corridor, thanks to an expertly curated selection of gourmet foods (many locally-produced) and a breakfast and lunch menu of elevated comfort food. Santos is also working on a series of cookbooks that she calls “periodicals,” the first of which centered on preserving and was released in 2015. Santos said, “I wanted to teach people how to eat out of season by preserving foods and enjoying them at any time of the year.”
DR. SONAT BIRNECKER HART
President and Co-founder, KOVAL Distillery
THE BUSINESS OF FOOD
President, Blue Dog Design Ever wonder why and how you choose to buy a certain product over another at the grocery store? We all have our own set of aesthetics that govern the decisions that we make as consumers, but it is the job of Hayward and her company to make sure that we choose her clients’ products above all others. As a brand strategy and creative marketing consultancy, Blue Dog Design creates products and packaging for A-list brands such as Nestlé, Proctor & Gamble, and General Mills. With a dizzying array of options vying for consumers’ attention, Hayward and her team help their clients fine-tune their message to ensure brand loyalty. She says, “We are hired to help food companies compel a shopper to reach for the brand offering on the shelf and place it soundly in the cart! This is a time of unparalleled choice in the grocery store. A typical supermarket stocks 38,000 products. Likely, you think you buy thousands of different things a year out of such a vast selection, yet a typical shopper buys only about 250 of those products. Pretty stiff competition for your attention!” When rushing through the store, it may seem as if shoppers are just grabbing things they are familiar with or what might be on sale. But, according to Hayward, the thought process is much more nuanced: “There is a lot of complexity involved in deciding what to put in front of consumers and ask them to buy. As you approach the shelf next time, consider that we navigate hundreds of decisions that result in three simple messages at the shelf that describe the product, show its deliciousness (or functionality), and convey why you need it!”
In 2008, Sonat Birnecker Hart gave up a career teaching and lecturing in the U.S. and Germany for a different quality of life. She and her husband, Master Distiller Robert Birnecker, founded one of the first urban craft distilleries in the U.S. At KOVAL Distillery, she has spearheaded much of the product development, distribution, and marketing. “I feel that this business has given me quite an education on the process of changing Illinois laws and the Chicago industrial real estate market; both of which are challenging in their own ways but certainly worth the effort,” said Birnecker Hart. She is also the co-founder of Kothe Distilling Technologies, a distillery start-up consulting firm, and serves as a representative for many distillery equipment companies, including Germany’s leading pot still manufacturer, Kothe Destillationstechnik. Keep your eyes peeled for new products and collaborations in the year ahead.
SUSAN FRASCA Owner and General Manager, Kinzie Chophouse
Proving that men aren’t the only ones who know a thing or two about what it takes to run a successful steakhouse, Kinzie Chophouse has been a Chicago staple for the past 25 years. “I wanted a place where people could feel comfortable pulling up a chair and calling it their second home,” said Frasca. When she’s not running around the restaurant keeping things on track, Frasca devotes time to her other passion project, The Wine Huntress. Frasca took her hobby and love of the grape to another level by obtaining a Certification Level 1 from the American Court Masters, Level 1 and 2 with the International Sommelier Guild, and her Viticulture and Vinification Certification from the American Sommelier Association. Next, she began bidding on special vintages all over the globe so she could share them with an exclusive members-only wine club in Chicago.
One of few African-American vintners in the industry, Lampley has positioned her wine and lifestyle brand, Love Cork Screw, at more than 50 locations in the Chicago area since founding the company in 2013. While creating her version of a luxury aesthetic might be the purpose of the brand, it is supporting other entrepreneurs that is Lampley’s true passion. “From donations to speaking engagements, I like to inspire other women to pursue their dreams, no matter what. I determine Love Cork Screw’s success by the number of people I can inspire to be great,” said Lampley. “That’s important to both the
Nahabedian was already well on her way to a professional career in food at the age of 17, working in the kitchen of the just-opened Ritz-Carlton. There, Nahabedian was able to indulge her love of French cuisine. After working in various restaurants and other hotels, Nahabedian struck out on her own, opening Naha in 2000 with her cousin Michael. Featuring a menu that balances American cuisine with Armenian and Greek cultures, Naha earned Nahabedian a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef-Great Lakes in 2008. Revisiting her French roots, Nahabedian and her cousin opened Brindille in 2013. Nahabedian has some words of wisdom on how women should handle themselves in the kitchen: “I gained the respect of the many men I cooked with because I came in to the position showing my talent, put my head down, and just cooked. I didn’t use my sex to get ahead. Just gain the respect by showing what you can do.”
Vintner, Founder, and CEO, Love Cork Screw
brand and myself.”
JOCELYN DELK ADAMS
Cookbook Author and Food Blogger
A love of baking inspired by her grandmother led Delk Adams to leave her career as an events and media producer and start her blog, Grandbaby Cakes. The popular blog eventually turned into a cookbook, titled “Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories.” Released in 2015, the cookbook resonated deeply with fans, who have taken to posting photos of themselves with the book on social media. Delk Adams couldn’t be more thrilled: “I have just loved seeing so many people excited to bake from the book. Readers send me photos and emails all the time telling me how much the book has meant to them and how it has reignited a love of baking and family. I know the book is fulfilling its purpose.” fw
Chef and Co-owner, Naha and Brindille
SCHILLER DUCANTO & FLECK LLP Congratulates Senior Partner
Meighan A. Harmon
Top 50 Women Lawyer in Illinois Super Lawyers 2016 FA M I LY L AW. U N PA R A L L E L E D . CHICAGO
/ W H E AT O N
S D F L AW. CO M
g n i Ris ar st s GINA STEFANI
MANAGING PARTNER, MAD SOCIAL VICE PRESIDENT, INSPIRED CATERING AND EVENTS BY KAREN AND GINA STEFANI
Stefani discovered her love for the industry at a young age while assisting at her father’s restaurants (Castaways, anyone?) during breaks from school. Over her short tenure in the industry, Gina has had the opportunity to work with distinguished dignitaries, including everyone from former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to President Obama and The First Lady. Stefani’s latest endeavor, MAD Social, is a personal project that’s targeted for an early February launch in the West Loop. Diners and drinkers can expect a neighborhood spot that will offer globally inspired shareable plates with a New American twist. “My dad was at Stefani’s every night and knew almost everyone,” said Stefani. “I want MAD to be that way. I want to be able to greet everyone who comes in and really get to know the neighborhood.”
AMY ARNOLD CORPORATE PASTRY CHEF, DINE|AMIC GROUP
When a pastry chef has a background as a sculptor and a cartographer, you know amazing things are on the horizon. To Arnold, pastry is yet another form of creative expression. “Art has always been a huge part of my life in one form or another,” Arnold said. “I drew and sculpted when I was younger and that led to cake sculpting. After going back to school to become a savory chef, my artistic talent led me to the pastry side of things.” Arnold is well-known for her gelato featuring wildly creative flavor profiles, like Honey and Milk Chocolate with Bee Pollen and Fresno Chili and Peach. But according to Arnold, the best-selling gelato is caramel with ribbons of house-made salted caramel. Another customer favorite is the bombolonis at Siena Tavern, which allows lucky diners to inject their own filling.
AMY + CLODAGH LAWLESS PROPRIETORS, THE DEARBORN
When you have successful restaurateurs for parents, it’s only natural that you’d want to follow in their footsteps. After learning the ropes of the hospitality business from a very young age, Amy and Clodagh Lawless are finally breaking out to launch their own concept. The Dearborn—a contemporary urban American tavern exemplified by top-notch Irish hospitality—is slated to open by this summer. “Amy and I have been involved in all aspects of our family business, so we will have shared responsibilities for the front and back of the house,” said Clodagh. While dreaming up the perfect formula for a lively bar scene and working with Executive Chef Aaron Cuschieri (Top Chef New Orleans Season 11] on a seasonally-inspired menu sounds like a dream job, Amy cautions entrepreneurialism is not child’s play. “Launching your own business is an incredibly exciting possibility, but you must be prepared to roll up your sleeves, do the work, and have an abundance of patience and perseverance.” fw
Try This at Home
GRATEFUL DEAD LASAGNA Debra Sharpe, owner of the Bucktown-based Goddess Grocer Group, also has an impressive background as a rock star caterer. Literally. Her past and current client list reads like a guided tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just recently, she was responsible for feeding 1,500 artists and crew at Lollapalooza last summer.
Here, we share Sharpe’s recipe for a lasagna that she prepared for The Grateful Dead’s Farewell Tour in 2015.
18 lasagna sheets
4 bay leaves
11 0-ounce can marinara sauce
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup ricotta
1 teaspoon basil, dried
1 cup Parmesan, grated
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 cup mozzarella, grated
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
5 pounds ground beef
1 onion, small dice
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup flour
1 ounce olive oil
2 ounces butter
2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons pepper
In a large rondo pot, sauté the ground beef, onion and garlic with the olive oil. Drain off excess grease from the ground beef before proceeding. Once the meat is cooked, add in the marinara, basil, oregano, bay leaves, chili flakes, and white wine. In a separate pot, make a béchamel with the flour, butter, cream, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Assemble the lasagna in a full-size hotel pan (deep). Put a layer of red sauce on the bottom of the pan to begin. Layer the lasagna as follows: pasta, red sauce with meat, ricotta. When you get to the top of the pan, coat the top layer with the béchamel sauce. Bake in a 350-degree oven, covered with foil, for 1 hour. Chill completely before portioning.
AT I O N S S R E V N TECH CO
CAN BULLETS BE STOPPED WITH JOBS?
Two women in Chicago’s tech community say yes—and they are breaking down barriers to job opportunities to prove their point. Terri Brax talks with Elena Rubin-Valentine, co-founder of SkillScout, a hands-on hiring organization that drives diversity through innovative video and skills interviews, and Sandee Kastrul, the founder of i.c.stars, a technology-based workforce development and leadership training program for low-income adults. TERRI: You’re both leading social entrepreneurs in the tech start-up and impact communities and both passionate about fighting the employment challenges that many young Chicagoans face. What spark started your story?
SANDEE: I was a math and science teacher. I had no business going into IT. I was kind of like that one room urban schoolteacher, the one ringing the bell, and saying, “Everybody come in! You in the bushes smoking, put that out and get into school!” I always believed in this idea of human-centered design. For me, education was about bringing out the individual. Let’s understand who you are, what’s motivating you, what your priorities are, and who you are as a person, and connect that understanding to sell physics. And my kids did great. But once they transcended all their test scores and finished, they were walking off a cliff because there weren’t the other opportunities waiting for them. The narrative was, these kids can’t learn, they can’t do higher math. All cant’s. But my hypothesis was: the real talent is in our inner cities, and the resiliency of facing adversity day after day after day is actually an incredible asset, because the resiliency they developed helped them develop creativity, critical thinking skills, the ability to solve complex problems, and chutzpah.
So I thought, “What if, we match this unutilized talent with technology companies, who desperately search for people who can think outside of the box? Could we explode all of the norms that have become American business?” So we started finding, training, and putting talent to work in IT jobs. There was a tremendous opportunity in hiring our graduates, because they think outside the lines. And then we added entrepreneurship training, so students were taught to add value and create opportunities for others. Because in the end, that’s all leadership is. It’s making opportunities for others. And by creating leaders, we’re developing problem-solvers inside our community rather than waiting for other people to fix them. Why shouldn’t it be us?
ELENA: Our inspiration is very much in line with the work that i.c. stars does. I was a former design researcher at Gravitytank. We were working with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and saw a national problem of 7 million young adults who were not in school or in the workforce. And we wanted organizations like ours to kind of think differently about, “how do we connect these young people to more meaningful pathways to employment?” And so as design researchers, we were like, okay, let’s go to the hardest-to-place populations first. So that was formerly incarcerated young people
PHOTO CREDIT KRIS KASPEREK
in inner city Baltimore or Chicago. This moment markedly had changed my life. Here I am in a woodworking shop of talented young people who are making rounded chairs. specialty cutting boards, and park benches along the Maryland Harbor. You tend to forget that these are young people that were filtered through the juvenile justice program. And what we saw was, man, they may not have work experience, they may not have left their neighborhoods, they may have records, and they may not look good on paper, but gosh are they talented. Any company would be lucky to have them. On the other hand, the reason we had talked about job postings was, you cannot be who you cannot see. And so if you have candidates who never left their neighborhoods, how can they see the opportunities that exist in IT or manufacturing? So that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to transform the whole hiring process, and humanize it through storytelling and videos job postings. We saw that people are connecting jobs to resumes. That’s typically how they discover each other. But we knew that there are huge populations of candidates and companies that don’t look good on paper, so we created video job postings. We go out to companies and we film short job posting promotions, demystifying the job requirements, showcasing the people they’re working with at the company, the kinds of skills. Having that brought to life provides more access and understanding to candidates asking, can I do this job?
And on the job seeker’s end, we help companies experience candidates, rather than just a resume. We work in industries where candidates can submit a work sample: a relevant task that they would be doing on the job. We call it “human centered hiring.” We bring humanity back into the hiring process because, right now, too many people have skills but grew up in difficult situations and are shut out of jobs. And a meaningful job can determine your future and the future of your family.
And that’s so ridiculous, that’s just such a wasted opportunity for the companies too.
ELENA: To that point, studies show that many successful entrepreneurs have gone through something very tragic in their life. They experienced a lot of trauma and tragedies in their lives. And these entrepreneurs and researchers credit, the reason why they have been so successful is because they had to undertake so much early on and it made them more resilient to the failing that is a part of moving a business forward. fw To read the complete conversation, please visit fw-chicago.com/profiles/influencers/valentine-kastrul
Terri Brax is the co-founder of Women Tech Founders (WTF) and the Founder of TeacherCare Inc., a nationwide agency. WTF is a Chicago-based media and networking organization for women founders and leaders of tech start-ups.
R THE MENTO by Kathleen Henson
THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU How Creativity, Smarts, and Authenticity Help You Get Farther in Life and Work
Remember back in junior high or high school when you desperately wanted to be a cheerleader but you had zero flexibility, or you admired the lead in the school play but you didn’t have the voice to belt out show tunes? I used to care too much about fitting in and spent a lot of my energy back then wishing to have qualities I just was never, ever going to have. I was the studious, driven, and emotionally-attuned teen that got along with a variety of social cliques. But all I wanted was the agility to do that back flip and, let’s be honest, wear the cheerleader
outfit that all the cute boys paid attention to. Many years later, I realized thinking that way simply wasted time. I had several unique characteristics of my own that would ultimately make me good at other, arguably more important, things. As I started growing and scaling my company, I began hiring dozens of people who had awesome qualities to offer our clients. One of my professional mentors, Rich Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, encouraged me to identify some “common denominators” that
I should look for to make us more successful as a team. In the last issue, I talked about leading with kindness, showing passion for what you do, and always having “hustle” to get the job done. Now, I want to focus on the three other characteristics that I believe will help you get farther in life and especially at work—Creativity, Smarts, and Authenticity.
FIND YOUR CREATIVITY: I always have been an ideas girl— unabashedly energetic and coming up with the next promotional concept or campaign by finding
PHOTO CREDIT KRIS KASPEREK
little creative spark is, identify it, channel it, and try to find ways to tap into it. I have found that creativity is like a muscle— the more you use it, the better you get at it.
SHOW YOUR SMARTS:
inspiration in my daily life. Whether I’m watching TV, driving to work, reading a novel, ideas simply pop into my mind all day long. In fact, I carry a notebook everywhere I go to capture them. That creativity has been channeled to help me be a better PR professional and strategize solutions for brands and charities I support. Most everyone has God-given creativity. It could be a special way you approach things, a talent like design or writing, or it might be an aptitude to take something you see on Pinterest and whip it up on your own. Whatever that
I also appreciate people who use their “smarts” to navigate the ups and downs of life. Now, this doesn’t mean you need a Harvard education to gain respect in the workplace—although kudos to anyone who has a brilliant mind and is traditionally book smart. I seek out and specifically appreciate those people who are street smart—individuals who use their past experiences to guide their choices. I respect those folks who know how to make a good, solid decision on the spot; someone who just has great instincts. Let’s face it, there will be roadblocks or issues in nearly every work week, but it’s how you react to them that shows your character and your “smarts.” I value members of my team who don’t come to me with an issue, but instead come with a solution or, even better, tell me the problem was already solved and they’ve moved on to the next assignment. So, look inward and identify how you make your decisions, how you respond to challenges, and how you leverage past experiences to be smarter in the future.
THE HONEST TRUTH: The final value I seek out in the individuals who work at Henson Consulting are authentic souls— individuals who are emotionally open, honest, and truthful. There is obvious ease in these types of people because they live with transparency and are true to who they are. They don’t promise they can get something done if they don’t think they can; they say what they mean, and mean what they say. Whatever side of the political fence you sit on this election year, I think America is really embracing candidates who just say how it is and don’t tiptoe around topics or speak in half-truths. PR practitioners are often called “spin doctors” or people who spin what is said about clients, but I have always subscribed to just telling the truth and leveling directly with others—whether it is good news or bad. You can always place your head on your pillow and sleep soundly at night when you are open, honest, and truthful. I have never regretted making this a tenet in my adult life, and I encourage my employees—and my children, for that matter—to live this way. There is only one you, so embrace your creativity and smarts and always live with truth. Most of all, be grateful for what makes you unique and own it. fw
Kathleen Henson is a wife, mother of five, and the founder and CEO of Henson Consulting, an award-winning national PR firm based in Chicago that employs 39 women and one very brave man. Her company just was named among 75 companies on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of top company cultures nationwide.
THE YEAR OF FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT
First, Be Your Own Sweetheart LADIES, LET’S BE CLEAR: A MAN ISN’T A FINANCIAL PLAN. by Carolyn Leonard and Monika Black Many women believe that when they meet Mr. Right they will then begin to plan for their financial future, economic security, buy their first home, etc. Why wait on someone else to show up to be fabulous? Better to be Ms. Right, right now. Take some time this Valentine’s Day—before the sweets and romance with your sweetie—to be your own sweetheart first. Start off by learning about yourself and your financial identity. Find out what drives your preferences for how you want to engage with your money. This will help you determine which of the many smart money options is right for you. With an informed understanding of your relationship with money, you can:
Measure your value and worth in the job market.
Implement an action plan to invest in, or boost, a 401(k).
You are probably worth more than you are getting paid. While many women worry about their financial futures, they often don’t take the steps to make certain they are taking care of today. Take a cue from supermodel, businesswoman, and entrepreneur Tyra Banks’ new lipstick, which she called “Ask for a Raise.” Read my lips!
Sweethearts don’t save what is left after spending. Sweethearts spend what is left after saving. In other words, “pay yourself first.” The habit of immediately putting money into a separate account and spending what is left will give you the financial empowerment you are looking for and a sense of well-being that you are looking out for numero uno. The money you save now has the power of compounding. Your goal for yourself should be not only to work for money but also to have your money work for you. Money working for you is like having an income from a second job.
Almost 60 percent of workers don’t ask their boss for a raise. PayScale, an online salary and compensation resource, conducted a survey and found that 57 percent of people haven’t asked for a raise in their current field. The findings also showed that 28 percent of respondents were uncomfortable asking for more, and 19 percent were concerned about being seen as aggressive. Timing is everything in asking for a raise, and the best time to ask is when you are happy in your job. When you are your own financial sweetheart one of the best things that you can do for yourself is make certain that you are getting paid your worth.
Consider whether a pre-nuptial agreement is right for your values and your money. More than half of the women in relationships today are the primary breadwinners in the relationship. Many things in our lives don’t go according to plan, which is why having a pre-nuptial agreement in place can be a smart move before you say “I do.” Marriage is a legal contract between two people. The same is true of a pre-nuptial. We buy home insurance but don’t want to ever have a fire. But if we do have one, we are very happy to have the insurance and the money to remediate the damage. To us, a pre-nuptial agreement is like a homeowner’s insurance policy. It only works if it’s in place before the fire. We all know you can’t get insurance after you smell the smoke. fw Carolyn Leonard and Monika Black are the co-founder and strategy analyst of DyMynd, a company that helps financial institutions build meaningful relationships with their female clients. Learn more about DyMynd at dymynd.com.
x o b y t u a e b COLD WEATHER MUST-HAVES By Rebecca Taras-Lee
Sure, there are some wintery things we can get behind—we love an excuse to blow 400 calories on hot chocolate, any snowycabin situation, and the chance to wrap ourselves in cozy blankets and cashmere sweaters at all times—but how our skin reacts to the cold weather is not one of them. So, we’ve rounded up a handful of products that will keep you super-hydrated all season long. IS CLINICAL YOUTH INTENSIVE CRÈME This power-packed formula provides steadfast hydration for 24 hours and also lightly exfoliates, so your dry, drab winter complexion literally melts away. $195, available at Dermstore.com. HYDROPEPTIDE SOOTHING SERUM REDNESS REPAIR AND RELIEF This lightweight wonder is formulated with calming peptides and a botanical stem cell to reduce the appearance of redness while comforting and hydrating irritated skin. $130, available at Nordstrom, nordstrom.com. AMARTE OVERNIGHT EXPRESS THERAPY This multi-function sleeping mask will have you waking up to a fresher, more hydrated you. Silk extract brightens and tightens while propolis cera serves as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial healing emollient. $79, available at amarteskincare.com.
NEOCELL BEAUTY BURSTS This award-winning chew tastes as good as candy, but they actually make your skin look better by treating it from the inside out. Collagen Type I and III provide the body’s beauty protein, strengthening skin, hair, and nails. Hyaluronic Acid (a.k.a. nature’s moisturizer) hydrates, while vitamin C is essential to boosting collagen production. $12.99, available at Whole Foods, wholefoods.com. PALMER’S COCOA BUTTER FORMULA FIRMING SKIN BUTTER We’re firm believers that you don’t need to drop a lot of coin to find a great body moisturizer. Case in point, one of our favorites is an oldie but a goodie from Palmer’s. While we love its creamy cocoa butter goodness, we do have to admit that thanks to a holiday cookie binge, we chose the formula with the firming qualities of co-enzyme Q10. $7.49, available at Walgreens, walgreens.com.
BIO OIL MULTI-USE SKIN OIL This all-in-one wonder literally cures any beauty woe that ails you— including frayed cuticles, uneven skin tone, scars, and stretch marks! Use as a bath oil or simply apply where necessary. Thanks to PureCellin in the formula, this oil won’t stain your clothes or sheets. $12.99, available at Ulta, ulta.com.
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L Oyou VE This Valentine’s Day feel sexy, powerful and awesome. Celebrate in the season’s sexiest (and cheekiest) bras, panties, and ultimate lounging pieces.
Photographed by Kirsten Miccoli on location at Kehoe Designs Styled by Brandon Frein and Arlene Matthews COSABELLA ITALIA SOFT BRA, $69 AT NEIMAN MARCUS COSABELLA ITALIA BOXER, $75 AT NEIMAN MARCUS JULES VANCE DENDRITIC OPAL NECKLACE, $665 AT JULES VANCE JEWELRY
LA PERLA ZEPHYRA CARDIGAN, $398 AT LA PERLA FLEUR OF ENGLAND DESIRE BOUDOIR BRA, $181 AT JOURNELLE JULES VANCE DIAMOND TUSK EARRING, $360/PAIR, $180/SINGLE AT JULESVANCEJEWELRY.COM
RIGHT JOURNELLE ESTELLE HIPSTER, $22 AT JOURNELLE JOURNELLE NATALIA SUSPENDER BELT, $48 AT JOURNELLE JOURNELLE NATALIA UNDERWIRE BRA, $62 AT JOURNELLE
BELOW CHRISTINE SILK KIMONO, $325 AT NEIMAN MARCUS JOURNELLE GEMMA BIKINI, $34 AT JOURNELLE
Kehoe Designs Event Producer Kacy Irwin tells us what inspired the gorgeous set that she designed for this month’s fashion editorial: “For this photo shoot, I wanted to re-create an ethereal boudoir inspired by the drama of Latin glamour, with a bougainvillea tree indigenous to a seductive south-of-the-border climate. Lush red florals and luxurious velvet charcoal panels provided an element of rich texture that created this dramatic and ‘oh-so-sexy’ scene.”
OPPOSITE PAGE, RIGHT LA PERLA HARMONY EYELET AND SATIN PANT, $704 AT LA PERLA WOLFORD BODYSUIT, $220 AT NEIMAN MARCUS JULES VANCE STITCH TOWER EARRING, $135/PAIR, $67 SINGLE BRUSH BY BESSAME
BELOW JOURNELLE GEMMA BIKINI, $34 AT JOURNELLE SAM GOLDBERG HAND CARVED STERLING SILVER “LOVE” RING, $169, CALL 773-627-1178.
ABOVE JOURNELLE NATALIA BODYSUIT, $88 AT JOURNELLE LA PERLA SILK PAJAMAS, $398 AT LA PERLA JOURNELLE “I WOKE UP LIKE THIS” SLEEP MASK, $30 AT JOURNELLE JULES VANCE FESTOON FRINGE NECKLACE, $395, JULES VANCE FLAT MELT NECKLACE, $125 AT JULESVANCEJEWELRY.COM
PHOTOGRAPHER: Kirsten Miccoli, kirstenmiccoli.com STYLISTS: Brandon Frein and Arlene Matthews, kitthis.com HAIR AND MAKE-UP: Andrea Samuels using Make Up For Ever, Senna Cosmetics, Inglot, Marc Jacobs, and Jeffree Star MODEL: Amelia with Ford Models
t s u l r e wand By Rebecca Taras-Lee
We’ve come to that point in the season when the cold, dreary weather is really starting to become downright depressing. While a vacation is a surefire pick-me-up, leaving on a jet plane is not always an immediate option— even if our wanderlust mentality persuades us otherwise. So, until you can pack your bags and skip town, designer Michael Del Piero of Michael Del Piero Good Design has shared six easy ways to incorporate those souvenirs and impulse purchases from your travels into your home. After all, what could be better for your mental well-being than a home full of amazing memories?
Founded in 2007, Michael Del Piero Good Design is based on three simple principals: Strive for balance. Create interiors as current as they are enduring, as sophisticated as they are approachable, and as unusual as they are beautiful. Fueled by her global finds and an appetite for all things beautiful, in 2008 Michael opened her eponymous shop in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. Del Piero is a 2 016 DreamHome Designer.
GET THIS LOOK Caroline Sideboard $599.99, theroomplace.com
Wood-fired stoneware pitcher by Todd Pletcher $95.00, lillstreet.com
Keira Ceiling Lamp, $419.99, theroomplace.com
RUGS AND TEXTILES I love finding handmade rugs and textiles while traveling. I’ve acquired rugs in Morocco for my shop and textiles in other parts of the world for my home, like the pillows from Africa on my sofa. Textiles are easy to drape over a table or sofa, and using pillows to create a splash of texture is a must.
POTTERY COLLECTIONS I scan flea markets looking for shape, size, and color. Whatever catches my eye deserves a deeper look. The ability for a piece to mix well with others is key in my object purchases. At home, pottery is great in a group on top of a fireplace mantle, peppered on bookshelves, or perched on top of an armoire.
I found a cool door in Spain and shipped it home. I then made the door into a headboard for my client’s guest bedroom. Think about what you find and try giving it new purpose.
We have a collection of baskets on first dibs. They are from the Yemen-Saudi border. Baskets can be used as wall sculpture or functionally to house fireplace wood or magazines.
Surround yourself with books. Never buy expensive books for looks only. If the value of the book is important, this trick doesn’t fit the bill. I look for books by color. Worn browngold tones are my favorite. I love white and off-white books as well. Unfortunately, the best in these shades are fakes or the real deal—meaning hide-wrapped books from Germany, Sweden, and France are gorgeous but also very old and valuable due to their limited availability. I just purchased a collection of 18 books in Munich. The bill—a shocking $5,000—was worth it for me and my clientele, however, because they are beyond gorgeous and very special.
ACCESSORIES For me, accessories are all about the story. Where did they come from? What was their previous life? Visually, I like large-scale items that make a big impact, and I certainly like to display items in groupings, gathering similar things together. fw
n i s ’ t a h ? w g a b r e h MY MOM’S BOTTEGA CHECKBOOK COVER Who uses checks anymore? Not me. I use it for pictures, gift cards, notes, whatever. It’s soft and beautiful and it was my mom’s.
HANKIE I don’t really know why but I’m obsessed with carrying a hankie. I love the look, the feel, and the throwback to my aunts and grandmother.
It’s not as though we need a holiday like Valentine’s Day to talk about sex, but in the spirit of one of the most amorous months of the year, we thought we’d spice up our ongoing series of voyeuristic bag snooping by choosing a candidate who would undoubtedly have a few special surprises in her sack. Meet Cheryl Sloane, owner of the fabulously kinky-yet-classy g boutique in Bucktown. From sex ed classes to simply helping customers find the perfect goodies to spice up the bedroom, Sloane is the ultimate resource— and so is her purse. by Rebecca Taras-Lee YOUNG LIVING EVERYDAY OILS COLLECTION I use these all day long. Lemon in my tea. Peppermint for a headache or a refresher. Stress Away for the obvious. Thieves for a million things— it cleans anything. $170.72, available at Youngliving.com
ÜBERLUBE TRAVEL PAK You just never know. It’s great for your hair, too. Especially on rainy, frizzy days. $13.50, Available at g boutique, 2131 North Damen Avenue; Boutiqueg.com.
HEXBUG I am fascinated with the Hexbug and how it moves. It is great for focusing and calming and taking your attention off something that’s bugging you. Prices vary, available at Amazon.com.
PHOTO CREDIT: KIRSTEN MICCOLI
FRESH SUGAR PLUM TINTED LIP TREATMENT My favorite. Moisturizing and a slight gloss with a little color. $24, available at Nordstrom, Nordstrom.com.
s n o i t c e conn
Continue to be inspired by the people featured in this issue by following them on social media.
TERRI BRAX @WTFOUNDERS
EMILIA DIMENCO @WBDC
HEATHER TALBERT @HEATHERTALBERT
KATHLEEN HENSON @KATHLEENHENSON
MONIKA BLACK @DYNAMICMYNDS
BRANDON FREIN + ARLENE MATTHEWS @KITTHIS
JENNA BALTES @JENNABALTES
SONAT BIRNECKER @SONATDISTILLS
DEE ROBINSON @ROBINSONHILLUSA
CARRIE NAHABEDIAN @CNAHA
ROHINI DEY @ROHINIVERMILION
JANET ISABELLI @BELLISCOOP
ELENA VALENTINE @ELENA_VALENTINE
GINA STEFANI @GINAMSTEFANI
NELL FUNK @NWCOOKIN
STEPHANIE IZARD @STEPHANDTHEGOAT
AMY AND CLODAGH LAWLESS @THEDEARBORNCHI
CRISHON LAMPLEY @LOVECORKSCREW
KIRSTEN MICCOLI @KIRSTENMICCOLI
LISA SANTOS @SOUTHPORTGROCER
JENNY TAYLOR @JENNYSBOUDOIRS
JENNIFER WISNIEWSKI @TALLORDERSCHI
CAROLYN LEONARD @DYNAMICMYNDS
ANNE OWEN @OWENALCHEMY
ALPANA SINGH @ALPANASINGH
MICHELLE HAYWARD @BRANDSCOUT
JOCELYN DELK ADAMS @GRANDBABYCAKES
KRIS KASPEREK @KRISKASPEREK
ILIANA REGAN @ELIZABETHREST
AMY ARNOLD @DINEAMICGROUP
BIJA BENNETT @BIJJA_B
MEGAN MILLER @BAKERMILLERCHI
ANDREA SAMUELS @ANDREASAMUELS MAKEUP
DR. MICHAEL EPSTEIN + DR. DAN KROCHMAL @MAEPLASTICSURG
ANUPY SINGLA @INDIANAPPLEPIE
DEBRA SHARPE @DEBBIESHARPE
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PAY IT FORWARD
GETTING KIDS TO EAT THEIR VEGGIES
As any mother surely will attest, getting kids to eat a balanced diet is daunting enough, even when fresh fruits and vegetables are easily accessible. But what happens when healthy food is hard to find? Melissa Graham, founder of Purple Asparagus, has made it her organization’s mission to help children across the city learn about and have access to a wider variety of food. A former attorney, Graham launched Purple Asparagus when, as part of Slow Food Chicago, she saw that there were families who had difficulties providing their children with healthy food. “We realized the issues facing parents and children trying to eat well, and we pivoted to education, especially in schools,” she says. School lunches—specifically how to get kids to eat what they should be eating at school—have been a point of contention and a politically charged topic for decades, but “there just isn’t a lot of money behind it,” according to Graham. “Many companies, even the big guys, are trying to move the ball forward, but in our immediate gratification society, if kids don’t immediately
respond happily, there’s a movement to shut down that progress,” Graham explains. “As we always say, if 100 percent of the kids like what we’re trying in the classroom, we’re not doing our job. Their palates are often so trained to like sugary, fatty, and salty foods (also true of most adults). It’s a matter of retraining our palates in some way.” Similar to most nonprofits, funding is a constant issue for Purple Asparagus, especially since most of the people that they serve are from underprivileged communities. Graham hopes that donations will eventually come from those who are more fortunate. “We hope that people in higher income demographics can see the importance of giving every child a chance to try wholesome, diverse foods. We are always seeking people willing to share their time or treasure, whether by volunteering or donating.” Learn more about Purple Asparagus at purpleaspargus.com
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Chicago Woman (formerly FW: Chicago) February 2016 Issue with Stephanie Izard