#HipNJ Interviews Christine Fowler Phillips

#HipNJ recently had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Fowler Phillips about her motivational self-help book.  She details specific suggestions to creating a winning image, along with the importance of having the right attitude and branding yourself.

Christine is a corporate image consultant, public speaker and author.  She is a member of the Association of Image Consultants International, President and Founder of Discover Your Best Self, LLC and was a top sales professional in the pharmaceutical industry for over two decades.

“Branding is simple- it’s who you want to be recognized as or the perception of how others receive you.  It may be a signature, a greeting or something you wear,” Christine said.  “And keep in mind, it’s the good, the bad and the indifferent.  I had a good corporate experience, so it prepared me to be my best self.  You never want to lose yourself within the company, but it’s important to align yourself with them.”

The idea behind the book is to remind executives about the importance of not overlooking corporate etiquette, manners and appropriate business attire.  It’s also a way for college graduates to maximize their potential as they navigate their careers.

“As a business, Discover Your Best Self is a consulting company that hosts workshops, which are based on inward and outward image.  Clients are typically college students through junior executives,” Christine shared.  “We discuss topics including dressing for the job you want, emotional intelligence and bringing your A game every day, inwardly and outwardly.”

The workshops that are offered are beneficial to both men and women.  However, for women, a lot of life becomes consumed with family.  They put themselves on the back burner even though they should be putting themselves first.

“It’s important to take a moment to be self-reflecting because sometimes you need to recalculate so that you can be your best self,” Christine said.  “You have to take time for yourself because it helps build inner confidence, which is not to be confused with arrogance – confidence shines through.”

When going through these discoveries, it’s not always easy to stick with the changes to be your best self.  We asked Christine what her most helpful tip is, and here’s what she had to say:

“If you believe in your brand and that what you’re doing is the best for you, then you have to stick with it.  It’s never too late to change if you believe that’s what you need to do.  You will brand yourself accordingly if you believe in it.”

For more information, please visit Discover Your Best Self.  Christine’s book is available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

#NationalBossesDay: #HipNJ Celebrates the Bosses of New Jersey

National Bosses Day was created in 1958 but didn’t gain its popularity until 1979.  That was when Hallmark picked it up and it became a national holiday.  Though controversial to some, we feel that bosses are people too.  With that said, here are a few “Bosses” from New Jersey we wish we reported to:






Cory Booker: The Political Boss

He may have been born in D.C., but Cory Booker was raised in New Jersey, and is a resident in Newark.  He also attended Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan.  He’s currently serving as the junior United States Senator from New Jersey, the first African-American to do so, and has been since 2013.  He’s also served as a Newark City Councilman and Newark’s mayor.






Zach Braff: The Garden State Boss

Zach Braff is an actor, producer and director- he’s also from New Jersey, and credits his career to that.  It started watching his father, a lawyer and an actor, at Baird Community Center, Livingston Community Players and Park Players.  He used to go to places like the Essex Green shopping center and The Lost Picture Show, and he went to school at Columbia High School.  Not to mention, he wrote, directed and starred in a movie called Garden State.






Whitney Houston: The Soul Boss

Whitney Houston was born in Newark and continued living in New Jersey long after she became famous.  She was known to drop by her childhood church to sing during the Easter Sunday Services.  She also built a house in Mendham, which was rumored to be inspired by Newark Airport.  After she passed, her funeral was held at her childhood church, and Chris Christie flew the flags at half-staff, referring to her as the “daughter of New Jersey.”  She was inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame in 2013.






Derek Jeter: The Baseball Boss

Let’s just say, if it weren’t for his New Jersey family, Derek Jeter would not have been a New York Yankee.  Can you even imagine that?  He was born in NJ, moved to Michigan when he was four years old, but would spend summers with his grandparents in New Jersey.  With his sister and cousins, he played wiffle ball in their yard in West Milford.  They would always watch Yankee games, if they weren’t at the stadium for the action.  He’s been an NJ Hall of Famer since 2015.






Bruce Springsteen: The Boss

Bruce Springsteen has heavy New Jersey roots.  His childhood home, which still stands, is in FreeholdE Street in Belmar has a lot of history for The Boss- that’s where the band practiced in its early days.  He’s frequently filled seats at New Jersey venues, including ones in Asbury Park and Atlantic CityThe Stone Pony is probably the most associated with his name since he’s played there more than any other venue.  He was also inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame in 2008.






Buddy Valastro: The Cake Boss

Buddy was born and raised in Hoboken.  He’s also the owner of one of the most popular bakeries, Carlo’s Bakery.  He has five locations in the Garden State, plus more in other states.  His tv series Cake Boss, started in 2009 and is still airing today.  He’s another NJ Hall of Famer, inducted in last year 2017.

Let us know who your favorite NJ Bosses are that didn’t make our list!

World Food Day: How Can You Contribute to #ZeroHunger?

World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16th to honor the start of the Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. The point of this day is to bring awareness to and stop world hunger, as well as ensuring food security and nutritious diets for everyone. FAO’s goal is to stop world hunger by 2030 and they believe that it is  very achievable if we all pitch in. They have named this effort The Zero Hunger Challenge. There’s really no reason for ANYONE across the globe to be starving. We have already made progress towards #ZeroHunger, why stop now?

 According to FAO, “out of the 129 countries monitored by FAO, 72 have already achieved the target of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015; over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half, with about 17,000 children saved every day; extreme poverty rates have been cut in half since 1990”. If this isn’t progress, I don’t know what is. This should encourage us to keep pushing, to reach the ultimate goal. 

In NJ alone, 1,141,890 people are “food insecure”, according to End Hunger NJ. This puts the food insecurity rate at 13%, which may seem like a small percentage to you, but just think about those people who are actually apart of that 13%. Luckily, New Jersey cares, and therefore, there are many programs dedicated to decreasing this number to 0. We just have to participate. 

Here are 5 New Jersey based organizations that are dedicated to ending world hunger:

1. Hunger Free New Jersey

Hunger Free New Jersey works to eliminate world hunger by educating the public of the issue’s causes and solutions, growing their organization with diverse individuals, and fighting for legislative and policy changes to ensure that NJ residents have enough healthy food to eat. 

2. Table to Table

Table to Table collects perfectly good food that would be disposed of and delivers it to over 160 community organizations which include soup kitchens, homeless shelters, elderly homes, and after-school programs. They serve the hungry in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties. This year, they have promised the delivery of over 20 million meals. 

3. Rutgers Against Hunger

Rutgers University has developed Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) to address hunger across New Jersey. This involves bringing awareness to the issue, developing research, encouraging participation, and putting an end to hunger through food drives and other events to raise money and collect food. RAH is not limited to  those affiliated with the institution. Rutgers encourages all concerned citizens to join them and take action. 

4. Community Food Bank of New Jersey 

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey, located in Hillside and Egg Harbor Twnshp, fights hunger through food and nutrition programs, food stamps, and their Food Service Training Academy (FSTA). The FSTA starts from the root of the problem, by addressing the main cause of hunger, poverty. They provide graduates with job skills that make them marketable. Its a free, 15-week program that teaches students about communication,  nutrition and healthy cooking. So far, they have graduated over 2,500 students, with a job placement rate of 90%. 

5. Curbing Hunger, Inc. 

Located in Basking Ridge, NJ, Curbing Hunger, Inc. is a community based program that provides food for the hungry when food banks are unable to due to low supply. This usually happens during the summer months, which forces most bank to close their doors. This is why their motto is “Hunger doesn’t take a vacation”. Their mission is to reduce hunger during the most crucial times, when supplies are low, by supporting food banks and pantries, and encourages others to do the same. 

These are just five of the many programs available in New Jersey to help end hunger. It is so easy to visit an organization’s website and click “Donate”. Anything counts. The ways in which you can help are limitless. Volunteer, donate, start your own organization. So, how will you contribute to #ZeroHunger

Live Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard.