Last week I was sent to New York to meet SAS For Women and interview them for our Modern Shift Blog. SAS is a dynamic company successfully helping women thrive post divorce. Modern Shift is excited to showcase resources like SAS; We celebrate their efforts and expertise because they are changing the divorce experience for the better.
Kimberly Mishkin and Liza Caldwell are the beautiful faces and founders of SAS. Starting with a serendipitous moment together volunteering in Haiti in 2011, they realized they were both from New York, Liza’s daughters attended the same school where Kim worked, though they had never met, and they were both divorced. Liza, thinking of starting a business to help divorced women, knew she needed the right person as a partner, but Kim was busy with a prestigious career as an educator. Fast forward to 2015,SAS was not only realized by the two amazing ladies but they have a steady client base of divorced women around the world. With offices in Midtown Manhattan their success clearly shines. Recently their work was highlighted in The New York Times and PorterMagazine, the hot, new publication of the fashion industry.
Misa P. interviews Kimberly Mishkin and Liza Caldwell:
M: Tell me about the process of starting SAS?
Liza: First, we knew we needed to pull together our divorce experiences as women: what made our experiences unique? Especially difficult? What do we need to share with other women going through divorce so they not only benefit but go on to live more conscious and meaningful lives? Of course, there was the practical dimension, too. We needed an office to collaborate in and to meet clients; and we needed additional training besides our graduate work in education.
Kim: I trained in grief counseling and later as a CDC divorce coach and Liza became certified as a life coach who focused on the transformative aspect of going through a major life crisis. To build our model and then test it out, we started hosting grief recovery groups and seeing clients pro bono.
M: What has been your greatest high five moment?
L: Three years to the exact day we filed our company papers, we got a call from The New York Times!
M: What has been your greatest challenge?
K: Many people are “divorce coaching” these days, but our model is unique, structured, and entirely our own. So sharing what we do is sometimes hard to convey in a quick sound byte. As educators and coaches, we help a woman look at all aspects of her life and how it is impacted as she is navigating and recovering from divorce. Our focus is on doing something about that impact and taking action. It is a structured curriculum but also highly tailored to the individual.
L: What makes us different from many coaches or advisors out there as well is that we have a physical, “brick and mortar,” location. People can come and connect with us in the flesh – or they can connect via phone or SKYPE from all over the world. Either way, we help them with the emotional rollercoaster of divorce, but also very much the practical dilemmas, from “How to tell your children” “Should you sell your house?” ”How to go back to work” to “Where to sell your wedding ring” or “How to drive a car.” And we connect them with vetted experts wherever possible, like lawyers, financial advisors, or a driver ed instructor, if they need a referral.
M: What is a milestone that you are hoping for in the near future?
K: We want more of a virtual presence. We greatly appreciate our New York impact but want to be more and more accessible to women all over the world.
L: Ultimately, we want to hire and train other coaches in our method. Spreading the word around the globe, we can maximize our reach.
M: Do you feel there’s a misconception of what you do? Are you encouraging divorces?
K: We make it clear we are not advocates for divorce. We support and help women who want to take control and live their best lives.
L: In fact, we have clients who have reconciled with their spouses. We are here so women, whatever they decide to do, are not facing these decisions and the possibility of divorce and reinvention -- alone.
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