The Funemployed: Lauren Taylor

DCF: Who Are You?
Lauren Taylor, Founder + Director, Defend Yourself and Safe Bars. We teach skills for stopping harassment, abuse, and assault. Our promise to you: Take our classes and you’ll have more safety, more confidence, more freedom, more fun! For my bio, let’s just say I’m a teacher, resistor, advocate and warrior princess. I’m passionate about a world free of gender-based violence and people becoming their full selves. I love chocolate, justice, cats, and DC (not necessarily in that order).

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The Funemployed: Meredith Forte

DCF: Who Are You?
Meredith Forte
Frame Avenue Design
Picture Framer, Design Consultant, Artist, Creative, Photographer, Lady Boss, Rockstar Mom, MacGyver of anything crafty. DC born and raised.

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Photo by Yellow Whale Portraits

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The Funemployed: Charese John

DCF: So Who Are You?
Charese John, Revive Events & Catering, Co-Owner/Creative Director- Charese John is more than a “chef” and way beyond the title of “designer.” John is a creative force with plenty of innovation, vision, and talent. She can see the horizon and she knows how to build it. John has roots in the soil of Corporate Hospitality via Fortune 500 companies like Safeway and Dean & Deluca. Those roots grew stronger as co-owner of Revive Events & Catering, a boutique catering business in Washington, DC. In just the past six years, John and her team have designed more than 3,000 events including private dinners, corporate receptions, and weddings with 1,000+ guests.

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Above ground, Charese has also learned to own the sky—and knows no limits. While studying with celebrity chef, Marcus Samuelsson, John mastered the art of international cuisine with a flair. Throughout this time she was gaining a deep understanding of the wants and the needs of the entire dining experience: the internal requirements of the host, the guests’ palettes, and the external environment to hold and enhance it all.

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The Funemployed: Alexis Arenas

DCFunemployment: So… Who Are You?

Alexis Arenas, Owner and Lead Artist, The Beauty Expert Group. Over 18 years’ experience in Makeup and Hair styling specializing in Film, TV, Print, Male Grooming, and Events.

(DCF: Alexis was being modest so I went to her page and pulled some more tidbits about this rock star!)

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The Funemployed: Dani Sauter

So let’s start at the very beginning – Who Are You?
I am Dani Sauter, the content creator and blogger of Blonde in the District. BITD is a curated collection of my personal life interests, style picks, beauty faves, and travel diaries, all with an emphasis on confidence and supporting the local community. I live in Arlington, VA with my husband and cat, and my husband owns a small business in Old Town Alexandria. I work full time for a IT contractor supporting the government and blog as my side hustle, but I hope to transition to blogging full time in the future.

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The Funemployed: Sanura Williams

DCF: Who Are You?
My name is Sanura Williams and I am the owner and founder of My Lit Box, a monthly book subscription box committed to highlighting writers of color. (DCF: Which I subscribe to and love getting every month so join us!!)

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The Funemployed: Melissa Kullen

DCF: So, Who Are You?
Melissa Kullen, Zengo Cycle, Master Instructor

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The Funemployed Gent: Diego Gonzalez-Zuniga

For Man Crush Monday, we are going to start doing some profiles of dope dudes in DC.  This will still be a girls club for the under represented, we’ll just mix in some men from time to time.  Except in March, cause that’s ours.

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The Funemployed: Claudia Diamante & Andréa Vieira

DCFunemployment: So Who Are You?

Claudia Diamante, nailsaloon, co-founder
CD: I am an optimistic and self-motivated person who wants, essentially, two things in life: to continually challenge myself to be a better version of me, and to have a balanced life close to family and friends. I began my corporate career in Argentina, where I grew up, and eventually moved to the U.S. to get my master’s degree, after which I continued down the corporate path. But I was always intrigued by the idea of having my own business. Prior to nailsaloon, I started a line of leather handbags, but that didn’t turn into a long-term project. The combination of the right timing and identifying an exciting niche, gave Andréa and me the push we needed to act on our entrepreneurial spirit and create the nailsaloon!

Andréa Vieira, nailsaloon, co-founder
AV: I am driven by joy, really. Joy in spending quality time with friends and family, joy in pursuing life’s passions, joy in connecting with the world, joy in the small things… and every once in a while, the really big ones. I am from Brazil, but grew up bopping around nine cities (in four countries) before finally realizing that DC is my home. I chose journalism as my profession, probably because it aligns with what ultimately moves me: getting to know others, hearing their stories and sharing unique life experiences. After 20 years working in broadcast journalism and TV production, I embarked on this adventure with Claudia. It’s funny to realize now that it wasn’t all that big a pivot. As it turns out, owning a business heightens all your senses, experiences and connections. For better or worse!

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The Funemployed: Joi-Marie McKenzie

DCF: Who Are You?

My name is Joi-Marie McKenzie and I’m the Entertainment/Lifestyle writer for ABC News. I’m also a brand new author — my debut memoir, “The Engagement Game,” hit bookshelves recently (DCF: WHOOOOO!!). It tells the story of why I ultimately walked away from a relationship after playing tons of games to secure a marriage proposal. People say it’s hilarious and I believe them.

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