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E N T E R TA I N M E N T On The Cover Luciana Scarabello on Her Reality TV Debut, New Opportunities, and the Importance of Starting Small.



LIFE Autism Advocate Jacqueline Williams-Hines talks about the importance of awareness.


BUSINESS The Next Generation Young professionals work to make their region thrive.


H E A LT H Check-up Time Can unemployment affect your wellbeing?









Editor-in-Chief Natasha Clark Copy Editor Jean Wroblewski Art Director Leonardo Pilares Director of Photography Denise Smith Columnists Crystal Senter Brown Brenda’s Child Erin Corriveau Dawn Leaks Katelyn Gendron Contributing Writers Tony Gaskins, Jr. Lamara Hunter

Lioness Magazine is the first online magazine geared toward female entrepreneurs. We deliver sharp and compelling information on a variety of topics that are relevant to female entrepreneurs and professionals. Our mission is to elevate, educate and support female professionals. We celebrate the unique challenges and achievements of women in business. We believe women are multi-dimensional creations who flourish, personally and professionally, when they take time to nurture their spirits.


letter Natasha Clark

Stress Management Stress has a way of sneaking up on you. I was busy answering e-mails when it caught me by surprise. I was typing away, right in the middle of a sentence, when my heart started jack hammering. For a moment, I thought I was having a heart attack. I could feel my pulse zipping underneath my skin, and my head became faint. Pushing my chair back, I leaned forward to put my head to my knees. My chest felt constricted, and it became hard to breathe. Suddenly I realized I was in the throes of a panic attack. I had never had one before. In fact, I usually do pretty well working under pressure. Sure, I had a lot on my plate lately, but nothing I hadn’t handled before. During any given week I am juggling a variety of projects and events. With the start of the New Year, I vowed to take it a little easier. But what I had failed to do was an emotional check-up on myself. We all have family responsibilities, work duties and obligations. The real “us,” the one with emotions and needs, sometimes gets pushed to the back burner as we tend to do what we deem immediately important. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and asked, “How are you?” Does it sound a little silly? Probably. But does it sound silly when you ask others how they are? We shouldn’t wait around for people to check in on us; we must do our own inventory. If I learned anything from my episode of panic, it was that I can’t be all things to all people and that sometimes, even on a Tuesday, it’s OK to take a break from answering e-mail.




The ability to find balance Taking the time to recharge your spirit


e live in an action-oriented world! “Doing” is a part of our everyday life. We find ourselves running to and fro and are never really able to find any sense of balance in our lives. If you are anything like me, there are times that I say to myself, “There is never enough time in the day to do all the things that I need to get done.” With the demands of work, running a business and managing family responsibilities, things can become unraveled in an instant. You can find yourself running on overload and losing sight of what the real objective is: living a balanced life. I took the time to look up the meaning of the word “balance.” Webster’s Dictionary defines balance as, “mental steadiness or emotional stability, habit of calm behavior and judgment.” This definition reminded me of a story told in Genesis chapter 2:2-3; “On the seventh day, having finished all his task, God rested from all his work.

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from His work of creation.” Somewhere along the course of history, the term “rest” came to be equated with being lazy or unproductive. However, we must give ourselves permission to rest in order to find true balance. God, Himself, is far from lazy, and He ordained a day of rest. “God blessed His day of rest and called it holy.” There’s a profound “freedom” in resting. Just as God created us in His image and likeness, we also have that ability to find the freedom to rest. In resting, we are able to become mentally steady and emotionally stable with a sense of calmness so that we are able to make sound judgments in our lives. We can achieve that elusive balance and spiritual wellbeing in our lives by finding the freedom to rest ourselves. God, Himself, demonstrated that rest is appropriate and right. If God Himself

rested from His work, then we should not be amazed that we, too, need time to rest. Resting is God’s way of allowing us to recharge our batteries and reconnect with our divine self. All of the gifts and abilities that God has given us need time to rejuvenate. It’s in this time of rest that God refreshes us so we can continue to share with the world the amazing creativity that we all possess. If you are unable to take an entire day to rest, then you should take some time each day to recharge your mind, body and spirit. If your day becomes filled with frustration and things seem to be coming unglued, find a quiet place and take time to relax. Every day I find the time to have my “Hour of Power,” which is the time when I just sit still and rest myself. Taking the time to rest can really put life into perspective. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” In stillness, we can truly find real balance for our lives. So take the time to be still and rest. You’ll be glad you did!

Minister Gregory Jones, A Certified Christian Life Coach and Christian Counselor through the Association of Christian Counselors, Minister Gregory Jones uses his God given ability to inspire, educate and motivate others to attain new heights in areas of spiritual growth and development. In 2008 he founded Still Waters Christian Life Coaching where the motto is: “Christian Coaching Without Religion, but With Results.”





FASHION STAR Luciana Scarabello on her Reality TV debut, new opportunities, and the importance of starting small


uciana Scarabello started her fashion career at the same time most kids are starting high school. At the youthful age of 14, she was already designing her own clothes. The Argentinian designer’s love of fashion stemmed from watching her grandmother, a seamstress, work on garments. “Since I was small, I wanted to be a designer,” she says. “I started to sew, learning little by little.” Her growing talent led her to study at the famed Parsons School of Design in New York City. Now, at 30, she’s putting her passion to the test with NBC’s new reality show, “Fashion Star.” The television show is the designer’s latest success story. In 2007, she launched her “Scarabello” clothing line, full of fun, edgy dresses inspired by Miami’s trendy nightlife scene. She began making just a few dresses at a time, selling them in local shops. Now, the designer’s clothes are featured in more than 100 boutiques worldwide, including Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia and South Africa. Miraculously, she’s done all this

without any major investor or staff, but with the help of her television debut, the small scale of her production could be changing very soon. “I think a lot of good things can come from ‘Fashion Star,’” she says. “I could reach my ultimate goal of [establishing myself ] as a big brand.” Hosted by Elle MacPherson, “Fashion Star” is a reality competition revolving around 14 designers competing for a $6 million design package. Think “Project Runway” with a twist. Instead of creating couture-level clothing, designers produce looks for the American public. Industry buyers pick the winners and looks they want to sell. Chosen designs can be purchased by viewers in stores or online the following day. Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, and John Varvatos provide the tough love and encouragement as celebrity mentors. A team of sewers, pattern makers and make-up artists are on hand to aid designers in the challenge. The 90-minute March 13th premiere drew over 4.5 million viewers.

Continued on page 11 LIONESS APRIL 2012


Pushing Past



hy put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Well because sometimes you just feel like it, right? Most times procrastination is something that makes us feel guilt ridden, and we question whether or not we are subconsciously afraid of failure. Procrastinating doesn’t always have an ultra-deep meaning behind it. We put off doing laundry simply because we don’t like to do it. Sometimes our to-do list is much too long for the day so a certain task may get bumped to the following day. Procrastination becomes a problem when it becomes a hindrance and prevents you from reaching goals. Here are 3 tips to keep you moving forward when you are your only obstacle.

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Give Yourself a Deadline At work we meet deadlines all of the time. At home we meet payment deadlines or our electricity will be shut off. If you are working toward your college degree, chunk it into steps and give each of those steps a deadline. With the final date established, you actually give yourself flexibility. So if on the 20th, you don’t feel like doing anything, it’s okay because you gave yourself a final date of the 25th.

Reward Yourself Give yourself an incentive to reach your goal. My reward for finishing this article is a glass of wine. Hey, whatever works for you. A small treat like a pedicure or a soak in the bathtub may be just the motivation you need. Pick something attainable and the bigger the goal, the bigger the reward!


Deprive Yourself This may sound harsh, but this is what you might have to do if that reward system doesn’t work. For instance, my son cannot go outside until he does his chores. I often deprive myself of something I desire, like watching reality tv or reading the next chapter of a good book, until my grueling task is completed. In a sense, I punish myself. “So, Latoya, you are putting off making those three phone calls until tomorrow? Well if you do, you cannot go on Facebook today.” No Facebook…Oh no!

None of these strategies is fool proof. There may be days when you have tried all three tips and still find yourself in the same place. It is then that you need to re-evaluate your goals and figure out how badly you really want whatever it is you say you want.

Managing Me Brenda’s Child, has made it her life’s mission to inspire people through poetry and stories and through leading by example with courage, confidence, and integrity. She emphasizes self-love, worth, and value. She also feels obligated to tell the truth ... even if it hurts. Visit



more than a fashion star

For Scarabello, it has been an exciting journey. The designer first heard of “Fashion Star” when a friend sent her a link with information about the show. When producers came to Miami for a casting, she auditioned and soon found herself on a flight to Los Angeles for a second round. Shortly thereafter, she was chosen for the show, unaware of just how big it would be. As more details were revealed, the opportunity in front of her seemed surreal. “When I found out the buyers were from H&M, Macy’s and Saks,” she says of the bigname brands, “I was shaking!” Scarabello had to quickly push her nerves aside and adjust to the pressures of reality television. Narrow time frames were one of the designers’ biggest challenges. “You have to be very smart about what you choose and how you approach the challenge,” she says of the intense turnaround, “because if it doesn’t work, there’s no time to start over!” Despite the pressures, Scarabello labels the show as an incredible learning experience. For the first time, she had a team of professionals working with her, not to mention the opportunity to receive the always-coveted advice of major buyers

in the retail world. “To hear the feedback is a privilege that not everybody gets,” she says of the constructive comments. “Here, they were devoted to helping us create a brand and grow who we are as a designer.”

clients. “I’m a one-woman show,” Scarabello says of the difficulty of finding time to organize her own ecommerce with her busy schedule, “so [] solved the problem for me. It’s a great opportunity.”

Well-timed with the premiere of “Fashion Star” is Scarabello’s partnership with, a network of independently-owned specialty boutiques that offers small designers a gateway to international sales. The site recently celebrated their U.S. launch and now showcases nearly 800 brands on their website. Daniel Figueredo, Managing Director of, called partnering with Scarabello a great opportunity to add more fashion-forward clothing to the site, further spreading awareness of boutique and independent designers. “People are starting to recognize the power of shopping small and the impact it can have on the community,” Figueredo said. “We want people to be able to sustain their own companies, and we’re the medium for connecting that.”

Through her clothing line, TV debut, and new partnership, one theme remains constant: Scarabello is especially proud of having started small. Her first dresses were inspired simply by fabric that caught her eye. “I made two dresses, then four, and expanded from there,” she says of her humble beginnings. “And it’s good, because I learned as I went along. A lot of the mistakes that I made back then, I don’t make now.”

Scarabello has several dresses available for purchase on the site and is especially excited about the potential to grow her brand and to reach new

Her past experience reflects the advice she gives aspiring designers who look to follow in her footsteps: Have small goals that are reachable. Make a true business plan. Think about your brand, marketing strategy, target audience, and what makes you different. “Be realistic,” she says. “It’s a growing process. Before you sell one million, you have to sell one.” Fashion Star airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c on NBC.



With Autism there are no small victories by Jacqueline Williams-Hines, Founder of No Small Victories


s April approaches and the national spotlight invariably returns to Autism. Often recognized locally in the community as an advocate, author, and public speaker my efforts are rewarded by parents who thank me for my work. In my home, behind closed doors, I am more often than not an anxious, emotionally exhausted mother of a teenage son whose daily struggles with autism mirror thousands of other families worldwide. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders are five distinct diagnoses (classic autism, Asperger Syndrome, PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified), Rhett’s Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder) which greatly impair cognitive, social



and language development. Autism does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, culture or sex, though it does statistically affect boys 4:1 to girls. Current national autism rates stand at 1:110, affecting more children than cancer, diabetes and HIV combined. While the national diagnostic median age is approximately eighteen months of age, for minorities there are significant diagnostic disparities with African American children being diagnosed on average two years later. While there is no one identifiable reason for this, documented studies demonstrate contributors to these disparities as cultural influences in perceptions of developmental norms, access to services, communication difficulties between doctors and patients as well as reluctance to accept the diagnosis due to cultural stigma as contributing factors. The importance of culturally competent community awareness cannot be understated for successful outcomes.

Again this is the advocate in me speaking. The mother in me, while watching my son struggle to comprehend math or the myriad of social cues of the urban teenage world, often feels I’m trying to scale a mud wall. The truth is that a diagnosis of autism can be devastating, but with better autism awareness and community education the brighter the outlook. Community support and inclusion begins with knowledge. One person at a time, one day at a time, No Small Victories! Join us for the 2nd Annual Autism Awareness Fair, Saturday, April 21stat Martin Luther King Family Service Center, 3 Rutland Street, Springfield, MA 01109 from noon-4:00 pm. Mrs. Williams-Hines is the author of the No Small Victories Autism Awareness children’s book series, and Founder, President and CEO of No Small Victories, an autism awareness/education organization. She can be contacted through her website,

Some signs of autism in infants and toddlers are: ❒ Child makes limited or no eye contact. ❒ Does not respond to their name when called. ❒ Does not point at objects or look when you point at objects. ❒ Does not babble, very limited language; may repeat phrases. ❒ May want to be alone, or play along-side others with no engagement of others. ❒ Little or no imaginative play, i.e. imitating feeding dolls or simulating traffic with toy cars. For more information please see the Centers for Disease Control’s website. Consult your pediatrician if you believe your child may be exhibit these signs.

(left to right) Christin Deremian, Giuseppe Perniciaro, Brittney Kelleher, Peter Ellis, Annamarie Golden and Adam Robinson. Photo courtesy of JR Galeria Photography Services by John Ramos

Meet the next generation pioneers By Courtney Llewellyn


here’s an image conjured up when many hear the phrase “young professional.” They picture a young man or woman, smartly dressed, perhaps carrying a briefcase, looking perhaps a little flustered but collected, ready and willing to take on the day and the world. That image may seem a little stereotypical, but sitting down at a recent meeting with the Next Generation Pioneers, this writer felt it was apropos. There was very little dilly-dallying before the group got down to business on a rather large project that may change the young professional scene – for the better – in the Pioneer Valley. The Next Generation Pioneers, a working group of the larger Leadership Pioneer Valley, are working on creating and distributing an online-only survey aimed directly at young professionals throughout the region. They want to know what these hard-working men and women enjoy about the Pioneer Valley, what they don’t like, and who these folks really are. Before delving into the details of the

survey, however, it’s good to get to know who the Next Generation Pioneers are, because each of them brings something different to the table but share one major thing in common: they all have a passion for the area and its people. Pioneering in the 21st Century Unlike Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family, this group of seven young professionals is not venturing into totally unknown territory – they know there’s a need for something in regards to the young workforce in the Valley. However, they are similar to Pa’s little Half-Pint in the sense that each and every one of them is optimistic about the future of the region, and about what they can do with their survey. Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) has a goal of challenging and engaging emerging leaders from all sectors of the community, from corporate to government to small business to nonprofit to academia, through civic leadership development for the benefit of the Pioneer Valley region. Each year, the program selects 40 to 50 emerging leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors of the region to participate.

Leading the Next Generation Pioneers for LPV are Annamarie Golden and Peter Ellis. Golden is the Government and Community Relations Project Manager for Baystate Health. She works closely with the local communities and their elected officials on all levels. She also serves on the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield’s Board of Directors. Ellis is the Creative Director/Vice President of DIF Design in Springfield. DIF Design specializes in corporate branding and web design. Born in Russia, Ellis now lives in Agawam. He sits on many nonprofit boards and committees. “My company was hired to do the Leadership Pioneer Valley logo, and that’s how I got involved,” Ellis explained, “and I’ve believed in its ideas from the beginning. I’ve said ‘Give me the tools and I'll do the job.’ I think LPV is doing its job for me personally, and I’m excited by this [survey] project.” Golden said she was looking for leadership opportunities, which led her to LPV. “I'm big on collaboration for the greater good of the

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Envisioning your vision Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24 By Crystal Senter Brown


ast month I had the opportunity to attend the Next Level Development’s “Vision Board” event. It was held on a Saturday evening, and over 40 women were in attendance. Every table in the room was stocked with magazines, glue and scissors; and for three hours we were charged with creating a vision board for our future. At first, some of the women were reserved. Many of them were professional women who had not “cut and pasted” anything in years other than in a Word document. But once an India Arie song began to play in the background, we were off and

“cutting!” By the end of the evening we had each created a board that showed what we wanted to happen in our lives. Most people have the supplies needed to create a vision board right in their own home: a small poster board or canvas board, magazines, scissors and a glue stick. You can also create a virtual board online at Be specific Creating a vision board is more than merely saying “I want a better life” or pasting pictures of beaches and fancy cars on a board. You have to really think about what your “better life” looks like. Do you want to buy a home? Travel more? Would you like to be more charitable? Do you need to lose weight? Do you need a more reliable car? Are you searching for your soul mate? Look for pictures that will illustrate your goals and paste them onto your board. Hang your board in a location that will allow you to see it every day. I use my board as

a prompt to pray and thank God for everything He has provided me with and to ask for His provision for my family and me in the future. Make your board and then get moving Making a vision board doesn’t mean you don’t have to actually DO anything. If you pasted “lose weight” on your board, you can’t continue to eat McDonald’s food every day and spend every evening on the sofa. You have to actually take steps to live a healthier life such as walking every day and eating smaller meals. If you want to earn your Master’s Degree, start looking for graduate programs in your area. Your vision board should be a visual reminder of what you want in your life. It is NOT a replacement for real action. Whatever you call it your board -- a dream board, a vision board, or a prayer board -- visualizing your goals for the future (and seeing them on paper every day) is a powerful way to set the law of attraction into action!

Shine On Sista! Crystal Senter Brown has appeared in Essence Magazine, Vibe Magazine and Redbook Magazine and has released three music cd’s and three books, most recently “The Rhythm in Blue” ( But the role she is most proud of is being Adonte’s mother and Corey’s wife. Learn more about Crystal at



next generation pioneers

community to make this movement bigger, louder and more sustainable,” she said. “The issues regarding young professionals are kind of stagnant in this region,” Golden added. “There should be focus on youth. Look at Alex Morse, the mayor of Holyoke. He’s young and he’s doing big things. We need to look at how we can keep this movement going.” The other members of the Next Generation Pioneers group include Giuseppe Perniciaro, Assistant Manager of Customer Operations for Western Massachusetts Electric Company. Born on an Army base in Frankfurt, Germany, Perniciaro has lived in 10 states but has settled down here in the Pioneer Valley. “This is all about getting folks together and learning from each other’s cultures, work, and other experiences,” he stated. “We’re trying to identify and engage young professionals in the Valley; we need to know what's good and what's lacking so we can do something more.” Christin Deremian is the Manager of Human Resources Unlimited in Springfield. Brittney Kelleher is the Commercial Loan Officer for Westfield Bank. Hailing from the Hudson Valley in New York State, she moved to the Pioneer Valley in 2008. “Joining the program was a great way to learn about the area, to see its opportunities and challenges,” Kelleher said. “I'm starting to really like it.” Adam Robinson, Financial Adviser for Ostberg & Associates in Northampton, said he took part in the LPV program to make connections and to make friends. Justin Marsh, President of Knowledge Corridor Productions in Springfield, created the Springfield Independent Media Guild. He and Robinson are the only Next Generation Pioneers who are originally from the region. Every member of the group is also involved with a variety of local clubs, organizations or non-profits. Many have spouses and children. They already know intimately what it

means to be a young professional. Now they want to figure out how they can make that experience mean more. Touching Those With Touch Screens “It’ll be great to see how we can make an impact on this area with our survey,” Kelleher said. “It will be great to see what people really feel about the area. We've found no actual data from young professionals like this yet.” That void of information is part of the reason these seven individuals stepped up to create this survey project for LPV. It seems the easiest way to gather information these days is online, either on personal computers or smart phones, so the Next Generation Pioneers, who have partnered with the Economic Development Council (EDC) for this undertaking, will be distributing their survey through sites like Facebook and Twitter only – no paper surveys will be printed or delivered. They’re hoping for a wider reach through social media. The “Life in the Valley” survey will look at demographics; what brought the young professionals to Western Massachusetts; their perception of the local economy, retail, arts, etc.; housing and transportation; the use of the local media; their take on the job market and entrepreneurship; and more. At about 70 questions in length, the group agrees that the survey will be “comprehensive but not long!” Golden added that she thinks the diversity of their small working group will be reflective of the survey results. “We’re raffling an iPad as an incentive, but we don't really know the potential reach of the survey,” Gold said, “but we’re aiming big.” In addition to creating and distributing the survey, the Next Generation Pioneers and the EDC will look at data analysis once the survey is closed. The Pioneers and the EDC have hired Market Street Research to input the survey questions, collect responses and analyze the data into a report that will be shared with key business and community stakeholders through various venues

over the next six months. They plan on trying to link up with U.S. Census information to compare what they find locally with young professionals nationally. To help pay for the data analysis, the Next Generation Pioneers would like to thank the businesses who have donated funds to cover the cost of the work: the EDC, Baystate Health, Western Massachusetts Electric Company and Westfield Bank. Deremian said she hopes the survey results will help communities focus on keeping young people in the area. “Why are we not getting the people we need here?” she asked. “And it’s not just Springfield, it’s all of the Pioneer Valley. We need to get employment up, real estate sales up; we need to keep people here after college.” She pointed out that while she doesn’t even live in the Pioneer Valley anymore (since moving to West Brookfield in Central Massachusetts), she “makes a conscious effort to be here and work here.” All of the Next Generation Pioneers are eager to see the results of their hard work and the survey. “With this, we will have a more intelligent assessment [of the workforce] for employers,” Ellis said. Ultimately, however, in Golden’s opinion, “The end product doesn’t matter. It’s about the process.” The Next Generation Pioneers’ “Life in the Valley” survey will be live from Wednesday, April 9 through Wednesday, May 9. The survey link can be found on the homepage of LPV at After its close, the survey’s data will be analyzed and presented by the Next Generation Pioneers at an LPV event in June. Golden said the EDC may want to do bigger presentation in the fall with a more in depth analysis and implications. For now, though, the Next Generation Pioneers have one simple mission: they want to hear from as many of the Pioneer Valley’s young professionals as possible.

Courtney Llewellyn is a Western Mass transplant by way of Upstate New York. She is currently Special Projects Manager for East Longmeadow Community Access Television, and has written for Turley Publications, Reminder Publications and Western Mass Women Magazine. If she had any free time, she would enjoy running or hiking during those precious minutes.



It's all about you!

LOVE YOURSELF! By Katelyn Gendron


etting a woman to love herself from the inside out is like trying to get a hoarder to relinquish a paperclip. There’s always something she’ll say to put herself down: My nose is waging a hostel takeover of my face; or “Back Fat Betty” is making my seemingly smooth tops look like a parade of cresting waves. The bottom line is that if you lack selfconfidence, no amount of primping or retail therapy will get you to see yourself as anything but a fashion-backward wallflower. Here’s your first step: Stop avoiding mirrors! You’re a gorgeous, rising success in the professional world, aren’t you? So, regardless of your skewed self-image, go out and buy a fulllength mirror and dress yourself in front of it. If you don’t like what you see – a tattered blouse or rogue pimple – then go and make a healthy change to your wardrobe or your diet. Step two: Stop wearing those “Think Skinny” necklaces while staring at those pictures of models taped up next to your mirror. Take those magazine covers down because they’re all figments of a graphic designer’s imagination. Instead, start taping up pictures of yourself in your favorite professional attire.

Keeping a photo track record of your trends is a useful tool to keep yourself fashion forward. You don’t want to catch yourself falling back and wearing the same trends season after season. You take risks in the workplace, don’t you? Why not take risks in your closet, too? Third step: Keep yourself well manicured. If you appear to clients as being clean and polished because your nails, hair and skin are kempt, they’ll also notice your attention to business details. Final step: If you can’t subscribe to having a full-on relationship with yourself, then try a “flirtationship.” Look into that mirror and decide what you love most about yourself and build your wardrobe and your confidence around that. If it’s your long legs, start wearing heels and a bright skirt to draw attention to that attribute. If it’s your eyes you’d rather have clients look at than your chest, experiment with smokey shadows for hints of mystery and inspiration. Fashion, like business, is all about attitude and exuding confidence. You’ve got to develop a strategy for success both in and out of the workplace, and your first meeting of the day is with yourself, so get out there and close the deal!

The Stiletto Statement Katelyn Gendron is a native of New York, who is currently living and working as a newspaper editor in Western Massachusetts. She is a college-trained journalist and world traveler, who has documented her journeys for various publications spanning five of the seven continents (she plans to visit the remaining two during her lifetime). Her motto: “Life’s a ball. Let’s play!”



Emotional check-up Why taking care of your emotional health is important while unemployed (ARA) - It seems that nearly every newscast these days includes some discussion of wide-scale joblessness in the U.S. and discussion of economic crises at home and abroad. The American worker has been taken on a roller coaster ride over the course of the last few years that has left many in a tailspin when it comes to their emotional health and their jobs. An unusually high unemployment rate for a prolonged period of time means that twice as many people are dealing with being unemployed," says Dr. Brian Riedesel, associate professor at Argosy University, Seattle. "There's no lifetime job stability anymore. Losing your job can mean losing your identity. The longer that period of unemployment lasts, the more prolonged negative impact it can have on your emotional health." According to a study on the long-term health effects of being laid off by Kate Strully, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health, "For those who lost their job through no fault of their own, such as an establishment closure, the odds of reporting fair or poor health increased by 54 percent, and among respondents with no preexisting health conditions, it increased the odds of a new health condition by 83 percent. Even when workers became re-employed, those workers had an increased risk of new stress-related health conditions." "A layoff is a critical incident in your life," says Riedesel. "It has the potential for positive change in terms of a possible new career path but it can also be quite destructive in the loss of financial resources for individuals." "The stages of the grief process apply to all major or unexpected changes including the loss of a job," says Dr. Marianne Greenfield, program chair at Argosy University, Atlanta and president and CEO of Parliament3, LLC, a network of Organizational Development and Human Resource Consultants. "The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.



Unfortunately, these emotions can sometimes progress to the point of self-doubt, negativity, or an inability to move forward. Those individuals who associate their identity with their job are at higher risk for remaining in the depression stage for a longer period of time which hinders their ability to create and implement an action plan to gain new employment." When that layoff moves from an acute crisis event to a prolonged layoff, the toll it takes can be overwhelming. "It can be devastating," says Riedesel. "The chronic stress that long-term joblessness creates can lead to higher instances of anxiety, depression and insomnia. It also makes people more vulnerable to other issues they may already have." "Our identity is, in many ways, tied to our work," says Riedesel. "Long-term unemployment can give us a sense of a lack of control in our lives. It's important to go from being a victim of that unemployment to taking action and taking control of our lives." Both experts agree that it is important for the unemployed to build a strong network of emotional support and to stay active. "Keep to your usual exercise and other routines," encour-

ages Riedesel. "Take care of yourself. Eat and rest well, even if you don't feel like it. Be careful not to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, prescription or otherwise." "It can be easy to get isolated from others in this type of instance," says Riedesel. Depression and isolation go hand-in-hand. The more you can do to stay engaged, the better off you will be emotionally, mentally and physically. "Volunteer!" says Greenfield. "Doing something that helps others has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself. The meaning and purpose you find in helping others will enrich and expand your life. Many times a volunteer position will lead to meeting someone who can refer you to a paying job or possibly the volunteer organization will find you invaluable and hire you. In any case, you have selfworth and can gain the positive energy from making a difference in someone's life." "There is a difference between having a reaction and having a breakdown," says Riedesel. "If you can't control the emotional, physical and mental symptoms you are experiencing as a result of that unemployment, it is important to seek professional help."

Smartphones to overtake personal computers in 2012 (ARA) - Smartphones are steadily becoming commonplace devices for everyone from professionals to busy moms. Users of these devices now instinctively turn to their phones for tasks that previously they would only have accomplished on a computer, over the phone or in person. These tasks include surfing the Web, obtaining driving directions, connecting via social media, and even shopping.

Invest in smartphones Transitioning from a flip phone to a smartphone makes it much easier to run a business on the go. Providing easy access to email, calendar information and the Internet, smartphones increase productivity and can provide peace of mind while out of the office. Today, smartphones are more affordable than in the past, so now is a perfect time to take advantage of their capabilities. Consider industryspecific devices Numerous mobile technologies, from smartphone applications to tablets, have been created with specific industries in mind. For example,

In the United States, 87.4 million people own smartphones. And, in 2012, smartphone sales are expected to top sales of personal computers. As smartphones allow people to connect with businesses in new and exciting ways, businesses in turn need to become savvier about going mobile. For small businesses, embracing the smartphone age is becoming crucial for success. Here are some easy ways small businesses can go mobile in 2012:

rugged tablets that can withstand the elements are available for those in the construction industry and tablets created for the health care industry can be sterilized between patient visits to avoid contamination.

Make websites mobile-compatible In an era in which most consumers first go to the Internet to find local service providers, it's crucial that small businesses have a polished and informative online presence that's friendly for mobile consumption. Even for business owners who aren't tech-savvy, starting a website is feasible. A quick Internet search will reveal numerous free or low-cost website templates. You might also choose to work with a Web developer to ensure your business's website is smartphone-friendly.

Get social Popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it simple to connect with customers in a casual, but also personal, manner and also embrace the mobile population that frequents these sites on smartphones. Consider leveraging one or more of these platforms to further establish your business's online presence and create positive buzz around new offerings and special deals and promotions. For more ideas on how to easily boost your business with mobile technology, visit



Forget to take your vitamins? Hallie says it’s no problem



ou still hear your mother whispering in your ear, “Don’t forget to take your vitamins.” And even though you realize that it’s good for your health to take a multivitamin, there are still tons of excuses why you don’t. Rich Vitamins LLC president Hallie Rich aims to eliminate those excuses by introducing a lifestyle product that combines vitamins and minerals with ease, convenience and fun. Hallie announced today the nationwide launch of alternaVites™, the first and only full spectrum multivitamin & mineral that when sprinkled on your tongue, melts in your mouth. Available this fall at Big Y stores,, and fine health food stores nationwide, alternaVites turns taking vitamins from a chore to a treat. The take-along daily dose packets fit easily into a pocket, purse or briefcase and can even be mixed into a smoothie or yogurt for a nutrition-packed treat. alternaVites requires no water or preparation which makes it extremely easy and convenient. Hallie says, “We all have to deal with stress, both internal and external. Taking a vitamin shouldn’t add to that stress. With alternaVites, we feel we’ve made a hassle free vitamin that will fit into the lives of our customers today and into the future.” Although there are other non-pill options available including liquid vitamins, gummies, powdered vitamins and waters, Hallie asserts none of them have all of what alternaVites provides. She



says, “We tried to capitalize on the best aspects of each non-pill alternative while simultaneously addressing the drawbacks, which include that fact that many of these selections are high in sugar, chemical additives and/or low in nutrients. We developed alternaVites to be a high potency formula containing 23 essential vitamins and minerals. We use nutrients free of animal products and by products and our formula contains 0 grams of sugar." A clean product, alternaVites is a good choice for many Americans as it is free of artificial colors, preservatives or flavors and contains no peanuts, wheat, milk, egg, soy or treenuts. While portability is a major feature of alternaVites, Hallie, the third generation in her family to work in the vitamin industry, developed the product to solve a personal problem she kept secret for years—she didn’t take vitamins herself because she couldn’t swallow pills. According to USA Today, 100 million Americans have difficulty swallowing pills. Hallie says, “I’ve been looking for something like alternaVites my whole life. Since I couldn’t find it, I developed it.” Hallie knows intimately that any barrier to taking vitamins impedes the potential benefits of proper supplementation. She says, “Research has shown that consumers want to take vitamins but they’re either intimidated by the size of the pill, always forgetting to take them, or just don’t because vitamins haven’t easily fit into their daily routine. With alternaVites, we think we’ve found the solution to these problems.”

Lioness Magazine April 2012  
Lioness Magazine April 2012  

For the Female Entrepreneur