New Ms Fit Feature: April Soderstrom


Jewelry Designer, April Soderstrom

Jewelry Designer, April Soderstrom

We’ve known April for quite a while now and have featured and written about her gorgeous jewelry on the blog, but we cannot believe it’s taken us this long to have April as one of our Ms Fit Features! We are so honored that this hard working, beautiful, stylish and oh-so fit and fabulous gal is our newest Ms Fit. We hope you love getting to know her just as much as we have…


Keeping me busy…(muahhahhhh – insert evil laugh here)

I’ve added some really great staple pieces for fall to my collection that I’m really geeked about. The new Layer Up necklaces are a line of high end gold necklaces that all work really well together so the idea is to purchase a few different styles and wear them together or separately as you see fit.  Since I use the same type of chain in all the designs you can Layer Up the different necklaces and the end result will always be a cohesive, high end look – without the guesswork.


April's New Swarovski crystal pendant. Every one is hand made and one of a kind so it's a surprise what you're getting!

April’s New Layer Up On Point  Swarovski crystal pendant.  April says “Every one is hand made and one of a kind so it’s a surprise what you’re getting”!


It’s pageant season!!!  I sponsor a handful of Miss USA states including Miss Massachusetts and Miss California and their state pageants are all coming up this fall and winter.  This means I get lots of inquiries for custom evening gown jewelry which is such a fun part of my business and something I really love because I get to work one on one with so many women across the country.


Miss California USA wearing April's earrings at Miss USA. April is a sponsor of California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine Miss USA state pageants.

Miss California USA wearing April’s earrings at Miss USA. April is a sponsor of California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine Miss USA state pageants.


I’m gearing up for a press trip to New York at the end of September with my PR Agent, Lacey Wilson Bates of LWBPR.  We haven’t done a big trip like this in a couple of years and I’m really looking forward to showing off my newest pieces to some of the movers and shakers in the accessory world.  Right now we’re coordinating meetings with magazines, fashion editors, and setting up dinners and drinks in between so it’s going to be quite the trip!


April looking gorgeous in her "Arm Party" bracelet separates that she just launched

April looking gorgeous in her “Arm Party” bracelet separates that she just launched



Fashion –  I’m probably a little late to the game on this one, but I’ve finally really bought in to the jeans that are a bit more high waisted.  I have a few pairs of the Madewell – High Riser Skinny Skinny Jeans and overall I feel like they make me look leggier and taller…win, win!  Add in some suede booties and a leather jacket and I’m ready for fall.

Health/Fitness –  I’m going to head in an odd direction for this one, but hang with me!  One of the best health changes I made in the last year is that I started doing some “sleep training.”  The overall goal is to fall asleep right away and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.  Isn’t that what we all want?!  Rule number one is painful, but a game changer.  Instead of having my phone plugged in on my nightstand I always leave it outside my bedroom… weekends too.  Eeeeek!  When the alarm goes off in the morning I have to get out of bed and leave the room to turn it off.  This keeps me from laying in bed at night or in the morning reading emails and/or scrolling through Instagram. Combine that with a few other sleep training techniques and my mornings are more productive, faster, and overall feel just a little lighter!


Featherweight Earrings. 14k Gold filled, incredibly lightweight and perfectly stylish!

April’s Featherweight Earrings are 14k Gold filled, incredibly lightweight and perfectly stylish!


I’ve always made jewelry for myself and friends as a hobby but had never really thought about it as a business.  While I was competing for Miss USA I met one of my best friends and now PR agent, Lacey Wilson.  A couple years after we met, she started her own accessories PR firm and gave me some friendly pressure to start taking my hobby to the next level. Cut to a few years later and my business has grown really organically from there.  In the beginning, I was worried I’d squash my love for the art of jewelry making by trying to profit from it, but so far it’s been the complete opposite.  There’s something really rewarding in creating a piece of art and having someone like it so much they’re willing to physically wear it.  Hearing someone tell me they wear a piece of my jewelry every day or it’s one of their favorite pieces just adds fuel to the creative fire and makes me excited to get to work.



@aprilsoderstrom – Instagram and Twitter – Facebook


Two of April's designs in the Layer Up Collection - The Tex Duo and Geo Duo

Two of April’s designs in the Layer Up Collection – The Tex Duo and Geo Duo.

Jessica’s Studio Style & Music for Barre and Boxing:

No matter where I’m going to workout, I’m somehow always layered. I love layering! I always have an easy-to-throw-on sweatshirt or tee over a workout tank, even in the summer. I also love layering because I usually have somewhere to be right after class and this allows for quick transitions between workout to day or evening wear.

Here is what I am wearing and listening to right now during my two favorite workouts:




1. The Modern Classic from Gwenyth~ I have one in every color! It is the perfect top to wear to Barre and really everywhere. I love the ballet style and adjustable fit. I love how I can tie the sides up while I am teaching and then pull the sides down post class and pair with a sweater or cardigan to meet friends for coffee or run errands. It’s effortless!

Gwenyth's Modern Classic in Ballet Pink

Gwenyth’s Modern Classic in ballet pink

2. Firedaughter Clothing’s off-the-shoulder Big Huge Heart Sweatshirt~ Anything off-the-shoulder is my favorite and Firedaughter has definitely perfected the off-the-shoulder look.  I have a collection of these types of inspirational tees and sweatshirts… and this is the perfect layer!


Firedaughter's Big Huge Heart off the wide shoulder sweathshirt.

Firedaughter’s Big Huge Heart off-the-shoulder sweatshirt


3. The perfect leggings~ For Barre, I’m usually wearing either the Splits Tendu grip tights or the Nova Capri legging from Splits59. I love the Tendu grip tights because of the grips on the bottom of the feet that work perfectly for helping hold that stretch at the Barre which means you don’t have to wear Barre socks. I also love the Nova Capri because they have the best fit of any legging I own.


Splits59 Nova Classic Capri

Splits59 Nova Capri


Splits59 Tendu Grip Tights

Splits59 Tendu Grip Tights


4. Nike Wedge sneakers~ I am so thankful for the wedge sneaker! I am obsessed! It is the perfect fit-fashion invention. Throw these on with your workout outfit and immediately you can carry your workout look through the rest of the day. I always feel like I look better with a little height and they’re perfect to wear to a Barre workout because you actually do the workout in socks or barefoot.

Nike Dunk Sky High Sneaker.

Nike Dunk Sky High Sneaker.

5. Take your Barre look to dinner with Daniela Corte’s off the shoulder Ballet Top. As I said, I love everything off the shoulder. I just bought this top. I can throw it on with my workout leggings and I’m all ready for post Barre class fun.

Daniela Corte Ballet top

Daniela Corte Ballet top


1. My prize possession. These were a limited edition item from Alexander Wang‘s Objects collection two years ago. They are 12 ounces of pure leather perfection!

Alexander Wang boxing gloves.

Alexander Wang boxing gloves.


2. The “Edgy” Legging~ I love these Daniela Corte Tracy Capri leggings in Python. They are the perfect legging for looking cool while you’re kicking butt.

The Daniela Corte Tracy Capri

The Daniela Corte Tracy Capri


3. The Ashby Tank and Loren Bra~ If you know me, you know there is a 75% chance I’m wearing at least one item that’s Splits59 at all times. And for kickboxing, it’s often the Ashby tank. It fits perfectly and I find that in workouts where I am sweating more like boxing or spin, the Ashby doesn’t get uncomfortable.


Splits59 Ashby Tank

Splits59 Ashby Tank



Splits59 Loren Seamless Bra-Painted

Splits59 Loren Seamless Bra-Painted

4. Crane & Lion’s long sleeve tee. I love the fit of this and the tee has great ruching in the back for an even slimmer fit.


Crane&Lion Longsleeve Tee

Crane&Lion Longsleeve Tee

5. Divert Jacket by Koral Activewear~ Perfect to complete the look and easy to throw on over everything.


Divert Love Sleeve Hooded Jacket

Divert Love Sleeve Hooded Jacket


6. Liteweight sneakers~ For kickboxing, I like a very lightweight sneaker such as these Nike Free TR Breathe.


Nike Free Sneaker

Nike Free Sneaker


Nothing motivates me like great music. Here’s my latest playlist for music I’m playing in my Barre classes and listening to while I workout on Spotify.


A Little Monday Inspiration – The She. Campaign

Nicole O'Neil

Nicole O’Neil

Nicole is the co-founder, photographer, she. strength.hope.empowerment. and owner and photographer at Nicole O’Neil Photography

We love finding inspiration everywhere and in all shapes and forms. Sometimes inspiration comes from quotes, or beautiful things, or in books, movies, or sometimes it’s the girl you’ve crossed paths with at your local coffee house for the past few years. In this story, it’s the latter. We have this great coffee house Zume’s in our neighborhood, it is an off day if Alisa and I don’t end up there at least once.

And the same goes for Nicole, an amazing local photographer. We have seen her and her photos at the coffee house for years.  So we were totally thrilled when we learned that Nicole was the co-founder of a new campaign/company that we have taken HUGE notice of called, She. We had no idea that Nicole was embarking on such a wonderful new project. However, looking back it is not surprising. Most of the time that we stop into Zume’s, it’s a whirlwind of rushing and wrangling the kids, so it’s rare we can stop to have an adult conversation with anyone. But I did take notice recently of how amazing Nicole looked. It seemed she was just sunnier and brighter. And now I know why. She was working on this new inspiring company, She. We are so thrilled to share with you what She. is all about:

What is keeping you busy right now? 

Getting She. up and running, fundraising, and setting up shoots and events. I’m also continuing to run my other photography business independent of She. and balancing some health issues. When not in work mode, which is rare these days, I am busy making sure I keep yo with spending time with family and friends.


What are you loving in fitness and fashion right now?

Fitness: I used to spend my time doing a lot of cardio but have switched to using free weights and strength training. I’ve found my body shape has drastically changed and I’m seeing amazing results with weight loss and muscle gain that I’ve never seen before. I am not able to do anything too strenuous due to some health issues but as soon as I can, I’m excited to try barre.

Fashion: I’m not really a fashionista, though I always make sure I look my best when I leave the house even if it’s coordinating workout clothes. I am a J.Crew/Banana Republic girl. I’m loving sheath dresses and wool mini shirttail skirts. I love using pops of color.  I used to wear dark colors as a way to hide myself and try to be “slimming,” but I embrace color now. I rarely leave home without my Sam Edelman boots (which I bought in both black and brown because I loved them so much), a long Buddha necklace, and a custom “hope” necklace I had made. I also love to relax and run errands in yoga pants with my Lululemon vinyasa scarf (my staple in the winter).

How do we keep in touch and learn more about you?

I’m everywhere. My email is, our She. email is

You can find me on Instagram as @nicoleoneilphotography and @shecampaign.

Twitter is @she_campaign

Facebook: Nicole O’Neil Photography and She.




More about me and she.

At 34 years old, I am the most comfortable and confident I’ve ever been. Growing up, I had major body image and self-esteem issues. I never thought I was good enough, pretty enough, smart enough. I had weight issues on and off throughout the years. I thought I was “fat” in high school and really wasn’t and fluctuated in my twenties. It took until my late twenties to realize I needed to start to focus on myself and learn to love who I am. I needed to let go of past traumas and past beliefs about who I was and what I “should be.” I started on that journey. I also rediscovered my passion for photography and after some urging from others, I made a go of it. Well, it turned out to be successful and I realized it was exactly what I should be doing. But, I found myself still doubting my abilities as well as my physical self. As a cheerleading coach and photographer, I saw girls and women point out all of their flaws, refuse to get in photos, and just overall not love themselves. I knew that feeling all too well. I decided I wanted to do something. We shouldn’t feel this way. We should love every part of our bodies and our lives and feel the power to change the things we don’t like if it is in our best interest and health. I did a project where I took pictures of almost 100 females, displayed them online and at a speaking program. We had speakers share their personal stories of eating disorders, self-esteem and body image issues and drug addiction. I’ve since wanted to do more, but wasn’t able to before this point.


I had some setbacks over that time, after I was witness to the marathon bombings. I spent a year in a place where I felt so anxious and emotional, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to really be happy again or continue to have a successful business. My body image and self-esteem issues that had started to go away came back. I gained a lot of weight and felt bad about myself all around. Once I came out of it on the other side, I started to focus completely on ME, more than ever. I realized it was the only way to full happiness and would make me a better person, friend, family member, and business owner. And it has. I have never felt as confident, or more hopeful and excited for all life has to offer. I’m in the best shape of my life and feel healthy and strong. I feel healthy and happy in my heart, mind and soul and that radiates into my business and the rest of my life. I see so many possibilities now. It is freeing and beautiful and I want all women and girls to feel this way. As I said, for years, I’ve wanted to start a movement to try and ensure girls learn at an early age to love themselves. I want girls to feel confident. I want them to realize the negative words and actions of others are not a reflection on them. I want them to not feel pressured by what society thinks they should be. I want women to look at themselves and see how amazing they are. My friend Kiera and I had the same visions and passions and one day, we sat down and came up with She., an initiative to help empower girls and women to love and embrace themselves no matter what.  This is my dream finally coming true. My hope in this beautiful life is to make a difference and inspire, so that is what I intend to do. You can read a more detailed version of “My Story” on our blog (the very first post we added).





A Look Back…and a Big and Bright Look Forward

Before the New Years ball dropped, we were reminiscing about 2014 in our usual format: early morning coffee shop, half listening to one and other, half keeping our kids from causing massive destruction, all while taking “notes” on coffee stained napkins. We decided to take a look back at our very first MsFit post “Freshly Hatched,” (see below). What we loved so much about it is everything we wanted to happen with Ms Fit For Society in 2014… actually did happen! Especially Alisa rocking some short shorts.. whoohooo!!

Who wears short shorts? Me! Finally!

Who wears short shorts? Me! Finally!

I think one of the things we are most proud of is the success of our two big Ms Fit Events in 2014. Our two events raised over $50,000 in sales with a nice portion of that going to the American Heart and American Stroke Association!

Fit Fashion Event at Saks Fifth Avenue

Fit Fashion Event at Saks Fifth Avenue

Fit Fashion Event at Intermix

Fit Fashion Event at Intermix

Ms Fit has become something much bigger than we ever thought it would be when we sat down to write our very first post. A big part of our success is due to all of you, your encouragement, your sharing with us, your helping us inspire through your features and support and suggestions! Our sincerest thank you! Another piece of this, when we started a year ago, the bond between fitness and fashion was just catching on… now the two are inseparable, just look through the pages of any fashion magazine.

We are filled with excitement and anticipation for what 2015 will bring, whom we will get to feature, and how many new amazing Ms Fits we will meet. We have some big plans and we are going to be working our butts off to see 2015 be even bigger and brighter!

Read our “Freshly Hatched” article below…

Here’s to a fit and extremely fabulous 2015!


FRESHLY HATCHED      Posted March, 2014 

So now that I have your undivided attention, I wanted to announce some breaking news to you guys. I am super excited about the new addition to my life, it’s still early on, but I just couldn’t wait to tell everyone that I am…. launching a new venture in fashion!!! Oh, did you think it was something else? I’m still trying to get my pre-preggo body back… that is definitely not in the cards for me right now.

Which brings me to this venture… Before I had LL, I had no clue, not even a fascination of how hard it is to bounce back, drop all the baby weight and feel 100% normal (body wise… brain wise, I’m still working on it). I think it took me about 14 months to get back to my exact weight before getting pregnant which is understandable, but much too long for me. It was too long to wait to fit into all of my skin tight dresses, it took too long to see my cellulite disappear for my short shorts and silk pants, too long to tone up my legs and ass to even fathom sporting a bikini, never mind my poor 5 inch heels that suffered the brunt of it supporting my overweight ass. You get the [overweight] picture.

This time around, I’m not messing around, especially with spring right around the corner. One of my favorite days of the year is when I spend hours taking out all of my spring and summer clothing out of storage (which I conveniently and cruelly labeled “skinny bitch clothes”), and I just know that I won’t be able to mentally handle not fitting into everything again.

Luckily, I have my best friend, my partner in crime and my greatest motivator in my arsenal this time around. I bestow an enormous token of gratitude to the ex-196-pounder Jessica Diaz, into kicking my ass into full gear and helping me to drop almost all of my baby #2 weight. As a professional barre instructor, she challenged me to take one of her barre classes and I was immediately obsessed. If you’ve never done barre, you should. That’s all I have to say. Combine ballet + pilates + embarrassing leg shaking + can’t move the next 3 days, that = how you get your body back.

2010 - Pre 1st baby bod

2010 – Pre 1st baby bod


2011- 6 months post baby #1

2011- 6 months post baby #1

2012- 16 months post baby #1

2012- 16 months post baby #1

2013- Weeks after having baby #2, I couldn't wait to get out and play!

2013- Weeks after having baby #2, I couldn’t wait to get out and play!

January 2014- Work in progress at Jessica's barre class with baby in tow

January 2014- Work in progress at Jessica’s barre class with baby in tow

My partner in crime showing baby Maxi some barre moves

My partner in crime showing baby Maxi some barre moves


And now you ask about this new venture that I was so excited to tell you about… Jessica and I always talk about the affects of how both of our professions profoundly increase our clients’ self confidence, sex appeal and energy level, not to mention how it opens their eyes to new possibilities in fashion trends and risk taking. Putting the obvious aside, we thought about how amazingly well fitness and fashion go together, and more so than anyone really likes to talk about. Our new baby is this venture together; bringing our clients, readers, mamas, instagram and Facebook followers all of the greatest and newest in what fitness and fashion have to challenge us with every season.

My short shorts have nothing on me this year because I’ve been doing my barre squats, along with my seat work. I’ve resurrected my crop tops and stocked up on some new ones (can you have too many?) because I’ve been doing my core work and planks (cheated a few times, for sure), and I have confidence that my booty will be as close to bootilicious as the had-two-babies excuse can allow by summer because I’ve been painstakingly doing my legs lifts with a ball, with a strap, with weights and with every last ounce of energy I have!

We’ve starting slowly, as every new project does, but hope that you guys love what we have to say and share and hopefully together we can change and inspire even more mamas out there that think that their temple of a body went out with the bag full of dirty diapers.

Birth Announcement:

Ms. Fit for Society

Born: 2014 Weight: touchy subject Height: the top of the world

Both mamas and baby are healthy and doing just great!

Whether you’re a new mama or someone craving a boost of motivation for the new year, we really hope that we can inspire you with not just how you see yourself on the outside, but more importantly how you feel on the inside. For some it’s bouncing back after baby, or motivation to run a marathon, maybe even take on that career they’ve always wanted, or travel to a far off land, perhaps it’s writing a book or getting back in the dating scene and finding their one true love. Whatever it may be, to each his own, leave all judgements on the table and just go out and do it… and maybe we’ll even be lucky enough to hear about it from you!


Ms Fit For Society


Life Isn’t a Sprint… It’s a Marathon

In our last MsFit “official meeting” (including meeting minutes being recorded on a napkin), we started talking about the Boston Marathon and the intense motivation the thousands of marathon runners must have to challenge themselves to running 26.2 miles. I mean, that’s pure motivation, drive, spirit, endurance, strength, will, bravery and passion… that’s moving two legs just one step, one pace, one mile at a time to achieve one single goal.

Motivation is an amazing force. It can take you from one place in life to somewhere you never imagined in your wildest dreams.

This really got me thinking about the role motivation plays in each of our lives. What is your motivation? Do you have any? Is it easy for you to find it or is it a constant battle? Is it to drop a few lbs. (or 60), lose an inch, run a mile (or 26.2), increase your strength, get a new job, get out of bed, get over someone or something? All goals, no matter how big or small, how easy to realize or out of this world they may seem, have to start somewhere.

For me personally, my best recipe for reaching goals is to first start with giving myself a HUGE goal, the ultimate one that I dream that I want to reach. I then take a GIANT realistic step back and say OK, I may have a lot to do, but I always remind myself that reaching that goal is a process, sometimes even years in the making. But instead of letting that discourage me, I decided the best way to keep on the path of reaching that BIG goal is to set SMALL achievable goals along the way that are a day away, a week away, a month, away… until I get there. Little “pace-points” that I put in place for myself to reach the final finish line. My guess is you might already be doing this throughout your days and don’t even realize just how great you are at motivating yourself!

Everyone has their own story. Everyone has their own struggles and life challenges whether it be with health, family, relationships, financial standing or even depression that makes finding even an ounce of motivation near impossible. But I truly believe that life is only LIFE if you’re truly enjoying it. If you’re not, build that motivation to make a change by identifying even the tiniest steps to then bigger and bigger goals which will create more and more motivation to a more fulfilling and happy LIFE.

I think giving myself the “more instant gratification” goals, as I call them, is the key for me, because change doesn’t always happen overnight. We don’t just run a marathon our first day of running, or lose a ton of weight on our first day dieting. It is a process. BELIEVE ME, patience is not my strong point, so learning to change my perspective on “progress” was a really important factor in keeping myself on track. Progress, for me, had to become anything that I did that was a step closer to getting where I wanted to go.

To use myself as an example, one of my GIANT goals in the past 5 years, a goal so big that I was afraid I could never achieve was to become a Barre instructor. The very inklings of beginning to even think about this goal started while I was pregnant with my first child. Then life happened. I had another baby, gained almost 80 lbs. (again) and I just kept pushing it off. While I was busy being a mom and wife, taking the weight off and getting my body back by doing barre regularly… I blinked, and I was already in my mid-30’s. Where did the time go? Where did my motivation go?

Then the real obstacles started coming. The ones that kept overshadowing my great motivation… I’d think, I can’t possibly do this, become a fitness instructor, because I’m almost 36! That is WAY too old to start a career in fitness. Everyone around me had started in fitness in their early 20’s and built their careers from a very young age. I didn’t have anywhere to teach. I wasn’t certified to teach. What if no one liked my classes? Starting this late in life would mean a lot of self-promotion! Was I comfortable doing that? (turns out I am … hmm if you haven’t already …please go and like my Barre page on Facebook. Jessica Diaz Boston Barre). The list of reasons I told myself I couldn’t do this went on and on and on and on…

In the midst, of all these self-doubts, I had to remind myself that although each of my fears did have a truth and validation to them, I could choose to believe them as a fact, or give it a try and motivate myself to just do it. To begin a career doing something I loved, that I had a lot of experience doing, and felt so excited by the possibility of actually doing it and not just dreaming. I just felt it was what I was supposed to do next. I have learned to call that feeling “inspired thought”. Every so often, I get a thought or an idea, and with it just comes this “sense of knowing” that it is the right thing to do. It’s hard to know when it’s happening, but the older I get, the more I can tune out the clutter and doubt, and the better I am at recognizing it. I wish it was an easier thing to describe, but I think the best way I can describe it is that it’s a thought that instantly triggers a feelings of motivation and drive. These are the ones I wait for.

So, all I had to do was just start. My first step was to start practicing barre, even more than I already had. I gave myself two weeks to find and register for a Barre teacher training program. Then I gave myself the goal of approaching five studios about teaching Barre, while at the same time doing 5-8 personal training sessions per week to learn how to be a better teacher. I told myself I had to complete all this within my first month of becoming certified to teach and so on and so on. Small steps, every day and achievable goals until a year later, I became a Barre teacher.

I absolutely love teaching, and with all of my experiences along the way, I am able to utilize ten years of taking and continually building on my teaching skills to help create the safe and effective class that so many people enjoy today.

It was the motivation to get somewhere new that kept me moving, even when it felt uncomfortable. I believe everyone has that fear, everyone has self doubt but whether you’re trying to lose 60 lbs., talk to your boss about a promotion, start a business, just get through the day or run 26.2 miles in the Boston Marathon, it has to start somewhere.


There is no magic formula for finding and doing what you love. Sometimes the hardest part is knowing what that is, and once you know, I promise, the motivation will come a lot easier. Life is meant to be lived, not just “gone through”. Motivate yourself to really LIVE… even if it’s one tiny step at a time.

Photo~Lucie Wicker

Photo~Lucie Wicker


What’s YOUR motivation? Share with us on our Facebook or Twitter! We’d love to hear from you!