Saying “Yes” when the publisher asked me to be a guest contributor for the May issue just seemed like the thing to do. The request was not to write about fashion or image as I have been known for, but the topic was to be about my past 7 years as a “Serial Entrepreneur” Mom and the effects on my friends, relationships and most importantly my daughters.
How appropriate that the issue comes to us around Mother’s Day. Always a beautiful time of the year with spring awakening, fashion avenue blossoming and steering us away from the safe dark colors of our winter wardrobe and a renewed energy.
Proud to be the sole owner of Panache Vintage & Finer Consignment, Panache Home & Design, and Trilogy Fashion Foundry at Brighton Commons Brighton, NY. Recently I have been described as a “serial entrepreneur” by a few, I take that as a compliment, but usually I describe myself as:
A mother of 3 beautiful adult daughters, 2 incredible sons-in-law and blessed to be a grandmother at an age where I can still get down on the floor and play with 18 month old Cooper Anthony. I hail from the Finger Lakes area where my immediate family still resides. A Rochesterian for the past 37 years, I started my retail career with The Limited, Inc. then moved on to manage Eastview and Marketplace Mall facilities, allowing me to sink my teeth into the “BIG” City of Rochester.
In the 80’s and 90’s, I had a few good years of modeling for B. Forman VOGUE Show and many gigs with Kodak, Bausch & Lomb and Xerox, etc. Then stepping from in front of the lens to behind it I began ‘painting’ Upstate N.Y. women more beautiful for more than a decade as a Makeup Artist. Working for NYC-industry giant Trish McEvoy Cosmetics, I was blessed with a reputation that allowed me to become a sought-after makeup artist in the region over the past 20 years. Retired from the makeup industry presently, has allowed me to focus on becoming an entrepreneur, and launch 3 small businesses over the last 7 years. My passion and recent accomplishments have always focused on female-based fashion retail/resale, marketing, women empowerment and event planning careers. You can tune in weekly on WARM1013.COM with Fashion First with Joan Lincoln and catch our live fashion banter with Tony Infantino and Kristie Credit from 7am to 9am every Thursday, blessed to have been a columnist for 5 years for the former Rochester Woman Magazine, I continue to be contributor of Image Inspires for Pittsford Neighbors Newsletter and Recipient of The Entrepreneur of the Year from the Brighton Chamber of Commerce. That should validate and explain a few thing about me.
Family First is a motto we use often in our home and within our family communication. Family is a gift and the most precious of gifts and home is where your story begins. It’s been a most interesting 7 years since I began writing my first small business plan. Being a business owner wasn’t really on my personal list of things I had to do but looking back it’s what my journey was preparing me for. My children were entering a phase of their lives where colleges and jobs were taking them away from the area. I have always worked so Mommy “working” wasn’t a new concept. My goal was to allow them to be involved at the level they choose because this was my job choice afterall not theirs. The girls loved the idea of Mom owning a really cool Designer Resale Boutique, Girls + Fashion = Happy Household! As a single Mom for many of their elementary, middle, and high school years created a special bond and a level of communication among us that was easy to include them as a sounding board for some of my ideas.
My children were becoming adults and they were able to see things in ways that I was blind to. My 10 year personal relationship took a hit just about the time I was preparing to launch Business #2 and it took my breathe away for quite some time but then the competitive nature in me kicked in and I was off and running with a renewed energy, confidence and self-esteem.
THANK YOU Girls! As my businesses built, so did the girls interest. My oldest daughter Elizabeth, husband Mike, and Cooper live local and love the concept of the resale, recycle and repurpose business. My middle daughter Jessica and her Military Army husband Pat and their two dogs, presently stationed at Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, AZ is a Masters Graduate of Roberts Wesleyan in their Strategic Marketing Program and is a branding specialist for National and many small businesses. She has guided me and my social media team remotely through the navigation of the ever-changing social media world. My youngest daughter Taylor will be graduating with honors for her academic achievements from St. Lawrence University and has decided to stay local and respect the city that we call home. She is a “Home-Grown” young professional that will be staying in Upstate NY by securing her first career job at RIT and begin her Masters program as well. Sad to be graduating but excited to be near her family again, Taylor has voiced with excitement and enthusiasm her anticipated involvement in developing additional concepts to help promote my/our Trilogy of businesses. After launching Trilogy Fashion Foundry in August of 2016 my girls decided among themselves that to simplify the division of Mom’s businesses that they would take on, when needed, the store in order of their their birth order. Priceless!!!
Beware, as the journey of entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, just like retirement I hear. My commitment to family first, a plan and community has made the road for my Trilogy of small businesses appear to be a flawless adventure. The “Dream BIG” and “Take the Leap” quotes are scary but so worth it. When it was “my” time, everything from family and finances were in order. I am grateful that my children, their new developing families, my immediate family from the Finger Lakes, and my local extended Family and friends are a network that embrace my crazy Trilogy!
Live life with style & flair…with Panache…Image is our Inspiration
585-473-5343 Panache Clothing
585-473-4416 Panache Home
585-473-6353 Trilogy Fashion Foundry