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.

“A lot of people are ready to make the leap, but they just need somebody to jump with them,” Monika said in June. “I’m totally the girl you call when you’re ready to jump off the cliff and there’s nobody to jump with you.” We want PWP to be that in your life! In 2016, we will do more to bring us all together in Milwaukee, Chicago and beyond. We know we have ideas (a podcast! zines! parties!), and we want to hear yours, too. Want us to host an inspiration+relaxation retreat? (Please say yes. Please say yes.) Wish your next panel discussion was featuring the panachiest ladies in your town? We will do what we can to support your dreams in coming true, and we’ll bring the kitten toots.

Panachies on the blog and in our lives, thanks for keeping us in line every week—not letting us give up on our writing dreams, pushing us to creatively grow this little corner of the Internet, appreciating our puns. Here’s to the next 52 Q&As and the surprises that are yet to come!

15 favorite quotes from 2015:

Sara in Surfer Pose in Costa Rica

Sara from Koha Yoga and Joe Picorale doing acroyoga on the beach in Costa Rica

yogini, teacher and nomad
Don’t judge your job, because you can be a positive, beautiful, inspiring force at whatever job you’re in. Just realize you can do whatever you want. And if you’re looking to transition into something different, it doesn’t have to happen right way.”

chicago voluntourism entrepreneur
“Things I learned traveling abroad: The happiest people that I met prioritized relationships over money. You’re a sum of all of your different experiences.”

milwaukee musical activist
“When you have a bunch of people who don’t necessarily have the social means to tell each other what they’re upset about, or what they feel, music becomes an important collective feeling tool. If you have someone who thinks ‘If I say this, I might be judged,’ but you can say it with music, it’s okay—and then other people know it’s okay. Some of the most poignant lyrics or greatest sounds come from people saying things you wouldn’t necessarily think to say.”

revolutionizing education in milwaukee
“Life is so ephemeral. If we don’t take a step back to enjoy it, how are we going to project anything good to the people around us and actually inspire them? If we’re so narrow-focused looking just at what’s in front of us, we’re going to keep going around in circles thinking we’re doing what already works.”

alternative agriculture advocate in columbus
“I had been working in the trenches for almost three years. It was becoming almost tunnel vision; I was having a hard time pulling back and thinking more broadly: Is this what we should be doing? Does this make for actually changing the [system] the way I want to?”

Karissa Kesselhon on People With Panache

Karissa Kesselhon—a psychotherapist in Milwaukee who specializes in children’s play therapy

children’s psychotherapist in milwaukee
“This is my vocation. My calling. Yeah, it would be sweet to spend a lot of money, go on vacation, but I feel like my life’s purpose is to help others. If I’m going to be here on this earth, I want to be contributing to something.”

the golden girls of chicago beauty
“Block out as much negativity as you can. Sometimes the people closest to you will say ‘Don’t do it.’ It’s definitely crazy, but look where we are. We’re so happy we did this and couldn’t live any other way. It’s important to have positivity and drive from the get go.”

laying a strong foundation for milwaukee’s future
“Who are the disenfranchised? Whose voices aren’t being heard? Collectively we’re missing the voice of youth… ‘Children should be seen and not heard’ needs to be flipped around for awhile. I’m not overly impressed with what we’ve been able to accomplish as adults, and I want to give kids a shot.”

milwaukee teacher, leader, community creator
“I’m not career-motivated—I’m motivated to help. Traditional ladder steps don’t appeal to me. But when I know something’s good for people and the environment, if I can help, that motivates me to take that adventure. I wouldn’t have been the same if I had been led by fear and not by an eye for exploring and continuing growth.”

milwaukee ph.d.-to-be
“Find awesome people and stick with ‘em. That’s the best motivation for you to do awesome things yourself.”

chicago food entrepreneur
“I’m learning something new every day. I think in order to start a business, people always say you have to have passion, but that’s half of it. You also have to have tenacity, because there are so many times you get no for an answer. Our family motto has always been that as soon as you hear no, that’s when the sale begins.”

Yoga+ Chicago,

Andrea (left) and Natalie (right) Pavela—the sister duo behind Yoga+ Chicago

practicing yoga and building community in chicago
“Alongside that title [of business owner and entrepreneur] comes this pressure to quit your day job and make your business something it isn’t today—which is great, I love that passion and drive—but it’s also satisfying and not stressful and beautiful to watch it be what it is and grow.”

food justice “guerrilla” in detroit
“I’m having to learn to be very clear about my expectations, what I need, what I’m offering. It’s a big challenge to be that type of person. I continue to struggle with it, but that ultimately is a fulfilling aspect of the work to have to push myself into areas I’m not comfortable with.”

revolutionizing education in milwaukee
“There’s enough people in the world, you just have to find your people. It might feel like everyone’s against you—maybe everyone is against you in that particular setting. You just have to find that right setting and then you can be honest and authentic about who you are and still be really liked.”

woman thriving fearlessly in chicago
“I am willing to invest in [women] because I know what women are capable of. We are fierce. We are amazing beings. Women rock. We are the bee’s knees.”

Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation. What small step will you take toward your larger goals this week?

[Photos by Alysse and Kate.]

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