Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday's Woman: Fashion Influencer Maureen Landry

Maureen Landry: Fashion & Design Influencer

Maureen Landry, left & I

Maureen Landry is a dear, dear friend (adore!) and one of the most amazing stylist in fashion and home design. She has worked on my home & the room is still one of my favorite in my house.  And everything about her recently designed condo was the perfect pied de terre! I will be featuring that home which recently sold on another segment so watch for it!

Mo, in the 23 years that I have known you, you've always had the most amazing style both in your homes and fashion sense. With such an amazing eye! I have always felt so relaxed in your home & charmed by the order, there is no chaos! And when I think of your style of putting together an outfit, I never think "trendy" although you are always on pointe! You have a great mix of classic with a nod to trendy but never outrageous and always so appropriate.
BC: How would you describe your style?  
ML: I'd describe it as euro chic with a bit of an edge
BC: Who influenced you growing up?
ML: Both of my grandmothers influenced my personal style. One wore skirts, heels, twin- sets and pearls every day.  My sister and I would play in her closet when we were little. Some of my fondest memories are of us trying on her shoes, clothes and jewelry. She was part of that era when women dressed up before they left the house.  I still remember the matching handbags and shoes!                     
My other grandmother was European. Her clothes were tailored and feminine.  I admired her effortless style. She always smelled so nice (I wish I knew the name of her perfume). Their influences are evident when you look in my closet.  It’s filled with classic pieces; pencil skirts, cashmere sweaters, tailored jackets, silk blouses and ladylike accessories. I keep things neutral and simple so everything is interchangeable.  
BC: How do you select an outfit? It is based on where you are going? 
ML: I base it on how I feel. You know I love being organized so I set up my closet to look like a boutique.  It makes it easy to pick out an outfit.  I always have a silhouette in mind and dress for my body type.  You remove anxiety and chaos if you always have 2-3 core outfits that you can count on in a pinch. I have a go-to sheath for special occasions, skinny jeans and a silk blouse for going out and comfortable leggings and cashmere for travel.  It's like creating a tool kit. It helps me achieve a sense of confidence and comfort when I don't have to stress about what to wear.  
BC: How you want to feel (i.e., classic, sexy, confident, laid back etc) or an image you want to portray?  
ML: I like to look polished.  I think you naturally feel sexy and confident once you've defined your style. It's something you have in your head when you’re deciding how to put everything together.  
You don't second guess yourself because you know what works. 
BC: Do you cover-up one feature for highlighting another? (ex: you wouldn't have a low cut blouse and a short skirt?). 
ML: I dress for my body type so I gravitate toward clothes that create a definition for my boyish figure. I look for simple,  tailored clothing and for pieces that won't exaggerate my broad shoulders. 
BC: What types of accessories are important to you? I love Designer accessories.  As you know, I'm crazy for shoes!! 
ML: I'm drawn to ladylike pumps (Manolo's, Gucci). I go for bold/chunky jewelry (Eddie Borgo) and large handbags.  I’ll spend money on quality accessories, but I'll pair them with inexpensive pieces.
 BC: Do you prefer to invest in quality pieces or quantity?  
ML: I go for quality.  I've found that I'm always looking for ways to edit/curate the perfect wardrobe. I go through my closet 2 times a year so I can keep it simple.  I get anxiety when I have too many choices.  
BC: What items do you save on?  
ML: I save on jeans, t-shirts and a couple of trendy pieces for a new season. I love shopping at Zara for tops and dresses.
BC: What is your must have list for fall?
BC: What is your favorite tee: ML: J Crew t-shirts are my favorite.  They are so soft!
BC: Favorite Jean: ML: j brand
BC: Favorite watch:  ML: Cartier
BC: Favorite sunglasses: ML: Classic Ray Bans or my big Chanel tortoiseshell frames
BC: Favorite boots: ML: Gucci
BC: Favorite coat: ML: Dolce & Gabanna (amazing tailors)
BC: Favorite bag: ML: Hermes- Birkin...I don't own it yet 
BC: Maureen, Thank you so much for sharing secrets to you style and I am looking forward to featuring your home on the Beauty Curators blog very soon! IL&G

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday's Woman: April Gargiulo, Founder of The Vintner's Daughter

                                                          April Gargiulo

           Meet April Gargiulo, a modern skincare maverick with an interesting back ground coming from the design world, to winemaking and launching her own brand of skincare (that was created while she was expecting her first child Whew!)... April searched for something she could use safely during her pregnancy, and what she found were 'natural' products on the market that had chemicals in them that she would never use on the very grapes found at her family vineyard.

What a treat to have the opportunity to interview April.

BC: What a fun journey to hear about your career path from working in Design, to launching a vineyard to your own skincare product line. What did you do in design in the early part of your career?


AG: I worked for a furniture design company called Vitra in NYC. Vitra is a company that is uncompromising in its belief that good design can be part of everyone’s life. To have design integrity be as important to your company’s mission as the bottom line is deeply inspiring to me and something I have applied to Vintner’s Daughter and Gargiulo Vineyards. 


BC: How did helping your family launch a vineyard shape your philosophy for your own business? What learning's did you take with you?


AG: Gargiulo Vineyards is all about making the finest wines in the world for discerning collectors. If we don’t start with the very best raw materials and honor them through our winemaking process, then we would fall short of our goals every time. This is a yardstick by which we painstakingly measure our formulation process at Vintner’s Daughter. We produce chemical-free, high performance, luxury skincare for the discerning woman. If we didn’t source the very best ingredients and if our process was about speed not quality, then we would not be able to deliver on that promise.


BC: Did that process of working in startup vineyard help formulate your mind to start your own company? Do you see yourself more of an entrepreneur that will have a career building companies and then selling?


I have always worked in family businesses and although not without their challenges, I find their warmth and risk-taking spirit to be rewarding. I hope that I am building another great family business. Maybe my daughters will want to work with me one day.


BC: Tell me about how you came to launch the Vintner's Daughter?


AG: When I was pregnant with my first daughter I realized that most of the expensive cult creams I was using were filled with nasty stuff that was potentially harmful to my baby, our environment and myself. I went in search of truly chemical free products and couldn’t find any formulated for my skin type or as luxe as I wanted. I needed a little more cream in my coffee so to speak. I started researching active and natural ingredients and two years later introduced Vintner’s Daughter with one “hero” serum formulated for all skin types but especially beneficial to hormonal and acne-prone skin – like mine.


BC: Sometimes product companies don't share the story of what they chose to leave out...what are your dirty dozen of common ingredients that are harmful to consumers & what you chose to leave out?


AG: The list of ingredients that shouldn’t be in our skincare products seems to be getting longer every day. We choose to work with organic and/or wildcrafted botanicals that come directly from the earth with minimal processing. We believe that using natural non-toxic ingredients is the best way to support the skin’s own defenses from aging, the environment and stress.


BC: What's the hardest part of launching/managing a business? What do you hope for this business?


AG: The hardest part of managing the business for me is staying in the now. I am a dreamer and am always thinking 10 steps ahead. Sometimes this can be frustrating to not be as far along with our business as I would like. I have to constantly remind myself one step at a time.


BC: What is the best part of being a business owner? How does it fit into your life of managing a home, your new little family?


AG: Being a business owner and hands-on mom is challenging and I’m never sure I have the balance right, but the days when I feel like I was able to do it all (family, work, husband, personal time etc) are exhilarating.


BC: What is daily work wear for the office vs. meetings outside the office?


AG: I aspire to be a more adventurous again when I’m not crawling after kids half the day, but for now its easy separates and mostly in black and denim. For meetings I change out of sneakers (love sneakers) and put on some fun heels and accessories. I keep it easy.


BC: Last question, (one of my favorite features of Elle Décor is the 12 things you couldn't live without, so its a spin off that!!)


AG: What are 5 things you cant imagine your life without? My family and friends are of course number one, but after that it would be

1.      The perfect almond milk latte.

2.      Sunshine

3.      Music/Pandora – Otis Redding station is shockingly good.

4.      Travel – Planning a Paris and Cadaques trip now.  Cant wait!!

5.      Bone broth* – Im obsessed!!
    Reader's you can learn more about how to correct skin conditions & the benefits of Phyto Radiance Infusion at the heart of the  Vintner's Daughters Active Botanical Serum. These high performance botanicals & essential oils provide anti-inflammatory phyto nutrients, firming phyto-ceramides and nourishing fatty acids.


Editors Note: Bone Broth! I loved hearing that response.

*Bone Broth is one of the healing options for anyone with gut health issues, especially those with leaky gut syndrome. I have been doing a great deal of research on leaky gut issues and bone broth is amazing for a variety of heal issues from arthritis, joint issues and cellulite. Cultures use broth made from chicken, fish, beef and because of the high nutrient content & collagen benefits. gelatin provides relief from food allergies including cow and gluten. soothes the intestinal track assisting with IBS, Crohn's and acid reflux to name a few.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bonnie Cannavino, President of Red Cherry Group

I never get tired of interviewing women and finding out how they have built their business and what gives them the drive, strength and chutzpah to carry out their dreams. Its a pleasure to feature Bonnie Cannavino, President and Founder of Amrit Organic and Red Cherry Labs.  I first met Bonnie years ago when she worked for Bioelements and then again as a Spa Director, and we have stayed industry colleagues seeing each other at industry events in which we get to catch up on our business and lives. I have great admiration for Bonnie who started her business later in her career and has all the gusto needed to grow this business into an amazing specialty organic boutique lab servicing those concerned about healthy skincare and body care for the professional day spa market.
BC: Bonnie, tell me about your career path and what lead you to creating your own lab.

Bonnie: This was the most unexpected journey. Little girl, with big dreams just hoping for a great career in Make-up artistry…that turned into a full circle of opportunities! From struggling to make a splash in renting salon space,  to a highly successful Bridal Makeup Business  “One Beautiful Face” building it, working 52 weekends a year, 4 assistants and 3 hairdresser to managing my first DAY SPA and then off to work for Revlon’s Midwest European Division.  I successfully completed a 5 year program to build several of Revlon Brands selling Rights to Davidoff. Then Bioelements, newly launched, leading me to building a national brand and managing Distributorships. But it didn’t stop there. I then found this experience launched me into General Management of Maxine Salon & Spa for 5 years building into a multi-million dollar business including the branding of Private label and Formulating Natural Products. Little did I know, after leaving, I would open a spa business consulting business and get connected to formulating a brand of the first Organic Manicure & Pedicure Products in 2004, that moved me into creating the Red Cherry Certified Organic Lab, from a lack of finding a resource to formulate my products to my highest standard of organic and spa professional excellence. Whew!

BC: How did you come to choose to create organic products?

Bonnie: Growing up on natural home cooking and prepared nutritious school lunches, even through College, gave me the insight very young to be healthy and strong. I chose the beauty Industry because of its ever growing grassroots. It was a natural to me and I saw a great need in our industry to preserve beauty not just from the outside but changing how we use and experience a healthier lifestyle and creating a healthier salon and spa environment. Creating organic products had to be about authenticity and active principles, taking us away from the traditional footprints of formulation. Thus the environment and beauty is detoxified, strengthened, stabilizing the endurance of more youthful and lasting beauty to be handed down and treasured.  Know that the personal care industry is not new, but has a rich history of natural and organic material bases that changed in the 20th century and as an industry we recognize the need for the balance of these precious Organic Compounds to bring health with the wonderful new sciences of Cosmeceuticals to maintain balance and youth. My company I put in the forefront of these new horizons in our industry.

BC: What's been the most challenging part of ownership?

Bonnie: Of Course, It’s wearing all those hats! But the most exciting part is, as you and your business grow, you get to put a hat on someone that believes in the dream and you get to put a new one on. With every part of business there is growth in watching and market stimulation. The responsibilities expand and it’s recognizing the good and the pitfalls by bringing forward all your past experiences of success forward. I’m a future thinker tending to forecast 3 years out. So, I surround myself with grounded professionals that can see where I want this company to go and improve, thus knowing your own weaknesses is the key!

BC: What's been the most rewarding?

Bonnie: Seeing our industry change for the better and growth of health and wellness, but the reward for me is being a central impact to that change.  My own personal grow coincides with the spa brand and business movement, which is my passion and ability to present and give back to my industry is the ultimate gift to my mentors and those around me.

BC: In this endeavor, what skills have you gained and how did you grow personally and professionally?

Bonnie: My two skills:  Successful Business Development thru Professional Individual Growth, which you cannot separate in an intimate people business and the other, is Creativity. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from others by diving directly in. My mentors gave freely and I have the ability of knowing how to surround myself with like-personalities, a “key” the factor in success to every position I attained. I have the utmost integrity, never to abandon.  I believe in long relationships and solid foundations.   

BC: I imagine starting a business in a historically low economic time had been challenging, what motivates you every day?

Bonnie: There is an advantage to every economic wave. The organic material resource to product formulation is the hardest today because of its sensitivity to popularity, draught, war and disease. Motivation is never a problem when you have a passion for what you do, but it’s the serious decision to know your success and how you got there to taking on a journey with commitment and determination. I love what I do and I embrace and take responsibility for every action and its wonderful outcome.

BC: What advice would you have for entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business?

Bonnie: In one sentence…Be the art of listening, recognizing the truth and red flags to making the correct decision.

First be humble and list out in columns all your strengths and weaknesses. List all the tools of your successful background knowing why it’s successful. Do not go into a field you have not experienced without success. Seriously decide if you are a self-starter, a sticker and a motivation with tireless energy. Make sure you can handle failure and the ability to know why something failed and if you have failed those around you. There are so many individuals that think it’s easy but are not equipped in the business they create. Business is math and consistency, communication, marketing experience, quality and control, trouble shooting and recreation…to a bottle of Champagne once a year!

BC: What's the best advice you have been given in business?

Bonnie: OMG…I have had many, my mentors were wonderful…but several things stick out: First…keep it as simple as possible, second never be afraid to seek out answers and thirdly keep your relationship whole and growing.

BC: What are the 5 things you can't live without?

1.       My husband who encourages me to go for it…he sees my success and passion

2.       My associates and all my relationships, they are most precious

3.       My clients and all those students who are not afraid to pick up the phone and ask for my opinion

4.       Estheticians, spas and medi-spas, I have and can inspire to great careers

5.       For this industry that has given me so many rewards for my efforts, knowledge and creativity

I thank you Elaine…for bring me home to my humble beginnings!
Bonnie, Thanks for sharing more about your career and business, inspiring story filled with many examples to continue to grow within your industry. I think our readers will enjoy learning more about your career path. See you soon~


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday's Woman Jana Jane Hexter

What an exciting opportunity to interview Jana Jane Hexter, an accomplished grant writing consultant who worked in Political Science (remembering back to when I graduated from HS this was the field to go into!) with a degree from Cornell University -she has raised over $32M and wrote an acclaimed book on the topic!

But what I find fascinating is she is a natural intuitive with the capacity to see, hear, feel and know information from beyond the physical realm, including communicating with those that have died. She know shares this gift with others by providing intuitive guidance at

Jana Jane Hexter, The Jana Channel

I recently had a session with Jana and the outcome was mind blowing and I was so grateful to have the experience. I learned something that came from our session that was very important and yet went into this session not having any expectations, in fact the most mind blowing part about it was something I wasn't expecting to get out of it. I was focused on something entirely different yet this was so important I realized I got exactly what I needed! So cool. I just had to share more about Jana with all of you.

BC: Jana, Please share with our reading audience what you do for a living and how your journey evolved over the years to lead you to your current endeavor of the Jana Channel?

Jana: I use my intuitive gifts to help people who are at a crossroads in life find their new path with grace and ease. I particularly enjoy working with accomplished, intellectually curious, and spiritually aware people who are committed to exploring the deeper questions, relishing life, and giving back to the world. I also can help people connect with those who have passed on.

As you mentioned in your introduction, I have a very traditional background. Grant writing is logical, analytical and objective. So, it’s not exactly, the life path of someone you would expect tell you at a dinner party that they could speak to your dead mother.

When people ask me how I started doing intuitive work, I usually quip that I was dragged into it kicking and screaming! My belief system simply didn’t accommodate the after-life, guides, angels and universal life force or Spirit.

But I had series of extraordinary experiences that demanded that I reevaluate the nature of life and existence and my purpose on the planet in this life. I realized that I have been a channel or bridge between realms all my life – in fact, if you look at my first career I was also a bridge between the funders and the nonprofits and aiding in the transition of their agencies.  And as Brit living in the U.S., I often act as a bridge between those cultures for people. I am now clear that I came here to help people through transition at a time of global transition and be a channel for the Divine Feminine when called to do so. While a decade ago I would never in a million years have thought that I would say these things publicly, it gives me a deep sense of peace to be helping people by openly sharing my sacred gift and living a life aligned with my soul’s purpose.

BC: What is an intuitive?

Jana: There is a consciousness that connects us all that transcends language, time, and physicality. It contains a vast amount of information and intelligence. We all tap into it at some point in our lives – like those moments of crisis when we act in split seconds and later wonder how we knew what to do. In those moments we are tapping into the collective universal consciousness that is not boundered by time and place as we are in the physical world.

We can all access this realm but for generations western society has dismissed and derided it as irrational, unscientific, and untrustworthy. In fact, it is an incredibly useful source of guidance for our lives.

I believe it is time for us to develop the concept of intuitive intelligence. Let me explain. When I was young, intelligence simply meant being book smart, and if you didn’t test well then you were stupid. Then in the 80’s and 90’s we embraced the concept of multiple intelligences including emotional and artistic intelligence. I believe that it is time to acknowledge intuitive intelligence, or the ability to connect with the non-physical realm, and help people to develop this aspect of their being.

I simply have an excellent capacity to tap into this realm and in doing so can help people heal blocks, access information for themselves, and live a more fulfilled life aligned with their soul’s journey.

BC: What typically do you help others with? Why do they seek your services?

People come to me for a lot of reasons. They might be in a major life transition such as end of a relationship, career change, health challenge, or retirement and look for guidance about the best way to proceed.  Some people feel stuck or have a general sense of unease and want to move forward but aren’t sure what’s in their way. Others are open to the ethereal realms and come to me to help them access information that is useful to them in living a deeply fulfilling, aligned life or more fully develop their own capacity to do that themselves.

Each and every session is absolutely unique and I never know what will unfold. I have the ability to connect people with their higher selves, guides, angels, recall and heal past life issues that are blocking them in this life, connect them with departed friends and relatives, see the gift they came here to share in this lifetime and also connect with the higher spiritual dimension. I simply work with my clients to define a clear question and then open it up to Spirit to provide exactly what is needed for this person at this time.

As a result of a session with me people often experience

  • Clarity about their direction and the best next step - and the ability to start on a new life path or career with ease knowing that it's right for them.
  • Closure and setting their heart at ease about the death of loved one and their manner of passing.
  • Learning to access, develop, and use their intuition.
  • The comfort of being seen at the deepest level - getting present to parts of yourself they'd forgotten, ignored, or invalidated.
  • Knowing their life’s purpose and what they have to offer the world - stop wasting time on things that don't fit.
  • Validation of their own intuitive feelings so that they trust themselves and create a meaningful life path with confidence.
  • A visceral experience of unconditional love, self-acceptance and wholeness that is tangible and real in their life.

My work runs very deep and acts at a spiritual or cellular level and as such, takes months to unfold in someone’s life. Many people have told me that is has been a life-changing experience. One person said that the session brought all the strands of her live together and made a lot things make sense for the first time. I believe that our birthright is the deep fulfillment and joy of living authentically from our heart and freely sharing our innate gifts with the world and I am committed to helping people achieve that so that we all honor the sacredness of every being on the planet.

BC: Have you ever had a situation where you needed to guide someone away from something?

Not really. Sometimes people ask whether option A or B might be better for them and Spirit will respond that one option is preferable or that the question is moot for some reason and explain how to think about the situation in a way that is more aligned with the spiritual dimension.

BC: How do people react when you tell them what you do at cocktail parties?

Jana: Surprisingly positively.  I was raised in a family of skeptics so I assumed that most people would think that I’m nuts if I told them about what I do and my experiences. But I have found that most people are interested. Many people have had an experience of their own that is out of the bounds of contemporary thinking and often share these with me. Popular TV shows such as Medium, and Ghost Whisperer are shifting  our cultural openness  to incorporate an understanding and acceptance of the ethereal realms and most people are more open than you might expect.

BC: Do you have suggestions for people in terms of developing their own intuition? I can remember a few times in my life that I was being guided and decided not to follow my intuition. BIG MISTAKE!

Jana: Yes. One of the most valuable things is to take time to meditate, or in prayer if that is your belief system. I have meditated for an hour a day for more than 8 years now and I can attest to the benefits in my life. We live in a frantic, noisy world that leaves us disconnected from our body’s messages, natural rhythms, and innate intuitiveness. Calming the mind and coming back to center is not only fulfilling, it is also purifying and clarifying.

And meditation doesn’t have to be our traditional conception of it. Arjuna Ardagh wrote a great blog post last year pointing out that,

Silent meditation, like Vipassana or Zazen, were developed in old traditions by men for men. When a man sits still for a long time with his spine straight, his testosterone reserves are rebuilt in his body, causing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to reduce and he has the experience of coming home to himself.

For the feminine heart, the whole process is completely different. Women have about one thirtieth of the testosterone in their bloodstream than men do, and they alleviate stress through the release of oxytocin, which also balances the stress hormones. So while a man might really benefit from the practice of Qigong or silent meditation, a woman might get much more benefit from dance, from moving into her feelings, or spending nurturing time with her close women friends.”

My own experience is that time deeply connecting with nature, dancing, sacred sex, or being in sacred circle with women calms and centers me like little else. 

The second thing that people can do to develop their own intuition is simply to be open to the concept that it is a very real, powerful, and useful aspect of their being. We are conditioned by religions, governments, schools systems etc. to put more weight on external authorities rather than our own inner knowing – our internal sovereignty. To listen to those gut reactions, that little voice in your head telling you to move forward or stop, or simply ‘knowing’ that something is right for us without proof or evidence is powerful if we do not deny it. We are receiving intuitive guidance all the time and yet we are conditioned to dismiss it rather than act in alignment with it.

Almost everyone can name a time when they knew that something was right or wrong for them but they didn’t listen to themselves because the other option made logical sense or fit a cultural norm and then it played out badly. We usually regret those moments and live wondering ‘what if?’

There is a deep sense of peacefulness that comes from trusting your heart’s intuitive intelligence regardless of how crazy it might seem to the rational mind or societal expectations and not having any more ‘what ifs?

When you align your actions with your own inner guidance, even if things don’t work out the way you envisioned, they often unfold in such a way that you are left with an expanded view of yourself or the universe that feels true and real.

As a special for our Beauty Curators readers...If you are at a place in your life where having a session with Jana will help you on your life path, simply mention the Beauty Curators for a special price of $350 that's a savings of $150 off the regular fee! Click here to get your reading scheduled or learn more about the services Jana provides:   The Jana Channel

I am really excited about the Wednesday Woman's feature and would love to know your feedback and what type of subjects you might find interesting or women to learn more about!

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to pass on to your circle of friends and make comments below.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wednesday's Woman-Tara, founder of Tara Spa Therapy

Early in my career I studied aromatherapy, and its been of great interest to me and often go to source for healing - in fact, aromatherapy is one of the treatments I use to help me get my sense of smell and taste recovered since my concussion post accident. I use aromatherapy for bathing, and prepare the face for cleansing, there are many oils that would benefit various ailments and often used them when massaging my sons before bed time when they were toddlers and even now when they request a massage.
It was during one of opening Kiva Spa in Chicago that I first met Tara from Tara Spa Therapy, I relied on her excellence in products but also her knowledge and partnership for creating unique spa treatments for world class spas. Tara has touched many in the spa world by leading the industry with her innovative treatments and regional specialties designed for destination spas across the globe.

She is a pioneer in a market where there are many "me too or copy cat brands" often calling themselves natural but in fact are far from it. I appreciate her staying true to her mission and being authentic.

I was able to interview Tara recently before she left for a trip to Paris and I hope you enjoy getting to know this wonderful woman, her company & unique products.
One of the missions I have for the blog is to highlight unique business women and share their stories...

Tara Grodjesk, Founder Tara Spa Therapy
BC: What is your background and tell me about your career path? 
TG: Honors Degree in psychology from University of Michigan. Studied Humanistic Psychology and Human Potential- How we lead a fulfilling life full of peak and transformative experiences. Stumbled into massage school at the age of 21 never having had a massage before in my life. Trained as a structural bodyworker and was certified as a holistic health educator. Went on to study ayurvedic medicine in a 3 year medical program with clinical practice. Opened my own clinic in NYC and NJ: Bodywise, the Center for Relaxation and Rejuventation where I did structural bodywork sessions and yoga therapy and ayurvedic consultations. I started training massage therapists and spa professional in the spa industry beginning in 1987 Founded the TARA brand in 1996.

BC: How did you first come to create your brand Tara Spa Therapy? 

TG: I was representing different companies and realized that I was helping put everyone else on the map with their brands and it was time for me to put myself on the map. I had been developing treatment programs and creating signature treatments and regional specialities for spa consultants and spa directors. I started two divisions of my company: spa products and spa consulting.

BC: As a business woman, what's been really gratifying? 

TG: To realize that through my products I have touched hundreds of thousands of individuals. And that I've maintained my integrity and authenticity despite the corruption in the business world today..

BC: What are the lessons that have been challenging in growing your brand?

TG: Being under-capitalized is really challenging. I didn't have a business plan, I had a vision and inspiration and used the bootstrap method. It's a hard way to go and takes a lot of dedication and a ton of passion for your mission. Funding is key to being able to grow to the next level. 

BC: Companies like life have cycles of development from infancy where there are no limits just enthusiasm and strong creative energy to teenage years where some constraints are then put in place as a company grows, where are you in your business life cycle and what are your hopes for the future of Tara Spa Therapy? 

TG: I have watched the different cycles and realize we are in a place where the entrepreneurial phase has run its course; its really time for a business executive and business development experts to take it to the next level. I am still wanting to stay involved and help to impart the vision and philosophy of the brand, but it needs more strategic expertise than I can give it on my own. The other interesting note is to see if you stick around long enough, customers cycle back and you stay in the game. its' so odd to watch that happen, and some of my first customers are still buying my products since 1989!

BC: what has inspired you in helping others achieve wellness?
TG: Its been a vision of mine since I went to the holistic health institute. I wanted to help others live a healthy happy vital life so that we can all be and do better in the world and ultimately impact social change and really make a difference in the world, for the better.
BC: You travel extensively both domestically and internationally and I think you can relate to this next question & I am curious how you care for yourself while on the road, perhaps there are some tips you feel would be beneficial - with today's lifestyle being plugged in 24/7, I worry about how we model healthy behavior for ourselves and our children, are their rituals that make sense to do daily that help manage stress that you have found supports a busy lifestyle? 
TG: I know it sounds cliché but the following is what helps to keep me balanced in the day to day: meditation, breath awareness, physical exercise- I love yoga especially. And right eating.
BC: I find your seasonal product for achieving wellness so practical, how did you come up with this concept(what's this based on) and do you have a subscription program for folks that want to sign up for this on your website?
TG: Staying Healthy Through the Seasons is based on the Ayurvedic philosophy that our bodies need different things at different times of year. And if we attune to the natural rhythms of nature we can help maintain our own sense of balance and well-being. I love this program because it reminds us that our needs change as the seasons change. Winter is a time to boost immunity and to warm the bones.  Spring is a time to cleanse and detox; Summer is a time to chill out and refresh; Autumn is a time for Balancing. Now of course we can use all of this all year round, but these season are best for those wellness practices.I don't have a subscription program yet, but I hope to soon. Yet all of the staying healthy through the seasons products are available on my website

BC: What products do you always take with you?
TG: I never leave home without 3 bottles of bath and diffuser oil and some unscented lotion. I can use the concentrated essential oil blend such as detoxifying or revitalizing in the bath- which is the first thing I try to do when I travel to get grounded and re-align; take a bath. And I can also use the blend mixed with unscented lotion after I shower for an aromatherapy treatment on my skin. I can use the blend as a natural perfume. Very

BC: Some of my favorite products include the bath salts, I love to have a great soak at night before bed and the restful sleep collection is perfect to help me relax into a deep slumber.

(I was once talking to someone who said they never take a bath! seriously? I was shocked but maybe we need a quick survey! (Leave a comment below as to whether you prefer bath, showers or like me do both ...shower in the am and soak at night...lots of "good" thinking gets done in the soak)

Tara Bath Salt Collections -there is even one for PMS, (just saying you don't have to struggle with it!)

This is an excellent aromatherapy for adding a few drops to your children's bath or adding a few drops to Tara Unscented Lotion and customizing a after bath massage for your children, its relaxing for the children, creates a ritual and bonding experience & truly helps to reduce stress.

BC: Tara, thank you for taking the time to share more about you and your company, on behalf of my readers, its been a great pleasure!

Readers, I hope you are enjoying the Wednesday's Woman feature.