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Kamari Aykes DeBarbieri- Kika Stretch Short Hills & Summit

by & filed under Be Inspired, People and Places We Love.

Kamari Aykes DeBarbieri- Kika Stretch Short Hills & Summit

2020 kicked off the newest half-decade, full of desire to get reconnected with God, purchase a larger home, share the relaxing effect of assisted stretching in our communities, and joining my child’s PTA.” Kamari Aykes DeBarbieri

I met Kamari at a really interesting networking event at Kean University a few weeks ago. She and I bonded over an affection for the Summit/Short Hills area where her businesses Kika Stretch Studios of Summit and Short Hills are located. The studios specialize in “Power Stretching” which focuses on passive mobility and range-of-motion and the recovery aspect of exercise- rather than exercise itself. This sounded like real self-care for people who already spend way too much time online or sitting- and even those who exercise, but do so without careful preparation and cool down.

Kamari-Before we start talking about business- what are three things you’d like the people reading this to know about you?

1. I spent many years working as a biomedical researcher & technologist.   2. I’ve slowly fallen in love with NJ’s museums – getting married in one was so much fun! 3. I would love to tour North America by train; as my grandfather did in his younger days.

What’s the best thing about working outside the house for you? And, conversely, what’s the worst?

Best thing about working away from my house is the extra sense of accomplishment, engagement with neighbors, & fresh air! Worst thing is the worry I left an important task incomplete. Huge reason why I switched back to physical planners for 2020.

I like to ask everyone- what’s your WHY? What takes you away from home and family to do what you do?

Investing a bit of extra time away, for these first couple of years of business, gives me hope to have additional flexibility later. Fortunately, I have an amazing staff of coaches who make it easier. Also, my “little” will drop in some days with her dad to meet me for lunch, or story time at the local library.

In five years, what does this career path look like? Or is it another?

A “five year” plan is how I’ve mapped out the highest-priority goals in my adult life. 2020 kicked off the newest half-decade, full of desire to get reconnected with God, purchase a larger home, share the relaxing effect of assisted stretching in our communities, and joining my child’s PTA.

If anyone wants to reach out for more information from you and Kika Stretch- how would they do that?

Visit our website, kikastretchstudios.com, call/text 973-671-8593, and please follow us on social media – on Instagram at kika_stretch_summit or kika_stretch_shorthills a as well as on Facebook  – we share fun stories from our KIKA assisted stretching around town!

Nathalie Crews Vargo-Beautycounter

by & filed under Be Inspired, People and Places We Love.

Nathalie Crews-Vargo- Beautycounter

I want to better myself and set a good example for my kids. I think it’s important for them to see me trying to better myself in one way or another.” Nathalie Crews-Vargo

There are so many places to find make-up these days, from so many resources. I am drawn to providers who have more than just a product to sell- I want a company that is mindful, in their practices and products and have been thrilled with the products from Beautycounter and the advice and guidance I have received from local mom Nathalie Crews Vargos.

Thanks so much for talking to me Nathalie!

Women have so many things drawing their time and attention and the choices between home and work are difficult at best. Why did you choose Beautycounter?

NCV- Beautycounter stands for everything I love. Transparency, education, and push to do better. The transparency is extremely important. All products are reviewed by EWG (Environmental Working Group) which is a 3rd party company. Anyone can see how they rate the items’ safety level. I also love the fact that Beautycounter’s top priority is educating about the lack of regulation in the beauty care industry, not just selling products. It is crazy how these are products you put on yourself or your children and there isn’t any meaningful laws about which chemicals are used. Europe has banned over 1400 cosmetic ingredients while the US has regulated significantly less- under 50! Beautycounter has banned 1800 ingredients automatically from every product they sell. Beautycounter has an active presence in our nation’s capital trying to help push for stronger regulations.

What’s the best thing about working outside the house for you? And, conversely, what’s the worst?

 I love to be home but it’s important to get out. Talk to other adults and feel like you are helping. It hurts when the you have to miss a field trip or can’t pick up the kids when schools ends, but I remember when I was young and my mother worked. I felt so proud of her and how cool she was to be a working mom. She was a boss!

I like to ask everyone- what’s your WHY? What takes you away from home and family to do what you do?

I want to better myself and set a good example for my kids. I think it’s important for them to see me trying to better myself in one way or another.

In five years, what does this career path look like? Or is it another?

One thing I have learned is that you never know where life will take you. I think it is important to be open to new opportunities. Don’t ever limit yourself!

If anyone wants to reach out for more information on Beautycounter how would they do that?
You can reach me at my email Nathalie.CrewsVargo@gmail.com or
www.Beautycounter.com/nathaliecrews-vargo

Veronica Manning- The Jubilee Center

by & filed under Be Inspired, People and Places We Love.

Veronica Manning, Executive Director of The Jubilee Center

“I simply love what I do. I’m giving what I didn’t get when I was in elementary and middle school.” Veronica Manning

Veronica- I have never met someone so driven and on the go! Before we start talking about business- what are three things you’d like the people reading this to know about you?

1. I don’t see myself as driven. 2. It’s important to me to allow myself to fail sometimes. 3. Bacon is life.

What’s the best thing about working for a non-profit? And, conversely, what’s the worst?

The best thing is that the work I do has the intent of a positive impact on people’s lives. It centers on people, not profit. The worst part is the constant uncertainty around having the resources needed to be able to do great work.

What would you like people to know about the Jubilee Center that they might not know?

2020 is the 25th anniversary of the Jubilee Center! I think a lot of people don’t realize that the program has existed for that long.

I like to ask everyone- what’s your WHY? What takes gets you into work every day?

I simply love what I do. I’m giving what I didn’t get when I was in elementary and middle school. Every child comes into the world smart and aware..they are natural scientists that examine, evaluate and assess the world around them in every moment of their day. The kind of adults they become is a direct reflection of the kind of adults that nurture them. 

In five years, what does this career path look like? Or is it another?

I have no idea. I live in the Now and stay focused on what’s happening Now. The only question I tend to ask myself is, What Now?

If anyone wants to reach out for more information from you and The Jubilee Center- how would they do that?

The best place to start is our website: www.ascsdc.org