Put Your Best Foot Forward
For the Love of Design
A Look Inside Rochesterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Drag Scene f o r a l l t h e t h i n g s t h at yo u a r e . . . r o c h e s t e r w o m a n
rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
w w w. r o c h e s t e r w o m a n m a g . c o m
ETC 7 PLATTER CHATTER: Amore
FASHION FORWARD: So Fresh, So Green
FABULOUS FINDS: Hot Red Betties
SPECIAL FEATURE: Helping Women Look Their Best 18
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Volunteers of America
LOCAL BUSINESS MATTERS: Shop Peppermint
LEADING WOMAN: Cindy Kyle
RWM Entrepreneur: A Passion for Style
COVER STORY: Drag World
SPECIAL FEATURE: A Blast from the Past
FITNESS: New Body, New Wardrobe
HEALTHY WOMAN 44 IN HER OWN WORDS: For the Love of Design
SPECIAL FEATURE: The Thread That Runs Through It 49 RW INSPIRES 51 CALENDAR OF EVENTS 54
TIPS FOR WOMEN 56 WISDOM IN A TRAFFIC JAM
TIPS FOR MEN 64
Discover the Magic of Macy’s August 8th, 2013 From 5:30pm to 8:30pm For the RWM’S Fashion Issue Launch Party. At the Macy’s in Eastview Mall in Victor.
WOMAN magazine Letter from the PUBLISHERS “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” -- Coco Chanel
OUR TEAM... Publishers
Kelly Breuer Barbara McSpadden
associate editor Ashley Cooper
Creative DIRECTOR Kelly Breuer
Art Director Melissa Meritt
Graphic Design Melissa Meritt
Photography For the cover of this year’s fashion issue, we want you to think outside the box. We’re taking you, our readers, into the world of drag queens while taking a look at the community in Rochester. Sometimes referred to as, “female impersonators” or, “men wanting to be women”, neither actually defines this fascinating genre as you will discover when you read the story on page . You may not identify or agree with the lifestyle, but we think once you read the article, you will come away with a better understanding of why these men truly enjoy what they do. Also in this edition is a highlight of the local designers in Rochester that spend their days coming up with unique fashions that express their own style and creativity. One of those incredible designers is Andrea Geer. Andrea tells us In Her Own Words , what motivated her to become a fashion designer and how her unique style has been inspired. Plus, we’ve all heard the term “image is everything,” and local image consultant Cindy Kyle has been helping people in both the private and public sector, put their best foot forward for more than 20 years. Read how she got started in the business and what sets her apart in our Leading Woman column on page . If you have a man in your life, chances are you spend as much time dressing him as you do yourself, let’s face it, fashion and style are not a priority for most men. Dressing up usually means a clean Aero T-shirt and a wrinkled pair of cargo shorts. We sat down with Peter Roberti Jr. of Adrian Jules to give us some insight on how to make our men look their best when they take us out to our favorite local hot spots. Leave your copy of RWM open to page  someplace where you favorite man can read it and maybe take the hint! Don’t forget we are hosting our big event “Get Out of the Dark and into the White: A Visual Experience at the MAG” on Aug. 15. Be sure to get your tickets early for this one-of-a-kind event! You will even have an opportunity to meet some of the drag queens featured in this month’s issue. A portion of the proceeds from the event goes to Trillium Health (formerly AIDS Care). Stay caught up with your favorite women’s magazine on Twitter at @RochWomanMag and be sure to “like” us and follow our posts on Facebook too! We hope you enjoy this year’s fashion issue and find some new ways to add some flare to your own personal style.
Kell y & Barb Cheers!
On Our Cover...
Four of Rochester’s Premier Drag Queen divas strut their stuff at Tilt Night Club. From left to right: Tom Laurence (Aggy Dune), Jonathan Jordan (Kyla Minx), Sam Brett (Samantha Vega) and Ed Popal (Kasha Davis). Cover photo by Tammy Swales Studio
Elton Photographic Group Jenniffer Merida John Schlia Tammy Swales Brandon Vick
Kristine Bruneau Mallory Diamond Rebecca Even Angella Geer Amanda Hebing Joan E. Lincoln Amy Long Nadia Pierre Louis Angella Luyk Caitlin Mack Marc L. Odorisi, MD, FACC Nicole Shein Jessica Thurston Brandy White Whitbourne
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Unlike any other publication in the Rochester area, our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, home matters, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local Rochester women. Ads are due on the 15th of the month prior to publication. The print magazines will be distributed locally in over 350 locations and will be in your inbox electronically by the middle of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Contact our home office 585.287.5362 1115 E. Main St, Box 60 Rochester, NY 14609 firstname.lastname@example.org Download our media kit at www.rochesterwomanmag.com The magazine is published 11 times a year by InnovateHER Media Group, llc. 1115 E. Main Street, Box 60, Rochester NY 14609. Copyright © 2013 InnovateHER Media Group, llc. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publishers. Rochester Woman Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of InnovateHER Media Group, llc. and will not be returned.
etc... august movies...
Dusty is a crop dusting plane who dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. The problem? He is hopelessly afraid of heights. With the support of his mentor Skipper and a host of new friends, Dusty sets off to make his dreams come true.
8/9 An entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss’s old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage.
8/16 A look at the life of Cecil Gaines who served eight presidents as the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986, and had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history was made.
8/16 Brent Magna must get behind the wheel and follow the orders of a mysterious man to save his kidnapped wife. Stars Selena Gomez, Ethan Hawke and Jon Voight.
13th Annual Arts at the Gardens
On August 17-18, the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park is hosting their annual art sale that contains the work of 110 handpicked artists from around the country. Included in the 2012 Art Fair Sourcebook’s List of Top Fine Art and Craft Shows, Arts at the Gardens is a juried fine art and craft show featuring a broad range of artwork such as paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and much more. Admission is $6 and from 10 am to 5 pm you can enjoy live music, art of every kind, food and wine. The Wine and Beer Garden will be selling wine by the glass including local ales such as Custom BrewCrafters, Rohrbach’s and Naked Dove Brewing Company. Food will be provided by Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake and Kiwanis/Rotary Grille. Admission also gives you access to the mansion and gardens. Sonnenberg consists of nine signature formal gardens. Philanthropist Mary Clark Thompson brought ideas and art from her trips to Europe and Asia and used her inspiration to re-design the gardens there today. The beautiful sight can’t be missed at this event. Entrance to the mansion is also permitted. The 40-room mansion is handicap accessible and home to many special events hosted throughout the Garden Season. While you’re exploring the mansion or walking through the beautiful gardens, don’t forget to buy a raffle ticket. You may walk away with an original piece of art donated by an exhibitor. This establishment is owned by the New York State Office of Parks and Historic Preservation and is operated by the nonprofit organization, Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion. All profits from Arts at the Gardens go to support Sonnenberg’s preservation and education efforts. To learn more visit www.sonnenberg.org
The Rochester City Ballet (RCB) is pleased to announce the audition date for its 2013 production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” Each year, RCB collaborates with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to bring this much-loved holiday classic to life. Last year, more than 150 local children auditioned for the opportunity to dance alongside Rochester’s premier professional ballet company. The company is interested in enthusiastic boys and girls ages 5 - 12 years old. Due to costume restrictions, dancers should be within 44 – 58 inches tall with weight appropriate to height. Dance experience is considered a plus, but not mandatory. For more information please contact Deborah Tretter at the Rochester City Ballet offices, 585- 4615850. Please note that if selected, a performance fee will be required of all dancers and all rehearsals are closed to the public. The 2013 performances of “The Nutcracker” will take place on Nov. 29 – Dec.1 at the Kodak Hall in the Eastman Theatre. About Rochester City Ballet: Celebrating its 25th anniversary season, Rochester City Ballet is this region’s preeminent professional ballet company. Rochester City Ballet is committed to pushing the artistic envelope as it redefines tradition, mixing award-winning contemporary ballets with classic masterworks. The company comprises 19 contracted dancers who perform an extensive season at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and the Nazareth College Arts Center. Recently completing the purchase of its studios on University Avenue, Rochester City Ballet has been listed, for the past several years, as one of the top 20 cultural attractions by the Rochester Business Journal in its annual Book of Lists — based on annual attendance.
chatter ::platter 8
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Amore Old World With a Modern Twist
Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar By Nicole Shein | Photos by Brandon Vick Amore Italian Restaurant and
Wine Bar, located inside the new East Avenue Wegmans may seem, at first blush, to be an odd concept: an upscale gourmet restaurant inside a grocery store? Yet the much beloved local company manages to pull off its newest venture with panache. Just a glimpse into the bar area gives patrons a hint of what to expect from their experience. The decor, like the menu, is a delightful bricolage of old-world tradition and modern twists, with wood, wrought iron, granite and stone elements standing cheek by jowl with pop-art barstools in bright cherry red plastic and funky, fun light fixtures. The vibe here is laid back but hip, and very welcoming; you can imagine stopping by for a drink in jeans and a tank top, or making dinner reservations and getting dressed to the nines. The inspiration for the menu, says Executive Chef Russell Ferguson, comes from the Wegman family’s love of simple, authentic Italian food. Yet it’s still a work in progress, and Ferguson emphasizes that it’s the customers who will dictate the path of Amore’s evolution. “Ultimately we have to listen to the customers,” he says. “They’ll tell us what the restaurant is going to be.” For now, Amore’s offerings are simple: pizza, pasta, Italian sandwiches at lunchtime, artisan charcuterie boards, some antipasti and salads, a few entrees. After speaking with the chef, I was offered a selection of the more popular items, beginning with a zucchini carpaccio. With hues of brilliant gold and green, this dish was a treat even before I tasted it. Thin slices of zucchini are steamed briefly, so that they are just tender, and then arranged in a beautiful pinwheel pattern. On top of this, an arugula pesto and a pine-nut granola lend contrasting flavors and, in the case of the granola, a satisfying crunch. In the middle of the dish is the Italian buffalo mozzarella known as “burrata”, which boasts a soft, mild, creamy center. Another vegetable side dish, eggplant parmesan, is a twist on the traditional. Instead of being fried or baked, the eggplant is braised in a house-made marinara, then topped with parmesan cheese and served with two crisp crostini. This cooking method practically melts the eggplant, while still preserving the intense flavors of the original dish. Every Italian-American restaurant in town serves fried calamari, but several things make Amore’s version noteworthy. One is the coating they use, which combines all-purpose flour, semolina flour and pulverized arborio rice, for maximum crispness. Another is the fact that instead of tossing the cooked calamari with lemon, chunks of lemon are fried alongside the squid. These provide a bright burst of intense lemon flavor that complements but does not overwhelm, or worse, make that crisp coating soggy. Lastly, the calamari rings are tossed with a generous amount of flash-fried rosemary, which imbues the entire dish with fragrance. The calamari is served with garlic aioli. Likewise, it’s not hard to find good pizza in Rochester, but Amore’s crust is a decided departure from the old thick-versus-thin crust debate. Neither crisp NY-style, nor doughy deep-dish, this pizza’s crust is owes its lightness to a secret recipe. Toppings include the usual (margherita; pepperoni) and the unique (ricotta, escarole and wine sausage; truffle). At lunchtime, the panouzzi (hearth-baked Italian sandwiches served on ciabatta that is baked fresh each morning) are popular, and an Italian chopped salad is loaded with tomatoes, cucumbers, pepperoncini, olives, chickpeas, provolone and salami. There are several meat and seafood entrees, as well as a selection of pastas, including what might be Amore’s best seller, buccatini with meatballs. Feel like having a glass of wine and sharing? Antipasti include arancini, warm rosemary flatbread, and oven-roasted oysters, or compose your own artisan charcuterie board with cheeses and salumi, each served with toasted ciabatta. Amore Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, 1750 East Ave (585) 452-8780.
commercial | fashion | catalog | editorial | product eltonphotographic.com | email@example.com | 585-542-8310
Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester Breast CanCer Gala septemBer 28, 2013 You can help by donating a piece of artwork, gift basket, gift certificate, becoming a sponsor, advertising in our program book and/or attending the event! art submission deadline: Friday, august 23, 2013 For more information call 585.473.8177 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.bccr.org
By Joan E. Lincoln
Do you have a knack for turning tired old clothing into haute new creations? The new fashion rage is the up-cycled clothing business, crafting beautiful clothes out of other people’s cast offs. But not just any cast-offs, designers are seeking fabrics of quality, textiles that are durable and wearable for years. Goodone, London based creative designer Nin Castle, utilizes well-made fabrics, allowing different textures and knits to inspire her designs. Castle wants women to move away from the ever-growing trend of disposable clothing and invest in sturdy, well-designed garments that are built to inspire and to last. Castle believes, “The way to wean yourself off a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption is…to only buy things you truly love.” We spend more on clothing now than we ever have in the past, yet this money can be spent on cheaper fabrics and designs. We have three times the amount of clothing than we did in the 80’s, experts say. Did you know that approximately 12 million tons of textile waste is generated each year in North America amounting to approximately 68 lbs of waste per household per year? An astounding 5% of all landfill production is textile waste. There are many individuals doing their part to help reduce this environmental impact. The tragedy is that over 90% of that textile waste is perfectly recyclable. Local Brighton High School Graduate Class of 2012 Korina Brewer, currently entering her sophomore year of college at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, created a line called Korina by Korina. Many of the textiles she incorporated into her Summer 2013 Collection where from remnants and garments she purchased at the All-American Bag Lady Sale at Panache Vintage & Finer Consignment. The young designer had her first launch of her summer 2013 collection and was thrilled with the enthusiasm and local support of her designs. SHOP SMALL BUSINESS ~ SHOP LOCAL ~ SHOP GREEN
Rochester, being a leader in sustainability, launched a first-of-its-kind event a couple years ago — Greentopia. The event has evolved into a mecca of “think green” stimulation and opportunities. Visit the user friendly website so as not to miss this amazing citywide effort, greentopiafest.com. September 10 - 15, 2013 Environmentally conscious minds go gaga over the Greentopia “From the Ground Up” Fashion Show. Local Rochester Artist Ambassador and Fashion Guru Shawn Dunwoody has created a Green Team to entertain and challenge the fashion senses. Always a “Think-out-of-the-Box” kind of guy, last year the models took to a turf covered runway. Learn more at email@example.com, Sponsored by Each 1 Stitch 1 Design Studio ~ firstname.lastname@example.org, Registration now open for attendees & exhibitors.
SHOP GREEN ~ THINK UPCYCLE ~ SHOP RESALE
Joan Lincoln owns Panache Vintage and Finer Consignment in Brighton Commons. She can also be heard Thursday mornings during Wake Up With Tony on WARM 101.3 discussing all of the latest fashion trends and styles. rochesterWomanMag.com :: july 2013
A visual experience at the MAG...
• Sympli • Desigual • Adore • Lee Anderson • XCVI • Comfy USA • Fly London Shoes • Boho Chic • Amy Brill Handknits • Nally & Millie • Chan Luu • Tribal • Minnetonka • Tolani Scarves • Escape From Paris 1892 Monroe Avenue (585) 271-4060 www.byouniquebtq.com
We take everyday flowers and make them extraordinary!
Weddings Anniversaries Birthdays Sympathy Congratulations Holidays Corporate Gifts Locally Created Chocolates
James Via Photography
650 South Ave. Rochester, NY 14620 585-734-RODZ (7639)
696 Titus Avenue Rochester, NY 14617 Phone: 585.507.4800 personaldesignsflorist.com
A visual experience at the MAG...
fasindustry? hion Interested in the
colorist h a i r s t y l i s t makeup artist salon management salon owner hairstylist makeup artist salon management s a l o n o w n e r hairstylist colorist salon management m a k e u p a rt i s t hairstylist colorist makeup artist There’s a new school in Town 340 Elmridge Center Drive • Rochester, NY 14626 585-210-2875 • www.empire.edu
come checkouT our school & s T u d e n T s a l o n * T o d ay ! *Services performed by senior-level students under the supervision of licensed instructors. Charges for reasonable cost of materials only.
Photo courtesy of Goldwell International
What s‘ in a name?
An exceptional dining experience. Seasonal ingredients. Unique flavor profiles. Beautiful presentations. You’ll find it all at Max Rochester restaurants. Each has its own style, its own atmosphere, and its own menu for a one-of-a-kind experience. Fine dining. Unforgettable memories. Reserve your table today at maxrochester.net or 585.697.0491
MAX CHOPHOUSE | MAX OF EASTMAN PLACE | MAX AT THE GALLERY | MAX AT HIGH FALLS | MAX SUSHI & NOODLE MAX WEDDINGS /SPECIAL EVENTS & CATERING
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Sailor attire was all –the-rage back in the 1950’s! Luckily, it’s made a come-back using modern prints and fabrics. This style is flattering for any body-type, shape and age. Hot Red Betties also carries a more conservative version of the sailor dress for the not-so-wild. Both styles have lots of stretch that will allow both comfort and support.
Check out Hot Red Betties; stock of mechanic-style shirts for men with cool logos and vintage-inspired bowling shirts with hip graphics. T-shirts for Hot Rod, motorcycle and mechanic enthusiasts are available as well as punk-rock and Rockabilly tees with sizes up to XXXL.
For the kiddies, see the store’s vintage-inspired western and mechanic tops for boys. They also carry cute cardigan sweaters with retro-embroidery motifs, baby onesies, punk rock and Rockabilly music tees, bibs, hats and belts.
Hot Red Betties also offers unique accessories and home goods, chain wallets, patches, belt buckles, puns and hair flowers by KELVIS and more! See the stellar novelty supply of salt and pepper shakers, oven mitts, shower curtains, cosmetic bags and purses.
An added bonus, Hot Red Betties provides alterations on clothing bought in the store. Custom made-to-order pieces will be available through the store’s namesake brand. These can also be made into smaller sizes for children and teens.
feature ::special 18
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
By Ashley Cooper | Photo by Elton Photographic Group First impressions only happen once, according to Pittsfordbased image stylist Monica Flaum. With a competitive market perpetually breathing down our necks paired with an ever-progressive, visually-driven society, the New York native couldn’t be more right. Many who understand that they most likely won’t have an opportunity to redeem themselves of a botched first impression might take advantage of the helpful services that Flaum provides. Flaum’s roots can be traced back to Manhattan, where she spent her formative years steeping in a family who specialized in all things aesthetic. “I grew up walking around Manhattan from Soho to Madison Avenue looking at stores and seeing what people were wearing,” recalls Flaum. “A weekly event was going to a sample sale at a designer showroom in the garment district. For as long as I can remember, WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) and Vogue have been essential reading materials in my house.” Flaum’s father owned various fashionable optical boutiques in Manhattan, while her mother designed coats and accessory pieces such as belts and hats. There’s no question that the children inherited their parents’ sharp eye for design. Flaum’s oldest sister worked with names like Donna Karen and Jackie Rogers in NYC-based couture houses while her other sister artistically designs modish jewelry that has been featured in runways under the likes of Ralph Lauren, among others. While studying at the N.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, Flaum met and fell in love with her [now] husband, Asher, whose Rochester-based family business prompted her move upstate. For some time, Flaum had commuted to Rochester from the New York City fashion scene as she worked alongside designers like Dolce and Gabana, and Jean Paul Gaultier while at Carol Rollo’s Riding High. Flaum also enrolled in courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology, worked as a dresser for celebrities and socialites and even delved in public relations work for high profile individuals, restaurants and nightclubs. For Flaum, the decision to join her husband in Rochester couldn’t have proven to be more right—not only for her business, but for her family life as well. Flaum is a mother of two boys who are reaping the benefits of growing up in a tightknight and culturally nuanced community. “Most people say [Rochester] is a fabulous place to live and raise children…they are right,” explains Flaum thoughtfully. “I love that Rochester is a quick plane ride to New York City and a short drive to Toronto. I also love how we have some incredible restaurants and stores that people may not even know about. But what I love most about Rochester is how I am building a business that has been so beautifully embraced.” At Monica Flaum Image Consulting, success stories are multiplying by scores. Flaum offers services in image styling, wardrobe planning and personal shopping. As Flaum is
accustomed to the fast-paced, colorful culture of New York City living, she is happy to be working in an equally varied environment upstate. For Flaum, no two days (or clients) are alike! “Every person is different and I cater each experience to the individual,” says Flaum of her services. “Everyone has their own likes and dislikes about their bodies, color and styles so it’s a very personalized process. But meeting a new client usually starts out the same. Our initial consultation begins with a handshake and by the end of our appointment we are hugging! I say that because most people are nervous and anxious to let me into their closet and personal space.” Flaum continues to illustrate the consulting process by saying, “It can be confronting for some people to get rid of items in their closet as most items have a sentimental attachment. I really try to understand the person’s lifestyle and streamline it for them.” Flaum and her team have an effective system for closet makeovers that includes sorting clothing items into three piles that include “donation,” “consignment” and “tailor.” “I also have the ‘sentimental attachment’ pile that goes into a memory box or looks pretty in the closet, like Grandma’s Pucci blouse,” Flaum adds. Once the items have been assigned their respected piles, Flaum begins the organization process, which includes showing her clients how to match pieces to form outfits that they might not otherwise think of on their own. An inventory list is set in motion that indicates which items her clients need to “complete their wardrobe.” Flaum then either accompanies her clients on a shopping trip or shops for them. The motive behind Flaum’s specialized services goes much deeper than the surface, however. Her career gives back to her on a regular basis. “I always say I’m not curing cancer but if I can help my clients feel confident, sexy and put together than I have helped to empower them,” says Flaum. “My philosophy is that every day is an opportunity to feel good about ourselves… Simply put, my work is rewarding because I can help my clients look and feel their best on the inside and out.” Flaum’s “handshakes-turned-hugs” are the true compensation for her investments. She will even assist her clients with customized diet and exercise regimens to reflect her ideology that looking great truly stems from feeling great. Flaum cites her family as being her continual source of inspiration, support and strength: “I have an entrepreneurial spirit that stems from my father. I have creativity and an eye for fashion from my mother. And from my older sisters, the ability to be unstoppable and know I can do anything.” rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
“Someone’s future is hanging in your closet.” That’s the motto of Volunteers of America’s Working Wardrobe program, which provides Rochester-area men and women with the business attire and tools they need to achieve career success as they conduct job searches and move into the workforce.
The Volunteers of America (VOA), a non-profit human services agency founded in New York City in 1896, began empowering Rochesterians to break the cycle of poverty in 1901. The VOA has developed over the years to provide a variety of programs and services to those in need, including housing and support services, care and education programs for at-risk children, job training and assistance programs, among other initiatives, that assist more than 6,000 people in the Rochester community each year.
“We are the only program in this area that serves workplace attire” says Gail Berkes, who has served as manager of the Working Wardrobe program since 2008. “We make sure you can attain and sustain a job; and, once you get the job, we make sure that you have a couple of clothing items you can mix and match.”
::for a good
By Caitlin Mack
In 2007, the Volunteers of America of Western New York adopted the Working Wardrobe program from a similar program at the YMCA, which felt that the VOA was the best place for the mission of the program to continue. While the YMCA sold exclusively to women, the Working Wardrobe program serves both genders. “We are making sure they are continuing to move toward success,” says Berkes. “We provide them with the necessary attire and them what employers are looking for.” Applicants to the Working Wardrobe program need a referral from an agency in the community and make an appointment for a consultation at the organization’s 214 Lake Avenue location. During the consultation, participants in the program receive professional and business attire for job interviews and everyday work, one-on-one guidance and tips on interview etiquette, make-up tips and hair advice, and information on how to budget for clothing purchases. Says VOA President & CEO JoAnne Ryan, “Gail does an amazing job of personally investing in the individuals she assists and helping them to build the confidence necessary for success.” In addition to providing a “working wardrobe,” the program goes beyond career-building by helping participants maintain stable, healthy families. Last year, Working Wardrobe served 670 individuals- 293 of which were women with children under the age of 18. “With the program, you don’t have to choose between buying for yourself and buying your kids shoes,” explains Gail. “We take away some of that pressure.” In addition to providing Working Wardrobe services, VOA operates several retail stores that provide gently used and affordable clothing, household items, and furniture that are generously donated by community residents and local businesses. VOA is also responsible for 275 units of affordable housing throughout Rochester, which house several working mothers and their families. “Just seeing their transformation is amazing,” says Berkes of her work with program participants. “It can change their whole outlook on life and makes they realize people care.”
How to Donate:
The Working Wardrobe needs donations of gently used men and women’s business attire (especially larger sizes), business casual attire, dress shoes, jewelry, accessories (purses, belts, ties, etc.), make-up (for all shades and skin-types), and personal hygiene items. Donations can be dropped off at any VOA store location; however, please inform the store attendant that your donation is for the Working Wardrobe Program. The attendant will place your donation in the appropriate location so that it can be directed to the Working Wardrobe. You can also call 585647-1150 to schedule a free donation pick-up. When donating with a pick up, simply label your bags/boxes Working Wardrobe and tell the Call Center Representative that you are donating to the Working Wardrobe. For more information visit www.voawny.org rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
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On your next sweet summer’s day stroll down Park Avenue, be sure to step inside a truly one-of-a-kind Rochester specialty shop, simply called, “Peppermint.” Upon perusing the quaint boutique located in one of the city’s most culturally-endowed neighborhoods, one will immediately take note that the store’s plentiful inventory is as refreshing and effervescent as its name. Owner Tanvi Asher christened her dream-cometrue brick and mortar shop “Peppermint” in reference to a legendary brainstorming session that took place in her Park Ave. apartment.
By Ashley Cooper I Photo by Brandon Vick
“They kept saying, ‘It’s fresh! It’s whimsical! It’s minty,’” says Asher of her friends, whom she had asked to describe her designs. Asher, a native of Dubai, attended college in Buffalo nearly twelve years ago and attained an undergraduate degree in graphic design. She then went on to pursue her interests in architecture and studied industrial design at RIT. Bright and inquisitive, Asher thoughtfully penned her master’s thesis on multi-functional garments, combining her knowledge and intrigue with fashion fabrics with her astuteness in science and engineering. For the next few years, Asher worked as a packaging engineer for companies like Bausch and Lomb and Fisher Price in New York City. As a contracted employee, job longevity was scarce. She began designing and making clothing, in part for the betterment of her master’s thesis, and in part, to creatively relieve stress. A third-generation clothing crafter, Asher turned to her familial roots for inspiration. As it would turn out, Asher’s mother and grandmother made their own clothes in order to save money. There’s no question that part of her talent in meticulously selecting fabric stems from the afore-mentioned family matriarchs. It didn’t take long before admirers starting revealing themselves to Asher out of the woodwork. Her clothing and accessories were exhibited at various art shows, and, in turn prompted a “cult following.” Doubtlessly, Asher had found her true calling. In January of 2012, Asher invested in available space on the corner of Park Avenue and Meigs Street and by April, her storefront was open to the public. Asher’s designs are for sale at Peppermint, as well as the crafts, clothing and accessories of local and overseas artisans. Peppermint features the works of Very Jane, Tulle, Bettie Page and Esley. Many of the artist lines are Rochester-based, but you may find pieces by By Boe from Brooklyn, New York or Vintage Girl, from Austin, Texas. Perhaps what brings Asher the most joy, is the custom-design work that she frequently delves into. For Asher, inspiration comes case-by-case. She is determined to get to know her clients well, observing them closely so as to design the most complementary piece for them. This is especially true of Asher’s work in bridal design. She becomes not only wholly invested in the gown itself, but in the gown-wearer. “I love making someone’s dream come true,” shares Asher of her vocation. “I tear up every time I work with a bride.” Asher makes a point to become acquainted with all of her clients, whether they are a bride working alongside Asher on a long-term project, or a first-time guest to the storefront. In fact, some of Asher’s closest friends are also clients who frequented her shop, purchased from her line on the web and who are taken with Asher’s welcoming presence and outgoing personality. When a customer aims to try on a garment in the fitting room, Asher is determined to see the piece being modeled and to provide consumers with clothing and accessories suited to their unique style. And trust me, they will always benefit from her professional opinion. However, customers beware! If you spot something that tickles your fancy at Peppermint, snag it at first glance—it may not be there the following week. In order to keep Peppermint fresh and on the cutting edge of the industry, Asher changes the store’s inventory on a weekly basis. For those who opt to shop locally, for American-made products suited to their unique needs and preferences, Peppermint is an indie-inspired treasure trove. There is surely something for all your closest girlfriends, mothers, sisters, aunts, etc. to delight in. Experience the charisma and allure that keeps customers coming back for more Peppermint. For daily updates, be sure to “like” Shop Peppermint’s page on facebook, or visit http:// shoppeppermint.4ormat.com/ for more details on Asher’s designs and recent runway show!
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” - Coco Chanel -
By Ashley Cooper | Photo by Jenniffer Merida
“I met Cindy Kyle, quite by accident, one day at Eye Openers. I loved her hair and I asked her (a perfect stranger) if she’d mind telling me who her hairdresser was. She said that she did it herself…What a happy accident! I’ve been going to her ever since. I have received compliments on my hair multiple times over the years…Cindy is a treasure as a person and as a professional--a real keeper.” – Janet Archibald, Rochester What do Hulk Hogan, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Julie Moran, Tom Brokaw and Man vs. Food Nation’s Adam Richman have in common? At large, perhaps very little, but each of the above-mentioned celebrities share at least one significant lifetime experience: they all happen to be beneficiaries of the quality imaging services provided by local consultant Cindy Kyle. Kyle, owner and operator of Kyle Image Consultants, has been helping individuals in both the private and public sector essentially “put their best foot forward” for over twenty years. There’s no question that you have witnessed her handiwork in a multitude of settings without even realizing it. Kyle’s impressive clientele includes local companies and corporations such as the Kodak Film and Motion Picture Studio, Rochester Optical, Immediate Care, Canandaigua National Bank and Trust, Channel 13, University of Rochester, Chase and Blue Cross Blue Shield, among others. You may also have spied evidence of her markings on a national scale, for names like Chobani Greek Yogurt, Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, A&E, Turner Entertainment, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo, Bon Ton, ABC/NBC/ESPN, Wal-Mart and Sprint Relay, to name a few. Kyle has even extended her styling services to mainstream athletes in the NFL, NASCAR and PGA/LPGA, as well as to candidates in various political races over the years. It all started in the wake of Kyle’s college graduation when the market for her field was…meager, to say the least. Kyle and her twin sister discovered they had a flair for aesthetics when they began cutting their friends’ hair in their basement on the sly. Each attained state certification and opened a successful Park Avenue salon. After relocating the business to Oxford and University, Kyle and her twin opted to explore other opportunities… certainly for Cindy, ample rewards awaited… By virtue of Kyle’s admirable reputation as a professional stylist, companies began approaching her seeking to utilize her skills in hair, makeup, wardrobe and job coaching for their employees. Whether the individual
at hand was preparing for a promotion, job change, or to appear in the public eye, Kyle helped others reach their fullest potential. In her words, investing in one’s image is simply a “means to an end”—an exciting end filled with possibilities. With her remarkable insight, Kyle can often see in others what they fail to see in themselves; when she propels her clients on their journey toward building self-confidence, she becomes fulfilled in extraordinary ways. “When my clients are happy, I feel so good,” exclaims the humble Hornell native. “If I make someone happy, life is a little sweeter.” Kyle gracefully made the transition into image consulting shortly thereafter. Soon, production companies coveted her work on their sets and Kyle found herself doing hair, makeup and wardrobe for locally and nationallyaired commercials, television segments and even film sets. At times, Kyle is on location, but a “fair amount” of her work is conducted right here in Western New York. Kyle stands out among image consultants in that, in lieu of having to send her clients to a hair or cosmetic professional, she provides those services herself as a licensed stylist and can be a part of creating an all-new “signature look” from start to finish! According to Kyle, the ever-changing, fast-paced environment suits her personality. Some days, Kyle may begin by cutting and coloring hair in her studio and end by accompanying a client on a shopping trip. Others, she may be on the set of a commercial, giving a presentation on image for a corporation, or fulfilling her other professional role as a certified mediator, arbitrator and negotiator. While Kyle makes it evident that each one of her clients, high-profile or otherwise, are precious to her, one of her most memorable experiences certainly was working with former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. In her tenure as first lady, Clinton became acquainted with Kyle. “While I was getting ready for [Hillary’s] television appearance, I asked her a question regarding a project I was working on,” recalls Kyle. “The very next day, she had her personal assistant call and ask, ‘how can we help you?’ I thought it was amazing for her to take the time to reach out! That year I received a Christmas card from the White House!” Kyle’s clients have the same gratitude from working with her as she does from working with them. www.kyleimageconsultants.com
Experiences that last a lifetime When you sign up your son for Cub Scouts, you’re signing him up for much more than an after-school activity. Whether he’s camping for the first time or catching his first fish, your son will be taking part in activities that are fun, as well as building his character and starting him on a path to success. While there are lots of cool badges to earn, the experiences along the way will be his true rewards.
Find a Cub Scout Pack in your neighborhood.
or call 585-244-4210.
• • • • •
Family Camping Pinewood Derby Outings & Field Trips Community Service First Aid
• • • • •
Swimming Outdoor Games Woodcrafts Sports Hiking
CUB SCOUTS Boys ages 7 to 10 or grades 1-5
By Nadia Pierre Louis | Photo by Brandon Vick Owning and operating one’s own business presents a unique challenge-one that Rochester woman Tiffanie Prota knows well. Prota opened “Salon Bella Vita” in Pittsford one year ago, and by focusing on making sure her establishment was as professional as possible, she kept her existing clientele while welcoming new ones in droves. According to Prota, many salon atmospheres seem to lack a professional setting because of the low standard for customer service and the instability in relationships among co-workers and employers. But from the moment you enter Salon Bella Vita, you are promptly greeted, graciously offered a drink and a comfy couch to rest upon---a bona fide a warm welcome. As a genuine Redken artist, Prota wanted her salon to battle any stigma associated with styling; Prota’s work is a true profession requiring schooling and years of experience. Working with the Redken line, Prota has participated in countless hours of training to perfect her craft and learn how to start and maintain a booming business. Eventually, she intends to establish training sessions here in Rochester. This specialized training brings together stylists from all over the country to learn and grow together. Prota says there are no mistakes during the training, just “Redken ahhas.” As a stylist, it is often difficult to find photographers that specialize in focusing on the hair and not the face exclusively. This hinders the ability to develop a noteworthy portfolio to truly showcase the talent of a hair stylist. Luckily, Prota has found the perfect photographer for this very art form and wants to share their skills with other stylists. “It’s a discovery,” said Prota. “That’s where haircuts come from and that’s even how they created the bob!” Prota has been in the styling business for 18 years. She began her journey toward success at Sheer Ego International School of Beauty, then worked for Channel 8 news and is now a remarkable entrepreneur. From her experience, Prota is determined to help others grow and build their craft. While pursuing her dream, Prota is thankful to have met and become acquainted with so many others that share her passion. Prota stays busy running the business, helping with fundraisers, doing the hair and make-up for Rochester Woman Magazine cover shoots and also being a hard-working mother of two.
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
“I participate in all my kids’ school events,” laughed Prota. “A little girl once even said to me, ‘how come you’re here every week?’” Prota’s children frequent their mother’s workshop, practicing their own entrepreneurial skills with their Memorial Day free lemonade stand— they have even participated as models. Prota believes it’s very beneficial to her children’s growth that they can look up to her as a strong role model. Prota herself had successful female influences in her family. Both of her grandmothers were business owners. One was also a stylist and salon owner in Brooklyn and the other owned a travelling agency. The service provided at Salon Bella Vita is impressive. The stylists go through regular training to improve their technique; the salon additionally shelves the finest hair care products and cosmetics. Prota’s salon is even the first in Rochester to do the “original blow-dry.” Noted for their existence predominately in Los Angeles and New York City, dry bars are all the rage. Women and men can sip one of their favorite cocktails while getting a stellar hair blowout. Salon Bella Vita is offering blowouts that can be obtained at the start of every work week with a membership. You can even add special treatments to your blowout such as a scalp massage or host a private party in which all of your friends can share in the fun! Prota is very content with where her salon is now. “I have a great team of stylist and nail techs here,” said Prota. “I want it to be a home for the best of the best, the cleanest place, best customer service and best staff.” Prota is grateful for all the support she receives from her family and her clients. “I wanted to thank all my clients who have been with me from the beginning and followed me through my whole journey,” said Prota. “Clients from day one, 18 years ago and new clients who have joined in; without them, I couldn’t be where I am and who I am now.” For more information about Salon Bella Vita visit their website at www.salonbellavitapittsford.com.
entrepreneur rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
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rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
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august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
By Mallory Diamond | Photos by Tammy Swales and Elton Photographic Group
Straight girl milestone: I met my first drag queen.
My four interviewees were all very open and patient, and hilarious. Our conversations shed light on the diverse drag community – its characters ranging between sexy creatures of the night and bawdy aunties, its performance styles ranging from creative twists on Top 40 hits to spot-on celebrity impersonations. Jonathan offered perhaps the most colorful definition of a drag queen: “A man who dons women’s attire that’s more flamboyant than a transsexual would wear, wears more makeup than a prostitute would wear, and has a dirtier mouth than a sailor.” Tom, known in drag as Aggy Dune, had a much simpler take: “I’m a man in a dress.” More frustratingly common is this definition: a man who dresses up like a woman because he wants to be a woman. This could not be further from the truth. Sam, for example, refuses to shave his legs. He doesn’t have boob envy. And outside of performances, he hates when people address him by his drag name, Samantha Vega. “It’s no different than being in a theater group and putting on a character,” he says. “Once the show is over, I leave that character behind.” For Sam, it’s more about the creative process of becoming Samantha. “Drag makes me feel pretty,” he says. “I get to put on a mask and completely define who I want to be. It’s like getting plastic surgery overnight, and being able to take it off in a few hours.” Other drag queens have a less rigid interpretation of gender. Jonathan, whose onstage alter ego is a sassy, self-proclaimed “mean girl” named Kyla Minx, says he doesn’t care what people call him, but he has zero desire to be a woman.
On his YouTube channel, you can watch an emotional video of Ed and his husband being interviewed by local news station WROC-TV about the recent death of the long-standing Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “It is a civil right… and I’m just so proud to be able to say that this is my husband, and that [our marriage] is recognized fully,” Ed says in the interview. Known together as the Big Wigs, Ed and Tom are famous for their cabaretstyle act of celebrity impersonations and comedic banter à la Regis and Kelly. They often lightheartedly pick on people in the audience to get them more engaged (“Oh, look at you in that sweater, how brave!” or, “oh, you’re not wearing any panties. Good choice!”). In a two-hour show, the Big Wigs quick-change into more than a dozen celebs – Cher, Liza, Tina, Celine, Dolly, Reba, Barbara, Bette, Adele, and more – a format that Tom credits with making drag more accessible to older audiences. “It’s a little bit of Las Vegas in Rochester,” Tom says. “To me, it’s more palatable to a straight audience because they can relate… So we’re like a gateway drug to drag.” In addition to multiple shows every year at the Golden Ponds Party House in Greece, the Big Wigs are often requested as entertainment at bachelorette parties, weddings, holiday parties, fundraisers, gay pride events, and the occasional Bar Mitzvah. Tom’s drag personality Aggy Dune was born after he performed in several lip-sync contests at local bars – a trend inspired by the 80s TV show Puttin’ on the Hits. “I was Prince one week and then Boy George and then Billy Idol and then Tina Turner,” says Tom. “I started out with male performers that were a little androgynous. When I started doing female-like things, they were like ‘well, we can’t introduce you as Tom.’”
“I’m a feminine boy. And I know I make a pretty damn good woman. But at the end of the day, it all comes off,” he says. Still, the word “man” is a bit too constrictive. “When I think of men I think of lumberjacks, or my step-dad who works in construction.”
He chose to call himself Aggy Dune after a character in one of his favorite movies, Times Square. He assumed the name wouldn’t stick and he would be able to change it later, but Aggy Dune stuck – and has stayed stuck for the last 30 years.
Mostly, what you need to understand about drag queens is that they’re performers. Pro shape shifters. Artists. It takes incredible talent to transform into a completely new person with a new face and personality, and create that character from scratch.
Ed calls Tom a “master of illusion,” as he’s able to replicate the minute facial and behavioral tics of celebrities to produce uncanny impressions. As we sit in the salon during our interview, Tom effortlessly transforms into Reba McEntire by tucking in his upper lip and baring a wide, slightly bug-eyed grin. The next second, he’s Celine Dion, striking his chest and gesticulating with a flourished hand to an imaginary audience.
Ed Popal & Tom Laurence
Director of a DialAmerica call center by day, Ed has spent nearly a decade crafting his character Kasha Davis, a kooky cross between a suburban housewife and the aunt who pinches your cheeks and drinks too much at family reunions. “I like to describe Kasha as Ed with an exclamation point,” he muses. Ed has built an online following with more than 90 videos on YouTube, including the culinary comedy series Kasha Cooks. A video called “Kasha’s Balls of Love” has nearly 75,000 views. Ed calls her Mrs. Kasha Davis, a nod to his husband Steven and their now federally recognized marriage – something he never imagined would
And I asked these questions, sure – but if I’d asked only these questions, I’d not only be a bad interviewer, but I’d be completely missing the point. Drag is not one-dimensional. Drag is not “are you this or that.” It’s a prism. Shine a light on it, and you’ll see the light refracted in a thousand different colors. No one life or story is the same.
“At first it didn’t matter to us. All that mattered to me and Steven and his daughters was that the four of us thought of us as a family,” Ed says. But as time went on, Ed says the penalties imposed by marriage inequality became impossible to ignore.
This month, I chatted with four of Rochester’s most prominent drag divas – Sam Brett, Jonathan Jordan, Ed Popal, and Tom Laurence – to answer those embarrassingly ignorant questions I’ve always wanted to ask, like: What is drag? Do you identify as a man or a woman? Does being a drag queen mean you want to be a woman?
happen. He and his husband have been together for a decade. They had a ceremony seven years ago, but were legally married last year after the passage of the Marriage Equality Act.
Outside of the drag world, Tom runs his own beauty salon, Thomas Laurence Salon, which sits in a brightly colored house on Meigs Street (you can’t miss it). He also travels around the country as a representative for Aquage hair care products. Ed says it best: “I want people to see how really normal our life is. Living in suburbia, throwing graduation parties for our kids… I want them to get a glimpse into what this ‘crazy gay life’ is. It’s just as normal as everybody else’s.” rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
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Kyla Minx, Kasha Davis, Samantha Vega & Aggy Dune august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
story rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
Sam Brett and Jonathan Jordan
Sam and Jonathan live on the other end of the drag spectrum, where the music is loud and nearly anything goes. On Thursday and Saturday nights, they’re stars of the Tilt-A-Whirl Drag Show at Tilt Nightclub, a hotspot for LGBT youth in downtown Rochester. (I went to see a show, and I can tell you, these guys are fierce.) Jonathan chose the name Kyla Minx as a tribute to his idol, Kylie Minogue, whose autograph is tattooed on his forearm. At seventeen, sporting a rudimentary makeup job and a cheetah print skirt, he first did drag for a Spice Girls look-alike contest. He remembers the judges cut his music short when they realized he was a boy. Still, Jonathan looks back on his early drag days with humor. “It was rough,” he laughs. “It was good for a beginner, but it was not anywhere near where I am now.” Fortunately for inexperienced first-timers, the drag community is all about mentoring. Sam was Jonathan’s “drag mother” when he first started performing at a bar called Muther’s, offering tips and tricks to help him improve. Queens also take inspiration from how-to videos on YouTube and shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race. And when you’re learning how to rock the stage in oppressive layers of tights, foam rubber padding, corsets, and wigs, you need all the help you can get. (“Drag queens drink because their feet hurt and they can’t breathe,” Tom says half-jokingly.) For Jonathan, transforming into Kyla Minx can easily eat up four hours. But it’s a ritual that he has down to a science: shower and shave, hair, eyebrows (“glue them over, press them down and blow dry”), foundation, powder, makeup (“eyes, contouring, shading, all that stuff”), outfits, music, out the door.
the Dark” by DEV. His eyes, framed by spidery black lashes, seemed to glow like bioluminescent discs. Sam’s mastery of drag has earned him a fan base throughout western and Upstate New York, especially in Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo venues. He’s also performed in New York City and in Boston at the World’s Largest Disco, an annual gathering where thousands of disco lovers boogie on the largest dance floor in New York State. “If there are five people, five hundred, or five thousand, you still have to put it all out there and perform,” says Sam. “You’re there do a job and entertain people… Once the music hits, you’re on. That’s what keeps you pumping.” Sam says that in the past, particularly in larger venues like Rochester’s East End Fest, he’s experienced hostility from onlookers. People have thrown their drinks onstage and called Sam and the other performers “faggots.” At this memory, he smiles thoughtfully and says, “I’ll do my job and security does theirs.” “We’re in the public eye, so you have to be able to handle the attention, whichever way it comes,” says Sam. “Some people will love what you do, and some people will hate it.” A big part of Sam and Jonathan’s life beyond drag is their work at the newly rebranded Trillium Health, formerly AIDS Care of Rochester. Jonathan works in Community Health Initiatives, a team that focuses on education and outreach, plus HIV/STD testing. The work has a special meaning for him, as his uncle died from AIDS in 1988. “I was only five or six, but I remember a lot of that,” says Jonathan. “When we would go to see him in the hospital, my mom would tell me and my brother ‘give your uncle a kiss,’ and people would gasp, ‘you let your kids do that?’” He says his mother’s tireless dedication to educating herself about the disease inspired him to get involved.
Sam takes a lot less time becoming Samantha Vega – only a couple hours. He says the one thing he can’t live without on show nights, though, is an energizing Zumba workout.
With degrees in genetics and biomedical engineering, Sam tried his hand at a corporate career in pharmaceuticals before deciding to return to his first love, performing. While a career in pharmaceuticals was lucrative, Sam found it wasn’t exactly altruistic. “I don’t need money, just let me make people happy,” he says.
The shows are promoted by local radio station 98PXY, which may explain why Tilt pushes the Top 40 genre. “It irritates me to no end, because I don’t want to do a song they play on the radio 14 times in a row,” Jonathan says. He wishes people appreciated the creativity that goes into a truly memorable drag performance. On the other hand, popular beats can make a young audience more inclined to tip. The club pays Jonathan and the other performers a fee, but tips are still a big part of a night’s take. He says making money is a big motivator when he’s performing. “For god’s sakes, if you’re not going to tip, please get the (expletive) out of the way so people who want to tip can tip,” he laughs, his no-nonsense tone reminiscent of Kyla Minx. “If you’re going to stand in the front, you’d better have a dollar in your hand!” Jonathan is known as the “hipster drag queen” because he often chooses songs that aren’t big in the states, or aren’t mainstream hits. The night I visited Tilt, he performed a remix of Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” that had the entire club singing along, fists pumping through the fog of a smoke machine. Sam’s style is more old school. He’s at his best when performing big band or Broadway songs, but if he’s doing Top 40, he adds a unique twist. “I’ll do Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ but I’ll do it as Snow White with a poison apple,” he says. A talented tailor, Sam makes all of the outfits in Samantha Vega’s everchanging wardrobe – including the silvery corset and fishnet ensemble he wore when I saw him at Tilt, performing a seductive dance to club hit “In
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Today, Sam’s passion for public health makes him a natural leader at Trillium. He sits on the board of directors as chair of marketing and development, helping to organize annual fundraisers like the White Ribbon Ride and Rochester’s White Party, coming up on September 7. Fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language, Sam also helps the HIV/STD testing unit avoid the hassle of calling out for
“It gives us an opportunity to educate people about how to protect themselves and how to take care of their bodies and their health,” says Sam. “For those who do come back with a positive result, we’re able to get them care as soon as possible.” Sam sees himself building his career in public health and non-profit management, but he says he’ll keep performing as Samantha Vega in the foreseeable future. “I will continue to do drag. Even if I’m in a wheelchair, I’ll call it my Dragmobile or something,” he laughs. Fittingly, there’s a saying in the drag circuit: once a queen, always a queen. --After getting to know these four very different queens, it’s clear that one of the most important take-aways from my first (hopefully not last) visit to Drag World is this: the “man in the dress” is just a small piece of a much greater story.
story rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
“Everything old is new again.”
These words have never held so much truth than in today’s fashion. We see it in our fashion today, old styles from our past making their way back to the world wide runway. Even though the latest fashion world brings us new styles that resemble the old, nothing beats having the original style, an article of clothing that has been around for years. Thrift stores are great ways to find those hidden treasures- but with age come the wrinkles, tears and snares. Unfortunately, those treasures sometimes don’t shine the brightest. Treasure Trove on Park Avenue is a small shop that specializes in giving old, worn out fashion a new life and a brighter future. Owner Morgan DeLapa has made it her business to bring old styles back from the dead and give them new life in the fashion world. DeLapa has been into vintage fashion for a long time. She has collected hundreds of vintage pieces through hours and hours of searching in various thrift and consignment shops. DeLapa first started a blog in which she started recording her outfits every day for the last couple of years. She was inspired to start selling her vintage attire as she saw other bloggers selling their clothes and decided to make a business out of it. Before opening the store, DeLapa began to sell some of her own personal findings on “Esty” and “eBay.” In June 2011, she decided to follow her passion for vintage fashion and opened Treasure Trove. Treasure Trove, for DeLapa, isn’t just about following her passions in fashion, but about showing women that they don’t have to be a millionaire to dress fashionably. DeLapa’s ‘Treasure Trove’ blog shows her own personal “fashion on a budget” in which she models her own fashion outfits, lists the prices and identifies from where she purchased the items so others can copy the look. She’s also hoping that her store will help show others what true vintage fashion is all about. Treasure Trove isn’t just like other thrift or consignment shops; it specifically deals with vintage clothing. DeLapa defined vintage clothing as “any clothing item that is 25 years or older.” The store specializes in items from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. She frequently shops online and takes costumer donations to expand her vintage inventory. Interestingly, her largest contributor is estate sales, where she looks for various items of clothing. DeLapa then does extensive research about the item, finding out its past, price and how to care for that piece of history. She then begins to reconstruct the piece-sewing, trimming and cleaning. Once she has perfected that item, she places it in her inventory and takes pictures of the items to sell on her online accounts. Currently, DeLapa has one hundred vintage pieces on eBay and is selling fifteen pieces on etsy.com. Customers can also bring in items for DeLapa to obtain. DeLapa has also been known to take it upon herself to be a personal shopper for anyone looking for a specific look or style. Delapa explained how a woman approached her looking for a flapper dress for a Downton Abbey party. Through her treasure hunting, she found a gorgeous flapper dress for the customer, who was ecstatic to appear in historical style at her costume party. As with any newly acquired business, Treasure Trove has seen its ups and downs. Keeping up with stock and making sure there is plenty of authentic apparel is a necessity that can be time-consuming and costly. As DeLapa seeks out all her own stock, she is always on the hunt for a good find. Even though her store has seen some challenging days, DeLapa is excited as her business increases. After our interview, DeLapa showed me a couple of new pieces she has been working on for the shop. One item she showed me was a gorgeous blue dress. As I looked over the dress, DeLapa went through and showed me all the work she had left to do: a stitch here, a trim there. She explained to me that when she had found it, the entire dress was yellow from age and as I held it in my hands, I could see the hard work that DeLapa had put into restoring it. The beautiful blue color of the dress was bursting with fond hopes of being worn again. “Every vintage piece has a story to tell,” DeLapa said.
By Amanda Hebing Photos by Jenniffer Merida
For more information on Treasure Trove visit their Facebook page or contact DeLapa DeLapa at Treasurextrove@gmail.com. rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
By Rebecca Even
For years the fashion industry has been the authority on all things beauty: clothing, make up, accessories and most importantly, the human body. The average fashion model is slender. When asked, designers have stated that a thin body displays the clothing the way that they envision it. In other cases people have mentioned that it takes less material to clothe a size zero than it does a size 6. Whatever the reasons are one fact remains the same… it makes it very hard for the rest of us to shop. When you want to make an impression you need to dress for your body type. Pick colors that complement your skin tone and hair. I don’t care if Cosmo, Vanity Fair AND Vogue tell you that mint green is in this season—if it doesn’t look good on you, don’t wear it. The same goes for the cut of a piece of clothing. If you don’t like it at the store, the name brand isn’t going to make it fit any better when you get home. For the US, the average woman wears between a 12 and 16. I love the stores that design clothing for these sizes. They understand that in order for something to be fashionable, it has to flatter the wearer’s body. I wish that this attention to body types would exist in smaller sizes. Jean sizes for women seem to go up in the waist faster than they do in pant area. Shirts seem to simply get wider instead of getting wider AND longer. It is a gamble and a chore to shop in many stores today. Sadly, many of us are blindly following the current trend and we end up with a closet full of expensive clothes that we may or may not feel fabulous in. I have had the opportunity to coach women through the ups and downs of their weight loss journeys. Shopping is actually one of the things that women find hard to adjust to. They spend months carving out their new bodies only to be disappointed and frustrated when it’s time to buy new clothes. Either they can’t find anything that fits or they find that they have to wear higher sizes on the top or bottom. Ladies if you have a new body from lifting weights and are running into this problem please don’t worry. You need to realize that you are creating a body that is healthy curves are solid and strong and you have the arms, butt and legs that you’ve always wished for. I spend a lot of time convincing women that they no longer need to hide their arms or legs. The most important thing to remember is that you have to start to think outside of the box when it comes to shopping after weight loss. You have a new body, old favorite styles might be falling out of favor or be no longer needed. The fashion industry doesn’t create clothing for women with tiny waists and killer quads and hamstrings. They definitely don’t make flattering blouses for women with delts, lats and biceps/triceps. This can be discouraging after working so hard to make lifestyle changes. The problem lies in the fact that fashion is steering you to try on things that look cute, not things that will work for you. I simply tell them the same thing that I mentioned above: if it doesn’t look right, don’t buy it. At the same time you can’t give up. Try new styles and stores to see what will work for you. Showing off your newly toned arms with dresses takes care of the too tight shirts. Dresses that wrap and tie make extra waist material disappear. Different fabrics can be game changers too. Spandex blends will stretch to accommodate and accentuate curves and fall nicely on many different body types. If you still find that you’re having trouble dressing your new body, talk to other women. Ask where they shop, I guarantee they will be more than happy to help you out. If any of you have questions about how to get started feel free to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Becca Even, Fitness Director RAC for Women Pittsford
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
By Marc L. Odorisi, MD, FACC
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women. The incidence of heart attacks in women, although lower than men, increase dramatically after menopause. Mortality from heart attacks tend to be higher in women compared to men, likely from a multitude of reasons which include the delay of presenting for help due to atypical symptoms. Not a week goes by that I am not reminded by a patient that â&#x20AC;&#x153;women are differentâ&#x20AC;?. Clearly presenting symptoms of heart problems can be different and more unusual in women compared to that of men, but as it turns out there are also many subtle differences in womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s risk factors as well. Below is a list and discussion of what is currently believed to be some of the primary and common risk factors for coronary heart disease and perhaps some subtle differences that separate men from women. 1. Cholesterol: Most of us are clearly aware of this one. On average, a high LDL (bad chol) and a low HDL (good chol) nearly triples your risk of heart attacks. There are some unique differences that do separate women from men. Traditionally a high LDL is considered the primary risk factor in most. Interestingly a low HDL rather than a high LDL appears to be more predictive of coronary risk in women. In one study, the total cholesterol/HDL ratio was highly predictive of events in women. Generally we like to see the ratio below 4, but the optimal level appeared to be 3.2 or less. Elevated triglycerides, obesity and sedentary lifestyle seem to have additive and deleterious effects to this, perhaps even more so in women. 2. Family History of Premature Heart Disease: Premature heart disease is generally considered to be present if a first degree male relative under age 55 or a first degree female relative under 65 develops coronary disease. While a grandfather with a heart attack at 90 is obviously family history, it is not considered a risk factor. Interestingly a family history of premature coronary artery disease appears to be slightly more common in women patients than in men. 3. Diabetes and Glucose Intolerance: This is a very important predictor and clearly effects overall prognosis. Its risk predictiveness seems to be greater in women than in men. Sugar control continues to be very important in the world of risk factor management. Diabetes control seems to be very much linked to weight control in many. 4. Smoking: This is an obvious one. Smoking nearly triples your rate of heart attacks compared with those who never smoked. Interestingly though, smoking cessation in women seems to be associated with a more rapid reduction in the risk of heart attacks compared to that of men. Studies suggest that most of the increased risk induced by smoking dissipates within two to three years in women after smoking stops. Smoking has been associated with nearly half of all coronary events in
women and coronary risk is elevated even with minimal use. Older studies suggest that smokers who reduce smoking to just 5 cigarettes or less a day still have a 40% higher risk compared to those who quit completely. 5. Hypertension: This is another very common risk factor in both women and men. Hypertension (Bp>140/90) doubles your chances of heart attacks. The prevalence of hypertension is nearly 70-80% in women above the age of 70. The incidence of hypertensive complications are generally lower in women than in men, but still remains a strong predictor for cardiovascular risk. In premenopausal women, the presence of hypertension is associated with nearly a ten fold increase in coronary mortality. Blood pressure recognition and control remains paramount. 6. Obesity: The role obesity plays has also been well established. Abdominal obesity, defined as a waist size greater than 35 inches in women, increases heart attack risk by 62%. Higher fitness and activity levels in women, as in men, are predictive of freedom from all cause mortality, heart disease and even stroke. Most consider a vigorous 30-40 minutes session of aerobic exercise, coupled with some resistance training four to five times a week to be optimal. 7. Menopause: This is an unavoidable risk factor. Coronary heart disease in premenopausal women is unusual, particularly in the absence of risk factors. However, post menopausal women are generally considered to be in the same risk category as men the same age. Early menopause (generally considered to be younger than 44 years old) is associated with an even higher cardiovascular risk. 8. Alcohol Use: This may play a role and is a hot topic in the world of cardiology. It has been found that greater than two drinks a day is clearly associated with a higher incident of hypertension and thus may contribute to some risk. In comparison, mild to moderate alcohol use may have a slightly cardioprotective effect in men. The data in women remains somewhat limited and may be offset by the potential increased risk in breast cancer. The bottom line here is that light to moderate drinking is associated with a decreased risk in death from cardiovascular disease. Heavier drinking was associated with an increased mortality from other causes, particularly breast cancer and cirrhosis. The beneficial effects of alcohol seem to be greatest in women older than 50 and in those with several cardiac risk factors. There are many commonly known risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease. Although many risk factors are quite similar for both men and women, there are also subtle differences as discussed above. The bottom line here is that women need to be aware that symptoms may be unusual and need to work diligently on their modifiable risk factors.
Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care
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UCVA Physicians, left to right: Ryan Connell, David Fries, Matthew Funderburk, Ryan Hoefen, Peter Kringstein, Marc Odorisi, George Pancio II, Tejan Patel, Nathan Ritter, Abrar Shah, Sarah Taylor, Joan Thomas, Robert Vannozzi, Maurice Varon, Daniel Williford
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The love of design was cemented in me early in life. It started with painting at a young age and later morphed into a deep love for wearable art.
::in her own
By Andrea Geer
My clothing design is the product of decades of painting, printmaking, ceramics and accessory making. On this path, I have searched for the most direct way to express the creative talent I was given. This has required significant focus in order to learn the tools and techniques required to translate an idea into an object. Inspiration has kept me motivated.
I look for inspiration, feel inspired and want to inspire others. For me, inspiration comes from a variety of places including the work I do in the studio. I create contemporary knitwear and clothing for women using vintage knitting machines. This includes limited production of certain styles and many one of-a-kind pieces.
Often, I begin to make something not knowing what the end result will be. The feeling of inspiration seems to come out of nowhere. When this happens, I will go off on a tangent that sometimes will and sometimes will not work itself into a finished piece. Inspiration comes from a variety of sources and I actively seek situations that will have some positive influence on my imagination. Recently, I visited Milan, Italy and strolled through the Via Monte Napoleone fashion district. The visit allowed me to absorb and admire Milan Fashion. The textures, color, ideas and displays were magnificent. Excellence in design was everywhere. A very small town named Biella provided another source of wonder. Biella was one of the textile centers that manufactured the fabric used by designers such as Dior, Givenchy and many others. We touched the fabric samples, saw the old textile equipment and browsed through the factory while hearing stories about pride in the Italian lineage of textiles. The people we spoke with are part of a wool consortium that are now helping the wool farmers process and distribute their raw materials. They spoke of the value of being able to take unprocessed wool and trace it to a final product. I felt a clear connection between these choice materials and the designs that would later be made using them. The roots of fashion are in fine craftsmanship, skill and an ability to translate ideas into a finished piece of clothing. This final product can be of such a special quality that it embodies the beauty of the woman who chooses it. She adorns herself with this special item and is transformed. I seek to achieve this in my work. Working directly with my customers allows me to experience this moment when it occurs. As I travel to fine craft shows in Chicago, California, Boston and New York, I have developed a great appreciation for the artists who are so clearly inspired to create their work. We talk about new ideas in our work and compare techniques, tools and processes. Whatever their material of choice is, there are commonalities in the way they speak of their work and inspiration. As I get ready to open my own store in Rochester, I am thinking about Biella and pride in one’s heritage. I am thinking about the value of creating something from quality raw materials and I am thinking of tradition as an essential part of contemporary design. Enjoy some of Andrea’s designs by visiting her website www.andreageer.com.
274 NORTH GOODMAN STREET • VILLAGE GATE • ROCHESTER, NY 14607 FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL 585.473.0050 HOURS OF OPERATION: WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: 4:30PM - 10:00PM • FRIDAY & SATURDAY LUNCH: 11:30AM - 3:00PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY DINNER: 4:30PM - 11:00PM • SUNDAY BRUNCH: 10:00AM - 3:00PM • SUNDAY DINNER: 4:30PM - 9:00PM
feature ::special 48
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
By Ashley Cooper | Photo by Jenniffer Merida It’s likely you have spied her handiwork out and about, certainly at any of Rochester’s premier fashion-fused events, such as Fashion Week of Rochester, Sisters for a Better Black Community Annual Scholarship and Fashion Show, Impact Fashion Show, ITT Fashion and others! Perhaps you even witnessed her stellar Whiteout Collection rocking the Eastview runway at RWM’s own Ultimate Health and Wellness Expo last spring. SV Style’s own Shelia Vaughn has also joined forces with another paramount patroness of fashion, Trish Martin of Pittsford’s Chandeliers Boutique and Accessories which houses some of Vaughn’s funkiest pieces.
After learning that Vaughn’s background began in MIS, I was curious to discover the source in her flow of creativity.
The story of Shelia Vaughn’s success as a designer in Rochester begins almost 400 miles west of her own, in her hometown of Lansing, Michigan. Vaughn attended college at Oakland University (ironically located in Rochester, MI) where she attained her undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems (MIS). After Kodak recruited Vaughn as a system analyst, Vaughn made the pilgrimage to Rochester…and the rest, as they say, is history!
“I’m a very faithful, consistent and passionate person that never gives up. That’s been a bonus for me in everything, but especially in my business. And so, I always call myself ‘blessed’ and ‘highly favored.’ I feel like God’s hand is on my life in so many ways and He’s allowed me to do so many wonderful things— this business is just one of them,” explains Vaughn.
When Vaughn left her job to be a stay-at-home mom to her five children, she turned to her favorite pastime of sewing as a creative outlet. “I always loved fashion and have always loved sewing,” remarks Vaughn. “My grandmother sewed. As a little girl I would sit under her and watch her on her pedal; she could create anything. As I grew, I began sewing as a hobby. When I started having children, I started sewing more. I loved creating. People began to ask me, ‘Wow! Where did you get that?’ And I would just say, ‘I made it myself.’” It was through this tried-and-true system of wordof-mouth that turned Vaughn into a small business owner. As more outside individuals approached her for custom-made apparel and accessories, namely prom dresses that school-aged girls had designed themselves, the business escalated; “SV Style” as a business officially manifested twelve years ago. “I love to help people bring their own style out,” explains Vaughn. “We’re all so unique; sometimes you can’t find what you’re looking for in the store. If you can have something in your head brought to life, I think that’s so cool. That’s what I did for myself and I like helping other people do the same thing.” Vaughn couldn’t have been more pleased to utilize her gift for the benefit of others. “I always say, ‘My business was birthed out of my pleasure.’ It’s what I love to do anyway, so it just kind of snowballed.”
“I think I’m the type of person that likes to see how things work,” she says. “I love beautiful things and I like to create things from my own hands. I think it’s so cool that something didn’t exist, but because I created it, now it does.” When seeking the origin of Vaughn’s strength (as she defines a “woman of many hats” in its truest sense), she emphasizes her own unique qualities as a woman that she has come to learn and embrace.
A self-proclaimed “House Queen,” (“because my husband treats me like a queen!”) Vaughn is content to work part-time out of her own home, freeing her to be with her family, which she stresses is her “first responsibility.” In addition, both Vaughn and her husband of 22 years are involved in full-time ministry as they pastor a church in the city. For Vaughn, her work in ministry, in fashion and as a homemaker are all profoundly connected to one another. “The thread is kind of the same in that, helping people bring out the best in themselves,” says Vaughn. “People see beautiful things and I help them come to pass. There really is a thread that runs through there if you can see it on a deeper level.” At present, Vaughn’s hands are hard at work, creating stunning and artistic apparel for the RWM-hosted party, “Get out of the Dark and into the White” on Thursday, August 15. The event, created to benefit Trillium Health (formerly AIDS Care of Rochester), will take place at the Memorial Art Gallery from 5:00-9:00pm. Designing for the event has presented a unique challenge for Vaughn, which excites and inspires her even more! “I’m very excited about the line I’m creating for that. It is all-white formal wear,” says Vaughn. “I think it’s really funky, very cool, chic, elegant and fashionforward. I’m just having so much with it! I can’t wait for others to see it!” For more information, updates and events, be sure to “like” SV Style on Facebook! rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
sunday, october 6th from 9:00am to 4:30pm st. john fisher college varsity gym join us for a day of yoga, meditation, camaraderie, music, and lots of healthy stuff! the rochester yoga festival features: hatha yoga, baptiste power vinyasa yoga, iyengar yoga, yin-style restorative yoga, meditation, hip & healthy vendors, massage therapists, natural health care providers, henna artist, & free gift bags
register online today at rochesteryogafestival.com proceeds will benefit Rochester Alternatives for Battered Women, SEVA Challenge & YogaHOPE
Sandy Furia-Trivigna Owner, B. Younique
By Ashley Cooper | Photo by John Schlia
“Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” –Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-in-Chief
For Sandy Furia-Trivigno, owner of a darling among local women’s boutiques called, “B. Younique,” all roads [eventually] lead to fashion. The tweaked adage has validated itself in Furia-Trivigno’s career indefinitely. Interestingly, the Rochester native made her mark in the workforce in various capacities and in various states before returning to her first love. Furia-Trivigno got her start at a branch of Paychex based in California, swiftly climbing the proverbial ladder and eventually, being asked to join management. Her business savvy appealed to management who asked her to join them after noticing her propensity for “crunching numbers.” With time, however, FuriaTrivigno realized that a stagnant office environment in the payroll and human resources industry was not conducive to her everflowing fount of creativity. After Paychex, Furia-Trivigno attended to her thirst for fast-paced living and became a sales representative across the United States. Curiously, she says of that time, “[This] really helped make my dream of owning a boutique a reality. I learned so much about the fashion industry in those years.” Subsequently, Furia-Trivigno worked as a hair and makeup artist at Saks Fifth Avenue in Dallas, Texas, further feeding her drive to open B. Younique. She was given the opportunity to meet and work with some of the “who’s who” in the industry such as Mark Jacobs, Leon Hall, Joan Vass and Eileen Fisher, to list a few.“They gave me great insight and inspiration moving forward,” says Furia-Trivigno. There was never a question of Furia-Trivigno entering the realm of fashion vocationally, not even in her formative years. “I have always loved fashion from the time I was a little girl,” she recalls. “I used to dress up in my older sisters’ clothes and hold fashion shows for family and friends. I used to draw designs and hairstyles, so I guess you could say I was born with the desire and the passion which only grew stronger as time went on...” By the time Furia-Trivigno had returned to her hometown, she was fully equipped to open the doors of her now highly successful, upscale boutique on Monroe Avenue. She was finally witnessing her lifelong dream being realized.“ It was a little scary but extremely exciting,” recalls Furia-Trivigno of her pre-opening jitters. “I stayed awake until 4AM the night before the grand opening tweaking and perfecting ‘the look.’ I was hoping and praying that my Rochester hometown would appreciate my sense of style because it offered a more eclectic, funky, outside-the-box approach to fashion.” Doubtlessly, B. Younique has been well-received by the public, at large. Customers appreciate the notion that with Furia-Trivigno (continued on page 54) rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
To combat the industry’s sexist lean, Donna surrounds herself with trusted supporters. Janice Burkhart Owner, Heart to Heart Bridal
By Brandy Whitbourne | Photo by John Schlia
In childhood, little girls always dream about their perfect wedding, hardly neglecting the most important detail- the dress! Simply put, it’s all about the dress. With the myriad of reality shows pertaining to the meticulous, emotional, and sometimes even dramatic gown selection process in a bride-to-be’s life, the stakes are even higher. Some dream of having a classic princess dress, others yearn for a simple, yet elegant A-line, while freespirits seek a loose-fitted material that blows gracefully in the wind during their outdoor wedding. For those pursuing a one-of-a-kind find, Heart to Heart Bridal, with locations in both Manchester and Webster can help turn those dreams into reality. Janice Burkhart, co-owner with supportive husband Gary Burkhart, used to shop at the Manchester store with her mom when she was younger. Selling prom dresses and mother-of-the-bride/groom dresses at her casual store, the previous owner stayed opened for over 40 years before retiring. “She started liquidating and selling the store,” said Burkhart. “I saw it as an opportunity and the timing was perfect. It was available at the right time. I took a leap of faith and did it.” Burkhart left her longtime teaching profession and took over the Manchester bridal shop in 2004. The move proved to be especially rewarding. “This is something I have always wanted to do,” said Burkhart. “I taught home economics, but I knew it was something I didn’t want to do forever. I didn’t look forward to going into work every day anymore.” During her career as a teacher, one of Burkhart’s students, Sarah Berkley, started working for her and continued to do so throughout high school and college. After Berkley created a business plan in college, Burkhart reviewed it and decided to give the plan a shot—an act that promoted Berkley to manager of the newest Webster location that opened in 2010. Both locations carry bridal gowns and bridesmaid gowns, mother-of-thebride/groom dresses and flower girl gowns. Each shop stocks a variety of brands of dresses to appeal to all tastes and interests. The Manchester location provides Maggie Sottero, Allure, Casa Blanca and Stella York while the Webster location carries Justin Alexander and Allure Romance. “Before the bride comes in she has a pre-notion of what she wants,” said Burkhart. “We suggest that brides look at the silhouette and neckline before picking a couple out. If those don’t work out then we step in and help. We also let brides go throughout the store and pick dresses out. We’re much more laid back that way. When a bride thinks she found the one and is still not sold on it, we will then find something similar. Brides are typically here for one to two hours and that’s why we don’t take appointments. Some girls need more time and we want them to have the full experience.” Burkhart also explained that many brides bring all of their bridesmaids in (average seven to eight girls) and that she doesn’t recommend it. “It’s about what the bride loves and not them,” said Burkhart. “It’s not about what other people think. I don’t want brides to be swayed by others.” (continued on page 54)
“I used gas pipes for my hanging racks, which others copied. I was very flattered.” Cindy Geller Owner, A Step Apart
By Brandy Whitbourne | Photo by John Schlia
Going to the mall can sometimes be a daunting task even for shopaholics as department stores often carry an either overwhelming or profoundly underwhelming supply. Most would agree that spending on quality items, customized for individual shapes and sizes and stemming from coveted designers would mean no one would be caught wearing the same outfit. In support of celebrating our full-fledged uniqueness (and awakening everyone’s “inner celebrity” without burning a hole in your pocket), RWM seeks to showcase a local Park Ave. boutique: “A Step Apart.” This trending shop truly lives up to its name—a veritable “step apart” from the rest. Store owner Cindy Geller had worked in the midst of corporate America for twenty years before deciding to transfer to Rochester from Washington D.C. While employed at Xerox, Gellar ended her job and decided to open a shoe store. Geller deliberately chose Park Avenue for her shop’s resting place because she feels that neighborhood is the “Gem of the City.” She likens it to a vibrant district, attracting out-of-towners and locals alike. There is no question that Gellar is committed to staying put here. “I brought over shoes that were out of town,” says Geller. “There was not a lot of great shopping and I wanted to sell shoes that were not frumpy and comfortable.” After selling shoes exclusively for two and a half years, Gellar decided that she wanted to add premium denims and apparel. Always having denim as on hand as the staple part of her wardrobe, Gellar knew that adding it to her inventory would be a positive move in the right direction. However, introducing new brands to a smaller city would present a unique challenge to the shopkeeper. “I did my research and found that Diesel was the best on the market,” recalls Gellar. “I carried ‘Lucky Jeans’ and ‘True Religion.’ It was a struggle because these brands were known in big cities, but not here. I had to educate the consumer.” Having run ‘A Step Apart’ for over 15 years, Cindy Gellar has truly opened the eyes of many. She carries popular footwear brands such as Frye, Born, Clarks, Kenneth Cole, Timberland, Haan, Sperry and more. Her denim brands include Diesel, True Religion, Articles of Society, Citizens of Humanity and Levi, among others. In terms of apparel, Gellar keeps the hangars in ‘A Step Apart’ occupied by the likes of French Connection, Report Collection, Free People, Ben Sherman and 7 Diamond. In addition, if you are pining for unique jewelry and desire to support local lines, ‘A Step Apart’ is your gold mine! “I bring in a lot of local artists,” says Gellar. “I take in jewelry from local artists and metal smiths who make handmade, oneof-a-kind jewelry.” The store itself, though on the cutting edge of the industry, attracts men and women shoppers ranging from ages 15 to 60 years. (continued on page 54)
rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
as their fashion guide, there is truly something for every woman, in every walk of life to take home with them. Furia-Trivigno operates with the consumer’s best interest in mind, keeping close to heart individual requests as she travels to market shows for new inventory.
Burkhart does recommend, however, that bride comes in as soon as she can because it can take up to six months for the dress to arrive. Bridesmaid dresses can take up to three months. This is not including alterations, which Burkhart does herself.
“I was one of the first to bring this kind of décor,” she said. “It’s very utilitarian. I used gas pipes for my hanging racks, which others copied. I was very flattered. It’s so cool!” exclaims Gellar with gratitude.
“On average we have brides come in between the ages 24-40 years of age,” said Burkhart. “I have had brides come in who were in there 60’s and 80’s before. We have something for all age groups.”
Cindy Gellar also fittingly has her jean lines displayed on a wall to make it easier for consumers to find jeans. “Trying on jeans is challenging,” she states. “It can be a daunting process. The customer picks what kind of jeans they want and we help them pick. All jeans are made differently and for different body types. We help find the most flattering pairs for them.”
While customers value the quality service provided by Furia-Trivigno, they also are in agreement with her ultimate mission:“We at B. Younique really wish to give our customers a sense that they can look and feel good about their style and own it,” stresses Furia-Trivigno. “We are very honest in the way we advise our clientele and conduct business. It’s not all about the sale at B. Younique. It’s about making women feel good about themselves, embracing their individual look and claiming it. We want women to feel empowered by their inner and outer beauty. Hence, the name B. Younique.” Furia-Trivigno also points out that the array of apparel carried at B. Younique (in brick-andmortar storefront and online) is stylish enough to be wearable, but not too trendy so as to turnoff. The finely-crafted accessories and jewelry are created with influences from all over the world, and are made by local artisans as well as designers hailing from the likes of Paris and Italy. For more information visit byouniquebtq.com/.
Dresses that are left on the shelf too long are donated to Goodwill and Fairy Godmothers of Greater Rochester. She also donates to National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) and plans to get more involved. For future brides, she plans on adding destination-wedding dresses and curvy-girl sized wedding dresses. Burkhart advises that brides keep an open mind. “A dress can look awful on a hanger but awesome on the bride,” she said. “Dresses don’t have hanger appeal. They have to be on a body to have the full effect.”
Geller is frequently approached for donations or contributions… and she is glad to oblige. “I give a lot of gift cards to charities for events and even colleges,” she humbly says. Compared to other boutiques, Geller finds her store to be quite contemporary. She enjoys giving men and women in the Rochester are a chance to set their own fashion trends.
Burkhart love her new career. She now looks forward to getting up and going to work. “I’m always learning and it’s fun,” she exclaimed.
Lupus Foundation 2nd Annual Wine and Craft Brew Tasting ORGANIZATION: Lupus Foundation of Genesee Valley TIME: 5:00PM WHERE: Artisanworks WEBSITE: www.lupusrochester.org COST: $5
A Visual Experience at the MAG ORGANIZATION: Rochester Woman Magazine &Trillium Health TIME: 5:00PM WHERE: The Memorial Art Gallery WEBSITE: www.rochesterwomanmag.com COST: $25
Susan B. Anthony Amendment Festival ORGINAZATION: Susan B. Anthony Museum and House TIME: Noon to 5:00PM WHERE: Susan B. Anthony Museum and House COST: Free Full Moon Flashlight Tour at Stone-Tolan ORGANIZATION: Landmark Society General TIME: 7:00PM- 8:30 PM WHERE: Stone-Tolan Historic Site WEBSITE: www.landmarksociety.org COST: $6 per person
RWM: As I peruse the website, the general tone of the Rochester Laser Spa seems so warm and inviting. It appears to grant much confidence and reassurance to someone who has never undergone this type of treatment. Who is the best candidate for laser hair removal? Is there anyone who would not fit the bill? Diane: If an individual has white or very light blonde hair, the laser will find the color to be too translucent and won’t recognize it, especially for those considering having facial hair removal. Those that have dark hair are excellent candidates. Our lasers have the ability to treat all skin types without risk of pigmentation. For more information, visit http://rochesterlaserspa.com/faqs/. RWM: What is the process of hair removal like? Diane: It can last anywhere from five minutes to an
hour, depending on the size of the area. It’s a cool moisture spray that you’re going to feel. The cooling agent cools the top layer of skin penetrating to the end of the follicle. It’s very painless and very quick.
RWM: I noticed on the website that rates differ between
single-session treatments and packages. How many sessions does it take to completely remove hair? Diane: Typically 6 to 8 treatments are recommended. You should experience 98-99% permanent hair reduction. With our packages and the 2-year Hair-Free Guarantee, customers are provided eight additional treatments at no cost if needed. It’s more cost-effective to do a package with the guarantee verses single treatments, unless you have had some type of hair removal done and are seeking a touch-up. If you were
to have 1-2% hair remaining, it will be very fine or light in color. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You turn into a laser queen-you’ll never want to shave again! RWM: Is there any risk involved? Diane: We would not treat anyone pregnant or
breastfeeding, or had some kind of underlying medical issue that would be determined in the free consultation. Safety is our biggest concern here. We have a safety doctor on staff here to address any concerns.
RWM: Can you explain some of the other services offered at the Laser Spa? Diane: We do cellulite reduction. This includes using the FDA-approved Alma Accent Laser which operates with radio frequency heat to break down cellulite and fat molecules, tightening and rejuvenating skin. The skin tightening service is used to build elasticity and collagen. RWM: Who would be a good candidate for cellulite reduction? Diane: We can typically determine that after an assessment. If you eat right, you’re healthy and you exercise, this will be the thing for you. This is not a weight loss treatment, or treatment for someone requiring a surgical procedure. It’s been very popular… even for the face with ridding of issue like crow’s feet. It’s incredible! It does sculpt and mold the body without there being any downtime. I’ve treated people in their 20’s, right up to their 70’s and 80’s and even they do amazing.
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By Angella Luyk
I have recently hired employees for the first time. I am not sure if there is a good way to train them. Can you offer any advice? - Lynn Dear Lynn, Everyone learns differently. Even the way you speak and act is perceived differently. 7% of people are influenced by the words we say, 38% by the tone of our voice, and 55% are influenced by what our body is doing as we are speaking. When training a new employee you first need to understand how that person learns. A good trainer will use different methods, such as activities or discussions, to discover how the person learns. 20% of people learn through reading, 20% from what they hear, 30% from what they see, and 50% from what they see and hear. As we are learning, we go through three phases of processing. The first is paying attention. As the trainer, you need to get the trainee to understand why the training is important to them and why they should work hard to master this skill. Perhaps their job is depending on it, or they will get a raise, or move up the company ladder once they have these skills. When people understand what is in it for them, they are more likely to work harder. They have a vested interest in doing a good job. The next phase is the information phase; what are you actually showing them? This is where knowing the difference between the various ways people learn will help you. Mix it up. If you just stand there in a monotone voice explaining what to do, you will lose people. Remember, 50% learn from what they see AND hear. You can use visual guides, written words, or live action. Just make sure you keep it interesting.
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
The third phase talks about our prior experiences. The trainee is going to take what you are teaching them and compare it to what they have previously experienced. Many of us have probably heard, “That’s not how I was taught.” As the trainer, you want to allow people to express their beliefs and find a way to bring their past experiences together with the present methods being taught. Next, the trainee makes conclusions about what they have been taught, and they come to understand what the information means. Since everyone learns differently, it is the trainer’s job to guide the trainee and offer help and support to learn the new material. Once the training is done, the learner will decide if the information they learned can be used. They will experience and decide whether to accept the training or reject it. To recap, the phases of learning are as follows: • Paying Attention • Information • Prior Experience Integration • Conclusion • Acceptance/Rejection As I said earlier, everyone learns differently. One person may go through the phases of learning faster than another person. Adjust your training to the employee’s needs. Never make assumptions about your potential employee, or coworker. Everyone has different skills that they bring to the table. You are forming a TEAM of employees that works well together. Together Everyone Achieves More. Do you have a question for Angella? Send it to Angella@ wisdominatrafficjam.com or visit her at www.wisdominatrafficjam.com, www.midnightjanitorial.com
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men ::tips for 64
august 2013 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
By Jessica Thurston
They say that if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; but if you teach a man to fish, he’ll never go hungry again. Well, it turns out that teaching your man to dress is no different. Hand him a premade outfit picked out by yours truly and he may look great for the day, but equip him with the necessary tips and tricks to make dressing with style easy on a daily basis, and he will always look his best. Peter Roberti Sr. of the Adrian Jules menswear showroom on Monroe Avenue was kind enough to take a moment to help us form some tips about helping the man in your life do just this.
1.) Take him to get fitted. Nothing has the potential to be more discouraging to your man than to feel as though he doesn’t look good in what he tries on. Knowing his exact measurements can help limit how often this happens. Roberti cannot emphasize this enough saying, “Please have clothing tailored so that it looks proper.” He says that if the buttons on a shirt or jacket do not pull when a man sits down, the fit is right. 2.) Change up colors and patterns more so than styles. To help your man really stand out without overwhelming him with options, arm him with some simple and great-fitting shirts in a variety of bold colors. Patterns are another variable that can be exciting to change up, but don’t go overboard here. We’re talking a classy pinstripe, a subtle hound’s-tooth, or a manly plaid—not a Hawaiian floral! 3.) Teach him to layer. Mixing and matching suit coats, blazers, cardigans, pullovers, and more with your man’s basic shirts can create many different outfits from just a few wardrobe items. Roberti also suggests that jackets can be worn or removed as needed to dress an outfit up or down.
1.) Encourage him to experiment with different materials. It is amazing what a facelift it can give a guy’s wardrobe just to switch from everyday denim to chino, corduroy, or cotton pants. It adds an air of maturity to one’s look, makes it seem as though some thought was put into the outfit, and enables variety in one’s wardrobe. Roberti encourages, however, that men keep their pant fronts simple and plain. 2.) Encourage him to experiment with different styles and fits.
My husband was amazed by how great he looked and felt in straightlegged jeans as opposed to the typical baggy men’s styles of the day— and he never would have found out if I hadn’t convinced him to try on a pair back when we were engaged.
1.) Let him stick to the essentials. As long as he is all set in terms of
knows that there is nothing wrong with limiting his shoe options to three or four great go-to pairs. His collection doesn’t need to rival yours. 2.) Help him make a statement with what he has. He wants the comfort and simplicity of his favorite loafers? Maybe you can get him to try some trendy and comfy boat shoes as an alternative, or maybe he can buy that same pair of loafers in navy blue or in cognac leather rather than in plain black or brown. 3.) Remind him of the “rules.” Roberti says it’s not a myth. Your
man’s shoes really should match his belt.
1.) Start with ties. A tie is a great fashion accessory because it can be worn so many different ways. A solid red silk tie in a Windsor knot worn with a crisp white shirt can be super dressy. A colorful plaid skinny tie hanging loosely over a heather gray button-up can be casual and cool. Roberti says that a pocket square can also add a little color to an outfit when opting not to wear a tie. 2). Stretch his comfort zone as time goes on. Once your man feels positively about pairing chic ties with his ensembles, see if he feels the same way about fedoras, wool scarves, necklaces, or leather wrist cuffs. Get a sense for what qualities in his outfits make him feel sexy, and then challenge him to take that look to the next level with accessories.
1.) Help him launder, repair, and otherwise maintain his new wardrobe items. For many guys, a huge downside in buying new,
well-made clothes is the need to take care of them. This is where you can take a lot of stress off of your man by teaching him how to sew on lost buttons, keep items ironed, keep track of which pieces need to be dry-cleaned, etc. Roberti specifically urges not to forget to make sure that dress shoes are well-polished. 2.) “Have him mirror your look,” Roberti says, quickly adding,
“Better yet, have him dress a little better than you.” Come on, ladies. Don’t be jealous. Let your man shine!
3.) Let him know that you think he looks great just the way he is.
Your motivation throughout this whole styling process is not to change your man but rather to help him make the best impression possible using his fashion choices. He needs to know that even if he never tries on a suit jacket in his life, you will still love him and his own personal style. After all, confidence is one of the best accessories out there. For specific inspiration and guidance on classic menswear ensembles, take your date to the Adrian Jules showroom at 2930 Monroe Avenue.
casual, formal, warm, and cold weather options, make sure your man
rochesterWomanMag.com :: august 2013
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