Scenes from the Salon: Courage


by Salon Member Susan Vagnoni Murphy

As serendipity would have it, our fourth So, Do It! Salon happened on International Women’s Day. I could not think of a better place to be for that occasion. It also occurred on the day after students all over the U.S. respectfully walked out to honor those who died in the terrible school shootings and to speak out bravely for change.

To me, that set the tone for a day of awakening and letting our voices out with courage. On a smaller but very meaningful scale that is what happened in our salon session. I saw it over and over again in what the women in our group brought to the table.

One of our members discovered that the practice of sitting down and writing consistently makes her feel better and more empowered as a person.  She is now committed to this practice.

Another member is now willing to sell her screenplay and relinquish some of the control she was holding onto to allow the important message of the story to get out to the world.

And yet another member found her voice against an investor who sounded promising at the start but really did not have her best interests at heart.

All of these changes are acts of courage, but the person who impressed me the most was our salon sister who told us she almost did not come that day. That morning she found herself in a negative place in her thoughts and felt she really didn’t achieve much in the interim week.  But, instead of surrendering to those thoughts and feelings she did show up, and as we talked she found she really had made progress toward her IT.

One of the core foundations of the So, Do It! Salons is that they are a safe place with no judgment. It was a pleasure to see that principle in action with our group. I wish anyone reading this the power of courage, the inspiration of awakening and the freedom of getting your voice out to the world.


Scenes from the Salon: Transformation

by Salon Member Susan Vagnoni Murphy

We all come from different backgrounds, are of different ages, have diverse occupations and varied ‘Its’ that we are working on. What we do have in common is trying to understand what has been hindering us from making our ‘Its’ a reality. This is where I witnessed real transformation in our third midday So, Do It! Salon session.

One member of our group seems to have come to such a positive place that she is drawing all this good energy toward her and opportunities are popping up all over. I see her moving into a period where she is embracing the many changes and flowing with the tide. She even found a wonderful position with a local arts-support organization.

Our youngest member of the salon came to a revelation this session. She thought she knew what direction she wanted to take with her ‘It’ but after our previous salons and the input from those around the table, she decided to look inside and share more of what is there with the world. She wants to begin blogging and this is not something she has done in the past.

Another inspiring salon member is doing some self-care and shared a poem by Reverend Safire Rose called “She Let Go.” I was very moved by the words and decided to take on ‘let go’ as my mantra words for 2018. As you can see, my partners in the salon are also transforming me.

I shared a part of a talk I had been to about chasing perfection, which often keeps us from moving forward. The speaker, and author of a book on the subject, Sue Hawkes, discussed how we CAN achieve excellence, but perfection is an unattainable goal that can lead to frustration and stress. In one of her comparisons she observes, “Perfection brings on fear. Excellence encourages risk.”

During our session, I truly saw the proverbial light bulb go off over everyone’s head. I look forward to our next session and hearing about the progress each member has made, and I am confident our support for each other will continue to grow as we move towards our individual goals.


Link to So, Do It! Society:

Link to poem “She Let Go”:

Link to Sue Hawkes book:

The Humane Marketer 2018

Scenes from the Salon: Instinct

by Salon Member Susan Vagnoni Murphy

It was refreshing to get back to the Salon this week and away from business and home-life responsibilities for a while. The So, Do It! Salon offers me a time to concentrate on something that is just for me; something I want to get out into the world.

Connecting to Our Group

We checked in with our members and updated each other on the progress or changes to the particular “ITs” we are all working toward. Someone even changed their IT entirely because the journey from the first salon to the second was a revelation that they weren’t quite ready to address what they had first thought was important, and now something else has risen to the top.

That was something to be celebrated.

How often in our lives do we plug away at something we ‘think’ is what we should be doing without taking a moment to consider if we are truly focusing our attention for what is best for us? This change came for the youngest member of our salon and we all marveled at how self-aware she is and how great it would have been if we had done something like this salon when we were her age!

Learning More about How We Function

Taking the Kolbe A Index is another wonderful perk of being a salon member.  The Kolbe A measures the natural strengths/ instincts you were born with. Knowledge from the Kolbe can help you to use those instincts to “be the most productive, stress-free version of yourself.” Also, understanding the Kolbe ratings of those you regularly interact with can help you to collaborate more effectively. Kelly Pratt, our Salonnière, is well versed in interpreting this tool and helped our group to understand and discuss the meaning of our results.

Before wrapping up, we set our intentions for the next time we will get together. There is always a week in-between salons to give us time to develop our ITs. Kelly offers a communal work space at the Schmidt Lofts during those in-between weeks if we need to get out of the office or home to get something done.

I hope to have news to share with you from the Morning and Virtual Salon sessions that are also happening this winter.

The Humane Marketer

Scenes from the Salon: Intention

by Susan Vagnoni Murphy

Have you been to your Salon this week? So, do it! Society

Not the salon that gives you a bang trims and some foils. This salon is a place where women find pathways, support, accountability, and community.  A safe place to make things happen that have been sitting in their hearts and heads for far too long.

So, do it! Salon

L-R Cj Staples, Susan Murphy, Chrissy Rasmussen, Amanda Lathrop, Kelly Pratt.  Photo by Jen Frieden

I have been a part of the So, Do It! Salons since last year in February when Kelly Pratt launched this wonderful society to help women achieve their “IT.” We have just started our new winter session and I thought it would help to take you along with me on the journey to truly get the feel for a salon society.

To be clear, here is a dictionary definition of the origin of the type of salon I am referring to:

“An assembly of guests in such a room, especially an assembly, common during the 17th and 18th centuries, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, etc.”

photo by Jen Frieden

The assembly in my salon are women who lead with their intelligence, their intention, their hearts and their determination. They often find themselves isolated in business or by other circumstances and need a place to share ideas and develop something they keep coming back to, but never seem to get off the ground.

We start with a set of ground rules including respecting each member’s right to speak, refraining from criticism and sharing comments of value only when asked to do so. Kelly is our Salonnière and facilitates, mentors, and educates as she guides each session.

Each salon has up to 9 members, including the Salonnière, which allows everyone time to speak and listen. In my past salons there have been wonderful achievements with books being written and published, art shows completed and presented in galleries, new businesses directions found, and websites published. Some of the intentions in new salon include: refining a screenplay, becoming a photographer, researching and writing a family history, and launching a play production.

L-R Kjiersten Kinney, Michele Jacobson, Kaisa Taibale, Kelly Pratt, Deb Williamson, Susan Murphy, Melanie Smith, Chrissy Rasmussen  photo by Lisa Venticinque

One thing our salon is NOT – it is not elitist. Women from all walks and all backgrounds are invited to the community which includes a thriving online component to keep resources and support flowing.

I will keep you posted on our progress throughout our salon now that we have all made the first step to bravely say out loud what we want to realize in this world.

Susan Vagnoni Murphy is a writer, marketing expert and owner of The Humane Marketer, actress and is a founding member of the So, do it! Society.  You can learn more about Susan at and

Lisa Sonora :: Talk2Think Special Guest

Lisa Sonora author The Creative EntrepreneurLisa Sonora :: Author of The Creative Entrepreneur

I have learned to pay attention to signs, synchronicity.

Gorgeous Genius Retreat 2018 in Mexico (l-r Lisa Sonora, Joy Agcongay, Emily Cline, me, Suzy Foy)

I had an inspiration to reach out to Lisa Sonora a couple days ago.  Lisa is someone who’s been an inspiration to me since 2009…  We’ve kept in sporadic touch and I’ve watched her growth and journey…  Yesterday she responded, we set a time to talk.  This morning this photo popped up in facebook.  Then Lisa called!

OK! I hear you, Universe!!

Lisa and I had an amazing conversation – she, from her cottage in Mexico (warm and sunny) me from  Minnesota (freezing  with wind chill warnings but cozy in my loft).

We’re both on a mission to serve women who have gifts to share and are ready to DO IT!

Lisa Sonora’s Oxaca Mexico Retreat

Psyched to have her as a guest on the Talk2Think Zoom call on Tuesday Feb 20!!

Lisa Sonora, one of the coolest people I know,  is an American artist and creative entrepreneur living in Mexico, her dream is to live in a world where following your heart’s desire is considered practical, and making a living from your gifts is a no-brainer.

So, do it! Salons Photo by Jen Frieden

Loving Where You Live

I Love Where I Live.

And it’s so great to be noticed for making a difference… I love where I live – From the City of Saint Paul MN to the West 7th/Fort Road neighborhood of to the artist community of the Schmidt Artists Lofts… So I was really please when Jerry Rothstein wanted to write something about what we’re doing in the So, do it! Salons and Society this month…

And you can come join us for an open house at the Schmidt Artist Lofts on January 19th to find out more… In fact, one of the women we’re  shining a spotlight on at the Women Who Make sh!t Happen – So, Do it! Society Showcase that night, Joan Mathison, is all about LOVING WHERE YOU LIVE...   click here to find out more… see you on the 19th! 

The Community Reporter Header

West End Artist Profile: Kelly Pratt — So, do it!

by Jerry Rothstein

Kelly Pratt describes herself as a “serial entrepreneur” She has launched many enterprises, with a common So, do it! Salons Photo by Jen Friedenelement of somehow supporting creative effort. But the path was not always clear. Kelly started dance in fourth grade and continued to learn and perform for four years. Somehow, her dancing was set aside, until in one of her college courses she was asked to look at her life through the lens of psychological ideas.

At that point, she realized that she had stopped dancing — remembered the loss — regretted it. When she shared this with her professor, he said, simply, “So, do it!” She immediately joined a dance class, changed her major from business to dance, and a dancer in a dance company.

Over the next years, she had many jobs, all involving her creativity and supporting that of others. She was a theater director, a creative designer for a construction company, and director of production at the Minnesota Film and TV Board, and many more.

With more recent involvement in on-line publishing, Kelly realized that she had missed being part of a team. While studying to become a Life Coach, she began to think about how to create teams and groups that would combine individual work toward personal goals with the values of being part of a working community.

Thus was born her concept of the Salon. Salons in 17th and 18th century France and Italy were the first places that women could join or lead (as the “salonnière) in the discussion of ideas. Kelly’s Salon would bring women together for a common purpose, captured partly by the motto, “Creative Women Crave Connection.”

The first Salon was launched in February 2017, gathering with an inspiring salonnière for conversation and connection and allowing the time needed to fulfill these goals.

Kelly hoped for groups that would span a range of ages and interests, and her first three Salons now have done so. With a meeting every two weeks, she also wondered whether there was any way to stay connected electronically in the interims. Not expecting that the common social media sites would meet her criteria, she looked further and discovered the Mighty Network, an emerging and powerful tool or high-quality connection among people with shared interests ( The Might Networks offers online “membership communities” with tools for creating live meetings, and online communication. Kelly feels this is a service that allows her to use the internet in the spirit of its original idea — supporting real connection.

So, with the Salons and the connecting network, Kelly as Salonnière has created safe spaces for members to explore their key purpose — what they have been yearning to accomplish. The face-to-face meetings are primary, opening with each participant bringing the group up to date on their process and progress since the last meeting. Each meeting will also have a topic proposed by Kelly to focus discussion. A creative rhythm emerges as each member offers her perspective, and the topic is explored more and more deeply.

The meetings also often serve as “accountability” groups, where personal goals can be assessed, and support for individual progress is happily offered.

 for information on Salons and related events