Wendy working in her private salon.

Let me tell you a story about the girl who said “no.” When I was young and people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered simply ... “happy.” As I grew, I was introduced to that dreaded four letter word: w-o-r-k, and realized that life would never be as simple as just being happy.


Twenty-six years ago, I became a hairdresser. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but for ten hours a day I stand in heels. I listen. I talk. I smile. I wash. I comb. I cut. I coif. I stand some more. I sweep. I console. I tint. I tease. I tweeze. I please. And after all of that, only a half hour has passed.

This is the life of a hairdresser ... my life. And somewhere in the middle of all that, I went from the little girl who just wanted to be happy to the girl who said “no.” No to sleep. No to friends. No to downtime. No to love.


I often begged God or the universe for a rescuer - something to save me from myself. But since I was so busy, I also requested that whatever rescued me come in to get its hair done, because otherwise I most certainly would not have time to be rescued.

Sure enough, in early March 2006 Orenda came in to get its hair done.You can imagine, being the girl who said “no,” I was not the most open-minded customer. I said “no” over and over again, until finally one day I said “maybe” ... and everything changed. My results on the products were life changing. I have energy again. I like people again. I am happy again. Somewhere between March 2006 and today, I went from the girl who said “no” to the girl who says, “Okay, I think I can do this.”

More life changing than the product results are the results I have had with Orenda as a business and with Orenda as a whole. There is a whole new culture here. Courtesy, encouragement, respect, and helpfulness; someone is always there ready to lift you, especially when you can no longer lift yourself.It is a culture and a people that thrive on positivity, a rare commodity in the world of business. I have watched and listened as the Co-Founders have treated every single one of my people, of their people, with the integrity and respect that all humans deserve, but so few ever receive in the world of w-o-r-k.


Wendy even dreams Orenda.


Wendy and part of her downline: Managers Mike Perona ,
Diana Gordon, and Jim Tyson ready for a hard day's work.

Orenda is different than that dreaded four letter word. It is f-u-n. It is i-n-s-p-i-r-i-n-g. I’ve always loved working with a team, and now I work with a team of people I myself have chosen. A team of people who get fired up, who are motivated and passionate. Who set goals and reach them. Who take risks, and who trust themselves enough to know that the risks are worth taking.


I’ll admit it was hard at first. I’m used to being the expert. I’m used to being the boss. I’m used to being the one who knows how to do it and doesn’t need help or guidance. It took a while to understand that there is a system to follow, a path to success, with people walking ahead of me who are always willing to extend a hand if I am fully willing to take it. It was a step out of my box, but any time I asked for that hand, a parachute opened. I guess, in the end, I just had to be willing to jump out of the plane.

Now I dream again, something that little girl who just wanted to be happy loved to do. I can see that these dreams are absolutely possible and now I have the energy and the financial capacity to take the steps toward making them happen.

There are so many to thank for this experience. I would first like to thank Bob and George. Among the long list of things


The first Orenda Boot Camp Graduates, May 2006.


Wendy andher other passion, the taiko drum.

that have impressed me these past few months, the one that impressed me the most was your incredible display of trust in me by inviting me to your stage. Thank you.

Manager Nora San-Felipe, thank you for stretching so much. Manager Diana Gordon, thank you for being so much dang fun to work with. To the Angels and my downline, thank you for reaching up and reaching out.Thank you for your fun, your teamwork, and for stepping out of your comfort zones.

Kindra, Orenda Marketing Director, thank you for being so helpful, but mostly for your sense of humor and your groove. I’m glad when I came to Orenda, you were there.

Director Don Payne, or Charlie, you always seem to know exactly when to reveal the next step. Let’s face it, I had a rocky start, but you kept me walking forward. Your genuine kindness and love for people is so encouraging.

Senior Director Scott Myrick, you were the first to mentor me at the May Boot Camp. Thank you for letting me follow you around the airport afterward to squeeze every last ounce of information out of you. Senior Director Anne Herrick, thank you for showing me how to just keep moving forward. Executive Director Randy Stralow, thank you for never being afraid to be tough with me, to tell me what I’m not doing. Director Danae Hinich, thank you for our conversations at Leadership School; they meant so much. Directors Lori and Jamie Paiken, Senior Directors Drs. Drew and Kaity Collins, and Manager Mike McGrath, thank you for your support and for always answering the phone when I call.

I can only tell you my experience. I can only tell you my story. I don’t know what will happen next. I don’t know where this will bring me. What I DO know is this entire experience continues to amaze me. And that I am so happy to finally be the woman who says “YES.”


Wendy on stage with co-founders, receiving one of her many awards at the July 2006 Leaership School.