Name: Annie Vazquez
Occupation/Company: Entrepeneur TheFashionPoet.com & AnnieTheAlchemist.com
Instagram: @TheFashionPoet @AnnieTheAlchemist
Website: TheFashionPoet.com & AnnieTheAlchemist.com

How did you get to where you are today?
Hard work, faith in myself, meditation, surrendering to the universe when things i thought weren’t panning my way actually were, being respectful & kind to others and surrounding myself with people who lift me emotionally.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
I’m a big time shopper who has a knack for writing and was able to turn her shopping into a business by being a pioneer in Miami’s fashion blogging industry and now i did the same with my wellness site. you gotta make a business out of things you love.

How do you define success?
Honestly, i think it’s being alive and pushing through challenges and finding peace in both the tough and happiest times. Everything is a fleeting moment, you can be on top of the world one second and on the ground the next, but in life we need to master surviving both and acknowledging their purpose which is to help us grow into better versions of ourselves.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
i’d have to say the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people from different walks of life & learn from them, to travel to places on my vision board and to grow from being petrified to do public speaking to now stand in a room full of hundreds of people and talk and make them laugh and connect with them.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them? Well, I’ve learned a lot. I learned to separate my ego from my work being a fashion blogger opened up a channel of internet bullies so I learned not to take it personal.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
There are so many things. I definitely am excited to have my own brand, Annie The Alchemist so getting the merchandise in different boutiques across the country is one thing.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My parents. They are goals in business. I always turn to them for advice. They are also spiritual samurais. They are so calm, kind and generous.

What makes you truly, genuinely happy?
Many things haha. i’m pretty simple. Could be traveling to a new country, having coffee with a friend and laughing, walking my dog or eating pizza in bed watching Netflix.

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
There is nothing to fear accept not trying.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
haha… that what i do is not work or it’s easy. The truth is I have to wear a lot of hats, hustle and make my own money. i am grateful to work for myself, but that also requires a certain discipline and faith. there’s good times in business and there’s slow times. it’s quite humbling to experience it all. you gotta reinvent, be savvy, strategize and fight for what you love.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?
‘If you’re going through hell keep going.’ – roosevelt
“what you seek is seeking you.” -rumi

Name: Jessica Anderson
Occupation/Company: Founder/Chief Designer of Apparel Design House, LLC.
Instagram: @appareldesignhouse.com
Website: http://www.appareldesignhouse.com

How did you get to where you are today?
I have been an industry schooled and trained fashion designer for 18 years. I started as a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, then I spent 10 years working corporate in Manhattan designing for Victoria’s Secret, Jones Apparel Group, Coach to name a few. When I moved to Miami in 2009, I saw a demand for ‘want to be designers’ contacting me to get help with design and manufacturing. After launching my company in 2014, I spent years building relationships with quality factories and suppliers, so that I could produce my clients product with them. Today I have over 45 clients and growing weekly.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
We help entrepreneurs start their own private label fashion companies. Apparel Design House takes clients from idea through design to manufacturing. A one-stop shop for ‘aspiring fashion designers’, no skill needed!

How do you define success?
Staying power and having the flexibility to modify your business to adapt to your market constantly. Success is personal for me, my business has blown up in the past year and being able to be quick to keep up with that growth by having a strong skilled team is also a big part of my success.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
I would say seeing my various clients fashion lines that start with a simple idea and then helping them manifest that into an actual marketable product that they can sell. Being a designer~ I love the whole process, a fashion sketch that evolves into a wearable product. Each and every design becomes a sort of mind child for me. Lastly, I am happy in what I do, that is the big reward.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?
Coming from an ‘industry’ corporate background was a bit of a challenge at first because our clients are not from the industry, so I had to learn to speak a language that they understand, and not use so much technical language. I also had to develop a industry process that works for all and train my clients to understand and respect this process. It hasn’t been easy managing expectations with clients that no nothing about the industry, so we try to clue them in at the start about timelines and possible delays that come up with manufacturing. They all want instant gratification, so in a lot of ways I am really teaching them very valuable knowledge that took me years to gain.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I want to eventually own my own fashion lines and factory both in the US and possibly overseas, so we can scale it to large quantity production 20,000 units +

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Coco Chanel, she was a pioneer in the fashion industry and built a multi-million dollar company, which is what I plan to do.

What makes you truly, genuinely happy?
I get the pleasure of doing what I love everyday. That is fashion design and being my own boss.

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
Do exactly what you did, get the hands on corporate experience and then go work for yourself.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
People think being a designer is that you just draw all day. They don’t understand the actual training that goes into fashion design. For example: being able to merchandise a collection, understanding textiles and what works for one design might not work for another construction. The amount of stressful grueling work that goes into managing a supply chain and all the set backs that come from the suppliers and delays in production. The only thing glamorous about this industry is what you see going down the runway.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?
Don’t wait for your fashion dream to come true, hire Apparel Design House, and it will happen. Wink wink

Name: Caitlin Saucier
Occupation/Company: Founder and Creator of Sauci Style
Instagram: @saucistyle
Website: www.saucistyle.com

How did you get to where you are today?

Hustle, baby! Although my career started out in fashion with Alice + Olivia in New York City, I ended up starting my own business by life-circumstance. A relationship moved me from New York to Birmingham, Alabama to South Florida, and the retail management positions available were far and few between. I felt a bit lost and was uninspired by the career opportunities in my vocation. I vividly remember folding towels at a Pilates studio one afternoon, and questioning what I was doing with my life. I realized in that moment, that if I couldn’t find my dream job, I’d just have to make-up my own. Then…I HUSTLED!

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?

I’m a Fairy Godmother and a therapist! I’ll make sure you turn heads at the ball and I’ll be your shoulder to cry on when you lose your glass slipper.

How do you define success?

Success in my mind, is being able to provide for yourself by doing what you love.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?

Styling celebrities like Venus Williams and Nacho Figueras definitely top my list! Over the past few years though, I’ve really started to value the relationships I’ve built with fellow influencers and women in the fashion industry. I never had a mentor, but I’m constantly learning from the boss-babes that I’m proud to consider colleagues and friends.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?

It’s far too common for women to allow their career aspirations to take a backseat, whether in a relationship or in motherhood. I made that mistake…I folded towels….I learned my lesson. As a female, it’s incredibly important to make your own dreams a priority.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?

Over the past year, I’ve been able to add people to my team! I want to continue to grow and share my vision and experience with new employees.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Well, that would have to go to my mom! Shes’ my biggest cheerleader.

What makes you truly, genuinely happy?

Shoes…and wine!

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?

Brown lip liner was meant to stay in the 90s. Quit wearing it!

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?

The glamour! You’re far more likely to see me wearing joggers and my Golden Goose sneakers while carrying five garment bags through the mall, than you are to see me in Jimmy Choos sitting front row at a fashion show.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?

Life is short! Do what you love, with the people you love- and never look back!

candy tong lilac and lilies

Name: Candy Tong
Company: Professional Ballerina with Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Age: 22
Instagram: @candytong12
Website: www.candytong.live

How did you get to where you are today?
Like many other professional ballerinas, I began dancing when I was 3 years old. My parents threw me in every curricular activity possible as a child to find out what I truly enjoyed doing. A long side dance, I spent most of my childhood playing competitive soccer, basketball, and even drawing.  I found my love for dance at a young age of 9. I knew then that being a professional ballerina is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I began my professional training at San Francisco Ballet where I soon soared through the levels and was appointed lead roles in performances not only in the school, but also with the company. I was the youngest and tallest (haha) ‘Clara’ at the age of 11 in San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker. Because a dancer’s schedule is so rigorous and time consuming, I began to tackle more academic work on my own. Starting from fifth grade I joined an independent schooling program where I was able to advance with my school work. As an end result, I was able to complete high school two years early with Dean’s Honor List and other academic achievements. The purpose of this was so that I could spend more time training in the studio perfecting my craft. I even traveled all over the country to train with the most prestigious and renowned teachers/mentors to get the best possible training. A long side, I competed in many state and world competitions. I was crowned Miss Dance of California in 2013 and was later placed as third runner up for the title of Miss Dance of America. My first big move as an “adult” was at the sweet age of 16; then I joined the Professional Division at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. The following year, I made a bolder and bigger move across the pond to London, England. I found a new home with the English National Ballet School where I experienced my first big tour with a professional company. I was able to travel all over Europe performing ballets that I have been dreaming for so long. I was living my fairytale, but of course like any other dancer something was bound to go wrong. I dealt with my first serious injury. I fractured my right metatarsal which kept me out of dancing for half a year. As exaggerated as this may seem, it felt like my world ended. I chose to take a break from the professional dance world and attended college at University of California, Irvine where I deferred my first year to dance in London. I knew I still wanted to continue to pursue my dance career, but always wanted to achieve my degree while doing so. With that mindset, I again was extremely motivated in school and repeatedly completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance in just 2 ½ years. During my time at college, I was the youngest to be placed in the highest levels for all dance categories; ballet, modern, and jazz. Because I was able to complete all my credits within my first year, I was allowed to travel during my time at school to audition and perform for professional dance companies. By the end of my second year I took a quarter away from school to dance with Complexions Contemporary Ballet at their annual gala performance in NYC. From there I knew, that this is the company I wanted to dance for. So here I am one year later, dancing with my dream company in my dream city. There has been many ups and downs in my career that has led me to this place. I believe that with a strong will and mind, you can accomplish any goal and dream you have your heart set on.

candy tong lilac and lilies

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
I giggled when I read this question because sometimes I feel like just the title “professional ballerina” is enough of an elevator pitch. This career is so rare and unique that when I meet new people or introduce myself as one, the reactions I receive are priceless. They think I’m some graceful yet strong mystical athlete.

How do you define success? Do you consider yourself “successful”?
My definition of success determines on my happiness. Knowing that what you are doing whether in your career or any activity in your every day life is helping you and others lead a better and happier life is successful to me. Live your life in a way where that causes you to feel little pain and a lot of pleasure. I think I’m successful in terms of my own definition, but I am and will always be striving for success. There’s so many things in life I want to accomplish and be “successful” at.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
The biggest reward thus far would have to be joining my dream company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, this year. I’ve worked so hard all my life and have been through a roller coaster ride with my career as well with injuries, rejections, and failures. But I’ve learned to trust the process and believe that everything is supposed to happen for a reason. So therefore, I am extremely thankful for where I am today.

candy tong lilac and lilies

What have been some of your mistakes? What have you learned from them?
This may sound crazy to many, but I wish I spent more time in the studio perfecting other dance forms. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a mistake, but I wish I had taken hip hop, ballroom, and even musical theatre more seriously. Nowadays young dancers are perfectionists in all genres. They are triple threats and to be able to get a job nowadays, you must be diverse.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I hope to make a name for myself not just in the dance world, but in everything that I do whether it’s as an influencer, a blogger, or in my career after dance. I want to live a life where I can feel fulfilled and live knowing that I’ve been able to do everything that I’ve ever imagined.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is my mother. My mom is my number 1 fan, supporter, and best friend. She’s seen me at my worst and at my best. I received my passion, dedication, and discipline from her. She’s inspired me to never give up on my dreams whether realistic or not attainable. My mother is an absolute god (*says all daughters and sons*)!

When was the last time you were overwhelmed and cried from something provoked by work?
I’m not sure if I get overwhelmed much, but I do get frustrated especially if you are somewhat as a perfectionist like me. I am stubborn and if I don’t get something perfect, I usually will think that I’m bad at my craft as silly as that sounds. I’m a strong tough cookie and don’t cry often from my work. But if I do, it’s probably because I’m seriously injured!

How has your career affected your personal life/relationships?
I think my career as a ballerina has actually helped me in my personal life. I am a social butterfly and love to meet new people on the daily. It’s amazing to have both a group of dancers as friends and the mechanical, tech geniuses, writer/etc. group of non-dancers. It balances out my world and helps me live a well-rounded life. As for relationships, it’s not an easy thing I must say. I’m a very independent lady and enjoy being busy 24/7 which is why I strongly believe NYC is my city. My schedule is usually crazy where I am often traveling/ touring and or working during the weekends which allows for no “play” time. But for me right now, I enjoy my job so much that I am not too worried about having a relationship right now.

candy tong lilac and lilies
Have you ever thought about giving up? What provokes those thoughts?
Definitely!! After my serious injury when I was in London, my mindset completely flipped 180 degrees. I immediately thought about quitting dance and believed that I wasn’t meant for the dance world. It’s crazy to think that one injury can evolve to these kinds of thoughts. The reason to this is because we spend so much time, effort, money and energy to our craft and that if we get injured we feel and think as though we’ve been set back 2 years behind. As a dancer you are always replaceable (like any other field of course). But since this dance world is so cut throat, I feel as though It is more painful to go through.

What causes you anxiety/sleepless nights?
I don’t get anxiety, but I usually get a lot of adrenaline or excitement before and after a show which causes sleepless nights. I love performing and I love being on stage which gets me so happy and tireless.

What makes you happy?
SO MANY things can make me happy! It’s the little things that bring me joy. Of course, nailing my performances will make me exuberated, but also even seeing someone on the street perform a good deed for another person will give me the same feeling. I am just a very happy and good-spirited person!

What advice would you tell your 21 year old self?
I graduated from when I was 21 years old and was dealing with the transition into adult life. I would tell myself to not give up and to trust the process. I learned it later on, but wish I believed in it earlier. Like I mentioned above, everything does happen for a reason and you just have to believe that. Each let down, each rejection, each “failure” is leading to something great and something you have been achieving for years.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
A huge way to get any dancer mad is to tell them that “dance is easy.” Especially as a college dance major, hearing this made me irritated. If dance were so “easy,” everyone could have a profession in it.

What is your favorite quote?
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

 

Name: Angela Birdman
Occupation/Company: Philanthropist/Founder- Walk In Style For The Animals
Instagram: @walkinstyle_fta @anglbrd

How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been philanthropic, but after my children were grown and entered college, I found myself with more free time.  I took this time to immerse myself into causes I am passionate about – animals, individuals with special needs, and the arts.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
I don’t work for a living, I work on making the world a better place for those in need.

How do you define success?
Success to me is when I hear we raised enough money to send the Special Olympic Athletes from Miami-Dade to nationals to compete.  Success is seeing that pup I took from Miami Dade Animal Shelter (MDAS) get released from the hospital, her hair grown back, and finding out she has found her forever home.  Success is knowing a talented young artist will have a scholarship from our fundraising efforts and be able to follow their dreams and inspire us all with their work.  Success is good health, love, and lots of laughter in my life.


What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
Some of the most rewarding things?  I think I just mentioned some them in my definition of success. Walk In Style For The Animals and the community response to this event has been extremely rewarding.  Hearing that something I am doing is inspiring others is an incredibly rewarding feeling.  But outside of those, seeing my sons grow into the amazing men they are now has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. I am extremely proud of them and who they have become.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?
I have learned that you must get things in writing, not everyone values commitment as you do.  That was a lesson I sadly had to learn the hard way.  The most important lesson – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I would love to take Walk In Style For The Animals nationwide to be able to reach even more animals in need. I am a huge animal lover.  Animals do not have a voice, we must be their voice and advocate on their behalf.  Educating people on spaying and neutering their pets so we can get the pet population under control and have less animals in our shelters is a longtime wish. Euthanasia of healthy animals in shelters due to overpopulation and a lack of funding and resources is truly heartbreaking.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I am honestly inspired everyday by people.  The world has so much negativity as of late, anytime I hear or read about a heroic fireman dying fighting a fire, a soldier killed in the line of duty, a woman rescuing dogs from certain death in China, a boy with special needs who started his own company making socks – this is all incredibly inspiring.  This is probably the most inspiring to me actually – ordinary, everyday people doing their part to make the world a safer and better place or overcoming challenge and accomplishing things no one thought they could. These are truly inspiring people.


What makes you truly, genuinely happy?
Happiness to me is waking up to wet puppy noses on my cheek, spending time in nature, being with my family, laughter with friends, and knowing something I did today made a difference to someone’s life.

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
Don’t do what you think is expected of you – follow your dreams and do what makes you happy!  When you do things that make you happy, everything else falls into place.  Let go of what is not meant for you, so you can make room for what is.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
I think it is assumed that I don’t work.  While I don’t have a “job”, I work harder for the causes I am passionate about that I ever did when in the workplace.  My schedule is always full and I am always working on something – oftentimes a few things at once.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?
“You can’t go deep when you are swimming in a shallow pool.”

Sydney Weiss 

Name: Sydney Weiss
Company: Seek The Joy Podcast
Age: 27
Instagram: seekthejoypod_
Website: www.seekthejoypodcast.com

How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up self-love wasn’t in my vocabulary, and I never knew how to show myself unconditional love and compassion. I’ve always been someone that feels everything, and I struggled as a kid and well into my early 20’s. I never knew how to set good emotional boundaries, the idea of vulnerability freaked me out, and I defined my self-worth based on external achievements. My “work hard, don’t play” mentality (I’m pretty sure I just made that up) ran me into the ground. I had no idea what I loved or what brought me joy, and for a long time I thought it was something I had to work really hard for. I wanted to live a joyful and balanced life with greater fulfillment, fun, and adventure. I had no idea how to get there, how to access that joy, and how to make it part of who I am.

In September 2017 I realized it was time to figure out my joy, and I created Seek The Joy Podcast while I was waiting for California bar exam results the second time.

In 2016, one month before I graduated from law school, I had shingles. I sat for the bar exam that summer, and after an intense 10 weeks of studying and anxiety I wore my mind, body, and spirit out. Two months later I had appendicitis, and I was so fatigued I barely recognized myself anymore. When I found I didn’t pass the bar exam I was mean to myself, angry, disappointed, ashamed, and I let negative self-talk take control. It was clear to me that after months (if not years) of not listening to my body, I needed to rest, reflect, and change my mindset and how I spoke to myself.

Over the next year I took care of my health and I started listening and trusting my intuition more. I slowly let go of negative self-talk, I made balance a priority, found refuge in long walks and mantras, and I learned to lean on myself more. I slowly started to shift my perspective from anger to self-love, and over the next nine months I noticed an obvious difference in how I spoke to myself and others.

I sat for the bar exam again the following summer and this time I passed. While I was waiting for bar results I spent a lot of time reflecting on the last year. I remember sitting in my room and experiencing this burst of inspiration. I knew I wanted to start a conversation and create a way to connect with others who had similar experiences. I wanted to build a community and a space to share personal stories, explore what brings us joy, and learn and grow through stepping into our vulnerability and courage. More than that, I wanted to create a space to remind us all that we’re not alone.

It all clicked – I was going to start a podcast, and it was going to be called Seek The Joy Podcast. One night I created a plan and before I knew it I was sitting in front of my computer with a microphone about to hit record.

I really believe that getting knocked down, and learning how to pick myself back up, is how I got to where I am today. If I had passed the bar exam the first time I wouldn’t have learned to slow down and be kinder, gentler, and more compassionate to myself. I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have felt the inspiration to start Seek The Joy Podcast. It’s through discomfort and uncertainty that we grow so much stronger than we would without those challenges. I’m grateful for the roadblocks that I’ve turned into stepping stones.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
Seek The Joy Podcast is a community of women and men who are willing to step outside of their comfort zones, show up for themselves, and share their personal stories of joy, struggle, and triumph. Through heartfelt storytelling, every episode features conversations focused on stepping into our authenticity, building up our self-love muscles, discovering our paths, following our passions, choosing love, and seeking joy.


How do you define success? Do you consider yourself “successful”?
For me success is taking risks, putting myself out there, and owning my vulnerability. It’s about being unconditionally proud of myself and not fearing those emotional risks. I’d also have to say when someone says, “I’ve been listening to your podcast and it’s had such a strong impact of my life” or “I recommended your podcast to a friend.” To hear that what I’ve built and created resonates with someone – that to me is success.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
First of all, graduating from law school and passing the California bar exam. I’m really proud of those accomplishments. I’m really passionate about our environment and being part of the solution to the climate crisis, and I’ve had the opportunity to work on some exciting and rewarding environmental campaigns and projects. I’m really looking forward to what comes next in that part of my career.
Without a doubt it’s been incredibly rewarding creating, developing, and launching Seek The Joy Podcast. I’ve built this platform all by myself and to do this alone has given me such a sense of accomplishment. I’m really proud of the community it’s inspiring and creating, and I feel so connected to my listeners around the world.

What have been some of your mistakes? What have you learned from them?
First, making decisions and rushing into things before I took time to evaluate if it was a good fit. Second, not listening to and trusting my intuition. I made both of these mistakes when I first started the podcast. It’s been important for me to slow down so that I can catch myself before I act before thinking or go against that gut feeling.
I’ve learned:
It’s okay to say no – you can’t please everyone.
Make your boundaries known, especially to yourself.
Celebrate every stage of your journey.
Before making a decision and saying “yes!” take time to really think it through.
Slow growth is growth – always.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone but you.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I’m excited to see Seek The Joy Podcast continue to grow, and I’d love for it to become a household name and instantly recognizable. I’m working on creating ways to connect with this community in person, and I’d love to be able to do that through live podcast recordings and events. I have dreams of writing a book, traveling the world (especially Australia, Italy, England, Switzerland, Hungary and France), living and working in another country, learning French, and diving head first into astrology. More than anything, I want to use my experiences and what I’ve learned to heal myself and others. I grew up with a lisp and embarrassed by my voice, and without even realizing it Seek The Joy Podcast has helped me heal. If I can do the same for someone else, that’s the kind of impact I want to have.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
There are so many people who have inspired me, and I’d have to say Brené Brown is definitely at the top of that list. I was first introduced to Brené and her work on courage, vulnerability, and shame in 2012. She pretty much changed my life. Her willingness to dive deep into her own shame gave me permission to do the same. Her bravery and vulnerability deeply impacted me to the point where I was incorporating her research and teachings without even realizing it. I’ve always struggled with vulnerability, and the idea of being really seen and really heard scared the crap out of me. I’ve always been someone who’s sat on the sidelines, poking my head out from time to time when I felt it was safe, but never willing to jump head first into the deep end. Last year something changed, and now that I think about it I really owe that to Brené and the incredible woman who first introduced her to me.

How has your career affected your personal life/relationships?
The path I’ve taken with my career has changed my personal life and relationships for the better. Through all of the changes and the ups and downs I’ve learned so much about life, how I relate to others, and how to treat myself with more kindness and compassion. That kindness and compassion has definitely generalized into relationships with family and friends too. Every conversation with a guest or someone who listens to and loves the podcast has impacted me in a positive way. My attitude towards my life has shifted, and I feel more hopeful and more inspired than ever before.

Have you ever thought about giving up? What provokes those thoughts?
I’ve been knocked down more times than I can count but I’ve never thought about giving up. I’ve had moments of doubt where I question why I’m doing this podcast and sharing so much of myself. I’ve learned to push past those moments of insecurity and come back to why I started the podcast in the first place. Plus, there’s a whole book of my life still to write! I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to stop after the first chapter.

What causes you anxiety/sleepless nights?
Uncertainty and not knowing what’s next has brought me a lot of anxiety, discomfort, fear, and resistance. I’m learning to embrace and sit with that discomfort instead of fighting it. I’m learning to trust more and to trust that not knowing what’s next is okay, that unease is part of the process, and that I’ll figure it all out. Sometimes we underestimate just how resilient and capable we are, and I’m guilty of that too. The waiting and the in-between all serves a purpose, even when we can’t see it yet. Despite the anxiety and unease, I’m learning to trust the process and celebrate every part of my journey.

What makes you happy?
That feeling when you’re standing on the beach and the waves are crashing up against your feet. I could (and do) stand there for hours, it’s my absolute favorite.

What advice would you tell your 21 year old self?
First, breathe. Second, don’t feel so rushed to have it all figured out. It’s okay that you feel lost and uncertain. Take some time to discover who you are and what you love before you make your next move.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
People think that because I have a podcast about seeking joy that means I’m joyful and happy all the time. I’m on a joy seeking journey but I’m human! Not every day is a good day. The key has been learning to embrace and accept those difficult moments and emotions so that I can come back to my joy.

What is your favorite quote?
“Stay patient and trust your journey.” This quote has been my iPhone background since 2014 and it’s my daily reminder to not freak out! Everything will work out the way that it’s supposed to and when it’s supposed to.

Name: Fabiola Trujillo
Occupation/Company: SobeTan Owner, aesthetician, and spray tan artist
Instagram: www.instagram.com/sobetan
Website: www.sobetan.com

How did you get to where you are today?
With lots of passion for what I do as well as persistence and determination, I believe so much in what I do.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
Everyone benefits from good color on your skin. It makes you feel healthier, vibrant, better looking, thinner, hides cellulite and varicose veins. It is the best make up for your body, it is natural looking and it will last you for a full week, then I show off my tan line :):)


How do you define success?
Success for me is giving something to the community that makes you happy. I meet so many wonderful people doing what I do, and I bring happiness and confidence to them and that for me alone is success in my professional life.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
Being able to help women, teaching them about the business and being their mentor whenever they are starting the business of spray tan.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?
In the business of spray tanning, it is very important to be able to see the clients after they have showered because that is when we really see what kind of job we are doing, that is the way we kind of learn what to do and what not to do when spraying someone. I guess at the beginning I messed up a lot, but that is the way we learn, right?


What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I would love to take my business to the next level and begin franchising.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My father is a person that I have always looked up to. I also love reading books about business women and how they made it happen, having their business flourish from nothing to a big company.

What makes you truly, genuinely happy?
Being with family, my son and husband. Having my friends near and enjoying time with them. I am a social person and for me it’s important to have people near me 🙂

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
Oh my, I am so happy the way I have lived my life that I just would say it is going to be an incredible journey enjoy every minute of it, and oh yeah! Stay away from the sun because that tan that you are trying to achieve today will get right back at you, and not in a good way.


What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
Spray tans being bad for your health and containing chemicals, which is a total taboo. Self-tanner is derived from sugar cane, and we use only organic products. A natural looking self-tanner is key so clients do not get an unnatural outcome on their tans.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. talent will not; nothing is more common that unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”  – Calvin Coolidge.

Name: Elisabetta Fantone

Occupation/Company: Painter, Actress, Wife, Mother

Instagram: @elisabettafantone

Website: www.elisabettafantoneart.com, www.elisabettafantone.com

How did you get to where you are today?
Lots of hard work, determination, never taking no for an answer and never listening to the naysayers.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
Thankfully, I’ve never really had to rely on elevator pitches to get to where I am today.

How do you define success?
To me, success isn’t really about how much money you make but rather on being able to survive by doing what you love in life.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
I’ve been on a few television and movie productions that were pretty rewarding such as my first movie, My Name is Sandy and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, where I got to share the screen with Amy Adams and the great Christophe Waltz. I’ve published two books, I’ve designed two watches for CORUM, the world renowned watch maker, I’ve collaborated with an international fashion designer on a line of dresses, I’ve painted a number of large murals, two of which are located in Wynwood, which is considered to be one of the top art districts in north America and I’ve been commissioned to paint some of the world’s most iconic celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Celine Dion and the Kardashians. More recently, I artistically revamped the National Hotel in Miami Beach including the total makeover of a suite that now bares my name, that’s pretty rewarding.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them? 
I think my biggest mistake was to trust the wrong people early on in my career. What I’ve learned with time is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, but most importantly, you should never sell yourself short.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
As a mother I’d like to have another child. As a painter, I’d like to have a solo show in world renowned museum and as an actor, like every other actor out there, I would like to earn an Academy Award.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

I’ve always avoided limiting myself to one single influence and I would say that I’m mostly influenced by the world around me! I think it would stifle my creativity if I were to stick to one way of thinking or one source of influence. My thoughts and ideas evolve every day with my work and I never know where my next idea will come from. It can come from a song I just heard, or something in nature or even a story I was recently told. I try to be receptive and open at all times.

What causes you anxiety/sleepless nights?
I used to worry about the most meaningless things until I gave birth to my baby girl, now I can tell you what real anxiety and sleepless nights are.

What makes you truly, genuinely happy?
I can honestly say that no matter where I am, being with my husband and child truly fulfills me.

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
To always stay true to yourself and to follow your dreams no matter what. We have a limited time here on earth and so life is too short to be wasting it on something that does not fulfill you.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
It’s mostly messy and not always glamorous. It’s lots of sleepless nights and countless hours of hard labor to get to a final product that people assume was easy to achieve.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?
Let the naysayers fuel your ambition and perseverance. If you have a vision and the will, you can create anything and be whoever you want to be.

Emily Merrell

Name: Emily Merrell
Occupation/Company: Founder- Six Degrees Society
Instagram: @Six_Degrees_Society
Website: www.sixdegreessociety.com

How did you get to where you are today?

I’m a big fan of following your path and journey and watching it unfold. I think it all started when I decided to move to Argentina after college. In Argentina my main objective was to move to a foreign country I had never been to and build a network and a life there. After 9 months living and working in fabulous Buenos Aires I moved to NYC to start my “grown up” life. It was in Argentina that I met at woman that connected me to my first boss who hired me at Ralph Lauren and later on at Tory Burch. It was there i met one of my best friends who has helped build my San Francisco market of Six Degrees Society. Essentially it’s through my network and support system that has led me to where I am today. My career in fashion really helped set the stage for a wider net of creativity and connections that i’ve tapped into over and over again.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?

We handpick who you meet while networking by creating curated handpicked connections tailored just for you based on bios submitted pre-event. At our events you’ll meet personal, professional and future life self connections.

Emily Merrell

How do you define success?

When someone says, “I’ve heard of you before.” or “I’m on your mailing list!” Yet I think I’ll feel truly successful when Oprah starts talking about us.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?

Working at Ralph Lauren and Tory Burch were two of the most rewarding and exciting companies to work for from working with amazing employees throughout, to building out some elaborate events with some quite memorable people. One event that will forever stick in my mind was an evening at the Ralph Lauren flagship women’s store on 72nd and Madison in NYC where Ralph Lauren was hosting Gloria Vanderbilt and Wendy Goodman for a book signing. The evening was perfect from the handsome waiters to the impeccably dressed attendees. The best part was celebrating the event being over with my team. Overall I love seeing an event through start to finish from ideating it to being there and seeing people’s reactions to

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?

Ohhhh hiccups. I once had booked an event venue and the day of the event I was told it wasn’t on their schedule so they couldn’t host us. I ended up getting on the phone and working out a solution with the girl working that day and ultimately took her out to lunch.

I have 5 learnings:

  • Stay cool under pressure
  • There is always a plan B available
  • Be kind, honest and understanding
  • Admit you’re wrong and apologize
  • Be clear in all of your communications

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?

Oh man, where do I start. Now that Six Degrees Society has moved from being my hobby to my business I want to find other hobbies to focus on. I love making jewelry and being crafty and am eager to get back into those routines. Professionally I’d love to build an connection platform and resource hub, start a podcast, write a book, launch a talk show, expand our chapters nationally and internationally and grow our team.

Emily Merrell

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My mom. She was a single mompreneuer and she seemed to marry all of her passions within her business. She used to design menu covers for hotels and restaurants and was constantly visiting and traveling to the top hotels and restaurants in the world. She also worked from home so it was hard to juggle being both a mom and a business woman yet I so loved seeing her work and having her at home.

What makes you truly, genuinely happy?

Getting into a robe or cozy pajamas at the end of the day and snuggling with my step-dog.

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?

You have no idea where life will take you, enjoy the ride and let it unfold– but also go into sales!

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?

People think I’m a matchmaker– and get confused when I say it’s women only.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?

“Just breathe” from Ever After

Marissa Mosseri

Name: Marissa Mosseri

Occupation/Company: Lifestyle Blogger/Online Influencer and Business Development Manager for Priv

Instagram: @marissalynne / @priv

Website: www.gochicyourself.com / www.gopriv.com

 

How did you get to where you are today?

I started a blog right out of college that focused on beauty and fashion, to help showcase my writing as well as my passion for the industries (with hopes it would also help with my job hunt, which was during the recession in 2008).

I started my career in a Marketing role for a cosmetics company, which quickly turned into a Product Development role. It was so fun and creative – conceptualizing ideas for new products, working with chemists on formulas, testing and naming products and shades, it was a beauty junkie’s dream! I then went on to work for renowned hair care line Bumble and bumble, where I handled Marketing execution for Florida, Texas, and Louisiana.

I now have the opportunity to work with Priv, an innovative on-demand beauty/wellness app that’s changing the game for salon and spa services. It’s beauty your way. On the way.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?

Priv is an on-demand beauty and wellness app that delivers vetted beauty and wellness professionals to any location.

As for my like as an influencer, I’m a lifestyle blogger that works with brands in the fashion, beauty, travel and food world to create content and provide exposure.

Marissa Mosseri

How do you define success?

Success for me incorporates setting ambitious goals for myself, and breaking them down into smaller goals and action steps to work towards them. It’s about continuous growth and progress, as success is an ongoing intention that’s limitless.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?

As a blogger and online influencer, I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many incredible national and international brands including Dermalogica, Whispering Angel Rosé, Uber, Smartwater, Daniel Wellington, and Maybelline.

Working with Priv, I’ve had the opportunity to launch the Miami market and establish local partnerships with Bloomingdale’s, WeWork, Miami Magazine, Ocean Drive Magazine, European Wax Center, Miami Design Districtand Lululemon. I also had the opportunity to appear on-air with Deco Drive and NBC 6 in the Mix to offer beauty tips and promote Priv to the local South Florida market.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?

I think “paralysis by analysis” (AKA being a perfectionist) was something that prevented me from moving forward with projects in the past. I would have these big ideas, but would sometimes become so overwhelmed by them, that I wouldn’t want to start taking steps unless I had everything figured out, and the time to knock out big steps all at once. Now, I’m learning to live by “progress, not perfection”. Taking smaller smaller steps each day, I am incrementally making progress in each of these projects, and have time to focus on individual steps that will create the bigger picture.

Marissa Mosseri

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?

I want to continue growing my brand and use my creativity and drive to differentiate myself in this competitive world.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My Mom.She has supported me in all of my ideas, projects, career decisions and travel plans, and she sis always the first one I go to for advice.

What causes you anxiety/sleepless nights?

Ideas and plans. My mind is constantly running and thinking about ideas for events, collaborations and partnerships, and listing off everything I need to do!

What makes you truly, genuinely happy?

Spending time with my loved ones, traveling, and seeing my visions come to life.

Marissa Mosseri

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?

Keep hustling and don’t get discouraged.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?

That the beauty industry and blogger world can’t be that hard. It may all look glamorous but it takes a lot of hard work, creativity, and dedication.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams”