THREE FEMALE CEOS ON INSPIRATION AND SUCCESS

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

By Alexis Calcavecchia


So a few months ago, I went to the first-ever Ignite Your Light, hosted by Rachel Rubin, CEO of PARLR, Camille Kostek, 2019’s Sports Illustrated model of the year, and sponsored by Amy Lacey, CEO of Cauli’flour Foods. The event was advertised on Instagram and my intuition was telling me to go. I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up I’m so glad I went because these women have encouraged me to stick to a positive mindset and, in my opinion, are the perfect example of how truly believing in yourself can change your life. As women and men of all ages try to figure out their next step in life, it’s important to acknowledge how these women never gave up on themselves and continue to follow their passion. Out of the many things I learned that evening, I think these four quotes will have a huge impact on the lives of many who have a desire to ignite their light.


“WHEN YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT THINGS, THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE.”

- Camille Kostek, Sports Illustrated cover model of the year 2019


When you’re rejected, do not give up. It took twelve years for Kostek to accomplish her dream of modeling for Sports Illustrated. In fact, she returned to the audition that rejected her the first time and they rejected her again a second time. But she didn’t let that stop her. A few months later, an audition opportunity for the next Sports Illustrated model opened. It was her chance. With just one single audition tape and no agent, as most models have one, Kostek became Sports Illustrated Rookie of the Year 2019.


There was nothing stopping her. She had worked so hard for that moment. Every day she writes in her journal what she wants out of life. She writes down who she is and what she wants to accomplish. Kostek has become and continues to be an inspiration for women and men, through her university talks She has spoken at the University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University and Providence College.


“IF YOU PAY IT FORWARD, YOU GET IT BACK SO MUCH MORE.”

- Amy Lacey CEO of Cali’flour foods


Fear is terrifying, but once you face your fears, you gain strength. Lacey spoke passionately about this as she described her experience bungee-jumping off a mountain-side during her honeymoon in New Zealand. As the thick band propelled her up and down, it was on the fourth or fifth time she had jolted back up into the air, that she realized she had to learn to be present. She made that decision when she accepted what was happening and that she was safe. Her fears disappeared.

Lacey was inspired to start her business when she was recently diagnosed with Lupus and was starting to feel like it was taking over her life. That’s when she decided she needed to do something about it, fight back and not let fear take over. So, she made it a mission to change her diet, by eating a grain-free, alcohol-free, and dairy-free diet which, in her research, has shown to help with Lupus symptoms. With her discoveries, she wanted to pay it forward and help others suffering from similar circumstances, which led to the creation of her flourishing business of Cali’flour Foods.


“DON’T EVER GIVE YOURSELF AN EXCUSE NOT TO HUSTLE.”

- Rachael Rubin, CEO of PARLR beauty and PARLR brand bakery


There are many struggles in life and times where you may think that it’s the end but it isn’t. Those struggles are there for you to grow and to force you to recognize how strong you really are. Rubin had multiple hardships as she was pursuing her dream, interning in New York City for the late celebrity stylist, Alexa Winner. Her circumstances at home led her to pack up her things and go back home to Framington Massachusetts. But just because she wasn’t in New York City didn’t mean her dream was over. She thought, “If I can’t be in NYC, I can bring NYC to me.” She set up her own photo studio in her family’s garage, clients started coming to her and from there, she never looked back.


“DON’T LET THE DARKNESS PUT YOU DOWN. FIND THE LIGHT AND IGNITE YOUR LIGHT.”

- Rachael Rubin, CEO of PARLR beauty and PARLR brand bakery


Think about the goal you want to fulfill, the light you are craving. Manifest it, write it down, visualize it and feel it. At age 25, Rachael made her first million in revenue but she saw right through it. She didn’t care about the money, she cared about her passion. PARLR is now one of the world’s largest and most unique beauty and photography businesses. Five things that Rachael practices to ignite her light are endless positivity and an “I can” mindset. She meditates for at least ten minutes a day to connect to the present moment. She maintains confidence by focusing on herself and competing with herself, and lastly, she holds herself accountable by saying, “This is what I could have done better.”


Left to right: Rachael Rubin, Alexis Calcavecchia (me), Camille Kostek. Photos by PARLR.


Alexis Calcavecchia is a writer based in New York City. When she’s not busy freelance writing about travel, fashion, and lifestyle, she’s relaxing with her dogs, finding inspiration to create and style, and working on herself. Follow her on Instagram @alexiscalcavecchia.