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Interview with Lydia Alexandra Renders, Founder of Willow



Interview with Lydia Alexandra Renders, Founder of Willow

Lydia Alexandra Renders (formerly Dest) is the Founder/CEO of Willow, a certified B-Corp and a designated WBE (Woman Based Enterprise) investment firm, located in Berkshire County, one of just a few firms with this distinction in the USA. As Chief Investment Officer and Strategist, Alexandra is known for her keen intuitive calls around thematic trends and market cycles. Living her values, Alexandra founded Willow pioneering Caring Capitalism, known for her core values of honesty, love, and making decisions that care for all of humanity. In her free time, she offers mediumship and channels.

Where did the idea for Willow come from?

It came from L. Alexandra Renders for Willow Investments. It came from my
inner knowing that there had to be a way to marry spiritual principals with
investments. So, I explored my inner truths, as hard as it was and brought
them to light. No leader can progress in my company if they do not illustrate
the value of Love.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My days starts at around 4:30 am with a series of meditations, breathwork and tapping into my intuition – what is it telling me? All this sets my day in
A typical workday is unpredictable in the investment industry, but I start with
data and charts showing me the newly printed economic numbers. I work
with capital markets, mostly publicly traded, there is a great deal of volatility
in this market. We make it productive by quickly culling through data and
sitting with our intuition and understanding to map the story and direction.
From here a plan of action is created and followed succinctly.
But the magic in our days starts with the cohesion of the team, the open,
honest raw dialogue that occurs naturally now that we are all taking full
responsibility for all of our feelings and triggers.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am a deeply introspective, I find what is true for me which makes it easy to
execute any new ideas. When I am highly convicted, I move to action. I
engage my team, for gut checks, and then we are off to the races from there.

What’s one trend that excites you?

People are becoming more curious, more interested in learning deeper
aspects of themselves. It seems that the consciousness is rising. This will
create a more peaceful and cohesive world.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Listening – not only to those around me but to my own inner knowing. In this way, I don’t waste my time on things that just will not work out in the end.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Allow yourself to fully embrace your feminine in a way that is truly authentic
to you – do not try to fit in with the masculine. See the value in this
authenticity, your intuition is your superpower, use it often and wisely.
Embrace your masculine to help you execute but recognize the power of the feminine. One cannot exist without the other.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

It is important to acknowledge and embrace your anger. Proper expression is appropriate, it helps to set boundaries of what is proper for you and what is not. And most important LOVE does belong in corporate America, and it can be done!

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Look inside, determine what I feel, this sets my day in motion. If there is
something bothering me, I must address it immediately with myself and
others. If something is not working, it must be tackled right away and looked
at objectively. I take full on responsibility for my feelings. To bury this or to
deny this will take up bandwidth that can otherwise be used for something
productive. Ask yourself questions, am I acting in accordance with my truth?
Is something not working optimally here?

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I showed up for who I am with absolutely no pretenses. Showing my love
and concern for others is always at the forefront.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I was apologetic for my power which led me to sometimes give away my
power to others who were threatened or envious of my position. It was in an
effort to pull them along; it was to encourage them. Along the way, I learned
that I cannot drag people along but rather they must carry themselves.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

If you are in the service industry, conduct monthly group client zoom calls as an open forum, CLIENTS love to be informed.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I was away on a jammed packed business trip with one meeting after another and severe jet lag, this was in 1993. I was driven, focused, and worn down. I needed a massage; I opened the phone book (yes the yellow pages) and looked up healing/energy work/massage. I found a Reiki Master – I had no idea what that was, but I called and had a session. That moment changed my life. It was then that started my journey to learn to bring caring, loving practices to my business. Not simply stated BUT LIVED.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

My outlook calendar. I cannot organize without it. And of course, our trading
software that helps roll up trades very quickly.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

This book helps you uncover the ways you limit yourself and how to
overcome this habit.

What is your favorite quote?

“As I change the inner landscape inside of me, the world around me changes”

Key Learnings:

  • Know yourself, inside and out. Understand what makes you happy,
    understand your boundaries, accept your feelings whether negative or
    positive. This will ensure you are on the right track with your business
    and in your life. This will help you realize whether you have a job, a
    career, or if you are living your purpose and your passion.
  • You have power, a ton of it. Don’t underestimate the power of your
    mind to set life in motion. Don’t be afraid of your power and do not
    give it away. Know the value of your thoughts, your words, and your
    actions. All of this creates outcome.
  • Enjoy and embrace being different. Be a unicorn in your industry, stand
    out and relish in the delight of simply being you, unapologetically.
  • Listen, deeply listen. Do not speak. Let another fully express, repeat
    what they said back. Do not give an opinion, do not try to fix it, just
    deeply listen. That alone is healing.
  • Standing in your truth, in love, and in power will likely invoke criticism
    and jealousy. Stay in your truth anyway and truly love yourself for
    having the courage to do so! We need more of you!!!!
Originally published on IdeaMensch.


Interview with Jack Carlson, Founder of Rowing Blazers: History, Tradition, and Innovation



Interview with Jack Carlson, Founder of Rowing Blazers

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Jack Carlson is the founder and creative director of Rowing Blazers, a fashion brand that combines classic American style with a contemporary edge. Jack Carlson, a former national team rower, and scholar of history draw inspiration from vintage sportswear and traditional Ivy League fashion. His passion for design and fashion, combined with his unique background. Jack Carlson has resulted in the creation of a brand that stands out in the industry.

Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in fashion?

I’ve always had a passion for fashion and design, even while pursuing my other interests. I grew up in Connecticut and started rowing at a young age, eventually competing at the national level. While studying history at Harvard, I became interested in the traditional clothing worn by rowers and began to collect vintage rowing blazers. This sparked my interest in fashion and led me to start designing my own clothing. After completing a Ph.D. in archaeology, I decided to pursue fashion full-time and founded Rowing Blazers in 2017.

What inspired you to start Rowing Blazers?

I wanted to create a brand that celebrated the rich history and tradition of American fashion, particularly the preppy style of the Ivy League. At the same time, I wanted to bring a contemporary edge to classic designs and challenge the boundaries of traditional fashion. I was inspired by the vintage rowing blazers that I collected and wanted to create my own versions that were both authentic and modern.

Can you walk us through the design process of creating a new collection?

The design process always starts with research and inspiration. I spend a lot of time looking at vintage clothing, archival photographs, and historical documents to get a sense of the styles and aesthetics of a particular time period or culture. From there, I sketch out ideas and work with my team to refine the designs and select fabrics. We always strive to balance classic elements with modern twists and unexpected details. It’s a collaborative process that involves a lot of trial and error, but we always end up with something that we’re proud of.

How do you stay true to your brand’s identity while also keeping up with current fashion trends?

For us, it’s not about following trends, but rather creating timeless pieces that will never go out of style. Although we draw inspiration from the past, we don’t limit ourselves to it. We’re always looking for ways to innovate and push boundaries while staying true to our brand’s core identity. We’re not interested in fast fashion or disposable clothing – our pieces are meant to last and be treasured for years to come.

Can you tell us about a particular challenge you faced while growing Rowing Blazers and how you overcame it?

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is scaling the business while maintaining the quality and craftsmanship that we’re known for. We’ve had to find the right partners and suppliers who share our values and are able to produce our garments to our high standards. We’ve also had to be very strategic about our growth, taking things one step at a time and not rushing into anything too quickly. It’s been a learning process, but we’ve been able to grow the business in a sustainable way that we’re proud of.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own fashion brand?

My advice would be to stay true to your vision and never compromise on quality. It’s also important to be strategic about your growth and not try to do everything at once. Start small and focus on doing one thing really well before expanding. And always be willing to learn and adapt – the fashion industry is constantly changing, so it’s important to be flexible and open to new ideas.

What’s next for Rowing Blazers?

We’re always working on new designs and collaborations, but we’re also focused on expanding our brand beyond just clothing. We want to create a lifestyle brand that encompasses all aspects of American style, from furniture to home decor to travel accessories. We’re excited to continue growing and evolving while staying true to our brand’s identity and values.

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Jack Carlson’s passion for fashion and history has resulted in the creation of a unique and innovative brand that stands out in the industry. His dedication to quality and craftsmanship, as well as his commitment to sustainability, sets Rowing Blazers apart from other fashion brands. To stay up to date with Jack Carlson and Rowing Blazers, you can follow him on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Gracie Cedres

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Interview with Gracie Cedres: Insights on Entrepreneurship and Work-Life Balance



Interview with Gracie Cedres, Founder of G.R.A.C.E.

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Gracie Cedres is the founder and CEO of G.R.A.C.E., a company that provides virtual assistance and project management services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. With a degree in communications, Gracie has always been interested in helping others succeed in their businesses. Her passion for helping entrepreneurs led her to create G.R.A.C.E., which has been helping entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity and profitability. In this interview, Gracie will share more about her journey as an entrepreneur and the success of G.R.A.C.E.

Can you tell us about yourself and your journey as an entrepreneur?

Sure, my name is Gracie Cedres, and I am the founder and CEO of G.R.A.C.E. I have always been interested in helping others, especially entrepreneurs and small business owners, succeed in their businesses. After completing my degree in communications, I worked as a virtual assistant for various entrepreneurs and realized that there was a need for high-quality virtual assistance and project management services. That’s how the idea for G.R.A.C.E. was born, and since then, I have been working hard to help entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their goals.

How did you come up with the idea for G.R.A.C.E.?

After working as a virtual assistant for several entrepreneurs, the idea for G.R.A.C.E. came to me. I realized that many entrepreneurs were struggling to manage their time effectively and needed high-quality virtual assistance and project management services to help them become more productive and profitable. I saw an opportunity to help entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing them with top-notch virtual assistance and project management services, and that’s how G.R.A.C.E. was born.

What are some of the challenges you faced in starting and growing your business?

One of the biggest challenges I faced in starting and growing my business was finding the right team members. It’s important to have a team that shares your vision and is passionate about what they do. I also faced challenges in marketing my services and reaching out to potential clients. However, I overcame these challenges by networking, building relationships, and creating high-quality content that showcased the value of my services.

What is your vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years?

My vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years is to become the go-to virtual assistance and project management service provider for entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. I want to expand my team and services to be able to help more entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity and profitability. I also want to continue building strong relationships with my clients and providing them with top-notch services.

Can you share with us some of your favorite success stories from working with your clients?

One of my favorite success stories is working with a small business owner who was struggling to manage their time effectively. By providing them with virtual assistance and project management services, we were able to help them increase their productivity, improve their marketing strategies, and ultimately grow their business. It’s always fulfilling to see my clients succeed and achieve their goals.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to educate themselves and never stop learning. It’s important to constantly learn new skills, stay up to date with industry trends, and seek out new opportunities. It’s also essential to have a strong work ethic, be persistent, and not be afraid to take risks. Don’t let failure discourage you, instead use it as a learning opportunity and keep pushing forward.

How do you maintain a work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur?

Maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging as a busy entrepreneur, but it’s essential for your well-being and the success of your business. One of the things I do is prioritize my tasks and delegate when necessary. I also set aside time for self-care activities like exercise, reading, and spending time with family and friends. It’s also important to know when to disconnect from work and focus on other aspects of your life.

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Gracie Cedres is an inspiration to entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. Her dedication to helping others and passion for entrepreneurship has led to the success of G.R.A.C.E. With a vision for continued growth and success, Gracie is sure to make an impact in the virtual assistance and project management industry. To learn more about Gracie Cedres and G.R.A.C.E., visit her website and follow her on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Evan Cagner

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Interview with Evan Cagner: Insights into the World of Tech and Entrepreneurship



Interview with Evan Cagner, CEO of TechBlue

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Evan Cagner is the founder and CEO of TechBlue, a company that provides managed IT services to businesses of all sizes. Evan has over 15 years of experience in the tech industry and has helped numerous businesses grow by leveraging technology. He is a thought leader and innovator in the IT industry, with a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies. In this interview, Evan Cagner shares his insights into the world of tech and entrepreneurship.

What inspired you to start TechBlue?

I’ve always been passionate about technology and how it can be used to solve business problems. I started my career working for a large IT consulting firm, and I quickly realized that there was a big gap in the market for managed IT services. Small and medium-sized businesses often struggle to keep up with the latest technology trends, and they don’t have the resources to hire full-time IT staff. That’s why I decided to start TechBlue – to help these businesses leverage technology to grow and succeed.

What sets TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies?

There are a few things that set TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies. First and foremost, we are incredibly focused on customer service. We believe that building strong relationships with our clients is the key to our success. Second, we have a team of highly skilled technicians who are constantly learning and staying up to date with the latest technologies. Finally, we are very flexible and can customize our services to meet the unique needs of each of our clients.

How do you stay on top of emerging trends in the tech industry?

I’m always reading and staying up to date with the latest news and trends in the tech industry. I attend conferences and meet with other thought leaders in the industry to discuss new technologies and how they can be used to solve business problems. I also encourage my team to stay up to date and share their knowledge with each other.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the IT industry?

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the IT industry. With so many people working remotely, there has been a huge demand for cloud-based services and virtual private networks (VPNs). There has also been an increased focus on cybersecurity, as remote workers are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Overall, the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward digital transformation and has highlighted the importance of having a reliable and secure IT infrastructure.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses?

My advice would be to focus on building a strong team and never stop learning. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and who have different skill sets. Be willing to take risks and make mistakes, but also be willing to learn from those mistakes. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from other entrepreneurs who have been through it before.

What is your vision for the future of TechBlue?

My vision for TechBlue is to continue to grow and expand our services to meet the changing needs of our clients. I want to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and continue to be a thought leader in the industry. Ultimately, I want to help as many businesses as possible leverage technology to achieve their goals.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and staying active. I’m an avid runner and I also enjoy playing basketball and golf. I’m also a big fan of music and enjoy going to concerts and discovering new artists.

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Evan Cagner is a true leader and innovator in the IT industry. His passion for technology and customer service has helped TechBlue become one of the most respected managed IT services companies in the business. With his keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, Evan is sure to continue to make an impact in the industry for years to come. To learn more about Evan Cagner and TechBlue, you can visit their website or follow them on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Makayla Gordon

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