F E AT U R E S ISSUE 11 AUGUST 2012
Diana Schmidtke styles some of the Hottest Men in Hollywood
22 28 35
Artist AmW steps out on faith The Fab Four – These four women are at the top of their game Securing the working woman’s vote
7 25 37 40
Building Relationships Learn how to target your specific customers What could be affecting your employment? Get away from work overload
5 EDITOR’S LETTER 8 LIPSTICK CHRONICLES 12 STILETTO STATEMENT 16 MANAGING ME 21 SHINE ON
ISSUE 11 AUGUST 2012
Editor-in-Chief Natasha Clark Copy Editor Jeanne Wroblewski Art Director Leonardo Pilares Director of Photography Denise Smith Columnists Crystal Senter Brown Brendaâ€™s Child Erin Corriveau Katelyn Gendron Kristina Chapell Contributing Writers Lamara Hunter Emily Thurlow Jennifer Sawyer
ÂŠ2012 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.
welcome to lioness editor’s letter Lioness Columnist Latoya ‘Brenda’s Child’ Bosworth shares a toast with Lioness editor Natasha Clark.
What is a Lioness? A lioness is a woman who has found courage. She can be bagging your groceries at the store, a full-time mother or a COO of a Fortune 500 company. She isn’t one thing. She is a combination of all that she desires to be. She hurts. She heals. She cries. She laughs. She falls. She gets back up. She is always striving to be her best self. It is the flicker of her passions that keeps her alive. For the last 12 months, we have been showcasing these women. Telling you their stories to uplift them and inspire passion within you. We have worked hard this year to highlight women who otherwise you may not have heard about. Women just like you who are juggling families, their careers and their personal interests. When I was a little girl I fell in love with words and news. I am always blown away that there are only so many words in the English language captured in a dictionary. But the stories those words can craft are countless. I love news because I am interested in what is happening in the world around me. The gift that I have been blessed with is to take words, combine it with news and deliver it to you. If this magazine can give you one story, one quote or one piece of encouragement that can change your life for the better, it has fulfilled its purpose. Everything else is the cherry on top. So today we at Lioness Magazine raise our glasses to salute you and all of the other women around the globe who are making their dreams come true. MEOW!
Natasha LIONESS AUGUST 2012
Building bridges, building relationships, building businesses By Mara Hunter Companies and organizations have long worked together to make it work for the good of all parties. It’s called relationship building. According to Inc.com, “entrepreneurs too often get caught up in the details of the kinds of products or services they are selling to notice how critical it is to build relationships not just with your customers, but also with your vendors, employees” and even competitors. The fact of the matter is and Michael Denisoff, founder & CEO of Denisoff Consulting Group in Redondo Beach, California said it best, “"Without strong relationships, it is impossible to have success as a business owner." So keeping that in mind I took a look at something that was near and dear to my heart, minority health and applied that same mantra to what I do here at Baystate Health. Baystate is one of the top medical centers in the country and part of that reason is because of dedicated employees that have built long-lasting relationships with neighboring organizations and the community we serve. We’ve been a bridge to services and resources that have allowed communities to receive the best patient care possible and it is because of our leaders tak-
ing that very same ideology and applying it to this organization. One such example of this practice is it’s a well known fact that health disparities in the African American community are at alarming stats. According to the CDC, In 2001, the African American age-adjusted death rate for heart disease was (316.9 per 100,000) averaging 30.1% higher than white Americans; (243.5) and 41.2% higher than white Americans for stroke.
When the Office of Diversity & Inclusion first introduced affinity groups, (also known as Employee Resource Groups), I jumped at the opportunity to support such a great idea. I was looking for one that I could relate to and really use my resources and connect them to Baystate’s mission, but to my surprise one with that focus hadn’t been created yet. So, I inquired about starting one and with the help of many supportive co-workers, colleagues and a strong executive director, we were successful.
Hearing those ever rising statistics made me take a step back and look at my community and my own family to see what we were doing wrong and how we could be a part of helping to bring these numbers down. For me, it was personal as I had lost my grandmother to Diabetes. She suffered a stroke and was living off of 20% of her heart due to several heart issues. She passed away three years ago on February 13th; I was living in Florida at that time. After her death, I moved back to Springfield, Massachusetts with a mission to make a change and to be a part of a solution for my family and surrounding community; those who have lost many to these same health issues.
Today, more employees are connected; they feel a sense of inclusion because matters that are near & dear to them are being addressed. Our ERG has contributed to that atmosphere and has set the tone for building a stronger employer/employee relationship as well as one with the African-American community, which represents a high percentage of Baystate’s patient base. BE Connecting is an internal network of Baystate employees that share a common interest with a mission to support both the organization and the employee; one that wants to assist with identifying underlying issues and one that can help bridge the cultural gap; building a stronger relationship.
Working for Baystate was a step in the right direction and I was happy to be included in an organization that put their community first.
The importance of having these affinity groups
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our years ago I met Jacob through Match.com. After taking the conversation offline we got to know more about one another in a series of Ping Pong texts before we met in person. When we finally met for drinks we realized we went to school together, but in a school with over 1,000 kids we never ran into one another.
was actually moving to Las Vegas for a year and wanted to buy me a “going away drink.” Apparently the fact of me leaving was enough for him to want to see me one last time; but he wasn’t too disappointed when I said I wasn’t moving away, it was just a post in support of breast cancer awareness. He still wanted to buy me a drink so I agreed. What girl doesn’t accept a free drink from a hot guy?
That night as we were going our separate ways it was clear there was an attraction between us. We kissed but nothing more. A few more dates followed but nothing other than our attraction materialized so we went our separate ways. Our lives went in different directions. He met someone and I focused on my career but every once in a while we would run into one another on Facebook or in the community. We always were pleasant and when we parted I could feel the attraction but I always walked away trying hard to ignore it.
We agreed to do dinner on a Sunday but we actually met the night before at my favorite spot, my home away from home. This was probably a mistake because I know EVERYONE there but I was comfortable, if things didn’t go well I had friends who would have my back. Girls – I know you understand this. ;-) The attraction was still there and I had all I could do to keep my hands off of him. After a few fun hours we parted ways… it was hard, I am not going to lie, but I knew I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I wasn’t sure if I could handle a one night stand and risk the odd but fun friendship we built because I honestly didn’t know if I wanted more from him. If it was more I wanted from him, I knew it wouldn’t be
Fast forward three years and life brought Jacob and I together this Spring. In a series of funny posts on Facebook he thought I
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fair to Jacob so I did what every self-respected girl does who is not sure of the next step - delete his number from my phone so I wasn’t tempted! A few months passed and I received a text from a number not in my phone; I knew deep down it was Jacob. After a few days of talking and catching up on our lives I invited him over to my house, a first! We were both in need of a good conversation and I knew he was as addicted to the new TV show Dallas as I was and we both needed to watch the latest episode. Jacob came over on a warm Sunday evening. Being a nice night we decided to take our drinks to the backyard and sit on the patio. Never being to my house he was intrigued by the landscape, one year ago it was devastated by the tornado. Sitting on the patio Jacob got to know my pride and joy, my dog, Max and we caught up on work, family, and dating. Eventually we moved the conversation inside, refreshed our drinks and then sat in silence to watch
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no regrets Dallas. No lie, we would only talk during commercials. When the show finished the tension in the room was so thick you couldn’t cut it with a knife. I finally let myself go, I stopped worrying about the repercussions and lived in the moment. It took four years for me to let go and live in the moment with Jacob and looking back, I have no regrets. I don’t know if I acted sooner if I would feel the same or if I am able to feel this way because I am older and wiser; but I am here to tell you sometimes it IS okay to listen to your heart and not your head. And, I can say Jacob and I are still friends; we chat about the latest Dallas show or what’s going on in our personal lives and support each other when something good happens to one another. What happened between Jacob and me isn’t always typical, but it did help me understand living in the moment (while safe) is not always bad and it can be fun. Here’s to no regrets (and being safe), KC xoxo
The Lipstick Chronicles KRISTINA CHAPELL is a single gal in her thirties making her way in the world. Passionate, savvy, and stylish; Kristina is a social relationship builder. You can often find her on Facebook and Twitter keeping up with the latest news and always supporting causes she is passionate about such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Link to Libraries, and The Businews Channel.
(left to right) Kristina Chapell, Emily Thurlow, Latoya "Brenda's Child" Bosworth, Natasha Clark, Crystal Senter-Brown and Mara hunter. Lioness is the first online magazine of its kind. It's written for female entrepreneurs by female entrepreneurs.
There’s nothing like an anniversary to make one reminisce and the one-year anniversary of Lioness Magazine is no different. The following is a critical and comical look back at not only the triumphs of the past’s fashion but also the flops we’re trying, however unsuccessfully, to forget. The biggest crime against shoe fashion in my opinion is two-fold: socks with sandals or white socks with black shoes. Unless you’re a Japanese Geisha you’re not required to wear socks with your sandals. The purpose of sandals is to show off your great pedicure or appeal to some randomly hot guy with a foot fetish or to keep your feet cool on a hot summer day. If you’re uncomfortable displaying your feet within the context of any of the aforementioned circumstances than refrain from wearing sandals altogether, it’s not an excuse to wear socks with your sandals! Moreover, unless you’re Michael Jackson, pairing white socks with black shoes is ridiculous so either buy some back socks or refrain from wearing black shoes. Crocs and jelly shoes are also a disaster! Jelly shoes might have been cute on 8 year-old girls in the 1980s – I had them in hot pink and neon green – but they’re recent resurgence is just uncalled for. You don’t need plastic shoes in your wardrobe unless you’re a stripper and even then I’d be forced to file an appeal. And unless you have some kind of horrendous disease that requires the constant aeration of your feet through the small
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One woman's victory can move an entire generation of women.Supporting our sisters is the only way to move the female species forward. At Lioness we share those victories for the whole world to see.â€?
Grooming expert’s determination drives success Schmidtke
By Emily Thurlow Lioness Intern
fter finishing up her time at her high school in Lindenhurst, Ill., Diana Schmidtke knew that halls of academia wouldn’t be able to adequately nourish her professional ambitions like that of the creative world that she craved. But it was before she let those doors close behind her, that she discovered a glimpse of the destiny that transport her beside actors at the biggest movie premieres, red carpets and award ceremonies all over the world. While participating in a work program that the school offered at a portrait studio, her boss suggested that she consider being in front of the camera as a way to make some extra money. And although she did have a few jobs, it wasn’t in the spotlight that she found her future fate, but actually along the sidelines. “I found myself very attracted to the [jobs of the] hair and make-up artists at a particular shoot for Nexxus,” she said. “The make-up artists specifically were just having a blast. I could see at that point, not only how they made me feel, but the way they made the models feel –they had more sass in their step. It was after that show that I decided to go to beauty school.”
bigger. Upon her graduation she worked at Chicago’s Trio Hair Salon where she trained under Phillip Palmeri, a former head colorist at Vidal Sassoon, where she was offered her own chair after training for 11 months. And after bounding out on her first “real” vacation to Mexico, she realized she never wanted to see a winter again, so she quit her job, packed up her things and headed for the west coast with only $800 in her pocket. But despite her spontaneity, the road to success wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be. “I failed, I couldn’t get that lucky break into the industry for the life of me,” she said. Driven to achieve her dreams, Schmidtke returned home taking every possible class “under the sun,” –from wigs to weaves to long hair, bridal hair, anything and everything –saved up $1,100 and moved back to Los Angeles, where she has been for the past 13 years. As she started to craft her career in a more financially and flourishing direction, her agent at the time suggested working exclusively with men's grooming expert. “It just wasn’t clicking with the actresses, for whatever reason, it just wasn’t a match,” she said. “It was at that point that we refocused my portfolio on men, starting with bands, which then transitioned into the actors…And now here I am, a men’s grooming expert.”
And even though the promise of a new career bubbled up inside her, Schmidtke’s parents weren’t as pleased with her decision.
At 37, Schmidtke never imagined she’d be where she is today –jet-setting around the globe to meet the needs of celebrity clientele like Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, Viggo Mortensen and many more.
“My parents weren’t happy about it, because for whatever the reason, being a hairdresser in the United States isn’t prestigious, but is prestigious in other places of the world,” she said, noting that she ended up attending Pivot Point International against their initial wishes for her. From there, Schmidtke said she just kept dreaming bigger, and
“Friends used to tell me that I was so ambitious and determined, and I knew that I always had that tenacity and maybe that’s partially because I knew that I didn’t have ‘mommy and daddy’ to fall back on financially,” she said. “But I never had any idea that any of this would happen.”
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fashion faux pas
round holes of a visually unappealing shoe, you don’t need Crocs either. It’s also difficult to believe that popcorn shirts were once popular in the 90s and 2000s. From the style’s first appearance on the fashion scene, I’ve maintained that such a shirt only has one place in this world and that’s the city dump! Who would want to wear a tie-dyed or floral print shirt that actually pops open into adult size with you pull it on. You’re not a jackin-the-box or a bag of popcorn therefore you don’t need to pop on this shirt. The sad thing is that I saw someone wearing one just the other day. Another fashion faux pas that I’ve had the unfortunate experience of bearing witness to recently is a woman wearing overalls, and what’s worse, she was only using one strap. I wanted to tell her that she wasn’t a farmer, and, even if she was, I highly doubt she’d want to use only one strap. What if some farm animal tried to eat the use strap? Then she’d have her overalls fall to her ankles and unless she plans on covering herself in manure she’ll be forced to show her bare body to the world. Looking back at fashion can definitely tell us what not to do but it in no way guarantees that we won’t make similar mistakes in the future; therefore,
I implore you to keep current and maintain your sense of fashion sanity. A sane person would say yes to pencil skirts, stilettos, statement-making jewelry and accessories. I’ll leave it up to you to decide your level of sanity.
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 collegetrained 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!”
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We all have one. Sometimes it sounds like your mother, or your father, grandma or best friend. Sometimes it’s a little bit of everyone, who truly knows you, all combined to create that whisper that tells you, “You’re wrong!” or “You are so right!” Your conscious is a reflection of your values and life experiences. What about your inner voice, your unconscious? The one that sounds like you; the one that knows you better than anyone else? Do you pay attention to it? Do you know your inner voice like it knows you? In the hustle and bustle of everyday life we hear the inner monologue we have with ourselves about what we need to do tomorrow, next week, the next day. We talk aloud to ourselves when we ask, “Where’d I put those keys?” or “ What am I going to do?” It’s moments like this that we must stop, turn off everything, and listen to the other voice. Ideally, meditation is something people plan, and have a designated place to do so, but other than when you are driving or lifting heavy machinery, you can meditate anywhere. There are many on line resources, books and videos that can teach how to listen. The more you practice, the more present it becomes and you won’t have to channel it as much, it will began to sing to you as opposed to shout at you for not being attentive. Once you learn, you can hear what you really need at the moment; you can go to a calm place, you can answer a question you thought you had no answer to, all because you listened to you.
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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 www.brendaschild.com
stylist to the stars
emotions, so if you end of being jealous or want to be something you’re not, that’s going to come through and it will not work in your favor,” she said. And even though it’s hard work at times –running to nine different countries in a week –she enjoys every minute of it. Since she’s a seasoned professional at this point with regular clients like Ashton Kutcher, working with celebrities on a daily basis doesn’t often faze her, that is, until recently. One of the biggest challenges she’s faced in trying to get where she is today is juggling the multitude of the many personalities in Hollywood. “It’s not necessarily good or bad, however everything you hear about L.A. is true, but there’s some pretty wonderful things about this place too,” she said. “The problem is not everyone is lucky enough to have all of their dreams come true.” Despite the range of personalities, Schmidtke keeps her sense of humor at the forefront in her approach and doesn’t ever let the green jealousy monster overwhelm her. “At the end of the day you’re controlling your own
“Someone I’m excited to work with that I have never worked with before who is on my schedule for this month is Kevin Bacon,” she said. “I have loved Kevin Bacon since Footloose, I am so excited.” One of the more noteworthy moments that she noted was working with actor/icon John Travolta, who she beamed was “incredibly nice.”
While working with these individuals, her work has been featured in magazines like Details, Esquire, Men’s Journal, GQ, People, The New York Times, and InStyle; has appeared on Oprah and the Today Show as the go-to expert for “manscaping” and “man makeovers.” In addition to that, she has worked with traveled the globe teaching to fellow hairdressers after having collaborated with top hair care lines like Paul Mitchell after aiding in the debut of his men’s line, “MITCH” in 2011. And in an effort to help others looking to carve out their path in the center of the U.S. movie industry as well as a way to give back to the beauty industry, Schmidtke has also authored a book that offers tips and advice called, “Shortcuts to a Successful Career as a Hairstylist of Make-Up Artist for the Fashion and Entertainment Industry,” and is working on her second book about men’s grooming. “When I go into schools to talk to the kids, I encourage them to literally reach for the stars,” she said. “Anything is possible, don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s not.”
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Being a Lioness is all about going after what makes you happy and the universe a better place. One year ago this publication started as a single idea. Today it is a successful, award-winning publication that continues to grow. With our sisters besides us, anything is possible. Happy Anniversary!â€?
Finding meaning in the “meantime” Be still, and know that I am God Psalm 46:10
Almost every day someone asks me how I “get it all done.” I work full-time, I am in a graduate program, I am rehearsing for a musical which requires me to drive to Hartford at least twice each week, I officiate 30-40 weddings each year and I am a wife and mom. Looking at my daily schedule makes my head spin sometimes, but I don’t notice how busy I actually am until I crash at the end of the week. I realized a few months ago that, while I was busy, I was not fully enjoying my life. While I was accomplishing A LOT, I was not enjoying the time between my successes. My meantime was meaningless. Society expects us to be overachievers and on the go 24/7. Technology makes it easy for us to be busy all the time, between text messages, emails and Facebook, we are constantly connected to our calendars and goals. We’ve been programmed to believe we have to be constantly “on”, and enjoying our meantime somehow means we are lazy. But I believe our meantime is not only a necessity, it should also be a requirement if we expect to live a good life. We should celebrate every goal we reach, big and small. And we should allow ourselves time between our last goal and our next goal. Without a meantime, our lives are meaningless. I knew I was in need of a meaningful meantime when I passed on a girl’s night out because I wanted to update my vision board! Couldn’t this task wait until later on in the week? Of course! But I had trouble enjoying the now because my eyes were always focused on the next thing I wanted to do. Now, instead of spending an entire evening plotting my next move (professionally or personally) I spend time with my husband and my son. I’ve learned to fill my meantime with meaningful activities that will strengthen my relationships with my family and friends. I don’t want my legacy to be that of an overachiever. I want to be known as someone who was always living in the now, present, attentive and thoughtful of the people around me. A few ways to learn to enjoy the N.O.W. are: • Learn to say“Not right now”- When you find yourself pulling out your vision board to make yet another adjustment, stop.
Instead, look at all the things you have already accomplished and celebrate them! Update your vision board on another day! • Own your time. Turn off your cell phone when you’re with your family. Disable email notifications when you’re trying to write. Your time is your own, and if you don’t own it, someone else will! • Acknowledge your Wants. We all have “assigned tasks” that have to be done every day. But it’s good to acknowledge our wants as well. Want an ice cream cone? Have it! Just add an extra evening walk this week to your workout schedule. Want to check out that new restaurant everyone is talking about? Go! Your goal-setting sheet can wait another day. Once you begin to enjoy your meantime, you’ll realize your stress level will begin to be reduced. Your heart rate will even slow down! And you’ll be at peace with your choices, as you celebrate your accomplishments! So the next time you’re tempted to rush on to the next “goal”, remember Psalm 46:10 and Be still.
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” (www.therhythminblue.com.) But the role she is most proud of is being Adonte’s mother and Corey’s wife. Learn more about Crystal at www.crystalsenterbrown.com.
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Putting the I in believe Artist AmW finds her footing By Zee Elise It’s fragile, that first step. Others can help you, hold your hands as tightly as training wheels locked securely to the frame of a bicycle, but every entrepreneur discovers for themselves that one day it will end. They will reach a point on their journey where they must travel forward alone. The ground is unsteady, the path can be strewn with obstacles and, depending on how you deal with them, those challenges can lead you toward quicksand or firmer ground on a higher level. Artist AmW is at that juncture. As she forges ahead a year after founding Estetika Exposure: Art by AmW , she is finding that each step she takes meets with solid ground and brings her one stride closer to fulfilling her dream. “Art comes in many forms,” she says just a few days after participating in the Urban Art Exhibit and Social affair on July 7 in which she was a featured artist. “Music, drawing or paintings, dancing; all of which I enjoy and have participated in.” Born Alicia M. Walter in Springfield, Massachusetts, AmW grew up surrounded by the arts. From singing in her church choir, dancing jazz, tap and ballet to playing the violin and clarinet in middle school, she was consistently involved in creative expression. She initially tried her hand at art 12 years ago, but succumbed to fears. “[I] didn't have the courage or belief in myself,” she explained. “I was not satisfied with my work at all. I've come to learn that one must believe in themselves before anyone else will.” After meeting her husband Kareem in college, they married in 2003 and soon thereafter relo-
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cated to Hancock, NY – a small town she describes as away from the livelihood of the city. While she struggled with the courage to forge ahead, her family and friends banded together to become a wall of support. Her mother Grace, for one, refused to let her give up on her talents. In the summer of 2011 while visiting, AmW completed a painting requested by her mother – a painting that, looking back, tells more stories that can be painted on a single canvas. “Upon completion, she strongly encouraged me to sell my work. My mother has always encouraged us to strive for a better life, a better education, to pursue our goals and dreams, etc. Being a single mother of three, she invested so much time and effort in us. I considered what she said. I moved on to my next painting which was a custom piece for my friend Collin,” she recalled. “He wasn't sure what he wanted but he knew that he wanted something from my heart. I grabbed my sketch pad and began to think. I was thinking so hard, that my mind became clogged. So I decided to start with the small sketch and just let my brush flow from there.” It led to one of her noted and popular pieces titled, Life Journey. The more she shared her work, the more her friends urged her to do something with it. In October 2011 during a conversation with her friend Frederick Madison, things began to come together and solidify. “We are always exchanging thoughts and ideas. I told him that if I was
going to get serious about starting a business, I needed a business name. He immediately threw out some really great names and we were emailing each other back and forth. I loved all his suggestions. Some even sounded like art exhibit names rather than business names. With some research I found that most of his suggestions had already been taken or similar. I wanted a name that was unique, so I looked into putting the business name in a different language. “Estetika (S-ta-tika) is Indonesian for the word 'aesthetic' which means beautiful. It is also spelled the same way deriving from a Latin background (S-te-tika). AmW are my initials which those close to me call me or AM Dubb. So I added that on to the business name. Ultimately, the business name means exposing beautiful artwork to the world.” But just as AmW is ready to bring that art to the world in full force, she is entering a less than ideal business climate. “I think with any business there is a challenge with marketing yourself. In a time of economic downfall I've been told that it will be difficult selling art. I've made note of this but, haven't allowed it to stop me or shut me down because the fact of the matter is,
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putting the I in believe
i f consumers want a product they will find the monies to buy it.” IBISWorld analysts say she’s right. According to creativesatworkblog.com, “A recent report from IBISWorld estimates that the Online Art Sales industry in the U.S. was worth about $287.5 million in 2011. This figure includes the sale of original or limited-edition artwork through online galleries, online auctions, online art fairs, and online art dealing and trading.”
S o c i a l media has also been a beneficial outlet for her. A photographer in Japan purchased pieces after catching wind of it on Twitter. “Before I knew it I was shipping off three paintings to Tokyo, Japan. After I shipped off the paintings I had this indescribable feeling but it was most certainly joy. Even reflecting on it now, it really brings tears to my eyes,” AmW admits. “It’s amazing to have others believe in you and to share it on an international level is amazing. I also have supporters in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, Africa.” She’s full of gratitude, shouting out those who have believed in her when she didn’t believe in
herself. She fires off their names rapidly before returning to talking about her journey: “Through strong support and encouragement from my husband and family, as well as friends Edward Caudle, Frederick Madison, Collin James, Quiana Lee, Tara Walker, Philishia Cooley, AJ Baymon … I was able to find the courage to go along on this journey which by thus far has been nothing less than amazing.” Her portfolio continues to expand with book covers, logo design, custom orders and art exhibits. She said the ball is “really rolling forward.” She is content with taking it day by day and letting the world inspire her. “Inspiration ranges from random thoughts or images that pop up in my mind. I'll sketch it down and go back to it later to see what type of painting will result from it. Music, colors, smells, traveling to different places whether long distance or short distance can bring inspiration,” AmW added. “I'm also discovering how to just pick up the paintbrush and let it flow. All of this comes from God and I'm humbly appreciative for the talent He has given me.”
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Nation’s largest breast reconstruction practice joins ASPS in supporting "Breast Cancer Patient Education Act" PRMA Plastic Surgery, joins The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) in supporting H.R. 5937, the "Breast Cancer Patient Education Act” –– a bipartisan bill that would require that breast cancer patients be informed of the availability and coverage of all breast reconstruction, prostheses and other options.
tice that specializes in breast cancer reconstruction, we are very excited and encouraged to see HR 5937.” He said, “We believe all women with breast cancer should be well informed concerning all aspects of their treatment options, including reconstruction. We applaud all those who introduced this legislation.”
The bill would require the secretary of Health and Human Services to implement an education campaign to inform breast cancer patients about their options related to breast reconstruction.
PRMA has performed over 4,000 flap surgeries which use the patient’s own tissue to recreate a more “natural” reconstruction than breast implants. However, even with so many procedures being performed, most breast cancer patients are not fully aware of their breast reconstruction options since referrals to reconstructive plastic surgeons are not routinely offered. PRMA surgeons believe that this is because many of the doctors that treat breast cancer are not aware of the latest reconstructive options. Educating the doctors involved in all aspects of breast cancer treatment is therefore also crucial to increasing patient access to reconstruction.
Women would be informed that: • Breast reconstruction is possible at the same time as mastectomy (breast removal surgery) and that • It can also be delayed until after other treatments • Women can choose to have prostheses or breast forms instead of reconstructive surgery • Federal law mandates insurance coverage of breast reconstruction Dr. Steven Pisano, plastic surgeon with PRMA Plastic Surgery – the largest breast cancer reconstruction practice in the U.S. -- said, “As a prac-
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"The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act will get the best information in the hands of women and their families to empower them in making the best choice for their care," said ASPS President Malcolm Z. Roth, MD. "Knowledge is power. Federal law has long required coverage
for reconstruction and prostheses and no woman should be denied the right to choose the care they need just because they were not aware of their choices." According to the ASPS, “Since 1998, health plans that offer breast cancer coverage have been required to provide coverage for breast reconstruction and prostheses. However, only 33 percent of eligible women with breast cancer undergo breast reconstruction, and published research shows that nearly 70 percent of women are not informed of their care options.” Insurance companies are mandated by federal law to pay for reconstruction. Procedures covered include DIEP flap, SIEA flap, GAP flap, TUG flap, TRAM flap and breast implant reconstruction in all breast cancer patients who have had mastectomies (if the mastectomy is covered). Insurance companies must also cover surgery on the opposite breast to achieve reasonable breast symmetry. About 226,870 women will be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2012, according to the American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States.
Business owners can profit with demographic targeting In order for their marketing to be effective, entrepreneurs need to target the specific customers (and potential customers) who will produce the best results for their business. This is according to Dave Lavinsky, President and co-founder of leading entrepreneurial firm, Growthink Inc. “No company, no matter how big their budget, can afford to spend precious marketing dollars on too wide of a group of people. You just can't be everything to everyone,” said Lavinsky. However, Lavinsky believes that entrepreneurs can create fast and cost-effective growth by identifying their core customers and focusing all marketing activities on them - attracting them, selling to them, and providing the right customer support and retention. “This doesn't necessarily mean to focus on customers who buy the most, though that is the most important criteria in a top customer. There are also the "Influencers" who are the most vocal or respected, and spread the word about you to others - very valuable, even if they don't buy more than other customers.” To identify top customers, Lavinsky advises business owners to look at sales receipts or customer information to see who has made the most purchases, or the largest dollar amounts. And then to sort out the 20% of customers who have bought the most over time, and that is then the target group to which a business will want to focus their marketing efforts on. Lavinsky goes onto advise business owners to gather whatever other information they have about these customers and see what they have in common. “While every customer is different, you'll notice there are certain trends and common characteristics among your target customers,” he said. According to Lavinsky, the easiest and most important information to gather is their basic demographic information. This includes basic facts: • Age • Race • Gender • City/Zip Code And also some less apparent information: • Income
• Occupation • Marital status • Children Lavinsky uses an example to describe how a business can use customer demographics for highly targeted marketing campaigns. “Suppose you're going through your list of top customers and find that the majority are married women in their thirties who live within 5 miles of your store,” said Lavinsky. According to Lavinsky, this information could be used in the following ways: 1. “Running ads on Facebook that only appear for women, age 30-39, within your city or town. By knowing this information you won't have to pay for clicks and traffic from people who are less likely to buy.” 2. “Using signs, flyers, or some other kind of print advertising just within the 5-mile radius of your store.” 3. “Running an offer that specifically appeals to younger married women; for example, an offer to bring in one's husband and receive a discount, if this is applicable to what you do.” 4. “Selecting photos for your ads of people who closely match your target customers.” 5. “Using direct mail to target potential customers. Chances are the 5-mile radius around your store is all in 1-2 zip codes. This information is very helpful if you're doing a direct mail promotion. Why spend $.50-$1.00 or more per person if they're not as likely to respond, purchase, or love you?” 6. “Finding out where these women congregate and then going there or sponsoring and event. For example, if you determine that most of your target customers belong to the local PTA (Parent Teacher Association), sponsor a PTA meeting or event.” 7. “Designing your store's appearance and layout with these women in mind. Your store would probably be colorful, aesthetically pleasing, and perhaps "hipper" and less formal than if most of your visitors were Baby Boomers.” 8. “Conducting research to learn what has been discovered about these women's preferences. Did you know there have been tests showing that women prefer ovals over squares, or purple over red? This information would be very useful when creating a logo, designing your store's outside and inside, and all of your promotional materials.”
According to Lavinsky, the sheer volume of ways that this information is used is the reason why big companies spend a lot of money on market research and surveys, and ask this information of customers when they buy online. “The more you know about them, the better marketing decisions you can make,” he said. To help businesses gather this information for themselves, Lavinsky advises entrepreneurs to start with what they know. If a business is interacting with customers face-toface, then they know their gender and can guess their ages. The sales receipts will probably reveal customer addresses for the city and zip code. Information from business cards and memory can then be put on file as a more formal profile is established. “Then, start collecting their information” says Lavinsky. “The best way to do this is to ask for it! Have a jar on your counter for business cards and a drawing/raffle. Or hand them a short survey form to fill out with 5-8 questions.” Lavinsky also suggests to use online surveys with SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, or Zoomerang, and then promote the web address where people can fill it out. “Then take your findings and summarize them on one page, for easy reference,” says Lavinsky. “Make this profile a quick snapshot to reference that will represent them, rather than going about your marketing haphazardly, or in a less focused manner.” According to Lavinsky, executing these ideas will shed light on exactly whom the company is working hard to serve, and will aid the entrepreneur in their efforts to find more of them and treat them the way they want to be treated. “Otherwise, it's ‘Round peg...meet Square Hole’.”
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Nawal El Saadawi
Egyptian activist and author Nawal El Saadawi named as patron of Women’s Views on News The writer and activist Nawal El Saadawi, who has spoken out for women’s rights throughout her long career has become the patron of women’s news site, Women’s Views on News. Exiled several times from her native Egypt, El Saadawi’s books have been banned and she has been imprisoned, yet she has continued to speak out for women’s rights and democracy, equality, and human rights. Her support for Women’s Views on News reflects her conviction that alternative platforms are needed to allow otherwise marginalised voices to be heard. Opposed to neo colonial intervention on the spurious grounds that it will result in an improvement in women’s rights, El Saadawi nonetheless believes that women should work together internationally. Arrested and imprisoned for publicly criticising President Anwar Sadat’s policies in 1981, El Saadawi was forced to leave Egypt to teach in the USA in 1988 after her name appeared on a fundamentalist death list following the publication of her novel The Fall of the Imam. El Saadawi has published over 45 books that have been translated into over 30 languages.
Her most famous, Woman at Point Zero, was published in Beirut in 1973. Her 1977 book, The Hidden Face of Eve was the first to be translated into English in 1980. Her most recent novel, Zeina, was published in 2011 and she is currently working on a new one. She holds more than ten honorary doctorates from different universities in Europe and the USA and has won many prizes and awards including the Great Minds of the Twentieth Century Prize in 2003 and the The Stig Dagerman Award, 2012. “I have more in common with women who support Women’s Views on News than I do with women in Egypt who seem intent on restricting women’s rights,” says El Saadawi. “I am very happy to be patron of this project because I admire what it does.” Alison Clarke, founder and editor of Women’s Views on News said: “We’re thrilled that Nawal El Saadawi has given us her support. It’s vital that we hear and listen to the voices of women, particularly those who are marginalised and persecuted just because they’re women. We look forward to working with her to help change the face and the voice of the news”.
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The Fab Four
Meet four women from across the country celebrating their entrepreneurial spirits. Brenda Baxter BBRAXTON Brenda Braxton is full of energy. The native New Yorker, a performer at heart, made a name for herself starring on Broadway in “Smokey Joe’s Café” (earning a TONY nomination along the way) and “Chicago,” among others. Her enthusiasm is contagious, so it’s no wonder that passion for life led Braxton to take on a new endeavor. A discussion with her husband about men’s grooming prompted Braxton to fill what she saw as a void… a lack of professional grooming for men of color. Fueled by her entrepreneurial spirit, Braxton took a short break from performing and used her own funds to open BBRAXTON, an upscale men’s salon on 116th street in Harlem. With features like a relaxation room, manicurist, fresh flowers, a full bar, pampering shaves and stylists specializing in locks and braids, BBRAXTON transcends the traditional idea of a barbershop. “I was as passionate about this as I had been for theater,” she says. “It’s not just a barbershop, it’s a lifestyle.” Slowly, others adopted the lifestyle. The men of Harlem embraced the salon, and the clientele now spans all ages, including businessmen, recording artists, and athletes who fill the salon on a day-today basis. The evolution of BBRAXTON didn’t come without its challenges. After a few successful years at the salon, the economy crashed and the performer’s personal life went through a shake-up. The combination Desk of the trials forced Braxton to close the salon’s doors. “In one year, I got divorced, sold my brownstone, had to
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put my dog to sleep, and closed the shop,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘God, why is this happening? Things have been going so well, and everything just crashed in on me.” Braxton made the heartbreaking decision to close the salon’s doors in the 2009, but she knew it wasn’t the end. Throughout the struggles of that year, Braxton realized the importance of her faith. She surrounded herself with positive, spiritual people and cleared out the negativity from her life. “I needed to shed some of the things that were more of an obstacle for me.” Braxton says. She also learned one of her most important lessons… ask for help. Help came with the addition of a new investor, and BBRAXTON reopened its doors in grand style in January 2011. Business is good, and Braxton calls the salon her “number one priority, every single day.” She also has big dreams for the future of men’s grooming. “I
would love to see a BBRAXTON in every city, even internationally,” she says. Braxton is currently looking for investors for an Atlanta salon, her first goal. She shows no intent of slowing down anytime soon. Ever the performer, she’s back in the theater and particularly excited about to the August opening of “Cougar: The Musical,” a musical comedy about women with a taste for younger men at Manhattan’s St. Luke’s Theater. Despite rigorous rehearsal schedules, Braxton is still a major presence at the Harlem salon, and more than satisfied with the lifestyle she’s created for herself. “I’m going to be 56 years old,” she says, “And I’m so proud of myself that I’ve stayed in good health and in good spirits.” The importance of a healthy body and soul is the most important piece of advice Braxton has for women who may follow in her footsteps. “Keep yourself healthy, be faithful, and let go of baggage that you don’t need…negative people in your life who tend to be naysayers,” she says. Braxton explains that others notice a person who takes care of herself, and a sense of perseverance comes along with that. “There were days when I had no more than ten dollars in my pocket, but when I hit the streets, nobody would ever know,” she says. “The better you look and feel, the more you’re going to keep going.” BBRAXTON is located at 116th St and Fifth Avenue in NYC. www.bbraxton.com
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the fab four
Barbi Galindo Luv 2 Lounge Barbi Galindo’s business started with a birthday gift. When the California resident thought of what to give a friend on her special day, she decided to take the handmade approach. Galindo put her creative juices to work, designing and sewing a pair of pajamas to give to a friend over lunch. After Galindo’s friend opened (and loved) the gift, the ladies left the package out on the table. Soon, several women passing by stopped to admire the pajamas. A light bulb went off in Galindo’s head. “I wanted to see what I could do with that,” she says. Inspired by vintage styles and innovative patterns, Galindo started Luv 2 Lounge, designing pajamas, aprons, shower caps, and accessories reflective of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Made with soft fabrics and detailed stitching, Galindo creates products she assures will brighten up relaxation time. For the entrepreneur who has a background in outside sales, it was a way to explore a different talent. “I’ve always had this creative outlet that I wasn’t able to utilize,” she says. Galindo got the word out by doing local shows, getting involved in fairs, churches, and schools, and then ultimately focusing on the wholesale market with one of her best-selling products, shower caps. A team of seamstresses helps with sewing, and all work is done in the U.S. Galindo says the most challenging thing about starting Luv 2 Lounge was realizing what
Babycakes she didn’t know. “There’s so much to Chemise know in business,” she says. “Branding Lounge is important, knowing your market, Wear learning about fit…” Her lessons have certainly paid off. Galindo’s sold over 7,000 shower caps alone, and is looking forward to launching a 1940s oldHollywood-style resort wear and lingerie line, inspired by the likes of Grace Kelly, Betty Davis, and Joan Crawford, this fall. The designer is also collaborating with Ann Taylor on an upcoming fashion show for “Women Helping Women” a nonprofit for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. As Luv 2 Lounge continues to grow, Galindo keeps in mind one of the most important components of entrepreneurship - understanding that decisions are a reflection of the person making them. “No matter what you're doing in business, everyone is an extension of you,” she says. “If customers see you, always dressed well, and you are presented in a way that looks like you are taken care of, why wouldn't you do that with your product? People who value what you do are going to be there for the long-term.” Luv2Lounge.com
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the fab four
Ayako Igari vlv style Ayako Igari has a penchant for traveling, and hoped to channel her enthusiasm for exploring into a business that captured the spirit of her outlook. The 28-year-old, originally from Tokyo, always enjoyed visiting new places. An opportunity to travel abroad after her college graduation led her to experience several new cultures (bringing her “countries visited” total to a whopping 36). Over the course of her journey, she kept her ultimate outlook of savoring great moments consistent… “viva la vida” or “live the life!” When Igari returned home to Seattle, she decided to pursue a goal she always wanted to achieve… create her own t-shirt line. Vlv style was born. Eager to get started, Igari dove right in, reaching out to t-shirt companies and graphic designers. She grew from mistakes along the way as she built her brand, “I didn’t take the proper in making a business plan,” she says, “I started with a lot of inventory, not realizing that it’s hard to sell t-shirts in a saturated market.” Through a multitude of marketing events, Igari
learned one of her most important lessons: don’t be afraid to ask questions. “Reaching out to people in your business is key,” Igari says. “There are other people who are established entrepreneurs and really want to help you out.” Vlv has grown steadily, and Igari’s next challenge is getting her line in more stores (she currently sells online and at retailers in the Seattle area), while working full time as an academic coach for a youth basketball team. Igari also realizes that an important part of being a positive inspiration is a sense of social concern. When a close friend’s mother underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer, Igari decided to dedicate a line of vlv style t-shirts to breast cancer awareness. “I saw girls who were being so strong for their whole family,” Igaria says of her friend and her sister. “It inspired me to give back.” A portion of the proceeds from the pink ribbon edition t-shirts benefit Komen for the Cure. The special line fits in perfectly with her motto. “My ultimate goal, she says, “is to inspire young women to be their best by living their life fully.” T-shirts ($23) and tanks ($24) are available at vlvstyle.com
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the fab four
Rebecca Jean Alonzi Rebecca Jean Catering Rebecca Jean Alonzi knows her way around a kitchen. Involved in food service since she was 14 years old, Alonzi ran the gamut of jobs: fine dining server, back of the house in a Michelinstarred restaurant, line cook, demo-girl, and private chef. When some of her loyal clientele pursued her to cater events, she embraced the challenge and started Rebecca Jean Catering, now one of San-Francisco’s fastest-growing catering organizations. Alonzi started solo, and cooked first out of her own kitchen, enlisting the help of her neighbors’ refrigerators and ovens. She started by booking weeklong lunch jobs for a local company, and business began to blossom. When Alonzi faced $30,000 in sales in one month, she realized it was time to own her own kitchen space. She hired her first employee in Spring 2010, then her second. “Now, we are almost 25 employees strong!” Alonzi says, and Rebecca Jean Catering has grown over 300% as a company in both daily lunch and event sales. Alonzi is perhaps the best example of her own advice, “be willing to work hard.” When she began her business, Alonzi would wake up at 6am, cook for a few hours, deliver lunch, come home, wash dishes for 2 hours, work as a private chef until 8pm, go food shopping, prep product and menus for the following day, and then complete her homework (she was still in college at the time). “It's your vision, your dream,” she explains. “I'm not saying sleep deprivation is the key to success…in fact, probably the opposite is true… but it helps to have an ‘all or nothing
attitude. If you don't have a vision that is solidly grounded in your own hard-work, you'll be susceptible to the whim of what others say and you'll question yourself.” Alonzi credits the continuing success of her business to the help of dedicated employees. “I have an awesome team of strong, hardworking women and men who support me everyday in producing beautiful product and upholding some very high standards of productivity and service.” Alonzi says. But that doesn’t mean she lets herself get comfortable. “There is always something to be improved upon,” she explains, “when we've been in business for 20+ years like some of the catering greats, then I can pat myself on the back and say, ‘Okay, we're here,’ until then, it's hard work and dedication to meet and beat our latest challenge.” www.RebeccaJeanCatering.com.
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Infertile women suffering from PCOS use expert via social media to finally become pregnant By Dr. Rebecca Harwin
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“My partner and I had been trying to fall pregnant for the past 3.5 years with no luck. I came across Dr. Harwin’s page and decided to follow her tips and advice. Now I am pregnant. I never thought it would happen, especially naturally,” reveals Tennille Brownsey, who is due this November.
become parents for years, without luck, until, she discovered Dr. Harwin’s Facebook page. “I am thrilled to help women suffering from PCOS, like Tennille, to better understand their condition, boost their fertility and increase their chances of becoming a mom,” Dr. Harwin said. “There is a lot that can be done naturally, which is why I wrote ‘Conquer Your PCOS Naturally.’”
Dr. Rebecca Harwin helps infertile woman suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) to become pregnant naturally through her Facebook page, Conquer Your PCOS (www.facebook.com/ConquerYourPCOS).
She understands how tough it can be, having previously suffered with this syndrome herself. After overcoming each of the signs and symptoms and gaining the upper hand, she is excited to share what she knows with other women.
More than 11% of women worldwide suffer the potentially debilitating syndrome Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. A significant cause of pain for many women with this syndrome is an inability to become, and/or stay, pregnant. In fact, 90 to 95% of women attending infertility clinics for anovulatory infertility suffer from PCOS. Tennille Brownsey was one such lady. Her story of struggle is sadly a common one. Tennille and her partner had been trying desperately to
In addition to teaching women how to encourage ovulation and pregnancy, Dr. Harwin’s comprehensive book shows PCOS sufferers how to reduce their risk of miscarriage, and even explains how to reduce the risk of passing PCOS on to their future female children. For more information visit, www.ConquerYourPCOSNaturally.com.
Phinkit is a brand new social multimedia experience hinkit is a brand new social multimedia experience. Site members, or 'Phinkers', are able to discover, create and share all the things they care about. Not only can it act as a point of creation for all your social media content, you can also bring your messages to life by easily adding images and video content. Founder Martin Lucas looks upon Phinkit as, "Your social media controller. Why struggle to divide your time trying to get noticed across multiple sites, when you can do everything in one place and let Phinkit do the rest for you?". Value is what sets Phinkit apart; where other
sites focus on numbers, Phinkit is entirely about purpose. The site has a sense of vibrancy that acts as the icebreaker to get people interacting and exploring business opportunities in a relaxed way. There's even the BFF, your Business Friend Forever. This inbuilt creative support service is run by real people that not only understand successful business, but have very creative minds. The BFF is there to help everyone get the most value from the site. Importantly, Phinkit enables people to put their personality behind their business and get heard above the noise. Discover Phinkit at http://www.phinkit.com.
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Building bridges, building relationships, building businesses here shows our employer to be open to what the employees have to say in regards to employment issues, concerns and how we can make our workplace a better place. Not to mention, ERG’s have proved to significantly improve productivity and job retention, but it was the community involvement that really opened my eyes to what type of organization Baystate really represented and that was the passion for me. Not only did it show our employer as being compassionate and honest about what it’s set to do for the community, but also in the eyes of those that we serve, it enhances our external image; promoting overall brand recognition while establishing BH as an employer of choice; thus building a better business.
As the internal relationships began to strengthen, the external image began to shine brighter. Partnering up with various organizations like American Cancer Society, American Heart & Stroke Associations only helped enhance our services and allowed us to provide additional resources to our patients. Networking with our neighboring organizations has helped foster an environment of inclusion; highlighting the work that we’ve done in the community shows the diversity of the organization. Recently we were able to be apart of an annual celebration of community coming together and awareness being shared. We understood that in order to be most effective with education and
awareness for patients and the community to focus on health equity, we have to meet them where they are and help achieve their overall health goals to have a better quality of life. Connecting Healthy Community programs to Baystate, sharing information, best practices and technology to build a better and stronger brand is what it is all about, and I’m happy to have been a part of this process here at Baystate. Being a bridge that helps to build relationships will help any business and/or organization take their business to the next level. It’s a simple formula that wields great results; it’s just in how you apply it to your business as an entrepreneur and business owner.
Mara Hunter, 32, is a multi-talented individual with the gift to create expressive pieces. This single mother of three is a native of Springfield, MA via Jacksonville, FL. She’s a Freelance Writer, Staff Music Journalist for Total Eclipse Magazine, Contributing Writer for Lioness Magazine, as well as a poet and dancer. Visit www.MaraHunter.blogspot.com.
Visionary and lauded business accelerator Michelle Patterson is CEO of EventComplete—a full service event management company. She also serves as Executive Director of the largest women’s symposium in North America: the California Women’s Conference (www.californiawomensconference.com) that has featured the First Lady Michelle Obama, former First Lady Laura Bush, Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, and others. Michelle may be reached online at www.eventcomplete.com.
Why presidential candidates need to secure the working woman's vote By Michelle Patterson While presidential candidates often spend considerable time courting the minority vote, they might be better served looking at a majority that is rapidly gaining considerable economic power in this country. And, that new majority is women who are now outnumbering men in the workforce and are the primary purchase decision-makers in the homes across America. In 2006, a database was developed that measured the economic and political power of women in 162 countries, and the conclusion was the greater the power of women, the greater the country’s economic success (Rosin). That’s a pretty compelling reason to consider what’s on women’s minds and how they, as candidates, can respond in a way that will secure their votes.
tives and grants to start new businesses allows them to contribute, support their families, and raise their children at the same time. • Providing adequate – and affordable – access to health care. Already a hot button issue in the campaign and over the course of the last few years with the Affordable Health Care Act, more emphasis needs to be placed among the candidates about how they plan to address proper health care for children and women, including proper coverage during pregnancy and child birth.
As major contributors to the economy and having the all-important role of bringing up the next generation, women have some pretty strong opinions that need to be addressed by candidates. In speaking for other women like me who balance careers and home, we have a long list of key criteria that defines the presidential candidate we seek:
• Opening up opportunities in critical fields that will guide this country’s future success, including science, math, and technology where women are still poorly represented. Whether this means showing how a candidate will restructure and fund education to introduce new curriculums geared toward encouraging girls to consider new careers never thought possible, such a fighter pilot or software developer, or it involves incentivizing companies to nurture female talent, candidates need to show they are focused on helping women diversify.
• Creating opportunities for female entrepreneurs – as a major driver to helping the economy recover, female entrepreneurs have great business ideas that can stimulate spending among female consumers not to mention generate new jobs and taxable revenue. They are truly the new captains of industry, setting up creative companies and offering products and services that today’s consumer wants. Providing women with incen-
• Increasing female representation in government. By acknowledging and backing female candidates for government positions by giving them the tools and resources to compete, a candidate can illustrate that they want the female vote in the next election. In order to accomplish this, presidential candidates first have to view women in government as their partners and advisors who have already shown the ability to lead organiza-
tions and get the job done when called on to do so. Women in government could play an integral role because they have first-hand knowledge of the most important demographic in the workforce and in the consumer market – that is, of course, women. Political candidates might want to consider the following statistics. For example, women compromise 47% of total U.S. workforce -- that’s 66 million women in across the country. Women are projected to account for 57% of the increase in the total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018. On the consumer and business spending front in the U.S., women’s spending power totals $7 trillion. For political candidates in the presidential race, they’ve got to see where there bread is being buttered. • Equalizing the pay rates for equal work. This is a key issue that, if appropriately addressed by the presidential candidates, may get women’s attention and potentially their vote. As it stands now, Caucasian women make 85 cents on the dollar compared to men in similar fields and positions – minority women face an even larger gap. Given the fact that women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in the U.S. during early 2010, it would seem as though they should be rewarded for their talent and ability to contribute ideas and productivity that helps rebuild the economy and stimulate future economic growth. That’s our agenda, Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney. Now, it’s time to show us how you are going to win our all-important votes.
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Springfield, Mass. student refuses to let mother nature-- break her stride By Jaclyn C. Stevenson For four years, Elise Guillen, a recent graduate of Cathedral High School in Springfield, Mass., gradually pieced together the art portfolio she hoped would gain her acceptance into the art school of her choice. With careful precision, she completed oil and acrylic paintings and a painstaking self-portrait collage. She compiled sketches and illustrations to show the diversity of her talents, and started new projects to portray her drive to learn and progress as an artist. “With every brush stroke I make, I learn how my mind visualizes the world around me and how that transfer from mind to canvas defines the artist that I am,” Elise said. This passion continued to fuel her determination without fail until June 1, 2011 – a day that started like any other school day for Elise and her classmates. The weather was hazy, and thoughts of summer vacation were beginning to form in students’ minds. At approximately 4:20 p.m., however, the sky turned an ominous green and treetops started to quiver nervously. Before long, a sound like a freight train rang in people’s ears. A tornado in Springfield, Mass.? Impossible, thought residents. No way. But it happened – taking a diagonal route at up to 160 miles per hour that cut across an already beleaguered city. It was a force of nature that was once just the stuff of movies for most stout New Englanders. It only took two minutes for the tornado to dev-
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astate Cathedral High School, closing its doors to students and staff indefinitely. It cleared hallways, toppled classrooms, and peeled bits of the roof away like the layers of an onion. It also destroyed Elise’s art portfolio in its entirety – a body of work that represented years of work and, in effect, her ticket to college. Many students would have given up at that point – perhaps pleaded for mercy as they mailed their college applications, made excuses for unfinished work, or even delayed their plans for higher education. Elise only allowed herself a little bit of time to mourn. The tornado didn’t destroy her talent, her drive, or her love for art – it took paper and ink. Choosing to see the destruction left in the tornado’s wake as a challenge, not an ending, Elise embarked on a new journey with renewed resolve. “I had to deal with an aspiring art student's worst nightmare,” she says, “recreating my entire art portfolio from scratch.” In her own words, Elise said she simply “decided to buckle down,” and set out to create just as many new pieces of art as she had lost. Her perseverance caught the attention of the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts and its scholarship committee, which each year recognizes a graduating high school senior in western Mass. who intends to pursue a career in marketing and communications. While every applicant showed potential, it was Elise’s incredible determination to overcome adversity that set her apart. Barbara Perry, a
Jaclyn Stevenson is a freelance writer and Director of Public Relations and Social Media for Winstanley Partners, a creative agency in Lenox, Mass. She is a current board member of the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts.
member of the Ad Club’s Scholarship Committee, said her positive attitude and proven record of hard work were just two of the qualities that led to her being chosen for the 2012 Communications Scholarship. “What initially caught my attention with Elise was her personal account of what happened to her art portfolio as a result of the June 1 tornado,” Perry said. “She inspired me with her ability to turn this tragedy into an opportunity to develop a better and stronger portfolio.” Elise didn’t just relegate herself to the pursuit of finishing her art portfolio, either. She made time to volunteer for Tornado Relief Services, the East Longmeadow Library, and the Holyoke Soup Kitchen during her senior year. In the end, Elise’s story became one of determination, hard work, and belief in one’s own abilities. A year after Cathedral closed its doors, she donned her cap and gown to graduate with honors. Along with 112 classmates at St. Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Springfield, she accepted her diploma knowing she’d done everything she could to achieve her goals. She also knew she’d been accepted Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) in Boston, where she will begin classes in the fall. There’s a certain gusto surrounding Elise now. She is growing into a young force of life in her own right, facing the winds of change head on with her feet planted firmly on the ground. “I feel that I am more than prepared to accept and conquer any more life challenges that are blown my way,” she said. “I look forward to this exhilarating upcoming chapter in my life.”
Three things that can affect your chances of getting a job Whether you are a new graduate or recently unemployed, competition remains fierce in the current job market. Things you may never guess could be eliminating you as a candidate. Are you making some major interview mistakes without even knowing it? In fact, your first impression may be eliminating you as a candidate before you even get started. To put your best foot forward, avoid these critical mistakes: Mistake: Unprofessional online presence In today's modern world where sharing personal information happens 24/7/365 on the Internet, it's very important to monitor your online presence when applying for jobs. That means even before you submit a resume, you should do an Internet search on your name to see the results, update your social media pages, and make sure your activity on photo and video sites is appropriate. Start by cleaning up your online profiles, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Delete inactive accounts and update the privacy settings on current ones. With Facebook's recent timeline switch, it's important to look back at old activity, since the new format makes it simple to see information even from years ago. Inappropriate posts, photos or videos from you or your contacts can be enough to land your resume in the trash. In a tough job market, employers want responsible, trustworthy employees, or at the very least, some-
one who can keep their personal life out of the public domain. Mistake: Not smiling and crooked teeth Nearly one-third of Americans say the first aspect of someone's face they typically notice is his or her teeth, according to a recent Kelton study. Teeth also influence perceptions regarding an individual's potential for professional and financial success. The study found that, when looking at images, Americans perceive those with straight teeth to be 45 percent more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a job when competing against someone with a similar skill set and experience. The importance of a nice smile and straight teeth cannot be overlooked when trying to get a job. A smile can convey friendliness, and having straight teeth can project trustworthiness, success, wealth and more. Given the emphasis placed on straight teeth, it may be worth investing in an increasingly popular treatment option for adults and teens such as Invisalign. These clear aligners straighten teeth like metal braces, yet are nearly invisible, more comfortable, and make maintaining good hygiene simple because they are removable. "In recent years I've had many patients requesting Invisalign treatment to straighten their teeth so that they have an edge in the job market," says Dr. Ken Fischer in Villa Park, CA. "My job-seeking adult patients really appreciate being able to improve their smile without 'railroad tracks' on their teeth. This is a worthwhile investment
because straight teeth help give you confidence. A healthy, beautiful smile always makes a positive first impression." Mistake: Bad posture and body language During an interview, it's not just your experience and answers to questions that gets noticed. Within the first few minutes of an interview, your body language provides many different cues to the hiring manager. Every interview is stressful, but how you respond to this stress gives the interviewer a taste of how you perform under pressure and how you may conduct yourself as a future employee. Be confident, yet relaxed. Remember to make eye contact and have good posture. If you have a briefcase, purse or jacket, find an appropriate place to put them, not on your lap. Don't cross your arms or hide your hands, it makes you appear passive and nervous. Gestures can be a good way to convey your enthusiasm for the job, but don't overdo it. Practice makes perfect, so run through the interview process with someone in advance and have him or her critique your nonverbal cues. You might have a nervous tic or other bad habit of which you're not even aware. Avoiding these mistakes and heeding advice like updating your online profiles and straightening your teeth with Invisalign will help you make a great first impression, opening the door for your experience and skills to truly take the spotlight. ARA Content
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Younger entrepreneurs are confident in future profitability
ccording to the third-quarter Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index, released today by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and LegalZoom, expectations for the U.S. economy declined overall, but there is a significant optimism gap between older entrepreneurs and those between the ages of 18 and 40. Almost 40 percent of startup owners now believe the economy will deteriorate over the next 12 months, an increase from 36 percent in the second-quarter survey and 31 percent in the firstquarter survey. Entrepreneurs’ who were somewhat confident in future profitability fell from 43 percent in second quarter to 40 percent in the third-quarter survey, and those who lacked confidence in improved profitability edged up from 18 percent to 21 percent. However, 98 percent of the 18- to 30-year-olds and 83 percent of the 31- to 40-year-olds are
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confident or very confident that their businesses will realize greater profitability in the next 12 months. “Entrepreneurs require persistence and fortitude,” said John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom. “It is encouraging to see that nearly 100 percent of younger entrepreneurs are confident in their future profitability, and this conviction has not been affected by the current economic climate.” “While overall confidence has fallen, it is encouraging that these businesses have decided to start up in the first place even amid continuing uncertainty over the macro-economy,” said Dane Stangler, director of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. Thirty-nine percent of entrepreneurs reported being very confident in future profitability, which stayed constant from the second quarter. Entrepreneurs are also becoming increasingly pessimistic about consumer demand. In the most recent survey, one-third said they expect moder-
ate to significant deterioration in consumer demand in the next 12 months – 6 percent more than in the second-quarter survey and 8 percent more than in the first-quarter survey. Thirty percent of startup owners said they plan to hire additional staff in 2012, a slight decrease from 33 percent in the March survey. The Kauffman Foundation sponsored the survey in conjunction with LegalZoom, the nation’s leading provider of online legal document services and legal plans to young companies. The findings are based on 698 responses to a nationwide, June 2012 survey distributed via email to LegalZoom customers who formed their entities within the last 12 months. The Startup Confidence Index is conducted quarterly to gauge entrepreneurial confidence. The next survey will be conducted in October 2012. The 16 percent of small business owners who applied for loans or lines of credit in the last year remained unchanged from the previous study.
Downshift your career for a more fulfilling life When 60-plus-hour weeks, expensive professional suits and excessive stress become too much, many high-powered professionals trade in their high-paying careers for a more fulfilling life. Called "downshifting," the move allows former CEOs and company presidents to find more balance between work and life. The phenomenon of downshifting is due in part to generational differences between baby boomers and older generations, says Catherine Mallozzi, director of career services for Everest University in Melbourne, Fla. While older generations saw work as something mandatory - yet not necessarily enjoyable - baby boomers have always believed they deserve fulfilling lives and careers. "When you are stuck in the rat-race trying to climb the ladder to career success, you often have to put so much of your life on hold. You may end up sacrificing time with your family, not giving yourself time outdoors, or putting your hobbies and passions on pause," Mallozzi says. "Downshifting is one way that professionals are redefining their priorities. They recognize that perhaps their new careers won't be as lucrative, but they will be more fulfilling."
Traditional working environments have dramatically changed over the past few decades. These work environments now include part-time, flextime and work-from-home options, giving employees much more flexibility in balancing their interests in life. For example, workers can decline new projects, take on fewer projects or try to change work arrangements. "If you aren't ready for a complete career change, you still have a number of options. For example, bargain for more vacation time instead of that annual raise. Or see if you can work from home or move to part-time work," says Mallozzi. But for some, small changes in the working environment aren't enough. Many wake-up calls can encourage a complete career change. Whether it is the death of a close friend, a divorce, or getting that dreaded pink slip because your company is downsizing, many professionals realize that life is too short to stay in a career that isn't allowing them to enjoy a personal life on the side. For those who might be considering downshifting, it's important to weigh how a career change will alter their lives.
"You have to take your finances into consideration," says Patrick Wehner, business department chairman at Everest University in Tampa. "A lot of planning needs to happen before you make any big changes. Specifically, you need to be thinking about how to meet costs of your insurance, children's education, mortgage payments and retirement savings. That being said, with careful planning, changing careers can be done well and can be incredibly satisfying." In addition to financial planning, downshifting may also require going back to school. "Many downshifters want to open a new business - perhaps a bed and breakfast, or local used book store or massage therapy business," says Wehner. "Starting a new business in something you are passionate about is a great way to find a fulfilling career, but at the same time, you want to make sure you have the knowledge you need to be successful. For example, if you want to become a massage therapist or bed and breakfast owner, you may need to take massage therapy classes, or basic accounting and entrepreneurial courses before making that leap." ARA Content
A million dollar idea It is not easy to turn an idea into a profit, but these women did it. These four women are inspirational tales of success. Sara Blakely, Spanx Doubling as a sales trainer by day and comedian by night, this selfmade entrepreneur decided to step into the pantyhose indust r y . Virtually starting the company with little capital, Sara did everything herself â€“ from writing her own patent to finding a manufacturer. She had no advertising revenue. No sales team - just her, drive and the willingness to show her product to whoever would listen. Saraâ€™s work ethic paid off. Her net worth is $1 billion. Jin Sook Chang, Forever 21 The chain, originally known as Fashion 21, was intended at first mostly for middle-
aged women. The store was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1984 by Do Won Chang and his wife Jin Sook Chang. By the end of the first year sales were reported to have risen from $35,000 to $700,000. Fashion 21 eventually expanded at the rate of a new store every six months and changed the Fashion 21 brand name to its current name, Forever 21. Their net worth worth is approximately $4 billion. Cathy Hughes, TV One Cathy Hughes, born Catherine Elizabeth Woods in Omaha, Nebraska on April 22, 1947, is an entrepreneur, radio and television personality and business executive. Hughes founded the media company Radio One and later expanded into TV One, the company went public in 1998,
making Hughes the first and only AfricanAmerican female to head a publicly traded corporation at the time. Her worth is estimated at $460 million. Margaret Whitman, ebay After taking the helm at ebay, reorganizing and restructuring the company and its brand, Whitman made the company soar. During Whitman's tenure as CEO, eBay completed the purchase of Skype for $4.1B in cash and stock in September 2005. In 2009, Skype was sold by eBay at a valuation of $2.75B. In 2011, Skype was bought by Microsoft for US$8.5. Her personal holdings are valued at $1.6 billion.
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