Beyond Mom Interviews

Vanessa Coppes

Co-Founder of E Think Tank for MomsSocial Media and Marketing Director of Bella Magazine

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Social Entrepreneur, Vanessa Coppes is a driving force and a catalyst for women’s empowerment. She is unapologetically genuine, multi-faceted and hardworking. Vanessa creates change as an author, Social Media and Marketing Director of Bella Magazine and the co-founder of EThink Tank for Moms. Don’t miss the chance to be apart of Vanessa’s work and movement at the ETTM’s 360 Business and Development Conference coming up October 10th weekend!

What makes you a Beyond Mom?

Mom is not just what I am, it is a part of who I am. I am a woman on a mission to live fully and hopefully inspire and support as many other women as I can to accomplish their dreams in the process.

What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?

My children have broadened my scope of vision of the world, they ground me. There is immense beauty and magic in childlike wonder and I try to make that a part of my every day. I take it in as I too believe that anything we imagine is possible. I can credit them to increasing my level of awareness for living for today, my patience and my ability to surrender to the things I can and cannot control.

Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?

To be doing things today I only dreamed about is success and I can’t attribute where I am today to just one woman. There has been an army, a sisterhood behind me since embarking on my entrepreneurial journey. Many unexpected and who have supported my jewelry business, my book and my blog and its teachings since its inception 6 years ago. That still amazes me!

I have 4 fabulous women in my life:

My Mother

As you grow, so do your fears and my resilience comes from her. Some days when I feel spent, I’ll get a message or phone call saying “You can do this,” and it’s all I need.

 Courtenay Cooper Hall: Founder, CEO and Editor in Chief of Bella NYC Magazine

I received the premiere issue of Bella in my mailbox 4 years ago. After reading her editor’s letter,  my gut told me I had to connect with her somehow, so I sent her one of my CHICA bracelets which I had created as a reminder for celebrating women who are Caring, Hermosa (beautiful), Inspiring and living with a Can do Attitude. We corresponded and then I reached out to interview her my blog. Shortly after,  we became very supportive of each other’s projects and friends.

As a Social Entrepreneur, looking for purpose-filled collaborations, at one of our coffee dates we came up with the piece called “The Beauty of Giving Back” which features entrepreneurs that make giving back a part of their company culture. This piece started my contribution for the print version of Bella NYC Magazine almost two years ago. Our relationship grew and with time, I  joined the Bella team  as the Social Media and Marketing Director in October of 2012. It’s been an incredible journey!

Her faith, vision and Bella’s core message that beauty is defined by the individual proves that in an industry like Fashion and Beauty, you do not have to conform to what has already been done, the questions that have already been asked or the gossip.

It is a content driven media company that speaks to the issues women really want to know about, featuring fabulous fashion, accessories and great places to eat at and travel to. It is a product of everything I believe in and to be a part of that was like finding the perfect shoe that not only fits but that you can work and dance in 🙂 That is priceless!

I love connecting with others and specially with women who live their truth and who also push me to be better. Courtenay has done that for me and more both personally and professionally. I feel the success of this collaboration roots on us believeing  and showing up for each other as women in genuine support of one another.

Lynette Barbieri: Co-Founder of ETTM.

Lynette has 4 children and has been in her own business for almost 18 years. There is much to be learned from someone who has been doing that dance for so long. Most importantly, because we go about life differently is why together we are stronger.

How we met is a testament to the saying that “Everything happens for a reason.” She had already started the Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms as a way to connect local business owners to each other. I had just moved to NJ and had my second child. I know how important networking is for building business and how it had allowed me to grow my own in NY.  But new child, new area: things looked very differently for me. At that same time, I was receiving an influx of messages from women who where also trying to do the motherhood/entrepreneurial dance.

So working smarter, not harder we partnered as we share a passion for teaching and helping women accomplish their goals. We knew that together we could only serve them better. ETTM is in it’s second year and many amazing collaborations have stemmed from gathering like minded women who support each other’s business and personal growth.

Lynette and I have a dance too: what I need she has and vice versa. The success of our collaboration roots in that ETTM we both strive to be of service to our members every day. I am so grateful to have her in my life as both a business partner and friend.

 Jennifer Tuma Young: Author, Speaker and Coach

I heard Latham Thomas speak at an event once and she said that we all need Vision Doulas in our lives. Like a co-pilot who not only gets what you’re doing, but who will also call you out on your BS when you need to be. Jennifer supports me in keeping my ego in check. As much as I work on improving myself and the lives of others, she will happily hold up the BS card to my face. Jennifer is my Vision Doula and I love her every day for it -she also let’s me borrow that card and I can use it on her once in a while too 🙂

What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?

My relationship to my Source, God is number one. My spouse and my children are living and breathing reminders of who I am every single day. My ability to get through my day depends greatly on the relationship I have with other women. I can’t do what I do on my own.

Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing? If so, please share…

That dream is softly in action: The “360º Lifestyle Lounge” a place where women, specially those with small children can get together for coffee, work or read a book while their children are supervised. Being a working mother is challenging some days and managing the guilt of wanting to pursue your dreams while raising your children is too. It’s why it’s so important for us to connect with women who get it. We need to continue to make our children part of our conversations because we cannot deny their existence and the underlying truth that at least for me, my children are why I dream even bigger and in color. It’s why I want to help other women succeed, for a better world for them and everyone who is connected to them.

What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?

I meditate. Every morning, I cannot start my day without centering myself.

How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?

I think that you can definitely tell when I’ve had ‘one of those days’ as I tend to dress how I feel. I think it’s draining to try to keep your game face on all the time when things are going sour in life or business. However, I do believe that your personal style is a translation of self care and self-love. So I do things that fuel me emotionally and spiritually, so that I am better able to handle whatever life throws my way.

Manicures and pedicures make me happy (very happy) so I schedule them often 🙂 I am and will forever be a jewelry, shoe and handbag lover. I think that if you invest in those pieces, a $5 tee looks like a million bucks. With little time to shop for myself I found it easier to switch out a necklace and earrings or shoes, than it was to go and try on clothes. It was even easier when I started my jewelry line. I keep it to the basics and play it up or down with edgy shoes or a statement necklace. The possibilities are endless.

I can’t say that I have a favorite designer as I tend to keep my eyes open to fresh and new pieces. Clothes for me are like a blank canvas that you paint with accessories so for jewelry it’s definitely my own designs or pieces from The Pilar Selman Collection for enV, handbags and shoes: Tori Burch, Michael Kors and BCBG.


Favorite NYC Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:

Sushi SambaThe High Line Public Park

Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:

Coffee, Red wine and Sushi are everything.

Beyond Workout:

Yoga and jogging.

Beyond Shopping:

I know what brands work well on me so I stick to those: BCBGBanana RepublicJ. CrewAnn TaylorExpress and tops from Forever 21 (seriously).

Beyond Inspiration:

My boys, anything Oprah, the mission behind Bella NYC Magazine and  the women in my ETTM community.