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JULIA SPIKE ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY JULIA MCCORMICK & JULIA MCCORMICK PHOTOGRAPHY

After twelve years of being a successful wedding and portrait photographer, two years ago, Julia Spike of Julia McCormick Photography followed her calling to empower women, and opened the doors of her elegant studio space to photograph exclusively Luxury Boudoir clients. Since then, news has spread like wildfire, her empowering sessions have become highly sought after, and she has photographed hundreds of beautiful women.

myself from a different perspective was all I needed to completely change my perception of myself. It was during these times in my life that I realized the transformative power of a carefully constructed photograph. This simple, lovely gift, was a vehicle to seeing myself as the world did - and I was in the driver’s seat. I was able to see myself for who I actually was, instead of the negative story I had written and rehearsed inside of my own head. It was then that I

Originally from Rochester, now located in Nunda, NY, her studio is a short 15 minute drive from the iconic Letchworth State Park. It resides in a beautiful historic building, and showcases massive windows, crown molding, cathedral ceilings, stunning chandeliers, lovely furniture, and beautiful, billowing natural night. “Growing up a plus sized woman, I have experienced my own journey of self love, acceptance, and appreciation for this beautiful, powerful body of mine. In the beginning of my career, in times that I needed to “feel like myself” again, I learned to “snap myself out of it”. I’d put my lipstick on, get dressed up, and would take self portraits. After a successful session, I would browse through the images, and almost immediately, I would feel completely renewed. Instantly, I felt beautiful and alive again. Seeing

realized my purpose was to share this gift with as many women as I possibly could. ” says Julia. It is so important to us that our clients needs are met during each step of the Luxury Boudoir Experience because we know that it takes a lot of courage to walk through those doors! It is our pleasure to provide an all inclusive experience from expert styling advice for each unique body, to in house professional

hair and make up services, positive encouragement, perfect posing tips to flatter all of your favorite angles, a large studio space with gorgeous furniture, high end retouched images that make you feel like a model in a magazine, and custom, gorgeous luxury albums and products that you will cherish for your lifetime. “I feel like I’ve come full circle. Before I began my professional career, I would treat my friends to empowering photoshoots whenever they were having a bad day or going through something difficult. I would style them, pose them, and drench them in compliments. It was so powerful to watch them transform. I have this crazy dream that my legacy will be a drove of fierce women that understand the importance of investing in themselves. I wish for them that their self love will be so bright, that they will shine their light onto the generations to come.” Julia says; and she means it. Here at Julia McCormick Photography, we have one mission, to show you how incredibly beautiful you are through our Luxury Boudoir Experience. Come as you are, and we will guide you through the rest. Yes, Really. We will prove to you that you are spectacular.


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{ { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Growing up a plus sized woman, I have experienced my own journey of self love, acceptance, and appreciation for this beautiful, powerful body of mine.”

Our team prides ourselves in showing our clients that they are beautiful during all stages of life. Every single person that walks through our doors is worthy of feeling beautiful. And we promise that you will leave raving about your experience. “It still shocks me when I have women contact me months after their sessions, explaining that this photo session was like therapy to their soul. I always knew their session experience was great, but I could have never expected how powerful the lasting effects of it were. I know what it feels like to have a distorted vision of myself, and for me to be able to help 249

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correct that for so many women has been the most rewarding part of this journey.” Says Julia. We consistently hear how gorgeous clients feel on the outside, how empowered and comfortable they were during their session, how confident they feel afterwards, and how grateful they are for investing in their Luxury Boudoir Experience. With countless reviews, some of our most rewarding feedback has noted how this has been a “life changing experience”, “far beyond what they imagined”, “an

unexpectedly comfortable experience”, “unshakable self love and confidence”, “beautiful beyond words”. And then of course, the happy tears. Yes, those too. So, be prepared to fall madly in love with yourself. Be prepared to say, “Oh my gosh, is that me?!” You will experience self love that will stay with you for years to come. We cannot wait to treat you to your very own Luxury Boudoir Experience.


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YoMahhh combines a little bit of Yoga, a little bit of massage, and a whole lot of “ahhh.� Class sessions incorporate restorative stretches (yoga poses) with massage, meditation, music, essential oils, and mindfulness. Our class will begin with mindful breathing followed by 5-6 restorative stretches. During the stretches you will be fully supported with the aid of props as you comfortably maintain each pose. Throughout the series of poses, a Licensed Massage Therapist will be massaging each class participant. The class will end with a relaxing breathing exercise, positive affirmations or meditation. Classes are 75 to 90 minutes long and cost $35 per person. You must pre-register. Classes are designed for 4 - 6 people. For more information or to reserve your spot please contact Evelyn Spruill LMT. You can combine your YoMassage experience with a session in our infrared saunas for an additional charge.

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KARA GALANTE INSURANCE AGENCY BY KARA GALANTE

“I have another customer for you to call because she doesn’t know her insurance agent!” My husband and I have owned The Steam Police, a cleaning and restoration business, for about 8 years. I started to count the number of times he asked me to call a customer who was upset about their water damage not being covered by insurance. I worked part-time as a Registered Nurse for years and certainly learned how to help people through a difficult time while they or their family members were in the emergency department.

just one insurance company. (That’s why I say you “sort of” get what you pay for!) You won’t see many commercials for the companies I shop through and may have never heard of them at all. However, they are all top rated companies, some around since the 1920’s! Having 8 years of business ownership, I know what business owners need. Yes,

The more I learned about the insurance industry, the more interested I became in doing things differently. Of course most people don’t think of insurance agents helping them through a difficult time, rather helping them get the necessary coverage and not pay more than they have to. (Actually, they all just want to save 15%!) The truth is, you always get what you pay for. (Well, sort of. Keep reading!) In listening to customers complain that they pay too much, don’t understand their coverage, don’t receive return calls/emails from their agents, I decided to get my licenses and work for someone else for a while, just to learn the basics. Two years later, I love getting to know clients and explaining what coverage they need and why. I chose to be an independent agent, which means I work for the client, not 255

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you can take classes and understand coverage, but it’s not the same as running a business and having your own “oh no,” come up. Like what, you ask? I’ll give you an example: One of the services we provide is hardwood flood cleaning. We have cleaned with the same chemicals and the same equipment hundreds of times. This one particular day, our client’s floor had a strange greasy film on it after it was cleaned. My husband

called a few flooring companies and I called the manufacturer who made the chemicals. All resources agreed that some cleaning agent containing bleach must have been applied to the floor, probably even before our client moved in. He was very unhappy and although it was a temporary problem, he demanded we replace his entire floor, an expense of over $20,000. We offered to pay someone else to buff the surface of the floor and resurface it but he wasn’t happy with that solution. I mean, who hasn’t heard the tv/ radio commercials reminding you Cellino and Barnes can get you millions? Well, we called our agent only to find out that whatever job you’re hired to do, insurance does not cover. Yes. Let me say that again: If you have a professional liability policy in place, whatever job you are hired for, such as cleaning a hard wood floor, is not covered. I was so angry, loudly wondering what I had been paying insurance for in the first place! Well, come to find out, there is an endorsement that can be added, called “completed operations,” and that covers your work that is always excluded. Confusing, huh? I thought so, too. More important than business ownership, I’m a mom. We have 6 kids, ages 23 to 1; 4 pigs, 1 dog and 3 chickens. I have owned 4 homes and leased and purchased more cars than I can count. What does all of that have to do with insurance? It means I get it! I know


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HUSTLES TALKS} } } { {IN { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HER OWN WORDS “I always smile when people say, “There are so many insurance agents, there’s so much competition!” That’s true, there are many different agents and even companies to choose from, but the truth is, when it comes to commitment to customer service and quality, I have no competition.”

what it’s like to have older kids that are driving, little kids that need a college tuition plan, and know the importance of having sewer & drain back-up and underground service line coverage on my homeowners policy. I always joke that being a mom is just being worried 24/7, but I’m only half joking. I do worry! I worry that my kids won’t feel safe and confident in school, may be bullied at the lunch table or make the wrong choice when it comes to college and career. I try to focus on what I can control and I talk to them. I talk about good choices, good friends, and the importance of being part of our community. The best friends my husband and I have are the ones we made sitting on the sidelines at football, baseball, or watching 4 hours of a dance recital for our kids’ 2 minute debut! Community support is a must for my family and my insurance business. I was the medical director for the town football and cheer teams, co-chair of the PTSA of the kids’ elementary school, and we attend every community celebration,

rescue a few too many mini-pigs, and donate whenever we can. Being such an active part of our community has taught me what our common needs are and what resources we have in the area. There’s usually a “quick quote” tab on an insurance agent’s web site. Although I have one, because I have to offer every option, I hope nobody ever clicks on

it. I don’t like quotes and don’t intend to do transactions. I want to create a protection review for each customer. I want to understand what you have and what needs protection. From there, I can research the best way to find that protection – at the best price. I don’t promise to save you 15%, but I do promise to be your best advocate and help find you the best possible coverage at the best possible price! And about that 15%: We have a close

family friend who often stays with us when he’s in town. He is young and got his auto insurance on-line, directly from the company, and saved quite a bit of money. Unfortunately, he was in an accident last winter and totaled his car. He called the insurance company several times, asking the status of the car. He left several messages & was assured someone would call him back several times. Long story short, it took him 20 days to find out his car had been totaled – and that he owed several hundred dollars because he didn’t return his rental car in time. Well, the reason he didn’t return his rental in time was because nobody told him to! That’s the cost of not having an agent and it happens more often than we’d like to believe. I always smile when people say, “There are so many insurance agents, there’s so much competition!” That’s true, there are many different agents and even companies to choose from, but the truth is, when it comes to commitment to customer service and quality, I have no competition. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: NOVEMBER 2020

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TALENA SKYE Cherese “Talena Skye” Bracey is God’s daughter, and a princess of the King she unapologetically declares. Born in Manhattan and raised in Jersey City, the chilltown native is on a mission to set the captives free. Some refer to Talena Skye as a lyrical preacher as she raps the gospel while delivering her messages in a bold authoritative way.

Skye’s childhood wasn’t a happy one, lost from an environment that was uncertain from day to day. She struggled with rejection as she cried out for help and rescue from the life she so desperately wanted to escape from to no avail. In danger of being taken from her mom and put in foster care, she felt terrified and alone. No family wanted to get involved with dealing with the domestic

Talena Skye (pronounced Ta-lay-na) chose this as her artist name as a rebirth of a new beginning from a life filled with many dark days. She adds “Skye” to her name as a reminder to always keep her head towards the sky looking to God for help through trials and tribulations. She overcame many struggles as a child and is a survivor of domestic violence. As a child she would escape the cold atmosphere around her by writing songs and losing herself in storybooks. Storybooks were a way of escape from the real world. It allowed her to imagine a fun world away from her own, while helping her to use her imagination. “Alcoholism is a disease that many don’t believe can harm the self esteem and life of a child. It can be a vehicle used by hell to drive through the doorway of a person’s spirit that can cause destruction.” says Talena. She suffered much physical abuse at the hands of her father who himself was struggling with inner turmoils. Talena

situation she and her mom endured. They felt alone and discouraged. Talena was the tender age of 9 years old. A little girl broken hearted and void of trust from adults around her whom she thought would love and protect her. The rejection opened doors to more sadness and feelings of despair from both her mom and daughter. Talena Skye prayed a child’s prayer that God would protect

her and keep her safe. She was able to stay with her mom through intervention although she didn’t feel loved by many close to her. “God will send his angels to watch over you in your most trying times,” said Talena. She received counseling and found emotional comfort from an aunt whom she grew close to during her darkest days. Her mom 10 years later gave birth to her brother. Life wasn’t a bed of roses as she struggled with the idea of her dad still being in her life whom she resented for many years. As a teen, she had to care for her younger brother, as her mom and main bread winner would work two jobs two provide a life for her children the best way she could. Her dad still struggling with his addiction tried best to provide but the disease of alcoholism drove him deeper down a path of destruction that which lead him to be become void of a normal fatherhood. His addiction and abusive reign came to a halt as he suffered a stroke that nearly left him completely disabled. She credits God, counseling, and her mom’s sister who was away at college during most of the turmoil for saving her throughout her troubling adolescent years. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: NOVEMBER 2020

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{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} “Talena Skye (pronounced Ta-lay-na) chose this as her artist name as a rebirth of a new beginning from a life filled with many dark days.“

Her aunt made sure she knew God’s love for her while sharing the word of God. It was those seeds planted in her heart for Jesus at such a young age that she would never let go. While attending a church one day at the age of 12, she heard the Pastor say, “Invite Jesus into your heart and He will save you and never leave you.” It was that moment she realized she wanted Jesus to live in her heart to protect her. She became born again and made Jesus the Lord of her life. However things wasn’t always what she expected. The troubles in her life began to increase as she got older causing her to question God’s love for her. In 1993 she became really sick and developed a brain tumor in the middle of her brain. It was cancer free but the tumor almost left her blind. She had surgery through a transphenoidal procedure done by cutting a passage under the upper lip then making an incision in the back of the nose to insert an instrument that would remove the tumor. The surgery was a crucial one that took 6 hours. However, Talena Skye trusted God and stayed in faith as God guided the hands of the doctors to success. In the winter of 1994 she was the victim of a hit and run car accident. “As I was riding in the car with my head on the glass napping, I heard a voice say...”pick up your head” as I looked up, a white car came straight toward me. I jumped quickly and closely to the side of the driver as the door on my side, the upfront passenger side, was hit and smashed all the way to the driver side. The impact hit my back a bit and the entire window 267

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glass was broken out all over my head as I sat frozen with my head down. I walked away with no scratch, or bruises just a little out of breath from the door’s impact, explained Talena. “I didn’t have my seat belt on cause I had taken it off because it was too tight from my coat and needed to breath a minute. Although I know seat belts save lives, that time not having one on saved mine because I was able to jump from my seat fast. Jesus saved my life!! I am so grateful to be alive.” said Talena Skye In 1995 she met her soul mate who later became her husband. The introduction was made by a co worker and cousin of her new guy during her time of transition from a very bad relationship from where she was a victim of emotional abuse, cheating and mistrust from a boyfriend she dated and saw a way of escape from her environment. Things weren’t what she thought and and as she tried to break it off, he showed her a gun to scare her not to leave the relationship. Although she didn’t feel threatened, he continued to pursue her. She was stalked many times but one day he appeared peaceful, nice, and apologetic and decided to have a conversation while offering a ride to work one morning. She was tricked and briefly kidnapped which made her late as co workers questioned her whereabouts. It was storming rain with nothing around her but dumpsters and seclusion as they began to fight. He threatened to smash her head through the window glass as she began a fighting struggle screaming Jesus over and over again. The struggle eventually stopped and the ex looking very disturbed started the car and drove her to work and

dropped her off. Too shaken by the event she collected herself and began her day at work without saying a word. One month later she met Taji Bracey on Christmas day who became the love of her life and biggest supporter and fan. They married on Sept 4th 1999. The two recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary and will be celebrating another special anniversary of 25 years together this Christmas of 2020. She attended a community college and received credentials to began a career in early childhood of almost 30 years, teaching children how to have positive self esteem and how to be the best they can be. Her mission is teaching children in a fun and exciting way that helps them succeed. In 2005 she founded The Reesie Reader and Bookie literacy Club and created the character mascots, “Reesie Reader (the girl who loves to read) & Bookie (the king of book world). The literacy club gave close to 10,000 storybook donations to kids who needed them the most, helping them to make friends with books. In 2009, she started her own business Reading Reaps Rewards Early Childhood Enrichment program. The program teaches children how to read while building learning activities around books for enrichment. She is the author of 3 childrens books and was given the opportunity to meet Tory Burch at an entrepreneur womens mentoring event. Tory purchased copies of her first book “Storytime Friends” to give to children during a Christmas


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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Alcoholism is a disease that many don’t believe can harm the self esteem and life of a child. It can be a vehicle used by hell to drive through the doorway of a person’s spirit that can cause destruction.”

event. She is currently seeking to make her books into animation film. Her third book Reesie Reader Little Entrepreneur teaches kids gems of becoming an entrepreneur. She wrote and produced a kids song that’s featured in the book called “Storytime Friends” that was sung by her cousins the The Storytime Friends Crew, who were 7, 8, and 12 at the time of production. The crew sang for children and promoted the importance of reading and being the best you can be. They are all grown up now as successful wonderful young adults today. She became a certified kids music and movement Instructor from Kindermusik University, and operates a program through her own business Reading Reaps Rewards presents Kindermusik. Kindermusik International, Inc is a world leading method of early childhood education and is one of the most widely recognized music and movement programs for young children. In 2010, she attended and graduated from Rising Tide Capital Business Academy for entrepreneurs. In 2012 she entered a New Jersey statewide business competition for Reading Reaps Rewards run by Rising Tide Capital Business Academy, and became a top ten finalist from 80 plus contestants. Victor Cruz, a former NY Giant attended the event.

Today, Talena Skye is on a journey praising God from a place of victory through all life has sent and sends her way. In 2016 she lost her mom to cancer and wrote a song titled “Mama” as a tribute to her. The song also features Be Cleare Allen who also lost her mom to cancer and contributed a poem to her mom used in the song “Raw Blue Hue” After Talena’s mom’s death, she was left to

care for her dad who suffered a stroke a few years ago. Her mom was his caregiver has gone home to be with the Lord and responsibility and care is now left in her and her brothers hands. Although Talena Skye didn’t have a good relationship with Her dad , she walks the path of forgiveness and cares for her dad’s well being and security. He is now a born again believer in Jesus, alcohol free and living a life of peace despite being lonely without his wife, the only person who cared for him despite his battles and understood his struggles.

“Its funny how life works but God has a plan and I trust Him.” says Talena Skye. Talena Skye is also a voice over talent, making people laugh with many character style voices from men and womens voices in the style of Egyptian, Italian, Spanish, African and Indian to many kid styles. Talena Skye is no stranger to struggle, hard work and perseverance. Today, she continues to teach children while ministering hope, authority and faith to others using the gifts God gave her. Talena is not ashamed to be radical for Christ as she boldly states in her newest release “Something 2 Say” which was inspired by world events that sparked the strong lyrics igniting a fuse toward the kingdom of darkness. Her new EP soon to be released is called “Arise” inspired by the scripture Isaiah 60. You can find Talena Skye’s music online. Her childrens books by Cherese Bracey are also available online for purchase. Also, check out her video “What is Faith?” on YouTube. To learn more about her business, visit www.readingreapsrewards.org. @ readingreapsrewards IG Facebook Please follow her on @ talenaskyeinstagram and visit www.talenaskye.org for new and upcomingmusic...Stay tuned! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: NOVEMBER 2020

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KEFI MARKETING BY KATINA KARL

“Putting Heart, Kindness, Positivity and Success Into Marketing Campaigns” “Our goal is to bring great success to our clients by creating meaningful, fun, exciting marketing campaigns, full of heart. We may be a small marketing company, but we have a big impact on everything we are a part of. When we say, we’ve got this, we promise you, we do.” – Katina Karl, Owner My name is Katina Karl and I am the owner of Kefi Marketing in Liverpool, NY. A marketing agency that helps businesses with their marketing, from social media to media buying/ paid social, as well as public relations. At Kefi Marketing we pride ourselves on putting positivity, kindness, heart and success into everything we do. I spent over two decades in the corporate world from Long Island, NY to South Florida. I learned from very early on, if there’s something you want in life you needed to work hard for it. I come from a family background of small business owners. I was always determined to one day make a statement of my own. In 2018, Kefi Marketing was born. Kefi is a beautiful Greek word that means full of life, joy, excitement and so much more. It’s almost hard to even define the feeling and word Kefi (Kef-ee). I wanted something that was true to my Greek 275

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heritage and to honor my mom at the same time. I lost my mom in 2015 after a battle with Neuroendocrine cancer. I put everything on hold to be her full-time caregiver at the time. I also left South Florida to move to Binghamton, NY to be closer to family and to start over by going back to school, while working, both full-time. At the same time, I met my other half, Tyler, who grew up in

the Baldwinsville, NY area and we have planted roots together in Liverpool, NY with our dog, King Louis. Over the years, I’ve been able to work alongside business owners throughout New York State, making a difference in their businesses with their custom marketing campaigns. I’ve treated every client’s business as if it were my own. What sets Kefi Marketing apart is our passion and partnerships with local

nonprofits. Our community is where we call home and it’s important to give back to it. Kefi Marketing has been able to bring good light to the local businesses and the nonprofits we’ve partnered with. I even took on the chairwoman position of Public Relations for the Junior League of Syracuse (The JLS is an organization of diverse women committed to enriching the quality of life for women, children and their families in the Central New York community). Through Kefi Marketing’s continued growth and success with businesses small and large we look forward to creating new jobs in our community through innovation, hard work and dedication. C OV I D - 1 9 h a s changed the way we market. We have had to become virtual in a new way--to create new ways to connect, shop, and interact with customers like never before. We saw business owners having to use social media, in ways some of them may never have used social media before and some did not even have a social platform for their business. Business owners wear enough hats every day; marketing, advertising and social media is a full time job that many of them don’t have the time for. Others try their hand at it and may not see


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“Our goal is to bring great success to our clients by creating meaningful, fun, exciting marketing campaigns, full of heart.”


{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS { RECOVERX } }} “We may be a small marketing company, but we have a big impact on everything we are a part of. ”

success, because they don’t have the right skills. It’s important to work with a professional team that can understand your business inside and out to come up with the right game plan for success. For example, for one of my clients, we created virtual live events during COVID-19 that had customers tuned in and ready to shop live on Facebook and Instagram each month. Customers were able have a connection with us, which people were craving after being quarantined at home. With the success 279

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of our virtual lives and new ways of marketing, that business was able to open a brick and mortar store in the midst of the pandemic. For another business, we created an in person event following COVID-19 guidelines that dedicated a day to offer free car washes for essential employees, first responders and healthcare workers, they were able earn hundreds of new customers and bring good light to the community. It brings me such joy to see the success of a campaign, knowing that we did that,

we created that success. At the end of the day, what matters to me the most is that if I was able to help a business or change a life, I know I did my part. Just like Kefi’s marketing motto, I hope I can inspire others out there to be positive, kind and strong. To know that anything in life you dream of is possible, if you work hard. It won’t come easy, you may face adversity on your journey, but keep going. Spread your wings and fly.


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JOKELE’ Matika “Miss Tika” Goldsmith is a beauty Guru in the making. Born and raised in WNY, Matika found herself captivated by the ability to make women beautiful as early as the age of 8. She would take her barbie dolls and cut their hair into cute styles, even curling them with curling irons making sure not to melt the not so human hair. As time went on she began to practice on herself. Having a mother (Evang. Vicky Canty), as a beautician only fueled the fire for Matika. It pushed her further to become a beautician. By the time she was a freshman in high school Matika had a very steady clientele full of girls and women of all ages. Knowing that her heart was dead set on going to cosmetology school, she ran into a challenge with her mother about her not wanting to attend college as planned. However, with very much consideration and little talk with her grandfather the late Willie Canty Jr, her mother finally agreed. Matika went on to graduated in 1998 from Continental School of Beauty Culture in Buffalo NY. At the tender age of 18, with a 283

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temporary license in tow, she was introduced to Monique Winfield whom would not only give Matika he first chance as a professional booth renting hairstylist but she would also become her mentor and a major part of her growth in the beauty industry. With big dreams and aspirations

Matika knew that her drive would take her on a journey to leave her mark in the world. Now a New York State Licensed cosmetologist Matika found herself becoming more and more interested in the makeup part of cosmetology. After being asked to join a team for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week the MUA in her stood at attention. In 2011 Matika would leave the New Revelations nest where she had worked since 1998 and opened

Miss Tika Salon of Hair & Beauty located in Lockport Ny. Matika was looking to fill the void, which was a lacking of hairstylists that cater to the Ethnic clientele in that city. From the first day she opened her doors business was amazing. Working sun up to sun down with her team (braider & sister) Larraine Brown and (Barber & Husband) Johnny Goldsmith they were taking over! Through this journey many clients and friendships were formed. They quickly became apart of the community. Back to school givea-ways, Health care outreach, Breast Cancer Awareness are a few of the community events that the Miss Ti k a Sa l o n s t a f f participated in. One day Matka walked into choir rehearsal where she sang first Soprano with the Lighthouse Interdenominational Choir not knowing that she would get the first glance of her happily ever after. As time went on she found herself singing and traveling the country with this oh so handsome man. Becoming friends at first, hanging out, laughing and joking she quickly realized that when he was around so was were the knots in her stomach accompanied by


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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS}}} SHIFT+CONTROL “ As a Christian people tend to expect you to be perfect or to always turn the other cheek. That couldn’t be further from the truth.“

accompanied by the determination to be as cute as possible. As time went on they would began dating and in 2003 she became Mrs. Johnny Goldsmith Jr. 1 yr later they welcomed her first born Donovan Lee. He was her Rainbow baby. Johnny and Matika had suffered a loss before this blessing. The loss of their baby would bring them closer than ever. To their surprise Joniya Autumn was on her way 1.5 yrs later. Due to medical complications Matika would find herself on the operating table which would cause the loss of half of her reproductive system. Afraid that more children was only a dream they prayed and believed. God saw them fit for a miracle and Kendall Elise was born. The Goldsmith family was complete... so they thought! In 2016 Matika was forced to close her doors as she embarked on one of the most joyous occasions, the arrival of her baby girl Princess Leila. Due to a very complicated pregnancy Matika became too sick and was unable to perform as the head stylist of her salon. With her dr’s recommendations she was placed on bedrest for the last leg of her pregnancy which was 5 more months. She made the difficult decision to focus on her health and nurturing and delivering a healthy bundle of joy. Leila Lianna Goldsmith entered the world in Sept as healthy as a baby could be. At that moment Matika and her husband knew that they had made the best decision. Afraid of being taken away from her 287

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family too soon she decided to pause the reopening of her Salon to focus on being a wife and a mother. Growing up in the church Matika had always known that there was a calling on her life. With a mother as a Evangelist she was very familiar with what this particular calling would cost to fulfill. She ran every which way she could but she was never able to escape what thus said the Lord concerning her mission. Under the leadership of her pastor Bishop James H Bowman she accepted the call to ministry and began to become active in ministry. Matika has accepted several speaking engagements in which she has seen how and what God can do through you if you just simply let God be God. Her faith is one thing that she takes very seriously. After walking away from 2 car wrecks, one which required the jaws of life, she is a FIRM believer that there is nobody greater than the Lord above. “ As a Christian people tend to expect you to be perfect or to always turn the other cheek. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m human just like you. I get angry and just might say something that you would not expect but thank God for Jesus! Thank you Jesus for sacrificing your life that I might live again. He loves me enough that he doesnt require me to be him. He requires me to try my best because he already knows that I’ll never be perfect. Now ain’t God good!” Matika is often found saying “ If you do your best, God will do the rest!” That has become a

household staple with encouraging her children. Covid 19 being the first pandemic that Matika has lived to see has unfortunately left its ugly mark on her family. Loosing 3 immediate family members and 1 distant, her husband has felt the full weight of the Corona Virus. Again this was a time to totally lean on their faith. Prayers of peace and comfort has helped them through. Even though there were many sad times Matika found that this time was better than ever to dive totally into the development of her Cosmetics line Jokelé Beauty. With the name founded from her 3 daughters Joniya, Kendall & Leila, they have been very involved from picking colors to naming them. This now family business has Launched and is doing better than expected. Its vibrant and nude array of colors of moisturizing lip gloss has left people stunned. The flair in their lashes are very unique and flattering to every eye wearing them. Soon we will be introduced to Jokele Beauty Hair Care. Birthed from her daughters extensive battle with eczema, Matika was determined to create all natural products that would stimulate her daughters hair growth while treating her eczema at the same time. After many many attempts of purchasing products that promised to do but failed, she studied all day and night until she had every piece to the puzzle.


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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS TALKS { RECOVERX } }}} “Jokelé Beauty. With the name founded from her 3 daughters Joniya, Kendall & Leila, they have been very involved from picking colors to naming them. This now family business has Launched and is doing better than expected.”

Birthed from her daughters extensive battle with eczema, Matika was determined to create all natural products that would stimulate her daughters hair growth while treating her eczema at the same time. After many many attempts of purchasing products that promised to do but failed, she studied all day and night until she had every piece to the puzzle. 289

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With a blend of natural butters and oils she will soon launch Jokelé Beauty ButterCream Hair Butter and the Super Stimulating Hair Growth Oil. Tested and tried it has found to be the next best thing in hair care. With the results that in the matter of 2 months her daughters hair had grown completely back in, she knows that it’s only a matter of time that

the rest of the world would agree. Now located in the Boulevard Mall in Amherst Ny Matika is enjoying the sudden expansion of her business. Jokelé Beauty will soon be a household name.


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ROC’N CAKES BY RACHAEL RAPOZA

Back in March when everything got shut down I went from working three jobs to being unemployed. Like many others I felt the abrupt shift from having my days filled to having nothing to do. At first the free time seemed nice, although it was also coupled with the fear of everything happening in the world in regards to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. While trying not to panic thinking about when everything would go back to “normal” I started to delve into hobbies that I hadn’t had time for back when I was working. One of my favorite hobbies that I often didn’t have a lot of time for was baking. I always found it soothing, like others I have always been a big “stress baker.” Since I had all this time on my hands I decided to try out some new recipes and recreate old classics that I’ve always loved. After realizing that I was baking too much for just myself, I started giving some of my goodies away to friends and family. My family has always loved my baking, especially my “everything cookies,” a famous recipe that I started back in high school when I was fundraising for a class trip to Italy. I got to thinking about how I managed to raise $700 just by doing what I loved- baking! After talking to some family members, shout out to my mom for always telling me to follow my dreams, I decided to take a chance at making my passion

a business. In April I launched Roc’n Cakes, what started out as a very small business out of my kitchen. I think that one of the hardest parts of starting my business was the vulnerability that I was feeling by really putting myself out there. Starting Roc’n Cakes put me outside of my comfort zone in a way that I hadn’t been before. I suppose that my mentality about starting it was “why

the heck not?” I was out of work and had nothing else to lose, and baking purely made me happy. Seeing people indulge in and enjoy something that I have made is a feeling of true bliss. I had that same feeling of bliss as a kid when I first tried my grandmother-like family friend Bobbi’s ‘Nana Pudding.’ Bobbi is the woman that lit the fire of my passion for baking. She always made the most beautiful and delicious desserts, from her addicting banana pudding to elegant birthday cakes. She took me under

her wing and taught me everything I needed to know when I started baking. Diving right in, the first thing she taught me to make was an Italian cheesecake. It was around Easter and she wanted to make it for the priest at her church, so I did everything in my power not to mess it up! I was so fascinated by the precision, science and art that went into making pastries. Using the skills that she taught me, I started baking on my own. Many failed attempts at birthday cakes, frosting them too quickly, not crumb coating them etc. molded my skills over the years. While I have confidence in my skills as a self-taught baker, I’ve always had a sliver of self-doubt and “imposter syndrome” by not being classically trained as a pastry chef. I decided that I wasn’t going to let my fear of failure hold me back from starting my business. I first launched Roc’n Cakes and spread the word through Instagram, creating an account and following friends, family, food bloggers and other small businesses in Rochester. I started to quickly see my following grow, solely from my Instagram posts and from others reposting goodies that they bought from me. It was so exciting to see what started out as a hobby turn into a business with over 1,000 followers in a few months.

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{{ { SHE HUSTLES SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS TALKS}}} “I think that one of the hardest parts of starting my business was the vulnerability that I was feeling by really putting myself out there.“

None of this happened over night of course and it has taken a lot of work and mental toughness to push past my self-doubt, but starting this business has taught me so much about myself and what hard work and dedication can lead to. I am currently baking out of the kitchen at Fiamma Centro, the same restaurant 295

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where I bartend at night. I often hear that “I work too much” but I love what I do and growing my business is so important to me! I love that I bake out of the same place where I bartend because I am able to market both my business and Fiamma’s business by serving customers for both! I now create some of the desserts for Fiamma, and being able to see the customers enjoy them

first hand is so satisfying. If someone had told me what I would be doing this year, I wouldn’t have believed them. So if you’re reading this and you’re looking for that push outside your comfort zone to start something of your own, here it is! Rocn-Cakes.com


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GRAVESITE MAINTENANCE BY KRISTEN FUSILLI

Q: What exactly is Gravesite Maintenance? A: Gravesite Maintenance is a business I started in 2019. We clean and maintain gravesites of customer’s loved ones that have passed. I have a partner, Michael Manley Jr, that helps me do all of the physical labor. It is wonderful having his help, especially during the summer months when we are very busy. He is a teacher in Greece and has off in the summer, which is great because we can take on more clients!

may live out of town, or they may not be able to physically do the upkeep themselves. I want to help others beautify and maintain their loved one’s gravesite. The memory of a loved one is special and I think my business is something that helps to preserve the memory of the person who has passed.

Q: How did you start this business and why? A: Tending the gravesite was something that I enjoyed doing as a child. My father actually came up with the idea that I should start a business doing it. When I was young, I would go with my father, aunts, and uncles to tend to both of my grandparent’s graves. My sister and I would take turns pulling the weeds and watering the grass. I would also plant and water the flowers we had brought with us. On certain holidays, I would place a miniature American Flag for my grandfather, a United States Veteran. It was important to me to make sure that the gravesite was neat, clean, and beautifully taken care of. Now that my family is older, I know it’s not easy for them to get to the gravesite and to take care of it. For others, it may be hard to find the time, they 299

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Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your background… A: My name is Kristen Fusilli. I am from Greece, NY and am 30 years old. When I am not running Gravesite Maintenance, I work full time at Strong Memorial Hospital as a Medical Laboratory Technician. I have an AAS in Clinical Laboratory Technology from Erie Community College, a certificate degree in Biomanufacturing from Erie Community College, and a BS in Medical Laboratory Science from University of Cincinnati. Also, I am certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology and have a New York State Medical license in Clinical Laboratory Technology. In my spare time I enjoy trying new restaurants, listening to music, cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends. Q: What types of services do you offer?

Q: What areas do you cater to? A: We cater to all of Monroe County. Currently we have clients in Greece, Gates, Spencerport, Hilton, and the city of Rochester.

A: Services we offer include stone cleaning, flower planting, maintenance packages, special occasion packages, stone surround, and wreaths in the winter time. Stone cleaning packages include a gravestone cleaning with water, special biological solution, and natural bristle brushes, removal of debris, litter, and any overgrowth, raking, weeding, and edging around


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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My plan for the future is to grow my business exponentially. I want to eventually expand outside of Monroe county. I have looked into possibly starting in Buffalo, NY as well, which may happen next year.”

marker, pruning and watering of shrubs, bushes, and/or flowers if applicable, and a before and after photo emailed to the customer. You can purchase a one time cleaning or a package of two or four cleanings. Our flower planting package includes planting of flowers, placement of a cone with flowers, or placement of a potted plant. The price includes the cost of flowers, topsoil (if applicable) and any other materials needed. The maintenance package is usually purchased after an initial cleaning & flower planting, but can also be purchased alone if the client just wants to tidy up the gravesite. It includes debris removal, edging, weeding, and flower watering. If there is an anniversary, holiday or birthday that’s special to your loved one, we offer a special occasions package, in which we place flowers at the gravesite. This package includes a fresh floral bouquet placed at gravesite (flowers included), as well as a before and after photo emailed to the customer. We ask that you request this package at least a week in advance so we can special order the type of flowers that you want. Our stone surround package is only allowed at certain cemeteries. With this package, we place bricks or paved stones to create a “garden” area. Grass is removed and topsoil is added. All materials are included in the price. Flower planting is not included but can be added on for an additional cost. Lastly, we start offering handmade fresh holiday 303

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wreaths around mid-November. Each wreath is about 22 inches and can be customized. Included with this package is the wreath and wreath stand, along with placement and removal by the date deemed by the cemetery. We will discuss any specific wants and needs that you may have and take care of them for you. Q: What has been the most rewarding part of your business? A: The most rewarding part of my business is seeing the before and after photos of a stone cleaning and the client’s reaction. After every job, no matter what package, I send the client a before and after photo. I love to hear feedback from my clients! Q: How has Covid-19 affected you? A: Covid-19 didn’t have much effect on my business or my career outside of my business. I am considered essential, so I would still be working full time. For gravesite maintenance, there is mostly communication by phone and email. It is rare that I will meet a client in person, unless they request to or if I am unable to find the gravesite. We take payment by cash, check, paypal, venmo, and cashapp, therefore there really isn’t a need for in person contact. Q: What are your plans for the future? A: My plan for the future is to grow my business exponentially. I want to eventually expand outside of Monroe county. I have looked into possibly

starting in Buffalo, NY as well, which may happen next year. Website: www.gravesitemaintenance585. com Email: gravesitemaintenance585@ gmail.com Phone Number: 585-286-6980 Social Media: Facebook-- Gravesite Maintenance Instagram-- gravesitemaintenace585 Youtube Channel-- Gravesite Maintenance


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NOT BLENDED Not Blended is an Eco-Friendly clothing company that promotes diversity to show that you do not have to blend to belong. The term Not Blended was created to start a conversation. It was created to have individuals think about their position in society. Many of us fit into many categories and society tries to label us and group us into one category. When you say you are Not Blended you are saying I am me, I have multiple layers. You are saying that you are not going to let society define who you or who you love. In 2018 the CEO and Founder of Not Blended Patrice Edwards studied in Germany and felt like she did not belong. She felt as even though she earned her right to be there, she did not feel welcomed by the other students. She constantly had to be the spokesperson for African Americans, even though she was not American. Many people looked at her and automatically determined who she was and who she should be. Many people were surprised to learn that Patrice immigrated from Trinidad and Tobago and was raised in a Caribbean household. Throughout college, she visited many countries such as China, France, South Korea, Austria, Italy, and many more. While traveling around the world she 305

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noticed that many people were not accustomed to being around people of color and did not know how they should act around them. Patrice started to think to herself what if she created a blog where people could share their stories. She wanted people to think about their insecurities and write about them. She wanted people to know that we all

have insecurities and making someone feel insecure about their skin color or who they are is wrong. No one should feel uncomfortable to make you comfortable. Soon many people were sending stories. They shared what

they did not like about themselves and why they felt different. By thinking this way many were able to see what it is like to be a person of color. Many people of color spend everyday trying to live in society that is unaccepting to them due to their brown skin. Something that cannot change. As people started to think about their insecurities in this way they started to think differently. It shows that when we stop thinking about ourselves and think about others we see that we are no different. We all have things that make us feel different and we should embrace it. As the blog grew Patrice wanted to start a MOVEMENT and started selling keychain. As keychains were doing well she met her partner Asia Ards who encouraged her to do more to develop a streetwear clothing line. Asia knew what it was like to feel excluded as a black middle eastern who is a lesbian and grew up in a predominately white neighborhood. She felt like she did not belong so she became passionate about Not Blended. She knew that she had to be a part of this movement. With just the two of them as business partners, they were able to create an eco-friendly clothing line that


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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Not Blended is an Eco-Friendly clothing company that promotes diversity to show that you do not have to blend to belong. The term Not Blended was created to start a conversation”

the products are packaged in nontoxic materials such as recyclable boxes and recyclable paper. They make their own clothing tags and pins and try to provide a hands-on experience. Each order is sent with a personal note so that the customer knows that they are happy to have them a part of the Not Blended movement. To reach new customers Not Blended recently has been a part of a couple of local markets and small business events. This gives customers a chance to meet the faces of Not Blended. Our customers not only 307

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are our inspiration but our voice and movement. Currently Not Blended focusing on furthering their outreach. They are partnering with other small businesses to expand their brand. They are also going out in the Rochester community and providing food to those in need. Not Blended hopes to eventually start their own scholarship to provide backpacks and school supplies to disadvantaged neighborhoods to help students be successful in school. Not Blended is more than a clothing company it is a safe haven.

Currently Asia works hard on running social media such as Instagram and website. She also works hard on creating new designs to help Not Blended expand. Patrice is spending her time getting her Master’s in Marketing and Communication so that she can communicate with her customers effectively. Not Blended hopes to give back to the community to help create a better safe loving environment. Not Blended was created to start a movement to show you do not have to blend to BELONG!


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SHERITA TRAYWICK PHOTOS SHERITA TRAYWICK

GOOD TROUBLE

One year ago today fed up with the lack of funding our school districts received, long bus rides to Albany, and leaders who were unable to do anything significant to help the school district they represented I decided to run. I entered the race for the NYS Senate- 56th District a seat held by Senator Joe Robach who is retiring. Unbeknownst to me, I would face adversity from, party politics to a pandemic, voter disenfranchisement, etc. I quickly learned that candidates are chosen and don’t just pop up like myself. It doesn’t matter if you are currently elected or not. What this amounted to for me was a lot of “You’re a Great Candidate but you need to wait your turn.” As a Woman Candidate, I am not sure when my turn was coming it has been 243 years that we have had a state senate and this seat has never been held by a woman or person of color. As the only woman left in the race for the 56th Senate District I am looking to shatter this glass ceiling with my Write-in Campaign. I am committed to ensuring women have equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political life. Our turn is now, not later! So much has changed around us since I started this Campaign back in September ‘19 with COVID, remote learning, civil unrest, and the senseless murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Daniel Prude. As a

Mother of 3, Educator in Higher Ed and Elected School Board Member. I am running harder than ever because the pandemic has taught us we must be proactive with solutions. We need to get our children back in school safely and keep Education off the chopping block in Albany. As a Daughter of aging parents, I am committed to ensuring a better quality of life for our Seniors and

Families which include accessible and affordable Healthcare. As a Community Leader, I will work with our community partners to continue the fight against drug abuse and the opioid crisis, getting guns off our streets, and strengthening our community programs. With the “People’s Plan” in hand, we were energized and sprinting to the finish line but like many plans in 2020, COVID hit us

hard. No more door to door contact, the Governor issued an Executive order condensing polling sites, and for the first time, all voters could vote by mail. Voting by mail caused some confusion on filling out absentee ballots, in addition to polls not having the correct ballot and very limited polling sites in areas where transportation is a barrier. Basically, many voters were disenfranchised because they could not cast their votes and I didn’t win. I was disappointed but not broken. As the weeks passed the calls started coming from my constituents complaining about what happened during the June primary and asking me to fight on to November. I fielded the calls and weighed the issues around voter disenfranchisement and after much thought and consideration, I decided to continue my Campaign as the Democratic Write-in Candidate. I wanted my constituents to know their complaints were not in vain and if they wanted to vote for me I am still ready to fight for them and restore that opportunity. In my world, all voices matter and those most disenfranchised were our seniors, disabled, and Black and Brown community members. These are amongst our most vulnerable in our society and they wanted me to fight just as I have always done. I have founded and served as Executive Director of


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my own nonprofit, Young & Gifted, Inc for the past 14 years. Amongst the services we have offered include a mobile food pantry run in partnership with Foodlink, Summer Meals Program, Summer Youth Employment Program, Re-Entry job readiness program, Free Pop-up Barbershop, etc.

teaching law at RIT and Schenectady Community College and running my own consulting company, Traywick & Johnson, has given me some of the foundations I need to do the work required as the next NYS Senator for the 56th District. I know the Albany landscape and how good policy is created.

Moreover, my background in Government and Law as demonstrated through my work with both houses of the NYS Legislature, the Senate and Assembly, the NYS Department of Labor, and my

So, I am still running as a Write-in Candidate. I have already overcome so much in this race and in my life and I recognize that many of the social justice issues we are facing today are having

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a disproportionate effect on Women and People of Color. As a Woman and African American, I am poised for the journey ahead and will work tirelessly for the people of my District. Sherita is a Graduate of Quinnipiac University School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor. Her undergraduate degree is from SUNY Cortland in Sociology/Criminology. More info can be found on my website: Sheritatraywick.com


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DARA RENNART BY DARA RENNART

Hello Future Entrepreneurs! I am talking to you! To everyone who is fed up with working for someone; to everyone who believes there is a better way to operate; to everyone who believes employees deserve to be treated with a high level of respect; to everyone who dreams of building a company, creating a legacy, creating financial freedom for you and your future generations. It all starts, with you. As a specialized commercial real estate salesperson, I often help people who have a vision to achieve their business ownership goals. Starting a business is a daunting task and people aren’t aware of the resources that are available to help. This year, with the instability that came along with Covid-19: employees relying on employers’ decisions for their survival, I have seen a huge jump is people making the decision that now is the time to chase their dreams and be their own boss. I am so proud and so excited for all these people who have taken the leap to fulfill their dreams! Where to begin? As a person who has a vision, your first step to create that vision on paper that landlords and lenders can visualize. Often times, people think the first step is finding real estate, but by the time you are ready for a space, it is unlikely the one you chose will still be

available. My advice is to first build a strong business plan and utilize the local/free resources to help build that plan. Next, is to work with lending institutions and or angel investors to ensure you have financial ability to move forward on your business. Depending on the industry type, there may even be grants available to help you open!

Having a strong team on your side will provide you lots of support and guidance through the process. What to expect? It is not going to be easy. Running a business is not for the faint of heart. Being a business owner requires you to develop outstanding problem-solving skills, an ability to

pivot your plan as unexpected changes occur, and most importantly a passion for your business that will shine through to every customer. You will be working harder and putting in longer hours to build your company: you will sacrifice social time with family and friends, all for the greater good of achieving success. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Every business will need space, whether it’s office, retail or industrial or some type of hybrid. Utilizing the details in your business plan, I help advise new businesses on space size requirements, pricing strategy and negotiations with landlords. Partnering with the right landlord is key. As a business owner, you are getting into a longterm relationship with the landlord. It would be a travesty to be in a 5, 7 or 10 year relationship with a bad landlord, where every repair and request becomes a bitter experience. As a commercial broker, I help facilitate a strong relationship and lay out the expectations from the very beginning, so to avoid a future bad scenario. The final decision!!! Deciding on a location and a landlord is a big decision for any business owner. While all the planning and preparation for opening ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: NOVEMBER 2020

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SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS}}} {{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL “Where to begin? As a person who has a vision, your first step to create that vision on paper that landlords and lenders can visualize.”

a business is already completely, the decision of which space is the final implementation; and the most longterm. As an advisor to businesses, I always ask a lot of questions to best understand their needs and help provoke future needs. If a business needs to be close to highways, foot traffic, bus lines, ancillary retailers or others are also factors for consideration. There may be instances whereby the business is starting off small with limited personal services or products, but expects to grow and

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need additional space during their lease term. I always structure the offer to the landlord with additional terms and protections for the tenant.

Structuring the build out costs, tenant improvements, free rent, reduced rent and more are all factors for our negotiations.

As I mentioned above about being passionate about your company, I speak from experience. I am super passionate about helping people succeed in their businesses. I believe that the foundation for success is rooted in site location and lease terms. I advocate hard for my tenants to negotiate great terms for them.

As a tenant representation specialist, I take a lot of pride in guiding my clients through this process and being a resource for many ancillary vendors. If you are dreaming of owning a business, please reach out and let’s see how I can best help you!


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RWO'S She Hustles Talks NOV 2020  

You don't want to miss the latest edition of Rochester Woman Online's ALL NEW SHE Hustles Talks featuring 10 incredible local female entrepr...

RWO'S She Hustles Talks NOV 2020  

You don't want to miss the latest edition of Rochester Woman Online's ALL NEW SHE Hustles Talks featuring 10 incredible local female entrepr...

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