Stephanie Gave Up Her Land for a Better Life – Now She’s The BeauRam® Babe!

stephanie-on-highwayStephanie Lewis, my favorite yoga teacher here in Bend, Oregon, took a lot of grief along the way, but now she lives a fulfilling life and is on the road to success with her innovative BeauRam® backpack.10923267_624767650984368_6846668314303840610_n

“I grew up in a loving family but with a lot of bullshit,” she confides.

Stephanie grew up on a three-generation family farm that produced deciduous trees in Salem. Her parents both went to North Salem High, the same school she and her younger brother attended. After graduation, her dad left to fight in the Vietnam War, part of his quest to please her unpleasable retired military Grandfather Merriweather (Stephanie’s family are descendants of Merriweather Lewis, as in the explorers, Lewis and Clark). When her father returned to Oregon a former sniper and decorated soldier, her parents were married.

Stephanie admits her upbringing had its high points. She cherishes memories of fishing and hunting trips in Alaska with her dad and him teaching her to shoot. In fact, she won shooting competitions as a kid and thought seriously about joining the U.S. Army Research Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Still today, Stephanie has a permit to carry concealed weapons (her dad’s idea of keeping her safe is packing), though3oewj7te she hasn’t touched a firearm in years.

 “Growing up hunting and fishing, I’m the most un-yogi yogi … [and] the black sheep of the family,” Stephanie admits and then chuckles. “Or the tie-dyed sheep.”

Stephanie also recalls the sumptuous smells of her mother’s homemade pizza; fresh crust baking in the oven and sauce bubbling on the stove. Her mother happily fed Stephanie’s and her brother’s friends. The Lewis’ never went on family vacations, but her mother made their house the go-to place to hang out and have fun.

The community respected her family. No one knew her “upstanding” grandfather was privately vicious to his sons, or that he molested Stephanie at age five or six.

When she was eight, she walked in on her parents making out and said, “I know what you’re doing because Grandpa showed me.”

Her parents didn’t talk about it after that, but Stephanie noticed they kept Grandpa at a distance, which was tricky as they all lived in houses built on Lewis acreage. (Years later, they discovered the family patriarch sexually assaulted another young girl in the neighborhood but was never charged.)

large_3584131250At age 12, Stephanie received her first of what she calls “All I Hate About You” letters from her dad and was devastated.

“[Dad] was coming from a place of unhappiness… [I think] a lot of it was a ripple effect from how he was treated by his father.”

Many more soul-crushing letters later, after graduating high school, Stephanie left the farm to go to Portland State photo-3University. During the summer, going into her sophomore year, she came home to find her dad’s stuff gone. When she asked what happened, her mother burst into tears explaining he’d moved in with the younger woman down the street. Her dad never talked to Stephanie or her brother about his decision – or even her mother. He grabbed his belongings and took off, leaving her mom to find a half-empty closet.

Every time Stephanie and her mom left the house, they had to pass her dad’s new residence. To cope, Stephanie and her mom sneered and made “Dirty Diana” jokes when they drove by. In the end, Diana left her dad at the altar.

Stephanie worked at Nordstrom in Portland in her ladder years of college. When she graduated with a degree in Graphic Design, she worked at Johnson and Walverton for three years as “the go-to-girl” on amazing marketing accounts such as Coca Cola, World Cup, Miller Genuine Draft, and Amnesty International. There she learned how to deal with corporations domestically as well as internationally, and she got to go to London to help manage a large campaign.

lux_660x280_london_housesofparliamentThat trip to London gave Stephanie the traveling bug, and she wanted to make a difference in the world, so she decided to go to work for the Peace Corps. At age 26, after months of interviews and evaluations, the Peace Corps offered her a position in El Salvador. She spoke a little Spanish and happily accepted.

Stephanie quit her job, moved in with her newly remarried mother and step-father, and sold most of her possessions in preparation to leave the country. Then, two weeks before departure, a representative from the Peace Corps called to tell her they no longer needed her in El Salvador, but they had a position available in China. Stephanie couldn’t make the mental switch to another country, a completely different culture, half-way around the world.

“I didn’t want to go to China…I called my mom at work, crying so hard,” she says. “My mom was a medical assistant, totally compassionate. I’ll never forget how reassuring she was.”

Stephanie needed a job, so that same day, she took a trip to Nordstrom.

“They offered me a management position, and I took it. I had my own place within the week.”

By the time Stephanie turned 29, although her dad still sent occasional “All I Hate About You” letters, he also dangled the carrot of taking over the family farm. He’d already set up her brother in an independent nursery, so he told her if she came home to North Salem, as the oldest child, she would inherit the business. But three years into working long hours and learning all there was to know about raising and selling decorative trees, she got another “All I Hate About You” letter.

Heartbroken, she realized her dad never planned to fulfill his promise to let her run the farm. She left for Portland where Nordstrom gladly gave her another management position. A couple years later, when she was 34, Stephanie’s father asked her to come home to discuss the family business. His tone had been upbeat, almost positive. Thinking her family had come to their senses, she met with her parents and her brother in Salem.

But the meeting was anything but civil.

Her brother had become a chip-off-the-old-block and read aloud a scathing letter of his own: how Stephanie thinks she’s “entitled” and accusing her of lying about whatever she’d said to disagree with him. Silence filled the room after her brother’s recital. No one stood up for Stephanie to mention her hard work or her ideas that had made the farm more efficient and profitable.

“I’ve never felt so alone,” she recalls. “Before or since.”

She sold her house in Salem (right before the market tanked) and went to Puerto Rico for six months. When she turned 35, Stephanie returned r59_s45to Oregon, took classes in viticulture, and moved to Bend to be a wine rep/buyer for Ray’s in Sisters, Oregon.

“Bend is a place where people come to heal their souls,” she says.

13686571_10153920283549353_7170499537494372918_nStephanie started practicing yoga in 2009 and began facing her past. She met life coach and counselor, Susan Weisburger, and Suzina Newcomb, the owner of Namaspa. These two women taught Stephanie to come from a place of abundance, love, and conscious compassion rather than poverty. She also kept in touch with her maternal grandmother, now 96, Jean Barry.

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“She’s my hero, the most phenomenal Yogi who has never stepped in a studio. [Grandma’s] mindset is of pure love and compassion, total acceptance. She had a tough childhood and rose above it.”

By 2011, Stephanie decided to become a yoga instructor.

“Yoga teacher training is what saved my life,” Stephanie proudly admits. Part of the 200-hour Baptiste methodology includes “peeling away personal [baggage] to own your authenticity in order to help others reach theirs.” It was here that Stephanie truly began to heal.

10915314_624763030984830_2570214685747802784_nTeaching yoga classes at Namaspa, Athletic Club of Bend (which is where Stephanie and I met), at Brasada Ranch, and in La Pine helped her develop a sense of self as well as lead others to discover their authentic selves. Supporting people in accepting and appreciating their bodies and minds led to Stephanie designing the BeauRam® Yoga Survival Pack.

“As a teacher, I wanted to make it easier for people to live healthier lives because I believe that good health uplifts to happiness and contentment.” Stephanie chuckles. “To grab their ‘Beau’ and go.”

BeauRam® Yoga Survival Packs come loaded or unloaded, for beginners to 30-year veterans. If you’re just starting out or your gear is getting worn, the loaded packs include:

  • A yoga mat (travel design patent pending)
  • Removable laundry bag
  • Skin care kit
  • Inspiration piece
  • Carabiners (3)
  • Water Bottle
  • Yoga block
  • Yoga strap
  • Towel
  • and Soothing wipes

Stephanie’s BeauRam® Yoga Survival Packs got incredibly positive feedback from yoga teachers and students when she showed people her prototype, so she made the nail-biting decision to invest her savings in producing a few hundred.

And her BeauRam® Yoga Survival Packs sold out within a couple weeks!

Scared but determined, armed with nurturing friends and her own yoga practice, she took the plunge and sold her house to use the money to manufacture more BeauRam® Yoga Survival Packs!

You can find more information HERE🙂

Stephanie’s ultimate goal is to one day have her own BeauRam® Yoga Studio that provides classes and anything yogis at any level might need to enhance their practice – and their lives.

You go, Stephanie! I’m sure, not too far into the future, I’ll be writing another post about your product launch and one day about your successful studio!

Thanks so much for sharing your story.

For more information, go to Stephanie’s BeauRam® Facebook page.

When an Infection Eats Your Face: An Amazing Story of an Incredible Bad Ass

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Imagine you’re born perfectly normal, but then a virulent infection devours your eyelids, nose and lips. Your parents decide they can’t handle raising such a needy kid, so you become a ward of the state – and a doctor gets permission to do experimental plastic surgery on you. After three years in a cage-like crib at the hospital and myriad painful operations, you, the doctor’s work-in-progress, get placed in foster care. Wherever you go, people stare, and though your foster family does its best to make you feel at home, you feel like an outsider, a freak. People assume your misshapen nose and lopsided lips mean you’re mentally retarded rather than a plastic surgeon’s pet project.

This is Howard Shulman’s story.2D07078A00000578-0-image-a-15_1443824642109

Recently, his memoir Running from the Mirror was released, and it’s riveting. His raw honesty in how he describes growing up the “monster kid” at the mercy of his experimenting doctor and the opportunities he grasps to survive as a young adult (not all of them legal) brought tears to my eyes, caught my breath, and occasionally provoked a guilty grin.

I’m not going to lie. Sometimes this is a painful read, for example, when he describes one of his Frankenstein-like surgeries:

“A large nine-by-eight-inch patch of skin was excised from my chest and shoulder, the graft then rolled up and stitched along the seam to create a headless snake of raw, living flesh. One end was then attached under my chin and the other to the tip of my reconstructed nose. This appendage, left to dangle in front of my face for the next six weeks, was a constant reminder of what I had gone through but one that gave me no idea where I was going. Doctor Gratz literally held my future in his hands.”

2D068F4900000578-0-image-m-4_1443820002253If his childhood memories are gripping and intense, Howard’s irreverence in relaying shady career endeavors to keep food on the table and a roof over his head is equally engaging, possibly even a guilty pleasure (I’d give examples, except I hate when people talk about books and spoil the surprises). Ultimately, Howard’s journey as he learns to accept himself and finds love is extremely gratifying.

I actually got to meet Howard a few months before Running from the Mirror was released by Sandra Jonas Publishing House. Howard called and told me he’d met a friend of mine in line at Starbucks who gave him my number. He wanted to talk to a local fellow author about giving writers’ workshops together. We met at a coffee shop in Chula Vista, California, where Howard shared his experience writing his memoir: cleansing yet uncomfortable, often frustrating, sometimes sad or filled with regret. Still, the satisfaction of knowing how far he has come and the hope his story might give to others made the project worth the effort.

Talk about grit. They don’t make ‘em much more bad ass than Howard.

Now in his 50s, Howard has owned successful businesses and traveled, but what he treasures most is his family.2D068F5100000578-0-image-a-5_1443820009163

“When I turned 50, I experienced two miracles,” he says. “The first was my marriage. It never occurred to me…[I’d find someone who would be] beautiful and caring and love me for who I am. The second miracle was that my wife came with the family I had longed for… [By] helping raise my wife’s twin daughters, [I found] parenting is not a one-way street. I am in a relationship with them that provides more love than I could ever have imagined…We respect and learn from each other. ”

Since Howard and I met, my husband and I moved to Bend, Oregon, to start 94.9 FM Central Oregon’s Sports Radio (which has been a harrowing experience, worthy of a Tenacity to Triumph post, coming soon). Howard and I have become friends, though, and I’ll visit family in San Diego County every few months, so we’ll be doing writers’ workshops together in the near future.

If you’re interested in participating in a writers’ workshop with Howard and me, whether you’re a seasoned writer who could use inspiration and techniques to get you to the next level, or you’re someone who likes to write and has a fiction or nonfiction story to tell, please leave a comment with your contact information, email me at writetowinwithtrish@gmail.com, or call (619) 647-5559.

A portion of Howard’s sales go to Hillsides, an organization that works to recreate the lives of at-risk kids. For more informationhs_logo about Howard’s book or to order Running from the Mirror, click here.

A quick note: The link goes to Sandra Jonas Publishing, which is selling the book for 20% off ($12.00) until October 31. You can also get the book at regular price ($14.95), through Barnes & Noble and Amazon (Amazon erroneously has Running from the Mirror labeled “Temporarily out of stock”, but your order will go through).

Comments are ALWAYS appreciated, whether you’re interested in coming to a workshop, or you have something you’d like to share.

Talk to you soon!

(Lots of great posts will be coming now that the radio station is finally on the air. Sheesh!)

Trish Wilkinson

Writer, Coach, Editor, and Fellow Bad Ass

My Hero! Sharon Cooper, Successful Self-Published Author, is at it Again!

sharon-author-2012My friend, Sharon Cooper, just released her lasted book. You may recall other posts I’ve written about her amazing entrepreneurship as a novelist. She’s made more money self-publishing her work and has had a much more fulfilling career than in her experience of working with a subsidiary of Harlequin. If you like a mixture of action adventure and romance, you’d love Sharon’s books! I’m re-posting her blog post below.

New Release – Operation Midnight!

Hi All!

t’s release day! Woo hoo! OPERATION MIDNIGHT, book 4 of the Reunited Series is now available for your reading pleasure! This is Wiz and Olivia’s story.

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You remember them right? Wiz is the computer guru who has helped some of his Navy SEAL brothers (Quinn and Malik) get their women out of some harrowing situations. And something you probably didn’t know – when Tyler (from Blue Roses) called on Quinn’s help to dig into Dallas’s background, guess who Quinn called. You got it – Wiz!

As for Olivia, she first made her appearance in Rendezvous with Danger (Quinn & Alandra’s story) when the guys (and Alandra) took a trip to D.C. and stayed at Olivia’s townhouse. She had a bigger role in Truth or Consequences (Malik & Natasha’s story) where she befriended Natasha, argued with Malik about calling her Ollie, and when she and Wiz announced that they were getting remarried.

Well, in OPERATION MIDNIGHT, we get to learn more about Wiz and Olivia – their life together before their divorce, as well as how they never stopped loving each other. We’ll journey with them through some trying times as they leap over a few more hurdles in their race to say “I do” one last time.

Blurb:

No bad deed goes unpunished

Former Navy SEAL turned private investigator, Cameron “Wiz” Miller, has loved only one woman, his ex-wife, Olivia. She’s beautiful, talented and the sweetest person he knows. With plans to remarry her, there is nothing she could ask of him that he wouldn’t do except … one thing.

Olivia has loved Wiz since high school. He is her hero. Her protector. She understands his hesitation to search for the woman who left her for dead. Forgiveness has been a long time coming, but Olivia has made peace with what happened. Wiz hasn’t. For him, forgiveness is not an option.

But the sins of the past have come back to haunt Wiz, placing Olivia in danger. He must tap into his military training and every alliance he has formed over the years to save her. But is it too late? Will he and Olivia ever get that happily-ever-after?

Excerpt:

I want you to find my sister.

Wiz stormed into the living room and snatched his pants from one of the chairs. His heart thumped wildly at the words he thought he would never hear. He couldn’t wrap his head around her request. Clearly she had forgotten about all the crap her sister had done.

“It’s like suddenly I don’t even know you.” Olivia’s voice broke into his thoughts when she silently entered the room.

Wiz shook his head and stepped into his slacks, keeping his back to her. “You know me. You know me well enough to understand that I would rather swallow a grenade than to have your sister in our lives.”

She sighed loudly. “Cameron, I didn’t say I want her in our lives. I’d like to connect with her for nothing more than a conversation.”

Fastening his pants, he glanced over his shoulder to find her standing near the bedroom door. The satiny red robe she wore stopped just above her knees, the color bringing out the warmth in her smooth, dark chocolate skin. His breath hitched as his gaze drifted slowly down her shapely body emphasized by the sash cinched tightly around her narrow waist. Damn if a certain part of his anatomy didn’t spring to attention. He knew what lay beneath the thin material. He knew how soft every inch of her skin was to the touch. And he knew that if he stayed in that room much longer, he would tell her whatever the heck she wanted to hear. Everything but the truth that is.

His gaze moved back up to her face and his heart leapt into his throat. The love radiating in her eyes, even after the way he had spoken to her made the vice around his heart tighten even more. He felt like crap for denying her of her request.

Damn Keisha. Even when she wasn’t around, she was still wreaking havoc. Just the thought of her made him want to rip something apart. But then there was Olivia. Staring at her now, the unyielding love he had for her made him want to take the three short steps it would take to reach her, and pull her into his arms. He wanted to come clean and tell her what happened to her sister all those years ago. But the bastard in him stayed rooted in place because he had vowed to take that one secret to his grave.

Copyright © 2015 by Sharon C. Cooper

*

OPERATION MIDNIGHT (ebook) is currently only $2.99! It won’t be available at this price for long.

So get your copy today!     Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords

Note: In paperback soon!

I’m so proud of Sharon! I’m not usually a romance reader, but her books are always a blast to read. If you snap up Operation Midnight and find a cozy spot for some reading recreation, enjoy the ride!

I’ll talk to you soon, especially since I’m planning to write an article about another friend who recently released an amazing memoir you won’t believe.

Until next week…

(Posts will come more frequently since my husband and I have finally settled in a bit after moving from San Diego, California to Bend, Oregon)

Trish Wilkinson

Eric Jenkins Leaves the Neighborhood and Finds Something Better

Eric Jenkins
Eric Jenkins

My name is Eric Jenkins, the son of the deceased Velma Jenkins and some other unknown person. The oldest of five kids, I was born in Pineville, Louisiana on November 1, 1983 (the Day of the Dead).  Like most families in my neighborhood, we grew up scraping by, and my mom did everything she could to keep food on the table. One of my best memories is riding around the yard at our first house on my red-pedaled tractor in my red suspenders. Red toy TractorBut we never stayed in one place for more than 5 years. We moved around a lot and sometimes lived with family members.

The small town where I grew up was one of those everybody-knows-you types, stuck-in-time and slow. My mom had several boyfriends who were abusive, both physically and verbally. Of all the men in her life, there is one, in particular, who I remember because he tried to kill her. I remember that night in vivid detail. It’s impossible to forget. During my childhood I saw a lot of other bad things, too.

At age 10 or 11, I saw an aunt, now deceased, sitting in a pool of her own blood in the bathtub because her boyfriend stabbed her. Aside from the bad stuff, though, I was a typical kid.cp_basketball1

Well, maybe I wasn’t typical for my neighborhood. Even in elementary school, a lot of kids talked about sex, tried to act tough, and they got into fights. But me? I spent most of my days on the basketball court. Every year for Christmas, I asked for the same thing: a new basketball.

Though my two younger brothers and two sisters still live in Louisiana, when I graduated from high school, I enlisted in the United States Navy. After four years of active duty, including two deployments, I became a reservist and have been with the U.S. military for almost 11 years. I settled in California, and currently, I go the Art Institute in San Diego where I am working towards my Bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

One obstacle that I faced in my education was math. I swear it is by far my toughest and most hated subject. In third grade, when we were learning to multiply, I couldn’t remember my times-tables, so I sat at home and wrote them over and over until they finally stuck. That experience taught me the best way to understand any subject that gives me trouble is to practice as much as possible, which has helped me even recently.

A logo Eric created for Hummingbird Flowers and Gifts
A logo Eric created for Hummingbird Flowers and Gifts

At the Art Institute, all the new software had clicked in my brain instantaneously, so I assumed I would pick up Adobe Illustrator as easily as I had the others. If ever there was a time I’d been wrong about something, this was it. I just did not get it. I took notes in every class, which didn’t help at all. By mid-terms, I was failing the class, but no way would I let that happen. I downloaded a free trial of the software on my home computer since I couldn’t afford to buy the full version. All of my time, outside of going to school and completing assignments, went into teaching myself, and by the end of the class, I passed with a B. The hard work paid off, and now I use Adobe Illustrator almost every day. It’s one of my favorite programs to use.

My goal as a graphic artist is to, one day, have my own design firm. Until I get to that point, I would love to work in the design department for Eric Jenkins - charity raceStarbucks, Hallmark, or Scion racing, but I’d also be happy to start with a smaller company. I have already completed a few design jobs for non-profit charities on my own, and at the moment, I am working in an internship with a great design firm in Encinitas (North County San Diego). A program that assists veterans in finding jobs and internships helped me to get the position, and I’ve gotten to create materials for several of their clients. After getting my degree in graphic design, I would like to explore Interior design as well.

I spend a lot of time on my computer working on designs and conducting brand research, but I try to plan my schedule so that I have time to spend with my wife, Elizabeth. She supports my goals, encourages me, and understands how hard I work to hone my skills. As for my brothers and sisters, though we’re in different time zones, I try to talk to them on the phone as much as possible.

My mom has been a major influence in my life. She did everything she could to provide for us and seldom did anything for herself. She was always willing to help anyone who needed it, and I think I get my sense of volunteerism from her. Sadly, in my early twenties, when my siblings were still in their teens, we lost her due to a stroke. Mom was only 43.

Another inspiration for me has been my cousin, Tina. She had a childhood similar to mine, but she managed to earn her bachelor’s degree and then a master’s. Currently, she’s a professor at a school in Atlanta. Her determination to make something better of herself was incredible. I saw a lot of my friends do nothing after high school. Some of them got jobs but others literally did nothing with their lives. I’m making more of myself, like Tina, and I want the same for my brothers and sisters.

One of my teachers at the Art Institute told the story of how he designed a piece for a client that was so powerful, it made her cry. The client said the image he created reminded her of her childhood home. When one of my designs has an effect on a client that strong, then I will know my skills have truly gotten where I want them to be. Maybe I can touch someone the way the artwork included in Charles Dickens’s amazing literary works has affected me as I read his stories growing up.

Advice I would give to someone working toward their goals:

  • Take a chance and get out of your comfort zone because you never know what you can do until push yourself to find out.

 

-And-

 

  • Your goal may morph along the way, but stick with it. At times it may seem like a losing battle, but when you finally succeed, you’ll look back and be glad you didn’t give up.

 

If you would like to see more samples of my work, you can go to this link. www.behance.net/fiveEYEmedia

An Artist with a Samurai Spirit: Composer, Playwright, Eric Scot Frydler

Eric Scot Frydler
Eric Scot Frydler

Contrary to common belief, children diagnosed with autism can grow up to lead fulfilling, successful lives. Composer, playwright, Eric Scot Frydler proves that life’s challenges can cripple us or make us stronger.

Diagnosed with autism as a child, when little was known about the neurological disorder, Frydler had trouble relating to peers. His teachers described him as an “enigma” and a “non-conformist.” At age five, however, he made a beautiful discovery: music spoke to him. Music became his way to express himself as well as connect with others.

Originally from Queens, New York, as a teenager, Frydler publicly played a song he had written on piano. Although impressed with Frydler’s performance, Lazlo Halasz, composer and founder of the New York City Opera, could see the boy didn’t fit the mold for the usual music school. Instead, Halasz invited Frydler to audit masters’ classes. Throughout his high school years, Frydler soaked up advanced music language at Stony Brook and Julliard, two colleges well-known for their excellence. This unconventional education prepared Frydler for composing music professionally.

Frydler’s can-do spirit and creative view of the world presented unexpected paths. In his late twenties, after a project for composing music fell through in Los Angeles, he answered an advertisement that read: “Child Genius Wanted” – to design toys for Mattel.  He got the job and developed Roboto, a transparent robot, part of the Masters of the Universe series. He also wrote stories and comic books about toys like He-Man, Popples, and Rainbow Brite. His name still appears on the Advanced Concepts Inventors list for both Hasbro and Mattel.

However, Frydler has found success in pursuing what he loves most: theater and music.

 “To this day,” he says in describing his creative process, “when I am envisioning and imagining, I go to that world inside my head, tempered by the craft I’ve acquired as a writer and composer.”

Frydler won the Aubrey Award, the equivalent to the Tony Awards for San Diego County Theater, for producing Dracula with Rosemary

Scene from Magical Forest
Scene from Magical Forest
Magical Forest
Magical Forest

Harrison, and he composed the original score. Magical Forest, performed at the Coronado Playhouse, is a musical he wrote that emphasizes belief in oneself and conservation. He has also composed music for film including: Sheriff of Contention, a western; Vampyre, a music video; Sweet Amazon, a documentary, and The Last Supper, a film which aired on Trinity Broadcasting. Currently, he is the Producing Artistic Director  at Carbon Based Life Theater in Carlsbad, California.

“People have had difficulties throughout history dealing with exceptional people . . .” Frydler points out. “Our challenge as a society is to find a way to communicate with them, not ostracize them . . . but to interact with them and benefit from each other.”

Throughout the years, Frydler believes his music has been an advantage in helping him to learn how to communicate with others. In fact, he swears he won his wife’s heart playing an original piece called “In Dreams” for her on a grand piano at the Wyndham Hotel at Emerald Plaza in San Diego. When asked about his success in the face of autism,

“Hideo Sakata, a Japanese martial artist, once told me I have Samurai spirit,” Frydler says. “I never give up. Never!”

“Many people accept other people’s self-limiting beliefs, and that is a mistake. You have to be true to yourself, to be fearless.” Frydler advises. “Never let someone else interfere with what you’re here to do.”

Hey, that’s good advice for all of us!

Creative CEO on Her Way Up!

This blog celebrates people with the guts to take risks, figure it out along the way, and do the hard work. Laura Sinton, CEO of FreshTape®, an exciting new product that reseals and keeps food fresh, right in the bag, has a must-tell story.

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Laura’s six-figure position at a Fortune 500 company got squeezed out in a merger, rendering her jobless a couple years ago. In the aftermath, she grieved the loss, and worried she wouldn’t find another high-level position in corporate America. Then her friend, Liz, annoyed she’d broken another bag clip mentioned, “Someone should invent a tape that could reseal your bags, so your food wouldn’t turn to cardboard in less than an hour.”

That night, Laura couldn’t sleep. In the morning she called Liz and said, “We should be the ones to make a tape that will reseal bags to keep food fresh. And we’ll make it cute, so people can organize their kitchens in style.”

Laura and her brother, her long-time business partner, Chuck, formed an LLC they call ACME Inventions (being huge fans of Loony Tunes and the Road Runner cartoons). Then Laura set about working with chemical engineers to develop a food-grade product that would seal food bags over and over without tearing them (the adhesive in regular tape, like masking and cello, exposes food to toxic chemicals). They also experimented to find just the right durable plastic that could be printed with a variety of awesome patterns.

In 18 months – thousands of hours and lots of Laura’s, Liz’s and Chuck’s, cash later – FreshTape® was born. It’s FDA safety compliant,FreshTape display BPA and phthalate free, recyclable, made in America, totally cool to look at, and best of all, it works! Even in the fridge and the freezer!

 
Bravo, Laura! Bravo!

 
(My food has never been fresher. I’m totally addicted to the stuff.)

 

Laura began seriously marketing in January. At trade shows, Freshtape® has been hailed “the next Post It Notes or Zip Lock Bags.” Early this month, out of thousands of new products, FreshTape® won a coveted “Retailers’ Choice Award” from the National Hardware Retailer’s Association. Already, 178 stores carry it across the country. As of July, Sur la Table will stock Freshtape® in over 100 stores in 27 states, and ACME Inventions is currently negotiating with a major Canadian chain.

The next challenge will be to raise funds to meet the demand for production. Shark Tank asked ACME Inventions to apply to appear on the show, but they’re still waiting to hear.

 

No doubt, Laura will make the most of this hurdle the way she has with all the others along this journey.

 

Big things are headed her way.

 

Soon.

FreshTape logo

I can feel it.

 

Go Laura!

 

If you, or someone you know, is a bad ass and you think your story will inspire the rest of us, send an email to trish@write-to-win.com, and I’ll get the word out!

What do super heros have in common?

BAD ASS-ERY. THAT’S WHAT!

WELCOME TO

TENACITY TO TRIUMPH: THE BAD ASS CODE

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Dear Fellow (or Aspiring) Bad Ass,

Guts. Determination. The willingness to do what it takes to be successful rather than depend on “luck” usually comes from somewhere:

  • An experience leaves an indelible impression on you.
  • Something seen, heard or felt reaches so deep, it sparks a life-changing decision.
  • An event occurs to bring your goal into crystal clear focus.
  • Personal circumstances drive your relentless quest.

 

 

Stick around to read about people who did, and are doing, amazing things with this life. May they give you strength and inspire you on your own life’s journey.

If you are a bad ass who would like to share your story on this blog, send me an email!

 trish@write-to-win.com

 

Meet you across the finish-line!

(Maybe we’ll do lunch.;)

 

Trish Wilkinson

Author, Writing Coach, Freelance Editor