RWO's April 2021 Edition

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In This Edition...




Annette Campbell







april edi















WOMEN ON THE RISE Dr Dee Kimbrel D2Media






















WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Shaneika Marie ford Latesha Page










SHE HUSTLES TALKS Urban Euphoria Tri Beauty Sharpewear Sincerely Trish Sarah Paddock Art Caitlin O’Conner Yeah Baby Bakes Bodied by Babydoll The Happy Gut Sanctuary Las Yoga Roc





























april edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }













































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Kevin Fitch •


“We need to accept that we won’t always maek the right decisions,that we will screw up royally sometimes - understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of it.”


n the latest edition of the women’s magazine everyone is talking about, we have a young entrepreneur gracing our cover that is more than just a beautiful face...more than just a “tax experience”. She is not only inspiring, but shows us to never give up on your dreams. please welcome Annette Campbell, owner and creator of The Tax Experience, and our April 2021 cover woman! Read all about her amazing story starting on page [20]. This year is going to be amazing and filled with lots of new opportunities. Hope you will all join us for the ride!




On the cover of Rochester Woman Online this month for our annual women entrepreneurs edition, we have a young woman who is leading the way and inspiring others to pursue their financial goals both personally and professionally...please welcome Annette Campbell, owner of the Tax Experience who was photographed on location at the historic George Eastman House by Kameron Ashford, owner of Blank Kanvas.





Kelly Breuer Ayanna Jackson Kelly Breuer Brody Wheeler


Christopher Cardwell Rob Daniels K. Victoria Photography Michele Ashlee Devin Mack

KL Storyography Kameron Ashford S, Marie Photography


Dr Pam Denton Robin DeWind Bonnie Floyd Alana Cahoon Lisa Wagner Judi Swanson Savon Holt Denise “Karma” Clifford Tracy Simone Dr Shanelle Benson Reid Johnny Williams Catyra Polland Tammy Vreeland Rumella Cameron Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Bre Morris Gabriella Rose Fiederlein Angela McGhee Terry Daniele Giovanna Walton Kristin Bauer Gross Randy Agness Katina Karl Letitia Torres Demetrius Williams Angela Duncan Dr Gretchen Hawley

Daniel Baldwin Amanda Ashley Cindy Scribani Dr Pebble Kranz Sharlyn Marquez Christine Grandin Sandra Cooze Dr Strauss Jeannie Gainsburg Jennifer Aronson Jovcevski Annika Tricia D’Andrea


Kelly Breuer


Toni Natalie


Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the Greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2021 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.



In this edition of Rochester Woman Online, we had the chance to meet up with our latest 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!

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 for was 20


My mom had also grown up in foster 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.

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








“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.”



{ { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “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 24


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






COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021






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



COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “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. 30


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.






Visual Artist.Photographer. Entrepreneur. Recently, Central NY Woman Online had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with Syracuse photographer Shaneika Marie Ford, otherwise know as, S’Marie. Known for her incredible portrait photography, we were excited to know more about our latest cover woman and talk about everything that makes her such an amazing entrepreneur. Te l l u s a b o u t yourself...Where are you from? Tell us about your family and your background. My name is Shaneika Marie Ford and I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. I have 3 children (all boys) and one furry son named Max (Maltipoo). In addition, to being a mom and entrepreneur, I currently work as an Executive Director at a local non-profit agency. I started as the part-time receptionist straight out of high school and worked my way up. Throughout my years of being employed I also attended college on and off until I received my Master’s Degree in 2015. Leadership and entrepreneurship was always a part of my being. Being the oldest of 6 prepared me for leadership. I always felt I needed to be a good example/role model for my siblings, so I strived to be a great example for them. 36


I am almost always able to get people to follow my lead. Entrepreneurship was something I always wanted to engage in. I remember so vividly at the age of 9 saying I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I was attending a youth program and the coordinator asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up and I said “I want to be an entrepreneur”. So at a young

from some engagement photos I took of my sister. Once those pictures were released people were inboxing me for photo sessions. So a former business partner and I formed S&R Images. I am mainly self-taught, but I did take photography courses at OCM BOCES, Syracuse University Light Work and I attended and still do attend many online photography classes through various companies. How did you start S Marie Photography? S’Marie Photography came about in 2016 when I decided to embark on my photography journey alone. S’Marie is actually just may name shortened (Shaneika Marie = S’Marie). I decided to brand my name.

age I already knew what professional/ business journey I wanted to embark on. How and when did you start photography? Is it always something you wanted to do? Initially, photography started off as a hobby for me. It wasn’t something I wanted to do or even thought of. Back in 2013, photography went from a hobby to an entrepreneurial endeavor when I received a lot of praise and recognition

What is your favorite part of doing what you do? Capturing moments that will create a physical memory for families. I love to see the smile on people’s faces and the laughter they have while looking at their pictures. It also warms my heart when I see people share photos I took of their loved ones and even more so when they share photos I took of their loved ones that have passed away. I love that I was able to capture a moment in time for them that they can have and look at forever. When I realized how meaningful a physical memory was





“Entrepreneurship was something I always wanted to engage in. I remember so vividly at the age of 9 saying I wanted to be an entrepreneur.” I was attending a youth program and the coordinator asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up and I said “I want to be an entrepreneur”. So at a young age I already knew what professional/business journey I wanted to embark on.”



{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } “My biggest success personally was not succumbing to the statistics of teen moms. Being a teen mom presented some challenges but I prevailed.”


that’s when my passion for photography turned into my purpose.

personality that sets you apart. What God has for you is for you.

Do you have any advice for other females wanting to jump in to the photography business and what the most important thing to remember is? Yes my advice would be: Don’t get discouraged about the saturated photography field. Everyone has their own lane and niche that will make them stand out from the rest. It doesn’t even have to be that you provide the highest quality images it could just be your

Also, everyone is not your client! Never be offended or become discouraged if people do not like your work or prefer not to use your services. Some people will love it and some won’t- that’s life and its OK! I always say I prefer Aldi’s over Wegmans; Walmart over Target while others prefer Wegmans and Target (get where I’m going?). At the end they all have their preferred clientele and so will you! Thank goodness for options 


What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic? The biggest challenge for me has been juggling work, homeschooling and making the tough decision to temporarily close my business. I closed for about 2 months and then reopened on a limited and reduced basis. What has been your biggest success both personally and professionally and why? My biggest success personally was not succumbing to the statistics of teen
























“ S’Marie Photography came about in 2016 when I decided to embark on my photography journey alone.”

moms. Being a teen mom presented some challenges but I prevailed. Professionally, Stepping out alone to start and grow my business. This was huge for me because I am the behind the scenes type of woman. Believe it or not I do not like attention . I’d rather be the mastermind behind the scenes . Stepping out on my own meant I had to come from the back to the front which took a lot of courage .

What do you know now that you didn’t know 10 years ago about yourself? How I will purposely find advantage in adversity. My life’s motto is “it is what it is” so with I always try to find some good and some opportunity in adversity. What was the biggest obstacle you

Who has made the biggest impact on your life and why? Of course my children impact my life. It’s because of them that my strength, drive and determination to succeed is magnified. I value them and want to leave a good legacy for them. Additionally, I’d like to give recognition and credit to the environment I grew up in. My environment was a huge impact on my life. My environment (neighborhood, family dynamics, etc.) was one of such that I did not want to be like, live like, or live in! It was a huge motivator for me to stay focused and do what I needed to do to create a better life for me. What do you think is your strongest skill as a photographer? My ability to connect and build a rapport with my clients. This connection has led to referrals, returning clients and most important genuine friendships. I have met some beautiful souls whom are dear to my heart through photography.

faced in your life, and how did you overcome it? My biggest obstacle was presented in my teen years, when I found myself pregnant at 16. I just knew my life was “over”. When I say over I mean all the dreams and desires I had for myself were no longer obtainable. I was sure I would

be everything I said I didn’t want to be and everything others around me said I would be because I was pregnant at such a young age (uneducated, on welfare, etc.). However!! As you can see I’m none of those! I always had confidence in myself. I always believed in me! I always bet on me! So no matter what I knew having a child wasn’t going to hinder me. My journey may have been altered by my vision was not. I graduated high school on time with my class. Class of 2000. I walked across that stage to where my baby was on the other side waiting for me. I went on to working full time and furthering my education. Now I presently sit in front of you as Ms. Shaneika Ford, MBA, Owner of S’Marie Photography and current Executive Director of a local non-profit which employs approximately 45 employees and services 80 individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities. Are there any resources or even advice that someone has given you that have really helped you on your journey? The good ol’ practice, practice, practice advice! You cannot improve if you don’t get out there and shoot! What has been your biggest accomplishment in your career thus far? My biggest accomplishment thus far is receiving 2 construction photography contracts with a well-known and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021





{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “Everyone has their own lane and niche that will make them stand out from the rest. ”

prestigious company. My goal for S’Marie Photography in 2018 was to tap into larger revenue generating projects and this included receiving contracts. I put out a Facebook and Instagram New Year post and said I was looking for contracts of all sorts and lo and behold I received two not even a year apart  . Construction photography also allowed me to venture into another form of photography. What is your favorite form of social media in 2021 and why? I tend to gravitate more towards Facebook. Facebook has been the most beneficial platform for me. It allows me to have my own business page, promote, sponsor to reach a larger audience, showcase my work, and so much more. I especially like that my clients can share the pictures that I took of them and I usually gain more followers and most importantly more clientele that way. Many people have unrealistic expectations and ideas about being a professional photographer and running their own business. How have you overcome these? I’m a realist so I wouldn’t say I had to overcome any unrealistic expectations. I didn’t have the unrealistic expectations that I would become a top photographer overnight or everyone would know my name nor did I expect that everyone would love my work. I knew it would/ will take time for me to become one of the best and to be known so I knew I had to get out and put the footwork in. #17 Where do you see yourself 1 year, 3years, 5 years from now?

I have been saying this for the last couple of years and now I’m manifesting that I retire at 40 and go full fledge into self-employment/entrepreneurship. Along with photography, I am exploring additional wealth generating opportunities to help me reach this goal. So to answer your question, I see myself retired from working for others and solely working for me. What has been your key to successfully being in business this long and makes you not just a great photographer, but a female entrepreneur? A few things have been key to me being successful. First, I would say being a woman that is confident and eager to learn and grow has been key to my success as a photographer and female entrepreneur. Additionally, being able to achieve balance in all aspects of my life has helped as well. Lastly, being professional, open-minded, and having a positive mindset keeps me going and thriving. What makes Women’s History month special for you? Women shine 24/7-365 so we should be recognized all day every day  but it’s nice to have a month solely dedicated and putting focus to recognizing our historic and present contributions to the world. Women are amazing and do amazing things. Women are killin’ it!! As a business owner, what would you say are your top priorities for both yourself personally and in your business? One priority I would share is self-care. It is so important that we take care of ourselves. We are no good to our

business or our self if we don’t indulge in self-care. How do you market your business during the pandemic, and which avenues have you found to be most successful? I’m grateful for word-of-mouth marketing. A lot of business during the pandemic came from client referrals. Additionally, my social media accounts remained active so people were able to find me and view my work that way. Tell us about one event that has happened in your life that has changed you and why. Having a child at a young age changed me. I already felt I knew about responsibilities because I am the oldest child and often helped my mom but having a child of your own is a whole other level to responsibility. I was a typical teenager that liked to hang out with friends and didn’t always make the best decisions. Living in the type of environment I grew up in it was easy to get caught up in the wrong crowd. Having my son forced me to make the right decisions for my life and his life despite what my surroundings showed me. It forced me to be responsible at a higher level. I truly believe had I not had a child that no matter how determined I was to not fall victim to my environment I could have. It gave my life more purpose and drive to succeed. I want to make it clear that I’m not condoning teen pregnancy at all! I encourage all teens to wait until they are an adult to experience parenthood. Don’t take away the years you need to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Leadership and entrepreneurship was always a part of my being. Being the oldest of 6 prepared me for leadership.”

experience and explore life. This is just an event in my life that changed me. This is the life plan that God has written for me to live. What have you found to be successful or a hindrance being in Central NY? A success and hindrance to being in Central NY is that it’s a small community. Everyone is connected to everyone in some shape or form. This is a good thing and bad.

hobby for me so I do not have a long standing history following photographers. However, I have been following the work of Shamayim. I also love the fact that photographer Polly Irungu created

Do you think being a minority has helped or hindered you in business? I think it has both helped and hindered. The business as an entity may be eligible for several resources that are great even more so with having my MWBE Certification I’m afforded more opportunities but the hindering is being labeled a minority which does harm at times because of the bias and stereotypes that follow us within the system. Who has been your biggest influence or a mentor photographically and why? Again, photography was initially a 54


a space for black women photographers. Black women photographers is global community and directory where your

work can be shared and featured for more exposure and recognition. Tell us about your most memorable photoshoot and why is stands out above others. My most memorable photo shoot was a maternity shoot that I shot at a local hiking trial. It stands out above others because the scenery was absolutely beautiful and the area the mother chose to stand held so much meaning. She choose to stand by a huge tree that roots were so visible. This tree, for her, represented the tree of life. Signifying strength, courage, new life and immortality. The roots were so prominent supporting this huge tree. For me it was very symbolic to a mother being the foundation, birthing, nurturing, raising, and forever supporting her child.






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. 58


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. @lateshapage-Instagram @lealovelife-Instagram @newyorkstarclub






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






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:



“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.”

{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR { {WOMEN 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. 68


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.





{ {WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR {WOMAN SHIFT+CONTROL } }} ON THE RISE “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.”






Are you partnered with the right marketing team? How do you know if an agency is a good fit? How do you choose the right agency? It can seem overwhelming at first, but here are some areas of focus you can start with: • Area of Expertise o Are they a traditional or digital agency? Is their work primarily B2C or B2B? What categories and/or industries do their clients fall into – automotive, retail, lead generation, branding, creative, public relations, etc.?

is where it starts and ends. The goal is to partner with people, a team, who are personally invested in your business, working with you to achieve winning results. You want a team who will be by your side through to celebrate the successes and to help you weather the storm during unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances – like Spring 2020. The right team will advocate for you, work to get you more for your investment and roll up their sleeves if something goes wrong.

• Agency Culture o Does the agency’s values, leadership and structure align with your team and the way you run your business? • Track Record o What is their reputation in the market? Can they share references or success stories with you that are focused on the clients’ wins? • Results & ROI o What are your expectations of the agency? Are they responsive in giving campaign feedback throughout and after the campaign? How will you collectively measure success? RELATIONSHIP Relationships are built on trust – that 72


STRATEGY This should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Each business is different but all business owners want to see a return on their investment. Just as we wouldn’t hand over our money without a strategic, customized plan – we wouldn’t expect or want you to either! A successful strategy starts with two things: your goals and a budget. HOW TO SET A BUDGET

A marketing budget should not be viewed as an expense; rather it should be an investment in your business’ future and part of your business plan. If you want to start a new busines or grow your existing business, you need to set a certain percentage of your revenues aside to put back into the company in the form of advertising. When business owners follow this strategy, and allocate the necessary funds, they will see growth in their business. When you are first starting your business, branding, name recognition and awareness of your services is your primary g o a l . Yo u likely have competitors, who are advertising, so it’s critical during a product or service launch or time of growth, to have a higher marketing spend to achieve your goals. For a new company – typically one to five years in business – your marketing budget should be 12-20% of your gross revenue. For established companies, who have a loyal customer base and brand awareness, that figure is about 8-12% of gross revenue.






ENTREPRENEUR { {WOMEN WOMEN ON THE THE RISE RISE {{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR {WOMAN SHIFT+CONTROL ON } }} }} “Are you partnered with the right marketing team? How do you know if an agency is a good fit? How do you choose the right agency? ”

If you’re just starting out, that can seem like a lot of money to invest in marketing upfront, however, in order to compete with establish brands, build awareness, drive leads and foot traffic, you will want to make that financial commitment. HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PL ATFORMS FOR YOUR AUDIENCE We have your goals and budget and you know who your customers are (or who you want them to be). Now how do you get your message and name out to the public?

There are dozens of tactics you can utilize including: TV, radio, social media, streaming radio, OTT, news apps, cable, radio, digital banner ads, billboards, video pre-roll – the list goes on. Determining the appropriate placements for your message rely largely on your budget and your audience and how they consume media. If you are an established business with a large marketing budget that is looking to target women between the ages of 25-54, with a specific household income who are interested in DIY home projects – this

gives the marketing team enough data to create a strategy with the appropriate tactics and placements to aid customer’s on their decision-making journey. It’s worth noting – there are no bad tactics or mediums out there. When you are partnered with the marketing team, they will take your goals, your budget, your audience and create a specific strategy to deliver on your business objectives. There is also no harm in trying something new – but – that’s why you need to know what results you expect to see in order to evaluate their effectiveness for your business. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


“If you’re ready for a new and SMART approach for marketing your business, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

ENTREPRENEUR { WOMEN WOMEN ON THE THE RISE RISE }} }} {{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR {WOMAN ON “There is also no harm in trying something new – but – that’s why you need to know what results you expect to see in order to evaluate their effectiveness for your business.”

EXECUTION You have the relationship with your marketing agency, you have defined your goals, set a budget, and selected where to advertise your message. Now comes the execution of your campaign. If you are currently working with a marketing team or agency, do they walk you through the process? The elements of a digital campaign will vary from a traditional media buy. Do you know what you need to provide, what’s being created, how it will be used and the timeline? Being guided through the process and having a set of clear expectations will make the execution go much more smoothly. Let’s say part of your campaign includes TV commercials during the local, morning newscast. Are the commercials airing during that time? A large part of the execution is regular auditing of all campaigns as it allows us to pivot quickly if something has changed. We trust that everyone does their part during the campaign launch and trafficking of ads, but by checking in on throughout the campaign, allows for transparency and gives an agile team the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. MONDAY MARKETING HUDDLE If you have just started to consider advertising your business or have been in business for years but need a marketing refresher course – we have a great (and free!) resource for you! Debbie and Darcy of D2 Media host the “Monday Marketing Huddle” where we discuss current trends, what works and doesn’t, what we’re seeing in the

industry and how to keep your business moving forward. Each week we have a special guest, an expert in their field, to discuss how business owners can take control of their marketing and propel their business forward. Past topics include how radio advertising still drives results, how to use social media to engage with your customer, simple rules for digital marketing, why public relations is important & how to make a plan, creating compelling video messaging and how to maximize your digital presence. Visit to listen to past podcasts. You can also drop us an email if you would like to be considered for a guest spot on our next Monday Marketing Huddle podcast. ABOUT D2 MEDIA We are a full-service marketing agency with over 30 years of experience in traditional media, digital and online marketing, brand building, strategy, and creative vision. We pride ourselves on creating custom-fit strategies, utilizing the appropriate tools, tactics, and mediums to deliver on your business objectives. Working directly with you to deliver winning results for your business is why we started our agency in the first place. We are customer-focused, transparent, and only work with hand-selected partners and vendors to help execute our strategies. When you e-mail or call D2 Media, you will always speak with one of our managing partners. D2 MEDIA’S SMART SYSTEM

We have developed a proven formula for success to help our clients win and, it’s SMART. S – Strategy: Successful campaigns begin with a well-built plan. We do the research to ensure what we present as options will deliver on your goals. M – Measurable: Enough cannot be said for setting performance goals with our clients and then monitoring daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly. Not to be cliché, but it’s very similar to the stock market -- you need to be constantly monitoring and strategizing your next move. A – Accountability: The execution of the strategy and tactics are non-negotiable and we hold our partners responsible for their part of the strategy. This works together with Measurability and constant performance monitoring, so that we can catch a mistake early on, and ensure its rectified. R – Relationship: Debbie and Darcy, the partners of D2 Media Team, are personally invested in your business, working with you to achieve winning results. T - Trusted Team: It all begins and ends with trust. If you’re ready for a new and SMART approach for marketing your business, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.


UITE 104 I ROCHESTER NY 14625 I 585-205-5969








There are 2.3 million people who receive a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis worldwide - nearly 1 million of them live in the United State - so chances that you know someone with Multiple Sclerosis (or maybe you have Multiple Sclerosis), is very likely. Furthermore, western NY is widely regarded as an MS “cluster”, indicating a significantly higher incidence of MS than what would be expected. As a physical therapist who specializes in Multiple Sclerosis, I often work with clients with MS who are looking for guidance on how to best manage their various symptoms. Spouses, friends, and family members who are also curious about their role in helping their loved one will often reach out for information as well. Here’s a breakdown of some of the basic, yet most important things you should know about MS. 1. Multiple Sclerosis presents differently for each person diagnosed. It’s nicknamed the “snowflake” disease because just as no two snowflakes are alike, there are no two people with MS who present the same. Additionally, each person who has MS can have changing symptoms each day. If you know someone with MS, please don’t play the comparison game. There chances that the way their MS affects them is likely vastly different from how it will affect you and/or your loved one.

2. 80% of people who have MS suffer from primary and/or secondary fatigue. Both types of fatigue feel very different from fatigue experienced by someone who doesn’t have MS. Primary fatigue is caused by the disease itself and can make it challenging to get out of bed due to a sense of heaviness and lack of strength. Secondary fatigue is caused from actions that bring on fatigue, such as lack of sleep, exercise, an active day, etc. While this

temperature of your shower or bath) however flares that arise from heat intolerance occur because the body’s core temperature increased by at least ½ of a degree. This means that it could be a chilly day, but being bundled in warm blankets or layers can cause the core temperature to rise by at least ½ a degree. When that happens the person with MS feels symptoms associated with heat intolerance. Similarly, they might be sitting indoors, in air conditioning, but the barometric pressure causes their core temperature to rise, so one of their symptoms could appear. Other things that can cause symptoms related to heat intolerance are exercise (even seated exercise), humidity, a hot shower, doing chores, climbing stairs, etc.

may sound counterintuitive, research proves that light amounts of exercise can improve both types of fatigue.

The good thing about heat intolerance is that it’s usually simple to manage. The best and quickest way to cool down your core temperature is to sip ice cold water and, if appropriate, wear a cooling device such as a vest, neck wrap, wrist bands, etc. Implement these strategies proactively to prevent or lessen heat intolerance.

3. Heat intolerance is another common symptom of MS that can feel like a “relapse” or a “flare” because one or many symptoms can worsen when the temperature changes. Most people chalk this up to the external temperature (think: the temperature outside or the

4. When it comes to exercise, functional exercises are most effective to help someone with MS improve mobility and function. Functional exercises are activity-based whereas “regular” exercises are weakness based. The difference is that exercises that are weakness based ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ ASK THE DOCTOR } “There are 2.3 million people who receive a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis worldwide nearly 1 million of them live in the United State - so chances that you know someone with Multiple Sclerosis (or maybe you have Multiple Sclerosis), is very likely.”

will likely increase the strength of that muscle, but the renewed strength often does not result in improved function with daily activities and movements, like walking. Whereas functional exercises break down a specific activity that is challenging and strengthens the body in a specific way that will make that activity easier. For example, if someone has hip weakness which is making it difficult to walk, a “regular” exercise may be a “straight leg raise”. Or perhaps the “clamshell” or “side-lying leg raise”. However, a functional exercise would require the breakdown of that movement. Continuing with this example, walking requires knee bending, toe lifting, knee lifting, balance, and weight shifting. Therefore, these five movements should be the exercises that are performed to achieve improved walking. It’s best to choose a position where the movements can be done successfully. Ideally, this is the same position as the activity (activity = walking; position = standing), however 86


it can be performed in other positions, like sitting or lying down. 5. It’s important that the healthcare team

is required in order to become an MS specialist. In my experience, having a team of doctors that are specialized in MS can lead to quicker resolution of symptoms and reduced disease progression due to their additional training and experience with MS. If you’re looking for additional information to empower yourself or someone you know in their MS journey then you will find a surplus of exercises and symptom management strategies in my online MS wellness program, The MSing Link, as well as on my YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram pages: ● ● DoctorGretchenHawley ● Doctor.Gretchen ● Doctor.Gretchen

includes MS specialists. Extra training for neurologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists



POWERFUL. WHITE. MEN. When I launched my business almost a decade ago, white men of influence were the target audience I tried most to impress. Why? Because they were the high-ranking, executive professionals who had the money and power to sign off on the coaching programs and services I offered. In other words: rich white dudes were the decisionmakers with the dough. So I aimed for them - without, honestly, even realizing it. Much of my career until that point had been dominated by older white men; men who were my friends, my bosses, my bosses’ bosses, and my colleagues. And, many are still some of my most prominent clients and biggest allies and supporters. As a brown-skinned woman working in a professional world run predominantly by white men, I never questioned if white men were even the audience I wanted to serve. Like air, they were simply everywhere and having access to them was always beneficial for, it was natural that I sought their approval when I was my most vulnerable as a newly-minted entrepreneur. Today - almost a decade later - guess who dominates my list of high-ranking, executive clients who have the money and the power to sign off on the coaching programs and services I offer. Black women. Yes, my black queens. It makes me so happy to say this. Yes, the world has 90


changed in 10 years: women today have greater influence and access to advanced levels of professional roles than ever before - so there are more women and women of color in need of the type of coaching I offer. I also recognize that their appearance in my book of clientele is due in large part because I worked to attract them. I adore every single one of my clients.

The white men, black women and every other definition of person who works with me are truly gems; they are multifaceted and shine incredibly brightly in the work they do. The truth is: my clients have only diversified because I have. I have evolved...and it wasn’t by chance. See, when I first started out, I was wound up tighter than a 4c coil. I had big goals and I was CERTAIN that getting approval from white, male executives

would bolster my success - so that’s who I targeted in all my branding: my professional headshots, website language, sales approach and social profiles. Every part of the way I sold my brand catered - knowingly or not - to white males. And, it worked - just like it always had throughout my career. There was a challenge, though: limiting myself to only that brand identity was exhausting. Yes, I could be all the things my clients at that time needed me to be, AND I could also be funny, soulful, caring, honest, unapologetically smart, curious and free. But, being those things sometimes came with a price: questions about my value and the prices I charged (I was no more or less expensive than my counterparts), challenges to my coaching methodologies (I’d had 15 years of experience in professional communications & marketing at that point, so it wasn’t my first time at “the rodeo”), and audible doubts about my ability to “mesh well” with certain types of clients (that was more of a coachability issue on their part than an identity issue on mine, I later realized). The audience I was working so hard to impress was accepting me...with strings attached. And, the strings were starting to choke me. It was time for a change; a re-branding. I needed to show up in my business as I wanted to be. I worked with a friend on a fresh new start for my website, my social profiles and more. In that effort, I freed myself to be who







ENTREPRENEUR GET COACHING {{{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR {WOMAN WOMEN ON THEWITH... RISE } }} “And so I ask you: what is your “love child” brand? Answer this question for yourself and then go after that identity unapologetically. Your business will follow.”

and how I wanted to be for myself, my business and my clients. I kicked my natural curls high, paired my jeans with heels and a suit jacket, let my sense of humor out of hiding and allowed my brand to become something big and bold. I declared that I wanted my brand to be the “love child” of American news reporter & producer, Soledad O’Brien and Grammywinning, American R&B singer, Jill Scott.

was grateful for her guidance because in all my years of success - with clients of such vast backgrounds - it was a woman who “looked like” me that helped me to see more of my own value. Today, I have a rich roster of clients that

The love child? You might be wondering what I mean by that. It’s simply the idea that if my brand could “live” and be inspired by the stylings of two successful people with whom I could strongly identify, it would be between these two women: polished, confident and determined on one end...soulful, smart, and vivacious on the other. Unapologetic and real all the way through. A fire was lit. I dove deeply into this new identity and I’ve never looked back. The clients who are meant for me show up in droves - and, what’s more - they fully accept and appreciate who and how I am. In fact, it was a black, female, Ph.D. who elevated me even further. “You need to raise your rates,” she said, before she even signed on with me. “You’re that good. I can tell.” I

span the color, gender and role spectrum. I even launched a career-long dream recently in a new program called The Mouthy Broad - which makes the ideas I share with my VIP clients accessible to all women. And so I ask you: what is your “love

child” brand? Answer this question for yourself and then go after that identity unapologetically. Your business will follow. Your right customer will follow. Most importantly, in that journey lies your success and freedom. Andrea Holland is an executive communications coach who helps professionals and business owners show up confidently and authentically when it matters most. Learn more about Andrea a t w w w.








“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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


“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.” ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


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 100


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).




{ 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 102


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






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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{{ ASK THE DOCTOR } } SHIFT+CONTROL “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. 106


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. or call us at (845) 624-0010 to schedule your free assessment today, and begin the journey to scoliosis correction today!






Tender Loving Family Care, Inc., (TLFC) a New York State Licensed Home Care Services Agency is proud to announce that they have increased the minimum wage for all essential employees of their home care agency to $15.00 an hour. This increase comes at a crucial time when families have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees can look for the increase in their paychecks effective April 30, 2021. In addition to the increase in minimum wage, TLFC has also enhanced their employees’ benefits by introducing a wellness and resiliency-building program that seeks to help their staff cope with the effects of COVID-19 and beyond. This program, powered by TLC Virtual Resiliency, provides weekly virtual workshops run by licensed psychologists and certified wellness professionals for the benefit of TLFC employees. The program assists in helping all employees cope with stress, building resiliency, and reducing burnout. By increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, TLFC hopes to alleviate some of the burdens their

employees have faced as a result of the pandemic. “We understand that there are great, caring people in the community that have lost jobs due to COVID that may not feel they possess the skills for Home Care. We want to help those individuals return to the workforce by providing training and support for those loving people that would like to help seniors stay independent and safe in their home.” stated Annika D’Andrea,

Chief Executive Officer, Tender Loving Family Care. “Our employees have been on the frontlines during this pandemic. We are proud to be ahead of the curve, as our employees have sacrificed so much for our community, and we are fortunate we can lead the way with this increase much sooner than required by New York State Law. “Here at TLFC we aim to create a rewarding workplace for our staff. Increasing the minimum wage, providing PCA

training for those who qualify, and introducing the resiliency program developed by TLC Virtual Resiliency, Inc., are a few ways we aim to provide them with the support and resources they need. I am extremely proud of the resilient team we have,” stated Annika D’Andrea, Chief Executive Officer, Tender Loving Family Care. Minimum wage is set to increase in New York State in phases, to $15 an hour. The New York City area will see the phased increase first. Although this increase is not set to be seen in the upstate area for quite some time, TLFC has led the way with the accelerated adoption of this wage increase much sooner. Americans are struggling and our healthcare workers have been the backbone of our community during this pandemic. Implementing the increase before mandated will prove to be very beneficial to many employees and their families. For information on Tender Loving Family Care, Inc. or TLC Virtual Resiliency visit their websites at and or follow TLFC on Facebook and LinkedIn.








It’s interesting the process of being in a magazine. You sit down and do an interview, or sometimes multiple interviews, then there’s the photoshoot and the many things we talk about and learn about each other on that day.

would help in the rehab. It’s a bad problem. Let’s strap our boots on and clean it up. #2 Why are they’re so few actor’s and actresses with disabilities in the

As a reader, you don’t see all of the “behind the scenes” that goes on especially between the subject and writer, and you certainly don’t get to ask any of the questions. After the article comes out, boom... thousands of inquiries and questions follow. 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. So here we go. #1 Does he still plan on opening a rehab facility on the north shore?! If so how can I help? - Jennafer Kelly Daniel: Jennifer, the North Shore Rehab idea is still on the table. The problem is getting people behind it that live near where the rehab center would be. What I get is, “We dont want a bunch of druggies living near us.” Well guess what people, the same kids that are robbing your homes and cars who live on your block are the kids I

entertainment industry? And can you get me his autograph lol. - Tom Turner Daniel: Hi Tom, I think there are more actors and famous people with disabilities than you may realize. I believe the problem lies more with why it is not more publicized that they are challenged.

How inspirational it is to see an individual overcome their obstacles. Hers a list of some of those who have achieved greatness. Including:

- personality disorders (Billie Eilish) - famous people in wheelchairs (Stephen Hawking) - famous people with learning disabilities (Tom Cruise) - celebrities with physical disabilities (Stevie Wonder) - famous people with learning disabilities (Chris Rock) - other successful people with disabilities (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

#3 As a multi-award winning screenwriter, I’m starting to look for either an agent or a manager. I was just nominated for the 12th time in only 3 years for Best Original Screenplay (this time at the Beverly Hills Film Festival for a comedy I wrote) and have won screenwriting awards in Burbank, LA and elsewhere. It’s time to find representation but I don’t know anyone. Can Daniel recommend someone? I am very serious about this as a professional move. - Bri





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 116


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.




{ AFTERNOON COCKTAIL { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “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.”

Fostering our curiosity in all the small ways will reinvigorate that child-like spirit, and help you to regain consciousness of how beautiful life and its surroundings truly are. 118


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.






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, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ FINANCIALLY {{ SHE HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS}} } SHIFT+CONTROL “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 122


(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



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, 124


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 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 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?





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 130


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.









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. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN } “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 134

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


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.



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.



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.




{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. 138


- 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. for your business needs.






“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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ SHIFT+CONTROL { 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 142


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!





The Lady Bosses Behind Urban Euphoria









Recently Rochester Woman Online was abe to sit down and talk to the creators behind the incredible new venue in the South Wedge, Urban Euphoria for our all new She Hustles Talks women entrepreneurs insert. The dynamic duo of Jnicolle Glover and Charletta “Char B” Broome is something you can feel as soon as you walk in to this historic venue. Perfect for events, photoshoots and so much more, these ladies are creating a space like no other in the heart of Rochester. Here is what they had to say, and you definitely won’t want to miss any of it!

What made you decide to create your Urban Euphoria together and become entrepreneurs? It seems to others like a decision. But it feels to me when I hear that question, like someone is asking me, what made you decide to wake up today? It’s really not a question that I can answer. We are bringing to fruition that which is

JNICOLLE GLOVER Tell us about Jnicolle Glover and Char B. What are your backgrounds and how did you guys meet? Char and I come from similar backgrounds. Life-long Rochester residents, we grew up in the same zip code on the city’s west side and shared several friends in common. We didn’t meet, however, until 2018 when I started doing stand up comedy. I was a brand new comedian and Char, having over 8 years of experience in stand-up instantly became my mentor when we were booked on several shows together. We’ve been a team ever since. What did you do before starting your business together? Before Urban Euphoria, we did what all adults do. We worked for someone else.

meant to be. It’s wasn’t a decision as much as it is a calling. Tell us about Urban Euphoria. How was it created? What is the concept behind it? What made you decide to open this venue during a pandemic?

Urban Euphoria LLC is a lifestyle brand. Our flagship is our Venue which resides within the historic Jonathan Child House. We offer our grand ballrooms for private booking to celebrate all occasions and honor our loved ones. We host corporate events, concerts, vending functions and pretty much anything else you can think of. Our brand caters to a sophisticated consumer and we provide personal, conciergelevel customer service to our guests. The pandemic gave us an opportunity to be still & collect our thoughts. Working in the public sector, we had to make some decisions about what the 2nd half of our careers may look like& what we wanted the 2nd half to look like. We both love entertaining and we were both suddenly out of work with this opportunity sitting within reach. What makes you hustle? I believe that initially, we hustled for success, to increase our wealth and to retire early. But we’ve received so much love and support during our journey, I think we hustle now largely because we provide a valued service that people need. We have a growing following, return customers, social media fans who look for us regularly. We love our city and we love being a safe place for people to enjoy themselves. So atp, we’re hustling for the people! What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner in creating your brand?




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } “ Don’t wait until you know you can do it. That day may never come. Do it as soon as you realize you are worth the risk.”

What I find most helpful, personally is that I am No. 1 never afraid to ask and No. 2 Never afraid to say No. If you had to pick one just one that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why? If I had to choose, I’d say my specialty is creating our marketing & promo. effective and increases our footprint. I follow the analytics available to business pages on the socials and Im able to identify trends, find ways to drum up engagement, etc. If you could interview one of your mentors who would it be and what would you ask them? Nikki Giovanni- I wouldn’t ask her. I would tell her that her poetry got me through some of the most tumultuous times in my life and I would thank her. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your event space and business, especially during the pandemic? Social Media has been nothing but helpful, especially during the pandemic. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? The most successful marketing thus far has been a successful event. The attendees of any event love good service, love the atmosphere and come back to book their own reservation! Our ideal audience is the consumer willing to pay for quality service and also willing to share their experience with others. What challenges have you faced this

year and how have you overcome them? I find one of the biggest challenges to be the “red tape”- all of the compliance and legalities that go along with owning a business. It’s a lot- more than most people even consider, I’m sure. How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges you experience? Balance?! Haha! Good one. I don’t know if I’ll find balance during this first year. I would consider this a pretty front-loaded deal. As the business continues to grow and succeed, I’ll be able to hire more staff allowing me to find this balance you speak of. 😉 What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? I find motivation in the encouraging words of others, in the data analytics that show growth, in the smiles of happy patrons. Jnicolle tell us about what you do and how you created your brand. Visual art & design are my passion and has been since a very young age. My eye for the aesthetic is what my brand hinges on. Our brand is based on a collection of images that I created years ago while taking an art class at MCC. Over the years, I’ve recreated these images over and over in different mediums. They’ve always existed in my own world. Once we gained this platform, I was able to translate the art into a brand. What makes your business unique and stand out from others?

The obvious answer to this question would be our venue- the elaborate, ornate mansion that Urban Euphoria occupies. But the less obvious would be our unique approach to the service sector. For each event, the booking party becomes our family. We work closely with them to ensure execution of their vision & we cater to any needs or requests before, during & sometimes even after their events. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? Con- So many people underestimate us. Pro- So many people underestimate us! Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? Within the last month, our reach has grown 118% and we’re booked out for months- well into the fall of 21. I believe that if we stay focused, skys the limit for UE! Where did you come up with the name Urban Euphoria? I’ve been drawing and writing the same UE for over a decade and it organically just became a logo. It sounds strange but it’s true. A few years ago,. I developed a line of lotions & oils and wanted to use the UE logo. I wanted the brand to sound luxurious and represent me. When we acquired our venue space, it just seemed like a natural fit. We’re right in the middle of downtown and Euphoria is a perfect description of the feelings we want our patrons to experience. So it was decided. And here we are. ☺️



{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Think Martha Stewart meets Oprah meets DJ Khalid.. We’re taking the governor off and headed to the top. There is no limit to our success.”

Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business? Don’t wait until you know you can do it. That day May never come. Do it as soon as you realize you’re worth the risk. What would you say are the positives and negatives about being business partners? We compliment each other. Although 156


I’m a stand up, I’m still relatively introverted while Char is the opposite. I bring the people in, she keeps them entertained. I dress the room, she brings the band. This dynamic works for us. 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 we had to do it all again, I would of course add more start-up money!!

There’s never enough money. But I think every entrepreneur has felt that way. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. What big plans do you have for the future of Urban Euphoria? Think Martha Stewart meets Oprah meets DJ Khalid. We’re taking the governor off and headed to the top. There is no limit to our success.




{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “If I needed to start over again tomorrow, what would I change, add or subtract? Maybe, my ability to focus strictly on UE. I still work a full-time and part-time job. There’s not enough hours in the day.”

CHARLETTA BROOME Tell us about Jnicolle Glover and Char B. What are your backgrounds and how did you guys meet? My background is a Youth Advocate. I’ve dedicated 25 years old my working career to working with young people. I’ve been with Hillside Family of Agencies since I began. I worked as a residential counselor and assistant supervisor for 14 years. I’ve been an advocate with Hillside Work -Scholarship Connection for the last 11 years. I also ran a small daycare for 20 years. Jnicolle and I met while doing local comedy in November 2019. We met at an open mic. What made you decide to create your Urban Euphoria together and become entrepreneurs? I believe for both of us, it was a lack of opportunity for us as comedians. And the pandemic hit,” I remember Jnicolle saying I’m not going back to nursing”. I’m like, Oh, ok. I’ve always been one to take risks, again, I had a daycare business, I owned a salon for 6 years, and never did hair a day in my life. I have to say I was a little scare of this move because of the pandemic, I wanted to wait until actually April of this year. Jnicolle was pretty much like “I don’t do nos” Tell us about Urban Euphoria. How was it created? What is the concept behind it? What made you decide to open this venue during a pandemic? 158


Well. Again the concept came about when we had all this time on our hands. We thought of an idea. The opportunity presented itself, and we went with it. The actual name came about after trying to decide with to name our space. Jnicolle, who also is an artist, showed me some of her works months prior, had these sketches, and this stamp or her signature of UE. Well, fast-forward, we ran out of options for names, I’m like “hey, why not use your Urban Euphoria signature”. It just made sense. When you look where the space is located. We’re in the heart of downtown, kinda urban vibe. What makes you hustle? For me, I’ve always have been a hustler, I’ve been working since I was fourteen, I’ve always had multiple jobs, and I think it’s innately in me. I come for a lineage of strong women. The women in my family have always been go-getters, that’s what I saw. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner in creating your brand? Having a business model. Keeping the clients 1st.(treating them like I want to be treated as a consumer) being innovation, continually evolve ( what’s next, how can we do better?) Being in the “know”. Having a strong social media presence. Being consistent. If you had to pick one just one that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why? I would have to say for me, a social

butterfly, I love the people always knew I knew people but not to this extent. The camera is always rolling; people watch you. If you could interview one of your mentors who would it be and what would you ask them? Oprah for me. I would ask her despite all her challenges, trauma, and shortcomings, what makes her go on. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your event space and business, especially during the pandemic? I think social media has done both. I mean. It’s definitely where people spend most of their time. It gets the word out fast, and you can see what the people want, or are lacking. The hindrance comes from your ideals being lifted or duplicated. Actually, the pandemic helps us. As a private venue, we were able to serve customers that weren’t able to go to the big name venues due to COVID restrictions. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? Both having some knowledge about marketing. I went to school for business, and marketing was probably my best course. Knowing your “Niche” Jnicolle has mastered visuals to a science. She’s able to create videos, watch our web activity. She knows about insights, where we’re positioned on the web, how many times people click our sites,




{ { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I think social media has done both. I mean. It’s definitely where people spend most of their time. It gets the word out fast, and you can see what the people want, or are lacking.”

What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? Financially funding everything on our own. Having the ability to bring people on board. Our business begin post-COVID, which for funding was before February, we actually begin in June, so even for PPF loans and grant monies, we didn’t qualify.

Kinda on a dare. I went to an open mic. People always told me I was witty. I was given an opportunity to join a contest. I’m sure I didn’t win. I thought you just got on-stage and told Knock-knock jokes..yeah, no! I didn’t have a set, but I had what

How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges you experience? It’s tough. I think they get it. My friends and family have been major supporters. The pandemic has made it kind of easy to understand because we’re all kinda of feeling it, not being able to go and see people like we use to. W h a t d o yo u d o f o r encouragement or to be motivated ? For me, I think it’s hearing people say “Hey, I hear y’all doing your thing” the text messages, inboxes, the “pop ups’ from friends and families, and definitely, the consumers after an event. The comments they leave, by referring others, and the smiles. We help create memories. Char B tell us about what you do and how you created your brand. Sheesh. I started comedy back in ’93. 162


classy, you name it. I think outside of the structure; we pride ourselves on customer service. We’ll entertain anything in good taste. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? I can’t say there are any for me… We kick ass! I’m not worried about anyone else. There’s enough for everyone. We all have the same 24 hours, what people choose to do with their time is on them, we’re focused on improving ourselves and UE. Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? I see our business reaching other audiences. We don’t wanna just cater to one demographic, we wanna hit the masses. I think we’re doing that now. We’re inclusive in our planning.

people call “Stage presence”. The people paid attention. What makes your business unique and stand out from others? I gotta say the location, location, location. There are tons of event spaces, but nothing like UE. Its modern, chic,

Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business? If I had to give any advice to someone just starting out, I say, “just do it” The vision came to you for a reason. Know you target, and shoot. Get a mentor, study your competition, be ok with making mistakes, and be ready to re-adjust. Never stop learning, or improving. What would you say are the positives and negatives about being business partners?


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “Sheesh. I started comedy back in ’93. Kinda on a dare. I went to an open mic. People always told me I was witty.”

I would definitely have to say knowing what you do well. I know that Jnicolle does get with sales and marketing. She gets the people in the door. I try to keep them entertained while they’re here. I work well with numbers, logistics, and the moving pieces of the business. Inventory, supplies, having enough employees. I wouldn’t say negatives, but we all have our own idiosyncrasies. I may forget to put a trash bag back in the garbage can (actually, I don’t forget, it’s a method to my madness) but, that sets her off. I’m borderline OCD. I wash and bleach everything.

I also tend to ask a lot of questions, it drives her bonkers, but it drives me bonkers too, because I need to know…. However, whatever our hang-ups, we’re a united front when any customer walks through the door. 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 needed to start over again tomorrow, what would I change, add or subtract? Maybe, my ability to focus strictly on UE. I still work a full-time and part-

time job. There’s not enough hours in the day. I wouldn’t work. What big plans do you have for the future of Urban Euphoria? What I’d like to see for UE, is expanding, not only in terms of the building, but the brand. We’ve already started a t-shirt line. So, definitely merchandise. Maybe, UE as a franchise. Like maybe in different states. Same business model, different locations. I’d like to expand the brand to wine and spirts, and more live entertainment.





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?






{{ 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. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021



I (585) 642-3531



Tell us about your yourself, your business and how you started Tri Beauty Co. There are 3 of us as owners, Shannon O’Connor, Emily Pizzingrilli, and Rachel Greczyn. We’ve worked together for the last decade and decided we finally wanted our own space. We got together and found our current location in Webster and opened in December of 2019. We are primarily a hair salon, but have two amazing esthetician’s that provide lash, brown and skin services!

throughout the year, as well as keeping up with new techniques and looks on all social media platforms. What makes you “hustle”? Wanting to always be the best of the best, and continuing to better ourselves.

provide and why? Shannon and Emily are very passionate about blonding and Rachel has a special place in her heart for reds, but as a whole we really enjoy doing wedding hair. It is such a fun, special day that we are lucky enough to be a big part of!

What fascinates you about this line of work? Not only are you making physical changes to someone by changing their hair, but

As a business owner, what are your top three priorities? -Open communication between us and our employees -Maintaining the brand and image of the business

What is your specialty service that you are known for? We enjoy all aspects of the hair industry but are best known for our Wedding styling, extensions, and lightening services. What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide? The most important thing in our business is to provide a professional, but comfortable setting for every client, and to make each experience individual and unique. The most importatny part of our services is holding ourselves to the highest standard to deliver the best result possible for our guests. How do you stay abreast of the latest trends and ontop of continuing education? We stay on top of current trends by attending in person and online classes 176


-Appreciation for our employees as well as clients Who is one artist that totally inspires you creatively and why? Farhana Premji. Her work is flawless and beautiful, and it inspires to bring our quality of work to that level.

you also mentally and emotionally change them by giving them a brand new look. Why did you choose this profession ? We chose this profession because not only does it give us an artistic outlet, but it gives us a safe place to make real connections with our clients, and really have an impact on peoples lives. What is your most favorite service to

Do you walk your talk as a lady boss? Yes. We hold ourselves accountable to all standards that we expect from our employees. What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule? Making lists and Time Management. We are constantly making lists so things to do not get forgotten, and time management is a huge part of making sure all tasks are complete.




{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “We enjoy all aspects of the hair industry but are best known for our Wedding styling, extensions, and lightening services.”

“What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? There is no “one” reason for why we do what we do. We love our career and behind the chair is our comfort zone. We are lucky enough to do something we are so passionate about that allows us to support our families! Who were the mentors that encouraged you? We took a class with J Ladner back in May of 2019 and it was the inspiration we needed to actually bite the bullet and go out on our own. He spoke about knowing your worth and doing what makes you happy, and that really resonated with us. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? Social Media. We are able to reach so many people and different demographics, with an unlimited amount of information. What are your plans for your business for the future? We would love to eventually expand to a full services salon. Further down line, possibly a second location. 180


Salons are a very competitive business. What do you think sets you apart from your competition? What makes you different? WE WORK REALLY HARD TO MAINTAIN A COMFORTABLE AND WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE UPON ARRIVAL TO THE SALON. OUR STYLISTS


TO SPREAD TO WEALTH. 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? Yes, and we’ve proven that by starting a business and having it be successful in the first year and through a pandemic. We have a great team, that trusted us in this process, and continue to support, along with the support of all of our clients.

-End the divide

If you had a magic stick, which are the three things you would change in the world especially in 2021?

-End the pandemic -Free wine for everyone (we all know we need this)







HAPPY GUT SANCTUARY Tell us about the Happy Gut Sanctuary... How did you start? What are your products/services? Happy Gut Sanctuary is a small teafocused fermentory and tea + coffee bar. We take the modern kombucha back to its roots and hone in on the process of fermenting high quality teas from all over the world. It started as a journey to help my partner find relief from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). We cleaned up our diet and introduced naturally fermented foods. I learned to make kombucha, kimchi, and sourdough, as well as other types of ferments. What’s interesting is what happens when you intimately understand the steps and all the ingredients that go into a ferment, and how big of a difference it can make on your gut health. A t H a p p y Gu t Sanctuary, we ferment our teas on site. You can even see the fermentation room through the glass windows while sitting at the bar. Not only do we have the tea ferments on tap, we also serve teas sourced from the local tea purveyor, Happy Earth Tea, and make coffee and espresso drinks with coffee roasted by local roaster, Aporia Coffee Co. I am Taiwanese and my partner is half

Korean. As we grow and expand in our space at The Hungerford, we plan on sharing foods from our childhood with Rochester! What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur and create such a specialty business? I can’t say that I made the decision to become an entrepreneur. I was very content experimenting with my ferments and feeding my partner and friends

while working in the coffee industry. It was really my partner who saw the potential in what I was doing, and recognized the kombucha scene was lacking a tea-forward approach that he suggested we make it a business. How do you balance work & life? To be honest, I am still learning. The pandemic was a huge obstacle in growing our business; however, it’s helped us along

in different ways. I’ve definitely put my personal well-being on the back burner to keep our business afloat. As much as I work. My partner and I set time aside for each other. Our relationship is the most important to me. I am a morning person and am the most productive during the day; Rob is a night person and does all his theory crafting late at night. The thing about entrepreneurship is that you never truly turn it off...but we make sure to always make time to relax, even if it’s to have a meal together, enjoy a drive, walk our dog around the neighborhood, e t c . W h e n I ’m over whelmed, I communicate that I can’t talk about business right now. It’s going to have to wait. Communication is important. What does success mean to you? Success in a business, first and foremost, is financial stability, right? Making a profit. Beyond that, success means running a business that I can personally be proud of, ethically and morally. The quality is top-notch and something I can 100% stand behind. Success is taking care of my customers with my products and, eventually, being able to take care of my employees financially, but also being there to assist in their personal growth. As a business owner, there are a lot of ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “The pandemic was a huge obstacle in growing our business; however, it’s helped us along in different ways. I’ve definitely put my personal well-being on the back burner to keep our business afloat.”

responsibilities on my shoulders. Within the community, it’s important for me to use my platform to spotlight other niche or small businesses. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner especially in such a niche business? Utilizing social media is huge. Most of our growth has been from word-ofmouth. I think how you conduct yourself and the quality of your products speak volume in a small city like Rochester. Networking is also important. Spend time and energy on building those relationships. We have many collaborations in the works. As niche as our business might be, we’re never truly alone. When you befriend other fermentors the magic just naturally happens! If you had to pick one service that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why? Our speciality is making people feel comfortable and at home when they’re uncomfortable. A lot of people come in and tell us they’ve either never had kombucha or they’ve tried them all and don’t like it. We understand that not everyone is going to like our ferments, but we make it a really enjoyable discovery. We call it the Happy Gut Experience--we walk you through what Happy Gut is about as a fermentory and let you taste what’s on tap. Together, we get to know what flavors you like and don’t like. Our flavor spectrum is so broad 188


that it’s almost impossible not to find a flavor that pleases your palate. I’ve worked almost a decade in hospitality and food service and I believe in the power of human connection, like genuine connection. Perhaps that is due to my almost nomadic lifestyle growing up, but I find it very comforting when you get to know a stranger. If you could interview one of your mentors who would it be and what would you ask them? I would Interview Janine Cundy. She was the head roaster at Joe Bean Coffee Roaster, with whom I worked for about a year. She took me under her wings and really fostered my personal growth in the coffee industry. I was a production assistant, which meant I bagged coffees and stocked them, but she taught me how to cup and taste coffee, and eventually even taught me to roast in the short span of time we worked together. We’ve remained friends; however, the pandemic and life have proved difficult to get together. I’d love to know her back story, her upbringing. What made her the person she is now. I like getting to know what makes a person tick. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business especially during the pandemic? Social media has helped Happy Gut grow tremendously, especially during the pandemic. Not only did it allow me to connect with other businesses from all over the world, but it has brought in new customers, new wholesale vendors, and potential collaborations.

It’s a lot of work. Honestly, a full time job. Most helpful thing I’ve found with using social media is being consistent. Post regularly. And be sincere. I see it as a way for us as a small business to connect with our customers without them walking into our bar. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? The most successful in marketing Happy Gut has been staying true to who we are. A big part of what we are is promoting other local small businesses--the oneperson operated, doing-somethingfantastic-and-different type of business. I talk a lot about my heritage, because it plays a huge role in what I do and what sets Happy Gut apart. Our ideal audience is those who are adventurous and are looking to explore their taste buds and this city we live in. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? One of our biggest challenges was space. We outgrew our original space on Park Ave. Because our space was so small (less than 1000sqft), we closed the storefront in March of 2020 in consideration of everyone’s safety. We quickly built a website and came up with a subscription delivery program for our customers. We worked harder than we ever did and those subscriptions helped us through the toughest year Happy Gut has endured. Late summer of 2020, we signed the lease for a much larger space at The Hungerford. Not a day goes by that we’re not grateful for this new space.




{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “What’s interesting is what happens when you intimately understand the steps and all the ingredients that go into a ferment, and how big of a difference it can make on your gut health.”

It’s 4 times bigger and we’re part of a creative community. We’re next door to a phenomenal cidery (Seed and Stone Cidery), who has been instrumental in us finding the space and scaling up our production. Together, we all see the potential of what The Hungerford could be, and created Handcrafted Hungerford: An Outdoor Makers Market. We are hosting Hungerford and local artists outside so that folks can enjoy the market in open air AND support the local art scene. Growing up, what were the entrepreneurial endeavors you pursued as a child? I wasn’t much of an entrepreneur growing up, but I was curious. I wanted to learn how to do everything that interested me. The curiosity and learning have made me the person that I am today to help me tackle entrepreneurship. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? Traveling gives me a fresh perspective. A change of scenery gives me new ideas. Visiting different coffee shops and bars, and watching the staff help me fine-tune my business. Always tasting new things--new coffee, new kombucha, new teas--keeps my taste buds sharp. 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? I don’t believe in regrets or changing what I did. Every mistake came with a lesson that’s made me a better person today. Every hardship I went through growing the business has made it that much more resilient. The key is to learn the lesson and utilize it. Te l l u s a b o u t y o u r f i r s t entrepreneurial venture: How did you come up with the idea and how did you start your business? Happy Gut Sanctuary is my first and only. It is the embodiment of me. It’s a mashup of lessons I learned working for other people; things I wished someone else would do or do better. My partner and I started Happy Gut Sanctuary with our savings, so this is our baby. We started very small. What makes you hustle? I don’t believe there is such a thing as being “the first” or “unique”, I believe in taking something that’s been done before and putting my mark on it and doing it better. I also love going against the trend.

Hungerford. I’d also love to see us expand into other ferments. What would you say is your mission and what truly excites you about what you do? My mission is to offer quality that’s made with sincerity without pretentiousness. I’m excited that I have a platform to support other budding businesses. What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an idea to really succeeding ? It’s not just about making money. It’s all the relationships you make along the way. What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new entrepreneur to learn and why ? Ask for help. Chances are you have a group of people cheering for you and wanting you to succeed. All you have to do is ask. Worst case, they say, “no”, best case, you have people helping you achieve your dream.

Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? I am focused on growing the front end of my businesses: expanding the bar service and introducing more of my heritage that Rochester hasn’t seen much of. I want to host events, classes, and pop-ups in my space, and help other businesses grow. Three years from now, I’d love to see a regular outdoor market at The ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021







LAS YOGA ROC Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. I was born and raised in Texas and moved to upstate New York in 1998. So, even though Texas runs through my veins, I have lived in New York longer than I lived in Texas. I think that makes me an official New Yorker. If you were to look at my resume, you would see that I have two Masters’ degrees and number of different careers. A detail that you might not notice right away is that each career choice has been me “living my story out loud.” This is my life mantra and I want to encourage others to do the same. How and when did you start LASYo GA? Yoga saved me, I know it sounds dramatic but it is true. My first born Cooper passed away after open heart surgery in 2008 when he was 3 weeks old. It was his Cardiologist who suggested I try yoga, shortly after my second born two. I had done an enormous amount of grief work and was caught off guard when I started crying during my first yoga class. There was something about being still and quiet that I needed. I was hooked from the first class. I knew my I wanted to teach, I felt it in my soul but the timing wasn’t right. I completed my 200 RYTT in March of 2019 and taught in a studio until the world changed a year later. My 8-5 is at the University of Rochester. It was shortly after I finished my teacher training 194


that I received an email that the Football coach was looking for a yoga instructor. I just completed my 3rd season with the Football team. Over the years, I have started to work with men and women’s soccer, as well the track and field and cross country teams. I love working with student athletes. Covid forced me to pivot, classes were being taught on Zoom and I figured it was a great time to branch out on my own. What makes you hustle?

Yoga is such a personal thing. It is about connecting with the instructor, the way they teach, their voice, the music they use, and the messages they share. My biggest success has come from being myself when I teach, this allows my students to follow suit. I am authentically myself every time I teach, this make me relatable. I believe that means something and helps to build relationships and connection. At the end of the day, that is all we really want, to be seen, valued and heard. When did the entrepreneur big bite you? In 2001 after 9-11 I taught myself how to knit, a couple of years later I opened a knitting shop. I have had a lot of different businesses over the years. I learn a little more with each one and this latest is my passion, it is my calling. I believe all my previous ventures were paving the way for this one.

My mantra makes me hustle. I know that if I am living my mantra then I am following my passion and my heart, and this is how I will inspire others. I truly believe that teaching yoga, mindfulness and working with athletes is my calling. Whenever I get in my own head or doubt myself, I tap into my mantra. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success?

Where do you see yourself and your business three years from now? I would love to work for a college Athletic Department as their Yoga and Mental Skills Coordinator. The years that I have not worked for myself, have been working on a college campus. Mindfulness and Yoga are more important than ever, as mental health issues are rising at an alarming rate on campuses across the country. Student athletes face an additional set of pressures and this work is another tool in their toolbox. I have set the goal of




“My biggest success has come from being myself when I teach, this allows my students to follow suit. I am authentically myself every time I teach, this make me relatable.”

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “Yoga is such a personal thing. It is about connecting with the instructor, the way they teach, their voice, the music they use, and the messages they share.”

being able to leave my current job to run LASYO GA full time and continue to live my story out loud. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome over the past year? I tend to be an over thinker. My biggest challenge was getting out of my head and trusting that I could create and bring my vision to life. COVID forced me to pivot, it forced me to break out of my comfort zone and realize that teaching yoga and working with athletes is my calling, it is my purpose. Being an entrepreneur requires, no demands vulnerability. You have to put yourself out there and take the risk. It is not for the faint of heart. My constant challenge is to get out of my own head and keep moving forward. Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? For me, its bout being able to live life on my own terms. It is the embodiment of living my story out loud. I like to be challenged in a way that makes me grow and learn. I love learning and being an entrepreneur allows me to continue to learn and grow in ways I never imagined. Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? Erica Ebert is not only a source of inspiration but a mentor. I took my very first yoga class with her and I have done the majority of my training with her. I think she probably knew this was my calling long before I recognized it. She leads with her heart and inspires me to be better, a better teacher and a 198


better human. She is a sounding board that I trust with my whole being. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Start scared. Start unsure. Start not knowing how it will turn out. There is no perfect time. There are no guarantees. You have to believe in yourself and just START. What is your favorite part of the business? I love the relationships and connections that I create through teaching. I get to be a part of people’s journey and story that is not something that I take lightly. What would you say are your strengths as an entrepreneur? I am good at delegating. I know that there are certain tasks that I either am not good at or do not enjoy. I learned a long time that it is ok to ask for help and outsource certain aspects of the business so I can focus on the vision. 2020 also showed me that one of gifts is connecting with my students and helping them feel at ease no matter what chapter they are living. 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? Just get out of your head and do the damn thing! What would you say is your greatest

accomplishment to date? Starting. There no guarantees in life. If we want to live our story, our purpose or calling we have to START. What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an idea to really building your business? The thing that surprised me the most was how much inner work and growth is required. If you want your business to growth, you have to grow. I am constantly working on self- development by listening to podcast and reading books to help me get to the next level. I truly believe the minute I stop doing the personal work and growth, the business will not grow. What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new entrepreneur to learn and why ? There will always be people who have an opinion on how you should run your business, but it is just an opinion. It is your business, trust your intuition. I would also say that just because an idea does not take off the way you want to, does not mean that the business is a failure, you regroup and try again. When was the hardest of all times in your startup journey and why and what helped you with it? Getting out of my own head and trusting what I knew in my heart was my purpose. It’s so easy to get suck in the “what if” circle, but this keeps you stuck and not moving forward. It took getting quiet and still so I could hear the voice and rhythm of my heart in order to the stop the “what if” monster in my brain. I



{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “My mantra makes me hustle. I know that if I am living my mantra then I am following my passion and my heart, and this is how I will inspire others.”

also have a business consultant who has helped me with the tasks I am not good at and is an amazing sounding board and support person for my vision. She has really helped me to see all that is possible for my business. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? I love to create. I knit, sew, quilt and weave. I love working with my hands. 200


Tapping into my creativity allows me to slow down and reflect, it is also where more ideas for the business are born. I love to travel and spend time with family and friends. What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? My goal for 2021 is to continue to grow the business so that I can leave my full

time job within the year. 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? Start sooner.





SINCERELY TRISH What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur? I wanted to jump into the pool of people that have the ability to get up in the morning and do what they love. I wanted to have the audacity to work towards my own goals and not one that is set for me.

I would say very early when I started to watch those around me fighting for their dream. I remember sitting in Xquisite Boutique which is still one of my favorite boutiques given their unique pieces and wanting to be just like Bee, the owner. I thought, how awesome is it to do what you

Tell us a little about yourself and what made you decide to create Sincerely Trish? I have a true love for people and have always shown that love by any means necessary. As it relates to fashion, people would ask me where I bought a top for example, or a dress I was wearing and instead of the one word answer of a store name, I gave it all. I would begin to share where you could find it, how much it cost, if I think they still have it and my genuine opinion of the piece. After a while, I grew the urge to house my own products that I am passionate about that I can give my “Sincere” take on fashion and relevancy. Sincerely Trish is just an avenue that I can share my love for fashion outside of my inner circle or friends. How did you come up with your business name? Everything I do, I do with a Sincere Heart. That has always been me. The name came pretty easy when I thought about what I wanted to bring to my audiences. When did the entrepreneur big bite you?

emphasis on female entrepreneurs right now and I am taking as much of the love as I can. It is our time!! What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner especially of an online boutique? Carving out time to make content. I can’t stress how important having content is. Especially for those that only have an online presence. Who were mentors that encouraged you? My husband is my biggest supporter and mentor in this. Although I can be annoying at times, he pushes me like no other and in his words to “Be Great!”

love all day and dress people up to make them feel their best. It was the engagement side of it for me too. I carry that with me now, treating all my clients with personal touch. What are the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur in 2021? All pros for me. There is a strong

Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business especially recently with the pandemic? A big help. For an online b o u t i q u e a l l I k n ow i s Social Media. With the new enhancements they always have coming out for ads and marketing, I am able to reach a broader audience. Do you listen to any podcasts? What podcasts inspire you or do you learn from? I do jump on and listen to the “Clubhouse” app as they provide great tips for business owners. There is none in particular that I would mention as collectively I pulled pieces ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021





{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I know that everything that glitters is not gold and I know everything we see on social media is just a snap in time, but yes seeing it motivates me and it excites me for what is to come.”

from a bunch of talks. I go on their and search for the relevant content I want to learn about.

see on social media is just a snap in time but yes seeing it motivates me and it excites me for what is to come.

How d o yo u b a l a n c e yo u r entrepreneur life with friends/ family that don’t understand the challenges we experience? It is hard explaining that you do not have all the time in the world like I used to. However, I think it is very important to carve out time to foster relationships that are important to you. Now with that being said, I would like to point out that the friends that I foster relationships with also make time to check in on me and how I am doing with the business and in most cases offer their help. Surround yourself with people that also want to see you win not friends that just want you to be the same person you were.

How do you solve big problems as

What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? I look at people that inspire me. I know that everything that glitters is not gold and I know everything we

an entrepreneur? I pray and trust God...that simple. I do not waste time worrying about things I can’t control. I am a true believer that what is meant for me

will be. I am at peace knowing there is nothing too BIG for my God. Do you follow a certain morning routine or daily schedule to maximize productivity and wellbeing? This is something that I am truly still working on to perfect. Right now, I am religious about taking my social media calendar and creating content ideas that I have already lined up to post. That is what I think about first thing regarding the boutique. What is the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur? It is definitely staying relevant. Tr ying to make sure I am seen and have engagement. As I mentioned before, maintaining and creating content is not easy but so worth it!! Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own clothing/fashion business? Do it! Do not second guess yourself!! Trust that now is the right time as there will never be a perfect time!



{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “Do it! Do not second guess yourself!! Trust that now is the right time as there will never be a perfect time! ”









SEDAWNE’ The Designer of Curves, Sedawnie Williams, me, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1987 and moved to Rochester, NY in 1994. I was always a sassy girl that always admired fashion.

pronounced differently. The name is very unique, classy, sexy, but also has a little mystery to the meaning; which would describe me and my fashion designs.

Growing up being plus size was a struggle, because I was the only plus size child out of 5 children. Family would always define me because of my weight. Even as I got older my size was used to determine my future as far as dating, jobs, and even my education. Throughout school, my size wasn’t a big subject, atleast inside.It was outside of school that was the problem. So, I decided that I wouldn’t let my size define my future negatively, but I would use my size to inspire other women like myself.

SeDawné is my baby, I put so much time, vision, creativity, and love into

I decided to create a plus size clothing line, because it sometimes can be hard to find trendy, curve complimenting and comfortable clothing to wear when youare larger and have curves. Formerly know as Sharpe Wear that was created in 2013, which was rebranded into SeDawné because it was time for growth within the brand and designs. The brand SeDawné is very similar to my real name but

her. SeDawné is also inspiring to me because she pushed me to break fashion boundaries and not limit designs into societies statistic of plus size women in the fashion industry. During the pandemic it gave me the opportunity to stop and really

think about every detail regarding SeDawné. Like within the next 5 to 10yrs SeDawné will be worn by famous plus size celebrities on the Red Carpet, and I will have my own boutique, and SeDawné to be worn by plus size women all over the world. Being able to be an entrepreneur and have my own Fashion Brand has been a life changing journey because I learned a lot about myself,during the process. I was able to be creative with no limitations. Throughout my journey as an entrepreneur, I would say one of my biggest inspiration would b e Na t h a n i e l Johnson of Nathaniel Originals. Even as a teenager, I would design a piece and he would bring it to life. He gave me so much insight, advice, and encouragement to go forward to create a plus size fashion brand; even when I had so much doubt and for that I am thankful! Being in the fashion business has its good and bad like any other ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “ So I decided that I wouldn’t let my size define my future negatively but I would use my size to inspire other women like myself.”

business but it also gives a freedom to be creative beyond imagination through fashion. Being able to design clothing that puts women’s personal fashion doubts to rest once they wear SeDawné; Also to make them look and feel fabulous is always a goal for me with each piece. This journey was a huge learning 218


experience for me, one thing I learned on this journey and it still sticks with me til today is to “Stay True to Your Vision!” I wouldn’t change anything about my journey as an entrepreneur of fashion because it helped me grow to get to a greater place in business. SeDawné gives Curves a whole new definition, and will have from the everyday woman to the woman

always on the scene looking and feeling Glamorous! Great designs can be next seen from SeDawné on May 22nd at Unleashed “Welcome to the Jungle” Fashion Show. To stay updated on new designs and events from SeDawné, can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter under SeDawné Collections.





LASHANNA DEE Who is LaShanna Dee and what made you decide to become a female entrepreneur? I am 37 years old born and raised right here in Rochester New York. My mother is from Louisiana, so I was born with a southern soul and my father is from New York, so I was raised with the hustle instilled in me. I am married to an amazing supportive husband going on 6 years this year and we have three beautiful daughters. I come from a family of successful entrepreneurs so owning my own business was always the plan. And ever since I was a little girl dressing up in my mother’s dresses and pearls I fell in love with fashion and all the different styles. I tried to start my boutique over 7 years ago, but I ran into some health issues that put it on pause and even though I hated doing that I knew that it was the best decision to make for myself and now I am coming up on my 1-year launch anniversary. My daughters were my deciding factor in starting my business. I wanted them to grow up with the same hustling energy I grew up with from my dad. I wanted to remind them that life does not always have to be you working a 9-5 for someone else and not that there is anything wrong with it, but I wanted them to also know that they can work a 9-5 for themselves as well. But if they see mommy getting up and going to work every morning for someone else then they would think that is all life is about, and I wanted to give them more than that. I wanted to break that generational curse.

Tell us a little about your online boutique and what your mission is? LaShanna Dee is a women fashion boutique that covers all things beauty. And what I mean by that is I want to be able to give women a chance to shop at my boutique and get everything she needs for that day. Right now, we only sell clothes and a few accessories but eventually the goal is to have shoes, perfume, handbags etc. My mission is to have a storefront within the next 2 to 3 years and I would love to be a private stylist for a few locals like news broadcasters, politicians etc. When did the entrepreneur big bite you? The entrepreneur bug bit me when I had my first daughter 14 years ago, but I never acted on it out of fear of failing. And ironically now the fear of failing is what keeps me going. My father is an entrepreneur and has owned his plumbing business for almost 10 years now, so I have been around business minded people for 10 years, learning and growing with him. So, when it came time to start my own business on paper, I was ready because I knew what steps I needed to take to get started legally but I did not know how hard it was going to be to sell products verses selling a service. So, it was a learning curve. Then I got my first order from a stranger online and I got so hyped thinking about people following me and enjoying the items I post and I wanted to keep going! What are the pros and cons of being

a female entrepreneur in 2021? The pros to being a female entrepreneur are that right now in 2021 women are winning! Especially black women. Women are starting businesses, women are becoming doctors, lawyers, judges and even the Vice President. We have waited so long to have a seat at the table and right now we are creating our own table and the world is seeing that and supporting it. But the world is also seeing a lot of women starting similar types of businesses and that could be a con. And it is only a con because a lot of times women are forced to compete because that is what society wants us to do right! Society thrives off drama and competition but, we the women in reality have nothing but love for each other and want to see each win because we know how hard it is to make it as a female entrepreneur. So, we get a lot of backlash when wanting to start a business. We get the “oh such a such already does that or sell that” and society pins us against each other before we (the business owners) can even get a change to get to know each other or maybe even try and work together. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner especially of an online boutique? Honestly, I am still trying to find out what is helping me to be successful, but I have only been in the business for about 10 months and in that 10 months I have learned that word of mouth still goes along way. Referrals are always a go to in any business ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “The entrepreneur bug bit me when I had my first daughter 14 years ago, but I never acted on it out of fear of failing. And ironically now the fear of failing is what keeps me going.”

which is why most businesses gives you incentives for referrals because social media is not always the best source of help. Do not get me wrong I have connected and received orders from a lot of people through Facebook and Instagram from all over and I know I would not have never gotten them without social media but there are a lot of people who does not have a social media and still rather hear about things by word of mouth or by seeing flyers posted around the neighborhood. Again, I am still learning what works for me, but I would not narrow it down to just one right now because everything is helping me. If you had to pick on item that is a fashion must have what would it be and why? WOW one fashion must have! There is so many must haves, but I would have to say jeans for sure. Everyone loves a good pair of jeans and they are the type of fashion that never goes out of style. You can dress them up or down. And they come in many different styles and colors for all shapes and sizes! If you could interview one of your idols who would it be and what would you ask them? Beyonce for sure! I would ask her what does it take to be a quadruple threat entrepreneur and how do she balance everything with being a wife and a mother? Beyonce have music, clothing line, perfume line, she acts, mentor and still have a family. I am sure it gets hard, but she does it so gracefully in the public eye and I would love to know her secret. There is so much I want to 224


do, and I hate when people say, “pick a lane and stay in it” or “you’re doing too much”. But I was always taught to have multiple streams of income and that is the goal.

fashion period. Women who love nice chic, classy and casual looks. We are in the process of rebranding for our 1-year anniversary and a lot of our new pieces represents that style.

Since you are an online boutique, have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business especially during the pandemic? Social media helps me for sure in promoting my business, I just need to be more consistent with posting and staying engaged in order to get the full benefits of social media. I am a very social person but more so in person verses online. And with the pandemic and everyone being scared to go outside online shopping was the only thing everyone was doing, which is a plus for me right now, but I just know that if I had a store front and no pandemic, I could be doing a lot better. When people meet me for the first time, they love me! They cannot believe how humble and sweet I am, and I hate that my personality does not show online. My husband thinks I should go live and start posting videos on social media to connect with my customers and he might be right but I am little camera shy (giggle) so we will see how that goes.

What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? I have not faced any real challenges so far and that is a blessing. But If I must pinpoint a challenge it will have to be trying to balance virtual school with my girls, focus on marketing my business and running my father’s business all at the same time. With the pandemic and business, a lot of things got complicated overnight and we have had to readjust our lives, but I overcame them by having a support system. And my support system has always reassured me I got this even when I felt like I did not.

What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? Social media so far is my most successful way to market my business. Most of my followers are on my personal Facebook page and its hard to get them to follow my business page instead to separate the two but I will keep trying. My ideal audience are just women who loves

How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges we experience? Balancing work and life period can be hard and challenging and if you do not have family and friends in your corner cheering you on that can also be even more challenging, but I am thankful enough to have a list of family and friends who gets it and supports me. Thankfully, most of my family and friends that I am close with are entrepreneurs themselves, so we help each other out and help balance each other when things get tough. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? This business can get tough sometimes and you wonder if you are working







{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} “Honestly, I am still trying to find out what is helping me to be successful, but I have only been in the business for about 10 months and in that 10 months I have learned that word of mouth still goes along way.”

hard enough and if you are staying on top of the fashion trends and the must haves for that season etc. so for me my encouragement and motivation comes from prayer, my husband and definitely my kids. I am constantly motivated by my girls smiles and our LaShanna Dee talks during dinner time. Every time a package comes to the door my 8-yearold says, “mommy your LaShanna Dee stuff is here”, it could be an amazon box for her dad (giggle), and she assumes it is for me because she is watching me. All three of them are and because of that I am encouraged and motivated to keep going harder and stronger. I cannot fail them. What makes your business unique? My business is unique because I am literally giving you me as the business. My business is not just a company name or slogan I randomly came up with or created out of thin air, it is literally my name and everything about it represents me and what I love. I wanted to start a business that was going to brand me and be able to show my customers that everything they see on my website is not just my style but my vision and my life. I did not want to limit myself to a company name that I could not umbrella and utilize for all my businesses that is going to be attached eventually to LaShanna Dee, LLC. For example, right now I have LaShanna Dee Boutique, and soon I will also have LaShanna Dee Author, LaShanna Dee travel agent, etc. My business will forever be ME! Tell us about your first entrepreneurial venture: How did you come up with the idea and how did you start your

business? Ironically, my boutique was supposed to be an accessory only boutique 7 years ago. I came up with so many different names for it. My husband’s friends were helping me design logos and giving me advise on websites and everything but again I did not move forward with it due to personal reasons. Then I started ordering things from a few vendors that I already had accounts with for my daughter to wear and I loved styling her and people would always ask me “where you get that from” etc. And when I would tell them “Oh these are not in stores I ordered them for her”, they would say “you should sell them”. And at first, I did not want to deal with clothes or shoes because I always thought the overhead was to much. You must order at least 3 to 4 pieces for all sizes and that is a lot. But with accessories you can have a few pieces per item and be good. But 2 years ago, my life changed when doctors found a mass on my right breast and I had to have a double mastectomy and usually during surgery you fall sleep and wake up to what seems to be a 2 second nap even though it was 2 or 6 hours. But for me I fall asleep and had a talk with God and he kept calling me LaShanna Dee (which is my first and middle name) but nobody never calls me that and he was telling me “I got you open your boutique, trust me” and when I woke up, I told my husband I am starting my boutique. Originally, I was in the process of writing my first book and he said, “wait babe what about your book” and I nicely told him “I am not ignoring Gods words”. And that is

how I got started. It took me a minute to get started after healing, but I did it 11 months later. Do you follow a certain morning routine or daily schedule to maximize productivity and well-being? I do not technically follow a certain morning routine or schedule except pray and have my cup of coffee (giggle) but there are a few things I do get done daily when it comes to my business but in no specific time frame do I do them in. I make sure to check my emails daily for orders and if I do have orders, I log on to my website account and accept the orders for processing so that my customers know their orders are on the way. I also log on to my vendors and check for new inventory listings and if its that time of the week to place an order I do it. I also try to engage myself more on social media daily by posting pictures or content about my boutiques new inventory, pop up shop or event. What is the most difficult thing about building a consumer brand from scratch? Getting your name and brand out there for people to know who you are is the hardest thing to do. Today’s world is all about social media marketing so getting followers and building that customer base for your brand on a social media platform is just the start to even get them to view your website. And once you build a good enough following base you must make sure your website is nice and presentable to keep your consumers engaged on it to buy something or so they can at least send someone else to

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Balancing work and life period can be hard and challenging and if you do not have family and friends in your corner cheering you on that can also be even more challenging, but I am thankful enough to have a list of family and friends who gets it and supports me.”

Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own online clothing/fashion business? Yes, I would say if you are interested in starting your own online clothing/ fashion business do your own research first before asking someone else to help 228


you, because sometimes people will either try and discourage you from starting it or they will try and profit off your business by trying to sell you information to get it started. Also, a business mentor will be helpful to you as well because some type of support

and guidance is always needed. And as cliche as this may sound, if this is something you really want to do do not give up on it and keep pushing. Find your niche and motivation and use it to push you.







Tell us about Yeah Baby Bakes... How did you start? What is your background? How did you come up with your name? I have always been interested in baking, but Yeah Baby Bakes! began April 2020 during the beginning of quarantine. Like many, I began going a bit stir crazy being home all day with my toddler, so I was baking more than ever. I decided to start a separate Instagram account for my friends and family to follow my baking, and some friends asked if I would be willing to sell my baked goods to them. I baked cakes, decorated cookies, and spent time perfecting my macarons. A friend who bought some Fruity Pebble macarons posted a photo of them on Instagram, which started a chain reaction. Friends of friends soon started ordering to see what they were all about. The power of social media! Both of my parents are big into cooking and baking, so I have always had an interest in both. My background is in education. I spent the last 8 years teaching Family and Consumer Sciences (the new home ec) to middle school students. While I took a few culinary classes in college, I am more of a self-taught baker. I also have prior work experience in retail, customer service, restaurants, and marketing, which all help with running my current business. As for the Yeah Baby Bakes! name,

my boyfriend Kyle actually came up with the title. I knew I wanted something short and catchy, and it was inspired by my Dad who always says, “Yeah Baby!” when he’s excited. So it has a personal meaning behind it as well. What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur and create such a specialty business? I never had to “decide” to be an entrepreneur, I have always had a side hustle or gig. Even as a kid, I

would set up a lemonade stand or craft table at our garage sales to sell. When I was about eight or so, my best friend and I picked all of my Dad’s vegetables out of the garden and pulled a wagon to a corner in the village to sell all of the produce for 10 cents. We were shocked at how fast it sold (Sorry, Dad). We later created “Drinks on Wheels” which was a mobile pushable drink stand we would wheel to the corner. I also sold handmade jewelry on Etsy for

over 7 years, which helped me pay my way through college. What makes you hustle, especially as a female entrepreneur? I mean money obviously makes people hustle, but it’s more about having the freedom of being my own boss. Having your own business and creating your own product that someone actually wants to buy gives me a sense of pride and excitement. What does success mean to you? Success for me is being happy, comfortable, and reaching the goals that I have set for myself. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner especially in such a niche business? I believe connecting with customers is so important and has helped YBB!’s success thus far. I enjoy talking and getting to know people, and I personally enjoy companies/businesses that put in that extra effort in getting to know their customers themselves. If you had to pick one service that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why? My baking business quickly became more focused on French macarons, whereas before I was also offering cakes and cookies etc. Macarons are my specialty, and I also offer custom hand-painted and airbrushed ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL {{SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “Macarons are my specialty, and I also offer custom hand-painted and airbrushed macarons, which is not common in the area.”

macarons, which is not common in the area. If you could interview one person who has inspired you, who would it be and what would you ask them? In the baking world, Christina Tosi and Katherine Sabbath are my biggest inspirations. I can’t think of a specific burning question I would have for them, but I’d love to share some drinks and bake with them. They’re so innovative and seem like they have amazing personalities. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business, especially during the pandemic? I truly believe there would be no Yeah Baby Bakes! without Instagram. It all started with a friend buying macs and posting a photo. Then other people ordered, and so on. I had a waitlist within a few weeks for the fruity pebble macarons. I remember telling my boyfriend and he looked over at me and said, “this is how these things start”. Instagram has given me a platform to promote, sell, and communicate with my customers easily. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? Again, INSTAGRAM. I am a big believer that we eat with our eyes. I want to create the most beautiful cookies that are almost too pretty to eat. When selling anything online, great photos are key. My ideal audience is anyone who enjoys 234


treating themself to fancy cookies and appreciates how much work that actually goes into baking macarons. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? It’s a good problem, but my biggest challenge has been being able to keep up with demand. I quickly realized baking from home wasn’t efficient. We had already purchased another fridge and I was quickly outgrowing that. We had too many cars coming in and out of the driveway to do porch pickups, so I knew I needed a separate baking space. I couldn’t find a space to rent close to home, so I found an empty space for rent, and my Dad helped me build a certified kitchen (okay, he did most of the work). Building and opening a commercial kitchen is no joke. I feel like If I wrote a “how-to for dummies’’ manual, I’d be rich. My family helped out so much because at this time, I was teaching full time during the day, baking all night, all while chasing my toddler around in between. How do you balance work & life? Teaching full-time and running the baking business became too much. I had to choose between the two. This year was a struggle for all teachers, as well as parents and students. I made the difficult decision to resign from my teaching position a few weeks ago to bake full-time. Now that I am baking full time, I am able to produce more macarons, therefore making more customers happy each

week! What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? I am very self-motivated, but sometimes you can get in a creative rut. Taking a break instead of forcing yourself to think of something new usually works for me. Baking all day, I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts and music which helps make the time fly and can help me keep up a fast pace. To stay motivated, I set small weekly goals to hold myself accountable to throughout the week. 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? Learn to say “no”. This is something I am good at now, but so many times I took on more than I could chew by not wanting to say “no” and let someone down, as a result, I was stressing myself out. Tell us about your very first job and how old you were. My very first official job was scooping custard at Abbott’s Frozen Custard at 14 years old. It was there I was introduced to cake decorating! What’s pretty wild is that my bakery is directly across from that building. I gained a lot of weight working there. No regrets. What makes you different from other places that offer the same

{ {SHE HUSTLES TALKS } SHIFT+CONTROL “I knew I wanted something short and catchy, and it was inspired by my Dad who always says, “Yeah Baby!” when he’s excited. So it has a personal meaning behind it as well.”

services/products? I believe what makes my macarons different from others is the texture and unique flavors. My customers say that the flavors are “spot on” which is my goal. I’m known for childhood nostalgic flavors such as dunkaroo, cosmic brownie, fruity pebbles, and non-traditional flavors such as everything bagel, sour patch kids, and beer-infused macarons. Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? I plan on keeping Yeah Baby Bakes! small for now, with opportunity for growth. I read about a lot of businesses growing too quickly and failing, and I want to avoid that. I’ve let this business grow organically the last year and I am proud of how far

I have come. I am open to the idea of growing larger in scale or hiring down the road. What would you say is your mission and what truly excites you about what you do? My mission is to make people happy through their stomachs. This business was created during quarantine of 2020. If these little cookies give you a little bit of happiness, I say treat yourself. I get excitement from seeing my customers excited. Lately, I have been selling out quickly online and some customers get so excited when they finally get to order. My “regular” customers continue to grow and I love seeing new faces each week!

What is your favorite flavor macaron? I naturally get asked this question a lot and it’s a hard one. I love so many of them. I don’t make any flavors that I don’t like the taste of. I definitely don’t eat as many as I used to, but I cannot pass up the opportunity when I make brownie batter, key lime pie, lemon, or cotton candy macarons. What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new entrepreneur to learn and why ? A few lessons: The power of branding and social media, the basics of finances, the importance of paying yourself (if it’s not just a hobby for fun). Also, that time is money. Lastly, when you mess up, fix it, going above and beyond for the customer. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021






CAITLIN O’CONNOR Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the Real Estate field. Hi, I’m Caitlin O’Connor, a local Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty. I am a Mom of 2 beautiful babies, Zara (4) and Christian (3), Entrepreneur, and have spent 18 years of my career in sales and marketing. For the past 10 years, I have worked alongside one of the top real estate coaches in the country, selling a prospecting service and coaching other real estate agents. My passion for Real Estate came early on, however having an expertise in helping small companies grow their sales divisions and my most recent career, I knew to be successful in Real Estate would require a lot more than what meets the eye. It looks glamorous but I knew in my heart when I took the leap, it would take grit and a lot of hard work. Having said that, what really lit my fire within was when the pandemic hit us, the world was shutting down, I said this is my shot to really do this and do it with thought. I started journaling and wrote my top 10 goals down every day. I got hyper focused. I asked myself, how do I want to build my business? How do I want to show up for people? How can I build a business by coming from a place of contribution? Starting my real estate career was a no brainer! What is the biggest challenge in residential real estate? The biggest challenge in residential real estate is managing and

compartmentalizing all the moving parts that come along with the market. Right now, we are in a strong sellers’ market which means there more buyers looking for homes than what is available on the market. In many cases there are 30+ buyers per home for sale. My sellers are thrilled because they are getting more for their homes than they could have dreamed of. With this comes different challenges, buyers can get frustrated

colleagues and clients. Are You Happy in what you do And What Would You Change if anything? I am extremely happy in what I do. Being of service to people at a major time in their lives while building a business that is purposeful and challenges me each day is so fulfilling. The only thing I would change is I wish I would have started sooner. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? I find clients by doing the things I already love to do in a purposeful way. My sphere is strong because naturally I have always loved building new relationships but even more so bringing people together. I have a book club for women focusing on personal development books and I also dressed my fiancé up as Santa and visited over 100 Children for Christmas at their homes. Find what you are great at and let it roll!

because there are multiple offers on any home they find, and you must have the strongest offer. Price is not the only factor in winning offers right now, its terms such as inspection/no inspection, working with a reputable or local lender, type of financing, and having a creative agent like myself. Ultimately, you need to be educated and create great relationships with your

Who were mentors that encouraged you? My Fiance Aaron and my best friend who is also a life coach and yoga instructor. Both of which changed my life. Aaron is the ultimate partner in life and makes me feel that anything is possible. He is both supportive and challenges my thinking in the best ways. My best friend Stevie Fedele, through her friendship and her work as my personal life coach helped me peel back layers and discover my “purpose”. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ To be a successful female entrepreneur requires truly understanding your WHY. You may be driven by having a goal to make six figures, or maybe transition to a new career after staying at home raising your babies.”

Through her I have gained confidence and clarity. I am so thankful for both of them! Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself as a leader and mentor. I want to change lives and help people see their full potential the way others have helped me. Whether it is helping a first-time homebuyer see their potential to purchase their first home or helping another woman start their own career in real estate and become an entrepreneur. I am also in the works of creating a foundation with a group of amazing women. My personal goal is to help women and single Mom’s become homeowners. What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur especially in the real estate market? To be a successful female entrepreneur requires truly understanding your WHY. You may be driven by having a goal to make six figures, or maybe transition to a new career after staying at home raising your babies. Real Estate is a marathon, it requires time and dedication. I also believe that it pays to educate yourself and when you find someone who has knowledge on a particular topic, schedule a meeting with them and create a relationship. The less you know, it’s about who you know that is willing to help. The more you know the better prepared you are, and credibility earns respect in this business. Lastly, be you and be authentic! What makes you hustle? Hustle is in my blood. I learned to work 242


at a young age. My first job, I am not quite sure if it was legal but I was 12 and walked almost 2 miles to hang up coats at a country club. Not to mention when I was 10, I would get so excited to fill in for my neighbors local Sunday paper route and wakeup at 5am. Like many families, my parents divorced when we were young (there are 3 of us). I remember a lot of conversations about money, and lack of it. I knew I didn’t like the feeling I got inside overhearing that there was only $10 left in a checking account or hearing countless times that we couldn’t afford something. It was very clear to me at a young age, that I needed to hustle! Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? This one is a little difficult as I am inspired by so many people in the real estate industry. To name just one would be difficult. However some examples of what has inspired me are the women who have built their businesses while juggling home life, possibly another career, and the many other things we as women have on our plate. I am inspired by all the women who have made it! I support you all in the same ways you have supported me! What do you think are the top 5 qualities of a good real estate agent? The top 5 qualities of a great real estate agent include having a problem solving mindset, self motivated, honesty and integrity, having an engaging and relatable personality, and ultimately tenacity. What is your favorite part of the business? The end result! Seeing a family settling

into their new home, or maybe it’s helping someone move on to a new chapter after divorce. It could be the best or worst timing for someone and I believe that god brings people together for a reason. Some of the most rewarding calls I have had, were actually not people that ended up buying or selling but people who were in circumstances and thought of me as a resource. What would you say are your strengths as an entrepreneur? My strengths as an entrepreneur are that I am at a place in my life where I understand where my strengths lie. I have an amazing ability to connect with people and with my extensive sales and professional experience I can negotiate on a high level and I am a creative thinker. I am always looking for a win-win. I am a total driver and have a visionary type mindset yet I have humility. I want to learn from others at the same time that I am contributing to helping them. I am also extremely versatile, you have to be able to fail forward and adjust. Learn enough from your mistakes and also know that it doesn’t need to be right. It’s all in the plan. I’m ok with being wrong. Ultimately, my biggest strength as an entrepreneur is that I have a huge heart. I want people to feel good, and when your business is driven authentically you can fly. I see big things for my future business and I am excited for what is to come and who is part of it with me. If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “ I am extremely happy in what I do. Being of service to people at a major time in their lives while building a business that is purposeful and challenges me each day is so fulfilling.”

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? Breathe. At the beginning of my startup it felt like I was drinking from a firehose. It also is a very scary feeling that once you put yourself out there, failure is no option. You are not only letting yourself down if you fail, you are letting everyone else around you down. At least it felt that way for me. So needless to say, I felt like Rome needed to be built in a day. Every little mistake felt like Mount Everest. Ive learned to fail forward and appreciate the set backs and bumps in the road. It’s all in the plan. What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? 244


My greatest professional accomplishment to date is becoming a realtor and entrepreneur. Putting yourself out there can be scary and while you have an attitude that failure is not an option, sometimes the drive comes from the fear of falling on your face in front of everyone. So yes, this is my greatest professional accomplishment. I am proud. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? The best advice I have received in business is quite simple. Listen. Be curious. Listen to yourself and your own instincts, listen to every detail of what others say and truly listen. The biggest set backs I have had and my biggest wins have ultimately came

from simply listening. Being curious and listening have created so much connection between my colleagues and clients of mine. What did you do before becoming a real estate agent? I was in sales and marketing for 15 years. What do you do for fun/relaxation? We love to hike and take our kids to see new places. Traveling is our ultimate relaxation. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? Spend time with our children, check out the newest restaurants in Rochester, spend time with my book club ladies, and doing anything with my fiancé!


585-410-3940 Call me for a free consultation today!

Caitlin O'Connor

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson 1770 Long Pond Rd Rochester NY, 14606


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 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 246


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







{{{ 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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{{{ 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 250


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.







HOW TO MESS UP PROPERLY With LGBTQ+* terms, identities, and cultural norms constantly changing, it’s difficult for allies to keep up. We may feel intimidated by all the changes and silenced by the fear that we’ll accidentally say something that will offend someone. We probably will. We all do.

community. The Blunder: We may blunder by accidentally using an offensive, outdated term (for example, the “gay lifestyle”), making assumptions by using gendered language (for example, “Take this form home to mom and dad.”), or misgendering someone by using the

People often think I’m joking when I say that being an ally is an ongoing journey of messing up, but it’s true. We mess up with somebody (for example, we might accidentally use the wrong pronoun). We make an appropriate apology (more on that in a moment). We forgive ourselves (not always as easy as it sounds). We put in the work to get it right the next time (savvy ally tips for that are coming up). We share what we know with others (non-judgmental ally-toally conversations are so important). Repeat (oops…we mess up again in some other way). I’ve been actively messing up as an ally to the LGBTQ+ communities for two decades now, so I’m an expert. Formerly the Education Director at the Out Alliance (Rochester’s LGBTQ+ center), I now run my own small business called Savvy Ally Action. My goal is to increase people’s confidence in having respectful conversations with each other and to jumpstart even the most tentative LGBTQ+ ally. So, let’s look more closely at the process of how to mess up properly, as this is key for being a great ally to any marginalized

wrong pronoun, as mentioned above. Since I recently made the pronoun blunder myself during an interaction at Starbucks, I’ll use this as my example as I walk through the process. The Apology: The first thing that needs to happen after I blunder is that I need to make an appropriate apology. The best way to do this is to imagine that I just bumped into the person on the street. I wouldn’t walk past the person without saying anything, because that’s rude. But I also wouldn’t make a huge deal out of it, begging them for forgiveness and

sobbing on their shoes. I would simply say something like, “Oh, excuse me” or “I’m sorry.” When I misgender someone I feel terrible, and my tendency is to over-apologize. Here’s the problem with that. Even though apologizing profusely may make me feel better, it’s likely to make the person I messed up with feel worse. It will draw a lot of attention to my blunder. It can also pull the focus of the conversation on to me and how badly I feel. Then I can end up in situations where the person I messed up with is trying to make me feel better. Awkward! So, a quick and simple, “I’m sorry,” is best. Forgiving Yourself: Oh, it sounds so easy, doesn’t it? I find that I can beat myself up for weeks over an incident like the one I described above. What I try to do when I mess up is remind myself of three things. First, that I’m human. Second, that mistakes make me think about issues, make me more aware of my language, and help me become a better ally. And third, that my mess-ups help me connect with others when they make the same blunder. Getting It Right the Next Time: Here’s the big moment that separates the eagles from the slugs! (How’s that for getting creative with ungendered language 😊?) I can either forget all about this incident and write it off as “no big deal,” or I can do the work to get it right the next time. Here are a few tips that have helped me. 1) Try again right away. If I’m still in a conversation with the person I messed ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL { THE SAVVY ALLY }} “People often think I’m joking when I say that being an ally is an ongoing journey of messing up, but it’s true.”

up with, I make a point of using the correct pronoun right away. This helps to cement it in my brain and shows the person that I’m actively working to get it right. 2) Practice in my head. Running what I’m about to say through my head before it comes out of my mouth has proven a very successful strategy for fixing my errors. 3) Write it down. When I write things down I’m more likely to remember them. So, for example, I might write, “Jo (they/them),” somewhere where I see it often. Adding people’s pronouns after their name in my phone contacts also helps. 4) Practice on your pet: If you struggle with nonbinary pronouns, like singular they, you’re not alone. Lots of folks find these and other nonbinary pronouns difficult to master. One way you can become more proficient at using nonbinary pronouns is to use them when talking about your pet. Most pets don’t mind being referred to as they as long as you remember to feed them on time and occasionally scratch their heads. (Tip credit goes to my friend, Kayden.) 5) Imagine a mouse. Another tip for getting singular they right is to imagine the person has a mouse in their pocket. “They are coming to dinner. Get out the mini cheese tray!” (Tip credit goes to my friend, Eridan.) 256


Sharing What We Know: A great role for allies is to step in, with patience and kindness, when we hear someone blunder and share what we’ve learned. Members of marginalized communities should not have to be the ones always educating others. A great strategy for starting a conversation with someone who’s just blundered is to demonstrate your vulnerability by using a connecting statement like, “I used to use that word too” or “I also messed up their pronouns

him out for hours. One day, Sean and I were at a racquetball club and we were asked by a staff member for our driver’s licenses, in order to borrow racquets. She looked at the licenses (probably noting Sean’s name and “M” gender marker), finished our paperwork, and then looked up and said, “Okay ladies! Let me show you the courts.” Her face immediately turned red, and she said, “Oh! I mean guys.” Then she looked even more embarrassed and said, “I mean… friends.” And then she put her head down and scurried off ahead of us to the courts, looking like she wanted to run out the nearest door. When we got to the court and the woman left us, Sean turned to me with a big smile on his face and said, “I love her for that. I love that she worked so hard to get it right.” * Lesbian, gay, bisexual, t r a n s g e n d e r, q u e e r / questioning, plus so much more!

last week.” Then go on to share why you changed your language or tips that have helped you get pronouns correct. Blunder Again: Yup. It’s going to happen. Here’s an inspirational story to help you embrace the journey. Years ago, my friend Sean, who was assigned “female” at birth, began his transition to male. Early on in his transition he and I would often get called “ladies” at restaurants, and it would bum

Jeannie Gainsburg is an awardwinning LGBTQ+ educator, consultant, and author. If you’re seeking more ally tips and information on how to create LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces, please check out her book, The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate, available on Amazon and through the Monroe County Library System. To schedule a workshop or to access free educational goodies, go to










Spring has sprung, and I don’t know about you, but the sunshine and the extended daylight gets me giddy with thought at what is to come in the next few months. April is also Earth Month, which I personally love for the focus on sustainable style. Secondhand fashion is having a serious moment! There are two ways you can think sustainably this month – one is a closet clean-out, and the other is donating. Both are sexy and trendy, and there’s nothing un-sexier than a bag of garments going to a landfill. Whether you think they’ve had their moment or not, it’s time to move on from pieces that no longer suit your needs or style and give them new life through someone else’s secondhand journey. Closet Clean-Out and Donating OK ladies – real talk. When was the last time you truly went through your wardrobe, item by item? Do you have items hanging in your closet that are outdated or you haven’t worn in years, that you just keep pushing to the back? Or how about items, I call them “emotional pieces”, that you hang onto because of some memory and can’t bear to part with? The best time to do a closet clean-out and reorganization is in the spring. We’re not quite into the fully warmer temps yet – but you’re excited at the prospect of what’s to come and perhaps more motivated to tackle this project. Here are some basic tips to get

you going: 1. Carve out time in your day you can truly dedicate to this project. It doesn’t have to be an all-day thing, but a time when you’re not distracted and can truly be honest about each piece in your wardrobe (and this includes your shoes, accessories, and anything in your dresser). I like to pour a glass of wine, put on some music, and go through each item one at a time. I ask myself these questions for *each* item: a. Do I love it? (If yes – no brainer. You keep it) b. Do I instantly roll my eyes at it or notice it’s been worn one too many times? (If yes – also a no brainer. These go in your donate pile) c. Do I like/love it but never wear it because I struggle to think of how to style it and it just doesn’t hang right on me? (This is one of two options – either take time to work with it, Google pictures of items similar and see how women are styling, work with a stylist, or pass the item on if it truly doesn’t make you feel great.) d Is it an emotional piece? Am I holding onto it for a memory, and is it a memory I want to remember? If you can’t imagine parting with it then take these items and put them into a box or drawer for those specific times that you want to refer to them. Otherwise, they are taking

up space hanging in your closet – and if they remind you of a tough time, it’s best to say goodbye After you’ve gone through your closet and your items piece by piece, going with your TRUE gut reaction to each of the questions above, then it’s time to reorganize that closet. With the items that you are keeping, make sure they are visible and easily displayed/hung – otherwise you’ll never reach for them or wear them! PRO TIP: a. I like to use showerhead hooks in my closet to hang my jeans and pants by the belt hole. It makes them easily visible to me and ensures I rotate between my pants! b. Additionally, if you have the ability, recycle or donate your wire hangers. Use hangers to maintain your clothing’s shape and longevity – these clothes are your story and your outward expression of your inward self, so you need to take care of them! c. Head to your local thrift store to find baskets, organizers, and more to help you cutely style your space. The presentation matters just as much as the execution – and you can find affordable storage pieces right at your local thrift. And on the subject – the items that you are parting with are NOT trash. They are treasures that served you ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ { SHIFT+CONTROL SECOND LOOK } } “ After you’ve gone through your closet and your items piece by piece, going with your TRUE gut reaction to each of the questions above, then it’s time to reorganize that closet.”

well at one point – and now they deserve the opportunity for another chapter in their story. Donate them to your local thrift and secondhand store and give them a chance to brighten someone else’s day. Before you shop new this spring 260


season, a closet clean-out can not only save your dollars but helps detract from the fast fashion industry, it organizes your space and helps you clean out clutter, and it allows you to donate items and give them to new homes and someone potentially in need. After all, living thrifty doesn’t

mean living less! Spring clean your closet for Earth Day, and let’s disrupt the clothing-to-landfill pandemic.







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? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ RWO READS & WRITES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “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 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. 264


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.







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 266


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 HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} { 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. 268


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!











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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{{SHE SHE TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL }} } 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 274


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!






“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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ 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: 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


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






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 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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ 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 286


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.







Earth Day this year was April 22. To celebrate, RWO reached out to climate activist Susan Hughes-Smith. Sue is an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health at SUNY Brockport and this year is a candidate for a seat in the Monroe County Legislature. We asked to speak to Sue about climate change and our environment. She did us one better, she wrote about those issues for us. This article is Susan Hughes-Smith in her own words. When I first started teaching Environmental Health at SUNY Brockport in 2007, my students would ask “Why do you care about global warming? “Well, to put it simply, I like to eat,” I’d reply somewhat glibly. That always got their attention, and we could then dig into the details and think about various impacts and solutions. Soon they would realize that a changing climate could have far reaching impacts on humanity. Depending on how quickly the change occurs and how nations respond, the consequences could be destabilizing to society. This is why the Pentagon has listed climate change as a national security threat. Climate change is real, the scientific community has spoken with certainty on the issue for decades. Our political and economic systems, however, have not adjusted. Instead, the production of greenhouse gases accelerated. Emissions from fossil fuels and cement production were 16% higher in 2016 than in 2009. Like a pot of water heating on the stove 288


but not yet boiling over, the full impact of these emissions has yet to be felt. We face a crisis if we do not act swiftly to reduce emissions and to build resilience into our systems. Climate, the long-term average temperature and precipitation condition, has always shaped society in fundamental ways, influencing our energy systems, drainage systems, and the crops we plant. The design of such systems inherently

weather events has increased due to global warming. These events cost people their lives and livelihoods. The destruction reduces overall economic productivity and stresses already overstretched government budgets. According to the EPA, the Texas grid is powered primarily from fossil fuels, 22% from coal and 46% from methane. The blackouts in Texas did not result from frozen wind turbines, but rather from an entire energy system that had failed to prepare for these frigid conditions and a regulatory system that failed to ensure there would be enough generation capacity.

relies on an ability to make predictions about our physical environment, so as climate predictability breaks down, our deepest vulnerabilities are exposed.

Meanwhile, thousands of unaccompanied minors are walking hundreds of miles from Guatemala to reach the United States. Guatemala, a country that has barely contributed to global warming, was devastated by two massive hurricanes this past fall. The storms destroyed crops and homes, unleashing damage estimated to be 20% of their GDP. In contrast, Hurricane Katrina cost the US 1% of GDP. How desperate would you have to be to send your six-year-old off without you, to wave them goodbye, not knowing what would happen to them? I think I would have to be in deep despair.

The recent snowstorm in Texas is just the latest example of how this breakdown in predictability can hurt both our infrastructure and our pocketbooks. While there has always been, and always will be weather, the frequency of extreme

Why do I care about addressing global warming? Because I love my kids, I care deeply about people and because an increasingly desperate and unstable society does not have to be our future. We can choose a path that invests in











SHIFT+CONTROL { {WOMEN IN POLITICS} } “This better, more resilient future won’t happen by itself. The transition will happen because policy makers decide to structure the rules to make society respond.”

our society, that recognizes we are all in this world together, that my safety and security are intricately connected to yours and to the kids in Guatemala. We have everything we need to address this crisis. We have the technology to build a carbon-free electricity system; over 80% of emissions can be eliminated by switching transportation and building heating to new efficient electric technologies. Sweden just demonstrated that even processes that once seemed impossible to change, like steel manufacturing, are capable of being electrified.


Imagine what NY would be like if instead of sending $40 billion out-ofstate through the purchasing of oil and methane gas, we kept that money in our state. A virtually all-electric world may seem impossible, but researchers have ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : APRIL EDITION 2021

demonstrated that it would only take 2% of our land to install the needed renewable generation and would increase electricity use two or three-fold. The electric wires (grid) would also need to be updated and expanded, but much of what we need is already in place. In the process we would create nearly 200,000 jobs and reduce illness and early death from air pollution, annually saving more than 3,000 lives and reducing health costs by 1% of state GDP. And while electric rates may rise slightly in the process, consumers will save money if the transition is paired with energy efficiency upgrades. This better, more resilient future won’t happen by itself. The transition will happen because policy makers decide to structure the rules to make society

respond. Every level of government has to get involved. We can do this! RWO would like to thank Professor Hughes-Smith for her article and her efforts at SUNY Brockport and elsewhere in the community. Consider the following RWO editorial comment. Another way to see the danger of delay in addressing the climate problem is this. If there is a pond that will be covered by water lilies in 30 days and the area of the water lilies doubles every day, on the 28th day the pond would only be ¼ covered. Climate change can sneak up on us like that if we do not act to stop it.






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 294


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.







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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ DR J’S BEAUTY } “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 300


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 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 Follow us on IG: #KeepWinningOnPurpose



Everyone says self care is important. I agree wholeheartedly! My question is, what does self care look like to you? Every one’s perspective may have a different view! It’s not only for ladies, but for men and kids too. Back in my younger days, my form of self care was shopping and keeping up with my appearances. I budgeted every payday to include 1-2 outfits, along with my hair & nail appointments. Since then, my self care routine has changed. Actually it changed 12 years ago when I became a mom. I went from being the lady who was usually dolled-up to an overworked exhausted mom! I went from having a self-care routine, to simply not having one at all. For the first few years of motherhood, my main focus was to be the best mom I could be. In that process, I started to lose myself. I went from being Sharlyn, to being Sami’s mom. I was losing my identity and my sanity. As time passed, Sharlyn was really lost. One unfortunate event after another spiraled me into a deep depression. I was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Depression, PTSD & General Anxiety. I was a mom though, and pregnant with baby #2! I had no choice but to figure out some kind of self-care! I was determined to get out of that dark mental space that consumed me! 4 years later, I was FINALLY on the road to being myself again. I became a faithful therapy patient, I discovered that the Sharlyn I once knew had left the building during those dark times. I had to figure out who I was becoming. In that process I had to pivot and figure out a new game plan. I knew that my 302


game plan had to include self-care if I was going to be successful at staying away from the mental darkness. Mentally, physically and spiritually I needed it! Nowadays my self-care includes different forms of mental & physical relaxation, along with setting boundaries and sticking to them. Part of my regimen includes: at least 1 uninterrupted soak weekly, daily prayer and at least 2 hours a week of alone quiet time, among other things. What works for me may not work for you. I have friends that require nail appointments at least 3 times a month, others require gym time or dance class to release stress. For kids, self care may be different. For example, my oldest son also has General Anxiety. His “anxiety pet” is his Bearded Dragon, Shadow. You might see him outside walking her, you may even see him carrying her in her special backpack when out in public. Shadow gives him a sense of peace and security when he’s in a crowd, which is usually when his anxiety is most present. For men, you may see them releasing stress at the gym, or at the barber shop getting their monthly grooming. You may even see them at Blissful Image getting their Elysian Treatment, or a Hand & Foot Repair treatment. Some men prefer to hang out with their friends at a Pool Hall, having a few rounds of healthy competition while chatting. You may see them reading the paper, a good book or studying their Bible. This is also a form of self-care. To many people, they think that these are “luxuries”. The truth is, to some, it

may be just that, a luxury. However, to many it’s a necessity! It’s essential for their well being! I’ve learned the hard way that it’s impossible for me to pour into someone else’s cup if mine is empty. As a society, it’s imperative to incorporate self care into our lives. It’s imperative to shift our way of thinking. Make self care a habit! Commit yourself for 21 days to do your self care routine. Why? It takes 21 days for your brain to register it as a habit. Go book a massage, a Natural Healing session, go see a Chiropractor for your unbalanced hips or back. Sip on your favorite drink (responsibly) accompanied by your favorite snack while indulging in reading a good book. Now that the weather is getting nicer, go for a nature walk at least 1ce a week, at a different spot each time. Even if you go alone! Try a dance class, from a different genre than you’re used to. Don’t over commit yourself to please others. Set appropriate boundaries & don’t be afraid to say NO. It’s ok! If you’re having some kind of health/ mental health challenge, I urge you to seek professional help as soon as possible. Try to find a mental health provider that you can connect with. You may need to see more than 1 provider to make that connection. The process may be long, you may need to put in more work than you’d like, but it really is worth it. Put in the work, commit to it & trust the journey! I can’t help but wonder if I would have worked on my self care journey sooner, would I have been in such a dark place for so long! Chronic




{{ SHIFT+CONTROL BLISSFUL IMAGE } } “I had no choice but to figure out some kind of self-care! I was determined to get out of that dark mental space that consumed me! 4 years later, I was FINALLY on the road to being myself again.”

depression robbed me of 4 years of my life! It robbed me of being the best mom and wife I could be. I can not get that back! I never want to be in that state of mind again. I make it a point to make sure my weekly self care needs are met. I still struggle with anxiety daily. Once in a while depression makes its way back into my life and tries to hold me hostage. Sometimes PTSD makes an unexpected visit. My mental health 304


battles are never completely over, however I’ve learned how to manage them in a healthy way. Some battles are harder to overcome & for those I heavily lean on to my support team. Many people feel that seeking assistance from a mental health care provider is not for them. If this is your belief, there are alternatives. It is not the end of the road. Connect yourself to a support group. Nowadays

there are so many online! Surround yourself with people that you feel may be able to add value to you. Go on a spiritual journey, learn a different skill, pick up a different hobby. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Always keep in mind that self-care is not a luxury, it’s essential!



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. 306


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




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. 308


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








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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ 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


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!






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 314


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 @ReadingReapsRewards-Instagram




{ 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.”



{ WELLNESS 360 }


Core stability may be the most crucial component in your exercise program. As we age, we begin to lose the battle against gravity. Our muscles start to become flaccid, our spine starts to wear and tear, and our posture slowly begins to fight gravity. As these things happen, our body works harder to keep ourselves upright, causing back pain and chronic fatigue. If we can improve core strength correctly, we can reverse or completely cure our low back pain. Having a strong core improves our pain levels, posture and improves our balance. These components are an essential part of aging. Before we dive deeper into strengthening your core, let’s first eliminate the myths surrounding core strength. 1# COMMON MYTH: I am going to get 6-pack abs. While you may be developing your abs underneath the surface, you will not get a flat stomach by doing these exercises. Having definition in your stomach is accomplished by a strict diet, cardio, strengthening, and genetics. #2 COMMON MYTH Your core is just the stomach muscles. Your core actually consists of your pelvic floor, diaphragm, glutes, back stabilizing muscles, and your multidimensional layers of abdominal muscles. Strengthening just the stomach muscles leads to muscle imbalances causing postural dysfunction and chronic pain.



#3 COMMON MYTH You can “target” your low abs. Guess what? There are no “low abs.” The muscles you are working on when Targeting the “low-abs” are your hip flexors. While these are important muscles to strengthen, they can become imbalanced, causing excessive pulling on your low back. Having a strong core is about bringing balance to your body. When strengthening your core correctly, there is no reason to “target” your ab work. #4 COMMON MYTH Sucking in your gut is protecting your spine. I see this a lot. I cue someone to brace their core, and they end up holding their breath and their rib cage flares. Bracing the core is more than pulling in your belly button. Bracing the core is like blowing up a balloon. When you begin to blow the balloon, notice your stomach. Hold that contraction and continue to breathe in and out smoothly. This will take practice! The key to building an appropriate core routine is consistency and form. Because low back pain is so common, I keep my core routine with the spine in a neutral position. This means no crunches, no back extensions, and no rotations. If I am working with someone one on one, I can better evaluate the reason for their back pain, and I can advise more appropriately. Let’s discuss 2 of my “go-to” core exercises when I am developing a fitness program.

BRIDGING: These are great exercises to build your glute strength, decreasing low back pain, and improving your posture. • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet close to your glutes. • Slowly engage your glutes and press into the heels of your feet. • Lift your butt off the floor and toward the ceiling. • Keep your knees stable and hipwidth apart. • Hold for 2-3 seconds and return to the floor. • Complete 3 sets of 10 PLANKING: Planking is an exercise that can be done by anyone if modified correctly. It is a great exercise to engage your entire core at once. The quality of your form is the most crucial part of the plank. Modifications for a plank: • Beginners: Hands on an elevated surface like a chair or countertop. Starting on the floor but on your knees. • Advance: Hands on the floor or forearms on the floor. • Play around with the modifications to find the right starting position for you




{ WELLNESS 360 } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “As we age, we begin to lose the battle against gravity.”

Here is the appropriate way to complete a plank. • Start at the top of a push-up position. • Engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and press your body away from the mat. • Keep your neck in good alignment by looking about 6-12 inches in front of your hands. • Keep your shoulders stacked over your wrist. 320


• Tuck your tailbone under and drop your hips into a nice straight alignment. • Engage your core by pulling your ribcage and your pelvis toward each other. This is not a significant motion, just a slight adjustment. • Start by holding this position for 10 seconds and increase your time working up to a minute or more. . You are guaranteed to see these exercises in almost all of my classes,

physical therapy sessions, or online programs. These can be completed at any age, weight, or gender. When done correctly, they are a gamechanger in your core strength. If you are looking to build your core and unsure where to turn, Wellness 360 has multiple options. We can guide you through online programs, blogs, YouTube videos, group fitness classes, or individual physical therapy. We have virtual or in-person options for all. Check us out at www.








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 } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “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.



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.







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. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ {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, 328


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.





Announcing Western New York’s first comprehensive resource for sexual and relationship wellness and menopause medicine.

Introducing the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness where sexual medicine specialists and certified sex therapists offer a holistic approach to sexual and relationship wellness. Offering confidential and open-minded care to people of all genders and sexualities that is specifically designed to help YOU meet YOUR GOALS. Also, featuring a nationally certified menopause medicine specialist to help make mid-life your BEST LIFE







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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ 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 334


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@, or visit my website at More information can be found at the Collaborative Law Association of the Rochester Area website: or the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals website:







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 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.” 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. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021







Ah yes! We’ve made it through March’s wind, April’s showers, and now it’s almost time to enjoy May’s flowers! So, are you prepared to take a little time to stop and smell May’s flowers? OK, so maybe I am combining clichés - ‘May Flowers’ from ‘stop and smell the roses’ but alas, a rose by any other name will be just as sweet! Point is, it doesn’t have to be May’s flowers, or a rose - just stop and smell them! In fact, did you know it doesn’t even have to be a flower? Gasp! Yes, to stop and smell the roses can actually mean, simply enjoying and appreciating the moment for what it is! No beautiful flower (May or otherwise) to smell in the break room at work or in the kitchen at home? Flowered paper towels may have to suffice! So, how do we go about making that ugly printed flower on a paper towel work for us? We close our eyes and I want you to visualize a dried Dandelion (yes, another flower) but why in the world an old dried up one? Why can’t it at least be a pretty bright yellow one? Because, as our eyes are closed, we are going to visualize holding this dried Dandelion. We’re going to take a deep breath in and as we slowly exhale, we are going to visualize blowing that once beautiful, vibrant flower into the wind - to plant seeds for new beautiful flowers to grow! Not only is it going to remind you of doing this as a child, but metaphorically it will extend you being blown into the

world. To plant your seeds of beauty! To leave that break room or kitchen feeling young, refreshed and appreciative of what you offer the world! Different from what you may have thought I was going with but perhaps stopping and smelling the roses/flowers, sometimes needs to be us just stopping and appreciating ourselves! Of course, we can appreciate what we have and others, but how often do you stop and appreciate yourself? What are the things you like about yourself? Seriously, be kind to yourself, for it is all too easy to be your worse critic! How about, for a change, be your own friend? Be the one that puts that smile on your face! All too often, we blame others for our bad day when, in fact, we hold the key to turning it around! But how? How would you cheer up a friend? Let me ask you a question, have you ever bought yourself flowers? Did you know that’s even allowed? Or perhaps a scented candle or a new perfume? You will notice I am using a “scent” theme, not only for my May flower idea but for something we forget, the actual smell of flowers! Usually, our fail-safe method to comfort ourselves is through food, when in fact, a particular smell can work just as efficiently and be much kinder to the waist line! Does not the smell of flowers alone bring a smile to you? Whether it be Lavender, to calm you, or the exotic smell of Jasmine to perhaps, put you in a sultry mood? Even the simple smell from flowers around your home can

put you at ease. In the summer, we have this overwhelmingly beautiful smell of honeysuckle down the road. Every time I smell them, I smile - for I know I am home. What better way than to use these smells to help you appreciate yourself? And there simply is no excuse for not indulging in those beautiful smells! You may try to say, “Flowers aren’t practical and die.” That may be true, but that makes getting them even more of a treat! You may say, “I can’t burn candles at work.” OK, and yet there is a world of smells in Essences and Essentials! The difference between Essences and Essentials is that Essences are chemically produced to reproduce the taste and smell of the original ingredient, whereas Essentials is a natural oil with a characteristic smell of the plant. Essences and Essentials come in small bottles and do not take up much room. Plus, they now have these really cool lockets that hold either leather or felt in them, where you can put a couple of drops on the material inside the locket. The locket has holes in it, allowing the beautiful fragrance to come out. This is such an easy fix for the office, at home, at school – anywhere! It is not overpowering to be offensive to others but can instantly bring a smile to you, transporting you into your happy place and before you know it, your mood has changed! We’ve talked about taking time to smell the flowers and also enjoying the smell of flowers, but we cannot forget how a certain color can also affect us! Blue is a very calming color, making you feel ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “There you go, seedlings to help you use National Days for your social platforms throughout the month of May. One last thing, become your own May flower! “

centered, relaxed and serene. Yellow can give you an uplifting feeling of joy. Orange is refreshing and energetic. Green is life and personal growth. Brown is passion and excitement. Pink is peace and compassion, while Purple is royalty and intrigue. Choosing a color for flowers, or simply the top you are wearing, can put you in a different frame of mind!

May 8th - National Iris Day - Now obviously this is easy to apply to our theme of flowers, but what does an iris flower symbolize? Faith, hope, wisdom, courage and admiration. Purple irises were planted over graves of women to summon the Goddess to guide the dead in their journey. The word Iris comes from the Greek word rainbow,

My use of the little cliché of ‘stop and smell the flowers’ is multifaceted. Appreciating yourself along with others, literally using the smell that flowers provide us, along with the use of color, can and will improve our outlook! We already know many of these tricks to cheer our friends up, but we need to use them for ourselves as well! Let’s pick out our 5 random days in the month coming up, May, and try to see if we can make our National Days fit our flower theme: May 6th - National Permacultural Day What does this mean? Think of Jurassic Park, remember how they had to plant different flowers and plants for each ecosystem? That is what permaculture means. How can we use this for our May Flowers theme? Perhaps you can use a color theme for your flowers to accent the room or office you will display them in. 342


May 16th - National Do Something Good for Your Neighbor Day - Now see, this one can work on so many levels. Giving your neighbor a plant/flower, you like, is a win win! They’ll be happy to get one and you’ll get to benefit by seeing one you like next door or across the street! May 31st - National Smile Day - Easy enough, for flowers bring a smile to anyone! And not just for women, but men love getting flowers at the office and being the envy of everyone too.

which is also the name for the Greek Goddess of Rainbow - Iris. I love how that all came together. So, a purple Iris it is - in memory of our Greek Goddess. May 13th - Tulip Day - The beautiful Tulips, do you know the meaning for each color of the Tulip? Red is for true love. Yellow is for cheerful thoughts. Purple for royalty and White is for forgiveness.

There you go, seedlings to help you use National Days for your social platforms throughout the month of May. One last thing, become your own May flower! To be your own May flower, you need to allow yourself to grow. To water down the negativity in your life with a sunny disposition. By being that May flower, you’ll be surprised how others will stop and take the time to appreciate you! For are we not the one thing we’ve invested the most time in cultivating?



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 346


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.




{ 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 348


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.



What is your favorite season? Usually, I say summer. The Pitta in me loves the heat, the sweat, the sun. I like to bake. (My dermatologist loves it when I say that.) Summer brings the ease of walking outside without extra layers. Sitting outside at night not craving anything extra. One of the greatest parts of living in New York is experiencing all four seasons. Try to change my mind; you will not. On this first HOT sunny day week in April, I found myself less excited, and actually sad and mournful. Perhaps it was because there was no sense of easing-in to spring – but that is nothing new for Rochester natives. Because we have so little warm weather, even since early adolescence I have felt a lot of pressure in the warm months. Pressure to be outside; pressure to be outside with friends. Make your life look like a bud light commercial, all fun all the time. Look everyone how much fun I’m having. Winter, on the other hand, feels like no pressure for me. I get pulled in no fewer directions. I know Seasonal affective disorder is real. This past winter may have felt extra heavy during pandemic. Some people work outside in the cold, and it can be hard on a body. Many of us are just generally happier in nicer weather, and it lets us spend more time outside. So, if you are not feeling this opinion piece – I hear you. I’ve been there. For those of you who feel new social pressures creeping in as the days get longer, I see you. You’re not alone. And this year, I am with you. 350


Perhaps all of the spiritual growth I’ve done over the years, has led me to truly appreciate the winter. To find contentment. So this month, to make myself feel better, I’m writing a goodbye letter to Winter. Dear Winter, I will miss you. I already miss you. Knowing the weather outside was frightful, but half the country was cuddled up inside. Ooing and aahing at your stained-glass magic. Safely cocooned while the world was wrapped in a treacherous snowglobe. Living on the edge. Remember the morning my clients called to cancel because the storm was coming? We all laughed together – adults, claiming our own snow day. I will miss our lazy afternoon naps. The feeling of blankets against sweatshirts at two in the afternoon. In a nest. This past Saturday it was 78 degrees. I tried it. It felt wrong without you. Heavy, creamy, cheesy pastas that leave my belly nourished. In summer, these dishes leave me sweaty, belly hanging out in disgust. But in you winter, I feel warm and cozy from the inside out. When the dog sticks his snoot into the snow to sniff, and then burrows head long forward through the snow on the ground. He is a four-legged snowplow that makes perfect strangers laugh. Folding snowballs in my hands, tossing them up into the air at absolutely nobody – I’m an adult after all, but feel less so with you.

The guilty pleasure of watching movies in the dark from five until the wee morning hours of Sunday morning. Glass of red wine in hand. The dry heat of the fireplace. My hair loses its curl. The rain hit my face today. It left me smudged and scowling, curled in. When your snow flakes were hitting my shoulders on my errands, it brought a smile to my face. How many more months will be before I have our hot mugs of coffee in the afternoon? Did you notice, that the only Christmas lights still up are for tiki bars? I will miss the excitement of knowing a storm is coming, the way I feel it in my chest and my gut. The permission you gave me to do leisurely, two hour yoga practices on my living room floor. The permission you gave me to keep my head down and push through. You let me cover my hair that is just one day overdue for a wash with a chic beanie. I’ll miss running through the snow. Feeling the toughness ice cold air in my lungs. Burning. Nose dripping. Tough as nails. A headband that keeps my earbuds in my ears, and my messy bun where it ought to be. I watched everyone from a distance, anxious to leave. Desperate to get on




{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “On this first HOT sunny day week in April, I found myself less excited, and actually sad and mournful. Perhaps it was because there was no sense of easing-in to spring – but that is nothing new for Rochester natives.”

planes during a pandemic. Craving summer. Risking it all for a taste of the beach. They don’t get you like I get you. I stayed, enjoying your sapid coolness. No pressure to do, just being. Like the sad song that we all love that tugs at our heart strings, playing it over and over again – because there’s nowhere to be. You keep me here, present. 352


Your solitary cozy quietness, as my feet shuffle across the floors in the dark at 6 am. Until I see you again in late November, please keep your distance. To feel you now might set me too far back as I step into something new and fresh. Love, Kaitlyn Do you want to experience your seasons differently? Consider scheduling a free phone consultation at (585) 200-7209.

I help teens and adults struggling with stress, physical pain, and a lack of life balance. Through a combination of yoga and mindfulness skills, I teach them to reconnect with their bodies and release their tension. They get back to doing what they love and spending more quality, connected time with their families.






When I lived in Dubai back in the 1990’s, I wanted to take pictures of everything; the sprawling mansions, the roaming goats, and the women clad in black. I got the first two but the last was not allowed. And I wasn’t interested in being attacked with acid.

direction may take you to the theatre, another may take you to Hell’s Kitchen.

You’re curious now about the women clad in black, and the acid throwing accusers! We’ll start with the latter.

This may come as a shock to many of you, but in the mid-late ’90’s cell phones had only been introduced, and did not come equipped with a camera. Lucky for me, I was used to carrying my pocket-sized Minolta with me wherever

You see, some people took it upon themselves to judge others, specifically women - being judged by men. Women had not been given any rights yet, none that I was aware of. Acid throwers were especially keen on doing so to women who were not dressed properly. An ankle shown, a forearm visible.

So I learned early on to dress wisely and only drive in areas deemed appropriate. Back to photography.

Other than needing a written letter of permission from my husband to drive a car, I was permitted to dress as I liked. I was a westerner. But this freedom had its limits. God forbid I left the neighborhood. Just as in NYC, you had to know your way around. While one 354


Men, it seemed did not have quite the same reservation as women did about having their photo taken. Women feared that if you took a photo of them, their spirit would be captured into the camera, never to be returned. I pondered this. ‘Do they really believe this? Do men?’ As the saying goes, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans’. And so I honored these new customs, and learned to revere the spirit within each of us a little more deeply. I asked a few photographers today whether they ‘captured the spirit’ of those whom they photographed into their photos. Here’s a bit about them, and this is what they had to say ….

I’d like to state that these restrictions have been altered since then. By what degree, I am not sure. It was quite a while ago. And Dubai is a beautiful place to visit! And so, as a New Yorker, fresh from 10 years in the music & performing arts scene, this was all quite radical. How much did I have to cover? Of my body, that is.

scarf wrapped around his head down to cover his neck and ears, then nodded permission.

I went. And I went as far as I could go! One of my early ventures out on my own (no - I was not wearing shorts) was to a nearby souk. This is the name used for a market. It was outdoors, and lined with tents resembling kiosks where men sold their wares. There was an older man selling spices of every color! It was a beautiful picture to capture. I first asked permission, showing him my camera, miming my intent. He carefully pulled the white

When Grow 2 B U Studios was located in the Neighborhood of the Arts, Chrisom did as well. That was pre-covid. Although her main clientele is & was weddings, she offered to take photos of my studio. She did an amazing photo shoot of yoga asanas and sitting meditations. In my mind, she easily captured my spirit. “So when I hear ‘capturing someone’s spirit through photography’ it absolutely makes me smile. Photography not only freezes time, but it captures a moment,

{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT } “Rest assured that while your spirit may be captured in a moment, and that moment may live forever, your spirit is always alive within you! ”

a feeling, a path to bring you back to that memory, and this is why I love what I do.”

Dawn shares the following in regards to ‘capturing ones’ spirit in a photo.’

amazing photo shoot of me for my holistic business among the spring blossoms at Highland Park.

“We love our clients and love watching them grow through our lens. We pride ourselves in capturing the in-between moments, the moments that truly capture someone’s laugh, smile, tears, emotions. Our clients become our family.”

Healing with Qi through Photography and Acupuncture

“I truly believe that the spirit can, in fact, be captured in a photograph. However, not in a negative way. Our spirit is in our eyes, in our smile, in our glance. The delight comes from capturing it within the photograph to be saved and cherished forever. Even if it’s not a joyful spirit, capturing that pure emotion is still very special. As a photographer, there are moments with I know immediately, that I caught it. It’s rare but always beautiful.”

I asked if she only photographed weddings.

I was told by a client that when she saw her photograph, she had a different appreciation of herself. A true healing and total self love. A spontaneous healing of love and light. To capture light which is energy, Chinese call it qi or ones body

“Yes our main client base starts with weddings but then grow with maternity, newborns and family sessions. We love staying with our clients through all their special moments.”

Renée owns immaginé Photography. Her passion is working with Womenowned businesses, helping them to share their own passions through photographs. He approach is fun, casual, and relaxed.

Like a doctor, your personal photographer is always there for you! Thanks, Chrisom for sharing your light. Dr Dawn Mamikunian Speaking of doctors and wedding photography … Dawn was my wedding photographer! She later introduced me to the healing benefits of Accupuncture. Just as Chrisom shared, our relationship continued and evolved. Dawn eventually became the PR photographer for my music career. Then, as I began my holistic health practice, she and I were in the same wellness group, Natural Alternatives. In classic Chinese Medicine style, 356


life force, a spontaneous healing can occur. Qi energy photography love. All the same. Dawn’s clients are mostly woman between their 30-70s. I’ve come to love Acupuncture and highly recommend her healing work. You’ve likely seen Renee at RWN (Rochester Women Network) events. She’s the charismatic creative carrying her camera around ready to click at a moment’s notice! Renee took an

“I bring my camera to your life—at your place of business, or at your favorite place in the world.” Thank you to these amazing visual artists for sharing their gifts & insights! Rest assured that while your spirit may be captured in a moment, and that moment may live forever, your spirit is always alive within you! Creative Coach & Author, Alana Cahoon leads individuals to grow their businesses, expand their minds & heal their souls.



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 358


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.



{ { 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 360


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.




CAUSES, PREVENTION AND TREATMENT You rarely see women getting bald unlike men. Although the data shows males have a higher percentage of hair loss (alopecia) compared to females, they do get them, even looking for solutions cosmetically like scalp micropigmentation services for ladies.

Circular or patchy bald spots. Some men and women lose hair in circular or patchy bald spots on the scalp, beard or eyebrows. Your skin may become itchy or painful before the hair falls out. Sudden loosening of hair. A physical or emotional shock can start hair to loosen. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or even after gentle tugging. This type of hair

The content of this article is to thoroughly discuss what every woman must know about receding hairline, its symptoms, causes, preventions, and treatment, to ensure healthy hair follicles keep growing in long term. In other words, here’s what you can do if you have uneven hairlines or hair loss. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS Losing hair is an everyday occurrence that happens as part of a normal conditions for most people; it is normal to lose approximately 100 hairs a day. The hair thinning slowly and gradually falls out, then new hair grows back again. But some circumstances may point to a possibility that receding hairline in women is problematic when it exceeds the normal count. Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include: Gradual thinning hair on top of head. This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting people as they age. In male pattern baldness, hair often begins to recede at the hairline on the forehead. Women typically have a broader thinning hair all over their head.

scalp. This is a sign of a ringworm. It may be accompanied by broken hair, redness, swelling and, at times, oozing. CAUSES AND TREATMENTS These are multiple causes of receding hairline or thinning hair in women and each condition are followed by their respective treatment. ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA A very common cause of hair loss which is another term for male or female pattern baldness. Men tend to lose hair from the temples and center part of the head. In women, hair usually becomes thinner all over the head. If one has a family history of male and female pattern baldness, chances are high you have too.It is more likely to happen as a person ages but can start at any point after puberty. Many females who experience androgenetic alopecia develop it after going through the menopause. This means that hormones may have something to do with hair loss in women. Treatment: It is possible to treat this condition with a medication for hair growth, namely minoxidil twice every day.

loss usually causes overall hair thinning but is temporary. Full-body hair loss. Some hair loss conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in the loss of hair all over your body. The hair usually grows back. Patches of scaling that spread over the

TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM Telogen Effluvium causes more hair to fall out, sometimes in handfuls, this is an estate where the hair remains in the natural shedding phase of the growth cycle. Usually, telogen effluvium is a temporary form that resolves over time, such as, surgery and childbirth. It is advisable to see a doctor to find out the cause. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ SCALP NY } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “This psychological toll affected the woman more that men, obviously. Female pattern hair loss may lead to depression, anxiety, and social phobia.”

Treatment: A doctor will need to treat any underlying causes of telogen effluvium. If a physician suspects that specific medications are causing hair loss at any form, they may change them. ANAGEN EFFLUVIUM Anagen Effluvium causes large amounts of hair to fall out rapidly during the growth phase of the hair cycle. The condition may cause hair to fall out from the head, as well as from other parts of the body, including eyebrows and eyelashes, just like chemotherapy treatment. Treatment: Treatment for this condition depends on the cause but can include a topical solution of minoxidil. If a person has anagen effluvium as a result of undergoing chemotherapy, cooling the scalp during the procedure may help. Hair will often grow back 3–6 months after stopping chemotherapy. ALOPECIA AREATA Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall out suddenly. The immune system attacks hair follicles, along with other healthy parts of the body. Hair from the scalp, as well as eyebrows and eyelashes, may fall out in small chunks. Treatment: If a person has this state of being, they should see a physician. A doctor may prescribe medication to help the hair grow back. TRACTION ALOPECIA 364


A receding hairline due to hairs being pulled back into tight hairstyles. Traction alopecia causes it to break and come loose. Include: Tight buns or ponytails Braids If traction alopecia continues, a person may develop bald spots and thinning of the hair. Treatment: In terms of self-care, avoiding tight hairstyles will usually prevent further damage. MEDICATIONS Some medications have side effects that can start hair to fall out. Examples of such medications include: blood thinners, such as warfarin Accutane, to treat acne antidepressants, including Prozac and Zoloft beta-blockers cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as Lopid Treatment: If a person thinks hair loss may be due to a medication they are taking, they should consider seeing a physician for an assessment. The doctor might be able to reduce the dosage or switch the person to a different medication. FRONTAL FIBROSING ALOPECIA Frontal fibrosing alopecia typically occurs in a receding hairline pattern and may also result in hair loss in the eyebrows and underarms. Frontal fibrosing alopecia most commonly affects post menopausal women.

Treatment: Certain medications can manage symptoms and stop the progression of the disease. The cause is unknown. Birth control pills Hair loss while using birth control pills may be a bad experience to some people. Others might suffer hair loss several weeks or months after they stop taking them. If people are taking birth control pills, they can choose one that has a low androgen index. This may help to lower the risk of hair loss. Other forms of birth control that give hormonal changes, such as implants and skin patches, may also cause hair loss. Treatment: The American Hair Loss Association recommends that people who have an increased risk of genetic hair loss opt for a non-hormonal type of birth control. RINGWORM Ringworm is a fungal infection that can start hair loss. Ringworm on the scalp, or tinea capitis, can cause temporary bald areas on the head, its symptoms include: itchy, red patches of skin, small spots that get bigger and many more. Treatment: If ringworm does not heal by itself, then a doctor may prescribe an antifungal medicine. Alternatively, they may prescribe an antibiotic, such as Griseofulvin. POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCOS) A condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. Women with PCOS







{ SHIFT+CONTROL { SCALP NY } } “Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) typically presents as a diffuse thinning of the hair across the entire head.”

produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This hormone imbalance causes them to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to get pregnant. Its symptoms include hair loss, depression, and acne. Its risk factors infertility, diabetes, and obesity. Treatment: There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms of PCOS with the help of your physician. REGROWING HAIRLINE There are a lot of ways to regrow hairlines from scalp massages to taking supplements, and eating a healthy diet. Here are the best and advance methods of the doesn’t require much patience: Hairline lowering/advance procedure The hairline lowering/advancement procedure is performed by your surgeon making a trichophytic incision along the natural hairline and then carefully moving the scalp forward and downwards on the forehead. The hair-bearing tissue is then moved forward and sutured into its new lower position. After suturing, the individual hair follicles may also be transplanted to fill in gaps and to ensure that the hairline is natural. HAIR TRANSPLANT The use of hair transplantation also works to normalize the shape of the new hairline and also to minimize the appearance of any scarring as hair growth manifests through and over the incision line. In most cases, after the hair transplants surgery, there are only a very minimal, barely visible scars at the hairline. This scar will eventually fade

to become nearly invisible over time. PLASMA INJECTIONS Here’s one we hadn’t heard of before. Platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) have been used in other fields of medicine for over a decade but have only reached dermatology within the last five years. Simply put, Blood is extracted from the person with hair loss and ‘growth factors’ are extracted from the blood, then injected back into the scalp in the area where hair loss is occurring.

loss or even receding hairline affects both men and women’s psyche. This psychological toll affected the woman more that men, obviously. Female pattern hair loss may lead to depression, anxiety, and social phobia. For more information about Scalp International Hairlines and how we can help both men and woman with hairloss, please visit our website www.

SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION During the scalp micropigmentation process (SMP), specialists apply an ink to a balding area with microneedles, which create micro impressions to give the illusion of hair. The ink helps replicate the appearance of thicker hair and each formula is mixed to match a person’s natural hair color as much as possible. The best people to ask, how scalp micropigmentation help hair loss is the Scalp International Hairlines, for they are the best professional to choose for your receding hairline problem and, every client that is treated will not leave the final session of treatment without being 100% satisfied – guaranteed! BOTTOM LINE In male pattern hair loss (MPHL), the hair loss typically presents itself as either a receding front hairline, loss of hair on the crown (vertex) of the head, or a combination of both. Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) typically presents as a diffuse thinning of the hair across the entire head. Either way, there is no doubt that hair ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021





2851 MILTON AVE SOLVAY, NY 13209 (800) 236-6792 WWW.SCALPNY.COM



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 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: APRIL EDITION 2021


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “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


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.

“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 Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance



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 376


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



{ {RWO’S MENTALLY MENTAL THINKING HEALTH} } “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 378


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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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?” 380


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,




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { 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 382


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!









You already know how to lose weight. Everybody does. You eat less and exercise more. That’s it! That’s all there is to it. Eat less and move your body more. Do that often enough and long enough, and you’ll get skinny.Sounds simple, right? Maybe even too simple. Because losing weight is hard. Trust me, I know. It’s taken me well over a decade. And I’m still not where I want to be. Eat less. Move your body. Why does something so simple feel so impossible? It feels impossible because we’re not just dealing with calories. We’re dealing with ourselves. And understanding ourselves and why we do things is one of the hardest things for any of us to do. I believe that for everyone who is overweight and doesn’t want to be, there’s a story. There’s a story about how they got that way. Therefore, there needs to be a story for how they’re going to stop being that way. Like I said, it all starts with a story, a real story. This is mine.For me, if i’m going to stick to a new lifestyle,

i have to find a way to enjoy it. If I don’t find a way to enjoy exercising, i will never stick with it. There is no happy ending for me because I’m focused on the present and what my goals are today. And when I reach those, I will have new goals to aim for.

be plateaus and there will be days when you don’t want to get off the couch. And the only way you can persevere through these moments is not by changing your diet plan or your workout routine. It’s by changing how you see yourself and how you feel about yourself. It’s finding your story and deciding to write the next chapters to it. Take each tiny decision on its own and stay focused on the present. People get caught up in long-term visions of the future and lose hope. They think that if they lose such and such pounds that they’ll magically be happy. But that’s not how it works. It’s the process.

There’s no endpoint for me. I never want to stop challenging myself in new and exciting ways. And I think that’s the best attitude one can have! ➪➪You have to find something to drive you, something that can ignite your inner fire, and then let the rest take care of itself. There will be boring days and there will

And just focus on what you can do now — don’t eat that dessert, go outside and walk 30 minutes.All of these things are a series of tiny choices, not any sort of dramatic lifestyle change.





ARIES MAY 2021 You may be distracted from your family responsibilities this month but you, as usual will be able to juggle and you will merge forward with new found strength. An older person may need more of your attention.You are at a point of no return with your limitations as things are going to ease up for you after the New moon on the 26th. TAURUS MAY 2021 Your birthday month is a real treat. Packed with opportunities and nice surprises. Communication is highlighted whether it be friends,relations or colleagues. You’re having thoughts on travels. So start scanning the net and make those long awaited plans.There is no package holiday for you ,as there is a thirst for new cultural adventure where there is a lot of wisdom to gain. GEMINI MAY 2021 Money matters are prominent this month. You are usually very good at juggling your finances. There is a period of good fortune, which could be a windfall, a gift or inheritance. Knowing your signature trait, you have it spent before it is in your hands. You have worked exceptionally hard recently and deserve a break. if you are in a relationship. It’s time to seal matters. A child needs 386


your advice and expertise. Your creativity juices flow. CANCER MAY 2021 Life in general seems to be one long slog during this month. You are weary and it’s time to evaluate you and give yourself a pat on the back on how you cope. A time to reflect and re-examine. Your deep sense of soul sees you through most things. Don’t forget your classic sensitivity is your strength. Meditate and you will receive your answers. A soulmate encounter brings you new hope. LEO MAY 2021 Being placed as a leader in your work environment will help with confidence, something you have been lacking of late. You are attracting all sorts of characters this month.Your magnetism is at an all time high. You will enjoy the variety. Someone is acting like your guardian Angel, believe me they are. So much to learn this month. You may be brushing up skills on an educational course. You may find someone in your close circles thinks highly of you. VIRGO MAY 2021 A time when you are seeking some kind of truth. Your mind is on overdrive. Take a step back and see things from other people’s perceptions. Someone outside of your circle will lead you to a new

awakening. Your signature trait likes to have things in order. There could be a bit of disorganization and disruption at work where your level head is needed and your skills will shine. LIBRA MAY 2021 There are strong emotions flying high this month,where you seem to be living a lot in the past, maybe you just feel safer there. Time to make decisions that could be life changing., but as we know decisions are not your faute. It may take the universal energy to help you make something final. Trust in your mind power and adaptability. Unexpected news of an engagement is likely too. SCORPIO MAY 2021 When scorpio is in a playful mood,nothing will stop them. You are likely to attract new friends this month who will help empower you to get what you need in monetary terms. Joint adventures in a business deal is highlighted.too. New work experiences will get you an offer of some kind of promotion or extra responsibility. If you have to stand in for the Boss make sure you are well rehearsed and have that role play to perfection. SAGITTARIUS MAY 2021 Many contacts in business are being made this month. You seem to be inundated. Even the ones

{{ SEEING SHIFT+CONTROL THE SIGNS }} “ ARIES MAY 2021 You may be distracted from your family responsibilities this month but you, as usual will be able to juggle and you will merge forward with new found strength.”



{ {SEEING THE SIGNS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “GEMINI MAY 2021: Money matters are prominent this month. You are usually very good at juggling your finances. ”

you think are not so beneficial turn out to be well starred. Career prospects are highlighted. Last minute travel to be expected could take you to some excotic places. A person in a very high position talks favourably of you. Keep your feet on the ground and keep your faith first and foremost. Dreams are coming true. CAPRICORN MAY 2021 There is an innermost need to take a change of scenery. Getting in touch with your inner self becomes more important. You’re seeking solace and serenity. If you are looking for that someone special, they are closer than what you think. Time to evaluate your physical health by changing your regime and diet.You are on the brink of a total new you. Look out there could be an important message that arrives from a past link. AQUARIUS MAY 2021 There seems to be a lot of unsettlement this month. Your frustrations and emotion run high. You just can’t seem to see the rhythm or reason to the confusion which is set around you. You need to step aside and examine the beginning of the process again to realize. A time to do a lot of soul searching and find purpose. A 388


friend will help guide you. By the end of the month you will realise you are playing a crucial part in someone else’s lifes lessons. PISCES MAY 2021 A seemingly serene month where nothing seems to disturb your inner peace. You are now using your natural intuition in all aspects of your life.Time to take students under wing and teach them all you know about spirituality. A time to give generously You may be asked to fundraise or take part in a charity event. Your generosity is your second nature. You are at one with the universe this month and everybody can see it. A trip that surrounds you with water is beneficial. Blessings INTERNATIONAL TV PSYCHIC MEDIUM AUTHOR TEACHER Angela McGhee T: +44 (0)778 956 3169




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