“Just do something every day.” - Caprece
How many of us have had friendships lasting more than 30 years?! Goodness, I hope to find that kind of bond. Hanging at Mary’s studio in Baltimore, Mary & I chatted with two icons of Baltimore’s artists scene: Caprece & Sehar.
Upon meeting, I told Caprece I wanted hair like hers - I had to stop her from taking it off and giving it to me. These women were creative forces and were wearing it - literally. Caprece shares stories of her world travels, ambitions for her family, and how she keeps herself motivated. Sehar is a designer who has been molding and creating textiles for years as founder of Urban Masala, a globally-inspired wearable art company, and is finally learning the value of taking care of herself.
Not only have these women seen each other grow and develop over 30 years of friendship, they still find ways to encourage each other to continue creating. They also make it a point to curate a thriving scene for other artists in their community and share a beautiful view of the future. Listen in to shut the door on fear & soar.
“We are natural born leaders.” - Felicia
I love Baltimore - it’s a city with grit, fierce determination, and a history of diversity. Just 45 minutes away from DC, it has its own character - including incredible women with the same grit and determination. Mary & I wandered the Great Blacks in Wax Museum and snapped photos in Graffiti Alley before meeting at her natural light studio in an old factory building near Druid Hill Park.
Much like Baltimore, the women we met had the same grit & determination. Our first set of women were two entrepreneurs and long-standing friends, Sarita and Felicia - what a way to kick off the conversations in this incredible city. Sarita is a owner of SparTea, a day spa for girls in Townsend, MD, mother of four, and breast cancer survivor. Felicia is a people-builder, public speaker, and entrepreneur coach.
Sarita and Felicia lift each other up both as mothers, women, and entrepreneurs. Both lost their mothers at young ages, and although that gave them a significant bond, we learned how Felicia pulled strength from Sarita’s battle with breast cancer and how they both became better women through the fight. Listen in for the laughter, tears, and love.
“Thank you is a powerful word.” - Maritza Lizama
Raise your hand if you have a friend because you’re from the same area of the world. Isn’t it amazing how we can bond because we understand each other’s culture and speak the same language - figuratively and literally? Similar backgrounds can give us a deeper understanding of another person while also learning more about ourselves.
Mary & I sat down in DC to chat with my dear friend, Maritza Lizama and her unstoppable friend, Pamela Nieto, to talk all things gratitude, relationships, and... retro phone bills?!
Maritza and Pam met five years ago as industry colleagues and quickly gravitated toward friendship. They found their similarities extended beyond similar cultural background and industry peers. Their drive, determination, and spirituality bonded these two in a way that makes you want to hug their faces. Maritza and Pam are the epitome of what it means to build your tribe. These women lean on each other, support each other professionally and personally, and even make time to get some serious booty-shaking in between their busy lives.
Listen in and get reaquainted with the power of gratitude, mentorship, and the love and strength of our mothers.
“You know how in your life you have two special people?
Yeah, my sister is like number one.” - Natalie Poitevien
Sisters go one of two ways - they’re either SUPER close or not at all. There’s not usually a middle ground. Generations of my family’s sisters have shown me that, including my own. When my previous trainer, Natalie, said she was going to bring her sister on HERadventures, I was SO excited to hear about the closeness of the two of them. And it’s WAY more close than I expected.
Natalie and Shaneya didn’t choose their bond, but they definitely chose (and choose daily) to embrace it. Even if their significant others end up in second place. These two have each other forever.
Mary & I chatted with Natalie and Shaneya in Washington, DC about their unconventional family tree, growing up in Brooklyn, and their hopes for the future. Natalie is a fitness coach and Shaneya is a senior stylist. This episode of HERadventures includes many laughs and a reminder that real sisters host “ugly face” competitions.
“Stand in the light that’s shining on me and through me” - Kimberly Y. Moore
Not many of us get to manifest the human we’d like to work with only to have that person show up within 24 hours, but that’s the story of how Kimberly met me (Melanie). In the first episode of this season's HERadventures, you get to sit with me & Mary in Washington, DC as we get to know Kimberly Y. Moore.
We learn of the woman behind Go Together, a community building platform that matches carpooling services for students, and the adventure her life has been. It all begins with the fierce determination of a nine-year-old who changed her birth name. Then we learn about using a fashion show as a weapon against segregation along with finding the strength necessary to accept opportunities as they arrive - even in the form of jobs we are overqualified for.
Kimberly’s journey has been one of growth, inspiration, and developing routines that remind herself she’s enough - and goodness, don’t we all need that?!
“Go where you’re celebrated, not tolerated.” Ingrid kicks off our final episode with the pivotal moment she decided to quit her job.
Our final stop in Richmond, VA led Mary and me to a wine shop for portraits and then the back room of Elements Beauty Store to chat with three kickass ladies. It was our last day heading back to DC and although we were exhausted from the five day journey, we ended up belly laughing our way through this episode. We had a roundtable with Ingrid Black, Charleen McManus, and Christina Dick learning about what motivates them, keeps them energized, and ahead of the curve.
These ladies are kicking butt and taking names - any way they need to. Ingrid has a strong belief that the Universe takes care of her - job, move, relationship. Charleen’s network kicked ass for her and got her a ton of new clients who believe in her without any marketing. Christina networks with her clients in a leotard while she’s doing adult gymnastics. They kept us laughing the whole conversation.
Grab some tissues for all the crying laughter and real talk while you listen in to find out why Ingrid wondered about why Americans wanted hairy penises, what Charleen’s “Accountabili-buddies” are, and Christina’s love for White Castle burgers. You’ll want to be at one of Charleen’s parties after you’re done. Thanks for being a part of our first HERadventures series. More to come!
The Triangle area in North Carolina includes Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham - Mary and I stopped at the beautiful Umstead Hotel & Spa in Raleigh to chat with the local lady residents. Mary-Ann Baldwin, Suzanne Miglucci and Jennifer Hoverstad gave us three different perspectives on life, politics, infertility, and business.
We wondered why people ask “innocent questions” about younger women and their position on having children while some aren’t interested in having kids and others are struggling with infertility. We talked through getting into the political game locally and how each of these ladies got to the place they are in their careers We even got a chance to talk about knowing your value and learning how to choose the right mentor for you.
Most of us have a hard time asking for help, saying what we mean, and then we end up inviting our frenemies over for dinner - why? Sometimes we have to listen for the pivotal moments and grab them when they show up. Listen in to hear their favorite books and discover how to be more proactive in learning from the women who have been-there-done-that.
Driving from DC through Virginia to the Carolinas, Mary and I had a LOT of time on our hands. Lots of discussions about the podcast, the women we were meeting, and the adventures we were having caused us to want to record ourselves talking. So, with the iPhone recording through the MINI speakers, we started sharing answers to the question: What would you tell your 18yo self?
Thankfully, we have a kickass podcast producer Tony Porreco who knows how to edit. He took our 30 minute conversation down to a few bite-sized minutes of the two of us sharing our adult advice with our 18 year old self.
Also, we went ziplining at GoApe (yes, we paid full-price and no, they didn’t sponsor us to say this) and had a blast! The lovely Cheney put together a video of the hilarity of our treetop adventures with Raleigh resident, Lisa Sullivan. Watch & laugh here: http://bit.ly/HERplaylist
Greenville, South Carolina is an underrated city with infinite possibilities. When Mary and I drove into this adorable downtown, we knew we were going to find too many things to do for our short stay. Exploring the downtown area with waterfalls and excellent restaurants, cycling on the Swamp Rabbit Trail thanks to PedalChic, and enjoying the local wine shop, we had the chance to chat with two sets of Greenville residents. They told us all about why they love the city but also gave us a look into their personal lives.
First, we met Marion Crawford, Jennifer Sutton, and Robin Bylenga at a wine shop and discussed everything from entrepreneurship and business to marriage and why long walks with friends are the key to sanity. These three founders & CEO’s share about the intricate balance of relationships while also running successful businesses.
The next day, after I spoke at the AAF Greenville meeting, Mary and I chatted with Sara Shumpert, Courtney Mitchell, Robyn Zimmerman, and Peyton Fish. We learned that Greenville has a growing entrepreneur and innovation community along with being a great place to grow your career. We even heard our favorite answer to the “what would you tell your 18-year-old self?” question.
Listen in to generations of Greenville women tell their stories of love, life, and business.
MEET THE WOMEN:
AT A WINE SHOP
Marion Crawford - founder and CEO of Crawford Strategy
mother, writer, entrepreneur, exercise enjoyer, amateur cook & gardener
Jennifer Sutton - founder and CEO of Bright + CO Marketers
mother, entrepreneur, marketing nerd, generous host, passionate for being kind
Facebook: Jennifer Sutton
LinkedIn: Jennifer Sutton
Robin Bylenga - creator, founder and CEO of PedalChic
Mother, cyclist, transformer of lives, bit of a workaholic, incredibly passionate
Facebook: Robin Lennon Bylenga
LinkedIn: Robin Bylenga
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN:
Sara Shumpert - Director of The Packaging School
dog lover, nature enthusiast, entrepreneur, lifelong learner, technologist
Her pup's Insta: Murray_the_Mini
Courtney Mitchell - Marketing Manager at Clemson Eye
New York, fun, runner, dog lover, adventurous
Facebook: Courtney Richard Mitchell
LinkedIn: Courtney Mitchell
Robyn Zimmerman Executive Communications Strategist at Crawford Strategy
teacher, stepmother, broadcaster, theater lover, wonderful wife
Facebook: Robyn Irene Zimmerman
Peyton Fish - Media Research Analyst at Charter Spectrum
event planner, traveler, spiritual, animal lover, dancer
Facebook: Peyton Fish
LinkedIn: Peyton Fish
Fierce competitors become fiercely loyal coworkers. You don’t hear THAT every day - especially not when it’s a group of women.
Mary and I made our way to Charlotte, NC where I spoke at the American Marketing Association marketing workshop. Three ladies sat down in the front row and quickly became super engaged in this workshop. Afterward, I asked for volunteers for the podcast and no one came up. When we walked out, these three ladies were so full of laughter, you could tell they had stories to tell. We were thrilled when they agreed to rock HERadventures with us and found out later they were competitors who had become coworkers through their employers’ recent acquisitions.
When we sat down with Carrie-Ann Kulinski, Messina Truttman, and Rachelanne Hansen, we realized these three ladies weren’t just coworkers, but friends. At a roundtable in the back of a busy hotel conference center, we shared life, advice, and love with each other and the podcast. Discussing everything from fixing furnaces, raising large families alone, how they were raised, being friends, and adopting Great Danes, we noticed there was much more in common between all of us than we first realized. I brought up Tony Robbins’s idea of “limiting beliefs”, Mary retells how she proved a naysayer wrong, and the whole group discusses the role of women in the workplace. Listen as these beautiful women share their greatest strengths, biggest influences, and find out what “Tall Tree Syndrome” is.
CONNECT WITH THE WOMEN:
Earlier this year, I jumped in Roxie Jean, the Hotrod Machine with my good friend & photographer extraordinaire, Mary Gardella, and embarked on a weeklong adventure to Virginia and the Carolinas. Logging hundreds of miles, we interviewed 15 rockstar women about their own personal brands and professional journeys, examining just what it means to be a woman today, in life AND in the workplace. We even went ziplining!
“Fear is invited to come along but Fear is not allowed to drive, choose the songs on the radio, select the snacks, or suggest detours.” - Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
In this inaugural episode of HERadventures, Mary and I got together to reminisce and rehash our epic road trip. We get to share our perspective and what we learned as a result of our crazy adventure, touching on everything from Jennifer Aniston’s recent Huffington Post article to the role fear plays in our lives.
PODCAST EPISODE HERE
Who was the most influential woman in Mary’s life? What do I do to de-stress? Learn the answers to these questions – and more – and jump into our private HERadventures Facebook group or subscribe to subscribe to Adventures in Branding. We’ve got 6 weeks of kickass women. Stick around to see what happens next!
MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE: