Resilience and Reinvention - Coping with Early Onset Alzheimer's

Meet my designer friend, my fearless female and passionate soul, Franne Golde.  Read how Franne and her husband Paul Fox are bringing hope and awareness to Alzheimer's. We still have a few days left in the month of November to make a difference by shopping Franne's website, and for those of you who already have ordered, we are so very grateful for your purchase(s) and thank you for your support. Use my discount code GG35 until tonight Monday November 27th @ midnight. Happy & Grateful Shopping.

Franne & Paul Fox

Franne & Paul Fox

My name is Franne Golde. I'm a mother, wife, songwriter, clothing designer, author, advocate, caregiver, and founder of frannegolde.com.

I came to Los Angeles from Chicago in 1978 to pursue my career as a singer/songwriter. Within a couple of months, I wrote a song that was recorded by Diana Ross. It would turn out to be my first worldwide hit.

Since then, my songs have appeared on records that have sold over 100-million copies. I've worked with such superstars as Pat Benatar, Heart, The Pussycat Dolls, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Selena, Christina Aguilera, Faith Hill, Jody Watley and The Commodores. My song “Even If My Heart Would Break” was included on The Bodyguard, the biggest selling soundtrack of all time. 

The music business as I knew it started to change in the late ‘90s when people began downloading music for free. My earning power went down the tubes and my husband Paul, a successful record producer, was also feeling the heat. We tried to go with the flow and hoped for the best! I wrote a #1 Billboard Hit and Grammy Nominated song in 2005 for the Pussycat Dolls, but that would be my last.

At that time, my son’s school asked for my help with an upcoming fundraiser. In that and subsequent years, I contributed memorabilia from Sheryl Crow, Ringo Starr, and others, along with various concert tickets.

By my son’s senior year, I’d run out of favors, so for the annual fundraiser, I invested a thousand dollars to create a mini boutique in the school gym. I’d always loved fashion and people frequently asked me where I’d gotten my clothes. Often they were pieces I’d modified with scissors, needle, thread, ripping and knotting. I loved interacting with and styling all the moms and neighborhood drop-ins. By day’s end I had sold out.

Then I started selling clothing to friends out of my house, often designing what I couldn't find. I wasn’t trying to create a business, but I was having a blast and learning the ins and outs of finding fabric, patternmaking, samples, tweaking, cutters, sewers, marking, grading, and production. It was a whole new world and turning into an expensive hobby!

By 2011, the music business was hitting new lows and even successful songwriters were going broke. No one knew what the future held. Paul was having a difficult time finding projects as well. He wasn’t prone to depression, but he seemed anxious, forgetful, and sometimes confused, although he always had an explanation for everything. I attributed it all to the radical change in the music business and the attendant financial stress.

By late 2012 I knew something was seriously wrong with Paul. I never expected to hear what would take months to find out. In his mid-fifties, Paul was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

We have been through so much over the past five years - shock, fear, sadness, and endless tears leavened with a healthy mix of denial and hopefulness. We’ve been in support groups, visited our state capital and walked the halls of Capitol Hill, lobbying for increased research funding and improved access to care and support. We’ve done walks to raise money and awareness, served on the Board of the Alzheimer’s Association and currently sit on the Board of Music Mends Minds, a fantastic organization that brings meaning and pleasure to anyone with cognitive issues through the awesome power of music.

Paul has been able to accept this new normal with a glass-half-full mindset and hope. His yoga and spiritual practice is his salvation. He sees the beauty in everything and everyone and is a constant reminder of what’s right in the world. He has far fewer filters than ever and doesn't judge or complain. He is grateful and lives in the moment.

I struggle with tremendous grief when I allow myself to think that my future, with my best friend and the man I love, might not be as I once imagined. But mostly I follow Paul’s lead.

I knew I could no longer make a living writing music and it was hard to imagine doing anything else. It had been my life for over 35 years. Yet I had to take care of my family.

My only option was to sell my songs, the one thing that was all mine and that I’d worked so hard to nurture and protect. It was one the hardest things I’ve ever done.

The sale brought some cash, but I needed to get back to work. I couldn't just go out and get a nine-to-five job. It wouldn't begin to cover our expenses or satisfy my passion. 

I needed to reinvent myself and in a moment of revelation, I realized that I’d

already started doing just that. I had lots of samples of clothing, more significant, I had been working on what I considered to be, the perfect black pant. I made close to 100 samples till I got exactly what I was looking for.

Working became my therapy and I poured myself into it.

I launched frannegolde.com in August 2016 and was thrilled when the orders started coming in. A couple of months later I got an email that O, the Oprah Magazine expressed interest in seeing my pants. I couldn’t believe it, it was just like 1978 all over again, when Diana Ross gave me my first hit with, “Getting Ready For Love.”

My black pants were featured in the January 2017 issue of O and dubbed the “Magic Pant” by Adam Glassman, Oprah’s fashion guru and Creative Director of O magazine. This was followed by a feature on the Oprah segment of View Your Deal, on ABC. More orders poured in and my team and I were off and running.

As my business continues to grow, I still fight my grief and sadness every day -- and some days grief wins. But I know first-hand that there are silver linings. I feel them and see them regularly.

I'm grateful every day that I still have my husband and he is still able to do so many things. We treasure our time together, and though there are frustrations, we give each other unconditional love and support. I have my wonderful son, my family, and friends and I'm grateful to continue to be creative and find joy, every day. That’s really all you can ask for.

In support of Alzheimer’s Awareness month and in honor of my husband and my parents I’m donating a portion of the proceeds of my business to Music Mends Minds. While we wait for a cure…

THE FRANNE GOLDE COLLECTION

Oops! You caught me in my "Magic Pants" Are you familiar with Franne Golde Designs?  Franne Golde is fairly new on the scene and so far she's been a hit! In fact, Adam Glassman; O Magazine's Creative Director, officially dubbed them as "the magic pant, because everyone needs go-to black pants." Here you'll see a few of my favorite pieces for style, comfort, and the right price. On-the-go, traveling or everyday life, Franne's got you covered for all season's and it's made with love right here in Los Angeles.

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You will find that everything Franne makes is well thought out. Her clothes are seasonless and timeless. They are pieces you can wear as a foundation for bolder, statement pieces or as classics on their own. Nothing is clingy, boxy or baggy—just figure flattering!  Use my code GG15 for your 15% discount. In support of Alzheimer's Awareness month, a portion of sales will be donated to Music Mends Minds. Franne's husband music producer Paul Fox was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's and in 2016 she launched her brand Franne Golde. Join me and let's support Franne and others in finding a cure together.

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Cozy up in style with this Camel Swing Coat.

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I will say this Jetsetter Wrap is a must! Not only is it lightweight and so soft, it's also reversible. 

Necklace by:  Encircle NYC  / Luggage by: Calpak / Boots:Alias Mae

Necklace by: Encircle NYC / Luggage by: Calpak / Boots:Alias Mae

Are you searching for the perfect travel wrap? Here it is!  Feel perfectly put together and cozied up in The Jetsetter. I'm wearing the Classic Crop magic pant in black / Katharine Buttondown.

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Holiday travel coming up? Pack your Magic Pants & your Jetsetter Wrap!

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I'm literally living in these Cropped Black Pants and my Katharine Buttondown. Everything about this pant works in your favor. Franne wants you to feel fabulous when you walk out the door, you'll find these simple designs will take you anywhere and you can easily mix them with your other personal favorites.

Wonderful Gift for you or someone you love. 

Wonderful Gift for you or someone you love. 

FRANNE GOLDE -"It all started with the pants. After years of looking for the perfect black pant, I grew exhausted. If only I could combine all my favorites into one. Coming from several decades of being an award-winning songwriter and always relying on my ability to create from nothing, I decided to make them myself" You can also follow Franne on Facebook for updates on new inventories, and share your story of your favorite piece!  You can read Franne and Paul's story on her website

BRIDGING THE GAP WITH THE BOHEMIAN CROWN - STEPHANIE ABRAHAM

Welcome to Bridging The Gap - Catherine Grace Oconnell is bringing 100 millennials and midlife influencers together to blur the boundaries, put an end to labels and divisions that no longer serve us on this creative journey. Age is simply a number, it's our attitude on how we look at life and helping others that matters. Meet my millennial Stephanie Abrahams of The Bohemian Crown

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I graduated from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio majoring in Fashion and Retail Studies. I grew up in a suburb of Columbus and had a lovely childhood with very supportive parents and grandparents. My great-grandfather and grandmother came to the United States from Lebanon in 1916 where they raised seven boys and one girl. Times weren’t always easy, but with hard work and dedication, they made ends meet in a small town in Athens Ohio. After my grandfather attended The Ohio State University, he went onto to Law School and eventually opened up what is now the family law firm in Columbus, Ohio. He played a major role in my life, and I always considered him a second father to me. We lost him unexpectedly to a heart-attack when I was just 13 years old. I still get upset from time to time but I know he is always with me, and we continue to carry on beautiful traditions with his brothers (my great uncles), cousins, and the rest of our big Lebanese family. We are loud, fun and accepting of everyone so I’m sure you can only imagine our Holiday’s. 

 

 Throughout college, I interned at Nordstrom and had the opportunity to move to NYC for a bit to intern for Rampage. Those experiences, along with education have paved the way to where I am at now. They were great learning experiences, and I am grateful for every one of them.

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After styling at Saks Fifth Avenue, and buying for a local boutique, I decided to it was time to leave the retail industry. I started my blog in November of 2015 to continue my passion for styling. At the time I was working at my father’s Law Practice prepping for the LSAT, and ready to change career paths all-together, but I still knew I wanted fashion apart of my life in some way. It wasn’t until about six months ago that I realized the Law was not for me and that I had found my true passion which to no surprise was blogging about fashion among other topics. In April of this year, I went to blogging full-time and never looked back.

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For me, fashion is a way of expressing myself, and I truly feel there aren’t rules. I find it refreshing when I see someone wearing something that may not be the hottest, trendiest thing on the scene. It allows people to tell a story and is a form of art. My Biggest goal is to inspire others to dress how they want to rather than tell them how they should dress. Style has no rules in my world.

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My style is a mix of luxury, and boho chic, although most days you will find me wearing comfy yoga pants and an oversized tee or sweater. It depends on the day and how I am feeling. I love dressing up and accessorizing over the top pieces, but some days I love throwing on a pair of denim, a tee and a pair of vintage booties I got from a consignment shop. That is the beauty of fashion; you don’t always have to be just one style.

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I recently just got engaged to my fiancé in September during NYFW! I have to say he did a wonderful job and we are over the moon excited for our wedding next year. We have 3 fur babies that keep us on our toes and bring so much joy to our house. Kenny and I have been together for about four years and have been through more than most couples have that have been married for 38 years. Kenny received his third open heart surgery in June of 2015, which went exceptionally well. There was a little bump in the road as we like to say where there was a complication not caused by the surgery itself. After going into cardiac arrest, the doctors weren’t sure if he would make it; therefore, we all had to say our goodbyes a few times throughout a period of a couple weeks, and that is something unexplainable. I never left his side, and with lots of prayers and family surrounding him, he recovered even stronger and healthier. That experience made me realize a whole lot about life and changed me. I thank God every day that Kenny is here with us and we both get to continue our life journey together. 

Kenny and I are very laid back and enjoy spending time with each other and our families as much as possible. We also enjoy exploring new restaurants and up and coming areas of our city. Friday nights though are dedicated to Dateline, ha! When I am not working, I enjoy a good book, relaxing with my pups or working out.

As far as things I can’t tolerate. Any type of bullying or putting people down. Gossiping and drama are the worst and gets you nowhere, so when I hear people starting to do this, I politely remove myself from that situation. It’s not the type of genuine, uplifting individuals that I always surround myself with. I like to have a good time and get to know all kinds of people who enjoy good, genuine friendships that support one another. My goal is to bring people together and be positive in anything that I do. We only live once, and I go throughout my life living it to the fullest with passion, love, and tons of humor!!

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 When I first began my blogging journey two years ago there were four millennials who taught me so much. I love their savvy tech knowledge and combining that with a little ageless wisdom we can become a powerful team. It's an ever-changing business in the influencer world and sharing our experiences with one another only opens more doors for us all. Here's to Bridging the Gap and yes...we are absolutely Stroger Together!  xo Janet

Congratulations Stephanie on your upcoming wedding! I know you will be a beautiful, and no doubt a stylish bride.   Thank you, Catherine, for including me!