Tag Archives: inspiration

lean in milwaukee: sharing stories and support

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

The Empowerment Project asked us in their documentary, Sheryl Sandberg asked us in Lean In, and now we’re asking you.

Lean In Milwaukee

Kate R., on the left, started Milwaukee’s Lean In Chapter after reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book. Way to Lean In, Kate! In this picture, I am holding the group’s namesake book, and everyone else has a “You Inspire Me” PWP postcard.

But first let’s rewind a little to 3 years, 6 months, and six days ago: January 20, 2013, the day before Kate and I launched our favorite little corner of the Internet—People with Panache!

Back then, Kate and I found reasons and ways to see each other in Milwaukee, Chicago, and the best rest stops in between just about every other week. In our professional lives, we were securely situated in jobs that fit well with our paths so far, but we weren’t quite satisfied. Sound familiar? 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

these are the times to grow our souls.

[credit: Kindred_Post]

[credit: Kindred_Post]

I didn’t ever get a chance to meet Grace Lee Boggs. But she taught me. 

Grace—revolutionary, teacher, activist, leader—taught me:

The power of rooting in one location to make a difference.
The choice to change yourself to change the world.
The opportunity that comes with each conversation.
The encouragement to never get stuck in old ideas.

And apparently, that the best gin and tonic is made with Hendrick’s. I look forward to testing this in her memory.

(Check the #GraceLeeTaughtMe hashtag for other lessons that have spread from her beloved Detroit across the world.)

After 100 years and 100 days on this earth, Grace is still teaching me, and I know she is still teaching hundreds, thousands, most likely millions. Continue reading

our chicago pwp party!

IMG_9476Last Thursday night, September 24, Alysse and I hosted our second PWP party—this time in Chicago at Beauty & Brawn Art Gallery & Think Space! Whenever I throw a party, I somehow convince myself that NO ONE is going to show up. So until people started trickling in on Thursday evening (besides my mom, who showed up first), I was panicking.

But after the last person had gone home with her custom Big White Yeti candle and a phone full of new connections, we cleaned up, full of joy and exploding with pride and gratitude. Over the course of 3 hours, we had about 35 of my favorite people on this planet gathered in Beauty and Brawn, and I can’t wait to do it again.

For Alysse and me, it’s all about creating our own kind of community—a community of women united not by occupation or demographics or geographics. No, these women are united by something bigger: their ambition and passion to make the most out of this life. That is one of the main reasons Alysse and I write this blog and have gatherings like this. We are lucky enough to get to meet these amazing women and tell their stories every week—but when we’re sitting one-on-one with them, listening to their triumphs and disappointments and lessons learned, we can’t ignore the overwhelming desire to connect them to others who know exactly how they feel. We try our very best to portray each woman in our blog posts as who she really is, but there’s nothing like the feeling you get hearing someone’s story firsthand. And that is the inspiration for creating the PWP community. Continue reading

meet melissa: milwaukee teacher, leader, community creator part 2

Here are Melissa, my roommate Jessica, me and Kate at our first People With Panache party! This Thursday, from 6-8, we're having another celebration of People With Panache at Beauty & Brawn Art Gallery and Think Space. You're invited! :)

Here are Melissa, my roommate Jessica, me and Kate at our first People With Panache party! This Thursday, from 6-8, we’re having another celebration of People With Panache at Beauty & Brawn Art Gallery and Think Space. You’re invited! :)

“I have this desire to create the best world for children,” Melissa Pallin says.

This vision rings so true to me, too. Growing up with a grandma who ran a daycare with me as her little sidekick, a mom and dad who were parental figures way before I was born, and a toy box full of dolls I called my “kids,” I’ve always loved children, even when I was one. Now, at work, I get to write grants for programs that provide children with education about growing food, eating healthfully and working as a team—and because we’re so small and connected, I also sometimes get to work with the kids, too. It’s a great blend of my skills and passions, something I think most of us strive for. Melissa has also found a way to lead a passion-driven life—as we saw in last week’s post. I hope you met Melissa already but if not, she’s a perpetual student, teacher, and creator of a better, brighter future for Milwaukee’s children.

Melissa Pallin, 29, established Summer of Learning in the City of Milwaukee, an 8-week summer education program featuring a 5-to-1 student-teacher ratio, Montessori methods and real-world experiences with the City of Milwaukee as the classroom. It was precipitated by the facts that (a) more than half the achievement gap between higher- and lower-income youth can be attributed to lack of access to summer learning and (b) most students lose about two months of their grade-level math skills over the summer, but lower-income students also lose more than two months in reading—while their higher-income peers actually make gains.

Melissa also created Milwaukee Teacher SPAce, a hub of teacher enrichment, connection and support in a spa-like atmosphere. Membership itself comes with collaborative open workshops, health and wellness opportunities, and more for teachers to feel supported and cared for. Melissa also sets up Teacher SPAces in schools themselves to catalyze collaboration, health and wellness through workshops, spa sessions, and even parent education retreats. Finally, Melissa works to make satellite SPAces in businesses and other community resources, featuring programming the first Tuesday of every month, bringing teachers, parents and children out into local businesses. Continue reading

Turn Your Dreams into Actions

People with Panache

Our first PWP business card! We can’t wait for our new ones to be ready very soon!

Alysse: On Tuesday night, an HDMI cord almost ruined my plans. (And I’m still not entirely sure what an HDMI cord is, but anyway…)

Eight friends were coming over to watch The Empowerment Project, and I didn’t have quite the right technology going on… so we crammed onto my two couches, put my laptop on a kitchen chair, passed around some popcorn and my favorite apple-Brie cheese deliciousness and watched The Empowerment Project! WAY more special than using a TV, right?

Kate: About 90 miles south, a few nights later, I gathered a bunch of friends and a couple bottles of vino and nuzzled up (probably a little less close together) for The Empowerment Project. We teared up at the pilot’s story, laughed at the mathematician, and had one of those nights where you talk so much that all of a sudden it’s 11:30, and you feel like you’ve only gotten started. Continue reading

Wake Up Call

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that—that is what life is.” There’s more to this Amy Poehler quote here, but this is exactly what we’ve been talking about all day!

Quote: She believed she could, so she did.We have been interviewing and talking and getting all out of our comfort zones (more on that later) for a couple months now to bring People with Panache back to you.

(Okay, okay, since September.)

But, contrary to all we’ve learned from interviewing 84 people across the Midwest since we launched in 2013, we were waiting for the “right” time. We wanted to have our new business cards ready, our new website design totally perfect, new photos, and all these things—that we are still working on—but we could. NOT. wait to come back! Continue reading