Work, Family, Self, Community – these #WomeninCareers are #Livingin4D

Featured Members

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Ellen Eppie Rupa Gurumurthy |  Kerry Patel  | Olivia Jaras |  Meeta Garg |  Carol Levin
Member Spotlight on Ellen Eppie

Ellen Eppie

Entrepreneur, Design Curator & Mom

Ellen Eppie says she’s always been passionate about sharing the things that she loves.

Building and nourishing relationships between family and community comes naturally to Ellen.  While raising her two daughters, she began volunteering, fundraising, and planning charity events for schools and non-profit organizations in her community.

As her youngest daughter went off to college, Ellen worked as director of volunteer services for a large non-profit organization. In search of a better work-life balance, she changed careers and became a stylist for a local clothing store and a business manager for a jewelry entrepreneur.

Scooch A Mi

“Through a combination of varied career experiences and an opportunity at the right time, I decided to curate a boutique. The result was a distinctive store where your journey to find “just the right thing” is both simple and fun.”

Scooch A Mi, she says, is filled with treasures from local, national and international artists.  Its collection endeavors to bring out each individual’s own style and creativity and provide an inspirational shopping experience by featuring handmade, one-of-a-kind, useful yet distinctive pieces that help simplify life. Each piece is hand selected by Ellen herself.

Another fabulous aspect is that it is a forum for artists and artisans who are like minded in giving back and being kind to each other and the earth.

“Scooch A Mi was born from my love of family, friends and community, mixed with bold splashes of positive energy and a zest for life.”
Toy-Yo co-founder Rupa Gurumurthy

Rupa Gurumurthy

Entrepreneur, Techie, Mom

“What more can I do?” sums up Rupa’s zest for life!

An engineer by profession and a dancer by passion, she’s not only chosen to be an Entrepreneur in the field of learning and development for children, but also uses insights from raising her 2 children to make it her life’s work.

The learn more, do more trait has grown with her. Rupa started learning foreign languages as as an undergraduate student in software development. Through her life and work in various continents and cultures, she has continued her interest in languages and cultural awareness. All this, while advancing her career in corporate roles, leading & designing innovative product solutions.

Entrepreneurship & Toy-Yo

After successful stints for over a decade in product and customer management roles, Rupa changed gears. In 2016, she co-founded Toy-Yo, an online subscription toy library that is dedicated to providing carefully designed and well-crafted toys for children under 6 years.

Rupa Toy-Yo

Toy-Yo works with childhood development experts and delivers a curated box of toys to your door once a month. At the end of the month they bring a new box and pick up the old box right from your doorstep. Hassle free. Not only do the kids stay engaged by rotating toys and buying less, Toy-Yo’s policy on safe toy selections is reassuring for parents.

“As an Entrepreneur & Mom, my life is pretty busy. Apart from managing Toy-Yo, when I’m not driving the kids to their activities or organizing fairs and festivals in my community, I love to create novel learning opportunities for children.”

Rupa’s interest in early childhood learning inspires her in other ways too. She is currently involved in developing and delivering a Junior program for Thinkster, an internet-based education platform for children from K to 12.

Website Relaunch

Toy-Yo’s newly improved site and service has just relaunched! Check them out and Sign up now for a Monthly Toy Subscription to receive 20% off your first month.

Kerry Patel

Floral Designer

Kerry is a Floral Designer, Entrepreneur & Mom. Known for heKerry Patel bouquet2r textured, free-form organic style, she mingles lush florals and foraged elements in each design, creating a visual and sensorial journey.

“I love flowers for how they make me feel.  That feeling is where I design from.”

Crafting bouquets, especially romantic bridal ones is her passion. “It’s my gift to the bride,” she says. “I’m inspired by nature.” Kerry’s garden provides an abundance of flowers, from spring bulbs to summer roses, and dahlias in autumn. “I delight in what I can use from my garden in my designs.”

From Business to Blooms

Kerry didn’t always design wedding and event florals. Her career began in commercial title insurance, coordinating multi-site real estate transactions, working with a national title insurance company in New York City.

“For fifteen years I gave everything I had to my career because I loved what I was doing. However, I worked all of the time, which left little time for a family. It was time to make that a priority.”

Getting pregnant proved more difficult than expected and Kerry’s job was one of the negative contributing
factors. “It was a tough decision to make, but it was the right one; so I left my position, and finally, after countless fertility treatments, it happened. I became pregnant.”

Fast forward a couple of years when Kerry was asked to join the local garden club – that piqued her interest in floral design and she knew that’s what she wanted to do. Kerry began attending floral design workshops and classes and fell in love with unstructured, carefree floral design. That was the beginning of KerryPatelDesigns.

Today, you can find her in her home studio happily “playing” with flowers and helping a bride’s wedding vision come to life.

Kerry also got an opportunity to display her talent at Anthropologie – in Short Hills, NJ on Valentine’s Day this year, where she demonstrated crafting bouquets.

Olivia Jaras

Author & Salary Coach

An Entrepreneur, Resume Expert, Athlete & Mom, Olivia is on a mission – close the gender wage gap by helping women – one at a time – by showing them how to value themselves in the job market, and teaching them how to advocate for it based on their unique circumstances.

After working for years on all things compensation, negotiating salaries and contracts at all levels, reviewing countless resumes and analyzing market data, Olivia noticed that when it came to negotiating salaries, women acted – and by default were treated – different from men.
“I realized that while companies intend to pay employees equally, most women don’t feel comfortable, or know how to advocate for themselves in order to get the salary they deserve, therefore perpetuating the gender wage gap. Think about it, why would anyone pay you what you are not asking for?”

Olivia founded Salary Coaching for Women,  creating an Army of Salary Coaches that empowOlivia Jaras' book on Compensation for Womeners women all over the world, helping them realize their worth and how to negotiate for it.

A mother of two young daughters, wife of an army veteran and a proud Chilean-American, Olivia is also a triathlete on Team USA. Having faced challenges in life – from gaining 60 pounds with each pregnancy, to realizing her dream of being on Team USA,  Olivia is a firm believer that you can overcome and achieve anything if you simply decide to take action and make the necessary changes.

In her new book on Amazon, Olivia shares insider secrets from the world of compensation, and how you can use this information to your advantage. From quantifying your value in today’s market, to teaching you how to ask for it, this book offers never-before-shared advice on the perfect resume and cover letter from the perspective of a compensation expert.

10% of the profits from each copy sold to small organizations working to reintegrate women and children victims of human trafficking into society.

Meeta Garg-Spotlight artist on Maroon Oak

Meeta Garg

Artist Extraordinaire

Colorful Autumn-Mixed Media Painting

Colorful Autumn-Mixed Media

An internationally acclaimed artist & former student of Central Saint Martin college of Art & Design, London, Meeta Garg creates in oil, mixed media and acrylics. She has a keen sense of capturing the everyday world around her, which she presents in her own viewpoint through her paintings.

Mixed Media Painting by Meeta Garg

‘New’-Mixed Media

A business major and traveler, Meeta has lived in various continents, which enables her to create a body of work she believes is fresh, inspiring, positive and shares her personal vision. She makes no conscious attempt to paint in a particular style, letting instead the subject dictate what she paints.

Meeta is the founder of ArtByMeeta . She is actively involved in various community art projects and participates in ArtSee Open Studio Tours  that invite art enthusiasts into the personal studios of visual artists. Visitors can see works in progress, hear explanations that you just don’t get in a gallery experience and purchase art pieces on sale.

Carol Levine- storyteller & author

Carol Simon Levin

Youth services Librarian, Author & Professional Storyteller.

A Children’s Librarian for over 25 years, Carol loves to get kids excited about books and create programs that will arouse their interest, empathy, and curiosity. She also performs Fascinating Women History Forgot historical impersonations for libraries, senior centers, social groups and schools. With 50 shows a year, Carol is constantly adding to her repertoire, which will shortly include a show about women from American History.
Remembering the Ladies by Carol Levin

Her latest venture is a coloring book for all ages featuring founding mothers, abolitionists, suffragists, civil rights leaders, politicians and more.

Why is this coloring book different?

Carol says:

  • It’s not “just” a coloring book!
    Each coloring page will have a short bio, a fascinating fact and a quote by the woman. The book will include resources for more reading (I’m a librarian after all!) and places where these women are honored.
    So, it’s a great educational resource in addition to being fun.
  • It’s inclusive and diverse, just like the women in the book.
    Many artists are participating. If you or a friend like to draw, please contact me below—there are a few spots left!
    Many artists means many styles, which also adds to the fun.

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