Did you know that Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer? As a Melanoma survivor, Meghan knows the importance of early detection. Learn about the ABCDE warning signs of Melanoma in this video in partnership with TIZO Mineral Sunscreen and Skincare. You can read more about Meghan's Melanoma story over on their blog.
Women are disproportionately hit by the economic burden of this pandemic. We’re in industries most impacted — healthcare, food service, and hospitality. We’re most likely bearing the childcare burden with daycares and schools closed.
As chaos hits, we are making-it-work everywhere — at home, in our business, in our life. We get shit done. We stay focused and organized on the priorities at hand. It’s a good strategy for pushing through, but a terrible one for burnout, creativity and innovation.
The problem with the get-shit-done strategy is that we’re in the middle of a huge transition. We’re being asked to pivot our businesses, our home life, our way of living in order to avoid getting sick and spreading COVID-19. This mega-transitional moment requires accessing our ability to be spacious and creative — to respond to uncertainty with possibility, and be open to a new way of living out our vision.
This inner-vision is usually wiser, more thoughtful, and more innovative than our make-it-work-self. But, it is also harder to access. It requires more deliberate space. It requires pausing, slowing down, and listening. So, here’s an exercise for accessing your inner wisdom to help you navigate turbulent times with wisdom and direction.
(As a side note, sometimes this exercise makes the voice in our head a little louder. So, if your head is saying things like “that won’t work” or “I don’t have time for this exercise,” then that’s okay. Kindly acknowledge it, like you would an old friend, and give it a concrete but imaginary task, like reorganizing your Google Drive.)
Now, here’s the exercise:
Pause. Take a deep breath. Feel your feet in your shoes. Feel your body, strong and capable. Remember when you started your business. Sink into the version of you that had a vision, an idea, a spark.
Write it down. Draw it. Tell a friend. Text it to me. Tell your coach. Sink into your answers.
Chances are this version of yourself reminds you of your brave and capable power, your infinite brilliance. Sit with this feeling for as long as you can.
When we act from this open, spacious, purpose-filled place, we’re more likely to make better choices for ourselves and our company. We’re more likely to be strategic, smart, and aligned with our long-term vision, instead of our short-term fear. We’re more likely to be creative, innovative and purposeful in our next steps.
You are filled with wisdom. Reclaim it.
Beth Pellettieri of b.p. coaching helps clients who feel lost, overwhelmed, and confused navigate roadblocks, so they can feel aligned, clear, and purposeful. Before becoming a coach, Beth worked in nonprofits for almost 15 years. She managed large projects, raised lots of money, and led communications campaigns. But, secretly, her favorite things were solving problems, taking strategic action, and supporting people through life's transitions. Now, she just does her favorite things.
Hi! I’m Jen Belanger, a Registered Dietitian (RD) and food-a-holic. Many people aren’t sure what an RD is or what we do. A couple of my favorite cringe worthy job descriptions are “the food police” and “the menu maker.” RDs have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4 year university, though many of us have Master’s degrees. We then complete a 1,200 hour internship where we hone in on our skills in clinical, community, and foodservice areas of nutrition. We must past a national board exam before we can use the highly coveted “RD” credential after our name, and finally, we must complete continuing education credits every 2 years at minimum, just like doctors and teachers! RDs wear many hats and there are countless job avenues. For me, I’ve found that running my private nutrition therapy practice is my love and passion. My focus is on pediatric nutrition and family nutrition. I’m also very into maternal and pre-natal nutrition; we can’t raise healthy children unless we are healthy ourselves, right ladies!? I offer 1:1 nutrition counseling and group education, participate in various consulting projects, and am active on my social media accounts where I post recipes, videos, and ideas you can easily implement into your everyday life! During the COVID-19 “stay at home” orders, I am encouraging all of my families and followers to use this time to work on their nutrition. I chatted with Meghan on Chikchat about how parents and families struggle to find the time to work on their nutrition in the context of their busy, normal lives. Well, right now I think it’s safe to say that we have nothing BUT time! Dust off those cookbooks and try a new recipe! Involve your kids in this process; research shows that when kids are more involved in their food preparation, they are more likely to try the new food. If we can build healthier habits now, when we do have time, we’re much more likely to stick to these habits once we hit the ground running after quarantine ends. If you need professional help with your family’s nutrition, seek out an RD! Many of us in private practice, myself included, are offering virtual consults right now so you don’t even have to leave home! If you’d like to get in touch with me or see what I’m up to in my practice, be sure to follow my Facebook page Jennifer Belanger, RD; my Instagram account @jenniferbelanger_rd, or email me at JenTheRD@gmail.com.
Hello ladies, I recently started The Hero Project, a pay it forward fundraiser to provide Beauty Batlle Lounge complementary self care services to our medical professionals and first responders once this craziness is over. More details can be found here.
So far, the program has already attracted the attention of local media, including Business West Magazine. We I have teamed up with a Chikmedia as a PR firm to gain additional exposure.
Along with raising funds, I wanted to offer this an opportunity to collaborate with other small businesses. I would love for your business to put together a promotion featuring THP, while offering a donation from the proceeds toward the project. For example, Contribution Clothing recently launched the Hero Angel necklace in which a percentage of the proceeds go back to THP. We promote it on our end as well, of course.
Please let me know if you are interested in participating and we can set up a time to discuss. Our goal is to not only take care of our essential personnel, but also to help small businesses collaborate and thrive.
-Ashely Batlle, CEO
Meghan Rothschild joins the team on The Rhode Show to chat about all her tips for recent college graduates as they prepare for job hunting. Check out the clip below.
Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts empowers women to achieve economic independence and thrive in work and life. Beyond the well-known suiting program, Foot in the Door helps them find and maintain full-time work, the Margeret Fitzgerald Mentor Program provides one-on-one guidance and the Professional Women’s Group offers support, inspiration and tools to advance in career and life.
Tracy Thompson Viola, owner of Thompson Real Estate Group, Inc. in Springfield, has taken advantage of all of these programs, beginning just as she was launching her own business. “Starting a business is so hard,” she says. “Dress for Success surrounded me with the big support system that I didn’t have. They wanted me to succeed.” Program by program, Tracy honed job skills, learned about managing finances, and gained confidence.
These tools and a strong support system have been more important than ever, as Thompson Real Estate Group has had to face the uncertainties of Covid-19. But, fortified by over twenty years of experience and the knowledge of how proud Dress for Success is of her accomplishments, Tracy has worked to meet new challenges head on. She has added a commercial division, begun promoting off market properties and established the unique ability to do the entire process safely online using 360-degree 3D tours. She has also, through a business called BRX360, branched out into professional real estate photography, making use of the best equipment in the industry.
As with other women they serve, Dress for Success is working to help Tracy gain the tools she needs to navigate Covid-19, while encouraging her independent innovation. Getting slightly emotional, she says, “I’m so proud to be a part of an organization that is so happy to help and accommodating. You don’t find that a lot.”
Dress for Success Program Information:
Thompson Real Estate Group, Inc.
Meghan Rothschild chats with Patrick Berry of Mass Appeal about blogs and how you can leverage them.
Meghan Rothschild joins Alanna Flood of Mass Appeal to chat social media best practices for recent college graduates as they prepare for job hunting.
Donna Versatile or Versatile Woman in Italian is 100% inspired by the Proverbs 31 woman. The one who does not give up, who multiplies her resources and does not neglect herself. The business is composed of an online boutique and blog who seeks to inspire women to be the best version of themselves in everything they do and to display it even through the way they dress.
The boutique carries accessories and clothing pieces for all body types, sizes run from S to 3XL. There are new arrivals every week for every taste and style, because personal style goes with every woman everywhere they go and with everything they do. During these trial times, it is important that even at home one can feel beautiful, equipped and in charge for the day. Just an outfit can make you feel accomplish. Because of the shift in the way business is been done, we will be carrying loungewear pieces as well. For every woman who wears it to be comfortable, without compromising chicness. We will keep carrying more dressy pieces as well, because dressing up is something that can still be done during special occasions at home and obviously when everything goes back to normal. Our content is offered through photo shots and short videos to offer different ideas, fitting details and fashion inspiration. We are also offering free shipping while this situation lasts, so everybody can get their pieces and save money at the same time. They can also feel free to subscribe to the website in order to receive 15% of one item the first time they order with us using code "Welcome".
Facebook: Donna Versatile or @versatiledonna
-Iris Rosario, Owner of Donna Versatile
Meghan joins WWLP's Mass Appeal to provide tips for recent college grads on how they can spruce up their digital presence during this time.
We've been hearing all the stories of couples having to reschedule their weddings due to COVID-19 and they are truly heartbreaking. The stress alone is enough to make anyone's head spin! The team over at The Beauty Studio is here to help. Not only are they available for those who have lost their hair and makeup vendors, but they're also supporting brides with digital content. They're encouraging couples who have had to postpone to still celebrate their original date at home. You can check out their tutorial for an easy updo you can do at-home to get dolled up and celebrate!
We love a good celebration! And even more than that, we love small business who are supporting folks through this trying time. We couldn't be more excited to feature Marisa and The Beauty Studio as a guest blogger today.
Hey there! We are The Beauty Studio located in Ludlow, MA! We are a one-stop-shop for all your beauty, fashion, and special event needs! Our location is a full-service salon and spa where you can come and receive a number of beauty services including Microdermabrasion facials, deep tissue massages, lash extensions, lash lifts, any hair color you could imagine- we even offer private tarot card readings! While you are in our little oasis, take a look around and grab yourself a brand new outfit from our ever-growing boutique! The boutique has new arrivals weekly including clothing, shoes, and accessories. Online shopping is always available on our website. Everything is currently 30% OFF until May 9th!
The main service that we provide is hair and makeup for our wonderful brides. We have a full freelance team, therefore, we can accommodate any bridal party size and any popular dates. We travel all across New England to make your day-of-services as easy and smooth as possible. This year we have successfully rebooked every single wedding that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The main concern is to keep our brides as calm as possible and we have been reassuring them every step of the way with any possible changes that need to be made. We are in contact with a number of wedding planners, mothers, maid of honors to successfully reschedule and adjust dates due to this virus.
If you have a wedding that was canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19 and your original hair and makeup team is no longer available, absolutely reach out!! We still have dates open at the end of summer and fall and we would love to work with you. I have an entire Bridal Guide as well and a Bridal Pampering Packet I would love to drop in your inbox.
Here is where you can follow along with us:
My professional Instagram: @artistybymarsia
Contributionclothing.com is a mission driven online boutique based out of Springfield, and they are all about supporting the chiks!
The affordable boutique sells women’s accessories and apparel and offers sizes S-3XL with price points of $50 and under. Each quarter, the clothing line, founded by Kelly Partridge, selects a western Massachusetts nonprofit that has a focus on female empowerment, and provides them with a 15% net profit donation.
Currently, boutique is working to raise funds for The Care Center of Holyoke and plans to contribute to Christina’s House of Springfield their upcoming quarter. As they reach their one-year anniversary the women run business has provided monetary donations to organizations such as Dress for Success, Empty Arms Bereavement Support, Ovations a Cure for Ovarian Cancer, Shriners, Girls Inc of the Valley, and Safe Passage. In additional to monetary donations, Contribution Clothing has proven to be a great community partner participating in events and fundraisers such as the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage, the Women Empowered calendar for Girls Inc., and the Unify Against Bullying Fashion show.
Partridge, whose passion for female empowerment stemmed from a domestically abusive relationship, is working to build a company the helps women feel confident and comfortable through fashion. She hopes to use her personal experience to reach women in the community and help them become better versions on themselves.
Now through May 1st, Contribution Clothing is offering the Chiks 20% off their order with code: CHIKS at checkout. Head on over to contributionclothing.com and support this amazing small business.
For more information on Product:
By: Meghan Rothschild
It has certainly been a chaotic ride over this past month, hasn’t it? Between adjusting to the new norm, learning 4,547 types of video conferencing software, and making a daily decision to put on pants, my head is spinning. I’m sure most feel the same way.
But there have been a few key takeaways I find myself clinging to; anxious that when things return to (the new) normal, the positive habits I’ve formed will leave with COVID-19. Life has been challenging for many, for different reasons, but I want to hold myself accountable. When I started Chikmedia, it was in part, to create a work-life for myself that would allow me to slow down, smell the roses and reinvest into myself daily. I’m not quite there yet. Before the pandemic, I found myself circling back to the same stressful, daily mode of operation I had lived inside with other jobs and as the future unfolds, I’m applying the breaks to anything that causes mental anguish in my daily life.
These are my key takeaways, most good, one bad, from COVID-19 that I hope to incorporate into a post-pandemic lifestyle.
Things can wait. I am an anxious person, so when I am given or assigning a task, I feel it needs to be completed immediately. I stress unplugging or heading to bed if my To Do list isn’t nearly complete. As a business owner with multiple clients, this is impossible. There will always be work to be done. Always. However, with our current situation, I am finding that people are much more relaxed, more understanding of timelines and more respectful. Collectively, we are experiencing a worldwide happening together, and compassion is at an all time high. Can we hold onto this? Can we remember what it was like to allow people the time they needed to get work done? Can we allow ourselves to exist in a slower paced life where quality over quantity prevails? I sure hope so.
We need to place a higher value on businesses whose products are intellectual property. I have been guilty in the past of asking consultants to provide free services because something was “for a good cause.” As I watch the pandemic unfold, I appreciate that so many people want to contribute to the community and quickly took to social media to encourage their friends to support local businesses. However, most service-based companies are not considered as part of that equation, and in fact, asked to donate their time and guidance: a key piece of what they sell. It has put a lot of pressure on my fellow consultants to follow suit, and start producing expert content to help guide other small businesses through their own pandemic-related crises. Intellectual property is valuable, ideas are valuable, education and experiences are valuable. I plan to be more self-aware when asking people for contributions and favors in the future. If someone is an expert in something, they should be valued for it.
Meetings don’t need to be in person. As an entrepreneur, with no brick and mortar, I have nowhere to host meetings. This has resulted in a weekly schedule that is virtually unmanageable. On a daily basis, I spend nearly 3-4 hours in the car driving from meeting to meeting so I can give my clients face time. I miss seeing clients and my team, but I have realized what a magical tool video conferencing can be. I can collaborate with my team, brainstorm with clients, and read facial expressions without leaving my home 10 times a day. Of course, I am in no way suggesting that in-person meetings won’t still happen, but I look forward to balancing my schedule so I physically have time to get work done.
Self-care for the mind is critical. This is something that pre-pandemic I was fairly bad at. I’m a decent boundary-setter most of the time, but granting myself permission to relax and unwind is really challenging. Now that I am locked in my home, I am getting work done much faster, and therefore finding time to read books, take my dog on long walks and spend quality time with my husband. For this, I am the most grateful.
People react differently to situations and that’s OK. Some of us have curled up into a ball and cried. Some have leapt into action. Some are a mix of both. Some are enhancing their business offerings, some have closed up shop. There are days I feel good, calm, peaceful. And there are others where I feel like I am crawling out of my skin, longing for something to look forward to. The bottom line is that feelings need to be processed and each individual is unique in the way they do so. So let’s stop trying to force a way of being onto others and just focus internally on how we can be supportive while still maintaining our own mental health boundaries.
And there you have it, my friends. My (goal) new way of operating as we see this pandemic through. I am hopeful for the future, my business, my clients, for everything. Let’s continue to hang in there together and to perhaps learn a thing or two from this experience. <3
Now more than ever, we could all use the expertise of Kelly over at Macaroni Kid Springfield! Kelly provides a weekly eNews chock-full of great activities, crafts, recipes, and more that are perfect for keeping your kids busy and bringing the family together. When the world isn't in quarantine, she also features local events perfect for the whole family. Did we mention that it's FREE?! With the kids at home for the foreseeable future, we couldn't think of a better resource for mom chiks to take advantage of. You can check out all of Kelly's articles and sign up for her eNews here.
How did you get started with your business?
This is my tenth year publishing and when I first moved to Western Mass with my family, I used Macaroni Kid Springfield to find events in the area to keep busy with my toddler!
What do you feel is most important for others to know about your business?
Our children are our future and we need to give them a strong foundation through unconditional love, being surrounded by family and friends, and of course - PLAY! My newsletter and social pages help make it easy for families to find their fun. FOR FREE!
How would you describe your leadership style?
I love working together with locally owned businesses to collaborate on projects, events and of course promotions! While I am the only one to run my edition, I enjoy collaborating with others from time to time.
When you were growing up, what is your ultimate dream job? If it's this, how does it feel to have met your dream?! If it was something different, how did your dream change over time?
I wanted to be an actress and a news reporter! This job lets me do that in a way. I get to report and research on all the things happening in our area for families. I can be dramatic and events with the kids like when I host trunk or treats or story times... even when I make videos and go "LIVE" on social!
Every business owner faces challenges. How are you empowered to overcome yours?
It can be challenging to step away from the computer and phone - I always want to be connected and respond to families. Taking time to unplug helps and gives me focus.
Tell us (in one word) how you would describe your boss chik business!
If you're running out of things to do at home with your kids, we couldn't recommend Kelly enough! You can find here here:
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube
Cupcake Charlies is one of our all time favorite clients! We were fortunate enough to work with Penny and her team last fall with the grand opening of their latest Wareham location. They now have 6 locations across New England and offer a wide range of sweet treats. Those treats include 16 cupcake flavors (cupcakes that were featured on Cupcake Wars, mind you!), Whoopie Pies, S'mores Bark, Ring Dings, Cake Pops, Push Pops, Cupcake Jars, Frosting Shots, Cookie Dips, Trifle Cups and so much more! It's actually heaven on earth. With all that is going on in the world today, we couldn't think of a better way to make someone smile, than to send them a box of Cupcake Charlie's!
*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Cupcake Charlies is currently only open for takeout in their Plymouth, MA location. However, they are also offering an expanded shipping menu to include Easter products and additional flavors. Email email@example.com to get started with your order today!
Hey girl (and guy), we're so glad you're here. ChikChat is our version of an informative blog that keeps you up to date on all the latest marketing trends, fabulous business owners and must-see hot spots. So pour a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and get comfy.