RWO January 2022 Edition

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In This Edition...


So Much More...


Marisa Zeppieri

















WOMAN ON THE RISE Neicey josey
























WOMAN WHO INSPIRES Wendy Rockcastle Johanna Frappier




























SHE HUSTLES TALKS Nina Purhenn Chandra Moorehead Blaque/Out OM Love Love Alyssa Stivers Greathouse of Decor Dimensional Services Kim Hope Mindful Consciousness Sculli Cat Art Jess Donohue





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jan.edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }










DISHING WITH THE DIVA’S Corner Stone Eye Associates


















COMING JUNE 11-12 2022



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


I can hardly believe that Rochester Woman is heading into year 13 in 2022! And, it’s my lucky number. So this year I have LOTS planned that you aren’t going to want to miss including 2 new publications, Capital Woman Online and The Influential Man Online coming this Spring, plus the Influential Woman Entrepreneurs Expo on April 24th, a new platform called SHE’S LIVE and well let’s just say I may have a few other things up my sleeve... So how is your 2022 starting off? I am very proud to be able to have one of the strongest women I have come to know over the years gracing our January 2022 cover, Marisa Zeppieri, or otherwise known as the Lupus Chick. I don’t even know where to begin when speaking of this incredible woman and all she has gone through and on even one on the worst days puts a smile on her face and inspires others. You won’t want to miss even a single word of her story because we are merely just scratching the surface of her journey. Check her out starting on page [20] and then if you would like to read more. make sure to pick up her book on Amazon it is worth the read!



On our first cover of 2022, we have author, entrepreneur, journalist, artist and an all around fabulous “Lupuschick”. Marisa Zeppieri photographed by Frank Puglissi in Rochester, NY.

Plus inside this edition you won’t want to miss our She Hustles Talks women entrepreneurs cover because she is a real “Goal Digger”! Nina Purhenn is speaking her truth both with her spoken word poetry, and now inspiring others with her clothing line! I have a feeling this is just the very beginning of her reaching her goals. Check her out alongover 12 other amazing female entrepreneurs in our huge lady boss special section starting on page [177]. We hope you continue to enjoy all of the amazing articles and women we bring to you each month. Want to join our amazing team? Contact us for more information at networkrocqueen@

Kelly 12




Kelly Breuer


Kelly Breuer




Brody Wheeler Brody Wheeler L Shot Photography Michele Ashlee Doug MItchell

Frank Puglisi Laura Marino Amanda Kinton Michal Lepore

Dr Pam Denton Robin DeWind Bonnie Floyd Alana Cahoon Lisa Wagner Judi Swanson Denise “Karma” Clifford Ellen Feldman Tammy Vreeland Rumella Cameron Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Bre Morris Terri-Ann Graham Kristin Bauer Gross Randy Agness Dr Tunya Griffin Raquel Walker Krystle Ellis Cheri Reed-Watt Kara Kar Christine Piacentino Stephanie Ide

Marisa Zeppieri Camille Conti Omenessa Akomolafe Tracy Simone Wendy Rockcastle Michelle Ceubas Vincent DiGiorgio Laurin McKnight Sathya Callender Jessica Lahr Randy Agness Michelle Cuebas Kim Hope

Kelly Breuer Sheila Young


Network Rochester


Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the Greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2022 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.






“You look fabulous!” It’s a phrase we hear over and over again in life - one that can be considered innocuous and complimentary. But for someone living with a chronic or invisible illness, this dreaded phrase can be seem like a doubleedged sword. “There is such a fine line in our society of what someone who is sick or diagnosed with an illness should ‘look like,” shares Marisa Zeppieri, someone who has been living with multiple chronic illnesses since she was an infant. “If you look too sick, you get stares and questions about being contagious. You can be ridiculed for not ‘doing something with yourself’ or measuring up to what people think you should look like. And on the other side of the coin, if you look good, people question the validity of your illness and its severity. There is no happy medium between the two.” When you meet Marisa for the first time, you most likely wouldn’t assume she is chronically ill. The former pageant queen and model uses the makeup, skin care and lighting tricks and techniques she learned over the years to help her put her best foot forward when she is speaking on stage or doing a live video on social media. But behind the lights and makeup, tailored clothes and smile, there’s a story most people couldn’t imagine. “I remember growing up and my mom 18


telling me I was the most perfect baby… or at least it seemed. She couldn’t believe that even as a newborn I would start off this life with so many health issues,” Zeppieri begins. “It started with allergies to breastmilk and every substitute, and then an asthma attack that almost took my life. Over time, all of these strange autoimmune related issues kept building

one on top of the other. I think as a young mother, my mom was confused and neglected by the medical system.” Zeppieri explained how growing up in the early 80s, her family received very little input or answers as to why a variety of autoimmune related issues were happening in her body. Brushed off

as delicate and fragile, extensive testing was never done, and instead the family was often turned away by doctors with a care plan that just included rest. “I was the oddball of my group of friends growing up. I was the only one who needed two naps a day, was allergic to sunlight, always had strange rashes or sores, relentless fevers, and was constantly hospitalized ,missing weeks of school because of lung infections and severe body pain. At 8 years old, this wasn’t normal. But over and over again, doctors missed it.” Today when you speak to Zeppieri, there is a bittersweet tone that questions what path her life might have taken, and how much suffering may have been avoided, if someone in the medical community had gone the extra mile and dove deeper into her symptoms. At the age of 8, she had clear signs of Systemic Lupus, a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that can affects the lungs, brain, heart, kidneys and blood of patients. Lupus can range from mild to fatal, and currently there is no cure. Some of the most common symptoms at the time of diagnosis are rashes, sun sensitivity, fatigue, fevers, rashes, blood issues, and muscle/joint pain. Lupus can range from mild to fatal, and currently there is no cure. Even with daily symptoms and no


“You look fabulous!” It’s a phrase we hear over and over again in life - one that can be considered innocuous and complimentary. But for someone living with a chronic or invisible illness, this dreaded phrase can be seem like a double-edged sword.”









{ COVER STORY } “God kept giving me another chance every single day. Even though I begged Him otherwise.”

concrete answers going against her through her teenage and into her college years, Marisa’s innate fighter spirit kept her going. She earned an art degree and went back to school for Nursing. Her dream was to be a travel nurse and apply for the Mercy Ships upon graduation. “I knew from around seven years old that I wanted to help people when I grew up - and for me, helping meant I was going to be a doctor. It’s all I thought about. But with my body failing constantly, I didn’t think I could survive medical school. So after watching my best friend’s mother succeed in a nursing career, I decided it was the right choice for me. I dreamed about the Mercy Ships and traveling the globe helping children with cleft palate and other health conditions.” The top-scoring student in her Nursing class, Marisa tutored her classmates in Math and Chemistry to earn extra money in college. And just as she was about to cross the finish line of her goal and graduate, her life changed in a matter of seconds. “I remember the day. It was a beautiful April Sunday evening in Fort Lauderdale. We had an afternoon rain shower and those always create a sunset to remember. After running errands and working, I headed to my car and immediately something seemed off. I could hear a vehicle moving at a very high speed. Drivers speeding wasn’t out of place in

South Florida, so for a second or two I didn’t think much of it. But then the sound seemed very close to me and when I turned my head to determine where the sound was coming from, I saw a black pick up truck barreling toward me at a high speed,” she tells. Possible Pull Quote -She tried to outrun the Ford Ranger but there was no outrunning a 3,000 pound pick up

truck that was traveling around 50 mph. She tried to outrun the Ford Ranger but there was no outrunning a 3,000 pound pick up truck that was traveling around 50 mph. “I remember up until the moment of impact. And that’s where my mind goes blank. I think my brain doesn’t allow me to remember that moment because of how traumatic it was. What I remember next was lying in a patch of grass, bleeding from the top of my head, unable to move, and

people gathering around me,” she shares. “The next 48 hours, I only remember bits and pieces but something that has stayed with me all of these years is the trauma surgeon at the hospital telling my mother that they didn’t expect me to make it until morning, and if I did, he would have a better idea of my prognosis and journey ahead. I was determined not to die when I heard that.” At just 23 years of age, being in that place at that moment changed Marisa’s life forever. Between broken ribs, a lacerated liver, internal bleeding and a head injury, she would spend the next year of her life in the hospital, rehab and then recovering at home from her injuries. “My nursing career died in that moment. Everything I worked for - gone. And being hit, later finding out by a drunk driver, was just the beginning.” What Marisa didn’t know at the time was that triggers, such as physical injury and trauma, or severe illness, can spur on autoimmune symptoms in the body. “A few weeks into my recovery at the hospital, it was like all of the symptoms I would get randomly as a child, all decided to show up at the exact same time. Suddenly, I had fevers and rashes and pain, and then, out of nowhere, I had a small stroke. The first of five,” she recalls. “The blessing in this scenario was that I was under the care of so many doctors, and soon enough I had Neuro, Infectious Disease and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “I want people to know just how big of a difference one human can make in this world.”

Rheumatology at my bedside running every test in the world. Tests that really should have been done 15 years prior.” In just under three weeks, Marisa and her family had an answer to decades of symptoms - Systemic Lupus. “I could barely pronounce the term let alone know what I was about to be up against. I was still trying to process being run over by a truck and healing from those injuries. It was all so overwhelming and I remember experiencing my first feelings of anxiety,” she explains. “Nighttimes at the hospital were the worst for me. I was alone in my own room in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit, and because I had the liver lacerations and internal bleeding, I had to lie flat 24 hours a day so no pressure was put on the organ. I was in excruciating pain, unable to do anything for myself. So all of my time was looking at the ceiling, just thinking about my life. And it was in that season that I started talking to God.” Like many in this type of life-altering experience, Marisa started questioning her life and why these things were happening. “I had a lot of emotions and a lot to say to God in the beginning. To be honest, at first, I was angry. I felt like I had suffered since I was young, and now after working so hard, everything was taken from me - my health, my independence and ability to walk, my career. It’s hard for me to admit today but there were nights in that room that I would cry and yell and beg God to just let me die in my sleep. But sure enough, every morning, I would wake up. God kept giving me another chance every single day. Even though I begged Him otherwise.” 24


In time, Marisa shares, the anger and frustration in her conversations with God transitioned into more of a curiosity about what she was meant to do, having been spared from an event that surely could have ended her life. “I feel like those were the moments my path started to veer off into a new direction. Over that next year, I had so many conversations and prayer time with God. I still had the desire in my heart to help people, but I just didn’t know how if Nursing was no longer in the cards for me.”

the same time my writing career took off, I had this dream about creating a space for people with chronic illness to gather. It just happened to coincide with the invent of blogs. So, I built a small blog - which back then was very limited - and I created a space where people with Lupus and other chronic illness could connect with one another and share their stories, tips, insights and more.”

Over the next few years, Marisa made great strides in her recovery and started to get a better handle on what living with a chronic illness like Lupus meant. “I hit some really rough patches with Lupus after getting out of the hospital. There were many ups and downs trying to navigate which medications worked for me, I wound up having over 30 hospitalizations in just a few years, had a blood clot and a brain aneurysm, and even wound up back in the wheelchair for almost a year at once point,” she adds.

From a small three page blog site, LupusChick has grown into a nonprofit and online social community that reaches over 400K people per month who live with autoimmune and chronic/ invisible illnesses. “I envisioned this place that offered resources, out of the box solutions you maybe weren’t getting at your doctor’s office, real life experiences and tangible help - all of the things me and my mother needed when I young but had no access too. And that’s what I created through LupusChick. And, it filled that desire within me to help people, it just looked different than what I originally envisioned,” states Zeppieri.

Even with the uncertainty of the day to day because of Lupus, Marisa continued to press on. “I know God gave me a love for people, as well as a love for writing. And, having so much time in hospital beds or my bed at home, I began to write again. In those quiet moments, He helped me rekindle that old love of sharing my thoughts on paper.” Not only did Marisa rekindle her love for writing, by her 30th birthday, Marisa became a health journalist and would go on to work for Gannett, AlJazeera, Christianity Today Magazine, HuffPost and many other media outlets. “At

And that is how LupusChick was started.

And LupusChick doesn’t stop there; one of the main mission’s of the nonprofit is to help people diagnosed with Lupus pay for schooling. “One of the things I come across over and over again are people in their 30s to 50s getting diagnosed and being unable to return to the job they were originally trained in because of their medical condition. Or, I meet young people with Lupus who aren’t sure how to financially pay for college, housing and medical treatments. The average annual medical costs for a Lupus







COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Today, the LupusChick College Stipend Program has given away 15 partial college scholarships funded by donors or by Marisa and her husband.”

patient is around $55,000. And so, I started our college stipend program.” Today, the LupusChick College Stipend Program has given away 15 partial college scholarships funded by donors or by Marisa and her husband. “We’ve awarded these to men and women of all different ages, and we don’t limit it only to people in universities. We need to be realistic when it comes to someone with chronic illness - they are most likely not going to be able to be in classrooms full time, which is why we also allow those in online certification or technical programs to apply,” she adds. In addition to college stipends, LupusChick’s social media platforms and website also offer those with chronic illness a plethora of information on topics that can help with everyday life whether its mobility tips, diet and wellness information, products that can help with activities of daily living, upcoming seminars or conferences and so much more. The community has inspired and helped so many, Lady Gaga - who has family personally impacted by the disease - featured the LupusChick story as Chapter 35 in her recently published anthology, CHANNEL KINDNESS. And speaking of books, Marisa marked the 20th anniversary of her diagnosis with something special - her memoir, CHRONICALLY FABULOUS. “I’ve always loved reading about people’s livestruth is truly stranger than fiction. And I knew early on I would eventually write a book. And so I took all of the things I have learned over the years, things that have helped me heal on some level, and I turned it into a story line that could

help anyone who is struggling, whether they have a diagnosis, or trauma, a loss, etc. The themes in Chronically Fabulous are about hope, finding your purpose, recognizing the traumas in our life and what the steps are to begin the healing process, and discovering your faith journey, among others. Hitting a hard season in life can make someone feel like they are completely alone and Teresa: and my goal with this book hopeless, is to let them know we can get through hard seasons together.” The book also includes special recipes from her childhood after each chapter. “Being so sick growing up, I spent most of my days at my grandparent’s house while my mom worked. They were two of the most incredible people I’ve had the privilege of knowing. My grandmother started cooking at 7 am each morning. She would share stories of hard times like the depression and my grandfather going off to war, and she fueled my love for cooking and discovering how we can help our bodies through food. And because diet and nutrition have been integral in my healing journey, having her stories and insights in the book was such an important piece that couldn’t be left out. Even though she has passed away, her stories live on to help others.” Between writing books, managing a nonprofit, and speaking at various conferences and events throughout the years, one may wonder what level of rest and self-care Marisa implements in her life in order to better manage her disease. “Rest is crucial for me to function - in a way that may be difficult for a healthy person to understand.

There are some good days, and then out of nowhere, at least once or twice a week, I have days that my body lets me know immediately upon waking that I am not moving from bed that day. This has probably been one of the hardest things for me to accept because I am a Type A, and have a long list of goals and to-do’s each day,” she shares. “But over time, I’ve learned, my body fights for me daily and allows me to do all of the things I set my mind to when I am properly rested and nourished (through food, prayer, self care, hobbies, etc.). So I look at these as more recharge days and try to focus on the fact that my body is working so hard to keep my alive, the least I can do is allow her to get the rest she needs.” Since the release of CHRONICALLY FABULOUS in May of 2021, Marisa took an extended period of time off much needed after the three year journey of traditionally publishing a book. “It had been a dream to get a traditional book deal and get that memoir out on shelves. And after that became a reality, I made a commitment to myself to take a few months of quiet time to allow my body to relax and give God space and time to help me see which direction I needed to move in next. And He didn’t disappoint.” Started in Fall of 21, Marisa and her mother started, a jewelry boutique with a Shop For Good mission. “Getting funding for the college stipends has always been a difficult endeavor. Most people want to support the big name lupus organizations - not the smaller nonprofits. Now with Bali moon Jewels, a portion of every sale is ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022



“I envisioned this place that offered resources, out of the box solutions you maybe weren’t getting at your doctor’s office, real life experiences and tangible help - all of the things me and my mother needed when I young but had no access too. And that’s what I created through LupusChick.”






{ SHIFT+CONTROL { COVER STORY } } “It had been a dream to get a traditional book deal and get that memoir out on shelves.”

put into our college stipend fund so we can continue tangibly helping people in need. So, people can find gorgeous fashion jewelry and know they are actually helping someone at the same time!” When asked if there is one thing she would want people to take away when looking at her life or hearing her story, Marisa shares, “I want people to know just how big of a difference one human can make in this world. Often times, we think, ‘Im just one person, what can I 30


really do?’ Think about how one small match can literally begin a wildfire. Find your passion, pray and ask about your purpose. Ask others what you are good at. Reflect on what you spend most of your time on, or what you enjoy doing. It’s in all of these things that you find giftings that are ultimately tied to your purpose. But it isn’t enough to know it - you have to then act on it. And once you act on it, I think you’ll be blown away at the difference you can make in the lives of others.”

Marisa currently lives in Rochester with her husband, mother and rescued terrier, Bogey. Learn more about her at or on Instagram @lupuschickofficial and @ balimoonjewels — Read the first chapter of CHRONICALLY FABULOUS here. Marisa Zeppieri-Caruana Chronically Fabulous is available now! Work with me Founder,






Stunning Jewelr y Fuels Scholarship Dreams: The Bali Moon Story Birthed out of a desire to help others, Bali Moon Jewels is the brainchild of Marisa Zeppieri, the founder of New York nonprofit, LupusChick. Consisting of eclectic, unique and one-of-a-kind creations full of crystals, gemstones, cubic zirconia and boho, bug, vintage, and geometric themes, plus a custom line created by Marisa and her mother, the jewelry line stands apart from everyday pieces seen in department and big box stores. When shopping at Bali Moon Jewels, clients can shop knowing they are taking part in the Company’s “Shop For Good” mission. What exactly does that mean? It means a percentage of every Bali Moon purchase gets allocated into LupusChick’s college scholarship fund. is a nonprofit and online social community that reaches over 400K people per month who are living with lupus, autoimmune disease and other chronic illnesses. The community provides education, resources, tips and tangible help that patients need, including financial 34


support for them to become skilled in an area so they can financially support themselves. In November, 2021, LupusChick gave away its 14th and 15th college stipend. Twice a year, the application period opens for people living with lupus to apply for financial help with their educational dreams, with the next application window starting in late February 2022. “One of the most common things I hear when speaking with

someone diagnosed with Lupus is the financial burden, along with the need to either retrain in a new career (because the person cannot physically handle their prior job), or a younger person wondering how they are going to afford college, housing and medical costs,” shares Marisa. “And, with the average annual cost of Lupus medications and medical care around $50k for each person, I wanted to be able to tangibly help

those in need. With the scholarship from LupusChick, we have been able to do just that.” The jewelry line does most of its sales online, but is slowly growing in local boutiques and shops, plus boutiques across the United States. “I think boutique and shop owners love the idea of purchasing wholesale from a company that is woman/disabled owned and also gives back to others in some way,” she adds. To view the latest pieces, visit www. BaliMoonJewels. com and use code: birthday for 23% off the entire store. Wholesale needs and boutique owners can reach out to Marisa directly at hello@ - Anyone diagnosed with autoimmune disease can join the LupusChick community by visiting @ lupuschickofficial on Instagram.

Marisa Zeppieri-Caruana Chronically Fabulous is available now! Mrs. New York USA 2015 Author/Speaker/Lit Agent Work with me Founder, 954.394.6312

















Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you get your education? My name is Niecey Josey, and I was born and raised in Southside Jamaica Queens, NY. I graduated high school from Queens Vocational & Technical school. My major was Cosmetology, but we see how that ended up working out. For college I started off in Business Administration, but switched to [American Sign Language], or ASL. Fast forward, I’ve been in visual merchandising for over 10+ yrs. Currently, I am a Brand Strategist and Minimalist Stylist located in Manhattan, NY. I am the owner of the brand named ‘Vinrelo’ and the ‘Brand on a Budget Network’ which consists of over 26 members and three interns. What made you decide to go into the Fashion Styling industry? I was fortunate to begin my journey through Visual Merchandising. As my skills improved I saw the need for Styling within Marketing like Ads, Product shoots, Music Industry etc. Even if there was a planogram in effect or visual notes to gear me towards the end goal of the project, I began to observe some components lacking that pertained to the Styling aspect. Colleagues would inform me how efficient my work was so I decided to focus my attention fully on Styling. How did you get introduced with Dash Studios? This past summer July ‘21 I met the producer of the show C.T.S ‘Celebrity Thrift Store’. I referred some of my clients to be on an episode. We filmed at 48


Thrift Stores in Harlem and Manhattan. The mission of C.T.S is showing underprivileged youth how to get fly on a Budget. My Network ‘Brand on a Budget’ was a compliment to that show because we filmed on a Budget. It was a total shock to have Vinrelo named on the Production team for the show. Eventually, I shared my vision I had for my Stylist Fashion Show that I’ve been strategizing to produce for years. After discussing how I was structuring and building the set from scratch at a Film/Production Studio in Upstate, NY, C.T.S partnered with me for the first ever TV filmed Stylist Fashion Show. First ever? I believe this to be true because I’ve searched all over the internet for years but have yet to find a platform that has a fashion show SPECIFICALLY for Stylists. I could be wrong but I still haven’t seen it done yet. What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business woman, especially in the fashion industry? Knowing who you TRULY ARE and what you TRULY REPRESENT is one of the foundations in business and in life that will never change in my opinion. You will have to adjust in certain situations but NEVER change your core. Being a team player will take you far as well, no one wants to look at you as a liability because time is money. Be proactive in strategic planning, you may not always have a guideline written out for you so it’s okay to make your own. Hold yourself accountable, it’s okay to make mistakes just not the ones that you know better. Don’t compare

where you don’t compete; just because you’re in the same room doesn’t mean everyone processes the same skill set. Don’t hoard your work, unreleased work can lose value depending on the vision. Lastly, just have fun. The most creative ideas stem from enjoyment. Are you considering franchising in the future to other states with your Stylist Runway Show? As of right now, the goal is to have S.F.S ‘Stylist Fashion Show’ become a staple in NYC during the NYC Fashion Week. I know it will take a few times for that to happen but I’m willing to do the groundwork. In the future I wouldn’t mind the show being featured in major cities that have Fashion Week platforms. I think of it like this, if these fashion platforms are searching for the ‘Next Up’ Designers then let’s introduce the ‘Next Up’ Stylists as well. So, if asked about the S.F.S show being in other cities then I welcome a conversation. If you could interview one of your mentors, who would it be and what would you ask them? Hmm definitely Amy Z. We’ve discussed briefly my journey and how she took an interest in equipping me with business fundamentals. However I don’t think I’ve ever really sat down and discussed with her: Why me? What personality trait specifically did you notice or at what moment did you know I would be qualified to move up in the company? I would love to sit face-to-face with her one day and have that conversation. It’s important to me because I find myself subconsciously using reasoning techniques and implementing ethics








“ Knowing who you TRULY ARE and what you TRULY REPRESENT is one of the foundations in business and in life that will never change in my opinion. You will have to adjust in certain situations but NEVER change your core.”






{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMAN ON THE RISE “With my business degree and retail background, I brought a unique way to approach clients and the importance of educating our client base.”

into my business that I would observe her doing. As I continue beside her footsteps I am aware to treat my Interns and Team Members the same way. #8 Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your services, especially during the pandemic? I understand the goal in using Social Media. Technology is truly amazing and I know it’ll continue to advance past our comprehension. I also understand the limitations that are placed on Businesses whether a Small Business or MLM [Mid Level Marketing]. Some companies put hours into Reels & Tik toks etc to promote their business just to feel discouraged. I would say in my opinion it can be a hindrance more than a benefit in my field. About 80% of my clientele and companies I collaborate with are through Pitch Meetings. Honestly, Pitch meetings allow my company and Network to not only showcase our digital portfolio but affords the opportunity for investors, sponsors etc to see my passion and understanding for themselves. How do you juggle the fast paced corporate life, being a business woman, and having a personal life? BALANCE and a SCHEDULE. I’ve worked in fast paced businesses for years but we all know having your own BRAND changes things especially with an added Network. Dolcefleur

on Instagram has taught me some phenomenal Self-Care strategies as a business woman that has helped me have more time that I ever thought of for myself. Also since I’ve been in this field for a while, I know the importance of creating deadlines, having realistic goals and delegating. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? I truly believe in bringing substance to the table. Social Media can at times be

deceiving or tricky. There’s thousands of Apps used daily, i enjoy a few of them myself but I feel that sometimes a person may not want to work as hard because the App does it for them. Another challenge is work ethic. I’ve always been the person to get the job done even if that means completing someone else’s work. I’m learning that as a Business Owner I don’t have to settle, I’ve done the work and paid my dues so now it’s up to me to want better for my company. Fortunately, I’ve learned

to not take everything so personally. If I’m creating the room then I have the right to make a reservation list. What motivates you and keeps you moving forward? Unexpected success stories and feedback motivates me the most. When I receive a thank you email, text message or phone call from a client or friend I feel like I’ve done my job WITHOUT knowing. Authenticity and genuine people push me to show up as the best version of myself daily. Even unsolicited advice motivates me too, it helps me examine how I respond. Did anyone ever prepare you, or encourage you to move ahead in business? What about as a stylist? Life prepared me. We can all tell a story of our upbringing until now. But throughout the difficult situations I’ve always been my own cheerleader. Cultivating a sense of SELF has saved me in so many ways. Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 3-5 years? Currently the S.F.S [Stylist Fashion Show] Courses will be starting January 2022. I see these Courses eventually becoming accredited courses. They not only cater to Stylists but each course ends with a Capstone project that will also allow the participants in the course to receive real-life work experience. I imagine Fashion Therapy being that ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022





SHIFT+CONTROL } } { {WOMAN ON THE RISE “Technology is truly amazing and I know it’ll continue to advance past our comprehension. I also understand the limitations that are placed on Businesses whether a Small Business or MLM.”

‘Napkin Note’ ‘Happy Hour’ Series everyone discusses. You’ll no longer feel left out of the room because we recorded it for you to watch in your leisure time. As a Brand Strategist, I am stepping into Executive Coaching and partnering with investors to troubleshoot problem areas within business practices, to identify phases of team development on the path to self-management as a corporation. What makes the services you provide to your clients unique and stand out from others? INNOVATION. For example: I not only do photoshoots or event styling but I stretch the catalogue into Product shoots, Ads, Commercials etc. I like to place things where you DON’T SEE THEM. I love connecting the dots and use strategic planning skills in my services. I’m also obsessed with deals for others and love to create budgets. Customizing realistic goals and deadlines helps relieve the added stress that comes along life whether a company or not. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female business leader? Pros: Eye for details, efficient and understanding. Cons: Individuals may try to take advantage of my patience or the fact that I may be super busy. My silence is mistaken for absence. Surprisingly, you’re expected to fit the ‘corporate’ or ‘flashy’ image of being a Stylist. I don’t see myself camouflaging to fit the masses, I love just doing the work. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting as a stylist? Any tips that helped you along

the way? Truly understanding the responsibility Styling brings, whatever type of Stylist you are. When you are helping someone to identify their image, you are holding their PRESENCE in your hands. Styling is more than the actual fitting of pieces. Stratification is essential to Styling. In my platform Fashion Therapy I have brought these meaningful conversations to the table. You should be having consultations with your clientele to not only get a sense of their style but who they are and what room they want to be placed in. What type of schooling prepared you to be where you are today? School of REAL LIFE. lol. Having formal education is great but let’s be honest most ethical situations are not in a powerpoint. The whole ‘Learn as you go’ can be overwhelming. Informal training has been the forefront in my success that I am implementing in my Brand. Going forward, S.F.S Stylist Fashion Courses will address the in-field preparation needed to succeed in the Fashion Industry. If you needed to start it all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing to change, add or subtract, what would it be and why? I would bring more awareness to Imposter Syndrome. It’s a daily struggle I face. I meet so many talented and creative people in this world who end up settling or working harder than they have to or should. More of these conversations need to be had. I would slightly change my self-worth. I tend to always put others before me but go over budget when it’s time for myself. Also, Speaking up in the

moment is something I’m learning. As a business professional, it’s important to maintain your image so when situations arise I have been attempting to diffuse them faster. What makes you an expert in understanding the needs of your clients and putting them in the perfect look? When I hear the word Expert I stop and think of the meaning first. A person that is skilled or adept in a particular area. Then I looked at the question where it says ‘ Perfect look’. So based off those words, I believe I can match the knowledge I’ve obtained of that client with the ‘mark’ they are aiming to hit. This past summer I styled a client for the revamping of your website. There was 6 looks to complete for a 2 day photoshoot. The first day I was not on set but all the looks and accessories etc were planned out. I received feedback that it went according to plan, The second day I was on set. When we got to the last look the photographer stated: Each look was flawless, they just got better and better. I wouldn’t change a thing! That’s what makes me believe based on that type of feedback that I am an expert in understanding how to connect their needs with their goals. Did you always know you wanted to be in this field ? The Funny thing is I never had the goal of becoming a Stylist. I believe working in Visual Merchandising sparked something in me. Love at first sight. Name one defining moment in your career that was your ah ha moment. The moment where I demoted myself from a position. A few weeks later my ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMAN ON THE RISE “Lastly, just have fun. The most creative ideas stem from enjoyment.”

boss asked to speak with me. She asked me to reconsider my position but knew I would decline. She asked me what else I want to do. I didn’t have an answer. She said: I could help you and guide you to the next step but you’ve maxed out your skills here, you’ve done almost everything so you need to decide what’s next. That was one of the realest moments in my career. I realized I didn’t wanna become stagnant and I was ready to start my own company. Tell us about one moment in your life that has had a lasting impression on you and formed who you are today. Traveling to a visual project on a business trip. The hotel, travel and food voucher was paid for but I had $2 to my name. I wanted to just be in the room in Corporate. As I was steaming my clothes that night and eating the complimentary breakfast I saved for later I realized I completed my first day in my dream job. I realized I didn’t want the title, I realized I worked to the point that I was qualified! What do you attribute your success to? Being silent! I’ve been able to sit back and observe and take notes on what’s missing. What’s missing in Styling? What’s missing in Businesses? What’s missing in Fashion? What’s missing on Social Media? My Napkin Notes are full and I’m ready to share them 56


starting with Fashion Therapy. If you wrote a book and could only use 1 word for the title on your life story, what would it be and why? Since I am already working on a book, unfortunately I wouldn’t want to give

ever imagine that you would be styling celebrities and even creating Stylists Fashion Courses? Pertaining to the Styling Clientele, Nope but working in the Fashion Capital definitely helped lol. I am truly blessed to work with some amazing people. As far as S.F.S Courses, I am still in shock. I didn’t intend on the Courses becoming a full program on the way to become accredited. 2022 will be historic in my opinion for Stylists. I’ve done the pitch meetings, put in the hours and created job opportunities for 2022. New York Fashion Week here we come! What factors do you feel impact a woman’s ability to lead others? I n t e g r i t y, L o y a l t y, Confidentiality, Patience. These are some of the qualities that define me as a woman.

the title away right now lol. However, I would love to write a series of books. Another one would be called Fortitude. I learned that word for the first time when I was about 14 years old. I will never forget that moment. That word saved me because it defined me. When you began your career, did you

Tell our audience one thing about yourself that not many others know. I am obsessed with Home Makeover Shows. My inner self is a Carpenter, Interior Designer and Architect. I can watch those shows for hours everyday and never get bored lol. Can I execute that in real life? Absolutely not lol






Tell our audience a little about Laurie Baker and your background. I grew up on Long Island. My exposure to Rochester occurred when I enrolled in college at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I spent four years there and graduated with a degree in Sociology. After graduation, I eventually wound up migrating back to Rochester where I was able to spend more time with my sister, who was also a Geneseo graduate. Soon after, I met my husband of 27 years, Jerry. We have two children – 22 and 17. I now consider Rochester one of my “homes,” along with Long Island. How great to have two places that you consider home and where you have strong connections! What credentials do you have that prepared you to become the CEO of one of the fastest growing credit unions in our region? My years of diverse, up-throughthe-ranks credit union experience have certainly positioned me well for this role. Over the years, I was exposed to many facets of credit union operations and worked on multiple cross-functional teams. My tenure as Chief Operating Officer positioned me well for the CEO role. My educational background includes degrees in sociology and social science with a focus on organizational behavior. I’m pretty well-rounded and I do believe a liberal arts background can be very valuable from many perspectives, including leadership. Credit unions are people businesses.



I’ve served on the Board of Directors for the New York Credit Union Association, a state-wide trade organization, and as the chair of the organization. Getting involved in the industry in many different capacities over the years has better prepared me to lead a credit union and support the credit union movement. What was it like assuming the role of CEO during a pandemic, after being with Summit FCU for over 25 years? When I first assumed the role, it was almost mind boggling. The pace was extraordinary, and we were entering unchartered territory. I have a fabulous executive team and we bonded very quickly. This was one of the great benefits of assuming the CEO role during that time. Everyone rose to the occasion - meeting several times per day, evenings, and weekends to make it work. I believe the credit union experienced more change in the two-year period following the start of the pandemic than it had in the last 25. Luckily, I like change! How did you get to where you are today? This question made me take pause for a minute. I’m going to answer with “sheer determination.” I work hard, I’m committed, I enjoy what I do. I have an ongoing desire to personally improve and evolve that originated very early in life. I’m always thinking of the next step: Where do I want to be and what do I want to do next? How will I get there? I’m a planner by nature, so I’m very deliberate in my approach.

Someone once said to me, “you’re excited about life.” I think I am. There is so much that life offers – we need to take advantage of all kinds of opportunities. Life is short. Being in the unique position of being a female leader in a male dominated industry, what advice would you give other women in this field? There are many female CEOs leading credit unions, but typically not at larger credit unions. As the credit union grows, the number of female leaders diminishes. Approximately 13% of credit unions between $1 and $5 billion in assets have a female CEO. My advice would be to build alliances with other credit union CEOs and other leaders outside your industry – male and female. Connections are important and they matter. There is a lot to be learned from others. Don’t let the statistics deter you. Go after what you want. What challenges have you faced since becoming CEO and how have you pivoted? I think one of the biggest challenges I have faced, and continue to face, is ensuring that we are communicating effectively with all of our employees as the workplace, as we know it, evolves. The pandemic has certainly accelerated some of the issues we face today. We have employees who work remotely or are on hybrid schedules. We are also still facing isolation requirements, quarantines, and school closings due







{ SHIFT+CONTROL BLACK WOMEN ROC} }} {{ INFLUENTIAL WOMAN “My years of diverse, up-through-the-ranks credit union experience have certainly positioned me well for this role.”

to COVID. As in many industries, adequate staffing can be a problem at times. We’ve been able to pivot, but more work is needed from a creativity standpoint. This will be a focus in 2022. What motivates you and keeps you moving forward? I love a challenge and I love to make a difference every day. I like helping people and I like solving problems. I’m very motivated by that. Working in a mission-based industry, like the credit union industry, compliments what drives me personally. Credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives that exist to help others with a “peoplehelping-people” philosophy. It’s hard not to be motivated by that. Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in the next 3-5 years? On a professional level, I see myself continuing to lead The Summit. The world is changing so rapidly. Member and customer expectation across many sectors is evolving. There is a lot to do! We will need to put on our seatbelts for this journey. My involvement in industry causes will continue to be a priority. On a personal level, I’ll be considering new and different ways to give back to the community and volunteer my time. Yes, I really enjoy this! In addition, my daughter will be graduating from high school this year, so I’m thinking I may have more time for travel and other activities….

What do you feel makes you a successful leader and how do you coach others to empower themselves? Leaders have to work on being successful every day because the needs are constantly changing. It’s hard work and it should be. From a leadership perspective, I do embrace open communication. I sincerely like to hear candid opinions and thoughts. I believe it’s the only way to forge a trusting relationship between two people. I’m also very forthright. If I have something to say or share, I typically won’t hesitate to do that in the most respectful way possible. Coaching others to empower themselves is far easier if they possess self-confidence. It’s the leader’s job to help build that confidence in others so they can grow. Allowing others to make mistakes is important. I like to be supportive, but I am not a micromanager. Micromanagement tends to stifle growth and development, and the most talented individuals will not work under those conditions. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female leader, and what is your favorite part of what you do? I don’t think of being a female leader in terms of pros and cons. I’d like to think I work effectively with both men and women, in many situations, and across many types of organizational roles and relationships. My favorite part of what I do is positively affecting the lives of

others each and every day – whether that be ensuring that we focus on offering our members quality products, competitive loan rates, or creative new ways to connect with us, such as our Virtual Branch. Our organizational commitment to supporting the communities we serve is very important to me. We genuinely care about people and that’s evidenced by the frequent feedback we receive from our members. Our employees truly want to help. What role do you have within the community as far as volunteering? I serve as a Board member for the Mary Cariola Center. I’m also a long-time supporter of Villa of Hope and serve on their Nominating Committee. Both organizations make a tremendous impact on young people and their families. Mary Cariola serves children and young adults through academic, residential and community- outreach programs. Their commitment to working with youth with disabilities is unparalleled. The Villa of Hope partners with individuals and families struggling with chemical dependency, mental or behavioral health concerns, or recovering from trauma. The organization is dedicated to providing hope and a sense of purpose for so many who are struggling. I also serve as a board member for the New York Credit Union Association which is committed to supporting the interests of all credit unions statewide and aims to unite the voice of the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ SHIFT+CONTROL BLACK WOMEN ROC} }} { INFLUENTIAL WOMAN “I work hard, I’m committed, I enjoy what I do. I have an ongoing desire to personally improve and evolve that originated very early in life.”

New York Credit Union Community. What is your approach as CEO and your mission? I approach my role as CEO with optimism, an excitement about what lies ahead, and with determination to make The Summit a better place for our members and our employees. Tell us about one moment in your life that has had a lasting impression on you and formed who you are today. In 2008, I lost my sister to cancer. We were very close and we really relied on each other for friendship, support, and guidance. She was taken way too soon and her absence has left a void that is hard to describe. My message to all of you is don’t sweat the small stuff. Live your life to the fullest and don’t worry about the rest. Do what makes you happy. Tell our audience one thing about yourself that not many others know. My husband and I adopted both of our children from Russia. We visited Russia four times to make that a reality. What a tremendous experience on many levels – culturally and personally. I love my kids! The best decision I have ever made. How do you balance work and life responsibilities, especially with such a demanding career? It’s not easy. You really have to love what you do to make the necessary sacrifices. I used to think that I could easily separate my personal and professional lives. After years 64


of juggling many balls, I no longer think that’s the case. Portions of your personal and professional life just blend together, and hopefully they blend together well - mine do. You have to enjoy a busy pace. Who is someone that inspires you and why? My husband’s Aunt Marge inspires me. She is 96 years old and just sold her home to move into an assisted living facility. She still enjoys gambling at the casino, loves watching the Bills, and is a pleasure to be around. She is fun to talk to and loves to eat and drink wine. I want to be like her some day! What gives you strength, especially during such trying times in our world today? I’m generally an optimistic person. Despite all of the divisiveness in our world right now, I do believe that the vast majority of people are good and well-intended. I try to focus on the things I can control. What are your plans for leading Summit FCU into 2022 and beyond? The Summit has always supported the communities that it serves in Western New York, the Finger Lakes Region, and Central New York. In 2021, we supported nearly 180 charities and community organizations through sponsorships, monetary or in-kind donations, and event participation. As we move through 2022, out of this pandemic, we plan to continue to look for ways to connect with and serve our communities, ultimately

making an impact on the quality of life not just for our members, but the areas in which they live. What was it like being one of the first to be named to the Rochester Business Journal’s Power 30 List? It was an honor to be named to the list. There are so many talented people in our financial services community. I know and have collaborated with so many of my fellow Power-Listers personally and it’s great to have our industry celebrated in this way. Where will we see Laurie Baker next? You will see me getting involved in some carefully selected community organizations serving the Rochester area. Volunteering my time and giving back to the community are very important to me. The rest will be a surprise!

Kindness Matters

Thank you for evolving with us through this challenging time. I encourage you to check out some of our new technology designed to make your financial life easier and more efficient. We look forward to continuing to offer the service that our members have come to expect with respect, kindness, and compassion. It’s important to understand that we are all in this together. Read the full blog post at:

President & CEO The Summit Federal Credit Union

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Tell us a little about yourself and your business, Rockcastle Florist. Rockcastle Florist began in 1951 and was started by my husband Keith’s parents Donald and Eleanor Rockcastle. Keith and I began running the business in 1995. While Keith focused on the technology, accounting and delivery areas; I provided creative vision and retail management to the equation. What made you decide to get into the family business that was started in 1951? I have a pretty diverse background, from studying athletic training in college, to retail management, to loving all things creative: art, fashion, interior design. Before Keith and I were married, I would often help at the holidays and I was hooked!! The Floral Industry offered me a creative workplace with the challenge of a retail setting. What or who inspires you? I am inspired by most creative professionals from musical artists, fashion design and DIY professionals. I find inspiration in seeing other professionals’ creative process. I love a good documentary that really pulls the curtain back on an artist’s approach to their end product. There is a great one on Netflix about “Lady Gaga”. I loved the synergy she has with other artists, while knowing what her strengths and weaknesses are. I especially appreciate lifestyle pros who have successfully

married creativity and business. For example Joanna Gaines and Martha Stewart What does success mean to you? Great Question! Success to me is a series of ingredients that = Success. Profitability, Being able to support the families and people who are working for the business, Respect within the community and Industry, Loyal Customer following, Producing a brand you can be proud of.

What made you decide to expand and open more locations? With the original Rockcastle Florist in Greece, NY, the decision to expand to Canandaigua was made before Keith and I were involved in the business. Originally it was owned by Eleonor and Keith’s brother and it featured greenhouses. When it was no longer profitable to grow in this area. The business became strictly a Florist Shop. Keith and I became owners of the Canandaigua business about

15 years ago. It now resides at 100 South Main Street in Canandaigua. What do you feel sets you apart from other florist shops/companies? About 5 years ago we dramatically changed and improved our business by acquiring a Design Center location in the city of Rochester. While outgrowing our westside location and often feeling like we needed to be in 2 locations at once. We studied this concept in Dallas Texas with a well respected Florist on a national level, called Dr. Delphinium. The owner was gracious about how this centralized approach to his design labor, storage and delivery benefited his business that also had two retail locations. Our Design Center is in a large warehouse where our creative team designs, we receive flower shipments, a phone sales team, photography and marketing, web development and delivery is housed. It has been the perfect solution, especially during COVID. The added space allows us to take on more volume and widen our delivery services.. When we moved our delivery and design staffing to the Design Center, we had just enough space to sublet to a local bakery. Our Greece location is now a shared space for Special T Cakes and Rockcastle Florist. Along with floral deliveries ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


BLACK WOMEN ROC} } } { {WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL “Rockcastle Florist began in 1951 and was started by my husband, Keith’s parents Donald and Eleanor Rockcastle. ”

deliveries you can include cakes and bakery items. We also partner with a local chocolatier, Hedonist and offer their candy on our website. We are currently working with a partner business in our Canandaigua location too (stay tuned). Through this growth and local partnerships we can offer more unique and diverse products to a larger market. How have you brought change into the business since taking it over? The biggest changes would be the following: Developed a well performing website and treated it like another storefront. We were one of the first Florists in the area to offer a website to our customers and the first order came in from Australia! - Centralized our Design and Delivery departments to a Design Center - Continually work on branding key products that are unique and central to our business - Committed to Digital Marketing, Social Media and online platforms - Joined a Peer Group of 10 other non compete Florists from around the country, who we brainstorm regularly with about marketing, websites, product development and sourcing, hiring, Covid regulations and so much more. I like to think of them as our Board of Directors and vice versa. Together we have all impacted each other’s business and the Industry in such a positive way.



What service do you provide that is your favorite and why? I don’t have a favorite, but I love anything we can do that provides a smile or comfort to someone who needs it. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business? Hands down, social media and email marketing. We are fortunate that we offer a visual product. People love to see what we are doing and new products that we have to offer. Email marketing offers benefits and convenient shopping on our website. Not only does our website produce the volume of another storefront, it also provides people with a catalog of our designs. Before websites we had to describe to people over the phone what a design would look like, now they can peruse them all online. What challenges have you faced being part of a family business? Time management is a big one, we can always find something else at work that needs our attention. My husband and I struggle with not bringing our work home and discussing it in off hours. Work/ Home life balance is always an issue. Finding enough family members that are interested in working in the business is always a challenge. What do you do for motivation? I love to travel to tour shops around the country. Along with that I attend as many Industry conferences that I

can get to. I joke that you get your best ideas sitting at the bar with other Florists:) I am especially motivated by the next generation of young professionals that are entering the Florist Trade. The ones who are really putting forth the effort are spending time with the more established generations seeking mentorship and information. I can think of a few from around the country who are so savvy that I have consulted with them on occasion! What would you say truly excites you about what you do and encourages you to keep moving forward? I love collaborating with other creative professionals. That could be anything from a photo shoot with other wedding vendors to creating new designs for our website. When given creative freedom we can really dig deep into the talent reserves and produce something spectacular. I look at other trends to forecast products for our business, such as fashion, interiors and color trends. For instance, years ago I started working on a sub Brand of Rockcastle Florist called BloomGal, a flower subscription service. The concept started with the help of a friend and marketing specialist. Lack of time caused me to table the project. When our Daughter came on board to focus on our marketing and web development we resurrected the idea and established the brand and website. It’s exciting to see a concept brought to life and become established.













BLACK WOMEN ROC} } } { {WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL “This is not a one person show, and we hope to cultivate several family members as future operators of this growing business.”

How did you persevere through the tough times of Covid and stay positive and keep your business running? I like to say that working during COVID was like a master class in business and still is! Not knowing what the next day or week would bring at the onset of COVID, we layed off all of our staff and my husband Keith, daughter Mary and I tried to go it alone. We closed our two retail shops as mandated by the state and filled the website and phone orders as they came in at our Design Center. That lasted about a week and we were exhausted and pleasantly surprised that there was a growing demand for floral and cake deliveries. When you consider that there was no place to go for a celebration, our being able to offer celebratory gifts with no contact delivery was a much needed service. The struggle then was bringing back as many employees as needed.. Many had concerns about being out in public in the first few months of the pandemic, so were grateful for those who came back and helped carry the load until the rest were available to join us. The shifting demands and needs of the pandemic taught us to react quickly to changes. We have been able to introduce many changes

in our business since the pandemic started, all for the better. We were fortunate in that we never had to completely shut down our business and through all the ups and downs we are stronger than ever. What were the things that most surprised you along the way since

day. I never understood why my Mother In Law never fully decorated her Christmas Tree…well now I understand, especially at the busy holiday periods, there’s not enough energy or creative juice left at the end of the day to decorate your own home. My husband likes to say that like the shoemaker’s children never have new shoes, you can imagine that the Florist has many unfinished creative projects at home :) On the flip side, I never realized how much joy you can bring to people by delivering flowers. With flowers we deliver emotions. From weddings, funerals, proms, new babies, birthdays etc, we love being a part of the important moments in people’s lives. What is one element of your business that you can not do without? We simply could not run this business without our talented and loyal team! Most of our staff members have been with us for quite a while and they are not only highly skilled but also like family, as we spend so much time together.

taking over the family business? The amount of physical labor and time that it requires to successfully run a family business. We are hands on, Owner-Operators and it feels like one or both of us is always at work. Flower shops are a production, retail and delivery site, so there are many moving parts on a given

What do you want to achieve next? We are committed to a successful transition of Rockcastle Florist to the next generation of family. This is not a one person show, and we hope to cultivate several family members as future operators of this growing business. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ SHIFT+CONTROL BLACK WOMEN ROC} } } { {WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “I never realized how much joy you can bring to people by delivering flowers. With flowers we deliver emotions.”

On a personal level, I hope to at least partially retire at a reasonable age, but continue to work in the Industry by consulting with other Florists around the country in the areas of branding and marketing . How do you balance family and your business successfully? I don’t think you can ever achieve a work/home balance when you own a business. We have one daughter and joke that the business is our other child. It also required attention, nurturing etc. 78


Weekends are a busy time for us, so we may miss out on family events here and there. Our daughter will tell you that she grew up in the flower shop and she did spend time here when we couldn’t break away, but owning a business also offers flexibility. We can usually “duck out” if we need to be somewhere with our daughter or other family members. Our Niece, Jennifer recently came back into the business and we are thrilled to have another family member helping to grow the business and the infrastructure that supports it.

What advice do they have for other entrepreneurs? Look for mentors and friends in your Industry to help you navigate the demands of your business. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, for every mis-step there is a valuable lesson to be learned. Owning a business is never what it seems from an outsider looking in. Make sure you are doing what you love, because if you are doing it right, you will want to devote a lot of time to it!








Recently, I get the pleasure of interviewing Johanna Frappier. Johanna is an extraordinary entrepreneur! A very hard-working woman determined to get her art out to you. Johanna’s circuit is in a variety of locations and events. Eventually you are bound to run into her yourself, but until then, why not learn more about this amazing woman through her interview? Tammy: Johanna, a pleasure as always in getting to spend time with you! I find myself seeking you out whenever I attend an event. Your energy and radiant smile are truly addictive! Let’s start off with, how did you come up with the name of your company Forest Haunt? Johanna: I’m a ghost hunter from way back. I am all about that study. Lots of my images have trees, moons, stars. I was tempted to name the company something with the word Halcyon in it because that’s my favorite word - it’s so beautiful. Tammy: Halcyon denotes a period of time in the past that was happy and peaceful. That’s exactly what your art portrays! The art process you use for your product, what is it?

did it because you can clearly see they are not heat transfers. What inspires you to create the designs you have? Johanna: I’ve done work on colored T-shirts, but mostly I work on black. I love the way the images appear. Especially when I do a moon or some stars, it never gets old. For me, it’s literally a magical manifestation. Tammy: It’s truly amazing how talented you are to make such beautiful designs! How long does it take to create your T-shirts? Johanna: Each T-shirt goes through multiple processes over several days. The more images on the piece, the longer it takes. Not only do I bleach the shirts, I also give them a vinegar bath which stops the bleaching process, and makes the cloth softer. I could do layered bleaching all in one day, but it’s a completely different look. It really turns out amazing when you take the time to bleach one piece over several different days. Tammy: I honestly had never seen shirts done like this before. They truly are beautiful! What types of shirts do you sell? How about sizes?

Johanna: I use stencils and diluted bleach to create images on T-shirts, hoodies, beanies, kimonos, dresses, handkerchiefs and other cloth. I draw on mylar stencil product and cut out the image with an X-Acto blade.

Johanna: I will bleach anything that’s cotton, but it’s easier to do flat items. I did some baseball caps but have since abandoned those. Working on a curve gets a different blurred effect. I like my images to be sharper. I’ve had requests for extra extra small up to 5X and try to work with everyone.

Tammy: I was always curious how you

Tammy: Running an event is hard

enough but often times I see you set up your elaborate set up on your own. How do you do it and how long does it take for you to set up and take down? Johanna:: Set up and take down is hard work and I almost never notice it since I’m filled with so much adrenaline. This really is the happiest career I’ve had in my life and I’ve had lots of them. I have a storage unit with cases and cases of product that I have to move to my car. Including hanging racks, portable dolly, tables, chairs, and energy source. I put all the hangers in the shirts and all the hangers out at the end of the show because if you leave the hangers in, they will dent the shoulders. I get so excited to see my friends (like you!), and to make new friends. There’s a positive energy at events that’s addictive. I absolutely feed off of it. I admit I am an energy vampire. Tammy: Aha! The truth comes out! I’m going to have to watch my energy during the show, I seem to run low as it is! Or could it have been you all along? Joking aside, you always seem so energized, I feel as if I feed off your energy! In fact, I’ve happened to be around you when you sold your art to the stars at the con. That in itself is exciting! Do you find yourself energized by those sales? Johanna: It’s absolutely amazing to sell to celebrities! The first celebrity I sold to was Grant Wilson at a paranormal event. I did not know who he was, my friend had to tell me. She was very excited. Grant was excited to be at the event as well. He was literally hopping ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022











{ SHIFT+CONTROL BLACK WOMEN ROC} } } { {WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “Johanna is an extraordinary entrepreneur! A very hard-working woman determined to get her art out to you.”

around telling me how much he loves Godzilla and I was like, “yeah man, awesome!” then I started bouncing around!! Tammy: This is why I love these events! Everyone gets so swept away during our interaction with each other! How long have you been doing this? Do you find your reputation precedes itself with repeat customers throughout the years?

Tammy:: When I see you with your product, you always seem very proud of what you have to offer. Owning your own business can be very stressful. What is the key for you to get as much enjoyment out of it as you do? Johanna: My key enjoyment and the reason I’ve been doing this for so long comes from doing exactly what I want

Johanna: I definitely have had supply issues, but I am quick to communicate with people on Etsy orders. They understand that I absolutely want to get them their piece as soon as possible. I have been lucky to have fantastic customers that have been very understanding when there have been delays.

Tammy: See to me this is where being a true artist comes into effect. Your pieces are unique and not mass produced. Where you can retain control over what makes you happy. Where can we find you on Social Media? Are there any shout outs you like to give to ones who have helped you along the way?

Johanna: I have been doing this since 2013. I always have repeat customers when I attend the same event year after year. One woman likens my product to collectibles since each item is unique. This year in Salem, I met a woman who said she came up from Florida and couldn’t wait to meet me based on the advertising she saw. Wow, it does the heart good when you hear things like this! Tammy: I completely agree! Unfortunately, the economy has hit all of us hard. Let alone the pandemic limiting us with events. Have you had any trouble getting your supplies? Are you set up online?

People suggest I do sports themes, because that’s so popular. People also suggest I do other colors besides black or other themes, but that’s just not me. I’m only doing this to bring joy into my life.

Johanna: You can find me on Facebook Etsy and Instagram.

to do. I get lots of advice from people and lots of suggestions, most of which I don’t take. Lots of people tell me to do more children’s pieces but I try to let people know doing children’s pieces takes just as much time and energy as adult clothing but most people don’t want to pay as much for a child’s piece.

Anthony Muzikar approached me at my very first event ever and said my products were awesome and suggested the Connecticut Horrorfest to me. That venue has since become one of my number one events. I absolutely appreciate and love the organizers! I will forever be in debt to Anthony and grateful to him. He continues to help me. He’s an amazing person! https:// Also, I met Heather Weikel of Skully Kouture maybe two years in and she has become one of the best friends I’ve ever had. She is a kind, upbeat, caring woman. There is no one that doesn’t love her instantly. I’m so proud of her every day. https://skully-kouture.myshopify. com/password ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ SHIFT+CONTROL BLACK WOMEN ROC} } } { {WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “My key enjoyment and the reason I’ve been doing this for so long comes from doing exactly what I want to do.”

I would also like to thank my children, Lily Frappier and Gwen Frappier for helping me. Especially at events like Salem, which is a beast. I can’t do it without them. I love those girls to the moon and beyond! Johanna, you have quite a list of upcoming events! I will list below, but I have to say it’s quite impressive! Plenty of different events for our readers to see your beautiful art up close and personal. And perhaps, even a chance to hop around with you when you get excited talking about your art, letting them share in the energy that surrounds you! It has been such an honor to interview you. Thank you, Johanna! I wanted people to see what it takes to create your art. The determination and struggles of getting your art out there for others. But most importantly, the satisfaction and enjoyment your art has given you. That although owning your own business can be difficult and not easy, it also can be rewarding and worth it! May you continue to share your work with us. You truly are an inspiration to us all! List of events Forest Haunt will be attending: 88


MARCH 12-13 WinterCon NYC 24-27 The Magickal Marketplace & Psychic Faire, Boxborough MA

MAY TBD Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market, New Jersey JUNE TBD Salem Arts Festival, Salem MA JULY 27-28 PARACONN, Ansonia CT https://paraconn. 23rd NJ Paraunity Expo, Woodbridge NJ https://www. newjerseyparaunityexpo. com/

q=about APRIL 9th Wicked ComiCon, Boston MA 22-24 Bangor Comic & Toy Con, Maine






Turjemia is a fashion influencer, author, and entrepreneur. She’s a southern soul, born and raised in Arkansas and later moved to Atlanta Georgia to further pursue business goals. She began her plus-size modeling journey in 2018. She wanted to inspire and encourage women of plus sizes. It was also a boost towards her confidence to represent unique fashion at its finest. She felt that women and girls of larger sizes should also be considered as beauty standards in society. She wanted to change the perspective of the fashion industry and wanted to add a little razzle-dazzle to it. With an altered name, Pretty Kurvz, her social media presence would go viral. She used the name for business purposes. Her primary focus was to become a professional model. Her viral moments allowed her to work with several fashion brands. Those companies offered most sizes for everyone of all shapes. It was important to her to represent all women who were uniquely shaped with natural hips and curves on the fuller side. As a teenager, she remembered how difficult it was to go shopping. “At times, it felt like I was the only one who had to wear mature-looking (old lady) clothes to school because it was the only ones left in all of the stores. I come from a small town

and there were not many places to shop.” She says. In April of 2021, she decided to launch her fashion line. She named it; “Pretty Kurvz Boutique.” Its title was inspired by her popular social

media name, “Pretty Kurvz.” She wanted to build a brand that was also energetic and fun. Her boutique is currently an online store. It carries trendy and urban clothing attire for any occasion. It doesn’t matter if it’s business, date night, or simply casual. Her brand was created for leisure and fun as well as luxuriousness on the

softer side. She became the face of her brand to make it more personable for the buyer. She financed her own business without much support and it has been very successful, thus far. “I used to dread going shopping because it was not any fun when I was in high school. The plus size clothes were kind of boring and they were a bit old ladyish!” She laughed. “I was a teenager with full hips and there were not many girls who attended my school and had a curvy shape like me. I knew that one day I was going to change the world’s perspective on the clothes that were created for plus sizes. As big girls, we should not feel forced to wear big and loose clothing that also looks like we are wearing huge sheets and curtains. I wanted to change that.” Not only is she an entrepreneur but she is also a natural-born writer. She started writing poetry at the age of twelve. As a child, she used to write her feelings on paper because it was easier for her to express herself. She wrote her words in a poetic and rhythmic style and later published her book in 2014. It was titled, “Betraying Ayanna.” “The story was written in fiction with characters. I changed the names, however, it was inspired by true-life events. It was hard to write it as a biography or a memoir. I published it and it sold a few copies. It was ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022



“At times, it felt like I was the only one who had to wear mature-looking (old lady) clothes to school because it was the only ones left in all of the stores. I come from a small town and there were not many places to shop.”






{ SCARS OF SURVIVAL } “She’s a southern soul, born and raised in Arkansas and later moved to Atlanta Georgia to further pursue business goals.”

hard to write it as a biography or a memoir. I published it and it sold a few copies. It was doing pretty well, but I pulled it off the market. It was difficult to write at first because I was pouring my heart into words on paper.” She explained. “I’m currently writing a new book as we speak, it’s going to be called, ‘When Love Ain’t Enough,’ it is a completely different story from the last book I wrote. It’s about a woman who can’t seem to escape from her abusive lover. I’ve been touched in my heart to write compelling stories that are not only realistic but relatable. I 94


can’t wait to complete and publish it to share with my readers.” She shared. Turjemia continues to elevate in her business endeavors by networking with other like-minded individuals and also building her visibility and social media presence. She currently has over 150,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram. Her photos and videos have been shared worldwide and reposted by celebrities such as R&B songwriter and superstar, Avant. One of her posts was noticed by songstress Keke Wyatt as well. She’s been featured on the Curvy Fashion blogs and sites. She recently joined

Tiktok as @prettykurvz2 and has already accumulated over 80,000 views on several of her videos. You can find her on Facebook: Instagram: @prettykurvz. Her business page is Pretty Kurvz Boutique on both platforms. Shop online at Pretty Kurvz Boutique website: www.prettykurvzboutique. com






Dear Camille… I’m really working on my personal selfcare for 2022. A new boundary that I have set is to no longer let people talk down to me, criticize me, critique me, judge me, call me names or put me down. I have tolerated and become accustomed to being disrespected and treated poorly by others for my entire life, because I have never spoken up for myself, put a stop to it, or set boundaries with the people in my life, mainly because I was never taught to do that in my childhood growingup and never thought I could do so. Since I did know that I had the ability, power, or control to set boundaries with people in my life and never learned to do so, I thought that I just had to take whatever they dished out and tolerate however they treated me. I now know that is not the case and that I have the power to make my life better, happier, and more positive by not accepting or tolerating such bad behavior. I am not currently talking with my mom, so I was not able to discuss setting boundaries with her, but when we do talk again, I definitely plan to do so. I am not sure how that will go, and I suspect not well, because she violates my boundaries more than anyone else in my life and always has. As she can be very passive aggressive and dismissive if she does not like a topic of conversation, I’m sure the conversation won’t get very far. However, I plan to speak my peace and let her know that I can not and will not tolerate such disrespect from her any longer. 100


If she continues to violate my boundaries, which is what I suspect will happen; I will have to distance myself from her as I will not continue to accept negative toxic behavior and treatment in my life, as I feel that it only brings me down and sabotages my efforts to become empowered, happy, and fulfilled in my life. If she is not able to treat me with respect and kindness, which I doubt, since she never has, I will not be able to talk to her as much, tell her about my life and what is happening in it, or visit/see her in person as often.

I did set a boundary this week with my friend Nate in person. He has a tendency to say negative and critical things to me and put me down at times. I told him that I do not like that and it makes me feel bad about myself and have low self-esteem and low self-worth. He did not take it well at first and became defensive and did not want to hear what I had to say. I then asked him to let me finish speaking and he did. Then he said that he did it in order to

help me and to motivate me to make positive changes in my life. I told him that it did not help me, but made me feel bad, and that I only want him to say positive and good things to me in order to help me and empower me to make beneficial changes in my life. He agreed to do so and seemed to be understanding of how I felt, so I think that it was a productive conversation and hope that he will act accordingly. If I find that he is being critical of me and saying negative things to me again, I plan to remind him of our conversation and that he agreed to help build me up instead of tear me down. I plan to continue enforcing this boundary in my life, with Nate, my mom, and others as needed and to continue making new boundaries in my life as needed, so that I am able feel uplifted and empowered and able to live a happy life. I now realize how vital it is to have boundaries in my life and recognize that not having boundaries in my life was severely holding me back from realizing my full potential for a successful life. I wish I would have known this sooner but am so grateful to have this knowledge and power now. I will never ever overlook the importance of having boundaries in my life again as I am now aware of how essential they are to living an amazing life. Sincerely, Newly Empowered Woman in NC Dear Newly Empowered Woman! Congratulations! This new realization and dedication is Life saving and changing for you! WooHoo!

“You have learned it finally now in this lifetime to love yourself and have non-judgment for yourself and to have radical acceptance for yourself and to forgive yourself and therefore you are now able to be empowered and to stand up for yourself and this is incredibly healthy in every sense of the word!”






“A new boundary that I have set is to no longer let people talk down to me, criticize me, critique me, judge me, call me names or put me down.”

This is a huge deal, and what you have accomplished is going to change your life’s for the better on multiple levels and arenas. This will be a lifelong implementation now of having healthy boundaries with yourself and with others, and always being willing to advocate for yourself in any type of a relationship! It’s obvious by your life path that you were not able to accomplish having boundaries in your past lives and now you have came back with the soul lesson to learn how to have healthy boundaries with yourself and others. Your mother is the perfect teacher for you because she’s forcing you to learn them out of necessity to be healthy, survive and thrive, and make a wonderful life for yourself. You couldn’t ask for a better teacher. Our best teachers are usually absolutely difficult to deal with! And you can thank her for teaching you how to be calm and empowered, healthy and happy woman! And you can let her know that your prayer for her is that she is able to do that for herself as well as you understand that her life‘s journeys has led her to this place and that you do not judge her and that you are able to love her from afar until she’s ready to have a healthy relationship and be 100% personally accountable and responsible for her actions and her and inactions. Let both your mother and Nate know that you would like to create a mutually satisfying, mutually respectful and mutually kind and loving relationship with them. Ask them if they are interested in that. That will give you a huge insight as to where they are at right now. Listen closely when you hear their answer if they choose to answer you at all . Lol. If they are anything like most narcissist

and abusive mothers and or people calling themselves your friend, you will never get all of that out and you will just be thinking it in your head. usually they will interrupt you. If they listen to you then you at least are ahead of the game. Now it’s up to them to decide if they would like to step up their game with you or not. Sometimes a relationship has to be put on pause for a while and sometimes it’s longer than we would want it to be in our heart of hearts, however, it’s necessary for personal growth. It is in this time that you are growing the most and it is OK if you have to be separated for a period of time. Even if it’s a lifetime because you will see each other in heaven and you guys will be able to discuss it then. It would be better if she were willing to turn it around because this is her soul lesson too. She has to learn how to love herself and forgive herself and have no judgment for herself and have compassion for herself and then have radical acceptance for herself. Once she learns these things then she will be able to turn her behavior around. And this may take a lifetime or more to learn. it’s really up to how badly somebody wants to change themselves and what they are willing to do about it. If they have not even acknowledged that they have an issue. Then they have a long way to go before they are going to change. First they have to acknowledge that they have the issue, then they have to decide that they wanna do something about it, then they have to hire some kind of a professional course or therapist to do the personal work in order to change. This all takes time as well. So Patience is definitely a virtue.

However, you do not have to let them abuse you during this process of time that it takes them. After the age of 18, you are now legally in charge of your own self-care and protection. So you must protect yourself from being treated so badly! You have learned it finally now in this lifetime to love yourself and have nonjudgment for yourself and to have radical acceptance for yourself and to forgive yourself and therefore you are now able to be empowered and to stand up for yourself and this is incredibly healthy in every sense of the word! Also, since you spend so much time with Nate at work, he is actually blocking you from a particular guy at work that would be interested in you that could lead to a really amazing relationship and become a really great marriage! You have to move this fake friendship on to the best of your ability. He’s not treating you like a friend at all! A big mistake that we can make a single women sometimes, is to cling to friendships that are not loving and caring because we are single and need somebody in our life. This is actually codependency. You are supposed to be strong enough and let go of this person that is not a friend to you and open up the space around you to bring in an amazing man that will make all of your dreams come true and you will make all of his dreams come true and it will be a mutually satisfying, mutually respectful, healthy, happy and loving marriage and family that you two will create! Keep up the amazing self-care and Empowerment! In Divine Love, Success & Joy, Camille Conti ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022




If 2022 feels like a new year wearing last year’s dress, believe me, I get it. COVID has been through my house three times, and the slightest sniffle gives me heart palpitations. Seriously. Despite that, I am filled with optimism for 2022. If the past two years have taught women anything, it’s that we are resilient and resourceful. We juggled jobs and kids and daycare. We homeschooled and mastered the technology of remote learning. Some of us realized that working from home beat going into the office and others decided that we’d rather be our own boss.

and home. Those who work from home are not engaging in meaningful conversations with colleagues, bouncing ideas off them, or even getting a fist bump for a job well done. As worthwhile as it has been to spend more time with our families, there’s also more loneliness from the lack of connection.

why? Step out in faith and you may find that your courage helps someone else.

The link between social isolation and a myriad of health issues is very real. Depression, stress, and cardiovascular disease are just a few of the adverse

4 . C E L E B R AT E T H E I R VICTORIES—And make sure you celebrate your own.

7. CONNECT THEM WITH OTHERS—Your circle of influence offers valuable connections. Use them. 8. START A MASTERMIND— Brainstorm ideas, track your goals, and use your expertise to help someone reach theirs.

There are approximately 13 million women owned business in the US, growing at a rate of 5% every year. Women owned businesses are fueling the economy!


effects that can hopefully be avoided just by supporting each other. 8 EASY WAYS TO SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN:

The last two years have also shown us that we need each other more than ever. Think about it.

1. SHARE YOUR STORY—This can be hard, especially if it’s messy, but if you share it with “your people”, you will find kindred spirits who will cheer you on.

The industries hit hardest by the pandemic employ more women. Women carry more of the responsibilities regarding childcare

2. BE VULNERABLE—It can be so tempting to put on a brave face and pretend like you have it altogether. But


5. LEAN BACK AND LISTEN—It takes so little effort but has a big payoff. 6. START A MOVEMENT— We all have the power to influence change

Whether fulltime or the newly coined “sidepreneur”, you are doing this on your terms. You took incredible risks during times of grave uncertainty. And that makes you a rock star.

The pandemic has changed the future of the work world. According to a survey conducted in October 2021, 45% of full-time U.S. employees worked from home either all (25%) or part of the time (20%). Businesses around the world are embracing these changes.

3. SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES—Whether you buy from them or give them a shoutout on social media, let them know you love what they’re putting out in the world.

Innovation and success do not happen within the boundaries of your comfort zone. Stretch yourself. Step into a networking event even though it may be terrifying. Join an accountability group to help you crush your goals. Action will always result in momentum. Even if there are failures and challenges along the way – each of these are an opportunity to learn and grow. For years, I ran my own financial planning firm, but something was missing. I started PowHer Haven at the beginning of the pandemic because I was looking for a way to connect more authentically




{ POWHER } “I started PowHer Haven at the beginning of the pandemic because I was looking for a way to connect more authentically with other professional, motivated women.”


with other professional, motivated women.

make mistakes, express gratitude, validate ideas, and celebrate each other.

Our values are clearly aligned with the above list: 1. Authenticity Succeed by being honest, having integrity and building meaningful relationships.

5. Happiness (&Fun) Follow your dreams and achieve your goals. Seek input, encourage laughter, and remember work is only work if you make it so.

2. Collaboration & Relationships Support each other internally and externally. Build and maintain trusting relationships within our membership. Understand needs and aspirations for a long term mutually beneficial connection.

What started as a private Facebook group has, in the last 18 months, grown to a members-only community, that is flourishing online and offline.

3. Growth Focus on continuous improvement. Embrace the opportunity to learn. Be passionate about constant improvement and innovation.

Monthly events like morning coffee and conversations, lunch and learns, accountability groups, workshops, and more are giving women—from working moms to entrepreneurs, a chance to connect and grow surrounded by a supportive group of cheerleaders.

4. Empowerment We value our membership and aim to spread knowledge, share experiences,

PowHer Haven Members enjoy promotional benefits as well, like our expert interview series, monthly member


spotlights, promotion through our media library which includes blog posts, podcasts and Youtube channels, and more. Future plans include a co-working space with a variety of flexible office options as well as an event space. A woman alone has power; collectively we have impact. And, like Gloria Vanderbilt said, we can only be better by helping each other. The tagline of PowHer Haven is “you may have to work, but you don’t have to work alone.” I really believe that. The idea that women must compete with each other is a myth. The truth is that by raising each other up and embracing the power of collaboration is how we change the future for working women and entrepreneurs.









If there is one thing that I have learned from life, it is that mental strength outweighs physical strength. Don’t get me wrong, physical strength is equally as important, however mental strength certainly helps drive one’s physical strength. My name is Karen Clark, and I have been an actively competing natural bodybuilder for the past 18 years. What started off as a venture to be physically fit has transformed into one of my greatest passions in life. Just before my 40th birthday, I decided to enter a bodybuilding competition for the very first time and have not looked back since! The feeling of accomplishment was addicting, and still is to this day. Along the way, it has also helped me deal with all the challenges that life has thrown my way. It helped instill in me the belief that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to. My full-time job entails being the Comptroller for Lake Beverage Corp. I have been a part of the management team for 32 years now. This is a very demanding job, consisting of many long days and occasional hours on the weekend. Due to my work schedule, when I began training, I started my days at 4:30 AM to work out before I had to be at the office. In my early competitive years, I would compete in bodybuilding competitions once or sometimes twice in a year. I was eager to try and win in my class and win the overall in a show. Finally, just before my 45th birthday, I was successful at doing this. I won the overall

in Women’s Bodybuilding and won my Pro Card Status. I will never forget the feeling of accomplishment I had when this happened. I had worked so hard to develop all that it took to achieve this. Following this, I continued to compete in shows and kept trying to improve my conditioning and overall physique.

The 4 weeks following this discovery were filled with many doctor appointments, second opinions, and me just trying to get a grip on all of it. All 3 doctors opinions revealed the same options: 1) a Lumpectomy with 6-8 weeks of radiation or 2) a Mastectomy with possible radiation and chemo to follow.

I felt as if I was in the best shape of my life. Just short of my 50th birthday, I was thrilled to be able to compete

I will be the first to admit, the thought of radiation and chemo scared me more than anything. As a result, I very candidly asked my Oncologist….” What option would give me the least percent of re-occurrence?” I consider myself a one and done kind of person and wanted to attack it in that very fashion. I was willing to do whatever I needed to do so that my chances of getting it again were extremely low. It was a very personal decision, and probably extreme to many, but I opted for a double mastectomy. Even having decided to proceed in this fashion, I would have to wait 4-5 weeks after my surgery to learn if I still needed radiation. That would be decided from the testing done on my sentinel glands taken at the time of surgery.

alongside of my oldest daughter, who had developed a passion for this sport as well. It is such an amazing memory for me and one that I will always cherish. Unfortunately, just one month later I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of breast cancer. What was my second ever, routine mammogram, turned into a 4-hour visit and the unbelievable discovery that the “C” word was trying to invade my body. Shocked and in disbelief, I just could not comprehend what was happening.

My initial surgery was scheduled for January 7th, 2013. It was a lengthy surgery as they had to remove all the tissue and begin reconstruction. Metal expanders were placed inside of me which led to 3 months of weekly doctor visits and injections. Another surgery was scheduled for April to complete the reconstruction. The time in between these surgeries left me feeling very anxious, waiting for the results of the sentinel gland testing. I will admit, the phone call I received with the news that I did ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ IN HER OWN WORDS } “What started off as a venture to be physically fit has transformed into one of my greatest passions in life.”


not require any additional radiation or chemo brought me to my knees with tears of joy. It was at that very moment I knew I had made the right decision. It was nearly a year before I got back to the gym, training in the capacity I had been prior to having been diagnosed. It was a long road and I basically had to start over, but I am thrilled and grateful I had the opportunity to do this. I was determined to not let Cancer have the last say. Therefore, I set my sights on making it back to the stage.

mental strength took over and dictated my physical. I never once believed I could not beat it! I kept believing…it was going to be OK!!

Almost 2 years after having been diagnosed, I made it back! I had prepped to get back on stage to compete again. I wanted it to be my best yet. Without even stepping on the stage, I realized I had already won. At that moment, I realized I beat it…that I showed cancer who had the last word. This brings me full circle to reiterating the fact that my

I took a few years off from competing and just enjoyed my daily weightlifting regiment, before getting bit by the competition bug again. In June of 2021, I decided to give it another go and jumped back on the competitive stage with a group of teammates that I had been training with for the past year. Happy with the fact that I did much


I am happy to say it has been 9 years since I was diagnosed. If I could be an advocate for anything in life, it would be that early detection is key. I am grateful that we acted so quickly and aggressively, and that because I was in the initial stages, I was afforded a happy ending to my story.

better than I expected, I qualified as a Pro for the USBF Championships in Burnsville, MN in November of 2021. Thrilled and excited to have the opportunity, I went and competed in my biggest and most competitive show to date. I continue to live my life with bodybuilding as a driving force in my life. The flame continues to burn in my soul! I will continue to live this lifestyle for as long as possible, for it is one of my greatest passions. If I can say anything about my story, it is that you need to have faith and believe that anything is possible. Never doubt in your ability to overcome anything you put your mind to achieving. The body will achieve what the mind believes. I am forever grateful for the mental strength I have been given to have experienced all that I have.









ADOPTER Needed. 8 weeks ago, Hulk was a beloved family pet... best friends of a young boy, wonderful with other dogs, and overall ambassador for the breed. Since then, he has been dumped, drugged, and put in position to fail over and over again by his prior owner. To explain: Hulk, a 2 year old neutered American Bully, lived in an upper apt. with his owner and her young son in South Buffalo. An incident occurred across the street where police showed up with spotlights and a megaphone. Hulk was petrified. At that time, Hulk was able to get out of his unit and ran down the stairs at the same time the downstairs tenant was entering the house. In this perfect storm of chaos, Hulk bit the downstairs tenant, who happened to be a lawyer. There were no stitches, but as lawyers often do, the guy made a big deal out of it and told the landlord the dog would have to go or he would pursue a lawsuit. The landlord was decent about it. He gave the tenant over a month to find a new place, allowed her to break the lease, AND wouldn’t even charge rent for the month the tenant looked for a new place. He just wanted the dog out so as to avoid getting sued. Fair enough. Here’s the

failure part of it. We were contacted by the owner, scrambled around and found quality and loving boarding for Hulk. We also had a good lead on a pit bull friendly apartment that he and his family could have relocated to in the area. Instead, what does the owner do after requesting our help and after

we come up with a solution?? Gives the dog away to a random person on Facebook. Not two days later, said random person drops Hulk off at the Eden Animal Hospital (same guys who wrongfully locked up Gus). Hulk was understandably anxious and traumatized and the good doctors responded by drugging him until he couldn’t walk.

off at the SPCA. He was fearful, and his chances of making it out of there weren’t great. BUT, the SPCA graciously allowed us to take Hulk into our AAO family and put him into a board and train with the incredible BFK9 Training Buffalo New York, where he is now safely decompressing. He started today. He has been through a lot, but we fully believe he will come out the best version of himself in three weeks. Our wonderful and talented Alana Roberts has secured foster for Hulk, but we are open to adopting him out right away if we find the right fit. He is wonderful with kids and other dogs. Unknown how he is with cats. Given all that he has been through, he will need someone who will go slowly and be gentle with him. We are fully confident that if his adopters follow the blueprint set out by us and BFK9 Training Buffalo New York, Hulk will be a wondeful addition to any home. #AGAINSTALLODDZ. #FindHulkahome.

His owner then picked him up from there and promptly dropped him ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022









Did you know that the Airline Industry damages approximately 10,220 wheelchairs a year? It’s an average of about 28 wheelchairs per day. My son is dependent on his power chair. He views the wheelchair as his legs. Most people don’t have to worry about their mobility being impaired when they reach their destination. Power wheelchairs provide a sense of independence, but not all power chairs are created equal. Every chair is designed to meet a person’s specific needs and comfort. The price of comfort and ability ranges between $23K - $40k. Physically, the aid to independence is priceless.

incredible/active kids. I have a very understanding and supportive husband who understands that I have two jobs. I have a Bachelor’s degree from the Fashion Institute of technology. I currently work full time for JCPenney at the corporate office as a sourcing Business manager. My son has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). He is the reason I started All Wheels Up. My goal is to have one day All Wheels Up as my full-time career and employ experts in aviation, development, and advocacy. However, while I work a full-time job, I allocate almost all my vacation time and evenings to All Wheels Up.

Currently, airline travel requires wheelchairs to be broken down and tagged in detail, so the baggage handlers know where to lift them and how to get them into the cargo bay plane without being damaged or broken. Imagine breaking down your car every time you want to travel and taking it with you, hoping that each part makes it to your destination, undamaged, and goes back together quickly and easily.

Tell us a little about yourselves? Michele Erwin: I am a mom to two

Alan Chaulet: I have been working on All Wheels up with Michele since 2014. I’m blessed to have found Michele, and together we’ve made an incredible team. I am battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and haven’t let it stop me from graduating from Bentley University and building All Wheels Up. I’m also quite active in the DMD advocacy community and proudly serving on the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) Adult Advisory Council. When most people start a Nonprofit, it becomes overwhelming, and they give up. What’s your driving force?

There must be a better way! I had the opportunity to discuss how airline travel can change with Michele Erwin and Alan Chaulet from the nonprofit organization “All Wheels Up.” All Wheels Up is currently the only organization in the world crash testing wheelchair tie-downs and wheelchairs for commercial flights. Michele is the President and Founder. Alan is the Chief Operating Officer and Founding Board member.

knew I needed to start working toward a wheelchair spot then. I asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2011, do you expect air travel to look the same as it does today in thirty years from now. That one sentence got me transferred to the director of Research & Development (R&D) at the FAA.

All Wheels Up is a labor of love. It is a full-time job to make an impact on accessible air travel. Imagine what we could do if we were working at this 100% of the time. I started All Wheels Up when I became painfully aware that air travel is not accessible. From my own experience when traveling with my son. I thought about how my son will travel one day on his own for school or a career. Then it hit me, how are people who use wheelchairs traveling on their own now. I

Michele Erwin: Besides making flying easier for my son; and knowing that a wheelchair spot is possible in my heart and mind. Alan has been a great leader in keeping us going when I get discouraged. Working towards a wheelchair spot has been humbling. We have been laughed at and told to shut down; someone (a wheelchair user) went on a social media platform and said to the community we are frauds and not to fund our work. But the more people or organizations that kept telling us we couldn’t make a wheelchair spot happen, there were more rooting for us. That is what keeps us going. Knowing our work is why the congressionally funded Transportation Research Board (TRB) ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


SHE HUSTLESMOTHER TALKS }}} } {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS { {ONE TOUGH “Did you know that the Airline Industry damages approximately 10,220 wheelchairs a year?”

study got published in September 2021. The study concluded a wheelchair spot is technically feasible. A considerable validation that the naysayers no longer have a place in the conversation. Alan Chaulet: I’ve missed so many family vacations and weddings throughout my life, and this should not happen to anyone with a disability. There are so many unique and beautiful places worldwide that stay inaccessible because airplanes aren’t accessible, and this needs to end. We deserve to have equal access to air travel, just like what currently exists on trains, buses, and taxis.

is medically necessary for a wheelchair spot on planes. All Wheels Up recognizes the aviation industry is about safety and economics. We have approached our work with the same goals in mind. It is not just about the wheelchair users’ safety and dignity, but everyone on that plane’s safety. We know this, recognize this and work to fund the data needed to make the big decisions. Alan Chaulet: Michele and I knew it

What made you believe that you could affect change? Michele Erwin: All Wheels Up is more than an advocacy group. We are a factbased organization. We are the ONLY not-forprofit with the sole focus of improving accessible air travel and funding research for a wheelchair spot on planes. However, we are successful in providing positive and responsible messaging. We do not blame or shame the airline industry on where we are today. We want to work with the industry. We have embarked on a mission to fund the industry’s questions. First, the industry said it was not feasible or safe. We have proven it is possible and can be safe. We are funding the following questions: the economic impact and the HOW. We are also investing a paper on why it 126


would be possible for disabled passengers to ultimately fly from the safety and comfort of their wheelchair if someone proved it was possible. No one else was working on making Airplanes Accessible. People called us crazy for years, and we nearly shut down multiple times. Still, little by little, the airline industry and government embraced our work and realized this is needed change. My work with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), and Jett Foundation

showed me how to build a nonprofit. I learned how they operate, how to make advocacy effective, and how to work with industry. I learned so much from them, just like Michele has in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) advocacy, and that gave us both tremendous vision on what we wanted All Wheels Up to be. What are your greatest strengths or superpowers? Michele Erwin: My superpower is my tenacity (not taking no for an answer). nobody could give me reason enough to stop Alan Chaulet: Dedication and Determination. We could have shut down so many times over the years. Still, my dedication and determination kept me working hard and believing our work would make travel dramatically easier for the disability community. What were your Eureka moments while performing crash testing? Michele Erwin: I had two Eureka moments. The first was when I realized no organization had taken on the airline industry to create a wheelchair spot as a project or platform. I knew I needed to take this project on. The second was that wheelchair securement systems proved to pass 20G crash testing. Airplane seats are







SHE HUSTLESMOTHER TALKS} } } {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS { {ONE TOUGH “Power wheelchairs provide a sense of independence, but not all power chairs are created equal.”

Mindustry to create a wheelchair spot as a project or platform. I knew I needed to take this project on. The second was that wheelchair securement systems proved to pass 20G crash testing. Airplane seats are crash tested at 16G. Alan Chaulet: The most significant eureka moment was when we started realizing this could become a reality. What is “All Wheels Up” most outstanding achievement to date?

I’ve had some people say that sitting in their wheelchair while flying is something way off in the future. When do you think this would become a reality? Michele Erwin and Alan Chaulet: Going back to our responsible messaging - All Wheels Up will not mislead the wheelchair community. All Wheels Up will not/ cannot put a timeline on a project that is so grossly underfunded. Additionally,

2) Being a part of the Technical Review Board (TRB) study

Alan Chaulet: When the TRB Feasibility study was released and said there are no engineering or design challenges that making traveling from your wheelchair not possible.

What advice do you have for disabled travelers? Michele Erwin: 1) Know your rights! 2) A good trip starts with research and planning; - coordinate with the airlines on your travel plans and specific needs. The airlines suggest contacting them at a minimum of 48 hours in advance. However, I do recommend more time than that if you can. 3) You are your best advocate. If an issue does arise - PLEASE issue a complaint with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Without documenting the problems, change cannot happen. By registering the situation and becoming a statistic can help make the change.

Michele Erwin: AWU has had so many Outstanding Achievements, but to list our top three: 1) Funding and conducting the first-ever crash test of wheelchairs and wheelchair securement systems at an FAA-approved testing facility for our proof of concept with positive results in 2016. This one achievement is why any original equipment manufacturers, design firms; wheelchair manufacturers; or wheelchair tie-down manufacturers today can create specific spaces and safe locking systems for wheelchairs on planes.

3) Our Fly Safe Today Program - Providing Education slings and Adults CARES Harnesses for free to the community. While we work for a solution for tomorrow - we are also making sure the WC community can fly safely today.

platform of accessible air travel. None have funded research for a wheelchair spot. If a project of this magnitude expects to be only financed by the wheelchair community’s donations, it is systemic issue. The Wheelchair community should not be alone in funding to change injustice.

safety is paramount. We need to have respect not just for the R&D process, but more importantly, the certification process. We need to recognize that the lack of accessible air travel is not just a systemic issue with the airlines. Large corporations and advocacy groups have a part in the injustice. In comparison, many advocacy groups have taken on the

Alan Chaulet: Educate yourself on everything. Know what to expect when boarding and exiting the airplane. Know what transportation you will need. Understand how accessible the hotel room andbathroom will be and what places you will be visiting on your trip. Determine what equipment you will need to use and what to do if something goes wrong at any point. Traveling with a disability is very intimidating, but there’s so much great advice from disabled travelers out there and resources you can access. Traveling around the world is possible for us too. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022







In the all new Influential Man column of Rochester Woman Online. clothier, and local styling expert Vincent DiGiorgio, owner of ONE Custom Clothier will be sharing his advice and thoughts regarding all things fashion for men and even for the ladies. PLUS, DiGiorgio will also be joining us in the new Influenital Men Online magazine launching in June 2022 where we will be talking and featureing men and the businesses that are influencing the way we live. We will

interview and share their thoughts and philosophies on many topics including health, motivation, business, fashion and more. Vince is a 35 year veteran in the custom clothing industry and has dressed many of the area’s most successful men. He will be bringing us the latest information and advice when it comes to dressing the modern man. He always says, “Dress passionately!”.

trends, to tried and true fashion tips, in and editorial we call THE SARTORIALIST. Please give Vince a very warm RWO welcome, and ladies, stop down to Monroe Ave with your men to let the experts dress them for success professionally, or just for fun!

Vince will focus on the latest clothing





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Back in the day, I had this really great pair of shoes. They were royal blue, and they were very pretty. High heels and strappy……and they hurt like HELL! Of course, that never stopped me from wearing them back then. It just stopped me from wearing them for a long time on any given day. Eventually, I had to cut them loose. Ouch. Every time I see that royal blue color, I think of those lovely shoes that hurt my feet. I know it sounds crazy, but I think most women have had that pair of shoes that just finished the outfit perfectly. You know the ones. The outfit is already speaking for itself but when you put that certain pair of shoes with it……SCORE! There’s a little extra pep in your step when you know you look good. If the shoes match too? Yes, a little slice of Heaven. 134


I was never one to take my shoes off in public, but we have all seen the ladies who just can’t take it anymore and kick off their heels because they have danced too much or just can’t bear to take another step in them. I have even seen a lady walk barefoot in the ice and snow while carrying her stilettos. Really? There’s just something about a great pair of shoes that’s like the icing on the cake. Some of us go to great lengths to have that look, at least for a while. Some of us go crazy for that perfect pair.I am personally in denial and tell myself that I don’t have too many shoes. I am just not one of those women Then, I recently took an online survey that proved me wrong. I was in the ‘WTF’ group because of how many pairs of shoes that I have. I justify it in my mind because my daughter wears the same size as me

and does, on occasion, wear some of them. OK, I admit it. MAYBE I have a few too many. I do have my limit though. I draw the line at the ones with the red bottoms. That one, I will never understand. Women pay an arm and a leg to have shoes with red bottoms…..and they can’t even see the bottoms…… and then they walk on the red part that made them cost so much in the first place. What?!?That makes no sense to me. Back in the day, you just were not considered dressed unless you had great shoes. Even in the office, we would go tipping into work with our business suits and a proper pair of heels. Then, along came dress down day on Friday. Then, dress down every day. Then, working from home. Now, it becomes a trauma if




{ TRACY IS TALKING { TRACY TALKS } } “Have some heels, some flat shoes for dress down day, sneakers for home, UGGS (or in my case, knock offs) for the cooler weather, and of course, CROCS and flip-flops in the summer.There is no such thing as too many shoes.”

you ever need to report to the office again because you have to put some shoes on. How times have changed. The shoes themselves have even changed. What’s up with the UGGs? How about CROCS? Not exactly fashion statements, but these things with the funny names certainly do feel better than those spikey high heels that make our legs look long and lovely. What’s a girl to do? Have some heels, some flat shoes for dress down day, sneakers for home, UGGS (or in my case, knock offs) for the cooler weather, and of course, CROCS and flip-flops in the summer. There is no such thing as too many shoes. LOL



I remember one occasion going out on New Year’s Eve in just the cutest outfit. Boots would not have looked right, and I had found the perfect pair of heels. So, there I was (right along with the other wacko ladies) in a pair of high heels, slipping and sliding in the ice and snow trying to make it to the door of the venue without breaking my neck. What a fool I was……but, of course, I would do it again. Anything to top off the outfit, right? LOL Sometimes, boots just will not do. I know that I SHOULD be wearing them on this cold, icy night. Will I? Nah, The little angel on one shoulder is saying to wear the boots. The devil on the other shoulder is saying to wear the heels. Yikes! It’s just so complicated!

Traveling for work in the winter can become complicated too, all because of shoes. If you travel in the winter, boots are the order of the day. However, it was never my first choice to wear boots all day in the office. Hence the dilemma. So what’s a girl to do? Wear the boots for the weather and carry shoes in a bag? That’s fine if you are in your home office BUT, if you have traveled out of town for work, you already have a briefcase or laptop bag. You have had to bring a suitcase……lugging around a pair of boots is just one more part of the hassle. So, I say, try not to travel for work in the winter. Instead, stay home and shop for the next great pair of shoes that you know you will need. Enjoy!






Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does in men, because it’s less socially acceptable for them. In this article, I will concentrate on the current treatment concepts of female pattern baldness. What’s Hair Loss in Women? Hair loss in women is just that — when a woman experiences unexpected, heavy loss of hair. Generally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance — some hairs fall out while others grow in.

a single hair could continue growing for 7 or more years. Some say that the scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer. With successive anagen cycles, the follicles become smaller (leading to shorter, finer hair) 2. Catagen: The transition phase The catagen phase starts when the anagen phase ends, and tends to last about 10 days or so. During this chapter, hair

Patterns of Female Hair Loss Doctors divide female pattern baldness into three types:

Currently, it is not clear if androgens (male sex hormones) play a role in FPHL, although androgens have a clear role in male pattern baldness. Due to this uncertain relationship, the term FPHL is preferred to ‘female androgenetic alopecia.

Cycles of Hair Growth 1. Anagen: Growing phase The stages of hair growth begin with the anagen phase. It’s the longest phase, lasting about 3 to 5 years for the hairs on your head, though for some people 140


4. Exogen: Shedding phase The exogen phase is essentially an extension or a part of the telogen stage of the growth of hair. During the exogen phase, hair is shed from the scalp, often helped along by washing and brushing. Losing 50 to 100 hairs per day during the exogen phase is normal. During the exogen phase, which can last about 2 to 5 months, new hairs are growing in the follicles as old hairs fall away.

Female pattern hair loss also called androgenetic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. It’s similar to male pattern baldness, except that women can lose their hair in a different pattern than men.

Psychological effects of androgenetic alopecia on women: comparisons with balding men and with female control subjects are studied, not mentioning the placebo-controlled trial and the study on drug-induced hair loss.

Hairs don’t grow during the telogen phase, but they don’t usually fall out either. The telogen phase is also when new hairs start to form in follicles that have just released hairs during the catagen phase.

Type I – is minimal thinning that can be camouflaged with hair styling techniques. Type II – involves widening of the part, and increased thinning around it. Type III – Is thinning throughout, with a see-through area at the top of your scalp. follicles shrink and the growth of hair slows. The hair also separates from the bottom of the hair follicle, yet remains in place during its final days of growing.

Types of Hair Loss Visible hair loss occurs in approximately one-half of all persons by the age of 50 years. Here are some types of hair loss.

3. Telogen: Resting phase The telogen phase typically lasts around 3 months. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of your scalp hairs are in this phase.

Androgenetic Alopecia Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss. Commonly known as male pattern hair loss or female







{ SCALPNY { SHIFT+CONTROL POWHER }} } “Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does in men, because it’s less socially acceptable for them.”

pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia is hereditary but can be managed with medication or surgery. Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is a distinctive form of diffuse hair loss that occurs in women with androgenetic alopecia because the hair loss in androgenetic alopecia is an aberration of the normal hair cycle. Telogen Effluvium Telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss, occurs when large numbers of follicles on the scalp enter the resting phase of the growth cycle of hair, called telogen, but the next growth phase doesn’t begin. This causes hair to fall out all over the scalp without novel hair. Chronic telogen effluvium (CTE) can be secondary to thyroid disease, systemic lupus, drug ingestion, and iron deficiency anemia. Anagen Effluvium Anagen effluvium is rapid hair loss resulting from medical treatment, such as chemotherapy. These potent and fastacting medications kill cancer cells, but they may also shut down hair follicle production in the scalp and other parts of the body. Alopecia Areata Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, which means the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues, including the hair follicles. This causes hair to fall out and prevents fresh hair from growing. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune skin disease that causes patchy hair loss on your head and possibly other places on your body. It’s usually not permanent.

Tinea Capitis Tinea capitis, also called scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection of the scalp that’s a common cause of hair loss in children. This condition causes hair to fall out in patches, sometimes circular, leading to bald spots that may get bigger over time. Cicatricial Alopecia Cicatricial alopecia, also known as scarring alopecia, is a rare type of hair loss in which inflammation destroys hair follicles and causes scar tissue to form in their place. After scar tissue forms, hair doesn’t regrow. Hair Shaft Abnormalities Several types of hair shaft abnormalities can lead to hair loss. These conditions cause strands of hair to thin and weaken, making them vulnerable to breaking. The hair loss doesn’t occur in the follicle but as a result of a break somewhere along the hair shaft, which is the visible part of a hair strand. This can result in overall thinning, as well as in many small, brittle hairs. Hypotrichosis Hypotrichosis is a rare genetic condition in which very little hair grows on the scalp and body and excessive hair growth in the wrong places, such as the cheeks or forehead. Babies born with this condition may have typical growth of hair at first; however, their hair falls out a few months later and is replaced with sparse hair. Signs of Hair Loss in Women Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include: ● Gradual thinning on top of the head.

This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting people as they age. ● Circular or patchy bald spots. ● Sudden missing hair. ● Full-body hair loss. ● Patches of scalinôg that spread over the scalp. ● Seeing scalp skin through hair. How to Stop Thinning Hair Among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots . In FPHL, there is diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp due to increased hair shedding or a reduction in hair volume, or both. Hair thins mainly on the top and crown of the scalp. Some women do experience hair regrowth with treatment. Your treatment plan will likely consist of one or more medications approved to treat hair loss. In most women, it may slow or stop hair loss. How to stop thinning of hair and hair loss in women treated? Here are some medical treatments for female pattern hair loss that may help. 1. Scalp massage Perhaps the cheapest method of getting thicker hair is a scalp massage. It doesn’t cost anything, and there are no side effects. 2. Essential oils Essential oils are liquids derived from certain plants, and they’re primarily used in aromatherapy and other types of alternative medicine. 3. Anti-thinning shampoo Anti-thinning shampoo works in two ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ SCALPNY } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “It’s similar to male pattern baldness, except that women can lose their hair in a different pattern than men.”

ways. First, such products provide volume for your hair, so it looks thicker. This can be helpful for people who have thin or naturally fine hair. 4. Multivitamins Healthy hair is dependent on your overall good health. In cases of malnourishment, or with certain eating disorders, fresh hair may fail to generate from follicles. For that reason, there is a surge of studies performed on the effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women.

approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness. It has the potential role of minoxidil in the hair transplanting setting. You apply it to your dry scalp. Research studies confirmed that minoxidil applied directly to the scalp could stimulate the growth of hair. This hair loss treatment is available over the counter.

6. Biotin Biotin, or vitamin B-7, is a watersoluble nutrient that’s naturally found in foods such as nuts, lentils, and the liver. If you eat a balanced diet, it’s unlikely that you’re low in biotin. It also promoted to thicken hair.


10. Finasteride Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription hair loss medication. It’s for men only. Unlike topical treatments like minoxidil, Propecia comes as a daily pill that men take for hair loss.

Hair building fibers are keratin fibers available in a range of natural hair colors.

If minoxidil does not work, your provider may recommend other medicines, such as spironolactone, cimetidine, birth control pills, ketoconazole, among others. Recently found, that scalp irritation after use of topical minoxidil solutions result from contact dermatitis to propylene glycol, one of the vehicles of the solution, rather than the minoxidil itself.

8. Minoxidil Minoxidil (Rogaine) is the only drug

9. Spironolactone Spironolactone (Aldactone) is prescribed


Spironolactone (25 mg daily) has been shown to significantly improve the growth of hair, reduce shedding and improve hair density. Some women who don’t respond to minoxidil may benefit from the addition of the anti-androgen drug spironolactone (Aldactone) for the treatment of androgenic alopecia. This is especially true for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) because they tend to make excess androgens.

5. Folic acid supplements Folic acid is a type of B vitamin that’s important for new cell generation. In terms of thinning hair, folic acid is thought to help follicles generate new hair in balding areas.

7. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are called essential fatty acids. This is because they can’t be made by the human body. Omega-3 helps your body fight inflammation, an underlying cause of numerous conditions.

for people who have thinning hair related to androgen production. While technically a “water pill,” Aldactone is an anti-androgen, too. Oral spironolactone therapy for female patients with acne, hirsutism, or androgenic alopecia is also available.

However, finasteride should not be used in women of childbearing age, because 5α-reductase inhibitors may cause abnormalities of the external genitalia in the male fetus. 11. Corticosteroids Corticosteroids are prescription treatments used for conditions linked to underlying inflammation. Sometimes, inflammatory conditions can cause a variety of symptoms, including hair loss. The most common treatment for alopecia areata is the intralesional injection of a








“Visible hair loss occurs in approximately one-half of all persons by the age of 50 years.”

corticosteroid, preferably triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog). 12. At-home laser therapy Researchers continue to look for new ways to stimulate hair growth and stop hair breakage. Other treatments that you may find for FPHL include the following. Laser therapy is typically used by dermatologists and other skin specialists. Now, the FDA has cleared the way for some products to be used at home. At-home laser therapy for hair is intended to help regrow your hair while also making it thicker. We still do not know whether these devices are safe for long-term use or if they can continue to produce new hair growth. Not all patients need screening blood tests. SMP for Excessive Hair Loss If you notice that you’re losing hair, see your doctor or a dermatologist. Dermatologists are the experts in diagnosing and treating hair loss. A dermatologist can tell you whether it’s FPHR or something else that is causing your hair loss. If necessary they would perform a scalp biopsy to confirm this diagnosis. Other causes of hair loss can look like FPHL, so it’s important to rule out these causes. Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is

one of the most effective treatment options for those experiencing hair shedding. It can restore receded hairlines, thicken remaining hair, and camouflage female pattern hair loss. Bottom Line If you have a medical condition like alopecia areata, the dermatologist may

therapy. Hair transplantation for FPHL is becoming more popular although not everyone is suitable for this procedure. Today, most hair transplants look completely natural. However, as mentioned, not everyone is a good candidate for a hair transplant. If you have other symptoms, such as an irregular period, severe acne, or increased unwanted hair, consult your doctor. You may be experiencing a different type of hair loss. Jessica Lahr Scalp International Hairlines. Check out www. and receive $500OFF your scalp micropigmentation services.

prescribe medications or recommend an over-the-counter treatment. Inoffice procedures can also be effective for some patients. These treatments can include corticosteroid injections, laser therapy, and platelet-rich plasma ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


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How do you sum up the life of a person like Michele Ely? In so many ways, someone larger than life itself.

in a walk to build awareness of the need for individuals to step up and become foster and adoptive parents.”

It’s through the memories and words of those who knew her best—her family, friends, colleagues—that we choose to honor Michele who gave so much of herself to Children Awaiting Parents. And she gave in abundance!

“She advocated for photos of youth to be featured on television, in newspapers, and on the internet,” continued Pat. “She supported the development of traveling photo galleries, and assisted CAP in working with its first group of professional photogra-phers who donated their time and talents to promote better representation of readi-ly adoptable

Michele was supremely generous in her financial support, but her generosity went above and beyond writing checks. From the early days of Children Awaiting Parents, this mother of six—all of whom were adopted—was also active as a board member, volunteer, and ambassador. CAP Founder Peggy Soule remembers Michele as some-one with great wit, wisdom, and depth. Whether as a resource for CAP parents or for the children themselves, Michele “was always there when you needed her.” Pat Burks, former Program Director at Children Awaiting Parents, celebrated a 30+ year friendship with Michele through their work with youth, community, and educa-tional program development for the Rochester City School District. Pat described Michele as devoted to youth and community, and “an exceptional listener, who offered thoughtful advice to support the success of others.” “Michele was a ‘walking commercial’ for CAP,” remembers Pat. “I remember her in her halo brace, a device which is machine-drilled into one’s skull to facilitate the re-pair of a broken neck. It had just been removed by her doctors, and Michele showed up to participate

and a biological mom of one, describes Michele as “witty, incredibly strong, full of life, and hilarious, someone who cared about diversity, and was passionate about CAP and adoption. “She was a big believer in the cause.” When Veronica came to Michele with frustration about one of her sons, Michele re-sponded, as always, level and calm. “You can’t take it personally,” Michele told Ve-ronica. “It’s not about you.” It was a critical and necessary lesson that Veronica learned, and one she continues to pass down to all the parents with whom she works. Michele, with the support of her husband James, had a special place in their hearts for adopting older children looking for a family of their own. Daughter Nicole Ely-Joshi spoke with tremendous love about her mother, who “lived by the three pillars of faith, family, and philanthropy.”

youth.” These photos were shared across the country to present the youth to a wider audience. A CAP staff member for more than two decades, Adoption Program Manager Veronica Black remembers Michele as “one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known,” but not-ed that she was “no pushover!” Veronica, an adoptive mom of three sons

“Mom instinctually knew that adoption was her path. She believed everyone was worthy of having a family in which they could feel loved and cared for. Mom was never inclined to birth children of her own. In fact, one of the reasons she chose our dad over another suitor was because of his willingness to adopt. As we all know, ba-bies are more easily adoptable than older children. That’s where mom’s passion fo-cused: adopting those children who already had a difficult childhood, providing for them—especially with a lot of love and guidance—and being okay to tackle any com-plications due to their kids’ prior traumas.” ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ CHILDREN WAITING PARENTS } “Michele passed away on December 16, 2021, but has left Children Awaiting Parents with an extraordinary and profound legacy.”

“My parent’s knew that kids were deserving of love, and it was given in abundance. Adoring love, tough love—it’s all in the name of teaching through love. I just always knew how fortunate I was that they thought I was worthy enough to treasure so deeply.” “A fantastic mother,” Michele taught all of her children the importance of kindness and respect. “Despite contending with serious health issues including Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis—both severe and destructive autoimmune diseases which shriveled her 5’7 frame to 5’1— she was incredibly supportive of her c h i l d re n ,” s a i d Nicole. At the same time, she was a “no excuse” person who taught her children the importance of hard work and perseverance. “Regarding Children Awaiting Parents, I remember that CAP was just always there. In fact, I always thought my mom was a co-founder, but apparently she wasn’t. It’s just that CAP Founder Peggy Soule was always around, and she and mom were always concocting something for CAP or other community initiatives.” “I was the first one adopted but the 152


youngest of the siblings—the only one adopted as a baby. That wasn’t mom’s plan, but I was, of course, irresistible! By nine months, I already had heart surgeries and a failed adoption. My parents couldn’t believe any-one would return a child, so I struck gold the second time around. When I was two, my three sisters, —who are all biologically related—were adopted. Then one brother, then the next, all within the span of five years.”

“Motherhood for a mom of six, with an age span of only seven years, would be a tre-mendous feat for anyone, but my mom was not just an ordinary anyone. She was an extraordinary being who graced us all with her presence. Family was everything for mom, but her definition of family was all-encompassing. Of course mom and dad were the Knuckles married to the Elys (shout out to the huge Knuckles clan!), but more

than that, mom treated everyone like family. We grew up within a large com-munity of f(r)amily - friends who are family. It takes a village, and you’re judged by the weakest link. My mom was always there to catch you, whether you were her child or not. Dependable she was. Now that’s a family, and we’re all the better for it. Thanks, Mommy.” Of her mother’s most essential qualities, those that stood out to Nicole were being non-judgmental, accepting of others, a community b u i l d e r, a n d someone whom oth-ers sought out for advice. “But kindness topped them all.” Michele passed a w a y o n December 16, 2021, but has left Children Awaiting Parents with an extraordinary and profound legacy. CAP is honored to redouble our efforts on behalf of waiting children and adoptive and foster families in recognition of Michele and her immeasurable contributions and passion.










SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKE THINGS EASIER When Susan’s husband passed away suddenly, the stark reality hit her hard she was all alone and didn’t have a handle on her finances, or her future. She and her husband had often talked about taking the time to get organized, but daily life got in the way. He handled their investments but she wasn’t interested in the stock market, so she paid little attention when he talked about their portfolio. She knew her husband had a Will but it was drafted by their attorney who had retired years ago. She wasn’t sure what her next step was, and didn’t know who to call or where to turn. Unfortunately, Susan’s story is a common one. More often than not, setting even the simplest of Estates can be confusing, stressful, and overwhelming. For some reason, getting your affairs in order seems to be on everyone’s list, but it is one of those things we all tend to put off. Unless you’ve handled someone else’s affairs, you may not realize how difficult the job can be. Even if you have heard the horror stories and know how important it is to get organized, most people aren’t sure what needs to be done. Whether you’re planning ahead for your loved ones, or you’re named Executor for someone else, there are a few simple steps you can take to make things easier: STEP 1 - Get Everything Together. Consolidation is the key to making things easier for your family. - Gather your important paperwork and keep it all in one place. This includes

your Will, Healthcare Proxy, Living Will, Power of Attorney documents, investment statements, beneficiary forms, and insurance policies. - Document what you have and where it is, so nothing gets lost. Focus on the details that only you may know. List things like life insurance policies and investment accounts, usernames & passwords, online banking information, and secret hiding places. These details can make the job of handling your affairs much easier and can also help avoid potential conflict among family members. - Consolidate your investments, if possible, to simplify your finances so your Executor has less work to do. The fewer accounts you have, the easier it will be to handle your affairs. STEP 2 - Create a Support Network. Even the most organized and welldocumented plan can quickly become a disaster if you don’t have the right team of people working on your behalf. Choose an Estate Attorney, a Financial Advisor, and a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) you feel comfortable with. Be sure to involve your family in the selection process and make sure they get to know the advisors you’ve chosen. Your loved ones will be comforted by the fact that they have a team of people they can rely on when something happens. STEP 3 - Engage Your Support Network

Let them know how you would like your assets to be distributed and share any potential concerns you may have. Your Financial Advisor, Estate Attorney and CPA should work together to make sure your finances and legal documents are coordinated properly and nothing falls through the cracks. Only then will you truly have a coordinated plan and you can be sure your wishes will be carried out. - Have your Attorney review your current Estate documents to be sure they are current with State and Federal laws. - Ask your advisors how to avoid probate to make things easier for your family, if appropriate. - Have your Financial Advisor check your beneficiary designations to be sure the right people are named. - Update your plan every few years or if a major life event occurs. Getting your affairs in order is an incredible gift that will provide your loved one’s clarity and direction during a difficult time. When you plan properly, your wishes will be carried out and you can leave a legacy to last for generations. The contents of this communication are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal or tax advice. You should consult with your tax professional and financial advisor in relation to your individual circumstances.

Once your support network is in place, bring everyone together and communicate your wishes to your team. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022




FOR SENIORS LIVING WITH DEMENTIA Adult Day Care for Seniors Adult day care can provide caregivers with a much needed break, so they can provide better care to seniors. What is adult day care? Adult day care provides adults with an opportunity to socialize and engage in recreational activities while at the same time, giving the caregiver a much needed break to relax, run errands, take care of appointments, and complete other tasks.

ADHC is for seniors who have more serious medical conditions and require skilled nursing care or therapy services. Staff are licensed and can administer medication and provide occupational, speech and physical therapy in addition to other recreational activities for the seniors to enjoy.

• Arts and crafts • Musical activities • Audiology • Counseling • Exercise classes • Personal care • Memory and cognition therapy • Hair and beauty services • Massage therapy

3. Alzheimer’s and Dementia Day Care

• Volunteer and community service programs • Medication management • Nutrition and meal services • Occupational therapy • Oxygen therapy • Family support

Who is adult day care good for? There are three different kinds ( of adult day care: 1. Social Adult Day Care This is for adults who are relatively independent but could use some supervised activities to enrich their quality of life. Activities could include arts and crafts, exercise programs, games and musical activities. Seniors can participate in the majority of activities on their own, while staff provides assistance. Staff can also give medication reminders, but not administer it. 2. Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) 158


This specialized day care is tailored to meet the unique physical, emotional and mental needs of seniors living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Staff are trained in dementia care to work with individuals with memory and cognitive loss. Activities and Services of daycare A good Adult Day Care should offer a variety of activities for seniors including:

Ways to pay for adult day care The price of adult day care varies, depending on the location and type and can range from $40 to $120 ( per day. If the senior qualifies for Medicaid, then Medicaid may pay for the day care, especially if the senior would require fulltime nursing care otherwise. If the senior is a veteran, then VA benefits will pay for adult day health care (, but not adult day care . Individuals may also choose to pay with long-term care insurance or cashing in on life insurance policies. It can also be paid out of pocket.









Become a Video Queen! Five Steps to Gain Confidence & Go Live on Social Media It’s a new year and you may be asking yourself how can I influence more people and attract my target customers? How can I magnetize new opportunity?

If you are shy, uncertain, or holding back from live feed and videos it’s time to be bold and fearlessly step into your video power.

● No more not being seen live on the biggest stage of them all - social media!

Ask yourself, “why am I holding back from being seen on a free platform that is available to me 24/7?”

I can remember the first time I turned on the live camera for my online business. I was scared!! I was used to owning and operating a brick and mortar business. I had become confident in my connection to people but video was a brand new territory! When the economy crashed in 2010, I was forced to sell my brick and mortar coaching and wellness center in exchange for a life of online business. I was pushed into the online world with my message because it was the only option left for me.

The answers to your influence include getting more visible AND going LIVE on social media. Using video platforms allows people to experience the real, authentic, and transparent YOU. People want to know the authentic you and feel your vibes. Like any successful advertisement feeling sells! Without feeling your true vibes, you become the wizard behind the curtain who can not be trusted.

While learning how to be confident on video live feeds I found myself scared shitless! For a long time, longer than I care to mention, I showed up with my camera OFF and I would lead my meditations and blog talk radio show without being seen. I made the excuse of “well it’s a meditation……they just need my voice.

The fastest path to influence in the online world is video! But many of us avoid it and make excuses why not to go live or choose video for delivering our influence. Why? We are too busy to slow down and connect to a meaningful magnetic message that impacts lives. And many women, although we are tough influencers, still lack confidence when it comes to authenticity and transparency. We have been taught as women from a young age to play small and not be seen or heard.

2022 is your year to EMERGE!

Make this pact with yourself! ● No more hiding behind stock images and marketing that does not show the real you! ● No more hiding behind inauthentic expression - what you feel you should show people.

The truth? I lacked video confidence, UGH! And what I have to say is this….NO MORE EXCUSES! I coached myself to turn on the video and be seen in my real and authentic self. And I began to study people on YouTube and Facebook who were doing ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022








{ SHE’S LIVE } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “The fastest path to influence in the online world is video! But many of us avoid it and make excuses why not to go live or choose video for delivering our influence.”

the same. I hired an acting coach. And I studied every and any social media guru I could find, and I still do to this day. Right now I am diving into TikTok! Times are expanding and as female influencers we have many more opportunities to be seen and heard in our message, as well as attract our soul clients and business collaborators. With the surge in social media platforms you have access to influence every day! The first thing to realize is you have a HUGE audience waiting for you to share your true authentic self!

photoshopped images out there, the truth is people want to know you are real and authentic! Especially with all the scam artists and fake accounts, a good live feed or video shows people you care and that you are the real deal! 3. Practice: Practice what you are going to say but DO NOT read a script. Allow the words to flow and go slowly. Set up some practice videos before you

Tell yourself this: “I have a whole new audience!” “Social media is my stage!” So here are some starter tips for increasing your influence through live and video social media: 1. Prepare but do not overthink or over prepare! People want to see the authentic you! Take time to prep, but do not over do it. Do your hair and make-up, get good lighting, decide if you want to sit or stand, and practice what you have to say - but do not overthink it. 2. Don’t try to be perfect! People want to see the real you! Despite all the 166


go live. And it is ok to make mistakes, remember you are being real! 4. Purpose: Communicate to your target audience. Know who they are and imagine you are speaking to them about your business and make sure to share a specific call to action. 5. Play! Play with your confidence and make sure to stay upbeat and playful with your audience. Express yourself and use body language.

You do not need huge numbers to influence lives. Your live video may be the best thing ONE person has heard all day and they want more! It’s not about the quantity it is about Soul Attraction! And this means consistently putting your content out into the video world and believing that you will attract the right people! I am confident you can become live feed and video savvy just as I have! Join the Camera ON VIP Day Training! If you are lacking the body and image confidence to go live we have a program for you. Register for a VIP day with me and I will personally take you through my inner process of breaking through the confidence barriers! You will emerge successfully turning that camera ON with powerful movement, expression and messaging!







What is the essence of confidence? What makes a woman truly confident in herself and comfortable in her own skin? Does confidence come from having a healthy and fit body? Does it come from wearing a pretty dress, or having the perfect man? Does confidence spring from our career and our success? Sure, all of these variables can make you feel confident, but ever-changing variable do not make us truly confident. They just provide a temporary feeling, one that is wiped away as soon as we step on the scale after an all-inclusive vacation, our dress no longer fits, a man loses interest in us, or we do not achieve that promotion we were hoping for. So, i’ll ask you again… what is it that makes a woman truly confident in herself? Confidence stems from embracing one’s identity. The problem is that many of us try finding our identity in things like our bodies, our status, our style, our relationships, our titles, and the money that we make. Unfortunately, all of these factors that women build their identity on can disappear just as quickly as they appeared, or as 2020 taught us, even quicker. When we build our lives, our identity, and our confidence on things that can change, it is like building a house on sand. When the flood of life’s challenges comes, the house will be washed away, along with our confidence. Then what are we left with? We are left with a state

of confusion about who we are, what we are worth, and why we are here. We have a lost identity, a broken heart, and a troubled mind. How then, can we not just feel temporarily confident, but truly

embrace confidence? We need to build our identity on the only thing that doesn’t change, the one thing that has NEVER changed. We need to build our house on The Rock! The Rock? Yes girl, The Rock, Jesus Christ! We need to place our identity in Christ alone! Assume your position and embrace your identity as a daughter of The Risen King. Act like the mighty warrior, child of God that you are,

and fix your crown! It is only then, that you embody the essence of confidence. Yes, Fit to Reign is about pageant coaching, personal training, makeup, self-development, and modeling! But before all of that, Fit to Reign is about knowing your worth as a QUEEN because Jesus Christ is your King! Fit to Reign was built on a firm foundation, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. Fit to Reign’s main goal is helping women see that their value doesn’t come from this world. A woman’s value does not decrease based on the world’s inability to see her worth! A woman is valuable because she was beautifully, wonderfully, and fearfully made by The Creator of the universe. Fit to Reign helps you pursue your purpose and reach your full potential as a warrior for Christ! Do you want to learn more about your true identity, and the gifts God has given you? Do you feel Jesus calling you home to His heart? Would you like to dive deeper in your relationship with Christ, and your understanding of who you are in Christ, while building friendships with faith filled, empowering women? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022








{ FIT TO REIGN } “A woman is valuable because she was beautifully, wonderfully, and fearfully made by The Creator of the universe.”

your relationship with Christ, and your understanding of who you are in Christ, while building friendships with faith filled, empowering women? Do you want to know more about what it means to be Fit to Reign? Do you have an hour per week to spare? Monday nights from 6:30-7:30 pm EST via google meets, a group of God-fearing women come together 172


in faith and friendship. During this time in our world it is so important that we enjoy fellowship and grow in relationship with each other, and with God. This is open to all women, everywhere. Our hope is to strengthen the body of Christ and grow to be more like Him! If you have any questions, or would like to join, please email!

“But as for me and my household (Fit to Reign Family), we will serve the Lord.” - Joshua 24:15 (NIV)


Are You HUSTLIN In Your Business?


Calling All Women Entrepreneurs


Female Entrepreneurs & Lady Bosses












GOAL DIGGER. One who utilizes ambition and persistence toward a particular achievement and won’t stop until the desired outcome is attained Well this truly defines our latest She Hustles Talks cover woman Nina Purhenn. Recently we had the pleasure to sit down with Nina and talk about her goals, where her journey is taking her, plans for hustling in the future and more. She Hustles even got to enjoy Nina perform on stage at the December Catwalk for Kidneys fashion show where she launched her clothing line Goalline Lifestyle, and gave the audience an epic performance of her spoken word poetry.

spending time with her and my other family members and friends as much as possible. What makes you hustle? Besides wanting to be a good role model for my daughter, I feel passionate about

What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business woman? I think its important to be a good listener, to always continue learning, to be goaldriven and accountable. My faith in God is also a huge part of my life and Is definitely a main contributor to my success as a businesswoman. I also think it’s super important to be authentic. I live the lifestyle that my business represents.

Let us introduce you to a woman with goals...Nina Purhenn. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Who is Nina Purhenn? I’ve lived in Syracuse most of my life but I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am the owner and operator of my business, The GoalLine. I’m a certified Personal Trainer and Goal Coach. I teach group fitness and Zumba as well. Outside of the gym and personal training, I’m a motivational speaker and spoken word artist. I enjoy working on my goal-orientated clothing line. I’m also a mom to my beautiful 16-year-old daughter, Amaree. I love 180


did you start the business? The GoalLine Mission is all about Pushing Positivity with Purpose and Passion through Motivational Collaborations, Fitness and Fashion. The focus is really just that positive lifestyle brand. I started my business after being inspired during a church service.

What is the mission behind your business model? I shared my mission statement above which pretty much sums it all up, Pushing Positivity with Purpose and Passion through Motivational Collaborations, Fitness and Fashion!

motivating people towards their goals and healthier lifestyles. I believe it’s part of my purpose in life. What is Goal Line Lifestyle and how

The bottom line to me is all about pushing the positive, productive, and motivational lifestyle and encouraging others to get their personal goals and to be the best version of themselves. I don’t want people to just look good but I actually want them to feel good too, and that





{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I think its important to be a good listener, to always continue learning, to be goal-driven and accountable.”

too, and that starts from the inside out. If you could interview one person who has inspired you, who would it be and what would you ask them? I would be honored and probably a little bit scared but my interview choice would be with God. I’d ask him for advice on the current circumstances in life, I would ask what he thought I was doing good, what I could be doing better, and what his idea of my best looked like for him. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your services, especially during 2021? Definitely helped. That’s how my business grew when I first started far before 2021. Social media still plays a huge role for business development and marketing, especially in light of all the virtual connections needed during the covid-19 pandemic. How do you juggle the fast-paced life of being a female entrepreneur and having a personal life? I have to schedule everything on my calendar! I mean everything, both professional and personal tasks. Sometimes I’ll have 4-5 clients in a day for coaching and then a spoken word event in the evening, in between family, friends, calls, cancellations, orders to fulfill, social media marketing, messages, my daughter, her jobs, school functions, volleyball, etc. If it’s not written in on my calendar then it’s not a priority and it won’t be getting done! What challenges have you faced since

you started your business and how have you overcome them? Early on, I definitely feel like I wasted a lot of time, energy, and money by attempting to complete business endeavors alone and without proper plans. There was a lot of trial and error and I think that’s to be expected at least a little bit. I would encourage new entrepreneurs to work with a business counselor and take some entrepreneur business classes to properly prepare. Besides that, I look at any challenge or setback as an opportunity to learn. Never let anything keep you down for too long, you live, you learn and you move on! What motivates you and keeps you moving forward? I’m definitely motivated by my faith and what I believe my purpose in life is. I know God has blessed me with certain talents and gifts and that my time on earth is limited, I don’t ever want to take that for granted. Did anyone ever prepare you, or encourage you to move ahead in business? What about in the fashion world? My mom, Deborah has always been a huge influence and inspiration to me. From as early as I can remember, my mom has always had her own business and she has always incorporated me into many different aspects of her company operations. Certainly, she was preparing me for my own business but I didn’t know that then. Currently, she owns and operates Nutrition Power; ‘A

Health Enhancement Retail Shop’, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She continues to encourage my entrepreneurship, she comes to every performance possible, the GoalLine apparel is also featured in her shop and you will often find her rocking the line as well. Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years? My short and long-term goals revolve around faith, family, and fulfilling more goals. I’d like to have my own studio for fitness classes, personal training, and the GoalLine Motivational Collaborations. The GoalLine vision is about bringing a diversity of culture, color, community, competencies, young, old, and everyone in between, we want to exemplify positive, motivational collaborations and not the need to compete. The GoalLine has a particular ambition to help underprivileged and misguided youth, along with veterans, adults, and seniors who suffer from mental health and have limited community resources available to assist with their success in life. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female business leader? Naturally, there are benefits in regards to being a woman-owned or minority business such as training and educational programs. Also, the access to opportunities within government or federal contracts due to your specific business qualifications and/ or their standards of minimal spending requirements. However, for the most part; I think pros and cons can go hand in hand. As a leader, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022





{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “The bottom line to me is all about pushing the positive, productive, and motivational lifestyle and encouraging others to get their personal goals and to be the best version of themselves.”

unfortunately, the same reason that some people look up to you will be the same reason that other people try to pull you down. My personal approach is to always stay true to you, regardless of the negative or positive, if it doesn’t apply, let it fly. Do you have any helpful advice to someone just starting their career? Any tips that helped you along the way? Yes, set SMART goals! This is always part of my educational piece when I do my motivational speaking or spoken word poetry, especially with the youth groups or young adults. Follow the SMART goal template (with some NinaP additions) S=Set goals that are very Specific, M= Let it be Measurable, what are the Metrics and Milestones you need to Meet, A= how will you Achieve this goal, do you have the Assets and/or Abilities you need to Accomplish this goal, if not how do you plan to Attain them, R= is this goal Realistic and Relevant, does it Relate to your overall success, T=is it Timely and True, You need to have a Time period, is there a deadline, do you have a beginning and an end, is this goal still True to you and for the vision you pursued? This template helps guide my personal Goal Plan on the daily !

What prepared you to be where you are today? This is kind of a loaded question for me, my circumstances in life and the choices I’ve made, both good and

with knowledge and the resources that we think will help us be prepared, but I’m not sure if we can ever truly prepare for experiences we’ve never really had. If you needed to start it all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing to change, add or subtract, what would it be and why? This is a tough one too, my first thoughts are that I wouldn’t change anything, even through all the trials and tribulations, I’m so grateful for where I am today, BUT if I had to choose something, I would slow myself down and be more present and mindful in all of my moments.

bad have ultimately led me to this moment, I think we can envision and imagine our reality prior to any actualization, I believe we can take all the necessary steps to equip ourselves

What makes you an expert in understanding the needs of your audience? I don’t know if I would call myself an expert but I would call myself experienced and evolutionized. I think it’s essential that my audience can relate to me, and that I can relate to them. I think goals are very relatable because we all have them but we all come from different foundations and formulations, we can have similar backgrounds but come from different generations; At the end of the day, if our goals can mutually collaborate for the betterment of our families or for our communities sake, then that’s the need I want to entertain. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


“The GoalLine Mission is all about Pushing Positivity with Purpose and Passion through Motivational Collaborations, Fitness and Fashion.”

{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “I don’t want people to just look good but I actually want them to feel good too, and that starts from the inside out.”

Where did you come up with the tagline “Goal Digger”? After listening to my pastor at the time, the message was very strong about our personal goals in life and how they might coincide with the world. It was a few years after Kanye West had the gold digger song, and after my church service, a thought just came into my mind about Goal Digger. I went and got a black hat made with big gold letters spelling Goal Digger across the front and wore it everywhere. At the same time, I was composing my thoughts about goals, just as a personal form of expressing my feelings based upon the message I heard at church. I never really shared poetry before, I never even really wrote poetry, except like little grade school things, it was always just thoughts that I put together in my mind over a period of time, that was basically the birth of the GoalLine and the GoalLine poetry Anthem. Name one defining moment in your career that was your ah ha moment. There are so many defining moments for me, actually, this alone is one. I have so many experiences where I’m just so humbled and honored that so many people have invited me to share my line, my story, my positions, my passions, it always feels so inspiring. It’s always a blessing and I’m so grateful for each opportunity. Tell us about one moment in your life that has had a lasting impression on you and formed who you are today. My life has been full of lasting impressions but I’d have to say that 190


the most impressionable experience was being pregnant and giving birth to my daughter. I was pregnant at 21 and had her at 22. Before she was born or even conceived my path in life was less than productive, I lacked value and respect for myself and for others, I had no compassion or empathy, I was full of anger and resentment. Honestly, I was just a lost and misguided young lady at that point in time, but thank God, something changed inside of me when I knew I needed to be a mom, I knew I needed to teach my daughter better than I was and I committed to that more than I had committed to anything before. My life dramatically changed from that point forward. What do you attribute your success to? The love I have for my daughter, the love I have for God, the love I have for myself on top of my ambition, persistence, dedication, commitment, perseverance, and determination for a passion and purpose that expands beyond my personal expectations. Tell our audience one thing about yourself that not many others know. Often times people perceive me as a strong, confident motivational leader, which I would agree with most of the time, but what people don’t know or see is that I do a lot by myself without help and thats not always easy. From the outside looking in, people see the finished product not fully realizing what it might have taken to get there. Don’t forget about your

strong friends, sometimes motivators need motivating too :) Where will we see Nina Purhenn next? February 5th, I’ll be making my debut in Atlanta! An entrepreneur friend recently started her own business there and I’m thrilled to be assisting in her launch event. We recently finished our first 30-day GoalLine Healthy Habits Fitness Challenge. We had 12 people sign up and I’ve been so inspired as a coach. I can’t even fully explain how their determination and success in the daily challenges have filled my heart with so much joy. I’m excited to see who will the cash prizes, they all definitely deserve it. We’ll be starting another challenge soon for the new year, be sure to reach out on one of the links below for registration info! Stay up to date with me and all the other GoalLine events on social media or check out our website with new merch coming soon! GoalLineLifestyle. com FB: Nina Purhenn FB: GoalLine IG: GoalLineLifestyle







{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “ I would encourage new entrepreneurs to work with a business counselor and take some entrepreneur business classes to properly prepare.”








Who is Chandra M? Chandra is passionate, driven, an a team player. Some say I’m funny, but hey, I may be lol. I am blessed, and a strong believer in God. I’m a lady who likes to see what is next in-store. I love to see everyone succeed. I am a mother to a beautiful little boy, whom I love immensely. I have a strong partner that supports me in everything I do. I am very caring, and always have an open ear. I am not judgmental, because I know we all have our own life to live. I enjoy life and thank God for it every morning that I wake. When did you first start your own business and what made you decide to become a lady boss? I have assisted others with their fashion shows for 12 years ranging from modeling to creative design. Prior to the Pandemic, my brother spoke at our church on Scholarship Sunday to inspire the youth to live out their dream. He didn’t realize it, but his message was an inspiration to me. I could never put a solid reason on why I never wanted to venture out on my own. In his message, points were said: 1) We don’t have to be perfect to accomplish great things 2) Don’t ever let your own insecurities hold you back 3) His ending was even a broken crayon can still draw the most beautiful picture.

At that moment I realized that I had been holding myself back and decided to jump into action with all my thoughts and dreams. I’m not sure about the word boss, it is a quality of mind to handle business because I enjoy accomplishing my goals. As far as the term boss lady, I sometimes feel that we should retire

putting lady in front of things because it could minimize the work in some people’s eyes. At the current time in 2022, I’m not sure if we need those qualifiers anymore. If someone is a boss, just let them be recognized as a boss. As for me and my business, like many fledgling entrepreneurs, I’m still in the beginning stages and am very honored that people see me as a boss/lady boss, at

all. I am a leader that takes charge and does know how to handle my business. What makes you hustle? Hands Down my family. I come from a family of entrepreneurs for the last three generations. Back in the day, it was my forefathers that farmed. Most recently, I have seen my parents’ generation succeed in real estate and the auto industry. In every instance, their drive is to provide for their children and encourage them to become successful. Now that I am a mother, I want the same for my son and he is my drive to succeed or maintain success. How do you balance being a successful woman entrepreneur, a personal life, and having a 3 year old son. It is said that, “you make time for what you want/enjoy” so it helps that I love my work and my passion is my work. It also helps that I have a loving partner who shares my ambitions and equally wants to see me succeed. Often her passion and my work intersects so that helps, as well. I think that like many, my personal life is taking a bit of a back seat due to the pandemic. On the other hand, it has provided me more time to focus on my son and give him the solid foundation that is so critical right now. My mind is like a calendar, and I am always thinking of what I need to accomplish next to having everything in place. I place my son first, even if that means staying up late to accomplish the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022






“It is said that, “you make time for what you want/enjoy” so it helps that I love my work and my passion is my work. It also helps that I have a loving partner who shares my ambitions and equally wants to see me succeed.”






SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “I grew up hearing the mantra that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail, so I always value having a good business plan for anything you do.”

the tasks I need to complete. Honestly, I have spent more time with my family during this period and thank them for all their love and support, they are a key support structure that helps me remain balanced. My biggest challenge over the past 5 years. What was your biggest success? Ohh, there have been many challenges along the way. I think my first fashion show was my biggest challenge and successful, at the same time. I decided to host a fashion show as a big Kick Off of the “Be Unleashed” line right before Valentine’s Day in February 2020. The fashion show was a culmination of all my past work into one big grand entry into the Rochester fashion scene, launching “Be Unleashed” and had more moving pieces than I think I realized when I first start planning it. It’s one thing to assist a scene in someone else’s fashion show, but to be responsible for the set design, choreography, picking the right designers, keeping your models happy, advertising to the public, and let’s not forget finding the fabrics and crafting the designs for your own collection, which is why I started this in the first place. I could go on, but as much as it was a challenge, it was a huge success. First, the audience was amazing, the fashion show sold out and we had to bring in additional seating at the last moment. As stressful as that was, I was so excited to see the crowd for my first

fashion show. It was truly a success in every area. I worked with top-notch designers and their collections were astonishing. Everyone was happy and easy to collaborate with. My models were stunning, hair and make-up were on point. Things worked out like miracles with the fit for every model. At the end, the audience and participants begged me to do another fashion show, next year and how everyone needed this right before Valentine’s Day.

What do you think makes a successful business woman? I grew up hearing the mantra that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail, so I always value having a good business plan for anything you do. A plan will always keep on track and make sure you are working toward your expectations. You also need to have clear and considerate communication. I grew up working various retail and customer service jobs and learned early the value of clear communication and how important it is to treat others with respect. I think many would benefit from working a service counter for a season. What tips do you have for other women who would like to start their own business? My first tip is to always remember you represent your brand.

Imagine how disappointed I was in 2021, as the pandemic was still such a factor in our lives and made it impossible for us to deliver another fantastic show. Now here we are in the present and I am planning to return with a fashion show this February and dealing with supply chain issues and difficulties finding exotic fabrics but that’s another story but I’m working it out!

You have to push your sales, have confidence in your business. When the business started, you had a plan, it is always good to go back and check it. There are many different learning opportunities out here, may it be a friend, may it be off the internet, use it. You may wonder if you will fail but you will never know unless you try, so believe in yourself and your business. When you have a business, you must know how to talk to people. I always say that everyone should work a customer service job so they have a better understanding what ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My first tip is to always remember you represent your brand. You have to push your sales, and have confidence in your business. ”

is behind the business scene. I believe in networking, have the ability to sell, and except criticism. Lastly, have patience, we learn every day! What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? Hmmmm, what is my favorite thing to do in my free time? Well, it all depends on how much time I have lol. I love watching life stories, watching things on YouTube, look at different fashion. Now if we really have time, my family and I are hitting the road. Something about that car ride and sightseeing that just relaxes me. But honestly, I can just sit at home and be with my family and do little crafts, paint, color, read with my son. My dream was to me a mom and that dream came true! What impact do I want to have with both fashion and for plus sized women? The impact that I would want to have with both fashion and plus sized women would be to be free, don’t be scared to break the rules but you have to make it look good and work all fashion needs a bit of sass when dealing with me. Everything should be a little sexy, a little daring. When I style people, I try to pull out their inner kitten because we all have one. They all know I like it classy but just a tad sassy. My plus size ladies make it work, you just need to have the confidence to do it. 204


Don’t be afraid. I spent too many years being behind the scene now I just walk in the room. Who is my biggest influence and why? My biggest influence would be my family, my mom and dad. These two right here are my world, they have shown

Who inspires me are the people with the drive to get things done. I do not have one specific person. I just love fashion and doing choreography so if I can have any part of that, I’m in. I watch stories of stars or singers, and videos and just think ok now let’s put this into the works of fashion. If I could pick anything from my line, it would be a black robe because you just never know what I will have under there!! What is the most important piece of information someone has told you along your journey. I was apart of a fashion show a few years ago and when the show ended, I was told to stop being a part of a show and have your own, that my scenes are the show. I thought to myself wow, oh ok, well thank you so much and here we are with our third annual fashion show. Where will you see me next? Where will you see me next, my 3rd annual fashion show: Welcome To The Secret Garden, is February 6th, 2022. i also have a surprise coming in the beginning of April, so be on the lookout for UNLEASHED! Visit B Unleashed at 215 Tremont St, Door 3 Suite 102 in Rochester, NY.

my brother and I what it means to have great work ethics and what a family really is about, they always pushed us to do our best in which they still do! Who inspires you?









Tell us about yourself and Blaque Out Magazine. I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. I started an urban Public Relations, Media Management and Event Planning firm called ROC Candy Media in 2012 to help Black and Brown small businesses and creators bring what they do to the world. I worked in Non-Profit and went on to work with Urban Youth for the City of Rochester and PR work for the Commissioner of DRYS. During that time Adrian Elim invited me to join the team creating Rochester Black Pride. Through my work with Black Pride I was asked to be a Director at Out Alliance and assist in diversifying the agency so it was reflective of the entire LGBTQ+ community of Rochester. I learned so much through that process of introducing the concepts of Intersectionality to the agency and their magazine, Empty Closet. When the agency shuttered early in the pandemic I went on to doing the same kind of work locally and nationally as a consultant while getting very involved in the activist community in Rochester that was speaking out about police violence and injustice. BlaqueOUT Consulting goes into businesses, organizations, and schools to teach about creating QTPOC safe spaces, Intersectionality, microaggression, use of pronouns and understanding the BIPOC and Queer experience. I also started BlaqueOUT Magazine, a monthly digital publication that firmly centers the Black and Brown Queer experience ( It

features Black and Brown Queer artists, writers, photographers, entreprenuers and activists. Besides that, I’m a mom of two boys, Zaire and Zayden and two dogs, Deuce and Zora. What made you decide to start publishing a magazine and what is the focus of the publication? The Empty Closet was the longest running and continuously published LGBTQ+ focused periodical in the United States. In my role at Out Alliance I became the editor, sadly the last editor,

over 50 years. It was an important document for the LGBTQ+ community across the country but sadly, it was never diverse. There were very few Queer Black & Brown or Trans people ever featured. Much of my work on the EC was working to change that. When the agency closed and the magazine stopped being published many people inquired as to whether I might start another magazine. It seemed big and impossible but eventually I decided to see if it was feasible. We published the

first magazine September of 2020. It is monthly and digital and this time it features and uplifts all things Black and Queer. We hope it provides a stage for a community of amazing and talented folks who very much deserve it. What makes you hustle? I think it’s who I am. One, I want my sons to know they can achieve absolutely anything they put their minds to. But it’s also who I am. All the work I do is around advocacy, activism and education. It’s creating space in a world that often doesn’t make space. Seems more of an obligation to fight that fight than a choice. That is the heart of my hustle. Who is one person that inspires you and why? Brittan Hardgers. He is a local activist, educator, and he recently ran for City Council in Rochester. He started an organization called Next Generation Men of Transition. He recently published a journal. He is one of the most important people in my life and he constantly inspires me. He pushes me to see the greatness in me and to never give up on myself. He is my biggest cheerleader and I am constantly inspired by his strength, courage and drive. He has given up everything to find himself and allows nothing to get in the way of that. When I’m out here fighting and advocating, its for me, its for my kids, it’s for him. For his right to exist and I can’t give up on me because I’ll never give on him. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “The mission of BlaqueOUT is to provide a voice for the Black and Brown Queer community. BlaqueOUT comes from Black- spelled with a Q for Queer and OUT to represent the LGBTQ+ community.”

What is the mission behind Blaque Out and how did you come up with the name? The mission of BlaqueOUT is to provide a voice for the Black and Brown Queer community. BlaqueOUT comes from Black- spelled with a Q for Queer and OUT to represent the LGBTQ+ community. What does being a female entrepreneur, specifically a female in the publishing industry mean to you? Honestly of all of my intersecting identities, the woman part gets the least of my attention. I think women are the powerhouses in almost every industry right now. We are holding our own. So I use my priviledge there to empower Black and Queer folks to make sure their/our voices are heard. What is one thing you have done that you are most proud of? I am extremely proud of the magazine. To watch how its grown and watching the readers get excited about it means so much to me. Probably the things I’m most proud of are my work around activism. Speaking in front of crowds of thousands in pursuit of justice and equity, working with the families and friends of murdered Trans folks to bring visibility is truly my life’s work and I am so so proud of that work. What have you found to be the most successful tool in marketing Blaque Out? Really just finding different ways to 212


connect with our audience. It is a big world and finding our way to the folks who need us most is challenging. But we continue to share our content, and feature people from all around the country so that they can share Blaque/ OUT within their communities. What are a few of the challenges your have faced since starting the magazine and how have you overcome them? All of our articles are submission based

so without a huge budget, finding folks to contribute and stay engaged can be tough. But we have a core group of amazing and incredibly talented contributors that are truly the heart and soul of the magazine. They keep us going and make each issue special. What is the most difficult thing about being a female entrepreneur? I think probably being a Mom. There are only so many hours in the day and so much of you to go around.

Dream chasing is an ideal but when you have people depending on you and responsibilities, it changes the game and how you can move. It’s a constant pursuit in finding the balance. Not working 24hrs a day to be successful, providing for your children, actually being able to spend time with them and saving little pieces for yourself... and sleeping occasionally. What would you say truly excites you about what you do and provide to others that encourages you to keep moving forward? I think that I’m doing work that very very few other people are doing. This fight for the Black, Queer community is revolutionary, its awe-inspiring, its people and a people that I love and has loved me through my toughest times. Seeing the change I have been able to effect and the people who come up and tell me about how they heard something I said or read something I wrote is so humbling and absolutely pushes me to keep going. Where do you see your business growing in the future? I hope eventually the magazine will transition to print and subscription. I hope to one day be considered an expert in my field so that I’m called upon to speak about LGBTQ+ and QTPOC issues on a national scale. What were the things that surprised you most since starting your business?







{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “I started an urban Public Relations, Media Management and Event Planning firm called ROC Candy Media in 2012 to help Black and Brown small businesses and creators bring what they do to the world.”

I think I’m always surprised that people are actually paying attention. I’ve had people I’ve never met say that they heard me speak or that I’ve inspired them and it is absolutely insane to me. So humbling. But I’m always shocked. Where did the idea of your business derive from? From the lived experiences of myself and my community. Its needed. We need it.

How has Rochester accepted you and what you bringing to the community? No matter where I am, Rochester will always be my home. I work all over the country now. I’ve gotten the opportunity to live in other places but a lot of my work remains in Rochester and I am so appreciative of that. That my voice is still requested. That folks in need still look to me. That I’m still welcomed to the table. It means everything and that’s why whatever I

do and wherever I am, Rochester will always be a part of that. What are your Business Goals in 2022? Just growth and expansion. I really feel like it’s only the beginning. Each year we get stronger and reach farther. As long as we can keep creating change, the work is never done.








Tell us about yourself and Om Love Love®. I’m a down-to-earth, creative soul who craves learning and is curious about the universe’s secrets. The older I get, the more I feel drawn to science and the unexplained, the vastness of our universe, and ancient people and their cultural practices. A sense of bliss fills me whether I’m enjoying stargazing, dancing, singing, photography, or hiking in nature with my husband and dog, Oliver. Looking for the lessons in every experience reminds me daily to nurture self-growth and allow for and embrace change. I’ve learned how to navigate stressful times with mindfulness and meditation; however, this wasn’t always the case. I was first introduced to yoga and meditation when fulfilling a college physical education requirement in the mid-’90s. I never stuck with the practice but would revisit it sporadically. About 15 years later, a few stressful life events happened, whereby self-hypnosis and meditation came up again. Still, I only practiced on occasion. To rewind a little, I earned a BFA at Syracuse University in Art Photography and spent the last 23 years as a self-employed professional photographer. Over the years, I’ve photographed over 700 weddings, countless portraits, and corporate events, primarily in Central New York. I was born and raised in the Syracuse area, and I knew that photography was the path I would take when I was in my early teens. However, I felt overworked and depleted over the decades, suffering from long

hours and often not understanding how to say no. Compounded with everyday stress, I searched for answers to how I could reignite my passion and release the feeling of being overwhelmed with a self-made career I loved. I thought that doing things and taking time for myself would be considered selfish, so I kept pushing forward to make everyone else happy because the happiness of others was how I would measure the success of

my work. Unfortunately, certain aspects suffered, and deep down, I knew if I didn’t slow down, my body would force change upon me. Allowing those years to pass without focusing on solutions to stress management eventually led me to learn Transcendental Meditation, but not until I had reached my stress limit. I felt somewhat desperate. Desperate for a change. But how? How do you know where to go if you don’t have a

direction to move in? Slowly, I began taking steps towards small acts of self-love. I recognized that I needed a spiritual journey to understand myself, to reveal the direction of travel. Shortly before this spiritual journey revelation, I had gone back to school and earned a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. I knew the PR, social media, and mobile marketing skills were essential to my own business, but I still felt like something was missing upon completion. My degree enabled me to relate to other companies and their photography marketing needs. Additionally, it qualified me to teach college-level photography courses, but with the onset of Covid, teaching positions were significantly reduced. Again, I began to think about what I enjoy doing personally and enrolled in a few jewelry-making classes, but I still couldn’t quite see a path towards feeling more grounded. Then it happened. Just like when I was young taking photography classes and knew I wanted to be a photographer, I learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) and knew I wanted to teach meditation. I instantly and instinctively knew that meditation was a new beginning. Meditating felt blissful, grounding, and most of all, it was an opportunity for me to make time for myself every day. Although teaching the TM practice wasn’t a possibility with the extensive required training occurring overseas, I felt deep down, somehow, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


“Input from others is essential, yes. However, approval is not and should never be one’s driving motivation. Trusting myself gives me the confidence to create and share without needing praise or feeling down when there’s criticism. We can learn from everything, which is essential in a growth mindset.”




{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “I’m a down-to-earth, creative soul who craves learning and is curious about the universe’s secrets.”

becoming a meditation teacher would happen. I was confident that I would share this whole-health practice with others searching for and needing a big exhale in life. When I began TM, I was also in the early discovery phase of my new business, Om Love Love®. This business name didn’t exist yet, and I was still exploring what exactly I would be offering. I knew it had something to do with mindfulness jewelry and possibly meditation and yoga. However, my ideas needed more refining. This new business idea was different and more challenging than opening my photography studio in 1999. My first business had a clear direction and relatively simple services offered. My new company didn’t even have a clear product line yet. About six months after starting a dedicated, twice daily Transcendental Meditation practice, I felt grounded and centered. Creativity was swirling all around and within me, and I learned to trust my intuition. Each day, my vision for my new business became more precise, and then I had the confidence to enroll in Yoga Teacher Training and the first level of Reiki. I learned about crystals and their vibrational frequencies, singing bowl sound therapy, and Ayurvedic practices. I finally felt at home and felt a sense of peace. I refined the products and designs for my company to include a variety of bracelet collections with accompanying crystal property cards that could assist others in mindfulness practices. I also designed and made artsy necklaces that incorporated the elements of the cosmos. Then, I began working with professional illustrators to create unique graphics. I started designing an eight-card set to help manifest intentions

with the power of the moon phases. That led to other custom moon wall art and a Positive Love Mantras art series. Every decision I made followed a theme: love and the magic of the cosmos. To me, the cosmos visually represents the Om portion of the brand with its magical and abundant characteristics. But Om Love Love® is more than a pretty jewelry and art product line. It’s about inviting you to welcome in a whole-health approach to life. On Instagram and Facebook, I reinforce the importance of self-love, write inspirational quotes, and share tips on mindfulness practices and how you can incorporate that into your daily life. Currently, I’m working towards finishing my Instinctive Meditation Teacher Training with Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine, and I’ll be returning to Yoga Farm Ithaca in February to begin the advanced Yoga Teacher Training. This training focuses on Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga, QiGong, Kundalini Practices, Breathwork, and Meditation. Soon, I’ll be offering one-on-one and groupguided meditations to assist others in reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. What made you decide to open your own business and become a female entrepreneur? I always knew that I wanted to own a business, even as a child. Thinking back to being five or six years old, I had a female entrepreneur role model, and I bet she still doesn’t even know it. I recognized that my dance teacher was doing something different than other people. She didn’t work 9-5, it seemed like she had freedom, and I wanted to be like her. As I got older and graduated from college, I knew professional photography

was my path, but I accepted a job as a photo lab manager. I took the job because it seemed like the best way to pay off student loans, and there was an unknown, kind of scary element in entrepreneurship. The management position had health benefits and the Monday through Friday schedule. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a set schedule. There are many times when I wish I had something predictable with health and retirement benefits. But this doesn’t work with my spirit. I move to the beat of my own drum and need to create when the time calls. Less than a year after taking that job, I decided to take the leap and enter the world of entrepreneurship. I opened a photography studio and still, today, continue to work for a few select clients. Now, I’m continuing my journey as a female entrepreneur and am taking another leap of faith. As a small business owner, you have to be good at your craft and the numerous tasks behind the scenes. Over the last 23 years, I learned that I’m good at running my own business and the required attention to detail. This time I’ll be able to implement one key factor I didn’t have in my tool belt when I was a younger entrepreneur, experience. What makes you hustle? What makes me hustle is the need to create a place for myself that allows me to do something different every day. The type of work I’m drawn to and succeed in doesn’t let me do a typical routine day in and day out. I thrive when I’m going with the flow of creativity and need the flexibility of entrepreneurship. That’s what fuels my spirit. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022





HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “Creativity was swirling all around and within me, and I learned to trust my intuition.”

How did you come up with your business name? I hadn’t thought of any possible names for the business, and it wasn’t even on my to-do list. I was still building the foundation for the company. Little did I know; the business name and logo would become the foundation and beacon for everything to come. One morning, during meditation, the name “Om Life” came to mind, and it almost stopped me in my practice because it felt so strong. I waited until I was done meditating and searched online to see if the name was available. It wasn’t. So, I started questioning myself and shrugging off the idea, thinking it was just another thought during meditation. Then I immediately reminded myself to trust my intuition. Just because there’s a wall doesn’t mean you can’t create a doorway. I called one of my closest friends, who is also an entrepreneur, to work through the creative process. We’ve known each other for more than a decade, and she had asked me to help her with a creative project she was working on just the night before. I believe that when we can reveal our most authentic desires and inner feelings with someone we trust, truth and beauty reveal themselves. And it did. I knew she would help me open the door as I helped her the night before. So, we talked, and as we did, I searched online for availability for websites. We only searched for two. When “Om Love” was taken, we moved on to “Om Love Love.” At first, I wasn’t sure about the second love, and she said, it’s all about love! I’ll never forget that.

Soon after, I started asking myself, what does “Om Love Love” mean? Why those words. Two loves? Sounds a little odd, no? Maybe intriguing? Then the lightbulb began to shine bright like the sun. The meaning started to reveal itself to me as if I had planned it all along and it felt like a part of my being, encompassing everything I wanted it to be. As I thought about each word and what it meant to me, this is what I felt—a sense of embracing the sacred mantra Om with the utmost respect to its derived culture. Om is the very seed of creation, the all-encompassing cosmic vibration of the universe. It’s the vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature that connects you with your inner sense of understanding and unifies you with one-ness. I chose to use this mantra to acknowledge our powerful connection to all of creation. The first love represents loving ourselves. It allows us to practice self-care, set healthy boundaries with others, follow our dreams, and feel proud of who we are. It’s accepting our strengths as well as our weaknesses. It’s about selfcompassion and self-acceptance despite imperfections. Also, we can only give love to another as much as we show love to ourselves. And lastly, the second love represents the need to share love with others. Love is part of who we all are, and sharing love has a ripple effect, increasing joy and feelings of positivity. Love raises the planet’s vibration, and just a small act of kindness can change a person’s day. What is the mission behind Om Love Love®? To raise the overall vibration of the planet

through the improvement of individual whole-health practices, which can be supplemented by universe-inspired custom products. I’ve written and created cards to be included with mindfulness jewelry that explains the vibrational properties of each crystal. On the back of every card, you’ll read the complete mission of Om Love Love®. “You have the power to influence the vibrations of those around you and of the world, so live your best life and nourish your soul with love, mindfulness, and positivity. Allow your unique happy vibes to radiate outwardly as a beacon for others. At Om Love Love®, we embrace OM, the vibration found throughout everything in the Universe; it is within and connects us all. We all must LOVE ourselves with compassion and acceptance and actively LOVE others without expectation or reward.” What is your background and how did it lead you to this type of business model? My background and life experience are just like everyone else’s; It’s called stress. I am also a firm believer in the old saying, “with age comes wisdom.” After decades of adulthood, I decided that I didn’t want stress ravaging my mind and body any longer. I also knew I wanted to help others with this dark cloud that impacts so many of us, so I enrolled in professional training to help guide others in meditation, mindfulness, gentle yoga, and whole-health practices. Who is your ideal client? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I believe that when we can reveal our most authentic desires and inner feelings with someone we trust, truth and beauty reveal themselves.”

Anyone searching for whole-health practices to reduce stress and improve the overall human experience. However, I’ve found that my jewelry, art, cards, and scarves are enjoyed by crystal lovers, fashion enthusiasts, yoga teachers and practitioners, and anyone who loves celestial themes, especially the moon and stars. What service/product is your favorite and why? It’s hard to narrow down one favorite product because I love them all. But if I had to choose one, it’s the crystal gemstone bracelets. Regardless of the primary crystal gemstone used, every bracelet includes a rose quartz crystal in the design as a reminder to love yourself and others. Each bracelet also comes with a card describing the crystal properties that can, for example, enhance your intuition, clear negative energy, or even improve clarity. The bracelets are beautiful for fashion purposes while also serving as an easy mindfulness tool because they are readily visible. When you catch a glimpse of the bracelet or if you’re feeling stressed, you can take a moment and pause, deeply inhale and exhale, centering yourself in the present moment, and remind yourself of the intention you’ve set for yourself. This reminder is similar to the apps on electronic devices sending reminders to breathe; however, crystals allow us to go deeper and connect us with the earth. When I need a moment to center myself, I like to place my hand on the crystal bracelet and breathe mindfully. I find it profoundly grounding. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? 228


Networking and relationships have been the best for me to date. Creating professional and personal relationships and having conversations with others is the most important avenue for marketing my business. Ultimately, I wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for all of you. Yes, social media is a successful avenue because that’s where people communicate. However, social media is all about relationships. Many business owners have seen my feed and discovered what I offer, which has led us to collaborate. I do still, however, enjoy face-to-face conversations as well. I love doing pop-up events where I can talk with others and hear about their experiences, their stories, what they need, want, and enjoy in life. These events also provide me the opportunity to introduce people to the world of whole-health practices and the products I sell that help support improved overall health for the body and mind. What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? One main challenge I faced was creating everything for the new business. When I say everything, I mean everything; from website design and copy to product designs, production, photography, designing advertising materials, writing the information for bracelet cards, and so on. Also, if you know me, you know that I am very meticulous about my work. Other challenges I faced this past year during the development phase have been timeline constrictions when working with other vendors. My custom proprietary jewelry tag alone took almost one year to complete from start to finish. I would create bracelet concepts and then wait

to move forward because I didn’t have the final tag component. Being a visual artist, I needed to see how all parts worked together to know if it was the look I wanted. Another challenge I faced was receiving samples of wall art and then needing more time for revisions and re-orders. Lastly, launching a business when the world is going through a worldwide pandemic was especially difficult because it placed restrictions on social gatherings that postponed launch events, which would have been terrific for networking. What do you do for motivation? I envision the life I want to live, at multiple levels. It may not sound like much, but it’s a powerful motivator for me. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. Wayne Dyer, “You’re only a thought away from changing your life.” We have thousands of thoughts every day. If we pay attention to the kinds of thoughts we are thinking, it could surprise us how negative they can be. So, if I need motivation, I’m even more careful with what I think. Another thing I do for inspiration is to listen to one of my favorite recordings that someone created on YouTube. It’s a compilation of many famous motivational speakers, and there are so many uplifting words spoken that have become words I live by. What would you say truly excites you about what you do and encourages you to keep moving forward? Being able to reinvent myself is a constant reminder that anything is possible, which excites me. I almost felt lost, struggling to find myself through the veil of stress for a while. Looking back, I never could have imagined where I am




“But, Om Love Love® is more than a pretty jewelry and art product line. It’s about inviting you to welcome in a whole-health approach to life.”

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Love is part of who we all are, and sharing love has a ripple effect, increasing joy and feelings of positivity.”

now. I needed just one little step that turned into another—knowing one step at a time works and that I don’t have to have everything figured out at the moment is what keeps me moving forward. I believe that if a person knows they want something and are willing to put in the time and effort, anything is possible. What mantra do you live by? “Every delay is not a denial” -Michael B. Beckwith. My mantras change depending on where I am in the journey of life. Currently, “every delay is not a denial” is my mantra. I heard this a few years ago, and every time I encounter a perceived setback or delay, I remember those words, and I reassure myself that the universe is working for me behind the scenes. Another mantra my friends hear me say is, “remember to breathe” because you’re rebooting and linking the body and mind in the present, living each moment in the now. What is one element of your business that you cannot live without? At its core, my deep passion for the foundational underpinnings of Om Love Love® that I have discussed in detail in earlier questions. If I ask you to merge your business with the idea of empowerment using just one word, what would it be? Within.You can always find the answer “within.”



What would you say are the key skills needed to be a successful female entrepreneur in 2022? Being self-employed is not easy. It’s rewarding but a lot of work. That’s why I started another business of my own because I enjoy it so much. I encourage any woman eager to open their own business to learn about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Talk to others, listen to their stories, and go after your passion. Here are some skills that I find helpful in 2022: • Interpersonal skills and understanding how to communicate with others. • Compassionate listening. • Seek the wisdom of those more experienced. • Not taking things personally and learning from feedback (positive and negative). • Creating your own unique path and breaking the rules or norms when needed. • Ongoing professional development and training. There’s always something to learn. Name one person who has inspired you and why. One specific inspirational person doesn’t come to mind. This question draws me toward thoughts of inspiration that have come from a series of events and numerous people throughout my life. There are trails of breadcrumbs of the people that have inspired me, and it has been simply me at times. There have been many times I’ve had to look within myself to search for inspiration.

What does empowerment mean to you? It means trusting your intuition so much that it gives you the freedom to make decisions without needing approval from others. Input from others is essential, yes. However, approval is not and should never be one’s driving motivation. Trusting myself gives me the confidence to create and share without needing praise or feeling down when there’s criticism. We can learn from everything, which is essential in a growth mindset.









Tell us about yourself and your business, BarBella.. My name is Alyssa Stivers, I am from Geneva, New York. I moved to Florida in 2019 as I was chasing my dreams to live in the sunshine state. When COVID hit I realized I wanted to start my own business because I saw SO many shut down. I also was running out of lipstick so I made a plan to start creating my own lipsticks and try a home based business INCASE where I was working, shut down! I was scared and nervous especially being states away from all my family, so I would Affirm myself, I AM STRONG, I AM CONFIDENT, I AM MOTIVATED, etc, and named my lipsticks after those affirmations! They became a hit, and I expanded as I kept running out of makeup. What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur and open your own business? Every job I worked at; I always went above and beyond and grew quickly to the top. I knew I had a skill set to take control of a business myself where I can choose my own hours and not be overpowered in decision making. My last boss put me in a really bad situation which put me to the point where I never want to work for anyone again. What makes you hustle? Freedom. I want the ability to live a Life By Design. I want to explore the world and show my daughter all the beauty and options there are out in the world. What products and services do you offer? I created a non toxic, vegan makeup brand

that consists currently of Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Eye shadow, Eye Liner, Mascara, Eyebrow cream, Foundation, Powder and Highlighter Spray If you could pick just one product/ service that would be your “must have”, what would it be and why? Lipstick, it makes me feel good, and look good!

I watched the marina grow into an awesome summer hang out with a tiki bar. They once owned a restaurant right on the property. Lake Street Station has a full bar and liquor store, I helped them open that which gave me a taste of being my own boss. It was also so neat to me they had their own construction crew and snow plowing team. To watch them build their empire really inspired me to create a business based on what I’m passionate about! Who has inspired you along the way and why? A lot of it comes from Instagram however, Danny Jelaca is also a big inspiration to me because when I lived in Florida, my friend Roberto, who is a very talented hair dresser worked at Danny’s salon and their lifestyle in the beauty industry is what I am aiming for. Staying up to date with the latest trends and getting my makeup on celebrity/ models/influencers and would love to travel to do makeup. Danny works on a couple of beautiful women I look up to for their confidence, Adrianna Lima and Arianna Grande.

What is your background and how did it lead you to the journey of opening your own business? I grew up on a marina to my entrepreneurial parents who are very successful business owners. I’ve watched them grow their business since, forever! I saw them building their apartment rentals,

A couple instagram influencers such as Giorgina Juanita , HannahLee Marie also inspire me because they’re relatable. They both teach you how to apply products and enhance your make up game. I’ve learned a ton from them. What is the mission behind Barbella? BarBella seeks to create and promote non toxic, vegan, top quality products. We strive to grow our business with the same honesty and integrity we use to craft our products, with A grade and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I want to explore the world and show my daughter all the beauty and options there are out in the world.”

What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? Going to events, pop up vendor spaces and social media! What challenges have you faced starting your business and how have you overcome them? Relocating from Florida to NY. At first it was a challenge because I had my dreams and goals set in place with action being executed to open my own studio in Florida. I was working a job making great money during the day while I worked on my passion at night, until a month went by working at this job and I was assaulted by my boss. I then had to make a BIG change by relocating. I moved back to NY and while the investigation is still going on, I didn’t let that challenge stop me, instead I opened my own studio here in NY. Now when my system is in place, I will be able to open MANY stores around the world, including Florida. What are the current trends in the beauty industry that you feel are ones you can see lasting? For one, Skincare is thriving because people want to glow without wearing makeup. Whereas that being said, they also want the all natural products when they do feel like getting glammed up. Another trend: Mask Friendly makeup is also on the rise. Since masks cover the face from the nose down, this gives eyes, lashes, and brows their time to shine. Products like eyeshadow, brow makeup, eyelashes, concealers, and mascara are coming in handy. 240


BarBellas Liquid lipstick also became a fan favorite since it is less likely to smear. Last but not least: The trend of digital beauty aka Beauty subscriptions, starting a home base biz via makeup - our Become A Bombshell is exactly what you need in this avenue. What would you say truly excites you about what you do? I’m a visionary, I love to manifest! I have a creative talent inside of me, when I see something I love, I tweak it to make it personal and make it a reality. What does the word empowerment mean to you? To me; empowerment means that you have full control over your life. You created a life by design and reached your higher self spiritually. You realize that nothing is happening TO you, it’s all happening FOR you. Therefore, you have a calm aura for your manifestation to become a reality by working for it without letting distractions fog your vision! EMPOWERING LEADERS ON THE RISE! What would you say are the key skills needed to be a successful female business owner? Consistency, taking action, being assertive, stepping outside your comfort zone and being decisive when solving problems. What do you want to achieve next? Facial cleansers and a clothing line. How does it make you feel making

women look and feel beautiful? It makes me feel enlightened! I know deep down that when women have makeup on, whether they like makeup or not, they will become more present and feel more confident around others because they look and feel beautiful. Confidence is key in a lot of situations. Why not boost your confidence with makeup!? Where will we see BarBella next? My 2025 goal is to have a second store open in Florida. Until then, you will see it all over your social media platforms, in the hands of many women who understand that true beauty helps you Look Good and Feel Good but, starts on the INSIDE!



“I would Affirm myself. I AM STRONG, I AM CONFIDENT, I AM MOTIVATED, etc, and named my lipsticks after those affirmations! “










Tell us about yourself and your business Greathouse of Decor. What made you decide to open your own business and become a female entrepreneur? I am originally from this area but within a year of finishing college, I moved to Virginia to follow a teaching job, not knowing my whole life was about to begin. I met my husband 15 years ago when I was a 4th grade teacher and he was my assistant principal. Kind of scandalous, huh?! Our partnership has now turned into a family of 4. I have two daughters, ages 7&3, and a new puppy! About 3 years ago, we made the move back to CNY to raise our girls closer to my family. The plan was for me to stay home for a while to help smooth the transition to a new place and school. When we moved into our new home, it was beautiful, but it needed some serious updating and new color (every wall in the house was the exact same color beige.) At this time, I set up an Instagram account to have friends and family follow along on my redecorating journey. That turned into some local friends asking me to do work on their home, too. I had shared with my closest friends that someday I’d like to start a decorating business as this has always been a passion of mine. However, a few short months later, our world came crashing down when my husband was laid off from his job. Then followed by a global pandemic, I was left scrambling to figure out how I could financially contribute to my family,

while simultaneously feeding my soul with my work. I struggled immensely with the guilt of feeling like I should return to the classroom. It wasn’t until I was reminded one day to take all the guilt and energy I was pouring into not going back to teaching, into this new business venture. I had so much doubt and wondered “who would be redecorating their homes during a pandemic when people are losing

their jobs?” Turns out there are lots of people! After completing a few smaller jobs and fielding more inquiries, my husband and I decided it was time to take the leap. On December 2, 2021, I formed my LLC and Greathouse of Decor was born. It’s been a whirlwind of a year in business, and I couldn’t be more thankful or my heart fuller. I am even more excited that my girls get to be right alongside me for the ride. It gives me so much

pride for them to see Mommy follow her dreams, and hope they do the same someday, too. What makes you hustle? Passion. I know what it feels like to have my professional cup be empty and how that impacted my life in a negative way. Fast forward to today, I am overflowing my professional cup. I am legitimately living my dream. When you get asked that question “what would you do if you could do anything, and money didn’t matter?” THIS. I love taking a space that is in need of new life and creating a transformation with my clients. There is an immense sense of satisfaction seeing something as it is, the potential it has, and then making that happen. Solving problems and creating function for a space that previously wasn’t working also sparks motivation. What does success mean to you? My definition of success has changed and evolved over my professional career. I used to think it was making the most money you could and working hard every day. Today the focus is less on the money, and more on the happiness. While yes, we all need money to survive and pay our bills, it’s no longer the driving factor for me. I have the knowledge and awareness to know fulfillment in my career is more important, and ultimately makes me happier. Success for me also means acknowledging and crediting myself for the hard work I put in. I did this by myself. I own that now!! And this is what makes me show ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022








{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Success for me also means acknowledging and crediting myself for the hard work I put in. I did this by myself. I own that now!!”

up every day, and give it my all, even on the hard days. Or the days I don’t feel like posting on social media. But showing up anyway, every day, on repeat, is how I feel successful and move my business forward. How did you come up with your mission statement, “Where classic design elements, modern aesthetics and functionality meet.” I was trying to hone in on my style and started brainstorming words that fit; my mission statement then naturally came through. I really strive to bring balance to a space by utilizing these elements. It is important for me to create spaces, not only in my own home, but my clients’ as well, that will stand the test of time (classic) while still allowing for current trends and styling to come in (modern aesthetics) and work for the household (function). If a space looks great but isn’t functional or creates obstacles, that hinders a space. My goal is to leave clients with spaces that reflect their personal style while ensuring the seamless flow of classic design elements, modern aesthetics, and function. If you had to pick one service you provide your clients that sets you apart from other decorators, what would that be and why? I don’t know that it is a particular service that sets me apart from other decorators, but rather my range of services. The feedback I’ve received from clients is they appreciate my progressive approach to service options, allowing for more 252


flexibility and customization. Not every space needs an entire overhaul, where sometimes others may take an “all or nothing” approach. While I do plan spaces on major renovation projects (bathroom and kitchen remodels) and only cosmetic updates to others, I also offer digital options for those not local, or interested in a full redesign. I can

also be hired by the hour, meeting at a client’s home, the paint or home decor store for guidance or confirmation on independent projects. There are lots of options to partner with me. Who is your ideal client? My ideal client is excited about getting to work in their home. Redesigning is supposed to be a fun process! It doesn’t

matter to me whether the client knows what they like or don’t like, but just that they are invested in the process. When designing a space for someone, I really try to get to know the client and the home’s dynamics, to meet all the needs of the space. I love when a client shares a funny story about their dog, or kid, or what happened last weekend. A little snapshot into each other’s lives not only builds trust in the partnership but allows me to get to know you better, and ensure I create a space that’s just perfect for you. It is also fun when client’s like to take design risks like bold colors on the wall, or edgy furniture and lighting choices. Bottomline, I love what I do and have fun doing it, and love when my client’s energy matches! Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business especially during the pandemic? I think as any business owner knows, social media is a double-edged sword. It is absolutely needed to promote your business but also extremely time consuming. I can say confidently that I don’t think my business would have gained the same amount of success in the past year, especially during a pandemic, without social media. Social media is extremely helpful in promoting my business because it creates a platform for me to share my work with the world. But that said, I think there are guidelines to help you be successful and have social media help your business grow. The biggest ones I’ve found are ensuring you produce and post quality content and do it CONSISTENTLY. I can’t stress this enough. I feel like social media has




{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “I know what it feels like to have my professional cup be empty and how that impacted my life in a negative way. Fast forward to today, I am overflowing my professional cup.”

worked for me for these reasons but even more so, the latter. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business? The ways I’ve most successfully marketed my business are through local press and word of mouth. I have been very fortunate to have Greathouse of Decor featured 5 different times in print and media this past year. My clients, family and friends are the best! Client referrals mean everything and I am so appreciative for all the love I’ve received already. I think sharing my work consistently on social media with an occasional paid ad helps widen my audience as well. What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? The biggest challenge I’ve faced over the past year has been finding the balance between work and home. When you work from home and have young children, it can be a delicate balance. I have one daughter in elementary school and another daughter who is home with me part of the week. My husband also recently went back to working outside our home for the first time in over a year. For a while it felt like I was trying to work while momming while keeping up with household responsibilities but wasn’t doing any of it to the level I would have liked. It was hard! I knew I needed boundaries for work time and time for my kids and husband. I now try to utilize my daytime hours better when I have coverage to meet with clients, shop, etc. and reserve the afternoon hours when it’s nap time for office work, emails, online shopping for clients. In between those times, I’m making lunch and laughing

with an almost 4-year-old, or getting a growing-too-quickly 7-year-old off the school bus and doing afternoon snacks and dinner prep. I try to be better about not immediately responding to work texts or emails after a certain time and this allows me to be fully present for my family. On the flip side, it also allows me to be on and fully present when I’m working, too. Overall, things feel more balanced. What do you do for encouragement, or to be motivated ? One of the ways I feel motivated is by waking up and getting to my workout class a few mornings a week. I find those days to be the most productive. Showering before the kids wake, styling my hair and putting on some makeup, as silly as it sounds, also motivates me. I also like to browse my favorite home decor stores for pieces of inspiration or move already-owned pieces around in my house just to change it up and keep it fresh. I never decorate the same way twice in my own home. I like the challenge of coming up with something new even if I liked what I had before! What would you say truly excites you about what you do? Seeing the potential a space or home has and bringing that vision to life really excites me. I really love seeing a client’s reaction to their final space once the design is complete. They obviously reached out to me because something wasn’t working for them in their home. Transforming spaces to meet the needs and wants of the client will never get old! Where do you see your business growing in the next year? What about in three years?

In the next year, I see my business growing and expanding into more commercial spaces and large-scale renovation projects. I really enjoy the opportunities where I get to create and make decisions beyond paint, furnishings and fixtures. “Down to the studs” projects are my favorite! I love creating room layouts and making decisions regarding cabinets, flooring, backsplash etc. In three years, I plan to see Greathouse of Decor significantly increasing its workload. I have been so fortunate to gain the success I have thus far, but I am also limited in the workload I take on until my youngest daughter goes to school full-time. While this is a personal choice, it’s one that is important to my family. I cherish the time now where I get to balance both working and having the flexibility for my children, but also look forward to the time I get to take this on full-time! What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an idea to owning your own business? One of the things that surprised me most from just having an idea to owning my own business was how much there is to do to become a legitimate business! Thank goodness I had the guidance of a small business incubator, Thincubator, which offers programming to develop small businesses. I remember the neverending checklists between paperwork for LLC, insurance, bank accounts, website, social media, domain email, I could keep going but you get the idea! I kind of think of the process of childbirth- terrible as you go through it, but you look back with amnesia, forgetting the pain on the other side because you are basking in the glory of

{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Redesigning is supposed to be a fun process! It doesn’t matter to me whether the client knows what they like or don’t like, but just that they are invested in the process.”

your new baby. In this case, my baby is Greathouse of Decor. What is one element of your business that you can not do without? My iPhone! It has everything I need for day-to-day operations on the go. Plus, while I would love to be fancy and always have a photographer with me capturing my work, I have to rely on good old Portrait mode. Being able to photograph, edit and post my work all on my phone is super helpful. If I ask you to merge your design company and empowerment in one word, what would it be? ADAPTABLE- Greathouse of Décor is able to adjust and adapt to any project 256


or client needs. What would you say are the key skills needed to be a successful female entrepreneur in 2022? In my opinion, the key skills needed to be a successful female entrepreneur in 2022 are connections, social media skills, time management and hustle. I think it is so important as a female business owner to connect with other locally female owned businesses. By expanding your network, you never know who you may meet, and how that could help your business grow. Regardless of if there is any relation between our fields, it’s important to support others around you, just as you’d like the support yourself. I have

also gained so many new skills on social media, it’s funny to think a little over a year ago I didn’t even know how to post a story! Where will we see Greathouse of Decor next? I hope to see Greathouse of Decor expand into more commercial work this year. Working the Parade of Homes is another goal of mine! I would love to partner with a local builder to decorate their model home. I plan to continue expanding my residential workload into different areas beyond the greater Syracuse area as well. I’m not sure where all of this will take me, but I am really excited for the ride!





Where classic design elements, modern aesthetics and functionality meet. Services to meet all your design needs- free virtual consultations, in-home consultations, digital recommendations and in-person full redesigns IG/Facebook: @greathouseofdecor 315-430-4734






Tell us about yourself and your cleaning business, Dimensional Services. – I would love too! I personally am just simply a “go-getter” When I want to achieve something, like most women, NOTHING stands in my way. I started Dimensional Services back in 2012 and was still working in corporate America at the time. I was working in the Telecommunication Industries. I had the opportunity to open a Commercial Cleaning company and seized the opportunity. Timing was perfect and we have been growing ever since. I ended up leaving corporate America back in 2016 as the business kept growing.

a sense of worth, it makes me who I am. What does success mean to you? Success to me personally, is nothing materialistic or tangible. Success to me is being able to relate to people, have meaningful conversations, obtaining personal self-worth, putting others before myself, humility, and loving others no matter what their differences are.

Dimensional Services serves the greater Rochester area. We pride ourselves in our Professionalism, Attention to Detail, our Reliability, and our communication with our customers. What made you decide to open your own cleaning business? Silly as this may sound, cleaning has always been a passion of mine. I personally love the sense of accomplishment it brings when something can be transformed just by cleaning it…. with that being said… you take that passion and add it to my business background it’s a match made in heaven! When I had the opportunity to open the business, I ran with it. When something is meant to be, it will be! What makes you hustle? I love to make money! I never let my pride, my schedule, or personal passions get in the way of my hustle. It gives me

my employees that the customer has to see the value in us as a company, and we are all team players to help get that accomplished. What makes your approach to commercial cleaning different then what your competitors provide to their clients? I think that I have a huge advantage with my corporate background. For years I witnessed the office cleaners come through the offices I worked in offer very poor-quality cleaning services. I use that to my advantage now and know what offices look for in their spaces to be cleaned. I also make myself very approachable and can be reached at any time and I make that very clear to ALL my customers. We do not avoid any issues; we have no problem responding and taking care of issues.

I know you ask potential clients, “ What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of commercial cleaning? “, but what does that question mean to you? Commercial cleaning to me is having your workplace sparkle. I know so many competitors that just throw employees into clean office buildings with very low standards. I like to provide any and all services that would be required to have the commercial space “sparkle” I tell

We not only offer the daily cleaning services but offer sanitization services, carpet and upholstery cleaning services all with top-of-the line truck-mount equipment, interior/exterior window cleaning services, strip/waxing/burnishing VCT floor care services, and tile/grout cleaning. Who is your ideal client? Any office of any origin. We currently clean medical offices, colleges, accounting offices, corporate headquarters, offices for Monroe County, Marketing offices, HIPPA compliant offices, car dealerships, the list goes on…… ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022








{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Success to me is being able to relate to people, have meaningful conversations, obtaining personal self-worth, putting others before myself, humility, and loving others no matter what their differences are.”

What service that you provide is a favorite of your clients and why? I would have to say probably the carpet/ upholstery cleaning that we do. 95% of all our customers get their office carpets and upholstery cleaned every spring after all of the winter salt is gone. This is a very convenient add-on service that our customers take advantage of to help make their business’ sparkle. What have you found to be the most successful tool in marketing your business? Just having an open mind. We jump at any reasonable opportunity to get our name out there into the community. Some tools work better than others, and we keep great relationships with all our customers, and they are happy to be used as references for potential new clients. Some customers have been able to log onto Google and give us google reviews! What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? This past year has been a challenge for all business’ in one way, shape, or form due to the pandemic and the government trying to keep people as safe as possible. We have kept our chin up and remain to keep positive. Our biggest challenge has been the schedules of the offices, most offices are working from home with some employees coming into the office and no one on a regular set basis, so scheduling employees to work and be able to keep the number of hours they need has been a challenge, but things have worked out as they should. We have invested in more equipment to offer more sanitization services to help 264


offset the lack of cleaning hours. What is the most difficult thing about building a customer base from scratch? We have been very fortunate and have had a lot of success in building our brand from the get-go. However, I think the most difficult part is just having to educate potential clients on who we are, what we do, and try to portray how we stand-out from our competitors. What would you say truly excites you about what you do and provide to others that encourages you to keep moving forward? I love that we say what we do and do what we say! We provide QUALITY cleaning services that we are proud about. I personally feel that we are one of the top-quality choices here in the greater Rochester area! Our honesty, attention to detail, and professional communication makes us stand out. That’s why I can ALWAYS get a great sleep at night. Where do you see your business growing over the next 3-5years? Continuing to keep growing as we have been the last 10 years and potentially acquiring more existing cleaning business’ that are ready to retire. We plan on acquire them and fix what is needed to put our spin on things and continue to grow! What were the things that surprised you most since starting your business? Honestly, in my industry and not all the time but the lack of respect towards the cleaners at times. It is a hard thing to deal with from the corporate side of things. When employees complain to me about certain behaviors, I must try

to show them how valuable they are as not only cleaners but as individuals. This was something that I did not prepare for going into this business but has helped me grow as an individual and am forever grateful for the opportunity. What is one element of your business that you would like to change and why? The only change I can think of is some customer’s perspective towards cleaning services. Some customer’s only care about price and just looking for the cheapest price on paper and just need a body to show up to empty their garbage cans. If I could make a change, it would be that every office would care more about the value of a clean office environment for their staff and maybe, if necessary, pay a little bit more for quality cleaners instead of just volume cleaning services. This would create a better work environment for their staff and help the quality cleaning companies stay strong in the industry and grow! Are you in the right industry? I am in the right industry, especially going through a pandemic. Covid-19 has raised awareness of the need for cleanly/sanitized environments and some customer’s that were not making it a top priority are now making it a top priority which benefits my business and has helped us grow! What are your Business Goals in 2022? To continue investing in our business brand, equipment, and employees to continue to grow as the amazing team that we are! Dimensional Services Website:









Tell us about yourself and what made you decide to represent Arbonne. About 3 and ½ years ago I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, and I was told I had Hashimotos which is a disorder of the thyroid gland. I found out a couple weeks later I had Osteopenia, the start of Osteoporosis. All I was told by doctors was to take Calcium, Vitamin D, and these pills for the rest of your life. It was recommended I change my diet to more whole foods and gluten & dairy free. I had no idea how to do that. I remembered my cousin was an Arbonne rep and shared info with the nutrition line and it was gluten and dairy free. I had nothing to lose. Within 2 short weeks my energy started coming back, my joint aches went away, my IBS issues went away and gradually in the weeks to come I lost weight and gained my life back by learning how to eat healthier. Others started seeing a difference in me. Once I realized the company’s ingredients standards and saw a difference in how I felt I knew others needed to know they could feel this way too. Arbonne follows European Standards and bans over 2000 ingredients deemed not safe or hazardous to consumers where the US only bans around 20. Arbonne has been vegan, and plant based from the beginning for over 40 years. They are a global Certified B Corporation that puts people and the planet ahead of profit. They even have their own recycling program. I couldn’t imagine not representing a company that is out to change the world.

What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur? I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I owned my own home business for over 20 years. I didn’t seek out becoming an Arbonne consultant, but it just fit in my life at that time. The more women’s lives, it sparked a new passion in me. I really wanted to change the health for others to avoid what I did with a health diagnosis by educating them on misconceptions around foods but also exercise.

I became certified as a personal trainer with NASM and started working at my local gym that I was a member at for the last 3 years. I was starting to help turn health around for many people. In 2020 we were shut down for almost 6 months due to COVID and I used that time off to learn more. I became certified as a level 1 nutritionist with Precision Nutrition. I wanted to have the science and nutrition background

for nutrition products I recommended and give people tangible habits they could use to make real changes. I started my own health and wellness business that incorporates all aspects of holistic wellness through mindset, nutrition, and exercise. What makes you hustle? My passion to serve. I believe I was put here to serve others and help them. As I learn more about the current health of our country and standards of our food and health care system, it fuels me to educate others and reverse their current health course. I know people can feel down about themselves. I work to inspire them mind, body and spirit to live a long healthy life. If you could pick just one product that would be your “must have”, what would it be and why? Gut health pre and probiotics are a must have for everyone. Our gut health is at the center of our wellness. The gut biome is where digestion, immunity and mood come from. If there is disrupted gut bacteria we can have mood disorders, immune problems, weight problems, acne, leaky gut and so much more. Controlling overgrowth of bacteria while feeding the good bacteria creates balance. With the gut being like our 2nd brain I make gut health a priority. Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? I think it’s just instinctual. I love working for myself and being accountable to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I’m trying to change lives one life at a time and when you see personal growth and changes in others for the better it lights me up.”

me but having flexibility to have time freedom to be with my family. What is your background and how did it lead you to where you are today? I owned my own nail salon for over 20 years and worked from my home, so I didn’t have to have anyone else raise my kids. I didn’t want to miss any milestones. I was able to tell them to school and be active in their schools and be available for their sports games. As my kids left for college, I was starting to feel lost. I had pushed myself aside and I just knew I wanted something more. My health diagnosis, joining Arbonne and continued education has led me to where I am today. Owner of my own business Hope4YourFitness LLC Who is your ideal customer? Someone like me. Women in their 40’s and 50’s or even 60’s who have put themselves last all these years. They feel comfortable in their current habits but uncomfortable in their own skin because of how far off track they have gone. It’s not about weight loss, it’s about gaining their health back. What product line that Arbonne carries do you feel is the one that resonates with your customers the most and why? I’d say the Nutrition and 30 days to Healthy Living line. It literally gives people the jumpstart they need with simplification to look and feel better and carry it forward. It’s not a diet but an introduction to a healthy lifestyle. I love the option to try a 30-day reset or just make small changes with a few products and teach people how to improve the habits that took them farther away from 268


their healthier selves. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? Social Media. Where else can you meet people from all over the world get to know them and possibly serve their needs for nutrition, skincare and personal care that are safer and more beneficial to what they are using. I’ve made some great connections and friends as well as some great customers. What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? Being out of work at the gym and not being able to meet people in person has really changed the dynamic of my business. For my Arbonne business I was used to having little pop-up events to share and sample products. I had to close all in person events. This limited my ability to meet potential new clients or team members. New York State mask rules have made it difficult as not many wanted to come workout at the gym in person with a mask.

about health and I 100% believe in using clean products, avoiding toxins on my skin and in my home. The fact that our nutrition and personal care products are formulated with experts, and I continually see client results. It fuels me to keep sharing. I know that what I do isn’t for everyone but maybe someone saying no isn’t a forever no. It could be a no because they don’t have the belief and education I have or maybe it’s a no for right now. If you believe in something and know it’s a gift, don’t stop sharing. I constantly work on myself. Reading self-development books and listening to people who lift me. It’s important to have friends and family around me who are supportive. Ditching the negative in my life.

Learning to pivot to virtual events and finding ways to meet people online has been the biggest shift. Social media has given me a way to meet more people while stuck inside or limited to meet and talk with people due to restrictions. I love that I’ve made connections with other coaches of similar fields and have met people all over the world.

Because not everyone out there believes like I do and there are skeptics to network marketing. They believe it’s a pyramid scheme. What most people don’t realize is that working as a teacher, nurse, secretary or whatever your career is, if you don’t work for yourself, they are the ones in a pyramid job. One boss at the top. I’m self-employed. I don’t carry inventory. My clients order for themselves from a website and get fresh products delivered to their homes based on my recommendations. Then I get paid for doing that or helping others do the same. It’s no different than ordering from another online shopping except you are supporting a small business.

What are your secrets to your success, especially within an MLM company? Being myself. Being authentic and sharing from my heart. I’m passionate

Everyone recommends products, clothing, restaurants, movies or music to friends. How often do we tell people what we bought on Amazon? Yet Amazon doesn’t













{{ SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “ I know I will continue to grow both myself and a future team of leaders who also want to create their own businesses and become world changers.”

pay us a commission. Neither do the restaurants or movie theaters. I’m proud of this profession and the lord it opens for others to decide how much of how little they want to make. We can choose to work part time or full time and there is room at the top for everyone. There are no glass ceilings as there are in other careers or businesses. Currently one job might not be paying all the bills, or maybe not leaving much extra for many households. The share of people in the US that hold multiple jobs has been rising. With increasing costs in our economy, there is an increasing need for extra income. The advantage Arbonne gives me is time freedom to chose when I work and ability to work from anywhere not just at an office. What would you say truly excites you about what you do? When someone tells me they are no longer having anxiety issues, came off of blood pressure medicine, avoided going on insulin because they chose to put their health first with diet and exercise and I had a hand in those changes. I’m trying to change lives one life at a time and when you see personal growth and changes in others for the better it lights me up. HOW DO YOU HANDLE WORKLIFE BALANCE? The biggest key is to stay scheduled. I have a calendar I keep for all my appointments with clients, scheduled personal appointments and scheduled time to stay on task for my daily goals. If I wing it something or someone gets forgotten.

My faith and family come first above all. They are my priority and then my own self. I won’t let myself become last again. I can’t help others if my own cup isn’t full or when I’m ill myself. Doing the best for me is helping others see what’s possible for them. What would you say are the key skills needed to be a successful female entrepreneur in 2022? 1. Resiliency: The ability to be able to still accomplish things in spite of obstacles we encounter

products that add health to their years and not take away from it. The more people I meet and help, the bigger my Arbonne business will grow and not just here in the US because I know I am here to serve others in the world too. I know I will continue to grow both myself and a future team of leaders who also want to create their own businesses and become world changers.

2. Courage and Confidence: To be willing to keep going and chasing your dreams and passions in spite of the odds the people left and right who don’t agree with you 3. Vision: to not only see where you are going but to keep working until you get there 4. Authenticity: Don’t compromise who you are or your vision by being someone else or let others opinions change your direction What do you want to achieve next? I’m currently gaining new education that will help others restore their health by getting to the root causes of illnesses and help them heal and recover. I will be able to help clients come full circle in their health goals where many have lost hope or assumed there were no more answers. Hope4YourFitness is going to change a lot of lives this year either in person or virtually. With Arbonne I will continue to introduce people to cleaner and safer ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022




Tell us about yourself and your business Mindful Consciousness. My name is Michelle Cuebas. I am 23 years old and I was born and raised here in Rochester NY. From a young age, I always loved making people smile, laugh and feel supported. I choose to consciously share the feelings of love with people so we can all feel inspired to make the world more beautiful and peaceful. Wholistic Wellness and Intentional Living became a huge part of my life after realizing that pharmaceutical medication wasn’t helping me to actually improve my health. I always felt deep down that there were other key elements to healing our bodies in a natural way that wasn’t being shared with us. Then, I discovered how our body is intricately designed and interconnected, meaning that every aspect of our body affects another aspect. Our thoughts and emotions are powerful and contribute to how our body manifests dis-ease and illness. My business Mindful Consciousness was created to help guide those who are on their own personal healing journey and are searching for different alternatives to improve the quality of their life by investing into their Mind, Body, and Soul through Wholsitic (whole-body) healing. You can visit my website or instagram @mindfulconsciousness. care to learn more and/or experience a healing session. What made you decide to open your own business and become a female entrepreneur? 274


The reason I chose to start Mindful Consciousness Is because I knew that if I stuck with my original plan, which was to become a health teacher, that I would be restricted to the things that I could teach. And my goal is to teach our community about Wholistic health and wellness, because our health is so much more than just our physical body and mental health. Being restricted to only teach about the physical aspects of health

feels like I’m doing a disservice to those that I’m educating, because everything is interconnected. If something is wrong in our physical body, that typically indicates that there’s something else going on within another aspect of our life that’s causing us dis-ease. Having my own business allows me the opportunity to reach out to those who are in alignment with my offerings/services and to help educate those who are seeking the information that I have discovered throughout my own healing journey.

What makes you hustle? The thing that makes me hustle the most is helping and inspiring people. I love receiving feedback from those that I have helped about how their life has changed since our connection. How did you come up with your business name? I chose the name Mindful Consciousness in 2018 before my business was physically created. Then throughout the years I went through some name changes, yet ultimately came back to Mindful Consciousness because it represents the vision of the impact I hope to achieve within our commUNITY. What is the mission behind Mindful Consciousness? Mindful Consciousness was created with the intentions of serving the collective by sharing the healing energies of love, compassion and support. Leading to a happier and healthier quality of Living! Every offering is intentionally integrated to create powerful healing DNA activations within every cell of our Being, unlocking our original Divine Blueprint within, and guiding us back home to Source, LOVE. Aligning with these higher frequencies of love and gratitude, we can ALL create ‘Heaven on Earth’ and bring more beauty, peace and harmony to the world. What is your background and how did it lead you to opening this type of business? Growing up I witnessed many of my family members struggle with their health. At a young age my mom was







{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “The thing that makes me hustle the most is helping and inspiring people.”

diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and it prevented her from participating in a lot of activities I wanted to do as a child. When I later began experiencing my own personal health challenges I became motivated to find a natural solution, because I didn’t want to give up hope and be depressed like my family. I always felt deep down that we all have the Divine ability to heal our body naturally. When I discovered how our thoughts, emotions, and mindset can affect our health and well-being, I chose to open a Wholistic Wellness based business to offer a new perspective on healing in hopes of encouraging those struggling with health challenges of their own. Where did you learn how to practice reiki? I became certified as a Usui Reiki practitioner in December of 2017 and then received my final attunement to reach mastery level in October of 2020. Each level was taught by two different AMAZING women based in Buffalo NY, Chelsea Gill for levels 1&2 and Pam Bugenhagen Toole for level 3. My discovery of Reiki healing eventually led to me learning more about Chakra and Crystal healing, and I also became a certified Crystal Healing Bodyworker in October of 2020. I am currently studying to increase my knowledge of Crystal healing by becoming a certified Transpersonal Crystal Healer which involves adding holistic counseling onto my services, and I am also working towards becoming a Reiki teacher so that I may help build a bigger community of Wholistic healers in Rochester.

What service that you provide to your clients is your favorite and why? My favorite service to provide is tied between my Chakra Alignment and Balance sessions and Water Shares! I absolutely love offering water shares because most people are often unaware that Water has consciousness and Living Water is a super important factor in healing our bodies. When people share their experience and the difference they can feel in their body after drinking the water for the first time it inspires me because it’s so amazing how something as simple as changing your water can have a HUGE impact on your life. In person Chakra Alignment and Balance sessions are my favorite because it is a completely unique service I created, and it offers clients the opportunity to experience multiple healing modalities all at once. During the hour healing session, I utilize Essential oils, Reiki, Crystal Grid healing, Sound and Color therapy, all while being surrounded in an atmosphere of gentle relaxation to help relieve and reduce stress levels, which plays an important role in how the body manifests dis-ease. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? Since starting my business and opening up my office space, I’ve found word of mouth marketing to be the most successful because it’s challenging for a person to discredit the real life experience of another person, even if they’re a skeptic on all natural health and wellness. Another successful avenue in marketing has been from me consistently posting my offerings on social media and creating a feeling of

trust within the online community. Social media allows me to build relationships with people and offer my guidance even if they aren’t a client yet! What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? My biggest challenge over the last year has been from me holding myself back due to self doubt. There are often times when I still experience these challenges, but I have found that by focusing on my mission and serving God brings me back in alignment and a consciousness of gratitude for all the wisdom and skills I have acquired. I feel my business’s purpose is greater than myself, and I know that by allowing my mind to trick me into fear and submission that I am actually doing a disservice to the people I am meant to connect with and help guide. What do you do for motivation ? I choose to reflect on the people I have connected with through my business and the impact my offerings have had on them. To me, the best feeling is when someone shares their experience about how our connection helped them to expand their perception and change their mindset, thus changing their life in the process! I am also motivated by the fact that I want to live in a world where there are less angry and depressed people, and more compassionate, forgiving, and grateful individuals who are intune with themselves, other people, and Mama Gaia. What would you say truly excites you about what you do and encourages you to keep moving forward? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “My business Mindful Consciousness was created to help guide those who are on their own personal healing journey and are searching for different alternatives to improve the quality of their life by investing into their Mind, Body, and Soul through Wholsitic (whole-body) healing.”

What makes me most excited is hearing my clients share their experience, and making new like-minded friends! The connections I have cultivated through my business have definitely been the most fulfilling part of my mission because growing up there have been many times where I felt I was missing genuine connections that help me expand. Everyday I learn so much about myself from the bonds I build with my clients. I also really love being able to invest the income from my business into supporting and connecting with other local businesses! What is a living w ater share? A Water share is a free two week trial of Living Water, aka Electrolyzed Reduced Water. It’s one of the world’s healthiest water and comes from a 40+ year old certified medical device! It has 3 properties that make it the best. Structured water (Better absorption), tons of antioxidants (reduces inflammation and slows down aging) , and is naturally alkaline with minerals (helps the body overcome acid and toxins). During the two week trial experience I offer free gallons of water in exchange for client testimonials, then once it aligns with the person I guide them on how to invest into their own water system so they can go green, live sustainably, replace toxic plastic water bottles and cleaning/beauty supplies, save money, and start a home-based business. What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an idea to start your own business to making the leap to being a female entrepreneur? 278


The amount of support I’ve received from the commUNITY! When I first began I wasn’t expecting much support from people because my offerings are different from what most people are often used to. Mindful Consciousness was cultivated from my personal experience with spirituality and healing, and at the time I wasn’t connected with many likeminded people who knew the value of Wholistic Wellness. Once I made the choice to open up and express myself authentically, I found myself creating more connections with people who see and support my vision. Reflecting back on the beginning of my journey, I truly had no idea of the amount of growth and expansion I would experience from becoming an entrepreneur and community bonds! What is one element of your business that you can not live without? Now that I know the importance of proper hydration, the one element I cannot live without is hands down Living Water! Our bodies are over 80% water and as Living beings, our bodies require Living Water. I personally have felt a huge difference in my body since I chose to change my water from stagnant (bottled/tap) to Living (ERW). I experienced a huge change in my eating habits and have switched from consuming soda daily to completely removing it from my diet, which for me is personally huge because I grew up only drinking carbonated beverages; I didn’t like the way water tasted or the bloatedness from drinking it… Since I invested into my health and started consuming Living Water daily I found I no longer experience constant migraines, challenges with my gut, painful menstrual

cycles, brain fog, or fatigue as often. Another amazing benefit is that I have been free from buying cleaning and disinfectant products during the last year because my machine creates 5 different types of water (with over 50+ ways to be utilized) that replaces most of my household items. I truly love and am sol grateful that I am able to save money while also investing into my health simultaneously! If I ask you to merge your business with the idea of empowerment using just one word, what would it be? The word I would choose is LIGHTHOUSE. Mindful Consciousness empowers people in our community to learn how to heal themselves by navigating their own currents (energy) so they can find a solution to help them reach their destination (goals). Like a Lighthouse I guide people on their healing journey through the illumination of my own authentic expression, because I truly believe that we are Divine by design and are capable of Healing ourselves with proper knowledge and guidance. #19 What would you say are the key skills needed to be successful, especially in working with clients to build a mindful consciousness? In my business the key skills needed are active listening, compassion, and intuition. It’s important for me when I’m working with clients to ask the right questions so I can help them uncover the blockages in their life. Once we dive deeper and uncover these blockages by utilizing active listening skills, I can help my clients find a solution that is in alignment with their particular




{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} { SHIFT+CONTROL } “I choose to consciously share the feelings of love with people so we can all feel inspired to make the world more beautiful and peaceful.”

lifestyle. This is key because what may work for one person, may not work for another as we are all unique! Name one person who has inspired you and why. The person who inspires me the most is my mom. Many of the core values of my business are inspired by the relationship that I have with my mom. She inspires me because I know how much pain she goes through on a daily basis, and yet 280


if you met her, you wouldn’t even know she suffered from chronic pain. She is so loving, compassionate and just a genuinely good person. Everyone I meet has only the best things to say about her. I love that she holds the same amount of respect to everyone she comes across no matter who they are, and how she’s not afraid to speak her truth even if people disagree. These are the qualities I aspire to attain within my business.

What does empowerment mean to you? To me, the word empowerment means lifting people up to believe in themselves and to believe in their dreams and the higher calling that they feel in their soul. My goal is to help raise the collective consciousness of our community and to also inspire people to follow their dreams. I also want to empower people to remember their true divinity and to learn how to heal themselves so we can heal future generations to come!






Mindful Consciousness Wholistic Wellness & Intentional Living

~Reiki ~Living Water ~Chakra Alignment ~Crystal Grids ~Oracle Readings ~Intentional Jewelry ~Blue Bottles ~Journals plus, much more!







Tell us about yourself and your business Sculli Cat Art. In the summer of 2016, I married my wonderful husband, Nick. We also have a beautiful 4-year-old daughter Emilyn and an amazing 1-year-old son Nicholas IV. We also adopted Cricket (our cat) almost 7 years ago and he is a major part of our lives. This will be my twelfth year teaching and my eighth year here at my current public school! I have taught Pre-k through fourth grade in both general and special education classrooms. Last year I taught the remote section of kindergarten and I am excited to be back in the classroom with first graders! With all these tremendous life changes going on, my passion for art, which began in high school, was put on hold. However, with our family settling in, in the past year or so, and with the pandemic keeping us home, I have re-ignited my interest in creating my own art. Art has always been a form of release, therapy, and calm for me and it’s amazing now to be able to share (and even sell) my paintings with others! What made you decide to open your own business and become a female entrepreneur? A friend of mine, Kristen started to immerse herself in creating art

and developed Kristen Dennie Art. Seeing her enthusiasm and success really motivated me to start creating again. As I started painting again and started to get feedback around my finished products, I realized there could be a paying audience for what I was doing! Family members and friends started asking for pieces and it has just grown from there, into Sculli Cat Art. My husband and I recently created my own private

studio in our basement which just added to my drive and motivation to create and grow a business! What makes you hustle? I’ve been hustling for a while now, with a full-time job and a full-time family! My art has really provided an outlet from that everyday hustle. Nevertheless, when I hear ideas from other artists and/or potential customers, it gets my inner drive for creativity going. I feed off of

the potential of what my painting could be, visualizing it right through to the finished product. Once I get that process started, it’s hard to stop! What does success mean to you and what is your mission behind your business? Success is not just about making a profit for me. True success in the SculliCatArt business is to give people something they love. If the customer is happy then I have been successful! Art speaks to everyone differently and it can’t ever be ‘wrong’. That is why art is so important to me. It is inspiring in itself. How did you come up with the name Sculli Cat Art? In 2021, I started SculliCatArt. It didn’t take long to come up with my business name. The name came from a joke in my workplace about how much I love cats and the TV show Friends. Hence ‘SculliCat’” instead of “SmellyCat’! Smelly Cat is Phoebe’s most famous song that she plays as a musician. Co-workers were starting to call me SculliCat around school and during meetings! It was a great source of entertainment but the joke is on them. SculliCatArt is not only a unique name but it’s meaningful and accurate!!



{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Success is not just about making a profit for me. True success in the SculliCatArt business is to give people something they love.”

How/why did you start your business? I started very small, just doing some custom pieces for friends and family. Then I created the @scullicatart Facebook page and started to show my growing studio and some pictures of my work! From there I had friends telling me that if I wanted to get more customers I would have to have a much bigger social media presence. I then added Instagram and TikTok, which I am still getting used to. I then started to reach out to businesses in order to display and sell some of my work. I currently have my art up at two local businesses in the Rochester area! After that, I started to look into vendor events. I love meeting new people and discussing artwork and the possibility that they might find something they love! What did you do before starting your business? I think I was so caught up in being a student, mother, wife, and teacher for so long, that I sort of lost my identity as an artist. Before all this was re-ignited for me, I think I was so busy and wrapped up in day-to-day living, that I lost sight of my passions. This isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed all the amazing things I’ve experienced in the last 10 years, but it’s been so nice to find my art again! In short, before this, I was content, but since then, I have found a whole other level of purpose that has made me even happier as a woman! What makes your business unique? I think what makes me and my business unique is that I’m very much driven by 290


customer ideas. Art can often tend to be the product of the artist’s interests and ideas. I like to involve my potential customers in what they want to see in my art. I use our region a lot, as well, to create things that might resonate with the people that live here. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business? I relied heavily on word-of-mouth, to begin with, but quickly realized

social media would be a key way to expand my business. At this point, I’m trying to flood as many outlets (online and otherwise) with my business and information to get the word out. Like the question above referenced, you really have to hustle to market your business and products! Creating a brand, logo, email, and name also was important in legitimizing my business and creating a venue to sell my art. It gave me an identity for what I thought was just going to be a hobby. What advice would you give someone

who is interested in starting their own business in art? Just go for it! You’d be surprised that what you think is just a hobby or side project, can really become a means to create a business. Think about putting your product out there in simple ways. Post on social media, try a vendor fair or give your work as a gift, just to garner some feedback. You’ll see that people are interested in original products and it could create a path towards a legitimate business. How do you balance being a mom and being a business woman? I try to keep my home life and business separate. When my kids are napping or are in bed for the night, that is my time to sneak away into my studio and relax and design. Of course, there are times when my daughter wants to paint along with me. We created an art studio of her very own outside mine. It is a mini roll-top desk that has all her art supplies. Sometimes we can sit with the door open and both work on our pieces! Now she is four so hers are a little different but they are still amazing! I am also fortunate to have the support of my husband who will often take the kids for a couple of hours of daddy time when I really want to get some painting done. It’s important to know you absolutely can do both with a strong network of support and a sense of determination! What would you say truly excites you about what you do and encourages you to keep moving forward?




{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Art has always been a form of release, therapy, and calm for me and it’s amazing now to be able to share (and even sell) my paintings with others!”

Honestly, with every new opportunity or customer order I get, I’m extremely excited and want to get to work right away! As I work on a piece I look forward to seeing the end result. When a customer is happy with the end result it encourages me. When doing a vendor show and listening to the feedback from passers-by, encourages me. There’s a purity in the joy I feel when I see others enjoy what I’ve made. It carries me through the stressful bumps along the way that we all experience when we are trying to get something started. Where do you see your business growing over the next 3-5years? I feel like I have moved forward swiftly with it a l r e a d y. I a m looking forward to continuing to do more craft shows and possibly finding some more local businesses that would like to display my work. I’d love to expand my online presence and potentially sell there more. I have also been reaching out to people about teaching some classes to show beginners how to do a simple painting. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? I love family time. The Sculli family is a big outdoors family, in the summer. We love to hike, do creek walks to 292


find waterfalls and watering holes. We also love to go to our cottage on Seneca Lake, swimming, boating, jet skiing, water skiing and mostly spending time with my extended family! In the winter I tend to stay in! I am not the biggest fan of the winter months but that’s ok because it gives me more time to paint! Tell us one piece of advice you have been given that you feel has helped

you in your journey. I think it’s been more about the support of my loved ones than any specific piece of advice I’ve received. It’s the encouragement and the willingness of my family to help me pursue this that has really stood out as the most impactful part of the journey so far. My husband has been so supportive of my dream! My mom goes to shows and events with me! And there are other family members sharing and reposting on social media. It takes a village! Name one person who has inspired

you and why. My biggest inspiration was a fellow student way back in high school! He was a fantastic artist with a heart of gold. He taught me that art was beautiful even if it didn’t come out as you had expected! He wasn’t afraid to help others and taught me many things. Unfortunately, he is not with us today but I am sure he is looking down, proud of me, and that I didn’t give up and I am back doing what I love… Art! Where will we see Sculli Cat Art next? I have two events already booked for the 2022 year! SculliCatArt will be at the Sunrise Spring Market, Sunday, March 27, 11 am-4 pm at the Main Street Armory in Rochester NY. I will also be at the Spring Sale, April 2, 10 am-3 pm at the First Baptist Church of East Rochester! Please come out and see me and support two great causes!









Tell us about yourself and what made you decide to represent dōTERRA. I have always had a business savvy mind and when I was introduced to dōTERRA I fell in love with the way they marketed their products, their values and the way the give back to so many. Their model for personal education for these amazing products had me hooked and I knew this is what so many people were looking for! Not to mention, the essential oils smell and work amazing!!

go with Frankincense. It is renowned as one of the most prized and precious essential oils, Frankincense oil has extraordinary health benefits. Its soothing and beautifying properties are used to rejuvenate skin and help reduce the appearance of imperfections when applied topically. As the king of oils, Frankincense is also known to support healthy cellular, immune,

What made you decide to become a female entrepreneur? I grew up with two hard working parents who instilled the best work ethic in me. Even before dōTERRA, I was always looking for an opportunity where I could make a difference! What makes you hustle? I was a single mom to two boys when I started dōTERRA and I wanted to be able to provide them with great opportunities. I also wanted to be a good role model for them and show them that you can do anything you set your mind to. If you could pick just one product that would be your “must have”, what would it be and why? This is a tough question because obviously I have so many favorites that I use on a daily basis. I would have to

What is your background and how did it lead you to where you are today? I have a business degree and spent many years working in an administrative role and later focused on event planning. My organizational skills and my love for helping others made it easy to become a wellness advocate for dōTERRA. I love to continue to learn and grow and have done that with essential oils. I am certified in the Aromatouch technique and am also a Certified Essential Oil Specialist. Who is your ideal customer? My ideal customer is someone like me eight years ago. I was looking for healthier habits to help get me through the day. I was working really hard and also raising two boys. I needed a better routine and better products to support my body but didn’t know where to start.

nervous, and digestive function when used internally. Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? My dad owned his own business when I was growing up and I admired how hard he worked and the life that he built for his family.

Doterra is mainly known for its essential oils, but what are some of the other go to products they carry that you love? We have really expanded our line of products. I am in love with our new home products like dish soap, dishwasher pods, laundry pods, hair care and I can’t go a day without our amazing supplement line. There are so many that I love and that is what makes me so passionate to educate ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022



“I d the a




I was a single mom to two boysARBONNE when I started dōTERRA and I wanted to be able to provide em with great opportunities. I also wanted to be good role model for them and show them that you can do anything you set your mind to.”



{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I have always had a business savvy mind and when I was introduced to dōTERRA I fell in love with the way they marketed their products, their values and the way the give back to so many.”

others about how to make safer swaps in their home. What have you found to be the most successful avenue in marketing your business? Referrals have been the best way to market my business. With an awesome product, my customers are always sharing what works for them. They are so excited and want their friends and family to have the benefits of these great products as well.

literally have healthier lives because of our products that we offer. It is so rewarding to work with moms who can have the tools in their toolbox and pull them out and use them when needed.

What would you say are the key skills needed to be a successful female entrepreneur in 2022? Be kind, work hard, never stop learning or growing What do you want to achieve next? I am working to achieve a spot as a US Founder 2.0 with dōTERRA. With 200 spots available, anyone who qualifies will receive a 1/200th share in a 2% pool of all US volume between $1 billion and $2 billion in annual net sales. This is paid yearly for the rest of your life and is projected to be around $80,000 $100,000. This is on top of all my other commissions that I make throughout the year. The cool thing is that new folks can join me in this business today and work to earn one of these spots with me!

What challenges have you faced over the past year and how have you overcome them? Have you heard of Zoom fatigue? In 2020 I had to pivot my business from mostly in person connections to zoom classes and educational events. This worked great for quite a while but over the past year folks have grown tired of zoom. So, I had to pivot again to a combination of safe in person meet ups to more unique zoom events. What are your secrets to your success? Just follow-up! It seems easy but sometimes can get away from us, but it is the number one reason why I have a successful business. What would you say truly excites you about what you do and encourages you to keep moving forward? I see so many people that 300
















OWNER OF UPSTATE’S LARGEST COMMERCIAL TALENT AGENCY The 20 year legacy of AMS Models continues as the TMT Agency I’m so thrilled to interview Tamara Pulley. I first got to know Tamara over 20 years ago when she was the Booking Director at my first agent’s office “AMS Models & Talent” back when I was a young teen girl. It has been incredible to witness Tamara grow as an entrepreneur and businesswoman. At the helm of Tamara’s Models & Talent, the largest commercial talent agency in upstate NY Tamara operates and continues the legacy of arguably the largest and longest running successful commercial talent agency in upstate NY. Thank you Tamara for all you do for both the clients, talent, casting and the talent field in upstate NY and beyond! 1.) Tamara, share your story, how you first got started as a talent agent, and what a talent agency does exactly? I always wanted to be a model since I was a teenager. I got myself into any pageants and fashion shows and photoshoots. I took 2 years of fashion design school. Fashion was my passion all of my life! Now I’m lucky to be living my dream. I became the youngest sales manager at a retail store at age 19, a store called Merry Go Round. Bonus points if you remember Merry Go Round Stores, the hottest fashion stores in New York State! I moved from the small town of Watertown into Syracuse as a manager to spread my wings from small town life. A few years later, I met Ann Marie Stonecypher while working as manager of Victoria Secrets Bath and Body Store at Shoppingtown Mall. Ann Marie

used to coordinate the fashion shows at Shoppingtown Mall. At the time I was pregnant, and she asked me to model. I was so excited. That’s was when I got my first pictures together to begin modeling professionally. Later, Ann Marie asked me to work in the office of her talent agency. At the time I was so bowled over and wanted to learn from her and soak up all her knowledge, business savvy and charisma and started working part time for AMS Models & Talent. Funny enough, I initially offered

working conditions for models and actors, helping clients find the right talent for their commercials, catalogs, industrials, films, print campaigns and more. As an agent, in the simplest definition: I secure and coordinate booking talent for clients seeking actors, models, and promotional staff. Our clients include: casinos, hospitals, restaurants, banks, malls, clothing retailers, from big corporations to small family owned businesses for work in commercials, fashion shows, live events, promotions, film productions, voice overs, infomercials and more. We’ve also continued our time honored tradition, started by Ann Marie of donating time for non-profits and charity events through our group “Model Citizens”. I dedicated myself to AMS Models for 18 years and through Ann Marie’s illness and many moves I continued running the agency until she passed away in 2018. I am very grateful to have had 300 loyal talent and 150 long time clients continue with me on my new journey of Tamara’s Models & Talent Agency.

to work for FREE being so excited at the offer. HAHA! I first started working in her office at AMS Models in 2001 as a part time employee, while still working full time as a manager at a store at Shoppingtown and starting to do modeling jobs.

2.) What do you say to people who scoff that there is no acting and modeling work in central and western NY? Our phones are always ringing with new requests for talent. There is work for seasoned actors and also up and coming models and talent.

The AMS Models offices moved 3 times and I moved with Ann Marie and AMS Models & Talent each time, through thick and thin. I experienced life with Ann Marie for 18 years and learned everything from her. From how to work as a wardrobe stylist and make-up artist to the business side of running a talent agency including negotiating pay and

Nobody is working full time at a local level but for those that have a flexible schedule there are many opportunities here in upstate NY. In November and December of 2021, we booked over 100 actors and models in just those 2 months and celebrated our best year ever! The bulk of our work is in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo but also all of the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “We’ve also continued our time honored tradition, started by Ann Marie of donating time for non-profits and charity events through our group “Model Citizens”.”

other nooks and crannies in upstate NY. We are now expanding to NYC and PA and other regions as well.

to the talent to develop themselves as quality talent and provide their agent/s with the best materials possible to represent them.

3.) What are you getting the most demand for these days? The most popular actor requests are women and men ages 30-50 with significant requests for diverse looks, ethnicities and backgrounds. More and more requests are for talent with serious acting skills and experience. We are always seeking talented actors who are ready to work professionally and able to create self taped auditions.

6.) What things do all of your top booking talent have in common? Do they all take certain steps or actions? The people who get booked most are the ones that take it seriously, learn their craft, build their skills, develop marketable materials and take the time and energy to continually work to improve. Also,

This doesn’t mean your agent is in the driver seat of your career. You are in the driver seat of your career. Each talent is responsible for learning their craft. It is up 306


She built the first successful modeling agency based in Syracuse NY serving central New York in the 1990’s when nobody believed she could do it. Everyone told her there would be no market for it, no interest and no businesses would hire local talent. She started in her basement office with $300 and a dream and created the longest running and most successful talent empire in all of central and western NY. 8.) If someone wants to submit to your agency for consideration, what steps should they take? Visit or Google our agency name “Tamara’s Models and Talent” and navigate through to the “application page”. We receive hundreds of submissions monthly. Please allow 4-6 weeks for consideration. If you have not heard from us within that timeframe do follow-up with an email to check in on the status of your application.

4.)What changes or trends have you noticed over the last few years within the industry? More and more requests for diversity overall. Diversity in size, shape, ethnicity, diverse abilities, age, background, languages spoken, unique skills. Diversity. Diversity. Diversity. 5.)How would you like to see the industry evolve or change in the future? Businesses will sometimes try to avoid paying fair industry standard rates or avoid agencies altogether to save on paying talent fair industry standard rates. This brings overall industry rates down. Sometimes they will get people off the street or find aspiring talent and take advantage of them because they don’t know how much they should be compensated for the use of their image and skills. Talent should have agency representation in order to have an advocate on their side to negotiate fair pay and working conditions. From my perspective all quality talent should have quality representation.

and is still represents the essence of our agency, as our great founder and leader.

8.) What keeps you going after all these years? gratitude goes a long way. Any reputable agency takes care of many talent and there is often just one agent or a small team to help their clients and all of their talent so the actors and models that are appreciative and go out of their way to make my job easier never go unnoticed. Agents are like elephants we always remember. 7.) Who is your role model? Who do you look up to? My long time role model, may she rest in peace, is Ann Marie Stonecypher. She is my mentor, best friend, boss and I still want to make her and everyone around me proud to see me carry the torch. Although she has passed away, she is my everything

Being a single parent of 3 and grandmother to 1 is a huge motivator! As a young mother working full time as a store manager, I was motivated to be a provider for my family and also be my best self, someone my children will look up and be proud to say “that is my mom”! Today, I’m living my longtime dream to have my own successful talent agency while also acting and modeling myself! Follow Tamara’s Models & Talent on social media: Facebook: Tamara’s Models and Talent Agency Instagram @TMTBooking Alternate Instagram @TMTBookings Website









What is the most asked question in real estate right now? How long will it remain a seller’s market? That’s the question that I hear the most. It is impossible to answer…just like how no one can predict what will happen to the stock market. I wish I had a better answer but if you have a home to sell…SELL it! I have close family that wants to relocate in 2 years. I suggested they sell it ASAP in case the market dips. They decided to sell. Now they have lots of money in the bank, they don’t have to worry about a dip happening and they can rent somewhere fun until they are ready to make the big move to another state. I have another set a clients that decided to sell and go live on the lake until its time to relocate. People are getting creative and having fun with selling. The buyers are frustrated and ready for the market to have more inventory and cool down. How long does it take to buy a home in the current market? It can take many months to buy a home in this current seller’s market. That’s because there could be 5 homes for sale and 60 buyers. For example, I can do the research and suggest offering $60k over on a specific home in order to be the highest bid. Many buyers have to fall in love with a home and lose repeatedly before

they start offering their max. It is very competitive out there…most sellers would take cash over an FHA loan. So if you are an FHA buyer then it can be very tough in this market. What is a seller’s market? A seller’s market is when the demand for homes is greater than the supply. We will have low inventory during this time. When this happens, a lot of buyers will be competing for the

same home. Homes will sell quickly and for over asking (if priced right). This is an ideal time to sell your home. What is a buyer’s market? A buyer’s market is when the inventory of homes is greater than the demand. This is the best time to get that “deal” on a home. Prices will drop and homes might sit and not sell as fast. How much do I have to pay an agent to help me buy a house?

You pay nothing when you have a real estate agent help you buy a home. The seller pays the commission to the agent for bringing a buyer to their home. It is in the buyer’s best interest to use an agent to look out for them while purchasing and negotiating the price of a home. What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home? In general you want to have a 600 and up score. How many homes should I view before buying one? This is tricky. It’s the same advice you could tell a friend…how many people should you date before you get married? Some people marry the first person they date and others date many. When you know, you know. I keep in mind what my buyers say they are looking for in a home and make sure what they fall in love with meets their needs. What if my offer is rejected? Getting your offer rejected is something that can happen a lot. I always find out why we lost or roughly by how much so we can learn for the next time. What should I look for when choosing a real estate agent? Make sure you find a real estate agent that truly cares and is genuine. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ REAL{ ESTATE WITH STEPHANIE } SHIFT+CONTROL } “It can take many months to buy a home in this current seller’s market. That’s because there could be 5 homes for sale and 60 buyers.“

Purchasing and selling your home can be emotional and you also need someone that is a fierce negotiator. However, the best agent in the world can’t help you if they never have time for you. Make sure your agent has the availability to help you buy or 310


sell your home. What is the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor? Real estate agents have a professional license to help people buy, sell, and rent real estate. ... A Realtor is a

licensed real estate agent or broker (or other real estate professional) who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR holds agents to a higher set of standards and code of ethics.


am always here for you! 585.755.5775 Contact me today! cell:

Your Neighbor ∙ Your Friend ∙ Your Realtor 33 S Main St ∙ Pittsford, NY 14534



Tell the Rochester Woman Online audience a little about Cornerstone Eye Associates. At Cornerstone Eye associates, our mission is to improve our patient’s lifestyle through genuine, personal and professional care, resulting in the highest quality of vision possible. We have office in Gates, Brighton, Victor, and Irondequoit where we provide a range of services to meet all of your eye care needs. What are some of the traditional vs nontraditional services you offer? We like to think of ourselves as the ‘one stop shop’ for all of your eye care needs. We do everything from routine eye exams and contact lenses, to refractive procedures to reduce dependency on glasses, as well as disease management such as cataract, glaucoma, corneal, and retinal care and procedures. Our doctors pride themselves on staying at the forefront of technology to ensure we are providing as many services that our patients want and need. A great example of this is our ability to treat those annoying ‘floaters’ many patient see. We are utilizing YAG laser technology at the Cornerstone Surgery Center to vaporize the floaters that distract many patients into small gas bubbles that dissolve and resorb into the vitreous.. Up to around 80% of floaters can be treated and the procedure is safer and less invasive than alternate 314


methods of treatment. LFR is quick and painless, with little to no recovery time, all performed in the comfort of our ASC. Depending on the medical necessity, most often LFR is covered by insurance.

the right reason. The work we do is too important. The doctors, staff, and most importantly the patients all deserve to be surrounded by top notch staff who want to be here, and want the best for everyone they come in contact with.

What is something that sets you apart from your competition? We are a family here at Cornerstone. Not by blood, but by choice. Dr. Park and Dr. Hanuch respect and value each staff member regardless of their

What are some of the key features of the glasses that I selected? The glasses looked stunning on you! What more could you ask for right!? Not only did we select a suuper trendy frame, we chose the Super Hivision EX3+ which has a new backside UV protectant component. This helps to greatly minimize light reflecting off of the backside of the lens directly into the eye. UV light can contribute to macular degeneration and other eye disease. The coating also helps to protect the skin around the eye, reducing sun damage and premature aging. So not only will you see good and look good wearing them, they are helping protect you in more ways than one!

role, because we are all people, and all contribute to the overall mission of providing the best possible eye care and service to our community. Are there specific things you look for when hiring doctors or staff for Cornerstone? We look for the whole package. First and foremost, they have to care! You either have it or you don’t, and we expect every member of our team to be here for

Who started Cornerstone and what is your mission? Dr. Steve B. Park, M.D. is the founder of Cornerstone Eye Associates. He and Dr. Omar Hanuch who co-own this well established private practice with 4 locations as well as their very own brand new state-of-the-art surgery center have made it their lives mission to not only provide great eye care, but to provide as many career opportunities as possible. I had an amazing experience from the time I walked in to the Victor location,










{ DISHING WITH THE DIVA’S } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “ You either have it or you don’t, and we expect every member of our team to be here for the right reason.“

to the time I left. The staff and doctors were very thorough, and the service was exceptional and guided me step by step from the eye exam to selecting the perfect glasses. Is service a high priority for your team? Always. We are in the people business, providing eye care. You have to be able to take care of the people, to be able to earn their trust, everything comes after that. Patients have choices, there are lots of great doctors in town. We want them to choose us, and continue to choose us for not only their eye care, but for their whole family, and for their whole life. That’s why our logo says Cornerstone Eye Associates, your vision for life! What are some of the new technologies available now versus when Cornerstone first opened? We have added so many services over the years! LASIK and refractive surgery, Laser Floater Removal, latest and greatest lens implants with Cataract surgery, corneal crosslinking. With 12 doctors, the list is endless in what we can do and provide for our community! 318


What do you have planned for the next 5 years? Continuing to serve our community and team in the best way we possibly can! We are constantly growing, refining, and learning how to be the best that we can be. Do you offer any services that aren’t really available from other eye care providers? When we hear a need, we do everything we can within reason to answer it. We recently contracted with Davis vision when we found out many of our first responders had it, but couldn’t find offices that accept it. We are one of the only office that contract with VES (Veteran Evaluation Services) and LHI, which provide services to our Veterans. Many of these veterans travel up to 3 hours to see us because the options for these services are so limited. These ae our Country’s heroes, they answered the call of service for us, it’s our honor to do the same for them. What is the favorite part of what you do?

I love spreading the joy! Whether it is patient feedback and stories of how we changed their lives, or staff feedback on how welcome they felt when they Came to Cornerstone, I like sharing that with everyone at Cornerstone! You never know when someone is having a bad day, or just got yelled at by a patient, so the more that we spread joy and positivity, the better. I also love how we give back to the community whenever we can! Our doctors participate in mission trips, we raise money for Ronald McDonald House, ABVI, Aurora House, and Veterans. We have done food drives, clothing drives, and school supply drives. We love to do things together and have fun together whenever possible. If you ever see us dressed up in crazy hats, spots gear, or anything outside of our normal uniform, it is because we are raising money for someone or something in need! Is there anything that our audience doesn’t know about you?




{ DISHING WITH THE DIVA’S } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “At Cornerstone Eye Associates, our mission is to improve our patient’s lifestyle through genuine, personal and professional care, resulting in the highest quality of vision possible.“

We have a diverse staff! Between our doctors and staff, we speak over 9 different languages in our practice! English Spanish French Arabic Korean Chinese Mandarin Italian Polish Tell us about the new surgery center and what you offer there. The Cornerstone Surgery Center is brand new, and the only ophthalmic 320


surgery center on the West side! This provides easy access to surgical care for all of our patients in a comfortable, park like setting. With every visit, patients are likely to see wildlife such as wild turkeys, deer, and hawks. What area of optometry do you enjoy most? We are saving vision every day! Through patient education, and advocacy, we get to make a difference. It is an honor to be able to serve our community in such an important way. Can you give three important techniques to help maintain healthy eyesight? Having regular eye exams is an important

part of maintaining your overall health. It is recommended to have an eye exam every 1-2 years, depending on your age, doctor recommendations, and current health problems. A routine eye exam consists of more than just a measurement for glasses or contact lenses. You will be evaluated for eye diseases, which often develop without any symptoms. Some eye problems can develop through continued use of medications given for systemic illness. Common eye diseases that can be detected early with a comprehensive eye exam given by your optometrist or ophthalmologist are: Cataracts, Glaucoma, and Macular Degeneration.









At Cornerstone Eye associates, their mission is to improve their patient’s lifestyle through genuine, personal and professional care, resulting in the highest quality of vision possible. They have offices in Gates, Brighton, Victor, and Irondequoit where they provide a range of services to meet all of your eye care needs. Recently I had the pleasure to not only get to visit their Victor, NY location (which has more frames then I have ever seen in one place in my life), but work with their doctors and staff to receive a much over due eye exam and pick out the perfect frames to meet a diva’s style! They really are a ‘one stop shop’ for all of your eye care needs. They do everything from routine eye exams and contact lenses, to refractive procedures to reduce dependency on glasses, as well as disease management such as cataract, glaucoma, corneal, and retinal care and procedures. Their doctors pride themselves on staying at the forefront of technology to ensure they are providing as many services that their patients want and need. They even have an all new Cornerstone Surgery Center! Dr. Steve B. Park, M.D. is the founder of Cornerstone Eye Associates. He and Dr. Omar Hanuch who co-own this well established private practice,

as well as their very own brand new state-of-the-art surgery center have made it their lives mission to not only provide great eye care, but to provide as many career opportunities as possible. And I have to say they were truly amazing to work with from start to finish and guided me every step of the way. For being 50,

and this being my first time having to wear glasses, I think I did pretty good. We started off meeting the amazing staff, and then I got to have my eye exam and talk with Dr Roy Kim about my needs, what he saw in my exam, and what the next steps

were. He said I really only needed a very minimal prescription and it was mainly for reading. Good news for me! Now, I get to pick out some fancy (diva style) frames! What more could you ask for then to get to choose from hundreds of different style, right!? Not only did we select a super trendy frame, we chose the Super Hivision EX3+ which has a new backside UV protectant component. This helps to greatly minimize light reflecting off of the backside of the lens directly into the eye. UV light can contribute to macular degeneration and other eye disease. The coating also helps to protect the skin around the eye, reducing sun damage and premature aging. So not only will you see good and look good wearing them, they are helping protect you in more ways than one! This was just some of the information I got to learn at my visit. Talking with Nicole Allen, she said, “We are in the people business, providing eye care. You have to be able to take care of the people, to be able to earn their trust, everything comes after that. Patients have choices, there are lots of great doctors in town. We want them to choose us, and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ DISHING WITH THE DIVA’S } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “I can’t wait to go back and select more frames! “

for not only their eye care, but for their whole family, and for their whole life. That’s why our logo says Cornerstone Eye Associates, your vision for life!” 324


I can’t wait to go back and select more frames! The make wearing glasses fun and fashionable...and who knows, you may see them on our runway soon!

Check them out today at






Animal Care Sanctuary, ACS, partnered with Staffworks Save a Life Campaign in December. During this monthlong campaign Staffworks matched each donation dollar for dollar up to $25,000. Thanks to the generosity of so many donors, ACS raised over $200,000 allowing us to receive the entire match. Thank you to all of you who so generously participated. The funds raised go to supporting all the programs at ACS including our growing Humane Education Program.

in its care at any given time and that all those animals are vaccinated, checked for parasites and disease, spayed, or neutered, vaccinate, and microchipped for identification so that they are healthy and ready for adoption. This kind of fast paced medical practice is not something students will learn in the classroom- it is

ACS has been blazing a path in humane education for over eight years with the creation of our college internship program for pre-veterinary students. Animal Care Sanctuary is one of only 20% of shelters nationwide that has its own veterinary staff. Animal Care Sanctuary began a STEM internship program in 2014 and has seen a steady growth in interest as more of our interns have gone out in the world to make their mark on veterinary and shelter medicine and have told the story of their time at Animal Care Sanctuary. The program was born out of conversation with Dr. Jan Scarlett, Founder of the Cornell University Shelter Medicine program regarding the unique challenges that come with shelter medicine. Dr. Scarlett is part of an advisory board which helps guide ACS’s policy and procedures surrounding shelter medicine and animal behavior. Consider that ACS has some 500 animals 328


hands on learning in the truest sense of the word. This program gives students firsthand experience in the most difficult facet of Veterinary medicine- shelter medicine. Shelter medicine requires students to be prepared to bring their science and technology together to treat conditions that private veterinary

practices do not generally see with family-owned pets. The Animal Care Sanctuary’s Internship Program is designed to give students direct experience in all facets of shelter medicine. Our on-site community clinic and full- time veterinary team allows students to spend their time gaining clinic experience. Our location in an underserved rural community allows students to gain unique perspective on innovative ways to bring access to affordable care to underserved communities. While the goal of this internship is to help pre veterinary and animal science students grow in their field of knowledge, it is also a program that seeks to make a positive impact on animals and the world by developing the human animal bond and preparing the next generation of veterinary students to work in both private practice and shelter medicine. The program highlights the unique challenges that come with shelter medicine such as rapid spread of disease and the need for quick spay/neuter surgeries when low-cost clinics provide lines of people in need of surgery for their dog or cat. However, students learn skills that are applicable to both private practice and shelter medicine. We do not advertise this program and it has grown through word of mouth and once a college/university has had a student complete the program they are anxious to send more students. With



{ THE ACS CORNER} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Animal Care Sanctuary is one of only 20% of shelters nationwide that has its own veterinary staff.”

over 55 applications each semester for just two intern spots, this highly competitive internship program and we receive applications from students in colleges and universities across the county.

impact on reducing stress indicating behaviors for dogs. I also noticed that music that is instrumental in nature and has little to no words seemed to

The hidden gems of this program are the interns themselves. They come to ACS to learn and leave us better for having had them with us. One of our recent interns came back to us for a few days to conduct research for her senior honors Capstone project. She chose to do her project on Auditory Stress Relief in Shelter Dogs. McKenna’ spent time getting to know seven of our dogs so they were comfortable with her and then she took them to a quiet place at the shelter and played different types of music or noise for them gathering saliva samples before and after playing the music to access their cortisol levels. Her ultimate goal was to find a way to provide inexpensive stress relief to shelter dogs during their stay at the shelter. Interestingly she concluded that the songs that have a slower tempo and softer tones such as classical and/ or some slow/soft jazz had a significant 330


During her stay, McKenna adopted Curly. Curly came to us from one of our Georgia transports. We work with a shelter in Georgia through a partnership with Best Friends Foundation. Curly is a wonderful loving dog who just needed some work with his manners. McKenna’s training in our internship program made her the perfect adopter. We knew Curly would flourish in her home. Today Curly is happy and well behaved and always listening to instrumental music. While the goal of this internship is to help pre veterinary and animal science students grow in their field of knowledge, it is also a program that seeks to make a positive impact on animals and the world by developing the human animal bond and preparing the next generation of veterinary students to work in both private practice and shelter medicine.

have a more calming effect as well. Music that was louder and faster paced caused a higher rate of stress.






The season of ‘wring’ is upon us. I’m sure you are wondering what in the world am I talking about? ‘Wring’ is how I describe the season in-between Winter and Spring. Now you may ask yourself why in the world would I call it this, besides the obvious of combining the two words Winter and Spring together? Think about the meaning of ‘wring’ and the term ‘wringing our hands’. The definition says it is to clasp and twist one’s hands together as a gesture of great distress, especially when one is powerless to change the situation. In this day and age that seems to be more often than not, but we’ll just focus on the ‘season’ aspect for now. This is the time of year where it can be very winter like one day and spring like the next. True, it’s still too soon to set our sights on spring, but when spring like weather appears, it’s hard not to! Which, in turn, tends to take away enjoying winter weather to its fullest potential. I don’t know about you, but when it stays cold for a couple of days, I get used to it. To me, if it feels like winter, then it is winter. But throw in a couple of warm days and I begin to wring my hands on how my plans for the weekend will be affected. Will I be rained out for the day I want to go sledding or skiing? Or perhaps the warm weather has me itching to get my motorcycle out for a quick ride.

However, the weather can change so quickly it’s best to try to tamper down that desire for now! Traveling during the ‘wring’ season can certainly have us wringing our hands no matter what the weather is!

So, I think a key element here is to dress accordingly for the season, not the temperature. Granted, that can be tricky, especially warm days thrown in the mix, but try to remind yourself if you had to walk, could you?

If it is wintery conditions, of course we need to be more careful driving. I’m sure most of you in the area heard about the closing of 95 in Virginia. How hundreds were stranded on the highway due to the weather?

Wear appropriate clothes, you can always take them off if you are too hot, but you’ll be thankful to have them in case you need them. Also, doesn’t hurt to have a blanket in the car. It doesn’t take up that much room and is nice to have in an emergency.

Can you imagine? Some travelers were stranded for up to 19 hours! One poor trucker needed his insulin, while others feared running out of gas; not knowing how they were going to stay warm!

Next are snacks. Can’t hurt to have a little care package in the car just in case. Bags of nuts, granola bars, even jerky I’m sure would have tasted good to those poor motorists stuck for 19 hours!

This would make anyone ‘wring their hands’! What can we do to lessen our anxiety in such situations? Perhaps being a little prepared in advance.

Of course now, you need something to drink! Bottles of water are the easiest but how do you keep the water bottles from freezing when you are leaving them in the car for the next time?

First of all, some of those motorists were going somewhere only an hour away. However, it ended up taking 13-19 hours. How were some of those people dressed? Just the day before, the temperature was in the 50s! Now, I admit sometimes knowing I may not be traveling far, I have jumped in the car without my coat. A thing I grew up knowing full well to never do! I grew up in Indiana. Winters were harsh. I can’t tell you how many times I either had to dig my way out of a ditch or help someone else while going to school or work.

Believe it or not, coolers are an excellent way to delay them from freezing. The key is to keep the cooler smaller, so it is insulating a smaller space. Or at least filling the space up around the bottles. A perfect solution is to keep your snacks and the blanket in the cooler with the water. If at possible, keep the cooler inside car the car with you instead of the trunk, giving it a chance to heat up during the times you are driving. If your water bottles get too cold and burst, at least they will be contained. As an extra caution, throw snacks and blanket in a sealed bag so they will not ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ TAMMY’S TIDBITS } SHIFT+CONTROL “Wring out of this season what you need and make the most of it! Enjoy and be safe.”

be ruined. Make sure to include any medications you may need in your care package. Granted, these things are common sense and only take a little preparation, but life gets in the way I get it. But one day, you may be really happy you took the time to prepare thus causing less ‘wringing’ of the hands.



Though this may not be the best season, when we understand this time of the season, it can be. Like I said, when it feels like winter, it’s winter. Same goes for Spring and now the in between needs to be the same. Realize rain can quickly turn into ice. Mentally prepare yourself to go with the flow whether it’s wet or frozen while traveling.

If your plans get cancelled, have a backup plan. Don’t let it get the best of you. We need not be powerless to change the situation. Preparation gives us back the power. Wring out of this season what you need and make the most of it! Enjoy and be safe.



HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO No matter how hungry you are, don’t eat the food of someone who doesn’t like you. No matter how broke you are, don’t become a beggar. No matter how lonely you are, don’t go to Egypt. No matter how tired you are, don’t sleep on your ex’s bed. No matter how weak you are, don’t lean on a Murderer’s shoulder. No matter how sick you are, don’t go to a poor hospital.

the word “Dignity”. Because there is no other word to describe someone who maintains their cool in hell. I watched my mother do it, so I can testify. She was dignity personified. Dignity is what you must have when you are placed in am awkward, embarrassing position. Dignity is the posture you should maintain.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the more vulnerable you are, the wiser you must be. The more vigilant and alert you must become. The more common sense you must have. The more prayers you must pray. The less words you must say. The more peace you must declare. The more tools you must use.The more armored you must be. Today I found myself hungry, in the vicinity of someone who does not like me. Though there were options to choose from, but even if there wasn’t, I would have rather starved to death. You see, there is something called Self-Respect. I didn’t use to have it, but now I do. Though this may seem like a far stretched example, I think it’s suitable. Have you ever noticed the way people pay tribute to someone who died of cancer? Most people say, “You fought a good fight, and you did it with dignity”. I have seen this sentence stated in different ways, but hardly with the omission of 336


This is the stance you ought to take today. That No matter how beat down and worn out you are, there are some quarters you wouldn’t be found in. There are some things you wouldn’t do. There are some words you wouldn’t say. There are some habits you wouldn’t imbibe. There are sins you wouldn’t commit. You simply cannot stoop low. Dignity, Self Respect, Self Preservation. These are the keys to being respected. No matter what happens, you must not return to Egypt. No matter how low life knocks you down, there are the things you shouldn’t do.

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t have considered this. I would bear my heart naked to people who didn’t really know me. I would give to people who couldn’t spell “charity”. I would trust people who honored my parents, and assume they also honored me, until their display of dismissal and rejection, one too many times. I was raised as a PK, so I watched my Parents be nice. They gave everything, expecting nothing in return. Watching this pervasive behavior for so long did something to me. Notice I said TO me and not for me. That’s why I called it “Pervasive”. I became Codependent and was drawn to narcissists. I subconsciously found the gaps in people’s lives, and I spent years filling up holes I wasn’t ordained to fill. Well, I’m sure that some of these people were my assignment, but I know for a fact that many were assignments that I put on myself. God didn’t assign me to those people. I am still hurting over some of all that giving, but I won’t look back. However, there is no way on God’s green earth that I can be taken for granted again, and that’s why my sense of dignity has tremendously increased. The more you place healthy boundaries on yourself, the more self preserved you will become. Not only will you not surround yourself by Takers, but you will do all you can not to take from




{ LADY “O” } “Dignity is what you must have when you are placed in an awkward, embarrassing position. Dignity is the posture you should maintain.”

takers. In fact you will do all you can to never be in a place of extreme want, but if you do, you would know how to handle yourself with contentment and class. You will not allow yourself to be mocked or laughed at. That’s what Self-Respect does for you. It forces you to humble yourself. Soon, you wouldn’t lack for 338


anything, internally that is. Your internal strength will make up for the gaps of financial crisis or vices. If you remain consistent with loving yourself, you will soon have all you want and need. Enough to never need to knock on any door, let alone on Pharaohs Door.

I wasn’t fair to myself. I put myself in a place of temptation. If I only scheduled lunch or a light evening snack, I wouldn’t have been hungry. In as much as you wouldn’t return to Egypt, make sure your survival does not depend solely on Egypt.

You see, I got hungry because many hours had gone by since I had eaten.





{ DIVI9 } } { DIVI9 CHAT


Why get a lymphatic massage if I have never had surgery? Let’s first gain a functional understanding of the lymphatic system. This body system is a network of capillaries, vessels, and nodes that serve the function of catching leaked fluids. Where exactly do these leaks originate? Your cells and blood. Take a moment to visualize that; I use visualization often, not just as a study tool, as a tool for healing. If I can see it in my mind, I can heal it; it’s like walking around in the dark if I can’t see it. Let’s go a bit deeper to help you see more clearly. What are capillaries? Anastasia Climan, RDN, CN-N, describes capillaries as a “single layer of overlapping cells.” Let’s think of them as a single layer of roof shingles. When it rains, that rain runs down the shingles to the gutters, you will never see rain going up the roof; remember this because capillaries only allow lymph to enter, not exit. The drains are like the lymph vessels. The lymph vessels connect to the lymph nodes. The nodes are your rain buckets at the end of the gutter, picture these buckets also having a filter. While gravity has done the job of transporting our imaginary rainwater, we need something else to do this job in the body, smooth muscles, muscles serve as the pump that makes the whole system work. Stay with me a while longer. From the lymph nodes, the lymph, our fancy rainwater, finally gets returned to the blood. Lymphatic Vessels: Anatomy, Function, and Treatment ( So what does lymphatic massage have to do with any of this? It sounds like the body has this pretty much under control. Yes, yet I can’t think of a single thing in life that doesn’t benefit from a bit of maintenance. It turns out

your lymphatic system and immune system are the same. “By freeing vessel pathways, lymphatic massage can help retrain the lymph system to work better for more long-term health benefits.” So now we’re talking, benefits! What are they? ● Boost of energy ● Recovery from injury ● Reduction of inflammation ● Getting the body back on track after an illness. ● Clear, healthy skin The Benefits of Lymphatic Massage | Raquel Wellness Massage Therapy provides lymphatic treatments derived from the Vodder style of lymphatic drainage. Book your “lymph knows” session at iamdivi9. com. Lymphatic massage, the Divi9 way Whether your goal is to experience the health benefits of detoxifying the body or healing from surgery, a lymphatic treatment does the body good by increasing lymph circulation and eliminating waste from the body. The forty-five-minute session focuses on the abdomen, while you may select to detoxify and relax the entire body with a two-hour treatment. Our unique style offers a blend of traditional massage, Vodder MLD techniques, wood therapy, hot towels, and hot bamboo. Sessions are adapted to meet each client’s treatment goals. In addition to being the number one doctor-recommended treatment following surgery, it is also a tremendous premenstrual self-care ritual. FAQ: Is it painful? Proper lymphatic drainage is not painful and is a gentle and efficient treatment. I am in surgery recovery, and I am

wondering, should I do this? I assure you that you are in the right place. In addition to excellent, nurturing massage therapists trained in MLD Vodder techniques. We provide relaxing, confidential treatment rooms with adaptations to allow your body and nervous system the time and space to receive the treatment it needs. Do you need to open my incisions? They opened my incisions every day following my surgery. I do not need to open your incisions to perform an effective treatment. Instead, your lymphatic system will carry out the functions required. My friends said I don’t need these massages, but I’m in so much pain. Can lymphatic massage help? Yes, it can help, and as stated earlier, lymphatic massage is a gentle and efficient treatment. Inflammation is how your body executes the healing process; the pressure it creates sends pain responses. Lymphatic massage supports the reduction of tension and heaviness, which has the added benefit of shortening the distance nutrients travel to reach targeted areas more efficiently, promoting better healing. Book one session and make your own decision based on your experience and results. I am looking very bruised and beaten, what can you do for me? I get it, and it’s difficult to appreciate the artistic results of your surgery beyond the bruises. Our bruise care techniques will significantly improve the appearance of bruises in one to two treatments. They are most effective when provided in the first week or two after surgery. What tip do you provide the most or find most beneficial to your clients? Do not underestimate the value of rest ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ DIVI9 CHAT } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “It’s normal not to be used to being still for a while, and it’s normal to experience boredom and mood swings following your procedure.”

and hydration. Ensure that you have a support system that can get you to your appointments, assist you with small children, and even care for you as if you were a small child! Avoid bending, reaching, and performing strenuous tasks. Stay 342


hydrated. It’s normal not to be used to being still for a while, and it’s normal to experience boredom and mood swings following your procedure. Getting out of the house for your sessions will ease the transition! These experiences are more

commonplace than you might realize. I see it all the time.






STOP CHOP Your Way to Being Unstoppable in 2022! It’s that time of year! Yes it is! Time to set new goals. Time for celebration. Time to vision success. Time to prepare to step into 2022 and experience new goals. Most of all it is time for visionary strategies and practices that help you manifest your unstoppable 2022. But what happens when you are just not feeling it? When you feel hopeless and worn down by life, leadership, and the holidays? What happens when you have had enough? Enough of the stress and tension of the holidays? Enough of business struggles? Chances are you are backed up with emotional sludge. Holding back your authentic expression causes pressure that all too easily builds into tension and toxicity. Imagine that your unexpressed feelings are like a bottle of champagne. The champagne stays in the bottle, the bubbles pressurized, until the cork is popped. And then – watch out! When you don’t have a healthy outlet for pent-up anger, frustration, anxiety, fear, insecurity, or other toxic emotions, it’s likely that they will build up to a point when you can’t hold them in any longer and you end up lashing out or acting out in an extreme way. Or you feel let down, low and hopeless. It is time to express yourself and LET IT GO! The entry to 2022 is the perfect

opportunity to express yourself and get rid of some old patterns that no longer serve you! Let go of the old garbage holding you back and step into 2022 with clarity and renewed sense of accomplishment. When you are clogged there is no space for the new to enter. You must make a regular practice of expressing yourself and eliminating the old. This does not have to be painful and laborious, SuperCORE Fit Coaching provides breathing and movement techniques to give you the opportunity to consciously build up pressure and then release it. You can easily go into the stuck and come out the other side. This is extremely healthy not only in your interpersonal communications, but for your internal balance and unstoppable energy. Stop Chop is one of our most famous and favorite SuperCORE Fit Coaching moves. We think of it as taking out a machete and cutting away the old to make room for the new. If you are not chopping away old energies, then you are probably carrying them around like burlap bags of garbage on your shoulders. This can create an extreme burden in your internal operating system. Stop Chop is a coaching movement we use with women when invaded by negativity and she needs to create new boundaries, eliminate old energies, and create new thoughts and emotions. Stop Chop asks you to say STOP to the old behaviors. And chop them off with a swift martial arts chop. Using

vigorous breathing, the sound STOP, and the intention to eliminate you are saying to your body and life, “I mean business! It is time to let go of old behaviors and patterns that no longer serve my highest self!” When you’ve had ENOUGH… Stop Chop – Set boundaries and eliminate harmful or addictive thoughts or behavior (yours or someone else’s) This move can be done seated or standing. For maximum power and release, we recommend standing if that is an option for you. ● Start in Ready Stance – seated or standing, with feet about shoulder width apart for stability. ● With your arm at a right angle, reach up. ● Chop down with the pinky side of your hand like a blade, saying out loud, “STOP!” ● Alternate sides, saying “STOP!” each time. ● The STOP will send a signal to your brain and body to LET GO! You can be very intentional and let go of specific emotions, feelings, and behaviors. Expression is what happens when the stuck is released and the release creates new space for manifesting what you desire. Most people in our current social structure do not feel free to truly express who they are. We are taught from a young age to sit quietly, stay in line, don’t cause a fuss, follow the rules, and don’t stand out from the crowd. Although these can be important guidelines for institutionalized learning or family stability, they create an environment of stagnancy rather than freedom of expression. And in order to be unstoppable you must create the energy you need to move forward in life. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN } “Time to prepare to step into 2022 and experience new goals. Most of all it is time for visionary strategies and practices that help you manifest your unstoppable 2022.”

In order to be unstoppable the rules must change and you must express yourself! You need a program that is direct and deals efficiently with your past stressors, drives quickly to the core of the underlying issues, and provides your leadership with a fast, efficient, and highly effective system that addresses all components of health – mental, physical, emotional, and especially energetic. Consistently following the practice of SuperCORE Coaching moves will lead to an inner sense of clarity and awareness. This may be something you’ve never felt before, so be prepared for different

sensations in your body – no matter what! Clarity and awareness will show up in unexpected ways, such as:

Spiritual – connected, supported, nurtured, trusting

SuperCORE Fit Coaching and all it takes is a few minutes of breathing exercises, and movement. Life can get better and you can be unstoppable! Coaching your way into the New Year may be just what you need. Join the Vision Quest 2022 on New Years Eve Day and begin your coaching journey in the safety of our SuperCORE Coaching Community. Or jump on board for a full year of manifesting in our GoddessCORE ROAR weekly small group coaching to consistently practice techniques for building female power, intuition and manifestation.

These are the positive benefits of

Visit us at

Energetic – tingling, warmth, cooling buzzing, light, empty mind Physical – loose, flexible, stronger, taller, more aligned, better posture Emotional – calm, clear, neutral, excited, positive



There are myths out there about the afterlife. I call them myths because we don’t really know. What’s out there. After we pass away. We can only observe the decay of our physical bodies. Some of you may not even believe in an afterlife. For you especially, I hope you are making the very best of this life. For many of you, however, there is a belief in something beyond this world. It may be far up into the sky. Or in the depths of mother earth.

As a child growing up in this religious belief, the image of judgment is burnt into your memory, and motivates you to do good. Clever! The gates of heaven are described as pearly and golden upon beautiful clouds. Once, inside, you are free. You are also welcomed by your loved ones who passed on before you.

Shamans have the ability to support healing of the sick and communicate with the otherworld. We are often described as prophets, diviners, and can escort the souls of the dead to the otherworld.

Then without judging, ask yourself, “Am I living my life to the fullest?”

Here, too there is a belief in three worlds: the Upper World, the Middle World, and the Lower World.

Allow all of the answers to arise. Then ask, “How can I live more deeply in this lifetime?”

In the Catholic Church of Christianity, one is taught that at the time of death, your spirit is judged. This often takes place at the gates of heaven, and is judged by St Peter. 348


Shamanism is an ancient form of religion and spirituality whose main focus is that of healing. Its origins have been traced back 40,000 years ago to Siberia and Japan. As a Shaman, myself, I can attest to the healing and intuitive abilities one is gifted with.

Here are a few myths and/or beliefs out there. While reading, consider your own belief and notice how similar or different it may be in comparison.

THE AFTERLIFE In Christianity, we are taught that there are three realms: Heaven, Earth, and Hell. We live here on earth as physical beings. When our body dies, our spirit rises into heaven, one can only hope. Because the alternative is going straight to hell, not a place anyone wants to go.

of us who may have led a life in earnest albeit humanly flawed. This is called Purgatory, perhaps a fourth realm where you undergo purification from your sins in order to enter into heaven.

The gates of hell? First of all, there are no gates. Just a door opening to a fiery inferno. Where you spend the rest of your … life … suffering. In the 1990’s, the Catholic Catechism redefined hell as an exclusion from God versus punishment. Whew! The Church also gives respite to those

As a Shaman, you can ‘journey’ to each of these realms. The middle world is considered the earth plane where we exist in our human life. But, it is not excluded to only the living. There are spirits or ghosts also living in this environment. These spirits are sometimes considered lost souls. A lost soul wandering the earth plane or middle world did not make it to either the upper world - which is quite lofty, or the lower world - which is a paradise of its own. This may be a result of a traumatic or sudden death or due to their belief system while alive.

{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT } “These are several beliefs and/or myths about life and death. What are yours? Where did they originate from?”

In my experience of the upper world, it is layered with soft billowy clouds. Each journey there, I have been welcomed by a spiritual master who has a lesson to reveal. My experience of the lower world is that of pure action. Reveling in lush greenery, riding horses, and swimming in healing waters.

and thought patterns. Rebirth can take several forms as either a god, a human or an animal. In some cases of traumatic death, a person can take the form of a hungry ghost, and remains earth-bound until certain ceremonies are done to free them. Similar to Shamanism.

It’s fun to be a Shaman!

In Hinduism, it is believed that we come back to this earth plane. At the time of death, one’s thought determines the quality of our rebirth. This is motivation to be mindful of one’s thoughts! The practice of mantra chanting is one way to support a positive outlook 350


Dedicated to two beautiful women in my life who only days ago departed from this earth plane. My motherin-law, Ingrid, and my aunt Diana. May you both enter into the highest realms of peace & serenity, and be welcomed by your loved ones. Alana Cahoon is the mindfulness coach, healer, and founder of Grow 2 B U, and author of Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditations.

Yoga Philosophy is one of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism. The belief is that mind, body, and spirit are all one. Main practices are mental discernment, detachment, spiritual knowledge, and selfawareness. When training to be a yogi here in North America, you discover that the asanas are expressions of liberation a n d u n i t y. T h e s e physical poses prepare the body to sit in samadhi or meditation.

Let this be your new way of being. In this lifetime. Mindful.

These are several beliefs and/or myths about life and death. What are yours? Where did they originate from? Personally, I believe in the power of mindfulness in this lifetime. By being mindful of one’s thoughts leads to being mindful in one’s behavior. And hopefully leads to a beautiful afterlife!







Thank you for being you and bringing your awesome to the world. That is what Kindness Champion stands for. Our mission, my mission is to help elevate how people see themselves and care for one another. When we are kinder to ourselves and others everyone benefits. Our compassionate and empathy increases, creating an unlimited amount of warm fuzzies. An article from the Mayo Clinic states: “Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer. Kindness can increase your sense of connectivity with others, which can directly impact loneliness, improve low mood and enhance relationships in general.” As Alison Malee says “Ah kindness, what a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in this world.” Many years ago I had this grand idea to offer short and sweet seminars that guided people through the steps of feeling better about self. Being an LCSW-R and a total fan of the human brain and all it can do, I know from my profession, research, and personal experience how changes in thinking combined with kind actions can lead to powerful, positive, permanent changes in feelings about self. I wrote some words down about this seminar stuff and continued along my life. Yet sometimes there are ideas that won’t leave you alone.

They continue to pop up all over the place, placing a pressure to take action. My idea of a simplistic way to facilitate positive change within people kept coming at me like snow in a snowstorm. This idea merged into combining with all things kindness. Kindness to self, kindness to others. My belief was this would generate happier people, healthier people, and we would all be the better for it. “Kindness is the light that dissolves all walls between souls,, families, and nations.” Paramahansa Yogananda I knew I had to take action and begin something. One I began the floodgates of creativity and thoughts can rushing out. My creative flow was a force in my life. Ideas of what to do, how to do what I was doing, poured out of me. Each idea was put on a sticky note and placed in an “idea” journal. I wrote a book (not published yet), did a seminar at the Rochester Brainery, and began posting stories of kindness on social media. An LLC, at first called Kindness Rocks, which is now Kindness Champions, was formulized. I was writing more and was honored when Kelly asked me to write a regular column for Rochester Woman Online. I fit things in the best I could while working full time as a social worker at a high school, parttime private practice, and having a life. Oh and there is a project supporting mental health professionals that some energy went towards. As time went by, sometimes flying, when I was not putting enough into Kindness Champions, my internal pressure sensor would get more intense. I loved everything I was doing, embracing it

all with gusto and joy. In the fall of 2020 my inner voice said it was time to leave my full-time school social worker job. Kindness Champions needed more of me. Eventually I listened and resigned from my job at the school. As Barack Obama said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Kindness Champions celebrates every person’s awesome by being kind to themselves and others, taking action to help people become happier, healthier, more kind and loving. Initiative’s include a postcard project where postcards are mailed to people using names and addresses in the phone book on a weekly basis. I believe I am one of the few people who yearly will request a paper phonebook. Other initiatives include daily posting of positive stories, articles with research supporting how kindness (including self ) is good for you, a regular blog, articles on how to be kind, along with promoting other social media and people doing good. There are some small sized flyers that a few business put in their orders or leave out, along with “You Matter” sicky notes that are randomly left around for people to see. My belief is that every single one of us is worthy and matters in this world. This is the heart of Kindness Champions. Another initiative is the Kindness Champion Spotlight where I interview people doing super cool things to help others and then post a spotlight story about these people and organizations. All ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


YOU MATTER } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Kindness Champions celebrates every person’s awesome by being kind to themselves and others, taking action to help people become happier, healthier, more kind and loving.”

of ideas of what to do next, because that creative flow is wide open, are placed in the Idea Journal for safe holding. What I have found in all of these experiences is when I follow my guiding heart and my voices from within, my choices and actions feel like home. I know I can help make a sustained positive change for people with what I am doing even 356


when putting myself out there feels uncomfortable at times. When I listen to my inner voice only good has come. I continue to learn, evolve, and while doing so I have become a happier and healthier person. I have witnessed the change that has occurred in others. It is magical when you see someone realize their personal value, beauty, love and joy. These moments bring goosebumps to me every time.

With joy I share with you a little about me and Kindness Champions. If you have anyone you want a postcard sent to, a possible spotlight story or any other questions please email KindnessChampions2020@gmail. com. Kindness Champions webpage is I thank you for being you and bringing your awesome to the world.






Hey ladies! Happy New Year and welcome to 2022! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been tip toeing into this new year being a bit more cautious than last year. I was so relieved to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021 with open arms and excitement. But then, a few days in, 2021 started acting like the guy who suddenly looks at his buddy, wild-eyed and ready to go and says, “Hold my beer!” Oh no, here we go! Just when I thought there may be some kind of relief, or return to normalcy. Then I thought about it some more and laughed to myself. What is it about flipping the calendar to a new year that makes me believe that something is going to change, the world is going to change or I’m going to change suddenly, just like that? If it was that simple and actually worked there wouldn’t be so many people who make those New Year’s resolutions tossing in the towel by February or March. And yet, we all need to believe and hope that things are going to get better, right? Well, my honest answer is I don’t know. While I really hope 2022 is better than the last couple of years, I refuse to sit around and wait and see, because here’s the thing: whether the world, the community, Covid, friends, family, (insert whatever else you like) get better or not, I can choose and commit that I AM GOING TO GET BETTER AND DO BETTER despite what may be going on around me. If I focus on changing outside circumstances to be “right” before I can do anything, chances are it’s never going to happen. 358


So, what will be your focus for 2022? How about uncovering and becoming more of your beautiful, authentic self?! Sound interesting but don’t know where to start? The good news is you don’t have to search very far. Everything you need is already inside you! You may just need to take time to review your life and where you are right here, right now. If you find yourself feeling like something is missing, you’re not happy, you often wish all or part of your life were different, dissatisfied with your job, relationship, you are questioning or disagreeing with beliefs you were taught, you use drugs/alcohol to cope; these can all be signs that you are not living an authentic life or being your authentic self. What is the authentic self? It is when you fully express your values, beliefs, needs, desires, thoughts and emotions. The key word being YOUR. How many of us spent the first part of our lives expressing what we thought were our values, beliefs, etc.? Or better yet, maybe it wasn’t even a question you thought about. When you were born you were assigned a name, social security number, gender, possibly a religion and you were raised by a family, community, and/or system, all of which told you stories, shared their beliefs, traditions, and norms. Most likely, you took on some of these or they had an influence on you. If all these beliefs, traditions, stories, etc. ring true for you and are a good fit, then chances are you are already on a good path to being your authentic self. But what if they don’t fit; they

don’t feel right for you? For example, maybe you grew up in a family where your parents were doctors and the expectation was you would follow in their footsteps, so you did. Now you have been a doctor for a few years but are unhappy, and your career doesn’t bring you any satisfaction. You would rather open your own business and sell your artwork because that is your passion, what energizes you and brings you joy. What do you do? You could keep doing what you’re doing and go along to get along, or you could start making a plan of how to transition into focusing more on your artwork and opening your own business, which would energize you, fulfill your purpose, ignite your passion, and allow you to live a life of joy and meaning. Staying a doctor is the safer, more familiar route, right? While going for something unfamiliar and riskier can be incredibly scary. Will you let fear stop you? Or will you allow yourself to feel the fear and do it anyway, having faith that if you take steps to live your truth and be your authentic self, that it will work out? Only you can answer that question about any parts of your life that you would like to change or don’t seem to be working for you anymore. Here’s the thing: you can take your time and figure this out one small step at a time. Becoming your authentic self is a journey, a lifelong process, and not something that happens overnight. It’s a continued trip of going within to get closer each day



{ CHERI’S COACHING CORNER } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “ If I focus on changing outside circumstances to be “right” before I can do anything, chances are it’s never going to happen.“


to being and doing things that speak to your truth and continuously bring you more in alignment with your authentic self.

How would you communicate?

Here are a few questions to answer to start to explore your authentic self: If you knew that no one would judge, shame, or reject you, and there would be no other negative consequences, how would you express yourself?

What would be your values, beliefs, thoughts, and ideas?


What would your appearance look like?

How would your life look different than it does now?

These are questions to get you thinking about who and what you want to be; how you want to live your life. And remember, it’s never too late! Whether you are 20 or 60, life is too short to be anything less than your beautiful, authentic self! Until next time, stay fabulous and unapologetically YOU!









As a small business owner, you know how much you appreciate every single customer that invests in your hard work. It’s important that you show customers how much you value them because even a small consistent gesture will make customers feel that they’ve made a smart decision selecting you! Brand loyalty grows when customers know that they’re cherished, which leads to customers referring more customers. The qualities that you offer through the customer relationship will be brought back to you. This month is the season of love when businesses may choose to show their customer appreciation, however, let’s take a moment to consider some of the ways you can uplift your customers and make them feel heard all year long! Staying Proactive with Customer Service It’s important to get creative in order to continually reach more clients, especially when remaining committed to the fact that customers aren’t just a number. One of the keys to strong customer service is having real people available to talk with them when they need you most. This builds trust and strengthens your reputation as being a reliable organization. Having real employees answering customer’s questions and listening to their concerns not only provides a genuine experience for the customer, but these questions and concerns are extremely useful when deliberating product or service changes. This may feel daunting when replying to many customers about similar questions, but it’s key to respond to everyone with a unique and personalized interaction. A well-functioning helpdesk is easy

to set up and allows you to provide a one-on-one experience with customers. If applicable, it may be useful having a specialized call team that allows customers to talk to competent people in the right department. Customers are looking for ease and convenience when filing their product concerns, so having a place for customers to get their questions answered on the website is convenient as well. Most importantly, they are looking for an immediate response from your company. Staying proactive and having personal interactions with the customer throughout the year is essential to making every customer feel valued. Thank You Posts/Videos A business’ social media page is where its brand personality comes alive, and customers can interact with the company and experience the business’ values firsthand. Using social media advancements like daily stories, businesses can post quick updates and uplifting content for their followers every day. We recommend utilizing social platforms as a means to show customer appreciation throughout the year. Not only do you get to learn who your customers are this way, but when they’re tagged in a story on a brand profile for hundreds of followers to see, they will feel valued. Other creative content like videos with leadership expressing their gratitude for the customers on a more consistent basis is another means of showing the love on a regular basis. Work with Causes Customers Care About There are plenty of effective ways to give back to customers to show your

appreciation, like gift cards for those that spend a certain amount or loyalty rewards programs. However, getting to know your customer base and hearing what they truly care about besides your products and services only nurtures the relationship. Working with local community organizations or nonprofits that you know your customers will be proud to support is a great way to build your brand reputation as well as align your values with those of your customers. Engaging in conversations with your customers throughout the year truly humanizes your brand. Follow Up! When communicating with customers, whether you’re making a sale or managing a problem, it’s essential for you to check in with them afterwards. Reaching out to customers expressing your gratitude for their business or offering to assist them again if needed is a great means to make your company’s customer experience stand out. If you communicate with customers on a more intimate level and learn more details about their life, be sure to include these personal anecdotes in your follow up messages for customers to recognize you’re listening to them. Personalized messages, or even handwritten thank you notes, are very rare for customers so it’s a fantastic way to show customers how much you love them throughout the year. These are just a few ways you can help your customers feel loved all year long! What do YOU do to show your customers that you care? Let us know! -Bre ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


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Dear Winter I’m coming as the daylight is starting to get longer and the winter weather is setting in with the coldest temperatures in a very long time. There’s a lot of positives going on in my world. First, in western New York, we have our sports teams and their having successful seasons. The Buffalo Bills are back! The Bills Mafia are uniting enthusiasm and finding new ways to break folding-tables I guess. If we are lucky, the Buffalo Bills will be hosting the AFC Championship. I haven’t been to one since 1993 they played in January 23, 1994 against Kansas City Chiefs. It’s not fortunate that there will not be a championship game in Buffalo despite an outstanding effort.

and Chocolate – Wine & Beer? I’ll tell you! First, the Super Bowl occurs on February 13th this year and Valentine’s Day is the 14th of course. If you don’t plan the number of events might take your attention away from what’s important and could create hurt feeling. What you can do is contact the Seneca Lake Wine Trail about participating in the Wine and Chocolate Weekend on the first weekend in February. You’re going to taste some really great wine and try some super chocolate treats from 16 wineries.

But we are quickly approaching the Olympic games in early February for 13 days while a blanket of snow is everywhere in sight. I’m a big fan of the winter events being we have access to so many of these same activities so close by including downhill and cross-country skiing, ice skating, hockey and so many more. What many people do not know is that these same sports are all around us to enjoy and participate in. And I’m already booking hotel reservations for the 2023 World University Game which will be taking place in our Olympic City Lake Placid scheduled to start on January 12th. The other interesting fact is that an Olympic style village and updating the venues like the Hockey arena to the tune of 97 million dollars and tens of millions to the others to match world elite class status. So if your like winter sports, you’ll be doing the same. Agness Wine Cellars is supporting the creation of the Miracle on Ice Statue. But, what does this have to do with Love

It’s an excellence opportunity to discover wonderful gift options when visiting. If that’s not possible, consider attending the Finger Lakes Welcome Center on February 12th from 9 am to 1 m located on Lakefront Drive in Geneva with many local craft vendors including Agness Wine Cellars providing wine tastings with amazing chocolates samplings as well. I personally think you will see the most stunning Welcome Center imaginable.

and unique tastes including chocolate stouts that will be surprisingly delicious. I can easily recommend K2 Bros that continually have new releases on a regular basis. I could provide the listing of every one of the more than 32 neighborhood craft brewing companies as I can say support your local brewery and have fun. What most don’t realize is that the number of breweries has grown at an incredible rate from 2018 to 2019 as 1000 new breweries have started up. In New York, there are now over 450 breweries and in almost every county. Cities like Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo, smaller cities including Canandaigua are developing their own beer trails starting rapidly such as Naked Dove, Young Lion, Peacemaker, Twisted Rail and some I haven’t even visited as yet - Frequentem Brewing, Square Knot. Three Huskies Brewing, Bee Hive Brew. This is a very interesting situation. I can’t believe the speed at which this is developing. T he distance from Rochester or Syracuse to Canandaigua is less than an hour away. Taking a weekend in February to sample the variety of brews and different styles is tempting for sure. And there’s a number of really great restaurants as well. Try out Nolan’s or NY Kitchen when the appetite starts to kick in. I’m looking forward to 2022 to investigate these breweries first hand and report back on the creativity and flavors from these upstarts. I know that there will be one more on the way as well, maybe more. I’ll be sure to let you all know about Drumlin Field Brewing Company as I personally have an real interested in its success.

If you’re not a couple and looking for craft beers, then greater Rochester has some of the best craft breweries to visit for amazing ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022







I remember a day when I was a young reporter working in television. It was a slow news day and boredom set in. I decided to organize the crews of reporters and photographers to all go out together for lunch.

I am not looking to be the boss, the star, or the hottest woman in the room. Being wiser is way more satisfying than being younger. All the hard stuff you must go through in life carries a hefty price, and I have paid my fair share.

I thought it would be fun, and who would it harm.

But I am not ready to retire or slip away quietly. I do not need to document every detail of my life on Facebook and Instagram with filtered photos to keep myself feeling pretty or relevant.

Normally we could not do this during a busy day of chasing criminals and car wrecks. On this day, we were all just hanging around. The plan was to leave the building one at a time so our absence would be less obvious. We met up at a nearby restaurant laughing about the fact that we had left the newsroom completely empty, except for Gloria.

My need for glasses, lower heels, and tunics versus a tucked in shirt can make me feel like I have taken two-steps back in life. The wrinkles, brown spots and thinning lashes are constant reminders of what used to be. I can deal with all that. What I cannot stand is women my age sent to the career and social sidelines for no reason. At this stage in life, invisibility should be a choice not assumed.

I am no longer trying to step over another woman on the career ladder to a better position for more money. I would rather have a good relationship with a client over just making a sale. I value sleep and free time and walks with my dog. Age brings peace and perspective from constantly having to achieve and perform. It is easy to feel confused about our purpose. If I hear from another wellmeaning parent, “what will you do when your daughter goes to college next year?”

Gloria, our assignment editor started to frantically page all of us looking for her staff. She was a long-time award-winning news woman, and we could have cared less. Her longlist of impressive credentials made her a broadcasting pioneer. To all of twenty-somethings, she was just invisible. I must admit, I am feeling a little like Gloria these days, professionally and personally.

I choose to stay a blonde because I like how it looks, not because I am covering anything up. Comfort and warmth are more appealing these days than tight and trendy. Give me jeans and a turtleneck, and I will show you a girl who is happy walking out the door to dinner.

I have no idea, but I cannot wait to find out. I will author a book, travel to Europe, sleep past 6 a.m. and try to stay out of Wegmans for longer than a week. The possibilities are endless. Visibility is not about pictures and posts, but a state of mind. I turned 58 in October, and I am grateful. I am not ashamed of my age, but I am more than a conversation about menopause. If you say you are over fifty, all anyone can talk about is weight gain, gray hair, and dry vaginas. Menopause is not an easy transformation. It is like going from a butterfly to a caterpillar, but your body and brain survive and there is a beautiful freedom on the other side of maturity.

I want my soon to be twenty-something daughter to “see” me; an independent, successful woman who never stops wanting to learn and is willing to try something new without fear of rejection. It is easy to feel tired and want to throw the white flag of surrender. We are still working, paying the mortgage, making dinner, raising kids, and trying to stay physically and professionally relevant in a world that has all but eliminated our demographic checkbox.



{ HER EDGE } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “To all of twenty-somethings, she was just invisible. I must admit, I am feeling a little like Gloria these days, professionally and personally.”

It is an extraordinary time in life that has somehow made us feel ordinary because we allow it. I hope I never lose my passion or curiosity. If someone does not value my experience, I now have the confidence to connect with someone who does. Assuming Gloria did not have anything 370


to offer was my mistake. Diminishing her skills and work experience just because she was “older” limited my chance to learn something. I thought being younger made me smarter. It did not. I ran in to Gloria two months ago. She came up to me, smiling and anxious to chat. She

caught me off guard. We did not reminisce about our days in the newsroom, a time in her life that was clearly in her rearview mirror. Instead, she beamed about her volunteer work with a local animal shelter and congratulated me on my career success and transition. She was gracious.




Am I really as dysfunctional as the label you have given me? The meaning of dysfunctional is as follows: deviating from the norms of social behavior in a way regarded as bad. I suppose in ways according to the definition one could say yes. Although then that means I’m a bad person pertaining to society’s views. I can agree I’ve never fit into the peg grooves as easily as others.I’ve most times felt the sting of not being included. Once as a child, new to a school in 3rd grade as I sat next to a new friend on a bus coming home from a field trip, the little girl looked at her mom who was a chaperone. She asked if she could invite me over, and as the mother looked over at me, looked me up and down, and whispered something into her daughter’s ears, I learned how cruel society was. I never went to her house, and she never sat with me or talked to me as a friend again. Was I considered dysfunctional and bad then, because I had old boys clothes on, or I was not up to her standards? I never forgot that moment, things like that stick with you and embed themselves into your mind, the mind that never stops analyzing what you have done or said. My choices have been derived from at times irrational thoughts and a personality disorder that had been undiagnosed for the majority of my life. Yet I don’t consider myself to be “bad.” I’m not one of the bad guys.



What I find most disturbing about the fact that I have had the finger pointed at me and ridiculed for being dysfunctional is also the question of who sets the “norms” of society? Or is it perception based on opinion of what normal is to you personally? For whatever reason, I don’t agree. I may be different than you, or have different views and habits or

behaviors, but deep down I’m extremely functional, and good. What makes people functional in your eyes? Is it having the “normal” appearance while outside looking in, or is it the stability claimed of a career that has basically sucked the existence from one’s soul? Or that white picket fence around the bones of skeletons caged within the

boundaries of what it is you see deemed as being in the good peoples club. I beg to differ at what makes a person good or bad, I suppose. Does divorce make people bad? Sometimes it makes the people better. Better for not remaining in a toxic situation. Maybe that’s where I’m dysfunctional as I raised my children in separate households as their fathers. Maybe because my 3 kids have 2 different dads. But hear this, it was functional. And there is no divorce that begins pretty. But I wouldn’t say that the aftermath was enough to call me dysfunctional. I maintained a home, and an in house career. I managed children, and sometimes through the child’s eyes was the “bad guy” as consequences for actions were a mothers job. I had to let go of one of my children who wanted to go be with his father as a teenager in another state. Not a decision that came lightly mind you, but one that almost broke my heart. You see even states away his father and I communicated, making it possible to still be an active father, even through distance. So when he wanted to go there for the school year and with me the summers, I couldn’t do what I selfishly wanted to do, and say no. So I let him go. Maybe that’s the dysfunctional part. Am I bad for letting him go? Or the fact that my ex husband bought a house down the street from me, and we constructed a schedule that fit his, mine and the kids




KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “The meaning of dysfunctional is as follows: deviating from the norms of social behavior in a way regarded as bad.”

lives and stuck to it. We made sure our kids knew whose house they were at when, and communicated if we needed a day or time to change. We worked together, we functioned. There were bad times, but it didn’t make any of us a bad person. I didn’t live inside the views of society’s norms, but who really does? I’ve learned a lot about appearances throughout my abnormal life, and one is that if it looks perfect there’s something hidden behind that pristine appeal. I’ve also learned that society’s image 374


also means a little bit of brain washed propaganda to make you think your better than someone else, because of what you portray to be. Yet deep down, you are screaming inside to be the person you can’t. Maybe you truly hate living in that house, with that person, but do it because it’s normal. Yet Inside you yearn for something more. To be noticed more, appreciated more or loved more. Or maybe you hate your job, and feel like you can’t leave because the risk of losing your identity based on the status would

be too disappointing. But disappointing to who? I don’t know who makes these bars that other people believe you must reach, but whoever they are maybe they need to look internally before pointing and casting judgements. I bet they battle demons way bigger than the ones I lay out on the table. My failures are not evil, and I am not bad. The best successes in my life have come after what you deem a failure. Maybe I’m not what you want me to be, but I’m much better than being a









It’s the new year again. The time where gym memberships skyrocket and injuries are soon to come. There are many reasons to fear going to the gym. What exercises should I do? Why am I sore? These are all valid questions. This article will give you some basic steps to prepare you for your new venture into exercise. Let’s start with some frequently asked questions. Why am I so exhausted today, but not yesterday? Let’s face it…you will have good days and bad days. Multiple factors affect your body, including what time of day you exercise, how you slept last night, medications, or what food you have in your system. Everyone has different times of day when they are at their peak performance. You will have to play around and find what time works best for you. Having the right combination of food in your body at the right time is also vital for your workout performance. Wait at least 45 min between your meal and your workout. Your body will need a balance of carbohydrates and protein to bring you that burst of energy and fuel your muscles for your workout and recovery. STAY HYDRATED Dehydration can cause muscle fatigue and muscle cramping during and after your workout. The average person should drink 50% of their body weight in ounces of water. So, someone 200 lbs should drink 100 oz of water a day. Multiple things can interfere with proper hydration. One is caffeine which

is a diuretic. If you are a caffeine lover, increase your water intake. Sweating can also increase your water loss, so working out will require more water intake. INJURY PREVENTION: Injury is one of the main reasons we fall off the fitness wagon. We jump into the gym using improper form or pressing ourselves too hard too soon. Modifications are sometimes necessary for making your workout program successful. The best way to modify an exercise is to work with a professional

and listen to your body. Having good form during your workouts is extremely important in injury prevention. Most gyms give you access to personal trainers. This is an excellent option if you are new to exercise and have no prior health issues. If you have medical issues or health concerns, physical therapy is a great place to start. SET GOALS To quote Brian Tracy, “A goal without a plan is just a dream.” Set yourself a few goals to achieve your dream. Going

to the gym with intention can make a big difference in your outcome. Start by setting your long-term goal, and then come up with smaller short-term goals to achieve your long-term goal. Make sure the goals you are setting are realistic. Losing 20 lbs in a month is unrealistic and only sets you up for failure. While setting goals is needed, remember to enjoy your journey! DON’T FORGET THE WARM-UP. The most essential parts of your workout are your warm-up and your cool down. Warming up your muscles is a critical step in avoiding injury. Save those stretches for after your warm-up or after your workout. Stretching a cold muscle can easily cause injury to your muscles or tendons. Your warm-up does not have to be fancy. You can use the treadmill, elliptical or go through the motions of an exercise a few times without weight. A warm-up can be done in 5-10 minutes! Cardio or weights? Both play an essential role in your health. As we age, strengthening exercises are essential for improving bone density, balance, and functioning in your day-to-day life. Cardio is important to improve your endurance and to be heart-healthy! Find a nice balance between the two. You will probably be sore if you start a new workout program. This is called DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness). This is just part of the muscle growth process. In order to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{{SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES { WELLNESS 360 } }} } “Would you jump into a marathon without training? Probably not without injury. If you want your workouts to be successful, then start”

build stronger muscles, you must push your muscles harder than usual. It is essential to give those muscles time to rest and recover. It is perfectly normal to experience some discomfort 24-48 hours after you have worked out a new muscle group. Soreness for longer than 48 hours means you may have pushed too hard during your workout. You can modify your exercise program accordingly. So how much rest do your muscles need? Studies show waiting at least 48 hours between working the same muscle group is ideal. 378


START SLOW Would you jump into a marathon without training? Probably not without injury. If you want your workouts to be successful, then start slow. Give your muscles plenty of time to get used to the exercises. Modify exercises when needed. An injury, high levels of soreness, or not enjoying your exercises creates the perfect storm for giving up on yourself. Wellness 360 is the perfect place to start your exercise journey. Wellness 360

will provide you with the appropriate modifications and exercises to improve your strength and posture and safely transition from inactivity to activity. We offer physical therapy, massage therapy, and group fitness classes led and taught by healthcare professionals. We can modify, challenge, and support your journey to health and wellness. Check us out at









It’s the end of January, how is your New Year’s Resolution going? If you’ve made a shift and you’re happy with it, take a moment and reflect on that. Acknowledge the effort and commitment you’ve put in. Less than 50% of the population will have kept it five months from now. Notice what impact it’s making on your life. If your resolution is not progressing as you’d like it to – or you barely remember what it was, did you pick something that was in your heart, truly meaningful to you? Or was it something someone else told you should be meaningful to you? Sometimes we’re making changes rooted in external validation – ex. Wanting to look the way we’re “supposed” to look. Or I “should” get healthier. Sometimes it’s simply a setup issue, and this article will address that later on. But why don’t we take a moment to start fresh again, with some changes that are customized to you and your life? This is by no means a comprehensive health and wellness goalsetting guide, but some high points and tips based on my training and experience as a yoga therapist, that could save you some frustration and time. What do you want to feel? For years, I told myself that if I won the lottery, I would work less and workout at least an hour a day. Now as a yoga and fitness instructor I actually love the way working out makes me feel. (I realize that not everyone else feels

the same, that’s ok – this process still applies to you.) The endorphins, the sweat, being in my body. It’s a bonus that there’s a health benefit.

want for yourself? What would feel best on your body? How can your self-care routine support you in that? Just pick one two things to start.

After about two years of neck pain caused by not taking enough time for myself, I knew I had to make a shift. No, nobody handed me the million dollar winning lottery ticket, nor did I receive a large lump sum of cash via inheritance, but I started living out my lottery dreams now. Why wait for what I wanted? So I’ve been working out an hour a day, usually. I give myself some grace on days that it doesn’t happen, the same way you should. But instead of “ugh, I have to workout, how am I going to fit it in?” it just comes naturally now. I don’t FEEL as good when I don’t move, so I’ll find myself sneaking in even 10 minutes of a walk or stretch to feel better. My neck pain’s subsided and I’m working more efficiently. Cigarette breaks used to be a thing, so what can you fit in for 10 minutes here and there throughout the day to move you toward what you want? Life was stressful and overbooked prior to the pandemic, and now many of us are living in a constant state of not knowing what’s next. You may honestly feel numbed out. Taking time for what makes us well can prevent burnout and make us more aware of when we need to put the brakes on.

One year my resolution was to drink less. Saving myself an inch on my waistband wasn’t the motivation, it was so that I didn’t have to FEEL so groggy all the time. Less grogginess opened more doors, more quality time with friends and family. Easier to get up in the morning which would inspire more movement and healthier choices.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela Take a quiet moment when you’re somewhere safe. Close your eyes, rest your hand on your chest and take 10 deep inhales and exhales. What do you

As a yoga therapist, I approach health holistically – the physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual. This may take some experimentation, but are all five of those in alignment with your goals? Come July when it’s 90 and full humidity, I probably won’t be running 45 minutes outside - my physical body would reject it even if my mental body said “YES, Do it!” I’d pay for it later. Try on your goals. Experience can be the best teacher. But notice, as you go along how they’re working for you. If they bring on any physical or emotional ickiness, it’s time to shift. Know that your goals can shift seasonally. “Joy is a more powerful motivator than fear,” – Dr. Dean Ornish It sounds corny, but find time for what brings you true joy. Dancing, crafting, alone time with your pets. It does create change. I’m not talking about weight loss or juice cleanses, I’m talking about contentment. It makes life easier. Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

Medicine Research Institute (PMRI). “Telling people who are lonely and depressed that they’re going to live longer if they quit smoking or change their diet and lifestyle is not that motivating,” Ornish says. “Who wants to live longer when you’re in chronic emotional pain?” So instead of trying to motivate them with the “fear of dying,” Ornish reframes the issue. He inspires a new vision of the “joy of living” — convincing them they can feel better, not just live longer. That means enjoying the things that make daily life pleasurable, like making love or even taking long walks without the pain caused by their disease. “Joy is a more powerful motivator than fear,” he says. [Deutschman, Alan. “Change or Die.” Fast Company, Amanda Smith, 01/05/05 https://www.fastcompany. com/52717/change-or-die.]



What gets in the way? If you’re not sticking to your goals, maybe they’re not that important and you need to pick new ones, that’s ok. Another possible is that you just haven’t set yourself up for success. What conditions do you need to put into place? Sleep is paramount. You can be on the best medications and vitamins with topnotch personal trainers and home chefs and tons of carved out family time - and none of it will come together if you’re not getting enough sleep. I get it, you’re busy. Odds are, you aren’t quitting your job, or some of your other responsibilities (looking at you caretakers). Can you shift you relationship to them? What is it going to take to carve out more time for yourself so they have less of a grip on you?

It does take 30 days to make a habit. It should be a little bit uncomfortable at first. I remember when I decided to start running again, it was tough. Start with small goals – like a run/walk, cooking for yourself just once a week. Two minutes of meditation instead of twenty. Five minutes without your phone. If you can get yourself into a routine that you love, it turns into a non-negotiable, it’s less thinking about it, more fun. I hope something in here was helpful for you. Feel free to email me and let me know at Kaitlyn Vittozzi is a Yoga Therapist in Webster, NY. To learn more about getting mind, body and spirit in alignment visit TozziYoga.Com or schedule a free phone consultation.






Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, was originally published in 2008 by National Geographic Books. The book is based on National Geographic Fellow Dan Buttner’s research into communities around the world with the highest concentration of people living long, healthy lives into their eighties, nineties, and even into their hundreds.

what thrives in that environment. In each zone the diet consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds. They eat limited amounts of meat, fish, and dairy. When they do consume dairy, it is usually full fat from the milk of goats or sheep. In other words – the diet is plant-based. In addition, they consume no processed foods and eat

Last month, National Geographic reprinted a previous special edition of the magazine titled Blue Zones, The Science of Living Longer. I had read the book previously. However, it had been many years, and this was a good refresher of the principles of Blue Zone living, which have stood the test of time.

1. The foods they consume vary based on their agricultural environments and

3. In all of the Blue Zones people have a reason for waking up in the morning, a sense of purpose that gives them something to live for besides work. Research shows that having purpose may increase life expectancy by up to seven years. 4. People who live the longest have found ways to relax and reduce their stress. In Okinawa they take time each day to remember their ancestors, the Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda pray, Ikarians take a nap, and Sardinians enjoy a glass or two of a distinctive garnet-red wine made from local Grenache grapes.

You may be wondering why these geographic regions are called “Blue Zones.” There is a simple and unscientific reason for this – as Buettner and his colleagues were researching and identifying the communities they would study they used blue ink to circle them on a map. They identified five Blue Zones: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra region, Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California, where the highest concentration of Seventh-day Adventists live; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. While the lifestyles of people living in the Blue Zones vary slightly, there are commonalities. Residents of the original Blue Zones practice nine healthy habits that help them live longer, healthier, happier lives.

disconnect your garage door opener, lose your TV remote, and if you have a dog, walk it instead of letting it out to roam a fenced yard. Minor changes that increase your movement can burn up to an extra 150 calories per day.

5. In Okinawa, Japan, people mindfully stop eating when they feel 80 percent full. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that you are full. By stopping when you feel 80 percent full you will consume fewer calories at each meal, resulting in weight loss. sweets very infrequently, using local honey to sweeten beverages and foods. 2. They move naturally throughout their days. No need to go to the gym because their environments encourage walking everywhere. They still use hand tools and complete tasks around the home, yard, and garden themselves. A few easy things you can do to bring more movement into your day include mow your lawn with a push mower,

6. People in all of the Blue Zones, even some Adventists, regularly consume alcohol – one to two glasses a day with friends and / or food. Moderate drinkers tend to live longer than those who never drink. 7. Social circles play a significant role in longevity. For example, Okinawans have moais, groups of five friends who commit to each other for life. Social circles support healthy habits, as well as ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JANUARY EDITION 2022


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “Residents of the original Blue Zones practice nine healthy habits that help them live longer, healthier, happier lives.”

provide emotional support and people you can count on for help in times of crisis. 8. Research shows that being a member of a faith-based community and attending weekly services adds four to 14 years to life. The denomination doesn’t appear to make a difference. 9. Centenarians living in the Blue Zones put family first. They give their children love and time and in turn, children care for their elders. Additionally, sharing life with a partner can increase life expectancy

by up to three years. Buettner has created Blue Zones by collaborating with whole communities to weave these nine principles into the fabric of the community. You can take the first step to creating a Blue Zone by following the nine principles to make small, sustainable changes in your own home. First step - make your kitchen healthier. Buettner identified the four best foods to always have on hand and the four worst foods that you should avoid.

Four Always Four to Avoid 100 percent whole wheat bread Sugarsweetened beverages Nuts Salty snacks Beans Processed meats Fruits Packaged sweets At Blissfull Balance LLC our mission is to help you to live life healthier. Initial health coaching consultations are always complimentary. To schedule email

At Blissful Balance our mission is to help you to live life healthier.

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It’s the start of another new year. Many of us set New Year’s resolutions. Setting goals for changing our behavior is important for each of us throughout our lives. We each need goals to motivate us, each day, to achieve all that we are inherently capable of doing. Meeting our goals greatly enhances our self-esteem. It also provides increased motivation and drive for setting additional goals. Some of the resolutions that we set are relatively modest in nature, whereas others are all-encompassing to achieve. Perhaps you want to give up an unhealthy habit, such as smoking. Regardless of which type of goal you’re trying to achieve, there are several key factors associated with improving your odds of meeting your goals. First, it is important to set realistic goals. Setting realistic goals will go a long way in reducing the disappointment associated with not achieving a goal. Realistic goals are capable of being achieved with our innate talents, our currently available resources, and our level of commitment. Not setting realistic goals will inevitably result in enhanced frustration and disappointment. For example, an individual might desire to lose a total of fifty pounds. It’s entirely realistic to attempt to achieve this goal over the course of an entire year, whereas it’s not realistic to meet this goal within a two-week period. Another key factor is achieving our goals is breaking each goal down into more manageable steps. For example, many years ago I set the goal of achieving my doctoral degree in clinical psychology. This required achieving multiple goals along the way, including receiving

my associate’s, my bachelor’s, and two master’s degrees, prior to eventually receiving my Ph.D. This entire process took a total of fourteen years to achieve after my high school graduation. To be perfectly honest, I faced periods of intense frustration and discouragement while going through my academic training, due to the development of serious health problems. Nevertheless, I did my best to remind myself that I only needed to complete one semester at a time. In doing so, I successfully moved closer to the goal of earning my doctorate. When attempting to achieve our goals, it is critical to refrain from perfectionism. Perfection is the enemy of good, after all. Individuals with perfectionistic tendencies will often spend much more time than is necessary on any given stage of achieving an important goal. As a recovering perfectionistic myself, I’m finally appreciating that “good is good enough” when trying to achieve a goal. Many years ago, I took a watercolor painting class. I soon learned to appreciate that perfectionism was highly detrimental to mastering this specific medium. Attempting to correct perceived errors while painting only resulted in defacing the delicate paper being used. Mastering frustration is another important factor when trying to achieve a goal. We often encounter setbacks along the way to finally achieving our goals. I published a book, late last November. There was considerable frustration along the way to achieving this much-desired goal. In fact, I needed to carefully revise my initial manuscript, several times. This process was a very frustrating one. I needed to remind

myself, several times, of just how much effort that I had already made in trying to achieve this goal. I also enlisted the expertise of a line-editor. I reasoned that another set of eyes could more easily find the mistakes that were inevitably sprinkled throughout my lengthy manuscript. Another key factor in achieving goals is the ability to learn from our failures. Three years ago, I decided to open a shop in a small business co-op. I wanted to sell the wide range of polymer clay jewelry that I had been designing for the past couple of years. I had amassed an adequate inventory to open a store. However, I failed to thoroughly research the business aspects of establishing a store. I was certainly full of enthusiasm for taking on this new adventure, but I lacked the expertise in being able to successfully manage a business. Not so surprisingly, I eventually was forced to close my shop. Thankfully, I managed to learn a lot from not achieving this goal. Finally, be sure to enlist support when you are attempting to achieve a goal. We all need to recognize our interconnectedness. Even the most talented, highly driven individuals do not achieve their goals completely independently. It’s impossible to be equally good in all areas. We need to recognize when to enlist the expertise of others in trying to obtain an important goal. I freely admit that I never would have been able to obtain my doctoral degree without the assistance of my parents; they provided enormous support in attending graduate school as a single mother of a daughter with chronic medical difficulties. You’re capable of achieving your goals!





How To We Learn to Let Go Creatively In life, the hard road is the one we tend to resist. Especially after all we’ve been through the last two years. We are worn out and on edge with little left to give; even to ourselves. We tire more easily, and we avoid it by partying hard or by continuing to stay put because it feels a lot safer for many of us. Unfortunately, that is what’s holding you back from reconnecting with your joyful self. Joy is your true essence and until we learn the art of releasing that which no longer serves us or our growth, we stay stuck in limiting patterns and beliefs. Learning how to let go creatively means trying new things and the potential for an expansion of our hearts. Throughout our lives, we are tested by our deepest fears that can prevent us from our expanding our souls. This is just here to prove to us our own humanness and what makes each of us precious beings. We are here to learn from and then conquer them. We have listened far too much to outside opinions, expectations and advice that wasn’t always in our best interest. As if, had we not tried to live up to them or adhere to the “rules,” we were inherently failing ourselves and those who we believed were judging us. That’s where our first errors happen. It usually stands to bear that no one is paying attention to what we’re doing as much as we imagine. Their happiness isn’t hinging on anything we do most times. Funny that we hold that up as fact and run around people-pleasing & acting within societal norms. If I did my artwork in accordance with what others thought, I never would have made a single piece. 390


Have you ever ventured out of your comfort zone and done what you know resonates more divinely to your soul? It’s scary that first go-around but completely worth it! Try to imagine what would happen if you did that scary step. What if you wore that cute bikini to the beach or started dancing in public? You probably don’t know anyone, and you’ll never see any of them again. Once you do that hard thing, it suddenly hits you that you’ve allowed yourself to reconnect to your joy. It’s the bliss we rarely allow ourselves as adults. We lose it along the way towards adulthood. Imagine a three-year-old worried about anyone’s opinion and they’re the happiest people I’ve ever met.

You were born with the innate ability and inner guidance to know exactly how to find your purpose and then shows you how to get there. Joy is your truest essence and it’s the most patient and loving constant in our lives; even when times are the hardest. How many times do we pray and spend the entire time asking instead of sitting quietly and just listening to the guidance available to us? When you imagine what it is you wish for, how does it feel? Stay in that feeling and then allow in the support that awaits you. Watch for signs that are meaningful to you as a confirmation that you are on the right path. They’re always showing up for you as a means of encouragement and comfort.

Each step we take to remove our own beliefs about what is keeping us safe from pain, we move ourselves closer to feeling alive again. Another simple thing we can do is set intentions about how we want to feel going forward and what we will need to release to achieve that. The Universe is always conspiring to bring us what it is we wish or hope for. Some emotions or patterns are easier to let go of than others. So, start with simple ones like wanting to control outcomes of things that matter to you; if you’ll get promoted, find the love of your life or, as an artist, how the work I had all planned out in my head looks nothing like it once I’ve finished it. All those hopes, dreams and plans we have for ourselves usually pale in comparison to what the Universe has in store for us. But only if we can allow them to take the lead and trust that we will be guided and held. When we try to control the outcome, we are actually blocking what we wish to attract to us.

Grief can hold us in its grips like a strait jacket that is continually tightening around us. We are left feeling out of breath and out of control. Yet, we are always being supported by something greater than ourselves. If we lean into the love that is offered to us, grace and some good therapy can then allow us to start healing. We are meant to move forward once we’ve fully experienced its throws. There is more for us to see, experience and offer the world. Your pain can and will offer others hope. It’s in that moment that we are our most powerful. We can affect positive change. Today, try breaking out a piece of paper and write out exactly how you’re feeling without judgment. Write down whatever you’re being called to let out. Then begin to draw and scribble over the top of it. A line, a hard scribble, a shape that represents how you feel. Use colors that you are being drawn to and fill the paper. Just let go and let whatever




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “The art of releasing what no longer serves you will begin to alter your mindset for the better.”

happens be perfectly imperfect. Feel free to embrace whatever emotions this brings up for you. Now, take a few deep breaths as you witness what you’ve put on the paper. How does it feel to put it all down on something other than your heart? Do this as many times as you need. You’re doing sacred work to heal your pain. I sometimes do this on the canvas before I paint over it or will bury the paper I made a mess out of, letting Mother Earth transmute it and regenerate it into energy for her. It feels as though I’m allowing myself to be lighter and rise up again. You deserve to feel that way, too, using whatever loving means or ways that feels good. For the students in my intuitive painting workshops, their methods to get to that feeling usually use one of these two different approaches: sometimes they begin with quiet color choices that should their trepidation and, as they began to feel the loving ripples throughout the space, would make a complete color palette shift to bright, bold colors, shapes, or paint strokes. Their smiles were contagious. For students at the other end of the spectrum, the exact opposite would happen. Harsh, loud colors they originally had applied would suddenly not suit them. They’d begin to go over the top of them with softer, 392


quieter color choices. Their faces would relax, and their body language would feel looser and more uninhibited. Around this point of the workshops, there was a marked shift to joy, laughter, and fun. They begin to talk about their shared experience and the strides they made. When we have someone to share our journey with, there’s a communal feeling of love and support that’s undeniable and beautiful.

I’ve also seen students who are in a completely different portion of their self-love journey. They sometimes have left feeling frustrated and not ready to explore that area of their lives just yet. And that’s okay! We aren’t always in that headspace because it’s way too raw. If

that resonates for you, allow yourself time and space to become ready to process that pain. You’re allowed that. Be willing to seek the help you need without shame or judgment. We all benefit from qualified help and it can be incredibly lifesaving. The art of releasing what no longer serves you will begin to alter your mindset for the better. Whether it be through therapy, art, meditation, yoga, tapping or dance (of the millions of loving choices), you can begin to allow for the better in your life. You are worthy of love, joy, and happiness. That is your birthright. We are the ones who tend snuff it out with fear. Once you choose to have a more loving reaction to the difficulties you experience and root them in that love, there’s no way you can’t connect to your joy. There’s always someone who wants to help you be your best self and will love and support you through the pain. Let go and allow for the light that awaits you to pour in and take hold so that you can be nourished and grow into all that you are meant to be. Get excited that you are about to flourish and live with loving intention. I look forward to your heart being happy and fulfilled!




P & W

r e t s e Roch a z z i P Style





ade Italian sub bread!


fish frys, calamari, shrimp, fish sub


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