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She Believed She Could...

Celebrating Female Entrepreneurs of Newtown

Article by Stacy Graebner

Photography by Roe Masso, RMP Photography

Originally published in Newtown Lifestyle

It’s no secret that female entrepreneurs are changing the business landscape in communities across the country. So much so that it’s hard to believe that it wasn’t until 1988 that women could get business loans on their own without having a male relative co-sign! What a difference 30+ years (and a lot of sweat and perseverance) can make. Today, women comprise almost 40% of small business owners in the United States, and it is projected that the number will continue to increase steadily.

In these pages, we celebrate just a few of the many wonderful female entrepreneurs who are making an impact on our town. From boutique and salon owners, to medical professionals, consultants, educators and non-profit executives, these inspiring ladies are using their talent and entrepreneurial savvy to strengthen and uplift our community. Let’s take a moment to raise a glass to their success in bringing their dreams to life!

Dr. Jennifer Grozalis

Owner, Synergy Sports Rehabilitation and Chiropractic

I am a sports chiropractor who specialize in soft tissue therapy which means I am not just treating bones and joints, but the surrounding tissues, muscles, fascia tendons and ligaments. I can treat any type of fasciitis, tendinitis, or strain sprain quickly and effectively. I went this direction because I always felt like this was an area of rehabilitation that was not addressed and the reason why so many people live in pain. These techniques are not only quick an effective for sports injuries but also for hard to treat cases involving disc herniation and nerve impingements.

What professional achievement are you most proud of?

Building a successful practice and maintaining it for the past 22 years. I chose the name Synergy because I wanted to combine all forms of rehabilitation to address and treat not just one area of a problem, but everything playing a factor in causing pain and dysfunction.

What motivates you professionally?

My patients and my staff inspire me on a daily basis. I would not be as successful as I am without the amazing women and men that I work with. They are like another family to me. I also feel grateful that I have such wonderful patients who I look forward to seeing and who make my work day easy and fun.

Something people don’t know about you? I sing and play guitar and have over 40 videos on YouTube. I sang professionally as a kid and it is a creative outlet for me today.

What is your greatest Superpower?  One that so many women possess – being able to balance career and family. I love my two teenage girls and my husband, so I always want a healthy balance to be able to give my all to my career and family.

Best advice you’ve ever received? Take chances. Don’t take the easy way out. Listen to your intuition. Make choices that make you nervous.

Word of intention for 2021: Perseverance. 2020 was a setback for so many people but we can come back bigger and better than ever before.

Bronwyn Queen-Bergen

Founder, STARS Kids Life Studio

Co-owner, Playa Bowls Newtown and Fairless Hills

In addition to teaching in the Pennsbury School District for 30 years (retiring this year!), I am the founder of the STARS Kids LIfe Studio and co-owner with my husband of Playa Bowls Newtown and Fairless Hills. I became a global kids life coach to help children navigate through any challenges they may face, including friendship dynamics, family relationships, anxiety, and mental disorders. I work with children aged 5-18 in person and virtually from around the world.  Healthy eating is one area of focus with some of the children I coach, and this segued beautifully into becoming an owner of two Playa Bowls franchises.   

What inspired you to pursue these 2 businesses?

I felt drawn to the opportunity to give children the skills they need to make good choices and become happier, more motivated, and inspired to excel in every aspect of their lives. As for Playa Bowls, it was a brand new venture for my husband MIke and I. Neither of us had restaurant experience, but we have never been afraid of learning and accepting new challenges. 

What motivates you professionally?  

I feel inspired coaching kids to believe they can do anything they put their minds to and feel 100% confident that they can stand up for themselves through any challenge. It’s so rewarding watching them become more confident and empowered.

It also feels great to be supporting a healthy lifestyle in our community with Playa Bowls; high-performing people need high-performing food! It has been awesome to employ so many young people in our community who do an amazing job representing Playa Bowls!

Best advice you’ve ever received? Project confidence, be persistent, stay motivated and there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. Secondly, always create opportunities for our younger generations to thrive.  

Greatest Superpower?  Multitasking! In the past two years, I have been able to teach, open two Playa Bowls restaurants and start my STARS Kids Life Studio. 

Word of intention for 2021? KINDNESS

Catherine Chamberlain

Owner, Eden Organics Salon and Spa

I started Eden Organics salon and spa to bring the healthier version of everything beauty to salon and spa services. Having been a nurse for over 20 years and a lover of beauty products, it was the perfect way to bring my experience and knowledge as a nurse to the world of organic and natural beauty services.

What inspired you to launch Eden Organics? I have always wanted to own my own company. I was inspired to open Eden Organics Salon and Spa because I wanted to help people feel great about themselves and do so using products which not only produced wonderful results but were healthy for you. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work? I love the creativity that my work allows me. I have created treatments, products, and programs for my company and I love including my staff in that creation as well. It is truly a collaborative and fun effort. 

What motivates you professionally? I am motivated daily by how much the clients who visit my business locations love their experience. This is in large part to the many skilled professionals who are part of my team. There is nothing more motivating than happy staff and happy clients. As the leader of my company, I take my devotion to constant improvement in all aspects very seriously. We love positive change and new things to share with our guests. 

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Starting my non-profit called Eden Cares. Our staff provides salon and spa services free of charge to clients in treatment for cancer. This type of give back is so important and it has been such a wonderful addition to what we do every day at Eden Organics Salon and Spa. 

Word of intention for 2021: Hope. After the most challenging of years in 2020, everyone needs to have hope and know that good things are already on the way. 

Renee Hanna

Founder and Owner of Silly Spoons, a children’s culinary experience

Silly Spoons offers children interactive classes, private events, & summer camps. I was an elementary school educator for 12 and a high school culinary instructor for 3 years. For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed being in the kitchen. Whether it was watching and learning from family members or just enjoying meals with loved ones. Silly Spoons has enabled me to combine my passions for the culinary arts and working with children.

What inspired you to launch Silly Spoons?

As an educator, I’ve observed that children learn best through hands-on experiences, yet there were limited culinary opportunities for younger children in the community. My vision is to use the culinary arts to foster self-confidence, enrich oral language, develop fine motor skills, enforce math skills, enhance science concepts, build teamwork, and encourage creativity.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy the excitement and energy the children bring to my classes. Whether they are learning new skills or mastering old ones, the sense of enjoyment and accomplishment they exhibit is priceless. I am so very grateful for the immense support I have received from the community. I feel honored to spend time with so many wonderful children.

Professional achievement you are most proud of? My efforts and perseverance. I developed Silly Spoons while still working full time as a public-school teacher. It was very challenging at times. However, I am very proud to have recently been able to resign from my teaching position to pursue my dream of being an entrepreneur.

Best advice you've ever received? Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Success doesn’t come to those who wait for it.

Word of intention for 2021: Growth

Genavieve Jaffe

Founder, Connecting Rainbows

Connecting Rainbows is an organization that connects LGBTQIA+ individuals with lawyers who specialize in family formation and estate planning and fertility resources to help start, grow and protect their families. 

What inspired you to start this organization?

This business blends all of me - law, fertility and LGBTQIA+. I am a lawyer and my wife and I went through reciprocal IVF to have our children. We then had to go through a process called Second Parent Adoption to ensure we both had full legal parental rights to our children. What people don't know is that a birth certificate is not enough. My wife, the biological mother, had to adopt her own biological children because I, as the gestational mother, was considered the legal parent.  

We shared our journey publicly on social media to help others feel less alone, and I found that most people didn't realize that you need to secure your parentage. I sought to fix that gap - ensuring that the lawyers I list on my directory not only do family formation law but also have experience in working with the LGBTQIA+ community.    

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I am meet the most incredible humans doing incredible things in the world. Experts sharing the medical aspects of fertility; lawyers educating us on what we need to do to protect ourselves and why; and individuals sharing their journeys. It has been eye opening, and really showcases the need for advocacy and visibility.  

What motivates you professionally? I LOVE what I do so, so much. I am truly helping so many people - it is such an honor to serve MY community. 

Best advice you've ever received? Never try to be someone else. It's way easier to be YOU than to pretend to be someone else.

Word of intention for 2021: Possibilities. This business has opened so many opportunities that I never imagined. It’s been magical, and I am excited to see what else is possible this year and beyond!

Lily Leong

Owner, Lily’s Chocolate Paradise

I'm a chocolatier and my business started with my love for chocolate-covered pretzels which I learned to make many years ago while I was working full time as a legal assistant. Over the years I started selling my chocolates at craft shows, hospitals and corporate sites and in 2017, after over three decades, I left the corporate legal world. In August 2019 I bought a bakery and converted it into a chocolate store and opened in late October, a few months before the pandemic hit. Luckily, chocolates are comfort food! 

What inspired you to launch your business?  My passion for making chocolates and spreading the chocolate love. 

What do you enjoy most about your work?  I enjoy making chocolates, packaging, meeting fellow chocoholics and especially interesting people from all walks of life.  

What motivates you professionally? I love my job, every aspect of it!  I wake up every morning excited for another day at my store. Chocolates are a happy business!  

Greatest superpower? Being able to work very long hours - 15+ hours or more, 7 days a week.  

What is the professional achievement that you are most proud of?  Working very hard with determination to turn my passion and hobby into a successful second career which also brings joy to others.  

What is something that few people know about you? I love making chocolates but do not enjoy cooking.  

Word of intention for 2021:  Determination

Thank you to everyone for supporting small local businesses - we couldn't do it without you!  Chocolate hugs! 

Mikala Silvestri

Founder, Let’s Learn Tutoring 

As a teacher turned entrepreneur, I've always loved helping others build confidence to grow and learn. I started private tutoring on the side, which quickly became my main focus. I made it my full-time job and started a business. Three years later, we're exponentially growing and coaching confident learners all over the country (even internationally)!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Building relationships with my students and knowing the families I work with beyond academics! This means that I get to live my personal and professional life together; I get to be my genuine self all day, every day! It's something that I love, and I will never undervalue. 

What motivates you professionally?

Having a goal with action steps! It's normal for motivation to come-and-go, but asking myself, "Will this help me achieve my goal?" always keeps me focused.  My larger, life-purpose dreams inspire my goals since every effort slowly turns my former ideas into reality.   

Best advice you've ever received? Believe in yourself! We are our biggest influence, so we need to learn to build up ourselves if we ever hope to build up others. 

Greatest superpower? Empathy. Being able to empathize with my learners builds a relationship with trust and acceptance. When we feel safe and enjoy who we surround ourselves with then communication is far more impactful. Empathy means I can make more fun, positive learning experiences with my students!

What is something that very few people know about you? As a former gymnast and college cheerleader, I can do some cool flips!

Word of intention for 2021: GROWTH!

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