J U N E
2 0 1 9
GIRL TAKES ON WALLSTREET
JAIME KERN LIMA’S BRUSH WITH
Meet General Motors’ Volume 1 • Issue 1
First Female CFO
CRUSHING THE GLASS CEILING
Spice Up Your Skincare Routine
Turmeric-Friendly Face Masks
Getting It Write Never underestimate the power of a girl…and her pen.
The Original GoGirl AND HER MISSION TO
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22 Driven to Succeed
COVER STORIES 34
28 Women's Only Oasis
Jennifer is on a multi-media mission to IGNITE JOY & inspire others to do the same
NYC-based The Wing was started by two working women who collectively sought creating a women’s-only co-working space to inspire, empower, elevate, and unify women from all walks of life, creeds, and colors.
46 GoGuys Who Give Back
IT Girl JAIME KERN LIMA
Jaimie brushes our pages with her inspirational journey to becoming a cosmetics mega force
Our latest lady to make headlines with her business-savvy endowments has also successfully managed to exceed multicultural expectations and defy all odds.
Meet the two rising stars in the e-commerce space who successfully rallied 13,000 college students to help kids fighting cancer.
50 Inspiration: Bree Rowand
Sometimes, things happen in life that knock the wind right out of our sails, leaving us beyond breathless — unsure how we’ll ever get back up again.
56 Getting It Write
The Bronze Fearless Girl takes on Wall Street
How One Female-Forward Organization is Setting Up Aspiring Scribes for Success
68 I Don’t!!
Is the grass really greener on the other side? Take it from a self-professed, perennially single girl. Here’s to, perhaps, not tying the knot.
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April Bennett, Souls Image Photography Gown Designer: Simin Haute Couture Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry, Earrings: Dior | Ring: Bella Roche
PHOTO CREDIT: April Bennett, Souls Image Photography Gown Designer: Simin Haute Couture Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Jewelry: Bella Roche
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Women Empowering Women through Events | Magazines | Products | & Givingâ&#x20AC;? The GoGirl Brand is built by women, for women, and specializes in creating content and experiential opportunities for empowered woman, to empower others across the country with their story and GoGirl mission. GoGirl Magazine, LLC. is not affiliated with any other publishing company and is a digital community complimenting the family of GoGirl events, products, services and its foundation. Copy Right GoGirl Magazine, L.L.C., 2019
The team at GoGirl Worldwide Magazine browse the web and social media for ordinary women doing extraordinary things in their lives, communities, and careers. We then spotlight these women each month and bring forward images and content shared by these women online and on their social media accounts. GoGirl Worldwide Magazine takes no credit for images and/or content shared by these women in their public domains and makes every attempt to publish the source of the images used on our website GoGirlMgz.com, our social media accounts and in our monthly magazine. If a photo has been published by GoGirl Worldwide Magazine that has inaccurate photo credits, please contact us immediately with the proper credits at email@example.com. If we have shined our bright pink spotlight on you this issue or in a past issue, thank you for being a GoGirl who inspires us all.
Even after being body-shamed by a potential male investor back in 2008, co-founder and CEO of the cult corrective “It” Cosmetics beauty brand, Jamie Kern Lima, learned to listen to her heart, trust her gut, and forge ahead – no matter what anyone said. (Spoiler alert: That investor eventually called to apologized and all her biggest, most beautiful dreams came true!)
San Rafael-born beauty queen turned make-up mogul, Jamie Kern Lima, once considered herself to be a Jane of All Trades. She even graduated from Baywatch College in 1999, landing a short stint on the hit 90s body-baring, lifeguard drama. A Denny’s waitress and bagger of groceries during her business college days, the road to riches wasn’t always a smooth one for Lima. But, one riddled with miles of “no’s,” specifically from those who thought she didn’t exactly “fit the part” for being the face/creator of a beauty brand. But, Lima knew she had a game-changing product to present to many, many women who suffered the same beauty woes as she.
How This “It” Girl Built a Beauty Empire and Took it to the Bank
fter starting it in my living room 10 years ago and not being able to pay myself for the first three years (I ate a lot of frozen yogurt samples) I still pinch myself every time I walk into my office and see a real office and a real desk. And then I look around and see the best team ever #Grateful — Jaime Kern Lima
When she was working as a young television reporter after appearing on the very first season of Big Brother, Jamie Kern Lima would spend hours caking on layers of war paint to conceal and cover her complexion’s unsightly rosacea. (To those unfamiliar with the very common skin affliction, rosacea is a hereditary condition that leaves the skin red and blotchy.) Colleagues would even shame her for it, eventually bruising her confidence to the point
she decided to quit her gig altogether to pursue creating a corrective cosmetic foundation that would magically make the complexions of millions of women completely even-toned and “cameraready.” But, when she met with investors for funding efforts, they weren’t buying it – her product or her unorthodox, size 6-plus image. In 2008, after quitting her television news anchor job to launch “It” (Innovative Technology) Cosmetics full-time, Lima realized she took one of the biggest risks of all – chasing her cosmetics dreams without having procured a safety net – and decided to build a beauty brand birthed from her own obsession with make-up. With the beauty industry over-saturated with endless brands, bottles, products, and potions, surprisingly, not one offered a make-up product that could help correct the complexion. So, Jamie went on a steadfast mission to create one. With a decadesworth of 100-plus hours a week in a tireless effort to get her product in front of major retailers, like Sephora, who rejected “It” several times, her instincts re-assured her that her company was not a lost cause. She had something groundbreaking to offer. She just needed to be relentless in her quest and simply Photo Credits: @JamieKernLima @ITcosmetics Instagram GoGirl Staff Writer
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power on. It was non-negotiable. Something will eventually stick. Through nonstop, creative marketing strategies, including YouTube tutorials, in-store
appearances, and QVC live demos, her message and her product finally caught steam with the most discerning skincare savants and beauty buffs. According to Women’s Wear Daily, “It” Cosmetics reported $182 million in net sales, and by early 2016, the budding beauty brand was projected to pass the $400 million mark. This unprecedented financial success caught the attention of L’Oreal, and in 2016, the French cosmetics conglomerate made Jamie Kern Lima a life-changing offer she couldn’t refuse.
for a whopping $1.2 billion to L’Oreal last year, while reportedly pocketing a pretty $410 million for herself. This foundation-making feat earned her a coveted spot on Forbes Network of Self-Made Women in 2018. Her husband, Paulo Lima, whom she met at Columbia Business School, is cofounder and still runs most of the busy brand’s day-to-day operations. Jamie still holds the CEO title, making her the first female CEO in L’Oreal’s 108 year-old history. Since the historic sale of “It” Cosmetics to L’Oreal, Lima has dutifully invested some proceeds to 12 femaleled businesses. Her advice to aspiring GoGirls, “If you have a dream, or want to go into business, or start your own business, be ready to hear ‘no.’” — Jamie Kern Lima
Lima sold her bestselling, skin-solving make-up line
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NYC’s Famed Heroine Gets a New Home — And, Takes on All of Business
The iconic bronzed and brawny beauty is still standing strong and setting the newest gold standard for female equality and empowerment in the workplace. She stands all but four feet tall and weighs 250 pounds, but she’s fierce, formidable, and unforgettable. “Fearless Girl” - the beautiful, bronze sculpture of a young girl sporting the stare of daring defiance and a stance of unabashed audacity and who has captured the hearts of working women everywhere – has fittingly made her debut directly in front of the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan late last year.
proclaiming it was an obvious depiction of “corporate feminism” and gave the Charging Bull sculpture a negative connotation.
“More than 300
Originally erected and unveiled on the eve of International Women’s Day in March 2017 just a short walking distance from the New York Stock Exchange at Bowling Green in Manhattan’s Financial District, Fearless Girl stood firm in an attentiongrabbing face off against the equally iconic, bronzed Chasing Bull sculpture on Wall Street to boldly advocate for the power of women in leadership roles. Commissioned by Boston-based financial firm State Street Global Advisors, Fearless Girl has now been placed in front of the New York Stock Exchange building so “She can have an even bigger stage to make an even bigger impact,” said Cyrus Taraporevala, the firm’s top exec, on December 10th, the day the sculpture’s new home unveiling took place. Earlier this year, the firm’s parent company, State Street Corporation, agreed to pay $5 million to settle cases of discrimination against 305 top female employees for paying them less than their male counterparts in the same roles. But, as with most powerful females, Fearless Girl isn’t without her critics. Many have publicly denounced the statue,
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Since her move to Lower Manhattan last year, tourists and native New Yorkers alike have flocked to get a glimpse of the newest star on Wall Street, snapping selfies, while mimicking that beguiling, noB.S. stance that has made Fearless Girl so famous. “I am thrilled Fearless Girl will remain in New York,” says Kristen Visbal, the statue’s sculptor.
companies have added a female to their board of directors since Fearless Girl’s original debut – all without her uttering a single word!”
Bronzed and brazen with her hands on her hips and donning that indelible, indomitable glare, Fearless Girl was originally created to be only a temporary exhibit, with a steadfast goal to draw attention to the endemic lack of gender diversity on boards of the country’s major financial institutions, and to inspire companies that more gender-diverse boards are best for business. But, she quickly resonated with the public, sparking global recognition, and soon became an icon for empowerment of the woman in the workplace, earning a permanent place on Wall Street. Representing progress, prosperity, possibility, hope, and equality, Fearless Girl and her flowing ponytail and billowing dress will remain standing strong – and staring down all of business in New York City’s Lower Manhattan.
State Street Global Advisors, recently announced that more than 300 companies have added a female to their board of directors since Fearless Girl’s original debut on the eve of International Women’s Day in 2017 – all without her uttering a single word!
And, to that we say, “GO Girl!” PHOTO CREDIT: iStock / BigStock | WRITER CREDIT: GoGirl Contributor
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Meet General Motors’ First Female CFO In case you’ve been living under a rock, this past year has unequivocally proven to be a major milestone for women reaching their career goals, crushing the glass ceiling, and striking gold in the working world. Our latest lady to make headlines with her business-savvy endowments has also successfully managed to exceed multicultural expectations and defy all odds.
A true-blue GoGirl tale if there ever was one, this Indian-born brainy beauty was recently appointed CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for the iconic American carmaker, making her the very first female to do so in the company’s decade’s long history. General Motors proudly joins the ranks of Hershey Company and Signet Jewelers in appointing female CEOs and CFOs, as 39 year-old Dhivya Suryadevara took over the coveted role this past fall, after joining the company in 2005. Prior to her attention-grabbing promotion, she held various positions, including serving as the carmaker’s VP of Corporate Finance since 2017. An MBA recipient from Harvard University, Suryadevara hails from humble beginnings. 22
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After receiving her BA and Master’s in Commerce from the University of Madras in India, Suryadevara set her sights on the east coast’s elite Ivy League institution, where she essentially survived off student loans she knew she would eventually need to reconcile. Raised by her single mother after her father’s untimely death when she was very young, Suryadevara and her two sisters learned early on that education and hard work were non-negotiables for economic success and upward trajectory. Suryadevara recalls her financially and socially challenging childhood in Chennai: “My mom had to raise three children on her own, which is difficult to do anywhere, let alone in India. She wanted to make sure there were no corners cut when it came to our education…her high expectations made us want to do better, and we learned that nothing comes easy. You have to really work hard to get what you want.” Before joining GM as a senior financial analyst in 2005, Suryadevara worked at another financial icon, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and was an investment banker at UBS. After becoming one of GM’s youngest chief investment officers of Asset Management, she effectively managed $85 billion worth of assets for the carmaker’s prodigious pension plans.
Although having worked on corporate financial planning and investor relations, Dhivya primarily focused her talents on developing autonomous vehicle technology for the car company, garnering an impressive investment of $2.25 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund, of which she played an integral part. According to GM’s June 2018 statement, Suryadevara also helped in the company’s sale of the Opel brand to French carmaker Groupe PSA, including an acquisition of autonomous driving tech start-up Cruise and a large stake investment in rideshare service Lyft. A chartered financial analyst, as well as a chartered accountant, Suryadevara was also named one of Fortune Magazine’s prestigious 40 Under 40 in 2015. “Anytime a woman is added to the C-Suite, it’s something that should be celebrated,” says Anna Beninger, senior director of research at non-profit Catalyst. It’s pretty safe to say this GoGirl is going fullspeed ahead.
I saw that I was only limited by how much effort and time I wanted to put in, which is what made me want to work harder. DHIVYA SURYADEVARA CFO, General Motors
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Like a secret sanctuary of sorts, designed exclusively for the fiercest of females in mind (men are forbidden entry - not even to report or take pictures for publications), NYC-based The Wing was started by two working women and partners-in-crime, Lauren Kassan and Audrey Gelman, who collectively sought creating a womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-only co-working space to inspire, empower, elevate, and unify women from all walks of life, creeds, and colors.
ith a fast-growing membership of roughly 1,500 women (and more on a waiting list), plus an annual fee of $2300 -$2700, The Wing opened its third location in Brooklyn’s Dumbo district last February and boasts an enviable, diverse association of entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, teachers, microbiologists, fashion/ marketing execs, including the occasional Scent Technologist.
Lauren Kassan and Audrey Gelman
Founders Kassan and Gelman recently headlined Business Insider after raising a brag-worthy $75 million in a Series C led by Sequoia Capital’s partner Jess Lee, former CEO of Polyvore, along with the noteworthy participation from Upfront Ventures, Airnb, and existing investors at NEA and WeWork. Overall, the ladies-only co-working space has effectively garnered $117 million since its start-up in 2016. “The Wing is more than a company, it’s a phenomenon…We’re excited to partner with The Wing on growing its footprint globally in the physical realm and into the digital realm,” says Lee.
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More like a five-star country club retreat with a welcoming urban edge, the newest 10,000-square foot locale features these unexpected, luxe-like amenities:
• Vintage photo booth
• Clandestine, retro telephone booths hidden inside bookshelves
• A peaceful, proliferated library filled entirely with books by female authors, all curated exclusively by women-owned The Strand
• A full-service gym, including weight room, yoga, barre, and fitness classrooms where members can invite their own personal instructors
• A private pump room for breastfeeding mothers
• Fully-stocked and spacious showers, bathrooms, and vanities to primp and prep for your next power meeting or event
• Fully-equipped recording and podcast studio
• Meditation, reading, meeting, and naptime rooms
• Bustling café and coffee bar serving smoothies, teas/coffees, and breakfast and lunch items
Gelman, who was a junior aide during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, envisions The Wing as a natural progression, as well as, a diversion from her political background. “I love getting to do this right now because it’s advancing the values and issues that I care about, but doing it outside politics.” While new membership tiers, offers, and scholarships are currently in the works, Gelman and Kassan are humbled by the unanticipated, ardent demand for membership that The Wing continues to draw. Kassan, The Wing’s COO, was motivated to create a space for women after years of working a job that always had her on-the-go, leaving her to steal to random public bathrooms around the City to freshen-up and change outfits. She knew she needed to create a safe, clean space that catered to the challenging needs of working women everywhere. “For me, it’s really about the community that can come out of this space. The original idea of having a space of convenience – but also creating a space that you can meet new women.” The Wing is thrilled to launch its latest location in Washington, D. C. this spring.
From Beauty Queen to Bran
From crushing the competition as a contestant on the hit reality televisio
Apprentice,” to climbing the corporate ladder (and reaching the top) to
the insufferable abyss of disillusion, depression, and bewilderment to bu
own female-forward global brand from scratch, social media sensation a #ladyboss Jennifer Murphy is just getting started. Again. Late last year the world witnessed something absolutely incredible, and long overdue, happen in the world of women. Women started owning their own voice more than ever, and took a stand against those that would minimize their importance, their rights and their futures. Over 10 years ago, Jennifer Murphy took her own stance, stepped into her superhero shoes and created a movement that would encourage girls and women of all ages to go for their goals, find their purpose, and live the life of their dreams by taking control instead of giving their control away. Over the past decade Jennifer and the GoGirl movement have touched 100s of
1000s of lives, and continue to inspired g
women from ages 7 to 97 to go for it, an
pay it forward to other GoGirls. During th
Jennifer’s organization has helped count
women find their purpose, as the name r
says it all. When women tell each other “ go girl!”, it’s meant to inspire, motivate, encourage and support. “You can do this! And I have your back!” And that really sums up what Jennifer set out to create. An organization of empowered women on a mission to empower women.
PHOTO CREDIT: April Bennett, Souls Image Photography | Gown Designer: Simin Haute Couture | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry, Earrings: Dior | Ring: Bella Roche
on series, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The
o falling into
ere at GoGirl Worldwide, we got to pick the brandbuilding brain of its fearless lady leader, Jennifer Murphy, about her past struggles, her present challenges, and her future hopes for her global girl organization. From her quick rise to the top of the corporate ladder, smashing the proverbial glass ceiling in the process, to her personal bout with depression, divorce, and disillusion to hitting rock bottom to getting back in the saddle as a girl on a mission, we dig deep and Jen divulges. We’re listening. As a young girl at the impressionable age of seven, Jen got to experience something only a most of us could only dream of. She met Mother Teresa. Enamored by the ethereal saint’s boundless 36
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capacity for compassion and enduring love, Jennifer felt an instant and lasting connection with the woman that would eventually be the catalyst to her entrepreneurial efforts later in life. As the second oldest of twelve children, Jennifer had a rather cosmopolitan taste of success starting at a young age. A former contestant on the hit reality TV series, “The Apprentice,” and a top ten finalist in the Miss USA pageant, the brainy beauty employed her illustrious business skills in the competitive, cutthroat world of Corporate America and succeeded tenfold. With a bevy of professional awards, achievements, promotions, an impressive home purchase at the age of only 21, and a talent for securing lucrative real estate deals on her downtime, Jennifer couldn’t help but feel that there was more out there for her than just building someone else’s company. Not alone in her sentiments, many women (and men) report the unfulfilled feeling of thriving within the confines of Corporate America, only to inevitably bust free from the chains to pursue their life’s true purpose. After Jennifer was “fired” on the Apprentice, Donald Trump personally called her to offer several highly coveted job opportunities. Jennifer, having always dreamed of bringing out her inner performer, declined Trump’s business offers. “Mr. Trump, maybe we’ll work together in the future. But, I’ve always wanted to pursue entertainment. I’m moving to L.A. and am going to become an actress!” Jen’s new journey was an exciting ride full of glitz, glam, celebrities, and red carpet. She said yes to a man who she thought was
her Prince Charming, and had a widely publicized and extravagant wedding that was featured on Access Hollywood and in People Magazine. She moved into a mansion in Beverly Hills, lived the lifestyle of the rich and famous, took acting classes, and shopped on Rodeo Drive. But, inside she grew more and more unfulfilled and sad. She quickly began to realize that this life, too, had been missing something. She could have anything that money could buy, didn’t need a job, and could easily snatch roles in TV shows and movies. She thought she had everything she had dreamed and hoped for. But, just as she had grown unfulfilled in her successful corporate life, she now was experiencing an even bigger void. She grew lonely, fell out of love with her husband, and started to withdraw from the events and red carpets that she once enjoyed. A deep depression eventually set in and Jen grew sick. She spent over a month in bed, and struggled to walk up a simple flight of stairs. It was then Jen got to experience another auspicious, “AhHA,” life-changing moment. During her darkest hour, leading up to a difficult divorce, she was blessed to attend a once-in-a-lifetime one-day seminar with motivational speaker and author of bestseller “On-Purpose Person,” Kevin McCarthy. When McCarthy asked Jennifer and her intimate group to dig deep to re-
discover the desires and dreams of their childhood, examine their heart and soul and boil down into two words what they feel their divinely ordained life purpose was. Two simple words instantaneously lit up in neon flashing lights in Jen’s head – “Ignite Joy.” Boom. This was the proverbial light bulb moment that went off, sending Jen into start over mode. It also meant leaving behind the comfortable, cushiony life she knew to embark on the life she was meant to live, the life she had been subconsciously lusting for. Jen knew that in order to “Ignite Joy” in others she first needed to regain her own inner joy. Jen knew it was time to make a decision. She said goodbye to the wealthy husband and mansion in Beverly Hills, gave back the fancy car, and started over. During this time Jen also lost her real estate and finances during the economic crash in 2007. This humbling 37
and talking, joking and singing every mile of the way. It was then she knew she'd be “okay.”
And, in 2008, GoGirl Worldwide was born. Without a single outside investor, Jennifer dove in and made a splash! Solely orchestrated on her own, the first GoGirl Empowerment Event was attended by women and young girls far and wide seeking hope, help, encouragement, and cultural unity. Like Jen, they sought to affect change in their lives and in their communities, yearning to make a lasting difference in the world around them. They, too, wanted to leave their footprint. A beacon of hope and healing and harmony for women everywhere, Jennifer was finally lighting up her own life – in full Technicolor fashion. Literally. And, it was just the beginning.
experience led Jen to find herself in need of help. She went to a payphone and called her father. She said, “Dad, would you have me back? I know I got caught up in things that really don’t matter and I’ve made some poor choices. But I need help, and I’m ready to get back on track.” He said, “Jenny Jo, you’re my little girl. You’ll always be my little girl. Of course, I’ll come get you. Jen said, “Dad, just buy me a plane ticket. I’ll pay you back.” But Jen’s Dad said, “Jen, I want to remember the time when I came to rescue my little girl.” Jen’s Dad got in his truck and drove 12 hours to get her immediately after they got off the phone. Jen remembers that truck ride home vividly with her Dad, feeling his unconditional love, 38
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After months of being back home in Southern Oregon to reconnect with family, friends, faith, and food (of the healthy and flavorful variety), happy and healthy Jennifer was finally ready to get back in the saddle. That ride took her back to LA, where she began to put her plan to “ignite joy” in action. Those words that describe her purpose would also be the foundation for her life’s work - to create a global movement/organization that empowers and women and girls of all ages. A tour de force that enables women to positively impact the world through growth, empathy, compassion, leadership, light, healing, and hope. Since its 2008 debut, GoGirl Worldwide, LLC, has since encompassed all these supersavvy spin-offs: GoGirl Seminars to enrich and empower; GoGirl Pink Carpet Parties to pamper, collaborate, and kick-back; a soon-to-be-launched online university; information-rich and resourceful GoGirl Magazine for aspiring entrepreneurs; GoGirl Beauty featuring innovative hot hair tools, plus a luxury line of premium make-up brushes; GoGirl Worldwide Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding, supporting, and showcasing both charities and individuals
in need, with specificity to women’s causes/ issues; a YouTube series, “GoGirl Superhero,” featuring heroine extraordinaire Jennifer Murphy as the candy box-colored caped crusader who comes to rescue of damsels in distress and doggies in despair; GoGirl Volunteer Center to help girls and women payit-forward to a fellow female; and a GoGirl Entrepreneur Series hosted by Jen, featuring both burgeoning entrepreneurs as well as esteemed, established entrepreneurs alike, and that helps bring brand awareness and visibility to women-owned businesses. But, the road to riches is still a work in progress and hasn’t come without its price. When GoGirl was just an idea ten years ago, Jennifer figured advertising it on YouTube with a nobudget budget was the best possible resource. And because, no one was really doing it. And, it was FREE. Low and behold, the naysayers quickly emerged from the woodwork, wondering how this grown woman who had been a star on a hit reality television series and offered “dream” jobs with even dreamier salaries by Trump himself was riding around in a Goodwillbought Barbie mobile making funny, motivational-emboldening videos for this crazy, flighty thing called YouTube. A potential suitor had even asked, “When are you going to put the Barbie Jeep away?” for which Jennifer fittingly replied, “I am going
to be 97 and still will be driving my Barbie Jeep.” Suffice it to say, he clearly wasn’t the GoGuy for this GoGirl. And YouTube was working. Jennifer’s videos were getting millions of views. Part of being a Go Girl meant leaving corporate America behind and becoming an entrepreneur. Jennifer started by parlaying her talent for creating viral online content into her own video production company, Viral Video Media Group. She had always had a knack for networking, and she quickly built her client roster, as many successful business people she knew really needed her services. Some of her most viral online content were actually ads for some of her clients. And, these clients were absolutely floored when their videos were getting 100s of 1000s and millions of views! Jennifer had a true talent for creating original, highly engaging content, and the world was taking notice. She also took on a project with a company that specialized in Murphy Beds. Being a Murphy herself, Jennifer always wanted to create an online platform for selling Murphy Beds and accessories. As one of twelve kids she appreciated the space-saving qualities 39
of a bed that disappears in the daytime. And, JenniferMurphyBeds.com was born. Jen worked hard to create content and drive awareness to this new business, but ultimately her business partners were unsupportive. In true GoGirl fashion Jen looked at the silver lining and decided to push the bed business to the back burner, which provided her more time to focus on GoGirl. Jen decided she would relaunch JenniferMurphyBeds with new partners when the timing was right. It was then that she met successful businessman and entrepreneur Mike Roberts, “Mike My Angel,” who saw the immense potential for the GoGirl brand and helped Jennifer catapult its numerous entities exponentially over the past two years. She owes much love and gratitude to Mike My Angel, and all her many angels, who’ve got her back each and every day. When the chips are down and you think you can’t see beyond the fog, it’s important to remember not all heroes wear capes. There’s always an angel waiting in the wings, ready to envelop you in all the beauty and abundance this world has to offer.
“I want to be a beacon of
light, while spreading happiness and joy. I think by using a light-natured, fun-filled, and “goofball” alter-ego who trips and falls at times, but always gets right back up and never gives up, within my videos and in performances at my events, helps me to reach people in a deeper way.
So, that’s a lot on one plate for one girl. We 40
wanted to get a girl-to-girl glimpse of what moves and motivates Jennifer and what she personally envisions GoGirl Worldwide to be. Here’s a look at our recent sit-down with the social media starlet:
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GoGirl: You were a contestant on the hitrated reality series, The Apprentice. What was your biggest takeaway as a contestant on that show? How has it impacted your continuing success as a female entrepreneur navigating the complex, ever-evolving, and demanding world of building awareness for your brand?
Jen: Being on “The Apprentice” helped me to understand the value of teamwork and having the right people in the right seats for any given project. It also showed me what is possible when you have strong, driven, dynamic individuals who each take on a role within the team that is best suited for
their specific, individual talents and strengths. It blows my mind when I look at what we were able to accomplish for each task for some major brands in a matter of only two or three days. I take on my GoGirl projects with a similar, bold, no-holds barred approach and aggressive, can-do mentality. I actively align with ambitious, exceptional individuals that can thing “big,” work as a team, and make things come together quickly and on-point. GoGirl: Although unfulfilled with the confines of Corporate America as a young woman starting out, you were quite successful. What was the one positive thing of the “corporate” grind you took with you when you were beginning GoGirl Worldwide? Jen: Something I truly enjoyed about Corporate America was the ability to climb the proverbial corporate ladder through hard work and real results. I actually liked it when I was pre-judged at times and underestimated when in a new, challenging role or company. It made it really fun for an overachiever and competitive-bynature person to take a quota or goal and totally crush it and surprise and shock my bosses and colleagues with record-breaking numbers. I was usually rewarded very well and given recognition and awards for my corporate achievements, which exponentially added
to my confidence as a businesswoman. It also helped me appreciate and value those you employ and step into the “thinking tank” with. Positive leaders who lift others up and praise outstanding work, rather than leading with a fear-based methodology are those who build lasting companies and prosperous, positive cultures. GoGirl: What advice would you give to a new entreprenuer looking to start their own brand/business? Jen: I strongly recommend having mentors who can help you with your business plan/ model and give you advice and guidance BEFORE and WHILE you are building your business/brand. There are many successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who are happy and more than excited to help burgeoning, aspiring entrepreneurs. Many of them are where they are today because of the mentors they had in THEIR lives. You would be surprised how many people are thrilled at the opportunity to payit-forward, which is core 41
to our GoGirl beliefs. I personally have had many incredible CEO’s and founders of companies help me in a plethora of unforgettable ways. GoGirl: You are former Miss Oregon USA and a top 10 finalist in the Miss USA pageant. Tell us a little bit about that once-in-alifetime experience. Jen: As former Miss Oregon and a top ten finalist at Miss USA, I try and incorporate some of the most positive elements I gleaned from that experience into my GoGirl efforts, but I also create many differences between the GoGirl community and that of a beauty pageant system. For GoGirl Worldwide, I want every single girl and woman of ALL shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds, to know they are a QUEEN! That they can win first place in their OWN race. That they ARE enough. That they ARE a winner. I want them to know they ALL can don their superhero cape (of any color) and take off and soar beyond the skies, and that they have a community of love and support right there with them. GoGirl: You use a lot of overt, over-thetop humor in your GoGirl videos/content/ messages to promote positivity, unity, and empathy, including female empowerment and upward mobility. Why do you think comedy is so effective in messaging? Jen: After having been through some really 42
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tough, trying times and going through a deep depression before starting GoGirl, I have a huge desire to lift others UP! I want to be a beacon of light, while spreading happiness and joy. I think by using a light-natured, funfilled, and “goofball” alterego who trips and falls at times, but always gets right back up and never gives up, within my videos and in performances at my events, helps me to reach people in a deeper way. Although this is my GoGirl “character,” if you will, she’s semi-autobiographical. She’s based on me and is actually a lot like the real me. I think when others see me making fun of myself, they don’t take me too seriously and see that I’m not perfect, nor am I trying to BE perfect. I’m showing my audience you that you can embrace your own uniqueness and quirks and still achieve a lot and live life to the fullest. Since creating GoGirl over a decade ago, I have created thousands of hours of content, plus produced dozens of events to help empower young girls and women of all ages. GoGirl is my labor of love. I don’t do it for the money. I do it to make a difference in the lives of others, and THAT brings ME joy. And, here’s the thing: it isn’t always easy and I sometimes get criticized – both online and in real life – for not being “successful” enough. But, we all have the right to determine what
“success” means for us. And, for me, I feel most successful when I ignite someone’s else’s passion, or empower them, or teach them something new. Yes, we do need to make money to survive, but if we lead with meaningful intention, the money will follow. GoGirl: So, what’s next for GoGirl Worldwide? What else are you looking to accomplish? Jen: Over the next year, I will be teaming up with women in various cities across the U. S. to collectively conduct regional GoGirl Empowerment Events and Pink Carpet Parties. Speaking of which, we will be rolling out the Pink Carpet for yet another highlyanticipated GoGirl Empowerment Event in beautiful Orange County, California. This year’s fun-filled, multimedia event’s theme is UNITY and will be led by my outstanding team.. With the launch of the GoGirl Magazine this year, my partner and publisher extraordinaire Rachel Medina Soto and I, plan to eventually launch in additional countries. And, to think I was once timid to approach Rachel and ask her to be my partner on this GoGirl endeavor! Never be afraid to ask. Go for your dreams! Through our grass-roots approach and online efforts, I look forward to the day when we have GoGirl leaders and members all over the world leading the GoGirl movement in various, concerted ways, while paying it forward and making the world a much, much better place. We have enough food PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Munson Mattel Barbie Jeep, pimped out by Wet Okole
and resources on this vast, beautiful planet. If women unite and unabashedly step into their full power potential, there is NOTHING we cannot do! A few final words of wisdom from our pinkcaped crusader: “I think it’s important to dream big, have vision, hold true to our purpose, and not let others cause doubt and fear to creep in.” Something important to remember is Rome wasn’t built in a day. And, neither was GoGirl Worldwide. Some of the most successful companies and biggest brands took years and years to even see a dollar of profit. And, that’s okay and completely normal. Don’t worry about what others say. Continue to keep your eye on the prize and forge ahead every day, making leaps and bounds, however big or small. And, if you feel like you’re living in limbo and unsure where to start or what your true purpose is, open your eyes. Literally. The answers and inspiration are all around you, all the time. “A true leader doesn’t follow the pack. A true leader starts something new and leads the way.” – Jennifer Murphy Amen, sister! We’ve got our superhero capes and sky-high stilettos at the ready. Follow Jen on social media and YouTube — @JenniferMurphyGoGirl 43
GoGuys Who Give Back For These Two Young GoGuys, Generous Philanthropy is In Their Genes
Meet the two rising stars in the e-commerce space who successfully rallied 13,000 college students to help kids fighting cancer. What started out as an unassuming college project six
years ago, Minneapolis-based Love Your Melon, a company that creates and donates knitted beanies for kids battling cancer, has reached an annual income of $31.5m, landing at #106 in last year’s Inc. 5000. Co-founders Zachary Quinn, 26, and Brian Keller, 25, explain why their grassroots, benevolent business gets so much love – and success. In the beginning, the millennialrun company would donate one beanie for every sale. Today, it donates 50% of profits to non-profit partners in the fight against pediatric cancers. But, it’s no secret about what makes Love Your Melon so meaningful and financially rewarding, as recently disclosed to Inc. Magazine’s Editor-at-Large, Leigh Buchanan. Quinn owes much of the company’s success to his sociallyconscious upbringing. His parents own and operate a few restaurants in the St. Paul area and would selflessly serve Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners every year to the area’s homeless community. His mother spent much of her time cooking for non-profits Feed My Starving Children and Kid’s Café, and in high school, Quinn and his friends would made PPJ and turkey and cheese sandwiches for those living on the streets.
boys were feeling the just-bitten high from the business bug. So, Quinn began feverishly working fund-raisers and golf tournaments, developed a website and Facebook business profile, and even had a billboard erected on Interstate 91, which attracted the attention of an interested investor who put up another Love Your Melon billboard for free! Today, 13,000 students at 850 schools have personally delivered beanies to kids with cancer, while also accompanying them on fun excursions, like helicopter rides and amusement park trips. But, it was that famous bus tour that rolled them onto the sets of the Good Morning, America and Today shows. While they effectively recouped 44 times their investment, their aging Portland knitting mill was unable to keep up with the demand, forcing them to seek out other U. S. vendors. Able to pay back borrowed money from friends and family within months (the most being $500), while starting an inventory growth investment strategy with financial power player J. P. Morgan in 2016, Love Your Melon primarily operates on pure cash flow. Being in the black never looked so bright.
Quinn met Keller in an entrepreneurial class at the University of St. Thomas where they were assigned to start a small business that would garner a profit by the semester’s end. They figured on entering the beanie biz due to the frigid, unforgiving temps of the Midwest during wintertime. The course only required they spend $750, but the pair raised an impressive $3500 in small loans from friends and family. Tom’s Shoes’ globally successful “buy one product-donate one product” business model resonated with Quinn, so they ordered 400 beanies, based on Quinn’s design, from a small knitting mill in Portland, Oregon and hired a professional embroiderer to sew on Love Your Melon patches on the front. That Thanksgiving weekend, they sold the first 200 of what would be hundreds of thousands of beanies from a small table outside of one of Quinn’s familyowned restaurants. In December, they distributed 200 beanies to cancer-stricken kids at the local children’s hospital.
Within 18 short months, they were able to gift 45,000 beanies to kids, while donating 50% of profits to pediatric cancer nonprofits working with families. Today, the magnanimous young men have started the Love Your Melon Fund to help support charitable partners, plus pay for the campus ambassador program, including the fun, superhero costumes its volunteers wear when visiting the kids in the hospital. Love Your Melon donates roughly 15,000 beanies to newly-diagnosed kids each year. And, it’s more than the warm, humble headwear. They’ve naturally expanded into creating knitted blankets, scarves, pillows, mittens, and more. While 80% of the company is e-commerce -based, Love Your Melon engages in custom projects for Facebook and Ernst and Young, as well as selling in boutique shops and big-name retailers, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Von Maur. Quinn is happy to announce the upcoming opening of their first corporate store in North Loop, Minnesota. But, for Quinn, it’s still all about the kids.
With an almost-instant taste of entrepreneurial success, the
Good job, GoGuys!
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CREDIT: Courtesy Love Your Melon
Love Your Melon co-founders Brian Keller (left) and Zachary Quinn. CREDIT: Courtesy Love Your Melon
CREDIT: Courtesy Love Your Melon
INSPIRATION Bree Rowand
Sometimes, things happen in life that knock the wind right out of our sails, leaving us beyond breathless. And, if we’ve been coasting along and virtually sitting on top of the world, it could feel like hitting a brick wall, unsure how we’ll ever get back up again. t this time of year when so many are feeling lost, lonely, or depressed – for whatever reason — this truly unforgettable and uplifting story will leave you feeling instantly optimistic and inspired. Especially in such politically, socially, and culturally disparate times, a dose of some “feel good” inspiration is just what the doctor ordered. We can all use a message of hope and healing from a woman who learned to ultimately forgive – and find faith – after the unimaginable. When Bree Rowand and her husband Luke found out their baby daughter Kylie was diagnosed with an aggressive form of neuroblastoma in 2013, their entire world as they knew it came crashing down. And, understandably so. The next few years saw their lives turning into an unstoppable collision course as they both lost their jobs trying to care for their ailing daughter, and after her imminent death, they couldn’t seem to catch a break – or their breaths. Between their endless financial battles and heart-wrenching grieving after watching their child suffer and eventually
succumb to cancer in February 2015, they eventually learned God has His own plans, and those plans may not be what you’ve been planning. But, through the hell and heartache, there remained hope, Heaven, and even happiness. For there is a reason for everything God does, and there is good that comes out of everything bad – however unforgiving or unbearably painful an event may be. Where there is darkness, there is light. When Kylie was diagnosed with cancer, Bree and her family started a foundation in her honor. To this day, the Foundation has exceeded their deepest expectations and wildest dreams. A “good” that has come from something so heartbreaking. Imagine that. “Sometimes these things come with heartache. Kylie dying was not good, but what He’s creating through it, is…God’s plan will fulfil your heart in ways you never thought were possible. I thought I had life figured out…His adventures, His love, His promises, things I could have never dreamt up in my wildest dreams.” – Bree Rowand, Letting Go and Letting God At the Kylie Rowand Foundation sponsored golf tournament in May 2018, a generous donor from Scottsdale, Arizona came to San Diego to personally present a check in the amount of $100,000.00. Bree always remembered thinking that once the foundation received a donation 51
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for that very same amount, that’s when they will know they have “made it.” What Bree hadn’t realized at the time was all the “back work” God was creating to get Bree, her family, and the Foundation to that point. It’s about trusting the process and intuitively letting go of a situation, while putting your trust in Him and the “bigger” plan. The big picture is always hard to see when you’re up close to it. But, as time passes (as it always does), the picture moves further and further away so you’re able to see it in its entirety. And, all the pieces miraculously come together, lending an eye-opening epiphany of sorts.
“Sometimes these things
come with heartache. Kylie dying was not good, but what He’s creating through it, is . . . God’s plan will fulfil your heart in ways you never thought were possible. I thought I had life figured out…His adventures, His love, His promises, things I could have never dreamt up in my wildest dreams.
As Bree and Luke became closer with the benevolent family who gifted the Foundation the – Bree Rowand $100,000, they began to feel Letting Go and Letting God God coming through yet again. This time, they felt He wanted them to be in Arizona. So, they took a leap of faith and picked up and left everything and everyone they knew and loved so much, including the resting place of their sweet baby girl. It definitely was not a move made overnight. “Every step in life, whether good or bad, brings you one step closer to the person God creates you to be. The same goes for the people He brings into your life. This family, I believe was brought into our lives to save us. To encourage us. To love upon us. To pour hope upon us,” says Bree.
Since relocating to Arizona, the Rowand family has been busy educating and bringing cancer
awareness to potential donors and supporters, while getting to know the families that reside at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. While, their presence still very much remains strong in San Diego, where they continue fundraising efforts and supporting their community, they’re excited to be taking on this next journey in their lives. Never give up on your faith. Be patient. There is a reason for everything, no matter how horrific or paralyzing at the time. Stay the course because He has a plan. “A relationship with God is not easy. It’s not all butterfly and rainbows as my mom and I always say. Trusting God sometimes means giving up on something else you love.” – Bree Rowand
oto Credit: @WriteGirlLa Instagram / Writegirl.org GoGirl Contributor: Nicole Gratson
: e t i r W
How One Female-Forward Organization is Setting Up Aspiring Scribes for Success In GoGirl Magazine’s premier issue, we shine the spotlight on LA-based, non-profit WriteGirl in our female-empowering, pay-it-forward GIVING series. When New York City-based singer-songwriter Keren Taylor found herself the unceremonious recipient of a lay-off from her dot.com day job in 2001, the proverbial “Well, what do I do now?” quickly took residence in her head. Finding herself at a soul-searching crossroads of sorts, Taylor felt compelled to pursue her life purpose of helping others – specifically a unique, non-profit organization committed to helping teenaged girls develop critical thinking and leadership skills, while promoting creativity and boosting confidence for real life success. WriteGirl is a Los Angeles-based non-profit that matches professional female writers of all genres with girls for a transformative, one-on-one 9-month mentoring program, while also hosting monthly workshops with the girls and women for a writing intensive where their words are sung by professional singers – all set to live music. Both scary and exhilarating, they get to “hear” their words come to life in a room full of 140 females!
In a city with a 50% high school dropout rate, WriteGirl has the distinct accolade of having 100% of their girls graduating high school AND going onto college. “Since 2001, we have made it a priority to get 100% of our high school seniors into college. Many of our girls are the first in their families to attend college, and we’ve seen that for some girls, they had never even considered college to be an option. We now have WriteGirl alumnae who are working as doctors, lawyers, environmentalists, teachers, writers, and more. It’s thrilling to see the difference they are making in their communities and in the world!” says Taylor. With an intentional purpose to empower young women by promoting creativity and self-expression, WriteGirl is a first-of-its-kind writing and mentor organization going into its 19th year, including a decades-long 100% success rate of their WriteGirl girls attending college, most enjoying full or partial scholarships. Not only are there on-going, 9-month mentorships between girls and working woman writers, WriteGirl also produces enlightening panel discussions, empowerment events, leadership workshops, and special events to help inspire ingenuity and imagination, while instilling confidence, poise, and the tools for life-long success. With more than 200 volunteer professional writer women mentoring more than 500 girls annually through one-on-one mentoring, as well as monthly creative writing workshops, girls are taught techniques, different writing styles, and hot-button trends/topics for successful writing across all genres. Mentoring sessions and workshops explore poetry, fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, songwriting, journalism, screenwriting, critical writing, playwriting, journaling, editing, and more.
Why WriteGirl? In Los Angeles, the guidance counselor to student ratio is a heartbreaking 810:1 – one of the worst in the nation. As a result, many of the teen girls are not getting the crucial support they need during this often confusing and challenging time in their lives, while many face hardships like abuse, neglect, depression, isolation, bullying, etc. A supportive, compassionate role model can make all the difference in a young woman’s life, giving them the confidence and self-empowerment to manifest a destiny of success, fulfillment, and positivity.
In a city with a 50% high school dropout rate, WriteGirl has the distinct accolade of having 100% of their girls graduating high school AND going onto college.
“At WriteGirl, I found long-lasting friends, an inspiring mentor, and most importantly, my creative voice and the confidence to let it out and allow it to be an essential part of me.” – Lovely, WriteGirl Alum
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Page-Turning Achievements After just 6 months following its December 2001 launch, WriteGirl published the first of what would be a long list of published anthologies, entitled Threads, featuring excerpts of the girls’ work and innovative, pen-provoking writing prompts for readers. From accounts of first love bliss (and blues) to stories of identity and struggle to pieces eloquently illustrating dreams and international adventure to reflections of relationships, family, and friendships, the resonant voices of the girls’ works were celebrated at a standing-room only, public reading at Hollywood’s famous Knitting Factory to kick off the book’s highly-anticipated release. O Friday, November 22nd, 2013, WriteGirl had the humble honor of receiving the coveted National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award – the highest national honor awarded to these types of programs – at the White House by then First Lady Michelle Obama. To date, WriteGirl Books have collectively earned 91 national and international book awards and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Many of the monthly writing workshops and special events take place at creative art houses and other artistically-rich locales all throughout the greater Los Angeles area, including MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), The Grammy Museum, and the Los Angeles Times HQ in culturallyvast, thriving Downtown Los Angeles. A project of nonprofit Community Partners, WriteGirl’s richly-diverse leadership boasts 20 volunteer staff members and an advisory board of community leaders, educators, and business executives.
In Your Own Words If you’re a GoGirl who is inspired by this fun, female-forward organization and would like to support this growing group of other Go-Girls, you can purchase their many published, award-winning anthologies that showcase the unabashed, arguably imaginative works of both the talented teens and their magnanimous mentors. Through an eclectic curation of personal essays, memoirs, storytelling, scenes, lyrics, and inventive writing exercises, you’ll transport to a world of daring, indelible voices where you can connect, commiserate, and celebrate. And, maybe it will be just the motivation you need to start on that novel you’ve been dying to write! If you’re a professional writer and would like to learn more about being a lifechanging mentor and teacher to an impressionable teen, be sure to visit the WriteGirl website at www.writegirl.org. “Never underestimate the power of a girl…and her pen.” And, to that we say write ON!
Hey, G skinny watch I think
We stra of t of fi the
Gorgeous GoGirls! Summer is knocking on the door, so here’s the ny. We all wish we can magically get fit, firm, and fab by bingehing Netflix and scarfiing down pints of Ben and Jerry’s in the process. k that’s something all us girls (and guys) can agree on, right?
ell, believe it or not, you CAN tone up that tush and tighten that tummy with little, ategic moves incorporated throughout the day. We need not let the arduous battle the bulge deter us from the big, bright, and buff picture. With just the right amount fitness fortitude, there are simple steps we can take any time of the day, anywhere in e world, that will add up to real results real fast.
No Gym Membership? No Problem! Get Fit and Fab on the Fly! Still insisting on keeping that itty-bitty, teeny-weeny bikini casually hanging
outside your closet as a fitness-friendly reminder of getting your body beach-ready? So be it. But, you don’t need a five-star gym membership or painstakingly pop ‘till you drop with five-hour long workouts five days a week to reap the rewards of a svelte, ballerinabeautiful body. You’ll want to try these tips and tricks to getting toned, trimmed, sculpted, and strong in no time – anytime!
BE A STAIR MASTER You’ll be floored when you realize how many extra calories you’ll blast when you opt for the staircase instead of the elevator. Even if you have only one flight to go up in order to reach your destination, all those steps will shrink your waistline just in time for swimsuit season.
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FIDGET AND GET FIT Channel your inner third grader and fervently fidget your feet while working at your desk or reading a book at the coffee shop. Studies have shown that not only does fidgeting keep your metabolic motor humming, but induces a sense of mental calm and balance. Looks like Mom wasn’t right about everything.
CLEAN UP YOUR ACT Be a domestic god or goddess and engage in some light household chores, while burning off that three o’clock vending machine mishap in the process. Vacuuming, laundry, dusting, and window-washing to your favorite tunes will torch that Twinkie in no time.
PARK YOUR CAR FAR AWAY AND HUFF IT, HOT STUFF! During daylight hours, park your car as far away from your destination as possible and either walk, skip, or jog to your destination. Our bodies were meant to move. Go one up and walk or bike the entire distance from your home or work. You’ll save cash on gas, vehicle wear and tear, while not contributing to unseemly pollution and traffic. Watch your wallet get fatter and your waist get smaller. If you normally take the bus or subway, get off a few stops earlier and walk or jog the rest of the way.
PLANKS IN THE PARK Be a weekend workout warrior and soak up the sunshine while also shaping, shredding, and shedding! Stack feet on an empty park bench, while keeping hands centered on ground. Engage glutes, tummy, legs, and back, while holding position for twenty seconds. Work up to a minute. Boost the burn and use your obliques to alternate side-to-side core turns, while reaching arms up overhead.
TONE UP IN TRAFFIC Traffic making you tense? Have a mobile moment and tightly squeeze and hold those glutes, hammies, and tummy until you feel the burn, babe! Release. Hold on to the steering wheel with both hands while slightly bending obliques side-to-side. Ahhh….you’ve just been rescued from road rage with a ballerina-body to boot! 65
The Case for the Not-So-Happily-Ever-After
Is the grass really greener on the other side? Take it from a self-professed, perennially single girl. It’s not greener, it’s just a different shade of green. Here’s to, perhaps, not tying the knot.
rowing up, I always envisioned “having it all.” A star-status acting career, adored and emulated by many, loads of hard-cold cash to buy the big, beautiful sprawling estate in Malibu, which would, by the way, house my relentless penchant for antiquewhite wares and wicker chairs, replete with matching white floors exquisitely accented with Tiffany Blue walls. A life-size dollhouse in the vein of the legendary jewelry brand. And, a tall, dark handsome hubby and two equally gorgeous, healthy children – preferably one boy and one girl. I wasn’t asking for much.
Or, was I? I was a little girl with a big heart and even bigger dreams. The oldest of four siblings, I spawn from a modest, middle-class working family from New Jersey. My two, hard-working parents loved us all immeasurably, provided for us without pause, and loved each other. They embodied the all70
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American, quintessential love story, my father proclaiming it was always love at first sight. My grandfather used to always tell his eight grandchildren, “We may not be rich in money, but we’re rich in love and family.” His words still resonate to this day. Oh, how I miss that man. So, it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise that at the age of 23, I left the comfort of the East Coast and made my way West to embark on an adventure-filled life filled of fame, fortune, and, just maybe…family. Already the recipient of two broken hearts, including a long list of other disappointments in the dubious dating department, I wasn’t too invested in finding Mr. Right at the moment. The world was my oyster! Fresh out of the cap and gown with the hard-earned college degree snugly packed away in one of my many moving boxes, I hit the Los Angeles ground running in search of my first talent agent who would no doubt catapult me to the red-carpet, feverishly awaiting my first of many Oscars.
Why had I unceremoniously become blissfully content flying solo? Was I unknowingly relinquishing a childhood plan of having the hot hubby, huge house, and 2.5 kids? Was I giving up? Absolutely not. At least it didn't feel that way. Was I happy? You betcha! Maybe it was because I didn’t need a father figure or a man to complete me or define my identity. When I was a teen-ager, my father demanded, “Don’t ever depend on a man. Be independent like your mother. Your mother doesn’t need me. I need her.” The men in my family sure do have a way of providing sage love and life advice, don’t they? Was it a healthy, robust familial love and support system that had, by default, satisfied my need for finding “the one?” So, the only things left on my bucket list were acquiring celeb-status, copious amounts of cash to support and sustain my already unhealthy and shameless shoe and
skincare addictions, and annual world travel? Plus, that maternal pull I had as a child all but completely vanished into the sunny, smoggy skies of SoCal. While my girlfriends, colleagues, cousins, and sister yearned for motherhood, their eager uteruses swelling at the mere innocent giggle from a baby, I had yet to hear a peep from my so-called biological clock. I often wondered if I even had one. I always joked I was a man tragically trapped within the confines of the female form. But, nevertheless, motherhood and wifery were things I simply no longer wanted. And, that is okay. This is 2018 and I don't need to fear being publicly burned at the stake for being a rebellious, “inadequate” woman. Imagine that. Already in my mid-forties, I am, and have been, happily living the supposedly dreaded, desperate,
and undesirable single life. And, it’s absolutely glorious! I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want without having to answer to anyone. I get to live life on my terms. I regret nothing. I sleep soundly, like a bug in a rug, knowing no one is out there cheating on me with random, wanton women. No man can ever blame me for ruining his life by selfishly confiscating half of whatever he owned. These are just some of the endless lamentations I hear from disgruntled divorcees, both men and women, including the real-life desperate housewives and their emotionally-spent, sex-starved husbands. The spinster 2.0 life is quite liberating and stress-free. No commitment required. I finally think I nailed the reason for the seemingly unstoppable slew of not-so-happily-ever-after’s that continue to plague those who were so desperate to tie the knot. Here's what I've learned from my self-proclaimed husband-hungry counterparts while on my own “table-for-one” journey.
perfectly positioned on top, it was pure perfection wedding-wise.
Until it wasn’t. About six months later, I awoke to the phone ringing one early Sunday morning. It was my dad. He suggested I give my aunt a call because she was feeling a bit besides herself. Chrissy and Steve were headed for Splitsville. No chance of reconciliation. Nada. Over. Curtain call. Wait… what? Through streaming crocodile tears and heart-wrenching admission, Chrissy conceded she wanted the fairytale wedding. Marriage, she realized, was not something she had signed up for. Oh, really? The hot, bed-busting honeymoon phase had fizzled before the left-over mini bottles of champagne favors. Enter: the aftermath, aka, marriage. As per usual, Chrissy was on a quest for the “next big thing.” The never ending human hunger for more. And, also as per usual, she didn’t disappoint. She had already snagged someone else. Fresh meat. A new adventure. Chrissy was never one to exit without a well-prepared back-up plan, aka, boyfriend.
“The tales of
fairytale wedding chasers pervade my online social feeds more than cute cat videos and political memes combined, rife with regretful wives...”
When I was in my late 20s, about two months before the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks that would forever change the course of the American way of life took place, I ventured back home to Jersey to attend my cousin Chrissy’s muchanticipated nuptials. A fairytaleesque ceremony and reception literally fit for a princess – and an only child. Chrissy was five years my junior and sans siblings, a realty which caused her debilitating disquiet growing up. She had real, big beautiful butterflies that were released from glass mason jars when she and her new husband exited the church after the ceremony. From the beautiful butterflies to the jaw-dropping dress to the breathtaking flowers to the favors to the food to the cake with the little groom and bride 72
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And, I have to say, my cousin isn’t the only runaway wife. (By the way, she did it again.) As I get older, I cannot help but be witness to this matrimonial mayhem amongst so many of my peers, as well as younger couples. It surely doesn’t discriminate. The tales of fairytale wedding chasers pervade my online social feeds more than cute cat videos and political memes combined, rife with regretful wives feeling more and more unfilled, infinitely longing for something new, someone new, something exciting, something
else. A female version of the mid-life crisis? Or, in my cousin’s case, quarter-life crisis? Maybe, maybe not. So, what gives? Personally, I think women fail to see the bigger picture and really think things through before walking down that aisle dressed all in white. Whether they say “I do” to the first guy who asks them fearing no one else ever will, or the blaring tick-tock of the biological clock, or cultural/societal pressure to couple-up and procreate, the woes of weary wives is everincreasing. Or, could it simply be being a princess for a day is worth all the pain and regret down the road? That seems like a lot of unnecessary misery for a mere 24 hours of non-stop adulation from friends and family. What seems to be even worse is that the men are left holding the bag. On average, it takes women a few solid years to successfully convince their guys to pop the question with the little blue box and white bow in hand. When the guy finally acquiesces to the ultimatums and nagging for nuptials, plus building the “Barbie” dream house filled to the brim with mini-me’s, the woman suddenly wants out. I find this on-going trend increasingly common amongst married women in their 30s and older. And, equally concerning. Whether it was for financial security, cultural pressure, or posterity, these women really haven’t thought the entire process through. The institution of marriage isn’t one to be taken so cavalierly. Wedding vows don’t come with an expiration date, whether the honeymoon phase
ends in two months or 20 years. You really need to do some soul-searching and know what you’re getting yourself into – long-term. Figure out what you want and how you and your potential s.o. can build a lifetime partnership that's both fulfilling and rewarding. It won’t always be easy, but I’m sure it will be worth it if you dive in for all the right reasons. Because, there will inevitably come a time when the embers of romantic love cool and companion love begins to bud. Are you ready for that? It’s not exactly heart-stopping in an unceremonious “sex-on-the-staircase” sort of way. Maybe, sometimes it will be, but not most of the time. Someone else’s grass isn’t always greener. There isn’t something better around the next corner, just something different. Don’t jump from the frying pan into the fryer because you may get burned. Decidedly, not all marriages are made in Heaven, but I’d be willing to go through Hell just to get there – if that’s what I truly wanted. I could’ve stayed back in Jersey, settled for a “secure” job working for the phone company, and enthusiastically said “yes” to the first guy who asked me. But, in my heart of hearts, I knew there was so much more out there and I was determined to get it. Honestly, if I could extract each excellent quality from all my past beaus and guys I dated and put them in a Boyfriend Bullet blender, I’d have the perfect man! But, would I have the perfect marriage? I’m not taking my chances.
with These Fiv Not just the main ingredient in tasty curry dishes and other zesty fare, turmeric is most definitely having a medicinal moment in the health, wellness, and beauty worlds for its proven anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antioxidant powers. So, what exactly is this amber-colored, super spice all about and how can you incorporate it into your beauty arsenal? Take this sacred Indian root from the kitchen cabinet to your medicine cabinet and reap the benefits of ageless, glowing-gorgeous skin.
ve Turmeric-Friendly Face Masks Revered as a sacred spice in India for centuries and celebrated for its myriad of medicinal properties, including a bevy of beauty benefits, timeless turmeric has been touted as the ultimate antidote to common body and beauty woes. Providing the planet with endless uses and extraordinary, body-benefitting healing and preventative powers for nearly 4,000 years, the bright-hued root is produced from the perennial plant scientifically referred to as Curcuma longa. Belonging to the ginger family another medicinal powerhouse - its distinctive color, unforgettable aroma, and unmistakable flavor has dubbed the ancient root “the golden spice” by its countless connoisseurs across countless cultures. The superstar staple in
ancient Ayurvedic medicine (a traditional Indian system of treatment), turmeric’s most notable compound is curcumin, a powerful polyphenol also found in tea, and, most recognizably, red wine. Rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and phytochemicals, the turmeric root naturally supports the proper functioning of the body’s tissues, organs, cells, systems, and skin, and is claimed to be one of the oldest, most effective medicines in human history. From combating germs and bad bacteria, delivering anti-aging effects on the skin, aiding in digestion, boosting immunity, increasing physical and mental energy, maximizing metabolic functioning, and cleansing the blood and regulating sugar levels, it seems turmeric is the one-stop-shop for entire body and beauty maintenance.
BRIGHTENING MASK Lighten, brighten, tone, and tighten in one skinsaving, spicy step! The synergy of the vitamin C in the lemon with the anti-inflammatory and melanin inhibitor agents in the turmeric will sure to give hyperpigmented complexions a much-needed brightening boost. See Spot run. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon lemon/orange juice 1 teaspoon honey HOW TO: Mix all ingredients to a smooth paste and apply to clean, dry skin. Leave for 30 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. Repeat 2-3 times weekly to see brighter days ahead..
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, turmeric has been demonstrated to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-neoplastic properties, especially when ingested or used topically, to modulate skin health and function. Early evidence has been shown that turmeric/ curcumin products, both oral and topical, may provide superior therapeutic benefits to the skin. With its arguably unbeatable anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and microbial prowess, here are five fast and no-fuss, turmericinfused face masks you can try tonight to treat common dermatologic issues: 78
| JUNE 2019
EYE MASK FOR DARK CIRCLES Send puffy eyes and dark circles packing with this unique turmeric mask concocted for just the undereye area. The anti-inflammatory agents in the turmeric will instantly de-puff unwanted bags, while the aloe vera cools and soothes tired eyes. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel Âź teaspoon vitamin E oil HOW TO: Mix all ingredients until a smooth paste is formed and apply to clean, dry undereye area for 30 minutes. Gently remove with a warm, wet tissue. Repeat 3-4 times weekly. Seeing is believing!
ACNE MASK Turmeric’s prized anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties have been evidenced in unclogging pores, regulating sebum production, ridding the complexion of pesky pimples, and preventing new pimples from popping (no pun intended) up. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel 3 drops tea tree essential oil ½ teaspoon lemon HOW TO: Mix all ingredients and blend with a spoon until a smooth, creamy texture is achieved. Apply paste to clean, dry skin ad leave for approximately 30 minutes. Rinse well with lukewarm water. Repeat 2-3 times weekly for maximum blemish-banning benefits.
DRY SKIN MASK Drench dry, dehydrated skin with this DIY mask that’s like giving your skin a big gulp of succulent moisture. The potassium in the turmeric provides hydration to skin cells, while the fat and proteins in the milk cream replenish moisture to compromised lipid barrier. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon heavy milk cream 1 teaspoon honey HOW TO: Mix all ingredients until a smooth paste is formed and apply to clean, dry skin. Leave for 30-40 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Follow with a ceramide-rich complexion cream. Repeat 2-3 times weekly to keep skin moist, dewy, and pleasingly plump!
WRINKLE MASK An excellent source of exfoliation and collagen production, turmeric combined with vitamin A-enriched eggs will have you forgetting your lines in no time. Ingredients: 1 teaspoon turmeric 1-3 drops of rose essential oil 1 teaspoon egg white HOW TO: Mix all ingredients and blend with spoon until a smooth paste is formed. Apply to clean, dry skin and leave for 30 minutes. Gently massage mixture into skin for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water. Be a wrinkle warrior by repeating 2-3 times weekly.
GoGirl Writer: Nicole Gratson Contributor: Daneen San Pedro