CNY Woman Online's May/June 2021 Edition

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SHE HUSTLES TALKS

WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

Featuring: - UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN WITH DR. PAM DENTON - ALWAYS CHASING BETTER - INSPIRING WOMAN: ANDREA HOLLAND - CENTERS @ CAMILLUS

PLUS Enjoy:

FASHION FORWARD WITH G.H.S.L. WEAR SHE TALKS LAW LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: 315 MASTERMINDS PINE HILLS FARM & GOLF COURSE

CNY’s Powder Puff Girls

ALEXANDRA AXENFELD & LAURA MARINO




Syracuse Region

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une edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }

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REGULARS

REGULARS 276 254

COACHING WITH KRISTIN B

ALL ACCESS

316

UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC

94

UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN

324

88

FOR A GOOD CAUSE HeyYou3

258

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

246

CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS

380

SEEING THE SIGNS

116

ASK DANIEL BALDWIN

360

HER EDGE

50

WOMAN ON THE RISE Latesha Page Dr Dee Kimbrel

334

YOU MATTER

304

TRACY IS TALKING

121

52

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WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Andrea Holland Annette Campbell

TAMMY’S TIDBITS

ANIMAL CARE SACTUARY CORNER

SPECIAL FEATURES

SHE HUSTLES TALKS Queen’s Kloset Jennifer Aronson Branches of Growth Perfectly Pitched TeePee’s and Tents Grey Bird Bakery Skytop Coffee Walking Miss Daisy Floridella Boutique Samantha LaPointe Aja Pearl Sarah Paddock Art Bodied By Babydoll Country Diva Cupcakes AURINIA PHARMACEUTICALS

344

COLLABORATIVE LAW

264

FINANCIALLY SPEAKING

364

CNY READS & WRITES

304

AFTERNOON COCKTAIL

320

TRUTH TEA WITH TALENA SKYE

276

B. MOR

110

84

SAVON SPEAKS

FASHION & BEAUTY

296

TRAVEL WITH AGNESS

40

FASHION FORWARD G.H.S.L. WEAR

225

BUSINESS TALK

308

BEAUTY TALK

270

THE LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA

288

YOU MATTER

328

SEXUALLY SPEAKING

106

ALWAYS CHASING BETTER

364

MENTALLY THINKING ASK THE DOCTOR

98

272

SHE TALKS LAW

302

WARRIOR WELLNESS

386

KARMA SPEAKS

372

BLISSFUL BALANCE

268 342

BUSINESS TALK

352

DR J’S BEAUTY

334

HIP HEMP

B. MOR

52 98

HEALTH & WELLNESS

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{ FROM THE PUBLISHER }

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of women that have her back.”

F

or the May/June 2021 edition of Central NY Woman Online, please welcome Central New York’s very own “Powder Puff Girls”, Laura Marino and Alexandra Axenfeld as the latest cover women who are inspiring, empowering and helping to build a strong community of women! Read all about them starting on page [16].

We hope you enjoy this fabulous edition and all of the amazing features, columns and men and women highlighted within the over 384 pages. PLUS, don’t miss checking out our ALL NEW She Hustles Talks women entrepreneurs insert showcasing not only Elizabeth Simmons, owner of Queen’s Kloset on the cover as well as over 12 other incredible lady bosses starting on page [121]. READ. ENJOY. SHARE.REPEAT. Until next time, don’t forget to stand behind your tribe and encourage and support others to grow!

T T

ON OUR COVER

On the cover of our May/June edition of Central NY Woman Online was photographed on location with Laura Marino and Alexandra Axenfeld, CNY’s “Powder Puff Girls” by Laura Marino Photography.

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Kelly




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{ A LOOK AT OUR TEAM }

PUBLISHER TALENT & PROMOTIONS CREATIVE DIRECTOR/GRAPHIC DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHY

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Kelly Breuer LS Jones Kelly Breuer Laura Marino Brody Wheeler KL Storyography Rob Daniels

Dr. Shanelle Benson Reid Daniel Baldwin Dr. Pam Denton Angela Duncan Tammy Vreeland Tracy Simone Randy Agness Bonnie Floyd Savon Holt Rumella Cameron Ahlia Kitwana Ellen Feldman Judi Swanson Dr Pebble Kranz Alexis Tearney Gabriella Rose Fiederlein Christine Grandin Kristie Stumpf Rork Dr.Andrew Strauss Amanda Ashley Laura Marino Alexandra Axenfeld Kelly Breuer

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Kristin Bauer Gross Elizabeth Simmons Jennifer Aronson Demetrius Williams Andrea Holland Annette Campbell Michelle Horton Randy Agness Lindsay Mastrogiovanni

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 networkrocqueen@gmail.com. Download our current media kit at www. rochesterwomanonline.com. 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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YOU THE AREPPG’S ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY KELLY BREUER I PHOTOS BY LAURA MARINO

The PPGS. Started off quite literally as a joke. The creators, Laura Marino and Alexandra Axenfeld weren’t quite sure if the cartoon was “The Power Puff Girls”, or “The Powder Puff Girls”. When they realized it was indeed “Power”, they decided they would go with “powder. Now they are known in Central NY and beyond as the“PPGS”. Never in their wildest imagination did they think the name would stick the way that it has. In the latest edition of Central NY Woman Online magazine, we had a chance to talk with this dynamic duo about how they got started, where they are headed and so much more!

you through the combinations of hair, make-up, wardrobe design, lighting, posing assistance, theme changes, and photography with editing. I have recently added designing and constructing my own clothes to add to the drama of the photo and final image. I took these creations and ideas on the runway for “Syracuse Fashion Week” with“Team Laura”, and the reaction was riveting.

Laura: My name is Laura Marino and as a child I always had a big imagination for fashion and beauty. My mind sees things through “fairytale glasses”. I was honored to be interviewed by Central NY Woman Online magazine.

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I shoot modeling portfolios, fashion based work, pageant beauties and boudoir. Together, we create the perfect look for you! Beauty pageants throughout the state also look to me for unique characteristics of their winners including Miss Earth USA, Miss World of America Missouri, Miss Vermont Earth USA and Miss Multiverse to name a few! After 32 years in the industry my dream show came to life in 2019 called “The Magical World of Laura Marino.” Every bit of creativity came together to create this once in a lifetime runway exhibition! I love art and beauty but what really sets my soul on fire is bringing joy, happiness and confidence to my clientele with my creations.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background.

I loved the quote by Douglas Everett; “There are some people who live in a dream world, and some who face reality; and then there are those, who turn one into the other”. I love creative and high fashion looks. I did hair and make-up for over 30 years and later added photography and wardrobe design to my list of talents and services. I am so blessed to be able to create different looks and many different characters through my subjects. When you come to me, together we create the perfect look for

was also featured in “Syracuse Woman Magazine” in the Aug edition 2015 as well as CNY “The Good Life” this past year. I was honored to be able to elaborate on my passion for what I do.

Most recently I took my designs to the big apple for New York Fashion Week and so my adventures continue. I also have a 6 page spread in an amazing national magazine, “Dark Beauty”, Issue 23 called Wildlings. Other credit’s include, “Beaux Couture Magazine”, and “Surreal Magazine”, Issue 330. I

Alexandra: My Name is Alexandra Axenfeld. I am 31 years old who grew up in the small town of Cazenovia NY. I am wife to the man of my dreams and best friend, Ryan. We have been married now for five years, but have been together for 13. Together we are building a life we love. I am a new mom to the most precious and beautiful baby boy in the world, 11 month old Caiden. Family is everything to me, my parents and younger brother have always been my biggest support system.


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COVER STORY }} { {SHIFT+CONTROL “As a child, I always had a big imagination for fashion and beauty. My mind sees things through “fairytale glasses.”

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I met Laura back in 2016, when she quite literally told me I needed to quite my job and become a makeup artist. Little did she know that had been my dream almost my entire life. It tok me four rounds of college and a career I was stuck in as a restaurant manager to finally follow my dreams. Boy am I glad I listened to her and Alexandra Axenfeld Beauty was born.

producing runway shows. I am honored to have my work on multiple covers and publications of books and magazines as well as working with hundreds of brides and prom beauties throughout my career so far. The list goes on. I am so humbled and thankful for my family, friends and clients throughout the years who have supported me. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.

It has been one heck of a ride so far doing makeup for multiple pageant title holders, being the lead MUA for high tech modas New York Fashion week, as well as being the lead MUA for “The Magical World of Laura Marino”, and co-

How did you and Laura meet?

CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

Alexandra: Laura and I met originally when my husband and I came to look at her rental property. Funny how everything happens for a reason!

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide your clients? When it comes to the quality in our services, we treat everyone as if they were our family and they quite literally do become family once we are done with them. We take pride in being “one stop shopping” where we provide hair, makeup, photography, wardrobe rental and design, as well as model coaching and assistance. Why did you choose this profession ? I think we both can agree that this


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“I met Laura back in 2016, when she quite literally told me I needed to quite my job and become a makeup artist. Little did she know that had been my dream almost my entire life.”

profession chose us. In this field your talents kind of come “natural” if you will. The nice thing is we love and embrace our raw talent. As a female business owner, what are your top three priorities? As female business owners it is so important to us to uplift and empower other woman in business and support them.

What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? First our “Why’ is because we truly love what we do and as artists you must be passionate about your career. We both always say this is out of passion first and a paycheck second. Of course we both take pride in our businesses and do this to support ourselves and our families. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business?

Currently the best advertisement for our businesses is coming from our social media platforms. What are your plans for your business for the future? Right now, we are both are extremely happy with where are businesses are. Giving us the perfect balance between work and family life however you never know what we may be up to and what adventures we will be onto next! CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “I think we both can agree our first why is our children and our families, and second is the love we have for our industry.”

Who has been your favorite client to work with and why? We can’t answer this question. We have no favorite. We absolutely love each and every client that walks through our doors. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why?

many people know about is we just started starring on a reality television show “The PPGS” VIPPagentry. Check it out! What is your ‘why? ‘ Why do you do what you do? I think we both can agree our first “why” is our children and our families

I would never start my career over. Is it perfect? no was it smooth? No. however we both love where we are at this very moment so if we changed it we wouldn’t be here.

What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? One thing we have done that not

What gets you truly excited? What gets us truly excited is simply just doing what we do. Being creative, fueling our passion and starting new projects. What do you love most about yourself? What we love most about ourselves? The genuine human beings we are. We love with our entire hearts and would give anyone anything we can. Where will we see you next? We aren’t sure where we will be in a year but it’ll be amazing we can tell you that!!

What are the next plans for the PPG’s? Not sure what the next plan is for the PPGS. Recently we have been super into working with the pageantry world and we absolutely love it. What we can tell you is that whatever is up next is going to be exciting!

be creative and no dream is too big.

and second is the love we have for our industry. What advice would you give to the next generation of makeup artists? The best ADVICE we can give to future generations is follow your passion, work hard, never give up, CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Laura and I met originally when my husband and I came to look at her rental property. Funny how everything happens for a reason!.”

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{ {{FASHION FORWARD SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS}}} } { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL

G.H.S.L. WEAR PHOTOS BY NATURAL EYE PHOTOGRAPHY LLC

Tell us about yourself, your background and what is GHSLwear? My name is Demetrius Williams, and I am the founder/senior designer at G.H.S.L. Wear. We incorporated in 2009 as a music group, then years later we evolved into a Luxury Fashion Brand. We created G.H.S.L. Wear for the individuals that work hard to achieve their goals in life.. So on your journey, we would love to be your stylist. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you are from, if you have goals, and ambition to become successful, we are here to supply you with style.

my whole mission is to make you feel good about yourself, helping you to create positive energy wherever you are. Who and which things are the inspiration behind creating your looks? The culture of Hip-Hop is my biggest inspiration behind my looks. HipHop is a way of life, and fashion has

What does GHSL stand for and what is the mission behind your fashions? G.H.S.L. stands for Grind Hard Sleep Less. Our mission is to supply fashionable garments that have their own unique style. Why did you choose fashion designing as a career? This career kind of picked me. I was always fascinated with fashion since i was a little boy and that interest came when I found hip hop. Seeing my favorite MC’s in magazines wearing the latest hiphop fashion(Dapper Dan)exclusives, I wanted to look like them, but Icouldn’t afford those exclusive designs and styules then. For me as a designer, 40

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and your team? Fashion is a definitely a way of life. You can’t walk around naked in public. It’s part of the laws of the old testament. You need food, water, clothing and shelter. You need those 4 things to be a functioning human being. So, it means a lot. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful fashion designer? I think you need passion, and determination. Pa s s i o n w i l l h e l p you be creative and determination will get you to the bag...lol. What are your greatest strengths, as well as tell us about your weaknesses? My greatest gift is the ability to pay attention to details. My weakness is allowing myself to be my own worst enemy. I am trying to overcome that.

always been a big part of that life. My biggest style influencer would have to be the Great Dapper Dan(fashion designer). Dapper Dan is important to the culture of hip hop, because he was the only black designer that was doing luxury streetwear fashion. So, by watching him, it influenced me to become a designer. What does fashion mean to you

How would you define your personal style? I have crazy styles..lol. I am influenced by a lot of things, it depends on how I am feeling that day. It could be preppy, street, corporate, it just depends. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a designer?


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SHIFT+CONTROL { {FASHION FORWARD} } “G.H.S.L. stands for Grind Hard Sleep Less.. Our mission is to supply fashionable garments that hasve style .”

When I was in the music industryI was a manager to a few artists and sometimes I had to be their stylist too. What was your first job? I worked at an grocery store as a cashier.

helped or hindered you? What doesn’t kill you make you stronger. We actually have grown business wisely. Our visibility has grown as well. We have placements in British Vogue magazine in October, November, December 2020.

Who are some of the people that inspire you and why? I was inspired by a few people. In the fashion industry, it’s Dapper Dan, and Ralph Lauren, as Ikind of stated previously. The reason they inspired me was because they didn’t let their disposition control their future. My mom inspired me to be the best me I can be. Life inspires me to live because it’s short.

A few companies have gone out of business. For me, I’ve been accustomed to the arts of improvising. Has working during a pandemic 46

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What would you call your “style”? Luxury streetwear. Street meaning respect and class in having taste in whatever. If you could only have 1 piece out of your collection what one would it be and why? It would be the purses. Women run the market, so this would be our strongest piece. Women always have to have their purses making a statement. How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes? It depends on which item they bought. I hope it makes them feel like whichever positive attribute they feel about themselves we enhance it!

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be? Stay focused and believe in yourself. There are going to be some tough days ahead, just push through and never give up. How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out ? Covid-19 has changed the playing field a little bit. Manufacturing turnaround times are slower and shipping rates have increased.

offer. So why not take advantage of the opportunity? My favorite is Instagram.

What role do you think social media plays in fashion today and what is your favorite platform? Social Media plays a major role in everything we do. Since everyone has a cellphone in their possession at all times, they are one click away from seeing whatever you have to

What do you have planned for the next year? What about five years from now? We expect our sales to increase with our release of the “Jayvieann” collection. With that increase, we can recycle that and put the surplus back into the company for more product development and advertising. By doing those things, it would allow the company to grow and do bigger and brighter things. The expansion would consist of new collections and partnering up with other big brands.. Check us out online at https://www. ghslwear.com/




“Stay focused and believe in yourself. There are going to be some tough days ahead, just push through and never give up.” GHSL




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ANDREA YOU ARE HOLLAND ENOUGH. BY NICOLEPHOTOS HEROUXOF WILLIAMS PHOTOS NSP STUDIO ANDREAI BY BRODYBY WHEELER

Dare to find your voice. It’s been a lifelong calling for Andrea Holland, and - as head of her own company and an executive communications coach to clients across the globe - it’s the bold call to action she issues to everyone. With 20 years of experience in professional storytelling and communications, Andrea has made a career-long study of what motivates others: how words, body language, stories and mindset affect ourselves & others, relationships, outcomes and more. She’s put what she’s learned to the test for herself and now coaches and trains others on the same techniques so they can get the results they need.

there was some heartache along the way. But, it was all worth it and if I accomplish nothing else in this life, I know I’ve already done my very best by becoming a mother. My business, however, began totally by accident. In 2012, I found myself jobless and eating my feelings in bed

We sat down with Andrea for a Q&A session and she shared a bit more about her personal and professional journey into the great big wilderness of finding her own voice. Andrea, you’re a business owner of almost 10 years, and also a single mom by choice of a two-year old. That’s not necessarily an easy path. How did you carve that journey for yourself? Well, I’d say 90% of that was by design. I always knew I wanted to be a mom. After reaching my mid-30s and staying happily single, I eagerly set to the task of planning a family on my own. And - yes - it took a lot of planning and patience and 52

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after a massive company layoff. Days before this sad state of affairs, I had been working at my then dream job as an international video producer for an e-learning company. My role was to travel the globe in search of fascinating business leaders at major brands who’d be willing to share their

most personal leadership experiences on camera. One day I was talking to leaders American Airlines, Ford Canada and the U.S. Olympics... weeks later, I was jobless, scrolling through social media under my tooexpensive duvet and crying about what to do next for a job while I ate tubs of ice cream. Then, a friend posted on social media that she was scheduled to do a radio interview the next morning for work and she was terrified. She hoped someone would either do it for her or show her how. I had nothing to do, so I offered to meet her for coffee and simply share what I knew. For free. I just wanted to help. Well, her company president showed up for coffee with her and when he asked me what it was that I did and if I was interested in helping his whole team out as a coach, Andrea Holland Communications was born. Much has changed since those days, but I’ve been incredibly intentional about my growth process. You’re a Rochester native. What aspects of growing up here supported you in making such bold moves? Oh definitely a cultured family and a loving community that supported strong women! I come from a long


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“With 20 years of experience in professional storytelling and communications, Andrea has made a career-long study of what motivates others: how words, body language, stories and mindset affect ourselves & others, relationships, outcomes and more.”

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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “But, it was all worth it and if I accomplish nothing else in this life, I know I’ve already done my very best by becoming a mother.”

line of bold females. My grandmothers were both incredibly brave women who moved from here from very different places: Puerto Rico and Mississippi. One grandmother never drove or spoke English. My other grandmother came from a deeply racist south. Both of them came here with virtually nothing but deeply rooted faith, conviction and determination to make it. My mother, Lucy, instilled in my sister, Norma, and I the value of hard work, staying honest and paying close attention to details. Our dad, John, taught us about empathy, perspective and humor. His job wasn’t an easy one - surrounded by a houseful of women and only a male chihuahua named Cisco as his companion! All of this has profoundly shaped the woman and mother I am today. As a coach now, what are your priorities for both your business and also for your clients? Growth, which isn’t always a linear path. Growth happens outside of our comfort zone - and navigating that pathway isn’t always easy. I strive to get uncomfortable for greater gains. Even doing this article was a stretch for

me. Honestly - these have been some tough years: working hard through a solo pregnancy (bolstered, though - thank God - by the most loving family and friends in the world!), a

pandemic shortly after having my daughter, and then some devastating losses in our family this year. The stress has been tremendous and I literally feel it. I see it, too, when I look in the mirror. My COVID pants are snug! Still, when I was asked to be

photographed for this issue, I took a leap and went for it. Now, let me be honest: when I first saw the photos from my amazing shoot with the photographer, I was a little surprised. At first, I didn’t think I looked like me. Then, a friend asked me: “What do you see when you look at these photos?” I replied: “I see the me that I’ve earned the right to be and I love her.” My goal for me - and every client I work with is to be bold enough to be comfortable. That’s not always easy...everyone has enough courage to “fake it”. Do we have enough courage to let go, though? I’m constantly asking myself to do that... and I did it with these photos. It’s honestly been one of the most liberating things I’ve done in a while. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful, especially during a pandemic? Before this pandemic, during and CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Oh definitely a cultured family and a loving community that supported strong women! I come from a long line of bold females.”

after, the #1 rule I can honestly share with any business person is this: have an insane desire to be seen. A business mentor told me this when I launched my business so many years ago. At the time, I was launching a new website and I was terrified to promote it because I was afraid that people would judge me for my bold new branding on my site. I was afraid to step outside of the box that others had so clearly defined for me in my career. I was caught up in the busyness of worrying about other people’s opinions of me. My colleague’s advice to stop worrying and start shouting from the rooftops about my business forced me to be seen. Since then, my business has steadily grown - in part because I make it my business to be seen even when I don’t want to be. What is your “why” behind the work you do and how does that keep the hustle alive? Helping the underdog win. That’s one of my biggest drivers. I deeply empathize with those who have been told they’re not good enough or who’ve been consistently told to sit and wait their turn. That may come as a surprise to many who know me - I am bold and outspoken and laugh-out-loud confident. I’ve had to work for that confidence, though. My phenomenal upbringing in a warm, loving, patient and supportive family bolstered me in environments where I wasn’t always welcomed because of my gender or skin color or physical appearance. I had a gentleman admit to me once that he didn’t expect much from 58

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me during a job interview because he saw that I graduated from a state university! (I didn’t accept his job offer to me a year later, for the record). My constant desire to help people realize the full potential of their voice and their story is what keeps me going when I’m hungry, overbooked and tired. Who has been your greatest inspiration and why? My daughter. She teaches me about patience and reminds me that life is a mirror: whatever you put out into the world will be reflected back to you. My daughter regularly gets excited about Sesame Street and crayons and strawberries and new shoes. She excitedly expresses herself with little care to how others will perceive it. She eats with gusto and doesn’t worry about spilling things on herself. I aspire to teach her about confidence in the way I was taught - with a loving heart and a firm sense of purpose. When I look at my daughter, I see a world of possibilities for her and the world she is actively creating. I believe that if every woman could be reminded of her own purpose and greatness, this world would be transformed. How do you define success? True story: I was voted “most likely to succeed” by my high school graduating class. I’m not certain why my peers thought I was worthy of that title, but I can certainly say that my definition of success has changed through the

years. Success - to me - is about being able to unapologetically choose my own path. It’s about ownership of my wins and losses with equal weight, appreciation of myself and others, authenticity in every moment, intentionality in building a life I love and challenging myself to grow beyond what I know today. That level of success is gained in stages and is achieved over the course of a lifetime. It is earned and realized, not given. Learn more about Andrea at her website, www.andreaholland.net.


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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Growth happens outside of our comfort zone - and navigating that pathway isn’t always easy. I strive to get uncomfortable for greater gains.”

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ANNETTE CAMPBELL BY KELLY BREUER I PHOTOS BY KAMERON ASHFORD & SOUTHTOWN IMAGES

In this edition of Central NY Woman Online, we had the chance to meet up with the latest Rochester cover woman, the inspiring tax professional and female entrepreneur, Annette Campbell. This lady boss is not only beautiful, but has brains and the perseverance to own her own business too! We figured we would let Central NY know about this inspiring woman too!

for was stripped away from me. I ended up living with my grandma for a while I started rebuilding my foundation. I was able to get a new car and job, but during that time I also ended up going through a mini-depression. I had to constantly reminded myself that I had to keep going.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background. My name is Annette Campbell and I am 29 years old, born and raised in Rochester, NY. I graduated from the school of Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurship at Edison Tech. I went on to study Business Administration at MCC and then Accounting at SUNY Brockport. They say you usually become like those who you try and help. That led to my passion for helping other people financially because of overcoming my financial struggles in life. Three years ago, I lost everything. I had worked in the banking industry for five years when I lost my job, and my entire life changed. I could not buy out my auto lease, leading me to walk and ride the bus again. The lease to my apartment was up, so I made the tough decision to move back in with my family. I was devasted because I had worked so hard to achieve so much in life, and I felt like everything I worked 66

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care, so that was a generational curse I just had to break. After my grandma kicked me out, I moved in with a close family member, who at one point made me sleep on the floor. I manifested during that time, telling myself and the universe that I would have my own tax business and that I would continue to fight to create a better life for myself. I was eventually able to get a new apartment and a job working for the Department of Education. Life was finally heading in the right direction and going well. All the obstacles I endured lead me to my passion for helping people financially with their goals because I knew what it was like not to have good financial habits.

Unfortunately, moving in with my grandma didn’t end well. She was still using drugs, which I wasn’t aware of which ended up negatively affecting my path for succeeding. I grew up in foster care because it was my grandma who introduced my mom to drugs. My mom had also grown up in foster

What made you decide to start your own business and become a female entrepreneur? After three years at H&R Block, I took that leap of faith and was able to start my own tax business! Scared and all, I did it. I launched my business at the end of 2019. It was challenging running a business, still continueing to work full time, and working for the Department of Education where you couldn’t even have your cell phone in the building. I was at risk of losing my job because I was going over my break times, trying to respond to as many client emails as


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“For a second, I feared losing everything again, but this time around I was prepared because I had my tax business. I immediately started pouring so much more into my business. I studied and invested more into my business, telling myself, “Annette, you are not going back to a job. You will expand your tax business.”

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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “To be able to educate my community about the importance of financial literacy is what is going to help push generations forward.”

was going over my break times and trying to respond to as many client emails as possible. I told myself that 2020 would be my last year working for someone else, not knowing that a global pandemic was about to hit and I would end up getting laid off. For a second, I feared losing everything again. But, this time around I was prepared because I had my own tax business that I had started building. I immediately started pouring so much more into my business. I studied and invested more into my business, telling myself, “Annette, you are not going back to a job. You will expand your tax business.”. I hired a business developer to help me put the pieces to the puzzle together. In December of 2020, I was tested to the point where I almost didn’t open up the doors to my business. I cried for a whole week trying to figure things out but, God got me through. With only 11 days away from my grand opening, things got even worse, but I stayed faithful. January 2nd 2021, I opened the doors to my business, The Tax Experience. I was on the news twice and also did a radio interview. My business is now exploding with clients! I said last year that 2021 would be the year my life changed. I took the risk to bet on me because I knew my purpose was to help individuals and businesses create 70

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wealth which would lead them to create a legacy. If this foster kid can do it, so can you. COVID wasn’t going to stop me. I am now in control of my life , and I want to help thousands gain control over their life as well. What made you decide to open a business like The Tax Experience?

I think being your true authentic self will help you build out your dream. I have a strong presence on social media because I let my followers into my journey. They are invested and motivated by my entrepreneurial journey. It is a journey of not giving up, risk-taking, and believing in yourself. As a business owner, what are your top

three priorities for both your business and also for your clients? I know that God put me on this earth to fulfill my purpose of helping others financially. I know what sets me apart from other tax and financial firms is my passion to build and help business owners build wealth. I will help develop business owners to become 6 and 7 figure businesses and to understand the steps to take to build strong, profitable and sustainable businesses. That will be through tax prep, accounting and bookkeeping, and wealth management. To be able to educate my community about the importance of financial literacy is what is going to help push generations forward. I went through a lot of challenges in my own life which led me to lose everything. I am relatable because I once was that person who struggled financially. It was my own struggles that lead me to my passion to help others gain control over their financial freedom. It wasn’t easy, but I never gave up no matter what. I’ve learned so many lessons during my entrepreneuial journey. The number one thing is that family and friends will not always be the first to support you. They won’t understand it in the beginning, so try not to take it personally. Strangers become your best customers and cheerleaders. I also had to believe


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “I am a hustler and lady boss because I have an incredible level of ambition. I have this idea in my head that I can truly change the world.”

in myself more than anybody else. You must push yourself past any fears. I use to be so shy, but I knew that in order to grow, I would have to learn to network. Now I am the networking queen! How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful, especially during a pandemic? I also had to heal and work on myself and confidence along my journey. You are powerful, dig deep. Investing in yourself is important, a lot of business owners don’t do this and it is vital to your success. You pretty much need an Annette on your team. How bad do you want to succeed is what I also ask myself and that is what rings through my ears when I feel like giving up. Find your passion and skill in life and monetize it to create your dream life. What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur, especially in the tax business working with small business owners? My critical driving force for becoming a female entrepreneur, especially in the tax business, is after taking my fall three years ago. I didn’t want people in my community to go through what I had to, or struggle financially. I wanted to start a business that would give people hope and resources to understand that you don’t have to work your whole life. I want to help people fire their boss and live out their dream life. I want to help business owners build out their dream businesses, and that all starts with your financial foundation. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything

differently and why? If I had to start my career over, I would have made better choices financially when I first started out. But, I feel like I went through everything I did for a reason. It has molded me into the boss lady I am today.

Is word of mouth working to your advantage, or is social media where it is at now? Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and I use it to my advantage. I do right by my tax clients, and they do the marketing for me.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in your business and as a female business owner? The top three skills needed to be a successful business owner are first and foremost, passion. You must be passionate about what you do. There will be times in your journey that you will feel stuck or want to give up, but your passion and why will keep you going. I think also having excellent customer service and experience is very important as well. Lastly, being organized financially with your responsibilities like filing taxes and proper booking is essential.

Do you spend more time lighting fires or putting them out? I spend more of my time lighting fires. The more I grow and evolve, the more influential the fire becomes.

Who has been your greatest inspiration? My greatest inspiration is God; without him, I am nothing. He has carried me through my journey. My team has also inspired me including MJ Allen and Bonita Smith Jackson. My foster parents also encouraged me; they have left a lasting impression on my life. How do you define success? I define success as the ability to overcome challenges to get closer to dream and goal fulfillment. I think success is the courage to rip back a layer of your old self to evolve into what you are truly called to be. I also think success is the ability to impact and influence people. To be bold, brave, and fearless.

Tell our audience what makes you a hustler and an incredible lady boss... I am a hustler and lady boss because I have an incredible level of ambition. I have this idea in my head that I can truly change the world. I am the definition of resilience. No matter what life throws at me, I will come out on top. God blessed me with purpose, and I will keep living, growing, and building to every part of my soul is fulfilled. I know my goal is to serve people financially, and I am on a mission. I am unstoppable. Where do you see your business a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years? I see myself in 5 to 10 years as a billionaire. I see myself married with kids and living a very purpose-driven life. I know that by that time, I will have a tribe of financially empowered families that I have helped along the way. I see myself with my tax franchise and other businesses too. Do you walk your talk? I do walk my talk. I am an executor; anything I say I am going to do, I do. One of the most important parts of entrepreneurship is holding yourself CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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“My greatest inspiration is God; without him, I am nothing. He has carried me through my journey.”

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “My why is to lead millions of people to financial freedom. I want to impact and influence people to chase after there dream life.”

accountable, which means never to give up and keep pushing yourself forward in life and business. Do you think being a minority has helped or hindered you in business? I think being a minority own business has been liberating and, of course, has its challenges. I am proud to be one of the first in my family to create a business, to change the trajectory of my bloodline going forward. What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? One thing that I have done that many people may not know is, that I do volunteer my time a lot to non-forprofit organizations. What is your ‘why? ‘ My why is to lead millions of people to financial freedom. I want to impact and influence people to chase after there dream life. I will do that through financial education which involves taxes, personal finance and accounting for business owners. I have a goal to be apart of bridging the wealth gap in America. I want to make sure I can be apart of creating millionaires and billionaires. How do you balance work and life responsibilities? I balance work and life responsibilities by making sure I plan out my months. I try to make sure I remember to put my first because as entrepreneurs we tend to neglect our self care. I make sure I work hard then enjoy the fruits of my labor. 76

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As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career and how did you overcome it? The most significant barrier I had to over come was losing everything 3 years ago. My journey is a journey of never giving up. I had to dig deep to understand when those tough moments happen in your life is to now mold and develop you. No excuses you have to keep moving forward no matter. I asked myself how bad do you really wanted it. Looked myself in the mirror and pushed myself through the hardest moments of my life. What is some of the advice you share with young women entering a male-dominated profession? Advice that I would give a female dominated industry is to walk unapologetically. I had men make me feel I couldn’t do this but I proved them wrong. Stay focused and reach out to the right help to guide you. Move mountains because I know I am. What do you love most about yourself? I love me because, I feel like I am a very ambitious person. I have the spirit about me that I can get through anything in life. I love that I have a big heart and love to help others. I love that I am very determined and work my butt of for everything I have. What gets you truly excited about life? I think the fact that God has given me the opportunity to be living on earth and complete all the desire of

my life. To build my dream live and people to break generational curses as I build wealth for my family and my future. I think knowing that the odds are against foster kids succeeding my breaking through glass ceiling make some so happy. Every new level and new person who enters my life inspires me and push my higher. How do you define your purpose in life? My Purpose is life to lead millions to financial freedom. I know that my passion to help people financially. I truly care. I know by going through my own financial problems lead me to that purpose. To help people become financially stable. To let them know there is hope to live a live that is not full of financial struggles. I want to make sure the next generation is equipped with the tools to make sure they can lead generations forward. As I chase after my dreams fearless to show people that is possible helps unlocks other people’s destiny.


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AN EDUCATIONAL REVOLUTION BY DR SHANELLE BENSON REID I PHOTOS BY MICHAL LEPORE

“He who controls images controls minds, and he that controls minds has little or nothing to fear from bodies… The system could not exist if it did not multiply discrimination…An educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor…The question of education for Black people in America is a question of life or death. It is a political question, a question of power…Struggle is a form of educationperhaps the highest form”. Lerone Bennett Throughout history marginalized groups have viewed education as an essential to the quest for equality. Education is directly linked to equality and “uplift” for students of color. “The notion of uplift, and the necessity of education to achieve this goal, was a constant theme in the past and it remains just as vital for our future. Through education, equality can be achieved far swifter then by constitutions and / or laws. An important component of academic success in education for the disenfranchised is liberation. Too often children of color suffer in schools because school personnel, who have the power to label, classify, and define, do not always have our children’s best interest at heart. What if educators truly loved all children and promoted pedagogical practices that challenged the social justification of poverty, sexism, classism, exploitation, and racism? CRISIS IN EDUCATION As many decide to open the doors of schoolhouses, the question of education continues to be at the forefront of the conversation. How do we open schools when we are unsure about opening the country? While we jump to open schools, can we please, first consider our most

vulnerable population? THE STATE OF EDUCATION Philosophically, I do not believe in the structure of public education. Our entire system is inadequate and antiquated. As educators, we like to believe that education has evolved. We’ve incorporated manipulatives, charts, graphs and visual representations. We allow movement, flexible seating, alternate assessments but the curriculum remains the same. Other aspects of society have improved, however the most important societal component has not; education has remained the same. How can we justify not revolutionizing our current educational system while our students have evolved, our society has advanced and other industries have adapted? IMPEDING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT In most academic settings, children from diverse backgrounds and situations are less likely, when compared to middle-class and majority students, to have positive relationships with their middle-class teachers who do not represent similar backgrounds or situation. These differences reflect teachers’ biases, classroom management styles, and disparities in the severity of practices used for discipline. The use of prejudicial classroom management techniques with marginalized students is a common practice. Teachers, often times, perceive the behavior of males from diverse circumstances as more aggressive and severe than the behaviors of their non-diverse counterparts. These males who misbehave in the same way as their counterparts are more likely to be punished resulting in suspensions and expulsions. The severity of these

disciplinary practices with minority students impedes their achievement in the classroom, excludes them from advance courses, alienates them from the general school population, increases incidents of misbehavior, and leads to lower academic expectations and higher drop-out rates. SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS Classroom disciplinary practices are also influenced by students’ socioeconomic status. Educators tend to view low-income students as having the highest potential for behavioral problems. Consequently, students from low-income homes, regardless of ethnicity, are disciplined more often than middle-class students. In addition, teachers of low socioeconomic children most often use or support the use of corporal punishment, verbal punishment, or suspension, when compared to teachers of middle-class students. Some of the behaviors by culturally diverse, lower socioeconomic status students that teachers find annoying and/or problematic are behaviors that serve as a function in the students’ world outside of school. LOCKED OUT Student behavior is severely scrutinized when teachers and administrators do not understand and /or represent diverse backgrounds and situations. From this perspective, marginalized students’ behavior is not just different from their non-marginalized counterparts in culturally arbitrary ways; it disrupts what schools are attempting to accomplish, causing hostile dynamics in the educational environment. Subsequently, students from diverse backgrounds and situations are more inclined to misbehave when they are matched with teachers who CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ ALL ACCESS } “An educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor…The question of education for Black people in America is a question of life or death.”

do not represent diverse groups versus being matched with teachers who do. This stressed relationship between students and teachers leads to students eventually being locked out of education due to suspension / expulsion and prevents academic success causing a resistance to schooling and other majority-controlled institutions: which further perpetuates feelings of oppression and subjugation. In an attempt to maintain “group” identity, marginalized students develop peer groups that reject symbols and behaviors that are not in alignment with “group” think and academically successful students from diverse backgrounds and situations, are frequently at risk of being sanctioned by peers for rejecting “group” values. Discipline and Cultural Congruence On the other hand, many teachers from diverse backgrounds and situations are able to operate with ease when disciplining marginalized students. The teacher’s ability to achieve this task is possible because students and parents have culturally congruent backgrounds with the teachers. This cultural congruence helps the stakeholders relate to one another more efficiently. Identifying connections further bridges necessary gaps that foster healthy relationships and open communication between students, parents and teachers. Parents are more willing to accept corrective language and consequences when there are similarities between the participants. Conversely, when a teacher who does not identify with diverse circumstance is faced with the daunting task of disciplining a student from a diverse condition, underlying factors must be considered; preexisting beliefs about poverty, racially discriminatory practices, disconnection and lack of trust to name a few. The

problem with educating students of color in America is precisely that, a problem because our school system is a microcosm of our society. Therefore, disenfranchised students suffer in schools because staff, who have the power to label, categorize and define, are not always well intentioned, yet these feelings of oppression are mitigated when disenfranchised parents work with teachers from diverse backgrounds and situations. THE TRANSFORMATION Research clearly states adequate representation in the teaching profession improves educational outcomes for all students. However, the focus must not center entirely on diversifying K – 12 classrooms, but it is also necessary to investigate the needs of marginalized students, and how these needs are met on a continuous basis. In short, much can be gained from adopting a teaching philosophy that prioritizes student wellness and success over standardized testing and district distinction. TRUSTING RELATIONSHIPS Educating students from marginalized circumstances is a complex process involving big-picture considerations and specific instructional strategies; at the very least, these students need to know adults in their lives are aware of the cultural and social situations they encounter on a consistent basis and truly care about their personal and academic success. From this foundation, trusting relationships develop and serve as an essential context for learning. While this bridge from awareness and caring to learning and achievement is

necessary for a successful school career, it is vitally important for students from disenfranchised backgrounds, who tend to experience more challenges in their personal and academic lives. Students from these backgrounds and communities benefit from the type of support that nurtures emotional growth while simultaneously providing optimal conditions for effective learning. EQUITY IN EDUCATION Achieving equity in education requires a shift in educational philosophy and practices. This transformation involves understanding each student’s individual needs and designing educational experiences that address those needs. Furthermore, attaining educational equity requires making sure every student has the support he / she lacks. In addition, this advancement entails putting systems in place to ensure that every child has an equal chance for success. However, ensuring every child has an equal chance for success involves understanding the unique challenges and barriers faced by individual students and providing additional supports to help them overcome those barriers. While equity may not ensure equal outcomes, the goal is to strive for equal opportunity. This is especially true during periods of crisis. THE OUTLOOK The limited presence of people of color in the teaching profession is a serious problem confronting the field of education and diverse communities across the United States. Education is a stagnated, bureaucratic system and change is not in the immediate future. Now is the perfect time for an educational revolution!




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YOU ARE ENOUGH. BECOMING H.E.R. BY INICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY SAVON HOLT PHOTOS BY KAMERON ASHFORD, ALBERT JONES & ROB DANIELS

The word “become” means to undergo a change or a development. At some point in your life, you will have to decide who you want to become. I heard a speech by Steve Harvey where he made the following statement, “there are two types of people born in the hospitals every day. One is the person who is going to get a job, and the other is the person who is going to give that person the job.” At some point in life, you will have to figure out which one you want to be, the leader which I define as Heroic, Empowered and Refined (H.E.R). Or do you want to be the sheep, a follower with no sense of direction? Some women may feel that they are not good enough because of unexpected life circumstances or may feel underservant. But those life challenges set the blueprint for your success. Learning how to navigate through hardships brings forth a strength that you never knew existed. By showing great courage and resilience, your determination will inspire so many around you, sis, take that risk and bet on yourself. Be a rose that comes up from the concrete. You can’t wake up every day doing the same things but expect different results. You must become the woman 84

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who takes the good and the bad and still strive for greatness. Set goals, meditate on your dreams, plan and execute. To become that woman, you must be willing to put in the work.

They are okay with being sheep and living mediocre. No one understands how hard it is to be a sheep. A sheep follows the crowd and is easily led and distracted. You are more than a follower, channel your confidence and influence to become the leader you were meant to be. Plant your seed, nurture it, and blossom. Don’t be afraid to become that flower. Even a seed must undergo a change and a development to become a flower. When cared for properly, with nourishing soil, sunlight, and water, the seed will transform and bloom into a flower. To truly experience positive change, you must let go of your past and embrace the transformation that’s about to take place. Have confidence in yourself and know you will take on a better form, even if it takes some time.

Eliminate distractions, stop old and bad habits, and end toxic relationships. We must create new patterns to produce new outcomes. Many women are scared to live up to their potential.

After the seed blooms into a flower, everyone appreciates it for whatever it has to offer because of its authenticity and radiant beauty. Each seed has something to contribute. Go out there, start planting seeds in your life, speak things into existence, and believe they will come to fruition. No matter how challenging or pointless it may seem at that very moment, trust the process. With time, patience, and hard work,


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{ SAVON SPEAKS } “The word “become” means to undergo a change or a development. At some point in your life, you will have to decide who you want to become.”

what seems like an empty flowerpot will grow and be filled with beauty. Like beautiful flowers that attract butterflies and bees, your life will become a magnet to the right kind of people that will genuinely add value to you. You can’t be afraid to Become H.E.R. It takes courage to stand on your own and lead your own way. Fear works two ways when connecting it to success. You can fear failure or fear the responsibilities that come along with success. I’m not saying the process won’t be bumpy. I’m asking you to trust the journey although challenging moments occur along the way. Use your momentum to plow through those rocky moments. Moments of feeling defeated do not last long. Failure is merely a detour to success. Reaching a new level of success will be mentally stressful, but I would rather be successful and learn how to sustain it than failing and staying down. I hope that as you travel through this journey of life, that you find your

way and create your own lane. Be the lion and not the sheep. Please make your own rules and live by them. Create your happiness and

with like-minded people. Become that leader you are destined to be. Don’t allow anyone to take away your happiness. Remember, you are a seed in moments of darkness, planted beneath the dirt, where it’s dark, but surrounded by what you need to grow, soil. Always remember, a little rain doesn’t hurt a flower. Become H.E.R and own your boldness. You can find out more at WWW.SAVONSPEAKS. COM/ or send a message to savonspeaks@gmail.com

dwell in it. Never be afraid to be in a room, surrounded by people smarter than you. Seek those opportunities to gain knowledge and personal development. Make connections


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HEY YOU3 BY KRISTIE STUMPF RORK

Tell us about HEY YOU3 and what is the mission and inspiration behind your business? We are heyyou3. Many organizations fund research for cancer. Our mission is to provide assistance with the everyday “What if ’s” that come along with the journey such as transportation, meals, and other relevant items. For example, a ride to/from treatment, or a family pizza night to help make things a little easier and take away some of the everyday worries so they can focus on healing. Let’s help make those moments a little smoother. Our inspiration is a result of losing so many loved ones to cancer.

them get whatever they need. Tell us one story about someone who has inspired you through your journey. During the pandemic one of my very own family members was battling stage three cancer. After losing both of my

What made you decide to create your business and become a female entrepreneur to support breast cancer awareness? We created heyyou3 to raise awareness for all of the different types of cancers. Being female entrepreneurs provides opportunities to help those battling cancer in many different ways. Since no two circumstances are the same, we are able to help people based on their own unique situations. For example, if someone is receiving treatment outside of their local area, they and/or their family might be able to use a gift card for food from local restaurant, etc. In another situation, someone may need a specific type of medical item that is not covered under their insurance, the proceeds from our sales can to help

started and I am happy to say, she beat it. We were together for the first time just a couple weeks ago!!! Thank you God for that gift. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? The pros of being women entrepreneurs is being an example to other women that we can do this, we are strong. It is our honor, privilege and hope that as female entrepreneurs, we can do whatever is necessary to help individuals battling cancer feel just a bit better. We have not encountered any cons as of yet. All that we have met in this journey so far have been very supportive. What are some of the things you find help you to be successful, especially with promoting and fundraising for such a great cause?

parents to cancer and then to have a sibling diagnosed was heartbreaking. Add the pandemic at the same time, well, I can’t even begin to describe the emotions. Knowing, we couldn’t be together physically was almost too much to bear. We talked often and spent a lot of time texting. We prayed nonstop. Here we are, almost two years later to the date when it all

One of the biggest things that have helped us become successful is the support from our family, friends and community. Many small local business owners have contributed to our mission. It’s pretty amazing what a community can do when they pull together. What is the main goal of Hey You and how did you come up with the name? CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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“Many organizations fund research for cancer. Our mission is to provide assistance with the everyday “What if’s” that come along with the journey such as transportation, meals, and other relevant items.”

Heyyou3 was created to help raise cancer awareness and help individuals battling cancer. From the proceeds of our sales, we donate gift cards to them. These gift cards can be used for anything they choose. We came up with the name that would help get people’s attention and the “3” is for our own personal connection with our faith, our Irish roots and my lucky number. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business? Social media has been a great tool to help promote heyyou3. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your organization and who is your ideal audience? Our marketing success has come from focusing on our mission and appealing to those that want to make a difference. Who can relate to our cause and are willing to be a part of raising awareness. What challenges have you faced over the past year year and how have you overcome them? The biggest challenge we have faced over the past year, due to the pandemic, is not having the ability to be out in public, face to face with people. We utilized social media but I prefer to be out with the public. We are now able to get out more and tell people who we are and what our mission is. 90

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That feels so good!! How do you balance your nonprofit life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges you experience? ( heyyou3 is a for profit company) This enables us to be flexible with the proceeds and donate them as we see fit. Balancing our commitment to heyyou3 and life with family friends that do not understand is not difficult. They know we are committed to the mission and respect the many hours that are involved in making sure it is successful. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated, especially in a business where there is such sadness? Our encouragement comes from knowing the difference we are able to make in the life of individuals who are fighting the hardest battle of their life. We feel it is the least we can do. They are fighting so hard, we have to help! Do you listen to any postcasts or follow anyone that inspires you in this journey of helping others? We have not listened to podcasts. What makes you hustle? That’s easy, our desire to make a difference, to show them that we care, that their fight matters. That we are in the fight to help them with the “little” things in life, the things

most people don’t think about until it hits you right in the face. Where do you see your organization growing in the next year? three years? Our plan is to double the total amount of in gift cards that we have donated and in three years our plan is to triple that. Tell us about some of the people you have helped and what is one story that stood out from the rest. We currently have a campaign running for a young woman who is battling stage three breast cancer. She is an incredible woman and is one of the strongest people we have been blessed to be a part of our life. While battling this terrible disease, she has been vocal sharing her story so she can help others. She has been raw and honest throughout the whole process. She has a very strong family and network of friends. Just Amazing!! Tell our audience how they can find you reach you whether it is for help, or donations. For more information please visit heyyou3.com. You can also send us an email at heyyou3.heyyou3.com. Thank you for this incredible opportunity to share information regarding heyyou3.com


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL { FOR A GOOD CAUSE} } “We created heyyou3 to raise awareness for all of the different types of cancers. Being female entrepreneurs provides opportunities to help those battling cancer in many different ways.”

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THE 5 TOP REASONS BY DR. PAM DENTON I PHOTO BY KATRINA GRADY

THE 5 TOP REASONS W H Y E V E R Y UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN HAS A GOOD COACH ON HER SIDE When you really want to make changes and level up your life, you need a coach. A good coach will make sure you break through the patterns holding you stuck, and take action towards your desires. A good coach sticks by your side and makes sure you show up for what you want. A coach is someone who sees you, gets you at a core level, and will not let you give up.

An open mind is cultivated over time and needs a self-reflective leader sitting across from you in session to help you see your path. Call it VALIDATION. Coaches validate the great ideas that you have for generating life, love, leadership, and income and help you devise a plan to get there. If you could radically increase your income, find the love you desire, or heal

Sounds ridiculous right? Every strong woman should be able to do it on her own, manage all of the tasks and stressors without any help. Unstoppable means ALONE? Right?

Support is key to your unstoppable success! 1. Seeing possibility is believing. Every woman has a fixed ability to see herself.

2. A coach will help you break the rules and to help you bust through the patterns holding you stuck. You need a rule breaker coach, especially as you begin to face all of the patterns that the world has taught you that keep you small. (The patterns that are absolutely WRONG for your genius.) Women are not taught to live from our genius. We are taught to stay in the lines and follow the rules. We are not taught to be amazing, but rather to criticize ourselves and downgrade our performance.

The best form of coach for being unstoppable as a woman, understands the divine feminine, female empowerment, and knows where women get stuck.

WRONG. We are not successful when we LONE WOLF. Lone Wolfing leads to stress and pain. It keeps us isolated and alone. Lone Wolfing does NOT breed success.

more to seek out a rule breaker coach that can help you bust down the walls holding you back. A coach can help you stop the madness of the lies that we are taught as girls.

your body….would you hire a coach? Women are trained at an early age to play small, to hold back, to quiet down and not speak up. And NEVER ask for help because this shows that you are weak! When a woman decides to level up in business and life she is breaking the rules (and most of us ARE NOT rule breakers). It takes a deep desire for

3. Coaches are trained to help you stop the sabotage and end the inner criticism. Stop the noises in your head that hold you back! They want you to see, feel, and own your GENIUS. They want you to succeed. When you win, a good coach will feel an amazing sense of fulfillment. They celebrate your new success! Don’t you deserve this? Unstoppable women are a rare breed. Because so much of what women are taught and trained to believe as women is damaged and distorted. We fail only because we are taught to give up and give into fear. We have limiting beliefs on what leadership means and we are still dominated by the patriarchy. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN WOMAN }} {{ UNSTOPPABLE “The best form of coach for being unstoppable as a woman, understands the divine feminine, female empowerment, and knows where women get stuck.”

4. A good coach helps you untwist the distortions and get into alignment with your true love, health, business blueprint, and financial flow. Coaches train you to ask for more, reach for more, and desire more in your business, relationships, and life. Do you want more?

Ask the universe to guide you. Get very clear on what you need to change and that will help you find the perfect coach for your specific desires. And then begin to interview coaches who can help you.

So why are you still sitting on the sidelines?

Don’t waste another minute playing small and lone wolfing!

5. A coach will give you the clarity you need to move forward and stop spinning your wheels.

Be unstoppable.

Make a decision today about where 96

you want to level up - Sexuality and intimacy? Relationships? Money? Business? Leadership?

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Get ready to be supported! It may feel strange to hire a cheerleader for yourself, but you deserve the support.

Start today and say: “I deserve the support to reach my goals!” Dr. Pam Denton is the Founder of SuperCORE Coaching and trains SuperCORE Leadership Coaches to be the best in the industry. She works with unstoppable Executives who want to bust through the female barriers and build legendary businesses and wealth. Dr. Pam has devoted over 20 years training amazing people like you to dig deep and create epic leadership through Core Intelligence. Join Dr. Pam for a consultation and VIP Day at www. drpamdenton.com


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MAMA, MAMA, MAAA! BY JENNIFER ARONSON JOVCEVSKI I PHOTOS BY JENNY BERLINER PHOTOGRAPHY

“Mama, mama, MAAA” is the sound my husband and I wake up to at 6 am every day—our 10-month-old son. Shortly thereafter, I am greeted by my 3-and-a-half year old roaring like a dinosaur at our bedside and our days are off to a fast start. Prior to having a family, my focus was on chasing the next accomplishment. With the help of many mentors along the way, I had many accomplishments – I was selected to the prestigious Teach for America program in the first ever Jacksonville FL corps, I earned a joint degree in law school (J.D./ M.A. Cultural Foundations of Education), I started the area’s first medical legal partnership for Veterans at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, I defended school districts, I was awarded the Daily Record’s Up and Coming Attorney Award, I took a risk and switched practice areas from civil litigation to real estate, I became the firm’s Chair of the Charter School Law Practice Group while still practicing in the real estate and commercial lending department, all while raising a family and then…BOOM COVID.

(especially since I was pregnant during COVID…very pregnant, in fact my 2nd son was born in June 2020).

Just when we think we are on a roll and have life all figured out, a global pandemic throws a wrench in everyone’s plans.

desk. I wanted to do something more that was impactful for myself and our community.

Hi, my name is Jen. In no particular order, I am a real estate attorney, mom, wife, fitness junky, lover of all things leopard print and Host of She Talks Law. During COVID, our lives were thrown into a tailspin. Being physically separated from friends and family was one of the most challenging things

Growing up, my father had his own law practice in Canandaigua. He was appointed as acting city judge in the City of Canandaigua and then ran successfully for a full term, beginning in 1983. The terms at the time were four years and during his tenure eventually were extended to six and then 10 years,

After my 2nd son was born and I returned to work, I did what many people did and reassessed my life. I started to think about how I was going to change myself and/or my career for the better. I have never been satisfied with just being an attorney who sits behind a

as a result of the position becoming full time. He held that position for over 30 years. He taught me one of the most invaluable lessons at a young age - to use my knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the community. I watched him create the first drug court in Upstate New York. He also created mental health court and veterans court. Both are still going strong today and give individuals facing incarceration an option for rehabilitation and a “second chance.” The specialty courts connect individuals with the resources they need to treat any underlying mental health conditions, deal with addiction, obtain stable housing and get their lives back on track. So, during COVID, I thought long and hard about how I was going to use my broad background in litigation and transactional work to benefit the community. That was when “She Talks Law” was born. She Talks Law is a free monthly women’s legal roundtable geared towards…you guessed it… women! Specifically women business owners, women entrepreneurs, women investors, aspiring women investors, retired women, self-employed women, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, LGBTQA+ women, students, teachers, CEO’s and janitors. Any woman with an interest in furthering her/their career with room in their toolboxes for additional connections and resources. The group is also open to men who support the sector (think: males salon owners, males whose clientele CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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“She Talks Law is a free monthly women’s legal roundtable geared towards…you guessed it…women! Specifically women business owners, women entrepreneurs, women investors, aspiring women investors, retired SHE TALKS LAW women, self-employed women, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, LGBTQA+ women, students, teachers, CEO’s and janitors. Any woman with an interest in furthering her/ their career with room in their toolboxes for additional connections and resources.” CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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SHE TALKS LAW } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “So, during COVID, I thought long and hard about how I was going to use my broad background in litigation and transactional work to benefit the community. That was when “She Talks Law” was born.”

are largely women or whose colleagues are largely women). I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard women ask me “I would love to get involved in house flipping but that’s usually a guy thing and I don’t know the first thing about negotiating a real estate contract” or “I can’t wait to open my office/ store/restaurant but I need help negotiating favorable lease terms.” or “I am an employer, do I need to mandate the COVID vaccine?” or “I am bored during COVID and would love a group of real down to earth successful ladies (and guys who support the sector) who meet regularly who talk about topics of substance that would be beneficial in my personal and professional life.” That is where She Talks Law comes in. So, what are some of the things we will discuss on She Talks Law? That is up to you. Each month is a different legal topic and then we will have an interactive dialogue about the practical implications of that topic on your business and life. Topics will include: mandating the COVID vaccination in the workplace; corporate formation (LLC? S Corp? Is it necessary?); estate planning considerations to protect your business and family; trademarking 101; house flipping and foreclosures 101; and, who knows, maybe we could even fit in a Wine Law roundtable. This is a free group and participants do not have to be a client of the firm to participate. Of course, my hope is 102

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that as participants see myself and the other attorneys sharing their expertise with this group then will trust us as their legal team. However, the most important goal to me is to connect with other like-minded women and support and champion one another. I get asked (on a weekly basis) – why women? I attribute much of my success to strong women. From my grandmother to my mother to my kindergarten teacher to my Commercial Transactions professor in law school. From my old coaches, to my college roommates to my clients to my fellow GRAWA ladies (Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys to be exact). Don’t get me wrong, my grandfather, father, brother, husband and 2 sons have inspired and continue to inspire me on a daily basis, but it is my involvement in various local womens’ organizations that sparked my idea to focus on women entrepreneurs. I currently am a member of the Executive Committee of GRAWA and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Young Womens’ College Preparatory Charter School. I recently joined Rochester Women’s Network and the Women’s Council. The more women I speak with, the more I learn that I have so much more to learn. There are so many talented women’s organizations and businesses out there and I have barely scratched the surface. She Talks Law had its inaugural event in conjunction with the Rochester Chamber of Commerce in March where I was joined by Julie Camardo

(CEO of Zweigles, Inc.), Alyssa Whitfield (CEO of Dress for Success of Rochester) and Krystal Zawodzinski (CPA Manager, Small Business Division at The Bonadio Group) to do something untraditional and get to know one another. We talked about Work/Life balance in a post-pandemic world. What works. What doesn’t. By the way, did you know that, in 2020, women left the workforce in record numbers for pandemic related reasons? In November 2020, the number of women working or looking for work was the lowest it had been since 1988 (Washington Post, Nov. 6, 2020). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force in October 2020 than in October 2019. Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking. Women weren’t the only ones impacted. Yes, I know and I get it. Trust me, I do. But that’s why we had this discussion. To have important conversations and support each other to bring some balance back to our lives. Part 2 of the Work/Life series will take place on April 29 from 2-3 pm. I will give a brief overview of the legal exemptions employers need to be aware of when mandating the COVID vaccine in the workplace and help weigh the pros and cons prior to instituting such a policy. Then, we will have an interactive conversation with 3 fabulous women – Helen Miller (Co-Owner of Scott Miller Salon), Molly Flaherty (Owner of M/Body) and Rachel Bantelman (Owner of Lumos Infrared Sauna).


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{ {SHIFT+CONTROL SHE TALKS LAW }} “Just when we think we are on a roll and have life all figured out, a global pandemic throws a wrench in everyone’s plans.”

Participants are automatically entered for a chance to win…ok ok ok, I have to leave some room for surprises. So, grab your girlfriends and a glass 104

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of wine and come join me on April 29 from 2-3 p.m. To RSVP or to speak to me about how I can best support your business or your life from a legal standpoint, message me

on LinkedIn, Facebook or send an email to jajovcevski@boylancode.com.



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GREAT THINGS HAPPEN BY MICHELLE HORTON

WHEN YOU DO THEM BEFORE YOU’RE READY A few years ago, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, with tears chasing each other down my cheeks to my lap, I told my now ex-husband that I wanted a divorce. We had met in college, built a successful contracting business, and had a beautiful daughter.

I was not ready to be sober. One thing I know about change is that great things happen when you do them before you are ready because being ready, never comes. Try this out. Bring something to mind that you know in your heart of hearts

I wasn’t really ready for divorce. Six weeks later, I walked into my school superintendent’s office and resigned with no intention of ever going back into public education. I left a six-figure salary, a twenty-five-year career and a pension that would have kept me financially secure well into old age. I wasn’t ready for financial uncertainty. Not long after that I recognized that I had loving feelings for one of my friends who I trusted with my deepest secrets and was as female as I was. I sure as hell wasn’t ready to look at my evolving sexuality. And when I finally got serious about my healing journey, I gave up alcohol while holding the empty Patron bottle high over my head waiting for the last drop to land on my tongue.

needs to change in your life. Maybe it’s a relationship or a situation at work or something about yourself that you know is not serving you well. We all have these nagging little issues that bubble up to the surface when we least expect them. Do you wonder why you haven’t taken any action? You might have already told yourself that you’re just not ready.

Here’s the deal about being ready. We are humans and humans are never ready for anything outside of our comfort zone. As a species, we are just not hardwired to embrace change! In fact, our complicated subconscious will go to great lengths to convince us that we should remain in the same uncomfortable situation every single time we even think about challenging our status quo. As if having our emotions in a choke hold wasn’t enough, our subconscious will also make us so physically uncomfortable with the idea of change that we will do nearly anything to avoid it! You see, pain is a powerful emotion and most of us will deny our authenticity in order to keep a healthy distance from it. We do all of this avoiding despite our knowing that on the other side of that pain is the woman we are aspiring to be. Meet Julie. She’s in a job that she hates. To roll out of bed every morning, get adequately dressed to show up and then sit among the office negativity has got her so miserable it’s spilling into her personal life. She would love to be an entrepreneur and she has a great idea, but she’s overwhelmed with how much she doesn’t know about running her own business and the financial insecurity she would have to face. She is waiting for a sign, any sign, to walk out of that job CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN { {ALWAYS { SHIFT+CONTROL CHASING BETTER } }} “Here’s the deal about being ready. We are humans and humans are never ready for anything outside of our comfort zone”

and into the life of the strong, successful businesswoman she so clearly envisions for herself. Women tell me all the time, “I can’t follow my dream because I’m not ready.” I assure them, as I do you, that we will rarely get a signal from the heavens, a reassuring whisper in our ear or a glittery visit from our fairy godmother telling us, “You’re ready now my little princess!” Instead of waiting for something that may never come, try this BOLD strategy. B – Get brutally honest with yourself – look yourself in the mirror and tell her what you want in as much detail as you possibly can. Let yourself feel all the emotion of being that woman you 108

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have in your heart and mind. Go ahead, cry, yell, scream and keep eye contact with yourself. Describe the woman you want to be to your reflection and tell her you are there for her. O – Take one step, even a small one, toward being that woman you aspire to be whether you’re ready or not. Be like Nike and just do it! L – Show yourself some love and compassion because this is hard work and every little bit of effort toward becoming the best damn version of yourself is worth celebrating. D – Do it again! Before you know it, it won’t matter that you weren’t ready,

because you are already on your way! When you ask successful women about their best lives, many will tell you, with almost 100% certainty that the life they have created was worth the challenges in the journey and they weren’t always ready for them. That is true for me too. I quickly realized that my “waiting to be ready” was actually keeping me stuck outside of my purpose and meaning in life. I wanted to be authentically me and live fully as I was intended to be. I want that for you too. Have the audacity to stop waiting to be ready and start using this strategy to be the woman you know you are! Everything you need is already inside of you.


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{ SPECIAL FEATURE } SHIFT+CONTROL

AURINIA PHARMACEUTICALS BY TAMI WONG

UNDERSTANDING LUPUS NEPHRITIS RESOURCES AND SUPPORT Lupus nephritis is a serious and common inflammation of the kidneys caused by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or lupus). Even if you’ve been living with lupus for some time, there is more to understand about lupus once it affects the kidneys. How does lupus nephritis affect my body?

are diagnosed with lupus and about half of people with lupus will go on to develop the condition. Even though they may be hard to notice, there are a few common symptoms to look out for, including fatigue, weight gain, swelling of legs, feet, or ankles, and foamy or frothy urine. How do I know if I have lupus nephritis? The best approach to figuring out if you have lupus nephritis is to talk to

Be informed and empowered. Get your ALL IN™ Lupus Nephritis Awareness Kit.

Your kidneys play a crucial role in keeping your body healthy by removing toxic waste and excess fluid from your body through urine. If you have lupus nephritis, it means that your kidneys cannot function normally to keep you healthy. Lupus nephritis may get worse over time and could lead to kidney failure, which is serious but treatable. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain your health. What are the signs and symptoms of lupus nephritis?

Kidney problems can start around the same time that lupus symptoms appear, but in the early stages of lupus nephritis there are very few signs that anything is wrong. About one-third of people have lupus nephritis when they

controlling kidney inflammation, helping preserve kidney health, and preventing flare-ups of symptoms. There are now FDA-approved treatments to help get your disease under control. Ask your doctor about what treatment plan is right for you. The types of treatments that you are prescribed by your doctor may depend on a number of factors, including the stage of your condition. Early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent long-term kidney damage.

ALL IN has created the Lupus Nephritis Awareness Kit with insights from members of the community to provide educational resources and tips. Get your kit now at ALLINforLN.com/register.

How can I learn more about lupus nephritis? The ALL IN™ program is an important source of information, support, and resources for those living with lupus nephritis and their care partners. Whether you need information to help you with diagnosis or managing your condition, ALL IN is here to support you.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals is committed to supporting the lupus nephritis community. That’s why we launched the ALL IN program, an unbranded website, as a source of information, resources, and support for those affected by lupus nephritis. For more information about lupus nephritis or the ALL IN for Lupus Nephritis program at www.allinforlupusnephritis. com. For information about Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, please visit www. auriniapharma.com.

© 2021 Aurinia Pharma U.S., Inc. All Rights Reserved. ALL IN is a trademark of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. US-NA-2100068, 4/21

your doctor, even if you don’t have symptoms. A diagnosis is usually made by a nephrologist or a rheumatologist and generally requires a kidney biopsy. The three most common tests used to diagnose lupus nephritis are: a urine test, blood test, and a kidney biopsy. What can I do to stop kidney damage from lupus nephritis? Treatment for lupus nephritis is aimed at

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Changing the Course of Autoimmune Disease At Aurinia, our mission is to improve people’s lives by delivering therapeutics that change the course of autoimmune disease. Beyond advancing novel therapeutics to address the medical challenges faced by people living with rare, serious autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, such as lupus nephritis, we work to advocate alongside patients and care partners, connect with the community to fully understand their needs, and provide educational resources and support.

Inspired by patients, we are driven to make an impact.

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Learn more about Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. at www.auriniapharma.com and for more information about lupus nephritis, visit Aurinia’s ALL IN™ for Lupus Nephritis program www.allinforlupusnephritis.com

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ASK DANIEL BALDWIN { {WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHIFT+CONTROL }} } }

ASK ME ANYTHING... BY DANIEL BALDWIN I PHOTOS BY BRODY WHEELER

Because I live my life in service, I approached Kelly Breuer and asked her, “Could I write an article for your magazine monthly”? I want to give my experience, strength and hope to those who may be able to benefit from it. Kelly said, “yes”, so here we go! Ask away...don’t be shy, I will answer anything.

First of all there are ten men’s roles to every one woman’s in Hollywood movies.

Do you think there is a double standard in the acting world for men and women as they grow older? It seems that men get more distinguished as they age, while women have more of a shelf life in the entertainment world. What are your thoughts?

It’s very unfair.

Daniel: The real answer is yes. I believe the odds are stacked tremendously against actresses.

Daniel: It is hard no matter what you do for a living. One of the most important things in early sobriety is

For a woman, if she isn’t well established in her career by 30, she has almost no chance and after 40 unless she is the wife of one of the male leads.

Do you find it hard staying sober especially when in the entertainment world? What is your best piece of advice for someone struggling with addiction?

to keep busy. Imagine if I was to strip a person of 75% of all of their activities and most of their friends. If you don’t replace that time with healthy actions and sober people, you are bound to relapse. It’s a very hard thing to teach and even harder to do. Have you ever consider running for any type of political office? Yes. I have had a hankering to do so for many years. Syracuse Mayor Daniel Baldwin. Hmmm kind of has a ring to it.

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STARTING AT $199 INFLUENTIALWOMANONLINE.COM



SPECIAL INSERT WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES

FEATURING:

- QUEEN’S KLOSET - PERFECTLY PITCHED TENTS - BRANCHES OF GROWTH - WALKING MISS DAISY - JENNIFER ARONSON JOVCEVSKI - SAMANTHA LAPOINTE - GREY BIRD BAKERY - AJA PEARL - FLORIDELLA BOUTIQUE & MORE!

MEET The Queen of the Kloset ELIZABETH SIMMONS


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ELIZABETH SIMMONS YOU ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY KELLY BREUER I PHOTOS BY KATRINA GRADY

Meet Elizabeth Simmons, owner and your fashion stylist at Queen’s Kloset. Queen’s Kloset is an online clothing boutique where you don’t have to be rich to look fabulous! Affordable clothing for all Queens! So, you know the “NetworkROCQueen” had a blast interview this amazing lady (and shopping) when she came to visit us at the Craftsman Inn & Suites in Fayetteville, NY.

fashions and business plan? Our mission is to provide quality clothing at affordable prices and to share that passion and sense of style with other women. What made you choose an online boutique for your business model? I chose to have an online clothing

Te l l u s a b o u t yourself, your background and what made you decide to start Queens Kloset? My name is Liz, aka “Queen”, a nickname given to me by some of my besties a few years ago. I’ve always had a passion and love for fashion ever since I was a little girl. My Mom would always dress me up in these fabulous outfits and that sense of style of dressing stayed with me all those years. Last year I decided to start an online clothing boutique which I called Queens Kloset, where my favorite saying is “You don’t have to be rich to look fabulous”. I sell quality clothing for women that is affordable, stylish and beautiful! What is the mission behind your 124

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driving force of my decision to start an online clothing boutique because my Mom always dressed her best and made sure her children did as well. It fueled my passion for style. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion means a lot to me because it is a representation of who you are and as they say, first impressions are lasting impressions. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful fashion boutique entrepreneur?

boutique because of my love of fashion and honestly, because of my age. At 58, to let women know no matter how old you are you can still go after your dreams and aspirations. Who and which things are the inspiration behind picking out your looks and fashion styles? I would say that my Mom is the

The skills needed in becoming a successful online boutique owner is to first and foremost care about your customers. Customer service has to be top priority. Repeat business is the best business, and with poor customer service people don’t want to come back and shop, or recommend you to their friends. What are your greatest strengths, as well as tell us about your weaknesses? My greatest strength is being compassionate towards others. But, my weakness is being too hard on myself at times.


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“I’ve always had a passion and love for fashion ever since I was a little girl. My Mom would always dress me up in these fabulous outfits and that sense of style of dressing stayed with me all those years.”


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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “You don’t have to be rich to look fabulous!”

How would you define your own personal style? My personal style is classy and sexy at the same time without revealing too much. I love fashion and clothing, and feeling sexy and confident in what I am wearing. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion and own your own business? The first time I realized I wanted to

have an online clothing boutique was last year, I love shopping so why not open my own clothing boutique and share that love of shopping with others. What makes you hustle? My very first job was working as an Accounts Receivable Clerk in the clothing district in New York City. If you aren’t hustlin there you aren’t going to make it! So that was my first glimpse in to what is meant to

have to hustle. Who are some of the people that inspire you and why? The people that inspire me are my husband and adult children because they are successful in their careers, resilient and are always supportive in my endeavors. When I’m ready to give up at times, they reel me right back in! If you could go back and tell yourself CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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“ Our mission is to provide quality clothing at affordable prices and to share that passion and sense of style with other women.”

one thing before beginning your career what would it be? I should have started this business a long time ago. How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out ?

Social media has played a huge part in business today. Everyone is on social media nowadays and that’s where you find your audience. My favorite platform is Instagram.

I would say it is different today because of technology. You operate your business from a computer whereas back in the day, you had to have a brick and mortar. This is both good and bad. I can reach a bigger audience online, but their is no interaction with your customer or making sure the outfits fit right, or look the way they should.

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If I could have one piece from my online store it would be the Pearly Girl Pant Suit because it’s a classy, sophisticated and sexy outfit.

I want women to feel the same way I do which is Classy, Sophisticated and Beautiful. W h a t d o yo u h a ve planned for the next year? What about five years from now? Next year I Am going to have more customers and in 5 years I Am going to be a successful entrepreneur with speaking engagements to help and support other women on their journey to success!

I feel that working through the pandemic has helped because most people started shopping online because you couldn’t go to the stores to shop.

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If you could only have 1 piece out of your collection what one would it be and why?

How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?

Has working during a pandemic helped or hindered you?

What role do you think social media plays in no only fashion choices, but also being a woman owned business? What is your favorite platform?

sophisticated.

What would you call your “style”? I would call my style classy and

To contact Elizbaeth, or shop with her online, you can visit her at https://queenskloset. net.co/ or on facebook at Queens Kloset.


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Visit Our

Online Shop

Shop anytime, where “You don’t have to be rich to look fabulous“

Stay updated for new collection & special offer www.queenskloset.net.co Follow us on Instagram @queensklosetshop and Facebook @queensklosetllc




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SHE TALKS LAW PHOTOS BY JENNY BERLINER PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background and what made you decide to start She Talks Law? I am a corporate and real estate attorney locally. I also have a background in education law and represent a number of charter schools in the area. Throughout my career, I have been very involved in local women’s organizations. I am on the Board of Directors for the Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys (GRAWA), the Board of Trustees for the Young Women’s College Prep Charter School (YWCP) and I am active in the Rochester Women’s Network (RWN) and Women’s Council. I am grateful to have been inspired by so many women throughout my life and my career. During COVID, I did some serious reflecting on my work and decided that I wanted to do something more… I wanted to give back to the fabulous women that I met along my journey and who cheered me on to get me where I am today. In addition, it is no surprise that COVID had some major impacts on business, particularly women in business. For various pandemic related reasons, women were overwhelmingly forced to leave the work force (in fact, approximately 4 times the number of women left the work force in September 2020 compared to their male counterparts). Knowing that information, I thought about the sort of thing that I could offer that would help build the bridge for women to return to the workforce with success. I decided to then create a free legal roundtable to

provide women with legal resources in areas of business and life. With that, She Talks Law was born. What exactly is the mission behind She Talks Law? She Talks Law is a free legal roundtable for women business owners, entrepreneurs and investors. Our mission is to celebrate, connect and champion new and seasoned local women entrepreneurs and professionals by providing ongoing legal education and resources in a collaborative and supportive setting and equip our members with the tools necessary to succeed. What makes you hustle? My family. I come from a long line of hustlers. My grandmother was a mother of 7 who also had numerous foster children all while taking care of the home and working. She hustled. My grandfather started his own men’s clothing store in Seneca Falls. He hustled. My father started his own private practice at a young age and was elected and re-elected as Judge in the City of Canandaigua for over 30 years. He hustled. My brother, knowing nobody, moved out to L.A. after film school to pursue his dreams. He hustles. My husband is first generation Macedonian and is a successful real estate broker and business owner. He and all of his family hustle. I am inspired by the hustlers around me. What type of law do you practice and how do you feel this fits in with the concept behind She Talks Law? Answered in #1.

I know you just recently started STL, but how do you market this concept to your audience, and which tactics have been most successful? She Talks Law was born during COVID and a time when we were all remote. As such, my marketing was all remote. I was never very savvy with social media… until I had to be. COVID forced me in my business to learn creative strategies in order to connect with my clients and prospective clients. I could not rely on traditional networking lunches or meeting someone at the gym. Instead, I had to learn how to use one of the most powerful tools of our time—social media. I am still not a pro, but I certainly know more than I did 1 year ago. In addition to my own social network, I set my insecurities and fears aside and reached out to women and leaders who I admire and “picked their brain.” I asked them to teach me how they got to where they are, I explained She Talks Law, and asked them for advice. Then I followed that advice. To a T! My biggest piece of advice is to put your insecurities aside and don’t be afraid to take risks. You may surprise yourself with how much you are capable of. What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur, especially with being an attorney and working with small business owners? My drive to achieve was instilled in me at a young age by my incredibly supportive parents. My parents allowed me the flexibility to be whatever I wanted to be, so long as I did something that I


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loved and that makes me happy. To be honest, I still sometimes wonder what I want to be when I grow up haha! We all have pipe dreams, but for now, my happiness lies with supporting women in their ventures. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why? I would listen to my gut more. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in your business and as a female business owner in general? 1. Courage—having the courage to take risks and sometimes do what is unpopular. 2. Communication—not only communicating with colleagues, but communicating to the world what you do and how you can benefit others. 3. Balance—there IS such a thing as work/life balance if you learn to work smarter, not harder. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My parents. How do you define success? Success, for me, is a lot of things. It is the one definition that continuously evolves depending on the year/month/day and changes as my goals progress. Right now, success means the any act done in furtherance of your greater purpose. My personal goal is to celebrate each day’s

success, no matter how small. A success does not have to be the moment you make it to the C-suite with a 7 figure salary. Today, my success was making it to work on time after chasing my defiant 3 year old around and convincing him that he has to wear pants to school… every day. Tomorrow, my success may be career related. Each day is different and that is ok.

I always hate this question because it is hard to tell. I envision I will be continuing to represent more women business owners in their general corporate and real estate needs. I also will continue to support the charter school sector as that is an integral part of my career and who I am.

Is word of mouth working to your advantage, or is social media where it is at now?

Yes!

Word of mouth is powerful but people are using word of mouth on social media now so I see those as one in the same. LinkedIn has been my greatest asset lately. What is the most common question your clients ask you? “I have a friend who got arrested for _________, how long is he going to jail for?” I do not know! I am not a criminal attorney, but I know a few great ones. I know the monthly roundtables are viirtual, but do you ever plan on having them in person? Yes! In fact, that model is meant for in-person events so hopefully we will be transitioning to in-person later this summer. Let me know whether you would prefer a morning brunch event, or evening happy hours. Where do you see your business a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years?

Do you walk your talk?

What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? In my spare time, I am an avid road cyclist. Each year, I strive to ride at least 1 century ride (100 miles). What is your ‘why? ‘ Why did you become a lawyer? Why did you start the She Talks Law roundtable? Honestly, my “why” is to be great. There really is no other reason than I was blessed with the unique opportunity of a college education. There is not a single soul in this world that can take that away from me and it is my most impactful tool in my toolkit. As such, I feel an obligation to use that tool in the most effective way possible and in a way that is going to make my kids look at me and be proud to call me their mom. How do you balance work and life responsibilities? I am very organized and put everything in my calendar. I also am fortunate to have an extremely supportive family CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Success, for me, is a lot of things. It is the one definition that continuously evolves depending on the year/month/day and changes as my goals progress.”

and extended family to assist us with the kids. As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career and how did you overcome it? Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked the question, “are you the paralegal or the attorney” simply because I am a female. At first, I would get discouraged and assume that the person asking me thought I wasn’t smart enough to be an attorney (even 142

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though some paralegals know more than most attorneys do). However, as time went on, I began to see a trend and noticed that it was usually men over the age of 65 asking me that question. I now politely let them know that I am the attorney handling the matter, then proceed to blow their socks off with my kick ass negotiation skills . What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? Be fearless. And never question your

ability to have it all. If you work hard enough and ask questions, then you can and will be able to “have it all.” Who has been someone who has inspired you and why? Growing up, I was always inspired by my father. When he was a judge in the City of Canandaigua, he saw so many people going through a vicious cycle of crime – jail – streets – crime -jail – etc… He decided to do something about it. He started upstate NY’s first


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drug court in an effort to improve his community. Many thought he was crazy and today drug treatment courts are peppered all across the state of New York and the country and have saved millions of lives. Another person that inspired me is my husband. He is first generation Macedonian and worked incredibly hard to get to where he is now. He is an incredible entrepreneur and my biggest cheerleader, even if I am not the biggest cheerleader of myself. #24 What do you love most about yourself? My sons. They are an extension of me and I cannot imagine life without them. They make my world better.

My 2 amazing sons, Jax (age 3.5) and Jagger (age 1).

advice you would give to the women owned businesses in our audience?

What is some of the advice you share with young women entering a maledominated profession?

What gets you truly excited about life?

What is the best piece of free legal

This isn’t really “legal” advice, per se, but my best piece of advice as a lawyer is to tell you that the cheapest legal advice is not always the best. Shop around for an attorney that fits your needs and is aligned with your business goals and your mission. I like to sit down with my clients and create a “legal plan” to discuss their foreseeable goals. This allows us to work together as a team to accomplish the client’s goals one step at a time and allows me to foresee legal problems before they arise. I much prefer to be your teammate, rather than the person you call when shit hits the fan.

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Do not be afraid to speak up. Your voice is just as, or if not more than, powerful as the men in the room. You have a unique perspective and can offer something to the conversation that men cannot. Use it to your advantage. But also know when to be quiet. Your voice can be your best tool and your greatest weapon.


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BRANCHES OF GROWTH PHOTOS BY SARAH WILEY JOYCE PHOTOGRAPHY AND GRACE NOLAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. I am a wife to Tommy and mother to a baby girl, Madelyn and dog mom to Astrid. I grew up in CNY, attended East Syracuse-Minoa highschool and SUNY Oswego for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. After graduate school I moved around to Albany, Canandaigua and Rochester. I came back to Syracuse 4 years ago when my sister was pregnant with twins.

to heal, grow and learn. It was a terribly tough time for me. While I wanted desperately to help others never go through the pain of losing someone to suicide or to feel that they are out of options to choose suicide as the only way out but I didn’t have the capacity at that time to work in mental health. I took a break to nanny, work in retail

Staying connected with family is VERY important to me. My cousins and sister are some of my best friends. I also practice self care as a priority. I love running, spinning, yoga, spending time with my family (mainly my nieces and nephew), hanging out with friends and my audible account. Tell us about Branches of Growth and what made you decide to start a mental health counseling and yoga studio. I started BoG, under a different name in 2014, in Rochester. The original premise behind my private practice start up was centered around future plans to have a family and be able to set my own schedule. However, it changed suddenly in early 2015 when my then live-in significant other ended his life. Ironically, I was working at a suicide prevention call center at that time. My mental state of grief and anguish prevented me from ever taking another call. I realized I needed space and time

effects so severe that I knew I had to find another way to manage life. I then signed up for my 6 month yoga teacher training journey. Between yoga, running and wonderfully supportive therapists who provided holistic treatment approaches I was able to find my way to joy and contentment in life once again. During this time, I felt strong enough to also re-start my work in the mental health field. It was then that I realized yoga was a perfect complimentary treatment approach for my mental health clients. This painful, real life journey was the inspiration for the birth of Branches of Growth Mental Health Counseling and Yoga studio. What is your background?

and focus on my own existential crisis. When my sister asked me one day, “what are you going to do instead?” At that point I decided to be a yoga teacher. I had begun practicing yoga in 2012 and utilized it to cope during my difficult work at the Crisis Line, as well as after the death of my Uncle. Yoga had provided me amazing comfort in my grief then so I hoped that diving into yoga again might help me manage and process the life changing loss I was experiencing with the loss of my significant other. I had been prescribed medication from my primary care doctor but had adverse

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I completed both my graduate and undergraduate degrees from SUNY Oswego, from there I went right to work in the mental health field. I worked in Albany at an Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic, in Syracuse in the field of family therapy and then to Canandaigua for 3 years at the National Veteran’s Crisis Line before starting my own practice in 2014. From there, I completed my 200-hr yoga teacher certification in 2016, as well as graduated from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Families of Veterans at the Institute for Veterans & Military Families through Syracuse University in 2016. The EBV-F program was extremely helpful to give me the knowledge and tools to CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “The hustle began with a strong intrinsic desire to help my community. After working in suicide prevention and then becoming a survivor of suicide, I felt a strong need to help on a deeper level.”

run a successful business. I have also completed Level 2 Reiki training. What makes you hustle, especially being a female entrepreneur? That’s a great question and the answer has evolved over time. The hustle began with a strong intrinsic desire to help my community. After working in suicide prevention and then becoming a survivor of suicide, I felt a strong need to help on a deeper level. When I returned to Syracuse in 2018, the need for mental health care and response to my “yoga and mental health” approach was received with open arms. I knew this community needed more. I LOVE what I do as a counselor, yoga teacher and reiki practitioner. I’ve taught yoga classes at the VA in the psychiatric unit, senior chair yoga, corporate yoga, and classes for kids and teens. These days, my hustle is a little bit more immense since having a daughter. I hustle for her. I want her to know that she can do ANYTHING she sets her mind to. The best way to teach her is to show her. The road may be long, winding, with lots of mountains and weather to endure, but you can do WHATEVER you set your mind to. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? Since being in Syracuse for 4 years, I have made many connections with doctors, physical therapists, yoga teachers, personal trainers, teachers, therapists, social media and members of the community that refer to Branches of Growth. We also

connect with the community through our website www.branchesofgrowth.com, social media (facebook and Instagram), as well as psychologytoday.com. My biggest success has been working through my own anxiety and getting out of my own way! Running a business comes with a natural amount of anxiety but I struggled a lot with sleepless nights in the beginning and sometimes even now. I overcome this by reaching out to other business owners in this field for consultation and to not be afraid to consult with my lawyer or accountant with questions. The anxiety is still present, but it has its purpose. I now have tools that help me work with it versus against it. When did the entrepreneur big bite you? It was about 2 years ago when I bought the house for BoG. My goal was finally becoming real, meaning I could offer counseling and yoga in the same space! For 4 hard years I had faced obstacles that deterred this from happening. Now, that I own the space the major obstacles are removed. I have the freedom to grow my own business, creating a great work environment, not only for myself but for other counselors too! There is a huge need for private clinicians in our community. I am always looking for holistic providers to join our team and co-create Branches of Growth together. Where do you see yourself and your business three years from now? What about 5 or 10 years?

I have lots of goals, but they are not connected to any amount of time. I would like to work on a children’s book (which has been started, but who knows when it will be complete!). I am always continuing to educate myself and I would like to pursue a certification in personal training, become a reiki master and continue education in the field of mental health and yoga. There is also a growing list of certifications I am interested in pursuing. New practices are always being developed and I want to stay open and available to learn new ideas and approaches too. For my business, I would like to continue to grow the practice with additional clinicians including body workers (ie. Massage therapists, acupuncture, etc.), have yoga classes throughout the week and have locations throughout our community. I would also like to add consulting for other clinicians or small business owners to my business plan at some point in the future. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome over the past year, especially with a pandemic and how did you pivot to continue helping your clients? The pandemic has been a rollercoaster for mental health. We went to telehealth on March 17. Some clinicians started back in person in October. Our greatest need is more providers to meet the needs of our community. We have been continuously seeking contractors and employees to fill this need. Working with insurance companies is another substantial obstacle because of credentialing requirements and the lengthy credentialing process


{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My biggest success has been working through my own anxiety and getting out of my own way!”

which delays services to those who have immediate needs. Yoga was hit hard with the pandemic. The studio was only up and running for 5 months before Covid. I did a few Zoom classes but did not feel they were effective. The studio re-opened in February but due to regulations can only have 3 students per class. Classes this small are challenging but can be more personal. I am currently offering classes once a week and offering private, personalized classes individually or with a small group of friends. Before the pandemic, I was teaching “Mommy & Me” yoga classes for kids ages 4-6 and Parent & Teen Yoga for Anxiety. We have not yet been able to resume those classes but will as restrictions ease up. Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? Being a business owner in this field means I can create a healing space for myself and my community while also creating an income. This deeply rooted desire for a safe and peaceful environment is what drives me every day. I love being able to set my own schedule. This allows me time to be home with my daughter and to manage administrative duties as well. I also enjoy being the decision maker, although sometimes this is difficult, I feel I am a leader and appreciate the challenge. I am grateful to be here doing what I love. Who has been someone who has inspired 156

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you in your profession and why? My inspiration has been derived by many. While there is no particular mentor that I adhere to, I learn something every day from my clients. I am inspired by their drive, bravery and commitment to themselves. I have great empathy for those struggling in emotional pain. I am inspired by Don Miguel Ruiz , author of The Four Agreements, Dr. Bessell Van Der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps Score, Glennon Doyle, Megan Devine and so many others. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Do not take things personally. This is one of The Four Agreements (Ruiz) that hits home for me. Everyone has a story that you know nothing about. Respond with this in mind, rather than react from a defensive position. Learn to listen to hear - not to respond. Pause after listening so that you can respond thoughtfully. Take time to answer text messages, emails and phone calls. For professionals make sure you have thought out a professional response not an emotional one. Also, ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS HARD! If it was easy, everyone would do it, so be gentle to yourself when you slip up. What is your favorite part of the business? My favorite part is connecting with people, whether it be connecting people to services, yoga students, clients and other

clinicians affiliated with the practice. We have an amazing group of clinicians that contract through Branches of Growth that share the same passion to help our community. It is a great reminder why I chose to become an entrepreneur. I also love that I can offer this space to share with the much needed clinicians in our community. I hope BoG will be a hub for many as they seek space for their practice. What would you say are your strengths as an entrepreneur? I am extremely hard working and dedicated to not only my business but the mission.I make sure to return every call, email and inquiry to assist those seeking services. If we are unable to schedule new clients at our practice, we provide referrals. The process of connecting with services can be long and exhausting, especially during COVID. I hear stories from many people that are finally at the point of seeking help or seeking help for their child. They might have called 10-20 providers with no return calls or they hear that providers have no appointment times available. I hope to decrease the pain of this struggle and increase hope for those seeking help. If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself?


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{ { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “The original premise behind my private practice start up was centered around future plans to have a family and be able to set my own schedule.”

I would tell myself that it is okay to reach out for help. Although there are a lot of people out there that are not willing to help or return calls, there ARE people that are willing to help and you don’t have to do it all on your own! I now have my team that I consult with when I have an idea. My team provides advice as well as guidance so that I am not alone. I would also tell myself to enjoy nonworking vacations! Since Branches of Growth started growing 4 years ago, I’ve worked through vacation and even when I was in the hospital having my daughter. It is important to find the balance between hustle and life outside of work to maintain your own mental wellness. It’s a constant work in progress especially for someone as driven as me. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date? Easily, my greatest accomplishment to date has been finding joy and harmony as a mother and wife. Professionally I would say shifting with the pandemic and listening to what the needs of the community are. I recreated my business plan in a way that not only benefits the folks currently associated with Branches of Growth, but also allows for substantial growth potential in the business. The normalization of telehealth services has been huge in our field. We can now offer services from anywhere, while you can meet with your therapist from anywhere! All of our therapists offer telehealth services, which is another great way we can fulfill our mission and meet the needs of our community. We also

offer in person sessions. This is absolutely crucial for certain populations. As a business owner, I am not only trying to fill the needs of our customers but also employees and contractors. Without those entities, there is no business. What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an idea to really building your business ? Owning a studio for yoga was a shock to realize how difficult it is to maintain. Teaching a class a week or even once a day won’t cover expenses. I have enormous respect for studio owners, especially with COVID. There is a lot of competition from other studios, gyms, home workout and youtube channels. It is unquestionably challenging to stand out and can feel quite defeating. Another surprise was how many tasks that go into having a business. It’s not just about the customer and the provider. There are rules, regulations, guidelines, mundane administrative duties, legal work, accounting, website, social media, budgets, marketing, business coaches, plus maintenance and caring for a house for the business and my personal home. Learning to delegate and hire help where I need is paramount to my success. What makes you different from traditional yoga studios and mental health counselors? I believe that we are different from other mental health counselors because we do offer holistic approaches to treatment and focus on the whole person.We also accept many insurances and a sliding

scale in hopes to make mental health services accessible to all people. We stand out from traditional yoga studios because our classes are designed specific to mental health. For example, one of our current classes is “Yoga for Anxiety” on Friday evenings during the summer. We not only do the asanas (postures) of yoga, but teach coping skills and strategies to regulate the nervous system through breath, meditation and mindfulness. Other classes we specialize are yoga for stress relief, yoga for mental wellness, teen & parent yoga for anxiety, mommy & me. Perhaps in the future we will offer chair yoga to help reach the needs of our community. What does a “Holistic Approach to Wellness” mean to you? Holistic means that we notice the whole body in treatment. Although you may seek support because of specific symptoms, we need to look at everything in your life. Here’s a good way to think about it: If I’m taking my car to the shop because the check engine light is on, the mechanic isn’t just going to tighten the gas cap and move on. They are going to walk around the outside, look under the hood and assess all parts of the car to ensure that they have made an accurate diagnosis and plan to help that car to run better. Holistic means that we need to assess all aspects of your life to see what you need to feel whole again. Things like food and water intake, sleep, spirituality, social support network, exercise, having a safe environment to live; there are all aspects that create wellness. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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PERFECTLY PITCHED TEEPEES AND TENTS So how did you create Perfectly Pitched Teepees and Tents? Perfectly Pitched Teepees and Tents (a slumber party rental company) was inspired by a slumber party rental company in North Carolina, at my niece’s 6th birthday party back in 2019. We (my mom, my sister and I) were stunned by their beautiful presentation and the wonderful customer service. We thought that this would be a great party planning service to bring to the Central New York Area. So, we did just that!

working on our Instagram Page: @ perfectlypitched_teepeesntents. We want to say, “thank you” to our community for their continuous support! When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? In the summer of 2019, after our exposure to the slumber party company in North Carolina at my niece’s birthday party.

We wanted to bring a different kind of party planning option to the Central New York Area. What makes you hustle as a female entrepreneur?

How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? We utilize social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram! On our Facebook Business Page: @ perfectlypitchedteepeesandtents, we have over 1.2k followers. We’re currently

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? Being a business owner of a slumber party rental company means providing our clients with excellent customer services, giving them the PERFECT presentation and of course, living up to our business name, “Perfectly Pitched Teepees and Tents!” We realized that CNY’s party planning market was missing a slumber party rental company. So, we decided to bring this option to the Central New York Area.

What made you decide to start your own business, especially one that is so creative and different?

We enjoy the liberty of making an extra income by doing something fun! (setting up slumber parties for children and adults) When you’re having fun, it doesn’t even feel like you’re working!

We were fortunate enough to stay open during the pandemic (Following Covid-19 guidelines). Our services are very intimate (6 or less individuals). So, it was much easier to accommodate our clients, due to our smaller numbers. However, we were not booked for slumber parties as often as we would have liked during the pandemic.

Where do you see your business 5 years from now? In 5 years, we would like to provide more services to a larger audience of adults and couples. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome during the pandemic?

Who has been someone who has inspired you in your journey and why? We were initially inspired by a slumber party rental company in North Carolina back in 2019. Their customer service and presentation were amazing! We strive to do the same in our company. Since then, we’ve networked with other slumber party rental companies around the globe.




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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “We wanted to bring a different kind of party planning option to the Central New York Area.”

What’s the best business advice you have received that you want to pass on to others? Find your niche, and with hard work and dedication, everything will fall into place! What is your favorite part of the business?

Seeing our company’s growth from 2019 to the present day and knowing that we’re getting better and better each day!

In a partnership, be sure to hear everyone’s ideas, suggestions, etc. Schedule team meetings as often as you need to, to keep everyone on the same page. Communication is the key to any type of relationship. Especially a business.

What were the things that most surprised you along the way from

What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?

We all enjoy traveling! We schedule our vacation time around our business schedule. The holidays are usually our free time to do so.

My favorite part of the business is my awesome team! We’ve created a family business, where everyone can showcase their talents. What would you say are your strengths as a female business owner? My mother, Vonsere, enjoys building our inventory (shopping) and public relations. My sister, Alana, is the online business coordinator and marketing designer. I, Chassidy enjoy organizing the inventory, planning and decorating the slumber party set-ups. It just came natural for all of us. If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? Know your worth! Do not be afraid to go back and revise the blueprint.

What is your Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? We would love to be booked with slumber parties every weekend!

just having an initial idea to really going full force into business? Other businesses in the CNY area look up to us. They see what we’re doing and are inspired. We really appreciate that, and it motivates us to go even harder for our company.

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? A bigger vehicle for transporting the slumber party equipment. We currently utilize two vehicles. So, a utility van would be extremely helpful in our line of business!

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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “Being a business owner of a slumber party rental company means providing our clients with excellent customer services, giving them the PERFECT presentation and of course, living up to our business name, “Perfectly Pitched Teepees and Tents!” ”

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GREY BIRD BAKERY Tell us about Gray Bird Bakery and how you got started.... How did you come up with such an unusual name? The Gray Bird Bakery is a one-woman owned and operated home bakery in Syracuse, NY that specializes in French macarons and decorated sugar cookies. I do not have a storefront but instead, I can be found online at www. graybirdbakery.com. My website has a contact page that allows clients to share their cookie inspirations with me and request a quote. There is also a page where clients can place orders for macarons and batch cookies by the dozen, and even brownies. When a client places an order, I get to work baking just for them! The inspiration for my bakery’s name is a little unusual. Several years ago, I decided to go natural with my hair color and found that I really loved the gray. I often joke that I am the Gray Bird... silly, I know. What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur and create such a specialty business? Can I be honest and say that I never expected to start my own business? I’m a cookie-loving homebody that values time with my family above all else. As my kids grew and became more independent, there was time available for me to start investing in my interests. Starting a home bakery allowed me to enjoy all my favorite things!

What makes you hustle, especially as a female entrepreneur? I’m going against the grain with this answer, but I don’t really feel compelled to “hustle.” I believe that the best way for me to grow my home bakery business is by consistently trying to exceed my clients’ expectations. What does success mean to you?

I make for my clients are often being enjoyed while celebrating special moments in life...weddings, showers, graduations, birthdays. My clients trust me to make something that is not only delicious and beautiful, but is also an expression of their love for the one(s) they are celebrating. I try to honor that trust with attention to detail and generosity. My clients will often find extra sugar cookies and macarons to enjoy on the ride home after picking up their order. If you had to pick one item that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why? I would consider hand-decorated cookies to be my specialty, whether it’s a sugar cookie or macaron. I love the process of decorating a humble cookie and elevating it to edible art. If you could interview one person who has inspired you, who would it be and what would you ask them?

For me, success is seeing my little bakery grow while managing my schedule in such a way that keeps my time with my family the top priority. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner especially in such a niche business? The sugar cookies and macarons that

I look to the women I know that have deep faith, healthy marriages, thriving families and who are pursuing what they love to do for my inspiration. I find tremendous encouragement in hearing their stories. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? My ideal audience is someone that CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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HUSTLES TALKS} } } { {IN { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HER OWN WORDS “I’m a cookie-loving homebody that values time with my family above all else.”

wants to celebrate with a sweet treat that is designed and hand-decorated just for them. While I have a presence on Instagram (@graybirdbakery), I have found that my most successful marketing tool is personal recommendations from happy clients.

register my business name. Even then, I was filled with doubts and wasn’t sure that I could succeed. I don’t think I can ever forget how my daughter looked at me at that moment. She was proud of me. It was then that I felt a real surge of excitement take over.

If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself?

What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them?

What’s the best business advice you have received that you want to pass on to others?

Don’t compare myself to others. The woman God has uniquely made me to be is all I need to be.

I credit my husband, Joel, with giving

Tell us about your very first job and how old you were.

Like everyone else, I was unsure how the events of 2020 would affect my business. I focused on communicating with my followers through social media to assure them that I was still available to help them celebrate safely. I was really touched by my clients’ support and felt honored to be able to provide some sweet comfort during such a hard time.

I started babysitting to earn spending money when I was 12. My first “grown up” job was at 16 years old. I was a parttime office assistant to Dr. Campanile, a pediatrician with a small practice in Syracuse.

How do you balance work & life? I consider myself very blessed to be able to only commit to projects that fit into my family’s schedule. Baking from home allows me to step away from a project when my kids need me and come back to it when I am ready. When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? My story as a business owner began in February of 2019 when I walked into City Hall with my daughter to 174

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me the best advice. He has always encouraged me to “do what you can now, with what you already have” and to “fail faster.” I won’t lie... I really hated these little pearls of wisdom when I first heard them. It’s not my nature to take risks. I’d rather wait to do something once I’m confident of success. Knowing that I had his full support, and that he believed that I would succeed, has helped me to be brave.

products?

What makes you different from other places that offer the same services/

What sets me apart from the other bakeries is that I bake in small batches and decorate everything by hand. Nothing is made in bulk in advance. The flavors and color palettes of the cookies I make are chosen by my client to suit their special occasion. Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years?


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HUSTLES TALKS } } } { {IN { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HER OWN WORDS “The Gray Bird Bakery is a one-woman owned and operated home bakery in Syracuse, NY that specializes in French macarons and decorated sugar cookies.”

I have been blessed to see my business nearly double each year since I began. I’m very grateful for the growth I’ve experienced from client referrals and hope to see that continue. What would you say is your mission and what truly excites you about what you do?

unique talents are and what things I truly love to make. I do my best to keep my focus fixed on these things. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? I love to get away alone with my husband from time to time. As a homeschooling

When I want to show someone in my life that I love and care for them, I bake for them. My mission is to make it possible for you to celebrate the ones you love the same way, even if you’re not the one who is sifting the flour! If you had to choose right now, what is your favorite flavor macaron? That’s easy... salted caramel bourbon. No wait, hazelnut cappuccino. Maybe blueberry vanilla bean. This question is too hard. What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new entrepreneur to learn and why? I believe it is critical to stay focused on what makes your business unique to you. I’m a baker but I won’t attempt to offer anything and everything that can be baked. I have learned what my

o’s) are a delightfully sticky coconut confection often dipped in chocolate. I specialize in French macarons. These are a colorful, meringue based cookie that is sandwiched with a creamy filling or ganache. My youngest daughter, Avery, first asked me to make them for her birthday several years ago. She wanted blue macs filled with Nutella. I was excited to try them and figured they couldn’t be that hard, right? I was quickly humbled by failure and wanted to redeem myself. The process is unforgiving, but I have found very helpful tips from other macaron makers on Instagram like @piesandtacos and @ sweetmacshop. It took years of practice but I finally made a macaron that I was proud of! Is your family involved with your business?

family, we enjoy a lot of time with our kids. It’s really refreshing to take time for just the two of us. Where did you learn to bake, and to make macaroons?

I LOVE this question. The answer is yes! While I do all the baking and decorating, my kids will often jump in and assist me with preparing labels and packaging. My oldest daughter, Bailey, is a gifted artist who is learning to decorate sugar cookies as well.

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SKYTOP COFFEE Tell us about SkyTop Coffee and what is the mission and inspiration behind your business? In 2018, we formed SkyTop Coffee to be able to realize our dream of owning our café and Organic Coffee Roastery. We decided early on to offer only Certified Organic Coffee, and to partner exclusively with importers that pay not only a “Fair Trade” wage, but a wage above Fair Trade. As a USDA and a NOFA-NY Certified Organic Specialty Coffee Roaster we offer fully traceable supply lines. We are passionate about organic specialty coffee, lessening our environmental impact and our strong commitments to our farmer partners at origin.

8 New Roasters in North America (we were number 4) by Coffee Review. That validation was the jumping off point for us, and we started looking for a brickand-mortar space, and when a location became available in our hometown of Manlius, NY we were ready to launch!

of our lives. She was kind, intelligent, hardworking, and she had a great laugh! She embraced life and loved vacations. She taught me how to be a planner, and how to stay organized. I channel her energy and spirit on a daily basis. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? As a female entrepreneur in 2021 we have more mentors and role models than ever before. While this is not gender specific, being an entrepreneur allows you to do what you love, lead others, and be responsible for your own future.

What made you decide to create your business and become a female entrepreneur? After about 20 years in the sales and marketing side of the retail, coffee and hospitality industries, I knew I wanted to create our own brand. Locally we were not finding the origins of organic coffee that we wanted to drink, so we started SkyTop Coffee Company and began importing and roasting our own organic specialty coffee. In those first 2 years, we said yes to every opportunity. We started making the rounds at farmer’s markets, vendor events, food & beverage festivals, and in 2019 we were named one of the Top

What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner in creating your brand? Patience. You need to be patient with the process. Success doesn’t happen overnight.

Tell us one story about someone who has inspired you. My stepmother, Patricia, was always a source of inspiration for me. The day she married my father was the best day

schedules.

Organization. I am an organized planner that thrives on lists, and

Work Ethic. If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to work for it. Running our business takes long hours 7 days a week.

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “We are passionate about organic specialty coffee, lessening our environmental impact and our strong commitments to our farmer partners at origin.”

Education. I surround myself with talented people. When I talk about SkyTop Coffee, I always say “WE”, because SkyTop Coffee is a team effort. We take our coffee education seriously here. Our team is comprised of a Licensed Q-Grader and Cup of Excellence Judge, sensory experts, a SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) Level II Roaster, Level II Baristas, and a Johnson & Wales Culinary School Graduate as our restaurant Chef. We have an amazing team of dedicated and hardworking professionals that help make our guests’ café experience the best it can be! Realistic Expecations. Run your numbers, then run them three more times. Think about every scenario, good and bad. Hope is not a strategy; you need a plan. If you had to pick just one that you would consider your “specialty” coffee what would it be and why? Our Peru Cup of Excellence #9. Cup of Excellence is an annual competition held in several countries to identify the highest quality coffee produced. We won the PERU COE#9 at auction in December 2020. It has tasting notes of pineapple, coffee blossom and brown sugar. What sets you apart from other coffee businesses? We make some of the highest quality organic specialty coffees available in the world accessible to our guests. We also separate ourselves by only offering 100% commercially compostable, and ecofriendly take away cups, lids, containers

and cutlery; for to-go items. Our whole bean bags are also compostable after removing the label and tin tie. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business especially during the pandemic? Social Media has been integral as our communication link to our guests and our community. Being able to share what’s happening at our shop to our followers is crucial. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? Having people engage with your brand on a daily basis is really thrilling. People tend to find us on Google or Coffee Review. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? We signed our lease in November 2019, began construction on our space, and then NY shut down because of COVID-19 in March 2020. We opened as soon as we were able on May 9, 2020. The pandemic required us to take a pause, regroup, and rewrite our opening expectations for our business. Mentally, physically, and financially we prepared ourselves for this new normal of masks, gloves, and plexiglass barriers. Since we opened our business during the pandemic, we have no frame of reference for shop life before COVID-19. In the beginning certain supplies were difficult to procure, but it’s much easier now. We’re excited to see what the years bring as we come out

of the pandemic. How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges you experience? It can be difficult to find balance, and we do miss out on a lot, but our family/ friends are very understanding. Most of the local ones stop by the shop each week and we catch up that way. We also try to stay as connected as possible via social media and text. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated? We really love what we do, so it’s pretty easy to be self-motivated. But we all have our hard days. If I’m having a particularly hard week, I listen to a motivational speech that Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) gave to the LA Lakers. It’s so powerful! Do you listen to any Podcasts? If so, who do you listen to the most and what do you take away from it? Not currently. What makes your business unique and stand out from others? Our 100% Organic offerings, our environmental platform, and our team of professionals in the café. What makes you hustle? Making a positive impact within coffee industry makes me hustle.


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS}}} SHIFT+CONTROL “After about 20 years in the sales and marketing side of the retail, coffee and hospitality industries, I knew I wanted to create our own brand.”

Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? We’re getting ready for a new round of expansion, and we plan on growing our list of offerings. We are also expanding our kitchen at our current location to offer food service a few nights a week in the future. Where did you come up with the name 186

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SkyTop Coffee? SkyTop is a mountain biking area in Syracuse that we ride to blow off steam. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business, especially a coffee company? Do your market research, and make sure you’re bringing something unique

to your community. Coffee is a very crowded field, and you need to be ready to be in a very highly competitive space. “What are people saying?” about you... They’re excited that we are in Manlius, and they’re happy to come along on this journey with us! Our guests are like family, and we’re so pleased to be able to serve our community.





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WALKING MISS DAISY Tell us a little bit about Walking Miss Daisy and how you started, what your business is about, and what is your mission. Walking Miss Daisy Pet Accessories is named after my first rescue dog. It all started when I went to find a collar and leash for Daisy. What I was finding was basic and poorly made. Not good enough for my Daisy girl! It was then that I started playing around with the idea of making some myself. I learned to sew in high school and used to make my own clothes, so why not give it a shot at making some pet accessories. My mission is to give people quality options with fabulous patterns for their fur babies.

every single-track meet, soccer game and everything in between. My life revolved around them. Once they graduated, my life changed. More me time. What the heck do I do now? Start a business of course. How do you find new customers? What has been your biggest success? For me finding new customers is by

When did the entrepreneur big bite you? I got bit by the entrepreneur bug at a very early age. I used to jot down ideas and rip out pictures from magazines. What started out with one notebook of ideas turned into several. My mind is always going a mile a minute. I could be driving down the street and simply see a unique color or an image and wham another idea is born. It’s a bit difference now a days though I have to immediately jot it down because my memory isn’t what it used to be.

What made you decide to start your own small business? Starting a business is not new to me. I have had 2 other businesses in the past. What makes you hustle? I’ve always had the hustle and bustle mentality. A go getter if you will. The busier the better. If I have an idea, I’m going to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Sometimes jumping in prematurely, but I always make it work, somehow or another. Once my children were both born it was all about them. Honestly, now that they’re grown up it still really is about them. I was that mom that didn’t miss any of my kid’s activities, volunteered at their schools and attended

and a half years ago. I was accepted into an amazing local shop in Syracuse, NY. I took the chance on putting my products in this local artisan shop called Wildflowers. Wildflowers consist of local upstate artisans that blow my mind with their unique talents. I’ve learned so much from all of them. Surrounding myself with creative individuals’ rock!

#6 Where do you see Walking Miss Daisy 5 years from now? showing my face in the community. Being present. When I first started my business, I was doing event after event, every single weekend. It’s important to introduce my creations to people so they can see them in person. See the craftsmanship, feel the durability and have options of fabulous patterns. Many doors opened for me about two

Walking Miss Daisy Pet Accessories will be taken to a higher level within five years. I have a few ideas up my sleeve. I can share one now, I hope to be able to offer jobs to people in my community. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome during the pandemic and now that we are opening up a little more? CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ Walking Miss Daisy Pet Accessories is named after my first rescue dog. It all started when I went to find a collar and leash for Daisy.”

The biggest challenge during the pandemic was all my events being cancelled. My plan was to go strong attending as many events as humanly possible so I could get a feel of what events were best for my pet accessories business. This was the plan for the first three years and then decide what the best avenue was. Seeing that my plans changed I felt the need to test the waters and start selling my products in more small local stores. Now that things seem to

be going in the right direction regarding the pandemic, I’m looking forward to sharing all my new products at events outside and meeting more pets! Please tell us what being a woman owned business means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? I’ve always been an independent woman and I take pride in that. Being a woman

entrepreneur, putting my ideas into action is empowering. Showing my daughter and my son that hard work and determination gets you to your destination. Who has been someone who has inspired you and why? I’m not a one inspirational kind a gal. I’m inspired by kindness and simplicity. Peace, Love, Creativity and individuality. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} { { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I’ve always had the hustle and bustle mentality. A go getter if you will. The busier the better.”

What’s the best business advice you have received that you want to pass on to others? This is not advice given to me, this is my advice. If you have an idea, step outside the box. Don’t worry about what others think. Know it’s okay that your destination may have bumps in the road. Keep your eyes open. Most of all ENJOY THE RIDE.

long ago, I’d tell myself to refrain from buying every beautiful and unique piece of fabric and ribbon. It’s an addiction, I realize that now. What would you say is your most favorite item that you sell and why? Choosing only one favorite item that I sell is a tough one. It would have to be my collars with an added touch of a

What is your favorite part of the business?

Ha free time! Seeing I’m an ENL Teacher by day and running a business by night free time is limited. But I do love to spend time with my kids and family. The sunshine brings me happiness. So, whether it’s enjoying a day out with my family or simply relaxing in the yard with my two dogs, I am blessed and grateful.

What would you say are your strengths as a business owner?

If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? If I could go back to the very start of my business, which really wasn’t that 194

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An important lesson is to understand and accept that all your wonderful ideas may not be mutual with your clientele. It’s about trial and error. I’ve had may fair share and will continue to, I’m sure. I listen to suggestions and what customers are looking for. Maybe it just needs a tweak or maybe it’s just time to come up with another idea. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?

My two favorite parts of my business is seeing my creations being wore by all the dogs and cats. When the pet owners send me pictures it puts a smile on my face and I love sharing them all on my social media. Secondly, I love doing special orders! You have an idea I’ll make it happen

My business strengths are being able to juggle quite a few things at a time and being able to rise above most obstacles.

What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new business owner to learn and why ?

flower or two or even a snazzy bow tie.

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 ?

What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an initial idea to really going full force into business ?

If I needed to start over again tomorrow and change or add just one thing, I would tell myself it’s okay to slow down. Though I probably wouldn’t listen.

What surprised me the most from my initial idea to my full-fledged business was how quickly my products were appreciated. What started as an idea turned into a business, I plan on growing for many years to come.

Where can our audience find you? - Wildflowers Armory in Syracuse NY -Lucky Pupp in Syracuse NY -The Shoppes at Johnny Appleseeds in Erieville NY


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FLORIDELLA BOUTIQUE KB: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and how Floridella Boutique came about. MV: Hi, there! My name is Monica Villegas and I love fashion and styling customers, it’s one of my passions. I believe it’s in my genes as well, both of my parents were always ahead of fashion trends back in the day. When they couldn’t find the right outfit, they would have it made. And that’s how I started in the fashion sphere. In my teenage years I would have my aunt who is a seamstress make my own designs. “It’s just fun and no one else would have my outfit” was always my response.

spot for a ladies shop. It was small, cozy, quaint and most importantly, it was available. A couple of years ago it was almost impossible to find a location in Downtown Syracuse. Unfortunately, after a year of being opened we had to move for construction purposes but it was a blessing in disguise as the street we moved to was highly busy and we were able to established twice the amount of clientele if not more. The following year of being established Covid came lurking around and combined with the

So here we are still navigating through uncertainties we have opened a Pop UP location at Delevan Studios near Downtown Syracuse. Great location 1st floor with free parking available. We are currently opened by appointments or business hours of Fridays and Saturdays 11-3 until further notice. Customers seem to love it and it seems to be working for now. KB: What makes you hustle?

KB: What made you decide to start your own business, especially in the fashion industry? MV:Floridella was born from our imagination over 13 years ago. While I was sitting on my bed thinking of several ways to venture out onto business opportunities, my oldest daughter came into my room (twelve at that time) out of nowhere she said, “mom, we should open a ladies shop”. Her timing was perfect, and just like that we started planning and the rest was history. I’m by nature a dreamer and visionary, I look at empty buildings and commercial places and imagine shops; café’s, bakeries, deli’s and boutiques. One day in my travels I found the perfect

good place to be and I don’t discard the possibility of relocating again. But for now baby steps.

vandalism that took place back in May of 2020, not knowing what was going to happen I decided to close shop. It was opened for 2 months later that year to reduce inventory, but with no plans to reopen permanently. Thankfully I have amazing customers, they would come through to shop and get me all excited about being in business again and the support of the staff of Syracuse Downtown Committee and my amazing landlord of Dey’s Brothers Building with all their considerations gave me a little hope at that time enough to dream a little longer. Downtown is a

MV: My hustle comes from many sources primarily customers, I think of them when I see styles that would flatter them, just interacting and chatting about anything and everything. Combined with a passion for fashion and a good dose of servanthood, yes, catering to your needs in respect to fashion and being helpful is part of my drive, I love to serve. I believe it’s fundamental for good customer service. I truly want to help find that item that will make you feel special and fabulous. Also the Fashion Industry itself does not give you much room to stay idle, there is always something new and fabulous to wear! Great therapy too if you ask me. KB: How did you come up with the name Floridella Boutique? CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “I’m by nature a dreamer and visionary, I look at empty buildings and commercial places and imagine shops; café’s, bakeries, deli’s and boutiques. One day in my travels I found the perfect spot for a ladies shop.”

MV: A lot of customers ask me of the origin of the name, it is a compound word made of two Spanish words that I put together. It sounded so melodic and different and spoke volumes to my heart. It’s a combination of flor (flower) and ella (her) Floridella, in other words... HER FLOWERS in reference to my daughters, they are mines to grow, nurture and cultivate. Both of my daughters are in the beauty industry and are also passionate about fashion and wellbeing. Alexandra, my oldest does lash extensions and is currently developing her microblading business. Andrea, is a hair stylist and makeup artist, specializing in bridal makeup. And both are lovers of people and offer great customer service also using the best products in the industry. Can you hear the proud mama talking? Lol KB: When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? MV: I was 18 years old, I started in the flower and gift industry with my own shop. After that I was into opening and selling gift and flower shops. It came easy to me establish the business, collect the clientele and then sell it to someone who wanted to skip through the small beginnings of business. KB: Where do you see your business 5 years from now? MV: I am looking forward in the future to creating a clothing line unique to Floridella from my own inspirations and designs. KB: What has been the biggest 200

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challenge to overcome during the pandemic?

KB: What would you say are your strengths as a business owner?

MV: The toughest part for me personally, would have to be the change in the economy and the way business is conducted. I couldn’t get the online boutique aspect started for personal reasons, but it’s another one of my goals.

MV: I genuinely care for my customers hence it shows in customer service, and I’m always looking to add new vendors to our buying list to keep things fresh and different

KB: Please tell us what being a female business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? MV: I find being a woman does give me an advantage as there are more social and economic programs catering to the woman. I did work for a corporate company for over 10 years and got somewhat tired of the normal day to day routine and not being able to express my creativity. Thus why I realized entrepreneurship was the way to go for me. KB: What’s the best business advice you have received that you want to pass on to others? MV: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION and ADVERTISE! KB: What is your favorite part of the fashion business? MV: The everchanging trends and seasons makes the Fashion industry interesting and ongoing so there is something new at every corner. Plus the idea of going shopping for someone else just thrills me.

KB: If you could time travel back to day one of your start up and have 15 minutes with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? MV: One of my biggest mistakes was to try to cater to a wide range of customers, it’s best to narrow it down to a targeted audience and learn how to read your customers and their preferred level of assistance. KB: What would you say is your fashion style and what sets you apart from other boutiques? MV: Our style is mainly focused on Comfort and quality, uniqueness and casual sophistication, considered mostly artsy and with European tendencies but made mostly in USA KB: What are the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an initial idea to really going full force in your business? MV: Most people ask me if a was somewhat afraid when I started. Not at all I like the adventure of new beginnings, if anything I was excited


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{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL “ In my teenage years I would have my aunt who is a seamstress make my own designs. “It’s just fun and no one else would have my outfit” was always my response.”

nd that does come as a surprise even to me because there are many things that involve developing a business and I didn’t go to college for any of it, but years of retail and sales experience were the full force for following our business adventure. KB: What is the lesson that you think is more important for a new business owner to learn and why? MV: After finding your desired business adventure and creating a business plan to guide you with valuable questions and insights build a team among family and friends that you can count on along the

road, their support is valuable. Also build a professional team such as accountant, attorneys, financial institution experts and other professionals in the same industry you are venturing out. KB: Have you found being a woman owned business has helped, or hindered you? MV: Hands down, helped! KB: What is your number one business goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?

eventually a clothing line. KB: If you needed to start all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing to change, add or subtract, what will it be? MV: I would set upon the online business boutique. It seems that during pandemic that was the preferred shopping method. I’m fortunate to love what I’m doing and according to customers (allow me to toot my horn here) I’m good at it so it’s a win win and I just can’t complain.

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WOMEN’S CLOTHING STORE · ACCESSORIES

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SAMANTHA LAPOINTE PHOTOS BY PERCY DAVIS & STEVIE MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell us about yourself, your business and how you started as a makeup artist. A: I attended beauty school in New Jersey, and instantly fell in love with all aspects of the trade. Makeup is something I work on everyday to become better at as I am a firm believer in “There is always room for improvement.”

influencers & Photographers on social media. And I watch a lot of YouTube videos, to stay on top of all the new trends. I’m also always taking new online makeup & photography classes, to learn all of the new techniques that I can.

Why did you choose this profession?

What makes you “hustle”?

A: Photography. It’s a way that I get to work with the client, to help make their photographic dreams become a reality!

A: My kids! I have 2 teenage boys,

What is your specialty service that you are known for?

A: Making sure my client is comfortable, Making sure My services are affordable to everyone and making sure my Client is 100% pleased with the final product!.

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide your clients?

How do you stay abreast of the latest trends and on top of continuing education? A: I follow a lot of models, beauty

What is your most favorite service to provide and why?

As a female business owner, what are your top three priorities?

A: While I’m also a makeup artist and model, I’m mostly known as a freelance Photographer, which is what I do the majority of the time.

A: For me, the most important quality is comfort! I always strive to be sure to make my clients as comfortable as possible. Also, having fun is a MUST! If everyone isn’t having a good time and enjoying themselves, it will show in the finished product!

A: It’s something I’ve always loved, and have a strong passion for it!

and I want them to always work hard for what they’re passionate about! So I try to set a good example, to show them how important it is to follow your dreams! What fascinates you about this line of work? A: I get to express my creativity, and make people happy!

Who is one artist that totally inspires you creatively and why? A: I’m going to have to go with a duo-team on this one. Kay and Ray Alvarez! They’re a husband and wife Photographer/ Makeup team based out of Binghamton, NY! They’re work is absolutely phenomenal, and I strive daily, to one day be at their level! Do you walk your talk as a lady boss? CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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A: Absolutely! Nobody has my back, like I do! You have to grind as if you’re life depends on it, especially with children to take care of. I like to work hard, because I LOVE seeing all my hard work pay off.

for the future?

What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?

Makeup artists are a very competitive business. What do you think sets you apart from your competition? What makes you different?

A: Delegation, Commitment, Determination, Hard work & Passion.

A: My drive and passion.

A: To expand, book more shoots and makeup jobs. Just to really get my name out there, and share my creativity with as many people as possible.

Who were the mentors that encouraged you?

A: Word of mouth! When you have happy clients, they’ll spread the word! Social media is a huge platform for me also. What are your plans for your business 210

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Second, For people to be more compassionate and understanding of one another. Third, for everyone to work harder to make life easier for everyone around them in the world.

A: My Best friend Kait Boswell! She’s a local model and She’s always ready to let me try new looks on her, and always down for an impromptu photoshoot!

A: Because when you do something that you love, it doesn’t feel like work.

What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business?

A: I’ll just go with the obvious: First, no more Covid.

Who has been your favorite client to work with and why?

“What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do?

A: My kids! Especially my younger son, Angel. He’s starting to develop an interest in Photography, so I let him sometimes go to shoots with me. He’s always trying to help with shoot ideas, and pushing me to try new things.

the three things you would change in the world, especially in 2021?

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? A: Running a successful photography business! Are you a born leader? Having a great idea is one thing. Being able to communicate that idea and convince others to jump on board is another. Do you feel you have what it takes to be successful? A: I’m definitely a born leader. When I think of something, I make it a point of action to make it happen. If you had a magic stick, which are

How do you juggle being a mother and your hectic work life? A: Honestly, I have no idea! I just make it happen! My photography fb is: Stevie Marie Photography My personal fb is: Samantha LaPointe My photography ig: Steviemariephotography315 My personal ig: Sami LaPointe Email: Soinluvv21@gmail.com



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AJA PEARL Tell our audience about your background and what made you decide to become a female entrepreneur and author?

and to express myself through literature.

I am originally from Spanish Harlem, an enclave of New York City, NY. I have always dreamt of being a fashion designer since the age of eleven. My inspiration was a show on MTV called “MTV’s House of Style”. For years, I worked on sketching my own designs until I found my niche through music. Whenever. I hear a particular song, I visualize not only the garment but the model itself. I see the model’s skin tone, hair, and body type. However, I ended up majoring in Retail with an emphasis of Fashion Merchandising at the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s of Science. I have always been an independent and innovative person. Therefore, in addition to being a fashion designer, I wanted to be in charge of my own label.

Aja Pearl has the drive and is not afraid to take risk as a business owner, but she is still green. She would like to be around seasoned business owners to acquire their knowledge in maintaining a successful business. She has worked

As for being an author, writing chose me. There was a time writing a paragraph or an essay gave me panic attacks, but there was pressure in expressing my thoughts on paper. However, when I reached college, I learned to write from the heart. Since then, writing has been second nature to me. With my vivid imagination and series of traumatic events, God saw fit that I should be a writer. He has been my only collaborator since my first published book. God uses me as a vessel to help others

Tell us a little about Aja Pearl as a business owner vs being an author?

What made you decide to start writing and become a published author? I did not choose to be a writer. God chose me to be a writer so I can write literary work that is relatable to the reader. There is always at least one character the reader gravitates on an emotional and spiritual level. There is always a storyline the reader gravitates on an emotional and spiritual reader. Through my books, I want my readers to understand that I understand them and relate to them. What is your favorite thing to write about?

for other people and made them money for years without fostering her own dreams. Now, it is her turn to be the business owner/entrepreneur. As an author, Aja Pearl is still driven, a risk-taker, and green, but she can creatively express herself. The words are not forced. They flow naturally. It brings her great joy and amazement when she writes her literary work. The comments come from her heart and soul, which makes her academic work organic and relatable.

My favorite thing to write about is love; I am a sucker for romance and I love a happy ending. However, as a realist, I write about all types of love, especially ones with a bittersweet ending. I like writing about love because I feel that the world does not value love, and in many cases, it has killed love. The word “love”, is not an everyday word found in the dictionary. In my opinion, it is a beautiful enigma that should be nurtured and handled with caution. When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? The entrepreneur bite bit me big, when I was still a child. Usually, children dream big, but the dreams last for a short period of time. In my case, my dream of being an entrepreneur has CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “One of the things I find helpful as a successful female business owner and author is that I surround myself with people with the same goals and aspirations as myself. ”

become stronger well into my adulthood. I am more driven and more mature when it comes to owning my own business. I know it will be challenging and the nature of business will have its highs and its lows. However, I believe that in order to be a successful business owner, a person must flow with the times and remain innovative. What are some of the things you find the help you to be both a successful female business owner and author? One of the things I find helpful as a successful female business owner and author is that I surround myself with people with the same goals and aspirations as myself. Most of all, I surround people who support each other. It is refreshing to be around like-minded people. There is safety, freedom of expression without judgment, motivation, and encouragement among a group of like-minded people. I also find it helpful to study my target market and listen to suggestions or concerns from my customers. For example, for my cookie business, Ajar of Cookies, one customer suggested that I make gluten free cookies. I followed her suggestion and added glutenfree versions of my regular cookies. Who were the mentors that encouraged you? God is my number one mentor. He has bestowed these wonderful gifts onto me and He will not allow me to quit, either. Second, underdogs from different walks of life (theater, music, and literature) encouraged me to be tenacious 218

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in achieving my dreams. These are people who, at first, are not considered “cookie-cutter” and unconventional. However, with a second, third, and fourth set of eyes, these underdogs are seen as original and ahead of its time. Therefore, it is underdogs who receive praise for being visionaries. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business and your books? Social media has helped me and hindered me in promoting my businesses and my books. It has helped me by reaching a broad audience internationally from all walks of life. However, in order to expand my audience, I would have to pay fees for ads which is understandable. Unfortunately, my funds are limited, so I do my part in putting up posts and stories on social media. What meet-ups, local entrepreneur events, and accelerators do you recommend that have helped you grow? For me, I utilize the Black Chamber of Commerce in my small town. It has been a very helpful resource for networking with other entrepreneurs. I have also been invited to attend multiple events, such as conventions and meets up, all over the country. When I attend these events, it is very refreshing to meet new people with the same interests and drive. Then, establishing a rapport which leads to business collaborations and expanding a wider network. How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t

understand the challenges we experience? Once I shared my goals and dreams with my friends and family, I either received a negative response or a lukewarm response; that was disappointing and disheartening. So, I kept my goals and dreams to myself and fostered them in secret. For example, my family did not know I was writing my first book because I knew the response would be lukewarm to cold. When I finished and published my first book, I thought the response would be warmer and enthusiastic, but it was lukewarm. In fact, no one bought a copy. However, there are those who are proud that I made this leap in becoming a writer, especially those who know my backstory; I hold those supporters dear to my heart. How will you market your business, and which tactics do you think will be successful in getting new clients? For now, I have been marketing my businesses by word-of-mouth and social media. I think the most effective method in getting new clients is social media because the audience is broader. What do you do to be motivated? Strangely, I think about the “what if...” I think about, what if I left this world, knowing that I never shared my talent with the world or my talents did not make an impact on at least one person. If I can make a difference in one person life, then I am a success; my talent did not fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Another thing that motivates me is


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{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “Carlin and Devika Gems” a brand found solely by me. It consist of fashion jewelry and fine jewelry which is designed and manufactured by me. ”

that person with a job, especially after retirement. I want to leave a legacy with my children; hopefully they will continue with the legacy, when I leave this world. Who/what gives you your inspiration to write? James Baldwin gives me inspiration to write. One night I had a dream about James Baldwin. We were sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Harlem, in the spring. He wore a coral polo shirt, khaki shorts, and sandals. He was so charming, funny and intelligent. I was enamored by his presence. Most of all, I felt honored to be in his company. Rod Serling also gives me inspiration to write. I am a huge fan of sci-fi but I am huge fan of the Twilight Zone. In my opinion, the Twilight Zone has a profound way in teaching the viewer valuable lessons via sci-fi. Tell us about your first entrepreneurial venture: How did you come up with the idea and how did you start your business? My first entrepreneurial venture was getting accepted in this special program for artisans in NYC. We were introduced to a website called Etsy.com where people like ourselves can sell their handmade products. It is also a website where people have the freedom to be in control of their own online shop. For example, people can set their own price for their products, set up promotions, and have as many products in their shop. We also learned to set up our online store on Etsy.com using eye-catching picture and descriptions of the products. After receiving my certificate of completion, I continued to use on my online shop on Etsy.com.

Then, I built a website using Wix.com to link it to my online shop on Etsy.com. What is Carlin and Devika Gems? Where did you come up with this unique name? “Carlin and Devika Gems” a brand found solely by me. It consist of fashion jewelry and fine jewelry which is designed and manufactured by me. I design earrings, anklets, bracelets, necklaces, and rings. It also consist of three collections: the “Gunnar and Rosalia” collection, the “Chocolate Strawberries” collection, and the “Freedom Loves You” (F.L.Y.) collection. The “Freedom Loves You” (F.L.Y.) collection is inspired by the TV drama, POSE. The name “Carlin”, which is Celtic for “little champion,” reflects the petite women overcoming obstacles in life due to their size. “Devika,” which is Sanskrit for “little godess,” reflects petite women’s beauty and intelligence. As a little girl, I use to make my own jewelry from household products, such as bread wrappers, bendable, colorful wire, and beads from old hair ties. Children thought it was weird but some of the adults thought it was creative and unique. For years, I studied to structure of many pieces of jewelry by looking at my own jewelry. With studying the structure of many of jewelry, I learned to repair jewelry and revamp jewelry. I hope someday, “Carlin and Devika Gems” will expand to “Carlin and Devika Apparel” as a clothing label for petite women; I have a portfolio which dates back to the 1990s. What is the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur?

The biggest challenge for me, as an entrepreneur, is not knowing if the product or service will captivate the target market. One part of being an entrepreneur is being a risk taker but it is also being an innovator. The product or the service has to be new yet relatable. Another challenge is the limited resources, such as, funds for marketing and supplies. My drive will not allow to get discouraged for having limited resources. I have faith that my businesses will get better. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in writing a book or getting published? What about a young female wanting to open their own business? The best advice I have for someone who is interested in writing a book is to write familiar topics (Write what you know). When I write something familiar to the reader, it comes from the heart in its purest form. As for getting published...do research. However, I am a self-published author. There is no cost and the writer has total control over their own work. As for your ideas on paper. One idea will be the “attention getter”. With the “attention getter,” put together a business plan. The internet and nonprofit organizations have a lot of helpful resources in putting together the right business plan. Where do you want your business to be a year from now? Five years from now? A year from now, I would like all of my businesses to solely focus on my businesses due to high sales volume. I also would like my jewelry brand, “Carlin and Devika,” to feature in


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people who have jobs because they sometimes have a deal with people who are not pleasant. However, I do not want to be fashion photoshoots and fashion shows. Five years from now, I would like one of my books to become a TV series or a webtoon. I would like my jewelry brand to feature in high end fashion magazines and jewelry magazines. I would also expand my cookie business, Ajar of Cookies, to Canada and Mexico. Who is your favorite author? My favorite author is Judy Blume. I do not write children’s books but I commend Judy Blume for writing books where children are the main characters, especially when children are the narrator. I read Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret 222

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blew me away because it was about a girl receiving her first period. I thought it was very bold yet realistic of Judy Blume to write something so personal about a girl’s physical development. Most of all, it was a young woman’s journey to reaching that first step to womanhood. How do you balance your family and being a female entrepreneur? I balance my family and being an entrepreneur by managing my time. The only time I get to be an entrepreneur is awhile the children are not home; my businesses have my undivided attention, when it is only me. I do as much as I can because they are away for only a few hours. Once the children are home, my children have my undivided attention. However, when an ideas appears in my head for my books, I use my

notepad app on my phone to take notes. What is one thing our audience should know about you? The one thing the audience should know is I am person who is down-to-Earth. Yes, I own two businesses and I am a writer and they give me great joy. However, I am easy to talk to and I love to have fun. How can our audience connect with you? The audience can connect with me through Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook, I have two pages: Aja Pearl and Kisha’s Cookies (Ajar of Cookies). I also have other pages on Facebook: @ ExposeConvictedDomesticAbusers, @ FoxxxyFiction2020, @CandDGems, @CarlinAndDevikaGems, and @ Ajapearlbookwriter. On Instagram,



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SARAH PADDOCK ART Tell us a little about yourself and what made you decide to create Sarah Paddock Fine Art? I have been painting for years now, and so many people have told me it’s time to put my work out into the world instead of keeping it in my studio! 2020 was not a good year to be traveling to galleries so I decided to launch online. After years of relying on the traditional technologies of oil painting developed hundreds (sometimes thousands) of years ago, I’ve had to really up my tech savvy! After I got www.sarahpaddock.com up and running my son, Ryan, had to help me link up my @sarahmpaddock Instagram account and other social media accounts with my website. It’s okay to not always know how to do something…as long as you do know what has to happen and where to get the information you lack. And I do know - if it uses the internet - ask Ryan! What made you decide to become an artist? I have always been an artist. First as a musician which led to my first career in music and teaching. I later did many different arts, painting, stained glass, some sculpting…but when I met my dear friend, Sheila, she introduced me to oils and I just fell in love. The feel, the versatility, the magnificent colors… it was all very much like falling in love. I dream about projects and I wake up excited to see them to fruition. I look forward to starting every day and it’s hard to leave the studio knowing I’ll have to wait until the next day to see them again. I do think everyone, absolutely everyone, needs art and creativity in their lives and homes. It doesn’t have to 224

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be oil painting…but it does need to be something that excites and inspires and requires ingenuity and resourcefulness and critical thinking. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur? My husband, Michael, and I both started our first businesses back when we were in our 20s. Michael’s business is still growing after more than 20 years! I sold my first business after a few years and worked with Michael for many years… so the idea of starting and building from scratch is not new or necessarily daunting to me. When I was younger, I was either brave or naïve, but I did not know how difficult it would be until I was too deep into it to change my mind! Now, it’s no longer intimidating. I know I will wear many different hats, but I also know a little better what to expect. For example, many entrepreneurs start a business because they do something niche and unique or have special skills and talents, only to find that once they start their own business there is so much “business” to take care of they have less and less time to dedicate to their particular craft. This is one thing I know to avoid and will zealously guard the time I dedicate to my painting. What are some of the things you find help you to be both a successful business owner and an artist? Definitely being self-reliant and resourceful! One of the interesting qualities I have noticed that both being an artist and being a businesswoman require is being entirely self-directed. It can be difficult to set your own agenda,

develop your own task list, and hold yourself accountable. As an artist I am already entirely and solely responsible for the work I produce. And I’ve had a long career in business, so I just had to learn how to marry those skill sets. It turns out I’m a tough boss! If you’re going to start your own venture, you have to either do it yourself or quickly find someone with the skillset you need (husband, kids, YouTube…) find it, get it, do it! What are you working on for 2021? I am very excited about the gallery series I’m currently working on titled “Heirlooms and Traditions”. One of the ways 2020 affected me was I really felt the division and separation and truly yearned for togetherness and welcome and comfort. I also felt tremendous gratitude for family and connection and health. I think I took for granted family get-togethers and holidays and this past year has made me think about the values I want to live by and pass down to my children. So my “Heirlooms and Traditions” series is focused around the meals we prepare, you know, the dishes your grandmother made and that you learned over the years and you still make when family visits. And the collections of trinkets and baubles that have been passed down from generation to generation that remind us of the lives that gave us life and the connections we have to family and what we want to give to future generations. I’m really excited to work on and share this series. Have you found social media to help or


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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I love that everywhere you go in the world, there is a different feel. The sights and smells and sounds are distinct.”

or hinder you in promoting your business especially recently with the pandemic? One of the myriad lessons learned from the pandemic is how to reach out and connect through modern technology. It’s, frankly, never been easier and it’s never been more important. Social media provides ways to connect, communicate, learn, share, and, of course, sell. What mantra do you live by? My daughter, Lauren, and I, whenever we run up against any kind of resistance or setback we say (actually, we kind of shout it) WE WILL NOT BE DENIED! It’s a forceful and powerful way of reminding ourselves to be resilient. And its almost an umbrella term for “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and “it’s not who will let me but who will stop me” and “pick yourself up and dust yourself off and try, try again”…honestly, add your own platitude to this list…WE WILL NOT BE DENIED pretty much covers it. Try it! It feels pretty good. Do you listen to any podcasts? What podcasts inspire you or do you learn from? I listen to Suggested Donation Podcast

and The Great Women Artists Podcast. But also many artists now have fantastic content on Facebook Live and YouTube like Patricia Watwood and Andrew Tischler. So many talented and experienced people choosing to be generous with their time and knowledge…I find that both comforting and inspiring. With the internet we have access to the most expansive library in history. I’m constantly fascinated by the information and flow of ideas that is available. Whether I’m listening or watching…there is great content all around! What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? Pre-pandemic my answer was travel. I love that everywhere you go in the world, there is a different feel. The sights and smells and sounds are distinct. The music and art and food and language and culture are all diverse…but everywhere there are lovely people, raising their children, providing for their families, caring for their neighbors. It’s beautiful to me to see the commonality of the humanity displayed in such various ways. For years now my husband, Michael, and I have been traveling extensively but obviously

that was interrupted by the pandemic. For this past year part of how I’ve coped is by really diving into my work. I usually paint for between 10-16 hours a day! What’s super fun for me is whenever I need a break and every time I buy new supplies… I’m not willing to experiment on my WORK, so I break out a new canvas and PLAY. It is freeing and experimental and loose and joyful! Honestly such a treat to myself! A different way to lighen up and explore. We have several trips already planned for 2021! I’m eager to return to the people and activities I’ve missed over the past year, but also really excited in incorporate what this past year has taught me. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? For me both have the same answer… family. Period. They are my motivation, the reason I get up and do my very best every day. And they are my main source of encouragement. They lift me up and support me. They are the reason I want to be capable and the reason I feel able. I want to make them proud and I want CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Talk to EVERYONE! I’m showing my age, but the 80s movie “Working Girl” has a great quote, “you never know where the big ideas could come from.”

to make them proud and I want them to know that I believe in them too! If it can be done…we can do it! WE WILL NOT BE DENIED! We can all lean on each other and borrow from each others’ strengths and bolster each others’ weaknesses. It’s a beautiful symbiosis and absolutely my raison d’être. How do you solve big problems as an entrepreneur? First, I freak out. Then I do a quick triage…will this cost me time or money. If it’s time, I accept the punishment and figure out how to rework my schedule to accommodate it. Luckily, after so many years of being a working mom, I am well accustomed to sleep deprivation. If it’s money, I go back to step 1 … freak out … followed by step 2 … I will now have to work extra hard to earn the money to fix the “big problem”. So, yeah, freak out and drink coffee. What do you see as new and exciting in the art world? Although sometimes its hard to see in the moment, the arts always reflect the 228

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time in which it was created. Looking back, every period of history has styles and themes and matter that reflect the technology, the politics, the health and the overall circumstances of the region and time period. Recently there has been a real trend of Hyperrealism reflecting the major technological advances in photography, digital imaging, and computing. But I know from my own work, this current time has focused my mind on a homey, romantic, familial form of realism completely apart from how connected to technology we have become. On a personal and human level these have been trying times, but from a historical and artistic perspective it will be rather exciting to see how our collective art will have shifted. What impact do you want your art to have? I’m really focused on the specialness of home and family, both in my personal life and in my work. I hope my works will evoke thoughtfulness and consideration both in the artfulness of the works themselves and in the homes where

they live. I want to use the archival nature of traditional oil paintings to produce enduring visual testament to the moments and little things we cherish and want to pass down. What other artists’ business models do you like or admire? My friend and mentor Patricia Watwood is truly inspiring to me. She is a beautiful and accomplished artist in New York and she truly does it all! Her figurative paintings are displayed in museums and galleries all over the world, she has a DVD and she has a new book coming out. She is also so generous with her time and talent that she has a free weekly Facebook Live demonstration that is fantastic. Add to that wife and mother…she is doing it all. I enjoy her so much and learn from her…and by watching her career have learned that no matter the talent and skill it takes so much work and broad and diverse thinking to be successful. I think that openness is what we all need to be successful no matter what type of work we do.


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BODIED BY BABYDOLL Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and your business. A little bit about myself is that I am a warrior. I’ve been through many things, but nothing has ever stopped me from chasing my dreams and achieving my goals. How did you become a fitness trainer? My whole life I’ve been into fitness. Even when the other kids were outside playing I’d be somewhere doing squats and crunches, or in the mirror pretending to be a Model. I became a fitness trainer after I worked on myself and learned that helping others was the way to go. I figured if it made me feel this good, I knew I could help others feel good too. What makes you hustle both personally and professionally? My hustle comes from the lifestyle of knowing what it’s like to not have anything. So, I do all I can to make sure I never go back to that life. I come from the life of struggle, but my mother and father raised one heck of a super strong woman. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? The biggest success for me is just learning to not be afraid to spread my wings. I am not afraid to take

chances because I now know that the worst that can happen is a person can say no. When did the entrepreneur big bite you? I started my business Bodied by Babydoll after I learned that not only can I waist train and work out, but I can also help other people get in shape and teach them the lifestyle of working out, eating better and

waist training. Where do you see yourself three years from now? In three years from now I see myself helping to make my city a better place. There is a lot of talent here in Rochester and I plan on making sure people know that. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome during the pandemic? My biggest challenge over the

pandemic has been not being able to go to the gym at one point, and then having to wear a mask in the gym. Also, there is a challenge with taking trips back-and-forth because I would love to travel. Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? My inspiration is definitely Kamala Harris. She is the first female and black Vice President. She is such a strong woman, and I really love what she stands for. What do they see are the exciting opportunities in your industry? Some of t h e e xc i t i n g opportunities in my industry would definitely be that I get to travel a lot. I get to meet a lot of different celebrities, and I get to change lives and hear people tell me thank you for helping them, which makes me feel so wonderful inside. I am learning more about business and the industry, but one day I will make a great boss. Even better than the one I am now. What impact do they want to have in the world or change they want to see or make happen?

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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My whole life I’ve been into fitness. Even when the other kids were outside playing I’d be somewhere doing squats and crunches, or in the mirror pretending to be a model.”

The only impact I want to leave behind in this world is that I was never afraid to follow my dreams. I’m not afraid of anything and that’s my Superpower! What is your favorite part of the business? My favorite part of the business is when people message me, or see me out in public and tell me thank you, and how much I’ve changed their lives or how I inspired them.

surprised you along the way from just having an idea to really succeeding in your business? One of the things that really surprised me is the fact that I could really do this. At times you are afraid to take chances because you’re not sure of the outcome, but I am glad I took that leap of faith

What other companies and business models do you like or admire? One of my favorite companies is Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. She is also a Bajan woman from Barbados like myself. She is also one of my favorite musicians, so she is really the whole package. If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? If there was anything that I can go back and tell my younger self today I would say to never let anyone tell me what I can and can’t do. And to never be afraid to follow my dreams and to always reach for the stars. Dreams do come true, so make sure to dream big! What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? My greatest professional accomplishments today is that I am changing lives, while also changing mine for the better. What were the things that most

and your vision. Remember that the tortoise won the race. The only person that needs to believe in you is YOU! When was the hardest of all times in your startup journey and why and what helped you with it ? The hardest part of my journey was traveling back-and-forth from different countries and different states. Keeping up with time and trying to not be jetlagged. How’d you feel trying to keep everything afloat in the beginning? In the beginning starting my business was a little shaky because I was still trying to figure out how to even start a business. But, I’ve learned with patience and discipline how to keep myself on the right track. What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? My number one business goal I plan on accomplishing within this next year would be to go bigger and to see myself featured in magazines, on TV screens, on billboards and become a millionaire.I will not accept anything less than that.

and decided to start my business Bodied by Babydoll. What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new entrepreneur to learn and why? The best method I would say for a new entrepreneur to learn is patience because nothing happens overnight and you must have patience and believe in your craft

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 ? If I had a chance to start all over again from the beginning the only thing that I would change is the fact that my brother Raju is not here. I would love for him to be here to witness my success. I know he would be so proud of me. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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COUNTRY DIVA CUPCAKES Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and how Country Diva Cupcakes was created. I am originally from Oklahoma. I learned how to bake from my Grandmother. I remember standing on a stool right next to her watching her bake all of these beautiful pies, cakes, and desserts. It has set a love of baking ever since. I had moved to Pennsylvania y this time. I was a Medical Assistant for 9 years. I loved my job. I loved being in healthcare. I also have a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disc Disease, and Hashimoto’s Disease. Most of these health issues were stable. I would have flare-ups now and then. Then the pain started to increase significantly. I was unable to continue my career with so much daily pain. So I had to resign after 9 years. I had to do something to help support me and my daughter. As I am a single mom. So I tried multiple part-time jobs to just get by. I had to leave every one of them. As I just could not do them. So I had been out of work for 2 years. So I started to bake just to give myself something to do. Keep my mind occupied while I applied for Disability and other financial help for me and my daughter. I shared these desserts with neighbors. As I could not eat them all. Then they started asking if I sold them. I said No. Some wanted to pay me to make larger amounts for them. So I did. I started feeling worthy again. Like I could do something to support me and my daughter. Feel like I was finally able to contribute to society. I had moved to Syracuse New York almost 2 years ago. As I was essentially saved by a friend. As I suffer from a multitude of Mental Health Illnesses also. I was also

Emotional Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Sexual abuse survivor. I found myself on a train track thinking it was my only way out. It was my only way to get away from the abuse. I was hospitalized. I was given the courage from my 2 children and my therapist that I could leave. So the day I came home from the hospital. Packed all the belongings I could. I left all my furniture, a vehicle, and anything else that would not fit in my friend’s vehicle or small moving truck. So now I was in Syracuse. I was so much happier.

So I then restarted the thought of baking. This time I put everything into it. Not just baking for friends. My friends helped me figure out what to do. Where to go. So I started the process of becoming a Home Processor/Cottage bakery. I registered for everything I needed. Got all my certificates needed to Bake in my home. Have a safe Bakery, Legal Bakery and everything in between. In the time between starting full force. I was diagnosed with a few other Health diagnoses. I was diagnosed with Lupus, Pre-Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, and Fracture in my L5 Spine. I closed my Bakery for a short time. Then had this nagging

thought in my head. I had to continue. I had to continue my Dream. I refused to let my Medical and Mental Health keep me from my Dreams. So I now continue Baking. I love Baking and wanting to see smiles on my customer’s faces when they bit into one of my creations. This is the best medicine I could ever have for myself. What made you decide to start your own business, especially during a pandemic and featuring really creative desserts? Due to my disability. My different Chronic Pain disorders keep me from keeping a regular job. So I needed to do something like most of us to support my family. Since I love Baking. I thought Cupcakes would be best. As they are self-contained. I could wrap each cupcake in its container. I could do digital payments. Offer customers Touch Free Delivery to their Porch. As I know like us all. We had to give up some of our favorite things to eat. Due to not being able to get out and purchase them. So I took that on as a challenge. Make sure customers could still eat sweets. What makes you a hustler? I am a 1 Woman Show. I purchase all my ingredients. I do not rely on boxed mixes. I scour and research where I can get the freshest local ingredients I can source. I bake everything myself. I decorate everything on my own. I package all my cupcakes and treats myself. I call, email, message all the local businesses I can. So I can get into them and do a Pop-up Cupcake shop. I refuse to not be seen. If I am going to build my Cupcake and treat business. I need to get my Bakes into people’s mouths. When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? When I moved here to Syracuse New York. I started doing a few different Popup Cupcake shops. I was getting amazing CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “Seeing the smiles on customers’ faces after they bite into one of my cupcakes. Then tell me, “OMG this is the best cupcake I have ever had. This is just delicious.”

my Bakes. I thought this is it. This is what I am meant to do. At that point, I wanted and needed to make sure I did everything I could to build up. Where do you see your business 5 years from now? 10 years? My 5-year goal is to have a food trailer. I want to be mobile. Be able to pick up and go to different locations in one day. As of right now, I can only book events. Or get Made to Order Bakes. These are orders that need to be done all at once. Need to be delivered or done on certain days. I am held in one location. Rely on only those customers at that location. If the location does not have a lot of foot traffic. I have no choice but to stay in location. As it takes too much to move all my tables, tent, cupcakes, supplies, and table set-ups to go to another location. It is just too much. My 10-year goal is to have a small town Cupcake cafe and coffee shop. You see Cupcake shops, You see coffee shops. Who doesn’t love Cupcakes and Coffee? Or Cupcakes and Tea? I want a permanent location. So I may get to know my customers. Get to know my local community. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome? Having multiple chronic pain disorders. Some days I hurt more than others. My hands cramp up. My spine gets in excruciating pain. I need to take multiple breaks some days. I refuse to give up. I refuse to let my body dictate my future or Dream. So I try to make sure to try all the alternative, Holistic pain relief I can. Whether Hot bath, Hot shower, Heating pads, TENS unit. As I am not one to take Opioids. Or any other medication if I don’t need to. Please tell us what being a female business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?

Being a woman in business means I am Strong. I am resilient. I may need to work harder than a male counterpart in the same type of business. That’s ok. As I feel proud of my hard work. If I have to overcome things being a Woman in this business. It shows I am determined. I became a Woman entrepreneur is proving to myself that my past will not keep me from succeeding. Being an Abuse survivor. In my mind makes me feel like it is giving those who hurt me whether emotionally, physically, or sexually that I overcame you. I am successful. I am proving to them you did not bring me to the ground as you had hoped. Who has been someone who has inspired you and why? Always my Grandmother and Momma. I can’t just say one and not the other. My Grandmother taught me how to Bake. I learned the love of Baking from her. I learned that baked goods bring a smile to others. Those smiles made her happy. Now make me happy to see. My Grandmother and My Momma were both strong women. I not longer have the blessing of my Grandmother on this earth. I miss her every single day. Every time I use one of her recipes. It brings a smile to my face. My Momma has been through so much in her life. Becoming a Mom at 15 with my Brother. Then me at 18. Having the loss of her husband early in their marriage. Survivor of Physical abuse herself. Trying to raise 2 kids on her own. Having 2-3 jobs always just to support us. Make sure we had food in our bellies and a bed to sleep in. Even if the food was a Pot O’ Beans and Cornbread. Or a Mayo sandwich. We still had food. Seeing my mom trying to dictate her own life with only a 7th-grade education. She is surviving. She is thriving. She is amazing. I love my Momma so much. I want nothing more than to make her proud. Show her even though we did not have much of anything as children. Seeing how strong she was.

How she still survived. Still carried on no matter what. I miss her every day. I want to go see her in Texas. At this time is so costly. I know she is still proud of me. What’s the best business advice you have received that you want to pass on to others? Don’t undersell yourself. Know your worth. Make sure others know your worth. When others say to you that your product is too costly. You need to lower your price. Don’t get into an argument with them. Explaining why your cost is what it is. You don’t owe them an explanation. You have set your price with all your ingredients prices, designing your product, and the time it takes to do this. Your baking time, decorating time, your time away from your family to create your product. Don’t forget your utility cost. Packaging costs. Then to try to come out even from all these costs and add a small bit of profit. Or why are we in business? What is your favorite part of your business? Seeing the smiles on customers’ faces after they bite into one of my cupcakes. Then tell me, “OMG this is the best cupcake I have ever had. This is just delicious.” What would you say are your strengths as a business owner? I am doing this all by myself. I am my OWN strength. I work through daily Chronic pain. I came from having a very poor childhood. I have had a very limited financial life in my adulthood. I want nothing more than to succeed. Show myself I can change my life and future. If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what would you tell yourself? Take your time. Learn more decorating skills. Don’t be too proud to realize you CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ I feel what sets me apart are my flavor combinations. As I like to take other desserts or specialty drinks and make them into cupcakes.”

don’t know all the decorating skills. That’s ok. Educate yourself. What would you say is your favorite cupcake flavor and what sets you apart from other bake shops, especially since it is so competitive? My favorite flavor combination is chocolate covered strawberry. It is a Dark Chocolate cupcake with fresh strawberry puree filling. Topped with Strawberry Buttercream made with fresh strawberries. Drizzled with Chocolate Ganache. I feel what sets me apart are my flavor combinations. As I like to take other desserts or specialty drinks and make them into cupcakes. I like to use Fresh fruit inside my cupcakes and topped with fresh fruits on most of my bakes. So I feel my bakes are more about the flavor and not fancy decorations. 240

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What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an initial idea to really going full force in your business? It takes a lot of time and dedication to get started and to stay afloat. You need to open your mouth to your own needs. No one will know what you need. As one Baker is not always the same as another Baker. Our needs will be different. I didn’t need all the supplies that I was told. I didn’t need the most expensive tools. Sometimes the most simple tools create exactly what I needed than a more expensive tool. What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new business owner to learn and why? Talk to someone in the same field. Ask them all the questions you can. Most will share with you. You will feel some will not as they feel threatened by giving information to a competitor. To find

that one or two business owners who will give you advice. Educate, educate, educate yourself on everything there is to know about your products. How to make them. How to use them. Ins and outs of your product. Never be too proud or stubborn to learn new things. Have you found being a woman-owned business has helped or hindered you? I think it is half of each. As being a woman-owned business in the Baking field I am assumed to know everything. Since I am a woman. I am to know every minute detail of every baked item out there. So this has hindered me to some extent. So this is somewhat of a hinder for me. As in being a woman-owned business, I am also helped. A lot of customers may find themselves more apt to purchase from a female baker as opposed to a male baker. Not that either could bake


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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Some may find it more comforting to purchase bakes from a woman-owned business than a male-owned business. ”

better than another. As I believe we are equal. As skill matters more than sex. Some may find it more comforting to purchase bakes from a woman-owned business than a male-owned business. What is your number one business goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? To learn more piping skills. To educate myself on different tips. How to use them. How to create better decorations on my bakes. If you needed to start it all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing 242

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to change, add or subtract, what would it be? I would not purchase cake pans. As I ended up concentrating on cupcakes. So I should have thought about my goals before I went out and purchased supplies. I would have added a class or two on decorating just to hone my skills a bit better on my piping skills. What has been your favorite customer order and why? Surprisingly it was for a cake and not cupcakes. As I am a baker for Icing Smiles. It is a charity that makes sure very critically ill children receive Cakes

or cookies for their Birthdays or other celebrations. Just to give them a smile. So I donated a birthday cake for a little guy’s 7th birthday through this program. It was not the best cake. It was not the prettiest. He loved it. The family loved it. That was all that mattered. When and where will we be able to see and taste your creations next? I will be at the Wildflowers Armory in Syracuse at the Vendor Sidewalk event on Thursday, June 3rd from 3 pm-6 pm


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Cafe' Mochaccino Honey Bun Chai Tea Creme Brulee S'mores Maple Bacon Caramel Corn Banana Foster Honey Graham

50's Diner Cherry Vanilla Cherry Coke Dr Pepper Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream Sundae Oreo Cookie Apple Pie Cherry Pie Bomb Pop PB&J Root Beer Float Cherry Almond

Holiday Spice Cake Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Brulee Mint Chocolate Apple Caramel Spice Mexican Hot Chocolate Spice Sugared Cranberry Ginger Molasses Gingerbread

Fruit Infused Orange Creamsicle Lemon Meringue Pie Classics Key Lime Pie Vanilla Strawberry Chocolate Watermelon Red Velvet Strawberry Lemonade Boston Cream Pie Peaches N' Cream Chocolate PB Cup Banan Cream Pie Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pina Colada Honey Lemon

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“MY GOAL IS TO MAKE EVERY CLIENT FEEL COMFORTABLE AND BEAUTIFUL.” LICENSED MAKEUP ARTIST AND ESTHETICIAN WWW.MONTIMAKEUP.COM I (315) 395-6793 CEMONTI1@GMAIL.COM



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A CONVERSATION BY LAURI MCNIGHT

Gina Domingo, 36, biker and former foster youth has a story to tell. A story which may not be well known. She wants to spread the message that foster youth are kids who need families, who need support and have a voice that needs to be heard. So Gina has begun to speak out about her own experiences and the impact the foster care sys-tem had on her life.

people who have taken her “under their wing” and sup-ported her, but disclosed that she wishes she had an adoptive family to give her long term stability and unconditional love and support that she never had. We know that every child in foster care has a unique experience, but there are certain commonalities shared amongst most all of them. Because of Gina’s own experiences, she under-stands

We first learned of Gina when she contacted Children Awaiting Parents’ (CAP) Ex-ecutive Director Lauri McKnight. After seeing the agency’s mission to find foster youth a forever family, Gina was extremely excited and passionate during our first connection. She shared some of her personal experiences and why she and motorcycle groups like the Kendaia Kingz, are committed to helping CAP youth. THE EXPERIENCE Gina was 9 years old when she first went into foster care. The victim of an abusive sit-uation, Gina went through multiple placements and had even been hospitalized and in several group homes in addition to foster home placements. Gina stated she had some good experiences and some not-so-good experiences. Of the handful of foster homes, there were some she believed truly loved her. “But I just couldn’t handle that” she says, thinking the families really loved her as their own. Gina moved through the system with a constant desire to be adopted. She expresses that over the years, she had 246

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the emotions that youth experience such as feeling alone, helpless, like a com-plete outcast from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, like many of her foster peers, Gi-na’s experiences taught her that if her own family did not want or could not take care of her, what makes her think a stranger would.

THE IMPACT Lack of permanency impacts youth in the foster system through their teen years and into adulthood. Children do not just become healed once they leave the system. The impact stays with them. For Gina, the lack of stability had the biggest effect on her--not having that loving, forever family. “I am still that same girl who moved with trash bags up until my most recent move as an adult when I used actual boxes.” That is what chil-dren like Gina learn moving from home to home in the system. The lack of support im-pacted her entire life – she became what we now know as “one of the statistics.” Of the youth who age out of foster care without a support system, 20% become homeless, pregnant or incarcerated in the first 18 months. For Gina, this included becoming a teen mom, and eventually becoming a young mother to five children, without the stabil-ity of longterm relationships. Youth who have been frequently moved through the sys-tem often have attachment issues and struggle to build and maintain long term rela-tionships. For Gina, “always having to make sacrifices that she should never have had to make, would have been different if she had a solid family. And Gina is passionate about sending a strong message to teens today. She wants them to know what she would say to her 15-year-old self if she could...”I would say let someone love you (Gina), be-cause you deserve it. You don’t have to do this alone just because


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{ CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “She wants to spread the message that foster youth are kids who need families, who need support and have a voice that needs to be heard.”

you are strong and are afraid of being hurt. Pain is part of life. But let love in and lean on a family to help guide you on your journey. Not everyone in the world will turn their back on you, and you are deserving of a family’s love.” She wants foster youth to know that she and many others have their backs. THE CHANGE Determined not to fail, Gina was determined that she would not be just another statistic. She was going to break the cycle. Over the years, she has reached many milestones in overcoming trauma. “I have had to overcome and deal with issues from my biological mother, other relationships, and learn to love myself.” Two years ago, Gina met the per-son she had been searching for in life—and for the first time in her entire life found protection, commitment, and support. During some dark days as she forged into sobrie-ty, she learned what a real support system is. Gina can now say, “I have learned to love unconditionally, and fully trust at least one person. To this day, I still struggle with my trauma, but I have truly learned to lean into it and let it teach me those hard lessons.” Her children are everyday reminders of the true love she has in her heart, and they drive her to go as far especially after she didn’t think she would be a very good mother. She remembers the love some of her foster parents gave me and was able to pass that love along to her own children. “After I had my fourth child, one of my

former foster parents sent me the book When Mama Comes Home Tonight. I remember them reading it to me and their girls. That book has resonat-ed with me and with the love I have for my own children.” THE SUCCESS Gina emphatically expresses that she never wants another foster child to experience what she did. Because of her intense concern for foster youth, Gina determined to do something to make a difference for them. With energy and conviction, she came to CAP with fundraising ideas for foster youth who want a forever family. CAP could not refuse. With little time to pull off the first event, she kicked into high gear and came out victorious. On May 15, 2021, Gina and the Kendaia Kingz held a tremendously suc-cessful bike and car wash, raising over $2000 for CAP to continue its challenging work. THE THEME “I know everything I do for CAP will help spread awareness and raise money for re-sources to help another child out,” Gina proudly states. “I want my voice to be so loud for these children and the world to hear me say ‘I’m not giving up!’ Using her new-found theme—‘We’ve got your backs!’—Gina is committed to being part of the solu-tion and is planning additional events for CAP over the summer. Stay tuned!

Director, Lauri McKnight: “She is truly amazing—I love her story, her passion, and her drive. We both share these exact same feelings about foster youth. I know that CAP’s future will be even brighter and better because I’m not stopping until it is!” Not only does Gina understand the many sides to being a foster care child, but says with great pride that she has overcome much of the past and has worked tremendously hard for a happier, loving life. She is determined to make a difference for foster youth. Watch for upcoming events with Gina as host and promoter as she takes on a new mission in life. She won’t quit until she succeeds helping as many foster youth as pos-sible! CAP is grateful to have this “biker chic” on our side—she is a true dynamo and go-getter. Talk about SHE HUSTLES! This girl is a born hustler!

THE GOAL Gina graciously offered a highly paid compliment to CAP’s Executive CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS } “Lack of permanency impacts youth in the foster system through their teen years and into adulthood. Children do not just become healed once they leave the system.”

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SUMMER DREAMS BY TAMMY VREELAND

Pretty soon our dreams of summer will soon be a reality! In less than a month, June 20th to be exact, summer will be upon us. But until then, we can continue to dream for summer to come.

are dreaming. This is because your prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that is for planning and logic, decreases in activity during your dreams. Allowing you to interact without thinking about the outcome.

Speaking of which - dreams. Do you ever give your dreams much thought? Do your dreams stay with you after you wake, or do they stay on the fringe of your subconscious - leaving you to struggle in remembering them?

How important are dreams? When you become sleep deprived, deterioration can happen not only psychologically but in tissue as well.

Are you able to find meaning in your dreams or are they a jumble mess of pictures or even emotions? While some dreams may last only a couple of minutes, did you know others can last 20-30 minutes? Dreams, to me, are fascinating. In fact, several of my own stories are based on vivid dreams I have had. There are many speculations about dreams, for they have literally been around since the dawn of time. But what do we truly know about dreams? Not as much as you would think. Sure, there have been many to speculate to what our dream’s purpose is, but to date - we’re not really sure. In fact, we’re not sure where in the brain dreams originate from. Is there only one location, or is it several locations in the brain working together? We know dreams happen in REM state. That while you are in REM state, you are unaware that you

Sigmund Freud theorized dreams were driven by the unconscious to fulfill a wish. Carl Jung elaborated on Freud’s theory, describing dreams as messages. While Fritz Perls thought dreams could be parts of the dreamer that have been ignored, rejected or suppressed. So, how can we take the proverbial saying “Follow Your Dreams” and apply it to what we know about dreams? Let’s break it down. Where does your dream come from? You may never know for sure, it may come from one idea or several ideas combined. Take that a step further. To achieve your dream may mean you will have to do it yourself or others may be there to help. Are not our waking dreams, a need to fulfill our wish or desire for something? Do we not feel sometimes that our waking dreams are being ignored, rejected, or even suppressed? Do we not even sometimes struggle to remember them? What can we do about it if this is

happening to our waking dreams? What does it truly mean to “follow your dream”? Perhaps it is a much deeper meaning than any of us considered. Could it literally mean follow your dream in waking, as you do while sleeping? Turn off that prefrontal cortex. Put planning and logic aside. Let the dream unfold at its pace. Enjoy the dream as it is unfolding because later you may realize you were in the dream, but didn’t know it. Our dreams in sleep has stages. Stands to reason, our dreams in waking will be the same. Dreams are essential to us not only in a dream state but while we are awake. Whether they are a few moments of thinking about the next season, or they are our long-term goals, we need them. They’re essential to us and should be treated as such. Let’s look at our National Holidays coming up to see what will coincide with our dreams. June 1 - National Go Barefoot Day - My first response in seeing this was dreams of long ago. When as a child, you kicked off your shoes and enjoyed the soft grass under your feet. Maybe, while trying to follow our waking dream, we need to kick off our shoes every once in a while, and simply enjoy the moment. June 8 - Uppsie Daisy - This one was a cute one that I had to research a little more on, for I had never heard of it. It’s a day to remember when CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ TAMMY’S TIDBITS } SHIFT+CONTROL “Pretty soon our dreams of summer will soon be a reality! In less than a month, June 20th to be exact, summer will be upon us. But until then, we can continue to dream for summer to come.“

someone would wake up you up with a cheerful Uppsie Daisy response. Setting the tone for a happy day. Fond memories that can even now make the day a happy day. June 11 - Making Life Beautiful - I think it is all of our dreams to make life beautiful. And though it may feel out of our reach, the simple things are not only the easiest to begin with, but sometimes the most powerful. June 15 - Smile Power Day - Close friends of ours, have a little boy who in the middle of the night recently woke them up with laughter. They both rushed to his room, not knowing what was going on. There he was, sound asleep and dreaming; giggling out loud. They both went back to sleep with smiles of their own. For who can resist the magic of a child’s 256

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laughter? A smile truly has power and is contagious - go out and share yours today! June 20 - Summer - It’s here! No more dreaming of summer to come, but now we can dream of ways to enjoy it! Whether it be in a cool slumber at night with bright stars shining over top. Or in the bright sun, where new ideas seem to blossom for our waking dreams. And though I may be a bit bias, since it is my favorite time of the year, dreams seem to happen the most in the summer. June is a transitional month where we go from one season to the next. A month that can be the best of both worlds. The final appreciation of what Spring has given us and the anticipation of what Summer has for us.

And though sometimes it is nice to enjoy our slumber with our dreams, now is the time to get out and pursue those dreams! Feel the warmth of the sun, smell the fragrance around, and see the beauty Spring has provided us. Make your beautiful memories now so when you need them later on, your dreams will tap into them. Giving you the rest and escape you need. Dreams are important. Our dreams extend ourselves. In both sleeping and awake. Give them the attention they need but also enjoy them at the moment you are living them. Because believe it or not, while striving to make your dreams come true, you are already living your dream - it just happens to be in different stages.


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4 LIES WE TELL OURSELVES BY LINDSAY MASTROGIOVANNI

THAT KEEP US FROM PROFESSIONAL AUTHENTICITY Remember when you were a kid and you played make-believe? Maybe you played ‘house’, or ‘school’. Or, like me, if you were destined for the biz life, you played ‘video store’ and pretended to rent out all of your Disney VHS tapes from your very own basement Blockbuster. At some point we stopped playing make-believe. Life gets a little more complicated than basement Blockbuster and we have real dreams, desires, and goals that we pour our energy into. The path to achieve those goals may look something like this: Step 1: Get good grades, so you can get into a good college. Step 2: Study hard in college so you can land an internship. Step 3: Be a great intern and land your first big girl (or boy) job. Step 4: Live happily ever after. The thing is… we spend all that time, effort, and hard work to get to somewhere we think we want to be. But how much did you ever stop that game of make-believe, really? You hit your 20s, you’re thrown into the business world, and suddenly you’re still that kid playing make-believe, but this time you’re wearing a suit. What happened to that kid? What happened to you…the real you? Let’s look at some of the lies we tell ourselves that keep us from 258

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professional authenticity. LIE #1: I don’t act ‘like a professional’ Certainly you can’t be this business professional and aspiring executive and embrace all that you did as a growing person. How could you possibly be into Blink 182, and also be an expert at recruiting? Your amp broke a long time ago and you’re too dizzy to keep riding that skateboard. Likely, you adapt. You become some version of who you think you should be to fit into this new weird world you’ve built for yourself. I know this all too well, because I’ve spent years coaching others to embrace their full selves and foster their innate gifts at work, so they can truly practice professional authenticity. Professional authenticity - what does that even mean? This is essentially the basis of my entire employer success theory and deserves much more time and attention than this simple definition, but here it goes: Professional authenticity is bringing your innate gifts to the surface to communicate and execute your vision in a professional setting. Let me give you an example of how this manifested for me personally. I lost my way for quite a while. I faked some version of who I was and avoided my reality for a very long time. As a kid, I loved all things ghostly. I had many experiences, validated and not, which led me to believe I had an intuitive gift (or curse). But,

I was never really driven to explore or develop that gift, mostly because I was afraid of it, and that ‘stuff’ didn’t fit into my idea of what a ‘real life’ should look like. Spirits and a ‘real’ job? No way. I found another passion in my young adulthood--in the big, deep, and mysterious world of Human Resources. Bit of a difference from the spirit world, no? Nevertheless, it was a passion of mine - the perfect combination of business operations and sociology. I also was just really good at it. But I find that’s the case with passion; if you are passionate, you are invested, you are dedicated, you have the want to learn and experience more. In that, inevitably, you will rock your shit. LIE #2: Success equals happiness I’m one of the lucky ones who found a way to foster my passion at work. This didn’t mean that I was completely and fully satisfied in every position and in every company I worked for; quite the opposite. This just meant that no matter what I was doing, I would find what drove me. What made me want to move in a forward direction. But if passion was the secret, then why wasn’t I happy? Answer: Somewhere along the way, my authenticity dropped off the charts. I was good at what I did for a myriad of reasons, but my overwhelmingly consistent feedback was that people loved working with me because I was “genuine”. I constantly struggled with this otherwise very positive


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{ ONCE { SHIFT+CONTROL IN A BLUE MOON } } “Life gets a little more complicated than basement Blockbuster and we have real dreams, desires, and goals that we pour our energy into.”

unheard and unseen. Because that’s not what you’re supposed to do, right? That’s weird. It’s personal. And then if you knew that, maybe you won’t like me… God forbid.

psychic intuitive. Not because of, not in place of, not as a result of…but in addition to.

LIE #3: They won’t like the real me

The reactions I have received after sharing

LIE #4: That’s not what executives do

Instead, I ignored those very loud and overwhelming messages, shoved them out of the way to focus on just the employee in my office, and would offer guidance and advice that somehow always helped the employee find their own way. All the while…I constantly seemed to be getting in my own way and becoming frustrated that something felt like it was missing.

The Truth: We are all just people Those thought leaders or business executives you follow and admire... they’re people, just like you and me. They all go home and have to call their parents. They get annoyed when someone else finishes the ice cream in the freezer. They stub their toes on furniture in their house. They used to play make-believe...maybe they still do.

I was fortunate enough in my career journey to find a company that values individuals and their innate gifts, and sees the value in educating employees. My personal values synced with the vision of the company. I had a supported and shared belief that when you provide a supportive environment for employees and leaders, company success will follow. After years of soul searching, selfimprovement, and straight up being tired of faking it, I was ready to start my new, truly authentic life. I took a leap and founded Blue Moon Growth Co, and with this came my need to ‘come out of the broom closet’ and announce to the world that I’m a kick ass HR professional, a realistic and new age business consultant, AND a 262

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I also had the misconception that revealing my full self meant I had to change. I was pretty happy about my work, and how I presented myself professionally. But that authenticity piece couldn’t really truly come forward until I was not only honest with others, but ultimately with myself.

this on a large scale, and becoming more confident in expressing this with new acquaintances, has been nothing less than positive, supportive, and just overall lovely. I was terrified to share this, and once I did, I immediately felt I could embrace that label of ‘genuine’, ‘authentic’, and ‘real’, instead of just sorta kinda half-way there.

And if you find yourself in the position as a thought leader or executive, don’t forget to fix the amp, throw on that old Blink182 album, dream up your next tattoo, read your emails, create your PowerPoint presentations, and run through your speaker’s notes. Maybe think twice about busting out the old skateboard, though. Bottom line: there’s no one way to live your life, but however you choose to live it, keep it real.


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Founder & CEO of Blue Moon Growth Co, Lindsay Mastrogiovanni, believes in holistic business practice. A successful business requires a holistic review and analysis of your entire business from mission, through policy, and actual practice.

On her business philosophy Woo woo is less weird than you think. We all have intuition, but you might not be using your innate intuition to benefit your business. Think big, think forward, and proceed with optimism.

If you're not passionate about whatever it is that you lead, your success will be further out of grasp than you'd like it to be.

Her top tips for entrepreneurs and business owners Make your business work for you. There's no rules, only risk. Passion plus authenticity is the recipe for success.

Your passion doesn't have to be in your product or service, but can be in the people you lead and support.

Her favorite area of study Stand up comedy. If you're not laughing, you're not living.

helping career professionals grow in their business intuition helping business owners create and maintain intuitive business operations

If you're running a business, you're a leader. What kind of leader you choose to be... is up to you. Lindsay is dedicated to helping leaders find that passion and will guide them step by step on integration of passion into practice.

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THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT BY LAURIE HAELEN

KEY CONSIDERATIONS In an effort to assist both individuals and businesses in recovering from the financial impact of the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA 2021) was signed into law on March 11th, 2021. This is a $1.9 trillion emergency relief package that includes payments to individuals and funding for federal programs, vaccines and testing, state and local governments, and schools. It is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis. There are many relief provisions to be aware of, so I have summarized here some critical elements of the act. The first phase of the act, already in process, is another round of stimulus payments for qualifying individuals. Those who meet the criteria will receive another direct payment from the federal government. Technically a 2021 refundable income tax credit, the rebate amount will be calculated based on 2019 tax returns filed (or on 2020 tax returns if filed and processed by the IRS at the time of determination) and sent automatically via check, direct deposit, or debit card to qualifying individuals. To qualify for a payment, individuals generally must have a Social Security number and must not qualify as the dependent of another individual.

The amount of the recovery rebate is $1,400 ($2,800 if married filing a joint return) plus $1,400 for each dependent. Recovery rebates start to phase out for those with an adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeding $75,000 ($150,000 if married filing a joint return, $112,500 for those filing as head of household). Recovery rebates are completely phased out for those with an AGI of $80,000 ($160,000 if married filing a joint return, $120,000 for those filing as head of household).

• Targeted federal reimbursement of state unemployment compensation designed to eliminate state one-week delays in providing benefits (allowing individuals to receive a maximum 79 weeks of benefits)

The legislation also extends unemployment benefit assistance through early September 2021, as follows:

Since many people experienced job loss due to the pandemic, they also may have lost their health insurance as well. The act offers some assistance in the form of lower cost options/and or tax credits.

• An additional $300 weekly benefit to those collecting unemployment benefits, through September 6, 2021 • An additional 29-week extension of federally funded unemployment benefits for individuals who exhaust their state unemployment benefits

• Unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021, for many who would not otherwise qualify, including independent contractors and part-time workers For 2020, the legislation also makes the first $10,200 (per spouse for joint returns) of unemployment benefits nontaxable if the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income is less than $150,000. If a 2020 tax return has already been filed and this provision was not accounted for, the IRS will calculate the reduction in taxes and refund the taxpayer directly.

• For those who lost a job and qualify for health insurance under the federal COBRA continuation coverage program, the federal government will generally pay the entire COBRA premium for health insurance from April 1, 2021, CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ FINANCIALLY {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS} } } “Since many people experienced job loss due to the pandemic, they also may have lost their health insurance as well. The act offers some assistance in the form of lower cost options/ and or tax credits.“

• For 2021, if a taxpayer receives unemployment compensation, the taxpayer is treated as an applicable taxpayer for purposes of the premium tax credit, and the household income of the taxpayer is favorably treated for purposes of determining the amount of the credit. • People who bought their own health insurance through a government exchange may qualify for a lower cost through December 31, 2022. Students also may benefit from some provisions contained within the act. Although it does not include student loan cancellation that some were hoping for, it does make any loan forgiveness federally tax-free through December 31, 2025. Loan forgiveness generally is a taxable event. It is possible Congress may enact some sort of blanket student debt forgiveness program in the future. There also are several changes that may impact your tax bill contained within the act. Here are some key ones to consider: For the Child Tax Credit: • For 2021, the credit amount increases from $2,000 to $3,000 per qualifying child ($3,600 for qualifying children under age 6), subject to phaseout based on modified adjusted gross income. The legislation also makes 17-year-olds eligible as qualifying children in 2021. • For most individuals, the credit is fully refundable for 2021 if it exceeds tax liability. • The Treasury Department is expected to send out periodic advance payments 266

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(to be worked out by the Treasury) for up to one-half of the credit during 2021. • For 2021, the legislation increases the maximum credit up to $4,000 for one qualifying individual and up to $8,000 for two or more (based on an increased applicable percentage of 50% of costs paid and increased dollar limits). • Most taxpayers will not have the applicable percentage reduced (can be reduced from 50% to 20% if AGI exceeds a substantially increased $125,000) in 2021. However, the applicable percentage can now also be reduced from 20% down to 0% if the taxpayer’s AGI exceeds $400,000 in 2021. • For most individuals, the credit is fully refundable for 2021 if it exceeds tax liability. For the Earned Income Tax Credit: • The legislation generally increases the credit available for individuals with no qualifying children (bringing it closer to the amounts for individuals with one, two, or three or more children which were already much higher). • For individuals with no qualifying children, the minimum age at which the credit can be claimed is generally lowered from 25 to 19 (24 for certain full-time students) and the maximum age limit of 64 is eliminated (there are no similar age limits for individuals with qualifying children). • To determine the credit amount, taxpayers can elect to use their 2019 earned income if it is more than their

2021 earned income. The American Rescue Plan Act is comprehensive and includes other changes which may or may not impact you. It is key for those impacted to understand what planning they need to do to maximize any benefits they may receive, particularly the many tax implications discussed above. A professional advisor can help you navigate the shifting sands of the financial ramifications of the pandemic. Our highly qualified team would love to help you, so please reach out if you have any questions or need some advice—we stand ready to be of assistance. Laurie A. Haelen, AIF®, is Senior Vice President – Manager of Investment and Financial Planning Solutions, CNB Wealth Management, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at (585) 394-4260 x41970 or by email at lhaelen@CNBank.com.



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FOCUS ON GROWTH, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BY RUMELLA CAMERON

When starting a business in the very beginning we focus on getting the word out. You would primarily do that by networking with your sphere of influence, networking at events or online, cold calling and cold emails, and building up your presence to gain clients. Most of your business is coming from referrals and word of mouth, maybe you advertised here or there. But to truly focus on business development and taking your business to the next level there are three areas you should focus on, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service.

Let’s break down each of these to understand how it works. Marketing generates leads, Sales leads to revenue, and Customer Service keeps the revenue coming. There are 7 stages of business growth. They are Startup, Ramp-up, Delegation, Professional, Integration, Strategic and Visionary stages. Each of these stages depends on the number of employees you have. Today I will focus

● Not generating enough consistent, profitable revenue ● Business development capabilities are not scaling with the rest of the business

● Business development efforts (Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service) are fractured. Depending on the area your business is driving by whether it’s Marketing, Sales, or Customer Service all three of these areas are vital to your business growth. 268

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THE NON-NEGOTIABLE RULE How Business Survives - Focus 80% of your resources on selling 2-3 of the highest margin offerings you have. So if you have products or services that are high ticket items, this should be your number one priority. - S e t i n p l a c e a good Customer Service Management (CRM) system. There are tons of CRM systems out there for small businesses. Hubspot is my favorite. We have been using it for the last five years. - Identify brand values that establish the company’s promise to the market.

When your business seems to be stagnant and not growing anymore the problems you face are:

● Unable to bring in new sales representatives successfully

How can your business survive at this stage and what can you do to move business forward? We will begin with The Non-negotiable Rule.

HOW A BUSINESS SCALES on Stage 1, the Start-Up. At this stage, you have less than 10 employees and you seem to be doing very well for yourself but you’re stuck and don’t seem to find a way to move your business forward. It’s important to understand which stage you’re in and have a concept of how your business is driven which will determine the success of your business growth.

- Separate marketing, sales, and customer service into three distinct teams. Build up your teams where their primary focus is one of these three areas. - Use brand values and customer segments to guide business development strategies. - Establish business development structure that generates leads, turns leads into revenue, and keeps revenue coming.


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{SHIFT+CONTROL BUSINESS }} } {{ SHE HUSTLESTALK TALKS “So let’s take a moment and look at how your business is doing right now. How are you going to allocate your business development resources - Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service?”

- Ensure CRM system facilitates business development structures. - Ensure that you have strong managers leading marketing, sales, and customer service and are a part of the management team. - Encourage collaboration between business development functions through a shared process. HOW TO SUSTAIN - Ensure marketing, sales, and customer service win a team with a synergistic strategy for generating revenue. - Use integrated CRM systems for business development. 270

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- Be sure that leadership teams are involved in business development every day to keep the pulse of customer needs and confirm market attractiveness offerings. So let’s take a moment and look at how your business is doing right now. How are you going to allocate your business development resources - Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service? What nonnegotiable business development rules do you need to work on? In business, you must move from being Reactive to Proactive. Here are the key concepts that will help you grow your business and move you into the next stage. Business development is Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service. Business Development helps a Stage 1 to 2 business survive.

If you are interested in learning more about the 7 stages of business growth get in touch with me. Conversance Business Solutions is a full-service administrative support, and consultancy firm, serving businesses from small to mid-size nationwide. Our team specializes in various virtual assistant services and onsite support tailored to meet each of our client’s needs. Whether we work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements, we bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. We hope these tips were helpful. Get in touch with us today at 585-484-0038 or visit us online at www. conversance.biz for your business needs.


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SCOLIOSIS BY DR. ANDREW J. STRAUSS

Dr. Andrew Strauss is the Director of the Hudson Valley Scoliosis Correction Center in Nanuet, NY, a state-ofthe-art, truly one-of-a-kind practice that offers alternative treatments for scoliosis with the goal of avoiding spinal fusion surgery. Dr. Strauss is a 1982 Honors Graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and has been actively engaged in scoliosis treatment for almost four decades. Additionally, he has authored two books on the subject, Your Child Has Scoliosis and The Truth About Adult Scoliosis. Dr. Strauss is the Vice President of the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute and a member of its treatment development committee, a chiropractic nonprofit that trains and certifies chiropractors in the non-surgical treatment of scoliosis. He is also a lecturer for their introductory workshops and advanced symposium as well. Dr. Strauss also lectures for local, national and international professional societies on the subject of scoliosis. He is certified in scoliosis bracing and is trained in a variety of schools of scoliosis specific exercises including SEAS, Schroth, CLEAR, CBP, and Yoga for Scoliosis. Dr. Strauss is a graduate of the ISICO World Masters of Scoliosis and holds

a Master Degree in Acupuncture, as well as extensive training in Grostic, Pettibon, Clinical Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Manipulation under Anesthesia and Electrodiagnosis. He has studied advanced approaches of X-ray imaging techniques using digital high frequency radiology to reduce patient dosage. In addition

to his work in the field of scoliosis, Dr. Strauss is a lifelong practitioner of Yoga and was first certified as a Yoga instructor in 1981. His scoliosis practice has treated patients from 25 states, 4 Canadian provinces and 32 countries, helping people literally all around the world understand their options and find the right scoliosis

treatment for their specific needs. Dr. Strauss has utilized his innovative Strauss Method for over 38 years and has treated over 10,000 with truly astounding results. Though scoliosis diagnoses are becoming more and more common, there is still unfortunately, very limited information offered to patients about alternative treatments for children with scoliosis and for pain management for adults with scoliosis. Scoliosis, by definition, is a sideways curvature of the spine which most often, occurs during the growth spurt just before puberty. There are over 3 million cases diagnosed every year in the United States alone, and yet there are so few alternative treatment options for patients besides bracing and spinal fusion surgery. Although most scoliosis cases are mild with few symptoms, some children quickly progress to more severe curves developing pain that can become exceedingly disabling and a potential health concern. The greatest key to successful spinal correction with the least possible intervention, is beginning treatment as soon as possible and treating the curve in its mildest form. Watching and waiting is no longer an acceptable approach. Additionally, given that so many children currently spend CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ ASK THE DOCTOR } “Though scoliosis diagnoses are becoming more and more common, there is still unfortunately, very limited information offered to patients about alternative treatments for children with scoliosis and for pain management for adults with scoliosis.”

remote learning, neck pain, back problems, headaches and of course, scoliosis, have all been exacerbated this past year. At HVS children, and adults, can find a way to manage their pain and discomfort and truly improve their overall health and well-being. At Hudson Valley Scoliosis Correction Center, Dr. Strauss offers a treatment plan unlike any other given his unique and extensive background and training. Dr. Strauss has over 90 five-star Google reviews with extensive, heart-warming testimonials from patients literally all around the globe. He has been featured on several podcasts and in local newspapers explaining his incomparable Strauss Method, discussing everything from the benefits of nutrition, exercise and yoga to how he actually implements these in his practice to achieve the incredible spinal correction without surgical intervention. HOW THE TREATMENT WORKS Hudson Valley Scoliosis treats patients with a customized neuromuscular re-education program that includes treatment on various machines combined with exercises. Stage 1: Physical Assessment We b e g i n b y c o n d u c t i n g a comprehensive, 30-point physical assessment to gather information about the function of the entire spine. Ongoing assessments are conducted at regular intervals to monitor progress and refine the treatment plan. 274

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Stage 2: Spine Warm-Up Before any chiropractic adjustments, the patient should warm up their spine using the following techniques: Wobble Chair - a specially designed chair that sits upon a ball-and-socket joint and flexes in every direction to put the spine through a full range of motion. Traction – this technique is used actively by the patient to achieve a gentle, repetitive spinal traction, scientifically proven to relax the ligaments and soft tissues of the spine. Eckard Flexion Table – a special motorized table with belts that pulls the scoliotic curves out of the spine, and re-structures the ligaments after they have been relaxed. Stage 3: Adjusting the Spine Adjusting instruments enhance the effectiveness of treatment while also reducing the amount of force required to correct the spine. All adjustments are guided by the information obtained from the patient’s assessments. Follow up examinations are used to confirm the correction of the curve. Stage 4: Lock-in Spinal Corrections After the adjustment is completed, the spine is “set” in its corrected position. This involves spinal weighting protocols and neuromuscular reeducation. A custom designed scoliosis exercise and stretching program is also conducted at home twice daily. The treatment program is specifically and precisely tailored to each individual patient and their unique needs, creating the greatest

opportunity for success If your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis, or you yourself have suffered from its affects as an adult, please visit our website at www. hudsonvalleyscoliosis.com or call us at (845) 624-0010 to schedule your free assessment today, and begin the journey to scoliosis correction today!



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TAKING AMAZING SNAPSHOTS BY KRISTIN BAUER-GROSS I PHOTO BY MARK KNOPP

“I never know what to do with my hands, feet, expression”? “I just don’t photograph well.” “I hate looking at photos of myself.” As a model and talent coach, I commonly hear the above statements. What I’ve learned over the years is these feelings are almost always fixable. Yes, really! Taking great snapshots is a skill. Let’s hone that skill. If you own or manage a business or have a personal or professional social media presence you likely need photos and content to share with your audience. If you are the face of your business, you probably need photos of yourself for your social media posts. And if you are a model or actor, your agent/s and/ or clients likely regularly request fresh digital photos. We live in an era where altered imagery is all around us. Advertisements are photoshopped, Instagram models edit anything they interpret as an imperfection, and movies, tv shows and commercials have a team of lighting experts, cameramen, wardrobe stylists, make-up artists, & hair stylists getting actors camera ready. This makes our expectations for perfect imagery high, but without the team of experts when we see the photos we take with our cell phone camera’s we often feel less than enthusiastic.

TIP #1: Lighting is most important above all else. If the lighting is bad the subject underexposed or overexposed the subject won’t look their best. I used to be very intimidated by lighting because “I’m not a photographer” and find a lot of other people feel the same. Here are a few lighting tips that will help improve lighting for snapshots and selfies. • About to take a selfie? Take a slow 360 degree turn in selfie mode by holding your phone up just above nose height and ask yourself where do I look my best? The spot you look the best in, is where the light is better. If you try the 360 degree turn and the light doesn’t look good at any point, then try finding other spots to stand in. • Windows can be a great light source when inside. Stand in front of a window and face the window to allow the light to fill your face. • Avoid having someone take a photo of you with your back facing the window, you want the light from the window to light you, so remember to face the window or your light source. • Golden Hour – twice per day, the 30 minutes before and after sunrise and sunset is the “golden hour” and this light tends to look gorgeous on humans giving our skin a soft golden glow. This is considered the ideal time for photos taken outside in natural light. • Midday outdoor light can be harsh and too bright if it is a sunny day. If you find yourself in this situation, try standing under a tree or an awning to

lessen the harshness. TIP #2 – POSING When we see a photo of ourselves and think “gosh I look weird or uncomfortable or I look really big or too small or I don’t like how it appears as though I have a huge nose”. We are often our own worst critics and tell ourselves awful things, however it is interesting to note that most often these “imperfections” can be fixed through posing. Keep in mind that whatever is closest to the camera will appear larger and whatever is further from the camera will appear smaller. If there is a body part you’d like to visually minimize move it away from the camera or want to make it bigger bring it closer to the camera. Homework Assignment: grab your favorite catalog or magazine. Study the different poses and notice which ones come up often. Pick out a few poses that appeal to you. Practice them in front of a mirror or try them out and by having a friend take snapshots of you. Study how different movements and angles are more flattering on camera. Then, the next time you are in a group photo say for work, in a wedding or at a restaurant or have a photoshoot use the poses you practiced and have gotten comfortable with and are easy to re-create. TIP #3 – EXPRESSION Each of us have unique faces and features. Almost no one has perfectly symmetrical features. Practice expressions in the mirror to get to know your face and how different expression look on your face. Try making every expression


{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN { SHIFT+CONTROL } B. } “Each of us have unique faces and features. Almost no one has perfectly symmetrical features. Practice expressions in the mirror to get to know your face and how different expression look on your face.”

you can think of (happy, sad, peaceful, contemplative, thoughtful, intense, angry, laughing, etc) and remember how that expression “feels”. Take note of which expressions you like the best and how they come across visually. This way when in front of the camera you will remember what an expression looks like because you remember how it “feels” from practicing.

model and actress. She is one of my coaching clients. In a recent session, we were taking snapshots of her which one of her agent’s requested. I felt these two photos of her were a good example of the tips here for taking snapshots. We

TIP #4 – WARDROBE Wardrobe plays a big role in how we look in photos. • Wear clothing that fits properly, is pressed and not wrinkly.

If you found this article helpful check out Episode #42 “Taking Amazing Snapshots” on my IGTV channel @ KristinBauerGross

• Also consider necklines. V necklines tend to lengthen and create a long sleek neckline while turtlenecks for example cut off the neckline completely.

Get my FREE Photoshoot Prep Checklist to make prepping for photoshoots a breeze at: www.KristinB.com/ checklist

• Solid colors tend to look great on-camera while patterns and logos can distract from the subject. TIP #5 – BACKGROUND Curate your background like an artistic director. To keep the attention on the subject avoid distracting objects in the background. Portrait mode on an iphone helps to make the subject pop. Notice these snapshots of Stacey Kull. She is a professional agency represented 278

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simple background draws attention to her, the subject. She wore solid colors which showcase her form and figure. Her outfit fits well and is something she feels confident in. Her pose is simple, natural, yet flattering. Agencies often request digitals so that their clients can see what a model or actor looks like currently, today, in this moment. Often a current digital headshot and full-length shot is requested and the idea is for the viewer to feel like they have a clear understanding of what the talent looks like.

missed the early morning sun so we put her under some trees and checked that the lighting and background looked nice. I would have preferred to remove one dead branch from the tree but otherwise you notice how the


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STRATEGIC NETWORKING BY AHLIA TILLMAN KITWANA

M A K I N G CONNECTIONS TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS At Little Black Buddha, we help professional women change their careers, their livelihoods, even their entire approach to life. There are several guiding principles in our coaching approach, and one of them is not to do it alone. Leverage the power of your community and network to help you accomplish your goals and aspirations. In 2019, Jobvite’s Job Seeker Nation Survey reported that 50% of respondents learned about available jobs through friends and acquaintances. In the same survey, 37% of respondents learned about a new job through their professional networks. At LBB, we not only advise that you leverage your existing network, but we ask that you build on the network you already have. Let’s explore how to leverage your networking approach. Even when you are not officially searching for a job, keeping your network close and helping others will always serve you well. 280

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Your network can consist of friends, family, neighbors, alumni, and any professional associations or groups you belong to. Any of these individuals can help you gain information and job leads that will land you the right role. If you are looking for a new position, plan on attending as many networking events as possible. And yes, you can

totally rock virtual networking events. You can take a direct approach and ask for job leads or try a less formal approach and ask for information and advice. Here are 7 steps on how to get strategic

with your approach to networking: 1. Start with the end in mind and get specific about the position. Set a goal for the position you are going after. What type of job do you want? What kind of company or organization do you want to work for? Are mission and values important to you, and what values are you looking for in an organization? What salary do you want? What kind of environment do you want to work in? Do you want the flexibility to work at home or do you prefer to be around your co-workers most of the day? Yes, this is a lot of work and consideration up front, but it will save you time in the long run. You will not waste your efforts and you will be in a much better position to articulate what you’re looking for. 2. Make a list of the types of people who can help you accomplish your goal. If you know people in your network who fit the type of person you need to connect with, make note of those people, categorize them, and think of a specific request for each person. You can either ask them directly for job leads or you can do informational interviews. Come up with a plan to reach out to these people over the next few weeks and months.


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SHIFT+CONTROL } { THE{ LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA } “Your network can consist of friends, family, neighbors, alumni, and any professional associations or groups you belong to”

3. For the types of people you don’t know directly, scan your network to see if any of your direct connections are connected to the desired type of person. Reach out to them and ask for a warm introduction. Be brief and specific about what you are looking for from the person you are trying to connect with.

6. Even after you land your desired role, stay in touch with your network. Keep your relationships warm by reaching out periodically. Every 6 or 12 months is fine for professional connections.

4. For people you don’t have 1st or 2nd degree connections w i t h , f i g u re o u t where those people spend time online or in physical space. Start hanging out in those places to meet the types of people you want to get in touch with. Conferences, networking events, and workshops, in person or virtual, are fine opportunities to make these connections. 5. Plan your outreach and networking efforts. Make a goal to connect with this or that number of people each week. This will make it more about numbers and a little less intimidating than worrying about bothering people or speaking to someone high up on the decisionmaking chain. Keep that going until you reach that new level.

underestimated. Take time to build those meaningful connections and relationships. You never know when you will need to tap into your network, and you never know where or who that next great lead will come from. A lot of people are intimidated by networking, so break it down into bite-sized pieces and make it more about connecting than making small talk. Contact Little Black Buddha for all the details on not only making valuable connections but making them flourish.

7. Rinse and repeat. You can use this framework to help you achieve all of your professional goals. The power of your network and community should not be CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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YOU ARE ENOUGH. LATESHA PAGE BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO

Hi, my name is Latesha Page. I am a single mother from Brooklyn, New York. I have a daughter named Lea Page Elder who is truly one of a kind! She is a little actress who can be seen at the New York Star Club doing her thing. Her acting and personality landed her an appearance in the music video “Mama’’ by Talena Skye featuring Be Cleare Allen. The way my daughter takes care of me is incomparable. She anticipates my needs and is the leading lady at the house. I could not ask for a better daughter. This little BOSS has her mommy covered! I’m forever grateful for her love, compassion. energy, and strength. She is a STAR!

It’s almost like by focusing my energy on the wrong things, they came true, too. The lens I saw then was how I saw the world, and whether positive or negative, I created the capacity for these things to happen, and the universe responded in kind. The Answer? Focus on what you want and believe that you will have it and then...BOOM! BOSS LADY

I don’t plan on stopping. I have the gift of knowing and understanding the market. I was the first black woman in Georgia to open a partnership franchise Kona Ice Food Truck. Now, I am the only owner of New York Star Club, Kids Acting School. We do everything from Acting, Digital Media, Photoshoots, Commercials, Vocal Lessons, Fashion Shows, and Private Lessons. I love what New York Star Club has done in my life. The most amazing moments in my life are when they are spent with children.

I have been studying the power of positivity for about 10 years now. Before, I continue...being positive does not make you super humanly nice all the time. It means that you control how you react to things made to destroy you. Ok...NEXT! I am the girl that learns the most from the smartest person in the room. I pay attention to things that matter. I ask questions about everything. This was my biggest question...What do successful entrepreneurs and women who seemed to have it all possess that I didn’t? Personal Development, Manifestation, Visualization, Intention, Meditation, and Love. Here is what happened when I really started to understand this thing called life. I started to attract what was in my head. 284

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sell everything from clothes to drinks. I threw high school parties with my friends. That was so much fun! We called ourselves Monopoly INC. We rented halls, took pictures with matching outfits and distributed them to all the cool kids. We were marketing and had strategies before I even knew what marketing was. I own my own tax business. I was a real estate saleswoman. I drove Uber. If there was a buyer around I sold it. I have my own juice line. I sold Jamaican natural drinks at huge festivals in NYC like Farm Up Jamaica. I’ve been on every wave. Some great, some not so great, but I never gave up and I never settled.

I have been a serial entrepreneur since elementary school. If there was a market, I was buying and selling. I remember going to BJ’s as a kid getting the bucket of lollipops and selling it to the kids that came to my mother’s salon. If I had extra I was passing them off in PS 308. As a kid I had two BOSS PARENTS as entrepreneurs. I knew early on...I could be nothing less than a BOSS. After my debut as a Candy Dealer, I went on to

New York Star Club is my legacy. It will be around when I’m gone. I am forever grateful for every experience that life has offered me. I’m just getting started. www.newyorkstarclub.com www.lateshapage.com @lateshapage-Instagram @lealovelife-Instagram @newyorkstarclub


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“This little BOSS has mommy covered! I’m forever grateful for her love, compassion. energy, and strength. She is a STAR!”

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DR. DEE KIMBREL PHOTOS BY NICK NELSON

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background. Who is Dr Dee Kimbrel and what is your area of expertise? I am a Rochester native and have worked as a diversity and inclusion practitioner, educator, entrepreneur, and administrator for the last 13 years. Some of my highlights and strengths include: organizational strategy, leadership development, consulting, public speaking, coaching, and corporate training.

leader around organizing people’s issues and finding solutions. The Kimbrel Consulting Company was created to address some of the toughest issues organizations face around people and work environments. What do you think is the number one issue you are able to help businesses manage or solve? The main issue with organizations is their cultures. When companies can’t

I hold a Bachelor’s degree from the State University at Buffalo in Communication and International Business, along with a Master’s degree in Communication and Marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Doctoral degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Currently I work as the the Chief Diversity Officer for Monroe County of New York State. I’ve been told I have a charismatic persona and dynamic abilities which allows me to create and cultivate an inclusive environment wherever I go. What made you decide to start your own business and become a female entrepreneur? I’ve been an entrepreneur for nearly 13 years. I started with a retail business, She Says So Boutique and once I completed my doctorate I continued my entrepreneurial journey as a thought

face the flaws that exist with in its very own culture, they cease to evolve. As a business owner, what are your top three priorities for both your business and also for your clients? My top priorities in the work I do are: 1) Create workspaces where everyone can thrive 2) Develop sustainable structures within organizations for inclusion and equity

3) Ensure people have the knowledge and language to advocate for themselves in any space where Diversity, Equity or Inclusion is an issue. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful, especially during a pandemic? I’ve used LinkedIn as a place to showcase my business and I’ve been able to connect with many potential clients. What was your key driving force in starting a business helping with equality, inclusion and diversity? The driving force behind me starting this business were my own and those around me experiences with a lack of DE&I and how it creates trauma, psychological safety issues and a lack of opportunity. Being that voice and driving force around those issues have been key to the work I do. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why? NO! I’d do everything the same. My experiences lead me to where I am today. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in your business and as a female business owner? A successful DE&I Professional should have:

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“The main issue with organizations is their cultures. When companies can’t face the flaws that exist with in its very own culture, they cease to evolve.”

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{ {WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR WOMAN ON THE RISE { SHIFT+CONTROL } }} “I’ve been an entrepreneur for nearly 13 years. I started with a retail business, She Says So Boutique and once I completed my doctorate I continued my entrepreneurial journey as a thought leader around organizing people’s issues and finding solutions.”

1) Knowledge around Organizational culture and design 2) A deep understanding of DE&I and it’s impact on people. This person should be or have been impacted by a lack of DE&I. 3) Professional courage in those situations that become uncomfortable yet neccessary

Do you walk your talk? Absolutely? In order to be great in this work? You have to live it. Do you think being a minority has helped or hindered you in business and especially as a female business owner? My background and experience

Who has been your greatest inspiration and why? My inspiration to do the work is the younger generations as they are the future leaders of tomorrow and deserve the opportunity to thrive.

Where do you see your consulting business a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years? I see the business continuing to grow, build great relationships and impact a large group of people across the world. 292

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What gets you excited and makes you proud of what you do? I get most exited and proud when people tell me they’ve been changed forever by my work. As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career and how did you overcome it? As a female leader the biggest barrier has been the threat of not being heard. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? My advice would be to stay true to yourself and your purpose? Don’t get too attached to people, places, and things as they relate to work. Move when you need to.

How do you define success both personally and professionally? Success to me is being able to empowe and inspire others. Do you spend more time lighting fires or putting them out? These days, I am doing both! Without disruption there’s no change.

My way is to create spaces where all people can thrive, be heard and grow.

gives me a passion for the work and motivation to keep going even when it gets tough. What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I can be very shy. What is your ‘why? ‘

What has been one story that has inspired you in working with a client? One story that has inspired me is one of the women I’d been counseling found her voice and began advocating for herself regardingopportunity. As a result she was able to move into a new and much more rewarding position. How do you define your purpose and mission? My purpose and mission is to educate and inspire in any capacity I can.


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THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE SARATOGA BY RANDY AGNESS

Within the last five years, I have traveled to Saratoga Springs at least once per year and for me it remains one of the most significant restaurant regions in New York state. Saratoga has always been associated with elegance as the elite of society would spend the month of August to watch the thoroughbred horses race around the oval of Saratoga’s renown and luxurist race track and to be on-hand for The Travers in late August, nicknamed the Midsummer Derby, brings together the greatest threeyear-old horses to the race course to compete for the $1.25 million purse. Beyond the Triple Crown, The Travers ranks among the highest recognized sporting e ve n t s i n h o r s e racing. The world’s most accomplished thoroughbreds have raced on the hallowed ground of Saratoga Race Course, for indeed, Saratoga is the gold standard. The city of Saratoga Springs nearly doubles in population each summer as racing schedule was expanded beginning in mid-July and extending into early September. What draws the crowds the rest of the time is called just Broadway – the main street in Saratoga.is an inviting walk attracting thousands of tourists that line the street having dozens of small unique and interesting shops along

the way. Every desire and temptation option appears block after block from art galleries to specialty clothing and delicious tastings. With that in mind, Saratoga Springs has become a very serious food destination with about a dozen Wine Spectator ‘Where To Drink Well Restaurants’. I have had the opportunity to visit and enjoy a lot of menu items and have become friends with many of the owners and

general managers of these fine dining establishments. Did I have help on intitially knocking of doors and cold calling on the best of the best. Yes, there’s a benefit of maintaining close friendly relationships with alumni, especially in this case with the local hospital recruiter which does frequent the fine dining restaurants on a regular basis. Her outgoing personality and generous smile is instintally recognized

on arrival. We have been lucky enough to have several truly great restaurants serving our wine and now when I arrive there’s always an invitation to stay for awhile. What will be bringing me back to Saratoga Springs this time will be that a reopening of the outstanding restaurant resurgence. There is already a level of excitement among the owners and staff of the restaurants bringing a variety of new entrees and traditional menu favorites. My current favorite restaurants are The Olde Bryan Inn and Longfellows. The Olde Bryan Inn popular among locals and visitors can be either a casual dining venue or provide an excellent atmosphere for a romantic dinner. Longfellows is a wonderful hotel and goument restaurant nearby the charm of the Saratoga racetrack. A fabulous wine list and offering an exquisite dining experience is designed to pamper guests with getaway options. If your walking along Broadway, The Wine Bar has a selection of 50 wines by the glass and a walk up place to unwind for outdoor people watching. Also, right on Broadway, I really like dining at Wheatfields Restaurant and Bar serves the freshest hand crafted CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ TRAVEL {WITH AGNESS WINE}CELLARS } SHIFT+CONTROL “There is already a level of excitement among the owners and staff of the restaurants bringing a variety of new entrees and traditional menu favorites. My current favorite restaurants are The Olde Bryan Inn and Longfellows.”

With a view from the table into the brewery offers guest an insider view of a working brewery with an array of craft choices that you don’t only drink, but have a discussion about. Just outside of town, Beer Wine Pizza offers a family size menu in a fun environment. Higher end restaurants included the Wishing Well and Prime. Continually operating since 1936, Wishing Well remains viable by creating an innovative menu with daily shipment of Maine lobster and every night featured seafood and of course a diverse selection of fine wines by the glass as an elegant place to relax at the 300

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end of busy day of adventure. Dine at Prime at the Saratoga National Golf Club is an unforgettable steakhouse all about a taste to talk about with an extraordinary patio dining with great views of the course if you decide to hit the links as part of your vacation plans. Prime Classics menu includes a variety of cold seafood appetizers and beef entrees to fill anyone’s hunger – NY Strip, Filet Mignon, Prime Porterhouse and Dry Age Cuts daily options. With the statewide shutdown of restaurants in 2020 was shocking to to the residents of Saratoga as the

visitors did not come. The annual reason make the trip cut severely into the revenues across all small businesses. Some were not able to survive while others are hoping for a return to near normal taking the opportunity to upgrade the give shoppers a new look and the reason to stop by for a impulse buy. Ultimately July 15th will be moment when the images majesty and traditions royal bred horses with colorful silks pounding down the home stretch runs of the world’s oldest sport hopefully will be enough to turn the tide for a record of celebrities, owners, breeders and fans will find their way back Saratoga.


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ELEVATE YOUR HEART RATE BY ALEXIS TEARNEY

Do you know your resting heart rate? Our resting heart rate is a key indicator of our health. It gives us a glimpse of what’s going on inside of our bodies. In a cardio or strength based exercise program, it’s expected that one’s resting heart rate will gradually decrease over time. This is normal and healthy. Over time, the heart muscle gets stronger. As it gets stronger, it gets more efficient (like any other smooth muscle in the body would), and it doesn’t have to work as hard to perform. A low resting heart rate can indicate a strong heart muscle. Now, let’s talk about some things that can elevate your resting heart rate. If you notice a 5-10 beat increase, something may be up. If you’re in a vigorous exercise program, this can mean that your body is in need of a rest period (a couple of days to even a couple of weeks). Your body is working hard to repair itself as the heart beats faster to pump more blood to heal your muscles. If you keep pushing, you could be on your way to injury. The body has its own natural ways of telling you this, too. You’ll feel sluggish or weak during your workouts. You won’t 302

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feel as motivated to exercise. You might even be irritable, or have a hard time sleeping. Elevated resting heart rate can also be caused by having too many alcoholic

often presents itself before other symptoms are noticed. Start tracking your rest heart rate each morning when you wake up. You can do this with a device like a Fit Bit or Apple Watch. Good old fashioned pulse tracking works, too. Get familiar with yours to help get in tune with your health. Your body will thank you. Stay well! A l e x i s Te a r n e y Kuhl is the second generation owner of Tearney’s Martial Arts. She offers both virtual classes, as well as in-person training at St. Ann’s School, in Syracuse. Together with her husband Jordan, Alexis also owns the online vintage store Lhük Vintage - www.lhukvintage. com You can follow her on Instagram @ alexistearneykuhl.

drinks the night before. It’s also an indication that your body is fighting an illness. When the immune system is working hard, the heart rate will increase to deliver vital nutrients to the body. The increased heart rate

For more info check out Tearneys Martial Arts at www.tearneyskarate.com.



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“REMY’S RAINBOW” BY AMANDA ASHLEY

Four years into parenting, and I feel as if I am seeing life again through the eyes of my child. I find myself in a constant state of self reflection as I witness him grow, and absorb his surroundings as he experiences many things for the very first time. In the last two weeks of March, Remy would enthusiastically return from preschool with a folder full of drawings, and an earful of information regarding rainbows. He would tell me everything there was to know about rainbows, and together we even performed a failed rainbow experiment using a napkin, sunlight and a glass, half full of water. Ironically, a week of rain and sun followed as warm, Spring showers reminded us of a new season’s arrival. Periodically we’d peak outside our windows for any rainbow sightings, but were short of luck. Sunday rolled around, and it was 304

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another Rainy day. Earlier in the day we had a visit with friends. As we were bidding them farewell, the sun slowly began to part the clouds and I began cleaning dishes.

The one thing he had boasted for weeks about, he now stood before in amazement, with eyes wide, and fists punching the air in excitement.

My son began bustling around with excitement. He grabbed his father who then grabbed me,

For all the rainbows my eyes have ever seen, this was truly the most magnificent. The priceless moment it created was both touching and enlightening. It made me appreciate the little ways in which life truly reveals itself, and how precious it is to presently live in the moment. There are fascinating things happening all around us, all the time. It’s significance is mitigated because our minds are too preoccupied with the pressures and responsibilities of our adult lives.

and outside we stepped onto our front stoop before nature’s natural wonder in all it’s glory. Remy found his rainbow, with rays vibrantly colored, and fully retracted like the St. Louis, Gateway Arch.

We often overlook the pure joy and wonder that exists in those everyday things that we take for granted. Exploring your child-like sense of wonder is an opportunity to see life again in all it’s humble beauty.


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { AFTERNOON COCKTAIL } “Find the fun in exploration and absorb the beauty around you. Bringing awareness to the present moment will open you to the best life truly has to offer.”

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Whether you are learning something for the first time, or learning it all over again; make it a priority to not allow the pressures of adulthood to consume your spirit.

Find the fun in exploration and absorb the beauty around you. Bringing awareness to the present moment will open you to the best life truly has to offer.



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BEAUTIFY ME BY GABRIELLA ROSE FIEDERLEIN I PHOTOS BY STUDIO 11:57

Are you struggling to find the perfect minimal morning and night skin care regiment? We are talking ten minutes or less. BeautifyMe has Licensed Medical Skin Care Aestheticians who have great recommendations for clients who don’t know where to start. Whether you may have dry, oily, or normal skin that have flaws, we need great and easy products that can not only fix our flaws, but also our confidence and life! As a Licensed Skin Specialist, we know how important it is to have a full on regiment, and do recommend treatments from a medical spa but for those who can not, that’s why they sell DIY products/machinery! We see so many advertisements through social media or paid posts from influencers that advise us to try out products that for the most part are not good for usbut seem like it because of the person that posts it. We fall for it because we support that celebrity or influencer without realizing what the ingredients functions actually are! They have all of these long and intimidating names-each ingredientyet don’t realize how important they are. People question when they buy the advertised product after using it for a month or so, they ask themselves… “why did it make my skin worse when it worked for him or her?” The answer is because it is not what your skin needed, in fact, it is the opposite. Most likely that influencer or celebrity didn’t actually use that product at all. When you realize the concerns you decide to take action in taking care of, find a local licensed specialist and

ask for their opinion! Do NOT ask Google questions. When you discuss the importance of good products, ask the specialist what types of ingredients would benefit you? There is no need to hesitate when they name all of these ingredients or products, we only need to focus on the most important! When you learn about those specific ingredients, find a few products that contain those ingredients! Before and after a long busy

whole face. You will notice the extra oils that are being cleansed away. Now you are probably wondering what I use. My skin type is a combination of dry and oily with hormonal acne as my condition. In the winter, I have more dry skin where when summer arrives, my face tends to be a bit oily in my t-zone. A t-zone is the areas of your brows, in between, and your nose, with the areas underneath your eyes. Because of that, my products change. My regiment remains the same. In the winter (combo/dry) I start off with the medical skinbrand PCA Creamy Cleanser. Benefits include leaving the skin smoother and firmer, soft and supple. Next, a toner. I LOVE witchhazel. Witchhazel is a natural ingredient that helps to tighten the skin, and is an antibacterial. You can buy any brand of this, your whole regiment doesn’t need to be contained of the same brand for every product, otherwise you might go broke! Next up, serums! When my skin is dry I love to use pure hyaluronic acid. It is the number one ingredient for your skin that helps with hydration.

day of work I like to feel great, and fresh. Cleansing, toning, serums, moisturizer, eye cream, SPF is my morning routine. The trick is to remember, thinnest to thickest for the application process. Cleansing, toning, serums, eye cream, retinol is my night routine. Cleansing without toning doesn’t promise you that your face is completely clean. I like to take a cotton ball, applying the toner and then softly start with my forehead and swipe outwards throughout my

There are several hyaluronic acid serums but most are mixed with these extra ingredients that might not be necessary and can do more harm than good. I use the serum with the brand Provence Beauty. Creates change and the price isn’t scary! For an eye cream, I really use a retinol based eye cream at night to prevent aging and a hydrating eye cream in the morning for a brighter complexion and hydration. I usually buy an eye cream from any brand that has fewer ingredients and none CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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“Just like the saying “You are what be beat, so continue to ta


t you eat,” self-confidence can not ake care of your skin. ”


{ BEAUTY TALK } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Why did it make my skin worse when it worked for him or her?” The answer is because it is not what your skin needed, in fact, it is the opposite.”

that has the opposite effect of what I want. Even Neutrogena, or Olay! A retinol no matter what is going to be on the more expensive aside out of everything else. When your skin is dry, the retinols you would look for are ones that would help conditions like aging, rosacea, acne, or hyperpigmentation and sun damage. The retinol that has changed my life is the PCA retinol. I switch from the “Intensive Clarity Treatment” for acne, and the “Intensive Aging Treatment” for anti-aging effects. Retinol is a true game changer but ONLY for the night time. When you apply it in the morning-don’t- and you walk out into the sun, it can cause more skin damage by burning your skin at a more increased rate than normal. In the summer (combo/oily) I start off with the medical skinbrand “PCA BPO 5% Cleanser”. Benefits include exfoliation benefits, an antibacterial, calming and soothing of acneic skin. The next step might sound absolutely dangerous and insane to you, and I can promise you that no other specialist would agree, but for a toner I use pure acetone. Yes, you read that right. Acetone. It disinfects. After a nice cleanse, I take the deepest risk of an extreme second cleansing of the extra debris and oils. This has always worked for my skin type of combo/oily and will 100% work on just oily skin. My acne went down, my skin is cleaner, disinfected (LOL), and next a serum. Provence Beauty Collagen Serum. Our skin is already made of collagen so why not apply more for extra revival. Not only will your skin be glowing but collagen increases the natural elasticity of your 312

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skin. Elasticity means stretchiness. For example, take your pointer finger and start from the bottom of your cheek and push up! That movement is elasticity. When it is nice and smooth, that means you’re hydrated but when you see fine little lines, you need hydration! The same goes for an eye cream, anyone that is good for hydration! Make sure that none of your skincare products contain fragrance. Though it might smell delicious, it will only dry out your skin. For a moisturizer I use and recommend “PCA ClearSkin Moisturizer”. I have never enjoyed extremely heavy moisturizers so the ones I use and recommend feel light on the skin and does not contain oil. Benefits include reducing discoloration due to breakouts, it targets ingredients that balance moisture level, contains plant extracts that purify and calm the skin. For an SPF, I love a good weightless protection. I normally use the Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 55. Not only is it light weight but it is oil-free, non comedogenic, and non greasy. That means no clogged pores or excess shine! Additionally, once a week I would add in a mask for whatever extra benefit I’m interested in and once a month I would perform a chemical peel on myself! The closest medical grade chemical peel that is sold to anyone and everyone without a license is from the brand “The Ordinary” and is also sold at Ulta. I 100% recommend, and after applying, I leave it on for half an hour. When it

is time to remove the product, I grab a cold wet soft wash cloth and instead of swiping it off roughly feather it softly off. It is a stronger peel than expected so if you remove it roughly, it might burn a bit. Now reading all of this, it sounds like a lot but in reality, it takes under ten minutes for both of the morning and night regiments. For people who like to add more, a microdermabrasion or dermaplaning service once a month will produce beautiful results. Doing the small things to take care of yourself both internally and externally increase self confidence in the end. My ultimate advice is take this advice. Take what you read and put it into action. Invest in your skin with good products, because what you put on your skin is what you get out of it. Just like the saying “you are what you eat”. So eat well. Self confidence can not be beat so continue to take care of your skin. Help BeautifyMe Beautify you! For daily inspiration and beauty tips, please follow @BeautifyMe247 on Instagram!


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HELPING MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM HAIR LOSS, SCARS, AND FORMS OF ALOPECIA BECOME BETTER VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES THROUGH SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION.

2851 MILTON AVE SOLVAY, NY 13209 (800) 236-6792 WWW.SCALPNY.COM CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC } SHIFT+CONTROL }} } {{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS

BEING UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC BY CHRISTINE GRANDIN I PHOTOS BY MICHELE ASHLEE

Being Unapologetically Authentic means showing up as your true self with absolutely no shame or regret. It means being confident in the beautiful, imperfections that make you YOU! Trying to live up to the expectations of others will rob you of your happiness and peace. I know this all too well, years ago I lived in the shadows of the opinion of others. This was a very dark and dangerous place to be, never being at peace, consistently at war within yourself. I did not start walking in my purpose until I was able to let the opinions of others go. I did this by commanding respect, which beings with respecting and valuing yourself. There then becomes a domino effect of respect, you remove those who do not follow suit with no explanation nor regret. My closest relationships were situations that I had outgrown but continued to force based on history or the feeling of obligation. Realistically, I was disrespecting myself by holding onto relationships that I had to shrink myself to fit into. Take a moment to really think about the value of your current relationships, can you be your authentic self? Are they clapping for you when you win? Be sure not to give your time and 316

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loyalty where it is not reciprocated. Once I started showing up as my beautifully, flawed, authentic self, I have never been happier and more at peace in my life. After ending my marriage, losing everything, and needing to restart my life, I was under a great deal of stress, and I gained a lot of weight. The person I was in the past would have feel into a depression over this, would have been ashamed, and concerned about what others would think. The

woman I have become, showed up, put on her crown, and embraced the season I am currently in. Never in my life would I have willingly taken pictures after gaining weight in the past. Now I am sharing not only my photos but my stories with the public with pride. I am finally beginning to walk in my true purpose, I want to inspire other women to do the same. Next month my Unapologetically Authentic label will be featured in the Rochester Catwalk for Kidneys

2021 Fashion Show. I have models of all shapes, sizes, and shades to represent the unique beauty among each of us. Each of the models will be walking in their true authenticity, owning every imperfection that makes them the queens they are! My label is not just handbags and apparel, it is a representation of strength, unity, and authenticity. It represents walking in your purpose, obtaining the highest level of self-love, and reaching out a hand to help lift others up! You cannot walk in your purpose without inspiring others, inspiration comes in many forms. I am just beginning my journey, I have so much work to do, so many lives to impact. I want women to know they are worthy and beautiful regardless of the season they are currently in. Although I am fully embracing my entire self, mind, body, and soul, as I am, the goal is to continuously progress. I have started a health journey, I welcome you to join me. This includes meal prepping to save time and money, physical activity, planning and journaling for emotional clarity, and meditation for spiritual health. It is equally important to do things you love for self-care. Self-care also comes in many forms. This morning I went



{{SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES }} } { UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC } “Being Unapologetically Authentic means showing up as your true self with absolutely no shame or regret.”

for a walk at Linear Park, listened to the water, and let the sun beat on my face. This brought me such peace and happiness. Throughout this journey I want to practice vulnerability and transparency, these are two very important characteristics in living Unapologetically Authentic. I currently weigh 312lbs, each month I will be giving an update on the status of my journey in my column. 318

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The goal is to improve my overall health. You can feel free to email me if you would like to chat or need an accountability partner. This summer I will be organizing some meet ups, walking on trails, cleaning up our community, and more. Follow my monthly column, email me to discuss getting a custom Unapologetically Authentic look

created just for you, and get your ticket to join me at the fashion show! creationsbycuttingcorners@gmail.com


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“THE SPIRIT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP” BY TALENA SKYE

SPILLING THE TEA F R O M A G O D LY PERSPECTIVE What does the bible say about creativity? As God created man, and since we were made in His image, we can interpret this as we are little creators just as God created us which is considered a creative act. The creative spirit is certainly favored by God and man. Some may not know this, but our gifts and talents are given to us by God. He gives us creativity, talents and witty inventions to help us on the path to our destiny in life. Whatever profession we are in life, can be the catalyst to our God given destiny especially when we use our abilities for good to make the world a better place! I remember when I started my career in teaching. I loved working with children helping them to become better little people. Before my professional career, I used to babysit many kids in the neighborhood and would set up my house as a classroom. I remember pretending to be my little brother’s teacher by giving him lessons in reading, math, spelling and much learning as at the age of 2 years old. When my brother entered preschool, he knew far beyond what the teachers were teaching at the time. By the time he entered kindergarten, he was super smart! My mom was so proud when she visited his teacher 320

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and the teacher said to her...”You have a smart little boy!” My mom replied, “My daughter is his teacher lol! It was during that time I realized I wanted to teach. I went to college to achieve my credentials in Early Childhood education. I attended many classes and workshops to help me stay updated in my teaching methods. My favorite teaching areas

provider of music-based education for children from birth through age seven. Reading Reaps Rewards help me teach what I love while becoming a role model for children. I partnered with Hudson Play in Jersey City, NJ, a physical development and fun place for kids. Due to the economic results from Covid 19, the business is in danger of closing which puts the partnership in jeopardy! Life during the pandemic has made it such a struggle for businesses to stay in operation. I am hustling, pushing, reinventing many aspects of my business to stay in operation. I love teaching children and helping them grow in learning. Helping children become the best they can be, while developing confidence to succeed, is the best feeling ever. It far exceeds any paycheck. As we are in the new wave of doing thngs to stay afloat in business. I opted to give online teaching a try. Virtual teaching has been a huge challenge however, hard work and determination has kept me in the loop of operating businesses and for that, I am thankful to God!

are reading and music education. The love for these areas of teaching led me to becoming a licensed business owner of Kindermusik. I also started my own business, Reading Reaps Rewards Early Childhood Enrichment Program. I attended Kindermusik University. Kindermusik is the world’s leading

www.readingreapsrewards.org @ReadingReapsRewards-Instagram www.cherese.kindermusik.com



{ TRUTH TEA WITH TALENA SKYE } “Life during the pandemic has made it such a struggle for businesses to stay in operation. I am hustling, pushing, reinventing many aspects of my business to stay in operation.”



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FURRY FOSTERS SAVE LIVES BY JOHNNY WILLIAMS

Foster programs for animals – particularly dogs – have been instituted into many shelters across the United States. But unfortunately, not many people know about the programs, and so many shelters are constantly in need of fosters. Family foster programs are hugely beneficial to dogs who have trouble finding new homes due to negative behaviors that develop from being in a kennel. Specifically, fosters take dogs to their homes – not to adopt – but to help dogs learn better behaviors in home settings. Additionally, canines tend to naturally thrive better in homes as opposed to kennels. One of Animal Care Sanctuary’s recently adopted dogs, Gravy, is a prime example of the power fosters bring to troubled canines. Gravy, an adorably clumsy but massive mastiff mix, arrived at our East Smithfield location as a transport from Philadelphia in August. Weighing in at well over 100 pounds and being a strong three-year-old doggo, Gravy broke out of the transport van kennel and spent the rest of the multi-hour trip attempting to lick and sit in the lap of our van’s driver. Because Gravy did not get along with cats and had a chance to injure essentially anything smaller than him like small dogs or kids, it was difficult to find him a good home. Days stretched into weeks. Weeks stretched into months. Desperate for love and attention, Gravy began to 324

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use his size and strength to try to get his way. For example, when leaving the kennel for enrichment play or walks, he would become extremely energetic and hard to control. And when it was time return to his kennel run, he would resist immensely. One of the main ways he would resist kennel staff was by “mouthing.” It’s important to note that mouthing is NOT biting, but due to Gravy’s size and strength, it would often appear overly aggressive. These negative behavior qualities made it even more difficult for Gravy to match up with a new home. And despite our kennel’s staff expertise in dog behavior, there simply was not enough time to properly train Gravy with all the other responsibilities that they had. It was clear that Gravy needed prolonged, one-on-one attention. That’s when a wonderful foster named Kelly (not Kelly Breuer although she’s also wonderful) came forward and accepted the challenge of fostering Gravy. On day one, it was apparent that Gravy thrived exceptionally well in a home environment. He got into the typical trouble that some energetic doggos do, like stealing items off of counters or having separation anxiety from his foster, but Gravy’s mood and behavior improved almost instantly, and continued to improve even more over the length of the fostering. Gravy’s time in foster made him a new man, and he was ready to put on his best suit and tie and try to find

his new home – and he soon found it. After months of waiting, a man named James loved Gravy, and Gravy immediately bonded with him as well. While he was still rough around the edges, Gravy is now extremely loved and an absolute gentleman compared to his extended time in the kennel. We encourage everyone who is able and willing to strongly consider fostering at their local animal shelters, if they have a foster program established. Shelters are constantly in need of fosters, and you’ll be saving a troubled life.


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INTIMACY VERSUS ISOLATION BY WILLIAM KELLY, LCSW-R, DIPLOMATE IN SEX THERAPY

April is child abuse prevention month. While an awareness month helpfully allows us to bring attention to an issue that is often overlooked, in the field of sex therapy we are considering the consequences of child sexual abuse all year round. The overwhelming percentage of sexual harm done to children comes from people those children know and trust. The adult or adolescent engaging in sexual harm are like most other persons involved in criminal activity. They do not want to get caught. And if caught, they want their victim or victims to deny that the sexual abuse happened. To achieve their goals of sexual gratification without criminal consequences, the sexual offender “grooms” the child. Grooming can be defined as establishing a high degree of trust, creating a special and secret intimacy, and treating that child with often unlimited regard. Gifts, special favors, being treated as an equal by an adult are often part of this process. Intimidation arrives in the form of dire outcomes if their secrets are revealed. Loss of seeing the person, letting the child know that s/he will be responsible for bad things happening, or that the child will be blamed and sent away add to the sexual offender’s sense of safety. The sexual offender, despite claims to the contrary, takes his or her time to gain mastery over their child victim(s). The defenses that, “my hand slipped,” “I was drunk, I don’t know what happened…”

are seldom accurate or true. Most sexual offenders, again with an eye to their own safety slowly cross physical boundaries with their victim(s). They are gauging whether the child will protest or expose the offender’s behavior. When no repercussions to the offender are forthcoming, more boundaries are crossed. At the same time the sexual offender is grooming the child, s/he is grooming the family, the caregivers and others who supervise the child. Sexual abuse occurs out of sight. Out of the sight of the public, and out of the sight of supervising adults. The sexual offender must gain the trust of the family and others in order to have that child out of sight. The violation of trust for that child is profound. Not only does the sexual offender break the bonds of trust, but the adults with the responsibility to guard and protect the child betray the child. The public generally thinks sexual abuse is about a sexual act or acts. In children, as with many adolescents and adults sexual abuse is much more profound. The process of grooming often mirrors the process of courtship. It mirrors the development of a mutual and trusting intimate relationship between two older adolescents or adults. Survivors who were sexually abused through the process of grooming find themselves confused, angry, and wanting to isolate when they are faced with the potential of a mutual

intimate adult sexual relationship. When they try to push themselves into sexual contact with their adult partner, fears of sexual inadequacy, barriers to abandonment to sexual pleasure arise. For the partners, the observed behaviors are bewildering and lead to estrangement. For some survivors, they watch and are aware that their bodies are responding physically to sexual scenarios, but that they are not there. They are spectators; not emotionally or at times sexually connected with their partner. Erik Erikson wrote the Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development. Early adulthood to the 40s Erikson defines as the Stage of Intimacy versus Isolation. If a person has successfully emerged from adolescence with a good sense of self, then one begins the next step of sharing her or his life with others. When the previous Eriksonian stages have been altered in negative ways, pursuing solid long-term relationships becomes problematic. Often, instead of the development of intimate relationships, people report being isolated emotionally and an enduring sense of loneliness. For survivors stumbling from childhood to adolescence to adulthood carry the weight of mistrust, shame and doubt, guilt, inferiority, and role confusion. These states collide with the new task of forming intimate relationships. The survivor finds oneself isolated, even when surrounded by intimate friends and partners. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ { SEXUALLY SPEAKING SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Moving from victim to survivor is a journey that requires tenacity and guidance. Action comes in the form of self-exploration with the help of others prepared to do this work.”

Moving from victim to survivor is a journey that requires tenacity and guidance. Action comes in the form of self-exploration with the help of others prepared to do this work. An acknowledgement that sexual abuse may have had an impact, and that the building blocks of one’s psychosexual development are altered, are essential tools of the journey. For many, sex therapy can be the agent of positive change on this journey. Sex therapy is a form of behavioral therapy generally combined with psychotherapy. The sex therapist, 330

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working with the client or the client and partner endeavor to unmask the triggers that bring fright and anger rather than connection and pleasure. The sex therapist looks to change the default from isolation to intimacy. Giving mastery to the individual over their boundaries, while at the same time reclaiming their own sexuality, their sexual pleasure and sexual identity. Intimacy versus isolation. We can help you take back that which was taken.

William Kelly, LCSW-R, DST has been in the field of sex therapy for over 40 years. His practice includes the treatment of sexual functioning problems, addressing sexual behavior issues/sexual compulsions, supporting persons in the process of gender transition, and sexual identity integration. He has been adjunct faculty and lecturer for numerous universities on topics associated with human sexuality.


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STRONGER TOGETHER BY JUDI SWANSON

The word strong means “possessing mental strength, not easily broken, having a resolute will or morally firm character” according to Dictionary. com. Together is “in one gathering, mass, place, body: to call the people together, into or in union, proximity, contact or collision” also by Dictionary.com. Together can also be described as being confident, level-headed and well-organized. While in our day to day existence we are independent’s, completing many of life’s tasks and to-do’s in a solo manner. There are also times when having another person (or more than one) by your side, working in unity increases our strength and our power. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead Recently after a zoom work meeting I reached out to say hello to a co-worker and to see how she is doing. She shared that she had packed up her house all by herself because she was moving. She said how difficult it was to do. If I had known I would have helped. I know other people from work would have helped too. Sometimes when we are struggling our human tendency can be to not ask for help. The reasons we don’t ask for help can be that we don’t want to be seen as weak, incompetent, or unable. Asking for help is a vulnerable action to take because it exposes a part of us that is struggling. It’s scary. This is what I know about my co-worker. If anyone needed any help and asked her, she would have been there to help without hesitation and without judgement. In a Psychology Today article “Why asking for help is so hard to do” by Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C,

DAPA she talks about your childhood family values of “doing it yourself” versus “letting others in”. Years ago when I was struggling emotionally or otherwise I would keep it all bottled in. I would not ask for help in any way, shape, or form. Nope that would not happen. I felt if I asked for help it meant I was incompetent and unable to handle what life was throwing my way. It meant I was a failure. I don’t know when the change happened or why, yet I began to reach out to my circle of people around me when I needed help. I began to share my vulnerabilities with people I love, trusted and I knew had my best interest at heart. There were times that the unexpected kindness of a stranger helped me. It was such a relief that I realized I did not have to do everything on my own. I felt stronger knowing there others who were there to help me. Research has demonstrated that giving and helping has a positive impact on our mind and body. We became stronger together when we help and support each other. There is strength in numbers. Supporting others makes us stronger as individuals. “Together we are stronger, together we are unbroken, together we can do anything.” LifeLoveQuotesAndSayings.com Dan Taspcott who is a business executive, author, consultant in the “The Wisdom of a Crowd – How We are Smarter & Stronger Together” a Mutual Responsibility article said: “I’ve been studying nature recently… starlings in the area around Edinburgh, in the moors of England… at night they come together and they create one of the most spectacular things in all of nature, and

it’s called a murmuration. This thing has a function; it protects the birds. You can see on the right here, there is a predator being chased away by the collective power of the birds. Apparently this is a frightening thing if you are a predator of starlings. And, there’s leadership, but there’s no one leader. Now is this some kind of fanciful analogy, or can we actually learn something from this? .. this is a huge collaboration, it’s an openness, it’s a sharing of all kinds of information, not just about location and trajectory and danger and so on, but about food sources. And, there’s a real sense of interdependence, [that] the individual birds somehow understand that their interests are in the interest of the collective.” So what if we as humans used our mutual wisdom, smarts, and strengths to help one another all the time. It does not mean we need to give up our individual identities or sense of self. Yet we use our collective ideas and thoughts to help, support, guide, and protect one another. I have read more than one story where a group of strangers worked together to turn over a car or take some other action to save a life. When people came together to help in numerous significant ways which resulted in significantly helping others. No one can do it all. So what if we all became more vulnerable, letting our guards down, blending all the smart, crafty, compassionate, caring ideas from each other to help each other be the best we can be. That we see interdependence as a positive that makes us stronger together so we could help and support each other. What a world that would be! May you be stronger together. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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GENITOURINARY SYNDROME OF MENOPAUSE BY ANGELA DUNCAN

Hip Hemp’s goal is to help people feel their best as naturally as possible. As we age, we experience changes in mind and body. One that has affected many women is vaginal dryness or atrophied tissue in their vaginas which can lead to painful intercourse. Our clients often say that they are struggling trying to find a natural (non-chemical) solution available commercially that provides tissue repair, lubrication, and pain control. This can happen with the loss of estrogen. Many of our clients do not know that Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause is one step further of symptoms that are not always as common as “regular” menopausal symptoms.

to describe all these symptoms is called ‘genitourinary syndrome of menopause’ (GSM).

The decrease of estrogen levels and other sex steroid hormones can happen naturally with menopause or can be forced medically for several reasons. The lack of estrogen can lead to some changes in certain areas of the body, like the bladder, vulva, and vagina. When some people hear the word menopause, they think of age, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain. Although all those symptoms are possible that is not all that the lack of estrogen can cause, but unfortunately women are not discussing all the symptoms they experience with their doctors.

Some estimates show that nearly half of post-menopausal woman experience symptoms of GSM, but few seek treatment. Thoughts are that woman are either embarrassed to talk with their doctor or do not want to take medications that can cause other problems, so they chose to try and ignore their symptoms. Those experiencing these types of problems should not have to live in discomfort and should be able to relieve their symptoms with confidence in what they are putting into their bodies.

There is a term that doctors are using to describe various menopausal symptoms and signs associated with physical changes of the lower urinary tract, vagina, and vulva. Studies are finding that woman who experience vaginal atrophy are also experiencing urinary symptoms such as urgency, dysuria, and recurrent urinary tract infections1. The term used 334

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Symptoms and signs of GSM include: - Genital dryness - Decreased lubrication during sexual activity - Discomfort or pain during sex - Loss of sexual desire - Irritation, burning, or itching of the vagina or the vulva - Painful or difficult urination - Urinary frequency and urgency - Urinary tract infections - Decreased elasticity - Decreased moisture.

I am often surprised how many calls I get from clients who are embarassed to talk about what is happening with their vagina. I hear a lot of giggling or they won’t even say the word vagina they say “down there” or call it some type of pet name. I always try to be open and help our clients feel comfortable with this conversation. We are our own advocate, and if we can’t speak up about what is happening in our body, then we will

not get the correct type of treatment. Large studies conducted from the Million Women Study (2003) and the Women’s Health Initiative (2002) have shown a connection between oral estrogen and deep vein thrombosis, coronary heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke. Because of these findings, patients and providers are reluctant to use hormonal treatments to treat symptoms of GSM. So, where do women find relief without the worry of all the side effects? Treatment options for GSM Although there is no cure for GSM, there are natural options available for those experiencing these bothersome symptoms. If you have concerns that you are suffering from GSM, discuss with your doctor the following options: Bladder Training and pelvic floor exercises which may help regain control of leaky bladders. For those who are not concerned about the risk of estrogen cream there is a gel, tablet, suppository, or a ring that can be inserted into the vagina which could possibly help with symptoms. Studies show that the risks are lower than taking an oral hormone replacement therapy. But there is still a small risk of estrogen related side effects. All-natural products such as In the Pink Moisture Drops from Hip Hemp have shown a great improvement in woman who have experienced GSM symptoms. This estrogen free product helps to rejuvenate the tissue, moisturize, and calm inflammation, and restore your vagina.


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{ HIP HEMP } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “By combining Hemp and Grapeseed Oils rich in Omega 3 and 6 Linoleic Acids with anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and analgesic properties, we have created a perle that mimics your natural lubrication while restoring tissue elasticity.”

By combining Hemp and Grapeseed Oils rich in Omega 3 and 6 Linoleic Acids with anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and analgesic properties, we have created a perle that mimics your natural lubrication while restoring tissue elasticity. Find a natural lubrication to help relieve pain during intercourse caused from dryness. In the Pink’s organic Intimate Massage Oil are a plant-based oil lubrication designed for immediate relief. Serene, Unwind and Uplift will

provide wonderfully organic lubrication, while also including aromatherapy and analgesic properties. Made from combinations of Hemp, Grapeseed with Vitamin E, and Avocado Oils, as well as other essential oils such as Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Sweet Orange, and Bergamot. These oils soothe and moisturize tired aching skin as well as enhance your intimate play. It is important to talk about your symptoms and concerns with your doctor.

Hot flashes can often stop once a woman is post-menopausal but genitourinary problems do not go away and are most likely to get worse with time. Women need to take care of their health and know there are options available for pain relief.


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HOW LEADERS CAN COPE WITH REJECTION IN BUSINESS BY BREANN MORRIS

Have you ever worked day in and day out to prepare for a potential business opportunity just to hear a big fat “no” in return? I’ve certainly been there before and while we all know rejection is possible, when it actually happens, we’re never fully prepared. No matter how competitive you may be in nature, as a business person—rejection often creates an instant overwhelming feeling of loss, despite how small or big the opportunity. However, regardless of the loss, we can all learn a valuable lesson and often, these experiences push us to selfreflect, re-visit the drawing board and to realize that sometimes a loss isn’t always a bad thing! Here’s a few tips that have helped me along the way, as I have coped with rejection in business.

you must get back up and learn from the experience. After you’ve given yourself time to accept your feelings and perhaps have even talked through them with someone you trust(which is often helpful), it’s crucial to reflect on what you could have done better throughout the process and then recognize that it’s time to move on to the next opportunity.

Acknowledge Your Pain First things first, let yourself feel. You won’t hear this often, chances are, especially not from your business colleagues, but, it’s important. Whether it’s disappointment, discouragement, anger or frustration—allowing yourself to acknowledge those feelings and sit with them for a period of time, will actually play a role in helping you move on. When leaders process their feelings, it’s an integral part of recovering from loss. The important factor to remember when acknowledging pain is eventually,

Still feeling like you’re just stuck in a rut of self-pity and denial? Take some much needed and deserved time to practice self-care. Take part in an activity you enjoy that you know ensues productivity and creativity within you! For some, this may be in the form of an exercise class, or rereading a motivating book or listening to a podcast. It’s your responsibility to keep morale up and realign your

thoughts to a positive mindset as you work to keep moving forward. Learn From the Experience While none of us like being rejected, we certainly learn more from it than hearing ‘yes’ all of the time! I assure you, the few rejections will certainly not be forgotten and often times motivation and growth comes from challenging ourselves to dig deeper into the why. Speaking of the why—I’m a firm believer that’s it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your prospect in a non-threatening and humble manner, why they have made the decision not to proceed with the working relationship. In fact, I think it’s crucial in an effort to not repeat history. Chances are, they’re more than willing to share and from their explanation you can determine your next course of action. For instance, perhaps they just weren’t ready to pull the trigger yet on the project or maybe you could have done a better job with communication and explaining the process… whatever it may be—their input will help you immensely as you work to improve through each experience. A Blessing in Disguise? I always go into working relationships whether it’s with a client or a colleague, realizing that unless it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement—there will be nothing but grief. All parties need to be on board together in order for shared CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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SHIFT+CONTROL }} } {{SHE SHE TALKS HUSTLES {HUSTLES B. MORTALKS } “No matter how competitive you may be in nature, as a business person—rejection often creates an instant overwhelming feeling of loss, despite how small or big the opportunity.”

success to happen. When a client comes to me looking for marketing support, I sit down with them and have very intentional conversations where I ask key questions—not just about marketing but about their business as a whole. These conversations serve as a vetting process, to ensure that we’re both a good fit for each other. It’s essential that you have shared values and vision when working towards a common goal. Without that, hard work is often done in vain. I believe it’s foolish to think that you’re the right fit for everyone, after all, isn’t that why as business owners, we have target markets? It’s our job to know our market and make sure we’re providing a service and an experience that they can believe in. That being said, it’s not always easy to know right away if the working relationship is in fact, a good fit. Sometimes, it takes getting to the proposal process and working through the scope and pricing to realize it’s not going to work out. So, the next time that your proposal is rejected, ask yourself if perhaps this is a blessing in disguise? Even more importantly, follow your gut and know when to say ‘no.’ If you’re running the numbers and you just can’t accomplish what they need within their budget because of your commitment to providing the best experience—it’s time to consider if it’s really worth pursuing! In business, learning to say ‘no’ can mean the difference between success and failure. How to Handle the Conversation Whether you’re replying to a rejection email or delivering the news that you’re passing on an opportunity, difficult 342

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conversations are never easy. Here’s some ideas that I have found to be helpful when having these conversations: • Start by appreciating the experience— Always begin by thanking the potential client for the opportunity to provide them with a proposal and for their time in sharing more of what they do with you! Remaining humble throughout the process helps the other party to stay more open and less defensive. Perhaps you could even talk through some of the differences and reach a new agreement, if they conversation is handled correctly. • Remain confident in what you provide while respectful of their decision— Asking them kindly for an explanation or offering one of your own for those projects you choose not to take on is the next part of the dialogue. For example, if you’re offering your own explanation for passing on an opportunity because it’s not a good fit simple explain why. Emphasize your commitment to quality work and exceptional customer service. Let them know that this is a hallmark of your business and that you’re not able to compromise in exchange for a lower budget. This type of approach shows that you stand behind your brand and your work and there’s nothing wrong with that! Additionally, while remaining confident, be sure to emphasize your understanding of their position and that you respect their budget and project parameters. • Keep the relationship—Always remain committed to keeping a good relationship. Whether you plan to work with this person in the future again or

not, make sure things end on a positive and respectful note. Keep in mind, even if you’re not working directly with them, they know a lot of people who may also be potential client opportunities and you want to be sure you’re handling things professionally and maintaining your overall reputation. End the conversation by suggesting that perhaps something will come up in the future that you could collaborate on, or even refer them to someone who you believe may be a better fit for this particular project. They’ll remember that even if things didn’t work out between the two of you, you were helpful and that goes a long way! Lastly, end your email or conversation by wishing them the best and keeping communication open by saying you’ll talk to them soon and to keep in touch! Rejection is a topic we often like to avoid, however, my hope is that through reading this you were able to grasp a better understanding of some of the benefits that can come from it, when handled properly. It often helps to process rejection with others who genuinely care and understand—whether it’s a spouse, business partner or coach, asking for help will only benefit you in the long-run and help as you grow in your leadership! Cheers, to all of the lessons learned as we seek to become the best versions of ourselves!


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SEPARATION AND DIVORCE BY JULIE V. MERSEREAU

T H E M O S T SUPPORTIVE PROCESSWe all get married thinking that we will stay together forever. When that turns out not to be the case it is common to feel anger, fear, sadness, distrust, and confusion. It is also possible that you will feel relieved and hopeful about the future if you are the one seeking the divorce. Either way, you need to be informed. Everyone you talk with will have their own stories about divorce (“divorce” will also refer to “separation)”. You may talk to family, friends, therapists, financial advisors, etc. You may have no idea where to turn or what options are available. When you are faced with or are contemplating Separation or Divorce, the best advice I can give is talk to a Collaborative Law Attorney. Collaborative Law will provide you personal support, legal advice, and peace of mind that you are going to have control over what is happening in your life. You have choices and you have an opportunity to reduce conflict which will benefit you and your children. Many Collaborative Attorneys give free initial consultations, some charge an hourly rate. Whatever the case, your time and money will be well spent meeting with a professional who can give you insight and information regarding your personal circumstances. What is a Collaborative Law Attorney? Quite simply, we are Family Law

and Matrimonial attorneys who know that there is a better way for couples to separate and divorce. Most of us have had years of experience in court-based litigation models of divorce and have decided to work in a process that is constructive and not destructive to families. We are dedicated to keeping couples out of court and to empower them to make their own informed decisions about what is best for their family and themselves. What is Collaborative Law? The collaborative law process is a thoughtful reasoned approach to resolving separation, divorce and parenting issues that gives all parties a voice and keeps the couple out of court. It is a supportive private and voluntary process that empowers you to resolve your conflict without a judge making decisions for you. The collaborative process offers you a safe, dignified environment to reduce conflict and minimize its impact on you, your children, your family, and your lives. Collaborative Law is a successful and supportive process for the following reasons: • Benefits Children- You and your collaborative team address the specific challenges children face when parents divorce. Parents, not the courts, decide what is best for their children. • Provides Individual Support- Each collaborative attorney is an advocate

for their client guiding them to reach a balanced agreement for optimal results. • Focuses on the Future- Divorce is both an ending and a beginning. Collaborative law helps you transition to the next stage of your life with less conflict. Since most divorce agreements involve issues that will change over time, particularly if you have children, it is critical that you have an agreement that will be durable over time and can be modified without needing to go to court. • Reduces the Cost of Divorce Legal Fees are a significant cost in a divorce yet the legal aspects of a divorce, while critically important, are not the only things that matter. One way to reduce the cost is to think in terms of effective use of any divorce professional in your case. Your Collaborative Attorney helps you understand the law and your options and aid in negotiating a settlement. A Non- Collaborative Attorney who contributes to conflict through arguments, lengthy letters or motions may increase conflict, making it harder for you to reach a settlement and much higher cost. • Use of Neutral Professionals- While divorce is overall a legal process, there are emotional, financial, and other issues that are more effectively addressed by other professionals. Employing financial neutrals, child specialists, mental health professionals, coaches or mediators to target your specific concerns, clears the way to CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ COLLABORATIVE LAW { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “What is a Collaborative Law Attorney? Quite simply, we are Family Law and Matrimonial attorneys who know that there is a better way for couples to separate and divorce.”

completing the legal work at hand and achieving a better outcome, lowering overall cost. How does Collaborative Law work? In Collaborative Law, all negotiations take place in private conferences between parties and their attorneys, and any neutrals that are involved. Each party has their own attorney with them to provide legal advice and advocacy during negotiations. Both attorneys are committed to guiding the parties toward a reasonable settlement. Because no one, neither the parties and nor the attorneys, can go to court or threaten to go to court, settlement is the only goal. The parties are encouraged and helped to communicate their real needs and interests. Through safe and focused discussions, each of the parties is encouraged to recognize the needs of their children and the needs and interests of the other party. Unlike the court-based process, parties can be creative in their settlements, they can look “outside the box” and design the outcome that meets their needs. How is Collaborative Law different from a traditional approach to divorce? The traditional divorce process, “litigation”, is the most common approach to divorce. Litigation is defined as “the act, process, or practice of settling a dispute in a court of law”. Litigation involves each party hiring an attorney to represent him/ her. That attorney takes control of the situation and zealously advocates for his/her client. That means they 346

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are required to try to position their client to get an outcome that they have determined is “best” for the client based on their experience in court. The litigating attorney must be continuously preparing the case to be presented in court. Although, many litigated cases are resolved before a trial, “going to court” or threatening to do so, is used as a tool to get people to settle. Once a case goes to court, or court is threatened, things can get very adversarial and nasty very quickly. Negotiation and compromise are not the priority, and the new priority is to “win” and “defeat” the other party. The judge who knows very little about you and your family will be making the final decisions about your children, your property, and your money. The court is bound to decide the case based on the law which my not be the best outcome for the family. There is a very big risk to taking the case to court and often times neither party gets what they want. CHOOSING COLLABORATIVE LAWWhen you choose Collaborative Law, you are entering a process where everyone makes a commitment to stay out of court and to be respectful to one another allowing a personal and often creative resolution of the conflict and a durable Settlement Agreement. The priorities are to: • Negotiate a mutually acceptable

settlement without having the court decide sensitive family issues. • Maintain open communication and information sharing in a confidential setting. • Create shared solutions that acknowledge everyone’s highest priorities. Collaborative Law helps you to move from your life together to your new life as separate individuals. Your children’s needs will be the priority. Children thrive when divorcing parents have reduced conflict and respect each other as partners in raising their children. You will be confident that you chose the right way to divorce, and you will be knowledgeable and invested in the final outcome of the process, your Settlement Agreement. Choose wisely, choose Collaborative Law when you are face with Separation and Divorce. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR A FREE CONSULTATION Reach out to Julie Mersereau by Phone at 585-377-5487 or Email: julie@ jmersereaulaw.com, or visit my website at jmersereaulaw.com More information can be found at the Collaborative Law Association of the Rochester Area website: nycollaborativepractice.com or the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals website: collaborativepractice.com


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IT’S RAINING CATS AND DOGS BY TRACY SIMONE

When I was a child, all I wanted was a dog. I used to ask, ok beg, endlessly, but the answer was always a big fat NO. My mother had been bitten by a big dog once and that did it. Conversation over. There was no reason to keep asking but of course, I did. We went through plenty of goldfish, but that was not the same. All that meant was that when I was an adult, I was sure to have pets. I have always felt that if I had a home, I should share it with some critters. I love animals and even used to volunteer at a shelter. Fast forward many years to today. I have had many pets in my adulthood, but most recently, I let my daughter talk me into getting a new puppy. Why did I do that? I knew better but did it anyway. So now, some of my furniture is suffering from little chew marks that I never seem to catch while in progress. I also can no longer assume when a sock goes missing that the dryer ate it. This little dog seems to have a footwear fetish or something and shoes and socks get misplaced quite regularly if I am not paying attention. I already had a dog in the house. A great dog. An older one who knew the rules and was just the best companion. She still is and a real 348

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trooper because this new little puppy bugs the older dog for a living. Oops. These souls are just like little kids. We spend money on things to entertain them and keep them happy, and just like little kids, they are more interested in the random cardboard boxes that we keep for the cats to play in. Oh yea, we have cats too!

Someone is always trying to steal someone else’s food or sneak out of the house when the door opens. It is an absolute pleasure to have these little spirits as part of my family, but they certainly are a lot of work. I get irritated, of course, when they mistakenly think the house is a gymnasium and chase each other around. (This usually only happens

when I am on a conference call for work and can do without the distractions and background noise.) Just like getting a new associate at work, there was the whole Form, Storm, Norm, and Perform cycle that had to take place. The new ‘team’ was formed. The new puppy (teammate) arrived and that threw off the balance of what was formerly a peaceful situation. My older dog had me spoiled and forgetting that since she knew the ‘rules’, I would actually have to start all over with the new addition. I had to childproof the house again. I had to put up baby gates to restrict movement in certain areas….to basically chew proof things. Everyone in the house had to adjust and the cats (and people) were no longer able to simply go down the stairs to get to the basement. It now requires climbing up and over the gate. So, more physical fitness for the people, but unhappy cats at first. Then, we entered the ‘Storm’ phase, when every living being in the house had to learn to get along. Fighting over toys and attention, (still) learning that the house plants are not yours to gnaw on (too late), and that maybe it is not such a great idea to tangle with one of the animals who had lived in your new space for years.


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{ { TRACY IS TALKING } } SHIFT+CONTROL “Do not visit if you are not prepared for the rock star greeting because at my house, it is raining cats and dogs and I would not have it any other way.”

Sometimes, they do not appreciate you bothering them, and you may even catch a claw from a cat that was asleep before you came around to be a nuisance. It has been a couple of months now with this new friend and we have thankfully entered the ‘Norm’ portion of the program. Things are starting to settle down a bit and the new routine has begun to form. Yes, if the weather is good, you canines will get a walk around the neighborhood 350

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at lunchtime. No, you still cannot chew on the furniture, but you are beginning to understand that. Pretty soon, we will get into the ‘Perform’ part where hopefully, everyone will stay in their lane and play their position. Pets give you unconditional love and joy. Please do not get it twisted though because they also gravitate to you because you are the one who feeds them. They keep you busy and provide regular comedic relief. Simple things like vacuuming make

you feel like Houdini because you can magically make cats disappear. Dogs, on the other hand, want to get in on the action and ‘help’, nipping at the vacuum and getting in the way. Do not visit if you are not prepared for the rock star greeting because at my house, it is raining cats and dogs and I would not have it any other way.


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MindBodyMeta ...for whole body and being. 100 Genesee Street, Ste. 11 Auburn, NY 13021 315-231-5065 www.mindbodymeta.com

Mind We offer these services with the purpose of challenging beliefs in reactivity and it's blockages as well as trauma recovery to create a healthier mindset and trust in yourself. Women& - a safe space and educational roundtable discussion focusing on topics that women face. We cover stress, trauma and narcissistic recovery, grief, gender roles, & societal expectations. Chakra Balancing Duo - This body treatment focuses on blocked Chakra and clearing, deep relaxation and guided meditation. Guided Meditations - These can be sent to your email every week to set you on a better journey for health: Sleep Better, Stress Less, Reconnect, Align.

Mo Moshaty Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Master Herbalist, Women ' s Empowerment Counselor, Licensed Esthetician, Card Reader

Mo has worked with several women's support groups across Western & Central NY as well as Eastern New Jersey. Her Therapy concentration is Trauma and Narcisstic Recovery, Mother Wound and Personal Empowerment.

Body Esthetic Services, Herbal Education balance the body's central nervous system and integumentary system. Both carry means to detoxify the body to refresh and renew on a cellular level. Facials - Teen, Normal, Dry/Dehydrated, Sensitive, Againg, Hormonal, Hyperpigmented Body Treatments - Salt Glow, Mud Wrap, Chakra Balancing Herbs, Tea and Tinctures - Choose from 30 herbs and adaptogens in bulk. Lash Extensions - Perfect for anyone who loves length and fullness but no extra makeup. *Archetype Blends Adaptogen Tea coming in April* .

Meta

Metaphysical products and education for the purpose of expanding consciousness regarding our own spiritual path to remove blockages in the body, the spirit and relationships. Tarot & Oracle Card Readings - Perfect for anyone who feels a little lost, needs a boost or clarification on life, love, work and self. Dressing Oils, Herbs, Candles and TincturesAdditions to your spiritual practice to enhance, calm, manifest and draw positives to you. Spiritual Counseling and Ritual Education- Learn more about your path and what you'd like to accomplish for yourself to live a more balanced life. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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HAPPY ALMOST SUMMER OF 2021 BY DR. ANIKA SIMONE JOHNSON

I am sending light, love, and high vibrations to you, your family, and your businesses. As we all continue to manage COVID-19 in spite of its limitations it is my hope you are showing up in your POWER exuding positive energy on a daily basis. It has been a great year thus far in my self-care lifestyle and I am excited to share with you my BEAUTY PRODUCTS I AM LOVING IN 2021. If you are looking to elevate or start your self-care journey today you are going to really enjoy incorporating these beauty products in your selfcare routine. Let’s dive into learning more about these amazing beauty products. CLEANSER The cerave hydrating cleanser bar has been a game changer for my skin. My dermatologist put me on this simple soap-free bar cleanser in January as we were addressing some hypopigmentation on my face. I am an exclusive high-end cosmetic user for my facial products, however my dermatologist needed me to go simple for my treatment. So, using cerave hydrating cleanser was a major stepdown but I was amazed how great the bar has transformed my acne prone, sensitive skin. My skin feels moisturized never tight as the bar cleanser gently removes, dirt, oil and makeup without disrupting my skin protective barrier. The fragrance-free soap-free bar cleanser has ceramides that help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. It has hyaluronic acid that helps retain the skin’s natural moisture. We all need hyaluronic acid in our skincare routine! Try this

amazing affordable cleanser and you will not be let down. Always use the 60 second rule! Wet bar and work into a lather, massage onto skin for at least 60 seconds, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Be sure to keep in a soap dish and wash your hands thoroughly before each use. You want to avoid contaminating your bar cleanser you use for your face. FACE MASK

like mask using equal parts of the clay mask, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar or water. I prefer using water keeping this quick DIY concoction simple. Thereafter apply with your silicone facial mask applicator (buy at dollar tree) or use your fingertips. The best part is you will feel a pulling and tightening sensation until it dries on your face. Use once a week follow by a toner, eye cream, serum, and facial moisturizer. Your skin will be glowing, smooth and clear! MOISTURIZER Cherry Blossom Ultra Shea Body Cream from Bath and Body Works have been my go-to for a bright floral scent. The scent is so tantalizing that after you no longer smell it on yourself, everyone else around you will know you have been the room. This is a great date night or romantic stay at home body cream to moisture and soften your skin. It has aloe butter, cocoa butter, and shea butter that’s non-greasy on your skin keeping you hydrated all day and night.

My dermatologist finally let me add back my facial mask into my skincare routine in March. I was thrilled but once again she only approved one of my oldies but goodie facial masks - the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask. This clay mask is one of the best natural facial masks for all skin types and especially those who have acne-prone and sensitive skin. The 100 percent bentonite clay helps to draw out the skin’s impurities and leaves the pores feeling so refreshed. You will have to whip up your paste-

Apply to damn skin after bath or shower. This is a great gift to give or receive for any occasion and with Mother’s Day coming up request yours today. VITAMINS We all know how important vitamins are to supplement dietary deficiencies and support our immune systems. I have been blown away by how many people have not found a multivitamin to support their health. So let me introduce you to the Isotonix Multivitamin that I use daily. It is a CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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DR J’S BEAUTY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “It has been a great year thus far in my self-care lifestyle and I am excited to share with you my BEAUTY PRODUCTS I AM LOVING IN 2021.”

powder that contains 100 percent or more of the recommended daily value of essential vitamins and minerals. This multivitamin is available with iron or without iron. It is vegetarian containing no added wheat, soy, yeast, gluten, artificial flavor, starch, salt or preservativesor milk. Pour 1 level, white bottle capful of power into the overcap and add water to the line of the overcap ( 2fl. oz) and stir. Consult your healthcare provider before using 354

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new vitamins and supplements. This vitamin is excellent for those who do not like the candy-like feel of vitamin gummies or pills that are too large to swallow. I have many clients who love this tasty vitamin and feel an overall increase in their energy. To get your bottle and learn more about the Isotonix Multivitamin visit www.drjbeauty.com/ beautyfromtheinsideout . There is a

coupon code just for you! Elegance comes from being as beautiful inside as outside.” – COCO CHANEL All Things Dr. J. Beauty www.drjbeauty.com Follow us on IG: @allthingsdr.j.beauty #KeepWinningOnPurpose


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BUSINESS OWNER VS. AUTHOR BY AJOUA JACKSON

What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur? In 2011, I took my first solo trip to Paris and Italy. It was life changing. I came back infused with a desire to create that same experience for other Black women and I decided to create my own travel agency that would center Black women and expose them to other cultures and see the world outside the United States of America. Tell us a little about Ajoua Jackson as a business owner vs being an author? There really is no distinction. I am Ajoua Jackson, Black female entrepreneur and author. My book, ‘My Travel Story’ is a travel journal and an extension of AJ Excursions. My other book, ‘Scotch on the Rocks’ is about the lessons my grandmother, who I call ‘Momma,’’ taught me that made me who I am today. Without those lessons, I don’t think I would be an entrepreneur and author. What made you decide to start writing and become a published author? My Momma was everything to me. She taught me so many pearls of wisdom I wanted to immortalize her memory in a meaningful way, so one day I started writing down lessons and anecdotes she shared with me. As I wrote, I felt her presence and encouragement. Part way through, I asked my best friend, Najja, to read what I wrote. Najja loved the stories and was so moved by them that she encouraged me to keep writing them. I guess you could say there is some parallelism with, ‘My Travel Story.’ The journal is also about immortalizing and capturing memories of happy times. After all, when it comes down to it, our memories are all we will be left with.

What is your book “Scotch on the Rocks” about? Scotch On The Rocks are 19 lessons I learned from my Momma. I captured conversations we had that taught me very valuable lessons. These lessons shaped me as I grew into womanhood and I realized that these lessons are no longer being taught as much. I wanted to share these valuable lessons with young women so they could learn from a strong smart woman and help them prepare for life. The bonus is my Momma was a very funny woman and I know readers will get a kick out of her sense of humor. There are just some really great LOL moments in the book. When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? Ten years ago after my first European vacation. I never thought of being an entrepreneur but what really bit me was the travel bug. Travel became my passion and recreating my experiences for others just naturally meant I had to start my own agency. I wish I would have started earlier. I can only imagine where I would be right now as a business woman. What are some of the things you find help you to be both a successful business owner and author? Faith in myself and my vision, an ability to listen, learn, grow and evolve. This is a tough journey being a business owner. You learn your greatest lessons after your biggest failures; but I love that I show up daily for my business. As an author I also had to take a giant leap of faith. I was sometimes beset by doubt not knowing if anyone would want to read or buy my books, but I

knew I needed to share what Momma taught me. It was important to give her lessons away to others. Who were mentors that encouraged you? My best friend Najja Preston is my encourager-in-chief when I’m besieged by doubt and uncertainty. Ebony Nicole Smith who pulled out the Momma lessons I didn’t think to share. Tokeya C. Graham for believing in me. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business and your books? Social media has been a huge help. It has allowed me to reach people who I would not have been able to without it. I was able to share snippets of Momma’s lessons before the book was published which garnered interest. AJ Excursions was established and grown via social media. My clients are from all over the United State of America, Caribbean islands and Europe. I would not have them if not for social media. What meet ups, local entrepreneur events, and accelerators do you recommend that have helped you grow? I have been to the odd entrepreneur event here and there; however, I can’t say there is any one particular event or meet up that I would recommend. I do know there is a lack of community amongst Black entrepreneurs and I wish there were more opportunities for networking and support for Black and Brown business owners. Do you listen to any podcasts? What podcasts inspire you or do you learn from? CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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I do not. Is there one you would recommend that you think would be helpful for a Black female entrepreneur? How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges we experience? My friends and family are actually quite supportive and understanding. In fact, several of my close friends who I mentioned earlier are entrepreneurs themselves. We constantly support each other, bounce ideas off each other. We’ve created our own little circle of sister entrepreneurs. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? I have learned over the years that selfmotivation is so important. Even though I have surrounded myself with people who pick me up when I’m down and not sure of what my next move should be, I still would not be able to move forward if I didn’t have a thousand conversations with myself everyday. And as many times I hear a little voice in my head telling me I can’t, I have to fight that back and say, “Yes you can, Joy! Get yourself in gear!” Who/what gives you inspiration to write? Wanting people to hear my Momma lessons. She had such a fire in her. She loved hard, took no prisoners but she taught you every step of the way. She wanted the best for and out of you. She made you laugh and think. Life was an open book and she made you read the pages to be the best version of yourself. 358

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Tell us about your first entrepreneurial venture: How did you come up with the idea and how did you start your business? After my first solo trip to Europe I returned home with a huge desire to replicate the experience but not just for me--I wanted other Black women to share the experiences with me. I came alive after that trip and knew travel would be my life thereafter. It didn’t take long before I came up with a business plan, a brand, filed my DBA and put all the pieces in place to start my own travel agency. I started doing excursions in 2017 and since then I’ve led tours to Italy, Paris, London, Thailand, Dubai, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, and Brazil. This year, I’ll be leading tours in Iceland and South Africa. Last year, I formally became an LLC and launched a new website where people can now book their travel online and pay for their trip in installments. Do you follow a certain morning routine or daily schedule to maximize productivity and well-being? Each day begins with prayer, thanksgiving and affirmations. I wake up refocused on my short and long-term goals. I check in with family and friends, then I begin preparing for the workday (apart from owning my own business, I am a Special ed school teacher with the Rochester City School District). What is the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur? My biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is exposure and growing my customer base. This is a difficult time for that due to the pandemic and subsequent

economic crisis. However, I feel that once the pandemic is finally under control and people feel safe moving about again, the travel industry will see a boon. I am looking forward to that and making preparations to handle the demand. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in writing a book or getting published? Write. Write. Write. Keep a notepad by your bed. Keep a notepad in your purse. Write. Write. Write … then write some more. No memory, idea, thought is irrelevant. There’ll be plenty of time for editing later. Write.


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{ HER EDGE }

PURPOSE BY ROBIN DEWIND

A phone call with a girlfriend the other day made me stop and think about life.

In the end, all it was, was exhausting. Sexism in the workplace was inherent and overlooked.

We were chatting and catching up when she blurted out that she was at cross-roads. She was questioning whether she should shift back and embrace her underwhelming job and ride out the next ten years, or ‘dig in’ and do something different with her life, somewhere else, and really get inspired.

Being invited to share a late-night soak in a hot tub by a married boss made my stomach turn.

We have been care-takers for decades and now in our fifties we struggle with our new role; how to take care of ourselves.

The casual rear-end squeeze by a respected judge who wanted to know if I needed a “news tip” was shocking and insulting.

The past year has made it a whole lot easier to want to hang up career ambitions and coast into retirement. Working from home, living in sweatpants, and not having to wear makeup has simplified our chaotic life. It is no wonder with ten years to the finish line we are wrestling with our purpose.

Looking back, sadly the impact was minimal in comparison to the daily pressure of needing to succeed.

It took a year-long break from the rat-race to get us thinking about what is next. Did getting time at home, kill our ambition? Striving for the corner office seems sort of silly now that there are no longer any more offices to go to. Thirty years ago, my generation of women entered the workforce fueled by the idea of ‘having it all’.

Having my earrings taken off my desk and held hostage by an older colleague who promised to give them back only if I met him in the parking lot after work made me afraid.

Three-decades of constantly trying to prove my value in a competitive work-culture that required long hours while juggling a family and a personal life was honestly harder to manage. We hang on to the paycheck and cling to vacations. Our job never really ends because home and kids are what we love but by the end of every day we are out of gas and left feeling guilty. Ironically, the pandemic has given us an opportunity to fill up the our tank. Sitting in a Zoom meeting, listening to the boss drone on about the “the team” and all the “great work” being done during this “difficult time” is enough to make anyone ponder their future, especially women over fifty.

We have already listened to enough for a lifetime. The pandemic has already pushed so many in our demographic checkbox out of their careers. If you are lucky enough to have a good job you feel like there is a target on your back, simply because of your age. Our career pathway to retirement is coming up short. 55 is now the new 65 for women in the workplace; an emphasis on youth, beauty, and technology is taking over. Despite our experience, and wealth of knowledge, we are left feeling invisible. Do not let it. Pivot. Instead, get inspired by the opportunity that is being presented. We have worked, raised our kids, and now we are left with what to do with ourselves. It is okay to be a little afraid of what is next. Early retirement is fine, I think learning golf could be fun. But if you are not ready to go to the pitcher of martini’s just yet, think about making a change. If you are unhappy, bored, terrified, marginalized, unemployed, (or want to be) then start small; interview, network, change your hair, take a class, reconnect, write, read, invest, learn something new, just start!


{ HER EDGE } “I do not think my girlfriend is alone in her dilemma. I will always choose inspiration over stagnation.”

I say this with knowledge and experience. Three months shy of my 50th birthday. I was replaced by someone half my age and a third of my salary.

He said, “what do you want to do now?” I automatically replied, “tell stories.” He simply said, “then do it, figure out how.” Sixteen months of rejection and

It was not a pandemic, but it felt like a tsunami. I spent so much energy trying to hold on to my salary that I lost my focus, my job, and my self-worth. I was told by my general manager to “pursue new opportunities.” It was a simple budget cut. All those years of loyalty, working hard, and sacrificing went away during a fifteenminute conversation in an upstairs office while my replacement was getting an employee of the month award downstairs.

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I am a professional storyteller and clients hire me to help them share their stories through video. I am my own boss I work from my home and more importantly I am my own person. I do not think my girlfriend is alone in her dilemma. I will always choose inspiration over stagnation. The need for balance and purpose is tugging at all of us these days. We have been given the chance to take a breath, to be home, see our kids, know our neighbors, and enjoy the simple things in life like a beautiful day or a good cup of coffee without being rushed. Breathe in and consider what you want for the first time in a long time.

I took my severance papers and left and never looked back. I was heartbroken. I thought I had lost my purpose in life. The idea of starting my career over was debilitating. I cried, prayed, and beat myself up for weeks. Eventually, instead of looking in my rearview mirror, I chose to look forward where the view is a lot bigger. It was a ‘networking coffee’ with an acquaintance that changed my perspective.

It was not easy or cheap, but it was freeing.

Learn who you are, what you are good at, what you love, and how you want to contribute. after being told I had “too much experience”, I finally took his advice and created my own business. I found balance for the first time in my life.

It is not too late to live a life with purpose.


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{ {MENTALLY THINKING} } SHIFT+CONTROL

HEALTHY SELF-ESTEEM BY BONNIE FLOYD

What is self-esteem? Self-esteem is an individual’s subjective evaluation of their own worth. It encompasses beliefs about oneself, as well as emotional states. A healthy sense of self-esteem is neither too low nor too high. We are all familiar with those individuals who have an overly inflated sense of their self-worth, which produces narcissism. Self-esteem is critically important to maintaining good mental health. This is because self-esteem has such a prominent influence on our choices and decisions. Self-esteem serves as a motivational force in shaping the decisions we make about taking care of ourselves, as well as exploring our full potential. Women with low self-esteem are less likely to maintain a healthy diet, exercise on a regular basis, and schedule regular healthcare visits and preventative testing. They are also far less likely to pursue new career options. As a clinical psychologist, I often encounter women who have low selfesteem. This is manifested in many ways. Women in abusive relationships experience a reduction in their selfesteem, making it less likely for them to leave an abusive relationship. When a woman has experienced sexual trauma, it deeply damages her self-esteem. A woman with low self-esteem may lack the motivation to take better care of her physical health; she may mistakenly conclude that it is “selfish” to spend time exercising, when she could be doing something useful for someone else. Women with low self-esteem may settle for less demanding career 364

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options since they lack the confidence to pursue positions with greater degrees of responsibility. Sometimes, women with low self-esteem place undue emphasis on their personal appearances; they erroneously believe that a flawless exterior will compensate for how inferior they feel inside. I have worked with many single women who have poor selfesteem; they mistakenly conclude that finding the right relationship will finally “complete” them, not fully realizing that the healthiest relationships are formed

when two whole, healthy individuals meet one another. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with the development of poor self-esteem. ACE’s may include sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and/or neglect. After all, how could you possibly feel good about yourself if you encountered any type of ACE? Unfortunately, children may face multiple ACEs at the same time.

Children who have experienced ACEs typically develop poor relational skills and low self-esteem; this increases the risk of developing interpersonal problems during adulthood. There are several negative consequences associated with having low self-esteem. These include lacking appropriate boundaries in relationships, having difficulty with making your own decisions, as well as difficulty with speaking up and prioritizing your own needs, wants, and feelings. Women with low self-esteem often apologize profusely, and often feel guilty over their everyday actions. Low self-esteem frequently causes women to not “rock the boat.” It results in failing to be assertive when it is necessary to do so. In addition, possessing low self-esteem can result in not feeling deserving of, or capable of, having “more” in your life. Low self-esteem may result in doing things or buying things excessively for other individuals, in order to feel wanted, needed, and/or recognized. A negative self-perception is a hallmark of low self-esteem; women with this type of self-perception often think that others will not accept them for who they really are. Therefore, they adopt an external mask that attempts to conceal just how poorly they truly feel about themselves. Finally, women with low self-esteem typically have a critical, abusive internal dialogue; they engage in ongoing, negative self-talk. To develop a healthy sense of self-esteem, it is important to address the following issues: use optimistic, positive statements; forgive yourself for past mistakes; avoid “should” and must statements; focus


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{ {RWO’S MENTAL THINKING HEALTH {MENTALLY SHIFT+CONTROL } }} “Social media appears to have only intensified our unhealthy comparisons to one another, despite the reality that most women showcase the highlight reels of their lives on social media, as opposed to the less glamorous, behind the scenes events.”

on the positive; consider what you have learned to date; relabel upsetting thoughts; and encourage yourself. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be extremely useful for challenging a woman’s maladaptive thought patterns. It teaches women how to challenge their intrusive thoughts, examining if there is objective evidence that supports their beliefs. CBT offers training in how to substitute more adaptive thought patterns for erroneous beliefs. There are several means of attempting to build your self-esteem. These include 366

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seeking professional help whenever necessary; prioritizing exercise that feels good for your body; consuming proper nutrition; outlining personal goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis; taking the time to reflect before automatically saying “yes’ to a request; engaging in positive self-affirmations; noticing, and then limiting comparisons to others; selecting an effective method of relaxation; and, replacing reflexive “I’m sorry” statements with more appropriate responses. Many women appear to struggle with comparing themselves to others, on a regular basis. Social media

appears to have only intensified our unhealthy comparisons to one another, despite the reality that most women showcase the highlight reels of their lives on social media, as opposed to the less glamorous, behind the scenes events.


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{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } { SHIFT+CONTROL }

FINDING OUR CREATIVE VOICE BY LISA WAGNER

HOW INNER WISDOM SERVES THE GREATER GOOD As an artist, I had been led by depicting a beautiful scene in a way that might touch the viewer as my driving force originally. But one day that all changed. Although I still paint the astonishing world around us, I have fully changed my approach. Instead of depicting strictly what lie in front of me, I chose to ask for Divine intelligence to lead the way. I discovered it was where my creative voice had been all along. I had known it as a small child but had lost it along the way. There were too many outside influences, opinions and suggestions from well-meaning people but none of them sounded like me anymore. It took painting what would be an auction item, to find myself again. Since my children were born, I have always strived to be more centered and in alignment with something greater than myself, aka love. I, personally call that “love” God and all that that energy has created in that likeness. (Although, I have used the term “Universe” or “Loving Light.” Whichever felt good and right at that moment.) The spirituality I have developed over the years went from believing that source was something outside of me, to the knowing that it is inside all of us. But what did that mean for me and the responsibility I had if I was filled with that light? Such a huge thing to contemplate and it’s one I meditate on daily. The biggest question I always ask is, “Is what I am doing or engaging in serving the greater good?” 368

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Not intimidating at all, right? There have been days I wasn’t very happy with the answer to that. It is quite humbling to see that what you are putting out into the world only adds to its pain. The beauty in the noticing of that momentary lapse in judgement is the gift of choosing again. That shift from darkness to the light may be subtle but yet it is so incredibly significant. I used to use such harsh self-talk while I worked. It stunted my growth as an artist and a human being. It held me in its shackles, small and afraid. Asking questions such as, “Does anyone even care about what I have to say?” or “Will anyone even look at this, let alone like it?” It kept me in a space that served no one. I was sad all the time and as if I was being judged by others continually. None of that was true. It was my own voice causing my inner turmoil. That is until I was asked by Gilda’s Club to donate a painting for their upcoming fundraising auction. My father had gone through colon cancer treatment a few years prior, and Gilda’s was a huge reason he was able to cope and recover fully. This really meant a lot to me and to our family. I deeply felt that I wanted to honor that with my work. It also meant that I could choose to paint from a place of trust over one of manipulation and fear. (By the way, our choices are as simple as love or fear? Crazy, I know!) I chose to have faith fully and completely for the first time in my art career. In order to move into that space, I meditated each day upon waking, then upon entering my studio and finally before bed each night. Holy shift in mindset! There was a calmness

that overtook my whole being. I could feel an energy with me that faithfully wanted my work to have a healing vitality. What happened next was so incredibly miraculous, that I still marvel at it with awe and wonder. Before beginning the painting, I did my daily meditation and then blessed the canvas with my Palo Santo and sage, asking that only the angels of highest truth and compassion come through and show me the way. I also called on Gilda to show me how she would like to be portrayed in this piece. My initial thought had been to paint her likeness. What I didn’t realize was that wasn’t at all important to her. Gilda wanted the painting to invoke a sense of being held and seen. That they would know they were in the presence of angelic beings, even through their suffering. That had never occurred to me. Once I began painting, I was hearing things like, “I’d really enjoy the colors blue and purple. Could you start with that?” I did so happily, as those are my favorite to begin with. There was a feeling of having accomplished what had been asked, of pure satisfaction & contentment. I then began to ask questions, not knowing at the time that I was being led towards what this spirit (who I believed was Gilda herself), had wanted me to know and achieve. When I asked how I should paint the hair, I heard loud and clear that she wanted me to use the wrong end of the brush to have curls blowing in the wind. Next, I was told how to shape the face more accurately and that a flowing,


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{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “Tapping into our inner wisdom then allows for us to have the courage to connect, speak our loving truths and be creatively and exquisitely changing our world for the better.”

gauzy gown would be really lovely. I had to say, I totally agreed. Next, there was a request that she be floating over the mountains so that they could represent the difficult terrain those with cancer and their families must traverse. She wanted them to know that they could conquer the jagged moments and soar, no matter how painful the journey may be. This “soaring would require pretty wings,” I was told. From there, what shapes, colors, stripes and where to place them were coming at me in quick succession. It was the most spiritual moment of my life, outside of the birth of my children. I was in the midst of an angelic experience that felt calm, yet surreal. It was also fun and freeing. I had fully left my ego behind and just let their messages and will flow through me. Their voice was so loving and magical. I had never felt so supported. I was reminded about what Drunvalo Melchizedek had said about what our minds are capable of once we free them from the voice of the ego. “As long as the mind and ego control the direction of creating, there will always be problems in the outer world. For the ego thinks only of itself and lives in duality. But when the heart is in control, everything comes back to balance. For the heart feels and knows only the oneness of life.” The painting was beginning to balance itself out in a way that felt right and natural. There was no struggle, just joy. I found myself giggling throughout the process, hearing the silly way I was being instructed. It was like they were being allowed to play alongside me and 370

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cheering for every pretty brushstroke. Prior to this art experience, I have had a few pieces that I stood to look at what “I” had done and wasn’t sure who had done that piece. Serendipity leaves one breathless and in awe of what has been created. This, though, was a whole new level of creating. It let me see how I had a creative voice of value that may not even be mine, per say. I just happen to be the vessel that brings it into the light for all to hear and feel its messages. What a beautiful gift we have been given! It also helped me to heal the part of me that believed wasn’t worthy of something godlike speaking to me so clearly or to stand beside me in all of life’s moments. We actually are worthy and divinely encouraged to bring that light into our personal space and inner soul. It makes is possible then to send it out into the Universe for all to receive. Tapping into our inner wisdom then allows for us to have the courage to connect, speak our loving truths and be creatively and exquisitely changing our world for the better. When we choose to open ourselves enough to trust the guidance available to us (call it your gut instincts, if you wish), we can unearth some surprisingly blissful gems we have been carrying within us, just waiting to be discovered. You have the ability to quiet the mind and listen to the loving whispers. You just need to be clear that only the highest truth and compassion angels come to come along. As Gabby Bernstein says, “You don’t want riff raff at your party!” Your space is sacred and filled with sparkling gems for you behold and enjoy. Then, you will be called to share them with the world. Your light

and creative voice that are rooted in love, add to our restoration because you will have initiated your own soul’s healing. Ask yourself what gifts you have been withholding because fear (ego) has been lying to you? Stand up and boldly take that first step into the realm of light, love and possibility. Breathe in that peaceful energy and own your power of peace, love and healing. We are all cheering you on as my angel did while I painted. Final note: I was reading “The Universe Has Your Back,” by Gabrielle Bernstein several months after finishing my painting, “I Am Here” which is now owned by Gilda’s Club in downtown Rochester. She had a chapter on Archangels and their descriptions. When I read about Archangel Raphael, I knew that was who must have been speaking to me during my painting. I then decided to look up his image (I really wanted to know what he looked like, seen as we had spent so much time together playing!). I was stunned to see my painting was almost identical to the first image that came up. I took a screen shot and later realized I took the picture at 4:44 in the afternoon. Three consecutive fours are known as the sign of angels being present. I was left crying tears of joy and amazement. I felt boundlessly loved and grateful. It still gives me goosebumps to recall that moment in my life, even as I write this. May you be equally as blessed, if not more so!


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THE POWER OF ESSENTIAL OILS BY CINDY DECAROLIS

In recent years, essential oils have become quite popular and are being sold everywhere from spas, to chiropractors, to Walmart, and at prices that vary greatly. With the price, quality of essential oils varies as well. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in religion, marriage ceremonies, cosmetics, perfumes, health practices, and food preparation.

Essential oils can be found in many parts of a plant, including its roots, bark, seeds, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit. For example, three essential oils can be extracted from the bitter orange tree: Neroli from the flower of the tree, Petitgrain from the leaves and twigs, and orange from the rind of the fruit. Each

I was first introduced to essential oils around 2005, initially I just dabbled, not really knowing much about essential oils. In 2014, I was introduced to doTerra Essential Oils, that was when I realized that not all essential oils are the same. Since then, I have studied and learned a lot about essential oils.

Essential oils protect the plant from environmental conditions and insects, as well as playing a part in pollination.

How are essential oils extracted from the plant? There are two methods of extraction used, steam-distillation, and for citrus oils, cold-pressing. When done properly and skillfully, these processes will produce a high-grade essential oil with maximum potency and healing benefits. Steam-distillation uses low-heat pressurized steam to circulate through plant parts and extract oils. Cold-press distillation of citrus oils uses a mechanical press to squeeze essential oils from the rind or peel of the fruit. Lower-grade essential oils are frequently extracted through chemical processes or with solvents to increase yield and profit.

What are essential oils? Essential oils are aromatic, volatile compounds found naturally in plants. It is estimated that only about 10 percent of the world’s plants produce essential oils. Essential oils are 50 to 70 times more powerful than herbs.

and relaxing properties.

Why do essential oils work? of the three essential oils has a different aroma and chemical constituent profile. Each essential oil is comprised of many chemical constituents, providing distinctive qualities and healing properties. One of the most commonly used essential oils is lavender, renowned for its calming

Essential oils are compatible and beneficial to humans because both humans and plants are carbon-based. In addition, the molecular size of the active compounds in essential oils are so small that they are able to pass through the dermal layers of the skin and be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, as well as penetrate the CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{{ BLISSFUL BALANCE} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Essential oils are aromatic, volatile compounds found naturally in plants”

bloodstream, as well as penetrate the cell membrane. The therapeutic benefits of essential oils can be found only in the highest quality, 100 percent pure essential oils. Essential oils that have been adulterated, or even packaged improperly, will have greatly diminished benefits, and may even have harmful effects. How can essential oils be used? There are three ways to use essential oils: aromatically, topically, and 374

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internally. Diffusing essential oils for aromatic use may positively affect mood, cleanse the air, and support the respiratory system. Used topically, essential oils may provide localized benefits to the affected area. Dilute with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, for best results. To use internally, enjoy a drop or two in a glass of water or in a veggie cap.

If you follow blissfull_balance on Instagram, you have seen my hashtag #ilovemyessentialoils – I do love my doTerra essential oils! I would love to help you to bring these amazing oils into your life. Message me and we can chat. At Blissful Balance LLC our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook @ blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram blissfull_balance.


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“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” - Buddha At Blissful Balance our mission is to help you to live life healthier. Let us help you to author your own health. Offering wellness workshops, individual health coaching and essential oils.

Please contact us for a complimentary consultation 585-532-6060 or cindydecarolis62@gmail.com www.blissfullbalanceroc.com Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance

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NO, YOU CAN’T BE A BOY BY DENISE “KARMA” CLIFFORD

So you wanna be a boy was a question I was asked when I was just a little girl. My answer was always yes, I’d rather be a boy. You see when I was little I did the whole “identify” as a boy thing before it became a trend. I’d like to give a huge hug and thank you to my momma, because what she said and did was what all these parents need to do. My mom told me, you can act like a boy, you can dress like a boy, cut off all your hair and look like a boy. You can choose to only play with the boys and out run, out climb and you can do all the things boys do. But, one things for sure, you’re still a girl. You can’t change that, it’s science. My mom let me flirt with the idea that I was a boy, yet never let me forget that I’ll always be a girl. She even let me know it was ok if I was a girl who would want to marry another girl. You see my moms a realist, was not out to sugar coat my life, and never took the role of trying to make sure my feelings weren’t hurt. She understood that children may have identity crisis and even though there were times she wanted to put my hair in pink ribbons and parade me around in fancy dresses, I would always find away to a mud puddle or a pair of scissors. I wanted nothing to do with being a girl, and as time passed my mother understood my comfort level. It wasn’t in dresses and ribbons or bows. 376

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I grew up waiting to wear my brothers hand me downs. We ran around and most times as a really young kid I would say I was his brother. Id go shirtless and wear cut off jean shorts. I would challenge boys to race, or jump ramps on bikes. I would ask them to arm wrestle, just so I could win. Just to beat a boy.

I had my best times as a kid, doing all the things boys do. But the one thing I was always reminded, is I’m still a girl. I wasn’t coddled or asked if I wanted to change my gender. As I look back and think about the immature state of development the brain is in, and how impressionable it is, I’m sure given the

option and hearing an adult ask me, I would have said without a doubt “yes! I want to be a boy!” Imagine the horror story of my life now, if at the impressionable age of 8 I began the transformation because I thought I was supposed to be a boy? I mean I really was identifying as one. I even had a name I went by when I “played” my boy self. Do parents not understand that science cannot be undone. Gender isn’t an identifiable cloak we pick and choose, but activities and roles are. Roles with labels for boys and girls can be interchanged. Sex cannot. I’m no scientist but I know about the XY chromosomes. Go ahead and research it. You were born a male or female, And yes I understand those slight circumstances where a baby is born with some mutation. But that’s just it, it’s a genetic flaw. We cannot change the gender we are born to. But what we can do is be true to self. As a parent, let your child be who they think they are and experiment with life at a safe level. A child has no clue who they are or who they want to be. Identity crisis is normal, as its setting a child up to figure out where in life they belong. What they desire to become. It’s normal to bounce back and forth between characters of the self you want to be. It’s also confusing enough without adults children are supposed to trust asking if you want to change your gender. Giving a confused child who


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KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “So you wanna be a boy was a question I was asked when I was just a little girl. My answer was always yes, I’d rather be a boy.”

struggles on the border of identifying as one gender yet enjoying the tasks and activities that society labels for the other gender is the problem. Not the gender itself. Let a boy rock a baby And still be a boy. He will make a great dad someday. Let a girl play with trucks and light barbies head up with firecrackers because it’s more fun than dressing her up. She might make a great engineer one day. How about instead of labeling the child a different gender, we stop labeling what it is they play with as children as “other gender” activities. And let the child become comfortable as the gender it was intended for. Let the girl be stronger than the boy, without telling her she should think about becoming a boy. Girls like that grow into strong independent women one day. I know this first hand. Let the boy who plays with dolls, and plays dress up be the boy who is sensitive to others, but still a boy. Just because he is caring and sensitive, he doesn’t have to be told he may want to be a girl. You put these ideas in small impressionable brains, and that’s all they think about. When they should Just enjoy a childhood. 378

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I’ll say this in closing. Thank god for the mom I had who told me to be the boy when I want. To challenge the boys at will and to win. To my mom who told me no matter how much I thought being a boy would be better, I’m still just a girl. Just a girl who can run faster, climb higher, and still carry the label of girl.

and recognize the amount of damage they are causing to their child. Not once in my years after my childhood have I ever wanted to be a boy. I still can identify with the guys and I still pride myself in my strength and ability to conquer man’s work. I am by far not a boy or a man and thank my mom for understanding the beauty in a girl, who identifies as a boy. And telling her the truth. “No, you cannot be a boy.”

I can’t imagine if I woke up one day at 20 and realized that after years of hormone treatments and genital mutilation, that at the end of the day, I’m still a girl. Parents who are for this should be ashamed of themselves


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JUNE 2021 BY ANGELA MCGHEE

ARIES JUNE 2021 Energy and communication is what’s it all about this month Your somewhat erratic spurts of energy, seems to settle and you can focus it all in one specific area. The phone never stops ringing .You are in demand both socially and workwise. Remember to take a deep breath and start all over again. A relationship will grow to new heights. TAURUS JUNE 2021 You may have an opportunity of taking charge at work but don’t let this go to your head. People will see you are full of bright ideas, your creative juices are over-flowing. Keep a check of what you really want to achieve and go for it. You can be quite savvy with money but you are feeling in a generous mood . You may even want an extra go at the lotto. There is a lucky streak with something. GEMINI JUNE 2021 There are no package holidays in favour with Gemini, they have to be more adventurous to feed your inquisitive mind. Go ahead and make plans. Travel is highlighted. You are looking for other ways to stimulate your mind. I can see you looking through a college perspective. Some new study is on the horizon, It may be 380

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learning a new language. You are the elusive butterfly, typically wanting to spread their wings in all directions. CANCER JUNE 2021 You may need to cast an eye of scrutiny over a financial situation. It may not be your accounts but of someone close. Deep Harmony at home is esential to a Cancer’s well being. Expect a disgruntled atmosphere around you. You may need to put clear boundaries in place with someone younger. A testing time in more ways than one. Don’t be afraid to show how tough your ‘crablike shell’ exterior can be. Harmony does return quicker than you think. LEO JUNE 2021 You want to spread your glitter or glamour over all areas of your life. it’s time to rekindle the fire within your close relationship. If you’re single you could catch the eye of a number of admirers. The one you choose to date, may turn out to be not what you expected. Remember ‘all that glitters is not gold’ But no doubt you will cast them to the wind and put it down to fun and experience. Try not to overspend, or you might be left holding the bill. VIRGO JUNE 2021 Time to take up new hobbies

and interests or exploring new technology. An acquirement of gadgets take place, anything to make your work life much easier. Your orderly and methodical mind has a bit of a shake up as you find there are too many disorganised people around you testing your skills. A financial reward comes as a surprise. LIBRA JUNE 2021 Stop sitting on the fence and pondering too long as you do. Take that leap of faith and go for it. Something you regarded as a hobby could make you some good money. Love is well starred, coupling up with that someone special will restore your faith in ‘true love’. If you are a single libra you become starry eyed over a new person in your work enviroment. Remember its not always good to mix work with pleasure. SCORPIO JUNE 2021 You are looking for security items to spruce up your life. Maybe a new home or car. Now is the time to grab yourself a bargain. You seem very generous towards those who are loyal friends. Time for a special gathering at home. You have no inclination to travel this month. Feathering your home nest is far more important to you right now. Take care with over indulgence with our diet,


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{ {SEEING THE SIGNS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “TAURUS JUNE 2021 - You may have an opportunity of taking charge at work but don’t let this go to your head. People will see you are full of bright ideas, your creative juices are over-flowing. ”

too much of a good thing is not good. SAGITTARIUS JUNE 2021 Stick rigoursly to your health regime, as your will need all the extra energy to deal with stressful situations that arise this month. There may be new bosses at work, which may cause a power struggle. Use your diplomacy and charm to restore good negotiations. Make time for a child or elder who’s needs have become more than paramount. Keep your faith and watch the outcomes as he universe is working in your direction. CAPRICORN JUNE 2021 Start planning a move on that project you have had at onside for far too long now. You can reap rewards. Watch your spending as you can drawn to too much retail therapy and you will be 382

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left with a hole in your pocket. Be wise control your impulses. Your energy levels are high, do your best to obtain a good sleep pattern as your could will burn yourself out. You are riding high for a promotion at work. Smile and accept, it was all meant to be. AQUARIUS JUNE 2021 The planets are making your soul shine this month. You are poplar with everyone so it seems. Enjoy the vibrations around you. You could embark on a humanitarian cause when you realise you have such a lot to offer, not in monetary terms, but showing how empathic and understanding you can be. Love is all around. If your single now is the time hook up with that someone special. It could be that life long love you’ve dreamt about. PISCES JUNE 2021

Things are starting to run smoother for you. You seem to be going with the flow of the universal energy. You are finding time to do the creative things you have put aside. You may be wanting to join a group who helps to serve a good cause. Interests outside your own environment call you. You are feeling abundant and blessed. You will be want to seek more spiritual interests too. Your intutitve vibe rides high and brings in a small windfall. Blessings INTERNATIONAL TV PSYCHIC MEDIUM AUTHOR & TEACHER Angela McGhee T +44 (0)77 895 63169 E angelkm39@hotmal.com www,angelamcghee.com


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