Archive for January, 2011

C4W Member Profile: Holly Fisher

January 28, 2011

What is your profession? Account executive, Step Ahead Inc., a public relations, social media marketing and Internet marketing firm.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I have a daughter who is almost 3 years old, so “me” time is a luxury, but I enjoy reading, writing, gardening and doing CrossFit with my husband.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Two years

What inspired you to become a member? I had been familiar with the Center for Women for several years and always admired its role in the community as a resource and supporter of women. I joined so I could be a part of that effort.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The sheer variety of programming is terrific, from the annual Women in Business Conference to the Women Writers Forum, I truly appreciate that the Center for Women has a program for every woman in the Charleston area. I also have had the chance to speak at a couple of events and welcomed the opportunity to give back to the organization and to meet other terrific women in the community.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I find as I grow older and, particularly now that I am a mother, women carry an enormous load. We take personally the successes and failures of our children and families. We strive to balance our personal and home life with our career aspirations. We go through each day trying to keep all the balls in the air and beat ourselves up when one hits the ground. Women need to cut themselves some slack and realize that even on the days when we feel defeated, we have accomplished so much – simply by being women who contribute to our communities, our families, our jobs and, from time to time, ourselves.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? You have to be flexible. When I lost my job two years ago, it was devastating. But I knew I had to regroup, refocus and be open to new possibilities. I truly believe women aren’t limited in what they can do as long as they are determined and willing to take a chance. While making a change might be scary, as long as you believe in yourself, you will succeed.

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C4W Member Profile: Nan Brown

January 26, 2011

What is your profession? Owner of L’ATHENE Pure-Nutrient Skin Treatments; also a Registered Nurse

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I enjoy art, music, theatre, nature walks and reading.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Since 2006

What inspired you to become a member? With L’ATHENE, my business partner Lil Bogdan and I are dedicated to helping women feel empowered to succeed and feel good about themselves. That is also what the Center for Women is all about, so it was a natural fit to be part of the group.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? It has been so inspiring to be with an organization of people who share the same dedication in their business and their clients as we do. It is synchronistic.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I feel that women have more challenges in business than men.  Since I have had a business for over 14 years, I feel I have ran into just about every challenge you can have and therefore it has helped me be resourceful in my decisions and the way I live my life.  I now expect that if I want to do something, I will indeed be able to get it done.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Keep going.  Believe in yourself and never take no for an answer if it is something you are truly passionate about.  There is always a way—it is never about the destination but always about the journey.  Live for the journey!

C4W Member Profile: Margaret Seidler

January 21, 2011

Photo by Jack Alterman

What is your profession? Master Trainer and Consultant

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I love Spinning® – been cycling inside for 10 years, teaching for the last 5 years.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Since returning to Charleston, nine years ago.

What inspired you to become a member? I’m a native Charlestonian…born here in 1952. Women need to have equal access and status in this business community. The Center for Women does so much to give women that competitive edge.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center is a place for me to share my years of learning with the next generation of women leaders.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy?
Read, read and continue to read…self-improvement books, managerial books, articles on future job trends!

C4W Member Profile: Carol Kass

January 19, 2011

What is your profession? Owner of Pure Gifts, Mt. Pleasant’s newest eco-focused gift shop that provides unique, handmade products from primarily local and regional designers.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? My shop is my hobby, as well as my profession. I love that I am able to incorporate my passion for sustainable practices into the store, while also providing a venue to showcase local artisan talent. As a society, we are losing touch with some of our roots, in that very few people still have these skills. So for me, it is a question of supporting those who take the time to preserve these crafts.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I recently joined as a business member, but have been involved since I moved to Charleston in 2008.

What inspired you to become a member? I joined as a business member because the store’s merchandise is comprised of 85% female vendors.  Pure Gifts is possible because of women who work and for many their craft is a second or third job.   Without inspiration for new ideas and encouragement of women designers in our community, my shop would not be possible.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has provided an outlet for me to share my passion for thoughtful, unique gifts, in addition to my commitment to sustainability. I am happy that Pure Gifts provides me with an outlet to reciprocate that support to the C4W. I hope to have regular in-store events that benefit the organization and its mission.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? As women, we wear many hats. I am loving my newest role as entrepreneur – I can provide other women with opportunities to highlight their talents, while supporting the business that I am trying to build.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? If I can do it, you can, too. Pure Gifts is a dream turned reality for me – I worked the corporate world for years, and now, I am my own employer.  If you have a goal that you want to achieve, there is never a better time than right now.

C4W Member Profile: Amanda Moreno Duke

January 14, 2011

What is your profession? Owner/Designer of Cutie Pa Tutus, manufacturer and retailer of our trademarked “Pa Tutus” (Pompom Filled Tutus) and Personalized, Reversible Super Hero Capes. Other products include Pa Tutu Onesies, Poofy Pompom Magic Wands, Pa Tutu Leggings, Outfits, and more.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? HA! Is there such a thing as a life outside your career when you own your own business?  I work 7 days a week, holidays, nights, etc.  But I love spending time with my kids, taking them to events & attractions around Charleston.  For adult time, I’m just happy to have a glass of wine (or two) with my friends and catch up, doesn’t matter where anymore.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I’ve been a fan for years but only a member for a few months.

What inspired you to become a member? The support I’ve received from other women, both locally and virtually through social media, has been tremendous.  I can’t say that my company would have come nearly this far without the advice, help, promotion, etc. of other women.  Because of that, I decided I’d like to be a part of the Center for Women to get more closely connected to local women and try to give back if I can.  The philosophy and mission of C4W is so inspirational that it was the obvious choice, and it’s a true honor to be a member.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The C4W has helped me in so many ways already.  Besides winning the Power Up! Inspire Others award at last year’s Women in Business Conference, C4W helped point me in the right direction to improve my business plan, find financing for my company, and get connected with some influential women around town that can help advise me in developing my business strategy.  They put me in touch with the Local Development Corporation, which just approved my small business loan!!

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? My entire business was basically founded & shaped because I’m a woman.  As a career woman turned mom, I aspired to find a balance between career and family.  My product was developed for my daughter, and once it started gaining attention, my drive to be a work at home mom fueled my determination to turn the hobby into a business.  My clients are mostly women, my end consumers are little women in the making…..every thing about my business is female-focused!

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? I think it boils down to determination and drive.  I started this company with $150 to buy a sewing machine and some tulle; I had no family money to rely on for an investment, no savings and no business partner.  But through sheer determination—and with the help of good allies I’ve made along the way—I’ve built an international business in under two years.  I don’t sleep much, I have no free time, but I have determination to make my company succeed.  If you are determined to do something, dig in and put your determination to work.  Get it done.

Secondly, but not any less important is the power of relationships with other women.  Women will be your biggest cheerleaders, your best advisors and your most loyal customers.  Do anything you can to foster both IRL (in real life) and social media relationships, and remember to give back.  You must pay it back and pay it forward; when someone helps you, remember to help them in return.  Never underestimate the power of relationships.

C4W Member Profile: Anita Zucker

January 12, 2011

What is your profession? I am currently a business executive and serve as Chairperson and CEO of The InterTech Group.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I enjoy reading novels, performing community service, and being with friends.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? As long as I can remember.

What inspired you to become a member? I believe in having numerous resources that provide help to women and that offer women services that are specific to their needs.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center has provided me with opportunities to speak, to meet incredible women, and to help make a difference for all women of our community.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? It is a tough world and we need to have faith and persevere!  Success is definitely attainable as a woman.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Keep working and never give up!  Women are special and bring skills that cannot be matched by men!

C4W Board Member Profile: Alison Piepmeier

January 5, 2011

What is your profession? Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and associate professor of English, College of Charleston.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? These days I’m enjoying learning all about child development, particularly for children with Down syndrome, since my two-year-old daughter Maybelle has Down syndrome.  I’m finding it exciting to learn how high my expectations for my daughter should be.  Plus, it’s great fun to hang out with a person who loves to sing, dance, and do sign language to her favorite songs.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Since I moved to Charleston in 2005.

What inspired you to become a member? My work and my passion is to make the world a better place for all of us—especially disempowered groups like women—to achieve our fullest humanity, so the Center for Women was a natural fit.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The best part of my involvement has been the wonderful women I’ve gotten to meet (some of whom are alums of CofC’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program!).

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I’m generally aware of the ways that gender affects what we do and how we’re treated—we often have some really misinformed beliefs about what gender “means” (i.e. that women are more timid, that men don’t have emotions), and often they’re hurtful.  So I go through my life trying to challenge those stereotypes where I can.


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