STARTTV

Best Hustle Stories Ever Told.

Highlighting the entrepreneurial journeys of women of color.
No fluff. No filter. By us, for us.

START TV is the 1st multimedia company solely dedicated to producing and distributing aspirational stories about the entrepreneurial journeys of women of color.

Women of color entrepreneurs are not a trend. We are the new normal.

The visionary

Judith Norman is a serial entrepreneur, creative storyteller, writer, video producer, and author. Judith is also a Fall 2021 New Voices Foundation / Fund Madame CJ Walker Institute PACE Bootcamp Cohort.
Alexandra Becket ModOp Design | @modopdesign
“As a woman, it’s just really important to speak up for yourself.”

Artist/Designer/Entrepreneur Alexandra Becket of ModOp Design is not the usual house flipper.  In the competitive Los Angeles housing market, Alexandra (and her husband) have created their own niche by purchasing old bungalows and properties and updating them with modern amenities without disturbing the home’s original charm.  Alexandra’s own line of wallpaper is often included in the makeovers. 

ModOp Design has become a notable brand and their flip houses are highly desired.  But, success – especially in real estate – requires risk.  

Women’s Work Discussion:

Manage risk

Amber LewisInfluencer, Model, Music Curator, Event Host
@socialinthecity

“If you’re an entrepreneur who has a full-time job and a career, especially if you love it, own that. It doesn’t make you any less of an entrepreneur.”

Amber Lewis is an all around creative. As the former director of social media for the city of Detroit, Amber is always in the know of all of the hottest things going on in the city! Amber is also a music curator, better known as @theplaylistprincess, who puts together various playlists for different experiences. AKA, she knows how to get a party started! Amber is also an influencer, model and event host who loves showing off her bold sense of style on her Instagram account @socialnthecity.

Covid-19 Update:

Since this interview, Amber left her corporate career to be a creative artist full time. She focuses on content planning and production, influencer marketing, writing, and whatever else brings her joy. She has relocated to New Orleans, but she continues to work with Detroit businesses.

Women’s Work Discussion:

If Necessary, Keep Your Day Job

Anastasia CollinsSocial Happenings, LLC
@social_happenings

“Women are empowering each other, uplifting each other, and being bosses and playing the game their own way.”

Based in Michigan, Anastasia Collins is an accomplished event specialist who has had years fine tuning her skills while working in all aspects of the industry. Anastasia has assisted, created and ran events from fashion week shows, after parties and company launches in New York City to non-profit and corporate events in the Metro Detroit area. Social Happenings' main goal is to exceed client expectations by creating a curated event that meets your needs, while offering unparalleled support through your planning process.

Those who select Social Happenings, LLC for their event are looking to hire a professional that will guide, encourage and assist them throughout planning, while thoughtfully capturing their personality and style in order to bring their vision to life. When you hire Social Happenings, you will save time, money and unneeded stress. With day-of, full planning and partial planning services, let us ensure a successful wedding, social, non-profit or corporate event.

Covid-19 Update:

Since this interview, Anastasia Collins has expanded the Social Happenings, LLC brand to include public relations. Public relations has been running through Anastasia’s blood for more than six years — from her time with top agencies in New York City to here in Michigan — so the addition of public relations was destined to come to fruition. SHPR is open for businesses, organizations, and individuals that have a solid foundation to build off of and are ready to tell their story to a new reach of audiences.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Host An Event

Ashley Sumner and Gianna Wurzl Quilt | @wearequilt
“We’re not meant to do this alone.”

Ashley Sumner and Gianna Wurzl are making it easier for women entrepreneurs to connect.  They created Quilt – a membership community that hosts weekly, intimate meetups of up to eight women in private homes in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, along with monthly parties and a members-only forum.  To date, more Quilt has over 2,000 members.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Value community

Chandra Anderson The Model Behavior | @themodelbehavior
“My duty as a citizen of the world is to give back.”

Once upon a time, Model/Actress Chandra Anderson’s perception of philanthropy was that it was something to do when you were older and established.  However, when Chandra learned that there were women around the world (including the United States) who lacked access to feminine hygiene products during their monthly cycle, she knew she had to act. Chandra formed The Model Behavior and rallied her model friends together and began distributing sanitary pads and tampons to women in shelters. 

The Model Behavior has grown into a non-profit organization that includes Ambassadors, corporate sponsors and beneficial partnerships.  Its mission is to provide our most vulnerable women with feminine hygiene products that are essential to leading a healthy, dignified life.  The Model Behavior will soon send an entire shipping container of feminine hygiene products to Africa.  Chandra hopes her service will inspire other millennials to consider philanthropy.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Be philanthropic

Charlie GInfluencer/Photographer
@iamcharlieg

“If I’m not pitching I am not eating. I reach out to brands. I slide in DMs. I go on LinkedIn. I email people. I make connections.”

Charlie G is a full-time blogger, content creator, and photographer with a background in software engineering and web design. She’s a mental health advocate and a tastemaker for the city of Detroit.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Know Your Worth

Dr. Renee Dua Heal | @heal
“Courage comes from support. I’m standing on many people’s shoulders.”

Dr. Renee Dua’s big idea for on-demand doctor house calls came to her while she spent hours in an emergency room waiting for her small child to be treated for what turned out to be a non-emergency issue. 

As a busy kidney specialist, wife, and mother, Dr. Dua recognized that her great fortune of having the resources and community to assist her in the event of a family medical emergency is not everyone’s experience.  So, with her husband’s help and the backing of celebrity investors like Lionel Richie, Dr. Dua created Heal, a mobile app that brings affordable in-home pediatric, internal medicine, general practitioner, and family healthcare visits to everyone and keeps primary care out of the emergency room. 

Women’s Work Discussion:

Identify a problem and create the solution

Estefani Alarcon Dear Southside | @dearsouthside
“If we let other people tell our stories, they’re not going to tell it accurately.”

Estefani Alarcon has a story to tell.  She lives in South Los Angeles, a community frequently in the headlines for gang violence, murder and other crimes.  However, Estefani wants to change the narrative of her beloved neighborhood and share the positive stories of the immigrant, black, brown and LBGT people who reside and operate businesses in South Los Angeles.

A natural storyteller, Estefani is the Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Dear Southside, a print newspaper she calls her love letter to her community.  Dear Southside features local business owners, non-profit organizations that serve the community and unique individuals who Estefani believes contribute to South Los Angeles’ greatness.

Dear Southside’s first issue was self-published, self-funded and sold-out.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Control the narrative

Gia Fey Body By Gia | @bodybygia
“Before YouTube, I was only impacting my immediate community.”

Gia Fey, founder of Body By Gia, is not just another YouTube fitness guru.  She creates content for curvy girls in both English and Spanish.  YouTube provided the platform for Gia to build a thriving business that inspires women around the world.  Her channel has over 500,000 subscribers and her videos have over 46 million views. 

Women’s Work Discussion:

Use YouTube as a business launch pad

Itika Oldwine Old Vine Florals | @oldvineflorals
“I really had to learn to believe in myself.”

Itika Oldwine went from working eight seasons (including the final) on The Oprah Winfrey Show, to multiple years at AEG - the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, and then finally at a noted Los Angeles florist, before bravely choosing to make a life pivot.  

Itika decided to merge her passion for flowers with her desire to become an entrepreneur.  Encouraged by her boyfriend, Itika opened Old Vine Florals, an upscale floral boutique in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.  Old Vine Florals has created breathtaking installations for major clients including: E! Entertainment Television, Martini & Rossi, Hallmark, Fashion Nova, and Vans.  Itika recently added flower crowns and flower bar parties to Old Vine Florals growing list of services. 

Women’s Work Discussion:

Don’t be afraid to pivot

Jackie PalmerThe Good Life Agency
@goodlifejacks

“To really understand someone’s story, see how they’ve built their craft, and understand where they’ve come from is so important.”

Jackie Palmer is an expert in business strategy, communications, and  community development with over ten years of experience working with  government agencies, non-profit organizations and start-up businesses. She has  exceptional experience and skills in developing institutional marketing and  communications, public relations, advocacy campaigns, and crafting corporate  partnerships and training for promoting diversity, inclusion and equity among varied  audiences. Her past experiences include managing projects in challenging,  fast-paced consulting ecosystems that require her to deliver on her technical skills  and knowledge promptly. She has worked with large and small clients such as  Kamala Harris For the People, Standard and Poor’s, City of New York, Ann Arbor  Public Schools, Lesbians Who Tech, Tech Jobs Tour, Lutheran Services in America,  2016 Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign, and the March For Our Lives Tour  garnering the skills for corporate level decision-making, communications messaging  and training, communications research and development, evaluation and  assessment strategy, and diverse audience campaign initiatives.    

Jackie holds a bachelor’s degree in Economic and International Communications  Studies from Spelman College. She is an award-winning growth and  communications strategist and the National Communications Director for  ColorComm Network. 

Covid-19 Update:

Over the past year, Jackie has led several advocacy campaign initiatives in an effort to save our American democracy. In January 2020, she helped lead several events and tours for former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg during his 2020 election campaign. From Bloomberg’s first debate to the 56th Anniversary of the Bloody Sunday March in Selma, Jackie served as the advance lead for some of the most historical moments in his 90-day campaign.

In the Summer of 2020, Jackie led a team with Apple to deliver their first completely virtual Worldwide Developers Conference.

For the last six months, Jackie has led advance event teams for Madame Vice President Kamala Harris. From Vice President Harris’s first Vice Presidential Debate in Salt Lake City to the 2020 Election Week in Wilmington, as well as in her position as the Deputy Director of Events and Ceremonies for the 59th Presidential Inauguration Committee in Washington, D.C. — which were all monumental events — Jackie is proud to have led and served teams for our first Black, Indian, and Woman Vice President in American history.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Be Authentic

Jamie JudsonCity Bark
@citydetbark

“There were a lot of naysayers in the beginning who thought my idea was silly.”

Since an early age, I’ve always loved dogs. When I was six, I decided I was going to attend veterinary school at Cornell University. I learned quickly that as much as I love dogs, I don’t love math and science. I got a degree in marketing from Western Michigan University, and always knew I would work with animals somehow. It was on a family vacation in Florida that I stumbled across a dog boutique, and it peaked my interest. I had never been to a store that created a unique shopping experience for the pet owner, despite them being such an important part of our lives. When space became available in a family member’s building in the retail district of Grosse Pointe, I seized the opportunity to turn this idea into real life.

About a year after opening, I knew I wanted to expand City Bark’s reach and the only place that interested me was Downtown Detroit. I began doing my research and enlisted the help of Bedrock to steer me in the right direction. That’s when they showed me The Albert in Capitol Park. It’s the perfect location to serve those who live and work in the city, and has a neighborhood feel to it, despite being located just around the block from some of Detroit’s largest companies.

In addition to owning the store, I also work full time in digital marketing for a company located just a few blocks from the store. Because of this and the store, I moved myself and my two dogs downtown several years ago, where we've been ever since.

Covid-19 Update:

When the pandemic hit, City Bark closed their doors for in-store shopping and switched to a curbside pickup/local delivery service model through May. During this time, they focused on their online store, and they were successful in increasing their sales by more than 400 percent.

In August, Jamie competed in the Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day, where she had 90 seconds to pitch her business to judges in the “Sustain” category. Jamie was selected as a winner and received a $50,000 grant, which will be used to put in a grooming salon and self-serve wash in the back of their store. Construction is currently in progress and is expected to be completed this spring.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Don’t Be Intimidated

Janeen Gudelj Donut Snob |@donutsnob
“Being different has really worked well and been beneficial and been, honestly, quite fun. It’s a little fun to be a rebel sometimes.”

Los Angeles is the donut capital of the United States.  There are more donut shops in Los Angeles per square mile than anywhere else in the country.  Janeen Gudelj flipped the script on the traditional donut shop business model and created Donut Snob - the nation’s first home delivery gourmet donut service. 

Handmade from scratch using all natural ingredients and no food coloring or dyes, Donut Snob has an enthusiastic roster of repeat customers who crave the company’s pretty as a picture pistachio orange, peanut butter chocolate, blueberry Earl Grey tea glaze, and cherry hibiscus flavored donuts. 

Women’s Work Discussion:

Put a fresh take on an old tradition

Judith Norman START TV | @watchstarttv
“Failure is not easy to talk about.”

Judith Norman is creative storyteller, video producer, author, and the founder of START TV – the 1st multimedia company solely dedicated to producing and distributing original aspirational stories about the entrepreneurial journeys of women of color. 

Judith is the author of the 5-book Women’s Work series, which features conversations with female founders in five different cities (Los Angeles, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Reader’s City of Choice).

She is also the producer of several live and virtual events including: Women’s Work (Los Angeles) – LIVE!; Women’s Work: Detroit Live – Virtual (as part of Detroit’s Startup Week Virtual Event), multiple entrepreneurship-focused virtual panel events for Los Angeles County Public Library’s Work Ready program, and in-person screening events for START TV’s original web series.

Judith is a Fall 2021 New Voices Foundation / Fund Madame CJ Walker Institute PACE Bootcamp powered by Babson College Cohort.

Judith Norman START TV | @watchstarttv

“I didn’t give up.”

Judith Norman is creative storyteller, video producer, author, and the founder of START TV – the 1st multimedia company solely dedicated to producing and distributing original aspirational stories about the entrepreneurial journeys of women of color.

Judith is the author of the 5-book Women’s Work series, which features conversations with female founders in five different cities (Los Angeles, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Reader’s City of Choice).

She is also the producer of several live and virtual events including: Women’s Work (Los Angeles) – LIVE!; Women’s Work: Detroit Live – Virtual (as part of Detroit’s Startup Week Virtual Event), multiple entrepreneurship-focused virtual panel events for Los Angeles County Public Library’s Work Ready program, and in-person screening events for START TV’s original web series.

Judith is a Fall 2021 New Voices Foundation / Fund Madame CJ Walker Institute PACE Bootcamp powered by Babson College Cohort.

Karen BuscemiDetroit Garment Group
@detroitgarmentgroup

“People want to help but if you don’t ask and you don’t make it easy for them, you won’t get their help.”

Karen Buscemi - Entrepreneur, Educator, Style Expert, Host

Karen Buscemi is the owner of Detroit Sewn, a full-service cut-and-sew manufacturing company, offering product development, technical design, pattern making, tech packs, samples, dye sublimation and small-to-large runs for apparel, home goods and other items.

She is also the founder and president of Detroit Garment Group, a 501(c)(3) that since 2012 has been fueling Michigan’s fashion community through programming and opportunities for advancement to ignite the economic impact of this artistic industry.

Previously, she was the editor of StyleLine magazine, metro Detroit's guide to fashion, beauty and home, and the largest magazine in Michigan. She held the role of editor since the magazine first premiered in December 2008.

Karen has made multiple appearances on WJBK Fox 2, WDIV Local 4 and WXYZ-TV Channel 7, discussing everything fashion from the latest trends to celebrity hits and misses during awards season. She has also served as emcee and style expert for numerous fashion events, from Neiman Marcus fashion shows to Women in Leadership in the Workplace fashion segments.

Karen has been writing professionally for 22 years, with articles published in Women’s Health, Self, Figure, Huffington Post, Successful Living, The Detroit News, plus a number of metro Detroit magazines. She also spent two decades writing and editing copy for corporate clients. In addition, Karen is the author of three novels and two nonfiction titles.

Covid-19 Update:

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Detroit Sewn became an FDA-registered facility and permanently pivoted to manufacture sustainable PPE, including isolation gowns, bouffant and surgical caps, and a variety of face masks, including a see-through mask that is ideal for the deaf community and anyone else who would benefit from having their mouth/expression seen when they speak. COVID-19 has clearly illustrated how critical domestic cut-and-sew manufacturing is to the U.S., and Detroit Sewn has stepped up to do their part to protect our frontline workers.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Mentor

Latricia Wilder Vibe Ride Detroit
@howwevibe

“If no one else will invest in me, I will invest in me.”

Latricia Wilder is an entrepreneur, investor, marketing and advertising expert, and public speaker, with a passion for spreading positive vibes globally.  Through her company, Love Yourself LLC, her mission is to empower individuals to live their best lives by creating opportunities for them to have access to the tools, education, and resources needed to assist in achieving that goal.  Her first major endeavor, Vibe Ride Detroit, has combined the upscale equipment, technology, benefits, and presentation of high-end boutique fitness facilities with a price point that enables everyday “working” class individuals to have access.  In building a business that is empowering and inclusive, Latricia applies her experience and acumen to purpose, spreading the importance of health and wellness to areas that can, and have been overlooked in the past, and to individuals that deserve quality and excellence in addition to affordability.

As a Detroit native, Latricia has seen the rise, fall, and re birth of a major American city, and felt compelled to be a part of the resurgence.  As a marketing and advertising expert, she spent 17yrs creating, managing, and executing major advertising campaigns for some of the largest companies in the world.  She left her career in advertising in early 2019 to focus full time on Love YourSelf LLC, with the purpose of disrupting the health and wellness industry by creating elevated, customer-centric experiences that connect wellness focused small businesses, and spearheads conversations focused on the importance of putting ones self-care first, in an inclusive, non-judgmental environment.  The vision became realized at the opening of Vibe Ride Detroit in July of 2019, in the Downtown Detroit area.  Vibe Ride is a premium group fitness facility that offers excelled group fitness training, with an emphasis on an elevated customer experience, in a spa-esque environment.  By focusing on attention to detail, cleanliness, being a self-care connector to aligned health and wellness businesses and offerings, and a premiere indoor cycling studio, Vibe Ride Detroit has become the most dynamic fitness studio in the city.  

In addition to Vibe Ride, philanthropy is a major component in the Love Yourself LLC movement.  By partnering with nonprofits like Motor City STEAM, Yoganic Flow, and Gabriel Music Society, Latricia filters funding and resources back to the inner city of Detroit and its youth through giving.

Detroit was listed as the unhealthiest city, both mentally and physically, in the United States.  Latricia has made it a priority to disrupt that reality, by empowering individuals to put in the work to LIVE, not focusing their time living to WORK!

Covid-19 Update:

After a tumultuous year, one of Vibe Ride Detroit’s major accomplishments is that they are still here and open to offer their services to the community. During the pandemic, they pivoted to an online format, and they are now livestreaming all of their classes online for those who want to participate but are not yet comfortable returning to the studio or for those who can’t make it downtown at this time.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Invest in Yourself

Laura HorwathOwner/Operator of Ferne Boutique
@shop_ferne

“Collaboration is honestly 70 percent of the way our business has been built and continues to grow.”

Laura Horwath is the owner and operator of Ferne Boutique, a women’s clothing boutique with 2 store locations in Michigan. Laura became an entrepreneur in 2015 and opened Ferne Boutique in Bay City, Michigan and then the second location in Detroit in 2018. Prior to opening Ferne, Laura attended Western Michigan University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations. Laura worked in many corporate roles in sales, marketing, public relations, and project management. The move to open a boutique came after a life changing speaker at a conference was motivating young people to “change your life if you want something more and find your purpose.” From that day she never looked back and went after what she wanted. Laura collaborates, connects and makes it part of her business practices to lift up other women in business. The more we collaborate and help each other, the more our community will continue to thrive and grow.

Covid-19 Update:

Ferne Boutique’s online business grew tremendously in 2020, as Laura and her team adapted to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures. They added a third retail location in Ann Arbor, MI, in December 2020, and are grateful to be able to serve their customers locally as well as those across the U.S.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Collaborate

Mimi G Ford Mimi G Style | @mimigstyle
“I want my brand to be an overall educational brand, paired with products and services that people need.”

Influencer Mimi G Ford aka Mimi G has built a handmade empire consisting of the popular Mimi G Style blog, Sew It Academy online sewing school, a bestselling line of Simplicity sewing patterns, conferences and so much more.  She has appeared on Project Runway Kids and is featured in Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book:  Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too.  Mimi recently launched a weekly podcast called Business Shet.

Looking at her success today, you would never guess that Mimi has overcome sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, domestic violence and homelessness.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Create multiple streams of income

Nicole Dean Kollo Tea | @kollo
“People are willing to pay for quality.”

A love for tea, a desire for health and wellness and an eye for style led Nicole Dean on a journey to create Kollo.  Described as the “first luxury bottled iced tea,” Kollo is a premium line of organic, preservative, flavoring and sweetener-free glass-bottled teas produced in Los Angeles.  A former science researcher, Nicole spent a year and a half studying tea manufacturing, distribution and the luxury market.  Her efforts have been rewarded. 

Kollo teas are sold at Erewhon, EATALY, Neiman Marcus, the Wynn hotel, Le Bon Marché, and other upscale stores and establishments in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and Paris, France.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Choose your market

Pamela Samuels Young Mystery Novelist | @authorpsy
“Sometimes, you just have to take a look in the mirror and say, ‘What is it that I want?’”

On the outside, Pamela Samuels Young appeared to have it all.  She was a practicing attorney who had made partner at a major law firm.  She had the big salary.  But, she wasn’t happy.  Inspired by bestselling author (and fellow attorney), John Grisham, Pamela decided to pursue her dream to become a mystery author. 

After years of rejection, and a book deal with a major publisher, Pamela decided to take control of her writing career.  She self-published a series of bestselling mystery novels including Anybody’s Daughter, a fast-paced thriller about sex trafficking in Los Angeles.  Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction.  It was also chosen as a Top Ten pick by In the Margins – a library service dedicated to finding the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody--or a cycle of all three. 

Pamela’s books are available in print, digital and audio formats.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Give yourself permission

Rima FadlallahDearborn Girl Podcast
@dearborn.girl

“We wanted to give women in our community not only a space but also an accurate representation of how they walk through the world.”

Rima Fadlallah and her friend Yasmeen Kadouh bonded over a shared love for community building and storytelling. They felt that the young Arab American woman was both misrepresented and underrepresented by the media. So, they launched the podcast Dearborn Girl. Bonding over a shared love for community building and storytelling.

Focusing on living as an Arab American and/or Muslim woman in Dearborn, Michigan has struck a chord well beyond the city borders. Dearborn Girl has been listened to in cities across the United States and more than 35 countries. The podcast was recently featured in a segment in the nationally televised Nightline on ABC.

Covid-19 Update:

Since this feature interview, the Dearborn Girl team was admitted into two business accelerators where they received funding, mentorship, and resources to launch Dearborn Girl’s umbrella company, Thawra Network. Thawra — Arabic for “revolution” — produces trusted multimedia content for Arabs and Muslims. In the past several months, the Thawra team has been busy managing their new ecommerce store at dearborngirl.com, getting interviewed on ABC Nightline, and preparing to launch their next brand, the Al Nazar series.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Find Your Niche

Ruth E. CarterAcademy Award Winner (Costume Design) | @therealruthecarter
“Fear and self-doubt are part and parcel to being an artist.”

Ruth E. Carter just won her first Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Marvel’s Black Panther. The win was also historic.  Ruth is the first black person to win the Oscar in the costume category. 

Her meticulous research, keen imagination and stellar design abilities have earned Ruth two other Academy Award nominations (Spike Lee’s Malcolm X; Steven Spielberg’s Amistad) for costume design.  In fact, Ruth is the first African-American nominated for the Oscar in the costume design category.  Ruth is also responsible the looks seen in “Roots” revival, “Selma,” “Marshall,” “The Butler,” and many other television and film productions.

Passionate about her craft, Ruth is willing to do whatever is necessary to execute her vision.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Honor your vision

Stacy Lande and Carol Sheridan Iconic Pinups | @iconicpinups
“We show people a side of themselves that they maybe don’t see through their own eyes every day.”

Makeup artist Stacy Lande and photographer Carol Sheridan have a love for Bettie Page and all things vintage.  The two friends joined forces in 2009 and created Iconic Pinups – a unique, intimate and empowering photo shoot experience that transforms average gals into femme fatales.  More than 3,000 women of all ages (including an 82-year old), shapes, and sizes have participated in Iconic Pinups photo sessions that come complete with a full pinup-style makeover and complimentary vintage and retro backdrops.  The women come to Iconic Pinups for a variety of reasons:  to mark a milestone; to gift the photos to a significant other; or even to take sexy photos of their breasts before a mastectomy.  Every woman leaves an Iconic Pinups session with beautiful photos and an awareness of her unique beauty.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Transform women

Victoria Reese The Victor Group LA | @picturethisvic
“Brands want to work with me more, because my story is unique.”

When Victoria Reese received an unexpected Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, she didn’t hesitate to add “Advocate” to the list of titles describing her life’s work.  A Brand Strategist (The Victor Group LA), Influencer, and former E-Commerce Entrepreneur (Baus by Victor Group), Victoria was determined not to let the disease keep her from greatness.  She educated herself about Multiple Sclerosis and then began to share her experience with others. 

As a MS spokesperson, Victoria noticed that there was a lack of outreach to women of color.  So, she created the #We Are Illmatic campaign to empower women of color living with MS by providing them with information, support and a platform to share their stories.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Make lemonade when hit with the unexpected

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Yasmeen KadouhDearborn Girl Podcast
@dearborn.girl

“Don’t be scared to get really specific, because that helps differentiate your content or your product.”

Yasmeen Kadouh and her friend Rima Fadlallah bonded over a shared love for community building and storytelling. They felt that the young Arab American woman was both misrepresented and underrepresented by the media. So, they launched the podcast Dearborn Girl. Bonding over a shared love for community building and storytelling.

Focusing on living as an Arab American and/or Muslim woman in Dearborn, Michigan has struck a chord well beyond the city borders. Dearborn Girl has been listened to in cities across the United States and more than 35 countries. The podcast was recently featured in a segment in the nationally televised Nightline on ABC.

Covid-19 Update:

Since this feature interview, the Dearborn Girl team was admitted into two business accelerators where they received funding, mentorship, and resources to launch Dearborn Girl’s umbrella company, Thawra Network. Thawra — Arabic for “revolution” — produces trusted multimedia content for Arabs and Muslims. In the past several months, the Thawra team has been busy managing their new ecommerce store at dearborngirl.com, getting interviewed on ABC Nightline, and preparing to launch their next brand, the Al Nazar series.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Find Your Niche