7 BELLA Bosses We Admire: June 2021

This June, BELLA celebrates 7 women and their businesses! From fashion, to videography, and dentistry, these women are making moves in their areas of expertise…

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Lindsay Barnette

Location: Atlanta, GA

Business/Brand/Company: Kultured Misfits Clothing Collection

Title: Owner/Founder & Creative Director

Website: www.kulturedmisfits.com

MY BUSINESS: Kultured Misfits is a premium unisex streetwear brand; developed with a primary vision to create a community that could provide an identity for those who know they Were Never Meant To Fit In. A unified mission to uplift, inspire & encourage others to believe what makes you stand out and different is what makes you better.

IN THE BEGINNING: The beginning was undergrad. I had some amazing experiences in college that really changed my point of view. The people I was surrounded by were always creative and living to create moments and experiences. When I graduated and was looking for my first job, I needed something creative to ground me again. Initially it served as an outlet and passion project, but I soon discovered that the most natural and effective physical canvas for me manifested itself through clothing. Kultured Misfits was conceived through late nights spent searching for meaning and purpose, inspired by a group of friends who would spend hours sharing their art with one another : poetry, music, dance and all forms of art. We started with small t-shirt collections and have now expanded into full cut & sew pieces in crewnecks, joggers and jackets that are inscribed with the meaning of the brand in each piece.

MOST REWARDING: The most rewarding aspect is the connections made with customers and other creatives when they experience the brand. I love the reaction; whether it is the design or quality of our products or the overall brand message that they resonate with, it’s humbling and inspiring to keep going. I’m so proud to be curating a community where people feel like they belong. Secondly, it’s our annual Legalize Free College scholarship, where we give back to our student community and offer small token of relief towards their studies. My out of the classroom experiences in college changed my life, so if we can help ease a little of the financial burden on the journey to find your tribe, we are all in.

SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: The secret to my success is God, my team of friends who have held me up since day one, and never forgetting my Why. I try to align everything we do with why I started the brand.

Isabella(Bella) Barretti

Location:New York

Business/Brand/Company:House of Barretti Suits

Title:Vice President

Website: www.houseofbarretti.com

MY BUSINESS: Catering to the young professional woman, House of Barretti offers Custom Couture Suits for all occasions. After recognizing a gap in the market for a fabulous suit geared towards the younger more modern woman, fashion designer IsabellaBarretti started to design a more form fitting cut on the wildly successful classic Chanel inspired design. From silk dupioni linings to custom buttons and trims this line features the highest level in quality and craftsmanship all made in the USA .

So who is House of Barretti catering to? Everyone! From the highschool teen attending graduation to the young business professional to even the Miss Teen and Miss America interview systems. House of Barretti Suits are being worn by many of today’s top young professionals and teen celebrities. We couldn’t be prouder to bring back this style of clothing with a modern twist.

IN THE BEGINNING: I remember the first time I saw someone wear one of my collection pieces it made me cry because it truly felt like the ultimate validation that someone loved my design just as much as I did.  I think some of the most exciting moments are making your logo and mission statement. Getting that first garment tag with the logo on it really made it feel so real ..like ok its go time .

MOST REWARDING: To date my most rewarding moments are being nominated for a NY Fashion Award and being 1 of 8 designers asked to show at Time Square NYFW post covid where they shut down Time Square just for our Shows, it felt like a dream .

SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: The secret of my success is easy, I work hard everyday because there is no expiration date on hard work. If you put in the time, the results will eventually happen. The second and equally important thing is to surround yourself with people who are in the same mindset as you, not yes people but people who have their own success happening too.

Heather Besignano

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Business/Brand/Company: ICON PR – Publicity Firm

Title: Founder and CEO

Website: www.icon-publicity.com

MY BUSINESS: I represent a wide variety of clientele including film and television actors, digital creators, models, high-profile executives and CEO’s and music artists. We feel strongly about thinking outside of the box and finding ways to intertwine or clientele in spaces that are fulfilling to their careers in both the creative and business sense.

IN THE BEGINNING: I began ICON PR in 2018 after leaving the firm I was previously at for 10 years. I began there as an assistant to one of the partners of the firm and worked my way up over the next decade to COO. Ultimately, I felt the strong desire to become a business owner and found myself launching the boutique firm that has thrived and given me so much joy over the last 3 years!

MOST REWARDING: As a publicist, my most rewarding moments have been celebrating my clients greatest successes. Oscar nominations, winning their first awards, solidifying their #1 spot on the New York Times Best-Sellers list, securing their first major talk show and/or their first cover feature. I’ve worked with some of my clients for the majority of my career and watching their careers grow allowing them to do what they love most in this world is truly satisfying. In my personal life, the most rewarding things I’ve ever done are, first and foremost, having my gorgeous daughter, Bella – and secondly – opening my own PR firm.

SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: THE HUSTLE. Be Kind. Be Respectful. Don’t take business things personal (even when they feel personal) – and, most importantly – have a work/life balance.

Tiffany Dufu

Location: New York, NY

Business/Brand/Company: The Cru

Title: Founder & CEO

Website: https://www.thecru.com/

MY BUSINESS: The Cru matches women in accountability circles to help them achieve their personal and professional goals. Powered by technology, we match circles of members, who meet regularly for structured meetings and collaborate via a digital goal tracking tool to keep each other accountable, provide mentorship, and learn new skills. As a result, they are able to accelerate their growth and achieve their goals. It’s this approach to bringing diverse groups together that has led to 92% of Cru members saying that the platform has helped them achieve their goals.

IN THE BEGINNING: My life’s mission is to help advance women and girls, so I’ve built my career focusing on this work. My journey has included writing Drop the Ball, serving as the former President of The White House Project, a launch team member to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, as well as the Chief Leadership Officer for Levo.

In April of 2017, I had a vision that woke me up. It was an image of five women huddled together on a sofa, drinking tea and enjoying each other’s company. These women were taking turns sharing their ambitions and responding to questions and feedback posed to them by the others in the group. They were laughing, learning, and growing together. Flash forward to 2018, I was having breakfast with a successful career woman who felt she had unfulfilled ambitions. She was smart and she worked hard, but felt like she was missing something. When I shared my vision of a peer group that could help her create and execute a plan, hold her accountable, and leverage their combined resources and network to help her thrive, she responded, “But Tiffany, even if these amazing women are out there, I don’t have time to find them. I’m too busy taking care of other people.” Listening to this amazing woman feeling so frustrated, I realized that my purpose wasn’t to show women how to find their circle of support, my purpose was to do the searching for them. That was the start of The Cru.

Today, The Cru is a thriving community of women from all walks of life, professional journeys and geographies spanning coast to coast. Together, we’re providing members with peer coaching at structured meetings, access to experts through our workshops and interviews, and the digital tools to fuel their ambitions.

MOST REWARDING: The most rewarding aspect of my work is the fact that my livelihood and my purpose are one in the same: advancing women and girls. Not only is my life so much more efficient, but because of this work with The Cru, I have the opportunity to personally connect with as many women as I can each day to help them on their journey.

SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: Having a Cru of my own. I work hard, but the secret to my success is my Cru. These women know my good, bad and ugly and they help me create a plan that will keep me accountable. They hold my feet to the fire. They make introductions, buy my books, and retweet my ideas. They keep me laughing and they never judge me when I leave tears on their nice clothes. We have each other’s back.

Dr. Victoria Veytsman

Location: New York/ Beverly Hills

Business/Brand/Company: Cosmetic Dental Studios

Title: Celebrity Cosmetic Dentist

Website: https://veytsmandds.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drvictoriadds

MY BUSINESS: We are a cosmetic dental practice focusing on all things oral health and beauty. The primary focus of our practice is smile makeovers, dentofacial aesthetics (where we try to restore harmony to the entire face through the smile), and anti-aging dentistry. We are bicoastal and have attracted patients from all over the world. We are also female-founded and run, in a fairly male-dominated field.

IN THE BEGINNING: I started my practice from scratch with literally one patient. I didn’t buy a practice or get funding to build one. This was a bootstrap business where it was built one patient relationship at a time—that’s why I still value customer service and the relationships with my patients so much. It’s the framework upon which my business was built.

MOST REWARDING: Being intimately involved and a witness to the transformative journeys my patients take with their smile makeovers. It is such a privilege. There is always such a huge emotional component to what we do and the most rewarding part is being a part of building confidence. We’re really in the business of building confidence through creating beautiful smiles–it can be very healing for people.

SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: Persistence and tenacity–never giving up. Starting a practice as a solo entrepreneur was probably even more difficult than dental school or any studies. The key is still just never giving up and getting up stronger after every failure. Another key is looking at the big picture and reframing the focus from “what success can I gain” to “what can I contribute?” Let the biggest motivation of success be giving back. Then personally the motto “elevate–every day, in every way” is what I use. Every day is just a little bit better than your former self.

Tiffany Kelly

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Business/Brand/Company: Curastory
Title: Founder + CEO
MY BUSINESS:  Curastory allows creators to shoot and edit high-quality video, monetize shows, and distribute to all of their video channels, 100% free. We have made video simple + allow our content creators to shoot, edit, monetize, and distribute their video content to all of their video channels, like YouTube, IGTV, and FB Watch, for free. Content creators upload videos within our platform where we then match it to brand advertisers for monetization before they distribute the final video to all of their video channels with one-click. Our brand partners browse videos in the self-serving ad platform to bid on and advertise through creator-recorded video ad segments. Imagine podcast advertising with host-read ads for video with native creator-recorded ads in the video. That’s what we do for creators + brand partners at scale. If you’re reading this + thinking about getting into the vlogging game, do it 🙂
IN THE BEGINNING: I worked at ESPN on the content side for a few years where I began to notice how getting athletes + entertainers to come on the air became increasingly difficult for a famous sports media company + more arguments happening between the media, journalists + athletes started to happen more frequently because these athletes began building their own audiences through their own social media channels, wanting to get into the YouTuber game, and document their lives for their fans monetizing on their own, as well as controlling their own narratives. Was the only black female in a 400+ person department and ended up leaving January 2019 to build Curastory full time.
MOST REWARDING: Building ESPN’s Fan Happiness Index. It got over 1 million views in 24 hours + in negotiations for multi-millon dollar sponsorship opportunities before I left the company to build something on my own.

SECRET TO MY SUCCESS:  Nothing can get me down for too long. I understand the power in persistance, flexibility, and constant reinvention. If something isn’t working, come at it from a different angle. I like getting to no’s + failing fast to get where I’m going. Wherever it is, I know it’s the right place. When you realize the beauty is in the journey + doing your passions instead of specific job titles or destinations, you start to allow yourself to lose control and step into your excellence.

Alexandra Niel

Location: Red Bank, NJ

Business/Brand/Company: Alexandra Niel Coaching, ANiel International LLC.

Title: Owner/Certified High-Performance Coach

Website: www.alexandraniel.com

MY BUSINESS: As a coach, my goal is to empower women to unlock their full potential so they can live the abundant life they deserve without sacrificing their health and relationships. In essence, I help them design the life of their dream. Using the Certified High PerformanceTMFramework, which has been scientifically validated, we dive deep into 5 key Success Habits – Clarity, Energy, Courage, Productivity & Influence.  On this journey, my clients discover how small, actionable changes create big results, when implemented consistently over time.

IN THE BEGINNING: Years ago, while I was still in corporate, I interviewed for an Account Manager position and at one point was asked: “Why don’t you go into Human Resources?” And I thought… “HR? Why in the world would I go into HR?” It turns out I had talked so much about helping others that it prompted the interviewer to ask me the question.

10 years and a divorce later, I threw myself into the world of personal development and embarked on my own discovery journey. During that time, I worked with a Certified High-Performance Coach and when I saw the difference it made in my life, I knew I wanted to make the same difference in other people’s lives. So, I decided to get my certification.

As I have grown, I have come to realize that we, as women, need to champion each other. So, in January of 2021, I made the scary but life-affirming decision to retire from corporate to pursue this dream of helping other women succeed at the things they love and become truly happy.

MOST REWARDING: When I work with a client and I can hear or see that they have had a breakthrough, it gives me goosebumps. Very selfishly, I chase the goosebumps because that’s how I know my client “got it”, that they had an epiphany. When a client starts stacking those wins thanks to our work together, it’s like telling them “you’re one step closer!” The more wins they get, the more they start showing up as their best self and stop playing small. It’s exciting!

SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: It all starts with being an effective listener. That means not only listening with my ears, but also listening with my eyes, my heart and my gut.


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