Dr. Denyse Hicks-Ray
Founder & COO of Lady Easewear
After more than two decades as a clinical first responder, and private practice practitioner, dedicating her career to helping victims of natural disasters, school shootings, and terroristic attacks remove their emotional mask, Denyse Ray, PhD, BCETS, FAAETS, retooled her skills to found Lady Easewear as it’s Founder and CCO.
As an entrepreneur, who built Lady Easewear from the in-law suite of her home, she empathetically set her priorities and designed a washable, re-usable fashion face mask for women, men, and children using Eco-friendly fabrics.
Her clients range from the individual traveler, to companies who customize their mask with their logo, to the fashion conscience user that won’t settle for anything less than her rhinestone “Bling”line.
She has applied many of the same practices and principles to her approach of preparing her clients for not if, but when a disaster strikes to be prepared. As a first responder she understands that during a disaster emergency responders address the most critical needs, and may not even be able to get to an area until it is deemed safe. While they work on behalf of the entire community, the family also has a responsibility to ensure their well- being during time of crisis.
Lady Ease under the leadership of Dr. Ray, has stepped up by re-establishing the legacy of textiles and apparel manufacturing in Hawaii. Dr. Ray has been attending meetings with deans of local and national technical schools including the University of Hawai’i campuses to discuss incorporating sewing, pattern making, embroidering and packaging into the curriculum to support the re-emergence of textiles and the “Made in the Hawaii/ USA ” efforts.
Dr. Ray, recently launched a collection of Shapewear designed specifically for women of color. Inspired by her own need and the need of every woman of color that she knew, she took a leap of faith and created MiNudes. It has been an uphill battle, but every great movement started somewhere.
In her consulting work she regularly provides workshops and seminars. Dr. ray has provided many social services agencies with in depth direction and understanding as they aquire skills to better serve their communities. Her curriculum continues to be utilized in schools of social work and her “Surviving Work Place Trauma” training serves as a preventive resource in many work places throughout the United States.
She is the author of “the Pain Didn’t Start Here; Trauma and Violence in the African American Community”. Her current work, Mirroring Images: The Traumatic Journey of Native Hawaiians is scheduled for release fall of 2015.
She remains active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations, including Kamehameha Lions Club, Volunteer Docent at Iolani Palace, American Association of University Woman, Member of Organization Of Woman Leaders of Honolulu, and Board of Directors Honolulu Executive Association, as well as a Director on the board of P.A.R.E.N.T. inc., a non profit with a focus on Child Abuse Prevention. Outside of business interest, she is writing her second book; Mirroring Images: The Traumatic Journey of Native Hawaiians. She loves all outdoor activities and enjoys sharing them with her family and friends.
Interview with Dr. Denyse Hicks-Ray
Dhylles Davis: Who is Denyse Hicks-Ray?
Denyse Hicks-Ray: Denyse Hicks-Ray is a miracle. The creator has designed me so uniquely that no other person will have my same fingerprints or my DNA.
Dhylles: When did you realize you were born an accomplishment?
Denyse: Around 5 years of age when my step-mother would enter my life after my birth mother would abandon me at 3 years old.
Dhylles: Describe your life journey in a sentence?
Denyse: Fill with ebbs and flows, twist and turn to produce a survivor as an example.
Dhylles: What personal changes have you made within the past two years and why?
Denyse: I have focused on my gifts and how to better share them with the world. I became aware that I was allowing one person to selfishly consume all of me and that selfish act was blocking my receiving all that the world had to offer me as well.
Dhylles: What does being vulnerable mean to you and is it a strength or weakness?
Denyse: Vulnerable has been both a strength and weakness. When I have allowed it to be a strength, I have allowed the assistance of the universe into my space and have accomplished anything I envisioned.
When it has been a weakness, I have shut down and the barriers became walls that were not penetrable. Subsequently, I accomplished nothing.
Dhylles: When was the last time you were taken out of your character?
Denyse: Last October in an argument with my spouse. It was that argument that made me stop and think that I needed to make changes and put me on a path to remove words like (trying, going to, thinking about, wanting to,) from my thoughts and vocabulary. It’s still a work in progress.
Dhylles: Thanks so much for sharing Denise!
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