won·der

noun

a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

It is with great wonder for the remarkable women in our community that has inspired our ongoing series, Wonder Woman, which profiles women who have made an impact in our community.

In the following pages, we have the honor of featuring five of our favorite Wonder Women from previous issues, and saluting their efforts. We brought in local professionals in makeup, hair, and wardrobe to create an outer style to complement these women’s inner beauty. We hope that their impressive deeds and admirable accomplishments inspire you, as they have us.

JENI COTTRELL

Jeni Cottrell’s mission is to bring original works of art to those people and organizations that cannot afford to purchase it themselves. Through her program, Group Art Purchase, Jeni pools resources from our community and purchases art for non-profit centers and other worthy causes. All of the money collected goes directly to the artist.

Group Art Purchase has raised funds to purchase artworks for Lydia Place, the Sean Humphrey House, Dorothy Place, and other non-profit organizations. Jeni organizes and implements the entire project with no cell phone, no computer, and no internet, believing strongly in the power of personal contact.

Jeni also gathered painter-poets into a visionary show at the Firehouse Theater called Whatcom Women Words and Works. She organized the Fairhaven Art Block Party last year. She is a member of the Bellingham Arts Commission and worked through the city process to get an original sculpture installed at the Fairhaven Library. It is easy to see why we originally deemed Jeni a Bellingham Alive Wonder Woman. Jeni has since brought original artwork pieces to Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Services and The YWCA through Group Art Purchase.

Recently Jeni’s grandmother, Elsie Richards, passed. Elsie was an avid sewer and in her honor Jeni and her mother have started up a scholarship program through Ragfinery to donate sewing classes to those who are looking to get back on their feet and learn a new skill. It’s clear when speaking to Jeni that she always has an idea up her sleeve to bring her passion for art and compassionate giving to our community.

“I chose versatile pieces that are perfect for a contemporary look. Using fashionable leggings and a simple tunic as the base of her outfit, we accented her personality with our favorite accessories!”

Kristine Livingston Owner, Pretty Simple Boutique

Credits

HAIR: Melissa Sturman, Beauty Institute Bellingham
MAKEUP: Sage Scott, Beauty Institute Bellingham
WARDROBE: Pretty Simple Boutique, Mount Vernon

TUNIC Flutter & Squeek 3/4 sleeve black tunic, $56
VEST Flutter & Squeek black/charcoal striped shrug vest, $78
PANT Lysse’ high waist, hour glass shaping black yoga pant, $62
BOOT OTBT caswell beige/black calf high boot, $138
NECKLACE Journey Stones necklace, $48
PURSE Latico grey authentic leather willis w/ fringe purse, $140

 

GERMAINE KORNEGAY

Germaine Kornegay is not just a city councilwoman in Sedro-Woolley. She is the only person of color on the council. A Western Washington graduate with a BA in human services, she is now up for her second term this year. She is also a proud member of the Skagit County Democrats. In 2015, she made the trip to the Democratic National Convention as a delegate to nominate Hillary Clinton. She received the C.E.E.D. (Center of Education, Equity, and Diversity) Award for her work in getting a resolution passed that makes spousal rape a felony in Washington state. It was signed into law in 2014 by Governor Jay Inslee. Germaine asked to be on the state resolutions committee to continue making positive changes in her community.

Topping her agenda is protecting spouses, namely those who are not the household’s primary insurance holders, from changes to their health coverage without their knowledge. “I spend a lot of time advocating for women, mostly trying to get women to run for office,” says Germaine, on her way to speak at a sold-out training session for women with political aspirations. Germaine does all of this while owning her own business, Animal House Pet Grooming, and as a single mom and roller derby extraordinaire (derby name: Germaine Squeeze). She has quite a support system in Sedro — the local market has named a dish after her, Germaine Squeeze Mac & Cheese. She wears the big gold Bellingham Alive Wonder Woman belt like a badge of honor.

 

“We wanted to capture all facets of Germaine’s fierce, friendly and fun personality. The lilac modal top is contrasted by the distressed black jean and camo jacket. She was a military wife so the camo print was a fun touch. She loved her new edgy-yet-feminine style.”

Suzanne Smith Owner, Stylist & Buyer, Betty Be Good

Credits

HAIR: Brooklyn Matthysse
MAKEUP: Makeup By Elizabeth Marie
WARDROBE: Betty Be Good Boutique

TOP Cherish, lilac high neck modal top, $39.90
JACKET Love tree, distressed camo jacket, $44.90
JEANS Cello, super distressed black jeans, $49.90
SANDALS Laser cut sandal booties, $39.90
NECKLACE Silver arrow spear necklace, $19.90
EARRINGS Silver drop earrings, $14.90
BRACELETS Silver gold matte beaded bracelet, $16.90
Vegan leather magnetic enclosure bracelet, $19.90

EMILY O’CONNOR

Emily O’Connor, executive director of Lydia Place, was an easy choice for the Bellingham Alive Wonder Woman honor. A wearer of many hats for the program, which provides housing and support to the homeless, Emily’s talents include grant writing, public speaking and finance and program development.

Emily, the former executive director for Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services, was named the Whatcom Women in Business 2015 Professional Woman of the Year. In the years since Emily took the helm of Lydia Place, the budget has more than tripled.

Emily believes that one way to prevent homelessness is to focus on children in hopes of disrupting the cycle that can trap future generations. When asked to bring a prop to our photo shoot that would represent her community work, she showed up with little guy, Rowan. “As a mother, woman, human, and leader, I am constantly trying — often unsuccessfully — to find balance between my personal and professional lives,” Emily said. “But what carries me through from 6 a.m. waffles to 8 p.m. board meetings is thinking about our community’s children and what’s at stake. If we lead with love and if we get it right for all children, I believe we will have gotten it right for all of us. This is what Lydia Place strives to do through our work with homeless families. For those also looking for ways to balance fun, fashion, and business while making a difference for our community’s children, Handbags for Housing on June 8 is a great opportunity.” Always working, Emily’s compassion for her community and its inhabitants, big and small, and her drive and endless effort to make this community a better place is wondrous indeed.

“Emily’s look is ultra-feminine and reflects her natural bohemian beauty. We love how the long bell sleeves give this dress a romance while the shoulders steal the show. We added a jean vest for some country flair and a short bootie in camel for a ‘barely there’ look.”

Suzanne Smith Owner, Stylist & Buyer, Betty Be Good

Credits

HAIR: Sage Scott, Beauty Institute Bellingham
MAKEUP: Willa Crank
WARDROBE: Betty Be Good Boutique

DRESS Umgee, Lace Bell Sleeve Dress, $39.90
BRALETTE Anemone, Lilac Bralette, $14.90
BOOTIES Cupid, Camel Zip Booties, $39.90
VEST Special A, Jean Vest, $39.90
NECKLACE Hematite Previous Stone Necklace, $19.90
EARRINGS Hematite Teardrop Earrings, $16.90

MORGAN PARIS LANZA

Morgan Paris Lanza, executive director for Bellingham Girls Rock camp, uses music as an avenue to bring young girls together and teach them a fundamental lesson: the practice of loving themselves.

Morgan has operated Bellingham Girls Rock camp for four years. Her experience working with young groups of girls helped transform misconceptions Morgan held about the music industry, and what that looked like for women. This propelled Morgan further into music, and eventually into pursuing a band of her own, Judy Just Judy.

She’s also recently started an all-femme band called Bearcat and a cover band called Wonderhouse that does Amy Winehouse and Stevie Wonder covers. She’s headed to the Girls Rock Camp Alliance international conference. “It’s like camp for camp organizers,” says Morgan. She and her mom opened a gallery and school of fine art in Fairhaven called Cooper Lanza Gallery, where Morgan is the business manager, books live music and teaches voice lessons. This year she will also be piloting an advanced music program for teens. The program will provide girls aged 13–17 with a space to do more in-depth study of music, media, and social justice, and will feature an audio-recording component. The Girls Rock camp was recently given an Appreciation Award from What’s Up! magazine, and in the winter the camp launched the Rock Star Program, a fundraising project to provide scholarships to campers who need financial aid. “I wear a lot of different hats. And I love to stay busy!” says Morgan. Her passion for empowering young women is what makes her a Bellingham Alive Wonder Woman.

“I took some time to get to know Morgan and understand her vibe. She’s cool, she’s feminine, she’s casual, and she’s a little punk rock. We found a common love for ‘90s hip hop and layering and I took it from there.”

Michelle Bouma Owner, Mi Shoes LLC

Credits

HAIR: Willa Crank
MAKEUP: Melissa Sturman, Beauty Institute Bellingham
WARDROBE: Mi Shoes LLC

DRESS LoveStitch, $68
TEE Ellison, $48
JEANS Flying Monkey, $78
HAT Olive and Pique, $24
NECKLACE $42
SHOES Blowfish, $38

ROSE LATHROP

Passionate, community minded, and up for a challenge, Huxley graduate Rose Lathrop has dedicated her career to sustainable planning and design. Rose’s efforts in making Bellingham a vibrant and healthy community have earned her designation as a Bellingham Alive Wonder Woman. Her work as Sustainable Connections’ Green Building and Smart Growth program manager, executive director for the Northwest Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and her contributions to downtown revitalization initiative KAPOW have made this a better, and livelier, place to live. Since then she has received the 4 Under Forty award from the NW Energy Coalition, which recognizes clean energy leaders under 40 who model passion and expertise towards achieving a clean and affordable energy future. She organized a Solarize Whatcom Campaign, resulting in 48 new solar arrays and a $1.2 million solar investment in Whatcom County.

Recognized as the Whatcom County Association of Realtors Partner of the Year for State Street KAPOW in January, Rose says, “We now have all kinds of fun and new interventions coming to our community, including Bellinghops — Bellingham’s longest hopscotch; Piper Bike Park — a bioluminescent artistic bike rack; State of the Solar System — a solar system scavenger hunt and art installation on State Street. We are also planning a Pop Up Plaza in the Herald parking lot for June 2 and 3 to highlight and celebrate the arts and culture of our community.” Rose remains a woman of great wonder in our community.

“Rose wanted to use this opportunity to add a fun new piece to her wardrobe, so we picked this sassy printed-bell-sleeved dress and stayed true to her style with these super comfortable leggings. We all agreed that this statement necklace made the look complete!”

Hannah Kahovec Marketing Manager, Apricot Lane Boutique

Credits

HAIR: Brooklyn Matthysse
MAKEUP: Makeup By Elizabeth Marie
WARDROBE: Apricot Lane Boutique

DRESS Millibon Bell Sleeve Dress, $41
LEGGINGS Niki B Leggings, $20
BOOTIES Bamboo Black Booties, $46
NECKLACE Statement Necklace, $18
EARRINGS Drop Earrings, $8

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"we have the honor of featuring five of our favorite Wonder Women from previous issues, and saluting their efforts."