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#ProfessionalGal Amanda Smith is the founder of Amanda’s Kitchen, an online resource where you can find custom meal plans and personal/weight loss coaching (plus some amazing food pics – check out her Instagram – WARNING: you may start to feel hungry!).

We had the opportunity to talk to this motivated entrepreneur – she shares tips on meal prepping, how to stay alert throughout the day and even shares a delicious Carrot Ginger Soup recipe that makes us very excited for the cooler days ahead! Read the full interview below:

Do you have any tips on how to meal prep for the week?

  • Make a plan. Make a list of healthy foods you want to make. Choose realistic, simple recipes that can be made that are desirable to eat. Find out what you need to make them, and make a grocery list.
  • It’s the little things…I pre-cut my lettuce and veggies to save me time, I plan on what proteins I should have throughout the week (ex. Monday: salmon, Tuesday, chicken, Wednesday: tofu…) to get a variety of protein sources, so I don’t get stuck eating the same thing every day.
  • When I prep salads, I like to add paper towel between my veggies so they don’t get soggy + put my dressing on the side in a mini container.
  • When I know I’m going have a busy day and not be home until dinner, I always prep my food! Not only do you save time, energy & money, but you learn portion control.

For women that are not caffeine drinkers, how do you remain alert throughout the day?

  • It all begins with sleep, get whatever makes YOU feel good.
  • Stay away from refined carbohydrates (anything white and sugar) because they will cause your energy levels to spike and then crash just a few hours later (also leading you to want more!). Keep in mind I do not restrict myself if something looks really good and I want to try it – I just don’t include those foods in my everyday diet.
  • Lastly, having anxiety can suck the energy out of you! It’s exhausting. Doing yoga or even a 5 minute meditation in the morning can make a huge difference.

What is your to-go breakfast that will last you until your lunch break?

Basically all my breakfasts that you see on my Instagram (check out Amanda’s Instagram)! But these are my favorite three: Berry Fibre Smoothie, Egg White Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal, Egg White Omelette with a side of PB&J.

Do you have any advice on how to stay active during the day for young professional women who work at a desk from 9-5?

To be honest, it’s SO easy to make excuses. The reality is, you have three options:

  1. Either wake up early and get it done before work (no snoozing! – you’ll feel great and get it out of the way!). You have to choose between netflix the night before or working out in the a.m.
  2. Use your lunch break to do a workout then eat at your desk after your workout.
  3. Workout after work (good luck! In order to do this you NEED to have an accountability partner! A friend/sibling/parent… anyone!).

We know sleep is very important. So, what is your advice (and your own routine) for maintaining a healthy sleep schedule during the work week?

Apple just introduced this new feature called “Bedtime” and I absolutely LOVE it! It can be used to remind you to go to bed and make sure you get the amount of sleep you want.  So when I receive a bedtime reminder the night before alarms are set to go off. Mine is customized because I like to get a notification 30 mins before bed (then I’ll leave my phone in my kitchen and go upstairs). I like it because it keeps me accountable to get my 8 hours!

Take us through your approach with someone who wants to lose weight.

When one of my clients want to lose weight, it’s important to figure out why they’re overweight and how they got to this point. Why do they overeat? Is it because they just love desserts? Are they binge eaters? Too much partying? Lack of planning? Lack of sleep? Are they lonely? Do they find comfort in food? Are they just used to eating poorly?

I also like to know why they came to me, what are their goals, what is their weight history.

My standard approach process is a consult where we figure out all of the above and I make them a meal plan, and the month of coaching starts. At  that point, my client has full access to me: They get a portfolio and plan developed by me, a full analysis of your current eating and exercise regime, a meal plan designed just for the client…with portion sizes, recipes and everything you need to succeed, tailored to your needs, preferences, lifestyle and goals!

What is some advice you can give someone on a weight loss journey?

  • To take it one day at a time. Don’t get discouraged.
  • It’s very important to keep a food journal. You have to be aware of what you’re eating. With that being said, stop estimating. Buy yourself some measuring cups and a food scale. 
  • There will be sacrifices but there are always alternatives. Instead of dwelling on what you need to give up, focus on the “why” you’re doing what you’re doing.
  • Don’t do the all or nothing approach, it never works out. FACT: 95% of diets fail!
  • Get a coach or find someone to help keep you accountable. It should be someone who will listen to you when you’re frustrated or tired, and also cheer you on!
  • All the small changes have an impact. Don’t go crazy and cut out every single bad food all at once. Start out by cutting one thing out, like soda or sweets, and then slowly add on to that.
  • You never have to sacrifice taste while looking for healthier options!
  • Make sure that you have a variety of recipes because eating the same thing prepared the same way can get boring.
  • Be active constantly! Don’t be lazy, walk to the coffee shop, park a little further,
  • Eat things that will satisfy you. So stick to the three keys: protein, fiber and fat which keep you full.

Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  •  1C diced yellow onion
  •  4 large carrots (or 6 medium)         
  •  4C vegetable broth
  •  2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  •  1 small potato
  •  1/4-1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  •  1 tsp salt
  •  pepper to taste
  •  pinch of cayenne (optional)

STEPS

  1.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil, and sauté the onion with a pinch of the salt for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent (not brown).
  2.  Add the veggie broth, carrots, potato, ginger, turmeric & salt, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3.  Reduce the heat to medium-low & simmer for 15-20 mins, until the carrots are soft (you can stick a fork through)
  4.  Transfer the soup to a blender on high until smooth and creamy.

Learn more about Amanda and how she can help you achieve your goals;

weather it be to shedding some weight or leading a healthier lifestyle.

www.AmandasKitchen.co

September 18, 2018 0 comment
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In this edition of #ProfessionalGal, we are excited to introduce you to the two beauties behind With Grace and Gold, a design and branding agency for creative women in business.

With Andra’s sharp eye for beautiful and meaningful design and Kelly’s passion for encouraging diverse women in business – this dynamic duo is a force to be reckoned with! We had the chance to chat with these lovely ladies and hear what makes them successful womenpreneurs. Read the interview below:

What is the most important aspect of building a successful business?

Kelly: Consistency! Over the years, we’ve done our best to create new content consistently, to market our business consistently, and to serve our clients consistently well, through a well-defined process. Consistency not only helps to create systems within your business, but it also helps to build trust – because your audience and your clients will know what to expect from you. Of course, there is always grace built in… but we believe consistency can make a big difference!

Andra: To “stay in your own lane” or to focus wholeheartedly on what you are doing well. It’s easy to become distracted by what is working well for other business owners. I think the most important aspect of building a successful business is knowing what you do well, carving your own path, and wholeheartedly believing in what you do.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Kirkbride Photography

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you at the beginning of your career?

Kelly: That’s a great question! This isn’t so much advice, but I wish I had solidified a female mentor as I started my career. There are certain challenges women in business, and women in leadership positions face, and I wish I had someone to encourage me or show me how to successfully journey through life as an entrepreneur.

Andra: Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart. You can serve people well, but there will be long days (and weekends) and sacrifices along the way. It is worthwhile to make your own schedule, pick and choose what you work on, and experience the joys of entrepreneurship – but there are definitely sacrifices!

How do you deal with setbacks that occur in running your business?

Kelly: First, we step away from our business for just a moment – whether it means going hiking, going to yoga, or spending time with my husband. When setbacks happen in business, it’s easy to feel immersed in or overcome by the setback. Then, we talk about what went wrong – and what we can do differently in the future. Being a small business owner is all about making pivots and adjustments, day after day, week after week, and so on. That way, you can always grow, evolve, and produce better work in the years to come.

Andra: Kelly and I walk through what went wrong, what went right, what was out of our control, and what we could have done differently. Sometimes, things are out of our control and we can’t do anything – and other times, we can learn from our mistakes and grow from them.

How do you achieve work-life balance?

Kelly: Having a schedule has helped us to achieve better work-life balance. Our current business hours are 7 AM – 3 PM, so having a set schedule has been really helpful. We also shifted our mindset to believe that the time away from our business is just as valuable as the time within our business. We want to bring our best selves to With Grace and Gold, so being healthy, happy, and balanced is essential.

Andra: Set boundaries and stick to them!

Who is your role model, and why?

Kelly: I don’t necessarily have a role model; I try my best to pick up bits and pieces from a variety of people. I’m always inspired by women who are unapologetically themselves, who are brave and share their stories, who are authentic. I also really look up to my husband, who is an extremely hard worker.

Andra: My mom – she was the queen of balance; managing a household, finding time to volunteer, spending time with family and friends, working hard – she balanced it all!

Is there a motto you live by?

Kelly: “Every day is a new day.” My husband once shared with me a Tony Robbins “lesson” about drawing a line in the sand and beginning fresh every day. So, no matter what has happened to you in the past, no matter what lies you’ve believed about yourself, others, or the world – every day is a chance to start again, become the person you’ve aspired to be, and change the world.

Andra: I’m not sure if this is a motto, but I read this quote the other day and loved it: “Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” – Vincent Van Gogh. It’s true in business and in life: thinking outside of the box, being OK with making quick decisions that are out of your comfort zone, rolling with the punches, and figuring it all out along the way.

Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?

Kelly: I love this question! We’ll continue to serve creative women in business in a variety of ways. And I hope we foster more of a sense of community among diverse women – to let women know that, no matter where they come from, there are millions of ways to uniquely reach their goals. I grew up in poverty, and I wish I had seen or known of more women who successfully emerged from hardships to reach their personal and professional goals.

Andra: Serving creative women in business – and potentially in more robust ways, through more diverse resources or offerings.

What would you tell a woman who is interested in making the leap to entrepreneurship?

Kelly: I would say, look inward before looking outward. There is a LOT of noise on the Internet… millions of articles will tell you how to successfully navigate entrepreneurship. But, before you go looking at those articles, decide for yourself what you’d like entrepreneurship to look like for you. If you look at those articles first, your journey will be a blend of everybody else’s goals and visions. First, decide what your vision is, and then incorporate the lessons you learn from others.

Andra: Go for it… but be smart! Plan ahead, and make sure you are paying your bills.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Kirkbride Photography

What is your go-to piece of professional workwear? Why?

Kelly: When I became an entrepreneur, I excitedly donated all of my professional workwear. But, I do have a navy blazer to wear when I need an extra boost of professionalism. As an entrepreneur, my go-to piece is a fun pair of earrings. They dress up any outfit in a personal way.

Andra: A stylish shoe! It can make or break any outfit.

What do you do when you are unsure about a future business move?

Kelly: Discuss it thoroughly with Andra. We are really decisive and love trying new things – so we’ll always encourage one another to think more strategically before a final decision is made. If you don’t have a business partner, there are awesome Facebook communities of business owners.

Andra: Talk through all of the pros and cons with Kelly! We push one another to make decisions quickly and strategically.

What song do you listen to when you need a confidence boost?

Kelly: “Get It Right” by Diplo (Also a fun workout song!)

Andra: 90s music is my guilty pleasure!

Thinking about rebranding or creating a new website for your business? Or just want to see some beautiful design?
Check out Kelly and Andra’s work at withgraceandgold.com
September 4, 2018 0 comment
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#ProfessionalGal Haley Pavone is the brains behind Pashion Footwear, a fashiontech startup that has created the world’s first fully convertible high heel. Yep, you read that right! We have your attention now, don’t we ladies?

After a nasty accident on the dance floor, Haley’s entrepreneurial spirit went into overdrive and the idea for Pashion Footwear came to fruition. We recently caught up with Haley to pick her brain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur and how she does it all at just 22. Here’s what she had to say:

What is the most important aspect of building a successful business?

You need to be utterly obsessed with every inch of what you are trying to build. Creating a business is by no means easy, but if you are truly passionate about what you do, you will love the process through all of its many ups and downs.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you at the beginning of your career?

Things will go wrong from time to time, and that is not a reflection on you – that’s the nature of the process. The true measure of who you are is how you choose to overcome it.

How do you deal with setbacks that occur in running your business?

I refuse to see a setback as a hard stop. I live by the motto “when one door closes, go through the window”. If you are creative and determined, there is always a way to get things done…you just have to have the perseverance to find it.

How do you achieve work-life balance?

I insist on drawing a very firm line between my work time and my personal life – which has been no easy task since, as a startup, many of my early employees have been friends of mine. I’ve made sure to build a company culture that supports and respects the need for a healthy balance. After all, 64% of my company is under 22 – and I have no intention of burning anyone out so young in life. After all, if people don’t enjoy being at work and see it as a hindrance to doing what they truly enjoy, the quality of their work is not going to be stellar. I truly believe that a business will only be as successful as its employees are enthused. A crucial aspect of maintaining that enthusiasm is protecting that balance with vigor. I intend to always do just that.

Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?

Pashion Footwear will become a dominant player in the women’s global footwear industry – continuing to put out new product lines that further advance the combined practicality and style of convertible high heels. We will finally put the much needed female perspective into the development of high heels, and change the game for decades to come.

Who is your role model, and why?

My role model is my mentor, Michele Magee. Much like me, Michele started out in her professional entrepreneurial career in her early 20s. She was, more often than not, the only female voice at the table. She never let being a young woman stop her for one second from always pushing herself to the next level – continually striving to achieve her goals. When Michele sets her mind to something, there is no doubt that she will achieve it. I have endless admiration for her dedication, perseverance, creativity, leadership and, above all, fairness and goodness of heart. I hope to someday have the same reputation.

Is there a motto you live by?

There are two mottos that govern my life. “Work hard, play hard” and “Don’t get even…get better.”

What is your go-to piece of professional workwear? 

Of course, some absolutely stylin’ convertible high heels from Pashion Footwear! As someone who wants to look professional in the office but has to park a half mile away each morning, the ease and convenience of a removable high heel truly can’t be beat. It’s two shoes in one – and quite literally the best of both worlds.

What song do you listen to when you need a confidence boost?

“That’s My Girl” By Fifth Harmony

Saving women’s feet, one convertible heel at a time!
Visit pashionfootwear.com to learn more about this innovative line of women’s footwear and how to pre-order on Kickstarter.

 

June 29, 2018 0 comment
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Professional Gal: Rana Campell

#ProfessionalGal Rana Campbell is a skilled marketing strategist that teaches individuals how to successfully make their entrepreneurial dreams become a reality. She is the founder of RanaCampbell.com, a website for creative entrepreneurs full of branding and marketing tools, and by night, she is the host of the Dreams In Drive podcast.

During her downtime, Rana is an avid dancer, chocolate lover and movie watcher. Let’s see what this Jersey girl and Princeton University Alumni has to say about entrepreneurship and how she’s killing it.

What do you do?

I graduated from Princeton in 2013 and currently work (day job) in marketing for an e-commerce fulfillment center. There I help the marketing team with all the marketing content and marketing initiatives.

By night, I am the host of Dreams In Drive. A podcast that teaches people how to take their dreams out of park and into drive. So far I have over 108 episodes streamed on iTunes, Soundcloud and Google Play. This project has been my baby over the past two years. 

Tell us about your journey?

My journey started when I was in college. I used to intern at CBS Corporation in New York City. Each summer, I interned in a different department. By the end, I had four years of understanding and experience in how a media company works. When I graduated college, I thought I would have this big time media job, but that didn’t work out. So my first-year post-college, I spent in the nonprofit world.

I also became involved in media freelance writing and with the help of my mentor; landed my first freelance writing position. I wrote for a lot of fashion and beauty sites and realized that I had a knack and love for interviewing entrepreneurs. During that first year in New York City, I interviewed people who ran fashion and beauty brands that I admired and eventually launched my own blog.

In the summer of 2016 when podcasting was taking off I thought “hey, this is something I know I’m good at – interviewing people.” With this idea in mind, I figured out how to start a podcast and ended up launching January 2016.

What do you think is the most important aspect of building a successful business?

I think you really have to understand the audience you are trying to target. It’s crucial to understand your core demographics and what their needs are. Many people build brands or have an idea for a brand and spend a lot of time with things that don’t matter. 

For example, if I run a podcast and I’m catering to women ages 25 to 34. I need to understand what their main challenges are and how my platform can help them navigate those challenges in their lives. The bottom line is, you won’t find success if you’re not giving people or providing value for the audience you are trying to target.

What is the one piece of advice you wish someone would have given you at the beginning of your journey?

I wish early on someone would have told me to understand the business behind the business. To study the “non-sexy stuff” because that’s how you get ahead. For example, in fashion everyone loves designing but no one wants to think about supply chain and that’s also important.

A lot of entrepreneurs when starting out get really fascinated by the fun parts of the business, but you also need to understand the trends in the industry and understand accounting. These are areas where people sometimes struggle.  Podcasting is a business and there is this whole business behind podcasting that I’m getting educated on right now.

Professional Gal: Rana Campell Dreams in Drive
How do you deal with setbacks that occur in your business?

When you’re growing a business, it’s inevitable, you will encounter setbacks. A tip for dealing with setbacks is to not see it as a setback, but as an opportunity for learning. Figure out how you can learn from it and then move forward from there. This way you’re shifting your focus and how you define the problem. For me, whenever something is a “setback” I sit back, assess it and figure out what I did wrong. What could I have done better? What can I learn from this? 

How do you achieve a work-life balance?

I separate time for both. Scheduling everything into my calendar and sticking to it really helps because I live by my calendar. So when I’m at work, it’s all about work and I’m trying to learn as much as I can. At night time it’s all about me, my podcast and my personal brand.

With my podcast, I set specific days I do podcast interviews. Tuesday and Wednesday nights are my podcast nights and then I’m open Thursday and Friday to do things with my friends. I think it’s important not to get too caught up. Whether it’s your professional career or your side hustle, you still need to make time for other things that aren’t those. 

What is your go-to piece of professional workwear?

I love a nice, professional black dress that you can accessorize, dress up, dress down, wear in the winter or in the summer. A well-fitted solid colored dress is the best thing ever! I also love a timeless skirt that is fitted to your silhouette. This is a staple piece you can wear any time of the year.

Professional Gal: Rana Campell Street Photo
What would you tell a female interested in making the leap into entrepreneurship?

Research, research, research! Don’t go into it enamored by all the sexy things because there is a lot of non-sexy stuff you need to master if you want to be successful. Do your research, build your network, seek people who have done what you’re doing and who are currently doing what you’re doing. You know the saying, been there done that? This knowledge is very important in navigating past potential mistakes.

You also need to have a strong support system and don’t be afraid to be different. If there’s a feeling in your gut that’s telling you to try something different I would say: listen to it, but at the same time do your research.

Where do see your brand/company in the next 5 years? What is your goal?

From a personal brand standpoint, I would love to be seen as the go-to person for marketing, connecting entrepreneurs with resources and creative entrepreneurship.

From a business perspective, I would love Dreams in Drive to be the go-to place for people who want to get inspired and motivated to keep following their dreams and become a top podcast business known worldwide for the resources and value it brings to creatives and entrepreneurs. Long-term, I would love Dreams in Drive to be its own media company.

Want to learn more about Rana Campbell’s tools for creative entrepreneurs or her Dreams In Drive Podcast?
RanaCampbell.com
www.DreamsInDrive.com

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

December 13, 2017 0 comment
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Professional Gal: Ida Tin co-founder and CEO of Clue - Ida At Desk

Danish entrepreneur Ida Tin is the co-founder and CEO of Clue. Clue is an app that helps women track their menstrual and fertility cycles. Women can keep a detailed log of their period on their phones and even share cycle information with their partner.

Ida’s own desire to track her menstrual cycle gave her the idea for the app. In 2013, Clue went from being an idea to a company. Clue is currently rated the top free period tracker app by the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Let’s meet the woman behind Clue to hear what she has to say about being an entrepreneur and the setbacks she’s faced with her startup.

How would you describe yourself?

I would say that I am a driven individual who is passionate about making information and knowledge available to all those who seek it. Especially, when it comes to women’s health.

I am also a quantified self-person. (That is someone who incorporates technology and data analysis into their daily life.) Which explains why I was driven to create an app that allows me to do just that!

What tips would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career, given what you know now?

When you start, I think not knowing is a great gift. Not knowing that the mountain you are about to climb is 1,000 times higher than you thought. That what you believe might prove false. That others might see things you are not yet ready to see yourself.

Starting the journey is the single most important thing as an entrepreneur. Had I not been so determined to start, that would have been the best advice – just start!

What would you say is the most important aspect that goes into building a successful business or a brand?

Listening to the advice of those who are more experienced and trusting your instincts. It is essential to seek advice in certain situations. Especially in areas you may not be familiar with or feel that you could benefit from the advice of others. But overall, it is important to own responsibility for your business and make executive decisions when necessary.

How do you deal with setbacks that occur in running your business?

One of the earlier setbacks I encountered when running my business was in my role as a leader. I felt there were a lot of things I could take care of myself. Instead of learning how to assess my own limitations and delegate tasks (thus sharing the workload), I tried to do too much myself. I found that this left me scattered and prevented certain tasks from being completed or completed to the high standard I would expect. Now, I try to focus on the things that only I can do, taking a step back and allowing my team to take care of the rest.

As a result of delegating, the whole company has grown and can work at a much faster pace. This enables me to deliver on the things needed directly from me.

What do you do when you are unsure about a future business move?

The first thing I do is speak to my team. At Clue, we have meetings regularly and discuss any upcoming plans. As a leader, I will always listen to my team and address their concerns. We also listen to our users. For example, we launched our smart pill tracking technology in May 2017 because we were seeing a huge volume of help desk requests around the pill and what to do when one is missed. This sizeable update was a direct result of trying to address user requests with a technology we knew they could benefit from.

What would you tell a woman interested in making the leap to entrepreneurship?

I firmly believe it is essential for women to empower each other to get involved in the industry and continue breaking gender stereotypes, thus paving the way for others.

We need more women entrepreneurs to bring attention to women’s reproductive health around the world.

What book do you read when you need a productivity boost?

David Sibbet’s “Visual Leaders.” I am a visual person and using visual tools to stay organized and productive is key. This book is a great leadership resource. It’s a tool that spells out how to use visuals to increase group productivity.

Do you have a saying or motto you live by?

“Things will work out.” I believe that whatever happens in life, there will be a lesson learned and a way to move forward. Or to put it even more drastically, whatever happens, the only choice is to make the best of it. I remember the Dalai Lama’s words that sometimes not getting what you want is the greatest gift. It makes life kind of failure proof. There is no such thing as failure.

What is your go-to piece of professional workwear?

My statement blue glasses!

How do you achieve work-life balance?

One of the biggest obstacles to women in business is the idea that they can’t have a work-life balance. The views of the Berlin tech industry towards work-life balance are not that different from Silicon Valley’s. It takes a more conscious effort to maintain a work-life balance at startups. There is always so much to do and so many potential avenues to take. Every day is different, and finding that balance takes collective and individual work each day.

Who is your role model, and why?

Anais Nin. I am fascinated by her diaries, which, in my opinion, are the absolute core of her work. Her ability to dive deep into the minds, emotions, and desires of herself and others is just breathtaking. Her depth, sensuality, sexuality, and creativity are inspiring.

She was an entrepreneur (1930’s -1960’s) who fought to make her art her livelihood. Unfortunately, she was ignored because of her gender. Today we would say that she had an enormous amount of grit.

As an early adopter of psychoanalysis, she worked to develop herself from a timid girl into a strong woman. I think there are many parallels with Anais Nin and the journey you go through as a founder. You must continuously rise to the challenge of being a leader.

Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?

On a company level, I feel the immense potential of what Clue can do. I think about what a difference it will make in the world when people have a good understanding of how their body works, and are able to take good care of themselves. Access to technology will change the world. It already has. Clue’s ongoing goals are to continue advancing research in women’s health and to make basic reproductive health information more accessible.

A lover of technology and knowledge, Ida hopes to empower women by providing access to the information they need to make decisions for a healthy life and advancing scientific research. Now, please excuse me while I sign off to download Clue on my phone.

Want to learn more about Ida Tin and her period tracking and fertility app?
www.helloclue.com
https://store.helloclue.com/

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

November 8, 2017 0 comment
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Muhga Eltigani

I don’t know about you, but I would say that making the Forbes 30 under 30 is a pretty big achievement, and our #ProfessionalGal Muhga Eltigani has done just that. She forewent her law school plans to work on her startup; a line of all natural deep conditioning hair masks. Now co-founder and CEO of NaturAll Club, Muhga runs a subscription-based service that delivers organic hair products right to your door, including their #1 seller the avocado hair mask.

It all started out of personal necessity. “I actually started making my own hair products in college because commercial products were causing damage to my hair.” Mugha decided to share her “hair journey” on YouTube, where she picked up quite a following. It wasn’t long before followers were asking for her hair products.  It was at this point she realized what she wanted to do, become an entrepreneur.

We recently caught up with Muhga Eltigani to pick her brain on running a company, her success and how she balances it all. Here’s what she had to say.

How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as passionate, assertive, kind, and a go-getter. I’m a supporter of everyone who is passionate about a good cause.

What tips would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career, given what you know now?

It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’re thinking about launching a new venture, but understanding that “there are no adults” would have helped me stay encouraged and persevere. We tend to think that adults have it all together, but in reality, everyone is learning, exploring and growing. This is especially true in the world of startups.

What would you say is the most important aspect that goes into building a successful business or a brand?

Successful businesses are built on hard work and big dreams. It’s a simple equation, but definitely not an easy one!

SuitbaleYou - Professional Gal Series Muhga Eltigani

How do you deal with setbacks that occur in running your business?

Every setback is a learning opportunity. When I encounter setbacks, I explore them and analyze where things went wrong. This way things go better in the future.

What do you do when you are unsure about a future business move?

I’m very methodical. I will list all of my different options along with their pros and cons, and then I’ll choose the one that makes the most sense and go for it. It’s better done than perfect.

What would you tell a woman interested in making the leap to entrepreneurship?

My word of advice is just to start. When you have an idea for a business or a product, making that first move to start is the hardest thing. You’re afraid of failing or you’re just waiting for that ‘perfect time,’ and I think as women we’ve also been taught to be more cautious and less sure of ourselves. But you’ll never move if you wait because there will never be a perfect moment. You need to just make the jump.

How do you achieve work-life balance?

I’ve adopted a couple of strategies to maintain work-life balance. I motivate myself to work efficiently during the day so I can have free time in the evenings. I make plans to do things outside of work, like spending time with friends or going to non-work events. Once they’re on my calendar, I make sure to honor those commitments the same way I would honor meetings for work. I also schedule one weekend a month to do absolutely no work. As an entrepreneur, you work a lot on weekends, so I have to set aside some time for myself that I won’t compromise on.

SuitbaleYou - Professional Gal Series Muhga Eltigani

What is your go-to piece of professional workwear?

I usually go with a blazer and jeans. The blazer makes me feel confident and strong, and the jeans keep me feeling like myself- even when I’m out of my comfort zone. If I’m around the office, my go-to is a comfy cardigan.

What song do you listen to when you need a confidence boost?

I love Thunder by Imagine Dragons.

Do you have a saying or motto you live by?

“The harder you work, the luckier you become.”

Who is your role model, and why?

It sounds cliche, but my mom will always be my role model. I got to watch her transition from being a stay-at-home mom to going back to school and finally becoming a doctor. So many people assume they can’t advance in their careers or start something new once they start raising children, but my mom showed so much persistence. Her determination inspired me to move forward and start my own business, and when I feel like I have a lot on my plate with NaturAll Club, I just think of her going back to school while raising four kids.

Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?

NaturAll Club is making products unlike anything else on the market because we only use natural and fresh ingredients. We’re scaling up this year, and five years from now I see us being a global CPG leader in natural beauty products.

Want to try Muhga Eltigani’s NaturAll Club deep conditioning avocado hair mask? For a limited time, use promo code NCxSUITABLEYOU to receive 15% off your entire online purchase of NaturAll Club hair products.

https://naturallclub.com/

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

September 28, 2017 0 comment
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Professional Gal Sara Elise of Harvest & Revel with meat cutter

At SuitableYou, our team believes in empowering women through work attire and with the tools to succeed and build powerful careers. That’s why we love to rally behind female entrepreneurs, we call them Professional Gals. We enjoy meeting these successful go-getters and Sara Elise is one of those empowering and inspiring women. Meet Sara, the creator, and owner of Harvest & Revel – a full-service catering company in Brooklyn, NY centered around wellness food.

For Sara, a lover of food, people, and the environment, it’s all about organic, locally grown and ethically sourced ingredients. Nutrition and well-being go hand-in-hand, and that’s the concept behind Harvest & Revel. This isn’t your ordinary cookie-cutter catering service, which is why we find Sara Elise and her approach to life and work so inspiring. It can’t be easy being an entrepreneur. So, we want to know how she does it. Meet Sara Elise our Professional Gal of the month.

What tips would you give to yourself at the beginning of your professional career, given what you know now?

At the beginning your career, it’s super important to be open to all opportunities that come your way. Whether it’s going to networking events, you might not want to go to or taking jobs that might not pay as well but provide good exposure. Once your career is more established, I think it’s more important to prioritize shaping your career in how you want it to fit into your life. For me, that means often prioritizing an important social event over a networking event and only taking jobs I feel would be a strong addition to our event/client list.

However, in all stages of your career, know there’s always room to learn and grow! You will only continue to offer innovative service to your clients if you’re constantly learning about how the industry is evolving and updating your offerings for the changing market.

What would you say is the most important aspect that goes into building a successful business or brand?

Believing in it! I see so many people trying to create brands and businesses, but it’s clear something is holding them back, like being fearful of all it can become. Or maybe fearful of all they can become. If you’re going to spend time on your vision, then live in it! Believe in it fully so you’re creating the positive momentum it needs to thrive. Be your own biggest fan.

How do you deal with setbacks that occur in running your business Harvest & Revel?

My business partner and I study the setback in depth, making sure we’ve learned all we can from it. Then, we change our current practices so we can hopefully never deal with that particular setback again. Then we move on! We release it and don’t ever talk about it again. Once you’ve learned the lessons you need to, then it’s important not to dwell on the negativity.

What do you do when you are unsure about a future business move?

Every step of creating and running a business is unsure. Nothing is set in stone, so I’m just going with my gut for each decision I make along the way! When I’m particularly unsure about a future business move, I try to talk to as many people as possible. My business partner and I give each other our thoughts on the situation at hand and then we ask our mentors, friends, industry connections, etc.

Sara Elise Of Harvest & Revel Sitting Down

Is there a saying or motto you live by?

Not particularly, but I realize that the more my heart expands – the more I’m open and accepting of others working out their particular stage of being a human. I am not the expert on anyone’s life except for my own. It’s an important perspective to keep because it reminds me I have agency in my life and that nothing anyone else does has anything to do with me! It’s very freeing to release control of others in that way and permits me to prioritize my self-expansion.

How do you achieve a work-life balance?

The reason I work is to prioritize play, experience, and creation as much as possible. So, achieving a positive work-life balance is natural for me. Meeting new people, planning events for clients with Harvest & Revel, and creating/hosting events through Blind Seed allows me to feel much of this even while I’m working, which is a huge blessing.

I also prioritize getting work done in small spurts throughout the day around my play schedule. So, lying in the park, working out, traveling, doing activities with friends, cooking, spending time with my partner or going out to eat. Those are my priorities. I fit my work in around those activities. Some days it doesn’t work out like this and I have to spend the entire day doing work but that’s definitely not the goal.

What is your go-to piece of professional workwear?

I mostly work in cafes and at home, so I’m usually dressed as I would for any day. But, when I’m working events – my black kitchen clogs are my go-to piece of professional workwear. Especially when I’m on my feet at a wedding all day – those are the only shoes that offer me support and are super comfy. Plus, I’m probably a weirdo, but I think they look cool, too.

What song do you listen to when you need a confidence boost?

I like Janelle Monae’s “Lettin Go.” This song reminds me that at the end of the day, none of this really matters. As much effort as we put into the careers we’ve built for ourselves, everything can end at any moment. And if it does we’re still going to let go, dance and play. It’s an important reminder.

What would you tell a woman interested in making the leap to entrepreneurship?

I would suggest getting familiar with the market you’re looking to expand into. Who are the major players thriving in the current market? What’s being offered? What are you going to offer that’s different than what other people are experiencing already?

Once you have your background research done and you’re sure of how to move forward, go! Jump in fully! Immerse yourself in your vision and tell everyone about it! Build as much positive energy and momentum around manifesting your goals and then watch them unfold around you.

Learn more about Sara Elise and Harvest & Revel.
www.HarvestandRevel.com
@HarvestandRevel

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

August 21, 2017 0 comment
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