Summer is here! Gemini will be our star in June and we all need the Twins' sense of humor and sense of play to help us get through some of the heavier transits this month. Mars squares Venus around the 14th and directly squares on June 20-21 so everyone needs to look out for lover's quarrels on these days. Don't worry...we'll all make up by the end of the month with Venus in Leo. June typically means the start of vacations or downtime so I'm giving everyone some leisure ideas based on their sign!
May 21- June 20
“What goes up must come down."
This June will be a seesaw for Geminis with stops and starts, ups and downs, laughter and tears. Thank goodness this is how most Gemini's live anyway...in the world of duality. With Mars in Aquarius your energy and creative inspiration is flowing. You have the fortitude right now to keep trudging towards your goals. On June 6-7, watch what you say and how you say it. Are you really being truthful? Even to yourself? Stringent self awareness and disciplined authenticity is crucial for you his month. Dismount your high horse and get to work in your creative studio, wherever that space is to you. Best vacay: Theatre workshop.
"June typically means the start of vacations or downtime so I'm giving everyone some leisure ideas based on their sign!"
June 21- July 22
“Reap what you sow."
I am loving your ability to communicate this month, especially after June 12. Communication comes in all forms, including but not limited to speaking, writing, singing, photography and any other kind of art form. This is especially important to note on June 19-20 when your thoughts are like seeds being sown into a magically fertile ground. Don't waste this time. Revisit your list of goals or create a vision board. The intentions that you communicate to yourself or others are more powerful than ever. You have been batted about recently beyond your control. It's time to take back the wheel. Where do you want to go? Best vacay: anywhere near water with good food and family.
July 23- August 22
“The fishes and the loaves"
This has been a tough couple of months for you. The perpetual hill that you've been climbing seems to be getting steeper and steeper. I'm going to give you two pieces of advice to handle these challenges then I'm going to give you some good news. First, when it comes to where you are spending your energies-put others first. It's not about you right now. What do you have to give? Who needs it most? Selfishness will backfire this month. Also, many Leo's are having Dad issues right now ( Leo Meghan Markle anyone?). Other Leo's should take Meghan's lead...if you can't control it then don't engage, make a neutral statement and move on.
Here's the good news: your selflessness attracts love like bees to flowers this month, especially after June 14. Best vacay: Romantic and grand...go big and leave home.
August 23- September 22
“The birds and the bees"
You're still enjoying a power position but your energy is starting to feel very scattered. My advice...go online. Do the extra research, join an online community that shares your interests or goals or even play a video game. I'm serious. Cyberspace is where you will get traction and solace right now from the proverbial “salt mine" that you toil in everyday. The first half of the month has good love for you. In the second half you may find that you can't juggle all the bees that have flocked to your honey. Best vacay: Stay home and organize.
September 23- October 22
“Friends, Romans, countrymen..."
Make the speech, the pitch or publish your manifesto June 1-12. All Libras have a silver tongue but it is especially sparkly during the first half of the month. My favorite gift that the stars bring you this month is ENERGY. You will have mornings where you jump out of bed. You will not just feel inspired, you will take action to make things change. This is all good news because your workload is still a burden. It will be for awhile. That's ok. Have fun counting the bounty you will earn when this time of labor is over. Oh, and by the way, go easy on your dad. Best vacay: go visit a fashion week in a glamorous city.
October 23- November 21
“Talk to the hand"
This month your ideas and ways of doing things will be challenged. What is the normal Scorpio response to opposition? Crush the resistance. I am going to save you and the people that will challenge you some heartache. Please just listen to your naysayers. These ideas aren't a threat, they are glimpses of the future. You are being called to get out of your comfort zone. Respond to the nudge in a favorable way and magic can happen. Remember what it felt like to dream? It's not too late. Best vacay: scuba diving somewhere deep.
November 22- December 21
“Onward and upward"
This month is a party for the inventors. Sagittarius likes invention because it's about taking risks and disrupting old ways of doing things. Sagittarius also likes a good race or competition. There is a race this month but it's not against anyone, it is for the world. It's a call to run towards the cutting edge of where humanity is going. Have I lost most of you? I haven't lost Sagittarius...they love the big ideas. See you at the finish line with all the Aquarians! Best vacay: make a hike out of an historic march in a foreign land.
"It's not about you right now. What do you have to give? Who needs it most? Selfishness will backfire this month."
December 22- January 19
“Lead with the heart"
First I want to say it's ok to cry. Especially after June 13th. You aren't used to showing your feelings and being vulnerable. The second half of this month will coax these feelings out of you. It's a wonderful catharsis that you have needed after your work marathon over the last couple of months. With power and high position comes great responsibility. This month you have the secret sauce of successful leadership, strength with vulnerability. Housekeeping note: are you unloading some of your real estate holdings during this sellers market? It's a good idea. Best vacay: Capricorn's don't take vacay.
January 20- February 18
“And they're off!"
You are on the move and ready to take the steps to really get to where you want to be. It will not be easy and it will feel too slow for you but you will be moving in a forward direction. Reminder: you are an earthling and you have to understand earthly parameters of business and money matters. Your crazy dreams are what the world needs but you have to follow at least SOME of the rules to get what you want. Especially right now...the more you fight these truths the more you will be knocked down. Be humble and lean into this momentum. Best vacay: space simulation workshop.
February 19- March 20
“Rock a bye baby"
Have you ever sung a lullaby to a grown adult? This is kind of what you will be doing with some of your communication this month. You need to NURTURE others with your words. You can bring a calming effect to your relationships if you just set this intention. Embrace those that see you as a mother or parent figure, even if it's annoying. Remember that they are just responding to the energy that you are putting off however subconscious it is. Check your reality with others during this long Neptune transit. When people say you don't see something the right way listen to them. Best vacay: any music or theatre outdoors.
March 21- April 19
“Keeping The Home Fires Burning"
I'm excited about your love relationship after June 14. You may see a spark in the ashes that have been cold for a while. The second half of the month could also bring more money or creative ideas for business.
With Saturn still in Capricorn in retrograde it's a bad time to invest in Real Estate but a good time to renovate or invest wisely (not extravagantly) in property that you already own. When Mars goes retrograde in Aquarius on June 27th it's time to quit dreaming and get back to work. Best vacay: train for a competition and travel there to participate.
April 20- May 20
How do you self medicate? Too much work? Alcohol? Food? Sex? Sleep? Exercise? Many of our Taurus friends indulge in ALL OF THE ABOVE. They just go from one compulsion to the other. The scary part is that a Taurus can have the stamina to withstand an unhealthy loop for longer than others. This month presents a slippery slope for you that creates the perfect environment for addictive behaviors. You know what you indulge in. Self love is about moderation. Care for yourself this month with gentleness. Best vacay: head to the woods.
When their frustration with current fabric care options had fashionistas Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd worn out, the two entrepreneurs made it their mission to start a new niche and launch their very own at-home, eco-friendly laundry detergent line.
With a mission of turning an everyday domestic chore into a luxurious experience, these entrepreneurs not only conjured up an idea for an unconventional product line, but they successfully built their business while turning down the offer of every venture capitalist to knock on their door.
Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd co-founded The Laundress in 2004 after dealing with their own personal frustrations with limited clothing care options. Whiting, having worked at Ralph Lauren in design and Boyd having worked at Chanel in corporate sales, soon accumulated a stylish wardrobe of designer pieces as perks of their jobs in the fashion industry. However, the duo quickly realized that the maintenance required for upkeeping these items were far from adequate. Laundry products on the market at the time did not cater to delicate textures and fabrics such as tweed blazers, cable-knit cashmere and silk blouses. Taking their clothing to the dry cleaners also proved hopeless as their clothing would often come back with stains or even be ruined despite the overload of chemicals used to clean them. With nowhere left to turn, Whiting and Boyd were determined to create their own laundry solutions designed for specific fabrics.
Not only did the entrepreneurs develop the business expertise needed to finally begin their own company, but they also shared the same educational background that equipped them to pursue their unconventional business venture. Whiting and Boyd met in college as students at Cornell University majoring in Fiber Science, Textile, and Apparel Management and Design. The pair was introduced by a mutual friend and instantly knew they would become business partners. "It was inevitable that we were going to have a business together. We are both extremely entrepreneurial by nature, and it was one of the connections that we instantly shared" said Whiting. After focusing on pursuing their own individual careers for a while, Whiting and Boyd quickly discovered a void in the fabric care marketplace when their clients would continuously inquire about the upkeep of their designer pieces.
The entrepreneurial duo was committed to researching and developing their own eco-friendly laundry products and soon launched their own at-home solutions for specific fabrics like silk, wool and denim, which ultimately eliminated the need for dry cleaning for those particular items. Despite their products filling a necessary void in the market, it quickly became challenging for the founders to persuade people to shift their focus away from traditional laundry care options in order to try their products. However, Whiting and Boyd believed in their mission for the Laundress and bootstrapped from the very beginning, refusing all venture capital funding with the goal of growing organically. In order to be successful, they had to get creative in fundraising. "In the very early days, we funded business development by hosting a 'for profit' party at a New York City restaurant and inviting friends, family, co-workers, etc. to support our new venture. That was pre-Kickstarter and an inventive way to make everyone feel a big part of our decision to be entrepreneurs," said Whiting.
While turning down VC funding as new entrepreneurs seems unimaginable, it is as equally unfathomable to consider how these women gained national traction without social media, all the while hustling to fund their business. For Whiting and Boyd, who started their business before social media existed, it was imperative that they promote their brand by leveraging the resources they had available to them. The CEO's were one of the first to sell consumer goods, let alone detergent, online with the goal of reaching a national audience. Despite having limited retail distribution, they leveraged the power of their website and became featured in publications on both a national and international scale. "Before social media platforms existed, we nurtured our own Laundress community with engaging content on our website, step-by-step tutorials on our blog, and one-on-one communication through our Ask The Laundress email," Whiting explained. With technology evolving and the birth of social media platforms, the founders expanded the conversation about their products from website, blog and email to platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
As female entrepreneurs, Whiting and Boyd faced additional hardships as misconceptions about their mission ultimately proved to disappoint more than it encouraged them. As women selling luxury detergent, there existed a preconceived notion that funding would be more easily attainable based upon their gender.
"Everyone thought it was easy to access capital as female entrepreneurs, but it was actually very challenging. We had this unique and disruptive idea within a very traditional space and it was hard to get people on board at first. It's been a continuous journey to educate people in fabric care and home cleaning," said Boyd.
Reflecting on their journey as entrepreneurs, the founders express no regrets about refusing to accept venture capital throughout the process. "Over the years, we could never quantify the cost benefit of VC funding so we continued to grow organically and remain independent by funding ourselves with credit cards and loans," explained Boyd. While their decision proved fruitful, the duo expressed their consideration towards other entrepreneurs who may not be able to fully fund their business as they grow. Because funding is a situational experience, entrepreneurs must ultimately do what is best for their business as no one path is optimal for every entrepreneur or every business.
With an increasing amount of women entering entrepreneurship with their own unique set of products or services, the CEO's offer up one piece of advice on how female entrepreneurs can be successful in their endeavors.
Whiting: "Our advice to anyone looking to build their brands: Have a strong business plan and vision. If you are not disciplined to write a business plan first then you are not disciplined to start a business. Get your ideas down so you ask yourself the right questions; it helps you get organized and plan next steps."
Boyd: "Create quality products without sacrificing the ingredients—no cutting corners. What you create should be the most important piece. Stay passionate, and trust your instincts and follow your gut—something woman are awesome at!"