Empower (verb | empower | \ im-ˈpau̇(-ə)r \): to promote the self-actualization or influence of.
March 8th is International Women’s Day – a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic and political achievements of women around the world. When thinking about the women who inspire me on a daily basis, one word comes to mind: empowerment. Strong women have consistently empowered me to pursue my dreams – giving me confidence during times of self-doubt, inspiring me to think big, and pushing me to go outside of my comfort zone. Being surrounded by these dynamic, strong and beautiful women has played a key role in my career, daily decisions, and outlook on life.
In reality, I actually have only worked for woman-owned businesses (when I’m not fueling ambitions with Gundalow, I’m helping organizations better lives at BHS – whose President and CEO, Dawn Motovidlak, bought the company at 27!) Maybe it’s because I work in the wellness industry, but more likely, it’s because the passion, unity, and dedication I feel from these strong women is contagious. The term “You Go Girl” (or YGG) has become a personal mantra in my vocabulary.
So, on International Women’s Day – and every day – I want to celebrate and recognize some of the inspirational women who have empowered us at Gundalow and recognize female entrepreneurs who are changing their communities. Collaboration over competition!
- Dana Sicko and Lisa Poist – Gundalow’s fearless mother-daughter dynamic duo has built so much more than a juice company in the Baltimore community. Since 2014, Dana has tirelessly grown her small business into a beverage powerhouse – empowering foodies, fitness-conscious, and entrepreneurial communities in the mid-Atlantic region. Dana’s ability to connect with, educate, and inspire the people she interacts with is truly remarkable.
- Michele Tsucalas (Founder and Owner – Michele’s Granola) – Michele turned a weekend baking hobby into a booming granola business serving Maryland and beyond. If building her own successful business wasn’t enough, Michele also created the Give One for Good Food® program that donates 1% of their sales, as well as employer-paid volunteer time, to organizations that are leading the way towards a healthier, more equitable food system, donating more than $60,000.
If you haven’t tasted her granola yet (or if it’s a staple in your pantry), we recommend some homemade Starboard Strawberry froyo (2 frozen bananas, ½ cup starboard strawberry, ½ cup Greek yogurt, 3 cups frozen mixed berries, ½ tsp cinnamon) topped with Michele’s Ginger Hemp granola!
- Esther Collinetti (Co-owner – REVCycle Studio) Esther took empowerment to the next level when she decided to quit her full-time job as a research project manager in 2013 to live her passion and open Baltimore’s first cycle studio – REVCycle Studio. Esther has opened 2 studios in Baltimore and is using cycling and her goal coaching workshops to empower men and women to take risks and achieve personal growth. If you want to experience Esther’s motivation first-hand, try attending one of her Sunday morning classes (if you need a little extra motivation to get through class, you can also recover from your physical and mental transformation with a Watermelon Waves, sold at REVCycle studios).
- Betsy Depman and Hillary Tayson (Co-owners – Coffee Coffee) – Another mother-daughter powerhouse, Betsy and Hillary have built a warm and welcoming community café in Bel Air, MD that focuses on locally-sourced products and giving back to the community. These inspiring women empower the local community by promoting and participating in local, health and sustainable food movements. We recommend stopping by on a Saturday morning for a Beet Shot, homemade scone and friendly smiles!
International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to recognize the women in your life who inspire, motivate and empower you to be your best. Who are your mentors? Is it a teacher, friend, mother (shout out to the most important woman in my life, my mom – Janine!), coach, or supervisor? Regardless, take time this month to thank these women, and remember that you could be the person who inspires or empowers someone else.
Shout out to all of the strong and beautiful women out there fueling their ambitions and empowering others around the world – because “Empowered women, empower women.” YGG.