I’m With Her
By Folasade Ologundudu
If you're in need of a little inspiration, look no further than these four formidable Miami women, each as fierce as they are fashionable. While keeping a balance between family, foundations and finding a little time for self-care is a constant negotiation, this group shares some tried and true strategies for indulgence, restoration and respite.
Five minutes with Faith Haslem will make you feel like you’ve known her forever. Just like the rest of us in quarantine, the wife of Miami Heat Forward Udonis Haslem has been spending more time at home. “A lot of my time is spent being a mom, which I love,” says the mother of two boys. Helping those in need is also a cornerstone of the Haslem family’s values. “I work with my husband and his foundation UD’s Kids,” she says. “Whether it’s helping feed those in need during the pandemic or delivering pizzas to frontline workers, we are constantly finding ways to positively impact and help those in our community.” On the rare occasions that she steps out for socializing and shopping, Haslem loves to make a trip to Bal Harbour Shops.
What makes Miami special to you?
Miami is a unique place, and one that I’ve grown to love. Growing up in the Northeast, the whole vibe of Miami and South Florida was something I had to get used to. My husband was born and raised here, and I’ve been able to explore so many different parts of the city through his eyes. Sometimes there is nothing better than going on a boat ride and being out on the water.
Being married to an athlete, how does fitness play a role in your life?
I work out a lot! Being a former athlete—I ran track at the University of Florida—it’s really important for me to stay in shape and have that outlet.
When you have down time, how do you like to spend it?
I enjoy shopping, reading and traveling. When Udonis and I have down time, we love to get away. We recently traveled to Hawaii to spend some quality time together before the season kicked off. It’s truly rewarding to experience new places with someone you love. We are very fortunate to be able to do that.
What are your favorite shops at Bal Harbour?
There are so many great stores, but if I had to pick my favorites, I’d say Bottega Veneta, The Webster, Chanel, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Zimmermann.
Which new accessory is on your wish-list?
I’m in love with Bottega Veneta’s Cassette bag. I would love to get one for spring.
What’s your favorite spot at Bal Harbour for lunch with your girlfriends?
It’s always great to go to Makoto to enjoy some sushi and La Fete rosé with my girls Alexis Stoudemire, Kijafa Vick, Jeniva Samuels and Ashley Wheeler.
You may recognize six-time Emmy winner Pamela Silva as the co-anchor of Univision’s Primer Impacto news show. Born in Peru and raised in Miami, Silva has rooted herself in the community in numerous ways—including establishing a scholarship fund at Florida International University, her alma mater.
What was it like to receive your first Emmy and what inspires you most about your work?
When your colleagues recognize your work, especially when there’s so much sacrifice, it’s really gratifying. I think the most important part of our work as journalists is telling the stories of people who are looking for justice. We’re able to serve our community and to give voices to the voiceless.
You gave birth during the pandemic and have a new baby. Congratulations! What are some of the ways motherhood has changed you?
Motherhood has changed me in a lot of ways. As you can imagine, being a first-time mom is already very overwhelming, then, on top of that, add a pandemic. It has definitely been a transformational year that involved a lot of adapting. My son, Ford, is my new purpose in life and he has put a lot of things in perspective for me. He has made this past year the best of my life.
What do you think makes Miami especially unique?
I’ve always believed that the way Miami has grown is due to its diversity and its immigrant communities. For me, the fact that it’s so colorful is what makes Miami beautiful and why it continues to shine among other cities.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your scholarship?
When I started the scholarship I knew that I wanted to do something to give back and thank everyone who had helped me along the way. One of the things I struggled with the most when I was a college student was having to work at the same time, so I hope we’re able to alleviate that stress for other students with this fund. The scholarship started out with journalism students and then we expanded it to include business students as well. It has become like a family; we keep a very close network with former students. One of our recipients is now starting his own fund at FIU, so we’re already seeing the next generation of givers.
Which are some of your go-to brands for accessories?
I am a huge shoe and purse collector. I love Fendi, Alexandre Birman and Saint Laurent. And now that I have a baby, I’m looking forward to all of the baby shops.
You’ll notice Alexa Isbell Wolman’s bright smile and piercing blue eyes right away. As a trustee of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Wolman advises on funding, management and engagement through programming. “Our mission is to mirror the diversity of Miami by highlighting artists from the US Latino experience, the African diaspora, Latin America and the Caribbean,” she says. After hours, Wolman is also first and foremost a family woman, and has found a silver lining in lockdown in all of the extra time she’s been able to spend with her husband and daughter.
Tell us about your philanthropic work.
I am a Trustee of the Pérez Art Museum, which is truly unique in its mission to mirror the diversity of Miami in its collection and exhibitions. By showcasing the diversity of 20th and 21st century artists, PAMM’s programs seek to educate and ensure that all people can participate in a conversation that shares art as its center. I am also involved with the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which I believe is crucial to preserve in order for us to understand the future through the past. Vizcaya was actually ground-breaking in its initiatives involving environmental preservation and local farming.
What are your favorite shops at Bal Harbour?
This has been such a challenging year for philanthropies, so I am very impressed that retailers like Valentino have gone out of their way to support the local community. I also love Miu Miu and Gucci, who really strike a chord with me fashion-wise and have also historically been supportive of Miami’s philanthropic institutions. And, selfishly, I love Books & Books because I love reading and fear a future with no bookstores to roam around in!
What do you enjoy most about your professional life?
My husband and I have a venture capital fund that invests in healthcare. What I love most about this is the opportunity to help people, especially in this unprecedented time. We’ve been working with companies on a daily basis to provide Covid testing options to ensure that their employees can return to work in the safest way possible. And, we’ve been able to extend this knowledge to the local community by helping our charities weather the crisis through facilitating Covid testing for their various fundraising initiatives.
What is your favorite BHS restaurant and your menu go-to?
I love everything about Makoto—the beautiful ambiance and especially the outdoor seating. On a perfect day, I’d start with the cauliflower and Shishito peppers, followed by the Negi Toro Maki and an array of sushi. And, I love Makoto’s selection of Daiginjo sakes.
Wellness may be a buzz word to many, but for Valeria Hinojosa it’s a way of life. The Bolivian-born and raised private banker turned wellness advocate and social entrepreneur recalls the difficulty of working in the financial industry. “I used to work in an industry not aligned with my values or passions,” says Hinojosa. “It was this disconnection with my soul that pushed me to leave banking behind and recreate myself.”
Tell us a bit about growing up in Bolivia?
I was born in La Paz and raised in Santa Cruz, but my family and I spent the majority of our vacations in Tarija, where we have vineyards. It was right there, waking up to the chirping of birds and going for long walks surrounded by mountains, rivers, trees and wildlife, that my admiration and passion for nature began.
When did you decide to switch your career path and pursue your passion? What was the aha moment for you?
I used to be a private banker doing the 9-5 in an industry I didn’t fundamentally align with. It was this disconnection with my soul that pushed me to leave banking behind and recreate myself. That is how Water Thru Skin—a platform guiding readers to live more sustainably, mindfully, kindly, passionately and genuinely—was born.
What brings you the most fulfillment in your life today?
I find absolute joy in knowing that I’m using my social media channels and the companies I’ve built to inspire people to become wiser and more connected humans, which translates into a global positive ripple effect. Being able to use my life as an example and open minds and hearts to the magic of living in synchrony with nature through my writing, public speaking, eco-activism and conscious entrepreneurship is an otherworldly sensation.
What is the most important message you want to share with the world?
We forget that we have tremendous power and a great responsibility as humans and consumers. Every action we take on a daily basis gets to reshape our world—whether that impact is positive or negative is up to us! Change starts at home.
People talk a lot about living in your purpose. What does that mean to you?
To me, living in our purpose relates to feeling comfortable in our skin and in our mind. It means creating a life balanced by spiritual and emotional stability—a direct and strong connection with our essence. It means saying “no” to the things and people that don’t add positive energy to our beating hearts so we can pave a way for our true essence to finally shine bright and free. It also means saying “yes” to loving ourselves, having conversations with our own souls and creating the life we have always dreamed of.
What are some of your favorite shops at Bal Harbour?
Books & Books. I also enjoy walking around Bal Harbour and discovering which brands are reshaping their practices to have nature, ethics and our people in mind.
Which restaurant do you like the most?
I’ve been vegan for more than six years. I love Bianco’s vegan gelato options.