SUKI DISHES ON SCARY SIDE EFFECTS OF TOPICAL ACNE MEDS …

As any sukifan knows, 60% of what goes “on” the skin goes IN the body & affects our long-term, & short-term health…do you know the side effects of the creams & lotions prescribed by a derm or doc have many if not more of the same side effects as some of the more toxic drugs on the market (i’m talking PILLS here) – yea…sucks doesn’t it? Why are we as a culture so late to the game in so many ways on things that seem to me to be so…intuitively ummmm how can i put this….oh yes…simply, DUH!

xoxo – Suki

avoiding toxins during pregnancy

LEARNED & UNCOVERED – THE TRUTH BEHIND “BEAUTY” BIZ MOTIVATES NEW CHOICES

Becoming pregnant shone a whole new light on every choice for Christine…she & I, for very different reasons, have been on a quest for good health (& yes you can have beauty when you choose health darn it!!!) & to uncover the truth behind all those empty promises of cures, “anti-aging,” the next best thing in skin care, & on & on…

Here, Christine shares her story & why she decided to ditch synthetics & toxic food, beauty & healthcare FOR GOOD! xo -Suki

 

petrochemical refinery

DOCTORS STILL GIVING ADVICE FROM THE 1920’S – TREATING SKIN PROBLEMS THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND & WON’T INVESTIGATE!

Topicals have a deep effect on the internal workings of the body – especially in babies, where you are programming early whole body wellness…This ridiculous “info” is put into the universe as gospel by well-meaning but uneducated, non-digging bloggers, or perpetuated by uneducated estheticians, dermatologists & the like.

I mean, let’s face it: most mainstream doc’s “thoughts” are placed there by their latest drug rep; estheticians, by great marketing & packaging from their latest skincare brand; derms, They rely on the prescription pad & latest fillers to make more dollars quick! everyone is a consumer, plain & simple – our docs & other pros are not at all immune, & our decades old treatment system was built in the 1920s (!) with rarely any fresh perspectives within the industry (& when they come along, whew is it hard to get folks to just think!).

Point is, like most articles, this totally misses the mark on eczema & the underlying causes of skin issues & how to treat them … so sad! no helpless infant will be saved long-term with Vaseline – & big surprise, the intuitive, easy connection here between eczema & later major side effects, “inevitable in most cases”, like asthma, etc. is just not made! not to mention how getting babies addicted early to petrochemicals preps them to need cortisone later – kinda like a sugar loaded diet prepares one for diabetes.

if people don’t head to naturopaths & other practitioners, get informed hardcore & demand better commitment to a well-rounded & current education from their doctors (who are supposed to be detectives, not pill dispensers), instead of short-term Rx fixes & BS topicals that provide no real nourishment or healing, they will create a cycle of long-term harm & more problems that must be treated – perpetuating a lifetime of both external & internal imbalances, discomfort & insecurities. boooo & grrrrrrr.

Check out the Huff Post article here: http://huff.to/2hw1P5K

& of course…know your beauty!! xo – Suki

FEAR SELLS ANYTHING…EVEN A BAD MOOD

a beautiful beach!

What’s wrong with this picture? I’m not there soaking up that sun & walking on that beach!

Ok, no seriously: “Before you even think about heading outside – even for a few moments – be certain to cover every inch of yourself with protection.” &, do not educate yourselves about what chemical blocks do to your insides, nor, to your skin, in fact do to your melanin production! Just do what we say! Proof? Ehhhh. Spin! Yeeeahhh! See we don’t say MALIGNANT melanomas when we speak, we just say skin cancer, we say melanomas. That is all…we like to confuse. Buy buy buy!

Ok, let’s try this again: “Before you head outside in the sun (um…yea…where the ozone is actually closing…WAIT? what? Later…), into the natural world, before you allow the evil, toxic sun (or is it our source of life & we’d actually be dead without it? I SO wish someone would tell me what to think here!) be absolutely certain to slather every inch with toxic chemicals that will at BEST clog your pores, create skin problems & keep you from getting any vitamin D, at WORST, cause reproductive toxicity, cancer or other long-term disease, IN-BETWEEN, we have the simple misdiagnosed fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, restless leg even & other such random aching that if you’ve ever had a vitamin D deficiency, you know it hurts like a….!” Ok got it!

Sure sounds more than illogical, just darn stupid when you lay the stone cold truth on the table, no? So why then are we robotically, going along with the brainwashing we’ve been sold for years now on the, “dangers of the sun?” Why are we buying sun care products in droves for our drives to work? When that is usually our ONLY time “outside?” Just like, why are we feeding our children legal speed to deal with their “diseases” of ADD, OCD (just as long as they aren’t outside running around god forbid!)? Are we so out of touch with our basic intuitive skills? Our own good judgement?

We inundate ourselves with pills to treat our real pain, yet never do the necessary work to solve the real problems we have. We look to our ‘doctors’ (note I did not say healers here), who do not even THINK to check for say…allergies, vitamin deficiencies, intestinal issues (where it all begins), or other such problems before going right to the most severe symptom treatment. We are over-prescribed antibiotics (further killing our bodies’ ability to develop the tools to heal), & even in the face of dermatologists (well, the you know, “edgy, weird ones”) who are actually, finally saying yes, non-malignant melanomas are not only highly treatable, but have nothing to do with malignant melanomas (which in turn have next to nothing to do with the sun!) but more in fact, to do with genetic disposition, lifestyle factors OTHER than sunshine…& do we relate this to the BOOMING business in sunblock each year? Nope. Call me cynical, but I’m also the one running on the beach happily, knowing the belly of the beast (the skincare industry) from the inside & knowing how little western physicians know…remember, nutrition is a one semester course to become a doctor…oy!

Even I used to believe we should only be in the sun of the morning or evening, come to find out THAT isn’t true! Midday sun, actually, is the best time for the body to receive UVB rays – not the UVA rays which cause melanomas. We NEED those UVB rays…so when you do go out, & I cannot plead with you enough to have your lunches outside, right there under the sun, unblocked, screened, shaded (& see the mood lift you get from it – hey, anything that makes us feel this good without a hangover can’t be bad :)!) for 15-20 minutes for a pale gal like me, longer for deeper skin tones. See for yourself after a few months how you feel. Do a vitamin D test, not to mention a full screen for vitamins, minerals, food allergies including a test for delayed food reactions – your doc will look at you like your insane…& in that moment you’ll know it’s time to keep him/her as your primary care & find a fabulous naturopath to be your detective, like, uhhhh “House”! What doctors used to be & no longer have the time for since they have insurance companies telling them they get 7.2 minutes’ per “customer”. Naturopaths, chiropractors (the GOOD ones only), homeopaths, & it’s true of all healers, you need to get a couple recommendations, there are the good, the bad & the lame…but your first visit should be extensive & take about two hours (no I’m not kidding).

By the way, you know Lyme disease, the epidemic of late? Most doctors will not find it with the ‘standard” test. You must go to specific labs who do the extensive Lyme testing & it will cost $$. Same for thyroid disease & many others. If you do not test for 3 things you will be told you do not have a thyroid condition even if you DO. Happened to me. Happened to several people I know with Lyme, so they ended up on antibiotics & fairly unable to do anything for YEARS. They could have died. This is the curse of the American medical system, & anyone’s innate trust in it… You see, we are in charge of our health. We are not babies who fall into a doctor’s arms without dong our own research. That’s just crazy, the best Western physician will agree. Haven’t we heard enough about people accidentally dying from bad or stupid prescription mixing or misdiagnosis, or doctors not doing the research they need to. Women being told they are depressed & years later, they finally find a TUMOR?!

Folks, do some in-depth reading on this…then dump the screen. Get some sun, a hat, & have some damn fun!

How did this hatred & fear of the sun come to pass? Think of a few expressions: someone who is generally cheerful is said to have a sunny disposition. There are hundreds of happy songs about riding to the beach with the convertible top down. & really, our moods change dramatically when the days turn from stormy to sunny, from cold to warm…in a heartbeat. Again, what’s wrong with this picture: someone who enjoys tending their garden sees the petals of the flowers & the plants’ leaves literally turning toward the sunlight each day, but nonetheless never ventures outside without first laying on the highest spf they can get their hands on.

Imagine this little Q&A: How does your garden grow? Fab! What makes it grow? Plenty of sunlight, plenty of water & lots of TLC. Do you treat yourself to the same? He**, no! I drink lots of water, & well, the sun is so toxic & will make me old before my time! I avoid it at all costs! This could not make less sense, but MOST people – gardeners or not – think exactly this way.

Consider the facts: there is increasing evidence that people who use synthetic sunscreens have a much higher incidence of skin cancer than those who refrain. According to one study, fully 85% of American citizens – the most sun block-worshipping people on the planet – suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, it’s also the only real source of essential vitamin D, despite what the chemical companies, mainstream synthetic skincare companies & not remotely in-the-know dermatologists will tell you…you cannot get the same form of vitamin D from synthetic vitamins, mock natural forms, or from food, & it just don’t work that way. Nature already made the perfect form…& everyone under the sun – there’s another one of those pro-solar expressions – would benefit & lower your risk of a host of debilitating diseases including colon, breast, prostate & ovarian cancer. Further, wearing an SPF of higher than 15 contributes to skin cancer! The higher the spf, the lower the UVA protection, & it’s UVA that is linked to DNA damage, which in turn is linked to malignant melanomas (which are linked to environmental & genetic predisposition).

Some other facts – it isn’t going to age you! All this talk about how the sun is the major cause of aging is I SWEAR, as much of a lie as that ANY cream can turn back the clock! &…SO frustrating! there is absolutely no evidence that the sun causes premature aging. Now, tanning & burning the skin, THAT is cause for concern and I would NEVER recommend this. But getting a healthy dose each day of screen-free sun…that will never cause you ill health, premature or unnecessary wrinkles. Ever. All it will do is keep you happy & healthy. & it really angers me that people have been made afraid of something so key to their good health. To sell products.

I’ve been happy to see the tide finally beginning to turn on attitudes about sun block. But this is an area where I still expect to be met with great resistance, not only from the mainstream media (however I did see a piece in Oprah on the need for vitamin D so we are getting somewhere) but also from people who have been told for so long that the sun is our enemy that they actually came to believe it…which, let’s face it, is most folks.

In the spirit of my tag line “know your beauty” it’s time to truly get past the scare tactics & to the truth — the sun is just one…but, here are a couple books to check out: The Healing Sun by Richard Horbday & The UV Advantage by Dr. Michael Hollick. You can check out Mr. Horbday’s site at: www.thehealingsun.org & Dr. Hollick’s at: www.uvadvantage.org

Enjoy life &…to your good health & MOOD!

xo
– Suki

 

RESVERATROL: THE GRAPES OF YOUTH

grape_vinesred wine as a health food? well, that’s not a hard sell. we’ve been told that for years!

but in the past few years, more & more people are starting to take resveratrol supplements, wine’s key health-promoting & anti-aging compound, in highly refined pill form. I’ve been formulating with this useful cosmeceutical in my skincare products for years & now I have to explain to everyone why I was using it all along! ahead of the curve…not such a great thing, man 😉

studies have shown that resveratrol has antibacterial properties, protects cells from cancer-causing mutations & helps repair the cells of the GI tract. resveratrol has been proven to absorb topically through the skin—which, as you probably recall, is our largest organ & directly absorbs all sorts of potentially beneficial or harmful compounds.

resveratrol is also a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells against the free radicals that create pigmentation spots & wrinkles over time.

but here’s the thing—sourcing always matters. when grapes are sprayed with pesticides, they get lazy & don’t produce as much resveratrol. since resveratrol is not standardized like most supplements, & the marketing of supplements is as confusing & controversial as it is in the skincare industry, it’s difficult to know exactly how much you’re getting from a grape-derived resveratrol product.

napa_valley

this leads us to the little-known fact that most resveratrol supplements in the United States are not made from grapes, but from Japanese Knotweed. according to Dr. Keri Marshall, Medical Director of Gaia Herbs, “not only is Japanese Knotweed more abundant from a sourcing perspective, but it is naturally concentrated to about 2-3% of the total root while a source like red wine (grape skin) is naturally concentrated to only about 0.3%.”

grapes_closeup

customers are understandably upset by what they see as false or misleading claims about sourcing…& if they notice it, the concentration of their supplements, leading many to distrust the whole natural industry. & they have a right to be pissed off!

in the 2013 case of Holt v. Reserve Life Organics, LLC., plaintiff Kathleen Holt claims the company tricked consumers into paying too much for supplements that contained very little of the promised resveratrol & used mostly nonorganic Japanese knotweed instead of organic French grapes, as claimed.

Japanese knotweed is actually a resveratrol-rich & sustainable ingredient. but claiming your resveratrol comes from grapes when it doesn’t? not cool. here at suki®, we believe in transparency: our resveratrol is sourced from two kinds of non-sprayed grapes plus non-GMO, non-irradiated Japanese knotweed.

knotweed

thanks to our unique SSS actives technology, we use our resveratrol & other active ingredients in highly potent concentrations. how? because we deliver them in liposomes that penetrate safely & deeply into the derma, where these ingredients can actually create change without the VSA (Volatile Synthetic Active) irritation & inflammation caused by many synthetic actives. customers have seen the healthy-aging benefits of my resveratrol-containing products, & so can you if you check out the full line of products at sukiskincare.com.

there’s a whole world of difference between a “natural” product made to feel nice & a sophisticated scientific formula made to solve skin problems. no conventional “symptom-based” therapy will truly solve a long-term systemic problem, as those of us who have struggled with such issues know all too well L my products take the whole body into consideration, starting with the source of allergies, immune system deficiencies & systemic imbalances that cause skin problems such as acne, rosacea, eczema & more.

red_wine

resveratrol is an ingredient that helps systemically solve skin problems. & for “internal use” there’s absolutely no harm in beefing up that antioxidant base with a moderate glass or two of resveratrol-rich (organic & sulfate-free!) red wine.

so cheers to your good health (& that includes a positive attitude & some well-deserved relaxation)!

xo

—Suki

HUFFINGTON POST SERIES ENTREPRENEUR INTERVIEW WITH SUKI

this week, I’m going to share an interview that first appeared in the Huffington Post on December 9th, 2014, where I talk about all the things that inspired me to start my own skincare brand & become the person I am today. there is a link to the original embedded within 🙂

FROM THE ENTREPRENEUR SERIES: GROWING UP AND DOING BUSINESS WITH … SUKI KRAMER by Marina Chetner

(Suki Kramer’s story inspires. She’s a wealth of experience and information, and isn’t afraid to share it.

The seeds of Suki’s entrepreneurial success were planted decades ago. Teased for her troubled skin, young Suki couldn’t find a cure (and a non-toxic one at that), so she took matters into her own hands. Night after night, while juggling multiple jobs, she tested, tinkered, and toiled in her kitchen to find a solution. Given her hard work, savviness, and research, success was imminent.

Today, Suki is better known as the founder and president of suki® skincare — the woman who formulated high-potency skin products, made with 100% pure botanics and patented TLC technology™, that have been clinically proven to produce results. She is also a role model to many around the world. Know your beauty® is the core of her brand’s philosophy, and it is a message she uses to empower young women everywhere, from Bay Path University in Massachusetts to Komera in rural Rwanda.

This powerful second installment of “Growing Up and Doing Business With…” focuses on Suki Kramer.)

suki_kramer

What kind of kid were you growing up?      I was not a popular child. I was the kid in the corner, shy, with no friends, bullied and teased, who never wanted to go to school. I escaped into dance, and through the stories I made up. I struggled with obvious skin problems and extreme skin sensitivities, which only made things worse and enabled a lack of confidence. I also went through what many girls and some boys go through: trust, boundary and self-esteem issues created through, let’s say, inappropriate closeness and physicality with someone in my life who I later learned shouldn’t have done the things they did. I felt reluctant to participate fully in life, hid myself in oversized clothes, hated my body and had an eating disorder when I was a teen. It took quite some fighting and therapy to get to where I am today, but, I am certainly, if nothing else, a fighter!

What did you want to be? (profession)     A dancer.

Who were/are the major influences in your life?     My parents, and the people in school who teased me – all the things “good” and “bad” shaped the sometimes defensive, sometimes very strong, and always very sensitive person that I am.

My half-sister, who was my first guardian angel. She came from nowhere and found me when I was 7, quite literally saving my life; sending me books to help me out of the many crazy situations I was in, teaching me about psychology, self-esteem, setting healthy boundaries and helping me with my separation anxiety, helping me find a therapist when I moved away from my home to the east coast at the age of 18 (and in with her) so I could get healthy.

Another one of so many angels in my life, “G,” a man with an amazing family I met in high school, who saved me from being self-destructive and helped me realize that to do anything more than being average in life, I had to work a hundred times harder than anyone else. He taught me that I had to focus on my goals with a honed-in depth of clarity and detail, that I could never ever give up no matter how hard or silly or insane my dreams seemed to me or anyone else. He gave me strength when I wanted to slack, mostly from the age of 14 until I left my home town at 18, but he stayed my mentor for many years and is still in my life.

And to whom I owe so much, my first husband John, the sweetest, most wonderful, gentle man in the world, who helped me through the most difficult times I have gone through as an adult and truly loved me as me in my entirety, a thing I think I experienced for the first time through him.

My second husband Paul, who supported me when I had the crazy idea to start suki® skincare, without whom I never would have done it. Even though he didn’t want to, he still took the risk and went on a wild ride he had no interest in, giving me the opportunity to go through all of this, learning and growing so much. Gosh, there are so many people I can’t even begin to name them all…

Lately, I’ve been heavily influenced by my dance teacher, Gunnar, who is so unyieldingly positive and so perfect for me. He’s helped me become so much more confident, strong, positive and better about not having to be perfect all the time, pushing me in the right ways so that I have released a lot of negativity and fear I had before. It’s been such an amazing experience I am so grateful for.

Also, the people who say I’ve helped them through suki®, who have written me the most touching letters, you can’t imagine. Those letters have kept me doing my business. They are such a gift to me, the best reward for all of the struggle and an inspiration to me. They make me feel I’m doing something important with my life, and that my life has meaning. What’s more of a gift than that?

My friend Ron, who is a source of constant support and love and teaching and inspiration…I could go on and on…

Tell me about suki® skincare and why you started the brand.    
My history, struggling with skin problems and sensitivities throughout my life, inspired me in my twenties to start investing and living a more holistic lifestyle. It was then that I began creating herbal tinctures and salves and learning about traditional medicinal treatments. I had tried everything, from pharmaceuticals, to synthetics that temporarily blocked symptoms but made my sensitive skin inflamed and irritated (what I call the volatile synthetic active – VSA – response), to “gentle naturals” that at best, moisturized with no effect as naturals and pseudo-naturals often do, not being truly scientifically formulated even to this day, though sadly most say they are blending “science and nature.” I began educating myself on the true nature of skin problems and combination skin, which is all about what goes on beneath the surface – systemic imbalances like inflammation, which is huge, bacteria and oil imbalances, allergies, etc. And I realized that if you treat only symptoms, which are what the science of topical treatment is all about, you begin working a frustrating cycle that offers no real solutions for people with serious problems or sensitivities, nor any truly transformational skincare for anyone!

I started suki skincare® in my kitchen about 20 years ago but incorporated formally a bit later. I was looking to create a cure. At the time, natural products were very limited and one brand was the king but was only clean, not scientific at all, as I said, as it still is today. So I was looking to create something entirely new in the industry – 100% toxin and synthetic-free, scientifically-advanced, clinically-proven effective formulations, for myself really, knowing if I was looking for this many others likely were, too. Not knowing anything about business, marketing, design or hardcore chemistry, I sought out progressive-minded chemists to mentor me and worked with them for 2 years during my experimentation process. Most traditional chemists, in fact 98% of those I reached out to, flat out said what I was looking to achieve – formulating a pure, results oriented, advanced, high-powered cosmeticuetical wherein all the actives come from non-synthetic sources – could never be possible, much less as effective as a synthetic.

Well, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I was always an entrepreneur at heart, never loved working for others, always independent-minded and not just a little rebellious … And it always takes a fresh perspective to invent something new. That was definitely the case here. I persevered and became a formulator myself. I also fought my way through the early, rollercoaster, emotional years of wondering what I was doing with this and was I wasting my life, was it a crazy thing to try and do, especially with absolutely no money, etc. But I learned and performed every job myself, an undeniably beneficial experience to have gone through, but certainly not for the impatient, the weak of heart, or those who aren’t VERY determined! While working odd jobs and maintaining my freelance writing gigs, I fought my way through learning how to design, do PR and marketing, bookkeeping, sales, everything I had to (with the help of the local Small Business Association and helpful friends who knew about these things). At the time I spent a great deal of time at a place called the library! Oh, the time I would have saved today on a computer! I had a lot of failures on my way to my own proprietary formula, working with labs in creating new actives. Eventually, I launched a 4-piece line that I took around to stores and sold. Little by little, I had enough money to hire a person (still not paying myself of course!) And here we are today, global and ready to take off in a major way in 2015.

What were the most challenging aspects of going into business?      Honestly, each step along this journey has been brand new and full of challenges, fear, insecurities to meet and master, risks, sacrifices and self-doubt. On the other side of course, there is the reward of mastering fear, experiencing the kind of success I’ve had, even getting to the point where we’ve been attacked and lied about! Now THERE’S when you know you’re a success! Going into this with nothing and giving it the time it needed to really see if it was viable was incredibly hard.

Staffing is always particularly difficult when you have success and need higher levels of help in a particular industry, and in a particular area where it’s not teeming with knowledgeable, experienced staffing. Getting to the point where you can trust the people you empower will actually care about the business in any way like you do, which you can never expect of course, but being able to at the very least trust they will cover their jobs so you do not have to follow along behind…developing more of a “CEO coating,” or thick skin has been hard for me, as I am not at all like that — I’m far too honest! I’ve been on the receiving end of a lack of understanding I used to have for entrepreneurs and bosses when I was younger. But, I’ve learned how to let that stuff go more and more, and allow business to be business, and personal to be personal.

As a woman in the business world, it is true that you get underestimated and misunderstood. I mean, there’s a reason more women go create their own companies because of the lack of truly infinite growth that can occur for us in traditional business settings. You do have to learn how to not be too gregarious and not too overbearing. That comes with time and experiences and requires experimentation to find the right balance!

I am often questioned for my decisions and second-guessed; I must explain myself on an ongoing basis in a way I see men do not. I’ve tested this “theory” quite a lot … But what can you do but continue to be successful? A life well lived and all that…

Who are your mentors? And how have they helped you?      The cosmetic chemists and traditional herbalists I collaborated with to build my brand were my mentors as they believed in my vision and mentored me to become a cosmetic formulator myself. Also other women in this industry, of course, but mostly what inspires me are just people everywhere, everyday, who either continue to challenge themselves no matter what obstacles come into their lives, or people throughout history who went against the grain and created something out of nothing, bravely standing by themselves against the odds to do something they believed in. My friend’s daughter, going through cancer this past year, and her ever present glowing smile in every picture, what an inspiration…inspiration is everywhere, no?

What qualities do you most admire in people?     Honesty, individuality, positivism, guts in the face of their fear, a strong sense of silliness; sense of humor, strength of character, and being able to be openly affectionate.

What skill do you wish you possessed?     More patience, better trust of my intuition, the ability to speak in public and on camera without such fear, and more time — can I ask for that?

What has been your greatest work achievement?    
Doing this at all has been incredible. Remember I had no money and no experience when I started. I think also though, when I started I vowed I would never go against my ideals of what my products would be. I wouldn’t skimp or sacrifice on what I believed in for anything. And I would always tell the truth. I stated out loud that I knew I would be tested by greed or some other human emotion at some point, and I would just stick to my guns and know things would all work out if I just stuck to THAT one thing… And things always do work out, because of this! No matter what problems lurk behind the scenes that need correcting (and things can get rocky in a small business sometimes, they can get hard). Sometimes you, as the boss, do not have all the information you need, and that is really challenging. It has cost me accounts in fact…small accounts. But you go on. If you have your integrity, you have EVERYTHING. That has to be my proudest achievement. Even a monster company once tried to discredit my brand in an attempt to make themselves look better, which is so cheap I find, but we end up coming out clean because we always have been, and always will be, who we are and who people know us to be.

How do you find balance in your life?      Well, the honest answer is I don’t really. It’s a constant struggle for me. I do not have enough time to do the things I need and want to do, so balance is not easily achievable. I always find time for dance, and rarely do I take that out of my life. But otherwise, I’ve been on a quest for more time for friends, calm time to myself, writing and reading for fun, and the other things I do love to do. You know how it goes though, and I do what I can.

I love writing, driving long drives in the sunshine, crisp fall air, singing in my car, swimming, and cooking. I actually love going to the movies by myself. But my true love is dancing. I started finally finding time for myself again about 6 years ago, about 14 years after I started my business. Before that, I literally did nothing but work on my business from morning til morning!

I had an interest in learning ballroom dance for some time. It took about a year at least to fully commit my time to it, but, I finally did, and since, I haven’t looked back. I’m really lucky and grateful that I get to dance because it is the one time of my day I don’t think about anything else – not the stresses of my business or personal life at all and gives me so much, as they say, as much as I put in. I practice about 4-5 times a week for about 2.5 – 3 hours, after the early part of my workday, then I’ll go to my trainer to lift weights and do cardio or to yoga, so I’m at least in shape enough to compete at my level. Open in my age group is a very competitive group of high powered women, incredibly strong, some CEO’s, business owners, some with nothing to do but dance (lucky)! A tough group of women who also happen to be very good dancers, so it’s a challenge on may levels…exactly what I need…and they are all fabulous and interesting and cool!

After dance, I head back home to start my work in the evening, answering the many emails I received in the afternoon while peacefully working in my home office. This year I competed as many as 11 times and in fact as I write this, I’m on my way to compete at the Disney, Florida. I’ve focused solely on international ballroom style this year but next year I’ll begin my open American Smooth style as well, so I m going to need to be in much better shape! I’m trying to do Latin as well, but there really is only so much time, especially to commit to becoming really good. Dance, and my wonderful teacher, have helped me in so many ways as has growing through my fears, which is exactly why I decided to compete at all…

Suki_ballroom_hp

 

My next goal is to face my deathly fear of public speaking…

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?      Right now, I’m pretty much running around like crazy trying to fit everything in, making sure I don’t let anyone down and keep all my deadlines. I jump from task to task, editing, writing, proofing, marketing, sales, design, finance, etc., trying to ensure things get done. I move down the line and try to stay in the loop a lot with my various teams, to make sure we keep up with opportunities we are offered and don’t miss out on things. We are still a company in the “small” stages and I do wear a great many hats, but as a result, most days are a bit schizophrenic! But, I’m used to this type of work environment, having been a waitress for 17 years, having 3 jobs when I was in college as an adult, and then going right into creating my company, doing every job along the way. It just keeps evolving – The next steps, I hope, are less job titles for me, continued growth for suki® skincare, chasing that sense of daily centeredness, and perfect dance footwork …

COMMENT ON:

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram?      I go straight for my notebook, actually, and close my computer as soon as I can on my own time. Guess that makes me officially old! But if it came down to it, Facebook I suppose.

Book or Kindle?     Book

Favorite fictional character?     Khaleesi, right now!

Best decade? Why?     70s. Because music, TV, and fashion.

Kale Chips or Potato Crisps?     Both.

Snow or sea?     SEA!!!

Coffee or tea?     Tea

Mac or PC?     PC!! Although, I have a Mac, sadly. That’s a long story!

Where is home?     Chicago, although I live in Northampton, MA. I’m a walking dichotomy.

What advice would you give to your younger self?     
Stop wasting time feeling bad and just focus on getting happy and moving forward.

Thank you Suki!