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Dress for Success

I love my work, but sometimes, I think it is important to challenge my mind and do something a little different. I have always been interested in acting and have done some local work in the past. My friend JoAnn is the founder of the Northport One Act Play Festival. Being in the theater has always been on her bucket list. She actually was one of my guest bloggers a couple of years ago and wrote about it.

The festival hosts about 12 one-act plays that are submitted by local playwrights. When JoAnn presented me with an opportunity to play a mother of a young girl, coming into her prime, from Egypt, it sounded very challenging.

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Here I am, waiting to shine some shoes as Sisa

This play is based on a real character. SISA, my character, spent many years disguised as a man to get work by shining men’s shoes on the street to support her daughter HODA. It was a stimulating role and the synergy between my fellow actors was quite amazing.

I was happy when a few of my grand-kids came to see me on stage. I wanted them to know that there is nothing that one cannot accomplish if one puts their mind to it and has a passion for it. These are all life lessons. It takes determination and commitment.

My experience in business it has always been a bit challenging. When I decided to build my own manufacturing company, it was in the mid ‘80’s, and there were not a lot of women who owned their own manufacturing facilities. I was in my 30’s and wanted to be independent and control my future.

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It is revealed that Sisa is actually a woman!

There were women who worked with their husbands or inherited businesses from husbands. Many of my appointments back in the day were with men who would challenge my expertise, as a manufacturer, because I was a woman.

Once I was asked: “What do you know about manufacturing, you’re a woman”.

As the 80’s progressed so did the onset of women in our industry, many became huge successes. I am proud to say I know quite a few. I love being a woman and sharing my stories with you.

My little secret: We are WOMEN HELPING WOMEN, as SISA did to secure a future for her daughter HODA. Never be afraid to pursue your dreams. I am one of the lucky ones and a partner who appreciates my desires and helps me create them.

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Author: Olga Cohen

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