Many of you know that I feel strongly about the power and passion that flows when women inspire women — through mentoring and friendships we share advice, support, and information. We influence, challenge and encourage each other. I have received so much motivation, from so many muses, and that was the seed of the Modern Wave Makers series. One of the best things about growing older is recognizing there are many different forms of happiness, and definitions of success — there is no cookie cutter formula! I hope you will find some ‘wind beneath your wings’ in the stories these ladies will share. First up: my friend Michele Hofherr. I call her the Queen of Connectors (she has a gift!), and I am in awe of her path to co-founder and CEO of the fabulous e-commerce website Previously Owned by a Gay Man
MODERN WAVE MAKER: Michele Hofherr
Michele began her career as a film and theater talent agent in New York City and Los Angeles, representing actors such as Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Aniston, and Alfred Molina. She then moved to the Bay Area, where she discovered her love of photography. Fifteen years later, Michele’s work can be found in countless private collections around the globe and in many high-end hotels, such as the Four Seasons, Omni Hotels, and the Mandarin Oriental. Each iteration of Michele’s career has been driven by her critical eye and her respect and appreciation for a high aesthetic. Her own quest to find and pass along the next great piece in home décor led to the creation of Previously Owned by a Gay Man.
Good advice is a gift — what is the best advice you’ve been given?
My first boss in the entertainment industry taught me to ‘talk less and listen more’. As a 23 year old interacting with high profile actors this was excellent advice. In the beginning I often had no idea what was going on, but at least I didn’t overtly expose my ignorance!
Who would you invite to your ideal Girl’s Night?
Meryl Streep, Katie Couric, Rebel Wilson (and a few of my real friends of course!)
What is your go-to piece of clothing?
Black on black on black
What do you sing when you are alone in your car?
The Hamilton soundtrack
What was the best compliment you have received?
You do many interesting things very quietly.
How has your life been different than you imagined?
I can’t say I ever had a grand plan for my life, but when I was young I was very focused on career and didn’t think a lot about getting married or having a family. I ended up meeting and marrying my husband quite young and my career has zigged and zagged a lot more than I would have envisioned, so I guess both have ended up differently than I would have thought.
What is your most-used word? (And what word do you wish everyone would stop using?)
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Red Wine and the TV Series “Younger”
What is your favorite museum?
The Guggenheim in NYC
If you weren’t running your Business, POBAGM, what would you be doing?
A lot more painting and photography
What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone?
Their style and their smile
Be sure to check out Michele’s site for unique treasures and finds! She also has a fabulous blog and you will be inspired by her entrepreneurial journey!
One thing that friends and family closest to me know, is that my favorite holiday is Christmas. The second runner-up is definitely Fourth of July. Truth be told it might actually be a close tie. Fourth of July doesn’t come with the stress that Christmas can tend to bring—it’s seasonal pace is slower — and it also happens to fall during my birthday week – and my husbands! My favorite place to celebrate is on the shores of Lake Tahoe…yes, red, white and Tahoe blue—something I have enjoyed since childhood. Nothing says “summer” to me more than Fourth of July week at The Lake. In honor of a celebration of Independence Day I am sharing my July 4th Holiday Pinterest board with you. I have visually assembled some inspiration and plan to execute a few of these ideas this upcoming week. I hope you will draw some inspiration here as well for your holiday week. I believe in keeping it simple–with a few Martha Stewart touches thrown in. May your celebration sparkle- wherever you are, in your favorite Independence Day spot! I have also included some healthy summer recipes (and long time favorites) that I plan on trying this year. Have a wonderful week!
Click for: 4th of July ideas!
I came to the TV series binge-watch party a little late…but better late than never! As guilty pleasures go, this one seems fairly harmless – and it’s been fun way to tune out of the busyness of daily life sometimes. As I’ve spent the last 25 years living with men/boys/men, I’m not drawn to shows such as Prison Break, 24, and Game of Thrones. My personal escape preference tends toward light, funny, and chick-flick-esque (with a splash of psychological drama!) viewing.
If you are looking for some summer fluff (with a side of provocative, obsessive mystery), here are my three binge-able favorites:
• Younger This is 100% my kind of show! Created by Darren Star (of Sex & the City and Melrose Place fame), this hilarious show follows a 40-year old divorced mom who disguises herself as a younger woman to re-enter the publishing world. Sutton Foster is fantastic – and believable – as she navigates what it means to be ‘Liza’ at 26, exploring career and friendships and love interests…and delivers plenty of OMG moments! You can find Younger on TV Land.
This article offered an interesting perspective on the show: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/01/younger-tvland-review/424617/
• Grace and Frankie From the king of binge-watching, Netflix, comes this fantastic take on a modern family. Starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two women thrown into a foul-mouthed, complicated, touching friendship after their respective husbands left them for a gay relationship (they’d been cheating! with each other!), Grace and Frankie is a joyful buddy comedy, and the second season just started streaming!
This is a fun read about the show: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/grace-frankie-set-visit-behind-900000
• The Affair Drama, intrigue, and married people doing lousy things — this is about as dark as television and movie viewing gets for me. And yet, I’m interested in the characters, and the story, and even though it makes me cringe…I keep watching! Maybe it’s the great actors, or the stunning locations (gorgeous Montauk vacation homes, unrealistic NYC apartments), but I want more. Season Three doesn’t start on Showtime until November 20th, but you can binge on complicated relationships with the first two seasons of The Affair now.
(I’m not sharing any links…because I don’t want to unintentionally create a spoiler alert!)
If you want to get out of the sun/away from relatives/recover from the dreaded summer cold…try one of these marathon-worthy television escapes. And let me know what I should add to my binge-list next!
So, I may have mentioned (once or twice!) that our dear friend Alisan Porter was a contestant this season on The Voice. And you may even have been one of the ten million viewers on May 24th who watched Alisan win Season Ten! She has been very open in sharing her struggles on the road to this ‘fairytale ending’ — from early success as a child star to overcoming addiction — and her doubts about moving back into the public eye after becoming a stay-at-home mom several years ago. While her love for her family defines her, the show really reinforced Alisan’s enduring passion for music, and, as she said, fueled the fire! I asked her to share a little about balance and inspiration, and what’s next in her life:
Does the winner of The Voice still have to make dinner? Seriously, though — what happens next for you?
Yes, Jane, I still do have to make dinner! Cooking is something I enjoy, though honestly I’d been eating a lot of take-out while I was doing The Voice — so last night I made a huge heap of Mac & Cheese for my kids. I love to prepare healthy meals (along with that yummy comfort food!), and ‘what comes next’ will be a lot of figuring out how to balance everything in the coming months.
What will be the biggest challenge as you incorporate this new success into your ‘real’ life?
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge will be finding the balance between my life as a Mom and my life as an Artist. There is no right or wrong way to do this in order to feel fulfilled in my personal life and successful with this amazing opportunity I’ve been given — and it may be as much ‘blending’ as it is ‘balancing’ — but I’m determined to create the right path for my family. I know it can be done!
Your victory made Christina Aguilera the first female coach on The Voice to have a winner! She said your win was “a true victory for women”. What woman was an early inspiration for you, and why?
There is no one more inspirational to me than my grandmother. My Nana started a dance studio which she owned for 60 years, and I grew up surrounded by her dedication and energy and love of life. As I’ve grown, I have also come to realize how her life was focused by her passion for empowering others, and how her spirit has been such a powerful influence in young people’s lives. My own passion for empowering women has been a journey led by the example of my Nana and my Mom, and I hope my own kids will be as inspired by me someday, along with all the other moms out there who have dreams of their own.
What is one thing you find to be true…that most people might disagree with?
My truth is that “There Are No Rules”. I am designing a life that works for me and my family, and if ‘Rules’ get in the way of doing what is right for you, but not approved of by society or someone else…that’s when you realize it’s a personal choice- you get to create your own rules. And that is how you empower yourself!
So, what’s left on your bucket list?
This has been a bucket year! There were so many experiences that came along with The Voice (singing a duet with Christina Aguilera? Come on!) that were top-of-the-mountain moments I would never have imagined even including on a bucket list. So, along with the other resets happening in my world, I will reset my bucket list for you: I’d love to visit Fäviken, in the north of Sweden, the famous restaurant of chef Magnus Nilsson. It’s basically in the middle of nowhere, housed in an 18th century barn…and serves only twelve diners each night. I’m addicted to cooking shows, and saw him on ‘The Mind of a Chef’, and was so inspired by his story! He seems like one of the coolest people, and I’ve been following his journey — visiting Sweden and experiencing Fäviken’s innovative menu is now officially at the top of my bucket list!
What makes a great thinker? Who better to tackle this heady subject than Deepak Chopra, one of the most prominent and recognizable figures in the mind-body movement. As a physician determined to bring together the best of his conventional medical training with exploration of holistic healing, Dr. Chopra brings a unique and innovative perspective to thinking…about thinking! I am especially happy to see that he believes, “All thinking is colored by emotions”…I know it is for me! Also, he emphasizes the benefits of developing a strong intuition–another favorite topic of mine.
Click here to read the article