Today marks the launch of the Fierce 50 Campaign!
I am so thrilled to write about my good friend, Susan Kanoff, The MidLife Fashionista. I know you'll enjoy learning all about one of the wonderful bloggers in this great campaign.
A little over a year ago when I decided to plunge head first into the world of blogging, I had no idea how my life would be impacted by the women I would meet. Susan Kanoff was one of the very first to follow me, and I was more than happy to follow her back. This tall, lean beauty had so much enthusiasm for everything she did - yes everything. Susan's heart is huge! One of the first conversations we had was about a small boy in Guatemala whose parents could no longer afford to take care or provide for him. A friend of hers had taken the small boy in with only the tee shirt, gym shorts and crocks he had on at the time. So Susan reached out to all her blogging women to see if anyone had items or clothes to donate for this little guy. You see, Susan's heart is so big, when she sees a need, she will also step in to do anything she can to fill it. She is that way with everything.
Susan's story began in a town called Andover, MA, just outside of Boston. Her father was a middle school English teacher, and her mom worked part-time in a school cafeteria. Susan's parents struggled financially but she never went without, (She's a great bargain shopper, I'm sure this is when she began to hone this skill!) and neither did her younger brother Bill and younger sister Pam.
Even though stylish clothing and high end fashion were not things Susan or her family could afford, she developed a fascination with hair, makeup and clothes at an early age. She became a girly-girl from the very start! She actually wanted to become a hair stylist, but her Harvard-educated father would not allow it. But she showed him by wearing heels at age 7, playing "make-up counter" and "dress up" instead of the kinds of sports and activities others had planned for her.
Susan ended up going to UMASS Amherst, getting a degree in social work. She landed a fun radio advertising job right out of school, but then she was blessed with two beautiful children. When the kids were 3 and 7, she reentered the workforce, using her degree in social work to join a Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) for a local housing authority. She still works with this great program today! But that's not all - she has used her internal girly-girl to work with others developing their own classy personal style. Susan even launched a "boutique-style" non-profit called Uncommon Threads . This amazing activity boosts women's self-esteem and self-worth by tapping into the power of clothes. Most of the women involved are low-income, and many are actually domestic violence survivors. Making them feel confident about their appearance is the goal, and the results have been published and celebrated nationally in magazines and news features.
Susan's children are grown now. Alyssa (30) and Neal (26) have the same passions and loves that drive their mother. Alyssa works as a Executive Director of Project Home Again, a non-profit that provides household goods to low-income families in need. Susan is so proud of her, because she left corporate america to pursue her passion of helping others. Neal is multi-tasking like his mom. Since he was a tot, his goal was to own a video game company. The dream never died, and his company Sky Map Games will have their first game (Baconman) out this year! He's also a college professor (teaches video game design) and even has a side computer repair business.
Susan husband, Richard, is a green energy attorney. They have been married for 12 years, and it's a second marriage for them both. She is so thankful to have Richard. His huge heart and wicked sense of humor are such encouragements to keep her moving forward to help and empower others in need. They are both so thankful for the partnership they share and for a wonderful second chance at love. And Richard is her biggest cheerleader!
So my dear friend Susan now juggles 4 jobs - a social worker, wardrobe stylist, blogger, and now Executive Director of Uncommon Threads! I'm honored that she has the time to stay in touch with me! Her blog, The MidLife Fashionista , has a tremendous following - and for good reason. She strives to help women feel better about themselves, realizing that clothes can be so empowering! Susan shows her followers that style doesn't have to be difficult or expensive and that "Midlife and over is just the beginning, not the end"!
Susan considers her style to be "Simple Susan", but I can tell you that if you look at her wonderful blog and pictures, there's nothing simple about her classy style and sense of fashion. She is an inspiration to me and her followers, and if you don't know her, check her out. You'll be hooked by The MidLife Fashionista !
Today marks the launch of the first annual Fierce 50 Campaign. As women over 50, we are coming together in a supportive collaborative community to honor and celebrate one another and to share with the world what it means to be a woman at midlife and beyond. Through this collaboration, each woman has developed a unique bond with their blog partners, opening their hearts and sharing their stories.In building authentic connections and relationships, we are forming a community of women who have within them over half a century of life experience and wisdom to share. We are joining together as one to begin shifting a worldwide perception of this demographic. We are here to show the world how powerful we are together and that we are only truly just beginning.
Thanks to the following sponsors of The Fierce 50:
Onzie @onzie www.onzie.com
Madison Reed @madisonreedllb www.madison-reed.com
HSI Professional @hsiprofessional www.hsiprofessional.com
Awe Inspired @aweinspired_ www.aweinspired.com
Fierce 50 Sketch - @bethbriggsillustration www.etsy.com/shop/bbriggsillustration
If you have enjoyed reading this blog post and learning more about The Fierce 50 Campaign, please visit this page The Fierce 50 Campaign to see an archive where you will find each of the women that are participating in The Fierce 50 along with their blog posts. If you or someone you know is interested in either joining or supporting the movement, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We have lots more planned for this year and beyond so, stay tuned everyone.