Cultivating Talent And A Community: This CEO Runs Her Company With A Lot Of Heart


There is certainly no shortage of talented people out there, but not every talent is heard or seen—enter Cultivated Entertainment. Cultivated Entertainment is a talent service that helps its clients succeed and reach—and perhaps even exceed—their potential in whatever field they may be. Whether a chef, singer, journalist, athlete, or someone of another profession, Cultivated Entertainment takes pride in its conscientiousness in catering to specific, individualized client needs. The Founder and CEO, Jen Proctor, is a people person with a big heart, and she treats each client like family. We asked her to share a bit about her business and why forming a warm, familial environment is so important to her.

1. What inspired you to start Cultivated Entertainment? Was there a sudden A-ha! moment from which the idea was born?

Running my own business was instilled within me very young, whether I knew it or not. My entire life, I’ve watched and learned from my entrepreneurial father. Owning his own business, he had the freedom to make decisions that were aligned with his values, what he believed was best for his clients, and how he wanted his brand to be perceived. And I was fortunate to absorb all of this wisdom throughout my childhood. Up until I formed Cultivated Entertainment, I had worked mostly at large companies. It was incredible experience and I learned a lot, but there came a point where I wanted the freedom to choose the projects I worked on. I wanted to be inspired by the types of projects I was involved with on a daily basis and not just working on them because I “had to.”

2. What makes Cultivated Entertainment different from other talent services?

The number one reason that I attribute my success to is my relationships. I truly believe that we are nothing without trust from others and the incredible relationships we create—personally, creatively, and in business. Each and every client of ours is treated like family. Cultivated Entertainment is not a cookie-cutter company, we customize every project based on the specific needs of the client. We take the time to build and develop relationships with each person that walks through the door. The center of our entire business is talent—whether it’s a TV show, a development project, an event, or a brand—so we work with clients to identify, strategize, and deliver the most effective outcome for their goal.

"There are as few reasons I chose the name. The first being the meaning of the word cultivated, it’s about growth and a particular gravitas that takes care and attention to create. This is exactly what we are all about." Photo courtesy of Stefanie Villers

3. Tell me a little bit about your podcast? What sparked the interest to create Cultivated Conversations? Do you have a favorite episode?

Cultivated Conversations was born out of a WCW (Women Crush Wednesday) post that we started doing on our Cultivated Entertainment Instagram account. Each Wednesday, I would feature a woman I have worked with, know personally, or who inspires me. The feedback we received was incredible. People wanted to hear more, they were inspired. Thus, the podcast was born. Each of my guests has an incredible story to tell and we discuss real life topics in a vulnerable way, usually sitting in my living room, where I love to record. Whether you’re a college student, a business owner, or a stay at home mom, there is something in this podcast that resonates with everyone. We all have our own unique experiences and believe it or not, we all have lessons to learn from each and every person in our lives. I have to say, my favorite episode has to be the first episode. Not because of the guest, as I could never choose a favorite guest—all of these women inspire me—but because it was exhilarating to press record on something I knew had the potential to impact people’s lives. Take a listen and let me know what you think—I love feedback from listeners!

The Cultivated Entertainment team. (Photo courtesy of www.cultivatedent.com)

4. How do you foster close and meaningful relationships with your clients? Why is this so important to your mission/overall success?

I suffered from a lot of loss as a young child and had to grow up very quickly. Because of this, I learned the importance of communication and relationships at a very young age. I would not be the strong, confident, and successful woman that I am today without the people in my life. I always approach relationships from an honest and open perspective, and that is key in building a real connection.

5. How did you come up with the name “Cultivated Entertainment”?

There are as few reasons I chose the name. The first being the meaning of the word cultivated, it’s about growth and a particular gravitas that takes care and attention to create. This is exactly what we are all about. Secondly, my family has been in agriculture for many generations; I grew up driving around the farms with my Dad. I am very lucky to have a close-knit family and I love the fact that our history is a part of my company name.

6. What has been the most rewarding project you have been a part of thus far?

We have been so fortunate to work on an incredible array of inspiring and rewarding projects. While I don’t have one that could be deemed “most rewarding,” projects that are examining our culture today are so important right now. Working with the teams at Sarah Silverman’s “I Love You, America” on Hulu and Aisha Tyler’s “Unapologetic with Aisha Tyler” on AMC, have been great for me personally. Sarah’s show highlights the beliefs, values, similarities, and differences of us as Americans and is intelligent, encouraging, and of course, funny. And Aisha’s show is creating conversations unlike any others out there, with guests like Charlize Theron, Gloria Allred, Laverne Cox, DeRay McKesson, and more, talking about a range of topics from body image and gender discrimination to racial and social injustices. I feel very lucky to be a part of these opportunities to foster conversation and share varying viewpoints during this critical time in our culture.

7. Who is your biggest female role model in the entertainment industry right now? Why?

There are so many women, in entertainment and outside of it, that inspire me. Right now is the most incredible time for women as we’re seeing women of all colors, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds making a difference, pushing boundaries, shattering glass ceilings, and standing firm for what they believe in. I feel so inspired being a woman in this pivotal moment in history.

8. Have you faced any challenges as a woman blazing a trail in the industry? If so, how did you overcome them?

Throughout my career, I approach every opportunity with a positive disposition and upbeat demeanor. In business, these traits can be perceived as a weakness and something to be taken advantage of. Especially when you are a woman. But I have always remained firm in who I am and the way I know I want to conduct myself and never let anyone’s perception sway me to be someone I am not. In relation to that, I always want to take care of everyone and know that I put additional pressure on myself to be a perfectionist. Whether this comes from being a woman, or it’s just the person that I am, it creates an added layer of stress and responsibility in times when it is simply not necessary. I spend a lot of time worrying about everyone else. Admittedly, this is one of my best qualities and biggest curses.

9. Any advice for fellow female entrepreneurs?

Ladies, you so got this! The quickest lesson that I learned as a business owner is that you really have to take it one day at a time. If you work as hard as possible and pour your passion into what you believe in day in and day out, you can hold you head high knowing the results will come. Every single day is a new adventure; there are ups and downs and it is an amazingly wonderful and wild ride that you need to embrace. And for those moments when you feel overwhelmed, stop, take a breath, and focus on one goal right in front of you that you know you can achieve. It can be making one phone call to a prospective client, filing one contract, or answering one email. You’d be amazed as how quickly you can shake off the feelings of dread and refocus that way.

"I feel very lucky to be a part of these opportunities to foster conversation and share varying viewpoints during this critical time in our culture." Photo courtesy of Ashley Streff

10. What’s next for Cultivated Entertainment?

We are expanding to New York this month, which is huge for us. There are so many opportunities out there that we can’t wait to sink our teeth into. So stay tuned!

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Patriarchy Stress Disorder is A Real Thing and this Psychologist Is Helping Women Overcome It

For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.

As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.

Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.

What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein

This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.

Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.

While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.

Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.

In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.

"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."