Category Archives: Partner

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.

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

Finding Life Balance as a Mom

This week we present a guest blog writer, Jolynn Jaekel, who tells her story about becoming a mom, and her journey of balancing life and motherhood. Read her relatable and impressive story below!

Our mom was home with us while our dad went to work until I was in high school and even then, we had our grandmother to take care of us when mom went back to work. I grew up thinking that’s how it was done, but not certain that’s what I’d choose. Nothing about my path was traditional.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version… graduated college with a journalism degree; moved to Los Angeles and became an entertainment publicist; loathed LA; moved home to New Mexico; moved to New York City for a PR stint and confirmed I didn’t love PR but I did love New York; moved back to New Mexico to “figure it out;” rediscovered my love of acting; and then moved back to New York and became a professional sometimes working actor who taught fitness for survival. Whew!

So, when I finally got married and pregnant, I was hustling hard and knew no other way. BUT the second I looked into my daughter’s baby blues, everything changed. And it kept changing.

Before she arrived, I “knew” I’d be a better mommy if I was working out of the house. But then she came, and I realized I “knew” nothing. When I returned to work after my eight weeks of unpaid maternity leave, I couldn’t stand being away. I raced home as soon as I could, eliminating all non-parenting activities. It took both my husband and I plus two part time childcare providers to cover our crazy schedules with no family around for support. So, we moved to just outside of Washington, D.C., where one of my sisters lives.

We decided that initially, I would be home with our daughter. This was what I had been longing for, to be present for every single moment. At first, I reveled in the stay at home mom culture. We were busy with playdates, story time at the library, exploring every museum, farm, nature center and kids’ music performance, and finally making the crafts I’d pinned long ago. I got to be with my baby girl all the time. I was also alone with my baby girl a lot of the time. My husband’s hours had always been long, but now I was keenly aware of how long. My husband was receiving well deserved accolades at work but at home no one cheers you on for doing a great job cleaning a dirty diaper or gives you a promotion for keeping your child alive and well fed. It is the hardest job you’ll ever love. And I LOVED it, but I had no balance. I had cut myself off from everything I had known before motherhood and I began to notice.

I also began to realize it was time to go back to work because living on one salary in a city just as expensive as New York would not cut it, but where to begin and how to make it work? Fitness seemed like the most flexible place to start. I developed a mommy & me fitness program that let me teach a few classes with my daughter by my side. I eventually became a group fitness director at a local boutique gym which had on-site child care. It felt good to be back in the workforce without compromising my time with her. Then the gym eliminated child care. Time for Plan B.

We needed an additional income and I needed something of my own. I took a leap of faith with something I knew nothing about and previously had no interest in trying;  a home-based sales business. Turns out, what I had prejudged as totally wrong for me, was the perfect solution to my complicated equation. It gives me the flexibility to maintain our mommy & me adventures, while I get to flex my atrophied mental muscles AND bring in a salary. It’s given me something else I realized I desperately needed, a community of like-minded women who are courageous, smart, inspiring and supportive of my journey no matter how many twists and turns it takes.

Here’s what I know for sure. I AM happier when I have something to focus on that inspires me outside of the incredible gift of our daughter. I AM a better mommy when I have balance. I DO love my job as her mommy and am so grateful to not have to miss a moment, but I’m glad I’ve found a way to have some moments of my own too.

Jolynn Baca

Written by our guest blog partner, Jolynn Jaekel
Photo taken by Shauri Dewey

Moms + Yoga – The Perfect Combination

We all know the cold and dreary winter days will soon be upon us, and finding motivation to get out the door gets more and more challenging. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the right activity to give you that extra push, and for me, that activity is yoga.

Meet Allegra McBane-Sanchez, a certified yoga teacher in the Greenwich, CT area who specializes in prenatal, postpartum and mommy and me yoga, as well as vinyasa and gentle practices for moms and non-moms alike. She teaches group and private sessions at various local studios, and partnered with us to share her yoga-knowledge through the Q&A below.

Q: Yoga is a great resource for moms and soon-to-be moms to stay healthy throughout their pregnancy. What are some benefits of prenatal yoga for soon-to-be moms? 

A: Pre-natal yoga can be a highly beneficial part of pregnancy. The physical benefits of practicing poses that offer a supported way to open up, to stretch, and also to strengthen can help your body more comfortably grow for your developing baby. The mental benefits of connecting deeply to your body and to your breath can help you to more peacefully navigate pregnancy, birth and new motherhood. In prenatal yoga, we focus a lot of awareness on breath work as a tool for expectant mothers to stay present in their bodies throughout their pregnancy and as an integral tool in the labor and birth experience.

Q: Why is it important to continue to practice yoga post-birth? 

A: A postpartum yoga practice can help reconnect new moms to the changes they have experienced in their bodies through pregnancy and birth. A thoughtful postpartum yoga practice can help moms regain strength in their cores, pelvic floors, and throughout their bodies; it can reconnect them to their breath and to their own innate strength; and, it is also an opportunity for a new mom to check in with her body, mind and breath as she adjusts to the demands of new motherhood.

Q: How does mommy and me yoga help bond mom and new baby? 

A: Mommy and me yoga is one of the most rewarding classes to teach. Offering a space for moms to be with their little ones while also caring for themselves is a very beautiful thing to witness. Babies enjoy the touch of their moms as they gently massage and stretch the babies, and moms enjoy incorporating their babies into movement and poses that benefit their physical and mental health. The babies respond positively to calm breath and gentle movements – it brings them a sense of calm as well. It’s also a really nice opportunity to meet other new moms and find a community while doing something good for yourself and your baby.

Q: What are some things you’ve learned from practicing yoga? 

A: This is hard to answer because, really, yoga has changed my life. It has changed the way I view my own body, my own relationship to my child and the way I interact with others. I have had a yoga practice for nearly 20 years but it was only after I gave birth to my son, that yoga became something more than a chance to stretch and strengthen. The challenges that many new mothers face: hormonal changes that impact our mental health, physical changes that impact our ability to do what we previously did, and the profound shift when we become responsible for another person’s life, can take its toll. I turned to yoga as I navigated the transition to new motherhood and not only did it provide me with more physical strength and flexibility than I have ever had before, but the focus on breath work and the practice of being present in my body in the moment that I am experiencing has taught me how to be a more engaged and conscious parent and has taught me how to view my life through a lens of gratitude and patience.

Allegra Sanchez 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Own Unique Artwork With Help From Sugarlift

Looking to jazz up the walls in your home? Imagine having unique and original artwork that no one else has had their hands on. Talk about a conversation topic for your next dinner party!

Our friends at Sugarlift help to find the best emerging artists to fill up those empty walls that have been staring blankly back at you. Read our Q&A below with the Sugarlift team to learn more!

Q: Finding the perfect artwork for your wall can be time-consuming and challenging. How does Sugarlift help simplify the process?

A: Finding the perfect art is actually much more complicated than it used to be. Collecting art was once done by a smaller group of connoisseurs who were spending much more on acquiring art from galleries or auction houses. The rest of us were living with framed posters (think Martini and Rossi or Dark Side of the Moon) or paintings done by our friend’s cousin.

Today, a myriad of online options bring art to a wider audience. But endlessly browsing online presents its own challenges. Our clients come to us after spending hours and hours scrolling through websites and still not finding something they love. Or they find an artist they like but don’t see any pieces that fit their space. In addition to that, framing and hanging art can be difficult if you don’t work as a part-time art-handler.

We designed Sugarlift to simplify the whole process. Clients who are looking for art are connected with a human art advisor who helps them navigate all of the options and decisions along the way through a free and fun service. We not only recommend hand-selected artists to fit your aesthetic tastes, we consult on the appropriate size, hanging, and even help with executing custom commissions. It’s our mission to help more people live with great art!

Q: What are a couple unique options for artwork in a child’s bedroom for someone looking for something a bit different?

A: The most important thing to know about the process of finding the right art is that it’s very subjective. What you like may be the opposite of someone else, and that’s okay!

When I think of children’s rooms, the go-to artwork seen across the Instagram universe often features photos of baby animals or illustrated prints. These can be fun, cute and playful, which is usually the feel people are going for in kids’ rooms—so they work!

We’ve had clients who want to replace pieces like these as their kids grow up. For example, we had a client replace baby animal photos with a large crashing wave taken by Brooklyn-based surf photographer Matthew Clark. Her nine-year-old picked it out himself! Another fun idea is creating a gallery wall of both contemporary artists and works made by the kids. Art doesn’t have to be so serious, and whose children aren’t making amazing abstract paintings?

Q: The playroom is an essential and frequently used space in a family’s home. What types of artwork would look or work best in that room?

A: This is definitely a question for someone not New York-based! In our apartment, the playroom doubles as the living room, dining room and part of the kitchen. And I thought we have a pretty comfortable apartment!

In a dedicated playroom, it’s fun to think about uplifting artwork. It’s an art and a science to determine which artwork will be energizing, but you can typically count on bright colors and dynamic compositions to achieve this goal.

Some unique options would be to include art by street artists like Eelco van den Berg or fun prints by collaborative artists such as Chiaozza or Gentleman’s Game. These artists incorporate play into the process of making the art, and why shouldn’t that idea translate into the space?

Q: Some people have a clear idea of the artwork they want and others need a lot of direction. How do you guide customers to find the perfect piece(s)?

A: This is very true. Some of our clients start without any idea of what they want. It’s our job to show them options and listen to their feedback. We don’t all have the vocabulary of an Art History PhD, so it’s important for us to listen and continue to refine the options we are showing.

What is also true is that when you find the right art for you, you don’t need an art history degree to know it. Living with art you love is an uplifting experience and should be accessible to all!

Sugarlift_InstallPhoto2

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Introducing NY’s First Premier Nanny Concierge

The New York Nanny Center (a Bell Family Company) and Parenting Expert and author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer,” Tammy Gold, partner to create NYC’s Premier Nanny Concierge Service

 

NY Nanny Concierge Services is the first nanny search and management service run

by licensed psychotherapists, former nannies, educators and mothers who match families with nannies suited to the specific developmental needs of their child. Instead of focusing on the physical match (days, hours, location) we match based on the psychosocial needs as well.

 

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Childcare matched to the developmental needs of your child

 

Our nannies go through rigorous recruitment process that assesses each nanny

based on psychological and social behavior profiles as well as the childcare skills

and experience. We know that “one nanny does not fit all” and our nannies are evaluated against their abilities to deliver the specific developmental needs of Erickson’s 5 stages of child development as every stage, from infancy to teen hood, needs a specific set of caregiving skills.

 

Childcare matched to each specific family’s characteristics and needs

 

We make sure your nanny can handle the specific and diverse childcare needs of today’s families. For example we match nannies to specific medical needs, e.g. Type

1 Diabetes, or psychological needs, e.g. skills to handle the complexities of children

with ADHD or specific family needs, e.g. divorced dual family households.

 

Each Search Includes Nanny Trialing and Assessment

 

You really don’t know if you have the perfect nanny match until the nanny, children and parents are interacting on the job.  That’s why we build Nanny Trials into our search process to that nannies and families can experience working together before an offer or placement is made.  During the trial period we work with both families and nannies to be gain objective feedback and assessment of the suitability of the match.  This ensures a more successful, happier and long-term placement for families and nannies.

 

2 hours of post placement Parenting and Childcare Coaching for Nanny or

Family

 

We have licensed therapists, certified coaches and former nannies there to help with any childcare challenges (e.g. children not listening to the nanny) or relationship challenges (e.g. communication issues between parent and nanny) that commonly arise during the beginning stages of the parent-nanny relationship. This added support to family and nanny allows for stronger relationships, placements that last much longer and most importantly better caregiving.

 

Access to 24/7 Sitter Services coverage for Sick Days, Weekends and Vacations

 

We know that nannies can get sick, may need to travel or leave for an emergency and therefore included in your search fee, is a complimentary one year membership to our premier on-demand caregivers from Bell Family Company. Weekends or at night, our Nanny Concierge covers all your childcare needs and emergency childcare situations.

 

We know we are the best way to find the ideal nanny for your child. If you are interested in learning more please call our office at 212.265.3354 or start your application by clicking JOIN TODAY here. To receive a copy of Tammy’s book please contact us for details:

 

Lindsay Bell, lindsay@bellfamilycompany.com or Tammy Gold, tg@tammygold.com

VMV Hypoallergenics

We’re excited to be working more with one of our great partners, VMV Hypoallergenics! VMV Hypoallergenics is a fantastic skincare company that offers safe, proven effective, and clinically-published products and services.

We’re also excited about their Grandma Minnie line, which is specifically designed for expecting moms!

VMV is proud of six core characteristics that make VMV so unique:

1) Proven Hypoallergenic

2) Published Studies

3) Created + formulated by a world-renowned dermatologists

4) Each product tested to within an inch of its life

5) Regularly Updated Formulations

6) Head-to-Toe Care from Diapers to Dermabrasion

Check out VMV Hypoallergenics for all of your summer skincare needs; we know we will be!