Pizza and Fundraising

One of NEW’s favorite things is getting behind causes that support other women. This year we enjoyed supporting On Your Feet Foundation. Per Executive Director Alexis Eyler, On Your Feet Foundation offers services to birth mothers before, during and after adoption. The Foundation has three pillars of services, Case Management, Grants Funding and Retreats.


Alexis said: “On Your Feet appealed to me because it was a largely unknown organization whose mission is to help a very marginalized segment of the population. I think the vast majority of us know someone who has adopted a child or we have a friend who was adopted, but, rarely does someone volunteer that they are a birthmother. In college, I worked in the nursery at The Cradle. I saw the sacrifice that was made by the mothers who chose adoption for their child. It is a heart wrenching choice and one made with an incredible amount of selflessness.”


In 2015, 89 women aged 19 to 42 years old received case management to help with the adoption process. The Foundation also awarded $4,000 in grants for job placement, housing needs and tuition assistance. In addition, the foundation offers retreats for birth mothers. 30 women attended two retreats last year, with 6 women receiving full scholarships and 6 receiving partial scholarships to attend.


Alexis added: “Not only do I think it is important to educate people about adoption from the birthmother’s perspective, but more importantly, I think the existence of an organization dedicated to helping birthmothers get back on their feet following placement is critical – through community building, case management support and grants, we are able to change the course of a life and I truly believe that benefits everyone.”

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On Your Feet Foundation honors the choice a birthmother has made to place her child for adoption; empowers the birthmother by helping her set and meet goals, enabling her to love, honor and respect herself.  The foundation educates others to respect the decision made by the birthmother to place her child for adoption.


We dined on delicious pizza at Moretti’s Mount Prospect, which also donated a portion of their dine-in and take-out receipts on two dates to further assist On Your Feet Foundation.


Then we launched into Networking Bingo, a fun way to get to know more about our guests than the standard ‘what’s your business’ introductions. We learned about hobbies, people they admired, and ideal prospects. This activity bears repeating in the future.


Our silent auction made for some competitive bidding. Donations were made by Peaceful Parlour, Melaleuca, McCormack Consulting, Maike’s Marvels, NetworkHoncho and Building Bridges Consulting.


The winners were happy with their new acquisitions.


Raising money and going home with goodies after dining and mingling is definitely win-win.


Check out our upcoming events on our Meetup Calendar or Facebook Page.


March Wellness

In March the Newtwork of Entrepreneurial Women kicked off the new year with a wellness session.

Hosted by Ellis Therapy & Fitness,  attendees were treated to delicious snacks, introduced to fabulous business ladies, and given tips on how to keep wellness at the forefront during busy business-growing lifestyles.

We met Andrea Weisbond, owner of Ritual in a Box. The first box is called Boyfriend Bonfire and designed to move on from an ex. However, Andrea says the only time you acknowledge your ex is by thanking him/her for starting you on this journey. The toolkit is designed to help you with your own sense of self and emotions.

Parting Tails, on healing from the loss of your pet, is coming soon.

Ariele Riboh, MS, R-DMT, LPC is one of the counselors at Ellis Health & Fitness. She has practiced yoga and pilates for 8 years and integrates movement into her therapy sessions. She works with clients ages 4 and up. Her focus is on anxiety, depression and body awareness with adolescents.

She distributed biodots for us to place on our hands prior to leading us into a chair yoga session. By giving us tips on doing a five minute Yoga session, she gave us the tools to balance ourselves amidst a busy workday, simply by stretching and doing breathing exercises at our at our desks. The biodots indicate stress levels with color transitions, like a mood ring. Mine didn’t change, but others’ did.

Julie Kapecki is a new intern to Ellis Therapy & Fitness. She is trading a career in marketing for a Masters in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling and will be getting her practical training at Ellis.

Wendy Helton owns Swan Dive Center for Pilates in Northbrook  which focuses on massage therapy, Pilates and other exercise methods to improve the health and well being of our clients. She started out as a dancer, and experiences with conditioning and rehabilitiation helped Wendy realize the benefits these functional fitness elements could bring to improve the balance and mobility of her clients. She has worked one-on-one and in small groups for 15 years and enjoys helping people gain more energy and strength in their lives.

Psychotherapist Jennifer Daniels, PhD, LCPC, incorporates traditional talk therapy with mindfulness-based approaches to help individuals in their journeys towards balance and peace. Her focus is on trauma and she uses her Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) certification with numerous clients.

Jennifer gave us a refreshing introduction to essential oils, having us inhale peppermint oil and rub it on our neck for an energy boost. She also showed us other essential oil samples and discussed the benefits of using scents to change our moods, enhance our health and help us rest. She cautioned that not all essential oils are created equal, and that we should look for natural ingredients.

Kathy Miller, owner of Mindfulness Matters , is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) serving adults and couples of all kinds. Kathy facilitates a weekly mindfulness meditation group at Ellis Therapy & Fitness and hosts quarterly Death Cafes. At Death Cafe  people come together to discuss death and dying over tea and cake, without an agenda or judgment. She is planning on creating a self-care workshop for healing practitioner as well.

Debbie Ellis, LCSW, CPT-PMA, CAFS, owner Ellis Therapy & Fitness has been working with children and adolescents with low self-esteem, ADHD, anxiety, depression and autism spectrum disorder for the past 20+ years. She veers mostly toward middle school age with a focus on movement therapy. When creating the space, Debbie wanted to counteract the focus on computers and mobile screens and get her clients back into nature and their bodies. The center houses a climbing wall, punching bag, a Pilates studio and numerous tools to get clients moving and exercising.
We toured the building, which also houses an architectural firm.

Debbie’s Pilates studio offers personal training for adults as well. It holds two Pilates Reformers and also has room for mat sessions. She finds that her clients look forward to practicing Pilates as it helps them connect with their feelings and gives ADHD patients a way to control and focus their thoughts.
Kathy reminded us to start each day with purpose. She said to sit on the edge of the bed upon waking and get centered into your body and being aware of how it is feeling. Then take 3-5 deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth to engage your parasympathetic system.  Then you should set your intention for the day, whether it is to be kind to yourself, ask for help, take a walk. Then throughout the day make sure your actions are in support of your intention. You can write sticky notes and put them on your mirror, dashboard, electronic screen, or fridge to remind yourself. By creating a habit of being intentional, you exercise self-care throughout the day.

Our next NEW event will be a fundraiser for On Your Feet Foundation. We are collecting silent auction items, and are looking forward to an all-day pizza party in Mount Prospect and Schaumburg in honor of the foundation. Moretti’s will donate a portion of the proceeds to our cause. Our networking event will be held at the Mount Prospect location from 6 pm to 8 pm, with a silent auction, networking bingo, and fabulous pizza! Check out our event page for more information.

Ellis Therapy & Fitness is located in Prairie View, Illinois, nestled in between Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire. The company provides a unique and stimulating environment that encourages clients to develop strategies and techniques to reduce stress and learn new coping skills. The focus is on bridging a connection between the body and the mind to promote the overall wellness of clients. Healthy changes are generated by integrating evidence-based therapeutic practices with mindfulness, meditation, movement, yoga and pilates.

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

Adaptability, a key trait of entrepreneurial women

“All women adapted to what they were dealt and made it work.”
~ Barbara Joan Zeitz

In early October the Network of Entrepreneurial Women celebrated Crain’s Small Business Week with a lovely gathering of small business owners in Glen Ellyn.


As we perused the menu and got to know each other, Rebecca Sturgeon (LMT, CMLDT) gave us chair massages to relax our muscles and our spirits.


We ordered delicious sandwiches from Shannon’s Irish Pub’s special menu, which nourished us sufficiently to take in all the information disseminated that day.


During lunch, Barbara Joan Zeitz presented several historic women who ‘leaned in’ before Sheryl (Sandberg). Relaying the stories of Rose Knox, Helena Rubinstein, Ida Rosenthal, and Olive Ann Beech, we discovered that women can start careers at any age, against all odds, and thrive.


Rose Knox started a Gelatin business with her husband Charles. The couple refined the time consuming recipe of boiling, straining and clarifying the ingredients for gelatin, and Rose gave away recipes with each purchase. When she was 50, her husband died and Rose took over the business, causing the departure of a male manager. Rose supported work equality by closing the back door so women and men would both enter and exit via the front door of the manufacturing plant. She was  a pioneer in nutrition, test kitchens, labor relations and creating the gel tab.


Helena Rubinstein brought 12 jars of face cream to Australia from Poland at age 24. She settled in a small sheep grazing village but set about selling style and fashion to the local population. Her cream incorporated lanolin that had an awful aroma for which Helena experimented with scents. 6 years later she had a viable business in Melbourne. Helena pioneered the concept that beauty was a new power. She also established professional standards for beauticians, developed luxurious packaging, garnered celebrity endorsements. After the stock market crash she refocused on establishing salons and developed a financial empire that made her one of the richest women in the world.


Ida Rosenthal did not buy into the flapper look, which failed to address more buxom women. Her husband, a sculptor, helped her design a bandeau that would offer support within a dress. When the dresses with these built-in bandeaus became popular, the Rosenthal’s developed the first brassiere by joining the two cups together with elastic. Ida’s husband died in 1966, and Ida ran the multimillion dollar company herself until her death in 1973. Maidenform continues to be a popular brand.


Olive Ann Beech partnered with her husband to establish Beech Aircraft during the era of cross-country air races. World War II called for an expansion to support wartime production, and Beechcrafts became the standard training vehicle for military aviators. In 1950, her husband died. She secured a $16 million loan during the Korean war and expanded her employee base from 2800 to 13,000 that year.  Post-war, Olive Ann focused on space age production in partnership with NASA.


Barbara recounts the stories of numerous other real life heroines in A Thesaurus of Women and her online column: “CountHerhistory”. Her second book should be coming out by the holidays, and will be a perfect gift for your leading ladies.

“Love is what is selling business”
~ Larvetta Loftin

Janice M Faris, Accountant and Principal/Owner of Janice M Faris, EA, helped us to think about how we pay ourselves as entrepreneurs. It shouldn’t just be about covering costs, but also about the lifestyle we want to establish for ourselves and support in perpetuity. She pointed out that even a not-for-profit pays their employees (and some very well), so that being a non-profit has nothing to do with giving yourself a salary.


Jan pointed out that it is very important to make retirement part of that income equation, and to take inflation into account as well. Jan can help solopreneurs determine whether to set up as a a sole proprietorship, whether to incorporate or whether to establish an S-Corp and what the tax implications of each are. She and her partner Peggy Goddeau also take a comprehensive look at all your financial inflows, outflows and help project what you will need in the future to sustain your lifestyle.

“We tend to flock.
We have to make our own path and learn from other women.
Just because there is a path doesn’t mean we all fit onto it.”
~ Jan Faris

We discussed how we can improve our brands with marketing strategist Larvetta Loftin. Larvetta’s L3 Eventeurs provides lifestyle marketing, advertising, public relations, and live engagement events to a broad array of clients. Larvetta had us identify our favorite brands, and made the profound statement that the brands we admire share our customers and clients.


She said that brands that stick to their passion and purpose do better than those who change their business model. It is easy to leave loyalists and brand influencers behind if you do not keep reinforcing your promise to them. Larvetta also emphasized that collaboration is key. Partnering with businesses who share your vision can strengthen both brands. Key questions to ask when developing your brand are:

1. What is our promise?
2. What is our why?
3. What is our influence?

She also stated that branding is not just a logo, and social media is not a strategy, it is a tactic. Branding is a part of marketing and establishes your perceived value. Larvetta enjoys working one-on-one with small business owners to determine their brand and create a strategy with them.

“You can be a small business but a big brand.”
~ Larvetta Loftin

Karen McCormack covered the new guidelines and brackets for health care.  One key change Karen noted is that being a woman is no longer considered a “pre-existing condition”—when previously there was a large discrepancy between health care costs based on sex. Reproductive and preventive care should be free under the new insurance plans. Ageism has also been addressed with Obamacare, no longer penalizing older people for their age.


Health insurance is now standardized into tiered plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum that vary by the ratio of payments to benefits. This standardization does impact some of the networks insurance providers recognize, so it is important to check with your doctor on what network they are in when making decisions. Penalties for not having health insurance are going up, so it is important to take advantage of the current open enrollment period through Januray 31. As an independent insurance broker, Karen can assist anyone with navigating Obamacare 3.0, whether switching from group insurance to personal insurance, setting seniors up with medicaid and assisting small business owners with group plans. Karen is licensed in 13 states.


All attendees went home with goodie bags. NEW will be on hiatus through the holidays, but stay tuned for our charity fundraiser in February 2016.

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

Some photos courtesy

Pampering at Avalon Day Spa

We are prepping for tomorrow’s Meet & Munch in Glen Ellyn, held in conjunction with Crain’s Small Business Week. Our ad was featured in last week’s issue, and Shannon’s Irish Pub will host us as in past years.


Our last Meet & Munch at Avalon Day Spa was a blast.


Several new members attended and we gathered to discuss how to take care of ourselves amidst being focused on growing our businesses.


Chief Inspiration Officer Bonnie Conte gave us a tour of the lovely spa, which incited me to book a massage for later that day. The spa offers hair services, nail services, and waxing.


Bonnie and her partner opened Avalon Day Spa June 2, 2010. Charlotte trains all the hair stylists and Bonnie focuses on brand building.


Avalon Salon & Spa continues to be among the top 200 salons listed in Salon Today since 2004.


The massage rooms are an oasis of calm and silence with the guest being asked to pick from 3 essential oils by scent, starting a lovely sensory experience.


The locker rooms (there is one for men too, with men-sized robes and slippers) are fully stocked with 93-97% organically derived products Aveda products to use after a treatment.


We discussed skin care and had our hands and neck pampered.


We sipped wine while learning more about each other’s businesses.


A raffle resulted in me getting a personal consultation on what brush to choose, and I also was gifted a lovely nail polish.


So many choices!


It got so comfortable people took their shoes off.


Everyone left with a little goodie bag.


This included a cute little guy who will help my customers sign their square transactions going forward.


Of course I couldn’t just let the tissue paper gather dust, and it promptly got converted into new pendants.


Avalon Day Spa is located in Deer Park Town Mail at 20530 N Rand Road Suite 346 , Deer Park, IL.


Join us tomorrow for more massage treatments, lots of insightful speakers, and delicious food!


NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

Crain’s Small Business Week Meet, Munch & Mastermind

Next week is Crain’s 6th annual Small Business Week and the Network of Entrepreneurial Women is eagerly anticipating our third event in partnership with Crain’s Chicago Business. We are looking forward to an afternoon of delicious food, gentle pampering and significant inspiration and business brainstorming.


The largest educational and business development event in the region for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and those who want to join this world will host 30 programs from Monday, October 5 – Saturday, October 10, 2015. We will gather for a casual lunch at Shannon’s Irish Pub, 428 N Main St, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, on Wednesday, October 7 from noon to 5 p.m., during which we will learn about pioneering women during a keynote address.


Crain’s goal is to introduce you to organizations whose mission includes helping small businesses around the city and suburbs to choose from. NEW’s event: Meet, Munch & Mastermind: Inspiring Women to Reach Their Highest Potential is a dynamic Networking Luncheon featuring a keynote address by Barbara Joan Zeitz, followed by mastermind roundtable sessions and optional chair massages. Throughout invigorating roundtable talks designed specifically for women entrepreneurs, participants will spend time learning from experts at each table.


Author Barbara Joan Zeitz will host our keynote address: Leaning In Before Sheryl!


Barbara earned her master’s in women’s studies (Roosevelt University, Chicago) in 2003 as an adult/grandmother and launched her ‘final career’ speaking on women’s amazing historic achievements via Powerpoint programs and writing her monthly online “CountHerhistory” column. She self-published her first book in 2012 with her second to be released this year.

Roundtable Talks will include:

Obamacare 3.0 … Everything You Need to Know About Health Insurance for 2016; by Karen McCormack, Independent Insurance Broker.

Karen has been in business for more than 30 years. She started her first company in 1985 and over time transformed her small business expertise, extensive organizational knowledge and exceptional ability to develop long term business relationships into McCormack Consulting Group, Inc.


Her specialties include health insurance for the self employed, small business owners, individuals, families and seniors. She is dedicated to helping individuals and small business owners through the complex maze when making decisions. Karen partners with her clients, guiding them through the initial decision process and providing continuous service so that they are always up to date as their health insurance needs change over time.

Business Videos and How They Can Increase Your Reach & Wealth; by Chris Pierucci, Owner, Final Draft Business Support Services, Inc.

Chris  is the owner of Final Draft Business Support Services, Inc., a leading business support service specializing in Court Reporting, Legal Videography, Legal and Medical Transcription, General Transcription and Word Processing.


Final Draft Business Support Services, Inc. also offers their own in-house graphic design team, and virtual offices in their Lincoln Park location for the at-home professional. Chris is the Director of the Ruth McBride Memorial Scholarship, and on the Board of Directors for Girls in the Game. She is also a former Managing Director of eWomenNetwork Chicago, and a current Designer for KEEP Collective.

Chris is certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, as a Certified Electronic Court Transcriber by the American Association of Electronic Reporters & Transcribers and as a Certified Legal Videography Specialist by NCRA.

“PAYING YOURSELF?” The What, Why and How; by Janice M Faris, Accountant, Principal/Owner, Janice M Faris, EA.

Linking Individuals and Businesses to financial goals is achieved with solid planning. Jan’s experience as an accountant for 36 years taught her that listening is the key to finding appropriate solutions unique to each Individual or Business. Her goal is to provide education as to available options. She believes that a clear understanding is the foundation to a sound decision.


Jan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University, an Enrolled Agent Certification with the I.R.S., holds FINRA Securities Registration: Series 6, Series 7, Series 63 and Series 65, completed training in Collaborative Law and regularly attends ongoing Continuing Professional Education programs required to maintain and develop professional knowledge and skills.

She is a Member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, served for 20 years as a Member of the Board of directors and Executive Board of the Downtown Wheaton Association , is a recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award for the Downtown Wheaton Association, and co-chaired the Downtown Wheaton Association Annual Gala and Fine Art Fair for 10 years. She also received the Outstanding Service Award from the DWA from 1988-2009 and was among the 1986 Who’s Who of American Women.

Attendees will each have the opportunity to eat, learn, network and connect with women business owners from diverse backgrounds, experience and industries. They will also receive chair massages by Rebecca Sturgeon, LMT, CMLDT.


Rebecca is a graduate of the Cortiva Institute – Chicago School of Massage Therapy and holds a certification in Manual Lymphatic Drainage. She currently practices at the Heartwood Center in Evanston.

Sign up here to join lively, enlightening education and be provided opportunities for brainstorming personal concerns/questions related to the topic discussed. You can follow Crain’s Small Business Week online here.

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

Pampering at Avalon

It’s time for some pampering and fun! Join the Network of Entrepreneurial Women as we celebrate the last days of summer during our September Meet & Munch. We’ll be meeting in the gorgeously indulgent Avalon Salon & Day Spa. The event is on Wednesday, September 9 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm at 20530 N Rand Rd, Suite 346 in Deer Park.


Be motivated by other women entrepreneurs in a networking community that is open-minded, focused and friendly. Be reminded why you love being an entrepreneur as you hear other businesswomen’s stories about their own journeys, and make lifelong contacts while actually having some fun. This event will be particularly special to NEW, as we return to the location of our first event, Avalon Salon & Day Spa, where we had a blast last year.


Avalon is a 5,200 Square foot serene salon/spa that is open seven days a week and houses 50+ trained professionals. The team at Avalon Salon & Day Spa has been and always will be committed to offering each of their guests a comfortable, serene environment in which they can relax and indulge their senses in paradise. As an AVEDA salon, Avalon uses 93-97% organically derived products.


Avalon Spa has been named in the top 200 salons in Salon Today for the last 9 years. As an Aveda Salon, the spa participated in the Guinness Book of Records challenge of providing the most charity haircuts in 24 hours. Avalon Spa is located at the Deer Park Town Center which has ample parking available.


Mark your calendars for next month, when we will celebrate Crain’s Small Business Week with a dynamic Networking Luncheon featuring a keynote address by Barbara Joan Zeitz, followed by three Mastermind Roundtable sessions and optional chair massages.

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

Business Librarians are awesome!

This month the ladies of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women visited the Schaumburg Public Library for a wonderful presentation of business resources.


We gathered in one of the large meeting rooms, which are available for organizations and business use by reservation. There are also smaller discussion rooms accommodating 5 to 8 people for small business meetings.


The Schaumburg Public Library is the second largest library in the state, after the Harold Washington Library and the Chicago Public Library’s 81 satellites.


Business Liaison Librarian Patricia Smolin had selected a few fun titles for us to peruse. She is very engaged in networking to keep a pulse on what small business owners and local entrepreneurs need as resources to enhance their business.

books pulled

She began her presentation by assigning each of the attendees a Dewey Decimal system category, including 700s for The Arts, 332 for Financial economics, 300 for social sciences, 921s for biographies, 610s for Medicine and health, and 005 for Computer science and information.


Our focus that day was on the 650s, however, pertaining to business resources.


Patricia oversees library resources and programming for Personal Finance & Investing, Jobs & Career and Small Business. She guided us through several resources the Schaumburg Public Library has available to patrons, including: Business Articles and Research, Business Directories, Company Research, Market Research, Industry Surveys and Small Business.


In addition to walking us through the online databases, Patricia also recommended 3 print titles that would be of use to business owners. “I put a lot of value in print,” she said. “What is online may be faster, but it might not be better.” Her recommended print resources include: the American Salaries and Wages Survey for salaries by position (updated every 2 years); Redbook, an annual publication on advertising media, and Best Customers, which offers demographics on consumer demand and generational categories.


As we toured the various sections of the library I encountered a blast from the past with my former employer’s business resource poster on prominent display. I still have the Almanacs I contributed to almost 2 decades ago.


Patrons have access to all databases and resources on-site when they visit the library. By connecting your laptop to the library’s wi-fi, you can access the databases SPL is subscribed to. The library has a large computer assistance center that loans out laptops and offers classes.


Those holding a Schaumburg Library card as their home library can also remotely access the resources their tax payers pay for. Library visitors with a library membership in good standing can check out books as a reciprocal borrower but must return them to the Schaumburg library. Alternatively, they can ask for the check-out through interlibrary loan with their home library.


Businesses with a local establishment in Schaumburg are able to apply for a business library card. Home libraries we represented included: Elmhurst, Evanston, Hyde Park, Indian Trails, Saint Charles and Wheaton. Patricia stressed that patrons should bring up a resource they need with their home library. Librarians are actively looking for ways to serve the community, and making your needs known is the best way to do so.


She stressed however, that librarians can only direct you to resources, but not provide legal, personal, or medical advice (all have been asked of her!). Patricia does rely heavily on her network of professionals to refer any concerns patrons have to such professionals.


The library includes a large teen room with their own section of meeting rooms in which no adults are allowed. The teen room also has a green room with a digital production studio that is open to local businesses by reservation.


Children over 8 can be unaccompanied in the KidsZone. This area is monitored and adults without children cannot roam freely in that section.


The library also hosts book discussions through the fiction department. It also has a vast selection of CDs, DVDs, sheet music and other media.


There was a plethora of international resources in all areas, since the library actively engages with the international community. The library hosts English as a Second Language assistance and citizenship classes that are always full.


I am eager to cross-reference SPL’s resources with what my local library has to offer, and know that the Skokie Public Library also has a treasure trove of resources. Harold Washington’s business section is vast as well. Go find out what your library has to offer!

Language section

Photos courtesy


NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.


Practitioners’ Perspectives on Wellness and Self-care

“We strive to give people permission to treat themselves,
women in particular.”

~ Margaret Olson

There’s a lovely healing place in Evanston that offers a variety of relaxation and meditation options. Continuing the spirit of self-care, the Network of Entrepreneurial Women was given a lovely overview of the Heartwood Center in mid-June.


We gathered in one of the large meeting rooms to get to know nine of the health practitioners in the space, and I am eager to book a ‘spa day’ at the Heartwood as a summer break. The major theme of the discussion that taking time for healing and therapy is not a luxury, but a necessity. Everyone should take time for massage, acupuncture, life coaching and other wellness needs in order to be more balanced and healthy in life.


The Heartwood Center, located on 1818 Dempster Street in Evanston, is a holistic wellness community currently counting 40 practitioners in its circle. The center rents out treatment rooms for Acupuncture, Chiropracty, Hypnotherapy, Life & Health Coaching, Massage Therapy, Naturopathy, Personal Training, Physical Therapy, Psychotherapy, and Spiritual Direction. Practitioners can sublet rooms, offering a fabulous start-up opportunity for those seeking to expand their practice without having to provide in-home services.

“I wish that everyone knew that they deserve wellness therapy.”
~ Rebecca Sturgeon

Oncology massage therapist Rebecca Sturgeon provided a Manual Lymphatic Drainage demonstration by which each of us can clear our seasonal allergies simply by gently massaging the skin around our neck. This gentle technique also offers assistance with migraines, fatigue and a general sense of heaviness. Rebecca incorporates this healing method into her massage practice. While her focus is on clients going through or recovering from cancer, she also tends to reach a clientele of “Stressed out women over 40.”


Melissa Sanchez is a dance therapist offering individual and group classes. Her emerging specialty is addiction treatment as well as working with the formerly incarcerated. An active proponent of mental health services, Melissa’s dance therapy assists those with codependence, trauma or PTSD to express themselves through creative movement. Her sessions can look like dance parties, or be more introspective meditative movements. In the near future Melissa hopes to offer a self-care for healers workshop, focusing on those whose profession involves assisting others.


Kathy Kessenich views herself as a facilitator of creating an awareness of what is going on in the body. “Many people feel uncomfortable in their own skin” she said, and her massage practice strives to reduce blood pressure, increase endorphins, relax muscles and increase the blood flow.  Her focus is on Swedish massage that provides relaxation and stress relief, but she also practices deep tissue massage for chronic muscular issues. She also works as a wellness facilitator, assisting clients in in making simple changes in health choices and product uses.

“It is not a luxury to have a massage,
it is actually taking care of yourself.”
~ Kathy Kessenich

Ixchel Mulberger is a licensed massage therapist and acupuncturist certified in oriental medicine. She spent a decade learning and perfecting her skills until she felt comfortable making a shift to establishing her own practice last year. Her acupuncture focuses on pain management, but she also seeks to educate clients about preventive care so they come to her before chronic problems arise.

“A lot of what we do sounds airy-fairy,
but it is something that is meaningful and deep and helpful.”
~ Ixchel Mulberger

Margaret Olson practices Manual Lymphatic Drainage and offers abdominal work in her massage therapy sessions (with permission). She is trained in oriental medicine and combines her work with muscles and joints with energetic meridians. She works with athletes, clients recovering from surgery and those with autoimmune diseases. Since joining the Heartwood Center, Margaret has expanded her own practice of mindfulness, which she blogged about in a 2-part series.


Marsha Smith is a psychotherapist who started with the Heartwood Center 8 years ago when it was located in downtown Evanston. She seeks to help people trying to become unblocked and trying to find their own sense of direction. Her focus is on helping adults of all ages with a variety of issues, and also ensure they stay healthy when dealing with life changing health issues.


Marsha said that one man who came to her felt queasy thinking about getting therapy, but later stated that he discovered “learning to be able to take his own side of things” through the sessions. Marsha partnered with Margaret on witing about integrating mindfulness and massage, and she seeks to partner with the other therapists at the Heartwood to create a holistic plan for her clients.

“People want to be understood and develop their natural abilities
to work through problems and find solutions.”
~ Marsha Smith

Yvonne Mitchell incorporates a modular approach to offer spiritual and life coaching. Through vision boarding, hypnotherapy, personality assessments and passion testing, she helps clients develop their passion in life whether mid-career or through retirement. She also helps people who are terminally ill to develop a joy strategy and develop completion activities to work around the pain and also engage in activities they deferred. Her practice comes from the loss of her husband and her own grief process and the activities she completed with him.

“I am grateful to be in this community
of practitioners and quality providers

and look forward to accessing these services for myself.”
~ Marsha Smith

We sipped on delicious tea and coffee sponsored by Alphay and sampled My Health Beet’s delicious chocolate truffles.


The Heartwood also offers event space, including the lovely Skylight room fit for banquets and dancing, as well as a conference room in which we met where one could host speakers, panel discussions, or other events. Upstairs there is a lovely classroom associated with the Tsogyaling Meditation Center, that also hosts wellness classes such as Yoga and Tai Chi. Gong Therapy is also offered.


NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

People photos courtesy


Meet, Munch & Flow: NEW at the Heartwood Center

It’s been documented that seasonal allergies are worse than usual this spring, so come clear your head at this month’s Meet & Munch with NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women. On Wednesday, June 10 from 2 to 4 pm we will meet at Evanston’s Heartwood Center, where massage therapist Rebecca Sturgeon (LMT, CMLDT) will provide a Manual Lymphatic Drainage demonstration, which can clear sinus congestion.


Rebecca is a  graduate of the Cortiva Institute – Chicago School of Massage Therapy and holds a certification in Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle massage technique which works with the lymphatic system to move waste out of the body. In an MLD session, the skin is moved in a specific direction and a specific order which has been proven to encourage lymphatic flow. MLD is often used after cancer treatment to prevent or as part of treatment for lymphedema, but it has many benefits for everyone. For example, MLD can help clear chronic sinus congestion, reduce post-workout or post-surgical swelling, reduce injury-related swelling and bruising, and possibly boost immune system function.


Rebecca will empower us to clear our own heads with a demonstration. I was part of a demonstration of this simple technique a few months ago, and it is amazing how the body knows how to take care of itself if we help it along with nutrition and self-care. Once our heads are clear we can mix and mingle while nibbling on goodies. My Health Beet’s Chocolate Energy Truffles might be on the menu.

Rebecca specializes in Oncology and Geriatric massage. Having worked in clinical settings, she adapts massage for clients undergoing cancer treatment and other medical challenges. In addition, as a longtime runner, Rebecca enjoys providing therapeutic massage to help people maintain their optimum wellness and fitness. She educates the Evanston community about their bodies on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. at Hip Circle Studio with her Anatomy Cafe series.


Other practitioners will present their services at the Heartwood Center as well, including:

Kathy Kessenich, LMT focuses on Swedish and Deep Tissue massage. She sees herself as a health facilitator working in partnership with people in need of massage service. Her philosophy is that massage therapy is a tool through which people can access an awareness and greater connection with their own bodies to help them live more comfortably and happily. This awareness can gradually move people toward a better understanding of the body’s ability to heal itself and put them in a frame of mind to actively affect their own health. Kathy was trained at the Wellness and Massage Training Institute and has more than 700 hours of coursework in massage therapy techniques, wellness, anatomy, physiology and kinesiology.  She provides a safe, comfortable, soothing environment in which people can be themselves, let go of their stresses and have the opportunity to make positive changes to improve their overall health and quality of life.

Ixchel Muhlberger, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist.  She completed her Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) and B.S. in Nutrition, attaining Cum Laude honors, from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine.  For 10 years she worked alongside physical therapists, which allowed her hands-on experience with a variety of orthopedic injuries.  Ixchel facilitates healing from a mind/body perspective; in addition to acupuncture and herbs, she incorporates bodywork (if deemed appropriate) into her treatments.  Ixchel provides a holistic approach to health care for her clients, and focuses on giving them the tools they need to heal their own bodies.

Heartwood Sign

Psychotherapist Marsha Smith, MSW, LCSW, integrates mindfulness and focusing with empathic and practical approaches to help with a varitey of psychological and social challenges including: relationship issues, anxiety, depression, parenting, work, loss and bereavement, and coping well with health issues. Working with adults, couples, adolescents and families, she collaboratively develops solutions to enable living life more fully. She also teaches focusing and mindfulness skills.

Margaret Olson, LMT, CMLDT, is a Massage Therapist, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, and self-care enthusiast. Her work is designed to ease pain, promote relaxation, and reenforce her client’s mind/body connection by combining eastern and western modalities of massage.

Melissa Sanchez, LPC, R-DMT, GL-CMA is a dance/movement therapist, meditation teacher and life-long dance artist. Since graduating from Columbia College Chicago, she has worked in community mental health centers throughout the city providing counsel, education in mindfulness meditation, body/mind connective therapy and support in recovery from substance dependence and the effects of chronic mental illness or dis-ease. She studied meditation and mindfulness practices in psychotherapy at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts. Her practice is stemmed in trauma-focused healing as well as providing holistic therapy alongside “diagnosis” related treatment. Melissa’s creative therapeutic approach is rooted in the belief that each individual possesses the power to heal when provided with a safe, trustworthy and unbiased environment.

Yvonne Mitchell is a consulting hypnotist, workshop facilitator and motivational speaker. She uses customized, innovative techniques to assure personal breakthroughs and transformations for her clients. Yvonne specializes in helping individuals and organizations identify key passions and unique life purpose. She facilitates life redesign and reinvention in health, career, relationships, finances, spirituality and restoration following personal loss. She allows nothing to stand in the way of her clients “achieving the life of their dreams now.


Founded in Evanston, Illinois, in 1999, Heartwood Center was conceived by owner Nancy Floy as a membership organization where practitioners could work together in a collaborative environment as they grew their practices. Sharing resources and supporting one another to increase business for all exemplifies Heartwood’s vision of an interdependent network of health and wellness specialists.

Heartwood Center started in downtown Evanston with a community of 12 healing professionals. With a transfer to the Dempster location, Heartwood has expanded to more than 40 practitioners. The Heartwood Center believes in an integrative approach to health that encompasses mind, body and spirit. Healing services include Acupuncture, Chiropracty, Hypnotherapy, Life & Health Coaching, Massage Therapy, Naturopathy, Personal Training, Physical Therapy, Psychotherapy, Spiritual Direction and Tai Chi. The Heartwood also hosts Tsogyaling Meditation Center, a small, community-based meditation center rooted in the teachings of the historical Buddha  Shakyamuni.

Heartwood is located in Evanston at the intersection of Dempster and Dodge, 1818 Dempster Street in Evanston, IL 60202. Free parking is available in the Heartwood-owned lot, two doors east of our building on Dempster. The Pace Bus #250 picks up from the Davis Metra/El Stop in downtown Evanston every 15 minutes and stops just down the block from our front door. A bicycle rack is located in front of our building for environmentally-friendly patrons.

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.


Discussing being your best boss

“I believe in recharging as often as possible.
Go somewhere luxurious to luxuriate.”
~ Niquenya Fulbright of Building Bridges Consulting

Last week the Network of Entrepreneurial Women held a discussion on treating ourselves. As we nibbled on savory paninis and vegan chocolate pralines at Let Them Eat Chocolate, NEW co-founder Erica Thomas provided tips on how to become better bosses to ourselves, while facilitating a lively discussion around self-care.


Erica stressed that as our own boss, we have to be the best boss, in order to keep our business functioning and energized. “Burnout can ruin a perfect production schedule,” Erica said. “Avoiding burnout has to be prioritized as highly as project goals.”


Our attendees covered the full spectrum of women business care taking needs, including 2 nutrition and wellness experts, a fashion designer, a wardrobe stylist, a brand consultant, a technology consultant, and a small business coach. With our introductions we had to state how we treat ourselves. These treats ranged from booking luxurious getaways to pampering in retail and at home spa places.

A “2011 study found that frequent small pleasures,
like double lattes, pedicures, or soft socks provides
more happiness than infrequent large ones like sports cars or vacations.
Research shows that breaking up enjoyable experiences into brief events
— such as two 20-minute massages at different times
rather than one 40-minute massage —
gives people more pleasure. “

~ 33 Ways To Be Happier by Dina Spector

While massages and manicures and pedicures were popular, the majority of ladies present love to take a (jacuzzi) bath. To soak our stressors away, this article suggests taking a champagne bath, and offers a less extravagant milk and honey recipe a la Cleopatra. Before that bath, My Health Beet’s Svetlana Burak recommended dry brushing to exfoliate and detoxify.


Highlighting that treats do not have to be high-cost or difficult to implement, many women also enjoyed getting lost in a story, whether through a popular TV series or by being transported into a book. Savoring a delicious meal or anticipating a glass of wine at the end of the day also served as pleasurable rewards for a job well done.

“Self-care is such a buzz word that it’s often tossed around
without people really thinking about what it means to practice it.
The truth is that integrating self-care into life is a choice
and a practice, and it only happens successfully
when someone is conscious and consistent about it.”

~ During Your Next Launch, Don’t Neglect Self-Care by Kate Swoboda

One way to treat ourselves better is by stopping to review what we have achieved. We each grow and learn every day, and looking back on a to-do list from a year to 6 months ago can indicate milestones we may not recognize as we adopt new skills into our regular routine.


When asked what we would give our best employee suggestions ranged from a day (completely logged) off to family outings to writing down a daily or weekly list of accomplishments. Realizing that acknowledgement of things well done is a key motivator, we encouraged each other to print certificates of achievements for the things we sometimes fail to recognize.


Getting in touch with nature also offers the opportunity for a re-set and turns out to be extremely helpful for the brain. John Haltiwanger writes that people who appreciate nature are happier, healthier and more innovative.

“Natural environments stimulate the brain
in ways civilization cannot,
exponentially improving our cognitive abilities
and igniting our imaginations.”
~ John Haltiwanger

Erica suggested that solopreneurs evaluate their businesses based on Crain’s “Best Places to Work 2015.” The selection criteria included: quantitative issues about pay, promotions, health care and other benefits, hiring practices as well as fairness of pay, vacation time, relationships with management and co-workers, career development and other day-to-day workplace issues.


Being self-employed can cause for some pitfalls of bossiness. Key to preventing burnout is to also acknowledge our biorhythms, which we can sometimes try to push through. Once again, the best places to work example came to the rescue with the question “Would you work for someone who made you come into the office during a blizzard?”

“It’s OK that you don’t do everything.
It’s OK that someone else does it for you.
You have the wisdom to understand:
‘that’s not my strong suit, that is not my best quality’.”
~ Brand Consultant Cierra Cole

Delegation was also discussed and encouraged, whether it be training a 3-year old to shred papers, engaging older children in answering the phone, or outright hiring someone. Erica stated that we tend to take the longest doing the things we don’t like to do, and outsourcing that task to someone else can free us up to more productivity. Being a perfectionist can hinder that process, but one member pointed out that getting it done is better than for it to be perfect.


It was lovely to lounge in a welcoming and comfortable space while bonding over indulgences. We look forward to revisiting Let Them Eat Chocolate in Andersonville, and are excited to spur each other on in our respective ventures.


Continuing our theme of wellness and self-care, our next Wine Women and Wellness Event will coincide with a Women Out Walking presentation. NEW member Svetlana Burak of My Health Beet is partnering with Kim Leider, a Training Leader with Ava Anderson Non Toxic to present: “Clean Living Inside and Out” at the Evanston Public Library on Thursday, May 28 from 7 to 8:30 pm.


Group photo courtesy

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.