A Message From Kim

A Message From Kim

A Message From Kim

I just want to take a moment to acknowledge all the people who have nominated me for different awards. I want you all to know that I really appreciate it and I am truly grateful!



A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Coco Chanel

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Coco Chanel

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Soccer Moms Score Big With A Very Simple Idea

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Soccer Moms Score Big With A Very Simple Idea

Women’s Health: Why Is Women’s Health Fair Game for Political Football?

Women’s Health: Why Is Women’s Health Fair Game for Political Football?

Women’s News: Ruth Marcus: Women can have a lot

Women’s News: Ruth Marcus: Women can have a lot

A Message From The Creator

“Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.”

-Tony Robbins

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Coco Chanel

Fashion designer Coco Chanel, born August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France, is famous for her timeless designs, trademark suits, and little black dresses. Chanel was raised in an orphanages and taught to sew. She had a brief career as a singer before opening her first clothes shop in 1910. In the 1920s, she launched her first perfume and introduced the Chanel suit and the little black dress.

Fashion designer. Born on August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France. With her trademark suits and little black dresses, Coco Chanel created timeless designs that are still popular today. She herself became a much revered style icon known for her simple yet sophisticated outfits paired with great accessories, such as several strands of pearls. As Chanel once said,“luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”

Her early years, however, were anything but glamorous. After her mother’s death, Chanel was put in an orphanage by her father who worked as a peddler. She was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew—a skill that would lead to her life’s work. Her nickname came from another occupation entirely. During her brief career as a singer, Chanel performed in clubs in Vichy and Moulins where she was called “Coco.” Some say that the name comes from one of the songs she used to sing, and Chanel herself said that it was a “shortened version of cocotte, the French word for ‘kept woman,” according to an article in The Atlantic.

Fashion Pioneer

Around the age of 20, Chanel became involved with Etienne Balsan who offered to help her start a millinery business in Paris. She soon left him for one of his even wealthier friends, Arthur “Boy” Capel. Both men were instrumental in Chanel’s first fashion venture.

Opening her first shop on Paris’s Rue Cambon in 1910, Chanel started out selling hats. She later added stores in Deauville and Biarritz and began making clothes. Her first taste of clothing success came from a dress she fashioned out of an old jersey on a chilly day. In response to the many people who asked about where she got the dress, she offered to make one for them. “My fortune is built on that old jersey that I’d put on because it was cold in Deauville,” she once told author Paul Morand.

In the 1920s, Chanel took her thriving business to new heights. She launched her first perfume, Chanel No. 5, which was the first to feature a designer’s name. Perfume “is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion. . . . that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure,” Chanel once explained.

In 1925, she introduced the now legendary Chanel suit with collarless jacket and well-fitted skirt. Her designs were revolutionary for the time—borrowing elements of men’s wear and emphasizing comfort over the constraints of then-popular fashions. She helped women say good-bye to the days of corsets and other confining garments.

Another 1920s revolutionary design was Chanel’s little black dress. She took a color once associated with mourning and showed just how chic it could be for eveningwear. In addition to fashion, Chanel was a popular figure in the Paris literary and artistic worlds. She designed costumes for the Ballets Russes and for Jean Cocteau’s play Orphée, and counted Cocteau and artist Pablo Picasso among her friends. For a time, Chanel had a relationship with composer Igor Stravinsky.

Lovelife and Scandal

Another important romance for Chanel began in the 1920s. She met the wealthy duke of Westminster aboard his yacht around 1923, and the two started a decades-long relationship. In response to his marriage proposal, she reportedly said “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster—but there is only one Chanel!”

The international economic depression of the 1930s had a negative impact on her company, but it was the outbreak of World War II that led Chanel to close her business. She fired her workers and shut down her shops. During the German occupation of France, Chanel got involved with a German military officer, Hans Gunther von Dincklage. She got special permission to stay in her apartment at the Hotel Ritz. After the war ended, Chanel was interrogated by her relationship with von Dincklage, but she was not charged as a collaborator. Some have wondered whether friend Winston Churchill worked behind the scenes on Chanel’s behalf.

While not officially charged, Chanel suffered in the court of public opinion. Some still viewed her relationship with a Nazi officer as a betrayal of her country. Chanel left Paris, spending some years in Switzerland in a sort of exile. She also lived at her country house in Roquebrune for a time.

At the age of 70, Chanel made a triumphant return to the fashion world. She first received scathing reviews from critics, but her feminine and easy-fitting designs soon won over shoppers around the world.


In 1969, Chanel’s fascinating life story became the basis for the Broadway musical Coco starring Katharine Hepburn as the legendary designer. Alan Jay Lerner wrote the book and lyrics for the show’s song while Andre Prévin composed the music. Cecil Beaton handled the set and costume design for the production. The show received seven Tony Award nominations, and Beaton won for Best Costume Design and René Auberjonois for Best Featured Actor.

Coco Chanel died on January 10, 1971, at her apartment in the Hotel Ritz. She never married, having once said “I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” Hundreds crowded together at the Church of the Madeleine to bid farewell to the fashion icon. In tribute, many of the mourners wore Chanel suits.

A little more than a decade after her death, designer Karl Lagerfeld took the reins at her company to continue the Chanel legacy. Today her namesake company continues to thrive and is believed to generate hundreds of millions in sales each year.

In addition to the longevity of her designs, Chanel’s life story continues to captivate people’s attention. There have been several biographies of the fashion revolutionary, includingChanel and Her World (2005) written by her friend Edmonde Charles-Roux.

In the recent television biopic, Coco Chanel (2008), Shirley MacLaine starred as the famous designer around the time of her 1954 career resurrection. The actress told WWD that she had long been interested in playing Chanel.

“What’s wonderful about her is she’s not a straightforward, easy woman to understand.”

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Soccer Moms Score Big With A Very Simple Idea

By Lori Weiss

It was a steamy hot California day, the kind that would lure many moms to the beach or community pool. But Gabrielle DeSantis-Cummings and Monica Hillman were happy to be cheering on the sidelines as their five-year-old daughters teamed up and kicked around a soccer ball, hoping to score big at their very first practice.

“We just made sure we had lots of water, for us and for them,” Monica laughed.

“And juice boxes and snacks,” Gabrielle added, “along with several changes of clothes!”

As the girls found their way around the soccer field, the moms found themselves racing to the parking lot — making sure they had enough refreshments, each time the kids stopped to refuel.

“There we were, in our cute capris and the perfect shoes,” Monica remembered, “running back and forth with plastic bags filled with snacks.”

“We were getting more exercise than the kids!” Gabrielle added.

Having lived a block from the beach for many years, Gabrielle was used to just grabbing a couple of towels and going. But here in Yorba Linda, where her family had recently relocated, she was adjusting to a whole lot more than loading up a mini-van. Gabrielle had always juggled a career and kids, even running a forum for female entrepreneurs. Suddenly she found herself living in a community of stay-at-home moms. So when she ended up sitting next to Monica, a mom who worked inbanking, they quickly bonded.

“We’d talk about different things than we did with the other moms,” Monica said. “We’d stillchat about the kids and shopping, but we’d also talk about business. I was just about to turn 40 and I kept thinking there had to be something more than showing up at an office and working for someone else. I couldn’t see myself doing that for 10 more years.”

“And I hadn’t worked in an office since I started having children,” Gabrielle interjected. “I was working, but I was running my own business from home, so I could plan my schedule around my kids. I could tell that idea was appealing to Monica. So that’s when I began to reel her in.”

Gabrielle was looking for her next business venture and while she didn’t know what that would be, she knew that Monica would be the perfect partner. So day after day, as their girls would kick the ball around the field, Gabrielle and Monica would throw around ideas on the sidelines — that is, until they realized they’d had the perfect one — right in the palm of their hands — since the day they met.

“We took a look around us and realized that all the moms had the same problem we did,” Monica recalled. “They were all carrying their kid’s things around in ten-dollar Bed Bath & Beyond bags that had lots of pockets or plastic grocery bags.”

“Or just stuffing things in their purse,” Gabrielle added. “No one had a cute bag that could carry everything.”

So, on her 40th birthday, Monica quit her job; and the next day, the two women sat down at her dining room table and attempted to create the perfect bag. Neither of them had any design experience, nor could they draw. But they knew what they needed. So they used what they had.

Monica started pulling out bags from her closet, looking for features she liked — a zippered pocket or a special compartment for a bottle of water or cell phone — and Gabrielle reached for supplies, not a pen and pad, not even the kids’ construction paper, but a stack of Trader Joe’s brown paper bags.

“We cut them up and began taping pieces of the bags together,” Gabrielle explained, “creating shapes we liked and adding pockets so they’d be really functional. That was the only way we could translate our vision, so that someone more skilled than us could create real patterns.”

“And then we set them up on the family room floor,” Monica said with a satisfied smile, “and there we had it, our first collection.”

But it takes more than scissors and paper to build an empire of bags. The ladies needed fabric. And they found their inspiration close by: this time, in Gabrielle’s mother’s closet. She had just returned from France with a beautiful oil cloth — a material often used for tablecloths because everything wipes right off. It was the perfect solution for moms on the go. Now all they needed was someone who could sew.

“We asked all of our friends and they told us about a woman in town who made curtains and pillows,” Gabrielle laughed.

“She was really crafty and willing to give it a try,” Monica said with a shrug. “So we brought her the fabric, the zippers and our paper bag patterns and she made a few versions. They didn’t exactly stand up at first, but they were our babies and it was really exciting to see them coming to life.”

It wasn’t long before the two entrepreneurs were inviting their other friends over for focus groups, helping them pin down the fabrics they’d use in production. They eventually found a handbag manufacturer who helped them refine their first attempt. And 12 months from the moment they cut out their first paper bag pattern, they were ready to launch Gigi Hill, a line of bags that combines fashion and function and are sold exclusively at home parties.

“Throwing that first party was the scariest part,” Monica said. “Our friends had been hearing us talk about this for a year and probably thought nothing was going to come of it. So when we saw everyone gathering outside, neither of us wanted to go out!”

But happily they did –- and on that that first night, Gigi Hill racked up more than $2,000 in sales. With a little success under their belts, the ladies were prepared to pick up the pace. Working on a shoestring budget, they continued selling the bags themselves, but also trained a team of 10 stylists to sell their wares at parties around the country. With each event, they learned more about what their customers wanted and slowly began adding to their collection and, ultimately, to their team.

“We now have 1,000 stylists in 50 states who are selling Gigi Hill bags,” Gabrielle said. “But it’s not about the number of women, it’s their stories. Many of them have lost their homes and cars in the recession. This opportunity has shown them there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We have one stylist whose only goal in life was to be a mother to her children,” she continued. “But then her family lost everything and her husband was losing hope. She had to find a solution. And to hear that working with us was that solution -– well, that just leaves us in awe.”

And as they’ve watched their company grow, others have too. Last year, a venture capital firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz took note of Gigi Hill’s success and invested $3 million dollars. And today, the company that began on a soccer field sells bags and accessories in 37 fabrics and 47 styles.

“My daughter likes to remind me that we wouldn’t have this success if it weren’t for her,” Monica said. “And she’s right in more ways than she knows. I wanted to set an example for her and my son. I wanted them to see me take risks. I wanted them not to be afraid to fail. It took me 40 years to learn that lesson. You just never know unless you try.”

“And that’s the best thing about getting older,” Gabrielle said, reaching for her friend’s hand. “With age comes maturity and wisdom and patience. You just have to take a chance, give it everything you’ve got, and know that you’ll come out better on the other side.”

To learn more about Gigi Hill, you can visit www.gigihillbags.com.

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