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If you’ve stuck around on the blog long enough, you might be familiar with the Person of Interest interview series. After some reflection on the series, I’ve decided to give it a bit of a make-over – a re-brand, if you will. I’m excited to share FemFocused, a series focused solely on female creatives, entrepreneurs and overall badasses. Welcome to FemFocused!

Meet Mindie Barnett

To kick-off this re-brand, I talked with a true queen of branding. Meet Mindie Barnett, a public relations powerhouse as the President and CEO of MB and Associates, motivational speaker, author, mother, and influencer – just to name a few of her many impressive titles. She is the author of INTERMISSION, an inspirational memoir about her leap of faith into the unknown when she filed for divorce. Prior to her career in public relations, she worked as an anchor/reporter at various television outlets including NBC 10, Cablevision’s News 12 New Jersey, TSM 24-Hour News, NBCin Louisiana and NBC in Illinois.  Basically, she knows the media world inside and out.

Mindie’s public relations credits include landing clients’ opportunities on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, Live with Kelly, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, In Touch Magazine, US Weekly, InStyle Magazine, USA Today and MSNBC, among numerous regional inclusions. She was also named “Business Owner of the Year” by the South Jersey chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Her firm has won “Best PR Firm” by South Jersey Biz Magazine, two years in a row, among many other accolades. Her presence can especially be felt throughout Philadelphia, south Jersey and New York City.

I was introduced to Mindie by a fellow PR professional who I greatly admire – Jaimi Blackburn – and I am so grateful for this introduction.

Mindie has a ton of experience and knowledge in many areas of life, and we recently spoke about branding your business as well as yourself, finding sanity in a hectic digital world, and what it’s like becoming your own boss woman. Sound like your thing? Keep on reading.

Thank you so much for speaking with Positive Publicity, Mindie! To kick things off, what is your advice for being a female entrepreneur? What is something every female – whether they are currently entrepreneur or looking to become one – should know?

For me, it’s all about psyching your mind up and getting into that game mode. I tend to care a lot what people think about me, which is sometimes to my detriment. But when you’re in business, you can’t be that way! When I was a journalist, and I would be interviewing a lawyer or doing an important press conference, I would psych myself up to get into that “mindset”. I needed to walk the walk, and I would put on my game face, even if I didn’t feel that way on the inside. You need to be serious about whatever it is your selling. Believe in your message, your mission and yourself. 

You’ve recently added motivational speaker to your already impressive list of titles. What makes you excited about motivational speaking? What do you hope your audience walks away from one of your speeches? 

I am someone who has always loved the stage – I loved being in the performing arts! I’m not one to be shy and love to entertain people, and I parlayed that experience into broadcast journalism.

In my life, I’ve had a lot of valleys and peaks – it’s with the valleys where I’ve grown and learned the most. I’m not going to fail, and I have to pull myself out of the valleys.

I wrote my book Intermission because I wanted to use it as a platform to get into motivational speaking. I love to write, and writing this book was very therapeutic for me. I also have recently joined the National Speakers Association, where I’ve learned so much about the art and business of speaking.

Throughout my life, people have told me that I’ve been motivational to them. I wanted to have an impact for the greater good and I want to help people. My calling is helping businesses excel, but my greatest pleasure is being able to give advice that may not even be necessarily business related. I want to have an impact on people who feel like they feel like they can’t achieve.

I also have speaking engagements coming up in 2020 – I’m hoping to have a big impact there!

You have experience branding your business, MB and Associates. Can you talk about branding yourself?

So I started my company because I worked in the news – I’ve worked in television, I wrote for magazines, I have my foot in the door on the media side. And that’s how I position myself in business – it’s important for me to be a thought leader and to be in the media. For example, Cosmo had a radio station, which often used me as a go-to interviewee, where I would weigh in as media-relations expert for celebrities. If that celebrity were my client, what advice would I give them? Is what they’re doing right or wrong in particular situation?

In my book, I talk about not only my career, but also my personal life and how I apply my business skills to my personal life. As a PR professional, I think you need to maintain your presence in the media. If you’re courting a client, they need to see that you’re in the media.

The challenges are – when I first did my book, I needed to take a break because I was working so much. People may not see how much of my personal time I use to work on my business or my personal brand, and may only judge by what they see on social media. Social media can be both good and bad in terms of what you’re sharing – you’re only seeing snippets of what people do, so I’m mindful of what I share. 

Between being a mom, business woman and speaker, are incredibly busy woman. Do you have any tips on staying sane and taking care of yourself? Any books that you turn to which inspire you?

For self-care, EXERCISE is number one – I have a chapter in my book about exercise as a form of medication. It may be the very last thing you want to do, but once you start moving, those endorphins start. I’m in such a better mood after exercise. I’m also a spa junkie. Because of my job and my clients, I’m very fortunate to have spa treatments my fingertips.

I also love reading, because I’m able to learn and escape. A book I often turn to is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. The other is Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, and I’m currently reading Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.

The title of your book is called Intermission. What is an “Intermission”?

I believe an “Intermission” in anyone’s life is when you’re going from point A to point B. And guess what, you can have multiple Intermissions in your life – whether it’s a job change, a break-up – it’s that transition time in between two acts. It might not even be things you have control over, like the death of a loved one or sickness. My book talks about how to how to motivate yourself to get to that next stop in your journey.

Mindie left me (and you) with some parting words of wisdom: “I’m a big believer of women empowerment. I think that history has us as women looking at each other in competition. In reality, if we stand together, we have so much more power. As women we need to lean on each other, not see each other as competition.”

Thank you so much to Mindie for an enlightening, honest and fun conversation. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook. And if you still can’t get enough of her, listen to one of the podcasts she’s been featured on.

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I’m still in a bit of a whirlwind state after just returning home from Nashville, but I wanted to jot down this post before I forgot everything. My friend Kerry and I booked a very impromptu trip after finding some inexpensive flights, and we had quite the long weekend (plus an unexpected additional day after our flight was canceled)!

What I loved most about Nashville was the, most obviously, the music. The streets and bars are absolutely teeming with live music. It’s easy to see why any aspiring musician or songwriter would move here. We also ate extremely well – from plenty of fried chicken, to a delicious grain bowl at Pinewood Social. But to be totally transparent, it was a bit too touristy for me (I know, hypocritical of me considering I was one!). That does not make it any less of an amazing city, just wanted to give fair warning before you head off . The city is filled with history, beautiful architecture, and spirit.

This won’t be one of my more in-depth travel tip posts, but if you’re planning on visiting Music City soon, I hope this helps!

Live music at Tootsies
The sights of Broadway For tips on how to find some of Nashville’s most iconic murals, check out this link. Delicious donuts at Five Daughters Bakery Fried chicken at Hattie B’s. Pro tip – order online ahead of time to pick-up and avoid the long lines Dinner, drinks and live music at Acme Feed and Seed Head to Acme Feed and Seed’s rooftop for amazing views. A must do in Nashville – listening to songwriters at The Listening Room
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Positive Publicity is teaming up again with Fine Wine and Good Spirits for another cocktail recipe post! We’ve chatted with FW&GS in the past about cozy cocktails during the winter months, but now we’re diving into sips for summer.

As the weather warms up and the sun peaks out, Saturdays and Sundays mean one thing – brunch. Eggs and French Toast are a must, but everyone recognizes the true star of this makeshift meal – the mid-morning cocktail. While Mimosas are a brunch classic, the Bloody Mary is a flavorful alternative that can be tailored to your taste buds, even more easily now with this handy guide courtesy of the experts at Fine Wine & Good Spirits.

Are you a pickle juice enthusiast or a Sriracha loyalist? A cayenne fan or rosemary aficionado? Can you never have too many garnishes, so you load up on all of that bacon and shrimp goodness? No matter what your style, Fine Wine & Good Spirits easy-to-reference guide will help you find your perfect personalized mix every time. Grab the essentials at your local Fine Wine & Good Spirits or at FWGS.com, and start experimenting! For me, the spicier the Bloody Mary, the better!

If you’re not a Bloody Mary fan, FW&GS sent over two other refreshing cocktail recipes for the summer:

Cranberry Pear Bellini – Serves eight

  • 1 c pear nectar
  • 1 c cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 750-mL bottle Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine

In a small pitcher, combine pear nectar and cranberry juice. Pour ¼ cup juice mixture into each of eight Champagne glasses. Dividing evenly, top with Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine.

Classic Mimosa – Serves eight

Fill Champagne flutes ¼ full with orange juice. Add Champagne or sparkling wine to fill glass ¾ full. Top each drink with 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier.

Cheers!

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If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a plethora of stories from Long Beach Island this past week. I’m so grateful that Fearless Restaurants invited Positive Publicity back to LBI this summer for another incredible stay and visit to their properties! There are SO many reasons to visit LBI in the summer, and I hope this post shows you what you can experience. If you’re interested, you can check out my recap of my visit last summer here.

Our group arrived to LBI on Wednesday afternoon, where we checked into Daddy O Restaurant Bar and Hotel. It was just as beautiful and inviting as I remembered, but I forgot just how close it is to the beach! That is a lovely treat for anyone staying at Daddy O during their time at LBI. And even if you’re not a hotel guest, there are plenty of reasons to pay a visit to Daddy O.

Daddy O’s 60s inspired lobby Cozy Daddy O hotel room. Not pictured: the incredibly comfy Daddy O robe I spent much of my time in. My favorite, welcoming sight from last year returned!

After settling down, we ventured to the gorgeous outdoor garden rum bar, where we got better acquainted with one another while sipping on speciality cocktails. I can’t imagine better places to unwind after a day the beach than at their garden bar or rooftop bar. Just look at those beautiful creations below:

Peach Sangria from the Daddy O outdoor garden bar Champagne on Daddy O’s rooftop bar Cheers!

We then headed off to their Harvey Cedar’s-based location, Plantation Restaurant. We indulged in some delicious seafood, pasta and sweet desserts. Click here for their entire menu. And if you can’t make it down for a visit this summer, not to worry, as they’re open year round.

With the fabulous Emily of HerPhilly Appetizers of crispy rock shrimp, spicy tuna nachos and short rib wontons My delicious dinner of Gulf Shrimp Scampi. It had the perfect amount of sauce for dipping bread into! Sorbet for dessert The lovely Alex and Mike!

We spent the next morning exploring the island of LBI, and seeing why it’s a great place to vacation. From the wide, open beaches, coffee shops, restaurants and outdoor activities, there’s PLENTY to do for a weekend getaway to LBI. We stopped for açaí bowls and coffee before the next food adventure began.

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Sharing another photoshoot today! Soprano Kara Mulder and I met on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture some gorgeous shots. Some scenes from our photoshoot:

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Thanks to Kira Kolosova for her guest post on the blog today, all about hair care!

Everything you should know about using hair oils for your hair

Hey guys! Today we’re chatting about using oils for our hair. We all want to look good, because looking our best means feeling our best. From adding color to our hair, to using curling tongs and straighteners to style our hair, there are so many ways we create our own personal style. But these treatments can cause damage to our hair without us even meaning to! I’m sharing some tips and tricks using oils like coconut oil for hair care, plus you can read here to find out more oil benefits too!

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Do you need to prepare oils before using them?

You might be wondering how easy it is to use oils like tea tree oil or coconut oil for hair care. Using oils to care for your hair is not a new concept, and many can be used as they are. However, I do have a couple of top tips to make sure you’re using these oils safely:

  • To use coconut oil for hair care it needs to be melted first. This is simple to do:
    1. Place the coconut oil into a small bowl, inside a larger bowl of boiling water. Ensure it’s not floating, and the water isn’t high enough to go over the side into your oil.
    2. Allow it to sit until the coconut oil is melted.
  • To use tea tree oil for hair care, it will need to be used with a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil.


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What are the top uses for oils like coconut oil for hair care?

Oils such as tea tree oil, coconut oil and others are so versatile. I could spend all day telling you the benefits and uses of these oils, but instead I’ll share a few top ways you can use oils to care for you precious locks.

  • Coconut oil can be used for a variety of hair types but is particularly effective for those of you who has dry or damaged hair.
    • Wash your hair and use coconut oil to condition it by massaging it into your hair and scalp. Wrap a towel around your hair and leave it in for thirty minutes before using shampoo to wash the oil out.
    • Use coconut oil to treat dandruff and by leaving the oil on your hair and scalp overnight.
    • Rub coconut oil into the ends of your hair as a natural, easy to use detangle.

Argan oil is full of fabulous hair health benefits thanks to antioxidants and vitamin E. It is the perfect oil if you have frizzy or brittle hair. Rubbing a little into the palms of your hands and using this on the ends of your hair is great way to anti-frizz dry or damp hair. It can also be used every day as it is a less greasy oil than other options. 

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  • Tea tree oil is another of my favorites. It is so versatile and as long as you remember to add it to a carrier oil is can be used for a number of different hair care uses.
    • Massaging a tea tree oil and carrier oil mix into your scalp is a great way to unclog your pores and this can promote hair growth (after all, who doesn’t want their hair to grow quicker?)
    • Tea tree oil is another great oil to treat dandruff. Add it to your normal shampoo and away you go!

I really hope this gives you all the top tips and information you need to use oils like coconut oil for hair care and keep your hair in the best condition! 

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Welcome Christine of Navona Handmade to Positive Publicity today! Navona Handmade is an artist collective, who takes a short trip together twice a year to someplace new and inspiring, and creates a collection of jewelry and home decor based on their shared experience. Pretty awesome, right?

Hi Christine! Tell us a bit about Navona Handmade. How did it get started?

Since I graduated from college, I’d been running a local critique group with several other jewelers I knew. We met up to present what we were designing, get and give constructive feedback, and share exhibition opportunities. At the end of 2015, Julia (a Navona Handmade member) suggested that our group of friends expand on that idea, and run it as a full-fledged business rather than just a critique group. She really wanted outside accountability to start making creative work of her own again. It’s very easy to funnel all of your creative energy into a full-time job, and find yourself with little motivation to make additional creative work after hours. We’ve found that having regular meetings and shared deadlines makes it much easier to create new work on a regular basis.

Since we all work in different mediums (I’m a jeweler, Bethany is a potter, Julia is a fiber artist), we decided that we needed a common thread that would unite us as an artist collective. We settled on the idea of taking vacations together to find inspiration. It’s a quirky idea, and we hadn’t heard of anyone doing anything like it.

Navona Handmade takes short trips together twice a year to someplace new and inspiring and create a collection inspired by your experiences. Is there a trip in particular that left a last impression on you?

Our Portland, Oregon trip was our biggest adventure so far! Julia was living in Oregon at the time, so we decided to visit her and design a collection around our visit; kill two birds with one stone. In the weeks leading up to our visit we scoured Top 10 of Portland lists, compiling ideas for restaurants, bars, and natural wonders. In the end, though, the most memorable aspect of our trip was the unseasonable weather! It snowed and sleeted the entire trip, and was most harsh the day we visited Cannon Beach and wandered along the coastline. Rather than being a hindrance, the weather really gave us reason to find the fun and funny aspects of our trip and focus on those.

You’ve returned home and are preparing to brainstorm the next collection – what’s that process like?

We usually start a Pinterest board first, so we can see all of our photographs from our trip in the same place. We look for color and texture themes in those photos, then we all take a week or two to sketch what we intend to make for the new collection. Once everyone submits sketches, we usually do some minor design tweaks to make sure there will be a cohesive feel. For instance, in the Providence Collection, Bethany chose a speckled clay as the base for all her pieces. I added a hammered texture to all my jewelry to mimic the speckled texture of her clay, and Julia made use of a latch hook technique that also echoed the texture of the clay.

Christine, you’re an extremely talented jeweler. How did you begin designing jewelry?

Thank you! Actually, when I started at the Tyler School of Art, I majored in photography. After taking two Intro to Jewelry classes, I decided to take the plunge and switch majors. We were using huge torches, melting metal, carving plastic, making molds, stone setting, just utilizing all these different kinds of approaches. I loved it!

What sort of items can be purchased on Navona Handmade?

We offer handmade jewelry, accessories, pottery, and home decor. We create two collections per year, and take older collections down (if there’s anything left!) as the new ones go up. Everything is limited edition, so if you see something you love, snap it up before it’s gone! You can shop online, and follow along with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

See more from the artists:

Christine: www.christinealaniz.com 

Julia: www.knackcreativestudio.com

Thanks Christine! Check out Navona Handmade on Facebook and Instagram.

Know an awesome, badass lady here in Philly? Send her my way!

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New music alert from Nashville! Jon Worthy & the Bends are a high energy indie Americana rock band, based out of Nashville. Their 2018 album Only A Dream was produced by Lincoln Parish, former guitarist of Cage the Elephant, and since then the band has been touring non-stop across the Southeast and Midwest. They recently finished recording their third full length album, which has proven to be a total change up for the band. Their upcoming album, recorded at Studio 4115 in East Nashville and produced by Handmade Productions, is more folk Americana/acoustic based than their previous indie rock sound.

Their new album – called Something’s Gotta Give – will be released June 28th. The first single off the album, Chasing Dreams, recently dropped, and the second single, Takin My Time, is set to be released on May 17th. The band will be on tour all summer in support of the album, including a show at Ortlieb’s right here in Philadelphia on August 1st.

Of the second single, lead singer Jon Worthy says, “Takin My Time came about during a brutal part in my life. A 5-year relationship ended and I was struggling to come to terms with where I would go from there. Everything I had known and expected to happen in the future was gone. This song is all about finding yourself again and coming up with a new identity. Coming out of a relationship like that takes a lot of work and there are a lot of times when all you can think about is that person. The angst of that emotion builds with the song.”

“The album itself is a total change up in sound for us. It’s more laid back and acoustic than anything we’ve done in the past. We experimented with new instruments including violin, cello, accordion, and xylophone! Think if Nirvana had a baby with The Lumineers for the overall sound of the album.”

Thanks for chatting with Positive Publicity, Jon! You can follow along with the band on their Instagram and Facebook.

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