May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month - Social Stylate

Erik Younger, a United States Army Veteran who served in Afghanistan, began suffering symptoms of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) after serving our country. He presented a TEDx Talk in Wilmington, DE where he candidly discussed his experience returning home and burying the memories of the trauma he’d witnessed. He talks about the emotional pain that turned to physical pain and the relief he never got. He talks about the various medications that didn’t help and told the room that at one point, he was losing the will to live if life was going to be so painful. His body continued to break down, and it was after this that he was introduced to meditation.

For the first time in a long time, he relaxed. His mind was calm, he started sleeping better, and his attitude became more positive. In researching and experiencing the beneficial effects of meditation on mental health, Erik founded Vetitation, a non-profit organization “dedicated to helping veterans find peace from PTSD by learning and practicing meditation.” Vetitation, Veterans + Meditation, offers a 3-day retreat for veterans to immerse themselves in the practice of meditation and learn to heal themselves from the memories of war.

On May 19, Vetitation will partner with the Mental Health Association in Delaware (MHA) for the first annual Meditate for a Vet Event to raise awareness of veterans struggling with PTSD. MHA is a non-profit organization that “promotes improved mental well being for all individuals and families in Delaware through education, support, and advocacy.” Meditate for a Vet will be held at Rockford Park in Wilmington and offers a large group meditation session. The registration fees will help fund programs related to mental health and veterans with PTSD.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and you’re invited to join us for this incredibly important event, Meditate for a Vet, to help veterans with PTSD to find peace in their daily lives.

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Jorge Luis Pacheco: Artes de Cuba May 8-20th at Kennedy Center

Celebrate some of Cuba’s finest artists and leading Cuban American creators May 8 -20th at Artes de Cuba at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The music of Cuba is the result of many cultures… overlapping, inspiring, and innovating.

Jorge Luis Pacheco is opening at the festival on May 8th and performing May 12th (Piano Marathon featuring Aldo López-Gavilán and Jorge Luis Pacheco). Pacheco’s future perpetuates and propagates more roots & branches with his deep classical training & his free spirited, soulful, improvisation. Jorge_Luis_PachecoCuba has long shared its great cultural riches with the world, including some of the most incredible pianists on the planet.  A fresh, new face has emerged and is making waves with his “flying hands.” Jorge Luis Pacheco has a unique style that presents a new voice in jazz. His untethered creative, emotionally profound, technically virtuous artistry are steeped in his classical training and  hailing from Havana, Cuba – this fiery young talent is fast becoming a seasoned veteran, having performed at some of the most respected venues in the world.  From Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York – the Jazz Capital of the World to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  Pacheco wowed the crowd at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Festival and gained notoriety at the legendary Apollo Theater for the Lifetime Achievement Award ceremonies presented to living legend Herbie Hancock.  Whether solo piano or with his quartet, Pacheco is staking his claim in the jazz world.

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Having collaborated with Wynton Marsalis and Arturo O’Farrill, this young talent expresses charisma, exciting energy and respect in his ‘live’ performances.  Monty Alexander exclaims Pacheco “defies genre.”  Pacheco is a virtuoso pianist, composer, arranger, percussionist and vocalist.  His Jazz is a confluence of Cuban jazz, American jazz, and classical music with a measure of contemporary pop to keep things up to date.

Pacheco’s original documentary scores are wide ranging, soulful explorations of lyrical, textured, emotional, and sometimes fast moving melodies, chords, and rhythms.  A new piano symphony he scored entitled “Andino” was inspired by the music of South America.

Con El Pache Me Voy (2018):  Available soon on  iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, and more! 

photography: Carlos Alejandro 

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Michelle Krusiec Point of Origin

As a mother of two, actress, and advocate of domestic violence Michelle Krusiec’s story is inspiring. Her kids and husband are a constant source of inspiration for the next chapter. She shares her life story on her blog.

Michelle Krusiec grew up in a domestic violence household and as a result, personally understands the effects of trauma and post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. Her parents were also exposed to similar conditions in their youth. They too are also survivors.
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Now that Krusiec is a parent, abuse and trauma inflicted on children in unstable homes is something she hopes to help shed a light on. Abuse comes in so many forms. Silence is one of them. The Arts saved her life during a time where she did not have a voice. Helping give survivors a voice to their stories is one path towards healing.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of your voice and story. Read more

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Boss Lady: Hart Huguet Hagerty

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week, we chat with Hart Hagerty, the founder of HART, a jewelry line of “understated statement pieces.” (We’re obsessed with her tassel earrings!) All of Hart’s creations combine her love of Asian aesthetics and her bohemian side for the perfect everyday statement. Hart’s jewelry is the perfect finishing touch to any outfit!

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
After majoring in Chinese, I moved to Shanghai where I worked as lifestyle/fashion editor for a couple of years. I started my brand there on the side, and ended up putting it on the backburner when I moved to NYC after 5 years grinding it out China. I lasted only 1.5 years in NYC working for other companies… I really missed Charleston and working for myself! So I moved back home in August 2016 and the rest is history.

2. What prompted you to start HART?
My desire for independence (having my own work schedule), constant wanderlust (any excuse to travel the world), and creative expression. I also love the challenges of running my own business. There’s a learning opportunity at every corner.

3. Looking back is there anything you wish you knew before you launched?
I wish I had hired my assistant earlier. As soon as you can afford it, hire HELP. Don’t feel guilty about delegating — it will only free up time and energy for you to further grow your business.

4. Describe a challenge you faced, either as a designer or a business owner.
Navigating international tax law, import/export and trademarks hasn’t been easy. I can’t recommend highly enough to invest in the best lawyers and accountants you can find. They will save you money in the long run. I feel a lot of peace of mind knowing that super smart people are working on my business. That is priceless.

5. Where did the inspiration for your signature tassel earrings coming from?
Tassels are the perfect “everyday statement earring”. They exude bohemian chic, a sense of fun and are also timeless, classic and appeal to a wide array of people. I noticed a big gap in the market for well-made, lightweight and well-priced earrings. So I went for it!

6. What is HART’s most successful form of marketing?
My intern’s main role is essentially to send earrings to bloggers/influencers as gifts. They have really helped us spread the word! Possibly even more importantly though… I believe excellent customer service and good product has been our biggest generator of sales. A huge portion of our sales are repeat customers who love the brand and the quality of the earrings. You can market the magic all you want, but if you don’t treat your customers exceptionally well and create quality products, then you’re going to fail.

7. Who is a Boss Lady you admire and why?
On a local level, Deirdre Zahl of Candy Shop Vintage. Deirdre is incredibly generous with her advice, time and support. Nationally… Oprah. I love her message of mindfulness and prioritizing being a good person over being good at business. In short, don’t be a dick to others and be grateful for all the little wins along the way.

8. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
To quote Nike… “Just do it.” Start small. Start somewhere.

Just for fun…
Cocktail of choice: dirty gin martini
Best show to binge-watch: currently, Comedians in Cars getting coffee
Favorite thing about living in Charleston: biking or walking in my neighborhood downtown.
Describe your perfect Sunday: sleeping in late with my fiancé, a walk or surf on Folly followed by lunch at Taco Boy. And then evening tennis with my girlfriends at Colonial Lake!
Person you’d most like to see wearing your earrings: Alexa Chung (we just sent some to her! fingers crossed!)

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