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San Gabriel Valley's "Power Babes"

The regulars at the Jay-Dee’s on Main Street looked up from their bar stools at the “Power Babes:” An accountant, courier, clown, hair dresser and podiatrist and more walked to the back room to network.

Michele Colon (left) & Julian Chung (right)For the past two years, in locations as diverse as these "babes" themselves — including an auto repair shop, youth center, lingerie store, and the most recent meeting in a bar — nearly 100 women have joined forces to form the San Gabriel Valley Power Babes. The lead babe is the ever exuberant Julian Chung, an insurance agent and Alhambra resident since 1997 who happens to be my sister-in-law.

The group started when Chung created a regular luncheon with five business women — Ruccsana Ahmed, Michele Colon, Nickie Chan, Isabel Wu and Drue Lawlor — and one man, John Bingham. One day, he told them the name of their group: Power Babes. The name stuck, and Bingham earned himself honorary Power Babe status.  
By the time I joined in March to promote my creative writing business and cardio ballet classes, the group had already grown to 95.  
Podiatrist Michele Colon, with samples from her shoe line "34 minutes."At the most recent Power Babes meeting at Jay-Dee Cafe, about 30 women came out for the luncheon. Chung stood in the middle of the dimly lit room and said, “We are here for two hours to relax and make friends.” But, as we ate homemade soup and sandwiches, she made clear this was also about developing our businesses, the importance of networking, and being the first line of referrals for each other.  
Then we began our one-minute introductions, to be followed by brief presentations from a credit repair expert,  a journalist on pitching your story, and motivational speaker.  
Michele Summers Colon, a podiatrist from El Monte, stood up in her medical scrubs. She pulled out three-inch heels from a shoebox. “The shoe line is called 34 minutes,” Michele said. “I want to show women that you can wear heels for more than 34 minutes and still be comfortable.” Much hooting followed.  

Vanessa HidalgoAs the luncheon introductions continued some new faces were hard to miss: Vanessa Hidalgo from the Compassionate Clown Company came dressed in costume and Jennifer Gaulden from Kiss My Buttons had on her favorite “bling.”

Hidalgo, dressed in her clown outfit complete with purple wig and pink headband, pulled out a balloon she had twisted into the shape of Cinderella. A few seats down Gaulden proudly displayed her “Bling it On” rhinestone-encrusted t-shirt. She is a dance mom who built her home-based business in Temple City. Both Colon and Gaulden got connected to Power Babes through Alhambra’s Joanna Vargas.

Dance mom Jennifer GauldenApparently, bling was popular among the Power Babes. Brenda Kyle, marketing assistant at Douglas Auto Body, held up one of Colon’s shoes when it was her turn to introduce herself. “I love these,” she said.  “And my favorite color is bling. So if we can put Jennifer’s bling on Michele’s shoes then I will definitely be buying them.”

The next Power Babes meeting will be May 17 at the LifeWave (acupuncture patches) office at 407-3 West Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91803. If you’re a Power Babe, write to Julian Chung: [email protected]. She said the qualifications are simple: "If we like you, you're invited."

Independent journalism is a bedrock of democracy--and it's in crisis. Here at the Alhambra Source, we're committed to covering the local stories that matter most to you. We don’t have advertisers and we don’t have pay walls, but we do have bills. You read to the end of this story. That's great. But this kind of journalism will end without public support. Join us! Support the work and the democratic values it serves. Donate now!

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2 thoughts on “San Gabriel Valley's "Power Babes"”

  1. Maria Eugenia Saez

    if Jay-Dee was a bar, I’d occassionally join the Power Babes, with my daughter alongside. Have fun!

  2. Sounds like a great idea and almost has a “Toastmasters for women” feel to it from what I am reading here.