How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Been to the gym every day for two hours since January 1st and feel ready for that bikini body competition? Increased your income over 50 percent the past 30 days and finally achieved that dream job? More present, happy, joyful and feeling perfect, as if you have a Zoloft drip attached to you? Or have you given up already or didn’t even try to set intentions for 2018 that are different from what you’ve been doing the past 365 days and beyond? If you are like most folks I know, you probably are feeling a little deflated, overwhelmed, anxious or confused as to how to get out of the endless gerbil wheel of have-tos, shoulds, and pushing yourself to exhaustion, and then quitting.
Goals. It’s a cha-cha. Two steps forward, and one step back, is often the pattern for growth. The problem is that most of us are too darned hard on ourselves, or we set ourselves up for failure by setting goals that are unrealistic, out of our control, or simply because we don’t even try. Then we tell ourselves that our lives will never change, or that we are destined to be depressed, anxious, broke, in toxic relationships or whatever negative habit or circumstance we are secretly struggling with behind closed doors. Circumstances that we can’t face or filter into instant perfection for the outside world to applaud on our social media highlight reel.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be that way, and I am living proof. I have overcome personal and professional hurdles that seemed insurmountable. Obstacles where I was literally shown that life was giving me an “F” in that area and it seemed I was doomed to deal with them forever. Everything from trying to deal with a physical disability where I was told I’d never run again, a potential bankruptcy from a real estate scam I was swindled into, seemingly cursed in my love life with toxic relationship patterns, being creatively unfulfilled, told I’d never be as successful as I’d want to be within my industry, told I shouldn’t write, couldn’t sing past the page at auditions, feeling shy and lacking confidence…and the list goes on. Now while my resume and social media won’t showcase the building blocks that lead to the pendulum swinging the other way, I am here to hopefully inspire you because if I can get out from underneath these crazy circumstances, then you can get out of yours too. If something isn’t working in your life, I believe, it simply means, “There is something I don’t know…yet!”
While I’m absolutely no life coach, I feel that’s a huge role to fill and most who claim that title don’t have the personal results to match their regurgitated knowledge that they learned from someone else’s expertise. I have learned a few things from being an entrepreneur and artist in an industry that is consistently inconsistent. I’ve created and augmented systems and surrounded myself with a tribe of like-minded folks who not only want to lift each other up but also remind each other to do more with their blessings by adding value. And since you are part of our online community of The New Hollywood, I wanted to hopefully remind and inspire you to get out of your own way and dance with this crazy journey we call life.
Why is it important to me? Because I believe we all have incredible gifts to add value within this world and if we all focused on that, more often our world would be a happier, more harmonious place. So selfishly I want you to thrive so it inspires others to thrive so we can all thrive!
Below are a few tips, and a book recommendation that I wrote to keep you on point and focused on what you want instead of being sucked into fear, negativity and victimhood. There is also a podcast where you can get a stronger sense of who I am and understand why I believe that Manifesting Your Mission requires fluidity within the rigidity of goal setting. It also explains why I believe that if you get still often enough you will begin to trust that small still voice inside you that is whispering for you to grow into your greatest yet to be. And, more importantly, to pay attention to the serendipity in your life that is showing you exactly what you need to do and when.
Three Simple Tips:
1. Keep your goals…SIMPLE, STUPID!
Overly complicated goals often lead you to be overwhelmed. Condense and keep it streamlined. Period.
2. Keep your goals…WITHIN YOUR CONTROL!
Intentions and visualizations are equally important, but they are not the same as goals. Allow things to flow your way and manifest… but in the meantime, focus on what you can do, and have the ability to do, instead of feeling like a failure because you set yourself up with unrealistic expectations.
3. Keep your goals…POSITIVE!
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. This seems obvious, but notice how often you perseverate on the problem instead of a solution. How often do you commiserate with friends about that terrible ____________ when all that time and energy would be better served focused on creating new habits to get yourself out of those circumstances?
To learn more about what we’ve created within The New Hollywood and how we are dedicated to supporting socially conscious storytellers and changemakers, as well as inspire everyone to Rise Higher, Shine Brighter and Give Back… then check out our guidebook that is now available to the public. We’ve been beta-testing it internally for over 5 years and the seemingly simple systems work.
To Purchase Manifesting Your Mission:
Videos About Manifesting Your Mission:
Manifest This! Podcast with Krista Allen:
“Beware of your thoughts, they become your words.
Beware of your words, they become your habits.
Beware of your habits, they become your character, your destiny at the bank, the hospital, the doctor’s office, and in every relationship.”
-Dr. Pat Allen
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of “The New Hollywood
In The New Hollywood, one of the cornerstones of our mission is to give back. We are, after all, a philanthropic goal group! So in 2016 we decided to reformat how we give back to the community. Inspired by Light Watkins’ event “The Shine,” and “The Shine On Challenge,” one of our board members Alexis Carra carved out a similar way for TNH to challenge our members to create an impact.
The challenge works like this:
At each meeting, we draw a member’s name out of a bowl. Whoever is selected uses the funds allocated from membership dues and donations to create a project or way to give back in our community. The purpose of our TNH charity challenge is to, well, challenge our members to think outside the box and to expand our philanthropic goals and outreach. We strive to be involved, engaged, and proactive as members of our communities, leading by example. We are here to rise higher, shine brighter and give back so we participate in all three pillars through this amazing opportunity.
This quarter's #TNHCharityChallenge benefitted the pets of the homeless people of our beautiful City of Angels.
During a vet visit earlier this year, one of our board members and, Pina De Rosa, a proud dog-mama of Wellington, a wonderfully beloved Golden Doodle, learned something quite surprising through Dr. Angus, a veterinary specialist in Pasadena:
Evidently only 3% of US homeless shelters provide a place to sleep for people with their dogs. That was a shocking statistic for Pina. She was immediately inspired to help homeless people and their dogs. Dr. Angus mentioned when he lived in Illinois, he and his wife helped create a local shelter that welcomed homeless people AND their pets. Often times people will stay in a challenging situation, or even end up on the streets rather than risking being separated from their dogs. These animals are often their sole connection to unconditional love, loyalty and protection.
When Pina won the $500 in the TNH Charity Challenge, she was hopeful to find a way to contribute to the homeless pups in our Los Angeles area, especially because Wellington would often do random acts of kindness giving dog food and supplies to homeless pups. This past year she added doggie-food, blankets, and shampoo during the holiday season of giving, and it became tradition for Pina and Wellington to drive around town with friends and donate these gifts to the homeless.
Pina felt, "Those of us who are dog parents know that, if we were ever homeless, we would share any food with our dogs. Our furry children are family to us." So inspired-action took over.
Through Wellington’s Instagram, people all around the country were invited to "pay-it-forward" with any gently used or new leashes, towels, blankets, toys and treats; she created a raffle for the participants with prizes generously donated by Airbnb, Whole Foods and Weleda Organics.
Hence, for this #TNHCharityChallenge, we chose to partner up with this organization to provide an afternoon of care for the homeless pups in the Inglewood area. Those pups loved it, and so did their owners!! The most impactful thing we learned through PetsOfTheHomeless.org is that when any homeless person, anywhere in the country, reaches out to 775-841-7463, they will be connected with a vet who will take care of their dogs' immediate medical needs.
As a result of this #TNHCharityChallenge, together with members Kristina Mitchell and Nicole Steinwedell, what was originally envisioned as a one-time occurrence of bringing goodies to pups in the streets, has now become an ongoing endeavor! People on Instagram and around the country have continued to donate doggie supplies. A friend has stepped up and made possible an ongoing dog-food-donation: thank you from our hearts Mark Stewart!
A special thank you also to Ken of the Ken Paves Salon in West Hollywood for offering up his salon as an additional drop-off place.
Now that we have officially launched our First Annual TNH Holiday Celebration, it will be an additional opportunity for anyone to gift gently used and new doggie supplies and food, that we will then personally continue to deliver to the pups living on the streets.
We welcome further doggie-supply (and food) donations anytime! You can also message us through @LifeAccordingToWellington
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of “The New Hollywood
Changing the World, One Mindful Purchase at a Time
by Taryn Hipwell
Many don’t stop to think about what impact their purchase has on themselves, let alone factory workers or the environment. When it comes to fashion, when was the last time you stopped to asked yourself, ‘Who made my clothes?’ or ‘What’s in my tee?’
The fashion industry is considered to be the second largest polluting industry in the world. From the harmful pesticides sprayed on crops to chemical detergents used to wash our garments, fashion’s impact expands farther than just our personal wardrobe. Alas, it’s not all doom-and-gloom. We have the power to make a sustainable impact and by default make the world a cleaner, kinder place. Here are three steps to shop eco-friendly:
Part of the problem with the fashion industry is over production. With 26 billion pounds of textile waste entering U.S. landfills, there’s simply too much clothing cycling through our closets. Secondhand clothing that doesn’t end up being sold in thrift stores are often exported to third world countries which often burden the local fashion economy. Start thinking about investing in a few quality pieces that will last you a long time!
The bad news is that there are many large companies exploiting their workers and the earth, the good news is that there’s something we can all do about it. All around the world there are growing numbers of sustainable and ethical brands popping up. Brands such as Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Reformation, and Industry of All Nations are creating exciting alternatives to typical fast-fashion and they also share technologies with shoppers and other designers.
RSVP here for the FREE Second Annual Sustainable Fashion Show + Tell, hosted by Beyond the Label, on November 2nd in Santa Monica.
Educator. Producer. EcoDiva.
Founder of LABeyondtheLabel.com
Facebook / Instagram
California Apparel News
Los Angeles Business Journal - Women Making a Difference Awards Nominee
Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles - Best Public Advocate for Sustainability Finalist eduPOWERED Media Fashions Against Bullying Award & Green Hero Award Winner.
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of “The New Hollywood.
Journaling as Self-care
By Beth Navarro
I’ve always looked to words to give me answers. For as long as I can remember I’ve done this. I wrote stories, poems, plays, screenplays, picture books, novels. Over the years I journaled as well but not regularly. Over the last year when life got hard I realized how much self-care mattered. I created a solid ritual journaling and the discoveries I’ve made are nothing short of extraordinary.
Your journal is your witness. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It's there to bear witness, to the good, to the bad and everything in between. Journaling is a meditation and has become a integral part of my self-care. It feeds my soul like a spiritual practice. Journaling is not just away to record and remember. It is a way to process (and it will literally change your brain chemistry!). I believe in the power of writing.
In this ongoing class we will explore different ways to journal (it's not just limited to "Dear Diary") and how to use this as a regular practice in your self-care routine.
Dates: Pick one or many! We will switch up exercises in each class.
Nov. 4, Nov. 11, Nov. 18
At Belles Nest in Sierra Madre, CA
$38 per class
Your first class includes a journal.
Join me! Register before spaces fill up: https://bellesnest.com/products/journaling-as-self-care
Beth Navarro is a writer of children and young adult books. To learn more about Beth go to bethnavarro.com
by Molly Schoneveld
5 Steps to Leveling Up Your Brand
Dear TNH Supporters,
I thrilled to share with you the invitation for our upcoming event, the National Women’s History Museum’s Women Making History brunch, on Emmy weekend Saturday, September 16th at the Beverly Hilton. We are honoring three amazing women Kerry Washington, SpaceEx and Instagram COOs. Invitation is below.
The National Women’s History Museum, is an organization dedicated to spotlighting women’s history and, in particular, with the goal of having a Women’s History Museum built on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
I hope that you can join us.
Chair Ambassador NWHM
Here's an invitation for you in support of your health:
After these last four years' successes and empowering results of the TNH “Get My Body Back” public elective, co-hosted by Brianna Brown and Pina De Rosa of “The New Hollywood” (TNH), we are bringing it back, and you are invited to partake if this resonates with you.
This 90-day challenge was designed for both men and women, in the spirit of supporting you in optimizing and achieving a health & wellness goal that is important to you.
Brianna Brown says: " Achieve your wellness goals, benefit a cause you love and join a community of inspiring folks wanting to Rise Higher, Shine Bright & Give Back!". As Pina De Rosa puts it: "You can focus on whatever would allow you to finish your 2017 strong - mind, body and spirit."
could be as simple as drinking more water, meditating with daily consistency, fitting in working out x times/week in a busy life - then our TNH 90-day challenge that’s starting 9/12 will provide the weekly support to powerfully complete 2017! *And your favorite charity will benefit when you succeed!
While you will absolutely get out of this what you put in, this does not need to be time consuming because if you have access to a computer you can participate in this elective from anywhere in the world! The added bonus this year is a series of contributing experts sharing their expertise daily in the private Facebook group.
Details and RSVP HERE before 9/12:
You and your loved ones (yes, feel free to share this link with the ladies and gentlemen in your life) are all invited to join GMBB5 hosted by TNH because now is a great time to achieve your goals and give back!
To your health and wellness!
We all know that thinking positive thoughts is important, but sometimes it’s not just the thought that counts…Let’s get into ACTION!
#TNHGivesAShit Kindness in Action Challenge
This 30 day challenge, starting September 1st, is about doing a mitzvah, a random act of kindness & giving back. Every day. For 30 days. Plus there is a prize!!!
To be eligible you must post and TAG @thenewhollywoodwomen (Instagram) or @TNHwomen (Twitter) everyday in the month of September and include some sort of description of your kindness in action.
In a world that is often negative and divided let's step up, help others and add small consistent ripples of change. Imagine what our world would look like if everyday everyone asked themselves how they could add value and BE the change they want to see?! #TNHGivesAShit Kindness in Action Challenge! Let's do this!
The New Hollywood is dedicated to supporting socially conscious change-makers. And it starts with our members. We are who we are because of our members. This year we have expanded to include a TNH Men’s branch, so we are now 3 branches strong and 66 members total! We are a group of passionate women and men dedicated to supporting each other and uplifting one another to reach their fullest potential. We are mothers, daughters, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, fitness experts, activists, husbands, actors, real estate agents, writers and all lovers of humanity. So, we want you to get to know each of us a little bit better. Each month we will feature 3 of our fabulous members answering the same questions. But before we get started, we also want to get to know YOU, our online community of change-makers. So send us a video or leave a comment with your answers to our “Meet the Members Questionnaire” or share how you are creating social impact in your community. Part of building our mission to inspire each other is to reach out and share, so we want to hear from you. As always, thank you for reading and supporting. We know there are so many incredible causes to support and focus on, and during times where politics and beliefs can divide one thing we can all get behind is supporting another person’s dream. WE SUPPORT YOU!
We are back with TNH “Who We Are.” And this week we feature Board Member, Cheryl Rodes, and members Lisa Haisha, and Andrea Bogart. These 3 ladies are master at balancing multiple passions, careers, and having families. Goals are always evolving and these women exemplify how important it is to check in with priorities, and maintain discipline, time management, and self care.
We know there are so many incredible causes to support and focus on, and during times where politics and beliefs can divide one thing we can all get behind is supporting another person’s dream. WE SUPPORT YOU! Feel free to leave a comment and share some of what you admire in these women, and even just 1 answer to these questions. It may surprise you and inspire you!
What is your favorite quote?
Lisa: My favorite quote is “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ― Anaïs Nin I love this quote because as a life coach, I have talked with many people all over the globe and the
one thing most had in common when they sat on my couch was that they were settling in one or more areas of their lives because it felt safe.
Andrea: Among many amazing quotes one I feel so connected to is by Van Gough, "I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” I think I’ve learned and graciously grown into a place where I will see the good an anyone and with a non-judging heart do my best to always let a sense loving energy be the thing people see in me.
Cheryl: “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is currently on your bedside table?
Lisa: On my bedside table is a red lotus candle and The selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (one of my all-time favorite poets). The book on my night stand changes about every ten days but it’s always something inspirational and poetic.
Andrea: After a recent move and getting settled, my side of our cozy little bedside nook has a marble lamp, baby books we read to our unborn little girl, a journal & pen, the little book of yoga, Babyproofing Your Marriage and Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron…. I can’t have to many books at the moment as I wake up frequently being super pregnant and can’t fall back asleep!
Cheryl: Two journals, a couple of scripts, and the book The Hidden Messages in Water (thank you Jade).
What is your favorite make-up or beauty product?
Lisa: My favorite make-up/ beauty product at the moment is Madison Reed hair color (make-up for the hair). It looks so natural and gives me an extra week of not having to do my roots.
Andrea: My favorite beauty product: My revlon eyelash curler with Lilash eyelash growth serum. It keeps my lashes long and full and is low maintenance. I think your eyes say a million things. I can wear very little make up but curling my lashes and keeping them long a beautiful makes my face feel awake and vibrant! I’ve ditched all the fragrancy lotions I used to use and love just using pure organic coconut oil for my all over body moisturizer. Beyond that I’m always interested in exploring chemical free, plant based organic products for my skin.
Cheryl: Colorescience - Even Up, Luvalla - Milk Cleanser, Dr. Thayer - Rose Witch Hazel, Beauty Counter - Cleansing Balm, Jane Iredale - Lip Plumper; My favorite fitness regime? I love
Hot8yoga, TRX and High Intensity Training.
What charity do you regularly support and why?
Lisa: My charity Whispers from Children’s Hearts. I created it because I saw a lack in helping each other’s dreams. The foundation helps highlight and give financial support to other worthy people who have visualized their dream of helping children but need more seed money and exposure to make it a reality. We give a lot to Kidsinthespotlight.org that Tige Charity founded. We’ve given to KumbaKids, Ricki Beckwith’s foundation and many more.
Andrea: I’ve been supporting Young Storytellers for several years now. Fifth graders are mentored and write mini screenplays and actors are invited to donate their time and talents to perform in their big shows at the end of their mentorship. As an actress, it’s pure entertainment & incredibly fun to be invited to perform their work for them in front of their school peers and families. They are selected and given an opportunity to use their imaginations and create a project all on their own with a mentor merely there to support their ideas. I’ve always loved working with kids. This is supporting the arts in schools which I’m a huge fan of and gives me a feeling of joy to share my love of being an actress and my own imagination to become a frog, princess, baby, tree, hotdog, scuba diver, ballerina, yoga girl or whatever their creative mines have drawn upon to develop characters. It’s a workout and the best uplifting experience. If you too become interested, you can be a mentor, actor in a show or simply donate to the program. Goto www.youngstorytellers.org
Cheryl: Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House and Alzheimer's Association. My younger sister was in a horrible accident at the age of 12, to witness first-hand how her injury impacted our family and the way that there's no way to prepare for the illness or hospitalization of a child, has always stayed with me. I've made it my personal mission to make a difference with families that are experiencing such atrocities. With Alzheimer's, my grandmother spent the last several years of her life struggling with Dementia. It's a horrible disease. When tragedy strikes a family, I feel like the community should step up. Once upon a time, society was built on villages, people supported one another, helped each other in times of need, I believe that is how character is built, how people learn to love one another and truly live in harmony amidst our differences. I will be the change.
What challenges are you facing and working through; and what resources are you using?
Lisa: The challenges I’m facing right now is how much to work… I have a nine year old who wants and needs more attention as she grows up because she is involved in many more activities. I also love seeing every moment of her precious life. She's my inspiration. It’s a constant juggling act of my two loves - working for my non-profit
WhispersfromChildrensHearts.org and working for my for-profit coaching adult clients and being a stay-at-home mom to my daughter. I’m using time-management programs and have a support group with friends (including The New Hollywood) who are also juggling family and work challenges. It’s tough but rewarding when there is a perfect balance and flow (which rarely happens).
Andrea: I recently uprooted from a bustling career and busy city LA life after 17 years and landed with my fiancé in the beautiful, quiet town of Sonoma, California to start a family. After a challenging move and feeling overwhelmed over several things…today I feel serene and calm yet layered with anticipation, excitement and lingering transition. Being 37 weeks pregnant it’s hard not to focus on anything but this little life changing love that’s about to enter our lives so I am taking pre-natal class, hired a doula to help guide us into our birth and I’m keeping up with meditation, yoga, healthy eating, enjoyable literature, writing and things my fiancé & I enjoy to support my mind, body & spirit. My challenge with trusting my writing and pushing out quality content that l I love as quick as I’d like continues. Resources I use for that are; discipline time blocks to write, having a partner to help keep me accountable and listening to podcasts that are supportive creatively.
Cheryl: Sticking to a creative schedule amidst a full-time job, kids and a hectic social calendar. Reprogramming with The War of Art and quarterly self-audits, reassessing, realigning and daily meditation.
What is your main goal for this month?
Lisa: This month’s focus was on preparing for my first TEDx talk. Next month’s main goal will be focusing on getting the Evite and website pages for our annual Legacy Gala event out to the public.
Andrea: My focus this month as a priority is giving birth to a healthy baby girl and becoming a parent along side my wonderful man. We know our lives are about to change forever and we are so excited. I’m planning to continue to push out yoga content and blog posts to keep me creative and working toward growing my audience virally through my passions as we lead up to our due date.
Cheryl: Following through with my over commitments, I know I'm an impact player, so it's always hard for me to say no. Ultimately, my personal hopes and dreams suffer. I had some life setbacks this year, crazy, tragic ones, but I am a growth mindset kind of person. So now it's about how to I learn, reassess and plan differently to avoid backburning items that are important to me.
How has TNH affected your life?
Lisa: TNH has affected my life for the positive in so many ways…. having a support group of amazingly strong and talented women, helping me get more clear about my vision and goals and deepen friendships I already had and making my giving back more on the front burner. My main purpose for joining the group was to be part of a movement that is making the world a better place. We’re stronger in numbers. I feel the shift from sharing compared to doing it alone.
Andrea: TNH has opened my eyes to how support in a group of thriving humans absolutely helps you gain your own personal clarity, the ability to trust where your heart can graciously guide you and flourish beyond what you may have been limiting yourself in. My personal growth has expanded more in trusting myself, honoring myself and gaining an appreciation for volunteering time and giving back more frequently. As we use a resourceful guidebook lining out our goals road-mapping them, the process of achieving more and having accountability support with quarter partners keeps me on top of everything I’m putting focus into for the year. With confidence in manifesting the life I envision my fear has lessoned. Even though it can still be a player, it no longer dictates my choices. With TNH I understand I’m part of something special. It’s supportive in my personal growth and affects how I view others and the world expanding me compassionately in a multitude of ways. I’m honored & thankful to be a part of this beautiful group
Cheryl: I love being surrounded by like-minded women, I love making a difference and I love giving back, TNH has been incredibly rewarding in fulfilling all of these things.
What are you most passionate about and why do you love yourself?
Lisa: I’m most passionate about giving and receiving love… Without love in your life, life is meaningless. I love myself because I learned a long time ago, if you aren’t capable of loving yourself, you’re not fully capable of loving another or being truly happy. I wanted the ability to love and trust more deeply. I started that journey of knowing it’s ok to love yourself by looking in the mirror several times a day and saying, “I love you, Lisa.” It’s a courageous thing to do at first and it will change your life forever.
Andrea: I’m most passionate about living a mindful & joyful life filled with conscious intentions, awareness & faith with my soon to be husband, our families and circle of close friends. I know living a life where love and gratitude is my guide, I feel happy. As opportunities come and go, things shift, expand and change, when you have that as your foundation you will always be in the right place. I love myself because I’m inspired to be a better me always. I love that I’ve grown in ways I never thought I was capable of and appreciate the mindful resources and tools that have been the vehicles for transformation for me. I love that everyday I wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night with a grateful heart for all the blessings and abundance that fill my life. I’m proud of myself for regularly creating space to pray and wish the same love and grateful heart for all beings to experience.
Cheryl: I'm passionate about everything I give a damn about and I love that I work on myself, for myself.
Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.
VoyageLA Article (published March 14, 2017)
Today we’d like to introduce you to Summer Sinclair-Menkee.
Summer, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When my first son, Sage, was born I had the good fortune of learning Indian baby massage from my mother-in-law, a revered expert in Northern India. During his first two months of life, she massaged him daily using homemade mustard oil on a special waterproof towel from India. She also made him a mustard seed pillow to elevate his head and prevent spit-up during massage, which we also used to help correct his torticollis (difficulty turning head to one side) and early signs of Plagiocephaly (flat-head syndrome). I created the summer & sage Infant Massage Kit to help other families have access to the same Indian baby care benefits I received as a new mom in in the U.S. (thanks to my Indian husband).
When Sage was a little over two months old, I began implementing infant massage as part of his nightly bedtime routine. I have experienced firsthand the deep, long-lasting benefits, and was surprised to learn how many of my new mommy friends were unaware of this beautiful and essential baby care practice. I got certified to teach other parents, through the International Association of Infant Massage, when Sage was 6 months old. He came to the training with me, was my demo model, and the instructor was flexible with our breastfeeding and nap needs. When my second son, Neel, was born, I began massaging him daily at 1 week old, after his umbilical cord fell off (just as my mother in law had begun with Sage).
I now teach infant massage new parents with newborns to pre-crawling babies through Parent & Me classes and private sessions. I currently sell our Infant Massage Kit and holistic baby care products on Amazon and through our website.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a new business has not been a smooth road for me, especially as a mom of two under three years old! There have definitely been some struggles along the way. For instance, I started my business on the Westside of Los Angeles, in the Pico/Robertson area, and just as I was getting things going we bought a house on the Eastside, which Angelenos know is like moving to a whole other city, not just a new neighborhood.
I work closely with my beloved Pediatrician, Dr. Edmond Saraff, who is located close to Beverly Hills. He sends me to his “concierge” families’ homes for infant massage instruction, especially for newborns with colic & gas, respiratory issues or difficult birth journeys. I am so grateful for my partnership with SoCal Integrative Wellness; however, I am driving forty-five minutes to an hour to some homes.
Thanks to my new mom clients in NELA, including Becca Gordon of Two Doulas Birth, I have been able to tap into a wonderful mompreneur community on the Eastside! Renting classroom space for my group classes has not been easy, because mommy & me businesses are hard to maintain in the trendy, ever gentrifying neighborhoods of Silverlake and Atwater Village. While I enjoyed teaching Parent & Me classes at Wallaby (Silverlake), it closed shortly after I came aboard. I moved my classes to The Great Escape Club (Atwater), which also was forced out of their space due to crazy rent increases. Thankfully for Atwater families, they were able to reopen their indoor playground across the street! Finally, the building owner of my son’s preschool, in Atwater Village, approached me with the question, “You have a business, what do you need?” I responded that I need my own classroom, a product warehouse and a private consultation room. She said, “I have exactly what you need.” Needless to say, I am opening my very own classroom in April on the same block as my Sage’s preschool in Atwater Village!
Also, there have been struggles manufacturing my own product- finding a factory in downtown L.A. who will do smaller runs. Finding a creative way to import smaller quantities of product samples from India. My wonderful organic, cold-pressed mustard seed oil distributor stopped making it in the U.S. Now, I’ve had to find a comparable distributor from India. Starting and maintaining an online store on Amazon, and on my website, has been challenging as well, but I am grateful for the learning curve. All my experiences these past three years have stretched me in ways as an entrepreneur I never knew were possible!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the summer & sage story. Tell us more about the business.
Summer & sage specializes in Infant Massage instruction and support for new parents. We create and curate products designed for a comfortable infant massage routine at home- for both parents and baby.
I, Summer Sinclair-Menkee (Owner/Designer), am also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage known for teaching Parent & Me Infant Massage classes- currently at The Family Room (San Marino/Pasadena) and at my new space in Atwater Village (opening soon this April), previously at Bini Birth (Sherman Oaks) and Tender Loving Childbirth (Pico/Robertson), and coming soon to Books And Cookies LA (Santa Monica)! I look forward to hiring additional CEIMs to work with summer & sage to teach more classes throughout Los Angeles.
I am most proud of our holistic baby care products that have multi-uses beyond infant massage: diaper-free time with our waterproof towels, diaper rash treatment/prevention with our organic cold-pressed oils, Plagiocephaly and tortilcolis prevention/treatment with our mustard seed infant pillows. I will be exhibiting (vendor booth) our products at Babies Bellies And Beyond expo at Magic Box/The Reef in Downtown L.A. – April 8th from 11am-4pm.
I am also grateful to spread awareness about the many health and bonding benefits of Infant Massage to new parents through our classes, private instruction and how-to videos (subscription only) at our website.
I am the only certified educator of infant massage to have studied directly under Indian Baby Massage expert, Rajkumari Jha. Summer & sage is the only U.S. distributer of plush, waterproof Indian Baby massage towels, mustard seed infant pillows, and one of the only U.S. distributors of organic, cold-pressed mustard seed oil.
Pre-production for a documentary on Infant Massage, the challenges many families face in baby’s first year of life, and how early touch provides much needed bonding and health benefits is underway! Trailer coming soon for grant proposals and fundraising.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I feel very lucky, at forty years old, to be a mom of two beautiful, healthy boys – age 1 and 3. I feel lucky that these two souls chose me to be their mom. I feel very lucky that I had a home birth VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with my second baby, after a 42-week cesarean delivery with my first! I am lucky to have such a supportive women’s circle and mom community to help me navigate the often isolating territory of small business startup and motherhood. I’m also lucky that I married into an Indian family with a mother-in-law who taught me firsthand what mothers in India get from their sisterhood circle of grandmas, aunties, cousins and sisters. It takes a village!
I am lucky that the owner/landlord of The Little Village preschool, where my son Sage goes, offered me my own classroom space for Parent & Me classes! Our first brick and mortar is now a reality because of her belief in me and my business!
Women helping women is the biggest pillar of my support system. As a member of The New Hollywood Women, I was recently awarded a micro-grant to help kick start my documentary project, and I am grateful to my daily accountability partners who keep me on track with my business goals. I am proud to co-lead a mom’s group within TNH called ‘Wine & Cheerios’. I also just led my first TNH Charity Challenge this past quarter! We held a health & wellness in-house spa day at Elizabeth House, where Licensed Massage Therapists and Estheticians volunteered their services to pamper and nurture new moms just home from the hospital.
summer & sage Contact Info:
Family photo (horizontal) by MMGray Photography
Business photos by Ragan Brooks Photography
Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.