RWO's May/June 2021 Edition

Page 1

SHE HUSTLES TALKS

HIGHLIGHTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

So Much More... - WOMAN WHO INSPIRES: BEATRIZ LEBRON

In This Edition...

- INFLUENTIAL WOMAN: A PHOENIX RISING, KELLY BREUER

- LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTS: DIMARCO GROUP BOLD & GRITTY PERFECT GRANOLA - CNY’S POWDER PUFF GIRLS, LAURA MARINO & ALEXANDRA AXENFELD

- NEW IN THE ROC: LADYBUG ALL PEST SOLUTIONS

Andrea Holland DARE TO FIND YOUR VOICE.


WHAT’S YOUR S WHAT IS YOU


SUPERPOWER? UR PASSION?




COVER STORY 20

ANDREA HOLLAND : DARE TO FIND YOUR VOICE.

may/jun

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ne edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }

REGULARS

REGULARS

34

INFLUENTIAL WOMAN Kelly Breuer

246

LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA

50

WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Laura Marino Alexandra Axenfeld Beatriz Lebron

238

ALL ACCESS

242

ALWAYS CHASING BETTER

78

NEW IN THE ROC Lady Bug Pest Control

260

B.MOR

88

SAVON SPEAKS

298

HER EDGE

96

UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN

224

ASK DANIEL BALDWIN

128

288

WOMEN IN POLITICS

340

278

KARMA SPEAKS

234

BUSINESS TALK

268

TRAVEL WITH AGNESS WINE CELLARS

MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE

SPECIAL FEATURES 147

SHE HUSTLES TALKS She Talks Law Queen’s Kloset Branches of Growth Aja Pearl Suds By Sasha Walking Miss Daisy Renee Buchiere

92

AURINIA PHARMACEUTICALS

ANIMAL CARE SANCTUARY CORNER 136 AFTERNOON COCKTAIL 96 FOR A GOOD CAUSE Hey You3

106

LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Admar Bold & Gritty

250

TRUTH TEA WITH TALENA SKYE

122

FINANCIALLY SPEAKING

214

COACHING WITH KRISTIN B.

254

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

124

226

CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS

FASHION & BEAUTY 270

DR J’S BEAUTY

336

BEAUTY TALK

212

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REGULARS (CONT) 344

SEEING THE SIGNS

324

MIND, BODY & SPIRIT

308

COLLABORATIVE LAW

302

SEXUALLY SPEAKING

316

YOU MATTER

334

BLISSFUL BALANCE

382

TAMMY’S TIDBITS

338

MENTALLY THINKING

328

TRACY TALKS

394

WELLNESS 360

108

TENDER LOVING FAMILY CARE

104

LET’S TALK WITH THE EXPERT

316

HIP HEMP

HEALTH & WELLNESS

214

141

HEALTH & WELLNESS

340

LIFE IN BALANCE

274

BLISSFUL IMAGE

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{ FROM THE PUBLISHER }

“We need to women who are so strong they are gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.”

I

n the latest edition of the women’s magazine everyone is talking about and is always bringing you women who are inspiring, empowering and hustling to build our community of lady bosses, we have a cover woman who is daring to share her voice!

With 20 years of experience in professional storytelling and communications, local Rochesterarian, Andrea Holland has made a career-long study of what motivates others: how words, body language, stories and mindset affect ourselves & others, relationships, outcomes and more. She’s put what she’s learned to the test for herself and now coaches and trains others on the same techniques so they can get the results they need. We sat down with Andrea for a Q&A session and she shared a bit more about her personal and professional journey into the great big wilderness of finding her own voice. Read all about her starting on page [20].

T T

ON OUR COVER

On the cover of Rochester Woman Online photographer Brody Wheeler captured Andrea Holland, being her authentic self, and daring to find her voice and not being scared to share it! Hair and makeup courtesy of Lola Rivera.

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Plus, in this edition, I tell just a little bit of my incredible story of reinvention, building this amazing platform of women entrepreneurs, some of the amazing people who have inspired me in my life and even a little mbit of where I am going. Read all about me in our whole new monthly column called “Inspirational Woman” starting on page [34]. Just like a “Phoenix Rising”, I will constantly pick myself back up again and pivot. Where will I go next? And of course, you don’t want to miss our She Hustles Talks monthly insert filled with incredible women entrepreneurs who are hustlin. We are creating a new platform of women empowering women and are growing bigger then ever! This month, attorney Jennifer Aronson Jovcevski, creator of She Talks Law joins us as our amazing cover woman and shares some of her hustle with us starting on page [141]

Kelly


www.rochesterwomanonline.com


{ A LOOK AT OUR TEAM }

PUBLISHER

Kelly Breuer

CREATIVE DIRECTOR/GRAPHIC DESIGN

Kelly Breuer

LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTOGRAPHY

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

ADVERTISING SALES

Brody Wheeler Brody Wheeler Christopher Cardwell K. Victoria Photography Michele Ashlee Devin Mack 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 Tammy Vreeland Rumella Cameron Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Bre Morris Gabriella Rose Fiederlein Angela McGhee Terry Daniele Kristin Bauer Gross Randy Agness Letitia Torres Angela Duncan Michelle Horton Lauri McKnight Julie Mersereau

KL Storyography Kameron Ashford Rob Daniels Hillary Welles Daniel Baldwin Amanda Ashley Cindy Scribani Dr Pebble Kranz Sharlyn Marquez Christine Grandin Jennifer Aronson Jovcevski Annika Tricia D’Andrea Dr. Anika Simone Johnson Andrea Holland Talena Skye

Kelly Breuer

SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR

Network Rochester

WEB DESIGN & MANAGEMENT

Network Rochester

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







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ANDREA YOU ARE HOLLAND ENOUGH. BY NICOLEPHOTOS HEROUXOF WILLIAMS PHOTOS NSP STUDIO ANDREAI BY BRODYBY WHEELER

Dare to find your voice. It’s been a lifelong calling for Andrea Holland, and - as head of her own company and an executive communications coach to clients across the globe - it’s the bold call to action she issues to everyone. With 20 years of experience in professional storytelling and communications, Andrea has made a career-long study of what motivates others: how words, body language, stories and mindset affect ourselves & others, relationships, outcomes and more. She’s put what she’s learned to the test for herself and now coaches and trains others on the same techniques so they can get the results they need.

there was some heartache along the way. But, it was all worth it and if I accomplish nothing else in this life, I know I’ve already done my very best by becoming a mother. My business, however, began totally by accident. In 2012, I found myself jobless and eating my feelings in bed

We sat down with Andrea for a Q&A session and she shared a bit more about her personal and professional journey into the great big wilderness of finding her own voice. Andrea, you’re a business owner of almost 10 years, and also a single mom by choice of a two-year old. That’s not necessarily an easy path. How did you carve that journey for yourself? Well, I’d say 90% of that was by design. I always knew I wanted to be a mom. After reaching my mid-30s and staying happily single, I eagerly set to the task of planning a family on my own. And - yes - it took a lot of planning and patience and 20

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after a massive company layoff. Days before this sad state of affairs, I had been working at my then dream job as an international video producer for an e-learning company. My role was to travel the globe in search of fascinating business leaders at major brands who’d be willing to share their

most personal leadership experiences on camera. One day I was talking to leaders American Airlines, Ford Canada and the U.S. Olympics... weeks later, I was jobless, scrolling through social media under my tooexpensive duvet and crying about what to do next for a job while I ate tubs of ice cream. Then, a friend posted on social media that she was scheduled to do a radio interview the next morning for work and she was terrified. She hoped someone would either do it for her or show her how. I had nothing to do, so I offered to meet her for coffee and simply share what I knew. For free. I just wanted to help. Well, her company president showed up for coffee with her and when he asked me what it was that I did and if I was interested in helping his whole team out as a coach, Andrea Holland Communications was born. Much has changed since those days, but I’ve been incredibly intentional about my growth process. You’re a Rochester native. What aspects of growing up here supported you in making such bold moves? Oh definitely a cultured family and a loving community that supported strong women! I come from a long


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“With 20 years of experience in professional storytelling and communications, Andrea has made a career-long study of what motivates others: how words, body language, stories and mindset affect ourselves & others, relationships, outcomes and more.”

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{ COVER STORY } “But, it was all worth it and if I accomplish nothing else in this life, I know I’ve already done my very best by becoming a mother.”

line of bold females. My grandmothers were both incredibly brave women who moved from here from very different places: Puerto Rico and Mississippi. One grandmother never drove or spoke English. My other grandmother came from a deeply racist south. Both of them came here with virtually nothing but deeply rooted faith, conviction and determination to make it. My mother, Lucy, instilled in my sister, Norma, and I the value of hard work, staying honest and paying close attention to details. Our dad, John, taught us about empathy, perspective and humor. His job wasn’t an easy one - surrounded by a houseful of women and only a male chihuahua named Cisco as his companion! All of this has profoundly shaped the woman and mother I am today. As a coach now, what are your priorities for both your business and also for your clients? Growth, which isn’t always a linear path. Growth happens outside of our comfort zone - and navigating that pathway isn’t always easy. I strive to get uncomfortable for greater gains. Even doing this article was a stretch for

me. Honestly - these have been some tough years: working hard through a solo pregnancy (bolstered, though - thank God - by the most loving family and friends in the world!), a

pandemic shortly after having my daughter, and then some devastating losses in our family this year. The stress has been tremendous and I literally feel it. I see it, too, when I look in the mirror. My COVID pants are snug! Still, when I was asked to be

photographed for this issue, I took a leap and went for it. Now, let me be honest: when I first saw the photos from my amazing shoot with the photographer, I was a little surprised. At first, I didn’t think I looked like me. Then, a friend asked me: “What do you see when you look at these photos?” I replied: “I see the me that I’ve earned the right to be and I love her.” My goal for me - and every client I work with is to be bold enough to be comfortable. That’s not always easy...everyone has enough courage to “fake it”. Do we have enough courage to let go, though? I’m constantly asking myself to do that... and I did it with these photos. It’s honestly been one of the most liberating things I’ve done in a while. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful, especially during a pandemic? Before this pandemic, during and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Oh definitely a cultured family and a loving community that supported strong women! I come from a long line of bold females.”

after, the #1 rule I can honestly share with any business person is this: have an insane desire to be seen. A business mentor told me this when I launched my business so many years ago. At the time, I was launching a new website and I was terrified to promote it because I was afraid that people would judge me for my bold new branding on my site. I was afraid to step outside of the box that others had so clearly defined for me in my career. I was caught up in the busyness of worrying about other people’s opinions of me. My colleague’s advice to stop worrying and start shouting from the rooftops about my business forced me to be seen. Since then, my business has steadily grown - in part because I make it my business to be seen even when I don’t want to be. What is your “why” behind the work you do and how does that keep the hustle alive? Helping the underdog win. That’s one of my biggest drivers. I deeply empathize with those who have been told they’re not good enough or who’ve been consistently told to sit and wait their turn. That may come as a surprise to many who know me - I am bold and outspoken and laugh-out-loud confident. I’ve had to work for that confidence, though. My phenomenal upbringing in a warm, loving, patient and supportive family bolstered me in environments where I wasn’t always welcomed because of my gender or skin color or physical appearance. I had a gentleman admit to me once that he didn’t expect much from 26

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me during a job interview because he saw that I graduated from a state university! (I didn’t accept his job offer to me a year later, for the record). My constant desire to help people realize the full potential of their voice and their story is what keeps me going when I’m hungry, overbooked and tired. Who has been your greatest inspiration and why? My daughter. She teaches me about patience and reminds me that life is a mirror: whatever you put out into the world will be reflected back to you. My daughter regularly gets excited about Sesame Street and crayons and strawberries and new shoes. She excitedly expresses herself with little care to how others will perceive it. She eats with gusto and doesn’t worry about spilling things on herself. I aspire to teach her about confidence in the way I was taught - with a loving heart and a firm sense of purpose. When I look at my daughter, I see a world of possibilities for her and the world she is actively creating. I believe that if every woman could be reminded of her own purpose and greatness, this world would be transformed. How do you define success? True story: I was voted “most likely to succeed” by my high school graduating class. I’m not certain why my peers thought I was worthy of that title, but I can certainly say that my definition of success has changed through the

years. Success - to me - is about being able to unapologetically choose my own path. It’s about ownership of my wins and losses with equal weight, appreciation of myself and others, authenticity in every moment, intentionality in building a life I love and challenging myself to grow beyond what I know today. That level of success is gained in stages and is achieved over the course of a lifetime. It is earned and realized, not given. Learn more about Andrea at her website, www.andreaholland.net.


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COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Growth happens outside of our comfort zone - and navigating that pathway isn’t always easy. I strive to get uncomfortable for greater gains.”

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ANDREAH


HOLLAND.NET


{ INFLUENTIAL WOMAN }

YOU ARE ENOUGH. PHOENIX RISING BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSPWHEELER STUDIO BY HILLARY WELLES I PHOTOS BY BRODY

Kelly Breuer is a spitfire. She is an innovator, entrepreneur, workhorse, and master of re-invention. She has founded several successful businesses and is currently the publisher of three online women’s magazines. Even over Zoom, Kelly’s boundless energy crackles through the screen like a Fourth of July sparkler. And, as she begins to talk, it’s evident she’s a straight shooter with no time to beat around the bush.

this point without an incredible team of freelance writers, photographers, and supporters along the way, including a very good friend of mine, Cheryl Kates. Cheryl gave me the courage to continue building my dreams and pushed me to keep going, supporting me every step of the way. Even when we didn’t see eye to eye, she was always still there

“I’ve been busting my butt for the past five years,” Kelly says, chuckling. During that time, she has grown Rochester Woman Online to over 300 pages a month, launched the bi-monthly Central New York Woman Online, created a special section in the magazines featuring female entrepreneurs called She Hustles Talks with LIVE video feed for social media – and, just this month, launched Influential Woman Online. Her readership is upward of 100,000 subscribers across all platforms – social media, web, email, YouTube, and more. And until now, she’s done most of it on her own. “For RWO and CNYWO, it’s always been me doing the day-to-day responsibilities, creating the look and feel, doing the design, and creating the brand,” she says with remarkable good cheer. “I am responsible for all the sales, customer service, editing, layout and design, keeping the websites updated, the uploads that take hours…I work at least 70 hours a week.”

pushing me. She would tell me how it was, even when I didn’t want to hear it.” Having Cheryl on her team helped Kelly immensely, as Cheryl could spot potential problems ahead of time and help prevent issues. “I must admit, she did say ‘I told you so’ quite a few times,” Kelly says with a giggle.

But Kelly is quick to give credit where credit is due. “I couldn’t have gotten to

Moving into 2021, Kelly feels blessed to have a great team of writers,

photographers, and, for IWO, copublisher Dr. Pam Denton. But even with such an amazing and motivated group, it is a constant struggle to ensure that deadlines are met, along with scheduling everyone and, of course, bringing in sales to keep everything going. But, in her words, “What worthwhile dream has ever been easy?” The truth is that Kelly has been busting her butt for much longer than five years. The eldest of two children, she grew up in the small town of Geneva in New York’s Finger Lakes area. After her parents’ divorce in her early teens, Kelly went to live with her paternal grandparents and stayed with them until she graduated from Alfred University in 1992. She had a close relationship with both of her grandparents, especially her grandmother, who became an important role model for Kelly. She taught Kelly to go after her dreams no matter what - that quitting was never an option. “She taught me to have a strong work ethic and the drive, determination, and strength to go along with it,” Kelly says. “Working is in my DNA. My grandmother worked until she was 92. She was raised on a farm with 10 kids in the family in the early 1920s, so she had to work her whole life. She was a ball of energy – only 4’9” but she could outpace me shopping, even in her 90s!” Her grandmother also modeled a positive and loving outlook. “She always saw the good in people, no matter what,”





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““She was always so incredibly proud of me and encouraged me to live my life to the fullest. I know she is looking down on me, and she is part of the reason I work as hard as I do.”

Kelly says with a hint of tears in her voice. “She was always so incredibly proud of me and encouraged me to live my life to the fullest. I know she is looking down on me, and she is part of the reason I work as hard as I do. She sends me signs, like the butterfly that landed on my shoulder last summer and stayed there for nearly 45 minutes, or the cardinal who visits me every day at my window. She always sends a sign when I need that little nudge.” From the beginning, however, it’s clear that Kelly didn’t need much nudging. With her grandmother as a role model, she learned early on to appreciate hard work and the independence it could bring. As a young girl, Kelly performed children’s voiceovers on the local radio station, babysat, and worked for Carvel Ice Cream throughout her middle and high school years. She set herself the goal of owning her own business by the time she reached 40. An overachiever, she started her first business at age 32. With a degree in graphic design and photography from Alfred University, she started her career working in advertising and printing, then moved on to Xerox, where she worked in the Industrial Design and Human Interface Department for several years. Even working for a large corporation, she showed her talent as an innovator and now holds more than 15 patents with Xerox. “I always try to think outside the box,” Kelly asserts. “I like to be forwardthinking and ahead of the game. If

you’re not able to pivot when things don’t go your way and get creative, especially RIGHT NOW, you won’t stick around.”

business, Alex Debiase, her supervisor at Phoenix Graphics, recognized that they could better utilize her as an independent contractor.

After Xerox, Kelly took a position for a Rochester-based family-owned printing company called Phoenix Graphics.

The next phase of Kelly’s career began with building her client base. Utilizing her graphic design background and love of helping people, she started creating networking events to help build her print sales. She started out working with Phoenix Graphics and the Rochester Americans hockey team (known locally as the Amerks), where her passion for networking took hold and she started organizing networking events. It all began when she organized a private event for the Amerks in their “Hall of Fame” suite – a place where clients could relax, eat, drink, and watch the game privately behind the scenes, or go down to the seating by the arena. The event was a smashing success. She walked away with over 20 new client contacts from that night, with over 200 people in attendance – and realized she was onto something big.

Perhaps that’s where she started to identify with the phoenix – the mythical bird who rises from the ashes to be born again and again. Impressed with her comprehensive knowledge of graphic design and pre-press production, along with her already cultivated accounts and her innate ability to network and attract

Encouraged by the success of the Amerks event and seeing a clear need in the community, Kelly began tapping into her significant contact base to create more networking events that would bring together local entrepreneurs and businesspeople. The goal was to create a fun and effective way for these entrepreneurs and businesspeople to meet and support each other while drumming up business. Another of her groundbreaking events was held ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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at Empire Brewing in High Falls, New York, where the bar made over $9K during the three-hour event. “People loved it,” Kelly says proudly. “No one else had events like this at the time in the early 2000s, so it was a huge hit, and everyone wanted more and more.” Eventually, her networking business evolved to include monthly events all over the upstate New York area, as well as four large expos per year. Networking is Kelly’s happy place and her gift, giving birth to her nickname the “NetworkROC Queen.” Following her passion, she left Phoenix Graphics in 2007 to focus on her own company, Network Rochester. As a visionary, she was far ahead of her time. “I had an email marketing database in place before anyone else,” she says proudly. “There was no Constant Contact or MailChimp at that time. Network Rochester developed my database, and with help from a former colleague, we teamed up with someone who knew the technology to develop our very own email marketing platform.” Together, they developed a robust email marketing system that served to grow Network Rochester to a point where she was presented with the opportunity to reinvent Rochester Woman Magazine, which at the time was a monthly print publication. In typical can-do fashion, Kelly agreed to re-create the old magazine with her 40

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own twist. “I thought, ‘How hard can it be to be a publisher?’” she says with a wry smile. “Well – all I can say is, thank God for one credit card from my former business partner and one amazing advertising sponsor.” That sponsor was

Kitty Van Bortel, who owns one of the largest Subaru dealerships in the United States. “Kitty invested in our vision and potential in the magazine because she believed in it, and in us,” Kelly says. “Without her help, the magazine wouldn’t have been able to even get going. We were printing upward of 15,000 copies per month for years, until the end of

2016 when it became abundantly clear to us that print media was dying. The costs were escalating to a point where we just couldn’t keep going and make it profitable. All the money from advertisers went right back into the magazine and there was nothing left over.” Like her current ventures, Rochester Woman Magazine was a free publication. “We never wanted to charge for the publication because we wanted it to get into as many hands as possible - to make a difference wherever we could,” she explains. Though the magazine flew off the shelves, getting enough advertising to cover print costs was a constant burden, especially with the costs rising on a near-monthly basis. Still, that didn’t stop Kelly and her team. With her innate “go big or go home” gumption, the team started Syracuse Woman Online a year later, partnering with Syracuse-based Eagle Publications. After eight years of publishing the print version of Rochester Woman Magazine, she and her business partner saw the writing on the wall: print publications were going out of business. The magazine was going further into debt every month as businesses switched to online marketing, and even the large networking events began to fall off. It became obvious that digital communication, online shopping, and social media marketing were the wave of the future. “Thankfully, we were smart enough to


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“I couldn’t have gotten to this point without an incredible team of freelance writers, photographers, and supporters along the way, including a very good friend of mine, Cheryl Kates. ”

see the direction things were heading long before the trend,” says Kelly. “We created an online version of the print publications, and even an app. We were doing all this in addition to the print publication, which we were still putting out.” In 2016, Kelly knew it was time for a drastic change. In January of 2017, Kelly and her business partner parted ways and Kelly launched the now hugely successful Rochester Woman Online. Using her social media network, her experience, and vast connections – after a bit of a learning curve - she was able to produce an online publication much bigger than anything she could have even imagined. For years, Kelly had been creating large events and fashion shows that tied in with Rochester Woman Magazine and carried her unique creative stamp. For example, she began using plus-sized models for her fashion shows well before others would consider it. With the advent of the online magazine, she saw the need for a change from the big shows and began hosting smaller, more intimate pop-ups – boutique-style events where clients got personalized attention. In 2020, another challenge reared its head when COVID-19 struck, bringing live events to a screeching halt and making a significant dent in Kelly’s projected earnings. With her usual talent for re-invention, however, she restructured the events to be COVID-safe and launched a series of

live video segments called She Hustles Talks to help women’s businesses promote themselves by reaching a larger audience. Using a live platform, Kelly goes into local businesses and chats with the entrepreneurs about what they do. This platform reaches an audience of thousands, replacing the large expos that used to fill that need. Next, Kelly looked out over the horizon beyond Rochester and Central New York. She realized she wanted to stretch her wings and reach a national, and even global, audience. That’s how Influential Woman Online was born. Kelly pitched her idea to Pam Denton, with whom she had worked on expos in the past. She knew that IWO needed a powerful team behind it and was drawn to Pam’s energy and vision for female leadership. She approached Pam with her idea for launching an online magazine that would reach women around the world with inspiring stories, fun, deep, and informational articles, and an intention to spark women’s leadership through connection and inspiration. Influential Woman Online’s mission is to reach, connect, and inspire a national and global audience of women business leaders. In spite of her natural energy, creativity, work ethic, and talent for re-invention, it hasn’t always been easy for Kelly. “People have wanted to see me fail,” she admits. “That’s natural when you’re a go-getter and to the outside everything appears to be easy. Not

everyone will like you, and you have to develop a thick skin. It’s taken me many years to do that. I’m a pleaser; I want people to like me. I’ll give my all to help people and small businesses succeed – that’s what I love to do. But I’ve had some hard lessons to learn along the way. I’ve had to learn to take a step back and re-evaluate many of my alignments, clients, and even friends and colleagues. I have to be creative because as a single mother of two, failure is not an option. I have to provide for my kids. I have to succeed!” Being a successful entrepreneur is not without its challenges in the personal realm. “I don’t have much of a personal life,” Kelly says with resignation. “Most men are intimidated by my independence and my crazy work schedule. Dating is hard. Then you add a pandemic to the mix, and, well… let’s just say I am fine just hanging out with my fur babies for now.” She also stresses that her kids are a huge priority for her and come first in her life. “It hasn’t always been easy being a single mother for the greater part of my children’s lives. I’ve had to juggle work, which of course brings in the money for the kids’ needs and the bills, with my daughter’s dance schedule, traveling, and now getting ready for her graduation and college. It hasn’t always been the easiest thing. I’ve cried myself to sleep many nights.” However, her children have always been involved with Kelly’s work life. “They’ve been remarkably understanding and supportive even when I had to choose work over their activities,” she adds. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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“You can grow or you can stagnate. And well the naysayers just make me push even harder. I’m growing bigger and better! Come along for the ride!”



{ INFLUENTIAL WOMAN { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “As a good friend of mine put it, I’m like the cat with nine lives. I get run over, stands up, brush myself off, and say, ‘OK, what’s next?’”

But as she quickly approaches the “Big Five-Oh,” Kelly is seeing the need for a shift toward greater balance. “I love my work, but it’s not all life has to offer,” she admits. “I have friends my age who are dying from stress and hard work, suffering from heart attacks and aneurysms. I don’t want to be in that situation. I don’t want to regret not taking it easier, spending more time with my kids, and doing things that matter.”

the Roc in the late fall! But of course, for the “go big or go home” Kelly, there’s more: she is partnering with the Northeast Kidney Foundation in Rochester and Syracuse to create fundraising events, planning some

So, what’s next for Kelly? “As a good friend of mine put it, I’m like the cat with nine lives. I get run over, stands up, brush myself off, and say, ‘OK, what’s next?’” Kelly laughs. Or, to put it another way, she is the phoenix that keeps rising from the ashes and reinventing herself in response to whatever is needed at the time. Right now, her new platform, She Hustles Talks is taking on a life of it’s own including an online magazine, a talk show platform, conventions and more! This time, Kelly’s rise from the ashes includes planning the Ultimate Women Entrepreneurs Expo and Fashion Show showcasing over 200 vendors and women-owned businesses, along with more than 20 speakers and a fashion show that she wants you to know is going to rock 46

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As for the bigger picture? “I have a vision of women working together,” she muses. “We all need to help and support each other instead of sabotaging each other out of jealousy. I love what I do. I love to help even one person who needs that extra push. But, I don’t want to do it alone anymore. I woke up and saw myself doing something bigger – working with other women to get my mission out there on a bigger stage.” A global stage where women support women. Where women worldwide can empower each other to achieve success and satisfaction. Where, like the phoenix, women can rise from the ashes to grow, evolve, and support each other to flourish. “Have I made mistakes?” Kelly says, laughing. “Sure – tons of them! But I’ve grown from each and every one of them. You can grow or you can stagnate. And well the naysayers just make me push even harder. I’m growing bigger and better! Come along for the ride!”

truly amazing Pop-Up events for the post-COVID world in Rochester and Syracuse, and has some new ideas up her sleeve she will be launching in 2022 that she assures me will really knock our socks off…stay tuned!


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STARTING AT $199 INFLUENTIALWOMANONLINE.COM


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YOU THE AREPPG’S ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY KELLY BREUER I PHOTOS BY LAURA MARINO

The PPGS. Started off quite literally as a joke. The creators, Laura Marino and Alexandra Axenfeld weren’t quite sure if the cartoon was “The Power Puff Girls”, or “The Powder Puff Girls”. When they realized it was indeed “Power”, they decided they would go with “powder. Now they are known in Central NY and beyond as the“PPGS”. Never in their wildest imagination did they think the name would stick the way that it has. In the latest edition of Central NY Woman Online magazine, we had a chance to talk with this dynamic duo about how they got started, where they are headed and so much more!

you through the combinations of hair, make-up, wardrobe design, lighting, posing assistance, theme changes, and photography with editing. I have recently added designing and constructing my own clothes to add to the drama of the photo and final image. I took these creations and ideas on the runway for “Syracuse Fashion Week” with“Team Laura”, and the reaction was riveting.

Laura: My name is Laura Marino and as a child I always had a big imagination for fashion and beauty. My mind sees things through “fairytale glasses”. I was honored to be interviewed by Central NY Woman Online magazine.

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I shoot modeling portfolios, fashion based work, pageant beauties and boudoir. Together, we create the perfect look for you! Beauty pageants throughout the state also look to me for unique characteristics of their winners including Miss Earth USA, Miss World of America Missouri, Miss Vermont Earth USA and Miss Multiverse to name a few! After 32 years in the industry my dream show came to life in 2019 called “The Magical World of Laura Marino.” Every bit of creativity came together to create this once in a lifetime runway exhibition! I love art and beauty but what really sets my soul on fire is bringing joy, happiness and confidence to my clientele with my creations.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background.

I loved the quote by Douglas Everett; “There are some people who live in a dream world, and some who face reality; and then there are those, who turn one into the other”. I love creative and high fashion looks. I did hair and make-up for over 30 years and later added photography and wardrobe design to my list of talents and services. I am so blessed to be able to create different looks and many different characters through my subjects. When you come to me, together we create the perfect look for

was also featured in “Syracuse Woman Magazine” in the Aug edition 2015 as well as CNY “The Good Life” this past year. I was honored to be able to elaborate on my passion for what I do.

Most recently I took my designs to the big apple for New York Fashion Week and so my adventures continue. I also have a 6 page spread in an amazing national magazine, “Dark Beauty”, Issue 23 called Wildlings. Other credit’s include, “Beaux Couture Magazine”, and “Surreal Magazine”, Issue 330. I

Alexandra: My Name is Alexandra Axenfeld. I am 31 years old who grew up in the small town of Cazenovia NY. I am wife to the man of my dreams and best friend, Ryan. We have been married now for five years, but have been together for 13. Together we are building a life we love. I am a new mom to the most precious and beautiful baby boy in the world, 11 month old Caiden. Family is everything to me, my parents and younger brother have always been my biggest support system.


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{ WOMEN WHO INSPIRE } “As a child, I always had a big imagination for fashion and beauty. My mind sees things through “fairytale glasses.”

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I met Laura back in 2016, when she quite literally told me I needed to quite my job and become a makeup artist. Little did she know that had been my dream almost my entire life. It tok me four rounds of college and a career I was stuck in as a restaurant manager to finally follow my dreams. Boy am I glad I listened to her and Alexandra Axenfeld Beauty was born.

producing runway shows. I am honored to have my work on multiple covers and publications of books and magazines as well as working with hundreds of brides and prom beauties throughout my career so far. The list goes on. I am so humbled and thankful for my family, friends and clients throughout the years who have supported me. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.

It has been one heck of a ride so far doing makeup for multiple pageant title holders, being the lead MUA for high tech modas New York Fashion week, as well as being the lead MUA for “The Magical World of Laura Marino”, and co-

How did you and Laura meet?

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Alexandra: Laura and I met originally when my husband and I came to look at her rental property. Funny how everything happens for a reason!

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in your business and the services you provide your clients? When it comes to the quality in our services, we treat everyone as if they were our family and they quite literally do become family once we are done with them. We take pride in being “one stop shopping” where we provide hair, makeup, photography, wardrobe rental and design, as well as model coaching and assistance. Why did you choose this profession ? I think we both can agree that this


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“I met Laura back in 2016, when she quite literally told me I needed to quite my job and become a makeup artist. Little did she know that had been my dream almost my entire life.”

profession chose us. In this field your talents kind of come “natural” if you will. The nice thing is we love and embrace our raw talent. As a female business owner, what are your top three priorities? As female business owners it is so important to us to uplift and empower other woman in business and support them.

What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? First our “Why’ is because we truly love what we do and as artists you must be passionate about your career. We both always say this is out of passion first and a paycheck second. Of course we both take pride in our businesses and do this to support ourselves and our families. What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business?

Currently the best advertisement for our businesses is coming from our social media platforms. What are your plans for your business for the future? Right now, we are both are extremely happy with where are businesses are. Giving us the perfect balance between work and family life however you never know what we may be up to and what adventures we will be onto next! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ WOMEN WHO INSPIRE { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “I think we both can agree our first why is our children and our families, and second is the love we have for our industry.”

Who has been your favorite client to work with and why? We can’t answer this question. We have no favorite. We absolutely love each and every client that walks through our doors. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why?

many people know about is we just started starring on a reality television show “The PPGS” VIPPagentry. Check it out! What is your ‘why? ‘ Why do you do what you do? I think we both can agree our first “why” is our children and our families

I would never start my career over. Is it perfect? no was it smooth? No. however we both love where we are at this very moment so if we changed it we wouldn’t be here.

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

What gets you truly excited? What gets us truly excited is simply just doing what we do. Being creative, fueling our passion and starting new projects. What do you love most about yourself? What we love most about ourselves? The genuine human beings we are. We love with our entire hearts and would give anyone anything we can. Where will we see you next? We aren’t sure where we will be in a year but it’ll be amazing we can tell you that!!

What are the next plans for the PPG’s? Not sure what the next plan is for the PPGS. Recently we have been super into working with the pageantry world and we absolutely love it. What we can tell you is that whatever is up next is going to be exciting!

be creative and no dream is too big.

and second is the love we have for our industry. What advice would you give to the next generation of makeup artists? The best ADVICE we can give to future generations is follow your passion, work hard, never give up, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ WOMEN WHO INSPIRE { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Laura and I met originally when my husband and I came to look at her rental property. Funny how everything happens for a reason!.”

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BEATRIZ LEBRON BY TERRY DANIELE

This month we bring you Beatriz Lebron. If her name sounds familiar, it should! Where there is a need for equality, transparency and honesty, you can usually find Beatriz, calling the loudest for a correction in the system. RWO called her and asked if we could meet with her. She was willing, so long as we told her story the way she wanted it told. “I have had nine lives” she said. Those lives she has lived, the experiences she has had, formed who she is today. She asked us to tell her past to explain where she is today. In case you don’t know, let us tell you who she is first. Beatriz has an Associate’s Degree from MCC and Bachelor’s Degree from St. John Fisher. She attended Georgetown to earn a certificate in finance and has started the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. She has a fellowship to study for a Master’s in law and economics. She is a graduate of LLDP (formerly known as the Hispanic Leadership Program through the United Way) as well as the Latino Alliance Political Academy. Beatriz considers herself a lifelong learner and tries never to turn down an opportunity to expand her knowledge. In her work, she is on the Rochester

City School Board and is the Chair of the Finance Committee. In February 2018, she discovered a significant disparity in the RCS budget. When she first asked about it, she met with reluctance to acknowledge the problem. Beatriz knew she had to release this information to the public even if it meant an investigation. “Yes, I was the whistle blower, and I would make

the same decision given a chance to do it again. It was the right thing, it was the only thing, to do” she told us. She was a long-term sub in the RCSD for many years, which gave her the perspective of being a parent and being an employee in the district. This allowed Beatriz a view from two sides of the

district’s challenges and prompted her to become involved with the school board. She felt her experience would help her to explain and appreciate the perspective of parents and employees. Among her other activities, she is the Project Coordinator for PlayRocs at Common Ground Health and the Treasurer for the Monroe County Democratic Committee. As if all these things were not enough, she volunteers her time tirelessly on other committees and offers endless support for her community. Beatriz was born in New York City, The Bronx specifically. Her Dad was a superintendent for 4 of the buildings on their block and her Mom worked at the Bronx Zoo. She told us her Mom and Dad were the textbook version of parents that should not have stayed together for the children, but they did it anyway, often causing anxiety for the entire family. Beatriz is the 13th of 14 siblings. From 14 brothers and sisters, today only 5 siblings are living. “There was nothing normal about my childhood,” said Beatriz. As she reflected, one of her favorite memories was going to Puerto Rico to her family farm during the summer months. She did that as a child yearly. She compared the experience to going to a summer camp of a different kind. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Where there is a need for equality, transparency and honesty, you can usually find Beatriz, calling the loudest for a correction in the system.”

Her Mom and Dad fought often, and she referred to her dad as a functioning alcoholic who never missed a day of work. Beatriz said “functioning alcoholism is not talked about in Black and Brown families and that is something that should be addressed”. She lost her Dad in 1993 to a heart attack, positive his death was hastened by the years of abusing alcohol. She overcame her childhood anger with him and grew to understand and love him as an adult. Beatriz came to realize that her Dad “did the best he could with what he had”. Beatriz shared that there was a point in her young life when she became a bit out of control. She was drinking a lot, some drugs as well. She quit school in 9th grade. Her Mom moved the family to New Jersey thinking that might help her children. It did not work for Beatriz; she ran away and went back to The Bronx. Finally, Beatriz came to Rochester at the request of her sister who was attending SUNY Brockport. Beatriz told us that she has lived through family death, abuse, 74

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alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, postpartum depression and a short stint at a mental health facility after trying to end her life at 19. While not all fun and not recommended, her life struggles made her the strong woman

Beatriz feels that sharing her story is honest and real. When we asked her to leave us with a thought, she said this. “Be authentic, be yourself, trust yourself and be real” It t a k e s a l o t o f courage to be willing to put yourself, your whole self, out there. Beatriz was so honest and open about her life. It was refreshing to sit and chat with someone willing to talk about her life without reservation. Beatriz hopes that anyone who reads this and may be struggling, recognizes that they can change their life. It was a pleasure to be able to spend time with her and talk to her. We would like to say thank you to Ms. Lebron!

she is today. Reflecting on the past keeps her grounded. Beatriz has 3 daughter’s and a grandson, her face lite-up as she talked about her children and her grandson.


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Syracuse Region

The Northeast Kidney Foundation Syracuse Region is a patient services and advocacy organization that works at the local level to improve the lives of those affected by kidney disease! We offer:

Join us for our 2021 Walk/5K Run held at Onondaga Lake Park! June 6th, 2021 3858 Long Branch Road Liverpool, NY 13090

Register at www.healthykidneys.org

We will be following all CDC and NYS Covid 19 guidelines.

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LADYBUGS ALL PEST SOLUTIONS PHOTOS BY MICHELE ASHLEE

So you are the not only the “queen” of commercial real estate, but now the proud owner of Lady Bug Pest Control Services. What made you decide to open not only another business, but this business in particular? The company really was an outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic. During Covid, real estate was designated non-essential for many months. I was limited to how I could help my clientele and when a business broker reached out to me with an essential business for sale, I was intrigued! At first it seemed completely crazy and out of my comfort zone, but the more I thought about it, the more it was a natural fit and extension of my business. In talking with my Fiance, Joe Petralia, who was immediately drawn to the business because we would be in a position to help all of our clients. It was completely serendipitous when Suzanna called to discuss a possible other business venture, when I said “ Suzanna, I can’t believe that you called today of all days. I have an opportunity for us, but just don’t laugh! “ While the idea caught us all off guard, we are so grateful for the situation that was presented. Tell us about being a female entrepreneur, especially in such a specialty business like pest control. How did you start? What made you want to do something like that?

I believe every female has the challenge of work/life balance. Having Suzanna join us in this adventure is the pure magic. While the company is majority female owned, we are repositioning the approach of pest control. With our combined talents and insights into home and business owners, our company has a different set of standards and protocols. We started by buying an existing company, RCD exterminating, which had been in existence since 1985

and with our respective clients and friends, we are actively growing the business. Where did the name for the business come from? The name was another joint effort! Suzanna’s daughter suggested the Lady Bug portion, which we all loved! It definitely offered the feminine spin which we wanted and the All Pest

Solutions came from our first hire! He recommended that as opposed to pest control, giving the reason that pest control implies management and our company’s approach was going to be providing answers and solutions of problems to our clients. As a business owner, what would you say are your top priorities for both yourself in the business and also for your clients? For us, the priorities are the enviornment that we provide to our employees and to our customers. Its key that everyone be treated with respect, families needs met and an overall approach of teamwork. Many people think teamwork is exclusively for the company, but it’s not. We partner with our clients when there are inside problems that need addressing. If there’s an infestation, the homeowner or tenant must cooperate with certain action items that include clean out, repairs, vacating for treatment time or others. The solution often involves both Lady Bugs ALl Pest Solutions and homeowner/tenant to communicate, collaborate and cooperate as a team. How will you market your business, and which tactics do you think will be successful in getting new clients? • We are still finalizing our marketing ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ WOMAN NEW ENTREPRENEUR IN THE ROC}} } {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “Having Suzanna join us in this adventure is the pure magic. While the company is majority female owned, we are repositioning the approach of pest control.”

plan! For us, we have seen a heavy amount of personal referrals that are generating new clients. The influx of personal friends, family and clients has been heart-warming and so meaningful to each of us.

my passion lies with Commercial Real Estate, it has been gratifying to help my clients with pest services for their locations! Lady Bugs All Pest Solutions is truly blessed with a wonderful team of people who

What was your key driving force to become a woman owned business and entrepreneur? For us, the driving force was to approach pest solutions from a different angle. We joke that we are tasked with “making pest control classy!” We are in an industry that has very few woman commercial applicators and technicians and as far as we know, we are the only majority woman owned pest-related business in the region. We had experienced companies using scare tactics to solicit business and images of men technicians saving a mother and children from dangers, and we knew there had to be an alternative. A company that educated families on treatment options, preventative actions to be taken by them, preventative solutions that Lady Bugs All Pest SOlutions can provide. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why? I wouldn’t change a thing! While 82

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pest control business? Creativity, empathy and drive. Who has been your greatest inspiration? For me personally, the person that inspires me most is Barbara Corcoran. Her unique ability to pivot quickly and trust her instincts to make big decisions is remarkable. Every obstacle that she faced was handled with creativity and poise, and I admire her tenacity! How do you define success? For me, success will be when I will be in a position to stroke 6 figure checks to charities. To me, being able to give back to the community in a big way and impact so many lives, will be the most gratifying experience of my life. Do you spend more time lighting fires or putting them out?

handle all the day to day operations and treat each customer like family. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful as a female business owner in the

We are definating the lighting fires type! We are empowering the team to develope, create and perform at high levels. The advantage to being a smaller company is we make decisions that day, communicate with our clientele same day and we can often get out to treat a new customer within 48 hours.


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{ WOMAN {{ SHIFT+CONTROL NEW ENTREPRENEUR IN THE ROC}} } “I was limited to how I could help my clientele and when a business broker reached out to me with an essential business for sale, I was intrigued!”

Tell our audience what makes you a hustler...

who you are both personally and professionally?

Has the pandemic helped or hindered your businesses?

I see a pattern in my life, when someone tells me that I can’t do xyz, that I can and I do it on a larger scale. We were told that because we have no connections or history to pest control workers, we were NEVER going to find licensed applicators. I am a believer that if you are passionate about your project, you will find a way. We didn’t listen to other business owners who advised us to walk away. We have hired 3 additional commercial applicators, due to our collective efforts of asking, talking and interviewing until we found the right members for our team.

My best advice came from my mother. It was an unconditionally belief that I could do whatever I wanted

Both! While there was a huge decline in commercial institutions, there was a big uptick in residential as people spent more time at home.

What is the number one pest problem you find in Rochester? In Spring time, the biggest problem is bee and wasp swarms and nests. By end of summer, the biggest problem will be mice. Since we got into the industry, we have learned a ton about the seasonality and about the longevity of certain species! a Queen Bee lives 25 years! A carpenter ant can live 25 years in your wall! A single mouse can birth 200 babies in a year. What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? I spent a month of high school attending class at the veterinary school near San Francisco and spent my senior year studying abroad What is one piece of advice you have been giving that has helped shape

Of your 2 VERY different career choices which has been your favorite and why? My passion and experience lies with business and helping people. In my previous life, I owned a catering company and small bistro. Here in Rochester, my career is spent helping businesses and owners with their space needs. Now, with pest control, I am still running a business that helps both residential and commercial clients on a daily basis. In my mind, my career choices may be different by respect to the service provided, but they are definitely strongly integrated. Running a pest control company and working regularly with businesses in terms of identifying space or buying a building involve so many of the same skills.... listening, problem solving, identifying the priorities and an understanding of numbers and projections. What would you say is the one service you offer at Lady Bug Pest that is most valuable to your clients and you would consider your specialty? Ladys Bugs All Pest Solutions treats all types of insects, rodents and wildlife. We are licensed for homes, commercial buildings, food service locations, termites, schools and daycares and so much more. We have hired our team with intention, so we have a nice variety of licenses and talents on our team.

Do you have any big business plans for 2021? YES!!! The biggest of all is yet to come! Joe, who I affectionately call sweet pea, will be getting married in October! What would you say your clients think is your best quality? I hope it is my honesty! I will never mislead a client for a sale or for a service that isn’t needed. What would be one bit of advice you would give to young women wanting to start their own business? I think there is no time like the present. In my experience, there is no perfect time for any type of change or risk. Plan a business, develop an advisory team and act on your dreams. You owe yourself the best opportunity and life you can create. It will be scary, overwhelming and harder than you ever imagined... and at the end, it will all be worth it. Where do you see your businesses a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years? We have lofty goals! We have expansion cities all mapped out and have started planning for our first expansion to occur in 2022. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ WOMAN {{ SHIFT+CONTROL NEW ENTREPRENEUR IN THE ROC}} } “It’s key that everyone be treated with respect, families needs met and an overall approach of teamwork.”

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39 Saginaw Rochester, NY 14623 (585) 453-9748 ladybugsallpestsolutions@gmail.com


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YOU ARE ENOUGH. BECOMING H.E.R. BY INICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY SAVON HOLT PHOTOS BY KAMERON ASHFORD, ALBERT JONES & ROB DANIELS

The word “become” means to undergo a change or a development. At some point in your life, you will have to decide who you want to become. I heard a speech by Steve Harvey where he made the following statement, “there are two types of people born in the hospitals every day. One is the person who is going to get a job, and the other is the person who is going to give that person the job.” At some point in life, you will have to figure out which one you want to be, the leader which I define as Heroic, Empowered and Refined (H.E.R). Or do you want to be the sheep, a follower with no sense of direction? Some women may feel that they are not good enough because of unexpected life circumstances or may feel underservant. But those life challenges set the blueprint for your success. Learning how to navigate through hardships brings forth a strength that you never knew existed. By showing great courage and resilience, your determination will inspire so many around you, sis, take that risk and bet on yourself. Be a rose that comes up from the concrete. You can’t wake up every day doing the same things but expect different results. You must become the woman 88

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who takes the good and the bad and still strive for greatness. Set goals, meditate on your dreams, plan and execute. To become that woman, you must be willing to put in the work.

They are okay with being sheep and living mediocre. No one understands how hard it is to be a sheep. A sheep follows the crowd and is easily led and distracted. You are more than a follower, channel your confidence and influence to become the leader you were meant to be. Plant your seed, nurture it, and blossom. Don’t be afraid to become that flower. Even a seed must undergo a change and a development to become a flower. When cared for properly, with nourishing soil, sunlight, and water, the seed will transform and bloom into a flower. To truly experience positive change, you must let go of your past and embrace the transformation that’s about to take place. Have confidence in yourself and know you will take on a better form, even if it takes some time.

Eliminate distractions, stop old and bad habits, and end toxic relationships. We must create new patterns to produce new outcomes. Many women are scared to live up to their potential.

After the seed blooms into a flower, everyone appreciates it for whatever it has to offer because of its authenticity and radiant beauty. Each seed has something to contribute. Go out there, start planting seeds in your life, speak things into existence, and believe they will come to fruition. No matter how challenging or pointless it may seem at that very moment, trust the process. With time, patience, and hard work,


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SAVON SPEAKS }} { { SHIFT+CONTROL “The word “become” means to undergo a change or a development. At some point in your life, you will have to decide who you want to become.”

what seems like an empty flowerpot will grow and be filled with beauty. Like beautiful flowers that attract butterflies and bees, your life will become a magnet to the right kind of people that will genuinely add value to you. You can’t be afraid to Become H.E.R. It takes courage to stand on your own and lead your own way. Fear works two ways when connecting it to success. You can fear failure or fear the responsibilities that come along with success. I’m not saying the process won’t be bumpy. I’m asking you to trust the journey although challenging moments occur along the way. Use your momentum to plow through those rocky moments. Moments of feeling defeated do not last long. Failure is merely a detour to success. Reaching a new level of success will be mentally stressful, but I would rather be successful and learn how to sustain it than failing and staying down. I hope that as you travel through this journey of life, that you find your

way and create your own lane. Be the lion and not the sheep. Please make your own rules and live by them. Create your happiness and

with like-minded people. Become that leader you are destined to be. Don’t allow anyone to take away your happiness. Remember, you are a seed in moments of darkness, planted beneath the dirt, where it’s dark, but surrounded by what you need to grow, soil. Always remember, a little rain doesn’t hurt a flower. Become H.E.R and own your boldness. You can find out more at WWW.SAVONSPEAKS. COM/ or send a message to savonspeaks@gmail.com

dwell in it. Never be afraid to be in a room, surrounded by people smarter than you. Seek those opportunities to gain knowledge and personal development. Make connections ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ SPECIAL FEATURE }

AURINIA PHARMACEUTICALS BY TAMI WONG

UNDERSTANDING LUPUS NEPHRITIS RESOURCES AND SUPPORT Lupus nephritis is a serious and common inflammation of the kidneys caused by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or lupus). Even if you’ve been living with lupus for some time, there is more to understand about lupus once it affects the kidneys. How does lupus nephritis affect my body?

are diagnosed with lupus and about half of people with lupus will go on to develop the condition. Even though they may be hard to notice, there are a few common symptoms to look out for, including fatigue, weight gain, swelling of legs, feet, or ankles, and foamy or frothy urine. How do I know if I have lupus nephritis? The best approach to figuring out if you have lupus nephritis is to talk to

Be informed and empowered. Get your ALL IN™ Lupus Nephritis Awareness Kit.

Your kidneys play a crucial role in keeping your body healthy by removing toxic waste and excess fluid from your body through urine. If you have lupus nephritis, it means that your kidneys cannot function normally to keep you healthy. Lupus nephritis may get worse over time and could lead to kidney failure, which is serious but treatable. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain your health. What are the signs and symptoms of lupus nephritis?

Kidney problems can start around the same time that lupus symptoms appear, but in the early stages of lupus nephritis there are very few signs that anything is wrong. About one-third of people have lupus nephritis when they

controlling kidney inflammation, helping preserve kidney health, and preventing flare-ups of symptoms. There are now FDA-approved treatments to help get your disease under control. Ask your doctor about what treatment plan is right for you. The types of treatments that you are prescribed by your doctor may depend on a number of factors, including the stage of your condition. Early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent long-term kidney damage.

ALL IN has created the Lupus Nephritis Awareness Kit with insights from members of the community to provide educational resources and tips. Get your kit now at ALLINforLN.com/register.

What can I do to stop kidney damage from lupus nephritis? Treatment for lupus nephritis is aimed at

The ALL IN™ program is an important source of information, support, and resources for those living with lupus nephritis and their care partners. Whether you need information to help you with diagnosis or managing your condition, ALL IN is here to support you.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals is committed to supporting the lupus nephritis community. That’s why we launched the ALL IN program, an unbranded website, as a source of information, resources, and support for those affected by lupus nephritis. For more information about lupus nephritis or the ALL IN for Lupus Nephritis program at www.allinforlupusnephritis. com. For information about Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, please visit www. auriniapharma.com.

© 2021 Aurinia Pharma U.S., Inc. All Rights Reserved. ALL IN is a trademark of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. US-NA-2100068, 4/21

your doctor, even if you don’t have symptoms. A diagnosis is usually made by a nephrologist or a rheumatologist and generally requires a kidney biopsy. The three most common tests used to diagnose lupus nephritis are: a urine test, blood test, and a kidney biopsy.

How can I learn more about lupus nephritis?


Changing the Course of Autoimmune Disease At Aurinia, our mission is to improve people’s lives by delivering therapeutics that change the course of autoimmune disease. Beyond advancing novel therapeutics to address the medical challenges faced by people living with rare, serious autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, such as lupus nephritis, we work to advocate alongside patients and care partners, connect with the community to fully understand their needs, and provide educational resources and support.

Inspired by patients, we are driven to make an impact.

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Learn more about Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. at www.auriniapharma.com and for more information about lupus nephritis, visit Aurinia’s ALL IN™ for Lupus Nephritis program www.allinforlupusnephritis.com

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UNSTOPPABLE BUSINESS SUCCESS BY DR. PAM DENTON

WA N T T O H A V E U N S T O P PA B L E BUSINESS SUCCESS? GET CONNECTED TO YOUR CORE INTELLIGENCE (CQ)! Let me put it straight to you. Women need to strengthen their power. I am not talking about coercive destructive power. I am talking about inner energetic power including belief in self, success, and destiny.

● Put up ● Don’t cry ● Act like a man ● Play the game ● Toughen up ● Plaster on a fake smile and pretend we are OK or FINE ● Compromise our personal happiness, health, and well-being to achieve success

You have a universe and it can conspire in your favor - when you are aligned with your core purpose.

Leading from a Healthy Core: ● Your CORE knows the truth ● Your CORE knows how to cut through the BS in business ● Your CORE knows when you are in an unhealthy business relationship ● Your CORE will tell you what to do

In order to succeed as a woman in business and live life FULLY and ON YOUR OWN TERMS you MUST have a healthy connection to your CORE. The world is moving too fast, there are way too many challenges and YOU, unstoppable woman, DESERVE MORE than the stressors you are up against! Awareness of the stressors and challenges we are facing as female leaders will help you make the decision to pivot and change. The old systems of leadership in business are crumbling. Look around at what is happening in the world and it is obvious – the “Old Guard” form of hierarchical leadership is no longer working. Old Guard leadership taught women in particular to: ● Shut up

until you have nothing left to give? You are putting up a positive front and you’re doing your best every day, but underneath it all you are burned out, exhausted, anxious, unable to sleep, and constantly worrying. You’re so used to pushing through fatigue and obstacles that you may not even realize how exhausted and burned out you really are. You try and try to figure out how to make things better so you can make the impact you want, but this leaves you emotionally drained and saps your energy even further. You need a healthy CORE! It’s that simple. Simplify! Eliminate negativity and transfer it to the positive soul purpose!

A long list of compromises. You were taught to go until you drop. Face the pressures, man up, and sacrifice your health and wealth. There is no more time or space for compromise. In order to win in the world of business, right now, YOU have to be truthful, real, authentic and aligned with your core purpose. BUT…..How can you succeed when it feels like you have given and given

How does your CORE know? Your body intuition is HIGHLY INTELLIGENT! So how do you access your core intelligence? SLOW DOWN and CONNECT. When you are spinning in crisis and chaos NOTHING gets done. You can make time for 30 minutes a day! That is all it will take to get started. We call this practice building your CORE TRANSFORMER. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN } “You may be thinking your core is physical and it is, however it is also energetic, mental, emotional and spiritual.”

The Core transformer is an internal energy that transmutes negativity to positivity. This transformer is your core intelligence (CQ). The CQ transforms chaos into clarity, mental fatigue into focus, and overwhelm into productivity. When you supercharge your leadership by using your CQ, you have a complete power source working for you! You have to build it. That means daily practice. You may be thinking your core is physical and it is, however it is also energetic, mental, emotional and spiritual. When you are fully empowered through core 98

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intelligence you are a magnet for success. You will draw to you all of the powerful opportunities that you want! So let’s do this! Join the SuperCORE Transformer Membership and start your journey to Core Intelligent leadership today. Here’s one of our client’s testimonials: “Building core intelligence into my daily practice has helped support me in developing the ability to adapt and pivot during the pandemic. SuperCORE infused my life with daily positivity that balanced the negative effects of both the worldwide crisis and the personal challenges I was

facing. Ultimately, I was able to elevate my business leadership and use the positive energy to inspire and motivate my team.” - Abby Beauchamp Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Coach, and Nervous System Expert I am so excited to have you become part of the unstoppable core community. Start today and purchase your copy of our latest book Core Intelligence and join us here!



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HEY YOU3 BY KRISTIE STUMPF RORK

Tell us about HEY YOU3 and what is the mission and inspiration behind your business? We are heyyou3. Many organizations fund research for cancer. Our mission is to provide assistance with the everyday “What if ’s” that come along with the journey such as transportation, meals, and other relevant items. For example, a ride to/from treatment, or a family pizza night to help make things a little easier and take away some of the everyday worries so they can focus on healing. Let’s help make those moments a little smoother. Our inspiration is a result of losing so many loved ones to cancer.

them get whatever they need. Tell us one story about someone who has inspired you through your journey. During the pandemic one of my very own family members was battling stage three cancer. After losing both of my

What made you decide to create your business and become a female entrepreneur to support breast cancer awareness? We created heyyou3 to raise awareness for all of the different types of cancers. Being female entrepreneurs provides opportunities to help those battling cancer in many different ways. Since no two circumstances are the same, we are able to help people based on their own unique situations. For example, if someone is receiving treatment outside of their local area, they and/or their family might be able to use a gift card for food from local restaurant, etc. In another situation, someone may need a specific type of medical item that is not covered under their insurance, the proceeds from our sales can to help

started and I am happy to say, she beat it. We were together for the first time just a couple weeks ago!!! Thank you God for that gift. What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur, especially in 2021? The pros of being women entrepreneurs is being an example to other women that we can do this, we are strong. It is our honor, privilege and hope that as female entrepreneurs, we can do whatever is necessary to help individuals battling cancer feel just a bit better. We have not encountered any cons as of yet. All that we have met in this journey so far have been very supportive. What are some of the things you find help you to be successful, especially with promoting and fundraising for such a great cause?

parents to cancer and then to have a sibling diagnosed was heartbreaking. Add the pandemic at the same time, well, I can’t even begin to describe the emotions. Knowing, we couldn’t be together physically was almost too much to bear. We talked often and spent a lot of time texting. We prayed nonstop. Here we are, almost two years later to the date when it all

One of the biggest things that have helped us become successful is the support from our family, friends and community. Many small local business owners have contributed to our mission. It’s pretty amazing what a community can do when they pull together. What is the main goal of Hey You and how did you come up with the name? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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“Many organizations fund research for cancer. Our mission is to provide assistance with the everyday “What if’s” that come along with the journey such as transportation, meals, and other relevant items.”

Heyyou3 was created to help raise cancer awareness and help individuals battling cancer. From the proceeds of our sales, we donate gift cards to them. These gift cards can be used for anything they choose. We came up with the name that would help get people’s attention and the “3” is for our own personal connection with our faith, our Irish roots and my lucky number. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business? Social media has been a great tool to help promote heyyou3. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your organization and who is your ideal audience? Our marketing success has come from focusing on our mission and appealing to those that want to make a difference. Who can relate to our cause and are willing to be a part of raising awareness. What challenges have you faced over the past year year and how have you overcome them? The biggest challenge we have faced over the past year, due to the pandemic, is not having the ability to be out in public, face to face with people. We utilized social media but I prefer to be out with the public. We are now able to get out more and tell people who we are and what our mission is. 102

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That feels so good!! How do you balance your nonprofit life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges you experience? ( heyyou3 is a for profit company) This enables us to be flexible with the proceeds and donate them as we see fit. Balancing our commitment to heyyou3 and life with family friends that do not understand is not difficult. They know we are committed to the mission and respect the many hours that are involved in making sure it is successful. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated, especially in a business where there is such sadness? Our encouragement comes from knowing the difference we are able to make in the life of individuals who are fighting the hardest battle of their life. We feel it is the least we can do. They are fighting so hard, we have to help! Do you listen to any postcasts or follow anyone that inspires you in this journey of helping others? We have not listened to podcasts. What makes you hustle? That’s easy, our desire to make a difference, to show them that we care, that their fight matters. That we are in the fight to help them with the “little” things in life, the things

most people don’t think about until it hits you right in the face. Where do you see your organization growing in the next year? three years? Our plan is to double the total amount of in gift cards that we have donated and in three years our plan is to triple that. Tell us about some of the people you have helped and what is one story that stood out from the rest. We currently have a campaign running for a young woman who is battling stage three breast cancer. She is an incredible woman and is one of the strongest people we have been blessed to be a part of our life. While battling this terrible disease, she has been vocal sharing her story so she can help others. She has been raw and honest throughout the whole process. She has a very strong family and network of friends. Just Amazing!! Tell our audience how they can find you reach you whether it is for help, or donations. For more information please visit heyyou3.com. You can also send us an email at heyyou3.heyyou3.com. Thank you for this incredible opportunity to share information regarding heyyou3.com



{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “We created heyyou3 to raise awareness for all of the different types of cancers. Being female entrepreneurs provides opportunities to help those battling cancer in many different ways.”

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ADMAR BY TAMI WONG

ADMAR has been a staple in the Rochester community for almost 50 years. The construction equipment we rent and sell has helped local contractors construct and renovate many buildings in the area including the Schottland Family YMCA, Golisano Children’s Hospital expansion at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Midtown Athletic Club’s addition. More than likely you’ve seen our expansive inventory of light towers making night work possible on local roads & bridges and on the New York State Thruway, lessening interruptions to your morning commute. Maybe you also have spotted our flatbed tr ucks delivering equipment around town or seen our technicians making their daily rounds in our stocked service vehicles (if our customers can’t come to us, we come to them!). The company was founded in Rochester in 1972 by John DiMarco, Sr. and his brother Richard DiMarco, Sr. As experienced contractors, they started ADMAR with the desire to supply local construction companies with reliable equipment. Their very first location was in a small garage, and the company has since grown to ten locations across three states. Still locally owned by the DiMarco family, ADMAR offers a full line

of equipment and supplies for contractors, landscapers, commercial customers and do-it-yourselfers. For homeowners, we have small power tools like leaf blowers, snow blowers, chainsaws and trimmers, along with personal safety items such as first aid kits, respirators, earplugs, safety harnesses, caution tape and flashing lights. Gloves, hard hats and safety vests are always stocked in our showrooms and are available for retail sale and for contractor accounts. We

also carry generators for both home and commercial applications. For contractor and commercial use, we maintain a large fleet of aerial lifts, compact equipment, excavators, front loaders, forks and utility vehicles. For traffic control, we have message boards and solar-powered arrow boards. We also have a department dedicated to survey equipment & machinecontrol systems. We pride ourselves in equipment availability as well as a well-maintained, reliable rental fleet.

We carry top brands including STIHL, Husqvarna, Honda, Kubota, Gehl, Wacker Neuson, Avant and Polaris. Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for everything equipment related for the construction industry. Our stores have service and parts departments and we now offer training sessions for specialty equipment and safety seminars that meet Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for equipment operators. Since the COVID pandemic started, ADMAR has constantly adapted to support contractors working on essential projects while ensuring we meet national CDC and local guidelines. To stay connected to customers, we held a weeklong virtual open house in the spring of 2020. The week featured virtual equipment demos, equipment specials and even interactive online games to make the best of a tough situation. We continue to offer virtual demos, curbside pickup and smaller-sized training events to assist customers with their equipment needs. ADMAR has weathered several economic downturns over the years. Joel DiMarco, President of ADMAR, attributes the “hard work, dedication ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT } “The company was founded in Rochester in 1972 by John DiMarco, Sr. and his brother Richard DiMarco, Sr. As experienced contractors, they started ADMAR with the desire to supply local construction companies with reliable equipment.”

and strength of our team,” as one of the reasons the company continues to succeed. We’re fortunate to have many employees who have been with us for 20 years or more. ADMAR provides ongoing training, so when advancement opportunities present themselves, employees are ready for the next step in their career. “We’re very purposeful in hiring and how we develop our people in terms of product knowledge and customer service,” says Greg Downing, ADMAR’s Director of Branch Operations. Customers benefit from the emphasis on training—from a superior customer experience to manufacturer-trained technicians servicing their equipment. While ADMAR is approaching 50 108

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years of doing business in the Rochester community, the company has roots as a construction business going back to the early 1900s. ADMAR remains family owned and is fully integrated with other DiMarco Group family of companies which offer real estate development, property management, construction management/general construction, facility maintenance, property leasing services and private jet charters across the Northeast. DiMarco Group, and the DiMarco family through their foundation, value giving back to the community that has supported their endeavors for over a century. American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure, United Way of Greater Rochester, Toys for Tots Program, Daystar for Medically Fragile Children, Golisano Children’s Hospital

Stroll for Strong Kids are some of the organizations and fundraising events that have benefited from their generosity. Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or business owner, we invite you to visit ADMAR’s expansive showroom at 330 Metro Park in Rochester or our location at 2390 Rochester Road in Canandaigua to see all we have to offer. We’re your one stop shop for construction equipment and supplies. We even have orange cones, which are helpful for not only traffic control at jobsites, but for making an obstacle course to teach your 16-year-old how to drive at your local school parking lot.


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ADMAR has everything you need to finish the projects on your list · · · · ·

Tillers Aerators Sod Cutters Over Seeders Plate Tampers

· · · · ·

Augers Pressure Washers Log Splitters Invisible Fence Installer Construction Equipment

Family owned and operated for almost 50 years. We have a large selection of equipment from trusted brands to meet all your needs.

330 Metro Park Rochester, NY 14623 | 58


85.272.9390 | admarsupply.com/rochester


262 EXCHANGE BLVD I ROCHESTE


ER, NY 14608 I WINEBARFLIGHT.COM


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{ LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT }

BOLD & GRITTY PHOTOS BY LINDSAY STEPHANY, CARBON STONES & DAVID PAUL

Tell us about Bold & Gritty and what is the mission and inspiration behind your business? Bold & Gritty is a coffee-focused lifestyle brand that tells the stories of Black male success. We offer locally roasted coffee, hand-poured candles and premium apparel to compliment telling these success stories. It is our endeavor to raise the bar of what is possible and inspire the next generation of Bold & Gritty individuals.

There are so many to choose from! That’s part of who we are at Bold & Gritty. We tell stories of people who have inspired us with their resilience, courage and perseverance. You can check them out on our products!

What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner in creating your brand?

What made you decide to create your business and become an entrepreneur? The brand idea was from my husband David as a way to to promote the resiliency of black men. We created Bold & Gritty to have a voice in present day history. With my background in Business/Brand Management (MBA from the University of Rochester) and David’s own story of resilience (Black Neurosurgery resident) and the skills of graphic design, we knew this was a great recipe for success! Tell us one story about someone who has inspired you.

With so many traditional methods of operating a business being constrained due to the pandemic, we’ve had to think outside the box when it comes to marketing, sourcing, and fully operating a business. I don’t think there are many cons to being an entrepreneur, I like to think of any challenges we face in the business as an opportunity to think outside the box.

Being true to your values and purpose for the business is so important. When creating your brand it should be a reflection of who you are. From the vendor partner relationships to social media, you just stay true to yourself. If you had to pick one just one that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why? What are some of the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur, especially in 2021? The best part about being an entrepreneur in 2021, is the ability to reimagine what business looks like.

Being true to the purpose of the business. The purpose of Bold & Gritty is to tell the stories of success. I think we do a great job incorporating the stories in everything we do. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Our ideal audience are those we are interests in celebrating the success of others, and want to be inspired to achieve success as well.”

If you could interview one of your mentors who would it be and what would you ask them? I would ask “What do you like most about yourself?”. Often times we always focus on the challenges. It’s good to focus on the positives too! Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business especially during the pandemic? Social media has been a help for sure! Because we started during the pandemic we didn’t have the opportunity to spread the of the business with pop-ups or events. Social media was our way to introduce our self. What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? We find our greatest success in marketing when we are true to our brand purpose. Our ideal audience are those we are interests in celebrating the success of others, and want to be inspired to achieve success as well. - What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? One of the challenges I’ve faced this year is balancing a parenthood, full-time career and starting a new business…in the middle of a pandemic! I haven’t completely overcome this, 118

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but day by day I’m working to put processes in place to make things run smoother…It’s all about having a plan. How d o yo u b a l a n c e yo u r entrepreneur life with friends/ family that don’t understand the challenges we experience? Open and honest communication. I’ve been blessed to have friends/family that are open to having conversations about what balance and boundaries looks like for me. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? I’m involved in my local church community. I am encouraged through spending time with others and building our faith. Do you listen to any postcasts? If so, who do you listen to the most and what do you take away from it? Not any at the current moment. What makes your business unique and stand out from others? We are unique because our business is more than just a product, we are a lifestyle brand focused on telling stories. Everything we do points back to the purpose of telling stories of success, not just selling products. What makes you hustle? The next generation, including my son.

Where do you see your business growing in the next year? three years? In the next year I see Bold & Gritty continuing to tell stories of success. Where did you come up with the name Bold & Gritty? My husband, David, created the name. Last year, a friend said he was the “Grittiest Person” he ever met. This was in reference to the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth. As David thought about this compliment, he was reminded of the BOLD & GRITTY men he knows and his life and wanted to share their stories with others Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in starting their own business? Write the vision…make it plain.


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{ LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT } “We offer locally roasted coffee, hand-poured candles and premium apparel to compliment telling these success stories. It is our endeavor to raise the bar of what is possible and inspire the next generation of Bold & Gritty individuals.”

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PRACTICAL FINANCIAL AND LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS BY MARIA CATON

BEFORE YOUR G R A D U A T E TRANSITIONS With spring comes new growth, as well as the fresh crop of yard signs memorializing this year’s soon to be high school graduates. While most will be focused on continued celebrations well into the summer, now is the time to solidify your graduate’s financial and legal transition towards independence. Whether your child will be transitioning to college, the military or independent living, it is critical to help prepare their financial foundation, and ensure safeguards are in place for emergencies and the unexpected. Before your child departs to start their new adventure, it is important to discuss spending and the parameters of what expenses will be covered, and if you will be helping to subsidize. It starts with creating a budget, understanding what expenses will be incurred throughout the year, and establishing funding sources accordingly. For many, it is easier to manage funds that are provided on a regularly scheduled basis as opposed to a lump sum for the year. If you will not be assisting with expenditures, helping them create a budget takes on even greater importance.

For those transitioning to independence, understanding all sources of income is the foundation. Whether its from employment, scholarships/grants, or help from parents, understanding what resources you have to work with is a key component. Not all expenses are the same. For example, there are essential expenses that must be covered, such as housing, food, and utilities. The next level of expenses are those that are flexible and include non-essentials. These are the expenses that typically get people in trouble

because they are the “nice to have” things such as meals out, travel and entertainment. Tracking spending helps to ensure you are within your income limits. Some people find using a spreadsheet helpful, however, there are many online or mobile tools to help such as Mint or LearnVest. It is also advisable to have a joint checking account with your child, at least for the first year. That way you

are both able to view spending and can readily address things if spending becomes a little out of hand. By having a joint checking account, you can replenish funds or make transfers in a timely and efficient manner. In addition, finding a local bank or national bank that does not charge for ATM fees is helpful, otherwise, fees will likely add up fast. A credit card can be an efficient way to pay for expenses while building credit, provide for an emergency and possibly receive rewards and cash back, however, it is not for everyone. You have to know your child, and if past behavior or lack of maturity are a concern, it is better to wait and help build good habits before facing a potential problem. When it makes sense, establish the ground rules. This should include what the credit card should be used for, and who is responsible for the payments. This age of transition is a tricky time, especially when your child reaches the age of 18. Although they may still be somewhat dependent, they are officially an adult. That means you are no longer able to make legal or medical decisions for them, let alone have access to any of this information. There are documents, however, that ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ FINANCIALLY {{ SHE HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS}} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Before your child departs to start their new adventure, it is important to discuss spending and the parameters of what expenses will be covered, and if you will be helping to subsidize.“

can be drafted and completed with an attorney to ensure you remain informed and able to make important decisions on their behalf should the need arise. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, a Healthcare Power of Attorney has taken on even greater importance. With a Healthcare Power of Attorney naming you as your child’s “medical agent,” you will have the ability to view their medical records and make informed medical decisions on behalf of them. Without this document, healthcare decisions concerning your child’s diagnosis and treatment will be solely in the hands of healthcare providers. Equally important is to check with your attorney that the Healthcare Power of Attorney includes reference to the HIPAA Privacy Act (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Otherwise, your child will need to sign a HIPAA waiver. This will allow you to obtain information from healthcare providers about your child’s health status, progress, and treatment. Another important document to have in conjunction with the Healthcare Power of Attorney is a Living Will. 124

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This written document sets out how your child would want to be cared for in an emergency or otherwise incapacitated. Realizing that you cannot account for every possible situation, it is imperative this is done in tandem with the Healthcare Power of Attorney. Similar to a Healthcare Power of Attorney, a Durable Power of Attorney

allows your child to name you as “agent” to take any legal action with regard to their property. This could be used for bank accounts, rental agreements, and tuition issues. Lastly, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of student records, granting sole control of those records to the student. In order to view or have access, a student is required to

sign off granting permission to their parent. This may be easier said than done, however, it’s important to understand the rights of students, regardless of who is footing the bill! A child transitioning from dependence to independence is an emotional time. Although as parents we recognize at birth our time is limited, the years pass too quickly and soon enough our children leave and create their own path. By establishing these safeguards and practices, parents can feel reassured that should anything unfortunate happen, they are in the best position to help their transitioning child. Maria Caton, CFP®, ChSNC®, AAMS®, is Senior Vice President, Manager of Financial Planning Services - Team Leader, CNB Wealth Management, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at (585) 419-0670 x50666 or by email at MCaton@cnbank.com.





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A CONVERSATION BY LAURI MCNIGHT

Gina Domingo, 36, biker and former foster youth has a story to tell. A story which may not be well known. She wants to spread the message that foster youth are kids who need families, who need support and have a voice that needs to be heard. So Gina has begun to speak out about her own experiences and the impact the foster care sys-tem had on her life.

people who have taken her “under their wing” and sup-ported her, but disclosed that she wishes she had an adoptive family to give her long term stability and unconditional love and support that she never had. We know that every child in foster care has a unique experience, but there are certain commonalities shared amongst most all of them. Because of Gina’s own experiences, she under-stands

We first learned of Gina when she contacted Children Awaiting Parents’ (CAP) Ex-ecutive Director Lauri McKnight. After seeing the agency’s mission to find foster youth a forever family, Gina was extremely excited and passionate during our first connection. She shared some of her personal experiences and why she and motorcycle groups like the Kendaia Kingz, are committed to helping CAP youth. THE EXPERIENCE Gina was 9 years old when she first went into foster care. The victim of an abusive sit-uation, Gina went through multiple placements and had even been hospitalized and in several group homes in addition to foster home placements. Gina stated she had some good experiences and some not-so-good experiences. Of the handful of foster homes, there were some she believed truly loved her. “But I just couldn’t handle that” she says, thinking the families really loved her as their own. Gina moved through the system with a constant desire to be adopted. She expresses that over the years, she had 128

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the emotions that youth experience such as feeling alone, helpless, like a com-plete outcast from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, like many of her foster peers, Gi-na’s experiences taught her that if her own family did not want or could not take care of her, what makes her think a stranger would.

THE IMPACT Lack of permanency impacts youth in the foster system through their teen years and into adulthood. Children do not just become healed once they leave the system. The impact stays with them. For Gina, the lack of stability had the biggest effect on her--not having that loving, forever family. “I am still that same girl who moved with trash bags up until my most recent move as an adult when I used actual boxes.” That is what chil-dren like Gina learn moving from home to home in the system. The lack of support im-pacted her entire life – she became what we now know as “one of the statistics.” Of the youth who age out of foster care without a support system, 20% become homeless, pregnant or incarcerated in the first 18 months. For Gina, this included becoming a teen mom, and eventually becoming a young mother to five children, without the stabil-ity of longterm relationships. Youth who have been frequently moved through the sys-tem often have attachment issues and struggle to build and maintain long term rela-tionships. For Gina, “always having to make sacrifices that she should never have had to make, would have been different if she had a solid family. And Gina is passionate about sending a strong message to teens today. She wants them to know what she would say to her 15-year-old self if she could...”I would say let someone love you (Gina), be-cause you deserve it. You don’t have to do this alone just because


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{ CHILDREN { SHIFT+CONTROL AWAITING PARENTS } } “She wants to spread the message that foster youth are kids who need families, who need support and have a voice that needs to be heard.”

you are strong and are afraid of being hurt. Pain is part of life. But let love in and lean on a family to help guide you on your journey. Not everyone in the world will turn their back on you, and you are deserving of a family’s love.” She wants foster youth to know that she and many others have their backs. THE CHANGE Determined not to fail, Gina was determined that she would not be just another statistic. She was going to break the cycle. Over the years, she has reached many milestones in overcoming trauma. “I have had to overcome and deal with issues from my biological mother, other relationships, and learn to love myself.” Two years ago, Gina met the per-son she had been searching for in life—and for the first time in her entire life found protection, commitment, and support. During some dark days as she forged into sobrie-ty, she learned what a real support system is. Gina can now say, “I have learned to love unconditionally, and fully trust at least one person. To this day, I still struggle with my trauma, but I have truly learned to lean into it and let it teach me those hard lessons.” Her children are everyday reminders of the true love she has in her heart, and they drive her to go as far especially after she didn’t think she would be a very good mother. She remembers the love some of her foster parents gave me and was able to pass that love along to her own children. “After I had my fourth child, one of my

former foster parents sent me the book When Mama Comes Home Tonight. I remember them reading it to me and their girls. That book has resonat-ed with me and with the love I have for my own children.” THE SUCCESS Gina emphatically expresses that she never wants another foster child to experience what she did. Because of her intense concern for foster youth, Gina determined to do something to make a difference for them. With energy and conviction, she came to CAP with fundraising ideas for foster youth who want a forever family. CAP could not refuse. With little time to pull off the first event, she kicked into high gear and came out victorious. On May 15, 2021, Gina and the Kendaia Kingz held a tremendously suc-cessful bike and car wash, raising over $2000 for CAP to continue its challenging work. THE THEME “I know everything I do for CAP will help spread awareness and raise money for re-sources to help another child out,” Gina proudly states. “I want my voice to be so loud for these children and the world to hear me say ‘I’m not giving up!’ Using her new-found theme—‘We’ve got your backs!’—Gina is committed to being part of the solu-tion and is planning additional events for CAP over the summer. Stay tuned!

Director, Lauri McKnight: “She is truly amazing—I love her story, her passion, and her drive. We both share these exact same feelings about foster youth. I know that CAP’s future will be even brighter and better because I’m not stopping until it is!” Not only does Gina understand the many sides to being a foster care child, but says with great pride that she has overcome much of the past and has worked tremendously hard for a happier, loving life. She is determined to make a difference for foster youth. Watch for upcoming events with Gina as host and promoter as she takes on a new mission in life. She won’t quit until she succeeds helping as many foster youth as pos-sible! CAP is grateful to have this “biker chic” on our side—she is a true dynamo and go-getter. Talk about SHE HUSTLES! This girl is a born hustler!

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“LISTENING” BY AMANDA ASHLEY I AARON WINTERS

With a little over an hour to kill, I reloaded my car with my music gear and headed to a neighborhood establishment up the road from my home to meet my partner for a late night appetizer and nightcap. Into the bar I walked, without a mask, and with a looming guilt as if I was doing something wrong. This had been the first evening I had spent out since all NYS Covid restrictions had been lifted. Plastic partitions, X’s on the tables, masks, were suddenly a thing of yesterday, as if everything before was like some weird, screwed up dream.

I remembered that I actually had what he was looking for in my purse, but was short on time as we were just about prepared to settle out and head back home to arrive on time for our babysitter. Out of the abyss, I retrieved my charging block from

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He then picked up the paper and pointed to the original cost of the hearing aid. He said “Just this ONE hearing aid costs THIS much.” I don’t recall the exact number, but it was just shy of $1300. He then flipped to the last page of his medical visit summary to reveal a far smaller number, closer to $300. Fortunately his medical insurance covered nearly a $1000 dollars of the original cost. He was both relieved and in disbelief.

It’s almost a surreal experience just for things to feel normal again. As odd as it feels, it feels really incredible to regain such simple, social liberties. At the bar we nestled, and put an order in with our bartender. As we were eating, an older gentleman slipped in the seat next to me. I overheard him asking the bartender for a charge for his phone. He stared down at his smartphone with a USB dangling from it’s port in disappointment. The charging block from the night before was missing, and he only had ten percent battery.

over his visit summary from U of R Medicine. He pointed to it and said “You wouldn’t believe this thing right here…”

I noticed his name at the top of the page, which read WALLACE, so I asked him “Do the people in your life ever refer to you as Wally?”

my purse and offered it to the older gentleman. He graciously accepted and we began conversing. In the middle of our conversation, he pulled out a brand new hearing aid and placed it before us. He slid

He told me everyone calls him Duke, and I introduced myself, and the two of us briefly continued to converse till our bill was paid and we parted ways. My encounter with Duke made me really think about hearing and the power of listening. Hearing and listening are often associated with


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one another, but both are their own entity. We are born with two ears and one mouth, yet most of the time we only selectively hear, and talk more than we listen. Listening is fundamental to building and fostering meaningful and successful relationships, yet we more often fail to do it. Think of what a different place the world would be if we all took the time to listen to each other’s needs and desires, and whatever else it is that the other party desires to be heard. As humans, we naturally respond better to the people in our life when we feel acknowledged, heard and understood. 138

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Listening is that intimate connection we build in showing others that they matter. It’s what bridges our understanding of one another and is what helps us to resolve conflict in most cases. Effective communication stemming from both hearing and listening make us better partners, better co-workers, better siblings, better parents, better mentors, better leaders, and better humans. Seize the opportunity to HEAR and acknowledge what meaningfully stands behind one’s human expression, and see how it changes how you perceive what is being said. The general company that a listening ear can provide can be more meaningful than you even imagine. Listen to your body and soul. Those calls

for change within are telling you that it is time to grab hold of your future. Listen to your heart; what is it that you need? The happy life you deserve is on the other side of the mountain, and it’s time to climb. Pay attention to what makes your heart flutter, what genuinely shifts your mood for the better, and which people you can unapologetically be yourself and feel happiest around. The answers are all there, you just have to quiet down, and listen; with open ears, an open heart, and an open mind. Afternoon Cocktail Talk Show Livestreams M/W/F at 1P EST www.afternooncocktail.show




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SHE HUSTLES TALKS WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES

FEATURING: - QUEEN’S KLOSET - AJA PEARL - LAS YOGA ROC - SUDS BY SASHA - WALKING MISS DAISY - RENEE BUCHIERE - AND SO MUCH MORE!

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D2-MEDIA.COM I 2507 BROWNCROFT BLVD SU


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


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SHE TALKS LAW PHOTOS BY JENNY BERLINER PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background and what made you decide to start She Talks Law? I am a corporate and real estate attorney locally. I also have a background in education law and represent a number of charter schools in the area. Throughout my career, I have been very involved in local women’s organizations. I am on the Board of Directors for the Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys (GRAWA), the Board of Trustees for the Young Women’s College Prep Charter School (YWCP) and I am active in the Rochester Women’s Network (RWN) and Women’s Council. I am grateful to have been inspired by so many women throughout my life and my career. During COVID, I did some serious reflecting on my work and decided that I wanted to do something more… I wanted to give back to the fabulous women that I met along my journey and who cheered me on to get me where I am today. In addition, it is no surprise that COVID had some major impacts on business, particularly women in business. For various pandemic related reasons, women were overwhelmingly forced to leave the work force (in fact, approximately 4 times the number of women left the work force in September 2020 compared to their male counterparts). Knowing that information, I thought about the sort of thing that I could offer that would help build the bridge for women to return to the workforce with success. I decided to then create a free legal roundtable to

provide women with legal resources in areas of business and life. With that, She Talks Law was born. What exactly is the mission behind She Talks Law? She Talks Law is a free legal roundtable for women business owners, entrepreneurs and investors. Our mission is to celebrate, connect and champion new and seasoned local women entrepreneurs and professionals by providing ongoing legal education and resources in a collaborative and supportive setting and equip our members with the tools necessary to succeed. What makes you hustle? My family. I come from a long line of hustlers. My grandmother was a mother of 7 who also had numerous foster children all while taking care of the home and working. She hustled. My grandfather started his own men’s clothing store in Seneca Falls. He hustled. My father started his own private practice at a young age and was elected and re-elected as Judge in the City of Canandaigua for over 30 years. He hustled. My brother, knowing nobody, moved out to L.A. after film school to pursue his dreams. He hustles. My husband is first generation Macedonian and is a successful real estate broker and business owner. He and all of his family hustle. I am inspired by the hustlers around me. What type of law do you practice and how do you feel this fits in with the concept behind She Talks Law? Answered in #1.

I know you just recently started STL, but how do you market this concept to your audience, and which tactics have been most successful? She Talks Law was born during COVID and a time when we were all remote. As such, my marketing was all remote. I was never very savvy with social media… until I had to be. COVID forced me in my business to learn creative strategies in order to connect with my clients and prospective clients. I could not rely on traditional networking lunches or meeting someone at the gym. Instead, I had to learn how to use one of the most powerful tools of our time—social media. I am still not a pro, but I certainly know more than I did 1 year ago. In addition to my own social network, I set my insecurities and fears aside and reached out to women and leaders who I admire and “picked their brain.” I asked them to teach me how they got to where they are, I explained She Talks Law, and asked them for advice. Then I followed that advice. To a T! My biggest piece of advice is to put your insecurities aside and don’t be afraid to take risks. You may surprise yourself with how much you are capable of. What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur, especially with being an attorney and working with small business owners? My drive to achieve was instilled in me at a young age by my incredibly supportive parents. My parents allowed me the flexibility to be whatever I wanted to be, so long as I did something that I ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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“She Talks Law is a free legal roundtable for women business owners, entrepreneurs and investors. Our mission is to celebrate, connect and champion new and seasoned local women entrepreneurs and professionals by providing ongoing legal education and resources in a collaborative and supportive setting and equip our members with the tools necessary to succeed.”



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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “ I envision I will be continuing to represent more women business owners in their general corporate and real estate needs. I also will continue to support the charter school sector as that is an integral part of my career and who I am.”

loved and that makes me happy. To be honest, I still sometimes wonder what I want to be when I grow up haha! We all have pipe dreams, but for now, my happiness lies with supporting women in their ventures. If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why? I would listen to my gut more. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in your business and as a female business owner in general? 1. Courage—having the courage to take risks and sometimes do what is unpopular. 2. Communication—not only communicating with colleagues, but communicating to the world what you do and how you can benefit others. 3. Balance—there IS such a thing as work/life balance if you learn to work smarter, not harder. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My parents. How do you define success? Success, for me, is a lot of things. It is the one definition that continuously evolves depending on the year/month/day and changes as my goals progress. Right now, success means the any act done in furtherance of your greater purpose. My personal goal is to celebrate each day’s

success, no matter how small. A success does not have to be the moment you make it to the C-suite with a 7 figure salary. Today, my success was making it to work on time after chasing my defiant 3 year old around and convincing him that he has to wear pants to school… every day. Tomorrow, my success may be career related. Each day is different and that is ok.

I always hate this question because it is hard to tell. I envision I will be continuing to represent more women business owners in their general corporate and real estate needs. I also will continue to support the charter school sector as that is an integral part of my career and who I am.

Is word of mouth working to your advantage, or is social media where it is at now?

Yes!

Word of mouth is powerful but people are using word of mouth on social media now so I see those as one in the same. LinkedIn has been my greatest asset lately. What is the most common question your clients ask you? “I have a friend who got arrested for _________, how long is he going to jail for?” I do not know! I am not a criminal attorney, but I know a few great ones. I know the monthly roundtables are viirtual, but do you ever plan on having them in person? Yes! In fact, that model is meant for in-person events so hopefully we will be transitioning to in-person later this summer. Let me know whether you would prefer a morning brunch event, or evening happy hours. Where do you see your business a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years?

Do you walk your talk?

What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you? In my spare time, I am an avid road cyclist. Each year, I strive to ride at least 1 century ride (100 miles). What is your ‘why? ‘ Why did you become a lawyer? Why did you start the She Talks Law roundtable? Honestly, my “why” is to be great. There really is no other reason than I was blessed with the unique opportunity of a college education. There is not a single soul in this world that can take that away from me and it is my most impactful tool in my toolkit. As such, I feel an obligation to use that tool in the most effective way possible and in a way that is going to make my kids look at me and be proud to call me their mom. How do you balance work and life responsibilities? I am very organized and put everything in my calendar. I also am fortunate to have an extremely supportive family ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Success, for me, is a lot of things. It is the one definition that continuously evolves depending on the year/month/day and changes as my goals progress.”

and extended family to assist us with the kids. As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career and how did you overcome it? Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked the question, “are you the paralegal or the attorney” simply because I am a female. At first, I would get discouraged and assume that the person asking me thought I wasn’t smart enough to be an attorney (even 150

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though some paralegals know more than most attorneys do). However, as time went on, I began to see a trend and noticed that it was usually men over the age of 65 asking me that question. I now politely let them know that I am the attorney handling the matter, then proceed to blow their socks off with my kick ass negotiation skills . What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? Be fearless. And never question your

ability to have it all. If you work hard enough and ask questions, then you can and will be able to “have it all.” Who has been someone who has inspired you and why? Growing up, I was always inspired by my father. When he was a judge in the City of Canandaigua, he saw so many people going through a vicious cycle of crime – jail – streets – crime -jail – etc… He decided to do something about it. He started upstate NY’s first


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drug court in an effort to improve his community. Many thought he was crazy and today drug treatment courts are peppered all across the state of New York and the country and have saved millions of lives. Another person that inspired me is my husband. He is first generation Macedonian and worked incredibly hard to get to where he is now. He is an incredible entrepreneur and my biggest cheerleader, even if I am not the biggest cheerleader of myself. #24 What do you love most about yourself? My sons. They are an extension of me and I cannot imagine life without them. They make my world better.

My 2 amazing sons, Jax (age 3.5) and Jagger (age 1).

advice you would give to the women owned businesses in our audience?

What is some of the advice you share with young women entering a maledominated profession?

What gets you truly excited about life?

What is the best piece of free legal

This isn’t really “legal” advice, per se, but my best piece of advice as a lawyer is to tell you that the cheapest legal advice is not always the best. Shop around for an attorney that fits your needs and is aligned with your business goals and your mission. I like to sit down with my clients and create a “legal plan” to discuss their foreseeable goals. This allows us to work together as a team to accomplish the client’s goals one step at a time and allows me to foresee legal problems before they arise. I much prefer to be your teammate, rather than the person you call when shit hits the fan.

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Do not be afraid to speak up. Your voice is just as, or if not more than, powerful as the men in the room. You have a unique perspective and can offer something to the conversation that men cannot. Use it to your advantage. But also know when to be quiet. Your voice can be your best tool and your greatest weapon.


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QUEEN’S KLOSET YOU ARE ENOUGH. BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY KELLY BREUER I PHOTOS BY KATRINA GRADY

Meet Elizabeth Simmons, owner and your fashion stylist at Queen’s Kloset. Queen’s Kloset is an online clothing boutique where you don’t have to be rich to look fabulous! Affordable clothing for all Queens! So, you know the “NetworkROCQueen” had a blast interview this amazing lady (and shopping) when she came to visit us at the Craftsman Inn & Suites in Fayetteville, NY.

fashions and business plan? Our mission is to provide quality clothing at affordable prices and to share that passion and sense of style with other women. What made you choose an online boutique for your business model? I chose to have an online clothing

Te l l u s a b o u t yourself, your background and what made you decide to start Queens Kloset? My name is Liz, aka “Queen”, a nickname given to me by some of my besties a few years ago. I’ve always had a passion and love for fashion ever since I was a little girl. My Mom would always dress me up in these fabulous outfits and that sense of style of dressing stayed with me all those years. Last year I decided to start an online clothing boutique which I called Queens Kloset, where my favorite saying is “You don’t have to be rich to look fabulous”. I sell quality clothing for women that is affordable, stylish and beautiful! What is the mission behind your

driving force of my decision to start an online clothing boutique because my Mom always dressed her best and made sure her children did as well. It fueled my passion for style. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion means a lot to me because it is a representation of who you are and as they say, first impressions are lasting impressions. According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful fashion boutique entrepreneur?

boutique because of my love of fashion and honestly, because of my age. At 58, to let women know no matter how old you are you can still go after your dreams and aspirations. Who and which things are the inspiration behind picking out your looks and fashion styles? I would say that my Mom is the

The skills needed in becoming a successful online boutique owner is to first and foremost care about your customers. Customer service has to be top priority. Repeat business is the best business, and with poor customer service people don’t want to come back and shop, or recommend you to their friends. What are your greatest strengths, as well as tell us about your weaknesses? My greatest strength is being compassionate towards others. But, my weakness is being too hard on myself at times.



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“I’ve always had a passion and love for fashion ever since I was a little girl. My Mom would always dress me up in these fabulous outfits and that sense of style of dressing stayed with me all those years.”



{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “You don’t have to be rich to look fabulous!”

How would you define your own personal style? My personal style is classy and sexy at the same time without revealing too much. I love fashion and clothing, and feeling sexy and confident in what I am wearing. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion and own your own business? The first time I realized I wanted to

have an online clothing boutique was last year, I love shopping so why not open my own clothing boutique and share that love of shopping with others. What makes you hustle? My very first job was working as an Accounts Receivable Clerk in the clothing district in New York City. If you aren’t hustlin there you aren’t going to make it! So that was my first glimpse in to what is meant to

have to hustle. Who are some of the people that inspire you and why? The people that inspire me are my husband and adult children because they are successful in their careers, resilient and are always supportive in my endeavors. When I’m ready to give up at times, they reel me right back in! If you could go back and tell yourself


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“ Our mission is to provide quality clothing at affordable prices and to share that passion and sense of style with other women.”

one thing before beginning your career what would it be? I should have started this business a long time ago. How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out ?

Social media has played a huge part in business today. Everyone is on social media nowadays and that’s where you find your audience. My favorite platform is Instagram.

I would say it is different today because of technology. You operate your business from a computer whereas back in the day, you had to have a brick and mortar. This is both good and bad. I can reach a bigger audience online, but their is no interaction with your customer or making sure the outfits fit right, or look the way they should.

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If I could have one piece from my online store it would be the Pearly Girl Pant Suit because it’s a classy, sophisticated and sexy outfit.

I want women to feel the same way I do which is Classy, Sophisticated and Beautiful. W h a t d o yo u h a ve planned for the next year? What about five years from now? Next year I Am going to have more customers and in 5 years I Am going to be a successful entrepreneur with speaking engagements to help and support other women on their journey to success!

I feel that working through the pandemic has helped because most people started shopping online because you couldn’t go to the stores to shop.

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If you could only have 1 piece out of your collection what one would it be and why?

How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?

Has working during a pandemic helped or hindered you?

What role do you think social media plays in no only fashion choices, but also being a woman owned business? What is your favorite platform?

sophisticated.

What would you call your “style”? I would call my style classy and

To contact Elizbaeth, or shop with her online, you can visit her at https://queenskloset. net.co/ or on facebook at Queens Kloset.


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BRANCHES OF GROWTH PHOTOS BY SARAH WILEY JOYCE PHOTOGRAPHY AND GRACE NOLAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. I am a wife to Tommy and mother to a baby girl, Madelyn and dog mom to Astrid. I grew up in CNY, attended East Syracuse-Minoa highschool and SUNY Oswego for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. After graduate school I moved around to Albany, Canandaigua and Rochester. I came back to Syracuse 4 years ago when my sister was pregnant with twins.

to heal, grow and learn. It was a terribly tough time for me. While I wanted desperately to help others never go through the pain of losing someone to suicide or to feel that they are out of options to choose suicide as the only way out but I didn’t have the capacity at that time to work in mental health. I took a break to nanny, work in retail

Staying connected with family is VERY important to me. My cousins and sister are some of my best friends. I also practice self care as a priority. I love running, spinning, yoga, spending time with my family (mainly my nieces and nephew), hanging out with friends and my audible account. Tell us about Branches of Growth and what made you decide to start a mental health counseling and yoga studio. I started BoG, under a different name in 2014, in Rochester. The original premise behind my private practice start up was centered around future plans to have a family and be able to set my own schedule. However, it changed suddenly in early 2015 when my then live-in significant other ended his life. Ironically, I was working at a suicide prevention call center at that time. My mental state of grief and anguish prevented me from ever taking another call. I realized I needed space and time

effects so severe that I knew I had to find another way to manage life. I then signed up for my 6 month yoga teacher training journey. Between yoga, running and wonderfully supportive therapists who provided holistic treatment approaches I was able to find my way to joy and contentment in life once again. During this time, I felt strong enough to also re-start my work in the mental health field. It was then that I realized yoga was a perfect complimentary treatment approach for my mental health clients. This painful, real life journey was the inspiration for the birth of Branches of Growth Mental Health Counseling and Yoga studio. What is your background?

and focus on my own existential crisis. When my sister asked me one day, “what are you going to do instead?” At that point I decided to be a yoga teacher. I had begun practicing yoga in 2012 and utilized it to cope during my difficult work at the Crisis Line, as well as after the death of my Uncle. Yoga had provided me amazing comfort in my grief then so I hoped that diving into yoga again might help me manage and process the life changing loss I was experiencing with the loss of my significant other. I had been prescribed medication from my primary care doctor but had adverse

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I completed both my graduate and undergraduate degrees from SUNY Oswego, from there I went right to work in the mental health field. I worked in Albany at an Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic, in Syracuse in the field of family therapy and then to Canandaigua for 3 years at the National Veteran’s Crisis Line before starting my own practice in 2014. From there, I completed my 200-hr yoga teacher certification in 2016, as well as graduated from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Families of Veterans at the Institute for Veterans & Military Families through Syracuse University in 2016. The EBV-F program was extremely helpful to give me the knowledge and tools to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “The hustle began with a strong intrinsic desire to help my community. After working in suicide prevention and then becoming a survivor of suicide, I felt a strong need to help on a deeper level.”

run a successful business. I have also completed Level 2 Reiki training. What makes you hustle, especially being a female entrepreneur? That’s a great question and the answer has evolved over time. The hustle began with a strong intrinsic desire to help my community. After working in suicide prevention and then becoming a survivor of suicide, I felt a strong need to help on a deeper level. When I returned to Syracuse in 2018, the need for mental health care and response to my “yoga and mental health” approach was received with open arms. I knew this community needed more. I LOVE what I do as a counselor, yoga teacher and reiki practitioner. I’ve taught yoga classes at the VA in the psychiatric unit, senior chair yoga, corporate yoga, and classes for kids and teens. These days, my hustle is a little bit more immense since having a daughter. I hustle for her. I want her to know that she can do ANYTHING she sets her mind to. The best way to teach her is to show her. The road may be long, winding, with lots of mountains and weather to endure, but you can do WHATEVER you set your mind to. How do you find new clients? What has been your biggest success? Since being in Syracuse for 4 years, I have made many connections with doctors, physical therapists, yoga teachers, personal trainers, teachers, therapists, social media and members of the community that refer to Branches of Growth. We also

connect with the community through our website www.branchesofgrowth.com, social media (facebook and Instagram), as well as psychologytoday.com. My biggest success has been working through my own anxiety and getting out of my own way! Running a business comes with a natural amount of anxiety but I struggled a lot with sleepless nights in the beginning and sometimes even now. I overcome this by reaching out to other business owners in this field for consultation and to not be afraid to consult with my lawyer or accountant with questions. The anxiety is still present, but it has its purpose. I now have tools that help me work with it versus against it. When did the entrepreneur big bite you? It was about 2 years ago when I bought the house for BoG. My goal was finally becoming real, meaning I could offer counseling and yoga in the same space! For 4 hard years I had faced obstacles that deterred this from happening. Now, that I own the space the major obstacles are removed. I have the freedom to grow my own business, creating a great work environment, not only for myself but for other counselors too! There is a huge need for private clinicians in our community. I am always looking for holistic providers to join our team and co-create Branches of Growth together. Where do you see yourself and your business three years from now? What about 5 or 10 years?

I have lots of goals, but they are not connected to any amount of time. I would like to work on a children’s book (which has been started, but who knows when it will be complete!). I am always continuing to educate myself and I would like to pursue a certification in personal training, become a reiki master and continue education in the field of mental health and yoga. There is also a growing list of certifications I am interested in pursuing. New practices are always being developed and I want to stay open and available to learn new ideas and approaches too. For my business, I would like to continue to grow the practice with additional clinicians including body workers (ie. Massage therapists, acupuncture, etc.), have yoga classes throughout the week and have locations throughout our community. I would also like to add consulting for other clinicians or small business owners to my business plan at some point in the future. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome over the past year, especially with a pandemic and how did you pivot to continue helping your clients? The pandemic has been a rollercoaster for mental health. We went to telehealth on March 17. Some clinicians started back in person in October. Our greatest need is more providers to meet the needs of our community. We have been continuously seeking contractors and employees to fill this need. Working with insurance companies is another substantial obstacle because of credentialing requirements and the lengthy credentialing process ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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HUSTLES TALKS} } {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “My biggest success has been working through my own anxiety and getting out of my own way!”

which delays services to those who have immediate needs. Yoga was hit hard with the pandemic. The studio was only up and running for 5 months before Covid. I did a few Zoom classes but did not feel they were effective. The studio re-opened in February but due to regulations can only have 3 students per class. Classes this small are challenging but can be more personal. I am currently offering classes once a week and offering private, personalized classes individually or with a small group of friends. Before the pandemic, I was teaching “Mommy & Me” yoga classes for kids ages 4-6 and Parent & Teen Yoga for Anxiety. We have not yet been able to resume those classes but will as restrictions ease up. 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 in this field means I can create a healing space for myself and my community while also creating an income. This deeply rooted desire for a safe and peaceful environment is what drives me every day. I love being able to set my own schedule. This allows me time to be home with my daughter and to manage administrative duties as well. I also enjoy being the decision maker, although sometimes this is difficult, I feel I am a leader and appreciate the challenge. I am grateful to be here doing what I love. Who has been someone who has inspired 174

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you in your profession and why? My inspiration has been derived by many. While there is no particular mentor that I adhere to, I learn something every day from my clients. I am inspired by their drive, bravery and commitment to themselves. I have great empathy for those struggling in emotional pain. I am inspired by Don Miguel Ruiz , author of The Four Agreements, Dr. Bessell Van Der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps Score, Glennon Doyle, Megan Devine and so many others. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Do not take things personally. This is one of The Four Agreements (Ruiz) that hits home for me. Everyone has a story that you know nothing about. Respond with this in mind, rather than react from a defensive position. Learn to listen to hear - not to respond. Pause after listening so that you can respond thoughtfully. Take time to answer text messages, emails and phone calls. For professionals make sure you have thought out a professional response not an emotional one. Also, ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS HARD! If it was easy, everyone would do it, so be gentle to yourself when you slip up. What is your favorite part of the business? My favorite part is connecting with people, whether it be connecting people to services, yoga students, clients and other

clinicians affiliated with the practice. We have an amazing group of clinicians that contract through Branches of Growth that share the same passion to help our community. It is a great reminder why I chose to become an entrepreneur. I also love that I can offer this space to share with the much needed clinicians in our community. I hope BoG will be a hub for many as they seek space for their practice. What would you say are your strengths as an entrepreneur? I am extremely hard working and dedicated to not only my business but the mission.I make sure to return every call, email and inquiry to assist those seeking services. If we are unable to schedule new clients at our practice, we provide referrals. The process of connecting with services can be long and exhausting, especially during COVID. I hear stories from many people that are finally at the point of seeking help or seeking help for their child. They might have called 10-20 providers with no return calls or they hear that providers have no appointment times available. I hope to decrease the pain of this struggle and increase hope for those seeking help. 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?


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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “The original premise behind my private practice start up was centered around future plans to have a family and be able to set my own schedule.”

I would tell myself that it is okay to reach out for help. Although there are a lot of people out there that are not willing to help or return calls, there ARE people that are willing to help and you don’t have to do it all on your own! I now have my team that I consult with when I have an idea. My team provides advice as well as guidance so that I am not alone. I would also tell myself to enjoy nonworking vacations! Since Branches of Growth started growing 4 years ago, I’ve worked through vacation and even when I was in the hospital having my daughter. It is important to find the balance between hustle and life outside of work to maintain your own mental wellness. It’s a constant work in progress especially for someone as driven as me. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date? Easily, my greatest accomplishment to date has been finding joy and harmony as a mother and wife. Professionally I would say shifting with the pandemic and listening to what the needs of the community are. I recreated my business plan in a way that not only benefits the folks currently associated with Branches of Growth, but also allows for substantial growth potential in the business. The normalization of telehealth services has been huge in our field. We can now offer services from anywhere, while you can meet with your therapist from anywhere! All of our therapists offer telehealth services, which is another great way we can fulfill our mission and meet the needs of our community. We also

offer in person sessions. This is absolutely crucial for certain populations. As a business owner, I am not only trying to fill the needs of our customers but also employees and contractors. Without those entities, there is no business. What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an idea to really building your business ? Owning a studio for yoga was a shock to realize how difficult it is to maintain. Teaching a class a week or even once a day won’t cover expenses. I have enormous respect for studio owners, especially with COVID. There is a lot of competition from other studios, gyms, home workout and youtube channels. It is unquestionably challenging to stand out and can feel quite defeating. Another surprise was how many tasks that go into having a business. It’s not just about the customer and the provider. There are rules, regulations, guidelines, mundane administrative duties, legal work, accounting, website, social media, budgets, marketing, business coaches, plus maintenance and caring for a house for the business and my personal home. Learning to delegate and hire help where I need is paramount to my success. What makes you different from traditional yoga studios and mental health counselors? I believe that we are different from other mental health counselors because we do offer holistic approaches to treatment and focus on the whole person.We also accept many insurances and a sliding

scale in hopes to make mental health services accessible to all people. We stand out from traditional yoga studios because our classes are designed specific to mental health. For example, one of our current classes is “Yoga for Anxiety” on Friday evenings during the summer. We not only do the asanas (postures) of yoga, but teach coping skills and strategies to regulate the nervous system through breath, meditation and mindfulness. Other classes we specialize are yoga for stress relief, yoga for mental wellness, teen & parent yoga for anxiety, mommy & me. Perhaps in the future we will offer chair yoga to help reach the needs of our community. What does a “Holistic Approach to Wellness” mean to you? Holistic means that we notice the whole body in treatment. Although you may seek support because of specific symptoms, we need to look at everything in your life. Here’s a good way to think about it: If I’m taking my car to the shop because the check engine light is on, the mechanic isn’t just going to tighten the gas cap and move on. They are going to walk around the outside, look under the hood and assess all parts of the car to ensure that they have made an accurate diagnosis and plan to help that car to run better. Holistic means that we need to assess all aspects of your life to see what you need to feel whole again. Things like food and water intake, sleep, spirituality, social support network, exercise, having a safe environment to live; there are all aspects that create wellness. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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

AJA PEARL Tell our audience about your background and what made you decide to become a female entrepreneur and author?

and to express myself through literature.

I am originally from Spanish Harlem, an enclave of New York City, NY. I have always dreamt of being a fashion designer since the age of eleven. My inspiration was a show on MTV called “MTV’s House of Style”. For years, I worked on sketching my own designs until I found my niche through music. Whenever. I hear a particular song, I visualize not only the garment but the model itself. I see the model’s skin tone, hair, and body type. However, I ended up majoring in Retail with an emphasis of Fashion Merchandising at the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s of Science. I have always been an independent and innovative person. Therefore, in addition to being a fashion designer, I wanted to be in charge of my own label.

Aja Pearl has the drive and is not afraid to take risk as a business owner, but she is still green. She would like to be around seasoned business owners to acquire their knowledge in maintaining a successful business. She has worked

As for being an author, writing chose me. There was a time writing a paragraph or an essay gave me panic attacks, but there was pressure in expressing my thoughts on paper. However, when I reached college, I learned to write from the heart. Since then, writing has been second nature to me. With my vivid imagination and series of traumatic events, God saw fit that I should be a writer. He has been my only collaborator since my first published book. God uses me as a vessel to help others

Tell us a little about Aja Pearl as a business owner vs being an author?

What made you decide to start writing and become a published author? I did not choose to be a writer. God chose me to be a writer so I can write literary work that is relatable to the reader. There is always at least one character the reader gravitates on an emotional and spiritual level. There is always a storyline the reader gravitates on an emotional and spiritual reader. Through my books, I want my readers to understand that I understand them and relate to them. What is your favorite thing to write about?

for other people and made them money for years without fostering her own dreams. Now, it is her turn to be the business owner/entrepreneur. As an author, Aja Pearl is still driven, a risk-taker, and green, but she can creatively express herself. The words are not forced. They flow naturally. It brings her great joy and amazement when she writes her literary work. The comments come from her heart and soul, which makes her academic work organic and relatable.

My favorite thing to write about is love; I am a sucker for romance and I love a happy ending. However, as a realist, I write about all types of love, especially ones with a bittersweet ending. I like writing about love because I feel that the world does not value love, and in many cases, it has killed love. The word “love”, is not an everyday word found in the dictionary. In my opinion, it is a beautiful enigma that should be nurtured and handled with caution. When did the entrepreneur bug bite you? The entrepreneur bite bit me big, when I was still a child. Usually, children dream big, but the dreams last for a short period of time. In my case, my dream of being an entrepreneur has ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “One of the things I find helpful as a successful female business owner and author is that I surround myself with people with the same goals and aspirations as myself. ”

become stronger well into my adulthood. I am more driven and more mature when it comes to owning my own business. I know it will be challenging and the nature of business will have its highs and its lows. However, I believe that in order to be a successful business owner, a person must flow with the times and remain innovative. What are some of the things you find the help you to be both a successful female business owner and author? One of the things I find helpful as a successful female business owner and author is that I surround myself with people with the same goals and aspirations as myself. Most of all, I surround people who support each other. It is refreshing to be around like-minded people. There is safety, freedom of expression without judgment, motivation, and encouragement among a group of like-minded people. I also find it helpful to study my target market and listen to suggestions or concerns from my customers. For example, for my cookie business, Ajar of Cookies, one customer suggested that I make gluten free cookies. I followed her suggestion and added glutenfree versions of my regular cookies. Who were the mentors that encouraged you? God is my number one mentor. He has bestowed these wonderful gifts onto me and He will not allow me to quit, either. Second, underdogs from different walks of life (theater, music, and literature) encouraged me to be tenacious

in achieving my dreams. These are people who, at first, are not considered “cookie-cutter” and unconventional. However, with a second, third, and fourth set of eyes, these underdogs are seen as original and ahead of its time. Therefore, it is underdogs who receive praise for being visionaries. Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business and your books? Social media has helped me and hindered me in promoting my businesses and my books. It has helped me by reaching a broad audience internationally from all walks of life. However, in order to expand my audience, I would have to pay fees for ads which is understandable. Unfortunately, my funds are limited, so I do my part in putting up posts and stories on social media. What meet-ups, local entrepreneur events, and accelerators do you recommend that have helped you grow? For me, I utilize the Black Chamber of Commerce in my small town. It has been a very helpful resource for networking with other entrepreneurs. I have also been invited to attend multiple events, such as conventions and meets up, all over the country. When I attend these events, it is very refreshing to meet new people with the same interests and drive. Then, establishing a rapport which leads to business collaborations and expanding a wider network. How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t

understand the challenges we experience? Once I shared my goals and dreams with my friends and family, I either received a negative response or a lukewarm response; that was disappointing and disheartening. So, I kept my goals and dreams to myself and fostered them in secret. For example, my family did not know I was writing my first book because I knew the response would be lukewarm to cold. When I finished and published my first book, I thought the response would be warmer and enthusiastic, but it was lukewarm. In fact, no one bought a copy. However, there are those who are proud that I made this leap in becoming a writer, especially those who know my backstory; I hold those supporters dear to my heart. How will you market your business, and which tactics do you think will be successful in getting new clients? For now, I have been marketing my businesses by word-of-mouth and social media. I think the most effective method in getting new clients is social media because the audience is broader. What do you do to be motivated? Strangely, I think about the “what if...” I think about, what if I left this world, knowing that I never shared my talent with the world or my talents did not make an impact on at least one person. If I can make a difference in one person life, then I am a success; my talent did not fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Another thing that motivates me is


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{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “Carlin and Devika Gems” a brand found solely by me. It consist of fashion jewelry and fine jewelry which is designed and manufactured by me. ”

that person with a job, especially after retirement. I want to leave a legacy with my children; hopefully they will continue with the legacy, when I leave this world. Who/what gives you your inspiration to write? James Baldwin gives me inspiration to write. One night I had a dream about James Baldwin. We were sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Harlem, in the spring. He wore a coral polo shirt, khaki shorts, and sandals. He was so charming, funny and intelligent. I was enamored by his presence. Most of all, I felt honored to be in his company. Rod Serling also gives me inspiration to write. I am a huge fan of sci-fi but I am huge fan of the Twilight Zone. In my opinion, the Twilight Zone has a profound way in teaching the viewer valuable lessons via sci-fi. Tell us about your first entrepreneurial venture: How did you come up with the idea and how did you start your business? My first entrepreneurial venture was getting accepted in this special program for artisans in NYC. We were introduced to a website called Etsy.com where people like ourselves can sell their handmade products. It is also a website where people have the freedom to be in control of their own online shop. For example, people can set their own price for their products, set up promotions, and have as many products in their shop. We also learned to set up our online store on Etsy.com using eye-catching picture and descriptions of the products. After receiving my certificate of completion, I continued to use on my online shop on Etsy.com.

Then, I built a website using Wix.com to link it to my online shop on Etsy.com. What is Carlin and Devika Gems? Where did you come up with this unique name? “Carlin and Devika Gems” a brand found solely by me. It consist of fashion jewelry and fine jewelry which is designed and manufactured by me. I design earrings, anklets, bracelets, necklaces, and rings. It also consist of three collections: the “Gunnar and Rosalia” collection, the “Chocolate Strawberries” collection, and the “Freedom Loves You” (F.L.Y.) collection. The “Freedom Loves You” (F.L.Y.) collection is inspired by the TV drama, POSE. The name “Carlin”, which is Celtic for “little champion,” reflects the petite women overcoming obstacles in life due to their size. “Devika,” which is Sanskrit for “little godess,” reflects petite women’s beauty and intelligence. As a little girl, I use to make my own jewelry from household products, such as bread wrappers, bendable, colorful wire, and beads from old hair ties. Children thought it was weird but some of the adults thought it was creative and unique. For years, I studied to structure of many pieces of jewelry by looking at my own jewelry. With studying the structure of many of jewelry, I learned to repair jewelry and revamp jewelry. I hope someday, “Carlin and Devika Gems” will expand to “Carlin and Devika Apparel” as a clothing label for petite women; I have a portfolio which dates back to the 1990s. What is the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur?

The biggest challenge for me, as an entrepreneur, is not knowing if the product or service will captivate the target market. One part of being an entrepreneur is being a risk taker but it is also being an innovator. The product or the service has to be new yet relatable. Another challenge is the limited resources, such as, funds for marketing and supplies. My drive will not allow to get discouraged for having limited resources. I have faith that my businesses will get better. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in writing a book or getting published? What about a young female wanting to open their own business? The best advice I have for someone who is interested in writing a book is to write familiar topics (Write what you know). When I write something familiar to the reader, it comes from the heart in its purest form. As for getting published...do research. However, I am a self-published author. There is no cost and the writer has total control over their own work. As for your ideas on paper. One idea will be the “attention getter”. With the “attention getter,” put together a business plan. The internet and nonprofit organizations have a lot of helpful resources in putting together the right business plan. Where do you want your business to be a year from now? Five years from now? A year from now, I would like all of my businesses to solely focus on my businesses due to high sales volume. I also would like my jewelry brand, “Carlin and Devika,” to feature in


SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ I always dreamt of being a fashion designer, since the age of eleven. My inspiration was a show on MTV called, “MTV’s House of Style”.”

people who have jobs because they sometimes have a deal with people who are not pleasant. However, I do not want to be fashion photoshoots and fashion shows. Five years from now, I would like one of my books to become a TV series or a webtoon. I would like my jewelry brand to feature in high end fashion magazines and jewelry magazines. I would also expand my cookie business, Ajar of Cookies, to Canada and Mexico. Who is your favorite author? My favorite author is Judy Blume. I do not write children’s books but I commend Judy Blume for writing books where children are the main characters, especially when children are the narrator. I read Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret 186

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blew me away because it was about a girl receiving her first period. I thought it was very bold yet realistic of Judy Blume to write something so personal about a girl’s physical development. Most of all, it was a young woman’s journey to reaching that first step to womanhood. How do you balance your family and being a female entrepreneur? I balance my family and being an entrepreneur by managing my time. The only time I get to be an entrepreneur is awhile the children are not home; my businesses have my undivided attention, when it is only me. I do as much as I can because they are away for only a few hours. Once the children are home, my children have my undivided attention. However, when an ideas appears in my head for my books, I use my

notepad app on my phone to take notes. What is one thing our audience should know about you? The one thing the audience should know is I am person who is down-to-Earth. Yes, I own two businesses and I am a writer and they give me great joy. However, I am easy to talk to and I love to have fun. How can our audience connect with you? The audience can connect with me through Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook, I have two pages: Aja Pearl and Kisha’s Cookies (Ajar of Cookies). I also have other pages on Facebook: @ ExposeConvictedDomesticAbusers, @ FoxxxyFiction2020, @CandDGems, @CarlinAndDevikaGems, and @ Ajapearlbookwriter. On Instagram,


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SUDS BY SASHA PHOTOS BY SARAH MIDDEN & MARIA DALMAU CRUZ

Tell us a little about yourself and what made you decide to become a female entrepreneur? Deciding to become an entrepreneur was a natural and necessary step because I wanted to share my love for natural skincare. I still remember the moment I told my best friend that this is something I could do for the rest of my life.

One of the biggest pros I’ve experienced as a business owner is how I can access information on starting and running a business. Also, there are so many online communities where I can network, get support and foster my development as an entrepreneur.

What made you decide to open up a plant based business called Suds by Sasha?

I am primarily a creative so entrepreneurship has been a journey for me. The entrepreneur bug hit after I participated in a few events. I get excited when I get feedback from customers about how well the products they purchased works for them. #4 What are the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur in 2021?

A quality moisturizer is a musthave for every woman. A good moisturizer is worth its weight in gold. Moisturizing our skin daily is important to maintaining its health. What made you decide on “We encourage women to ritualize self-care by creating uplifting, affirming bold products that celebrate the power of sisterhood” as your slogan? Women often prioritize caring for the people in our lives. Yet we struggle with prioritizing our own needs. I hope to encourage women to prioritize themselves daily in large and small ways. I want to encourage them to spend time practicing self-care as a ritual so they can cultivate a life of wellness.

Suds by Sasha was born out of my need to properly take care of my sensitive skin. I have had eczema since I was a child. I often suffered from dry, itchy, sensitive skin and have had too many flare-ups to count. When did the entrepreneur big bite you?

what would it be and why?

What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner especially of such a unique business?

Have you found social media to help or hinder you in promoting your business and what is your favorite platform?

Learning from other business owners within the beauty and personal care industry has been paramount to the growth and development of my company.

Social media has been very helpful in promoting my business. It provides me with the opportunity to connect with and build new relationships with customers and collaborators. My favorite social media platform is Instagram.

If you had to pick on product that is a “must-have” for any woman,

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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Suds by Sasha is my first entrepreneurial venture. I started with a chunk of shea butter and a desire to heal my dry, irritated and cracked skin.”

What have you found to be the most successful in marketing your business and who is your ideal audience? Face to Face marketing has worked best for me. My products are an experience in a package. I try to convey the experience in our listings but there is nothing quite like smelling the products and trying them for yourself. What challenges have you faced this year and how have you overcome them? Some of the challenges I faced this year were a shortage of packaging materials, cancellation of events and so much more. I used this time to shift focus to work on our branding, research ways to increase production, build new business relationships, and to work on our social media presence. What is the most difficult thing about building a consumer brand from scratch? The hardest thing I encountered as an entrepreneur is being responsible for all the different aspects of running a small business. I have learned to stick to the things I do best, outsource jobs that are not my strengths and ask for help. What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated ? I am inspired and encouraged when I see other small businesses, especially those within my industry, growing and 194

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flourishing. I learn from them and celebrate their wins. What makes your business unique? In an industry that uses insecurity as a marketing tool I encourage women to practice self care and wellness. Te l l u s a b o u t y o u r f i r s t entrepreneurial venture: How did you come up with the idea and how did you start your business? Suds by Sasha is my first entrepreneurial venture. I started with a chunk of shea butter and a desire to heal my dry, irritated and cracked skin. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? Suds by Sasha is my first entrepreneurial venture. I started with a chunk of shea butter and a desire to heal my dry, irritated and cracked skin. How do you decide what ingredients to use and how to combine them? I primarily choose ingredients that are nourishing and beneficial to the skin. I combine ingredients based on their individual properties but also how they work together to create a balanced and effective formula. Do you have any helpful advice to someone who wants to start their own business? I would encourage budding

entrepreneurs to research the industry they are interested in. I would encourage them to find a network that can offer them mentorship and aid their growth. Do not be afraid to ask for help! I would tell them to invest in their education and make sure to schedule in time to rest. For more information, please feel free to check out https://www.etsy.com/shop/ SudsbySasha or email sudsbysasha!gmail. com.



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WALKING MISS DAISY Tell us a little bit about Walking Miss Daisy and how you started, what your business is about, and what is your mission. Walking Miss Daisy Pet Accessories is named after my first rescue dog. It all started when I went to find a collar and leash for Daisy. What I was finding was basic and poorly made. Not good enough for my Daisy girl! It was then that I started playing around with the idea of making some myself. I learned to sew in high school and used to make my own clothes, so why not give it a shot at making some pet accessories. My mission is to give people quality options with fabulous patterns for their fur babies.

every single-track meet, soccer game and everything in between. My life revolved around them. Once they graduated, my life changed. More me time. What the heck do I do now? Start a business of course. How do you find new customers? What has been your biggest success? For me finding new customers is by

When did the entrepreneur big bite you? I got bit by the entrepreneur bug at a very early age. I used to jot down ideas and rip out pictures from magazines. What started out with one notebook of ideas turned into several. My mind is always going a mile a minute. I could be driving down the street and simply see a unique color or an image and wham another idea is born. It’s a bit difference now a days though I have to immediately jot it down because my memory isn’t what it used to be.

What made you decide to start your own small business? Starting a business is not new to me. I have had 2 other businesses in the past. What makes you hustle? I’ve always had the hustle and bustle mentality. A go getter if you will. The busier the better. If I have an idea, I’m going to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Sometimes jumping in prematurely, but I always make it work, somehow or another. Once my children were both born it was all about them. Honestly, now that they’re grown up it still really is about them. I was that mom that didn’t miss any of my kid’s activities, volunteered at their schools and attended

and a half years ago. I was accepted into an amazing local shop in Syracuse, NY. I took the chance on putting my products in this local artisan shop called Wildflowers. Wildflowers consist of local upstate artisans that blow my mind with their unique talents. I’ve learned so much from all of them. Surrounding myself with creative individuals’ rock!

#6 Where do you see Walking Miss Daisy 5 years from now? showing my face in the community. Being present. When I first started my business, I was doing event after event, every single weekend. It’s important to introduce my creations to people so they can see them in person. See the craftsmanship, feel the durability and have options of fabulous patterns. Many doors opened for me about two

Walking Miss Daisy Pet Accessories will be taken to a higher level within five years. I have a few ideas up my sleeve. I can share one now, I hope to be able to offer jobs to people in my community. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome during the pandemic and now that we are opening up a little more? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “ Walking Miss Daisy Pet Accessories is named after my first rescue dog. It all started when I went to find a collar and leash for Daisy.”

The biggest challenge during the pandemic was all my events being cancelled. My plan was to go strong attending as many events as humanly possible so I could get a feel of what events were best for my pet accessories business. This was the plan for the first three years and then decide what the best avenue was. Seeing that my plans changed I felt the need to test the waters and start selling my products in more small local stores. Now that things seem to

be going in the right direction regarding the pandemic, I’m looking forward to sharing all my new products at events outside and meeting more pets! Please tell us what being a woman owned business means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? I’ve always been an independent woman and I take pride in that. Being a woman

entrepreneur, putting my ideas into action is empowering. Showing my daughter and my son that hard work and determination gets you to your destination. Who has been someone who has inspired you and why? I’m not a one inspirational kind a gal. I’m inspired by kindness and simplicity. Peace, Love, Creativity and individuality.


SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} { { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I’ve always had the hustle and bustle mentality. A go getter if you will. The busier the better.”

What’s the best business advice you have received that you want to pass on to others? This is not advice given to me, this is my advice. If you have an idea, step outside the box. Don’t worry about what others think. Know it’s okay that your destination may have bumps in the road. Keep your eyes open. Most of all ENJOY THE RIDE.

long ago, I’d tell myself to refrain from buying every beautiful and unique piece of fabric and ribbon. It’s an addiction, I realize that now. What would you say is your most favorite item that you sell and why? Choosing only one favorite item that I sell is a tough one. It would have to be my collars with an added touch of a

What is your favorite part of the business?

Ha free time! Seeing I’m an ENL Teacher by day and running a business by night free time is limited. But I do love to spend time with my kids and family. The sunshine brings me happiness. So, whether it’s enjoying a day out with my family or simply relaxing in the yard with my two dogs, I am blessed and grateful.

What would you say are your strengths as a business owner?

If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? If I could go back to the very start of my business, which really wasn’t that 204

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An important lesson is to understand and accept that all your wonderful ideas may not be mutual with your clientele. It’s about trial and error. I’ve had may fair share and will continue to, I’m sure. I listen to suggestions and what customers are looking for. Maybe it just needs a tweak or maybe it’s just time to come up with another idea. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?

My two favorite parts of my business is seeing my creations being wore by all the dogs and cats. When the pet owners send me pictures it puts a smile on my face and I love sharing them all on my social media. Secondly, I love doing special orders! You have an idea I’ll make it happen

My business strengths are being able to juggle quite a few things at a time and being able to rise above most obstacles.

What is the lesson that you think is most important for a new business owner to learn and why ?

flower or two or even a snazzy bow tie.

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 ?

What were the things that most surprised you along the way from just having an initial idea to really going full force into business ?

If I needed to start over again tomorrow and change or add just one thing, I would tell myself it’s okay to slow down. Though I probably wouldn’t listen.

What surprised me the most from my initial idea to my full-fledged business was how quickly my products were appreciated. What started as an idea turned into a business, I plan on growing for many years to come.

Where can our audience find you? - Wildflowers Armory in Syracuse NY -Lucky Pupp in Syracuse NY -The Shoppes at Johnny Appleseeds in Erieville NY


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RENEE BUCHIERE So tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to work your own business? I am a wife, and mother to two daughters (ages 10 & 14). When the pandemic hit I was furloughed like many. During that time, it really showed me how much I wanted to stay home with them. I appreciated the opportunity to stay home with my kids, and work from my phone. It showed me that even in a hard time, I have the opportunity to help others achieve what matters most to them. So. From there I decided, back to work or not, I need to do this. I love helping others so why not do it from my phone, and build a future for my kids too. What makes you hustle as a female entrepreneur? My family! Our goals. When you have a family, the future is that much more important, and building a future for us as a family is one thing, but building a legacy to leave behind for the kids is quite another. I want my kids to worry for nothing! That is a huge goal for me, and it keeps me working at this every day! How do you find new clients, especially when you are selling a product that is very new to the market? I started with my warm market. With my family and close friends. Whether they said no or not I kept going. Then I moved to other people. I literally said, “Hey, I have this amazing opportunity to show you. Would you mind looking

it over and telling me what you think? If it isn’t for you, totally fine.” They would say yes, or no. And honestly, a no is NOT a no forever. Just right now! And I keep going. This way it puts the ball in the customer court. I am not here to spam. Just show you what this is all about and keep it movin’. When did the entrepreneur big bite you? About a year ago! I realized that I really love this industry. Helping others, and in turn helping my family grow. That is the best outcome in my mind. Where do you see your business 3 years from now? I see myself helping my members under me every single day. Helping them to learn how to help others and better their situations at the same time. On my way to retirement from this company. What has been your biggest challenge to overcome being a female entrepreneur? The reactions from people that are supposed to be your “biggest fans!” I have heard it over and over. “Oh, another one of those companies….” Thing is it doesn’t matter what they think, family or not. You need to keep yourself focused, and sometimes that fuels that focus! Who has been someone who has inspired you in your journey and why? Honestly, I know a lot of women who are business owners, and they are beyond

inspiring to me. Because it shows me the amount of dedication that goes into owning a business, and running it. We are mothers and wives, and sisters. We have families to take care of, and families to run. But we all are doing it like bosses, and that is inspiring. What’s the best advice you have received that you want to pass on to others? To always accept help! Whether that is at home, or in the business. Accept that you don’t know everything. And you don’t have to! Everyday is a day to learn something new! Embrace that and your business can only grow from there. What is your favorite thing about this business? Beyond helping others, it is the training I get. The constant support from my team, both above and below. The feeling that THIS is where I belong. We lift each other up every single day, and cheer each other on, and that keeps me going. What would you say are your strengths as an independent sales rep and makes you successful in selling product to others? I listen! The most important part of anything you do with other people is to listen. By listening to them, I learn what they are looking for. This way I can help them find what they need, give them the information to look at and go from there.

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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “ When the pandemic hit I was furloughed like many. During that time, it really showed me how much I wanted to stay home with them.”

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 stay consistent. Plan, make goals, and don’t stop. Keep it realistic, don’t set yourself up for failure, and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. You don’t have to know everything. Take time to learn and listen to others helping you get to where you want. It’s okay to ask questions. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date? Without question I would say, Stepping out of my comfort zone. It is hard to “do the do” sometimes. There are days I still doubt myself. I hear in my head, “oh no! I can’t!” But … that is quickly shot down by encouraging thoughts, because no one, not even myself gets to drag me down hahahah! Why did you choose this particular company to work with and what makes them different from their competitors? I chose Velovita because why not hahaha. Oh, my goodness. There are so many reasons. Well, for one .. this company is a category making company for cognitive health. There is no competition. They just launched in the US a few months ago. The product is a sublingual nootropic that helps your brain function at its absolute best. It is 210

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a fantastic cognitive health supplement. What is the lesson that you think is most important for a anyone in sales to learn and why ? To make sure you listen to your customers. What they want. How you can help them. That is what it is all about. Once you get beyond the want of a sale, and learn that you are not there for that, you are there to help others … life is way easier ha-ha and so is business. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? I love to spend time with my family, and our dogs when my kiddos are doing some kind of sporting event 😊 Other than that .. if I have time I love to read! What is your Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? To keep growing my team! To show other women it is beyond possible to make their dreams happen. All it takes is one second, ONE second of your day to say YES, and never look back! 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 have started faster honestly. To stop questioning the “what ifs” and just started with this company. Timing is huge and it waits for no one. When

something like this company is as new as it is, ground level, you have to just do it. Where can our readers find out more about this product line? You can visit my website at: http:// velovita.com/ReneeBuchiere/ourproducts





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MEET STACEY SCOTT BY KRISTIN BAUER-GROSS I PHOTO BY MARK KNOPP & BLAIR HORNBUCKLE

As an actor, commercial model and business coach to models and actors, my column here often shares modeling tips, acting advice, confidence building strategies, and projects related to my “Courage to Dream” mission. This month, I am excited to share an interview with Stacey Scott, longtime friend, and coaching client. Stacey is based in the Finger Lakes Region.

education. To me, each picture is like acting without words, so it’s been exciting breaking back into the business again. I am going to continue working on my goals for both the modeling and acting sides of the business. It’s been slower than when I was a teenager, but I’m hoping to progress up from smaller gigs to larger bookings again. So many facets

It has been an amazing and enlightening journey. While it’s a little nerve wracking to be starting out again, I feel both prepared and hopeful these courses and one-onone coaching classes will help me land more bookings.

When did you first start modeling? How is modeling as an adult grown woman been a different experience as compared to modeling as a teen girl? Kristin Bauer-Gross and I have been friends from a young age, and we both got in when the AMS Models & Talent Agency was just getting started up--it was such an exciting time! The agency was led by Ann Marie Stonecypher at the time, though now it’s the TMT Agency with Tamara Pulley continuing the legacy. Back then, I was getting booked for jobs all the time, whether it was print work, fashions shows, or promotional modeling. I was also constantly shooting with new photographers to expand my portfolio. I absolutely loved being in front of the camera, and still do, though I took a break for several years to focus on my

auditioning skills and self-taping audition at home. Just recently, I walked for several designers in the “Catwalk for Kidneys” event hosted by Rochester Woman Online and it felt amazing to be back on the runway, especially to help such an important cause and support those in our community struggling with kidney disease and transplant patients.

of the industry have changed, so I’ve also been taking modeling and acting classes from Kristin Bauer-Gross. I took her ACTION career coaching program for models and talent previously as well. Amazingly, I was selected as a featured model in her “Courage to Dream” motivational calendar, which was my 2nd calendar appearance. Now I’m booked for a couple one on one coaching sessions to get help with

Has the pandemic affected pursuing this dream positively, negatively, or both? I was hit pretty hard by the pandemic-- I came down with Covid-19 in November. I was so sick for so long that it completely turned my life upside down, and in the end, I lost my job because of it. I thought the lingering symptoms would never end, but after pushing to recover my stamina and health for several months I feel strong again. Even though the pandemic was a challenging and life altering experience for me, in the end I am stronger because of that struggle. The pandemic has affected the modeling ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN B. } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Overall, I’d like to continue working on my fitness, health, modeling, and acting goals. I’m always striving to be a better person and to do as much as I can to help other people.”

business in numerous ways as well. We have all learned how to adapt to the new norms of online castings, making photos and videos from home for auditions; and for a lot of spokes-models, actors or models, finding parts of the talent industry open and with available work meant seeking out a new niche. What would you say to women who feel like something is holding them back from pursuing modeling, or acting, or any dream that feels a little bit impossible? Do not be afraid of going for your dreams and be yourself--that’s the best version of you! If you do that you can achieve anything. Nothing is out of reach for you, the sky’s the limit, ladies! I think most women have felt like they’re not good enough at one point or another. It’s not easy to be a woman in this society, being inundated with what unrealistic expectations of who we’re supposed to be. Commercials, magazines, T.V. shows, and social media are trying to put some ideal image of what the “perfect” woman would look like, how they would sound, and what they would do, but truthfully, it’s just a dreamed up ideal that we shouldn’t feel the need to aspire to, or even give much thought to. Besides, our variety is what makes us interesting and keeps the world from being boring! The TMT Agency is currently looking for new models and actors of all ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicity’s. If you are interested in giving modeling a shot or are already modeling or acting, I would highly recommend the TMT Agency. You can find more information, including how to apply to 218

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the agency at https://www.tmtbookings. com What has been your favorite photoshoot or a notable moment in your modeling endeavors? Well so far, my favorite moments in modeling have been when Kristin BauerGross and I used to do photo-shoots together! Especially in our teens and 20’s with Dave Feiling, Mark Knopp, and many other great photographers! Also, back when Kristin lived in Miami and we landed a job in a music video for a foreign band. That was one of the highlights of my career. It was just like something you would see in Hollywood: the red carpet rolled out, lined with sports cars, leading into a giant mansion. Out back, a huge in-ground pool sat right by the ocean, it was such a lovely setting, and it just felt like the real deal! It was so much fun to be dressed to the nines dancing like there was no tomorrow. Kristin Bauer-Gross and I always meshed well together in front of the camera, I really miss those days. In the future, we’ll have to do a shoot together and keep making memories! What are you looking forward to most in the coming year? I’m looking forward to continuing to pursue my modeling and acting goals with the TMT Agency. Overall, I’d like to continue working on my fitness, health, modeling, and acting goals. I’m always striving to be a better person and to do as much as I can to help other people. I’m extremely excited to see what the future holds for me and I believe that this year will be full of successes.

How has Kristin Bauer-Gross, her coaching and programs helped you pursue your model and talent goals? Kristin has always been an inspiration to me because no matter what was going on in her life, she found a way to push through and continue to pursue her dreams. She is a wonderful role model for women and men as well. She never stopped and took time off from her dream career like I did, and now she has a successful modeling and acting career, as well as her own coaching practice, as a business coach to models and actors and a certified nutrition health coach. Kristin’s support to me throughout the years has been one of the most consistent and positive influences for me. Her coaching and programs re-ignited that drive to do more, and to put your dreams into action. It is because of Kristin, that I am who I am today. It is because of Kristin that I have enough confidence in myself to pursue my modeling and acting dreams as well. Her coaching and programs have helped so many women and men to feel the same way. I am so proud, honored, and thankful to be a part of her life. If you are looking for some help with your career or health, I would highly recommend Kristin’s coaching and classes. They are guaranteed to bring you continued success if you apply the principles that she teaches you. If you would like to contact Kristin to set up a session, contact her through her website www.KristinB.com She also has a really cool IGTV series called “Model Tips” which is on Instagram @KristinBauerGross


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{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN { SHIFT+CONTROL } B. } “Kristin’s support to me throughout the years has been one of the most consistent and positive influences for me. Her coaching and programs re-ignited that drive to do more, and to put your dreams into action.”

You were a featured model in the “Courage to Dream” Women’s Motivational calendar 2020-2021, what was the experience like on photo shoot day and being a part of the calendar launch? The “Courage to Dream” Women’s Motivational calendar, and the launch was an amazing and joyful experience. The whole program was phenomenal. Kristin Bauer-Gross set up the entire event! Her talents extend to coordinating events. There were so many great workshops, speakers, make-up artists, hairstylists, and photographers that all came together for this special day. It truly was a very motivational and uplifting event. Jessica Lahr from Geneva, NY did my make-up that day, and she is such a talented, kind, intelligent woman. I wish I could have her do my make-up every day. Between her and my hairstylist for that day, I felt like a super model! My hairstylist Cindy Scribani was professional, kind, and very talented! She made my hair look so amazing that day! Combine those 2 talented artists, and the one-ofa-kind magic that Mark Knopp provides in his photography business, and you get the highest quality and gorgeous pictures that anyone could ever ask for. What is your dream assignment if you could do or accomplish anything in 2021? My dream assignment for 2021 is to be featured in a commercial and in a print campaign. I have been working hard towards this goal. I have faith that my hard-work and guidance from the TMT Agency and 220

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from Kristin Bauer-Gross will land me some great assignments this summer. So, if you’re looking for a model or actress for your company, and you like what you see in my new photos please contact my agency TMT Models and Talent and ask for Stacey Scott for your next assignment! I am prepared and cannot wait to be back on set and in front of the cameras.

the TMT agency, and believe they’re very well-suited for those just getting started in the business, or experienced. This has been such an honor to be able to contribute to this magazine! I would like to thank Kristin Bauer-Gross and the writers and editors of Rochester Women’s Magazine. Thank you all very much, I deeply appreciate this great opportunity very much.

What are three pieces of advice you’d like to give someone just getting started in modeling? First, I would suggest taking some classes or programs and having a coach, mentor, or teacher to prepare you for the exciting and ever-evolving career of a model or actress. If you live in upstate NY, Kristin Bauer-Gross is a go-to but everyone is different and it is important to find someone you feel comfortable working with. Remember, you are worth investing in, and you are worthy of your dreams. It is never too early in your career to start building your team and support system.

To every woman or man out there who is dreaming of being a model or actor, or anything else for that matter, please don’t ever give up on your dreams! You’re never too old, or tall, or short, or any of the other doubts or lies you may be telling yourself. You are good enough--you are more than good enough! Modeling and acting is a very diverse profession, and they are seeking talent of every type. Get started today with your dreams and reach for the stars. Nothing is unattainable if you’re willing to work hard for it and put the time and effort into it--you can achieve anything!

Second, I would suggest having new photos taken to update your portfolio and to help you get comfortable in front of a camera. If you live in a small market like upstate, central, or western NY then you will be looking for commercial style photos. A good commercial head-shot should showcase you looking like yourself, but the best version of yourself, smiling and upbeat. Commercial modeling and acting photos are meant to appeal to the advertising industry. Lastly, I would look for some good representation, in this business an agent is imperative--I’ve enjoyed my time with

Follow Stacey Scott on Instagram @ StaceyKay2626 or Facebook as Stacey Scott. Interested in pursuing modeling or acting professionally be it part time, full time, for supplemental or retirement income drop me a message on www.KristinB. com to learn about group programs and one on one coaching. Catch my free IGTV series “Model Tips” on Instagram @KristinBCoaching Get the FREE Printable Checklist to make Packing and Preparing for Photoshoots a breeze at: www.KristinB. com/checklist



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{{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}}} } SHIFT+CONTROL { WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR SHIFT+CONTROL

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ASK DANIEL BALDWIN { {WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR { SHIFT+CONTROL } }}

ASK ME ANYTHING... BY DANIEL BALDWIN I PHOTOS BY BRODY WHEELER

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.

First of all there are ten men’s roles to every one woman’s in Hollywood movies.

Do you think there is a double standard in the acting world for men and women as they grow older? It seems that men get more distinguished as they age, while women have more of a shelf life in the entertainment world. What are your thoughts?

It’s very unfair.

Daniel: The real answer is yes. I believe the odds are stacked tremendously against actresses.

Daniel: It is hard no matter what you do for a living. One of the most important things in early sobriety is

For a woman, if she isn’t well established in her career by 30, she has almost no chance and after 40 unless she is the wife of one of the male leads.

Do you find it hard staying sober especially when in the entertainment world? What is your best piece of advice for someone struggling with addiction?

to keep busy. Imagine if I was to strip a person of 75% of all of their activities and most of their friends. If you don’t replace that time with healthy actions and sober people, you are bound to relapse. It’s a very hard thing to teach and even harder to do. Have you ever consider running for any type of political office? Yes. I have had a hankering to do so for many years. Syracuse Mayor Daniel Baldwin. Hmmm kind of has a ring to it.

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WINE TASTINGS ON THE LINKS BY RANDY AGNESS

About seven years ago, my golf career ended abruptly when I was brutally attacked by a rabid fox while camping on Seneca Lake at Sampson State Park where deep wounds to my face and severe bites into my left hand. The serevity was so bad that I wasn’t able to pick up marbles and even after physical thserapy lost half my gripping strength permanently. Yes, I’m left handed and haven’t been able to hold on a driver to tee off. About 30 years ago, I started golfing on Saturday mornings north of Syracuse with a good friend who like me was a beginner starting early while there was dew on the greens until I became a dad. So since producing an award winning Riesling, I’ve been able to return to the fairways on a regular basis and improve my score without a single swing but shooting hole in ones with every foursome passing between the eighth and nineth holes or at the end of the round at the club house. My name doesn’t appear on a single score card and I don’t even have walk the course or need to schedule a tee time. As I mentioned an arrangement is set ahead of time when we decided to provide a wine tasting at Eagle Vale Golf Club for the Saint Bonaventure University Alumni Golf event. This was the start of our venture into having our Riesling served at country clubs across the greater Rochester area. Not surprising the golfers really like to drink wine as they relax after completing a round with a group of friend or after finishing play. At the Bonaventure event,

we poured complimentary tastings prior to the awards, door prizes and before the banquet meal. Many happy and surprised eagerly wanted to discuss every possible wine topics imagineable. And it was convenient that the Eagle Vale bar made available our wine and others along side with beer and cocktail choices for the cheerful participants. This also began my relationship with the Head Basketball coach Mark Schmidt. The success of the event and placement at

Eagle Vale’s The Argyle Grill atY one of the premier public golf course in an scenic setting in Fairport, New York open our prosuit into a new market. Next up was Ravenwood Golf Course in Victor, NY as we joined a charity Rotary event participating by again a chance to offer sampling to a wine friendly environment. Many people attending were pleasantly surprised by this rather unknown brand from the Finger Lakes. A series of positive comments about our wine taste quickly reached the beverage manager. And a call to come in for a

visit afterward led to being featured on their wine list since. Agness Wine Cellars is always looking for possible markets and the realization that weddings could be a good idea not previously considered at we were selling out each vintage from the combination of restaurant and wine / liquor store clients. So after doubling our production volume for the third straight year, we finally could expand the possibilities. We liked the chance to widen our exposure at a Bridal Fare event at Terry Hills Golf Course and Banquest Facility in Batavia, NY. This sold event was quiet enjoyable as we were able to offer a wine tasting for decision-makers - Brides and their Entourage. Our door prize was bottles of our Riesling and a very special Champagne (yes called Finger Lakes Sparkling) which was made specifically for my son’s wedding. I feel that an opportunity to talk about wine is delightful especially with happy families planning the wonderful upcoming day. In this case, the General Manager Danielle Rotondo at Terry Hill’s stopped by the booth to try the Riesling for herself after the great feedback by the guests through the course of the Bridal fare. To say she liked it would be an understatement Agness Riesling continues to be on their wine list by the glass. And to rev up sales, we tried a complimentary wine tasting for members. The impact was immediate and long lasting relation. By now it was apparent that we stumpled into golf courses to begin further wedge marketing efforts as beyond the club ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ TRAVEL WITH AGNESS WINE }CELLARS } { SHIFT+CONTROL “I learned that you must be willing to spend quality time and risk rejection, but possible catch a few nice wine wins and in the process gain the chance to meet wonderful professional people which have turned into friends.”

members. Most country clubs have seriously nice banquet facilities and chances to be a choice from their wine lists – a wine win for all, the guests of course, the golf course restaurant and bar and we gain excellent exposure to further our reputation. We took the chance by sponsoring a Rochester Chamber of Commerse golf outing at Irondequoit Golf Club and hanging out on the first tee. Some High School friends were participating along with Board Members at Midvale and Penfield Country Clubs who wanted us to sample with their home golf clubs. So again, doing the right thing for charity always seems to have great side benefits. Who says business isn’t conducted on the fairways – it does! And doesn’t hurt that one of our super fans is a club member at Irondequoit. We had determined the next challenge 228

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was to charm the folks at Locust Hill. Agness would have a tasting ahead of the turn for the club house for the Lady’s league. Ahead of the group of women golfer was a flurry of men finishing up who asked for a taste as well. We weren’t not going deny anyone of course. And what do you know they liked our Riesling not only for themselves but their wife’s as well. The Lady golfers were absolutely delightfully surprised as none had heard of us until the afternoon. They let it be known to the managers that our Riesling should be (must be) added to the wine list at Locust Hill. I had a great time pouring with my kilt on to a most receptive audience, then stayed for their end of season banquet. Could we continue the streak of successes? Going to Oak Hill has been the conquest to achieve one of the premier golf course in the United States right here in Rochester. Oak Hill Country Club

has hosted six major golf championships multiple times so with patiences we’ll find our way onto their wine list. Finger’s crossed for luck. (Hope, Faith, Love, Luck). No, we’re not finished yet. I found my way to Blue Heron Hills Golf in the middle of lent and offered up a sample bottle for the staff to taste. Instant hit – hole in one with fish fries. We have found our way around the courses of Rochester quite quickly and a new niche. It’s just a matter of time before we find connections with golf course in Buffalo and Syracuse and beyond. If you never try, you’ll never know. I learned that you must be willing to spend quality time and risk rejection, but possible catch a few nice wine wins and in the process gain the chance to meet wonderful professional people which have turned into friends.


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{ TENDER LOVING FAMILY }CARE { WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR } } { SHIFT+CONTROL

FAMILY TYPE HOMES AND RESPITE BY ANNIKA D’ANDREA

Tender Loving Family Care, Inc. (TLFC) has opened its third home for the senior community in the Greater Rochester area. Located on the residential corner at 2956 St. Paul St & Titus Avenue in Rochester, the new family-type home will house the new corporate headquarters for Tender Loving Family Care’s office staff and include the following community services:

daily activities but prefer to be in an environment similar to their home. The mission of TLFC is to provide quality care in warm, loving, safe, clean and attractive homes filled with an extended family that cares for and about each other. They provide needed supervision and gentle kindness that one would hope to find in the comfort of their own home.

○ Respite Care (Caregiver Relief Services) ○ Senior Home (family type -non-institutional setting) ○ Social Adult Day Program ○ Comfort Care This majestic Irondequoit building was built in 1919 and was originally built as a private residence. Over the years, the building has been home to a church rectory and most recently a house of worship for Temple Emanu-El, a reform congregation offering a wide variety of programs including adult education, caring community, Torah study and monthly brunches. Tender Loving Family Care has customized this building to fit the needs of the senior community who require assistance with their

In addition to quality care, TLFC provides companionship, assistance with personal care, delicious meals and snacks, medication supervision, and transportation services. Tender Loving Family Care was formed in 2007 with one employee and one client. Since then, the familyowned business has grown to include a home health care agency, adult day program, family-type homes and

child care locations. “We are proud to be able to expand our services and serve our senior community in the Greater Rochester area. We take great pride in providing excellent care to our seniors and opening this new building will advance our mission of providing quality care in warm, loving, safe, clean and attractive homes. In addition to the many amenities that this building will provide our seniors, it is conveniently located at the residential corner of St. Paul St & Titus Ave - an ideal location that boasts great scenery,” states Annika D’Andrea, CEO and founder of Tender Loving Family Care. Please stop by for a tour, meet the TLFC Team. Please wear a face covering and follow social distancing guidelines. For more information about Tender Loving Family Care, their services and programs, visit www. tenderlovingfamilycare.com

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{ BUSINESS TALK }

FOCUS ON GROWTH, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BY RUMELLA CAMERON

When starting a business in the very beginning we focus on getting the word out. You would primarily do that by networking with your sphere of influence, networking at events or online, cold calling and cold emails, and building up your presence to gain clients. Most of your business is coming from referrals and word of mouth, maybe you advertised here or there. But to truly focus on business development and taking your business to the next level there are three areas you should focus on, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service.

Let’s break down each of these to understand how it works. Marketing generates leads, Sales leads to revenue, and Customer Service keeps the revenue coming. There are 7 stages of business growth. They are Startup, Ramp-up, Delegation, Professional, Integration, Strategic and Visionary stages. Each of these stages depends on the number of employees you have. Today I will focus

● Not generating enough consistent, profitable revenue ● Business development capabilities are not scaling with the rest of the business

● Business development efforts (Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service) are fractured. Depending on the area your business is driving by whether it’s Marketing, Sales, or Customer Service all three of these areas are vital to your business growth.

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THE NON-NEGOTIABLE RULE How Business Survives - Focus 80% of your resources on selling 2-3 of the highest margin offerings you have. So if you have products or services that are high ticket items, this should be your number one priority. - S e t i n p l a c e a good Customer Service Management (CRM) system. There are tons of CRM systems out there for small businesses. Hubspot is my favorite. We have been using it for the last five years. - Identify brand values that establish the company’s promise to the market.

When your business seems to be stagnant and not growing anymore the problems you face are:

● Unable to bring in new sales representatives successfully

How can your business survive at this stage and what can you do to move business forward? We will begin with The Non-negotiable Rule.

HOW A BUSINESS SCALES on Stage 1, the Start-Up. At this stage, you have less than 10 employees and you seem to be doing very well for yourself but you’re stuck and don’t seem to find a way to move your business forward. It’s important to understand which stage you’re in and have a concept of how your business is driven which will determine the success of your business growth.

- Separate marketing, sales, and customer service into three distinct teams. Build up your teams where their primary focus is one of these three areas. - Use brand values and customer segments to guide business development strategies. - Establish business development structure that generates leads, turns leads into revenue, and keeps revenue coming.


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{SHIFT+CONTROL BUSINESS } }} {{ SHE HUSTLESTALK TALKS “So let’s take a moment and look at how your business is doing right now. How are you going to allocate your business development resources - Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service?”

- Ensure CRM system facilitates business development structures. - Ensure that you have strong managers leading marketing, sales, and customer service and are a part of the management team. - Encourage collaboration between business development functions through a shared process. HOW TO SUSTAIN - Ensure marketing, sales, and customer service win a team with a synergistic strategy for generating revenue. - Use integrated CRM systems for business development. 236

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- Be sure that leadership teams are involved in business development every day to keep the pulse of customer needs and confirm market attractiveness offerings. So let’s take a moment and look at how your business is doing right now. How are you going to allocate your business development resources - Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service? What nonnegotiable business development rules do you need to work on? In business, you must move from being Reactive to Proactive. Here are the key concepts that will help you grow your business and move you into the next stage. Business development is Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service. Business Development helps a Stage 1 to 2 business survive.

If you are interested in learning more about the 7 stages of business growth get in touch with me. Conversance Business Solutions is a full-service administrative support, and consultancy firm, serving businesses from small to mid-size nationwide. Our team specializes in various virtual assistant services and onsite support tailored to meet each of our client’s needs. Whether we work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements, we bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. We hope these tips were helpful. Get in touch with us today at 585-484-0038 or visit us online at www. conversance.biz for your business needs.



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ALL ACCESS} { {SHIFT+CONTROL }

STRONG WOMEN BY DR SHANELLE BENSON REID

STRONG WOMEN: We hear you, We know you, We love you, We birth you, We are you. One day I’m going to write a book and the names will not be changed to protect anyone. But until that time, fellas, through you, I persevered. “He’s gone. I don’t know what else to say. He’s gone.” “If I see you smile again, I will knock out all your teeth.” “If you love me, you will.” “Please stop following me around like a puppy.” “No one will love you like I love you.” “You’re cute for a black girl.” “You are kind of muscular for a girl.” “I like girls with body and yours is not shapely enough.” “I like you, but you are too smart.” “Your hands are big.” “You got two kids, so you are used up now.” “I do not like how you talk.” “Of course, you’re not the only one.” “She’s pregnant, what do you want me to do about it.” “Check your attitude and fix your face, my friends are coming over.” “I used your money to buy you flowers so you would feel left out.” “I gambled the rent money.” “I would win at the casino if you believed in me.” “I like you, but I prefer petite women.” “Black men date white women because of women like you.” “You’d be cute if you had hair like most light-skin girls.”

“You can take the girl out the hood, but you can’t take the hood out the girl.” “You ain’t nothing but a ghetto girl trying to be someone else.” “I don’t know why taking them classes, you ain’t gone finish.” “We are not a good fit you are too independent.” “I will kill you and do the time.” “Stop crying, you’re doing it for attention.” “Your struggles and degrees don’t matter, get over yourself.” Some of you know but many may not, my father was passed away when I was 10 years old and for 25 years, I said my father died. Truth is, he was murdered, ripped from my arms and I believe I spent most of my adult life trying to replace him and I have failed miserably. These failures have brought me here. At one point, I thought my life experiences made me strong. I’m not doubting the strength...but I know for certain this life has made me numb. Numb to feeling, living, existing authentically. If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you’ve heard me, say, what is happening now is supposed to be happening now, everything is in perfect alignment and I wholeheartedly believe this to be true,

because of that release, I’m choosing to no longer be resilient nor embody grit, and I’m not interested in being strong if it is numbing! I want to feel. I want to experience all my emotions without regret: happiness, joy, sadness, frustration, and anger. Honestly, I’m sensitive, gentle, kind of shy, I cry easily, and I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and I’ve been hiding behind numbness and resiliency. By no means am I a foolish woman. In close to half a century living, I’ve learned a lot. Many will be left behind as I move through this new chapter of my life. But people come into your world for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I’m excited to see who comes along and I’m anxious to see who will not get beyond my new boundaries. Hello everyone, my name is Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid. I am Principle of the ACCESS Global Family of Companies and I also happen to be running for Onondaga County Legislature, District 14. Aside from all that, I’m just a girl deciding to be me, unapologetically me.

This week, Thursday to be exact, I met with my yoga instructor and broke down on my mat. I mean a complete release of emotion. And ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ ALWAYS CHASING BETTER } { SHIFT+CONTROL }

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN BY MICHELLE HORTON

WHEN YOU DO THEM BEFORE YOU’RE READY A few years ago, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, with tears chasing each other down my cheeks to my lap, I told my now ex-husband that I wanted a divorce. We had met in college, built a successful contracting business, and had a beautiful daughter.

I was not ready to be sober. One thing I know about change is that great things happen when you do them before you are ready because being ready, never comes. Try this out. Bring something to mind that you know in your heart of hearts

I wasn’t really ready for divorce. Six weeks later, I walked into my school superintendent’s office and resigned with no intention of ever going back into public education. I left a six-figure salary, a twenty-five-year career and a pension that would have kept me financially secure well into old age. I wasn’t ready for financial uncertainty. Not long after that I recognized that I had loving feelings for one of my friends who I trusted with my deepest secrets and was as female as I was. I sure as hell wasn’t ready to look at my evolving sexuality. And when I finally got serious about my healing journey, I gave up alcohol while holding the empty Patron bottle high over my head waiting for the last drop to land on my tongue.

needs to change in your life. Maybe it’s a relationship or a situation at work or something about yourself that you know is not serving you well. We all have these nagging little issues that bubble up to the surface when we least expect them. Do you wonder why you haven’t taken any action? You might have already told yourself that you’re just not ready.

Here’s the deal about being ready. We are humans and humans are never ready for anything outside of our comfort zone. As a species, we are just not hardwired to embrace change! In fact, our complicated subconscious will go to great lengths to convince us that we should remain in the same uncomfortable situation every single time we even think about challenging our status quo. As if having our emotions in a choke hold wasn’t enough, our subconscious will also make us so physically uncomfortable with the idea of change that we will do nearly anything to avoid it! You see, pain is a powerful emotion and most of us will deny our authenticity in order to keep a healthy distance from it. We do all of this avoiding despite our knowing that on the other side of that pain is the woman we are aspiring to be. Meet Julie. She’s in a job that she hates. To roll out of bed every morning, get adequately dressed to show up and then sit among the office negativity has got her so miserable it’s spilling into her personal life. She would love to be an entrepreneur and she has a great idea, but she’s overwhelmed with how much she doesn’t know about running her own business and the financial insecurity she would have to face. She is waiting for a sign, any sign, to walk out of that job ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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UNSTOPPABLE { SHIFT+CONTROL WOMAN } }} { {ALWAYS CHASING BETTER “Here’s the deal about being ready. We are humans and humans are never ready for anything outside of our comfort zone”

and into the life of the strong, successful businesswoman she so clearly envisions for herself. Women tell me all the time, “I can’t follow my dream because I’m not ready.” I assure them, as I do you, that we will rarely get a signal from the heavens, a reassuring whisper in our ear or a glittery visit from our fairy godmother telling us, “You’re ready now my little princess!” Instead of waiting for something that may never come, try this BOLD strategy. B – Get brutally honest with yourself – look yourself in the mirror and tell her what you want in as much detail as you possibly can. Let yourself feel all the emotion of being that woman you 244

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have in your heart and mind. Go ahead, cry, yell, scream and keep eye contact with yourself. Describe the woman you want to be to your reflection and tell her you are there for her. O – Take one step, even a small one, toward being that woman you aspire to be whether you’re ready or not. Be like Nike and just do it! L – Show yourself some love and compassion because this is hard work and every little bit of effort toward becoming the best damn version of yourself is worth celebrating. D – Do it again! Before you know it, it won’t matter that you weren’t ready,

because you are already on your way! When you ask successful women about their best lives, many will tell you, with almost 100% certainty that the life they have created was worth the challenges in the journey and they weren’t always ready for them. That is true for me too. I quickly realized that my “waiting to be ready” was actually keeping me stuck outside of my purpose and meaning in life. I wanted to be authentically me and live fully as I was intended to be. I want that for you too. Have the audacity to stop waiting to be ready and start using this strategy to be the woman you know you are! Everything you need is already inside of you.


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{ THE LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA }

STRATEGIC NETWORKING BY AHLIA TILLMAN KITWANA

M A K I N G CONNECTIONS TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS At Little Black Buddha, we help professional women change their careers, their livelihoods, even their entire approach to life. There are several guiding principles in our coaching approach, and one of them is not to do it alone. Leverage the power of your community and network to help you accomplish your goals and aspirations. In 2019, Jobvite’s Job Seeker Nation Survey reported that 50% of respondents learned about available jobs through friends and acquaintances. In the same survey, 37% of respondents learned about a new job through their professional networks. At LBB, we not only advise that you leverage your existing network, but we ask that you build on the network you already have. Let’s explore how to leverage your networking approach. Even when you are not officially searching for a job, keeping your network close and helping others will always serve you well. 246

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Your network can consist of friends, family, neighbors, alumni, and any professional associations or groups you belong to. Any of these individuals can help you gain information and job leads that will land you the right role. If you are looking for a new position, plan on attending as many networking events as possible. And yes, you can

totally rock virtual networking events. You can take a direct approach and ask for job leads or try a less formal approach and ask for information and advice. Here are 7 steps on how to get strategic

with your approach to networking: 1. Start with the end in mind and get specific about the position. Set a goal for the position you are going after. What type of job do you want? What kind of company or organization do you want to work for? Are mission and values important to you, and what values are you looking for in an organization? What salary do you want? What kind of environment do you want to work in? Do you want the flexibility to work at home or do you prefer to be around your co-workers most of the day? Yes, this is a lot of work and consideration up front, but it will save you time in the long run. You will not waste your efforts and you will be in a much better position to articulate what you’re looking for. 2. Make a list of the types of people who can help you accomplish your goal. If you know people in your network who fit the type of person you need to connect with, make note of those people, categorize them, and think of a specific request for each person. You can either ask them directly for job leads or you can do informational interviews. Come up with a plan to reach out to these people over the next few weeks and months.


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{ THE LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA } “Your network can consist of friends, family, neighbors, alumni, and any professional associations or groups you belong to”

3. For the types of people you don’t know directly, scan your network to see if any of your direct connections are connected to the desired type of person. Reach out to them and ask for a warm introduction. Be brief and specific about what you are looking for from the person you are trying to connect with.

6. Even after you land your desired role, stay in touch with your network. Keep your relationships warm by reaching out periodically. Every 6 or 12 months is fine for professional connections.

4. For people you don’t have 1st or 2nd degree connections w i t h , f i g u re o u t where those people spend time online or in physical space. Start hanging out in those places to meet the types of people you want to get in touch with. Conferences, networking events, and workshops, in person or virtual, are fine opportunities to make these connections. 5. Plan your outreach and networking efforts. Make a goal to connect with this or that number of people each week. This will make it more about numbers and a little less intimidating than worrying about bothering people or speaking to someone high up on the decisionmaking chain. Keep that going until you reach that new level.

7. Rinse and repeat. You can use this framework to help you achieve all of your professional goals. The power of your network and community should not be

underestimated. Take time to build those meaningful connections and relationships. You never know when you will need to tap into your network, and you never know where or who that next great lead will come from. A lot of people are intimidated by networking, so break it down into bite-sized pieces and make it more about connecting than making small talk. Contact Little Black Buddha for all the details on not only making valuable connections but making them flourish.


{ TRUTH TEA WITH TALENA SKYE }

THE WORD OF GOD BY TALENA SKYE

OUR HEALING MEDICINE PART 1 Have you ever been sick and wondered where does sickness come from? If you look at the current state of the world, there are so many levels of sickness and disease. Emotional sicknesses are among many physical sicknesses, in fact you see it at a higher rate like never before! Hate, discord, rage, envy, jealously, fighting, and war to name a few. Our emotions and how we think can be the difference between life or death when sickness and disease hits our loves. Fear is a big factor that many suffer from. The bible says...”God does not give us the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind”-2 Timothy 1:7

so much of what you eat, drink, work out, etc even though these things are great and we should do it by all means! Living healthy means nothing if your words are negative especially about your own life. Words are containers for power. If you don’t want to see something in your life... DO NOT SAY IT! The Word of God says that God has given man a full maximum age to 120. He knew it would be hard for many of us to even get that close but the end of that finish line is there for any of us to reach IF we really wanted to because He said it in His Word and His Word never returns to Him void.

The dark forces of this world hangs on the negative words we speak about our lives and ourselves so negative energy and bad things can come to us. We MUST watch what we say. God’s Word also tells us to...”Speak those things that be not, as though they were-Romans 4:17

If we speak it and believe it, when can receive it. He gave us a minimum age of 70 so if we reach this that’s great because we made that far. He also made a middle mark of the “Golden Age” of 80 years old. If you are blessed to reach this age it’s a major blessing and beyond. Trusting God, having love and compassion in your heart are important factors to the fountain of youth also along with caring for your body and the longevity of life.

The kingdom of hell hates us to be healthy cause when we are healthy, we’re happy. When we’re happy, we’re joyful and thankful to God for life! It is the enemy’s job to kill, steal and destroy our bodies through pain, suffering, sickness and disease so our spirits can be distraut and our faith will inevitably be demoralized and finished. God says the spirit of a man will sustain Him in his bodily affliction. If we don’t trust God and His Word we surely won’t trust it to heal us and our situations.

My affirmations daily are...”I declare I will reach the full age of man. With long life, strong life, will God satisfy me and show me His salvation,” or be alive until Jesus comes whichever comes first lol! I also declare...”By the Stripes of Jesus I am healed. The Word made flesh...’Jesus’...was and is the power given to man. He was made the manifested Word of God to walk among us so we know how to respond to the kingdom of darkness when it tries to steal what Jesus purchased on the cross for us and take over our lives!

I know people who eat whatever they want, do whatever they want, and live long, long lives. I’ve also seen people eat healthy, cut everything bad out of their daily lives, become fitness gurus and die early. It’s not

Whatever we deal with God says find His Word on it and SPEAK over yourself, speak His Words over our lives and our health and situations. The enemy will flee and his attacks will be minor when you remind Him

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what God says in His Word. The devil will never leave us alone as children of God but with life in Christ and knowing where He stands in your life, makes the difference between life and death in many areas. What will the world be like if we all did this? The kingdom of hell would have nothing to do and we would have peace on earth the way God intended. Unfortunately, evil prevails because man’s plans to exit God from the world and ways of believing gives Satan legal ground to bring chaos and destruction. However, this convo isn’t popular to talk about which is why it’s shunned. Whose behind the shunning? Dark forces who want to kill Jesus in the minds of many because the devil knows the power of the name of Jesus and His Word. His plan is to stop it by any means necessary! No matter how I feel when sickness tries to steal my health, I declare I am healed in the name of Jesus because He purchased my healing on the cross so in His name I can have what I say and you can too! I suffered many things and my faith in Christ healed me from a brain tumor in the middle of my eyes when they said I had a 50/50 chance of being blind. The fear level was rising as I laid on the table ready for surgery! The doctors were in my brain for six hours but speaking the Word over myself before surgery was my comfort and protection. Thank God I had a successful surgery! Sickness and disease was invented by the devil to hurt the heart of God as humanity suffers. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil on the cross. His life wasn’t taken because He laid it down and allowed His crucifixion to happen for humanity that through Him we can be saved. Some say why would God allow the devil to do so much evil in the world and not stop him if he died for us


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{ TRUTH TEA WITH TALENA }SKYE } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Fear is a big factor that many suffer from. The bible says...”God does not give us the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind”-2 Timothy 1:7”

all? God says when we are born into this world we are not automatically His unless we become spiritually adopted into the kingdom of the son of His love. Let’s look at this scenario. If you had children and went school shopping for them and your neighbors found out who also had kids and said to you...”Hey our kids are going to school why didn’t you buy clothes for our kids?” What would be your response?

tormented day and night forever and ever.” Healing is the same if you don’t believe God is a healer how can you even began to receive what He says about healing? If you don’t believe He is a deliverer, how can you be free from trials and tribulations. Jesus says, “In this life, you will have many trials and tribulations but fear not! For I have overcome the world.” The God of this world is Satan. Jesus is THEE God over all!

You whould probably look at them and say...”I am not obligated to buy your kids clothes. These are MY children whom I’m entitled to!” and without hesitation you would go your way. You may feel compassion for that but not responsible right? People say we are all God’s children but He is not obligated to protect, care for, or even stop the devil’s plans of destruction for anyone who doesn’t believe in Him or have been adopted into His family through the born again experience.

ice cream, love God, and love people!” Ha Ha! How cute was that? God is love so when you love people your operating like Him. Kane Tanaka is currently the oldest verified living woman in the world at the incredible age of 118 and one of several Japanese supercentenarians. She was born in January 2,1903 and currently lives in a nursing home in the Fukuoka prefecture. Isn’t that AMAZING? Two more years, she will have reached full age!! Everyday when we open our eyes we have a chance to accept Christ into our hearts and lives. Make this the day you purchase your place with Jesus in eternity if you haven’t done so already. For anyone reading this, who needs this, please spend time with Jesus through prayer and invite Him in. Shut the door on hell by confessing Jesus as Lord over your life. He loves you and all you need is a simple prayer... Prayer of Salvation...

God still loves those who don’t love Him. His love and mercy is new everyday. Why do you think the enemy works so hard to stop this kind of message? He knows if this floods the earth he will not be able to cause death, destruction, and despair in the world.

Through Him we have victory.

Because of this unbelief and unacceptance of Jesus Christ, the devil has legal ground to operate in peoples lives as he wishes. Only belief in the blood of Jesus, His Word, and the deity of Christ can stop hell! Don’t worry though because the end is soon approaching and hell will be no more!

The current state of this world is God speaking and asking for those without him to let Him into our lives but the news media and many continue to shut the doors on anything ‘God’ so many are dying and people are losing hope daily so they give up believing for long life.

Scripture states in Revelation 20:10... “The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be

I heard some say, no one can live that far past 100 years. I saw a show where an elderly woman was well past 100 and when they asked what her secret was she said...” I eat

Heavenly Father, I confess my sins. Right now, I repent. I believe you sent Jesus to die on the cross and shed His blood for me. I’m asking you to come into my life and save me. I make you Jesus the Lord of my life. I confess you now as my Lord and Savior. I believe by faith I am saved in Jesus name, Amen! If you have prayed this prayer, welcome into the family of God. Find a bible believing chuch that teaches the Authority of Jesus Christ. I love you, Jesus loves you... God bless! Please visit my YouTube channel Talena Skye and like and subscribe. While you’re there check out my videos!👍 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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4 LIES WE TELL OURSELVES BY LINDSAY MASTROGIOVANNI

THAT KEEP US FROM PROFESSIONAL AUTHENTICITY Remember when you were a kid and you played make-believe? Maybe you played ‘house’, or ‘school’. Or, like me, if you were destined for the biz life, you played ‘video store’ and pretended to rent out all of your Disney VHS tapes from your very own basement Blockbuster. At some point we stopped playing make-believe. Life gets a little more complicated than basement Blockbuster and we have real dreams, desires, and goals that we pour our energy into. The path to achieve those goals may look something like this: Step 1: Get good grades, so you can get into a good college. Step 2: Study hard in college so you can land an internship. Step 3: Be a great intern and land your first big girl (or boy) job. Step 4: Live happily ever after. The thing is… we spend all that time, effort, and hard work to get to somewhere we think we want to be. But how much did you ever stop that game of make-believe, really? You hit your 20s, you’re thrown into the business world, and suddenly you’re still that kid playing make-believe, but this time you’re wearing a suit. What happened to that kid? What happened to you…the real you? Let’s look at some of the lies we tell ourselves that keep us from 254

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professional authenticity. LIE #1: I don’t act ‘like a professional’ Certainly you can’t be this business professional and aspiring executive and embrace all that you did as a growing person. How could you possibly be into Blink 182, and also be an expert at recruiting? Your amp broke a long time ago and you’re too dizzy to keep riding that skateboard. Likely, you adapt. You become some version of who you think you should be to fit into this new weird world you’ve built for yourself. I know this all too well, because I’ve spent years coaching others to embrace their full selves and foster their innate gifts at work, so they can truly practice professional authenticity. Professional authenticity - what does that even mean? This is essentially the basis of my entire employer success theory and deserves much more time and attention than this simple definition, but here it goes: Professional authenticity is bringing your innate gifts to the surface to communicate and execute your vision in a professional setting. Let me give you an example of how this manifested for me personally. I lost my way for quite a while. I faked some version of who I was and avoided my reality for a very long time. As a kid, I loved all things ghostly. I had many experiences, validated and not, which led me to believe I had an intuitive gift (or curse). But,

I was never really driven to explore or develop that gift, mostly because I was afraid of it, and that ‘stuff’ didn’t fit into my idea of what a ‘real life’ should look like. Spirits and a ‘real’ job? No way. I found another passion in my young adulthood--in the big, deep, and mysterious world of Human Resources. Bit of a difference from the spirit world, no? Nevertheless, it was a passion of mine - the perfect combination of business operations and sociology. I also was just really good at it. But I find that’s the case with passion; if you are passionate, you are invested, you are dedicated, you have the want to learn and experience more. In that, inevitably, you will rock your shit. LIE #2: Success equals happiness I’m one of the lucky ones who found a way to foster my passion at work. This didn’t mean that I was completely and fully satisfied in every position and in every company I worked for; quite the opposite. This just meant that no matter what I was doing, I would find what drove me. What made me want to move in a forward direction. But if passion was the secret, then why wasn’t I happy? Answer: Somewhere along the way, my authenticity dropped off the charts. I was good at what I did for a myriad of reasons, but my overwhelmingly consistent feedback was that people loved working with me because I was “genuine”. I constantly struggled with this otherwise very positive


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unheard and unseen. Because that’s not what you’re supposed to do, right? That’s weird. It’s personal. And then if you knew that, maybe you won’t like me… God forbid. LIE #3: They won’t like the real me

new age business consultant, AND a psychic intuitive. Not because of, not in place of, not as a result of…but in addition to. LIE #4: That’s not what executives do

Instead, I ignored those very loud and overwhelming messages, shoved them out of the way to focus on just the employee in my office, and would offer guidance and advice that somehow always helped the employee find their own way. All the while…I constantly seemed to be getting in my own way and becoming frustrated that something felt like it was missing. I was fortunate enough in my career journey to find a company that values individuals and their innate gifts, and sees the value in educating employees. My personal values synced with the vision of the company. I had a supported and shared belief that when you provide a supportive environment for employees and leaders, company success will follow. After years of soul searching, selfimprovement, and straight up being tired of faking it, I was ready to start my new, truly authentic life. I took a leap and founded Blue Moon Growth Co, and with this came my need to ‘come out of the broom closet’ and announce to the world that I’m a kick ass HR professional, a realistic and 258

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I also had the misconception that revealing my full self meant I had to change. I was pretty happy about my work, and how I presented myself professionally. But that authenticity piece couldn’t really truly come forward until I was not only honest with others, but ultimately with myself. The Truth: We are all just people Those thought leaders or business executives you follow and admire... they’re people, just like you and me. They all go home and have to call their parents. They get annoyed when someone else finishes the ice cream in the freezer. They stub their toes on furniture in their house. They used to play make-believe...maybe they still do.

The reactions I have received after sharing this on a large scale, and becoming more confident in expressing this with new acquaintances, has been nothing less than positive, supportive, and just overall lovely. I was terrified to share this, and once I did, I immediately felt I could embrace that label of ‘genuine’, ‘authentic’, and ‘real’, instead of just sorta kinda half-way there.

And if you find yourself in the position as a thought leader or executive, don’t forget to fix the amp, throw on that old Blink182 album, dream up your next tattoo, read your emails, create your PowerPoint presentations, and run through your speaker’s notes. Maybe think twice about busting out the old skateboard, though. Bottom line: there’s no one way to live your life, but however you choose to live it, keep it real.


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Founder & CEO of Blue Moon Growth Co, Lindsay Mastrogiovanni, believes in holistic business practice. A successful business requires a holistic review and analysis of your entire business from mission, through policy, and actual practice.

On her business philosophy Woo woo is less weird than you think. We all have intuition, but you might not be using your innate intuition to benefit your business. Think big, think forward, and proceed with optimism.

If you're not passionate about whatever it is that you lead, your success will be further out of grasp than you'd like it to be.

Her top tips for entrepreneurs and business owners Make your business work for you. There's no rules, only risk. Passion plus authenticity is the recipe for success.

Your passion doesn't have to be in your product or service, but can be in the people you lead and support.

Her favorite area of study Stand up comedy. If you're not laughing, you're not living.

helping career professionals grow in their business intuition helping business owners create and maintain intuitive business operations

If you're running a business, you're a leader. What kind of leader you choose to be... is up to you. Lindsay is dedicated to helping leaders find that passion and will guide them step by step on integration of passion into practice.

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TOP TIPS FOR CREATING AN EFFECTIVE CUSTOMER PERSONA BY BREANN MORRIS

As a business owner, when planning your marketing strategies, it’s only natural to have a lot of creative ideas that you envision for your brand. While this kind of creativity fosters new, positive ventures, sometimes, your customer’s ideals and values can get lost in the process. One of the most effective ways I have seen this overcome is through creating a customer persona. Essentially, a customer persona allows you to identify your target market’s core needs and wants, based around their buying behaviors. These key identifiers then drive your campaigns as you work to establish features to help your particular customer achieve their desired outcomes. Through providing a truly unique customer experience, you’re setting yourself apart from the competition and customers will begin to become loyal to your brand. Knowing your ideal customer and identifying how you’re best able to provide them with the value they deserve will only benefit your brand and (most importantly) your customer in the long-run.

tips, let’s take a closer look at what a customer persona is, in a nutshell. The customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, created using collected data through extensive research. This understanding of your customer is critical for content creation, product development, and retention. For example, a customer persona answers key questions such as

First, what IS a customer persona?

who the target market is, what their likes and dislikes are, and what they value about your product/service. Careful analysis of this type of data allows your business to tailor your content and messaging to fit the customer’s specific needs. The number of customer personas you have, depends on your business, however, most have only one to two.

Before we dive into some of our top

COLLECT YOUR DATA

To help you get started, we’ve compiled our top tips for creating an effective customer persona.

To form the most accurate customer persona for your business, begin by collecting customer data through surveys, focus groups, and research. Luckily, as technology continues to advance, there are more and more methods of data collection. One way to gather the data is by observing your current contact database and discovering trends on how your customers access your content and their response to your brand messaging. Interviewing customers over the phone or in-person would be extremely helpful to gain intimate insight that may be overlooked in generic survey answers— however, that’s not always possible. That’s why offering them convenient surveys and the option to be a part of focus groups is the most effective means of gathering data. Additionally, talking to your sales and financial teams will help answer questions as to, who’s buying what—the most. Once you’ve collected and validated the data, put it into a form that’s easy for you and your team(s) to understand and translate. Speaking of collecting data…here’s some questions to ask as you build your customer persona… To gain a proper perspective on what the customer wants from your brand, ask customers questions about their daily lives ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{{SHE SHE TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL }} } HUSTLES {HUSTLES B. MORTALKS } “As a business owner, when planning your marketing strategies, it’s only natural to have a lot of creative ideas that you envision for your brand.”

and buying habits. Ask these questions to as many customers as possible, to form a general customer persona as well as create segmented customer personas based on similarities. Start off by asking about their occupation and details about their role within a company and the skills they offer for that role. Next, ask what a typical day looks like for them and what type of industry they work in to get an understanding of the size of the company they work for and what type of revenue they are generating. Then, lead into asking about their goals for success and what their biggest challenges are to get them there. This will most likely lead into questions about personal demographics, educational background, and their future career path. Finally, look for feedback specifically about your brand—ask the customer questions related to your products/services and what they value the most and/or feel could be improved. Identify the who, what, why and how These are the four most important questions when filling in your customer persona’s basic demographic information. WHO- To answer who the customer is, you’re going to use the data findings to personalize the market segment’s general customer background, demographics, and key characteristics/ identifiers. Customer background would include things like careers and marital status, while demographics would include age, race, location, and other personal information. 262

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Additionally, other identifiers would include personality traits and buyer behavior. WHAT-This is where you find out what the customer is hoping to gain from your business. What are their general goals, challenges, and solutions and how will you be a part of supporting them? Identifying their pain points, allows you to be an active part of the solution! WHY-Determine first, why they may have these goals/challenges and furthermore, why they would be interested in relying on your brand to help support them. Dig deeper into the positive and negative impact your product or services have on their daily lives to determine how you can constantly improve the customer experience. HOW- This is more of an internal question to ask your own team—how will you carry out the message in a positive and personal way? This is driven by marketing strategies specific to your customer persona(s). How will you target them with the right messaging at the right time? How will you motivate them? NAME THAT CUSTOMER Additional ideas to make your customer persona more tangible is to give each customer segment a specific name and treat them as much like a real person as possible (ie: Kelly is segment 1 while John is segment 2). Go the extra mile and even create a visual aid for your team to refer to

and keep it visible in a general area so that your ideal customer and their needs are always at the forefront of strategy and planning. Have fun with it and realize that as you gather data, your ideal customer persona will be ever- evolving so always be on the lookout for new discoveries about your target market and be sure to communicate those across teams.





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GOLDEN GRAHAM BY JOHNNY WILLIAMS

Golden Graham is handsome, photogenic pitty who came to ACS from ACCT Philly over a year ago. Graham was prime example of what happens when a wonderful doggo stays in a shelter for too long. He was initially adopted but brought back after becoming overprotective after getting scared and biting someone when a heated argument occurred. Because of this, he had a bite history on his profile which made him harder to adopt. He still was adopted out again, however, but once again, brought back. This time, his new dog dad began working long hours, and Graham developed separation anxiety because he loved his dog dad so much. This separation anxiety soon led to aggression with the man’s roommates, prompting Graham’s return. Graham’s problem was simple, and was the solution was one that 266

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a shelter simply cannot provide. Graham needed a person with which to be attached – he needed love. And over the next several months following his second failed adoption, he did not have a person

to love, and his demeanor and behavior deteriorated as a result. He would often mouth kennel staff because he became so desperate for human love and attention. The kennel staff gave Graham as much one-on-one love and attention as they could, but with over 30 other dogs to care for on a daily basis,

nothing we can do could help him as much as his own home. We eventually fostered him on site with our intern from Elmira College, Sierra. He lived with Sierra for several weeks, which he loved. Sierra worked hard to break Graham of his negative separation anxiety, and it did him wonders. Graham was once again adopted on April 2, and we’re confident that this time, he’s found his forever home. In fact, he even has his own Instagram account (@badgerthedog) and was renamed B a d g e r. We encourage everyone with an Instagram account to go see how happy he is!


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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS BY DR. ANIKA SIMONE JOHNSON

The month of May has always been a fun celebratory month in my family because we celebrate Life including my mother’s appearance day into this world, Mother’s Day a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world, the many college graduations of my relatives and mentees as well as Memorial Day honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The month of May is always filled with various emotions, but I remain in gratitude uplifting beauty and wellness through mental health awareness. It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic came to the United States, and since then, we have been incredibly resilient and supportive of each other’s businesses. We have adapted to online marketing for our businesses and have been key supporters for our clients as they navigate not only their own lives but also their mental health during these unprecedented times. Given the variety of stressors that we all have faced in the past year, I am excited to share simple, actionoriented strategies that we can use to support our mental wellness for the remainder of the year. I had the privilege to host a talk with Mrs. Dashima Green-Griffin, MsED, LMHC, CASAC-T and Life Coach of Therapy 4 Queens last week. The talk was dynamic as she discussed undiagnosed mental health disorder in our community; COVID-19 effects

on our mental health and provided us with mental health tips for self-worth and work, life, balance. If want to connect with a licensed mental health counselor, please connect with her Mrs. Green-Griffin via Instagram @ therapy_4_queens for a 30-minute complimentary consultation. Here are some action-oriented strategies I learned that I want to share with you.

relaxed and in a calm space. Check out Everything is always working out for me - Abraham - Esther Hicks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y93aYiKcXk 5. Experiment with cooking new recipes. This will keep you creative and release endorphins in your body causing you to relieve stress. 6. Do not take things too seriously. Always ask clarifying questions. We all can learn from each other. 7. Seek professional assistance from your primary doctor and mental health counselor when you think you need it.

1. Talk about how you feel. We are always overthinking. 2. Get 8 hours of sleep each day. It is important to get your rest. 3. Exercise at least 20-30 minutes each day such as morning stretching and go for walks to get your body moving. Exercising helps you clear your mind. 4. Use YouTube as a tool to practice morning yoga, meditation, and listen to relaxation music and affirmations. These practices will keep your body

As you seek to better manage your mental health do your best to incorporate the 7 strategies where and when needed. Creating a consistent self-care routine in efforts to elevate your mental health is key. A study conducted by Lancet Psychiatry in 2018 indicated you are more likely to suffer from moodiness, loneliness, and depressive disorders if you have less consistent routines. Make the time and prioritize your daily selfcare routine. Remember, you can’t keep it unless you give it away! To stay connected to our women empowering women community, please follow All Things Dr. J. Beauty on Instagram @allthingsdr.j.beauty or contact us via info@drjbeauty.com Keep Winning On Purpose :-)

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THE ELYSIAN MAN BY SHARLYN MARQUEZ

I’m a big believer of equality. When I became an Esthetician, one of my goals was to include & educate the male community about the importance of skincare! In many cultures, (and in the older generations) it is assumed that skincare is only for females. As if us females are the only humans with skin & skin conditions! We’re in the 21st century & that mentality should get updated with the times! However you prefer to call it, facials or skincare, men need it too! Many men are in hard labor type of careers (construction, mechanics, home renovations ect.) Unfortunately, one of the cons of those careers are: skin challenges! Whether it is sun damage, ingrown hairs, face not thoroughly cleaned, unseen bacteria hiding in the facial hair, blackheads, the list goes on! Most men are not taught to have a thorough skincare routine to address these concerns. It is also unfortunate that most skincare lines cater to the female, for example using flower scented ingredients. As the Owner of Blissful Image, and a believer of equality, it only made sense to include treatments catered to the men! I want to help bridge the gap between men and skincare. Blissful Image offers a Hand & Foot Repair service. This treatment aids in softening hardened hands & feet. Not only does it thoroughly cleanse and exfoliates the man’s hands and feet, but it also locks in moisture with Paraffin Wax. Paraffin Wax aids in softening the tough skin, leaving it feeling smooth and supple! Even 274

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after the treatment is complete, the moisture continues to elevate. This treatment also aids in opening pores and removing dead skin cells. It helps the skin look fresher and feel smoother! One of my favorite skincare treatments for men is the Elysian Treatment. This service deep cleans not only the face, but also facial hairs. Even the long beards! The power tools used aids in: removing unseen debris & bacteria, extractions of blackheads/ acne, improving the look of dull skin, deeply moisturizing facial hairs & skin to name a few. Also added are neck & shoulder massage with a choice of scalp or foot rub! The products used are gender neutral inregads to scent and colors. I use skincare products that are USA made, natural, vegan and CBD infused (0 THC)! The Elysian treatment turns the hardworking, worn out man into an Elysian Man! The Elysian Man leaves Blissful Image looking & feeling refreshed, restored & renewed! He will walk out looking and feeling like a new man! Blissful Image makes it easy to book an Elysian Treatment. Simply go to lifeisblissful.com , click on the Blissful Image link, click on the “Book” link, pick Elysian Treatment and follow the rest of the instructions posted on the site. Make sure to complete the Skincare Consent form in the “CONSENT” section.

Ladies, you have the option of gifting an E-Gift Card to your favorite Elysian Man or booking an appointment for them. Gentlemen, address your skin concerns without worrying about being judged! Blissful Image is a laid back, comfortable & judge free suite. Whether it is sun damage, acne, blackheads, ingrown hairs or hyper-pigmentation (dark spots) to name a few, let me assist you. Women are not the only ones with skin! Men have skin too. Men have skin challenges that can be treated, not just women. We are in the 21st century. It is time to adjust and update society’s way of thinking when it comes to skincare! Become the Elysian Man at Blissful Image! Treat yourself with an Elysian Treatment! Ladies, pamper your Elysian Man with an Elysian Treatment from Blissful Image! Skin is gender neutral and skin conditions do not discriminate! Both genders of all ages get skin conditions. Let me help you treat it!


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YOU WERE NEVER MY FATHER ANYWAY BY DENISE “KARMA” CLIFFORD

They say forgiveness is not for the other person, but for self peace and so I forgave you long ago. Yet, I wonder as you faced your maker if the demons you left behind years ago with a little girl were there to remind you. I’m curious to know if the guilt you deserve lay thick in the air just above you, like a dark, dank blanket for you to inhale as your last breath. The memories you left for those you ran away from, wondering what it was they did so wrong, is the last thing left lingering upon your lips. And the sounds of a little girl begging for the father who wasn’t even good enough for her to come back. Yet little girls don’t know this; they have to learn it the hard way. With penciled letters stained with teardrops sent to places where you wish as you lie awake at night, that It made it there. Pleading with the universe to bring you your father back. Promising you won’t do whatever it was to make him leave in the first place. Begging for the return of the foulest toxic person you ever knew. Because this time, you won’t wake him when he’s sleeping off last night’s booze-infested fist to cuffs. Last night’s mistress and her kids, thrown into your face in the middle of the night. Because he likes to fight with her too, and my mom says kids don’t belong at the bar. So they come to sleep at our house, with their runny red noses and frightened, confused looks behind eyes that hold tears of pain. I know this look and pain, yet I get to sleep in my own bed tonight. Begging for a shell of a man filled with 278

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nothing but lies and the stench of stale beer and nicotine. It’s a smell you never forget and will forever associate with the behaviors of the one who taught you how not to trust a man. Begging to the deaf ears of a man who held no remorse as he packed it up and ran as far away, leaving the words forever etched in your brain, “I’ll be back, we will go fishing. I promise,” and so I waited.

infused demons that I hope sat in the shadows of the room when he lay dying alone. Phone calls to ease a coward’s conscience for another 6-12 months, yet make the manipulative mind of a girl fall right back into the web of lies created for the sake of a drunken fool. I waited while you chose when it was convenient for you to want to play dad. Yet every time you brought along with it the lies, the manipulation, and you ruined everything good in your wake. You cared for nothing and no one unless it was to benefit what your wants were. And when my wishes were answered too late, you came back. I had wished that one away when I recognized what a father indeed was, and it wasn’t you. Yet you were always good at lying and making people feel sorry for you to get what you needed. You cried victim here, and my truth to you made me the bad guy. I was still young, and so I believed your distorted perceptions spewed unto me. So much that you destroyed the world, I had come to know. Again, your toxic-filled life brought ruin to another phase of my life.

I waited for the 2 AM drunken voice on the phone crying to the vulnerable little girl I used to be and asking me to love him, feeling the drunk guilt needing to be cured by a frail broken-hearted child who begged for the slightest bit of attention, from her dad. I was asking if he received the letters, never getting a straight answer. These phone calls were the evil spirit-

You tried hard to coax my brother and me that you in fact, were “our dad”. I gave you another chance, yet told you I was not a weak-minded child anymore, and that you will never be my dad. I know you despised me for this, so I told you to prove to me you deserve to even be in my life. I gave you the opportunity, yet you couldn’t even put work into establishing I could trust


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KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “Begging to the deaf ears of a man who held no remorse as he packed it up and ran as far away, leaving the words forever etched in your brain, “I’ll be back, we will go fishing. I promise,” and so I waited.”

put work into establishing I could trust you. It angered you that I would request this, and so you would confide in my mother. Not even brave enough to talk about it with me. You were never really a man, and you were always Just a coward hiding deep inside the Alcohol bottle you choose as your family. So, again you severed the weak ties that barely kept us connected. And I moved on. I was no longer needing you. No longer wishing I had you there as my dad. You are not my father. You never were. The third and final time I let you in, you again came packed with your suitcase of lies. And I will never forget picking it up, putting it on the porch, and letting you know that you have no family here. You acted shocked and asked how I could be so mean to you. But it wasn’t I who was the mean one, how you pretended so good to be shocked, I will never know. Yet people like you are good at that. I listened closely as you went upstairs to my then 4-year-old son. I was pregnant with Roan. I heard you say, “I’ll be back. We will go fishing tomorrow. I promise.” Those words were forever etched in my mind, like the gravestone I imagined with your name upon it, as I let you go. You were headed to the airport to go back home. Tomorrow was another tale of no fishing, and this time I was In 280

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control of the lie. I had to go upstairs and tell my son there would be no fishing and explain why a grown man would lie. Explain that man would never be back to take you fishing. And then I went downstairs and closed the door on all the lies, the heartache, and all the toxicity you brought into my life. You will never get that to my children. And I closed the door, walked away, and I forgave you. I buried you that day.

I was asked how I feel about losing you if I need to talk. I mourned the loss of you many years ago, and so today I feel no loss. I mourned your loss as a little girl when you left me, and my regret was wishing for your return. I once told you to your face, “you’re going to die alone, in a hospital with no loved ones around, and

you will have only yourself to blame” I was right. If I were to write an obituary for you, it would go something like this. Born into a toxic situation. He lied pretty well. He was great at playing the victim. He should have died a long time ago from alcohol consumption but didn’t. He had more shit to ruin for others. He ran away from things he destroyed and was never a father to his children. He tried to place guilt on his daughter, but she smartened up and let him know he has no daughter. I was given a chance after chance and always blew it. He left behind a shell of a man that was filled with false hopes, stale ale, and nicotine. May you meet your maker, and have the aftertaste of all your bad decisions on your breath, so you can be judged accordingly. I sit here and hope that in the end, you felt the sting of every lie you told. I mourned your loss, and I forgave you years ago. You were never my father, anyway.


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SUMMER DREAMS BY TAMMY VREELAND

Pretty soon our dreams of summer will soon be a reality! In less than a month, June 20th to be exact, summer will be upon us. But until then, we can continue to dream for summer to come.

are dreaming. This is because your prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that is for planning and logic, decreases in activity during your dreams. Allowing you to interact without thinking about the outcome.

Speaking of which - dreams. Do you ever give your dreams much thought? Do your dreams stay with you after you wake, or do they stay on the fringe of your subconscious - leaving you to struggle in remembering them?

How important are dreams? When you become sleep deprived, deterioration can happen not only psychologically but in tissue as well.

Are you able to find meaning in your dreams or are they a jumble mess of pictures or even emotions? While some dreams may last only a couple of minutes, did you know others can last 20-30 minutes? Dreams, to me, are fascinating. In fact, several of my own stories are based on vivid dreams I have had. There are many speculations about dreams, for they have literally been around since the dawn of time. But what do we truly know about dreams? Not as much as you would think. Sure, there have been many to speculate to what our dream’s purpose is, but to date - we’re not really sure. In fact, we’re not sure where in the brain dreams originate from. Is there only one location, or is it several locations in the brain working together? We know dreams happen in REM state. That while you are in REM state, you are unaware that you

Sigmund Freud theorized dreams were driven by the unconscious to fulfill a wish. Carl Jung elaborated on Freud’s theory, describing dreams as messages. While Fritz Perls thought dreams could be parts of the dreamer that have been ignored, rejected or suppressed. So, how can we take the proverbial saying “Follow Your Dreams” and apply it to what we know about dreams? Let’s break it down. Where does your dream come from? You may never know for sure, it may come from one idea or several ideas combined. Take that a step further. To achieve your dream may mean you will have to do it yourself or others may be there to help. Are not our waking dreams, a need to fulfill our wish or desire for something? Do we not feel sometimes that our waking dreams are being ignored, rejected, or even suppressed? Do we not even sometimes struggle to remember them? What can we do about it if this is

happening to our waking dreams? What does it truly mean to “follow your dream”? Perhaps it is a much deeper meaning than any of us considered. Could it literally mean follow your dream in waking, as you do while sleeping? Turn off that prefrontal cortex. Put planning and logic aside. Let the dream unfold at its pace. Enjoy the dream as it is unfolding because later you may realize you were in the dream, but didn’t know it. Our dreams in sleep has stages. Stands to reason, our dreams in waking will be the same. Dreams are essential to us not only in a dream state but while we are awake. Whether they are a few moments of thinking about the next season, or they are our long-term goals, we need them. They’re essential to us and should be treated as such. Let’s look at our National Holidays coming up to see what will coincide with our dreams. June 1 - National Go Barefoot Day - My first response in seeing this was dreams of long ago. When as a child, you kicked off your shoes and enjoyed the soft grass under your feet. Maybe, while trying to follow our waking dream, we need to kick off our shoes every once in a while, and simply enjoy the moment. June 8 - Uppsie Daisy - This one was a cute one that I had to research a little more on, for I had never heard of it. It’s a day to remember when ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{{ TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Pretty soon our dreams of summer will soon be a reality! In less than a month, June 20th to be exact, summer will be upon us. But until then, we can continue to dream for summer to come.“

someone would wake up you up with a cheerful Uppsie Daisy response. Setting the tone for a happy day. Fond memories that can even now make the day a happy day. June 11 - Making Life Beautiful - I think it is all of our dreams to make life beautiful. And though it may feel out of our reach, the simple things are not only the easiest to begin with, but sometimes the most powerful. June 15 - Smile Power Day - Close friends of ours, have a little boy who in the middle of the night recently woke them up with laughter. They both rushed to his room, not knowing what was going on. There he was, sound asleep and dreaming; giggling out loud. They both went back to sleep with smiles of their own. For who can resist the magic of a child’s 284

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laughter? A smile truly has power and is contagious - go out and share yours today! June 20 - Summer - It’s here! No more dreaming of summer to come, but now we can dream of ways to enjoy it! Whether it be in a cool slumber at night with bright stars shining over top. Or in the bright sun, where new ideas seem to blossom for our waking dreams. And though I may be a bit bias, since it is my favorite time of the year, dreams seem to happen the most in the summer. June is a transitional month where we go from one season to the next. A month that can be the best of both worlds. The final appreciation of what Spring has given us and the anticipation of what Summer has for us.

And though sometimes it is nice to enjoy our slumber with our dreams, now is the time to get out and pursue those dreams! Feel the warmth of the sun, smell the fragrance around, and see the beauty Spring has provided us. Make your beautiful memories now so when you need them later on, your dreams will tap into them. Giving you the rest and escape you need. Dreams are important. Our dreams extend ourselves. In both sleeping and awake. Give them the attention they need but also enjoy them at the moment you are living them. Because believe it or not, while striving to make your dreams come true, you are already living your dream - it just happens to be in different stages.



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SUMMER TIME SKINCARE BY GABRIELLA ROSE FIEDERLEIN

Our skin goes through so many changes throughout the year. Let’s discuss the effect of summer on our skin. This month we will focus on a combination of acneic and oily skin. Why? Summertime is coming up and that’s the most common concern for a client to have during this time of the year. So let’s get our skin ready for the summertime. My client has a combination skin type and is also acneic. My client struggles with constant acne on her cheeks, chin and forehead. I determined this by analyzing the skin closely with a skin scope and mag lamp. Her pores are larger in her t-zone and smaller on her cheeks. My client also has some rosacea on her cheeks. Rosacea can be caused by abnormalities in facial blood vessels or the genes. Rosacea can be triggered by hot foods or drinks, spicy foods, stress or extreme temperature. There is no cure for rosacea, however there are many treatments which can relieve the signs and symptoms. There are topical antibiotics that help with the inflammation and redness. The topical antibiotic can make the skin more sensitive and dry. Regarding my client’s skin type and condition, I will want to see the oiliness in her t-zone decrease because we want to balance out her skin. I will also want to see her acne clear up on her cheeks, chin and forehead because this was one of her main

concerns. I’m going to suggest that my client go to a dermatologist to get her rosacea checked out because there is not much I can do about that. I want to also see that my client is watching what she eats so we can determine what causes her rosacea flare up. My plan for my client is a series of six Tuel acne facials. This will help with

both acne and oily skin. With my client’s skin being sensitive from her rosacea, I can not do chemical peels on her because, I think they will be too harsh for my client’s skin. I will use the Tuel acne 2 step cleansers that have lemongrass in it which helps prevent breakouts, kill bacteria and control excess oil. I will also use the Tuel power scrub to exfoliate my

clients skin, this has tea tree in it. I’m going to also incorporate direct high frequency electricity which is going to create a germicidal effect on the skin and help reduce her acne. I’m going to recommend my client with home care. A SERIES OF SIX TUEL ACNE BASIC FACIALS Week 1: Starting off the first week with her first Tuel Acne facial, Using argon electricity and the tuel acne mask. This mask has smectite clay in it which absorbs oil. I extracted as many pustules as I could see. Her skin reacted very well to the products. Today’s goal was to extract and absorb her excess oil. I recommend some home care for my client to take home. I recommend the Tuel acne 2 step cleansers, the Smectite clay mask, which absorbs oil and the special delivering moisturizer which will balance oil production while reducing irritation, giving the skin a smoother texture. She bought all the products, because she wants all the help she can get. 80% of your skin’s condition is based on home care . Week 2: After week 1, my client’s skin is looking less oily in the t-zone today. She said she was loving the mask I recommended for her home care. Today she decided to upgrade the Tuel plus acne facial, this includes an enzyme instead of the manual exfoliation which is using an abrasive substance to manually remove dead ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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ght miracle. Taking the right steps mendations towards a successful tine is key.”


{ BEAUTY TALK } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Our skin goes through so many changes throughout the year. Let’s discuss the effect of summer on our skin.”

skin and draw out impurities. The enzyme is a deeper exfoliation which dissolves the dead skin. This is great for acne because it helps to dry it out. We worked with more electricity and extracted more of her pustules. Since her acne is still very active, I decided to also recommend her with some “clear it” spot treatment by Tuel for home care as well. The ‘clear it” has sulfur in it which helps suppress acne-causing bacteria to clear breakouts and minimize irritation and promotes healing. Week 3: I saw my client and noticed her skin was improving. We discussed how her home care regimen was going, she explained that she has been keeping up with it twice a day. Since we both were happy with the results of week 2, I decided to do another enzyme for my client. I also wanted to focus on hydrating my clients skin this week. The last two weeks have been about drying out her acne. I used the Tuel moisture plus mask today, the shea butter will moisturize and brighten her skin. Today we had less acne to extract, which is a good sign that her acne is starting to calm down. Week 4: After 3 weeks of facials and homecare my client’s skin is looking a lot better. Her acne is still active but has reduced dramatically. We started out the 4th week with a basic Tuel acne facial again using the manual exfoliation this time, electricity, and extractions. The lemon grass cleanser is really helping reduce the excess oil on her skin. Her skin also feels 290

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smoother from the enzyme. Today I decided to switch up the mask I was using on her. The mask I used today had kaolin clay in it which absorbs oil and gets deep into the pores. I ended today’s treatment with some spot treatment on the remainder of the acne. Week 5: At week 5 my client’s skin is glowing; her acne has calmed down and her oil has reduced. The tuel acne cleansers dissolved her stubborn pore impurities and dirt hiding in her pores. Today we decided to do another enzyme treatment to really break down the keratin protein, electricity to spark the remainder of her acne blemishes and another smectite clay mask to absorb the excess oil. Week 6: Coming to the end of the 6 weeks my client’s skin is looking a lot better than when she first came in. She is very happy and confident in her skin. My client’s skin is looking more visibly balanced and clear. My client’s acne has calmed down a lot but she is now left with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation scars. I told my client the best way to get rid of that is to do a series of six microdermabrasions. A microdermabrasion treatment is a procedure that exfoliates and removes the superficial layer of dry, dead skin cells. The epidermis. This helps with fine lines, uneven pigmentation and clogged pores. It also has several benefits such as lightening of scars, sun damage, hyperpigmentation and brightening the complexion. For my

client’s last visit today we are doing our same routine with the Tuel acne line along with starting the process of the six microdermabrasions. Overtime we have successfully progressed in reaching my clients goals. The process continues with baby steps and patience. Skincare change is not an overnight miracle. Taking the right steps by seeing a professional for recommendations towards a successful skincare routine is key.


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RELIEF FROM CHRONIC NECK PAIN BY BETH PARRY

Neck pain is one of the main diagnosis that keep me in business, right behind back pain. Neck pain can be as mild as some discomfort when turning your head - to migraines and radiating pain into your upper extremities. There are a variety of reasons that your neck may be hurting. Some reasons include trauma, nerve impingement, degenerative disc disorder, posture, and arthritis. The good news is that neck pain is common, and most neck pain can be managed with non-invasive treatment. In my experience, poor posture is the #1 reason behind your chronic neck pain. Poor posture can wreak havoc on your spine. Our world is full of reasons that put our bodies in chronic poor posture. Cell Phones, reading, computers, cleaning, driving...I could go on and on. As time goes on, our bodies adapt to our posture by shortening and elongating muscles causing severe imbalances. Every inch your head sets forward adds 10+ pounds of force to the muscles in your neck and spine. No wonder you are fatigued and in chronic pain. Some of us are walking around with bowling balls for heads! Pain can come in many varieties, dull, achy, sharp, radiating, stiff, burning, and tingling. Each of these types of pain can create a better picture of the reason behind your pain. Sharp 294

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and radiating pain can be caused by nerve impingement, while dull and achy can be a sign of arthritis. Regardless of your cause of pain, there are many things you can do to relieve the pain. 1. Heat and ice therapy: Many people ask which is better, heat or ice? My suggestion is to heat for less than 20 min for muscle tension; Ice for inflammation. How do you know

the difference? Muscle tension may happen gradually, at the end of the day or after sleeping. Your neck may feel stiff and immobile. This is an excellent time for heat. Inflammation happens after a hard workout or repetitive motion. Inflammation feels warm to the touch. inflammation is stimulated 24-48 hours after an injury. This is an excellent time for ice. Each person is unique; play around with both heat and ice to see

which works better for you and your body and diagnosis. Just a reminder that heat stimulates inflammation, so do not leave it on for more than 20 min at a time. 2. Improve your posture: Poor posture can cause upper cross syndrome. Upper cross syndrome is prevalent in people who work on computers, drive, sit a lot, read, or spend large amounts of time with forwardrolled shoulders. Your muscles in the back of your neck become overstretched and overworked, while the muscles in your chest tighten. These tight chest muscles become chronically shortened and pull your neck and shoulders forward. Becoming aware of your day-to-day posture and making corrections can significantly improve your neck pain. 3. Exercise: Exercise can include strengthening and stretching. Specific postural exercises can improve your neck stability, decrease the tight muscles, and improve your posture. Chest stretches, bird dogs, and chin tucks are great “go-to” exercises. Finding a good physical therapist is a great place to start. They can prescribe the appropriate exercises to improve your posture and decrease the strain on your neck.


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{ WELLNESS 360 } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “There are a variety of reasons that your neck may be hurting. Some reasons include trauma, nerve impingement, degenerative disc disorder, posture, and arthritis.”

4. Massage: Massage therapy can provide increased range of motion, decrease chronic muscle tension, and significantly decreased pain. Trigger points can be caused by chronic muscle tension. Massage is a great way to relieve trigger points, bring blood flow to the muscles and rebalance your posture. Massage paired with an excellent strengthening program is a great way to rebuild your posture and decrease your overall pain. 5. Medications: Many people turn to pain relievers and cortisone injections. 296

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These can be great to decrease inflammation and chronic trigger points. Decreasing inflammation is a great way to make the day-to-day task more tolerable, but it only masks the original problem. These techniques should be used in conjunction with physical therapy and massage. 6. Complementar y therapy: Chiropractic treatment and acupuncture are great ways to combat neck pain. There are many styles of treatments; it is essential to find one that feels right to you. Talk with your

provider about treatment options to find the right one for you. Wellness 360 provides evidencebased treatments to decrease your overall neck and back pain. We offer Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, and Group Fitness classes. We can individualize your treatments to improve your posture, rebalance and strengthen your muscles. We are the one-stop-shopping for your wellness needs. Check out our services at www. wellness360fitness.com.


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RECONNECTION BY ROBIN DEWIND

I am on a reconnection tour with my girlfriends. Mother’s Day inspired me. I woke up that Sunday morning and started to scroll through my texts with the intent of sending my closest girlfriends an emoji to acknowledge the day. It suddenly occurred to me that I had more to say. I have not seen, shared a cocktail or a meal with any of them in the past year, maybe longer. The occasional text, Facebook thumbs up, or heart reply on Instagram is no longer acceptable. I needed to see my people. The past year has been about safety, protection and laying low. My circle has been small and frankly I am done keeping to myself. With social media it is so much easier now to see our babies grow up, the places we travel and milestones we celebrate. But all this connection has made me feel disconnected. There have been no posts this past year that say, “I can’t stand my husband anymore”, or “this picture with my kids looks great but the vacation sucked, and we fought the whole time.” I am still a firm believer that people need to see each other in-person to metaphorically take off the mask and talk to each other about how things really are. I am done with small talk and smiley faces. I am ready to fill up again on the gritty details of life and reconnect.

We have all spent a self-absorbed year waiting, worrying, and dealing with change and loss within our four walls. I needed to know if my friends were feeling the same way. What had changed in their lives? How were they, really? Lucky for me, they were ready too. Instead of “Happy Mother’s Day”, I said, ‘how about dinner?’ Six friends, like a hexagon reflecting all the times in my life all replied ‘when’? I was not sure what to expect or where the conversations would lead but I was ready to share and to listen. What transpired over the hours of conversation inspired and enlightened me. While we were all living alone, we were not isolated in our thoughts. Topics covered everything from panic attacks in elderly parents, to job loss, to vaginal estrogen cream and does it really make having sex any easier after menopause, and do we really care anymore? My one girlfriend is getting a divorce after years of listening to her husband lie about his after work drinking habits. A DWI and a lack of interest in counseling made her decision easier. It took a second cup of coffee for her to confess she was actually happy at the idea of starting over. One friend is being slowly downsized

out of her of thirty-five- year career at the age of 59 because she makes too much money. She is scared and relieved all at the same time and admits she enjoys her volunteer work for Meals on Wheels more than anything she has done in the past decade. My other friend who is a single mom, is already planning for what life will be like without any more children at home. Instead of taking up a new hobby she is deciding to stay on the couch with her new puppy. There will be no dating or reinvention for her, she just wants to be loved unconditionally. My divorced friend with five kids is exhausted and wants a vacation from her responsibilities. She enjoyed the bread and dipping oil and confessed she is using the Facebook dating app to meet new people. She has had a few local brewery dates with a guy who is a ‘minimalist’ which seems like the perfect complement to her chaotic life. Another friend is collecting unemployment and enjoying time with her daughter who chose to move back home after taking a year off from college. She divulged over her salad and sushi that the thought of being at home alone with her husband after college resumes and not having a job in the fall left her paralyzed emotionally at times. All of this “catching up” made me realize we are still the same people; a little older, and maybe a little worn ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ HER EDGE } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “I am on a reconnection tour with my girlfriends.”

out from trying to figure out what is next. What do I want? Honestly reconnecting with my friends did not answer that for me, but I did have to think about my answer when they asked, how are you? I said, I am getting there, a little bit at a time.

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I appreciate my daily hour of exercise, and when my Apple watch tells me to “breath”, I do. Going to the gym or taking a long walk is no longer a chore but a priority. I feel grateful my body can still move and sweat and feel tired at the end of the day. I have gone back to church and I am attempting to be more patient with myself, my work, and the people I love. I try to not hang on so tightly

and have faith that it will all work out. Seeing my best friends made me realize that I have slowly been reconnecting with myself; physically, emotionally, and spiritually this past year. They reminded me of where I have been, but more importantly who I have become, and I am grateful. Reconnection Tour 2021, I highly recommend it.


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


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{ SEXUALLY SPEAKING }

PERIODS BY LORI DAVIS

Your period is trying to tell you something…. Periods are an aspect of health that has been routinely ignored; something to be barely tolerated at best and hated at worst. Those who have difficult periods often suffer in silence, finding little solace from friends, family or unfortunately, even their medical providers. But times are changing as more and more people are talking about and learning from the menstrual cycle. Some are even calling the period the fifth vital sign, a critical source of information about and a reflection of overall health. So, what is your period trying to tell you? The menstrual cycle is governed by many factors, including genetics, but is very sensitive to changes in our environment and our life experiences. Exhausted from a stressful job? Missing out on sleep because you have young kids? Skipping meals because you just have too much to get done each day? Zoning out with Netflix for hours on end? The amount of stress in your life, the quality of your sleep, how much you exercise, your diet and many other life style factors can affect the physical and emotional symptoms of the menstrual cycle. Periods aren’t something that just happens randomly to you but are actually related to all other aspects of your health. This can be the good news! Looking at your period as an indicator of your overall health can be empowering. It is also revolutionary because people with periods have been told that bad periods are normal and that there is nothing to

do about difficult menstrual symptoms but to “grin and bear it” or to block the cycle with hormonal contraceptives. But periods do not have to be terrible monthly monsters that rob you of your best life. They also don’t have to just be tolerated or shut off all together. There is a third way. By taking small steps to prioritize your health, your period can potentially become a friend rather than a foe. The first step is to simply become aware of your menstrual cycle. You can chart your symptoms with pen and paper or use one of the many period tracking apps that are easy to use and often free. There are many aspects of the menstrual cycle that can be tracked, depending on your goals. To start out, simply note when your first day of bleeding occurs, when bleeding stops, and consider using one word to label how your felt that day, for example “energized,” “exhausted,” “irritable,” “frisky” etc. In this way you can start to observe some of the patterns that emerge with your cycle each month. Though most women think of their menstrual cycle as only a negative experience, each phase of the cycle has its own specific character. Though each person’s experience of these phases is different, there are some commonalities. For many people, the rising estrogen levels of the first half of the cycle are associated with feeling more energized and ready to take care of business. The second half of the cycle, which is dominated by progesterone, can lead to feeling more introspective. The very end of the cycle is associated with a drop

in both estrogen and progesterone that leaves many women feeling irritable, sad, and exhausted. Learning more about each part of the cycle can help illuminate these rhythmic patterns, empower you to gain the wisdom each part has to offer, and begin to address any problems that arise. Learning about your period is a lifelong process as the menstrual cycle will change over time as your life changes and as you age. The periods of early adolescence are often irregular and sometimes painful as hormonal systems find their equilibrium. Perimenopause, which can begin in the early 40s or sooner for some, can cause chaos in the hormonal cycle and lead to symptoms like heavy bleeding, hot flashes, brain fog, anxiety, and depression. Menopause, which technically starts one year after the last period, can also be associated with symptoms that range from merely bothersome to debilitating. Looking for ideas to begin to improve your period? Keep it simple. Take time to do one thing that nourishes you if you are feeling wiped out when you are menstruating. Productivity is great, but rest is actually just as essential. Prioritize your sleep; it’s the foundation of health. Eat lots of colorful vegetables and try incorporating them at every meal. Healthy proteins, fats and carbs are also essential. Don’t sweat it if you eat French fries or chocolate ice cream now and again. If you feel more sexual during ovulation or menstruation, explore how that can be a source of pleasure and joy for you.

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{ {SEXUALLY SPEAKING SHIFT+CONTROL } } “The menstrual cycle is governed by many factors, including genetics, but is very sensitive to changes in our environment and our life experiences.”

Though periods are responsive to lifestyle changes, some symptoms are a signal that more intensive treatments are necessary. First, painful, debilitating periods are never “normal.” Periods that cause you to miss work or school routinely should be evaluated for the possibility that endometriosis or other underlying causes are at play. Periods that are irregular and infrequent are also a signal that more complex problems like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) could be driving period abnormalities. Finally, profound depression right before your period suggests more than just PMS and may signal premenstrual dysphoric 304

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disorder (PMDD), which deserves special evaluation and intervention. Seek out an experienced and compassionate provider who specializes in period health if your period gives you persistent trouble; effective treatments are available. The Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness is committed to helping people manifest their best sexual selves through a holistic and biopsychosocial approach, which includes helping people have better periods and a smoother menopause transition. Periods and sex are intimately interwoven aspects of life, not just because of the facts of reproduction, but also

because happier, healthier periods make for better, happier sex lives. Lori Davis, DNP is a nurse practitioner and sex counselor with a specialization in sexual and hormonal health at the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness. In addition to her work with the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness she also has a private practice in Ithaca, NY.


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SEX* *NOW THAT WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION...

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

CALL US AT 585-865-3584 FIND OUT MORE AT WWW.ROCHESTERCENTERFORSEXUALWELLNESS.COM


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{ COLLABORATIVE LAW { SHIFT+CONTROL } }

CAN MY MARRIAGE BE SAVED BY MEDIATION? BY JULIE V. MERSEREAU

When you are having difficulty in your marriage and are not sure if you can keep moving forward, it can be all consuming, not to mention stressful and scary.

separate or divorce, you have already acknowledged that you are in trouble in the marriage. It is very important to get outside help to determine whether separation and divorce is your only option.

Deciding if you need to separate or divorce is one of the most difficult decisions that a person can make. Most people get married and dream of living together for the rest of their lives. They create the “story” of how they want their lives to be. If your story is not moving forward as planned, you may think divorce is the only way to get out of the bad situation. You may be told by family or friends that calling a lawyer is your first step to figuring out what to do. I would ask you to consider the possibility that divorce is NOT your only option, and calling a lawyer isn’t necessarily the place to start.

You need a process that helps you focus on identifying the problems in your marriage and creating a plan that works toward healing the marriage. Help may be available through counselling, religious support, family assistance, or Marital Mediation.

Lawyers are not in the business of keeping families intact. If you are not sure that you want to end your marriage, then you need to seek out an alternative way to address your marital problems. You do not want to start a divorce process if there is a possibility of saving your marriage.

IF I HAVE ALREADY DONE COUNSELING AND IT DID NOT WORK, WHY WOULD I USE MEDIATION?

Ending a marriage has emotional, financial and legal consequences. Divorce “fall-out” touches not only the couple that is divorcing, but it also impacts the children of the parties, the parties’ parents, extended family, friends and religious relationships. Staying married has emotional, financial, and legal consequences as well. If you are at the point of asking whether you should

Marital Mediation can also be called “Mediation to Stay Married”. This is a relatively new method to help people improve their marriage and avoid divorce. It uses mediation techniques in a series of meetings with the couple and a family mediator experienced in marital mediation.

Marital Mediation is not counseling or therapy. If a couple is already in marital counseling, religious counseling or any other kind of counseling or therapy marital mediation can still move forward. Marital Mediation is more goal directed. It is a process that is led by the couple with the guidance of the mediator. It is voluntary, private and client driven. It is a practical approach to resolving the marital disputes using dispute resolution techniques. The trained mediator creates a safe and private place for the couple to identify and discuss the issues that are hurting the marriage. The goal is

to create a plan that the couple can use to change the behavior that is hurting the marriage. DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO DO MARITAL MEDIATION? You are not required to have your own attorney to do marital mediation. Your first call should be to an experienced mediator who will provide you information about your options when you are thinking of Divorce. Some Mediators, like myself, are also Attorneys. The attorney mediator is neutral professional who will work with both of you to teach you how to communicate about the issues that bring you to mediation, and help you build a path toward a future together. If in the process of marital mediation, you want more information about your own legal rights and obligations, you may want to consult with an attorney to advise you. WILL MARITAL MEDIATION HELP ME DECIDE WHETHER WE NEED TO SEPARATE OR DIVORCE? Marital mediation can help you explore what the problems are in your marriage. If you and your spouse cannot reach an understanding about a plan moving forward together, then you may choose to end the marriage. It is not the Mediator’s role to tell you what the right thing is to do. You will learn about options and potential consequences so you can decide for yourself what you want to do. WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF MARITAL MEDIATION? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ COLLABORATIVE LAW { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “When you are having difficulty in your marriage and are not sure if you can keep moving forward, it can be all consuming, not to mention stressful and scary.”

• To help the couple examine the root cause or causes of the conflict in the marriage and then make a plan to change things. • To teach the couple constructive ways to communicate, so they can be open to hearing the other party’s concerns and suggestions so that they can gain a better understanding of each other. • To assist the couple in finding a way to stay together, address their problems, and keep the family together. • To allow the couple to have fully explored whether they can commit to the changes that need to be made to keep the marriage intact. • To create a written agreement for the parties that will be their game plan 310

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going forward. WHAT IF WE AREN’T ABLE TO FOLLOW THE PLAN OR IT DOESN’T HELP AND WE NEED TO GO FORWARD WITH A DIVORCE? If your Marital Mediation does not help keep your marriage together, you may decide it is time to go forward with a divorce. You do not have to go to court for your divorce. As an attorney who has spent most of her career handling family law and matrimonial cases, I can assure the reader that divorce resolution processes like Mediation and Collaborative Law are far better than litigation. The courts are not the

place for family disputes, custody and parenting issues, and problems in a marriage. If you would like further information about

Marital Mediation or would like to schedule an appointment to begin Marital Mediation please call me at 585-377-5487 or email: julie@jmersereaulaw.com Written by Julie V. Mersereau, Esq., Attorney Mediator and Collaborative Law Attorney. Ms. Mersereau focuses her practice on Family Mediation, including Divorce Mediation, Marital Mediation and Elder Mediation, and Mediation regarding other family system issues and Collaborative Family Law.


“RESOLVING DISPUTES PRIVATELY WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT.” Julie focuses her practice on Separation and Divorce, and other Family Conflict issues. She is committed to helping people through difficult transitions and to providing options to stay out of court and in control decisions affecting your family. Call Julie to discuss your options or visit her website at Resolvefamilyconflict.com for more information. Julie believes in personal attention and guidance through these difficult family circumstances and life transitions.

585-377-5487 I JMERSEREAU.COM I OFFICES IN ROCHESTER AND SYRACUSE




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{ {SHIFT+CONTROL YOU MATTER } }

WARMTH BY JUDI SWANSON

As I sit inside on this bright, sunny morning I realize that just like pretty much everything in life us humans need warmth too. How even on a cold day when you feel the rays of sun hit your skin there is a reaction that happens inside. You feel less cold, your brain reacts to the sun by creating some serotonin which makes you more calm, increases your energy. One action in our life can creates a wider reaching ripple. While it may seem small, the ripple of small things is extraordinary.” Matt Bevin Warmth does not only come from the sun. As people we have the opportunity to show warmth to one another. Our interactions with others can convey warmth and caring by how we listen, how we respond when someone is talking. You know when someone is listening to you. You feel when another person is giving you their undivided attention. Focusing on what you are saying, even if it seems like an insignificant story. That who you are and what you are saying matters. There have been times in my life when I felt that undivided attention. That who I am has value. That I was worth listening to. The simple actions of another human made a huge impact in my life. It made me feel like I mattered. Warmth has been resonating with me this past week. I have read articles regarding our COVID19 fatigue and how we all just want to be together with one another. I have also had a few people in my life who are struggling for different reasons with some big stuff. What they had in common is that they both talked how a giant, warm, hug was what they wanted. They wanted that moment where they felt wrapped in another person’s arm with tons of caring and physical touch. An article in the Lifehack talks about

the benefits of how even holding hands has positive physical reactions. The article states “Holding hands with your significant other decreases the level of a stress hormone called cortisol. Even the touch of a friend or a teammate can make us feel more content, connected, or better about ourselves. When we are stressed out, a light touch on our hand can help ease the strain, both physically and mentally. Our skin also gets more sensitive when cortisol is rushing through our bloodstream, so the touch of a helping hand will have a significantly larger impact. The largest concentration of nerve endings is actually contained inside the hands and fingertips.

Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine found that giving had greater benefits than receiving. Participants in the study who gave help showed reduced stress and increased feelings of reward in their brain imaging. This research points to the conclusion that when you help others, you’re also helping yourself.”

Now I know we are still in a pandemic so there are some actions that should not be occurring. Yet I must confess I have hugged a person or two who were experiencing significant emotional issues and needed a hug. I have held a few hands that needed a hand held while they talked. It felt like the right thing to do. Was it done safely? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Yes.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Theresa

There are other ways we can show caring and warmth for others. We can send a thinking of you text. Call to say hello and check in. Tell people that you love them. At the grocery we can keep our eyes up and look people in the eye. Even when you smile at someone with your mask on the eyes show it. Say hello to people. Every single one of us can be a ray of warmth and sunshine in the life of someone else. If you are going through your own darkness and challenges, doing caring actions for others helps you feel less dark and down. An article in NAMI states “A 2016 study published in Psychosomatic

Remember back in the day when there were flash dance mobs of people who did not know each other showing up at a mall to dance it up. What if we created flash “kindness mobs” where our focus was bringing some joy, warmth, and caring to others unexpectedly for no other reason than just to do it?

So people just as the sun shines just to do it’s sunshine thing, perhaps you can do your own personal ray of warmth thing. You are the only you there ever will be and our hurting world needs all the warmth you can give. The beauty in spreading warmth and caring for others is that you grow more warmth inside of you. When the Grinch started to feel love again his heart grew three sizes. Just imagine what could happen to your heart by showing compassion to others. How your own flash mob of kindness could change the life of someone and you too. That is a power every single one of us possesses if we choose to use it. I am all in. Want to join me? May your warmth be with you.

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“YOU’RE IN KIDNEY FAILURE.” BY ANGELA DUNCAN, M.S. & DEBB CHAPMAN

I was scheduled for a hysterectomy in early October of 2017 due to long years of suffering from Adenomyosis. My doctor ordered regular pre-surgery blood work and we went ahead with scheduling thinking everything would be okay. Although, weight challenged, my labs were always fine, and that was what we expected this time. My surgeon called less then 24 hours later and stated, “I am concerned about your lab results. Have you ever had problems with your kidneys?” I explained that my blood tests had never been questionable, but I was not understanding what was wrong with them. She said, “Your creatinine levels were high, and surgery was not an option”. I had no idea what creatinine levels meant, and I would need to see a nephrologist (kidney doctor) immediately. I could not know the journey I was about to face or the struggle it was wrapped in. My need to be seen was urgent and the only available option was an incredibly young doctor, fresh out of medical school. Not that it was a bad thing, but my raw worries took note. After our consultation we were more confused about the cause of this problem then when I walked in. He explained that my numbers were those of someone who had had kidney disease for years. We decided to run more tests to look for the obvious. I was sent to the lab right away for more blood draws. So much so, that I became lightheaded and wondered “How much more?”. He was checking me for every 316

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disease that could possibly cause my kidneys to fail. Typically, these tests take weeks to complete. I was asked to have my blood checked every 2-3 days to track the overall functions. Usually, on the same day, I would receive a call from the doctor saying my levels were even higher. The “why” was still unanswered. Working at Hip Hemp provided a sense of normalcy. As I buried myself in my everyday task, I did not have to think about my kidneys being in severe distress. My “smile” at work and during media interviews became increasingly difficult. I started noticing more fatigue, a loss of appetite, and the smell of food made me nauseous. I was deteriorating rapidly, and we still did not know what would turn this around. The worse call I ever received was while in a meeting with the owners of my company. It was my doctor and I thought I could wait to call him back. Within seconds, he called again. I excused myself and answered the phone. He said “Angela, you’re in stage 4 kidney disease and you are heading into stage 5 failure”. His words hit my chest with the impact of a freight train. I sat there quietly for maybe moments, until I finally asked, “What do we do now?” He explained he wanted to try to avoid dialysis, but we were heading in that direction. The problem was we still did not know what was causing this failure. The doctor said he wanted to try one more thing, a biopsy, and I was willing to explore any option for

my recovery. My stage 4 kidney disease presented harsh symptoms, which I hope never to experience again. • Decreased mental sharpness • Loss of sleep and fatigue • Loss of appetite • Muscle cramps and twitching so bad I would accidently throw things • Nausea and vomiting • Persistent itching • Weakness • Anemia The biopsy was scheduled for October 17th, 2017. The idea of sticking a large needle in my back was frightening. I was given a strong sedative and thankfully do not remember much. I do know my wife Alicia, was holding my hand. The doctor was incredibly supportive and compassionate with my fears. How amazing it was to know many people offered to be tested for donating a kidney if needed! Alicia was first in line. Waiting for results is never easy, but the doctor finally called and said, “Your kidneys had an allergic reaction to NSAID’s (over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and an antibiotic”. A few months before the kidney failure, I was prescribed a strong dose of an antibiotic for a staph infection, which left large lumps on my torso. They believe it started from a spider bite that progressively worsened. Along with the medication, we had to drain and pack 4 open wounds every other day at a clinic.


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{ HIP HEMP } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “I could not wrap my head around the journey I was about to face and how bad it really was.”

This was incredibly painful and stressful, so I would take an NSAID before each treatment. The next phase for my kidneys would be intense and needed to begin immediately. I started a heavy dose of oral steroids, and an even stronger one administered by IV. I went to an infusion center and sat for hours with a bag of saline and medication. I had multiple iron infusions also, because my kidneys were still not working, and this was causing anemia. After the first dose, I felt like a million bucks and as if I could run a mile. That feeling would go away, however within a few days and I would need more iron. The effects of the treatment were intense including insomnia and more leg cramps. All the lost weight quickly returned. I was emotional and grouchy, but slowly started feeling relief and was more hopeful for my future health. I continued to see the kidney specialist, first monthly, then every six months, and then once a year until I graduated in late 2019. Although damage was done, I am holding steady and grateful at stage 3 kidney disease. I must be extremely careful of the types of medications I take due to my sensitive organs. It was shocking the first time I read that my medical chart was flagged for having an allergic reaction, which did and may cause potential failures. 318

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Like many of us, I have aches and pains. I not only work hard but I play hard as well, and yes, I need pain relief. Recently I went for routine blood work, and the doctor found my liver was of concern. I was advised to stop any over-the-counter medications for one month and my levels returned to normal. “How do I get relief from joint and

I am thankful for these products and genuinely enjoy educating the community about the benefits of CBD and how it has helped me personally. I often get to share my experiences with clients and hear their amazing stories. Rejuvenating CBD Balm absorbs quickly, delivering soothing and moisturizing effects to dry irritated skin and energizes the surface with the addition of peppermint oil, spearmint oil, and cinnamon oil. This brings blood flow to the surface which then promotes healing and works great on sore muscles. Calming CBD Balm does exactly that. It calms nerves and hurting joints. The added benefit of Lemongrass Oil is known for relieving anxiety, depression, and overall stress.

muscle pain then?” Research led me to investigate Cannabidiol (CBD) to help with my discomforts. As it happened, Portland dispensaries in 2017 were permitted to sell CBD with an Oregon Liquor Control Commission license. The first time I tried CBD the relief was amazing! Eventually my work decided to carry two types of salves each containing 200mg of CBD.

If you have been keeping up with my previous articles here, then you already know many of my life challenges. Throughout these years I have also raised an autistic son, supported my wife with stage III breast cancer, lost my mom too young, and many other traumatic events. I am happy to report that we are all doing well and living the best life we can. All these trials have helped me reach the woman I am today. I continue to work hard at everything I do, and I play even harder!



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{ LIFE IN BALANCE }

GET YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM BACK IN BALANCE BY KAITLYN VITTOZZI

Before you keep turning the page, thinking nervous system sounds like scientific mumbo jumbo that does not apply to you…. Have you experienced stress? How about exhaustion? Constipation? Totally withdrawn? Unmotivated? An argument from last month that you keep replaying in your head repeatedly. That is all tied to your nervous system.

Have you ever noticed a person in your life, or even when a pet walks into the room, who immediately makes you feel calm? That’s co-regulation – when someone else’s nervous system rubs off on yours.

The symptoms mentioned above may be a result of a dysregulated nervous system. While our pace of life is quick, it does not mean you have to live like that for forever.

We are also at a unique point in history. Many of us are starting to return to “normalcy” after a pandemic. If it’s been in a social setting with lots of people at one time – what impact do you think that will have on your energy levels? Even an extrovert might overdo it and found themselves depleted.

The autonomic nervous system has two divisions – the sympathetic nervous system, and parasympathetic nervous system. Think sympathetic like a friend who is always sympathizing with everything and everyone, always, it is exhausting. Sympathetic is the part of your nervous system that has to DO something. The parasympathetic is responsible for your “rest and digest” functions that happen more easefully, steady – sitting on a balcony in the summertime watching the world go by without being triggered. Now, it is not to say that a healthy regulated nervous system never experiences stress. Perfectionism can easily mess with your nervous system, so I would never encourage myself or any clients to strive for that. A balanced, regulated nervous system allows you to navigate life’s stressors without crumbling or lashing out at an innocent bystander – and instead making a healthy choice for you, grounded in the present moment.

person, I want to listen and hear them, but the flood of information and my poor brain and body trying to multi-task, result in a dysregulated nervous system. A healthy nervous system means your body can discern a stressful situation from an unnecessary worry. When something scary happens, and it’s resolved, your body can come back to a relaxed state.

Or maybe you can relate to my very opposite experience: I’ll be sitting at my laptop trying to work when someone comes in and starts talking to me – or rather at me about how awful their day is. As a yoga therapist and generally nice

Scheduling self-care takes times – and odds are, you probably don’t have a lot of it right now. Here is a restful sequence to help you bring your nervous system back in balance. In general restorative yoga can be a helpful reset to your nervous system – check out Heidi at the Balance Living Center in Webster if you are looking for a class locally. You can also pair this sequence after more vigorous exercise – a healthy nervous system can seamlessly switch from one to the other. Effort and ease. All you need to start with is a blanket or beach towel. • Sandbag/Blanket Breathing: Start with a blanket or pillow. Lie flat on your back. If that bothers your back, bend your knees, and bring your feet flat to the floor. Place the prop (blanket ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “A healthy nervous system means your body can discern a stressful situation from an unnecessary worry. When something scary happens, and it’s resolved, your body can come back to a relaxed state.”

or pillow) over your abdomen. Breathe in and out gently through your nose, and into your belly. On your inhale you gently feel the prop rise, and on the exhale, you feel it lower. No need to force your breath, simply try to move it. Like any exercise, the first time might be difficult. If you feel proficient, you can use a little bit more weight like a yoga sandbag or buckwheat pillow and try to move from inhale to exhale without thinking too much. Try starting with two minutes and then work your way up into a longer practice. Eventually, your body will know if wants to stay or not. The prop is a useful way to practice present moment body awareness. • Tabletop wiggles: Come to hands and knees, pad your knees 322

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with a blanket or towel if they are uncomfortable on the floor or yoga mat. Get as neutral in your spine as possible, so left and right side of the body are about even, and you are not arching or rounding your back too much. Maintain the tabletop position and then start to move cross laterally – it’s a bit like pretending your spine is taffy. Without moving your hands, pull your right shoulder forward and your left hip back. Then draw your left shoulder forward and your right hip back. You can move a few times like this for about two minutes. It won’t look like a lot from the outside but can produce some big results on the inside. • Child’s Pose Variation: Bring your big toes together, knees wide to the sides and sit your hips back on your

heels. Not possible? Slide some pillows or a big roll of blankets between your heels and your butt. Roll up a beach towel or blanket and rest your wrists on it – I like palms up, but if that bothers your shoulders, totally change the arm position to make it work for you. Or do like I did here – one of each. Stay as long as you like! Any other mindbody resets you love? Let me know at Kaitlyn@TozziYoga. com. If you feel like stress is taking over your life, reach out for a no risk phone consultation to see how yoga therapy can transform your relationship with stress.



{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT }

LET’S PLAY! THE MAGIC OF IMPROV BY ALANA CAHOON

We all remember the magic of play. Spinning around then collapsing onto the grass to watch the world spin around us. Pretending your doll was your baby. Fighting with plastic army men. In every case, we used our precious imaginations to take us away from the present world and lead us into a creative exploration of our own. These experiences empowered us. They brought us joy.

for dinner, we were about to call it a night, when suddenly she mentioned improv. What followed was a gate opening in my heart and mind to the dreams & joys I had in my 20’s. We laughed. We played. We did improv! As it turns out, she’s an expert, so I asked her … What is improv?

When is the last time you played?

“Once they get past their initial nerves of jumping into improv, 99% embrace it. They work together. It’s a great bonding tool.”

When I was a theatre major in college, improv was one of my favorite practices. It allowed me to strip off the should’s and open my mind to the spontaneous. To trust that everything I needed was already within me just waiting to be chosen. To release rigidity. To have fun!

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“Performing without a script. Everything is made up on the spot.” What does that mean?

MEET MEGAN MACK

“You work with your teammates to discover characters, environments, relationships and scenes. I use the word discover intentionally because everything you need already exists in the space where you’re playing.”

When Megan and her partner visited

Ah. Yes. Words of wisdom. Megan

The value of play allows us to enjoy the to-do’s. Improv is a great segue between work and play.

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How does this serve corporations? “A lot of what we learn in improv makes you a better listener and speaker. It helps you to think outside of the box. When you do this with a group of coworkers, the hierarchy seizes to exist. There’s no power dynamic.” Woah. How does that work? Do CEOs jump into this game or do they hesitate?

Welcome to the world of Improv!

The world of work can and often does, if not always takes us away from using the imagination to focusing on the practical. ie. What needs to be done today versus what would I like to do today?

reminds us that sometimes we just have to get out of our heads for the innate wisdom to shine through.

Benefits of Corporate Improv Workshops • Team building • Staff relationships • Listening • Public speaking • Communication skills • Thinking outside the box EXAMPLE OF IMPROV Greetings Participants are guided to begin by talking to each other. Using their listening skills, they follow the direction of the teacher/coach. • Imagine you haven’t seen each other in ten years • Pretend you have a crush on this



{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT } “The value of play allows us to enjoy the to-do’s. Improv is a great segue between work and play.”

• Act as if they owe you money

Does improv reduce stress?

Megan shares that during this practice, participants can experience a variety of emotional ups and downs. The act of mirroring helps to develop empathy for the other person, and becomes an effective bonding tool. It also allows everyone to be silly together.

“Absolutely. One of the rules is ‘Don’t think. Don’t get stuck in your own head.’ When you’re asked to go into a situation with a blank slate, you get to play! How often do you get to do that?”

Being in the wellness world of conscious leadership, I asked Megan whether improv provided stress relief. 326

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Megan Mack leads corporate improv workshops and teaches monthly improv classes at the Rochester Brainery https:// rochesterbrainery.com/collections/acting-

improvisation She is the Executive Producer of programs at WXXI, and can be reached at mack.megan01@ gmail.com. Creative Coach & Author, Alana Cahoon leads individuals to grow their businesses, expand their minds & heal their souls. www.AlanaCahoon.com



{ TRACY IS TALKING }

IT’S COOKING TIME! BY TRACY SIMONE

What’s for dinner? That age old question that everyone asks. If you are old enough and used to watch the TV show ‘Hee Haw’, it came in the form of, “Hey Grandpa, what’s for supper?” Then the actor who played ‘Grandpa’ would respond with some cute or funny answer. It was a regular feature on that show, and it was fun to watch. Unfortunately, a regular feature in a lot of real homes is not being able to decide what to eat.

really like some of the meals, but those failed to reappear as often as I would have liked. Of course, some of my least favorite (but still good) ones started showing up over and over again. I loved this service in the beginning, but

Some folks cook mostly on the weekends and make enough to last for the week. That sounds like a great idea, but many people work full time and while that approach may work for a while, people who only have the weekends open do not want their precious free time eaten up….no pun intended. Another pizza ordered. As for me, I must admit that for a while, I had one of those food services where the pre-measured ingredients and a recipe was delivered each week. This was convenient, but it did get a bit pricey. In the end, the truth was that it also started to be a little repetitive. The meals were easy to prepare because they already had things ready to go. Food never got wasted and it was quick. I may have had to chop up some vegetables or something, but this was a no hassle way to be eating within 30 minutes and not have to worry about what to prepare. What was for dinner was whatever was in the box! I grew to 328

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Back to rattling the pots and pans and busting the suds. The good news was that I got to keep the recipes so, from time to time, I do still make some of those dishes. If you have a busy lifestyle, not taking up real estate in your head just thinking about what to eat is welcomed. However, if you cancel the plan, you get more rounds of thinking about what to eat and back in the pantry you go. We all know that cooking at home is what we should be doing. Easy to say yes, but lots of people would just prefer not dealing with the mess, the time it could take, or the associated grocery shopping. Having said that, there is still nothing like a home cooked meal. So, try to find the time to do it when you can.

when I didn’t get my favorites enough, my whole attitude about it changed, my inner control freak took over, and I GOT TIRED OF THESE PEOPLE DECIDING WHAT I SHOULD EAT! Food delivery plan cancelled.

Most people have a favorite meal. Whether or not they know how to prepare it may be a different story, but we like what we like and we tend to gravitate back towards our favorites. Those who can cook and have their preferred recipes tend to guard them with their lives. I have literally seen people share a recipe with someone and leave an ingredient out, or ‘forget’ to tell the actual special secret that makes the recipe amazing. Not that I would ever do that, but I may have to admit being a little stingy about sharing some recipes in the first place. I promise to try to


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{ { TRACY IS TALKING } } SHIFT+CONTROL “I will try almost anything once and I am not afraid to delve into something new..”

do better. Really. No, really. Once we get in the routine of cooking regularly, it really takes less time than we think. Then, fast foods and convenient meals just never seem to taste as good anymore. Many of us have fond memories of a certain dish that we would get from our mother or grandmother, or somebody. Similarly, we can also recall the slop we would get at school in the food line. Yuck. There is nothing like having a big pot of something tasty making the house smell wonderful. That, I can do. Baking from scratch? Not so much. However, no shame in my game so, in a pinch, Betty Crocker and I make a heck of a team! I love to use fresh ingredients as much as possible. What a difference having a little herb garden makes when it is time to season something at home. Those bottles of dried spices from the store work at crunch time, but the flavor they bring just does not do justice to the dish. As much as possible, I try to use real, organic ingredients and to avoid the ‘franken foods’ that are for sale. A quick trip to the farmers market is usually helpful too. I will try almost anything once and I am not afraid to delve into something new. I even tried making bread from scratch for the very first time last summer…… the yeast decided not to cooperate. Let’s just say that maybe I should have called Betty again. Oops. Tomorrow is another day. I say never give up. Let’s get cooking! 330

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{{ BLISSFUL BALANCE}} SHIFT+CONTROL

OUR DOG BARRY LOVES BY CINDY DECAROLIS

My husband Louis and I married late in life. Neither of us were married before, so we don’t have any children of our own. We just have our little shih tzu Barry – and we don’t consider him our child, he is our pet, but he is an integral member of our family. Barry was a rescue dog from Lollypop Farms, as the bumper sticker says: Who rescued who?

mysteries and Louis prefers to listen to audio books. We started listening to mystery audio books together. We had long drives (Barry likes to curl up on my lap during our drives) to Ithaca and back on Sunday and we were listening to Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter – one of my favorite mystery writers.

Barry just wants us all to be together all of the time. On Saturday mornings, Louis will often take Barry with him on errands. Barry knows that he is going with Louis and he lets me know that he wants me to come too. He will run over to me and bark looking from me back to Louis. I usually pick him up and carry him over to Louis then tell him to have a good time. Barry is just beside himself with excitement when he sees that we are all going for a ride together. He runs around in circles, barks, jumps up and pushes at me with his front paws, as if to say “hurry up, let’s get crack-a-lacking!” Depending on our work schedules, Louis and I try to have a family day each weekend. Last weekend I had the whole weekend off which allowed me to join Louis and Barry on Saturday errands. On Sunday we had a family day that took us to Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca. I have always been an avid reader of

After we finished hiking, we drove into Ithaca and walked around the Commons area. We stopped at Green Star Market to pick up food for a picnic. Finally, we stopped at my in-law’s cottage on Canandaigua Lake on the way home. All in all, a perfect family day. Generally, our family days include a drive, a walk, and a picnic. Some of our other favorite family day locations are Skaneateles, Ellicottville, Letchworth State Park, Canadice Lake, Watkins Glen State Park, and Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in the fall. I enjoy our family days as much as Barry does, and I think Louis does too. It is so interesting how when you do one thing that is good for you it spirals. All of the following things are known to reduce stress and improve your health and well-being:

Once we arrived at Buttermilk Falls, we hiked the Gorge and Rim Trail Loop. This is a 1.6 miles loop with 462-foot elevations and is rated as moderate difficulty. There are some nice uphill climbs on this trail which makes me feel like it is a good workout despite being a short loop. Barry loves getting out on the trails where he can run free – at least to the length of his leash – and sniff to his hearts content.

 Spending time with family, friends, and loved ones creates stronger emotional bonds and improves communication.  Being in nature contributes to both emotional and physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and release of stress hormones.  Being around trees boosts the immune system, reduces stress, increases your ability to focus and your energy, and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “If you are feeling disconnected from your family, try having a family day. I think you will love it! “

ability to focus and your energy, and improves sleep.  Being near water increases blood flow to the brain and heart, and promotes feelings of calmness, well-being, and happiness.  Hiking / walking is great cardiovascular exercise, which can prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, lower body fat, manage weight, and improve bone density.  Eating healthy food can protect against many diseases such as heart disease, 336

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cancers, and diabetes; improve the health of the gut, bones, and teeth; and enhance the memory.  Sharing a meal with family and friends provides social interaction, builds trust, strengthens relationships, and may result in healthier eating habits  Listening to mysteries is all about the characters and trying to solve the crime; it is a mental workout that helps to keep your brain sharp. If you are feeling disconnected from your family, try having a family day. I think you will love it!

Your family day doesn’t have to look like ours. Create your own, based on the people in your family and things that you all enjoy doing. If you have kids, let them take turns deciding what to do on family day outings. The important thing is to appreciate being together. At Blissful Balance LLC our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook @ blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram blissfull_balance.


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

Please contact us for a complimentary consultation 585-532-6060 or cindydecarolis62@gmail.com www.blissfullbalanceroc.com Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance


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{ MENTALLY THINKING }

DEALING WITH REGRET BY BONNIE FLOYD

Regret is almost universally experienced. It has been defined as the emotion of wishing one had made a different decision in the past, because the consequences of the decision were undesirable. Regret is related to perceived opportunity. It has also been defined as a negative cognitive or emotional state that involves blaming ourselves for a bad outcome, feeling a sense of loss or sorrow at what might have been, or wishing we could undo a previous choice that we made. The first known use of the word regret occurred in the 14th century. We may regret relatively minor decisions, such as having had an extra slice of pie after dinner. Alternatively, we may harbor regret regarding a major decision, such as getting married. Of course, the implications of these types of decisions are drastically different. We sometimes regret the things that we have not done, such as not having stopped smoking when we receive a lung cancer diagnosis. We might regret not finishing college when passed over for a promotion. With respect to romantic relationships, there are gender differences in experiencing regret. Men are more likely to experience regrets of inaction, failing to pursue a romantic relationship, whereas women report regrets of inaction and action equally. Regret is associated with chronic stress, negatively impacting hormonal and immune system functioning. It extends the emotional reach of stressful events for months, years, or lifetimes. Regret leads to negative emotions, as well as a pattern of thinking that ironically results in making additional mistakes, thereby enhancing our degree of regret. Many negative emotions frequently accompany regret, including guilt,

disappointment, self-blame, and frustration. There are two types of regret: regret by action, and regret by inaction. Regret by action is regretting a decision or choice that has been made in the past, whereas regret by inaction is a regret caused by a lack of a decision. For shorter periods of time, i.e., within the past year, individuals are more likely to regret actions that they have taken. With the passage of longer periods of time, individuals are much more likely to regret actions that have not been taken. Regret sometimes serves a darker purpose, by allowing us to hide from the deeper pain of remorse. Remorse involves insight into the impact of one’s actions on others. Remorse allows us to become aware of our behavior and wanting to take different actions. When individuals can begin to experience a genuine sense of remorse for their prior actions, something authentic begins to develop therapeutically. The pain experienced with regret may result in refocusing and taking corrective action or pursuing a new path. Regret about our dietary choices can result in a renewed commitment to making healthier choices. When they are fewer opportunities to change a situation, it is more likely that regret can evolve into rumination. Rumination triggers chronic stress, damaging both body and mind. It is often a symptom of mental health disorders, including depression. Researcher Neal Roese, of Northwestern University, is a leader in the field of regret research. His studies of young people have shown that regret is rated more favorably than unfavorably, primarily because of its informational value in motivating corrective action. Roese’s research has revealed that regret fulfills

the following functions: making sense of the world; avoiding future negative behaviors; gaining insight; achieving social harmony; and, improving ability to approach desired opportunities (presumably because we regret past passivity). Thankfully, there are several things that we can do to cope with regret. First, we can harness the functional aspects of regret. Regret is our brain’s way of telling us to consider other options. Regret, after all, is a prominent reason why addicted individuals pursue recovery. We can also decide to find a way to forgive ourselves when a past action results in regret. Consider what you might say to a close friend or family member in a similar situation. Most individuals have an easier time forgiving other individuals, as opposed to themselves. To cope effectively with regret, it is important to not take to much blame for a past decision. After all, circumstances may have served to make it more difficult to make the best choice, based on one’s knowledge at the time. You might have needed to make an important decision under time pressure. Perhaps you were facing multiple stressors when you needed to make a choice. To cope with regret, it frequently helps to reframe a situation more positively. Regret can be an important opportunity to learn important lessons about yourself-such as your values, vulnerabilities, and triggers-as well as about other people. If we try to completely avoid regret by inaction, we disengage from relationships, opportunities, and eventually life itself. Ironically enough, this one day will culminate in the deepest degree of regret about paths not pursued.

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{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } { SHIFT+CONTROL }

WHEN TO BEGIN CREATING BOUNDARIES? BY LISA WAGNER

A CREATOR’S EXPERIENCE Boundaries are currently a hot topic and for good reason. Most of us either have none, way too many or are just discovering where we lie when it comes to having healthy, loving ones. It’s a skill I hadn’t fully developed in my early childhood and much of it carried straight into adulthood. Until a few years ago, that is. What a beautiful awakening that moment was, although hardly as simple as proclaiming I would now be exercising them. It took intensive therapy, meditation and self-compassion. As we all know, nothing worth doing to improve ourselves ever comes easily or without complete awareness and an openness to move away from the familiar. Like most women my age, I had been brought up to believe that I was to stay quiet and never complain. To not disturb the balance of what my parents and most adults then believed was what they deemed not only acceptable but honorable. I was to be a good girl and not state my opinions or to question the “why” of any situation or directive. It just wasn’t done. “Because I said so!” and “Because that’s how it’s done.” were patent answers I received when I needed to truly understand the inner wisdom of what I was being told to do or think. I used to think it was unfortunate that I just could never accept what was being said or expressed. It’s now something I really like about myself. My mind just isn’t built to simply accept “what is.” The boundary that had been built seemed like an iron curtain to my reasoning brain and it didn’t feel loving or kind.

How was I to grow emotionally or intellectually without the fundamental reasonings and improve flaws in it? Around the age of 8, I found that hiding in my closet writing poetry helped me to deal with the endless frustration of needing the “why.” Throughout my schooling years, I was part of the now termed, “lost generation of girls”. Women who are now ages 40’s+ that struggled in school were always thought of as “daydreamers.” No one recognized that we too could have attention deficit disorder. I recently discovered I have been living with ADHD throughout my life. Trying to not only stay on-task but comprehending the meaning of what was being presented to me left me frustrated to the point of daydreaming almost constantly as an escape from my sheer frustration. I now believe it’s why I became an artist and creator and felt solace in writing poetry in my closet when I got overwhelmed. It became my first real boundary on what my heart, soul and mind needed to make sense of the world around me. Creating personal space by hiding in that closet was a godsend. I was able to put to words how I felt and what it was I was seeing or feeling when the rest of the world seem to comprehend everything with ease. It was a beautiful form of self-therapy. Nature was also my salve. We were fortunate to have woods behind us with beautiful trails. I would go back there to walk or just sit quietly and watch nature do her thing. Seeing pheasants along the path with her poults walking in a row behind her like happy little

soldiers. Picking blackberries or watching nuthatches eat from those bushes brought me not only wonder and joy but a sense of belonging. That was time that my heart needed to come back to my light and discover what it was that my soul really needed to be healthy and happy. Today, nature is still that soothing balm that takes me out of my head and back again to my heart. It’s what makes me want to do my artwork so that others can feel that sense of belonging to something greater. That they are being led to what is more aligned with love. But there are boundaries that come with that type of work. Once you show others your expression of what you feel moved to share, you are fully and completely vulnerable. As they stand before your work, many are judging how well you depicted the scene or conveyed a particular emotion or statement. Entering art shows so that those pieces may be judged as worthy or “not invited” is even more terrifying, especially where critiques are involved. They can be brutal and boldfaced; unmoved by the human that made that work and their exposed hearts. There have been critiques I’ve received that were helpful and others that were quite personal with no sense of constructive criticism. I believe we’ve all been on the hurtful end of that. It can make or break us. Unless we’ve done the hard work of creating a loving boundary on what we let in and take to heart or use as fuel to drive us to create more work, we can be broken to bits. Think about how many social media comments you’ve seen that were not only low but also deliberately cruel. But ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2021

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “Take time today to really feel into what areas of your life feel tethered and judged. That feel as if there’s no oxygen left for you.”

you know what? They don’t get a say in your work or your expression unless they’ve been given that permission by you alone. You get to decide what comes into your beautiful space and heart. You get to say, “Nope. Not today. You don’t get a hall pass on my loving expression of me. Especially if you’re showing up with fear and mean me nothing loving or compassionate.” How often do we let people we love and are in our inner circle show up and project their false need to protect us from all that is out there that means us harm? (At least in their eyes.) Meanwhile, we were fine until they brought it up. (Supposedly well-meaning critiques or comments are sometimes the most damaging.) Glennon Doyle talks about how her mom was frightened for her new relationship 342

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with her now wife, Abby Wambach. How she wanted to come down to Florida and “be with them.” Glennon created her first loving boundary by simply telling her “No. You can’t come here into our space with that when the kids don’t feel fear at all. You don’t get to bring that into our home.” How many times should I have done that with my own loved ones? Countless. Not only would it have been more loving for me but also for my relationship with them. When others see that you respect your boundaries, they generally tend to do the same. But when they don’t, it’s okay to say that you need to move away from their energy with love. They don’t get to rain on your pretty parade. You’ve taken a lifetime to procure it to that shiny beauty that it is!

Take time today to really feel into what areas of your life feel tethered and judged. That feel as if there’s no oxygen left for you. What kind of loving boundary can you create that helps others to respect your space and you as a feeling human being? When we create them where there is pain or longing to be heard or seen, we are showing up for ourselves. Your heart will thank you and you will be able to breathe freely and happily as you create a life that honors your light. Don’t hide like I did as a child and close yourself off. Be open to being vulnerable but with a watchful, calm eye on that pretty backyard of yours. It also helps you to trust yourself and your divinity. When we all show up in this way, you begin to heal and from there, the world can also heal her wounds. Your energy is really that powerful and bright!


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SHIFT+CONTROL { SEEING THE SIGNS}}

JUNE 2021 BY ANGELA MCGHEE

ARIES JUNE 2021 Energy and communication is what’s it all about this month Your somewhat erratic spurts of energy, seems to settle and you can focus it all in one specific area. The phone never stops ringing .You are in demand both socially and workwise. Remember to take a deep breath and start all over again. A relationship will grow to new heights. TAURUS JUNE 2021 You may have an opportunity of taking charge at work but don’t let this go to your head. People will see you are full of bright ideas, your creative juices are over-flowing. Keep a check of what you really want to achieve and go for it. You can be quite savvy with money but you are feeling in a generous mood . You may even want an extra go at the lotto. There is a lucky streak with something. GEMINI JUNE 2021 There are no package holidays in favour with Gemini, they have to be more adventurous to feed your inquisitive mind. Go ahead and make plans. Travel is highlighted. You are looking for other ways to stimulate your mind. I can see you looking through a college perspective. Some new study is on the horizon, It may be 344

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learning a new language. You are the elusive butterfly, typically wanting to spread their wings in all directions. CANCER JUNE 2021 You may need to cast an eye of scrutiny over a financial situation. It may not be your accounts but of someone close. Deep Harmony at home is esential to a Cancer’s well being. Expect a disgruntled atmosphere around you. You may need to put clear boundaries in place with someone younger. A testing time in more ways than one. Don’t be afraid to show how tough your ‘crablike shell’ exterior can be. Harmony does return quicker than you think. LEO JUNE 2021 You want to spread your glitter or glamour over all areas of your life. it’s time to rekindle the fire within your close relationship. If you’re single you could catch the eye of a number of admirers. The one you choose to date, may turn out to be not what you expected. Remember ‘all that glitters is not gold’ But no doubt you will cast them to the wind and put it down to fun and experience. Try not to overspend, or you might be left holding the bill. VIRGO JUNE 2021 Time to take up new hobbies

and interests or exploring new technology. An acquirement of gadgets take place, anything to make your work life much easier. Your orderly and methodical mind has a bit of a shake up as you find there are too many disorganised people around you testing your skills. A financial reward comes as a surprise. LIBRA JUNE 2021 Stop sitting on the fence and pondering too long as you do. Take that leap of faith and go for it. Something you regarded as a hobby could make you some good money. Love is well starred, coupling up with that someone special will restore your faith in ‘true love’. If you are a single libra you become starry eyed over a new person in your work enviroment. Remember its not always good to mix work with pleasure. SCORPIO JUNE 2021 You are looking for security items to spruce up your life. Maybe a new home or car. Now is the time to grab yourself a bargain. You seem very generous towards those who are loyal friends. Time for a special gathering at home. You have no inclination to travel this month. Feathering your home nest is far more important to you right now. Take care with over indulgence with our diet,


{ SEEING THE SIGNS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “ CANCER JUNE 2021 - You may need to cast an eye of scrutiny over a financial situation. It may not be your accounts but of someone close.”

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{ {SEEING THE SIGNS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “TAURUS JUNE 2021 - You may have an opportunity of taking charge at work but don’t let this go to your head. People will see you are full of bright ideas, your creative juices are over-flowing. ”

too much of a good thing is not good. SAGITTARIUS JUNE 2021 Stick rigoursly to your health regime, as your will need all the extra energy to deal with stressful situations that arise this month. There may be new bosses at work, which may cause a power struggle. Use your diplomacy and charm to restore good negotiations. Make time for a child or elder who’s needs have become more than paramount. Keep your faith and watch the outcomes as he universe is working in your direction. CAPRICORN JUNE 2021 Start planning a move on that project you have had at onside for far too long now. You can reap rewards. Watch your spending as you can drawn to too much retail therapy and you will be 346

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left with a hole in your pocket. Be wise control your impulses. Your energy levels are high, do your best to obtain a good sleep pattern as your could will burn yourself out. You are riding high for a promotion at work. Smile and accept, it was all meant to be. AQUARIUS JUNE 2021 The planets are making your soul shine this month. You are poplar with everyone so it seems. Enjoy the vibrations around you. You could embark on a humanitarian cause when you realise you have such a lot to offer, not in monetary terms, but showing how empathic and understanding you can be. Love is all around. If your single now is the time hook up with that someone special. It could be that life long love you’ve dreamt about. PISCES JUNE 2021

Things are starting to run smoother for you. You seem to be going with the flow of the universal energy. You are finding time to do the creative things you have put aside. You may be wanting to join a group who helps to serve a good cause. Interests outside your own environment call you. You are feeling abundant and blessed. You will be want to seek more spiritual interests too. Your intutitve vibe rides high and brings in a small windfall. Blessings INTERNATIONAL TV PSYCHIC MEDIUM AUTHOR & TEACHER Angela McGhee T +44 (0)77 895 63169 E angelkm39@hotmal.com www,angelamcghee.com


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