Author: Renée Macisco

Inspirational Woman: August 2019, Karen

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women. This month I sat down with Karen, entrepreneur, wife, mom and owner of one of my favorites shops, In the Mood Intimates.

We met a little over two years ago when I was shopping for a few new bras. I spent nearly two hours in her store chatting with Chelsea and Nicole who work in the shop.

What I love about Karen, she surrounds herself with these beautiful, intelligent women who genuinely want to help other women. Whether it’s fitting them properly for a bra or helping them pick out the coziest PJ’s (PJ Salvage are my personal cozy favorites). They are there to help other women. 

Meet Karen

18th Style: Where are you from?

Karen:  I am originally from Roslyn Heights, NY.  I moved up to Connecticut 20 years ago and have been living in Fairfield, CT for 15 years.

Karen, Owner, In the Mood Intimates

18th Style: Tell us a bit about your background?

Karen: Most all of my career has been based in women’s health and well-being. I started out of college in market research with A.C. Nielsen for consumer products companies marketing to women’s needs.

From there, I worked for several large consumer products companies in domestic and international marketing including Tambrands, L’Oreal, and Playtex Products. After having my daughter 14 years ago, I decided that I wanted to start my own business so I could work from home.

I started In the Mood Intimates online just before she was born. I worked while she slept and grew the business on my own schedule, always looking to expand into a brick and mortar business in Fairfield if the location was right. I found the right location three years ago in the Brick Walk and now we have the online business and the shop in town.

 

18th Style: When you first launched In the Mood Intimates, what were your goals?

Karen:  Since I just had a newborn, I really did not have any set plan. I wanted to challenge myself to growing the business yearly. I entered the intimate apparel world and the online world at just the right time. Everything was booming and Amazon was not the presence it is today so I was able to create quite a following rather quickly. I took pride in every success and learned the hard way with some big failures. I enjoy what I have built over the years and am very proud of every success and failure.

18th Style: What’s your best advice for women aspiring to create a successful business? 

Karen:  You need to have patience. Patience in growing your business, building your image, finding the right staff to represent you, and everything else that you think might be quick to develop. You need not to be hard on yourself for bad days and you need to really rejoice in the good days.

You need to surround yourself with amazing people that support you because owning a business is a roller coaster ride… a very rewarding roller coaster ride.

18th Style: Did you ever doubt yourself? If yes, how do you quiet the voice within that makes you doubt yourself?

Karen:  I doubt myself all the time. That is where the support network comes in. I bounce ideas off of them. They are not as close to the situation as I am. When someone is looking at your doubts from a distance, they can see the forest while I am focusing on the trees. They give great perspective and more important they give me confidence.

I also have a group of lingerie store owners that I talk to throughout the country that understand the business and we help each other with all types of business issues. 

18th Style: What does the future have in store for the shop?

Karen:  I have been in a brick and mortar store for about three years now. I would like the store to become a destination spot for all women’s intimate apparel and lounge-wear needs. We work on this through our online presence and social media platforms. I would also like to become an educator on bra fitting to moms and high school girls.

I want to share my experiences on what proper fitting undergarments can do to your self-esteem and body image. I would like to have bra fitting seminars for women’s groups, book clubs, etc. I have done a few of these lately and we laugh and have a great time and in the process everyone is fitted for a proper fitting garment.

18th Style: As an entrepreneur, wife and mother how and do you find time for yourself?

Karen: It’s always hard to find time for myself. I rarely ever get a large chunk of time to do anything by myself , however every morning I wake up before everyone else, make myself a cup of coffee and just sit and read for about 20 minutes before I start my day.

That is my “me” time and if I don’t get that it makes for a rough day. I need that 20 minutes and coffee, it keeps me sane.

Karen, daughter Erica and husband Michael

18th Style: Ok, let’s lighten the topic of conversation and have a little fun. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Karen: I would love to be able to teleport. I love to travel all over the world. If I was able to teleport, I could have breakfast at Disney World, Lunch in Turks and Caicos, and dinner in Italy. So much fun!

18th Style: What’s your favorite quote or saying?

Karen: I have two:

1) “Everything will be ok in the end. If it is not ok, then it is not the end.” – Ed Sheeran
2) “Be Strong when you are weak, Be Brave when you are scared, Be Humble when you are victorious, Be Badass everyday!” – P!nk

18th Style: Do you have any favorite fellow female entrepreneurs that you follow on Instagram? 

Karen: I like to follow all the local shop owners in town. I also get a lot of inspiration from GirlBoss

18th Style: Lastly, I love fun facts. Tell us something people wouldn’t know about you? It can be anything. 

Karen:  I am an avid crafter, cross-stitch, knitting, painting, sewing basically anything that I get to use my hands. I love to get my family together and do crafts with them. It is fun bonding time and has become a tradition in our house.



Check out In the Mood Intimates and Karen’s Blog Post, Be Patient

Here is little snipet:

We want the solution.

We want it now.

We want to change.

To be better.

To be fitter.

To be happier.

 

 


Inspirational Woman: April 2019, Juliet

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women. This month I sat down with Juliet, divorce and family law attorney, wife, mom and author recently features in Forbes magazine for her her book Divorce Wisdom.

We met this year through our incredible networking group, the Inner Circle with Lewis Howes. I was instantly drawn to her and her work. Having personally gone through a difficult divorce, it’s critical to have someone like Juliet who truly cares about both parties.

Meet Juliet

18th Style: Where are you from?

Juliet: I live in Vancouver, Washington which is pretty much where I have lived since I was 6.

Juliet Laycoe

18th Style: Tell us a bit about your background?

Juliet: I was raised in a typical American family.  My parents are still married and live nearby me.  I have one older brother who lives about an hour away. I followed a straight path from high school to college and then law school.  I started practicing law for a big firm in my hometown right after graduation.  Took and passed two state bar exams and worked hard to establish a practice and reputation for myself in the community.

I have had my own law firm for many years now.  My primary area of practice is divorce or family law, but I also practice in the areas of guardianship, wills and estate administration.  I work in very people-oriented areas of the law which I feel really suits my personality and strengths. I have been married 15 years and have two kids, age 7 (daughter) and 12 (son). 

18th Style: You’re a mom and wife – what’s your favorite thing to you with your family when you’re not working?

Juliet: I just enjoy hanging out with my family.  We love to celebrate holidays, special occasions and any event that warrant some celebrating.  While we like to watch movies and chill out, we also like to be active – hiking, biking, etc.  I am a runner and this past year we have been trying to get the kids to join us for various running events which has been fun.  I am also a soccer mom who is learning not to use her voice as much at games per the request of my son. 😊

18th Style: Your book, Divorce Wisdom, was recently featured in Forbes, this is an incredible accomplishment. Can you tell us why you wrote this book?

Juliet: As a divorce lawyer, I’ve been through a lot of divorces and none of them are ever easy on the people involved.  Stress, struggle and uncertainty are distracting or overwhelming for people experiencing divorce.  With all my experience navigating divorces, I felt like I could provide a practical and smart resource for people thinking about divorce or going through one.  I believe my book will help ground people during what is often the most traumatic life event they experience.

18th Style: I know we could focus the entire interview on this, but what’s one piece of advice you would give a couple going through a divorce?

Juliet: Learn and practice acceptance.  If you are the person who wants the divorce, accept that it may take your spouse some time to catch up and process the ending of your marriage.  Becoming upset with your spouse because he or she isn’t at the same place as you or ready to dive in and divide up assets won’t be productive. 

Similarly, if you do not want the divorce, accept that it is happening because denying or avoiding it won’t help you in the long run.  Further, both spouses should accept that they can’t control each other or every detail in the process.  When a person accepts the reality of their circumstances in the moment rather than repel them, they are better able to tolerate all the uncomfortable feelings (anger, frustration, fear and the list goes on), think clearly and make the impactful decisions they need to in the process.

18th Style: According to an August 2017 article in US News and World Reports, statistically, divorce is much more detrimental for women financially, in your opinion, why is this?

Juliet: I think there are probably a few reasons why divorce is more detrimental financially for women.  First, although a lot of progress has been made over the years in wage equality, women still tend to earn less than men overall according to the research. 

Second, a transition from one household to two households occurs after a divorce.  If a woman earns less than her former spouse, her income will not go as far to meet her separate household budget after divorce.  Related to this is that if a woman hasn’t had a lot of involvement in managing the household finances before divorce, there may be a learning curve for her after divorce. 

Third, women are still predominantly in the primary caregiver role for children which means they may be working less or not at all at different times during the marriage.  This impacts not only what women earn at those times but also what they are accruing for retirement and their earnings record for Social Security.  Women may also be playing catch-up in terms of their wages as they re-enter the workforce or return to full-time employment post-divorce.

18th Style: Ok, let’s lighten the topic of conversation and have a little fun. What are the last three things you bought from Amazon?

  1. Perfume for me
  2. Ski pants for my daughter
  3. Sparkly notepad for a gift

18th Style: Favorite televisions shows?

Juliet: World of Dance and This is Us

18th Style:  If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Juliet: I would like to fly.  I think it would be cool to be able to see everything from higher vantage point.  It might also increase my chances of being on time if I could get there quicker.

18th Style: Favorite quote or saying?

Juliet: “Have courage and be kind.”

18th Style: Lastly, I love fun facts. Tell us something people wouldn’t know about you? It can be anything. 

Juliet: It isn’t necessarily that I don’t like orange as a color, but more of a coincidence that my least favorite foods are orange.  I don’t like yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots or cantaloupe.  I am also not a big fan of oranges themselves. 


Interested in purchasing Divorce Wisdom?

Divorce Wisdom is available through all major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBookstore.  

Click here to order on Amazon!

You can also purchase from the book website:  www.divorce-wisdom.comC

Divorce Wisdom

Inspirational Woman: March 2019, Julia

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women. This month I sat down with Julia, hair-stylist, make-up artist and founder of Brush Beauty Inc,and B3Balm, an all-natural and organic skincare line that is dedicated to take the guessing out of what you’re putting on your skin.

We met years ago through one of my best friends from college and I have to say, Julia is one the coolest gals you will ever meet. She is all about supporting women, helping people and giving back. This is one of the many reasons why she started B3 and one of the many reasons why I am a Brand Ambassador for this incredible brand. I hope you enjoy our interview.

Meet Julia

Julia Dalton-Brush, Founder B3

18th Style: Where are you from?

Julia: NYC, I grew up in Manhattan and the Bronx.

18th Style: Tell me about your day job?

Julia: I do hair and makeup for commercial print and TV. My clients consist of NBC, ABC, FILA, Brooks Running, Tom Ford to name a few. I also own Brush Beauty, Inc and B3 Balm. Brush Beauty is a small boutique agency with artists all over the US and B3 is my new all natural and organic skincare line.

18th Style: How do you balance motherhood, life and work?

Julia: I cry and drink. Just kidding, I don’t do either of those… that much. I breath, I try to be conscious of the fact that I do the best that I can and make sure that I make the best out of the time that my daughter and I spend.

Luckily, a lot of my work is done from home now (not the makeup, of course, but B3 and the managing Brush Beauty), so I am able to pick her up from school or help her with her homework, or just sit and hang with her. I think for me it has become about priorities and realizing I can’t get it all done in a day and that that is OK. That spending time with my daughter and my husband is more important than getting the last thing for the day done – that one thing that NO ONE but me will notice if it gets done the next day instead.

18th Style: Please tell everyone more about B3.

Julia: B3 Balm is me being tired of the toxic products that we surround ourselves with. I knew it was possible to make a lot of the same things that we use day to day, make it better AND make it better for us. B3 is an all natural and organic skincare line.

As a makeup artist it was important for me to be able to give my clients something I could stand behind and, also, give them something they can use when we aren’t together – something they can use and not wear makeup too.

B3 Balm is about empowering people to feel good about themselves and, mostly, about giving people a few moments where they can breathe and pamper themselves. Sometimes, we don’t have more than 3-10 minutes in a day for ourselves. When I take five minutes to apply my skincare, it is five minutes to myself, pampering myself with beautiful and all natural products that make me feel really good and beautiful.

18th Style: What is your hope for B3?

Julia: My hope for B3 is success. Not only success in the marketplace, but success in making people feel beautiful in their own skin, naturally. We also give a portion of our proceeds to different charities and civil rights organizations, so I really hope to be able to make an impact with those donation in the future.

18th Style: How do you spend your free time?

Julia: On B3 haha. It’s new and I do it solo at the moment, so it takes a lot. But otherwise, I like going to the gym, I love sitting on my couch and mindlessly watching a show, talking and seeing friends, seeing family.

I would say my most favorite is a free day with my family where we end up taking a beautiful hike and eating out and just spending a day together making memories and having fun. I also just started taking a drawing class, I needed to do something that wasn’t work – art for art sake – something just for me.

18th Style: Who inspires you?

Julia: Ooof! There are so many. First and foremost, it was my mother who passed away 15 years ago. She was one of the most beautiful, fearless and bad-ass women I ever knew, and she was my mama.

Second, I would say my daughter. She has that same bad-ass fearlessness and it is just really cool to see who she is becoming and what she loves to do.

My husband is a constant source of inspiration. His work ethic is mind blowing and his desire to want to help and love is beautiful.

My dad who is retired from being an educator, but still does incredible and beautiful photography and my step mother who is a VP at Yale University.Talk about smashing the glass ceiling and being a boss!

Beside them, I have SO MANY talented and incredible family and friends – being a makeup artist and being able to watch and be inspired by creativity is incredible.

Also all these beautiful moms who work so damn hard, whether being home or working – being a mom is no joke and to see so many kick ass women do it in so many ways is beautiful.

18th Style: Who inspires your style and what’s your favorite store or brand? 

Julia: I have always had a love for McQueen – I think his vision and execution was mind numbing.  The beauty and old-soul darkness in his designs were some of my very favorites.  I like to think that that energy is something that drives me.

18th Style:  How would you describe your style?

Julia: I have a few different styles and it depends what I’m doing. When working, I want to be stylish, but I also need to be comfortable, so that is always a struggle. I really love the old t-shirt, jeans and boots vibe – I really only get dressed up when I have to.

18th Style: Favorite quote or saying?

Julia: “Now, for today.”

18th Style: Anything else you want to share, feel free. 🙂

Julia: Sure, I think when making life and job decisions, it is so important to look at quality of life and what you are gaining or losing by making those decisions.  Sometimes the big title isn’t worth what it comes with outside of work – I think we (myself very much included) tend to forget that we work so that we can enjoy our life and not the other way around.

I don’t want to regret not living my life and not spending time with the people I love and doing things that fulfill me, to me, that is worth making a little less money for a lotta more happiness. 


Want to try B3?

Click this link and receive 10% off your purchase by entering the code, Renee10 at checkout. xoxo

Inspirational Woman: January 2019, Emily

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women. This month I sat down with Emily, my Goddaughter. She is a college student studying psychology. We sat down to talk about life, her favorite Instagram accounts and the challenges many girls face today.

Meet Emily

18th Style: Where are you from?

Emily: I am from Lordship in Stratford, Connecticut

18th Style: What do you love most about living in New England?

Emily: I love all the seasons and the people and the values here.

18th Style: You’re currently in school, what are you studying?

Emily: I am studying Psychology at a local community college and planning on transferring to Fordham University. I’d like to either be a 2nd grade teacher or a psychologist.

18th Style: What do you think is the biggest struggle(s) that college kids are facing today? Share anything that you can offer to other girls your age.

Emily: Some struggles college students face in my opinion are being thought of as an adult but not having everything together. Like having expenses, but not being able to pay them because you don’t have a high paying job and are going to school.

The biggest struggle I personally have a problem with is the unnecessary pressure to know what you want to do at such a young age and have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life without having any experience. Some advice for other girls is save your money!!! And do anything you can to make yourself happy in this stressful time in  your life.

18th Style: What’s your go to podcast? Do you have one?

Emily: Ha, I don’t have one.

18th Style: What are your favorite brands/stores?

Emily: Nike, Lululemon, Kate Spade, Adidas  and Brandy Melville.

18th Style: Best thing you bought on Amazon within the last 3 months?

Emily: I bought a pair of sneakers that Nike discontinued, the last pair.

18th Style: What is favorite app and top three Instagram accounts?

Emily: My favorite app is definitely Twitter, everything on twitter is funny. My top 3 Instagram accounts are: my Godmother Renee Instagram account @18thStyle, @tanksgoodnews and any account that brings good news stories. Lastly, I love Billie Eilish’s Instagram @wherearetheavacados 

18th Style:  If you could travel to one country where would you go?

Emily: I would go to Greece, I want to have my wedding in Greece.

Em and her sister Alli

18th Style: What’s your favorite quote?

Emily: “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

18th Style: Lastly, if you could give one piece of advice to girls, what would it be?

Emily: The most important thing that I have learned in my 20 years of life is to not care about what anyone thinks of you and to do everything in your power to make yourself and other happy. Also, the importance of family. Lastly, to young girls, especially in high school or college, there is life after both and what people think of you does not determine your worth, you do!

It’s a New Year, let your confidence shine!

By Renée Macisco, Southport Neighbors, January 2019

The holidays have passed, it’s 2019, and our New Year’s resolutions are front and center. What are your goals for the new year? I am sure many of you have a list of things you hope to accomplish in 2019.

Perhaps it’s starting a fitness program, enrolling in a class, or starting a new business. Before you start, take a minute and ask yourself these two questions, “Why am I doing this, and what is my ultimate goal?”

Many of us tend to have a “greatest hits” album on repeat: diet and exercise, read more, spend less time on social media. Resolving to make sweeping external changes is a daunting task, and the outward, public accountability can intimidate us into giving up before we even get started. The idea is not to abandon ship, but to change your perspective. Sure, we all like to hear ‘Have you lost weight?’ or ‘You look great!’, but those are fleeting insta-gratifications.

Superficialities are one thing, but they will never offer you the enduring satisfaction and personal growth of introspection. The greatest changes come from within! One of the most important things a person can work on is self-confidence. Is that on your list? The aforementioned are important, don’t get me wrong, but why not add “self-care/improve self-confidence” to the list? Did you know that self-confidence is linked to your happiness and almost every aspect of your life?


It’s true. Think about it.

The more confident you become, the less you tend to worry about whether you can or cannot do something. Think back to when you were in school. Whether it is setting a school record, failing a test, or closing a deal for your company, confidence is born through perseverance, failure and success.

Failure and success allow us to grow, and with each you will find that you have more confidence, drive and passion, to pursue other things in life. Things that you might not have otherwise tried. The more you fail, the more you actually succeed and build your confidence along the way.

It’s not just kids that struggle with self-confidence, adults do too. As adults, we’re expected to have it all figured out and not to care anymore. Truth is, many adults didn’t figure it out as kids, and still struggle. Selfconfidence is not something that happens overnight, but rather over a lifetime spent navigating those same successes and failures.

Keep that in mind as you consider your 2019 goals. Push yourself, try new things. By no means do I have this all figured out. I have learned that self-confidence and believing in one’s self leads us down paths we may have never otherwise ventured.

“It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.” – Oprah Winfrey

The Marks Family (Melanie was 18th Style Inspirational Woman, May 2017
Written by Me 🙂
  • 1
  • 2
  • 7

Follow Me on