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Meet The Women In Charge

ALIYA

Who are you? Aliya Sahai, Principal, Bernstein Private Wealth Management. Mom, Wife, Financial Advisor, Hands-on Philanthropist, Member of the Girls Club, Friend of the Boys Club.

What do you do? I manage money for families, trusts, and foundations

Where do you live/do this? New York City

When did you start working as a financial advisor? 2005

Why is your work important to you? I love my work and my clients. Every day is filled with new challenges. I love working with multigenerational families and all the complexity that comes with them.  

How did you ignore any voices that told you don't? I didn’t ignore them, I tried to understand their point of view which helped me to strengthen mine.

What piece of advice would you give your future self? Always be open-minded and take calculated risks in your career...you never know!

If you were to build an arsenal of all the things that help you feel powerful, what top five things would you include? My memories and the learnings from them, good and bad; my family; my friends; my optimism; my instincts.

 


CHRISTINA

Who are you? I am Christina Emilie / photographer / an Artistic Director in visual mediums. I describe myself with sophistication, grace, and intuition.

What do you do? I capture quiet and ethereal moments of beauty in human beings.

Where do you live/do this? I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

When did you start working as a photographer? I started doing photography in 2010 during my Sophomore year of college.

Why was photography so important to you? Photography has always been my personal way into sharing other people’s realities. It’s truly been an outlet of communication in my life.

It's one thing to have an idea, and another to actually execute the idea. What prompted you to take action and execute your idea? I understand “we each have the power to dream as well as execute our dreams.” We may have each been given different opportunities in life, but we’ve all been given an equal power of “self.” Absolutely nothing is impossible.

How did you ignore any voices that told you don't? I was able to ignore voices by listening only to my own voice. Allowing myself quiet time to reflect and be still through meditation that holds the truth we seek.

What piece of advice would you give your future self? Advice for my future self is to think clearly, speak clearly, dream clearly, and have fun, ALWAYS!

If you were to build an arsenal of all the things that help you feel powerful, what top five things would you include? Top 5 powerful things: a piece of paper and a pen, music, high waisted jeans, the present moment, and kindness to myself

What's the one book you find yourself recommending over and over again, and why? The one book I recommend over and over is Osho’s “Fear.”



AMANDA

Who are you? Amanda Mitchell, Writer, podcaster, human exclamation point

What do you do? I’m currently a freelance pop culture writer and podcast host.

Where do you live/do this? Brooklyn, New York

When did you start working as a writer? I’ve been a reluctant writer my entire life - I spent many years trying to suppress my writer side in hopes of going into a more, uh, practical work force, but in college, I took one creative writing class and realized that’s exactly where I wanted to be. I graduated with a degree in playwriting, and it’s been the goal and dream ever since.

Why was writing so important to you? I have a lot of opinions, and I think all of them are valid and important, regardless of whether or not they really are. I’ve always been fascinated with words and the power they have, and so I think writing is so important to be solely because it’s incredible the impact words can have. At the end of the day, language is key.

What piece of advice would you give your younger self? Other people’s opinions of you aren’t that important. Listen to your mom more, she’s right about a lot of things. You’re going to feel weird for a long time - but at some point, that weirdness will also be your greatest asset.

What's the one book you find yourself recommending over and over again, and why?

I’ve given Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist as a gift to so many of my friends. It’s so heartbreaking, real, and accurate. I think it’s one of the most important books of our time, and it should be required reading.

What's your go-to outfit when you need to feel incredible, but only have five minutes to get ready? I have more dresses than I do pants, so I’ll always pop on a dress, typically with a pattern, sometimes with tights, always with a shoe with a heel. But most important to me is my makeup, and most MOST important in my makeup routine is a blinding, nearly offensive cheekbone highlight and a cat-eye sharp enough to poke you. I feel naked without either of them.

What centers you? Television. I prefer the sounds of people talking rather than music to relax me.

You have the whole day to yourself: what do you do? I definitely sleep as late as I can, probably catch up on my television from that week (I watch a TON of television, if you can’t tell), write for a bit, get lunch, take a nap, read, watch more TV, and get to bed early. It’s not an eventful day, but I’m always tired.



SANA

Who are you? Sana Clegg, Founder of Sunny with an A. Mom of three juggling family, business and friends in NYC!

What do you do? Sunny with an A offers luxury children’s sleepwear and daywear made in the heart of NYC!

Where do you live/do this? Upper East Side (live), work all over NYC (garment district, uptown, Brooklyn)

When did you start your brand? 2015

Why was starting your own business so important to you? It is so important to me to apply my background in finance and fashion pr and create something I value as a parent!

It's one thing to have an idea, and another to actually execute the idea. What prompted you to take action and execute your idea? My kids only had one or two brands of cute, luxury pjs. I knew there was a niche in the market. It took a lot of time working in between pickups, drop-offs, my iPad was my life and I love hotel bars for the reprieve they provide away from a busy apartment full of kids and dogs!

How did you ignore any voices that told you don't? I just told myself if I failed, no one would remember it.

What piece of advice would you give your future self? Go back to work sooner!

If you were to build an arsenal of all the things that help you feel powerful, what top five things would you include? Daily exercise, a few very good friends, lots of healthy food, lots of sleep, not feeling guilty.

What's the one book you find yourself recommending over and over again? Lydia Fenet’s “The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You!”


NADINE

Who are you? Nadine Ali, Pastry chef. Creative, resilient, and giggly :)

What do you do? I own a baking business, ‘Nadine’s cakes.’ We do custom cakes, cookies, and cupcakes, all made to order.

Where do you live/do this? New York

When did you start Nadine’s Cakes? 5 years ago

Why was starting your business so important to you? Baking makes me happy!

It's one thing to have an idea, and another to actually execute the idea. What prompted you to take action and execute your idea? Baking and decorating is my creative outlet and I felt the urge to express myself. Cakes always mark happy occasions and there is an association to a joyful time with loved ones or a heart warming memory. So I wanted to be part of that for someone. Let’s celebrate everything!

How did you ignore any voices that told you don't? No matter what the outcome would be, I wanted the peace of mind to say ‘at least I tried,’ so I just went for it!

What piece of advice would you give your younger self? Always surround yourself with positive, supportive, loving, and inspiring people. Even the smallest gesture of support or kind word can give a woman the strength to be unstoppable!

If you were to build an arsenal of all the things that help you feel powerful, what top five things would you include? Imagining I am Beyoncé for a few seconds; the love of my family and friends; baking, cooking, dancing; when I have some free time to do whatever my heart desires; and of course a good blowout!

What's the one book you find yourself recommending over and over again? Born a crime by Trevor Noah