Woman Wednesday: Normadelle


Q and A with Normadelle, Jamaica

Know your worth, your skills, and your value.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: What am I passionate about is visual arts, art education/art therapy, children, nurturing, counseling, nature, ocean, and the outdoors. I grew up in Jamaica, and I always liked creating with my hands, acting, theatre design, hand painting on clothes, piano playing, music, collecting, making things, painting, collage, jewelry making, and paper mache. My parents allowed me to choose my profession, allowed me to be creative and to be me. I’m a retired art educator and art therapist. I worked at a psych hospital doing art therapy groups groups. I have a natural skincare business, creating body butters, soaps, scrubs etc. I also teach part time at an art studio.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I went to high school, art school, and received a master’s degree. I had an early exposure to the arts: ballet lessons, piano lessons, and acting classes. I also write poetry. Early exposure allowed me to have an appreciation for all things artistic—possibilities and opportunities, problem solving, etc. I’ve been asked and paid to do many artistic activities, set design, banners, workshops, curate exhibitions, and hang art privately and in a gallery where I was a director, wrote publications attached to exhibitions, made pinatas and face painting for parties. Any and everything art-based, I’ve experienced. That’s my passion!


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Follow your dreams. When I was about nine years old, I sat on a rock and painted and declared that I would become an artist! Don’t be scared; just do it! Know your worth, your skills, and your value. When asked to do a job you’ve never done before but it’s within your discipline, pull on all that you know and utilize it! You can vere off from your intended career path once you’re passionate enough. Know and study yourself to know your capabilities.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, means empowering yourself with an education, financial know how, self-esteem, confidence, and independence to succeed!

MORE FROM NORMADELLE: My organic skincare business evolved through my creative and artistic streak! So did my jewelry making. I love what I do; it’s my passion! I also love to write about personal experiences in the form of poetry. I’m originally from Jamaica, West Indies, and have lived in Atlanta, GA, for the past 27 years.


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Woman Wednesday: Cassandra


Q and A with Cassandra, from Boston, MA, living in Tampa, FL

“Don’t be afraid to sacrifice who you are right now to become who you are meant to be.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I love to help people win! Learning about other’s backgrounds, what experiences happened along the way that made them who they are, and helping them get to the level they want to be is what brings me joy.

Working since the age of 14, I’ve explored careers in a variety of industries from fast food to fast fashion, and I’ve been exposed to quite a bit of unique situations. It’s the people that keep me going, especially the underdog. After years of working in HR and witnessing multiple workplace discrepancies, I decided to start my own company to help those discriminated against have a fair hiring process.

In December 2020, I started my company RAAISE Staffing Solutions, an IT recruitment firm that works with companies making Diversity & Inclusion a priority on a direct hire basis. We support the career advancement of all professionals of color, emphasizing on the Black community.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I’m an only child that was raised by my mom, grandma, and auntie. They definitely kept me active and made me the woman that I am today. I did ballet, tap, lacrosse, and martial arts! My mom, grandma, and auntie were huge advocates for education and traditional work structures.

I graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University, Providence Campus, and worked in my major of fashion for a few years. Creating fashion weeks, appearing on radio stations, TV shows, and even walking the runway; I did it all and loved it!

Once I started working in HR, it made me a better person, so I knew it was what I was meant to do. It was a lot for them to take in that I decided to leave the 9-5 life for that of an entrepreneur, but they are getting used to it and are very supportive!


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Eventually, we all have to burn the boat and storm the island. Transitioning from the workforce to self-employed has been a remarkable journey full of ups and downs. I’ve learned that in order to reach the next level of my career, I have to makes changes and let go. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice who you are right now to become who you are meant to be.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunities for us all!

MORE FROM CASSANDRA:

I use motivational quotes for keeping me strong, a good laugh on the rough days, and to remind me to never to give up on me. These are a few of my favorites:

“Deny yourself nothing in life.” – Wendy Williams

“Save your heart for love, use your brain for business.” – The Office

“You got champagne taste and beer money.” – 30 For 30, Broke

“Never allow a person to say no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leader.” – Robert Townsend


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Woman Wednesday: Natalie


Q and A with Natalie, Melbourne, Australia

“When things become stressful, it’s your values that will drive you.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’ve been fortunate to take my interests and passions into the work that I do through creating different businesses in which I get to share those passions with the world. My first business was a travel company, which I had for 15 years. My current businesses are all about sharing my love of wellness, bubbles (champagne and sparkling wine), and business through speaking, writing, and mentoring.

In my wellness business, I brought together my passion and understanding of how important wellness is for a happy life as well as my experience as a former fitness instructor to create Wellness on Time—an online wellness program to help people easily integrate wellness activities into their day. This was before the explosion of online wellness activities that has occurred since the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a niche that I knew would help and benefit people.

My bubbly business—The Bubbles Review. This one really is a passion project—it is a blog, website, and events and tours on champagne and sparkling wine. The idea came from a few different areas, including my love of champagne and sparkling wine.

One of my favorite things to do is to help others succeed through my mentoring, writing, and speaking work. A big shift for me in the past few months has been taking my consulting and mentoring business—Natalie Pickett Mentor—to global markets. By bringing more of what I do online, I get to share my insights to help even more people. It has opened up so many opportunities for me to work with business owners all around the world. Amazing things are happening, including being a coauthor in the international best-selling book ‘Becoming an Unstoppable Woman’ and being featured in great blogs like this one!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I’ve always loved business. Even as a young girl, I used to convince my friends at elementary school to play ‘business’ with me. I’d be the head of some corporation or I’d convince my siblings to play ‘shops’ with me and I would work out each item’s profit margin. People think that a business mind is different to a creative mind, but when you can create something where there was nothing, that’s creative. Turning an idea into something bigger, such as a business that benefits everyone who buys from you, is undeniably creative.

I am a child of divorced parents, and my ability to not take things personally, while also realizing that some things are outside of my control, was honed during those early years. My mother was a bit of a ‘hippie’ and my dad was quite conservative, so it was about navigating both worlds. I think that has helped me to be open to listen to new ideas and be able to adapt to changing situations quickly in order to find the best solutions to move forward.

I’m from Melbourne, Australia, but have spent time living in other parts of the world. In my 20s, I worked and travelled the east coast of Australia, then the USA, the UK, and Europe. I returned to Melbourne after seven years, and at age 28, I established an inbound travel company, bringing visitors from all over the world to visit Australia. Almost 30 years on, I have a few different businesses. I still live in Melbourne with my daughter, who is now 19 years old. I think travel is one of life’s best educators; you learn a lot about yourself as well as have a better understanding of others. Experiencing other cultures, language, foods and customs opens up the world to you. Travel (when not in restrictions) remains a big part of my life.

I am a serial entrepreneur, and I have founded multiple businesses with 6- and 7-figure success stories. I’ve certainly had my share of triumphs and so-called ‘failures.’ After closing my travel company during the GFC, I founded a successful consulting business. You learn a lot in starting and growing a business, and you learn so much more when you need to close one. There is a procedural aspect to this understanding, as well as personal growth through that adversity. It gives you the perspective to assess what you really want in life. It is actually an opportunity to restart everything in a new way and make the life you truly want. Utilizing my networks created from my travel company, almost overnight my consulting business became a 6-figure success, and I achieved this by only working part-time hours. This business includes successful speaking and mentoring work where I share my knowledge and real-life experiences to help people take their business and daily lives from surviving to thriving.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Our businesses should work for us, not the other way around. The keys to success with each of my businesses is that they all come from my passion, my core values, and my desire to contribute and share my knowledge with others. When things become stressful, it’s your values that will drive you.

Life (and business) is supposed to be fun! My movement is ‘Living the Dream.’ People think they need to wait until they ‘achieve’ to start enjoying life. I’ve discovered that Living the Dream is less about working hard and more about following your joy. When you operate from a place of joy, that is what you share with others and lots of joyous people makes for a better world.

It is possible to define your own version of success and easily take the steps you need to achieve your goals. It is possible for you to not just Dream the Dream, but Live the Dream. I’m passionate about sharing this with the world, and share that in my writing, my courses, and speaking engagements.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I think everyone should be a feminist! When women do well, so does everyone else. Families thrive, relationships are mutually supportive. We are very fortunate in this current day to have had strong women come before us; the Suffragettes fought in a decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the early part of the 20th century. And the strong women of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s did as well. We get to enjoy the freedoms of those advances that were won for women worldwide. Some may still feel like they are battling inequality, while some may feel they have everything they need and no longer need to fight for it. I don’t see feminism as a battle of the sexes. To me, it is simply about everyone thriving and being supported to do so. It really is something we can all support.

MORE FROM NATALIE:

I’ve recently been featured in some major US media publications, and I share a lot of free advice through my articles and on my social media. I have a free course, which includes me sharing business stories as well as paid opportunities to work with me. You can find the links you need to follow me on the Linktree here: https://linktr.ee/natalie_pickett_mentor

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Woman Wednesday: Ivana



Q and A with Ivana, Croatia, Europe

“Your vision of your business is going to guide you to where you want to go, but your energy of excitement and joy is going to make it a success.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My name is Ivana Bosnjak and I have been a digital Entrepreneur since 2007. I am going to share a little story with you and what are the two most important elements you need to have to build a successful online business. I love business. I love marketing and sales and have been doing it for so many years. Having said this, while I am great at business, I am a big fan of Law of Attraction, energy, work, and how we attract things. I currently help people with knowledge and expertise build a business they love by attracting their ideal clients to them. My programs can take someone who is unknown to popular, seeked-out experts in as little as 4 weeks.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Having said this, I come from very humble beginnings. I migrated to the United States back in 1997 with just $100 dollars in my pocket. Without parents, without any support at 18. Prior to that, at the age of 12, I’ve lived through a very bad war at home, and the US offered a fresh start. Within 3 years, I was already making a name for myself selling Real Estate.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Over the years, I’ve built multiple businesses while a lot of people focus on numbers and growth. For me, it has always been aligning with my goals, making sure I am making a difference in the world and that is what pushed me to make those successful.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: For me, feminism = women power. I didn’t know how much we are undervalued as females until I was a part of a very male-dominated industry. I really had my work cut out for me to make myself stand out. Some people tend to tell me, Ivana, you are a powerful woman. I’ve raised two kids on my own since they were three and five while building multiple businesses online. While it was not always easy, I am proud of them and the businesses I’ve created over the years.

MORE FROM IVANA: The journey of an entrepreneur is not easy. I’ve experienced ups and downs in my business. I’ve had product launches that did not go as planned, but I never gave up. It took me a while to master my skills. And now I can share with others exactly what works. My experience has shown me the two elements you need to have to build a successful business. Your vision of your business is going to guide you to where you want to go, but your energy of excitement and joy is going to make it a success.


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Woman Wednesday: Jaycel


Q and A with Jaycel from Papua New Guinea, living in England, UK

“I remember one of my uncles discouraged me to take up law as he believed it was a male’s profession. I did not let that crush my spirit and dream of becoming a lawyer. I proved him wrong.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I love helping people in whatever ways I possibly can and reading and watching inspirational or motivational quotes or videos, gardening, cooking and baking. Family time is important to me. I love spending time with my husband and my three-year-old son, my family, my extended families. I like discovering new adventures and traveling! I am an outdoorsy person, so I just love nature because it makes me feel refreshed and helps me think clearly. I have a career in law, but I was always passionate about venturing into the entrepreneurial world. I guess my profession aligns with my interest of helping people. I wanted something that I could do from the comfort of my own home, which is what I’m currently working on. I mentor and teach people to work online.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was the second born of six children. Since my elder brother was adopted, I was seen as the older one and looked out for my other four siblings. Our parents were average hard-working people who sacrificed a lot. They did not have so much money, but they had enough to make sure there was food on the table, enough to buy our necessities, and enough to put us all to school. What they really wanted was for us to get a better education and excel in life. Seeing how much my parents had sacrificed really pushed me to study hard and do well in my primary school days to high school and eventually to university. I was fortunate to be selected to university amongst the top students around the country and completed my bachelor of law degree (LLB). Coming from a society where women were seen as inferior due to cultural and ethnic beliefs, I really wanted be the voice of the voiceless and prove that women can take up any role in the society. I remember one of my uncles discouraged me to take up law as he believed it was a male’s profession. I did not let that crush my spirit and dream of becoming a lawyer. I proved him wrong. My parents, especially my mum, had the greatest impact on my life. She pushed forward in life no matter what obstacle she encountered. She always believed in me even when sometimes I did not believe in myself.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: The most valuable thing I’ve learned is to never trust anyone but yourself. I’ve watched people go from being someone I loved, trusted, and looked up to…to being people I never speak to or even want to talk to ever again. I’ve experienced so much deceit, lies, manipulation, and disgusting behavior from people I thought I knew and cared about; it broke my heart. I had experienced the worst relationship in the past to being conned and deceived by my own friends whom I trusted. That’s why I’ve learned not to ever trust anyone but myself. I’ve faced so many challenges in life. I’ve learned that life can be messy and painful sometimes, but always learn to be focus on what you can learn from these moments and become stronger and smarter. That’s the only way to keep forward. Do not let other people’s negativity or opinions discourage you from what you truly want in life. You can conquer anything! You just have to have that self-confidence to deal with whatever life throws at you. You are responsible for yourself and no one else is. Always be yourself. If you want to be happy, you go to work for it.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means standing up for yourself and for the voiceless. It’s about empowering other women about anything really. It’s about women being accepted and recognized in leadership roles and given the same or equal treatment and respect.

MORE FROM JAYCEL: I’ve paused my career for a while to concentrate on my online business. I mentor and teach people especially moms to set up their own online business.


To connect with me, click here.

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