The Moms

Neka Pasquale

Urban RemedyCorte Madera, CAStory & Photos by Lauri Levenfeld

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Marc Anthony

For Neka Pasquale, founder of Urban Remedy, the path to success came from a single, core desire to help people experience food as healing. Driven by passion and intention, Pasquale worked for years as an acupuncturist impacting the lives of her patients through education, treatment and cutting-edge nutrition. And when those individuals (and their family & friends) saw results, they asked for more. It was through this recognition that Pasquale began to understand the value of her creations and the need to bring this lifestyle to the

mainstream. Her program had become a way of living for a community and her core values a celebration for her new business. In 2009, Neka found her ultimate calling and UR was born. Neka is the first to admit the path to success wasn’t always easy, but she followed her gut, stayed true to her heart, and had a few stumbles along the way. This is a great read for any passionate entrepreneur looking to stay true to themselves while making a sustainable living. 

 

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Laura Smith Blair

ArtistTiburon, CAStory & Photos by Lauri Levenfeld

For Laura Smith Blair art has become a voice for her vision and a vision for her voice. From a very early age, LSB found her passion in painting and as a means for expressing her deepest concerns, fears and revelations about society, the environment, and the world around her. In her ongoing series “Nature Interrupted”, Laura intersects the abstract with a heightened sense of realism conveying her confusion and feelings of disruption in reconstructed views of the California Landscape. And through Laura’s latest obsession with bees, LSB creates “warrior-like” hexagonal shields to symbolize the unity and order in nature via the masterpieces of these small, yet critical creatures. A reminder to us all that when we impact nature, our lives are directly impacted. We all need to stand up as warriors to defend what’s ultimately good and life-sustaining. 

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Jesse Draper

Halogen VenturesLos Angeles, CAStory & Photography by Lauri LevenfeldMakeup & Hair by Irmina Martinez Loeffler

There is no question that 2018 will be yet another year where progressive women band together to create new realities and ensure justice for their own and others’ personal and professional lives. This holds true in regards to women’s health, equal pay, and gender equality, as more women become breadwinners and independents. For Jesse Draper, a former actress and now venture capitalist, the path to her current fund Halogen Ventures (which supports women-founded consumer technology) wasn’t always easy to imagine due to the lack of women leaders in technology and finance while growing up.

Yet by starting with small investments, Jesse gained meaningful success and proved to her male counterparts that she had a vision and talent for finding women who doing extraordinary things. If you are a female entrepreneur with questions on vc funding or have never invested in the stock market, today we have the tips to help you become the boss lady you dream of. As Jesse Draper welcomes her second baby boy into the world, her hope is that one day companies will understand that diversity and equality are the best path to success. 

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Marquita Lanier

Three GenerationsLos Angeles, CAPhotos & Story by Lauri LevenfeldRetail by Izzy Be & Les Tout Petit

This is a story of three generations. Three women (well 2 + one girl) dedicated to empowering one another and the world at large. Through faith, creativity and love, each is inspired daily to be the best version of themselves while incentivizing and supporting each other and those around them to do the same. This love is spread through all types of artistic endeavors and a whole lot of

laughs and silliness to accompany. Through their family blog, Love the Laniers, they continue this inspiration weekly with devoted time for togetherness centered on developing passions, goals and lifelong dreams together. A perfect story for the holidays, one celebrating love, compassion, and collaboration. Hey, even Oprah Winfrey got wind of this terrific family. 

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Jessica Hanson

Perricone MDSan Francisco, CAStory & Photos by Lauri Levenfeld

It seems we are all relentlessly on the quest to find a product, a plan, or a path to looking and feeling Forever Young. For Jessica Hanson the path has always been pretty clear; follow your heart and your passions and they will inevitably lead you to living an authentic life,  resulting in a joyful manifestation that shows up internally and externally as beauty and light. And while all that is true, it doesn’t hurt to have the best products to supplement diet and wellness on your path to eternal beauty. What started as a young enthusiasm and curiosity around makeup became a lifelong career in science and artistry. And while Jessica has worked for the biggest brands in beauty she has now found

her home with a company whom resounds in the same principles and philosophies as she. As Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for Perricone MD, Hanson’s latest gig centers around treating the internal to best affect the external and in Jessica’s life as a mom of two, showing up healthy and energetic lets her follow her heart, pursue her passions and achieve her goals independently and for her family.  With her wealth of knowledge in all the best ingredients and product, Jessica lends her advice to you today on where you should best spend your money and efforts.

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Jessica Taran

Freezing my EggsSan Francisco, CAStory & Photos by Lauri LevenfeldMakeup & Hair by Irmina Martinez Loeffler

In a year when women are fighting for independency and equality both personally and politically, the choices we make in terms of our own bodies and our paths to motherhood seem even more crucial to the future of our gender and generation. Rather than waiting on the right partner, finding the wrong one, or just in general giving the power away to someone else, many professional women and/or women dreaming of motherhood are finding new means to  becoming moms and not succumbing to the inevitable ticking clock. For Jessica Taran, choosing to freeze her eggs at 36 years old gave her the opportunity to do motherhood her own way, to continue to seek the kind of love she dreamed of and to pursue motherhood as a single woman. Taran, our modern day hero, opens up about her process and pregnancy. Yes thanks to women changing the course, motherhood never looked so good.

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Delaney Ruston

Filmmaker & PhysicianStony Brook, NYStory & Photos by Lauri Levenfeld

Thinking about our teens- their cell phones and the time they spend on their screens makes most parents crazy, sick with worry, and most definitely, unsure about how to navigate it all. While technology is a beautiful tool to give our children access and means to learning, it is also the culprit of time spent away from real social interaction, family-time and school work. When physician Delaney Ruston found her two teenage children growing more committed and preoccupied by their screens, Ruston’s anxiety grew. And her questions as to how to rectify the situation gave her cause to turn a film camera on her own family to document their struggles, while researching to find answers in other people’s experiences. Her anxiety turned to hope as her discussions with adults and children signified that we all are new to this and scrambling to find the right answers and path, but through dialog and community we will pave a way. With this Screenagers was born, another documentary where Ruston puts her personal life in the camera’s eye to explore a larger societal issue. This is a story about a woman, a mom, and a caretaker working her best to shed light and change circumstances for those individuals and issues under addressed by society.

 

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Kristina Wandzilak

Interventionist

This is not a fashion story ladies. It is a story of strength, survival, determination, courage, and love. Kristina Wandzilak chose life and faced every fear and hardship in her journey up. I am awe-stricken by Kristina’s courage, faith and willingness to go to places she has not returned to since being homeless on the streets of San Francisco 21-years ago. I thank her for this bravery, for facing her fears, and for being such an extraordinary and beautiful person in life.

 

“If I gave up each time I was afraid I would be dead.”

 

I am a fighter. A survivor with a brave heart. I am a mother. A widow. A friend. A daughter. A sister. An international business owner. An author. An all-american athlete. And an all-american drug addict with over 20 years sobriety and recovery.

I am now an addiction interventionist and the co-founder of Full Circle Intervention, Addiction and Recovery Services, an organization working with families and individuals who are in crisis with the disease of addiction. It is a thriving practice, which has taken me on adventures all across the US and internationally.

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Sasha Lazard

ChanteuseNew York City, New YorkPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

To those who know Sasha Lazard, she is a staple in the art world equally as comfortable in a couture gown as she is on the playgrounds of lower Manhattan watching over her children. Widen the lens, however, and she is considered one of the most elegant and beautifully trained artists of our time. Enhancing her musicality are her mesmerizing performances, breath-taking sense of style and her associations with the finest luxury brands, all lending Sasha a public figure-aura of glamorous mystique. When Lazard opens the door to her gorgeous apartment, the gypsy interiors exhibit first-rate bohemian glam and exude a life centered around sharing her love of music, art, and the world around her with her dearest and everyone she meets.

My life’s work is my children and my music.  I began my career as an opera singer. Shortly after beginning my real training at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music—I realized quickly my destiny was not to follow a traditional path. I had an operatic quality to my voice, but was attracted to all forms of music. I loved collaborating, and mixing up genres. I was at the frontier of classical crossover with my first album “The Myth of Red” and I have just released my 5th one entitled “Lumiere.” My most personal one to date.

 

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Heather Vandenberghe

Founder and CEO of Vandenberghe & CoNew York City, New YorkPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

What do you do when a dream job or opportunity comes along and you’re not quite ready for it on paper (maybe the proper experience or perfect credentials don’t exist yet)?  If you are Heather Vandenberghe (in her younger years)- you bluff. You go for it with your head held high and make everyone believe that not only are you ready for this gig, but you are ready to offer something more special and more expansive than was ever dreamed of. It is this positive outlook and confident attitude (and of course, Heather packs some mean marketing skills)  that led Heather through the most prestigious doors and into the most coveted jobs early in her career. It also led her to a high stress and unbalanced lifestyle where she wasn’t managing her personal time and time for her daughters in the way she wanted. It was at this time, in her most frustrated and anxious moment,  Vandenberghe faced the most unimaginable hardship-her daughter’s accident, a moment that changed everything and gave her the will and the strength to live better and find more desirable work.

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