Cool Girls with Tag: vegan

Angie Ringler

Name: Angie Ringler
Age: 50
Location: Eustis, Florida
Occupation: Eco-Warrior

Free-spirit Angie Ringler has always been a self-propelled sustainable business machine! This Dead Head and eco-warrior has made her own brand of green company that provides ethically sourced and vegan household products, all with the mission to reduce waste.

This evolution began for her as a child in the 80s, when nearly every product was praised for its ability to be easily replaced.

“I grew up with fast food and disposable everything, although I learned about reusing stuff early on,” Angie recalls. “My Dad worked in procurement for the phone company, his job was to find places to send used parts to be reused or recycled. My favorite phone was a corded push button princess style phone that my Dad brought home from work. I loved that phone and I feel it was my first memory of trash being turned into treasure.”

As a student, Angie went to college to become a lawyer, and it was her exposure to the reams of paper produced by those offices that ignited her spark.

“I never made it to law school, but my years in the legal field made me crazy with the tremendous amount of paper waste. I didn’t know about the term ‘eco’ in those days so I guess the green girl in me has always been there, she just wasn’t as vocal as she is today.”

With her entrepreneurial spirit, she began her own business, Tangie LLC, initially striving to produce plastic-free laundry soap alternatives. Although she began with a goal of using natural ingredients, and thereby helping both the environment and her customers, the packaging itself became a means of forwarding her agenda.

“As I began to build my business, I realized that if I was selling products in plastic bottles or plastic packaging, I was still part of the problem,” she recalls. “I later made the commitment to not sell products in plastic packaging and to focus on waste free products.”

It was this waste-free push that shaped her professional achievements, with Tangie now providing reduced waste options for dish washing, laundry, pets, and personal care. Her day-to-day endeavors include all of the details of running a wholesale and retail business, along with developing innovative ways to further expand on the zero-waste goal. And she no longer has to attempt to manage as a one-woman-show.

“I’m fortunate to have built a quality team around me in the last two years and that has made a huge difference in my growth,” Angie says. “I could not be where I am today doing it alone. I equally share my success with my team.”

Part of Angie’s mission is to stop and smell the roses, something that she’s acutely aware of as her waste-free company grows and thrives. Her hope is that Tangie and Waste Free Products can continue to develop long after her working days are done.

“My business has taken center stage for several years now and I agreed to that. But my I want to make sure I don’t let the business overwhelm my personal life, and my husband and I can do things together while we are still young and healthy. From the start I knew this business was something I wanted to build and grow, not build and die with.”

When she’s not growing her own food in tower gardens in her Florida backyard, running Tangie, listening to an audiobook, or spending some time in nature, she’s putting pen to paper and finishing her own how-to book.

So what advice does this earth-saving, waste-slaying maven have for young girls out there looking to save the world?

“Be authentic! When I was young, I never believed it when ‘old people’ would say things like ‘don’t worry what others think’ or ‘do things you enjoy not what others expect.’ It’s taken me decades to realize what they were telling me is true. Being true to yourself is the best you can do and should do. The best I can hope for is that a lucky young girl reads this and gets the chance to enjoy decades of herself, being herself.”

Really good advice! For her work providing waste-free alternatives to common household products, we think Angie Ringler is a very Cool Girl!

Follow along with Angie on Instagram and Facebook!

Jackie Hirsch

Name: Jackie Ossin Hirsch
Age: 43
Location: Maitland, FL
Occupation: Serial Entrepreneur

Floridian business maven Jackie Hirsch always knew she was going to be at the helm of a company, even when she was growing up outside of Orlando.

“I always wanted to own businesses,” she says. “I actually didn’t think that was strange, or that it was strange that I didn’t know of any women who owned their own business. My first real job was Entrepreneur Jackie Hirschwhen I was 16. I worked at a tourist attraction, took pictures
and made pictures into buttons and keychains. I walked around asking people if they wanted them and made them on the spot; it was face-to-face direct sales. I’d get a lot of “no’s” and then some yeses. I used to earn $30-$50/hr for 4 hours 3 nights a week.”

Not bad for a sixteen year old!

After becoming an entrepreneurial adult and marrying her husband, Michael, Jackie decided that it was time to embark on her other lifelong dream of motherhood. But conception was a challenge. Eventually, their daughter Malena was born, but the struggles did not end with her arrival.

“We hoped to keep growing our family, but after five miscarriages, I felt like a shadow of myself. Outwardly, I led a successful life as a business owner. But grief had left me emotionally and physically depleted. Despite my circumstances, I was determined to
be the best wife and mom I could, but I needed a lift of energy to become that woman again.”

As she struggled with her fertility and the accompanying feelings of loss and defeat, she discovered matcha, an ages-old beverage made from finely-ground green tea powder.

Matcha's mood boost gave Jackie the idea to found Healing Butterfly“Matcha was a mood boost for me and then I thought, I wish there were a healthy hot chocolate matcha…pumpkin spice…ginger…,” she said. “I loved that it didn’t need brewing – I could just stir a spoonful right into water. It gave me calm, focused energy and lifted my mood. I started laughing and feeling like myself again.”

It was Jackie’s newfound love for matcha, coupled with the idea of incorporating other superfoods and flavors, that led to her founding Healing Butterfly. “There wasn’t anything like that on the market, so I decided to create it,” she says.

Between networking, sales, manufacturing, new software, technical tinkering and brainstorming, Jackie is always busy. By having a hand in multiple companies, she finds her days can vary from meetings to marketing, managing inventory with her husband, or going out into the community to find new ways to introduce her products.

Fortunately for her, Healing Butterfly provides something that is in incredibly high demand, especially these days: functional foods. Choose from Pumpkin Spice, Early Grey, or Vanilla flavored Matcha!Matcha has less caffeine than coffee, so it offers less stress to the adrenal glands. Their new turmeric golden milk blends provide a
tasty way to get antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. And their newest product, Aqua Sprout, is a plant-based protein that also has fiber, omegas, iron, and even immune-boosting, skin-saving chlorophyll. Many of their products are vegan, paleo, keto,
or Weight Watchers friendly, too.

When she’s not spending time with her husband and daughter, Jackie is indulging in yoga, reading, walking outside…or dreaming up new recipes for Healing Butterfly!

Jackie and Healing Butterfly's TV appearance!So what does this wellness warrior want to share with young girls growing up in a time where health and taking care of your body is more important than ever?

“Love yourself more, then you can love others more and just get along better in the world. If you love yourself, every bit of yourself, you’ll stop judging yourself and you’ll have more compassion for others. Also, eating well saves you time and affects your future
descendants positively for generations; junk food will affect your descendants negatively in the future. Food is that powerful. Consume it wisely.”

Sage advice from this superfood superstar! For her and Healing Butterfly’s healthy contributions to the beverage market, and her body and business savvy, we think Jackie Hirsch is one Cool Girl!

For more information on Healing Butterfly, check them out on Instagram and Facebook!

Nancy Kalish

Name: Nancy Kalish
Age: old enough to know better
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Chief Rule Breaker (aka founder & CEO of Rule Breaker Snacks)

Nancy Kalish wants to take over the world, one brownie at a time. This baker and entrepreneur created Rule Breaker Snacks as a way to express her sweet tooth and share treats that stay in line with clean eating… while still tasting delicious and like your mouth is breaking some rules.

Growing up in New York City, Nancy originally wanted to become a writer, but she spent most of playtime using the kitchen as her laboratory, whipping up a lot of her favorite snack: brownies.

“I always loved experimenting in the kitchen and my mom allowed me to be as creative as I could be. Coconut popcorn brownies, anyone?” she jokes.

As she got older, Nancy followed that initial dream and became a health journalist, working for the likes of Real Simple, O Magazine, Prevention, and others.

“But despite knowing exactly what to eat to be healthy, I have the world’s WORST sweet tooth… we’re talking dessert for breakfast,” she says. “I could never find anything at the store that lived up to my healthy aspirations and satisfied me. So I got busy in my kitchen, originally just trying to come up with something for myself and my family. I started with brownies because they’ve always been my favorite treat.”

As writing became less exciting for her and everyone in her life was telling her to sell her brownie recipe, Nancy thought she should maybe embark on selling the snacks themselves.

“I actually thought, Sounds like fun, I’ll try it. How hard could it be to start a food company? Well, I have found out exactly how hard — brutal, is more like it,” she says. “It has been a very steep learning curve. But I have to say that I still love it.”

All Rule Breaker Snacks are vegan, plant based, allergen-friendly, non-GMO, and gluten free. They are made with chickpeas sneakily masquerading as the usual naughty, nasty ingredients without any beany taste, thanks to Nancy’s relentless and perfectionist taste-testing. This means from birthday cake blondies to chocolate chunk brownies, you can pack them in your child’s lunchbox to take to school, or stand in your gym clothes eating more than one over the sink. Anything goes with Rule Breaker Snacks.

“When we first launched, we used cooked chickpeas in our recipe, which resulted in a very short shelf life,” Nancy recalls. “That made it impossible for us to sell to bigger stores or online. So I decided to step back and reformulate from scratch, which took almost a year. It was very important to me to keep chickpeas as the first ingredient. So we switched to dry roasted chickpea flour, and a whole slew of new, clean ingredients. The result is chewy and delicious brownies and blondies that stay fresh for a year without any preservatives.”

Whether it be working with designers to go over packaging, sitting down with the bookkeepers to go over accounts, representing the brand to bring the products to schools and stores, or packing up boxes of samples and supplies for trade shows, Nancy is busy and every day is different. She admits that certain aspects of being at the helm of a project she cares so deeply about can be a challenge, especially growing her business while staying true to her ideals of creating vegan, gluten-free, allergen-friendly, non-GMO treats that still taste scrumptious.

“Our ingredients are better and clean, which also makes them more expensive,” Nancy says. “It’s a constant struggle, but it’s also non-negotiable.”

When she’s not up to her eyeballs in running her business, Nancy can be found playing with her energetic goldendoodle, Oscar, or taking classical piano lessons. “I’m pretty awful, but I have a keyboard in my home office and playing is a great escape from stress,” she says.

So what advice does this Rule Breaker have for young girls out there who are looking to start something sweet?

“Don’t wait for inspiration to strike before you start something new, whether it’s creating a new recipe, writing a story, or starting a business. If you want to do something, just do it and you’ll find the inspiration — and joy — along the way.”

For creating clean, tasty tidbits and keeping true to herself and Rule Breaker Snacks, we think Nancy Kalish is one Cool Girl!

To learn more about Rule Breaker Snacks, find them on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!

Wendy Smith

Name: Wendy Smith
Age: 42
Location: Washougal, WA
Occupation: Co-Founder and Director of Odd Man Inn Animal Refuge; Writer; Registered Nurse

Like many kids who love animals, Wendy Smith dreamed of one day becoming a veterinarian. But after going to school on a military scholarship, she began her career as a nurse. After thirteen years as a high-risk labor and delivery nurse, and five years as an E.R. nurse at a trauma center, Wendy decided to take on a different type of triage. She’s now the director, vice president, medical director, volunteer and adoption coordinator, head of marketing and social media, lead copywriter, funding chairperson, and so much more at the animal refuge she co-founded, Odd Man Inn.

Considering her earlier life’s dream to become a veterinarian, she didn’t end up too far off, between working both in animal rescue and human medicine. “It turns out I would have made a terrible veterinarian because my beliefs about all beings having an equal right to their lives would have been a serious job hazard,” she says.

Through her position at Odd Man Inn, Wendy is a voice for the voiceless and a champion of all creatures great and small. “After we adopted Roswell, a dog with a bite history, we bought a piece of property to help keep him safe,” Wendy remembers. “Because we had space to take in more animals in need, and because we were investing our lives into this one dog, we chose to take in species who are often abused, neglected, and discarded.”

It was Roswell’s rescue that prompted them to develop Odd Man Inn into a full-scale animal rescue nonprofit based in the small community of Washougal, Washington.

“We are a farm animal sanctuary and adoption shelter and we rehabilitate animals who need help recovering from past lives, then we find them safe homes. It feeds my soul to nurture them and watch them return to health and happiness. We’ve now adopted out 275 animals in just three years.”

Every day Wendy and her team wake up to a goat named Herbie Berbie screaming for breakfast at 5AM, then proceed to feed 35 pigs individualized meals. After a full day of collecting produce donations, answering emails, messages, and social media comments, managing a volunteer crew, and tending to their residents, they serve 35 pig dinners and start prepping for the following day.

But it’s not the everyday tasks like these that make operating an animal shelter such a challenge; it’s trying to take in as many rescue animals as possible.

“The need for animal rescue is far greater than the number of people who are willing to take animals in and care for them,” Wendy says. “We receive dozens of messages a week asking for help with animals, and we simply cannot say yes to all of them. Our mission involves helping the animals have their voices heard while they have the luxury of our online platforms and devoted fans who are listening. We share very openly about our life here with them, which comes at the sacrifice of our own privacy. I don’t mind that so much, but I do dream of a world where we don’t have to go through such extreme measures to help animals become ambassadors for saving their own kind.”

Wendy has written several children’s books about the rescue stories of animals, and aims to publish them with all of the proceeds going to benefit the residents of Odd Man Inn. She was also a speaker at this year’s Portland VegFest, and is getting ready for SaSQUASH Art Fest, the third annual fundraiser for Odd Man Inn.

What advice does this animal advocate have for young girls out there looking to lend a hand and a heart?

“I always thought that my “job” had to be something that was also my passion. That’s not always the case. Find something you’re good at, and get paid to do that work, then use your free time to pursue things you’re passionate about, whether they pay you or not. Make your superpower your work ethic and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.”

Keep track of the great work they’re doing at Odd Man Inn by following on Instagram and liking on Facebook.