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Meet The Fashion Issue’s BELLA BOSSES


Running a thriving business takes drive, determination, and a whole lot of hustle! We’re spotlighting 5 fierce, fabulous, and fearless BELLA BOSSES who have founded their own companies and proven how a little belief and a big a leap of faith can land you a leading role in your own life.

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Carmen Ferreira

Rocky Point, NY

Sunshine Barre Studio

My business: Sunshine Barre Studio is an all-women’s hybrid wellness and fitness studio that offers a complete mind/body physical fitness and supporting mindful support. We offer a variety of classes that are suitable for anyone at any point in their fitness journey. My women’s studio specializes in Barre fitness, Yoga, TRX, indoor cycling, Butiyoga, and Hiit Barre. From top to bottom, inside and out, my classes will strengthen and sculpt your body and uplift your spirit.

Why I started it: Not allowing fear to control me, I opened a studio that implemented all the tools I was looking for in a fitness family. I realized early on in life how to move past fear and take those big risks and create a career and life‘s work of embracing all things women.

Most rewarding: Seeing how women evolve and step into their own true power as they embrace self-love. I appreciate each and every one of my members so much. I feel that we each have the ability to raise the vibrations and send out positive energy.

Ultimate goal: For women to learn to love and honor their bodies through all stages of life. Sunshine is for all women—we are here to void stereotypes and empower women to embrace their bodies whatever shape, size, or age.

The secret to my success: Leading with my heart and staying true to my “why.” Movement is medicine.

Lauren Ann (Murino) Piccirillo

Staten Island, NY

Baby Soothe, Inc.

My business: Baby Soothe is the first infant massager—a revolutionary, portable massaging device that naturally and easily calms a crying baby by simulating a mother’s fingertip massage. The groundbreaking gadget is a parent’s natural solution to an age-old problem, something that instantly calms a crying baby on the go. My invention is creating a whole new category in the children’s space—a natural soothing category that currently does not exist. Moms want natural solutions for their children.

Why I started it: As a new mother, I realized how well massage worked to calm my crying newborn. I needed an extra set of hands to help me calm my crying baby throughout the day, especially when I had two sons and was a busy, driven, and goal-oriented mama.

Biggest challenge: Finding the perfect licensing partner who shared the same goals and visions, especially since I have additional products to launch.

How I hurdled it: I researched every prospective partner, and spoke with buyers and seasoned experts in the baby industry to get an idea of how it would be to work with that specific company.

Most rewarding: Knowing that my product will help to positively impact millions of children and their families. It will help to make families’ lives a little more stress-free and easier.

The secret to my success: Knowing what my dream is and envisioning it. It’s having unrelenting determination and perseverance, and being wholeheartedly optimistic and confident that my dream will come to fruition.

Ultimate goal: To create the most successful baby product and brand, incorporating a suite of innovative products to help children globally. I plan to keep inventing and developing products. I aspire to be a role model for females of all ages to accomplish their dreams and pursue their passions.

Vallori Thomas

Milford, CT

WOW Coaching & Consulting, Inc.

My business: WOW Coaching & Consulting, Inc. brings to others what I have come to understand about overcoming, thriving, and the divine gift of reinventing oneself. It includes professional development and corporate training, personal development and coaching solutions, and professional coach certification.

Why I started it: My own life experience and the commitment I made to make a difference for others who found themselves diminished and marginalized.

Biggest challenge: Getting the word out about my business and business products.

How I hurdled it: I adopted possibility thinking and built a possibility mindset along with unstoppable faith in the value of my product offerings.

Most rewarding: It’s the tangible outcomes and impact; witnessing the vision manifested.

The secret to my success? My passion for the work I do and the people I work with…”I Am a Possibilitarian.”

Dixie Lincoln-Nichols

Nazareth, PA

Inside Outer Beauty Market (IOBM)

My business: Inside Outer Beauty Market is a diverse and inclusive brick and mortar and e-commerce retailer, curating toxicant-free and sustainable beauty, wellness, personal care, and household care products to optimize the body’s health inside out.

My “a-ha” moment: In 2012, I resigned from my teaching career and had myself an “Eat, Pray, Love” moment, embarking on a self-care sabbatical in search of my true purpose. Taking a step back was exactly what I needed, but it wasn’t without two major challenges—the resurgence of acne (this time, it was cystic) and uterine fibroids. I decided to take a holistic approach to my health and began to re-examine my inner and outer beauty needs. The result? Clean skin and the discovery of my true entrepreneurial goals.

I became a wellness coach, and went on to study at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and later the London School of Naturopathic Medicine in the U.K. My own health and healing journey had become the impetus for IOBM.

As a black woman, it was also important for me to position myself within the clean beauty market. Access to healthier and safer products is the reason I paused and pivoted in my previous career and business.

Why I started it: I looked out into the landscape and saw the same pattern as the conventional beauty market. There were little to no omnichannel clean beauty retailers owned or operated by black women even though black women spend approximately $7.6 billion dollars in beauty annually (more than any other ethnic group) and are marketed the most toxicant-laden products. This means that brands for women of color are scarce on the shelves of clean beauty retailers.

I’ve set out to change that with IOBM. We are creating a space that is representative of the world I and many others want to live in—one that has equity, is diverse, and is inclusive.

Most rewarding: There’s no better feeling than living on purpose and loving what I do each day. Whether it’s a good day or a bad day, the feeling of purpose and love is sustaining. It’s the fuel that allows me to support others with love, goodness, and grace.

Brianne Manz

New York City

Stroller in the City (SITC)

My business: Stroller in the City is a lifestyle blog about all things fashion, travel, and raising my three children in the Big Apple. 

Why I started it: I started Stroller in the City back in 2010 after leaving the fashion world and selling my business to become a stay-at-home mom. SITC was a creative outlet for me. I wanted to share my motherhood journey while also giving insight about my passions of fashion, travel, food, and the amazing city I call home. 

Biggest challenge in the beginning: Stroller in the City happened organically, so initially things seemed really easy for me, but now time is always a challenge for me! 

How I hurdled it: I’m not afraid to ask for or hire help, while also always being reminded of my priorities and what is truly important to me, which is always being around for my children. 

Most rewarding: The thing that is the most rewarding for me is that I am doing something I love, but also that I am able to still be that full-time mom who gets to share these experiences with my children. Traveling and exploring new places also continues to be one of my favorites too!

The secret to my success: For me, it’s always staying true to myself and my voice. I also only work with brands that my family and I use.

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