meet sarah: using nutrition to change lives in milwaukee

Abundance is such an important theme for Sarah—she wanted it to be a constant reminder for her. So it became part of her business’ name!

Abundance is such an important theme for Sarah—she wanted it to be a constant reminder for her. So it became part of her business’ name!

A few weekends ago, one of my closest friends came up from Chicago for the day to share that she had broken up with her boyfriend. She was still settling into singleness (with the happiest smile, I must say) and evaluating her next steps while deciding to stay put for a bit—with her job, her apartment, herself. Time for a little bit of dedicated solo time. And friend time. And really simple, solid advice: “I realized that I was blaming my job for unhappiness and stress—but a lot of it had to do with my attitude.”

While I know I have a lot of blessings in my life—my faith, family and friends—she helped me remember that day-to-day happiness is a choice. It’s a choice to adjust my attitude to point toward the positive. It’s a choice to take a deep breath when I feel overwhelmed, make myself a piña colada, and just keep moving forward. (Real life. Last Monday.) And it’s a choice to stay out late singing Space Oddity on the karaoke stage rather than sleeping. (I’m in no way saying I always make good choices.)

Sarah Philipp, 32, was born with an entrepreneurial gene—check out her cousin!—and also reminds me how empowered I am to take charge of my own life and body. She is a Milwaukee nutritionist who created a beautiful little business, Abundelicious, where she uses food as a tool for wellness. She specializes in anxiety and digestive disorders, teaching her clients (and hopefully you now, too!) the power of nutrition as fuel for our lives, our minds and our happiness.

People with Panache: How did your professional path bring you here?

Sarah Philipp: I graduated with a double major in advertising and PR and media studies. I wanted to be this hotshot PR lady wearing heels and doing big-time stuff. But then I realized that my personality doesn’t fit—I was drawn to how much contact you get with people. After graduating, the recession hit, so I had to regroup and figure something else out. I had a very good friend who had started a company selling a cheese jerky product to convenience stores.

I was going to all these convenience store trade shows and getting really sick. I was 25 and felt like I was 95! So I started seeing this acupuncturist, and she looked at my food journal.

PWP: I wish both those things (acupuncture and food journals) were more typical habits than eating poorly and feeling worse—what’d your acupuncturist say?

SP: I was eating what I thought I was a good diet—barely any fat, a lot of low fat—but then I started eating more healthy fats, low gluten, and a more veggie-based diet. Real food, not fake, processed imitation food. And I started feeling so much better. Then I realized this is something I could make a living of.

I went back to school to get certified and started my company. That snack food company no longer exists—it was a blessing I was let go. I had nothing to lose so it made it easier to make my leap.

PWP: What exactly do you do as the woman behind Abundelicious?

SP: Abundelicious is a ton of different things. I’m contracted by different clinics to work with patients, I do individual consultations, I partner on events—I even cook for and go grocery shopping with people.

“I wish people would stop eating so much sugar and gluten,” Sarah says when asked about one thing she wishes more people would do—or not do. “I’m sure you’ll find studies saying this or that about gluten, but I’ve never known anyone to feel better eating it. So for my intents and purposes as a nutritionist, I’m not going to recommend that people eat it.”

“I wish people would stop eating so much sugar and gluten,” Sarah says when asked about one thing she wishes more people would do—or not do. “I’m sure you’ll find studies saying this or that about gluten, but I’ve never known anyone to feel better eating it. So for my intents and purposes as a nutritionist, I’m not going to recommend that people eat it.”

PWP: Oh my gosh, that sounds like a dream. I love grocery shopping! What happened on your way from the snack food company to your multi-faceted business?

SP: I started working at Slow Pokes Local Food in Grafton, Wis., for Kathleen McGlone. That’s her business. She does everything with so much integrity, she knows so much about food and nutrition, and every day I showed up I would learn so much. That’s where I found a lot of my first clients.

PWP: As you’ve built your business, does a moment stick out that makes you feel particularly successful?

SP: Every day. Every damn day. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel really grateful for this. Of course there are headaches and frustrations, but I almost can’t believe that I get to do this.

PWP: And among the consultations, events and all the work you do, what makes you feel the most grounded? The most stable?

SP: Trying to remember abundance, that there’s enough to go around. It’s so easy when you’re first starting out to get into a scarcity thought process: “If I don’t get that client, my business is going to go under,” or “There are too many nutritionists,” or something. The more I can have faith in abundance, it really helps. I’m not the right nutritionist for some people out there. It can be a very intense short-term relationship between a client and me!

PWP: Kind of like making a new friend—they share everything about themselves. And what have you learned? Is there something you wish everyone knew?

SP: Oh, it’s the ongoing lesson: Be patient with yourself, be patient with other people, and we’re all going to get there.

On the Unwind retreat, Sarah made us deliciousness like these cabbage cups for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. My favorite family-style meal had us using a boogie board as a table one evening!

On the Unwind retreat, Sarah made us deliciousness like these cabbage cups for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. My favorite family-style meal had us using a boogie board as a table one evening!

PWP: You mentioned Kathleen as a teacher who has helped you flourish. How have other mentors factored into your journey?

SP: It’s helpful to have teachers—you can’t always be top dog. You need someone to go to for observation, reflection.

Of course Kathleen McGlone, my boyfriend’s mom, Dr. Rose Kumar at The Ommani Center where I do nutritional consulting, and then my fellow sisters—women I can be inspired by, share experiences with, women who are making their passions a big part of their professions. It’s been a collaborative effort.

PWP: And there’s more to being supported than just cheering people on. There’s thought, there’s questioning, there’s working through situations with people. What makes someone a good supporter?

SP: When someone acknowledges the fear you might have—and doesn’t trivialize it—it really helps you thoughtfully move through it. My mom did that. I had this big idea in my head: I wanted so badly to go back to school for nutrition. I was unemployed at the time, and it just seemed too big. I thought, there is no way she’s going to go for this, but she listened, acknowledged my fear, and supported me through the process of working through it. “We’re going to make this happen.”

PWP: That’s something I need, too—someone to work through things with me…

SP: …not someone who’s saying you shouldn’t be afraid, or don’t be afraid—but instead, we’re going to figure out how to make this work.

PWP: How do you envision Abundelicious growing?

SP: I want to do more remote consultation. I have clients now in New York, LA, and I want to do more of that—it’s totally possible and sometimes even more beneficial. This client gets to have the consultation in the comfort of their own home—they can even show me the supplements they’re taking, what they’re eating—it’s flexible with their schedule, and I really enjoy that. And I want to continue to meet people where they are, even cooking for them in their own homes.

PWP: Taking charge of your health doesn’t have to be out of reach—if you’re going to prioritize how you spend your money, why not on your health?

SP: A lot of people associate nutritionists with weight loss. My specialty is mental health and digestive disorders!

What I tell my clients: The best way to learn about nutrition is to learn about business. Very few big businesses have our health and well-being at heart. Who has the marketing departments? What’s being mass produced? Kale doesn’t have a marketing department. Turnips don’t have a marketing department.

Sarah used to ask clients about their childhood eating habits during consultations. She found that people revert back to their childhood habits so much that she just stopped asking. Setting a good example and instilling good habits never seemed so important! Here she is with a lovely lavender smoothie of blueberries, banana, avocado and more at Beerline Cafe, where we met for a little lunch.

Sarah used to ask clients about their childhood eating habits during consultations. She found that people revert back to their childhood habits so much that she just stopped asking. Setting a good example and instilling good habits never seemed so important! Here she is with a lovely lavender smoothie of blueberries, banana, avocado and more at Beerline Cafe, where we met for a little lunch.

PWP: You’re the only person watching out for you at the end of the day.

SP: It’s very empowering. I’ve never known anyone to start eating food that serves them well and regretted it: “My complexion’s better, I sleep better, my energy level is higher—it’s the worst!”

PWP: “I hate feeling good in the afternoon!” Haha. Sarah, in all of this, what do you find most fulfilling?

SP: Overcoming a fear obstacle and moving through it. And with my clients, helping them feel empowered to confront their fears.

I’m forever grateful I got to spend a week with Sarah (and another supremely inspiring Sara) in Costa Rica on an acroyoga wellness retreat just about a year ago. Read about their most recent retreat here and watch for the next—maybe even in Panama!

Meanwhile, coming up in Wisconsin: Farm to Fork Wellness Weekend on June 25-26. Meet me there? In the meantime, Sarah’s meal plans are the next thing on my nutritional bucket list.

You can visit Sarah at MKE MindBody Wellness and The Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine.

What’s the next thing you will commit to doing for your health and happiness?

[Photos by Alysse.]

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/peoplewithpanache
Follow us on Twitter: @pwpanache
Join us on Pinterest: pinterest.com/pwpanache
Find us on Instagram: instagram.com/peoplewithpanache
Share with us: #peoplewithpanache

meet sarah: using hip-hop to empower youth in milwaukee

TRUE Skool purchased all the pieces produced through the Art of Coping program.

TRUE Skool purchased all the pieces produced through the Art of Coping program. This piece is by Lasha Bradley.

“Your life becomes so enriched by being around differences,” says Sarah Dollhausen. “It doesn’t take anything away from you.”

Sarah, director, founder and trailblazer at TRUE Skool, is just the kind of woman you wish you had in your life when you were younger. She created TRUE Skool, a Milwaukee nonprofit and after-school program that uses hip-hop’s core elements—DJing, breakdance, emceeing, graffiti and knowledge—to empower youth, teach about social justice, encourage community service, and create a pipeline of opportunity for Milwaukee’s young people. Now 11 years old, much of TRUE Skool’s work comes to life via after-school programming including classes such as the Art of Emceeing, DJing, Video Production, Band (not the kind that was in my high school…) and more. (Seriously, how freaking cool is that?)

Besides the fact that she has shepherded the growth of this organization whose programs will now hopefully expand nation-wide, Sarah has one particularly beautiful gift that stood out to me: She has a clear, deep passion for bringing people together to work on co-creating the future. Competition doesn’t have much of a place. Jealousy? Nope. These students, the team of working artists, and every person involved has a safe space to share, learn, grow and collaborate to create the community they want to live within.
Continue reading

happy 10th anniversary, motion pr!

Things were a little different 10 years ago.

It was 2006, and…

George W. Bush was president.

The RAZR was still the world’s best-selling phone, and the iPhone was just a twinkle in Apple’s eye.

Pluto ruined childhood mnemonic devices everywhere and lost its status as a planet.

Twitter came chirping into our lives—and we had only just been invited to Facebook!

Crash won best motion picture—and if you haven’t seen it, Netflix has it on DVD.

Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter,” sadly died on the job from being stung in the chest by a stingray.

The Blackhawks drafted Jonathan Toews—a major win for Chicago.

The TSA banned liquids and gels from air travel—a major loss for just about everyone who flies. Not that we don’t appreciate the extra safety I suppose.

Alysse and I started our senior year in high school—a year before we met at Drake. We still loved Seventeen magazine, not even imagining that we’d someday have friends who worked there.

And Kimberly Eberl started her PR company, Motion PR, 10 years ago to this day. As one of the first to join our Panache family back in 2013, at the time I interviewed her, she had 6 employees; now, she has 19! And of course, a brand new office to accommodate everyone. In honor of her 10th year in business, we asked for Kimberly’s top 10 lessons learned.

People with Panache: Kimberly, what is your secret sauce for success? How did you make it 10 years and going strong? Continue reading

meet eva: creative event space curator in chicago

Eva N, Catalyst Ranch, People with Panache

Eva won Enterprising Women Magazine’s 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Award! This award recognizes the world’s top women entrepreneurs who demonstrate they have fast growing businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities.

Many people hit major roadblocks before they succeed.

Famous wedding gown designer Vera Wang wanted to be an ice skater but failed to get into the Olympics. It was then that she decided to go into fashion.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, took a trip to Italy and came home with an idea about a chain of intimate cafes. He brought it to the coffee company he worked for at the time, they turned his idea down, and he did it anyway. Now there’s a Starbucks on every street corner.

J.K. Rowling was nearly penniless and raising a child on her own when she wrote the massively popular Harry Potter books. She was rejected by several publishers before finding success. I bet those people are kicking themselves.

Eva Niewiadomski, the mastermind behind Catalyst Ranch, can relate to these stories. Her business is a creative meeting space and event venue in Chicago—and it is extraordinary. Every square inch is covered in color and toys and art and crazy furniture. None of it goes together, yet somehow it all blends into a mass of swirling fun—and it launched because she lost her job. She wanted to create a space where companies, consultants, organizations or really whoever could come and have meetings, events or parties in a creative space, a space that really gets you thinking outside of the box. Catalyst Ranch is one of a kind in this city and, quite possibly, the world. Continue reading

meet molly: baker and pastry maker in milwaukee

Molly’s personal favorite is her lemon poppyseed cake with strawberry jam filling. She picks the strawberries in the summer and makes her own jam. “The flavors are just bursting,” Molly says.

Molly’s personal favorite is her lemon poppyseed cake with strawberry jam filling. She picks the strawberries in the summer and makes her own jam. “The flavors are just bursting,” Molly says.

How do you decide to make an idea into a real thing?
Where do you go for honest feedback?
What do you need to be able to move forward?

For me, all those things involve other people. Their opinions, experiences, skills, resources, expertise. Even just their presence, so I can speak something out loud and make sure it doesn’t sound too ridiculous. (A little ridiculous is okay with me.)

Lately I’ve been surrounded by a lot more targeted teamwork: The yoga studio I attend and absolutely love recently transitioned to two owners, no longer just the one amazing woman who has run it for years. My boyfriend, who owns a composting company, is working with aligned businesses and organizations to transform a Milwaukee warehouse into a hub of urban agriculture, bringing together innovative projects with positive momentum so they can grow together. Escuela Verde brought together a team of people to start a school they all believe in. Who else comes to mind for you?

Truly, no one ever starts a business venture solo—you have to count those supportive family members, colleagues, spouses and friends!—so this week we want to especially highlight the value of collaboration. Here’s one really special example:

Molly Sullivan, 29, is the PR manager and pastry chef at Braise. She’s also the owner of Miss Molly’s Pastries. As Molly has built her business, her local-food-system-strengthening employer, Braise, has fostered her growth and supported her along the way. As she’s paving her pastry-making path, Molly is not alone. Continue reading

meet coco: chicago beauty and technology entrepreneur

 

Coco Meers, PrettyQuick, peoplewithpanache.com

“Swing for the fences in terms of fundraising and goal setting—be very aggressive,” Coco says. “If your goal is to make money, you should not be raising venture capital unless you can see the path to being a billion dollar business.”

You are important.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of self-care. Not just that you should do it—re: every self help book and inspirational quote ever—but what it actually means. For me, it has two parts.

Part one is reflection. People spend a lot of time getting to know each other, and not enough time getting to know themselves. How can you care about what others need if your own needs aren’t being met? Answer: You can’t. It’s like the airplane mask thing; you have to put yours on first. Reflection helps you dial in to what’s going on with you right now, your wants and needs, what kinks need to be worked out, what path you’re on. Without this kind of knowledge, it actually becomes harder to form healthy relationships with other people.

The tough part? You guessed it: time. Spare me the saga; we’re all busy. So, I practice taking mini moments to self reflect many times throughout the day… on the bus, walking to the grocery store, in the shower, basically any time I’m in a bathroom. I savor those moments—that’s usually when the aha happens! I stop thinking about everyone else for just a few minutes of my day and, instead, think about how I’ve been feeling and behaving, what I’m doing and if it aligns with my beliefs and aspirations—then what can I do to change it if not. This daily practice keeps me focused and centered on my way forward. Continue reading

meet angela: social architect in milwaukee

Last time we had a Leap Day, I was a copy editor at Reader’s Digest. And since then—even without a day dedicated to jumping—I have leapt and landed in the urban ag world, and oh my gosh has it been worth it.

After I wrote this post, Kate encouraged me to find these little maps that I made in March 2012. So many parts of them have come true in ways I never anticipated. Minus the $10,000. Good goal, though, 23-year-old me!

After I wrote this post, Kate encouraged me to find these little maps that I made in March 2012. So many parts of them have come true in ways I never anticipated. Minus the $10,000. Good goal, though, 23-year-old me!

All over this blog, week after week, we watch women leaping toward their dreams. We see some going for it fast and laying the bricks of their path as they go. Others experiment, test and explore before making moves that alter their lives…and careers…and bank accounts. And no matter the preparation, each woman learns about herself, the world, and her vast potential as she dreams big and turns her ideas into reality.

I can be spontaneous, but career-wise I’m pretty firmly in the latter camp. Before I left my stable gig for what started as a part-time job at my beloved Victory Garden Initiative, I took classes, saved money, drew out all sorts of little maps about my potential professional path, read a lot, researched and discerned what might happen if this turned out to not be the right fit. So when I got a call actually offering me a job at my dream nonprofit, it all coalesced into a YES.

Now if only we could use some of that happy energy to also make the case that we all get Leap Day off and/or get paid a little extra for working that one bonus day. Or, you know, get some free yoga or something. But I digress. Continue reading

fruity nutty affair 2016

Welcome to the Fruity Nutty Affair!

American chestnuts, peaches and a sweet cherry, oh my!

Last Saturday, Feb. 20, was Victory Garden Initiative’s aptly-named Fruity Nutty Affair. This is Alysse’s big evening she pours her heart into every year, and it was my first time being able to go! The Affair is all about raising the money needed to plant five urban orchards in Milwaukee communities. VGI’s goal with the Fruity Nutty Five Contest: To protect the environment, improve public health, and strengthen their community, all through growing fruits and nuts in the city—where food is needed most. In the past, neighborhoods have won and planted apples, pears and paw-paws in their front and back yards. Churches, schools and community centers have also been awarded orchards, connecting their missions with food and where it comes from—the outdoors! One of the coolest ones to me: the grocery store that planted their trees along the sidewalk, welcoming all passersby to pick some fruit on their way in. Continue reading

meet lesley and jami: chicago entrepreneurs helping women cover up with confidence

Jami and Lesley, Bwell 11, People with Panache

Jami (left) and Lesley (right) met in 6th grade. “We were in the same homeroom, and we just clicked,” Jami says. “We’ve been best friends ever since—and now we’re 51!”

Cancer and Crohn’s disease.

I knew these scary-sounding, taboo things would be major topics of discussion when I went to interview Lesley Foreman and Jami Weiman, both 51. But as I opened the door to Lesley’s office, where she has her therapy practice, the first thing I saw was the pair of them giggling while Jami sprayed Lesley with something to stop static cling. Her silk shirt wasn’t cooperating. They looked at me and laughed harder now that I’d caught them. I laughed too, and all my fears melted away.

Jami has been living with Crohn’s disease for more than 35 years, and Lesley was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 48. They told me about their friendship, growing up together, and the impact their respective diseases have had on them—and how that led them to create Bwell 11. Bonus: I also learned that Jami attended Drake University for a year—our alma mater! Go Bulldogs!

Launched on July 15, 2015, Bwell 11 is a line of versatile fashion swimsuit cover-ups. Their Bandtastik can be worn in seven different ways to cover up a number of areas on your body from thighs to chest. The Bandiva is a colorful head scarf that can get wet and still stay firmly in place. It seems so fitting that swimwear that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful—even in life’s toughest moments—comes from such a kind and loyal friendship. Continue reading

people with panache turned three!

Panache Parties

Our 2015 People with Panache parties! The top is the whole crew in Milwaukee at the Ruby Tap. Bottom is the Panache women in Chicago at Beauty and Brawn Art Gallery and Think Space.

People with Panache just celebrated our third birthday! So we looked back on our year, and some themes popped out: Courage. Creativity. Commitment. And, of course, compassion.

The women we’ve met through this adventure traversing the Midwest aren’t doing what our culture would consider “realistic.” If there are rules related to what they’re doing, they’re breaking them. They’re setting their own paths, sticking to them and making plans that become reality. Beyoncé’s not the only one, ladies.

Whether your dream is to have a solid job so you can take your two weeks at the turquoise-iest beach a plane can reach, or you will not stop until you start the business that puts your values out into the world, we are with you.
Continue reading