Archive for January, 2013

C4W Member Profile: Karla Telega

January 30, 2013

Karla TelegaWhat is your profession? I’m a humor writer and owner of the Indie Publishing company, Tart Cookies Press.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I love the natural beauty of the Low Country, so I enjoy hiking through the woods, while keeping an eye out for freakishly huge spiders. Seriously, some of them are big enough to beat you over the head with a stick.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I only recently joined, and am looking forward to connecting with other local business women. We all benefit from mutual support.

What inspired you to become a member? I first learned about the Center for Women in connection with a Low Country authors’ book signing. When I learned about other events, I was sold.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? As a new member, I was impressed with the one event I attended. Many authors have formed their own publishing companies, ignorant of what owning a business truly involves. Writing is a rather solitary profession, so learning from successful business women and meeting other writer/publishers is a rare opportunity for personal and professional growth.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I don’t walk around with a chip on my shoulder, but I often feel that I have to work harder to earn respect. Women are often judged more by their appearance than their accomplishments, so whenever I want to be taken seriously, it involves dying my gray roots, applying lavish amounts of mascara, and squeezing into my Spanx. Oh, the humanity!

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Know-Connect-Share. Know your market. Connect with them. Share what you have to offer. I believe that the Center for Women will be an extraordinary opportunity to learn more about connecting with my readers.

How can people connect with you? I can be reached through my website: or my company email, You can also find me at LinkedIn.

C4W Member Profile: Angela Cole Henry

January 23, 2013

angelahenryWhat is your profession?  Management and Aspiring Writer.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career?  Along with my Husband, teaching my step-son the meaning of service.  We enjoy taking advantage of volunteer opportunities, as a means of creating stronger bonds with one another.  I also enjoy taking my dog to the James Island Dog Park, taking in comedy improv at Theatre 99 and writing every opportunity I can find.  Preferably, I like to write on random perches around downtown, on a blanket in the park or in one of the many beautiful Charleston beaches.

What inspired you to become a member?   A workshop led by Cathy Liska inspired me to join.  Surrounding yourself with positive, empowered women can only work to your advantage.  I do not always have the courage to take the risk, use my voice or make the change.  It is my hope that being a part of a sage group of women, also inspired to achieve greatness in their own exceptional way, will bring strength to me when I need help.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you?  My experience with the Center for Women is limited.  My research of this organization has led me to learn about such initiatives as the Walker Phenomenal Spirit Award and Women’s Leadership Institute.  I look forward to moving closer to my goals by taking advantage of the programs offered by this organization.

How has living day to day as a woman affected you?  My experience as a woman has been riddled with bewilderment.  By this I mean that the traditional expectations of women measured against the modern day reality of the female experience are vastly different.  I am not necessarily speaking of the outdated model of a traditional barefoot-in-the-kitchen woman.  I am speaking of my Mother, the quintessential Superwoman.  I am speaking of the woman who juggles the role of wife, mother of two girls, full time computer geek in the downtown high rise by day and achieving student by night.  My personal experience as a woman rides on the heels of one of our country’s great pioneers and champions of women’s rights.  Today’s woman is allowed to be innovative.  She is allowed to be exactly who she wants to be, given that she is willing to create it.  There is great responsibility to live up to the opportunities open to today’s woman.  I am affected with a sense of great responsibility, as I seek to achieve that which is worthy of the fight that women like my Mother fought for me.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy?  There is a time and a place for every idea, every dream and every single risk.  Make this moment your time and place.  Innovation and sustainability are how I view the path to my success.  Find that idea which inspires you, and then decide how you can make this idea your own.  Everybody has the ability to succeed at something complete unique to anybody else.  Find out what this is and do it.

 How can people connect with you?

Unconventional Art

January 18, 2013

Photo by Alicia Khoury

A professor cautioned once not to write about an experience of which we are in the midst. “Step back,” he said. “Gain some time away from it and then revisit the story later.” The advice is not without reason. He claimed everything becomes too muddled to accurately write about when too close. I have often thought about the benefits to that rule. And yet, rules beg to be broken. My business partner and I are preparing our coffeehouse to open this spring; a full year and half of preparing and we are finally on the last song of this act. At the risk of creating something too muddled to enjoy I want to share with you some of the thoughts, emotions and tasks that have lent themselves to us these past several months.

Primarily I remember the first business meeting. Walking into Early Bird Diner, sitting and ordering and not knowing one another too well. I watched Julie’s face in the overly bright light of the diner, studied her mannerisms and decided this was the right decision. We each held our paper and pens, our smiles, ideas, and naïveté. We did not know what to do so we created our mission statement. We became thrilled at the ease of that step, thrilled at the prospect it promised. And it began. We met at every coffeehouse in town to discuss topics from a business book. We discussed past bosses and what characteristics to embody, what to avoid. We chatted about what we learned in our time as managers. We talked about our childhoods, told stories about our best friends. We wrote notes in our books as if notes were the answer. But they proved we were at least talking, at least dreaming and even preparing. The concept began to round itself. Our confidence grew along with it. And then we began the work that lied ahead.

We always worked late into the night after our other “real” jobs. There were always meetings happening, always and then yet again another. We felt the rush of progress, poured over tedious lists and excel sheets. The itch to go home to fall asleep and rest was both an enemy and necessity. “No, just one more cost of goods, one more inventory list, one more email about the machinery, one last idea about our paper products,” we said to one another. And on and on, etc, etc. There was sleeping, eating, working at those day jobs, and then another meeting, another day of emailing, talking back and forth, sharing exciting stories, disappointments, frustrations, and laughter. Then another day: hearing people encourage us, accepting their advice, telling one another this might be the hardest part. And then crossing that part to discover the next step is the hardest part. And then crossing that, too. It became a story about strength, the mental capacity, the work, the ever-enduring work and willpower and belief in the dream we began to talk about that night at the diner. Ending one work day and dragging to the car to leave and begin another right then, calling, meeting, talking, discussing, dozing off at Andolini’s over a pizza and a beer and deciding that was enough for a night. I think of the meetings with Christie, with Brian, with Kevin, with John, with Roger, with Cindi, and then some. We have sat in our cars on East Montague at 6:00 in the morning and counted passing vehicles. We have thrown on fancy dresses and attended more networking events, shared more laughter. We have danced on the green fields in the Charleston River Dog’s baseball stadium.

We have negotiated, we have offended, we have pacified and we have excited people. We have served at markets and events, a whirlwind of music and arts and pouring Cha Yen. There was that freezing morning in November that welcomed us percolating coffee in a church kitchen in Park Circle at 6:30. We served hot apple cider and coffee and beans for the troops. We made friends, we were called flirts, and we had too much leftover product to be profitable.

Eventually we took tangible steps toward opening our building. We signed a lease, began the yard work, painted the house. And it was just the two of us painting that house, sizing ourselves up against the matter three times our own height. “We have tackled bigger tasks,” we said. And we did it, painted the 26 ¼ feet of its height, each cinder block and its crevices on up to the trim work. And the fresh paint soaked into the masonry and I stood and held the ladder to spot Julie as she painted. And the sun beat on our necks and cars drove by and people waved to us from bikes and then a man walking by said to his young child, “That’s The Orange Spot”. And when he said that, for a brief moment I stood back from our adventure and saw something. And all at once my memory showed me the mess, the colors, the experiences across the canvas we began painting in 2011. And in that moment the outcome gained outweighed each sacrifice and lost hour of sleep. In an instant I could see what we can become; a place that might gain respect through hard work, one that welcomes everyone through its doors, a business that a young child’s father will bring him to share together over a pastry and drinks. In that moment I felt like Claude Oscar Monet as he stepped back to examine the beginnings of an impressionist masterpiece. Except I am not he, I am Laura Cannon, part owner of The Orange Spot Coffeehouse. And I want to tell you about this experience in this way because it has been good and exciting. And muddled.

Laura Cannon is a 2009 graduate from The College of Charleston with a degree in English and Creative Writing. When the opportunity to open a coffeehouse presented itself she took advantage of it in hopes of creating a space for all individuals (creative or not) to sip, work, and relax together.

C4W Member Profile: Sandy Irving

January 16, 2013


What is your profession? As owner of  Charleston Wine Tastings I am a wine educator and salesperson. I present wine tastings in homes and offices and am available for speaking engagements and other events to talk about wine. I represent a Napa Valley winery and all of the wines I market are produced there and are limited in quantity and exclusive to my company.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I love to travel and this year was fortunate to spend time in Italy, Scotland, England and Spain! Of course while I’m there I sample the local wine. Cooking and creating recipes is also a passion of mine, and if I have time, I like to get my hands dirty in the garden.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Just over 2 years.

What inspired you to become a member? I have a very full schedule, but a friend and member, Robin Giangrande reminded me of the benefits of membership. I love the camaraderie, the mentorship and the support that goes along with being a member. I am excited about connecting with all the members, both old friends and new.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? I believe that by empowering ALL women in our community, that each individual will grow as a result. We can all benefit from sharing the programs and the fellowship that the center organizes and puts at our fingertips.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you?  I don’t think of myself as living  “as a woman” but feel that we all experience both challenges and success as we travel through life. As a life long entrepreneur, I have always focused on the goal, and not considered whether my gender would be either a help or hindrance.  As the mother of both a son and a daughter, I want both of them to work towards a society where we are not judged by gender in any situation. I do think that women have a stronger sense of community and sister hood.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Turn your dreams into goals by writing them down and making a plan, then be consistent and persistent. Don’t give up.

How can people connect with you? 843-864-6490.

C4W Member Profile: Dorie Wallace

January 9, 2013

doriewallaceWhat is your profession?  Vice President of Customer Support, Blackbaud.  I lead a team of about 200 employees serving 20,000 nonprofits in the US and Canada.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? As a creative outlet – I love to sew.  It lets me be creative while still fitting my need for precision. I make all of my own curtains, pillows, etc.  I also enjoy ladies night out as often as I can!  I am married with two very active kids.  In addition to spending time with my husband enjoying all that Charleston has to offer, I love watching my kids play sports – mostly basketball and soccer.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I just joined!

What inspired you to become a member? I am very interested in learning from other business leaders in our community and giving back to women joining the corporate world.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you?   I signed up for the blogs and newsletters over a year ago and definitely picked up some great career advice.  I have been very impressed with the tools C4W offers women looking to expand their skills and experience.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I want to be supermom, superwife, superhuman.  It’s not possible.  I want to do the PTA, volunteer at the school, be a girl scout leader, while still exceeding the expectations of my career.  It took me a while to realize that I can’t do that.  I had to redefine what being a ‘great mom’ or a ‘great employee means for me.  For me, it means that I do lunch duty once a month instead of twice a month.  I can’t be a troop leader for the girls scouts, but I  can help with the craziness that is cookie sales because I can do that when the kids go to bed. It means I have to miss the PTA meeting on occasion because I have to go out of town for work.  It means that I leave work at 5:30 most days so I can have dinner with my family…the presentation can wait.  And that’s OK.

I’m incredibly lucky to have a partner as my husband.  He and I truly share the responsibilities of our family.  I’m lucky to work for a company that supports work/life balance and a position that affords me the flexibility to see the school play and leave at a decent hour to make ladies night out.

My ability to succeed…to survive…depends on my prioritization skills.  I determine what actually has to occur and what I would like to occur and do what I can while still finding time to catch up on a book.  It took me a few years to get there but I am there now…even though I do still struggle every once in a while when I get that email asking for volunteers for the Thanksgiving party at school.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? It is imperative to not shop hungry when you are looking for a new job.  I am sure that is easier said than done, but you and your family will benefit in the long run if you take a job that you are passionate and excited about.  Always ‘run to’ a job instead of ‘running from’ one.

How can people connect with you?  Via LinkedIn:, Twitter: @DorieWa, or email at

C4W Member Profile: Deborah Turkewitz

January 2, 2013

Deb eShop deliveryjpgWhat is your profession? President, WhirlyBird Solutions, LLC.  We manufacture and sell the WhirlyBird Repeller, the simple, safe, and effective device for repelling nuisance birds from boats, docks, and outdoor areas of all types.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Activities with family such as sailing, reading, bike riding, rollerskating. I personally enjoy knitting and crocheting, and gardening, and volunteering with Friends of Charleston County Library.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Since the October, 2012 networking event.

What inspired you to become a member? The range of business women represented by the organization.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? Still a new member, but very intrigued by the events and looking forward to attending more.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? It’s necessary to wear many hats at one time, and keep juggling lots of balls. I try not to drop too often!

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Have an idea no one else has, look for help with organizations in area, e.g. C4W, SCORE, Small Business Administration, SC Manufacturing Partnership.

How can people connect with you?
cell: 843-870-1032
office: 843-277-0704

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