Hello, I am Carrie Griffin Portillo owner of Slice of Heaven Day Spa in San Jose, CA. Due to the many influential women who have made a positive difference in my life, I wanted to start a social gathering to bring other women who want to better and advance themselves together. Therefore, I decided to take what I know best and apply it in a philanthropy manner. Working with hundreds of women in my health care practice I hear of similar obstacles we face and I was inspired to create Women's Wellness Sunflower Retreat. A day dedicated to bringing women together by way of fun and inspiring creative workshops in an effort to foster a supportive environment to encourage growth. Quite frankly women need to be much more supportive of each other and we do not do it nearly enough. Who knows exactly the cause but by our nature, it is said that jealousy is the realm of womanhood. Back in the day, if a man's attention was diverted by another woman, then the first woman and her offspring were less provided for and that lowered the chances of the offspring surviving and the genes being passed on.

I was raised by parents who both persevered to be successful despite their beginnings being born at the start of the great depression. My parents came from meager beginnings but were raised with the theory of hard work, morals and high values.
I come from a lineage of very strong women in my family. My father's parents had 13 children. One day they were driving just the two of them and were hit by a school bus. They were pronounced dead and taken to the coroner's office on a Friday night to be dealt with on Monday morning. To everyone's surprise on Monday morning they found my grandmother alive as she barely clung onto life over the weekend next to her deceased husband.

My mother was raised with a strong work ethic working the farm fields when she was very young. She fought cancer twice in her life and had a great zest for life, sense of humor and led by example by always fighting for the underdog if it was right and just. My father became an industry leader in the beauty hair fashion industry in the 70' and 80's touring the world and was the Director of 13 Beauty Colleges.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age eight. My mother never placed focused on my disease but rather showed me how to never use it as a crutch or excuse. Therefore I learned how to make the most of it as if it weren't a disadvantage but just part of me.

I have always enjoyed connecting with people so I learned Spanish and sign language in order to interact with more individuals. My career has always involved interacting with others starting in Retail management and transitioned into Human Recourses in the high tech arena. I became PHR certified (professional in human recourses) in 2002 and became a member of The Society for Human Resource Management. Soon after, I became Office Manager for Second Harvest Food Bank for Santa Clara County.

I spent my free time volunteering for nonprofits and was the committee chairperson for the Charlie Wedemeyer Foundation for Lou Gherhigs disease. I was honored to receive the title of Advocate of the year for Project Hired a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities find employment and later joined their Board of Directors.

I spent most of my HR years in staffing to assist people finding employment until 2005 when I fell subject to a corporate layoff. I decided that I never wanted my destiny to be controlled by others again. I wanted to become an entrepreneur and this would be a good time for a career change and to apply my innate talent of nurturing and the love of skin care. I became a massage therapist and an esthetician simultaneously and Slice of Heaven Day Spa was born. In my spare time I provide entrepreneurship mentorship and write articles for various trade magazine.

“When women strengthen themselves their families will prosper, when women support other women the world will prosper”

Carrie Griffin Portillo

photo of Carrie

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