Nancy C. Donahue and I are collaborating together to support the “Bridging the Gap” campaign pioneered by the remarkable Catherine Grace O’Connell. This extraordinary campaign brings together women who are Millennials (or in my case Gen X) and pairs them with women from the “Fierce Over 50” generation to show the world that age is just a number!
Age Is Just A Number
As women we are all united with the same purpose and passion in the fashion and beauty industry to be recognized as one. There are too many instances in business, pop culture, and life that women are separated and categorized into boxes that fit their numerical age.
Our contemporary and retail-driven culture seems to pigeon-hole us into carefully curated demographics allowing advertising and marketing efforts to drive a wedge between women. This can create an environment of unfriendly competition, jealously, and even “age”shaming.
Case in point, when the amazing Jane Fonda, 79, sported a chic high ponytail at the Emmys Red Carpet this year, some women expressed negatively that “she is too old to wear her hair like that” and it is a “horrible idea!” I don’t agree with this opinion at all. Our age does not define us as women. Beauty and style transcends any stage in our life and that we as women should celebrate one another!
Bridging The Gap
I am so excited to be a part of the “Bridging the Gap” campaign and to be partnering up with such an remarkable woman — Nancy C. Donahue! She is a mother, former fashion model, and business entrepreneur. In the late 70s, Nancy was featured in many fashion magazines such as Vogue, Bazaar, Self and Mademoiselle to name a few. She modeled professionally for two decades — her beauty and poise continues to shine and inspire women!
Currently, she is the managing partner for BelleCore which is an innovative beauty device used by both women and men for beauty and wellness, recovery therapies, and fitness pre and post performance recovery treatments.
Nancy is so inspiring to me! She manages her family, businesses, and personal life with such grace, precision, and authenticity. I love her approach to life, her core values, and her ambition. I am excited to share with you more about Nancy’s world with a series of Q & A’s. We talk about fashion, beauty, business, family, and this great campaign!
You will clearly see that she takes the cake for “Fierce Over 50!”
Let’s Celebrate Nancy C. Donahue: Qs and As
DEBBIE: How has your styled evolved over the years?
NANCY: When I started modeling back in the day, I was a jean and t-shirt gal with bits of high end accessories. When I became an entrepreneur, I had to wear high-end dresses as I was doing trainings at Neiman Marcus, Harrods, and Bloomingdale’s. I have sold all of those clothes and I am now back to jeans, t-shirts, and high-end accessories. I love shoes, belts and earrings!
DEBBIE: Juggling business and personal life can be a struggle. How do you care for yourself in the midst of it?
NANCY: This is a very important for me on so many levels. Caring for yourself is key. I always book my day around exercise, which comes first and foremost. It is very important as a working woman to feel clear headed, fit and ready for your day. I have done this for over 30 years.
DEBBIE: Where do you get your entrepreneurial spirit? In what ways do you foster this energy?
NANCY: I believe I have always been an entrepreneur and this started when I was first discovered as a model. I was able to pick and choose my own jobs and make very good money. So, going forward, working as a chef, personal trainer, and fitness director, I also could book my time and hours around my home life and raising my son. It takes drive, motivation and tenacity to be an entrepreneur and this was instilled in me by my father, my mentor who passed two years ago. He always believed in me and my current endeavor and was so supportive. As for the energy, I have way too much which comes from my mother.
DEBBIE: How do you effectively manage business and motherhood?
NANCY: This is very difficult and always has been. My son is now 29 and I hope I did a good job. As I was a single mother, I wasn’t able to attend all his school plays and functions because I was working. But, my mom was never able to attend my things as I am one of eleven children and I am doing OK. I think mothers are too hard on themselves. They can’t be everywhere and work at the same time.
DEBBIE: How do you celebrate your beauty?
NANCY: I think I celebrate my beauty by being fit, taking care of my skin and eating healthy. Yes, I see the wrinkles, the sagging skin and loss of muscle tone but there is nothing you can do! It is life, it is aging and by embracing these things, you celebrate your beauty!
DEBBIE: Why did you want to be a part of the “Bridging the Gap” campaign?
NANCY: I actually love this project because I do not have many “friends” who are your age and I love to hear their point of view on life, politics, fashion, dating, and being a mother now. It is much different than when I was your age. I love people and I embrace the chance to meet new people.
The Gift of Friendship
Aren’t we all in agreement that Nancy is an exceptional human being! I adore this woman and look forward to the chance to meeting her in person! Let’s not get lost in what the media and society tells us about age and mingling with other women only in our specific demographic.
Make an effort now to establish relationships that are multi-generational. There are so many blessings in this type of kinship. The deep likeness, efficient perspective, and the incredible wisdom are many rewards to be found in multi-generational friendships. Let’s encourage one another and cheer each other on in our journey called life!
There is such a power in connection! Bridge that gap and connect with women outside of your circle. Open your ears and heart to what they have to say. Be an active listener. Learn to listen more than talk. Lead with love and open your arms to all women…young and old. Embrace sisterhood. Bridge the Gap!