Hey Now, You’re an All-Star!

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an all-star sitter at Bell Family?

Each month our Sitter Service team sits down and picks one extraordinary babysitter to become our Sitter of the Month. What makes this honor so cool? Well, not only is it highlighted in the sitter’s profile for all families to see, but it’s also displayed in our monthly newsletter that is distributed to all of our member families and BFC sitters. That means that thousands of people are seeing just what an awesome person and sitter you are!

Here is what it takes to be Sitter the Month:

  1. Leader in the childcare community
  2. Parents give extraordinary feedback on your ability as a babysitter
  3. You always provide the best quality care
  4. You do not cancel last minute on families
  5. You are not on your phone or distracted
  6. You are fully engaged with the children and the children always seem happy in your presence

 

Will you be our next Sitter of the Month?

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Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Connect With Local Moms and Dads Through The Parent Collective

Expecting moms and dads often need one common thing – support. The Parent Collective provides just that by helping to establish connections with other expecting parents through classes that minimize stress, and ultimately, make people feel like they are in this together.

We had the opportunity to partner with Jessica Hill, one of the Co-Founders of The Parent Collective, to learn a little bit more about her, her company, and what makes TPC so special.

Q: What inspired or influenced you to create The Parent Collective? 

A: I decided to start TPC back in 2016 after hearing from countless friends that they spent their early months and years with their baby feeling lonely and isolated. Because I was lucky enough to have my boys in the UK and benefit from the NCT, my experience was wildly different, and I wanted to give a similar feeling of support through education to others. Quite simply – I don’t know how I would have gotten through the early months of my first baby without my village of NCT moms who got me out of the house, listened to me vent when I was struggling, swap strategies for dealing with the latest feeding/sleeping/illness issues that crop up, and filled countless afternoons with conversation and companionship. Everyone needs that support and I hope that TPC will fill this need.

Q: What are the variety of classes that you offer and what can parents expect to learn in each of them? 

A: We offer a prenatal class series for expectant parents and after babies arrive, we offer CPR & First Aid classes, postpartum support groups as well as a wide range of workshops and online content developed in response to participant questions.

Our prenatal class, which is our core offering, is a 4-week series and in it, participants will discuss:

  • Session 1: What to expect in labor and delivery
  • Session 2: Relaxation techniques to help you through the early stages of labor, options for pain management and C-sections
  • Session 3: Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding information and advice, including latching on, pumping, milk storage, getting on a feeding schedule, and how to manage problems that may arise
  • Session 4: Newborn care

Q: How are your classes unique to the classes at my local hospital?

A: The Parent Collective offers a new style of prenatal class which is designed to provide evidence-based information, foster open, judgment-free discussion and establish friendships among couples living in close proximity and due at the same time. We see ourselves as an alternative to other childbirth education classes and hope that couples taking the series will develop a social network through participation, gather playmates for the little ones on the way and of course, provide that crucial support system that parents so need.

I am always banging on about how important it is to have friends with babies the same age as yours. I absolutely realize that it is hard to make friends as adults but with pregnancy as the common thread, it can sometimes be easier. Mom and dad friends at every stage of the parenthood journey are super helpful, but friends who have kids the same age as yours are essential. No one can fully appreciate the daily trials of a newborn like your friend who is also navigating life with a newborn. From spilling preciously pumped milk to dealing with an explosive poo in-transit. When you are in it, these feel like total disasters. However, these stories will not elicit a visceral “gasp!” from a new parent, but rather a breath of relief as you realize another real person has experienced something similar – like, yesterday.

Parents need this camaraderie so you can enjoy/survive the early days (and hopefully beyond) together. Our classes allow parents to solidify these relationships before babies arrive, so you don’t have to work so hard once they do. You can already be texting from the hospital about the terrible food and a love you never thought possible.

Q: Who are some of the facilitators that women can expect to meet in your classes (background, experience, mission etc.)?

A: All of our facilitators are nurses and midwives who can offer our expectant parents an accurate picture of what to expect in the hospital. Most are also mothers who can provide that additional layer of support having experienced first-hand what a world-rocking experience having a baby can be. Here is the background of one of our facilitators as an example but you can view all of them here.

Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC

Allegra is a registered nurse, Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mother of three. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley in California as well as a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in New York City. Allegra has 13 years of experience in hospitals, classrooms, and in-home care and instruction around Maternal/Child Health and specifically breastfeeding. Allegra works to help each person feel equipped and ready for the wonder, transitions, and joy of a new baby with special attention to feeding and bonding.

Q: Where are your locations and how can someone sign-up to learn more about The Parent Collective or join a class? 

A: We currently host regular classes in Fairfield County, CT, Manhattan, Long Island, NY, Bergen County, NJ and we will very soon be launching in Westchester NY.

TPC will also soon be launching our prenatal series as a webinar. Watch this space!

To learn more, visit our website and sign-up for our newsletter, which offers information for expectant and new parents, as well as the opportunity to connect with parents who live local to you and have kids the same age.

Jessica Hill
Jessica Hill, Co-Founder of The Parent Collective

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Sip Your Way to Less Stress

What if I told you that you could reduce the amount of stress in your life by sipping a natural and truly healthy beverage? Have I got your attention?

Sweet Reason Beverage Company introduces a sparkling water with hemp CBD, so everyone can achieve an easier and more seamless lifestyle. Learn more about the awesome product below through our Q&A with the team.

Q: A big part of Sweet Reason’s mission is to make life easier. To slow things down, relax, and pursue a life well-lived. How does your sparkling water help implement this lifestyle?

A: CBD helps calm and focus the mind. I find it takes the edge off of my anxiety, makes me more present and allows me to concentrate on the task at hand. To me, that is a life well-lived.

Q: Tell us more about CBD: What is it? What are its benefits? And how is it used in Sweet Reason?

A: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that can either be extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant. There are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, so as the hemp plant and all of its extracts become legal (thank you, 2018 Farm Bill) you’ll see many other cannabinoids with a wide range of health benefits hit the market. CBD helps calm the mind, reduce random stress and ease discomfort. If that sounds vague to you, it is because companies that are making over-zealous health claims are getting in trouble with the FDA, so we like to encourage consumers to try CBD themselves. CBD affects everyone differently, and pure CBD is a safe to consume (see World Health Organization’s Critical Review of CBD in June 2018, which notes that CBD is, “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”), so experiment and see how you feel. Sweet Reason is the perfect beverage for the CBD-curious, because it is delicious and at an approachable dosage (7mg). At Sweet Reason, we believe in creating beverages that are truly healthy (aka no sugar or sweeteners and simple ingredients), so that you don’t have to think twice about getting your daily dose of CBD.

Q: Your packaging of Sweet Reason alone makes me want to buy it. Where and how can people go about getting Sweet Reason in their lives?

A: Sweet Reason is in over 150 stores in New York (check out the map on our website for where to find us), including Dean & Deluca, West Side Market and Westerly. And if you want it to come right to your doorstep, order online! We even have a subscription program for the people who want to drink it all day, everyday (like me).

Q: What was the biggest inspiration for creating a product like Sweet Reason? How has it impacted your life for the better?

A: I started Sweet Reason because I couldn’t stop thinking about the future of cannabis beverages and how they will change our culture and social interactions, and challenge deeply held beliefs around cannabis. When I learned about CBD and discovered that it helped take the edge off of my anxiety, I couldn’t resist starting Sweet Reason. Sweet Reason has made my life better in so many ways (where do I begin?), but mostly because it allows me to share the health benefits of CBD with so many different people.

Sweet-Reason

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

It’s Time to UP the Way You Fly

Are you ready to escape the winter blues and head for the sandy beaches? What if you could get to the sand stress-free and with one of the most trusted private aviation teams in the business? You’re in luck with our awesome partners at Wheels Up.

Turn your travel time into quality time 

An innovative membership-based company, Wheels Up provides the most trusted and intelligent way to fly private for all your personal and business travel needs. When compared to aircraft ownership and jet card programs, Wheels Up greatly reduces the upfront costs of private aviation—while increasing flexibility and efficiency, so you and your family can fly comfortably on your own schedule and enjoy more time at your destination.

With a Wheels Up Core Membership, you will receive guaranteed access to the members-only fleet of 90+ aircraft, including the exclusive King Air 350i and the Citation Excel/XLS—up to 365 days a year, with as little as 24 hours’ notice. Through the Charter Marketplace, you’ll also have unlimited access to a network of 1,000+ Wheels Up safety-vetted and verified aircraft, including many options that can be booked instantly, for travel to almost any destination worldwide.

As a Core Member, you and up to 3 guests will be able to attend dozens of unique experiences and celebrity meet-and-greets around the country each year, in addition to the world-class Wheels Up signature event activations at the Super Bowl, The Masters, and Art Basel. And you’ll also receive over $35,000 worth of lifestyle and hospitality benefits.

Wheels Up Bell Family exclusive benefit

Bell Family clients receive a $9,000 flight credit with the purchase of a Wheels Up Core Membership for $17,500.

To learn more and redeem this benefit, please email us today! 

 WheelsUP

Wheels Up does not operate aircraft; FAA licensed and DOT registered air carriers participating in the program exercise full operational control of all flights offered by or arranged through Wheels Up. For on-demand flights and shuttle flights operated as scheduled service, Wheels Up acts solely as an agent for Wheels Up members and guests in arranging these flights on their behalf. For shuttle flights operated as Public Charter service, Wheels Up acts as principal in offering these flights subject to the DOT’s Public Charter rules contained in 14 CFR Part 380. All aircraft owned or leased by Wheels Up are leased to the operating air carrier and are operated exclusively by that air carrier.

Meet Our Friends at Village Obstetrics™

We want to introduce you to our friends at Village Obstetrics™ and the wonderful support and care that they provide their patients. We partnered up with them for a Q&A to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about their impressive work.

Q: A big part of Village Obstetrics™ mission is to follow a minimally invasive approach. Why is practicing this important to your mission, and what have you seen as benefits for your patients with this approach? 

A: We see newly pregnant couples who are concerned about interventions meddling in the natural process of pregnancy and birth. And it’s true that the medical profession has become concerned about the high rate of unnecessary c-sections. So, our approach is one that respects the natural process but uses modern medicine and technology to check and see how the natural process is unfolding. If everything looks good, our job is to stay out of nature’s way, but if there’s a storm brewing our job is to figure out together with our mom what the best course of action is. Minimally invasive obstetrics is doing the least necessary to get the job done and it yields low rates of c-section with well-informed satisfied moms.

Q: What are the benefits of unmedicated v medicated birth or c-section? Is there a time in the birthing process where its too late to get an epidural?

A: Birth has lots of variables – the size of the baby, the individual pain tolerance, the length of the labor, the strength of the contraction, head position and on and on. So, it’s fair to say that keeping an open mind is especially important as you approach birth. In general, for first time labor we have seen great benefits from trying to get as deep into labor as possible before getting medications for pain relief. At that stage if you want an unmedicated birth we see how much further you have to go and if its not too far, you typically will make it without medication. Alternatively, if you are at the end of what you can manage and you still have a long way to go, or if you plan on an epidural, that’s a great time to go ahead and get relief.

After you’ve already had a vaginal birth and you are in labor with the next baby, then you need to decide sooner if you want an epidural or not. Probably when your pain is still manageable but now starting to get your attention (say a 6 out of 10 on the pain scale) then it’s time to either get the epidural or commit to finishing it as an unmedicated delivery. The last part of labor could be very fast with second or third babies and there might not be enough time to get an epidural if you wait until pain is an 8 or more out of 10. With the first vaginal birth however, its almost never too late to get an epidural because the progress of labor is much slower usually. Many of our moms now also consider using Nitrous Oxide which is available at our hospital as an alternative to epidural or to maintain control until getting the epidural later.

Q: New patients have lots of questions both pre- and post-birth. How do you help new moms and dads with the transition of becoming parents?

A: One great new addition to the information for new moms and dads is Dr. Worth’s new book, “The New Rules of Pregnancy: What to eat, do, think about, and let go of while your body is making a baby”. We are so proud of her! So many of the existing guide books are so packed full of information that they can be overwhelming and even scary. We needed an expert to sift through those big books and pull out the key information and present it in a format where you can take in a little information at a time while keeping it positive and with beautiful uplifting illustrations that provoke imagination and calm. Dr Worth made that happen and we hope you give it a read. Beyond that we intentionally structured our practice for only pregnancy and birth care. We unapologetically exclusively devote all our time and talents to this important field of obtetrics. Not doing gynecology and well woman care allows us the time to really get into questions and controversies in our office visits. We also hold our own free of charge birth class for our clients that we call our “Pregnancy Chit Chat” – it’s a group Q&A with their doctors. We also reply to our clients e-mails and we try and provide continuing community education speaking, blogging and posting whenever we are invited to by groups involved in pregnancy and birth care.

To learn more about Village Obstetrics,™ click here.

VillageOB

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Bell Family Team Brings In Top Talent

The Bell Family team is a group of dedicated women who work together to recruit the best childcare providers in the business. Each nanny candidate we source experiences a thorough vetting process before fully joining our team. All nanny candidates are 1) directly referred by someone we know or recruited from one of our trusted sources, 2) college educated, working professionals, students or career childcare professionals, and 3) prescreened through an extensive online application (it is over 60 questions).

After our recruitment team reads through the application we proceed with the following steps:

  1. Schedule a preliminary interview over the phone.
  2. If the candidate passes the preliminary, he/she is scheduled for an in person interview (Facetime for non-local candidates).
  3. At the in person interview, the candidate completes a Nanny Assessment Test that examines both their emotional and psychological responses to each question. The test is graded according to our standards. Each candidate must pass the test to advance in the hiring process.
  4. The candidate meets a member of our Nanny Services Team to complete the interview, including a work history form (i.e., names of all employers, their address, phone number) and information about the job (i,e., ages of children, schedule, what they did at the job).
  5. Our team member and the candidate review their resume to learn more about the candidate.
  6. The candidate provides proper legal documentation (two forms), and a photo.
  7. Each candidate completes and passes a national background check which we subsidize to bring cost down for them.
  8. Our team then completes a social media screening.
  9. Three of the candidate’s references are called via phone by our team member (who was an educator for 30 years). Each reference must be a childcare reference and pass through acceptable criteria set by our Agency.

 

Once the candidate has successfully completed the steps above, he/she is accepted to our Agency and is in communication with our team about jobs that are a fit for them. Each candidate has the opportunity to attend our bi-annual CPR and First Aid Training, as well as receive on-going coaching, prepping and check-ins to stay up to date on all childcare information.

We continually review the candidates’ profile based on family feedback and their communication with us. We choose to only work with the best nannies in the business. If a nanny does not pass through our Agency’s criteria or proves to not be a fit for our Agency based on our team’s or family’s feedback, we will remove that candidate from our Agency.

To learn more about our full list of services, click here.

Linds-Brooks

Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell

All Aboard the Motivation Train

The motivation train is here ladies, with special thanks to the awesome women behind the void. Their platform helps to motivate, inspire, and empower women through life experiences and music, and they’re my new MUST follow on social media.

We had the chance to get to know more about the void and their amazing women-run team through the Q&A below. Take a read, and be on track to a more confident and stronger you.

Q: Bell Family is a women-run business, so we love hearing about initiatives that encourage women to support other women. How does the void help inspire and motivate this sense of community among women?

A: the void was conceived with the sole purpose of women helping other women. We feel, along with many other women, that there is “a void” in the global conversation in terms of hearing the important, and sometimes difficult, experiences that women often go through to achieve success. Our answer to that was to develop a platform where our female followers can be inspired by the raw, honest, and very real journeys of other women, who may or may not be just like them – whether it be through attending our gatherings and interviews, book and music recommendations, or a little daily fun (and sassy) inspo on social media.

Sharing authentic stories by women of different backgrounds is a way to support each other and show that “you” are not alone. We want the void to be a place where strong women are heard and their words are used to inspire.

It’s important to remember that it’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s okay to have tough times, because those are the moments that make you bold, strong and uniquely you, and we think once we all embrace that, that is when the magic happens.

Q: We are in a day and age where social media rules the world. How can women learn and feel empowered simply through your social media presence?

A: We really hope that women relate to what we are saying on social media, but also feel empowered by what we’re posting. To be completely honest, most of the inspiration we share consists of stories or words that impact us personally at that moment in time. We hope that someone feeling a similar way or going through a similar situation is influenced positively by our posts, just like us.

On top of that, we want the void to be your BFF! You know the one… with the sometimes sassy advice, the one that will always tell you the truth (even if you don’t want to hear it), the one that can make you laugh until you cry but you can also have a real convo with.

Q: Tell us about your “gatherings.” Who are some of the speakers that have attended, and what are examples of some of the topics discussed at these events? How can people sign-up to be apart of the conversation?

A: Our “gatherings” are the void’s intimate experiential events that center around honest conversations with badass women from all walks of life. The reason we coined our events “gatherings” is because they are just that – an event that gathers women from all over to engage in some real-talk in a safe space.

Something unique about our “gatherings” is that no matter where they take place, we always make sure that the room is set up in a circle. This is extremely important to us because it creates no barrier; the conversation isn’t an “us” and a “them” but rather an open and in-depth dialogue among everyone in the room.

We have been so lucky to have the most incredible women – both as speakers and as attendees – at our “gatherings.” We have featured: TODAY Show contributor, Jill Martin; co-founder of Derek Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune, Jaymee Messler; Creative Executive at Bumble, Liddy Huntsman; Life coach, co-founder of the Handel Method and best-selling author, Lauren Zander; CEO of MNDFL Meditation, Ellie Burrows; Former Executive Editor at Glamour & author of The Fifth Trimester, Lauren Smith Brody; y-7 Studios co-founder, Sarah Levey Larson and many more!

We are so grateful for all the women who have joined us, supported our message and fostered our community – and we can’t wait for what the future has in store (you can head to our website to check for future events and sign up for gatherings!).

The-Void

Follow the void: instagram: @thevoid_nyc | twitter: @thevoidnyc | facebook: /thevoidnyc | website: www.the-void.com

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media at Bell Family

A Healthier You Has Arrived

It’s nearing the end of February, which means you’ve made it almost two months without breaking your New Year’s resolution of losing weight… right?

Let’s get real, if you’ve made it this far you deserve a round of applause, because you’ve probably lasted longer than most. But if you find yourself inching towards old habits and need an extra motivation boost, that’s exactly what this featured blog post provides. In a recent post from Allison Arden Besunder, she presents “6 Tips for Wellness in the New Year,” all of which are noteworthy and serve as great motivators.

  • Tip 1: The New York Times 30-day Wellness Challenge - Short, daily challenges you can easily incorporate and start now!
  • Tip 2: Drink water - 64 ounces a day is the goal, and try one glass in the morning and one at night with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in it.
  • Tip 3: Use an activity tracker - It inspires you to get your steps in if you haven’t hit the mark, and it reminds you to move every hour if you haven’t gotten up—an important key in wellness.
  • Tip 4: Log you habits - You may be surprised at how much and what you ingest, and when you’re mindful about what you’re eating, you’re liable to make healthier choices.
  • Tip 5: Eat – Eat small meals throughout the day with unlimited vegetables. And, revelation of revelations, begin your day with breakfast.
  • Tip 6: Be kind to yourself - It’s just day by day, improving small habits one by one, and over time you will feel better and see results.

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For the full article and details on each tip, click here.

Repurposed from Allison Arden Besunder Law Offices

Who Run the World… Girls!

Bell Family is a company built on the minds of strong and intelligent women. Our collective passion of working hard to achieve both individual goals and goals as a women run business, has allowed us to expand our network and continue to grow year after year.

A lot of our partners and guest blog writers are women entrepreneurs sharing their story of what it means to them to be a leader, and their journey to getting to the top. So, after hearing from our partners on what it means to them, our team got together to share our thoughts on what it means to us to be apart of a women run business.

“There are so many pieces to this women run business puzzle. Determination. Motivation. Comfort. People who truly care about others. Passion to do something because we really want to help. Proving we can do it the same or better than men. Understanding. Proud. Supportive. Appreciating individuality. Willing to overwork when times are tough. All of these wonderful pieces that make this women run business my purpose.”

Lindsay Bell, Founder & President

“I feel so lucky to work for an all women run business. Bell Family is a place where we support each others goals and uplift one another when we need the extra help. To me, it feels really important to be in this place right now, and to show others that a bunch of brilliant women can successfully run a business when we come together! And it also means that we have a platform to inspire and work with other women run businesses.”

Meredith Hamler, Sitter Services Manager

“Working in a women run business is empowering to me; I feel like I can share my ideas and take charge (run with things) without feeling any insecurity from others. As a team run by women, we are all supportive of our professional and personal lives, and encourage one another to be our best self. We all work hard as individuals and come together as a team to make our work shine. Here, I feel like I am my best self and take a lot of pride in it. We’re also able to share our proud, personal moments (births, races, vacations) to the team and feel appreciated, not put down. It’s always a great feeling!”

Lauren Kruk, Nanny Services Manager

“Working for a women run business is empowering. Especially in our line of business – childcare – we as women can relate to our clients more, as some of us are also mothers or have worked previously in the childcare industry. I am fortunate and proud to be part of this company.”

Courtney Bell Garvey, Sitter Services Manager

“I grew up surrounded by women with thanks to my four older sisters and Mom, so I learned early on what it’s like to have a women support system and the joys that come along with it. This company is much the same. Approachable, open, supportive, driven, focused, fun, friendly. All words that describe what it’s like being part of a women run business.”

Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media Consultant

We hope all of the women entrepreneurs out there continue to kick butt, support each other, and inspire more women to rise to the top!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Let’s Hear It for Women Entrepreneurs

I was destined for success in a conventional track. I would work hard in grade school, get into a good college, and graduate with a great job in graphic design that would sustain me for decades. Yes, the product of two business owners, hailing from a long lineage of innovators, entrepreneurs, and scrappy survivors looked forward to a nice, stable, corporate career.

I spent the better part of my employment feeling like a square peg in a round hole. Not only was I an entrepreneurial female at heart in a male-dominated industry, but also, I am someone who values good work in addition to hard work.

In hopes that it would provide me with better opportunity, I exited corporate life to work in startups. During my tenure I did time as a designer, software developer, and product manager. Five positions later, I finally figured out what role I was intended to fill: business owner. Shocking, right?

My favorite part about being a business owner, aside from the obvious of setting my own hours, and taking calls #inmyCalvins, is the same thing that drove me to starting my own web development and design business. As an employee of other companies, I found myself constantly frustrated having to sacrifice quality in favor of getting things out the door rapidly. So, the greatest perk of being my own boss and running my own operation is having total autonomy to set and adhere to my own high standards, and treating each project with care and attention to detail.

When I first set out, I was a diehard member of the “Ya Ya WomenInTech Sisterhood”. I was frustrated with the way I was treated as a female in a male-dominated industry. I felt singled out and demoralized by what set me apart. I was disenchanted with being the only female manager in a room of C-level men, so I left, and sought opportunities and partnerships where I could leverage what made me different.

Women bosses, nay, women EMPLOYEES are important because we bring something different to the table; women tend to be more empathetic, pay closer attention to detail, and even problem solve differently (not necessarily better, just different) than their male counterparts. Research shows that gender diversity isn’t just good for moral, it’s good for the bottom line too! Gender diversity is a crucial ingredient when it comes to true innovation. Women and men are objectively and fundamentally different, but it’s not a bad thing. While some may refer to this as “an inability to see eye to eye”, I see it as a great opportunity for collaboration.

I practice what I preach at my business Stacks and the City. We believe in diversity, but not without the advocacy of women in tech and leadership.

I’m no stranger to being the odd person out, and while I resisted it for a long time, learning to grow and accept unconventionality as a superpower is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and my career. It’s important for us all to reward each other for what makes us different (not just in terms of gender), for the future of innovation as well as acceptance.

Rachel-Stakin

Written by our guest blog partner, Rachel Shatkin, Founder of Stacks and the City