Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This week I am starting a series of interviews with "real" women that I know.  Women who I feel truly embody "Simple Beaute" into their lives every day.  Instead of talking about celebs who make it look so easy, I decided to focus on women who are beautiful and make it look so easy maybe without all of the help that the celebs have.  These women are inspirational specifically because of the fact that they DON'T have all that support and they handle their lives with a grace and ease that I find so exceptional and beautiful  which lead me to wonder "How do they do it?"  These women were gracious enough to tell me.  I thought I would impart their wisdom onto you.  Maybe through their tips we call can achieve more simplicity and beauty in our lives.

Today I'm starting with "Venessa."  Venessa is a mid-age, mother of three who has always maintained a healthy and confident state of self. She is always the sexiest, most beautiful one in the room!  She definitely is gorgeous on the outside but it is her inner beauty that is so appealing to all that know her.  This is the wisdom she offered me.

1. So you are a beautiful woman, what is your secret to that beauty?  Do
you have favorite products or rituals?  What is your daily beauty routine?
My daily beauty routine is pretty basic.  I wash my skin using Cetaphil, I need to have that clean feeling and cleansers just don't do it
for me.  I also use TaTa Harper from time to time.  The granules give the
feeling of a scrub.  I use Calendula Creme moisturizer in the summer which is oil free and in
the winter I use Skin Medica Hydrating Complex and Mositurizer.  When the
weather is particularly harsh I use Katresha's face oil, which is all
natural and feels great.  I also use Katresha's eye crème.
I have a facial once a month and have done for over 20 years.  I think that is the secret.  When I first met my husband he gave me a yearly
series at a beauty salon and it became a ritual, every year in my
Christmas stocking there it is.  I have him to be thank for helping me
maintain my skin.  I have used the same beautician for almost as long so
she knows my skin and gives it whatever it needs.  
I use Bobbi Brown's tinted day crème with an SPF in it.
My mum was just visiting from Australia and gave me some Clinique
repairwear laser focus corrector.  I think she is trying to tell me
something.  I turned 50 this past April.

2. You have three older children, and your marriage, how have you managed
to juggle your family while still maintaining your independence and
 My independence is very important to me, it always has been.  I
realized early on in the game that I could not do it alone so I figured
out where I needed the help and out sourced it.  I wanted to spend quality
time with my kids, keep working so that I could keep my independence and
above all stay happily married!
I changed careers once my kids started going to school.  I was in the
restaurant business and the late nights, up early to my babies was
killing me.  I had been looking for something Australian to bring to the
US and I found it.  That was the beginning of Shark Suit sun protective
Relatively unheard of at the time and very much needed here in the U.S.A
small business which enabled me to work from a home office.  I was able to
finish work at 2.30pm and pick up my 3 kids from school, shuffle them
around NY to their various afterschool programs and get home around 6.  I
could get back to work after they were in bed.  I manufactured my products
in Australia so 9pm NY time was 11am Australia time.  I could deal with
the factory and any issues then.
Fortunately for me I had a house keeper to clean my house.  It really made
all the difference.  If my house is not in order then I am not.  My house
keeper was/is my hero.
After 13 years in the same business the market had been flooded with sun
protective swimwear, the Aussie dollar rose and manufacturing costs soared.  I was feeling
burnt out and in need of a change.
By chance I was approached by a start up company called ARM.  3 veterans
of the advertising production business had set out with a new
business model. They were providing a production department and business
affairs directly to Ad Agencies and/or direct to clients.
It was a big change for me.  One I was very excited about.  Not really
knowing what my role would be I dived in and took on any task as a
challenge.  Having owned my own business was a great advantage and after a
year I was given my title as Director of Operations.

This opportunity came at the perfect time.  My first daughter was a senior
at high school.  My second was in 11th grade and clearly did not come to
me for anything other than money and my son was very easy going, in 8th
grade and also very independent.

I was 48 at the time.  What perfect timing to start something new.  I love
my job.  I love the industry and the people I work with.  I have been very

So I think I managed to juggle it all by understanding what was important
to me in my life.  Finding a career that satisfied my needs, being
organized and outsourcing what I could not manage myself.

3. You seem to have found a balance between career and play and live in
one of the most stressful city's-NY and you handle the stress seemingly
effortlessly. How do you do that?

Anyone living and working in NY is stressed.  It is part of the
I'd have to say 'Keeping it Real', not getting ahead of myself. Trying
not to compare myself to others, being happy with what I have.
I have always made time for myself.  If we don't take
care of ourselves we are of no use to anyone else.  Being 'me' and not
just someone's mother or wife has made all the difference.
Staying connected to my circle of women friends.  Sisterhood
and the power of women together will always keep us resilient.
Respecting my marriage and what that stands for and understanding that it
also needs nurturing has made me find balance.

4.  What kind of advice can you offer a woman in her 40's or 50's to feel
better about themselves and more confident?

Accept the body you were given and love it.  All women are feminine,
powerful, sexual creatures and should be adored by the opposite sex.  When we truly
believe in ourselves every thing falls into place.  Admiration for other
women and their accomplishments is also so important.

5.It seems you have started with a new company since your kids have
gotten older. What challenges did you face doing that? (if you did)

I did not have a lot of challenges because I was open to learning
something new.  I have no agenda.  I take direction well and I can say 'I
don't know how to do that but I will find out'.  I am a hard worker and I
have a very positive attitude.  I wake up happy every day and my cup is
always 'half full'.

6.  Since your kids are older now is there any wisdom you can impart on
any of the moms with younger kids who are reading in terms of how to make
it all fit and work?

 Don't sweat the small stuff.  Remember no one will love your kids the
way you do so keep them grounded, set boundaries that you can maintain.
Follow through on every judgement call (well, 90% of the time because no
one is perfect).  I once read that children measure our love not on how
many times you tell them you love them but on your actions and the time
you spend with them.  Make that time quality time.  That does not mean you
need to be out doing something fantastic all the time. It is time when you
listen to them and learn from them, sharing and caring for their little
lives. Action speak louder than words.  Being a good role model by doing
what really pleases you.  If you really want to be a stay at home mum
embrace that.  If you really need to have a career have it. Just be happy
and the rest of the family will follow suit.

7. Lastly, what is your daily routine now? You always seem to manage your
time perfectly! How do you do it?

 I go to bed early!! I need 8 hours to function properly. I take my dog
Lola to Central Park most mornings so she can be off her leash so I am up
early!  Regardless of the weather being outdoors first thing in the
morning is a great way to clear your head and just breath.  I start work
at 10am, which I love. I work out at Sfactor twice a week and take a yoga
class whenever I feel the need. I don't miss meals.  If I go out at night
it is during the week.  Week ends have always been reserved for family.
I have raised independent resourceful children.  We are very close but
they are not needy. I love having my friends around me.  Dinner parties
are my favorite way to entertain.  I have a loving husband who allows me
the freedom to be me.  I am intense, yet not overbearing.  I have high
expectations of those I love.  I am learning all the time to relax but
being on the move has always been a big part of who I am.  I don't eat
meat or fish and I think that keeps my energy level high. I smile a lot.
I get a lot done every day.

Wow! Such amazing, sage words of wisdom and advice we all can follow. Keep life real, listen to yourself and love who you are. Very powerful indeed.  Thank you so very, very, much to Venessa for sharing her story!!
Next week we will learn from Julie about her inspirations on life.  In the meantime please continue to find love from within and keep it simple!