Meet the Lady Who Tells You What’s Hot In Paris

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Doni BELAU

President and CEO, Girl’s Guide to Paris

Doni Belau, Girl's Guide to ParisFeatured Lady Doni Belau is passionate about Paris. In 2000, after many visits to the city of lights, Doni and her husband bought an apartment in the 6th Arrondissement during an impulsive moment. After many return trips to Paris with family and friends, Doni decided to share her inspiration, knowledge and love of the city with other women. Since launching Girl’s Guide to Paris, Doni has grown her website to include shopping, dining, culture and art, guides, travel tips and offers, Parisian bloggers and a membership option. Girl’s Guide to Paris has been featured by many magazines and blogs, as well as on The Martha Stewart Radio Show.

A University of California Los Angeles theater major, Doni spent ten years in the film business producing TV commercials and music videos. After taking time to raise her two children, she returned to the labor force and spent eight years doing political consulting (including Eliot Spitzer’s New York Gubernatorial campaign) and not-for-profit work. “After all of that, I finally decided to do what I truly loved and started Girl’s Guide to Paris,” Doni says.

Although she always wanted to be an actress, which evolved into being a director, then to working in politics, what Doni has always loved is doing something new, exploring new worlds and traveling. “I decided to launch Girl’s Guide to Paris so I could leave politics and combine what I love with my work – all things French and Paris, in particular.”

A trip to her local bookstore, along with some searches on Amazon and web surfing, convinced Doni her idea was viable. “I found an art lover’s guide to Paris, a wine lover’s guide, a shopping guide, etc., but no guide for women,” she says. “Women are drawn to Paris in a very strong way, because Paris equals beauty.” Doni also did research to determine whether or not the market was there. “As it turns out women make 90% of all leisure travel decisions and women 40 – 60 years of age are the largest growing niche market in travel,” Doni says.

A friend of Doni’s, who she took with her on a girl’s trip to Paris, suggested that the site be called a Girl’s Guide, and so it was. “Plus I had an apartment in Paris for about six years and everyone already asked me where to go and what to do there, so it seemed natural,” Doni explains.

Girl’s Guide to Paris focuses on what women want in the city of lights. “Since we’ve started, we’ve seen a few competitors, but our site continues to grow and expand,” Doni says. “We think we are on to something. We’ve noticed that women feel safer in a community of like-minded women giving and receiving advice, like you do with your girlfriends.”

Bringing authenticity to Girls’ Guide to Paris are the bevy of women bloggers on the ground in Paris who experience and write about the most up-to-date information regarding what’s hot in Paris.

The resources on the website are free, but a membership option is now available for women interested in getting discounts on tours, classes, hotels and Girl’s Guide merchandise purchased through the site.

Today, Doni has an agent working on selling the Girls’ Guide to Paris Guidebook. She’s also taken the Girl’s Guide to London, New York, Barcelona, Rome, France, Africa and Asia URLs. “We’d love to take it around the world via website and in book form,” Doni says.

Doni is also involved in Ubuntu Africa, a non-profit she founded. The organization is dedicated to providing lifesaving healthcare and support services to HIV positive children and teens in Khayelitsha, South Africa.

What we learned from Doni: “In the beginning you want to do it all, fast. Building something big takes time and must be done with care.”

Take Your Time
“Don’t feel you need to try everything all at once. Experiment and learn along the way.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Meet the Lady Who’s a Pioneer in the Blogosphere

Elisa Camahort PAGE

Co-Founder, COO, BlogHer

Elisa Camahort PageFeatured Lady Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for BlogHer, left a lucrative Silicon Valley career in technology product management and became a blogosphere pioneer. One of the first professional and business bloggers on the web, Elisa and her two co-founders grew BlogHer to 48 full-time employees, 2,500 bloggers in the publishing company and tens of thousands of website members. Prior to launching BlogHer, Elisa owned a consulting business that was among the first to integrate corporate marketing strategies into the social media environment. As COO, she leads events, marketing, public relations and research for BlogHer, while working to ensure that all company operations deliver to plan.

During the dot-com bust, Elisa quit her high-level, high paying marketing job and began blogging as “a personal thing.” Elisa admits not having entrepreneurial aspirations because she thought she’d follow her mom’s career path climbing the corporate ladder. However, Elisa had two realizations during her time away from the traditional nine to five churn, one being that she wasn’t looking for another job in her former industry. “I just couldn’t do it,” she says. Elisa also recognized that the blogging activities she was playing with were actually a form of marketing. “It was my peanut butter and chocolate moment,” she says.

Prior to launching BlogHer with Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone in 2005, pundits were posing the question, “Where are the women?” Elisa says, “Specifically, people were asking where are all the women were in Fortune 500 companies, on the Op/Ed pages, on Sunday morning talk shows, in Congress and speaking at conferences.” So, Elisa, Jory and Lisa, who were all blogging in different spaces and had serendipitously met, wondered if there’d be any interest if they hosted a conference by and about women bloggers. Since the era was pre-Twitter and before Facebook was open to non-college students, they blogged about the idea and gained support. In 120 days all 300 tickets to the event sold out. “We received an immediate, positive and passionate response,” Elisa says.

Following the first BlogHer Conference, the trio reviewed the feedback and decided the attendees wanted three things. The first was another conference. Second, although it was nice to meet people, they sought a central place to revisit everyone everyday, so BlogHer.com was launched. The third request was a way to make money blogging, which in 2006 became the BlogHer Publishing Network. Initially using personal finances to get the company off the ground, Elisa says, “We were just three chicks with credit cards when we launched BlogHer.”

Elisa says that in early 2006, she, Lisa and Jory experienced a rough transition period when they agreed to phase out their own consulting clients and focus full-time on BlogHer. “We were paying people and growing organically, but had no steady income,” she explains. “I was fortunate to have saved two years of my full-time salary, but still accrued $25,000 on my credit cards and used a $25,000 home equity line of credit. I spent my life savings and racked up debt.”

Later that year, the co-founders realized the potential in ad revenue and knew they needed to go big in order to get the larger advertisers. “We recognized that someone in traditional, established media could leapfrog over us and do this,” Elisa says. “It would have been really frustrating if another entity did it instead of us.”

Although Elisa, Jory and Lisa weren’t planning on taking outside investors, after two years of bootstrapping the Redwood City, California based company got its first round of venture capital funding – right before the economy bottomed out. “We were fortunate to already be VC backed,” Elisa says. “We had been around for three years and were an established site.”

Today, BlogHer.com is the quintessential guide to and source for blogs by women. With 23 million unique visitors each month, its mission is to create opportunities for blogging women to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment. The company provides the number one community for and guide to blogs by women via annual conferences, a web community and blogging news hub, as well as a publishing syndicate of more than 2,500 qualified, contextually targeted blog affiliates.

What we learned from Elisa: “Ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen if I tried something and it failed?’ Paint the picture.”

Yes, They Did

“One of our best moments was landing an exclusive interview with then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama.”

Money Market

“The economy is an ongoing challenge. We’ve hit our targets and fought for every dollar because you can’t know when it will ease up.”

Content Rich

“Our vision is that BlogHer is the future of media for women. BlogHer is a women’s media company, but it’s not a pink and purple silo. It’s all the lifestyle programming you’re used to seeing, plus politics and tech and hard news and finance and so on. We serve the whole woman, while women create the content and get paid for their words and work.”

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who’s an Expert on Love, Marriage and the Baby Carriage

Carley RONEY

Co-Founder, CCO, The Knot

Carley Roney, Co-Founder The KnotFeatured Lady Carley Roney started The Knot with three partners after recognizing an opportunity to modernize the old-fashioned, white glove wedding industry. Since its launch in 1996, The Knot has become the Internet’s most trafficked one-stop wedding solution with over 3.4 million unique visitors a month and more than 125 million monthly page views. As the country’s best modern wedding and lifestyle expert, Carley helped develop TODAY’s interactive wedding planning series “TODAY Ties The Knot” and appears each year as the series’ expert. She has been on <i>Oprah, The View, LIVE! With Regis & Kelly, The Early Show, E!, CNN, Inside Edition, and The FOX News Report, as well as featured in Vogue, Elle, Glamour, InStyle, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal</i> and <i>USA Today</i>.

Carley was speaking at the Ladies Who Launch Global Conference in New York City on November 8 – 9, 2010.

“The bridal world was outdated, cluttered and chaotic. Bridal magazines hadn’t changed in 20 years and weren’t in touch with modern brides,” Carley says of her decision to start The Knot with her husband, David Lui, and two others. Recalling feelings of frustration when planning her wedding to David in 1993, Carley knew the The Knot’s time had come. “There were no central resources and no etiquette for modern couples. There wasn’t any information on planning a wedding with divorced parents, multicultural weddings, or how to pay for a wedding yourself.”

The Knot launched with funds from strategic partners and seed money – $1.7 million from a venture arm of AOL. “We’ve always been extremely careful about using our money wisely and that’s what made The Knot, Inc. ride through the highs and lows of the economy,” Carley says.

One of those lows occurred in April 2000 when the dot com bubble burst right after The Knot, Inc. went public. “We were losing about $9 million a year and had about $5 million in revenue,” Carley says. “We were close to being profitable, but then delisted.” She admits that financing in the first half of The Knot’s existence was a major challenge. “We had a continuous line of near death experiences, but through persistence we were able to overcome the challenge successfully.”

The Knot earned more recognition when a TODAY producer called Carley to discuss partnering for an interactive wedding series. “I still remember having a brainstorming meeting in the basement of the NBC studios,” Carley says. Eleven years later, TheKnot.com is the cornerstone of “TODAY Ties the Knot” – the number one wedding series on national morning TV.

Carley and David pride themselves on listening to their customers, so when they noticed many of The Knot’s brides coming back to the site to chat as newlyweds, Carley created four message boards dedicated to newly married life. The web traffic exploded. “That’s when we knew we needed to create another brand for life beyond the wedding, and TheNest.com was born in 2005,” she explains. “Now we have The Nest magazine which is distributed four times a year nationwide, and two books, The Nest Newlywed Handbook and The Nest Home Design Handbook.”

Knowing that after love and marriage comes the baby carriage, Carley felt there was a huge market for The Knot to create a site for first-time moms that was down-to-earth, local and ultimately, fun. Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Carley launched a web community called TheBump.com. “Now, we have The Bump in magazine form, a Facebook application called ‘Mommyhood by The Bump,’ Breastfeeding.com, the #1 website for moms looking for breastfeeding advice and local lactation consultants and LilaGuide.com, which has the best local listings as voted by real moms in twenty top cities around the country.” Carley also just published her first-ever baby book called The Baby Bump.

Carley’s ultimate vision for The Knot is to be the world’s best resource for weddings, pregnancy and everything in between. “We also want to be the blueprint for the media company of the twenty-first century. A brand that can live in any medium, that’s multi-platform and multi-revenue,” she explains.

What we learned from Carley: “Don’t be prideful. You will have some humbling moments, but don’t be ‘too good’ for anything when you’re getting started…and even when you’ve made it.”

Give It Up

“Be willing to make sacrifices. It will come in the form of free time, money, your social life and friends. Once you have your feet on solid ground, you can regain some.”

Clear Cut Roles

“Divide and conquer. You must be willing to let go and trust your partner. You can’t do everything, and certainly won’t be efficient or effective if you do.”

Mission Accomplished

“One of our early investors told us, ‘We didn’t invest in you to be number two, we want you to be number one.’ You have to declare victory over something no matter how small it is. This will help you clarify and focus your mission.”

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.
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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Wants You to French Kiss Life

If you can’t wait for Dream It! Launch It! Live It! to get answers to your launching questions, join our first TweetChat Tuesday October 19th at 9 PM EST!
Our experts (and maybe a DLL celeb speaker!) will be online to chat, dialogue, dream and inspire.

Tell us what you want to learn at these amazing events; ask your pre-launching questions; network via chat with other attendees; and get ready for the launch of your life.

The hashtag is #LWLChat and here is more info.


Danielle LaPorte

Founder, White Hot Truth

Danielle LaPorte

Featured Lady Danielle LaPorte admits to having a drive to innovate and a heavy addiction to getting results. In 2009 she founded White Hot Truth, which has been called “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.” An Amazon.com best-selling author, inspirational speaker, business strategist and former business executive, Danielle’s wildly popular digital book, The Fire Starters Sessions, helps entrepreneurs rock their career with integrity, audacity and their truest strengths.

Danielle will ignite your business flame as a speaker at the Ladies Who Launch Global Conference Seattle location on November 8 – 9, 2010

Several years ago, Danielle ran her own communications company and was an executive director of a Washington-based think tank. She was a partner in a thriving lifestyle media company, featured in Elle, Body + Soul, Vogue Australia, Better Homes & Gardens, Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Huffington Post and Entertainment Tonight, as well as the lead author of Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design, an Amazon.com best-seller. Oprah’s producer was calling and Danielle was being courted for her own show. Then she bagged it all to do things her way.

Though Danielle sought to inspire authenticity in others, back then she felt her life had become very unauthentic. “I built a big website and media presence based on the Style Statement brand, and then went super rogue,” Danielle says. “I walked away and it was one of the toughest yet most blessed events.”

When Danielle decided to ditch the establishment she knew it meant breaking the rules but didn’t care what anyone else thought. “I don’t have a university degree, so there was no formal box for me to get out of and I didn’t have to retrain myself,” she says. “My perspective comes from my unique acumen. I went through some pretty grisly business experiences; from financial, acts of betrayal and criticism to becoming disconnected from my own self.”

Doing things her way meant launching White Hot Truth. Why? Because, in Danielle’s words, “self-realization rocks.”

Through her website, Danielle offers inspiration, provocative reality checks and thought-stimulating musings. She is a writer, sought-after speaker, strategic and intuitive business adviser and designer of a line of sassy-wise note cards that profess “french-kiss life,” “great, full” and “you shine.” Her most recent creation, The Fire Starter Sessions, is a blazing hot commodity these days.

In just twelve weeks, Danielle conceptualized, developed, and produced The Fire Starter Sessions (which incidentally pulled in $11,000 in pre-orders during the first eleven hours she offered it – without any discounts or promo codes). Promising results-driven inspiration, The Fire Starter Sessions are a combination digital book-meets-video seminar designed to help solopreneurs ignite their ideas and quickly gain momentum with their businesses. “It’s high-minded inspiration combined with hard-core pragmatism,” explains Danielle. “It’s as much about consciousness and feeling good as it is about cash and results.”

Danielle is adamant that a person’s most valuable currency is what comes naturally, in other words, if something isn’t easy, then don’t do it. “You can’t override your feelings or ignore your core desires and expect to create something sustainable,” she says. “If it feels right, it’s right.” Danielle admits that when she let go of the activities that weren’t second nature to her, it freed up her creativity – becoming more innovative and productive. “I don’t do anything that doesn’t light me up,” she says.

In addition to living and working her natural passion every day, Danielle believes that White Hot Truth has been successful because, intrinsically, she had no choice. “It’s depressing not to make things happen. Results feel great,” she says. “There’s nothing more enthralling than to get an idea in the shower and ship it six weeks later.” For Danielle, it’s life affirming and sexy to make things happen.

Danielle’s vision for White Hot Truth is to continue inspiring others to live according to their desired feelings, rocking her creative sovereignty and living her life in adventurous ways – all while doing this in style and, of course, cashmere.

What we learned from Danielle: “Honor the ideas that feel good and trust that the brilliance is going to come.”

Inner Voice
“As women entrepreneurs, we tend to keep our mouths shut, invalidate our feelings and make ourselves wrong. Don’t ignore your instincts – you KNOW.”

Get a Yes
“Master the capacity of the ask. I got the yes that changed my life.”

It’s OK to Stop
“Analyze when things aren’t going right and know when to stop soldiering on.”

Danielle will ignite your business flame as a speaker at the Ladies Who Launch Global Conference Seattle location on November 8 – 9, 2010

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

* Learn more about PR Opportunities and PR Leads from Ladies Who Launch
* Reach your Launch Potential by taking advantage of these SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES and online resources from Ladies Who Launch

Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Wants You to Get a Second Opinion

Lisa OZ

Founder and President – Ozworks, LLC; writer, actress, producer, and co-host of The Dr. Oz Show on Oprah Radio, Sirius and XM – LisaOz.com

Lisa OzFeatured Lady Lisa Oz considers herself a professional dilettante. An actress, screenwriter, producer and frequent co-host of The Dr. Oz Show on Oprah & Friends XM radio telecast with her husband, Dr. Mehmet Oz, she is also the founder and President of Ozworks, LLC, a media investment consulting firm and directs Pine Room Pictures, a production company specializing in family-friendly media. Lisa focuses much of her life on health, well-being and spirituality, and co-authored three New York Times best sellers, including YOU: The Owner’s Manual series. A health advocate and Reiki master, Lisa is a spokesperson for HealthCorps, the organization her husband founded to work with schools to prevent childhood obesity. Lisa and Mehmet, married for 22 years, have four children, Oliver, Daphne, Zoe and Arabella.

Lisa was speaking in New York on November 8-9, 2010
at Dream It! Launch It! Live It!

A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, Lisa attended Columbia University’s Union Theological Seminary. A pre-med major while in school – her father and brother are both surgeons – Lisa dreamed of being an actress, which was not a favorable vocation in the eyes of her family. “Katharine Hepburn was an alumna of Bryn Mawr and she spoke at my graduation,” Lisa recalls. “She was so smart, talented, independent and really headstrong. She motivated me.”

Growing up, Lisa’s mom also inspired her. “My mother was brilliant, she was very much her own person,” she says. “I have six siblings, but my mother always maintained her own life. She earned two advanced theology degrees, was a minister and a local politician.”

Lisa eventually enrolled at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, which led to her appearing in a few television pilots, commercials and movies during her decade-long acting career. However, Lisa’s occupation was never number one in her life. “My priority has always been my family,” she says. “I was never willing to go to Los Angeles for pilot season, or be part of traveling shows.” However, her exposure the industry gave her the insight to later spearhead the show Second Opinion with Dr. Oz.

US_Lisa_Oz_1As someone who never pitched a television show to a network before, Lisa believes that one of her best moments was when she “had the guts” to approach executives about her idea. “I felt strongly that my husband could make a big difference,” Lisa recalls. The series ultimately launched on the Discovery Channel and, with the support of a network executive who was also Dr. Oz’s Harvard roommate, aired in 2003 – 2004. The show helped viewers wade through confusing and contradictory medical advice, while combining both non-traditional and modern medicinal practices.

For Lisa, the show was a result of her wanting to spend more time with her husband. “I dragged him into the media so we could be together,” she explains. “The message was patient empowerment and playing an active role in your own well-being.”

The YOU: The Owner’s Manual series resulted from the discussions on Second Opinion. “After the show went off the air, we had all this information, so Mehmet, Dr. Mike Roizen and I decided to put it into a book,” Lisa says. “Usually, medical books are either dry and technical, or are filled with heart-wrenching stories. My vision is to make health and medicine accessible, fun, approachable and easy to comprehend.”

Lisa was heavily involved with the first book and the diet book, and thrives in creative outlets. She feels strongly that doing what you love is more important than making money. “I knew that I’d wither in a nine to five environment, so I went where my skills lie,” she says. “I do what I enjoy the most, what I love and am most passionate about.”

“We have friends who are in their careers for the money. There never seems to be enough to justify the misery. Be happy to wake up to your role, if not, then switch jobs,” Lisa says.

“Being in the entertainment industry working on films and writing was something I really enjoyed. I would do anything, work as a production assistant or a grip, for no money because I loved it!”

She also advocates that it’s important to make a difference in the world while having fun. “We need a higher purpose. It needs to be fulfilling for us as well as fill a need in society and on the planet,” Lisa says. “Think big and do good in your venture.”

What we learned from Lisa: “Do what you love. Even if you’re in a job you dislike, find an aspect of it that you enjoy.”

Health Plan
“You hold the power to enhance your health – making even simple changes can have such a positive impact on one’s health. Value your body more. Buy a pedometer and count the steps. Make it fun.”

Vison Quest
“What ever you’re doing, look twenty years into the future.”

It’s All Good
“Most women juggle a mix of responsibilities and neglect taking the time to just stop and take a gratitude break. Good or bad, it’s relevant to say ‘thank you’ to everything that happens.”

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.
* Learn more about PR Opportunities and PR Leads from Ladies Who Launch
* Reach your Launch Potential by taking advantage of these SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES and online resources from Ladies Who Launch

Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Went From Weather Girl to Covering the World.

Joan LUNDEN

Award-winning television journalist, best-selling author, motivational
speaker, inventor, entrepreneur – JoanLunden.com

Joan Lunden Featured Lady Joan Lunden, one of America’s most recognizable and trusted TV personalities, built her career looking at things differently. From her days as a female pioneer in the news world and ascent into early morning network television to most recently offering women’s wellness retreats, launching a child safety product and introducing her home goods line, this former co-host of Good Morning America believes in the possibilities of an idea.

Joan, an award-winning television journalist, best-selling author, motivational speaker, inventor, entrepreneur and mother of seven, will be a speaker at the Ladies Who Launch Global Conference in New York on November 8– 9, 2010.

Before Joan paved the way the way for female broadcast journalists and became the longest-running host on early morning television, she was a 21 year-old college grad intending to work in the business world. That is, until a family friend encouraged her to explore TV news. With the Federal Communications Commission putting pressure on media companies to hire women in the early 1970s, Joan called a local Sacramento station and asked for an interview. Although her on-camera presence impressed the news director, he didn’t have an available position. However, the weatherman saw her audition and offered her the opportunity to be…a weather girl.

“Weather reporting was uninteresting to me but I had the good sense to say, ‘Yes,’” explains Joan. “There were no females and the industry needed smart, savvy and self-confident women.”

“My career afforded me the opportunity to cover some amazing, challenging and scary stories, like jumping out of a plane, climbing the Tetons and being at the controls of an F-18,” she says. “There were times when I’d leave my driveway in the morning, and think to myself, ‘I’m on my way to do what?’”

Joan quickly rose through the ranks at the station, which led her to leave California for a position at WABC New York and eventually become co-host of Good Morning America in 1980 – a role she held for almost 20 years. Although Joan was initially given the softer home and family beat to cover while the hard-hitting news went to her male co-host, during her tenure at GMA she reported from 26 countries, covered four presidents, five Olympics and two royal weddings.

“In the early years, I took the assignments they gave me and made them shine,” she says. “Actually, covering those stories on parenting, health and wellness have very much shaped my career.”

Since leaving GMA, Joan focused many of her projects on sharing wellness information and encouraging people, especially women, to take charge of their health and happiness. One such venture is Camp Reveille, a wellness getaway held in the Sebago Lake region of southern Maine for the past four years. Defined as “a wake-up call,” the program Joan developed allows women to energize their spirits, jump start a fitness program, connect with other ladies, renew sense of self and learn the tools needed to achieve a healthier balance in their lives.

“I saw a unique category that wasn’t being offered in the marketplace, so I created a new opportunity for women to travel to a nurturing and comfortable environment devoid of criticism,” Joan says. “Camp Reveille is a place where women motivate and inspire each other.”

KinderkordA big proponent of family, like many parents Joan knew the challenges of staying connected to her two sets of young twins while out in public. Knowing that it can only take a second for a child to vanish and not thrilled with the products available to keep kids close, Joan and her husband Jeff Konigsberg invented their own. Joan says, “We knew there had to be a better way.” After a year of designing, developing, testing and manufacturing, the couple introduced KinderKord, a retractable, wrist-to-wrist hands-free connection that keeps a child physically attached to an adult without the stigma of a leash or harness.

When it was time, Joan called the Babies-R-Us headquarters and got an appointment to show KinderKord to the buyers. “Jeff and I were there with 40 other people also hoping to sell their product,” Joan says. “We had 30 minutes to pitch KinderKord. They bought it and we launched two years ago.”

Adding to Joan’s entrepreneurial pursuits aimed at making women’ lives easier, in May she debuted her home goods collection on QVC. Joan Lunden Home represents luxury, style and comfort at an affordable price point and each bedding collection is inspired by Joan’s travels during her 30-year career as a journalist. “QVC approached me to launch my line on their channel,” she says. “Why QVC? I’ve made my living on television, so this was the perfect choice. Plus, QVC really knows its customers.” Next year, Joan Lunden Home will add throws, towels and tabletop accessories.

Park AvenueUnlike celebrities who just license their name to products, Joan has been very involved with the design and production of her home goods line. “I wanted to align myself with a good manufacturer that uses quality materials that I can stand behind,” she says. “I don’t have to be as hands-on as I am, but it’s a lot more fulfilling for me in the end.”

A multifaceted career woman, Joan’s best-selling books include Healthy Cooking, Healthy LivingA Bend in the Road is Not the End of the Road, Wake Up Calls and Growing Up Healthy. She also has an exercise video, Workout America, a skincare line, Resurgence by Murad Skin Care, and hosts Lifetime’s Heath Corner on Sunday mornings.


What we learned from Joan: “If you want to be in the game, just say YES and then figure out how to do it.”

Just Imagine
“One of the most important traits a person can have is to find within themselves the ability to be open to possibilities. Most people greatly limit themselves and don’t see the possibilities in front of them.”

Decorating Made Simpler
“I’ve developed Joan Lunden Home to help make life a little bit easier today’s woman – so that she can have style in her home and still have time for herself.”

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

* Learn more about PR Opportunities and PR Leads from Ladies Who Launch
* Reach your Launch Potential by taking advantage of these SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES and online resources from Ladies Who Launch

Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Can Tell You What’s Up Down There

Dream It! Launch It! Live It!

HawaiiAtlantaClevelandSeattleNew York

Calling all launchers!

Ladies Who Launch invites you to our biggest event of the year, the ONLY global leadership conference for women – Dream It! Launch It! Live It! It’s the best way we know how to spread the launching love everywhere. Join us as we reinvent entrepreneurship with women who have Dreamed It, Launched It and are now Living It! Forever transform yourself and your business by joining us in one of our FIVE events taking place nationwide this November! Register NOW for Maui, Atlanta, Cleveland, Seattle or New York.

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Dr. Lissa RANKIN

Founder and Pink Director of Mojo – Owning Pink

Lissa RankinWhen Featured Lady Dr. Lissa Rankin experienced what she dubbed “Her Perfect Storm” in January 2006, it threw her into a tailspin. Already unhappy at the busy San Diego Ob/Gyn practice where she was a physician, Lissa quit her job and moved her family to the country to live a more balanced, creative life. Today, Lissa is the Founder of Owning Pink, a thriving online community and social network she launched in 2009 that helps redefine health from a “lack of illness” to vitality, wholeness and owning all the parts of your authentic self. Earlier this year, Lissa opened the Owning Pink Center in Mill Valley, California and her new book, What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend comes out in September. In addition to being a doctor and author, Lissa is a professionally represented artist. She is also one of the featured speakers at Ladies Who Launch’s Seattle Global Conference on November 7-9, 2010.

What was Lissa’s “Perfect Storm?” Imagine if all the following events happened in a two week period: giving birth, the family dog dies, your brother goes into liver failure from an adverse reaction to an antibiotic and your father passes away. Combine the shock of those occurrences with Lissa’s already growing dissatisfaction with her job and general unhappiness and you have the makings of a major life change. As Lissa describes it, “I lost my mojo.”

“In the busy group practice, I was double-booked every 15 minutes, which gave me 7.5 minutes per patient, which I didn’t like,” she confesses. “I’m a nurturer and the system was hardening me. I vowed I’d quit but I was the breadwinner for my family.”

What's Up Down There So, Lissa took a “Pleap” (a pink leap of faith) and decided to leave medicine completely. She and her husband sold the house, liquidated their assets and moved to the San Francisco area with their daughter. Lissa then spent two years focusing on her art and writing. While she enjoyed this time away from the medical field, Lissa still felt a need to serve others.

“You can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling,” she says. “I wanted to go back to practicing medicine, but do it on my own terms.” Those terms meant integrating all the parts of her fragmented life – creativity, health, relationships, spirituality, sexuality and interaction with the planet – to finally become whole.

In the fall of 2008, Lissa had the idea for Owning Pink, but back then it was for a teen gynecology website. She joined the four-week Ladies Who Launch Incubator Intensive Workshop in Monterey to gain clarity, support, inspiration and momentum about her concept. Ultimately, Owning Pink was launched in 2009 as a blog chronicling Lissa’s journey back to herself.

“All my coaches told me, ‘You need to be more focused. You need to pick one topic and become an expert.’ But I was just writing a blog and I had no idea where it would go,” Lissa says. “I did feel that if I just got out of Owning Pink’s way, it would show me what it was to become.”

Within three months of going live, Owning Pink gained hundreds of thousands of readers all looking to get their mojo back, live authentically, serve others and be loved. Lissa had also returned to practicing medicine. “I got offered a job in Marin County to join an integrative medical center, which I did for a year,” she says. “I learned that health is more than the wellness of the physical body. It also involves vitality of the mind, body and spirit.”

Lissa relaunched the Owning Pink website and opened the Owning Pink Center in 2010. The facility gave Lissa the freedom to practice the kind of medicine that she wanted to provide. The wellness professionals at the Owning Pink Center include a naturalopathic doctor, acupuncturists, fertility specialists, nutritionists, psychologists, life coaches and a Reiki master.

Described as “a community of women dedicated to celebrating all things feminine, successful, sexy and pleasurable,” Owning Pink draws not only those looking to rediscover their mojo, but also wounded healers. “It’s interesting that I started attracting a lot of doctors. They’re looking for a way to heal the profession,” Lissa says. “Those San Diego doctors I worked with lost their mojo, but they don’t know it.”


What we learned from Lissa: “Have faith in yourself and put everything on the line.”

Mission First
“Money is always the hard thing, but when you put your mission first, that works. If your mission is pure, the money will come. Money can’t be the driving force.”

Business Direction
“Let your business become what it was meant to be. Get out of your own way and let your business guide you… I created Owning Pink, but it’s not mine. The community owns it.”

Live and Love
“Live fully, and love ourselves and our girly parts.”

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This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Susan Gregg Koger

Maria de Lourdes SOBRINO, Lulu’s Dessert

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Maria de Lourdes Sobrino, Lulu's Dessert

Maria de Lourdes SOBRINO

Founder and CEO Lulu’s Dessert

When Featured Lady Maria de Lourdes Sobrino arrived in the United States in 1982, all she wanted was a true Mexican dessert. Unable to find one, she recognized a need, filled it and revolutionized the food industry by creating the first-ever ready-to-eat gelatin product. Maria named her company, Lulu’s Dessert, and it is now one of the fastest growing and most profitable brands in the food industry. In addition, as a result of her leadership and influence, Maria earned an invitation to President George W. Bush’s 2002 Economic Forum in Waco, Texas to represent small businesses. She was also a featured speaker with Donnie Deutsch at the 2008 Microsoft Small Business Summit, a four-day event reaching 200,000 on-line viewers.

Maria was a successful travel agent in Mexico City with an office in Los Angeles when the dissolution of the peso occurred in 1982. Suddenly, her Mexican business was in trouble and eventually folded, so she came to the United States intending to stay only a few years. While in America, Maria couldn’t find the ready-to-eat gelatin dessert so common in her native country. With her entrepreneurial spirit ready for a challenge, she decided to begin making it herself.

Using her own mother’s recipe, Maria launched her business in 1982 with money from her savings and the sale of property in Mexico City. When considering what to call her company, a neighbor suggested Maria use her nickname, Lulu, and it stuck. Maria liked the idea of personalizing her brand this way. Maria started Lulu’s Dessert by making 300 individual-serving cups of gelatin each day, selling her product to grocery stores on a consignment basis with virtually no competition. Despite Maria’s family thinking she was crazy and the American consumer not understanding the product, she persevered.

Lulu's DessertsUnbeknownst to Maria, introducing her dessert created the first ever ready-to-eat gelatin category in the United States, eleven years before Kraft, ConAgra and Del Monte began stocking grocery store shelves with their versions. Her product initially came in flavors like orange and strawberry as well as texture flavors such as creamy and rice pudding. Once consumers discovered Lulu’s Dessert, they realized it was a novel concept – priced right and very convenient. Basically, the public ate it up.

In the 1990s, once competition did enter the marketplace, the gelatin category exploded and Lulu’s Dessert grew even more. Growth brought many challenges for Maria, such as human resources issues, methods of distribution, product development and refrigeration options. Maria discovered that it was difficult to find a building with the appropriate amount of refrigeration to keep her products cold, so she ended up buying a 62,000 sq ft. plant that was once owned by Baskin Robbins.

Maria used profits from the company to keep Lulu’s Dessert going, even forgoing drawing her own salary for the first three years. Eventually, she secured loans from the Small Business Administration and local banks in order to expand.

However, in 1992 Maria was feeling overwhelmed. She had recently lost her father and was feeling guilty for not being in Mexico with her family. For a year, she contemplated moving home, and even sent her furniture back to Mexico. Ultimately, Maria remained in the United States after an important realization – many people were depending on her business for their livelihood, from her employees to suppliers and distributors. It wasn’t just about her anymore.

Throughout her business success, Maria experienced personal disappointment. Her first husband was not supportive of her dream and didn’t want to see her succeed. Eventually, the marriage ended in divorce and Maria became the single mom of two daughters.

Maria is proud that after 27 years in business she is still the sole owner of Lulu’s Dessert. She admits that in the past she has been very reluctant to consider bringing in partners for additional business growth; however, now she is considering possibilities that will take Lulu’s Dessert to the next level.

Along her entrepreneurial journey, Maria developed a passion for supporting other women business owners. In 2007, Maria published her first book, Thriving Latina Entrepreneurs in America, in which she shares her story, along with the stories of seven other successful Latina business women.

Currently, Maria is on the advisory board for NAWBO LA, Rancho Santiago Community College Foundation, NAFIN (Nacional Financiera, an investment bank in Mexico) and Latina Style Magazine in Washington, D.C. Maria is also a founding member of the Working Families for Wal-Mart (WFMM) steering committee.

What we learned from Maria: “I believe that we all must constantly adapt and improve ourselves. I see a lot of talent in women, we have special qualities that help us fulfill our dreams. We can’t be afraid and need to have the ability to overcome obstacles.”

Mentors are Key

“I found wonderful mentors to help me along. They either felt sorry for me or saw something in me. I have mentors in different areas to help me make decisions. They’re my advisory board. These people help me move faster.”

Thrive on Competition

“The industry changes and competition also makes you change. Competitors can help your product succeed. Lulu’s Dessert benefited from the advertising done by our competitors. Also, with all the possible competition out there, make sure you trademark your name.”

Start Small

“My advice to women entrepreneurs would be to start small. Nothing happens immediately. You need to create excitement for your brand.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe™ Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Sigrid Olsen, Founder Sigrid Olsen Art

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Sigrid Olsen, Founder, Sigrid Olsen Art

Sigrid Olsen

Founder – Sigrid Olsen Art

The news was six months in coming, but when Sigrid Olsen received the official word that her line of clothing was being dismantled by Liz Claiborne after nine years, she knew it meant starting all over again. Since that January day in 2008, Sigrid has successfully redefined her brand with Sigrid Olsen Art, a studio art and design business located in Rocky Neck, Massachusetts. Her story is one of inspiration, growth and resilience, having also survived breast cancer in 2005. Today, at age 55 she is an artist, entrepreneur, author and speaker, as well as offers yoga and art infused inspiration retreats. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Delaware Today, The New York Times, Daily Candy Boston, Forbes, WWD, Boston Magazine and The Worcester Telegram.

Sigrid Olsen’s clothing line existed for fifteen years before being acquired by Liz Claiborne in 1989. Her signature was designing for “real women” using bright colors and simple, classic designs. Sigrid stayed on as the creative director for her line and it flourished. In 2005, when her business was at the top if its game, Sigrid was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After learning that she had DCIS (ductal carcinoma in suti), a pre-cancerous condition in her mammary glands, Sigrid underwent two lumpectomies that didn’t get rid of all the cancer, a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. To regain her upper body strength and range of motion, Sigrid turned to yoga and Pilates. Her trainer created a post-mastectomy Pilates routine that she is now sharing with the world through an instructional DVD for breast cancer survivors. Sigrid and her instructor were featured in the August 2008 issue of Pilates Style Magazine.

While Sigrid’s clothing line was still owned by Liz Claiborne, her experience with breast cancer inspired her to reflect and return to her artistic roots. In 2005, she formed Sigrid Olsen Art, LLC, bought a domain name and a Mac, and took iWeb lessons to learn how to design and launch her own website. Sigrid sold her original artwork and her designs on cards, ceramics and journals. She eventually opened Sigrid Olsen Art Gallery in Rocky Neck, home of the Gloucester artists’ colony.

Sigrid OlsenIn 2006, after launching over 50 stores in three years, Sigrid’s division began to lose money just as Liz Claiborne shifted its attention to younger brands like Kate Spade, Lucky Jeans and Juicy Couture.

So, as Sigrid’s health improved, her apparel line’s profits continued to decline and, despite sales of almost $100 million, it was selected by Liz Claiborne as one of nine different brands to be put under “strategic review.” These brands were sold, licensed, dropped or kept at the end of the review period. Sigrid’s was dropped. Although she knew six months prior that this was a possibility, finally hearing the news in January 2008 was both a disappointment and relief. Sigrid knew that she had to regroup, but was stymied by the fact that Liz Claiborne retained the legal rights to her name and asserted a non-compete stipulation that prohibited her from designing clothes until 2010.


During the summer of 2009, Sigrid opened the seasonal Isla Beach House, also located in Rocky Neck. Isla Beach House is a shop that reflects Sigrid’s trademark island-casual vibe and offers colorful knits and maxi dresses, statement necklaces made by her daughter and woven nylon totes from Mexico, all priced under $200.

In addition to her art and design success, Sigrid and her sister, a yoga instructor, host week-long, inspirational yoga retreats in other countries. Sigrid’s husband actually noticed that hotels were offering yoga retreats and commented, “You could do something like that.” Sigrid limits the participants to fewer than ten people in order to create a unique experience for each one.

She has also published a cookbook, Cooking with Color which includes 27 easy, healthy, delicious and beautiful recipes for meals that can be prepared in 15 – 20 minutes. Sigrid displayed all the food on her own hand-painted ceramics and took the photographs for the book herself. She has a proposal for a project called Sigrid’s Style – Living an Inspired Life and books speaking engagements. In 2009, she was featured with Jane Pauley’s on the “Smart Talk for Women” lecture series. Sigrid may even design clothes again once the non-compete expires in 2010.

What we learned from Sigrid: “Creativity stems from finding your inner silence, recapturing your true self and letting go of the voices in your head. Also, having fun with other women is important when you’re experiencing a transformation.”

Hire to Your Weaknesses

“Start small and do whatever you can manage, but don’t lose your focus. Trust your instincts. When you can, hire experts to handle those aspects of your business that get in your way. Do what you do best.”

Promises, Promises

“Always deliver more than you promise. Make it a course of business to under promise and over deliver. We say it and do it by going the extra mile. When you’re an independent business person, it’s easier to do than when working for a major corporation.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe™ Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Myra Janco Daniels, Naples Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex

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Myra Janco Daniels, Naples Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex

Myra Janco Daniels
Founder, Chairman and CEO,
Naples Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex

Long before Mad Men grabbed the attention of Americans by chronicling the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of 1960’s Madison Avenue advertising, Myra Janco Daniels was showing everyone how it was done. While in her mid-twenties, Myra entered this male-dominated industry when she launched Wabash Advertising in Terre Haute, Indiana. Within one year, she built it into a million dollar business. As an entrepreneur and pioneer, Myra was the first female to run a national advertising firm and the first woman associate professor of business at the University of Indiana. She was also the youngest female to win the National Advertising Federation’s “Advertising Woman of the Year” award in 1965 – while under the age of 40. Myra is currently the founder, chairman and CEO of the Naples Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex. Her memoir, Secrets of a Rutbuster: Breaking Rules and Selling Dreams, came out in 2009.

RutbusterWhen Myra was attending Indiana State Teachers College, she wanted a job at the Terre Haute Star newspaper. Unfortunately, she was bluntly told by the editor, “We don’t need any paper dolls.” Furious, Myra walked into Meis Department Store and, after writing an assignment on the spot to prove her talent to the advertising manager, landed a part-time job as a copy girl earning $7.34 per week.

One day, the advertising manager informed Myra that “a new man from New York was coming.” He asked if Myra could make sure all the ads got in the paper and on the air. Once she agreed, Myra realized two things: she could soon be out of a job and this was her big chance.

Myra had a plan. The store never used real artwork in its ads, so she put together a double page spread for junior dresses. The ad pictured a girl in one of the dresses sitting on the rim of a glass of lemonade, waving a straw. The caption said, “Junior Dresses – Cool as Lemonade.” The store sold out of all 700 dresses. The next day, the store owner arrived with the ad, demanding to know, “Who did this?” Myra fessed up and the owner responded, “We don’t need that man from New York.”

As one of the most accomplished women in advertising during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Myra built her reputation selling product benefits to the customer, searching out the truth, identifying problems and generating creative solutions. Her diverse variety of clients ranged from coal mines to candy bars. At one point early in her career, Myra was earning $10,000 annually, which made her the highest paid woman in Terre Haute.

In the early 1960’s, Myra headed to Chicago, was snagged by the ad firm of Roche, Rickard, Henri, Hurst, Inc. and was chosen to serve as its first female executive vice president. In 1965 she was named the National Advertising Federation’s “Advertising Woman of the Year.”

While in Chicago, Myra met Draper Daniels, the ad executive behind the iconic Marlboro Man campaign and after whom the Mad Men character Don Draper was based. Myra and Draper forged a powerful partnership, with Draper gaining controlling interest in Roche, Rickard, Henri, Hurst, Inc. He changed the company’s name to Draper Daniels, Inc. and the pair landed accounts with Colgate Palmolive, Maytag, Motorola and Consolidated Foods. After the successful business merger, Myra and Draper eloped and their personal merger lasted from 1967 until Draper’s death in 1983.

In addition to her success in the advertising world, Myra has many accomplishments in the education field. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business and communications from Indiana State University and pursued doctoral studies in marketing management at Indiana University. Myra also held a six-year associate professorship in marketing and advertising at Indiana University, taught the MBA program in marketing and directed an internship program in publishing.

Myra is currently the chairman and CEO of the Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex in Naples, Florida, which includes the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, the Naples Museum of Art and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. She founded the complex in the mid-1980s after coming out of early retirement. In 1986, Myra became the first Florida woman to be designated a “Woman of Change” by the American Association of University Women.

What we learned from Myra: “Associate with people who know things you don’t know, who have skills you don’t have, who have done things you haven’t done. Surround yourself with people who know more than you do and they’ll make you look good.”

Born to Lead

“In the 1960’s, I didn’t know there was a difference between men and women. I always thought of myself as an ad person, not an ad woman. When I was starting out, the closest that women got to management was as a secretary. I was a horse of a different color, I always wanted to be a leader.”

Redefine Failure

“Always learn from failure. Don’t run from it or deny it. Redefine it – not as a calamity but as a necessity. Success is often a liar. Failure is what keeps us honest.”

Be Indispensable

“At one firm, I was shocked to learn that my predecessor made twice what I was earning, but I didn’t go to the board. I made myself so important that the company couldn’t function without me. It worked. I ended up making more than twice what the other guy did.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe™ Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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