Thursday, September 4, 2014

An Inspired Way to Do Business: In the Bag Cleaners & L3Cs

As I perused social media during our US Labor Day weekend I was especially struck by a picture shared from a colleague of a dry cleaning business in the Wichita area called "In the Bag Cleaners".

No one really knows who captured the image but the message is inspiring thousands of people: 

"If you are unemployed and need an outfit cleaned for an interview, we will clean it for free!  When times are tough, we will help you look your best." -Dave Coyle (Owner)

After I saw the message, it made my heart believe again that business can meet social needs while also letting current customers know that In the Bag Cleaners will be there for them if they are ever needed.

How much more would this business get new customers and loyalty from current customers knowing that this business goes above and beyond to those who are unemployed...all those intagible things that drive profits that don't just impact a financial statement.  I love it!

Right before seeing this picture, I was just reading about a new business entity called L3Cs, which is short for "low-profit limited liability corporation".  This new entity is something I'm looking into and what I love about it is that unlike "social entrepreneurship", it is intended to bridge the gap between non-profit and for-profit goals for business owners, investors and shareholders. 

L3Cs are structures that are socially beneficial, for-profit ventures.  The key is that the business must have a stated goal of performing a socially beneficial purpose, not maximizing profit.  And recently, the United States Internal Revenue Service recently ruled that L3Cs could be the recipients of Foundation dollars. (as noted by Wikipedia)

I see a huge future opportunity for business that want to balance profitability with social impact.  They will be increasingly popular amongst those creating businesses because it is a proven model that!

So for all you women-owned businesses out there, consider how you can use your business for a greater good beyond the immediate profit need and we will all win!  Let the example of great community businesses like In the Bag Cleaners inspire you to extend your products or services for a much greater social benefit!

Curva-Lish Team 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A 10-Day Journey of Imperfection (Part 1 of 10)

Get it here
One of our most popular Curva-Lish posts was "The Key to Wholehearted Living" where we gave a highlight of Brene' Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection", her wildly popular book that serves as a guide to wholehearted living.

Although I was happy to write about it, I wanted to delve deeper and didn't think one post covering all 10 Guideposts (Tips) was sufficient so I am going to use myself as an example to discuss each guidepost over the next 10 days and how it leads me down a path to envelop my imperfections.

Book Summary: In The Gifts of Imperfection, BrenĂ© Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living—a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, "What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?"

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, "No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough," and to go to bed at night thinking, "Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging."

GuidePost #1:  Cultivating Authenticity (Letting Go of What People Think)
I don't know about you but when I hear people announce, "I don't care what other people think about me.", those seem to be the people who cares THE MOST about what other people think of them!  I maybe wrong but to me, if you are comfortable in not caring what others think about you, then there doesn't seem to be a reason to announce it as if it's something that was an award...ok, let me not digress.
This is perhaps my most favorite of all of the guideposts because Brown's messaging of authenticity is directly connected to our mission statement.  What I love even more about the guidepost is that she used the word "cultivating".  In my own journey to do my best to present my most authentic self to the world as my life evolved and as I age to different seasons in my life, it requires a different method of cultivating authenticity.  

For example, when I was a new college graduate starting my career, authenticity meant be brave enough to believe that even though 90% of the people I worked with in my department were twice my age, I still had a voice to contribute.  When I became a leader of a publicly traded company, authenticity meant believing in being a leader that empowered my team without assuming the dictatorship leadership style that was prevalent in the industry that the company operated.  Each instance was tough but each instance started with me making a other words, to let go of what people might think of my decision to bring my authentic self to the workplace.

Does this resonate with you?

Whether you are a mom who doesn't have the time to be the #1 PTA volunteer, the board member who decides that you can't lead the committee due to your promise to your family to be more "present" during family socials, or the single woman who chooses to live a life of traveling until you do get married despite the constant comments about how "you must not be happy since you are not married"...deciding to do what will work best for you is the most sure-fire way I know of letting go of what others think and thus, creating a life of authenticity.

Be brave, make decisions that correlate to your evolution and season in life and more importantly, let go of whether everyone understands your are worth it.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Authentic Beauty: Skin from the Inside Out

Get Skin that Glows Authentically
As I age, I am noticing more and more that the products that worked on my skin 10 years ago are completely ineffective on my skin now.  It seems to have happened overnight! And, as I'm heading into a new decade, I'm getting more serious about searching for ways to keep my skin healthy.  And as much as I have switched products to deal with the surface of my skin, I am a fan of Dr. Perricone who is regularly featured in periodicals for his advice on how to care for the skin with products developed by his company but also is an advocate for dealing with what we put in our bodies that impacts the glow, dullness and overall nature of our skin.

"Our skin is the perfect barometer of our internal health," says Dr. Perricone, who compiled a list of beauty super-foods that can help you get an authentic glow from the inside out.  "Anything that lessens inflammation imparts radiance to the skin.  In practice I've seen a huge difference-comparable to a face-lift- in just two or three days when people switch to an anti-inflammatory diet."

Dr. Perricone also states, "One of the greatest joys of my research has been discovering the role of key nutrients in the foods we eat and how they impact our beauty, health and longevity. What I often refer to as 'super-foods' are those remarkable anti-inflammatory, healing and rejuvenating properties, which have all but been forgotten in today's world of fast and processed 'food'."

So I was excited when I saw this short list of the most impactful super-foods that can give you gorgeous skin in little time and that are easily purchased from your neighborhood grocery store or weekend market.

Properties Key:
* = Hydrating
** = Glow-Boosting
*** = Firming
**** = Detoxifying

Wild Salmon:  Omega fatty acids improve tone *, **, ***

Kale:  Fiber and vitamins give a good glow **, ****

Olive Oil:  Essential fatty acids hydrate and reduce inflammation *, ***

Blueberries:  Antioxidants neutralize wrinkle-forming free radicals *, ***, ****

Cinnamon:  Just 1/2 teaspoon stabilizes blood sugar for up to two weeks ***

Lemon Juice:  Vitamin C promotes collagen production *, ***, ****

Kefir:  Probiotics boost radiance *, **, ****

Walnuts:  Essential fatty acids hydrate and plump *, ***, ****

I thought this list of super-foods for skin was do-able and something I could eat for a few days in preparation for a big meeting, an important function, or to just do once a month to revive my skin.

As I researched this post, I also found a 3-day diet Dr. Perricone recommends that is also intended to give you a face-lift! The promise of a visible difference in your looks in just three days may seem too good to be true. But if you eat the wrinkle-free way for even a short period of time, you will experience dramatic changes, not only in how you look, but how you feel.

Note: If you feel you need a change from all the salmon, you may substitute poultry or tofu - but remember the special essential fatty acids and antioxidants in salmon give skin a remarkable suppleness, radiance and youthful glow.

  1. 3 egg omelet and/or 4-6 oz. grilled salmon. I do not recommend smoked salmon or lox on the three-day diet because of the salt intake.
  2. ½ cup cooked oatmeal (not instant). Cooked oatmeal is a great source of fiber, low glycemic carbohydrates.
  3. 2” wedge of cantaloupe or 1/3 cup fresh berries. Cantaloupe is very hydrating to the skin and contains important antioxidants - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries are high in antioxidants.
  4. No Juice, No Coffee or Toast. If you normally drink large amounts of coffee, drink black or green tea to prevent caffeine withdrawal.
  5. 8 - 12 oz. spring water

  1. 4-6 oz. grilled salmon. Option: you can also use canned salmon and mix a little mayo and fresh squeezed lemon.
  2. 2 cups green salad made with romaine lettuce or other dark leafy greens. Dressing: extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon to taste.
  3. 1 kiwi fruit or cantaloupe and berries as above.
  4. 8 – 12 oz. spring water.

  1. 1 apple
  2. 2 oz. slice of turkey breast or 6 oz. plain yogurt.
  3. Small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds. Great source of fatty acids and folic acid.


Get a Healthy Glow
  1. 4-6 oz. grilled salmon.
  2. Green Salad as described above.
  3. ½ cup steamed veggies. Especially asparagus, broccoli, spinach, etc. NO root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, etc.
  4. Cantaloupe and berries.
  5. 8 – 12 oz. spring water.

Before Bedtime Snack

  1. 1 pear or apple.
  2. 2 oz. slice chicken or turkey breast or 6 oz. plain yogurt.
  3. Small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds. Great source of fatty acids and folic acid.

Let me know how well this worked out for you!