Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs in Our Community

Deepali Patel Owner/Business Manager The Learning Experience, Bridgewater

1) What inspired you to choose this career path? One of my favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela is, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." I firmly believe that it is critical to build an educational foundation when a child is young.

2) What makes The Learning Experience unique? The Learning Experience's proprietary L.E.A.P. Curriculum includes sign language, phonics, foreign language, manners and etiquette, physical fitness, and a philanthropy program that teaches children the value of selflessness and giving—all designed to make learning fun!

3) What is your favorite book in regards to business? Leading Gracefully: A Woman’s Guide to Confident, Authentic and Effective Leadership by Monique Svazlian Tallon.

4) How do you create a work/home balance? The strong and flexible administrative team I’ve built helps me balance life with my own young children. Adaptability is also key. I am able to roll with the punches. It's also important to not have mom guilt.

5) What are your future business goals? To build the school to optimal capacity in conjunction with having the maximum impact on the foundation of our students' lives. I would also like to own a second school.

Dawn Coffin Owner/Premier Stylist Beverly Hills Hair Studio

1) As a child, did you see yourself in this field? Yes, I always wanted to be a hairstylist! I loved practicing on my barbies...and on my two sisters.

2) If you were a potential customer, why would you choose Beverly Hills? Beverly Hills has a professional atmosphere and warmth that makes everyone feel welcome, all while providing amazing services. We listen to our guests and understand what they are looking for in the perfect cut, color or style and we educate them so they can continue to achieve their look at home.

3) What motivates you on a daily basis? My motivation is my children. I want to teach them that anything is possible. Hard work and pushing through the tough times makes you come out on top!

4) What are your tips or tricks for success in business? Take it one day at a time. I trust my employees and have open communication with them. Also, laughing is the cure to all!

5) Why did you choose Martinsville for your business? I was a stylist for over twenty years at Beverly Hills before purchasing the salon myself five years ago. This town is a second home to me. I love the closeness it brings. The people are absolutely amazing and my customers are my most loyal friends. 

Genna Centolanza Owner/Head Trainer, Brookside Show Stable

1) If you were a customer, why would you choose to go to Brookside? Owning Brookside was my childhood dream. From years of experience, I took what I loved, and learned from what I was less enthusiastic about, to create a fun, safe, drama-free, family atmosphere where people want to be.

2) What are your tips or tricks for success in business? Hard work and dedication is the key to business. You have to want to be in the equestrian industry and be willing to put in the hours and years of blood, sweat, and tears. 

3) How do you manage a work/home balance? My career is not a job, but a lifestyle. Caring for over 25 horses, I work 12-hour days, at least six days per week. It helps to have a family who understands that I might miss some holidays because the horses don’t take a day off.

4) What are your future goals for your business? Since 2014, we have grown from six horses to over 25 and have vastly expanded our lesson program. I would like to continue with this growth and also remain a facility where students feel safe and welcome to learn how to ride and compete. I want to give them all the life lessons that come with these wonderful animals.

Christina Meerloo Owner/Photographer Meerloo Photography 

1) What inspired you to choose this career path? I chose to become a photographer because I love documenting humans and helping them to create memories. It’s my passion to capture their beauty for them.

2) Has being a woman contributed to your success? My experience as a model and a woman has really allowed me to understand my clients from their point of view. My entire brand is focused around female empowerment.

3) Why would you choose Meerloo Photography? My expertise in posing and attention to detail from the art of boudoir compliments my wedding photography, while my extensive background in lighting and ability to think on my feet from shooting weddings, compliments my boudoir shoots. 

4) What are your tips or tricks for success in business? Be consistent, learn how to outsource, and understand financial planning for retirement.

Paula Vignali Certified Relocation Specialist, Broker Associate​ Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Bedminster / Bridgewater Office

1) What makes you unique as a realtor? I truly care for my clients. The same attention is given to the $60K buyer as the $6M buyer.

2) What motivates you on a daily basis in your career? I love my job! My greatest pleasure is seeing people fulfill their dreams, or assisting them in times of heartache.

3) Do you have any tips or tricks? Be genuine and knowledgeable in your field. My clients find my 31 years of experience an invaluable asset.

4) How do you manage to keep a work/family balance? Years ago, I decided to make my family my priority. Leaving a legacy of success in business seems shallow if you haven't left a mark of love in the hearts of your own family.

5) What are your business goals for the future? To continue to be a blessing in the lives of those I come in contact with, in business and life!

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