He gives the best bear hugs and has jokes for days–and it’s time to celebrate him! In honor of Father’s Day on June 20, meet six Wisconsin dads and learn their advice for new papas, their greatest joys and challenges, and how they plan to spend their big day.
Araceli Esparza is the founder of Wisconsin Mujer, a multimedia social engagement company, who has more than 15 years of nonprofit and diversity experience. “I’m a poet first, speaker, content producer, with a side of a culture connector diva for good measure.”
Jacquelyn Ikonomov is the founder of Wisconsin Dells-based Rooster Calling Running, in which she provides habit-formation tools, group accountability and weekend running challenges with other like-minded and supportive walkers/joggers/runners. “I empower walkers, joggers, trotters, sprinters or those who run many miles to love their whole self. “
Takeyla Benton is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion analyst by day–but her long list of talents doesn’t stop there. The self-described “melanated mystic mamma” is also a tarot reader, Reiki practitioner, guided meditation coach, ordained minister, writer, poet, storyteller and head of Key Transformations, a personal empowerment practice.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner on May 9, it’s time to celebrate the leading ladies in our lives. Meet five Wisconsin moms and their children, and find out their favorite ways to spend family time, mothers who they look up to and ever-important advice for new mamas.
After starting a food blog to document recipes, Sujhey Beisser of Five Senses Palate decided to explore becoming a personal chef after she successfully donated a five-course dinner for a fundraiser. “I still share recipes from time to time, but my main focus is cooking for dinner parties and special occasions.”
Shawna Jade Enright is the owner of West Bend’s Kalon Salon + Extension Bar and Kalon Extensions, a 100-percent cruelty-free mink eyelash line. In the spring, Enright even added “bicoastal hairstylist” to her resume, flying from Wisconsin to Phoenix every few weeks to provide services to Arizona-based clients.
Kelly Kussman is the founder Cayla Gray, a luxury clean fragrance company that was named after her first child, who tragically died in 2017. “I really wanted to create a legacy that not only honored the beauty and heartbreak of this bittersweet experience, but also fueled my personal passion for fragrance.”
Dominique Lenaye of Stoughton-based Itty Bitty Bookstore, the only Black-owned bookstore in Dane County, hand-selects books with the community in mind. “Itty Bitty Bookstore was created to diversify each and every one of our book collections with authors and characters from different marginalized groups.”
Grace Wang is the founder (and self-described “petrepreneur”) of three-month-old Petphoria, which specializes in delicious and nutritious luxury dog treats. Plus, the company is committed to providing people living with disabilities the opportunity to learn basic job functions as they make all Petphoria treats by hand.