I hope you find these shared insights, brand spotlights, and event opportunities to be helpful. I invite you to join me in person so I can introduce you to great people who can boost your happiness and propel your business forward. I welcome and appreciate your feedback as I publish this second edition of my newsletter. The photos used in the headers (if viewed on LinkedIn) were taken steps from my front door and I incorporated them here to remind you that even though the darkness creeps in a bit earlier this time of year, we can always find beauty in the world if we afford ourselves the time and space to notice it.
BONUS: Don’t miss the holiday gift list I’ve curated for you in the BRAND section. You’ll find something for everyone on your list this holiday season!
How and when do you feel “strong?” For me, it happens when I’ve gotten in a great workout, sure, but I realize more satisfaction and strength when I accomplish something important. This month my strength came from planning and attending RebelleCon (it took place last week) - a boutique conference for women who are designing the work and lives they want to pursue without the stress and burnout. I helped to promote the conference on the communications team, and it was so rewarding to peek behind the curtain with my all-access pass. When they say, “Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life,” they are spot on. Creating content for an audience I am included in made the words flow with more ease because I was essentially writing to myself. Our messaging promised connection, insights, exposure to mentors, and career opportunities. I learned so much from the amazing speakers, filled pages with notes, and made connections that will help my business grow. RebelleCon provides a safe space for women to open up about what they’re facing at work and in life, and the survey results confirmed that our guests had a wonderful experience, and we cannot wait to do it again next year. Yes, please! Until then, I'm going to be leveling up my business acumen and know-how by joining the next SWELL cohort. SWELL by Rebelle is a 12-month peer mentorship program that allows the conversations from RebelleCon to continue on a monthly basis, so the momentum and insights aren't lost but nurtured for growth and opportunity. The door is open, let's go through it together!
I’ve talked about this a lot over the past few years, but something else that makes me feel strong is the fact that I was able to move the needle on my career growth after observing other women who were living life on their own terms. What did their lives look like, you ask? They were working remotely from well-appointed home offices, they were able to get their kids on and off the bus and volunteer at their school(s) when needed, and they were home on time for dinner each night. When I was first exposed to the women of the Rebelle Community, their lifestyles seemed so far out of reach for me, but the atmosphere was warm and welcoming, so I continued to register for their events. After attending multiple panel discussions and mixers, and having meaningful conversations with women I'd just met, something became clear to me. I needed to surround myself with people who were living the kind of life I wanted to live. I needed to learn from them, ask questions, get to know their stories, and you know what? It worked. Once I started expressing to these amazing new connections that I was looking for a change, it led me to my next job opportunity.
It didn’t happen overnight, but I needed to be a gardener (Thanks, @iamkiranbhagat_). I needed to pull the weeds (barriers) in my life, plant the seeds (say what I wanted out loud), and water and nourish the soil (continue to show up and network with different groups outside of my industry). I expanded my bubble, and it made all the difference. I know it’s a popular habit to listen to mantras shared by famous motivational speakers or to hang your hopes on inspirational quotes from a meditation app, but in most cases, to truly make a meaningful change in your life, it comes down to action. You need to make a bold move by taking a brave step in a new direction, and that’s when things start to change.
I was not initially happy about having to leave my industry to build a better life for my family, but what I discovered was that the exposure to thousands of organizations and events over my 15+ years in hospitality created a deep knowledge base and understanding of the needs and challenges businesses and nonprofits face. Now, in brand strategy discussions with clients, I can pull from that knowledge and offer solutions. When recording a script, I can tell a brand story in a way that puts me in the shoes of the listener while also conveying the important information the client is trying to get across to their audience. All those years in hospitality led to a broader purpose.
These days, there are very few industries where there’s a defined corporate ladder to be climbed, and we’re better for it. Career paths are now likened to jungle gyms with zigs and zags, and twists and turns that build resilience in us that we carry forward as we grow as people, employees, and entrepreneurs. I feel strong every time I land a new client or project due to the seeds I’ve planted through my networking efforts, my referral relationships, or because someone believes in my voice talent. My corporate background grounded me but leaning into my creativity makes me strong.
BRAND (Holiday Edition)
As promised, this month I’ve curated a list of companies that will help you find something special for everyone on your “nice” list. I love these brands because they were founded by, or are accessible through, my amazingly talented friends & family.
Please click through to visit each site and give them a follow. Here’s a little background on each one:
KEVA Style – Local to Midlothian, VA, this woman-owned jewelry and accessories brand offers gorgeous leather jewelry, vegan leather options, Apple watch bands, and silk accessories. Eva Harris & Ginny Ball launched their Created by sister brand last year to help elevate up-and-coming artists and designers, and I’m proud to call them my friends. Shop all styles and products on their website – there’s something for everyone! If you’re local to the Richmond region, you’re in luck! KEVA Style is hosting an open studio sale this Sunday. Get the details here and I’ll see you there!
Never Enough – Also local to Midlothian, VA, was founded by a brother & sister team of middle schoolers. This dynamic duo has launched a candle, soap, and bath bomb company to start building business acumen and management skills for their future college applications. Talk about ambition! Sam & Mia Harris are proving that age is just a number. They are learning as they grow and achieving their dreams with hard work and a little know-how. Give them a follow @shopneverenough22 on IG. (If you attend the KEVA Style open studio sale noted above, you’ll be able to shop this new brand, as well). Mia and Sam are the children of Eva Harris, founder of KEVA Style, and Mia is one of my Girl Scouts, so I’m extra proud of her!
Amory's Seafood RVA (@amoryseafoodrva) – Calling all seafood lovers! I have a soft spot for small businesses not only in RVA, but also in the 757 because that’s where I’m from. You can show this family-run seafood business some love by placing an order in time for Thanksgiving. For RVA residents, orders can be picked up in the fan from my friend, Martina James. View their post on IG for the menu, deadlines, and all the ways to get your shrimp on!
Yenta + Posha – Local to Richmond, VA, and as seen on Good Morning America’s Deals & Steals, and now available on Amazon, this meeting planner turned inventor decided to fix foot pain for women who spend hours on their feet. My brilliant friend, Brianna Schwartz, worked with podiatrists, orthopedic specialists, and countless women to grow the only US insole brand with the seal of acceptance by a leading podiatry association! The best part is you don’t have to buy new shoes! These insoles can be slipped in and out of boots, sneakers, flats, and loafers. You never have to sacrifice comfort for style. Bonus! She's now added a comfy no-show lounge sock to her collection, and they feel like buttah! Go ahead and add a three-pack to your cart and thank me later!
Vintner’s Cellar Winery of Yorktown – Local to Yorktown, VA, and serving the 757 and beyond – this hospitality sales executive and his wife, a teacher, decided to buy a winery in the middle of the pandemic! Learning the trade and perfecting their fruit-infused blends, join my friends, Brandon Johnson, CTA and Janet Johnson, for a tasting to hear their story. Stop in and secure bottles for your own collection or request custom labels for gifts that celebrate your friends, family, and clients. Upcoming tastings are linked below and make great gifts!
SEINT – A sustainable beauty brand that’s taking makeup back to its creamy roots. It’s applied lightly with a dab here and a dab there, but offers full coverage with contouring, highlighting, and all the blush and glam in between. Send Jennifer Norwood a message to get her started on building your custom palette. I did! Shipping is lightning fast, too! Give her a follow @jennifermaysnorwood on IG and watch her tutorials to see how it works. She’s my gorgeous cousin, a mama of three, and lives in North Carolina.
Wooed – Local to Richmond, VA – This woman-owned business has been a long time in the making. For years, my friend, Janna Woo, has been crafting the most amazingly creative themed birthday and holiday parties for her two princesses, as well as for friends and family. She’s now taking her themed party supplies and sensory kits to the masses while also offering customized products and accessories. She’s got great teacher and grandma gifts, too! Join her private Facebook group, “Wooed,” to learn more and place a custom order!
What kind of gift list would this be without books? I am so fortunate to have talented friends who are not only makers but also insightful authors. Check out these life-changing books and buy a few extra copies to give as gifts.
Slay Like a Mother by Katherine Wintsch
Behind Frenemy Lines by Dr. Amber Tichenor, PhD
I Quit Pushing the Boulder by Roger Wyatt
Rebelle Magazine – Fall Edition - As you've already read, I had a wonderful time at RebelleCon last week, and I’m still riding the high from all the connections made and lessons learned. The conference may be over, but Rebelle Magazine is live and available online and in print. I am doubling down on my marketing efforts in the coming year, so please enjoy the full-page ad for Linné Diiorio Communications on page 25 in the digital issue. Don’t forget, magazines make great gifts! Trust me, it's gorgeous in print!
Got a great gift idea? Drop a link in the comments so everyone can benefit!
I can proudly say that I landed a corporate narration gig with a major healthcare brand last week. It was exhilarating to receive an invitation to schedule studio time and record with another voice actor to complete the project. Fun fact: I walked into the session and immediately recognized the other voice actor! That’s right…I met Cathy Motley-Fitch at two Rebelle pop-up events this past year. While networking with Cathy at those events, she was intrigued by my pursuit of voice acting and noted that she was a speech coach and performer herself. We hit it off and connected on LinkedIn. Fast forward to last week, when I got to spend more time with her, experience her voice talent, and revel in the compliments she bestowed on me upon hearing my voice through her headphones, it was a completely different recording experience. We were tasked with acting out a very serious phone call and based on the personal experiences we each had to pull from, we nailed it. I’m so grateful that she was in the room. I truly believe that people are placed in your path for a reason, and this instance was one of those blessings.
During a break, we got to catch up and I learned more about her family’s story. Wow! No wonder she was able to act out the script so well. Please check out her website, Lola's Song, and become knowledgeable about the dangers of miscommunication and negligence in our healthcare system. I’m going to encourage her to push her book proposal until a publisher signs on. Also, I’ll say it again, Richmond is the biggest small town!
In other “voice” news, I continue to record on-hold messages for companies across the nation. It’s peak holiday greeting season, so if you’re in need of a refresh of your on-hold telephone greeting to convey your revised holiday hours, special services, or promotions, I’d be happy to work with you to write and record a friendly update. Thank you in advance for every lead and referral you send my way.
A big thank you to Shannon Siriano Greenwood for inviting me to make announcements during RebelleCon again this year, all while working closely in tune with my new friend, and DJ/Stage Manager/Show Runner extraordinaire, Todd Waldo.
To get a hug and hear my voice in real life, you'll need to attend an event or two…
Vintner’s Cellar Winery of Yorktown is hosting tastings this Saturday through mid-December. Gather some friends and book your favorite day and time here. When do you want to meet up? EVENTS | Vintner's Cellar Winery of Yorktown
Girl Scout Troop 752 + Puritan Cleaners Coats for Kids Collection – My daughter's Girl Scout troop is collecting coats for the Puritan Cleaners Coats for Kids program. We're accepting kids' sizes in new and gently used condition from now until Friday, November 18th. If you'd like to donate coats this week, please message me to coordinate pick-up in the RVA area. We truly appreciate your support. We'll be taking our collected coats to Puritan's culminating event this Saturday at The Diamond, and our troop has been offered guaranteed airtime on CBS6 for their efforts! They are so excited, so please help us maximize our donation and keep kids warm this winter.
Creative Mornings Richmond is hosting a session this Friday, 11/18/22 at 8:30 AM
Guest speaker, Dr. Sesha Joi Moon, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion with the U.S. House of Representatives, will give an insightful presentation after a networking reception for our vibrant creative community. Tickets are free, but you must register to attend.
KEVA Style Open Studio Sale Event – Sunday, 11/20/22 from 11 AM – 5 PM
Join us in Midlothian for special deals, a sneak peek of the 2023 designs, and enjoy a little bubbly. See event listing for location and a promo code!
Meeting Professionals International – VA Chapter – Thursday, 12/1/22, 3 PM – 10 PM
Join fellow meeting and event professionals as we network and celebrate the season together. Kings Dominion is opening its doors early for us to host our silent auction and holiday reception, then we’ll stay and enjoy Winterfest! The event kicks off at 3 pm. Winterfest opens to the public at 5 pm. Register here.
Liza Pruitt Art’s Emerging Artist Show – Now through December 1, 2022
Calling all art lovers! Scoop up great deals on pieces large and small from a curated group of talented up-and-coming artists. Art makes the perfect gift! This is an online shopping event.
The CarMax Tacky Light Run is one of my favorite events of the season. It will take place on Saturday, December 10th in Walton Park, a neighborhood in Midlothian known for its epic tacky light displays and enthusiastic neighbor participation in welcoming thousands of spectators to their streets. This non-competitive 6K course is accessible by wheelchair, wagon, and stroller. Bundle up the family, gather your friends, and wrap yourself in battery-powered lights to join in on the tacky festivities. Sports Backers creates a fun and safe festival atmosphere with cookie stops and photo ops along the way. It’s a great way to get those steps in, too. #nevertootacky Register Now: Ticket prices go up this Friday! CarMax Tacky Light Run - Sports Backers
Shew, that’s a packed calendar, but I’m excited about all the friendly faces I get to see this holiday season. Tune in next month as I explore how to set your sights on a productive and fulfilling 2023. Now, go register for everything I've noted above, and I'll save you a seat!
Linné Diiorio Communications
Originally published on LinkedIn:
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