SLIDESHOW & VIDEO: PARLR’s First-Ever ‘Ignite Your Light’ Inspires Crowd

FRAMINGHAM – PARLR held its first-ever “Ignite your Light” event with supermodel Camille Kostek and its owner Rachel Rubin yesterday in the Saxonville section of Framingham. 

Camille Kostek covered the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Along with modeling, she speaks at inspiring events like this one where she shares her journey and what tips she has learned along the way. Kostek even shared with the audience that she hopes to take this to the next level and become a Ted Talk speaker. 

Rubin is the founder and CEO of PARLR and PARLR Brand Bakery.

PARLR caters to over 15,000 clients a year and is a multi-million dollar company. It is located in Framingham and offers lifestyle photography, a spa, and hair salon. PARLR Brand Bakery “is a brand design agency offering graphic design, photography and videography for small business to global corporations.” Rubin has her hands full with both companies, but said she does not plan on slowing down any time soon. 

Rubin and Kostek had only met a few months ago, but PARLR’s Director of Marketing Gabby Ross explained the two “really hit it off” and “have the same ideals and are very similar in the way they think.”

The two bonded over their tough past and their difficult journeys to success. Ignite your Light was created because both Rubin and Kostek wanted to share how they got through the tough times “and the tools and mindset that they use everyday […] to move forward” in hopes to inspire others to overcome any obstacles in their life.  

The day started with breakfast and networking before MC, Drea Cadigan, cheerleader for the New England Patriots, gathered everyone to their seats.

The first speaker was Amy Lacey, CEO and Founder of Cali’Flour Foods. She explained how her life changed in an instant when she was diagnosed with cancer. Lacey set her mind to conquer the disease and that began by eating healthy with a very strict diet. She began feeling and looking great. She was so passionate about eating healthy that she became a health and life coach. Out of this experience, Cali’Flour Foods was created. Now, the company is thriving with over fifty products on the market. Lacey did not let her disease get in the way of her life and she promised everyone that if she can do it so can they. 

Next to speak was Rubin. She shared her long and strenuous road to success which included filing for bankruptcy, dropping out of college, moving back home from New York to help her mother cope with her father being falsely accused and put in jail, and much more.

However, she came to the realization that if all of these unfortunate things had not happened to her, then she would have never moved back home to Framingham and started the multi-million dollar business that she owns today.

Rubin encouraged everyone to keep going after what they love because as long as you put your mind to it, nothing can get in your way of achieving your goal. She explained, “this is simple: hard work gets you what you want. Determination gets you what you want. If you want to be the best at something you can be the best at something […] if you tell yourself you can’t you won’t. So what do you want to tell yourself?” 

Kostek was last to take the stage and she discussed being comfortable in your own skin and how she got to where she is today. She admitted that being in the modeling industry makes it tough to love yourself and your body. At every agency she went to, there was always something they wanted her to change whether it be to lose some weight or gain some. However, she walked right out of those agencies and continued looking for one that would take her as she is.

Her dream since she was 15 years old was to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and in January of 2019 she wrote in her journal that her dream would soon come true.

As she describes it, she “spoke it into existence.”

Flash forward to May of 2019, Kostek is the first-ever cover model of Sports Illustrated to not be signed to a modeling agency.

She preached, “anything you want in this life you can have” as long as you believe you can have it. 

As the group broke for lunch, Kostek talked with some attendees and even brought out her boyfriend, former New England Patriots Player Rob Gronkowski. He only came out for a short time, as of course this was Kostek’s moment to shine. 

After lunch, Rubin and Kostek led an interactive workshop on journaling. They gave everyone journals and encouraged them to write down their goals as though they had already achieved them; Instead of “I will become this,” write “I am this.” Then, create the steps to becoming whatever it is you want to be. With this formula and the right mindset, they promise success. 

Finally, there was a question and answer session with Rubin and Kostek where things got emotional.

Attendees asked questions such as how to see the negatives as positives and how to find the right people to bring into your life. To answer these questions, Kostek connected it back personal experiences of hers and began to get emotional. However, both Rubin and Kostek beamed with gratitude as people endlessly thanked them for being role models and inspirations. 

One attendee, Mary DePetris, explained that she purchased a ticket to the event because she “is trying to find [her] passion. [She doesn’t] belong in corporate America” which is where she is right now. She hoped the event would spark something within her and she was not disappointed.

She explains, it seems that people like Rubin and Kostek appear to have “this perfect life, but you don’t realize what people suffer and what they go through […] so the fact that they make themselves vulnerable and put themselves out there is just incredible and it shows you that they’re just like us. If they did it then we can too.” 

Another woman, Erika Laurito, said, “I wish I would’ve brought my daughter because I think they should speak to young girls.” A similar statement was said during the Q&A when a woman said she wished there was an event like this when she was twenty years old. 

People were able to express their gratitude to Rubin and Kostek face to face at the end of the day when the two had a meet and greet and posed for pictures. 

It was a successful day for everyone involved. There seemed to be a sense of comfort in the room and it was hard to not take something away.

According to Ross, this is hopefully the first of many events like this one. If you did not have the privilege of being at this year’s Ignite your Light, speak into existence that you will be there next year and your dreams might just come true!

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Photos and report by SOURCE Intern Chad Douty, a UMass Amherst student, and a Framingham High graduate.

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