CNY Woman Online April/May 2022

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Presidential Suite

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Kelly Breuer Marisa Zeppieri Kelly Breuer


Brody Wheeler


Brody Wheeler Laura Marino Michal Lepore



Dr. Pam Denton Marisa Zeppieri Tammy Vreeland Tracy Simone Stacey Cook Bonnie Floyd Ellen Feldman Christine Piacentino Colleen Commisso Michaela Raes Michela Hand Robin Cortese Jess Germano - Fokin Vincent DiGiorgio Marissa Powers Andrea Scalici Diana Torba Dara Rennert Monica Rodgriquez Cindy Decarolis Kaitlyn Vitozzi Lydia Dean Reese

Denise “Karma” Clifford Caroline Hill

Kelly Breuer Sheila Young


Network Rochester


Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2017 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.










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{ FROM THE PUBLISHER } “I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” - Malala Yousafzai


IGHTS...CAMERA...ACTION! Announcing our amazing April/May 2022 Central NY Woman Online cover woman, Camille Conti!

Trademarked as New York’s Divine Channel, “Queen” of organic clean beauty, and a love and success coach, Camille can now add cover woman to her list of accomplishments. We are excited to be able to showcase all of her incredible accomplishments and business success along with her long lasting entrepreneurial spirit in our annual April women entrepreneurs edition. Read all about her amazing journey starting on page [14]. Let’s give a HUGE shout out to our amazing cover woman for our SHE Hustles Talks special women entrepreneurs section, Diana Torba, the creator of SpeakDance CNY! Be sure to check her out, along with the other ladybosses featured in this edition starting on page [127]. We are also excited to announce some new additions to the team including Breast Cancer Confidence, the Sacred O, and Beauty Lies Within.



On our annual April/May women entrepreneurs edition of Central NY Woman Online, we have Camille Conti as our latest cover woman photographed with her product line, Natural Image Care by Camille Conti at the beautiful Urban Euphoria located on 35 S. Washington St, Rochester NY by lead photographer Brody Wheeler. Hair by Tiffanie Tartaglia, owner of Salon Bella Vita and makeup by Camille Conti. .



We hope you continue to enjoy all of the amazing articles and women we bring to you each month. Want to join our amazing team? Contact us for more information at




Trademarked as New York’s Divine Channel, “Queen” of organic clean beauty, and a love and success coach, Camille Conti can now add Rochester Woman Online cover woman to her list of accomplishments. We are excited to be able to showcase all of Camille’s accomplishments and business success along with her long lasting entrepreneurial spirit in our annual April women entrepreneurs edition.

across the globe including Amway, AAA, Artistry Skincare & Cosmetics, UPS, Hunt Real Estate and more. During these years, she appeared regularly on television as an expert and consultant when it came to “dressing for success”; it was a time when “business casual” was just emerging, and she helped others bring this new look into their

When you meet Camille Conti for the first time, prepare to be enamored with her lively, enthusiastic and charismatic presence. A strong woman raised in a Catholic middleclass background, who possesses many natural gifts and talents, Camille has been mak- ing her mark on the world from a young age. “My career in the beauty industry started from a young age, learning how to make organic beauty products right at home from my mother, a New York State licensed beautician,” she shares. “While attending college, I went to work for Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Paloma Picasso and Liz Claiborne to name a few as a model and top sales manager.” Using her experiences and knowledge, Camille’s first business, “Artistic Assets”, launched back in 1995 out of Buffalo, put her on the map and on people’s radar as a certified image, color and wardrobe expert and consultant, leading to many opened doors. She began speaking at the age of 25 for major brands and companies known

life and wardrobe in a way that worked for them. Holding a BA in Psychology and Communication from Canisius College in Buffalo NY, and naturally gifted in helping others learn how to showcase their “best self” when it came to styling and clothing, and skincare and makeup, it was clear to all that Camille had a knack for teaching others about non-verbal communication and how it isn’t just what is on our outer shell that

affects all of our relationships in life. Using these gifts, she began training with individuals and companies on communication techniques, personality training, achieving a productive and happy workplace by training employees to work with one another using the DISC Method, and also teaching “The Art of Closing the Sale.” USING HER MULTIPLE OF GIFTS FOR THE GREATER GOOD Continuing to move forward with her gifts, it was in 2000 when Camille started her cosmetics company, a result of an unexpected health crisis. Looking back on that time, she says, “Necessity is the mother of all inventions.” It didn’t take long for Natural Image Care LLC by Camille Conti to blossom and grow into an internationally respected and award-winning brand synonymous to healing, wellness and glamour. Together with her team at the time, Natural Image Care pioneered and invented one of the first certified organic skincare systems that repaired mild to severe skin issues and was, and still is today, unapologetically age defying. Camille describes this system as: “Life transforming head to toe, and inside and out.” She also adds, “I founded my clean beauty certified organic skincare and cosmetic company as a designer and inventor with many chemists and medical teams, and up to today, we continue to invent brand-new cutting-edge collections, including a


“I want to make sure that everybody is given a fair chance at personal success in life.”







COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Camille states that she uses the things that caused problems for them in the past, to become the strength and the courage in which they stand upon their platform for success.”

men’s collection which is coming soon.” And helping to transform lives through skincare, styling and makeup was just the start of it. Reflecting back to 2003, Camille shares: “I gave one of my favorite Keynote speeches alongside Jill Kelly (wife of Jim Kelly, former Buffalo Bills quarterback) at a church. We shared the lecture titled ‘Inner & Outer Beauty’ for the church’s women’s group.” It was an opportunity that allowed Camille to pour out her talents and knowledge with a group that was eager to learn. “Jill spoke about a woman’s inner beauty and how she found her perspective on life completely shifted after the birth of her son, Hunter. I spoke on the finishing touches of a woman’s beauty after she first has Christ’s love in her heart.” The experiences she was having in life were not only changing the lives of all the people she worked with, but simultaneously it was refining and growing Camille. At the time she spoke alongside Jill Kelly, she was a relatively new mother whose son was dealing with medical issues. His struggles led to some major shifting of perspectives on life for Camille. “Before my son was born, I had always taught that your first impression is everything and that we must dress for success in all moments,” she explains. “But raising my son, who had some skin issues, I began to teach people not to ‘judge a book by its cover’ and to give everyone an equal chance. People may have disabilities but

also have unique gifts and talents to offer, even though they may have differences from the mainstream. I like to refer to them as ‘twice exceptional’. It’s my desire to make sure that everybody is given a fair chance at personal success in life.” HELPING OTHERS GROW IN PERSPECTIVE AND LIFE About 10 years ago, as her training with individuals and companies involved not only on putting your best foot forward

style and image wise, but also how one’s inner desires, character and emotional/ mental state drives all of our relationships, she launched her coaching and healing business. Through the success of her private practice, Camille took it one step further about three years ago and founded the Camille Conti Agency thanks to the high demand from her clients who wanted to train under her and learn how to become a Certified Master Teacher Divine Channel NLP Life Coach.

Throughout her years coaching and training thousands of people, Camille shares, “I have learned that we must do the best that we can with what we have right now. I believe that we must not play the victim or make excuses for ourselves because we are simply self-sabotaging. Every disability can be overcome differently to create one’s notable victory.” Through her coaching and healing practice, Camille is known for helping people propel themselves from the life they are living right now and setting them on the journey to where they want to be, using their gifts and abilities to pull them forward. Speaking about her coaching techniques, she states, “We use things that caused problems for them in the past and transform these things to become the strength and the courage in which they stand upon their platform for success! If we can do better with our looks through the use of make-up, fashion and hairstyles, smiling, etc., then we definitely should take advantage of these. However, if we have a disfigured face or missing hair, limb, eyes, paralysis, or even mental health imbalances, we must highlight our assets and continue moving forward to be the best that we possibly can be in all moments. It’s vital to always look for the next right move, solution, teacher, coach, mentor, CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “My career in the beauty industry started from a young age, learning how to make organic beauty products right at home from my mother, a New York State licensed beautician.”

program, and strategic plan that will help us achieve our goals.”

then can they manifest anything they choose to.”

When working with Camille, you can expect her to encourage you and teach you to move forward toward all of your goals through faith, not fear, as fear can paralyze and destroy so many goals. She tells her clients, “Love makes fear disappear.” And one of her favorite sayings on the topic of faith vs. fear is: Fear knocked on the door, faith answered, and no one was there.

HARNESSING HER FUTURE Building on the success of her previous endeavors, this married mother to a grown son who is now living away at college, and also mother to a cute 10-monthold puppy named Harley, decided to take her training and coaching abilities to the next level. Camille’s brand new signature course launched in 2021 titled, “Unleash your Fully Empowered Self

Nicknamed by her colleagues and clients for years as the “glass ceiling buster”, Camille shares, “My secret, that is not a secret, is that I teach people how to use their traumas, weaknesses, and difficult circumstances as their firm foundation to propel them forward to reach their highest levels of success.” She adds, “In the same token, I also teach people how to use their positive experiences, strengths, successes, and circumstances to pull them up higher and higher! When a woman or man is truly hungry for achieving their goals, has an intimate relationship with divine, uses everything that she/he has gone through and accomplished to her/his advantage, while operating in humility and compassion with the dominant intention for that which is in the highest and greatest good intentions for all parties involved, then they make no apologies, with a positive attitude and a confident mindset. Then, and only 20


& Happy Life,” which is showcased in her academy. The Academy of Divine Rich CEO TM has had over 25 certified graduates come through in its maiden voyage year from all across the globe. Anyone working with Camille, or just spending time with her in general, will quickly learn that Jesus Christ is the center point of the Conti Family and all they do. For anyone who is interested in working with Camille as their coach, she wants people to know: “I am a very driven individual, creating

high vibrational, up-to-date services and products, being in line with current market demands. It’s important to note that all clients and businesses are different, so our programs and products will be customized for that specific client, or for personal and business needs. I don’t do a cookie-cutter approach because one of the most significant things that’s important to remember is that people are seeking answers to problems. They’re stepping outside the status quo because they want to get to the bottom of what’s going on and move on quicker, get the answers they need, resolve whatever the issues may be, and move forward with a happy life and a successful business.” Today, the Camille Conti Agency offers “compassionate services” such as strategic planning, compassionate dissolutions, mediation, debt collection, business leadership, relationship reconnection, website building, product and service development, business branding and building, and personal and business coaching. “I am thrilled to provide an exciting, unconventional approach to problem-solving and getting to the core issues, all so that real solid progress can begin in someone’s life.,” she tells. “You start living your fulfilling life in divine order with your divine purpose (soul missions). Being a divine channel is a gift from God, and everybody can be one. However, not everybody awakens that part of themselves. My skills and abilities were awakened many years





“I am a very driven individual, creating high vibrational, up-to-date services and products, being in line with current market demands.”






{ COVER STORY } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “We’ve all had many failures; the key to success is through the failure. ”

ago with the untimely and early death of my younger sister when I was just 35 years old.” Throughout her life, Camille shares her inspiration has come from her sister and also her “mother, father, son, husband-wife, and even Estee Lauder, who started her cosmetic company from her backyard shed with her grandfather.” Having inspiration is key she believes, as it is needed to get through rough times personally or professionally: “We’ve all had many failures; the key to success is through the failure. Get right back up and work harder, and learn from those past mistakes, which everyone has had, whether in business or personal, and redirect yourself. Find out what went wrong, problem solve and move forward. This is what I can help you do,” she adds. Coaching someone through personal and professional struggles to help them achieve life goals is by no means, an easy feat. “I’ve been asked many times how you do what you do and not upset people. The answer to that question is that I do sometimes upset the apple cart. When I’m doing a divine channel and giving them the information that they per- mitted me to deliver, I engage them in wanting to problem solve, regardless of if they will feel uncomfortable or not. Most people want the information so they can feel better and move forward. I teach clients to be kind to themselves and receive, so they can be able to give,” shares Camille. “Being nice to yourself is a massive part of this. There are a lot of people who aren’t nice to themselves because they don’t feel they’re worthy of it, and as they receive the information

to improve their life, they eventually accept it and give it a chance, and they’re ecstatic with the results. At the end of the day, because they took the courage to take a chance on themselves, their experiences have greatly improved to have a better life.” When asked if her techniques or style of coaching changes depending on the person she is working with, Camilles shares: “Men and women are very different in their approach to asking for assistance in coaching them, whether personal or business. As a result of this difference, I handcraft programs to suit individual profiles, if need be, because it’s not one size fits all. I have a lot of men clients, women clients, married couples, corporate clients, groups, training seminars, and traveling speaking engagements all over the country, and more men are trusting themselves to get coaching, get to core issues, fall in love again, doing it right this time and attracting what works for them in their personal and professional lives.” Currently, Camille and her team are building CCN, the Camille Conti Network, which is a a group of entrepreneurs certified by her Academy of Divine Rich CEO by Camille Conti Agency. “Our brand ambassadors maintain their private practices, agencies, medical clinics, salons, spas, wellness centers, and all while working within our academy, receiving referrals from our network, appearing on The Camille Conti Show titled, ‘You Can Have It All with Camille Conti’ and or owning a Camille Conti franchise wellness clinic inspired by Aveda and Mary Kay Ashe.

This is where our franchisees provide the Divine Channel, NLP Life Coaching services and Exclusively Camille Conti Organic Skincare and Cosmetics, plus our other approved services and products.” Franchises are for sale with sales incentives for approved applicants (including 9 months of training, business materials, and ongoing bonuses and training). ENJOYING LIFE TO THE FULLEST When it’s time for rest and relaxation, Camille and her family enjoy a wide variety of activities including going to the spa, water sports, bicycle riding, family nature walks, tropical vacations, celebrating family and friends, and being culinary artists and foodies. “If you attend a Camille Conti event, you can be sure to be fed some good food,” she laughs. “I also love going to new cities and speaking when they don’t know what to expect. Live new audiences are fun, edge of your seat, repeat crowds are exhilarating with the noise of excitement because they know they’re going home with a fantastic experience at the end of the show. It’s great to see repeat audiences bring new people and get them all charged up with the knowledge they are about to encounter.” When she talks about the enjoyment and fulfillment she gets from helping others, she states, “I enjoy being New York’s Divine Channel and motivational speaker, seeing how people light up and being able to help them right there, in real time. It brings me much joy to do God‘s work.” When asked what she means by doing God’s work, Camille shares a CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ COVER STORY } “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, Philippians 4:13.”

a heartfelt story: “I promised God that I would make it my life‘s mission to help build his Kingdom, if He helped me heal my son when he was very sick as an adolescent. He has smashed many glass ceilings that doctors never thought he would be able to. Hence a miracle, and I have kept my word to God as He kept his word to me, and as a result, our companies thrive.” As for her greatest accomplishment or busness succesc, Camille says, “I launched my Camille Cosmetics brand by designing it in our first signature boutique spa, formerly the Chanel store in the Prime Outlets Mall in Niagara Falls, NY in 2002. This is the blueprint for our franchises. As a result of our spa presence, we were invited onto the shopping networks that were broadcast nternationally. I have to say that I’ve had several outstanding and memorable experiences in my career, however, being invited on QVC has probably been has been my most educational, rewarding, and empowering experience. We sold out in the US and in Canada on TSC, and then on the Canadian Shopping TV Network with my certified organic, clean beauty skincare and cosmetic collection every time

we were on. Now we are launching our own unique shopping network, CCN: Camille Conti Network with our franchisees participating and benefiting from our 22 years of experiences and methodical groundwork. She ends with, “I have always loved this mantra: You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you,

1. April 15 and 16, 2022: Unleash Your Fully Empowered Self and Happy Life (Ticket needed. Available at camillecontiagency/608051 2. April 24, 2022: Camille is the Keynote Speaker at the Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo (Free), being held at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse, NY. For more info, pull these events up on Facebook on a Camille Conti page. 3. You can also find the “You Can Have It All with Camille Conti,” her podcast, and “Dear Camille,” monthly column in several online women’s publications, along with course, classes, and private sessions. Visit www.CamilleConti. com

Philippians 4:13. I am confident, and I am resilient because I know in my heart of hearts that I am doing the right thing, and I keep moving forward and up in all that I do by the grace of God.” Contacting Camille and Registering for Future Events: Upcoming events this month include:

4.) Hire Camille as the Keynote Speaker for your group or event by emailing your inquiry to her directly at camille@camilleconti. com 5.) Apply to enroll in our training and coaching or purchase a Camille Conti franchise at




{ COVER STORY } “What some would consider barriers; we see as opportunities to guide someone to a better platform in life instead of that dark energy that’s unhealthy for humanity.”










Event Coordinator & Host Kelly Breuer is the networking queen. She is an innovator, entrepreneur, workhorse, and master of re-invention. She has founded several successful businesses and is currently the publisher of three online women’s magazines, and soon to be launching 2 more this year. “I’ve been busting my a** for years,” Kelly says, chuckling. During that time, she has grown Rochester Woman Online to over 300 pages a month, launched the bi-monthly Central New York Woman Online, created a special section in the magazines featuring female entrepreneurs called She Hustles Talks with LIVE video feed for social media – and, now even a new platform called the Influential Woman which includes Expos, 34


LIVES, online publications and much much more to come. Her readership is upward of 100,000 subscribers across all platforms – social media, web, email, YouTube, email marketing and coming soon, podcasts. “I am responsible for all the sales, customer service, editing, layout and design, keeping the websites updated, the uploads that take hours…I work at least 70 hours a week. But, I love what I do and inspiring others, especially women.” The eldest of two children, she grew up in the small town of Geneva in New York’s Finger Lakes area. From the beginning, with her grandmother as a role model, she learned early on to appreciate hard work and the independence it could bring. As a young girl, Kelly performed children’s voiceovers on the local radio

station, babysat, and worked for Carvel Ice Cream throughout her middle and high school years. She set herself the goal of owning her own business by the time she reached 40. An overachiever, she started her first business at age 32. With a degree in graphic design and photography from Alfred University, she started her career working in advertising and printing, then moved on to Xerox, where she worked in the Industrial Design and Human Interface Department for several years. Even working for a large corporation, she showed her talent as an innovator and now holds more than 15 patents with Xerox. “I always try to think outside the box,” Kelly asserts. “I like to be forward-thinking and ahead of the game. If you’re not able to pivot when things don’t go your way and get creative, especially RIGHT NOW, you won’t stick around.”




{ SPECIAL FEATURE }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”


Calling… and more!

ANNOUNCING OUR FABULOUS KEYNOTE SPEAKER for Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo, Camille Conti who will be Speaking on Business Leadership; Starting, Growing & Scaling your Divine Business in 2022 with Ease, Joy & Grace while being hugely profitable and soul aligned following your Divine

Trademarked as New York’s Divine Channel, “Queen” of organic clean beauty, and a love and success coach, Camille Conti can now add Rochester Woman Online cover woman to her list of accomplishments. We are excited to be able to have Camille join us as a keynote speaker and showcase all of her business success along with her long lasting entrepreneurial spirit.

Keynote Speaker



Women Entrepreneurs! STOP 🛑 Schedule Sunday 4/24 at 11 AM - 5PM EST to come to our FREE LIVE EVENT and learn, empower yourself, grow and network with other like-minded INFLUENTIAL women entrepreneurs! You will be receiving Natural Image Care by Camille Conti (A Full Size Product of Choice) and Influential Woman FREE SWAG BAGS for the first hundred women entering!







FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”

DR. PAM DENTON Co-Host & Sacred O

Coach trainer, international speaker, author, and healer Dr. Pam Denton is founder of Sacred O Evolution Coaching: SuperCORE Fitness, BreatheFit, The Mind Cleanse, GoddessCORE, ROAR, and Leadership Evolution. She is the author of numerous books, has appeared on TV, and is featured on many podcasts.

well known for her work with women in business and is the founder of many programs for women, including Project Woman Mastermind and the Rise to the Top Training. She served three terms as President of the Syracuse, New York chapter of the global network FemCity. In 2016-19, she created three successful conferences: The Intuitive Expo for Mind Body Leadership,

Dr. Pam works with business leaders to activate high performance by employing her powerful strategy of Nervous System Upgrades. Her intensively researched mind-body approach to empowerment has helped thousands of leaders plug into their innate power and activate the law of attraction for unstoppable success. She is the author of numerous books, including She Means Business, Leadership Evolution, Messages from Spirit and Journey to Female Power. Dr. Pam has inspired audiences for over 20 years with her motivational success-driven strategies driven by the science of transformation, she began her career as a chiropractor and integrative wellness practitioner, during which time she owned and operated two successful wellness and coaching centers. She went on to create her signature coaching programs in female empowerment, energy medicine for transformation, and heart-centered leadership, which evolved into her current Sacred O Evolution Coach Training for upgrading Leaders. She is

Inspire Leadership Conference, and Superpower Your Success Conference. Dr. Pam lives and breathes speaking. She feels that today’s seemingly insurmountable challenges and stressors require a new form of motivational speaking - one that delivers immediate relief and activates present time results with passion, determination, and follow-through. Dr. Pam’s formula

for speaking will educate, inspire, and give your audience the empowerment they need to shift immediately. Fitness, breathwork, and neurological upgrade expert Dr. Pam will motivate, educate, energize, and move your audience through a dynamic combination of motivational speaking, positive visualizations, SuperCORE movement, and BreatheFit exercises - done from a chair. Her powerful positivity, depth of knowledge, and authentic delivery will ignite your audience’s energy, release stress, stimulate connection between team members, and provide simple tools for achieving greater satisfaction and productivity. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Pam has led countless Superpower Performance coaching groups and has trained dozens of leadership coaches in the areas of women’s empowerment, business, and sports. She has brought her leadership coaching to a wide variety of corporations and organizations, including IBM, Athleta, Northwestern Mutual, MetLife, hospitals, the United States Air Force, and more. Recently, she consults and coaches high performance athletes and sports industry leaders as part of the New York-based Human Advantage team. She speaks globally about Superpower Upgrades and teaches business leaders and teams how to harness power of the mind-body to facilitate, empower, and sustain new patterns of leadership for immediate high performance results.



{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”

TRACY SIMONE Capital Woman

Tracy Simone is a long time IT professional. She is also a part-time model and actress with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), author, and member of the Teamsters Union. Being a single mom and homeowner with a wanderlust and need to continually 40


learn and grow, she feels it is equally important to also help others shine their light. She believes that women are strong, powerful, tremendous human beings capable of doing whatever they set their minds to and focus their energy towards. They are the essence of beauty and inner strength, the epitome of the true magic of the universe. From the youngest infant daughter to the

elderly seasoned female full of wisdom and grace, women are the definition of love and strength, limited only by their own imaginations. PLUS she can now add COPUBLISHER of Capital Woman Online Magazine to her list of professional accolades! WELCOME to the lineup Tracy!

{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “She will be talking fashion, styling and so much more as an influential woman, and you don’t want to miss it!”


Brand on A Budget Please welcome all the way from NYC, Neicey Josey to the Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo line-up of incredible speakers. Niecey Josey, is the owner of Vinrelo & Brand on a Budget Network who

created and filmed the FIrst Ever ‘Stylist Fashion Show’ S.F.S. The SFS Courses that she has created along with her incredible team are part of an innovative Business and Fashion Program that has a Capstone that ends with project placements just for you after the 8 week courses. She will be talking fashion, styling and so much more as an influential woman, and

you don’t want to miss it! Join them at their Program Ceremony Aug 26, 2022 and/or NYFW Stylist Fashion Show Sept 10, 2022 to see more of what the programs have to offer, but you can come and check them out on April 24th at their sponsor table too.






FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “After I crown Mrs. NY American 2022, I plan to focus on my career, myself, my marriage, and my family. After that, I trust in God’s plan! ”


Mrs NY American & Co-Host I’m a 25-year-old Rochester, NY native! I married my husband Josh in October 2020 and nine months later, I won the title of Mrs. NY American 2021. I’ve been competing in pageants since 2013 and I am proud to say that I was a Top 15 Finalist at Mrs. American 2021.

year Alzheimer’s diagnoses. I raised funds, advocated, and even played flute duets in memory care homes. I still share the gift of music through live flute performances and portable

they seek employment. I know what it’s like to feel like “the underdog” and I can sympathize with women who need to feel empowered with a new professional wardrobe and the influence behind one person believing in their potential!

I also have a Bachelor of Arts in media and communication from St. John Fisher College. Although I dreamed of becoming a news anchor, I love my job at Robert Half as a Talent Manager helping people find employment in accounting and finance. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my mom and sister, and I love making homemade pizza with my husband in our pizza oven. I’m also a fitness enthusiast and I run a 5k every day. I created “Unlocking Memories Through Music” 14 years ago in honor of my grandmother’s eight-

radio donations. However, I recently became compelled to volunteer with Dress for Success after noticing the heartache women experience when CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “GOAL DIGGER. One who utilizes ambition and persistence toward a particular achievement and won’t stop until the desired outcome is attained.”


GOAL DIGGER. One who utilizes ambition and persistence toward a particular achievement and won’t stop until the desired outcome is attained. Well this truly defines our next Speaker & Spoken Word Artist. PLEASE WELCOME Nina Purhenn! Nina lives in Syracuse, NY and is the owner and operator of her business, 44


The GoalLine. She is a certified personal trainer and goal coach, teaches group fitness and Zumba and outside of the gym is an incredible motivational speaker and spoken word artist. PLUS she is a mom, and even owns her own clothing line! She believes that motivating people toward their goals and healthier lifestyles is her purpose in life. The GoalLine Mission is all about Pushing Positivity with Purpose and Passion

through Motivational Collaborations, Fitness and Fashion. The focus is really just that, a positive lifestyle brand. You won’t want to miss her speak or perform, trust me!

FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “My goal is to educate and mentor aspiring DJ’s, and provide workshops for young girls and women to empower them to enter the DJ industry.”


A little about Jasmine Coan AKA DJ Bella J... I was born in Germany, raised in Brooklyn and moved to Syracuse, NY as a young girl. My parents relocated here to provide a better life to my sisters and I. I graduated from Nottingham High School, Cazenovia and LeMoyne College. Music has always been at the center of my life. After graduating LeMoyne College, I decided to pursue DJing. I

attended a year program at Scratch DJ Academy in NYC and I’ve been DJing ever since. I am the official DJ for the Syracuse University Women’s Basketball team and Destiny USA. I also DJ’s for other amazing organizations such as the SU Men’s Basketball team, American Heart Association of Greater Syracuse, Gwen Inc., Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Hope for Heather, The Upstate Chapter of the ALS Association, Sisters Empowering Sisters, Girl Scouts of America, Inc. and many more. I am a mother to 2 amazing daughters, Nyla

and Nadia. I also have a passion for cooking! I am the owner of On The One, a DJ center located in Destiny USA. The mission of “On The One” is to provide a safe space dedicated to anyone looking to explore the art of DJ’ing. My goal is to educate and mentor aspiring DJ’s, and provide workshops for young girls and women to empower them to enter the DJ industry. On The One is a place anyone can go to when seeking to book CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “Tamika believes in the power of storytelling in encouraging others to use their pain to create purpose, power, and peace.”


and is skilled in facilitating learning experiences through curriculum and training design.

Welcome the dynamic duo of Tamika Goode Otis & Summer Fitch of KABOD Consulting Group LLC.

Currently Summer is the Sr. Partner/ Principal of KABOD Consulting Group LLC; an emerging consulting agency specializing in training and development, entrepreneurial alignment support, grant review and management.

Kabod Consulting

Su m m e r Wi l l ow Fi t c h i s a transformational leader with over 20 years of experience delivering measurable results in program and process management initiatives for diverse groups. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and Organizational Management from West Chester University, and an MBA in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from Eastern University. When she was 9 years old, she launched her first entrepreneurial venture - a maid service, and by age 25 she created a traveling mixology service affectionately called, In Good Spirits Bartending Service. Structuring and operating businesses and creating jobs lit a fire that propelled Summer to begin advising 100’s of emerging entrepreneurs. As Deputy Policy Director for the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (MOCEO), Summer bolstered her knowledge and practice in equity and inclusion. She was instrumental in building infrastructure for the West Philadelphia Promise Zone; one of the first five zones designated by the Obama Administration in 2014 to improve affordable housing, economic opportunities, quality education, health and wellness, and public safety. Summer now holds multiple certifications in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Summer Fitch: Her zeal for serving underrepresented populations sustained her pledge of time and resources as Co-

Founder and Vice Chairwoman of the Black Women Give Foundation whose mission is to engage Black women and families in philanthropy by joining the growing trend of collective giving. In addition, Summer was influenced to pen her first published book in 2015 titled, Let Me Tell You Like I Told Myself: Love’s Truth Never Changes; a compilation of candid reflections and advice she gave herself and subsequently her bartending staff and clients on love and relationships. Her literary contributions have been featured in major trade magazines, blogs, and published books. Summer is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,

Inc., obsessed with animals, traveling, and music. Tamika Goode Otis A multipreneur, equity warrior, and atmosphere shifter, Tamika’s mission is to empower people to live their best lives. Among numerous enterprises she had a hand in forming, Tamika’s most prized venture is the consulting firm she founded. Tamika founded KABOD Consulting Group LLC in 2016 in response to a growing need for culturally competent grant writing services in her community. In 2020, along with best friend and business partner, Summer Fitch, KABOD, relaunched as a full-service consulting agency that takes a holistic approach to business/organizational consultation and leadership/personal development. She is also Co-Founder of the Black Women Give Foundation based in Philadelphia, PA where the collective giving model is utilized to fund impactful grants to grass-roots nonprofit organizations serving communities of color in Southeastern PA. Tamika believes in the power of storytelling in encouraging others to use their pain to create purpose, power, and peace. Her unique and relatable way of storytelling not only ushers in healing, but deliverance for all who have the opportunity to hear and learn from her story. Tamika is a sought-after subject matter expert and speaker around the areas of Entrepreneurship, Economic Development and Racial Equity. She is the proud Mom of two sons, Christian, 19 and Braylon, 12.

{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “Tunya has made a real, discernable difference in our community, positively impacting the lives of people not only in her neighborhood but throughout our city, exemplifying the spirit of community service that truly makes her a bright spot.”

DR TUNYA GRIFFIN Black Women Voices

Tunya has volunteered her time and skills to a broad range of causes, showing an extraordinary commitment to the city and community. In her many years of service, she has been a significant force for grassroots community-building and positive change, both as a visionary leader and pragmatic, hands-on activist. Tunya is a communityfocused pastor who h o l d s b a c h e l o r’s in organizational management, a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry from Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College. In her most recent role as Associate Director of University-Community Partnerships and coteacher of a course of “Community Sustainability” at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Tunya worked alongside community members, nonprofit organizations, public schools and governmental institutions to address the adverse structural, social and economic conditions that profoundly affect livability, education and prosperity — creating a stronger, more vibrant

city. Here are a few of her other notable accomplishments: • Founding Girl Chat (now Black Women’s Voices), a women’s empowerment initiative that provided mentorship to prepare girls and young women in Rochester to be future leaders and changemakers. • Leading a program that empowered

high school students to get involved with converting vacant city lots into urban gardens. • Acting as a radio host who interviewed and provided a public forum for local leaders and other influential, high-profile individuals to connect with and share information

with the community. • Speaking on issues of civil rights, social justice, gender equality and pressing problems facing the community at numerous venues, including Rochester Cares’ MLK Day of Service event. From feeding families in need to founding and leading her block club to improve her small slice of Rochester, Tunya has made a real, discernable difference in our community, positively impacting the lives of people not only in her neighborhood but throughout our city, exemplifying the spirit of community service that truly makes her a bright spot.

FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “Let’s lift each other up + level each other out by continuing to Boss Up, Rise Above + Represent together.”


y name is Dr. Jess Germano-Fokin, but most of my patients + clients call me “Dr. J”. I am a mental health practitioner that specialize in sexual health and intimate wellness. I am also a Certified Sexologist + Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. My coaching + clinical approach is using an integrative model that focuses on four key areas: Mental Health & Wellbeing, Personal Health & Wellbeing, Sexual Health & Wellbeing, and Intimate Wellness & Relationships. In addition, I focus 48


on all overlapping aspects of the Selfemotional, physiological, behavioral, relational, and sexual. My motto is “You have to do you before you can truly do anyone else.” I am excited to be on this journey with you. SHE Boss will empower you to embrace your personal + sexual self. Including topics about dating, relationships, intimate wellness, confidence, sexesteem, body image, healthy boundaries, sexual and personal desire, holistic pleasure, what’s going on down there, getting your head in the game and your body between the

sheets, and creating the spark within you and in your intimacy. It will be real, raw and authentic because you are well-deserving of knowing your mind, body + soul and experiencing a healthy, fulfilling and pleasurable personal + sexual self. Explore.Experiment.Embrace Let’s lift each other up + level each other out by continuing to Boss Up, Rise Above + Represent together. Check out my new SHE Boss Collection + Coaching Platform https://power-of-a-she-boss.teachable. com

FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”


are considered high risk, but one of my favorite memories as Mrs. New York America so far was touring the Duchenne Care Center located in the Neurology department at the University of Rochester. It was incredible to connect with an entire force of physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists who focus on treating children with Duchenne in a teambased environment. That experience reminded me why advocacy work is critically important in securing funding that can advance treatment modalities, for example. Meeting others like me advancing important work - but in the clinical setting - was uplifting and empowering.

What is the true essence of being a woman? Accepting, believing in and feeling the power that burns bright within you. No one can stop you when you follow your true desires. Why is it important to be a multitasker?

What’s the best advice you have received that you want to pass on to other young women? Girl, go for it! Take the leap of faith if you feel it within you. There literally is nothing holding you back and you are limitless in your potential.

It’s important to have this skill, but it is equally important to know how and when to focus on just one thing at a time, prioritizing your life on the things that matter most.

If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for? A definitive cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

What is the biggest challenge young girls face today? Believing that they are enough. Strong women leaders like titleholders and

female community leaders are essential components for helping young girls and boys to see their future potential. What is the most important lesson for us to learn from life and tell us one important lesson you have learned through being Mrs. NY America. There are many important lessons to be learned along the journey of life, and one of those for me is that people know and can feel what is genuine. I’ve learned as Mrs. New York America that having the crown compels me to only want to continue to raise the bar on my life after I pass it on to the next deserving woman. How would you define success? I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments. What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? I’ve had some health challenges this year and instead of focusing heavily on being a titleholder, I have decided to prioritize my health and family first. That is the beauty of competing as an adult and in Mrs. pageantry – CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “She is a culture broker who helps organizations and individuals with pulling out the best from within.”

KRYSTLE ELLIS Real Conversations

Owner of Ellis-K Consulting, this multidimensional powerhouse specializes in catapulting businesses to the next level through strategic leadership planning, fundraising, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a culture broker who helps organizations and individuals with pulling out the best from within. Inclusive and equitable workspaces where all are proactively engaged, educated, and respected should be the norm, yet in some cases hard to accomplish without personal responsibility. Through executive

coaching and policy management, Ellis assists organizations to embark on a journey of transformational change by examining hiring practices, employee and customer engagement, marketing techniques, and daily operations. Committed to the Rochester community, she sits on multiple boards and committees advocating for women’s rights, equal access to healthcare for children, and the international right to have clean water. She believes in having transparent and courageous conversations that inspire young girls to dream big and for women to soar higher. Krystle is an engaging conversationalist

who has the ability to connect with all women. Her essence is contagious, her voice is powerful, and her laughter can fill any room. Getting to the heart of things, her ever burning passion is to help women discover who they are, grow with the flow, monetize their experiences and flourish! Ellis forwards discussions that are deep, real, and sometimes daring. Featured in Nationwide publications like the Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today and so many more, her voice is considered one of power and influence. She will be talking about how to run your personal life like a business while giving you strategies to push past fear.

{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “Debbie has extensive experience in the establishment and growth of business.”


Debbie’s passion for senior care and elder care started at a young age. At 15, she volunteered at a hospital in Rochester, NY. The experience confirmed her calling to help others and work in the medical field. Debbie holds a Bachelor’s degree in nursing,

advanced education in geriatric care management, legal nurse consulting and life care planning. Debbie has extensive experience in the establishment and growth of business. Her awards and certifications include 2013 Up and Coming Businesswoman of the Year, Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare by International Association of Nurses,

Simon Graduate School of Business Simulation Scholarship Award, Certification in Case Management, and Healthcare Business Acumen Certification. Debbie serves as the Senior Care Expert for Fox Rochester, providing weekly appearances with important information affecting seniors, the disabled, and those that care for them.

FEATURE }} { SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “I believe success is tied to pursuing the things that set your soul on fire. Only then can you feel satisfied in your accomplishments.”


Bloom Eve International Grace Nduka Iregbu is the founder of Bloom Eve International, a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides 52


a spiritual and emotional haven for mothers and empowers them to live out their God-given purpose in their families and society. She is a speaker, author, certified professional workshop facilitator, and Mom Empowerment

& Mindset Coach.

FEATURE }} { SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “Jessica, provides an extensive array of spa procedures and advanced customized treatments for the face and body, with the belief that skincare doesn’t come in a one size fits all.”

JESSICA ELIZABETH Jessica Elizabeth Skincare

Jessica Falcone is a New York State Licensed Esthetician and Certified Laser Technician. She founded Jessica Elizabeth Skincare located in Armory Square, Syracuse, NY. Jessica, has been studying and working with many different types of skin with the belief that no two faces are the same so therefore no two treatments can be the same. Although she is trained in many aspects of the esthetics industry, Jessica also holds certifications with BTL

Aesthetics, Inmode MD, Candela and has also furthered her education and career with Skin Pen, Zo Skin health, DMK Skincare and VI Aesthetics. She is a certified acne specialist, an ambassador with Skinceuticals Skincare, a certified master aesthetician with Hydrafacial MD and she is a member with the Associated Skincare Professionals. Jessica, provides an extensive array of spa procedures and advanced customized treatments for the face and body, with the belief that skincare doesn’t come in a one size fits all. Balance and respect for the traditional skincare is essential.

Whether its for anti-aging, acne, skin discoloration or maybe just a relaxing pampering session to give you that much needed boost of confidence, combining the traditional approach with modern techniques is Jessica’s signature way of having each and every one of her clients experience his/her own personalized result orientated skincare journey. When Jessica is not in the office she enjoys spending her time with her 2 children, traveling, hiking and biking.




FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “She is known for her heavy content and consistency on social media for “Emotional Healing”. ”


PLEASE welcome Omenesa Oruma Akomolafe to the Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo on Sunday, April 24th from 11-5pm at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown as one of our “Influential Women” that will be speaking and sharing her incredible story with our audience. OMENESA means “My Own is Unique”. Her middle name CHINWE means (God’s own). OMENESA has definitely lived a unique and inspirational life. Even with a rod

in her back from scoliosis, she hasn’t let pain stop her. Even after losing 8 embryos, she doesn’t feel incomplete. She is known for her heavy content and consistency on social media for “Emotional Healing”. She is an only child and has been married for 10 years. Her singing voice is that of an Angel. She is a recording artist with 4 albums under her belt. She’s published 8 books, and runs her company effortlessly. She is the Proprietress of Emotional Healing University and she owns a mentoring program THE ROCK COLLEGE. Her organization Pearls and Pauls

International hosts support groups globally and has be in existance for 10 years. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant. She holds a BA in Church Ministries, a Pendong Masters in Death and currently working on her PhD in Metaphysics. She is also an LPN student. A Preacher, Ordained Prison Chaplain, Pageant Queen, Professional Model, A Certified Confidence Coach, an Emotional Healing Practitioner. She is the Host of TV Shows (“Emotions” & “The Ring”). She travels world wide to sensitive the message that NOTHING HAPPENS IN THE GRAVE.

{ SPECIAL FEATURE }} SHIFT+CONTROL “ As a Self-Development Coach, Corrin connects with young women on a personal level to foster a deepened self-awareness and self-understanding.”


Corrin Stellakis, is a certified personal trainer and graduate of Liberty University with a degree in Communication, Psychology, and Christian Counseling. She is the founder of a self-development coaching business, Fit to Reign. Corrin is passionate about helping her clients become mentally, intellectually, socially, spiritually, physically, and emotionally Fit to Reign! She is dedicated to empowering her clients to reach their full potential as they pursue their purpose and passions in life. In 2014, Corrin began her pageant career when she won the prestigious title of Miss New York Teen USA. Since then, she has gone on to win 4 additional state titles, 3 national titles, and 2 international competitions. Currently, Corrin is the reigning Miss U.S. International and will represent the USA overseas in the Miss International pageant this November in Japan. Through pageantry, Corrin has traveled the world, made life-long friends, partnered with amazing organizations, and learned the importance of continued self-improvement and growth. Corrin uses her experience in the world of pageantry to coach other 56


women all over the country and best prepare them for their journey to the crown. Her pageant coaching services offer interview preparation, on-stage presence, competition wardrobe and image, platform development, public speaking, and modeling. Corrin knows what it takes to win the crown and she loves to share her passion and knowledge with her clients.

As a fitness enthusiast and certified personal trainer, Corrin works as a fitness coach with clients at her studio, Fit to Reign, in North Syracuse. She also writes personalized programs for women nationwide. Corrin works with her clients on endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility training. She believes in functional fitness! She also provides nutritional tips for her clients to help them maximize their

results. At Fit to Reign, her main goal is to make her clients feel confident, healthy, and strong! Corrin also serves as a makeup artist! Her business, Fit to Reign, offers makeup artistry for all special occasions! This includes weddings, proms, pageants, important events, date nights, engagement shoots, etc! Fit to Reign Glam works to enhance a woman’s natural beauty and instill confidence. As a Self-Development Coach, Corrin connects with young women on a personal level to foster a deepened self-awareness and self-understanding. Her clients learn tangible tools that can help them to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. They learn to form healthy personal boundaries, constructively make decisions about the future, have an increased awareness of personal responsibility, and improve communication and coping skills. Corrin is there for her clients and together, they build a unique relationship. She listens, advises, informs, respects, challenges, and supports her clients. Through Fit to Reign Self-Development Coaching, Corrin’s clients will learn to honor themselves, overcome obstacles, achieve goals, and grow into the successful, happy, and confident young women that they are meant to be.




















It’s hard enough for many women to love the body they were born into unconditionally. When a breast cancer diagnosis comes along and causes unwanted changes to their bodies, this challenge is significantly amplified for many women. Amongst the numerous hardships and losses brought about by a breast cancer diagnosis/treatment, our confidence should not be another casualty of this battle. Unfortunately, many Rochester women are at risk of experiencing these concerns due to the elevated incidence of breast cancer in our region. In Monroe County, the rate of new breast cancer diagnoses is 1.13 times higher than the national average. With an elevated rate of breast cancer in the area, many women in Rochester have either been personally impacted by the disease, or know someone who has. As a breast cancer survivor, I understand the selfconsciousness that accompanies this disease. With the help of a positive outlook, an incredible support system, and a phenomenal friend and photographer, I developed a sense of security in my changed body, and I want other women to be able to experience this life-changing shift in perspective. For this reason, I partnered with The Photography Experience to create the Breast Cancer Confidence Project, an empowerment campaign and community 62


of support. Our mission is to encourage other women impacted by breast cancer to develop love and appreciation for their bodies. My name is Michaela, and in March 2020 I was diagnosed with a rare and

While survival would seem to be a more pleasant thought to focus on, I often found myself similarly overwhelmed by the unknown physical and emotional challenges that could be awaiting me. Like so many women, I had spent much of my life fighting an uphill battle against my negative self-image, and one of my biggest fears was that my treatments and surgeries would compromise any progress that had been made. I remember worrying that I would never feel sexy or confident in my life – that I would never fully love and embrace my body, all because of my condition. Unfortunately, far too many women face similar challenges to their confidence or sense of self in the aftermath of a breast cancer diagnosis/treatment. As our bodies begin to change and we start to see the consequences of this disease appear on ourselves, the emotional burden can feel devastating and insurmountable. For some, these struggles may be ongoing and reappear throughout life after treatment.

aggressive type of breast cancer. I was just 28 years old when I received this completely unexpected news, and it prompted a surge of complex fears and uncertainties. As one would imagine, there was an overwhelming amount of anxiety that my disease could compromise my chances of having a future at all.

When we get caught up in this false and negative narrative about our bodies, it can make it difficult for us to recognize our strength. Continuously viewing ourselves with the same cracked lens makes it hard to change that script in our minds. Replacing that lens with a new one helps us see our bodies from a different perspective, which in turn can allow us to realign our









{ BREAST CANCER CONFIDENCE TRACY TALKS } } } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “With the help of a positive outlook, an incredible support system, and a phenomenal friend and photographer, I developed a sense of security in my changed body, and I want other women to be able to experience this life-changing shift in perspective.”

self-image. When we bring our bodies into focus with this more positive and artistic light, we begin to appreciate our true beauty and radiance. This is how boudoir photography helped me to cope with my body image issues after breast cancer; reimagining my scars in this different light helped me appreciate and admire my new body, which propelled me towards a higher state of self-love. It was this very experience that led me to start this project. When I first began this journey, I hadn’t planned on sharing my images for the rest of the world to see – I was still feeling vulnerable at the time, too buried in my self-doubts and insecurities. In fact, my first step towards starting this project was a boudoir photography shoot with Jolana (The Photography Experience), which occurred after my diagnosis, but before treatment had started. My motivations at the time were fear-based – that first session was strictly intended to memorialize my body as I had always known it. I had no intentions of documenting my body any farther – with the unknown changes my body was facing, I was certain at the time that I’d never feel comfortable in my skin. Despite my initial fears, as time went on I was surprised to find myself in awe of 66


the strength of my body. Even though some days were incredibly difficult and painful, every single day I pushed forward. Even though my mirror reflected a different image than I had been used to, I was still standing there fighting

this disease with everything I had in me. With these realizations, I began to see the beauty in every ounce of my being – the scars that were developing on my body marked my resilience, not my weakness.

As I grew more comfortable in my new skin, I reached out to The Photography Experience for more boudoir sessions – now with the more powerful and optimistic intentions of celebrating my body, appreciating the changes, and emotionally healing. For each major milestone of my disease/ treatment, Jolana used her talent to reframe my vulnerabilities as something beautiful and worth appreciating. For someone who had never felt like a strong person, it was cathartic to see myself stripped down by the consequences of this illness, yet still exude the strength of someone who continued to push forward every day. As I began to recover from the disease’s emotional consequences, I recognized the opportunity to help other women through my story. When I first received my diagnosis, I had seen images of women with various types of breast cancer surgeries, but the pictures that I found were very technical and made it difficult to imagine feeling comfortable with any of the potential choices. Those very clinical representations, while helpful, were not so productive when it came to my confidence concerns. But the elegant boudoir portraits showing my body with an array of interventions might be able to help another woman who found herself in the position I had been in months before. This opportunity to illustrate a spectrum of potential interventions to treat breast cancer using one body as a constant variable was unique, and the





{ BREAST CANCER CONFIDENCE TRACY TALKS } } } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “I remember worrying that I would never feel sexy or confident in my life – that I would never fully love and embrace my body, all because of my condition.”

attention Jolana paid to honoring each surgery and portraying the endurance of beauty throughout the process held the potential to be highly influential for another woman in need of reassurance. And so, in Fall 2020, we launched what was then known as the Breast Cancer Boudoir Project, which initially involved sharing photos from my personal boudoir shoots at each milestone of my disease/ treatment through social media. While I knew that there was value to sharing my own images, I also recognized that there may only be a small group of women who would truly benefit from my personal journey. As I had noticed in my own searches during those early anxiety-filled days, it can be hard to find 68


elegant, non-clinical images that show bodies which look like our own. And while viewing relatable body types cast in such an artistic light can be therapeutic in itself, it’s even more healing to see your own body through the lens of boudoir. For that reason, in October 2020 we started providing opportunities for local breast cancer patients, survivors, and “previvors” to have an affordable and transformative boudoir experience. To date, we have provided 10 local women with the unique opportunity for a “mini” (30 minute) boudoir session, followed by a group photo shoot with other survivors through our annual events. Over time, we have evolved into a support community dedicated to approaching confidence issues after

a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as promoting awareness and early detection techniques. We believe that every warrior and survivor deserves to love and have a healthy relationship with their body. This is why we provide a community of support and events intended to help women impacted by breast cancer to not only feel comfortable, but confident and sexy. This is especially important for women in our region, as Rochester has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in all U.S. cities. To continue promoting our message of self-love, we will be providing monthly columns on Breast Cancer Confidence and related topics for Rochester Woman Online.




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Tell us a little bit about Stacey & Jena, (or as we will now know you, the Cosmetic Queens) and your backgrounds. Stacey is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Jena is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner at Syracuse Plastic Surgery.

she loves facial beautification and enjoys bringing the patient’s visions to fruition by enhancing their existing natural beauty. The girls pride themselves on combining the science behind injections with an artistic eye to personalize treatments for each individual to achieve their esthetic goals.

Jena earned her degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She was also a member of Sigma Theta Tau – International Honor Society of Nursing.

Both providers keep their knowledge current by attending conferences and trainings annually. They love to read and learn about the newest techniques & procedures to provide the safest, most natural looking treatments.

Stacey also received her her degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University graduating Summa Cum Laude. She was her class President and served on the Upstate Student Government and Sports Medicine Club. She has been trained by multiple distinguished esthetic providers from all over the world.

The girls both enjoy spending time with family and friends. Jena is happily married with two beautiful children, Maddy and Jack.

Jena is the OG nNurse Practicioner at SPS since 2013, while Stacey joined her 2 years ago. It was a match made in heaven. We are affectionately known as the “Dream Team” (of course we couldn’t achieve this without our amazing staff) and would prefer to inject/treat our patients side by side daily if we could. Jena’s passion is cosmetic dermatology & she has caught many life threatening melanomas but is amazing when it comes to cosmetic injectables as well. Jena took Stacey under her wing to hone her derm skills and the two will most certainly educate you on SPF, skin checks, and the best skincare for each individual. Stacey’s passion is cosmetic injectables,

Per Stacey - she puts her heart into everything she does, finds it incapable to not be compassionate in every situation, and loves those lucky enough to encounter her with her whole heart. She has 2 cats & a dog. Per Jena - Stacey is a bachelorette looking for love (she deserves the best; so all candidates will also be judged by her BFF Jena) and has so much to offer her future husband: she goes above and beyond for ALL those she loves, her caring is like caring on steroids, she is funny as hell and has a GREAT booty. She also has two dog babies Daisy andDahlia (the_cosmetic_pup). Per Stacey - Jena injected my booty… ask us about that (lol). Where did you come up with the “Cosmetic PA”?

Stacey: I needed an instagram name and my friends/family all put in suggestions. We felt the definition of “Cosmetic” encompassed beauty treatments intended to restore or improve a person’s appearance and I’m a Physician Assistant so boom The Cosmetic PA was born. Jena’s handle is Injectablesbyjena. Stay tuned as we have some ideas in the future to make our brand cohesive. Tell us about what made you decide to get into the medical aesthetics field, and why you chose Syracuse Plastic Surgery ? Stacey: As a surgical PA, I was introduced to the world of medical esthetics when I started working per diem for a local plastic surgeon and then a medspa. I met Jena at a Master Conference (she was taking detailed notes with fun colored pens - I vowed to make her my friend at that moment), then I started an Upstate NY Injector group to discuss safety and all things injectable. Jena was one of the few that attended then Covid happened, we started chatting about going to trainings together. I wanted to go full time as an injector and Jena encouraged me to apply at SPS. The rest is history. Legendary. So in essence you could say I chose SPS bc that’s where Jena was practicing, but it also had two great doctors to mentor me. What was not to love? Jena: I started back when we were only a small family of 5 employees and our name was DeRoberts Plastic Surgery. When I first started, I managed the surgery center. This opened my eyes to the wonderful world of cosmetic procedures. Dr. DeRoberts took me under his wing and taught me anatomy, CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ WOMAN THE COSMETIC QUEENS TRACY TALKS } } } WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “There are many factors that influence what an individual defines “beauty” as.”

surgery, dermatology, suturing and cosmetic injectables. Syracuse Plastic Surgery is the ultimate experience. One stop shop for surgical, injectables and skin wellness services. At the Masters Conference Stacey mentioned, I wasn’t just taking notes on injectable content. Looking around, I realized I was actually missing something at work- an injectable bestie. When Stacey started, the injectable dream team commenced and to be quite honest so did my love for our work. With her by my side I feel like we can conquer any challenge. What is your most favorite service you provide to clients and why? Stacey: Oh wow - hard to pick just one. I think Jena and I both love to provide injectable services that help patients overcome some insecurity whether that be a birth defect, a trauma, an asymmetry, or age related changes. I love injecting the entire face as a whole “facial rejuvenation or liquid facelifts” & lips (smooch ). So many patients have told us how they feel more confident and that makes us so happy. Jena: In addition to Stacey’s comment on overcoming insecurities, I LOVE a good cheek POP (contour without makeup, yes please!). I am also super passionate about playing detective and finding abnormalities in your moles. What does the word “Beauty” mean to you? Stacey: I think the word “beauty” is different for everyone. For me it’s when I am or I see someone smiling because 74


they feel amazing/look their best - rested, youthful, glowing. What I think of as beautiful may not be someone else’s definition. There are many factors that influence what an individual defines “beauty” as. For instance different generations, different ethnicities, different opinions. That’s why we need to really listen to our patients goals so we can make sure we are on the same page. “We are the experts but it’s your face so let’s work together to tackle those concerns you have.”

Stacey:(Get yourself a bestie injector colleague delight of a human like Jena.) Ok so skills I think are necessary… knowledge of anatomy so you can be safe, collaborate & network with people who align with your style and morals, have a critical eye, be a good listener (to patients and mentors), ability to analyze, educate, and earn trust, build a team that you trust & can count on, learn & study new injection techniques and procedures, know your products, be competent & compassionate, be a leader when you can but help others shine too, learn about the business aspects but always treat your patients like family. Jena: Stacey nailed it. In addition, I think having a power house team like we do at SPS is essential. Having Dr. DeRoberts and Dr. Armenta’s surgical skills on top of our injectable skills and the skills of our estheticians, patients are treated with a holistic approach to anti-aging.

Jena: Beauty is having confidence in the skin you’re in. To get to this goal, it can be as little as starting a skin care routine, or receiving injectables for wrinkles or facial balancing, laser treatments or even as big as surgical route. Stacey & I are here to walk you through every little step, even if it’s holding your hand and reminding you of your own (sometimes forgotten) personal beauty. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming successful in your fields?

Who is funnier and who is more serious? Stacey: HA - we are both a hoot. We have been told so many times we need our own reality show. I think Jena comes across more serious at first but once you get to know her she is HYSTERICAL. She’s my fav person to laugh with… or at. We are both very serious when it comes to patient care & safety. Jena: Stacey is definitely way funnier. She is also more serious (bad cop). I am just awkward.


{ THE COSMETIC QUEENS { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “What I think of as beautiful may not be someone else’s definition.”

Stacey: She can be awkward it’s true. (Insert awkward turtle hands here.) However I think that only adds to the charm of Jena (good cop). How do you stay on top of the latest trends? Stacey: The patients tell us, the esthetic conferences we go to have sessions on trends, instagram (some trends we do not encourage or say no to!) Jena: We are constantly researching (Stacey’s favorite past-time actually). The challenge to always perfect our skills is always on our minds. Stacey: When I first started I would say to Jena well the literature on that shows or I read a study that said… she will never let me live it down. However she researches just as much as me so don’t let her fool you… she’s a nerd too. Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? Stacey: Jena - she’s my person. She has always supported me, encouraged me, and been there for me no matter what. She builds me up when I do a good job or when I’m having a tough day, reminds me why we do what we do, settles me when I’m too rambunctious, listens and then helps me come up with a plan or offers advice for whatever the situation is. She teaches me things I don’t know and never makes me feel silly or unintelligent for asking in the first place. Usually I don’t even have to ask for help because she knows & just offers it without hesitation. She’s a genuinely amazing provider, wife, mom, daughter, colleague, and friend. She has unconditional love for everyone in her life and strives to be the best for us all & be there for us all…patients, family,

friends. What’s more inspiring than that? My parents: they have been together 50 years and they have empowered me since I was a child. They always inspire me to be kind to others & pursue my passions. They also have adopted Jena and my nurse Emily as family. Jena: I feel like we are getting sappy, but Stacey has been my inspiration long before we started working together. I liked her aura from IG, in her posts she would support/uplift others without looking for anything in return. Her sparkle and energy are highly contagious. She would post a picture of her doing a spa day at home and I wanted to be there doing it with her. Then once we started worked together, she supported me in ways I didn’t know possible. Her passion for injectables is contagious. She has brought me outside of my shell in many ways by encouraging me and helping to grow my confidence. She is an amazingly knowledgeable teacher and makes everything look so easy. She’s always thinking of others and has the biggest heart, she even volunteers her time for people in need in our community!! Stacey & Jena: Our families, our friends, our colleagues and our patients (most of which have become like family) kind words & encouragement definitely empower us and that in itself inspires us to be the best we can. What sets you apart from your competition? Stacey: I have Jena and she has me & our assistants are top notch. We have an all star line up. Dr. Armenta, Dr. DeRoberts, Jena and I, our new PA Lindsay. We are one stop shopping. All your cosmetic/esthetic/plastic surgery/ feel good about yourself needs - surgical,

injectable, medical grade skincare, estheticians on site, lasers, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, vitamin injections, dermatology, scar revision, laceration/bite repairs and more. Our google reviews will tell a story about how all of that is housed in a clean office, staffed by people who care, that deliver outstanding results. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you guys do what you do? Jena: I love the happiness I bring to my patients. My favorite time is when I give them the mirror and they see the outcome they were looking for. I also love going back to original pictures and comparing them to the “now.” It is amazing to see how injectables build over time. And with Stacey and I, you know that progression will be natural and glowing. Stacey: I agree with Jena 100%. I do it because I finally found something that I’m good at that utilizes my artistic abilities, brings others happiness, and doesn’t feel like work when I’m doing it. Tell us a little bit about what are some of the things you both do that not many people know about? Jena: I have two adventurous children that keep me busy every minute outside of work. We love going on nature walks in our backyard, riding our snowmobile and building lots of forts. I actually grew up in Rochester, graduated from Penfield High School so I spend many weekends traveling to Rochester to visit with family and friends. I am also a very proud board member of the Waldron Rise family foundation that centers our efforts in caring for woman and children in need in the Rochester community. My goal is to expand our efforts into CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ THE COSMETIC QUEENS { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “I think Jena and I both love to provide injectable services that help patients overcome some insecurity whether that be a birth defect, a trauma, an asymmetry, or age related changes.”

“me time” activity is scrap booking and reading (nerd alert). Stacey: Oh good she admitted to being a nerd. She will succeed in expanding into the Cuse area for her charity but if you can help us move that goal along give my girl a shout. I was a competitive figure skater. I love to draw & paint. I drink bourbon & champagne. I won’t go in haunted houses or watch scary movies. I love hanging out with my niece & filming her “YouTube makeup looks.” I’m usually her model & I have to say she nails it & I would tell everyone to subscribe if it was a real channel. I love giving back to my community & drag all my people along with me to do events because they all have big hearts too. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you and why. Jena: Every time I diagnose a Melanoma it stands out to me. It hits me in a way I can’t describe. I feel for my patient’s like I feel for my family. Stacey: She’s a lifesaver. Not the candy… she’s sweet but she actually saves lives. How cool is that. On the other hand because Jena has such empathy this can take a toll sometimes bc she goes through every single step of the process with them and like she said feels every feel. I don’t know about you but that’s the type of provider I want in my corner… competent & caring. That being said there are so many special moments we share with our patients and each other. Just one? Ok - There was a patient who suffered a facial disfigurement and I was able to help correct it. She cried tears of joy and told me she had not gone out in public for many years 80


because of how she looked and this was life changing for her. I always worried I wouldn’t make as big of a difference in my patients lives in esthetics as I did in other career specialities but she is just one of many who Jena & I have impacted in a special & meaningful way. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful, and not only bring in new clients, but keep one’s coming back in? Stacey: Education & Honesty. We don’t try to talk people into things they don’t need. In fact we tell people no sometimes. We try and give our patients all the available options so they can make the best decision for them. We try to only address concerns & questions they bring up & only say yes to treatments that will result in excellent outcomes. This has led to patients putting their trust in us & being very loyal. Jena: Hands down-results. Most of our new clients come because they have friends or family members that have seen Stacey or I. Building a trusting relationship with our patients is so important to Stacey and I. We are kind and we CARE. We are also honest, which can sometimes be hard to handle. If we believe that a certain injectable procedure will not help, we will offer you other options in order to achieve your goals. Stacey: I just read Jena’s response (we were apart for some of these questions & had to send to each other). We are definitely connected and/or share a brain. What do you have planned for the next year? Stacey: What don’t we have planned!? We have some fun open house/events we want to host and attend. We want to

go to some more trainings & a cadaver course. We want to grow our social media. We want to show our patients more of who we are as people. Jena: I would love to explore more conferences. I love traveling and learning with Stacey by my side. Stacey will be training me on biostimulant injections (giving patients natural volume with the benefits of collagen stimulation) and I will be continuing to help her hone her derm skills. What has been your best form of promoting your services and what platform is your favorite? Jena: Although a very big challenge, being a job in itself, I would say IG is the best form. Being perfectionists, Stacey and I tend to over think our pictures and wording. We try to make things fun, yet informative. Many new patients come in saying that they feel like they already know us because of our instagram! Stacey: I agree with Jena (shocking… not) IG has def been the best form but TikTok is something we would like to do more of too. What is one thing that motivates you both? Jena: Ahhh, this is a hard ONE. Multiple things motivate me. My family motivates me, my husband has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and has always had my back the entire way. My parents are so loving and supportive and making them proud has and will always be a huge motivator for me as well. Stacey motivates me to be the best version of myself. She has encouraged me to move beyond my comfort zones in many areas of my life. I can always







{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { THE COSMETIC QUEENS “As a surgical PA, I was introduced to the world of medical esthetics when I started working per diem for a local plastic surgeon and then a medspa.”

depend on her to sense when I am not myself and she will help me overcome the obstacle, whatever is may be. She is my bird’s eye view. Our collaboration and patient results motivate me. My patients motivate me; I love listening to their life stories and lending a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold or a pat on the back. Stacey: What she said minus the husband thing. Happy patients. Excellent outcomes. Parents. Jena. Assess, Inject or Excise, Repeat. What factors do you consider when selecting cosmetic products or new techniques? Stacey: SAFETY. The science behind them. Cost to our patient. Time to reach optimal result and longevity of those results. Ethnicity. Patient expectations. Jena: First thing to consider is patient safety. I also learned from my pal Stacey-question everything. Does this make sense? Will this give the results we are looking for? After we’ve researched it then I need to see it being done (and do it a few hundred times before feeling comfortable). Stacey and I like to trial new techniques or products together - our collaboration is powerful. Picking each other’s brains while examining our results with a magnifying glass. Stacey: Hehe another example of same brain. What specialty service do you feel you can provide clients that sets you apart from others? Jena: Not may people know that we perform skin exams! When we are

with our cosmetic patients, this gives us the opportunity to talk about how to care for your skin in its entirety (it is the largest body organ we have). When we discuss SPF use or stopping tanning beds, they usually are thinking of scheduling their skin exam alongside their next injectable procedure. Another procedure we offer is Vaginal Rejuvenation! Let’s face it ladies, our vaginas are not getting any younger either. This painless procedure helps tighten, restore lubrication, enhances pleasure during sex and stops the pesky stress incontinence (ever pee when you sneeze?). Stacey: What she said AND dissolving old filler. People (patients & providers alike) are always shocked when we tell them we have seen filler last 12+ years. Sometimes we can work around old filler, sometimes we prefer to start from scratch for best results, sometimes we want to upgrade you to filler that has better technology, and sometimes it’s necessary for safety or to prevent irreversible damage to tissues. Jena andI know this may cause some emotional discomfort when having this discussion with you but you deserve providers who care about giving you safe, optimal results. Do you have any special training or degrees to provide the services you offer your clients? Stacey: TONS!!! Jena and I have both assisted in surgery so our understanding of anatomy is strong. We have gotten invited to many Master Conferences and been able to attend 1 on 1 trainings with mentors we look up to. We have two amazing surgeons to run things by who take the time to educate us on interesting cases or things they know

will increase/elevate our skill set. Jena: The masters conferences we attend set us apart from other injectors. My next personal endeavor is to become officially certified in dermatology (I would still do the same things, just more letters to add to the end of my name). Stacey: Jena and I both have Masters degrees but we didn’t actually have to pass any specific standardized tests to inject faces or excise moles. We have talked about this frequently and would like to see this part of our industry become more regulated for patient safety and outcomes in the future. Just because you have a degree in Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, etc doesn’t make you a safe or skilled provider. Just like any other profession it depends on your experience, education, and talent. When they have a specialty degree or standardized certification to test our skills you can bet your bottom dollar (or bet your Botox wrinkles?) we will be signing up. Where will we see you next? Jena: We have had many requests for more content of Stacey and I on IG. So hopefully some more reels and hoping to go live more often! Stacey: On the big screen… ha just kidding! But, definitely on the small screen - YOUR small screen doing IG lives and more stories. Then, hopefully at one of the events Kelly is hosting!




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ROBIN CORTESE Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Robin Cortese? Proud of my ancestry, I’ll lead with being Native American, Mohawk. Much of what I have learned concerning building my own personal and professional network, I credit to the teachings of my Grandparents. After all, this inherently is where building on a tribe came from. I am a Collector of people, a connector. I’m a promoter of stories being told by others. I feel that’s the true essence of a person’s core. In turn, I’ll share. We will then support one another in the future and champion each other, and grow. I’ll take the underdog every time, referred to as a minimalist, and I like that. Saying no to me or that something can’t be done ignites my fire, and now there is a challenge. Surrounded by the best of minds and spirits is where I call home. If given the choice of location by the water or in a forest is where you will find me for some downtime and self-reflection. Hardest on myself because I know exactly what I am capable of. Event Planner of big fun with a surprise factor because who doesn’t like a surprise? Jazz enthusiast due to the gift of my Father, Last but certainly not least, I’m the dog’s pet. What Makes you “hustle”? Competition all that life has to offer. Let’s start with that. I want to push the envelope and move toward new adventures—building on a legacy, showing people that anything is within their grasp. I’m surrounded by examples of people that have

stretched themselves and have become so incredibly successful that they don’t see it because they’re still working. I am on the pay it forward plan, like many other like-minded people I hold close. The team spurs on the hustle like a well-oiled machine. Show me your grit, and I’ll show you mine. The question is, are you ready to go? What is your background? What made you decide to open an AT&T franchise? Sales is my Love, and I found my

space initially within Mobilecomm, which was a paging company before Mobile phones. My manager was recruited out of our business, and one day unexpectedly, I received a call simply saying these words “I accepted a new position as General Manager at a new company named CellularOne Ithaca Telephone Company, today you’re going to give your notice and join my team.” Frankly, when a call like that comes in from a person that you highly revere, there are no questions; you go and do. That was the beginning of what I liken to a

Cinderella story. I’ll say this, there is no more great story for all of us that have taken this Mobility journey. Most will tell you, the years at CellularOne were the absolute best of times and work experience. It created a core belief system for all involved where the adage of “Treat people the way that you want to be treated” was the case. My career started there in 1992, and then fast track to 2005, a familiar entrepreneur, David Mueller, extended an invite to meet with himself and his partner Mark Peters. Both were well respected within the Indirect channel space, and we were all aware of the work one another did. The offer came from Dave to join them and build on something unique together, to build a legacy. This is where it’s important to emphasize that growth often happens this way and when work ethic is seen. That there are people who are watching you work and respect how you operate; that is, the possibility of other alignment is just around the corner. Understand this; if you have the drive and skillset, all there needs to be is an opportunity. That is my background, and I seized the opportunity while people took a chance on me, and so I say that I am an Intrapreneur turned Entrepreneurial. What is your why? Why do you do what you do? “She believed she could, So she did” that’s the quote right there! It’s self-talk, with the reality of people relying on

{ CNY{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } SHIFT+CONTROL } “Give back in every way, support the community you serve, listen, and hear what isn’t being said.”

my support daily. I am one of many that can make a difference. How exciting is that to know that every day you can inspire the change in anything you want to see! That’s my why in everything I do. According to you, what skills are necessary for becoming a successful and inspiring woman? Give back in every way, support the community you serve, Listen, and hear what isn’t being said. Have grit, help those that want to learn and grow and be there to catch them when they need an assist. Keep a watchful eye on those living your dream; these are your mentors. Reach out to them and tell them how they have impressed you. Invite people out for a smoothie. Hey, it’s a 2022 thing! Learn from those living the life that piques your interest or has created something that you think is awesome that you must know more about. Network and have deeper conversations that tap into the depths of others’ thoughts. Read, choose your words continually, and if you think something you are about to say might be hurtful, hold back. Pay compliments to people and be grateful that they are helping you and others daily. We know things change, so be thankful for their time with you. Take things less personally and know in work, people make decisions for many reasons, some of which have absolutely nothing to do with you. Lead with a smile, have fun doing what you do, or get out. Strengthen your Tribe, and be open to allowing those that may need to have their 88


exit because not always should we be together at that time. We do the best we can, which will always be good enough. What do you feel are some of your professional and personal greatest strengths? If it matters to you, it matters to me; I sincerely want to help, so I actively listen for how I can. I will be your biggest champion if you need me. This is the support factor, both personally and professionally. Additionally, I try to keep things light and fun, as work should not be so hardcore. Lastly, connecting people that is my absolute favorite thing to do. Who are some people who inspire you, and why? I could undoubtedly name many local people, from Musicians to Owners of Businesses; however, I will say this, every day, I am inspired by several people. These people are typically ones that I have met with for the first time via a virtual meeting. Here I learn more about them, and I understand their reasons. Why they are looking for work, who they are looking to support, and what their background was that now has propelled them into this search. There are countless heroes and great champions who again help regain my faith in humanity. Here’s the best part, maybe they will continue to inspire all of us now by joining Premier Technologies and the AT&T Family. Okay, I’ll drop some CNY folks on my radar; here we go; Dr. Zulma Spinoza.

If you don’t know who she is, search her out and understand she saves lives every day as a pediatric brain surgeon. Stephanie Crockett is the definition of GRIT, working her way up the ladder to now Mower Presidential spot. Laura Serway is a pure force in all the good ways. She should be wearing a cape! Gwen Webber Mcleod for radiating positivity and empowering women. Jacqueline Colello for sharing her story via her art and following her path while helping others gain strength because they see her doing it. Just a few, but know that my list is long, and it also includes some dynamic Men. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? There are no do-overs for me. I have learned from each misstep and won. I would not do over one single thing! Name one memorable moment in your life that has stood out to you and why. On September 12, 2019, I read “12 Thoughts on life,” which was on a daily email I subscribe to called Inspire Me Today. I took in all of what was in front of me and shared it promptly with a group of my friends. Following the share, I sent a message to the Author, Dr. Shellie Hipsky. Minutes after my sent message came a reply. Then a LinkedIn connection arrived and a request to speak via the phone. Days later, a two-hour heartfelt call, complete with tears and bonding, reflecting on how we had both experienced tremendous


““She believed she could, So she did” that’s the quote right there! ”

loss in 2018 and the belief that our angels may be at work connecting us. That day Dr. Shellie invited me to meet her that weekend at the Baccarat Hotel in Manhattan with a group of women. She was being honored with a Mayor’s Proclamation for the work that she had been doing. Yes! Was my immediate answer with no hesitation; however, then there was the concern of attire because the invitation stated formal festive India Attire in celebration of Diwali. There was not only so much to do but some much to learn, and I could not wait for the adventure. It was like going to school and meeting all my new friends. I had no idea what to expect, but I was going and opened to this tremendous opportunity. That same day I was invited to my neighbor Anne Messenger’s home after work. While telling her about the plan, she stopped me and said, “hold on, I have exactly what you need.” She walked out with a garment bag filled with a custom outfit she had purchased while visiting India. This was my attire for that day. Realizing that all things happen for a reason, I continued with my excitement, and finally, the day came to arrive at the hotel. Walking into the lobby, standing in front of the Elevator door, was the ever so lovely Rachi Parikh. She looked at me and smiled while holding open the elevator, nodded, and said, “We must be going to the same party. Come join me”. So we walked in together, and it was that day within a group of 8 fabulous human beings my great other adventures began. This High Tea

was hosted by the Corporate Diwali owned by Manisha Mundhra Beriwala, honoring Dr. Shellie Hipsky. I was greeted by everyone with no pretense and zero judgment and welcomed with open arms. I just had to type that as it’s not the norm and is the reason for a move to change. These women, that time, their stories, their passion, and energy, along with a shared lust for life, are how we all know together we can evoke change. This remains to be my most enlightened of moments. So much more has happened since that day and continues to come from that initial meeting. We have jointly created spin-off events from that initial time together. Another one will be taking place this September with Manisha here in CNY. So the saying goes, if it’s meant to be, it will happen. There is no question about when you are meant to connect with specific individuals, and there is no denying fate and what can happen. People are brought together to create time and space for others to enjoy, and I believe throughout all, this was the reason my fellow Indian Sister Manisha was brought into my life. Now I am a Corporate Diwali Ambassador. How have you built confidence and resiliency throughout your career? That’s easy to answer, and I put myself into positions that challenge me. I volunteer to do things that I have never done before, I stretch myself by saying yes often, and that gives me the confidence based on my commitment that I can make things

happen. Experience has also taught me that sometimes you have to say no to get it right truly. What has been your best form of promotion for you, and why? Being asked by David Mueller to join his Company as a Partner. That inspired tremendous growth for me professionally in a profound way. One of the very first things he did to ensure we were all on the same page was sign us up for Entrepreneurial Bootcamp at Syracuse University. Doing this together gave Dave, Mark, and I the foundation and confirmation we needed to move forward and know we were a team. The actual roles we would assume remained to be seen with the understanding the business would continue to evolve, and so would we. There are always things to learn and risks to be taken, but without both, the reward and ultimate growth will be minimal at best. Together we strive to be the Best there is with no limitations. How do you balance your career, personal life, and passions? If anyone can answer that question without cringing, have them call me. I wish there were a clear-cut answer other than making solid plans and choices, putting them on a calendar, and sticking to them. All of my close friends have big careers. They are responsible for many people and have built beautiful businesses. I’m single, so it’s me and my dog she loves me, understands if mom doesn’t work there is no food and she isn’t CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } “Surrounded by the best of minds and spirits is where I call home.”

incredibly needy, she deals with late work nights. I like that about her! Seriously, I schedule the things that are truly important to me with family and friends as I do appointments. You carve out the time for the people you love and that is it, we have but one life. What are the ways you stay grounded and take care of yourself? Every morning I have a daily meditation practice, it includes daily inspiration and I make a call a day or send an email to a friend or two+. I journal, I also love to draw and paint. Additionally, I have found so much inspiration and care for myself in planning events with Manisha. We are currently working on t w o n ow, o n e in September in Skaneateles and another in November in India. This past week I took a long weekend away to Sea Island, GA with a group of girlfriends it was just what was needed. So much fun and a quick recharge. What sets you apart from your competition? The people in Premier Technologies separate us from all others. They truly embrace client care first, it’s the value system we pride ourselves on. 92


We are a service based business, and here to support customer’s needs first and foremost. Additionally, just how important it is to grow to know who we are speaking with. In order for us to effectively help any one Individual, Family or Business we must first know as much as we can about their needs, their interests, what their future plans are etc. We represent AT&T and they expect nothing but the best in first

impressions and beyond, we strive to exceed their expectations as well. How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles? There is a tremendous amount of passion in this business, people that truly love what they do and enjoy who they work with and how driven we all are. We are also hyper competitive internally as well, which makes work fun. So for those that are of like mind

this business checks the box for that sales personality. I believe staying stimulated by being the person in the know with new technology and having people see you as the expert to connect with when in need is what keeps our teams driven. They sincerely want to help and be they’re own form of connectors. We are fortunate to have longevity in our Business, some dynamic colleagues who have made this business their very own. We are family, that is where being privately owned and operated truly shows value, when the ownership knows you by name and is grateful that you showed up and that we are. What do you have planned over the next year? GROWTH! In t e r n a l l y f o r people who have the desire to build on their careers we will promote into leadership roles. Hiring, as with those promotions will come the need to find new partners to join our team. New locations, we look forward to further expansion from our current 34 locations to a hopeful 50 within the next years to come.


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AFTER FEELING LIKE YOU MIGHT HAVE LOST YOUR SENSE OF SELF Hi SHE Bosses! Welcome to my SHE Boss Column. Where we talk about anything from being the boss of your own true self to living your best WHOLE self + relationship to getting your head in the game and your body in sheets and how to (re)create the spark in your intimacy. Where we have true, real, raw and authentic talk because you are well-deserving of knowing what’s going on with your WHOLE self, mind + body. I want to focus on a topic that we all are dealing with on a daily basis right now with constant changes, and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon…this pandemic. Can you believe it’s been two years already? Stop for a minute and be true to yourself when you ask “How am I doing?” We often check in with others and ask “How are YOU doing?”, but we don’t often check in with ourselves. Take a moment and really think about it. “How am I REALLY doing??” “How have I REALLY been doing through all of this??” “Am I feeling ME??” It’s OK to take a moment and be true to yourself…you deserve it! Since this global pandemic began, I’ve been emphasizing 94


the importance of being mindful of mental health + wellbeing, not just personal health + wellbeing. Many of my patients + clients are bringing up the same struggles they are continuously having with their sense of self, their relationship/s, work, family, and so on. Many are inquiring how do we adapt to this new normal? How do we adjust? How do we mourn the loss of what once was? Or even embrace this new way of being?

and on. Whatever “it” might be, it’s important to know you are not alone with these feelings and to know we are in this together and will continue to be in this, as well as other crises’ together. It’s also important to note that the aforementioned is impacting all ages + stages of life, so be sure to keep checking in with your kiddos. I will be writing more about the importance of this in upcoming column articles.

Many are feeling triggered by these sudden changes that have now created what seems to be this rollercoaster ride of ups and downs over the past two years. This feeling of a loss of control, fear of the unknown, the unpredictable, and feeling forced in so many different directions to name a few. Those that have never experienced struggles with mental health + wellbeing or even their relationships before are now all of a sudden finding themselves feeling these unfamiliar thoughts and feelings, not to mention having no idea about what to do with them or how to manage them. And those that were familiar with these feelings, are now experiencing them at a more heightened or exacerbated level. Those feelings of being more anxious, depressed, fear, hysteria, paranoia, irritability, anger, distress, loss of control, insomnia, restlessness....the list can go on

Some key points I’ve been sharing with my patients + clients to be able to manage and maintain a healthy sense of self + healthy relationships include: - Pull the Positive + Recognize the Glimmers: Slowing down from the day to day hustle or stressors and being able to now recognize the importance of focusing on yourself, your relationship, your family, and maybe even those goals or projects we’ve been putting on the back burner. All those things that we promised ourselves that we would someday get to them. Well…now is the time! If this pandemic has taught us anything, it has shown us how those things that we might take for granted can change in an instant, so it’s important to live + embrace each moment to the next. - Regulate or Turn Off Media







{ SHEBOSS } } } } TRACY TALKS { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “All those things that we promised ourselves that we would someday get to them. Well… now is the time! ”

Intake: If you are looking for information about something important, go to a credible source, not snippets from other sources that can easily heighten emotional responses or provide inaccurate information. - Open the Lines of Communication and Check In: ASK, LISTEN, GAIN UNDERSTANDING, VALIDATE, SUPPORT, and IMPLEMENT. These can be applied to any system or relational dynamicyourself, your relationship, work, family, friends, etc. - Balance Home-Work Life: This means your personal and your professional lifestyles. Many of us are now finding working from home as this new way of being, and also trying to balance so many other roles: Mama or Daddy, Hubby or Wife, Caretaker, etc. It’s important to create a divide between your personal and your work life. What I mean by that is trying to work outside the bedroom (or even other family common areas). I emphasize the bedroom in particular is your personal place for the 2 S’s: Sleep and Sex. If you must, switch up the look of the room for “work mode” and “personal/play mode”. If you are able, work in a different area in the home that is not often used much for personal use, such as an office, the den or create a new space, in order to be able to “close the door

and walk away when outside of work hours”. And yes, it’s sooooo important to keep a structure of your work hours. When you are are done!!! It’s time for your personal time. This is just as important, if not MORE important! Remember my motto, “Do You, For You”. If you are not present for yourself, then you cannot possibly be present and focus elsewhere. Most of us are balancing so many “Jobs”/roles right now, ones in which we never thought we would be in or never signed up for. I, myself, was and still am trying to manage seeing patients from home via Telehealth, be an educator to my two boys, be a wife to my hub’s whom has continued to work out in the field full time since the start of the pandemic, which leaves me as the primary caregiver to my boys, the dogs, household tasks on a daily basis and so on. So yes, ME Time is an absolute! I joke by saying running (and working out) is my saving grace because it’s the only time no one is calling my name and needing something. Yes, I did say I was real, raw + authentic, so I am going to tell you like it is with no bullshit. :) - Stay Active in Your Brain + Body: Movement is medicine + healing. By keeping both the brain + body active, you are activating the good hormones, enhancing blood flow and oxygen, as well deactivating

your amygdala, which is responsible for stress responses, anxious brain, and trauma brain to name a few (more to come on this in upcoming column articles). In addition, the immune system and the emotional system are both channels facilitating our adjustment and regulation to a highly dynamic and demanding world. - Enhance Meaning + Purpose: Be sure you are doing the things that help you to feel a sense of meaning and purpose and build confidence. It could be anything from making sure you are showering and grooming to connecting virtually with people, places, and things that are a part of your life. Staying connected with your sense of self and others will help you to stay grounded and feel a sense of fulfillment and pleasure. We all need it right now as we continue to adjust back to our lifestyles and/or create new ways of being. - Be Attentive in Your Relationship (with yourself + your partner/s). If you are needing more on this, please check out my SHE Boss + Sex Talk with Dr. J podcast on “The Importance of Being Attentive in your Relationship”, as well as my podcast on “Ways to Practice Self Care + Boss Up.” Again, you have to do you before you can truly do anyone else! CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ SHEBOSS } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Can you believe it’s been two years already? Stop for a minute and be true to yourself when you ask “How am I doing?” ”

Let’s continue to Boss up, Rise Above + Represent together! You got this, and we WILL continue to get through this. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need help with any of the areas talked about. You are not alone in this, and your mental health + wellbeing, sexual health + wellbeing, intimate wellness + relationships is just as important as your personal health + wellbeing. 98


Again, thank you for tuning in and taking the time to focus on YOU. Please feel free to submit any questions and topics of interest on my Coaching Platform at https:// power-of-a-she-boss.teachable. com or follow me on Instagram @shebossdrj. You can also check out my new SHE Boss Collection + Courses on my Coaching Platform (link above). Remember, there is no silly question...we are real, we

are raw, and we are authentic, and so is this column. Stay tuned in, in touch + turned on. I look forward to being on this journey with you. Love to all my SHE Bosses.♡ Xo, Dr. J









Competition is not a four letter word. There are few more competitive environments in business, than in the world of fashion. Every season new designers inundate the market with their new wares. Everything from popular t-shirts and jeans to the exclusive world of European high fashion. To put it politely, it’s a cut throat war of up doing and out doing your nearest competitors. So, after having been in business for the past 35 years, you would think I would dislike having competition. As a matter of fact, I despised having competition when I first started. I wanted more clients and more business for myself. The simplistic mentality of more is more, is hard to break, and even harder to conquer. So, do I dislike my competitors? Are they hindering my business or taking my clients? The short answer is “no”. I actually feel bad that they have to compete against me. I must be a real thorne in their side. Why would I think that? In fact my business has grown exponentially because of them. Competition is one of those things that on the outside might seem like a bad thing but I can tell you today, that it’s one of the best motivators you can have. I know, without a doubt, that my business would not have grown as much as it has without them.

Fifteen years ago a tragic thing happened. I lost my business partner. It was devastating to me because not only was he my partner, he was also my father. He was an amazing man that taught me all I know about my craft. Months after he passed, I had an epiphany regarding our business. I needed to change. Not only the way I was thinking about my personal life, but especially in my business. So I decided to change the way I did business. The way I took care of my clients and also the way I viewed my competition. I had already been in business for 20 years but I decided to make some very significant changes. I changed the location of our store, made it smaller yet more exclusive. Changed the quantity of clients we had, concentrating on our core customers and decided to use our competitors’ negative business practices to our advantage. Biggest of all,we changed the name of our company to better represent our values.

inside and out, it shows in the way you take great care of your customers. We have maintained the same number of clients but have tripled the quality of what we have offered them. We have stayed true to our main products that are the backbone of our business instead of chasing fashions that are fleeting. We are simply doing the opposite of what our competitors are doing. In the things that we have in common, we are doing better than they ever have. So, when you are faced with competition, embrace it, study it and create a formula that makes you the smarter choice to do business with. This way you will no longer need to work alongside them, rather you will be soaring above them.

I’m happy to say that we have doubled our business since then, but we were able to do it because of our competitors and not in spite of them. We used their weaknesses and made them our strengths. We used our experience to continue to educate ourselves and pass it on to our prospective customers. With experience comes confidence and when someone knows their craft CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022









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“Intimacy: Into me I see” -The Love Guru Your story and the words you share in your marketing, speaking, and selling are an intimate window into your influencer soul. Your story sells and influences change because it has a direct connection to who you are - at the soul level. In the age of marketing through social media, where your number of followers seems to be the only value, many female leaders are realizing that in order to have a successful business presence they have to sell from the heart and soul of their truth. I am one of these evolving leaders. And I know that in order to have a successful and sustainable business presence the path is through sharing your story to influence change. You, yes you, can become real and authentic in your influence. I have spent many years coaching women to step forward confidently and lead her business from her story and to share her story in aligned spaces - speaking, books, blogs, podcasts, and even job interviews. I know you can take down your emotional walls and begin to lead with your story. You already have all of the information inside of you, it is ready to be shared! When you are intimate with your words and message and use your soul truth to influence change and sell, your story becomes a portal to being seen, understood, and valued. And your story is an amazing way for your business to

attract the right clients who see you and realize that what you have to offer is valuable. This is an aligned client and she becomes a relationship rather than a commodity. Once your aligned client sees herself in your story, intimately, you have created a trusted client. An authentic and intimate story influences at a very deep level and is a sustainable influencer path that has holding power. A real and raw story creates long-term influence because it immediately affects your clients at a somatic level, in other words, it has depth of feeling. A masked story or message is superficial and temporary. It is something that lacks depth and follow through. It does not stick, hold, or last in value. So why is it so hard for women to share their story - struggles to triumph, trauma to healing, and pain to victory? Most women are taught and conditioned as young women to turn off emotion, shut down the tears, and eliminate sensation. Even when we go through a trauma or pain we are taught to “be strong and put up a good front.” As we continue to do business and influence from this shut down position, we numb ourselves out and close ourselves off from powerful opportunities. We might be a “success”, but there is a world of opportunity waiting outside the shutdown zone we live from. We think it is easier to share the superficial positive rather than feel the deep pain and struggle of our story. Although

this is so far from the truth, the path of feminine flow and least resistance is in our story and feelings, we are also riddled with fear…… We fear being: Judged Shamed Criticized Blamed Persecuted These are real feelings to overcome and my exercise below will help! You, an influencer, can change lives through your story and build a lifetime of trust-ers rather than superficial fans.Your story is the magic sauce to becoming a real and authentic influencer of change. You can change lives, inspire healing, and influence deep and sustainable change.The world needs your story! If you are with me and you want to begin changing the world of business, let’s get real! Here is a foundational coaching formula I have used in my coaching practice for writing books, marketing content, podcasts, speaking, and for social media marketing. It’s Magic in Your Message time! Grab a journal! Let’s write your story. This is a soul contract, it will change you from the inside out and you will begin to feel stronger with this three step exercise. It speaks to the aligned client, and says “I am here!” And watch what appears. There is magic in this formula and it will open gateways of opportunity. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ SACRED O } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “You can change lives, inspire healing, and influence deep and sustainable change.”

Start by sitting with a small candle, choose the color that aligns with your message. Some suggestions are white for spiritual downloads, yellow for power, red for financial or family, blue for communication, green for healing, purple for intuition, or orange for female sexuality. Choose from your intuition and feeling, there is no right or wrong. Remember this is your path and your story to share…so you choose! Imagine on the other side of that candle is the aligned client you seek, a truster. Breathe deeply, feel her, she is there waiting for your story and message. 1. Ask yourself, what was the challenge, trauma, or pain that got me to where 108


I am today that I want to share? Write some of the details of the story as if you are speaking to the aligned client. 2. Describe the feelings and emotions inside of this story. Put some feeling into it and get as RAW as possible. 3. What was the lesson you learned and how did you grow, change, and evolve? Allow the candle to burn to the bottom and as it goes out notice what you feel. Imagine the smoke is your story! It’s going out into the world now!! (Candle Credit: Mandee Moon Practical Magic CNY) You are on your way to a new form of influence called aligned soul influence.

Now you have the beginning of a story and an influential speaking platform, a book, a blog, or a podcast. You have social media content! You have so much more that will attract people through your ROAR: Radical Opportunity Appearing RightNOW. Your story matters! And learning to express it is key to your success. Start today by saying “I am a changemaker, here to share my story!” There is more to this exercise that you can access in Sacred O Evolution Coaching and on Magic Moon Retreat with Mandee and me. A retreat is an amazing space to download your story and message - 5 days of magic!






As seen on by Marisa Powers As many people with Lupus know, your life changes dramatically when you begin having symptoms – even the medications can wreak havoc on your lifestyle. But your friendships seem to be one of the first things affected when you have any chronic illness. There was a time when I used to be the “fun” friend. I would go to bars and concerts, spending time out with my friends on a regular basis. Even after having my child, it was a priority to me to be a good friend. I was the one that you could put a few drinks into and I would make everyone laugh. I really didn’t care what people thought of me, nor did I feel the need to criticize or judge on my part either. There were a few times that my friends had something going on with their health and I was always understanding. You see, I am the one that people open up to and I seem to have a gravitational pull to people with a need to talk about what’s bothering them. I was the go-to reliable person. So when I was showing symptoms of Lupus, I didn’t quite catch on to the reality that I was going to have a great change in my life. Many symptoms began including fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and in my case regulation problems with my body temperature. I went to a concert a month after my diagnosis and paid terribly for two days afterward. I couldn’t handle the heat or what drinking alcohol did to my body the day after, when I couldn’t get out of bed and could hardly walk. I figured it was isolated and still acted like the “old me”. I would be invited to gatherings, show up, and again pay the consequences. I would

sit there trying to keep a smile on my face but deep down inside, I was hurting. I can’t stand for long periods of time and I can’t sit either. I would get very uncomfortable pretty quickly. I kept telling myself that I can handle it, but always proved myself wrong. The next day I would wake up crying from the pain, and the fact that I was not who I once was. My husband would warn me that I would end up hurting myself, and the stubborn independent person I am would hurt myself in order to try and prove him wrong. I began to see that I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t have control over my body anymore. WHEN LUPUS GIVES YOU A BAD RAP… I am now losing friends because I am that “bad friend”. I have pushed away people because I am afraid of hurting them by not following through. One friend deleted me entirely out of her life because I was too sick to follow up with her daily when she was going through a health scare. I know it was quite selfish of her, but if I was well enough I probably could have been that friend she needed. That really made the reality of it all set in. I have a really hard time telling people “no” and I don’t want to be that person that is not involved. I was not coming to the reality that I am not who I was before Lupus. People don’t see me as dependable now and that really hurts. They see me as a dropout. I am now the one that is unreliable at work because I call off so often. I am asked to do things, and when I remind people that I may not make it, I hear the sarcasm in their voice when they say “Ok, let me know.”. Lately, I made a new friend and had to back out of her wedding. Not

because I wanted to, but because my body decided to attack itself the week of the event and I couldn’t shake it. I am forever grateful that she looks past it, but for how long? T H E I M P O R TA N C E O F CONTINUED CONNECTION Lately, my best friend has noticed that it isn’t really my fault. At first, I could tell she was resentful and would stop inviting me. Over time, she started seeing that although I cannot be there, inviting me to the events still included me and kept our connection alive. I am so grateful that she looked past it all and kept in touch. So I carry on and continue to keep in contact with the people I love. I hope that they see that I’m really not that “bad friend”, I just have a bad disease that makes me not as dependable as I would like to be. I remind them that I still care about them and our relationships, even if I may not be able to participate in every event. Lupus may have control over many things in my life, but it doesn’t have to have control over the people I love and care about. Marisa Powers was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 2016 at the age of 35 after a major flare trigger by the birth of her child. Since then she has become an advocate with the Lupus Foundation of America and the US Pain Association to try to inform others of chronic illness and chronic pain issues. While living with Systematic Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and Panic Attacks, Hypothyroidism, and Reynauds Syndrome, she has written for The Mighty talking about everyday issues with being a survivor and now is a contributor for Lupus Chick. You can read her other articles at












One of the most interesting and inspiring people I know is Tonya Dreher. I’m so thrilled to introduce the Rochester Woman Online Community to this empowering woman! Tonya lives in NH with her husband Steve and three children, Isabel, Abe, and Gus. She is the founder of Everest to End Duchenne ( and the Hope for Gus Foundation (https://

foundation Hope for Gus? Our son Gus was diagnosed with DMD at age four, and we quickly realized that there was no effective treatment or cure. As a parent, that is such a horrible and helpless feeling – we felt like we had to do something. I’m not sure I’d be able to get out of bed every day if I wasn’t actively doing SOMETHING to help improve Gus’ life and the lives of everyone who lives with DMD.

I grew up in NH, hiking, backpacking, and camping through the White Mountains of NH. I thought those expeditions were challenging. Traveling to Nepal and hiking to Mount Everest Base Camp was never a wish on my bucket list; it might be yours. If it is, you are not alone. Approximately 40,000 people a year make the trek and Tonya might be able to help you have a truly inspiring experience.

When most people start a Non-Profit, it becomes overwhelming, and they give

Tonya is taking my son Jonathan to Mount Everest Base Camp symbolically. Tonya has led the Trek to Mount Everest Base camp four times since 2014. On her trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, she carries prayer flags and a flag with the names of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) patients living and who have passed away as a tribute to all patients from around the world. This year the flag has over 800 names on it. I had a chance to talk with Tonya before she left for Nepal. What was your inspiration to start the

up. What is your driver to continue? At first, it was my son, Gus. After over ten years of getting to know so many families and friends in the DMD community, we are stronger together. I have built a community with the Duchenne Families in Nepal. Each year, some of the proceeds from the trek go to support Nirmal Khadka’s amazing Muscular Dystrophy Organization of Nepal and his home for kids with Duchenne. As a result of my love for Nepal and my passion for trekking, I started a for-profit trekking

company, Hope Treks Nepal (https:// My lead guide Adhish Rai is my 2nd family. I asked friends in the States for donations to raise money for the Shree Chheskam Secondary and Primary Schools in Adhish’s hometown of Chheskam. Hope Treks pays its guides well, continues to support the schools in Chheskam, and, most importantly, it cycles its profits back into medical research and cares for kids with Duchenne through Hope for Gus Foundation. What is the “Hope For Gus” organization’s most outstanding achievement to date? Everest to End Duchenne, for sure. We created this fundraiser from the ground up. We were the first DMD organization to go to Everest for the cause, and we have even trademarked the name. People love this event because it is 100% about the boys (and some girls) who have DMD. We bring them and their families with us, and they can feel our love and support – it is such an honor. What are your greatest strengths or superpowers? I think I have a lot of perseverance (some might call it stubborn). I don’t know why I felt I could trek 80 miles to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world because I am not even close to being an athlete. But I did it, and I’ll do it again for Gus and everyone who lives with Duchenne. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


HUSTLESMOTHER TALKS }}} } SHE HUSTLES TALKS {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL { {ONE TOUGH “I think I have a lot of perseverance (some might call it stubborn). I don’t know why I felt I could trek 80 miles to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world because I am not even close to being an athlete.”

Climbing the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal to Mt Everest Base Camp is on many people’s bucket lists. How did the Everest to End Duchenne Trek begin? I ran our foundation for about six years, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that we weren’t doing enough. I also felt a bit burnt out on the same old fundraisers. I had this feeling that I wanted to do something bigger. After a while, the idea of walking or climbing a mountain for those who cannot do it themselves felt symbolic, and while we could have just chosen a mountain here in NH, the phrase “Everest to End Duchenne” stuck in my head.

Describe how it feels when you make it to Base Camp, and you begin calling out the Duchenne names on the flag to the wind? It is such an honor. It is usually a solemn event – it’s incredibly emotional when we finally get there and have the flag with hundreds of names. Our fantastic Nepali guides carry a thermos of tea for the ceremony and place white Khata scarfs

The next thing I knew, I was googling trekking to Everest Base Camp and shouting out that I was going to Everest on social media. That first year seven others joined me. What made you believe that you could turn this trek into a successful fundraiser for your non-profit? I wasn’t sure that the fundraiser would be successful, but as soon as we announced the flag that we were taking with the names, everyone in the DMD community was so excited and supportive. They absolutely loved the idea of us taking their boys to Everest with us in spirit. 116


around our necks before we begin. These scarfs symbolize respect and good wishes. The team takes turns reading every name, and we offer up a prayer to protect those living with DMD and remember those who have passed away. What makes you go back to Everest

every two years? Everett to End Duchenne was supposed to be a one-time fundraiser. But the first trek in 2015 was so successful, and people asked me if I would go again, wanting to join and support the expedition. Our sponsors have been fantastic – Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Sarepta Therapeutics, Full Circle International, and JB’s Keys to DMD have supported and partnered with us every year. As long as people are willing to take this journey with me to raise money and awareness, I will keep going. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to join this trek to Mt. Everest? Anyone is welcome to join Everest to End Duchenne if they are willing to raise money and awareness for Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and the cause or research that we choose to support. If I can do it, ANYONE can do it. It is never about us, the trekkers – the spotlight should always be on the disease and the families who live with Duchenne.








One of my favorite things to do as a little girl was to go to a fair or fun park. Since I was plagued with motion sickness even on rides as benign as the merry-go-round, I would often gravitate to the games. With tickets clenched in one hand and cotton candy in the other, I’d stand there wide-eyed, eagerly scanning all the lights, bells, and whistles to find one of my all-time favorites: Whack-A-Mole.

“Who has time?”, or eyes that well up with tears and a sigh of, “Not enough.” This running-on-empty, no-time-forself-care way of life is the very definition of stress. We know this. We also know the answer is to slow down, exercise, get more sleep, eat better and do all the things. If we know these things, how is it that

This Whack-A-Mole game of futility sat at waist height and had several holes patterned across the top; each filled with a plastic mole. Armed with a hefty rubber mallet, the mission was to quickly whack each mole on the head as they randomly popped up, before they popped back into their hole. The more moles you bopped on the head, the more points you got. The more points you got, the faster the moles popped up and down. You missed a mole, no points. I loved the fun, frenzied nature of the game. Life can be a lot like WhackA-Mole, can’t it? As a business owner and mom, most days I feel, even with careful planning, that I’m spinning in circles and bouncing left to right, reacting to every.urgent.thing. Except there’s no rubber mallet and it’s not fun. Most of the women I see in my practice describe life in a similar manner. When I ask them what they do for themselves or for fun, I usually get one of two responses: Either a huff of,

as women many of us have become convinced that self-care and taking time for ourselves are too self-indulgent? Too selfish? Just one more thing to add to our To-Do list? I’d like to propose that self-care is not about doing more, it’s about doing different. But first, let’s dig a little deeper on stress. You’ve probably heard that food can

affect your mood (dark chocolate anyone?). Equally important though, is that food also affects your body’s ability to be more resilient to stress and recover from it. Minimizing stress is important, and so is resilience and recovery. Our body responds to stress through what’s called the HPA axis. This stands for Hypothalamus-PituitaryAdrenal axis. The HPA axis perceives a threat (aka stress) and responds by releasing hormones like adrenaline (also called epinephrine) and cortisol. These hormones equip your body to adapt to a stress by raising your blood sugar, heart rate and blood pressure along with other physiological changes. Once the threat has passed, all these physiological responses and hormones should return to normal. The problem occurs when stress is ongoing, and the release and effects of these hormones never shut off. Over time, the HPA axis can become dysregulated, and we can lose the ability to adequately respond to and recover from stress. This can look like excessive mental or physical fatigue that doesn’t improve with sleep. It could be an inability to stop worrying. Maybe for you it shows up as poor sleep, anxiety, depression, decreased immunity, impaired reproductive function, or disease. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ NUTRITION DONE RIGHT { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “What can you do differently to combat the harmful effects of stress and improve your resiliency and ability to recover?”

The main culprit here is something called oxidative stress. Much like the energy required for your car to run produces exhaust as a byproduct, the energy required by your body to live and breathe every day produces its own by-product, known as free radicals. Likewise, just as the exhaust from your car can damage the environment, free radicals can damage your body. Under normal circumstances the body can neutralize free radicals to render them harmless, however certain conditions like poor diet or chronic stress can cause excessive production of free radicals. When this happens, the body can’t make enough antioxidants to neutralize the large number of free radicals being produced. This leads to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress damages multiple things in the body, including your cells and DNA. The effects of oxidative stress can contribute to inflammation, accelerated aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, neurodegenerative conditions, cancer and other chronic conditions. So back to doing differently. What can you do differently to combat the harmful effects of stress and improve your resiliency and ability to recover? Since we all must eat, eat differently. I mean color. Lots and lots of it. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain both antioxidants and phytonutrients-substances that in addition to acting like antioxidants, provide multiple health benefits that prevent and counteract the effects of stress. 122


There are certain phytonutrients, called polyphenols, that also give fruits and vegetables their color. The red, blue-and purple-colored fruits like blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and red grapes contain a wide variety of phytonutrients. One of them is quercetin, an antioxidant which supports cardiovascular and immune health—and is especially supportive if you are prone to seasonal allergies. Resveratrol, another antioxidant that rose to fame when it was also discovered in red wine, can protect against aging, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Also found in the red, blue-and-purple-colored fruits is anthocyanin, which has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. If you’re a fan of elderberry syrup during cold and flu season, you’ll be happy to know that it can contain some of the highest amounts of anthocyanins over any other fruit. The darker the color, the higher the anthocyanin content. The orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain carotene, a phytonutrient that supports the immune system and can also help stimulate repair of damaged DNA. Carotene is also considered to be a form of vitamin A known as provitamin A, meaning the body can use it and convert it to usable Vitamin A, a natural antioxidant. The sulfur containing, stinky, green and white vegetables like broccoli and broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, turnip and collard greens contain vital

phytonutrients called glucosinates. These are antioxidants that support blood sugar control and cardiovascular health, help with DNA repair and are needed by your liver to make another of the body’s primary, highly prized antioxidants: glutathione. Another family of phytonutrients known as flavonoids can be found in fruits and vegetables of all colors. Flavonoids support the immune system, are anti-inflammatory and can inhibit oxidative stress. Vitamin C is an other antioxidant ubiquitous in the fruit and vegetable world. We often think of oranges and other citrus fruits as a source for Vitamin C, but it is also found in a variety of red, blue, purple, and green foods. Remember the HPA axis I mentioned earlier? The tiny, walnut-sized adrenal glands in the HPA axis use more vitamin C per weight than any other organ in the body--making Vitamin C a must-have nutrient for stress support. With April being Stress Awareness Month, I encourage you to simply choose differently. Instead of packaged, highly processed, and low nutrient foods, choose to add a variety of colorful, whole foods to your shopping cart and to your plate. This is one nutrition strategy to help your body cope with stress; adequate protein, specific vitamins, minerals, and adaptogenic herbs are also significant. While nutritional needs should be individualized for each person, one thing can apply to




{ NUTRITION DONE RIGHT { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “With April being Stress Awareness Month, I encourage you to simply choose differently.”

just about everyone: If you look on your plate and see a rainbow, you’re off to a great start. Amy Doyle is a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist and is the owner of White Stone Wellness, a 124


private practice in Fayetteville, NY. She received her Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from the Northeastern School of Health Sciences in 2014. In addition to her practice, Amy also works in various capacities as an educator and content

writer for the nutrition and integrative medicine world. Amy believes in empowering individuals toward their best health by addressing them as a whole person, with a patient-centered, personalized approach.


Nutrition is not one-size-fits-a ll. Amy Doyle Board Certified Nutrition Specialist

§ Personalized, patient-centered, functional nutrition to help you take back your health. White Stone Wellness 7030 E. Genesee St. #103 Fayetteville, NY 13066 Phone: 315-527-1453 Email:

§ Specializing in: Women’s Health Gastrointestinal Health Mental Health

§ When you feel better, you live better. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022





Diana Torba








Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Who is Diana Torba? Diana Torba was born and raised in Oswego and came out of the womb making dances. After 2 decades in NYC studying, choreographing, and performing, she is very happy to bring big-city vibes back to the CNY. What makes you hustle? Beauty. If there aren’t original works of art in the world, we forget why we are here.

Inspire audiences to be his/her own best self. The height of a jump or the intricacy of a combination should always inspire others to attack the calling of their own lives without fear. If you could interview one person who has inspired you, who would it be and what would you ask them?

What is Speak Dance NY and how did you start your business? SpeakDance CNY exists to create regular professional modern dance performance in a region where artistic flight to larger markets is, sadly, normal. We started last year when I moved back from New York City and began recruiting dancers. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business woman, especially within the dance community? Authenticity and discipline: care about everyone you meet; listen and bring a smile to your dancer’s day. Always get in your daily workout, watch what you put into your temple because it’s the discipline of the daily that leads to goal accomplishment. What is the mission behind your business model?

Social media is everything. Super helpful. Gets the word out in a way we used to have to H.U.S.T.L.E. back in the day. The thought of handing out show postcards on foot makes me giggle a bit now. How do you juggle the fast paced life of being a female entrepreneur and having a personal life and being a mom? I barely do! Singlemomming 4 boys and 1 girl is no joke! But, I’ve learned to set very clear boundaries with my personal relationships; positive people only, I have too much to get done for me and the kids to entertain any negative energy.

St. Joan of Arc: I would ask about how the angels dance in heaven and if she could share some moves.

What challenges have you faced since you started your business and how have you overcome them? Getting people away from their screens, and also not to be afraid of the spreading of germs, etc. A great way to do that was to hold our first concert outside at the Manlius Swan Pond Pavilion last summer.

Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business, especially during the pandemic and how did you learn to pivot when you couldn’t be in the studio?

What motivates you and keeps you moving forward ? The fear of no one doing anything beyond sending their kids to dance schools. Grown people who have honed their craft, giving a gift back CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022





{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS “Again, locally there is not much dance literacy beyond the movement of juvenile bodies, so, like teaching Spanish or Chinese, we want to help the average person “speak dance” and have a growing understanding that dance can actually be a lifetime engagement.“

to the culture, matters. Did anyone ever prepare you, or encourage you and give you advice as to what opening Speak Dance would be like? If so, what did they say? I wish! No, this is a very unique thought and business, but therein lies the magic, so it’s okay. Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years? Just growing, booking performances, and helping people understand why they should come out and watch professional dance, that they will feel inspired and happy doing so. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female business owner? Men love women, especially women who are on a mission, so just blow through this world on fire, and all will work out. Do you have any helpful advice to someone just starting their career in dance? Any tips that helped you along the way? Believe in yourself and use the haters as fuel. Practice your technique AND be creative. Make up things no one has ever seen before. 134


What prepared you to be where you are today? Determination, great teachers, American freedom that allows us time to work on artistic things. If you needed to start it all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing to change, add or subtract, what would it be and why? I would have cut the negative people

out of my life sooner. What makes you an expert in understanding the needs of your students? I’ve seen and experienced so very much, yet I remember being young, so I equal parts explain and push to new movement heights. What made you come up with the name “Speak DanceCNY”?

Again, locally there is not much dance literacy beyond the movement of juvenile bodies, so, like teaching Spanish or Chinese, we want to help the average person “speak dance” and have a growing understanding that dance can actually be a lifetime engagement. Think of Merce Cunningham creating and touring until he left this earth; this way of life should not just be in NY and LA, and I’m not talking about just teaching, but performing. Again, it matters. Name one defining moment in your career that was your ah ha moment. African dance class at Barnard College with Maguette Camara. I still get teared up thinking about it. I am a muscular girl, so understanding that Euro-centric ballet was not the only fundamental way of studying dance blew my mind and gave me the creative base I needed to understand MY BODY. Tell us about one moment in your life that has had a lasting impression on you and formed who you are today. Car rides as a child listening to Phil Collins on the radio. The drum drop from “In the Air Tonight” alone makes me want to never stop creating dances. So beautiful.







{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “ Lighten other people’s days while asking them to join you in the highest achievement standards..”

What factors do you feel impact a woman’s ability to lead others? Humility. Know your weaknesses and strengths and be a goofball about it. Lighten other people’s days while asking them to join you in the highest achievement standards.

Tell our audience one thing about yourself that not many others know. My childrens’ and my favorite date is to go get bubble tea together. Also, I have a hot boyfriend whom I adore. Where will we see Speak Dance NY next?

The Influential Woman Expo at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse, NY on Sunday, April 24th from 11-5pm.





COLLEEN COMMISSO Tell us a litt bit about yourself, and your background. My name is Colleen Commisso and I have lived in Syracuse, NY my entire 45 years of life. I have an amazingly supportive husband who deals with my constant insanity and ever evolving entrepreneurial journey. I have 3 children Rylyn 17, Nicholas, 16 and Reese 12. I am right in the throws of teenage life and college researching. It is never a dull moment. I was an elementary teacher for 16 years and never imagined doing anything other than that. Seven years ago I started a “side gig” to help make a little extra cash. Never did I imagine that business would far surpass my teaching salary and change our family’s future! Stepping out of my comfort join and starting that business was the single most important financial decision. It taught me that nothing big can happen inside our comfort zone. Growth comes from change and that is always uncomfortable. A few years later, I wanted another business and I now had the mindset that if I put my mind to it, I could make it as big as I wanted. It just takes determination. That is when I started Inspired Beauty Boutique. What makes you “hustle”? Initially it was definitely my family and being financially secure. When you have struggled financially it is a very stressful experience. I don’t think you ever forget that feeling. I was determined to never experience that again. I didn’t want to say no when my kids asked to

join a travel team because we couldn’t afford it. I didn’t want to wake up at night not knowing how we’d pay the bills. I wanted to be able to take my family on vacation without feeling sick about how much it cost. I wanted to be comfortable and not constantly worry about money. That was my initial drive. If I’m honest now… it is about proving to myself that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. I guess I’d have to say it’s not just proving it to myself, but showing others that they have so much more potential than they think, and they can accomplish anything as well. I drive this in my kids daily. And

let’s be honest, in this industry we get to know our clients on a very personal level. Our conversations always come back to what we are capable of and how we feel about ourselves. The name Inspired Beauty was intentional. We want everyone who walks through our doors to feel inspired and know their worth! Unfortunately, we as woman wait way too long to realize we need to take care of ourselves and it’s not selfish to put ourselves first sometimes. Tell us about what made you decide to open your own business in the skincare industry?. My initial side gig was with a skincare company. I joined at a time when I was

too busy with little kids and working full time to even wash my face. I was too tired most days to even think about it. Once I hit 40 I realized how important skincare is, and that I should have made it a priority a long time ago. I became obsessed with learning about it and all of the newest technology out there to improve our skin. What is your most favorite service you provide to clients and why? It’s very hard to answer this one hahahaha! Let me put it this way. I was recently ask how I decide which services to add. My answer was simple; if I want the services done for myself, then I add them! That may sound too simple, but that is literally how I have added my services. My absolute favorite is the Cryoskin. I have never seen a fat eliminating and cellulite reducing treatment that even comes close. It is perfect for all ages and sizes! Our clients (as well as all of us that treat them) are completely obsessed with it! Our HIFU, non-surgical facelift treatment is another one of our absolute favorites! It gives the tightened, firming and lifted results without surgery. Laser Hair Removal is always a go to with clients! Who doesn’t want to throw out their razor? What does the word “Beauty” mean to you? I am a firm believer that beauty comes from within. Let’s be clear here… if you are a nasty person then it doesn’t matter how you look on the outside. That being said let’s also be real here. Everyone wants to look good. I have so many clients come to me and apologize CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022





{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “When you have struggled financially it is a very stressful experience. I don’t think you ever forget that feeling.”

about being vain and wanting to improve their appearance. The truth is we are all a little vain. This isn’t a negative thing. Beauty comes from feeling good about yourself. That is different for all of us. When a client asks me if they should do a treatment my response is always the same; if it will make you feel good then do it. My husband and I have always lived by that. Even when money was tight if there was something that was going to make us healthier or feel better than we did it. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful female entrepreneur? The single most important skill is constantly working on your mindset. I could go on forever about this. Every single person who starts a business is scared to death. I don’t know anyone who knew for certain they would start a business and it would be hugely successful. One guarantee you will get is that it will absolutely not go the way you planned. That doesn’t mean you won’t get there. You absolutely will if you have the mindset to get you through the incredibly curvy path it will take. It’s not easy. Everyone wants to feel accepted and validated that what they are doing is right. As an entrepreneur you better be ready for that not to happen. This is not for everyone. And those that don’t have the stomach for it will be more than happy to tell you that you shouldn’t do it either. This is not to be negative. Most people like the comfort zone and that is great for them. But it also makes them uncomfortable when others go out of that comfort zone. As long as you know that and can talk yourself through

it then you will be fine. Know that you will second guess yourself on a regular basis. You just keep going and going and you will absolutely find success! How do you stay on top of the latest trends? I am constantly looking at social media for the latest trends. That may sound simplistic, but the ones who are up on the latest happenings are the social media gurus. This is not me, lol, but I know I can scroll and find the latest treatments and techniques out there. From there, I do my research on the technique and see if it is legit or just a passing fad. I determine if it truly works, and if it works with my business and what my clients want. Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? This is a question I always struggle with. I don’t have some incredibly inspirational answer to this. I don’t have a specific woman or two that I look up to or that has pushed me to accomplish what I have. Those that empower and inspire me are the every day ladies who are overcoming obstacles on a regular basis and still kicking ass. Those that were told they were out of their element and didn’t back down. Cheers to all of you that are doing what you believe and ignoring the noise. Those are the people that empower and inspire me! If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? Nothing. I know, I know that is a bunch of bull. But honestly I can’t say I would have done anything differently because

if I had it wouldn’t have let me to exactly where I am. If I hadn’t failed at things then I wouldn’t have tried new paths. It truly is a journey and that crazy, curvy path leads us to where we are supposed to be. Ok, I do have one thing. Knowing what I know now, I would have saved A LOT of money on marketers that were not very good. For me I had no way to figure out what was decent marketing unless I just gave some people a try. I blew a lot of money that way. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? 3 reasons: - To show my kids they can truly achieve anything they want -To prove to myself that I can achieve anything I want -To show other woman they are capable of way more than they think Tell us a little about the mission behind Inspired Beauty Boutique? I want everyone who walks through our door to feel like they belong. Most people that go to a spa for a treatment do so because they are self conscious about something. I want them to feel comfortable and know they are with a group of people that can completely relate to how they feel. I want them to believe they are worth feeling good about themselves. Through our conversations while they are there, our hope is that they will not only feel better about themselves, but also know their worth. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “Seven years ago I started a “side gig” to help make a little extra cash. Never did I imagine that business would far surpass my teaching salary and change our family’s future!”

This is a tough one. There is one that always rings in my head. I had a client in for a beauty treatment. She messaged me the next day and said she just wanted to let me know that it was one of the best days she has had in a long time. Not because of the treatment (which she loved) but because after our session she went home and decided she was going to pursue her dream and start a new course she’s been thinking about for years. She said I made her realize that she can accomplish anything and life is too short to not try. To me that was just a moment of clarity that we were doing things right. And I had chosen the perfect name for the business. My goal is to truly inspire people. #14 What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful, and now expand from Central NY to Rochester as well? Hard work and being a little bit crazy, hahahaha! I think just having the mentality that I can do it and I can do it even better than I imagine. Once I have that belief I will do whatever I need to in order to make that happen. It’s all about believing and envisioning it. Once that happens, nothing can stop you. #15 What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? Over the next year I plan to open one more location. I’m thinking that may be in Webster. I also plan to help 3 others open their own locations around the country. In 5 years I want to expand 146


even more and have Inspired Beauty well known as a place women can come to just “be” and feel inspired and motivated by others. What has been your best form of promotion and what platform is your favorite? This is the area I struggle with the most. As I said, I have wasted a lot of money learning the hard way. I don’t enjoy social media or creating flyers, ads, etc. I’m not creative and it takes a lot of effort for me to navigate this

area. That being said, I have found a great marketing guy. He mainly runs Facebook ads for me. This has been my main platform for promoting the business so far. What is one thing that motivates you? Always seeing what more I can do! What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself in the past few years during the pandemic? No excuses! I had really just started rolling when the pandemic hit. Like

everyone it shut me down. I used that time to plan out how to reopen and what I wanted it to look like when we did I had a clear vision of how I wanted it run and what I wanted it to feel like for people when they came to us. What sets you apart from your competitors? I believe our culture sets us apart. I can name very few spas or salons that I have gone to in my life where I felt truly welcome and comfortable when I walk in for the first time. Every one of the employees has the same mentality and believe when it comes to how we run our business. Everyone that comes in that door is to be treated as if they have always belonged there. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference. #20 do you have any special training or degrees to provide the services you offer your clients? Well one thing I have learned on this journey is that NYS is very laxed in their requirements for a lot of beauty treatments. It has actually scared me how little is required. That being said, we over train at Inspired Beauty. If you need one training and certification to perform a treatment, we will do 3 different trainings. We are extremely cautious and prepared for any and all treatments we perform. Where will we see you next? I believe my next event will be with you in Syracuse on April 24th! I’m looking forward to it!











Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background. I used to be a dreamer. Always thinking about different ways I could live my life out of the norm - different ways I could make my mark in this world - and different ways I could inspire other people to do the same thing. I used to be a dreamer - until I actually started making my dreams happen. Now as a Certified Life Coach, I am constantly evolving myself and growing as a person. I am constantly setting new goals and achieving them. I don’t look back much anymore. I look forward. What makes Andrea Scalici “hustle”? I will only “hustle” if I like my reasons. I have to feel that HELL YEA energy or it’s just a no for me. That HELL YEA energy tells me I’m in integrity with myself. As an example, if one of my clients asks for help with something that goes way beyond our contract, and I feel like I would lose that client if I didn’t provide the additional help, then it’s just a no for me. But if one of my clients asks for help with something that goes way beyond our contract, and I feel excited to help him or her, I would definitely make it happen. I would definitely hustle. I am always in integrity with myself. This is what I teach my clients too. What does it mean to be a life coach for business owners? Tell us about what made you decide to make this your career. I help Business Owners feel more satisfied and fulfilled in their personal lives. Whether it’s focusing on their health or weight, relationships, or

work-life balance. We work together to help them feel better in their daily lives at home - which always affects their businesses in a positive way too. I was inspired to make this my career because I was my first client…a Business Owner who felt frustrated, stuck, and alone. My mind was constantly thinking about my business and my personal life started to suffer. When my personal life started going downhill, so did my business. These two things are connected and aligned. When I realized what was happening, I knew exactly what to do to reverse things. I hired my own Life Coach and got myself back on track. When my personal life got better, so did my business life. No more feeling frustrated, stuck, or alone. And I knew I had to help other Business Owners do the same thing. Who are some of the people that have inspired you in your journey? There are a lot of people who inspired me but I’ll just name a few here. My family is definitely first. More specifically, my Dad. He was a Business Owner my entire life. I watched him work hard, stay focused, and build a successful business that he was proud of. I always knew I wanted to do the same thing. Other people who inspired me were… - Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School - Samantha Siffring of Samantha Siffring Coaching - Dave Moreno of Dave Moreno Coaching - Michelle Joiner of Michelle Joiner Coaching - Megan Hopkins of Megan Hopkins Copywriting

- Felicia Broccolo of Create Your Impossible Life What type of services do you provide? I’m a Life Coach for Business Owners. I help my clients get back on track with health and weight loss, relationships, work-life balance, and anything else that comes up for them. My clients get results and more. They get what they came for and they learn how to look in the mirror and like what they see. On the outside, with their bodies and the way they look. And on the inside, with the way they feel every day and the way they think about themselves. I currently coach my clients one-to-one via Zoom. My clients love coaching with me privately because they feel safe when they share intimate details of their lives - which we work through together. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful business owner, especially as a female? Constrain your focus. Keep things simple. Empower yourself. Understand that your thoughts cause your feelings. And your feelings fuel your actions or inactions. Work with a coach or learn how to self-coach so you are always in control of what’s happening in your emotional life. What do you feel are some of your greatest strengths? Listening to my clients. Keeping things simple. Showing my clients how to create better results. And empowering them into action.







“I used to be a dreamer - until I actually started making my dreams happen.”



{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} HUSTLES TALKS “I will only “hustle” if I like my reasons. I have to feel that HELL YEA energy or it’s just a no for me.“

You teach people how to feel satisfied and fulfilled in their lives. How did you accomplish this for yourself in order to teach this to your clients? Simple. Thoughts cause feelings. So the only way to feel more satisfied and fulfilled is to focus on what you’re thinking. It’s a daily practice. I coach myself everyday. I work with my own Life Coach every week. And I work with my own Business Coach. I get into the nitty gritty of my own mind so there are no thoughts hiding in there. I deal with them head on - instead of pretending they aren’t there. What does the word empower mean to you? Empower means taking responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. It means not blaming anyone else for things in your life - especially your results. It means looking in the mirror and feeling proud, accomplished, and in control. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? Nope. Not a thing. I love my journey to this point in my life. There were dark times and light times and everything in between. I truly believe that everything happened exactly as it was supposed to. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? There are many different reasons I do what I do. But if I had to boil it all down to one - I would say this…my life was forever changed by coaching and I want to help as many people as I possibly can be forever changed by coaching too. 154


Name one special moment during your career that was your “aha” moment. The day I learned that my thoughts cause my feelings was one of the best days of my life. At that moment, the moment I learned this from a podcast, was the moment that I stopped blaming external things in my life for how I felt. At that moment, I took responsibility for my life. I took control of it. And I knew it was up to me to create any life I wanted to create. If I dreamed it, I could create it. What are some of the secrets to being a successful female entrepreneur? The best secret I can share with you is to listen to yourself. You know what’s best for you and your business. You know exactly what step you need to take next. You know when you need help and when you’re just scared to take action. And when you know you need help, get it. Don’t waste a single second feeling stuck. Working with a Life Coach just might be the best option for you. What has been your best form of promotion and what platform is your favorite? My business has changed a lot over the past 3 years. Referrals, word-of-mouth, and the directory listing at the school where I earned my Coach Certification have been my main forms of promotion. I’m just starting to get into social media. I’m really loving Instagram right now. It’s super fun to connect with people there! I’d love to connect with YOU. Follow me at andrea.scalici.coaching and DM me to say hi. What is one thing that motivates you?

When I think about all the Business Owners out there who are passionate about their businesses and want to grow - but feel stuck in their personal lives - I feel extremely motivated. I know when they find me, I will help them. Whether they find me and follow my Instagram account for free advice or sign up to work with me, I will help them out of their funk. I will teach them all the tools and strategies that I’ve learned over the years to keep myself balanced and in control and moving forward. I truly believe we can all create the lives of our dreams. And I truly believe we should. What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself during your career? I love this question. My most important discovery I’ve made about myself during my career is how much I have avoided the feeling of embarrassment. I used to hide from the crowd, play small, and hope no one would see me. I thought hiding would help me avoid failure or embarrassment because I knew I wasn’t perfect. Through coaching, I’ve learned to embrace failure and embarrassment and put myself out there. I’ve learned that embarrassment is just an emotion - and I’m strong enough to feel any emotion. What sets you apart from other life coaches? The combination of my training and direct, yet funny nature set me apart from other life coaches. I’m a Certified Life Coach, an Advanced Certified Weight Coach, and I’ve got my MBA. I’m super direct, which my clients appreciate. And I like to keep things light, funny,




{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “I help Business Owners feel more satisfied and fulfilled in their personal lives. Whether it’s focusing on their health or weight, relationships, or work-life balance.”

and interesting. The combination of all of these things is why my clients love working with me and why my clients get results. Do you have any special training or degrees to provide the services you offer your clients? Yes. I’m a Certified Life Coach from The Life Coach School. I’m an Advanced Certified Weight Coach from the No BS Advanced Weightloss Coach Certification Program. I’ve also got my MBA which comes in handy working with Business Owners. These special certifications and

my MBA have taught me high level tools and strategies to get my clients feeling better fast and creating the life of their dreams. I teach these tools and strategies to my clients so they can use them in their own lives after our work together is complete. Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I’m a creative woman. I love visualizing things in my mind. I’m talking about seriously detailed fantasies. Sometimes I take action and create them in real life and sometimes I don’t. Lately I’ve

been building a new life for my family in my mind - where we sell our house and most of our belongings, we live in a tiny house, and travel around the country. It’s been super fun to build this in my mind. My husband and I have started to talk about it together. We’re still deciding if it’s something we want to do in real life. If you have ever lived tiny or plan to in the future, I’d love to connect with you! Follow and DM me on Instagram. I’m at andrea. scalici.coaching.








MICHELLA HAND Tell us about yourself and what made you decide to start your own business as a blogger. My blog was created out of the pandemic in May 2020. I was working from home full-time and wanted to invest my extra time into something that could help and inspire others during a time that felt so helpless. I have a lot of passions, so it was difficult for me to pinpoint what it was exactly that I wanted to focus on until one day I decided to feature a small business in my town that I loved and knew was struggling. The response I received from my followers and the business were so heartfelt that I knew this is what I wanted to focus my efforts on moving forward, small businesses and the hardworking people behind them.

me, and I wouldn’t have this platform without them. What has been the hardest part of starting a blog? The hardest part of starting a blog is honestly staying up to date with the technology. Most of my audience comes from Instagram which I then filter to

Now, almost two years later, I’ve had the pleasure of featuring over 100 small businesses and entrepreneurs on my platform. Sharing with others the talent, hard work and passion these businesses and entrepreneurs have has kept me inspired and driven to keep doing my blog to this day. What makes you hustle? I always tell people that my blog is my “side hustle”. I love it when a business shares with me how my feature on them has generated new customers and has provided them with marketing and exposure into a new audience. Not to mention, my “hype crew’s” support and encouragement means everything to

my website. To stay relevant and to keep growing my audience, it’s important to be in the know of what new updates and trends are coming out. This can be challenging to juggle since it can be very time consuming and blogging is not my full-time job. What has been your most successful post?

Why do you think it was appealing? My blog features have ranged from businesses who make apparel and beauty products to entrepreneurs in the hospitability industry. What might be interesting to one person may not be as interesting to another and what I’ve found that makes a post more successful than others is directly related to social media. People love to support other people’s successes and hard work and the power of social media has helped with this tremendously. Businesses and entrepreneurs who share their blog feature on their social media are always more successful in sharing their stories than others who don’t. What made you decide to start blogging? I touched on this in the first question but supporting small business and entrepreneurs is something that I’ve always been passionate about. Not only do small local establishments have amazing, handcrafted, one-ofa-kind products and services, but the stories and faces behind these businesses are even more captivating. By creating genuine relationships with entrepreneurs and small businesses, I can empower them to tell the authentic story behind their self-made brand while sharing it with others. Who has inspired you? When I featured Valatie Bar and Grill for the first time in my Small Town Sunday series, the owner Tina Driscoll CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “Stay true to yourself, all feedback is constructive feedback, and take the time respond and engage with your audience.”

reached out to me to let me know how much it meant to her that I featured her restaurant that had been struggling deeply during the pandemic. Ever since that feature, I can say that my inspiration truly comes from the people behind these small businesses. Their hard work and dedication is what fuels my passion to help share it with others.

can. It’s amazing the people, places, and businesses you can reach and learn more about on social media platforms. #What makes you and your content stand out? I’d like to believe it’s because of the

#9 What are your top three priorities for being a success? Being a success isn’t my priority. My priority is advocating for and “hyping up” local small businesses and the everyday entrepreneurs. If I gain success along the way, I’d just say that’s a bonus.

What is the best advice for blogging? Stay true to yourself, all feedback is constructive feedback, and take the time respond and engage with your audience. Afterall, they are one of the main reasons why your platform could be so successful.

How do you attract new readers? Every time I feature a new business or entrepreneur, I gain a new reader. I also share my travels with my audience, including where I’m staying, eating, drinking and exploring, which always attracts new readers as well. What would you do to improve our current content? The Rochester Women Online content is very similar to what I push out – we are both looking to inspire, inform, empower, and build our community. The only piece of advice I would give to other businesses is to utilize social media, especially Instagram, the best you

know, which helps promote support, encouragement and engagement. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? Instagram is my largest platform and the best form of promotion for my business. Although, in 2021 my Husband surprised me by designing a t-shirt with a local small business I had featured, Flying Eye Press, for my year anniversary and the amount of people who wanted to buy and wear my brand was mind-blowing to me. Since then, I’ve sold over 100 shirts, sweatshirts and hats with my brand on it that my hype crew is representing all over the country.

authenticity and relatability of my content. I’m not featuring businesses that sell products and services that are unobtainable to my audience. I’m also featuring people they might even

What is something you wish more people knew about you? I’m navigating this whole blogging thing as I do it! I’m no expert in blogging, marketing, or running a small business, but I’m learning it as I go and hope to eventually take what I’ve learned to help others with their own business endeavors in the long run. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “My goal is to expand the reach of my platform and work more closely with businesses and entrepreneurs on the ways I can help promote, engage, and support them.”

What are your plans both personally and professionally over the next year? My goal is to expand the reach of my platform and work more closely with businesses and entrepreneurs on the ways I can help promote, engage, and support them. I’d also like to get more involved with community events and do more traveling. As I heard on one of my favorite TV shows Ted Lasso, “There is no greater education than travel”, and I couldn’t agree more. What has been your most favorite 162


idea to blog about? Last Spring I started a series called Family-Owned Farms. Here in NY our farms are everything. From farmers markets, to apple picking season, to Cidery’s and craft beer – farms are the reason we have all of these wonderful things we love to enjoy! In this series, I feature a variety of farms that produce some of our favorite things – apples, pumpkins, veggies, milk, cider donuts, herbs, fruits, you name it! Some of these farms have even evolved into being a

place we all love and enjoy spending time at. This series gives my audience the opportunity to learn first-hand from the family themselves on how their farm was established, the peaks and pits, the future of the farm, and various other facts you never knew. h t t p s : / / w w w. i n s t a g ra m . c o m / michellahand/









FANCEE’S NAIL & LASH STUDIOS Tell us about yourself, and how you started your own business. My name is Nancy. I am the owner and operator of Fancee’s Nail and Lash Studio. I was born in the Bronx and raised in Syracuse N.Y.. After graduating high school I moved to Rochester where I attended and graduated from Monroe Community College and SUNY Brockport. I am also a single mother to an amazing 11-year-old daughter. I became a certified nail technician back in 2003 during my junior year in high school through a youth trade program. After graduating high school, I worked odd jobs while attending college. towards the end of my college journey, I decided to start using the trade a acquired back in high school. so I began working for a local children’s nail salon to ease my way into the industry. I continued working for other small nail salons for the next couple of years until I decided to become self-employed upon graduating from college in 2016. becoming self-employed was very scary but it gave to the financial freedom that I was looking for. I was always encouraged by friends and clients to open my salon but financially I never thought it would be possible. Then the pandemic happened. I was fortunate enough to be able to work from home which allowed me to stay home with my daughter for homeschooling and run my business. But I was still eager to get back into the community. While watching the news one day I saw the city of Rochester was running a grant program called fast forward Monroe. I applied and to my surprise, was accepted into the program. This grant allowed me to buy all the furniture and equipment needed to be able to hire staff and open the salon I never thought would be obtainable for me.

What makes you hustle? My first motivation for my hustle was proving to my family that you don’t have to be a product of your environment. My second motivation is showing my daughter, nieces, and nephews, someone who looks like them, that comes from where they come from being successful. and my last motivation is showing my fellow lady bosses that the only thing that can truly stop you from attaining your goals and dreams is yourself.

is your favorite? My favorite service in the beauty industry is nail enhancements. being able to create different works of art for people from different walks of life is one of my greatest joys. What is the mission behind your business? My mission is to create a women-owned and operated business that produces quality work, achieves 100% customer satisfaction, and gives back to the community. As a female entrepreneur, who has inspired you? one of my biggest inspirations is my daughter. I want to continue to show her that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. What are your top three priorities for being a successful entrepreneur? Three things that make up a successful entrepreneur is staying consistent and diligent, being able to adjust to issues and still obtain the goal, and Creating opportunities for others.

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide? In my opinion, the most important quality in my business is caring. Here at Fancee’s Nail and Lash Studio, we care about your well-being, your happiness, and your health. We will never provide a service without our clients’ best interests at heart. What is the one service you provide that

Would you do business with yourself if you were a customer and why? I would do business with myself because I make sure we stay up to date on the best practices in the industry and are in compliance with all state regulations as well as providing quality services and outstanding customer service. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because it truly makes me happy. I am a prime example of the phrase “if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life”. What do you do when you are not working in/on your business? On the rare occasion that I’m not working CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022









{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “This is a service business so when people hear from others that they know and trust their opinion that we do great work, it gives us the best results for obtaining new clients.”

on my business, I like to spend time with friends and family. What has been your biggest challenge over the pandemic in providing services to your clients? My biggest challenge in providing services over the pandemic was being able to modify the business with the necessary covid-19 protocols and essential products to be able to operate within compliance. 170


What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? By far the best promotion for my business has been word of mouth. This is a service business so when people hear from others that they know and trust their opinion that we do great work, it gives us the best results for obtaining new clients. What things have you found to be a success in getting your business out to the community?

Participating in community events has been a great way to get our name out into the community. I’ve also placed ads on the radio which have yielded great results. Where will we see you next I cannot predict what the future holds but I will say that I hope to be blessed enough to move on to other endeavors and be as happy and as successful as I am today.









CRAFTY BAGS & THINGS Tell us about yourself and what made you decide to create your business, Crafty Bags N Things of CNY. Hello, my name is Amy. I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter. I have two wonderful kids; a supportive, amazing husband and the best dog anyone could want. A few years ago I made some grocery bags for my friends for Christmas. I’ve always been one to see what I can make instead of what I can buy when given the opportunity. They loved their bags and encouraged me to start selling them so here I am today. What is the mission behind starting your own business? At first, I didn’t expect to go as far as I have. Right around the same time my friends encouraged me to sell my reusable grocery bags, two things happened: (1) the governor of NY decided to ban all plastic bags in stores and (2) the pandemic hit. I had already decided to leave my job but on my last day I was there, our company sent everyone home for a few weeks. I heard through the grape vine my position at the company was never brought back. It made me even more grateful I took a chance on myself and started sewing full time. That also leads to my mission. I loved the ban on plastic bags. It makes sense environmentally and it’s been really nice not to see those bags floating around on roads and in parking lots. My grocery bags are great for three reasons: they wash very easily, making it nice to disinfect them; they are strong and hold quite a bit of groceries; and thirdly, they are cute and reversible! My mission was simply to just provide soft,

cute, machine-washable bags that are environmentally friendly and durable. But, it has grown! What makes you hustle? My drive to keep learning and providing another place to shop for unique items. I cater to all hobbies, passions and fashions so keeping up with all three makes for a diversity of prints in products. I don’t like disappointing a shopper or client so

even if I don’t have it, I try my hardest to find a print someone is looking for and create a special order. Another reason is to teach my kids that hard work pays off. My parents always had to work hard to provide for me and my sisters. I noticed that growing up so I know my kids will as well. If you could pick just one “must have”bag from your lineup, what would it be and why? That’s a hard question! I truly love every

item I create. If I don’t, I won’t sell it. Lately, I have been creating new bags that cater to not just grocery shopping but fashionable bags, ie. purses, clutches and totes. That has sparked a whole new passion in me to create and grow in a whole new field. Right now, my current favorite is my new, big tote or purse with diagonal zippers. This one is special to me in that it’s my very first original design from start to finish. After watching tutorials or paying for pattern instructions for my other bags, I obtained a lot of basic information on making a purse or clutch. Taking all of what I learned so far, I visualized that tote bag in my head and slowly started putting it together, writing down my measurements and steps as I went. It was a labor of love making it my top favorite at this time. Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? I spent a lot of my time with my grandparents who also loved to create and design goods. My grandfather taught me many things but the best advice he gave me was to value my time. When considering a price for an item, he said don’t just calculate the cost of the materials but also add in how many hours you spent on it. He told me my time matters. I would travel with them in their RV all over NY State selling their goods at craft fairs and helping them make more items to sell. But before he was able to activate this passion for himself, he ran a farm and owned a health food store. Growing up we had to help out on the farm by gardening huge fields and collecting eggs from the chickens. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022









“I truly love every item I create. If I don’t, I won’t sell it.”

My mom also chose to work out of our home and provide daycare for many families in our area. I’ve tried many jobs throughout my years but designing and creating products is truly the only thing I’ve ever loved doing and worth my time. What is your background and how did you learn to design these amazing handcrafted bags? Designing and creating has always been a part of my life and I have my grandparents to thank for opening that door for me. Along with their example, I also come from generations of seamstresses. My grandmas loved making us clothes for our dolls, barbies and even sewing us our own stuffed animals to love. My mom learned from her mom and I grew up with beautiful hand-made dresses for Easter and Christmas. Even now, my mom makes special pajamas (among many other items) for all of her grandkids every year for Christmas! My mom taught me the basics of sewing at a young age, but back then I didn’t have the patience for it. I tried it again, later in life after meeting my now husband. His mom also sews! She has a passion for making quilts and just about anything someone asks of her. Knowing my mom would love a hand-made quilt, I asked for my mother-in-law’s help, and together we made a quilt for my mom. But truthfully, that turned me off from sewing again! I walked away from the sewing machine and had no desire to get back into it until years later after I had my own daughter. I decided to try a quilt for the second time but this time I asked my mother-in-law to teach me an easy, no fuss quilt. She taught me how to make a rag quilt and I loved designing those! I finally sparked my passion for sewing. It was still just a hobby for me, and with now two young kids in the house I really could only fit it in from time to time. I used it as a tool for any opportunity I 176


had to make someone a gift instead of purchasing one. That led from one thing to another, and here I am sewing full time (and overtime sometimes--lol!) Who is your ideal customer? A happy one. :) I honestly love seeing everyone’s faces light up when they see all the fun designs my bags have. Do you feel your products resonate with customers, and why? I hope so! Who doesn’t love a good quality and affordable bag? I really try to make something for everyone. If I didn’t, I love hearing an idea and working to come up with a solution. Originally, I started sewing reusable bags but it has become so much more and will continue to grow. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? Social Media. When I first started making these bags, I just had my normal facebook profile. I posted on there and just sold them to friends and family all over the US (I do offer low-cost shipping). Again, with some advice from friends, I decided to see if I could set up at local farmer’s markets. I was accepted into the Downtown Market in Clinton Square, Syracuse and the Bayberry Market in Liverpool. I also made appearances at Baldwinsville Farmer’s Market, a few vendor events, and Mattydale started their first market this past summer. To make it easier to keep up with clients and shoppers, I decided to create separate business profiles on Facebook and Instagram. That really has helped keeping in touch with people who loved my items. How do you get your products in front of customers and keep up with the demand? Last summer and fall were very hectic keeping up with all the events and markets.

Over the winter, I took a nice, long break to reset my mind and spend more time with my kids. Going forward, I haven’t fully decided if I will appear at markets all summer long but I know for sure I will be at 3-5 busy weekend events around CNY. This allows me to stock up better between events and allows me to post more products for sale online. I still only use Facebook and Instagram to sell products but possibly in the near future I will have a website. My social media handle is @ craftybagsnthingsofcny What are your secrets to your success? Hard work, faith and support from my family and friends. Also knowing how happy my products make people. I am a gifter instead of a giftee and there is truly no better way to feel joy than to give it. With all the diverse prints I try to keep on hand, it really is not hard finding the best gift to give to a loved one. When you know you made someone else smile, you know it was a job well done. What would you say truly excites you about what you do? Designing, designing, designing. My favorite part of doing what I do is walking through aisle after aisle looking through all the unique patterns to combine a couple making the perfect match. Also, not having set hours and being my own boss is a huge perk! ;-) HOW DO YOU HANDLE WORKLIFE BALANCE? Being organized and having an up-todate calendar! These past few months have been wonderfully busy with all the kids’ activities in and outside of school. My kids will always come first so when I look at my calendar I can easily plan out how many hours I have to put into my day for my work.




{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “Designing and creating has always been a part of my life and I have my grandparents to thank for opening that door for me.”

What would you say are the key skills needed to be a successful female entrepreneur, especially with handcrafted items? I don’t think I have all the answers. Staying humble and eager to learn more has helped me tremendously; surrounding myself with supportive, like-minded friends; accepting help and advice when given; and knowing you can’t do it all but still 178


giving it your all. Where will we see you next?? Like I have mentioned earlier in the article, I am still figuring that out. I have applied for a couple big craft shows coming this year. I also plan on putting feelers out in a couple local boutique shops. To keep up -to-date on all that’s happening, please follow my business

@craftybagsnthingsofcny on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share my passion with you.






EXQUISITE SELF CARE Tell us about yourself and what made you decide to start your own business, Exquisite Self Care. My name is Hope Brookshire and I am a mother of five I also have 7 Grands. I have always had a business mind set but seemed to only help others with their business. I am also a writer which is my first love. I have four unfinished books with a goal to complete at least of them within the next 12 months.

had purchased and jokingly said I need to start making my own candles. A week later I started researching how to make candles and body butter. Four months after that I started ordering supplies & ingredients to make them both. Sixteen months later here I am.

I have always had a thing about never going to bed ashy (lol) I always felt that extra 5-10 minutes of lotioning up really good was medicine for the body as well as helping you have a good night’s sleep. However, I have been that person who was too tired and just wanted to shower and go to bed skipping that part of my nightly ritual. I want people to take that extra time to take care of their skin. Our bodies need that extra TLC. Our body need to be scrubbed down 2-3 times a week, getting rid of those dead skin cells that we don’t realize are there. Followed by massaging some good ole Exquisite Self Care Body Butter that melts right into your skin, leaving you soft and super moisturize.

Unfortunately, life has always gotten in my way. Rather it was something with my kids that needed my immediate attention or my health. I have been at a point in my life where I need to fully accomplish something that I can leave to my children and my grands one day. More importantly something that I can be proud of for myself, something that I can smile about. Not to mention enjoy and reap the benefits of for years to come. I started this business because I hate being ashy (lol) I have bought so many lotions over the years that I haven’t been happy with. So, I wanted to create a product with healthy more lasting results. I mixed some stuff together one day to make my own lotion however it took a few years for me to pursue it further. One day I looked over to one of my shelves and noticed all the candles I

Time To Take Care Of You” Skin being the largest organ we have it has a lot of responsibilities. It creates a barrier between the vital organs and the outside world. So many people are unaware of just how important the skin is as whole. As well as to our mental health.

What is the mission behind your business? My mission is to promote healthy skin for men & women. Self-care doesn’t stop at taking a bath or shower nor does it start or stop with getting your hair and nails done or going to the barbershop. My slogan is “Take

What makes you hustle? Having a strong desire to want something, to own something. Have you ever wanted something so bad you can taste it? That’s how I feel about success, growth & accomplishing something I can be proud of. Rather it’s my skin care line, being an Arthor or both. Success isn’t just about the riches, it’s also our mental. Being able to have that peace of mind that your

{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Mixing together fragrances to come up with a signature smell and someone telling me how good it smells just lights my face up. I love it!”

bills will be paid no matter what, not having to calculate meals to last until your next paycheck. Not having to decide which medications you can get this month or this pay and which ones can wait until the next time. Trying to decide which two or three kids out of five needs a new pair of shoes the most and which kids can wait until next paycheck. I have always hustled in life trying to stay above water. I’ve had good and bad moments in life. The one thing I have been using to remind myself of every chance I get to push myself to be great is a conversation I had with my oldest a few years ago. We were talking about life past and at that time current stuff. She Said, “Ma I can remember when we stayed at such and such you cooked dinner for us but you didn’t eat that night after we ate, we 182


all went to bed” My mouth dropped she was probably ten at the time and I had no idea that she paid attention to that. It broke my heart that she knew that her mother went to sleep without out eating dinner. Having to experience these types of struggles at some point of my life alone, should make a person hungry for more and hustle for more out of life. If you could pick just one product that would be your “must have”, what would it be and why? Wow, it’s hard to pick just one, because I love all of them. They are all homemade with love and with consideration of my customers need. My candles are full of fragrance that will radiate throughout your home. My butters and scrubs will have you trying to figure out

what smells so good until you realize it’s you. I can’t leave out that they are full of vitamins and nutrients that does wonders for your skin. Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? I honestly don’t know. I have always had a business mindset and would help people in one area or another with their stuff. Learning how things worked along the way. Trying to figure out how I properly fit into the business world on my own. Throughout the years I would get different ideas of business I would have liked to invest in or pursue. Years later here I am the CEO, Marketing, the cook, secretary, production, cleanup crew, shipping the list goes on and I’m here for it all.




HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “There is nothing like having a job you actually enjoying doing from day to day. It makes you work harder and smarter.”

What is your background and how did it lead you to where you are today? My background starts at 12 years in the factory world with a bad back and carpal tunnel. I then shifted to office work for 16-18 years ie office clerk, receptionist, collections, Customer service. Retired and now making Candles, butters scrubs & lotion from scratch. There is nothing like having a job you actually enjoying doing from day to day. It makes you work harder and smarter. Who is your ideal customer? Everyone! It doesn’t matter your age, gender, or race everyone needs and deserves healthy skin. At the moment I do not have as many masculine fragrances as I do women’s however, I am making it a priority to add more. The Momma Hopes Body butter is safe for kids and people with eczema or sensitive skin. it doesn’t have and fragrance oils or color pigment. What product that you have created do you feel is the one that best resinates with your customers and why? As of right now, I would say my Body Butters. It was my first product to be popular, loved and requested. I didn’t start out promoting it in regard to what some of the components was designed to do. I just asked everyone to be consistent with using it. Before I knew it, I started getting phone calls and text messages saying “hey this butter is lightening up my scars and stretch marks”. I know they didn’t expect that benefit at all. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business?

The good ole fashion way, word of mouth is always good because if a person mentions your product, they usually follow up with good things to say about it. Now new age technology or social media if you will, has been the best avenue. With social media you can advertise and reach an audience of people you don’t know and will never have the opportunity meet. This avenue will allow you to expand to a higher customer base, that will multiply with each platform that you have. What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? My biggest challenge has been finances. I was complaining to a good friend of mine saying “I can’t wait to see my money grow. Soon as I make it, I have to reinvest it or use it for something.” We then had the conversation about it taking up to three years to see a profit. He then said you know what your biggest problem is Hope? You’re using your own money when you supposed to be using the banks money. I couldn’t do nothing but smile and say your absolutely correct. Far as overcoming that, hopefully that turns around for me this year. What are your secrets to your success, especially with self care, and beauty products? For me being confident in my work, doing my research not just throwing stuff together. Knowing for myself first why its important to take care of your skin along with being able to relay that to my customers and potential customers. Being able to explain why

people should use my products. Striving to be a little different with my line. Some folks may look at Exquisite Self Care and think “oh somebody else making body butter or candles” There are a lot of different ingredients that can go into body butters and scrubs and the important factor is what combination of ingredients I chose to use to set my brand apart. To have several people reach back out to me and say “hey this butter is lighting up my scars or stretch marks” is a blessing to me. If I continue to be detailed with my ingredients I can’t lose. My products have over 7 ingredients I only list so many of them, because if I tell all my secrets I lower my success rate. I try to be different with my candle scents and I try to make the scent a little louder than most candles. What would you say truly excites you about what you do? I actually have fun making these products. Seeing the outcome of me starting from scratch putting together the ingredients for each product and watching them create something healthy for our skin and know someone has enjoyed the way it makes them feel and or smell is very exciting and rewarding. Mixing together fragrances to come up with a signature smell and someone telling me how good it smells just lights my face up. I love it! How do you handle work-life balance? It’s not always easy. Some days I have to push myself a little harderthan others. One will say starting a new business you really can’t afford to rest CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “My mission is to promote healthy skin for men and women.”

or out something before your business. You have to stay on your grind. But, I feel slightly different about that. I always say, “you have to have a balance in life or you will tilt over.” Having something else to focus on outside of working your butt off or starting a business brings balance to your mental state. You have to be able to unwind from time to time, and that’s what brings you balance. What would you say are the key skills needed to be a successful female entrepreneur in 2022? 1)Discipline 2) Commitment 3) Determination 4) Communication 5) A Vision 6) Confidence 7) Leadership 8) Great Work Ethic 9) intelligence 10) Flexibility What do you want to achieve next? I have been jokingly saying since day one that I want to become the next Madam CJ Walker but of skin care. Lol Once I have reached her level and surpassed it, I will be satisfied. That’s my dream, but my passion is in writing and becoming an established author. Once Exquisite Self Care Grows enough to hire some people, I can fall back just enough to finish one of my books so stay tuned.













Tell us about yourself and what made you decide to start your own business in Central NY? After graduating college I decided to travel and explore the country for a few years. My mom called me in October 2010 and told me she was diagnosed with Breast cancer. I was home by the end of the month. I took a few jobs here in CNY and realized I wasn’t happy working with someone else. I knew in order for me to achieve the ultimate happiness I would have to build something myself.

was 13 with various family members. I think this business sort of chose me. I took it to the next level by growing it to the level I have. As a female entrepreneur, who has inspired you? I am really inspired with the other great cleaning business owners throughout the country who I network with through social media. I am currently enrolled in a program called Cleaning Business Fundamentals that has connected me

What makes you hustle? Hustling is in my blood. It really is. My family needs to learn to slow down and take time outside of work to enjoy life to its fullest potential. What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide? Professionalism. Tell us your favorite customer story... I had a client tell me how impressed he was with how systemized and organized this company is. He said it operates like clockwork from his perspective. Clients seeing and appreciating that is very important to me. It is our duty to add peace and relaxation to their lives and I feel like we are achieving that. What made you choose a home cleaning business, and what makes you stand out from your competition? I have been cleaning houses since I

with amazing cleaning business owners who are achieving great things. They all inspire me daily. What are your top three priorities for being a success? Communication with clients & employees is key. Honesty is always the best policy even if you have to admit your mistake. Mindset is everything.

“What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? I love being a relief to our clients. I am someone who can not get through a day without my home being tidy & clean. I know there are lot of other people out there that area just like me and I love knowing that we allow them to skip that chore and get to things that they were made for. What do you do when you are not working in/on your business? I spend time playing with my son who will be 1 year old on 3/29/21, my Husband, and our dog. We love to go to the Adirondacks where we have a camp in Raquette Lake. We spend a lot of time outside. What type of services are most common for Home Sweet Home to provide and what is your favorite? Deep cleanings & maintenance cleanings. When I used to be in the field I loved doing the deep cleanings. You can see such a huge difference when you complete the clean and our clients are shocked at how clean their home is. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? Google What things have you found to be success in getting your business out to the community and being booked? Google Ratings are key. We really urge our clients to leave us a review to share with other homeowners. Having CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Hustling is in my blood. It really is. My family needs to learn to slow down and take time outside of work to enjoy life to its fullest potential.”

a company come into your home is something that people don’t’ take lightly so when they see our 50, 5 star reviews they know they can trust us. Is there a secret to being the best at what you do? Always aiming for professionalism, 192


honesty, and extremely detail oriented. What are your plans both personally and professionally over the next year? I am planning on reducing the hours I work personally so I can focus on my baby. This will give another person the opportunity to be employed by

HSH. Personally, I am aiming to get in really good shape so I can have the energy to show my son all of the fun things to do in NY in each season.





OLIVER’S ORIGINALS Tell us about yourself and your Central NY business, Oliver’s Originals. I am the mom to 6 busy, active kids that span from the 4th grade, a son in college, and one in the USMC. Knitting was a passion that started when I lived in Massachusetts as a child, and a chance to intern at Sturbridge Village during the summers. My love of knitting grew over the years, and I had the opportunity to open a yarn shop. My passion to teach others has allowed this business to be a great adventure. What is the mission behind your business? Do you have a strategy you have implemented that has helped you be a success? My mission is to share my love of knitting with people that can be an affordable and accessible hobby. Purchasing yarns from many sources both in the United States and abroad had allowed me to have a range of products. I continue to search out artisanal yarns, local products and maintain products at a variety of prices. What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide? The things that I find most important are to be accessible to customers, many becoming friends of the shop that I see often, as they start new projects and advance their skills. What makes you hustle? It is in my nature to hustle, especially when I love what I do. Meeting people, helping them find what makes them excited about a project, or seeing them

progress by learning new things and scaling a hurdle that they thought was impossible truly makes it all worthwhile. This business shows my kids that when you’re passionate about something you should put in the work and go for it. What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur and where did you come up with the name Oliver’s Originals? I was offered an opportunity to open a shop and partner with another woman in business working together to grow

My grandmother inspired me. She raised 5 kids and worked as a telephone operator while always staying involved in hobbies for herself and with her children. What are your top must haves for being a successful business? Being successful in business has a few must haves for me. Passion for what you do and the support of family, friends and customers while you strive. Being open to new ideas and constantly learning, is definitely an attitude that will get you where you want to go. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? Next on my list of things to achieve is developing a growing community of knitters, crocheters, felters and fiber enthusiasts that come together to learn and support one another. Coming together to have fun and share your talents with others is a great feeling to be shared.

both our business passions. Sharing the day to day running of our business lightens the load, so to speak, and creates a larger community of people around us looking to explore their interests. I enjoy creating knitted works, so the combination of my last name with that passion just made sense.... hence, Oliver’s Originals. As a female entrepreneur, who has inspired you?

What do you want to achieve next? When I founded my business, I wanted to be able to meet people wherever they are in their skill set and learning journey. I wanted to give them the products and resources to continue their hobby and find joy in learning and sharing. What was your first objective when you founded your business? Oliver’s Originals has grown across social media platforms, word of mouth and friends bringing friends to share what they enjoy. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022



“My love of knitting grew over the years, and I had the opportunity to open a yarn shop.”

What has been your most favorite item that you have created? My favorite creation is a Wonder Woman themed shawl... although I love all the things I have made, that shawl is on the top of the list because I’m my own hero. Mistakes are just a part of life, a part of parenting, a part of business. It’s a part of how we learn. Admitting the mistake, apologizing and correcting are part of that learning. Being transparent always helps. 196


How did you decide where to establish your company? I established Oliver’s Originals after working with another woman in business in her shop and she offered me the opportunity to put my shop in her space. It worked out that Sparrow and Key, a retail business of re imagined furniture along with teaching and all the supplies to DIY your own projects where a great combination. I work with her customers from my background education in

carpentry just as she works with mine as a seasoned crocheter herself... It’s a really fine day when I can ride my motorcycle to the shop with my knitting and spend the day helping other people find their inner creative spirit.









JEANETTE HOSKINS Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background. I was born and raised in CNY and always had a passion for art and creativity. You will find me working on some new craft or art project. I’m constantly seeking to learn new ideas and techniques. What makes you “hustle”? My family and friends are very supportive and encourage me to follow my aspirations. I work hard everyday both in my personal life and career. You have to work hard to be successful. What is the mission behind Elecora and how did you decide to start your business? The mission of Elecora is to provide people with high quality products that bring enjoyment and a touch of flair to their everyday home decor. I decided to start my business after several years of making things for my family and friends. Everyone was constantly telling me that I should offer these to the public. When did your business begin? My business started about 5 years ago. What is your why? Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because not only does it give me a sense of pride and joy, but also a sense of fulfillment when I see the excitement it brings my customers. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming

successful women entrepreneur? I think having drive and passion for what you are aiming to achieve are necessary for becoming successful. You have to work hard everyday and put in 100% effort. Never give up even when you encounter a bump in the road. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you won’t make it or be successful. A positive mindset will carry you a long way.

What do you feel are some of your greatest strengths? Some of my great strengths come from my parents and how I was raised. I was taught to always do my best and never give up. Having compassion and a willingness to help others. Sometimes the smallest act of kindness will have an even greater impact on others. Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? My husband and kids empower me

and give me inspiration. They give me ideas and suggestions on different ways to give your everyday home décor an unique twist. My husband is always encouraging me to venture out and create new products. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently in your career choice? The only thing I would have done differently would be to chase after my dreams and goals sooner than later. Sometimes that little voice in the back of your head makes you second guess things and gives you doubt. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you and why. The biggest moment that stands out is all of the love and support I received when I finally decided to go forward with starting my business. Taking that leap and starting something new in unchartered territory can be intimidating. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you expand your business into becoming a female entrepreneur? The biggest factor that helped me expand my business is getting the word out there. Reaching out to the public via social media, attending shows, and providing a high quality products that have people talking about Elecora.



{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “My family and friends are very supportive and encourage me to follow my aspirations. I work hard everyday both in my personal life and career.”

What has been your best form of promotion and what platform is your favorite? Elecora is promoted primarily on Instagram (@elecora_designs) and Facebook (@elecora). I started promoting with Facebook but recently ventured to Instagram as my primary platform. If you could pick just one product/ item from Elecora that you couldn’t live without, what would it be and why? The one product that I couldn’t live without would be my wood trays. Each tray is unique. There is no one tray alike. The trays are made with a 200


blend of resin and other mixed media. They can be used in a variety of ways; serving tray, charcuterie tray, trinket tray, wall decor, or even to organize your personal care products. What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself and the services that you can provide your clients? I’m able to take clients’ favorite themes & colors and incorporate them into one of a kind products. Each piece can be made to fit a client’s taste and desire. What inspired you to develop your idea?

I wanted to create unique products that can be used day to day. Any advice you would give to someone looking to start their own business? The best advice I would give someone looking to start their own business is to do something you enjoy and discover a specific niche that makes your products stand out. Where will we see you next? Any big plans? I would like to expand my business to come up with new and innovative ways to bring my art to those around me.


FANCEE www.instagram/elecora_designs



Rochester Woman Online is very proud to be able to showcase Dr. Maria Karipidis Pouria as a woman who inspires in our latest edition. We hope you enjoy our interview with her as she talks about what inspires her, her amazing career, and what led her to this moment. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. I am a Rochester, NY native who obtained a bachelor’s of science in neuroscience at the University of Rochester. I completed my medical school training at the AUC School of Medicine, followed by a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Illinois in Peoria. My fellowship, or “specialty training” in primary care sports medicine and orthopaedics was completed at the University of Rochester. I served as an attending physician in the department of orthopaedics at the University of Rochester for 7 years before joining Longevità Medical in Victor, NY, where I currently practice as an interventional sports and regenerative medicine physician. I have also served as a team physician for collegiate and semi-pro level athletes. What made you decide to go into sports medicine? During both my medical school and residency rotations, I was drawn to 204


the complexity of the musculoskeletal system and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that allowed for interventional procedures. Being in a fast-paced and highly procedural combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency provided me with the opportunity to contribute in the

care of patients of all ages. Choosing to specialize in sports medicine was an innate decision. I was able to see the immediate and long-term impact that treatments had on improving patients’ mobility and restoring their quality of life after acute and chronic injuries.

You are known for your expertise in non-operative sports medicine. What exactly does this encompass? A primary care sports medicine physician has significant specialized training in both the treatment and prevention of illness and injury. They are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams, or active individuals who are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Primary care orthopaedic physicians also use the same expertise to provide comprehensive medical care for the non-athlete, from the weekend warrior, industrial athlete, to active retirees. We can determine the need for physical therapy or surgery and provide interventional treatments which can include corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich plasma, or bone marrow concentrate injections under ultrasound guidance. Who inspires you, especially in your area of medicine? My patients are my primary inspiration. Whether they are driven to getting back into their sport or hobby, or simply wish to play with their children or grandchildren; I feel compelled and motivated to fulfill their goals by ensuring them high-quality, trusted, evidence-based care. As an interventional sports medicine and regenerative specialist, I believe it is a privilege to be able to alleviate one’s pain to allow for an active lifestyle.








{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES TRACY TALKS } } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “As an interventional sports medicine and regenerative specialist, I believe it is a privilege to be able to alleviate one’s pain to allow for an active lifestyle.”

Do you find it challenging being a Physician? The ability to practice sports and regenerative medicine is gratifying but can also come with its challenges. I am grateful to provide care to vulnerable patients of all age groups who are in pain or have sustained an injury. It can be cumbersome and frustrating to argue for necessary treatments, procedures and imaging, however I take pride in advocating for what is optimal for my patients. Athletes are often eager to return to their sport as quickly as possible after an injury. Patients may have acute episodes of arthritic pain and wish to be seen urgently. I am truly fortunate to be in a private practice at Longevità Medical where I am able to see and treat these patients in a timely manner and provide a quality experience in a comfortable setting. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming successful in your field? Sports medicine physicians are typically energetic and passionate individuals who are or were athletes themselves. We are able to empathize with our patients, and knowing how to communicate with the patient that wants to get better as soon as possible is vital. It takes compassion to work through whatever ailment is prohibiting them from doing their activities. Diligence, interpersonal skills, and manual dexterity are invaluable attributes of an interventional sports medicine and regenerative physician. What educational background did you need to get to your current position? To become a primary care sports

medicine physician, it requires several years and over 15,000 hours of vigorous clinical training. This journey begins with 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 4-5 years of residency, followed by 1-2 years of fellowship specialty training. Examination requirements include 4 United States medical licensing exams in medical school, 1 internal medicine board certification examination, 1 pediatric board certification examination, and 1 sports medicine/orthopaedics certification examination with additional certifications in ultrasound. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you guys do what you do? I strongly believe movement is medicine. It is truly gratifying to enhance a patient’s mobility and quality of life through non-surgical interventions. You develop a rapport and inherent trust with your patients in their most vulnerable times as you are able to partake in their recoveries. Tell us something that not many people know about you. Although I was born in Rochester, NY, most people do not know that I come from an immigrant family and my first language was Greek. I learned to speak English by playing basketball and sports with the neighborhood children. From a young age, I was taught to develop a strong work ethic, perseverance, and compassion for others, which carries me to this day. Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you and why.

The two most notable moments in my career were when I became a mother to my two daughters during my demanding residency and fellowship training. As a woman, wife, and mother, I bring a level of caretaking and compassion to the doctor patient relationship. My patients feel that difference, and I am grateful to offer them that experience at Longevità Medical. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful, especially in a field that is more male dominated? I have never let my gender prohibit me from pursuing my aspirations. I am passionate about medicine and taking care of people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Throughout my training and career, I have been focused on what I do best which is to provide optimal care for my patients. I have never focused on being a woman in a male dominant field, I have kept my focus on being the best physician I can be for my patients. What have you found to be your biggest challenges over the past few years, especially being a physician and most communications being virtual? At the onset and peak of the pandemic, in-person office visits were transitioned to telemedicine. In the field of musculoskeletal medicine, diagnosis is not only through history, but through a hands-on physical examination of the joints. The interpersonal experience of physically examining, diagnosing, and treating patients’ CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES TRACY TALKS } } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “A primary care sports medicine physician has significant specialized training in both the treatment and prevention of illness and injury.”

pain with interventional procedures was unfortunately limited. What are your goals for the future? Regenerative medicine is continuously evolving and expanding with scientific advancements. In the field of orthopedics, regenerative treatments have evolved to capitalize on the unique healing qualities of our own cells to stimulate healing, reduce inflammation and decrease pain for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. It is remarkable to harness this potential, and I am excited to provide these evidence-based. cuttingedge treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), for patients with injured or degenerative joints, tendons, or ligaments.








Dr. Maria

Karipidis pouria Dr. Vito Quatela is excited to announce the opening of Longevità Medical featuring board-certified physician, Dr. Maria Karipidis Pouria. Dr. Karipidis is a Rochesternative who specializes in non-operative sports medicine, encompassing the care of athletes and weekend warriors, to the geriatric population. Dr. Karipidis Pouria completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and earned her medical degree from AUC School of Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Illinois in a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics program. Following her residency, Dr. Karipidis Pouria completed a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Rochester, where she then worked in non-operative orthopedics for 7 years before joining Longevità Medical. As an athlete herself, Dr. Karipidis understands the value of leading an active lifestyle no matter your age. Her conservative approach to treatment is designed to enhance the well-being and quality of life of patients suffering from acute or chronic joint pain, such as osteoarthritis. That path begins with properly diagnosing the cause of the pain and then combining rehabilitation and nonsurgical techniques as part of a tailored treatment plan. Dr. Karipidis’ practice includes innovative regenerative medicine techniques, including using the body’s own healing abilities with platelet-rich plasma and bone marrow concentrate therapies to treat joint pain. She also manages acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries caused by overuse, trauma, or sports-related injuries using cortisone and hyaluronic acid injections.



Dr. Quatela and Dr. Karipidis are also joined by Family Nurse Practitioner, Julie Chatt, who will be offering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.


Longevità medical

Longevità Medical, the Quatela Vitality Center, is dedicated to helping patients optimize aging, regenerate vitality, and live younger, by offering the latest in regenerative medicine. Through the use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and injections such as cortisone, hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich plasma, and bone marrow concentrate under ultrasound guidance, our providers treat the unwanted effects of agerelated hormone changes and chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis, sports injuries, and tendonitis.

Optimize Aging

regenerate vitality 585.244.1506 7255 STATE ROUTE 96, SUITE 110 VICTOR, NY 14564 WWW.LONGEVITAMEDICAL.COM

living younger



Did you ever wonder why some of the packages that get delivered to your house are mangled beyond recognition? In these days of stores closing and people ordering most of their products online, the supply chain is busier than ever. The companies that deliver products to our homes and businesses have a higher volume than ever. I was able to see the inside of a major UPS hub and now I understand why some of the packages that get delivered do not make it unscathed through the process. What I think surprised me the most was the number of women who worked there, especially at night. Several of the supervisors and managers were women and, in fact, the CEO is female. Of course, most of the workers are men, but women certainly have a lot of opportunities there too. UPS moves over 25 million packages per day. In order to do that, there must be a very efficient process in place. There is a series of conveyor belts, chutes, rollers, trucks of various sizes, airplanes, and people…all working together to get your packages to you as quickly as possible. I am assuming that the same things happen at FedEx, DHL, the USPS…. anywhere that deals with a high volume of packages. It becomes about speed 212


and accuracy. With people in the mix and all the heavy machinery, it’s amazing that as many packages make it to their proper destinations without issue as they do! Challenge #1: Get all the packages onto the trucks by the time the shift is over, and the drivers show up. Challenge #2: Get the trucks out of the plant and on the road without needing to overflow to a second set

of trucks, which would increase the cost of the process. Packages are scanned and sorted at each point in the system so that they can arrive to you as soon as possible. The job is to keep things moving…… keep that belt moving and get these packages out of there! It is kind of like Lucy with the chocolates, but instead of candy, it might be air conditioners or dog food or something.

So, while Lucy and Ethel started hiding some of the chocolates on their belts by eating them, stashing them in their clothing and pretending that everything was alright when the supervisor came along…..the packages in the big operations like UPS cannot be hidden. They must be moved from point A to point B and in a hurry. The reality is that regardless of how your package may be labeled, ‘Handle with Care’, ‘This Side Up’, ‘Fragile’, or otherwise, the fact remains that it is going to be traveling the network of belts and chutes that will tumble them throughout the system. As they travel, they will be tossed about and mishandled by the machines. Some are shaped oddly, some leak, some of the packing tape will let loose, etc. If you ordered a nice outfit, let’s say, that is in a wellsealed box, but it is followed on the belt by a gas grill or flat screen tv, your box will get crushed and there is nothing that anyone could have done to prevent it. Conveyor belts cannot read and the packages travel one at a time, dozens at a time, etc. It all depends. So, all those signs trying to tell people




IS TALKING { TRACY SHIFT+CONTROL { TRACY TALKS } }} “Did you ever wonder why some of the packages that get delivered to your house are mangled beyond recognition? “

how to handle the packages are lost on the machines that are also part of the operation. The only exception to this is when hazardous materials (hazmats) come through. The scanners will point them out and demand special handling. Other than that, sorry folks. The people are under pressure to ‘keep it moving’, so they too will place a package upside down or sideways at times. You place an order and then patiently wait for the package to be delivered. You get all excited when it finally arrives, right? Now, please remember that your package has been through 214


Hell and back. Don’t just rip open the box. Understand that you should open it carefully and then promptly not only wash, but SCRUB your hands after touching the outside….. and then dispose of it immediately. It has most likely touched the floor, been sweated on, maybe has touched something else that was leaking and, at a minimum, was in contact with the liquid waxy substance that is sprayed on the chutes to keep things moving. It may also have been next to something considered hazardous. Maybe it was accidentally stepped on, opened mistakenly during transit because the tape or a label got caught

on equipment, or flipped end over end while moving rapidly through the process. It may or may not have needed to be re-packed by people along the way. I guarantee though, that it was delivered to you as quickly as possible and with as much care as the system would allow and that multiple human beings have touched it. During my time at UPS, I saw false teeth, cadaver bags, clothing, pharmaceuticals, guitars, pillows, laptops and just about anything else that you can imagine travel through the system. This side up? Maybe.








CNY ENGRAVING Tell us about yourself and what made you and your husband decide to start your own business in Central NY? We are the Bartoszewski Family. My name is Kristen and my husband is Andy. We met online 9 years ago and hit it off instantly. We got married in 2016, it was the most perfect spring day. Soon after that, we built a home together on Onondaga Hill. In 5 short years, we have been blessed with 3 beautiful children (2 boys and a girl) who inspire us each day to become better people. We are busy bodies and sitting idle is not our thing. When the pandemic hit, we were home a lot more than normal. We decided to put our time to good use and do something that would bring joy to others. We figured we would meld our talents together, play off of each of our strengths, and start a business.

teacher who volunteers at our church and is super amazing with our kids. His personality radiates within the community. Mr. Joe had recently lost his mom to an illness. He purchased a beautiful wrought iron bench for the foyer of the church. Mr. Joe noticed our company logo on our car and asked us to create a small plaque of remembrance for the bench. We are honored that he asked us. When I presented three design ideas, he immediately chose a

Tell us your favorite customer story. We have been members at a local Catholic Church for 6 years. We have the privilege of knowing this gentleman whom we call Mr. Joe. He is a middle-aged retired

Kristen, what is it like to be a female entrepreneur, and work with your husband? I will be honest, I was a little apprehensive at first. With that being said, it has been really amazing to work together and to see both of our talents unfold. We are a dynamic duo, we jive really well and know our roles in the process so that it flows very naturally. What are your top three priorities for being a success? Our priorities are the quality of our products, the uniqueness/ creativity within our products, and working directly with our customers to create gifts that will last a lifetime.

What makes you both hustle? Bringing happiness into people’s homes motivates us to hustle. The smiles and reactions of our customers when they receive their products are worth every moment. What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide? The uniqueness and personalization of each product allows us to create beautiful pieces that are one of a kind.

market for personalized gifts, catering to all audiences.

design with a rose. Coincidently, his moms favorite flower was a rose and it was the perfect fit. Each week in church we walk by this special memorial that we were able to be a part of. What made choose a laser engraving? We were looking into something that would allow us to imagine, design, and create. There are very few engraving companies in Central NY so this was our perfect opportunity. There is a big

“What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you guys do what you do? It really is about the customers and making others happy. Some of the most unique pieces have been created for very special people. Being able to make a vision come to life is really amazing. The comments from customers saying that their product is more beautiful than they could have imagined is our “why”. What has been some of your favorite pieces that you have created for your customers? I love our nursery signs. They are just so special, bring the parents joy, and light up a room. It is incredible to create art that will be one of the first things a new baby sees when it opens its eyes CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ SHEBUSINESS HUSTLES SPOTLIGHT TALKS } { LOCAL } “Bringing happiness into people’s homes motivates us to hustle. The smiles and reactions of our customers when they receive their products are worth every moment.”

each morning. Honestly, I love all of the pieces we have created.

in progress, that will be something we always try to improve on.

What do you do when you are not working in/on your business? We spend all of our time as a family. We love outings to the zoo, parks, playgrounds, Costco, and our favorite local Mexican restaurant! We just love being together!

What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? Facebook Groups & Instagram

What would you say has been the hardest thing about working together and being married? I think like in most marriages, communication is constantly a work

What things have you found to be success in getting your business out to the community? Social networking! Who or what has inspired you? We are inspired by our children, our family, our customers, and most importantly our faith.

What is the mission behind your business? Our mission is to make quality custom designs at an affordable price that will bring happiness in to your home for a lifetime. What are your plans both personally and professionally over the next year? Our plan is to travel and spend time with our children. We hope to expand our business and customer base to create many more beautiful pieces.

Imagine .Design .Create


WE CREATE IT Gifts/decor for all occasions nurseries, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, birthdays, name signs, engagements, holidays, commercial signs, & more!

Contact to Order:

Kristen Bartoszewski


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Why do they call you the “Queen of Commercial Real Estate” It was actually a name that was coined for me! There have historically been few women in commercial real estate and I worked so hard to build a name and a reputation in a male-dominated industry, unapologetically being a mother, woman and businesswoman. I was fortunate to be well received by the industry professionals and my clients. It took me a few years to realize the name had actually caught on and now I have adapted it into my business! Tell us a little about your background and history with Real Estate I was very committed to being in commercial real estate. I was turned down by the first brokerage I had interviewed with because I was a woman. I was accepted to join their residential team, but not their commercial because “women don’t succeed in commercial real estate”. I remember walking out of that interview feeling both defeated and deflated. I then interviewed at my current brokerage of Keller WIlliams and I was encouraged to join commercial because there was an unmet demand for women in the field. I signed on the spot and began learning and studying the field. What has been the biggest problem in commercial real estate over the past year? There isn’t enough inventory for people to buy! The government had given tremendous incentives through the Small Business Administration to encourage people to buy properties and

start businesses. So many landlords and sellers opted to maximize their portfolio and sell or lease at that time. Here we are a year later with greater demand for purchasing and there are so few buildings available.

What makes commercial real estate interesting? There is no monotony! Each transaction is different and each requires me to be forward-thinking, strategically planning and protecting my clients.

Who are some of the key people you work with as a commercial real estate agent? Being a commercial real estate broker, it’s crucial that I have a team of people to support the various components of a transaction. Key people range from commercial real estate attorneys, business and franchise attorneys, bankers, insurance brokers, credit card processors, accountants, payroll specialists and so many more. Each transaction is so different that it may require only 2 other referral partners, yet others may require a dozen. I refer only to those that I trust with my own family!

How do you interview a commercial tenant? I will always ask what type of business it is, how is the operation currently situated, how many years have they been in business, how will being in a new space affect them...all my questions are geared towards gaining a deep understanding of their business and what their needs are.

What geographic locations do you specialize in? I will comfortably cover a 3 hour radius of Rochester.

Is commercial property good investment? Absolutely! It is just critical that numbers be accurate for income stream and expenses, ensure there are no major health or safety defects and that you have worked with a professional to formulate your exit strategy.

Where do you see the market going right now? We have seen tremendous growth in most sectors of commercial real estate. Covid provided companies an opportunity to restructure operations, people to start their dream business, people moving out from a home office to a professional’s been a strong and constantly changing market. All indicators point to a robust market for the next 2 years and I am excited to be a part of it!

What is a major downside for a business to own its own building? There is no downside! It’s great for owners to be in charge of their building and maintenance, all while building wealth!

Can you share some of your recent success stories? I take sheer pleasure when my clients are so successful, they need additional space! I have helped 3 tenants expand into additional space this year, currently helping 2 tenants expand into other cities, placed 2 new businesses into locations and have 7 buyers under contract for their dream locations! CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ THE QUEEN{OF COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE } SHIFT+CONTROL } “There is no monotony! Each transaction is different and each requires me to be forwardthinking, strategically planning and protecting my clients.”

It’s been a busy last few months and we haven’t even hit tax day yet! What is the one main thing a client would need to know about you that sets you apart from your competition? 222


I don’t view others in commercial real estate as competition, but rather colleagues. There are some really great brokers in our region and we work together to collaborate for the needs of our clients. It’s so important because so

many locations are not publicly listed, so the opportunities happen between brokers. This is a career where truly, relationships matter!









Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background. My mom taught me to be kind. I am a thought leader who delivers. I challenge people to pay attention to what matters most. I bring all of myself to everything I do. I am an honest and realistic forward thinker. I love people and believe that the special talent that each person brings to this life is an invaluable gift to others. What makes you “hustle”? I have always been a hustler. I have had many fulfilling careers that pay the bills, but the hustle is what really matters in life. What gets me up in the morning is wanting to do something to help someone else. What is the mission behind What Moves You and how did you start the business to help support formerly incarcerated women? ?MUVSU? What Moves You? was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to combat my depression caused by isolation. My talent enables me to create something beautiful, unique and purposeful. The idea of gifting a handmade bag to a formerly incarcerated women is extremely important because when women are incarcerated, they are stripped of their possessions; every woman carries a bag, every woman has baggage. ’The bag’ also represents money, material wealth, larger goals in life, and keeping the focus. Every bag that is gifted contains a handwritten note from me and the customer with words of encouragement. It is an empty bag for a reason and represents a fresh start.

Who inspired you to start the business, and become a female entrepreneur? My daughter encouraged me to go into business and invite people to support my cause and buy my bags because they are meaningful and beautiful. ?MUVSU? is philanthropic social justice art. What is your why? Why do you do what you do? ?MUVSU? strengthens my activism for currently and formerly incarcerated people and their families. Incarceration is a result of a lack of investment in our community and the people who live there. I want to continue to creatively change the minds, hearts and lives of justice-impacted people and help them realize their personal power. I have been very fortunate to have participated in different advocacy and organizing trainings that have helped me to create a healthy, trauma-informed pathway to success. Opportunities like these are viable alternatives to the negative lifestyles that lead people to incarceration in the first place, and they reduce recidivism. Philanthropy is an acknowledgement of privilege and utilizing it to better the world. Through philanthropy we have a unique opportunity to change mindsets and to champion new solutions. ?MUVSU? is philanthropic social justice and social impact art. ?MUVSU? enables people who are not directly affected to be purposeful givers to those who are. ?MUVSU? also empowers people who are more well off to use their resources to help

others who are not as well off. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming successful after being incarcerated? How can the public help more? After incarceration being connected through doing service is a key to staying out. Volunteering with advocacy and organizing groups led by directly affected people and formerly incarcerated people is a first step to build relationships and get information about employment, housing, etc. Some grassroots organizations in Syracuse that I have supported are OG’s Against Gun Violence, The Women’s Opportunity Center, Writing Our Lives (Believe in Syracuse) and Mercy Works @ The Vision Center. The public can help by learning about the Prison Industrial Complex from people with lived experience. Join us at The Freedom Agenda or the Beyond Rosies’ Campaign with WCJA (Womens Community Justice Association) https://www.womenscja. org/. What do you feel are some of your greatest strengths? I am an altruistic giver. I engage people from all backgrounds. My follow-up skills are impeccable. Who are some of the people that empower you and why? People in my life who tell me the truth empower me. My daughter and her children empower me to be a positive role model. I exist to inspire them to live meaningful lives by showing CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


HUSTLES TALKS SHE HUSTLES {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL {{WHAT MOVESTALKS YOU?}}}} “?MUVSU? strengthens my activism for currently and formerly incarcerated people and their families.”

them how to live with integrity, optimism, hope, determination, and compassion. It is an honor that I hold in the highest regard that my daughter trusts me enough to allow me to have such an essential role in her children’s development. If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? No, not at all. Every single decision I have made has had an immense impact in creating who I am in this very moment. Name one special moment in your life that has stood out to you and why. My family is my rock and my foundation. I am so fortunate because of how individually amazing they all are. They have never NOT loved me. There are too many moments that stand out for me to mention just one special moment. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you expand your idea into creating this business to help others? Acknowledging that nothing can be done alone. Yes, one person can make a difference but, it takes a team of like-minded people to invoke long lasting change to systemic issues that oppress. I am always learning. I created the MUVSUment to heal trauma and it’s been so good! I feel good creating the bag and arranging the gifting. The buyer feels good: carrying a 1-of-a-kind handmade bag, gifting a woman returning home from incarceration a bag (and writing a 226


personalized notecard with words of encouragement), and telling the story behind the bag she carries. The woman gifted feels good: receiving a 1-of-a-kind bag, made especially for her, that is gifted to her from a circle of people who support her reintegration into the community. What has been your best form of promotion for you and why? My website was created by a 16-year old student that I met at a local vending event called the Ubuntu Market in Dallas. Zackyia approached me and admired my work. We got to talking and she asked if I had a social media presence. I said I did not. She said she could help. I asked her to send me a proposal and we exchanged information. When I got home that evening there was an email with a proposal from her. Needless to say -- she was hired! I had a lot of questions and since I am from NY I may seem a little bossy, but Zackyia was knowledgeable, professional, courteous and most of all, she was patient with me. After several in person meetings and facetime calls was up and open for business. Zackyia also created my IG and Twitter pages. I am forever indebted to this powerhouse young woman. What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself and the services that you can provide? The most important discovery I have made about myself is that people support the Person they believe in. Every time I explain MUVSU’s vision I am humbled by the extent of appreciation and praise that I receive.

Since 2020 MUVSU has gifted and sold over 400 bags to women. Here are quotes from a few organizations that were gifted: @ProvidenceNY posted: “There’s nothing quite as exciting as getting a package from @ whatmovesyou_ Like the recipients of these bags, each is bold and beautiful and no two designs ae alike. These items will be gifted to the residents in our Women’s Justice Program! Thank you to ?MUVSU? and all who have purchased bags and shirts to make this gift possible.” Pivot Purposefully wrote: “When I say that my heart is overwhelmed with joy! Marion made these beautiful handmade bags for each of her classmates. Unfortunately, when being released from prison many people are sent home with a garbage bag to carry out their belongings. Imagine the difference knowing that there is a beautiful bag to place your belongings in” College and Community Fellowship, Women Influencing Systems and History wrote: “I wanted to extend my gratitude for your generosity and support. Marion is one dedicated, fierce and powerful advocate and her talent is a testament of the myriad of gifts she brings to the community. ‘What Moves you?’ … this moves me. Thank you for believing.” I resided in Texas in 2021 and am proud to announce that ?MUVSU? Bags can be purchased in these three stores in Dallas, Texas: Well Grounded Coffee Co. https://







SHE HUSTLES TALKS HUSTLES {{WHAT MOVESTALKS YOU?} }} {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “?MUVSU? What Moves You? was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to combat my depression caused by isolation.”

The Pan African Connection Bookstore https://www.panafricanconnection. com/ The Alkaline Hour Herbal Store What is the bigger picture for you behind What Moves You? 5 year plan – I will hire exclusively formerly incarcerated or criminal justice impacted people to frame and further the mission of ?MUVSU?. One vision we will accomplish is to drive around the U.S. and gift bags to organizations that support formerly incarcerated women. We will also pull up on jails and correctional facilities that house women so that when she walks out of that door and into her new beginning – she will be gifted a ?MUVSU? bag. Where did you come up with the name for the business? ?MUVSU? acronym is Motivate Uplift and Vigorously Support Uniqueness. The concept came about 5 years ago when I completed the WISE (Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship) program in Syracuse NY through a collaboration with Vera House/ Project Phoenix and Syracuse University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at The Whitman School of Business. I did not have a solid business plan at that time but I kept the business name ?MUVSU? What Moves You? I learned that successful communication is best started by asking a question. ?MUVSU? is

a question, an invitation, and a call to action. What moves me is working together with people to uplift and support women. An intimate conversation is guaranteed to happen with every Bag that is purchased and/or gifted. People are engaged and feel comfortable sharing. We may talk about my fabric choices, or

home who will be gifted a Bag. Those moments truly take my breath away, they are so beautiful. Besides the therapeutic value I receive from creating, selling and gifting the Bags, these are the moments that really move me and keep me inspired to keep doing this work. Any advise you have for someone strating a business like this, that is to help serve others? Be genuine, honest and integral. Ask questions. Listen to learn. Follow through. Where will we see you next? Any big plans? ?MUVSU? is a regular vendor at the Witness to Mass Incarceration Annual Suitcase Sunday Event in New York City https://www. witnesstomassincarceration. org/ Last year New York State Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer came out to support us.

my artwork on the Bag and what it represents to them. Then I will ask them to pose for a picture carrying the MUVSU bag for my website; and finally, I invite them to handwrite a notecard with a personalized message of support for the woman returning

It is my hope that YOU will be a part of the big plans in the future by collaborating with ?MUVSU? What Moves You? and inviting us into spaces that are helping to support women. https://www.muvsu. net/about. Thank you so much for this opportunity and exposure!
















FEDERAL FILING CONSIDERATIONS Current options Today, married couples can file as married, either jointly or separately, at both the federal and state level. But does simply checking a different box on your tax forms guarantee a better outcome? Maybe but maybe not. If you and your spouse earn roughly the same amount of money, filing jointly could bump you into a higher tax bracket. On the contrary, if there is only one primary bread winner, filing jointly may result in paying less taxes. In other words, getting married, could reduce or increase your tax bill to Uncle Sam.* Domestic partnerships and civil unions While a handful of states recognize domestic partnerships and civil unions, unfortunately the IRS does not. While these designations may offer some of the same rights and responsibilities available to married couples, it is only at a state level and on a state-by-state basis. Tax benefits that apply to all There is no one size fits all solution for married couples grappling with how to file their tax returns; I always advise my clients to consult with their tax advisor to ensure the most efficient method is chosen. However, here is what you can count on assuming both spouses are U.S. citizens:* • The ability to transfer an unlimited amount of assets to your spouse, free from federal gift or estate taxes, either

during life or at death. • The right to leave your spouse property upon your death that doesn’t come with a heavy estate tax bill due to the unlimited marital deduction. • More tax-planning options upon inheriting your spouse’s retirement account. • The right to open an Individual Retirement Account on your spouse’s earnings record if you are unemployed. Still the federal tax benefits afforded to same-sex spouses are on par with those of heterosexual spouses. In the eyes of the IRS marriage is marriage, so if you are married or thinking about getting married, you may want to consider taking the time to talk with your tax advisor to see how your marital status might impact your income tax and your financial future as a married couple. Need additional guidance? Our team can help Our firm can help you lay the groundwork for your financial future. We are qualified to assist LGBT couples with key financial issues affecting same-sex spouses and domestic partnerships. Timing truly is everything. Timing your marriage to help minimize taxes Choosing a wedding date that accommodates family, friends, and employers—not to mention the

church and reception hall—is a newly engaged couples’ greatest challenge. Perhaps you should consider Uncle Sam when choosing your wedding date. Tax filing status is determined on December 31 of each year. For tax purposes, that means even if you wait until the last day of the year to walk down the aisle, the IRS will consider you married for that entire year. If there is a notable disparity between your and your partner’s income, then getting married by December 31 could benefit your tax situation. However, if your combined income pushes you into a higher tax bracket, you may want to marry January 1 of the new year to avoid a negative impact on your current-year tax bill.* Still, income is not the only factor that influences whether marriage could impact your tax situation. Discussing questions such as who incurs deductible expenses, who can claim children as dependents, and what tax preferences you might qualify for can also help you gauge the potential effects of marriage on your tax situation—and help you and your partner to determine the best time to exchange vows. *Our firm does not provide legal or tax advice *source: US Tax Code






FOR ADOPTABLE ANIMALS In like a lion, out like a lamb. That old adage has rung true for generation after generation. And this March, we’re highlighting one of our little lions, who found a loving forever home.

for the precious feline. He was even the star of his very first zoom meeting, and who can blame him? The students have been so hopeful of helping Dandelion find a home of his own. On December 31st, a

Meet Dandelion, whose life story isn’t cut and dry. Dandelion is feline leukemia positive, but that’s not exactly what you think it is. Feline Leukemia is nothing like its human counterpart. For cats, it means their immune system is not as robust as a regular cat, but it has nothing to do with a cancer diagnosis. It also does not decrease a cat’s life expectancy, and if treated properly, a cat can live long and normal lives. Dandelion came to us back in April 2021 from a rehoming situation. He knew his perfect family was still out there somewhere, it was just a matter of time and circumstance before finding the right home. Through our Humane Education Program, Dandelion was virtually adopted by a local kindergarten class, who made treats and created posters

mom and daughter came to Animal Care Sanctuary looking for a unique ‘dog-like’ cat. Dandy took that as an opportunity to take center stage.

He plopped next to the curious mom and daughter and immediately asked for belly rubs, like any dog would. He chose them, and they immediately chose him despite his test results. Here at ACS, we take the time to educate any family and answer all questions about any long-term medical care that may be required with a pet adopted from our shelter. We also provide lifelong counseling whenever needed. Nothing, however, can keep a family from that instant connection with one of our loving animals. Dandelion was a resident with us for 250 days, and gave us all the love he could before leaving for his fur-ever home. We’re grateful for the time we got to spend with the Dandy one, and even more grateful that he had a full class of kindergarteners love him, and a family to call him theirs.












Greetings Gems! My name is Lydia Dean-Reese and I am your fashion stylist! So much has prepared me for where I am today in my styling business; from textile courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), to working at Daffy’s (Clothing Bargains for Millionaires) during college, to attending Opheila Devore charm school, and coordinating my first fashion show at 25.

say is that I am precise in identifying their body type and they loved the items that I selected for them. Many indicate that the style articles

I’m enthusiastic about collaborating with all of you and with Ro c h e s t e r Wo m a n Online Magazine! Do you have styling questions? Don’t be afraid to ask. Connect with me at www. 240-863-2762 And of course IG @ lydialifestylecoach

I’m grateful for each and every experience and the people I’ve met, the clients I’ve served and the paths that I’ve crossed. This has all culminated in a rich, rewarding experience as a Stylist and Closet Coach. I ’v e w o r n m a n y hats in the Fashion Industry,while working retail, and then on to being an event planner, a designer, and even a seamstress. I’m passionate about what I do and eager to share my experiences and offer some pro tips that I’ve learned along the way. One of the things my clients often

assisting them from looking status quo to giving them mood boosters. The services LLC offer are: Body Shape ID + Tips, Personal Style ID, Personal Shopping and Wardrobe Planning and Closet reorganization.

that I select are pieces that they would never select for themselves. In addition, testimonials include me CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022




The Journey Back to Our Inner Light Feeling unconditional self-love as an adult can sometimes feel out of reach. Yet at our core, something we all hope and wish for. Taking a journey back to our inner light and our truest essence isn’t always an easy path. Frankly, it can be the hardest, scariest road we’ve ever taken. In today’s technology-based world, where we are continually given messages about “perfection,” whether it be internal or external expectations, it can deflate even the most positive person. We’ve all been there and, especially as women, internalize the falsehood that we are not enough “as is.” Many of my art students have come to me feeling as though they are truly not worthy of being a creator or artist. Most of them, when asked how they came to this self-belief tell me that there was someone in their lives that made them feel shame around their work. That it didn’t live up to societal expectations of what a “good artist” looked like. They put their art supplies away, sometimes for decades, internalizing this falsehood as a truth. One student was once told by his sixth-grade art teacher that he had “wasted all that paint.” Six decades later, he is valiantly and quite beautifully working towards undoing the damage that that one sentence did to his love of creating. Countless numbers of us have had a similar experience that veered us off our given path and made us feel ashamed and deeply embarrassed when that thoughtless sentence was spoken. Others have endured years of verbal abuse indicating their unworthiness. No one had no right to put that into our psyche. Yet, it stays inside of us, 242


festering and becoming a hardened part of our self-belief system when left unchecked or challenged. Mel Robbins talks about this in her latest book, “The High Five Habit.” She asks readers which belief about themselves would they truly like to believe? I, for one, do not care to ever believe what my art teacher told me in 10th grade about being on the side of the room for students that “weren’t talented.” But that takes work and consistency, let alone a decision to do better by me and my heart. Each of us are the only ones that decide that. The hard work must be deemed worthy and important, if not critical to our emotional well-being. If it is not, you will fizzle out by 10am every day and go back to that negative self-talk and feelings of shame and unworthiness. It’s a powerful choice. As a kid right up through my early twenties, I had received so many messages of worthlessness and feelings of invisibility. I was only seen when I did something wrong by a major figure in my life or for my external flaws by classmates and neighborhood kids. So, I turned to hiding away in my closet or in the woods behind our house and learning to become small. It was the easier route that seemed safe and soothing. As adults, we adopt new ways of coping with our trauma that aren’t so pretty and serve absolutely no one. Especially not our hearts. Addiction, avoidance, procrastination, self-harm, clutter and overworking all become ways that we practice in order to survive what feels daunting or overwhelming (which may just be life, in general). This leaves us stuck in patterns that reinjure us and

reinforce the negative beliefs we harbor in the depths of our souls. Our hearts, despite our negative actions, never relent because they know our genuine essence better than we do on our worst days. They continue to call out to us, asking that we nobly honor it and step out of these patterns of behavior, which can feel intimidating when we erroneously believe we lack the courage and/or strength to proceed. Here’s the thing; you are infinitely stronger than you know. You were given and have always possessed everything you need to be your highest self. It just takes the willingness to break old, negative habits and beliefs. With my students that come to me thinking they’re not talented, we begin by delving into why they stopped creating. Invariably, it’s an external source such as a parent, sibling, friend or especially a teacher that undermined their joy with a simple sentence they internalized years ago. When I ask them if they believe what this person told them, most do not when pressed. They just don’t know how to undo the damage and find their way back to joy in the act of creating. They are afraid that they will be embarrassed by what they produce in front of me, their teacher, or fellow students. Providing them with loving guidance in a safe environment to feel all their feels as I listen without judgment (and loads of empathy), is my way of allowing their fears to sit out in the open to be observed and given deep compassion. We then move forward in small, manageable steps learning basics, even if we need to do it for multiple lessons. We look for the parts that went well or were absolute breakthroughs to buoy


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “Remember that your life isn’t a social media, unrealistically filtered highlight reel, thank goodness.”

them as they continue onward. These simple steps can be applied to your everyday life. Find that safe person or therapist that can just be a soft place for you to fall. You can then begin to look for the easy things to believe about yourself, like knowing your heart/inner voice as your guidance system always leads you lovingly. That it has your best interests at heart. This proves to your deepest self that there are answers that can and will honor you. Trying that for a week can begin to build your resilience and your self-esteem. Notice when you follow that guidance and how well it served you that week. Keep a journal of those little gems as proof that you are capable of turning that ship around towards the sun again. Because you are! As students begin to master the basics through persistence and self-loving inner dialogue, it allows them to begin opening their hearts and minds to infinite possibilities that their 7-year-old self always knew were possible. It starts to feel easier and even joyful, just through the simple act of jubilant connection to self. Their pencil lines and brushstrokes slowly become more confident and purposeful. There is a real sense of thoughtfulness to each application 244


because they’re now invested in a beautiful outcome. Sometimes that means a failed piece. Those students that have put in the work know that their failures, although painful, have brought more information than any successful piece ever could have. It’s like a scraped knee that they quickly get up and brush off from, never forgetting where that crack in

the sidewalk was and a better place for their future footing the next time they journey down that road. They can more easily navigate those obstructions. It allows for grace, so as not to inflict more pain. It’s a brilliant misstep. Gabby Bernstein’s quote, “Obstacles are detours in the right direction.” is one of my favorites for

that exact reason. Life is helping you move in a better, more loving way. Remember that your life isn’t a social media, unrealistically filtered highlight reel, thank goodness. It’s at times, bumpy and messy and disorienting. And that’s okay! Honoring our deepest selves through shifting erroneous, unkind beliefs opens us up to boundless possibilities. We can venture down paths less taken and not be quite so quickly shaken by what lies ahead. Owning a true knowing that we are beautifully enough and capable of shifting into that light that resides within all of us empowers all of us. The world needs your light and wants to watch you shine it, inspiring all of us to do the same. Becoming beacons so that others may dig deeply into all their worthiness is a noble, divine effort that reaps countless rewards; most of all joy and contentment in your own life. You are worthy of that, my friend and merit the breaking of old habits and untruths. It is a level of higher self-consciousness that will give you an unshakeable foundation to build your new life upon with the grace of self-forgiveness that honors the offering of your uniquely beautiful gifts.







Stress. We all have it. We’ve all talked about it and I’m sure you have read plenty about it. And yet, it’s not a subject we are comfortable dealing with, is it? In light of what has happened to us, is happening to us or is about to happen, maybe we should? You might have automatically assumed you know what I am talking about. Don’t. That is the first thing we need to throw to the side. We should not assume what each other is going through. It is different, just as we are different, for each of us. Let’s start with the basics. Our jobs. For some, staying home with the children is a dream come true! For others, a nightmare. It’s no different from a 9 to 5 job. You may have picked a career you love. Good for you! And yet, your co-worker may have a sense of dread every day, going to the same job.

or vacation. Parents enjoying children’s or grandchildren’s events. Neighbors holding parties. Co-workers getting promotions. Best friends enjoying time together. You could be the happiest go lucky person out there, but in one way or another, at one point in time, you will have to deal with stress. It’s inevitable. How we deal with stress is essential to how we deal with life. I’m no doctor. I have no quick cures for stress. Then why am I writing about it? Being aware of your stress may make you aware of the stress others are going through. As I said, we all deal with stress differently. Your friends or family may be dealing with stress you are not even aware of. Whether it be over money, career choices, or illness, who knows? They do.

Stress applies to a relationship, too. There are relationships out there every one envies and yet I guarantee you, there is still stress about something, somewhere, along the line!

I’m not saying we need to delve into other’s personal life to know about the stress they are going through. Maybe they are a private person who doesn’t want anyone to know about their stress. And that is fine. That may be a way they deal with it.

And again, try not to assume I am only talking about a couple’s relationship. Relationships also envelopes a relationship with your parents. Your children, perhaps grandchildren. Neighbors and co-workers. Even your best friend.

There is nothing wrong with that. But how can you help if they are not asking for it? Or, it’s possible, you are so wrapped up in your own stress, there is no way for you to help. When in fact, you are the one that needs help!

All relationships can be envied, especially if they look like there is no stress in those relationships. A couple enjoying a date

A vicious cycle, to say the least. Are there really any answers? I find one that comes quickly to mind. Kindness. When I am

dealing with stress, I try to think about something that took my stress away. Even if it was for a brief second. Every time I tried to pinpoint it, I started to realize it was through an act of kindness. And not just from concerned family or friends. Co-workers or neighbors. Which don’t get me wrong, they help immensely! Simple kind jesters from complete strangers also helped release my stress briefly. Did it solve my problems? Of course not. But maybe, just maybe, that act of kindness gave me enough of a push - to continue to deal with my stress instead of giving up! My point is, while even during my most stressful time, maybe some random kind act I did for another, may have helped them too? I really hope so. Is kindness too simple of a concept? You would think, but I’m not so sure. I’ve seen situations where others simply have no kindness for their fellow man. Too wrapped up in their problems, they become bitter or even resentful of others. Granted, maybe they are in a career that stresses them out. Maybe they have children or grandchildren that are at home they are worried about. Money or relationships are not going to plan. Does those very real, painful, often intense situations let you off the hook for not being kind to another who may be dealing with the same or perhaps worse? Does a simple act of kindness cost you anything? Absolutely not. In fact, often CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


TIDBITS } {{ TAMMY’S SHIFT+CONTROL “Awareness becomes kindness. It really is that simple.”

times when we do an act of kindness in return, it makes us feel good! Not too many things in life are free. But listening to someone or noticing someone may benefit from our help, still is! If someone is kind enough to ask you how you are, should you not do the same in return? And actually, listen to what they have to say? Of course, we are focused on our own problems. But remember, so are they. Whatever their problems are, even though they may be different from yours, are still their problems. Do not minimize them by trying to compete with who 248


has the most stress to deal with. That does neither one of you any good. Stress is not something we want to compete for, it’s something we want to relieve! Even if for a brief moment. Stress can be physical as well as emotional. And this is where acts of kindness kicks in. Don’t assume others may be stronger or healthier than you. Appearances can be deceiving. Try to keep in mind, two helping is always better than one. Open that door for someone, whether you are a man or woman. Help someone load something

in the car. Take a cart inside someone just finished using. Saving them time, putting it away while giving you a cart you may need on the way in. Simple jesters of kindness can go a long way. Even a simple smile, which may seem impossible on those harder stressful days, can help others as well as yourself. We craved those smiles for so long, now that we can see them - show them! Kindness may not be the cure all, but it certainly helps. How? By letting others know, no matter who they are, they matter. They are not alone.






They say time heals all wounds, yet I’m not so sure I believe that. I think a better statement is that time moves you further away from the place where your heart broke. Time doesn’t seem to want to heal the hole And the empty place that’s left. Itisn’t healing, as much as it is coping. Within one month, I lost two of the most influential people in my life. If you have read my articles in the past, you know I’ve told about both my mom as well as the only father figure I had. And now, within one month, I had to say good bye to them both. We all know that as humans we are not immortal, and have a clear conscience that our parents will die, yet it doesn’t mean when it happens it isn’t going to knock the wind out of you. Because it does all this And then some. Especially when it’s very unexpected, like the loss of my mom. My mom lived alone, in an apartment in Chili. I always made comments as to her being the crazy cat lady, as it never failed that somehow she was always “taking in a stray.” If someone moved out, and left their cat behind, it would most definitely find its way to Shirley’s house. This was also true about people as my mother had the innate ability to attract and make friends with the kindred lost souls. She chalked it up to being part gypsy, and I never doubted 250


this. My mom was always a text or a call away, and was never shy of doling out her expert advice to me. It wasn’t always this way, as a teenager I took out the majority of my ill emotions on mom, but she explained to me when I grew up, that it was ok. She said to me that we take out the worst on the ones we love. I never stopped apologizing to her for the years in my youth that I blamed her for not being the mother

she was supposed to be, in my eyes. Lucky for me, I matured and saw my mother for who she truly was, she was all that a mom should be, And more. Charismatic, caring, strong and there whenever I sought her out. She knew how to raise kids, who aren’t assholes, which I wish she could have taught this class to others. I wasn’t ready to let her go. She didn’t let me prepare. Not like anything prepares you. My mom’s death happened unexpectedly, and very quickly that I’m still wrapping my head around her loss. I am fortunate to have

been able to spend the last hours with her, telling her how much I love her. When I finally told het it was ok, I would take care of everything, as I held her hand, she left. I was left to clean out her apartment of 20 years, bring her cat home and mourn her loss. At the same time my father was living with the recent diagnosis with cancer, and already at stage four. As I’ve written about before, he has always And will forever be the strongest man I know, so maybe somewhere in the back of my mind, I felt that cancer really had no chanceagainst him. I held that in the background, but in all honesty I knew what the truth was. Even knowing, there is no preparation for that call, or those words. “Get over to the house,” knowing exactly what it meant. It was just two weeks and five days since I lost my mom, that I got that call. I was still in shock. My dad still lived in his home where he let me live as a child. I was lucky enough to be included and remain in the family, even after he was married and had two more children. I was given the chance to be an older sister, and share the man who taught me so much, with my own children. He was the grandfather they would have never had. If not for him, I would never be able to show kids where I grew up. Never had younger siblings, never became “aunt Karma” or inherited a





“They say time heals all wounds, yet I’m not so sure I believe that.”

a “second” mom. I wouldn’t have learned how much I love the country, or how to work as hard and find pride in my work, if I hadn’t followed him around as a child. I told him how important he was to me and in my life. That he had given me the one and only thing I had needed as a childa dad. And even though he and my mom had split up years ago, he never stopped treating me like his own. I was there to say goodbye to him as well. But before that, I was able to thank him, to joke with him, to ask his opinion and seek his approval. To let him know I loved him. He hugged me after my mom died, and I said, I’m not going to cry. We had coffee Ans I told him about my new endeavor with a new opportunity, and he listened like he always does about all my ideas and changes that I brainstorm about. I expressed I felt I was failing as I was closingthe eatery and selling the food truck. And I felt a little bit like a failure, and how my mother would have said that opportunities don’t just fall in your lap, there’s a reason. His response was that I’m not a failure, I never was. He believed in me, every crazy idea I talked about, I realized he believed I could do it. That was the last topic we 252


talked about, that and the purchase of a newwashing machine. One where I told him I took his advice on. The next day, he found his peace and his pain is no more.

Time won’t heal this hole in my heart that I have for the two people who taught me how to be strong when you want to give up. How to stay true to your word, as your word is your signature. How to be humble, how to be compassionate. The two people that have a plethora of different skills and

life lessons that shaped me into a person that others believe in. I want to call my mom, and tell her all about the new things she is missing. I want to stop and see my dad come out of his garage and show me the newest project he is working on. I don’t want time to make them just a memory. So for me, I will not let time take you away. I will have conversations with you and seek your advice And approval. I will tell stories of days gone by to keep you alive. I will never let you down, as I know the pride you both showed in me, even with my craziest of ideas. I will use the best of each attributes o took from you both, to recreate my life where you exist Jist out of reach. And I will mourn the loss of you in my life, but not stop living. I will remind myself that you both would say “celebrate my life” and not to be sad. Time will not heal all of this, time will only make me miss you more. In remembrance of : My mom Shirley A Clifford And my dad Kerry J Almekinder









In mostly no order, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite self-care tips. Many come from Yogic, Ayurvedic or Buddhist traditions. Some come from psychology and neuroscience. Many more come from trying to juggle an overscheduled life. Try on a few, see which ones work for you and stick to them. While I know many of us are overscheduled, you may need to schedule these for a few minutes per day at first before they become a habit. Of course check with your doctor before making any exercise or dietary changes. 1. Practice Saying No. 2. Start the morning with hot lemon water. 3. Have some go to comfortable clothes in natural fibers. 4.Take deliberate time to put your phone down each day. Too much too soon? Try airplane mode. 5.Stop multitasking. Even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. Give attention to one task at a time, it’s just easier. 6.Really, Say No to what you don’t want to do. 7. Move your body every day. Five minutes a day is great. 8. Practice moving gently every once in a while. 9. Taste your food. Slowly. Smell it. Savor it. Experience it. 10.Don’t guilt yourself for eating something you liked. 11.Don’t guilt yourself for saying the wrong thing. 12 Pay attention when you’re hugging someone you love. 13. Find time each day for something that brings joy. 14. Set embodied intentions.

15. Stretch. 16. Make seasonal changes to your routine. 17. Go to bed with the sun. 18.Wake up with the sun. 19.Just rip the covers off in the morning, ditch snooze. 20.Find what brings you comfort when you need it. 21.Tongue scrape in the mornings to get rid of any leftover ama (gunk). 22. “We can only love others as much as we love ourselves” Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection 23..Spend time barefoot. Bonus points for outside. 24. Moisturize or oil your skin, especially in fall and winter. 25. Notice where you feel your emotions in your body. 26. Be kind to your knees. Massage, lotion, love. 27. Schedule some time each week to do NOTHING. 28. Self-massage. Consider oiling before the shower. 29. Find an accountability buddy. 30. Let your eyes rest. 31. Practice candle gazing. 32. Apologize to yourself when you catch your inner critic speaking up. 33. Create a gratitude journal that you write in each night. Everything that went right for you that day- a call from a friend, a favorite meal. 34. Don’t stuff down emotions for too long. 35.Eat an orange or drink a cup of coffee with all five senses. 36. Listen to your body, not external validation. 37. Stop shoulding on yourself. 38. Realize there is no supposed to.

39. Massage your feet, or have someone else do it. 40. Physical Therapy isn’t only for the injured. 41. Notice when you’re getting burnt out before you get there. 42. Schedule time for the people that help fill your cup. 43. Don’t overextend yourself socially. 44. One screen only on at a time please. 45. Notice the impact of noise on your ears. 46. Go outside and listen to nature. Even when it’s quiet, there is lots to hear. 47. Find ways to get out of your head and into your body. 48. Doodle to music. 49. Learn to be OKAY with quiet. 50. Bedrooms are for sleeping and sex only. 51. Hug a tree. Talk to it. 52. Take time to rest that isn’t just sleeping. Just rest. No screens. Schedule it. 53. Practice being outside in all four seasons. 54. Focus your attention when you feel wishy washy. 55. When you’re doubting yourself, just keep to the path. 56. Try to meditate in the morning, 60 seconds of paying attention to your inhale and exhale, add 30 seconds each day. 57. Go for a walk. 58. Find a mix of effort and ease in your activities and routines. 59. Notice when your posture is slouchy. 60. Tell someone what you’re feeling. 61. Stop grasping for a quick fix. 62. Your thoughts might feel like a runaway train, but remember you are the conductor. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ LIFE IN BALANCE } “While I know many of us are overscheduled, you may need to schedule these for a few minutes per day at first before they become a habit.”

63. Try something more than once before you decide you hate it. 64. Get more sleep. What do you have to put into place to get more sleep? 65. Pay attention to your body. Don’t judge it, listen to it. 66. Prioritize presence over productivity. One will assist the other. 67. Tongue scrape. 68. Find something you like about each season. 69. Stay hydrated. 70. Journal. 71. When the mind gets busy, notice what feels quiet or busy in the body.

72.Try Nassya Oil for your nasal passages. 73. Less human doing, more human being. 74. Whatever stupid thing you said, let it go. Move forward not backward. 75. “If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” - Lao Tzu 76. Make your life easier when you need to. 77. Cook for yourself at least occasionally, it’s grounding, and maybe creative 78. Find what grounds you for when you need it.

79. Be present to who is in front of you if it’s someone you care for. It will fill you up. 80. You can’t change everything, so change your relationship to it when you need to. It’s less exhausting. 81. Stoke your internal fire before you start fanning the flames to others. 82. When you’re stressed, take longer exhales than inhales (ex. Count to 3 on an inhale and 5 on an exhale). 83. What do you want to add? To work one-on-one on with Kaitlyn Vittozzi, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist visit



Reducing your Toxic Load, and doTerra Essential Oils I love this time of year when winter begins to yield to spring. The first day that the temperature rises enough to turn off the heat and open the door is a joy – the air sweeping through the house brings a feeling of clean and freshness. I like to do some deep cleaning in the spring, you know, do those things that you only do a few times a year. Clean all of the windows, clean out closets, clear away the clutter. Cleaning can be good for our health. But did you know that using the wrong cleaning products can be bad for our health? According to environmental experts, the average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals. Some of the health implications of using toxic cleaning products include skin burns, irritations, or allergies; dermatitis; eye damage; and asthma and breathing problems. The most harmful household cleaning products include: • Air fresheners • Fabric softeners and dryer sheets • Products with artificial fragrances • Antibacterial products • Drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and

toilet bowl cleaners • Bleach and ammonia • Soap products (shampoo, bubble bath, laundry detergent) Cleaning up your cleaning routine is a wonderful place to start if you are trying to reduce your toxic load. One way to do this is to buy “cleaner” products; that is, products containing

Group’s (EWG) app to determine the safety of the products you purchase. EWG uses a scale of A to F to rate cleaning products. Ratings of A or B indicate that the company provides complete and specific information on the substances in the product and that the product doesn’t contain ingredients deemed unacceptable by EWG. Even products labeled “e c o - f r i e n d l y” o r “organic” can still include harmful things. Remember, marketing claims are on the front of the package and ingredients are on the back. And personally, I never buy a product that states check the website for complete list of ingredients. I figure if they won’t put everything on the package, they are trying to hide something and why should I have to go looking for the complete list?

fewer chemicals and toxicants. Read the labels – avoid Parabens, formaldehyde, PEGs, dyes, Triclosan, synthetic fragrances, silicones, petroleum-derived substances, and propylene glycol. Use the Environmental Working

Last September doTerra launched its abode cleaning line, natural home care and cleaning products that are simple and effective. The line includes a multi-purpose surface cleaner, liquid dish soap, dishwasher pods, laundry pods, and a hand wash and lotion, as well as an essential oil that you can diffuse to leave your home smelling fresh and clean. And it’s sustainable.

{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “Cleaning up your cleaning routine is a wonderful place to start if you are trying to reduce your toxic load.”

The new line uses no plastic. It features beautiful glass bottles that you purchase once and refill from refilling pouches.

disease.” Reducing your toxic load by taking control of what you put into and onto your body and your environment is a big step towards

Another way is to make your own cleaning products using doTerra essential oils and other natural ingredients. You can use things you already have in your kitchen, such as baking soda, vinegar, unscented soap, lemon, olive oil and hydrogen peroxide. I love to make a furniture polish using olive oil and lemon essential oil. Also, a multipurpose spray cleaner using distilled water, vinegar, and essential oils. I tend to use the citrus oils, but fir oils are also good. Essential oils high in limonene, terpinene, and pinene will be useful in cleaning. Buddha said, “every human being is the author of his own health or 260


Peace, bliss, and balance… At Blissfull Balance LLC our mission is to help you to live life healthier. Follow us on Facebook @ blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram @ blissfull_balance. *The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

authoring your own health. As a certified health coach and a doTerra Wellness Advocate I can help you to make lifestyle changes for better health. Reach out if you would like to chat.







Undoubtedly, stress is a part of our everyday lives. There are so very many daily demands that compete for our attention. We typically juggle many different types of responsibilities, both at work and at home. On a regular basis, there are bills to pay, laundry to wash, groceries to buy, and gas tanks to fill. At work, we face important deadlines for projects, phone calls to return, and decisions to make. We may face the unique challenges of finding ourselves as members of the sandwich generation: we find ourselves torn between caring for our own children, as well as addressing the demands of aging parents. How we choose to cope with this diverse range of stressors makes a critical difference for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Excessive stress levels are downright dangerous if they are sustained for prolonged periods of time. Our minds and bodies are wellequipped to deal with acute stressors that occur. They are much less prepared to deal with the negative consequences of high levels of ongoing stress. Sustained stress levels cause our bodies to oversecrete cortisol, a hormone that allows our body to respond effectively to an immediate stressor. In turn, excessive cortisol levels are associated with a diminished immune system response. Whereas we may have minimal control over external stressors, we do retain control of how we choose to respond to such stressors. Placing our specific stressors into perspective makes a huge difference. Very often, the things that we find ourselves feeling very stressed out about won’t necessarily matter in

the long run. As one popular book states, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Women frequently have the tendency to place their own well-being at the bottom of their extensive to-do lists. We typically serve as the primary caregivers for our children, whether we are also employed outside the home. Attempting to competently manage such diverse roles is very demanding. After all, we all possess finite resources. None of us has an unlimited amount of physical energy, time, or financial resources. Very often, women neglect adequate self-care when juggling their home and work responsibilities. However, you can’t pour from an empty vessel. It’s essential to take the best possible care of ourselves, so that we’re able to competently fulfill the multiple roles that we face as women. Women sometimes struggle with feeling guilty for taking adequate care of themselves. They may erroneously conclude that doing so is selfish. Practicing good self-care is essential, as opposed to optional. If we have children, engaging in good self-care is also a very important form of role modeling, both for our daughters and sons. An essential component of adequate self-care is stress management. To prevent the development of more serious consequences, each of us needs to learn how to better manage our overall stress level. How we specifically manage our stress levels is different for each woman. What works for your friend, neighbor, or co-worker may not necessarily be

effective for you. Some women relax by choosing to exercise, engaging in meditation, or practicing guided imagery. There are several different strategies for achieving more effective stress management. One of the most important rests upon being fully honest with ourselves about just how much we can achieve in any given day. When we take on more than we can comfortable manage, our stress levels invariably rise. It’s not possible to simultaneously be the perfect partner, mother, caregiver, employee, neighbor, volunteer, and friend. Another effective method for improved stress management involves learning to feel comfortable with asking for help, whenever necessary. Our society remains heavily oriented towards the importance of individualism, as opposed to connectivity with others. Consequently, many of us struggle with asking someone else for help with completion of a task. We may view doing so as a reflection of some degree of inadequacy on our parts. However, we are all interdependent upon one another to some degree. Enlisting others’ help may serve to powerfully lessen our overall stress level. Those women with perfectionistic tendencies are particularly susceptible to experiencing the negative consequences of high stress levels. This is true whether they find themselves facing demands at home, or at work. Perfectionism depletes our finite resources, since attempting to complete a task perfectly exhausts both our minds and our bodies; in turn, this creates an even high stress CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL/MAY EDITION 2022


{ {MENTALLY THINKING} } SHIFT+CONTROL “An essential component of adequate self-care is stress management.”

levels. This is true whether they find themselves facing demands at home, or at work. Perfectionism depletes our finite resources, since attempting to complete a task perfectly exhausts both our minds and our bodies; in turn, this creates an even high stress level. Consequently, women with such tendencies find themselves in a 264


downward spiral. A final method of effective stress management concerns our ability to say no to excessive external demands. We may fear disappointing others by turning down their request for assistance. Nevertheless, effective stress management demands that we fully appreciate the

delicate balance between our demands, and our capabilities of meeting those demands. After all, just how effective can we possibly be if we find ourselves over-extended?




Help Us Find Forever Families for Children Waiting the Longest in Foster Care. At Children Awaiting Parents we provide: Pre- and post-adoption services Support services for youth aging out of foster care MAPP training for prospective adoptive parents Support groups I 585-232-5110 or 888-835-8802

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