Woman Wednesday: Camille


Q and A with Camille, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

“Just do what you love; it’ll take you somewhere far.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about anything that requires creativity. I am currently a brand and marketing designer, and I also enjoy calligraphy and DIYing crafts as a hobby. Some say I inhale and exhale the art of designing. I’ve been designing for almost half of my life because of our family’s printing business. My eye for design has been my bloodline since I became an entrepreneur. I found joy in creating for other people. I formally started doing this for a living in 2018. Before I worked with actual brands, I tried offering my design services for free to support my friends who are just starting out, and that became the foundation on how I was able to have a good portfolio to attract my first paying clients. I chose my career path as a designer for other companies because I know they deserve nothing less when it comes to building a credible visual language. My creative solutions are the ones I wished all entrepreneurs had easy access to when starting out.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in the province where children from my era spent playtime at rice fields. My parents were blessed with four daughters, me being the third child. Creativity runs in our family. My dad and my eldest sister love photography A LOT. My dad is an engineer and used to be a well-known photographer in our locality, while my sister pursued professional fashion photography while juggling it with her corporate work. My second sister loves modeling and is also an online beauty influencer, our youngest is an architect in the making while my mom is the greatest cheerleader and support system in the family.

It was funny that as love for art is present in the family, I was the only one who never learned how to draw. During our younger years, my sisters enjoyed creating handmade paper dolls, coloring books, and sketching gowns…and I find it so boring! I enjoyed lettering my classmates’ names instead. I spent most of my childhood in our little printing shop sitting on the computer desk, exploring MS Paint, Print Artist (it’s like Canva during 90’s), or watching my uncle photoshop ID pictures of our customers. [She laughs.]

I may say that I was exposed to the digital world of art, especially graphic design, as early as six years old. And it is still clear for me as if it just happened yesterday how I really loved creating my own play-money, greeting cards, and fair tickets from scratch then print them in our dot matrix printer and manually cut them with scissors.

During my elementary age, I developed my love for graphic design even more. I was the youngest staff in our shop to be able to attend to our customers’ requests like photoshopping blurred documents, enhancing photos for reprinting, and creating cover arts for school projects while kids my age only played video games.

When I entered high school, I became our official newspaper’s layout artist. I’ve designed numerous shirts and uniforms for different events, and that continued till college where I sometimes received monetary rewards for my work.

At first, I never knew that graphic design could be a decent profession. So, what I chose to take on during college was a bachelor’s degree in political science and shifted to mass communication. Although I was not able to finish my degree and contrary to what others think of me, I am finally earning a multiple 6-figure as a graphic design specialist.


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

A: I could not stress this enough, but this is the value I want to share with others: *Just do what you love, it’ll take you somewhere far.* My story has been a roller-coaster ride. I became a parent at the early age of 19. Since then I never stopped exploring options on how I can make a living. My life partner and I paused from studying to become full-time parents and providers and we thought that if we didn’t finish college our career is bound to nowhere. My parenthood journey turned my world upside-down that it made me forget myself and my interests. My child became my everything and subconsciously forget what I loved doing – designing. It took me years of exploring what’s missing and why I still feel empty even we both earn enough. Until my partner and I decided to quit our corporate job and build a small digital printing company from scratch, our capital was from loans and credit card, our knowledge in equipment operations are all self-taught. I started designing again for our own business and I felt so alive. Everything went well from there. Until the pandemic came, back-to-back lockdowns affected our operations. To escape bankruptcy, I made a shift and use my design skills to offer it to a bigger market, and that’s when I became a freelance brand designer and it allowed me to earn 5x of our business’s profit. Without having to worry about the pandemic and lockdowns. I was able to reach greater heights for my family. Truly, doing what you love won’t fail you. It’ll take you farther than what you have imagined. Some have judged me that I could do more and earn more only if I followed the career path my degree will take me. But I chose clarity over certainty. My passion gave me clarity more than anything else and I know for sure that as long as I use this skill to help others, I am on the right path.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: For me, feminism is standing up that you are more than “just a woman”. It’s equal rights = equal access to opportunities. I believe that feminism leans more towards equality, not female superiority. And that equality is what all genders deserve, not just us women.


MORE FROM CAMILLE: I am 25, a corporate escapee, and now the creative mastermind behind Miles Creative Co. (a brand and marketing design company I started a year ago). I live in the province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines. I have a 6-year-old daughter and am expecting our second baby girl in July. I love having multiple businesses. I have an online boutique, and I also help my partner manage our small restaurant business.





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Woman Wednesday: Lauren T.


Q and A with Lauren T., Milford, CT

You deserve to have happiness. Sometimes, that may mean facing pain to make it to the other side of the rainbow.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I love reading, traveling, learning about mindset, being with my dog, trying new recipes, and also being with my family and my partner. Walks on the beach or gazing at the stars has always fascinated me. I like adventures as much as I like quiet nights at home curled up on the couch and watching a suspenseful film (preferably with my own bowl of popcorn!). I am passionate about writing, which is what I am currently working on. I used to do affiliate marketing within the health and wellness field. However, I found myself dissatisfied. I knew I had a higher calling, so I hired a purpose development coach to help formulate my purpose (which ties into my upbringing).


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up as the middle child in my family. I often felt unnoticed between my older sister and younger brother. I suppose it did not help that he was born exactly on my 5th birthday. Having to share my birthday led to bitterness and a sense that maybe I didn’t deserve a day all about me. My parents often fought and I acted as a mediator. However, that often backfired as no one took me seriously. School was very challenging because I was extremely shy. It was difficult to make friends, and the “cool” kids would sometimes make fun of me (my mom used to cut my bangs and did a horrible job…). I turned to focusing on my appearance. That I could control. I felt unloved on the inside and was desperate for attention. My life forever changed when I was 14 years old. I was hospitalized for depression and anorexia. But what really transformed my life was when a nurse came wheeling over an old book cart. Instead of handing me a book, she handed me a journal. And so, I wrote away my pain, shared my deepest secrets. I spilled my heart onto paper. It opened up a portal where I could give my heart a voice. Little did I know how big that portal would become. After I was released home, I continued journaling. I began writing inspirational messages and poems to others. I loved being a gateway to their soul where I could bring joy and self reflection. 21 years later, I’ve held on to the same dream, which is helping others express themselves through writing…to serve how I serve best, which is through pen and paper.


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

A: You can conquer limiting beliefs. Hang in there because you are strong, beautiful, and powerful. I believe in you. I found myself in a mentally abusive relationship for 6 years that turned into a marriage. I didn’t think I was worthy of someone, something better. I was made to feel so low that it seemed like I truly would never find happiness. It took one person to plant the seed, “Why can’t you be happy?” That thought ate away at me, and it was like I began seeing my life and relationship with a different lens. One day, I asked for a divorce, unplanned, but something inside me was screaming it. Never forget you are in control of your life. You deserve to have happiness. Sometimes, that may mean facing pain to make it to the other side of the rainbow.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Seeking compassion and collaboration instead of comparison. Standing up for yourself and knowing your self-worth despite anything else. We (us fellow women) are all super unique and strong.


MORE FROM LAUREN: I left my job that treated me disrespectfully and I would not let it compromise my values. So, here I am, full-time creative copywriter coach.





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Woman Wednesday: Holly R.


Q and A with Holly R., from a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA

Be your own advocate.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about serving others. I have always been drawn to helping others. I am a scientist in a pharmaceutical company and have been so lucky to have been part of teams that brought three transformational drugs to the market to treat arthritis, IBD, and psoriasis. Now, I am also a ketogenic lifestyle coach–I believe strongly in the lifestyle to not only help people lose weight without feeling deprived, but it also is used to treat debilitating diseases like my son’s intractable epilepsy. I have a very holistic approach to living this lifestyle. I feel that it is very important not only to help my clients lose weight, but we also work on repairing their relationship with food with meditation, subliminal guides, and a program that is the most advanced human healing technology and a proven fitness and nutrition system that will make you love the process of looking and feeling your best.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I had a very loving upbringing. I grew up next door to my grandparents and other relatives, so I was always around a large family. My parents were very young and very involved in all aspects of my life from volunteering at my (and my sister’s) schools to coaching our sports teams and anything where they could participate. I didn’t have brothers, so I think that I became a surrogate son for my dad–he taught me how to work on cars, how to do home repairs, how to lift weights and scuba dive. It really affected my confidence–he raised me to believe that I can do anything. He gave me the strength to excel in college, buy my own house, start my own business. I never had any fears about raising my sons on my own, and I always had the support of my entire family behind me.


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

A: I want others to learn that we all have a badass successful woman inside of us–we just need to let her shine. All it takes is courage and believing in yourself. Another very important lesson I have learned from raising a son with a disability is that you have to be your own advocate. He didn’t have his first seizure until he was 14, and once he was diagnosed with epilepsy, everything changed. School didn’t want him taking the bus, playing sports, going on class trips. He has had job offers rescinded. I had to research disability laws and educate myself so that I could be his advocate. Everything would have been so different if I let others make decisions based on what is best for them.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is the belief in social, economic, and political equality of the sexes. I believe that since I was raised to believe that from the start, I never thought about it much until I was older. When I began existing in corporate America, I realized that there is a huge inequality that needs to be addressed. As a manager, I became aware that men who reported to me make more money than I do and tend to get promoted much quicker. I can make a suggestion in a meeting, and it is dismissed. The same idea is mentioned by a male colleague a few minutes later and he is seen as genius! To call it frustrating is an understatement, but I am confident enough to call people out when it happens. I don’t always get a solution that I am happy with, but I still speak my mind.




MORE FROM HOLLY: If anyone wants to reach me or learn more about the ketogenic lifestyle, they can join my FB group Hot Mess Mamma’s Guide to the Ketogenic Diet (because you don’t have to be perfect to look and feel your best! It’s okay to be a hot mess).





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Woman Wednesday: Shaliah


Q and A with Shaliah from Dolton, Illinois

“I’ve always had a “plan B,” but there are so many others who weren’t prepared for their lives to change in such a way [during the pandemic].”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: One of my biggest passions in life is helping others. I’m a licensed financial advisor. I love what I do simply because I’m able to educate my potential clients on ways to create generational wealth for themselves and their families.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a very close-knit family. Education and religion were two things that were at the top list of importance. I’m grateful for all the lessons learned because it helped me to become a better person and who I am today.


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

A: 2020 was a huge wake-up call for me, and I’m sure for a lot more families as well. I was laid off from my job of 15 years. Luckily for me, I’ve always had a “plan B,” but there are so many others who weren’t prepared for their lives to change in such a way. My advice would be to never solely depend on one stream of income. Keep multiple streams coming in in order to keep your family afloat.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Being a woman, I think, is about being strong. It’s about continuing to move forward in all of life’s endeavors. I definitely have to keep a positive mindset and stay 100% committed to making all my life dreams a reality. I have two daughters that look up to me, and I want them to grow up stronger and better than I am. I love to see my ladies succeed! There was once a time when women were told we couldn’t do certain jobs or we couldn’t make a certain amount of money, but look at us now! Kudos Ladies! Let’s keep it up! God Bless.


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Woman Wednesday: Elizabeth

*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 Elizabeth, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

“Your passion isn’t always obvious.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about so many things, but my main one these days is writing. When I was a young girl around 10 years old, I remember using a child-size blue typewriter and writing a short story. I found it a few years ago, and it wasn’t half bad! I’d like to pick it up and finish it one of these days. While I raised my children, writing fell off to the side as there was no time or energy to do it, but now that they are 12 and 14 years old, I have the time to dedicate myself to it again. As a result, I’ve started three businesses that revolve around writing—a mom lifestyle blog, a handmade business, where I knit and crochet character hats and write children’s books to tell each character’s story, as well as a marketing business, where I specialize in content writing for other businesses, specifically newsletters, blog posts, social media, and WordPress website content writing and SEO.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My paternal grandmother was an avid reader and life-long-learner and she shared that with me. She also encouraged me to pursue an English degree in university, and I’m so glad that I did because I feel it has helped me be a better communicator. This skill has been used in all my endeavors.
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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Something valuable I’ve learned is that your passion isn’t always obvious. It took me quite a while working on my business before I woke up one morning with a lightbulb moment that I love writing.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means equal opportunity, respect, compensation for work, and [treatment] as a person in general regardless of gender. 

 

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Elizabeth Ruth Marketing, Facebook 

Mom Lifestyle Blog

Ruthless Crafter


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