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inspiring women

  • Pursuit, Passion & Paying it Forward

     * This March, Stephanie Rado Taormina; founder of Have Some Fun Today will be telling her story at the Women2Women luncheon event at Folino Estate Winery.  A link to purchase tickets for the event can be found below.

     

    Q&A With Stephanie Rado Taormina, Founder & CEO of HSFT:

    What words of wisdom would you offer to other women?

    To believe in yourself & have faith.

     

    What is the most valuable way women can support each other?

    I believe the most valuable way women can support each other is by giving each other the benefit of the doubt. So often when someone is different from us, we tend to be suspicious of their motives, but if we give each other the benefit of the doubt, we are giving them a chance.

     

    Is there an "aha" moment or experience that defines who you are?

    The moment when I had the vision to create with the slogan "Have Some Fun Today." since that day 8+ years ago I haven't looked back, and I feel such a purpose around creating a truly inspiring body of work for all people.

     

    What is your favorite mantra, favorite saying or words that keep you grounded?

    Have Some Fun Today!

     

    What's your mission?

    To make people smile and feel connected to each other.

     

    What do you consider women's main asset?

    The ability to multitask.

     

    What do you consider women's main threat?

    Other people's misperceptions of her.

     

    What three things do you recommend that contribute to your success?

    Belief in myself, being open minded, having laser focus on what it takes to get the job done efficiently and always doing what I say I will do.

     

    How do you want to be perceived / remembered?

    I'd like to be remembered as someone who shared her gifts to bring joy to others and to be a role model for others to break free from limiting beliefs to turn their dreams into reality.

     

    What is the best advice you have received?

    To: Have Some Fun Today - (from my dad.)

     

    You recently shared on social media that you'd like to change things up a bit and include more of what you love. That might include art? Tell us how you realized it was time to reinvigorate the brand / yourself.

    My company Have Some Fun Today was started in 2014 with the idea of a painting I wanted to make. My mind quickly envisioned the painting, then the tote, the pillow, the tees, the hat and so on. All in the span of five minutes one morning while doing my morning meditation. As I developed the brand over the coming months, including the initial pairings, I soon realized that I was stuck on the way the paining were coming out and so I didn't do much with them over the following years.

    Then there was this global pandemic and it seemed like people all over were discovering the artists inside themselves. I had been painting all along, but something moves me to try something again with the words of my brand Have Some Fun Today. Maybe it was the self-work I had been doing, including the therapy I started to do last year. Whatever it was, when I approached my painting with those four words this time in my handwriting, it didn't turn me off! To the contract, something clicked! This time my own handwriting felt just right. Like I turned a corner in my own self-acceptance. The handwriting didn't need to be perfect, it was perfect in its imperfection. Just like me. Just like all us truly are.

    That was a breakthrough. I worked on experimenting with the concept of doing some paintings in my abstract style, with the words Have Some Fun Today boldly written down the middle. I worked for months to find the right formula, and one day not too long ago it all came together. I found the style and it has reinvigorated the brand for me so much so that I am embracing my abstract colorful style back into the designs for the brand in the bags & clothing for 2022.

    You see, I am not a follower. Never have been, never will be. However, when you are making and designing things to sell you do need to balance what people like and want with what you like and want to do. But, now that I have done some substantial laying the foundation of the brand, it's time to be a lot more playful with what we put out there. It's time for color and pattern and some FUN energy in everything we make. Stay tuned.

     

    Please share why you believe W2W is important for the community:

    For a very long time as a creative, I didn't resonate with being an 'executive'. After moving back to Berks County from NYC 25 years ago, I worked for myself for a very long time as a design consultant. It wasn't until my career path changed that I really went past being a Creative and became a Founder. Now that I'm here in the C suite space of my won doing, I have this new awareness that yes, I am an executive and yes, organizations like Women2Women are really important for our community. I've had my head to the grindstone for the past eight years and finally looked up this past October to attend my first Women in Retail Leadership Summit, and what I experienced has opened my eyes to the benefits of hearing what other women in business leadership roles can offer to each other in terms of support & guidance. It is truly a wonderful resource for our community to any woman who utilizes it.

     

    Anything else you'd like to share?

    Just that it is an honor to be noticed by other business leaders in our community for my work and having this platform to share my experience. Over the years I've had many people privately reach out to me to give advice on starting their businesses and I am always happy to listen and give some advice. To me, it is very important to give back whenever I can to my community through the different events we have at Have Some Fun Today that often benefit local charities. Part of what makes what I do so special is that it is a way for people to connect and feel connected. Two strangers passing each other both wearing something from Have Some Fun Today are bound to strike up a happy exchange and your whole day feels warmer and brighter. No other brand does that. I'm not solving the homeless issue (although I'd love to work that someday) or curing cancer, but I am creating a way through my designs that reminds us to reframe our attitude. What you bring to your daily grind is a matter of choice. You can go to work or school with an attitude of drudgery, or you can go with an attitude of "Let's make this fun". It changes everything.

     

     

    Join us for the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s “Pursuit, Passion & Paying it Forward” luncheon:

    On Wednesday, March 16, 2022 owner and founder of Have Some Fun Today, Stephanie Rado Taormina, will be speaking at Folino Estate Winery from 11:30 AM to 1 PM for the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s “Pursuit, Passion & Paying it Forward” luncheon. Stephanie is a fine artist and interior designer who began her career in fashion over 30 years ago.  

    Learn more about how Stephanie's life experiences and abilities helped form her life direction, and see how she plans to take her brand into the future by purchasing tickets for the March 16 luncheon here, and be sure to read the full Cover Story in Women2Women's Winter edition here.

     

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  • Katherine E. Thornton is a woman on a mission with a drive for everything she does. "I go by Kate!" she will tell you, but that's only if you can keep up with her. Mover, shaker and HSFT woman-on-the-go, her megawatt smile is only matched by exuberance and passion for her life and for her work. Originally from Kingston, PA, Kate moved to Berks County in 1992 for a job in the Reading Health System as the Director of Volunteer Services. She made her way back to the Reading Health System last fall after a 16 year absence when they named her the interim Executive Director of the RHS Foundation. In April of this year, she was named President of the RHS Foundation, a non-profit organization that oversees community contributions to further the mission of Reading Health System. "There's nothing better than working with community members and RHS employees who are passionate about the health of our community. Every day I meet people committed to making a difference in healthcare -their enthusiasm is palpable. My work for RHS Foundation affords me the opportunity to link the drive of our employees with their support from our dedicated community members."

     

    What is your personal mantra or Mission Statement?

    I have so much more to do in Life.  I cannot wait.

    What inspires you?

    Knowing that I am making a difference.   

    What do you value most in life?

    My family, friends and community.  Time with my husband. Travel.  New experiences. Education and Learning.

    Do you use any daily disciplines or practices to energize you?

    I work out almost every day.  I make it a priority.  I strive to stay organized.  I prioritize.  I follow through. 

    How do you like to unwind?

    I love to read. I could read for hours and enjoy reading fiction.

    What is one piece of advice or words of inspiration you live by?

    The experiences of life are opportunities for growth.  Stay positive.  Don’t be afraid to take risks.  The only way to grow is by stretching beyond your abilities.  Success comes from accepting and overcoming challenges. 

    What helps you Have Some Fun Today - each and every day?

    Loving what I do at home and at work.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Liz Cantalamessa is a list-maker. Packing for vacation or presenting to a client, no matter the size of the task, she's a woman who likes a game plan. Long before her career in sales and marketing took her to Facebook, she was a girl who liked order and organization. "I never had a messy bedroom as a kid. For me, I need order and organization before I can get things done. At my job, that transcends into the business planning." Her job at Facebook is to serve as a US Agency Partner, where she manages one of the big six media holding companies and their relationship with Facebook and Instagram. "What that means is I act as the primary liaison, internal advocate and thought leader for my external agency partners," she says. She says the best part of her job is the camaraderie and the collaboration she is exposed to daily. "I work with some really smart people, clients included, and learn from them every day." She's a proud Penn State alum and last spring, returned to her alma mater to guest lecture at the Business School. She has plans to do it again this fall. A working mom who strives for balance between her job and family, she lives in Westchester County, NY with husband Mike and their 8-year-old son Dylan. 

    What is your personal Mission Statement?

    As a working mother, I believe in work/ life “integration” so that I’m a present wife and mother when I’m home, and a present employee when in the office. The notion of “balance” can be tricky. I strive to lead a fulfilling life both in and out of the office. I also believe in paying it forward. To me that means sharing what I have, whether it’s my time, information or resources.

    What inspires you to create the life you live?

    Living and working in New York is pretty inspiring. I take the train to the city and arrive in Grand Central Station daily which happens to be one of my favorite NYC landmarks. Looking up at that gorgeous ceiling brings a smile to my face as I start my day. At Facebook we consider our work environment to be a high performance culture. I think the same applies for working in NYC. It’s such a fast paced city that it pushes you to be the best you can be. And then there’s the obvious – my family inspires me every day. I didn’t create this life alone. I have a phenomenal partner who shares my same vision.

    Do you use any daily disciplines or practices to energize you?

    Not really – maybe we can skip this one ;-)

    What is the one piece of advice or words of inspiration you live by?

    There are several (many of which I’ve learned from my employer):

    Be Bold

    Plan the work and work the plan

    Done is better than perfect

    Pay it forward

    I also try to differentiate between a problem and a “luxury” problem. Delayed flight? Rainy day on vacation? That’s a luxury problem. I really try my best to keep things into perspective. I’ve got it pretty good.

    What helps you Have Some Fun Today - each and every day? 

    I’m a planner and list maker (note the “plan the work and work the plan” concept above), so I love having things to look forward to. That might be something as simple as shopping for ingredients of a new recipe I’m going to try out on my family, scheduling a lunch date with a friend or planning a fun getaway with my husband.

     

     

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  • Inspiring Women - Alyssa Greenberg

    Photographer

    Alyssa Greenberg is fashion and lifestyle photographer with a pretty unique view of the world. A rare eye disease in her right eye has changed how she uses her camera, but has also given her a new perspective on her job and what she sees through the lens. Based out of Boston and New York City, her portfolio is an impressive collection of clients like shooting New York's Fashion Week and working with designers like Reem Acra and Carolina Herrera. 
    When she's not working, she likes to indulge in takeout and Twitter while she and her sister dive into "The Bachelor". She loves to ski and proudly claims to have mastered the arcade claw machine. Her newest hobby is learning how to cook, which she says is mostly dancing to Billie Holiday in the kitchen while wearing an apron. We asked Alyssa to share a little bit about her life as a photographer and what she thinks makes her view of the world from her camera unique.

    1. What is your personal Mission Statement?

    To be thankful each and everyday. 

    2. What inspires you to create the life you live? 

    I find myself to be a very determined person. I put my heart and soul all into everything I do. I surround myself with people who also feel strongly about their work and are passionate in all they create. 

    3. What do you do to get energized or inspired every day?

    I start my day by scanning my Tumblr page on my phone. It's a vision board that inspires me to jump start my day. Little reminders of the things I love. My personal account displays pictures of things I love ranging from photographs by other photographers I admire to fashion images to travel photos and quotes. Gratitude practice also fills a part of my day. I  journal often too, which helps me make sense of situations, problems or de-stress. 

    4. What is your favorite piece of advice or inspiration statement?

    "Don't worry if you're not where you want to be yet. Great things take time" (Currently my iPhone background)

    5. What do you think makes your view from behind the lens unique? 

    I have only maybe truly discovered this recently. Last September, I was diagnosed with Acanthamoeba Keratitis. It is a rare disease in the cornea of the eye, as a result of me swimming in a lake with contacts. It can result in permanent visual impairment or blindness for some. You can imagine how terrifying this is to a Photographer. My eye is my career. My job. My life. How I see the world. 
    I was fortunate enough have it effect only my right eye, so I trained my other eye as my "shooting" eye and have adapted to being visually impaired. My health doesn't define me, but I do think it makes me unique as a Photographer. I capture moments in time, whether it be during New York Fashion Week or screaming fans at the buzzer in Boston's TD Garden during a Celtics playoff game. I treasure these moments in time that I can see and the photos are the reminder that despite my struggles this past year, I am truly special to be able to experience and "see" these moments that I can share with the world. My vision now is more unique than before. I see the world differently through the lens and without.  

    6. What helps you Have Some Fun Today - each and every day?

    My camera allows me to have fun each and every day.  I'm so lucky to be able to have fun in what I do. Each day is new and exciting. That's what makes my job not feel like a job.

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