RWO'S March 2021 Edition

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In This Edition...



Evangela “Van” Stanley A ROCHESTER STAPLE








march e









WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? Daniel Baldwin



























IN HER OWN WORDS Rebecca Jaffarian





I AM...
























SHE HUSTLES TALKS K. Victoria Pohotgraphy Everyday Hands Kristen Joy Martin Rachel Walker L Shot Photography Diane Chester Miracles LaBella Boutique








march edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }














































Powerful women empowering women in business and in life. She Talks Law Women’s Roundtable

Join our Host and Attorney, Jennifer Aronson-Jovcevski, and a powerhouse group of women business owners, women entrepreneurs and women investors across all industries as we collaborate and empower one another.

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• Free legal education from award-winning attorneys on topics relevant to your business and life; • Industry leading panelists and presenters with special offers and opportunities to grow and succeed; • An exclusive forum to collaborate with the best women in the business; • Access to premier legal services for members of She Talks Law; • An opportunity to feature your business to other women, including being featured on Boylan Code’s social media and website; • And more! To join, RSVP by email to:

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“Being powerful is like being a lady...if you have to tell people you are, your aren’t.” - Margaret Thatcher


n the “Women’s History” edition of Rochester Woman Online this month, WOW do we have a truly inspiring and empowering cover woman!

Know as a “Rochester staple”, Evangela “Van” Stanley from People’s Choice Kitchen is the true epitome of what it means to be part of a community. This month she celebrated 20 years in business in the heart of Rochester, received a key to the city from Mayor Lovely Warren, and is now gracing the cover of RWO! We couldn’t be more excited to be able to talk about her journey and share her story with you starting on page [18]. PLUS, you don’t want to miss our latest She Hustles Talks women entreprenHERS starting on page [108] with our fabulous cover woman, Rumella “LaDiva” Cameron. A mother, professional wrestler, real estate agent and business owner. She truly is hustling!



On the cover of Rochester Woman Online this month for our incredible women’s history edition, we have a 20 year Rochester staple in the community...Evangela “Van” Stanley of the People’s Choice Kitchen photographed on location at her restaurant by Brody Wheeler.

Thank you for joining us for another amazing issue. Stay tuned as we launch our sister publication Buffalo Woman Online coming in April 2021, atart back up with our Pop Ups in the ROC& CUSE on March 25th at Trusted Treasurez in Rochester and on April 18th at the Craftsman Inn & Suites in Fayetteville. And you definitely won’t want to miss the launch of our She Hustles Talk Show on May 1st at OFC Creations featuring women from all over the country coming together to talk about business, how they are hustlin, and LOTS more. We will also be launching our semi-annual Influential Woman Online magazine where I will be sharing some of my story for the first time. This year is going to be amazing and filled with lots of new opportunities. Hope you will all join us for the ride!

Kelly 12




Kelly Breuer Ayanna Jackson Kelly Breuer Brody Wheeler


Christopher Cardwell Chris Johnson K. Victoria Photography Michele Ashlee Devin Mack

KL Storyography Kameron Ashford Sandy Arena


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

Daniel Baldwin Amanda Ashley Cindy Scribani Dr Pebble Kranz Sharlyn Marquez Christine Grandin Kristie Stumpf Rork Robin Leone Kelli LaPage Sandra Cooze Donna Cator Maggie Whelehan Dr. Sarah F. Spiegelhoff


Kelly Breuer


Toni Natalie


Network Rochester

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the Greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2021 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.

Salvatore’s Pizzeria in partnership wit


Salvatore’s partnered with Van Sta People’s Choice Kitchen to carr Famous Jerk Sauce!

Try The Best Jerk Sauce EVER at Sa or visit People’s Choice Kitche 575 Brooks Ave • 464-8790

Try Van’s Jerk Sauce Chicken at Any Salvatore’s Location! • salva



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alvatore’s, en at: 0


Van, Owner of People’s Choice Kitchen with SoccerSam & Silvio from Salvatore’s



In this month’s “women’s history” edition of Rochester Woman Online, we have an incredibly inspiring woman, also known by many as a true Rochester “staple”. She has been helping others in her community and giving back selflessly for over 20 years. She is the People’s Choice Kitchen owner, a single mom, a true woman entrepreneur and well, all around empowering woman...please welcome Evangela Stanley, but you can call her Van. She is the epitome of a strong and giving woman and is always hustling to help others. Perfect for the cover of RWO! I am so excited that RWO has such an all-around amazing woman in the local community to grace our cover this month and that I had the pleasure to sit down and talk with her and find out just who she is. Her big smile greeting me when I walked through her doors and she was so excited for her cover shoot. After all she was celebrating 20 years in business and just received the key to the city from Mayor Lovely Warren. It was heartwarming to see some of her friends joining us to support her, including her son Egypt that I had the pleasure to meet. We barely scratched the surface of this incredible woman ‘s journey and story during our interview, but we hope you enjoy what she had to tell us. Make sure to stop by 575 Brooks Ave, and say hi and 18


while you are there, don’t forget to order their award-winning jerk salad! Did I mention she has the best Jamaican food I have ever tasted? All I can say is I may be addicted now and stopping in every week! So, you are known as a “staple” in the

(me) is a single mother of a 20-yearold son Egypt, a business owner, a people’s peron. After graduating from East High School, I achieved went to Bryant & Straton College for two years. I have always had a love for customer service and people; I worked for UPS for five years, Strong Memorial Hospital for three years, and also worked for Xerox for another four years as well. All my major jobs were based in customer service for large corporations with high traffic. What made you decide to open the People’s Choice Kitchen? Where did you come up with the name for the restaurant? I decided to open up a Caribbean Restaurant after numerous requests and pleads after friends and family would see and taste my fiancé’s island food. My fiancé grew up watching and helping his mother in her restaurant back in sweet Jamaica.

Rochester community having started your business in 2001 in the heart of the city of Rochester. Tell our readers a little bit about Evangela “Van” Stanley and you how this all started. Thanks for the huge compliment from the community. Being called a “staple” is truly more than I could have ever hoped for. Evangela “Van” Stanley

I still laugh about the story behind finding the name for the restaurant “People’s Choice Kitchen”. We were inspired after watching the movie “Shaft “. My fiancé loved the character Peoples Hernandez. So, that is where People’s choice came in. It just seemed to fit. Tell us about what it was like starting a business 20 years ago as a minority female. Starting a restaurant in 2001 was








“I honestly don’t believe I would change anything about my career path. I have learned so much along the way and the good out weighs the bad.”



{ { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “I still laugh about the story behind finding the name for the restaurant “People’s Choice Kitchen”. We were inspired after watching the movie “Shaft”. My fiancé loved the character Peoples Hernandez.”

very exciting but also nerve racking because we were warned it was extremely hard work. I took a couple of business classes in college, but now I was going into uncharted territory. What has been your key to successfully being in business for two decades? I believe the key to my success was growing up in a house with a father that was a very hardworking man that instilled in us integrity, family values and dedication and a praying mother.

you say are your top priorities for both your personally and business? Some of my top rituals and priorities for myself are to always be considerate of other people’s time; being punctual and reliable is a must for me. Consistency is also a must for a restaurant business and

What is your restaurant’s specialty? What are you known for? My specialty at “People’s Choice is my jerk chicken; however, my restaurant is also known for our famous “Jerk Chicken Salad. It also allows you to be bad and eat healthy at the same time. Many of my clients shared with me that our Jerk Chicken Salad tastes better here at the restaurant than back in the islands of Jamaica. We take each herb and spice seriously. What made you decide t o f o c u s o n Ja m a i c a n food at the People’s Kitchen? This is a very easy question for me; I decided on Jamaican food because my fiancé was born and raised in sweet Jamaica. When he arrived in the United States, he brought along all of his mother’s secret recipes with him from her restaurant. As a business owner, what would 22


being friendly should come naturally. How have you marketed your business during the pandemic, and which avenues have you found to be most successful? Keeping my restaurant in the forefront in a competitive market keeps me in the lab while others are sleeping or traveling. I am continually re-investing back into the restaurant. I constantly try to come up with creative ways to

give back to my community. I love the response from using different radio stations and social media to captivate different types of people’s attention. Tell us about one event that has happened in your life that has changed you and why. This question is a little more challenging and very personal to my clients, family and myself; I am a survivor of an armed robbery at my restaurant and now dealing with a very broken system. I hope no other business owner has to experience that violating feeling, which motivated me to give back even more. The outpour from the community was surreal. Since then, we had to change and upgrade our system to some state-of-theart equipment inside and out. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why? I honestly don’t believe I would change anything about my career path. I have learned so much along the way and the good out weighs the bad. I have overcome challenges that did not seem possible, but my strong faith and belief system carried me through many storms. I will never let me circumstance define my destiny. Who has been your greatest inspiration? This question brings a huge smile across my face because my greatest inspiration happens to be my beautiful and sweet mother. “My mother has taught me to walk by faith and not by sight.”






COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “My specialty at “People’s Choice is my jerk chicken; however, my restaurant is known for our famous “Jerk Chicken Salad, it also allows you to be bad and eat healthy at the same time.”

What is one thing that you feel defines success? Success for me is knowing God is in the mix and allowing others to see and witness the same joy so they too can pass it forward to someone else. Success for me and my fiancé was to build a strong foundation for our son by leaving him a legacy. But it was also breaking strong generational holds by passing on health and wealth to the next generation to follow.

confidently transition the business to him. As far as franchising goes, I have mentioned it to my sister in Florida for many years. I would definitely continue to entertain those thoughts. Do you think being a minority has helped or hindered you in business? Being a minority business owner definitely has not hindered me all. I have

Tell us about “Soccer Sam Fantauzzo” and how you were able to get your sauces into Rochester’s famous Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria’s. I thank God, and I’m grateful for Soccer Sam listening to Bob Lonsberry live talk radio show. Once he heard Bob mention how excellent our famous jerk sauce taste on Bob’s show; Soccer Sam reached out to me and indicated that he strongly believed my jerk sauce would be great at his Salvatore Pizzeria’s, which brought music to my ears. I am so glad he was tuned into Bob’s show that day to hear about People’s Choice Kitchen. The rest is history! Where do you see your business 5 and 10 years from now? Any plans to franchise? My 5-year plan consists of me opening another restaurant on the East side of the city where I was born and raised. I would also love to add more stores to carry my jerk sauces. My 10-year plan is to successfully train my son for the full operation so that I can

offer to pay their bill or tell them to pick out more items so I could pay for them; the look on their faces is priceless. What is one piece of advice you have been giving that has helped shape who you are? I received a lot of advice from my mother. We have a very close and strong bond together. I cherish all of her strong values and most importantly, her advice to us to always put God first and he will lead me down the right path. What would be one word to describe you? If I had one word to choose to describe myself; it would be “compassionate.” I truly love to encourage and see others happy.

successfully operated my restaurant for 20 years in the inner city. My clientele comes from all types of backgrounds and we treat them all the same. What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I enjoy going into the malls to see who I could randomly bless that day. I generally look for teenagers that I would

Has the pandemic helped or hindered your business? How have you had to pivot to keep business going? Like so many other businesses and especially restaurants, we took a hard hit too. We are still feeling the pandemic’s impact, but we are so grateful we did not lose any family members or customers to Covid-19. We are thankful for our loyal customers continuing to support my business and helping us keep the doors open so we can also bless others to pay what they can afford. What would be one bit of advice you would give to young women wanting to start their own restaurant business? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021











COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Success for me and my fiancé was to build a strong foundation for our son by leaving a legacy for Egypt and also by breaking generational strong holds by passing on health and wealth to the next generation to follow.”

The advice I would share with a young woman would be to invest in their future and love what you do but most of all stay determined and focus. You have to be passionate about your business this might sound easy, but it is so important to be a people-person is just how it goes in order to succeed.

what you do? My favorite thing I enjoy doing in my business is opening a customer’s tray in front of them and allowing the herbs and spices to speak for themselves. I love to witness the expressions and excitement of their face when they see their food. It brings great satisfaction to me.

What is the most favorite thing about what you do? My favorite thing I enjoy doing in my business is opening a customer’s tray in front of them and allowing the herbs and spices to speak for themselves. I love to witness the expressions and excitement of their face when they see their food. It brings great satisfaction to me

Other side notes... I forgot to mention that if it wasn’t for Soccer Sam, Palmer’s Market,, Bob Lonsberry, and Boss Sauce I wouldn’t have been able to feed 200 people for Thanksgiving for free.

What is the most favorite thing about

Plus, my Angel Tree during the holidays, we were able to provide over 200 toys to kids in need thanks to Soccer Sam and his generosity.

I also do something called Sisters Giving Smiles. I reached out to several salon owners, to pamper women from Alternative for Battered Women and I catered the food. Van also works a lot with domestic violence organizations and victims. When I asked why, she said, “ My oldest sister Sandra Stanley whom has passed away. She suffered many years of abuse from her boyfriend. He once pushed her through a glass window at a hotel. Surgeons donated their services to reconstruct her face. That’s one reason I enjoyed giving back to battered women. I received several proclamations giving back for this cause and I will continue to do anything I can to help.” ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021







Amy Hoang is the founder of Golden World Magazine and she holds multiple positions under the Golden World LLC, which includes the Golden Sea Corporation, Golden World Beauty Pageant, Golden Agarwood Jewelry, & Golden Health and Beauty Supply. She has been featured on the covers of Malvie Magazine and Gmaro Magazine. Also, she has been published in Vigour Magazine, Edith Magazine, Illumee Magazine, and many other publications in Vietnam. Amy Hoang is an ambitious, successful businesswoman who is a passionate innovator in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industries. She uses her artistic talent as a fashionista to promote luxurious couture, while leading a resplendent lifestyle exemplified by adventure, elegance, and altruism. Amy Hoang is a poised, graceful entrepreneur who is intelligent, empathetic, and openminded. She is an eloquent speaker who leverages her superb communication skills to build strong networks in the entertainment industry and to promote her philanthropic pursuits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Amy Hoang’s leadership, Golden Health Supply provided high-quality medical equipment to customers in the U.S. and internationally. Specifically, her 34


company provided many antibacterial mask products to help protect people from COVID-19 spread. Furthermore, the Golden World group kicked off 2021 by donating masks to people in the city of Stanton, Southern California. Her organization handed out over 25,000 boxes of medical masks and hand sanitizer to people in need. Amy Hoang is a generous and

compassionate humanitarian who donates to a variety of charitable causes. Several of these causes include: The Golden World Group Charity Foundation, Shriners Hospitals for Children, “Pray For Vietnam” initiative to help flood victims, American Cancer Society, environmental preservation of the oceans, and retired military veterans in Massachusetts. In addition, her organization focuses on helping vulnerable, impoverished women and children throughout the

world. She constantly gives back to her Vietnamese community and artists. The Golden World Group will help bring the blockbuster, Vietnamese movie “Sam Hoi” to the U.S. to reach a larger audience. Moreover, Amy Hoang believes that it is important to celebrate diversity using her Golden World platforms to promote inclusion and cultural awareness. She is committed to embracing diversity in the entertainment world. As the CEO of the Golden Wo r l d B e a u t y Pageants, she brings together creatives and contestants from various cultures and nationalities, such as the Ms. Golden World events from 2017 to present and Ms. Golden Sea Pageant in 2019. As the first runnerup of Ms. Vietnam International Pageant 2015, she wanted to create an inclusive pageant that welcomes all men and women. Her pageant emphasizes the importance of individuals who have heart and passion for their communities. Amy Hoang’s radiant, cheerful personality inspires others to see their own beauty and to make a meaningful difference in the world. She believes that acknowledging and honoring cultural diversity will lead to the creation of global citizens who are dedicated to making positive changes in their communities and abroad.





“Amy Hoang is an ambitious, successful businesswoman who is a passionate innovator in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industries.”





{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES } “Amy Hoang’s vision of inclusivity inspired the creation of the Golden World Magazine.”

Amy Hoang’s vision of inclusivity inspired the creation of the Golden World Magazine. The magazine provides a unique opportunity for designers, photographers, models and artists from various cultural backgrounds to showcase their work to a larger audience. Additionally, this magazine will celebrate the creative teams and models who participated in the Golden World Beauty Pageants. It will commemorate the tremendous effort, time and diligence required to organize and to coordinate unforgettable beauty pageant events. Amy

Hoang aims to inspire and to encourage other young talent organizations to submit their work for future publications in order to cultivate an international creative community. As a brilliant female CEO, Amy Hoang has successfully navigated the challenges of 2020 while changing business strategies to suit the times. She is optimistic that the future will be prosperous for the Golden World LLC with several major projects and collaborations currently under way. One of her company’s most

important mottos is “Understanding - Loving - Caring – Sharing,” which continues to influence her progress into 2021. Amy Hoang is not only an immensely gifted businesswoman and trendsetter in fashion, but a selfless leader devoted to diversity, inclusion, and philanthropy. Tell our audience about yourself and where you are from. My name is My Lam Diem Hoang kwown as Lam Hoàng My. I was born in Vietname and and graduated from ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021




“ I love learning and sharing. I love to learn what I dont know and share what I do know .”

the University of Tourism in VN.I moved too the US at the age of 20. I am the present CEO of Golden World Beauty / CEO OF Golden Sea International / chair women /Founder of Golden World Group Inc Charity foundation Co founder / owner of Golden Health Supply, the CEO at BOMOI Entertainment and the Owner of Beauty Times Salon and Spa. What got you into the pageant world? I love learning and sharing. I love to learn what I dont know and share what I do know . Promotion of a platform is a big one for me too. Being passionate about a cause and entering a pageant is a great way to share your platform and your enthusiasm for something that you strongly believe in. How did you become CEO of Golden World Group/ Founder of Miss Golden World / Miss & Mr Golden Sea International? I love beauty and feeling beautiful. Making other confident in thier own skin. Beauty is from the inside out. Working on charity work , giving back to the society all helped me to become CEO. I am a good leader . I lead the company in the right direction . I help people reach their goals, and I am not afraid to hire people that are better than me, ass long as they are good for the company. I look out for others not 40


just my own benefits. I love that the Golden World Group is about helping children in need, empowering women, understanding, caring and helping others. What made you start the organization with this mission? Children are our first priority. They are the future of the world. Being a minority woman, Ideaply understand the difficulties that women in Asia and

in general arefacing. Racism, funding security, lack of capital, family, children and the list goes on.I can see myself in that world. So I am doing my best for myself and for others . Giving back is a beautiful action. The world needs it. Understanding, caring, loving and sharing is who I am. I just want to be able to help as many people as I can. It seems that you are really a true

woman entrepreneur. Can you tell us about your other businesses? I loved doing business when I was a little girl. I helped my mom to manage her store after school. Growing up with that business mind, I can see opportunities everywhere. I Graduated from Bay Bath University for International Business and this was really the start of my crazy life. Long story short, our company has grown very large in different fields: like real estate, import/ export, sea food meat, the Entertainment industry :and more. We host two Pageants every year as well. I am also a special event planner. Plus, we help people in the fashion industry eith raising capital for investment. We Supply PPE products in big quantities. What gave you the courage to start your own businesses? I really dont know what one thing made me start my business ( insert laugh here). I born for this. My passion is working and making others happy. What is your current reigning status? How long have you been competing? I competed once 6 years a go and didn’t win, but I was a first runner up. I am short and petite, so maybe that was the reason why I couldn’t touch that crown. So, I said to myself, if I cant not win that crown for myself I will make myself the director of a pageant and lay it on








“ My favorite part of my job is seeing our contestants shine, gain confidence, lead them to other opportunities, and open their doors to the world.”

others with special criteria for petite, but smart women like me to shine even if it was only once in their life.

and dancer. She goes a long with the Golden World Group in all of our charity works.

What is your favorite part about being in the pageants? What about coordinating the pageants? My favorite part of my job is seeing our contestants shine, gain confidence, lead them to other opportunities, and open their doors to the world. Coordinating a pageant is not easy, especially if it is an international one like Golden World Beauty Pageant. We welcome all races, ages, nationalities, different backgrounds , different level sof education, different shapes and sizes. We all unite on one platform to compte, to learn, to share, and to love each other.

What do you look for in contestants for the pageant? What about for the winners? We are more strict on contestants for Miss pageants then the others. They have to meet the requirements: beauty, education, community work , personally, height, weight, and even family background is checked.

Who has been your biggest influence? Oprah Winfrey is my biggest influence. I read about her, listen to her, and my goal is to sit with her on her TV show one day. I want to talk and share everything with her. Who has been the biggest success story to come from the Golden World Pageants? On the younger side we have Jacqueline Paras, Miss Golden World 2018 . She is from the Philippinesand she is now a great face in the NY fashion industry. She is a great model, singer

International in NY in 2018. She just successfuly singed a multi-millions dollar PPE contract for Golden Sea Corporation. Then, we have Mrs Golden World Entrepreneur 2019 Ninh Nguyen who is very well known in Los Angeles, California for her chain PHO FILET. She is making million now in income and is very successful. Both of them are representatives for the Golden World Group 501C3 charity foundation.

For Ms and Mrs contestants we look for the background, personally, education, and their passion. Most important is their goal in what do they want to achieve.

For the more mature ladies, we have two that have had great success in their career.The first is Mrs Annie K Nguyễn who was crowned Mrs Golden Sea

For the winner of Miss they need to meet all the requirements to be the best. Ms/Mrs: is more about their great achievements in life, and something for others to learn and follow. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021












“ Yes, we got hit really hard with the pandamic. We had to make several changes in order to rescue our business.”

Have you had to make any changes during the pandemic to how you run the pageants? Yes, we got hit really hard with the pandamic. We had to make several changes in order to rescue our business. We are making PPE products, doing virtual shows, zoom shows, and even got creative with a livestream talk show.

What is the one thing you cannot live without when competing? You can’t do anything without confidence.

What do you think is the one quality that makes you a lady boss? + being a people person + hard working + willing to learn + confident + understanding If you could use one word to describe yourself what would it be? Sweet but tough.

Where did you get your education, and what did you major in? I was graduated in VN for my first 4 years degree in Tourism. Then I moved to the US and continued my education at Springfield Technical Community College and graduated from Bay Bath University in Longeadow, MA six years later.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be? My best advise to everyone would be to be yourself, be passionate, start while you are still employed, don’t do it alone, get your clients and customers lined up, and most importantly have a business plan in place.

Who has been the most influential in helping your career? That would definitely be my mom. She is my best friend ever. What do you have planned for 2021? The coming back of the Miss Gokden Sea International 2021, Miss Golden World Beauty Pageant 2021and the Golden Legendary special Award.

fashion style and are so amazing to work with.

Make sure to do your research before jumping in and get professional help. Have a dream, dream big and work hard and be patient because success never comes that easy.

Who has been your favorite designer to work with and why? KhangLe and Jacky Tai because they are so creative, have a unique

{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Have a dream, dream big and work hard and be patient because success never comes that easy.”







TRICIA MIGLIORE KUNTZ Tell us about your business. What product or service do you provide and who is your target audience? My main business is called The Purple Painted Lady and it is a paint boutique. In other words, I own a paint shop that offers products along with support, advice and workshops. We have sold a couple of special high-end furniture and cabinetry paint lines for over 12 years here in western NY. We like to have fun. Life is short, so why not enjoy being at work! My target audience is anyone who has a piece of furniture that needs a facelift, or those who look at their kitchen cabinets and wish they could change their look. I can help these people make their home look beautiful, but on a budget. The Purple Painted Lady’s main store is in Macedon, NY. We have a showroom, and we also ship all online sales orders daily. We also have a second location of a satellite spot at the Shops on West Ridge in Greece. We sell online and, between our website and social media, have around 2,000,000 unique visitors monthly. I have a few products that are private labeled through our business also such as brushes. The Purple Painted Lady has taken on a life of its own. I play a role in it, but truly - I am part of a team of some amazing women that make it what it is, and I am very grateful....and lucky to have them because The Purple Painted Lady would not be what it is without all of us. My husband Steve is a key part of some of the technical support

and all of the emotional support he gives. At The Purple Painted Lady we sell cabinet and furniture paint, host workshops and try to provide the best customer service possible. We carry a few fantastic paint lines, but it all started because of Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. It is a flat paint that adheres to virtually any surface without sanding or priming. Once painted and dried, we use a furniture wax or brush on top coat to seal it. I found this product about

12 years ago and was so blown away with it after using, I quit my day job to open a shop...and the rest if history. Our target audience is anyone who wants to unify a room by painting a piece of furniture or is in need of updating their cabinets in their bath or kitchen. Besides having our shops - I am the promoter of the annual market called

The Purple Painted Lady Festival. We host that the third weekend of September and have around 350 artist and vendors from architectural salvage, upcycled items and painted furniture. It attracts around 14,000 people and is a lot of fun! And then lastly- I am in the process of opening a wedding/event venue focused on agritourism in Wayne County. It is called Fig Hollow Barn and we hope to be formally launched by late 2021. When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? I have always been a fan of small businesses. Most of my careers since graduating college were for small businesses. I love the excitement of it - the ups and downs, the way to make it grow in unlimited ways compared to a traditional job where you work for someone else and need to get approval. Honestly, most of the businesses I have worked at in my past were more conservative. I have always had ideas on how to make a business I get to have fun making things happen. How did you come up with the name “The Purple Painted Lady”? I remember when I started out after my daughter was born in 2005 - it was initially painting murals. It is funny how you start in one direction and then, things have a way of taking on a life of their own. But anyway- I needed a business name and I had wanted ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ {WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR WOMAN ON THE RISE { SHIFT+CONTROL } }} “My main business is called The Purple Painted Lady and it is a paint boutique... in other words, I own a paint shop that offers products along with support, advice and workshops.”

The Painted Lady because I live in this beautiful, colorful Victorian farmhouse and painted murals in the beginning. The previous owners of our home were fun and when we had moved in back in 2003, it was already painted in shades of periwinkle and then - from a different angle, I paint for a living. However, the url was already taken. So, one late night around midnight my husband and I were just brainstorming names and he threw out, “The Purple Painted Lady.” At first, I wasn’t in love with it but now, I could not imagine the business be anything else. It is also a great name because if you Google it we are the only business with that name. Maybe that is because I ultimately trademarked it, or also because it is unique. A pretty big thing when starting a business is to make sure you choose a name that there are not already 1000 of. Are You Happy in what you do And What Would You Change if anything? I live, breathe and dream my business. Am I happy? Well, I know I may be a bit insane and sometimes I have a “love/hate” ralationship with it and it does get overwhelming. I find for me, my businesses become like another child in my life. But yes, I truly love what I do and there is not one thing I would change. Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? Being a business owner for me is freedom. I had been in roles working for others 58


throughout my life and have had ideas, but working for someone else, there was not total freedom to create, or to take chances. Being I am my own boss, the sky is the limit. Not one idea is too crazy for me to try if I believe in it. I love how also, being a business owner allows me to meet so many different people, to collaborate with other businesses,

influence in business and why? This is going to sound silly but one time I was watching a tv show called Flipping Out on Bravo which is all about this guy named Jeff Lewis who is a designer. Back in 2004, I remember watching this one specific episode where Jeff, who is the focus of the reality show was having lunch with his dad. His father said to him something like, “find a business where you can make money when you’re sleeping.” That saying made an impact on me and I have considered that in choices and navigating my business. Being part of the online sales world was something I decided to do since in 2021. What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? Hmm, probably starting and coordinating our annual art festival and the way it allows us to help so many charities and volunteer organizations through it. Not to mention, creating a platform that brings people together with artists. And artist make this world a much better place to live in!

and also support them in helping make their dreams come true. I do quite a bit of coaching to other artists and small businesses. I often think about that saying, “rising tides raise all ships.” It is 100% true. Building relationships with people and other businesses is so important. I believe that in this world, you get, what you give. It ultimately comes full circle. What or who has been your greatest

What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur? This is just my opinion, but a person who has grit. A person who knows and believes above all other things, that their purpose is worthy and so are they and are willing to role up their sleeves and dig their heals in . Plus, work more hours than most people believe exist in a single day to make dreams into a reality. A person who is dedicated and understands that every decision they make should continuously direct them toward








{ {WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR {WOMAN SHIFT+CONTROL } }} ON THE RISE “A pretty big thing when starting a business is to make sure you choose a name that there are not already 1000 of.”

a goal. A person who understands, that every new encounter with a new person may be an opportunity. That sounds like I am embellishing, or writing for some Hallmark movie, but at the end of the day, if a person doesn’t have what it takes to stay on path and keep the pace for days, months and years on end they will drop off. I always tell my daughter, and anyone I am business coaching, that there is nothing between you and success except for yourself. Guaranteed there will be obstacles, set backs, and mistakes but perserverence, the ability to pivot, be open to changes and to learn from all of that will only help you. I know you created a festival that has grown substantially over the years. Tell us about it, and what you think has been the key to making it a success year after year. Keeping it fresh and focusing ultimately - on the customer service experience that guests will have when they attend. We have artist and vendor meetings through the summer just so we can convey how important the interaction with guests attending is. Our artists and vendors - I believe are the best of the best. I recruit the artists and believe I am pretty selective. I have always said that I want people to leave thinking to themselves they need to save the date for the following year because it was so good they do not want to miss it. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Yikes, hard to pick just one thing. I would say, believe in yourself and don’t over analyze making decisions! Start

small, don’t get in debt to launch a business. Whatever you choose to do - be the best at it! What are the 5 top qualities of being a successful woman entrepreneur? Hmm, this is interesting. I think these qualities are important no matter who you are, but I would say, being driven is a must. You need to be willing to put in the many, many hours of hard work seven days a week to grow your business. You need to be flexible and resilient because change and setbacks are going to happen. Being a female business owner can be tough. Believe it or not, people can have prejudices. Being positive and grateful is extremely important.

And, I am a risk taker. I like to make things happen. What meet ups, local entrepreneur events, and accelerators do you recommend that have helped you grow? Bad question for me - I do not do any of this. I have found the best mentors for me are found outside of these types of groups. I look to other business owners that I feel have “made it” and who I respect. Those are the people I like to learn from. Sometimes, organizations and events become a bit showy. I want to get right to the meat and potatoes. If you have a business idea. Look around your community or your industry and find someone who is slaying and watch how they run it. There is always something to be learned.

What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business? Basic old, free social media. The internet is an amazing thing and has built my business to where it is today.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years? So, my response is from the perspective of a small business owner. Personally, I have never over extend my credit. I always paid for everything at the time I purchased versus taking terms with another business. I do not ever like owing money and only grew my business when financially, I could do it myself. This theory can differ among people, but it has served me well.

What would you say are your strengths as an entrepreneur? I think my instincts and being able to make smart business decisions and see my future and the growth for my business and not being afraid to make it happen. I am a people person. I love meeting people and networking.

#Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe (and include links if available). Let me introduce you to Facebook. LOL My 16 year old daughter jokes that she remembers when I was

And depending on the line of business you are in, being outgoing and friendly. My business has grown due to relationships I have built with people that I have met through the years.



{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMAN ON THE RISE “I truly love what I do and there is not one thing I would change.”

so excited for my business to hit 500 followers. Now we are approaching 70,000.

(or did travel prior to 2020- LOL) See a beautiful curated space is so inspirational!

Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it. Yes! I am starting a new business called Fig Hollow Barn. It is an old barn that we have renovated on 40 acres focused on agritourism here in NY and being a flexible event space. We will be hosting weddings in 2022 and hosting various farmers markets. It is extremely exciting and so much fun launching this!

How d o yo u b a l a n c e yo u r entreprenuer life with family/friends that don’t understand the challenges we experience? Honestly, I have

What do you do for fun/relaxation? Making my dreams come true. Sorry, but that is true. But I also love to paint. I really love painting furniture! I love hosting gatherings and cookiing dinner at my home for friends and family. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? I find networking with other business owners really encourages me and sparks a new fire. When I travel 62


weeded them out of my circle. Joking, not joking. But seriously, my business is my life. It is my heart. My small business is not a hobby. It supports my family and employs others and helps them support their families too.

I find that my close circle of friends and family are very supportive. I am very grateful for them. If you have people in your life who are not, you might need to re-evaluate those relationship. (not joking) What is your Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish in 2021? To up my social media game. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Just that 2019 and 2020 have been hard, difficult years for so many. Grant some grace to others and .... be as supportive as you can for your local businesses. Yes, Amazon is convenient and quick, but if possible and it makes sense, try to support some of the shops and restaurants in your community. They need you!









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

Well guess what people, the same kids that are robbing your homes and cars who live on your block are the kids I would help in the rehab. It’s a bad problem. Let’s strap our boots on and clean it up.

As a reader, you don’t see all of the “behind the scenes” that goes on especially between the subject and writer, and you certainly don’t get to ask any of the questions. After the article comes out, boom... thousands of inquiries and questions follow.

How inspirational it is to see an individual overcome their obstacles. Hers a list of some of those who have achieved greatness. Including: - personality disorders (Billie Eilish) - famous people in wheelchairs (Stephen Hawking) - famous people with learning disabilities (Tom Cruise) - celebrities with physical disabilities (Stevie Wonder) - famous people with learning disabilities (Chris Rock) - other successful people with disabilities (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

Because I live my life in service, I approached Kelly Breuer and asked her, “Could I write an article for your magazine monthly”? I want to give my experience, strength and hope to those who may be able to benefit from it. Kelly said, “yes”, so here we go! Ask away...don’t be shy, I will answer anything. So here we go. #1 Does he still plan on opening a rehab facility on the north shore?! If so how can I help? - Jennafer Kelly Daniel: Jennifer, the North Shore Rehab idea is still on the table. The problem is getting people behind it that live near where the rehab center would be. What I get is, “We dont want a bunch of druggies living near us.”

Daniel: Hi Tom, I think there are more actors and famous people with disabilities than you may realize. I believe the problem lies more with why it is not more publicized that they are challenged.

#2 Why are they’re so few actor’s and actresses with disabilities in the entertainment industry? And can you get me his autograph lol. - Tom Turner

#3 As a multi-award winning screenwriter, I’m starting to look for either an agent or a manager. I was just nominated for the 12th time in only 3 years for Best Original Screenplay (this time at the Beverly Hills Film Festival for a comedy I wrote) and have won ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { ASK DANIEL BALDWIN “I want to give my experience, strength and hope to those who may be able to benefit from it. ”

screenwriting awards in Burbank, LA and elsewhere. It’s time to find representation but I don’t know anyone. Can Daniel recommend someone? I am very serious about this as a professional move. Bridgette Yaxley

Daniel: Well Bridgette, congratulations on your success. It sounds like finding an agent shouldn’t be that hard for you at all. 70


I can help you on your journey for sure. I’ll privately message you with an introduction or two if you like. Let me advise you and others on how you pick the right agent or manager. I think it starts like many relationships in life. Do you feel comfortable with this person? Do you like them? Can you communicate freely with them? Do they have the same vision and

goals as you? Yes it sounds like dating a little bit but actually? This is an intense partnership that can often last for years and have a dramatic outcome on your career. You want someone who is going to say your name everyday. Ask Daniel at










Who is Eric Vaughn Johnson... and What is your background and history in the arts? Eric Vaughn Johnson is an awardwinning director from Rochester, NY. Mr. Johnson has been involved with countless theatrical and film productions both onand off-stage and has been described as “an influential part of Rochester Arts” (West Side News), as “one of the leading figures in Rochester’s musical arts scene” (Pittsford Neighbors Magazine), and was recently featured as a Rochester “Extraordinary Person” (News 8 Now). Mr. Johnson is the Founding Executive Director of OFC Creations Theatre Center, a theatre company and performing arts center focused on youth engagement, performing arts education, and connections with the community. Founded in 2005 by Johnson, OFC offers classes in acting, singing, and dance at the brand-new OFC Creations Theatre Center after being at many different locations over the years. Students have the opportunity to perform in shows including: The Little Mermaid, Frozen, and Les Mis. Johnson also spearheads OFC Creations’ ROC Summer Theatre Experience, the largest theatre summer camp program in Upstate New York. The program offers 15 theatre productions in only 7 weeks, across multiple locations taught by 25 directors.

In 2016, Mr. Johnson became the President of the Greece Performing Arts Society (GPAS) and led the organization for three years into their “50th Anniversary Next Chapter.” In his second year as president, Mr. Johnson was described as leading “the 300-person performing membership… [into] an artistic and financial renaissance” (Monroe Post). In 2017, Mr. Johnson brought the re-opened Greece Theatre Company and Greece Choral Society

together for the regional premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Lyric Theatre. Johnson served as the Program Director of Rochester Association of the Performing Arts (RAPA) for five years. He designed all educational programs for students from ages four to eighty-four during the academic year and summer. Johnson also directed many of the RAPA Family

Theatre and Youth Theatre season productions. Johnson is most recognized for directing and co-writing the world premiere of Eddie Money’s original musical Two Tickets to Paradise: The Musical at the Kodak Center. Johnson worked directly with the late MoneyMan writing and arranging a majority of the new script and broke box office records at each performance. Over the years, Johnson directed numerous professional musical productions on the main stage at the Kodak Center, including: West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Miracle on 34th Street, Spring Awakening, the first Rochester production of Sister Act, Oliver, the Upstate New York premiere of It’s Only A Play, and the regional tour of A Year with Frog and Toad to name a few. Mr. Johnson has created and expanded many drama programs in several local schools, including: Seton Catholic School, Pittsford Middle School, World of Inquiry (School No. 58), St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Plank South Elementary, and Penfield Harris Hill. Previously he served for four years in Greece as the Artistic Director of SNAP Musical Theatre, a new summer program working with up to 80-students in each production. Mr. Johnson teaches private acting lessons ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ ARTS IN THE ROC } “Mr. Johnson has been involved with countless theatrical and film productions both onand off-stage and has been described as an influential part of Rochester Arts.”

to a select few young artists throughout the year and mentors inspiring young directors. He is also a proud member of Theatre for Young Audiences / USA representing the national field of children’s theatre, and NIVA, representing the National Independent Venue Association. Performing has always been a joy for Mr. Johnson. At the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival, he starred as the musical narrator, Ladahlord, in James and the Giant Peach and in 2016 portrayed the comical, gender-bending Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. Mr. Johnson can also be seen in William Fichtner’s feature film Cold Brook and continuing his on-going role as Dorothy in The Golden Girls Musical series. He believes strongly in community partnerships. In 2014 Mr. Johnson partnered with Facing Race, Embracing Equity for a benefit production of The Wiz at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. In 2015, he brought OFC Creations and the Rochester Latino Theatre Company together to produce the Rochester premiere of In the Heights for several soldout performances, and reprised the partnership in 2019 again with In the Heights with the next generation of performers. In 2018, Mr. Johnson and the Out Alliance partnered to bring the world-wide entertainer, Miss Richfield 1981, to make her Rochester debut at the Kodak Center. In July of 2018, Johnson published his first book, My Quarter-Life Crisis, reflecting on his passion and encouraging young 74


artists to follow their dreams. During the COVID-19 pandemic, at the age of 27, Johnson didn’t just continue, but expanded theatre offerings in the Rochester region by opening the OFC Creations Theatre Center. The new performing arts center (3450 Winton Pl, Rochester, NY 14623), opened in July 2020, is a multi-purpose arts center focused on youth theater education and performances, mounting professional plays and musicals, hosting community events, presenting out-of-town entertainers, and providing muchneeded performance space to local arts groups. The center boasts 260-brand new theatre seats, spacious lobby and lounge for social events, and 1,000sqft dance studio. The center has been renovated from floor to ceiling and has been utilized non-stop for OFC events and community partnerships/ programs. When and how did OFC Creations Theatre start? OFC Creations was formed in 2005 (when we were about 12 years old going into high school) as a neighborhood group of friends focused on creating artistic opportunities that were limited in our school district and in the community. Original OFC artists dabbled in claymation, videography, and music videos. As the group grew, OFC Creations became a formal organization with support from the Rochester community. The group produced live musical theatre

productions at Nazareth College, The Rochester Museum and Science Center, Visual Studies Workshop, School of the Arts, The East End Theatre, The Kodak Center, The Century Club, and The Lyric Theatre. OFC quickly expanded as local elementary schools reached out looking for OFC to run school drama programs. Over time, the school programs expanded with February break and spring break camps, evening classes and lessons, professional workshops, and summer camp program. OFC’s educational programs grew alongside our professional adult productions, featuring many of the same teaching artists who work daily with our students. What is the mission behind OFC? OFC Creations continues supporting the community through partnerships and creative show selections in the Rochester area. OFC offers after school and evening arts programming to private and public schools, opening opportunities to new directors in the Rochester community, touring theatre productions, and performing arts classes. Additionally, OFC partners with the LGBT community each year to present a LGBT+ Show Series, many of the performances benefit organizations like Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. In the summer months, OFC runs the largest theatre summer camp program in Upstate New York: ROC Summer Theatre Experience. How has the pandemic affected the theatre both positively and

“We want show titles that will appeal to everyone and encourage them to venture back out and support the arts. Shows that instantly come to mind are Annie, Les Mis, Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, and more.”




SHIFT+CONTROL { ARTS IN THE ROC } “As we opened the new theatre (during the pandemic) we focused on how we could instantly comply with the current state of the world, which gave us a bit of a leg up.”

The hardest part was figuring out how to run a 99% in-person business to now having to run it out of home. How do we get the phone lines transferred? How do we set up the box office ticketing equipment? How do we make sure we have what we need? And how much stuff do we need because how long is this going to last? I never expected the initial shut down to go on as long as it did. I was confident that in two-three weeks time we would be back open and instantly back to normal. As the days went on and on, that looked less likely. It was a hard situation as we were trying to sell tickets for in person performances, which were on hold for the foreseeable future. Trying to sell in person educational theatre programs for kids, which were on hold because schools were closed until further notice. And no one knew if summer camps were able to happen. We had to deal with people wanting refunds for programs and tickets they had already paid for, trying to bring in income for programs we were unsure when or how they would happen, while trying to run a business from a completely different location almost overnight. We eventually ran three series of online classes prior to reopening live-in-person at the beginning of July. Almost all of our auditions were held in person after July, prior to July we didnt have any auditions.

The three online programs were tuition-based so students would sign up and automatically be cast in the show. On their first online class they would audition, but it was not much different from being in person. The online classes “made do” and were a good outlet for the kids, but it speaks volumes that after a successful live in person summer camp series with 500 kids and no covid related issues, no one wanted to sign up for our online programs any longer. We ended online programs at that time and don’t have plans to bring any online elements back currently. As we opened the new theatre (during the pandemic) we focused on how we could instantly comply with the current state of the world, which gave us a bit of a leg up. Each of our spaces are HEPA filtered, along with extra portable HEPA filters we can bring into certain spaces for extra filtration. HEPA filters are quite expensive and just had to be worked into the overall budget. We did qualify for Federal funding which helped with the cost of the filter, masks, hand sanitizer (which we got donated from Lidestri foods), 6-ft distance markers, signage, etc. We wanted to make sure that we were holding programs safely and following all rules by NYS and the CDC precisely. I think the students are more grateful for the opportunities than we all were prior to the shutdown. Something we have always taken for granted was instantly taken away from us from March through June. And when we

did reopen our doors as one of the only theatres running programs like this, we had new rules in place like mask wearing and smaller cast sizes. Students and staff were just grateful to be able to DO theatre, no matter what the show was, what the rules were, or if there were even audiences. Students, for the most part, have been very respectful of the rules. Because they know that it could just as easily be taken away from them again if something goes wrong. To date, I am proud to say we have had no COVID related issues since reopening. We had 500 kids this summer, 400 this fall, and full with waiting lists for this winter. Do you have any big plans for 2021? As we look ahead to getting back to normal I think most theatres, us included, will focus on big name shows that bring in a crowd. There will be people not wanting to go to the theatre for a long time due to continual worries regarding the virus, but there will be a good chunk of people who are already ready and will be ready to return. We want show titles that will appeal to everyone and encourage them to venture back out and support the arts. Shows that instantly come to mind are Annie, Les Mis, Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, and more. However, between now and then, we will continue doing small cast shows so that we can safely put them on - these shows are like Songs for a New World, The Fantasticks, etc What would you say is the one thing you need to succeed in your business? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ SHIFT+CONTROL ARTS IN THE ROC } “As we look ahead to getting back to normal I think most theatres, us included, will focus on big name shows that bring in a crowd.”

To avoid another state wide / area lock down! Tell us your plans for 3 years and 5 years from now... OFC will continue to grow from a 3 full time staff with a range of part time employees How did you come up with the name for your company? 80


It stands for Opportunities For Creativity, based on how we originally started - giving opportunities to kids of all ages! How did you raise funding for your venture? Funding comes from students, tickets, advertising sales in our playbill books, and rentals.

Eric Vaughn Johnson Executive Director OFC Creations









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Fearless: is the absence of fear. Are you allowing fear to stop your growth? If so, why? Fear is simply an emotion that can be controlled by changing your mindset, but many people let fear consume them. It can paralyze your body and stop you from becoming the best version of yourself. Imagine yourself living a fearless life, going after everything you dreamed. You’re setting goals and executing them one by one and setting realistic timeframes. Your boldness, brave heart, and courageous spirit set you apart from others. Life can throw us curve balls. Those unexpected circumstances can cause us to worry, stress, have anxiety or even depression. However, when we learn to be fearless on our journey, we overcome our fears. Facing our fears can be simple as confronting our concerns, the obvious, and or hidden demons. It includes facing those fears that are too embarrassing to confess (like the fallout from a dumb misunderstanding or the consequence of making bad choices) and those symptoms of fear that we may not understand (like change in our sleep patterns, eating habits, or panic attacks). However, the biggest downfall of fear is its hinderance to fulfilling our purpose. Have you ever heard the saying that one of the wealthiest places on earth is the cemetery? Well, it 84


is true. Various studies have shown that 98% of people die with their dreams. Only two percent of people die with their dreams fulfilled. I can’t help but imagine that fear plays a huge factor in people dying with unfulfilled dreams. Just think of

how many had dreams to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, dieticians, models, writers, or public speakers but feared they weren’t good enough, worried about what others would think, or didn’t have the money to pursue their dreams, etc. Don’t allow fear to stop you from serving your purpose. If you had told me five years ago, I would be an author and speaker I probably would have thought you were crazy. Heck, if you would have told me I would graduate college and become a columnist, I would have laughed. I always wanted to be a speaker, but I was too shy, lacked confidence, and told myself my vocabulary wasn’t big enough to become a speaker. I always wanted to write a book, I even started writing an urban book when I was younger, but fear discouraged me. I wrote between10–30-page papers that would be ripped apart by my professors in college, making me feel like I wasn’t a strong writer, but I graduated with a B average.

how many people die having these great ideas that they never pursued, it only made it to the idea stage. An idea with no action behind it is just a thought. They saw the vision but never created the reality. Imagine

Now I write monthly columns, and I am entering into grad school. I tell you this because if I had allowed fear to stop me, I wouldn’t be where I am today, inspiring others to do the same; be fearless. I could have given up, but where would that have gotten me? Being fearless is about perseverance and being ready to face anything that comes your way. Those little



SAVON SPEAKS { {SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } “We are brave, strong, limitless, courageous, bold and FEARLESS.”

hiccups on your journey are just strength testers that show you how strong you are. The first step to any recovery process is admitting there is a problem (I am scared). The second step is identifying the issue (like I fear heights, but why do you fear heights?). Admitting your fears helps, it shows you are self-aware. Journaling helps a lot too. Write down the woman you would be or how life would look for you if you didn’t have fear in the way. Then, write down your goals (in black pen), after, write down what’s stopping you from achieving those goals (in red pen next to each goal), next write down (with a green pen) how you would accomplish those goals. For the first three days, review your goals and fears. On the fourth day, cross out everything you wrote in red pen, so now all you are focused on are your goals and how you will execute them. You should have a shift in your mindset. After that, nothing to it but to do it! After 21 days, this will become a habit. Remind yourself each day of your goals and how you will accomplish them. Nothing happens overnight, so take your time and embrace your journey. Fear will creep up and make you feel helpless and as if you’re not enough. Just know, you are enough and more than capable of becoming the woman you are destined to become. Work at your goals daily, stay persistent and consistent. Us women hold so much power. We are brave, strong, limitless, courageous, bold and FEARLESS. 88







Too much to do and too little time…. always! It’s the story of our lives, because well... the more responsibilities we have, the more life demands of us. If you want to look at what’s demanding straight in the eyes, send me your address, and I will ship you a 42 inch, 42 pound four year old child and a bowl of candy for a weekend. I ASSURE YOU….. sweeter than the tooth of a child, are their will, dedication and relentless persistence to get what they desire.

in our lives deserves to be tended to, and it’s time we make the time! Balancing, breathing and stretching are crucial to our personal and professional development. Without balance we have no stability, without stretching we are unable to see how limitless our potential is, and without taking a moment

Perhaps it’s time to re-route? What brings life fulfillment is not completing a daily checklist of to-dos. What we desire more of 90


Happiness and accomplishment await and YOUR happiness is forever WORTH demanding. - Amanda Ashley Live Videocast every M/W/F livestreamed and archived at w w w . Subscribe to Afternoon Cocktail on Youtube!

We all once were children ourselves, so what the hell happened? If you’re physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted by the end of your days, chances are your attack on your demands has become a little less intensified. Life becomes a big squeeze, and often the things we care most about suffer.

delegate each of your precious moments, and let go of what no longer positively serves your life. Set loose that relentlessly persistent child within, and take steps towards pursuing the life you’ve always dreamed.

to breathe, we lose sight of who we are. Demand what’s right for you, by asking “What more do I want” and consider how the choices you make today will affect your future. Time and space are limited, so it’s wise to be conscious of how you

Available on Itunes, Spotify, I heart Radio, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Music, Alexa, etc, so catch up on your inspiration and keep spreading good energy to those around you!




{ AFTERNOON COCKTAIL { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Happiness and accomplishment await and YOUR happiness is forever WORTH demanding. ”








“Living Thrifty Doesn’t Mean Living Less”. My entire tagline, passion, business, and moto is wrapped up that concisely in six words. Those words say everything about how I view living a styled life with a secondhand-first mentality.

Well, I’m here to share those secrets with you. My goal each month is to bring you the best thrift tips I can, to combat myths about thrifting and to provide a spotlight on why you too should care about what’s happening

My name is Sarah, owner/founder/ creator of Second Look. I have taken my passion for thrifting, treasurehunting, and living sustainably and turned it into a business where I work every day with empowering women in the way they style, the way they think, and how they live. I often get asked why I love thrifting; of course, I lead with the quintessential “it’s the thrill of the hunt!” Which, in fact, it is. Walking in and never knowing what you could find – whether for yourself or others – and leaving even more excited for the next time. Then taking those items and adding them into your wardrobe and unique flair to your home, all while bragging “Thanks I got it thrifting!” – well that’s just the cherry on top of this thrifty cake. Take, for example, this epic cart haul. What can I say, I like big (thrift) carts and I cannot lie. And to think – this wasn’t even one of my biggest! I’ve started gaining traction on my social platforms with pictures like this, with the questions always being “how do you do that and find the best stuff?!”

in the fast-fashion industry … and your stylish carbon footprint as a result. To empower each of you to give secondhand a try if you aren’t already, to re-wear something in your closet in a unique way without buying new each time, to donate

rather than ditch, and to ultimately see the amazing goods you can score at a thrift and secondhand store (and shopping recycled goods locally is in fact supporting local – and for many businesses, shopping small. Win win!) It doesn’t matter your genre or style – you can find it. And you’ll look unique in that it’s all your own, whether it’s a highrise pair of vintage Levi’s or the perfect pair of circa-1990’s Steve Madden boots. Or if you’re looking for something more “2021 style” (and either way let’s be honest everything that once was comes back again) then have no fear – I often see coveted designer brands, athletic wear (hello Lululemon!), and in-the-now items new with tag hanging on the rack. Hanging, and waiting to be found and loved by you (and kept out of a landfill). As a sneak-peek, here’s an example of what you can expect to see in this column in the future. I find no greater joy than walking into an event or any room and knowing my outfit has that Boom-MicDrop quality – and then smiling and saying “thanks, it’s thrifted”. When you give me a style to look for, I make it a point to mimic it but also provide my own styled flair. I have yet to meet a look I wasn’t able to put together through secondhand. Because after all (say it with me now!) – living thrifty doesn’t mean living



{ { SHIFT+CONTROL SECOND LOOK } } “I often get asked why I love thrifting; of course, I lead with the quintessential “it’s the thrill of the hunt!”







the solution to cash flow problems.

This month is Women’s History Month and I thought it would be a great opportunity to celebrate women in business. Women-owned businesses make up a little over a third of the overall total, or 4 out of every 10 businesses in the U.S. generating $1.8 trillion in revenue. According to a report done by American Express in 2019, women-owned businesses accounted 49% of all businesses with 21% of those owned by women of color. Women-owned businesses employ 9.4 million people, which is 8% of the total private sector workforce.

Madam C.J. Walker made her business more than just about the product. It became a movement for empowering other women. She encouraged other women entrepreneurs to start a business and to go after their dreams. She motivated women to want to stand on their own two-feet. Over a century later, Walker’s lessons are still being taught and recongized today. How

In celebration, we can pay homage to the first woman in history, Madam C.J. Walker, who taught us about entrepreneurship. She was the first self-made millionaire in the U.S, selling African-American hair care products in the early 1900s. Some of the lessons we can learn from Madam C.J. Walker in entrepreneurship is to be knowledgeable in your industry. Take time to learn and gain experience in your field so that you are viewed as an expert. Learn how to delegate and leverage your business by building a solid team. Know when it’s the right time to grow your business and relocate if necessary. Know your product and target market. Most importantly, learn how to sale. Having skills to sale is 100


can you apply this to your business? What can we do to help celebrate and support other women in business? Let’s empower women to start that business they were thinking of. Grow your network by connecting with other powerful women in business. Send thank you notes, invite each other out to lunch, put a group together that meets every month to share the ups and downs, the successes and failures of being in business. Have a women-owned business support group

to share your experiences with and get advice from. Take time to research women who are accomplished in your industry. Learn from their journeys and reflect on how they overcame the adversities and obstacles in their successes. Establish ways to show your value and how you overcame your challenges. This month is definitely the month to uplift and inspire other women in business, now more than ever. We have dealt with a year of challenges, hardship and uncer tainty. Although things are looking brighter and promising, be a blessing to others. Offer support, advice and tips to other women entrepreneurs. Collaborate, motivate and inspire. Conversance Business Solutions is a fullservice administrative support, and consultancy firm, serving businesses from small to mid-size nationwide. Our team specializes in various virtual assistant services and onsite support tailored to meet each of our client’s needs. Whether we work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements, we bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. We hope these tips were helpful. Get in touch with us today at 585-484-0038 or visit us online at www.conversance. biz for your business needs.








Rumella “LaDiva” Cameron A LADYBOSS WHO IS HUSTLING!





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

WHAT WE DO? We are specialized and efficient service providers who ultimately become valued business partners. We work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements.

SUPPORT We offer solutions and customized plans.

STRATEGY Define your vision and your goals.

ANALYSIS A better service for your company.



Get in touch 585 484 0038 510 Clinton Sq, New York, USA





Please give a warm welcome to the latest She Hustles Talks cover woman, the “Diva” herself, Rumella Cameron. So you are a professional wrestler, a real estate agent, and a business owner of Conversance Business Solutions LLC. Plus, you are a mother. Tell our readers a little bit about Rumella “LaDiva” Cameron and your background.

& and the Hardy Boys, and Chyna. I thought it was cool. One day I was watching tv and saw a buddy of mines on a local channel wrestling. I called the network to get in touch with the promoter, and that’s how I got started. I signed up for training a few weeks later. Where did the wrestling name and persona “La Diva” come from?

My name is Rumella Cameron. I am a mother of 3, the CEO of Conversance Business Solutions, a real estate agent, and I am a community activist, where I served as the town leader in a political committee. Which of your 3 professions came first? I actually started wresting in 2007. Two years out of high school, I began to pursue my wrestling career. I then started my business in 2015, and I became a licensed real estate agent last January 2020. Tell us about being a professional wrestler. How did you start? What made you want to do something like that? What got me interested in wrestling, my family and I would sit around the tv on Monday nights and watch it together. WWE, formally known as WWF during the Attitude Era was the best. I would see superstars such as the Rock, Lita

My wrestling persona is like my alter ego lol. She’s fierce and takes no mess from anyone. I have high standards, so LaDiva, which means The Diva transpired. In the ring, I am the heal, which in better terms, the villain. I love playing the bad girls. Brains, beauty, and brutality is my tagline. Being the only female wrestler in Upstate NY and becoming the women’s

champion in just a few promotions on the east coast and in Canada, I was that chic. The majority of my opponents were men. So I had no issue going toe to toe with the guys. Hey, why not? What made you decide to start your own business and become a female entrepreneur in Real Estate and Conversance Business Solutions? I follow and a lot of successful entrepreneurs and business owners. Success millionaires say the key to success is to have seven streams of income. I whole-heartily believe in that. You can’t always rely on a basket, and you should never put all your eggs in one basket. But I do this strategically, of course. There’s only so much time in a day. But I was ready to go on my own and be on my boss. I founded Conversance in 2015, serving small to mid-sized businesses nationally, providing administrative support and business strategies. What got me into real estate, one of our clients was building their team, and we helped streamlined their processes and systems, and it just grew from there. Why not get into real estate. Real estate is the best way to make investments and build up your financial portfolio. What made you decide to start Conversance, and what is its mission?




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } “ I love playing the bad girls. Brains, beauty, and brutality is my tagline. ”

Our mission is to be the top virtual assistant firm in the US, providing administrative support and business services to small and medium businesses that are either starting up or expanding. Not too many entrepreneurs have the resources to hire a team, and we provide one at a fraction of the cost. We help with business planning, executing the plan, and building up your team to help you be successful in your business. As a business owner, what would you say are your top priorities for both yourself in the business and also for your clients? My top priorities are business development, sales, and client retention. I spend the majority of my time finding ways to be a resource to our clients and how we can help them grow their business. Their success is ours. Lead generation is a daily task.

The funny thing is, I love Millionaire Dollar Listing NY and I have been following Ryan Serhant for many years. Although the real estate market is not the same as it is in NYC or LA, I’ve learned so much that I have applied to my own real estate business. Another reason why I got into real estate is much bigger than me. Some people believe that they are not able to achieve buying a home, and I am changing that narrative. Everyone should be able to qualify for a home, understand the home buying process, and know there are grants and resources available to them. So I work with buyers and educate them on this. It makes me happy to get a buyer into their new or even first home. We are on the journey together.

my mother and grandmother. Strong black women who did everything on their own to provide and take care of their families. I wanted to prove to them that their hard work and the life they have provided weren’t in vain.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why?

That’s a great question. I believe I am the fire. But I am really good at putting them out. What defines a person is how they can pressure.

How do you define success? Success means many things to many people. What success means to me and that I am surrounded by people who love and support me. Success to me is knowing that somehow I have inspired someone and/or made some type of impact on them. Do you spend more time lighting fires or putting them out?

Ho w d o y o u m a r k e t y o u r business, and which tactics have you found to be most successful, especially during a pandemic?

No, every failure leads to success. In failing, you learn a lesson. My path is mine to take and made me into the person I am today.

I market my business by networking with other businesses, introducing myself, setting up meetings, reaching out via social media, and cold calling. The most effective way we gain new clients is through reaching out on LinkedIn and following up with cold-calls and emails. Sometimes I would try snail mail, but that didn’t bring much success. The direct interactions have been very successful.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful as both a professional female wrestler and a female business owner?

Hustler is my middle name. What makes me a hustler is that no matter what life throws my way I always find a way to maneuver and get to my goals.

Top 3 skills would be perseverance, determination, and patience.

Where do you see your businesses a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years? Will you still be wrestling?

What was your key driving force to become a real estate agent?

Who has been your greatest inspiration? My greatest inspiration has been the many women before me that went through struggles to carve a path for themselves and generations later. Mostly,

Te l l o u r a u d i e n c e w h a t m a k e s y o u a h u s t l e r. . .

In a year, I see my business with a huge team, helping businesses all over the world and providing jobs locally. I do plan on wrestling until my body tells me it’s time to stop. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021





{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “We are changing the trajectory. Black women represent 42% of new women-owned businesses.”

Do you walk your talk? Always!

Black women represent 42% of new women-owned businesses.

Do you think being a minority has helped or hindered you in business?

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

I don’t make it an issue, but I know for sure there are systems in place to keep us down. I don’t always get the same opportunities as my other counterparts, so I make the opportunity. It honestly shouldn’t matter. I see more opportunities coming because I am a minority women-owned business. We are changing the trajectory.

After attending Brockport, I was actually a Criminal Justice Major and Business Administration and Military Science. I was planning on going into the Army as an officer. I decided that wasn’t the best choice for my family. So I decided I can still serve and did the RPD test and passed. But of course, life doesn’t always go as planned.

What is one piece of advice you have been giving that has helped shape who you are? When I was attending Genesee Community College, I had a professor that I went to get advice from, and she told me, “Your life begins the moment you step outside your comfort zone.” She was right. Each year I find a way to push myself to the next level. Of your 3 VERY different career choices, which has been your favorite and why? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I really feel as though the pandemic has helped my business. With companies going virtual, we were able to shine during this time by providing virtual assistant services. ”

Professional wrestling. When I am in that ring, I feel alive. I feel free. I feel at home. It’s my passion. But I know putting my body on the line like that is not good for my family. I have my babies I have to come home to.

awareness and reach more businesses.

owner looking to grow and expand.

What would you say your clients think is your best quality?

What does your family t h i n k a b o u t w h a t yo u d o , especially being a pro wrestler?

My interpersonal communication

Has the pandemic helped or hindered your business? I really feel as though the pandemic has helped my business. With companies going virtual, we were able to shine during this time by providing virtual assistant services. We’ve been trying to show businesses for years the benefits of doing a majority of the workflow virtually and how it saves them time and money. The crazy thing is I started my real estate business right before the pandemic, it was slow at first, but I was able to get my first three sales before the end of the year. I wish I was able to do more, but hey, that’s what life threw my way. Have to make the most of it. Do you have any big business plans for 2021? Well, yes I do. We are going into year six, and we plan on doing a huge marketing push to increase 118


My kids think I am a rock star. I don’t see it, but everyone always tells me how I inspire them. That makes me happy. I am just doing what I can and living to my full potential. What would be one bit of advice you would give to young women wanting to start their own business? START!!! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, or talk you out of a decision. Keep your eyes on the prize, do what makes you happy and live your life. Make-up: Lamany Chanthavong Hair: Quanda Weaver Stylist: Latrice Brown Vyntage Junkie Skin care & Creative Director: Vaughan Pinckney

skills. I am to connect with my clients, and they like that. I understand their wants and needs and what they are looking to accomplish, whether they are a home buyer or a business






ANGELA TEWA My name is Angela Tewa, a 26-year-old New York City native currently living in Western New York. I have grown to be a woman of many hats. I am a proud boy mom of a precious oneyear-old son, associate’s and bachelors degree holder in Criminal Justice, and I graduate with my master’s degree in Social Work from the University at Buffalo this May of 2021. I also intern with the NYS Department of Parole. Throughout my entire graduate program, I have been working as a caseworker and skill builder in child welfare for at risk youth and families in the system. I have recently resigned to dedicate my undivided attention and focus in school while preparing for post graduation.

self-care. Of course, after leaving a full-time job, yeah, it was time to cut down on so many collaborative projects. After all, I think I got quite a few years of building my craft and gaining experience in so many different

I have gotten questions about the possible conflict of modeling and my career in criminal justice/social work. Now, as I am about to graduate with my master’s, my goal is to use my platform to advocate for human rights and combine the two! The climate that we are in in this country is intense on all levels, especially with the black lives matter movement, racism, police brutality, LGBTQ+ justice, gender inequality and the list goes on. I think it would be pretty negligent of me as a young black woman and black mother of a black son, to just continue to take pretty pictures, and that’s it. I’m not just a pretty face.

I am incredibly ardent in my line of work in the field. That is one thing that I’m sure will never change is my human rights perspectives, my compassion for people, and my genuine heart to help. In 2016, I took up a modeling offer and had not stopped since. Many people have asked me, “Why didn’t you make it into a business earlier?” I’ve always loved being in front of the camera, but telling stories and creating art through my pictures is such a fulfilling and inspirational deed to me. I’ve always had full-time work, money was never a motive, and no matter how many paid gigs I get, it never will be. It is my passion, and it is my

What started off as a hobby then became a serious passion and money maker. I have been blessed with many opportunities such as runway, modeling for local brands, freelance photography, music videos, and extra roles in popular series such as Orange Is The New Black and SVU: Law and Order.

aspects of the industry to be able to take the following steps. Still, up to this day, I love being active in the community, helping others create, helping others get experience and genuinely networking and making friends with like-minded individuals.

There’s purpose behind my choices as a creative. There are so many ways that I have utilized my “social media presence” and will continue to, to speak out against issues and speak for those who never got the chance to or who simply can’t. Signing petitions, sharing stories, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021





{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I’ve always had full-time work, money was never a motive, and no matter how many paid gigs I get, it never will be.”

voting, getting involved in black lives matter campaigns, supporting black businesses, having those difficult conversations with others, simply telling someone, it is not enough to not just be racist, you have to be constantly anti-racist, so on and so forth.

Be sure to check out and like, if you’re feeling generous, my modeling business page on Facebook, AngelaTewa, if you’d like to book me as a model for any commercial brands, creative portraits, videos, etc other modeling projects. You can also check me out on Instagram at @princesa_angiee

to see all of my cool creations and also subscribe to my new YouTube channel that documents my modeling life, called “Off The Record”.




ROBIN LEONE Tell us a little about Robin Leone and your background: I was raised in a small town, Mt Morris, NY, the best town by a Dam Site! (Mt Morris is located near Letchworth State Park and the Dam). Graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo with a BA in Communications and kicked off my career in sales/customer service and quickly included Management.

on vacation, or only allow me a one-week vacation per year, give me permission to take a day off for a personal reason, or extend a holiday to spend time with my family, and I did not want a ceiling on what I can earn. I also wanted to help people that would make a difference in their lives. Assisting clients with jewelry needs did not seem to do that for me.

I was in the Jewelry industry for 15 years which took me from Buffalo, NY to Chicago, IL to Rochester, NY where I now call home. After 15 years in the jewelry industry I wanted a change, I wanted to control my own schedule and be my own boss. (This is something I have dream about for an exceptionally long time well before my jewelry career). I shifted gears and worked on getting my Life, Accident, and Health License and my Property and Casualty License within a 4-month period. After a short time working in the Life Insurance industry, I decided to get into the Property and Casualty arena. I worked in this field for a year and half when I overheard someone talking about the Medicare industry. I immediately investigated it in 2016 and have not looked back! What made you decide to start your own insurance company? What type of insurance do you specialize in and why? I knew at some point I wanted to have my own business and Medicare made that possible. I have always wanted to work for myself and be able to make my own decisions. I no longer wanted someone else to tell me when I could go 130


What makes you hustle? I have always been an independent woman; I do not rely on anyone to help me or hand me anything. My hustle is fueled by my burning desire to be successful on my own. Everything I have and everything I have accomplished, I did it on my own. I have certainly struggled at times and I took risks to get where I am now. It is the accomplishment, the success, being able to help others in both with my clients and my agents, seeing them happy and successful makes me keep going as well. To be able to step back and say “I did this, I accomplished this” keeps me going. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? There are several ways to find new clients. The two that I use consistently are: reaching out to potential clients that have mailed in a request card for more information about Medicare and from referrals either from existing clients or from colleagues from other professions. Both have been phenomenally successful for me.

My area of concentration is Medicare. I assist those that are eligible for Medicare with all their decisions related to their health insurance. I love my field; I love working with Seniors and being able to help them with finally getting to a dentist or making sure they are covered when they are traveling, along with helping them save money on their insurance needs.

When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? I think the question should read, when did the entrepreneur bug NOT bite me! For as long as I can remember I have always dreamt of being my own boss and having my own business. I really started to see it come to light when I started my Medicare career. Where do you see Maust & Leone Insurance Agency 5 years from now? Brian and I are hoping to be the Medicare resource center for the Seniors in the




{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I have always been an independent woman; I do not rely on anyone to help me or hand me anything. My hustle is fueled by my burning desire to be successful on my own.”

Rochester area. Our goal is when it is time for Medicare we want people to think of Maust & Leone Insurance. We want to be the place where people come to get educated, ask questions, and be assisted with enrolling in their Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplement Plans and/or Part D Plans. We also want our clients to feel comfortable coming into our office and feel like they are visiting a friend and not so much a stuffy office. We have a homey feel and would like to continue that over the next several years. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome during the pandemic? I really do not think there has been a “challenge” to overcome rather than adjusting as to how I conduct my business and assisting my clients. Everything I do to help my current clients and potential clients can be done remotely. Our office space has greatly increased within the last few months and we have no problem social distancing if we do see a client in the office. We also conduct business using the phone and email. It has totally changed the way I conduct my business. Some of the carriers I represent make it extremely easy to conduct business virtually. Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? I believe being a business owner means to take on responsibility for not just for myself but for others, ownership, guidance, training, leading by example, these are just a few characteristics associated with starting a business. 134


Both myself and my business partner, Brian Maust, take this very seriously. Others depend on us, whether it is our clients or our team of agents. We are 100% committed to our business, our field, our agents, and our clients.

face knowing they no longer must worry about health care and they have someone they can turn to for assistance (me!). The other favorite part is seeing my agents be successful and help their clients in the same manner.

I became an entrepreneur in the first place for many reasons. Again, I wanted to take control of my own destiny, be rewarded for my own efforts whether good or bad, and the freedom that comes with being your own boss.

What would you say are your strengths as a business owner? Strengths are equivalent to what you like to do most. I like to establish a rapport and a relationship with my clients and prospects. I treat them like they are family or a good friend. I enjoy training and supporting my team of agents, seeing them succeed is gratifying. I am honest and responsible. I put my business first and all that it encompasses. Over the years I have established good work habits and I am a good listener. There is not anything I would not do for my business partner, Brian, my business, my agents or my clients.

Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? There are many leaders in this business that I look up to. I look at their success as a whole and try to model my business after them. I am grateful for their leadership and guidance and because of that I work extremely hard to extend the same to my team of agents and other agents that are looking for some help along the way. What’s the best business advice you have received that you want to pass on to others? The best business advice is to treat every client like they are a family member. I truly do this with all my clients and potential clients. Offer the best service you can, show empathy, be responsive to their inquiries, and be honest. What is your favorite part of the business? The satisfaction that comes with helping someone be able to finally go to the doctor or get to go see a dentist or they now can afford to pick up their medications. Seeing the relief on their

If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? I am a firm believer in things happen for a reason, when I first started this business, I dove in headfirst and did not look back. The one thing I would tell myself is I wish there were a way I could have started this business sooner than I did. I overheard someone else talking about the Medicare industry and pursued it from there. My only thing I would do different is to get involved in this industry much sooner than I did.






{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I knew at some point I wanted to have my own business and Medicare made that possible. I have always wanted to work for myself and be able to make my own decisions.”

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? My greatest professional accomplishment is opening my agency with my business partner, Brian Maust. Starting our own agency and being able to maintain it is the greatest accomplishment for me. I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am, I do not take it for granted. Every day I go to our office and see my name on the door, I pinch myself and think back to when I first started, and I am extremely humble and grateful for what I have accomplish thus far. What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an initial idea to really going full force into business ? It took about 2 years into working in the Medicare field that I was able to start an agency with Brian. It happened so fast, I showed up every day, worked hard, and did not allow anything to distract me. Before I knew it, I was off and running and Brian and I were discussing joining forces to open our own agency. He believed in me, I believed in him and as the days, weeks and months went by we were doing it! We now have a team of agents and our agency is successful. I am surprised by every day that we are open and helping our clients. What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new business owner to learn and why? DO NOT give up on your dream(s)! It is okay to ask for help, find a partner

that you can trust, that you can share ideas no matter how silly they may seem. You need to have someone that you can bounce ideas off, someone that will bring value to the table, and someone that has strengths where you are weak. Have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve, and your actions should contribute to productivity and moving you closer to your goal. Be organized and do not ever apologize for your vision. Go after it!!!

and productive. It has allowed me to become my own boss, it has given me my freedom, and it has allowed me to do things that I normally would not have been able to do.

What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? I love spending time with my family and friends, love traveling, and I love shopping! What is your Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? The one Business Goal that Maust & Leone Insurance has for the next year is to become the Medicare Resource Center for Seniors to call and visit when they have questions regarding their Medicare needs. We will be offering educational seminars, a place for Seniors to go to discuss all things Medicare, and we want to build our agency name to become synonymous with Medicare. If you needed to start it all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing to change, add or subtract, what would it be? To be honest, I would not change a thing. I have been extremely fortunate that my path in this Medicare journey has been exciting, a great experience, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021



NECHOLE RAPLEY What is is like being a female entrepreneur and owning two businesses? Being a female entrepreneur is great. It can come with a few challenges as any business owner would have, but it’s nice. A great responsibility though.

be uniquely you. There is an audience specifically for you. What goals have you set for yourself personally as well as professionally this year? Most of my goals revolve around giving

Tell us about Kinky Kustomz and Black Coffee Lounge... Kinky Kustomz was previously named Flotress Hair Studio. In 2016 I was tired of the 9 to 5 not allowing me availability for my child. This was so important due to being a single mother, so I decided to put my hair license to use. As for Black Coffee Lounge, I am a huge coffee lover and I wanted to open simply for the love of coffee and to bring a different vibe of events to Rochester.

What is your favorite part of doing what you do? Bring a part of making people feel good about their hair and also about themselves. As a business owner, what are your top three priorities? Making customers happy, creating a positive environment, and cleanliness are definietely my top priorities. Where do you see your businesses in the next year? What about 3 years from now? In the next year I would like to travel more. Indulge in my first business idea of a traveling stylist. Then move out of Rochester and expand my horizons.

Tell us about your background and what makes you hustle. I have come from a line of female entrepreneurs. My mother owns a cleaning service, although she’s retired now. Her sister, my aunt is also a hair stylist and make up artist in Michigan . The list goes on. What really makes me hustle is being counted out after having a child at 16. However, God has seen fit for something more! Have you found it to be more challenging or easier being a minority and female business owner? Big or small, a business is all about money management , consistency and endurance. Plus, not comparing yourself, or your business to others, but 140


What is most important to you and why at this point in your life? I can answer that easily. The most important thing is making sure my son graduates. Making sure that he gets to where he needs to be. Since he is my only child, I have to make sure of that.

back and finding ways to help others. What is one thing you have done in business to get ahead that you do not regret? Keeping great customer service, quality work, and keeping a new a fresh look.

Have you found it hard to be a business owner during the pandemic? What have you struggled with? I found it to be whatever I made it, Being creative, thinking outside the box, and most importantly, having faith. And my phone has never rung so much. What advice would you give other minority women who are thinking about starting their own business?




“Big or small, a business is all about money management, consistency, and endurance. Not comparing yourself, or your business to others and being uniquely you! There is an audience specifically for you.”

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “ In the next year I would like to travel and to style more. Then in the next three years possibly moving out of Rochester and expanding my horizons.”

I would say DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF OR BUSINESS TO OTHERS. Be unique, creative and be totally you. We have lost being who we really are and once you do that major growth will happen. There’s always an audience waiting for newness is that you? What would be the one word that you would use to describe yourself? Unbreakable. 144


How many hours a day do you work on average? About 6 to 8. How did you come up with the names of your businesses? Well, Kinky Kustomz comes from my jewelry business. I make loc jewelry, hair oil and more!

How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful? Through social media ( Instagram, Facebook, tic tok more! How do you define success? Being able to get up everyday and love what you do.








Tell us a little bit about yourself and how your background. I had been a pharmacy technician for 18 years, and it was just getting crazier and crazier. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep going at that pace, so i started to keep my eyes and ears open for a new career. On vacation to california, I treated myself to a spa day which included a facial. A lightbulb went off, and I started asking her questions about the profession. Upon coming home, I contacted a school and started my courses in a few weeks. I worked for a couple of spas after graduation, but i had my vision of using clean, organic products and focusing on overall wellbeing. I’ve been on my own now for about 5 years. How did you start the organic chameleon? Tell us about how you came up with such a unique name. I started as “Esthetics by Jen” ( a name given to me by groupon) and started a facebook page. As I grew, I wanted legally to protect myself and decided to become an llc. I struggled with the name for 3 days

then finally said...ok. Time to step back and give it a rest. Within one minute the Organic Chameleon came to me and I loved it! What makes you hustle? I really enjoy the psychology of getting people interested in my product, so I’m always brainstorming to create a new ad or spa special to get people interested.

How do you find new clients? What has been your most significant success? I can’t thank groupon enough for building my business. No one would have known about me otherwise. Yes, i had to split my fee with them, but without clients, you have no business! I looked at it as the only

advertising you only pay for when a client buys your product. I will still do a groupon: time to time, but have built my business enough that i was able to cut the cord. My biggest success is to educate people on how to take care of their skin, ease their pain with my infrared sauna and offer an upbeat, relaxing and fun environment. When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? I think I was born trying to make money! As a child, I would have shows where we would lip sync and show off talents for a small fee, create haunted houses for muscular dystrophy and even sell my toys. Where do you see yourself three years from now? Three years from now i hope to no longer worry about getting more clients and have impacted my community with skincare education. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome during the pandemic? My biggest challenge to overcome was a personal one rather than ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


“Three years from now I hope to no longer worry about getting more clients and have impacted my community with skincare education.”

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I really enjoy the psychology of getting people interested in my product, so I’m always brainstorming to create a new ad or spa special to get people interested.”

business. I closed when I was required to close. Isolation was a huge problem for me and continued to get creative to keep myself busy. For business, my biggest challenge right now is to get people to come back. Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? I really enjoy the independence of running your own business. I’m free to try new things and discontinue them if not working. I’m able to adjust my service to suit my clients and not subject to a product line’s protocol. Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? My teachers at the continental school of beauty helped me to feel good about my education and my skills. They are absolutely wonderful there! What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Keep it simple and keep it cheap. An example: i wanted a lit sign for my window and estimates were $500-$900. That was unacceptable to me! I created a window cling through vistaprint and ordered some linkable lighting for around the window and lit sign... for just under $200! 152


What is your favorite part of the business? I really enjoy the education part of my business. Many do not know nor think it is important to really take care of your skin until they get wrinkles or dark spots. The sooner you start, the better! What would you say are your strengths as an entrepreneur? Thinking outside the box, being reasonable with recommendations (reasonable pricing) and providing light and fun interaction (or quiet, if that’s what the client wants). If you could time travel back to day one of your startups and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what would you tell yourself? I would have started with groupon immediately. I waited a year or so before doing so and wasted valuable time. What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? Learning some new techniques and treatments to offer clients as well as starting a new career in my late 50’s What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new entrepreneur to learn and why?

Imperative to work in your desired field with others first and learn whatever you can. Then hook up with someone in the business that is willing to mentor you along the way. When was the hardest of all times in your startup journey, why, and what helped you with it? I was very fortunate that I as able to taper my full-time hours at the pharmacy to allow me to work more at my business as it became busier. A true blessing! So no real hardships starting but covid certainly through me, and everyone else, for a loop. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? I like to create...floral arrangements, decorating, crossword puzzles, reading What is number one business goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? Getting back to where I was before covid and surpassing it! If you needed to start it all over again tomorrow and you had just one thing to change, add or subtract, what would it be? I wish I had a mentor along the way. I do help others now, as I can.











Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started the Sacred Goddess Box, LLC. Greetings Goddesses! My name is Tracy Donaldson and I am a woman who wears many hats. I am a Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Nurse, Goddess Steam Practitioner, and Entrepreneur. Rochester, New York is where I was born, raised and of course reside. Coming from a family of a Jamaican decent - the importance of family, hard work, and dedication has been instilled in me from a very young age which I owe to my parents. However, I have to give credit to attending The first HBCU, Lincoln University, for instilling in me great core values, being a woman of integrity, as well as a leader. What exactly is the Sacred Goddess Box, LLC? Sacred Goddess Box, LLC’s is a holistic practice focusing on feminine wellness. The highlighted service provided is using hydrotherapy through Yoni (vaginal) Steaming. Yoni steaming also known as V-Steam is a non-invasive, self-care, holistic practice where women sit over a pot of warm organic herbal steam. The warm (never hot) steam permeates the exterior of the vagina and up into the womb. Women find this service to be very relaxing. The vagina is porous like a sponge and because it is so porous, it can easily absorb the medicinal properties and oils of the organic herbs that are used. I blend my herbs so they are tailored to my clients needs rather it’s for a refresher to if she’s trying to conceive to everything else

in between. Yoni steaming has a range of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits such as: • Reducing menstrual cramping and symptoms of PMS • Helps with odor • Decreases heavy menstrual flow • Regulates irregular or absent periods

and ph balance to aid in prevention of yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and odor • Relieves symptoms of menopause such as dryness or pain during sex • Detoxifies the womb and body • Helps to release stored emotions & anxiety • Helps to activate feminine energy by allowing women to tap into their creativity • Relieves tension and induces relaxation • Helps with insomnia • Can help aid in healing from past sexual trauma Other services that are offered here at Sacred Goddess Box, LLC are Womb Stimulation, Womb Clay pack, Ionic Foot Detox, Ear Candling, and Post-Surgical Lymphatic Drainage as well as Body Contouring will be available soon.

• Helps with postpartum healing and toning • Helps with those suffering from idiopathic infertility • Aids with uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis • Help with strengthening the pelvic floor and tightens the vaginal canal • Helps to restore natural “good” bacteria

The entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one. It requires determination, time, hard work and leadership. What motives you and keeps you going? What motivates me are the women I have thus far encountered on this journey. Many women have entered my suite with the weight of the world on their shoulders. To see that weight lifted by the end of their session and to see the smiles on their faces as they are leaving let’s me know I am walking in my purpose. I love doing this. It never feels like a work. It’s like I get to hang out with my girlfriends every day!






{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ Sacred Goddess Box, LLC’s is a holistic practice focusing on feminine wellness.”

How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? Finding new clients isn’t an easy task. There are several women to my knowledge in the Rochester area who offer these services. So there is definitely a selection to choose from. However, by word of mouth, client testimonials, awareness, educating, and advertising on social media, the word gets around to other women. The women who are meant for me find themselves at Sacred Goddess Box, LLC. What made you decide to get into such a unique business? I’ve always wanted to be a business owner. In 2018, I was out of work for approximately 5 months. I used that time to research different successful small businesses. I learned that feminine wellness was on the rise. I recalled visiting a friend in Atlanta where we had a Yoni Steam. I really enjoyed the experience and wished there was something similar offered in Rochester. So I figured, how hard could it be to throw herbs in a pot of boiling water? Unbeknownst to me, it was way more than that. Since I was unaware of any actual businesses who provided Yoni Steaming, I decided to try my hand. I found a certification program in Atlanta that taught the art of Yoni steaming. It was a three day program and by the end I became a Certified Goddess Steam Practitioner. I opened my business to begin in my home and have since opened a suite in October of 2020. Where do you see yourself in five years? In 5 years, I see my business expanding to a larger location where I am able to

offer services to multiple clients at at time without disrupting the sacred experience that I now provide to my clients. What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur especially in 2021? In 2021, a successful female entrepreneur first and foremost has to believe in herself. She has to believe in what she is setting out to accomplish before anyone else believes in it. To know that she will be knocked down a multitude of times and it’s up to her to picker herself up, brush herself off and keep pushing forward. To have the mentality to not be afraid to ask for help. To know that there may be many women doing the same thing she is doing but she has to remember no one has the same recipe that she holds. And her only competitor should be herself! Because who God has for her is for HER and no one else. What makes you hustle? There are 3 things that make me hustle. One, if I want to eventually run my business full time I have to work hard. I cannot get to where I want to be if I don’t put the work in. So knowing my vision and where I want to eventually take Sacred Goddess Box, LLC keeps the hustle going. Two, the women I encounter. I have learned since doing this, there are so many women dealing with reproductive ailments, lack of vision, sexual traumas - to be able to talk with them, set goals, come up with a plan pertaining to whatever it is they are going through in life - to help them set their intentions and watch it manifest is truly rewarding for me. Getting positive results makes me want to go harder for

our women. And three, I have people who look up to me. I have to set an example. Mom/Godmom/Auntie is not a quitter. I’m going to finish what i started. I’m paving the way to show them anything can be accomplished if you put your mind to it and put in the work. Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? Tracey Bryant-Swint, Alchemist and Queen of the V-Steam, has played a major role in inspiring me on my professional path. She’s who I gained my knowledge from. She is absolutely amazing and a go-getter! She’s so knowledgeable; always seeking to learn more to heighten her craft so she can come back and educate her mentees. Because of her, we’re always up to date on the latest and greatest when it comes to feminine wellness. Watching her makes me want to do more, learn more, and be greater. What do you think are the top 5 qualities of a great female entrepreneur are? • Life-Learner • Integrity • Vision • Confidence • Courage • Respect. Sorry I had to throw in an extra What is your favorite part of your business and why? I love meeting the different women I have encountered. They come from many walks of life ranging 14 to 75 years of age. I love hearing their stories. I love learning from them. And I am honored to have have been able to help ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “Many women have entered my suite with the weight of the world on their shoulders. To see that weight lifted by the end of their session and to see the smiles on their faces as they are leaving let’s me know I am walking in my purpose.”

What would you say are your strengths? My greatest strength is my ability to listen. Listening is to empathize. It gives the speaker a sense that I care about their well-being and I’m there to help. Listening is Power.

Sacred Goddess Box, LLC? Before opening my business I was and currently work as a Master prepared Registered Nurse for a local hospital here in Rochester as a coordinator for the Department of Surgery.

If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? To not second guess myself. To tune out the naysayers and that my biggest supporters will be those I least expect. If I would have known this in the beginning, there would have been many thing I would not have taken personally.

How did you come up with the name for your company? In the art of Yoni Steaming, the word “Yoni” means “Sacred” space. A “Goddess” is a female deity. Goddesses have been linked with virtues such as

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? My biggest accomplishment to date has been helping 4 women who were told they would never have a baby, conceive and birthed beautiful beings. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? All money isn’t good money. It’s okay to tell a potential client that you cannot service them. It’s important to protect your energy and your space. What did you do before opening the 160


beauty, love, sexuality, motherhood, and fertility. As women we must know and embrace that. So hence “Sacred Goddess” and then there is “Box”. It can mean one of two things: either a square object that can store items (in this case the throne or stool women sit over to steam) or woman’s vagina. And there you have it, Sacred Goddess Box, LLC. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? During my free time, I enjoy cooking,

reading for knowledge as well as for entertainment, and I also enjoy traveling. Unfortunately, due to COVID traveling has been limited. What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? My number one goal is to begin gathering data for a research article on Yoni steaming. Where I am a firm believer and can testify on the benefits of Yoni steaming, unfortunately there is not a lot of research out there. Being a nurse educator, it is important for me to have the data to back what I preach. Tell our readers one thing they may not know about you. I am a woman who has experienced sexual trauma as a child. Childhood into my adulthood was extremely hard. I suffered from depression and insecurities. I made many poor decisions. But what saved me was being able to heal and release those demons that haunted me daily. Before I embarked on this business journey, I had to self reflect. I had to love myself again. I had to forgive my abuser knowing I would never get an explanation or an apology. There is no way I could provide my services to women if I didn’t address my personal issues first. I was able to accept what happened to me, forgive, and release. Once I came to a place of peace, everything fell into place. I had to heal first before being able to heal others.







A ROSE IS STILL A ROSE Tell us about what A Rose Is Still A Rose Outreach... “A Rose Is Still A Rose”. (A.R.I.S.A.R.) is a non-profit organization created for young girls and women. We are made up of a group of committed women, injected with various community partners who are dedicated to the growth and development of young girls and women within the Rochester community.

What challenges did you face when starting up a non-profit? Any advice for others in the same situation? There wear many challenges and still till this day. I’m finding out my vision is much bigger than I thought it was.. My advice would be to stay the course for this is a marathon not a sprint. Be patient for there is a time and season for everything. Always leave room to grow and learn.

How did you start the non-profit and why? As a social worker I have worked with women and young girls for over 10 years’, experience advocating and serving historically underserved populations dealing with substance abuse, trauma, and mental health concerns. I worked for a great nonprofit organization which helped me to grow, but most of the organization had limitation on who they could serve and if they didn’t meet the criteria most was turned away. A Rose Is Still A Rose Outreach is designed to serve all young women from all walks of life. I started with a vision which help me move to planning. I enrolled into a Master’s program, Master of Science in Strategic Leadership at Roberts Wesleyan College. This gave me more understanding on how an organization is operated and as well helped me to identify what type of leader I am and strive to be.

What is the mission behind A Rose

support for young women within the Rochester community. Through outreach, empowerment and growth, we will help every rose bloom where they are planted. What has your organization accomplished to date? Due to the pandemic my organization could not fully fulfill its obligation to serve in the magnitude of which it would have like to. But we still was able to raise money and help four families during the holidays, as well as make donations to women which help towards schooling, starting up a business, shelter, clothing, and council.

Is Still A Rose? Mission A Rose is still a Rose is a non-profit organization created for young girls and women. Our focus is to support young women in finding an optimistic approach in life. Through positive encouragement and cultivation of their vision and purpose (life goals), we assist by providing the necessary resources to assist them with overcoming the obstacles of life.

Can you share one or two stories of individuals whose lives have been changed because of your organization? There is a young women who came to me and used the services of me being her life coach. We have been connected for over a year now. But she recently came to me because she was struggling in many areas and needed help on finding her own way and purpose. With our services I was able to see her growth and dedication. She is now an intern for ARISAR, and she is flourishing and setting goals for herself.

Vision A Rose is still A Rose will be a consistent blossoming sisterhood and garden of

There was also other young women who was starting her own hair salon business. ARISAR was able to provide ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


“A Rose is still A Rose will be a consistent blossom women within the Rochester community. Through help every rose bloom wh

ming sisterhood and garden of support for young h Outreach, Empowerment and Growth, we will here they are planted.”

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “ A Rose is still a Rose is a non-profit organization created for young girls and women. Our focus is to support young women in finding an optimistic approach in life.”

resources as well as money and help go toward her business which is now up and running. What makes you hustle? Knowing that there is so much more to see and experience in life. I want myself and my family to be in a position to live the fulfillment of life without limitations.

How can donors help other than making financial contributions? Donors can help by volunteering their time and knowledge. If donors have free space available to host different

What are your organization’s goals this year? To encourage women to become a part of the ARISAR sisterhood by registering for a free membership on our website. www. Once registered in our free program, each rose will be eligible to receive support in the following areas below and so much more. Services o Building positive relationships/Sisterhood o Weekly newsletters o Tutoring, Mentorships and life & social skills development o S e l f - l ov e / He a l t h y relationships o Community service o Parenting support o Goal setting o Financial literacy o Career Exploration & Professional Development o Skill Building (i.e. facing insecurities, rejection, abuse and anger.) 168


The one thing I have done that I do not regret is investing in myself. Whether that be financial, further education, seeking counsel and ect. What is most important to you and why at this point in your life? What’s most important to me right now is financial wealth, not just for myself but my family and my community. I grew up with a poverty state of mind, and I now understand the important of breaking generational curses. What is your favorite part of doing what you do? Motivating women who are willing to overcome their current challenges and are continuously encouraged to strive for independence as they are inquest to reach their current life goals. By Supporting them to ensure that they have the tools to be successful in their endeavors and will continue to have the support necessary. Ultimately, becoming effective leaders and change-agents within the community in which they live.

workshops that would be helpful as well. What is one thing you have done that you do not regret?

As a business owner, what are your top three priorities? 1.To continue to think futuristic, meaning staying current on the changes that happening around the world.




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “My plan is to be transparent as possible so my reader can see not only am I educated in these subjects, but I had to walk them out as well to get to where I’m at today.”

2. Networking and utilizing valuable resources. 3.To stay focused on the purpose.

them to see their power. What are your intention with putting

Where do you see A Rose is Still A Rose in the next year? What about 3 years from now? In the next year I would like to see ARISAR moving in full gear. Workers and volunteers in place. Weekly and monthly workshops being provided to give support to the women that we what it means to be free. What provoked you to start this book? I saw a documentary from Michelle Obama called ‘Becoming’, In her documentary she quotes “what seem like nothing to you is your power” this touch me because I questioned myself about writing a book about my life. Asking myself who would want to read about me? Not knowing that each of us has a story that can save or Inspire someone else. Its important for me to live in my purpose. Being a Life Coach is what I’m inspired to do. Helping other walk out their traumas, fears, grief, unforgiveness, and give them skills on leadership development, purpose, selflove, which will allow 170


subject matters. My plan is to be transparent as possible so my reader can see not only am I educated in these subjects, but I had to walk them out as well to get to where I’m at today. And that I’m still doing the work. What do you plan for the readers to take from this book? I want my readers to understand you don’t have to live within the circumstances you were given if it doesn’t align with your purpose and who you are today. Make the changes and do the work to be better each day. The most important thing is to live your purpose to your best ability, within your constraint. A lot of time we allow our past traumas to keep us feeling Anger, a shame, sad, hopeless, which cause Anxiety, fear, unforgiveness. But when you decide I want better for me, or I know longer want to be in this place that is the first step towards your freedom and healing. I want my readers to feel ready and confidence to take on this journey and face that thing that has held them back from living in peace, joy, love, prosperity, most of all their purpose.

this book out? My intention is to promote my brand. Allowing my reader to see why I am qualified to be a life coach on these

A Rose Is Still A Rose Outreach LL A.R.I.S.A.R

Tiffany J. Anderson, MSL Director of Program

(585) 363-3311

E-mail: Website: Speaker | Mentor | Life Coach | Consultin








Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started Halo Paradise Travel.. My name is Timeka Garfield. I’m currently a CNA full-time and go to school to be a registered nurse. I’m a mother of 6 with one grandchild on the way. I decided to take a leap of faith and travel around the world. So why not become a part of a growing business and become a travel agent. What is your specialty service at Halo? I’m a Travel agent that specializes in airport transfer, city tours, concierge services, culinary tour, destination wedding, helicopter tours, cruises, spa, and vacation packages. I make all my clients’ dreams come true. The entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one. It requires determination, time, hard work and leadership. What motives you and keeps you going? My kids and showing them that I just want to be successful is what motives me. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? I find new clients by word of mouth and social media. Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years I will see myself as one of the top directors in the marketing business. What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female

entrepreneur especially in 2021? Just be yourself and have faith is all you really need to be successful. What makes you hustle? I was born to hustle and seeing what other people in the business encouraged me to go harder. Who has been someone who has inspired you and why? Tarshia Shanai inspired me because I see where the business goes and she encourages me everyday to reach for the stars and that’s what I’m doing. What do you think are the top 5 qualities of being a great female entrepreneur are? The top 5 qualities of being a great female entrepreneur are professionalism, people skills, integrity, empathy, and resourcefulness. What is your favorite part of your business and why? My favorite part in the agency business is I get to meet new people. What would you say are some of your strengths? My strengths are engaging with my clients to help them find their paradise vacation in which they will never forget.

wants the dream vacation. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? The best advice I have received while in business since October is to “Never give up”. Just keep trying.. What did you do before this? Before running my own business, I was just a CNA trying to fit in. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? My favorite thing to do in my free time is to go on a mini getaway with my children. What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? My number 1 business goal i plan to accomplish within a year is to bring on 8people into the business. Tell our readers one thing they may not know about you. I’m a really shy but out-going person.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? My greatest professional accomplishments when others recommended me to help someone else’s dreams come true. Everybody ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I was born to hustle and seeing what other people in the business encouraged me to go harder.”








Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started the Lash Doll Studio.. My name is Amya I’m a Master Lash Artist and Licensed Esthetician. I graduated from Shear ego international school in 2017. I started working a 9-5 job and wasn’t happy where I was at. I wanted more I wanted a career in something I would wake up and be happy to go to so I decided to take a leap in the beauty industry. I worked out my home while still working my 9-5 job. I even traveled to clients home to serviced them. I didn’t know how fast I was going to take off. Lash extensions were becoming more popular in Rochester,NY. When I realized how busy I was getting I finally had the courage to quit my job and pursue my dreams. I prayed about it and let God lead me to the successful person that I am now. What type of services do you provide and what sets you apart from your competition? I provide Lash extensions and Brow waxing. What sets me apart from anyone else is the quality of my work. I strive to give my clients the best experience fromthe time they walk in my door, to laying on my lash bed, to them leaving. The entrepreneurial journey is not an

easy one. It requires determination, time, hard work and leadership. What motives you and keeps you going? My children gives me motivation. I want to provide them a better life and give them a head start on their future.

I wanted a career where I can make my own hours and work for myself. Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself expanding my business to another state. What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur especially in 2021? A strong, determined, motivated, open minded person will make a successful female entrepreneur. Someone who doesn’t give up and is willing to take criticism. What makes you hustle? Hustling becomes addicting when you see the progress you make.

How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? Majority of new clients find me on instagram and word of mouth. My biggest success was becoming a Salon owner and being able to stay In business. What made you decide to get into such a unique business?

Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? Yris Palmer is someone who inspired me. She’s has work on many celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande. Her brand is well known all over the US. She also sells Lash extensions products. What do you think are the top 5 qualities of a great female entrepreneur are? Ambition Confidence Hard working Self-Belief Passionate ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


SHIFT+CONTROL {{SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “A strong, determined, motivated, open-minded person will make a successful female entrepreneur. Someone who doesn’t give up and is willing to take criticism.”

What is your favorite part of your business and why? My favorite part of my business is giving women the opportunity to have a work space they can build and grow in.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Don’t give up on your dreams and Don’t be afraid.

What would you say are your strengths? My strengths are staying true to myself and staying consistent.

in promoting your business and getting new clients? Social Media is free advertising . Take advantage of it! What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? Spend time with my children, Mediate and lots of self care needs. What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? What about 3 years from now? My number one goal I plan to accomplish is to build up to 3000+ clients. In 3 years I want to Lash Doll Studio to become a BRAND that everyone will know.

If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? I will tell myself not to be so hard on myself and trust the process. What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? Investing my own money in my business and seeing the growth of where I first started and where I’m now. 182


What did you do before opening the Lash Doll Studio? A receptionist. What are some of the things you have found that have been successful


Tell our readers one thing they may not know about you. I’m a very low key person who likes to be in small

619 CULVER ROAD I SALON: 585-319-573

I ROCHESTER, NY 14609 36 I CELL: 585-750-5801



Tell us about your background and how you started Braids Infinity. Born in the Bronx, NY, and raised in Staten Island, NY I have been happily married and a proud mother of 5 college graduates. I now reside in Rochester, New York. I’ve been Braiding & Styling Natural Hair for over 25 years. My work has been displayed in hair and beauty magazines across the United States.

prosper with repeat clients, referrals, and new clientele daily. How do you stay abreast of the latest trends?

Why did you choose this profession ? I choose this profession because I see what it has done for so many women that I was surrounded by when I was growing up and the way it made them feel when they got their hair done. I wanted to be apart of that, making other woman and children see their natural beauty.

What is your specialty service? My specialty is natural hair care which is working with hair that has not been Chemically processed and African braiding styles such as Cornrows, Box Braids, and Twists just to name a few.



What makes you hustle? What makes me hustle is the passion. I have for hair and the great joy it brings to my clients, it also gives me a sense of worth knowing that I can bring a smile to someone’s face. What fascinates you about this line of work? I’ve always been fascinated with the ability to create different types of styles for each individual I’ve met.

I came up with that particular name for my salon because one of my children said to me when they were younger “Mommy you’re going to be braiding hair forever “ for me that was the moment that inspired me to call my business “Braids Infinity Salon”.

What are your opinion is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide ? Braids Infinity’s client’s needs are of the utmost importance. I am committed to meeting those needs and as a result, I have continued to

YouTube videos and discussing the newest trends with other fellow stylists that I know.

It seems like every week it’s a new style coming out it’s hard to keep up sometimes but I manage, so to keep afloat a lot of my learnings are self-taught and going over A lot of

What is your most favorite service to provide and why? Cornrows styles are my most favorite because it is so much versatility to them. As a business owner what are your top three priorities ?




SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “It’s difficult at times being an African American woman especially in this industry that sometimes ignores us as a whole. Because of our society you barely see any women of color, on television, etc.”

My main 3 top priorities are My Clients, My Brand and Integrity. Would you do business with yourself if you were a customer? Absolutely.

I didn’t have a mentor I was always selftaught my self ,I always had a passion for hair and took it upon myself to self educate myself consistently after finishing school. What Do you find is the best form

Do you walk your talk like a boss lady? Yes, I do Everyday.

When starting your business did you ever ask yourself what customers want or need my product service? Yes, Communication and that’s why I feel it’s so important to have consultations with your client’s first, it helps for you both to have a complete understanding of each other.

Do you find it helpful or hard being a minority business woman? It’s difficult at times being an African American woman especially in this industry that sometimes ignores us as a whole, because of our society you barely see any woman of color, on television, etc. unless it’s an special occasion like Black History Month, But I serve my client’s that consist of all races, creeds, and walks of life.


Are you a born leader? Yes.

What is your why? Why you do what you do? I absolutely love what I do, it gives me it gives my peace believe it or not , I know I’ve been blessed with the ability to do what I do . I love all that it intel and it shows in my work.

of promotion for your business? So far the best form of promoting my business is through my website, some social media platforms excluding Facebook and Twitter , by word of mouth and referrals.

Who are the mentors that encourage you?

What are your plans for your business for the future boss personally


and professionally? Professionally To expand I would like to do expand my services by having natural skin and nail care, my own line of Natural Hair Care Products and Self Help Workshops for teens at risk in my community. Personally grow and prosper spiritually and mentally.

Having a great idea is one thing, being able to communicate you ideas and convince others to jump on board is another. Do you feel you have what it takes to be successful? I have taken full responsibility for everything that has happened in my career so far, I trust my vision and I am willing to make continued changes in the road ahead. My hard work, dedication, and the love from my cliente speaks volumes. I am already a Success!






Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the Commercial Real Estate field. I am a native of a small town north of Albany called Halfmoon. I went to college in Geneseo, and have stayed here ever since. I always gravitated towards sales. It always seemed to fit my personality. When my now ex-husband and I were dating, we started attending real estate investment seminars and gradually built a portfolio of 2-4 family properties throughout the city. During that time I got my real estate license with the goal of using it to help us find properties. At that time I began selling residential real estate for other clients as well. I was always looking at property from an analytical perspective rather than an with an emotional reaction. I also knew that I needed to understand investment real estate that was beyond the four family. After meeting with a few realtor friends, I found a broker who was willing to mentor me and I made the jump from residential to commercial brokerage and I never looked back. What is the biggest difference working in commercial vs residential real estate? EVERYTHING. But seriously, when I started doing brokerage work in the commercial world, it was truly like starting over. The way commercial real estate is analyzed, marketed, used, repurposed and transacted is done very differently. Commercial real estate

more closely resembles a combination of banking, economic development, statistics, marketing and sales. Sites are selected by demographic and other analytical data in addition to the financial impact of the property to the prospective owner. There is little emotion involved until a deal goes to contract and the buyer can make that property his/her own. Are you happy in what you do and what would you change if anything?

I truly can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I get to work with all different business sizes, both owners and companies, network with some of the sharpest minds in real estate around the country, and really provide value for my clients. What would I change? And what I hope to change… I think it is important to share with people that real estate is the great economic equalizer. People

don’t need a specialized college degree, or specialized skills, nor a huge bank account. Real estate brokerage and investing just takes time, the willingness to work hard, to learn, and a passion for tapping into the effect the tool of real estate can have on a community, or business. The second thing I would like to see change is a movement from the commercial real estate industry (CRE as we call it), into the modern era of marketing. Social media when used intelligently can build a personal brand. It can be an interactive business card to new prospects. It can shed light on an area or property and make CRE more alive. Because, in the end, that is really what it is all about. Life happens within real estate – of any kind. With in the walls, bricks, sticks and mortar people experience every joy and pain life has to offer. I would like to see practitioners share more about themselves, their community and their projects on social media. It just builds more value for the customers. How do you handle adversity and doubt in your field? I think adversity has be to handled with a level head and very directly. Sometime I need to take a time out in order to get that level head, but I have never been one to sweep adversity under the carpet. The other thing that is super important for handling ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ Commercial real estate more closely resembles a combination of banking, economic development, statistics, marketing and sales.”

adversity is to be surrounded with other commercial professionals who are at a level of business that I aspire to reach. To have such people as a sounding board helps me gain confidence in my direction, or the confidence to change my direction when needed. I would not be in this business without those people. They are mentors and friends and they know that I would be just as eager to help them as they are to help me. How Do You Plan On Growing Your Business and build your team? Coldwell Banker Commercial Custom Realty officially opened in February of 2021. Our office is independently owned, so I have the best of both worlds: International tools and resources that you would find at a huge brokerage, AND the efficient, quick to respond, and personable smaller brokerage. As I grow the Rochester office, the key is to be commited to the agents. Agents will pick a broker on two major factors – and it is not commission splits: 1. Tools available for the agents. 2. How is this brokerage environment, management and team going to help the agent grow their business. As independent contractors, it’s really the commercial agent who hires the broker – not the other way around. I want to tap into who they are, what their story is, and how they are wired. So my plan and my passion is to share the tools of my brand, the lessons from my experience, and add a truly different 196


way to mange a team. It is my hope to foster an environment that shows the agents how important they are both individually and as part of CBC Custom Realty. If the agents in a brokerage are growing, learning, and sharpening skills then the market as a whole benefits. Where do you see the company in five years? What about yourself? I see CBC Custom Realty continuing to grow and having physical locations throughout Upstate NY. Each office still being locally empowered. I don’t want growth to turn into – “Let me ask the main office” in order to get things done. As far as myself, I would like to teach commercial real estate. I have learned to focus on one step at a time while climbing to the top of the mountain, so for now I will just take one step at a time. What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur? What about a commercial real estate agent? The first word that comes to mind is resilience. Entrepreneurs may be in control of the road they travel, but the road to where they want to get to is usually pretty bumpt, especially at first. You have to be able to get back up from failure, mistakes, or blunders, and keep moving forward. Commercial real estate, from the perspective of being a broker is truly a door that is open to everyone. Like I said, you don’t have a lot of barriers to entry. But, you do have to develop your skill set quickly in order to be

successful. I think some core traits would be the ability to be good with numbers, and to be able to look at data and financials and see what story they are telling, It’s vital to be able to develop relationships in the market place, both with prospects, other brokers, and anyone else touching commercial real estate. To really be successful as a commercial agent one has be willing to be a sales person, a marketer, a consultant, and a financial analyst. All these skills can be taught, they just take time to learn : hence resilience. What makes you hustle? Many things make me hustle. I love seeing agents and clients experience success. I love the fact that my service will help businesses achieve their strategic and vital plans. Who has been someone who has inspired you in your profession and why? In Rochester, I am inspired by so many. I think the biggest inspiration to me was my first Broker, Mark Rohlin. He worked with me daily to instill in me the importance in learning about all of commercial real estate. I am empowered to be in this industry because he instilled the importance of being hired by a client because of what I know. What are the 5 top qualities of a good commercial real estate agent? 1. Resilience 2. Willingness to work hard. 3. The ability to listen 4. Strong communication skills. 5. Perhaps a bit of an adventurous side.

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “ I love seeing agents and clients experience success. I love the fact that my service will help businesses achieve their strategic and vital plans.”

What is your favorite part of the business? When I learn about someone’s business, and provide them with a solution to their real estate needs, that shows them that I listened. This is my favorite part of the business. What would you say are your strengths as an entrepreneur? I am not afraid to regroup when needed. Even samurai’s take time to sharpen their swords. Tell us about your business (what product or service you provide and who your target audience is). 198


I help landlords and tenants with leasing of office, retail or industrial space. I also help buyers and sellers find, analyze and transfer ownership of a variety of investment grade real estate. What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? To date, being asked by Michael Liess to be the Managing Broker of CBC Custom Realty, After that it is completing all the requirements needed to take the exam for my Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on

to our readers? Consistency is key. What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business? Social media is budding in the commercial real estate space. I love networking on Clubhouse. What do you do for fun/relaxation? I enjoy to hike, cook, travel and enjoy time at our cottage on Sodus Bay. What is number one business goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? To earn my CCIM designation.






OF THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF DIVORCE Let’s face it, no one gets married to get divorced. It is the death of a dream. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, it’s time to get prepared for emotional and financial challenges. Even the most amicable divorce brings major life changes. Having the guidance of a qualified team will put the odds in your favor to emerge from divorce in a financially stable place where both parties believe the divorce settlement was fair. There are three key professionals you may want on your divorce team – A therapist, divorce attorney and/or mediator, and financial planner who specializes in divorce planning, preferably one who is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® practitioner. A CDFA® practitioner is skilled at analyzing the financial issues of divorce. His/her role is to help the client and attorney understand how financial decisions made today will impact the client’s financial future. The process provides an objective view of settlement offers and counterproposals and may suggest a different way to negotiate vs. taking matters before a judge.

What are the realities of divorce? • Plan to live on less income: Divorce often results in going from a twoperson income in one household to two households with one income each. It is important to understand what your household budget was while you were married and be prepared for what it will look like post-divorce. Your attorney and CDFA® practitioner

family home has upkeep/maintenance, property taxes and consumes cash flow for daily living. There may be a vacation home or cottage as well as pre-tax IRA or 401(k) accounts. Understand that different assets may be taxed differently. Take this into account when dividing assets. • Don’t let emotions rule: Be thoughtful about your financial future and that of your children, if applicable. Knowledge and rational thought are key to negotiating a fair and equitable settlement. By working with a CDFA® practitioner (a neutral third party), it becomes easier to treat your settlement in a thoughtful manner. • Wait, we had more assets than this! It is common for one spouse to try to hide assets. Gather at least three years of tax returns to look for differences compared to what is being disclosed today. A CDFA® practitioner is trained to take a deeper dive.

work as a team to determine what income to each is fair and equitable. • Not all assets are equal: The taxation, liquidity, and future growth potential of an asset all need to be considered in the division of assets. One spouse generally wants to keep the family home. Think twice about that. The

• QDRO? What’s that? A QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) is a judicial order used to divide employer retirement plans in a taxfree manner. Be sure to confirm with the plan provider that QDROs are allowed. It is important that QDROs are transacted properly or taxes and penalties may apply. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ FINANCIALLY {{ SHE HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS}} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Let’s face it, no one gets married to get divorced. It is the death of a dream.“

• Don’t rush to sign: It took years to accumulate your wealth. Take enough time to question if your final divorce decree is equitable (does not necessarily mean equal). • Make sure your interests are insured: If spousal and/or child support are being paid as part of the settlement, consider life and disability insurance as a requirement. This ensures payments will continue to be made in the event of pre-mature death or disability of the payer. The goal is to make informed 204


decisions while going through the divorce process and yield the best financial outcome possible. As CDFA® practitioners, we are happy to meet with you (virtually or in person) to review your options. Please contact us today. *Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Neither firm is affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. 1816 Penfield Rd, Penfield, NY 14526 Investments are: *Not FDIC insured *May lose value *Not bank guaranteed *Not a deposit

*Not insured by any federal government agency. Donna L. Cator, CFP®, CDFA®, is Vice President, Wealth Advisor, CNB Wealth Management, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at (585) 394-4260 x50623 or by email at DCator@ Margaret M. Whelehan, CDFA®, is Vice President, Financial Advisor*, CNB Wealth Management, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at(585) 394-4260 x42129 or by email at


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The relationship we have with money is a direct reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves. Being Unapologetically Authentic means valuing your time and energy. As we gain a higher value for ourselves, we become much more particular about what we spend our time and energy on. Everything in our life is a domino effect of the value we place on our time. It took me years to gain a strong, healthy relationship within myself. I would work extremely hard to spend my money on frivolous things, with no concern of saving or my credit. In my last column, I discussed the types of unhealthy relationships I had in my life, these behaviors being a direct reflection of the lack of value I placed on my time. Along your journey of becoming Unapologetically Authentic, you will begin to realize that certain people, places, and things are not worth your time. I cannot possibly value my time if I spend it around people who drain my energy or just do not simply add value to my life. Value comes in many forms, such as spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and financial. I choose not to watch much television, as I feel it is not a good time spent. We all must do

things that bring us peace, for some people, that is a television, and that is perfectly fine. Once I began to gain control of my life, I had to dig myself out of a hole. I was in debt, I had no savings, and I lost everything due to my work injury and poor choices. My credit score was in the 400 range. Until this time, I never cared about my credit. I slowly started working to pay off debt and build my credit. In just one year, I was able to raise my credit

knowledge, my time became even more valuable. I do work a full-time job that is currently helping me grow my business until I can comfortably leap into full-time entrepreneurship. I had to correlate my time and what I find acceptable to be paid for my time and not settle for anything less. The goal is to consistently increase the value of my time by expanding my knowledge and skills. I am 38 years old, I was never taught to value myself, let alone my time or money. However, it is never too late to turn your life around. I do not want my son to get caught in the cycle of living in debt. Statistics say that 80% of Americans live in debt. If I do not break the chains, the process will continue.

score to over 700 points. I was able to accomplish this by changing the way I viewed money. Once I looked at how much I valued my time, I had to make a direct connection to how I spent my money. This allowed me to know the difference between spending my money and investing it. I began investing time and money into paying off debt, starting a business, mentoring, advertising, books/reading, classes, and more.

You do not have to make an excessive amount of money to build wealth. You must have a good relationship with money and genuinely value your time. I will always be a work in progress, I just purchased containers and food for meal prep to save time and money when life gets busy, it’s easy to grab food on the go. Food is one is the most significant expenses per household, that about doubles when eating out often. Consistent small changes equal big results.

With the learned and applied

I recently joined the YMCA. This is ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} { UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC } “Being Unapologetically Authentic means valuing our time and energy. As we gain a higher value for self, we become much more particular as to what we spend out time and energy on.”

an investment into the health and overall well-being of my son and me. Some people say investing in certain things is too expensive, but if you take a good look at what you truly spend 208


your money on and adjust according to placing value on your time, you will see that you can afford much more than you think. If it does not help me grow and add value to my

life, I do not have time for it. I am too busy growing, glowing, and living Unapologetically Authentic!











She is a 50-year-old Writer, Curve model, and Social Media influencer who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in November 2020. She moved from New Hampshire back her hometown of Cape Vincent, New York in the fall of 2019 to help care for family. She lives with her husband in a large farmhouse next door to her parent’s home and farmland. Together, they have two beautiful scientific miracles, one born by IVF and the other FET, as well as an adopted rescue dog, and three cats.

I was wrong, I was not ready and felt myself slowly disappear inside my brain. As she discussed the type of cancer I had, the stage, the treatments, all I could think about was if someone were there with me, to hold my hand, to wrap me in their arms. As the tears streamed down my cheeks, my doctor asked her nurse to fetch me some tissues. She returned with

“Like a small boat On the ocean Sending big waves Into motion Like how a single word Can make a heart open I might only have one match But I can make an explosion.”

My doctor wasted no time getting to the point of the appointment. I had cancer.

These cancer patients have been abandoned in the front of hospitals, as ordered by COVID restrictions to walk in alone where they will face life altering surgeries without their loving family and friends. Then no loved one is there to see them when they get out of surgery or sit with them as they recover in their hospital room. These cancer patients have been dropped off at their radiation and chemo appointments with a wave and well wishes like students in front of an elementary school; however, instead of a crowded school, it is more like a prison and their time there is spent in solitary. “And all those things I didn’t say Wrecking balls inside my brain I will scream them loud tonight Can you hear my voice this time?”

“Cancer During COVID-19: This is My Fight Song.”

Early morning, November 18th, I sat alone in an examination room at the Women’s Wellness and Breast Care Center in Watertown, New York. Months of mammograms, MRI’s and a biopsy had led to this moment. I told myself I was prepared for whatever the outcome. And then my doctor and her nurse walked into the room.

cancer, while no loved one is there to hold their hand or wrap them in their arms.

a small box, hard, and cold in my hands, with crisp, starchy tissues. As I continued to try to make sense of what my doctor was telling me, I kept thinking of the box in my hands and how it was like the whole experience: cold, hard, crisp. That box of tissues provided me no comfort. For twelve months, individuals across the country have sat alone in examination rooms, like me, hearing the devastating news that they have

Navigating this cancer journey through the COVID shackles since November has been difficult; however, when I think about the hundreds of thousands of cancer patients throughout the nation that have had to endure appointments, procedures, surgeries, and treatments alone and in isolation due to the Pandemic, it breaks my heart! Emotional and physical support are important components of recovering from cancer! I want the world to know that cancer patients NEED ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{{SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL }} } } HUSTLES { WOMAN WHOTALKS INSPIRES “Emotional and physical support are important components of recovering from cancer! I want the world to know that cancer patients NEED emotional support!”

emotional support! I want to shout it from rooftops, rattle the chains, stomp on the floorboards, and make some noise! It has become my FIGHT SONG! Emotional support is not just wanted during a cancer patient’s revelations, biopsies, surgeries, procedures, and treatments, it is a necessity! A fundamental component of a person’s well-being is their emotional, social support, and mental health. If a person’s emotional well-being is supported, that resilience and positive emotions help in the healing process. According to, the initial reaction to a cancer diagnosis is often shock and disbelief, followed by a period of distress characterized by mixed symptoms of anxiety, anger and depression. Huh?! And for the past 12 months, cancer patients like me, have had no one to share that initial reaction with due to COVID restraints. Let alone the following months of appointments, surgeries, and treatments! I found it validating that the American Cancer Society agrees with me! In their article, “Nurture Your Emotional Health: Coping with Anxiety During the Coronavirus Outbreak, published at the cusp of the Pandemic, they stated that cancer patients “need to take care of their emotional and mental well-being.” They suggest “keeping a good outlook, getting plenty of sleep, and trying new recipes.” But…wait! 214


Myself, as well as the other cancer warriors that I have been fighting alongside, are not and were not comforted by a good night sleep when we learned of our diagnosis or by trying a new recipe before being dropped off for treatments. The emotional support that we crave, and need is physical. It is the gentle touch on the shoulder letting us know that we are supported and loved, or the hand holding ours when we just do not want to feel so alone. “This is my fight song Take back my life song Prove I’m alright song My powers turned on Starting right now I’ll be strong I’ll play my fight song And I don’t really care if nobody else believes Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me!” Like the lyrics to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” “I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion.” I have made it my mission to share my story and the story of all cancer patients during COVID. If enough people can hear our voice then we can make a difference, we can make a change, we can get the emotional support that is so necessary in the healing of our fellow warriors. “Can you hear my voice this time?” I am petitioning the CDC to CHANGE the COVID-19 Healthcare Plan and make an amendment for Cancer Patients that allows for either

a person to accompany them to appointments and hospitalizations or the creation of a healthcare companion that would do the same, to maintain and support the emotional well-being of the patient which would ultimately improve their recovery. Sign the petition: X9BTVsddxV






Children have always been a passion of mind, even before I became a mom in 1996; baby sitting as a preteen, working in a daycare, and as a nanny for many families in my 20’s. In my heart, I knew I would always work with children. Even when I became a mother, I was a nanny. Later, became a librarian and a teacher assistant in an elementary school. I have a passion for helping teachers, parents and children. After a divorce in 2009, I suddenly was a single mother to 2 children. I KNEW that I wasn’t done having children. I wasn’t sure, at 36, how that was going to happen, but I knew it to be true. Many things in my life changed, in 2010 I began my relationship with Marc. We quickly realized that we wanted to add to our non-conventional family. However, we realized that we were not going to be parents the traditional way. We LOVED our blended family, Marc became an amazing bonus dad, and we were very happy with how our family looked. 216


In 2015 Marc and I saw an advertisement for Monroe County Foster Care, stating that they were in need of foster parents. We decided that we would go to an informational meeting and just see what it was all about. That was the beginning of a life that we NEVER imagined we would have. In our first year of being foster parents, we welcomed 15 children

into our home. Some were individual children who only ended up staying with us for 11 days. Some were sibling sets of 2 or 3 children, that needed us for months. These children all ended up going home or to a family resource. Knowing that the purpose of foster care is family reunification, made it easier to watch them leave our home.

During the 10-week process of becoming foster parents, we learned that many families adopt children that are not able to safely return to their parents and family. With the rate that children were coming into, and leaving our home, Marc and I NEVER expected to adopt a child or children into our family. Other families did that, not ours. Little did we know, that our lives were about to be radically different. At the end of August, 2017, we received a call for a sibling set that needed immediate placement. These children were removed from an unsafe foster home and needed a safe place. Yes, it is true, there are unsafe foster homes. However, 99% of foster homes love, care, support ALL foster children. Foster care placement personnel, Home Finding, share as much information about the children as they have to assist in making a decision that is a good fit for you and the children coming into your home. The information that they shared with us scared me.




{ IN HER OWN WORDS } “We decided that we would go to an informational meeting and just see what it was all about. That was the beginning of a life that we NEVER imagined we would have.”

The information that they shared with us scared me. My first reaction was, no. I was not sure we could handle what they were coming with. We had so many children in such a short amount 220


of time, I was exhausted, as was Marc. Marc called MCFC after my immediate response, to get more information on these children. He came to me and said, “These children need us” I am incredibly happy that I chose to listen to Marc’s heart,

because we needed our children, just as much as they needed us. In 2019, we adopted Terrance and Shantazya. Marc and I became the parents that I knew were going to be. That was the beginning of the HBOC family. (Hinds Baker O’Mara Copeland)







{ I AM... }


Women are fearless. Women are brave. Women are courageous. Women are superheroes. Women can wipe their tears with one hand and conquer the world with the other. Women are the matriarch of their family. A woman doesn’t have to say anything to hear her strength. A woman’s characteristics can be loud and clear by simply being a woman. Without women, how would the world exist? IMPOSSIBLE When you talk about history be sure to mention the part that some of the most influential change-makers were women. Looking back on where women started and where they are today leaves me in amazement thinking about all the phenomenal attributes the women in the past must have possessed to make such a change. Women went from not being able to: vote, be in political office, run a

business, have a voice, get a credit card in our name, no paid maternity leave, take legal action against workplace sexual harassment, and the list continues. Fast forward to now, women are able to do all of the above and more. Today’s change allowed women to be Physicians, vote, run their own business, have a voice, First Vice President Kamala Harris in office, first woman’s NFL official, Photographers, Realtors, women with credit cards their name and property in their name. Do you understand your privilege? TRUTH TALE Women weren’t recognized beyond the stereotypical role of society. A women’s role was to cook, clean, and be a caregiver. Women were undervalued and unnoticed. Women were penalized for being a woman.

Men didn’t need to obtain a title or document of ownership to have possession over women. Being a woman gave consent to inequality. How is this fair? Can you imagine the hurt and disappointment women experienced during this time? DETERMINED WOMEN CAN MAKE CHANGE Beyond March Celebrating women does not begin or end in March. Celebrating women deserves a lifestyle. We must let go of our very own biases to continue celebrating all women by addressing and acknowledging our unhealthy conditioned behaviors to demand cultural change. Understand your privilege, continue to bring awareness to the achievements of women because what we have become accustomed to; would not exist if it wasn’t for the women who fought for equality. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ I AM... } “Women are fearless. Women are brave. Women are courageous. Women are superheroes.”

We are paving the way for the next generation. NOTHING IS GIVEN WITHOUT A FIGHT... HOLD ON... As Helen Reddy said, “I am woman, hear me roar, oh yes, I am wise but it’s wisdom born of pain yes, I paid the price, but look at how much I gained.” Our right was given with a fight, let’s make the fight meaningful by continuing to break barriers. International Women’s day celebrates EQUALITY!! We cannot celebrate the change in inequality if we do not change our perception. Equality is celebrating beyond the color of our skin, friendships, and our very own biases. Equality is diversity and inclusion! YOU HAVE IT IN YOU Women empowerment is beyond empowering the women within your 228


circle. Women empowerment is no discrimination. I don’t need to know you to empower you. You shouldn’t need to know me or anyone else to empower them. This is mindset. YOU ARE EMPOWERED TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE We are now in positions to empower one another, what will you do with your power? What will you do with your voice? What will you do to celebrate women’s equality outside of your race, social, and economic norms? I envision a world of International women shamelessly exemplifying diversity, inclusion, and empowerment celebrating beyond the color of our skin & comfort zone. It’s demonstrated we have endless opportunities because we are: WOMEN WITH SUPERPOWERS!

WE ARE CHANGE! WE ARE DETERMINED! WE ARE BOLD! WE ARE FIERCE! WE ARE POWERFUL! WE ARE FULL OF FIRE! WE ARE BRAVE! WE ARE STRONG! WE ARE FEARLESS! WE ARE HISTORY! WE ARE SHAMELESS! WE ARE LIMITLESS! Let’s continue to celebrate social, economic, political, & CULTURAL achievements. Happy International Women’s Month!! Here’s to US!!! IG: I_am_shameless_shawny FB: Shawny Cox-Ashford Stay YOU, Stay TRUE, Stay SHAMELESS Own it, embrace it, Face it Shamelessly ~ Shameless Shawny










then my heart will sing.

I’m standing in front of my closet panicked!

Let’s say, a photoshoot or life event you want to capture is coming up. This can be any type of photoshoot: engagement, maternity, wedding, graduation, holiday family photos, actor headshots, updating portfolio for your modeling agent, images for a re-branded business website, imagery for social media content.

What to wear? What to pack? How to style hair and make-up? I start to try on clothes. It quickly becomes overwhelming and time consuming, I’m not loving any of the looks. My favorite dress doesn’t fit. That pair of pants that fits perfect needs to be dry cleaned. The button came off that pretty blouse a year ago and still needs mending. I sift through a mountain of clothes and then consider perhaps I should buy totally new outfits. I decide to go work on something else and procrastinate this photoshoot preperation for later. Fast forward to the day of the photoshoot. I show up frazzled and unprepared and worse yet, I’m running late. End up picking out clothes last minute, the morning of the shoot and everything is disjointed. This ever happen to you? Can you relate? Today I show up relaxed and happy. But back then, I had no strategy around planning, preparing and packing for photoshoots. Hundreds of photoshoots later, I’ve developed a strategy and clear preparation plan and share with you here my step-by-step process. If one tip transforms how prepared you feel leading up to your next photoshoot,

STEP #1: Get clear on the intention of the photoshoot: Getting clear on the purpose of the shoot and how the photos will be used, I’ve found truly helps with being happy with the outcome. Also it is helpful in determining what photographer to hire, what to wear and how to plan the shoot. Consider your goals for the shoot. Write out the goals down. Think about how the images will be used: online, websites, social media, e-commerce or actual tangible photos such as hanging on a wall, sending prints to family, cards, keepsakes for yourself or someone special, an album, or printed headshots.

and portfolio on their website, Instagram and/or Facebook. Look for a photographer who specializes in the type and style of photos you are seeking. Planning a wedding? Research wedding photographers. New baby? Infant and family photographer. Getting started as a commercial actor, a photographer whose niche is commercial acting headshots. I often see people disappointed when they hire someone for something outside of their niche or area of expertise. As a model and talent coach, I frequently see aspiring models or actors shoot with someone who does not specialize in the type of photos that are actually needed to be taken seriously by agents or that would get them booked on paid assignments. Finding a photographer who is an expert in their niche will get you leaps and bounds ahead and make you look like a million bucks. Have a conversation with the photographer and ask questions.

You wouldn’t call a podiatrist with questions about heart health, right? Photographers are the same way. Most photographers have a specialty or a few specialties.

• Discuss what will be included for the price point quoted? • Is editing included? • For how many images? • How are images delivered? • When will they be delivered? • Who provides make-up and hair? • Does the photographer direct you with moving and posing? • Do they assist with wardrobe? • How long is the shoot? • Inside or outside (on location)?

When researching photographers look carefully at their recent work

STEP #3: Who is responsible for what on shoot day?

STEP #2: Research photographers:



{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN { SHIFT+CONTROL } B. } “Hundreds of photoshoots later, I’ve developed a strategy and clear preparation plan and share with you here my step-by-step process.”

After talking things through with the photographer, I like to make a list of what I’ll be responsible for on shoot day. I recommend outlining what needs to be done and approximately how long it will take to accomplish each task. For example, if purchasing a new outfit is necessary, think about the time it takes to shop, and when you’ll do that, be it virtually or in person. Consider when the items will arrive by and if they don’t fit or don’t work for the look you’re going for, what is the plan B?

• Eat a healthy early meal the night before a photoshoot that is low in sodium and sugar. Sodium, sugar, alcohol or late night meals leave us feeling bloated, heavy, tired, swollen and lethargic the next day. • Bring water and pack snacks • If the shoot is outside think about the weather: sunscreen, umbrella, or winter gear • Try on all the clothes you bring. Yes try on everything.

Think about other errands that might need to be done prior to a photoshoot, such as mani/pedi, waxing, setting up childcare, blocking off time in schedule for shopping, taking the shoot day off from work or getting a haircut.

Make your own list or grab my FREE “Photoshoot Prep Checklist”

STEP #5: Show up feeling your best: On the day of a photoshoot nothing can replace feeling refreshed, confident and prepared. • Pack the night prior – or sooner 234


Have fun! All the hard work is done. When a shoot day arrives I try to focus on being present, in the moment and enjoying myself as much as possible. • Allow plenty of extra time for traffic, delays, bad weather, or other unforeseeable problems while traveling to the photoshoot location.

• How the subject feels shows through on camera. If you feel relaxed and happy this is how the final photos will be reflected, if you are unprepared, arrive late, didn’t eat breakfast, missed your morning coffee, or whatever other mishap this too will show in the subject’s face.

Make a list and check it twice!

Grab my free checklist by visiting:


• Being prepped early allows you to not arrive in a panic and instead enjoy every minute of your photoshoot

STEP #4: Preparing for photoshoot day:

Having a packing checklist makes preparing for photoshoots stress free!

only bra packed looks all wrong with the blouse that was planned. Having tried on all wardrobe would alleviate these snafu’s.

• I repeat, try on everything. This helps, knowing exactly what fits and what doesn’t and to attend to any mending or clothes that need to be cleaned or pressed. • Trying all wardrobe on also allows us to get to know which items work with what accessories, undergarments, socks and shoes. Sometimes we “think” we know what something will look like but once we arrive and realize oh wow the

Make prepping for your next photoshoot a breeze with my free checklist! Snag the free photoshoot prep checklist here: Enjoy this article? Love to connect on Instagram. Follow @KristinBauerGross @KristinBCoaching






Why We Need the Female Form of Leadership to BE UNSTOPPABLE! You want to play bigger, be unstoppable and be a powerful woman! You want to embrace life, even with incredible challenges we are facing. You want more! What is the vehicle that will get you there? Leadership! But, I am not talking about “Old Guard” leadership, it is the Female Form of Leadership that will get you the success you deserve and desire.

strength. Women must choose a new paradigm of female leadership that is confident,courageous, successful, and prosperous. Once you have realized a new way of leading in the world is essential for success,

In order to really change we have to face the reality of what is no longer working in leadership and make a choice to become the catalyst for change. This is where being UNSTOPPABLE comes in. We have to choose to break through past programming of leadership that is holding us stuck. This process takes an unstoppable attitude and inner

So let’s begin the process of reshaping your leadership so you can become super successful! The process starts with a reality check and a self exploration. Reality Check! Where are we today as leaders? And what is not working in leadership? In order to make fast changes that will reorganize healthier behaviors,we have to examine how we currently lead. Then we can understand where we need to go.

You may know that your leadership is the key to unlocking the door to success. And as you unlock the doors of change with leadership evolution, you can begin to move to the other side of where you are today and access what you want. Women have a contribution to make to leadership: the biggest contribution is in accepting and honoring that there can be a new way of approaching our leadership. In order for life and business to change and produce prosperity, we must invest in becoming powerful leaders. And reshape how we see modern-day leadership.

get through them we must reshape how we view leadership and begin to act in new ways. It begins with you!

Female Leadership has a specific form but it is rejected due to misunderstanding.

then you can dive into releasing your stuck behaviors in a way that facilitates a new life that you desire. Ask yourself: Where am I today as a female leader? And where does the female form of leadership fit into your paradigm shift? Do you believe you can lead? These are important questions to answer in your journal because humans face some serious obstacles and in order to

In my trainings and coaching, women report: • Leadership is repulsive and not for her. • Leadership is aggressive and controlling. • They want nothing to do with leadership. • They have heard it all before about leadership. • Leadership is dry and boring. It is analytical. • Leadership is not for women. And, women tell me that they believe leaders of all kinds (and at all levels) have become aware that traditional leadership methodologies no longer serve us as humans. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN } “You want to play bigger, be unstoppable and be a powerful woman! You want to embrace life, even with incredible challenges we are facing. You want more! ”

Below, these women define leadership. Let’s call those who embrace the following qualities and styles as the most important leadership qualities “The Old Guard.” It’s a system that is the Patriarchy and has been severely masculinized:

love and life/work balance. They taught us to drive to the point of breaking and then be FIXED! Instead of taking care of yourself along the way and investing in your preventative healthcare and authentic leadership style.

• Headstrong • Intellectual • Analytical • Masculine • Hierarchical • Non-feeling • Non-emotional • Pain IS gain • Put your head down and go • Suit and tie • Division between masculine and feminine • Who do I know • It’s a big boy’s club • Domination • Control • Feminism acknowledged but woman NOT accepted

To reclaim your female form of leadership and embody the power your desire, the first step is to realize and release the stress cycle, break through this habitual patterning and program a new form of EMPOWERED leadership into our daily lives.

When you read these definitions, you can easily see how the descriptions and styles do not correspond with modern leadership or modern thinking and ways of life. Women have not really had the chance to rise up and achieve success; we are still being held back and held down in an Old Guard world. In order to rise up and achieve success, we must bridge the gap between all leadership styles and accept that there are new ways of leading that must be honored and respected!. The old guard taught women to put up and show up no matter what sacrifices needed to happen. They taught us drive, aggression, and ambition over feeling 240


The empowered leader driven by female consciousness, will take time and dedication to create. And ultimately this process begins with YOU! We need YOU as the Female Form of Leader! In order to reset to a more relaxed, creative flow of leadership you have to let go of old stressful habits holding you down. This is a process of reshaping yourself into a healthy, empowered leader and it takes a totally new paradigm shift. Are you ready?! Modern-day, success driven women want to be emotionally present, dynamic, heart centered, community based, collaborative, connected and intuitive. And these women want money to flow to their businesses and lives. Women want to have it all! Beyond bridging the gap discussed above, the Female Form of Leadership is necessary to inspire other people to change. When we change, others will be inspired to do so; it’s an exponential factor, a domino effect. As you let go of the worn-out, stress

induced, clunky patterns of Old Guard leadership you will begin to gain the prosperity and abundance that you desire. You will begin to reclaim your power from the negativity and disruption caused by old forms of leadership that no longer fulfill us. No matter what, the female form of leadership the one that is emotional, creative, and intuitive, will provide you with the unstoppable success you truly want. Start today! Embrace that there is a new way to lead and it begins with you! Being a successful female leader means that you are good with the fact that you might just have a mission, a destiny, or a purpose. That you want to tap into the deeper resources inside of your healthy body to access your real and authentic form of leading. That you want to tune into your core and listen to your intuition. That you want to thrive instead of merely survive. By reprogramming your leadership into a new female form of Core Intelligence (CQ) you will be able to access all the things you want in your life. This is where manifestation gets real, with the Female Form of Leadership! Be Unstoppable and develop your true female leadership with CQ! Dr. Pam Denton coaches leaders and businesses in the new era of leadership. Driving new business success with Core Intelligence (CQ). Visit Dr. Pam for her business coaching at www.supercorefit. com/executive-coaching






Every once in awhile I get to experience some amazing sights and meet the most friendly folks you could imagine. As a kid, me and brother and sisters would enjoy a few days in Vine Valley staying with my father’s parents summer cottage on the southern tip of Canandaigua Lake near the town of Naples New York. It was uncomplicated time where we would spend the morning either swimming in the shallows or attempting to gather minnows along the shoreline beach. If we had the luxury of having a little bit of loose change, then it meant we could venture into the penny candy store which was a short walk away where we could spend an amount of time staring at the options of ordering lengths of dot candy, stranges of thin licorich, a pockets full of gum balls, or jaw breakers to munch on or trade between ourselfs. When our grandfather saw us getting restless he would pack the five onto the motor boat for a tour of the lake front where we would wave at anyone hanging out on the summer afternoon before arriving back ahead of dusk to find long straight sticks to roast hot dogs over the oven pit fire under cooked to what seemed like perfection, but most likely more undercooked as soon as one of us felt their dog was ready we all decided to eat together

smoothing the buns with ketchup and mustard along a plastic glasses filled from pitchure of ice cold kool aid or lemonaid and a helping of macroni or potato salad. It was a real treat to go into the town of Naples to the most favorite restaurant where we could all find individual stools at the counter to order a delicious cheese burger and French fries. There wasn’t much talking until the meals disappeared while my grandparents ate at a booth. It was a place where the summer residents

pretty much knew each other after years of repetitions. I traveled down thru Naples and notice the Bob and Ruth’s sign and quickly decided to stop in reminisce about the days gone by and broke into a conversation with the owners while eating my favorite meal. I’m not sure if it was the chatting about the past or the quality of the Riesling, but I wanted to have this restaurant and the

wonderful staff serve my wine. Either way they didn’t hestitate to buy a case and they showed me the lounge area called The Vineyard appropriately where I’m sure the locals would have con gengated on the weekend nights to soci alize. But everytime I pass thru it’s a must stop. This time it was closed for the season as my trip designation way focused was a business meeting at the Pleasant Valley Wine Company in Hammondsport NY located on the bottom of Keuka Lake. When first starting into winemaking I was hired by Mel Goldman at Keuke Lake Vineyard known at KLV. I was working thirteen hour days in the winery on weekends helping out prior to their bottling run. I would stay in the winemakers loft overnights and would complete all the duties in the winery preparing the batches of wine including transferring the wine between tanks “racking” and thoroughly cleaning the tanks before returning the wine. KLV received the first 90 point rating with Wine Spectator for their vintage of Dry Rieslings. When you visit be sure to spend a few minute longer to learn about the steep vineyard slopes of the property that create the wonderful grapes.. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ TRAVEL WITH AGNESS WINE }CELLARS } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Every once in awhile I get to experience some amazing sights and meet the most friendly folks you could imagine.”

Pleasant Valley Wine Company is located a bit further south of the Hammondsport and is the oldest winery in the Finger Lakes as the first bonded winery in the nation in 1860. I had no idea about the storied history of Pleasant Valley and the American Champagnes brands produced on the campus of buildings including Gold Seal and Great Western among many others. I was escorted into the main office and up the stair to the gorgeously wooded conference room. Agness Wine Cellars arrived to discuss options of working together. It was simply me flanked by the Doyle’s Mike the President and his son Patrick, the sales director Matthew Healy. Mike Doyle was interested in Agness Riesling made in the Finger Lakes so I offered a sample of our Riesling to share at the meeting, after generous compliments, then the real discussions began in how we could work together on a new wine project. Once completed, I was offered a a real treat - a personal tour of the sprawling facility and interconnecting production areas over many floors, buildings by Matthew Healy. Along the way, I viewed the rows upon rows of absolutely huge winemaking 246


tanks of various sizes. As we ventured further on the tour, I was simply amazed at each and every turn of winemaking spaces and architecture along the way over many levels. This is a must see tour and wine tasting which is able to support hundreds of visitors daily. Even the pictures stunning photos can’t portray the size emormany of the operations and the simply beautiful historic spaces where visitor are able to drink wine

for special events supported by the numberous consecutive kitchens to needed for various events thoughout the year. Eight of the original Great Western buildings are actually listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Their wine caves with bricked arched ceilings may have been all lost if it wasn’t for the efforts of Doyle Family when purchased and restored the winery and vineyards. Beyond the massive number of cases of

Champagne finished annually, Sherry and its processing is a sight not to be missed by both the serious wine enthusiast and those wanting to see the working history of winemaking on a grand scale. When first started 100 gallons of wine was produced, now having the capacity of 14 millions gallons with 500 vineyard acres. The name Great Western received its name from a pronouncement as “the Great Champagne of the Western World.” I could go on and on about the transitions of ownership which is now back under local control of the Dolye Family, but this is a destination requiring a personal visit to truly appreciate finishing in the Pleasant Valley visitor tasting room for some Great samples.







Recently, two of our Monroe County legislators proposed an amendment to the 2021 County Operating Budget to approve a position for a “Language Access Position”. This person will report to the Chief Diversity Officer. RWO will introduce you to the two legislators who proposed the legislation, which was passed, and explain why it is so important to our Limited English Proficient (LEP) speakers and our Deaf Community. Yversha Roman (Minority Leader) and Linda Hasman proposed the law. Yversha Roman was born in Puerto Rico, is of 100 % Puerto Rican descent and moved to Rochester with her mother when she was 5. Her mother was born in Rochester and wanted to come back to her family here. Yversha told RWO that in the 1950’s the then (and now) famous men’s suit company, Hickey Freeman, recruited protentional seamstresses from the island of Puerto Rico. These types of job opportunities led her family to Rochester. Yversha is very proud of her family and her heritage. She was graduated from Aquinas and obtained her bachelors in Social Work from Nazareth College. She has a ninemonth-old son with her fiancé. Yversha has a long list of work experience related to helping her community including being co-founder of the Monroe County Language Access Coalition. Yversha has a perspective regarding the necessity to access language that native English speakers in Rochester might not have. Roman related her own experiences as a 248


child trying to get her education and not knowing English at first. That is what still moves her today to fight for equity in language access for all. Roman said “We need to advocate harder for our marginalized community. In the past language access was often an afterthought. Hopefully this begins to changes that. This puts a person at the point. Linda Hasman is from Oswego, New York. She was raised there and did her

undergrad at SUNY Oswego. At just 22, she moved to Washington DC with her future husband. He had a job working for the Clinton administration. She spent ten years away working for small non-profits and eventually, the National Institutes of Health. While living in Virginia, she became involved with the democratic committee in Arlington Virginia. She earned her Master’s degree, she and her husband decided to come

home to raise their family. This time her husband followed her to Linda’s job with the University at Buffalo. They now have two children and own a home in the Park Avenue area in the city. Linda is now the Assistant Director of Miner Library at the UR Medical Center. She was impressed with UR’s services for Deaf and hard of hearing students and patients. As a County Legislator, she wants to pursue policy that make’s Monroe County more inclusive for the Deaf community, especially in the area of health Literacy. Linda said “When you are trying to read a medical document and English is not your first language, it can be overwhelming to try to understand what you are reading. If a document can’t be translated into a written language, you should be able to have it Interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL).” Yversha was approaching the issue from the point of view of non-English language speakers and Linda from the perspective of the Deaf community. They discovered their common interest and began to work together. THE LEGISLATION Roman and Hasman joined forces when they found they were working toward the same goal; written, spoken and signed language access for Monroe County constituents, LEP and Deaf. A bit of history. In 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. Title VI of that law mandated individual states and municipalities to develop “a Language











SHIFT+CONTROL { {WOMEN IN POLITICS} } “When you are trying to read a medical document and English is not your first language, it can be overwhelming to try to understand what you are reading.”

Action Plan” (LAP). The LAP should be a comprehensive plan including: outlining processes and procedures for access to language; access to interpreting services, whom to contact and how to secure an interpreter; a system in place to assist an LEP person who needs to complete paperwork in a language other than English; and an effective means to get information to the public in a timely manner.


This new position created by the legislature will ensure that all Monroe County departments, and organizations ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : MARCH EDITION 2021

that work with Monroe County, will be in compliance with Title VI. As a community, we want people to live and prosper here. Increasing inclusivity will encourage people to move and thrive here. Diversity in language and culture also makes Monroe County a more exciting place to live and raise our children. RWO discovered while preparing this article that the Monroe County Clerk’s Office released its own LAP in December 2019, and updated the plan to include ASL video Interpreting effective March

1, 2021. While the Clerk’s plan was designed for the clerk’s office, that office is willing to share its resources with other Monroe County departments. “In the Monroe County Clerk’s office, we understand how valuable is it to have necessary tools to serve all customers. We also know how daunting of a task it can when first looking at implementing an LAP and look forward to serving as a resource as the County takes up this important task.” Deputy County Clerk Rebecca Case Caico stated.







The Sweetest, Juiciest Pitch: How to Create Your Own---What is a professional pitch? It’s an answer you give to the question, “So what do you do?” or, “Tell me about yourself.” A professional pitch is a short, sweet sales message so compelling that once you’ve finished whoever you’re talking to likes you enough to hire you, fund you, or connect you to a colleague. This is called your “ask,” and we will talk more about that later on. An elevator pitch is often part of the first impression people have of us and should reflect our personal brand. Yet the elevator pitch is often a place where we stumble and miss out on the impression we could be making. Make it real. Why you need a pitch The term “elevator pitch” is derived from the time it takes to complete an elevator ride. The idea is that you want to be able to complete your pitch in the time you can complete that elevator ride. You absolutely need a professional or personal pitch, especially if you are networking or doing job interviews. Whether interacting with people is a part of your daily job or not, and whether you are intentionally networking or not, you are going to meet new people. Chances are that 254


the people you run into can either help you directly or indirectly in your career aspirations. And yes, you can totally get some meaningful networking in virtually! The book Back to Business states that recruiting and hiring managers will spend six seconds listening to you before they mentally check out. Six seconds—that’s all you get! Luckily for you, I just spent the last five

well over a year writing and rewriting my pitch as the business itself has had to pivot (thanks, COVID). As the business has matured and my asks have changed, that changes the pitch slightly. Additionally, depending on the audience, the pitch changes slightly. Likewise, your professional pitch will shift depending on your ask(s), the audience, what you’re doing in your career, and what you aspire to do. To start, make sure your pitch is short, compelling, and sells what you bring to the table. KEEP IT SHORT • Bound the pitch by time, for instance, no more than 30-60 seconds (100-165 words). • Challenge yourself to say it in a tweet—no more than 140 characters. Go for 120 characters if you dare. •

minutes testing what can be said in 6 seconds. On average, if you use a conversational cadence, you can say 20 words in that time. If it’s a wellhoned and much-practiced sentence, you WILL be able to hold a person’s attention much longer. COMING UP WITH A PITCH Because I own a business and need to tell everyone I run into about it, I need a pitch of my own. I have spent

Brevity is your friend.

Make it compelling and interesting enough to spark listeners’ interest in your idea or background. Identify one thing you want your audience to remember. Steve Jobs, famed Apple CEO, was a genius at this. He would tell people that the original iPod allowed you to carry “1,000 songs in your pocket.” Include your best skills, qualifications, and superpower(s) and why they add







SHIFT+CONTROL } { THE{ LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA } “The term “elevator pitch” is derived from the time it takes to complete an elevator ride. The idea is that you want to be able to complete your pitch in the time you can complete that elevator ride.”

Practice, practice, practice • Find a friend (or three) and practice your pitch in front of them. • Record it and review. • Practice in front of a mirror.

• Write a fifty-word pitch. • Reduce it to twenty-five words. • Then to six words. • One of the remaining half-dozen is almost certainly your one-word pitch.

For a basic pitch framework, check out Pitch Please, Your Professional Pitch at Little Black Buddha.

4. You can find several other pitch formats and possibilities here. They are also discussed further in Daniel Pink’s book To Sell is Human. In this book, he not only gives you the framework for several pitches, he also points out that regardless of your job title, chances are that a part of it is convincing other people to do something. Learning how to sell is a valuable tool to learn for your career.

Pitch 2.0: Getting creative with your pitch Here are some more creative pitch frameworks that you can start from. 1. The Pixar pitch. The “Pixar pitch” is a result of a storytelling formula Pixar has perfected over time. You can learn more about Pixar’s story basics and rules from a series of tweets sent out in 2011 and summarized by David A. Price. Here is a template of how to construct this pitch: • Once upon a time, there was ___. • Every day, ___. • One day, ___. • Because of that, ___. • Because of that, ___. • Until finally, ___. Finding Nemo, Toy Story, etc. can all be summarized in six sentences. Likewise, you can introduce yourself and what you’re doing in six sentences using this format. 2. Love, hate, create. • I love ______________. • I hate ________________. • That is why I create ______________. 3. The one-word pitch.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE Make a note of what you want your listener to know, feel and do. Ask yourself if you think the “know, feel and do” is being communicated in your pitch. Keep editing until you feel as though you’ve accomplished this. Then try it out on some people and ask them what they what they know, feel, and will do as a result of your pitch. If you communicated what you had in mind, you’re golden. If not, keep editing. As always, practice, practice, practice. Keep the pitch up to date. Adjust it as the circumstances, audience and ask changes. THE ASK & OFFER This will be the (almost) close of your pitch. It may be a simple request to connect and exchange contact information. You may want this person to connect you to a colleague

or recommend a course they took. In general, people want to help you and love to be asked for advice. I am not an expert in human behavior, but time and time again in my interactions with other humans, as long as the request or ask is reasonable, the person will help. In the cases where they don’t want to help, don’t take it personally and move on. Now, “Is there anything I can do for you?” This question should come at the close of a conversation, if the pitch advances to a deeper conversation. Yes, this makes the conversation a bit transactional, but if you can help the person in some small way, you are moving beyond networking and towards building a rapport and relationship. KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING Be interested. Be more interested in them than you are in telling them about yourself. Ask them leading questions. Even if they only kind of remember your profession, they’ll remember the impression you made on them— someone who made them feel noticed and important. Being thought of as someone who boosts others’ confidence is a major boost for your personal brand and attracts people to your light. Follow up and connect. The usual way is via LinkedIn or another social media platform. Or follow up with a thank-you email where you reiterate your offer and possibly include an ask. Happy pitching!







This is a great time to celebrate yourself and every milestone in your life. You are such a dynamic woman who deserves to be rewarded for all your accomplishments. I celebrate you in your personal and career achievements and I want to encourage you to always celebrate yourself. How you celebrate yourself will always be a reflection to how others celebrate you. Do it BIG!!! YOU DESERVE IT ALL!

eventually and other ways to tell if a product is expired is by smelling it. If the product has a peculiar odor or smells slightly off, texture and color has changed, it may be expired. Understanding the shelf life of makeup

To celebrate yourself this month I would like you to step up your makeup routine. Who does not LOVE a polished flawless makeup look while on a zoom call and social distance dinner date? This is what you need: 1. Foundation 2. Concealer 3. Brow pencil or powder 4. Powder (loose or press) 5. Mascara 6. Blush and 7. Red lipstick. Many of us have not used our makeup in months due to the pandemic and requirements of wearing a mask. Therefore, check your makeup bag and toss out those old makeup products.

months), Mascara (3-6 months), Lipstick/lip-gloss (18-24 months) and Liquid eyeliner (3-6 months). Now that you are ready to clear out your makeup bag remember if you do not know when you opened a product it is most likely expired but follow the ‘how can you tell tips.’ Take a deep breath, toss it out and plan a day to treat yourself to your favorite makeup replacements. You now have permission to just do it! It may be easier to purchase your makeup online so be sure to check out www. to repurchase your makeup favorites, use coupon code 15OFFMA at check out. If you need to get out the house visit your local makeup emporium. After you have all your makeup products, adorn yourself with a flawless makeup look. Share and tag your beautiful photos with me for repost on #WHMflawlessmakeup #allthingsdrjbeauty

How can you tell Use these easy tips to check your makeup cosmetics to make sure they have not expired.

cosmetics will help you maintain healthy makeup habits including a flawless makeup look.

The makeup product may be stamped with a 6M or 12M on it or on the original packaging if you did not throw it away. All makeup expires

When to throw it away Foundation and concealer (12-18 months), Powder products (12-18 months), Cream products (12-18

Vibrate Higher All Things Dr. J. Beauty



{ DR J’S BEAUTY } “This is a great time to celebrate yourself and every milestone in your life. You are such a dynamic woman who deserves to be rewarded for all your accomplishments.”





It’s 2021! What a blessing it is to be alive and be able to hug loved ones and see friends who are dear to us! One thing for sure is I personally had a rough 2020 (so you’re not alone!) but amongst all the chaos that occurred in 2020 skincare has weathered the storm! Celebrities such as Rihanna, J-LO, Pharell, Kylie Jenner, and Alicia Keys have all recently launched their own skincare brands in 2020/2021 as an effort to provide people with youthful, healthy-looking skin with that radiant glow everyone is thriving to have!

for another time. Working in the beauty industry for several years I get asked questions all the time as a licensed esthetician and owner of my skincare line Vaughan Jacobs Skin do celebrity-endorsed products work? How do I choose the right products for my face with so many to choose from? How do I get rid of under-eye circles or wrinkles?

The recognition for skincare in 2020 has been major! It’s exciting to see celebrities and even social media influencers take initiative. With self-care on the rise, people are now taking better care of their skin turning to social media outlets for education. You can now see more dermatologists, estheticians, and plastic surgeons take time to create Tik Toks, Instagram Reels, and Snapchat videos to educate their followers on the do’s and dont’s of skincare. Referring back to the previous paragraph when I say exciting and major it’s because skincare has usually been dull, expensive, and kinda boring too many(the boring friend!). It’s one of those things people get easily frustrated with if the products they are using are not giving the desired results in the desired timeframe or the natural glow that a model or celebrity exhibited in a campaign ad. Unfortunately, some people may not understand the beauty of photoshop but that’s a different story 262


These are questions coming from people from every walk of life. Whether you are a business owner, athlete, stay-athome-mom or dad, or even celebrity the first answer I give and will always stand by is to take care of your inner self. What I mean by inner self is how you treat your body. What are you eating? Are you stressing? Are you exercising? Do you drink a sufficient amount of water to your body mass? These are questions I always ask my clients to get

an in-depth view of their daily habits. We then would later go into skincare routines and what I would recommend specifically for their skin type. Products can work if you are doing the due diligence to take care of your body first! Learning about nutrition and what you are putting in your body is a major contribution to how your skin reacts. For me, dairy was a major factor causing cystic acne at a young age. Who knew dairy causes acne! after all, we are told that dairy is good for us and produces healthy bones! They forgot to mention that dairy is made from pus, and mucus which clogs and builds bacteria in our insides. Our body then detoxes that gook through our skin which can create acne and for some like myself created cystic acne! Going through the struggles of acne and feeling insecure about myself. I turned to research and educating myself on the body and skincare by going to Continental School Of Beauty and attaining my associates. I always wanted to help and educate others in their skincare journey. Skincare is a journey for all of us. We all have our perceptions of beautiful skin! Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Stay committed and stay on top of your routines and you will see the results you’re looking for! With Love, Vaughan Jacobs









As it has been over one year that we have been living through a pandemic, taking care of ourselves might be more important than ever. For the last 15 years as a psychotherapist, I have been drawn towards not only helping clients with mental health issues, but also empowering them to improve their overall wellness. My clinical work and research has shown me that we cannot only improve one area of our life if we want to see lasting lifestyle changes. Yet so many people do not fully understand the construct of wellness, rightfully so, because in today’s society wellness and self-care have become somewhat of a fad. Taking care of yourself should not simply be about buying the latest wellness supplements marketed on Instagram, expensive devices found on popular wellness blogs, and quick fixes that promise wellness with no lifestyle changes. Being well is a lifestyle. It involves finding harmony in life, rather than struggling and often not succeeding when trying to find balance in the everyday. Wellness is complex and dynamic, in that how we move through the world will always change. Some days we will feel great and ready to take on challenges, while other days we feel tired and may need to stay in bed a bit longer. Both are okay. It is necessary that we listen to our body and our mind to determine what is right for us. When I work with women, I help them explore how they understand their own personal wellness and how to create meaningful change. My approach is

different from many other wellness practitioners because I do not only focus on the why, but more so the how. It is easy for blogs and wellness gurus to tell you why you need to improve your wellness - better health, better relationships, better strength, better performance, and so on. We all know why. The challenge that many people have is the how, especially when determining how to make lasting change. However,

specific factors that affect wellness or specific habits that we should develop to improve our lives. Some only focus on diet and nutrition, some might include other aspects like mindfulness. Though these aspects for wellness are relevant, I have found that an element that is often missing from the discussion is identity. Identity is often overlooked in wellness models and wellness practices, but it is critical to how we understand our overall wellness and how we pursue lifestyle changes. As I continue to explore wellness and identity development, though my clinical work and research, I see that the two constructs intersect. I have seen this in several ways:

ask yourself the following two questions, “How do I understand my current state of wellness? How do I want to optimize my wellness?” These questions can be more difficult to answer, because it requires introspection and self-motivation. This is where my role as a holistic psychotherapist comes into play. Throughout years of scholarly research, I realized that overall wellness is robust. Many wellness experts speak about

1. How you think about yourself. First, how people think about themselves affects wellness. For example, if you are someone who wants to improve your physical health by exercising, it may be challenging for you if you are embarrassed by your weight and are ashamed to be seen exercising. Your perception of yourself will limit your ability to determine how you can make changes to that part of your life, which will ultimately improve your overall wellness. Again, it is easy for someone to tell you why you need to improve your physical health, but the how can be more complicated. 2. How to make changes. It can also be difficult to understand how to make changes if you do not understand yourself. Today we hear about and read about so many examples of ways to improve our wellness. Case in point, blogs and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{{ ASK THE DOCTOR } } SHIFT+CONTROL “As you can see, wellness is more than just a fad and it more than just the why. Wellness is also more than just the treatment (e.g., medication, therapies, mindfulness, exercise, diet, etc.).”

social media often write about new diets that will improves our lives. One blog might give support for a Keto diet, another might recommend fasting, and a third might be in favor of a vegan diet. How do you choose? If you struggle to understand your own needs, whether they are physical, emotional, or ethical, you might jump around from one fad diet to another. In such cases, it is important for your to explore what is important to you and what do you need. Perhaps you have a job that is demanding and only allows a brief period of time to eat during the day, making a fasting diet challenging. Or perhaps you morally choose not to include animal protein in your diet, making a Keto diet difficult as it eliminates many of the central foods in this diet (e.g., seafood, cheese, poultry, and eggs). Understanding what your lifestyle needs and sense of self are helps you determine how to make changes. How to make commitments. One critical part of identity development is making commitments. If one does not explore their interests, it might hard to make commitments, or at least commitments based on what you actually want in life. If one does not take the steps above to determine how to improve wellness, it will be difficult to commit to change. Let’s consider mindfulness practices, something that I often discuss with clients. Research shows that mindfulness practices have a significant impact on stress reduction, lowering anxiety, improving focus and memory, improving relationships, and even immune 266


functioning. For many, when they think of mindfulness practices they think of meditating in silence for an hour. But what if this doesn’t work for your schedule? What if you hate sitting in silence? Rather than deciding to start a mindfulness practice based on whatever the latest fad tells you to do, it is more important to determine what you enjoy and how that will work for you. If you are short on time, maybe your practice will be a few minutes of deep breathing guided by your smart watch. Or if you like movement, your mindfulness practice might be determining which form of yoga you are most drawn to and whether or not you practice from home or in a studio.

practice, I help them navigate what changes they want to make, how they understand who they are as a person and what barriers they experience, and to empower them to determine how they can make changes.

As you can see, wellness is more than just a fad and it more than just the why. Wellness is also more than just the treatment (e.g., medication, therapies, mindfulness, exercise, diet, etc.). Instead wellness is a lifestyle practice that includes understanding your identity and thoughtfully determining how to make changes.

If you are engaging in a new wellness journey, I encourage you to ask yourself not only “Why do I need to improve my wellness?,” but also “How can I improve my wellness?”

After many years of working with clients and exploring wellness and identity, I began developing a model of wellness called the Optimum Wellness Model. This model of wellness is comprised of five wellness identities - physical identity, emotional identity, spiritual identity, relational identity, and performance identity - all of which make up your core holistic wellness identity. The core identity is how you identify with and understand your holistic self. From a clinical perspective, this refers to your ego. When working with clients at my private

The outcome of our work together is success, not only defined by me, but also defined by my clients. Together we identify the why and explore the how. Through this process, we look at the foundation and formation of self that create emotional and behavioral problems. Through a client-centered approach, we also consider how we can improve the client’s overall sense of well-being.

Dr. Sarah F. Spiegelhoff is a licensed mental health counselor in private practice at Dr. Spiegelhoff & Associates. She specializes in holistic wellness and integrative health, adolescent and young adult mental health, and family counseling. In addition to her work with clients, Dr. Spiegelhoff is also a part-time professor for the graduate counseling program at SUNY Oswego. If you are interested in learning more about the Optimum Wellness Method, by signing up for the Dose of Wellness newsletter, you will receive a free Introductory Optimum Wellness Plan. For more, visit drspiegelhoff. com or contact her at sarah@drspiegelhoff. com.



Balance and being a hands-on mom, wife and business owner. Being a full-time mom of 2 boys, a wife & a business owner has had its fair shares of challenges! Hello, my name is Sharlyn Marquez, CEO/ Founder of Blissful Image, providing appearance enhancement services for men and women of all ages and walks of life. Here’s my testimony. I’ve always been a hands-on mom. When my oldest son was younger, I was notorious for doing school pop-ins. I did not have to have a reason, and I just wanted him to know that I was always watching out for him. He really appreciated my pop-ins, our school lunch dates and on occasion, special rides home. When I returned to the 9am-5pm, Monday - Friday work life, it made it harder to be as active in my child’s academics. For 2.5 years, I struggled! I could not attend school events. I was not able to volunteer & doing my usual pop-ins quickly became non-existent! I was suffering & so was my son. At the age of 6, he didn’t understand the change and had a hard time coping. Eventually, we all adjusted to what was our new “norm”. Although we were able to adjust, we certainly did not like it. Eventually, I became pregnant with my 2nd son. My husband and I decided it would be best for me to 268


no longer work. My 2nd pregnancy was a high-risk pregnancy and I was battling a few health challenges. I was able to stay home during my pregnancy and go back to being active in my oldest son’s academic life. After giving birth to my youngest son, we decided that it was in the best interest for me to be a full-time mom instead of going back to work. Shortly after giving birth, my health

challenges continued and I was silently suffering. I’ve always made my own money. Depending on my husband 100% was a challenge for me. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great husband & an amazing father, but I was raised to be a “strong, independent woman that makes & relies on her own money”. Eventually, I decided to take a training. After that, I decided to be a business owner. That was a challenge! Here you have a housewife, full-time mom,

struggling with health challenges (as if those weren’t enough) now to add a business owner to the list. Trying to find balance was and still is a challenge! I operate Blissful Image 100% alone. Overwhelming does not even begin to describe how I felt many days! I’ve gotten better at balancing my life, but it’s still challenging at times. I’ve been able to manage being a fulltime mom, wife and business owner. Scheduling my business around my family’s daytime schedules may seem absurd to others, but this works for me. It helped me find some kind of balance while being able to incorporate self-care. Self-care is not a luxury. It’s essential! Since shifting to this mind set & finding balance, I’ve been able to maintain my sanity and be more productive with my business and personal life. Someone once said to me: “ Shar, you’re nuts for thinking you can manage all this! Your health challenges are not always easy to manage, and now you’re adding a business. Why?” That’s simple to answer. My self-worth & my children are my inspiration & motivation. I refuse to work at a job where I give my all, yet have to deal with some not-so-pleasant managers/coworkers who felt that a $0.23 raise was all I was worth! I have a degree and a tremendous amount of experience. So much so that I was a “new” person to the team, yet they had me training other teams.










{{ SHIFT+CONTROL BLISSFUL IMAGE } } “Trying to find balance was and still is a challenge! I operate Blissful Image 100% alone, overwhelming does not even begin to describe how I felt many days!”

members who came in at the same time I did. I was getting paid close to minimum wage, while others with zero experience came in making more money. I am a firm believer of leading by example! How could I possibly teach my kids about self worth if I myself was not living it? I want to instill in my boys that they absolutely can control their income, that they are absolutely worthy of blessings & greatness! They do not have to leave those aspects of their lives in 272


someone else’s hands! It is important to me to instill in my children that workin a 9-5 or a corporate job are not their only options. However, if that’s what they chose I will absolutely support them. If nothing and no one else motivates me, my kids always will! Being the best mom I can possibly be motivates me in not only my personal life, but my business life too! Balance is key! It’s not always easy & what works for

someone else may not work for you. Finding your own wave to ride can be challenging yet rewarding. During your path to find balance in your life, do not forget to incorporate self care! After all it’s not being selfish or a luxury, it’s an essential necessity to help keep you balanced!









THE WOMAN Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid, President and CEO of the ACCESS Global Family of Companies, Devoted Educator and Serial Entrepreneur has spent her adult life encouraging others, cultivating relationships and advocating for the underserved. THE STUDENT Dr. Benson Reid earned an Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies from San Bernardino Valley Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and a Master of Arts in Education from CSUSB as well. Dr. Benson Reid earned her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne.

guards, implants and veneers. THE CANDIDATE Dr. Benson Reid’s unique connection to the City of Syracuse and District 14 enables her to build bridges and empower stakeholders while advocating for resources and representation. Likewise, her passion for people and commitment to community has prepared her for this new journey. With a desire to advance Children and Family Services, Access to Healthcare, Equity in Education, Employment Restoration / Opportunities and Environmental Sustainability, Dr. Benson Reid is poised to represent District 14 of Onondaga County.

Her academic achievements and life experiences, prepared her for a career in assessing, designing and implementing programs to address equity and social awareness in both public and private educational settings.

THE PLATFORM Children and Family Service From medical testing and vaccines to therapy and counseling, Dr. Benson Reid believes there must be equitable access to exceptional, comprehensive children and family service across Onondaga County.

THE ENTREPRENEUR However, her leadership extends beyond the schoolhouse to more recent feats of entrepreneurship as the President and CEO of ACCESS Global Group, where her mission remains grounded in relationship building and community service.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT As a business owner, Dr. Benson Reid recognizes the benefit of economic development and realizes Onondaga County offers attractive incentives to local, regional and national businesses. However, she believes priority must be given to existing businesses.

ACCESS Global Group is a Consulting Firm that addresses organizational challenges in the areas of Management Consulting, Executive Coaching, Professional Development, Public Relations, Legal Analysis, Human Resources Compliance and Talent Acquisition. ACCESS Global Group specializes in meeting the needs of the organizations while simultaneously meeting the needs of the stakeholders. Possessing a fervent commitment to economic development, Dr. Benson Reid launched ACCESS Dental Laboratories with her husband, Mr. Todd R. Reid, Sr. ACCESS Dental Laboratories is a full-service dental laboratory that specializes in the design of crowns, bridges, partials, dentures, night

TAX INCENTIVES One of the many advantages of operating a business in Onondaga County is enormous tax incentives. As a business owner, Dr. Benson Reid recognizes the need for economic development but she also recognizes the need for a balanced economic plan that not only benefits corporations but also benefits constituents. Tax incentives should be contingent on the number of people hired with competitive salaries and benefit packages as well as the overall economic contribution to the community.

the people who live in District 14 and the decisions that are being made on behalf of District 14. This must change. The citizens must have access to information that will undoubtedly impact their current and future well-being, as well as the representative who is charged with speaking on behalf of the citizens of District 14. Transparent access and availability is the minimum. GERRYMANDERING Redistricting has been and will continue to be an important discussion. Gerrymandering is typically used for gaining a competitive advantage. To avoid improprieties, redistricting should be in the hands of nonpartisan individuals, committees and / or organizations. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY With open fields, distinctive wildlife and close-knit communities, Onondaga County is a great place to call home. Corporations that choose to do business in District 14 must understand the need for environmental sustainability and commit to adhering to the highest environmental standards. THE TEAM Dr. Benson Reid is committed to serving the residence of District 14 as well as Onondaga County. Her personal motto is “inspire individuals to pursue self-discovery, empower them to be innovative, progressive and revolutionary in thought and motivate them to be global activists.” Dr. Benson Reid encourages self-analysis and self-assessment while promoting innovative and progressive designs for change and implementing strategies for sustained success. Looking to join the team? We would be honored to have you! From Door-to-Door Canvasing and Making Phone Calls to Candidate Meet and Greets and Campaign Fundraisers, Together, Let’s Make Our Next Day Our Best Day!

ACCESS AND AVAILABILITY As it stands, there is a disconnect between ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021




Between Lauri McKnight, Children Awaiting Parents’ Executive Director and Sandy Arena, Worth More Nation Founder In March, Children Waiting Parents (CAP) Executive Director Lauri McKnight was honored to be guest speaker at Worth More Nation’s (WMN) annual fundraising fashion show. As CAP and WMN have a strong, shared bond, Lauri and WMN Founder Sandy Arena had the following conversation about children—particularly the needs of girls—currently or formerly in foster care.

I then registered the name and created a template for a social media and online presence, and then let the name sit as I had no idea specifically what Worth More Nation would be, or how it would serve. All I knew was that I wanted to empower young ladies and girls to gain confidence and inner strength and to know their worth.

LM: How was Worth More Nation founded, and what drew you to this mission/passion? SA: I founded Worth More Nation (WMN) in 2016 with the vision to empower girls and young women. The name came to me while praying and running on a treadmill at the Pittsford Y! I was a former faithbased dance studio owner and founder/director of a faith-based traveling ballet company working with thousands of girls over the years producing programs and shows with higher purpose. We transitioned the directorship of that organization to my oldest daughter Alexis, who since made it her own. While I was still involved in the organization— mentoring her as needed and serving as her professional photographer—I dearly missed working with children and young people and was ready again for something of my own. 280


It wasn’t until the following year in 2017—through my personal involvement fostering children in our home, as well as working in the pageantry and fashion industries as a photographer and also “Momager” to my youngest daughter Annaliese—that WMN would become better defined as an organization that

would help girls know their worth through fashion, pageantry and giving initiatives. LM: What drew you to this mission/ passion? SA: I was sexually abused as a child by my grandfather and suffered through moving to a new home or town at least every other year. I had lived in 25 homes by the time I graduated from high school, including four homes during the first year of my life. My father was an alcoholic and my parents divorced when I was a young teen. I knew from experience that early trauma had a way of whispering the lie that you don’t matter and that you are less than those around you. I became passionate about helping girls and young women rise out of traumatic times to live out their God-given destinies with the knowledge that they are ENOUGH and that they are Worth More. LM: Why is this so important for the participants? What kind of results are you seeing? SA: I had seen with my own daughter that participating in pageants, fashion shows and fashion shoots and wearing beautiful garments—if done compassionately and correctly —had a way of boosting her confidence and bringing her joy while







{ CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “I see the power of these moments to transform girls where they would hold their head higher, smile more brightly, or walk with more confidence.”

she made new friends and developed poise, presentation, public speaking and advocacy skills for a lifetime. I see the power of these moments to transform girls where they would hold their head higher, smile more brightly, or walk with more confidence. I see the power of a dress to transform and to set the stage for what could be. I see a shy demeanor turn to triumph when girls would gather the confidence to walk on a stage or speak in a microphone. I see them light up in the appreciation of applause, and in the glory of being seen and noticed.

At the pageant, the girls are mentored by professional models and pageant girls as well as leaders in the foster care community. They are taught poise, public speaking and presentation skills, and the end of the program, they showcase the skills they learn on a beautiful stage in front of an audience. Because of the confidentiality and nature of foster care in some circumstances where girls are still in the system, our pageants are not open to the public and are attended by family and friends.

Through WMN’s initiatives and programs then, I wanted to provide girls in need of a boost and coming out of traumatic places that same opportunity regardless of their support systems or abilities to pay. I wanted to give girls that same healing balm.

SA: We have a special occasion closet filled with hundreds of gorgeous, barely worn gowns and cocktail dresses that has been donated to us mostly through the national pageant community. As word spreads, more dresses show up at our doorstep, and our headquarters is filled to capacity with tulle, sequins and glitter! The girls and young ladies we serve are invited to take dresses for their own personal use for proms, adoption ceremonies, school concerts and events, and even just for fun. As quickly as they come in, we want them to go out again! We also use the gowns and dresses for our Miss Worth More Nation Pageant, as well as to showcase them on the runway at our Fashion Show Fundraisers featuring girls who have been in our Worth More Nation pageants, as well as professional models and pageant girls from other pageant systems. These fundraisers support the pageant so we can offer them for free.

LM: Who can participate, and what is the process? SA: Specifically, WMN offers an annual Miss Worth More Nation Pageant where girls impacted by foster care or any kind of trauma are invited to participate at no charge. These include girls who are in foster care, girls who have been adopted through foster care, girls who have aged out of foster care, and girls who are siblings in families who foster. We also work with girls who join families through any kind of adoption circumstance. At the pageant, each girl receives a gown and a dress to wear in the pageant and take home, as well as a Miss Worth More Nation banner, crown and t-shirt.

LM: Where do you get your dresses?

LM: What’s the biggest take-away?

SA: My biggest take-away for our participants in our Miss Worth More Nation Pageant for Girls impacted by Foster Care and Trauma, or our empowerment fashion shows and photo shoots is that they would feel appreciated, confident and supported. We want them to see what could be and realize their potential. We want them to know their worth and value and to embrace the idea of a future without limit. We want them to dream bigger and to walk into those dreams with confidence. We want them to meet new friends, find new mentors and gather in a community of support. We want them to know they are loved and cherished and that they matter, and that there is a giant team of Worth More Nation volunteers behind them who cares. I am a woman of faith who believes that God created each person with a purpose, plan and destiny to bring them hope and a good future. When trauma enters into your life as a child—through no fault your own—the unconscious messages often are that it is your fault and that you are unworthy. It is so important to girls and young ladies experiencing hard circumstances to break out of those negative mindsets and to find inner value and purpose to break free to a new future. I know this from personal hardship and experience. LM: What kind of funding support do you receive? SA: We have been supported by the upstate New York and national pageant and fashion community who have embraced our idea of building confidence ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS } “As CAP and WMN have a strong, shared bond, Lauri and WMN Founder Sandy Arena had the following conversation about children—particularly the needs of girls— currently or formerly in foster care.”

and self-worth because they know from their own personal experiences that pageantry with purpose and fashion on the runway can be powerful. I always joke that if you want something done, ask a pageant girl and pageant mom. I have found these girls and women to be goal oriented, compassionate, and service oriented. They are the ones collecting and shipping us the dresses and gowns that our participants wear on stage and bring home. We also have received a tremendous amount of support from the foster care community, professional photographers, and from our local and school communities. All of our goals have been accomplished through inkind donations of gowns and dresses, and fundraising efforts. LM: What do you want the world to know about Worth More Nation? SA: I want the world to know that we are here to help all girls and young ladies in need of a boost to know and understand their worth, and that we do it through the power of pageantry with a purpose, fashion, advocacy, and giving. There are so many broken children and young people in this world, and it is within our power to come alongside to guide and offer our love, support and healing. Glitter is our gig and it is fun, happy and impactful! LM: What are your next goals? SA: To take Worth More Nation to a higher level, our next goal is to become a 501(c)(3) organization to open up new levels of funding to expand our programs. My goal is to have a Miss 286


Worth More Nation Pageant in every state. I want to gather girls from across the country in the Finger Lakes area for an annual, national pageant to showcase on a national stage to help advocacy and to be connected to a community. We need funding support for legal fees for the 501(c)(3), and for event production fees. A crown, banner, and t-shirt package costs approximately $60 per girl, never mind the venue and production costs to produce a top notch pageant event. We only want the best for the girls we serve!

Sam, son Caleb, son-in-law John, and daughters Alexis and Annaliese have been deeply supportive of WMN. They do everything from moving dresses and show equipment from one place to another; hauling props and gowns to our empowerment photo shoots; working backstage as dressing room attendants or backstage managers; to performing dance productions on our stages. My oldest daughter Alexis has been so gracious in sharing her dance company at our shows.

Another goal is to beautify our Worth More Nation dress closet. To keep our expenses down, the dress closet is currently located in a spacious and separate apartment area in our home. Last year, we held a fashion show fundraiser to raise money to put down new flooring in the closet. The floors are currently crumbling and we have makeshift rugs to try to cover them. We ended up donating that money to support a local foster care family who had tragically lost one of their children that they had adopted through foster care. They were collecting money to give him the funeral service he deserved, and we felt that was more important to support than our flooring needs. Girls come to the closet for fittings for our pageants and fashion shows, and I would love for them to have a top notch boutique experience when trying on the dresses, because after all, that is part of the fun and joy in the confidence building journey!

My youngest daughter Annaliese, however, has been the most involved in the administrative work behind the scenes, helping to keep the dress closet organized along with other local pageant volunteers, helping with all of the dress fittings, and, as a professional model and pageant titleholder for the past nine years, teaching and demonstrating staging and public speaking skills to our participants. She also serves as our emcee, as she is very comfortable in the spotlight and has excellent public speaking skills, learned through participating in pageants! Annaliese has held many pageant titles over the years and has walked in many fashion shows. She is the current Miss Guam High School America and will compete for the title of Miss High School America 2021 in June in Little Rock, Arkansas. Visit her LinkTree to connect with her online:

LM: Who has been involved behind the scenes, and how have they helped? SA: My entire family—including husband

For more information about Worth More Nation, visit Facebook: worthmorenation; Instagram: @worth_more_nation; Youtube: Worth More Nation.

Help Us Find Forever Families for Children Waiting the Longest in Foster Care. At Children Awaiting Parents we provide: Pre- and post-adoption services Support services for youth aging out of foster care MAPP training for prospective adoptive parents Support groups I 585-232-5110 or 888-835-8802






Spring signifies a renewal, new beginnings and growth. As we move into the next season of 2021, Voices For Impact podcast is dropping new episodes that center around this ‘rebirth’ theme. The ladies behind EmPowered Nutrition and Always Chasing Better Coaching share empowerment tips and advice on living your best life in two of the new episodes to hit the podcast. I don’t know about you but January and February are the hardest months of the year for me to get through each year. The cloudy and short wintery days make life a bit more of a struggle but as soon as March hits — I am revitalized and the hope and excitement for the future kicks in. This could also be because March is also my birthday month. The first day of Spring (March 20) to be exact! My birthday always feels extra special because it is the first day of Spring. I feel like I am being reborn into a new year and a new season all at once. This year in particular, I feel this sense of excitement for a new beginning more than years past. Especially since last year, around March 20th was the when the pandemic hit America and so began the beginning of a shut down… but it does not do to dwell on the past, I think collectively we are all looking forward to this new year. Are you the type of person always looking to improve themselves? A life-long learner? Do you look for

inspiration and motivation on how to begin the self-love journey? Do you want to start your own business but do not know where to begin? I am so excited to share all new episodes of Voices For Impact this year. At the start of 2021, Voices For Impact has already dropped some episodes with incredibly talented guests that are sharing their stories and advice, just for you. Spring is a great time to harness the energy of the season and allow your mindset to move away from dreary winter doldrums into the fresh new energy of spring. Life moves quickly, but spring can be a reminder that there’s always time to start a new beginning on our goals, plans, and dreams. The transitions between the seasons offer a great metaphor with which to view our lives, incredible change moves at a slow pace but with patience and persistence, our efforts will allow us to live the lives we seek. I hope you feel motivated to take on the day after reading this article and for more daily inspiration listen to Voices For Impact on Apple, Spotify, and iHeart Radio podcast platforms. Subscribe and stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn @VoicesForImpact.

intimate medium where listeners develop real relationships with hosts, so when hosts recommend products in their own voices, audiences are more likely to try their product. Voices For Impact has attractive demographics for advertisers, with listeners that are more of an affluent, educated consumer than average, according to Edison Research. My current list of sponsors include JAB Online Services, Kefi Marketing, EmPowered Nutrition, among others. Email voices4impactcuse@gmail. com if you would like to get your message out to a new audience by sponsoring an episode or sharing your story to help encourage people to find their passion and purpose. Danielle is a Nazareth College alum and is currently pursuing her MBA. Currently she works as the Senior Director of Development for a local nonprofit. In addition, she volunteers for several organizations in the community and is a Board Member for Association for Fundraising Professionals and a Central New York Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty honoree.

DID YOU KNOW? Podcasts are really effective at selling, spreading awareness, and building good reputations for companies. It’s an ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ SHIFT+CONTROL { VOICES FOR IMPACT} } “Spring signifies a renewal, new beginnings and growth. As we move into the next season of 2021, Voices For Impact podcast is dropping new episodes that center around this ‘rebirth’ theme.”





I’m so sick and tired of hearing about how offensive everything is to everyone lately. When are people going to stop searching for reasons to be offended and just understand life is made to be offensive. It’s how we grow and learn and become strong enough as individuals to weather the storms of life. Humanity was not created equal. That’s just science. And so sometimes, we need to learn how to be offended for real. So, let’s talk about the individuals who seek out the offense in every sentence, every word, or action. The ones standing just on the edge waiting to pounce on words and reconstruct them in a way to convince you that you are offensive. For instance, I was announcing for a local all-female sport one time, And I called them ladies, ladies. All-female sport, Allfemale sport, says it right in the title of the nationwide organization. And even though this sport is inclusive to men transforming themselves to women, it’s still considered an all-women sport. My opinion on inclusion is irrelevant. Even when I participated, I too competed right alongside these once men, now women athletes. My opinion never mattered, and I truly didn’t care. As for me, I competed with boys and men my entire life. 292


Yet other women spoke of the unfairness of it, But that is neither here nor there. For me, I didn’t care, I just loved to compete and win. Especially winning against a boy. But that is not today’s topic. Apparently, when I spoke of the ladies as an announcer to an allwoman sport, I am offensive. I received an email the next day from the committee who keeps the peace to inform me of my offensive language and how I needed to publicly apologize and express how I would refrain from such offensive language in the

future. I honestly had to reread this email, about ten times as there is no way calling women ladies is offensive. If that’s the case, then the world truly has gone to shit. You can bet I hopped right onto my laptop to reach back and let them know how in fact I would not do as they requested. My response was not what they wanted to hear, and I am true to myself, so I said what any gal like me would say. I let them know

I’d be sure to continue to call them ladies, ladies. And no, I wasn’t sorry for a thing. I knew that I would be resigning as the announcer and would resign in person. At the next game. After announcing for them ladies. But Then the world shut down, and isolation of interactions began. And social media justice warriors became the new pseudo hero of the day. And yet again, karma offends the weak-minded. How is this so? You ask. Well, unbeknownst to me, the offended are always lurking and looking for ways to be offended. Twisting what you say and conforming it into an offense. When it truly isn’t. But I can be offensive, I knowhow. Yet this was not one of the times I choose to offend. Apparently, a month after a post I shared on my personal social media page, I was going to receive yet another email. The peacekeepers, or easily offended as I’d like to refer to them, had joined together to twist a meme I shared into an offense which again they were going to request my apologies. Why it was wrong and how I would not do such an offensive thing again. The email never made it, as my good friend and president of the ladies league reached out and asked me to go get coffee.




KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “ I’m so sick and tired of hearing about how offensive everything is to everyone lately. When are people going to stop searching for reasons to be offended and just understand life is made to be offensive.”

Restrictions were now lifting, and so we could meet up have a coffee and discuss what I did so wrong toward the league, what was so offensive this time around. Apparently, when I shared a meme of kids throwing tantrums that said “Remember these kids?” And then adults doing the same stating, “they grew up now.” It was offensive enough to three individuals who were asking for a public apology and how I’ve learned my lesson. I laughed and asked my friend to let them know, and I quote to %#%# off. I expressed how if any of these soft-skinned c ow a rd s h a d personally engaged in a private conversation with me and ask me about how the meme pertains to me, they would have learned a little something about Karma. Something along the lines of how I stand behind the rule of disciplining children as to make for adults who don’t feel entitled. How I’ve raised not only my 3 children, but over the years countless other children and how one of the greatest rewards is watching a child flourish into an independent, self-sufficient thick-skinned individual. Who knows the difference between being offended and searching for the offense to play the victim. That the meme didn’t 294


pertain to one of them and the fact that they wanted to claim I offended them. So yeah, I learned my lesson. The lesson that the few months since I’ve heard this, and the label they have put on me as to having offended them, I’d like to let them know what being offended truly is. It isn’t a meme. That means something totally different to me than the agenda and label you placed upon it and me to feel sorry for yourself. Me offending you would go a little like this.

aged housewife pretending that one day you will actually be as good at the sport as your daughter is? That the midlife crisis of wanting to be cool at an all women’s sport, yet only good enough to pretend to the kids as a half-rate coach who never actually played the sport and never will make that first-rate team. Or is it the ethnic card I could throw at you and make funny Innuendos about dirty knees and such? And straw hats and rice patties. These types of things would be offensive, for real. But I did not take it upon myself to go ahead and let your words of “Karma offended me” ring true, as I’m not an offensive person. But now I suppose you can read this and now you can claim I’ve offended you. And now it would be true.

Your upset I called ladies, ladies? Is it because you in fact, take offense because you’re more of a man than the female version of yourself you married, and he follows you around like a scared little housewife jump in whenever you say so? Is it because you, in fact, are a man in transition? Is that why you were offended by me calling you a lady on the track? Or is it the fact that you’re a middle-






Revolutionary innovation has always been a key part of what makes Animal Care Sanctuary special. As one of the first no-kill shelters in the nation when we were founded over 50 years ago, being on the cutting edge of new ideas to save more lives is a part of our roots. We’ve carried that with us over the years by working hard to be on that forefront. Nearly 10 years ago, we launched our own low cost community veterinary clinic, which has been a vital part of our operations and still relatively uncommon for an animal shelter. Additionally, our pre-vet intern program is one of extremely few in the country.

theoretically. Fortunately, ACS had the space in our then-recently renovated cattery, so we started taking in these supposedly ill cats and housing them in their own area. However, after months of caring for these cats, not only did our staff notice that the felines seemed perfectly healthy, they showed no symptoms of any illness at all.

And now, we’re looking to be on the cutting edge to save more lives once again. Over the last couple of years, our cattery began looking at FIV and FeLV positive cats more closely. FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV (feline leukemia virus) are similar retroviruses that only affect cats. In years past, a cat that tested positive for either of these viruses was essentially euthanized automatically – partly because many shelters generally don’t have the space to quarantine sick felines with contagious viruses. These viruses affect a feline’s immune system, making it easier for them to get sick – at least 296


So we slowly started looking for adopters for these cats. Being as transparent with potential adopters as possible, we informed them honestly about their conditions – that the cat tested positive for FIV or FeLV and what that means. But because of the stigma surrounding these viruses, finding homes for these otherwise

extremely sweet and adoptable felines was proving difficult. But more is being learned around the country about these viruses. And the biggest takeaway is how little is actually known about the viruses. A recent research article published by the Humane Society of the United States helped us confirm what we were already learning: that these viruses are not necessarily deadly, not exceptionally contagious, and infected cats are capable of living long, happy lives. In fact, even the testing process itself is not reliable in diagnosing these viruses. Armed with this new information, we’re setting out to battle the stigma that FIV and FeLV cats are deathly ill and unadoptable. In fact, the three FeLV felines that we’ve had up for adoption for months, have all found homes in February, including 10-yearold Pawdme and sevenyear-old Lando, the latter of which was with us since August of last year and even spent time as our office cat. So if you’re out looking for a new feline friend and come across a cat that is FIV or FeLV positive, don’t pass them by. In our experience, FIV and FeLV kitties have been some of the sweetest felines that have come through our doors. Give them a chance.



{{ THE ACS CORNER }} SHIFT+CONTROL “As one of the first no-kill shelters in the nation when we were founded over 50 years ago, being on the cutting edge of new ideas to save more lives is a part of our roots.”














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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Treatment: A doctor will need to treat any underlying causes of telogen effluvium. If a physician suspects that specific medications are causing hair loss at any form, they may change them. ANAGEN EFFLUVIUM Anagen Effluvium causes large amounts of hair to fall out rapidly during the growth phase of the hair cycle. The condition may cause hair to fall out from the head, as well as from other parts of the body, including eyebrows and eyelashes, just like chemotherapy treatment. Treatment: Treatment for this condition depends on the cause but can include a topical solution of minoxidil. If a person has anagen effluvium as a result of undergoing chemotherapy, cooling the scalp during the procedure may help. Hair will often grow back 3–6 months after stopping chemotherapy. ALOPECIA AREATA Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall out suddenly. The immune system attacks hair follicles, along with other healthy parts of the body. Hair from the scalp, as well as eyebrows and eyelashes, may fall out in small chunks. Treatment: If a person has this state of being, they should see a physician. A doctor may prescribe medication to help the hair grow back. TRACTION ALOPECIA 304


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

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







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

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

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

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

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





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





Let’s talk about eyebrows. The eyebrows main function is to prevent sweat, water, and other debris from falling down into the eye socket but they are also important to human connection and facial expression. Another function of eyebrows is to prevent moisture from flowing into the eye. Of course, so that we do not get chemicals into the eye that doesn’t belong there. In the beauty industry, the eyebrows are a huge part of the whole look! It is common for people to modify their eyebrows by means of hair removal and makeup. Fashion in eyebrow shape continues to change throughout the ages and eyebrows have always featured heavily in fashion often a part of cultural demands made on women about body hair. Did you know that eyebrows in different cultures and decades symbolized someone’s power? Japanese women and men from the eighth century practiced a look called “hikimayu” where shaving or plucking of the eyebrow hair was in and painting smudge like brows higher on the forehead happened. This practice is comparable to an era where women who shaved their eyebrows were symbolized as high class women. Starting in the 1970s are when doctors started injecting patients with botox to raise the brow instead of having them naturally sag as we age. Now

during the 21st century, injections are the most popular trend as well as plastic surgery to prevent the look of aging, and stay looking younger! Who doesn’t want to stay looking young? I certainly would love to look young forever. Another few trends in the skincare and beauty industry today, to keep up a clean look with brows are now brow lamination, brow tinting, and microblading. Some people even permanently tattoo their eyebrows as a way to permanently achieve and maintain the color and shape. What are eyebrow lamination, brow tinting,

and microblading? Eyebrow lamination is a relatively new procedure that focuses on creating shiny, smooth, and natural brows. Brow Lamination is also known as an eyebrow perm just like lash lifting is known as an eyelash perm. This service is great for people who want a more clean and shiny look to their brows. For people who have very messy brows, or thin brows and need more of a uniform look, this is great to schedule for yourself. Unlike microblading, needles and coloring are not involved unless you add a tint which is a temporary dye added to the brows that last up to

eight weeks depending on the brand. Brow Lamination is temporary and lasts up to six weeks. The process of microblading, also called cosmetic tattooing, involves an eyebrow technician to use a machine to create small precise cuts that match the strokes of hair naturally. Microblading does involve needles, and goes down one to two layers underneath the skin, which is why it is not permanent. A permanent tattoo lasts forever because it goes much deeper into the layers of the skin. The brand that I use to microblade my clients lasts 1-2 years. Mi c ro s h a d i n g is a part of the microblading process where a tattooing technique occurs in which a small handheld tool made of several tiny needles is used to add semi-permanent pigment to the skin. Microblading itself is a tiny blade used to create similar texture brow strokes to add more hairs, definition, and shape. You might be asking, “well since it is a tattoo...does it hurt?” I apply a numbing cream on for ten minutes before starting the actual service which creates no pain. It is more of a sensation where you don’t feel much but you hear a sound that clients might not like. Microblading and Microshading is definitely worth the money for how long they last and the fact that you do not need to fill them in as much anymore! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ BEAUTY TALK } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Did you know that eyebrows in different cultures and decades symbolized someone’s power?”

There is a pre and post process for each microblading/shading service that you need to prepare yourself for which will be included during the consultation. Microblading isn’t only reserved for thin, sparse brows even if you’ve been blessed with naturally full ones, microblading can enhance what’s already there. But the results are especially remarkable on those with thin brows (and can be nearly 312


life-changing for people who suffer from alopecia or cancer). Last but not least there is eyebrow tinting which is the application of a semi permanent eyebrow dye to enhance, shape, and more so define the brows. This service is great for anyone. The more you learn, the more questions you might have and the more interested you become in

trying one of these amazing services. Well, you can. Contact and book with BeautifyMe today and you will get a discount off of your first service! Contact BeautifyMe so we can Beautify you. Instagram: @beautifyme247 Email:




{ WELLNESS 360 }


Have you ever wanted to start an exercise program but felt overwhelmed with misleading products and information? Starting an exercise program can be a complicated and expensive process. There are many infomercials with the latest and greatest exercise equipment “guaranteed” to cut inches off your waistline. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement; I know firsthand how easy it is. Unfortunately, there are no cookie-cutter weight loss solutions. Modifications may be necessary depending on your health history and fitness level. This article will highlight exercises that can maximize your weight loss and minimize your spending. Cardiovascular You may assume that revving up your heart rate with a good run is the best solution for weight loss. Running, done correctly, can be great when paired with an appropriate strengthening regimen. If you go to the gym and head straight to the cardio section alone, you are doing yourself a missservice. When you do cardiovascular exercise alone, your body will burn fat. Unfortunately, your body will also burn your muscles for fuel. In time, this will wear away your overall muscle mass. There are many great benefits to cardiovascular exercise; it decreases stress, improves heart function, reduces the risk of multiple 314


diseases, including cancer. Here are some great ways to build cardiovascular training into your workouts: • Bike riding • Running/jogging • Jump rope • Walking at a high intensity • Swimming • Dancing Get your heart rate up! But do not

part of weight loss. Between inactivity and the natural aging process, muscle loss is inevitable. Some women avoid muscle strengthening from the fear of “bulking up.” While muscle does weigh more than fat, you will appear leaner and thinner; a pound of muscle is much smaller than a pound of fat. Building strong muscles carry many benefits, including improved bone density, less back pain, and improved joint stability. You can do weight training at home or in a gym. Here are the different ways you can incorporate strength training into your workouts. Free weights: • Free weights include dumbbells, plates, barbells, or kettlebells. If you do not have access to free weights, you can use soup cans or plastic bottles filled with sand.

forget to pair it with some strength training. Strength Training What if I were to tell you that you could burn more calories while you rest? Good news, you can! The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day. That is not the only benefit of strength training; You will stand taller, breathe deeper, improves your balance, and more. Muscle mass is an essential

Machines: • These machines are located in your gym. Most machines have instructions written on them and are set up in a circuit form. It is essential to use these machines in the appropriate settings based on your height. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Resistance bands: • These are easy to pack, affordable, easy to store, and great for your muscles. You can complete a full workout with bands and body weight.




{ WELLNESS 360 } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Starting an exercise program can be a complicated and expensive process. There are many infomercials with the latest and greatest exercise equipment “guaranteed” to cut inches off your waistline.”

It is essential to check your bands frequently for rips and tears.


Bodyweight: • That’s right! You do not have to buy a single piece of equipment and still get a great strengthening workout. Yoga, Pilates, TRX, squats, and lunges are all great ways to strengthen those muscles in the convenience of your own home and the affordable price tag of $0.

exercise per week. Your workouts can spread this out throughout the week. Circuit training is a great way to combine strength training and cardiovascular into one workout. Circuit training is the best way to get in a quick workout and maximize your fat and calorie loss. Adding a short burst of cardiovascular into your strengthening program will allow your body to burn calories long after your workout is over.

So, how do we put all of this knowledge together and design a well-balanced program? In most circumstances, you do not need a full hour a day to exercise. Studies show that you should be getting 150 minutes of

To put together a great circuit: 1. Pick 8-10 exercises. 2. Move to each exercise with minimal rest in-between. 3. Alternate between a strengthening exercise then follow up with a burst


of cardiovascular exercise. 4. Complete the circuit 2-3 times, and you are done! If you are looking to start an exercise program and have underlying health issues, it’s always best to start slow and talk with your health care professional first. At Wellness 360, we are the fitness experts. Our specialty group fitness classes are led and designed by Physical Therapists. Our classes are designed to manage, prevent, or reverse your disease diagnosis using exercise. Let us help get you on the right track to a life of health and wellness. Check us out at www.









For many women, and men, sex with a partner is less about exhileration and more about intimacy, partnership, role fulfillment, and perhaps even reducing anxiety about how they think they are supposed to want sex. Contrary to popular belief, these are PERFECTLY NORMAL ways of thinking about sex. Some may consider themselves to be demisexual (a sexual orientation in which one is attracted to only those to whom one feels close), or having responsive desire (feeling desire after feeling sexually aroused), and some may even identify as asexual (a sexual orientation in which people feel little or no attraction to others). Many people like all the “extras” from sex: closeness, intimacy, relaxation, release, security, comfort, relational satisfaction, and feeling good about nurturing and caring for their partner. If all goes well, a sexual experience that starts out from a place of willingness rather than wanting may end up with that sexual kick of sensation— but it is like the cherry on a sundae or extra pepperoni on pizza - it’s an option one might enjoy (perhaps really, really enjoy) but not the reason for sitting down to eat. You may have been taught that having an orgasm is the best thing in the universe. Or, that if you don’t crave sex, you are not normal. Maybe things started out the other way— you could not keep your hands out of your partner’s pants (or your own). Sex was exciting and desireable. You felt satisfied and you satisfied

your partner. But now you feel like a rotary dial phone, a VHS player, a dried flower. You may be the person in a relationship who feels like this, or you may be in a relationship with someone who feels like this. Some “want to want” sex. Some are desperate to feel wanted. Some may be old enough to know the Cheap Trick song “I want you to want me” and believe this is the ONLY way to be in a relationship: everyone feeling equally wanted. I call this the “Tyranny of Reciprocity”. This is the idea that unless the balance is perfectly even at any given moment, the relationship is unfair or inadequate. When it comes to sex this manifests as: “I had an orgasm. Now you need one too.” Or “you had an orgasm, now I get one.” Or, “I wanted sex/initiated sex last time, now its your turn.” Let’s compare it to other domestic activities: Do your bodies sleep the same number of hours? If you had 4 scoops of ice cream and I’m full after one, do I need to eat 3 more? I just sneezed and I feel great, now it’s your turn? Many couples have what we call “discrepant desire”— one partner wants more sex and the other wants less (or, at least, they want to not feel bad about wanting less.) Some couples feel that they get along in every way except sex. They try to be happy with this lack of sexual contact but they want more. This is common. For many couples, sex is like a vitamin: you need a certain

amount for the relationship to be healthy and even if neither of you wants to take that vitamin, its still good for both of you in the long run. In a recent large study of the factors that contribute to relational satisfaction, sexual satisfaction was rated as one of the most influential. Some strategies people take to address this: ● Compromise: Jane want sex 4 times a month, Alex wants sex just 1 time a month at a maximum, so they will try for every other week. (Hint, not going to work well). Unwanted sex is unwanted sex whether its with a husband, a wife, a stranger or a politician. ● Give up on sex together and try other partners: This requires lots of conversation and consent and for some folks it might just work but for others it breaks what most people consider the primary agreement of a long term relationship— the two of us together forever. Feeling pushed into an agreement like this is rarely helpful. ● Give up on sex altogether: Some couples will navigate a sexless marriage well, but many will find that sex is a key ‘vitamin’ and without it all the love, compassion, and emotional intimacy is not enough. All couples, no matter their age or health status, can create sex worth having. (A quick medical note especially for women: sex should never hurt. If sex is painful, medical interventions are available.)



{ {SEXUALLY SPEAKING SHIFT+CONTROL } } “People looking to enhance their sexual relationships need skills, tasks, a mental attitude, and practice to have more satisfying sex (please note: we are not aiming for “more sex” — we are going for more satisfying sex.)”

) ● Bully and demand your partner have more sex because that is the unspoken expectation of the relationship/marriage agreement: this never works. Meaning, while there may be sex, this is not the way to feel closer, get more intimate, or have each party be satisfied. If the goal is to make just one person happy, this may make for a peaceful kingdom. However, somewhere in there is pain and dissatisfaction, if not worse— trauma.

made without devoting significant time and dedication to the practice. What if you were able to interview people who felt that they had amazing, intimate sex and figure out how they did that? What if you could unleash a team of researchers to identify exactly what these folks had in common: how they talked about sex, felt about their bodies, experienced in their bodies, minds, and spirit, what skills they had, what they thought about during sex?

If you are interested in learning more about Optimal Sexual Experiences groups at the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness, please visit our website at www. or call (585) 865-3584 to arrange for an initial assessment to find out if the groups are right for you. You can find more information about the Optimal Sexual Experiences research team and other pairs of trained therapists at

There is hope and a better way. At the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness (and other clinics around North America) there is a new therapy called Optimal Sexual Experience Groups. This is a research proven method for couples with desire discrepancy or with low/no sex relationships to improve their sexual relationship. The Optimal Sexual Experience method recognizes that everyone is OK just the way they are. People looking to enhance their sexual relationships need skills, tasks, a mental attitude, and practice to have more satisfying sex (please note: we are not aiming for “more sex” — we are going for more satisfying sex.) Bad sex leads to a mental attitude of expecting bad sex which — no surprise — leads to bad sex.

Well, this study has been done and the findings are different from what you might expect. In Magnificent Sex, Peggy Kleinplatz and A. Dana Menard, along with their research team, decode the components, facilitators, and pathways to optimal sexual experiences for couples. Dr. Kleinplatz has trained teams of group leaders all over North America to deliver a carefully crafted group treatment. At the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness, we are honored to be a part of this ongoing research into enhancing sexual relationships by offering Optimal Sexual Experiences Groups. The 8 session group for couples is private, confidential, and includes education, discussion, and instructions for homeplay. Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness’ first series of groups, led by Mr. Rosen and Dr. Kranz, concluded in December 2020, with great success. The 6 couples in the group emerged with new direction and hope for enhancing their sexual relationships. The next session is forming now, are you ready for more satisfying sex in your relationship?

Daniel Rosen is a licensed clinical social worker and an AASECT certified sex therapist. He is the Behavioral Medicine Director at the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness where he sees individuals, couples, and provides group therapy as well as supervising sex therapists in training on their way to AASECT certification. He is a lifelong Rochesterian who nurtures plants, builds things, and is continually learning to play the guitar..

“Great lovers are made not born.” Great lovers are similar to great chefs who learn through dedication, training, trial and error, and the addition of their own special sauce. Some people ARE born with a flair for flavors — but no great chefs are 320






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

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




Women’s history month is a time to reflect on all of the sacrifices moms in the workforce have overcome to get us to where we are today. Starting every day at 6am(or earlier!), working through the battles of getting the kids dressed, fed, and off to school before stepping foot in the office for a day full of never-ending meetings has become the normal for women in the workforce. However, being a working mom can cause overwhelming stress from the divided attention between home life and work life. I’ve walked in those shoes and can say from my own personal experience that for me, staying organized and focused have proven to be a few of the keys to balancing profession and parenthood. If you’re struggling to find that balance, here are a few of the tips that have helped me (attempt to) balance life as a working mama! EASE YOUR MORNINGS If you’re anything like me—the mornings are often the most chaotic part of my day. I had to learn through experience to switch up my routine and find what works for me to ease stress and become more efficient. One of the biggest changes is getting to bed early so I can wake up before my toddler. I noticed a huge increase in my stress levels when I was rushing to get ready while also trying to meet her needs and carry-out her own morning routine. Now, I set my alarm so that I can at least get my contacts in, brush my teeth, pour a cup of juice and get the day rolling. Another obstacle I 326


faced, was packing lunch and getting her breakfast. I found that by adding lunch prep to my nightly routine, it eased up the pressure in the morning. Choosing a quick and easy breakfast option also made my life easier—save the weekends for fancy options like pancakes. Last but not least, I have committed to pre-packing my work bag and purse and setting them by the door with my keys. This helps

me avoid scrambling in the morning and I’m able to ensure I don’t forget anything crucial during the rush. RELEASE ANY GUILT Ahhh, the inevitable struggle that all moms face—mom guilt. It’s real and can be crippling but navigating it has been one of the healthiest things I’ve done for myself. First and foremost, it’s important to talk about how you’re feeling with someone you

trust. Whether it be your spouse or a trusted therapist/support person. One of the worst things to do is keep the feelings to yourself and as a result, create so much tension within that you’re not able to remain present and plugged in on the outside. For me, I took the step to hire a therapist who has helped me pass through this new terrain. She has guided me through my own personal dialogue as I work hard to change it from negative self-talk to positive reinforcement. Beyond talking through it and creating a plan that works best for you, there’s things you can do to help cope as well. For example, setting aside specific time each evening to spend undistracted/ uninterrupted time with your little one(s) can make a world of difference. Chances are, they’re longing to connect with you after a long day, just as much as you are. Put aside even just 30 minutes of intentional time to play, giggle, and snuggle with them. It also serves as time to look forward to when you’re missing them throughout the day. Additionally, you can set aside specific activities with each of your kiddos that become weekly traditions. Prioritizing your time and being mindful to be fully present during that time, can truly help ease the guilt and ensure they are feeling loved. SUPPORTIVE CHILDCARE Knowing that your children are being loved on while you’re away is




{ B.MOR } “Women’s history month is a time to reflect on all of the sacrifices moms in the workforce have overcome to get us to where we are today.”

one of the most reassuring gifts. I am incredibly grateful to have a tribe of people who love on my daughter just like I do and so she feels that consistent connection even if I’m not physically there. Finding the right, supportive childcare not only puts you at ease, but your little one as well. Whether you’re leaning into family for support, a nanny, or a childcare center, be sure you do your diligence so that you feel completely comfortable with the arrangement and the environment that they will be thriving in while you’re away! Making a list of priorities of what’s most important to you for them will help in the process as 328


you select the right caregivers.

OCD loves this tip the most!)

CREATE A FAMILY CALENDAR I’ll be the first to admit that digital calendars have saved me in more ways than one! However, in this case—I think it’s important to utilize a digital calendar as well as a physical wall calendar that’s visible in the home for all to see! There’s a ton of acrylic wall calendars on Amazon and Etsy that allow you to color code activities, plan meals, mark down free time and communicate the week among your family members! Using tools like this helps everyone stay organized and on the same page! (Spoiler alert: My

These are just a few of the things that have helped me as I continue to learn and grow as a working mama. I hope they help you too and most of all—I hope you know how valued and appreciated you are! It’s not easy to wear all of the hats, but, your little one(s) look up to you and learn from everything you do. If nothing less, you’re teaching your daughters and sons how to work hard and love hard all at the same time and it doesn’t get much better than that!





Vicarious means to feel how someone else is feeling through our imaginations. In Sanskirt the word Muditā “means joy; especially sympathetic or vicarious joy, or the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being” as defined by Wikipedia. As I was meandering along my life I was reflecting upon recent joys of people around me. On Friday, one of the students I counsel, with the assistance of her school counselor, applied for college. The background of this student is rough stuff. Tons of trauma, hardship, and hurdles to overcome. You would not know this if you met her. She comes to school every day with a smile on her face, does her work, and gives it her all. A few years ago she was not sure she would see this day as she had been suicidal. Her joy, her Sukha, was pure and heartfelt in this moment. I felt it and celebrated with her. “We’re stronger when we cheer each other one.” Serena Williams There have been times in my life, too many, where I did not fully embrace or experience someone else’s joy. Perhaps it was because they were experiencing something I wanted and my unhealthy envy kicked in, I did not feel they deserved whatever goodness was occurring (which reflected my insecurities and ego) or other reasons I did not totally understand. What I do know is as I worked on myself, became more whole and in love with who I am, I could celebrate someone else’s joy completely. Even when there were times I was feeling some envy or ego, I would cheer the other person on will all of my gusto. To my surprise, when I moved beyond my negative feelings to celebrate someone else, I felt better, happier, confident.

“How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you.” Kushandwizdom

lose that quality or possession in order to make things seem fair.”

Lately I have been reading “Think Like A Monk” by Jay Shetty. In one part He talks about “Reverse Internal Energy”, how envy, and “Schadenfreude” which means “taking pleasure in the suffering of others”. Jay says “When we derive joy from other people’s failure, we’re building our houses and pride on the rocky foundation of someone else’s imperfection or bad luck.” Think of it this way as Jay states it “The more we define ourselves in relation to the people around us, the more lost we are.”

The way to feel better about ourselves will always be doing the work to like, and love, ourselves. To combat the voices of negativity in our heads with ones of strength and capability. Build on our confidence and strength. To work towards what we want to accomplish. To give a big WAHOO to celebrate the joys of others. When we expand our joyousness to beyond ourselves by feeling our Muditā for others, joy radiates into a world where more joy needs to be celebrated.

You know what happens when you celebrate the joys and accomplishments of others? It is freeing, beautiful, connecting. Just imagine if we all began to acknowledge and support the joy of others with no negativity? We could have “joy flash mobs” where we are joyous because of the accomplishments of someone else. “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” William Arthur Ward Too often in our “comparison culture” today we rank ourselves by comparing to others. Relationships, grades, jobs, vacations, clothes, cars, homes and more. Guess what? This way of thinking is destructive to us. Our envy feelings don’t build us up. They bring us down. A Psychology Today article states “Envy has to do with feeling unhappy about the success of someone else, or about what they have and, at the same time, secretly feeling inferior yourself. Instead of finding success for yourself or improving yourself, you may be envious and want what another person has or find yourself wishing that the other person would

We are not born with low sense of self and lack of confidence. How life comes at us, and how we are impacted by life events, affects us. The great news is we can change how we feel about ourselves. An article in Zen Habits states “I strongly believe that you can do things to increase your self-confidence. It is not genetic and you do NOT need to be reliant on others to increase your self-confidence. And if you believe that you are not very competent, not very smart, not very attractive, etc…that can be changed.” We all have the power and ability to change what we believe to be our truth if we are willing to do the work. We are worth the work. You and all of your amazing skills and talents matter. Let’s Muditā for others and create flash mobs of joy. Celebrate each other with gusto. To view others achievements as inspirations, because if they can accomplishment something it means you can too. To see the success of others as a moment in time to be joyous. That is the type of world I envision for all of us. May your Muditā be with you. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021






You have a right to tell your story. I often speak with clients who want to write an autobiography. However, many are afraid of how others will react. More specifically, writers are worried about how their family and friends will be affected. Will my story offend my loved ones? Should I keep this a secret? Will others turn on me? These are common questions when someone is writing an autobiography. While these are valid and important questions, there are more questions to consider. Why are you writing the story? Is it going to help you or heal you? I believe these questions are most important. You have the right to share your experience regardless of others’ opinions and feelings. Do not allow yourself to be silenced or shamed. To protect others and yourself you can create aliases instead of using real names. You can also use a pen name. Another option is to write a fiction story that mirrors your life instead of writing an autobiography. These will not necessarily prevent backlash, but it can soften the blow. You have the right to use your voice even if others don’t want to hear it. Remember, the autobiography is an outlet for you and inspiration to others. Don’t take it to the grave with you, share it with the world (if it is truly something you want to do).








When was the last time you danced in the rain? Although it may sound a bit cliché - have you ever danced in the rain? Thrown caution to the wind? With April coming up and bringing showers, this could be your perfect opportunity! Most of us may see the rain as depressing. A grayness that envelopes us. A longing to see the sun and feel its warmth to re-energize us. We need and crave the sun, no doubt. But without our April showers, there could be no May flowers. Touché, right? Yes - without the rain, there is no true appreciation for the sun. So, instead of longing for what is coming. Embrace the now, knowing it will make the latter - that much sweeter! No one ever said we could not enjoy both sides of a yin and yang situation. Yin and yang, yet another cliché saying? Or is it? Is it, as the definition for cliché goes, a phrase that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought? I think not, for when you look at what yin and yang represent, it is far from not being original! It is a concept of opposites that complement each other. In this case, take our April showers that will complement our May flowers. No fooling, dancing in the rain can give you just as much enjoyment as skipping in the sun. Speaking of fooling, I’d be remiss in acknowledging

another thing April is well known for... April Fool’s Day! April 1st is, of course, April Fool’s Day! A perfect excuse for tomfoolery, but what is it? Or should I say, who is it? The origin of tomfoolery seems to come from a man named Thomas Skelton. Around 1600, he was a jester or a fool for the Pennington family at the Muncaster Castle in Britain. He was known as Tom Fool. It is said he was even possibly the model for the jester in William Shakespeare’s play, King Lear of 1606. Unfortunately, it seems he wasn’t a very pleasant man! Tales of him sitting under a tree by the side of the road with weary travelers asking him for directions. Depending on whether he liked you, he would either tell you one way or send you on a treacherous way to the marshes! Even though that origin seems to be the most well-known, Tom Fool is actually centuries older! He started appearing around in the 1300s as Thomas Fatuus. The first part, Thomas, a common name like what we use today with Tom, Dick or Harry. The Fatuus part means stupid or foolish. And yet, how could any of this possibly tie into our April Fool’s Day? Surely, April’s Fool Day is a fairly modern-day made-up celebration? Actually no, it’s not! Although its exact origins remain a mystery, some historians speculate it dates back to 1582. This was when France switched from a Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

People who were slow to get the news continued to celebrate the New Year during the last week of March to April 1st. They quickly became the butt of jokes and pranks for not knowing the calendar had changed. One prank was to put paper fish on their backs, for it meant they were “easily hooked” or as we may know as a “gullible” person. In 1700, English pranksters began popularizing it by playing practical jokes on each other. By the 18th century it had spread. In Scotland, it became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk”. Gowk is a word for cuckoo bird or a symbol for the Fool. The first day, people were sent on phony errands. The next day, Tailie Day, involved pranks played by pinning fake tails on people’s backside. I suppose you could say a pre-cursor to the modern-day version we know as “kick me” signs! So, there you have it, the history of April Fool’s Day. But what is the future of April Fool’s Day? Some may think it’s not a good holiday to take part in. That it can be mean and even lead to bullying. And yet, isn’t something - what we make of it? My point is, of course, April Fool’s Day should NOT be about being mean or humiliating. Instead, it should be a fun day! I think the safest and most fun way of participating in April Fool’s Day is to not simply target one person. A day to make your co-workers and family smile.



TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “We need and crave the sun, no doubt. But without our April showers, there could be no May flowers. Touché, right? “

When planning a prank, always think about how you would like it if it was done to you. Would you laugh it off and enjoy it, or is it something you would take to heart and may upset you? Doesn’t have to be mean, it simply is a day to have fun and smile. Saying April Fool’s afterwards may seem foolish to say, but I guarantee you it brings a smile and reminiscence of when we were kids trying to fool ole mom and dad. Even one of my favorite writers, Mark Twain, said, “The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days.” There you go, a perfect example. Sometimes laughing at ourselves is the best joke! Sure, old holidays may not be what we want for this day and age, but we can make them what we want. So, what’s it going to be this year for you? To be the fool or to play a fool? Whichever the case, it’s all in good fun! And now this brings us to our five random National April Holidays. A couple of days to put us in the mood for the month coming up: 338


April 3rd - National Find A Rainbow Day - What better way to celebrate Spring than while dancing in the rain and look for our rainbow. Some of you may roll your eyes at the thought but seriously do you want to go through life never being able to say you danced in the rain? That you did not search for rainbows? Doesn’t matter what

April 14th - National Look Up At The Sky Day - So yes, we definitely have a theme going on here. Whether it’s dancing in the rain, looking for rainbows, flying kites on a blustery day or simply staring up and making shapes out of the clouds. April suddenly becomes more than just a rainy month! April 24th - Arbor Day. Arbor Day is a special day that is set aside throughout the world to raise awareness of trees and the important role that they play in our environment. All fooling aside, we need to do our part so that the joke won’t be on our future! Do your part - go plant a tree or find an event that encourages this day to be celebrated!

your age is, this is obtainable - go out and do it! April 12th - National Big Wind Day - Maybe a good day to go fly a kite? Yet another thing that has no age restriction. This is more fun than you may realize. Pack up and go to the park. Soar your kite high in the sky and soon your troubles will float away too.

April 30th National Honesty Day. Seriously, how funny is this? April you start out as a fool only to end up honest, you are a wild and crazy month!



Perimenopause is referred to as the final cessation of your menstrual cycle and the time in which you will start the journey of menopause and menopausal symptoms. Mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain and vaginal dryness are just a few of the signs that you are heading towards the big change. Perimenopause is a different journey for every woman, but on average, it takes about a year to complete if you are heading into menopause naturally (not medically forced). The average age occurs between 45-55, after which time you are postmenopausal. Common signs and symptoms of perimenopausal include the following: • Missed Periods • Hot Flashes • Weight Gain • Sleep Deprivation • Mood Swings • Sore Breasts • Chronic Headaches • Night Sweats • Memory Problems • Changes to skin and hair (pH balance changes) • Incontinence As if these symptoms are not enough, there are a few others that I really want to focus on. Vaginal Dryness is an unfortunate and uncomfortable early warning sign of menopause. Estrogen is needed to keep moisture in the skin, hair, eyes and vagina. Vaginal dryness can cause uncomfortable and painful sex but can also lead to other issues such as 342


vaginal atrophy, which is when there is thinning of the tissue and even shorting and tightening of the vaginal canal. It is important to deal with vaginal dryness right away. Sex should not be painful and there are options available to make sure it never is. Primary care doctors or gynecologist may prescribe a type of gel, prescription medication or a vaginal ring to help with dryness. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is another option but not all women can or want to add hormones back into their body. There are organic solutions available and it is important to do your research about those products. In The Pink moisture drops and intimate massage oils are estrogen free but work amazing at putting the moisture back into the vagina. Chronic Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are a type of bladder issue that can affect women in perimenopause. UTI symptoms include urinating more frequently which can be painful, dark, or bloody. Hormone changes are the culprit to frequent UTIs during menopause. These changes can cause vaginal bacteria to change, which increases your risk of not only getting a bladder infection but also experiencing them on a chronic basis. Studies show that menopausal women tend to have a higher pH measurement, which can lead to the risk of developing UTIs. A UTI does not cause a higher vaginal pH but having a high pH can increase a person’s risk of developing a UTI. Reduced estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can put a person at risk of developing more infections. In The Pink’s vaginal moisture

drops are designed to provide moisture which in return helps to keep the pH in balance. Decreased Sex Drive can be a symptom of perimenopause. Studies show that as women head towards the big change they often feel one of two extremes. Some feel sexually liberated now that they are no longer able to get pregnant, while others may become self-consciousness and feel undesirable. The sudden hormone changes can often lead to feelings of depression and anxiety as well. For women it often takes both physical and mental stimulation. If she is in a depressed state or lacking self-confidence because of menopause it can be difficult for her to become aroused. Experiencing vaginal dryness and tender breast can also have an impact on sexual desires. The idea of pain and not enjoyment from sex can keep a woman from being turned on and ready to go. Hip Hemp’s intimate massage oils are a great organic solution to vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. With only a few ingredients these plantbased lubricants are estrogen free and packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Although these products are not designed to increase sex drive, a side effect from feeling more lubricated and not in pain can help bring back the desire to be intimate. Changes to Skin and Hair are a common side effect heading into menopause. The lack of estrogen will soon cause a loss to fatty tissue and collagen which will make skin drier and thinner and will affect the elasticity and lubrication of




{ HIP HEMP } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain and vaginal dryness are just a few of the signs that you are heading towards the big change.”

the skin near your vagina and urinary tract. Hair can become brittle and may even start to fall out. During this time skin may be more prone to developing wrinkles as well as acne blemishes and eczema flare-ups. Hip Hemp’s In The Pink intimate massage oils are great to be used from head to toe and as a lubricant. Hemp Seed Oil is used as the base or the carrying oil of these massage oils. This anti-inflammatory, detoxifying oil and 344


analgesic properties closely match skins lipids. Hemp Seed Oil is packed full of Omega 3 and Linoleic Acids which has been proven to help with skin elasticity. The essential oils that are added to the base oil offers their own benefits of moisturizing and calming along with many other satisfying results. Hip Hemp’s line of In The Pink products are all estrogen free, organic, and free of soy, nuts, dairy, fillers, gluten, chemicals or GMO’s. It is always important to speak

with your doctor about any questions or concerns related to your health. It is also a good idea to keep track of your symptoms you may experience when you start the journey of menopause and make sure to communicate those with doctor as well. There are options available to help feel comfortable and confident during this journey of life.



How many times have you had this conversation in the last year? “How are you?” “As good as can be. Everyone is healthy.” Perhaps even a shadow of guilt arises in your throat – for not being at the very worst end of this catastrophic pandemic. There is something to be said for being grateful for the small things. If you follow any of Brene’s Brown research, you know that gratitude can be instrumental to our well-being. Many people were crushed to see everything they loved taken away from them in March 2020 with the first quarantine. I felt incredibly fortunate, and even a little bit of relief that I could take a little break from life. As a proud Irish American, I felt pardoned from having to stand outside in the cold at the parade. My income was still steady. More time at home with the dog, longer walks. After being on a constant cycle of push, push, push – I got to sleep in on the weekends. For the first time since college, I felt no pressure to drag my butt to the gym before or after work. It was a better pace for me. I had been taking two or three lavish vacations every year for a decade; my bank account was really happy that those took a break. This is the list I clung to. I was actually quite productive in 2020. Never once did I stop to appreciate 346


or celebrate my accomplishments. It felt shameful to do so, when so many other people were suffering. Flash forward to New Year’s Eve, 2020. My mom and I picked up a fantastic bottle of wine and some takeout appetizers from Marty’s on Park. I sat on the couch, ready to watch some TV. Thinking to myself that this was the first time in years I had seen TV on New Year’s Eve. Exotic travels and glitzy parties had gotten in the way of a simple American pleasure. Most of network television featured reflections on 2020. I proceeded to cry for three hours. The memories were gut wrenching. Body bags, medical workers without PPE, police violence, police attacks. Parents losing children, children losing parents. Orphans. So many, dying alone. Explosions. Fires. This was not the first time I had seen any of these pictures, but it was everything I didn’t take time to mourn. It poured out of my eyes. After 10 months of “as good as can be” I sobbed out loud to myself “this was a really hard year.” Throughout 2020, I replaced empathy for world events with “well at least I have…” My feelings rushed in all at once. Friends I missed. Friends who had babies I haven’t met yet. Family reunions that couldn’t happen. Jobs lost – some forever, like my cozy yoga class at the Monroe Y. Goodbyes that didn’t get to be said. Coffees not

shared. Dances not danced. No live music. Couples separated by a glass window. Weddings canceled. Marriages buckling under the pressure. And I know some of you reading this have an entirely different, longer list of pain. Know that your experiences are just valuable if not more valuable than mine, even if they aren’t noted here. I had been so busy looking for silver linings, that I didn’t take into consideration what I missed. According to, “A silver lining is a sign of hope or a positive aspect in an otherwise negative situation. The phrase is often seen as part of the proverb Every cloud has a silver lining, meaning that there’s hope or something good to be found in every bad situation. In real life, when a cloud looks like its edges are shining and silvery, it’s because the sun is behind it. That’s the metaphor: things are cloudy (bad), but they will get sunny (positive) again—or you can least enjoy the one shiny (positive) part in all the gloominess.” We are in a full year of pandemic. We are in a shit sandwich. Mourn and grieve. It’s ok to hurt. The sun will shine again, but you don’t have to pretend like it is right now. As a yoga therapist, I am aware of the ugliness of spiritual bypassing. While well intentioned, it can run a bit rampant in the yoga world. Now – you may be thinking, “We’re just trying to feel better over here




{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “What if you want more than just getting out of bed in the morning? What if you want to do more than just survive?“

get through the day best we can, what do you want from us?” Chasing a silver lining is simply putting a bandaid, or some rose colored glasses, over a bad situation. Sometimes, we need that; it might be what gets us out of bed in the morning. What if you want more than just getting out of bed in the morning? What if you want to do more than just survive? Do you want to take this and turn it into a meaningful action over time? 348


Let yourself feel all of the feelings – the neutral, the positive, the negative. Accept them all. Let them be here. Almost like you’re sitting down at a reunion – you don’t have to like everyone, but you can acknowledge them. Maybe even befriend them. Rarely can anyone move to their truth if they do not accept where they’re at. Even if you have never been to an AA meeting, you more than likely know the first step.

The rest of the steps – warrant their own novel, but you may be surprised by how much relief you feel by letting yourself feel, instead of stuffing everything down. Drop the “well at least” and live in the at once. Even if it hurts. For more info on yoga therapy and life’s sticky spots, visit TozziYoga.Com.









In this article, I will come back to a health topic that affect many people, including many women. I would like to talk about insulin, insulin resistance and how to become the opposite of insulin resistance which is much healthier, becoming Insulin sensitive. You probably have heard about insulin when spoken in regards to diabetes, pre-diabetes, etc. But insulin is a very important hormone. It is released by the pancreas, one of the organs involved in digestion but also is responsible in releasing this important hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells which then reduces blood glucose (blood sugar). I will try to explain it in a simple way. This is how the process goes: when we consume carbohydrates or any food (for example rice, pasta, starchy vegetables, etc.) our bodies break down these foods into its simple forms: glucose, proteins, fats, etc. Most of the mentioned foods, are high in carbohydrates and hence will be broken down into high amount of glucose, which is a simple sugar used for energy in our bodies. There are other types of simple-one molecule sugars such as: fructose, galactose and ribose. Once we have broken down these foods into simple forms of sugar, insulin is released by the pancreas in response to those carbohydrates consumed. Insulin then acts as a train and take the broken down and digested glucose from the blood stream and transports it to the liver and stimulates the making of glucogen in the liver. Glycogen is a molecule that stores glucose in the liver. Think of it like a group of glucose stored, now called

glycogen- like big sugar bags. In states of insulin resistance, the same amount of insulin does not have the same effect on glucose transport and blood sugar levels. Therefore, blood sugar levels may appear high. This is caused when bodies either do not release the same amount of insulin to take away the extra-glucose in the blood or the process is not efficient enough. There are many causes of insulin resistance. Some risk factors for insulin resistance include obesity, little or no physical activity, family history of diabetes, low vitamin D levels, various health conditions, and certain medications. But also, insulin resistance could be a precursor for a person to develop diabetes. Insulin resistance- or the inability of insulin do its function has been link to many conditions such as PCOS, hormonal imbalances in women, infertility, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and may increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative diseases and Autism. Therefore, it is our best interest to find out more about it and how to do the opposite. The opposite is to help our body so that insulin becomes very efficient in taking the extra glucose from our blood stream and this will decrease our risk of diabetes and may improve our hormone levels.

are measured through a laboratory test in the blood and measures the average sugar in the blood in the past 3 months. 3. If waist circumference (measure around your body at the level of your belly buttom) is bigger than hip/buttocks circumference (this is the measurement around your hips at the largest/widest part). 4. If you are constantly feeling tired and need coffee, energy or sugary drinks to stay awake and feeling with brain fog and difficulty concentrating. 5. If you consume a diet high in refine carbs, or foods with high glycemic index such as: rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, breads, etc. In addition, if you consume little amounts of Omega 3, found in fish, nuts or consume high amounts of alcohol or nitrates (found in salmi, bologna, cheeses etc)- this can be another pre-disposing factor. 6. If you have taken for an extended period of time steroid medications, you may be more prone to develop insulin resistance.

1. If our fasting glucose (blood sugar before eating anything in the morning or after not eating for 12 hrs.) is over 95 mg/dL

In summary, if you have one or several of those signs and symptoms and suspect you may be insulin resistance, you should consult with your medical doctor or health provider to further explore these signs. Meanwhile, you should also consider implementing these recommendations that will improve the insulin response and may help to decrease the blood sugar levels, improve your hormonal and energy levels, and overall quality of life.

2. If our A1C levels are over 6. These levels

First of all, let’s consider sleeping.

First, let’s explore signs and symptoms of insulin resistance.



{ LADIOLOGY } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “You probably have heard about insulin when spoken in regards to diabetes, pre-diabetes, etc. But insulin is a very important hormone. ”

Catching up with sleep will help insulin resistance, but meanwhile you work on getting your good nights of sleep, do not depend of caffeine. Instead, hydrate properly by first thing in the morning drink 12-16 onz. of water or “gel” water -soluble fibers (that is by juicing carrot juice, celery juice etc.) these will help with insulin response. Secondly consider adding a routine of regular exercise. When we exercise on regular basics this helps to move glucose to glycogen storage for energy and improve insulin sensitivity and response. According the Deborah Weatherspoon PhD. RN from the Medical News Today – when we exercise, our muscles become more sensitive to insulin therefore helping to possibly reverse insulin resistance by changing into a more active lifestyle. In addition, it is essential to reduce your stress levels and decrease or remove stressors. In a prior article, I mentioned the effects of stress in our bodies and how our bodies under chronic stress may increase the levels of cortisol, therefore further aggravating the insulin resistance. Cortisol is a hormone that acts exactly the opposite of insulin. In the presence of stress, we release cortisol, and will make sugar/glucose more available just in case we need to run or fight to save our lives. In our bodies, our response to stress will be the same, whether the stress is emotional (like a stressful relationship) or physical (running away from a lion), whether is it perceived or real, the body’s response is the same. In case of stress the heart rate will increase, glucose levels in the blood will also increase in case your 352


body needs more energy to fight that lion or run away or if you need to think more rapidly to figure out a situation. Therefore, it is imperative to decrease those stressors and improve our response to those emotional, physical real and perceived stresses. Meditation, yoga, prayer, counseling, talking to a good friend and other forms of stress relievers will help to decrease cortisol levels and improve insulin response. Chiropractic care may help with decreasing your stress response and regulating your nervous system.

of body weight (this is for a person that weights about 200lbs. losing about 10-14 pounds – can reduce the risk of diabetes by 58% and may increase insulin sensitivity giving the individual a better function of insulin and less risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hormonal problems etc.

Other ways to improve your insulin sensitivity would be to reduce sugar intake. Reduce added sugars, sugary drinks, process foods or boxed/canned foods that often contain preservatives and may be high in corn syrup.

In conclusion, many of our body’s responses and hormones are dependent on how well we balance glucose and insulin responses, hence making the goal of becoming insulin sensitive is paramount in our quest for overall health. As always, have an amazing month and until the next one.

Consuming Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts will also help because these will decrease inflammation in the body and improve insulin response. Adding herbs and spices such as cinnamon, may help to decrease blood sugar levels, turmeric (curcumin), ginger and garlic that are powerful anti-inflammatories and may help reduce insulin resistance and improve function. Along with the already mentioned dietary changes, consuming fiber, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and start juicing vegetables such as carrots, spinach and celery will help with the regulation of gut friendly bacteria which has proven to help with insulin function. In addition, if necessary, loose couple pounds – according to an article published in Medical News Today, loosing 5.7%

Lastly, there are several supplements that may also help with insulin sensitivity such as chromium. It is important to consult with a health provider before starting the use of this or any supplements.







Today I may have overdressed. I put on my sleek black leggings, covered them with torn edged blue jeans, and if that wasn’t enough, pulled on a protective layer of ski pants.

out into the tundra we went.

You’re probably thinking I was overdressed. Not quite yet. But by the time I put on my tank top, long sleeve thermal, sweater, zip up hoodie, and last-but-not-least floral design ski jacket, hood and all, I likely was.

I covered my face from the fierce wind and boldly took photos of the natural snow formations on Lake Ontario.

Well, I did, anyway. I traded in my downhill skis for snowshoes, and explored the beautiful grounds of NYS parks.

I did not make snow angels.

I also grabbed my ski hat, gloves, and gator neck cover. Then pulled on my hardcore gnarly boots. At this point, I wondered, “Can I even move?”

I am reminded of bundling up a toddler to play in the snow, only I am that toddler now. And that is the spirit needed! The spirit of a child who is about to go outside and play in the snow! This winter has been a hard one for everyone. No amount of hot chocolate or zoom yoga could warm our souls. So 354


Out with winter colors and in with bright florals, pinks and oranges. Anything that affirms that the flowers are about to bloom, the trees will sprout their kelly-green leaves, and birdsong will fill the air. This inspired me to google search upcoming fashion trends for spring 2021. Far from what I poetically conveyed! Here are the newest top trends predicted.

But this is what we do in the north coast of NY to protect our bodies from lake-effect snow and the brutal, chilling wind it carries. After spending an entire year stuck in this house - well most of the year anyway bundling up to go outside and catch the sunlight when it creeps out from beneath the clouds is a must, regardless of the effort it takes.

By the time this is published, it may be spring. Gentle snowflakes may now occasionally fall from the sky to remind us of the magic of the seasons. We will be breaking free from our wool coats and hats and gloves, trading them in for our spring gear.

Silvery Metallics The shinier the better. OK. I’m thinking this is reaching for the silver lining, and wearing it, too!

I did not build a snow man - or woman. But I did feel the spirit of winter, and did my best to capture those images. How would you describe the spirit of winter? Was it similar to mine? Or did you find yourself working behind a desk with a space heater by your feet? Baking chocolate chip cookies, playing Enya, and exercising in the home gym you now have in your basement?

Mirror Turtleneck Things are beginning to look a lot like disco! Who needs a hanging disco ball when you’re wearing this shiny shirt? Oversized Denim Your boyfriend’s … or girlfriend’s clothes may start to disappear, especially if they’re a larger size than you typically wear! I’m all in for this. The covid belly may now officially be hidden. Bold Neons The 80’s have returned! Fuchsia and

{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT } “What does your spirit gravitate toward in the summer? Are you a beach person? Wearing shorts and mid-drifts, walking barefoot in the sand?”

Turquoise are all in. Spring? Yes! Bring on the color. The list of new fashion trends goes on with wide collars and see-through clothing. How does fashion affect your spirit? Does it reflect it fully? Does it allow her or him to come alive? Or do you find yourself hiding your soul under fashions that don’t really fit your style?

What do you find yourself wearing? Close-knit tops? T-shirts? Baseball caps? Or summer dresses and floppy hats? The next time you enter your wardrobe, whether it’s a small closet you share or a grand walk-in, think about what entices your spirit. Which article of clothing brings a smile to your face? Then imagine how you’ll feel walking around wearing that outfit. Will you feel relaxed, chill? Energized and ready to go?

What about your Ugg boots? Will you be wearing them year-long? I tried on my first pair recently. They were the warmest, snuggliest, and most comfortable boot I’ve ever worn. But that was on a blustery cold day with single digit outdoor temperature. I doubt I’d be able to bare the warmth they provide on a hot summer day. Sandals definitely reflect my spirit in the warmer seasons! What does your spirit gravitate toward in the summer? Are you a beach person? Wearing shorts and mid-drifts, walking barefoot in the sand? Or do you prefer the cool shade of a tree by a pond? Or inside an air-conditioned building? 356


everyone else’s, too! You may find yourself ignoring the latest fashion trends altogether, happy with the ‘soul-self’ clothing you’ve already established. They are your choices, after all. What’s important is that you feel your best while wearing them. Seasons. They allow us to either break free from old patterns, whether it’s fashion or activities, or they remind us that the pattern we are currently in is just where our spirit wants to be. Check on that now. What are you wearing? What are you doing? What is the season? It may be the reason.

Theatre is a wonderful way to express your inner spirit! The costume is what brings the character to life. The final flick of the fan. When dressing or selecting new clothes on your next shopping spree, allow your inner authentic self to guide you. It may be the silvery metallic onesie that will not only set your world on fire but

That’s it for now. I look forward to seeing you making tracks in the snow, shifting gears into spring, and bathing under the sun or shade this summer. And fall? That season deserves an article all to itself. Creative Coach & Author, Alana Cahoon leads individuals to grow their businesses, expand their minds & heal their souls.



A conversation is happening between two parties: the speaker and the listener. Each one plays a very important part in this ‘dance’. If we truly listened, we would hear more than just the words of our opponent. We would hear what was not said. We would hear the true meaning behind the spoken words. Let me tell you a little story: a couple of weeks ago, my son came into our bedroom at night – it must have been around midnight. This was unusual. Normally, he would just go to the bathroom and then straight back to bed. Well, he did not say anything while standing next to me, then turned around and went to the bathroom and then back to sleep. Still, it was a bit strange. The next day, he did not remember the incident, as I had expected. That evening though, when my husband brought him to bed, he suddenly erupted into a panic. He started to cry and scream hysterically that he did not want to go to sleep and dream about him dying again. So he must have had a nightmare the night before about him being dead. My husband could not calm him down and our son called for me. Seeing my son in such distress was heartbreaking. Normally, I would have held him and hoped that his fear would disappear and that he would calm down, but I would probably not have been able to shift his mindset. I would not have known what to do in that moment. Well, thanks to my coaching education, I was 358


trained for situations like this one. When I held my son in my arms, I instinctively went into ‘coach position’ and just listened. I heard him repeat: “I do not want to dream about dying anymore!” So, I asked: “Well, what do you want to dream about?” That was the million-dollar question. That was the question that moved him out of his terrified mindset almost instantly. He said: “I want to dream about something fun.” So I asked him to tell me about a time when he had fun and he started talking about the playground the other day, and the kids he played with and he laughed and was happy again. This happened in a matter of less than 3 minutes after I took him into my arms.

Many people feel that they are being misunderstood or that people receive what was said in the wrong way. Well, as a speaker, we can bend over backwards all we want to get our message across. If a person comes with a specific mindset, they are bound to misunderstand since they are guided by their emotions, limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging behavior, or current state of mind.

He went to sleep happily that night, hopefully dreaming about his time on the playground.

So, what can we do to resolve a brooding dispute over spoken words before it can manifest itself in resentment? We have to overcome our fear and ask the speaker if what we understood is what he/she meant to say. In most cases, the answer will be no. Don’t assume that someone who tells you something is trying to hurt you. Most of the time, it is your own mind that creates this assumption.

What happened here was, that I was solely focusing my attention on him. Generally, we focus our attention to the problem and try to find a solution, so focusing our attention within ourselves to find the answer. In this case, I did not focus on myself at all, I was just listening to my child and responded to what he was telling me. The thing with listening is that for the most part, we listen with an agenda. We listen to either reply, we listen to give advice, we listen to talk about ourselves. But we hardly ever listen just to listen. Which means that while the other person is talking, we are only half listening because in our mind we already work on the reply.

And yet most people are afraid to ask whether what they heard was truly what the speaker meant. And so we rather feel hurt – often for no reason at all, than having our fears confirmed that the person who talked said what we understood on purpose.

Our emotions can become a tricky part in conversations. Therefore, don’t focus on how you feel, but solely on what the other person is saying. Don’t shift your thoughts toward what you want to reply. You can do that after you heard every word. Truly listen to what is said. You will hear so much more!






What if you had to leave your house in a hurry? Would you be ready? So many people would not know what to do if the power were out for more than a few hours. Whether there is a major storm coming, a government lockdown, or even civil unrest, we need to always be prepared. We cannot afford to assume that something cannot happen where we live. Years ago, the police came through my neighborhood knocking on all the doors and making everyone evacuate because there was a gas leak in the area.

and candles. That, however, will not keep you warm if it is winter and there is a multi-day outage. Make sure at a minimum that you have a way to create electricity. This is especially important if you or someone in your household takes medication that requires refrigeration.

In many areas all over the country, there are power lined that are above ground. This leaves them vulnerable to wind or ice storms, felled trees, vehicles hitting poles and transformers, and even damage from animals. When a storm is coming, you do not want to be in the crowd that rushes to the store. You want to already be ready for most things that could happen. Of course, we can never predict every possible type of incident, but each of us can have a basic level of preparedness. Most people have a couple of flashlights and extra batteries 360


In fact, food, water and any needed medicine are the must haves that you should make sure to keep on hand. We do not want to break the bank preparing, but it makes great sense to pick up a few extra cans of food and things for hygiene each time we go out. Before you know it, you will

have built up a decent stockpile of required items. Water is the most important because you cannot live without it. You can last longer with water than with just food alone. Safety is also something to consider. This includes your environment. If your living area uses gas or electricity for heating and cooling and those sources of power are not available, what will you do? Every home should have some alternate way to power critical items. Consider getting a device that can heat part of your home in case the regular source is out for a while. Propane heaters can be found fairly inexpensively, but make sure to get something that is safe to run indoors. Generators can be pricey, but are invaluable in an emergency. These can be gas, propane or even solar powered. Shop around and save up for one if you need to. In a true emergency, you will be very glad that you did your research and now have a way to run a fan in the summer or can keep your refrigerator going without too much concern. Do you have a way to cook food? There are butane camping stoves that can be used indoors if handled safely.







I decided to take my name back. I never changed it professionally, but legally I did for eight years when I was no longer ‘De Wind’. I secretly worried if I was hit by a car and died suddenly, I did not want to be buried with the wrong last name. That would kill me. At the time I worked down the street from the Social Security Administration which I thought was the first stop on the journey back to my old self. You must show up in person and start the process of proving who you are all over again. It requires an application, and proof of who I used to be. Who was I? With the stroke of a pen, I had easily become someone else. Now I was in a long line on my lunch hour jumping through several hoops trying to prove my name. The SSA can easily compete with the DVM as a legal abyss to be avoided at all costs. I waited in line for well over my ‘hour’ only to be told when they called my name that I did not have enough of the right documentation to prove I was me. My license, credit cards, bills, bank accounts all said otherwise. My birth certificate was a copy and not good enough for the woman on the other side of the glass who smiled and said “next”.

I had nothing to prove who I used to be. After traveling to the Monroe County department of records to get a new birth certificate, I was back in business. I was also back in line again on yet another lunch break at the SSA. There was a new lady, but unfortunately the same old reaction; do not pass go, and head directly to the DMV, and you are certainly not collecting your name legally just yet. The Department of Motor Vehicles was happy to let me be ‘me’ again. After I waited in the fourth line on my journey, they took my picture and there I was. My, name address, and a check for $65 proved I was Robin Lea De Wind. Unfortunately, my new best friends at the Social Security office informed me, that I needed to check my divorce decree to see if it had given me permission to take my surname back. Permission? Are you kidding me? If my divorce decree did not give me the right to revert back to my maiden name, I would have to file with New York State to formally turn back time. When I returned home, I found my papers and on the very last page of the lengthy agreement, there it was; the permission I needed to feel whole again.

I am convinced now, that my herculean effort was not about shedding my name but shaking off how I felt about myself for all those years. I was in my late thirties and had finally achieved my life goals. I had my dream job, a house, and a beautiful baby girl. But eventually the pressure of having it all left me feeling insecure and needing to be so in control, I was emotionally out of control. It felt easy and natural to start throwing out a few insults - at myself. All my name-calling left me feeling unworthy, limited, and guilty. Fat, bitch, and old topped my personal list. I feared that if I did not voice my imperfections out loud first, someone else would. I had given myself so many labels it did not matter what my real name was. I had already renamed myself. This is what I have learned since those days of having it all. Changing an unhappy life is a painful and lonely road but I highly recommend it. It took years but all my name-calling, ended up speaking some truth. I am finally through menopause so of course I have gained some weight, but I will never utter the “f ” word again, it is so defeating. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ HER EDGE } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “ I am secure in my abilities, and instead of having to be “in control” I have faith it will all be okay.”

I certainly am a “bitch” but sometimes it is necessary. I am old(er) and grateful for the wisdom and perspective that comes with life experience. I am a mother, a daughter, and a business owner. I decided to use my real name as part of my business 364


because it is my brand, it is who I am, and I am proud of the multiple trips it took to reclaim myself again. I am now in my late fifties and have finally achieved my life goals. I have a dream job, a new house, and my beautiful baby girl is now growing into a young woman. I am secure in my abilities, and instead of having to be “in control” I have faith it will

all be okay. I now choose to call myself valuable, loved and forgiven. My new names are not listed on any formal document and I no longer need to ask permission or prove my identity to anyone.




I think I have found the secret to being in the moment – it’s vacationing! In 2019, my husband and I traveled in Italy with his family. It was the experience of a lifetime. We started on the Amalfi Coast, then went to Florence, the Umbria region, and ended in Rome. Then we spent 48 hours in Dublin on our way home. Every day was packed full, from morning to night. I have always been a daydreamer and my mind is often in a completely different place than where I am physically. But an amazing thing happened in Italy – a few days into the trip I realized that I had not been in my head at all. I was not thinking about work or worrying about past situations or future problems. I was completely present and enjoying every moment. I was noticing sights, sounds, smells, views, art and architecture, food, people – everything around me. It was fantastic! Even after years of practicing meditation I find I have to remind myself to pay attention to the moments of my days. So, when I returned from Italy, I asked myself, how can I continue to have the complete focus on my surroundings that I experienced in Italy in my

everyday life? While it would be wonderful to always be on vacation and exploring new places, life just doesn’t work that way. I think that so much of daily life is routine that not paying attention becomes easy. The past year has been challenging in many ways. As hard as it was being quarantined last year was, it also provided the opportunity

to slow down, get out of our routines, and experience new things. Whether it was baking bread, spending more time outdoors, beginning a new exercise program, or taking up a hobby - learning something new helps to create focus on what you are doing in the moment. About 20 years ago I was living in New Jersey and started volunteering at

Helping Horseshoe and subsequently, taking horseback riding lessons myself. When I moved back to upstate New York, I volunteered at EquiCenter in Rochester. Trust me, there is no room for being less than 100% focused when you are working with horses. During the times when I was doing this volunteer work, I also had very difficult, stressful jobs. The time I spent in the barn and riding rink took me completely away from everything else for a muchneeded break. I would leave the barn feeling more relaxed and with perspective on what was truly important. We were hoping to be able to take another family trip to Italy this year but given the current situation that is not realistic. I am hoping for 2022 and in the meantime, I am learning Italian so I can communicate better when I get there again. 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. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “I think I have found the secret to being in the moment – it’s vacationing!”



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

Please contact us for a complimentary consultation 585-532-6060 or Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance



March 1 marked the beginning of Women’s History Month. This annual celebration of women’s historical and contemporary achievements takes on special significance this year. Many of the 2020 events for the centennial celebrations of women’s suffrage needed to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is extended from the 2020 theme, “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced.”

selecting March as the celebration of women’s significant contributions to history. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter designated the first official National Women’s History Week, beginning on March 8 of thar year. Congress declared March 1987 as the first official Women’s History Month. These developers were acutely aware that women’s contributions to history have been seriously overlooked. Unfortunately, this remains true to varying degrees.

According to womenshistorymonth. gov, Women’s History Month has been designated as an opportunity to commemorate and encourage the study, observance, and contributions of women in American history. The contributions of women have an unappealing history of having been heavily overshadowed by the accomplishments of their male counterparts. Some may question the need for designating a Women’s History Month, as some may have formerly questioned the need for a Black History Month. As ongoing racially oriented discussions have proven, the needs and aspirations of the oppressed are often overshadowed by the voices of the dominant. Women’s History Month first traces its roots to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories banded together to protest poor working conditions. The first Women’s Day celebration was held in New York, in 1909. The United Nations first recognized International Women’s Day on March 8, 1975. Around that same time, historians developed the idea of 370


Personally, I recall my educational experiences as being predominately marked by hailing the achievements of men, as opposed to those made by women. I remember my dismay in finding out the truth behind the discovery of the double helix shape of DNA. James Watson and Francis Crick are commonly believed to have been instrumental in this monumental discovery; however, Watson and Crick based their work on one of their colleagues’ research. In the

early 1950s, Rosalind Franklin was the one whose images of DNA proteins revealed a helix shape. Despite these historical inequities, women have made remarkable strides in diverse types of careers. Women own about 40% of U.S. businesses, a statistic which is up 114% in the last twenty years. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, for the first time in 2019, women comprised 50.5% of medical school students. In 2018, the American Bar Association stated that women comprised 52% of law school students. With respect to my career as a clinical psychologist, a 2017 statistic revealed that 75% of doctoral degrees in psychology were awarded to women. Unfortunately, women’s advances in traditionally male-dominated fields have not been matched by equal pay. By recognizing women’s contributions to history, young girls are awakened to a world of possibilities for their own futures. This realization was evident while watching television coverage of Vice-President Kamala Harris’ swearingin ceremony. Young girls everywhere, for the very first time, could imagine that they, too, could one day ascend to such a lofty position. Little girls of color could finally say that their vicepresident looked like them. The purpose of Women’s History Month was recently amplified by inequalities women have faced secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic. These inequalities include pay disparities; women still only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In addition, one in every three



{ {RWO’S MENTALLY MENTAL THINKING HEALTH} } “Each of us as women has a responsibility to honor the sacrifices of women who have come before us, women who-often against all odds-have succeeded in accomplishing monumental tasks, without having received adequate recognition and respect for their efforts”

women will face gender violence in her lifetime. Due to the pandemic, women have been disproportionately faced with homeschooling their children, while simultaneously attempting to work remotely. I truly applaud those women who have continued to balance workrelated Zoom calls while simultaneously assisting their children with online education. Each of us as women has a responsibility to honor the sacrifices of women who have come before us, women whooften against all odds-have succeeded in accomplishing monumental tasks, without having received adequate 372


recognition and respect for their efforts. You might ask yourself how you can personally honor such women, past and present. There are several options for ways in which to celebrate Women’s History Month, even from the comfort of your own home. First, familiarize yourself with the diverse range of women’s issues. Read and share works written by female authors. Donate to charities devoted to women’s causes, including survivors of domestic violence. Watch television shows and movies produced and directed by women, including those of Shondra Rhimes, a producer, screenwriter, and author.

Choose to celebrate the incredible women in your personal network of friends and family members. Decide to educate your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters, and female cousins about the remarkable achievements that women have made throughout history. As Maya Angelou once said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

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WHAT YOU ENVISIONED MAY NOT BE IDEAL We all hate to fail. I feel as though I once held the title for “Worst at Handling Flops.” Not something I wanted to do as a lifelong member. I’ve had to do an intensive, lifelong pursuit of how to not be good at something and then be okay with it. Especially when I am fully in the piece or moment, I am incredibly committed to getting it right and kicking butt in the process. Not always attainable, I know. But I have built a resilience to not always being great at everything I attempt while remembering to have fun along the way. In talking with other creators and entrepreneurs, it’s a common affliction. But why? I can only speak for myself and my own inner turmoil about my perfectionism. Is there anyone harder on ourselves then us? I am my worst critic. I stare at pieces either in the works or done years ago and can pick them apart if left to my own devices unchecked. It has led me down paths that left me feeling less than and as if I was the ultimate failure at all things I had ever attempted. Until I heard Eckhart Tolle once on Oprah talking about his inner dialogue and realizing it was his ego playing tricks on him. Making him feel as though there was no point in anything he had tried. So, what pulled him out of that mental health death spiral of self-talk? He took a step back and wondered who was that voice? What were its origins and 374


why the continual tearing down of any confidence or joy he had felt? Once he tapped into the fact that it wasn’t truly him; that it was something that didn’t want the best for him, it allowed Eckhart to see that it was just his ego making life its own living hell. Separating ourselves from that voice and from expectations sanctions our deepest selves to allow for being just who we are. That it really stems from our misalignment with love. When

time that I have chosen to put that type of expectation on my artwork or even in writing these articles, the work suffers and typically exasperates me to the point of complete frustration and unhappiness. So, what if I just started throwing paint at the canvas because it felt good and right? If it gave me joy just in the doing? Or just started to type and trust what came out on the page? It’s such a freeing process to let go, stop listening to my ego and at least try or to begin at all. I’m sure it certainly helps being in my 50’s to not care quite as much as I did in my early years. I desperately wanted to be satisfactory to whomever I thought cared or was looking. It kept me up at night and made me exceedingly unhappy. I never felt as if I was enough. That what I put out into the world wasn’t worthy of anyone’s time or attention. I ran after something I thought I had to do or be instead of finding joy in what was already there.

we are able to see that we can actually fail and do so creatively, the world of possibilities to grow and build our spirit opens our hearts and minds. It also builds a beautiful elasticity to our not so perfect moments and/or creations. There is an allowance to just be and fully express what is in our hearts exactly as it is asking to be expressed. I look back at how I had hoped my work would end up looking like or what I thought would be ideal. Every

Keep in mind that I don’t consider myself to have a particular secular leaning. My heart just bends towards something smarter and larger than me; like a sunflower leaning towards the light. Something that loves me unconditionally and resides inside of me, in the depths of my soul that I can’t particularly name, paint or describe. But what I know is that it is where my compass should have been pointed all along. How much pain and grief that would have eased for me?! How many years of feeling less than




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “Separating ourselves from that voice and from expectations sanctions our deepest selves to allow for being just who we are.”

and not allowing gladness in my own existence? Entirely too many. Once we realign to our center; our central internal guidepost, we are given this shiny permission slip to continually try without feeling badly when things don’t go anywhere near what it is we planned. We can stand outside of it and see that the best laid plans we ourselves had devised weren’t ideal if we want to grow and become even better. That the greater good had one even more lovely and profound teed up and on deck for the taking? This lack mentality is what lets in ideas like preciousnes. If I screw up this painting, I am out tons of paint, a canvas and/or paper and time. Oh, and God forbid anyone sees the hot mess I just created. The snowball effect of feeling judged before anyone even lays eyes on your work or you as an imperfect human is debilitating and serves only your ego. It’s like feeding the dragon your heart. Shouldn’t we guard it much more lovingly? Don’t we deserve another shot or to just move on to something that serves us in a deep, holy way? You can become reborn into something more joyous, in the fullness of who you are truly meant to be. Having that handy permission slip to fail, you can do so with grace and an openness and willingness to see what it wants us to know or learn. This is where I have had my most profound shifts in my thinking and my self-compassion. An acceptance of where I need to concentrate in order to be my best self without going down a rabbit hole slows my heart and my mind. The creative ways in which 376


I am failing and triumphing suddenly have become fertile ground for my soul’s expansion. By having this open-hearted way of being also puts us on the path of loving empathy and compassion for others. We can now envision a sacred space for those in pain or at a place we once found ourselves, in hopes that they too can find peace and grace. We become a light for them that permits them to proceed bravely and not feel judged in doing so. This is where some of the greatest works have derived from. When we have a profound knowing that we have the strength and incredible bravery within ourselves, we can take that frightening leap and feel supported and held. It gives you and them a soft place to fall. If we had always done what we deemed to be “ideal,” how could any of us be given the latitude to reach farther into the unknown? We certainly wouldn’t have made it to the moon or had Egyptian pyramids in our midst. I have watched people I love not know they were enough and the pain that not only brought them but also brought upon those who knew they were perfect and infinitely loved “as is.” That being okay with the thought of how we were created is beautifully enough. That our failures don’t define who we are unless we reside within them and ruminate for decades over what we “should have done” or “should have been.” It doesn’t serve anyone in a way that permits your light to shine. Our world is filled with fear that is holding us all back. Each time one more of us decides to get up and move towards what we are being

called to embody, it opens up possibility for more love than fear to ripple out and be taken up by the next soul. We each begin to feel more joy than we do pain. It also brings about a healing for the human race as a whole. We are all in need of that kindness. Life gives us the gift of choice. Will you choose love or fear in this moment? Which will serve my heart and its expansion best? Building our resilience and seeing we can get back up after we fall with a humility enough to glean what it had to offer us, is a to step towards our goodness and creates tenderness in our being. We can try bigger things that once terrorized us and have a willingness to not get it totally right. We have all come here to this earthly plane to grow and become even brighter than we knew we could. It’s how we choose to fail creatively that counts. We got into the arena and pushed ourselves in a way that we never believed possible. How fun to surprise ourselves with our own greatness! You are continually loved and supported. Blessed you is cheered on by something that is only love. Love that is boundless and becomes even greater when we are settled into the knowing that we can be imperfect and that’s okay. It’s what makes us unique and interesting. But only if we can brush ourselves off and get back up again. To try another day. To pass on your bravery to those that are ready to try. There are great plans that are just waiting on you to say, “Yes!” It is time to let your light shine blindingly bright.









Whether you love winter or you’re just trying to survive until your favorite season comes around again, these last days of winter helps me appreciate and celebrate the change of seasons as we move from winter to spring. There are seasons in nature for a reason. Even though we may not think of winter as having a purpose, every living thing needs a quiet time to rest and renew its inner energy.

the warm sun on my face. Just as the seasons in nature speak to me, closes it’s door so spring can adorn us with her presence, so it is when one door closes and another opens. It can bring a lot of promise along. Sure, we might be nervous about whatever is to come, but it’s

Quietly surviving the dark days, making my way from one beacon of light to the next, I seem to anticipate a new beginning; awaiting the return of glorious sun and light, warmth and joy. Where I live, the end of winter is celebrated… almost as if we survived an epic battle. Every year it’s the same. And it doesn’t really matter whether our winter was ‘easy’ or ‘brutal’. The feelings are always there — relief, joy, expectation, anticipation. Sometimes I like to read on snowy and frigid days… just to remember that spring really is on its way. I close my eyes, feel the heat of my woodstove, and pretend I can feel

A new opportunity means a fresh start and all the wonderful possibilities new beginnings bring. You see, for me Spring surrounds me with encouragement helping me look forward to my best year yet. So, as I wonder if the sting of winter’s brutal scars will ever soften, I can’t help but hear such with beautiful sounds.. sounds of geese flying home, birds singing their joyful noise in the early hours of the morning .. feeling a soft, loving nudge whispering my name reminding me joy always comes in the morning. Spring is here. “Every ending will meet its own end, for every ending is destined to be swallowed up by a beginning.” ― Craig D Lounsbrough

time to take stock of what we’re leaving behind and then look ahead towards Spring. Taking a moment to ponder about gratitude and think some happy thoughts about all the things we have experienced. As I tally all my lessons learned, I’m thinking about how I can apply them to all the new and exciting things to come. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH EDITION 2021




ARIES MARCH 2021 If you’re involved in a project at work this could make you great dividends, something that you only dare to dream about. The techniques you are using are working to your advantage. Venus moves into your sign on March 21st. You have an air of irresistibility about you. If you’re free and single you could attract someone who may be out of your league. A great month for romance as the rendezvous between Venus and Neptune spells deep commitment. TAURUS MARCH 2021 You are on overdrive when it comes to acquiring an improvement in your financial situation. You are a force to be reckoned with. Be wise with spending that extra money at the end of the month. I see the talks of investments around you. With the pisces new moon in conjunction with Venus and Neptune, this indicates a soulmate connection with that special someone in your life. If you’re single you will be attracting that type. Remember to pace yourself with all that energy you have, take time out for selfcare. GEMINI MARCH 2021 The sky’s the limit this month. Pursue what desire the most in life as nothing can stop you. It could be choosing a new career, a promotion or even a dream job. If you’re in a committed relationship now is the time for things to be sealed and it 380


can be even crowned with the news of a baby on the way. The new moon on the 13th lands you on the peak of opportunities to anything you wish to turn your hand to. Now is the time to take action. CANCER MARCH 2021 Your nerves seem to be frayed this month. You are in need of nurturing, listen to what your body is telling you. Take time and make time to replenish. With the Libra full moon on the 28th there could be an unsettling family situation, you need to work through this to the best of your abilities but don’t take it too much to heart. At work your efforts will gain unexpected appraisal and talk of promotion may be possible. Take careful consideration with working at the next level as it may not meet your requirements. LEO MARCH 2021 It’s time to have a break from work and focus on your long lost social life. Making new friends and connections is important now. Be more ambitious with networking. It’s time to shine socially and become the centre of attention again. Don’t stress over a relationship as decisions have to be made, it will turn out well in the end. Doors are opening, there will be a financial opportunity for you to invest and make a dream come true. VIRGO MARCH 2021 Your career is about to enjoy major

changes, there is an element of relief as it has been a long waited change. If you have been wanting to apply for promotion now is the time to show them what you are made of. Pisces new moon and the romantic Venus Neptune conjunction is well starred in your relationship. Everything seems like a fairy tale. There is talk of marriage and engagements. A beautiful emotionally charged atmosphere is around you, enjoy it. LIBRA MARCH 2021 It could be a time for you to go back to school and re-educate yourself and catch up on all those things you missed out on or even take what qualifications you’ve got to a higher degree. Your mind is expanding at the moment and you have a thirst for gaining knowledge. You have a curiosity towards spirituality and philosophy, it’s time to explore those deeper thoughts. On March 21st the love planet Venus moves into your relationship creating a harmonious phase. SCORPIO MARCH 2021 There may be a drain on your financial situation making you accountable for every penny. Unexpected happenings will drain the money pot but solutions can be found. You may consider extra work, a second job or selling items online. If you already have a soulmate connection there is more talk on an emotional and spiritual level to reinforce what you both cherish.

{{ SEEING SHIFT+CONTROL THE SIGNS }} “ LIBRA MARCH 2021. It could be a time for you to go back to school and reeducate yourself and catch up on all those things you missed out on or even take what qualifications you’ve got to a higher degree.”



{ {SEEING THE SIGNS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “AQUARIUS MARCH 2021 Mars enters your romance sector for the first time in two years. Your prowess oozes attention and gets it. ”

Baby news could be on the horizon for someone close. SAGITTARIUS MARCH 2021 The focus is on your relationship this month where you both might seek or want more of your independent streak. There is a clashing of wills which makes you competitive with each other, but please remember you are supposed to be a team. If you’re single you will connect beautifully, a light will shine on something new. There is a new development within home and family life which will affect everyone in your clan, you will see this as a blessing. CAPRICORN MARCH 2021 You will find the stamina to keep up with the work you seem to be buried under. There are deadlines to meet and the pressure is on but you seem to gain advancement to catch up and you will win in the end. Someone might confess their undying love for you which will bowl you over. Home and family life seem quite blissful. You will be taking the spotlight where professional matters are concerned. 382


AQUARIUS MARCH 2021 Mars enters your romance sector for the first time in two years. Your prowess oozes attention and gets it. A most fertile time for you if you are trying for a baby. There is a financial blessing on the way when the new moon in Pisces lights up. Money can be made from your creative and spiritual talents. The

amount of faith you have now is unshakeable, trust in the universe. PISCES MARCH 2021 You could become frustrated over a family situation. Sparks might fly but remember to step back or you could be caught in the crossfire. Remain neutral at all times and be

the diplomat that you can be. The new moon on March 13th brings you nurturing and bliss within a relationship and you feel loved up. Your vibrating on a high energy makes you extremely charitable to someone. You are amazing.






I recently sat down for a consultation with a client I have been working with for over 5 years. I have meetings like this weekly, but this one really stood out for me. Because before she stood on the body composition machine, before I took her pulse and blood pressure and before we opened her doctor’s portal to view her blood work results, she said she needed to talk to me. My first response was to be really concerned. She seemed very serious and I was worried that she had received bad new when she was at her doctor’s appointment the week earlier. I quickly tried to get myself in the right head space to support her through whatever this was going to be – especially since I knew we had both expected this to be an outstanding “check up”. She had consistently been working on herself/ for herself over the previous couple of years and had made great strides physically and personally and I just couldn’t imagine what had her so serious. But when she grabbed my hand across the table and I saw her eyes smile (boy, I miss seeing my client’s ACTUAL smiles behind those masks) I became excited for what she had to say. “Kelli,” she started “do you remember what I said to you the first time we met?” Ironically, I did, so I nodded yes as she continued. “I told you I was tired. I told you I wasn’t ready to be old. But I felt old. And worse, I felt defeated. And I felt trapped. Trapped by my body, trapped by my circumstances and trapped in my thoughts. And do you remember what YOU said to me?” Before I could answer she slapped her hand on the table 384


and said, “You looked me straight in the eyes and told me ‘There is ALWAYS a way to make it better. You might not know how, but you just have to take a step. So what step are you going to take today?’” She was absolutely right. That was our very first conversation. 5 years earlier. As we continued to talk, she shared that I had been right, she didn’t know where to start, but the more we met, the more confident she started to feel that she could do something. And we started small. Hydration one month. Taking walks the next month. Focusing on clean eating and then more activity. And bit by bit I watched her transformation and I celebrated each of her milestones and “small” successes with her. But today her eyes smiled even bigger. And as she continued the tears in her eyes became contagious to my own. She said, “I need you to know something. I’m going to get on that body comp machine today – but today – for the first time I don’t need to know what it says. Because I already know the answer in my heart. I finally realized that today – I can tell you I feel better than I ever have. I love my body more than I ever have. I have more confidence. I can honestly say I am proud of what I can physically do and even more proud of what I did to get here. So, I don’t need that scale to tell me I did well…because I already know that for myself.” It was such a powerful moment, for I have been witness for much of her journey. I saw those small steps. I saw her succeed and I saw her struggle. And

through it all I always told her to keep believing that it can be better. You can always find a way to be better than you were the day before. You just have to be willing to do something about it. And she was right. Yes, she had hit a milestone for her body fat, visceral fat and hydration levels. She had met her milestones for “clothing size”. She was participating in workout classes she was terrified of just a couple years ago. And for the first time her blood sugar and cholesterol were within healthy ranges without any meds. But what she was the most excited about was how she felt. She said even when she was in her twenties, she never had this level of energy, or the strength that she has now. And she shared further that her aches and pains and daily fatigue were gone. At 55 years old – she was in the best health – and state of mind- that she could ever recall. She embodies the phrase that our age is but a number. On my drive home hat evening the significance of that moment really struck me. Because I do start many of my conversations with clients who are frustrated and tired and just feeling, well…old, by telling them that there is always a way to feel better. But you have to be willing to do something about it. So today I ask you, what do you want to be better in your life? What areas of your health are holding you back? What roadblocks, real or perceived, have you been staring at in your path? Now what are you going to do about it? No matter where you are in life, no matter what the circumstances, remember that




{ WELL TRAIL } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “But when she grabbed my hand across the table and I saw her eyes smile (boy, I miss seeing my client’s ACTUAL smiles behind those masks) I became excited for what she had to say.”

YOU have the power to create change. It probably won’t happen all at once. Life s not a light switch. You have to be prepared to invest in yourself every day. Some days you will have more to invest than others and some days you may have to reassess and plan for future investments. But the key is to keep taking those steps and investing in yourself – no matter how small and trivial you think those steps are. Because each step gets you closer to a better tomorrow. The trick is to keep moving. And when you commit to do that for yourself, there will be a day in your journey where you will be able to stand on your mountain and look back at how far you have come – and be proud. Today 386


was that day for someone. Tomorrow could be that day for you. WellTrail is accepting enrollment for our 10th Anniversary of WHOLE U – an educational and motivational on demand program that supports your effort to identify meaningful goals for your health and wellbeing with medically, nutritionally and “wholistically” based support. YOU set your goal and WE support your solutions. WHOLE U includes: Habit Change, Identifying and Controlling Your Triggers, Nutrition Science for All with comprehensive strategies to apply that knowledge based on your goals and medical conditions or restrictions, and weaves the importance of movement, spirit and positive mental health strategies throughout. The program

can be followed by a guided and supported 30 day WHOLE U RESET – a self designed challenge to help you reach the goals that are important to you. Your unique, customized challenge is supported through access to on demand training, a customized health portal and one on one consulting. Contact us at info@welltrail. com today to learn more and sign up. Access to classes begins March 1 2021.