In our view, values and principles are the foundation upon which our lives, careers and relationships are built. So, we asked folks we admire to open up to us about the values and principles that matter most to them.

Annie Karstens | Actor

The principle that matters most to me is Acceptance. When I first started to see some success was when I accepted who I was, what I’m capable of, what I look like, how I sound, my age – the list is endless. Being at odds with myself, fighting against the tide so to speak, establishing ridiculous expectations, only led me down a rabbit hole of insecurity. And not much good can come from a place of insecurity or denial. Acceptance of myself and my circumstances unlocked so many doors for me, both personally and professionally. This acceptance manifested in many ways – my appearance, for example, went from diets, hair dyes and fake tans, to my natural appearance and hair color (I hadn’t seen since middle school); my auditions went from over indulgent emoting and well choreographed motions, to more honest and authentic; my personal life became less fragmented. Read more>>

Dana Bresin | Event Planner & Floral Artist

Most important Value – Honesty or more currently referred to as transparency. As part of the DB Creativity team, I am clear in my path and I try to illuminate all the pros and cons with all my clients so that there are no surprises when it comes to our services and costs. Many people feel that a planner is somehow a windfall job but there are so many hours that are clouded for clients. I always bring them to the surface – The DB Team spends so much time brain storming – We are paid to do so that is how we come up with unique ideas. There is no simple template to unique. One of my favorite client quotes to unveil for them is “I want you to do something completely different and unique – so incredible it’s never been done before AND show me a picture”. Read more>>

Vanessa Viola | Reiki Practitioner & Photographer

Integrity is a principle I value most because it is the foundation of living an authentic life. Integrity is not to be confused with morality, it’s not a matter of being right or wrong. Integrity has to do with being true to what I say, honoring my word and following it with action. It is an access to workability, accountability, and possibility. Read more>>

Ryland Shelton | Vocal Coach

Compassion. I think that matters most. It’s more than just tolerance – I see compassion as the acknowledgment and enrichment of someone else’s situation and goals. You’re using your humanity, your strengths as a human being to elevate others. And, big or small, that’s what moves the world forward. Read more>>

Kerry Vitiello | Boutique Owner, Buyer, Designer & Curator

Values and Principles. WOW! OK it’s a huge multi layered question and values and principles are multi layered – but first to my mind- community. We have created a community at Dustmuffin with our customers, customers who have become dear friends, co-workers and the wonderful artists we work with. There are so many levels to this… and it is – I think – the reason we are still in business. RE community – an example – when we had to shut down our shop at the beginning of Covid stay at home times- it was so totally tear inducing how many members of our little shop community reached out. We had artists that offered not to cash their checks (we said cash them before we go out of business!!!) , customers that offered to stand with us at the shop to protect it from looters during the protests, employees and friends offering to help us with our necessary website improvements. Read more>>

Antoinette V. Cardenas | Culture Alchemist

I deeply value connection, it is what matters to me the most. And while we have lived in a society that seems favorable to independence I believe that interdependence is just as powerful, if not even more so. We, as humans, desire to be seen, heard, supported, valued and cared for. For me, connection is an energetic exchange that motivates and inspires purpose. In all areas of my life, whether I am creating space for connection or on the receiving end of it, meaning comes through like magic. Read more>>

James Baltz | Acupuncturist & Owner

The value that means the most to me is integrity, always striving to live up to my upbringing of honesty, morality, and respect for all people, whether in my business or in casual relationships. It is rewarding to help people feel better, either in the office with acupuncture or herbs or a qigong exercise, or in a spontaneous interaction and a smile with someone you just met. Read more>>

Joey Kohan | Co-Owner

The most important principle for us is that the client gets the right fabric for their project. We treat the project as if its our own. If a client contacts us before showing up our recommendation is always that they come in with good pictures of the surroundings. For example if they are reupholstering a couch or a chair, we ask they bring pictures of the curtains, paint on the wall, carpet, flooring etc. This way we can put ourselves in the room and make suggestions. There has been instances, when we discouraged the client from buying a certain fabric. Even though we would profit from the sale, the fabric was not right for the project. The fabric was beautiful so was the clients place, however not a good match. Our reasoning is that the client is going to wind up “living” with this fabric for a while and if its not the right match we notify them. Read more>>

Petra Gordon

The most valuable principle to me is authenticity and relating to the world from my true self. To me this is the essence of living free and it is my daily practice to reflect and tune inwards and recognize what’s happening and how I can be my best and give my best. It creates an energetic dynamic and the best returns to me. This is who I am striving to be and striving for to attract. In this dynamic you get to the right place at the right time and avoid the hole in the ground before you fall in. Read more>>

Torie Osborn

My life has been passionate and purposeful — in service of social justice since age 15. I’m 70 now. The value/principle that guides me is — helping make the world better. I was inspired by the civil rights movement (although too young to have been active in it — my first actions were against the Vietnam war), and then discovered that the intensity and focus and purpose of social action was deeply fulfilling. So I’m a ’60s activist who never stopped! I’m lucky to have come up at the time the nonprofit sector matured so my life has been able to be paid for work I love — for 20 years running community based nonprofits then the past decade or so in government, working for progressive electeds. I try to bring creativity and innovation and love of change — watching and helping people grow individually — while I help change the world. Read more>>

Field Garthwaite | CEO & Co-Founder

Investing your time and energy in creating the future that you want to live in. This is what led me to start IRIS.TV. We built a privacy-first technology platform with an ethical approach towards applying machine learning and algorithms long before it was popular because we believed it was the right way to solve the problem. Read more>>