Woman Wednesday: Claire

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.            


Q and A with Claire, from Olongapo City, Philippines, living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“You must be able to accept all the choices you made in life, forgive yourself for all of the mistakes you’ve made, move on, and just grow from it.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a very creative person, so I love to create and visualize things. As a photographer, I am very passionate about capturing the beauty in every person and showing the world their true beauty. I often tell my clients my job is to show the world your true beauty and the beauty you have never seen in yourself before. I do not take pictures; I capture memories and I save them for you. As a life coach, I am very passionate about helping women find their voice, strength, and beauty while overcoming past hurts. With faith in God, I help women and anyone in need fill their God-given purpose in life. I developed these passions solely based on my life experiences on earth; it is what drives me to be the best I can be, so I can help more people in the world. I am currently in the process of finishing my 6 weeks program (Release, Reflect, Release, and Restart), my women’s empowerment BBBM website/blog page, and my book, Broken But Beautifully Made, which is based on my story, the stories that birthed my women’s empowerment platform.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a 3rd world country, the Philippines. Life was very simple, yet hard. My mom did her best raising 3 daughters as a single mother. I grew up in an environment that is all about family. All our relatives were always around and we did everything together…birthdays, holidays, and just simply hanging out after school and eating (Miryenda) afternoon snacks in Tagalog. Mom raised me as a God-fearing woman; I was very active in my home church in the Philippines. I was a worship leader, youth leader, and a vacation Bible school teacher for the kids. I have always been very passionate about helping others and making a difference…no matter how big or small it is. I graduated high school at the young age of 15 years old and college by 16. I love learning, reading, and just trying to become the best version of myself. I saw struggle at such a young age that I promised myself I would do whatever it took to be better than I was yesterday.

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

A: I have learned a lot of lessons from everything I had gone through in life. The one lesson that I find very valuable to me is understanding that it is not selfish to care for yourself first and to set healthy boundaries in your life. I learned to put God and myself first in everything I do in life. I learned to love me for who I was, for who I am now, and who I am to become. This is the one lesson I want anyone to learn from my lesson. You cannot love or help others if you are unable to do that for yourself. You must be able to accept all the choices you made in life, forgive yourself for all of the mistakes you’ve made, move on, and just grow from it.

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism for me is fighting for equality for women. Seeing us not by our gender, but by our ability to perform just as any other person can.

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Q: Is there anything else you would like to share? 

A: I am married to my amazing husband of 10 years now; his name is Richard Torres. We have one fur baby kitty named Mew. We have lived in NM for 11 years now, but my husband was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. I am also working on getting my bachelor’s degree and only have 2 years left. I will be graduating with a bachelor’s in business administration with a concertation in project management. I am also publishing my first book in July 2020. I will be coauthoring with 10 other amazing women for a devotional book called The Heart of God for Her.

I am a creative entrepreneur specializing in life coaching and professional photography. As a certified life coach, I specialize in transformational coaching with a keen focus on breaking harmful patterns and overcoming guilt and shame. With a compelling backstory of my own, I am very passionate about helping women find their voice, strength, and beauty while overcoming past hurts. With a backdrop of faith in God, I help women and anyone in need fill their God-given purpose in life. I founded Broken But Beautifully Made Women’s Empowerment Platform in March 2019; God has had this mission in my heart for 2 years. I created BBBM as a platform that allows women to speak, share, and see that she is not alone! I have overcome many trials and tribulations in my life that allows me to relate with other women and to testify how God saved me every single time…As a coach my mantra? “I help you release, reflect, refocus, and restart—Are you ready?”

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Thank you for reading!

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Woman Wednesday: Marina

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Marina, County of Međimurje, Croatia

“Make brave decisions and just start before you are ready because “the right time” is just an illusion. Don’t wait until you will have time–create time for things that are important to you.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: As an activist, entrepreneur, and gardener, I’m passionate about possibilities to constantly create and contribute to creating a better community. I help aspiring individuals develop competencies, careers, and businesses so they can reach their potential and achieve success. Also, I help companies create a healthy foundation for their business, develop their brand, and create business growth strategies.

 

After high school, the “box I put myself in” became too small for me. After I quit my first job, I started to grow–personally and professionally. I founded an organization, I worked as a manager, head of sales, project manager, mentor, consultant, and now–I am the CEO of my own company “Konekta,” where I help others find their passion, their life and business purpose, and create the life that they want to live. I am the creator of Successful Women podcast, #MOŽEŠ (You can do it) campaign, I organize conferences and networking events, create educational videos, write for Croatian business magazine “Poduzetnik” and last but not least, I am a Bio gardener, and I love to learn. So, if you ask me what my biggest passion is–the possibility to constantly create is my passion, as well as contributing to the community and helping others. This is what led me to this moment in my life where I can say that I am absolutely satisfied and happy.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: The atmosphere in Croatia in the ‘80s and ‘90s was not supportive of individual development. Priorities were to find a job, get married, have kids, and get a mortgage, and that’s it. My family was sometimes having a hard time accepting that my sister and I were not “like the other kids.” Today, they are proud of us both–my sister is also an entrepreneur and an author.

It takes a lot of courage to become the person that you believe you can be. But even though others sometimes couldn’t understand our choices, the strong women in my life– my mom, grandma, and my grandma’s sisters made a great impact on my life. My grandma’s lessons about integrity and respect for people and the community created my path. All my life, I was a human and women rights activist, and for a long time, I worked with unemployed and marginalized women. Today, I am doing very similar work in my own company–I empower people, mostly women, to reach their potential and create prosperous businesses they can be proud of.

 

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

A: Never give up on your dreams. If you don’t have support, be your own support. Make brave decisions and just start before you are ready because “the right time” is just an illusion. Don’t wait until you will have time–create time for things that are important to you. Celebrate your successes–don’t just put new benchmarks to achieve even more. And most importantly–you can do it. You most certainly can do it!

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: For the last 19 years, I have been creating opportunities for women and supporting them so they can stand up, be visible, and become stronger and proud of themselves and their work. For me, feminism is based on love and pride; it is creating equal opportunities for all as well as equal distribution of power among men and women.

 

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Thank you for reading!

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Woman Wednesday: Deasha

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Deasha, Manchester, United Kingdom

“You do not have to have tons of money. You do not have to have knowledge or experience. If you have enough drive, ambition, and vision, then you can create any life that you want.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about helping female business owners to leverage their time and scale their impact and income. I love taking care of the planet and recycling and exercising as much as possible, which is why I work with women that have similar values and want to create a life of freedom for themselves.

I manage a business called Social Treats. Social Treats is a social media management and coaching business. We help wellness entrepreneurs to build organic strategies that really help them to get more reach, engagement, and think outside of the box to reach their target clients.

I wrote a book called She Did It. This book is about me, the story of how I struggled with creating a life that was different from the norm, how I overcame imposter syndrome, and how I focused on creating a life that is different, unique, and on my terms. And I want to help other people do the same.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I am a traveler at heart and that is because of my father. Together, we have traveled a lot of the world. My dad is more than happy to stay in hostels, ride on night buses, and go volunteering. I spent 5 years traveling and working and learning about myself and the business I was capable of running. I knew that I wanted to create a path for myself that was different from others, that did not tie me down to a location, and that did not have me working a strict schedule and that allowed me freedom. 

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I think my favorite place to travel with my dad was Costa Rica. We spent New Year’s Eve in San Jose (had our passports stolen from the hostel) and went to a monkey park to volunteer to rehabilitate spider monkeys. It was so much fun and so different from most people’s father-daughter holidays. And my favorite place that I’ve visited on my own is Thailand. I have spent so much time there, and the people are just amazing—plus the food is to die for!

 

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

A: You do not have to have tons of money. You do not have to have knowledge or experience. If you have enough drive, ambition, and vision, then you can create any life that you want.

And some tips for helping the world is just to be more conscious with every decision you make, take a refillable bottle and cup with you everywhere. Try to recycle or reuse anything you have, and try to reduce the amount of plastic you have in your bathroom. Do you need to buy all that shampoo and conditioner or is there a local place where you can refill your bottles and not have to buy more plastic?

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism is the freedom of choice—to choose how you live your life and to not be defined or put in a box by anyone. 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Cait Scudder

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Cait Scudder, Los Angeles, California 

“Spend time getting quiet and getting clear on what you want to create and bring into the world. Vision is the birthplace of all creation, so you need to take the time to do this.” 

Click the video above to watch Cait’s TEDx Talk.

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m obsessed with helping women monetize their genius. To dial into exactly who they are, what makes them unique, and to help them bring forth those gifts into the world, and ultimately, turn them into a business that changes the world. I ‘ve always been most lit up and passionate when I am helping people. I am so passionate about helping women leverage the power of energy, strategy, and sales to grow a business because so many women struggle to believe it’s possible, that they have something unique to offer. Nothing could be further from the truth. To watch the women I serve A) fall in love with their own capacity and uniqueness of their genius and B) develop a roadmap to turn those gifts into a profitable business, I feel like I’m doing what I was put on this earth to do. I share these nuggets inside my FB group, podcast, and daily motivation on my IG stories. Outside of my career, I’m also passionate about my health (I run daily) and emphasize inner work-mindset and spirituality as much as maintaining my physical health.  Now that we’ve settled in LA, I’m also loving the process of slowly settling in, setting up a home, and doing all the domestic things like cooking. After jet setting around the world and living in Bali for 4 years, I’m loving the change of pace.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of going big. Be it on stage speaking, on the sidelines coaching, or teaching at the front of the room—I knew I was meant to be a leader.

I attended Amherst College and spent my undergrad years keeping straight A’s in the classroom and getting my hands out in the world. At the ripe age of 20, I became the Director of International Programs for a local non-profit organization, raised $10,000 of capital, and founded a thriving rural literacy initiative in Costa Rica that still, to this day, is one of my proudest accomplishments.

Upon graduation, I felt the urgency of the world’s needs and desire to bring my gifts to the table in an even bigger way. I knew that teaching, leading, and inspiring others was my core purpose and work on this planet, but I didn’t know how or what this looked like, yet. So, I did the safe thing. I dove straight back into academia and earned another degree because my mind told me I needed more letters after my name to be worthy of serving at the level I wanted to serve. I earned my Master’s in Teaching from Smith College at 23, shouldering twice the workload of required of me and volunteering 10 hours a week on the side (yes, while in graduate school). On the outside, I was a beacon of success. A peak performer and giver to boot.

But on the inside, I felt utterly depleted. I was an anxious, depressed wreck, burning the candle from both ends, leaving nothing for myself. And we all know how sustainable that is. I hit rock bottom midway through the year and knew there had to be another way. What kind of educator, mentor, and leader could I expect to be if I wasn’t taking care of myself first?

 

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Two years later, I quit my teaching job and got a plane ticket to Bali to pursue a women’s leadership training and advanced yoga certification program that rocked me to my core. I invested in myself and my growth at an unprecedented level and taught myself in the process that I didn’t have to play by anyone’s rules but my own.

And guess what happened? I spent a month deepening my relationship with myself, and days later, I met the most mind-blowing, heart-blasting love of my life in pure serendipity. I traveled to 7 countries in 6 months and kissed goodbye for good to the conventional 9-5 life I thought I needed. I gave myself time to dream big and permission to have it all. I launched my business in mid-2017 and scaled to 6 figures in under a year, all from my laptop while traveling the world. There were times I thought I couldn’t do it. Times it felt scary AF. But staying trapped in a world where I was grinding myself into the ground, not using my gifts, and denying myself the fulfillment, freedom, and impact I desired was way scarier.

 

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

A: Spend time getting quiet and getting clear on what you want to create and bring into the world. Vision is the birthplace of all creation, so you need to take the time to do this, and if your vision gets muddied by everyone else’s business [or dreams], you could very well end up creating a business [or dream] that doesn’t look like you.

And with that said, don’t try to be everyone else. In the coaching industry, there is a lot of ‘the blind leading the blind’ and women scrambling to imitate other successful coaches. The women know who are the most successful and have created sustainable success in their businesses are those who have done it their way and created a true niche for themselves.

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me means women taking a stand and having a voice that weighs equal to men. It means knowing I don’t have to marry into wealth and success, I can create it for myself. It means knowing that I don’t have to wish and hope for a boss who can provide me security, that I can go ahead and become my own boss. Most of all, it means knowing that by taking an unapologetic stand as a woman leader blazing a trail, I’m doing it for all the women who will come after me, and in so doing, be a living example that for them, too, everything is possible.

 

Click the video above to watch Cait’s TEDx Talk.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Ioana

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.    


 

Q and A with Ioana, Cluj, Romania

 

“What I would like everyone to know and apply is passion! Find something that you love doing and go for it. Take time for it, show what you do to other people, involve your loved ones in your passion. Whenever you feel completely disappointed, desperate, and that life is completely pointless, turn to that color or canvas, pot or music, or whatever makes you feel joy.”   

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Since I was very little, I loved playing with stones, rocks, mud, wood, and pretty much anything I could find on the ground of my parents’ garden. When I was about 12, my parents introduced me to a well-known visual artist here in Cluj, a sculptor.

 

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From that moment on, I started creating carved pieces out of stone, wood, clay, resin, bronze, and many other materials. This began as a childhood hobby but soon became a lifelong dream and career. I applied to the arts high school, followed by arts university, then a master’s degree in cultural management and then another master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels.

 
I traveled a lot, this being one of my greatest passions in life—discovering new places and cultures and becoming inspired by other ways of living. Through many of these travels, I also organized exhibitions, cultural events, theater and performance events in countries such as Morocco, Armenia, Belgium, France, Spain, Sweden, and I also made a lot of friends everywhere. All of these experiences have shaped me, both as an artist and as a human being.

 

 

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Pictured: Art by Ioana.

 

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

A: None of it was easy. Each time I left, moved, traveled, I did it alone. I enjoyed traveling alone because this allowed me to discover the world in a very personal way. I lived in France for one year, didn’t speak the language very well, and didn’t know anyone in the city I moved to. It was very hard at times, and I wanted to come back home more times than I can count, but slowly, I learned the language, started meeting people, people began interacting with my art, and so, by the end of my stay there, I had an exhibition, friends, and a new language under my belt.

 

Armenia was another challenge, as I went there in an Artist in Residence program (AIR), without any idea of what to expect. My great-grandmother was Armenian, and I had this strong desire to visit the place I also had roots in. At that time, I was still working on war-themed art pieces and was deeply inspired by the history of Armenian people, both during the genocide in 1915 and the more recent one committed by Azerbaijan in 1988. I had this drive to show people what has happened before in our history because I believed that this could change mentalities and ensure a better present and future for people. I was quite rebellious and hardheaded in regards to my beliefs.

 

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When I came back from Belgium, where I got my master’s degree in sculpture, I was 25. At that time, I started craving order and responsibility in my life, so, because I was surrounded by doctors in my family, I started working in an oncology clinic as a manager. One year later, I started working at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy here in Cluj, and by the time I was 27, I had two jobs, no creative time, and a big hole in my life. I missed the sculpture and the arts. I missed my years of creative events organizing, so I started, slowly but surely, infiltrating my creative side into the business part of my life. I started designing posters and commercials for the institutions I worked in, developing promotion campaigns, and started making soap to giveaway to our oncology patients.

 

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Soap making was actually the moment of my awakening—as I was quite numb since I returned to my country. The colors, the essential oils…it’s a true therapy, this soap making activity. After that, I started making jewelry and slowly grew back my inspiration for sculpture. As I moved to a new house with a tiny garden, I rediscovered my love for gardening as well, and this became one of my biggest passions. Growing plants! And landscape design. This month I decided to start growing a vegetable garden for my family and am constantly reading about seeds, soil, and getting inspiration on landscape architecture sites. I guess I get this from my mother, who is a professor in landscape architecture and my grandfather who was a phytopathologist (doctor in plant disease).

 

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Pictured: Hand-crafted, natural soap by Ioana.

 

At the moment, I still work two jobs, but when I get home in the evening, I create something. This is my goal every day, whether it’s a silver ring, 20 soaps, or just transplanting plants, every day is a creation day! My dream is to be able to quit all jobs and only focus on my passion: art! So, I have these 3 things as creative pillars: sculpture, soap-making, and gardens. And the one thing I was lacking also arrived in my life, once I regained trust in myself and my creative side, my boyfriend.

 

What I would like everyone to know and apply is passion! Find something that you love doing and go for it. Take time for it, show what you do to other people, involve your loved ones in your passion. Whenever you feel completely disappointed, desperate, and that life is completely pointless, turn to that color or canvas, pot or music, or whatever makes you feel joy.

 

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Have faith in yourself. Also very important: Will is a self-training thing–if you don’t stimulate yourself, you won’t pursue your goals, so find things that stimulate you! Be it that one extra like on Facebook, a kind word from your partner, or selling one of your crafts at a fair, just do it! Be brave!

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: If we ask ourselves, “Is feminism important?” Just check this little historical fact: Women in Switzerland gained the right to vote in federal elections after a referendum in February 1971.

1971! One of the “most civilized” countries in the world!
So, what does feminism stand for? I believe that if we were not forced to live in a world ruled by men, in which we were treated as subhuman, pets, or worse, we would not have been obliged to react. Feminism is a reaction to oppression, demanding equality in rights, equality in perception, and equality in labor. This is what it means to me:
a necessary movement and attitude in the 21st century.

 

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

 

Personal contact:

ioanas.tanasescu@yahoo.com

www.facebook.com/ioanas.tanasescu

 

My pages:

https://www.facebook.com/ArtfusionTransylvania/

https://www.facebook.com/SoapySculpture/

https://www.facebook.com/desculptura/

 

 

 

 

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