I have had many women role models in my life, five of which really stand out. From women of the big screen to women a lot closer to home, there is no doubt in my mind that they awoke my drive and fearlessness which led to the creation of my uniquely beautiful life and successful business.
The Hollywood ladies I idolized most were Doris Day and Audrey Hepburn. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember Doris wearing her very pretty peignoir sets with marabou slippers looking perfectly coiffed. Doris had the style I admired while Audrey was the epitome of femininity and understated elegance. Both of these actresses inspired many young women to embrace their sensuality ever so quietly in a time when it was still taboo.
My mother, Adrienne, taught me the importance of achieving the career goals we set for ourselves. By profession she was an accountant. At home she was a wife and mother; taking on all of the traditional duties for a woman at that time. Although she was no June Cleaver at home, I watched her balance house duties with her career, both of which were clearly important to her. It may not have always been conscious, but my mother’s example as a working mother certainly resonated with my sisters and me – all three of us embrace and enjoy our family-life and careers.
My boldness can be attributed to my Aunt Helen. We used to dance around the house clanging finger cymbals. Aunt Helen taught me to never cage my spirit. She refused to trade her happiness for the appeasement of social norms of the time. Even with four small children, Aunt Helen divorced her husband because she fell out of love with him. Rumor has it she had a boyfriend while married too. She then met Dan — whose brother was an Archbishop in the Catholic Church. Can you imagine what a scandal this was at that time? …A divorced woman with 4 children who wants to marry an Irish Catholic. Horrifying! But Aunt Helen was undaunted. She even traveled with Dan before marriage. Sinful! They did eventually marry and remained happy their entire lives. Aunt Helen was undoubtedly the “Auntie Mame” of our family. She was free and unwilling to submit to the conventions of society despite the adversity she came up against.
Last but not least, there was Aunt Cora – an accomplished working woman who started her own business. You’d think this is where I learned more about business, but Aunt Cora’s specialty was teaching her nieces how to entertain elegantly. We’d set the table with fine china, cloth napkins, and the proper utensils. She repeatedly instructed us on proper etiquette and instilled in us a love of hosting and hospitality. We didn’t need Emily Post, we had Aunt Cora.
Between these five incredible women I was like a sponge, absorbing everything I could from these ladies I admired. Perhaps it’s even how I got the inspiration to start UndercoverWear…
We make women feel beautiful with our pretty lingerie. We help women to embrace their sensuality – not always so quietly. We teach women how to build a strong, financially rewarding business while retaining their femininity. We encourage women to achieve their career goals. And we always have fun.
So thank you Doris, Audrey, Aunt Cora, Aunt Helen and, of course, Mom – who, by the way, had the 1st UndercoverWear party. Thank you for helping to shape me into who I am today. It was your contributions that allow me to pour into the lives of so many women personally and professionally. To each of you, I am overwhelmingly grateful.