International Women’s Day

As our Lord and Savior Beyonce said: “who run the world? Girls.” Today on International Women’s Day, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite women-owned businesses in and around #LoveLansing and celebrate the badass women who own & operate them! 

Jennifer Edwards Skin | Aesthetics Med Spa

I’ve written blog after blog about my skin and how much Jennifer has changed it. I often joke that the most intimate relationship that I have is with Jennifer, because few people have seen me in a more vulnerable state and I am constantly sending her less-than-flattering photos of myself.

If you feel like treating yourself and your skin to something special, I highly suggest booking with her (which you can do online!). If you’re on a strict budget (which we probably all are), she offers cost-effective  treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion and dermaplaning. If you’re looking to invest a little more, there are always options like microneedling and laser treatments. Jennifer offers free consultations and will create a treatment plan specific for you, based on your budget and needs. 

Celeste Saltzman | Retail Therapy

Celeste is the owner of Retail Therapy, a women’s clothing boutique in Old Town. Celeste has the coolest style and always looks so chic and incredible. I truly admire how passionate she is about slow fashion (check out her op-ed in the LSJ here) and her commitment to only carrying clothing in her store that has been ethically and sustainably.

If you’re in need of new clothing, shoes or accessories, stop by the store! In addition to brands like Magnolia Pearl, Gershon Bram and Alembika, Retail Therapy is one of the only stores in Lansing that carries Lack of Color hats and Quay Australia sunglasses!

Andrea Kerbuski | AK Stories

There are a million reasons I love Kerbuski—but I’m super proud of her photography business.

Just like in every other situation in my life, I tend to look really awkward in photos. Andrea is the only photographer I have ever worked with that is able to make me feel comfortable in front of the camera and capture me in an authentic way. From professional headshots to family photos, Andrea’s work is so, so, gorgeous. The posing, the lighting, the editing, it’s just *chefs kiss*. 

If you’re looking for a professional photographer, there’s no one I would recommend more. DM her or send her an email to learn more about her pricing and availability.

Megan Emmons | Hair & Body Elements

Megan is the sweetest person you’ll ever meet. If you’re in the Lansing/East Lansing area and looking for a lash artist, she’s your girl. Whether you’re looking for dramatic volume lashes (like me) or you’re into a more natural, classic vibe, Megan will get you hooked up and looking and feeling your best. 

DM her on Instagram to book an appointment or to ask her any questions you may have about lash extensions! 

Riley Vanness  | The Hive

Riley has been doing my brows for years and years. We first met at the Ulta in Okemos and then she moved and I moved and we lost touch BUT we were serendipitously reunited last year and I couldn’t be happier. Riley offers a lot of services, ranging from brow waxing, tinting and laminating, to lash lift and tints. 

If your brows need some TLC, call Riley (or DM her on IG). She is the only person on this planet other than myself that I trust with my eyebrows and that is really saying something.

Michelle Gimbutis | The Barre Code East Lansing

I first met Michelle at the grand opening of The Barre Code-East Lansing. Michelle is a MSU alumna (Go Green!) and moved from Metro Detroit back to East Lansing to start her own business. She is also one of the sweetest, most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met.

Despite the fact that the Barre Code-East Lansing opened a solid two years ago and I still haven’t been to a class, I’ve continued to follow Michelle and TBCEL and know that it’s a staple in the East Lansing community. I love the community that TBCEL fosters and how empowering it is.

If you’re looking to try something new in your workout routine, I highly recommend checking out the Barre Code. Bonus: your first class is free!

Emma | ALD Events

Emma and I are online friends who have never met in real life, but she’s hilarious and I feel like we’re kindred spirits. She’s co-owner and co-founder of  A Lovely Day events, a mid-Michigan wedding planning company. Even though I am painfully single, I love looking at their Instagram and admiring all of their work. The flowers, the couples, the cakes—it’s all so beautiful. 

Listen, I’ll probably never find someone to trick into marrying me, but if I do, I’ll definitely be hiring ALD to plan my wedding. If you’re newly engaged or planning a wedding, you can check out their work and the services they offer here

Ellie Wong | Holiday Lansing

I was so distraught when my longtime hairstylist (and actual Earth angel) Allison Malloy moved to Chicago (but also so happy she’s chasing her dreams!).  I don’t trust very many people with my hair but I rolled the dice and scheduled an appointment with Rachel Vrooman after drooling over her Instagram photos and I am so in love with my hair.

If you haven’t been to the Holiday, you need to. I really hate pretentious salons that make you feel like you aren’t good enough to be there—and this one is not like that at all. Quite the opposite, actually! Everyone is super friendly and welcoming and it is so cute inside.

Ellie is the owner of the salon. She’s never personally done my hair but I briefly met her when I was in there last and she is so sweet. If you’re looking for a new hair salon, check out the Holiday in Lansing’s West Side neighborhood! I’m sure you can’t go wrong when choosing a stylist there, but I highly recommend Rachel!

Tina Medawar | Medawar Jewelers

If you live in Lansing, you know Medawar Jewelers—but you might not know Tina Medawar as her own person (and brand!). Tina is truly the sweetest, most kind person I know and somehow she’s even more beautiful in person than she is on TV.

Tina owns and operates a number of Medawar stores throughout the mid-Michigan region, as well as being a mom and wife. She has an insane workload and somehow manages to be the calmest person I know.

Tina has great insight on fashion, work/life balance and overall is one of the most genuinely positive people I’ve ever met. If you’re looking for someone inspirational (but in a non-preachy, very down-to-earth way), you need to follow her!

TL;DR

There are so many amazing women in my life. Who are your favorite business women in Lansing? Is there a female-owned business in Lansing that I missed but I should know about?

 

 

In Good Company: Andrea Kerbuski

I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by amazing people who wear many different hats. About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to highlight those people in a blog series called “In Good Company.”  No one embodies community over competition or brings people together quite like my friend and coworker Andrea Kerbuski.  As I put together a list of people who inspire me, it only felt natural that she would be my first feature.

I’ve known Andrea for just shy of three years and during that time we’ve become good friends. My kindred introverted spirit, she has shown me that it’s possible to be successful and remain true to your authentic self in a world that favors extroverts. She is always down to take Instagrams, gives me great advice (my favorite of all time being, “stop doing things you hate”), inspires me to step outside my comfort zone, and has taught me how to perfect the Irish exit.

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Kerbuski works harder than almost anyone than I know and her drive and determination are unparalleled. She is constantly juggling a million projects and somehow manages to knock it out of the park on all of them—and on top of all that, she’s always willing to help and support other people. She is one of the most positive influences in my life and I couldn’t ask for a better role model or friend.

Keep reading to get to know Andrea of Blonde Bedhead!

In addition to having a full-time job as a PR pro, you have a number of side hustles. What other hats do you wear?

I’m also a photographer–I shoot family sessions, senior sessions, and even weddings! I also do freelance social media and communications work for small businesses. And lastly, I run a style blog! I’ve had the blog for almost 10 years, documenting my personal style.

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Wow, that’s a lot. What does an average day look like for you?

I work 8:30-5 at PR firm Martin Waymire and I’m usually working on some project—whether it’s editing photos or working on a blog post—before I head in, and usually the first thing I work on when I get home. I spend at least four hours a day working on my side hustles, and I typically work all hours of the day to keep up with my client work at Martin Waymire. I try my best to make no social plans after work during the week since I have a lot to do when I get home and I’m tired!

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What inspired you to start Blonde Bedhead and how has it evolved since its inception ~10 years ago?

10 years ago I was a timid 23-year-old with no personal style. I’ve always been more of a wallflower, wishing to blend in than ever catch someone’s attention, but having the blog gave me a boost confidence and a reason to try new trends and explore my personal style–and finally not be afraid to stand out. It gave me confidence in every aspect of my life–it taught me how to negotiate, speak up for myself and to not take everything so personally, and to let things go. Today, I share more than just my personal style but my life–my home, dogs, work and the experiences and lessons I’ve learned in life. My blog has grown up with me and will continue to evolve as I enter new phases of life!

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From sponsored posts to paid brand trips, you’re a bonafide influencer. What’s the hardest part and what’s the best part?

Best part is the opportunities–opportunities to travel, be challenged with fun projects and get paid for something I truly love and enjoy. The hardest part is keeping up with it all especially when I work full time. I feel like most of the time I don’t have the capacity to take on the projects I do because they’re so much fun and I’m burnt out constantly. No work/life balance.

As a self-professed introvert with a jam-packed to-do list, how do you stay present and unplug when you need to?

I usually reserve my evenings for “me” time. I don’t go out to bars or participate in many weeknight events because I’m burnt out and I need time to myself to re-energize. I also prioritize fitness and exercise. This forces me to unplug and do something healthy for myself.

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In a creative industry where you’re constantly producing work like writing blog posts, taking photographs and creating content, how do you stay inspired and avoid burnout?

That’s something I’m still trying to figure out. I usually stay inspired and motivated, but when I don’t, I don’t force it. I’m learning to take more breaks whether it’s not posting on Instagram or skipping a couple blog posts. I have a pretty rigid schedule I stick to and I love consistency and routine, but I find breaks from it all help me feel motivated again and inspired. I also love to read other blogs like Fit Mitten Kitchen, Andee Layne and Cheetah is the New Black, all blogs that I find inspiration from one way or another.

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If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Keep putting yourself out there–go that event you’re nervous to attend, reach out to people or employers you want to get to know. This is something I still struggle with, but getting yourself out of your comfort zone and expanding your network and meeting new people will only do positive things for your future.

I started this series because I wanted to highlight women who inspire me. Who are some people that inspire you?

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My friend Merl Kinzie who owns the SHUDIO in Chicago. She’s always top of my list for strong women who inspire me. She has more integrity than anyone I know, not only speaks on what she believes in, but puts it into action AND she’s incredibly creative and I want just 1 percent of that creativity in my brain!

Follow Andrea on Instagram and like her on Facebook.

 

IN GOOD COMPANY: PUTTING COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION + COMING TO TERMS WITH YOUR OWN BULLSH*T

Social media is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a place to connect with friends, be introduced to new people, exposed to new ideas and inspire creativity. On the other hand, it can quickly become super toxic and leave you feeling like a giant pile of shit.

I’m keenly aware of that, and as such, I’ve become much more stringent with who I allow in my social media circle, if you will. I no longer follow accounts or people that I don’t like, that publish content I don’t enjoy and/or make me feel bad about myself. IMO, life is too short to willingly consume content that isn’t good for your mental health!

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES’

I have spent a lot of time curating my online community to be a place where I go to connect with friends and feel inspired—and I am incredibly fortunate to have a plethora of kick-ass people in my life (both in “real life” and online)—but even so, I sometimes still find myself comparing myself to others and feeling very Holden Caufield-y, which is to say: like a phony. (p.s. Catcher in the Rye is one of my favorite books of all time and, no, I am not a serial killer).

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I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. When we see other people sharing their highlight reel of accomplishments through rose colored-filters, it’s easy to feel like you don’t measure up. Couple this with the fact that, as a culture, women are constantly being pit against each other, it’s not difficult to understand how easily we can get consumed with the modern-day equivalent of “keeping up with the Joneses,’” and how that distorts our expectations of ourselves and others. Even when we use social media with the best intentions, it can be super easy to look at what other people are doing and feel jealous, insecure or inadequate—and wonder where you fit in on any given platform or in any given space.

SOCIAL MEDIA + IMPOSTER SYNDROME

For me, social media-fueled imposter syndrome often goes hand-in-hand with scarcity mindset, especially when it comes to marketing myself as a blogger or content creator. For a long time, I’ve operated under the belief that there will never be enough. Everything is a trade-off and if someone else is being afforded an opportunity it effectively means that something is being taken away from me. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized I even felt that way. In a weird way, it was a subconscious belief that was operating in the background but was, in part, shaping the way that I see the world. Now that I’ve recognized that feeling, and acknowledged it’s rooted in fear and not reality, I’ve decided to actively combat it by using my platform to highlight other people that I adore and admire in a new series I’m calling “In Good Company,” which I plan to start rolling out next month. YAY!

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IF I’M SHINY, EVERYBODY GONNA SHINE

There are a few recent things that have a) made me come to terms with my own shit and b) got the wheels in motion to actively combat it. The first thing that happened, was joining west Michigan Diva Babe and Mindset Coach™ Topsie VandenBosch’s Facebook group. If you don’t already follow Topsie on Instagram, you absolutely need to. I started following her because my friend Andrea Kerbuski of Blonde Bedhead raved about her and I. Am. Obsessed. Every single time I watch her IG stories I feel like she’s talking directly to me, whether it’s hyping me up and reminding me that I’m 100% that bitch, or calling me out on my own problematic mindset and habits. I can’t say enough good things about her.  She recently released a freebie (!) about how to “say #byefelicia to imposter syndrome” and it really resonated with me (clearly).

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Another thing that solidified the fact that I want to be doing things to intentionally build community was meeting a local #LoveLansing business owner and long-time social media friend, Daelynn Shafer. We had brunch at the People’s Kitchen (which is amazing, 10/10 recommend) and one thing that we discussed was the idea of community over competition—and the cool things that she is doing to bring women together right in mid-Michigan. I left our meeting feeling inspired and reminded that the world, and specifically Lansing, is full of amazing, talented people—and that there is enough opportunity for everyone.

YOU CAN SIT WITH US

Building community is important for everyone, but it feels especially important for women. I am incredibly lucky in that I know so many awesome women who are busting ass in their respective careers, side hustles, passion projects and lives, and I can’t wait for you to get the chance to meet them, too.

TL;DR

Community over competition should be more than just a trendy catchphrase. The world is full of awesome people and there’s enough opportunity for everyone.