Strong Woman Entrepreneur: Thank you Embrace Your Strong Project for this honor!

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I am so excited and truly honored to be named "Strong Woman Entrepreneur" by The Embrace Your Strong Project.  The Embrace Your Strong Project is led by Shari Goldman Hungerford, and is a place where women come together to tell their stories, support, and cheer one another on!  Embrace Your Strong is all about finding that place inside of you where you ARE strong and embrace it so you can "live live awesome!"
Below is my interview and I'm just so happy to be a part of such an amazing, powerful movement!  Thank you Shari and The Embrace Your Strong Project!



When we asked Mary to share her STRONG inspiration and advice with us, here is what she had to say!



Love this big question!!  I embrace my strong by doing things that challenge me.  I love challenges because I know, regardless of the outcome, that I am better for it.  Really and truly believing this is how I am able to evolve, break self-inflicted barriers, and grow.  It’s like that work out you are dreading but you know that after it’s over you will feel amazing.  That’s how I like to live.  If it’s uncomfortable, scary, risky, or otherwise challenging I know that it’s going to make me better.  Failure or success is not as important as moving forward and going for it. 


What is a pivotal moment in your life that helped you get to where you are today?

Oh, my gosh, I think I have to relay the story about my first modeling gig!  I was in NYC struggling to become an actress and my agent called me up and sent me to go on a go-see (audition) for Cosmopolitan Magazine.  For a 20-something young woman, Cosmo was practically the bible!  I was intimidated, to say the least!  I quickly explained to my agent all the reasons why I could NOT go to this audition: “I’m not a model, I’m not tall enough, I’m not skinny enough, I have no pictures, I have no experience, etc”.  Somehow, my agent talked me into it and I went. 


I remember entering the Conde Nast publishing building and the long ride up in the elevator.  When the doors opened, I found myself standing at the receiving desk of Cosmopolitan Magazine.  I was taken to a small office and greeted by two young beautiful and professional women.  They asked to see my pictures.  Oh, boy. I showed them my black and white actors headshot. “See! NOT a model”, I thought.  Just when I thought they would show me to the door, a surprise happened.  They asked me to try on some clothes.  Hmm, well, how bad could it be trying on some clothes?  “Sure”, I said.  I quickly found out how bad it could be when they handed me a teeny tiny, white lacey bra camisole half top with matching boy shorts.  OMG!  Thinking hard I tried to find some reason, any reason, why I couldn’t put on this itty-bitty outfit that clearly wasn’t even my size.  Panicked, I started looking around the office for any escape.  All I saw were glaring fluorescent lights and 2 pairs of eyes looking at me, expectantly.  With no escape in sight, I went to the ladies room, changed into this bitty outfit and came back into the office.  The women looked at me, and as soon as I felt the timing was appropriate, I started to excuse myself and back my way out of the office. I was stopped in my tracks when I heard those five little words no one wants to hear standing in boy shorts under fluorescent lights, “Can you please turn around?”  This was quickly going from bad to worse!  Slowly, I turned around.  After what seemed liked days, I finally I heard, “Ok, thank you very much.”  With a last turn to face my spectators, I forced a smile, and left the room. 

Back on the street, making my way to the subway, the negative self-talk blathering on in my head was interrupted by my cell phone.  It was my agent.  I booked the Cosmo job.  What???!!!! 

I went on to do the photo shoot, which ironically was for Cosmo’s “Fun, Fearless, Female” section.  This opened up modeling for me, but the most important thing that came from that experience is what I learned from it.  This is what I learned: Never tell yourself you can’t.  When I wanted to start MANMAKER SPORTS there were others who told me why I shouldn’t and why I couldn’t.  And, to be honest, there are lots of reasons not to start a small business!  But, the most important voice was my own.  What was my own voice telling me?  I told myself I COULD.  So I did. 


Henry Ford has a great quote which I love and it is this, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t-- you’re right.”  Self-talk, self belief, self-confidence, whatever you want to call it, is absolutely monumental.  Telling yourself you can do something doesn’t ensure success or a particular end result.  But, it does give you the power to crush the self-imposed ceiling holding you down.  Give yourself the gifts of learning, growing and evolving that all come from simply believing in yourself.


How do you use YOUR strong to help inspire and empower other women?

We women have the power to elevate each other, and when we choose to do so, it is really quite something!  The tag line of MANMAKER SPORTS is “Become Your Best” and I chose that because it implies a person in motion, evolving, and changing for the better every day.  One of my goals for MANMAKER SPORTS is to cultivate a community where women can celebrate their wins, goals, and successes.  Last year marked my first year in business and I put together a montage of photos and videos that customers sent in.  This video is so inspiring because it shows so many women pursuing healthy, active and awesome activities! From trapeze to fun runs… for me, this is what it’s all about.  Supporting each other to be healthier and happier and becoming better all the time! 


What is one important piece of advice you would like to share with our Strong Girl Tribe?

It’s the “believe in yourself/never tell yourself you can’t” story from above!!


What are some of your intentions for the next year?

I’ve noticed that most problems I’ve created myself in my own mind, so detaching from that more and more and shifting perspective is something I intend to practice.  Gratitude is always an intention of mine.  When I’m operating from a place of gratitude everything feels more peaceful.       


What are a few fun facts that people may not know about you?

I’m the youngest of 6 children, I was a college swimmer, I love anything Italian, I would love to be in a musical, I want to learn how to dance hip hop.  Many people don’t know this about me but I used to be a High School English teacher as well!


MANMAKER SPORTS is an online store specializing in high performance, unique and artistic athletic apparel. All MANMAKER SPORTS products are made in the USA, of the highest quality, and tested by Mary herself! Inspired by the colors found in nature, Mary's designs reflect the vibrancy of life that surrounds us every day. In addition to running her business, Mary is a busy mom of a six-year old daughter and a yoga instructor at The Evert Tennis Academy and Hot Yoga of Delray. Be sure to check out MANMAKER SPORTS at!



*For more information on booking (or hosting!) a MANMAKER SPORTS Trunk Show contact Mary (561) 809-9122


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