Stand With Presence

This past weekend I took a walk along the Brandywine River to see the fall foliage. I was inspired by the new garden sculpture installation at Somerville Manning Gallery – especially Stand With Presence by Vicki Vinton.

The reaction to the sculpture was immediate and powerful.  Vinton’s inspiration for Stand With Presence was simple: a friend of hers was experiencing writer’s block and, in her true artist form, Vicki drew a red figure and sent it to her friend with a note – dig deep.

Stand With Presence by Vicki Vinton - Social Stylate

“Current events are just old events dressed up in today’s fashion. The process of creating whether it be painting or sculpting must hold in it some sort of history. Simply the passing of time or a nod to events that have gone before.” says Vinton.

This is a pivotal time for women.  Women of all ages are rising up, speaking out, and making themselves heard as never before. Stand With Presence is a symbol of courage, and beauty –a reminder to keep your beliefs in yourself strong. A reminder that we have the answers if we take time to be present.

Over the past few years, we have seen the power of storytelling play out in one of the largest stages for women. Storytelling is rooted in our culture and has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to share who you are with the world while also providing the power to find our inner strength.

Stand With Presence invites women of all ages to share their stories and bring their strongest selves to their biggest challenges. Raising two boys on my own for the past ten years and starting a business has been my greatest gift, and has given me strength and courage. Your story can transform your life, change the lives of others, your story can change the world.

SStand With Presence by Vicki Vinton - Cindy Pettinaro and Carroll Ivy - Social Stylate

Carroll Ivy and her friend, Cindy Pettinaro Wilkinson, pose with the Stand With Presence statue.

Follow along: #StandWithPresence @standwithpresence @smg_gallery


For over thirty-five years the Somerville Manning Gallery has introduced current art trends into an area already steeped in a rich art tradition, mounting exhibitions that relate to this cultural heritage both past and present. Recognized as experts on N.C. Wyeth and his family, Somerville Manning Gallery has created multiple exhibitions on N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth. Also represented are the Wyeth women, daughters of N.C. Wyeth, Henriette Wyeth Hurd, Carolyn Wyeth, and Ann Wyeth McCoy.


Boss Lady: Megan Carn

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Megan Carn, an artist from South Carolina who paints with vivid colors and experiments with new subjects. Megan discusses how she grew her business and offers her best advice for those looking to do the same.

boss lady: megan carn

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
I am 23 years old and I own my own business, Megan Carn, LLC. I graduated college in 2013, and spent the year and a half after college building my business on the side while I directed a museum. Then, in January of this year, I moved to Columbia and started doing painting full time! I have been steadily working on painting, website building, dealing with emails, and shipping– just trying to do everything it takes to run a business that has a tendency to get pretty crazy.

2. What draws you to painting and what prompted you to start selling your work? Do you only sell online?
I was an art major in school. After I graduated, I got into painting more than I ever had before. I love it! I was already selling during school and immediately after to family and friends, and after a few months I realized that it could be my full time occupation. I started selling online and it was great! I sell online in my store and then in select storefronts around the US. I’m expanding that now!

3. How do you navigate the work/life balance?
It’s tough! I have always held the belief that friends, family, and making real memories during trips and spontaneous gatherings is more important than working all the time. As an artist, I have to stay inspired and be careful not to get bogged down or burned out. To stay sane, I answer emails on a more limited basis, ship one time weekly, and I don’t stress about deadlines all the time (within reason). There’s nothing worse than being forced to be creative on a deadline! I do have to spend nights and weekends working sometimes, and that is never fun. Overall, balancing everything has been one of my biggest challenges so far.

megan carn art
4. What is your most successful form of marketing? 
Instagram, for sure, but honestly pinterest and facebook are a close second! Other than that, my own reaching out to people and word of mouth.
5. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
I love looking at travel photos, I love flowers, and I love fashion. Other than that, just sitting with some watercolors and a sketchbook and thinking of new things to paint is my favorite.


6. Who is a Boss Lady that you admire and why?
Hmm. I am a big fan of a lot of different people! I have an art crush on so many different ladies- Susie Bettenhausen, Michelle Armas, Kerrie Rosenthal, Kristi Kohut, Sally King Benedict, Evelyn Henson, etc.– and that’s pretty similar!


7. What advice do you have for those looking to become an entrepreneur?
Be sure to have an original idea, and be sure you have an idea that you have a passion for. Otherwise, you’ll really quickly get burned out and over what you’re doing– OR, you’ll get in trouble for copyright infringement! I think in this wonderful time of social media and a rise in small businesses, there’s room for everyone that has a fire for what they are doing and a great product or service. (The worst thing is to see someone trying to build a small business on an imitation of another person’s hard work. I have had so many people copy my work to sell for themselves, and it is really discouraging!)


Just for fun…


behind the boss: megan carn

More on Megan:


Boss Lady: Mary Bigham

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Mary Bigham of The Town Dish, an online publication focusing on food, drink, travel, style and health. With a mission to share their discoveries, Mary talks to us about the importance of quality work to naturally expand one’s reach.


boss lady: mary bigham of the town dish


1. Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
The basics.  I was born and raised in Gettysburg, PA. I’m seriously hometown proud so quick shout out—it’s more than a battlefield. If you haven’t been since your 8th grade field trip, go back! I love to enjoy hard cider and to dine at incredible restaurants. I chose my college because they had my major and I really liked the dining hall offerings (not kidding). I moved to Ireland after graduating college to work for an international travel company and then followed a relationship to West Chester, PA. The relationship ended, but I settled into a marketing, events and sales career at a company in Chester County and traveled internationally in my free time. On a trip to Turkey I started blogging (mostly so that my mother knew I was still alive—this was pre-social media) and I sold Turkish items online to help fund the trip. I realized that most of my posts were about food, drink, beer and wine, and that I could also make money online (Note: my lawyer has since told me that reselling international goods without an importing license is illegal, so don’t do that—ooops!).


2. What prompted you to start The Town Dish? (Note: official company name is Dish LLC.) 
When I returned to West Chester after my trip to Turkey, I approached local newspapers to see if they needed a contributor for the food scene. They weren’t interested because I had no culinary or writing experience, so I started a blog. Dish LLC (The Town Dish and Dish Works) started as a blog focusing on the food scene in West Chester ( because I felt there wasn’t a good resource for interesting food stories in the town. Sometimes something that wouldn’t be a traditional “news” story is still interesting in the food and drink world and I felt that I could help to create that resource.  I met my (now) business partner and programming whiz, Jason Tremblay, and the rest is history.


3. What draws you to the world of food?
Everyone eats. Food brings people together, it’s interactive,  it’s nostalgic, it’s exciting, it’s creative. There are SO many stories to tell about every culinary aspect. Passion starts with growing or creating a product and continues through to talented chefs, distillers, brewers, wine makers, bakers, cheese makers and then to the consumers. Vegans, bacon lovers, beer enthusiasts and gluten-free folks all are passionate and particular about what goes into their body, so it’s universal, interesting and ever evolving. Also, my heart flutters and I feel giddy (I have a serious crush on a lot of foods) when I have a really good creme brûlée, break the yolk of Eggs Benedict, hear the word “brunch” or when I read a retro recipe in one of my vintage cookbooks. I just FEEL something. It’s the same way my heart swells when I hear a song that I love.


4. The site has really grown, with 9 areas now being covered. What are your plans/goals for The Town Dish?
We hope to be able to still focus on our existing communities as well as anything national or international that involves food and drink in the world of travel, style and health. We are also passionate about all things PA and our neighbors in Maryland, Delaware and New York. So, be on the lookout for stories and coverage on a variety of new areas in the next few years. Our Dish Works Division, which creates culinary content, blogs posts and articles for client’s websites or publications to help increase sales organically,  is also on a big growth path.


boss lady: mary bigham of the town dish


5. What is your most successful form of marketing? 
We have been involved in many longtime food events in our communities and have been major sponsors for these events annually.  We have an active readership and we tell quality stories that naturally are shared and expand our reach.  Our talented Marketing Director, Angela Corrado, and our skilled EIC, Amy Strauss, are the muscles behind those initiatives.


6. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Happy clients are a huge inspiration. Creating jobs and employment for our team is another big motivator and responsibility. Talented food producers, creators, entrepreneurs and business owners are a strong influence.  Observing, listening, wondering “what if” often and running things through our mission to “publish and produce culinary content” keep us on track while still pushing the boundaries of creativity. A walk with my dogs, a late-night documentary, an incredible dining experience or a gooey, creamy french cheese with a freshly baked baguette…all and any of that inspires me.


7. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Find a great lawyer, accountant and tech person, and then hire the most talented, amazing and passionate people you can find. Work hard. Be nice. Be prepared for stress. Understand the responsibility of prioritizing others in the company over yourself. Be open about the fact that you don’t always know what to do. Ask for help. Please your clients. Listen. Embrace change. Communicate. Be authentic. Thank your incredibly understanding and supportive friends and family. And remind and show them often how much you love them.


Just for fun…
behind the boss with mary bigham

More on Mary and The Town Dish:


Boss Lady: Carly Heitlinger

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we hear from Carly Heitlinger, the brains behind one of our favorite blogs The College Prepster. Carly’s vision, ambition and overall enthusiasm for life is apparent in her publications and social media platforms. For us, Carly is an inspiration and voice to be heard. 

Image of Carly Heitlinger

1. Can you share with our readers a little bit about yourself?
I started College Prepster, a life and style blog, when I was a freshman at Georgetown. After graduation, I moved to New York where I currently live with my little puppy Teddy! I love to read and have slight addictions to French fries and coffee (but not together, of course).

2. How did you choose the career path you did? What prompted you to start The College Prepster?
I started blogging as a creative outlet in college because I was struggling in my classes. As social media took off, my blog saw steady growth. When I graduated, I worked at a startup for just over a year and would blog late into the night. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t manage both and now I blog full time. It’s pretty awesome that my hobby is now my job!

3. What is your best form of marketing and has it changed at all over time?
College Prepster has always leveraged great word of mouth marketing, but now I’ve found that Pinterest is a huge source of new traffic. What’s great about this for me is that I see that someone might find my site from Pinterest for a particular post and stay around for a few minutes, clicking on different posts, and (yay!) come back for more the next day.

4. Where do you feel or find your inspiration that fuels your creativity?
I heavily rely on things going on in my life. I blog about a lot of personal events going, whether it’s something I’m struggling with, something I’ve discovered/experienced/worn/bought, or a cool victory. I try to write my blog as if I’m having a conversation with a friend!

5. What “rules” do you live by?
I definitely live by the “good things come to those who work for it” rule! That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days or that my life is a complete walk in the park… but if I want something, I’m going to work my very best for it!

Just for fun questions:

1. If you were stranded on a desert island, what are your three must haves?
A fully stocked library, a serious supply of coffee, and sunscreen.

2. What’s your favorite indulgence?
I love buying Broadway tickets on a whim!

3. All time favorite movie?
Ah!!! Too many to pick. Probably… Parent Trap, Phoebe in Wonderland, or 10 Things I Hate About You.

More about Carly

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