Kirsten Ferrara, 2016 Leading Lady

Photography by Vanessa Rogers

Shot on location at Burn by Rocky Patel, Mercato, Naples

Kirsten Ferrara

Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Kirsten Ferrara’s education, from preschool through college, was administered by the religious order School Sisters of Notre Dame. The New York native credits those formative experiences with instilling a consciousness of charitable giving that guides her life. Ferrara says she thrives on chaos, which partly explains why she was drawn early in her professional life to the hectic world of trading, serving as a junior trader of NASDAQ commodities, and later as a senior trader for over-the-counter market-listed stocks and bonds. Now officially retired in Naples, where she has lived since 2007, Ferrara is still a fireball, throwing her energy and talent into fundraising for myriad nonprofit groups, from Habitat for Humanity to Florida Cancer Specialists and the ELS for Autism Foundation. An animal lover who is often seen around town with her toy poodles Spaetzle and Goulash, Ferrara also supports the Humane Society Naples and the ASPCA. Ferrara lately has been busy as the event chair for the Old Bags Luncheon, a major fundraiser for The Shelter for Abused Women & Children. Aside from her charity engagements, the fashion-loving Ferrara owns Heart & Soul Boutique, which sells an eclectic array of home goods, clothes, shoes, and jewelry to bring “a little affordable luxury to Naples.”

Kirsten Ferrara - Naples Entrepreneur and Philanthropist - Naples Leading Ladies

“There’s an old adage that says when you want something done right, give it to the busiest person in the room.”

Favorite local places: Naples Zoo and restaurants Sea Salt and Le Lafayette.

Can’t leave home without: My cordless cell-phone battery charger, tinted blue sunglasses, and the emergency money that I pretend to forget about until I need it.

Personal style: During the day it’s easy, jeans and jackets; then dressy girlie dresses at night—matching shoes and purses are a must!

Words to live by: Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)

Title of my autobiography: Bring it On … A Life Of Fun And Fulfillment

Guilty pleasure: Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes at Mercato. The chocolate-covered pretzel is my favorite.

Stress reliever: Getting things done. It makes me feel good to check things off my to-do list.

What to bring to a desert island: A satellite phone, an ice-cold Coke, and for sure a mode of transportation back to Naples.

Go-to item: My big pom-pom car key chain. I have not lost my keys in 10 years.

Bucket-list toppers: To find a way to empty the shelters of animals without homes. Animals have so much love to give and so many humans are in search of love, it seems like a simple fit to me. And to travel to the Galapagos Islands.


Styling and wardrobe by Rachel Galante and Colette Wetzel, Saks Fifth Avenue

Hair and makeup by Philip Douglas

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