GETTING TO KNOW EILEEN RODRIGUEZ; OWNER OF COUTURE SALON AND SPA

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WEBSITE: http://www.CoutureSalonSpa.com

FACEBOOK PAGE: fb.me/CoutureSalonSpaWhittier

yours truly

Bio:  I knew at the age of 5 that I was going to do hair and make-up. I was always intrigued by the fashion and beauty industries. When I was in a sophomore at California High School in Whittier, I was accepted into the Business Academy, and there, my dream of owning a salon was born. While in high school I became an entrepreneur as a self-taught Hair and Make-Up Artist working on classmates for Winter Formals and Proms. I was deemed the “Make-up” girl.

In 2008, I graduated with my Associates Degree from Cerritos College and passed the California State Board and received my Cosmetology License. 4 years later at the age of 26, Couture Salon and Spa was born.

I had experienced severe allergic reactions on my hands from using aggressive hair color and discovered that I had been suffering from Psoriasis of the scalp –  which left my scalp irritated and inflamed with painful blisters!! I knew that there had to be something safer for myself and for my clients. Thus, the vision behind a natural concept salon was born and I partnered with companies that delivered natural solutions.

Today we stand as one of the top rated salons in Whittier and we are the only full service salon that offers natural solutions for beauty needs. We have served cancer survivors, expecting moms, clients with sensitivities and more, with some of the safest practices, using only high pure quality grade ingredients with the promise to deliver amazing results.

We will continue to deliver natural solutions for our guests giving them peace of mind when choosing a salon that fits their needs.

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What is your favorite thing about your career?

The thing I love most about my career is that I have the ability to help someone feel better about themselves just by changing up their hair or by simply being their to listen to them. My favorite thing about my company is that we are giving people a choice with natural alternatives for their beauty needs.

What motivated you to start your company?

What motivated me to start my company is I had a vision to create change in my industry. I wanted to bring professionalism back to our industry by building a team of passionate and driven individuals dedicated to using natural alternatives in beauty care. I saw the need for a natural solutions salon in Whittier and I’m proud to be one of the only Salons that offers what we do.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment was partnering with My Refuge House, a non-profit dedicated to restoring the lives of young survivors of human sex trafficking and abuse. We have been a proud partner for 4 years and since then I have hosted 2 Women’s conferences, Enriching Your Life’s Soil 2015 & 2016, and 3 other fundraisers where we donated all proceeds to My Refuge House. This year I got to travel to the Philippines with MRH, where I had the opportunity to meet the survivors and educate them on self-care and provided each with a fresh new haircut.

What is the best feature or item from your company?

The best feature about Couture Salon & Spa is all the services we offer, we use only the highest pure quality grade products with organically certified ingredients. We are known for using ammonia-free hair color that is yogurt based, with anti-inflammatory ingredients, making the color process more gentle and much less aggressive on the scalp and the hair.

How would your friends describe you?

My friends would describe me as a funny, go-getter with a big heart who loves her family and the people she serves.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are spending quality time with my family, Traveling, working out and being creative.

List two pet peeves

2 of my biggest pet peeves are dishonesty and selfishness.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In 5 years, I see myself running an advanced training academy for Hairstylists and Estheticians who have just graduated from Cosmetology/Esthetics School. Couture Salon will be the foundation where they can learn how to build a thriving business in the Beauty industry.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

If I can go back in time to change one thing, it would be hiring my Business Coach as soon as I made the decision to open my business.

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

God, Oprah, Marie Forleo and Dave Ramsey all of who are mentors and who have shaped me into the Woman I am today.

 

 

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GETTING TO KNOW JIM DAVIS: CLUB PRESIDENT & DEANNE DAVIS: PUBLICITY COORDINATOR [MajorKeys.org]

WEBSITE:   www.MajorKeys.org

FACEBOOK PAGE: Major Keys Square Dance Club

INSTAGRAM: majorkeyssquaredance

YOUTUBE:  Major Keys Square Dance

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IMG_2805 (2)What is Major Keys Square Dance Club?

We are a fun, friendly, non-profit social organization that has been in Whittier since 1973.  We are excited to share the love of square dancing with everyone and help continue the tradition of California’s official state folk-dance by teaching classes, holding monthly dances, doing demonstrations and special events.

Who are Jim and Deanne Davis?

Jim is the current club president for Major Keys, and Deanne is the publicity coordinator.  We have been with the club since 2010 and we want everyone to have as much fun as we do, and enjoy all the benefits of square dancing.

What are the physical benefits of square dancing?

It is great aerobic exercise, equal to hiking about 3-5 miles. It strengthens and tones muscles and loosens joints, but is low-impact with less risk of injury than other types of sports or activities.  It also improves flexibility, balance and coordination.  

What are the mental benefits of square dancing?

Recent studies show that square dancing reduces the effects of aging on your brain.  The combination of exercise with listening, learning, memory recall, quick reaction time, and social interaction uniquely stimulates the brain’s synapses and prevents the loss of white-matter better than any other type of exercise or mental activity tested.  Square dancing also reduces stress, enhances mood, induces laughter, and provides a mental challenge and satisfaction like solving a puzzle.  It helps develop listening skills, and sharpens your ability to focus and pay attention.  

What are the social benefits of square dancing?

In square dancing you develop a large circle of friends which provides an antidote to isolation or depression. You can forget your troubles as you “dance your cares away.” It develops teamwork and cooperation rather than competition.  It is an activity where family and friends of all ages can participate together. And it promotes a sense of community as people from all different cultures, backgrounds and demographics, whose paths might not otherwise cross, can interact in a fun way and build positive relationships.

What do you like about square dancing?

Jim: It’s easier for me than other types of dancing. It doesn’t matter so much where your feet go, if you start with your left or right foot, or if you are standing with your weight on your toe or your heel.  All you have to do is get your body to a certain place in the formation.  The caller tells you where to go, so you don’t have to remember the choreography.  The other dancers are really helpful too, and we all like to be goofy and have a good time.

How did you become interested in square dancing?

Deanne: When I was a little girl I remember looking over a railing to a plaza down below where a square dance was taking place. I could see the swirling colors and patterns of the ladies’ skirts as they twirled around, while the men seemed to magically float among them on a moving kaleidoscope ocean. The music was playing and everyone was laughing and clapping. I was mesmerized, and from that moment I knew I wanted to square dance.

How does someone learn to square dance?

We offer a beginner’s class on Thursdays from 7-9 pm, starting in September through Whittier Parks and Recreation.  No experience is needed, and no partner is required. It just takes practice. After 18 weeks, dancers are ready to “graduate” at the Mainstream level and will be able to attend dances locally and all over the world.  Some people choose to go on learning more advanced square dance levels.  Most are having so much fun they invite their friends and continue attending class on Thursday nights as “angels” to help a new set of dancers learn Mainstream.  Another beginner class will start in February.  If someone misses the first or second class, they can still join because the lessons are reviewed every week.

What problems do you see in society today?

Our society has become so isolated. People spend so much time connected to electronics and social media.  I wish everyone would just unplug those things once in a while and connect  to real people.  People are designed to live in community and interact with each other. We have so much to offer one another: a smile, a hug, a hand-shake, hearing someone say your name and give you affirmation.  These are simple things that we all need, yet we are starving ourselves of them, or looking in the wrong places.  Square dancing is a way to meet that need for connection in a safe, family-friendly atmosphere.

What could Whittier do to help promote square dancing?

Square dancing is so beneficial, I would love to see it offered in schools again.  It would be great as a college PE class, and a fun after-school program or activity for younger students. As a community, I would like to see square dancing taking place in parks or outdoor venues where it would be more visible and accessible to everyone, maybe at a street-fair, at concerts in the park, or at a shopping center.  I wish there was an old barn or building with a big wood floor that could be converted into a dance hall, that hundreds of folks from Whittier would be brave enough to try it and discover they love square dancing!

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GETTING TO KNOW RUDY & MARIA HERNANDEZ; OWNERS OF RMH DANCE

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FACEBOOK PAGE: @rmhdance/DancerRudy
INSTAGRAM: dncrudy & rmhdance
TWITTER: @9dancerRudy
YOUTUBE: DncrRudy
LINKEDIN: RUDY HERNANDEZ
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FACILITIES: (Parnell Park, Whittier Community Center, Palm Park)

 
BIO:  
  • Have been teaching dance in Whittier since 2000.
  • Have been dancing for 27 years.
  • Professional Competitor for 12 years with great success.
  • United States American Rhythm Rising Star Champion, United States American Smooth Rising Star Finalist
  • Competitor with students Pro/Am for 20 years with numerous top teacher awards at various competitions across the United States.
  • Working with The Whittier City School District and Boys & Girls Club of Whittier providing dance to over 400 children a year for the past 17 years.
What is your favorite thing about your career/company?
Getting to work with so many people and watching them accomplish the most basic of
skills to be able to dance.  A very small percentage of people know how to dance (20%) and dancing together is  even smaller (8-10%) Every person we work with is unique in their skills, abilities, attitude and fears. Behind public speaking, dancing is one of the biggest fears of most people!!
What motivated you to start your company?
As a High School Athlete I was fortunate to receive numerous scholarships to play
Baseball and Football at small colleges. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship
to UCLA for Baseball. Unfortunately I was involved in an auto accident which caused
me to break both of my legs. I was hospitalized for 6 months and part of my recovery
 was dance classes. (Prior to that I had never taking formal classes) I fell in love with
dance! It became my studies in College and I haven’t stopped. It took me 3 months of
Physical Therapy 4-5 days a week 1-2 hrs a day to learn how to walk again.  I believe ANYONE can learn how to dance. If I was able to learn to walk again you can
learn to dance. You need the right mentality and great coaching.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Have had lots of personal and professional accomplishments but I believe my greatest
& proudest accomplishment has not yet occurred.  I continue to receive coaching on my own dancing to keep my skills and knowledge to the latest trends and styles.  I push my students to the maximum of their own abilities so that they can achieve their
goals.
How would your friends describe you?
Motivated, funny and hard working
What are your hobbies?
Cooking, Craft Beer & Sports.
List two pet peeves.
Tardiness & Laziness
If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change a thing.
If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
The current Pope, Fred Astaire, Muhammad Ali, Lucille Ball

 

GETTING TO KNOW LISANDRO PLANCARTE, OWNER OF “THE YARD” ~ TRANSFORMATION CENTER

THE YARD 1

FACEBOOK PAGE:  The Yard TC

INSTAGRAM:  theyardtcw

 

THE YARD 2

What is your favorite thing about your career/company?

The ability to help people to feel better about themselves and live healthier lives.

What motivated you to start your company?

After working with a couple of gyms and experiencing some things that I didn’t agree with I decided to go off on my own. I started off only doing personal training, but after a few months of driving from client to client and to different gyms, I decided to stop doing that and start my own gym. I wanted to create an environment that was full of positivity, where everyone that came felt comfortable and not judged, but most importantly a place where they saw results. With the help of my wife we bought all the equipment I needed and turned my garage into a gym and The Yard Transformation Center was born.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I would say my proudest accomplishment business wise has been going from my garage to a commercial location here in Whittier.

What is the best feature about your company?

The best thing about my gym is the fact that I have created an environment where people feel comfortable and not judged. They know we are here to help and encourage.

How would your friends describe you?

That’s a tough one… From what I have been told, my friends and clients have described me as social and friendly. Someone who cares and is always willing to help. Someone who is passionate and determined about accomplishing my goals and someone who doesn’t see myself above anyone else.

What are your hobbies?

I like going to classic car shows. I also like buying, fixing, and reselling classic cars. I figure that is the easiest way for me to own and enjoy every car I wanted as kid while having one pay for the next.

List two pet peeves.

Friday freeway traffic and when someone suddenly stops right in front of you as you’re walking and you almost bump into them.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself already in a second location and having a staff who can run the gym so I can focus on more ways to provide our clients with a one stop shop type of environment when comes to their fitness needs.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change a single thing. Everything that has happened has let me to where I am today.

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be and why?

  • My Grandpa that I never got to meet but always hear cool stories about.
  • George Barris famous custom car builder/designer, because I love classic cars and I think it would be cool to be able to have a conversation with him and ask him about all the cars he built.
  • Gary Vee because, in my opinion, the guy is a business and marketing genius that tells it like it is, so he would definitely be able to help me grow my business.
  • Jeff Cavalier because I have learned a lot from him and agree with the way he views and focuses on educating/training people. He is someone I respect and look up to in the fitness industry.

 

GETTING TO KNOW BRENDA RODRIGUEZ: OWNER OF THE SKIN ROOM

THE SKIN ROOM FRONT

WEBSITE: www.theskinroom.org

FACEBOOK PAGE: The Skin Room

INSTAGRAM:  theskinroom104

THE SKIN ROOM FRONT DESK

GETTING TO KNOW…..BRENDA RODRIGUEZ: OWNER OF THE SKIN ROOM

BIO:  Hi, my name is Brenda Rodriguez and I have been an esthetician since October 2005. Since then I have attended many additional skin care product knowledge courses and esthetics educational training in the science of the skin and it’s required care to keep it healthy and happy.

 We believe the esthetics industry offers an ongoing learning experience & keeping up with available knowledge is key to being the best esthetician possible. Our passion for skin care makes our job an enjoyable experience each day we work. We believe that investing in our skin is an investment that lasts a lifetime.

From Facials, Chemical peels, Microdermabrasion, to Waxing services, We take pride in each treatment we perform. The connection with our customers that establish trust and personal attention for their needs and requests are fulfilling to us. The Skin Room is purely a wonderful place to be an Esthetician and indulge in a career that we simply adore.

What is your favorite thing about your career/company?

My favorite thing about my career is being able to work on different clients skin care needs and concern. I love being able to educate clients on how to take care of their skin correctly and give them a boost of confidence.  I love being able to pamper a client and at the same time help them look and feel their best! 

What motivated you to start your company (a little history)

Honestly I never thought or imagined that I would be a business owner.  I went through a transition in my life that brought me to Whittier. Shortly after establishing my self in Whittier – I thought every door around me was closing. I thought my career as an esthetician had hit rock bottom.  but my passion for the industry is what kept me going.  I wanted the freedom  of making my own schedule and I wanted to create my own workspace where I can take care of clients my way. I was determined to have a place with meaning and purpose, a place that would bring skin care and wellness together.  

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I’d have to say my proudest accomplishment is motivating my friend Nicole to branch off on her own and open her own business. 

What is the best feature or item from your Company?

The Skin Room is known for having the best “happy hour” in town. We do an amazing Microdermabrasion Facial which includes extractions, customized facial mask and facial massage.  We offer this at an incredible price!  Clients are able to come in and relax and enjoy a Happy Hour facial with a glass of wine!

How would your friends describe you?

Loyal, smart, enthusiastic, problem solver 

What are your hobbies?

Hiking and being out doors. I love just getting out side and doing things, especially with my son! I feel no stress when I’m hiking, and I love exploring the out doors through the eyes of my 8 year old! He’s full of wonder and full of adventure. 

List two pet peeves. 

1: hairy ears ( we can wax that for you) 

2: entitlement, we all have to work for what we have! 

Where do you see yourself in five years? 

In 5 years I hope to have a second location for The Skin Room. 

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

I’ve always lived my life with the idea and belief that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.  I’d honestly have to say that I wouldn’t change anything.  Even when I look back and wonder if I made the right choices in my life – I truly look at the outcome of what it’s brought me.  I wouldn’t be where I am today with out all of those choices!  At the end of the day I’m very thankful and blessed to have a beautiful and healthy son full of wonder and light and I have a small business where I get to use my trade that I’m passionate about to help people feel and look their best! 

GETTING TO KNOW MONICA HOLDEN: OWNER OF BALANCED PRO MASSAGE (A MOBILE SERVICE)

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WEBSITE: Balancedpromassage.com

FACEBOOK PAGE: Balancedpromassage

INSTAGRAM: Balancedpromassage

TWITTER: Bpromassage

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GETTING TO KNOW MONICA HOLDEN: OWNER OF BALANCED PRO MASSAGE

What is your favorite thing about your career/company?

I am passionate about educating people on the benefits of massage therapy. I have been so blessed to be able to help people live pain-free lives, heal from emotional trauma, and get in touch with their own bodies. Every single session is unique because every body is unique. There is no substitute for the human touch. and I love it when that light bulb goes on for my clients.

What motivated you to start your business?

I began my career 22 years ago after graduating from the Sports Massage Training Institute under the instruction of Dr. Myk Hungerford. We went through an intense educational process in which we were required 400 hours of volunteer work at various sporting events, working with Olympic level athletes, on top of our extensive classroom education. Upon graduating, I worked with 2 Chiropractors and worked on growing my private clientele just by word of mouth and referrals. This gave me the freedom to raise my children with a flexible work schedule, which I was very grateful for. During this time, we were required to go either go through various licensing processes through different cities or work under the license of a doctor. We were never recognized as professionals.

Finally, in the latter part of 2009, the CMTC began issuing a state certification for massage therapists! This was a game changer. I knew at this point, that I would finally be able to come out of the shadows as a therapist and start my own business. Mobile massage was always a very grey area, not legal, but not illegal. With this new state certification, it gave us the freedom to legally work as a professional in whatever way we chose to.

I created Balanced in 2013 with the consumer and the massage therapist equally in mind. Our goal is to provide an excellent massage experience with knowledgeable, certified therapists, at an affordable price. I give my therapists the freedom to make their own schedules so that they can have the freedom to raise their families, as I did. The Balanced Team is built on respect and I truly believe that as a leader, the way that you treat your team trickles down into their work and the way that they treat others. I am truly blessed to work with such talented and caring massage therapists.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment is being able to step way out of my comfort zone to start Balanced. I had a dream and a passion for helping people, but coming up with a business plan and hoping other massage therapists could see my vision was a whole other story! I worked hard, I studied city municipal codes regarding mobile massage therapy, I worked with the state, I busted my way through a lot of roadblocks, and here we are, 4 years later and still growing! My belief is that we can accomplish much more together than we can as individuals.

What is the best feature or item from your company?

It’s hard to pick just one, but I would say our companies best feature is the quality of massage therapy you receive with Balanced. Our therapists are professional, experienced and have the heart of a servant. Each therapist is hand-picked for their individual qualities, trained and fine tuned, and then trusted to go out and combine all of their skills to customize every massage to the needs of their client. Of course the fact that we are mobile, meaning that we travel to our clients homes and offices, is what really makes us unique.

How would your friends describe you?

This is funny because it’s actually one of MY interview questions! My friends would probably describe as very outgoing, adventurous, very friendly and I have sometimes been accused of being too nice! I absolutely love meeting new people and experiencing life!

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are really anything to do with the outdoors! I love to run and have done a marathon, several half marathons and a Ragnar (my personal fave)! I enjoy working out and anything to do with water and water sports, as long as it’s warm! I love live music and spending time with my family and friends. And traveling, yes. Lots of traveling!

List two pet peeves.

Unprofessionalism and excuses.  I take every opportunity to educate on professionalism because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt…maybe no one ever taught them how to be professional. A lot of people are surprised how quick I am to return calls or that I follow up on different situations. It’s sad that professional behavior is an uncommon practice.

I hear so many excuses from people. Why they can’t exercise, or drink water, or make a small change that will get them one step closer to living a better life, or why they’re “stuck” where they are at. You are not a tree, you can move! I do my best to encourage people, but at the end of the day, they are the ones that have to make those changes.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself better than I am today. I see Balanced being successful in multiple cities. I see myself successful and enjoying life and being a positive influence in other people’s lives.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

Absolutely nothing.  Every trial and error, every success and mistake, has me where I am today. I am exactly where I God wants me to be. I will continue to grow and learn and evolve as I strive for excellence in everything I do. Life is truly about the journey.

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

Wow, that’s a tough one!   I think I would choose my dad, who passed in 2004. My grandmother, who passed in 2005. My grandfather, who passed in 1995. And Jesus. Those would be my 4. I miss my family members dearly and would love their advice and life experience to help guide me in my life. And Jesus? Well, I can’t think of anyone that I admire more, dead or alive, that I would rather sit and have a conversation with face to face.

 

GETTING TO KNOW BECKY CHAVEZ, OWNER OF WHITTIERDOULAS.COM AND FOUNDER OF MY POSTPARTUM TRIBE

WEBSITES:

FACEBOOK PAGE:  @Whittierdoulas  https://m.facebook.com/groups/1788280548120839
INSTAGRAM:  @whittierdoulas  &   @mypostpartumtribe

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BIO: My name is Becky Chavez I lead My Postpartum Tribe, I am also a birth doula and a local La Leche League Leader here in Whittier. As a birth doula I have the privilege of supporting families through pregnancy and birth. Getting to know my clients before baby arrives is very important. During our prenatal visits we explore mothers birthing preferences and review her birthing options. I provide emotional and physical support during labor and delivery through meditation, relaxation techniques, counter pressure, and the use of rebozo. Supporting families have been such a rewarding journey.

My Postpartum Tribe of Whittier, is a non-profit support group aimed to uplift the emotional and social well-being of mothers and their children of our community. We regularly provide free monthly meetings and self-care events to families across Whittier and our surrounding cities. We provide a safe place for women to share their motherhood experiences. We want to support one another through the successes and hardships we experience as parents. We hold safe space.  When this group started I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. But we continue to grow and we hope to continue to provide more to our mothers in our community. Maternal mental health is our main focus. Because moms matter. Moms need to be taken care of during this delicate time in their lives.  Learning how to find our mom tribe and surround ourselves with others who can lift us up and hold our hand.
We are not medical professionals, but refer women to local professionals who can help them.  We regularly fund raise in hopes that we can help women who cannot afford services such as mental health therapist co-pay, birth and postpartum doula, lactation specialists, house cleaning postpartum. These are all privileged things to those of privilege. No matter who you are, you deserve to be taken care of postpartum and we feel that these things make all the difference to a woman in early postpartum period. This is my dream that no women should be left unattended from birth and beyond.

 

BECKY INFO 2

What is your favorite thing about your career/company?

Helping families during such an important part of life.

What motivated you to start your company?

Because of my own experiences with postpartum depression and lack of postpartum support. I wanted to help prevent what happened to me happen to anyone else. This was a way I could give back.

What is the best feature or item from your company?

Definitely postpartum planning and comfort measures for labor. It’s hard to pick I want to say everything!

How would your friends describe you?

Straight forward.

What are your hobbies?

Aside from raising my family I love gardening and volunteer work.

List two pet peeves.

Tardiness and people who don’t use their blinkers while driving.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years i hope to have our funding to open a studio.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

Not following my gut instincts.

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

Grandma, aunt, my mom and my grandfather who I never met.