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SHE HUSTLES TALKS

HIGHLIGHTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

In This Edition...

- INTRODUCING THE INFLUENTIAL WOMAN: DR. PAM DENTON - SEXUALLY SPEAKING WITH THE ROCHESTER CENTER FOR SEXUAL WELLNESS - HER EDGE WITH ROBIN DEWIND - MOVING BEYOND MY YOUNGER YEARS: SHE’S MY HARDEST GOODBYE

Plus...

- THE AMAZING STORY BEHIND MONA MOON NATURALS - SPECIAL FEATURE: ANNA’S STORY

ENJOY AN AFTERNOON COCKTAIL WITH

Amanda Ashley






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ENJOY AN AFTERNOON COCKTAIL WITH AMANDA ASHLEY

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REGULARS

REGULARS

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INFLUENTIAL WOMAN Dr Pam Denton

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MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE

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MY NEXT BEST DAY

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TIME FOR YOU

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ALL ACCESS

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TAMMY’S TIDBITS

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UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN

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THE KEFI WAY

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SAVON SPEAKS

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TEEN TALK

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WOMEN IN POLITICS

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B. MOR

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TRACY IS TALKING

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LOVE FOR WORDS

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KARMA SPEAKS

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BUSINESS TALK

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IN HER OWN WORDS Mona Okenden

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IN HER OWN WORDS Dara Rennert

SPECIAL FEATURES 54

MOVING BEYOND MY YOUNGER YEARS

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HER EDGE

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A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE

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ANNA’S STORY

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SHE HUSTLES TALKS Eye Candi by Scottie Michelle DaRin BeautifyMe 226 ANIMAL CARE SANCTUARY Cocoa’s Candles CORNER Crystal Banfield 1-800FLAGS Dr J Beauty Betsy Aquilar 230 COACHING WITH KRISTIN EllaRose Boutique MixCups Cupcakes By Linda Sandra Ciaccia 262 FINANCIALLY SPEAKING 280 CHERESE T. BRACEY

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FASHION & BEAUTY 304

KURVIE KORNER

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BUFFALO FASHION FEATURE

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

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VOICE FOR IMPACT

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MIND, BODY & SPIRIT

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SEEING THE SIGNS

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SEXUALLY SPEAKING

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WRITER’S BLCOK

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LIFE IN BALANCE

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YOU MATTER

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BLISSFUL BALANCE

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MENTALLY THINKING

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WELLNESS 360

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SCALP NY

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WELL TRAIL

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HEALTHY WOMAN

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{ FROM THE PUBLISHER }

“Tis the season for gratitude. Thank you to our collegues, clients, family and friends for all that you do to make us who we are.”

T

his edition of Rochester Woman Online is about joining us for a little “Afternoon Cocktail” and welcoming our December 2020 COVER WOMAN, the talented local musician and creator of the “Afternoon Cocktail Talk Show” podcast, Amanda Ashley!

We are so very excited to be able to team up with Amanda, not only for the cover in this months edition where she talks about her journey, but she will also be hosting the RWO’S Ultimate Women Entrepreneurs Expo & Fashion Show She Hustles Talks platform in April of 2021! Read all about her inspiring story starting on page [20]. Plus we have the first “Influential Woman” column featuring Dr. Pam Denton who has dedicated her life to helping women explore, heal, prosper, strengthen, and, ultimately, find their inner superhero. I personally think she is a “superwoman” and we are honored to not only have her tell her story this month, but have some really exciting things planned for partnering in the future! Read about her starting on page [36].

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ON OUR COVER

On the latest cover of Rochester Woman Online, we are excited to have the talented local muscian, mother, “Afternoon Cocktail Talk Show” podcast creator, Amanda Ashley photographed by local photographer Jeff Gerew.

We have our incredible ALL NEW She Hustles Talks women entrepreneurs special section for you this month featuring a mother, wife, lady boss, creator of Eye Candi by Scottie... Scottie Lenear. Her passion and energy is infectious...and her lingerie line will make you feel amazing at any size! Check her out, along with over 12 other incredible women entrepreneurs this month starting on page [87]. We all want to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season and lets hope for an amazing New Year. I know this year has been tough for all of us, so here is hoping 2021 will be amazing! Stay tuned, because we will be launching some amazing new products, new columns, amazing new cover woman, services and more in 2021 and you won’t want to miss any of it!

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CONNECTING WITH SPIRITS MESSAGES & LOVE

Holidays are often a very challenging time when we miss our loved ones who have passed on. Their physical presence is always missed. Their Spirit always brings healing energy, love & comfort. Join me for a special virtual event December 12th, as we join in mind, heart & Spirit. SPECIAL GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE

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{ A LOOK AT OUR TEAM }

PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Kelly Breuer Ayanna Jackson

CREATIVE DIRECTOR/GRAPHIC DESIGN

Kelly Breuer

LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER

Jeff Gerew

PHOTOGRAPHY

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Doug Hansgate Charlene Mann Ford Kijana Crues Cindy Bell KL Storyography

Southtown Images Chris Johnson Kevin Hunt Bob Shultz Sandy Arena

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 Catya Polland Tammy Vreeland Rumella Cameron Hillary Welles Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Dara Rennart Gabriella Rose Fiederlein Angela McGhee Terry Daniele Betsy Aquilar Giovanna Walton Jarod Schoomaker Kristin Bauer Gross Ebony Nicole Smith Latiffany Anderson

Cindy Scribani Kelli LaPage Tracy Simone Dr Pebble Kranz Talena Skye Annaleisse Arena Betsy Aquilar Hillary Welles Evelyn Spruill Shannon Holmes Kelli LaPage Crystal Banfield Linda Mitchell Scottie Lenear Michelle DaRin Amber Imburgia Mona Ockenden

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Kelly Breuer

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WEB DESIGN & MANAGEMENT

Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at networkrocqueen@gmail.com. Download our current media kit at www. rochesterwomanonline.com. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2020 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.


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{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE { {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY }} }

AMANDA ASHLEY BY KELLY BREUER I PHOTOS BY JEFF GEREW

Recently Central NY Woman Online sat down with musician, mom, entrepreneur, and “Afternoon Cocktail Talk Show” host, Amanda Ashley as she talked to us about what inspires her, why music and so much more. Enjoy, because we definitely did with this talented lady!

poetry. I began writing my own music around the age of 13 or 14, and from there began putting my voice to the music I had been composing. I found music to be a judgemental free form

Tell us a little bit about Amanda Ashley and your love of music: I was born and raised in Long Island, New York and began my musical journey at the early age of 6 years old. Of all the activities I explored in my youth, music and art were my constants, were where I excelled and felt most at home. Around the age of four my babysitter called my mother to offer her piano, as she was getting divorced and had noticed my interest in piano. From her house, to my childhood home my parents moved it and I had begged for two years for piano lessons. My sixth birthday, my father drove me straight to the music store to surprise me with my first piano lesson. Music ignited me in a way that nothing else ever could. Eventually I had begun playing violin, and then guitar in my early teens, and eventually began taking myself more seriously as a vocalist. Aside from music, I always had a knack for creative writing, would keep a journal and would write 20

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of expression where I could air out my teenage angst, and confusion. It also made me feel like I had an identity. I moved to Rochester after graduating from Fredonia State University, to begin

my adult life with then college sweetheart. Rochester was way more affordable to live, and I always admired the culture our little city has to offer. What was your first entrepreneurial venture? As a twenty three year old I was desperately trying to find my place in life. I always believed that I possessed some strong qualities and wanted to find a way to gather my gifts; event coordinating, music and art, and my love for making connections. I began organizing ticketed events under the name “Local Visionaries” at local venues such as Lovin Cup, Lemoncello Cafe and Tango Cafe. Each event would feature sometimes 3-10 fine artists and craft vendors, a wine and food tasting, and 3-4 live performances from local singer-songwriters. I saw it as an avenue to connect myself with people whom I felt inspired, a way to generate income, and a way of bringing our community together. At the time I was ambitiously aiming towards putting together shows once a month, which eventually dwindled down to a few times a year. At the time I was also attending the open mic scene here in Rochester in effort to build my presence as a songwriter.


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“I felt soo inspired by my friends in the music community, and the tremendous impact attending these open mics had on my musical growth that I eventually began hosting my own.”



{ { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “K2 Brewing in Webster always felt a bit like my home base for performances. I really miss performing there.”

I felt soo inspired by my friends in the music community, and the tremendous impact attending these open mics had on my musical growth that I eventually began hosting my own (and for many years). My partner, Beau Ryan stood with me throughout all of it, ions before we even realized our true love for one another. He is my business partner to this day, and there is no one’s talent or input I respect more on all my various crazy endeavors.

show, and ask those thought provoking questions that lended itself towards the emotional state which we all could relate to. I view Afternoon Cocktail as an altruistic avenue to inspire, educate and to motivate our followers (and myself in turn) to live and lead with empathy and compassion.

Afternoon Cocktail merged out of panic and depression as the pandemic hit. Having always been a planner, the uncertainties of cash flow and future performances really had me questioning what else left I had to offer. I began doing some research and studying Positive Psychology to get myself mentally back on track. Recognizing the power of livestreaming as a resource, I began brainstorming ideas which I could use my talents to bring positivity back to the public platform, and found myself revisiting the idea of Afternoon Cocktail Talk Show. Years prior I had explored hosting a livestreaming talk show under the same name, which the concept was good, but could use a little direction and refinement. I find the human factor in Covid to be most compelling, as this is the first time in history where people of all walks of life are commonly experiencing a trauma that has affected the way we view, perceive, and conduct our daily lives. Being both an artist, and woman of business, I wanted to gain the perspectives of two highly intelligent/talented people per 24

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them and because of their continued love and support. Who has been the best interview you have had and why? This is such a tough question because I truly have enjoyed soo many of the interviews I’ve had for several different reasons. I press my guests with some deep thought provoking questions, and am soo grateful for everyone’s honesty. At the heart of it, I’m just a fan girl who truly admires, respects and is inspired by each person I invite on. I feel fortunate to have a platform and opportunity to ask all the questions I really truly desire to hear the answers to. Where is your most favorite place to perform and why? K2 Brewing in Webster always felt a bit like my home base for performances. I really miss performing there. They have the best beer, the crowd is always fun to interact with, and I feel most comfortable being myself.

Who is the most influential person in your life and why did you choose them? I am soo very fortunate to have had two incredibly supportive parents, who although not musicians themselves, never discouraged me from following my passion and my gut instinct. They recognized, nurtured and encouraged my love of art, but also instilled and exemplified the power of having a good work ethic. I am who I am because of

How has being in the music industry changed for you during the pandemic? Although nothing will ever top performing live, I do believe that there’s beauty to the intimacy of what livestreaming has brung. Livestreaming allows artists the opportunity to showcase themselves on a personal level, from their personal space. We can perform and openly interact with our audience if we choose, talk about our original music and what inspired us to write it, and have the opportunity to be viewed by people all over the world.


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COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Afternoon Cocktail merged out of panic and depression as the pandemic hit.”

In most cases at my local shows I was performing more cover music than my originals for the sake of engaging, people pleasing, and feeding the venue owners what they wanted/believed they were hiring me for.

for him, how crucial time is, and how much more life there is to live beyond harvesting a career. Having him allows me to exercise the big kid in me, and he truly just brings soo much joy to my heart.

What has been your biggest challenge? What has been your biggest success? I find lack of time to be my biggest challenge. I truly believe I’d have to make five carbon copies of myself in order to accomplish all the things I’d truly like to get done on any given day.

You have the signature flower that you always have in your hair... How did that start? I’ve always been a bit of an accessory queen throughout my life. I began wearing a flower in my early twenties during performances as a tribute to Billy Holiday and also as a Hawaiian tribute (One of my favorite places I’ve traveled).

My biggest success I’d say is being able to support myself solely creating art. I certainly am far from being rich, but I am truly grateful to live and lead a passionate life which I am able to channel my creativity in a way that others can also benefit. If you could do one thing over knowing what you do now, what would that be? I;m self taught in business, and I believe that having had prior education would’ve helped me get further along a lot sooner. If I could do anything over, I would’ve gone to school for Business/ advertising and marketing. What do you see for the future for you personally and professionally? I aspire to do more with my writing in the future. My 5-8 year plan is to write and publish a book of my own, as well as a children’s book. How has being a mom changed you? Having my son has been extremely humbling and eye opening. I realize how important it is to set a good example

It became more of a regular staple in my waitressing days. So often the customers who wanted to request me as their server couldn’t remember my name, but could always recall “The girl with the flower.” Friends and family would buy them for me just as a thought in passing if they’d see one, and eventually my collection grew. It’s truly become such a part of me…. I literally feel naked without it. Some people like to wear watches, I rock a flower…..almost always, just not when I shower or sleep. If you had the ability to mentor another woman, would you consider it? I’ve mentored young girls over the years throughout the course of my teaching career and volunteering efforts at Girls Rock Camp. Currently and most seriously, I’m mentoring a student of mine, 16 year old Abbie Riggins. She’s an incredible vocalist and songwriter, and we share a significant amount of musical chemistry. I’ve co-written about 10 songs with her, and we are working on putting

together a project and getting some of her music recorded. She’s a superstar, and it won’t take long for people to recognize that if they already haven’t. Ultimately I hope that I can guide her in the right direction and inspire her confidence to grow. Looking back, are there any indications from childhood that foreshadowed your becoming a musician and a female entrepreneur? I had my heart and mind set on becoming a music teacher and performer since I was a child, so I don’t think that ever came as a surprise for anyone who knew me. As for entrepreneurship, it’s hysterical to think back to my early days as a child, hustling to make my own money. From lemonade stands, to buying bulk candy bars and Jolly Ranchers at Price Club with my allowance money so that I could sell them to my school friends for a marginal profit, shoveling driveways and raking stranger’s yards…. I always enjoyed the challenge of finding new ways to generate some cash flow. How do you solve your big problems both as a woman and a female entrepreneur? I find that keeping myself honest, and asking for help when needed is the key to resolving most problems. What tips do you have for other women who would like to start their own businesses? Don’t be blindsided by fear. Be willing to take risks, work hard, be persistent, keep focused, follow your instinct, and don’t ever take no for an answer. Also, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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“Women women. I lo rise, and su along

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n empowering other ove seeing women on the upporting one another ng their journey.”

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{ COVER STORY } “I aspire to do more with my writing in the future. My 5-8 year plan is to write and publish a book of my own, as well as a children’s book.”

be conscious of where you are investing your time and energy, and that you are investing it in all the right places. What are the pros and cons of being a female business owner and musician in 2020? Pros- Women empowering other women. I love seeing women on the rise, and supporting one another along their journey. Cons- I still believe for all the progress women have made, we still have a ways to go before we can truly claim

ourselves as being equals. Reality is that not all men want to take a big chested woman seriously.. In the past I felt I had to go the extra mile to prove that I was intelligent, and not just a bimbo. Same goes to the men in the crowd at past places I’ve performed at. No gig is worth being demeaned or disrespected for. Fortunately I’m experiencing much less of that these days, as I’m working with more quality venue owners and classier establishments. What is one thing our readers may not know about you?

I’m really passionate about cooking. Maybe in another life I would’ve taken the culinary route. I literally cook every day for my family, and love to get creative in the kitchen. What do you have planned for 2021? New music project, and to independently release another single or two. I plan to continue working on growing Afternoon Cocktail and it’s brand, and hopefully to pick the paint brush up again to create more visual art in the very near future.







{ INFLUENTIAL WOMAN }

YOU ARE ENOUGH. DR. PAM DENTON BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY HILLARY WELLES I PHOTOS BY KL STORYOGRAPHY & CINDY BELL

FROM SEEKER TO SUPERHERO Dr. Pam Denton has dedicated her life to helping women explore, heal, prosper, strengthen, and, ultimately, find their inner superhero. Her path began to reveal itself during her senior year in college when she started getting sick constantly. Feeling terrible physically and mentally, she found it harder and harder to get out of bed. She knew something was wrong at a deep level - but what? She sought medical help and was disappointed when the doctors focused only on her symptoms without digging deeper to find the possible source of her exhaustion and illness. Finally, when she was once again at the doctor’s office being offered a prescription for antibiotics, she had a powerful flash of insight. “I’m not sick,” she thought. “There is something wrong with me that can’t be fixed with antibiotics.” In that moment, she knew she was depressed and also that she didn’t want to follow traditional Western approaches for medicating or treating depression. She walked out of the doctor’s office and vowed to start down a new path. On that life-changing day, Pam made a conscious choice to believe in her body’s ability to heal itself. She knew that her body’s innate intelligence was super-powerful and that, given the right 36

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tools, she could be her own superhero and bring herself back to balance and health. At the same time, she witnessed her college friends going off to interview for corporate jobs. This followed the path that Pam had been taught growing up:

trusting her intuition to lead her toward her authentic life purpose. SUPERHERO TIP #1: You can do it your way! Pay attention to the signals your body gives you. What gives you pleasure and satisfaction? What energizes and excites you? Let yourself be motivated by what lights your inner fire, not by what others tell you is right for you. Stop listening to the mandates of others and listen to your internal mandates! To get in touch with your inner fire and listen to your inner mandates, join Dr. Pam for her FREE semi-weekly BreatheFit Upgrades! https://supercorefit. com/fitness-classes

“Go to college and then get a good job.” But just as she knew that traditional medicine was not for her, she knew she could not follow the traditional corporate path after college. Instead, she took a leap into the unknown, taking time to explore her passions and

Over the next few years, Pam undertook a conscious and rigorous course of self-exploration and selfhealing. To heal her depression, she began breathwork, journaling, practicing yoga, meditating, and going to a chiropractor for network spinal analysis. She returned to teaching fitness and became the fitness director at the local YMCA in order to take care of her body and help people as she had in high school, when she had been a lifeguard and fitness instructor. During the course of her soul searching, she found the answer to overcoming depression and finding her passion: being true to herself. “I couldn’t go the traditional route that so many of my friends and family took,” Pam says decisively. “I knew it absolutely. If I tried


{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN }

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“You can do it your way! Pay attention to the signals your body gives you”

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{ INFLUENTIAL WOMAN } “She knew that her body’s innate intelligence was super-powerful and that, given the right tools, she could be her own superhero and bring herself back to balance and health”

to fit myself into that box, it would be devastating for me.” Pam’s authentic purpose emerged over several years of dedication to her search. In discovering her body’s innate healing capabilities, it became clear to her that she was here to be a superhero in her own life – and in others’ lives as well. She wanted to save people’s lives as she was learning to save her own. Just as she had been a lifeguard so she could save people from drowning, she wanted to save people from self-destruction. She

wanted to help people heal themselves and become their own superheroes. But how? The answer was revealed one night in a dream. Pam recalls the dream vividly even today, 25 years later. “The dream was handed to me fully formed,” she says, amazement still evident in her tone. “A voice said, ‘This is your path.’ And the path was becoming a chiropractor.” Pam had never thought of becoming a chiropractor, so this dream directive came as a shock. Even so, she never questioned

the dream’s validity. She knew the voice came from her authentic self. She went immediately to her chiropractor and told him that she was going to chiropractic school. “He said, ‘Why would you want to do that?’” Pam recalls with a chuckle. “He thought it was a terrible idea. But that didn’t stop me. I believed in the higher wisdom of the dream, and I went for it.” SUPERHERO TIP #2: Follow your dreams! Tune into your inner knowing about what is right for you. Pay attention ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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{ {INFLUENTIAL WOMEN { COVERWHO STORY WOMAN ROC } }}

“I couldn’t go the traditional route that so many of my friends and family took,” Pam says decisively. “I knew it absolutely. If I tried to fit myself into that box, it would be devastating for me.”

to what your dreams are telling you. Your intuition doesn’t lie! Your inner voice speaks to you in positive language, so listen to that positive voice and pay no attention to the negative voices in your head that tell you you’ll never be able to do it. What do you long for and desire? How can you achieve that outcome? Tune into the positive inner voice that guides you to bring your wildest dreams to life.

that many other women faced as well. She wanted to help the female business owners she saw struggling every day to survive and thrive in business. She became a women’s business coach so she could help women achieve the superhero strength they needed to believe in themselves.

Pre-order my forthcoming book SuperCORE to the Rescue! and learn to breathe, move, and spark your innate positive energy! [add Publishizer link] After gaining her Doctorate of Chiropractic, Pam returned to her hometown of Rome, New York and founded her first Network Wellness Center. She discovered that she had much to learn. Running a business, being a new mom to her daughter, and bringing alternative healing to a conservative city was a challenging combination. She realized she would have to develop her superhero skills to new levels in order to prosper. Several ventures later, Pam was well versed in running a business. She began to recognize that the challenges she had faced in achieving a doctorate and starting her own business in a male-dominated field while mothering were challenges 42

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After years of working with women on healing their bodies and minds, Pam began to see a pattern emerge. “Listening to women’s stories made me realize that there are three major areas of healing for women: love, sexuality, and money. And these three areas are all connected. I recognized that in working with women, I needed to address all three topics in order to help them truly heal, gain confidence, and activate their inner superhero. Women typically have major

blocks that keep them from achieving success in these areas, and they don’t have the tools to move through the blocks and heal their relationship with love, their relationship with sexuality, and their relationship with money. My job was to give them the tools.” SUPERHERO TIP #3: Explore your relationship with love, sexuality, and money! There ARE tools that can help you. Seek out a healer who can help you heal these areas and give you the tools. I have helped hundreds of women to achieve happiness and success, and I would be happy to help you! Read my book On the Other Side: Messages from Spirit for Women to begin breaking through to your authentic selfexpression and power! https://publishizer.com/ supercore-to-the-rescue/ Other-Side-Messages-Spirit-Women/ dp/1978127243/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1 &keywords=dr+pam+denton+on+the+ other+side&qid=1604780966&sr=8-1 Pam’s path took another turn when she moved on from business coaching to become a female sexuality coach. “I made this choice because it became clear to me that sexuality was at the root of women’s pain and dissatisfaction. Sexuality is the deepest, most energetically


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“The dream was handed to me fully formed,” she says, amazement still evident in her tone. “A voice said, ‘This is your path.”

charged part of us. When we are blocked or traumatized, we lose connection with our bodies, our relationships, and our innate intelligence. I saw that sexuality was the base that connected the two other topics of love and money.” Pam observed that when women feel embodied and sexually empowered, they also feel prosperous and abundant, naturally attracting money and the right lover. Conversely, when their sexuality is “off,” they enter a state of lack. Their life force energy is turned off and they can become depressed, as Pam was in college.

innate intelligence, take a SuperCORE BreatheFit or SuperCORE Fit class! https://supercorefit.com/

Satisfying as sexuality coaching could be, it was also challenging. “Women have so many wounds about sexuality that they often shut down and can’t even address the topic,” Pam explains. “I began to feel that I wasn’t reaching as many women as I could if I came to them from another angle. Also, the work was so intense that my own energy was getting drained. I realized that I needed to move on for my own health.” Never one to shirk from the mandate of her body’s innate intelligence, Pam did move on.

“At first, I was devastated,” Pam admits. “I felt like my chance to reach thousands, even millions, of people had been taken from me.” But the pandemic had an unexpected silver lining. Pam started working with a group of female leaders and healers nationwide. She developed the Upgrade, a guided visualization to activate the intelligence of the body’s central nervous system. But something was missing from the Upgrade – a focus on breath and movement to bring people into their bodies. From this realization, SuperCORE Fitness was born.

SUPERHERO TIP #4: Fearlessly follow your intuition! Sometimes your intuition tells you to change course, even though you might be very successful in the course you are on. People might tell you you’re crazy to quit and do something else – but no one knows what’s right for you but YOU! When the world says move on, MOVE ON!

SuperCORE to the Rescue! is motivational fitness that gives your body and immediate relief, builds resilience, resets the nervous system, conditions the body, and promotes optimal function. “SuperCORE to the Rescue! gets people energetically turned on without having the heaviness of the intuitive work and sexuality work,” says Pam. “SuperCORE to the Rescue! is the culmination of all my experience in healing, fitness, yoga, and coaching. It goes directly to

To restore and increase your vital life force energy and connection with your

“I’d had many visions of myself standing on a stage, speaking to thousands of people,” Pam says. “And 2018, I set myself the task of making this vision a reality.” Pam began organizing and speaking at events in New York City and central New York State. She was revving up for a full year of speaking engagements and conferences for 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic brought such events to a screeching halt.

the source - the core intelligence of the body - through breathing, intentional movement, and positive motivation. SuperCORE to the Rescue! activates the inner superhero instantly!” And the best part? Anyone can do it! SuperCORE to the Rescue! starts from a chair and activates your superhero leadership. Classes are offered virtually and can be taken from your home or office. SuperCORE to the Rescue! comprises three offerings – SuperCORE Fit, SuperCORE Heal, and BreatheFit. Learn more at https://supercorefit.com/ fitness-classes. “SuperCORE to the Rescue! also incorporates my interest in working with businesses,” Pam explains. “My vision is to take SuperCORE to the Rescue! to leaders who can bring it to their team and, ultimately, to big corporations. Everyone’s sitting at their desk in endless Zoom meetings. They feel fatigued, stressed, and stiff from so much sitting. COVID-19 isolation has them feeling disconnected from their teams, depressed, and often anxious. SuperCORE to the Rescue! brings teams together by providing healthy breathing and movement breaks for stress release and mental health.” With SuperCORE to the Rescue!, Pam has integrated the many facets of her expertise. “All aspects of my work culminate in leadership,” Pam states. “And SuperCORE to the Rescue! to the Rescue! is the method for building the necessary core intelligence for leaders to step into their authentic superhero power and positively influence the world.” This gives Pam great satisfaction ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Tune into your inner knowing about what is right for you. Pay attention to what your dreams are telling you. Your intuition doesn’t lie!”

as it fulfills a life goal of helping leaders, and women in particular, step into their greatness. “SuperCORE saves lives by providing an energetic lifeline and the positive motivation that is necessary for stepping into our superhero power.” SUPERHERO TIP #5: Put on your cape and fly! Go within, breathe, and listen to your intuition. Take a leap of faith and follow what your inner knowing tells you. And claim your birthright as a superhero in your own life! 46

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Join our growing community of superheroes! Sign up for our email list at https://supercorefit.com/. About the Author Hillary Welles is a SuperCORE Fitness instructor, co-author of SuperCORE to the Rescue! and a founding member of the SuperCORE development team. A Black Belt Nia instructor and Nia MOVE It™ instructor, she brings nearly two decades of holistic fitness experience and intensive study to her work with

SuperCORE to the Rescue!. She holds an MA in Shakespeare Studies from the University of Birmingham, England and a BA in English Language and Literature from Smith College. Hillary has ghostwritten and edited many books in the field of personal growth and is passionate about sharing the benefits of integrative fitness through a powerful blend of strength, humor, spiritual presence, and skill.


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL }

“Let yourself be motivated by what lights your inner fire, not by what others tell you is right for you. Stop listening to the mandates of others and listen to your internal mandates!”

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{ SPECIAL FEATURE }

YOU ARE ENOUGH. ANNALIESE ARENA BY NICOLE HEROUX I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO PHOTOS BYWILLIAMS BOB SCHULTZ & SANDY ARENA

Hailing from Rochester, NY, Annaliese Arena is a 16-year-old pageant queen, avid volunteer, and fashion model. At the age of 8, she began competing in National American Miss (NAM) and found her love for the world of pageantry. Pageantry is what encouraged her to get involved in her community service and love of helping others. Annaliese’s first platform, at the age of 10 was named, “Happily Ever after: Because every child deserves one”. Through this platform she raised 1000 dollars with a charity basketball game, a PJ party fundraiser, a T-shirt drive with her dance school, and organized a “Whipping” childhood cancer event. Her current platform is Scars to Hearts which is all about taking life’s hardest moments and turning them into something beautiful to spread love to the rest of the world. She was inspired to do this after fighting her battle with mental health struggles and it is her way off turning her “scars” into “hearts”. She also works closely with an organization founded by her mother called Worth More Nation that serves people impacted by foster care through pageantry, fashion, and giving initiatives. Her favorite part of it is the annual pageant held for girls impacted by foster care, where she is able to share her skills, teach new presentation 54

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skills, and buildup confidence in others, all while helping them find the perfect dress through the organization’s special occasion closet available for all of the foster care community at no cost. She firmly believes that giving a girl the right dress can make a huge difference in her life.

Other organizations she has worked closely with are Dress for Success Rochester, Cure Bears for Hope, Cobblestone Arts Center working at one point as a dance teacher assistant for adults with disabilities, and the former Moss School of Dance (now known as the dance company, Incandescent Dance) as a pre-ballet teacher. She has totaled a number of 2300 hours of service gaining a mayoral recognition award, the Federation of Social Workers

Next Generation Contributors Award, two national volunteer service awards with NAM, and a Presidential Service Award. In 2014, after winning a state title with NAM, she began her journey with modeling with being an agency scholarship she was awarded. Since then, she has expanded her talents across the Northeastern region working in New York, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and Rochester Fashion Weeks, as well as many other charity shows in the New York City and the greater Philadelphia area. In pageantry she has been awarded many titles including the 2018 Miss New York Junior High School America where she earned a spot in the top 15 at the nationwide pageant, 2019 IFAB International Model of the Year, 2015 USA National Miss Pre-Teen, and the 2014 NAM Jr. Pre-Teen. She was most recently chosen to represent the US territory of Guam as the 2021 Miss Guam High School America. She is now working hard at preparing for the national pageant in June of 2021 as she hopes to take home the title of the 2021 Miss High School America. With her current title, she is not only


{ ANNA’S STORY }

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“Everyda to start ro given th favorite


ay needs to be seen as a blessing, and you have omanticizing the small pleasures you’ve been he opportunity to live, like listening to your song on a rainy day or that first sip of coffee in the morning.”


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{ COVER STORY }

{ {WOMEN {SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL COVERWHO FEATURE STORY ROC }} }

“While I could sit here and teach about kindness and accepting others, that is deflecting on what really needs to be said. And don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in the power of kindness, but inevitably, the world will always have some of these dark places”

representing her personal platform, Scars to Hearts that is mentioned above, but also the pageant’s national platform, BRAVE, which stands for Building Respect And Values for Everyone. She has been using her personal story of overcoming to share the anti-bullying message and how to rise above after being a victim to bullying and she shares her thoughts in these heartfelt words shared below: “What is bullying? Simple. It’s when someone makes you feel smaller than you are, and unfortunately, it is everywhere. It stems from children forming cliques in middle school, to high schoolers sending a hurtful text, and all the way on up to world leaders posting petty tweets on Twitter. The less-simple- to answer question is, how do we stop bullying? I wish I had the magical answer to this question so we could rid our world of these cruelties, but sadly, there isn’t one. While I could sit here and teach about kindness and accepting others, that is deflecting on what really needs to be said. And don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in the power of kindness, but inevitably, the world will always have some of these dark places. At some point, you may even encounter one, and it is important to know how to overcome bullying. In my 16 years of life, I’ve had my own encounters and want to help others by sharing these three steps. First, allow yourself to acknowledge

what has been done to you and why it hurts. Each day, you need to embrace it head on with courage. You have to tend to your scars and tell yourself that one day, it won’t feel like this anymore. After that, you let it drift away, but only can that happen when you’ve given yourself enough time to heal. And the

healing process is different for everyone. For some it could take days, and for others it could take years, and both are okay. It’s vital to give yourself time to recover, because if you don’t, you run the risk of it coming back fifteen years down the road.

If you’ve done that, it is time to move on to step two, which is forgiveness. You have to forgive what or who made you feel so small so you can rid yourself of any bitterness or resentment trapped inside of you. You have to take each strand of emotion you’ve felt and hand it over to you’re wrong-doer saying, ‘I forgive you, for I know you are hurting too.’ The universal truth about bullies is that they always have hurt hidden deep inside of them as well and that’s what is causing them to act the way they do. By forgiving, you are ensuring you don’t have anything like this hidden inside you. You are also showing kindness and compassion, despite what that person did, and that is one of the best feelings this world has to offer. The last, but certainly not least, step is learning to love yourself and falling in love with being alive again. Everyday needs to be seen as a blessing, and you have to start romanticizing the small pleasures you’ve been given the opportunity to live, like listening to your favorite song on a rainy day or that first sip of coffee in the morning. Build yourself from the ground up and allow yourself to feel joy flow through every aspect of your body, because you deserve to be happy again. It doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 77 years old, as long as you make this moment the moment you truly start living and thriving again, you have successfully risen above and even experienced so much growth as a human.

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{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “It doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 77 years old, as long as you make this moment the moment you truly start living and thriving again, you have successfully risen above and even experienced so much growth as a human.”

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{ ANNA’S STORY }

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{ { MY NEXT BEST DAY} } SHIFT+CONTROL

MAY YOUR NEXT DAY BE YOUR BEST DAY BY SHANELLE BENSON REID

Health and wellness has been at the center of my life for over 30 years. I ran track, played basketball and attempted volleyball. I was serious about my health while in high school. This seriousness likely began in middles school. Back then I was afraid to use controlled substances because I believed these substance would impact my performance. I enjoyed being an athlete and I wanted to excel. As I got older, health and wellness drifted to the back of my mind. I became a parent, finished school and submerged myself into my work. This lasted for another ten years. Then it happened, I started working out regularly, began eating healthier and was on the right track. I created a support system to help me with meal plans, started focusing on daily workouts and was in a good place. This was my pattern for many years; commit to health then forget about health. Commit to fitness then forget about fitness. Then the global pandemic came and I spiraled out of control. I ate everything in sight; good, bad, whatever I could find. This lasted until August of 2020. In August, I started taking yoga classes regularly. My goal was to allow yoga to help me manage stress but I knew I wanted to be a yoga teacher after my first class. After a month of doing yoga 64

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daily, I decided to overhaul my diet. I went full plant-based. Of course, I had dabbled with veganism in the past. I would go periods of eating healthy then binge later. But this time was different. This time I actually had the knowledge to maintain plant-based eating. I joined groups on social media, consulted a nutritionist and bought books to learn as much as possible. I was committed. Congratulations to me! It is the first week

of December and I have completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training and it has been quite the experience. From learning new terminology to understating a new philosophy; this has been an unbelievable process. That being said, not only am I a yoga instructor, I am also pursuing a plant-based nutrition certificate. This is my wellness journey and I am pleased to be here at this very moment in my life. Life as a yogi has not been without trials. About a month and half ago I cried on my mat. I am not sure if I was frustrated,

in pain, disappointed, emotional or all of the above. However, what I learned while going through this process is some moments on the mat can cause an emotional response. I allowed myself to get to the end of my emotional release and it was at this moment I knew I would spend the rest of my life developing my practice. All in all, this entire process has been remarkable. Deciding to become a yoga teacher is the first decision I made with only myself in mind in quite a while but what I’ve learned is this decision has impacted everyone else in my life as well. Yoga has transformed my life and my next day is my best day. Choosing to develop my yoga practice helped me transform my diet and rethink my wellness journey. In closing, I want to say I would love for you to embark on this adventure with me but perhaps yoga is not your “thing” perhaps you have not identified your “thing”. My hope is that by watching me, you gain the courage to choose you and find your “thing”. May Your Next Day Be Your Best Day!


SPECIAL FEATURE { CNY INSPIRING WOMAN {{ MY NEXT BEST DAY}} }

VANESSA’S STORY

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{ PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT }

MONA MOON NATURALS BY SUMAIYA SHEERIF

The story of Mona Moon Naturals began well before the idea of a brand. It began over a phone call with the news of my sister’s breast cancer diagnosis. As we went through the appointments, a double mastectomy and a lengthy recovery process, one question troubled us just as it troubles so many others:

ingredients that were known ‘hormone disruptors’. Personal care products, cleaning products, and even plastic containers all had them. From the minute we stumbled out of bed to the moment we ended the day we were using products that were absorbed by our skin. Think about

How did this happen? More importantly, how did this happen again? My family has a history of cancer. My mother, aunt, cousin, and now sister were all diagnosed. Even my father’s side of the family has women with cancer. So you could say that not only did we expect it, we were preparing for the possibility. Our doctor told us it might be linked to environmental factors. But the thing is - everyone lived on a different continent, let alone a city. My sister’s cancer was estrogen-based. Simply put, the level of the hormone estrogen had caused the cancer. So what had caused that hormone level to change? How did my sister, who had adopted a lifestyle to avoid this very result, get cancer? As we dug deep our questions got answered. The answers were frankly alarming. Our daily products had

Thankfully, many had figured it out before we had. We made the conscious switch to clean products almost immediately. But something that didn’t seem right was deodorant. No matter how many we tried, they just weren’t working. I’d smell really bad, sweat through them, or get rashes! Thank goodness for the school mom network. They not only had recipes for baked goods and homework advice, but who knew that someone had the recipe for homemade deodorant! As an engineer, I am a natural problem solver. Tell me it can’t be done, and I’m even more excited to solve it. I also love cooking. I began modifying the recipe a mom from school gave me, and soon I had two versions of deodorant with fewer ingredients that worked! It’s a process I continue to enjoy with all Mona Moon Natural products.

it. Toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, sunscreen, not to mention all the makeup and skincare we use. And that only touches personal care.

It wasn’t long before my family and close friends began using the deodorant and referring it to others. People kept coming back for more! A weekend retreat with my WPO (Women President Organization) sisters later, I was ready to make my product official. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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{ PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT } “So what had caused that hormone level to change? How did my sister, who had adopted a lifestyle to avoid this very result, get cancer?

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My dear friend (and breast cancer survivor) created the name Mona Moon Naturals and designed seven logos for me to review. Seven. Seeing her enthusiasm for the adventure I was soon diving into scared me. I asked her if this would work. Her simple response was, “If it doesn’t, we’ll just readjust and try again.” And I jumped in.

their support. I’m most grateful for the willingness of friends to try the deodorant every time I tried a new formula, my tribe of sisters who continue to encourage and guide me, and the love and support of my family, especially my husband. Each product we sell has been made in a dedicated kitchen he built for Mona Moon Naturals.

Mona Moon Naturals began with family and friends and remains running through

I was eager to create a product with a list of ingredients that people recognized

ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : DECEMBER EDITION 2020

without having to Google to see if they were harmful chemicals. Mona Moon Naturals now has a small family of three products and each has clean and healing ingredients. We are a brand focused on giving. Whether it’s giving by carefully making each product by hand in our kitchen or by supporting the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester with 10% of all purchaces


All natural beauty products made by hand in small batches. • Visit www.monamoonnaturals.com and save 20% when you join our mailing list •


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SHIFT+CONTROL { {WOMEN IN POLITICS} }

UNIONS BY TERRY DANIELE

We have just finished an election many people considered the election of their lifetime. At the same time most of us are happy our social media accounts and televisions are now free of election ads. One thing candidates emphasized in those ads was any endorsement received from a union. Rochester Woman Online decided to investigate the thinking behind the endorsement of candidates by unions. To do this, we approached five (5) incredible women who are members of different unions.

what is in it for the union? Certainly, they hope for an elected official with a friendly attitude toward labor unions and labor in general. It turns out though, that somewhat cynical view is unfair to these union women. As we spoke with these union reps, we realized that while their obligation

They were Candace Rubin, Kendall Bell, Montina Scott, Christine Kinsman and Maria Fisher. The women hold different positions in their unions, but they all agreed that the most important items for selecting and promoting a candidate are the candidate’s ethics and platform. Once the union decides to help a candidate’s run for office, these women work with the union members to provide that support. The members can help the candidates introduce themselves to the voters he or she hopes to serve by bringing campaign literature to the homes of district voters. Sometimes a financial contribution is made to the candidate’s campaign fund and there is the promise of the union member votes. It is easy to see why a candidate would hope to be endorsed by a union. But 74

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was to their union members, they also had a strong commitment to their communities. As so often happens, as we spoke with them, their stories and their union work were more compelling than their political activism. Kendall Bell is a Union Staff Representative for IUECWA, and second vice Chair for Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

-CBTU. A second-generation union member, her involvement in her union extends to making sure the marginalized communities within her union are as well represented as other interests. “This is the every day fight that guides my work” Bell says. Bell works against the scourge of institutional racism and inequality. In an organization that claims equality for all, this is the cause she wants to champion. She is very proud of the work and knows that whatever she can do to help inside her union will eventually work its way to the community. Bell has assisted in community food drives and fund raising. As we spoke, she talked about the pride she has in her family. Kendall mentioned her daughter and her face lit up. “My daughter can advocate for herself and knows what is right and wrong in her work place”. That is from being raised in a home that practices what it preaches. Candace Rubin is a teacher in the Rochester City School District, a member of a New York State United Teachers – NYSUT and The Rochester Teacher Association - RTA, a Political Action Coordinator for NYSUT and the chair of the Rochester Labor Council’s Committee of Political Education (COPE). Rubin has strong convictions about education and the betterment of education in the Rochester City School District. She believes selecting education friendly politicians is of the utmost importance


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SHIFT+CONTROL { {WOMEN IN POLITICS} } “My daughter can advocate for herself and knows what is right and wrong in her work place. That is from being raised in a home that practices what it preaches.”

to educators and their students. Law makers can make all the difference. Laws must be carefully considered and crafted. An example of this is the way teachers have to “teach to the test”. Some years ago, legislation was passed that would evaluate teachers not on the content of what students could take away from a class but on the grades that the students achieved on a required test. The result, teachers found themselves teaching the method the test was administered as well as trying to teach content. Had teachers been involved in the legislation establishing Common Core and their performance evaluations, this type of approach to teaching may have been avoided. This is why she works to endorse candidates who will invite input from all stakeholders in education. Asked if she felt her involvement in her union impacted her community, she said this, “I have seen many examples of people who are elevated by union membership into stable and secure positions. These are the people who are more likely to make investments in the community, buy a home, and support the community through their taxes and community involvement. Unions strengthen communities and give workers the tools for work which bestows dignity”. Kristine Kinsman, United Auto Workers – UAW Local 1097, Chair of Community Service Committee, Co-Chair of Civil Rights committee, on the Political Action Committee and is a member of the Committee for Black 76

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Trade Unionists. She serves as the work families EAP Representative (Employees Assistance Program). The program she organizes helps members with a variety of different life events that often happen outside of an individual’s workday. She assists making connections and referrals. Often those who need help might not be aware

where to go or be so overwhelmed they have no idea where to start. She was asked, aside from her work in her designation/endorsement committees, what was the favorite part of her job. “Helping someone with a problem and getting them through the issue”. Understandably, this is helpful in the work place, but possibly even more

important outside of the workplace and in the home. Even with a union job, families may struggle to pay bills, need breakfast/lunch programs for students and need help from SNAP programs. Kristine’s work helps the individual or family and strengthens the community at the same time. Helping people get through stressful situations and reducing the pressure makes life a bit easier. Helping any family positively effects the whole community. Montina Scott is a Union Benefits Representative Local, UAW - 1097 Chair of the Civil Rights committee, Co-Chair of Community Service committee, and on the Political Action committee. Her responsibility in her local is to help active and retiree members with questions pertaining to their benefits. Through her work to designate and elect candidates she has lobbied in Washington, worked on political action committees and is a member of the Coalition of Black Trades Unionists. Montina feels the current right to work climate misses the point. Unions help not just their own members, but all workers. As union jobs get better pay and benefits, other jobs must improve to keep up. That is a driver for her and our other women to work with political candidates who support unions. Maria Fisher is a Representative for the Public Employees Federation – PEF, member of Labor Council and United Steel Workers – USW Local 9265. Maria is a third-generation union family member. During World War II her


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL }

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{ {WOMEN IN POLITICS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “As we spoke with these union reps, we realized that while their obligation was to their union members, they also had a strong commitment to their communities.”

Ukrainian grandparents were rescued from a Nazi concentration camp in Austria and brought to America. Her grandfather was able to secure a union job and later her father did as well. After years of service to his union and his employer, her father found himself sent to Poland to train people to do his job, because the company started to out-source the work. Maria, who at the time worked for the City of Rochester, wrote an article about her father’s dilemma that received national attention. Not long after, PEF recruited

her. In addition to her tireless work to support her union family and her political action committee work, she volunteers for Rochester’s own Blind Baseball team, the Pioneers. She works to support ROC MAPP which is an organization that supports apprenticeship programs for people of color in the building and construction trades. When asked what drives her work in union support of political candidates, she said “It’s not about Republican or Democrat. It is making sure the candidate has a strong sense of justice”. She credits her family

history for her commitment to her work. Each of these women knows that promoting candidates who support unions helps all Labor. As we talked to them, what became more interesting than their support for Labor was their passion to help others in and out of the workplace. These dedicated women help fellow employees and their entire community. They make our community a better place. It was truly a pleasure to spend time with each of these women. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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{ MOVING BEYOND MY YOUNGER { SHE HUSTLES TALKS } YEARS }

SHE’S MY HARDEST GOODBYE ... BY CINDY SCRIBANI

Mom sleeps so much more. What an insane difference from Monday morning; only two days ago. Dad sits with her for longer periods of time. he holds her hand ever so gently, lovingly. Sometimes he caresses her forehead whispering his “I love you’s” to her. He fights away tears as he watches his bride fade away – like an early morning fog. Except the sun does not shine.

thoughts, his memories ... how him and mom met and how young they were. he spoke of dreams… i’ve been experiencing them too. Needless to say, sleep has been stolen away. Like

thoughts .. and then eliminates. I pray whatever is digested, grows me further into who i am to become. To live on. Within this beautiful legacy both my mom and dad instilled in me. Day by day. night by night. Dream by dream. My dreams find me. Every Single night. All night long. When I believe beyond what my eyes can see .. signs from Heaven show up to remind me Love never dies.

It’s a week before Thanksgiving. Christmas music attempts to softly adorn their bedroom which is now mom’s hospicehome.

My m o m m e t Je s u s Thanksgiving morning at 10:30am.

No food now for almost 8 weeks. Water has become only sips. Today is cold. Snow flurries. Grey and bleak. Even if the sun decided to warm us with her presence, I’m not convinced she would be noticed much.

I believe with all my heart she’s with my brother celebrating his favorite holiday, this Thanksgiving Day!

My heart is so sad. The hurt i feel is like no other. Empty. hollow. void. Death is lurking here and I can now feel it’s presence.

How does a husband go on without his bride of almost 67 years.. and how does a daughter go on without her mom.

My dad is truly remarkable. Patient. Loving. Kind. He mentioned how relieved he was that he’s the one to handle all this. For mom, it would have been too much for her to bear; too heavy a load to carry.

Watching someone I love die, is an image I will never forget. Losing my mom is the deepest sorrow my heart

Dad is much quieter now. only days ago, he was sharing with me all of his

a thief in the night.

knows.

I believe sleep is a way to perhaps process, sort and even store our day’s events. It’s as if it swallows, digests and even sifts through all of my

Sleep in Heavenly peace, mom ~ I love you

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }

EYE CANDI BY SCOTTIE Who is Scottie Lenear? I am a mother, wife, entrepreneur and all around hustler. My ambition and drive to succeed is like no other. I started off as a silent caterpillar, trapped in a cocoon of reservation. It wasn’t until I started my business that I transformed into the social butterfly I am today. I maintain a positive attitude, sustain a professional demeanor, and uplifting spirit at all times. To some, I am an inspiration. I’m that “vibe” you won’t find anywhere else.

I can remember being mesmerized by certain pieces and I often imagined myself in those lingerie sets, thinking to myself how sexy I would be once I got home. Pleased with how well my purchase was being packaged, made me even more excited with my experience. Buying lingerie was always a treat for myself, a little something to make me

What is your favorite part of doing what you do? My favorite part of my job is that I’m doing what I love and helping my customers build their self-confidence. I also love building rapport with my customer’s so they trust my recommendations and feel comfortable sending me selfies of them wearing Eye Candi lingerie. It melts my heart to hear stories of how well a customer’s evening went after purchasing my lingerie and/or products. Receiving amazing feedback keeps me motivated and encourages me to strive for bigger goals.

When did you first start Eye Candi by Scottie and why? I first started Eye Candi by Scottie on January 1, 2020. My main goal is to introduce customers to a new lifestyle of lingerie and elegant intimacy. My mission is to help women fall in love with themselves again, help them love the skin they’re in regardless of their shape, and encourage women to be more in tune with their sensual side so they can master the art of seduction. How did you come up with the idea and how did you start your business? It all started with my own lingerie habit. Close to an addiction one could say and just overall excitement for all things intimate. I can remember walking into a Victoria’s Secret store overwhelmed by the many delicate items, different fabrics and styles of lingerie. I was in love with the quality of products and the customer service of their employees.

within her business, and to see the other small successful business vendors at this event. It got me to thinking about my own passions and goals. So I said to myself, if I could start my own business it would be to sell something I love. Knowing that my number one passion was lingerie I knew then I needed to get started. So I got to work and created Eye Candi by Scottie.

feel special. Sweet girlie goodies to show off to my man and sometimes just to take selfies. In November 2019 hairstylist Chiquita Gordon was throwing an event “The Classic Hair Experience” which I was attending. I can remember feeling so inspired by her longevity and passion

What has been your biggest challenge in 2020? What about your biggest success? My biggest challenge in 2020 was making a life changing decision on whether to leave my full time job to pursue my business and follow my dreams or stay at my job while putting my dreams on hold in order to remain financially stable. It took me about a month, with discussions between family, friends and asking other business owners, weighing






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the pros and cons before I finally made my decision to leave my full time job. Eye Candi by Scottie has been my focus ever since. My biggest success in 2020 would be my customer growth. The number of followers and support I’ve gained in such a short period of time has and continues to amaze me. My customers and followers have crowned me the QueenPin of Lingerie…… and it’s the bragging rights for me! If you had the ability to mentor another woman, would you consider it? If I had the ability to mentor another woman I would definitely consider it. I am willing to mentor any woman who has deep seeded passion for her dreams and aspirations. A mentee with goal chaser qualities would motivate me to teach her the game so to speak. I will guide her through starting with nothing and how to flip it into her dream vision using a hustler’s mentality the true QueenPin way. Looking back, are there any indications from childhood that foreshadowed your becoming a female entrepreneur? Yes, I have always been creative, driven, and persistent. All which are successful qualities of an entrprenuer. What tips do you have for other women who would like to start their own businesses?

My top 5 tips I would share with other women who would like to start a business would be: 1.) Figure out who your target audience is. Who are you selling to, what age group, ethnic background or sex. 2.) Research social media marketing, social campaign management, audience

5.) This may sound funny to some but, try your best not to be a “HATER” reach out to other business women for advice, reach out to women who are in a similar business as yourself and ask them what it takes to get started. Put your pride to the side and ask questions. Listen to those crossing your path they just may hold the key you’ve been looking for Where will we see Eye Candi by Scottie in 2021? I see Eye Candi By Scottie being the number one most popular lingerie line in upstate New York. The Eye Candi by Scottie team will be the most talked about group of individuals. Be prepared for upcoming YouTube Chanel’s, Eye Candi events and a grand opening to the Eye Candi by Scottie boutique. The takeover is now!

engagements, and content marketing. 3.) Whatever you do make sure it’s something you love and not something you think you can just make quick money from. 4.) Start before you are ready. You will never have everything perfectly lined up and in place. So get things organized and jump in.

What did you do before starting your business? Prior to getting into entrepreneurship I worked in the medical administrative assisting field. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? In my free time I enjoy relaxing at home with a nice glass of cognac over ice and binge watching tv shows. I also enjoy spending time with my 2 children, shopping, date nights with my husband, and pampering myself from time to time. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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{ { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “To some, I am an inspiration. I’m that “vibe” you won’t find anywhere else.”

What impact do you want to have in the world or change that you want to see or make happen? I am hoping that my lingerie line impacts the lives of women of all sizes. My goal is to make sure when women put on my pieces they feel sexy and confident regardless of their size or blemishes they may feel insecure about. I want women to embrace their bodies, flaws and all. 102

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Eye Candi by Scottie is a movement! Who has been your biggest influence and why? The person who has influenced me the most would be Eloise Monaghan. She is the founder and creative director of Honey Birdette, a lingerie and toy boutique that’s flirty, playful and unapologetically sensual. Her pieces are so amazing and unique it gives me so much inspiration. Even

the lush decor and champagne they serve to guests at the boutique just makes me feel like the possibilities are unlimited. The Honey Birdette boutique is everything I wish to have in a store front. Slowly but surely I will get there but until then I will keep on promoting my brand and going hard like I always do for my customers.


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MICHELLE DARIN BY MICHELLE DARIN

My name is Michelle DaRin and I run Michelle DaRin Jewelry, a fashion company that sells my handmade jewelry, clothing, and women’s accessories. I am a New York City native who has called Syracuse home since I was an undergraduate in the 1990s. Recently, I was invited to be featured in CNY Woman Magazine by some fabulous women who love to support local female entrepreneurs in business. It got me thinking about “local” and how the pandemic has really emphasized how important local is and how much our community means to us. Michelle DaRin Jewelry has benefited from the CNY local community in many ways for a long time. We have had excellent sales in upstate New York and enjoyed a regular client base and following. Additionally, the local press has been congenial and the retail stores, Cazenovia Jewelry and Heidi Boutique, that we partner with, have been supportive and boosted our profile. MDJ has a long history in CNY and it has grown in numerous ways. Thinking outside the box with my designs and with our business model

always moves us forward. A few years ago, we took a chance and auditioned for Shark Tank and we made it to the second round. Unfortunately, we did not make it to the show. However, it was a positive experience and it motivated us to keep going. I’m not saying there weren’t any tears and I

wasn’t disappointed but we learned a lot and used that new knowledge to improve and grow our business. That experience opened us up to the idea of looking locally and partnering with Cazenovia Jewelry. It has been fruitful and Ralph Monaforte, of Caz Jewelry, has put up a highly visible

billboard three years in a row during the holiday season! That exposure has been priceless. Additionally, our participation in the ever local Syracuse Fashion Week has been beneficial for exposure and sales as well. Before COVID-19, I questioned if I should have ever left NYC and wondered where my business might be if I stayed there. Now, I am super grateful to live on 8 acres in beautiful Central NY. I work from home, which I always knew was a blessing, but with COVID-19, I realize more than ever how my work is an extension of every facet of my life. It is my lifestyle, it is how I live. Whatever I am thinking about shows up in my work. It’s how I process and reflect on what I am feeling internally. How lucky am I? Most people don’t get to have their life’s work be their expression and catharsis. Times are uncertain but my people have shown up. My husband James, who is also my business partner, is tirelessly building me a new studio where we plan to host art and music events just like we did when I was in graduate school at Syracuse University ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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“Whatever I am thinking about shows up in my work. It’s how I process and reflect on what I am feeling internally. How lucky am I? Most people don’t get to have their life’s work be their expression and catharsis.”



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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “Before COVID-19, I questioned if I should have ever left NYC and wondered where my business might be if I stayed there. Now, I am super grateful to live on 8 acres in beautiful Central NY”

hosting art and music events. Back then, I would bring the art, my husband would bring the music and people would buy my work. It was a lightbulb moment. After I received an MFA in Metalsmithing and an MS in Art Education the goal was to get a stable teaching job, but instead, I went with my dream. My heart was in creating and I was fortunate enough to run with it with the support of a loving husband who had a steady paycheck. The result has been a winding and twisty road with many ups and downs with much success.

We did every show we could squeeze in and travelled throughout New York to get our name out there and build our brand, Michelle DaRin Jewelry. Before the pandemic, we had already been talking about scaling back our participation in the art and craft show circuit and focusing on more online sales and retailers. Poetically, at the last show we did, our tent got caught in a microburst and ended up in pieces looking like a bunch of chopsticks. We never bought another tent and we don’t plan on it. Our

business model has changed and we are focusing on virtual jewelry trunk shows where I get to present some cool original jewels and my husband James can let his comedic light shine. Who knows what our new world will look like? For now, shopping from home keeps everyone safe and affords us much freedom for me to explore new original ideas in jewelry and accessories and new ways for us to grow our business.


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “Before the pandemic, we had already been talking about scaling back our participation in the art and craft show circuit and focusing on more online sales and retailers”

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“Our business model has changed and we are focusing on virtual jewelry trunk shows where I get to present some cool original jewels and my husband James can let his comedic light shine. Who knows what our new world will look like?”

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COMING JAN. 2021

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WE ARE VERY EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THE INFLUENTIAL WOMAN ONLINE! Sharing Stories of Women in Leadership and Expert Advice on Money, Love, Health, Intimacy & Relationships ______

Women world changers advertise with us! Allow your voice to be heard and seen! Yes, now is the time! For more information please contact networkrocqueen@gmail.com or drpamdenton@gmail.com

WORLD CHANGERS


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BEAUTIFY ME Hello Central New York! My name is Gabriella Rose, owner of BeautifyMe. As an experienced and educated expert in all things beauty, I specialize in skincare, lashes, brows, and makeup with NYS certifications as a Skincare Specialist, Lash Tech, Brow Tech & Cosmetologist. I am very appreciative and excited to be introduced to this amazing magazine as the next Beauty columnist and expert. As a beauty artist having worked all over NYS, I am excited to share my experience with you. From doing event makeup for charity shows such as Stitched Fashion that gives back to the Ronald McDonald House to bridal makeup, to taking part in the world-famous NYC Fashion Week. I guess you can say I travel quite a bit. Another one of my passions! My beauty artistry doesn’t stop there. I specialize in all types of makeup such as bridal, event artistry, and fashion makeup as well as skin care, lashes, and brows. Let me tell you my story and a little bit about myself (or a lot). I am a traveling artist and the founder of “BeautifyMe.” I’ve been in the industry for over 5 years now and decided to start my own business about 2 years ago. Since then, I have become a published makeup artist and have done work for many designers at New York Fashion Week. How and why did I choose my business name? It represents what I

do, I beautify! More importantly, I beautify you! Doing what I do allows me to help my clients with having the confidence they deserve. My goal for each of my clients is to enhance the beauty outside by understanding the beauty inside. To enhance your natural beauty. To Beautify! I love advising clients with beauty tips for their everyday look or making them feel like royalty on their wedding day or simply teaching the application of falsies. Trust me it’s harder than it looks and YouTubers definitely make it seem like a piece of cake! I grew up in Guilderland, NY playing around with glitter, cheap makeup, bright lipstick, and EVERYTHING pink, until I was old enough to try my mothers makeup and learned by practicing. I was nowhere near decent. Youtube was JUST beginning to be popular with videos and influencers aside from funny cat videos. I was one of those girls with the ‘box brow’ phase, after my super thin eyebrow look phase. It took me a couple of years to finally do brows correctly. Growing up I had a favorite store… or should I say dream salon. Club Libby Lu. I want to thank that place for inspiring me. I went to Cosmetology School for Makeup. I went to SkinCare School for Skin, and took classes to become a Certified Brow and Lash Artist. Makeup artists today work in two industries... cosmetic or fashion makeup and FX or film makeup. I have previously worked with couture designers, models, artists,

photographers, videographers, bridal parties and fashion shows. Some of my work has been published on the web or fashion and life magazines. You can find my published work on the Syracuse Fashion Weekend Website or the Saratoga Living Magazine. What excites me the most about doing what I do is the huge difference a simple touch of concealer or brow gel can make and the confidence it reflects afterwards. As an artist, I feel it is very important with each client to listen, discuss, and understand. It is crucial for me to always be up to date on what the current trends are in the beauty industry. Even with the experience I have, I learn every single day. There are millions of people in this world and each person was born different. Diversity and creation are beautiful, and with the people I have met throughout it all are a huge part of my inspiration. There is always something new and/ or different that might be introduced by someone’s creativity. You might try that new trend, and then come up with additional ideas to make that creativity something bigger. That is art. You can add on, you can take away, you can change, or you can keep it original. No matter what, it’s beautiful. Models, Celebrities, Movie Directors, whoever an artist works for, depend on their favorite makeup artists for their expected look for appearances, and shoots. Beautiful makeup applications start off with having beautiful skin. A lot of people can’t stand their skin, and that is


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“I am here to share my knowledge, experience, and appreciation with you.”

s because they don’t understand their skin. My job is to help. Prep, prime, and finish. You want to follow a simple skin care regimen that’s personalized for your skin type and skin needs. Whether you have oily skin, aging skin, dry skin, or even normal skin, including conditions like rosacea, eczema, acne, hyperpigmentation… there is always something out there for you.

I can share with you about this topic is to think of your skincare as a percentage of 100%. Say you go to a Medical Spa and see an Esthetician who performs monthly chemical peels, IPL, or even microneedling services. As an Esthetician, I can tell you the services I do to you only takes up 20% of your skincare. The other 80% symbolizes your at home

I am here to share my knowledge, experience, and appreciation with you. The most common question about SkinCare that I get asked about are recommendations for products. What brands? What product for this concern? What product for that concern? My go to answer is no matter what skin type you have, and skin condition there is, always use Medical SkinCare Products. The advantage you will see and will experience compared to regular cosmetic skincare products are faster and stronger results. It’s well worth the price when you receive actual results instead of buying a product that just smells or feels good. Every client is different. One client can have oily, acneic skin that is very dry and flakey, while another client has normal skin with hyperpigmentation and rosacea. The most important knowledge

skincare regimen that you have to follow morning and night. Although it sounds like a lot, it can be something very simple. All you need is dedication. Your dedication will pay off and uncover beautiful, raw, healthy skin. Performing all of the services I do, and changing skin that screams for help along with creating my artwork on a beautiful canvas, is my career. Right now I stick

to my short term goals and aim for my long term goals. Opening my own studio where our priority is our clients. Everyone is welcome and taken care of luxuriously and comfortably. A place where you can come get ready for your first date, or your wedding day. You walk in excited with expectations and with the spin of a chair, you walk out a Queen. Head to toe, the canvas is shining. This is my business, BeautifyMe. As an artist and the founder of BeautifyMe, I am here to service all your beauty needs and wants. If you’re looking for special occasion makeup for any event, headshots, photoshoots, or fashion shows... book me as your makeup artist. Do you have skin concerns? Anti-aging, dry skin, or breakouts? Book me for a microdermabrasion. Do you need better brows or lifted lashes? My station is set. BeautifyMe is here to Beautify YOU. For more information, or to contact me please visit @beautifyme247 on Instagram and Facebook or my email is gfrose12@gmail.com

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SHIFT+CONTROL { { SHE {HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES ENTREPRENHERS TALKS} } }} SHEHUSTLES ENTREPRENHERS

COCOA CANDLES Tell us a little bit about yourself... Where did you grow up? I’ll start with a little introduction of myself. My name is Youlanda Johnson and I am from Syracuse New York. I currently work for the City of Syracuse as Construction Development Coordinator and I am also the owner of CoCoa’s Candle Company. I started my business because I have a passion for beautiful clean scents and homemade products. I also believe in the feel good.. look good and the smell good plays a huge part in that as well. In addition to the candles I wanted to include my famous luxurious bath scrubs and balms which have been a huge hit. I felt the bath scrubs and balms were a compliment to the candles not only leaving your home smelling good but lingering scent as you travel throughout your day. I love for my office and my office to smell fresh and sweet just like me. Scents play a huge role in how your day may be. Certain scents can give you energy to get through your day and there are certain scents I love to help me wine down and relax. I wanted to make scents creative and infuse a combination to satisfy several sensations that we may crave throughout the day. What is most important to you being a female entrepreneur? Being a female entrepreneur has lots of advantages. As a female entrepreneur 130

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you have significant advantages simply because we are made different and our decision making is always a thought process in most situations. Another advantage of being a female entrepreneur is collaboration and connections with other female leaders. Women love working together and creating relationships and partnerships.

Who is the most influential person in your life? The most influential person in my life was my mother. My mother was one of the sweetest, savvy, brave, hard working, creative women that I know. My mother would sacrifice herself for

her family. And in every move I make I think of her. Despite the rise in women-owned businesses, female bosses are still in the minority. What made you decide to take this on? Despite the rise in women owned business I still decided to take on this journey to start my own candle company because I knew with my experience and creativity that I could strive and still find a way to shine in the industry. What are some ideas you have of how to expand your business in 2021? I plan to expand my business even more in 2021. I launched my business during the Pandemic and did very well. I could only imagine what it would be like once life gets back to almost normal and I can have more community involvement and introduce more people to my product. The only challenge I have with a candle business is people like to be hands on and actually smell what you have to offer but I have found creative ways and my customers trust my judgement and still continue to purchase my products. Have you found it difficult being a minority woman owned business during these unprecedented times? I can’t say that I have experienced any difficulties being a minority in this business during these unprecedented


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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “As a female entrepreneur you have significant advantages simply because we are made different and our decision making is always a thought process in most situations.”

times. And again this is a fairly new business and I must admit that it would surprise me that’s why I stay ready from having to get ready and as an African American woman I have become comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is something I deal with on a daily basis. Trust me I will never let it stop me and it only pushes me even harder to be successful not only with my business but within the workplace and everyday life experiences. If you could do one thing over knowing what you do now, what would that be? 132

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There is nothing I would do differently with this new business venture. I believe my approach with the business is working. Thank God for the years of experience being a longtime entrepneaur and business woman experienced in marketing, customer service, management and retail. Tell the readers one thing they may not know about you... One thing readers may know about me is I was a successful business owner of Hot Cocoas Beauty Supply and I served thousands of women in upstate ny and had tons of wonderful experiences,

opportunities and reviews. What is one bit of advise you would give to other women owned businesses? The advice I would offer to other women owned businesses is to network with other like minded and non like minded people. I say that because I don’t believe in a closed circle. I always felt like leaving that circle open could just be the missing piece of your puzzle... you just never know.. everyone deserves a chance and every voice matters.


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CRYSTAL BANFIELD PHOTOS BY KIJANA CRUES

Tell us a little bit about yourself... Where did you grow up? A. My name is Crystal Banfield. I am 33 years young. I am a wife and mother of 4 children. I also have a Siberian Husky by the name of Balto. I was born and raised in West Palm Beach Fl. I have an older sister and a younger brother. My favorite color is Pink, and my favorite food is Steak and Seafood.

A. I’d have to say my sister. She has encountered so many obstacles in life but has managed to leap over or push through them all. It’s very inspiring to have the person you admire so close to you at your fingertips. Despite the rise in women-owned businesses, female founders still lack the financial resources for starting their own businesses. How did you

When did you start your business and why? A. Crystal’s Beauty Salon & Spa Inc officially opened on June 20,2020. Yes, right in the middle of the pandemic. I choose to open at that time because I feel like this world needed a place to feel safe. I also wanted to bring diversity to East Rochester and what better way to do that than a salon and spa. What is most important to you being a female entrepreneur? A. Female entrepreneurs are respected on so many levels. Just to be able to use my platform to inspire other women, people in general is so liberating. Who is the most influential person in your life?

A. The best way to network is of course having events, workshops, word of mouth, passing out informative material etc. Covid has prevented us from doing those things. However, with technology growing everyday we have the right to exercise all of those things via Zoom, Facetime, Google meet, and other video chat apps. No matter what we are going through if someone is interested in your business they will find a way to support that business. Have you found it difficult being a minority woman owned business during these unprecedented times?

take this on? A. When you are passionate about what you do and others recognize that it leaves investors little room to have doubt. I have the biggest support team backing me, I am truly blessed. How do we expand women’s networks to accommodate all women entrepreneurs?

A. Woman are faced with challenges daily. Being a black business owner, you strive to be viewed as equal. I want to be recognized for being successful but also being kind, genuine, passionate, and loving. What has been your biggest challenge? What has been your biggest success? A. This year the biggest challenge has been the Covid. It has slowed business down in more ways than one. B. The amazing people I’ve met from opening my salon & spa has been so rewarding. I feel my success is yet to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } “Female entrepreneurs are respected on so many levels. Just to be able to use my platform to inspire other women, people in general is so liberating.”

come. I’m just starting and still have a number of people yet to reach. If you could do one thing over knowing what you do now, what would that be? A. Never procrastinate. Understand that timing is everything and make the necessary adjustments to prepare for what is ahead. How do you plan on growing your business in the next year? A. I’d like to host my own marketing party. Just to network amongst other entrepreneurs. Also do more interviews attend more pop up shops and push my brand and products more on all

platforms. Tell the readers one thing they may not know about you... A. This might be hard to believe but I am very shy lol. I get really nervous speaking in front of large crowds. A lot of people don’t know that about me as I’m always the life of the party and light up every room I walk in. It’s the Leo in me lol. What is one bit of advise you would give to other black owned businesses? A. Never give up!!!! Follow your heart, when one door closes start opening every other door until you have a walkway. When someone tells

me no, I find a way to make it a yes. Might not be in that same setting but I always find a way to meet them on the other side. How can you be a support system to other female business owners? A. I’d love to help with making the community more aware of female business owners. We are more than just a face. We are a group of highly intelligent woman who have done things that at one point only men were allowed to do. Coming together to bring awareness to topics that matter would be ideal for me. I am ready to meet the influential female owners of Rochester New York and surrounding areas. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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1-800-FLAGS BY AMBER IMBURGIA

My name is Amber Imburgia and I am the owner of 1-800 Flags, an online flag retailer. I reside in Rochester, NY with my husband and two sons. I graduated from SUNY Brockport with a degree in Marketing. Over the past decade I have worked in various sales positions, with a tendency to gravitate towards running my own business. The dream became a reality when I acquired this business during perhaps the most unlikely time in the last century, the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic in April of 2020. T h e p re v i o u s owner had a seasoned retail business in addition to the online business. I saw the opportunity and jumped on it, closing on the sale in the middle of 2020. I knew immediately that the diamond in the rough was the website, which I believed had unlimited potential in the space. Shortly after taking over the business, I closed the retail space and moved the entire operation online. This allowed me to streamline my days and increase revenues almost immediately. Running a business from home has 146

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its challanges, I needed to set rules and priorities for myself and had to learn to practice the word no. Being a working mother, you quickly need to realize what to delegate as one could easily become stretched too thin; however, saying no, will in the long run give the opportunity to spend your time in the present, whether working or with family. I was once given the advice that if it takes under

a minute, complete the task and check it off the list, if it takes longer than that delegate it. If it’s not important or won’t help me reach my goals delete it! My best advice to someone thinking about making the leap of business ownership is learn how to delegate and ask for help. As an only child, I find a common trait among only children is that we tend to want to

“do it all” ourselves, and that is not possible when trying to successfully scale a business. Don’t be shy! Be very clear about your business needs and goals and build a team around you to help. I encourage you to use technology to your advantage, I always have a podcast going while I am working. An episode from This American Life, from about 4 years ago featuring a DV lottery winner (also called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program) really touched me. Abdi, a Somoli Refugee living in Kenya with his brother would lay on the floor in complete darkness in Kenya while trying to evade capture from the Kenyan Police. They would sit in the dark for hours, sometimes days listening (illegally) to 1980’s American love songs, dreaming of living in the USA. That really put things into perspective for me, I’ve never forgotten that image. We are blessed with an abundance of opportunity just by living in America. Please visit the website and you will find great flags featuring international, American, Custom Flags for businesses and more. At 1-800 Flags, we specialize in Business to Business Sales and large


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volume orders. We have supplied flags around the entire country! Recently, I’ve added a round-up feature that a customer can use at check out that gives them the option to “roundup” to Pencils for Charity. I truly went into business to not only better the lives of my family, but also the community. One new “sneak peek” I am excited to share is that I have been exploring multiple custom flag designers locally to feature, as well as working on some 150

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of our own in-house designs. Picture thoughtfully curated, made in the USA, Pennant style flags with positive and optimistic messaging. These will be limited edition art type pieces and will add to the depth of the current offerings. Overall, 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for most businesses. It was my first 90 days in business and I was met with supply chain issues, things like manufacturers being closed or at half capacity at times, a Presidential

election year, and protests throughout the Country. I can honestly say that one year has felt like five but with that being said, we have become a stronger company through all the hardships. Finishing with one final thought, I do believe that our country is beautiful and rare and should be treated as such. I feel as though I am helping to preserve that notion one flag sale at a time.


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DR. J BEAUTY BY DR. ANIKA SIMONE JOHNSON

Dr. Anika Simone Johnson also known as Dr. J. Beauty is a scholar, educator, ordained deacon, mentor, certified yoga teacher and entrepreneur. In 2013, she relocated to Rochester from her hometown Brooklyn, NY to pursue her doctorate degree, where she earned a Doctorate of Education in 2018 from University of Rochester, Warner School of Education. She has 7 years of experience working in K-12 and 10 years in higher education providing academic advisement, college preparation and programmatic initiatives for traditional, first-generation, low-income and African, Latinx, Asian, Native American (ALANA) students. She is the Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Success in the Office of Minority Student Affairs at the University of Rochester. Dr. Johnson cultivates a nonjudgmental atmosphere with her students and mentees to create open and honest conversations at all times. She believes applied knowledge is power therefore sharing her story, experiences and mentorship could assist her students and mentees to alleviate some mishaps and growing pains that life so generously shows us. She is known for her positivity and encourages everyone to intently believe in themselves and use words purposefully. Her motto is “keep winning on purpose” to inspire everyone to continue their path of growth and success as defined by themselves and no one else. She teaches four daily self-care

routines to create or maintain a positive mindset all in efforts to elevate your life: 1. Keep your vibration high [listen to music, positive audio or podcast] 2. Speak life [“your words have power, recite daily affirmations, only speak what you want”] 3. Body movement [“you must move your body every

day - run, yoga, dance, zumba, etc. so figure it out and move!”] and 4. Read [“successful people are coachable - who are you learning from?”]. She has not met anyone unhappy or unhealthy who has incorporated these four daily self-care routines.

Through both her career and entrepreneur paths, she has had the opportunity to present at conferences such as the Black Doctoral Network, Inc., National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES, American Association of Blacks in Higher Education, NACADA Region 1 and WNY Advising. She was a guest speaker for Genesee Community College, University of Rochester, St. John’s University Staten Island Campus, W. H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School, Ready, Set, Glow Community Organization and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Due to COVID-19, she was unable to speak at Monroe Community College: Human Book initiative or the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity (NCORE) as scheduled.
 Dr. Johnson received professional recognitions for the 2019 Emerging Leader Recipient Award from the American Association University Women, Greater Rochester Area Branch; the 2018 Tyll van Geel Leadership Award Recipient from the University of Rochester, Warner School of Education; the 2018 Featured Newsletter Spotlight from the Black Doctoral Network, Incorporated and the 2018 Grant Awardee from National American Association University Women. Dr. Johnson has impacted many high schools, colleges, universities, and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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“Dr. Anika Simone Johnson also known as Dr. J. Beauty is a scholar, educator, ordained deacon, mentor, certified yoga teacher and entrepreneur.”



{{ { SHE HUSTLES SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS TALKS}}} “Dr. Johnson cultivates a non-judgmental atmosphere with her students and mentees to create open and honest conversations at all times“

organizations through academic, career, spiritual, financial, entrepreneurial and leadership opportunities via her businesses. She is the CEO/CoFounder of Mentor FirstGen, Inc. www. mentorfirstgen.org [Mentor FirstGen, Incorporated supports firstgeneration college and advanced degree scholars and professionals to navigate the campus c o m m u n i t y, academy, and professional environments: 1. Educate, Train and Connect FirstGen Scholars to be empowered and to lead locally, regionally, nationally and g l o b a l l y. 2 . Provide advocacy, guidance, support and challenge FirstGen Scholars throughout their academic, social, spiritual, entrepreneurial, and employment journeys. 3. Motivate and encourage FirstGen Scholars online and in-person through programmatic initiatives, demonstrate visual displays of recognition and celebration of academic, social, spiritual, entrepreneurial, and employment goals and achievements.] 158

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and business owner and certified makeup artist of All Things Dr. J. Beauty www. drjbeauty.com [All Things Dr. J. Beauty is a beauty and wellness brand that specializes in natural makeup, skincare

and makeup classes, beauty from the inside out, self-care routines, yoga and meditation classes. Dr. J. Beauty and her team has a diverse range of experience with clients in bridal, ministry, theater, photoshoots, video shoots, runways, graduations and proms.]

Dr. Johnson enjoys spending time with her loved ones, mentees and friends. She is all about sisterhood, spreading love and living out your purpose. She enjoys dancing, singing in gospel choir, volunteering, traveling, reading and practicing yoga and meditation. During her downtime she takes rest on the sabbath to rejuvenate her mind, body and spirit. Dr. Johnson is excited to invite our readers to participate in her donation based yoga and meditation classes. The in-person classes are offered every Tuesday until the end of the year at the Legacy Drama House, 112 Webster Avenue, Rochester, NY and virtually on Sundays via www.drjbeauty. com/yoga. If you would like to learn more information or connect to book an upcoming event, please contact info@drjbeauty.com; Instagram @ dranikasimonejohnson @mentorfirstgen @allthingsdr.j.beauty; and Facebook Dr. J. Beauty.



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BETSY AGUILAR BY BETSY AGUILAR I PHOTOS BY KEVIN HUNT

People would describe me as a powerhouse with many layers to my uniqueness. I’ve been blessed with quite a diverse creative mind and I am always thinking of what to make next. I have a multitude of talents and enjoy learning how to do new things. Creating is my therapy and appreciation is my fuel. For the past 7 years I’ve been involved in Buffalo’s fashion and arts industry. It’s a deep passion of mine. I’m a published model and a designer in Buffalo. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many gifted photographers, makeup artists, hair stylist, models and designers in WNY. I’ve walked the runway in fashion shows and have had the honor of showcasing my one-of-a-kind clothing designs in many shows. I’ve been awarded multiple wins in recognition of my wearable art pieces and makeup. Every new fashion show or event I take part in, inspires me to create something even bigger and better for the next time. Being self-employed allows me to create on my own terms. It allows me the freedom to do a little of everything I love. I own my own photo studio, Just B Creative photo studios in Buffalo, NY. Modeling and designing has inspired me to open a photo studio. Having my own studio allows me to bring pictures to life by telling a story using back drops and props. It excites me to have the freedom to create with fewer limitations and to have easy access to a fully functional backdrop and related 164

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props. The possibilities are endless for me to be able to be innovative visionary and to make the perfect setting to cover different themes. I love it when I’m the model in the photoshoot because I’m able to have my own creative expressions and poses. My imagination is my therapeutic outlet, it allows me to express my emotions

through my work. I am an advocate and public speaker for mental health and domestic violence awareness. I am bipolar, diagnosed since 2005 and a domestic violence survivor of a mental, verbal and emotionally abusive relationship I was in for 7 years. Mental abuse haunts the thoughts in your brain. The tears of emotional abuse stain the heart. The

words from verbal abuse cuts to the core of your soul and resonates. Physical abuse leaves dark bruises and deep scars in your bones. I use platforms like social media and podcasts to share my story in hopes to shed light on these topics that are often uncomfortable, hidden, negatively looked open and in plenty of cases ignored. To fight the stigma and provide support understanding and educate the public; and advocate for equal care for invisible disabilities. My goal is to replace negative stigmas with prosperity hope and a future with treatment, recovery and wellness. Mental illness is a disorder, disease or condition that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and or relates to others and to his/her surroundings. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and are different depending on the type of mental illness you have. Caused by a combination of biological and psychological environmental factors such as genes or brain chemistry imbalance that cannot be prevented like life experiences trauma or abuse. From depression, stress social anxiety, bipolar, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and dysregulation in mood. Mental Illness does not discriminate. It can affect people of any age, race, sex, income or educational level and cultural background. Mental illness is a blind disability and a chronic illness that requires consistent ongoing treatment,


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{{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS} } “People would describe me as a powerhouse with many layers to my uniqueness. I’ve been blessed with quite a diverse creative mind and I am always thinking of what to make next.”

medications and therapy. A person with an untreated mental illness is often unable to cope with life’s daily routines and demands. It is important to know the signs because it continually affects every stage in life from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. It is important to get professional help and connecting with others who can relate to you. Being bipolar feels like a test I didn’t study for. I’ve learned that it requires more than medication to deal and come to terms with your mental state. You have to educate yourself on your own individual condition. With appropriate treatment you can learn the proper tools that will help you navigate through life more effectively to live a somewhat 166

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normal life and enjoy activities. I’ve realized it’s not personal or a character defect. Having a positive outlook on mental health allows me to realize my full potential, and to better cope with stress. I am able to better take care of myself and even welcome change and the unexpected. You become limitless. Welcome new opportunities to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I hope that by sharing my story and becoming a voice for the unspoken ones that are facing mental health challenges will find the courage to talk about their experiences and will understand there are many of us facing these life challenges. You are not alone. It’s a daily battle we all struggle with but just sometimes ignore. Over the course of the past 15 years of being diagnosed and taking

medications (and taken off them and the continuous cycle of balancing me out) it has been a journey during which I’ve learned so much more about myself and the ways that my thinking and mood affects and contribute to my everyday wellbeing. It affects how I think and act and determines how I handle stressful situations and can relate to others in making healthy choices. It is exciting to realize all the challenges and risk I’ve taken over the years have ultimately brought me to a point where I have learned ways to blend my creativity in with myself care as well as modeling healthy life strategies for those I love and those in creative roles in the arts and fashion industry.


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ELLAROSE BOUTIQUE BY KRISTEN LEIKER

Tell us a little bit about yourself and EllaRose... Hi! My name is Kristen Leiker and I own and operate EllaRose Boutique! Named after my two daughters Briella Lynn and Freya Rose, EllaRose Boutique offers women’s clothing in sizes small to 3xl, along with amazing accessories, hair items, and other fun giftables! You can shop EllaRose via the website (shopwithellarose.com), the VIP facebook group (kristenleiker. com), and the free app (EllaRose Boutique in your app store)! Every Thursday night at 8:00, we go live with brand new items!

we are today! What is your favorite part of doing what you do? I absolutely love seeing the smiles on women’s faces when they get that undeniable confidence while wearing clothes from the boutique. I feel so

What made you decide start your business? I had my daughter Briella in 2012, thirteen weeks premature, and at the time I was a 7-12 teacher in the city of Buffalo. She had many struggles throughout the NICU, and after we got home. I went back to work at the end of 2013 and had a lot of difficulty being away from her and being absent for her home therapies. She was diagnosed in 2014 with Rett Syndrome, which is a rare neurological disorder, and her therapies increased while I watched her accomplishments through pictures and videos. In 2015, I took a leap of faith after dabbling with a clothing side hustle, and left my teaching job of 9 years to be with her more. The business grew and here

I also love supporting other women’s small businesses. Many of the brands I carry are other women just like myself who had a dream. Do you have any advice for others who would like to start their own business? Be patient! Allow relationships to naturally form. Get to know your customers! Be sure to establish yourself with good business practices including an accountant to work the back end, a schedule to stick to, and systems in place. Owning a business is complicated! Go in with the mindset that this will be challenging and takes a lot of dedication! What has been your biggest challenge in 2020? 2020 was my year of huge growth. With quarantine in place, online shopping exploded and so did my business! The biggest challenge was doing it all on my own while having the kids at home!

much joy in being able to supply women of all shapes and sizes with incredible clothes. The community we have gained through the business is much more than material items. Friendships have been created, stories have been shared, and our VIP group is a safe place where we build each other up.

What was your biggest success and why? I feel that my biggest success was working through a high risk pregnancy, giving birth, and caring for a newborn all while growing the business. Many of us know the challenges that come along with that, and I feel very proud that EllaRose was able to push forward through it all!


“2020 was my year of huge growth. With quarantine in place, online shopping exploded and so did my business! The biggest challenge was doing it all on my own while having the kids at home! ”



{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} “ I am running harder than ever because the pandemic has taught us we must be proactive with solutions.”

What is your main way you promote your business and why? I promote through Facebook and word of mouth. My customers are incredible and are always sharing the boutique with their friends and family! My growth is purely organic and I’m very thankful for that. I feel this is the best way for me to grow as it allows me to get to know my customers and create true relationships.

My dad has made an incredible impact on my life. He started his business almost 40 years ago as just a young guy with a big dream. He’s shown me that you can truly accomplish

What’s your favorite thing(s) to do when you are not working? I love to work out! We’ve recently built a gym in our basement to make it easier to work out during these difficult times and it’s been a blessing! I enjoy being with my incredible tribe of friends, traveling (when pandemics a r e n’t a t h i n g ) , enjoying great food, and experiencing our amazing city. Other than that, my babies keep me quite busy at home! Who has made the biggest impact on your life and why?

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During this past year, name a moment that has stood out to you and how it affected you. A customer messaged me a few months ago letting me know she never felt that she was beautiful or worthy, and that her confidence had plummeted since she had her daughter. She mentioned that since she had found my boutique and wore my clothes, she has never felt more beautiful. This put me in instant tears. It fills my cup every single day to know that I have helped women gain back their confidence! What is something our readers may not know about you?

what you want if you have that drive and dedication. My sister and I both have our own businesses now and I attribute that to a man who radiates success!

I’m a wild and crazy gal who is young at heart. I love hard and want to get to know all my customers to the fullest. When you shop from me, I hope to provide you with a unique shopping experience, excellent customer service, and beautiful quality items. For more information www. shopwithellarose.com



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MIX CUPS BY SARAH PEDEN

When I think back to my sophomore year in high school I remember being asked over and over again “What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?” but seldom had an answer to follow. Never had I thought at 25 years old I would be an accomplished business owner with a beautiful family and a place to call home. Each of those milestones came from a dedication to perseverance and self-discipline, along with the over whelming support from my family. My goals continue to change as I continue to grow as a woman, a mother, and an entrepreneur. As most mothers do, I try to limit the number of times I have to pack everyone in the car each day but sometimes I need a little boost to my morning and nothing quite does it like my morning cup of coffee. The drive-thru line can be long but at least I’m not stuck drinking the same roast I’ve had every morning at home this week. Even then I hate to brew a whole pot of coffee for just myself. This is where many of us have found our perfect match with the single cup coffee brewer; though I still find myself getting into 180

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a rotation of the same flavor every day which can become boring fast. My name is Sarah Peden and I’d like to introduce you to the MixCups family. We are owned and operated out of the Western New York area and happily serve customers nationwide. We offer a unique way to gift your friends and family (or yourself!)

with a fun way to start each day. Each month we send out a new box with a hand-selected variety of single cup coffee pods catered to their taste preference giving them the chance to mix up their daily grind. Pun intended! With several easy to chose from mix types and subscription lengths finding the perfect gift has never been so easy!

MixCups is proud to have teamed up with fellow entrepreneur and avid coffee lover; Mike Cruz as we both take pride in hand-selecting our fifteen featured roasts every single month. While you can find variety packs on sites such as Amazon, the reality is that they often use a single brand and only offer a few select varieties. As I said, at MixCups we carefully select a delicious and different mix to send you every month that offers up to 15 different flavors depending on your mix type. All around we are facing new daily challenges as we try to make adjustments to the ever-changing world around us. This year many of us have gone longer than ever before without seeing family and without gathering for holiday traditions. Sadly it appears December will be no different. Without being able to see loved ones face to face it’s the small gestures we make that mean the most; who wouldn’t love to get a monthly reminder that someone was thinking of you and wishing you warmth. I’d like to leave off by wishing all


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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “Each month we send out a new box with a hand-selected variety of single cup coffee pods catered to their taste preference giving them the chance to mix up their daily grind. Pun intended! With several easy to chose from mix types and subscription lengths finding the perfect gift has never been so easy!”

small businesses whether just starting out or with years put in, the best of wishes in this year and the next! Please know when you shop and support a small business you are helping a family fund for college savings or putting a meal on the table; these 182

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are your neighbors, your friends, and your family. At MixCups we are pleased to say we work with many local distributors to do our part in supporting the small business community. The 2020 season has taken a different toll on us all but it’s

important we remember we are all part of the same human race.



PLEASE CONTACT SARAH PEDEN AT WWW.MIXCU


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CUPCAKES BY LINDA BY LINDA MITCHELL

My name is Linda Mitchell and I am the owner of Cupcakes By Linda. I started my journey about 3 years ago and I’ve been so very happy with my decision ever since. I had been working at Wegmans for 11 years before i started my side business of baking. I was only working in the Wegmans bakery for about 2 years before I fell completely inlove with decorating and making things look amazing.

school, household chores, baking and so many other things. It was just about a year ago when I had my very first vending event showcasing my skills and baked goods. Boy was I a nervous wreck! I had no idea what to expect. I made a variety of cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries for the event. I had so much fun and I sold alot of my desserts. I was able

I now have 4 children at home, so I really have to be careful with managing my time between kids,

I have all kinds of stories about how family members had gotten cakes or desserts from me and that literally made my heart smile. I was doing what I loved and getting the kind of feedback that I was so very happy with. At least 85% percent if not more of my customers are people that constantly come to me for cakes and desserts. I am constantly getting referrerals as well which lets me know that I am doing a great job. But, theres always room for improvement and im always looking for ways to improve myself personally and my skills baking and creating.

As far as the baking from scratch goes, that was all self taught at home. I started looking up cake pages and recipes on Instagram and seeing all of the talent that so many of the girls had. I took notes and i went for it. I started out doing basic cupcakes and small desserts, and once I was comfortable with those , I started to bake cakes for my family. Pretty soon I was making my own buttercream from scratch and boy was I super proud of myself. Now, I am doing tiered cakes, custom cakes, custom cupcakes, custom desserts and a host of other things and I couldnt be more excited of the progress I have made from October 2017 until now. It’s definitely nerve wrecking sometimes getting the cakes baked, frosted, and decorated, but Im always overjoyed when I get to see the final outcome.

this was the first time I really knew how well known I was for my cakes and desserts.

to see how other vendors had their tables setup and I took notes for my next event. My second event was a year later and I took all my experiences from my first event and put them to use. Again, I had so much fun and learned alot from other vendors and attendees. This time 50% of the people that came to my table had already known who I was! Here I was just two and a half years into my business and

So now I am 3 years into my journey and I am finally ready to take the next step and open a small bakery here in the Rochester area. Hopefully within the next year or two I will get that wish. FINGERS CROSSED!!!! I’m also hoping to be good enough by then to be introducing wedding cakes to my lineup. I pray that Icontinue to learn and improve with all that I have. I’m so very grateful for coming as far as I have and I pray for continued growth and success.

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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “So now I am 3 years into my journey and I am finally ready to take the next step and open a small bakery here in the Rochester area.”

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SANDRA J. CIACCIA Tell us a little bit about yourself... I am a Senior Paralegal with Boylan Code, and serve on the Board of the Paralegal Association of Rochester. Married to the love of my life, and a boy mom of 3, who when I blinked, somehow became adult men! My favorite name is “CiCi” of 2 grandchildren. Being Italian, I inherited a love of cooking, baking, and wine-ing with friends and family! I’m also a Wellness Coach, and activewear influencer!

the time when nature said no more children for me. How about on your business? My husband is my biggest fan and supporter. He transformed our garage into a small home gym, where I workout and have zoom meetings with my team and clients. When I began repping fun activewear, he surprised me with special hangers, and a Ring Light for my LIVE videos. Little things that

What made you decide to start your own business in addition to your paralegal career? My passion for fitness actually presented the opportunity. While my hope was to inspire women in a similar life stage, I realized I was impacting women of all ages and that created a spark in me! What is most important to you being a female entrepreneur? Using my personality and creativity in an uplifting way to build a network. Who has made the biggest impact on your life and why? My grandchildren have had an enormous, unexpected impact on my life. As a mom, you can’t imagine your heart ever feeling greater love than it does for your children. When grandchildren come along, you discover your heart just gets bigger. I believe God blessed me with being a grandparent, just at 190

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let me know he’s in my corner. Then there’s the business side, where he’s not only a great resource for marketing, but he’s a numbers guy too, making sure I’m staying on top of the books. What are some ideas you have of how to expand your business in 2021? My business is done through social

media and an online community, but I think it would really be exciting to do pop up events around town, once the community opens up again! What have you done to try and grow your business during these unprecedented times? Social media networking is powerful when done right. I don’t like cold messaging or forcing a sale. That’s not me. I like building relationships and vibing with people. Ultimately women are entrusting me with their vulnerability. Zoom and facetime calls are not only fun and engaging, but they keep clients accountable. Connecting this way, encourages them to start where they are, and work with what they have. Not letting the current situation pin them down, but rather using it as a way of empowerment to overcome obstacles. What has been your biggest challenge in 2020? Living in a constant state of social distancing. From church to work to limited celebrations with friends/family. The pandemic is scary and emotionally draining, but it has made me a captive audience for investing in my mind, body and spirit. My routine consists of daily gratitude and devotions, and a quick walk to my home gym to pick up some weights! Turning fear into FAITH! What has been your biggest success? It may sound cliché, but my biggest


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{{SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “While my hope was to inspire women in a similar life stage, I realized I was impacting women of all ages and that created a spark in me!”

success is raising my family. At any moment, my heart steps back 30 years and reminisces, but nothing compares to seeing how my children have navigated life to where they are now. If you could do one thing over knowing what you do now, what would that be? Not moving out of the house as young as I did. I wasn’t ready, but at the time, I thought I was. How do you juggle your personal and professional life? Balance is crucial. So is a calendar. While raising 3 kids, it was necessary to keep 192

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a calendar of events to stay organized. That hasn’t changed now that we are empty nesters. My husband and I still compare notes and share calendars, so we are literally on the same page. Oh, and I still date my husband. As often as possible. Date night is a must.

on the cutting room floor, but it was a good 15 seconds of fame. 😊

Tell the readers one thing they may not know about you. Back in the 90s, I was in a Tae Bo infomercial! The company contacted me after I submitted a survey about the kickboxing program. They came to my home with a camera crew, and filmed me for an hour. Most of it ended up

my fitness website is: https:// mysite.coach.teambeachbody. com/?coachId=2035743&locale=en_ US#contact

What do you do to relax and enjoy yourself? What girl doesn’t love any kind of spa day with her girlfriends?

And my activewear is https://www.facebook. com/groups/900605703772932/?ref=share


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HAPPY HOLIDAYS BY BONNIE FLOYD

Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s are holidays that typically involve festive gatherings with family and friends. Many of us have timehonored traditions that are observed for each of these special days. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, are all terms with which we are familiar throughout the holiday season. They each represent the opportunity for great sales and substantial savings for holiday gifts. This year is 2020, however. Enter COVID-19, and absolutely everything has changed substantially during the past several months. Many of us are in the process of making difficult choices about whether to gather with our family and friends, especially given recent increases in COVID-19 cases within our area. Those with preexisting medical conditions are especially concerned about the risks involved with social gatherings. Many children are receiving remote learning, eliminating the opportunity for in-person holiday parties with their peers. Many of us have been experiencing increased financial stress, given eliminated jobs or reduced work hours; of course, this creates difficulty with completing Christmas shopping. On top of the changes introduced by the pandemic, there is the baseline level of holiday stress that many of us experience. There are increased demands upon our hectic 198

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schedules and stressed pocketbooks. Although it is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, several individuals experience holiday blues. Such seasonal depression may be induced by significant losses that we have endured throughout the year, such as the passing of a loved one. Given that this year will be the first one

alterations in our lifestyles this year, it is more important than ever to keep time-honored traditions alive whenever possible. Of course, this often requires that we become creative in how we keep such traditions alive. A traditional cookie exchange party might need to be done via Zoom this holiday season. Joining a sing-a-long of Christmas carols might not be held in person this year, but it can still be accomplished remotely. When we are facing times of personal loss and increased stress, some of us tend to withdraw from others. We focus disproportionately on what we have lost, as opposed to what we still have left. Doing so only deepens our sense of sadness, however. This can all too easily become a downward spiral that is difficult to escape. By focusing on what we are grateful for, we powerfully shift our perspective.

without my mother, I am personally going through this challenging time. It is true that we must cherish the time we spend with our loved ones, because celebrating with them in the future is not guaranteed. Given this life-altering pandemic, how can we possibly experience holiday happiness this year? Since there have been so many significant

Although it might not be our first inclination, try to reach out to others this holiday season. Perhaps you could encourage your children to send Christmas cards to seniors in a nearby nursing home. Seeing seniors each week, I know that they are feeling terribly lonely without regular visitation from their family members and friends. Or you might consider donating to a local homeless shelter. Demands are greater than ever for such services. Alternatively, you might choose to


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{ {RWO’S MENTALLY MENTAL THINKING HEALTH} } “Many of us are in the process of making difficult choices about whether to gather with our family and friends, especially given recent increases in COVID-19 cases within our area.”

donate to an organization that assists those in need of medical services, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. You could decide to pay it forward for someone behind you in a drive-through. There are so many opportunities to be a blessing to others, whether in big or small ways. Choose to make this holiday season the best that it can possibly be this year. In the midst of this season’s hectic schedule, don’t forget to take good care of yourself, mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. Please do not refrain from reaching out, should you find yourself requiring 200

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extra emotional support at this time. As a counselor on BetterHelp, I have been working with numerous clients who are currently experiencing increased severities of anxiety and depression. This online forum is a much more affordable option for receiving counseling, compared to traditional forms of psychotherapy services. There is no shame in seeking support; it is truly a sign of strength when you realize that you need outside assistance for coping with your specific challenges. Recognize that gifts do not always require a significant expenditure of money to be treasured. Volunteering your time, expertise,

and services can a long way to enrich someone’s life throughout the coming year. You might choose to clean someone’s home or office, to supply meals on a regular basis, or to walk their dog. Yes, 2020 has been an extremely challenging year. Despite this year’s unique challenges, there is still reason for optimism. Relatively soon, there will be an effective vaccine for COVID-19. This promises to make a distinct difference in how we live our lives.


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THE GIFT OF SELF PLEASURE BY JERSSICA JANIK

This year has brought with it many challenges; some typical and some completely unexpected. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new level of stress and anxiety for many of us that has compounded existing stressors in our lives. As we approach the final months of 2020, we encounter another familiar source of stress – the holidays. While this time of year brings feelings of comfort and joy for many, around 38% of people report that their stress level increases. It is not uncommon for our schedules to quickly fill with social gatherings (bring on the festive Zoom parties!), decorating, shopping, baking, and all sorts of the other obligations. With all of the hustle and bustle, it’s no wonder sex tends to take a backseat during this season. What Makes the Holidays So Stressful? Our lives are busy all year long and we already deal with day-to-day stress. But, when the holidays roll around, we have even more to juggle. There are meals to be prepared gifts to be bought and wrapped, and sometimes events to host or attend. We usually spend more time with our families (although likely virtually this year), which can create tension and aggravation. For some, the holidays highlight fractured family relationships or the absence of family altogether. We tend to find ourselves under bigger financial strain as we attempt to gather thoughtful gifts for all of our loved ones. On top of all of this, the waning daylight hours can bring about seasonal affective disorder (SAD) making it all the

more challenging to accomplish the mountain of holiday tasks before us. This year, we also have the added layer of learning to navigate the holidays amidst a global pandemic. With all of these factors at play, having sex may feel like the furthest thing from our minds. Research has shown that stress is negatively correlated with sexual activity and sexual satisfaction, and holiday-related stress is no different. Still, it remains important to maintain satisfying sexual relationships with ourselves and/or our partners during the holiday season. What We Can Do About It? Given the strong correlation between high stress and decreased sexual activity, stress reduction is a good place to start. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves this time of year is make an effort to slow down and be present. This may feel impossible at first, but by incorporating mindfulness practices into the activities we are already doing, we can work towards a slower pace. Mindfulness practices have been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve mood (all things that set us up to be more receptive to sexual stimuli) and can be incorporated into virtually any activity. Simply by bringing our awareness to the body, breath, and physical sensations, things like wrapping presents, cooking, and even washing dishes can become almost meditative. If possible, it can also be beneficial to set aside time specifically to meditate or do some breathing exercises.

In addition to bringing mindfulness into our holiday tasks, we should give ourselves permission to lean into the things that bring us joy during this time of year. Make time to enjoy special foods, seasonal scents, or holiday music and television specials. Indulge in what feels good. Quieting our minds of the flurry of thoughts and giving more attention to the things that bring us pleasure is a valuable practice that also translates to our sexual lives. While each of these practices can help reduce stress as a barrier to sex, it’s also important to remember that sex can reduce stress. Having sex releases oxytocin, a “happy hormone,” which naturally reduces cortisol levels, the “stress hormone,” in the body. Although we might not feel ready to engage in sexual activity spontaneously, there is another kind of desire which is entirely healthy and quite common-responsive desire. Responsive desire refers to situations where we may be feeling indifferent towards the idea of having sex but when something sexy happens, we become aroused, finding ourselves enjoying sex, and desire to continue with sexual play may emerge later. Contextual sexual desire is also important to consider here. The context in which sex or sexual stimuli occurs matters. For example, if your partner attempts to initiate sex while your kids are in the next room, it may not feel particularly enticing. Finding private moments with yourself or your partner(s) is key. Make an effort to carve out time to spend alone, separate from ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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{ SEXUALLY SPEAKING } “While each of these practices can help reduce stress as a barrier to sex, it’s also important to remember that sex can reduce stress.”

the seemingly constant holiday buzz. Cultivating an environment that fosters romance and intimacy can go a long way, even if only for a short time. The holiday season can be one of magic and joy while simultaneously bringing many people extra feelings of stress. This added stress can have a negative impact on our sexual expression and desire. When we can slow down our bodies and minds and lean into the pleasures of the season, we can better connect with ourselves and our partners. This will help us to enjoy fulfilling sexual lives all the way into the new year. 204

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Jessica Janik, LPMFT, completed her sex therapy training at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She joined Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness in September 2020 and is providing individual and couples therapy with a focus on sexual wellness. She’s glad to be back in New York State near family and friends and serve this community at the Rochester Center For Sexual Wellness. She lives in Fairport with her partner and puppy. More Resources: Basson, R. (2002). Rethinking low sexual desire in women. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 109(4), 357-363.

Bodenmann, G., Atkins, D. C., Schär, M., & Poffet, V. (2010). The association between daily stress and sexual activity. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(3), 271–279. https://doi. org/10.1037/a0019365 Greenberg, A., & Berktold, J. (2006). Holiday stress. American Psychological Association Survey (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, 2006), http://www. apa. org/news/press/ releases/2006/12/holiday-stress. pdf. University of Washington. (2017). How to Reduce Stress Through Mindfulness [Factsheet]. Aging Well with a Physical Disability Factsheet Series. Healthy Aging & Physical Disability RRTC, http://agerrtc.washington.edu


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{{ THE THE KEFI KEFIWAY WAY } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS

MARKETING + COVID-19 BY KATINA KARL

COVID-19 has been unchartered territory for all of us. It’s affected our personal lives, the way we work, and more than anything our local businesses. We are seeing so many businesses hop on social media to post an update, offer new options to support them and stay connected. What people don’t realize is many of those business owners may have never used a social platform before to give their business a voice. And, giving your business a voice is more important than ever. But the question is how? How do we still connect with our customers and clients, especially during a pandemic? The answer is being as virtual as you can and creating ways to still connect to your target market. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds. Because, business owners wear so many hats as it is, taking on marketing, public relations and advertising as a business owner or delegating staff to do it, can take away from other important tasks that are needed to be done. It can also hurt your business and turn any business owner into thinking

marketing isn’t effective or important because they didn’t see a return from it. Marketing IS one of the MOST important puzzle pieces of a business. It’s important to give your business a voice and build client relationships near and/or far. It’s amazing the things you can do by marketing the right

way and coming up with creative ideas to bring those customers in. Right now, going virtual should be the platform you’re focusing on the most. Some examples could be creating virtual live events for customers/clients to tune in to, creating something fun that customers can place an order for to bring home to their families to do, supporting another local business and working together to market to both of your client bases. The number one thing

you should be doing is, creating a targeted social media campaign that brings you the customers/clients that you want and need. When it comes to being virtual, there’s so many options and paths to choose. Try your hand at them, but don’t get defeated if it doesn’t work the way you expect it to. That’s okay. Learn from it and try again or bring in a marketing expert that can help you with that part of your business. Don’t think of it as an expense, it’s an investment towards the future and many more years in business. Thank you! -Katina Katina Karl Kefi Marketing, Owner 561.543.8684 Liverpool, NY http://www.KefiMarketing.com

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HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS BY DENISE “KARMA” CLIFFORD

Any decision in life, can lead to your next best adventure, or leave you sitting and wondering where you went wrong. I’m currently in the “which one will this be?” Mode. Over the summer I came home and stayed in my camper four days out of the week, to run the food truck. We made a decision to park in sodus point, Going back to my roots, as I referred to it. I knew the moment I stepped out of the truck to meet with Jamie, that this would not be a temporary change for me. Sometimes in the heat of the moment and as time moves forward all around you, you just feel that this right here is one of those put a post it note on the page moments. A reminder that this was the beginning of the next best thing. Walking over the black top in June, I was reminded how much I love the lake and the bay where I still hear the sounds of seagulls and smell that seaweed from days gone by. The ones I’ve gone back to in my memory when I needed to smile. The day was still cool, summer hadn’t quite begun, And I needed a sweater. We talked about the food truck and the price to park it. I convinced my new friend to show me inside, where if he liked me we could use it for storage.

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You see Jamie told me on the phone before we even met, he could tell I was trouble. I knew what he really meant was we were going to get along just fine. Sometimes you meet new people, and they become a part of your life’s tapestry. This happens by just one decision, and if you make the wrong move, you’re sitting and wondering where you went wrong,

then have to find that overgrown shortcut to the path that leads you back on the road of your destiny once again. These are times in life you get lost and the thistles and thorns of the wrong choices leave you scarred. But you come out, stronger, ready now for what was meant to be. As summer went by, and I recognized

my place in life was to be back where I had begun, I started visualizing myself as a permanent fixture here. I voiced what I wanted to anyone and everyone who would listen. I told stories to my loyal customers of my childhood here, as well as my wish to return. I talked to individuals about potential business ventures here. I mulled over decisions that didn’t feel quite right, but knew by the time we parked the food truck for the winter, I needed to have a place and a way to make an income. You see, I’d decided to finally sell the home I raised my children in, and move back home. A decision ten years in the making. Ten years of it not being the right time, ten years saying it, became now. I didn’t even have a concrete plan, I just knew this was my path now. Opportunity doesn’t knock if you’re not actively searching for it, and so I’ve learned to never stop looking for where it is I’m supposed to be. I’ve never relied on anyone else to forge my way through the thistles, but I’ve also learned along the way the importance of the people in your life who support and help you. These types of people you should never let go of, no matter how far apart you are. People are important, more important than any things you can ever possess. Lucky for me, I have multiple individuals like this, and it appears coming back home I’ve


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KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “Any decision in life, can lead to your next best adventure, or leave you sitting and wondering where you went wrong. I’m currently in the “which one will this be?” Mode.”

acquired more. I think about this, and remind myself not forget tho, to have this one must also be a person who gives. I recently said to a new customer “you have to give a little, to get.” He smiled and took his food And let me know he would be back. You see, I’ve always been a giver, a helper helping those in need, even before helping myself. It’s Karma. Anyway, back to the story. I knew I belonged here and a month ago I was offered a place to live at the farm temporarily, and I answered the knock of opportunity I came out to find a job at a local restaurant, and before heading home I texted my summertime landlord and new friend Jamie. I told him I was in the neighborhood and wanted to come say hi. Of course he said no, I would only be trouble, as he gave me the exact location of his whereabouts. Needless to say we sat and chatted and he asked me exactly what I was looking to do. My plan, I said, is to open a small eatery out here. He

pointed back toward the road and told me to go look at his place. A place I didn’t even know existed. As I walked up to this little building with the dusty dirty front window to peer inside, I felt like the little kid at the

start of the movie A Christmas Story who was peering into the window at all the Christmas trinkets and toys and the red rider beebee gun. It was exactly what I wanted for Christmas! It was white with red trim and matched the food truck almost

to a tee, it had opportunity written all over it. I went back and asked Jamie how can I make this mine? He chuckled as he usually does, but within the next few days I was serving food from my very own brick and mortar eatery. I joke about not working for the man, yet I make my own path so this bears some truth. It’s what anyone would do, yet it’s what most won’t do. I call it making a decision, others may call it taking a risk. So, here I am sitting in a barn I live in, planning a breakfast with Santa, creating a list of local families to make a holiday meal for, decorating a store front, playing Christmas music and smiling every time the door to my restaurant opens. I tell people I have no idea what I’m doing, or why. But deep down that’s wrong. I know exactly what I’m doing.I finally came home for the holidays.

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ALL ACCESS} { {SHIFT+CONTROL }

MICROAGGRESSIONS: WHEN 1,000 CUTS ADD UP BY DR SHANELLE BENSON REID

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION WORK Very seldom do I talk about my day-today work as a consultant but I thought today was a good day to begin. Recently, I participated in a virtual diversity and inclusion forum. One of the forum facilitators mentioned when dealing with issues of diversity and inclusion employees who represent diverse backgrounds and situations are undeniably impacted but often times supervisors and leaders who represent these groups are silent victims. That being said, can we have a heart to heart about microaggressions? MICROAGGRESSIONS A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority. Everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults; intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. They are typically based on socioeconomic status, disability, gender, gender expression or identify, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion. These insults or insensitivities may be exhibited by leaders or coworkers within the organizations. E X A M P L E S O F MICROAGGRESSIONS • Refusing to use titles based on education, rank, position or employment when communicating with people from marginalized groups / backgrounds.

• Failing to learn to pronounce or continuing to mispronounce a coworkers name. • Setting low expectations for employees from particular groups, neighborhoods, or situations. • Anticipating emotional responses based on gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity. • Using inappropriate humor that degrades people from different groups. • Expressing racially charged political opinions assuming that the targets of those opinions do not exist in in the workplace.. • Using the term “illegals” to reference undocumented people. EXPECTATIONS AND STANDARDS The day after the D & I forum, I participated in an equity meeting with one of the forum participants. Typically, at the beginning of each meeting we introduce ourselves. I always introduce myself as Dr. Benson Reid because less than 1% of African American women have a doctorate degree and every time I say Dr. Benson Reid, I think of women of color who came before me and women of color who will no doubt come after me. As a Black woman in America, my education is the only category in which I hold a position of privilege. Don’t get me wrong, I am not interested in waving my privilege around like a flag but there is a level of expectation. In so much as, if I am referred to as Shanelle while in a professional setting, I will most certainly bring this “microaggression” to the attention of the offender privately. That being said, explaining the reasoning behind a microaggression as wanting to

keep the meeting “People Centered” is unacceptable and lets me know that my perception which is my reality is not being valued, acknowledge or heard, furthermore, its defending and deflecting. Am I not a person? SLIGHTS, SNUBS AND OFFENSES I have dealt with slights, as a consultant since beginning my career in 2009, so this is all too familiar, yet still unfortunate. But this time was different, perhaps because of the inequities I notice daily while working in corporate and educational settings or perhaps because I know our schools and corporations are microcosms of our greater society. Whatever the case, this situation brought me to tears, angry tears. So where do I stand at this moment when it comes to the idea of Diversity and Inclusion for Community (Education, Corporate or Otherwise) Equity? Why don’t I tell you where I stand: I am hurt because I’ve spent the last 10 years doing the work and I continue to encounter these situations. I am angry, no, I am mad that no matter how many times I have these discussions with individuals, the natural response is to defend and deflect. I am frustrated by behaviors that continue to ignore the perspectives of people who represent diverse backgrounds and situations. I am disappointed with the lack of humanity and value for the human experience. It is my hope that, as a country, we go through a complete transformation but it is also my hope that this transformation includes political, professional, and personal spaces.

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BEAUTY FORMS FROM PRESSURE! BY SAVON HOLT

No one said that life would be easy. As a matter of fact, for those who are Believers, the word tells us, “No weapons formed against us shall prosper.” It never said no weapons would be formed. It just said they would not prosper. So how do you maneuver under pressure? What if I told you that when you are in a dark place, feeling defeated, stressed, and hurt that you have an advantage? You are in a powerful place. You are in a place of transformation. You’re probably reading this saying, “she’s crazy.” Well. you are probably right but allow me to show you how beautiful pressure can be if you trust the process. Gems are created under high temperatures, pressure, and darkness. One of the most popular gems is a diamond. They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. What is there not to love about them? Diamonds are known for their uniqueness, quality, and beauty. There are no two diamonds that are exactly alike. There is something about diamonds and the unique shine and sparkle that hits from each angle. Understanding the process to create the diamonds brings forth increased value and appreciation for such a gem. Diamonds are formed deep within the earth. Temperatures reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Intense pressure is required, and the diamond only cools 220

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at the earth’s surface. Now do you believe me when I say the most beautiful transformations happen in a place of pressure and darkness? I know many times in life, we experience a rough patch. We feel like our life is in shambles.

But know that you are a hidden gem, ready to show the world your value and worth. Understand a diamond is a clump of carbon and coal that refuses to crack under pressure. Can you handle the pressure? You are a diamond, and you can learn a lot about life by examining the stone. Forming a diamond is a natural and time-consuming process. It is not made by man, and that’s what makes it even more special, precious and

beautiful. The high heat and pressure change its form, producing something amazing. The Greek word “Adamas” is the root of the word diamond, meaning “unconquerable, unalterable, unbreakable, and untamable.” In life, sometimes we are under a lot of pressure. Life’s sudden disturbances bring forth our true worth, value, and strength that we did not know we had. I’m sure you heard the saying,” what is done in the dark comes to light.” Well, those dark moments we have help our power come to surface. The intense pressure we face during hardships causes the hidden gem within us to emerge. You are a diamond in the rough. A diamond is pure and robust, but the process does not happen overnight. Life’s unexpected crises, the force of adversity and setbacks rid us of every impurity that would otherwise break us and cause us to jump ship and seek mediocrity. When we finally emerge from darkness, pain, and breaking points in our life, you surface the strongest and the brightest we’ve ever been. As the saying goes, “you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” It’s time to be strong and to know you are stronger than your situation.


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“No weapons formed against us shall prosper.” It never said no weapons would be formed. It just said they would not prosper. So how do you maneuver under pressure?”



SAVON SPEAKS { {SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } “The Greek word “Adamas” is the root of the word diamond, meaning “unconquerable, unalterable, unbreakable, and untamable.”

It is easy to give up. It takes courage to stand up and face your fears, treat your pain, and address your hurt. Only a diamond can cut through another diamond. It’s been said “iron sharpens iron,” so here I am ready to sharpen, encourage, coach, and challenge you. When life cuts you deep, and the pain seems unbearable, that’s when your transformation is happening. The pressure you are experiencing will bring out the best in you, only if you allow it! Remember, your strength is made perfect

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in your time of weakness. Many of us wear masks and facades of strength. We are only lying to ourselves. Transformation is a process, a sign of strength, and it is not always easy. Those who suffer the greatest pressure, most agonizing trials, under a lot of heat are being formed to shine as they surface from their darkness. Don’t allow your trials to define you but allow them to refine you. In the darkest of circumstances, trust that your chaos will make you stronger and wiser. We were designed and destined

to be conquerors. Use every unforeseen circumstance to prevail. Remember, diamonds are of high value, precious, transparent, pure, can’t be scratched or broken. Diamonds leave their mark on others. Never forget that diamonds can be rough around the edges, but they never lose their value. It doesn’t matter who you were, but who you are now. You have always been a gem; you just needed some pressure so the beauty in you could surface.


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{ THE ACS CORNER }

10 MORE SAVED FROM SOUTH KOREA BY JOHNNY WILLIAMS

A partnership reaching to the other side of the earth continued in November as Animal Care Sanctuary (ACS) accepted 10 dogs that were rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea.

the following week, the dogs were assessed by the ACS veterinary team and behavioral team to start the process of getting them ready for adoption.

The 10 canines were saved along with 160 others by Humane Society International, which has made it a mission to continue to close down dog meat farms in South Korea.

As an official rescue partner of the Humane Society of the United States, ACS is proud to be able have a hand in improving the lives of animals across the world and rescuing animals impacted by disasters here in the U.S. Additionally, for the first time in ACS’s 50-plus year history, ACS has surpassed 1,000 animal adoptions in one year.

This marks the second time ACS has received a batch of rescue dogs from South Korea thanks to Humane Society International. The dogs came in all breeds and sizes – ranging from 10 pounds to 100 pounds. The canines are sweet, albeit extremely timid and scared. Several arrived shaking uncontrollably and would not leave the crates in which they arrived. Throughout 226

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accept dogs into their homes on a temporary basis until they find forever homes. Foster families are vital for these canines to learn how to properly behave in a home to prepare them for their future forever family. They also introduce these So u t h Ko re a n rescues to the most important thing of all – love – as none of these dogs had experienced before.

In the meantime, several of the dogs were placed in foster homes. ACS fosters are volunteers who


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{{ THE ACS CORNER }} SHIFT+CONTROL “This marks the second time ACS has received a batch of rescue dogs from South Korea thanks to Humane Society International.”

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{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN }

HELPING SMALL MARKET MODELS & ACTORS BY KRISTEN BAUER GROSS I PHOTOS BY DAN DOYLE

How the Pandemic is Actually Helping Small Market Models and Actors The doom and gloom of the pandemic can really get ya down! Therefore, I wanted to share a positive side effect the pandemic is having on small market models and actors.

from home a staple. This is such a game-changer because now small market models and actors can submit for amazing jobs right from their home, on a more flexible time schedule and with fewer travel costs. And not only that, but now, small

Up until recent history, if you lived in a small town or city (meaning a small market and not a major market for the entertainment industry like LA, Chicago, NYC, Atlanta) you were often traveling an hour or many hours to get to castings and auditions in person.

*Expecting their talent can take high quality digital photos and snapshots on their own *Know what their type and niche is within the marketplace and how to market themselves in that type/niche *Have an on brand and hi quality social media presence that will wow clients when they look them up

*Hours of driving *Tolls *Gas *Wear and tear on your vehicle *Asking your boss “again” for time off or re-arranging your schedule drastically *Getting just one chance to nail the audition in front of the casting team

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My own prediction is that now that casting directors have now become accustomed to receiving self tape auditions, digital snapshots, and online auditions so much that it might stick even after the pandemic. This system in many ways is easier and less expensive for casting directors. But for many models and actors, it can be pretty daunting now that agents and casting directors are:

For anyone with another job or career, school or who is a parent or caregiver this meant getting time off work, skipping class, or finding and paying for childcare just to be able to attend one audition. Not to mention all of the following:

And all of this for zero pay, because this is just the audition or casting, not the actual job also known as a booking.

be done on a more flexible schedule, such as after or before work.

*Assume you can easily and quickly create and send in self tape auditions from home *Will be confident and prepared for Zoom or Skype callbacks market models and actors can submit and audition for more jobs, even in other regions and cities in some cases, without having to travel there for the casting or audition in person. Plus, self-submitting audition videos and creating snapshots and other materials from home can often

This is where having a coach on your side and the training and education can be helpful to present yourself like a pro! I created the ACTION program for small market models and commercial actors, so that you gain the knowledge and confidence you need to nail bookings and have a coach to guide you who



{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN } “Things have been going more virtual for years, but the pandemic really made auditioning and submitting for jobs from home a staple.”

is experienced in the industry, plus a community on your side, all of this to take you on the faster path to success! I’m giving RWO readers a very special offer of $50.00 off their 1st month of membership! Use code: VIP50 at checkout on www.KristinB.com/actionprogram

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Go for your goals and find the courage to take action on your dreams!

Amy M – “I don’t feel so awkward about talking about my modeling dreams to the Action members. we are all in this together!! I have appreciated the Action team’s encouragement and being comfortable talking about it. I think my biggest take-away is that models come in all shapes and sizes and there is a niche for everyone. This has given me courage to take action and allowed me to do something for myself.”

What people are saying about Coach Kristin and the ACTION Program:

Katrina W- “Coach, your wisdom and knowledge of the industry has shortened

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our learning curve immensely. You invest so much in your clients and it shows!” I’m your Model Coach: Kristin Bauer-Gross. You’ll find me hanging out on Instagram and Facebook @ KristinBauerGross and on www.KristinB. com and teaching my online program ACTION designed specifically for small market models and actors to learn, connect and succeed at www.KristinB. com/action-program



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{ LOCAL BUSINESS MATTERS }

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{ WELL TRAIL }

IT IS TIME TO GIVE UP BY KELLI LAPAGE

2020 has been hard. Not “that’s life” kind of hard. But unrelenting, push you down over and over again while kicking dirt in your face kind of hard. Life is always full of challenges, tragedies, loss and redirection, but rarely do we find ourselves in a never ending barrage of all of these stressors, all at the same time, and with many areas that are simply out of our control. It is overwhelming, it is stressful, and it is exhausting. Physically, mentally, spiritually – the challenges and circumstances 2020 has brought have left many of us… well… TIRED. So, after a long year and a hard-fought battle, it is time to give up. It is time to give up self-judgement. I don’t know about you, but I am my very worst critic. As a small business owner, parent and overall type A personality, this year has brought a level of selfjudgment and criticism even I have never bestowed upon myself. Why can I no longer keep my employees whole? Why can I not provide even more support for my clients? Why can I not immediately expand my revenue streams? Why am I taking so long to build my new systems? Why am I tired? ENOUGH!!! These situations may resonate with you, or you may have others that are unique to you. But I have not spoken with anyone during this time that has not been loading on an extra helping of self criticism during the past 9 months. And for some, they have also turned that

extra criticism outwards, often towards the ones they care for most. GIVE IT UP. Rather than judging and criticizing yourself (or those you love) acknowledge what you have accomplished. Some days that may be as simple as getting out of bed and getting dressed. But I bet if you stop beating yourself up, you will realize how much you are accomplishing. It may not look the way it did a year ago. You may not have that big project completed, or a new client signed, or hit your 2020 sales goals. But you are still here. You are still building something. Brick by brick, laying the foundation for something that will flourish when your time and energy is not stretched so thin. It is time to give up seeking perfection. So what if the house is not perfectly kept. So what if you haven’t vacuumed in a month. So what if the kids haven’t had a bath in 3 days. So what if you have not lost the 20 pounds you set as your new years resolution. So what if you have not come up with the perfect article for this months newsletter. GIVE IT UP. Instead of nitpicking on what has not gotten done, or not having time to do things the way you used to or want to, just take a small bite out of it. Tackle one small manageable task each day – and check it off somewhere that you can see it. The key is just do it. When we are overwhelmed with a lot of stress and a long to do list we can get frozen and find ourselves dong nothing because we can’t do it all and can’t do it perfectly. So just do something. Just start. Take the first step. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Or the perfect motivation. Just start now. You might be surprised

how motivation and energy and even perfection follows that first step. It is time to give up putting everything before your own health. When I get the kids caught up on the remote learning… then I will have time to workout. When the gyms open back up without masks…. then I’ll start going again. When I’ve gotten the bills caught up… then I’ll schedule my doctors appointments. When things slow down at work… then I’ll be able to get more than 4 hours of sleep. When…… It has to stop. GIVE IT UP. There is a quote I often share when onboarding new clients, “We spend our entire lives sacrificing our health to gain money. When we get to retirement years we sacrifice all of our money to try to regain our health.” We have it backwards. Here is the thing: There will always be something else that we allow to take precedence over our own health. So today start by saying, “I will invest in me”. You don’t have to make EVERY healthy investment. You don’t have to go to the gym for 2 hours. You don’t have to train for a marathon. Just pick SOMETHING that you will do today that will add to your health. And then pick something tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after. You don’t have to have a huge plan. Just choose something that fits today. And then choose again tomorrow. But CHOOSE to make your health a priority too. It is time to give up running ourselves into the ground. This follows all of the GIVE UPS above. When you spend day after day trying to be everything ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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{ WELL TRAIL }

“It is time to give up running ourselves into the ground.”

to everybody, doing it all perfectly and doing that without investing in your own well-being, well, even in a year without a global pandemic, lockdowns and extreme social and financial restrictions, it would be a recipe for disaster. But trying to manage everything as though what is going on around you is just normal in these challenging times simply can’t be sustained, at least not without really taking a toll on your health (emotional, physical and spiritual), on your relationships, and even on your job/ daily functioning. GIVE IT UP. We know that any “machine” will break down when it is not properly maintained and 238

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is run beyond its “specifications.” This is especially true of the human machine. Our bodies are amazing. Our minds are amazing. We can push ourselves to extremes to accomplish unimaginable feats. But that HAS to be in conjunction with adequate fuel, adequate rest, and adequate maintenance. Or you will break down. Taking a step back to rest is not weakness. It is strength. And it is essential. Saying “NO – I don’t have time to do that” is not selfish, it is smart. And realizing you need to take time to do something that makes you happy, be with people who make you smile and laugh, and spending time where

you find peace… that is what allows us to not just survive in these challenging times, but thrive. For even amidst the incredible challenges that 2020 has placed before us, we can find so much to be grateful for, we can find so much to be hopeful for, and we can find new ways to build for a better tomorrow. It is time to give up. If you would like to learn more about WellTrail or inquire about one on one consulting with Kelli, you can contact her at klapage@welltrail.com.



WE ARE ALL CREATIVE.

CREATIVE COLLABORATORS.

COLLABORATORS OF BIG IDEAS.

IDEAS SPARKED FROM DEEP INSIGHTS.

INSIGHTS THAT ARE WELL-INFORMED.

INFORMED THROUGH MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS.

CONNECTIONS TO COMMUNITY.

COMMUNITY THINKING, CARING AND GIVING.

GIVING BACK AND ENGAGING TO MAKE A LASTING IMPACT.

A LASTING IMPACT FOR OPPORTUNITY, GROWTH AND RESULTS.

RESULTS THAT MATTER.

MATTER FOR BUSINESS AND ESPECIALLY PEOPLE.

PEOPLE POWERING TOGETHER TO MAKE SOMETHING GREAT.

MAKING SOMETHING GREAT TOGETHER.


Dixon Schwabl is an all-in marketing agency obsessed with driving growth for the organizations we work with. All in the name of increased brand value and measurable results. All created from a hearty balance of innovation, passion, respectful partnerships and strong workplace culture.

Powered by our broad capabilities, expertise and data-driven insights, we uncover your unique story, then amplify it far and wide. The right mix of on-point strategy and free-range creativity brings it all together for a unified brand experience.

Our varied and integrated services: Market Research Business Intelligence & Marketing Analytics Business & Marketing Strategy Branding Advertising & Design Media Planning & Buying Website Development Marketing Automation Content Marketing & Social Media Public Relations Virtual Events

Connect all of your marketing channels by connecting today. Let’s start a new project together. Call Dave Brodsky at 585.899.1952 or visit dixonschwabl.com.

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{ IN { SHIFT+CONTROL HER OWN WORDS} }

REFLECTING ON THE YEAR BY DARA RENNART

As we embark on the new year, I reflect on all the emotions I have experienced this year. I am among millions in this world, adjusting our personal and professional lives and shifting into survival mode. While everyone’s top priority was health and protecting loved ones, millions of business owners had to shift their respective businesses into survival mode too. Changes in operations meant a change in space needs, and even the expansion of Rochester Entrepreneurial spirit!

am incredible proud of every single business owner, landlord and person who pushed through all the additional obstacles that occurred this year. n the last 3 months, I have been so inspired by the ingenuity in our region. This has been the year that people have developed their visions and chased their dreams. The creativity was astounding and the concepts

I spent much time touching base with my past clients; calling to check-in on them and their families, and even delivered precious toilet paper when needed! Clients are really part of my family and hold a special place in my heart. I know their stories, their history and the sacrifices they have made to grow their business. We worked together throughout the commercial real estate process, strategizing and problem solving as a team. In our conversations, people shared how they had changed production or operations. A common theme was all the owners were committed to success and had implemented various strategies to persevere through Covid-19. Some had been forced to temporarily close doors, others had to add shifts and train employees to increase production. The struggles were unique, yet the common thread was everyone’s world had been changed. When needed, we again strategized together and negotiated with landlords or secured temporary expansion space. It’s been a privilege to be a part of the business landscape in our region and I 242

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were one of a kind. The up and coming businesses range from beauty products, entertainment, personal services, liquidation sales, entertainment clubs and new medical offices. The passion that these owners have will drive their success. For the next year, there will be a lot of change in our region in connection to commercial real estate sales. Investors are on the hunt

for investment properties and sellers are able to sell at a high price because interest rates remain so low, while property values have appreciated. Apartments are always in high demand, with buyers coming from the local, domestic and international buyer pool. Office buildings are in high demand for owner users to buy, meaning a building that a buyer can occupy themselves. Industrial buildings for sale are at an all time high for sale, with many companies needing additional space and some international companies bringing manufacturing to the US, in the event the borders close again. In many respects, the Covid-19 shut down strengthened many manufacturing companies, and many who have been leasing space are now in the market to buy their own building. For the upcoming year, there will be many changes in our region in respect to commercial leasing as well. For a landlord looking to fill a space, it will require a lot of creativity and attention brought to the space to attract a tenant. For tenants, many landlords will be providing additional incentives for you to join their portfolio. While helping tenants, I always advise to interview the landlord. While it sounds backwards, that usually the landlord is interviewing the tenant, my advice is to make sure they are comfortable with the landlord, the maintenance systems in place, the layout and condition of the space and more. A tenant is committing to a long-term relationship with the landlord, and the worst scenario


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{ IN HER OWN WORDS } “As we embark on the new year, I reflect on all the emotions I have experienced this year. I am among millions in this world, adjusting our personal and professional lives and shifting into survival mode. “

is where there are personality conflicts and tension. So, remember that the situation and team HAS to be a correct fit for you AND your business. While many big box retailers are suffering and closing their doors, landlords are working hard to reposition these spaces to entertainment uses, new concepts and more. There is a big demand for smaller retail spaces in the 2,000-5,000 square-foot range, for new businesses and offices that are repositioning to retail storefronts. Companies are transitioning to office spaces that have individual offices and prefer locations with private entrances, over the open concept and bull-pen collaboration areas. 244

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Overall, my prediction for 2021 is positive for commercial real estate in our region. We will welcome many new businesses and enjoy the state-of-the-art experiences. Sellers who are financially strapped and unable to maintain their investments, will sell to buyers at a fair market value. Manufacturing and distribution will continue to boom, creating many jobs for our local community. People who had been complacent at a job will be chasing their dreams of business ownership, and companies that have shifted operations to succeed through Covid-19, are now operating at their best efficiency ever. While these are my predictions for the new year, it is crucial to mention and focus the existing businesses in our community

that are already open. With the holiday season approaching, I am asking everyone who reads this to join me in supporting are local businesses. I have committed to buying local for the holidays, hand-made gifts, restaurant gift cards, experience gift cards and getting very creative for how to shop local for my clients. Our local stores and restaurants are really the backbone of the community and they need our support immediately. Please follow me on Facebook or Instagram for more market snapshots!



SHE{{HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS } B.MOR }} B. MORTALKS {{ SHE

MARKETING RESOURCES TO SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY: BY BRE MORRIS

For this feature, I want to focus on all of the super hero business owners who are wearing all of the hats and are looking to maximize their time and marketing strategy! There’s a few marketing resources that have been a true game changer along the way and I’m going to share those with you. I am a firm believer in the power of utilizing the right tools for your business. That being said, these are not a one-sizefits-all. It’s simply a reference list for you to evaluate and determine which may best fit your business model and save you time and maybe even some money! CANVA(CANVA. COM)—Looking to whip-up a quick graphic or even create modern slides for a presentation, look no further than Canva. With hundreds of templates and direct access to free, usable stock photography, it’s the business owners dream. Utilize the free version for a more basic plan or invest in the monthly pro version for under $20/month! MAIL CHIMP(MAILCHIMP. COM)—A free email distribution platform that’s user-friendly! Create a simple landing page from their free 246

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template and send it out to your current email list asking them to opt in via the link…before you know it, you’re building a list of subscribers and MailChimp is tracking them all in real time! Upgrade for features like scheduling ahead of time, additional design features, and the ability to store more people in your mail list. Still, all for under $20/month!

SQUARE SPACE(SQUARESPACE. COM)—Is your website antiquated but you’re not sure where to begin? Squarespace is hands-down my favorite website template builder to use because it’s so user-friendly! Utilize their hundreds of templates, connect your domain, and create your very own working site with a fresh and modern look. Not to mention, the templates are all optimized for

mobile use so you don’t have to do it by hand! LINKTREE(LINKTR.EE)—When I discovered this tool, my mind was blown. Ever wonder how people can link to multiple items or content on their Instagram pages? Linktree is the answer! It’s 100% FREE and you simply setup your account, link your business Instagram to it and it will autogenerate a link that permanently lives in your Instagram bio! Direct folks to that link which then takes them to a landing page where they can toggle between links and click on the appropriate one! FACEBOOK PUBLISHING TOOL(Facebook. com/help)—Let’s face it, half the battle with posting organically to social media is finding the time to actually post the content and remembering! There’s a ton of paid platform options out there, however, I’ve found that the most user-friendly tool is the one built right within Facebook! The icing on the cake? It’s free! Social Media has been studied to be the most effective digital advertising channel for impressions, clicks, and conversions so it’s something that


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{ B.MOR } “For this feature, I want to focus on all of the super hero business owners who are wearing all of the hats and are looking to maximize their time and marketing strategy!”

marketing mix! This publishing tool makes managing your content that much easier. You’re able to schedule your posts by date and time. As a general rule of thumb, it’s helpful to build out social media editorial calendar content for a month at a time and then schedule it in batches! S O C I A L M E D I A EXAMINER(Socialmediaexaminer. com)—Social Media Examiner is the world’s largest online social media magazine and has all the tools you need as an ever-eager student in marketing. They provide marketing guides for all types of 250

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social media channels, original articles, videos, and even analytics courses. Their weekly content is meant to educate, motivate, and inspire curious marketers to enhance their skill knowledge, which will in turn generate sales for you! GOOGLE SKILLSHOP(skillshop. withgoogle.com/)—If you’re interested in getting Google Ads Certified, Analytics Academy Certified, or Google Marketing Platform Cer tified, Google Skillshop is your one-stop-shop! This completely free Skillshop provides hours and hours of Google-

Business certification classes that will keep you up to date on the best ways to perform well on the web. These classes offer a basic overview for general knowledge, if you’re looking to truly optimize your digital campaign, it’s always best to work with a digital strategist! These are just a few of our favorite tools and we hope you grow to love them just as much as we do! We’d love to hear what marketing tools have helped your business? Comment below or shoot us an email at: Bre@Bmormarketing.com



274 N GOODMAN ST SUITE B116 I ROCHESTER, NEW YORK 1


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{HUSTLES B.MOR } HEALTHY WOMAN }} {{ {SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL

TIME TO DETOX BY EVELYN SPRUILL

We are l iving i n a toxic world. Today more than ever our bodies are burdened and overloaded. We tend to build up toxins in the body through sedentary l ifestyles, from the food we eat, the air we breathe, water we drink and the body and beauty products we use. These are full of chemicals such as pesticides, additives, and preservatives, w hich cause bloating, fluid retention, puffiness, fatigue and i nflammation i n our bodies. Over time our bodies get overloaded with these toxins and are unable to remove them. This is when we feel tired, drained and stressed causing disease to start settling i n. Because the feet have over 7,000 ner ve endings AND the l argest pores of the body, soaking your feet using our Ionic Detox Foot Spa with a concentration of s ea salts high in mineral content designed to draw out toxins i s a great way to cleanse your body from these harmful substances. At Nurturing Hands Massage and Saunafied we strive to help you live a healthier l ifestyle. We recently added ionic foot spas.

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These foot spas energize the body stimulating it to detox thru its thousands of pores in the feet. When the electro-magnetic fields are balanced, the body’s organs will naturally function better. After a foot bath you will feel relaxed, balanced and more focused. If you’re wanting to seriously detox

we recommend doing a full cycle of 12-14 sessions spacing 3-4 days in between each session. We’ve also added relaxing VibroAcoustic sound frequency chairs. We use the influence of sound frequency and vibrations to massage the pain and stress away. We offer 21 different healing frequencies i ncluding stress, anxiety, depression,

back, neck and shoulder aches, oxygenation of blood for energy, spine, arthritis and pain, cancer, lyme disease, detoxification, fungus, fibromyalgia, migraines, endocrine, diabetes, orthopedic, flu sinus, i mmune,chronic fatigue, parasites and tranquility. The beautiful tones are set to pulse down your spine which releases tension, facilitating relaxation while aches and pains fade away. Our chairs have diverse custom designed sound frequencies that can be altered to fit your preferred i ntensity. You can change the music and soothing tones from extreme to a l ight massage that will allow you to meditate or fall fast asleep as the chair heals your body. Your spinal cord carries vibrations to the emotional portion of your brain, which allows a heightened healing process on a cellular l evel when using our chairs. Two-thirds of the body consists of water, and sound vibrations travel five times faster i n water, so we can take care of your pain and stress quicker than endless pills that are addicting and not healthy for your body.


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SHIFT+CONTROL {{HEALTHY WOMAN }} “Over time our bodies get overloaded with these toxins and are unable to remove them. This i s when we feel tired, drained and stressed causing disease to start settling in.”

We are now offering an i onic foot and sound healing spa package. Choose a sound frequency that fits your health needs. Sit back and relax for 30 minutes while being warmed by a heated weighted lap cover. Our chairs will shower your body with relaxing and healing tones that will have you feeling better in no time. The next 30 minutes your feet will 256

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be soaking in our ionic foot bath of sea minerals and water. You will melt away even more tension as we massage your head, neck, shoulders and hands. We will end your session with a lower leg and foot massage complete with heated stones and essential oils. You will leave Nurturing Hands Massage and Saunafied floating on air, feeling revived, refreshed and rejuvenated.

For more i nformation about this treatment and other services o f f e r e d p l e a s e g o t o w w w. PittsfordMassageAndSauna.com. We are ready to help you in your journey to a healthier and happier l ife. Submitted by Evelyn K Spruill, founder of Nurturing Hands Massage and Saunafied.


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{ LIFE IN BALANCE }

ARE YOUR HOLIDAYS IN ALIGNMENT WITH REALITY? BY KAITLYN VITTOZZI

In the yoga and fitness world there is lots of talk of being in alignment – making sure bones and muscles are properly ordered and stacked so you don’t injure yourself while lifting heavy weights or while you are balancing on one leg. If car tires are out of alignment you may not steer straight, and could end up paying for new tires sooner than necessary because they will wear out faster.

only being unproductive by the standards of the world that we lived in a month ago, and that world is gone.” While I know many folks are sad we can’t have our normal way of doing holidays, this may be the time to create a better life and pace than you ever thought was possible. It will be hard work and practice at first, but perhaps much lighter a burden in the end.

Are there places you are wearing yourself out too quickly? Are misalignments causing you physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual wear and tear? While I do work with clients who suffer neck, back and shoulder pain from sitting in less than perfect posture at desks all day – a physical misalignment – I also inquire if that job is weighing on them unnecessarily mentally, emotionally, energetically, and spiritually. While 2020 is uniquely, 2020: very possibly loaded down with grief and sadness, I would argue that that’s not that different than what many Americans experience every holiday season. Bread winners who would love nothing more than to have their home look like a Hallmark movie, but they are too busy working to provide to get to enjoy the days with their children – and then poof it’s January 2nd. Moms who are pulled in 50 different directions every day, physically depleted then add holiday shopping, decorating, baking and (zoom) parties on top of it. There is good news, and potential for change. As Jenny Jaffe said in early April “You’re 258

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Hear me out. I am not simply a new-age millennial minimalist anti-establishment single thirty-something here to tell you you’re doing it wrong. I value family above all else, and November and December are my favorite two months of the year. The lights, the cookies, the glitter, the shopping holds a special place in my heart. But there were also years that the reality of my holiday season wasn’t living up to my expectations and that left me devastated and depressed. When you are pushing through day-to-day, it is easy to get into a narrative about how

your day-to-day is going instead of being in the direct experience of living your life. Sometimes when I think holidays, I think of some perfect fiancé sweeping me off my feet while we look for a tree – but the reality is I’m single. So maybe you are thinking “Well if your fantasy is better than your real life, stay in the fantasy. Stay in the makebelieve.” But research shows otherwise. If you look up Norman Farb’s 2007 Mindfulness Study you’ll see that our default narrative is likely to interfere with our direct experience – or what we’re experiencing and living moment-to-moment. Here is an example. Pretend it is New Year’s Eve and you have a glass of wine in your hand, seated on the couch watching the snow fall. The default narrative might sound like this in your head – “Tomorrow I change my diet, I don’t know how I let myself get to this size, that credit card bill is due next week I shouldn’t have gone overboard on gifts. Where is he right now I only sent him to the store for one thing he’s so inconsiderate. Oh I’m empty already let me go pour more wine.” Now go back to that same scenario, but you’re living in the present moment (direct experience). This wine is delicious, is that pepper I taste? Look how elegant that house looks across the street in the snow. Your family member tells a joke and you’re listening, so you laugh. Which sounds more pleasant? As a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist – we usually work through the following eight


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{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “There can be beauty in unexpected untraditional holidays. One step toward your truth at a time.“

themes for transformation. Rarely are they linear in a personal growth journey, but they are all important. • Befriend the Body • Awareness • Acceptance • Choice • Discernment • Truth • Truth in Action • Flow Obviously, our menu of options is a little bit different this year – celebrating anywhere exotic might be a little bit out of reach. I cannot tell you what your ideal holidays look like, but I would like to give you some food for thought on how you might figure it out and execute them. 1. Hard physical work. Go for a really quick walk or do some jumping jacks right where you are. Try to make yourself near breathless for a few minutes. If it’s outside in the cold – even better, you’re in the direct experience of feeling lungs pumping in the cold. 2. Pause and close your eyes, sitting or standing. And picture your favorite holiday moments. Simply watch them for a minute or two.

My truth is that I love spending time with my family – whether it be December 25th or Tax Day. My action step is that I choose to be fully present to them when we are together – so I put my phone on silent and leave it in the other room whenever possible. It also stops me from saying “Wait what did you say?” to my poor parents every time we’re together. I dislike sitting still for a full day, and it hurts my back. So, on holidays, I take time for a walk with the dog or a few yoga poses in the other room. Got kids, pets, or family in the room you can’t leave? Invite them along with you. Maybe sitting on the floor is your change this year. Have you been wishing for smaller, simpler holidays for years? Try it on this year. Feel what you can say no to. Change the traditions if they’re no longer in alignment with your truth. The only constant is change, and once we accept that reality – life gets easier.

6. What are you going to do with that information?

One last example. In my early twenties my boyfriend of five years broke up with me. I dreaded that first Thanksgiving apart. I loved my ritual of celebrating at my parents’ house and then going to his. My mother knew, that my depression would probably sink the table as a whole. So she made a change. We started going out to dinner in the Finger Lakes each Thanksgiving – taking a drive, experiencing different scenery and foods we ordinarily would not order. While it was originally a last ditch effort to make me feel better, it had a surprise consequence of being less work for her, and something we all really started looking forward to.

While for some this takes years, these are

For Thanksgiving 2019 we went to the

3. What do they make your body feel? Warm, fear, stress, joy, rigid, full. Name it. 4. What makes those memories and feelings so important to you? Either answer to yourself or journal about them. 5. What do you hate about the holidays? Pause, see if you can find the root source of that.

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some of the first steps in in turning your truth into truth in action.

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Krebs in Skaneateles. A nice hour drive from Rochester, with exquisite food and service. On the way home, we did something “spontaneous” (note – this is our reality, for some spontaneous might be flying to Marrakesh). We stopped at Bass Pro Shops in Auburn. None of us are hunters, or even that outdoorsy, and we are definitely not Black Friday midnight shopper types. My sister and I laughed non-stop, trying on hats, buying silly gifts for our brother. It was so simple, but in hindsight we did not realize how extraordinary those experiences would seem a few months later. Not a single negative thought crossed my mind for those few hours. I was in the direct experience of flow. We would have loved to replicate that in 2020, but it wasn’t possible – but by practicing living in the moment quietly, at home, under 5 people – we accepted and loved the new moment-to-moment reality that was. There can be beauty in unexpected untraditional holidays. One step toward your truth at a time. Please let me know how you are mixing up your holidays this year! Kaitlyn Vittozzi is a Yoga Therapist and RYT-500 Yoga Instructor. Her specialties are chronic pain, stress, and postpartum anxiety. Visit TozziYoga.com for more information, or to schedule a session.


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{ FINANCIALLY SPEAKING }

DON’T LET COVID-19 STRESS YOUR HOLIDAY BUDGET BY MARIA CATON

I, for one, am looking forward to toasting in the new year, as 2020 has been a year like no other! Before we begin looking forward to a New Year, we need to survive this year’s holiday season. For most people, the holidays are stressful - even in the best of years. According to a 2018 NerdWallet survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, more than 50% of Americans “typically overspend” during the holidays. Given the fact that nearly 1 in 3 Americans say their finances are worse off this year due the economic challenges related to COVID-19 (2020 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey), this could be a recipe for disaster for many people. There are several reasons why people overspend during the holidays. Some people don’t know when to stop spending, which is a direct result of a lack of budgeting and planning. For others, it may be that they are focusing on the material aspects of the holidays rather than traditions and making memories. And for many, the need for spending stems from emotional issues, including the need for love or attention, because buying things for people makes us feel good. This year’s pandemic has resulted in unprecedented increased levels of isolation, which could increase people’s emotional spending. Rather than letting overspending get the best of you and compound financial concerns, there are specific steps you can take to help remedy this problem. First and foremost, having a financial plan in place is crucial, as it allows to you to gain

clarity around your finances. A financial plan provides the roadmap to achieving your financial needs. More importantly, it prioritizes them. Essential expenditures, such as food, housing and clothing, take precedent over “non-essential” spending, such as gifting. It is imperative to have an ample savings account, especially if you or your spouse are at risk of being furloughed or laid off. Generally, a 3-6-month cushion is recommended, however, given the challenges we are currently facing with unemployment, a longer period may be advisable. Savings should be prioritized ahead of spending for gifts. After essential expenditures are accounted for, it is important to evaluate your non-essential spending. This is very subjective. What is important to you may not be of the same importance to others, and that is OK. The recent shutdown of many services, stores and facilities has allowed people to reflect on their spending. Personally, I have recognized what I can live without, and conversely, have identified the things that are important to my quality of life. The same holds true for holiday spending. I recommend that you identify the most important items to purchase and look at other ways to potentially celebrate the holidays that are less expensive or require no money at all.

gifts for the people closest to you. This will allow you to avoid buying superfluous items. Alternative ideas might include a charity donation in honor of a friend or family member, homemade gifts, or a gift exchange where you buy for one individual as opposed to many. Finally, we need to acknowledge how we are feeling this holiday season. Many people are dealing with job loss, loss of loved ones, loneliness from social distancing, increased stress from childcare, and meeting our children’s educational needs. Recognizing and accepting that things are different this year is a crucial step. Adopting self-care recommendations for stress can be extremely helpful during these challenging times. When we look out for our own mental health, we can avoid using overspending as a coping mechanism for the emotional issues we are facing. Holiday overspending can be challenging to address. By being aware and having a strategy in place, you can put yourself in better financial position for the New Year. And what better gift could you give yourself considering the year we have had?

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Who we are

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What does it mean to be a local, independent, community bank? It means that our focus is on our customers and communities, and that our commitment is to remain flexible, nimble, and responsive in times of need. At Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, we’re here to provide financial education and advice when you want it, along with care and compassion when you need it. And, as always, we continue to bring you the services and solutions to meet your needs now and for the future. Today, and every day, CNB is investing in you, your business, and our community.

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LOVE OF WORDS {{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS}}}

HOW TO BE A BETTER WRITER BY CATYRA POLLAND

DICTIONARY I love the dictionary. I use the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app. No need to worry about not knowing a word, grab your handy dandy dictionary, hop online, or download a dictionary app.

There is nothing like having another person read your work. I hire an editor for my work because I am too close to the manuscript. I need an impartial third party to provide

THESAURUS Sick of using the same word repeatedly? No problem, thesaurus to the rescue. To diversify your vocabulary search for synonyms in a thesaurus. A HOT OR COLD BEVERAGE Are you a tea, coffee, or hot cocoa person? It doesn’t matter. Grab a hot cup of something to warm you up and get your juices flowing. Coffee is my go to except when I am on my monthly coffee detox. Black tea with honey is my back up. Are you not a hot beverage person? That’s okay, grab your favorite cold beverage and start writing! I LOVE iced coffee, Tim Horton’s with three sugar, three cream, a shot of vanilla and light ice to be exact. Another set of eyes.

honest feedback, critique, and suggestions. Choose someone who is a native speaker or highly skilled in the language of your manuscript. You can ask a professor, another writer or author, or proofreader if

you don’t hire a professional editor. SOFTWARE OR PROGRAM If you use Word, use the editor feature to check your document for spelling, grammar, punctuation, repetition, and other writing elements. This is a helpful feature although it does not catch all your mistakes or issues. This should be used in addition to an impartial reviewer, not in place of one. These tips will help you become a better, stronger writer. This list is not exhaustive, it’s just a starting point. We all have different tools and resources that improve our writing. Figure out what works best for you and stick to it! However, you should be flexible enough to adapt accordingly.

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{ BUSINESS TALK }

YOUR VIRTUAL ASSISTANT BY RUMELLA CAMERON

Commissioning a virtual assistant is not just a trend when it comes to business. It is now considered an efficient strategy to reduce cost, promote productivity, and increase profits more so during these unprecedented times. Most businesses and companies -- big or small -- have been impacted by the pandemic. Resources are scarce and access to funds is limited. Rather than laying off your workforce, you can engage in outsourcing virtual assistant services to help keep your business running. Hiring competent and reliable virtual assistant services will surely help you grow your business and increase your resources. Here’s how. You get to focus on the most important tasks As a business owner, you have no doubt been affected by sickness, self-isolation, social distancing, caring for others, and now almost certainly by school closures. By outsourcing your business tasks, you can free up your time to use it in the most proactive way – looking after family and friends, extra time managing your remote team, or preparing your crisis plan. Virtual assistants are tasked to take care of a company’s back-office responsibilities. This enables you to prioritize the key aspects involved in running your business and leave the clutch of multi-tasking behind.

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There are just some things that only the business owner can do. In this regard, you should delegate the routine tasks that take your time away from the business’ core functions. Having skilled professionals work on your business’ daily operational tasks enables you to expand your services by attracting more clients or customers. They are also able to enter new markets

and explore more opportunities, making your business more competitive. In other words, entrepreneurs or company executives gain confidence that the right people are taking on the important operations and functions in the company to keep their business on an upward trajectory. You can get help on all your administration tasks

With the increase in demand for remote workers, more and more job seekers are immersing themselves in this line of work. Outsourcing administrative support is no longer limited to the customer service and manufacturing industries. Administrative staff, architecture firms, web developers, finance companies, and more are looking for people with the right skills and knowledge to assume virtual assistant positions. This means that you can surely find experienced and skilled personnel on any business aspect where you may need help. Wi t h t h e i r ye a r s of experience and capabilities in their respective professions, they are able to deliver more than the client asks for. The clients or employers are able to monitor tangible and solid results from day to day, allowing them to build strong momentums for their services, which will surely result in more profits and credibility. However, virtual assistants can help you not only with your daily operational tasks; they can also help you with some crucial business functions such as transcription, content writing; search engine optimization; call answering; online marketing; market research; and scheduling among others. In addition, hiring virtual assistant


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{ BUSINESS TALK } “Hiring virtual assistant services does not only allow you to benefit from the productivity of an increased workforce; it also allows you to benefit from the improved workflow.“

services provides you with a lot of flexibility on work schedules, as they can work for you on a project or hourly basis. You benefit from improved efficiency Hiring virtual assistants to help you run your business allows you to benefit from the years of expertise and business practices that they bring to the job. Their understanding and knowledge of the domain enable them to do the job well, in turn leading to increased productivity and efficiency in the work process. They also enable your business to quickly respond to your customers’ needs; thus, improving customer satisfaction and contributing to your business’ bottom-line. You gain increased cost-efficiency Hi r i n g v i r t u a l assistant services is an investment for which you’ll quickly get a return on investment. In addition, hiring their services allows you to save on recruitment and training costs, as working with the right virtual assistant services company means that they’ve already screened the candidates for the job and that you’re getting some of the most competent professionals in the field to help you with your business tasks. IMPROVED CASH FLOW AND 270

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TIME MANAGEMENT Hiring virtual assistant services does not only allow you to benefit from the productivity of an increased workforce; it also allows you to benefit from the improved workflow. Virtual assistants can navigate the industry they work in with minimal supervision, allowing you to allot more time for tasks that create value for your company and for initiatives that grow your business.

BUSINESS GROWTH Leveraging the Covid-19 pandemic to your advantage, and in a positive way, is not beyond the realms of possibility. It can be business as usual for some – with the right mindset, a flexible attitude, and some smart thinking you can do a lot better than ride this out. While some businesses sadly have no choice but to down tools, you’ll find it a lot easier to think clearly and positively without the burden of everyday tasks that need to be completed. In need of a virtual assistant?

Any company can certainly benefit from virtual assistant services, especially as it ramps up its operations. The costefficiency of hiring these services provides the company with increased cash flow while the expertise and experience that the virtual assistants bring to the job provide you with more time to focus on what you do best. In addition, you will get some relief and peace of mind, knowing that competent professionals are taking care of the daily tasks that are essential to running your business.

Being an entrepreneur entails a lot of responsibilities, and as much as you want to, you just cannot do all the work yourself. Times are challenging right now and you don’t have to do it alone. Using a Virtual Assistant means no recruitment headache, paying only for what you need and without any employee overheads. Get in touch with Conversance Business Solutions for reliable virtual assistant services. Grow your business with us! Book a discovery call today at www. calendly.com/rumella/quickcall. Visit conversance.biz for more information.


WE DELIVER SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR PROBLEMS WHO WE ARE? Conversance has been providing virtual assistance to businesses of all types from small companies to enterprises since 2015.

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{ MIND, BODY, SPIRIT }

APPRECIATION THE GRATEFUL & THE APPRECIATED BY ALANA CAHOON

You can’t underestimate the power of gratitude. Yesterday, my client told me that she was grateful for me, that I entered into her life during a time of chaos, and today she is calm and successful. She meditates daily. She balances the growth of her company along with the growing up of her children.

gratitude effect them?

She’s content.

Have you ever looked your partner/ spouse in the eye and said thank you, maybe not for anything specific, but

Hearing her words meant a lot to me, and even brought tears to my eyes. This is why I do it after all. Serving others. To help you reach your potential, to grow your companies while balancing your family life. To experience the benefits of mindfulness.

It may instill self-confidence and the desire to expand their talents. It may encourage them to seek out attention with good behavior. It may give them a sense of safety. It may give them permission to express who they are.

Receiving gratitude propels us to get up and keep going. It reminds us that we’re on the right track. That we’re on purpose. That what we do and are, matters. When is the last time you said you were grateful for your kids to your kids? Maybe when they’re making a mess being creative, yet inspiring you to drop perfection? How would your 272

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Try that now. In fact, try all three. Notice the response. Write them down. When we record our ideas and experiences, we cement them into our minds. With that recognition, we appreciate them. When we offer gratitude to all those around us, more of their goodness arises. They feel appreciated, noticed. The same is true when we receive appreciation from others. We feel good and motivated to continue on our paths.

Being grateful, and sharing it, can make a tremendous impact on those around you. It can even make an impact on things. We often approach the exercise of gratitude by focusing on what and whom we are grateful for. But we rarely approach the exercise from the receiving end.

You may begin to radiate an outer glow that glistens around your skin. You may be encouraged to take on that new class, or prepare to run a marathon. It may allow you the time to slow down and take care of yourself.

just for being themselves, for being in your life? How would this shift your relationship? It may bring more laughter and ease. The desire to be supportive. It may increase intimacy or develop friendship. When have you looked in the mirror and thanked yourself for being you? Just you. All that you have been and would like to be. For your interests, your values, your eyes. Think about how that may effect your well-being.

What about things? Inanimate objects? If we look at the sky and are thankful for its greatness, will it always be there? The sun? The moon? The stars? Will the new day continue to wake us, and the slumber of night lull us to sleep? By offering gratitude for those things we take for granted i.e. the sky, you are filled with a sense of your connection to it. Without the sky, the sun, the moon, we most likely wouldn’t be here. With this awareness, you recognize that you have an impact on its wellbeing. You begin to take better are of it i.e. by lessening pollution, recycling more diligently, growing indoor plants.



{ MIND, BODY & SPIRIT } “Yesterday, my client told me that she was grateful for me, that I entered into her life during a time of chaos, and today she is calm and successful.”

They - the sky, the moon, and the stars - may respond by cleaning the air that you breathe, and prolonging the lifeline of the planet.

night, I say thank you for everything including the comfortable bed I’m sleeping on. Mostly, I’m grateful for being safe all the time and feeling protected.”

I asked a few people what they are thankful for, and offered my appreciation for them in return. It’s a lovely exchange. The nest time you’re with friends and family, try it. It also serves as a fun and insightful team-building exercise.

Lareena, I am grateful that you invest

Ja n e Ro b e r t s , Corporate Executive, ESL “I guess I am thankful for the people around me that make me feel safe to pursue my happiness and strength. And thankfulness for hope. Hope keeps me strong for the unknown.” Jane, I am thankful for your determination to grow both in your personal life and career path. Your leadership paves the way for other women to rise in corporations. Losing over 50 pounds AND competing in triathlons inspires others to do it for themselves! Lareena Cometa, Esthetician, Bare Element “When I say my prayers at 274

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in yourself to live a life of purpose and integrity. For your thoughtful, spontaneous and fun-filled demeanor! Diana Palotas, Director of Advancement, Trinity Montessori School “I am thankful that love and acceptance will always prevail over hate and exclusion. It may

take some time, but they will prevail!” Diana, Thank you for being you. The kind, sensitive, loving and good natured woman that you are. Peggy Trabert, Creative Consultant “Right now I am thankful that I didn’t get blood all over the white wallpaper that I am hanging when I cut my hand and literally bled all over the floor and ladder. Other than that, I am thankful that I don’t know anyone so far who has personally suffered with COVID illness and I’m thankful for good friends like you.” Peggy, I am grateful you’re OK! Thanks for being sincere, solid and efficient. Your design skills coupled with your precision tools makes you a leader in your trade. And for your friendship. I know you will always be there. What are you grateful for? Who’s grateful for you?


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SPECIAL FEATURE }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL

CHERESE T. BRACEY BY TALENA SKYE

Meet Cherese T. Bracey founder and CEO of Reading Reaps Rewards Early Childhood Enrichment Program. Cherese is an entrepreneur, educator, author, creator and songwriter. She is a domestic violence survivor who overcame many struggles as a child, including a brain tumor that nearly left her blind. As a child, Cherese would use storybooks as a way of escape from troubling times. Reading and writing songs were a way to help spark creativity and help her to cope with feelings of sadness from an uncertain environment. Finding God at an early age of 12, Cherese credits her faith in God for the positive person she is today. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your paths,” says Cherese. One of her favorite quotes from Proverbs 3:5-6. Cherese’s mission is helping children succeed by encouraging them to have confidence in learning by making learning fun!

books for enrichment. “Because of the recent pandemic, it makes it hard to run my business originally however, offering programs virtually may be a challenge but it helps me reach more children abroad,” says Cherese.

Today she is the founder of The Reesie Reader and Bookie literacy Club for kids and created the character mascots, “Reesie Reader (the girl who loves to read) & Bookie (the king of book world). The literacy club gave close to 10,000 storybook donations since it’s inception in 2005, to kids who needed them the most, helping them to make friends with books. In 2009, she started her own business Reading Reaps Rewards Early Childhood Enrichment program. The program teaches children how to read while building learning activities around

The crew sang for children and promoted the importance of reading and being the best you can be. They are all grown up now as successfulom wonderful young adults today.

She is the author of 3 childrens books “Story Time Friends”, “The Case of The Withering Books” and “Reesie Reader Little Entrepreneur” She was given the opportunity to meet Tory Burch at an entrepreneur womens mentoring event. Tory purchased copies of her first book “Storytime Friends” to give to children during a Christmas event. Her third book “Reesie Reader Little Entrepreneur” teaches children the gems of becoming an entrepreneur. She wrote and produced a kids song that’s featured in the book called “Storytime Friends” that was sung by her cousins, The Story Time Friends Crew, who were very young at the time of production at ages 7, 8, and 12.

Cherese loves performing puppet shows for kids using various voice overs to bring laughter to little faces and families. Her fun learning approach helps children love to learn by creating a happy laughable way to learn. She became a certified kids music and movement Instructor from

Kindermusik University, and operates a program through her own business Reading Reaps Rewards presents Kindermusik. Kindermusik International, Inc is a world leading method of early childhood education and is one of the most widely recognized music and movement programs for young children. In 2010, She attended and graduated from Rising Tide Capital Business Academy for entrepreneurs. In 2012 she entered a New Jersey statewide business competition for her program, Reading Reaps Rewards. The competition was run and held by Rising Tide Capital Community Business Academy and was it’s first competition of which she became a top ten finalist from 80 plus contestants. Victor Cruz, a former NY Giant attended the event. Cherese is no stranger to struggle, hard work and perseverance. Today, she continues to teach children while ministering hope and faith to others using the gifts God gave her. Her childrens books are available at the Jersey City Public Library and is available online for purchase. To learn more about her business, visit www.readingreapsrewards.org. Like her page on Facebook. Follow her on @ReadingReapsRewards Instagram.

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{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “Cherese is no stranger to struggle, hard work and perseverance. Today, she continues to teach children while ministering hope, authority and faith to others using the gifts God gave her.”





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{{ WRITER’S BLOCK } } }} SHE SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS

THE WAR BEYOND WRITING BY EBONY NICOLE SMITH

When it comes to authoring a book, finding time around working, raising a family and a chronic illness can either hinder the process or cause you to give up. This award winning author, Verkeya Lanece, she used her life as the reason WHY she had to finish her book. Born in NJ, this newly published author had to fight through pain in her joints caused by lupus to see her first book, Intertwined published July 2020, transformed from an ideal to a physical book. When I first met Verkeya, by way of a mutual friend, she was over the moon with excitement to finish her book. It seemed like she told me her entire story in one breath; that’s how excited she was. I asked her about her hopes for her book, what she desired to do with it and whom she wanted to reach. She was able to answer everyone without missing hitch. Verkeya’s debut fictional novel is one that is filled with ups and downs, twist and turns and characters that yank at your heartstrings. She had written four short stories in one book, which as you read them, does what the title says: Intertwine. Verkeya’s style of writing is descriptive. To be a descriptive writer is to create a beautifully painted picture with words in the minds of your readers. She has a way of using her “paint brush” aka her pen, to SHOW the readers how a scene looks; instead of TELL how it looks. As you read each story,

you smell the aroma of a manly cologne or floral perfume, taste the food, hear the music, feel the touch from the characters and see the expressions of the characters face. I guess you can say she writes to entice the senses. I could only guess that by being a spoken word poetess who paints with words anyways, writing a fictional story wouldn’t be too farfetched. She has given her characters a life that will stick with you long after you’ve finished the book. Moreover, you’ll probably, more than likely want to read it again just because it was that enjoyable. When asked, “What inspires you to write and share your creative words?” She said that it’s, “The experiences in my life (the love I have experienced, the food I have tasted, the losses in my life and MY CITY) have inspired me to write fictional characters with real life stories that people can relate to.” Launching her book was one of the most mind-blowing experiences for the first-time author. Due to Covid-19, she had to quickly shift from an in-person book signing to a virtual one. It was a change that she was able to go with and make work in her favor. With over 50 attendees, five plus sponsors she held her launch party like a pro! From give-a-ways to question and answers, she proved that Covid-19 couldn’t stop God’s plan. She would tell aspiring authors who wish to do what she has done to, “Go for it after you pray over it!”

Despite the successes she has experienced, Verkeya’s journey to becoming a published author was met with some challenges. Diagnosed with lupus in 201, she really had to push herself every single day to write her book. Because illness attacks her joints, the swelling, which is called a flare up, would leave her having to rest for days at a time. Wanting to give up wasn’t an option for the author since she had a little guy named Kaidance who depends on her on those same days. Her son was the reason that kept her going to finish her book and he’s still the reason she wants to write another one and shares her struggles and victories with the hope that others will see her and decide not to give up. With a collaborative book recently launched and a third on the horizon, there’s no telling how far Author Verkeya Lanece can go! “If I could write with someone it would be a collaboration with Zane, Janet Evonavich and Eric Jerome Dickey. They are my favorite authors.” Once piece of advice the new author would give to anyone who wants to become an published author is to make sure you have a good editor. To connect with Author Verkeya Lanece, find her via Facebook search @VerkeyaSpeaks and on IG @ Verkeya_Speaks. FYI: I titled her story The War Beyond Writing is because as you take your own journey, you’ll be ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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WRITER’S BLOCK }} { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Once piece of advice the new author would give to anyone who wants to become an published author is to make sure you have a good editor.”

faced with trials, obstacles that make you want to give up. You’ll find your own thoughts working against you. Out of nowhere every fear you’ve had around writing will hit you all at once. “Am I good enough?” “Who’s going to buy my book?” “Can I really do this?” Trust me, you’re not alone in your journey. 288

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The road of authorship is one that is well traveled. I would suggest finding a tribe of authors that you can connect to, encourage you on those days when you want to throw in the pen and rip up the paper and keep you accountable to reach your goal of becoming a published author. Tribes are easy to find. Just search on Google or FB for your

genre and see what pops up. I am Ebony Nicole, the writing coach. You can rock out with me and gain helpful, useful tips to becoming a published author by searching for me on IG @ ebonynicolesmithconsulting.


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{ TRACY IS TALKING }

AGE IS NOTHING BUT A NUMBER BY TRACY SIMONE

General Electric. Metropolitan Property & Liability. Computer Sciences Corporation. Solomon Smith Barney. Fleet Bank. All places that I have worked. Somewhere in there, I even had the nerve to be the Director of what was then called the Application Services Center for the State University of New York. My team that grew to 110 during peak times processed fees and applications for all the colleges within the SUNY system. Great job. Big title, but after a while, it was time to move on. So, I am now working at my 7th corporation. Somewhere in there and on the side, I got paid to be a model (still), actress (still), bartender, and instructor for a modeling agency. For a while there, I even did security at concerts where I inspected bags, made sure people were not too rowdy, and escorted them off the premises if they behaved too badly (yes, me). During college, I worked at a kitchen store in a local mall. I also worked ONE DAY for the New York State Lottery……I quit at the end of the shift. It was not for me. Again, I moved on. I had 11 different apartments before I finally bought a house at age 30. As I write this, I am looking at a birthday that recently passed and thinking about my journey. There are many cliché expressions but many of them are 290

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true. You really DO reap what you sow. If you do NOT do the work, you will NOT reap the rewards. If you want something done right, you just may have to do it yourself and, if YOU believe it, YOU can achieve it.

generally been able to do things my way and to also have no regrets. I wanted a pickup truck, so I bought one. Then an even bigger one. Then an RV. I have had the vehicle with the leaky roof because I wasn’t quite able to buy a new one and later, the red zippy corvette. It is never about things and stuff…..it is about the path you take as you grow older. The only one who can stop you from doing something is yourself. Yes, there are circumstances and people who can slow us down at times, but no one can truly stop us if we set our minds to it. A productive, happy life is about making good choices and sometimes, that means choosing a different job, different partner, or different living situation.

I share all these things to let you know that it is possible to do what you want if you believe that you can. I am living proof. Of course, it has not been all rainbows and unicorns. I lost my best friend 8 years ago, my mother 30 years ago, and countless others who I love and miss dearly. I have been laid off, ticked off, and promoted to levels I could have never imagined. Through it all, I have

I can tell you that your life is what you make it…..good or bad. Set your mind on what YOU want and then figure out how to get there. Do not step on anyone as you move forward and do not accept no as an answer. If one road is a dead end, back up and take another road (maybe not in an RV, but still take the trip). It is understanding that it is YOUR life to live. Living this life is about growing into yourself and giving yourself permission to realize your own potential. If you want to achieve something, then keep your eyes on


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{ TRACY TALKS } “I always heard that the older you get, the faster time goes. Truer words were never spoken.”

the prize. Finish what you start and build on what you already have. I always heard that the older you get, the faster time goes. Truer words were never spoken. It seems like no matter what we do, there is always more on the list that needs attention and never enough time. I live in the world of a minimum of 2,400 unopened emails. It is what it is. People in my inner circle know that if they really need me, they better send a text or call. 292

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Again, just take another path. As we get older, many of us assume that our body parts will sag, maybe we will slow way down, gain weight, lose our teeth, get wrinkles, need Depends, drugs, etc. I am happy to report that so far, everything at age 57 is still attached. I’m not quite the granny with the go go boots (yet), but I’m also not ready to hang up my stilettos.

People who stay plugged into life and do more than the usual grind enjoy their lives much more than people who only work to pay bills and then watch tv before bed each night. If you stay engaged and involved in things that you enjoy, time still flies, but age is not a factor. I know that the best is yet to come, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s next. Age is nothing but a number!


SIGN UP TODAY! RUNSIGNUP.COM/RACE/NY/GENEVA/GENEVAHALFMARATHON


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{ HER EDGE }

STUFF BY ROBIN DEWIND

We all want to have control in our lives. Lately things seem out of control again. When I feel like this, I don’t turn to exercise or a hobby; I clean and organize. It is not by choice. I have always fantasized about being one of those women I see when I’m driving my daughter to school. Dressed in their Lululemon, they are already on their fifth mile by the time I hit the main road. Life would be good if I could channel my angst into a pre-dawn run. Cleaning and organizing is my release. The instant gratification from organizing a closet or the pure joy from a clean bathroom makes me feel alive. I love to spray, wipe, and toss out anything that gets in my way. When I clean, there is no dwelling on the negative or feeling anxious or sad. I physically feel tired. The reward of accomplishment and exertion makes it all better. I also pride myself on being organized. But when I decided to tackle the basement to make way for a small remodeling project, I wanted to get underway, I was shocked by what I found. My downstairs looked like a junk yard of multi-colored bins disguised as organization. Mismatched lids, boxes, and garbage bags filled with stuff. The sheer amount was embarrassing.

I love stuff. I am always dragging in more bags than I need. I buy because it feels good. Admit it, we are thrilled to see the Amazon box on the front doorstep. Going to the mall is an outing that always ends with a purchase and an adrenaline rush. Stop in a Marshalls on a Saturday morning and you will see mostly women picking and perusing their way through the racks of stuff. Blankets and towels and candles and current holiday decorations are too enticing to pass up. While men head to the golf course, our sport is buying stuff ‘for the house’. We are not ‘buying for the house’ we are buying for ourselves. We don’t need it, we just like buying it. Little treasures to bring into our home to show off, until we get bored or the season changes and our little novelty items end up downstairs, in a bin. Let’s be honest, the basement is really just a large closet. Its where our purchases go to die. We won’t throw anything away because we bought it and it feels like we are throwing away money. My house was clean and tidy upstairs; my downstairs had become a dumping ground. My little project seemed overwhelming. When I started to look around, I realized I was holding on to more than just long-forgotten purchases, I was hanging on to the past. My baby

doll’s rocking chair, crib and blanket were shoved on a shelf. There was a box crammed with four years of high school; five diaries my beloved Pittsford Knights sweatshirt, art projects, awards and yearbooks dating back to the seventh grade. Two full shelves of boxes were filled with trinkets from my thirty years of television. Mugs, beta tapes, VHS resume reels, pictures, newspaper clippings, notebooks, and photographs of me in different newsrooms with old computers and push buttons phone sets. I saved every assignment my daughter had ever brought home. One bin for each year of school. She is a Junior. There were three irons, all kept, just in case I needed an extra. I counted 27 decorative pillows, and bunches of fake flowers everywhere. One full corner looked like an isle from “Home Goods”. Lamps, vases, candle toppers and frames. There were items from every season and color scheme imaginable. Half burnt candles in every scent. So why did it take me so long to see the clutter? In life we always trying to reduce; spend, eat, and worry less. There are magazines, websites and YouTube channels dedicated to de-cluttering our lives. Why don’t we?


{ HER EDGE } “The instant gratification from organizing a closet or the pure joy from a clean bathroom makes me feel alive.”

As I started to throw out my stuff, I realized it is not just my basement that is cluttered. I clean the slate each Friday and wake up to a host of new things to worry about by Monday. I try to compartmentalize and put into mental bins all the things I want to organize and tackle. By Wednesday I am left feeling overwhelmed by the same personal stuff, self-imposed pressure,

unwanted obligations and resentment.

every decision I made.

There is so much stuff cluttering up my daily life I am not even sure what is important anymore.

My doll crib could go, but my daughter’s second grade handwriting stays. Holding on to the past is wonderful and long as it makes you feel happy and not guilty.

While I was sorting and throwing out, I started to feel an adrenaline rush. The physical act of letting go was liberating. I didn’t feel burdened by guilt, money or nostalgia. I was present and calm and happy with

It took me the entire weekend to let go of things that just don’t matter anymore.


CONTACT ROBIN DE WIND TODAY! I ROBINDEWIND@GMAIL.COM


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TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL

THINK FULL BY TAMMY VREELAND

With the happy holidays upon us, I thought I would give you ideas on making the holidays as full as possible. November, we like to think of it as our month of thankfulness, with Thanksgiving being the center of that thought. By now, I’m sure you have been reminded on how thankful we all should be. So, I want to do a play on those words, for something different. And that is ...think full! Seriously, do we not all think (and moan) about all the different and wonderful foods during these holiday months? What with the feast during both holidays along with Christmas cookies, how could we not think full? But did you ever stop and wonder why we may fill until we are over full? It could be most of these foods, that we consume during these months, are usually limited to these months only! Seriously, would you have a full out turkey dinner for Memorial Day or a nice variety collection of Christmas cookies for the 4th of July? And yet, isn’t that what makes these two months special? Having traditional foods year after year? But what happens when suddenly you have to share in someone else’s traditions? Do old habits die hard, or do you embrace having something different added to your own yearly traditions? Why does it seem harder to introduce new foods during this time of year? Any other time, we would easily enjoy trying new foods. Thankfully,

in fact, to have new ideas for what’s for dinner. But for holiday dinners, that seems to be hands off! I’ve seen family feuds of whether it should be white or brown gravy. Turkey basted or in a bag. Or perhaps lasagna as a side dish or no turkey at all! You know all too well what I’m talking about, but this may be where we can apply my ‘think full’ idea. Who cares if someone wants to add their own take on your tradition? Especially if they are making it! Fill that table with new traditions and enjoy! It may surprise you that even though it may not be tradition to you, it’s actually quite good!

spiced wine that has been mixed with a couple of different wines? Heated spiced apple wine can be quite tasty! And what about flavored coffee, or different flavored creamers to go in the coffee, to have with dessert or those Christmas cookies? Also, we can’t forget my all-time favorite Eggnog! The only time of the year it even seems to be available, which makes me enjoy it even more! We’ve talked about the main course, drinks and desserts, but what about appetizers? Granted, we may think we’re having so much already - why in the world would we want people to fill up on appetizers?

Now for the Christmas cookies, I don’t really think there is much of a problem because a variety is an essential element in spreading good cheer! Allowing your loved ones to pick their favorites.

I think it all depends on how long you make every one wait, smelling that lovely dinner you are cooking! Having a couple of trays of cheese and olives, crackers and spread, may lessen those endless questions of ‘is it done yet?’!

What about drinks? I think sometimes this is an essential which is easily overlooked! For example, have you ever thought of serving spiced teas, wines, or even do I dare say... spiced punch?

Perhaps the tradition of one person putting on such a big spread could also be enhanced with people bringing their own dishes. Not only to help with the large task but introduce a new flavor to the table.

So many times, we worry about the main course and the dessert, that we scramble in that moment, when we ask what everyone wants to drink! Water is always a true staple, but how about being a little more festive with such an easy idea?

Here are some National Holidays for November and December that are food related to give us food for thought …traditional or something new to try?

What if you bring out some different teas... hot or cold... punch, or a nice

November 17th - National HomeMade Bread Day… Traditional or Unconventional? For me, it’s usually a quick crack of a Pillsbury tube of ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “With the happy holidays upon us, I thought I would give you ideas on making the holidays as full as possible.”

crescent rolls, but, hey! If someone wants to make homemade bread, I will make room!

and those scales will face us soon enough! So I suppose, limiting them to December is for the best!

November 22nd - National Cranberry Relish… Traditional or Unconventional? Definitely a classic example of which do you prefer? A nice cylinder shape smooth from the can or a fancy version loaded with unusual things? Remember, there is nothing wrong with having both available!

December 12th - Ginger Bread House Day… Traditional or Unconventional?

So, there you have it, November and December wrapped up and a New Year on its way! And none too soon! I can honestly say, I am looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020 without looking back! However, we need to enjoy this time. Where not only good food is made but also wonderful memories with family and friends. A time where we can be thankful and appreciate the time we have with them.

November 26th - National Cake Day… Traditional or Unconventional? Is it pie or cake for dessert at your house for your Thanksgiving Day? Usually Apple pie for us, but again, if someone brings cake, they will not be turned down! December 4th - National Cookie Day… Traditional or Unconventional? I guess this can be the official day to start making Christmas cookies? Do you like to bake them or prefer to try others? What ones do you like? Is it the triedand-true sugar cookie? Or perhaps peanut butter with a chocolate kiss? Maybe you like shortbread cookies or even some rum balls? So many choices and so little time! Seriously, must we only have one month for all these varieties? Then again, January 300

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Day… Traditional or Unconventional? Am I the only one who enjoys a good candy cane (especially the unique flavors) during this time when any other month, I would easily pass on any hard candy?

From my house to yours, I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays! Whether you are traditional or unconventional, we must remember - it is a time of year, where some things happen only at this time of year, so enjoy!

Ah yes, a true classic! Question is, do you make one or enjoy others? And if you make one, is it for fun? Letting the kids help, with a result barely recognizable as even a house? Or do you masterfully design a piece of art? December 19th - National Hard Candy




“Creating Memories For A Lifetime”


{ SHIFT+CONTROL KURVIE KORNER }}

KURVIE KUEENS TOP 10 WINTER MUST HAVES BY LATIFFANY ANDERSON

My favorite season winter has arrived, and I wanted to share with you all my top 10 must haves. As you all know, I live selfcare, and doing whatever makes me feel good. All of these items are conduits to my happiness. My faves allow me to create a space of positive energy, and free flowing thoughts. I hope I can introduce you to new items that you can add to your fall faves. Every aspect of Kurvie Korner is about healing and empowering from the inside out. My Winter faves are no different. My first fave is me time. My me time combines several of my favorites. ME time is a time designated for you, and only you. No work, no children, no spouse, no social media unless that is how you unwind. My winter essentials that are included in my me time include books, tea, and listening to a podcast. I like to dive into a variety of genres. I am currently reading poetry books as well as books on plant care. My next fave is Tea. For me its soothing daily sit and sip. Depending on the type, tea can provide several health benefits. There are several brands have blends that assist in sleep, cold care, and digestion. My love of tea fueled me to begin my own tea line a few years ago. Kueen tea is hand blended to assist in whole self-care and relaxation. Kueen Tea will relaunch in 2021. My final me time fall fave is listening to podcasts. Podcasts have soared in popularity over the past few years. The key is to find topics, hosts, and genres that you enjoy. Two of my favorites are Therapy for black girls and The Fred show (waiting by the phone). Therapy for black girls is a podcast that has sessions with topics such as “mental health tasks to prioritize”, “making friends as adults” and so much more. The Fred show is a hilarious 304

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podcast based on the radio shows call ins. Callers want to know why a person they went on a date with will not answer the phone or call them back. When I need a moment to myself to just breathe both of these podcasts are my go-tos. Both of my podcast selections can be found on Spotify. With the upsurge of COVID-19 I became more diligent with taking vitamins. Beyond taking them, I began to research immune system boosters. Daily I take Goli Gummies,

Black elderberry, Olive leaf, turmeric and Echinacea. Each of these can be found at any local pharmacy with the exception of the Goli gummies. Goli can be found on their website as well as Walmart.com Now that we have taken care of all of my inner winter must haves, let’s explore the outer. Fall and winter fashion is my favorite to experiment with. Colors like mustard, wine, hunter and royal are all my favorites to put together. My final five fall must haves are leggings, cardigans, boots, expressive

eyewear, and body/ skin care essentials. I love to express my personality and self-love through the art of fashion. Most days my style is simple with splashes of sass. I love to pair pops of color with solid pieces, then there are days where I boldly wear prints. Fall gives us the opportunity to play with mixing winter and summer attire. Leggings are a closet must have. They can be dressed up or down and can be worn by everyone. Cardigans are my next fave. They can be worn to work, date nights and can be paired with almost anything in your closet. Boots are one of my absolute favorite statement pieces. Most of my boots are purchased from Justfab. If I am not wearing leggings or cardigans from Kurvie Kulture, I have found some leggings that are very plus size friendly at Walmart. Lately, I have found myself loving the idea of a variety of different glasses. Wearing glasses no longer has to be a daunting task. I love a colorful, bold frame. They are a creative way to enhance your fall fashion. As the weather changes to colder in most areas, the importance for body and skin care becomes even more prevalent. All of my skin care needs are taken care of by “Goddes Glow” products. To ensure my body stays moisturized, I use Goddess Glow fall scents such as brown sugar baby body oil. To keep my skin clear and glowing I use the turmeric face wash, rose water toner, and face serum. Goddess Glow located at 510 state street in Rochester NY, offers affordable self-care essentials for every woman. Winter is a time for expression, renewal, and of course self-care. Take time for yourself and add one or all of my fall faves to your list.


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{ A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE }

A NEW WAY TO FITNESS BY GIOVANNA WALTON

I don’t know about you but I am tired of this Covid lockdown, rules and restrictions and above all, these stupid masks!!!! PLEASE don’t tell me it keeps people safe, etcetera. Numbers are still going up with all of the precautions. I just think it’s funny that when all of the people gathered a while back for deaths around Rochester, the protests and the riots that went along with it didn’t cause an upsurge in cases. Hmmmmm. Has that crossed your minds too? That’s a whole other topic!!!! What I want to talk to you about has to do with keeping yourself fit and healthy during this time!!!

time you’re waiting for the person on the machine to get off of their phone! I hate when that happens! Now, here’s another issue. Your limitation or limitations because of a sickness or an accident. You’re not able to make use of all the equipment in the gym. You’re pretty much all on your own because most places will charge a lot of money for a personal trainer.

Over a year ago, I wrote about an incredible NEW way to fitness! I know, you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about. How can fitness be new, right? It’s basically one-size-fits-all, coupled with tweaks here and there. I mean if you think about it, we’ve heard more than enough about diets, exercise and other fads! Stick with me though! You don’t want to miss what I’m gonna say! Before I begin, how many of you are tired of working your butt off and getting little to no results? How many of us go and aren’t that motivated so we skip a few machines or exercises here and there because there isn’t anyone holding us accountable? I think we’ve all fallen into that category! Now that Covid has hit and there are tons of restrictions, including the use of machines, we have to WAIT for one machine to be free because of the six feet apart rule. And the majority of the 306

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I have the answer! QUE FITNESS WORLD!! When I first saw it advertised I thought, just what we need is another gym. So I made an appointment with George to see what he had to offer and to see how his place is so different from others. When I arrived at QUE FITNESS (as it was called at the time), I was greeted by George and his business partner Denise. Already I felt comfortable

and welcomed. We talked for a few minutes so he could initiate a plan that was suited for me, what I was looking for and what my goals were. You see, QUE FITNESS WORLD IS unique in so many ways. The FIRST was George’s undivided attention. Once he thought it out, he took me to the fitness room. He showed me how each of the exercise equipment functioned and then right into the warmup! I LOVED it! He encouraged me to keep going even when I wanted to quit. I never once felt pressured or uncomfortable. I actually WANTED tod do the execises AND he made it fun! Don’t stop reading yet, there’s a lot more to QUE FITNESS WORLD. George knew all too well the importance of fitness. He knew everyone wasn’t the same or at the same level as others. What am I saying? I’m saying that there are some people who have limitations that keep them from going to the gym or keep them from their full potential in using the equipment. Arthritis, Lupus, Sickle Cell, Accidents (vehicle,work...), ANY KIND of physical condition that limits what a person can do limits them. When you’re in pain, it’s hard to motivate yourself to exercise.


{ IT’S A SUITE LIFE }

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{ A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “You see, QUE FITNESS WORLD IS unique in so many ways. The FIRST was George’s undivided attention.”

George grew up in Erie Pennsylvania. His parents both worked at GE, teaching him the foundations of a working class family. He was around 5-6 years old when he became aware of his disorder, and later it’s detriments and how painful it was at the age of eight. George was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia a disease that robbed George of the oxygen he needed in his blood. He was at the hospital battling a fever while packed in ice. He was having a crisis attack. The fever was going up. He remembered the doctor pulling his mother out of the room asking her if she was ok. He told her that her son was very sick and that they didn’t know much about the disorder. He said it could be deadly even fatal and that if he lives to be 12, consider yourself lucky because he’s lived a great life. His mom came back into the room and he could tell she was frightened and scared, although she tried not to show it. Her only son and not knowing what would happen to him at any given moment was unimaginable. He made up his mind that he will not disappoint her and that he would always fight to show her how strong he really is. Feeling weak and not strong enough for his mom in his own mind, was personal. He didn’t want her to be sad any more and it fostered a strong mindset in him. IF YOU DONT MIND, IT DONT MATTER. Everything he does at QUE is based on that thought. In June of 2012, he had another near fatal crisis. He lost 90% of his red blood cells. He graduated in May of that year but juggling school, raising kids, and doing cross fit , he had worn himself out. By the time he got to the hospital, he was completely incapacitated. They 310

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literally had to carry him out of the car. They said if he waited seconds longer, he would have died. The doctor him that according to the tests that came back, he didn’t know how he was still talking. These next two weeks proved to be the darkest. This time he didn’t know if he would survive. This was yet, another turning point for George He began to pray. He asked God to keep him alive. His prayer was answered. People who know and have a relationship with God know when they hear His voice. George knew what he had to do. God spoke to him and told him that he had to help others to get better and to get healthy. He recognized that there are people who DON’T have the ABILITY to get into shape on their own. NOT because of laziness but because of their limitations. There was no more sales, marketing, upper level management and no executive management. George was working for God. By that Saturday, George was there to watch his daughter’s softball game, just as he promised. By 2015, he was into fitness again. He was now focused on himself. He took other jobs in management etc., and lost them including the job that brought him here in Rochester, Ruby Gordon. This job he lost because he was so good at what he did that he got himself out of a job! The parting was not on bad terms. He then got a job at Planet Fitness and became the number one personal trainer in Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse! This is where he met his business partner and friend, Denise. Her daughter was getting married and Denise wanted to get into shape. She wasn’t sure it was even possible because Denise had

limitations of her own. With George’s help and encouragement, Denise got to her goal! She KNEW if she was able to with George’s help, others could too!!! Some time went by and George lost his job at Planet Fitness. He and Denise went to different gyms to train but the other gyms sooner or later kicked them out. They didn’t allow that. After getting kicked out of so many of them, they got tired of it and decided to go out on their own. They would start up their own gym. Their friendship grew and they discovered that there was more that they wanted to do. they learned that there were more and more people out there who were physically limited, mentally stuck. They needed a workout geared specifically for them. That’s when QUE FITNESS was born. Don’t get me wrong, others can certainly sign up too. You don’t have to have limits to join. Since I wrote the last column, QUE FITNESS is now QUE FITNESS WORLD! They are in a new building with more space. I hope this column was encouraging to you! Give them a call and go down there to look at what the facility has to offer! Believe me, there will be no pressure. Blessings to all.


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{ WELLNESS 360 }

STAYING WELL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON BY BETH PARRY

For some, the holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year.” For others, it is a time full of anxiety, overeating, and stress. Throw in a pandemic, and it intensifies the feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. Living a healthy lifestyle and keeping your immunity strong through the holidays can be tricky with high social contact levels, elevated stress levels, poor eating choices, and lack of time. Living healthy through the seasons can be achievable by taking a few tips from the Wellness professionals.

sickness, chronic fatigue, and anxiety. Your sleep cycle influences your daily hormone release, controlling your hunger and satiety throughout the day. Holiday stress can decrease your quality of sleep. Restless sleep can lead to a negative feedback loop creating more daily stress. It is essential to use good sleep hygiene, and adopt stress reduction techniques throughout your day to improve your sleep patterns, improve your immunity and mood during this holiday season.

TIP #1: EXERCISE I know that fitting exercise into your already overloaded schedule can seem impossible. If you choose to neglect your exercise regimen, you are doing yourself a huge miss service. Taking that time to destress and unwind can be the most productive time on your schedule. The benefits of exercise far surpass the benefits of last-minute shopping, latenight cocktails, or extra hours at work. Exercise can Decrease your stress - Promote healthy weight - Improve your energy - Aid in healthy sleep cycles All of which will improve your immunity, mood, and stress levels during the season. Busy schedule? You do not have to work out an hour a day to get these great benefits. Moderate intensity exercise in as little as 25 min a day will still get you the recommended minutes per week. Cardiovascular workouts are great to burn those extra calories, however strengthening exercise will build muscle, tone your body, improve posture, and build stronger, healthier bones. The stronger your muscles, the more calories your body will burn at rest. So, keep your workouts on your schedule; your body and mind will thank you.

TIP #3: ADOPT MINDFUL HABITS Adopting mindful habits will allow you to not only survive but thrive this holiday season. Mindful practices bring conscious awareness to your day, choosing to take time

TIP #2: GET YOUR REST Studies show that even one night of latenight hours can significantly decrease your immunity and encourage weight gain. Add on that extra glass of holiday cheer, and you have the perfect storm for 312

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TIP #4 EAT ON PURPOSE The holidays are full of cookies, pies, and alcohol of plenty. We tend to eat more mindless when the cookies and candies are all around. Mindful eating comes down to honoring your hunger, not your urges. It is bringing awareness to why you are eating, hungry, bored, stressed, etc. Mindful eating is about eating on purpose, eating for fuel, and eating without stressful distractions. It is ok to eat the cookies, pies, and treats, just in moderation and on purpose. Permitting ourselves to splurge on the holidays can lead to overall discomfort and long-term health complications. Weight gain, even temporary, can lead to joint pain, digestive issues, and an overall feeling of malaise. Here are some great tips for eating over the holidays. TIP #1 Eat your carbs with some fiber and healthy fats. This keeps your blood sugar levels stable, making you less likely to binge on sugar. TIP #2: Put some club soda or seltzer in your cocktail. This decreases the amount of alcohol consumption, and you are less likely to fill your glass with sugary mixers.

for yourself, reflect on your surroundings, and be grateful for your blessings. Start with practicing gratitude and celebrate friends and family this year. Even with disappointments or setbacks, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for in life. Meditate, take a few minutes to breathe, on purpose. Take 5-10 minutes every day and sit, focus on your breath, and recharge that battery. Finally, practice acceptance. Trying to control the actions of others will lead to resentment and disappointment. Accepting people for who they are and not what the “should be” will allow you to enjoy all of your dynamic family personalities. These simple habits will allow you to enjoy the holiday storms with peace and rest.

TIP #3: Get adequate sleep. This will support your hormones that control your metabolism, hunger, and satiety. You can stay healthy and happy during the holiday season. Wellness is not about perfection; it’s about making conscious decisions to better your state of wellbeing. Wellness 360 works to educate you and support your individual health needs. We use our physical therapy background to provide you with evidence-based exercises and education for your optimum health. We aim to manage, prevent, or reverse your disease diagnosis through exercise and lifestyle modifications. You can learn more through www.wellness360fitness. com. Until then, have a safe and healthy holiday season!


{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN }

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{{ BLISSFUL BALANCE}} SHIFT+CONTROL

KINDNESS BY CINDY DECAROLIS

“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahlil Gibran I love snow! There is magic and wonder in snow. Snow makes me happy. Every time I see big, fat, white flakes beginning to fall I still feel the excitement of a child waiting to hear that there will be a snow day.

gatherings will be much smaller or perhaps cancelled altogether. Instead of mourning what might have been, be creative about how you can celebrate the holidays with those you love. Getting fresh air, moving your body, and connecting with people are three

It is especially magical during the holiday season. In fact, I need snow to get into the holiday spirit. As I sit here writing this on November 29th, it is a beautiful, sunny, crisp day. However, the ground is decidedly green. And so, I wait for the snow.

White or green, this Christmas will be different. Traditional parties and

• Plan a day trip to a hiking trail with a small group: there are numerous places to hike in upstate New York. Two of my favorite day trips are Letchworth State Park and Ithaca. • Engage with family and friends in a winter sport: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating are all wonderful outdoor activities for kids and adults and they tend to keep you socially distanced. If you have never tried these sports you can rent equipment and take a lesson to try it out.

When I was growing up in Syracuse it snowed all the time. Some of my happiest childhood memories are of winters spent outdoors with my sisters and friends – sledding, ice skating, snowball fights, and walking on top of the snowbanks that lined the streets from November through April. When we got too cold to play outside, we would go home, hang our wet gear in front of the furnace and make hot cocoa. There was a coziness to being inside watching the snow fall with a fire in the fireplace, a hot drink, and a Nancy Drew mystery to read.

a comparable speed and distance as you, so you challenge each other. If you invite someone who is not as experienced as you, make sure you take it down to their level, so it is enjoyable.

critical elements of a healthy lifestyle. Use this year’s restrained holiday season to combine all three. • Invite someone to take a walk or run: inviting a buddy or two to exercise with you is a great way to keep your exercise routine on track. Enlist a couple of people who are at

• Bundle up and sit outdoors with a companion and a hot beverage: not everyone has the physical capacity for winter outdoor activities and some just don’t find them fun. You can still connect with someone and get some fresh air - I am envisioning Audrey Hepburn, very chic in a hood and sunglasses, sitting on the deck overlooking the mountains in the French Alps when ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “I am grateful to have come through this year whole and I offer each of you kindness, patience, and grace.”

Cary Grant approaches her in the Stanley Donen classic film, Charade. How fun is that!? One thing that we can all do is spread kindness like snow. This has been a difficult year, and many have faced personal, devastating losses. You never know what someone else is 316

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going through. You may be going through something hard yourself. I am grateful to have come through this year whole and I offer each of you kindness, patience, and grace. Wishing you a holiday season filled with peace, bliss, and balance…

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 cindydecarolis62@gmail.com www.blissfullbalanceroc.com Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance


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TODAY LET US SWIM. BY JUDI SWANSON

“Today, Let Us Swim Wildly, Joyously In Gratitude.“ Rumi I tend to be a pretty grateful person. At some point, somewhere, I fully embraced being thankful for what I had and readiness to show appreciation to others. The word gratitude means a feeling of appreciation. If I reflect upon when that clicked for me it was when as a single mom, raising two daughters, making almost enough money to get by with the basics of shelter and food. The other night my girls and were facetiming. My one daughter was saying she was going to have luscious leftovers for dinner. We talked how that was what I called leftovers when they were kids. What I shared with them is that I made fancy names for leftovers (and just so you know I LOVE leftovers) because I often only had enough money to buy a minimal amount of food that would need to be repeated throughout the week. While it was incredibly stressful for me as a mom, I was incredibly grateful and appreciative that we had food. By giving it a fun spin with my girls changed my perspective on our luscious leftover meal. It also framed our meal with a fun, adventurous spirit. When my daughters were in elementary school I did not have the extra few dollars to give my girls so they could buy a book at the school book fair. It was hard on me as a parent. What helped to stretch me and see this moment in a different light was how I was going to make this okay for my kids. I was not going to paint the lack of funds for my girls in a negative way. We had shelter, we had food, we had health and a whole lot of love. My girls were the only students in each of their classes

that did not have any money to buy a book. I do not recall what I said or how I said it, yet one day when we were talking about this my daughter said “I remember that and how it wasn’t a big deal to me.” “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” Margaret Cousins In hard, rough times it can be challenging to see the good, to feel gratitude and then to show appreciation. Yet there is good going on somewhere, somehow. In an article in the Liberationist.org “Why Appreciation Will Help You See More Opportunities in Life” states: “Life doesn’t owe you anything. Appreciation means stop taking everything for granted. Appreciation is something powerful. It doesn’t just reflect on you but, most importantly, on the receiver. Even something more mundane as email response rates are affected by gratitude. “Thank you in advance,” “Thank you,” and “Thanks” are the three most powerful words to end an email. Give appreciation with respect and kindness.” “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou By simply saying thank you, showing appreciation, demonstrating your gratitude with words. In an article in the Greater Good Magazine “The Ripple Effects of a Thank You” states: “When people witness an expression of gratitude, they see that the grateful person is the kind of person who notices when other people do kind things and actually takes the time to acknowledge

them—meaning, they’re a good social partner,” says Algoe. “People who are responsive as social partners are really desirable people.” Based on other survey questions, Algoe and her team also discovered that participants wanted to help and affiliate with the person receiving the gratitude. That’s because receiving gratitude marks you as a person who is effective at being supportive or helpful, says Algoe. “It’s helpful to know who the people in our environment are who will do nice things for other people, because they are attractive relationship partners,” she says. What was the exact cause of participants’ reactions, though? It’s possible that people are attracted to others who seem positive in general, like the reviewer, or they simply felt elevated by witnessing the other participant’s generosity.” Think about this. A simple thank you, whether verbally or written, can send a ripple of positivity to other people beyond the beyond the two person exchange of the thanker and thankee. A simple moment of appreciation can create a powerful ripple of good. So on this day as the sun is rising while I write this and I am sitting by my working gas fireplace because my furnace is broke, I want to extend my thank you to all of you who take some of your precious time to read this. I do so very much appreciate all of you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for bringing your you to the world. We need you so very much. Who you are matters. May your thank you be with you.

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DOES MICRO SCALP PIGMENTATION LOOK REAL? BY JAROD SCHOONMAKER

Many people dealing with the reality of baldness, hair loss, or thinning hair follicles require that any form of treatment they intend to undergo, which includes scalp micropigmentation, must produce naturallooking results. So, the question they would often ask about this procedure is ‘does scalp micropigmentation look real?’. The rule of thumb with micropigmentation on scalp is that the finished scalp micropigmentation look should not attract undue attention meaning there should be a little external query about the scalp micropigmentation treatment. The bottom line is Yes, while scalp micropigmentation can look real, it has to be performed by professionals who will take time to make sure that the SMP treatment is done correctly. HOW SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION WORKS The Scalp micropigmentation look follows processes that are very similar to a tattoo because it works with the same principle that skin on the head consists of layers just like the skin on the body. However, what sets it apart from traditional tattoos is that the color pigments used in micropigmentation for scalp do not go beyond the epidermis. Permanent dyes are also never used when achieving the scalp micropigmentation look. The preferred dyes are anti-allergic so that clients/recipients do not develop side effects to its application. Scalp micropigmentation with transplant is a lot like the process of microblading eyebrows. Instead of creating the appearance of strands of hair, it instead employs the artistic method of pointillism to create dots on the scalp of individuals who suffer hair loss. It follows a strategic process of making the hair look fuller, in the case of balding men, a buzz cut, and in the case of women with thinning hair follicles, hiding the scalp with dark pigments applied in microdots. Before the commencement of each Scalp micropigmentation session, the scalp area

that has experienced hair loss and requires treatment will be cleansed thoroughly then an outline will be marked on the skin that will serve as an indicator for where the hairline will begin. After this, the microdots will then be applied one by one with a particular device that utilizes between one to three needles that will not penetrate your skin as much as a traditional tattoo This will appear real, imitate the rest of the scalp, and not look overly bold. It takes between 2 to 3 sessions for the scalp micropigmentation (SMP) treatment to be fully applied, which gives the professional time to evaluate how the micro dotting looks on

how it will look, and different expectations of the aftermath of its application. From issues such as their scalp micro color unnaturally changing to the scalp microdots posing as hair follicles being too large and lacking that natural look, these complaints, and fears are often a result of the ‘professional’s’ proficiency and patience to deliver a natural scalp micropigmentation look for their client. Some of them are not even into micropigmentation but just regular tattoo artists who want to make a quick buck. If you have seen the results of their error anywhere, it is okay to have your concerns but just remember this can be avoided if you entrust your scalp to a professional SMP practitioner. With that explained, below is a list of what to expect before and after the scalp micropigmentation process; Before the micropigmentation scalp treatment, most clients are advised to shave their heads to give a uniform look so that the SMP professional can determine how to make the procedure real.

the scalp if it’s the right shade, and so on to give that natural look. However, the results will last for up to three years. The reason is that your body’s immune system will begin fighting the pigments the moment they are applied scalp micro, and this makes it fade eventually. This hints at the relationship between protein and hair loss.

During the scalp micropigmentation treatment, the area of focus will be cleansed thoroughly. Then, the new hairline will be outlined then microdots will be applied one by one till the required result is achieved. It is essential to note that immediately after the pigmentation treatment, there might be swelling or redness on the client’s head. For the first week after the scalp micropigmentation treatment, the scalp should not contact any form of moisture or sunlight, and the client should avoid all forms of strenuous activity.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM SCALP Micropigmentation? The primary aim of scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is to create the illusion of a fuller head of hair by creating microdots of hair follicles. However, many people going through the scalp micropigmentation procedure for the first time will often have a lot of concerns about what the treatment entails for them,

CONCLUSION Scalp Micropigmentation is mostly about realism, confidence, and a sense of restoration. The pigment procedures are geared towards a realistic look that will work for whoever decides to attempt it. Thus, you must be fully aware of the technician’s capabilities and experience, whose skills you decide to employ. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: DECEMBER 2020

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MADE IN THE CUSE BY DANIELLE MENSING

Voices For Impact is a podcast I started to help people thrive by creating content that encourages a growth mindset and reimagines how people can find their purpose. Started during the Covid-19 pandemic and Made in ‘Cuse, Voices For Impact gives people tips on overcoming challenges and keeping a positive mindset by sharing real stories of leaders in our local community and from around the world that have made significant accomplishments in their lives and have gone through their own adversities but have made it through those challenges and made positive im-pacts through their work. Voices For Impact is full of conversations with entrepreneurs, artists, educators, athletes and change-makers. They are people who have built a business, started a movement, or impacted communities. How do you define success? That is the question I usually end with on all of my podcast episodes. I end with this question because I always get a heartfelt and inspiring response. While all responses from the podcast guests are different the majority have been centered around a com-mon theme: Success means finding your own happiness. Cliche, I know but let me dive a little deeper. What is success? When we talk about “successful” people, we usually think about a billionaire, a famous singer, or prominent historical figure. But for the 324

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guests on my podcast, most have said that power, fame, fortune are not what makes them feel accomplished. So if you are chasing after your own version of success, let me share with you some wisdom I’ve learned from

check out his movie ‘Dwelling’ on amazon prime): “Nobody can dictate what success is for you, you create your own success”. During our episode, he talks about his journey to directing and writing his first movie. Setting goals until you get to where you want to be. It is important to remember that there is no right way to define success. Based on our own unique experiences and values we will all define success differently. Finding fulfillment is another definition of success that multiple Voices For Impact thought lead-ers have mentioned. Being at peace and alignment with your life and what you are meant to do. There are so many pressures, challenges, stressors, and choices we face on the journey to creating the life we want to live. Life is filled with ups and downs and lots of tears and laughter. Creating inner peace and alignment with yourself is something we all have to put energy towards in order to live a successful life.

interviewing local and globally recognized thought leaders on my podcast, Voices For Impact.

When I asked my first celebrity guest, Latavius Murray, his definition of success was: Overcom-ing Fear. Tay said he had been waiting for someone to ask that question so he could give his advice. When you are fearful of whatever it may be—it can hold you back from making your dreams or goals a reality. Overcome those fears!

The first piece of advice is from Kyle Mecca (local film writer and director,

For other Voices For Impact thought leaders the definition of success has


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SHIFT+CONTROL { {VOICES OF IMPACT} } “What you use to value as a “successful life” in your teens and 20s could be way different for you now.”

changed as well. What you use to value as a “successful life” in your teens and 20s could be way different for you now. Amanda Hughes, owner of The Ice Cream Stand and Jaynes Collective in downtown Syracuse, said that her definition of success is a combination of many factors but she narrowed it down to three main points: happiness, health and helping. Am I happy? Can I do things that I want to do and am I caring for myself? How am I helping or being of service? Ryan Martin, NWBA Player and Founder of the Ryan Martin Foundation expressed that success to him means, “helping to better other peoples situations as opposed to capitalizing on your own good fortune”. Arielle Chambers, model and sports journalist, made similar comments regarding her definition of success. Ari defined success as giving back by sharing and offering success to others so that they can achieve their goals too. Leadership and business coach, Mike Sgro’s definition of success really hit home to me: “If today was my last day, did I do all the things I said I was going to do and did I do it in love.”

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Success feels and looks different for every single person. It’s not a destination but an ever-evolving journey. I think the common theme I see with all of their

means achieving what YOU want and your purpose. I hope you feel motivated to take on the day after reading this article and for more daily inspiration and teachings listen to Voices For Impact on the go on Apple, Spotify, and iHeart Radio podcast platforms. Subscribe and stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn @ VoicesForImpact. Look for this column in future issues of CNY Woman and Rochester Woman Online Magazine. Want to ADVERTISE? Email voices4impactcuse@ gmail.com if you would like to get your mes-sage out to a new audience by sponsoring an episode or sharing your story to help encourage people to find their passion and purpose.

definitions of success is that they are designing their own lives based on what they want, not what others think they should do. So perhaps “success” simply

Danielle is a Nazareth College alum and is currently pursuing her MBA. Currently she works as the Senior Director of Development for a local nonprofit. In addition, she volunteers for several organizations in the community and is a Board Member for Association for Fundraising Profes-sionals and a Central New York Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty honoree.


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THE QUESTION IS WHY? BY SHANNON HOLMES

Have you ever stopped and thought back about how hectic and crazy the past week in your life has been? Have you reviewed in your mind, work, the chores, the meals, the school work, taking care of the kids, driving to extra-curricular activities, playing referee, and trying to find time to sit down and breathe. Do you want to just find a room to hide in with a comfy blanket and a glass of wine, to spend 10 minutes without being called, or expected to do something? But, then you feel Guilty.

others. If we are sad, depressed, frustrated, annoyed, then how are we supposed to bring positivity, joy, and love to the ones we love. Simple answer. We can’t. Start with NO. It’s okay to say No. No to a playdate, an extra errand, or even a gathering. You don’t have to let your children or even you attend everything. (Guilty feeling?) The kids will be mad at me. They will get over it. You’re here

The question is why? Why do we as women feel guilty about taking time for ourselves? We provide constant care for others and put our needs and feelings last. Human nature? Maybe? Common expectation? How can we start to retrain our minds to say it’s OKAY to say not now. It’s OKAY to say later. It’s OKAY to say I need some ME time. With the state of the world adjusting to the current pandemic, many normal behaviors have changed. It’s not as easy to leave for a quick errand and slip away for some alone time that is relaxing. Going out can be stressful, so the time of friendly get-togethers has been put on hold. So how, can we continue to provide mental and physical wellness for us, without feeling that we are being selfish. It has taken a while to come to terms with the realization that, in order to take care of someone we love, we need to take care of ourselves first. Think of the message on an airplane. Adults put your oxygen on first, then place the mask on the child. If we are not strong then we can’t care for 328

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to be a parent, not a friend. Setting boundaries for yourself will also help them in the long run. They will learn the importance of self help and time management. Having them realize that mommy is human and she needs time to rest, relax, and heal is important. Your true friends will understand if you don’t make it to an event or decide to stay in for a night. Do not let people make you feel guilty about saying No.

Ask for help. Yes, we like to think we are Wonder Woman, and can do everything without help, however, we then suffer. The stress builds up inside, we can’t separate feelings and emotions. Lines get blurred, and sometimes feelings get hurt. Assign chores to kids. Hold them accountable. Create a family chore chart, show them progress with stickers, or work towards a Goal. It can be as simple as taking a walk together or baking cookies. This is also something for your significant other as well. If you’re married, in a relationship, or single, you still need HELP with some things in life. A shoulder to cry on, a good friend to talk to, or a partner to share the responsibilities with. Even if it is a small thing, like loading the dishwasher, or changing the trash. One less thing for you to do yourself. As the winter months are heading towards us and the stress of holidays sets in, it’s even more important to find some time on a weekly basis to breathe. Take the extra 5 minutes in the shower. Enjoy a quiet cup of coffee. Go to bed early, it will be good for everyone. Keeping you feeling, “normal” calm, grounded will help maintain the balance within your family. Try to do a schedule where you can set aside 10 minutes a day for just you. Even if it is just for a quick walk up and down your street, or an extra cup of coffee. A quiet time to destress. Remember, you are important. You are worth it. You are special. Your family and friends will benefit from you taking time for yourself to feel better, and they will love you more in the long run. Stay safe, be loved, and love deeply. Ask for Help. Don’t feel guilty about saying No. It’s okay to say NO.


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BEING DIFFERENT BY GABRIELLE EDEN

Being Different...Those words best describe me and I’m sure a few other teens. I really don’t think of myself as a normal teenager. They always say “It’s ok to be different”, but I have never seen anyone embrace that saying in my school. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only color in a gray shaded rainbow because of who I am. Don’t get me wrong, being different is great, but it can also have its downsides, but I’ll get to that later. I was always different in school, from the way I saw things, to the way I express myself in music and writing. In seventh grade, I was the only one who would join chorus and drama club. I was the smallest (at four foot seven) and the youngest so it felt a little awkward at first. In eighth grade, I realized during our “Guys and Dolls” production that I loved the 19401950’s style and I wanted to dress like it all the time, and that became true in my Freshman year. Over those years, my love for music became stronger and I started to take music state tests with my music teacher. I never liked sports, I thought they would get me killed, so I turned to music, theatre, and writing as my after school activities. I was doing things no one would dream of in those years, auditions for films, singing at concerts no one had even 330

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heard of, doing summer theatre when I could, and writing for this column. I love these differences, because they make me feel free and happy. And now...the downsides that I face and I’m sure we all face these if we embrace the differences. It’s hard to

make friends because no one knows what you’re talking about or what you’re doing and start thinking you’re a freak. I often get a lot of rude stares by a lot of my classmates when I eat lunch alone in the cafeteria and/or in the hallways because my arms are full of writings and sheet music. Even in class people stare. No one likes to

talk to me because either they think I’m better off as an outcast or that I won’t relate with anything with them. When I do talk to students about what I do, they give a fake smile, a weird look, and/or walk away. I didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just that students don’t like different personalities. It always gets me, students don’t like different kids. I have no idea why. Maybe they feel like they’re not alfa students when someone else embraces who they are. Maybe they like it all the same and don’t like excitement in their lives. Maybe they’re jealous. Who knows, the reasons are endless! There’s the thing, I don’t like being the same as everyone else. I always liked to dress up when no one else dresses up, I always had a story to tell when people couldn’t write one, and I go places no one has seen. I love how these differences affect my life. I am always happy when I do what I love, I am always at peace, and my anxiety goes down. Personally, I love being different. What I do makes me a person in this world no matter what. My music, acting, writing, everything I love makes me feel alive in school even though it is not accepted by my classmates. Sometimes, doing what I love makes me feel like a free bird,


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{ TEEN TALK } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Being Different...Those words best describe me and I’m sure a few other teens. I really don’t think of myself as a normal teenager.”

flying in the air without anyone pulling me down or clipping my wings. No one can take away my talents and what I have to give in this world. I’m telling you now, let no one make you feel bad about who you are, because you may have a gift that comes once in a lifetime. In my school, I have never met anyone who 332

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expresses themselves in a unique and creative way that makes them stand out from the crowd. I think that many students want to stand out from the crowd but are too scared to try. Look, different comes in many ways, from music to math. I believe that people have something unique to give to this world and they should let it glow. I

notice that a lot of people just hold back a special talent that they have bottled up, so I think it’s time to release it and embrace it. Embrace your differences and see where your story can lead you.


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DECEMBER 2020 BY ANGELA MCGHEE

ARIES DECEMBER 2020 Career and friendships become mega important this month but knowing when to keep them seperate is key. Both areas have a degree of allowing you to move forward for personal gain. In true Christmas spirit, you see the necessity to take up a humanitarian course where one is close to your heart. If you are single you might meet someone on a similar spiritual path, which may be the beginning of a new venture together. TAURUS DECEMBER 2020 Jupiter promises growth this month in your work. If your work has a charitable connection doors will open for more responsibility. A solar eclipse arrives in your 8th house of intimacy and joint finances where you will reap rewards in both areas. Someone mysterious is entering your life but you will find out that it is not all cloak and smokescreens as it’s someone as down to earth as you. GEMINI DECEMBER 2020 There is a cosmic shift mid December, you may attract an oracle who will help feed your mind expansion. There is an area of study which beckons you and how you look upon the world will change. New love is highlighted this month and you may meet that certain person you want to spend your future with. Everyone has a book inside of them and this is the time to get your ideas down on paper. 336

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CANCER DECEMBER 2020 It’s time to put your financial house in order. You’ve been struggling to make ends meet but you’re usually an expert juggler. There is an opportunity to benefit you from outside of your regular resources. It can arrive in the guise of an unexpected gift or inheritance as an extra income opportunity arises. It hasn’t been easy for you in relationships of late as Saturn leaves your partnership sector but it is a clearing to lead a way forward. As for singletons, a fresh start is on the horizon. The month ends on a very sentimental note more so because of the rollercoaster you’ve been on. LEO DECEMBER 2020 This month you will recognise karmic connections being created with a love interest. It’s time to get your house in order in regards to discipline and commitments as you may recognise the relationship you’re in doesn’t have those solid foundations. If you are single you could be dating someone you will become engaged too. This month, it’s time to clear all the emotional baggage that isn’t serving you and start over again. VIRGO DECEMBER 2020 For someone who prides themselves on their organisational skills, you will have an opportunity to use these skills in other areas of your life. Expect unexpected blessings as opportunities come your way to

give you a genuine sense of purpose in life as you are particular in what work you do, but nevertheless you will give it your all. Your health needs more attention, learning how to heal yourself is essential. For those seeking love, dating restrictions and prospects will begin to lift. LIBRA DECEMBER 2020 If you’ve been carrying the extra weight of family responsibilities it’s great news, things will begin to lift. It’s time to take a good look at yourself in the mirror and see the beauty in all that you do. Romance is on the cards and it’s time to check your checklist and make radical changes to see where you have been going wrong. With the full moon at the end of December you could be put on the top of someone’s list for a professional position. SCORPIO DECEMBER 2020 It’s time to get your house into order and surround yourself with people who are good for you. It’s also time to change your environment if you’re not happy with the colour scheme of things. Changing appearances has a good way of uplifting your spirit. There is a chance to welcome visitors who have visited from afar. Extra celebrations are in order as someone close celebrates a promotion. Finances look the best they’ve been for a few months now as every cloud has a silver lining.


{{ SEEING SHIFT+CONTROL THE SIGNS }} “ ARIES DECEMBER 2020 Career and friendships become mega important this month but knowing when to keep them seperate is key. Both areas have a degree of allowing you to move forward for personal gain”

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{ {SEEING THE SIGNS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “AQUARIUS DECEMBER 2020 There is a massive shift in a number of houses with Aquarius. You will take full responsibility for your life and you will move in a direction you’ve always wanted.”

SAGITTARIUS DECEMBER 2020 You’ve made a lot of effort lately putting your finances in order, now is the time for light relief. Saturn is now moving into the area of your chart connected to communication and learning. You may team up with someone who values you and your talents. Your ever increasing entrepreneurship will make you a top expert in an area but extra study will be needed. It is a major turning point to becoming well established. You have a magnetism that shows the world what you’re truly made of. CAPRICORN DECEMBER 2020 It’s time to hold onto your purse strings and cut down on unnecessary spending, budgeting is the word. You are putting plans together to make next year more financial stable. With the full moon in your relationship, it deepens your commitment and emotional connection. If you are in a relationship where you don’t feel you are being nurtured, now is the time to 338

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bring this to your partners attention. It’s time to use Christmas to reinvent your looks for the upcoming year. AQUARIUS DECEMBER 2020 There is a massive shift in a number of houses with Aquarius. You will take full responsibility for your life and you will move in a direction you’ve always wanted. This is a defining time to lay down foundations to who you really are. You are acquiring an amount of blessings. Your sun sign shines for an entire year, with exceptional personal growth ahead. A new love in your life will make the greatest impact, so be ready for this cosmic kick. PISCES DECEMBER 2020 It’s time to address what’s holding you back and face your fears and sort out emotional feelings that you’ve carried for a long time. A good time to let go. It is also a time for psychic and spiritual development. Major career opportunities are on the top of your

chart after 14th December so grab the opportunity with both hands. A full moon in your love sector at the end of the month could make you look at your relationship on a deeper level. It’s time to change it or leave it. Christmas Blessings and a Prosperous New Year. Love and Light Angela McGhee


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