BUSINESS ASK AN ENTREPRENEUR
7 GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY
12 FEMALE JOB GROWTH
16 BRINGING BACK THE BLUES
5 LIPSTICK CHRONICLES
17 MAKING CENTS
18 MANAGING ME
AN ENTREPRENEUR’S JOURNEY
ISSUE 30 MARCH 2014
Published by The Lioness Group. Founder, Natasha Clark.
Editor-in-Chief Katelyn Gendron Art Director Leo Pilares Director of Photography Denise Smith Columnists Kristina Chapell Aliyah Cherrisse Brendaâ€™s Child Angela Lussier Contributing Writers Erin K. Corriveau Carley Dangona Paige Cerulli Tara McCollum Emily Thurlow
ÂŠ2014 Lioness is the first leading magazine for female entrepreneurs. We believe women are multi-dimensional creations who flourish, personally and professionally, when they take time to nurture their spirits. 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. Our mission is to elevate, educate and support female entrepreneurs.
welcome to editor’s letter Katelyn Gendron
Global perspective shines light on circumstances Have you ever wondered how you could make a living traveling, teaching others about the personal and professional benefits of global exploration? I certainly have! While I may not have figured out how to make my passport work for me, Yasmine Khater, our cover story this month, certainly has. Founder of Transpiral Coaching Programs and b Women Retreats, Khater encourages women to climb the highest mountains (literally) and forge every stream until they make their dreams of success become reality. Our reporter, Erin K. Corriveau, was able to catch up with Khater as she took a break from her globetrotting to give us insight into the world as she sees it – her office! This month’s issue has unintentionally taken a global perspective of sorts thanks to Khater, author Denise Kiernan, and actress/singer Margo Bingham. Kiernan’s latest work, “The Girls of Atomic City,” reveals the untold story of the women who assisted this country’s race for the atomic bomb in Oak Ridge, Tenn., during World War II. Sworn to secrecy, even from one another, they had little to no idea that this makeshift town was the production site for the Manhattan Project, or of the worldwide impact of their work. Bingham brings our issue’s journey to the bright lights of New York City, where her young talent has graced the stage of RENT and the screen on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Reporter Tara McCollum uncovers how this young talent plans to change the landscape of the industry with her unique style. It is my sincere hope that this issue encourages you to take a moment outside of yourself, to daydream, to imagine far off places. The world, after all, is your canvas; you just have to decide how you’ll choose to paint it.
Katelyn LIONESS MARCH 2014
LionessMagazine.com COMING SOON!
Ask an ENTREPRENEUR 1) How long have you been in business? We actually just had our three-year anniversary on March 1, 2014! 2) Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry? Eating well is a life skill! All of us need to eat multiple times a day but we don’t have to see a doctor every day. A high Eating IQ leads to a greater quality of health of life and preventing many diseases. I really believe in the words of Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
3) What makes business/product unique? The business model is unique because we put the patients first, employee second and profit third. Many healthcare facilities put profit first but we strive to put the patient first, customer service is what sets us apart from our competition.
4) You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur? When you are passionate about your work, you want the flexibility and freedom to create your own project and cultivate your own ideas.
5) What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment? Many of my patients use their insurance to pay for their visits. Spending over an hour with the insurance company to discuss why they processed a claim incorrectly is tedious, frustrating and time consuming. I always think it would be really nice to work for a hospital where they have a billing department! Being an entrepreneur is not easy and you have to wear multiple hats but if it was easy then everyone would do it!
6) Every female professional should have ... ingenuity.
7) If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why? Tanya Zuckerbrot, who is also a dietitian who really thinks outside the box! She partnered with an organic food company to create a fiber rich food line and has a strong media presence in TV and publication. 8) What is your business motto? “Let’s Get There Together.”
9) If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be? Be open to risk because every business venture has it. Measure twice and cut once because you will save a lot of money, time, and aggravation. Create a solid support system because you are not going to know it all.
10) Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you? Electronic Medical Record Charting! Eliminates paperwork, big file cabinets and allows multiple users to open a patient chart for seamless patient flow.
11) What is your goal for the next year? I would love to hire two more employees and expand my office space.
12) When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say? They want you to feel empowered about your health and well-being!
Adiana Castro MS, RDN, CDN. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-founder of Compass Nutrition LLC. New York, N.Y. www.mycompassnutrition.com
We’d love to hear from you Send your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
LIONESS MARCH 2014
Khater makes global landscape her office By Erin K. Corriveau
Yasmine Khater, founder of Transpiral Coaching Programs and b Women Retreats, is an ambitious professional and seemingly fearless woman.
The youngest person to be awarded the title of “Top 40 AIESEC Alumni at 40” for her impact on society, she has gone on to receive the Stevie Award for Young Female Women of the Year and the International Alliance of Women’s 2014 World of Difference Award.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” Khater said. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs, but I was always afraid because I was stuck in the things I felt I was expected to do; the things that society told me to do.”
She’s a leader, an inspirational motivator, a goal-oriented woman who is deeply in touch with her feelings and how they lead her life. This, however, was not always the case.
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Half Egyptian and half Singaporean, Khater’s parents met in Saudi Arabia. Her family lived there until she was 10 years old, making the move to Egypt and then spending time in Estonia, Holland, and Canada.
The eldest child, she was very shy, spending most of her time reading. Through her books, she saw a different way of thinking; a different way of doing things. It was also through these books that she discovered the many adventures that she hoped to accomplish one day. One of them was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, which she and a group of women just completed in January of this year. “I love climbing mountains and taking women up on trips with me,” Khater said. “I took five brave women and it’s amazing because a mountain is a great representation of life. If you know where you are going, it’s pretty clear where you need to work to go. Some days are good and some days are bad, but that’s all part of the learning experience.”
To add to her love of reading, Khater discovered art during high school. For six years she painted, even selling several of her pieces. “That was really the first taste of entrepreneurship for me,” she recalled. After painting, she would go on to start a jewelry business for high-end luxury stones. Khater would carry this entrepreneur spirit with her through college where she earned her first award, The Entrepreneurs Award, which also came with $5,000. “You can imagine for an 18 year-old that’s a lot of money,” she exclaimed.
It was also during high school that she found her philanthropic voice. “My mother used to drag my siblings and I to the cancer society to volunteer. It was during one of those trips I started to feel a sense of responsibility to give back,” she said. Tragically, her experience with the cancer
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Yasmine KHATER society would soon hit much too close to home.
When she was just 21 years old, her father was diagnosed with cancer. It was during this time that Khater learned about her emotions and just how strong she could be. With her younger brothers in denial, it was up to her to be the rock; to be there for both her father and her mother.
“For my whole family it was a pivotal point. Taking responsibility really shifted my perspective of what I could and could not do,” she said. “I became incredibly aware that life doesn’t last forever and I wanted to make the best of it.”
When her father passed, Khater got a corporate job in a Fortune 500 company – feeling that this was something she was supposed to do. It wasn’t long before she felt there was more for her, something beyond her daily job. “I found it difficult to find meaning in my work,” Khater recalled.
She became obsessed with understanding fear and purpose. Khater took several years discovering herself and studying fear itself – whether it was an extensive nine-monthlong research of fear, or the fear of starting a business or project and why people use it as an excuse. Last but not least, she studied the fear of not being enough; smart
enough or good enough. “The fears we have can paralyze us and stop us,” she said.
It was through this research that she began an incredible part of her journey as an entrepreneur. “I started to coach individuals, teams and organizations on how they can channel and embrace fear. My research had allowed me to understand myself, how people react and don’t react. It’s not always been easy, there have been good days and there have been a lot of bad days, but that is part of the experience. And that, I think, is the beauty of being an entrepreneur,” she said.
Nurturing this, she became involved in several initiatives, including experimenting with two businesses. This lead to the launch of a social enterprise, Gone Cyclin’, raising $50,000 dollars for women in South East Asia’s poorest country, East Timor. Next up was “Transpiral,” a digital community dedicated to inspiring people from “wondering to wondrous business and lives.” Through “Transpiral,” ambitious professionals and small business owners work towards achieving their dream lifestyle and income, delivering results through small group programs, digital books and high level one-on-one coaching. As with starting any business or personal journey, Khater’s did not come without road-
“The first roadblock is to cope with all the fears that you will face. Then it’s about getting super duper clear on what you want to create. That comes from truly mastering what Jim Collins, author of ‘Good to Great’ called the ‘Sweet Spot,’” Khater said. “Every one of my clients, be it in a corporate workshop or through my digital programs, has left an impact because they were able to embrace their fear and play bigger. Some reaching to C-suite level in their organization while others quit to run their own businesses.” To embrace her own fear, Khater looked to her family and her upbringing, specifically to her grandfather – a man she never met but whose words stayed with her family creating a wonderful legacy, including this quote: “I can leave you with money, it can be spent. I can leave you with property, it can be lost. I can leave you with education; it will always be your friend.” For Khater, this had tremendous meaning.
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Yasmine KHATER “If you are not learning, if you are not struggling, then you are not living. My mantra is ‘Life is a work in progress.’ Perfection is for losers, so why be a loser and lose out on opportunities? This is because I am so comfortable with my fears that it empowers me instead of paralyzes me,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to enable to women embrace their fears, to play bigger, just like I had because I believe that's the only way we can change the world to become a more peaceful place.” In order to start a business, a person has to invest in learning more about themselves and their fears. Khater felt very strongly about this and began to experiment with psychological tools and techniques until she found a system. The system, of course, begins with approaching fear. Called the 14 Day Fear Challenge, the program leads the participant through a path of identifying, addressing and overcoming fear to allow them to move toward their goals.
Overcoming fear is hard enough, but when coupled with self-doubt, it can be toxic. More often than not, this happens with women, Khater explained. Khater passionately encourages women to embrace the fact that they are truly enough. “I think the biggest misconception about women is that you need to be something that you are not. Women, and even men, all have their gifts, and they all have powers to play in this world. Therefore those powers should be used, not repressed, with fears of never being enough. I think everyone has to fight a battle and the battle is between you and you.”
In addition to helping others achieve their goals, Khater’s work on her own is never ending. In fact, she keeps a bucket list for herself and encourages others to do so, challenging themselves. She is so dedicated to her own list that she crosses 10 to 15 items off per year and adds new items as they come along. Some of her bucket list accomplishments include bungee jumping, singing from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, get a master’s degree and eat cheese in Switzerland. Some that are yet to be done
include participating in a rickshaw race, speak Spanish, start an e-commerce business and see the tiny frog in Costa Rica.
When asked what her favorite bucket list item was, she replied, “Definitely running my own business. My scariest? Ironically, it was becoming me and really being aligned for who I was meant to become.”
With Mt. Kilimanjaro crossed off her bucket list, Khater said her next adventure would be in the South Pacific. “I run my next mountain trip this September in Bali up a volcanic island. I am taking eight women with me this time,” she said. Her interest in mountains comes from the idea that they disconnect someone from external distraction, allowing them to connect with themselves, something she does for herself as a form of self-love.
In addition to leaping volcanic islands in a single bound, this year has Khater committed to running more fear therapy camps and writing her book entitled, “Wonder Woman’s Guide,” which consists of interviews with 50 of Singapore’s most powerful women.
Yes, Khater is fierce. She confronts fear, accepts it and turns it around. To anyone listening, her message is loud and clear: “I want everyone to dream big, embrace your fears and change your world!” she said.
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Kiernan reveals untold story of WWII heroines By Katelyn Gendron
Denise Kiernan didn’t grow up with aspirations of becoming a writer. She penned short stories and took to journaling but the prospect of supporting herself on a meager writer’s income was simply too risky; that is, until it was too much fun to quit.
Kiernan, now a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NPR and IndieBound bestselling author, began her career as a journalist rather nonchalantly during the 1990s. She had no formal training, having focused her education in the field of science.
“I was in New York [City] and I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I thought, ‘I’m going to go to graduate school at New York University.’ I was an environmental conservation major. I was considering a Ph.D., when one day I was wandering on campus and I saw a sign that read, ‘Write for the Daily.’ I thought, ‘I wonder what that would be like?’” she recalled. “I loved it and I was there writing constantly. At Christmas break, I begged for an internship at the Village Voice and it was my education in journalism under Wayne Barrett, one of the legendary investigative journalists in New York City.” Kiernan called her unconventional training a kind of baptism by fire, working fulltime hours as an intern for no monetary compensation, only bylines. She worked in catering and tutoring to pay the bills.
“I loved it!” she said of her time at the Village Voice, eventually pitching and networking her way into the inboxes of editors at The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest and Ms. magazines. “If you try to go the freelance route, networking
is very, very important,” Kiernan advised. “It’s just constant looking and asking, always trying to get to the front of the book at places. Part of it is that you have to be pitching [editors] constantly. I was very sleepy during my 20s and 30s.”
Kiernan noted that she has taken some salaried jobs over the years, including time at Scholastic, as head writer on television’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and as a producer for ESPN and MSNBC but those positions never gave her that sense of personal and professional fulfillment. Instead, she said, she turned to writing books.
“Once books started to be a bigger part of my life than articles, my goals became to tell larger stories that reach a larger audience. I’ve been very fortunate that with this last book, ‘The Girls of Atomic City,’ that has happened,” she said. Her prior works include several titles she’s penned with her husband, Joseph D’Agnese, such as “The Indiana Jones Handbook,” “The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed,” and “Stuff Every American Should Know.” While she enjoys writing with her husband, Kiernan said “The Girls of Atomic City,” allowed her to craft a work that’s truly her own.
“I was working on a different project when I came across this one,” she recalled. “I found a photo of young cubicle operators [during World War II]. I thought it was just a beautiful picture but I thought the women looked rather young; they were high school graduates. I thought, ‘I’m an idiot. I bet everybody knows this.’ As a journalist, you’re always questioning, ‘is this a story?’”
What Kiernan came to discover was that these young cubicle operators were in fact a part of the country’s war effort in Oak Ridge, Tenn., which was founded in 1942 as a production location for the Manhattan Project.
“I knew about the Manhattan Project but as soon as it became clear to me that this wasn’t common knowledge [I began to pursue it],” she recalled. “We’ve been telling this story from the people on top. We’ve had this background about the race for the bomb but the life of this town just kept growing and growing but they didn’t know what their responsibility was. “I personally like stories with a strong sense of place – that you could go through the gates of
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Oak Ridge. It’s a very contained moment in time, 1943-1945,” Kiernan added.
Her enthusiasm for the people of Oak Ridge, not only spawned “The Girls of Atomic City” book but also a documentary based on its contents. The documentary, Kiernan said, is currently in the works.
When asked what she’ll write next, Kiernan replied with a laugh, “I want to keep on plowing through my idea file.”
She added, “For writers, people who enjoy telling stories, one of the questions [you have to ask yourself is], ‘Do you want to write a particular story or two or do you want to have a writing life? Do you want to live your life as a writer or are you happy with these couple of stories you want to get out in the world?’ If that’s the case, I’d say work on them at night and have a [day] job.
“When you’re working as a journalist you don’t want to write advertising copy. I know people who wait tables, bartend and teach college to support their writing. You have to decide which path you want to take,” she continued. “When you’re sitting there writing those things you don’t want to write, you’ve chosen to do this. I could get a job but this is what I’ve decided to do. That’s an important distinction to make.”
Job growth increases for women over men According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the March employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women gained 99,000 jobs in February, while men gained 76,000 for a net increase of 175,000 jobs in February. As of February, men have regained 82 percent (4.9 million) of the jobs they lost during the recession, whereas women hold 17 percent more jobs on payrolls (68 million) than at their previous employment peak in March 2008 (67.6 million), more than recovering all the jobs they lost in the downturn. In February, women’s employment growth was strongest in Professional and Business Services (55,000 jobs gained by women), Education and Health Services (24,000 jobs), and Leisure and Hospitality (14,000 jobs). However, women also lost 16,000
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jobs in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, including 10,000 jobs in Retail Trade alone. In the last year, job gains were particularly strong in sectors where women workers are concentrated, including Professional and Business Services, Education and Health Services, Retail Trade, and Leisure and Hospitality.
“The economy continues to grow largely due to strong job growth for both men and women in female-dominated sectors,” IWPR President Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., said. “But job growth is still too slow to accommodate millions of unemployed workers and young adults entering the workforce, and as a result, family incomes continue to suffer long-term effects.” As of February, 10.5 million workers remain unemployed and, of these, 3.8 million (37
percent) are workers, usually referred to as the long-term unemployed, who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer. During 2013, a larger share of black (43 percent of black women and 44 percent of black men) and Asian American (45 percent of Asian American women and 40 percent of Asian American men) were long-term unemployed workers, compared with both white (35 percent of women and 36 percent of men) and Hispanic (34 percent of women and 35 percent of men) unemployed workers.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.
The Lipstick Chronicles
Squeezing in romance into an already busy schedule By Kristina Chapell
Finding time for love is near and dear to my heart right now. And yes, you know what I am talking about. We are busy and we like it that way but how do we have time to date? You have work, board meetings and social activities with the girls but you want to find love and want to have time for it. What can we do to have it all? Juggle and schedule. I am currently negotiating a new work contract, which will have me insanely busy (and honestly, I cannot wait), in addition to sitting on two very active, hands-on nonprofit boards. I try and spend time with my girlfriends, hit the gym, and find a few quiet minutes. So with all of this, when do I have time to date?
Just recently I was starting to date someone and he asked, “Will you really have time for me?” Of course I said yes but it left me wondering, “How can I make it all work?” And as things with that guy didn’t work out I am finding myself writing this article and saying to a new guy on OkCupid, “I make time for the important things and people in my life”; which is true but it is no easy task.
How can you or I really do that? Well here’s what I found out after research and asking my close girlfriends: schedule it! Figure out how much time you have a week to devote to online dating or whatever you choose to do to meet men (or your perspective mate, whatever sex that is) and do it. What we don’t do is create time to find someone and we need to because it won’t just magically happen.
If you want dating to be a priority in life, you need make it one. Think of what you do when
you look for a job or are networking – it’s your number one priority. Dating should be the same way.
Once we create time to find someone we need to plan and schedule; this time, we need to schedule dates. Just as we schedule our meetings, appointments, gym time, etc., we need to schedule date time. Make every Friday or Saturday date night. And honestly, seeing each other every night or talking 24/7 gets monotonous, and you run out of things to talk about, so scheduling one night a week, or two, is a great way to start.
Good dates to plan that don’t take up too much time, while you are getting to know someone, are happy hours, lunches or coffee dates. A first date doesn’t have to be all glamorous with flowers and horse-drawn carriages. It can be two people getting coffee, lunch or a drink; and sometimes short and sweet is the best way because if you don’t like him, you aren’t there for long.
Another way is using your “drive time.” My friend, Heather, uses her drive time to connect with her boyfriend. They have opposite schedules and she drives an hour to work and back, so she catches up with her boyfriend on the phone every day. And then they do date night every Saturday. And for over a year this has been working for them.
It may sound harsh to hear “schedule it” but in our busy world that is what we need to do. And we need to not waste our time on the wrong guys – married, separated, not getting back to you, etc. We waste so much of our time on these guys because there is something about the “bad boy” we so love but it doesn’t help us
in any way. So, stop it (and that goes for me too)!
If you meet a guy online, meet him within two weeks and if you aren’t feeling it, move on. You wouldn’t put that much effort into a work deal that has no real Return on Investment would you? So why do we do it in dating?
Ladies, I can’t and won’t sugarcoat this, dating isn’t easy but if you want 2014 to be your year, make time for it. Schedule it and tell your friends to hold you accountable. Nike says it all the time and we have to listen: “Just do it!”
Until next time, make a plan, schedule it, be safe and have fun! ~ xoxox KC
Kristina Chapell is a single gal in her 30s 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 Business Channel.
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Stop judging yourself for not having all the answers By Angela Lussier
As I was preparing for winter hibernation mode a few months ago, I spent a gloomy Saturday afternoon sucked into a Netflix vortex. I needed the downtime and was searching for some inspiration by way of documentary-style storytelling. I came across the documentary “Eames” – a film described as a story about a husband (Charles, the architect) and wife (Ray, the painter) and their process of building a creative business together. I decided to check it out and quickly realized these two were the innovative artists who designed the Herman Miller chair in the 1960s that is still famous today. Learning about Charles’ artistic process he used to build his art and solve problems immediately created a small revolution in my head. It got me wondering about how I solve problems. Why do I fixate on some, while others seem so simple to solve? Charles’ process started out as simple as possible. He approached each problem with infant eyes – like he was seeing it for the first time – and had no assumptions or beliefs about what was right or wrong with it. He made himself curious, open, and did not judge himself for the questions he asked during his process.
One of the film’s contributors said Charles’ work philosophy went like this: “Life is work is art is work is life.” He felt everything could
be created, destroyed and recreated. Everything was fluid, and there were no absolutes. This approach resonated with me not only as I think about my business, which is my art, but also how I approach anything in my life. As I have started to look at my life as a work of art, I am finding that I am much less judgmental, much more free form, and I am finding that each day goes by with more ease.
One area of my life that has been most affected by this new way of thinking is how I deal with my finances and the stress I put myself under to have everything figured out today. I have said I prefer financial information to be broken down into bite-sized bits that remind me of counting Lego bricks as a method of learning addition. I have always felt bad about this and wondered if I am missing the part of my brain that allows me to understand a profit and loss spreadsheet like a whiz or understand dividends like it’s a no-brainer. The financial side of the business has always been an area of embarrassment for me and I’ve felt ashamed for not having that piece “more together.”
However, since watching the “Eames” documentary, the mindset of approaching everything through the lens of a child without judgment has helped me feel more comfortable with numbers, talking about money, and feeling comfortable asking questions when I am confused about taxes, business
Angela Lussier is the chief strategy officer and partner at the BrunoFox Group in West Springfield, Mass. She is an award-winning speaker, author, and business owner. Visit her website at www.theBrunoFoxGroup.com.
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expenses, and invoicing. Instead of feeling intense shame for not knowing how to be perfect at everything, I am allowing my curious side to lead me and allow the process to happen by not mentally whipping myself every time I have a question.
I belong to a women business owners mastermind group and the topic of money, billing, negotiation, and how to manage finances comes up a lot. We share some of the same perplexing thoughts in this area and I’ve decided that since I don’t have all the answers, the best I can do is help my friends ask themselves and others the right questions and feel good about asking them. The process of building a strong business is hard, but it can be made easier by accepting when you don’t know something and being curious enough to find the answers.
In just a few short months of employing this method of running my business, I’ve had many shifts not only occur in the focus of my work, but within myself and the way I feel about my personal growth. I am finding myself more impressed with my progress rather than focused on what I do not yet know. Although I don’t yet know everything about the financial side of my business, I am confident that in time it will come. The process is the fun part, not the hard part. Take it from Charles and Ray Eames” Curiosity builds a lot more than self-judgment, no matter what you are working on.
Margot B. brings back the blues By Tara McCollum
At this point in the year many of us are in the throes of our New Year’s resolutions. Whether that means we are in the process of abandoning them altogether, revising them or simply looking ahead at the fresh start in front of us, we are still hanging on to the small excitements and possibilities of a brand new year and perhaps no one more than Margot Bingham understands those feelings at this very moment. Having wrapped up a whirlwind of a year in 2013 as the breakout star in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” as Daughter Maitland, Bingham, 25, finds herself entering 2014 with opportunities that just a year ago were unimaginable to her.
A Philadelphia native entertaining and creating for as far back as she could remember, Bingham has been on a steady incline with commercial appearances, touring with the likes of Jason Mraz, starring in the web hitseries “In Between Men” and the offBroadway revival of the Tony Award winning RENT in New York City. In the middle of all of that she also managed to put out three albums as Margot B., her latest titled “Live at the Hazlett” featuring her newest single, “Complete,” a contemporary jazzy tune that is
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sure to please. And please she does, with a soulful voice that is a throw back to the jazz greats of generations before, yet completely her own and individual.
It was her voice and style that cemented her role in the fourth season of “Boardwalk Empire” as the 1920’s jazz singing chanteuse that many critics said brought a new breath of life into the series.
“A lot of it was not supposed to happen,” Bingham said of her role as Daughter Maitland. “It was a quick turn and I didn’t have time to think about it until we wrapped in October and it sunk in.”
Having originally meant to only appear in a couple episodes, Bingham’s character ballooned into a major subplot of the series, winning over critics and fans alike not only with her incredible singing, but acting as well. Bingham’s role on “Boardwalk” put her in the forefront of a nationwide audience, where even Mariah Carey had talked about wanting her role.
“I actually heard about it on Twitter,” Bingham said. “It was really funny. That made my whole holiday. She is so incredible; it was such a
compliment just knowing she was watching. I’d probably lose my mind knowing who else watched.”
A singer-song writer in her own right, Bingham’s entrance on a national level as a slinky jazz singer couldn’t have been a more perfect introduction of her talents. Having grown up listening to all styles of music, Bingham found herself in jazz music, particularly the styles of the 1940s. “It thrilled me, captivated me like no other music had,” Bingham recalled. “It was easy the way it was to get up on stage and the way I felt and lost myself.”
Losing herself in the talents of Matthew Sullivan, Peggy Lee, Julie London and more, Bingham knew where she needed to be and was never, as she described, a “typical” theater kid. She was always working on her own music, leaving school for a time to tour with her own music and build a following. “I was torn between two worlds and ended up picking my own world,” she said.
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To go, or not to go … that is the question By Brenda’s Child
You’ve just gotten home after a long workweek. You’ve kicked off your shoes, ordered take out, and poured a class of wine. Suddenly, your phone sends you an alert that you have an event you need to be at in an hour. Do you go?
How often we feel obligated to attend an event because we checked “going” on Facebook or promised we’d support? The guilt of not showing up is a killer, at least it used to be for myself. Recently I’ve devised a checklist, or a system for deciding if I am going to get up off the couch. Here are some things for you to consider: • Is the event related to cause I am passionate about? If it is, will there be other opportunities for me to support the cause other than tonight? • How much will it cost me for a babysitter, gas? • Will attending this event be advantageous for my career or other goals by providing new networking opportunities? • Does this event involve a new experience? Will it involve going to a place I’ve never been, an activity I’ve never tried, or even exposure to new food? • Do I have something else to do tomorrow that may be more paramount, time consuming or require more energy? • Will the hosts be understanding of me canceling because I am a faithful attendee of their other events?
After taking some or all of these matters into consideration, I make a decision and stick with it, knowing tomorrow is another day, and another opportunity.
*** One of the biggest time and energy zappers are those so-called friends who don’t put in the same effort as you. Just as an intimate relationships require work from both partners, so do friendships.
With all that we already give of ourselves unselfishly, this is one area where a return on investment is a must. Otherwise, we can wind up feeling completely drained. While it can be difficult to distance ourselves from people because of habit, or because we’ve known them for 20 years, it becomes necessary when we exert more effort than our said friend on a continual basis. Most of us have lived enough to know how to stay away from beggars, moochers, big mouths, and, let’s call them, overly flirtatious and moral-less. However, you should also raise an eyebrow and question a friendship if:
• You are always the one who is calling to check up, and if you didn’t call you’d never speak. • When your friend calls she/he is always talking about themselves, forcing you to be the listening ear and never asking about you. • Your friend can’t be genuinely happy for you and your successes even if their life isn’t exactly how they want it; a friend shouldn’t downplay your accomplishments. • They rarely show up for your important life events and celebrations. People have lives and children, and careers but they should also have planners and it’s inexcusable to miss four out of five monumental moments. • You can’t tell them the truth about several things. Tact is important in friendships but when your opinion is asked you should be able to sincerely dish it without fear of your friend taking offense.
Finding yourself in any of these situations doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to end a friendship; it just means it’s time to have a conversation about the future of the friendship. If she/he is an authentic friend, they will take the feedback in stride and do what’s necessary to resolve the issue. If they are unwilling, then for the sake of your spirit, you may have to love that person from afar. And if you are that friend, hopefully after reading this you will evaluate your behavior as well.
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
LIONESS MARCH 2014
Davis wields successful ‘stylings’ By Aliyah Cherrisse
Sharp with her scissors and a passion for perfection with her styling, this 17-year veteran hair stylist has prided herself on the happiness of her clients. Deriving from Irvington, N.J., Sa’Rah Davis has been blessed with the opportunity to style the tresses of an array of women, children, and men where it was satisfaction every time! Moving to combining hairstyling with fashion, Davis has created a platform for designers, hairstylist, and models to come together and showcase their love for beauty during her production of the “Speak Suit Fashion Affair!” Read along, as I get in the know with this beautiful spirit known as Kay Sa’Rah! AC – A woman of many skills, who exactly is, Sa’Rah Davis?
SD – Sa’Rah Davis is a well-rounded woman a mother to a beautiful daughter first, a creator of hair second and last but not least a woman wanting to be the next Oprah Winfrey [laughs]. Meaning a mogul in my own right. I refuse to be anything less than successful.
AC – When did you know that transforming women, men, and children through the art of cosmetology was for you? SD – I knew transforming through the art of
cosmetology was for me when I enjoyed seeing how much the women my aunt transformed in her kitchen made me feel as if I was doing your hair myself. The smile on their faces meant everything to me and I wasn’t even the one doing their hair.
AC – In the best content, you’re a bit of a people pleaser due to the work you do, does that spill over into your entire being? Are you able to turn that on and off?
“One thing I never do is compete!” SD – Turn it off? [Laughs]. Yeah, I wish because I know some people are ungrateful and don’t deserve it. I should be able to but you see, [that’s not] the way my god is setup. He won’t allow me to turn anything off, He knows my heart and he knows how happy I am when I see others happy #TurnOffForWhat!
AC – How do you balance being a mother, a working woman, and getting that required “me time?” What is your support system like?
SD – To be honest I have a great support system [of] family, friends, as well as my other
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half. As far as the, “me time,” that’s always hard because it always has to be planned way in advance in order for me to enjoy it. At the end of the day, coming home and seeing my baby C’Arah is always worth the grind. AC – Where do you find your inspiration from to stay creative in this competitive beauty industry?
SD – One thing I never do is compete! Why? Well due to me being my own worst critic, as much as my mind races every day, it is very hard to watch shows and things of that nature. So between the magazines I read, my mentors, I watch everyday people, and my everyday thought, my inspiration comes quite frequently. AC – Who have you worked with that our readers may know? Who would you like to work it?
SD – I’ve been lucky to work with a couple of beautiful ladies within the industry but the one that truly sticks out is my most recent team-up with VH1 & MTV’s personality, Ms. Tionna Smalls. She is very humble and down to earth. Now the two that I am keeping my eyes on and have been set on for many years is Mary Mary! I would love to have Tina and Erica #GetTressed! [Laughs]. AC – If you did not become a hairstylist, did you have an alternative career option or dream? SD – Now, Aliyah [laughs]! As I said before,
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Margot B. Bingham, performing often, created a buzz on her own and let the music of her voice and the bands that performed with her speak for themselves. And it carried.
Upon landing the role in “Boardwalk” Bingham prepared by studying the differences in the earlier styles of jazz in the 1920s and the ones she was more acquainted with.
“It was interesting to hear the tonalities and stylizing between the two,” Bingham said. “The beauty of the 20s records was that they sold purely on emotion. The stylizing was in their feeling.”
Picking up on the rawness of the time and sound, Bingham learned how to, in a sense, throw away technique and simply sing. She worked on her posture and studied the lyrics.
“I had to learn the words and the truth of the song,” Bingham explained. “Those women were stunning and had their own styles, but were still limited on their vocal performances. It was so heart felt. These women were pouring their hearts out.”
Bingham nailed it. Both viewers and critics felt it, pure emotion and truth, taking the character of Daughter Maitland off the stage of a TV show and into their hearts.
“I see pieces of her in me,” Bingham said. “She’s really, really strong and I like to take that home with me. I try to be a fighter like she is. She’s a beautiful lost soul and they really wrote her unbelievably.”
And now one can see pieces of her in the evolving music scene. With sales of the “Boardwalk Empire” soundtrack (on which Bingham is featured along with the likes of Liza Minnelli and Patti Smith) on the rise matched with records of similar sounds and styles.
“It’s an interesting time in music,” Bingham noted. “A new generation is connecting to this style of music, no one was really expecting it, but there’s a whole underground with a massive following. There’s an urge for something new and fresh, even if it’s old.”
It seems that urge is only going to grow, but there are venues that are already answering to the call. In February the Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y., turned back the clock and opened its doors to the club that it was when it first opened in the 30s. Transforming its orchestra level back into the jazz lounge it once was, with tables and drink service, the Apollo featured Bingham and others for three nights of truly old school entertainment.
“[I knew it was] going to be a blast,” Bingham said. “The first time I ever went to the Apollo I was auditioning for ‘Dreamgirls’ and it was like below zero outside and I was just awestruck that I got to audition and now I’m performing there.”
Someone pinch her because the girl is living her own dream now. There is no telling what will come from here, but one would assume it would be safe to say that Bingham’s star is just on the start of its fiery rise. Not yet sure if she will be reprising her role in “Boardwalk’s” fifth and final season in the fall, Bingham is nothing short of optimistic for 2014.
“I didn’t even think I’d be here this long, so I’m blessed,” Bingham said. “I think it’s always easy to look at other people’s trajectories and compare where you are and constantly tear yourself up about it, but where I am is where I am. Whatever happens, happens. I’m not going to push anymore, things will come. I just want 2014 to be a creative year and a judgment free zone, whatever that brings me, I’m open to it.”
Currently working on getting back to the studio and writing new materials, Bingham is well on her way of being creative. No doubt we will all be hearing and seeing a lot of her in 2014 and beyond.
Tara McCollum, a New York native, currently resides in Houston, Texas, where she has learned to trade in cosmopolitans for margaritas, contemporary décor for bedazzled embellishments, and white winters for palm trees, but has held stead fast to her great love for the Yankees. With a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from State University of New York at Purchase, she manages an office for an electrical company by day and is a loving mother to three beautiful furry animals by night. Never giving up on her dreams of one day becoming a novelist, she has slowly been documenting the crazy and unexpected soap opera-like turns of her life in the hopes of one day entertaining the masses with her unbelievable tales. Stay tuned.
LIONESS MARCH 2014
Female voices vital to global mentoring
On March 8, thousands of established women leaders from around the world met with emerging women leaders to participate in the seventh annual Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk, part of a global movement to inspire a rising generation through mentorship.
Held on International Women’s Day, and sponsored globally by Bank of America, the walk brought together women in more than 30 countries, including, for the first time, three major U.S. cities: San Francisco, Calif., Seattle, Wash., and Washington, D.C. The women discussed their professional challenges and successes to establish mentoring relationships, in which the established leader guides, advises and supports an emerging leader as she develops and grows her career. This year, participants in Washington D.C., were joined by actress Sally Field and mentoring walk founder, Geraldine Laybourne in San Francisco.
Mentoring has been proven to be one of the most important steps to establishing a successful career, and the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk enables aspiring women professionals to gain the support and guidance that they need to fulfill their goals. It’s a particularly effective support system to help overcome the obstacles to career growth that women commonly face in corporate and professional environments, including the “glass ceiling” effect and more limited networking options. Equipped with a mentor’s advice and support, female professionals are better able to navigate professional challenges. As such, mentoring provides a unique opportunity for rising women professionals to accelerate their career advancement – and for established women leaders to share their successes to help future generations of women leaders grow and develop. In fact, research from Catalyst reveals that 65 percent of women who have had a mentor will go on to become mentors themselves, thus paying forward the investment made in them. “Mentoring for skills building and leadership growth is an integral part of our company culture, particularly for women as they look to advance their careers,” Anne Finucane, Global Strategy and Marketing Officer, Bank of America, said. “We’ve doubled-down on this commitment to professional development by
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using our capabilities and reach to help partners like Vital Voices connect women to the human, financial and social capital needed for success.”
Bank of America and Vital Voices coordinated and organized mentoring walks in three U.S. cities for the first time since the movement began in 2008, as well as leveraged its global network of women leaders to host walks in more than 40 international locations. Coordinated locally by key members of the Vital Voices global network, each mentoring walk is designed to meet the unique needs of women in their communities and feature opening and closing remarks from Bank of America and Vital Voices executives and other notable thought leaders. Each walk is tailored to fit the particular needs of each locale but builds on the success of mentoring walks hosted the past six years across Eurasia, Latin America, North Africa, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Launched in 2008, the annual Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk has reached thousands of women in more than 59 international locations. The concept for this signature initiative was derived from American media icon, founder and former CEO of Oxygen Media, Geraldine Laybourne, whose busy schedule prevented her from meeting with the dozens of young women who were eager to learn from her and receive her advice. Instead of rejecting these meeting requests, she offered the young women the opportunity to join her on her morning walk each day in New York City, which quickly became a regular occurrence. This inspired her to launch the Mentoring Walks as a means for emerging women leaders to meet with top women leaders across sectors.
“International Women’s Day is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate the power of women’s leadership and unite women in support of other women,” Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices, said. “Thanks to generous support from Bank of America and the dedicated efforts of thousands of women throughout the Vital Voices' global network, this year's Global Mentoring Walk will provide even more aspiring women professionals with the guidance they need to fulfill their goals and positively affect their communities.”
The 2014 walks take place in Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Serbia, South Africa, St. Lucia, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
“The Mentoring Walk makes an impact in so many powerful ways,” said Hema Vallabh, a Vital Voices network member who is organizing a mentoring walk in Johannesburg, South Africa. “It provides the platform for powerful, successful women to give back. I was overwhelmed at the positive response I had from senior women who have wanted to give back but did not know how. We’re creating a network for both the mentors and mentees to grow and engage in.” An additional sponsor for the global walks is the UK Government’s Department for International Development through Vital Voices’ Lead Fellowship Program. And in the United States, local sponsors of the walk include ANN INC., Nintendo, Tata Communications (America) Inc., Tata Consultancy Services Limited, and MetLife. These critical partners provide not only support, but help extend the spirit of mentoring to their own networks.
This is the first year that Bank of America is sponsoring the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk, building on its longstanding partnership with Vital Voices. The partnership began in March 2012 with the launch of the Global Ambassadors Program, an initiative that supports women business leaders around the world through intensive one-on-one mentorship and communications, advocacy, and business training. To date, mentoring forums for the Global Ambassadors Program have taken place in Haiti, India, South Africa, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, and Qatar.
For more information on the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk, visit www.vitalvoices.org/node/627
For more information on the Global Ambassadors Program, visit: http://globalambassadors.vitalvoices.org/
Stiletto Statement [that’s not] the way my god is set up. God has put this in my heart since I was very young. I breathe this hair thing, I’ve tried to do other things when my money was tight and it never works out well. Once I put all my focus into my career and something I love, my dream started to become my reality!
AC – Glamour, fashion and hair all fall under the same umbrella especially since there is not one without the other. “Speak Suite Fashion Affair” in New Jersey is a night to showcase it all. How did you come up with the idea to put on this production?
SD – Exactly! As an artist there are many forms of artistry in my field; hair, makeup, and fashion. So what better way to showcase it than on a live canvas, which is our models who are also artist[s]! So with that in mind, coming up with, “Speak Suite Fashion Affair,” which for me means speaking to the audience through different forms of artistry. Gotta love it!
AC – Where do you see your production of the “Speak Suite Fashion Affair” in say, five years? Is there anyone you would like to work with on the show?
SD – One thing I am is a giver and with this production I’ve decided to use it as an outlet to give to others in need. So in five years, I hope that I can work with people who can take us on the road in hopes it give back not just locally. With “Speak Suite Fashion Affair,” having such as an array of talents, I feel anything is possible. AC – Where can we expect to see Miss Sa’Rah Davis in the next five years?
SD – Well this year I’ve started two businesses. One is, “Suite Styles Luxury Full Service Salon,” which I plan to turn into a franchise. In
five years, I see three more salons and praying they are not all locally, meaning the New Jersey arena only. I also started a nonprofit call “Suite Dreams Incorporated,” which helps give back to other organizations in need. In five years I plan to take my organization on the road and help others outside of New Jersey. AC – I must know and my Dream Chasers out there need to know, what made Sa’Rah a, “Dream Catcher In Heels?”
SD – [Laughs] Due to me being a tomboy for so long, heels were not my thing! [Laughs]. It took me a very long time to get use to them. I must say, with this dream of mine that I’ve
been chasing since day one, one thing I noticed was that once I got use to wearing the heels, my dreams have been easier to reach! AC – I love it!
WRITER’S NOTE: “Don’t ever be afraid to help yourself, love yourself and build your confidence level up. We are our own worse critics, so take the time out, figure out what you don’t like, and then take the steps to fix it. Chase your dreams until you awake them. Second guessing yourself is not an option. Don’t be afraid, for God gave us the spirit of love, use that love on yourself first!”
Aliyah Cherrisse, born and raised in Atlantic City, N.J., has grown to be a very educated, vibrant, and driven intellectual. As a graduate of Morgan State University, with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Marketing, Aliyah has put her studies to use in branding herself as the “Multimedia Personality” she is to-date. Currently pursuing her love of entertainment, Aliyah is known for her titles of “Fashion Show Production Assistant, Radio/TV Personality, Curvy/Full-Figured Model, Red Carpet Correspondent, Host, and Blogger,” but let's not forget to mention: this is all while being a single mother! With no intentions on slowing down, Aliyah anticipates what God has awaiting ahead for her!
LIONESS LIONESSJANUARY MARCH 2014
My journey as an entrepreneur By Donya Zimmerman
When I passed the Bar (to become a licensed attorney) in 2000, I had no clue what I would do next or where I would work. I had been sending my resume to various law firms for employment as an attorney, but to no success.
So, I attended a workshop entitled “Before You Hang-Out Your Shingle,” which teaches you how to start your law firm before taking cases. The only thing about the workshop is that it did not properly prepare you for the “business” of running a law firm. The workshop did teach you how to be a lawyer, but only advised you to get professional liability insurance to protect yourself against disgruntled clients who may decide to sue you. I had my own law practice for approximately 10 years, but had to let it go because I was unhappy as a litigating attorney and did not have the support I needed to run my law practice effectively. When closed practice in June 2012 had to decide what to do next in my career. After much research I chose business consulting and mediation/conflict resolution. I started to do research on what type of training I needed to become a business consultant and mediator. I took training through Community Mediation of Prince George’s County, Md., to become a certified mediator. I took my training to become a certified business consultant through Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore, Inc., Small Business and Technology Development Center, and took Small Business Administration.
My second turn around as an entrepreneur is more exciting and more enjoyable because I am better prepared because: 1. [I] completed a business plan; 2. Created a good networking system of fellow entrepreneurs; 3. Continue to take training on how to properly run a business; and 4. I am enjoying what I am doing as an entrepreneur. Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with more than 10 years of experience. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting in Baltimore, Md., and has been in business since 2013. Contact information: email@example.com, www.facebook.com/FACMBC, and http://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com.
Published on Mar 18, 2014