Chavalia is proud to be a business owner and feels that it’s a badge of honor to be a female entrepreneur. She believes female entrepreneurs are finally receiving the recognition and respect that’s deserved. “I’m happy to be amongst a group of people who are making names for themselves and paving the way for future female entrepreneurs by paying their knowledge and expertise forward.”Read More
BRA's Women on the Rise benefit luncheon raised a total of $3,750 for Dress for Success - West! We more than doubled our donation from last year! Thank you to all of our sponsors and guests who made this possible.Read More
When I was growing up there was only one group where girls could meet regularly, find decent role models, feel empowered to make positive change in the world, and eat your weight in cookies all in one place…Read More
Blogging sounds simple enough, right? That is exactly what I thought eight months ago when I decided to start a blog, but within those eight months I compiled a list of five things I wish I knew before I started…Read More
We reached our goal, raising a total of $1,500 for Dress for Success! Last year we donated clothes; this year we created a lasting partnership and were able to give even more. Next year, I plan on doubling it! Keep reading for event highlights…Read More
Everyone knows that the first year of business is usually the hardest. It’s a learning curve, and for many first-time entrepreneurs, it doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read or online courses you’ve taken. Year one is going to be trial-by-fire to get your dream off the ground, with plenty of room for mistakes and unforeseen expenses. But you’re smart and savvy, so you’ll do whatever it takes to make it work. And with a little help from women who have been-there-done-that, you can avoid these three common mistakes, and maybe make that first year a little easier...Read More
Let’s face it. As a mom, your normal day-to-day life is already a full-time job. And, fulfilling as it is, you’ve also got your side hustle that you’re trying to build into a fempire you can be proud of and will make feeding that family of yours a little easier. So how can you maximize your potential?Read More
"What I learned when I decided to leave education."
I have no tips or tricks to share today with our wonderful group, but I do have a confession,
I never wanted to be a Stay at Home Mom.
I have nothing against them, in fact, some of my favorite friends are SAHM and damn if that isn’t the toughest effing job out there.
When I had my kids I was working as an Academic Director at a K-12 charter school with a very flexible work schedule, I worked part-time and my actual "work" wasn't much of a challenge, but I got to massage that teaching muscle and still make it in time to a Mommy & Me class with Synthia Praglin and later Siggie Cohen. For awhile, it felt really, really great. However, I was getting progressively more and more bored with work. Not because I missed being at home with my kids, LOL I said this was a confession!! It was because the actual work wasn’t challenging at all, some days I totally phoned it in and everyone kept telling me how fabulous I was and I was thinking, “Dude, I could do SO much more, but ok!”
So what does my Executive Director do when I tell her I’m not really being challenged enough???
Why, she promotes me of course! AND gives me a raise! I was like, “HUH??”
They promoted me to Interim - Principal (the current was on bed rest) with the goal being I would the Asst. Principal when she returned in February. Well this was now even further away from me being a SAHM, so I thought, why not!?! At the same time, Caitlyn is starting Kinder and a River is in preschool and I'm supervising 300 kids, their families and 30 teachers and staff, including Melissa Gallegos!Be careful what you wish because I was now VERY challenged. (Side note this promotion led to me meeting, Jennifer 'Ross' Sellz. So yes, every cloud has a silver lining.)
By the time I was half way through from my second year, I had enough. Being on the administrative side of public school education is not star stickers and crazy hair day. It is UGLY. I was finding myself saying and doing things that actually WERE NOT in the best interest of the students but of the budget and I couldn’t take it. I missed family, my friends, yoga and sleep. Also, I was feeling that boredom sneaking in again…
"Complacent Carrie, is not a good Carrie to be.” - Thomas Jefferson
If I kept my my mouth shut, I would have had a very successful career as a principal.
I now ENIVED all those SAHM so much!!!!!
So what did I decide to do???
I KNOW!!!! I'll open my own school, with my own teachers, my own mission, and use my own philosophy on education. I'll FINALLY get to be apart of the solution in education not perpetuating the same bureaucratic BS like making 6 year olds sit all day, tell their parents they have ADD and they need medication. Nope, at my school they will have plenty of playtime, lots of hands-on learning and tons technology!
I’M GOING TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR!
So with the support of my friends and family; Kathy Scolieri-Schuh built bookcases, Christine Bieselin Clark painted cabinets, Jennifer Garrett Currier planted a garden and Lori Bell Medlin posed as a perspective parent at an Open House to ask all the “right questions” to make me look good.
I built my school and it was exciting, invigorating and something I was really good at, the parents of my students were all so appreciative of my little school, they saw so much growth in their kids, and we were a happy little group.
Just me, my teacher, one small class and my business partner. I did everything from the ground up, I wasn’t only the principal, I was also the bookkeeper, janitor, administrative assistant, advertising manager and so much more. I put EVERY ounce of my soul into this venture, I sacrificed even more time with my family, friends and fuck it, who has time for yoga any way.
BUT...after 2 years.... I found myself bored again and 20 pounds heavier. Side note, those pounds are the reason I meet Stacey Beaman. Silver lining, again. Also, who did I see at the workout classes with me?? Synthia came back into my life, 4 years later.
So about my school….. I guess I always knew I COULD build a school, but I never asked myself if I SHOULD.
It was also around this time I realized I was surrounded by other women who were entrepreneurs, I’m not kidding like NINE of you I was talking with regularly and you were all entrepreneurs.
Some of us would get together fairly regularly and the talk about kids, marriage and sales at Trader Joes were now becoming a smaller part of our conversations, it was transitioning into talks about the best Instagram posts, creating marketing campaigns and how to grow our businesses to a higher level of success.. Those are some of my favorite times, I found myself SO looking forward to those meetings with you ladies after my school day. It got to a point where the servers at the restaurants we'd frequent knew what we were drinking and eating as soon as we stepped in the door. They were essentially, on the payroll.
I felt charged and was so eager to learn more about what you all were doing and how I could help.
It was then I realized, what if I got ALL of these ladies in the same room at the same time, we could ALL really benefit from knowing and networking with each other.
So as luck would have it, in late 2015, I passed ownership of my school over to a very eager teacher and I started
BRA- Business Relationship Alliance.
I don’t have an office space anymore, so I guess that makes me officially a Stay at Home Mom now. Who Knew???
BRA LADIES, I love bringing people together, so my business is to get YOU more business.Read More
"There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish"
Michelle Obama is one of the Legendary boss ladies that truly inspire me. She looks so polished and well put together. She has a genuine smile, infectious laugh, and just seems really cool. I really feel her work while FLOTUS was pretty amazing. Not matter what your political point of you, you have to admit she and her team have accomplished so much that will have a continued impact on people's lives for years to come. Don't believe me? Let me name a few....
1. Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.
2. The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady's effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university. @reachhigher2020
3. Joining Forces works hand in hand with the public and private sectors to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives.
If I could meet her for coffee, I would ask her one thing, "How can I inspire women entrepreneurs the way you inspire me?" Then I imagine we'd split a scone and talk about how holding firm on the battlefield of raising teenagers is the hardest job she has ever had. We'd take a selfie, not like the first two but settle on the last one, choose a flattering filter like Hudson and be social media friends for life.
Michelle you are a legend.