Ladies Who Leverage Visionary Life Magazine

Page 1

Global Network & Mentoring Accelerator

We connect badass female entrepreneurs in a safe, supportive ecosystem to build their business badassery. | 1 | Winter 2022

LWL’s foundational principle is “collabosourcing®,” which means leveraging your and the LWL community’s expertise, resources, and relationships to build your business, brand, and badassery. Through Ladies Who Leverage, female entrepreneurs learn to connect authentically, build strategically, and live life unapologetically AF. In LWL, badass female entrepreneurs find empowerment, support, inspiration, accountability, and a wealth of experience and knowledge to drive their success.


To connect badass female entrepreneurs and business owners in a safe, supportive ecosystem to create and share ideas and information, build thriving businesses, and live life unapologetically AF.


We don’t compete. We collabosource. While we understand that healthy competition is good for business, we don’t compete against each other in a way that negatively impacts each other’s businesses. Instead, we support each other and find ways to leverage our expertise, resources, and relationships to build our businesses, brands, and badassery.


Being a successful female entrepreneur requires an intentional focus on your whole self. Leveraging the 5 pillars of “The BYBB Effect” we empower you to grow your business and master how to Build Your Business Badassery. Business is as much about what you do, as it is who you are while doing it. You must both show up and show out. That’s why in Ladies Who Leverage we are committed to mentoring you on your journey from doing random business activities to becoming the strategic badass visionary entrepreneur you truly are.


For more information and to apply to be invited into the Ladies Who Leverage Global Network and Mentoring Accelerator, visit | 2 | Winter 2022


From Idea to Viral: One Woman’s Road to Success


4 Tips For Small Businesses to Boost Their Social Media Presence

How a viral idea became a successful business.

Everything you need to know to help increase your reach.


Living Life Unapologetically AF: Visionnaire Kelly CharlesCollins’s Journey to Success and Community Driven Purpose


Must-Read Books to Kickstart the New Year


It’s Sweater Weather – What’s Your Layered Marketing Approach?

Ladies Who Leverage founder Kelly Charles-Collins discusses her early beginnings and her mission of empowering badass female entrepreneurs and business owners.

Create a plan and purpose for the new year with these reads.

Tips on how to leverage yourself and your business to capture your audience’s attention.


Call for Nominations LWL 2022 Unapologetic Badass

CONTRIBUTORS Thank you to everyone who made this issue a success! “Visionary Life” Squad: ●Publisher: Kelly Charles-Collins ●Editor: Michelle Rostamian ●Executive Assistant to Publisher: Mary Joy Blanco ●Creative Design & Layout: Michelle Rostamian, Mary Joy Blanco,

Contributing Writers: Aimee Brothman

● Laura Briggs

●Brooke Riley

● Meredith G. Schneider

●Dawnna St. Louis

● Michelle Rostamian

●Erin Mahoney

● Robin Raven

●Jackalyn Beck

● Shanel Evans

●Kelly Charles-Collins

● Simone Morris

●Kristin Blomquist

● Tai Goodwin

●Lainey Morse On the Cover ●Kelly wears a custom pink and black tuxedo by Sabre Mochachino. Shoes by Jessica Simpson. Makeup by Mauria Smith. Jewelry by Diamonique. Photo by Eric Richardson Photography.


Best Lengthening and Toning Exercises to Do At Home


Relocating to Grow My Business Was the Best Decision I’ve Ever Made

10 easy-to-do exercises for achieving long, lean muscles.


How to Dress Your Body Type, According to a Fashion Designer

Identify your shape and improve your style. | 3 | Winter 2022

One celebrity makeup artist’s journey to success after making a big move.

LETTER FROM THE FOUNDER & PUBLISHER why. But that’s for them to ponder. I understand my assignment: to faithfully execute on the vision that was given to me. I know that my purpose in life is to be the light for others to step into their greatness. Therefore, if I want women to truly own their power, live beyond their potential, and live life unapologetically AF, I must be the example.

As the clock strikes midnight every year we celebrate the dawn of a new year, a new day. A rebirth of sorts. The opportunity for a clean slate. A do over. Or for some…a do. But, we don’t have to wait for the new year. Every single day we are alive we are presented with those same opportunities to live, explore, be better, and do better.


This is the beginning of year three of Ladies Who Leverage, and we have accomplished so much: from our global network, to the Ladies Who Leverage Podcast, and now the Visionary Life Magazine. And I’m not done… As for what’s next, you’ll have to stay tuned and stay connected. What I will say is you will not be disappointed.

This issue celebrates those moments with personal stories of triumph after loss. Taking a chance on a seemingly crazy idea. Moving cross-country to live beyond your potential. Operating as a visionary CEO. Embracing your body, mind, and soul.

But for now, let’s celebrate this launch. Savor the content in this issue. Get inspired by the stories. Implement the strategies. Share the knowledge.

This inaugural issue of Ladies Who Leverage “Visionary Life” magazine is a new day for my brand. It is another piece of our ecosystem puzzle. Another way to authentically connect women so they can build thriving businesses and live life unapologetically AF.

But while you wait, you have work to do… Go unleash your badassery and live life unapologetically AF!

Each issue of the magazine will be wellrounded, focused on featuring stories that address female entrepreneurs as their whole self. LWL is a lifestyle brand. We are focused on building your business badassery through addressing women’s beliefs, boundaries, brands, bag (a/k/a the money bag), and their being. It’s about empowering women to leverage all of who they are, to be more than they think they can be. It’s about helping women embrace that they are powerful at their core and encourage them to live beyond their potential. It’s about being a true visionary. A woman who is guided by her desires—and her desires alone—to live the life she believes she deserves.

April’s issue will be even better!


Kelly Charles-Collins

Kelly Charles-Collins, Esq., MBA Chief Visionary Badass & Founder Ladies Who Leverage

@kellycharlescollins & @ladieswholeverage @kellycharlescollins & @ladieswholeverage @hrlawattorney kellycharlescollins

Before October 2021, publishing a magazine was not in my plans. And I know when I told some people I was doing it, they wondered why, and some might still be wondering | 4 | Winter 2022


I Made a Mid-Life Career Jump...

By Kristin Blomquist

“Some day, you’ll look back on this and realize it’s the best thing that has ever happened to you.”

It’s evolved from the first idea and it continues to evolve as I learn more about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, and as the needs of the people around me change. What I see now is that when we take a step back and look at our experiences without

judging ourselves, we can see the possibilities. Everything I had experienced in my personal and professional life had given me the skills I needed for this business. And, I’ve learned that sometimes,

If you’ve been fired or lost your job, someone has said this to you. It’s the standard line everyone from your best friend to the

our rebirth can look really different from what we were expecting. Sometimes we don’t get it right on the first try. Or even the second. But what I can say is that I have learned more, done more, loved

junior human resources manager will trot out to try and make this moment feel a little less awful. Let me tell you something—it doesn’t make the moment any better. Getting fired is not the best

more, and contributed more in the last five years than I ever have before. And while I never thought this is what 60 would look like, I know that this is exactly what 60 is meant to look like.

thing that will ever happen to you. But getting fired does have a way of focusing your thinking.

Here’s what I’ve learned that I’m leveraging from this new experience.

I was devastated when I lost my job at 55-years-old. And ashamed. After several years working as a lawyer and a business professional for two very large companies, I found myself without the job I thought I would have until retirement. I was trying to figure out what came next and how to feel relevant. I was in my mid-50s, mentally exhausted, pulled in different directions by family needs, and trying to figure out how to make something out of the experiences that had brought me to this point. Months went by and no one seemed very interested in hiring a 56-year-old woman. To save face, I started saying I was retired. But I knew that there was more I wanted to accomplish.

“To save face, I started saying I was retired. But I knew that there was more I wanted to accomplish.”

It would be nice to say I pivoted into a career change with a happy and open heart. I didn’t. There was a lot of wandering in the wilderness. It took time to stop focusing on what I was missing and start focusing on what I had. When I learned to do that, it was possible to see how I could use my prior work experience to build something meaningful and new: My own business. | 5 | Winter 2022

Stop judging. We attach value statements to everything. Good decision, bad decision. Good outcome, bad outcome. Good person, bad person. Success, failure. Sometimes, you do everything right and you still don’t have the outcome you want. Is that a failure? Only if that’s what you call it. Take the value statements out of the conversation. Sure, some decisions are bad. But sometimes, things just don’t turn out like we planned. That’s when it’s time to leverage your experience and self-awareness to get back on track.

Accept that this will be messy. Starting something new is messy. The beginning is great because it’s full of promise and excitement, but the fact remains that it’s a question of when things will get messy and not if. You will reach a point where you feel there’s not enough time, or enough support, or enough money, to continue. Stop. Consider everything you have ever started. In every experience—whether it was going to college,

starting a family, moving in with a partner, or finding a new job— there was a moment when it was really messy. You know how to do messy. Look where you are now. That messy stage didn’t last forever, and this one won’t either.

Ask for what you need. When you first start telling people you are going to begin something new, many of them will say, “LET me know how I can help.” Some of them will mean it. Some of them won’t. Some have good intentions, but they won’t follow through. You can’t always predict who will come through for you. So, you have to ask for what you need. Time. Space. Input. Feedback. Money. Less advice. It can be hard to ask for what we need, but I’m here to tell you the world cannot read your mind. If you don’t ask, you can’t receive.

Lift others up—and let yourself be lifted. We live in a culture that often sends the message that for some people to have more, others must have less. That’s not true. Life is not a zero-sum game. It is, however, a long one. So, take the long view. You are going to have the opportunity to lift others up. Do it. Send other women business when you can, tell their stories, share the stage. And when people offer to help you, let them. You may not see the benefit right now. In fact, there may never be a tangible benefit for you. It doesn’t matter. There is power in community. When we enable each other’s success, we make it that much easier for the next person, and for ourselves, to live our best lives.

Trust yourself during times of the unknown. This is the ultimate leverage. You can read all the books in the world, listen to every TED talk, watch the videos, and consume 100 podcasts. Eventually, you will get to a point where you simply don’t know what to do next. That’s when you really need the power of leverage. Gather up all your experiences, your knowledge, all the relationships and friendships, then take the useful bits and make it up as you go along. You may get it right the first time or you may need a course correction. The point is: you took action. And next time, you can use what you learned to do it again. And again. And again.

Kristin Blomquist is the owner of Gratitude Soapery, a line of vegan-friendly artisanal self-care products. | 6 | Winter 2022 | 7 | Winter 2022

VIRAL From Idea to

By Lainey Morse

One Woman’s Road to Success

It took tenacity, fearlessness, and determination.


n late 2015, I knew something was wrong. I was a runner and active in life, but now I could barely make it up the stairs to my corporate job of ten years. I would come home from work and go out to the barn and sit with the goats. They made me forget about the pain and they gave me a happy distraction from everything that was happening. I started calling it Goat Happy Hour because it always made me happy. On my good days I invited other people out to spend time with the goats. Life changed one day when I brought a yoga instructor out to the farm. She asked me if she could hold a yoga class in my field because the scenery was so beautiful and the goats were so friendly and social. That suggestion became the world’s first goat yoga event one summer day in August of 2016. Not anticipating what would become, I sent pictures from that class to Modern Farmer magazine with the thought that it would be a fun article. That was an understatement! They responded quickly and the story ran. You never really know what it means to go viral until you live it.

You never really know what it means to go viral until you live it.

After the Modern Farmer article came out, it was like being on a roller-coaster. I was doing up to thirty interviews a day. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, BBC News, all wanting to report on goat yoga. All the while, I am sick and having a tough time making it through interviews because of the fatigue. I was finally diagnosed with Sjogren’s in the fall of 2016. I would call and beg the doctor for steroids just so I could get through filming a documentary or promotional video. I knew that things like this do not happen to people. I won the media lottery, but I still had to make the money part happen. I loved my corporate job as a marketing manager, but the time had come that I needed to move on. Going viral is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I did not want to take that for granted. I was not thinking about failure. It was full speed ahead and I just knew that this idea was what the world needed. At the time, the political atmosphere and the world news was so negative and depressing. I was sure that if people could just focus on a happy distraction, it would do wonders for their mental health. I resigned from my position and officially opened the first goat yoga business in early 2017. | 8 | Winter 2022

I borrowed start-up money from a friend, hired employees, and started navigating the twists and turns of entrepreneurship. I did not realize that when you produce an out-of-the-box idea, there are a lot of unknown roadblocks. From zoning issues to animal activists to insurance companies not wanting to provide liability insurance, life was throwing every obstacle possible to try and stop me. As each issue came up, I kept moving forward to the extent of testifying to the Oregon Senate to change zoning laws. I was still not legally allowed to do goat yoga on my farm, so I had to think creatively.

Since I could not do goat yoga myself, I produced a business model where I partnered with other goat farmers who had amazing destinations that allowed for events on their farms. I would do all the backend details of the business such as customer service, marketing, event coordination, credit card processing, and my partners would put on amazing events. As time went on, I grew the business to over ten locations all over the United States. By 2019 we had brought in over a million dollars and we were set to have a record year in 2020. Enter the pandemic and we closed all locations. Now, like a true entrepreneur, I had to have the fortitude to shift gears. I had to think of something that would be pandemic-proof just in case goat yoga did not survive. I didn’t know if people would want to go to public events any longer, so we produced The Goatel, a goat-themed vacation destination focused on improving your mental health. After 2020, we knew everyone would need a change of scenery. When you get your health taken away, it gives you this crazy tenacity to make things happen. I credit going through all of those twists and turns for the success of the business. No matter what, I believed it could be a success when most people thought I was crazy. Now we estimate there are over five hundred goat yoga businesses all over the world bringing in revenue to rural households and helping people find a happy distraction. Moral of the story: don’t give up your daydream!

Lainey Morse is the founder and president of Goat Yoga. | 9 | Winter 2022






4 TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES TO BOOST THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE Everything you need to know to help increase your reach. By Brooke Riley


hen I launched my business over six years ago, I knew zero about social media except the fact that I liked to use it to interact with my friends and family. I knew I got positive feedback when I shared some of my DIY and decorating projects on my personal feed, but I never realized the huge impact social media could play in a business setting until I started using it on my own business page. While it took some time (and lots of trial and error), I was able to figure out the best, most effective strategies to market my new business in the social media realm. Today, I’m the proud owner of two 7-figure online businesses with a collective following of over one million across Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I’m here to share four tips on how to boost your company’s business on social media. | 11 | Winter 2022

1. Hone In On Select Networks Every social media platform offers a unique way to connect with your audience and create revenue streams, but the key is finding the one that’ll help you reach your target audience best. Especially when you’re first starting out, you’ll find it easiest to focus your energy on one social platform. I recommend starting on the platform that you actually enjoy the most because that will be the one that comes the most naturally for you to be on and eventually, grow. For me personally, Facebook is by far the biggest and most successful social platform. Channeling my energy into Facebook Lives has really helped me connect with my audience on a personal level, which has been key for me in building relationships—as well as revenue—over the past few years.

2. Stay On Top Of New Features Most platforms include enhanced features for businesses. For example, Facebook recently announced a new Groups feature designed to help small business owners make more money on the platform. The hope is that the new features— including fundraisers and the ability to turn on e-commerce shops in groups—will encourage small business owners to continue to create quality content on Facebook over other platforms.

“Creating a feeling may take a little time to master, but once you know who your audience is and what they want, it’s an easy part of marketing your content.”

First, create content that forces them to feel something. Creating a feeling may take a little time to master, but once you know who your audience is and what they want, it’s an easy part of marketing your content. The feeling you create will make them read and become invested in your material. Then, at the end of the post, include a call-to-action (CTA) where you ASK them what they think or how it made them feel. Basically, ask them whatever you want them to tell you. If you do it right, they’ll be jumping at the chance to comment on your post, which in turn increases engagement and ultimately makes the algorithm work in your favor to get your post more exposure.

4. Be Present and Consistent

Beyond utilizing Instagram and Facebook Stories and creating entertaining and fun Instagram Reels, it’s important to explore new features the moment they are announced. Not only will your business stay fresh, but your content will be more relevant in that platform’s algorithm. For instance, Instagram wants you to use Reels and they want those Reels to be seen. So when you create one, you get more exposure on the platform than, say, others who aren’t using this feature.

3. Create a Feeling and a Call-to-Action

These days, one of the quickest ways to engage with a small business is through the messaging functions on social media platforms or on the comments themselves. Both are a great tool—so as long as you’re actually paying attention to the messages and comments coming in. That’s the beauty of social media marketing: once you get things set up online and you’ve started to establish that online presence, you need to be there for your audience, but it’s all digital and you can interact on the go. And if you are getting so much traffic that you can’t keep up? Well, maybe it’s time to hire a social media manager to keep these user interactions going.

Brooke Riley is the CEO and Founder of Re-Fabbed, a hybrid DIY decorating, travel and lifestyle blog @re_fabbed

This is a huge one. You can have the most brilliant content in the world, but if you don’t capture the feelings and eyeballs of your audience, it means nothing. If people enjoy your content, they will want to interact and engage with you. It’s your job to tell them how. | 12 | Winter 2022


By Michelle Rostamian


t wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies for Kelly Charles-Collins. Though she holds many roles— attorney, award-winning TEDx speaker, four-time book author, podcast host, and Chief Visionary Badass, to name a few—Kelly doesn’t forget where she started. Between navigating motherhood and work-school balance at the early age of 21, being fired from her job as an employment attorney, and being told no on countless occasions, still, failure was never an option for Kelly. “I was instilled with the value that I can be anything and do anything,” she says. “Anything I set out to do I will do, and if for any reason I land on a path that isn’t working, I know when to pull back and refocus.” During our exclusive interview, Kelly discusses her background, what drives her, and how she empowers other female business owners and entrepreneurs.

Early beginnings After going to college at age 16, getting her first degree at 18, and getting her second degree at 20, Kelly found herself pregnant as she was about to receive her third degree, an MBA. At the time, she was a full-time student and employee at a bank, two things she continued to do even after having her son at 21. As a single mother she was forced to navigate through financial challenges including getting her car repossessed and going on welfare, all while bringing her newborn to work so that she could maintain her job. Even through the challenging times, Kelly remained determined. And as with everything she went on to do later in life, she developed a plan and took action. “At age 21, while pursuing my MBA, I made the declaration that I was going to law school.” She didn’t really know how that was going to happen but her mother and sister stepped in and assured Kelly they would take care of her son in Miami while she went to law school in San Francisco. “I knew that I was going to give him a good life. I knew I was responsible for this person I brought into the world.” Kelly completed law school in two-and-a-half years, began her practice as a public defender, and later transitioned to practicing labor and employment law. | 14 | Winter 2022

Trusting her gut After 22 years of practicing law, Kelly began to get that ever so common entrepreneurial itch. She felt the desire to leave the practice of law to do something bigger. “There were so many things I wanted to do. I wanted to become a professional speaker. I wanted to write a book. I wanted to do a TEDx.” Not one to sit on her dreams, Kelly did just that. In the span of 11 months in 2018, Kelly wrote her first book, became a paid professional speaker, and did her TEDx talk. Kelly was excited about all that she was accomplishing…but not everyone was. Be it a measure of fate or timing, the following year— October 22, 2019 to be exact—Kelly was fired from her job. She was told they could no longer afford her. But it wasn’t something that got her down. “When I got fired, I lost my job. Not my soul. After that, I had to decide if I wanted to go back to law, which was the easy way out, or if I would set out to do the things I wanted to do, in the way that I wanted to do them.” Needless to say, she chose the latter. Kelly accepted her freedom papers, retired from the practice of law, and chose to go all in to leverage her profession and pursue her purpose.

From authoring four books and having a successful speaking career... Honing in on her natural skill at public speaking, Kelly now had to figure out what she was going to speak about. “I found someone who was where I wanted to go, a coach who was instrumental in terms of making sure I understood that I needed to show up in a certain way. From there I realized that I needed to capitalize on the things I had already spoken about. I wanted to talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace because that’s something I had personal and professional experience with, but I didn’t want to get lost in this space. I ended up narrowing it down to three topics when I became a full-time speaker: unconscious bias, bystander intervention, and workplace investigations.” | 15 | Winter 2022

Her speaking career blossomed when she held a Zoom meeting in the wake of George Floyd for non people of color who didn’t have a Black person in their life to ask questions. “The goal was never to make people feel judged or feel bad for their questions. I wanted to create a safe space for these people to ask me anything because I understand the power of conversation, and know that if I’m judging, people won’t be able to hear what I’m saying. My overall goal when I engage with the people I train is to open their hearts so they can change their mind. I’m also committed to my son not becoming the next hashtag.” Soon after the listening session, Kelly began fielding requests to conduct the same session for other businesses and their associations. She quickly realized that there was this eager desire for people to speak about these topics— they just didn’t know how. Like a true entrepreneur, Kelly capitalized on this, and eventually began facilitating these conversations by conducting training for various industries including law firms, banks, hospitals, transportation companies, and corporations such as Raymond James, eBay, and the Tampa International Airport.

This also prompted her to write her third book, Conversations Change Things: The “PER”fect Framework for Courageous Conversations, to equip people with the skills and courage to master the art of effective communication. launching Ladies Who Leverage Ladies Who Leverage (LWL) is a global network of diverse female entrepreneurs born out of Kelly’s core mission of empowering women. What started as a Facebook group organically blossomed into an exclusive application and invite-only community whose foundational principle lies in one word: “collabosourcing®.” Through LWL, Kelly empowers women to leverage their expertise, resources, and relationships to build their business, brand, and badassery. “I originally created LWL because I was bored of the traditional marketing and business-card-bingo that I— and many other female business owners—faced. LWL began as a safe space for women to be able to ask for what they want and what they need in their business or personal life. As women, we aren’t taught that. So many things have been done to try to take that power away from us, but I believe women are naturally powerful at their core, and LWL is all about empowering women to embrace that power.” That’s why Kelly has expanded the mission of LWL to be a safe, supportive ecosystem where female entrepreneurs and business owners connect authentically, build strategically, and live life unapologetically AF. Aside from the members-only community, Kelly hosts the LWL podcast, which highlights authentic conversations with successful female entrepreneurs and other experts. The podcast is meant to add another layer of empowerment where listeners can hear inspiring success stories as well as receive practical advice on how to successfully and strategically navigate their businesses. Though Kelly believes that being in tune with one’s pain points is important, it’s not everything.

Most marketing targets pain. I want to disrupt that. I want to speak to power versus pain because I believe that speaking into women’s power gives them the courage, will, and desire to take action to overcome the pain. | 16 | Winter 2022

Kelly’s secret sauce to success The secret to Kelly’s success lies in two crucial components: believing in yourself and taking action. Kelly believes that she belongs everywhere she is, but she also believes she doesn’t belong everywhere. “There’s such a strong power in believing in yourself and not worrying about what other people think. What other people think is none of your business. Believe in your vision, and success will follow.” That being said, know that when you have a vision, it won’t come to fruition if you don’t have a plan that you act on. “I believe in reverse engineering—that is, beginning with the end goal in mind and then figuring out how to get there. Who do I need, what do I need, and what is going to help me go from vision to execution. There has to be something that you’re working towards, because when you’re getting out of alignment, there’s something that will pull you back.” For Kelly, success is not about having a seat at the table. It’s about being a voice in decision-making. It’s not about caving into the misnomer that Kelly believes is “imposter syndrome.” It’s about knowing your worth and not conforming to this anxiety-laden doubt that so often permeates innately strong, ambitious, resilient women. It’s not about doing everything yourself just because you have the ability to. It’s about knowing where you want to go and seeking out the resources and the people you need to get there. Her mission is simple: to show women that they can live life on their terms. That they hold the power, and that they can—and should—leverage it unapologetically AF. That no matter how many sacrifices and losses they may have to endure, they are in control of their own destiny. That they, too, can leverage their profession to pursue their purpose.

Now, the LWL community consists of female badasses from all walks of life—women who have authored books, had six-figure months, and have leveraged their resources and expanded their business offerings to new heights. The consistent theme across all members is that these are women who are increasing their influence, income, and impact. Kelly has a unique gift for creating safe spaces for women to explore their hopes, dreams and challenges without fear of competition and judgment. And her own journey to creating LWL in and of itself serves as a catalyst for her community and centers around a crucial component to success: creating an ecosystem around your business. While the LWL community is the base of the cake, the podcast, her book Unapologetic AF: 34 Ways To Unleash Your Inner Badass, and this digital magazine are the tiered layers. (The cherry on top is coming in the near future!) | 17 | Winter 2022

Plain and simple, I just want women to win.

Michelle Rostamian is the editor for Ladies Who Leverage Magazine and a freelance beauty, wellness, and lifestyle writer.


Qu blis ar he te d rl y





Must-Read Books To Kickstart The New Year Create a plan and purpose for the new year with these reads.

By Jackalyn Beck


he new year brings up the hope of new beginnings and the guilt of past failures. But, books provide the power to overcome challenges with wisdom and insight. From action plans to encouragement, these books will equip you with the tools you need to tackle the new year beyond just January.

1. Unapologetic AF: 34 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Badass by Kelly Charles-Collins Start the new year strong by unleashing your inner badassery and confidence. Through Unapologetic AF, Kelly Charles-Collins shares life lessons and tips to help women of any age. Additionally, it features 34 ways Kelly learned to release her inner greatness. The book explores practical ways to turn opposition into opportunities and distraction into determination.

2. Right Within: How to Heal from Racial Trauma in the Workplace by Minda Harts Thought leader Minda Harts takes a look at toxic work environments and the burdens they bring. Right Within dives into this difficult topic in a witty and authentic way to bring women of color a sense of solace after experiencing racial trauma in the workplace. She also provides practical advice on how to transform your workspace into a healthy, inclusive space, by offering strategies for women of color to speak up during racialized moments.

3. Burnout by Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski Burnout helps you manage your inner critic. Amelia and Emily Nagoski explore worry from the mundane to the soul-sucking. They use stories, experiences, and science to explain how and why to fight burnout. Through practical strategies and research-based tips, they share the transforming power of how women can master self-love and the stress cycle. The writing is quirky, fun, and focused on empowering women in their everyday lives.

4. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown From business owners to community members, everyone is a leader. But, true leadership takes vulnerability, empathy, and courage. In Dare to Lead, Brené Brown shares leadership and life advice that is both practical and simple. The information also comes from over 20 years of data and research. So, suffice to say, it’s trustworthy.

5. Take Back Your Time by Christy Wright Life balance often feels unattainable, but it might be hiding in plain sight. In Take Back Your Time, Christy Wright goes step-by-step through how to spend time on what matters. Each chapter ends with journal questions to encourage critical thinking about how to do the right thing at the right time. This book is perfect for starting the new year, since it will reframe how you look at the world and spend your resources.

6. Find The Good by Heather Lende This optimistic book comes from an unlikely source, an obituary writer. In Find The Good, Heather Lende offers advice on how to weather the storms of life and come out better on the other side. This easy read is so sunny, both optimists and pessimists will want to fit it into their schedules. Though it’s also a quick read that’ll make you see the hope and good in the new year, the depth of the stories will stick with you for years to come.

Jackalyn Beck is a freelance writer based in Dallas, TX. @jackalyn.beck | 19 | Winter 2022

Are you ready to live life unapologetically AF? This book is not for the faint of heart. It’s for women who want to learn how to anticipate, short-circuit, and out-navigate the people, places and predicaments that will keep them from being great. In Unapologetic AF, Kelly Charles-Collins shares her life lessons, strategies, and wisdom gained from a personal and professional life of twists, turns, and detours. From a single mother on welfare to powerhouse attorney and multiple six-figure professional speaker and CEO, Kelly reveals:


the conflicts that became lessons


the diversions and detours that shaped who she has become


the moments that led her to owning her power


the techniques that have paved the way for her success

In her salt of the earth, unapologetic AF style, Kelly guides you through 34 ways she unleashes her badassery as she navigates this journey called life. Wherever you are on your journey, Kelly’s strategies and techniques will empower you with the courage to unleash you inner badass - no matter what - so you can live life unapologetically AF. | 21 | Winter 2022

7 Signs You Need a Virtual Assistant Feeling overwhelmed and like you’re unable to scale your business? It may be time to find a virtual assistant.

By Laura Briggs


ost solopreneurs start their business by doing everything themselves. By nature, this becomes a habit—that is, until it becomes overwhelming and difficult. When you’re looking to scale a business, it can’t be done without exploring the opportunity to delegate some of the tasks on your plate to someone other than yourself. Once you have consistent revenue and can focus most of your efforts on those that drive results in the business, it’s time to look for your first virtual assistant. A virtual assistant frees up both physical time and mental space in your life so that you can work on what’s most important, such as the things that only you can do in your company. The truth is that you have to think about what’s on your plate and where you’d get the most support and relief before outsourcing. Virtual assistants can help with many different tasks including answering emails, fielding incoming calls, scheduling personal appointments and managing your calendar, doing personal or business research for you, scheduling your social media, creating a frequently asked questions document for you, streamlining your processes, and so much more.

But how do you know you’re ready? Here are seven signs that’ll help guide you. You’re Barely Making Deadlines Maybe right now you’re fooling yourself into continuing on this hamster wheel because technically you’re keeping your head above water. Maybe you have to start your day earlier, work weekends, or stay later to make things happen. Even if you’re not breaking any contracts or turning things in late just yet, if this is a struggle you’ve been feeling for several weeks, it’s unlikely to improve—and may get worse.

You Feel Scattered Do you often feel pulled in ten different directions? That’s because as a solopreneur you’re the vice president of every department. But it can’t last forever for you to run marketing, delivery, customer service, operations, and finance. Hiring a virtual assistant can take some of the pressure off.

You’re Hitting a Revenue Cap If you’ve been stuck at the same income level for some time and nothing you do will budge it, your business needs you to serve it in a different way in order to break through. If you’re spending all your time on tasks outside of your zone of genius, you might need to step back from some of them to hit the income level for the company.

There Are Certain Tasks You Hate, But “It’s Easier” to Do Them Yourself Whether it’s accounting or social media, you’ve probably gotten so used to doing certain tasks that you worry about how hard it would be to train someone else how to do them. Yes, you will lose some time when you initially outsource these tasks to a new virtual assistant because you’ll have to recruit, interview, and train that person. But, that’s not a reason to avoid hiring someone. Eventually, after getting over the hump that is the learning curve, they’ll be saving you time and remaining committed to tasks that in actuality, shouldn’t be handled by you.

Your To-Do List is Always Dozens of Items Longer Are projects you’d really like to get to sitting on the backburner or falling off entirely because you simply don’t have the mental capacity to think about them? This is a sure sign that you need a virtual assistant. Time is finite and if yours is already maxed out, that won’t change if you continue handling the same volume of items yourself. If you’re the type who, after answering three emails, finds that during this time, 10 more dropped into your inbox, it’s time to get help. Don’t max yourself out by trying to take on more and more. In the short term while you’re looking for a virtual assistant you might be able to manage it, but this is not a long-term strategy for success.

You’re Exhausted It’s hard to see how tired you really are when you’re in the thick of handling all of the tasks on your plate, but there might come a time when you get seriously sick or behind on your to-do list. If you’re feeling physically or mentally exhausted, this is a strong sign that a virtual assistant can help you get some of your energy and focus back.

You Spend a Lot of Time Doing $25/hour Tasks In your dream world, what is your hourly pay? Perhaps you charge coaching clients $100/hour or more. If you’re busy with $25/hour tasks like scheduling social media or managing incoming customer service requests, your company may actually be losing money. Look for a virtual assistant who can handle those other tasks.

Laura Briggs is a freelance writer, TEDx speaker, podcast host, and author of The Six Figure Freelancer. @authorlaurabriggs | 22 | Winter 2022

W 6 Healthy Habits That Can Also Add More Joy to Your Day Open up your heart and lighten your mind.

hy are we wired to do things that aren’t in our best interests? This is one of the great complexities of human nature. However, implementing simple, healthy habits into your daily life isn’t as difficult as it might seem. And not only can they help you feel better physically, but they can also help you feel much better emotionally. Dr. Dana Wang, a psychiatrist and co-founder of RIVIA Mind, suggests keeping track of your progress by writing down your motivations for implementing each new habit into your life. This will help you stay motivated when the going gets tough. No matter what your motivations may be, consider adding these healthy habits to your life each day, and see what a difference it makes.

By Robin Raven

Make Sleep a Priority The idea of getting more sleep may seem ridiculous. However, the American Psychological Association reports that a lack of sleep is one of the most significant public health problems. Sleeping well for an adequate amount of time can make a huge difference in how you feel—both physically and emotionally. According to the APA, most people need just 60 to 90 minutes of extra sleep each night. So, try a new routine before sleep to help you wind down. That might include putting aside phones, tablets, and laptops an hour or so before bedtime. Try drinking tea that helps promote rest, listening to soothing music, or maybe even taking a bubble bath before bed.

Keep a Gratitude Journal Start a journal and commit to writing down three things that you are grateful for each day. Although keeping up with long, elaborate journal entries can be intimidating, most people can find the time to simply write three things that make them feel thankful each day. Keep it simple—you only have to write three quick sentences. The rewards are worth it. Harvard Health reports that consistently keeping a gratitude journal is associated with greater happiness. Need we say more? | 23 | Winter 2022

Get Moving More Often “If I could pick one healthy habit to do, it’s cardio,” Dr. Wang advised. “That is, exercising with your heart rate more than 120 beats per minute for 30 minutes or more. The increased blood flow is like a force to cleanse your body and squeeze out pleasurable hormones like endorphins to help you build immunity to stress.” Dr. Wang says that mild to moderate cardio can prolong your life and give you more energy each day. Don’t make the common mistake of going to the gym if you hate it and know it’s hard to stay motivated to go there on a consistent basis. Instead, try a form of exercise that you can do just for fun. Whether that’s dance, trying out a new sport, or simply a mix of running and walking, the important thing is to exercise in a way that’s fun for you.

Kiss Your Loved Ones Every Day Dr. Wang also recommends kissing your loved ones every day for greater happiness. Sounds simple, right? Kissing has been said to increase the “feel-good chemicals” in the brain such as oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. According to CNN, kissing burns a few calories and can help reduce your blood pressure. Additionally, it can provide a boost of self-esteem which, in turn, makes you feel more secure and have a greater sense of self-worth. That’s enough to make anyone happier!

Reduce Your Daily Social Media Consumption Social media has become a part of our daily lives. Even if you don’t personally use it, you’re probably used to hearing conversations about it flutter around you. It’s more of the new water cooler topic than which TV show you binge-watched the night before. Try to rely on it less, though. As an experiment to see how it makes you feel, try to replace just one hour of your social media consumption per day with something else. Whether that’s giving a friend a call after seeing their post on social media to reconnect one-on-one with them or trying a new hobby. Substitute just some of your social media time for a week and see if it makes a difference in how you feel.

Try Meditation Each Morning Meditation promotes wellness for the mind, body, and heart. It’s a simple and pleasurable habit that doesn’t take very long and can help shift your mood in a significant way. Try establishing a meditation practice every morning. Getting started is simple. You can download a meditation app that can lead you in a meditation that takes less than five minutes. Alternatively, pick up a book on meditation and follow along or even find a meditation on a subject that interests you online.

Robin Raven is a journalist and the author of The Kindness Workbook: An Interactive Guide for Creating Compassion in Yourself and the World. @robinravenvegan | 24 | Winter 2022


Pearl's friends have no idea they’re about to travel back in time to Gee’s Bend, Alabama to discover the origin of the beautiful quilts in Grandma’s house. It doesn’t take long for the girls to learn Grandma’s quilts are more than pretty pieces of fabric stitched together to keep them warm; the history behind the family treasures is rich and bursting with love. Use the book to spark conversations with your legacies about your family traditions. Visit to order copies and inquire about virtual or inperson speaking engagements. Your family history is depending on you. Quilt panel above: Handmade by Gee's Bend Quilter and my aunt, Mary Leathea Pettway.

"My story is built on a legacy of quilting. But, every family has a story. If we don't share our stories with the next generation, our legacy leaves this earth when we do. What are you doing to ensure that your family traditions are not lost from one generation to the next?" Tangular Irby Gee's Bend Legacy/Educator Author of Pearl and her Gee's Bend Quilt and Charles and his Gee's Bend Quilt plus coloring books.

Book features illustrations of antique and contemporary family quilts made by Gee's Bend Quilters: Grandma Pearlie Kennedy Pettway, Grandma Jensie Lee Irby and Aunt Mary Leathea Pettway.

W W W ,G eesb en d m a d e.c om


Do what you want, when you want, how you want, with who you want, with peace and joy with balancing work/life priorities, and being confused about your purpose in life to LIVING AN MVP LIFE • • • Being present in your relationships • Setting healthy boundaries

• Guilt free decision making • Clarity and purpose •







How I Get My Clients to 6-Figure Months By Dawnna St. Louis

Does any of this sound familiar? “Funnels, lead pages, and groups don’t work.” “I don’t have a lot of sales calls. And the ones I do don’t go that well.” “Social media ads are a serious waste of money.” Those have been my words. Every week. For several months. Like most entrepreneurs, I was trying the latest and greatest strategy and getting no real results. It wasn’t adding up. I built a super successful business selling tech, so why was this new entrepreneurial journey kicking my ass? It was like I had a full-time job without a consistent paycheck. It wasn’t until I decided to stop copying what everyone else was doing that things changed. Free groups were gone. Email lists were emptied. Premium content was delivered to premium clients. And my 6-week programs turned into mid-6-figure weeks. | 27 | Winter 2022

Here are the secrets, in order, and how they can impact your business.

step-by-step custom strategies to achieve 6-figure months in the next two quarters.

Be clear about what you believe and let those beliefs drive everything you do.

Take the kind of action that matters to your ideal client most.

At Fyrebrand we believe in rebelling against the status quo to raise the bar.

From podcasts and video series to summits and weekly group calls, many entrepreneurs overwhelm their clients with disparate activities and collateral that their clients don’t want.

We know that ideas don’t just happen between 1 to 2 pm on Fridays. Instead of offering one hour per week of coaching, we offer an open coaching program. This means that our clients have the freedom to get guidance on their terms. I have been on the phone with clients during my morning hikes, late at night, and over lunch. For a premium service like this, we limit the number of clients who enter our private coaching program, which have garnered over $50K per month for our clients.

Treat your business like a private club—not a public park. Most entrepreneurs brag about having thousands of members in their group but complain that most people don’t respond. Members complain that they stop responding because their voices get silenced in the masses. Create a premium group with an application process. Charge a premium for it and only allow your ideal client to get in. A group with 200 members at $5K per year is way more valuable than a group with 5K members, of which only 200 are active. When you work towards two members per week for three months, you’ll crush your first $100K goal.

If you want more commas in your bank account, remove the commas from your expertise. Most experts struggle to package their expertise because there is so much to choose from. They add a long list of skills: branding, marketing, mindset, empowerment, social media, presentation skills, and needlepoint. This list makes it impossible for your ideal client to recognize how you can help them. To change the game, be clear about what you do, who you do it for, and optionally, how quickly you deliver. For example: I am an income acceleration coach for entrepreneurial experts who want

My advice: scale back. Way back. When I asked my clients what they really wanted it was pretty easy: answers to their questions. So, I created an exclusive group of fewer than 200 members. When they ask a question, I answer (usually within an hour). They have my cell phone number if they want to have a phone call. And when most of the members would benefit from the answer, I create step-by-step videos to deliver more guidance. No podcasts, video series, or summits. Just answers.

To command premium rates, pay premium rates. It is really hard to ask someone to pay you $2500 a month when you won’t invest $2500 a month. One of the truest secrets to success is to elevate your game by elevating who you play with. When I wanted to reach my first million, I invested well beyond my comfort zone. I was so uncomfortable about the investment that I went above and beyond to do all the work required to recoup it and get a real return. And before you think, “Yeah… but you had the money.” Nope. I put the first $20K on credit cards. The return was over $200K. Then I invested another $36K to get a $500K ROI. I was never comfortable with the investment, which is what made me work my ass off to get to the return and know my value.

If you want to attract your ideal client, accelerate your sales, or turn your expertise into a 6-figure program, then check out

Stop Being the Best Kept Secret Have you ever felt like you’re the best kept secret? You know your stuff but no one knows you…or your stuff. If you’re anything like me, then you became an entrepreneur to help people-not hide from them. But I couldn’t be found! After my funnels flopped and my budget went bust, I decided to crack the marketing code… and it worked! You’ve probably heard of the Fyrebrand Bat-Signal by now. That’s just one of the tools in my marketing arsenal that drives marketing bad-assery. Imagine your posts delivering actual profits. And your groups growing your business. If you’re tired of the struggle and want a foolproof way to attract your ideal buyer then check out the 60-minute webinar at to get you started right now. I got you.

What are you waiting for? | 28 | Winter 2022

By Shanel Evans

IT’S SWEATER WEATHER WHAT’S YOUR LAYERED MARKETING APPROACH? Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all. Here’s how you can leverage yourself and your business to capture your audience’s attention. | 29 | Winter 2022

I’m not a big fan of winter and cold weather. I’m more of a summer girl myself. But with winter comes the New Year, and I love the start of a new season and the hope it brings. The kick-off of a new season is full of anticipation and excitement for both our personal and business goals. It’s a time of rebirth and fresh starts. Not only is winter a season of rebirth, but it’s also sweater

weather—a time to layer up, and I’m talking about more than just your T-shirt and sweaters. In your business, it’s also time to layer up your marketing efforts.

Layering your marketing approach includes attracting your clients at different touchpoints.

try new tactics and strategies to reach new clients. Layering your marketing approach also includes attracting your clients at different touchpoints.

As small businesses, we can no longer rely on just one platform to be visible. We have to learn how to

Your audience needs to see your social media messages at least seven times before deciding to take any action. That means they need to see your brand. They need to be familiar with you. They need to see you as an expert at least seven times in different platforms, different areas, different ways of engagement before they decide to take action. And I know. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and timeconsuming, but here are three easy-to-implement ways to layer up your online marketing.

Layer #1 is your tank top.

Layer #2 is your T-shirt.

I layer up my wardrobe with a T-shirt or tank top when it gets chilly outside. A similar concept applies in your business—your T-shirt serves as your marketing base. In many cases, your base is your website, but it can also be your business profile on Facebook or Instagram. Whatever channel it’s on, your business profile is your base layer, so make sure it’s a good, powerful representation of you and your brand.

This layer is the fun part of your marketing. I love fun, colorful T-shirts that show off my personality and include bold statements. When it comes to your business, consider your brand and social media image. What are you trying to portray? What makes you stand out from your competitors?

Now, you know when you head outside and realize your tank top is untucked and letting in air, you need to readjust. Occasionally, you’ll want to review your online marketing layer to ensure it’s well tucked in and still represents the programs and services you offer.

Your additional marketing layer should be like a bold statement T-shirt, showing off your brand and personality. Maybe this layer in your business marketing is another social media platform or an engaging feature like videos or testimonials.

There’s no one-size-fits-all as it relates to marketing strategies. During this new season, be creative and add your special touch to develop a layered approach that works for you. Have fun and show off those layers!

Layer #3 is your oversized chunky sweater. Your final layer is what captures your client’s attention. Your chunky sweater role in your business marketing is to engage your audience with an email campaign. Incorporating an email marketing campaign with captivating headlines delivered straight to your client’s inbox helps you continue to grab your audience’s attention and share your services.

Shanel Evans is a Social Media and Launch Strategist who works with savvy female business owners to help scale their companies.

@shanel.evans ShanelEvansConsulting | 30 | Winter 2022

Social Media Domination STARTS HERE.


A savvy and customized approach to your social media brand.

Get Your Business in Front of Your Ideal Client!


HOW TO IMPROVE SEO TO ATTRACT MORE CUSTOMERS Seven tips for a successful SEO strategy. By Erin Mahoney


t’s common for new entrepreneurs to get confused about how to use SEO to drive organic traffic to their website. Standing for ‘search engine optimization,’ SEO is an effective and cost-friendly way to get marketing with a long shelf-life. When you have SEO that

works, users will search a keyword on Google and eventually click into a page on your website. The short advice on SEO is that you should be putting more content out there that answers common questions users might have about your product or services.

Below are seven practical tips that’ll help guide your SEO efforts.


Be Useful The words you write—especially on a blog—should be practical and helpful to a searcher. Search engines (and people) want questions answered. While creativity is great, it doesn’t work well for SEO. Searchers aren’t going to type a topic that is a play on words. For example, if you’re writing an article about exercising in heat some might have a title like “Can Your Fitness Beat the Heat?”. Clever? Sure. SEO-friendly? Not so much. Instead, opt for something more straight-forward and what a user would likely be searching for, such as “10 Tips For Exercising in Hot Weather.” | 33 | Winter 2022

2 3 4 5 6 7

Answer User Questions Adopt the mindset of thinking like a Google searcher. When you look for things, you want questions answered—and fast. So, type your keyword into Google’s search function. Most search results will have a “People Also Ask” boxed feature. Take a look at these questions and make sure you address them in your content piece. If you can provide short answers to the top questions in the first paragraph, even better. Then, expand on the topics later in the article.

Use (Don’t Abuse) Your Keyword Google’s algorithm for how it ranks different search results changes. About 10 years ago, the more you used a keyword, the better. Now, it’s called ‘keyword stuffing.’ Yes, you want search engines to know you’re covering a topic, but keyword stuffing can work against you. Instead, think of related topics or variations of the keyword or phrase and use them naturally throughout your content.

Provide Relevant Internal Links An internal link simply refers to a link that takes the user from one page on your website to another. The caveat: they have to be relevant. If you’re writing about exercising in hot weather and you also have a blog post on exercises to do in the pool, link to this blog post. The more you can connect your web of content, the better the search engines will be able to find you and identify you as an authority on a broad topic.

Use the Pillar Cluster Method This relates to the previous tip on internal links. The pillar cluster method is a strategy for what types of content you write. Instead of putting out articles that just pop into your head, create a strategic plan. If your product is a personal training service, for example, then a pillar page could be “Benefits of Personal Training.” This should be a large page, covering multiple topics. Pillar pages should be at least 2,000 words. Again, keep it relevant and don’t write extra words for the sake of it. Once you have a pillar page, you should link to related topic pages—these are the clusters. In our example of the “Benefits of Personal Training” page, you could have the following as cluster pages: • Ways Personal Trainers Motivate Clients

• What You Should Look For in a Personal Trainer

• Nutrition Strategies For Personal Training Clients

• How Resistance Training Decreases Body Fat

Consider SEO Tools There are two types of tools that can help you with your SEO strategy and results. You’ll have to pay for their subscriptions, but your content will be more targeted and rank better. One platform you can use is one that analyzes the search volume of a keyword and difficulty it will be to compete in rankings. It also offers keyword variations that you might have a better shot at ranking for. These platforms will also analyze different websites to inform you how well your content pieces are ranking. You can also opt in for an SEO writing tool. These types of platforms analyze a keyword. Then, it provides a report telling you how many words your blog posts should be, the topics you should consider including (and the frequency), and other questions users want answered. This type of software is like a recipe for blog writing success.

Get Over Your Fears If you’re not used to writing and publishing content, you need to overcome this. The more content you have on your website pages, the better. You don’t need to agonize over how to phrase a sentence or what you should include. Instead, be practical, answer questions, and keep moving. It takes time for search engines to analyze your content and rank it. So the faster you get more content out, the better.

Erin Mahoney, MA, is the founder of EMAC Personal Training Certifications and uses data driven models to develop customer-centric digital products. | 34 | Winter 2022


ac hes

ad he an d

u Apps to save yo

5 Essential Tools You Need to Run a Successful Business By Simone Morris

, ey n o ,m e tim

problematic as endless search queries eat heavily into time. That’s where Asana enters the equation to provide an uptick in productivity. Asana is a project management tool that aids in keeping your business organized. As a business owner wanting to find information quickly, Asana supports that request.

BENEFITS OF THE TOOL INCLUDE Creates structure out of chaos by organizing projects and tasks


Integrates with other systems to pull data in

1. For staying on top of tasks: Asana

Offers calendar view to show when tasks are due

Staying updated on work outcomes is a priority for entrepreneurs. Email can be a one-stop shop for all communications for the not-so-savvy entrepreneur, which is

Offers tagging capabilities to keep collaborators you’re working with informed

mall business owners have a plethora of systems to interact with while running their businesses. The key is to streamline your process to utilize tools that give you the best results. Below, find five applications that have proven to be impactful for business efficiency and growth. | 35 | Winter 2022

Provides workflow feature to move work along Provides email reminders so you stay abreast of project/task status

2. For managing your clients: Honeybook Honeybook is the all-in-one tool you must have for your business. With Honeybook you can pull together brochures, proposals, invoices, and contracts seamlessly. Before leveraging Honeybook, I used to create each item separately to handle leads. Today, I can go into Honeybook and leverage templated brochures that I send out to interested contacts. Honeybook allows me to use my branding to easily present data to my lead to process and agree to move to the proposal phase. One of the key things Honeybook allows you to do is outline all of your services for prospective clients to select from, which also allows you to upsell your services. Honeybook also enables you to upload your contacts and build them out as reusable templates. They also provide samples as a starting point. For example, uploading an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and an Independent Contractor Agreement have helped manage my business.

the introduction of Acuity, an online scheduling system that provides visibility to your calendar availability.

BENEFITS OF THE TOOL INCLUDE Customization so you can have your logo and branding The ability to provide calendar bookings with an associated cost. (Imagine creating a webinar or event and selling it by sharing your calendar link with leads for seamless booking and payment that adds to your calendar and theirs.) Integration with your banking so you can automatically get paid from client bookings

3. For managing finances: QuickBooks I can’t say enough about how QuickBooks has morphed my business. I love Excel to the nth degree, but I have learned that QuickBooks can save me a lot of time and provide peace of mind when it comes to knowing what’s happening in my business. Utilize QuickBooks to manage the finances in your business efficiently.

BENEFITS OF THE TOOL INCLUDE Keeping track of tax forms for the contractors you work with Getting a financial snapshot to make business decisions Working with your tax planner and bookkeeper for optimal financial health Using financial reports to support business certification requests, grant applications, and securing business capital Operating from a strategic vantage point by using key performance indices to make business decisions Tracking year on growth to see how the business progresses, which will allow you to forecast revenue and hone in on offerings with the best profit margin

Bonus Tip: Sales coach Liz Dederer says you can save time by creating a domain name to link to your calendar. Check out to see an example of a link to an Acuity Scheduling Calendar.

5. For setting up employee emails: Google Suite Having access to a platform where you can set up emails in less than five minutes is a big draw for using Google Suite. Imagine adding a new contractor or employee and quickly setting up their emails using your company domain without needing a dedicated tech person. Google Suite has an umbrella of offerings that you can leverage to run your business, including mail, calendar, and a filing cabinet.

Simone Morris is an Inclusive Leadership Expert, career coach, and freelance writer. @simonemorrisent

4. For online appointment scheduling: Acuity Scheduling Do you receive constant inquiries asking for your calendar availability? If you do and you’re spending time looking at your calendar and responding with available slots, stop now and read on. Scheduling nightmares have all but vanished with | 36 | Winter 2022



Quinn Conyers - Profit from Public Speaking


Breaking the toxic weight loss loop with Danita Young


Malena Crawford - Keeping Up Appearances Can Kill You


Me We Do Be - Randall Bell LISTEN NOW

Dionnie Wynter Pfunde, Esq. - From Teen Mom to International Immigration Lawyer LISTEN NOW

How To Reach Your Next Level of Greatness Dr. Dravon James


Previous Episode Highlights


"2022 Unapologetic Badass" Ladies Who Leverage is seeking nominations for Unapologetic Badass Women to be featured in the April 2022 issue of its "Visionary Life" Magazine.


February 15, 2022

How to Choose the Best Email Marketing System Six questions to ask yourself when on the hunt for the best one

By Tai Goodwin


ankable entrepreneurs know that without an audience to sell to, you have a hobby and not a business. What many entrepreneurs don’t know, though, is that your email list can be your most profitable community. The numbers don’t lie. According to HubSpot, for every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a return of $42. Despite the rumors that email marketing is dead, it’s actually the #1 way that small businesses attract and keep new clients. Aside from the amazing ROI, there’s another reason that email is a better bet than social media: you actually have more control over the relationship with your audience. Think about it. At the drop of a dime, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and any of the platforms could cancel your account or change their terms of service, blocking you from connecting to the audiences you’ve built on those platforms. But if you have them on your email list, you get to connect with them on your terms, especially if you’ve captured their phone number. Email marketing is more than just sharing information or promoting offers. It’s how you nurture leads through the sales

Sending the right content to the right people at the right time is how you take someone from being interested in your business to ready to pay you for your services. | 39 | Winter 2022

EXAMPLES OF EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING... Answering questions to remove sales objectives Sharing a testimonial with prospective clients Providing an update on a new product or event Educating new customers on how to use your product or service Warning subscribers about mistakes they might make Asking for a testimonial or referral

cycle. Sending the right content to the right people at the right time is how you take someone from being interested in your business to ready to pay you for your services. So now the question is, how do you choose the right platform? Do you just choose the cheapest one you can find and run with it? The simplest one? The one that all your business besties are using? While there are lots of tools on the market, all email marketing platforms are not created equal. The email platform that works for one business might not work for another. To help you avoid wasting time and money on a platform that is not suited for you, here are 6 questions to ask yourself when choosing an email marketing platform.

BASIC THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN AN EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM... Deliverability rate: Do their emails get to the inbox or go straight to spam? List/tag creation: So that you can segment your subscribers Mobile optimization: Because many people read emails on their phone Analytics and reporting: To help you track what works (and what doesn’t) Options for customization and personalization The number of messages you can send Automated campaign creation

Question #1: Does it allow you to do what you really need to do? Your email marketing system needs to match your company’s needs. It can’t just be something that looks fancy or sounds great. There are a number of platforms that make pretty emails yet lack the features you need for effective email marketing.

Question #2: Is it user-friendly?

a good marketing system). You’ll want to make sure that all of your tools have a way of talking to each other. This is why some people look at all-in-one platforms that do everything.

Question #5: Will it grow with your business? Many people start with free or low cost platforms. These can be great if you’re just getting started with your business. However as your business scales and your email list grows, you’ll need an email marketing platform that can support more robust tasks and automations. If you think choosing an email platform is hard, consider the challenge of having to move all of your subscribers along with their historical data to a new platform along with resetting any integrated tools you’ve been using.

Question #6: What’s your budget? Ideally, this is the last question you want to ask. Why? Bankable business owners make decisions based on value first. Many of the free or low-cost tools that seem inviting because they are budgetfriendly get more costly as your list grows. Even if they don’t offer the robust features you need, your monthly fee goes up the more subscribers you have.

WHAT TO DO NEXT... Now that you know what questions to ask yourself when evaluating email marketing platforms, here are the steps to take to choose a platform that fits your needs:

Most email marketing systems look great on paper but don’t deliver when it comes time to use them. If an email marketing software is hard to set up, fails more often than not, or breaks when you need it most, then what’s the point? You should expect a learning curve with any new platform, but if the solution requires you to get a PhD before you can actually use it, it may not be worth it.

1 Make a list of all the things you need your platform to do.

Question #3: What kind of support is available, if any?

5 If possible, sign up for a trial so you can actually see and experience the interface and support features for yourself.

2 Make a list of all the platforms you’re interested in. 3 Remove the platforms that don’t have the features you need. 4 Use the questions above to evaluate the options you have left.

We always take a look at the documentation and the help options for our tools. If a platform doesn’t have well-written instructions or easy-to-access answers, you could be in trouble if you get stuck. If they provide technical support, make sure the hours they are available during hours when you can reach them.

Question #4: Does it play nicely with your other tools? Your email marketing system is just one component of your marketing toolkit. To service your entire marketing and sales process, you’ll likely have a CRM (customer relationship manager), landing page platform, and scheduling app (these are the basics of

Tai Goodwin is CEO of The Momentum Agency, creator of Quiz & Grow Rich, and co-creator of The Funnels Done Right System. @taigoodwin | 40 | Winter 2022

By Michelle Rostamian

How to Dress For

Your Body Type

According to a Fashion Designer Identify your shape and improve your style. | 41 | Winter 2022


inding pieces of clothing that fit your style is only half the battle; ensuring they flatter your figure is a completely different task. And while it may feel less daunting to simply slap on whatever style is currently trending, knowing your body type and dressing accordingly can make shopping for favorites much easier. To learn more about body shapes and how to dress for your specific type, we tapped fashion designer Sabre Mochachino, Creative Director of Mochachino, to get some answers.


Here are the characteristics of the 5 main body types, according to Mochachino: Hourglass

Inverted Triangle

More curve proportioned bust line and hips and smaller at the waist

Rectangle Same as the round shape, but with less or no curves

More curve proportioned at the bust line and waist, and less in the hips




Sabre Mochachino

Smaller bust line with more curve proportioned at the waist and hips

More curve proportioned at the waist, bust line, and hips

With no formal training and a lot of determination, Sabre set out to learn everything there was to know about fashion. From 1990 to 2000, Sabre has held positions at Andrew Marc Outerwear as Men’s Leather Designer as well as freelance designer for Nautica Jeans, CK Jeans, Fubu, Warbux Denim & Becca Christian. Sabre founded the boutique label, Mochachino: Los Angeles | New York and forged it into a prototype brand for most of his groundbreaking ideas. For 20 consecutive seasons, Sabre has continuously delivered product that personified a luxurious, experimentally chic lifestyle.

THE 3 BODY MEASUREMENTS According to Mochachino, taking these three body measurements will help determine the shape of your frame: 1. Bust – Measure the fullest part of your bust. 2. “True” Waist – Many women believe that their waistline falls below their belly button, when in actuality it’s above the belly button. Today, it’s referred to as “high waist,” but this is the actual waist measurement of most women. 3. Hips – Measure below your hip bone and around your hips and butt.



Go for apparel that complements all of the curves in the bust line and hips with a strong emphasis on the waist. Think: dresses that cinch the waist, belted trench coats, and peplum tops.

Opt for apparel that complements all of the curves in the bust line with less emphasis on the waist and hips, such as a scoop neck top and straight cut jeans.

Inverted Triangle Apparel that complements all of the curves in the bust line and waist with less emphasis on the hips will be your go-to, like flared dresses, crew neck tops, and jumpsuits with a slim waistline. Rectangle Choose apparel that complements all of the curves in the bust line with a columnlike drape that has some movement of fluidity. Think: wrap dresses, v-neck tops, and form-fitting jackets. Pear Choose apparel that complements the curves on the waist and hip area, with subtlety on the bust line. Wide-legged pants, knee-length skirts, and A-line or flared dresses are all solid options.

Know and love the body that you have! It is the home to the spirit and like a physical residence you can’t sell or move to a new one. So own it with confidence and apply words that make you feel good about your body. Words like curvy, sexy, appealing, voluptuous, gorgeous, and vivacious emphasize a certain confidence and enthusiasm about your body and how people perceive and receive you! – Sabre Mochachino

Michelle Rostamian is the editor for Ladies Who Leverage Magazine and a freelance beauty, wellness, and lifestyle writer. | 42 | Winter 2022

10 Best Lengthening and

Toning Exercises to Do at Home On the forecast: long, lean muscles.


By Aimée Brothman lthough many of the pandemic’s lockdowns have mostly been lifted throughout the world, there are still some lingering post-pandemic habits people still partake in—at-home workouts being one of them. I’m a barre, yoga, and Pilates instructor, and although I love being in a club or studio to take a class as much as I love being there to teach, it hasn’t always been possible as of late. Despite the shift in space, my fitness level, flexibility, and motivation to roll out my mat hasn’t diminished. And the best part of it all? The very short walk to my kitchen post-workout to make any kind of smoothie I please, sans $12 spent. Below are my favorite moves that I’ve collected from my seriously in-depth training courses, as well as a few picked up from my fellow instructors that you too can do at home to lengthen, strengthen, and tone from tip to toe.


Though sometimes overlooked, lengthening is an important aspect of fitness. Our joints, ligaments, and connective tissues are as (if not more!) imperative to keeping our bodies healthy as keeping our muscles toned and strong. If you typically skip lengthening exercises, a chemical change can occur in connective tissues, which impairs flexibility. Staying limber prevents this change, and improves both posture and range of motion, which can boost athletic ability and prevent injury in equal measure. Need any more convincing? These moves feel amazing to perform, and you’ll finish feeling like a gun slingin’ cowgirl sauntering around with stretched, open hips. Bang, bang! | 43 | Winter 2022

Lunge Stretch THE WHY: Ever heard of your psoas? Actually made up of two muscles (the major psoas and the minor psoas), this

muscle group—also known as your hip flexors—connects the spine to the legs. They give your body the ability to move through hip flexions such as hip rotation and abductions. When the psoas is weak or tight, it can result in poor posture and pelvic pain by shortening and causing the spine to round. A simple, effective, and feel-good hip flexor stretch to try is a low lunge stretch.

THE HOW • Start with your right foot planted in front of you and your left leg behind you with your toes tucked under. • Ensure your right front knee is in line with your ankle and never comes further forward. • Square your hips forward and tuck your hips under to feel a deep stretch on the left side of your hip flexors. • If you’re seeking a deeper stretch, bring your elbows up to a 90-degree angle from your shoulders (or a cactus pose as it’s known in yoga), and gently bend backwards. • Hold for a few deep breaths, and when you’re finished, switch sides.

Supine Twist THE WHY: No one has ever come out of a supine twist feeling worse than they did before mere moments ago. This yoga pose stretches the spine, lengthening and strengthening from tailbone all the way up, encourages blood flow, and like any twisted shape in yoga, is said to detoxify organs.

THE HOW • Begin by laying on your back, legs extended long on the mat. • Draw your right knee into your chest, and then bring it across your body over to the left side. • Extend your right arm long, and turn your head to look past your right fingertips. • Stay here for as long as you’d like before switching sides. Ahhh. | 44 | Winter 2022

Figure 4 Stretch THE WHY: Although this is another amazing stretch for the hips, the figure 4 stretch targets the outer hip as well as your glute, which can, in turn, stabilize the hip joint.

THE HOW • Start by lying on your back, feet planted on the mat. • Cross your right ankle over your left knee, holding both hands behind your left thigh, then bringing your left knee in towards your chest. • To invite movement into this shape, gently rock side to side. • Switch sides whenever you’re ready.

Bird Dog THE WHY: This powerful move lengthens and strengthens at once. A helpful stretch for that all-important psoas, the bird dog also strengthens the abs, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, and back.

THE HOW • Starting in a tabletop position, Draw your belly button up towards your spine and ribcage in towards itself to switch on your core and take the work out of your lower back, which could cause injury. Lift your right leg, extended straight and strong, up to hipheight, then square your hips back down to the mat. • Extend your left arm in front of you, ensuring you’re still holding strong through the center (there should be no dip or arch in your spine in either direction). Ensure that your hips are still square instead of opening up to the right side. • Soften your right elbow if you feel hyperextended, and take any lean out of the right side by centering your weight. • Take a big inhale, and as you exhale, crunch your right knee and left elbow in, then inhale to extend back out. • Do 12 repetitions, and then switch sides.

Tip: take a child’s pose in between sets and sides to reset. | 45 | Winter 2022

Swimming THE WHY: An exercise I almost always teach at the end of a class, whether it’s barre, yoga, or Pilates, is the low back exercise referred to as swimming. Why? It’s easy to perform and great for the entire back and body.

THE HOW • Begin by laying on your front side with arms overhead and legs extended long. • Engage the core and glutes before lifting your arms and legs. • Flutter the arms and legs to swim to the finish line of your stretch series.


Muscle tone is something many of us aspire to achieve when we think about why we want to work out. If you don’t find joy in high- intensity exercise and you find low-impact strengthening moves just as effective without the risk of injury, here are a few toning exercises to try that’ll help you enjoy a stronger body without the need for bootcamp. Breathe easy.

Pretzel THE WHY: No, not the salty snack. This barre move is performed on the mat, with your lower body twisted

slightly like a pretzel. While it doesn’t require a big range of motion, it offers a tight squeeze to lift and sculpt the outer thigh, glute, and waist. When done correctly, it should come from the muscles in the outer hip and thigh, and not the foot.

THE HOW • Begin by sitting down on your mat, bringing your right knee in front of you and bending it at 90 degrees. • Keep your left leg behind you with a bent knee straight out from the hip or slightly behind your body. Keep your hands slightly in front of you to help you balance. • Brace through your core and begin to lift up your left toes. • If you’d like to make the pretzel more challenging, lift your entire left leg. • Perform up to 24 reps before switching sides. | 46 | Winter 2022

Bridge THE WHY: The bridge is a great exercise to work your posterior chain (your back body muscles).

THE HOW • Lie on your back, feet flat and knees bent. Your legs and feet should be hip-width apart. • With your hands by your side, press your palms into the mat, widening your collarbones. Tuck your tailbone in, bringing your hip bones to your rib cage, then peel your low and mid back up off the mat. • Squeeze your glutes all the way up to the top, ensuring your knees aren’t splaying out. • Slowly roll back down, and repeat as many reps as you’d like.

Toe Taps THE WHY: I love a toe tap sequence because you can progress to a more challenging version of the exercise.

Targeting the entire abdominal region without putting pressure on your lumbar spine (the segment between your ribcage and pelvis) like crunches do, this low-impact yet highly effective exercise is also a great strengthening move for your hip flexors.

THE HOW • Begin on your back with hands by your side and your palms pressing down into the mat. • Widen your collar bones and bring your knees up to tabletop position, keeping your shins parallel to the ceiling. • Tuck your tailbone under, creating what is known in Pilates as an imprinted spine. (When your low back is flat and in contact with the mat, taking out any space from the arch of your lower back). • Tap your right toes down, moving from your hip joint and low abdominal muscles and not your knee joint. • Maintain your imprint spine, stopping when you feel any lift of the low back. • Exhale to bring your right leg back to tabletop position and switch sides.

Variations of this exercise in order of least to most challenging include tapping both toes at once, bringing your arms overhead with your palms facing one another and lowering your opposite arm and leg at the same time (stopping when your bicep meets your ear), or lowering and lifting both arms and legs at once. Only go as far as you can in any variation while still maintaining your imprint. | 47 | Winter 2022

Clamshells THE WHY: Clamshells gently target the glutes and inner and outer thighs.

THE HOW • Lie on your side, either propped up on your elbow or laying down. • Bend your knees in, ensuring your heels, hips, and shoulders form a straight line. Keeping your heels together, lift your top leg without letting your hips rotate or your body rock side to side. • Use your core to stabilize your balance and keep this move slow and controlled. • Do up to 24 repetitions before switching sides.

Développés THE WHY: A ballet term that translates to develop, this low-impact, non-weight bearing move improves spinal alignment while strengthening and toning the legs and waist.

THE HOW • Lie on your side in a straight line from head to toe. • Point the toe of your top leg, drawing your toes to your bottom leg’s knee. Then, extend the top leg up to a 90-degree angle straightening the leg. • Slowly lower back down to meet the bottom foot. • Perform 12 repetitions. • Switch directions by bringing your top leg up to 90-degrees first, and then bending the knee and stretching the toes long secondly. Ensure your body stays still and that this move is only coming from your moving leg. • Switch sides after completing your reps in both directions.

Aimée is a freelance writer and barre, Pilates, and yoga instructor.with her partner in San Diego. @amouraimee_ | 48 | Winter 2022

Relocating to Grow My Business Was the Best Decision I’ve Ever Made One celebrity makeup artist’s journey to success after making a big move. By Kelly Charles-Collins


eauty is in the eye of the beholder. And beauty is exactly what celebrity makeup artist and owner of Toni Nicole Beauty Toni Nicole Hamilton sees in all of her clients. As a professional makeup artist, Toni’s goal is to enhance her client’s natural beauty. For Toni, every woman is a celebrity, and

she wants everyone to have a celebrity experience when they sit in her chair. But her journey into the beauty industry wasn’t always easy. It required thought, a plan, and an uncompromised goal. We had an opportunity to speak with Toni about her journey into the beauty industry. Here’s what she had to say.

KCC: Why did you decide to become a makeup artist? TH: Makeup was something I’ve always loved but I also had a passion for fashion. In fact, I was attending school to become a fashion buyer. I used to watch this makeup artist Carmindy on the Style Network all the time. That was before I even knew I would become a makeup artist. I just loved makeup and while in college would go to the MAC store and buy one eyeshadow at a time, which was all I could afford. | 49 | Winter 2022

But over time, I accumulated quite a bit of makeup so much so that when it was time to go to the club, all of my friends would come to my house to get ready because I had all of the MAC makeup. At this point, I still wasn’t thinking of makeup as a career. Then one day, my friend’s mom was getting married, and they asked me to do her makeup. I barely knew how to do my own makeup, much less anybody else’s and for their wedding. I was so nervous. But I agreed and I did it. And the feeling I got seeing how happy her mom was, how beautiful she looked, and the fact that people in the wedding party were then trying to book me, made me pause and think: “I might be onto something.” I realized I could make a living off making people feel amazing about themselves, which made me feel great about myself. And 11 years later, I’m still doing what I love.

KCC: Did you receive any type of formal training? TH: In the beginning, I watched YouTube videos to learn technique. I also started practicing on other people, which increased my confidence. I partnered with photographers to get my feet wet working with different skin tones and face shapes. Later, I received formal training when I worked for MAC, which was my dream job.

KCC: What intrigues you about the beauty industry? TH: The transformation of the person and the confidence that a woman gets when she’s feeling her best. I just love being able to be a part of that feeling. I also like that I get to be creative and a trendsetter who is in charge of a person’s image, but in a collaborative way.

KCC: What is the most rewarding part of being a makeup artist? TH: When I glam a woman who has a story. When I was at MAC, I’d work with women who may have been a domestic violence survivor and I might have had to cover up her black eye. Watching her confidence increase and knowing that even for a moment I made her feel beautiful is more than I could ever ask for. Those are the times I feel most gratified. Your day may start off as the regular old routine but once you hear these stories, it affects you in a different way. It becomes something else, more than about makeup, and it reminds me that this is why I do what I do.

KCC: What is the most challenging part of being a makeup artist? TH: The business part, more specifically, the money part. Asking for what you’re worth, which all ties into being confident in knowing your worth. I came out to Los Angeles winging it. I didn’t know the going rates and I was doing things I had never done before, like production work on television shows. I had no idea what I was doing. I had to do my own marketing and advertising, create my own website, and be my own agent. I’d never been

I’d never been more uncomfortable in my entire life, but this pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and learn new things.

more uncomfortable in my entire life, but all of this pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and learn new things. Now I know the drill and how to operate.

KCC: What made you pack up your life in Florida and move to Los Angeles? TH: One of my friends, turned beauty mogul, PatrickStarrr, moved to Los Angeles and had been trying to get me to move for years but I was too scared. It was too far. I like stability and don’t like the unknown. But then I took a trip to LA for my birthday. At that time, my best friend had just moved there and I also had another friend who was already living in LA. Their message was crystal clear: you have to move here if you want to further your career. I realized I was only going to go so far in Florida. In LA, people get their makeup done to go to the grocery store. | 50 | Winter 2022

I’m not a woman who does things without a plan. So, I decided to pray about it and ask God for signs if moving to LA was the right decision. And one day, I got an undeniable sign that had me say, “I’m really about to do this.” This is the riskiest thing I’ve ever done but I’m happy I made the move and listened to the people around me. Sometimes it takes people really speaking that life into you and reassuring you for you to make a good decision. I’ve been able to do some amazing things that I would not have been able to do in Florida. It’s not easy and it’s expensive. But I didn’t sacrifice being away from my family and friends and everything I know to be mediocre. That’s why I’m trying hard to get where I want to be because I’ve sacrificed so much to be here. That’s why I’m trying hard to get where I want to be because I’ve sacrificed so much to be here.

I didn’t sacrifice being away from my family and friends and everything I know to be mediocre. That’s why I’m trying hard to get where I want to be because I’ve sacrificed so much to be here.

KCC: If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently? TH: No, because that’s part of the journey and it makes success that much sweeter. If you would have told me that I would be working on sets, glamming up celebrities, and have my work published in magazines like Rolling Stone, I would never have believed it. I haven’t yet achieved the level that I’m seeking, but I’m on the path to where I want to be and I’m happy with it.

KCC: Where has your work been featured? TH: I work a lot with Jemele Hill. I’ve glammed her for her television show, red carpets, media interviews, and her podcast. And because her podcast is on Delta flights, you can see my work there. I’ve also worked with Cari Champion and Kelley L. Carter. My work has also been featured in Rolling Stone and Playboy, as well as on Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, and on Tiffany Haddish’s show where Jemele was a guest.

KCC: What are you most proud of in your work as a makeup artist? TH: I’m proud that I’m learning to get out of my own way and that I’m doing things that make me uncomfortable, whether it be something I might not have a lot of experience with or working with a new client. There are times that I’ve cried behind the scenes because some of this stuff is hard. But I’ve just been able to be a lot calmer and tell myself that I was booked for a reason. There are a lot of makeup artists out here, but they chose me. I’ve really had the epiphany this year that people are booking me for a reason: I do great work.

KCC: What is one beauty tip you would give our readers to refresh their beauty routine for the new year? TH: I would tell them to focus on their skin. Our skin is the foundation. No matter how great your makeup artist is, if you don’t care for your skin, there’s only so much makeup can do. If women focus more on their skincare, they will need to use less makeup and in fact, they’ll want to wear less makeup.

Any final thoughts for fellow entrepreneurs? I still have my day job and I’m doing makeup. You can still work that job and work towards your dreams. I honestly believe if you truly want something, you will figure out a way. But I also believe you should take calculated risks. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m doing it. Toni will be providing beauty tips and strategies as a regular contributor to the magazine. Toni will be providing beauty tips and strategies as a regular contributor to the magazine. Instagram: @toninicolebeauty | 51 | Winter 2022









Beauty Rituals That’ll Boost Your Energy

instantly drop a few inches, and I immediately feel relaxed. I’m home. Sometimes, my Mum will have a lampe berger perfuming the air with a revitalizing citrus scent. Perhaps because of the French influence in Morocco, these are as ubiquitous as a cactus in the desert, and can offer a long-lasting scent that can overturn anything, including frying up a fish dinner.

The centuries-backed beauty secrets to improve your mood and complexion. By Aimée Brothman


y heritage is equal parts Russian and Moroccan, and although the two cultures couldn’t be more different, I associate with each of them in their own ways. That being said, there is something magical about the Moroccan culture that I remain mystified with: lighting candles to send loved ones best wishes on big days, sitting on a pouf to eat, and using Moroccan lanterns to artfully scatter light around a room. But above all, I love all of the Moroccan beauty rituals instilled in the culture and steeped in tradition. Below are some ways to energize and pamper yourself—the Moroccan way.

1 Scent Your Home If you find yourself invited to someone’s home in Morocco, you’ll most certainly find yourself taking a deep breath in. The air will be scented with a signature aroma, offering a range of notes that soothe, energize, or often induce both feelings at once. As soon as I walk into my parents’ home, my shoulders | 53 | Winter 2022

Other times, I’m greeted with the deliciously, exquisitely elegant scent of oud. Many cultures—Moroccan included— revere oud and use its intoxicating scent during ceremonies, prayer, meditation, celebration, and as an opulent incense. There are a myriad of home (and personal) fragrances that include this sultry note, but I ( just like my Mum) have a deep affinity for Rituals’ private collection Black Oudh Parfum d’Interieur ($40). Mist sparingly, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and feel your troubles melt away.

2 Soften Your Body Black soap, or savon noir as it’s known in Morocco, is an essential part of a beauty routine for the body. It’s a super soft black paste made from olives and olive oil, and it’s used to soften the skin before indulging in a body scrub for an extra-soft result. It’s divine—and a necessary first step— when achieving the softest skin of your life and during a Moroccan hammam (shower) ritual. As it’s a paste, it should be thick and easily spread over the body.

3 Indulge in Spa Secrets A Moroccan hammam can be similar in many ways to other cultures’ spas, such as a Turkish bathhouse. Beginning your trip to the hammam means gathering with your (same-gendered) friends and family in a steam room or by laying on a gigantic hot marble stone (or sometimes, both at once). The weekly hammam ritual is as much about your skin as it is about being a social activity good for the soul. After warming the skin, it’s scrubbing time. Your fellow hammam-goers will take turns scrubbing yours and each other’s backs while exchanging gossip to scrub away both the weak and dead skin cells in equal measure. Although it’s probably not realistic to have a hot marble slab to luxuriously steam on at home, a good weekly scrub with either a dry brush or a kessa mitt, which is a widely-used Moroccan exfoliating mitt, really do the trick. Catch up with a girlfriend, sister, mama, or cousin for extra positive vibes.

4 Stop and Smell the Roses Roses are the official flower of Morocco, and Moroccans show their adoration for the blossom with a month-long festival of roses every May. To celebrate its beauty at home and to maintain fresh skin, try spritzing rose water on your skin throughout the day. High in antioxidants, rose water not only nourishes the skin, but can also soothe redness and banish breakouts thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

5 Unleash Your Inner Glow While there are plenty of brands that have brought Argan oil into the mainstream (and mainstay) beauty routines of many, Moroccans have been using pure Argan oil for centuries. A very fun fact about the ultra-nourishing oil: argan trees produce a firm, sweet fruit that has a thick peel, fleshy pulp, and almond-shaped nut in the center. Tree goats go crazy for the pulp, and it’s not an uncommon sight to see several goats grazing on this fruit—sometimes 30 feet above ground—in the argan trees. Despite their love for the fruit, the goats cannot digest it all, and excrete the nut whole. It’s here where argan oil is extracted. Yes, argan oil is extracted from the nut that has passed through the tree goat. Inside the nut, as little as one or as many as three argan oil-rich kernels can be found, and they’re either roasted, ground, or cold-pressed to produce pure argan oil. Prized for its hydrating and glow-inducing properties, pure argan oil can be used on skin, hair, nails, eyes and lips.

6 Boost Your Energy With Green Tea Moroccans guzzle mint tea by the gallon. Renowned for its digestive-boosting abilities, energizing qualities, and skinclearing properties, this fresh tea can be enjoyed anytime as it’s caffeine-free. This is definitely the easiest ritual to incorporate into your daily—or nightly—routine. Cheers to that, right?

Aimée is a freelance writer and barre, Pilates, and yoga instructor who loves the sun and is living in love with her partner in San Diego. @amouraimee_ | 54 | Winter 2022


From duffels to messengers. By Meredith Schneider


othing is quite as incredible as finding the perfect bag. This is especially true for working professionals, who often find themselves living out of their bags while bopping from place to place. Finding that perfect travel companion can be a troubling task, so we went ahead and did the dirty work for you. Meet four of the most versatile bag options to comfortably support your working lifestyle. | 55 | Winter 2022

MONOS Metro Duffel The MONOS Metro Duffel is an impressive option for ladies on the go. While it can be carried as a duffel, the long strap makes it an easy side bag. Or, you can take advantage of the outer trolley sleeve, which allows you to slide it onto the handle of your rolling luggage to make for easier travel. The bag comes with a QuickSnap™ Modular Kit that offers additional space for odds and ends. Everything has its place so you won’t find yourself searching for your necessities at the bottom of your bag. Available in both nylon and vegan leather options. ($205)

ECOSUSI Vintage Laptop Backpack ECOSUSI’s Women’s Vintage Laptop Backpack will get you more attention than you planned for. We’re big fans of this particular bag because of its striking, clean lines and the gorgeous buckle details. Available in camel, maroon, and black, this vegan leather option is a more compact necessity for your on-the-go moments. It’s chic, sleek, and comfortably holds your laptop, planner, wallet, and snacks. ($88.50)

Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Weekender Find yourself using public transit as your primary method of commuting? Or are you taking time to travel, and need a little more space in your bag for everyday comforts? Enter the Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Weekender bag. After their success launching a smaller professional bag in 2012, they turned their eyes to a design that could comfortably house work and life items for several days at a time. A separate compartment at the base provides space to store additional shoe options, clothing options, dirty laundry, and other materials. (Pro tip: use the base for less comfortable shoes to swap out once we reach our destination.) This bag is available in nine basic color options, some made from recycled polyester and others organic canvas, and two slightly different sizes to cater to your needs. ($79)

Charles & Keith Satchel Messenger Bag A messenger bag is often the best solution for a working professional. Not only can it compactly hold all of your workspace necessities, but it does so in a sleek way that mirrors the way a briefcase makes you look and feel. Charles & Keith created a Satchel Messenger Bag that can hold tablets, notebooks, planners, and other necessities, and can be converted to a crossbody or a regular handbag for a night out (work to Happy Hour, anyone?). Simple details make it pop, in three spectacular colors that go with anything. ($215)

Meredith Schneider is a writer and has 10+ years of experience in marketing strategy and content creation. @merelygrace | 56 | Winter 2022

Get Your Business in Front of Your Ideal Client!


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.