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WOMEN in Business

2020 Special Publication of: The Oakdale Leader The Escalon Times The Riverbank News Wednesday, August 26, 2020


2— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Olive Oil Equates To California Gold By MARG JACKSON

Well known for its health benefits, great flavor profiles and versatility, olive oil could almost be considered the modern day ‘gold’ in the Golden State. In fact, local businesswoman Nies Tazelaar, who owns and operates California Gold Olive Oil Co. with her husband Kevin, would tend to agree. “We are passionate about good, healthy food and enjoy finding new ways to use our olive oil. A recent treatment for autism including California extra virgin olive oil has sparked worldwide interest in our oil,” Tazelaar explained. The Tazelaar family has been in farming in the Oakdale area for 26 years, initially doing almonds and for the last 12, produc-

ing the olive oil as well. “We had an area in our orchard that was open, the almond trees didn’t grow well there,” Tazelaar said. “We heard olives are not picky about the soil, we planted olive trees there … we’ve always liked olive oil and thought it was an interesting thing to do.” Once the trees started to produce – they weren’t picky about the soil, it turns out – the venture was first seen as a hobby. “We’d give it to friends,” Tazelaar said of their first forays into bottling their own product. That eventually expanded to selling it at holiday events and then creating gift baskets, ultimately resulting in the family getting their own label. They also have a website and have

moved from crafting the oil for giveaway to friends to now shipping it internationally under the California Gold label. “The olives are harvested once a year, usually in October or November,” said Tazelaar. “You want to see that about a third of the olives are turning purple; you want some green and you want some that are more ripe; that provides a good flavor balance.” Olives from some of the trees on their property near Claribel and Ellenwood in Oakdale are picked by hand, some are picked utilizing a modified grape harvester while still others are gathered in a big bin using a type of pistachio shaker. Once the olives are off the trees, that’s when the

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Operating the Oakdale-based California Gold Olive Oil Co. with her husband Kevin, local businesswoman Nies Tazelaar can be found at the weekly Oakdale Farmer’s Market on Wednesday nights during the summer and the family also sells the olive oil online as well as at a couple of Oakdale locations. Photo By Marg Jackson

time sensitive work begins. “Within 24 hours they need to be pressed and the goal is to be extra virgin olive oil,” said Tazelaar. “You need at least a ton of olives to press and it’s a timing thing.” The family’s olives are pressed at Sciabica’s in nearby Modesto. Then they are tested, with a chemical analysis done on the oil to determine if it qualifies as extra virgin, followed by a taste testing by the California Olive Oil Council. “They certify EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) by the taste,” noted Tazelaar. “If you can pass that one, you know you have good oil.” Those oils certified by the California Olive Oil Council are awarded with a special seal to place on

For a good flavor profile, olives picked for pressing should include different levels of ripeness, with both purple and green olives utilized in the mix. Photo Contributed

the bottle signifying that certification. The Tazelaars have six different olives that they use in a variety of combinations for their ‘Estate

Blend’ while they also have an Italian variety, Favolosa, and a Spanish Arbequina variety. Flavored oils they offer olive oil Page 3


Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020 — 3

olive oil

Continued From Page 2 are Lemon, Garlic, Jalapeno, Basil and Rosemary. At times, they also showcase Coldani out of Lodi, which is done with olives from

Lodi. Through the years, all three Tazelaar children have been involved in the operation, though daughters Heidi and Tina are now away at college. Son Jesse currently works at the family farm.

Tina Tazelaar, 18, helps set up the display recently at the Wednesday night Oakdale Farmer’s Market; all three of the Tazelaar children, Heidi, Tina and Jesse, have been involved in the olive oil business over the last several years. Photo By Marg Jackson

“Knowing that it’s so healthy, I love being able to help people improve their health,” Tazelaar said. The latest effort is using certified pure, not adulterated California olive oil in conjunction with fish oil and fiber to help those with autism and Tazelaar said that has brought in a new level of business. “We have been selling it like crazy online,” she said. Several events the family had anticipated being at this year have been canceled due to COVID-19, but they do have a presence each week at the Wednesday evening Oakdale Farmer’s Market and are busy with online sales as well. Their products can also be purchased locally at Oakdale Feed and Seed and Oakdale Cheese and Specialties. “People can always call us and we will deliver locally,” Tazelaar offered. Those interested can

contact Nies Tazelaar at 209-495-0462. They also offer fresh almonds and walnuts, balsamic vinegar, do wedding favors and put together gift packages. During the holidays, they hope to be at some in person events if they are allowed by that time and also, conditions permitting, should have a display set up at the Bank of Stockton in Oakdale, where they have done a holiday display for the past few years. The family can boast of being an ‘award winning’ olive oil company, including top honors from such events as the Yolo County Fair and the Los Angeles County Fair, among others. “Most years we enter competitions, we at least get a silver and sometimes gold,” said Tazelaar. For her, though, it’s more about what olive oil can do for people that keeps her invested in the business. “We’re Christians, we

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A sampler variety pack of California Gold olive oils features lemon, basil, jalapeno and garlic, in smaller sizes to taste test and decide which one is your favorite. Photo By Marg Jackson

feel God put us here for a reason and the idea of helping people is what makes me happy,” Tazelaar pointed out. “I’ve enjoyed the new challenge this

year of learning about international shipping while having a unique opportunity to help others. We see this as a gift from God, and want to honor Him in that.”

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4 — Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Crafts To Cowhide: The Ambitious Artisan By AUTUMN NEAL

In an unprecedented time where much of the business world has moved online, Alana DiLallo already has a head start on a virtual trade. DiLallo, of Riverbank, started her shop with a creative mind and humble beginnings. She didn’t anticipate that when she cut into her first piece of cowhide and made a bracelet with buck stitching that it would be anything too serious — just a gift for a friend. However, that bracelet began catching attention when it was worn at a craft fair, and from there, the newfound business started to grow. “I love seeing people take my pieces and rock it,” DiLallo said, smiling. However, Western isn’t

exactly DiLallo’s personal aesthetic — though she was “born and raised country,” it isn’t something she personally wears a lot of. That’s why in the next few years she’s hoping to expand her business to a broader audience. “You look at me and I have green hair, I have tattoos,” she reflected. “I don’t want to just touch people who wear country pieces, but also my plain Janes or my girls that are a little more rock ... I want someone to feel like there’s something on my page that calls to them.” For now, DiLallo is working the cowhide and leather niche well. Most pairs of earrings she sells are priced around $12 as she gets her feet wet in the business. These styles

and prices were inspired when she saw “the western vibe” going around. “You see it and you’re like ‘I don’t want to pay $70 for that, I can make that!’” she said of her own experience. “And then I kind of wanted to bring that to everybody else that I love ... and it was easy enough for me to do.” Her first piece started off when she had extra cowhide that she didn’t know what to do with — she didn’t want it to go to waste, but also thought it was too pretty to just sell on its own. That’s when she added her own personal flair to it and cut out some shapes to eventually make into earrings. “Then I bought beads to add to the cowhide, because it gets tiring do-

ing plain shapes all the time,” she added. DiLallo’s imagination is constantly moving forward. She found her best business by creating a variety of jewelry with only two or three pairs per style. That way, she can keep creative juices flowing while always trying something new. Currently, she’s highlighting her business — artisan Page 5

Alana DiLallo proudly sports her handmade jewelry and encourages customers to shop local. Behind her is her jewelry making station displaying a few new pairs of earrings that she’ll have posted on her social media, @twobaystrading. co on Instagram. Photo Contributed

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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020 — 5

artisan

Continued From Page 4 Two Bays Trading Company — on Instagram and working on a website. After a year and a half of jewelry making, her Instagram account is full of hundreds of unique styles. “A majority of it is earrings, but I do dabble in necklaces and I’ve

started to get more into the western décor,” she shared. Most recently, she took some cowhide and a cowboy hat and brought them together to create a great piece of décor or a new accessory. Her online presence looks a lot like posting styles on Instagram, people direct messaging her for orders, and running a few collaborations and giveaways.

“Once I started shipping to people who didn’t know me, I thought ‘this is really cool’ and I was proud of myself then,” DiLallo relayed. By posting on Instagram and utilizing methods like collaborations and hashtags, people from all over are able to see her work and potentially buy from her. Along with some giveaways, DiLallo tries to

support local businesses in any way she can. She’ll try and buy from businesses in town, donate to FFA, and put together baskets to help sponsor local organizations. “And people never shut the door on me,” she shared of her journey starting out as a business. She’s had nothing but good interactions with fellow local shops. “I feel like there’s a lot of

respect.” DiLallo tries to reciprocate that respect and openness with her customers; her hope is to be the kind of business she would want to buy from. She works hard to be in conversation with customers through any problems they may have, whether that be them losing an earring and needing a replacement or even custom making

a style that they want but haven’t seen on her page yet. “I like being transparent, being myself, and being welcome,” she summarized. Visit DiLallo’s Instagram page @twobaystrading.co or follow the link instagram.com/ twobaystrading.co to check out her styles for a perfect COVID-friendly shopping experience.

Ways Women Can Build And Maintain Professional Networks Established professionals often tout the importance of building strong networks. In fact, a 2017 global survey from LinkedIn found that nearly 80 percent of professionals consider professional networking to be important to their career success. Women can employ

various strategies to build strong networks and maintain those networks once connections are established. Join professional organizations. Professional organizations provide great networking opportunities, serving as avenues to

begin new business relationships. Many such organizations host annual conferences, and attending these conferences can help women maintain the relationships they develop through their participation in these groups. That’s an important benefit, as the LinkedIn survey found that 38 percent

of professionals admitted they find it hard to stay in touch with their network. Offer help as much as you seek it. The LinkedIn survey found that only 48 percent of professionals keep in touch with their networks when things are going well in their career.

By reaching out to a network when things are going well, women are showing a willingness to offer help as much as seek it. That can lead to stronger, more easily maintained networks. Schedule networking

each week. Build networking into your weekly schedule. Even the busiest professionals can find time each week to email someone in their network to see how things are going or share updates on previous collaborations. That’s a quick and easy way to maintain connections.

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6— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Gerber Suiting Up For Work On The Front Lines By DENNIS D. CRUZ

Growing up as a child in Singapore, Rochelle Davis Gerber moved to Southern California during her teen years. While living in Singapore she developed a fondness for the violin. So much so, that she attended Indiana University to become a professional violinist and musician. She enjoyed it but wanted to help provide a better income for her growing family. She made the choice to return to school and attended University of Saint Francis in Indiana to become a nurse practitioner. “My first job out of nursing school was at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was a trauma nurse and it was a great place to work and learn

for two years,” recalled Gerber. Now, the well-traveled Oakdale resident works at Kaiser Permanente in Modesto. The fast-paced career has led Gerber to her current post as a registered nurse where she works the night shift. “I chose the night shift because I feel like it gives me the best opportunity to spend time with my children and husband. When the kids are going to school it gives me time to rest. When they get back home, I am awake and can interact with them. It works out really well. My husband and I make a great team when it comes to balancing work and home life.” Her career, though, is an emotional rollercoast-

er. Full of joy, agony, rewarding days and challenges. “Believe it or not, the most rewarding part of my career is also the biggest challenge. Being an advocate for the patients is what I thrive at. Making sure what is best for the patent is the most rewarding to me; being able to make sure that their needs are met is what is truly important to me,” Gerber explained. “Having said that, it is also the most challenging part of my work. What’s best for the patient is not always what is best for their family members. If a 90-yearold has requested ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ it’s the patient’s choice and if that is their final request, I want to make sure that their needs are met.”

Since March of 2020 the world has been trying to adapt to life amid the new reality of the coronavirus pandemic. None more so than those in the medical field. Gerber has been on the front lines during this time and has been attempting to roll with the changes. “COVID-19 is awful, I think the difficultly is that it changes each day and it takes an emotional toll on all of us,” she said. “To remain resilient with the change it is a challenge to say the least. We adapt to change and we accept it, but when it changes each day it is hard. Every day it is something different and it is hard to adjust to ever changing circumstances.” In the early stages suiting up Page 7

Shown is registered nurse Rochelle Gerber in her full gear for work at Kaiser Permanente in Modesto, including scrubs, a facemask and protective face shield. Photo Contributed

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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020 — 7

suiting up

Continued From Page 6 of the pandemic, Gerber would change her work clothes in the garage, throw them in the wash and shower as soon as she got home. Her routine has changed slightly over the last six months and she now keeps her work clothes in a separate location from her family’s other clothing items, but still showers upon arrival at home. Gerber said she wants to make it perfectly clear that the virus is not a joke and should not be taken lightly. “COVID-19 is not political … it is one hundred percent real and it is not a hoax. I see it first hand on a daily basis. The healthcare workers are not politicizing it and we see it firsthand.” When Oakdale resident Rochelle Gerber is not working on the front lines at the hospital, she is an active mother. Shown is Gerber posing with her children. Photo Contributed

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8— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020

How Women Can Make Their Way In Male-Dominated Fields Women have made great strides in various industries over the first two decades of the 21st century. Highly publicized pursuits of gender equality, such as the gender discrimination lawsuit by the United States Women’s National Team against the U.S. Soccer Federation, have done much to further the cause for women in a great number of industries. But the fight for equality is far from over, as evidenced by the array of fields that remain predominantly male. In 2017, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics tracked the percentages of women in a variety of professions, ultimately finding that many professions are maledominated. For example, the BLS found that only 20 percent of software devel-

opers were female, while roughly 63 percent of financial analysts are male. Each of those fields can be lucrative, suggesting women can benefit greatly from making inroads into these professions and others in which they are underrepresented. Women may face an uphill battle as they look to establish themselves and subsequently thrive in male-dominated fields. That challenge can be overcome by employing various strategies. Build your network. Networking is essential for modern professionals. According to a global survey of nearly 16,000 LinkedIn members across 17 countries, 79 percent of professionals agree that networking is valuable for career progression. Networking also can make it

easier for women to thrive in male-dominated fields, as they can seek advice from professional colleagues, male and female, about hurdles they can expect. In addition, professional networks can serve as support networks as well. That can be invaluable as women face the challenge of establishing themselves in male-dominated fields. Work with professional women’s organizations. Many professional organizations now cater exclusively to women within certain professions. Working with these groups places women in direct contact with peers with varying levels of experience. That means women will have access to people who have faced and overcome challenges at various phases of their

Women working in maledominated fields face many challenges. But such challenges can be overcome in various ways.

careers. Work with your employer. Wage gaps have narrowed in many professions, but that’s not the only way industries have become more accommo-

dating to women. Many businesses now recognize the need to change not just their pay structures, but also their working environments to make them more accommodating to

women. Women who encounter problems at work, such as routine resistance to their ideas and input, should discuss such frustrations with their employers.

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Update Your Résumé For Job Hunting During COVID-19 The economy has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people are concerned by what the future may bring, particularly regarding their careers. Some fields may continue to scale back while others may increase operations. There is much uncertainty for those looking for new work or considering changing jobs. Even though the coronavirus may slow down the process of hiring and make it even more competitive, job seekers must avoid the notion that they should throw in the towel and try to wait out the lull. Many people have found new jobs during the pandemic, and these strategies can help career-minded women do

media application like LinkedIn, Plaxo or Jobster to network, be sure to keep your profile current. It also may be helpful to join industry networking groups and organizations at this time, as they may have an ongoing aggregator of job openings in particular fields.

just that. Update your résumé Many people may think that résumé writing is a ‘one and done’ process, but that’s not the case. The Balance: Careers says a résumé should be updated and tweaked each time a person applies for a position. Keep a generalized outline for your résumé, but be sure to modify your skills and accomplishments as they pertain to the specific job for which you’re applying. In many instances, a functional résumé format, which emphasizes skills over linear job experience, is a good choice because it can gloss over gaps in the résumé or frequent job changes. Remember to fill the

A job search may be complicated by the coronavirus, but there are steps to make it easier to find a job. With patience and positivity, the odds can be in job-seekers’ favor. résumé with the same verbiage used in the job posting. If scanning software is used to cull résumés for key words, yours

will have the right words and phrases. Update social media If you use a social

Research the industry While travel, hospitality and event planning have been hit hard due to COVID-19, other industries like online shopping, delivery, healthcare, grocery stores, cleaning services, and more, have experienced growth. Many industries also have revamped operations and may need a consultant or expert to help them change over their business formats.

Do not assume that the pandemic has stalled all job prospects. Prepare for remote interviews Even after businesses have reopened, remote interviews will likely be the norm. Set up an interview spot in your home with good lighting, a neutral background, limited distractions, and a desirable camera angle. Practice being interviewed digitally. Master various meeting applications by downloading necessary software in advance so that technical difficulties will not derail the process. The interviewer sees only your background, so utilize a paper or whiteboard in front of you with notes or talking points.

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10— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Grab An Ice Cream And Cut At Marissa’s By VIRGINIA STILL

For over seven years Marissa Avila has been cutting people’s hair in Escalon and has built a vast client base. With a love for the town and a love of being a stylist, she recently opened her very own salon, Marissa’s Cold Cutz at 1205 Plaza Avenue #1 in

Escalon. “I am always busy over here,” stated Avila. “So I didn’t want to have to start all over again in another town.” Although some people may think that – based on the name – you can get a haircut and a sandwich there, the true meaning

The newly remodeled salon offers a number of services like cuts, colors, trims, snacks and ice cream.

behind Cold Cutz involves haircuts and ice cream. On the other side of the wall at the salon is a small ice cream shop with snacks and ice cream cones. The idea originated when Avila was cutting hair at another shop and in an attempt to keep the kids calm and motionless the parents would reward them with an ice cream afterwards. This concept has had very little time to be tested as she has only been able to be open for a few weeks before all salons were shut down once again amid the pandemic. “I figured that (ice cream) would work,” noted Avila. “So at least the kids can see it and then they will want it and hopefully do better. Also with the high school being across the street and

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the kids coming in here I was like this could work but now the kids are not in school so it is a waiting game. It is rough.” Marissa’s Cold Cutz offers haircuts to men, women, and children. She does beard trims, bang trims, wash and blow dry, style, braids, and color. Avila also does waxing at her salon for eyebrows, lips, chin, arms, and legs. She has future plans to hire an aesthetician to add skin care to the menu. The mother of two has been a stylist for 10 years and in the beginning got into cosmetology to be a manicurist. “When I got out of (cosmetology) school I decided to do hair,” said Avila. “I slowly started to like hair more than nails plus it (school) was faster.

Co-Owner Marissa Avila opened Marissa’s Cold Cutz and she is ready with clippers and comb in hand to make you look good.

Photos By Virginia Still With nails you had to do a lot more to get started so I decided that I was going to do hair for now and I stuck with it.” At first she had no desire to have her own shop but after she started taking on more responsibilities at

the former salon the idea set in. Avila realized that if she could manage things for someone else that she could do it for herself. After driving around town to see where her shop could be, she found marissa’s Page 11

Soroptimist International of Oakdale Celebrating 66 years of service to our community! Our organization helps women and girls live their dreams through our Dream Programs and other scholastic programs. We also provide hands-on and monetary support to our community. For more info, check our Oakdale Soroptimist Facebook page, website www.oakdalesoroptimist.org, E-mail sioakdale@soroptimist.net, or attend our Virtual Mixer from 6:15-7:30 pm, Thursday, Sept. 17, via Zoom (https://zoom.us/j/209840-4094, Password: zoom) Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.


Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020 — 11

With ice cream offered on the other side of the wall of the hair salon, children can enjoy a sweet treat.

marissa’s

Continued From Page 10 the corner business on Plaza Avenue across the shopping center from Taco Bell. The fact that it came with a kitchen had its own set of challenges, as Avila knew there would be a problem with cutting hair on one side and offering ice cream or food on the other. “I called the health department and asked if it was possible and his words to me were nothing is impossible so they told us everything we needed to get done and so we got it done,” expressed Avila. “It has been a lot to try to get here.” The new business venture is a co-partnership with her significant other. They gutted the place and tackled some renovations like adding a wall to separate the two businesses, painting the walls and floors, and decorating. With everything in place and all the paperwork taken care of, they were finally able to open at the beginning of June. They were open for a few weeks and then got shut back down. COVID-19 has

Marissa’s Cold Cutz is new in the Escalon Plaza and is anticipating re-opening the doors as soon as they get the green light from the state to serve the community. caused many complications for Avila and her new venture like homeschooling her children due to the new distance learning and being shut down. Avila explained that they are taught in school to be sanitary and she believes stylists are essential. At her shop there is plenty of room to keep the occupancy low or for a family to come in together. She added that working outside right now is not an option; for one the heat is unbearable, people would be sweaty, clippers may stick, and there are a couple restaurants next door that must have outdoor dining. “It just does not make sense,” stated Avila. “We are essential. People still

have to go to work. People still have meetings. People still need to look good and feel good.” Marissa’s Cold Cutz will remain closed for now. The future may be a bit hazy at the moment but she is hopeful that things will pick up. Once they can reopen she will be able to continue the thing she loves and that is to make people look good. She said, “My favorite thing is when I get done with the haircut and their word is ‘perfect’. I try to give people what they want and I think that communication is key and understanding what they want is key so when I am able to do that, that is my best part of it all.”


12— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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