Rochester Woman Online July 2022

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july edit


































SHE HUSTLES TALKS Dr Nephetina Serrano Infinite Beauty USA Tere Marie Muted Closet


































july edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }






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{ FROM THE PUBLISHER } “I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.”– Audrey Hepburn I remember the first time meeting our latest cover woman, over 12 years ago, while working when I toured Camp Good Days and Special Times with Rochester Woman Magazine, before Rochester Woman Online was even a thought. I remember thinking wow, what an amazing woman, and more so watched how the children would come running to Wendy Bleier-Mervis and hug her, and smile and thank her. It left a lasting impression on me for the years that would follow. Now, here we are, and I am so excited to share her story as our latest cover woman starting on page [20]. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and get to really see a different side to this non-profit’s executive director. In our continued special She Hustles Talks women entrepreneurs section, we have author, national speaker, marriage & relationship expert and all around empowering woman, Dr Nephetina Serrano gracing our cover along with 4 other amazing lady bosses you dont’t want miss checking out starting on page [ ].



Photographed for our cover for the July 2022 edition of Rochester Woman Online magazine, we have the Wendy Bleier-Mervis, Executive Director of Camp Good Days & Special Times shot on location at the headquearters by Brody Wheeler Visual Artist.

We also hope you will also join us for our incredible upcoming events including the 2022 Catwalk for Kidneys Rochester on Sunday, August 21st from 11-5pm at Artican Works in Rochester, NY to benefit the Northeast Kidney Foundation and featuring over 40+ businesses, 15 designers/boutiques with fashions that will be “popping up” all over this unique venue, LIVE performances and sooooooo much more! Ticket’s will be available at the door, and it will be so much fun for the whole family. We hope you continue to enjoy all of the amazing articles and women we bring to you each month. Know someone who would be perfect for a cover, a feature or a highlight? Do you have a business that is you want tot promote to an audience of over 100k? CONTACT ME TODAY at








Kelly Breuer Marisa Zeppieri Kelly Breuer Brody Wheeler Jolana Hollister Lindsay MC Photography Doug Mitchell Bob Schultz Dr Pam Denton Tammy Vreeland Robin DeWind Amelia Waters Alana Cahoon Lisa Wagner Kaitlyn Vitozzi Lydia Dean Reese Denise “Karma” Clifford Ellen Feldman Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Dr Tunya Griffin Amy Bliss Christine Piacentino Omenessa Akomolafe Vincent DiGiorgio Rumella Cameron Devan Robinson Kara Karaoguz Cathleen Favaro Marion Rodriquez Marcela Tobar

Tammy Vreeland Beth Espada Alyssa Stivers Dr Nephetina Serrano Tere Marie Dawn Kellogg Alana Cahooh

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.



Please welcome Wendy Mervis to the ever expanding list of incredible Rochester Woman Online cover women. I have had the true pleasure of knowing and working with Wendy and Camp Good Days & Special Times in the past, and now am truly am honored that she sharing her story and journey with us in the latest edition. From competitive basketball in college, to giving back by working at Camp Good Days, she is now the executive director nhelping to run this amazing organization along side husband Gary. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your husband Gary and how you decided to create Camp Good Days & Special Times. Growing up in West Ir o n d e q u o i t , a s the youngest of 5, recreational activities became my passion. Whether participating in town athletics or boating, sailing and swimming in Lake Ontario, all I wanted to do with my free time in the summer was to be outside. Once I began competing in middle and high school sports, my focus was on higher education and playing a sport in college. I was blessed to have a tremendous support system at home and in the community. Many coaches, teachers, 20


and community members recognized my drive to be the best I could be in athletics and helped me in many ways. I was recognized as All-County in Soccer/ Basketball/Softball for numerous years and both All-Greater Rochester and Super 15 in Basketball. In 1984 I was selected as the Section V Female Athlete of the Year and inducted into the Section V Basketball Hall of Fame.

Spending my summers working at Camp Good Days, first as a Lifeguard, Program Director, and then Camp Director, I realized that I wanted to do more for the children and families that CGD served. Currently, I am the Executive Director, assisting Gary with the day-to-day operations, fundraising, and spending as much time as possible down at the Camp in the summer.

My dream came true when I accepted

Camp Good Days began in 1979 when Gary Mervis’s youngest daughter, Teddi, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and he wanted her to realize she was not alone in her battle. He had no campers, volunteers, or funding, but he had a dream. For the first three years, Gary took children with cancer, medical staff, and volunteers to the Adirondacks for an outdoor camping experience far away from the hospital’s sterile environment. From there, Camp Good Days spent eight years at a recreational facility on Canandaigua Lake. At that point, Gary was able to secure funding for a property on Keuka Lake to build a recreational camping facility. Entering our 43rd year, Camp Good Days has provided programs and services for over 50,000 campers from 36 countries and 22 states.

a basketball scholarship to Division I Colgate University, where I completed my undergraduate degree and played four years of basketball. Realizing I wanted other young girls to have the same opportunities as myself in athletics, I wanted to give back. I taught physical education in the Rush Henrietta School District while coaching Varsity Softball and JV basketball for 11 years.

What is Camp Good Days & Special Times and what is its mission?










{ COVER STORY } “Camp Good Days began in 1979 when Gary Mervis’s youngest daughter, Teddi, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and he wanted her to realize she was not alone in her battle.”

Camp Good Days’ mission is to provide year-round recreational and support programs for children and families touched by cancer and sickle cell. Tell us a little bit about the Camp’s summer programs, and what services they provide. For the last two summers, we have offered Family Camp, where the entire family can participate in all the traditional activities we offer at our regular camps. Family camp has been a massive success, allowing us to reach new families who have never been to Camp. Our traditional summer and year-round programs are also offered for children who have (or had) a parent or sibling with cancer. This year, we are also back to offering four weeks with children only. We also have weekend retreats for women and men dealing with cancer and one weekend for men with prostate cancer.

to your success? One of the challenges has been raising funds needed to provide all that we do. In 1979, Gary made a promise that all programs and services would be free of charge to those who qualify. Forty-three years later, CGD is still free of charge, knowing that nothing costs today what it did in 1979. The other is that Camp Good Days was built on many volunteers and staff who truly

What is your favorite thing about what you do? That we can interact with the families and children all year round. We have many activities and events throughout the year for the families. Staying connected with the families year-round is rewarding and reminds us of why we work so hard to raise the funds needed.

believe in what we do. Reaching those people who are needed and can help Camp Good Days in both big and small ways is imperative to keep the mission of CGD going for as long as it is needed.

What has been your greatest challenge in having a non profit, especially one such as Camp Good Days and keeping it going for so long. What is the secret

Who are some of the strong women that have inspired you and why? The impact of seeing a loved one go through so much pain and discomfort

puts things in perspective of all the insignificant small things that really don’t matter at the end of the day. Personally, watching my mother battle cancer with surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation was extremely difficult. Despite the outcome, she did everything she could to beat cancer, which was inspiring and brave to me. From a professional perspective, I have always admired women who have significantly impacted the world of sport. Babe Didrickson Zaharias was one of the greatest female athletes of all time. She excelled in every sport she played in the ’30s and ’40s, including participating in the Olympics. In the ’50s, while battling cancer, she continued to play in the LPGA but eventually lost her battle with cancer at age 45. The biggest thrill I ever had was having dinner TWICE with the legendary Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summit. There was no greater impact on women’s basketball for so long than Pat Summit until she lost her battle with Alzheimer’s at 64 only a few years ago. And, of course, if it weren’t for Billie Jean leading the way with many others to push for Title IX, I would not have had the opportunity to attend Colgate University on a basketball scholarship. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Camp Good Days’ mission is to provide year-round recreational and support programs for children and families touched by cancer and sickle cell.”

What do you feel is the key to being a successful woman in business (non profit or otherwise) in this day and age? The most significant piece of advice is to Adapt and Adjust no matter what you choose to do. Life will throw you curveballs, and if you cannot pivot, it will be tougher to achieve your goals. It’s also essential to have perseverance, commitment and to never give up. What have you found to be the most successful and influential method of promotion for Camp Good Days? Word of mouth is the most significant way to reach those who could benefit from our programs. Because of HIPPA, we depend significantly on families, doctors, nurses, and volunteers to share our information and their wonderful experiences with CGD. Tell us about some of your goals and dreams for you personally and for the Camp and its services. I am working toward and hoping that the next chapter of CGD is in good hands and is in better shape when Gary and I step back from our roles. We both hope Camp will be here for as long as needed and succeed. We hope there will be cures for cancer in the near future, but until then, Camp can continue in the same capacity as now. I look forward to someday sitting 26


on a beach, reading a good book, and knowing I did everything possible to ensure CGD’s success.

so he expects me to try and be my best which I am grateful for. He has pushed me to be better and grow professionally.

Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship? There have been many individuals in different ways that have significantly impacted me throughout my life, but the biggest has been my husband, Gary. We both have a passion for politics and sports and can enjoy these things

How have you found it to be working with your husband Gary in creating this amazing organization over the years? More often than not, it has been wonderful. We have grown to think alike in many ways. The times that we have disagreed on how to get to the same result have been challenging, but we both learn from each other in the process. But overall, we share so many memories together that we realize the good times far outweigh the tough times.

together. He has given me so many experiences personally, such as meeting inspiring professional athletes, attending amazing events, and allowing me to become such a big part of Camp Good Days. Understanding what he has built with so many wonderful giving people through the years has truly amazed me. Gary has very high expectations and is demanding to be the best you can be. He does not like to accept mediocrity,

What is your “why”? Why do you do what you do? Helping people less fortunate than myself is why I continue to work with CGD. I am humbled and proud to help so many people. I know I am a part of something much larger than myself, and I hope my life has meaning. What makes you truly happy? At the end of the day, I did my best to help ensure CGD’s success. To hopefully mentored others in the process, and when people have shared what Camp has meant to them, I accept that I made a difference in some way.





“The impact of seeing a loved one go through so much pain and discomfort puts things in perspective of all the insignificant small things that really don’t matter at the end of the day.”






{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Word of mouth is the most significant way to reach those who could benefit from our programs.”

What is one piece of advice you have been given that you have never forgotten and would want to pass along to others? Adapt and adjust and keep moving forward. What’s the most important risk you took and why? Leaving a job with a pension, security, and the possibility of advancement in public school administration after obtaining a Master’s in Education Administration and CAS ( Certificate of Advanced Study) with NY State was a massive pivot in my life. But I realized I had a different calling and decided to take the chance to come in full-time with Camp Good Days. Since the Camps are provided free of charge, how do you raise the funds to cover the costs for the campers? What has been most successful for fundraising? Day-to-day donations, general contributions, and memorials have significantly helped us. Special events such as our Finger Lakes International Wine and Spirits Competition and Auction, Tour de Teddi, our longestrunning fundraiser- The Dance for Love at St John Fisher Univerisity (40 years), Tournament of Love, Worlds Largest Disco in Buffalo, 11 Day Power Play in Buffalo, The Fayetteville Manlius High School 24 Hour Dance Marathon and so many outside groups. Campgrounds of NY(CONY) and KOA have also supported us financially for many years. Tell us about one of your most 30


memorable campers. There have been so many in 31 years, but one of the most memorable campers was a boy named Greg Harrison. He and I had such a special bond that his family became a big part of CGD as his brothers attended Camp. I still have his picture in my cabin.

Holiday Inn Downtown on Saturday, November 5th. The Courage Bowl is an annual football game between St John Fisher University and SUNY Brockport on Saturday, October 1st at Brockport. Some of our campers get to be Honorary Coaches and Cheerleaders with each team, and proceeds benefit CGD.

How have you successfully balanced your personal and professional life over the years? This year has been the most challenging as most of my time is committed to my professional life. Being in a leadership position with a nonprofit comes with demands, and it is hard to turn it off at home. Our phone is constantly ringing as we have always felt we should be available at any time for staff, volunteers, and most importantly, our families and campers. It has been challenging to get away from it all, but we try our best to grab moments when we can. In our free time, we have our dogs and cat that keep us busy, and we enjoy spending time with our family.

Please give our audience more info on volunteering, donating, or even where to connect for camper information. For more information on supporting Camp Good Days financially, becoming a camper, or volunteering, please visit our website at www. or call us at 585624-5555.

What do you have coming up for Camp Good Days? Saturday, September 10th, is the Tour de Teddi, a bike ride that starts at the Recreational Facility in Branchport and has two routes. You can register and bike around the entire Keuka Lake, which is 46 miles, or Hammondsport and back, which is 28 miles. Last year over 400 riders participated, and a picnic lunch at the waterfront was the highlight at the end. We are back in person with our Wine Auction Dinner at the




{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Life will throw you curveballs, and if you cannot pivot, it will be tougher to achieve your goals. It’s also essential to have perseverance, commitment and to never give up.”



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Marcela Tobar is a Syracuse, NY professional makeup artist and some may even say a social media influencer. Now, she can add CNY Woman Who Inspires to her list! Specializing in bridal, prom, editorial and photoshoot makeup, with a true specialty in halloween makeup creations, her goal with every client, no matter the occasion, is that they feel relaxed and beautiful inside and out when they step out of her makeup chair.

confidence and positivity. How did your career as one of Central NY’s most popular and talented professional makeup artists start? I my passion for makeup started during my early years in High School. All My friends and even my grandma sought me out for makeup application and eyebrow shaping.

Recently RWO got the chance to talk with Marcela about and learn a little more about her journey, where she is headed and what inspires her. We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did! She is truly a beauty inside and out. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. Who is Marcela Tobar? I am a native latina that grew up in New York city in the Bronx. I moved to CNY 16 years ago and started my career in makeup artistry! My passion for makeup flourished. I am also a certified esthetician and I love provide insight for not only makeup but skincare needs as well. I do cosmetic skin treatments, facials, waxing, chemical peels, body treatments, and laser treatments. To me, makeup is about cultivating

My career started by selling online beauty products . I would take before and after pictures of my clients and post them on social media. From there, I received constant requests from people to do makeup for them . What makes you hustle? What makes me hustle is being able to collaborate with talented artists and creative people to bring beauty

and imagination to life through makeup. I love to use makeup as a means of expression. I strive to create and capture many different makeup looks while bringing my creative vision to fruition. What is your favorite part about being an artist? What I love most about being an artist is not necessarily changing a person, but finding something beautiful about them and enhancing that feature. Everyone has something beautiful about them and I love having an impact on someone feeling more confident and being the best version themselves What has been your most memorable job? The most memorable moment of my job was the time I did a giveaway for a photoshoot and makeup application. The women who won the giveaway was going through chemo therapy for cancer. I found that little gestures such as a giveaway can be very meaningful and have a huge impact on someone’s life . Who are some of the strong women in the industry that have inspired you? Frida Khalo has been a huge inspiration for me because of her artistry and strength as a women . As far as makeup, Danessa Myricks





“Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and everyone has something about them that radiates beauty.”






{ CNY WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } “It is imperative as a makeup artist to be comfortable in doing makeup application on every ethnicity and every walk of life.”

is a huge inspiration for me . She has taken her product and beauty line to the next level . What do you feel is the key to women empowering women, especially in the beauty and body image areas? Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and everyone has something about them that radiates beauty. In today’s society with numerous filters and photoshop, we get caught up in

achieving the impossible . Instead, we need to embrace what is is unique and beautiful about ourselves and be confident in our own skin. What do you think are 3 things that make you a successful makeup artist? Three things that make me successful as a makeup artist is the fact that I am very passionate about makeup Therefore, I am very driven and ambitious and motivated in making my career a success.

What have you found to be the most successful method of promotion for you and why? What I have found to be the most successful method of promoting my business is building relationships and word of mouth . Tell us about some of your goals and dreams for the future. I believe that for me it would have to be working on a major motion picture film. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ CNY{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } SHIFT+CONTROL } “What I love most about being an artist is not necessarily changing a person, but finding something beautiful about them and enhancing that feature.”

If you could do one thing you have never done what would it be and why? To be renowned in the world of special effects makeup. What made you decide to go into the beauty and esthetics industry? I decided to go into the beauty/ esthetics industry because skincare and makeup go hand and hand

I started my own business 12 years ago and have continued to grow my business ever since. It didn’t happen overnight, it took a lot of work and dedication to get my business to where it is today .

It can be used as a foundation, a highlighter, and it helps to diminish the appearance of dark circles. It hides blemishes, hyperpigmentation, and age spots. You can do so much with it .

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you. That I like helping people grow and develop their makeup artistry skills

What is your specialty, or what you are known for? I think my specialty is Halloween Makeup along with Beauty Makeup. I am obsessed with sugar skulls and what they represent. Sugar skulls represent the spirit of a departed loved one.

What is one piece of advice you have been given that you have never forgotten? To treat individuals the way you want to be treated yourself. How did you take your business viral? As I mentioned before, I started by posting before and after images on to social media and my account grew from there as more and more people started to follow me and my work. As a makeup artist, are you comfortable with all ethnicities? It is imperative as a makeup artist to be comfortable in doing makeup application on every ethnicity and every walk of life. So yes, I am comfortable with all ethnicities. When did you become a lady boss? Did you just know you were meant to be a female entrepreneur, or was it something that happened over time? 44


What’s been your favorite job you’ve done as a makeup artist? One of my favorite jobs I did was being a part of Bridge Street and doing a Halloween demo with the cast . Tell me about three makeup trends you’re

Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years? I see myself oversees continuing my career in the beauty industry. What cosmetic products do you use every day? I use skincare daily . My number one products are SPF and Retinol What’s your favorite cosmetic product and why? Sell it to me. My favorite product is Concealer. Concealer is a multitasking product.

a fan of. Blush placement. The refine contouring technique. Concealer trends on high lighting and lifting. Where will we see Marcela Tobar next? My hope is that you will see my work on the red carport for celebrity makeup application.







“ I love to use makeup as a means of expression. I strive to create and capture many different makeup looks while bringing my creative vision to fruition.”

{ CNY WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } {{ SHIFT+CONTROL SHIFT+CONTROL }} “What makes me hustle is being able to collaborate with talented artists and creative people to bring beauty and imagination to life through makeup.”




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Tell us about yourself and your background.ings My name is Beth Espada and I am the Pageant Director of Eagle Wings Pageantry. I am also a mother of six, blessed through adoption, so I am constantly on the go, wearing many hats each day. By day, I run an apartment complex with 225 units in Fairport NY and help facilitate my youngest three children’s education. This involves advocating for special needs accommodations and special education programs and services. By night, I am diligently working on my 501C(3) Eagle Wings Pageantry, a program based solely on donations and fees. From ordering prizes and booking special guests, to sharing my system with the local community, there is always something to do. Because there wasn’t enough on my plate, I recently acquired my real estate license for both residential and commercial properties, furthering my education in the housing industry. With 10+ years of experience in property management and 25+ years in customer service, I have learned the art of marketing and selling while appealing to my customers wants and needs. This is a business strategy implemented into my new role as pageant director and community service advocate. Marketing my vision, the platforms I serve and the pageant community to newcomers is a top priority into building my brand and reputation. What made you decide to create Eagle Wings Pageantry? When my son Eagle died, I couldn’t function, I even lost my memory of 54


those next 6 months, and most of my identity. I couldn’t function besides the day-to-day monotony of work, chores, and parenting. Unable to feel joy, I needed to grieve and wanted to put my brokenness into something for my son. I toggled with charity ideas and names and ultimately designed Eagle Wings Pageantry hoping and praying for its success. During the process of developing my program, I began to find myself again and gained direction and a clear-cut mission of purpose. I felt alone in my grief, feeling no one was

hurting like I was, like everyone moved on but I couldn’t. I needed the world to remember my son, to know his story and to honor him and his legacy. Losing my faith in God and not understanding why my son had to be taken from me, I was unable to move past the feelings of emptiness and betrayal from God. I turned my back on my core beliefs and needed a new sense of hope and spirituality. Eagle Wings Pageantry would provide that and was created to heal. What is the mission behind Eagle Wings? The mission is constantly evolving and growing as time goes on. My goal is to raise

money, awareness and to promote positive pageantry. On January 21st, 2018, my 3 daughters participated in their first beauty pageant. This non-competitive program opened our eyes to the pageant community, a whole new world to us. From there my daughters participated in 30-40 pageants meeting many new friends and gaining experience and lasting memories. Each pageant system was unique from one another, from the director’s efforts to the format and prize packages. We did not care for every system we tried and found our niche under the systems that welcomed us like family. One thing we found missing from many of the systems we participated in was positive pageantry. The emphasis on competition overshadowed the parts of the pageant that we enjoyed the most including encouragement, kindness, and respect. I decided to create my idea of the perfect pageant by focusing on the three principles of pageantry PRIDE, POISE and PRESENTATION. My mission is to host an event that is so much more than a beauty pageant. Working daily to develop my event so all may enjoy and remember. I welcome participants of all ages, sizes, and abilities. From experienced pageant queens to special needs children and plus size men and women, they all are welcome and encouraged to participate. Our day is packed with entertainment in addition to the pageant. I want to entertain my audience by giving them a themed day of remembrance and joy. Eagle Wings Pageantry’s goal is to raise money for a scholarship in Eagle’s name through Dollars for Scholars. Spreading awareness about organ donation, mental health and substance abuse are equally at the




“From ordering prizes and booking special guests, to sharing my system with the local community, there is always something to do.”




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } }} WHAT ABOUT MEN? { WOMAN WHOTHE INSPIRES “Unable to feel joy, I needed to grieve and wanted to put my brokenness into something for my son. I toggled with charity ideas and names and ultimately designed Eagle Wings Pageantry hoping and praying for its success.”

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality of your business and the services you provide? The most important quality of my business is positivity. If anything, I want to be remembered for, it would be that my pageant was a positive experience for all. I want everyone to feel like a winner and take from it the three principles of pageantry PRIDE, POISE and PRESENTATION. Take pride in all you do, applying yourself to be the best version of yourself you can be. Wake up each day thankful and ready to seize the new day, full force with drive and determination. How can you make someone feel good today, including yourself? Use poise as a tool in your arsenal. Knowing you have flaws and imperfections should not stop you from staying on a steady path to a balanced life. Presentation is the most important because anyone can seize the knowledge and discipline to present themselves. Who brings your inspiration in all that you do? It wouldn’t be fair to name only one person who drives the inspiration in all I do. I am inspired by so many and soak in the traits of others like the sun absorbs water on a hot day. To name one person it would have to be myself. I am the only one who can truly inspire who I am and what I do. Having a love hate relationship with myself and being my own worst critic, I have to overcome myself to inspire myself. I can easily be nothing, do nothing surviving without a purpose. I have days where that is exactly what I do. Those days while flipping from side to side upon my pillow, I have to forgive myself and know that I am human, bringing many imperfections to light knowing I can always try harder tomorrow. I inspire myself to be a better manager, mother, wife, director and overall person. The inspiration can come from

a core memory, something I see or hear or just a desire to do better. What are your top three priorities in business and personally? My top three priorities are having a feeling of accomplishment, caring for my family, and having a few moments to myself each day. Feeling accomplished is something I strive to achieve daily. I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing I completed a task to the best of my ability. This can range from work related items to organizing a closet or collecting the kids iPhones at 8pm, the feelings are the same for all. Setting small goals that can easily be achieved helps me on a path to larger scale items and projects. My end goal is to have a feeling of accomplishment to soothe my soul. Within my goals, my priority is my family’s wellbeing, happiness, and financial stability. After losing a child, the fear and anxiety regarding the fragility of life is always front and center. Worrying that a simple bicycle ride could turn to tragedy, or a car ride could be deadly, is a paralyzing fear that has not subsided. Prioritizing family stability is a critical part of my day. Lastly, I always take time for myself daily. It could be a few minutes sitting on my swing or watching Friends on Nick at Nite. I need those moments of clarity to process everything and to create an action plan for tomorrow. Spending time with myself is one of the best parts of my day that I cherish and look forward to. How do you balance being a female entrepreneur and your family life, especially being a property manager, new real estate agent, and the pageant? I think all moms are used to balancing things so it is something I am already

accustomed to. I have always been extremely resourceful using my surroundings to “make things work” and continue to do so under the many hats that I wear. Multitasking is something that I am very successful at. I could be preparing a lease for a resident while making notes about the pageant and sending an email to a teacher. Being a true advocate for the post-it, I often must scribble a note to have something to refer to throughout my day. It is always fun deciphering the one word clues I left behind, oftentimes raising one eyebrow while thinking intently about what I could have meant. I also have great assistants in my life that I task with things to do for me. My husband of 25 years is great at picking up the kids from their endless parade of activities. He will start dinner and with a friendly text reminder from me, see that everyone turned in their electronics, showered, brushed their teeth, and did their homework. In a constant sea of crashing waves, he helps keep me afloat. The same can be said for my sister and coworkers. I may be the ringleader, but this is not a one man show. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do My why is simply a desire to be successful. Driven by determination, I hold myself to the highest standards. I want to lay my head down at night knowing I had a successful day but falling asleep is always a difficult task. With a continuous stream of things to do compiling in my mind, I must listen to Pachelbel or Thunder and Lightning sounds to try to achieve the sleep I constantly long for. Success to me lies in my ability to master so many moving parts, which makes it not always easy to measure my success. This pageant is one way I can truly feel the success I covet, because my passion lies in my pageant system by building my brand, gaining new contacts, and spreading awareness. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } }} WHAT ABOUT MEN? { WOMAN WHOTHE INSPIRES “The most obvious takeaway from this life-long companion of mine would be pretty obvious: life goes on...with or without you.”

. As a new director, being given a chance to prove myself, while having my son’s legacy live on is my true why! So in addition to creating the pageant system, you have recently become a real estate agent. What made you decide to pursue that? I have been at my current job as a Property Manager for almost 10 years and love so many aspects of my position. I truly love the positive interactions with my residents and helping people find a home that suits their needs. Though apartment living is not always permanent it is important to me, for folks to feel comfortable with my property and their home while they reside here. I enjoy meeting new people, showing them the property, speaking of our amenities and talking about Fairport in general. I felt pursuing my real estate license would be the next step in my career. Taking the classes in the evening was enjoyable and my daughters and husband were very encouraging. They would bring me cold drinks and snacks while I was nestled in on the couch. I am interested in residential real estate but am also interested in commercial real estate. My future goal is to do real estate full-time, allowing me to use the best parts of my current job while enjoying a flexible schedule and the ability to work from home. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome? The biggest challenge I have had to overcome is my fear of failure. I often worry about how I am perceived by others. I worry that I am not enough or am “too much” at times. I have an overwhelming need to be successful and I always want to present myself in the best way possible. The pageant community is small where everyone knows each other, so if you fail or succeed it will be known very quickly. 60


Pageantry can be a beautiful experience but can also be very competitive. I know that I have an uphill battle to prove my system to be worthy and acceptable in the pageant community. The uniqueness of each pageant system has been fun to see and watch my daughters participate in. One of the challenges I faced was to design a system of my own ideas, not copying other directors. I know I am not a big system, but I am happy with the challenges I have overcome in the introduction of Eagle Wings Pageantry to the pageant community. Mental health is a huge issue right now, especially after all that has happened in the world over the past few years. What is one important piece of information you would give to people struggling right now? My son suffered from mental health and substance abuse issues since he was a young boy. He was bounced around from foster home to foster home wanting to be accepted and loved in a forever family. Coming to us at the age of 14 he had so many challenging behaviors and emotions. Eagle needed intensive therapy and support and began to thrive in our care with a lot of hard work as a cohesive family unit. Seeing him through his high school graduation, 1st job, 1st apartment, steady girlfriends and other milestones was very rewarding for us to see. Despite the stability and love he received, he still battled with mental health and substance abuse issues often drinking and feeling depressed. Eagle was living on his own and working but was unhappy without a girlfriend and didn’t have a lot of close friends to turn to for support. On that fateful night, Eagle was highly intoxicated and walked into oncoming traffic, being struck by a vehicle. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and was unable to be saved. A question in my mind lingers wondering if

he intentionally walked into traffic to get hurt or did he do it because he was drunk and unaware. This is a haunting thought I live with every day. Mental Health is extremely neglected in our world, and I am a champion for change. Spreading awareness about mental health and the stigma associated with it is one of my focuses with Eagle Wings Pageantry. I often share posts regarding mental health awareness and acceptance. My advice to anyone suffering is to know that it is okay to not be okay. There is help available and support out there. I also encourage people to truly LISTEN when someone is speaking to you about their concerns. They may not need your advice or to solve their problem, they may just need a listening ear and to feel heard. Tell us some of the things that you believe in and that have brought you to this point in your journey. Struggling with my faith since the death of my son has been challenging and concerning. I don’t understand why my son had to be taken from me and at such a young age. I don’t understand so many things regarding the world we live in and the constant negative energy, horrific crimes and pure hate being spread. My faith has been challenged and shaken to the core however my beliefs in charity, kindness and spirituality remain intact. It is important to me to instill these values in my everyday life and in my children’s upbringing. There is such a “what is in it for me” culture where your value is determined by likes and followers instead of being valued for being a good person. Though it is important to market yourself and your business, stepping out of your beliefs for popularity is not something I would be willing to do. I believe in my vision, my platforms, and my overall message. I like helping others, volunteering, and making a difference. My belief in being a good







{ SHIFT+CONTROL } }} WHAT ABOUT MEN? { WOMAN WHOTHE INSPIRES “.After losing a child, the fear and anxiety regarding the fragility of life is always front and center.”

person has helped me with my struggle with religion since my son’s death. What is something that noone knows about you? This is the hardest question in this article I have had to answer. We are a very close family, and my husband and children know all of me. My sister Kate is my person, my confidant, my soul and knows EVERYTHING about me. We have been together forever and rely on each other for everything, including celebrating the milestones and crying on the let downs. We count on each other to be a constant support of unwavering love and commitment. There is no truer friendship in the world. Thinking there is something she does not know about me is unfathomable. We discuss everything from the smallest of issues to reviewing and deciphering our bloodwork, all while discussing future and ambitions. There is not a subject that is off-limits. I suppose the one thing she may not know is that I contemplated entering the Miss Spirit Pageant as a contestant for a few moments but quickly changed my mind knowing I would be a nervous wreck. I am better as a director or pageant Mom and am not sure I would walk the stage with confidence or grace. I think I will stick with behind-the-scenes pageantry. If you had one piece of advice for a young entrepreneur, what would it be and why? My advice to a young entrepreneur would be to create an action plan and timeline. Though it is fun living in the moment and being resourceful, organization can really assist in the long run. It is also okay to say No. That has been difficult for me, but it is important to know your limits. I have many things on my plate but to stay focused on my career, pageant, and family, I have to say no at times. I also

think that having a vision or mission statement for your business is vital. It is imperative that people know what you are doing and why. Sharing these details can lead to a successful business. I am a big fan of taking risks and trying things out. Some ideas may be a hit and other ideas may flop. You will never know unless you try. If you could pick one quote that describes you, or speaks to your vision, what would it be? “Try and fail, but never fail to try” by Jared Leto sticks out to me and is a strong message. When I started Eagle Wings Pageantry, I had no idea on how it would go. I am a natural “Tom Boy” obsessed with sharks, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and I hate the color pink. What experience or business do I have running a beauty pageant? I knew I had to earn people’s trust and acceptance building my brand and my reputation. I tried and succeeded, instead of failing to try and am so pleased that I took the risk and look forward to continuing down this journey for my son. Name one woman in history that has inspired you and why. It is hard to name one woman in history since most of my inspiration has come from current women including JK Rowling, Lady GaGa, Zendaya and Michelle Obama. One woman from history that stood out to me was Madam CJ Walker. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair care products for black women. The business she founded was named Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. She became known also for her philanthropy and activism in New York. She made financial donations to numerous organizations and became a patron of the arts. Madam CJ Walker took many risks and they paid off to her

great success. Where can we see you next? I plan to continue working on Eagle Wings Pageantry developing my program and sharing my son’s story. I love planning my annual pageant and advertise it as “so much more than a pageant.” I pack in a full day of entertainment and fun into the event. This year’s theme is “Do you believe in magic” a Harry Potter referenced day. Normally at 1-day pageants the participants do their events including formalwear, outfit of choice, swimwear, etc. Then the judges do the scores, and crowning is commenced. At Eagle Wings Pageantry there is Formal Wear, Fun Fashion, Two Optionals including Harry Potter Wear and Costume plus so much more. We have two guest speakers, a visit from the wizarding students of Enchanted Princess Parties of Rochester, a video visit from actors/actresses that starred in the Harry Potter/ Fantastic Beasts Franchise, Dance Performances, a Fantastic Beasts “Hot Topic” fashion show and a Live Magician Show with balloon animals that will be made for all the contestants. It is a full day of fundraising fun. All proceeds go to the Eagle Wings Pageantry Scholarship fund for community events and dollars for scholars. I have already planned the next two years themes and look forward to coming up with fun ideas to implement. I want the day to be enjoyed all and something people look forward to annually. I will crown 13 Queens, 1 King and 1 Judges Choice as the Eagle Wings Royalty. Those 15 will have the option to do community service from September 2022 to the 2023 pageant. They will also receive a new sash pin mailed to them each month and gifts too. Though not everyone will receive a title, I want everyone to walk away feeling like a winner and having enjoyed their day. Each contestant will receive a ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } }} WHAT ABOUT MEN? { WOMAN WHOTHE INSPIRES “The mission is constantly evolving and growing as time goes on. My goal is to raise money, awareness and to promote positive pageantry.”

goody bag filled with fun prizes, snacks, and merchandise. Every contestant will also receive a tiara for trying their very best. In addition to the pageant, I have developed other programs under Eagle Wings including: Crowns Around Town Providing crowning moments in our community. Eagle Wings Pageantry runs “Crowns Around Town” a wonderful program bringing joy and love to community members. This FREE program is done by nominations. Nominees are selected and brought an Eagle Wings Pageantry tote bag filled with some goodies and a crown. Giving someone a crown reminding them they are loved may be needed more than you know. This program is great for people fighting illness, grief or just to cheer someone up. Sash Pin Club Sash Pin of the month club sponsored by 64


Eagle Wings Pageantry. $24.00 annual subscription fee (includes monthly postage). Receive 12 sash pins in the mail (1 mailed per month).Receive important information regarding the sash pins and the platforms they represent. Each month will include a different pin. Start membership at anytime. Proudly display your pins on any pageant sash you have! Great gift for any pageant king or queen. Purchase this membership on our sales page. Annual Silent Auction August 15th 2022 - September 10th 2022 On August 15th, 2022 our silent auction will go LIVE. We work with 32 Auctions making our online platform user friendly. We are accepting donations of NEW items, gift cards and more to list on our auction website. Donation Station Helping Us, Help Others Donation Station is open by appointment only. Eagle Wings Pageantry accepts

donations of clothing, shoes, household items, books and much more. EWP helps distribute items to various organizations in the community. We are happy to receive you drop offs, sort them, and find them a new home! (all items should be CLEAN) *receipts available upon request Little Free Library Sharing the love of reading We opened the Eagle Wings Pageantry little free library on July 23rd and are so excited to share our son’s joy of reading in our community. Our son loved reading fantasy novels and books about political conspiracies. Eagle loved discussing books with me and I miss that so much. I hope readers will visit my website to read more about Eagle Wings Pageantry.












My inner queen to identify the path to my newly empowered self Recently, I found myself standing on the precipice of change. I lost who I am. As a result of feeling off track most of my life, knowing that I will most likely outlive my son, and coming close to retirement age in the corporate world, I knew I needed help finding myself. I had to put some thought into it. Most of the time, I have stumbled into something, or it has been born from absolute necessity. I wanted to focus on understanding my true passion, and how I could develop it more to give me fulfillment and inspiration for my next chapter in life. I decided to work with Dr. Pam Denton and take her Jumpstart Your Red-Carpet Coaching Program. Her breathing and visualization techniques were fundamental to claiming my “HER” power. You may be asking why the “Red Carpet?” • I wanted to find myself • I wanted to know my true purpose • I wanted to own my power. • I wanted to understand my true passions. I spent my life proving that I was an intelligent, beautiful, and empowered woman. Self-doubt had crept into my psyche. My father had a 6th-grade education and owned a pool hall. My mother was a historical librarian. Many of my classmates didn’t think I was worthy of running in their circle because of my father’s occupation. I grew up in a very affluent town in New Hampshire. My father was a traditionalist. He thought

women should marry, stay home, and have children. I didn’t feel that I fit that mold. I wanted to succeed in my own right. I wanted to attend college and succeed wildly. I did attend college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a minor in Computer Science. I spent my career trying to succeed in a male-dominated world as an Information Systems Auditor in the Banking Industry and Software Quality Assurance Engineer in the manufacturing and pharma industries. I had learned to be successful in that world.

But I still felt that I wasn’t successful. I felt overlooked. I got married in my late 20’s. Marriage was something I didn’t plan or seek. My career was out of sync. My family’s needs came first as a wife and mother. Particularly to my son, who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at age 4. The Doctor’s told me he wouldn’t survive his early 20s. Accepting this diagnosis was heartbreaking. The initial few months after the diagnosis, I was angry, crying, and grieving for what I wanted his life to be and what my life would be.

milestones were on track. When he was younger, he could do things independently and didn’t need my help. I have spent the last 24 years devoting my non-working hours to my son’s needs and finding the best care for him to continue to battle Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. I stretched my comfort zone while educating myself on this disease and creating a care team of experts when a standard of care didn’t exist. I worked full time, cared for my son, maintained my marriage, and raised my daughter. Now at 28, he needs assistance with all aspects of living. To quote Jack London, “Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” I’ve always felt that life never gave me good cards, but I have learned to play poor hands. I’m still not sure if I’ve played them well or not. After completing the Jumpstart Your Red-Carpet Coaching Program. I now know I am an intelligent, strong, and empowered woman. I have reclaimed my throne! Nothing can stop me; if I put my mind to accomplishing a goal, I can and will achieve it. Stretching your comfort zone to accomplish something is a good thing! Join me at Your Red Carpet Event on September 24th, where I will share more of my story on stage. Discover your true purpose and power! Purchase your tickets; your time is now!

Duchenne is a cruel disease; my son’s ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


“Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, bu sometimes, playing a poor hand well.”


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How to Resolve Tough Relationships & Negative Garbage in Business and Life Warning! This article is a tough love approach to releasing, resolving, and letting go of blame, excuses, criticism, doubt, fear, and the BIG P - Projection! Aka - Someone’s trash being thrown on you. The one thing business leaders miss over and over again when working with tough situations and relationships is projection. Subtle and sneaky or like projectile vomit, projection can keep you frozen and unable to function as a leader. It paralyzes your ability to make clear decisions. It makes you doubt yourself. It puts you as a VICTIM, only if you allow it to have the power. Projection is when someone is playing their reel of who they are and the mistakes they have made, otherwise known as unhealed baggage, and projecting it on you. You are their movie screen and they are running the reel on you. And if you lack awareness they can sneak up on you, steal your energy, trash your image, and ruin your self esteem. The solution: Awareness FIRST and then ACTION. Once you see yourself clearly as a strong and courageous person again, energetically own this at a soul level, then you can take action. I always think of it as separating two boxers in the fighting ring, you have

to pull your self reflection/self image out of their movie and see yourself clearly! Imagine this: Changing movie sets. Close your eyes, breathe, and walk out of their movie and into your own set and movie. Leave the anger behind. And claim your true authentic space. If you need to empty your inner relationship trash can that keeps attracting tough situations, relationships, and people like flies to sh** - read on! This

stronger than the stress of the crisis by eliminating and resolving stuck energy and baggage to prevent the crisis or heal it. One of the biggest issues they face is projection….finger pointing, blame game, and gossip….should I say more? So you might be saying Yes! How do I begin getting away from this? The secret is healing at the core level and developing your power. Healing starts with heightened awareness of these three symbolic words, Projection, Blame, and Judgment. During my years as a female empowerment and leadership coach, I developed the Mind Cleanse Technique that clears the spinning thoughts of crisis and turns them into core strength and integrity. The Projection Mind Cleanse is about getting out of the movie screen of the othr person’s story and playing your own power story.

article could radically alter your business and life! My first book was about shifting from crisis to clarity. Why? Because, as a healer I attracted clients that were being attacked, narcissitically bound to relationship, stolen from in business, treated like sh** in relationships, developed autoimmune conditions where the body attacks itself, and misdirected by energy vampires. Fast forward 22 years and my work is now consulting business owners to become

The Mind Cleanse words are symbols of energetic garbage. And like cancer, the negative energy can take over your entire team if you don’t do something fast. So the words I have chosen collect all the cancerous garbage and put it into one place to be flushed, eliminated, and recycled into good energy. The biggest issue with projection is not the trash, it is the pain and hardship it can cause when someone in your business or leadership projectiles on you. Especially, when you least expect ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ SACRED O } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “It’s a core thing - physical, emotional, neurological and energetic. Your body’s core is the transformer and can shift negative to positive.”

it. Projection is a form of blame and excuses all wrapped up into a horrible experience. And I have spent many years and countless hours helping women strengthen HER leadership to become stronger than this toxic stress. Here’s the thing, many times this projectile relationship can not be mended externally, but what you can do is develop your inner core intelligence to clear, cancel, and delete the energy and release the pain. More importantly as you work your core process with me you have the opportunity to become stronger, more mission driven, and more alive… and wealthy. The key is to return the energy that the person has thrust upon you and not accept it into your energy field. But there is more, it is important to address internally the core issues that women face that projection can stick to. Here are the top five deeper sticky issues their projection might cling to and may need immediate healing and empowerment. (In other words, projection is like a cake in your face that sticks to these female wounds, and it is time to clean it up.) Proving yourself: A woman’s disease of having to prove that you are valuable. Otherwise known as low self esteem or low self value. The healing: Knowing you are valuable and not having to listen to other’s criticisms or judgments - including your own. Pleaser energy: The inner child wants to 78


please this situation or person and receive approval. The healing: KNOW you are already approved and valuable. Your spirit has a mission that is pre-approved. Undeserving: This state of female-itis is feeling like you don’t deserve to be successful and you allow the projectile to rip your soul and take your pride, because you don’t deserve success. The healing: Your soul came in with a program to succeed, you deserve and are worthy of the best! No matter what. Lack: Otherwise known as, scarcity mindset. The projectile ignites the feeling of panic over money, fear over loss, and the paranoia of losing everything. Healing wisdom: Everything I need is already inside of me and around me, I have all that I need to be healthy, wealthy and successful. Caring too deeply for people: It’s a congruence thing. Sometimes, well many times… your values, ethics, mindset and actions are not an energetic match for the relationship, whether employee, leader, friend or partner. The relationship, matter of factly, is not a win-win. The healing: STAY IN YOUR LANE and do not hire, work with, or connect when you do not feel an inner hell yes! Abundance in relationship and business is not all quantity, it is also the quality of sustainable relationships you build. This is a lot to digest, I know. That is why I consult business leaders in crisis to clarity, and lead them to become stronger than stress. It’s a core thing - physical, emotional, neurological and energetic.

Your body’s core is the transformer and can shift negative to positive. And when you are not upgrading your core transformer regularly you could, in this world of reactive people, fall prey to someone you are not congruent with. However if you use the techniques, practices, tools, and advice I offer, then you can start to cleanse and clear away these energy suckers and upgrade your power. So let’s begin! Here are some ways to start strengthening your CORE, right away. Your Red Carpet Event Sept 24th 5-9pm at Urban Euphoria in Rochester, NY or livestream from anywhere. We will be sharing guidance and Inner Upgrade Journeys from the stage. The Red Carpet Journey is a powerful way to ignite your cleansing and ignite core power. Tickets Here: https://yourredcarpetevent. Connect with me. Let’s Talk. www. contact-us Take a SuperCORE, BreatheFit or GoddessCORE Class! Move, breathe, and evolve beyond these tough challenges. Even if you are not in a current “situation” SuperCORE Leadership is about building core power. Purchase our book Core Intelligence: Driving the New Era of Leadership https://www.






You’ve done your work. You’ve read the books. You’ve gone to the workshops. You’ve reclaimed your body, your sexuality, your purpose, your femininity, your power. You’ve joined all the Female Empowerment Facebook groups and have your circle of transformed, powerful, witchy sisters. You are so excited to take this new way of being on a test drive. To sink into the depths that are possible. All that’s missing is the yang to your yin. But when you start looking, you realized that while you’ve changed, the men around you have not. (More about the why later…) “I want an evolved man. A man in touch with his emotions!” I’ve heard this time and time again, especially from women who have done a great deal of Female Empowerment work. And my first question to them is, “Are you sure??” The reason is this. Most women are thinking about what they would receive, the impact it would have on the relationship, the deep level of connectedness that would result. All wonderful, juicy things! What she is not thinking about is what she has to give or do in order for him to be able to show up the way (she thinks) she wants. We have a responsibility here that most women don’t even consider. I usually follow that question with this scenario – when he is a sobbing

mess in your lap, he CANNOT also be your rock. If you want a man to be fully in touch and expressive with his emotions, there are going to be times when you have to step up and be his support. Be the container to his storm. This is a new role for many of us. One you may or may not be comfortable with. On an intellectual level, most women would say, “I can do that!” However, we are just as conditioned about what a man is “supposed to be” as they are. On

an unconscious level, you may not be nearly as comfortable with that scenario as you think you will be. And here’s the clincher – men are highly conditioned to quickly learn from experiences about what is allowed and what isn’t. They will make adjustments faster than you can blink. If you behave badly the first time he is vulnerable with you, he will almost certainly never be vulnerable

with you again and possibly not with anyone else either. That’s a significant amount of pressure! Now, you may be thinking, really? I get one chance?? That doesn’t seem fair. And on some level you’re right. It’s not. But you are up against centuries of conditioning. Masculinity and what it means to be a man have very strict definitions in today’s society. Each person whose gender assigned at birth was male has learned exactly what he is supposed to be, do and feel as a man, as well as the much longer list of things he is not. He is likely much more keenly aware of the latter. Most, or all, of these probably realized the hard way. I’m sure now you are thinking, “that’s BS! Men are privileged and can do whatever they want!” To which I say, yes and… Just because their conditioning doesn’t/didn’t also come with the repression and oppression that was put upon women, does not mean they are not conditioned. And the fact that people say this is evidence of how unconscious and pervasive it is. For example, we hold male babies less than we hold female babies. From this, men learned that they cannot rely on others for support. They only have themselves. Even the boys raised with support and the conscious effort to create a ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ SHIFTING{ THE MASCULINE PARADIGM } SHIFT+CONTROL } “Don’t expect him to bare his soul right out of the gate. He is not only unwinding a lifetime of conditioning and learning a new way of being, he is also exploring how to trust you and how far that trust goes.”

fully emotive human, at some point, they go to school and learn quickly what is allowed and what is not. Maybe he was not taught it’s not OK for boys to cry. However, the first time a boy cries on the playground, even if it’s not him, when everyone points, laughs, mocks and jeers, he and every other boy there gets the message. And every girl, too. If you are still a yes, I do want a man who can meet me where I am, great! You may have a bit of molding to do. (Sorry men) Please, only do this with someone who is willing! A man who wants to be more open and emotive, but isn’t sure exact how to do this or where to go. The numbers are growing, but there isn’t even a fraction of the resources for men/ men’s work as there are for women/ 84


Female Empowerment. And because men’s conditioning doesn’t come with oppression, the vast majority of people have little to no awareness of its existence. Please give them grace. This is going to be a process. Don’t expect him to bare his soul right out of the gate. He is not only unwinding a lifetime of conditioning and learning a new way of being, he is also exploring how to trust you and how far that trust goes. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Amy Bliss, JD, MBA, is the founder of The Warrior cOre, which offers coaching, workshops, men’s groups and retreats to help men identify and shed the conditioning, from family, society, religion, educational systems and culture, of what a man

is “supposed to be” and learn to live as the humans they are independent of these constraints. Please visit our website or schedule a Discovery Call. NOTE: To all non-binary readers – this and other articles are written from a binary and usually heterosexual perspective, not to be exclusionary, but rather because our conditioning is binary. It starts with the proclamation “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” Other ways of being generally show up well after these statements and long into the conditioning. The other reason is that non-binary, non-hetero identifying people tend to be much further along in the process of undoing conditioning than those who identify as binary and/or hetero.







“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.” The quote above really resonates with me and in my journey and I wanted to share with you as inspiration,

lipsticks I was going through a break up and turned my pain into beauty. My first 5 lipsticks names are I Am Confident, I am positive, I Am Beautiful, I Am Motivated and I Am Strong.

Hi, I go by Alyssa and you’ll see my daughter Chanel and dog Coco with me in most of my posts/stories if you follow me on IG. She’s the highlight of my life and the reason I do what I do.

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Lets jump right in. When I had my daughter in 2015, I gained 65 pounds and can remember vividly feeling insecure, drained and unhappy with my body. I knew I needed a change, so I dove in head first with fitness, nutrition and personal development books. Within the year I lost that 65 pounds and gained my confidence back. I then became certified as a personal trainer and nutritionist to help others and moved to Florida in 2020. As a habit from working out, I would always put on lipstick before I went to the gym. When COVID hit I came up with an idea to create my OWN lipstick because I started running low. After lots of conversations and finding a reliable production company, my dream became a reality! When I was creating my first 5

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“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.”



{ BARBELLA BOMBSHELL { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “When I was creating my first 5 lipsticks I was going through a break up and turned my pain into beauty.”







Lesson #2: You do not need to apologize for existing. I am talking about apologizing, specifically the unconscious urge women have to over apologize. I don’t mean apologizing when you actually have done something wrong. We should all do that a bit more. What I’m talking about is saying sorry unnecessarily.

to generation. It is documented in the behaviors of cultures as far back as the middle ages, when women would have their heads locked in a horrible metal implement (called a Scold’s Bridle) if they spoke out in public or argued with their husbands. Yes, things have changed a bit over the years (no metal implements locked around our heads), but it has not changed enough. It’s still ingrained in

I’m talking about apologizing ● To help placate those around us ● For changes out of your control ● To cushion our decisions ● When we speak up ● When we take up too much room ● When we accomplish something ● When we share our opinions I’m guessing you might be shaking your head up and down a little bit right now. It all sounds a bit familiar right? That’s because we, as women, have a hard time not apologizing for things. Society as a whole has raised us to feel like we can’t speak our mind, or say what we want. We are raised to say “yes” and be accommodating. We are trained to say sorry. We get called bossy when we take the lead and intimidating when we know what we want and say it outloud. This is a form of social conditioning that we may not even be aware is happening. It’s a thinly disguised form of misogyny that is passed down from generation

across as intense or assertive. Because that was one of my fears. I feared not being liked because I was too intense. I feared other people’s judgments. I feared I would fail if people didn’t like me, or that I would be alone. I feared I would cause offense to those around me. I realized though that when I apologize for things then it comes across like I am the one to blame or that I am weak. It led me to be manipulated, ignored and not respected. It led me to be in survival mode when around other people. I had to figure out what I would rather be seen as, weak or intense? Would I rather be respected or be manipulated? That’s an easy answer for me. I would rather be intense. I would rather be someone who gets things done, has an opinion and stands her ground. I would rather be myself than someone others want me to be.

our society. We are still traditionally trained (maybe a bit unconsciously) that women should value empathy over strength. That we should be reasonable rather than decisive. That we should be meek and humble rather than loud and confident. It took me a long time to break the habit of apologizing all the time. I felt that if I apologized when I said things then it would lighten the situation and not make me come

I had to figure out what makes me afraid of what others think of me. Who says I am not allowed to be intense? I am intense. But I am also kind, loyal and just overall an amazing person to have in your corner. I am not weak, but my language didn’t always show that. My fear of causing offense turned me into someone I didn’t want to be. When I was 23, I remember my boss at the time telling me, “Devan, don’t apologize in your emails. Be direct.” ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


“So, my reminder for you today is to stop apologizing. This isn’t an easy undertaking, so be patient with yourself and start by just being aware of the urge to apologize. ”

{ LESSONS FROM ATRACY RECOVERING } { {SHIFT+CONTROL } } TALKS } PERFECTIONIST { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “Stop apologizing for existing and walk through every door UNAPOLOGETICALLY owning who you are.”

after she saw a few of my emails I was sending out. I took her words to heart. That awareness that she gave me, is the same awareness I hope you leave with after reading my words. That awareness led me to figuring out why I apologized unnecessarily and to notice that other women do it too. So, my reminder for you today is to stop apologizing. This isn’t an easy undertaking, so be patient with yourself and start by just being aware of the urge to apologize. You do not need to apologize for existing. Or doing your job. Or asking for what you want. Or having an opinion. Or making a decision. Or for taking up space.

You haven’t responded to your friend’s text message to you in a few hours because you have been swamped at work. You may typically respond with “Hey, I’m so sorry, but work has been crazy”. This response sounds like you did something wrong. Instead try, “Hey, work has been crazy!



Try saying “It was great chatting with you, but I am not interested in dating you.” This does not leave anything up for misinterpretation. It is clear and helps both sides understand. Remember that it’s okay to be blunt. You are allowed to stand up for yourself and say what you mean. Be confident. Stop apologizing for existing and walk through every door UNAPOLOGETICALLY owning who you are. You’ve got this! If you have any other examples to share to help us work together and break through unnecessarily apologizing, please share it with us!

My biggest example of this is in our emails, especially business emails. You don’t need to start an email with the phrase “Sorry to bother you” or “I apologize, but the meeting has changed” especially when it is not your fault. If you catch yourself starting an email with an apology, before you apologize, ask yourself “was this my fault?” Or “do I want it to be seen as my fault?”. Instead of saying “Hi Jim, I’m sorry but today’s meeting has changed to tomorrow at 3pm.” Let’s think of a better way to state this same thing, because this statement makes it seem like the meeting change is your fault. Try, “Hi Jim, the meeting for today has changed to 3pm tomorrow. Thank you for adjusting.” The removal of the “sorry” helps the statement become more a fact and less of a problem you may have caused. Another example of a typical situation:

response makes it seem like there might be an opening in there for the person, when there is not.

Warmly, Devan

How about we catch up with drinks later?” This will let the friend know why you hadn’t responded, plus show that you want to chat with them without it coming across like you did something wrong. One more example for you: Someone you are not interested in dating is texting you and trying to set up a date. You feel guilty that you don’t feel the same way so you tell them “I’m sorry, but I don’t know if this is going to work out.” This

About the Author Devan Robinson is the author of “What’s Your Worth? And I Don’t Mean Money.”, motivational speaker, and life coach for female entrepreneurs. She helps women gain confidence and understand their strengths so they can reach their goals without guilt, shame, or fear. When she isn’t working on changing the world, you can usually find her hanging out with her dogs, spending time with her husband, or watching Netflix. If you are interested in learning more about her, check out her website www.





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I can remember the first time I came to this place. I was young and had no idea what was going on. I think the hardest part of it all is being able to hear their excuses for why they are leaving you. Even the attendant was a little surprised by how young I was the first time I was left.

when one of the children came by with what looked like a child of his own in a stroller. He brought the mother of the child over to look at me but instantly she shook her head no. “I really don’t like the idea of her being around my child, she will not do. We have chosen another.”

“She is so young and you have had her since she was a baby.” The attendant hesitates, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

By now I was battered and bruised; it was hard to believe there was anyone out there that would want me; however, I was given one last chance. I jumped through all the regular hoops to make it work. The parents and family of the new owner did not like the idea that I had previous owners. What was wrong with me for so many to abandon me?

The man and woman nod, “We have decided to keep her brother. We chose him over her.” It is strange how when you leave you forget about this place until you find yourself here once again. The next times were several brief times, where relatives of the family would come and go. Even friends of the family would come and go. However, every one of them would say the same thing, “We have chosen another.” I then tried to be different; hoping that perhaps, if I tried hard enough to be what they wanted, they would keep me. It worked, but not well enough. “Sir, are you sure you want to do this? You had her for quite a long time. If I understand correctly, you even had a family with her.” The attendant implores, “Surely, she is part of your family by now?” The man arrogantly shakes his head, “I am quite sure! You see, she never fit in with my lifestyle. My parents never liked her when they came to visit. Though she was good around the children, I have chosen another.” He was right I suppose, I was only happiest when the children were around. Soon they grew older and as they continued with their lives, I became less to them too. At one point I had hopes that had changed

My fear of coming back to this place inevitably made the new owner frustrated and tired of me. He too finally chose a life without me. The attendant comes to the door and shakes his head, “I am sorry old girl, but I am afraid that was your last chance. You know what we have to do. Follow me.” As I walk down the long corridor, I see so many like me; hopeful that their next chance will be there shortly. In a way, I am relieved there will be no more chances. The hope, the excitement, the work, the heartache had become too much. I look up above the large furnace doors and read the sign, “Souls Retired”. My soul indeed was tired and it was time. As I step into the furnace and hear the human screams around me, I realize this must be what it feels like for a dog at a pound. ********* We thought we would give our readers a little light summer reading with “shorts”. A condensed version of my short stories. The Pound is a short story from White Noise Stories Volume One. Currently there

are three volumes of White Noise stories. Each volume has 13 short stories with a story that weaves through all three volumes. The short stories range in different lengths, topics and writing formats. And yet, each story ties itself to the main character. The main character, Lauren, finds herself having to deal with all the noise in the city she has just moved to. Trying to drown out the noise, Lauren buys a white noise machine. This is when she begins to experience dreams like no other. Dreams that feel real. From experiences she has never had. Soon Lauren begins to wonder, if the dead could dream – what would they dream about? More than likely, their demise. 13 short stories in a dream form are revealed to Lauren through the white noise. With each passing dream, Lauren finds herself becoming more involved with the dreams. Dreams that are becoming her worse nightmares! So many have asked me, why do you write horror content? I believe that horror can actually take you away from your own reality and make you realize, someone out there has it much worse! It is not meant to depress you, or even scare you, but to bring you comfort in knowing your own life has so much to offer and is safer than these stories. I grew up watching Alfred Hitchcock and Twilight Zone, I like to think my White Noise series are along the lines of those classics. Maybe even a splash of Supernatural with there being a main character enduring and surviving these stories. Horror and Science Fiction stories may not be your cup of tea, but sometimes a nice chill while reading on the hot beach can be refreshing… enjoy!





I’ve always believed that everyone you meet has a story. Those stories can touch you, in unexpected ways. Recently, I met this young man who was enthusiastic, and full of passion for a job he was doing. I have not seen that in a very long time. Face it, most people today find the career they are in as a necessity, not their true passion. A mundane chore that has to be fulfilled. These people arrive late for their appointments and begrudgingly do their job. However, Tom was quite different. Tom promptly arrived for an appointment to take photos of my house so it could be listed for sale. He was very friendly and cordial, which most people are when you first meet them in business, but it was his mannerisms that instantly intrigued me. Not knowing what I should do with myself while Tom took the photos, I left him alone so as not to bother him. Exhausted from packing and cleaning, I took a break and sat looking at the house I had called home for 20 years. An unknown future awaited me, and I dreaded the chores ahead of me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Tom happily taking pictures. Carefully eyeing up the next shot, like he was actually enjoying his job! You could feel an energy coming from him, one I desperately needed to re-charge myself. Not being able to stay away, I maneuvered my way out of the shots and was able to learn more about this young man who seemed so happy doing his job. 106


There was a story there and one I wish to share with you now. Tammy - Ok Tom, let’s start off the interview like our conversation when we first met. Of course, I asked the typical first question people usually ask: how long have you been taking photos? Tom - I’ve always had access to a camera, whether it be a basic point-and-shoot disposable camera or just my cell phone. It wasn’t until roughly a year ago that I really started to understand and dig into the basics of photography and take the steps to become a true photographer. I spent most of my free time in quarantine, learning the basics of my camera and how to edit pictures. Photography quickly became the perfect outlet for me to be able to create something unique and share it with the world. Tammy It is so nice having a camera with us at all times because of our phones! I can remember frantically buying throw away cameras in a pinch, only to have to wait and find out only half turned out - if I was lucky! Was this a career you had always wanted to pursue? Tom -- Not at all! It’s funny. Actually, it was never meant to be a career. It began as a hobby while in quarantine to pass the time. It wasn’t uncommon that I would have to isolate for days at a time due to the line of work I was in and how often I was exposed to Covid. I was looking for creative ways to keep my mind occupied while in isolation. I initially tried to get into surfing, buying

a 9-foot surfboard and all, just to find out how incredibly hard surfing is! I ended up selling my surfing gear online to purchase my first professional camera in the hopes that I would thrive with this new hobby. Tammy - The downtime for Covid was such a challenging time for us all. It certainly was the perfect time to look for a new hobby or at least try different ones out. I have to admit; I came to appreciate how easily one can make knitting look… lol - it was so not for me! What did you do before Covid? Tom - Before Covid, I worked in emergency medical services. I received my EMT license when I was 18 years old and began both volunteering and working shortly after graduating from high school. I did not go to college right away like my friends did, so working on the ambulance became my whole life. It wasn’t uncommon that I’d be working 12-hour shifts multiple nights a week. It was very taxing work, and it wore me out very fast. My plan was to find a career in that field, but after a few years of the same routine, I was burnt out and needed something different, something that I could create and manage myself. I did not have the passion to continue working in that field, and when somebody’s life is in your hands, one mistake is all it takes. I craved that feeling of gratification after a long day of work, and photography was just that! It gave me something to look forward to, and an opportunity to go out and see the world and capture it through my lens. Once I had a steady flow of









“You could feel an energy coming from him, one I desperately needed to re-charge myself.”

clients booking photoshoots with me and I began to get paid for my work, it felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. The best feeling was when I realized that people wanted to pay me for my work, something that I created and just wanted to share with the world. Tammy - I can’t imagine how hard that must have been on you! Just like in any career, there will be ones who thrive in a position that may not be the fit for us. I think that perhaps a lot of people reevaluated their careers during that time and, if anything; it gave us a chance to re-set our paths. Did you take any courses? Or were you so passionate about it, you researched it yourself? Or both? Tom -- It wasn’t until recently that I went to receive my college education for business administration. After leaving my job as an EMT, I was a bit lost in terms of which field I wanted to work in and ended up serving food at a breakfast restaurant. At that time, I knew I wanted to be a content creator, but I wasn’t quite sure how to achieve it. I didn’t know who to get advice from, so my main source of information was through YouTube. There is such an abundance of free information all over the internet, and it has played a vital role in the success I’ve had as a photographer. Social media is a very important tool to learn new and challenging things because it’s free and easily accessible. When trying to create something unique for the first time, you cannot be afraid to make mistakes. Some of my best photos were taken by accident and that is the best part. You never know which shot will be the “money shot” until it happens. Life is all about

trial and error, and if you do not place yourself in uncomfortable situations, you will never grow as a person. Tammy - I always feel like when we are at our most “lost” is when we push ourselves to find what fits best! Even during those times, we feel lost, is a time we can use later to appreciate where we came from, and what we’ve succeeded. What kind of equipment do you like to use? Tom - My main bag that I bring everywhere I go usually consists of a Sony a6400, a Sony A7IV, a wide-angle lens, a portrait lens, a zoom lens, and a few lighting and audio tools. When I take pictures for real estate listings, I use a sturdy tripod, a wide-angle lens, and a leveler to make sure my camera is lined up correctly. I have experimented with different filters and props to achieve different looks, but I try to be as authentic and as true to the eye as possible when photographing anything. Tammy - It is fun to play with filters and props, but I truly do love the random pictures in raw form. It’s a lot like writing. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Same for a picture. Sometimes the beauty lies within the rawness of it. Is there a time of day you prefer? Tom - That is a tough question to answer! Different styles of photography may require different types of lighting. In terms of natural sunlight, I love to shoot at what we photographers call “golden hour”. This takes place just before the sun goes down and a little bit after. This gives the photo a soft and warm look,

the best for portraits. High noon is typically when you want to avoid taking photos, as the direct light from the sun can be harsh and cause colors to bleed and results in photos that look flat. Shooting at night can also yield some amazing shots because the absence of natural light can give you full control of what you may want the subject of focus to be. Once you can figure out which lighting situations better suit your needs, the creativity is endless! Tammy - Thank you, that was very insightful and informative! I’ve always wondered the reasoning behind some of the photographer’s secrets. May I ask, when do you like using black and white vs. color? Tom -- I like to use the black and white style when the subject of my photo is more pattern or shape based. When photos are in black and white, it eliminates the distraction of seeing too many colors at once, which may alter the emotion a photographer is trying to portray. In the style that I shoot in, you will mostly see photos that are in color unless I’m going for a specific feeling that I want the viewer of the photo to feel. Tammy - I really like black and white for some things but never understood why not so much for others. Now this gives me a little more perspective. What kind of subjects do you like to use? Tom - I found my niche in automotive photography. Not long after getting my first camera, I stumbled upon a local car show and experimented with cars as subjects. I instantly fell in love with ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “In life, there is always someone behind the scenes who encourages us. Who in your life does that for you?”

he results. I posted these photos on my Instagram page and received awesome feedback and lots of car enthusiasts wanting to book photo sessions with me. I do not know a single thing about cars, but the people I have met in the car scene were incredibly welcoming and showed me which angles looked the best. When not taking pictures of cars, I love to travel for the sole purpose of capturing a single great photo. Out of a thousand photos, there is always one that sticks out to me the most. I recently took a trip to New York City to capture some street photography for my social media pages and left with well over 1500 photos from that afternoon. There was one in particular that stuck out to me, and it was one of the last shots I took that day. Walking back to catch the train, I saw a homeless man in a wheelchair making his way towards me on a busy sidewalk. The conditions were perfect for me to snap a quick photo, so I had to take the shot. There was no dialogue between the man and me, but the look in his eyes said it all. I captured the shot and was on my way. The whole interaction took about 10 seconds. I didn’t realize how great the shot came out until I had looked at it the next day, and upon doing so, I wish I had spoken to the man to hear his story. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I am grateful that I got to capture part of his story. Tammy - When you gave me the pictures to use in our article, I instantly gravitated to that picture! To me, it definitely told a story without words. It plays with our emotions, reaches out to our hearts. I see so many around me with stories of their own, and so many times I wished I had reached out to hear them. Unfortunately, our own lives crowd in 110


and take over with its story demanding to be told. However, you did capture the moment and were able to share his story that has so many layers to it and that is a treasure! Do you have any new projects coming up that you are excited about? Tom - - Yes! I am doing photo gig as we speak! I am currently in Dubuque, Iowa, working as one of the social media managers for the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. My job as a photographer at the Colts is to capture and tell the story of this group of musicians as they travel and perform for tens of thousands of people throughout the United States. This will be my 4th year with the Colts, but my first year on staff as a photographer. Being able to tell the story of this incredible group of kids is inspiring, and I’m looking forward to spending a few weeks on tour with them and sharing it with the world! Tammy - That is very exciting, good for you! Perhaps later, we can do another interview and see where this new adventure takes you? I can only imagine the opportunities of new places to see and people to meet this will bring you. I look forward to reading their stories in your photos! In life, there is always someone behind the scenes who encourages us. Who in your life does that for you? Tom -- Of course! I would not have gotten this far without the encouragement and support of my family and my girlfriend, Sam. Without them, I would not have the confidence to pursue my dreams. They truly inspire me, and I’m so lucky to have such amazing people in my life

who push me to be a better human being every single day. I would also like to thank my friends Frank and Nick, who provided me with an extraordinary opportunity in real estate photography and have encouraged me to be the best of the best in this business! Tammy - Do you have a website where you display your work? And where can our readers find you on social media? Tom -- You can find me on Instagram! I go by @romsworld - all of my content gets posted there, and it acts as my portfolio. You can also check out my Facebook page, Tom Ruocco Media. There you have it, a glimpse of this amazingly talented young man and his inspiring work! In life, we will have encounters with all types of people, with unique stories of their own that may help you with your own story. Moments before I met Tom, I was overwhelmed with the next chapter in my life. But after talking to Tom, I realized I needed to continue on my quest for a new change with the enthusiasm he has for his. The passion and desire, a fire that can bring the joy back! It doesn’t matter what phase of life you are in. Whether you are just starting out or you are beginning to wind down, life need not be about necessity or complacency, but of wonderment and fulfillment! Tom is already ahead of the game by capturing his fire. I see that fire, like so many others will, bringing him a bright beautiful future! Good luck to you Tom!









I know this may be a stretch, but I learned a lot about fashion, quality and business at my first job, making pizza of all things.

everything for $10 and the other pizzeria that sold large pizzas with everything for $20. So, how did they both stay in business?

The similarities are astounding if you just give yourself a bit of an open mind. Since I had never worked at another pizzeria, I had no idea that I was making some of the best pizza I’d ever taste in my life.

Here is where things get interesting. Let’s say both businesses use the exact brand of tomato sauce, flour, yeast, vegetables, meats and so on. They are identical. So, is the first business under charging or the second over charging? The answer is no, in both cases. The first business is set up for speed and high volume. The second business is set up for high quality and low volume.

After my stint as a pizza maker ended, I was in for a real shock. We had moved to another part of town and I was just too far a drive or bike across town to get this particular pizza. ( Delivery, was not a thing yet ) So, when I received my driver’s license, what was the first thing I did? You guessed it! I drove across town to get one of those delectable pies. Really, no joke. The pizza I had been eating near my house was just awful. So what made me dislike the one local pizza and made my mouth water at the mention of the original pizzeria? I was only 16 at the time, but I started to realize that I was willing to travel further, pay more and was willing to forgo pizza all together, if it was not from the original pizza spot I worked at. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I took a marketing course in college and it dawned on me. Not all pizza’s are created equal. Towards the end of the marketing course we had a writing assignment on quality and its relationship to price. At that time I had started working in retail menswear and was beginning to understand the relationship between quality and price, but the only real life experience I had was pizza. So that’s what I wrote the paper about. Here is the basic tenet of the paper. You have 2 pizzerias across the street from each other. One that sold large pizzas with

So, how can this be possible? That’s easy! They are making pizzas for different consumers. One that is price driven and the other quality driven. Which one was I? The latter, of course. I would be willing to not eat pizza at all if I couldn’t get the higher quality pizza. OK, so what’s the secret, and how can you make pizza that much better, that you’re willing to pay twice the price. This is where I remembered how I used to make pizza’s when I was 16 years old. Remember we have identical ingredients. The lesser pizzeria made enough dough for one weeks worth of pizzas and refrigerated it after it was made. The other made their dough fresh every day and was never refrigerated. Vegetables like peppers, onions and mushrooms were cut up raw and thin for the week and added to the pizza before going into the oven. The better pizzeria chopped their vegetables every day. They then saute them in olive oil which gave it great flavor and were perfectly cooked when the pizza was made. The sausage was cooked and the fat was rendered off so the fat would not melt and make the pizza oily. The lesser pizza, you guessed it, the sausage was raw so when they put it on

the pizza, the fat melted and made it soggy. Last and most important was the ovens. The first had a commercial tunnel oven in which you needed to make the pizzas very thin so they would cook faster to accommodate the volume. The quality pizzeria used a wood fired oven that has been in use for decades. The wood imparts a smokier flavor and is a dryer heat that cooks the pizza from the inside out to give the pizza a thick and crispy texture. So here we are, the same ingredients, made by two different methods for two types of customers. In wrapping up our pizza story, you may have already guessed that we are going to apply this same theory to shoes, suits, umbrella’s, purses and all the other retail items that can be cheaply made or made by hand, one at a time. It applies to shoes that are glued together and mass produced that can’t be resoled. Versus quality shoes that are stitched together and can be reheeled or resoled indefinitely. Umbrellas that are made of aluminum and vinyl that easily bend and break versus umbrellas that are made of stainless steel, bamboo and waterproofed wool. Lastly you can go with suits that are fused and glued together and are made in standard sizes. Versus a garment that is all stitched and not glued, and specifically measured and made for a particular individual with fine fabrics and workmanship. In the end I believe that the best experiences in life are created by the quality of the goods in your life and not the quantity . I will leave you with a quote I recently heard. “ Cheap is the most expensive lesson you will ever learn” Always at your service, Vincent DiGiorgio ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022




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Summer is in full swing and many of us are enjoying the long days and staying active. I jokingly tell people I am solar powered. If you are anything like me, the longer days give you greater motivation to be outside in nature and perform a bit extra self-care. Self-care is a relatively new term to use, but people have always had the concept of taking better care of themselves. Working out, getting massages, mani/ pedi appointments, and so on. Why do we tend to think of things that impact our outward appearance as self-care? Am I off base believing that is what we often think of when we hear self-care? Well, I want to expand the notion of self-care. Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. I want to share some activities you can do to right now to improve your health; body, mind, and spirit. Yes, we need to care for our minds and emotions too if we are truly caring for ourselves. There are free things you can start today to help your overall wellbeing and not even break a sweat! JOURNALING Journaling preserves memory, maintains brain function, helps manage stress, helps people gain a broader perspective to think things out, and improves your overall health. There are studies suggesting it even reduces depression and headaches. If you add gratitude to your journaling that is compounded. Studies show living with gratitude improves your self-esteem and coping mechanisms as well as literally decreasing pain and

alleviating headaches. Who wouldn’t want that? I must say, all the people I have some in contact in my life—the ones with a joyful spirit and grateful for every day, even when they were sick or hospitalized had better outcomes and required less pain management, so I think these studies are pretty accurate. MEDITATION Meditation (and prayer) clear the mind and reduce stress and anxiety. It has also been proven to boost your immune

system, control pain, increase your attention span, improve sleep, and lower blood pressure. But here is a cool addition many may not be aware of. A Harvard study showed meditating 30 minutes a day increased grey matter in the brain responsible for memory and learning. It can literally help you combat Alzheimer’s disease. So, find yourself a quiet area or lay on your bed, maybe put on some soft instrumental music or even a guided meditation on YouTube and get going! It certainly won’t hurt.

BREATHING I can hear some of you thinking you do that automatically and don’t need help, but did you know there are breathing exercises. There is pursed lip breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, humming breathing, and integrative breathwork to name a few. There are people who teach breathwork for various outcomes. As an Occupational Therapist I have focused on pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing for my patients with anything from COPD to lymphedema treatment to anxiety, but I do encourage you that if any of these interests you, seek a breathwork specialist in your community. So, what does better breathing & deep breathing do? Well, your immune system stems from your lymphatic system and the biggest piece of that is in your abdomen so deep diaphragmatic breathing actually helps stimulate that thereby improving your lymph flow and immune system. It also reduces stress and anxiety, improves your energy and mood, decreases blood pressure, improves digestion, and increases your strength and stamina. It helps our posture as we work on these breathing techniques too. And lastly…as we age our oxygen levels decrease by up to 20% and breathing exercises elevates that oxygen saturation, hence why I do these with my COPD patients. Who knew breathing was all that? GET CREATIVE Finding creative outlets improve selfdiscovery but it can do so much more. It stabilizes your heart rate, hormone levels, and stimulates endorphins (those ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{{ BLACK WOMEN ROC} } WELL-BEING {SENIOR SHIFT+CONTROL “Self-care is a relatively new term to use, but people have always had the concept of taking better care of themselves.”

happy hormones that release and reduce pain, stress, and improve your overall sense of wellbeing). There is also research that shows being creative or having a creative hobby improves your autonomic nervous system which is the part responsible for your heart rate, breathing, and digestion. Don’t feel very creative? Take a class or workshop. There are so many options between woodworking, leatherworking, painting, stained glass, drawing, weaving, knitting, ceramics and pottery, photography, and writing to name a few. I bet even an adult coloring book could help! SOCIALIZE Being with your family and friends, laughing and sharing stories, memories, and new experiences improves your self-esteem, provides a greater sense of purpose, and is proven to increase our longevity and lifespan. We are not meant to get through this life alone and feeling like part of a community is an integral part of wellness. So, schedule that lunch date with your friend, maybe incorporate a physical activity too! Even if you are more a homebody and introvert, you can still challenge yourself to meet like-minded people by joining a group or participate from home via zoom or something. Just make sure you are making time to be part of a community or small circle for your own benefit. DO SOME PUZZLES Card games, sudoku, brain training apps on a phone or tablet, trivia, crosswords, 120


word searches, Tetris, logic games, and the list goes on and on. What is the benefit? Well, physically most require some fine motor skills, but cognitively they pack a punch! Engaging in activities like this regularly improve your cognition and problem-solving abilities, boosts your mood, and literally reduces your risk of

Alzheimer’s. That’s right. You can actually bank some cognitive improvement like a savings account. It’s very well documented in a fabulous book called The Neuroscience of Memory by Dr. Sherrie All. So, make some good use of down time, relaxation, and sitting at an airport or on a flight.

GO OUTSIDE Sunlight and fresh air strengthen your heart, provides a mental boost, and decreases your blood pressure and muscle tension! Have you ever stood on the beach looking across the ocean and felt connected to something far greater and more powerful than just yourself? Research suggests being in nature can do that for us regularly. Some public health researchers are suggesting that can even reduce our mortality, helping us live longer. Being engrossed in the trees, plants, and wind has been proven to reduce pain & discomfort, as well as reducing anger, stress, and fear. Studies conducted on surgical patients in in hospitals found those with windows overlooking trees and the wind blowing them had better pain management than those who did not have that window. There has even proof kids with ADHD had a longer attention span after spending time outside. So why not grab a friend or family member and go for a walk, take some deep breathes, and journal about it later. You can knock a few self-care ideas out of the park at once and feel better for it! I hope these options for more holistic well-being at any age help not just you, but maybe has given you ideas for family members and friends as well! For more information on wellness and making the second half of your life the best half, subscribe to my blogs and newsletter at











May I have your attention, please? I have a big message to share today. It has to do with the sacred masculine and feminine energies, your position of power and your LOVE LIFE. In this Love Frequency column, we have conversations around energy, frequency, vibration, quantum physics, laws of the universe, emotional mastery, and making your dreams come true!! When we play in the quantum field, dabbling in the realm of infinite possibilities, you see what a powerful co-creator you truly are. You are building your life based on your thoughts and beliefs, whether you realize it or not. There are immutable laws of the universe that govern this reality. The most wellknown is the Law of Attraction. In manifestation, this law states “like attracts like.” What you appreciate, appreciates. Where your attention goes, energy flows. Your energy is constantly attracting people, situations, dynamics that you are a match for. Another universal law that really matters is the Law of Gender. And first, let me say: it has nothing to do with male/ female gender, that terminology is simply a representation of the forces at play. WE ALL HAVE BOTH, masculine AND feminine energies. Ideally, you’re establishing a healthy balance inside yourself first, then connecting with others from this place of stability. It’s the yin-yang that traditional Chinese culture has used to represent complimentary forces being held in

balance. Neither of which can exist without the other.

yourself -living- most of the time? Which energy are you most connected to?

The masculine energy is represented by hot, fiery, solar, yang vibes.

Also, there are healthy, empowered expressions of these energies and there are wounded, unhealthy expressions of both.

In terms of life and business, this is the energy of going, DO-ing, planning, forcing, pushing, action, organization, structure, strategy. In relationship dynamics, it involves taking the lead with others (only after leading oneself,) delegating, exuding confidence, holding space for self and others, and being responsible for the container of trust. The feminine energy is represented by cool, laid-back, lunar, yin vibes. In terms of life and business, this is the energy of receiving, BE-ing, trusting, being led, surrendered, in flow, at ease, creating, birthing new ideas. Within the context of romantic relationships, it’s your ability to be led, which of course is preceded by your ability to trust. The feminine energy in relationships comes through as a feeling of safety to explore what brings you pleasure, connected to your intuition, allowing yourself to receive (I’m talking something as little as a compliment) surrender, creatively expressed, feeling at ease, soft, open-hearted. We all default to one or the other, masculine or feminine, as an expression of your inner essence. QUICK INQUIRY: Where do you see

To touch on this briefly, unhealthy masculine energy comes through as bullying, intimidating, domineering, controlling, manipulative, aggressive, withdrawn, or non-communicative. Unhealthy feminine energy comes through as unworthy, feeling unseen, unheard, shameful, not speaking your truth, lacking boundaries, overly emotional, looking outward to others for answers, inauthentic, nagging, shameful, and often says “I’m sorry” all the time. In my own life, learning to embody my healthy feminine energy wasn’t easy. It happened AFTER I experienced a major imbalance. In my last romantic relationship, I used to make all the plans, I paid most of the bills and all the home renovations, I had to take the lead, I used to like things to be -just so-, some may refer to this as being a “control freak.” And it made sense. I grew up with the “strong women” modeling being in their masculine. Not EVER softening into their feminine... Raised by a single mom who felt she had to do everything for us, little to no $0 child support from my dad, we saw him ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ THE LOVE FREQUENCY { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Bringing more balance to your own energies naturally creates a shift in your reality because our energetic signatures are like a battery.”

every other weekend. My grandmother “Nini” was extremely influential in my life and she ran the home. Yes, my grandfather provided financially but Josephine did it ALL. She was focused on running a tight ship and keeping things in order. Generationally, the behaviors that were modeled for me became my own. Until I realized that wasn’t what I wanted for myself. I had a deep desire to let go, to not be in control, to surrender and be led by my partner. Coming from a history of sexual abuse and trauma, there was a point I realized that I had ONLY been available for the man’s pleasure. I realized I was conditioned to believe my own pleasure didn’t matter. I felt unworthy. Inferior. I was constantly in lack mentality. I was a people pleaser. I was fearful and everything felt scarce: love, money, my career path... I looked outside myself for others to save me. Healing sexual trauma and associated shame, as well as healing my own masculine energy, allowed me to unleash the Goddess within. Because she matters.


a life I am head over heels in love with!! Not only did I start doing more of the good stuff, I began to believe that I was worthy of that! I now KNOW that I am •free to express myself creatively •grow my business in the most soulaligned way possible •safe to be sensual and sexual (two different things,) feeling balanced in my womb space, my sacral chakra energy •safe to trust the cues my body gives me from my nervous system, as guidance •allowed to receive from others, especially those I trust •ready, willing and able to lead myself to make decisions best for me Taking action from my masculine offers a space for my feminine to come forth, which has led to tremendous success professionally in my personal branded business as well as personally with my romantic partner. Solid in my own masculine structures, strategies, organization, planning, DOING, allows my feminine free reign to trust, surrender, be expressive, be led (by my love, Jason as well as by my mentors), be creative and most of all: to receive PLEASURE which makes me MAGNETIC to my desires!! Once in your feminine power, you are irresistible!!!

My pleasure matters. My enjoyment and fulfillment matters. AND SO DOES YOURS!!

Embodying my feminine is the root of my leadership, my content creation, my deep connections, my impact and my legacy.

Leaning into what feels really good to me, not just sexually, helped me create

Now, are you experiencing burnout? Have you had a similar dynamic play


out in your life? Are you dissatisfied in your romantic relationships? Do you find yourself in your MASCULINE allllll the time-with work and with home life? Do you desperately desire to let go and be romanced by a strong empowered masculine counterpart? When you envisioned being successful, I imagine you thought the stress would be gone. You’ve built such a solid foundation for yourself, now let’s get you on the right track so that you can enjoy all you have created. Let’s set you up emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually to live a life you are obsessed with! Bringing more balance to your own energies naturally creates a shift in your reality because our energetic signatures are like a battery. The polarity is necessary to have a balanced, loving dynamic. If you are conditioned to default to your masculine in order to survive, you are likely attracting a partner who defaults to their feminine (wounded or healthy.) And likewise, if you default to your healthy feminine (in love) you will naturally attract a partner in their healthy masculine. The real question is: what do you truly desire in your romantic relationship? I could talk about this for days; know that this column is skimming the surface on this topic. Be in touch if you want to deepen any of it. Email hello@ for further guidance. THANK YOUUUUU! Xx, Kara Karaoguz, Intuitive Coach










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For this edition of She Hustles Talks, we have marriage and relationship expert, author, national speaker, and so much more. The true queen of hustle, and now our very own She Hustles cover woman! We were so excited to be able to speak with this powerhouse woman entrepreneur and bring you just a little bit about her journey. I am sure you will be as intriqued as I was, and can’t wait to read her books, and talk to her more!

to complete a degree in Psychology which has always been my dream. I am a Certified Counselor and Life Coach in Relationship & Marriage Crisis. Certified Suicide prevention specialist. I have been a Licensed and Ordained Evangelist since 2005. I graduated summa cum laude in high school and spoke the graduating commencement speech which is something I will always

#1 Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. Who is Dr. Nephetina L. Serrano? I am a native of Philadelphia born and raised. My parents met while in H.S. I was the firstborn daughter to my parents and grandparents and was the only girl for seven years before my mom’s youngest sister had her first child, a little girl. I was raised with a strong Christian background. My great-grandmother was the matriarch of the family and a well-respected woman in her church and community. My grandfather is a bishop and at age 90 is still preaching the Gospel and doing well. Granddad is the Patriarch of our family, he is well revered in our family, the church, and the community. I received my Doctorate in Business Administration and Business & Leadership Coach Certification from TIUA 2022. Honorary Doctorate in Humanitarian 2019. I am currently attending Grand Canyon University 136


be proud of. I have been married to my best friend Dr. Richard Serrano whom I met in my senior year of High School and married two years later. We are a blended family and have one daughter Brande Serrano. However, we have contributed to raising a family of three girls and one boy. We recently celebrated 33 years in marriage and 35 years together in Hawaii where we renewed our vows. It was the most

beautiful ceremony in Kona on the biggest island of Hawaii. We reaffirmed our marriage covenant to one another and the journey forever continues. I along with my husband recently was appointed United Nations Ambassadors for Peace in DUBAI UAE and received the LIFETIME Achievement Award Gold recipient from current President Joe Biden 2021 & 2022 for our 30-years service to couples and families in crisis. I love mentoring and have served with Big Brothers Big Sisters and mentored 3 young ladies over several years who I keep in touch with and are graduates and serving their communities. I was an adviser mentor for K.I.S.H Home, Inc an organization that helps women who aged out of foster care. I am big on networking and collaborating with other women and organizations to support families. I am the go-to in my family and circles for many things such as event planning, advice, prayer, etc. I love to cook and I love people. My greatest and most precious title is that of a servant. You are very well-versed. How did you become a Relationship Expert, Marriage Counselor, Global Speaker, Best Selling Author, and Certified Life Coach? I followed my dreams. My life’s work

“Being Authentic and relatable. Collaborate instead of competing because people truly need people and that is a fact.”




{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “I along with my husband recently was appointed United Nations Ambassadors for Peace in DUBAI UAE and received the LIFETIME Achievement Award Gold recipient from current President Joe Biden 2021 & 2022 for our 30-years service to couples and families in crisis.”

community. It gives me joy. I worked very hard and with discipline, planning, and many sacrifices I have achieved all the above. I have a huge love for people. Many years ago I realized I had a gift for seeing others reach their full potential. I’ve always been good at writing and speaking and I find that people really enjoy listening to me whether I am speaking at a conference, ministering the word of God in church, giving advice, conversation in the ladies’ room, or sharing a personal story. People seemed inspired and uplifted and wanted to take action. Then I knew these abilities needed nurturing and I didn’t want to be a jack of all trades and master of none so, I decided to continue my education. It was necessary to perfect some of those gifts thereby allowing me to make a bigger impact when helping others and speaking. I took all the necessary classes and courses to achieve most of the above; some came from life’s experiences and honor. What makes you hustle? Our children are our future. How I show up now matters not only for me now but for then later. Tomorrow’s not promised and I believe in making the best use of the time I have today. It is important to live in the present. My husband and his confidence in me and my abilities, and my family motivate me along with my desire to live out my God-given potential and purpose and leave a legacy that will serve far beyond my years and without regrets. I want to leave this world empty, knowing I served well according to the plans God set for me, knowing I gave everything I was supposed to and lived every moment to its fullest.

What does it mean to be the U.S. National Ambassador Queen 20212022 at Woman of Achievement? It means I get to represent my passion for marriages and families in crisis while traveling and sharing this wonderful woman entrepreneur-focused organization. Woman of Achievement is about living beyond age, body type, and limits and showing up, representing what you love and your passion. WOA is under the leadership of an amazing woman and visionary Dr. Marlena Martin. Through this pageant, I have gained wonderful friends and a sisterhood that will last a lifetime. It is an honor to know I am serving such an organization. What is the mission behind your “brand”? To be the one, to encourage, uplift, and inspire others to be more and show up for themselves first then others. Remember that nothing is beyond reach. To show women they can RISE UP above the ashes, from trials to triumphs, to encourage couples to live beyond the ups and downs of marriage and know that they are better together, and to inspire our youth to live their dreams and never give up. In that mission, I purpose all I do to be pleasing to the God who created me and give honor to my savior Jesus Christ. To support couples to achieve balance and stability in life and business through biblical principles and to build more effective communication in their marriage and relationship. To model the way for the next generation of young women teaching them no matter how hard you fall you must

RISE UP and move forward, declaring defeat is not an option. To build a 72-hour overnight care facility for a couple or family in crisis. A place where couples can receive the necessary urgent care to heal, be restored, find peace, and be provided with the tools needed to rebuild and continue the journey forever. Our Motto is, “Save a Marriage, Save a Community.” What is Covenant Marriage and Covenant Rescue 911? Covenant Marriages, Inc. is an organization whereby we conduct counseling, coaching, seminars, conferences, and workshops both virtual and onsite. Covenant Rescue 911 is the emergency response subsidiary of Covenant Marriages Inc. which I co-founded with my husband, Dr. Richard Serrano. It is a 24 crisis response call center where couples in crises can seek help to find support and balance in their marriage. Who are some of the strong women that have inspired you? The women who have inspired me are many. I will start with my mother, Elder Emma Jean Brant who was a superwoman and one of the strongest women I have ever met. My Grandmother the late Emma Lee Jones Montgomery, my aunties, especially my Aunt Louise, a remarkably strong woman who invested in me, my church family mother Winifred Morris, and Lady Dr. Priscilla Felton, my H.S. English teacher Ms. Adelle Bonaparte who also made my prom gown, my grade school teacher Mrs. Hightower, my dance instructor Faye at FLC, my ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “I followed my dreams. My life’s work of serving my family first, church, and community. It gives me joy.”

sister’s January Brant and Rose Irby some of the strongest women I know, my late stepmother Patricia Davis, and of course, former first lady Michelle Obama has made an impression on me and many other great women leaders who have helped shape my life whether they know it or not. I was watching them just like I know there are young girls watching you and me. Currently, these three ladies are inspiring me to do more and be my very best. HRH Princess Moradeun Ogunlana, Kearn Crockett Cherry, and Robbie Motter. I am forever grateful to God for planting them in my path.

some of the most amazing women of purpose with kind hearts and warm spirits not coming to be served but will to serve as well. The atmosphere was that of health, wealth, and prosperity. A people that understood people need people and God is to be lifted and though

What do you feel is the key to women empowering other women? Being Authentic and relatable. Collaborate instead of competing because people truly need people and that is a fact. What do you feel makes you a women’s empowerment expert? Life’s journey of trials and triumphs certainly has helped qualify me and being a forever learner and study of biblical principles has taught me that defeat is not an option. RISING UP from the ashes and keep moving forward. I am able to support women and I have a niche for inspiring and equipping women to look beyond their downfalls. It is a gift from God that when I speak women listen so I make sure I am providing them with tools to sustain them and not mere words. What is one place you have visited that has changed your life and why? I must say DUBAI this year. I was a guest of Princess Moradeun and I met 142


we may have different religious beliefs it was their reverence of God and the love shown one toward another. Their willingness to share with one another and those they had just met. I have not seen that kind of love amongst women to that degree. What have you found to be the most

successful and influential method of promotion for your business? The study of people and behaviors changing as the needs change and being willing to meet and help people where they are. Outsourcing what’s not within my expertise to ensure each client receives the specialized care needed. Tell us about some of your goals and dreams for you personally and as a female entrepreneur. My goals are simply to live this life fully and intentionally as God has laid out for me so that I miss out on nothing that I was purposed to do. To show up and make an impact and be sure I exercise my voice when it’s time to speak. To be the DREAM walking on the earth and leave empty. My goal is to continue to fight for couples and families beyond the closed doors, to walk alongside them and guide them at times they feel all hope is gone and need support. As a female speaker and entrepreneur, I want to continue to travel and speak around the world to uplift, encourage, inspire and transform lives. Especially speaking to women and letting them know, “you are not alone” and no matter what you encounter along life’s journey, how hard and difficult it may seem or how tragic it was or is, you can make it! Finally to build Oasis care facilities to support couples and families in crisis. I owe it to myself and the generations that will come behind me to leave this earth empty having fulfilled my life’s purpose and destiny.

{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “ To model the way for the next generation of young women teaching them no matter how hard you fall you must RISE UP and move forward, declaring defeat is not an option.”

You speak on love, confidence, and empowerment. What has proven successful in speaking to other women to motivate them to do the same? Women are motivated when you are relatable. Sharing my story and my truth lets the next woman know she’s not alone or lets a young lady know she can make it because I was able to rise up and move forward. These are the truths that move people to have hope and motivate them to keep living. Share one quote that you feel defines you and your vision? “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou . How can women navigate power structures in this day and age? Be willing to be true to yourself and do not be pressured by what others say or the traditions passed down to you or in life that tells us it is for a woman. Be the change you desire unapologetically. Be strong, walk with courage, be confident in who you are, and are willing to do it alone when necessary. Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship? I search through the pages of the Bible for the best inspiration and it’s always on time and true. My husband is one of my biggest inspirations and my best friend. My pastors have been a huge inspiration in my life and still are. My counselor, who is also my mentor, inspires me tremendously. Watching my mother still working, helping others, and going after her dreams with four earned degrees and now pursuing her

Doctorate well that’s inspiring. Lastly, I have a health coach, a career coach, a financial coach, and a speaker mentor. I would not want to be without any of these people in my life. What is your message to the world? Know that you are worth it and God loves us more than enough. You are more than a conquer. Never stop believing you can and remember that the struggles are real but all that you need to overcome them you already possess inside. You can make it, defeat is not an option because you were born to WIN. If you could do one thing you have never done, what would it be and why? Travel to the four corners of the earth and speak life to those who have given up. It’s a big world and it was meant for us to see it and explore it. What makes you truly happy? Knowing I have given my best and seeing others happy. What is one piece of advice you have been given that you have never forgotten and would want to pass along to the younger female leaders? The only limitations are the ones we place there. Believe you can and you will. What are the most important attributes of successful leaders, men or women today? Those that fell down but got back up. Knowing that words have power and speaking what you say matters. Good leaders are willing to share their downfalls and uprising to help someone else. Leaders who stop to listen to God because he’s always speaking but we sometimes are

too busy moving that we never hear what the instructions are. Those who are patient and anxious for nothing. What’s the most important risk you took and why? Leaving a job I was secure in, to go after another company I had always wanted to work with when the opportunity came. I felt it was the right time and although I was let go later I do not regret the experiences I gained which were to lead me to my next. How do you continue to grow and develop as a leader? Applying the knowledge you’ve learned, moving forward, never give up. Where will we see Dr. Serrano next? One never knows, wherever God leads me and the journey takes me. That could be on a stage, on the radio, in another country, neighborhood, city, or state. That might be on a cruise ship or a college campus, on a hill, by the ocean, on television, in a theatre, at a Gala, or TEDx talk. I really don’t know but I am ready to walk through the doors laid out for me. I rise up from the ashes from trials to triumph. I am a woman who leads building a Legacy and I am destined to win!







MUTED CLOSET Tell us a little about yourself, and Muted Closet. Hi! My name is Pamela Colon, and I am a Bilingual Special Education teacher at Rochester City School District and the happiest dog mama and auntie in the world. My family, boyfriend and close group of friends are my driving force behind everything I do, the support and admiration is incredible, and I am so blessed to have all of them be part of my life. I love nature, reading and to garden (new hobby! I grew some amazing cucumbers last year!) I love romanticizing my life- if that makes any sense, whether it be just lounging with my dog in the kiddie pool or grabbing coffee at a new coffee shop. I told myself lets romanticize my life a bit more and do what I always wanted, open an online boutique and boom, Muted Closet was born. Muted Closet launched online in late June of 2022. As an owner, I wanted to ensure that my boutique offers a variety of go to closet staples for everyone and every body type. I love classic pieces that can put together and make any outfit look chic. Fashion is a great way of self-expression and exploration and I live for opportunities like this. What made you decide to open your own online boutique? I’m in love with fashion, it’s a great way of self- expression and seeing how

trends come and go always fascinate me. I have always wanted to open up a boutique, but I was always scared of the “what if I fail” scenario. But one night I woke up at 4am, I had the name picked out and filed for my DBA and all that fun stuff the next day. It was spontaneous for me, but it’s something I always wanted to do. Great things come from being outside

of your comfort zone and I am so excited for this new journey in my life that I am super passionate about. What makes you hustle? Seeing other local business and individuals flourish is a huge motivator for me to hustle. I look up to so many local businesses and that is where a lot of my motivation comes from. I also come from a family of

hardworking entrepreneurs. My mom owns an at home day care, my dad owns a pawnshop, and my stepdad has his own snow plowing service. Owning your own business is rewarding, because you are working for yourself and your own goals and dreams, not anyone else’s. What is the mission behind the brand, and how do you choose your fashion and styles? My goal is to empower women to feel unstoppable, beautiful, and confident, because if you feel all of those three--- there is literally nothing you can’t do. Plus, I love when other people feel beautiful and happy, it makes me happy. At Muted Closet, I offer versatile, comfortable and high-quality pieces that will make you look and feel your best. I love neutral colors, floral patterns and staying on top of what trend is to come next. Fashion is forever changing, and I love it. I have a variety of pieces for all body types and personalities. Everyone is sure to find a lil’ gem here. What is your favorite, can’t live without, piece of clothing? This one is hard, but I would have to say shackets. They are just so versatile and cute and as someone that’s always cold they always are a must. I love them. They also pair perfectly with any kind of outfit giving it some casual vibes. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


“My goal is to empower women to feel unstoppable and confident, because if you feel all of those three literally nothing you can’t do.”

e, beautiful, e--- there is

{ HEIDI’S LAW } } SHIFT+CONTROL { {SHE HUSTLES TALKS “Seeing other local business and individuals flourish is a huge motivator for me to hustle.”

Who are some fashion icons that have inspired you? I love Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn’s one-of-a-kind styles. It’s elegant, effortless, and just so beautifully put together.

time. Rochester has a community of so many talented and motivated individuals. Social media is also of course, a great way to promote. I occasionally participate in doing giveaways.

What do you feel is the key to women empowering women? I believe the key to women empowering women is to not compete with other women and to build each other up. I think it’s important to be supportive and proud of all the boss ladies having the courage to do their own thing because it isn’t easy and takes so much determination.

Tell us about some of the goals and dreams that you have for your business.

What do you think are 3 things that will make you a successful lady boss? Three things that will make me a successful lady boss are going outside of my comfort zone, staying levelheaded whether it be through times of failure or success and most importantly taking care of my mental health. Those are 3 aspects which I believe have the biggest impact on me being successful. What have you found to be the most successful method of promotion for your business? Personally, being a vendor at local pop up shops, it’s a great way to promote, network and just make new friends with other great local businesses. Being part of a pop up is always such a rewarding and exciting 156


I would love to just keep growing and continue meeting new customers. I would love to one day have my own physical store and to design my own clothing line from scratch- It’s a little bit of a reach, but ya never know! I see that you hand pick each piece of clothing and that it your goal is to empower women and make

them feel unstoppable, confident and beautiful. What do you feel is most important in doing this for women? I thrive off seeing other people happy and confident, and if I can do that with clothing then I am one happy, happy lady. There is just so much comparison in the world that we often forget to admire ourselves and just love ourselves. Share one quote, or inspirational saying that defines you. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failing is another steppingstone to greatness (Oprah Winfrey).” This quote is applicable in all walks of life, situations and it resonates with me so much. Most of my life, I’ve been scared to do anything because of the idea of failing, judgement and how would I ever recover? Then I reflected on all the amazing opportunities that were in front of me that I was afraid to start solely because of the possibility of failure. I am 28 now and I know I do not want to live the rest of my life being afraid of failure, as cliché as it sounds, every failure is a learning opportunity, and I don’t want to keep missing out on life’s blessings. If you could do one thing you have never done what would it be and why? I would love to take a month-long trip somewhere like Spain, Italy, Australia and just be unhooked and







{ HEIDI’S LAW } } SHIFT+CONTROL {{SHE HUSTLES TALKS “As an owner, I wanted to ensure that my boutique offers a variety of go to closet staples for everyone and every body type.”

unplugged. No phone, television, nothing. Just enjoying the wonderful views, food, people, and culture. Oh what a dream! What is one piece of advice you have been given that you have never forgotten? There will be great days and not so great days. I guess this applies to everything in life. Just keep going. I know it’s so easy to just want to dwell on those bad days, but I see it as an opportunity to see what I can do differently, even though it may be hard to do. Life is life and has it’s ups and downs. #What is your favorite form of promotion and why? Giveaways are for sure my favorite form of promotion. Whether they be collaborating with other local businesses or doing a solo giveaway, it’s always such a fun and rewarding process. You get to promote your dreams, new friends get the opportunity to discover your business, yo u i n t e r a c t w i t h the community, and someone walks away a winner. It’s a win-win. Giveaways are something I will continue doing as frequently as I can.

Where will we see Muted Closet next? My goal for Muted Closet is to of course continue getting my name out there. I love going to Pop up Shops and being a vendor. I’ve been part of

supportive environment- so I will most definitely continue to participate in those. Rochester has such a great community of amazing local businesses and individuals who are contstantly supporting each other and wanting to see everyone thrive. Ultimately, in a few years I would love to eventually design and make my own clothing. That would be a dream come true. Who knows? Maybe even a physical store. But, I would just love to keep growing.

Good Vibes Pop up Shop and Sunrise Pop up Shop and absolutely fell in love with interacting with people and showcasing my products in a ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022









“Tell us a little bit about yourself” My name is Desiree. I am a licensed professional cosmetologist of 19 years, 2x certified PMU artist/instructor, owner/creator of the Infinite Design brand, and owner/creator of IDUSA Hair Extensions brand. I am based out of Upstate (Syracuse) New York. “What made you decide to open your own business, Infinite Design?’ Since becoming licensed 19yrs ago, entrepreneurship has always been the goal. It has been a journey. I’ve worked for myself on and off, and I’ve alsohad the pleasure and experience of working for many different salons during my career, allowing me to see the ins and outs of the salon business. When comparing both experiences of working for myself vs. working for someone else, I’ll always choose to be in business for myself. There’s a freedom to owning your own businessthat you just don’t have working for someone else. You make your own hours, you choose the people you want to work with, you create the environment you want to work in, you decide how much money you’re going to make, you choose when to take a holiday and for how long, etc. The work involved may not be for everyone, but for me owning and operating my own business, the pros outweigh the cons. “What would you say is your specialty service?” I specialize in all hair types, textures, and techniques. Hence the name, Infinite Design USA. Because this industry is

forever changing and evolving, I make sure I keep current with the latest styles, techniques, trends,and products, as to uphold my brand name’s high standards. “What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide your clients?”

I stay on top of the latest trends by continuing my education. I do this by attending classes (in person and online), workshops, seminars, hair shows, networking events, and even YouTube. YouTube is a great tool to use when looking for the latest trends, there’s so much information on there. “What makes you hustle?” My children are my reason. I am their everything, and everything I do is for their future. My children give my life purpose. I am nothing without them. 7. “What made you choose this profession?”- I chose the profession I am in because I truly felt it was my natural calling. I’m a natural born artist, and I had to fulfil my need to create. All things beauty, it’s not just what I do, It’s who I am. I made a choice to capitalize off what I was naturally good at and enjoyed doing. I hope for everyone to be able to do the same.

In my opinion, the most important quality in my business and the services I provide my clients would be excellent customer service. This is done by being punctual, communicating effectively, providing consistent quality of work, providing a clean and comfortable environment for the clients, and just all-around ensuring customer satisfaction. “How do you stay on top of the latest trends?”

“Who is a strong female entrepreneur that has influenced you and why?” I can’t name just one because there are a few. They would be the ones I see every day on social media working hard in creating content. The ones whose stories I’ve been following for years and seeing their growth/progress as women and entrepreneurs. These are women whom I’ve watched go from having a home-based business with a kitchen or closet full of products, to having storefronts andwarehouse/es full of products. Women who bare their lives for us to see, including motherhood, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022



SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “Since becoming licensed 19yrs ago, entrepreneurship has always been the goal. It has been a journey.“

work, relationships, travel, tears, and joy, to inspire other women that they too, can do it all. “What empowers your drive to push ahead during the tough times?” I believe what empowers my drive during the tough times, is staying positive, having faith, and knowing that even though it could be better, it could always be worse. I try to give gratitude and be grateful for my blessings and comforts, as well as be optimistic, and just knowing the tough times too shall pass. “What has been one moment that has defined your life and left a lasting impact?” Well, I’ve had several life defining moments that have left a lasting impact. The first is when I gave birth to my first child, my mind,body, and soul was forever changed. Then having somewhat of a spiritual awakening, which has pretty much guided me throughout my adult life. Then then losing my first-born child to a bad bike accident, he was just 21yrs old. His son was born months later, and I am now a grandmother to a tiny person who is the spitting image of my son. What a gift. It’s weird, but somehow inhis passing, my faith in God and the universe was at its strongest. I didn’t have any answers or explanations for anything, but I just knew everything was in divine order.Knowing that brought me to a different level of peace. “What are some of the services you provide, and who is your ideal clientele?” Some of the services I provide are, brow services-wax/tint, microblading/ 168


shading, lip blushing/neutralization, hair washing, cutting, styling, coloring, extensions, curl treatments, and I teach PMU courses. My ideal client is the student or professional looking to have beauty enhancements of these kind. My classes are for anyone looking to learn a new skill, enhance their current salon/ barber business, or just want to start a new career in the beauty industry. “How have you become a specialist in all different hair types and textures?” I’ve become a specialist in all hair types and textures from 19 years of experience, working in diverse environments, working with different ethnicities, extensive training, and continued education. “What have been your biggest weaknesses owing your own business and how you have you worked to overcome them?” I’d say my biggest weaknesses in owning my own business is procrastination and being afraid to take risks. I’ve worked to overcome these weaknesses through positive affirmations, believing in myself, and allowing myself room for mistakes. “Slow and steady wins the race”, if you’re racing. However, this isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. “What would you change about your business, and why?” The only thing I’d change about my business, is I’d like to expand larger and become a full day spa, by adding a list of other spa services to my menu. Services such as facials, UV/spray tanning, full body waxing,manicures/pedicures, and massages. Most of all, I’d like to have several locations, being large enough

to accommodate these services and customer base. “What is the biggest factor that has helped me be successful and grow your business?” My biggest factor in helping me be successful and grow my business is, staying consistent. Consistency is a key factor. Making a conscious effort every day to get up, show up, and never give up. “Do you have any helpful advice for other up and coming women starting their own businesses?” Yes, for all up and coming women starting their own business, I’d like to say starting the business was the first and most important step, and I’m proud of you. You, the creator,are in full control. What you put into your business you will get in return. Invest wisely. Stay humble and kind, pray, and enjoy the journey. It won’t be easy, but through dedication and consistency, it’ll be worth it. “How do you balance career, personal life, and passions? Is there such a thing as balance?” I balance my career, personal life, and passions by starting my morning at 5am every day. It seems as if there isn’t enough time in one day, so the earlier I start it, the more time I have. I have a routine and I for the most part, stick to it. I keep my social life to a minimum, mainly because I socialize at work all day. I plan my days, weeks, and months in advance. I have designated days for family life. I meditate and try to eat healthy. Some areas may lack whilst others are abundant, but I think I do a pretty good job with balancing all




{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “In my opinion, the most important quality in my business and the services I provide my clients would be excellent customer service.”

areas of my life. Otherwise, life would be a circus. “Tell us one thing we don’t know about you” I have two favorite sports. Both are on extreme opposites of the spectrum. One is Olympic ice skating, and the other is boxing (now UFC fighting). “What is your favorite product or service you provide and why?” My favorite service to perform is cosmetic tattooing, aka microblading/shading. It’s 170


so satisfying to see my clients’ reactions after a new pair of brows. Not to mention, my work is consistent and perfect every time. I am always amazed by my own self and feel very blessed to possess the talent and skill. My favorite product is my hair extension line. The transformation people go through from thin to thick, or short to long hair, is just so amazingly satisfying. Both PMU and extensions bring in great revenue. “Where do you see your business in the next year? 5 years?”

I see growth, another location, possibly international, the opening of an advanced training academy. Who knows? Just remember the name, Infinite Design USA.







TERE MARIE Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. Who is Tere Marie? I’m Syracuse native. I’ve lived in glorious places... Vermont, Hawaii, The Adirondacks and California... I’ve always returned. Syracuse is a nexus of really amazing people... I was formally trained in biology, and my career path has taken many different turns... I’ve worked for the government and worked for myself...I’ve worked in other people’s restaurants,and owned my own... I finally came home to myself as an organic farmer, holistic reproductive health coach and spiritual care provider, the things that have always been my passion. I farm with my husband at Wyllie Fox Farm, 30 beautiful acres just outside of Baldwinsville,New York. Community education is a huge part of what we do on the farm, teaching folks how to become more self-sufficient and connected to their natural world by growing their own food.This, of course, pairs nicely with my coaching work, which extends into plant medicine, spiritual development, and anchoring in the wisdom of the body. What is “Cultivating The Intentional Feminine “ and what is the basis behind it? There’s deep wisdom to be shared when women sit in circle together. Since our early human history, women have shared knowledge of the body, how to heal and optimize our body, mind and spirit, through these deep connections with one another, sharing in community. We access our true nature through anchoring into the wisdom of the body, passed on from the lineage that came before us, and passing this on to the young women that are coming up in this world. Our intuitive selves, our ability to heal ourselves, the ability to manage our own reproductive health, our personal development and so much more is gestated by sitting in circle and creating sisterhood, together.

During the pandemic, we lost many of these spaces, as to be expected....So in 2021, I was feeling the call to bring women together again. Sitting in circle with women has been one of the most healing, and growth centered experiences I’ve experienced, and was feeling drawn to bring this healing to folx who might not have otherwise experienced this. A friend, Amanda Burton, who I had met in circle, and continued to sit in circle for many years with, was also feeling the same call. We put our heads together, and in

What makes you hustle? I was born a Hustler. The daughter of a serial entrepreneur, it’s just in my blood to create, and do whatever it takes to bring that creation to life. To be honest, I am trying to hustle less and slow down more these days, being in a masculine world for so many years almost numbed me to my intuitive nature, so I’m really welcoming slowing down and not being driven by a linear, masculine world. I’m living deeply in my purpose with creating in a more feminine way, full of authenticity to my soul’s purpose. However, old habits die hard, and I still find myself hustling more than I’d like to admit (haha!) What does it mean to be a Holistic Reproductive Health Coach? The work that I do truly encompasses the wisdom of the body, and feminine embodiment. Using our cycle as a source of information, as the barometer of our overall health, is one of the best kept secrets, that really shouldn’t be a secret. This is the wisdom I speak of, when I talk about the lineage of women sharing with women.

about a month’s time we created a full day workshops, presenters, yoga instructors, meditation facilitators, creators, makers, intuitive readers and holistic minded practitioners for a festival held on my farm. We featured a farm to table lunch, sourcing most of the products from the farm itself. I have to say, serving about 100 people that meal might have been the highlight of the festival for me! So, there the festival was born, this year we are expanding into a larger event, that includes a retreat style, VIP workshop day, an intimate experience of intensive sessions, where we will take a deep dive into the feminine mysteries.

Our cycles are the ‘canary in the coal mine’, or, the first indicator that there is dysregulation in other systems of the body. If we are emotionally dysregulated...If we are stressed out, overworked, burnt out, if our nutrition or digestion isn’t on point, if we are not honoring our boundaries, if we are not sleeping well, or a a host of other conditions...You best believe it will be reflected in your cycle. Living with 4 distinct phases to our cycles gives us the advantage and ability to structure our lives according to the proclivity of our biology. There is a time to give, and a time to receive. A time for ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

greater output, and a time for rest. A time to reflect, and a time to create. Essentially, I teach people to become experts on their bodies....I teach them how to read and interpret the cues that their body gives every day about hormonal status, and how to create a record of health according to those biomarkers. We then overlay lifestyle onto those biometrics.From there, we can organize and optimize their lives according to what their biology is asking of them. This is honoring the wisdom of the body, and finding alignment of body, spirit and mind. From that place we can use that information to dial in many other aspects of our life, our relationships, our parenting, our health, nutrition, careers, so on and so forth. What is your mission behind being a female entrepreneur and coach, especially in the holistic field? To put it simply, it is my mission to teach each person with a wombspace, how to live in alignment with the cyclical wisdom of the body, and to find deep meaning and purpose in life through that anchor. What do you feel is the key to being successful in your field? Authenticity and alignment! What have you found to be the most successful method of promotion for your business? Word of mouth, social media, and connecting with folks in circle. Providing resources and disseminating information about holistic reproductive health is critical, in particular during the challenging times that women are experiencing currently. We need access to BOTH researchbased information and intrinsic, ancestral knowledge. This is why women coming together, to share their knowledge, is SO important. 178


Tell us about some of your goals and dreams both personally and with your business. WHERE TO START?! Education is a huge part of the mission, so hosting more opportunities for folx to come together to learn is the overarching goal. More on site classes,virtual classes, deep dives, circles and workshops. Nervous system regulation, movement, plant medicine, womb wisdom, nutrition and cooking, growing plants...I have endless goals, dreams and ambitions! Share one quote that you feel defines you. “You are the sky, everything else is just the weather” -Pema Chodron How did you come up with the idea of helping women with their menstrual cycle through science,spirit, intuition and ancestral wisdom? One of the most basic (and underappreciated) parts of being a woman is our cycle. We are taught that it is a ‘curse’, a burden, something to dread or get rid of. In reality, it is our superpower. It is our monthly report card, and an indicator of the overall health of our body. We need the research based science to understand our hormones, wisdom of our lineage through ancestral knowledge, trust in the body by honoring our intuition and living with purpose by being in our authentic selves and spirit! What is one piece of advise you have been given that you have never forgotten and what is one piece of advice that you would pass along to others? Always take the pause before reacting.... One of my favorite quotes on this is.... “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Viktor E. Frankl

Where can we find you, and where will we see you next? First and foremost, I hope you will join us for “ Cultivating the Intentional Feminine” on September 23 and September 24. This is a experience unlike any other in our area. This is a day full of sisterhood,featuring the areas finest holistic health practitioners, intuitives, meditation teachers, yoga instructors, creators, makers, artists, and more. There are classes, workshops, speakers,circles, breakout sessions, and an extra special VIP day for those who would like to take a deeper dive, in a retreat style experience. You can find me there, organizing, speaking, hosting, and most likely schlepping up the farm to table family meal. @theintentionalfeminine www. @cyclealchemist www.teremariemartini. com Tell us what you like most about what you do. I love seeing women step into their authenticity, true feminine embodiment through anchoring into the wisdom of the body. Knowing that we have this source, this inner compass, this lighthouse within us always gives us a place to come home to. I absolutely love to see humans coming home to themselves ----Tere Marie Martini-Edelstein Holistic Reproductive Health Coach-Cycle Alchemy Organic Farmer- Wyllie Fox Farm She/Her



.BOUTIQUE.COM I (315) 807-1282



co·zy (adj.) giving a feeling of warmth, comfort, and relaxation. Ultimate goal. Whenever I design a space, aesthetics is always a driving force for the selections I choose. However, when making the decision for what looks great, it always comes down to comfort and function. I don’t design spaces to be looked at, I design spaces to be lived in. So, while a space may look fabulous and well styled, it also will function well for the daily use of the family I am working with. The outdoors is no exception! As we enter full speed into summer, lots of entertaining, pool parties, BBQs and social gatherings are on the calendar. Greathouse of Decor is sharing your must haves for outdoor entertaining that will give you the ultimate cozy vibes. Outdoor area rugs are a great way to elevate your outdoor spaces and work well on porches, patios, decks and gazebos. Unless your area is completely free from outdoor elements, it’s important to make sure you select an outdoor area rug. They make so many options now that look and feel plush under foot like indoor rugs but help repel water and dry quickly when they do get saturated. Plus, they are often safe from sun fading! As opposed to several years ago, there is now a wide market available for outdoor rugs ranging from boho, farmhouse, mid-century modern, 186


natural materials or anywhere in between. Target and Wayfair are excellent places to look for outdoor rug options. Make sure you get a size large enough for the space you’re using it in. Choose something that doesn’t clash with your home, speaks to your style, and has visual interest

of some kind (pattern, color, texture). This is the first step in layering an outdoor cozy space. Cushions and/or throw pillows on outdoor seating is another way to bring coziness to your outdoor space. This works for both social and dining spaces alike. While there is a tad more maintenance with outdoor cushions,

it’s worth it for what they add to your outdoor aesthetics. Again, make sure you are selecting fabrics that are meant for the elements, they will help keep fabric from fading, prevent fabric bleeds and dry quicker. I like to keep my cushions stored away when we aren’t using them to help protect their life. You can pull a color or texture from your area rug to tie the cushions and pillows in. Cushions for sofas and sectionals are an area where you don’t want to skimp, some can be very cheap and have little support- meaning you sink to a hard surface upon sitting. Spend the money to get quality cushions that will work for years to come and then protect them! Outdoor throw pillows and blankets (for chilly evenings) are the places you can spend less, have fun accessorizing and not feel bad if you want to sell them on marketplace next year and start new! Spend on the timeless items and fill in with the fun, less expensive items that you don’t mind replacing every so often. Once you have your rug, furniture/cushions and pillows set- you have your foundation! Next up comes the fun part, more accessorizing! Adding seasonal plants and bright colored flowers in pots is a great start. Make sure to try and coordinate colors to any other pattern or colors used in fabrics. Using opposing colors on the color wheel allow for fun pops of color, too! An umbrella is also a must for any outdoor gathering space as it





{ THE {GREATHOUSE OF DECOR } SHIFT+CONTROL } “Creating a warm glow through lighting, adding pops of color or greens with various textured plants or flowers, and adding a rug and textiles are sure ways to set the foundation to elevate your outdoor space.”

provides shade and a place to cool off. There are many options now which provide so much versatility depending on the size and space in which the umbrella is being used. String lights are crucial to an outdoor space as well, providing a beautiful glow and ambiance. Be sure to get ones that are shatter proof though- no one wants to be stepping on broken glass! When hanging these, have fun and get creative with where you put them (command hooks come in handy.) Stringing them from extended deck posts (make sure you have clearance above the umbrella!), tree limbs, along a house line or porch roof are great options for hanging. Mix up some seasonal mock or cocktails, tapas, fun glassware and pitcher, plates and napkins and you are ready! Add your favorite people and you’ve created a recipe for a great time! Creating a space that feels cozy is based on building layers. Creating a warm glow through lighting, adding pops of color or greens with various textured plants or flowers, and adding a rug and textiles are sure ways to set the foundation to elevate your outdoor space. Don’t forget the texture! That’s crucial to making a space feel cozy- remember, pillows, rugs, outdoor curtains, and table linens are all great ways to incorporate texture. Creating an ambiance that feels welcoming and warm can also be achieved using candles or lanterns. By incorporating these tips, you are sure to make your outdoor spaces feel as cozy as the indoors! Most importantly, not only should the space look good, but it should also feel good- enjoy! 188
















As a master marketing and communications professional with more than 15 years of experience, I have found it challenging to navigate career websites. So many sales jobs are disguised as marketing positions, using words in the job titles use words such as “Marketing Coordinator” or “Social Media Manager,” but when I read the descriptions, these supposed jobs for a marketing professional are not what they seem.

see a job listing as $40,000 to $50,000 a year with a minimum of five years of experience. On the other hand, a more beginner job might be listed as $28,000 to $35,000 a year with one year of experience required. Either way, the salaries are in a reasonable range and reflect the job listed.

good to be true.’ If the job listing says $100,000/year for just one year of experience, it’s most likely a sales job. Although this earning potential could be realistic for a young and very driven salesperson, most people will not make $100K a year with such minimal professional experience.

The red flag: Jobs listed as having a salary range from $25,000 to $100,000 a year. This drastic salary means it’s

The red flag: “Make $100,000 a year with just six months to 1 year of experience!” As I said, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Why? Because they are sales jobs. Don’t get me wrong, many sales jobs can have great opportunities. From travel to perks to financial rewards, sales jobs can be very fulfilling. As a business owner, I practice a lot of sales. In fact, in my first year of business, I was doing about 70 to 80 percent sales and lead generation. In my side gig as a personal trainer, not only do I need to make a certain amount of sales in my gym, but I consider myself a walking billboard. How I stay in shape and present myself as a fit and healthy professional is all sales. But if you’re like me and consider yourself a marketing professional looking for an actual marketing job, here are a few red flags to look out for as you navigate career sites. 1.) A Wide Range in Salary As seen on most job sites, a salary range shows low and high pay rates for a position. For example, you may

most likely a job that is solely based on the commissions you earn. Hard core sales jobs have this salary range because there is no hourly or base pay; you are 100 percent commission based and are paid only on what you sell. If you are looking for a regular paycheck, this job isn’t for you. 2.) Very Little Experience for a High Salary This falls into the category of ‘too

3.) Descriptions Include ‘fast-paced’ or ‘competitive environment.’ If these descriptions strike a chord in you, then go for it! But just a heads up, this is not likely a regular marketing gig. A lot of sales jobs can be a revolving door because they are so competitive and fast-paced. They churn people in and out quicker than a fast-food joint at lunch hour. If you are a true marketing specialist like myself, you know that marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. For these reasons, I pass on these listings that use these keywords. After a short-lived experience in my twenties, I found these jobs have people willing to do just about anything to get ahead. The red flag: “Come work in a fast, highly-driven, competitive office!” Again, if this seems like the job for you, absolutely go for it! But from my experience, these jobs usually have a high turnover and do not focus on marketing. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ {SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES }} { HI TECH HEALTH &TALKS WELLNESS } “The red flag: “Come work in a fast, highly-driven, competitive office!” Again, if this seems like the job for you, absolutely go for it! ”

4.) You Get Hired Too Easily Getting hired can feel amazing, no matter how long you’ve been looking. Receiving that call from an employer to say you landed the job can be a dream come true. But job seekers beware; if you ever feel like you got the job too easily, you are probably right. In recent years I had an experience where I was hired in the first interview. As excited as I was at first, I felt something wasn’t right. My antenna went up and stayed up. After a few weeks, the company told me they needed someone to make 250 calls a day, and they were letting me go. I was not the person for that job, which I had clarified in the interview. But, unfortunately, in this situation, the employer was not clear about what their needs were, and I was sent home. But this short story has a happy ending, it was the final push that I needed to start my own business, and it was the best thing I have ever done! 194


The red flag: The employer says yes to you right away. Again, this can be an amazing opportunity! However, if you are hired very quickly, keep your antenna up. 5.) The Employer Is Pitching the Job to You Ever get those calls from employers shortly after you have listed your resume online? This too may be a great job opportunity, but if it seems they are trying to pitch to you why you should work there, it most likely is a sales job. I used to get these calls all the time. In fact, I had to make my resume private online because of the constant emails and calls. With my background in media and journalism, communications and marketing, I was always getting contacted frequently, but sales just weren’t where I wanted my career to go. The red flag: The employer contacts you and tells you all the perks of working for

them. For some job seekers, this may be the call of a lifetime! But for true marketers, beware of the job sales pitch. Sales As a Skill A lot of jobs I have had over the years require sales. Working in the food and retail industries, as well as non-profit and fitness, sales has always been a valuable skill for my career but never the focus. That said, there’s certainly an element of sales in business development and winning clients for yourself. So, trust me when I say I have had to sharpen my sales skills to build my business. For those who find sales jobs fulfilling, I applaud you. I certainly love what I do as a master marketer. As you seek the right job for you, I hope these tips have helped you navigate this crazy job market. And remember, stay focused on what you want. Stay true to yourself, and the right job will find you!









?MUVSU? was created as philanthropic social justice art. The purpose of the MUVSUment is to sell my handmade 1 of a kind 13x13 shopping bags for the purpose of GIfting bags to women who are returning home to our communities from incarceration. Every customer writes a personalized message notecard to be placed in the bag as well as the encouraging handwritten notecard from me. The gifting of an empty bag is significant because when we are incarcerated we lose our possessions. The empty bag represents a new beginning, a fresh start; it also represents getting and securing the Bag” (financial wellness). All women carry bags and all women have baggage. Buying a bag from ?MUVSU? is a really simple way to give to others -- and the benefits are educational and empowering. The therapeutic value I receive creating and gifting the bag, the customer benefits because he/she carries a unique handmade product, gifts to a woman in need, and tells the story behind the Bag he/she carries --- and, of course, most important, the woman who is being gifted benefits knowing that people do care and want her to succeed and win as she transitions back into society. Please visit my website https://www.muvsu. net/about As the creative founder of ?MUVSU? What Moves You? and an advocate and organizer for formerly incarcerated people and families of incarcerated

people I have had the honor of meeting and marching alongide many amazing people over the past 20 years. Evie Litwok is the Founder and Executive Director of Witness to Mass Incarceration (WMI). WMI’s mission is to end mass incarceration by placing formerly incarcerated women and LGBTQIA+ experiences at the

Bag (through a donation from my sista friend and co-owner Jayne Helyer-Settle at New Zeal Cleaning) (This is a beautiful example of people power and how the MUVSUment can support working together in the spirit of collaboration). Through helping others we help ourselves and society as a whole. This past weekend it was my honor to participate in Suitcase Sunday annaul event with W2MI. Last year ?MUVSU? sold out and gifted all the formerly incarcerated woman business owners who were vending that day. This year ?MUVSU? sold out and gifted not only formerly incarcerated woman business owners, but also some of Evie’s team of student volunteers in appreciation for their service and commitment to the cause. https:// www.witnesstomassincarceration. org/blog/2nd-annual-suitcasesunday-press-release

center of the fight for alternatives to mass incarceration. I met Evie through another powerhouse organizaer for the movement and uplifting voices of the voiceless, Ivelisse Gilestra; and I am so greatFULL they are in my life. I completed a program with Ivelisse called Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship at the College + Community Fellowship https:// and we gifted the 11 women who completed the program all a MUVSU

This moves me ... ?MUVSU? What Moves You?



{{ WHAT MUVS YOU? }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Buying a bag from ?MUVSU? is a really simple way to give to others -- and the benefits are educational and empowering.”





Hi, I’m Orca! I came to Animal Care Sanctuary when my family had to move and could not take me with them. I had a rough start, as shelter life can be pretty scary to a cat that’s never been here. I moved into the adoption office – just me, myself, and I – to get some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the cat room and catio. Man, it’s been great! I’ve really come out of my shell. The office staff said I did a 180! I went from being a girl who hid in her hideaway to now roaming the office. I’m often found lounging on important papers, reminding the staff that the work will get done, BUT I need attention first! My favorite thing to do is look out the window from the office. The staff put

a bird feeder on the window so I could watch birds all day; it’s pretty great. I enjoy attention from the people I’m comfortable with, but it doesn’t take long for me to get to know new friends, too. They say I do a thorough stare-down or that “I stare through your soul.” I’m not sure what that means, but I’m just doing my background checks! I would like to tell you that I am on special food; it’s called urinary care. It helps ensure that I don’t run into any urinary issues. So far, it’s been amazing and tastes good, too! This helps me stay away from the vet as much as possible because they SCARE me. But who in their right mind isn’t a little afraid of

going to the doctor? Anyways, I’m pretty special, and I would be a great addition to a quiet home that allows me time to adjust. My adoption fee was paid for by an amazing lady who came to visit the shelter, so I’m free! Call me the clearance kitty because who doesn’t love a bargain? Lastly, I’m up to date on all my vaccinations, microchipped, spayed, dewormed and have had flea and tick prevention. Now, it’s time for my furrever home. Animal Care Sanctuary is open Tuesday through Saturday. Come and visit me and my friends! I’m sure you will be happy you did.







According to the Federal Reserve, 74% of all purchases in the US are made with credit cards. Americans are masters of using them. However, the same cannot be said for paying them off. The average American household carries approximately $6,270 in credit card debt. That said, when used responsibly, you can make your credit card work for you and reap benefits including cash flow flexibility and reward perks. With discipline and planning, you can incorporate simple habits that will let you reap benefits without the dangerous downsides. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are applying for and using credit cards: Credit Score – There are 5 factors that determine your credit score: payment history, how much you owe, length of credit history, types of accounts you have, and recent credit activity. 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. By spending only what you can afford and paying your bill in full and on time every month, your credit card can help you sustain a higher credit score. Every time you miss a payment, you negatively impact your credit score. Pay your bill in full and on time Paying your bill in full and on time will also help you avoid interest charges and late payment penalty fees. You can even pay a few times a month if it helps you stay ahead. It’s so easy to set reminders about payment due dates as well as set up 208


payments automatically or ahead of time. Stick to a Budget – You can use your credit card for purchases as a complement to your budget until you have worked through your predetermined spending limits. This is a great way to help you stick to your budget, but you can also earn rewards for purchases you would be making anyway. Credit cards offer tools on their websites to track spending. Restrict Yourself – We’ve all received those letters in the mail informing us that our credit limit has been raised. This can make it very tempting to be prolific in the way that your card is used. If you are worried that you might overspend, you have the power to lower your credit limit to something that is manageable on a monthly basis. If you don’t want the company to change the limit, set a limit yourself and then put the card away until the next month, or until you pay the card off. Rewards – People who master the art of taking advantage of credit card rewards really know how to make their cards work for them. Cash-back, loyalty points for hotels, and frequent flyer miles all can be earned just by using your card for regular expenses. It’s important to keep track of when these rewards and make sure that you redeem them before they expire. So many credit card users don’t track reward points and miss out. Understanding your cards features and benefits - Even if you are not

interested in credit card rewards, you can still receive the benefits of a card. Some of the best credit cards out there offer perks such as free travel insurance, price protection, extended warranties, exclusive discounts, and more. Even if you already have a credit card through an issuer, it’s worth checking the website periodically for updates on reward offers. Additional handy tips: • A common credit card benefit is purchase protection, which allows consumers to file a claim with the issuer to receive replacement, repair, or reimbursement for any eligible stolen or damaged items. This is a perk that you have when you purchase an item using your credit card. Check with your card’s issuer for more details. • Log in to your account once per week or every few days in order to stay on track with your spending. • It’s easy to slide into credit card debt when those little purchases add up, so use your card for big purchases instead. Here’s a trick – save up for your big purchase in cash first. Then, after you make the purchase with your rewards card, you’ll have the money to pay for it right away and get the rewards as well. Alternatively, make the big purchase, then pay if off over a few months under a strict timeline, knowing that you will have to pay some interest. The perks and rewards of credit card usage can be amazing, but only if you balance spending with discipline and good sense.






SHIFT+CONTROL { {SHE SHE HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS } } } HUSTLES TALKS { FINANCIALLY “The perks and rewards of credit card usage can be amazing, but only if you balance spending with discipline and good sense.”

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Every woman has the power to transform her world. When women work together, we have the power to create a better world for all of us. A few months ago, I accepted a pastor position at Disciples First United Methodist Church. The congregation provides a close-knit sense of family worship and spiritual nurture. A Brief Walk Through The History of (UMC) Between 1869 and 1920, John Wesley, who was said to have been modeling the teachings of his mother, was the first within his movement to authorize a woman to preach, granting a license to Sarah Crosby in 1761. Fast forward 200 years, and Marjorie Matthews in 1980 became the first woman bishop, followed four years later by the first African American woman bishop, Leontine T. Kelly. Paving the way for these women were valiant and courageous forerunners like Barbara Heck, Sojourner Truth, Fanny Crosby, Harriett Tubman, Martha Drummer, Mary McLeod Bethune and many more. The United Methodist Church (UMC) served as one of the most effective vehicle by which women, who were pushed down because of their gender at times, regrouped, repositioned themselves to focus on developing, one of the seemingly largely responsible for carving out a space for women in the religious movement among the (UMC) denomination - making the church a force for women’s ministry. Today, we can see how the efforts of women in the (UMC) efforts of women

enabled the church to provide food and clothing to those in need, and offering a myriad of services to support women from all walks of life. The United Methodist Church has built a rich tapestry of women’s leadership like Anna Howard who was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement, a physician and one of the first women to be ordained in the Church. This tapestry has also set the stage for new leaders to thrive. One place that fosters that growth is United Methodist Women (UMW), which celebrated its 152nd anniversary this month. Its legacy was born out of a call to action made by Clementina Butler and Lois Parker in Boston on March 23, 1869, which involved informing six women members of the Methodist Episcopal Church about the desperate healthcare and educational needs of women in India. They raised funds to send Isabella Thoburn, a teacher, and Clara Swain, a doctor, to India. The meeting led to the formation of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, the first of many Methodist women’s mission organizations to address the injustices imposed on women and girls in the 19th century. UMW is their successor. The reverberations of their initial calls to action and the courage that has ensued ever since are seen in churches, hospitals and schools. Standing on the shoulders of giants The phrase standing on the shoulders of giants is a metaphor which means, “Using the understanding gained by

major thinkers who have gone before us in order to make the necessary progress needed today. For the Women in Holley and Albion this means discovering truth by building on previous discoveries. Now as the new pastor of Disciples First (UMC), I am as well as the women in the local church and denomination are always ready to make a difference in the lives of those who are in need. The history of United Methodist women is so inspiring and exciting. women in both congregations have reminded me of the words of John Wesley, I set myself on fire and people come watch me burn. I am reminded of the sacrifice when you do something for others, so that you can accommodate and protect those who are in need. The sacrifice of setting yourself on fire, to keep others warm - means you are burning alive to protect and to advocate for others, because it is what God has called us all to do. These women make me proud and excited to do ministry in meaningful ways - reminding me to look back and we all move forward together - I am reminded of the American civil rights activist for women and people of color who became, a lawyer, priest, and author of books including about the anti-segregation Methodist text called States’ Laws on Race and Color. The Disciples First Ladies Mission Group in Holley and Albion have joined together on the frontline to continue to build upon the great legacy of UMC) stories of women ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ BLACK WOMEN VOICES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Every woman has the power to transform her world. When women work together, we have the power to create a better world for all of us.”

working on the frontlines. Disciples First Ladies Mission Group Vision: Disciples First Ladies Mission Group Vision:To minister to our communities with our love, time, and energy. Disciples First Ladies Mission Group was formed in March of 2022.This group was formed to emulate the former United Methodist Women organization. We are currently made up of former Disciples UMW and Albion First UMW. Our love is for the needs of our surrounding communities of Holley, Albion, and Clarendon, New York. We are engaged in activities that minister to the children, women, the needy of our area and the sick and home bound.Our very +rst mission was to collect personal hygiene items for our local migrant workers. This mission was a success. We collected over 100 items to disseminate throughout the migrant community. Our next two missions are to collect school items for the upcoming school year and collect diapers for the needy infants/toddlers in our area. We will share the items collected with ministry organizations such as the Holley Community Center and the Ministry of Concern located in Albion. We are a growing mission group and our goal is make our community a better place through our mission work and spreading the word of God. Here are some of the things the women 216


at (UMC) are doing to launch our women’s ministry: 1. Start with a small event On September, 10 2022, we are joining others in the church to host a meet and greet event on the church grounds at 4410 Byron Holley Road at 4pm - 6pm., The women’s department is working closely with church members, organizations, and local officials to design a flier, menu, and events. We are looking forward to a fun-filled day to connect with those who live, work, and play in Albion and Holley. 2. Plan for retirees, and visitations Last week, the women’s ministry organized a visit for our dear sister Mereideth, and a phone call to our brother Don’s mother. These special parishioners, in the women’s ministry that participate in the life of the church, are thinking outside of the box, and are intentional about their efforts to reach those who are shut-in ministries, homebound ministry, or retired are not able to attend ministry and are often forgotten. Thinking outside of the box created the space for homebound ministries - ideas to help volunteers and members of the women ministry to create loving, ministering connections. 3. Be Open to Creative Ways to Reach Women The Bible study online will launch September, 2022. We decided we needed a forum online to discuss the Bible. 4. Be Sensitive to Specific Need Groups

Our church is growing in their commitment of “doers do,” we’re thinking about starting a group of “Mentoring Young Women” to pair older women with younger women, according to Titus 2. The Disciples First Ladies Mission Group is a community of women who gather to fellowship, mentor, and connect in a safe and supportive environment. It is through the women’s ministry that we engage with God while uplifting and encouraging others. You should join us! For more information about our church: Holley: Disciples UMC Phone (585) 638-6383Email disicplesumcoffice@ gmail.com resources/church/holley-disciples-umc







When is it time for tea? Some people would say any time! While others may say the traditional time is 3:30 - 5:00 in the afternoon, depending on your location. And of course, with pinky out. Personally, I drink tea all day - every day. It was my way of breaking the awful habit I had of drinking soda. Unfortunately, though, the tea I enjoyed at first was probably just as bad as soda since I enjoyed sweet tea. In fact, the sweeter, the better. But at least it was a start in what became the right direction for me. I have to admit, the hardest thing for me, switching from soda to tea, was drinking it with things that automatically seem to demand to have a soda accompany it! Take, for example, pizza and tea. It just seemed all wrong to me! Or a Big Mac, fries, then tea? If I’m going to blow my diet anyway - it had to be a coke with those! Face it, all those commercials throughout the years, did you ever once see a pitcher of tea next to a pizza? So, it is imbedded into our subconscious that certain things have to have a soda with them. If you can break that way of thinking, you have already won the battle! Granted, there is the taste too. Not only taste, but experience. Tea and soda are two different types of drink experience. Smooth vs bubbly. Each having their own pros and cons. On one hand, the soda seems to wake you up and energize you, but I never felt it actually quenched my thirst. Whereas smooth like water, tea, lemonade etc.

does seem to satisfy my thirst more. Then, of course, we all know soda is addictive. You don’t realize how addictive until you try to stop drinking it! Once you break the habit, you become to realize how many empty calories were wasted on your drink. Some of you already knew that and have gone the way of diet soda all these years. I’m not going to bash diet drinks like you may think - to each their own. My super sweet tea, which was my replacement, was not exactly the healthiest either. But slowly, I tried weaning myself off the sugar from it as well. Surprisingly, I found myself drinking a drink that had a “clean” feel to it. That seemed to quench my thirst and was easily available in my sparse kitchen. Not only was I drinking healthier, but saving so much money on such a cheap and easy idea! You may find yourself thinking, tea? How boring to drink tea and nothing else! Yet this exact thought came from me who fought savagely defending her preference during the soda wars! Which when you think about it was one flavor of drink too for how many of those years? So, that argument does not work. Especially since there are so many types of tea. In fact, did you know there are over 3,000 different varieties of tea? That just blew Pepsi and Coke out of the water! Speaking of which, some of you will say why not just drink water? And kudos

to you who actually enjoy water, I do not. I’m the type who has to have at least a lemon in the water because I feel like I’m being punished if I have to just drink water. I know, I know, water is so very good for us and essential, but years of dieting sort of ruined me on the whole concept of actually enjoying water. And yet, here I drink water that is flavored with tea, hypocrite much? Yea ok, I digress. But let’s get back to tea. Tea can be drunk as a hot liquid. Water not so much and forget about hot soda! Score one for tea. Next, tea goes along nicely with the different seasons. Hot tea for the colder months, and a nice cold sun tea for the very hot months. Then there are the flavors. Flavors to soothe or be festive with a holiday spice. While sodas may try to come out with seasonal flavors, they are only available during the season. Perhaps you want to celebrate Christmas in July? Simply throw a peppermint in your sun tea and you are good to go! Next up is the price. Certainly, during today’s inflation, this is something we can all benefit from! Buy yourself a box of tea bags and see how many cups of tea you can make for the fraction of the price you are paying for soda! And what about the nutritional value? Some teas are very good for you, such as green tea. Green tea helps boost brain and heart health. It is also considered the least processed tea, for it does not undergo oxidation. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


TIDBITS } {{ TAMMY’S SHIFT+CONTROL “You get where I am going with this, Tea can essentially be for anyone!”

Of course, we have to touch on how you make your tea. Hot or cold? Milk and sugar? Caffeinated or not? Infused with fruit or spices? Prepared in a jar on your patio or so sweet, you wonder how it’s not considered syrup? You get where I am going with this, Tea can essentially be for anyone! I think sometimes it’s a forgotten treasure that needs to be explored again. Recently I’ve found a cool quick trick. I make my regular ice tea, in my cheaply little ice tea maker from Walmart that 224


works perfectly fine. However, when I’m in the mood for a fruitier flavorful drink and have no fruit in my dismal kitchen, I use something so easy. You know those things you can buy to add flavor to water? Little bottles you can add drops or even the powder packets? I bought several bottles, of all kinds of flavors ranging from raspberry to lemonade, even drops of energy, and add it to my tea! Viola! Starbucks has nothing on me when it comes to putting whatever shot

I want for the day! Let alone, less cost for the drink or the gas sitting in line for the drink. Take the time this summer and treat yourself to something new that is an old staple. Buy some tea and create! Whether you want to go full scale pro and buy loose leaf, or an infuser to infuse, or you buy a box of tea bags, it doesn’t matter the possibilities are endless. Its fun figuring out “your” drink and it’s cheap. And literally, if you can only boil water - is for you!






You’re excited that you met with a potential client, the conversation was great and they expressed interest in your products or services. A week goes by and you have not heard back from them and now you’re wondering what went wrong. Many business owners forget one of the most important steps in the sales process and that’s follow-up. If you’re not following up you’re losing potential business. Following up gives you an opportunity to build a connection between you and the prospect and your brand. You want to be sure that you are consistent and plan out how often you will reach out to your prospects. If you forget to be consistent and follow up, your prospect can forget about your business and move to another company. Follow-up is the process of completing an activity where you turn a prospect into a customer. It is crucial to a business’s success, and the faster you follow up, the more likely you are to close the deal. Studies have shown that 78% of customers buy from companies that respond first. Many business owners fail to keep up with their prospects when reaching out and a good way to stay ahead is to maintain a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), like Hubspot or Salesforce to track your communication with potential prospects. You want to have a process in place so that you’re staying on top and reaching as often as you can. Sometimes that prospect isn’t thinking of you and has many things going on in their life. But when you reach out, you then become top of mind so when they are ready to move forward you are the one they call.

Although following up is very important and yet a simple task many business owners dread the follow-up. The key is consistency. You want to initiate the follow-up within 24 to 48 hours of the first contact. This can be done through a quick call, email, or text message. If you forget to be consistent and follow up, your prospect can forget about your business and move on to another company. Here are 10 strategies you can use to connect with prospects that should be

part of your marketing process. 1. Maintain a Database All of your prospective customers should be organized in a system that has complete contact information and notes on your conversations. Update your database after every follow-up. This will help you make a note of the customer’s needs and requirements. 2. Create a Process When you’re going through your leads from phone calls, emails, website inquiries, social media, or networking events that

you have attended, map out a plan of action. Create a guideline of how you’re going to follow up and how often. 3. Build Relationships When you follow up with prospects you’re building a connection with them. Listen to what they say and ask questions to figure out how you make their lives easier with your product or services. When you establish a good relationship with a potential client they will remember the value you have shared and start seeing you as an industry expert. 4. Send out Emails A ver y simple way to communicate with a potential client is to follow up with an email. Create an email sequence that will be sent out periodically with a call to action. Keep the frequency of your emails in mind and direct them to visit your website or promote them to take action. Also consider sending out weekly blog updates, topics of interest, and promotions your running. This helps nurture prospects and create a brand recall so that your company is the first thing that comes to mind. 5. Use Social Media Social media is a powerful tool that allows you to connect and communicate with your prospective customers. Encourage your followers to talk with you through social media platforms and share valuable content that will keep them engaged. 6. Respond Quickly I mentioned earlier that potential customers buy from companies that respond first. It’s important to balance speed and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


BUSINESS TALK } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “You want to have a process in place so that you’re staying on top and reaching as often as you can.”


with a quick response that doesn’t seem cookie cutter. Add personal details when responding to a prospect.

testimonial. Ask them if they are satisfied with the service or product so far and improve the customer experience.

7. Create a Welcome Email Help build a long-term relationship and welcome your customers soon after the deal has closed. Take this opportunity to share what the expectations are from both your company and your customer. In the welcome email introduce other products or services you offer and share content that will be helpful throughout their customer journey.

9. Send a Thank You Note Well after the sale and customer journey now it’s time to show your appreciation. Keeping in touch is a great way to upsell or make a new sale. Customer retention is extremely important for any business which helps increase your profitability. When you lose a customer without knowing what went wrong it is hard to identify areas of improvement.

8. Get Customer Insight Following up with your customer after the sale or during their customer journey ask them for feedback or a customer

10. Contact Old Leads Not every prospect is 100% ready to move forward with your product or service. Stay in touch with your prospects and continue


to follow up. 80% of sales require at least five follow-up calls before getting a sale. I hope you find these strategies helpful in your business. Always remember to Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up. Implement a regular follow-up routine in your business and stop leaving money on the table. Need more information to help grow your business? Conversance Business Solutions is a leading administrative support and consulting firm that provides a variety of virtual assistant services and business support. Reach out to us today at 585-484-0038. Visit us online www.

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Let’s talk capsules, not time capsules Style capsules. Capsules, you can create multiple stylish outfits with a few standard pieces. If you know me, I’m always going to start out with a black, blue, brown, tan, or gray suit. Of course, a couple of button-down shirts, dark colored slacks, a pencil skirt, a black dress, a wrap blouse, and a wrap dress. Certainly, a few other items can be used, such as a jean jacket or a kimono, the idea is that they should be able to be used interchangeably. You can have 7 pieces and create 14-21 outfits. As for accessories, it is my belief that a lady should always have a set of pearls, a cocktail ring, a gold or silver chain and some arm candy. A scarf and a couple of belts gives an outfit an effortless new look. Flats (if you wear them), black pumps, walking shoes, strappy sandals in the summer and kneelength boots in the winter. The idiom, capsule wardrobe, was created by Susie Faux during the 1970s. As a youngster, Faux was encircled by first-rate fashion. It is documented that her parents and grandparents were women’s tailors. She had a front row seat and saw that classic, well-fitted, clothes can make you look attractive as well as inspire confidence. This is the crux of my business, look good, feel good and when you feel good, you project confidence and savvy. Around 1985 the capsule wardrobe became prevalent in the US by American

designer Donna Karan. She launched her first line, (the Seven Easy Pieces) after working under the tutelage of Anne Klein for ten years. Just as Faux was inspired by the career woman, Donna Karan was also motivated by the modern, career woman. It was her goal to illustrate to women that it was conceivable to look polished and professional with or without a suit.

Regardless of what is going on in your world, a yellow trench coat on a rainy day or a bright colored ensemble when you’re a little under the weather goes a long way. The compliments alone, may boost your mood. When you feel like you are at the end of your rope, buy a

silk scarf from Goodwill, tie a knot, and hang on. Life is full of peaks and valleys, when you are having a valley experience, defy the odds and don’t look like what you’re going through, look like you are top of the world and soon you will have a mountaintop experience. Style is not just about fashion; it is also about an attitude. A positive one. The capsule allows you to begin or update your style journey. Allow a @lydialifestylecoach stylist to shop for you and see an instant mood shift. Many of my clients say to me, ‘I would have never selected this garment for myself, but I love it’. I like to say, stylist have a third eye, a sixth sense and if you get the right one, you can live in style euphoria®. Creating capsules is a cost-effective way, to stay chic, up to date, look well put together and have selfassurance to boot, some call it sway. Even if that is not your goal, you want to be the best version of yourself, look and feel great, even in the worst of circumstances, you can shine with your style. No capsule is written in stone (unless the designer sells it that way); but then again, you can always mix and match with the capsule items as your staples and add a little color or uniqueness as your style demands. Be multi-dimensional, intentionally. If your style is not becoming to you, you should be coming to @lydialifestylecoach.







A Musical Style of Meditation I’ll never forget the first time I saw Krishna Das. He was performing at Kripalu, a yoga training and wellness retreat center. The concert was held in their main hall originally designed for Jesuit priests in training. Imagine vaulted ceilings and a stage adorned with Buddhist statues. I sat in a crowd of several hundred, curious about this man I had heard of and whose music I had been introduced to. Kirtan chanting was a style of music I was barely familiar with. My husband occasionally listens to it as he practices his morning yoga sequences, and friends have shared it with me in the past. At the concert, I was truly inducted. Sheets of lyrics or mantras were distributed. They were written in Sanskrit, and at the time I had absolutely no idea what they translated to in English. It is said that knowing the literal meaning of a mantra is unnecessary. For anyone who has listened to Deepak Chopra’s meditations, you may be familiar with this concept. It is the feeling or sacred meaning of the mantra one is chanting that is important. Kirtan is a call and response style of singing that originated in India and became popular around the 12th

century. A lead singer introduces a chant or mantra. Participants then repeat this back mimicking the same rhythmic and melodic intonations. Usually there is musical accompaniment. Chanting is a rhythmical repetition of a prayer, mantra, syllable or sound. It has been around since millennia as a form of spiritual practice. The words and sounds used in a chant are suffused with powerful spiritual vibrations. Mantras & chanting are forms of meditation that have been linked to many benefits for your body, mind, soul. Benefits of Mantras & Chanting: • Increased focus • Depth of love • Inner peace and calm • Elevated happiness • Strengthened sense of community & belonging • Increased prosperity How To Chant: Here are a few popular chants you can try out. Simply bring yourself into a meditative state by taking 3 long deep breaths in and out, relaxing your body and mind with each exhalation. Then, say the mantra out loud or to yourself, and repeat it. Allow your mind to let go of any expectations. The key is to relax.

Community: Om is the the sound the Universe. When chanted, you align and connect with all that is; God, earth, humanity, everything. As you chant on the sound of Om allow it to vibrate throughout your body. The rhythmic pronunciation and vibrations have a calming effect on the nervous system typical in all styles of meditation. Compassion: Om, Mani, Padme, Hum When chanted out loud or silently to oneself, this mantra invokes benevolent attention and compassion. It is deeply transformative. You can practice this while seated in meditation or sung throughout your day. Happiness: Hari Om This mantra is known to help purify the body and soul, removing obstacles on your path. Benefits include a boost in confidence, concentrated effort on desired goals, and a feeling of happiness. Freedom from Fear & Suffering: Om Tare Tuttare Tare Swaha is the mantra of Green Tara, Mother of the Buddhas. Her compassion takes the wind out of pain and suffering. Repeating this mantra will bring you into a peaceful state of mind allowing you to witness suffering as something outside of yourself that can be released. This can be chanted for the benefit of not only yourself, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ MIND, BODY & SPIRIT } “Essentially, chanting is a highly charged, focused and repetitive form of prayer. It is an invocation to access the deepest place of love within yourself.”

If you are curious and would like to experience live chanting, please join me on September 17th in my first live performance of Kirtan Chanting! Fringe Festival Live Concert Across the Universe: Music for Yoga & Meditation Featuring Alana Cahoon, John Covach & Chris Meeker Saturday, September 17 7:30 - 8:30 PM Hatch Recital Hall Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY 236


Tickets tickets-and-shows/page/10 Enjoy an evening of music that has played a role in the yoga and meditation movements in the US since the 1960s, featuring selections by John Lennon, George Harrison, Krishna Das and others in an all-acoustic performance by Alana Cahoon, Chris Meeker, and John Covach in Eastman’s beautiful and resonant Hatch Hall as part of the Rochester Fringe Festival.

Audience singing will be encouraged and a portion from the sale of each ticket will be donated to Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased from the Rochester Fringe Festival site beginning July 11, 2022 Alana Cahoon is the founder of Grow 2 B U and Being in Balance Academy. Her coaching programs support your overall wellness in a natural holistic approach.

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“A complete set of tools to align mind and body, and fill you with a strong sense of inner peace.” -Velvet Spicer, journalist

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Listening To Our Inner Voice As an artist, I am continually being forced to trust my creative decisions. Through a lot of practice and building up my resiliency, I have learned that when I listen to my inner voice, aka my gut, paintings begin to flow through me and onto the canvas. There’s also been a beautiful bonus of speaking my truth with love and conviction without trepidation. But it wasn’t always like that. Like so many of you and most of my students, the trust falls of not ruining what we deem either precious or just a fear to even begin or go forward is difficult and anxiety-provoking. Especially during these times when women’s rights are being suppressed or taken away. Our voices are being shoved down and drowned out. They want us to follow along peacefully so that they can maintain control. No one has a right to your voice and your purpose being stripped away. Building up our resolve takes patience, and a true feeling of self-love to achieve. Recollect your first day of school or a new job where you knew virtually no one and didn’t have a clue about what your new journey was going to look or feel like. The butterflies it produced seemed overwhelming and threatened to take your breath away. We forgot that everyone there was either having that same experience or had already faced that. We also lost sight of the fact that we not only didn’t have to be perfect on day one, but also that there are people there who are willing to guide you through the growing pains. For some, it ends up being the time we made the most friends, found our greatest joy or celebrated our biggest successes. There were most likely moments of growth and 238


pain that informed us what it was we wanted and needed for our souls. Recall times that maybe those moments weren’t so wonderful. You got served up a platter or disappointment, frustration, or pain instead. You dreaded going to school, work or a function that inevitably would evoke angst or even panic attacks. One of my most difficult times came during my college years. I used to cry in the college parking lot for 3 ½ years because my major was accounting. (My dad thought that would be the best, most financially stable career path…. “Artists always struggle financially.”). I was too young, afraid, and stubborn to give in and listen to my heart. That got me nowhere good. I felt alone and hopeless every day. It took a mental toll on me that required years of self-work and therapy to undo. It also helped me to see my path more clearly and be unapologetic about following it with vigor and abandon. I’d ask you to think about yourself at your happiest as a child and how unafraid you were to be a ham it up in front of the camera, posing like a supposed model would. Or tackling new projects, activities or experimenting with new ideas. I loved to try out weird colors in my coloring book and mix colors together to see what they made. Applying them randomly with complete abandon was so much fun! Times like these felt like pure bliss. We had a fun story to tell at the dinner table and to our friends, encouraging others to try this new-fangled thing we believed we were the only soul to have discovered. You had zero cares about what anyone thought about it or their judgment of you. You just carried on your merry way, expanding on the fun new thing, or searched out a new one.

It made us feel like we could do or be anything. That little girl was invincible and a glorious ball of sunshine. She let her light touch all the darkest places and ignited them with her fire. Over time, we lose that innocence through large and small traumas. We reluctanly bend towards what is deemed “socially acceptable.” Life becomes restricted and our creativity skills dimished. They got hid away in a closet, afraid to even peek out, for fear that they would be judged or laughed at. As a kid that was bullied and ostracized, I lost my joy for creating. I was sure that I couldn’t make a good decision unless 50+ people gave it a green light. Even then, I agonized over whether it was the right one. (I suspect this sounds all too familiar for a lot of you reading this. Most of my students relay stories that mirror my own, so I know we aren’t alone.) This common roadblock has prevented so many of us from blossoming into the person we are truly meant to be. When you allow fear to become your guidepost, the options we choose inevitably lead us towards roadblocks and increased moments of living small. We shove down our desires for ones that present as “safe.” No one will question them nor ask more of us. This kind of existence is so unkind and never allows you to experience true joy. Joy is a birthright we frequently forego, believing that we don’t want to cause an issue or be seen as an annoyance. Being the “good girl” is drilled into us from birth in today’s patriarchal society. Making us small and muffling our voices is their mission because they seek to maintain their reigning power and dominance over us. Gary Zucav states in his book, “The Seat of the Soul” that all human







{ A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “There’s also been a beautiful bonus of speaking my truth with love and conviction without trepidation. But it wasn’t always like that.”

suffering derives from a desire for power and control. It is time to end our suffering, but it begins by each of us going inward to unleash our loving purpose on this earthly plane. Looking to those our ego sees as superior to ourselves allows doubt and indecisiveness to take hold and become hard to shake. When we haven’t practiced the art of letting go and standing up for what we want and deserve, it can feel overwhelming to begin. The societal expectation of being the person who colors in the lines and makes everything perfect narrows our ability to see something challenging as the adventure your 7-year-old self would have happily thrown caution to the wind for. So, what happens when you let your hair down and decide that today is the day you will do what your heart gracefully asks us to move towards? You are meant to do great things! Becoming the person that inspires others to do the same nurturing practice gives strength to those who may not have believed they were capable of doing that for themselves. During my Intuitive Painting classes and workshops, I inextricably who it is that has trepidation with putting down color or covering up an area that isn’t working anymore. It’s a reflection of my own self-doubt. Where the difference lies, is in the fact that I have developed resiliency to possible failure when taking risks. I’ve failed so many times only to pick myself up again and use what I just learned to find new paths of successful art practices. Every misstep in our journey jogs us towards righting our course to

something better. Letting go of own ideas and trusting what else could await us and nudge it in the right direction is meant to open us up to trying new techniques or experiences in all areas of our lives. Your joy and momentum increase and suddenly you gain confidence that can be utilized during your next hard moment. Begin to think about an obstacle in your life that has left you unsure and with the inability to decide how to proceed. What has it prevented you from doing and experiencing and can it ever get you there? Most likely it won’t. Now, lean into moving with a leap or even baby steps towards the thing that feels better to your soul. Does your heart and your mind believe it’s achievable and attainable? If not, what is blocking you from believing you’re fully capable of cultivating joy? Self-limiting beliefs are what keep us hidden away and small. They restrict our entire being; even the breath.

yourself and allows you to do that for others. We can self-regulate and not regret our next action. Freedom from ill-chosen actions once we build that skill allow us to grow and find enormous contentment. You also build a trust in yourself, and others begin to know and sense you are someone they can look to for good advice or a shoulder to lean on that is soft and kind. Building our resilience to criticism, mistakes or judgment is your get out of jail free card. Trusting that we have always had it within us to make the right choices in our lives opens up golden opportunities we could have never imagined while we remained in a state of fear. We can hold steady and know that we are living in a state of Divine love. There is only blissful light there. It reminds me of what Glenda, the Good Witch told Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; “You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”

The most beautiful and effective way that I have found to relieve myself from that fear-based pattern is the 5-5-5 breathing technique. You simply by taking a five-count breath through the nose and hold it at the top for five. Then, let it out of your mouth for another five-counts and hold it again at the bottom for five. Do this however many times you need to come back to center. When we reconnect to our most basic form of being, we realign with love and become grounded and peaceful. Notice how you feel and rest in that space for a moment. Then say, “thank you.” This creates grace for ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022




“IF IT WASN’T FOR MY FATHER, I WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD AND GONE” A MUST READ FOR EVERY PASTOR &/OR PARENT A letter about my dad These pictures speaks volumes of my father, Bishop Ben Oruma. See the huge bulge in my back? Let me tell you about it!!!

a prayer point. My father bundled me to Cleveland Ohio, and we arrived to hear the SHOCKING news(I was not eligible for health insurance. The surgery would cost $65,000. No insurance because I hadn’t lived in the country for years, and my dad was no longer in the system as he left his profession in Computer Sciences in Chicago and Ohio, and moved to Nigeria as a Full Time Pastor/Evangelist. His daily bread

It was 1997, my mother noticed the bulge on my back, the right side. She assumed it was because of my HEAVY book bag, but we eventually found out it was scoliosis. She took me along with her and Greg E N Oselukwue to the then most prestigious Orthopedic hospital in Nigeria(In Kano), and it was confirmed that I had a 65 degree curvature of the spine. That was danger!!! I was only 11 years old at the time. Being that I was born in the US , it was a no brainer to move back to America for surgery. My mom catered to the then Kaduna Chapel, now Kaduna Breakthrough Church, along with the then Associate Pastor, now Bishop Peter Iordaah , who is still closely affiliated with BOM. Focus had always been on me as an only child, a child in the limelight for my singing voice, and a child who HATED school due to bullying and extreme ministerial activities in my everyday life, but there was no limelight like that of sickness. I was sick and people knew it. I became 242


was manna from heaven, literally, but our family prospered due to obedience. Anyway I digress. Dad enrolled me at a middle school in Cleveland, and as we didn’t have insurance, dad and I travelled EVERY weekend from state to state, Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, basically fund raising. Daddy would preach and I would sing.

Offerings and donations came that way until it added up to pay for my surgery. Dad and I lived in an attic, the roof of someone’s house and I remember him paying WEEKLY rent. A foundation was contacted to pay off a small balance. I cannot forget how Daddy called his church PROFUSELY and tried to micro manage from another country. Prayer vigils were round the clock for my 18 hour surgery and Daddy fasted for days till he grew thin. Whenever he prayed he would cry, “God please help my child”. You could see that he had a mission, a pact, a promise to keep. His intensity was beyond ‘normal’. I underwent a very delicate surgery and a rod was placed in my spinal cord. I still have it IN today. I was 12 then, I am 37 now. I still experience pain, but acupuncture, massages and a Nigeria made ointment called “Aboniki” has done the trick. My right disk got dislocated in 2018 from physically carrying/ transferring my mom daily when she battled with Metastatic Cancer, which caused my back to hurt even more, but it’s all under control now. Bear with me as I’m about to round up. Because I was a Minor (a child below 18 years old), Dad was required to stay with me for not only my surgery, but for my recovery. I remember watching him panic over his baby,(the church) he had left in Nigeria. He was also on Television 5 days a week on NTA. He also needed to be there for footage. You see, back then, there was barely any




{ LADY “O” } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “My father saved my life. Do you know what scoliosis is? Look it up when you can.”

internet. He spent all his money on calling cards, and from a business stand point and as a Leader, a Reverend, he had no choice than to keep hope alive. With all his unease, he stayed. As I am a full grown woman now, I can relate to him leaving his church in the care of someone, even if it was trusted family. With all the American friends he had who could have filled in his shoes, he stayed. He stayed! He stayed! He stayed! He stayed till it became a threat to his immigration papers, and so he flew in a Staff of the ministry at the time, and she became my Caregiver, while dad returned to Nigeria. The story is very long, so I will spare you details on how I recovered and how I eventually resumed school and didn’t obey doctors orders, which I DON’T regret. But I want to highlight the fact that my father .......... 1. Made a sacrifice for me. I am not a parent yet but I KNOW that not every parent sacrifices for their children, so sacrifice is NOT inevitable. He made a choice. He could have chosen his ministry and send a Caregiver with me from the get go. 2. He sacrificed to his detriment. As a business owner, I have seen first hand what has happened to my business in just 6 weeks of travel to India. I literally returned to START FROM SCRATCH. My father took that risk. 3. He prayed, fasted and groaned for me. 4. He saw me as an assignment, a purpose, not just as his child, but a promise He 246


had made to God to be MY father. He took his responsibility SERIOUSLY, and even in his mid 70’s, he still does. 5. He WORKED hard and sought for money. Some fathers are lazy. Some men wouldn’t move an inch. 6. My father saved my life. Do you know what scoliosis is? Look it up when you can. 7. He left his comfort zone. Enough said! I am now working in the nursing sector and one of my dementia patients has a huge hunch on her right side. She is COMPLETELY bent. The Holy Spirit made sure I’ve been permanently placed on this hospital floor, to constantly remind me of who I would have become IF it weren’t for the man of God He gave me as a Father. If he didn’t give me to a Mother who raised an alarm. If He didn’t WILL me off to Parents WHO CARED. In all the pain I have endured in my life, with all the long stories attached to my name, nothing can dim the light, the discipline, the grit that lives in me. Thanks to my father who didn’t just take me as his daughter, but as his assignment, an exam he has passed with flying colors. If God added 3 centuries to my life, it wouldn’t be enough for me to repay my father for the life he saved, for the education he paid for, for the discipline and integrity he instilled in me. I am a Leader today, because I was led by a Soilder, who fought and still fights the

good fight of faith. I want my unborn son to be like my Daddy. Until that day, I remain grateful, knowing that my ability to even get pregnant is because I am alive, a life I owe to my father..... BISHOP BEN ORUMA On Sat, Jul 9, 2022, 11:52 AM Kelly Breuer <networkrocqueen@gmail. com> wrote: This is just a friendly reminder that your column, photos and advertisement for your business (if applicable) Will be due no later than July 20 for the upcoming edition. We are really excited to have you joining us again, and we have some exciting things coming for the rest of 2022 and beyond. Including our upcoming August 21 cat walk for kidneys at ARTISANworks here in Rochester New York to benefit the North East Kidney Foundation Rochester Region. If you would like to learn how you can be involved, be a vendor, or just join us for the day, please feel free to let me know. We are also offering all new live talks with the influential woman if you would like to reach our audience, Chat about yourself in your business, promote your products or services and more starting at just $99. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions and can’t wait to grow our community even bigger!




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The summer before COVID hit, my daughter and I went to see Keith Urban. I was not a big country music fan at the time, but she was always playing it in the car. At first the songs annoyed me. Then the music grew on me. At the time, Sophie was entering her freshman year of high school, and we were moving into our new house. Our life was in chaos due to the amount of remodeling work that had to be done. A new school year was a few weeks away and we had no kitchen sink and we survived on take-out and plastic cutlery.

We rallied and made our way to Canandaigua. This time we tailgated and watched the crowd filter in from the parking lot. I went to grab a blanket, and my daughter quickly chirped “No one brings blankets or chairs, only older people do that.” I said, “I am the age of those women hauling those potable chairs.” She had spent her summer going to country concerts with her girlfriends.

The concert snuck up on me. I regretted buying the tickets, there was so much to do.

Ted, our Goldendoodle, had a seizure the night before the concert. We were up all night and exhausted from worry. We had attended a string of graduation parties and a quiet night on the couch with a Netflix rom com seemed more inviting than a drive that would end in long line of traffic.

She said, “Seriously? I’ve never seen this; this is where we stand and dance.” I replied, “Keith has been performing for thirty years, do the math. If it was James Taylor performing, there would be walkers.” Instead of sitting on the grass we stood in the isle, so we did not block anyone’s view. Once again, we danced, sang along, and enjoyed the feeling of being alive and together. He played our favorite song and we congratulated ourselves for not opting for the couch. Driving home, I kept thinking how much had changed in our lives since that first concert. The torn-up kitchen is a distant memory, country music now plays in two cars since she now has her own, and I am closer to sixty than to fifty. My daughter will still be a freshman, but this time, she will be heading to college.

We ended up having a wonderful time, dancing, and singing on the lawn. It was one of our favorite memories together. During those long COVID months when live music seemed so far away, thoughts of that carefree summer night sustained us. I was thrilled when I learned Keith was returning this summer. I scooped up tickets once again, hoping to recreate that mother-daughter magic. Sure enough, the Sunday concert was ill timed.

for Keith. Middle age country on full display ready to be entertained.

She bought a hat and boots and by the looks of our camera roll, this concert was going to be a little bit tamer than those she had already attended. I started to feel grateful she even wanted to even go with me. I had not really asked, just assumed she was as excited as I was. We made our way into the venue, and she was shocked by the sea of people sitting precisely lined up on the hill. My demographic had come out in force

My stomach hurt. Where had the time gone? She was just starting high school and now she was starting her life. A transition was happening in both of our lives, and it took a country music concert for me to realize it was already underway. We raise our kids, to let them go, so ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ HERCAMILLE EDGE } } { DEAR “We ended up having a wonderful time, dancing, and singing on the lawn. It was one of our favorite memories together.”

why suddenly was this so hard to accept. As a single parent, so much of my focus the past eighteen years has been on her. There is no husband to share the sadness of her leaving the house with, or a marriage to rediscover. The house will be quiet soon. Ted will use his snout to open her door, but she will not be in there. No more dirty dishes left in the sink, the sneakers I am always picking up will be packed, and the pile of laundry I curse every day will be smaller. My nest will be empty now that she is 254


ready to use her wings. She has been in search of her own personal identity for months, maybe I need to as well. Women rarely reflect on their own daily wants and needs. We are caretakers for others. A nap, a squeezed in class at the “Y” or a trip to the mall are enough to currently keep me relaxed and fulfilled. Blogs, articles, and conversations over wine with current empty nesters, all offer the same advice; travel, find a hobby, change careers, become a writer.

Empty nesting my not be about losing, but what we gain. Friendships to repursue, solitude to embrace, and figuring out what I used to enjoy. Coping with daily life is not living it. Maybe that is why the concert caught my attention. I felt alive and free and joyful. I was sharing it with my daughter, but I was doing something I wanted to do. Instead of looking back, I am choosing to look forward, to the next four years. It’s time for me to fly.






My youngest is turning 18, and I’m convinced time went from zero to one hundred when Iclosed my eyes. “Oh Ella” where have all the days gone by where you were just my little girl? The one who wore pigtails and rocked skulls on a bathing suit you swore you would keep Just incase you had a daughter. The one who I didn’t have to wait in line to spend time with. It seems now I have to have a planner, Just to have lunch with you.

the world should always be your stage. Life was full of characters you made up, and dancing to “the boom box up in here!” Referring to the music you claimed was always playing in your mind. I couldn’t keep you from dancing down aisles in supermarkets, or hosting a show in the kitchen with old southern women’s accents of characters who truly seemed to come alive. This gift you possess has always been one of my favorites. I once wished that all the littlest pet

18 years and I still Remember being in shock that you would be a little girl. Scared because I feared the worst about having a girl. The teenage years I heard where they hate most everything about you. I Loved you from the moment I held you and looked into your peaceful face, and you stared at me so content. Actually I loved you even before I met you, but the day I held you was more than words can say. I couldn’t wait to dress you up in all the dresses and bows.all the pink ribbons and sparkles. I found a new love for all things girlie. You were born Gabriella, yet when your father called you gabby, I knew I had to put the smack down on that. All I could envision was a little old Italian woman smoking cigarettes on the front stoop, throwing up gossip like it’s confetti to the world. So, Ella it became. “Oh Ella” became a normal phrase out of my mouth, as you never stopped amazing or entertaining those around. Entertaining or enchanting was always a natural gift you were born with. And 256


shop toys, and Barbie accessories and beads and bracelets I found scattered throughout my life, would somehow pick themselves up. The mess of little girls who play from one toy to the next and leave the trail of interests seemed overwhelming. When would my life be done with putting toys away, making beds, cleaning toothpaste off the sink? It was never ending at times. Yet here we are, and at some point it ended. You didn’t announce today is the last day I’ll

sleep with “miss pink” or the last time I’ll play littlest pets. I didn’t realize that last “show” in the kitchen was the last time I would sit and listen to a tale, about a woman with a southern drawl tell me how she knew Abraham Lincoln and rode a train as a child with no home. The last time you would hug me for no reason, or sit and watch movies and ask for snacks with me. Do these times ever return? Now I’m on the back burner, and nothing I say is right or funny. I’m not first pick, or even second pick right now. In fact at times, it’s I should tell mom so she knows, and left out of the plans. I get to sit and watch as other people become more important, yet I’m still expected as needed, which isn’t very often. Maybe gas money, or shopping for new clothes worthy. Maybe it is just my perception, but once upon a time my life was consumed with wants, needs and random acts of love from my once little girl. Notes with pictures to the best mom. Pictures of us holding hands and Hearts everywhere. A little girl who would follow me around as I fixed a pool pump, or a broken toilet, or mowed the lawn, and tell me girls don’t need anyone to do the “man’s work” because my mom can do it all. And there in the midst of doing all the things, my little girl grew up, and seems to have forgotten all the great times. I’m reminded of the times I punished her for behaviors that needed consequences. Reminded that all I did constantly for 18 years was yell. Told that my skills as a mother are far less than what they were




KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “I Loved you from the moment I held you and looked into your peaceful face, and you stared at me so content.”

supposed to be. Yet, I have amazing children. I wish for 18 years I could have just been your friend through it all, but it was my job to not be. I wish I could have looked the other way when you wanted to be disrespectful or break rules, but I could not because it was my job. I wish my own childhood trauma and demons didn’t mold the mom I was, but it did. I sit and I wish that I could start over sometimes, knowing things I have learned, yet I cannot. I can only hope that what I did was enough. That right now is just a phase, and eventually sometime soon, the job I did for 18 years becomes the friend 258


that I can now be, as my work is done. They don’t tell you when you have kids, that you are also still growing up, yet it’s true. You become a mom and take on a role and hide the fact that as the mom we are also still learning. As a mother, taking care of others was sometimes the biggest challenge in my life, because I was still learning how to take care of myself. Yet, you can’t admit this or show it, there’s too much to do. I think this happens at the end, on the road of raising children where the stop sign is, you finally show up. And the

things you wish you knew, or did are there waiting for you, like commuters waiting for a bus. My youngest is 18, and I am left with all the things there in her childhood memory. No longer visible to the eye or tangible for my touch, but laughter and chatter in the empty halls of my mind, where once all you wanted to be was my best friend… and now I sit here waiting to be just that. 18 and life, you got it…. Love mom 8/22






For Pain Reduction The importance of core strength goes way beyond a thin waistline. One of the main questions I get is, “how do I get a flat tummy?” A flat tummy happens in the kitchen, 100%. No matter how many crunches you do, you will not have a flat belly unless you change your eating habits. This article will discuss that the core has many benefits besides a six-pack. A strong core foundation is essential for injury prevention and pain management. The benefits include: • Improves your posture • Decreases back pain • Decreases pelvic floor pain • Improves your balance & Coordination The core involves multiple layers of muscles. Let’s start with the deepest muscle called the transverse abdominis (TA). This muscle runs from your ribs to your pelvis and wraps around from your spine to the front of your abdomen. Its functions range from protecting your internal organs to protecting your spine like a girdle. It also improves our respiration. This muscle is a bit harder to locate. It is easiest to find while lying down with your knees bent. Place your hands above your pelvis and cough. The deep muscle you feel engage is your transverse abdominis. Try to hold this muscle contraction while breathing fully and deeply. Holding your breath is not engaging the TA muscle. Once you find this contraction, hold and slowly lift your left foot a few inches

off the floor. Hold for 3 seconds and slowly lower. Switch to the other leg. Alternate left and right leg slowly and controlled. There should be no movement in your pelvis or waist. Be sure to keep the transverse abdominis held during the whole exercise. Your low back will press gently into the floor. Once you lose the TA contraction, stop the exercise, find the contraction again, and continue. Do 2-3 sets of 10. Another core stabilizing muscle is the multifidi, a small muscle in the back along the spine. How many times in the gym do you hear someone say.” Don’t forget to strengthen your Multifidi?” Most of you are probably hearing about this muscle for the first time. The Multifidi are small triangleshaped muscles that run along both sides of your spine. The primary function of these muscles is to improve posture and support the spine. These muscles are typically overpowered by larger muscles when exercising. The bird dog is a great exercise to engage your multifidus and strengthen your entire posterior chain. A bird dog requires you to get on your knees in a tabletop position. Slowly lift your left arm and right leg, and focus on elongating your fingers to your toes. It is essential to control this movement. You should not feel any pressure on your low back. Keep your spine stable and your hips level. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position. Hold for 3 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat on the other side. You can alternate sides and complete 2 sets of 10.

The pelvic girdle is a foundational group of core stabilizing muscles. This group of muscles are called the pelvic diaphragm. The pelvic floor may be the last muscle group we discuss, but it is the foundation of the entire core. Weakness in these muscles can cause an array of pelvic floor dysfunctions, including inconvenience, painful intercourse, and pelvic organ prolapse. Strengthening the pelvic floor can not only improve these symptoms, but the contraction sets off a domino effect by turning on your other core muscles. Core strengthening begins in the pelvic floor! The Kegel is a great way to start strengthening the pelvic floor. The Kegel can be done anywhere, standing, sitting, or lying down. It is much easier to start these exercises lying down. To engage your pelvic floor, you will contract the same muscles it takes to stop the flow of urine. Imagine your pelvic floor pulling up and in. Hold this contraction for 3 seconds and release. Aim for 10-20 contractions. Work on engaging just the pelvic girdle, not the glutes or thighs. As always, don’t forget to breathe! Core strength can encompass glutes, rectus abdominis, and internal and external obliques. These muscles are typically strong in those who work out regularly. It is the smaller, deeper muscles that are often ignored, overpowered, and underworked. It is these deeper muscles that hold the functional benefits of core strengthening. Your core is made for stability, not mobility. The core muscles play an essential role in protecting ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022





{ SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS A HUSTLES IMAGE TALKS { BLISSFUL WELLNESS 360 } }}} “The importance of core strength goes way beyond a thin waistline. One of the main questions I get is, “how do I get a flat tummy?””

your spine, improving your posture, and improving your functional dayto-day activities. Doing crunches, over-extending, and big rotational exercises put your back at risk for injury. When you strengthen your deep core muscles, you will decrease your

chronic back pain while improving your overall health and wellness. For more information on appropriate exercises to strengthen your core correctly, check out our Wellness Plus+ On-demand exercise program. We offer evidencebased exercises easily accessible in the

comfort of your own home. C h e c k o u t m o r e a t w w w.








I had paddled just about a hundred yards into Seneca Lake this summer when I heard a scream that more funny than alarming. I turned back to the shore and there was my dog, Tortellino, at the end of the tether staring at me bouncing on his two hind legs, front paws in the air as if to say “GET BACK HERE!” After catching my breath from laughing I paddled back toward him. As soon as he could reach me he hopped right up on my standup paddleboard (SUP), ready to take in some time on the lake. Now, it probably helps that I have a water dog, but I hear a lot of folks in the Finger Lakes region saying “let’s try to get the dog on the board” so here is a how-to. If you’re wondering what this has to do with “Life in Balance” – this is one of the simple pleasures in life that I can be 100% present to. Maybe it becomes one of yours too. Of course, make sure your dog is healthy enough to swim. Even if the plan isn’t for him to get in the water, he or she might end up there. Also, try paddling on your own first so you can get your own footing before adding four more. The dog will sense your energy, and you don’t need a nervous dog on your day off. 1. Make your life easy and start training before you get in the water. Get your dog comfortable with the board on dry land. I got my dog in November, hoping to be able to take him out on the lake in the summer so I took the fin off of my board and placed it in my basement, the same way it would float on the water. (Take the fin off, so

the dog doesn’t break it on dry land.) Every time Tortellino engaged with the paddleboard, I gave him a treat. At first he would just look, sniff or put one paw up on the board; he would get a treat for that and then eventually when he got all four paws on the board, he would get excited. Anytime I walked into the basement he would follow walk on the board, waiting for his treat or simply being proud of himself. It seems silly but it paid off. The first time we took the board into the water – fin back on of course - he ran right for it and hopped on.. 2. Check the weight that your board holds. What might be fine for you might not be fine when you add your hundred-pound Labrador Retriever. 3. Get a life vest that fits your dog well. Some dogs will prefer to stay on the SUP and some will prefer to jump in the water and swim. It may even vary day to day depending on the temperature, or if they see say, a duck, just out of reach they want to try to make it to. You may hit a wave, lose your balance and both end up in the water. Even if your dog is a GREAT swimmer, the benefit of the life vest is the that is has a handle so you can place your dog back up on the board rather than have to wrap your arms around him. He’ll natural put his front paws up on the board when he wants to come back on. 4. Lower your expectations. Be prepared for your dog to move on the board. My dog often walks between my feet, hangs out over the edge of the board – it provides a sneaky core workout. This is not the time to try to hit a new

speed record. Just remind yourself you are out on the water to have fun and enjoy some quality time in nature. You might need to come back early if the dog is thirsty or tired. It’s okay. 5. Movement. If the dog leans left, shift your own body weight to the right and vice versa. If there’s too much movement that you feel flustered just sit down or kneel and paddle around. When approaching a wave, just as you would alone, let the nose of your board hit the wave at a 90-degree angle. Sometimes with the combined weight of the two of us I’m surprised how much more easily we go over the waves than I would alone. Also, as fun as it might be to watch your dog enjoy himself on the board – do stay aware of your surroundings and remember to look up and out. 6. Get a dry bag that you can attach to your board. One morning Canandaigua Lake was so serenely calm I let Tortellino’s leash just rest on the board for a quick paddle. He had such a blast that he dunked us both into the water and I couldn’t find the leash. I had to figure out how to get us back to the parking lot without a leash. I used my ankle leash but wouldn’t want to do that again. 7. Consider grabbing an anchor you can use to take breaks. It is after all, supposed to be about the journey not the destination. Usually in my dry bag I have some water and a small dish so there’s no rush for us to get back to shore. Other questions? Email Kaitlyn@ and let me know how it goes!



{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “Now, it probably helps that I have a water dog, but I hear a lot of folks in the Finger Lakes region saying “let’s try to get the dog on the board” so here is a how-to.”








Summers are short in upstate New York and we all want to enjoy every minute. Essential Oils can be used in many ways to have your best summer - here are some of my favorites. Insect Repellant: most bug sprays are loaded with toxic ingredients that are harmful to our health. Instead of purchasing an over-the-counter product, I reach for my oils.

and falls add a few drops each of frankincense, lavender, and helichrysum to a cold compress and apply to the affected area. Minor stomach upsets: Summer is a time for outdoor barbecues and picnics. For minor stomach upsets from eating, I like Digestzen and Tamer digestive blends, as well as peppermint and ginger.

TerraShield has citronella, lemongrass, thyme, cedarwood, geranium, and peppermint in a base of sesame seed oil. It comes in a spray bottle for easy application. Incidentally, each one of these oils on its own has repellent properties. My favorite is cedarwood.

you become stuffy and sneezy you will want to have Breathe Respiratory blend on hand. This blend of laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, Ravensara, and ravintsara is designed to support open airways in the respiratory system. Diffuse in a diffuser or put a drop in the palm of your hand and inhale. For topical use it comes in the touch format – blended in a base of fractionated coconut oil and in a 10ml roller bottle. Let’s not forget that even though the weather is nice it is still important to keep the immune system strong. Add a few drops of OnGuard Protective Blend when diffusing Breathe for an added boost to your immune system. OnGuard is great for cleaning surfaces as well.

Diffuse citronella and lemongrass to keep unwanted guests from your outdoor events. If ants are a problem, place drops of peppermint on cotton balls and place them in areas where there are ants. Stings, bites, and skin irritations: Lavender is my go-to for bug bites or stings. It is soothing and takes the itch away. Bug bites tend to be red, puffy, and angry looking. Think of essential oils that are calming, especially to the skin. In addition to lavender, Roman chamomile, helichrysum, and tea tree are all good options.

Tamer, from the kids collection, is perfectly blended in a base of fractionated coconut oil and comes in a roller bottle for easy application. Digestzen, peppermint, and ginger can all be applied topically in a ratio of one drop essential oil to one drop carrier oil. Massage onto abdomen or reflexology points on the bottoms of your feet.

For skin irritations from bumps

Pollen and other seasonal threats: If

Sun Care: I am always looking for cleaner sun care products, so I was thrilled that doTerra launched its Sun Coallection this month. The collection includes a mineral sunscreen spray, mineral sunscreen lotion, and a mineral sunscreen stick. They each provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection without harmful chemicals and they are water resistant. Coming soon is doTerra after sun restorative body mist. In the meantime, here is a DIY recipe for a soothing after sun balm: In a clean jar combine 20 drops lavender, 10 drops peppermint, 15 drops frankincense, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JULY EDITION 2022


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Summers are short in upstate New York and we all want to enjoy every minute. Essential Oils can be used in many ways to have your best summer - here are some of my favorites.”


and 50 drops fractionated coconut oil, apply to the skin as needed.

drying. But don’t take my word for it – try it!

Muscle aches and pains from overuse, strain, sprain, or arthritis: Whether you exercise everyday or you are a weekend warrior, we all have occasional muscle aches and pains. The best topical analgesic I have ever used is doTerra’s Deep Blue stick with Copaiba. It is plant-based, convenient, easy to use, and effective. It is cooling and soothing, emollient, and quick

In your garden: Looking for a natural yet effective way to keep insects out of your garden? Try this plant spray – I call it Marie’s plant spray because my friend, Marie gave me the recipe. Add ten drops of each of these essential oils – rosemary, peppermint, thyme, clove, and cinnamon – to a spray bottle, fill the bottle with water, and spray plants every night to deter bugs.


Interested in a doTerra wholesale account? Reach out to me. I would love to hear from you. Peace, bliss, and balance… At Blissful Balance LLC, our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook @ blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram blissfull_balance.




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