Michael Okai, Author at Brushpic
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Michael Okai

BrushPic Interview with Chelsea

BrushPic Interview with Chelsea 1500 1225 Michael Okai

Eva: “I would like to introduce you to Chelsea McDonald from Blue Arctic Waste Solutions, they handle waste removal in the community that’s cost-effective and convenient. They have several raving, positive reviews and are a great example of how a business can and should put customer care first.”

 

Eva: “Chelsea, can you tell me a little bit about how this business got started?”

Chelsea: “Sure. So a couple of our partners, Bill and Harry saw an opportunity to start a roll off division and the refuse and recycling industry. Harry had connections with a couple of people and he also had a roll off truck. Billy also had connections. So we started basically with Carlisle Transportation and Taylor Restoration that got us started. Then a few years later they brought Jason on and they branched out into the commercial industry. And today we have developed into a full refuse and recycle a waste management company.”

Watch the interview highlights on our youtube channel:

Eva: “What is your favorite thing about working in Alaska?”

Chelsea: “Well, Alaska is big, so there’s a lot of things to do, you know it’s a fisherman’s paradise, so there’s always something to do after work, whether you’re skiing or you’re fishing, or just simply going on a walk.”

Eva: “So, every time I’ve gone on a trash run with one of your drivers, they always like to tell me a little bit about the vehicles. Can you tell me about the different vehicles you have and their purpose?”

Chelsea: “Sure. So the truck that we started the company with is a roll-off truck. So that’s used for primarily, construction or, corporate use, warehouse use. And then we have hook trucks and those can range anywhere from smaller roll-off containers or they hook onto the front-load commercial containers and deliver, to locations that don’t need such a big dumpster. And then we have, the front load trucks, and those are the ones that you see primarily at smaller businesses and those lift up the containers that go up and over the top of the truck, we also have curbside, refuse trucks for residential curbside service. So basically they pick up the containers that you would see at your house, dump the trash and recycle.”

Eva: “How many more vehicles do you intend to have?”

Chelsea: “It just depends on how quickly we grow. So right now we’re growing at a pretty rapid rate- and we have a few more trucks on the way and hopefully we can hold the line for a little bit without having to order too many more. But as quickly as we’re growing right now, it’s hard to, but definitely a few more.”

Eva: “Will you be expanding to other areas of Alaska?”

Chelsea: “Currently we service the Anchorage municipality, Anchorage and Eagle river area. We’re not sure yet if we want to move to the Matsu Valley or up into Fairbank’s, it has been a thought, but we haven’t pulled the trigger on any of those decisions yet.”

Eva: “Do you offer customer requests such as catering to an individual outside of your normal zones?”

Chelsea: “Sometimes we will. It just depends on if another refuse company isn’t willing to do it or isn’t able to do it. We have, gone to Willow. We have gone to Sutton just because the other refuse companies that services areas were unwilling to do it. So sometimes we will.”

Eva: “What’s your favorite thing about your job?”

Chelsea: “favorite thing about my job, being so close to the partners of Blue Arctic, it’s great to see that, we’re offering a whole other opportunity and option to the community. They didn’t know that they had a choice before, so it’s great to see that we’re growing at such a rapid rate and Anchorage residents in the community are starting to realize that they actually have another option. So it’s really nice to see that people are, are rooting for the smaller local guys.”

Eva: “Can you tell me a little bit about your newest truck?”

Chelsea: “So our newest truck that’s coming in, I believe it’s going to be the first one in the city of Anchorage and it is a split body curb tender truck. So what it does is it has, half of it is designed for recycle and half of it is designed for refuse. So basically what it’s going to do is save us a lot of time and money, being that we don’t have to send out two separate trucks to go do a refuse route and a recycle route. We could send the same truck to do that same route. And so basically you’re cutting your costs in half at that point.”

Eva: “Can you tell me a little bit about your experience with working with BrushPic?”

Chelsea: “I think BrushPic is great. She’s definitely got a handle on me. So whenever she emails me, she’s sure to follow up and make sure that I got to have the time I don’t, but she definitely makes sure to take care of Blue Arctic and seems that our our Facebook page and our social media is growing and people are starting to see us a lot more.

Eva: “Could you tell me who Jason is?”

Chelsea: “Jason Is one of the partners. He has a lot of refuse experience. He actually started a refuse company or purchased one down in Seward, Alaska, and did that for several years, moved up here and was a logistics manager in the evenings, decided to start a smaller trash company. And you know, really just the experience there is big.” He is the guy that you’re gonna see running around, basically telling everyone what they’re going to be doing and how to fix the trucks. We repair all of our refuse trucks in house, and he is the refuse truck repair guru and the owner of Blue Arctic.”

Eva: “Thank you.”

BrushPic Interview with Ben Persinger

BrushPic Interview with Ben Persinger 2560 2090 Michael Okai

Eva: “I would like to introduce you to Ben Persinger, Ben is the owner of Persinger construction. They provide amazing creative Renovations for home renovations, construction updates as well as investor Consultation Services.”

Eva: Hi Ben, I seen a lot of your work. And my first question for you is, where do you get your inspiration for your Renovations from?”

Ben: “I think probably the biggest thing is in kind of creating a useful space and and I like to bring you know, as far as much of the renovation part of things, I like to bring new life back in the old homes, that are kind of beat up or run-down and I bring new life to it. I think that’s probably the biggest area and kind of meshing it to the neighborhood in and bringing back value to the to the property. That’s really my probably one of the biggest things that I enjoy doing.”

Eva: “How do you get the ideas for something like the kind of backsplash?  Is this something The Client provided or is that something you came up with?”

Ben: “It’s a Collaboration a lot of time, so I work with a client on whatever the style of the home is and stuff like that a lot of it just kind of comes from over the years. I’ve just kind of picked up different things that I like and the different things that I pair together usually I’ll give the client some options and things like that. A lot of times it comes down to looking at the type of materials were working with like a countertop for working with the natural lighting at the house. Certain kinds of homes have better natural light. So I like to look at all that and I kind of take that full scope into into what we’re trying to do and if it’s like a ranch, kind of Farmhouse look then you kind of go One Direction, with your color tones and things like that. If it’s more modern or retro then we kind of design it to make those things are kind of pick materials that mesh with that. I get a lot of that just from from reading and observation, looking at what other people are building you know what the trends are.”

 

Watch the interview highlights on our youtube channel:

 

Eva: “How did you get started with Persinger construction.

Ben: “I started Persinger Construction  three years ago, that kind of came about because of another job that I had I was a project manager for another construction company and they ran out of some contracts so I needed to have a new new job and I didn’t really find anything that I was looking for so I decided to just get back into it. And yeah, I just I really love construction for real estate. I’ve been doing investment properties and all that stuff and I like working with people on it. So that’s kind of what inspired me to do it. As far as Construction goes, I’ve been building since I was you know, my early teens.”

Eva: “What does a typical project look like?”

Ben: “One of the most common sites is what you are looking at. So these are these are reskins of the whole whole house.  That’s probably my most common ones. We change all the bathrooms, sometimes we res sheet rock it. That depends on how how beat up the walls are. Re floor them and fix everything. Sometimes new heating electrical systems and new kitchens. That’s the main bulk of what I do is just re-vamps of the whole house a lot of the time.”

Eva: “I recently saw a video which they had an aquarium put into a wall and I was just wondering what is the most interesting request that you have received?”

Ben: “I’ve seen some pretty pretty far-out ones. We’ve done lots of things, I wouldn’t really know where to start with it. I mean home theater systems, like all kinds of really unique projects. Some of the decks are cool to wrap them around landscaping and other features in the house.”

Eva: “So you mentioned renovation trends, what are some of the latest trends and how do you and your team like to use them?”

Ben: “There’s different trains of thought and it really depends on the class of work that I’m doing. So there we have several different kind of lines of projects that we take on. We have some higher-end stuff for like an end-user homeowners and then we have investor grade projects. There’s different trends for different projects. One trend now is probably a lot of the greys and barn wood, wood flooring, stuff like that. Subway tiles have kind of come back in vogue and we’ve done a number of projects.”

Ben: “There’s a huge gamut, lighting changes a lot. We’re probably moving away more from the track lighting type stuff and moving more into flush mount light fixtures and you’ll see more of the Crystal Light, champagne glass, so I could I see a lot more of those kind of trends coming in right now, I always kind of look at the long-term hold of the property. It depends on if someone’s going to keep it or it’s going to be a rental or whatever. I try to not try to encourage us to not over stylize it to a certain specific thing. Unless you’re really going for like a hip vogue look, you know, or a really retro look then you got to do the whole thing that way because if you pick bits and pieces of it, it kind of feels a little disjointed and it also kind of falls out of style sooner especially for appliances.”

Ben: “You know, they have a special colors and shades of stain with some things like that. If it’s a rental you keep it for a long time and that’s how you know, when you can’t get that fridge anymore in that color and it’s a bummer, you know, if it dies on you than you got to figure out how to tell how to make that look good. I try to look at how long they’re planning on doing the renovations. Over a big long time span, you know, you want to do bathroom here than in the kitchen and whatever then you need to come and look at the overall like what they’re going to want the house look like in the end. So it’s not disjoining. You don’t look like you have a different vintage in each part of the house, you know,”

Eva: “Do you have any tips for us, renovation tips?”

Ben: “There is a lot of things you can do, although I’d say the best thing you can do, value for your buck wise is probably especially with the interior stuff – repainting, reflooring, things like that are relatively inexpensive options. They’re good for DIY-ers too you know, who delve into that stuff. You can do a lot of cool stuff with accent walls. I just refrain from going for it unless it’s something that you want to keep for a long time. Nice tasteful accent walls are great. You can do a lot with textures too.”

Ben: “Probably just get on Pinterest or Google images for different wall images. I just search for images of what I’m kind of looking for and figure out what terms to search for any kind of pallet wood walls and Barnwood. We need a lot of cheap inexpensive ways to update stuff and get yourself some inspiration to know if you got a fireplace or something, you know, you can do whitewash from brick and you can do all different kinds of things like that. You can do cool mantelpiece without really spending a huge amount of money.”

Eva: “Can you tell me about the work BrushPic did on your website?”

Ben: “It was one of those things. I wanted to be able to develop an add-on to as I kind of expand long-term ideas that I was working on and I tried working with some other outfits and that it just didn’t work. They were kind of out of state and just kind of corporate…but they were just weren’t really effective at getting what I need it because I had one created a number of years ago and it was just a disaster. They just didn’t meet my needs and it didn’t meld with what I’m trying to kind of create as a company and I would have had to do almost all the work myself to make the thing work and it was like I just don’t have the time and energy. That’s what kind of led me to check out BrushPic and have them work on my website. It’s been a great experience, as far as getting stuff done a lot of the holdup on everything was on my end.”

Eva: “What is BNI and what are some of the benefits you’ve experienced in the Connectors Chapter in Alaska?”

Ben: “BNI is a networking group for business owners in the chapter. I’m a general contractor in the connectors chapter and for me, it’s been a great way to meet other folks and network as far as that goes.”

Ben: “One way it’s really helped me a lot is it’s allowed me to serve my clients better. Through that, I mean it’s as far as having working relationships with all these other fields that I would not normally interface in my everyday constructionwork. I need a mortgage person if I need a website design, if I need whatever. I have lots of clients are business owners and maybe they’re complaining about something while I’m working on their house, frequently, I can help them solve other problems that they have in their business. BNI is also good for having a good reliable referral source like that that so that has been a big help.

Basically just allow me to serve my clients better. So it’s been a really positive thing for my company.

Eva: “What’s your favorite thing about Alaska?”

Ben: “The summers! It’s always nice going out. I can say my family likes to do that. I am usually fishing when I’m not working during the summers. So yeah, thats my favorite thing.”

Eva: “Thank you Ben.”

About the Interviewer


Eva Ohenewa Anno is the founder of BrushPic™. Eva is a multi talented digital artist and entrepreneur  with a  passion for helping others show up as their best version.

BrushPic Interview with Fatukanu Kabia

BrushPic Interview with Fatukanu Kabia 2560 2090 Michael Okai

Eva: “I want to introduce to you Fatukanu Kabia, she is the owner of Diamond Janitorial Services, they provide excellent cleaning services for residential cleaning, commercial cleaning, move in and move out cleaning, Air BNB, office cleaning and more. Thank you for taking this interview with me.”

Eva: “Firstly, I’ve noticed you have a lot of passion for your work and this business. Where does that come from?”

Kabia: “The passion for my work comes from just the need to help people better their lives and deliver easier stress free life. For me I know I have two kids and I work about 12 plus hours a day and my home and my space is my is my serenity. I need it to be clutter free and I need it to just be clean in order for me to just come home and put my feet up and just rest and relax so I can be rejuvenated to go on with my day. So I think it’s just the ability to want to help people and to just want to make their lives easier and more stress free.”

Eva: “What made you get started in this business? Did you receive Someone guide you through it to get it started or how did it start?”

Kabia: “I have always been a neat freak. I hate clutter.

I hate smells, am a nosy person. I would like to say.

“So for me, when I first got a job with a cleaning company, I mean, it wasn’t nothing that I had to be taught. It was just something that I knew. I was just a natural at the business. And from there on, I just kept working with this particular cleaning company to learn everything that I could learn. And I just felt very under appreciated by the whole process of what they were doing. And all my attempts that I had given this company to try to help was falling on deaf ears. So I took it upon myself after a series of events into starting my own business. But that didn’t take off right away. I had to work for a couple other companies while my business was getting off the ground. So yeah, I did work with somebody for a little bit, kind of learned a little bit more about running the business of cleaning. But as far as the talent for for cleaning, that was always in me. I mean, I’m African. We have a lot of people in our family. And you got to always keep behind those kids picking up every day.”

Eva: What’s this thing or the strangest thing you’ve found missing in someone’s home that you were able to return to them?”

“Maybe something behind the fridge.”

“Those are the best. Like you might be doing a move out clean or thing for somebody and you’re cleaning under their vanity and you cleaning under the sink. And you know, you have that gap that goes under your sink and sometimes you can clean your bathroom, but you can’t really get under there. So we had clean one of my client’s homes. I’m not going to put her on the spot or anything.”

“So we found a binky under her van. It’s like the thing that the baby’s stuck on. And her oldest kids, she had been living in that house for about 20 years. Her oldest kid was 17.”

“So you can only imagine. Well, her youngest kid was 17. You can only imagine how long that Binky has been under there.

It was there for a long time. We found first generation iPhones and people’s couches.”

“And that’s first generation there, although we have iPhone 11s now. So when they get these things that they just look like dinosaurs. And then when it comes to doing move out Queens, we found some things in there that definitely the tenants probably left that they want back. But the owners just want us to throw it out.” “So we saw some pretty interesting things with this cleaning jobs, so definitely makes it exciting every day to do it.”

Eva: “Can you tell me about your community outreach?”

“I think we do a lot of community outreach. Personally, the type of lifestyle that I’m from and all my experiences that I’ve had has given me the compassion to be able to work with ladies in this community that want to change your lives from what they used to do before. So we work with a lot of sober living places. We work with a lot of people in recovery that do want to change. I do want that opportunity to do better for them and their kids. So we do a lot of outreach in that in that aspect.”

“I think of myself as more of like a big sister to a lot of these ladies. If I can do it, they can do it, too. And it’s my pleasure. And I have it in my ability to be able to lend them a hand with anything that they need.”

Watch the interview highlights on our youtube channel:

Eva: “What is the work environment like?”

Kabia: “Well, for a lot of you guys that have used our services. The work environment, you can see it’s like a family unit. We have fun at work. For us, it’s our happy time. It’s art therapy. It’s our friendship time. We just love the the atmosphere that we’re around. And the ladies just love what they do. So for them, we keep it light. We keep it fun. I mean, we’re telling jokes the whole time. We’re talking about our lives the whole time, as well as doing a wonderful and great job for our clients. They love interacting with with us as cleaners. And some of them actually like to stay in the home while we’re cleaning because they love laughing. They love interacting with us. And they love hearing all our different stories because all our girls are like chatty Cabbies. They want to talk to you. They want to know what you’re about and they want to know how we can better help you.”

Eva: “What kind of products do you use?”

Kabia: “We use all green products; we know that everybody’s different. Some of our clients have a high irritation to strong smells and some of them don’t mind. Some of our clients, they think if they smell bleach, it’s clean. And some of them, they don’t want to smell bleach at all. They just wanted to be, you know, a light scent. So we offer our clients a couple of different options. We have a green option and then we have a regular option. Our regular option is very green in itself.”

Kabia: “We use just regular basic products like simple green spray a way glass cleaner regular pledge. And we dilute the simple green, of course. And we use Bohner for wood floors and then laminate for cleaners for our regular floors. So when it goes to doing green cleaning, we like to introduce them to either to Melaleuca or Mires Clean Day, something that they would like using even seventh generation or thieves would work for them.”

Kabia: “I personally provide the Melaleuca because I have a membership with Melaleuca so far off some of our clients who want Melaleuca products. We offer that to them and see if they like it and they do like it. We just charge them $10 more on their bill because those products do cost a lot of money. But if they do want H2O or any of those other products, we can refer them to somebody that sells those products so they can be able to buy it for themselves. So our products are pretty green. We don’t have a lot of clients that have a lot of problem because we do ask them if they’re allergic to anything and what their irritation level is to smells when we do a walk through.”

Eva: “What can we expect during a walkthrough?”

Kabia: “There’s a lot of fun time. I love doing my walkthrough. You get a chance to get to know the client, get a chance, an opportunity to ask them what they are really looking for and why they’re getting cleaning services. Everybody has a different reason why they’re getting cleaning services and what a walk through really enables us to do and enables us to see the walk through of the house, kind of get the vibe with a client, can offer him a couple different options and just kind of really put their mind at ease into as in who they’re having in their homes. And one thing that we also offer our clients is we do have the ability and the we just love working around people. Some clients want to get to know their cleaners before they just give them clothes and stuff like that inside their home. So we always offer the client to do their initial clean on the Saturday because we know a lot of people are home on a Saturday. So we get to meet the whole family. They get to meet the whole staff. And on top of that, they get to hang around and they get to kind of see how we interact with each other, how we joke around with each other and the process of us getting the house clean.” “And at the end of that initial cleaning, they get a very calm sense of they’re comfortable. They’re happy that this is these this is just a bunch of girls and a group of people. They’re just they’re having fun and they’re talking about.” “Girl, what do you do yesterday? How did the movie you rented go? You know, we were just talking about real life things that are happening in our lives. And we’re just focused on getting your space clean. It’s nothing shady. It’s nothing weird. We’re just doing our jobs and just having a fun time doing it.”

Eva: “Do you have any cleaning tips for us?”

Kabia: “Well, if I have to tell you, I have to kill you.”

Kabia: “But when it comes to cleaning tips, there’s a bunch of different things that people just don’t know. And what can get things really out like one thing you definitely need in your home is a juga, simple green.”

Kabia: “You need that just because when you’re cleaning your tubs or things that have really that deep ground in it, kind of dirt, you kind of just need pure version of simple green with your other best friend, which is a box of magic erasers.I f you don’t have a box of magic erasers, you’ve been doing way too much work cleaning your own house. I’m telling you, if you haven’t called us yet, that that is. But Magic Erasers and simple green are your best friend because those two combine can get almost just anything out of your out of your home, out of your tub, out of the sink, out of anything that you’re cleaning. And then on top of that, the reason why we use spray with glass cleaner is because it just leaves that streak free shine. We know everybody loves their Windex. Everybody loves their wooden nicks. Well, we’ve had some instances where Windex had left the film on the windows and it doesn’t really do a good enough job. So for me, the best tip is to get the right products, even if you are the best cleaner in the world. If you don’t have the right product and if you don’t have that knowledge and you don’t consult with an actual professional cleaner, you can be scrubbing for days for something that takes me 2 minutes to clean. Thanks.”

Eva: “Can you tell me about the work Brush Pic did for you?”

Kabia: “The work that brush Pic did for us and is continuing to do for us is just custom branding. It’s really just liberating to feel as if I can sit down with a fellow sister, explain to her exactly what I need, what I’m looking for, because I’m busy. I don’t have time. I work twenty-five hours a day, eight days a week where I get this extra time, I don’t know.”

“But Eva the owner BrushPic is really good at just getting my ideas all together and just making sure that it is delivered in the way I want it to be delivered. She does a wonderful job and we will continue to keep using her for our branding because oh, I love the ability to be able to call somebody my like girl. I need this done. I’m going to get it written out for you. And then she shows up and she’s like, did you write it out? I’m like, I’m too busy. Those are the really, really intuitive and fun to work with. And she’s good at getting it done and getting it down and making sure that she fills in those gaps for you that I know I’m only one woman, I can’t do everything. So she’s an extra arm that I have that can kind of help us up with the branding things that we need.”

Eva: “:)Thank you.”

BrushPic Interview with Michael King

BrushPic Interview with Michael King 2560 2090 Michael Okai

visit: www.stylelabalaska.com

I would like to introduce you to Michael King. Michael is the owner of Style Lab Alaska , he provides a range of services from Yoga lessons, Interior design services to Real estate services, and skincare.”

Eve: “Living a well rounded life seems to be at the core of you and your business, What did it take to reach this point?”

Michael: “Well, you know, that’s an excellent question, because I really arrived at this point just as a result of all the different experiences that I have had personally and professionally. And I was trying to figure out a way where I could have a house or a place, if you will, where someone can learn about all the different things that I have available to you, whether it’s for interior design, whether it’s for personal styling, whether it’s for finding out where I am teaching yoga. And so that’s what style lab really is. It’s it is literally a lab and it is your one stop shop for a number of things related to your personal well-being.”

Eva: “Why did you decide on the name Style Lab Alaska? Are you open to work with people outside of Alaska?”

Michael: “Oh, absolutely. I think Alaska carries a fascinating idea in the minds of people worldwide. And so Alaska, because of its ruggedness, because of its outdoorsyness, because of its clean fresh air is very desirable. And so I wanted to create a brand around desire and desirable. And by having Alaska in my name Style Lab Alaska, it’s just denoting that this is where I’ve started this business. However, it could happen anywhere in the world.”

Eva: “Some people wouldn’t associate outdoors to style. What is your take on something like a holistic lifestyle in combination with fashion or actually having a sense style?”

Michael: “Well, actually, a lot of design is driven by ideas that come from nature. So whether it’s a fashion designer that’s inspired by flowers in a meadow, whether it’s the color of the water that inspires a collection of paint, whether it’s the way that leaves rustle, that maybe inspires a musician to want to recreate that in a concert. I think all of those things kind of embody the idea around what style lab Alaska is, because when I work with someone, I want them to feel like it’s an organic process, not that it’s contrived or that I’m sticking something on them or putting something in a room that just doesn’t make sense. It needs to be natural and feel right. So I think that’s the piece about the Alaska that I’m looking to really solidify with Style Lab Alaska. Yes, style is involved. Yes. We’re going to come together with a bunch of different ideas and we’re literally going to try experiment until we get the right combination. And we’re gonna do it the Alaskan way. We’re going to incorporate organic natural ideas in the process.”

Eva: “How does real estate work in line with your other services. How do they go together or do they not go together?”

Michael: “They do go together because that’s been my primary career focus for almost the last decade. And so often times people come to me with a real estate need to purchase or sell their home.”


https://michael.alaskahomesearch.com/

Michael: “And then in that process, they may need some help in paint colors and furniture placement, whether it’s just to make the house as pretty as possible for selling or whether they’re acquiring the house and they want to improve upon the environment in which they call home. Then it may go to, you know what, you really helped me really create a really nice environment in my house. Can you help me with my wardrobe? Yeah, I can help you with your wardrobe. Oh, you have an issue with dry skin. OK. Well, I have some products that might be able to help you because I am a consultant with Rodan and Fields. And so, yes, I want to be able to solve as many problems as I can for my clients, whether it’s skin care, whether it’s a home, whether it’s interior design, whether it’s that they need to improve their health through yoga. All those things I can do.”

Eva: “So what is the best thing about being a yoga instructor?”

Michael: “You know; I think the best thing about being a yoga instructor is seeing the transformative process that happens in an individual or individuals. When I’m teaching a class in just an hour, because you can go in and maybe not be feeling at the top of your game or a little tired. Yoga. It’s all about breathing and stretching your body and strengthen your body and using the natural flexibility that you have and your breath to be able to gain more mobility, more strength. And I think that’s what I love about it the most, is just seeing that transformation that happens in just an hour and then the compounding effect of that over time.”

Eva: “So how many times should a beginner go to yoga per week?”

Michael: “Well, at least a couple of times a week. Ideally, you’re going three times a week, maybe a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. And if you can make it a couple of times a week, that would be great, because you as you start to get more familiar with the different poses. Or what we call in yoga, Yoga Asana and how you get into and out of them and what they’re called in English, what they’re called in Sanskrit. And then it just becomes a natural process for you as the individual.”

Eva: “I read that the mantra Om is the sound of the universe. Do you believe in including mantras to your yoga sessions? And how does that relate to someone who does not know what certain things mean?”

Michael: “Absolutely. I do think that it’s important to include Mantra in yoga. Yoga and Mantra are there are different aspects of the same thing. And so therefore I like to actually say Mantras at the end of my yoga class. It’s not required for people to say the mantra with me. So even if you don’t know the mantra, you can still be affected by the mantra.”

Eva: “Who is your biggest role model when it comes, I suppose the favorite aspects of your work?”

Michael: “My biggest role model when it comes to their favorite aspect of my work. So in yoga, it’s definitely my meditation teacher, Swami Ravi Rudaw, who is actually out of Asheville, North Carolina. I have learned so much and grown so much from him and everything that I learned from him. I then translate and transmute and put into my practice when I’m teaching about yoga or about breath or about meditation. Most definitely.”

Eva: “Do you continuously learn from him or did you spend some time where you got some specific lessons?”

Michael: “I continuously learn from him. I’m actually in a process right now where I’m going to continue to learn from him over the next two and a half years.”

Eva: “Can you tell me about the course that you’ll be taking?”

Michael: “Yes. So one of the things that I thought was an excellent fit for the style lab brand was being able to provide corporate and personal etiquette training for executives and for just individuals that maybe want to brush up on their own personal polish. So, for example, maybe you’ve been promoted into an upper level management position. You know, you’re going to be traveling to, say, Japan, but you’re not very familiar with the customs of Japan. Well, I’m going to be certified to be able to provide training to you as the individual on how you present a business card, how you address a Japanese business person. What are the protocols in a Japanese dinner? Do you know how to use chopsticks? I can show you how to do these things. And so I’m actually going to be attending the Protocol School of Washington in Washington, D.C. I’ll be going through a certification process there. And then I will be certified to be able to teach protocol worldwide so that I am very, very excited about it. And I’ll be doing that in the fall. And you can look to see a lot more about this development with the Style Lab, Alaska business and brand here in the near future.”

Eva: “What was the last gift you gave someone?”

Michael: “The last gift I gave someone was on Valentine’s Day. I actually wrote a poem and videoed it and sent it to them and wished them a Happy Valentine’s Day. He is my Valentine and name is Stevie and he lives in England and he loves when I do these kinds of little things for him. And so I made him his own personal poem for Valentine’s Day.”

Eva: “What is your methodology when it comes to personal styling?”

Michael: “You know, so my methodology when it comes to personal styling. We’ll start with an assessment of your existing wardrobe and we’ll literally go in your closet. And I’m going to ask you some questions about what things appeal to you and why they appeal to you. And then I’m going to ask you, once we do that, what do you want to accomplish in an update of your wardrobe and your personal style? And then from there, we’re actually going to do some shopping in some local stores and then some shopping online. And some of the things I will be there with you and some of the things you will do on your own, especially online, because you ultimately want to get to the point where you can cultivate your own personal style from a place of confidence. And then related to that is I’m going to find where your point of nervousness is in terms of how much risk you want to take in style. And we’re going to take one step beyond that. It was often said by a designer, and I wish I could remember who it was. She said, if you work on design and style is a part of that, if it’s not making you a little bit nervous, you’re going to be underwhelmed with the finished product.”

Michael: “And that is so true in both design and in styling. You have to kind of go beyond where you feel most comfortable. Just a little bit. Not a lot, because when you do that, that’s when the style really pops. That’s when your character really gets personified and modified and exemplified by what you chose in that little pop of color. Maybe you wouldn’t have chosen a fuchsia tie. You would have chosen a red tie. But then with fuchsia tie it, you will notice that people are complimenting you on how you look, which in in turn makes you feel more comfortable, competent about what you’re doing. And that’s where my role is. It’s to help you get to that point. You know, I’m not so sure about that. And I’ll say yes, just give this a try. There’s no harm in giving it a try. And then we’ll play see where we can find that balance between where you’re comfortable and where you can go a little bit beyond that design idea and create something that’s completely new. But it’s also exactly a part of who and what you want to represent.”

Eva: “Yeah, that sounds very insightful because, Real growth comes from getting out of your comfort zone.

Michael: “Exactly.”

Eva: “Comes from. Discovering a new part of yourself, through that.”

Eva: “Any style tips?”

Michael: “Yes. Black belt, black shoes. Brown belt, brown shoes. Burgundy belt, burgundy shoes. If you’re a man, those are three style basics. Foundation for women. Less makeup is always better than way too much makeup. You want to keep it fresh and light. And if you’re not sure about something, there’s always great consultants that can help at the makeup and beauty counters at any cosmetics place. And so, yeah, those are the two style tips I’m gonna leave out today.”

Eva: “What was your experience working with BrushPic and how did this help your brand?”

Michael: “Oh, BrushPic made my brand what it is today, without a doubt. I wouldn’t have what I have in terms of the following of the raving fans that are on my social media and the overall look of the brand without BrushPic. It was very easy to work with BrushPic. I was able to articulate kind of what I wanted and what the feel of it was like. And the process and the progress was pretty remarkable and the speed with which things went from concept to completion. So yeah, I would highly recommend BrushPic and I have been recommending BrushPic to people that need new Websites, that need design, any kind of graphic design or for individuals that just need to figure out, you know, my Website is here. I already have one, but it’s not doing X, Y and C. So to help with those enhancements as well.”

Eva: “Thank you.”

Michael: “You’re welcome.”

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