September 18, 2014

Nely Galan’s Advice to Future Female Entrepreneurs

The first time I heard Nely Galan speak was at the National Association of Women Business Owner (NAWBO) yearly conference. She was so exciting to hear as an entrepreneur and real estate mogul. I knew she would encourage high school girls with an entrepreneurial spirit.

A good friend of ours, Jennifer Kushell introduced me to Nely after learning we wanted Nely as a keynote speaker for our first Realizing a Vision conference at Vanguard University of Southern California. Boy we were so excited when Nely said yes. In fact she wanted to stay the entire afternoon to be part of a breakout session. The girls who heard Nely’s keynote walked away empowered and excited about opportunities.

I do not want to spoil Nely’s presentation for you. However I do want to share with you that Nely took a negative situation high school and took action rather than sitting around feeling sorry for herself. One outcome was getting an internship for a year with Seventeen Magazine in New York City. That job opened her up to opportunities that began her on a wonderful journey as a female entrepreneur.

Feel free to contact me after you watch the video. I would love to add your comments to the blog and also on our Facebook Page.



Sylvia Scott, Founder, Girl’s CEO Connection™


Follow us on Twitter:@GirlsCEOConnect




Karen Jashinsky Founder of O2MAX

A healthy lifestyle is key to becoming a successful entrepreneur and having balance in your life

While Karen was hit by a car that caused a near fatal bicycle accident she did not let that stop her. She worked her way back from what many would consider a disaster.  Like all successful women entrepreneurs Karen picked herself up and moved forward. She is now huge advocate of a strong core. Karen integrates yoga and Pilates based moves into most of her strength and fitness training programs. 

What does say about O2 MAX and how it helps girls get ready for their proms with a fun and educational journey? The best part for you to know is girls learn about their body types, dress styles, fitness and nutrition plans to work with their hectic schedules.  How many health and fitness programs teach you all of these?  I can’t think of any. Read more

Clara Chang, a sophomore and Business Administration major at the University of Southern California credits Karen and the O2 MAX program with helping her maintain a healthy lifestyle.  She knows that whether you are an entrepreneur or businesswoman, appearance and physical health is important.  Read more

And last yet by far the least: Karen the co-author of College Fit Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Fit, Fight the Freshman 15 and More!  Read more

Karen has a BSBA from Washington University and an MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from USC. She is the recipient of the First “Emerging Female Leader” Award by IHRSA.  In 2007 she was also named one of the 25 most influential young leaders in the fitness industry by IHRSA.

If you would like to be introduced to Karen Jashinsky please let me know.  She is a great friend of mine and Girl’s C.E.O. Connection.

Check out Karen’s web site and how she may be a good resource for your physical fitness and nutrition  goals.Do you have questions for Karen or about 02 MAX?  Contact:


Karen Jashinsky, Founder 02 MAX Fitness



Sylvia Scott, Founder Girl’s CEO Connection™

Author: Realizing a Vision, The Path for Teen Girls to Become Successful Entrepreneurs.  (Scheduled for May 2014)

Girl’s CEO Connection Facebook Page:
Facebook Realizing a Vision Group



August 31, 2013

Have You Ever Thought What Merida Might Be Like as a Grown Princess or Entrepreneur?

Will She Continue To Be Brave When She Grows Up?

I have given it some thought as to what Princess Merida might decide to be when she grows up. There are two options:  1) To continue as a member of her Royal family and become stronger in her strength zone or 2) become a successful entrepreneur and leader in her business specialty.  For both options Merida would want to attend college and perhaps graduate school. She would be active in her community and if she did decide to marry, it would be to a man of her choice and not her parents.  What do you think Merida might want to become considering her love for horses, athletic ability with riding and archery along with a brave and courageous spirit? Oh yes we cannot forget to include she is not afraid of taking risks.  Merida also knows how to dress for different occasions.  Merida Classic 2 copy

Merida as an Archer

 What do you think about Merida becoming an entrepreneur and leader in her business specialty?  Merida has the physical strength and athletic ability to open her own fitness studio.  She might also want to have a company like Karen Jashinsky, founder of 02 MAX (formerly O2 MAX Fitness).  Karen lives in Santa Monica California and is a certified personal trainer, entrepreneur and an avid fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She created O2 MAX to empower people by providing them with the tools and knowledge to make fitness a lifestyle.  The O2 MAX customers are young people from high school to young professionals.  Karen’s real passion is to help teenage girls and college women become fit and healthy even with all the stressors like academics, social life, prom and finding a good college or career. 

As shown in the movie Brave, “Princess” Merida is courageous and a risk-taker. These are two traits needed to become an entrepreneur. Merida has the intellectual skills to take today’s technology and expand on it for a business. As a young woman she would most likely want to attend a top-rated college for her MBA with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. Karen Jashinsky attended University of Southern California (USC) for graduate school. Before college though what courses do you think Merida would need to take in high school?  What would Merida need to study as an undergraduate? If Karen Jashinsky’s fitness business ” bridges the online and offline worlds to provide a personalized experience” what would be important for Merida if she wanted to create a similar business?  Would it be good communication skills?  What about strengthening her archery, fencing and horseback riding skills?  What other athletic courses might she take?  Would it be gymnastics or perhaps ballet?  Science courses like anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and kinetics are important.  Nutrition and chemistry. There would definitely be math.  I can see “Princess” Merida as an entrepreneur very much like Karen Jashinsky.  After all, Karen even looks like she could be a grown Merida.

Karen Jashinsky Best for blog

K J Physical

These are just two of the options  “Princess” Merida would have as she thought about what she  wanted to do when she grew up.  Both examples surprisingly require a sound knowledge of science along with math.  How many of you have thought about science and math being essential for many careers including a business owner?  Does Karen Jashinsky look like a science whiz?  Probably not to most of you. Yet she would need to be in order to be an exceptional physical fitness trainer and expert.  Take a look at the honors Karen has received:  First “Emerging Female Leader” Award by IHRSA;  named as one of the 25 most influential young leaders in the fitness industry by IHRSA; and in December of 2008 the City of Los Angeles and SCORE-a division of the Small Business Association awarded Karen’s business as an outstanding business making a positive impact in the community. 

In the movie Brave, Merida is a teenage girl who is brave, courageous and a risk-taker.  Merida is also old enough to get married in the near future. In other words, she is not a child.  In closing, “Princess” Merida is a role model for both young girls as well as high school girls.  It is unfortunate media and entertainment companies like The Walt Disney Company continue to promote their princess vision upon girls of all ages.  While Merida may be a princess in the story Brave, she is an example of a young woman that has bigger visions for her life than those closest to her.  Unfortunately Disney cannot or will not see the value of Merida and her characteristics.  I hope you and your friends do even if you think she is meant for young girls and Tweens. 

Merida Take Aim!


Sylvia Scott, Founder Girl’s CEO Connection™

Author: Realizing a Vision, The Path for Teen Girls to Become Successful Entrepreneurs.

Girl’s CEO Connection Facebook Page:
Facebook Realizing a Vision Group



October 2, 2012

How One Young Female Entrepreneur Contributes to the U.S. Economy

Young Entrepreneur Catherine Cook Co-founded myYearbook in 2005 at age 15 with her 16-year old Brother David. Their business  bold in 2011 for $100 Million.

This past week I was honored to be a delegate at the Empact Summit, The Future of Entrepreneurship Education in Washington D.C.  On Friday, September 28th I had the honor to meet a young woman entrepreneur Catherine Cook co-founder of myYearbook.  Recently renamed to MeetMe the company is  based in New Hope, Pennsylvania.  Catherine is now an honoree of The Empact100 2012.  The Empact100 list recognizes young emerging entrepreneurs in the United States.  All of the winners are founders of under the age of 30.

C Cook at Empact Summit, Sept 28, 2012

Catherine turns 23 this week. Eight years ago she launched myYearbook with her brother David while they were in high school.  They wanted a digital yearbook where teenagers could meet new people in their own high school along with other in the United States.  Catherine was 15 years old and David was 16 years old.  Their older brother Geoff joined them after graduating from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Geoff helped them financially with their young start-up.

Catherine Cooks’s entrepreneur path is more significant the most would think. She has broken the barriers that are typically used against women’s businesses.

One of the purposes of The Empact100 list is to recognize young entrepreneurs under the age of 30 that are contributing to the U.S. economy.  MeetMe has 100 employees and is located in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Employing 100 people as you know helps to cut back on the unemployment rate in our country as well as supports the economy of New Hope.

The number of women-owned privately held businesses has grown twice as fast as the men-owned firms.  Additionally women-owned businesses are typically smaller and it is difficult for them to break the $1 million revenue mark. That is a contributing factor for the women’s businesses to only account for  13% of employment among privately-held companies.

  • Catherine is proof that women can start and grow businesses that defies statistics.
  • She is showing teenage girls it is possible to start and grow a business in high school and then grow it while attending college.
  • The business exemplifies exactly what being an entrepreneur is all about: seeing a problem and creating a viable solution as well as implementing the solution successfully.
  • Parents will love to know it is also possible for their daughters to start a business in high school without sacrificing their plans to attend college. It is possible to be accepted to a top tier University in one of the most exciting cities in the United States.
  • Catherine was 17 years old when she appeared on stage with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg along with MC Hammer, founder of DanceJam. Along with being speakers at the technology conference, they were expected to pitch their businesses to business mogul,Barry Diller.  The competition was called, “What Would Barry Buy?”  myYearbook was selected by Barry Diller as the company he would buy.
  • While attending college Catherine worked part-time on myYearbook and gave up her social life.  In exchange she traveled abroad to speak on topics that relating to her business.

In 2011 Catherine graduated from the  McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. She majored in OPIM, Operations and Information Management and Marketing with a minor in psychology.  Catherine was highlighted by the McDonough School of Business as the co-founder of myYearbook and the sale of the business. (You can read about it here).  After graduation, Catherine returned to working full-time on the business she and her brothers created.  She is still considered co-founder as well as becoming vice-president of brand strategy.

In my opinion one of the greatest traits of Catherine Cook is she remains humble even with all the recognition and awards she has received.  During the 2012 Empact Summit Catherine confidently spoke to 300 leaders in the future of education of entrepreneurship.  She was so gracious to everyone who approached her with questions and accolades after the luncheon.

Catherine Cook is truly a remarkable young woman and a perfect role-model for teenage girls interested in starting a business in high school.  Catherine Cook and Stacey Ferreira, co-founder of MySocial Cloud would be so interesting as Keynote speakers for a Realizing a Vision conference.  It would be really cool to have them on stage together since both went into business with their brothers and began the businesses while in high school.

If you have suggestions of high school girls with businesses please let me know at The businesses can be product or service, technology, non-profit or even partnerships with family members.  The more teens we learn about and connect with the larger the community becomes of high school girls in business.   You may know of girls who want to start a business and that’s even better.  Just let us know.

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Twitter: @GirlsCEOConnect



September 7, 2012

Meet Sheila Moon, Sheila Moon Athletic Apparel 

Sheila Moon takes her love and competitive spirit for cycling and translates it into cycling apparel for women and men.  This is not just any cycling apparel, meaning it has bright colors with interesting prints.  Sheila’s cycling apparel is not your run of the mill AND it is manufactured in the United States.  For people who want “Made in the USA” then Sheila Moon Athletic Apparel fits the bill.

Sheila is truly a role model for young female entrepreneurs.  She learned every side of the apparel design business from design to pattern making to construction along with sales and marketing.  Be sure to watch her video on the challenges of growing her business over the past eight years.  The video interview between Nashely Ruiz and Sheila Moon says so much about the influence of her love for cycling, tenacity and building a business in a male-dominated culture.

What is most impressive with Sheila is that she took time after college graduation to continue her education at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles California to expand her knowledge of design.  Sheila began her career in fashion as a pattern maker.  This skill gives anyone wanting to be an apparel designer a good strong foundation.  While she did design women’s apparel for a short while her love for cycling influence her athletic apparel designing.  When you watch the video you will learn how being a competitive athlete has helped her in business and she feels this has been a major influence in her business.

Personally I love the looks of her women’s athletic apparel as I think you will also.  Sheila Moon is an outstanding role model for young women ready to start their own businesses at any age.


If you have suggestions of high school girls with businesses please let me know at The businesses can be product or service, technology, non-profit or even partnerships with family members.  The more teens we learn about and connect with the larger the community becomes of high school girls in business.   You may know of girls who want to start a business and that’s even better.  Just let us know.

Our YouTube channel is 

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Twitter: @GirlsCEOConnect




June 11, 2012


Stacey Ferreira, Co-Founder and Vice-President of 

In  2011 and at 18 years old Stacey Ferreira and her older brother Scott came together to create  They decided it was time to create a website that stored and automatically logged people into all their websites online. It would be done by securing all usernames and passwords for individuals on the Web (making them accessible from any computer and any browser).  Stacey was a senior Xavier College Preparatory for High School in Phoenix,  Arizona and her brother Scott, was a sophomore attending the University of Southern California (USC ) in Los Angeles, California when it all began. However this was not a business that came together in just a few months.  In fact, Stacey recalls working for one entire week at an apartment she and her brother had rented in Los Angeles without leaving the apartment.  It was an experience known to the start-up world, but completely out of the ordinary for a teenager.

For those of you who are assuming Stacey was a technology whiz while in high school, think again.   She was a member of National Honors Society, co-president of the band (playing clarinet, percussion and piano), on the President’s Council at Xavier and a member of the Phoenix chapter of the National Charity League where she worked with various non-profits. She attended GRAMMY Camp for two summers in a row, which spurred her interest in the music industry.  During her freshman year at  New York University, NYU, this past year she began her major in Music Business.  

Experts have said that music and art influences creativity and thinking skills. Music and art programs teaches critical thinking.  In Stacey’s case she said that studying Music Business allows her to exercise her creative and business mind at the same time.  This ultimately gives her the ability to apply those mindsets to in different ways.  How then did Stacey get excited in high school about technology with her attraction to a variety of music disciplines. Stacey began her experience with technology in high school when she saw many of her (mostly guy) friends playing online computer games. She became fascinated with the idea that someone could build a virtual world for people to “live in.”   Her brother Scott encouraged her to learn basic programming and start building small websites for friends.

Now at the age of 19 Stacey and her brother are on their way to making people lives much easier with all their multiple passwords.  Stacey is taking a year off from her studies at NYU to continue working with Scott on and its overall vision.  After all, their two mentors and investors are Sir Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin and Jerry Murdock, an investor in Flipboard and Twitter.

I think you will find Alexandra Hoang’s interview with Stacey fun as well as inspiring.  Alexandra is a member of the Girl’s CEO Connection Young Women’s Advisory Team and wants to be an entrepreneur in the future.  Enjoy and if you have comments please make your comments here.

If you have suggestions of high school girls with businesses please let me know at The businesses can be product or service, technology, non-profit or even partnerships with family members.  The more teens we learn about and connect with the larger the community becomes of high school girls in business.   You may know of girls who want to start a business and that’s even better.  Just let us know.

Our YouTube channel is 





May 21, 2012

Role Model Entrepreneur Courtney Macavinta

“Push Your Passion to The Limit”

We’ve added a video of Courtney Macavinta during her “Push Your Passion to The Limit” session during the January 2010 Realizing a Vision Conference.  The conference was held on the campus of Stanford University and was co-hosted by the Stanford Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi coed business fraternity.  Courtney has a great rapport with girls of all ages and as the Founder and President of The Respect Institute her committed to all young women (and men) is definitely a big part of her life.  Yes she is married and has a wonderful little boy Tru.  In fact in this video you will see that Courtney is pregnant.  Tru is now of course two years old and a real treat for her family.

We entitled Courtney’s conference session as Push Your Passion to The Limit.  The success of her book RESPECT: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Respect & Dealing When Your Line is Crossed spawned Courtney to start her business The Respect Institute.

Students attending Courtney’s session had this to say about it:

  • She opened up my eyes about my future, how I could make a business about anything I love
  • She showed me how to manage multiple passions and how to start a business with social aspects
  • I really loved Courtney because I saw the way she tries to make her work better.  She gave me hope to keep going on my life
  • She taught me that I don’t have to perfect to do what I want to do
  •  I learned techniques to open my creative outlet


Young Women Entrepreneurs on the Move!!

Zoe Damacela, Founder Zoe Damacella Apparel

Zoe Damacela is a young entrepreneur who began her business Zoe Damacela Apparel at a young age.  She is now in college at Northwestern University with a triple major and a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.  Like Katalina Pinkney, Zoe has to juggle her college courses and college life with her business and the activities surrounding it.

Zoe has created a recognizable brand many young fashion designers would like to have at her stage of business.  Zoe Damacela Apparel is custom-made apparel, which defines her fashion business differently than those who are manufacturing.  She has also added an accessories collection.

What impressed me about Zoe was her appearance on The Tyra Banks when she was 17 years old.  She was composed and gracious with a lady-like presence.  It is seldom you find a young woman Zoe’s age mentored by someone like Tyra Banks.  Most young entrepreneurs have no idea those successful women entrepreneurs want to be a mentor.  They just need to step out and ask. In Zoe’s case you will see in the video Tyra felt connected to her since she was 17 years old when starting a business.  

The young women you met today have “business missions” larger than themselves.  Our fourth one, Zoe Damacela is dedicated with a deep-rooted belief in the development of young talent and small business in the economy.  She wants to be a role model for youth, especially those in low-income communities, to follow their passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Ana Christell Rivas’s interview video with Zoe:


Read about Zoe with Seventeen Magazine’s Pretty Amazing competition 

As I have said many times, there are so many young women to watch as they grow their businesses.  Many are never found in the media.  I would love to get each of them as part of the Girl’s CEO Connection community and bring them together with like-minded peers from across the country and perhaps globally. 

Please let us know or “Like” our Girl’s CEO Connection Facebook Page and leave a message there.



March 26, 2012

Young Women Entrepreneurs on the Move!!

We love learning about young women entrepreneurs who start their businesses while in high school or for that matter before high school.  What amazes me is that some of these girls are not what the media may expect to be business owners.  

The videos say more than we can write in a post and are much more interesting.

There are so many young women to watch as they grow their businesses.  In fact there are many more that are never found in the media.  I would love to get each and everyone of them as part of the Girl’s CEO Connection community and bring them together with like-minded peers from across the country and perhaps globally. 

Ana Rivas is a big believer in visioning.  You will see in her video how she’s used visioning.   Ana has spent her high school years producing magazines, first fashion and now literary.  Ana has no qualms about calling seasoned entrepreneurs for advice.  As she told me, “they’re only people and what can I lose on it?”  I’m looking forward to watching where Ana goes next.

If you have suggestions of high school girls with businesses please let me know at The businesses can be product or service, technology, non-profit or even partnerships with family members.  The more teens we learn about and connect with the larger the community becomes of high school girls in business.   You may know of girls who want to start a business and that’s even better.  Just let us know.

Our YouTube channel is 



 Let us know if you have female teen and college entrepreneurs you want interviewed.

Meet Amanda Martin

Founder & Designer of Pick Me Jewelry

 Designer and Founder of Pick Me Jewelry

Amanda Martin is one of our favorite Young Entrepreneurs and  role models who wanted to be with us for the October 16th Realizing a Vision Conference. Amanda is now in Dublin Ireland for her junior year of college. Amanda Faye Martin has owned Pick Me Jewelry, a company specializing in guitar pick jewelry, since 2003. Amanda founded the company when she was thirteen years old, after visiting the Museum of Tolerance and vowing to earn some money to donate to current atrocities, such as child slavery and natural disasters. To date, Amanda has given over seventeen thousand dollars to various charities, such as UNICEF and the Heifer Organization.  At the age of 18, Amanda Martin was a 2008 finalist with the Guardian Life Insurance Company’s Girl’s Going Places ®  Entrepreneurship Scholarship Awards. (Unfortunately the scholarship program was discontinued in 2011.) Her jewelry designs have been featured on ABC’s General Hospital with singer/songwriter/actress Adrianne Leon in the character of Brook Lynn Ashton.

We are adding part 2 of the video interview conducted by Alexandra Hoang, Nashley Ruiz and Vivian Duong.  This 2nd part is really excellent advice from Amanda.  She began her business at age 13 and is now 21 years old.  When the video was filmed she was 20 years old.

For her accomplishments and charity work,Amanda has received numerous awards from her community, such as KNX’s Citizen of the Week, KABC’s Cool Kid, Bentley College’s Tomorrow 25, and 805 Magazine’s Giving Back award. Amanda also founded a chapter of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) at Viewpoint High School, and started CAT (Campaign Against Tobacco) Week, which became an annual event. Amanda Martin is currently a rising Junior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and is majoring in psychology.

Amanda Martin, Pick Me Jewelry designer with Realizing a Vision friends on KTLA Good Morning LA


Valerie Torelli, a member of Women President Organization (WPO) Orange County chapter, is considered the top woman realtor in Costa Mesa California.  For over 25 years she has been engaged in the full-time sale, lease and property management of residential real estate .  She has personally closed escrow on over 1,200 homes.  Valerie continually gives back to her community in Costa Mesa and sponsors all types of  fun family events because she loves Costa Mesa.  In fact on her blog Valerie states, “Buying a new home isn’t just about price, size, or features … it’s about building a future in a city you truly love.”  That’s why Valerie Torelli is a great role-model for teenage girls.  Girls attending Valerie’s sessions during the Realizing a Vision conferences find her to be authentic and so easy to relate to during discussions.  She believes so much in the new generation of female entrepreneurs.

Advisory Teen Member Kelly Trinh interviewing Valerie Torelli


Valerie Red-Horse

Native American serial entrepreneur Valerie Red-Horse originally aspired to be an actress.  After graduating from UCLA with honors with a Theatre degree, she soon learned her credentials did not guarantee a job or a career as an actress.  She also learned being a Cherokee woman was not a positive for her acting aspirations.  Two years after college graduation she concentrated on courses in finance as well as the business side of films. Today Valerie is founder and president of Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc for which she is an award-winning filmmaker using her talents as director, writer, and producer.  AND to add to her already packed schedule she  is Managing Director for the PrinceRidge Group LLC focusing on Gaming and Tribal Finance. Naturally Native, an independent feature which Red-Horse wrote, produced, co-directed, starred in, and distributed, was financed entirely by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut.   In 1998 the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and in May 2010 was shown on Turner Broadcasting Network’s Classic Movies. Inspired by the beauty products highlighted in the storyline of Naturally Native, Ms. Red-Horse launched “Naturally Native” herbal hair care line. Valerie Red-Horse is the founder of three non-profits: Hollywood Access Program for Natives (HAPN) which provides internships and career opportunities for Native Americans; Bel Air Presbyterian Dance ministry for women in rehab and most recently a ministry for underserved community of the White Earth Ojibwe Reservation with construction and medical teams. Ms. Red-Horse is on the National Boys and Girls Clubs Board for American Indians and in  2008 was inducted into the Leadership and Legacy Hall of Fame  of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————


Tish and Snooky, Co-Founders of Manic Panic NYC

Patrice and Eileen Bellomo are more commonly known as Tish and Snooky. Tish explained, “I put opalescent powder on my lips when performing in our band when we began performing in the 70’s—we mixed stuff up together to make things that really weren’t sold.”   Later, the sisters started what is now hailed as “the first punk shop in America” and created an internationally successful company, Manic Panic NYC. Today it brings in over $5 million in revenue each year. Millions of people around the world  including celebrities like  Christina Aguilera, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and Cyndi Lauper have become fans of Tish and Snooky’s flair for the alternative look in hair color and cosmetics. Tish and Snooky are living proof that business is not just a serious, boring matter only adults deal with to make money. It is an avenue open to people of all walks of life– from Harvard MBA graduates to punk performers—and a medium to pursue one’s passions. Their life exemplifies the value of hard work and being true to yourself.  In fact, they are true icons in a beauty world that is often fickle about companies and people worth following.  Check out this article on The Beautiful Lives that shows just how their hard work and perseverance and sisterly love have paid off. Tish and Snooky were first inspired by their strong single mother, Estelle, a wonderful artist who sold enchanting drawings to publishers of children’s books, greeting cards, and the like. She taught them strong values: to believe in themselves and to express themselves freely. She enrolled them in Girl Scouts where they soon learned the art of selling and creating the Girl Scout entrepreneurial spirit. The sisters had big dreams and were not afraid to follow them. Tish and Snooky began performing as children. Their first gig was for a butcher shop and they were paid in bologna.[1] They did not have much money so they designed and sewed their own costumes often with trim, tinsel, and glitter. As teenagers Tish and Snookywere passionate rock ‘n’ rollers, singing and dancing to their well-informed record collection. They fell in love with “show business” and developed a unique flair for fashion and style. It was really exciting an exciting time to be a teenager in New York City and the Bronx!

Cyndi Lauper with Snooky and Tish of Manic Panic NYC

In 1973 the sisters took their first trip to the UK. Rock ‘n’ roll had completely taken hold of their souls and when they returned to the States they began adding  some British punk styles to their look. They also joined  “Blondie,” as back-up singers. At this time the girls were out and about in the NYC club scene dressed in their fashions. People often asked, “Where can we buy that?.” That inspired the girls to start a shop. With a $250 loan from their Aunt Harriet and another $250 of Snooky’s savings, the sister team  gathered  designs out of their closet and opened America’s first punk boutique, Manic Panic. The name was coined by their mother and adopted not only because it was catchy but also because it aptly described the sisters. Snooky explained that the sisters opened Manic Panic ”to do an alternative line of beauty products for people like us [Tish and Snooky].” Manic Panic opened July 7, 1977 in New York City’s East Village at St. Mark’s Place.  The rent for their shop was only $250 per month! The sisters stocked their shop with clothing not found anywhere else: spike-heeled stiletto boots, fishnet stockings, vintage 50’s clothing, theatre cosmetics, and now world-famous Manic Panic Hair Color. Tish had a degree in fashion design and often showcased her own designs in Manic Panic. New Yorkers and tourists took to Manic Panic quickly including rock legends: Debbie Harry of Blondie, the Ramones, followed by Bruce Springsteen and Cher.  The shop became the Mecca of all things rock n’ roll and punk.  It eventually became the best place in New York City to find out where bands were playing.  To this day, Tish and Snooky may be found performing when they are not creating new colors or traveling the world for Manic Panic NYC hair colors. Tish and Snooky closed the original Manic Panic on St. Marks Square. Rents increased over the years and forced them to expand into a warehouse space owned by a boyfriend. They went from retail to wholesaling their custom-created hair colors and cosmetics. Today Manic Panic NYC is located in a 14,000 square foot loft in Long Island City, Queens. On Manic Panic NYC’s 30th anniversaryNew York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, congratulated them for their contributions to the Punk Rock Industries of New York City. In 2002, they were awarded the Best Small Business Award in New York City by Crain’s New York Business Magazine.

Venice Beach CA Front of Manic Panic store

Manic Panic NYC’s successes have allowed Tish and Snooky to make numerous contributions to their favorite charities and community organizations such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Periwinkle Foundation. They also created a scholarship, , the Estelle Bellomo Award for Excellence in Art Therapy, in 1994. Each year, a promising art student studying in the Art Therapy Program, a program created by the sisters’ late mother, is awarded money to further his or her studies. No wonder the Girl Scouts invited them be role-models for aspiring female entrepreneurs through the Girl Scout’s Studio 2B Mind Your Own Business program. Their journey to success is highlighted in the book, Mind Your Own Business, along with tips for success as creative business women. The Bellomo sisters are great friends of the Girl’s CEO Connection.  For the first Realizing a Visionconference in November 2008, they drove over an hour from their Venice Beach store to talk with high school girls on “taking your passion and making it a business.”  They funded the female students of the Academy of Business Leadership, a Southern California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing business and leadership skills to youths, to attend the August 2009 Realizing a Vision Conference. They always tell young girls, “You can be or do whatever you want, as long as you’re willing to devote yourself to it. We grew up really poor and started with nothing but built a fabulous fashion company!” They are living proof of what they say. 

[1]They’re now vegetarians!

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