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A Special Woman of the Week Interview – Policewoman, Entrepreneur & Community Member

May 18, 2017

Last year I stood on stage in front of 150 women and karate chopped through a piece of wood. No one was more amazed then I was that is worked. The video of me performing this feat can be seen on my YouTube page. If you check it out you’ll see my amazement and that of the crowd.

One of the women instrumental in helping me achieve this goal is this week’s Women TIES Woman of the Week Victoria Baratta of Team Fiedt. Not only is she a karate instructor she is also a retired police woman and now an entrepreneur. She is a fascinating woman like so many of the women I get a priviledge to meet and connect with as the owner of Women TIES, Women’s Athletic Network and Women’s Equality Division. Women are amazing and Victoria is no exception. Today read more about her in this short interview. We both hope her success strategies help you in business.

Women TIES: You are one amazing woman. Tell our readers a little bit about your professional background as a policewoman.

Victoria: Thank you! I proudly served as a Syracuse Police Officer for 28 years. I worked in several different areas within the department (Patrol, Community Relations, Investigations Division) but my favorite position on the department was as a patrol officer. Before I retired, I was a Youth Gang Specialist. It was fun, fulfilling and sometimes very sad. During my career, I saw things that people should never have to see, and dealt with situations that no one should ever have to deal with. On the other hand, some experiences were truly life changing in a positive way.

I met some of the best people I will ever meet in my life, and I am still friends with most of them. The camaraderie felt in doing this job made us feel like a huge family. I knew then, and I know now that anywhere I go, I am a member of a huge, loving and caring law enforcement family. The people that I bonded with weren’t only my fellow police officers, but also community members that I had the pleasure to meet and/or work with. I was tasked to be put in a position where I would see people at their worst and then some at their best. It was truly a blessing to be able to help people and effect change for people that needed that assistance. It hurts me at times to see and hear some of the sentiment that people have toward police. We go where they can’t, we do what they won’t. If not for us – then what?

They hate us because we arrest people – but our job is to protect and serve. We only do what we do to make the world a better place for everyone. Yes, there are bad apples in every bunch… But that goes for every profession. I swore to uphold the laws and protect the citizens and that’s what I did… I am proud of the job I did, but I am also glad to not have to do it anymore. It was great, but times are changing, and it was time for me to move on and fulfill my personal goals and dreams. I have realized that I am the kind of person that has to help others… I am still doing this even as a retired police officer.

Women TIES: What motivated you to become a woman entrepreneur after you left the police force?

Victoria:
I have always wanted to work for the best boss ever – ME! I always thought that you either needed to have large amounts of money or good connections to fulfill a goal like this. After having the security of a pension, I gained courage to step out of my comfort zone and find the business that I had always longed to have. I realized that I didn’t need to have huge amounts of money to start my own business. I found this business by accident. But when I found it I knew it was for me. I was at the right place at the right time, and the more I learned about this business, the more I knew I had to do it. I want to set an example for my children and other women, that you can have anything you want as long as you are willing to work for it. Living a good successful life means setting goals and achieving them. Staying focused on your goal is how you reach them. I want to build a team of women that also want to start their own business. I am ready to help them reach their goal of entrepreneurship and give the same support back that I received.

Women TIES: There are many jewelry vendors women can choose from so please tell us what is unique about Grace & Heart Jewelry.

Victoria: Grace and Heart is pure sterling silver (.925 sterling) – no nickel, no lead. The jewelry has a life time guarantee, and is truly gorgeous. It is as authentically beautiful and artfully individual as the women that wear it. It isn’t costume jewelry, it’s classic, creative and handcrafted. The pieces are made of sterling silver, semiprecious stones, pearls and brass. Our organization focuses on bringing people together to fulfill dreams, build businesses and create a sisterhood that supports women in achieving their goals and dreams. We don’t just sell jewelry, we also mentor, train and build a community.

Women TIES: Is the only way to order jewelry from you through a website or are there other ways?

Victoria:
You most certainly can order from my website, or we can have a get together one afternoon or evening where we share a little down time trying on the beautiful pieces and laughing with friends (while you earn free jewelry).

Women TIES: What lessons have you learned with your “job” as a woman entrepreneur selling jewelry that you never had to deal with as a police woman?

Victoria:
I learned that as working women and/or working moms, we never put ourselves first. We are always putting our families, our job, or our children before our own needs. We deserve some downtime to just be. We need to find that space in our lives where we can enjoy the company of friends, to laugh or share experiences and support one another. As I entered this business, I found that I didn’t enter it alone. The women in Women Ties were here to guide and advise me, and help me achieve my goal. I felt supported by the women I have met thru this organization, and I know that all I have to do is reach out and they will be there willing to share information, answer a question, or meet me for a glass of wine when needed! When I started on the police dept., there were only a handful of women. The male officers were not there to help me adjust to the life of a police officer. The initial transition into police life wasn’t met with support. Not a welcoming experience. Transitioning into the life of a woman entrepreneur I have found nothing but support, guidance and friendship. I feel that they are happy to help each other succeed and this has been a welcoming experience.

Women TIES: I know you also teach karate to help women with self protection. Can you tell our readers why self defense is important and how they can find out about your programs?

Victoria: Yes, I teach karate and Krav Maga. I feel that being able to defended yourself is essential in building a confident, assertive woman. My daughter started karate when she was 7, and my son when he was 4. I look at them as compared to other children their age and i realize that they have skill sets that are uncommon for people their age. They are confident and believe in setting goals and achieving them. Knowing that you can protect yourself in a bad situation, allows you to walk with a confidence that lets others know you are not a victim. In this day and age, it is important – especially for girls and women, to be mentally strong and confident and to know that you can have anything you are willing to work hard for. You are not anyones property and should not allow yourself to be treated in such a way. Being able to protect yourself and/or your family is important at this time in our country. I teach karate and krav maga at Impact Martial Arts and Fitness, on Rte. 57 in Liverpool, NY. They can look for our Krav Maga self defense program at cnysafetyexperts.com – come in and take a free class, attend a seminar, join us and discover your inner strength.

Women TIES: What are the 3 success strategies you live by?

Victoria:

1. Pray – I pray because I’m thankful for all that is good in my life. I feel blessed to have the family I have, the amazing people I have surrounded myself with, and my good health.
2. Take care of yourself – you have only one body. Eat healthy, exercise.
3. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated. Make eye contact and smile at EVERYONE that passes you by. You never know who that person may be, or what they may be going thru. Your smile and kind greeting may be the only kindness they experience that day.

Women TIES: How can someone reach you to find out more information about you and Grace and Heart?

Victoria: Find me on Facebook – Victoria Baratta, Independent Sales Consultant with Grace & Heart, Facebook messenger – @GraceandHeartVic. Website – http://www.mygraceandheart.com/vbaratta/

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