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OMAN KEYS W FOR KEYS WOMEN BY KEYS WOMEN

#LIVING LIFE

ONLINE

family modern

1 DAUGHTER, 2 MOMS

LIFE ISreAss PARTY t i e lik D

KEYS WEEKLY | VOLUME 2 | NO 3 | FALL 2019


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WHO WE ARE Publisher Britt Myers britt@keysweekly.com Managing Partner Jason Koler jason@keysweekly.com Editor Sara Matthis sara@keysweekly.com Account Executives Lesley Aaron lesley@keysweekly.com Nola Acker nola@keysweekly.com Stephanie Mitchell stephanie@keysweekly.com Staff Writers Jim McCarthy jim@keysweekly.com Mandy Miles mandy@keysweekly.com Tiffany Duong tiffany@keysweekly.com Production Manager Anneke Patterson anneke@keysweekly.com Art/Design Irene de Bruijn irene@keysweekly.com Javier Reyes javier@keysweekly.com Travis Cready travis@keysweekly.com Office Manager Char Hruska char@keysweekly.com Contributors Erin Stover Sickmen, Karen Newfield, Kirby Trahan, Tiffany Duong, Stephanie Mitchell, Sarah Thomas, Reda Wigle, Barry Gaukel, Doug Finger, Nick Doll, Alex Holst and Tracey Holst. Published MMXIX Key West 5450 MacDonald Ave. No. 5 Key West, FL 33040 P. 305-453-6928 Marathon 9709 Overseas Hwy. Marathon, FL 33050 P. 305-743-0844 Upper Keys 91760 Overseas Hwy. Tavernier, FL 33070 P. 305-363-2957

www.keysweekly.com

No.3 22

06

CIRCUS WOMEN We’re all in this together ........................

08

LEADING LADIES Putting faces with names ........................

14

GETTING PERSONAL 1 daughter, 2 moms ........................

18

TASTE IN LITERATURE What to read, where to eat

MONTHLY THREAT LEVEL When to watch out ........................

58

26

HEALTHY EATING Going organic ........................

PAPER CHASE Replacing plastic ........................

62

30

SEPARATE LIVES 48 hours in drag ........................

SOCIAL LIVES Living life online ........................

36

WHOLE AGAIN Offering a comeback from cancer ........................

40

UNLIMITED OPTIONS The LBD can live forever ........................

46

WOMEN DOING IT ALL Backwards and in high heels

64

BATTLE OF THE SEXES What’s the difference? ........................

66

UPDATED HANG Girls Night grows up ........................

72

CONFESSIONS A litany of small sins ........................

76

THE STARS ALIGN Barstool astrology

ON THE COVER: Kyla Piscopink is one of many Keys women who balances family, work and play. Keys Woman salutes her and all the other women who make magic happen every day. Photography: Nick Doll.

Fall 2019 | 5


FROM THE EDITOR

Welcome to the

show

Confession time: There was a time in my life that I didn’t associate with women all that much. I went through a period when my focus narrowed to my husband, kids and extended family.

Now I’m blessed to have so many fabulous women in my life, starting with the hardworking women of the Keys Weekly Newspapers. Need something done? These ladies know how to buckle down and WORK. We also have a way of spreading the workload; no one goes home until the last page is “ripped.” I have found female friendship on nonprofit boards, too. Shared purpose has a way of drawing women together. We approach problem-solving differently than men, I think. And we can deal out work assignments faster than a Las Vegas card shark and come back together a couple days later with everything figured out. We are leaders together and that’s a pretty good feeling. And then there’s my “squad” — the women I work out with four or five times a week. Long ago I reconciled myself to the fact that while my fitness regimen didn’t seem to be doing much for my figure, it was doing amazing things for my psyche. More importantly, I was connecting with other women in a way that was totally vulnerable and honest and encouraging. I’ve learned it’s hard to pretend to be anything you are not after 75 deadlifts. I’ve learned that it is

6 | Keys Woman

so easy and important to encourage your friend to keep going when she is almost there. If we’re working as hard as we should be, there isn’t much time for gossip … but sometimes it’s more important to talk about kids, sex and gray hair than to focus on the form of your bicep curl.

And then there is my inner circle of women. You know you’re in it when I text nonsensical questions at 6 a.m. because I just can’t wait. These are the women with whom I let my freak flag fly — sending memes of such a questionable nature that they might respond with “Dude, are you OK?” These ladies strain to listen while I whisper my deepest fears … and laugh when I fall off my paddleboard face first into a pile of rotting seaweed. I read once that there are really only five important people in your life, five that you really connect with. I’m afraid to count because then I am going to start making bogus assumptions based on some asshat’s master’s thesis. But after writing this, I know I need a bigger tent and more wine. I love my ladies.

Sara Matthis


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BY SARA MATTHIS Local Celebs

Sunshine Girl KRISTEN LIVENGOOD

K

risten Livengood is a bucket list girl, an ever-evolving professional colleague, a fun-loving co-conspirator in shenanigans for friends from every walk of life, the hometown-girl-returned-and-killing-it, and a mermaid who seemingly came without the safety feature fully installed.

But to many, many people, Kristen is just … sunshine. We are happy to see her because she makes every moment shine brighter.

Her celebrity started early when she was crowned Homecoming Queen at Marathon High School in 2001.

Her celebrity started early when she was crowned Homecoming Queen at Marathon High School in 2001. After getting a degree in communications at University of South Florida in Tampa, she returned to her home in the Middle Keys. She married and started a family early and that seemed to set fire to her goals, ambitions and successes. Currently, she’s the public information officer for Monroe County. “I was born for this job. That was actually the opening sentence of my cover letter when I applied,” Kristen said. She is the mother of Summer, 12, and Marina, 8, and is married to Travis, whom she calls a saint.

“I am the luckiest girl in the world and I love to sing his praises,” she said, “especially since he has to deal with me, and the fact that I have an inability to say no to absurdly crazy requests.” And it’s true that Travis has a very stoic expression on his face, but sometimes it slips and there’s this glint of pride in his eye that says, “I KNOW I got the best woman in the room.” Mmmm hmmm.

8 | Keys Woman


Local Celebs Her professional accomplishments are varied and lengthy. She’s just started a master’s degree in public administration from University of Miami. She’s a board member for the Keys Federal Credit Union, a mentor for Take Stock in Children, and deeply involved as an alumni of Leadership Monroe.

tooth-related products and she, in turn, entertained us with frequent updates and pleas to stop, just stop. The fun and games were a backdrop to her more community-minded efforts — spreading the word about the island’s devastation and needs, while highlighting the community’s good works. To date, it was her finest work.

All of that takes stamina, but it’s hard And she does it all with her daughters not to be impressed by Kristen’s grit in tow, growing the next generation of that is an all-together different kind fabulous women. of feminine strength. She participates in the annual That’s What She Shot “I bring the girls to a lot of community spearfishing tourney. On one memorable events with me as my sidekick(s),” she occasion she got slapped in the face by said. “It’s teaching them invaluable a BIG amberjack in more than 100 feet skills in of water, communicating knocking her with others and mask askew. “I bring the girls to a lot adults.” With a struggle, of community events with she saved me as my sidekick(s). It’s (It’s worth herself — and mentioning that the fish — as her teaching them invaluable her daughter brother, Chase, skills in communicating Summer could and friend looked with others and adults.” rap every on without lifting single word of a finger. What Notorious B.I.G.’s was that about? “Hypnotize” before she hit double digits. “Well, if they helped me I would have That’s good parenting, folks.) been disqualified and they didn’t want that.” That is a brotherly-love vote of Kristen has so many friends IRL and on confidence right there. the internet of all stripes — from blue blood to blue collar. She killed her “30 And then Hurricane Irma or, as Kristen by 30 bucket list” and has convinced calls it, GFY Irma. Her adorable cottage so many to embrace adventures by on Big Pine Key, the epicenter of the example: a three-day commercial storm’s damage in the Keys, flooded half her house. In between bouts of fishing trip where she slept on deck operating a chainsaw and mucking in a beanbag, to completing the Swim for out, she entertained us with her wild Alligator Lighthouse. In 2016, she placed Tooth Fairy adventure that started second in a fund-raising campaign for with an innocent enough question AH of Monroe County and made the posted on Facebook: “Who needs Duchess of Fantasy Fest look like the an emergency toothbrush? queen’s title. Don’t people evacuate with their toothbrush?” Kristen’s friends She is, in short, beautiful inside and out. responded with an avalanche of And, she’s ours.

Fall 2019 | 9


BY JIM McCARTHY Local Celebs

10 | Keys Woman


Local Celebs

Paper & Poem

VALERIE PERREAULT “He pulled me aside and said, ‘Listen, don’t stop. You’re not there yet, but please don’t stop.’ I went outside and cried hysterically. It was a breakthrough. What he did was give me confidence, and he made me bold,” she said.

published poet and printmaker in Islamorada, Portside Studio & Gallery Owner Valerie Perreault has plenty of memorable moments to look back. And she’s set to make yet another one as she takes her artwork to the international stage in New York next month. With her itch to write and admiration for visual arts, it was two back-to-back moments in her career that made Perrault think she could turn things into reality. While she went to school for art, poetry has been Perreault’s life. “I was writing poetry — passively and quietly,” she says. “Every morning, I’d wake up, sit down and get my coffee and write for two to three hours. It was part of my morning routine. It’s something I loved to do.” In 2014, Perreault enrolled in a workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown, Massachusetts — a place dedicated to encouraging the growth and development of emerging visual artists and writers. The Work Center is internationally known for its acclaimed seven-month residency program granting fellowships to 20 emerging writers and artists, as well as its open enrollment summer workshop program. It was there at the prestigious art center community where she received some inspiration and encouragement from award-winning poet Gregory Orr.

The moment became momentum. Having published her works in various journals, she threw her name into the hat for the New Letters Literary Awards. New Letters is one of the oldest literary magazines in the U.S. and continues to publish award-winning poems and fiction. Within weeks, she received word that she was a finalist for the awards that many get in their mid- to latecareers. “For someone unknown like me to be considered, it was pretty special,” she said. “It was unbelievable. I thought for sure they got it wrong. I remember getting the letter in the mail. I was in my PJs and I ran outside with that letter waving it around.” Not only that, her artwork was taking off as well. Just a week later, she was contacted by HBO; they wanted to feature two pieces of her art on the show “Girls.” “It was all within a short period of time,” she said. “It felt like I just one day took myself seriously and the world started showing up. In reality, it took years at a desk working on stuff and throwing it away.” Perreault’s works have also been featured on PBS’ Art Loft, Buzzfeed’s “20 Perfect Gifts for Book Lovers,” Green Chair Press and more. Perrault says the moments meant that she could trust her instincts. Before going to the Fine Art Works Center, she was writing terse poetry and making art people wanted. But once she decided to do what she wanted, it began to pay off. “People can really sense authenticity. I waffled back and forth and gave people what they wanted, and they didn’t flinch. I made what I wanted and people can’t get enough. It’s fun.” Perreault’s Portside Studio & Gallery is a mighty little creative space in Islamorada on Morada Way. The gallery serves as a studio for exhibitions, installations, poetry readings and more. As for the show in New York next month, Perrault says it’s a huge breakthrough for her and a gigantic deal in the art world. Known as The Other Art Fair, it showcases the work by 130 talented, independent artists . Fall 2019 | 11


Look for

Where I Can Breathe Coming Spring 2020

Author Hays Blinckmann’s first novel available locally @ Books & Books also found on Amazon.com

12 | Keys Woman


REIMAGINE

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BY ERIN STOVER SICKMEN

inside modernfam S H E L O O K S J U S T L I K E YO U

A few years ago, coffee and canvas bags in hand, I was standing at the Saturday morning farmer’s market in my rural Virginia town, picking through local tomatoes with my daughter in tow. As lesbians do. The seller glanced our way and remarked on what a beautiful daughter I had. An accurate assessment for sure — albeit one that carries a whiff of systemic sexism. Regardless, the proper reply came easily: “Thank you.” The woman then tilted her head, smiled and pushed her compliment one step further. “She looks just like you.” My daughter was young enough, and at the moment enraptured by free samples and passing dogs, to not absorb the inherent, though well-intentioned, bias. I, on the other hand, was caught off guard. Because the truth is, my daughter — fortunately for her — looks nothing like me. Maybe she does in the way that shared expressions, modeled laughs, and a million passed looks of love and conspiration over the years can form a face. The truth though is that my wife takes full biological credit for our daughter’s physical beauty. I stammered, blushed and cycled

14 | Keys Woman

through a multitude of possible responses ranging from the truth in full prose detailing the structure of our family, to an unwarranted defensive retort prompted by the survival skills I’d built up over years of living in a notoriously conservative town. Fortunately for all involved, my brain rescued me from embarrassment and spit out the only appropriate response. “Thank you.” Most everyone carries some form of privilege, and thus bias. Some element of their being, over which they have no control, that makes life a little easier. Privilege allows people to take for granted the fact that they’ve been fast-tracked past some of life’s harder knocks. As a white, cisgender woman living in the middle socio-economic bracket of the U.S., I carry quite a bit of my own unearned protections, airbags for a tough world. So, perhaps it’s fair that I’m occasionally reminded of the fact that everyone plays the role of “other” sometimes. The moment at the market has repeated itself hundreds of times

over the years. People assume a heteronormative family structure— mom, dad, two kids, maybe a cute cat. The compliments they proffer, generated by that assumption, carry no antagonism. Even blind kindness comes from a very human place, a desire to connect to another person. For those of us on the receiving end of their courtesy though, it creates a slightly uncomfortable scenario as we sort through how to respond in a way that’s honest, while maintaining the simple expectations of a basic social interaction — compliment, gratitude, benign response, benign response. Everyone likes to hear nice things about themselves and their families. And compliments certainly beat overt animosity or even overly personal curiosity. (Dear straight friends, never ever ask a gay parent, “Whose daughter is she?” or, for the love of God, “How did you have her?”) In the years that have followed, my daughter has aged to the stage where people talk to her, not to me, about her. I’ve also aged, adding a few grey hairs, but also gaining the self-confidence


ea mily that allows women over 35 to move through the world deflecting questions about their personal lives with little more than an internal eye-roll.

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While it would be an ego stroke to attribute change to my own, and my daughter’s, maturity, I would be remiss to ignore context. Development is one thing, circumstance is another. The fact that we now live in Key West, a veritable bubble of social acceptance, certainly helps. On a broader scale, it also helps that the world at large continues to evolve its views on same-sex families. Visibility and education have made great strides and a newfound collective common sense ensures that questions of whether my daughter is “mine” have thankfully (mostly) diminished. People still tell me my daughter looks like me. These days though, the gratitude comes easier. While I would much prefer a compliment to her well-timed macabre humor, her boundless compassion for everything from insects to sharks, or her startlingly astute observations of the world, I recognize kindness for what it is. And maybe, just maybe, that person is picking up on a resemblance that bores deeper than genetics, in which case, I am profoundly flattered. Because that mischievous smirk she gets when she’s pushing the envelope? That smirk is all mine.

FLORIDA KEYS SPCA Protecting Pets in Paradise

Fall 2019 | 15


Tuesday thru Saturday | Lunch 11-2:30 | Dinner 5-10 Open Mondays during February and March

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A unique collection of designer fashions, jewelr y & gifts to ignite the boho dreamer or the timeless fashionista inside of each of us.

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Thursday thru Monday | Lunch 11-2:30 | Dinner 5-10

16 | Keys Woman

between Kaiyo and Chef Michael’s 305-735-3029 • Like us on Facebook


YOUR INVESTMENT PROPERTY SPECIALIST THE JURY IS BACK FROM RECESS AND THE LADIES HAVE EACH CHOSEN THEIR WINNER . . www.FloridaSaltScrubs.com Florida Salt Scrubs was born in Key West in , and is available through-out the FL Keys at better retailers and restaurants. Support your local retailers and make sure to ask for Florida Salt Scrubs by name! PURCHASE YOURS TODAY! PERFECT FOR PERSONAL USE and THE PERFECT FLORIDA GIFT!

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Fall 2019 | 17


& BY KAREN NEWFIELD

Reading eating

LIKE A CONCH

Two great pleasures of the Keys are eating our excellent regional cuisine, and reading — ideally in a hammock! We’ve taken the research out of the equation, to help you discover books you can’t put down and iconic local flavors that will whet your appetite. As you can’t judge a book by its cover, the locals know you shouldn’t choose a restaurant in the Florida Keys by its façade… if you could even find it. So, enjoy these page-turners, perhaps in the shady nook of your new favorite restaurant. (P.S., you must try the conch fritters!)

FIND A WAY by Diana Nyad Diana Nyad swam throughout her tumultuous childhood and adolescence, literally and metaphorically. Her unwavering commitment and mantra “Never, ever give up” drove her to become a world champion swimmer in her twenties, and a household name when she set a record swimming around Manhattan Island. After retiring, she enjoyed success as a popular sports broadcaster and motivational speaker. To everyone’s surprise, thirty years later, Diana Nyad, aged 60, reentered the competitive swimming world with one goal in mind; an ocean swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West. The 111 tortuous, jellyfish- and shark-infested miles, had never been done before without aid of a shark cage. Her unending determination to realize the dream and finally overcome deeply buried pain from past physical and emotional abuse took Diana on the ultimate race of her life. FOOD PAIRING People in the know find their way to Garbo’s Grill, tucked behind Hank’s Hair of the Dog Saloon in Key West. It’s the best food from a truck you will ever eat, and there’s plenty of seafood to remind you of what lies beneath the water.

18 | Keys Woman

THIS IS NOT HOW IT ENDS by Rochelle B. Weinstein Charlotte Myers has an unexpected seatmate on her flight back to Kansas City. This pretty, small-town school teacher is immediately entranced by Philip’s charm, good looks and irresistibly sexy British accent. More worldly and generous than anyone she has ever known, she is swept off her feet — all the way to Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Philip’s constant business trips leave Charlotte lonely with a little too much time to contemplate her future. The ring placed firmly on her finger may not represent the life she was once certain of. As mother nature tempts the couple’s resilience with a hurricane, a handsome chef tests Charlotte’s desires, and it is the calm after the storm that slowly tears her apart. Have the tissues ready, this heartbreakingly beautiful story is sure to be the romance of the year. Releases January 1, 2020. FOOD PAIRING The Beach Cafe at Morada Bay, a tropical oasis in the heart of Islamorada.


THE WOMAN AT THE LIGHT by Joanna Brady In 1829, Key West was just a collection of fishing shacks, Emily and Martin Lowry and their three young children live on Wrecker’s Cay, a small island off the coast. Martin is the lighthouse keeper, known as a “wickie.” It’s a vital job, as many ships crash on these shallow reefs, the sea often claiming lives and treasures. One afternoon, Martin mysteriously disappears and Emily continues to care for the lighthouse and her family, in hopes of his return. She is initially apprehensive when the children discover Andrew, a runaway slave, washed up on shore. Over time, Emily falls in love with his charm, strength, and resilience, and now must keep another secret in order to protect her children, the lighthouse, and this forbidden romance. FOOD PAIRING Don’t forget to bring your dollar bill to adorn the walls at No Name Pub, a funky old tavern hidden away on the island adjacent to Big Pine Key — the perfect hidden place to read about secrets.

MAKE YOUR HOME AMONG STRANGERS by Jennine Capo Crucet Lizet is a young girl graduating from Hialeah Lakes High School: the daughter of Cuban immigrants and very first student to receive a scholarship to Rawlings College, a small prestigious school in New York. Lizet has never been away from home, never flown on a plane. Her small Miami world is filled with her parents, friends and boyfriend, Omar. Leaving behind the heat and Latin culture of Miami is terrifying, and Lizet is immediately homesick. Facing daily obstacles both academically and socially, Lizet initially hides from being the “Cuban roommate of Jillian,” downplaying her cultural heritage. As her family back home struggles with their own crises, Lizet slowly begins to love and accept her deep connection to where she is from from as the girls constantly say, so she can finally spread her wings and fly. Family, friendship and identity: all the things that make you you. FOOD PAIRING Tienes hambre? Don’t miss the incredible Cuban cuisine at King’s Seafood Market & Restaurant in Marathon, authentic and delicious.

THE NICKEL BOYS by Colson Whitehead Elwood Curtis spends his days sweeping the floor at the local cigar shop and getting straight A’s in school. It is the early 1960s in Tallahassee, Florida, and as Elwood plays the speeches of Martin Luther King repeatedly on the turntable, he dreams of a brighter future. Elwood is raised on good manners, kindness and hope. On the way to a college class he has proudly gained entrance to, he is detained and mistakenly sent to a juvenile detention center called The Nickel Academy. With no means to fight this archaic system filled with prejudice and a sadistic self-serving staff, these boys are beaten, raped and cheated. Most barely survive; many do not. Based on an actual reform school called Dozier, which closed in 2011, this haunting tale of unimaginable pain and friendship simply cannot be missed. FOOD PAIRING Step back in time and check out historic Hogfish Bar & Grill on Stock Island for a mouthwatering taste of old Florida. Look out at the water and feel lucky.

Fall 2019 | 19


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20 | Keys Woman


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We welcome your entire family to stop in and check out our monthly specials and rewards program.

Fall 2019 | 21


BY SARA MATTHIS

W O M E N ’ S M E N S T R U AT I O N

Women need a way to communicate their current menstruation status to the world. The level of flow regulates everything from wardrobe choices to interactions with the general public. Consider posting this handy description on the fridge, with either a magnet to indicate the level, or if you’re in the mood, a knife stabbed into the appliance. Your choice.

LOW RISK

No worries; I got a regular tampon somewhere in my purse.

GUARDED RISK

Hmmm; better not wear white pants today.

ELEVATED RISK

Ohhhhhhhhh; why are there TWO strings??????

HIGH RISK

Well then; there has been a small murder in my underwear.

SEVERE RISK*

Screw it; I’m going to get ice cream or commit a felony. I’ll decide in the car.

*With our thanks to the “Golden Girls.” 22 | Keys Woman

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Enjoy flavorful island cuisine and gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico while dining in casual elegance. Advance reservations required. Board the private launch at Slip 29, Margaritaville Resort & Marina.

245 FRONT ST 305.292.4320 OPENTABLE.COM Hours: 10am-2pm Reservations suggested Free parking while dining. Please present parking ticket to server for validation.

Join us for our incredible waterfront Sunday Brunch featuring a fresh seafood raw bar, carved prime rib, made to order omelets, ever changing entrees and unlimited mimosas.

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Fall 2019 | 25


BY SARA MATTHIS 1. Oetee sustainable food bags are made of organic beeswax infused into organic cotton and hemp blended fabric; hand-wash for re-use. Set of three, about $25, from Food for Thought in Marathon. 2. Paper fan, $11, Isla Bella Market Place, Marathon. 3. Muslin-bagged potpourri scent bag, $1, Dollar Tree, Key Largo.

With the focus on single-use plastics and their harm to our environment, the Keys Weekly staff set out on a specific shopping spree: to explore our options made from paper. So many artists and designers are finding creative ways to replace home goods with beautiful products made from paper. And when we say paper, we actually mean …. ah, paper-ish things like palm fronds and beeswax, too. Frankly, we got a little excited and veered from our specific purpose. But take heart, most of the products featured on these pages are locally sourced, and the others are just a click away.

4. Mandala coaster set made of cardboard, $8, Shell World, Key Largo. 5. Disposable plates made from palm fronds come in a variety of sizes, a beautiful option to feed lots of people on the go. (Too pretty to throw away, handwash and re-use a couple of times!) Available for purchase at Irie island Eats, Marathon. 6. Journal “Lovely Day Notebook” filled with 100 sheets of lined, unlined and graph pages available at Key Largo Flowers and Gifts, for $15. 7. Washable paper wine tote inscribed with “Keep Pouring” from the That’s All label. The sumptuous and supple (think gift!) bags are available at Shell World in Key Largo for $15. 8. This quilled paper art dragonfly design on a Post-it note organizer elevates your doodles and thoughts to the next level. Buy it at Uniques by Kennedy Studios in Marathon for $15. 9. Liven up your table with some oversized paper drink umbrellas — in pink (pictured) or gold – for $15 from Isla Bella Marketplace in Marathon. 10. Get some paper straws with details! This pack of six features hibiscus, palm tree or Philodendron leaf cut-outs stuck on to the candy-striped merriment. Buy them for $4 at Shell World in Key Largo. 11. Your mother always tells you personalized or monogrammed stationery is the hallmark of a classy lady; she’s not wrong. Buy a stack of six postcards and envelopes for $22 from Besame Mucho in Key West. 12. There’s a very secretive Marathon artist that turns the wood to make these beautiful pens. You gotta know a guy, though …. On a positive note, if he likes you, the pen is a gift.

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13. Rolls of Japanese washi paper tape enliven gift packages as well as graphics taped to the wall. Buy them on Amazon for $7 for a pack of 24. 14. OMG, buy a plane ticket right now. This leather bound portfolio travelogue allows the jetsetter to insert new pages as the stamps in the passport accumulate and the experiences grow you as a person. Get it at Besame Mucho in Key West, $58. 15. Scented drawer liners with a flamingo-scape make all your “unmentionables” smell oh-so-good. Buy them at Key Largo Flowers and Gifts for $17.

26 | Keys Woman

PAPER T


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PHOTOGRAPHY: SARA MATTHIS

PAPER TRAIL (SARA) 5

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Fall 2019 | 27


MIND | BODY | SOUL From the time you walk in the door until the moment you float out, our goal at Flow Spa is to totally pamper and relax our clients. FACIALS | MASSAGE | BODY TREATMENTS | NAIL & HAIR SERVICES | ENERGY HEALING LASH EXTENSIONS | MICROBLADING | WAXING | SPRAY TANNING

We ensure you will leave Flow Spa feeling as fabulous as you look.

MONDAY - SATURDAY 9AM - 6PM

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Key West’s Ultimate Garden Venue

ernest hemingway home & museum 305-509-1876 • hemingwayhome.com

28 | Keys Woman


Fine Dining Hours

Tuesday - Saturday 5pm-10pm

*Reservations Recommended* 82100 Overseas Hwy. | 305.664.2031 | 800.753.6002 | sales@islanderfloridakeys.com | MM82.1


BY KIRBY TRAHAN

#LIVING LIFE

ONLINE

SOCIAL MEDIA AND ITS IMPACT ON THE WOMEN WHO MAKE IT TICK

Love it, hate it, love to hate it, or hate to love it, social media cannot be escaped. It’s a way to maintain and foster relationships, find the latest trends, be reminded about important events and, oh yeah, your cousin’s birthday. It’s also important for brand-building and being relevant in your professional field.

30 | Keys Woman


Not surprisingly, women are at the forefront of this virtual world. Shakespeare wrote, “Why then the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” Just replace “sword” with “smartphone” and that girl from your sorority is now Insta-famous. Just look at 35-year-old-year old Oklahoma-born makeup expert Huda Kattan, who started a WordPress beauty blog in 2010, and in 2013 founded her cosmetics line Huda Beauty using social media as the tool that helped catapult her career. And by catapult, I mean she ranked #1 on the “2017 Influencer Instagram rich list” and is now worth $610 million. That’s a lot of mascara. And as most can only imagine, a LOT of screen time. Yet, as we post and scroll, unhealthy feelings of inadequacy creep in by playing (whether we mean to or not) the comparison game; with our bodies, businesses, friend groups, parenting and lives in general. It’s difficult to keep in mind that the people’s lives we see as we scroll look nothing like the pictures they post. Dr. Erin Vogel, a postdoc in the psychiatry department at the University of California who studies social media and wellbeing, has conducted research on the negative effects social media has on mental health, including depression, and her colleagues ran an experiment in which they made social media profiles that were supposedly real college students’ profiles. “We varied things like, how attractive and fit the person was in the pictures, and how many likes and comments they got on their posts. We found that what the [fictional] person was portraying and the social feedback that they got from other users affected how our participants saw themselves temporarily,” said Vogel. “People temporarily had lower self-esteem and felt worse about themselves after coming into our lab and looking at just one

or two of these attractive profiles.” Other studies show similar findings—one published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology established a causal relationship between social media use and loneliness and depression. Have we become conditioned to crave validation or “likes?” Do we really buy into the over-filtered photos dominating our feeds? Personally, I’ve had bursts of intense social media use, documenting my life in a way that has had me unable to watch a sunset, cheers my girls at happy hour, or experiment with an at-home food delivery service without taking all my “friends” on the journey. When I realized that, I found myself pulling back from endeavors that had me glued to my phone in order to stay at the forefront of people’s feeds. I was exhausted. The result of this was an income decrease on ventures that relied heavily on my online connection. In truth, it’s been liberating: Enjoying life’s little moments without feeling the need to document and share them. I’ll never forget finally tipping the needle to 1,000 Instagram followers and how happy I was — two days later I was back at 998. Tying our self worth to the quantifiable successes and losses of social media sets us up for disappointment. Navigating life without losing sight of what’s right in front of us can be a monumental feat in this virtual world. It’s a challenge to build your brand, garner success, fulfill the need to be connected, maintain a sense of privacy and do it all without constant internal comparison. So how do we find balance? I sat down to actually talk face to face (!) with three women who use their social media platforms for brand building. And yes, we had our devices tucked away to talk about the benefits and challenges of living life online…

Fall 2019 | 31


LOLA MYATIEVA, 24, THE INFLUENCER @omgitslolaaa Follow her stories on any of her many accounts and you will be taken on a journey of Lola’s day-to-day life from the yacht, to lunch, to the gym and everything in between. You’ll also be entertained the entire way. She’s a popular local go-to girl for real advice on everything from hair to where to get the best noodles. KT: Which social media platform has been the most important to you and why? LM: Facebook. Summer of 2015 I got the worst call of my life: my mom told me there was a possibility I’d never see her or my siblings again. She had taken them to see where she came from, Turkmenistan, and long story short, the second they arrived they were “welcomed home” by being told they weren’t ever returning to the U.S. I started a FB page called “Bring My Family Home” with photos of them and an explanation of the situation. My online community came together and shared this page so many times it caught the attention of a Miami news station who came down and put our story on TV. After six months of being detained in Russia, my family did, in fact, get to come home. KT: Do you worry how social media shapes the expectations of young women and girls? LM: Absolutely. My sister is 10 years younger, and I constantly remind her, “You never know what people are actually going through, remember that.” I tell her if you don’t have a kind comment, don’t make a comment and, on the flipside, to rid her feed of anything making her feel unworthy. KT: You post every day, yet also seem to genuinely enjoy life’s moments. How do you find balance? LM: Post, then put the phone away! Don’t continuously have it out and check your likes every two minutes. I check in throughout the day — giving a little for my followers, but then taking a lot for myself.

32 | Keys Woman

JENN STEFANACCI, 35, THE WONDER-MOM @we_love_tutus Jen is a Key West staple, iconic for tutus, a strong drink and a sincere smile. Originally from New Jersey, she’s become recognizable in the 10 years on this island working hard and being extremely visible while doing it. If you are not a sober person, she’s most likely poured you a few cocktails. She’s now an assistant teacher at May Sands Montesorri, managing partner of 22&co and, her most important role, Finn’s mom. She is the true definition of a multi-tasker. KT: How has social media helped your brand/business and can you quantify how it’s widened your reach? JS: Without a doubt. At one point, while bartending at multiple locations, I would check in on FB during every shift. One year, for Lent, I turned off my account and my income literally dropped by half. After one week, I decided I needed to pay rent and gave up ice cream instead. KT: For years, you’ve shared everything online, and recently have cut back. Have you had concerns about privacy or time management? JS: Privacy, ah! I’ve had my fair share of interesting people think they truly know me because we are friends on FB. It started to get weird, and I had to remove myself completely. Before I removed myself, I did an experiment and posted that I flew to Sydney, Australia in a day and back, all while sitting in my house in Key West, just to see what kind of comments I would get. It was wild. Considering it takes over 24 hours just to fly there, it shows what people will believe just because they are intrigued by other’s more “glamorous” lives, whether real or not. KT: What is your recommendation for finding a good balance with social media? JS: For me, it was making my personal Instagram private, so I could monitor who sees what. I only post family pics on my personal page and not even all the time. Set times to work on social media so you’re not constantly scrolling. Also, no phones allowed at the dinner table!


KT: Do you try to maintain a separation between your personal and professional life on social media? AH: Yes, but not very deliberately; the separation is pretty organic. I have a FB biz page and a FB personal page. I haven’t posted anything personal on my business pages in years. While part of me would love to create a “lifestyle” following for my jewelry, I simply do not have the energy to be that cute* (or disingenuous). *Let the record state, Abigail is in fact the definition of cute.

ABIGAL HOUFF, 40, THE ENTREPRENEUR www.gildedpeach.com @gildedpeachjewelry As the owner and sole designer of Gilded Peach Artisan Jewelry, Abigail does it all. You can find her by day in her cozy studio space inside Shakti Yoga in Key West crafting the gorgeous handcrafted pieces displayed locally as well as on your Instagram feed. At night, with a glass or two of well-deserved vino and phone handy, she can fulfill online orders or quickly reply to any inquiries or comments.

KT: What is your recommendation for finding a good balance with social media? AH: I would love to sound like a celebrity-written self care book right now, but I don’t have a realistic answer for this. I do believe it lies somewhere with boundaries, setting work hours and non-phone hours. Also figuring out why you want to share so much and what you’re getting out of it. So, boundaries and moderation — easy right?

KT: How has social media helped your personal brand and business and can you quantify how it has widened your reach? AH: Being able to reach a broad, almost limitless audience, through the “magic” of hashtags and beautiful photography is something artists couldn’t have dreamed about in the early 2000s. I was on Etsy before Etsy was a “thing” — you know, back when you used a real camera and edited on a computer — all that archaic stuff! Now over 50% of my sales are made online, which depends heavily on social media.

@I_weigh Follow if… you’re all about inclusivity and self love. Figuring out who to follow can be overwhelming. It can also be draining if your feed is filled with unrealistic expectations that have you feeling more down than lifted up. Here’s some Instgram accounts to follow if….

@ashleylongshoreart Follow if… you like art, honesty and random videos to make you giggle.

@rawbeautytalks Follow if… you need daily reminders of unfiltered beauty.

@lizzobeeating Follow if… you want true celeb inspo. #queen

@momsbehavingbadly Follow if… you have spawn, are just trying to survive, and have a dirty sense of humor.

@drunkbetch Follow if… you and your girlfriends keep it real. And drink a lot.

Fall 2019 | 33


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34 | Keys Woman

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GET OUT WITH CONFIDENCE BRUCE L. FARISS, M.D. 305.296.0000

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Grab the girls and meet us at Robbie’s Marina mm 77.5 305 664-8070 learn more @robbies.com Fall 2019 | 35


BY TIFFANY DUONG

Tatted Tatas, Bushy Brows

and Endless Empathy

ESTHETICIAN MAKES CANCER SURVIVORS FEEL WHOLE AGAIN

“In 2002, at 42, I was a young mother, and I found a lump in the shower,” says Farr. A few scans and a biopsy later, she was given the bad news. “Ductile carcinoma—I was stage three, so it was in my lymph nodes,” she whispers. “I just thought, ‘Oh dear, I’m going to die.’”

Paula Farr is in the business of changing lives for the better. Her unlikely weapons? A tattoo pen and a compassionate heart. Sitting in her pristine Key Largo studio, Farr describes how she came to specialize in realistic tattoos for cancer survivors, microbladed eyebrows and 3D areola tattoos. 36 | Keys Woman

But she didn’t, enduring chemotherapy, radiation and a complete mastectomy of her left breast. “I stayed positive and ate well,” explains Farr. “I wanted to live for my kids.” After finishing her cancer treatments, Farr focused on putting her life, and her body, back together. “I was selfconscious. I didn’t feel like a woman.” Implant after implant failed. Eventually, doctors successfully implanted Farr’s back tissue into her breasts. “Then it was time to get pretty again; that was the tough part,” she says, fighting back tears. “Losing my hair, brows, and lashes made me look very sick on the outside. And then, when I took my clothes off, I looked even more sick. Deformed.” Farr hated the mirror. “I barely recognized myself for two years. That’s a long time to not feel like yourself,” she

says, shaking her head at the painful memories. It all changed when she sought out Kari Boatner in Daytona Beach for an innovative new procedure. Boatner specialized in areola tattooing and permanent makeup, and Farr underwent both procedures, tattooing on eyebrows and an areola on her reconstructed breast. Breathing a sigh of relief even during her retelling, Farr says, “That’s when I got Paula back.” She continues, “It changed my world! I looked healthy again.” Beyond the superficial benefits of the treatments, Farr describes her confidence gains and elation. “I felt normal again. I felt the pure joy of having myself back, of being complete.” The tattoos changed Farr’s outlook on her career, her life, and ultimately her purpose on this Earth. A dental assistant for 38 years, Farr decided to go to night school to become an esthetician. She trained in microblading permanent makeup and in the worldrenowned Vicky Martin Method of 3D realistic areola tattoos. “It’s been my passion ever since I got my own,” she explains. “I took one course after another to get where I am today so I


can really help women. I hope to give that same joy and happiness to others who are going through what I went through.” Farr credits her perfectionism and her empathy for her prowess and artistry. “When I’m working, I don’t think about sadness; I think about making people feel better. The better my work, the better they feel.” To increase her impact, Farr opened her own studio in Key Largo one year ago. Along with facials, lash lifts, and other beauty treatments, Farr offers her heart and her work to many women with cancer. In fact, 20% of her clientele are survivors looking for microbladed eyebrows, eyeliner permanent makeup, and/or 3D areolas. One of her favorite clients, Jackie Patterson, teaches at Plantation Key School. Patterson opted for a double mastectomy after an initial cancer and a subsequent recurrence made her fear she wouldn’t be there for her kids — both her own and those she teaches.  “The thing that bothered me most was losing my hair, my eyelashes, and my brows,” says Patterson. “I couldn’t mask my appearance.” Kids at school would innocently ask when her hair was going to grow back or comment that she didn’t look like herself anymore. “It was like I was smoldering and singed,” describes Patterson. “My eyebrows were gone and my lashes were gone. And with them, I lost my self-esteem.”  In stepped Farr. “What Paula did for me, especially with the eyebrow tattoos, was life-changing,” praises Patterson. When her microbladed eyebrows made her look complete, Patterson also found that she finally felt whole again. She says, “Working in the public eye, if your physical appearance doesn’t look a certain way, people think you’re dying or sick. I didn’t want that to be my story; I didn’t want to be portrayed like that.”  Additionally, Patterson’s areola tattoos are so realistic, she sometimes forgets that they aren’t real. “It’s unbelievable; they just look like normal breasts! They look perfect.” 

A grateful Patterson affirms, “Paula gave me so much of myself back; I’ll never be able to thank her enough for that.” She continues, “I felt cared for. I felt comforted. She empowered me, made me confident, whole. That someone would go out of their way for someone they never met before is amazing. That’s Paula.” Christine Crispino, another Keys teacher still battling cancer, could not agree more. Crispino is almost two years into her cancer treatments. “The chemo has taken all of me, especially my looks. Before Paula, when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t even look human. Humans have eyelashes and eyebrows.” she recalls. Describing the effect Farr’s services have had on her life and career, a cheery Crispino says, “Now, if you don’t know me, you wouldn’t know I was sick. With my eyebrows, Paula gave me back the confidence I needed, the confidence I lost.”  Ironically, within the year since opening her studio, Farr suffered her worst nightmare — a cancer relapse. She underwent a second mastectomy of her right breast this time. In October, she will be re-tattooed by Vicky Martin herself as the original areola tattoos have since faded. In true “Paula” fashion, Farr volunteered to have the procedure done on a stage in front of students so they can learn and help more women in need. Through it all, the tattooing guardian angel keeps her perspective and hope intact. “Switching careers was the best decision I’ve ever made. This is the calling I was meant to do,” she says. She continues, “I swear, God put me on this path to know my purpose here. Because I went through cancer, twice, I was given the gift of understanding. I know my purpose is to help others on this Earth who have to go through this horrendous cancer to feel whole again. What a blessing.”

Microblading eyebrows takes 1.5 to 2 hours. Using a thin razor blade and organic ink, realistic “hairs” are tattooed onto the skin. 3D areola tattoos can be customized for color, size, and natural-looking features. Each breast takes 1 to 1.5 hours.

Fall 2019 | 37


A KEY WEST FAMILY TRADITION IN FINE FOODS SINCE 1926

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Including jewelry & gifts and a selection of floats, toys, and fashion allows kids to find their happy place too!

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At Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort, MM 103.8 Bayside 38 | Keys Woman

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Fall 2019 | 39


BY STEPHANIE MITCHELL

What’s your little black dress style? Few pieces of clothing are as timeless as the little black dress or affectionately, the “LBD.” It is the one item of clothing that women of every age, shape or size have in their closet. Effortlessly chic and updated throughout the decades, the LBD is what you can wear for any occasion.

“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little black dress.” — Karl Lagerfeld Pulling from local retailers, fabulous friends and our own closets, we found a treasure trove of forgotten and beloved fashion delights. Take your LBD from day to night, or casual to fabulous, all with some found, borrowed or new accessories. At the end of the day every girl and woman has their favorite LBD, it’s just finding new ways to make it as chic as when you bought it. Here are some looks to update your favorite black ensemble to take you from the boardroom, to the airport, north to cooler temps, to a wedding, funeral or a cocktail party with ease.

40 | Keys Woman


PHOTOGRAPHY: ALEX HOLST. STYLING: STEPHANIE MITCHELL & TRACEY HOLST

“Life is a party. Dress like it.” – Audrey Hepburn

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1. LBD Cloth + Steel, custom atelier price upon request, for additional details 305.766.5258; Red necklace DK’s Beach Boutique, $59; Sparkling kimono Anthony’s, $14; Leather tassel earrings DK’s Beach Boutique, $52; Buckled black heels Yoox.com, $450; Pearl necklace vintage; Lucite purse vintage; Silver heels Go Jane, $23. 2. LBD Cloth + Steel, custom atelier price upon request, for additional details 305.766.5258; Flower necklace vintage; Scarf Cloth + Steel, custom atelier price upon request; Crocodile black bag vintage; Leopard sunglasses vintage; Bone necklace vintage; Leopard Pony Hair Booties Stuart Weitzman, $220.

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3. LBD Cloth + Steel, custom atelier price upon request, for additional details 305.766.5258; Chloe necklace Miss Monroe, $75; Collette coin necklace Miss Monroe, $55; Gold Fiona Crossbody bag Miss Monroe, $43; Half woven teardrop earrings Miss Monroe, $38; Kitten heels Nine West, $59; Crocodile black bag vintage; Beaded necklace vintage; Square black heels Gap, $20; Mottled green stone necklace Mango Season Jewelry, custom piece price available upon request.

Fall 2019 | 41


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1. LBD Lulus.com, $42; Necklace vintage; Cashmere shawl: Vignette, $262; Shawl/scarf safety pin Besame Mucho, $16; Brown vegan leather bag Vignette, $78; Natural tone sunglasses Vignette, Draper James, $125; Ribbon fabric bag Hands On; Leopard pony hair mules Stuart Weitzman, $220; Leather boots: Yoox.com, 3.1 Phillip Lim, $550; Black rimmed sunglasses Tom Ford, $206. 2. LBD Lulus.com, $42; Cotton black scarf (small) Vignette, $38; Cotton red scarf (large) Vignette, $46; Red bag vintage; Scarf DK Beach Boutique, $98; Patent leather heels Yoox.com, Calvin Klein, $108; Buckled black heels Yoox.com, $450; Beaded necklace Fast Bucks, $55. 3. LBD Lulus.com, $42; Stone necklace vintage; Tartan wrap TJ Maxx, $15; Brown vegan leather bag Vignette, $78; Yellow arm candy bracelet Vignette, $28; Leopard sunglasses vintage; Scarf DK Beach Boutique, $98; Buff boots Yoox.com, $249; Tall leather bag AMRI Able Bag, $78; Ribbon fabric bag Hands On.

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” – Coco Chanel

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“Clothes aren’t going to change the world, the women who wear them will” – Anne Klein

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1. LBD Cloth + Steel, custom atelier price upon request, for additional details 305.766.5258; Pearl necklace vintage; Sparkly heels Sebastian, $490; Patent leather heels Calvin Klein; Buckled black heels Yoox.com, $450.

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2. LBD Cloth + Steel, custom atelier price upon request, for additional details 305.766.5258; Shell necklace Commotion, $79; Woven bag vintage; Kitten heels Nine West, $59; Crocodile black bag vintage. 3. LBD Cloth + Steel, custom atelier price upon request, for additional details 305.766.5258; Wool cape Vignette, $48; Scarf Cloth + Steel, custom atelier price upon request; Leopard pony hair booties Stuart Weitzman, $220; Crocodile black bag vintage; Buckled black heels Yoox.com, $450.

Fall 2019 | 43


WHERE ORTHOPAEDIC CARE IS AN ARTFORM

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44 | Keys Woman


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8903 OVERSEAS HWY | SOUTHWIND PLAZA OCEANSIDE@MM 51.5 | 305-743-2040

Fall 2019 | 45


O ne of a kind “It takes a village to raise a child,” so the ancient African proverb goes. Truly, in our tight-knit Keys community, we know the power of having a strong network of people. The flip side of that coin is the many times we are called upon to act solo, whether it’s at work or at home, and often both, especially for women. Of the 11 million single-parent families in the U.S., 80% are headed by single moms. Women are also becoming more independent in the professional arena, with the number of female entrepreneurs in the U.S. increasing by 30% since 2017. We looked to women who embody this kind of tough independent spirit in our community to offer advice and wisdom on being “one of a kind.” From the stage, store and shore, we applaud these “leading ladies.”

46 | Keys Woman


PHOTOGRAPHY: BARRY GAUKEL

IN WHAT SITUATION HAVE YOU FELT LIKE A “ONE WOMAN SHOW?” I think that people believe the job is just showing houses, but that’s not true. Yes, you work for a brokerage, but you’re also an independent contractor. You do your own accounting, advertising, branding, and sometimes you’re a psychologist. But you also get to be your own boss, which gives you flexibility.

REALTOR

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Ally Kelley feels right at home in the Middle Keys. But… she’s a little different. She moved to the Keys with a “Plan,” emphasis on the capital P. Although she has a degree in speech pathology from USF, she became a Realtor before she even got here. In a few short years, this 27-year-old has made a big splash.

WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP? My speech pathologist from my tween years; she was just this amazing woman, so put together. And my mom was a nurse, then in medical device sales. She taught me to work as hard as possible, and not only for myself. Jo Ann Cook taught me everything I know about this job. I was lucky she took me under her wing and taught me about contracts, how to talk to people, how to negotiate. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND SANITY? You get out what you put in. You have to be diligent and hardworking and dedicated. I was fortunate that my first sale kicked me off in the luxury market. And my second big deal came about because I answered the phone, spoke knowledgeably … and was nice. The secret to my sanity is working out in the morning. If I get the hardest part of the day over with, then the rest of the day isn’t going to be easy, but maybe easier by comparison. WHILE YOU’RE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS IN YOUR VILLAGE? Hands-down it’s my boyfriend, Jordan. He’s my village. And my puppy, Daisy. We also have a girls’ night every two weeks and that support system is really motivating. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF JUST STARTING YOUR JOURNEY? Think for yourself and be confident in that. And don’t take any crap.

ALLY KELLEY


PHOTOGRAPHY: DOUG FINGER

Since the beginning, Stephanie Harper has been a devoted member of the Islamorada Beer Company team. Born in Delaware, she originally moved to the Florida Keys to pursue a career as a diving instructor. It was her enthusiasm for beer and brewing, however, that ultimately led her to accept the job as head brewer. Her creativity and knowledge has grown IBC as a staple in the island culture.

STEPHANIE HARPER

IN WHAT SITUATION HAVE YOU FELT LIKE A “ONE WOMAN SHOW?” Up until recently, I felt like a one-woman show everyday at work: doing the brewing, distilling, recipe development, and all production paperwork. However, it was never in a way that made me unhappy. I enjoy pushing myself to my limit and when the people you work for trust you enough to allow you to do that, it can be a wonderful thing. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST AS HEAD BREWER AT IBC? I love watching a recipe come to life, whether it is in the brewery or distillery. I love the smell of milling grain in the morning, beer poured straight from the brite tank, and being able to test myself mentally while having a hands-on career. WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP? My parents and grandparents are huge role models for leadership and work ethic. I also look up to Sylvia Earle — a fascinating explorer and underwater adventurer. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND SANITY? Balance and trust is my answer. I had to learn to balance my work life, to learn to trust others to take over things that I don’t necessarily have the time to do. Also, fishing, diving and hanging with the dogs are therapeutic. I am lucky to do them on a regular basis! WHILE YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS IN YOUR VILLAGE? I have an enormous village! The owners, my production crew, the bar crew, and manager are top-notch humans. My friends, family and, of course, my boyfriend; Mike is always there to lend a hand, offer genuine advice and take me fishing!

HEAD BREWER AND HEAD DISTILLER, ISLAMORADA BREWERY AND DISTILLERY

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF? With the right tools, anything is possible, don’t be afraid to go for what you want, and don’t let other people get you down.


KYLA PISCOPINK ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF DANCE KEY WEST, INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST AND MOM

IN WHAT SITUATION HAVE YOU FELT LIKE A “ONE WOMAN SHOW?” Many. But the first time I travelled solo with my baby to choreograph and set a show in New York City stands out. At the time, he was 9 months old, nursing nonstop and not sleeping much. Two of my girlfriends took care of him during the one-hour rehearsals and for the show. The rest of the time, it was the two of us: at rehearsals and meetings. It really showed me how strong—and lucky—I am to be able to live this life as a working artist and mother. WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP? I’m inspired by people who use their gifts and talents to make this world a better place. I’m inspired by kindness, love and going the distance. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND SANITY? Over the years, I’ve found that “balance” is a complete myth. Throw out that idea and replace it with the idea of integration. I try to allow work and life to coexist. Flipping my perspective on these concepts really allowed me to stay sane and flourish.

WHILE YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS IN YOUR VILLAGE? My husband is my rock. My sweet family and friends, along with DKW’s board of directors, dancers and donors — they all make it possible for me to do what I do. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF JUST STARTING YOUR JOURNEY? Everyone’s path is unique — don’t be afraid to go your own way. The beauty is in the journey, so try to enjoy the ups and downs, and know that you’re smart, capable and strong enough to always land on your own two feet.

PHOTOGRAPHY: NICK DOLL

Kyla Piscopink is recognizable from stages in Key West to New York City. Her grace extends beyond performance, to the perpetual dance of juggling being a mother, wife, and professional artist. Kyla also gives back to the community in beautiful ways, like her Autism Movement Therapy classes and her fundamental ideology that dance should be accessible to all. To what might we credit her enviable zen-like attitude? “Trust the flow and follow your heart, but also manage your expectations,” she says.


CARMEN SOTOLONGO KELLEY

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST BEING AN ARTIST AND A TEACHER? The teacher and artist in me are one… Which came first?

WIFE, MOM, ARTIST, TEACHER FOR LIFE AND LIFELONG LEARNER

WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP? My parents and grandparents were my first role models. We were Cuban refugees in 1961. Both were doctors and they showed me they could overcome any barrier if you worked hard enough. They were able to earn their degrees again by working night shifts and studying during the day. I learned about hard work, and that I needed to be in charge of who I wanted to become and what I wanted to do. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND SANITY? What sanity! I just mentioned my job ethics. But ... knowing there are people you can depend on after a long day. WHILE YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS IN YOUR VILLAGE? My husband is my partner and has been my supporter through all of my what we now joke as “ideas.” This refers to when I’d say I have an idea; everyone leaves the room because they know there’s a “new project.” I don’t have many close friends, but those I do have become a combination of friends and family; or as we refer to them — “framily.” And, giving back to this community where I live is being a part of this village. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF JUST STARTING YOUR JOURNEY? You will learn along the way who to trust, who to choose as a friend and never give up. Experiencing that you are not always going to be the best or reach your goal is a good lesson, too. It makes you try harder the next time. I see my younger self in my daughters and now my granddaughter. Surround yourself with positive people and learn to move forward with their support.

Carmen Kelley is, and has been, an integral part of the school and art scenes in the Upper Keys. She has taught science, art, math, drawing and ceramic classes at the local high school. Her professional art career started on weekends where she rented space at the flea market. Today, Kelley owns and operates the Key Largo Art Gallery where she has hosted 30 award-winning artists.

PHOTOGRAPHY: DOUG FINGER


PHOTOGRAPHY: BARRY GAUKEL

DIANE CULVER

PROGRAM DIRECTOR OF THE MARATHON REC CENTER

Born and raised in Marathon, Diane Culver has been a presence at the after-school care center for almost three decades — she is now taking care of the children of the children she used to care for. She provides a safety net for the kids who come to everyday after school — helping with homework, keeping track of grades and sometimes acting as a go-between for parents and the school.

IN WHAT SITUATION HAVE YOU FELT LIKE A “ONE WOMAN SHOW?” Well, I take responsibility for 55 kids every day after school and run summer programs, too. My kids are grown now, but I am still a “helicopter parent” and I still go to the SAC meetings, now on behalf of the kids in the center. I’m also the oldest of my siblings, so I tend to take charge of dad and family affairs.. WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS? My late grandmother was born in 1912 and I remember her reading the newspaper every day. My dad subscribed to all of the magazines — Jet and Ebony — so we could see how other black people live. My family’s emphasis on education taught me how to succeed. My dad was also a role model in the type of mate I should find. He did the laundry AND doted on my mom. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND SANITY? Oh, I think the secret to my success is definitely the Leo in me. No matter what I am going through emotionally, I put that aside and step in to help other people; it doesn’t do any good to cry and complain. For my sanity, we get a group together and go to music concerts; we just dance and have a good time. YOU’RE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, BUT WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS YOUR VILLAGE? Anthony, my family members, my friend Grimi Betancourt. I think that’s one of the things I love about Marathon, I know if I really needed help I would get it. It’s enough to be self sufficient, though, and have that in my back pocket in case I need it. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF JUST STARING YOUR JOURNEY? I do regret that I never finished college … but it’s just a piece of paper and I can help kids by relating my own experience. Fall 2019 | 51


OWNER, KEYS PLANNING AND EVENTS, CARIBBEAN CATERING

HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO BALANCE WORK WITH YOU FAMILY/SOCIAL LIFE? I’m not sure. I never sleep ... I figure I’ll sleep when I am dead! I have two boys Joey, 11, and Colton, 6. I make sure I volunteer at the kids schools whenever possible, drive on field trips, and watch their sports. WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP? I would have to say my number one role model is Bill Saxelby. He’s my mentor and a dear friend. (I met him and his amazing wife a few years ago planning their daughters wedding). He is probably the most positive, motivated, successful and intelligent man I know. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS? I think the secret to success is to 1) truly love what you do and believe in the product or service you sell; 2) Learn from your own mistakes and also other people’s mistakes to improve; 3) Have a business plan.

Growing up in Fort Myers and Tavernier, Trinity doesn’t sleep much between her work and family life. Attending Florida Gulf Coast University for business management, she worked for a family-owned business opening and running restaurants for 11 years. She’d come to the Keys at least once a month to visit her extended family. Today, her husband, Dave, and she run successful businesses in construction, events, catering and rentals. They have two boys: Joey and Colton.

PHOTOGRAPHY: DOUG FINGER

TRINITY VAN STEENBURG

IN WHAT SITUATION HAVE YOU FELT LIKE A “ONE WOMAN SHOW?” In my business I wear all the hats. From planning and designing the wedding to pulling a trailer with my 250 super duty and unloading the rentals to prepping and cooking the food as well as coordinating the entire event.

WHILE YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS IN YOUR VILLAGE? That’s easy ... the entire village of Islamorada is my village. I believe you do right and be a good person and everything else will fall into place. Caribbean Catering has been serving the locals and has been a part of or donated to all kinds of events for 18 years. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF JUST STARTING YOUR JOURNEY? Well, I would have told myself everything Bill has taught me!


PHOTOGRAPHY: NICK DOLL

IN WHAT SITUATION HAVE YOU FELT LIKE A “ONE WOMAN SHOW?” All of the situations. I’m the ringleader of the store, my son and daughter, and our five pets. WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP? I don’t have just one ... I’m just trying everyday to BE one for my kids. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND SANITY? Self care and optimism, for starters. As they say, you can’t give from an empty cup. And it sure helps to surround yourself with as much positivity as possible. WHILE YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS IN YOUR VILLAGE? There’s family you have, and there’s family you choose. We all know how amazing Key West is as a community. I have met some of the best people in the world here — we are all in this village together — and I am SO thankful for all of them. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF? It’s very important to me to live with no regrets. I wouldn’t tell my younger self to do things differently; I’d just let her know that she ends up very blessed and to enjoy each adventure.

OWNER OF DOG 30 (AND CASHIER, STOCKER, AND JANITOR ... :)

Many Key West locals recognize Samantha Usina as the knowledgeable resource (not to mention beautiful face), at the counter. A longtime Key West local and single mom, Usina moved down to the islands 10 years ago...

SAMANTHA USINA


PHOTOGRAPHY: BARRY GAUKEL

PERSONAL TRAINER

Marathon’s Arlene Mirabella has packed more adventures and experiences into her life that, really, she ought to be content. She emigrated to the U.S. at 19, moved to the Keys about 20 years ago on a sailboat via Los Angeles, Ca., and co-owned and operated one of the most popular restaurants in Marathon. But in January of this year, she’s embarked on a new journey — that of personal trainer and said she’s delighted to focus her life on helping others.

IN WHAT SITUATION HAVE YOU FELT LIKE A “ONE WOMAN SHOW”? Well, I need to come up with programs that are very client-specific. I need to know what they want and learn to work around their incapacity while increasing their capacity with a whole-body workout. I counsel them about their physicality, but sometimes more than that. I have a commitment to my clients, and myself, to learn and grow. I know I am ready to teach a move, when I can do it gracefully. WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP? Oh, my mom. I am the youngest of seven children and she supported the whole family. I remember her walking a 1.5 miles in high heels to work every day in the insurance industry. I also learned a lot about leadership at the restaurant where we had 60 employees. And I have learned a lot from Keys Strength & Conditioning. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

ARLENE MIRABELLA

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND SANITY? The secret to my success is hard work, determination and stamina. The secret to my sanity is the art of letting go. If you’re on a river, you have to go with the flow; rowing against it will just make you tired. WHILE YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS IN YOUR VILLAGE? My ex-husband, John and my extended family who, unfortunately, are so far away, are part of my village. And also my Castaway crew and my clients. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF JUST STARTING YOUR JOURNEY? My life experiences helped me grow up, so I could be strong enough in this place to follow my passion. Find yours, and work towards that.


RAQUEL CRUMMITT OWNER/CAPTAIN OF FISH ‘N CHICKS CHARTERS KEY WEST

IN WHAT SITUATION HAVE YOU FELT LIKE A “ONE WOMAN SHOW?” I have felt that way running my own boat since college and building my promotional products business working from home. WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS FOR LEADERSHIP? My grandparents and mom and dad. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND SANITY? My motto is work hard, play hard. My sanity is fishing, spearfishing, lobstering, stone crabbing and relaxing in our gorgeous aqua blue ocean. I try to get away and travel somewhere every few months too. WHILE YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, WE KNOW IT TAKES A VILLAGE. WHO IS IN YOUR VILLAGE? I have been fortunate with a great supportive family. I have amazing clients and friends to work with and we all take care of each other. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF JUST STARTING YOUR JOURNEY? I started my sales career at 25, which was great but wish I would have done the same getting my captain’s license at that age and building Fish ‘N Chicks Charters then.

Raquel Crummitt’s latest venture is as captain and owner of Fish ’n’ Chicks Charters in Key West, but for years she also has been successfully selling promotional and apparel products with the national company of Brown & Bigelow. A warrior on the water, Raquel keeps her sanity by fishing, spearfishing, lobstering, stone-crabbing and relaxing. And whenever she can treat her charter clients to the same, then life is really, really good. She’s been in sales since she was 25, but more recently obtained her captain’s license and launched Fish ’n’ Chicks.

PHOTOGRAPHY: NICK DOLL

Fall 2019 | 55


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56 | Keys Woman


This October, we’re making 3D mammograms more affordable and convenient. Is it time for you to have a mammogram? For women of average risk, the American College of Radiology recommends annual mammograms starting at age 40, with no upper age limit as long as the woman is in good health. Different guidelines apply to women at higher risk.* A screening mammogram can help detect breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages. And we offer 3D mammography services, which provide clearer images and faster results.** Schedule your 3D mammogram today. Call 786-618-3380.

$149

During the month of October. Includes reading fee. Special restrictions apply. Call for details.

3D MAMMOGRAM SPECIAL Extended Mammography Hours on October 26. Call 786-618-3380.

Women’s Imaging Center Key West Professional Building 1111 12th Street, Suite 414, Key West

If you are uninsured, the price of $149 includes both the hospital and radiologist fees for a 3D screening mammogram. This price applies only to a screening mammogram for women who are asymptomatic. Payment is due at the time of service.

*For American College of Radiology recommendations, visit acr.org. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. An order from a physician or qualified healthcare provider is required. All mammogram reports will be sent to the physician/provider, and the patient is responsible for follow-up. Check with your insurance provider to confirm coverage for a screening mammogram. If you do not have insurance, options may be available to help with the cost. **According to acr.org, breast tomosynthesis (3D) has shown to be an advance over digital (2D) mammography, with higher cancer detection rates and fewer patient recalls for additional testing.

Same-day appointments, close to home.

108252_LOWE_WMNimag_8x4_9c.indd 1

10/17/19 4:58 PM

We provide primary care for every member of your family, including these services: • Disease management

• Sports medicine

• Well-woman care

• Complete physicals

We accept most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Just call one of our three primary care locations, and ask about same-day appointments. Most calls will result in a same-day appointment with a physician, physician assistant or a nurse practitioner.

29755 Overseas Highway • Big Pine Key

786-628-8224

1111 12th Street, Suite 203 • Key West

786-628-8284

3224 North Roosevelt Boulevard Key West at Searstown

786-628-8726

ONLINE SCHEDULING IS AVAILABLE.

No need to wait! Online scheduling is available at KeysMedicalDocs.com Fall 2019 | 57 108276_LOWE_PCP_8x4_9c.indd 1

10/16/19 4:59 PM


BY SARAH THOMAS

HOW T YOUR FRUIT

Strawberries | Spinach | Kale | Nectarines | Apples | Grapes Peaches | Cherries | Pears | Tomatoes | Celery | Potatoes

Avocados | Sweet Corn | Pineapples | Frozen Wweet Peas | Onions Papayas | Eggplants | Asparagus | Kiwis | Cabbages | Cauliflower Cantaloupes | Broccoli | Mushrooms | Honeydew Melons 58 | Keys Woman


TO EAT TS AND VEGGIES… W H E N A N A G E - O L D Q U E S T I O N G E T S C O M P L I C AT E D

It used to be a simple directive from doctors to patients, parents to children: “Eat your fruits and veggies.” But as time has gone on and the choices in the produce section — and high stakes of choosing wrong — can be overwhelming. The language of fruits and vegetables has grown too; we now consider whether they’re “organic” and “sustainably produced.” Fortunately, organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) act as watchdogs on the agriculture industry and the Food and Drug Administration, testing foods for chemical content. The EWG has tried to simplify the process of choosing whether or not to buy organic, i.e. free of pesticides. Organic produce is often more expensive, so it can be a battle between the wallet, and the desire to be healthconscious. The EWG published lists they dub “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean Fifteen,” the fruits and veggies that have the most pesticides when conventionally grown and those that have the least pesticides when conventionally grown. So, while it’s no big deal to buy a regular old cauliflower from The Clean Fifteen, it’s probably wise to go organic on the carton of strawberries on The Dirty Dozen. (Take a screenshot of the list on the opposite page to keep as a handy reference at the grocery store.) We all want to make the best possible choices for our bodies and our families, but sometimes, it’s easy to grab what’s most familiar, cheapest and easiest. While those factors are important, there are others to consider for the most health benefits—and fewest dangers—for ourselves and our families. This can be doubly tricky in the Keys, where there isn’t nearby farmland and much of the produce has to travel many miles before it arrives here at our grocery stores. With all these factors to juggle, we try to simplify the process, using options at a local grocery store for comparison. Food writer Michael Pollan said it best: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

When shopping at the grocery store, there are several questions you should ask about fruits and veggies. They are guided by the two key questions: Is this good or bad for my body? And: Is this good or bad for the environment around me? The questions we asked to help guide our choices below are:

• Is it organic, or was it treated with pesticides? • Is it grown locally or did it travel far? • Is it packaged in plastic or not? • Is it expensive, moderate or affordable?

Instead of precut pineapple, which is more expensive, packaged in plastic, and is more vulnerable to picking up salmonella and e coli, opt for a whole pineapple which is on The Clean Fifteen. Even better, go for a regionally grown starfruit, which didn’t travel as far and is less expensive!

Instead of conventional prepackaged kale, go for the organic spinach. Better yet, buy the unwrapped organic kale. Ditch the extra waste and the extra cost—the organic kale is cheaper than the pre-packaged stuff.

Instead of conventionally-grown tomatoes that came from California, go for the Florida tomatoes, or even better yet, go for the organic tomatoes. While it’s too bad they’re in plastic packaging, tomatoes are on The Dirty Dozen, which means the non-organic tomatoes show significant levels of chemical contamination.

Instead of conventional strawberries, which show high chemical levels and are on The Dirty Dozen, go for the less expensive and safer blueberries, or better yet, raspberries. Do a quick Internet search of the brand—Driscoll’s has been recognized by environmental agencies for being responsible growers and farming advocates.

Fall 2019 | 59


ice cream cupcakes candy toys+gifts books custom cakes gluten free OPEN

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Sun - Thurs 11am - 9pm Fri & Sat 11am - 10pm

8919 Overseas Hwy in the southwind plaza

sweetsavannahs.com 305-743-3131

Got Leaks? Check. Twist. Replace. For Simple Tips To Get You Started Go To FKAA.com

60 | Keys Woman


IMPROVING LIVES ONE SMILE AT A TIME! From left to right: Dr. Hector Guzman D.D.S, Dr. David McDonald D.M.D Dr. Natalia Vazquez-Marrero D.M.D and Dr. Oscar Rodriguez D.M.D

Located at 2758 N. Roosevelt Blvd. (in the Overseas Market) • Key West, FL 33040 Phone 305.294.9914 • Fax 305.295.9691 • doc@docguzman.com • www.docguzman.com

We Celebrate Our Amazing Ladies and All of the Incredible Women Throughout the Florida Keys.

Thank You For Your Inspiration WWW.ROOSTICA.COM | 5620 MACDONALD AVE. | 305-296-4999

Fall 2019 | 61


BY KIRBY TRAHAN

48 HRS WITH...

Sushi is synonymous with over-the-top glamour. As one of the most recognizable drag queens in the world, there are countless moments that define the fascination, fashion and, of course, her signature moments up and down Duval Street. Yet it’s Gary Marion, the man before the transformation into Key West’s beloved queen mother, who embodies a humble, soft-spoken extraordinary seamstress. From his Key West home he works tirelessly; overseeing 14 drag shows a week at 801 Cabaret, as well as creating every last fashionable detail that goes along with it. During the week of Fantasy Fest, Gary is already months into the preparation, eyeing the final sleepless stages of hand-making over 30 custom costumes for himself, his “girls” and other clients wanting a one-ofa-kind, show-stopping ensemble of glitter and glitz. For those who know Sushi, or even the name, it is the finished product that most recognize. Yet it is the man behind the ultimate Queen that offers us a glimpse into his life … in his own words … from the sewing machine to the stage, over 48 hours of Key West’s busiest week of the year.

THURSDAY 2AM: I return home from performing and the absolute first thing I do is take off my shoes, panty hose and lashes. I sit by the pool and have an Absolut Citron on the rocks with a splash of water and a light blue American Spirit. I start thinking about the costumes I have to make or cut out. Cutting is easier for me at night when I’m a little tipsy... but I wouldn’t sew while I was drunk. 5AM: I’m done with cut and prep, about 5 costumes worth, so I wash my face and moisturize with Kiehl’s midnight recovery, take off all my clothes and get in bed. 1PM: Wake up, brush my teeth first and then have a cigarette. I can’t smoke with morning breath. I brush my teeth again and moisturize. I have my iced coffee once I’m cleaned up. I put on classical music and start sewing. No shirt, no shoes, just shorts, hair in a bun; it’s not glamorous. People see me in drag and think it’s always glamour. I’m like, ‘Girl, I’m only fabulous for 4 hours.’ 5-7PM: Nap. 7PM: Dinner and a cocktail. It’s always the same drink and I’m pulling something from a Tupperware to warm up. Then I start sewing again.

62 | Keys Woman


FRIDAY 3AM: I’m done sewing and I’m tired. I wash my face, take off all my clothes and jump in the pool to close my pores. Then 2 cigarettes, 1 cocktail, 2 NyQuil. I watch something soothing in bed, like the Nature channel, very low until I fall asleep. 1PM: I wake up achy and sore so I stretch by the pool. Maybe a little swim.

9:10PM: I’m performing to “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Bjork. I’ve taken off my street outfit because you have to surprise them with something new and extraordinary. I have on sheer black netting, with antique 1920s Italian fringe, a torn-up 1940s Kimono with patches on the semi-see through mesh. I made it years ago and every time I get a hole in it I just add more sequins.

SATURDAY 2PM: I have to eat earlier because I’m doing drag tonight. Nothing large, and nothing after 3; I can’t be bloated. So usually a glass of tomato juice, a V8, spicy. I make a salad with chicken breast, bleu cheese dressing, tomatoes, avocados, a lot of pepper. I’m laying down, eating, relaxed watching the “Midwives” on Netflix, or any series about strong women that do good.

12:45AM: I close the second show with “Teach Me Tiger” by Ann-Margret from the 1960s and I do it in this Japanese kabuki Marilyn Monroe outfit. I have nothing on underneath, and there’s part of the song that goes “Whaa Whaa Whaa” and that’s when I shake my thing under the dress. A yell of ecstasy comes from the sound speaker and I open my robe. The crowd loves it.

6PM: Sh*t, shower and shave.

1AM: I change into a floor-length gown and flip- flops because I’m done with heels at this point. I’m still in glamour mode, just with hidden sandals to go downstairs to smoke and socialize with the customers. I tell all the girls, try to be as nice as you can to everyone.

6:30PM: After jumping in the pool, I moisturize my whole body and put on boxer shorts. Foundation and powder comes first. Then eyes. I’m halfway made up at this point — right before lashes and lips — as I suck down my cigarette and sip on my first cocktail. Wig goes on, and then I tuck. 6:45PM: I get dressed into a simple red silk semi-sheer evening gown. Black velvet pumps, 1950s style. Lucite bracelets made out of these little plastic baubles made by my friend who took apart an old vintage necklace to make them. 7PM: Get into Uber. 7:50PM: I’ve filled out my lineup so I go downstairs and sit at the bar with a cocktail. People are coming up for pictures or telling me about times they’ve seen me perform before. I try to make everyone feel special. 8-8:45PM: On the street, handing out flyers and hollering, causing a ruckus, trying to drum up business.

1:30AM: I walk with my cocktail and parade through Bourbon St. Pub and try to make a little scene. I down a big glass of ice water and, if I remember, the 2 aspirin in my purse. 2AM: I run down and see my husband Jeff, the karaoke king, at Bobby’s Monkey Bar. Miss Elaine pours me my usual and I play some pool with whoever happens to be there. I win. I’ve been playing since I was 18 … I learned from an old hooker in Portland, Oregon. 3AM: I’ve hit my max. I Uber home, dress ends up on the sewing table, pull off my wig and flip flops, jewelry splayed over everything. I walk to my room in just my tuck and take off my lashes and put them underneath a little teacup. I shower and once I’m Gary again begin my ritual: pool, cocktail, cigarette, bed.


BY MANDY MILES

Dealing with

our DIFFERENCES Of course, once I kicked it into the bathroom baseboard, it did have some issues. But c’mon, three measly pounds? I had just sworn off alcohol for six boring weeks, denying rampant pregnancy rumors every time I ordered a club soda, and telling myself the pounds must just be melting away. Nope, not so much. Not even a little bit. Three damn pounds. That’s it. My husband, Stan, on the other hand, had simply switched to Diet 7-Up in his evening cocktails. Giving up nothing, in the same six weeks, he dropped eight pounds. Are you freakin’ kidding me? We’ve been saying for centuries, the differences between men and women simply aren’t fair, and I’m not even talking about the most obvious ones. (Don’t worry; we’ve left those for another page.) Aside from the literal weight-loss imbalance, we women don’t have omnidirectional urinary capabilities.

Similarly, we can’t enjoy convertibles knowing it’ll take an hour to detangle our hair. Forget Ms. Hepburn’s elegant scarf-tied-under-the-chin look. That never works. The scarf blows off at the first highway exit and we spend the rest of the ride clenching our hair in our fist with our head tilted uncomfortably. Of course, if we were in our own car, there’d be at least one ponytail holder encircling the gearshift. Instead we’re going 80 mph in a damn topless wind tunnel. Delightful.

Clearly our scale was broken

We also can’t enjoy a spontaneous swim as readily as men, who can simply shed their shirt and jump in anytime, anywhere. It’s neither easy nor convenient for us to take an impromptu dip, refreshing as it may seem. Unless we’re in a position or location to go au naturel, a swim requires a designated garment that doesn’t always make us feel our most attractive. And the aftermath involves much more than a headshake that seems to serve both man and dog. Once we go all the way in and under, in a pool, lake or ocean, we’ll typically need to start the whole getready process from the top, as in a shower, shampoo, conditioner and blow dryer.

64 | Keys Woman

Sure, there are those annoyingly adorable chicks with the delicate features and short hair that can manage a quick change under a beach towel and head elegantly out on the town. I’m not one of them.

Speaking of hair and accessories, let’s not forget how much more is expected of us in terms of general appearance – smooth legs, polished nails, shiny hair and flattering makeup. That stuff is expensive. If my husband, Stan, saw the prices of foundation, mascara, lipstick and items he can’t even identify, he’d take a Sharpie to my lids and lashes each morning before I woke. I wonder if he knows how much a scale costs. It seems increasingly likely that ours has disappointed me for the last time. Screw that scale – and the sobriety that made me step on it. It’s about time to turn my club soda into a cocktail. Cheers, ladies. We freakin’ rock.


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Fall 2019 | 65


BY KIRBY TRAHAN

Fashion swap You know those pieces hanging in your closet you haven’t worn in forever but just cant seem to give up? Trade em’ out! Have each of your girls bring five items – handbags, clothes, jewelry, belts, shoes, etc. – and their bargaining skills for a fashion swap! You’ll all head home with some new additions to your wardbrobe. Plus, who doesn’t love a living room fashion show?

PHOTOGRAPHY: NICK DOLL

66 | Keys Woman


Girls night IN T for a ip: Robes p to try retty a ma ke nd on at Jea . F ind the easy way Simon n-Pierr se pictur ton S e Klifa ed t. in K o ey W n est.

Sometimes going out isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While dancing and drinking your way down Duval makes for some memorable (and often blurry) evenings, sometimes we just need a good ole fashion girls night in. But the girls night in we once knew has evolved. Sure, you and your besties can open a few bottles of vino, throw on “Pretty Woman” or swoon over The Gos while watching “The Notebook” and kick back in your PJs. But most of us aren’t in the life stage of slumber parties anymore — partners, kids, jobs — you know, that whole adulting thing. If you still want to bring on the house party fun without breaking the bank, we’ve got you covered. Here’s your guide on how to step up staying in.

Fall 2019 | 67


Tip: Pick up these stemless wine glasses from the dollar store – real glass that is really hard to break. (And if you do drop it, well, it’s only a dollar!)

angria S

While there are endless ways to make this delicious wine based cocktail, we took on the daunting task of trying a bunch for you (it was just a terrible part of the assignment) and came up with two affordable, super yummy and easy to make recipes!

ROSE “SNIPER” SANGRIA Handful of fresh strawberries & blackberries ½ Bota Box of Rose ¼ cup Stoli Raspberry ¼ cup Stoli Blueberry Let soak at least 6 hours Top with ½ cup white cranberry juice & soda water

RED SANGRIA One lime and lemon squeezed ½ Bota box of Cabernet Sauvignon ½ cup Peach Schnapps Let soak at least 6 hours Top with ½ cup OJ and soda water Serve over ice.

Pitchers and Bucket from Fast Bucks, Caroline Street, Key West. Booze from Marathon Liquors.

GIRL S NIGH

Yo

DANCE, DANCE Music makes the mood- make sure the jams are pumping from the moment your girls walk through the door. Don’t forget to crank it up as the night goes on and let the dance party ensue!

T IN >

Lizzo Thruth hurts

ift Taylor Sw down u need to calm

Paramore Aint it fun

Artists

ouston Whitney He With Somebody I Wanna Danc Notorius B Juicy

IG

Joan Jett n Bad Reputatio n Elton Joh e Jets Bennie and th

PLAYLIST Tunes we suggest: Mark Ronson Ft. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk | Janis Joplin – Piece of my Heart | Lorde – Royals | Paula Abdul – Straight Up | Jackson 5 – I want you back | Robyn – Dancing on my Own | Spice Girls – Wannabe | Isley Brothers – Shout | Usher Ft. Ludacris & Lil Jon – Yeah | Prince – Raspberry Beret | Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me | Justin Timberlake – Sexyback 68 | Keys Woman


THE QUESTIONS GAME While board games, dominoes and cards are all fun, we suggest something that takes no score card, no purchase and a lot of laughs. Warning: if you’re drinking the “sniper” sangria, your friends may learn a bit more about you than they bargained for. How it works: Each lady writes down two questions to start, folds it up and throws it into a jar. Go around the circle with each person having to answer (no exceptions!) with the person who picked the question answering last. By the end of the second round you’ll be warmed up, buzzed up and can start coming up with questions on the fly! To get you started we came up with a half dozen question suggestions:

If you could be any person at any time for 24 hours – with no repercussions for your actions during that period – who would it be and what would you do? What’s the most awkward or embarrassing thing that you have ever experienced? If you could be a guy for a day, what three things would you do? What superpower would you choose and what’s the first thing you would use it for? What is your favorite and least favorite personality trait about yourself? What’s the strangest thing on your sexual bucket list?

DIY COASTERS Crafts are always fun and a great way to sit around the table and gab with your girls while creating something beautiful. We recommend coasters. Why? Because this is the Keys and we like to drink. Bring home something pretty and useful!

the c Tip: Tell y on o and h cept when ur girls they ave pap they a ca rriv er throu n think of ready so e ghout quest the n ions ight. Tip: No one touch until you get your Instagram worthy photos! Follow @thatcheeseplate for inspiration.

Charcuterie

Don’t let the fancy word fool you, it’s simply a board filled with meats, cheese and any other additions your crave. Think olives, nuts, fruit, pickles, hummus and even popcorn and chocolate! Honestly, you can’t screw this up. No need to cook dinner; a well done charcuterie board will be plenty to fill your tummies and is perfect for snacking throughout the evening.

Coaster supplies provided by Debby Commander, your local go-to craft lady! Find her on Facebook, Debby Commander.

Charcuterie supplied by The local Butcher and Market, White Street, Key West. Fall 2019 | 69


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BASCOM GROOMS REAL ESTATE THANKS THE WOMEN WHO DEFINE OUR COMPANY & COMMUNITY

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WEEKLY STAFF

The things we do Individual as we all are, let’s admit right here and now, ladies, to some of those universal behaviors that make us the mysterious and wonderful creatures we are. We all...

Wear that perfect bra for far too many consecutive days

Silently utter, “Righty tighty, lefty loosey,” when holding a screwdriver

Feel the need to demonstrate how pockets work, whenever a cute dress actually has them

Deny, deny, deny anything involving the household vehicles USE THE MEN’S RESTROOM INSTEAD OF WAITING IN LINE FOR OURS

Regift

Do the same deep-knee bends, yoga moves and side shimmies to stretch out a freshly washed pair of jeans Bite and pick our nails, even when we pay for gel manicures

Wear bathing suit bottoms as underwear when laundry gets lean Hide our underwear in our folded clothing at the gynecologist’s office

Check out our reflection in any shiny surface CYBER STALK OUR EXES AND OTHER WOMEN Avoid saying the word, “Nothing,” when our husband calls to ask what we’re doing

Pick our noses

Have used toilet paper as makeshift tampons 72 | Keys Woman


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TAVERNIER 90290 Overseas Hwy. | 305.852.5099 Tuesdays and Thursday 9AM-5PM

SUNDAY DAILY NIGHT! SPECIALS Spaghetti and Meatballs

Key Largo Dentists, Dr. Travis Bennett and Dr. Sandy Brito are dedicated to quality dental care. At our beautiful offices we offer a wide array of dental procedures including CT scans, implant /gum surgery, implant prosthetics, full mouth restoration, same day in office crowns and bridges, fillings, orthodontics (braces and Invisalign), teeth whitening, smile makeovers and many other services. “No sell dentistry, state of art office with a staff that cares!”

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From the 14 BAD-ASS WOMEN of Keys Weekly, to our sisters who connect this island chain...

THIS ONE'S FOR YOU! Fall 2019 | 73


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VENTURE AWAY WITH US AT ANAHARA SPA KEY WEST.


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is here to provide shelter and safety for all the women and children throughout the ENTIRE Florida Keys. DAY OR NIGHT we are here to offer hope and a safe haven for all who walk through our doors.

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BY REDA WIGLE

Barstool

Astrology

WHAT THE STARS HAVE IN STORE

Women of the Keys, constellations of greatness that you are, welcome to Barstool Astrology, Keys Woman Edition.

In honor of the mission of and audience for this magazine, I bring you a lesson in the masculine vs. feminine aspects of the zodiac. In addition to being divided elementally into earth, air, fire and water, the twelve signs of the zodiac are categorized as either masculine or feminine. The distinction has less to do with any sort of binary gender norms and more to do with energy and how it informs our attitude and approach to life.

Masculine signs are day-oriented, overt, active, external, sun-ruled, quick-paced, the Yang of the zodiac. Feminine signs are nocturnal, secretive, passive, internal, moonruled, slow-paced, the Yin. In general terms, feminine signs foster intuition and emotional complexity as well as suspicion and masochistic levels of lamenting. Masculine signs encourage action, often rash and oftener regrettable, as well as physical and mental fortitude and transformation through destruction.

1. Pisces 4. Virgo 7. Gemini 10. Sagittarius

76 | Keys Woman

In descending order of feminine to masculine influence the signs are ranked as follows with Pisces being the most acutely feminine and Aries the most intensely masculine. As exhibited below, fire and air signs are defined as masculine while water and earth are understood as feminine. Beginning with Aries (which is followed by Pisces), the zodiac wheel alternates between the feminine and the masculine.

2. Scorpio 5. Taurus 8. Aquarius 11. Leo

3. Cancer 6. Capricorn 9. Libra 12. Aries


The processing of emotion is different for masculine and feminine signs. Feminine signs absorb energy from their surroundings and process it. For water signs (Pisces, Scorpio, Cancer) this intake is internal and experienced on an emotional level. For earth signs (Virgo, Taurus, Capricorn) the absorption is sensual, tactile and judged on the basis of practicality. In both cases, energy is assimilated, analyzed and investigated until understood. In brief, water signs exist to bury and excavate emotions, earth signs want to eat them or exorcise them through sex. By contrast, masculine signs reflect and shield themselves from outside energy. Rather than absorb, they respond. This response manifests itself differently between Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) and Air signs (Gemini, Aquarius, Libra). Air signs have the tendency to respond to stimulus with a torrent of language, mostly indecipherable, sometimes hurtful and often forgettable—at least to them. Fire signs tend to flare immediately and irrevocably, favoring a scorched earth approach to emotional reckoning that leaves bystanders without eyelashes or defense.

What does it mean to be a woman or femme in a masculine vs. feminine sign? I’m so glad you asked. Let’s take a look at both extremes. Consider fire-wielding Aries Gloria Steinem, and her tireless efforts on behalf of the Feminist movement. She and her iconic highlights pushed towards progress by setting tradition and the patriarchy aflame. Yet, her forward momentum was not without its tactless moments I.e., working with and for the CIA and publishing the arguably victim-blaming op-ed “Feminists and the Clinton Question.” Steinem perfectly represents the rash but transformative energies of the masculine zodiac. On the other side of the wheel we have the fem de la femme. In addition to being born with the enviable genetic defect of a double set of eyelashes, Dame Elizabeth Taylor was born under the apex feminine sign of Pisces. The general feminine inclination to give rather than receive was a hallmark of Taylor who is remembered as an advocate for the LGBTQ community and un unmatched ally in the fight against AIDS. Indicative of the tempestuous and deeply emotional nature of feminine water signs, Taylor loved hard and married often, twice to Richard Burton. Her pursuit of emotional fulfillment was not without its casualties; Taylor famously seduced Eddie Fisher, husband of her bestie and one-time maid of honor, Debbie Reynolds.

Jungian psychologist and scholar Robert Johnson symbolizes the masculine and feminine energies as the sword and the harp. “The sword is the discriminating element that divides and analyzes. It cuts through problems and idea to understand them.” In contrast, “the harp is the lyrical, feeling tool that corresponds to the inner feminine.” Johnson argues that in order to succeed in any journey, a hero, regardless of gender identity, needs both. So get to fighting that good fight, but don’t step into battle without a love song to sing yourself. To get a full picture of the balance between masculine and feminine in your own life, consider the placement of the other elements in your birth chart: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and your rising sign. The combined forces of these influences determine where you fall in the masculine to feminine scale and help to further our understanding of how to balance these dualities. And friends — in life, love, drink mixing, tight rope walking and astrology — balance is the name of the game.

Fall 2019 | 77


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