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rosalind         photo courtesy of Rosalind Sedecca
When life hands you a divorce, why not make it into a business? Untied found a group of empowered divorcees who have devoted their careers to helping others cope with splitting up. Here’s how they did it.

Rosalind Sedecca - Writes About It
Sedecca (left) spent many nights tossing and turning, trying to figure out how she would tell her 11-year-old son that his mom and dad were separating. Then one day, it hit her. She created a book with fun family photos and important “it’s not your fault” messages so her son would have something to hold on to and look at in the future. Fifteen years later, Sedecca published her idea.  It basically wrote itself, says Sedecca. The basic concept behind How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! is a storybook that parents prepare in advance to tell their child about divorce. Sections of the book are pre-written with blanks for parents to customize.

“[It] gives children something to hold on to, like an anchor,” Sedecca says. “They have something to read over and over again. It reminds them that this is all about love, the family will still exist, that they are still a family, and gives them a perspective. Helps children feel less anxiety and fear.”

 

Jill Testa - Buries It
For Jill Testa (right), the question of ‘what do I do with my wedding ring?’ turned into a business venture. The creator and founder of Wedding Ring Coffin, Testa understands the pain of calling it quits after 20 years of marriage and the need to find closure. Expecting a “happily ever after” like most people, Testa says her divorce took her through variations of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Acceptance still left her with a box of wedding mementos and a ring she didn’t know what to do with. Despite smashing it to pieces, she felt dissatisfied.
Then she attended a funeral. “Why not give wedding rings a proper burial?” she thought. So she set up her business to help other divorced women put their pasts behind them and move on with their future with artfully crafted wooden coffins that hold a “special” place for the wedding band.           
           
Made from real wood with tiny metal handles, the wedding-ring coffins even come with personalized plaques. Some have inspirational sayings such as “bury the past and move onto a new tomorrow” others are a bit more cynical with messages like “six feet isn’t deep enough.” It’s just the what a divorced woman needs to put her feelings of betrayal and bitterness to rest.

 

Jill testaphoto courtesy of Jill Testa
 
Charlotte Eulettephoto courtesy of Charlotte Eulette

Charlotte Eulette - Celebrates It
Battling a messy divorce, her father’s death, and losing her job and house, Charlotte Eulette(left) was in desperate need of a fresh start. So when one of her girlfriends told her about a booming celebrant business in Australia that helped celebrate milestones in people’s lives - like funerals, divorces, and marriages -- Eulette was intrigued.

A single meeting and an encounter with other celebrants in the UK convinced her to try it. Seven years later, Eulette is the Director of Celebrant Foundation and Institute of New Jersey.

The Celebrant Foundation
organizes divorce celebrations “to remind them and society that you aren’t diminished by the divorce,” Eulette says. The celebrations help the honorees cope by surrounded them with friends and family. It’s not about having a cute party or throwing darts at your ex, Eulette says. Her own celebration taught her that. She remembers tearing up as she stood by her mother’s side, proudly reclaiming her maiden name.

 

   

Natalie Nelson - Analyzes It
Tired of the corporate world, Natalie Nelson (right) took a break from her career when she stumbled across an intriguing business opportunity — being a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). One of her close friends was going through a divorce and didn’t know the answers to what she thought were some basic questions. “I came across the CDFA designation, and then I basically jumped in with both feet and that was 10 years ago, and I haven’t looked back since,” Nelson says.

A trained CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and mediator in divorce litigation cases, Nelson has more than 25 years of financial experience. Now, her practice is made of mostly female clients. One of the most rewarding parts of her job is helping women become financially aware so they can be on equal footing with their spouses. She helps divorced women recover from divorce by assisting in budget planning, advising in important property-ownership, and securing a future with retirement talk.

 

photo courtesy of Natalie Nelson
 
 
 
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