Be Bolder™: Q+A With Erin Halper - Founder & CEO Of The Upside

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. The Marie Hunter Modern Muse is a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

Today we’re featuring Erin Halper, Founder & CEO of The Upside. The Upside supports the success of best-in-class independent consultants and connects them with companies seeking flexible, scalable and on-demand senior-level talent. Our mission is to change the way working works in America.” I had the opportunity to ask Erin 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

Q+A with MH Modern Muse Erin Halper

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Q: What was the defining moment that made you want to launch The Upside?

A: Quite frankly, the 2016 election. I had this sinking feeling that the corporate world would not improve for women fast enough for me to ever see it. I had built this distinct skill set and track record of success outside the traditional 9-5, so I decided to launch a mission-based business to change the way working works in America.

Q: Who are 3 people that inspire you and why?

A:

1. My husband. He is a business owner as well and leads with such humility, humor and kindness. He is also my closest advisor and biggest cheerleader!

2. Oprah. I mean, come on, if she can rise up to where she is today with the cards she was originally dealt, then we have no excuse for failure or giving up.

3. Anita Hill. She spoke up and spoke out when no one else was doing that, and risked it all to fight for what was right. She was way ahead of her time and gave up so much to break the seal that we are now slowly rising out of today.

Q: What advice would you have for a female entrepreneur ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship?

A: Understand the problem your business is solving. Like, really understand it. Keep your eye on that problem and know every single aspect of the world surrounding that problem. And if your business doesn’t solve a problem, go back to the drawing board!

Also, it’s so easy to give up when things get tough in business. And they will get tough! Allow yourself a set amount of time to keep going, even when things get hairy. Set a date and tell yourself, “I will not even entertain the idea of giving up until X date.” This way, when you have the crappiest of days, you still have your eye on that finish line. 2-3 years is reasonable.

Q: What makes you feel most confident?

A: Great skin!

Q: What do you love most about Marie Hunter Beauty?

A: Just the variety alone is so inspiring. But the names of the colors...Boss Lady, Gracious, Mastermind...they set my intentions in the morning and give me that extra wink and high five I need to help kick start an awesome day!

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Erin is making waves in the corporate world to help women thrive and for that she is a MH Modern Muse. Follow Erin on Instagram and Facebook @betheupside / @betheupside and learn more about The Upside here. Got LinkedIn? Follow their company page to stay up to date with Be The Upside.

Understanding Cosmetic Ingredients Part 1

With a million skincare products on the market, how can we really determine what’s a right fit for our individual needs? Over the next few weeks we will be breaking down each ingredient in our Marie Hunter Skincare line. But first things first, active vs inactive ingredients, what’s really the difference?

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Active Ingredients in cosmetic products are responsible for delivering benefits and results in a particular product. The percentage and function of each active ingredient must be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

Inactive Ingredients in cosmetic products are ingredients that the FDA does NOT consider “active”. The FDA requires that inactive ingredients still establish a record of safety and should be listed in descending order of concentration if concentration is 1% and any concentration lower than 1% can be listed in any order.

Below you will find a list of active vs. inactive ingredients in cosmetic products and their function in skincare.

Active Ingredients

Antioxidant - Limits production of free radicals to prevent cell damage.

Astringent - Minimizes pores and balances oil production.

Exfoliant - Freshens and smooths skin by shedding dead skin cells.

Humectant - Attracts moisture from the environment and maintains skin moisture.

Skin Conditioner - Hydrates and softens skin.

Surfactant - Cleansing agent.

Non-Active Ingredients

Emollient - Smooths and softens the skin.

Emulsifier - Stabilizes the formula mixture.

Fragrance - Adds natural scent to products.

PH Adjuster - Guarantees stability, safety and performance.

Thickener - Gives creams their distinctive feel and form.

Preservative - Prevents bacterial growth for longer shelf life.

Color - A safe colorant.

Be Bolder™️: Q+A With Jessica Hill - Founder Of The Parent Collective

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. The Marie Hunter Modern Muse is a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

Today we’re featuring Jessica Hill, Founder of The Parent Collective. The Parent Collective offers evidence-based prenatal and parenting classes designed to help couples establish friendships among others living local to them and due at the same time, all while skipping the judgements and agendas of some of the other classes out there. I had the opportunity to ask Jessica 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

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Q+A with MH Modern Muse Jessica Hill

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Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: I'm a mom of 2 boys and I moved to CT about 5 years ago after living in London where my husband and I started our family. The support I received when I had my kids there, gave me the inspiration to start The Parent Collective. The Parent Collective offers evidence-based prenatal and parenting classes designed to help couples establish friendships among others living local to them and due at the same time, all while skipping the judgements and agendas of some of the other classes out there. We have always hoped that couples taking a TPC series will cultivate a social network through weekly participation, build a solid prenatal/parental support system and of course, gather playmates for the little ones on the way. Recently we have expanded our offering to include an online version of our highly successful in-person classes so that more couples can access the education that we feel is so important.

Q: What is inspiring you right now?

A: I am inspired by the increasing attention being paid to the support women receive (or don’t receive) during the journey of having a baby in this country. Whether its maternal mental health, the racial gaps in maternal mortality, or paid maternity leave these conversations and the level of attention they are receiving inspires me and will hopefully lead to some much needed change!

Q: What was the defining moment that made you want to launch The Parent Collective?

A: I decided to start The Parent Collective back in 2017 after hearing from countless friends that they spent their early months and years with their baby feeling lonely and isolated. Because I was lucky enough to have my boys in the UK and benefit from a program called The National Childbirth Trust, my experience was wildly different, and I wanted to give a similar feeling of support through education to others. Quite simply – I don’t know how I would have gotten through the early months of my first baby without my village of NCT moms who got me out of the house, listened to me vent when I was struggling, swap strategies for dealing with the latest feeding/sleeping/illness issues that crop up, and filled countless afternoons with conversation and companionship. Everyone needs that support and I hope that TPC will fill this need.

Q: What is your personal mantra and why?

A: My mantra is ‘it takes a village’ because we are so much stronger, happier and healthier when we have someone to lean on.  

Q: What do you love most about Marie Hunter Beauty?

A: I love how Marie Hunter Beauty empowers women through beauty.  You have created something quite special and I wish you all the success!!

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As a mom of 3 I personally resonate with the feeling of feeling isolated and wish I could have known about TPC during my most recent pregnancies. Having 10 year old and two under 2 is no joke and it truly does take a village. Jessica is redefining the stigma behind parenting and for that she is a MH Modern Muse. Follow TPC on all social media outlets @theparentcollectivetpc and check out The Parent Collective and learn more about prenatal and postnatal courses here.

Be Bolder™️: Q+A with Jessica Hanna - Co-Founder of World Chic

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. The Marie Hunter Modern Muse is a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

Today we’re featuring Jessica Hanna, CEO & Co-Founder of World Chic. World Chic is your one-stop shop to bring you global fashion, without having to travel! I had the opportunity to ask Jessica 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

Q+A with MH Modern Muse Jessica Hanna

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Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: The main answer I know most people expect to hear is that: I am a 24 year old entrepreneur, founder, CEO and business partner. But, one thing I have learned in my short but fruitful life is that your career status isn’t the only thing that defines you. We often as a career-focused society like to look to our titles as a way of how much respect should be given and ultimately determines who we are in society. I don’t expect that. I’ve always believed you give the same amount of respect to the CEO as you do to the Janitor, so to speak. As human beings, we don’t get to decide when we are born what kind of situation we are in. We also don’t get to take anything away with us after our life on earth comes to an end. We only get to choose where we go while we are here, and some of us aren’t even that lucky if you look at the world as a whole. 

Who am I? I am someone who is grateful. 

I am grateful for being able to: breath; see; hear; walk; have decent health; be able to think, move and do things for myself. Yes, I’ve just broken down the basics, but we often forget how much of a privilege that all is in life.

I am grateful for my parents that have worked their lives to give me a life I am able to choose for myself. They brought me up in an environment surrounded by music, creativity, technology, art, constant motivation, sports, pep-talks, positive emotions, health, logical thinking and so much more. I was constantly given the idea of turning imagination into aspirations and aspirations into reality. 

To get down to the foundational level, one major thing that built me as a person was martial arts. Put into it at the age of four - I was taught self-defense, confidence, perseverance, independence and concentration (all things I truly benefit from today as a woman and as an entrepreneur in today’s society). I am a constant learner, researcher and creator. I don’t believe I’m truly an expert in anything and am always trying to be as open-minded as possible. I really believe that the more we work to widen our scope of understanding of people and life, the better off we will be.

Who am I “So To Speak”? I am grateful to have the ability to be and continue to learn to be a: martial artist/photographer/tech-enthusiast/woman in business/aspiring musician/artist/photographer/creator/ceo/founder/whatever else I want out of life.

Q: What is inspiring you right now?

A: That is truly a tough question to answer. In the world of entrepreneurship there is a lot of self-motivation. To be inspired is an easy thing to do because when you are an entrepreneur, you’re often a creator and inspiration strikes at the most random times. But to stay motivated, that is a whole other story. 

I am currently putting a lot of energy and focus into the law of attraction. In short, the law of attraction is that whatever you put out into the universe will come back to you. That includes energies, frequencies and vibrations. The more positive energies and affirmations we make; goals we set; and belief we have in ourselves and set our minds to have - the greater the likelihood we will become what we think. The type of frequencies and vibrations we choose to hop onto can determine a whole day and in the grander scheme of things our entire lives. Sounds pretty “hopeful” some may say but there is an actual science behind it. 

If you choose the life of an entrepreneur or just simply want to improve your life and your connection to the world for the better, I highly suggest being open-minded and learning more about this concept. 

Q: What was the defining moment that made you want to launch World Chic?

A: There was never really only one “defining moment”.  Throughout my life, I’ve always wanted to be a serial entrepreneur - have my own businesses, be able to make an impact and have control over MY life. It was just always figuring out what it was that I was going to do. I have had the privilege to travel and I am truly so appreciative of that. Often right before I’d go away somewhere, I’d have someone tell me “Enjoy it while you can, because you will likely never be able to again”. Why? I would think that was just crazy that someone would tell me that as if I couldn’t control how the rest of my life was going to go. Why wouldn’t I be able to make time to do something I love? Life is way too short to stop yourself from doing what makes your soul happy. 

Every time my business partner and I would go out of the country we’d bring home a whole separate suitcase full of gifts for our friends and family. And so, World Chic came from our love of travel, fashion, art and culture.

We pride ourselves on telling a story. You can go to our site and shop first by country, then by product. We want all of our customers to be able to experience as close to the privilege of travel as they can without having to get on a plane and physically going somewhere because they can’t afford it or just will never have the time. So, with every purchase, we provide not only the product, but the story and culture that created the product. We hand-select items based on the relatability and culture to the country it comes from. Either the products we select: have been mastered because that country has been producing it for decades (i.e. Leather from Italy); have historical meaning behind the craft (i.e. Aran Knitwear Sweaters from Ireland); or have been made extremely well and sourced from the countries’ resources based on it’s climate (i.e. Wool from Iceland). As we grow, we plan to expand to even more countries. Soon, we will also expand our collective in greater ways, but that is for another conversation.

Q: What is your personal mantra and why?

A: Figure out why you were planted here on this earth, be brave, and follow it to your passions. We often fall into societal expectations to the same roadmap as everyone else: Get a degree, get a well-paying job, grow a family, work more, live for the weekends, work more, retire, then maybe get to enjoy the time we have left? I think we need to spend more time finding out what makes our hearts happy. What makes us smile with chills down our arms. Figure THAT out. Because, something I’ve realized is that when we figure that out, we are able to be innovative and creative and thrive in the field or direction we choose. It’s no longer considered “work” and a way to get through the week for a paycheck. It becomes a LIFE instead of a timeline. Our lives are just way too short to settle for something that makes us unhappy. Period. 

Q: What do you love most about Marie Hunter Beauty? 

A: I LOVE that Marie Hunter Beauty is a 100% female owned company whose products are ethical, cruelty free, and sourced globally. Encompassing strong values with love for one’s self, Marie Hunter Beauty truly represents what it means to be a bold, beautiful and strong woman.

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I truly agree with Jessica about the law of attraction. I’ve always been a firm believer in manifesting your dream life and that what you put out into the universe comes back to you. Jessica’s unique approach to business is inspirational and for that she is a MH Modern Muse. You can follow Jessica’s personally on Instagram @jessicahanna_ or keep up with the latest here. Don’t forget to follow World Chic on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest @wcworldchic. Got LinkedIn? Follow their company page to stay up to date with World Chic.

Be Bolder™: Q+A With Alexandra Dow & Grace Wheeler - Founders Of Poize Workwear

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. The Marie Hunter Modern Muse is a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

Today we’re featuring Alexandra Dow and Grace Wheeler, Founders of Poize Workwear. Poize Workwear is an online, one-stop-marketplace that aims to empower young women as they increasingly enter the corporate workforce. Poize’s macro level vision is to create a community surrounding women’s empowerment within professional industries. Through fashion, Poize highlight’s femininity as an attribute to leadership. “We provide this community with highly curated workwear pieces that are stylish, sophisticated and professional. We want to get rid of boxy, ill-fitting pant suits and replace them with pieces that merge the strength of feminism with the elegance of femininity.” I had the opportunity to ask Alexandra 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

Q+A with MH Modern Muses Alexandra Dow and Grace Wheeler

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Q: What was the defining moment that made you want to launch Poize Workwear?

A: Before starting Poize Workwear co-founder, Grace, was pursuing a career in corporate law. After interning as a Commercial Property Intern, she realized she struggled to find appropriate and trendy workwear. She used this struggle as her inspiration to start Poize. 

When Grace explained the concept to Alexandra, she was immediately hooked. The problem resonated with her on a personal level and she could see a clear future for the brand and company. Many pivots have happened along the way but the mission -- to empower women within corporate industries by highlighting femininity, through fashion, as an attribute to leadership -- has always remained the same. 

Q: How did you conquer fear when building your brand?

A: There is always risk associated with starting a new company but we are so convinced that we are solving a major issue for our customers that we just couldn't ignore it. 

We have found that research and talking to people is the best way to conquer any startup related fear! Before even launching our first products, we polled, surveyed and interviewed 532 women in our customer demographic. 100% of these women found shopping for suitable workwear challenging in some way or another. This gave us the answer that every entrepreneur wants to hear, that yes, our company IS solving a problem. Knowing that we are helping women feel comfortable in their femininity, along with supporting them in being confident leaders, is enough to allow us to push all fears aside and move forward with determination.

Q: How do you deal with resistance from those who do not share your vision?

A: People say that once you start receiving criticism, you're beginning to reach a broader audience that goes beyond your supporters, that's when you know you’re making an impact on a larger scale. The most significant resistance we get comes from people not understanding that our vision for Poize goes beyond retail. Retail is a crowded space but companies who focus on a strong social missions are limited. People, especially young women, really resonate with our idea and often have their own anecdotes regarding their workwear and workplace struggles. 

Q: What is your personal mantra?

A: Show up & work hard, even if no one applauds you for it -- It always always pays off! 

Q: What do you love most about Marie Hunter Beauty?

A: First and foremost we love that Marie Hunter Beauty is a female founded business and we are proud to stand alongside this brand in the Female Founder Collective. We believe our missions align well and we admire MHB’s vision to “Boldy empower women with beauty, confidence and class.” 

This all goes without saying that we are totally in love with their fantastically colorful and endlessly creative lip colors and names! 

Alexandra Dow - Co-Founder of Poize Workwear

Alexandra Dow - Co-Founder of Poize Workwear

Grace Wheeler - Co-Founder of Poize Workwear

Grace Wheeler - Co-Founder of Poize Workwear

Alexandra and Grace are redefining the women’s workwear industry and I’m here for it! Their modern approach to curating stylish workwear for the professional woman makes Poize unique and for that Alexandra and Grace are MH Modern Muses. Follow Poize on Instagram @poizeworkwear and Facebook @poize.workwear. You can shop Poize Workwear here and check out their blog and Pinterest @poizeworkwear for more inspiration! Got LinkedIn? Follow their company page to stay up to date with Poize Workwear.