Woman Wednesday: Jacquelynn

Q and A with Jacquelynn, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

“Life is so short and so beautiful.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My first love, outside of being a mother, is music. Ever since I was a little girl, I vividly remember singing my little heart out. My first performance was with my grandmother, Peggy Sue, singing gospel at my baptism, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Which is super interesting to me because I’m an introvert at heart. I’m not passionate about just one thing though. As I mentioned, I love being a mama. But when it comes to work outside of motherhood, I genuinely enjoy helping and pouring into other women. It lights me up! I’m into breastfeeding awareness, embracing your weirdness, helping mamas figure out how to turn their passions into income, creating courses, cooking, writing and singing my own songs, big fan of naps, and all the little things in life. But above all, being a mama and wife is my favorite, and they’re the very reason for all the creating I do. They motivate me. I want to make them proud. I want to set a good example and show them how something can be made from absolutely nothing. Like my children’s book, I Think I Need Glasses. It started with one little idea and evolved once it hit paper. The eBook is my most recently finished project. It’s about a little girl who has an imagination out of this world. She tells of her adventures and life experiences from her point of view, but her older brother pokes fun with her and tells her throughout the story that he thinks she needs glasses. It’s a playful and magical transitional story for children who wear glasses. It’s available for download on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/I-Think-Need-Glasses-ebook/dp/B099V1WH56/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=i+think+i+need+glasses&qid=1627277487&sprefix=i+think+i+need+glass&sr=8-3

My next upcoming appearance/teaching is a super powerful onetime workshop called “Monetize Your Passion” on Thursday, August 5 @ 6pm CST / 7pm EST. The workshop is for creative and passionate aspiring or “stuck” female entrepreneurs. I’ll go over getting clearer with what your passion is and how to turn it into not one, but multiple offers. All the details are on the registration page. It’s going to be pretty epic. I’m so excited! You can also catch my podcast “Just Women Talking Sh!t” just about anywhere you get your podcast. I’m always looking for women to interview, so if you give it a listen and send your story in for an interview, you so should! And last, but certainly not least, I have a free online community for growing and unapologetic women. It’s called Female, Fearless, & Bad-Ass. That’s about all I have going on at the moment!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: This is a tough one to talk about. Because I truly believe that my childhood and younger years, as an adult, have everything to do with the woman I am today. Fun fact about me: I am the oldest of my mother’s six children. Yes, six. How badass is that? She’s such a fierce and strong woman! Shoutout to my Ma in case she reads this. [She laughs.] Anyway, she did the whole single mom thing up until I was about 13 years old. I vividly remember having a baby on each hip, making lunches, doing dishes, playing house at a young age. Everyone called me a little mama, but it’s all I knew. I remember wanting to buy something but always knew how hard my mama worked to take care of us, so I set up my own lemonade stand. Okay, I’ll be honest. It was a Kool-Aid stand. (Southerners know what I’m talking about.) [She laughs.]

In one day’s work, I made $40. I remember dividing the money up among my sister, cousin, and me. We walked down the road to a florist and I bought my mama some silver dangly ball earrings. She wore those suckers out. I was so proud. I’ve had the entrepreneur bug ever since. I am one of the few in my family to graduate from high school. I did attend college but found myself stuck in this viscous cycle of changing my mind on what I wanted to do with my life over and over again. It became tiring, frustrating, and a total waste of money. I’ve honestly done it all trying to find my place in this big and crazy world. I cleaned houses and babysat as a young teenager, got my first big girl job at a Joyce Leslie women’s retail store, went on to have multiple jobs throughout high school, bartended at 18, cashiered at Goodburger on Chestnut in Center City Philly, became a nanny when I was let go abruptly, continued nanny work for the next several years up until my first child was born, wrote for a local newspaper, freelanced at marketing events, was a personal assistant, cleaned houses yet again as a young mom, waited tables as a single mom, made my way into a daycare where I taught and later worked in the office, was introduced to network marketing and multi-level business models, tried those out and did okay, found myself obsessed with finding the next big thing, failed over and over again, finally went back to corporate America after my first marriage went to crap, worked my tail off, never saw my daughter, ran myself and health into the ground, was scouted by one company, hired just to be fired a week before Thanksgiving of 2019. I told myself I would never allow someone to have such a hold over me. My health was crap, my mood fluctuated, I was so burnt out I couldn’t enjoy the money I did make. Even though it was scary as hell being let go that day and I had no idea what I was going to do, I knew it was all going to be okay because, well, it just had to be. This was yet another test. Fast forward to now—I’m a mother for a second time. I’m creating like I’ve never created before. I’m living authentically and really smelling the roses like I’ve never smelled them before. Because life is so beautiful. I don’t think people stop and think about that enough. We are all here as a result of millions of tiny things that all had to go right for us to even be here. Think about that and don’t take one second for granted. Life is so short and so beautiful.


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

A: You have all of the tools to do something great in your lifetime all within you. It all starts with you. I don’t think this is talked about enough. You are so powerful. Your life experiences, wisdom, story, downfalls, triumphs, testimony, all of it. It’s so powerful. I just want to see everyone around me happy, healthy, successful, and wealthy—whatever that may look like for them. And I think that happiness starts at the core. It starts with you. So, take good care of yourself so that you can excel in all the things. Self-love takes priority so that everything else runs like a well-oiled machine. I think several women with past traumas and insecurities tend to seek validation from others. Sometimes, it comes in the form of a romantic partner because maybe she grew up without a father present in her life. (That was me.) Sometimes, it comes in the form of being stuck in a career that makes her unhappy to the core because she was taught that the only way to make it in life is to work her tail off and put her time in like everyone else until retirement, but what she really wants is to somehow find a way to monetize her passion. (That was also me.) All in all, I just want women to realize that they don’t have to settle for someone else’s idea of what life should be like is all. I’ve been there and done that, so if me sharing my story helps others navigate through life and/or business journeys easier, well I’m all in. Just know you can literally do anything you set your mind to!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: When I think of feminism, I think of how far women’s rights have come in general. It goes to show just how powerful women are. I mean really think about how far we have come in such a little amount of time. And now? I bet if I was to ask any of your readers to name an inspiring woman who makes multiple six figures or more a year…someone would instantly come to mind, no? It isn’t about proving I’m better than or equal to a man. It’s about celebrating the power that’s within us all and shows in the growth and impact we each have in this world. It’s about the growth and impact the women before us had in this world and then the ones before them and so on. The world is so big and so vast, yet we can create such impact that is on a level so deep it changes lives. Like how cool is that? That’s the ultimate girl power if I’ve ever seen it.


MORE FROM JACQUELYNN: I was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I primarily lived in a small town called Dixie, but I moved away to New York when I was 16. I graduated high school in the Poconos, attended college in Philadelphia, PA, for a year, and moved back down south when I was 22 or so. My roots are firmly planted back in Mississippi with my beautiful family.

Thank you for reading! Connect with me here:

“Monetize Your Passion”

“I Think I Need Glasses”

Podcast

Facebook Group

I’d love to connect with you! 🙂

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Woman Wednesday: Annie A.


Q and A with Annie A., South Carolina

“Vulnerability is beautiful.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am interested in people. I love intense connections and people who overshare. I’ve also always been drawn towards the spiritual—and I’ve always been an artist. All of those things seemed to funnel me into launching Sweetgrass & Sage.

This year, as violent as it has been for all of us, has been a major catalyst for change for me. I found myself going through an amicable divorce with two sweet babies who I needed to be able to keep at home (both because I am high risk and because my son has special needs), a cross country move, and a 10 year gap in my work history. It was a make it work moment, absolutely. More than that, though, I am a helper, and I realized that I had the opportunity to help other women who are also trying to make it work. We rise by lifting others, and right now so many can use a lift. I believe that the work of women’s hands is it’s own kind of magic, and it is valuable.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and grew up in and around Orangeburg. I went to both public and private schools, my dad was a Methodist minister, my mom was an attorney. They’re both full-time grandparents now.

I was adopted at a day and a half old. I always knew it—my birth mother was a phenomenal woman and force of nature; I met her when I was 16. She was also a pagan, something which kind of spurred on my own quest for understanding, for lack of a better way to put it. I was an anxious child and have always found peace in nature and through working with my hands. I love the smell of sawdust; I think it takes me back to working on projects with my dad as a child.


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

A: Don’t try to fit a mold that wasn’t made for you. Authenticity is contagious. Vulnerability is beautiful. Give yourself permission to be you, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Just be as kind as you can along the way.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I come from a long line of feminists. My grandmother was quite an athlete. She had mostly brothers and thought that she could do anything they could do and refused to be told differently. My mother, her daughter, was the first female sports editor of a daily newspaper in South Carolina. She was the first woman in the Clemson Press Box and in Clemson basketball locker room, and remembers the then coach, Frank Howard, as saying, “They’ll let anybody up here now!” She went on to become an attorney. My aunt, Kate Salley Palmer, was one of only three syndicated political cartoonists in the nation—she worked for the Greenville News. Feminism, to me, means the freedom to follow your happy, however you find it. It means the ability to follow your authentic self, whoever you are. You love traditional gender roles? Excellent! You’re a woman welder? Rock on! My focus was on woodworking in college. Want to mix it up? You do you. Women are strong and capable. The badass in me recognizes the badass in you. Feminism means being able to do your thing and supporting other women doing theirs.


Q: What would you like others to know about Sweetgrass & Sage?

A: Sweetgrass & Sage Box has different business model from others because I find the traditional subscription box model to be a little predatory. Integrity is super important for me. I believe, whole heartedly, in the value of artisan quality work, and whereas most of the big name subscription boxes make the businesses pay to be in the box AND provide their product for free, I pay for the product, and my promotion of the woman-owned small businesses I work for is free. They get a little stimulus from box sales, and new people to try their product. The box recipients get a great deal on things they actually want, and each piece is intended to be something they can have as a tangible reminder of their own inner strength. I’m focused on people over profit, and the quality of each piece is top-notch. You’re not going to wind up with 400 jars of moisturizer you’ll never use.

Spring boxes will be fully customizable and tailored to you so that you only get what you want.

Thank you for reading!



Check out Sweetgrass & Sage here.

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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. 

 

Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

Elizabeth Ruth Marketing, Facebook 

Mom Lifestyle Blog

Ruthless Crafter


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Woman Wednesday: Mecyll

*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 Mecyll, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

“My family struggled financially so much that we reached the point where we had to mix rice with used oil, soy sauce, or salt just to have a flavor. From breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we varied what “flavoring” would we add to the rice. It was a hard life. Buying a kilo of rice and a can of milk for the family were already big hurdles for my parents. At the time, I didn’t have enough notebooks for the next school year. As someone under constant pressure to be a straight-A student to please my parents, I had to get notebooks.” 

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: First of all, I love to create. A crazy one—I’m someone who loves to challenge the status quo. I think I was born to make something unique, creative, and unusual. These depict my works, whether writing fiction (I write stories on Wattpad), making notebooks, or creating other forms of art like painting. If you saw one of my works, you could instantly say, “Oh, I haven’t seen such a notebook, travelers’ notebook, or planner!” I guess this is where my talent can be seen.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I always feel different from peers I hang out with. Ever since I was a kid, I had been distraught by the fact that I couldn’t relate to others that easily. If needed, I have to consciously change my character to not isolate myself from other people. At times, it becomes too much to bear.

At a young age, I felt anxious, controlled, self-loathing, and depressed in an extreme way. Given the financial crisis my family faced at the time in the Philippines, I grew up in a hostile environment. And showing my feelings about it was unacceptable.

Introverted, I don’t necessarily feel shy or whatever, but I often find myself in an awkward situation, looking to escape/withdraw from other people. I find interacting with a crowd draining, especially if I have to meet them many times a week, for example.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

As a result, I turn to art. I love to learn new things I find interesting. Notebook making, for example.

Because of my inability to express my emotions socially, I express them through creativity. A creative outburst, if you will. Fourteen years ago [in the Philippines], my family struggled financially so much that we reached the point where we had to mix rice with used oil, soy sauce, or salt just to have a flavor. From breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we varied what “flavoring” would we add to the rice. It was a hard life. Buying a kilo of rice and a can of milk for the family were already big hurdles for my parents.

 

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At the time, I didn’t have enough notebooks for the next school year. As someone under constant pressure to be a straight-A student to please my parents, I had to get notebooks. Otherwise, I’d be doomed. I was 12 years old.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

At that age, I felt like I didn’t want to burden my parents anymore by asking for some pennies for a few notebooks, including the cheap ones. It felt worse when I happened to visit my cousins, who had boxes filled with nice new notebooks. I told myself, “This is how comfortable they are that they could easily buy them whenever they want to.” I know I wasn’t. My parents couldn’t afford them.

Looking at my younger sister who relied on me a lot, I chose to suppress the negative emotions built up and became stronger for her. I had to do something so we wouldn’t bother our parents—who were already in an absolute financial obstacle. So, I reached out to my aunt.

I shared my sentiments with her, who lived with us on weekdays. In turn, she shared her skills of binding with me. That was the first time I was able to bind my old notebooks, recycling my old spring notebooks for reference and binding the remaining blank pages together to make a new notebook. That was my way of life for years, until I finished high school.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

Fast forward to the present, I didn’t expect that the skills I learned from her would eventually become appreciated by others. As I explored the world of notebooks more, I discovered that I could also create travelers’ notebooks and other types of journals in my own version. Although I feel anxious every time I show them online through Etsy and Facebook groups, they applaud each piece I make, which is unexpected for me.

 

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

A: Being different is great when you fully accept it in your heart. Of course, you long for social interaction and want to belong to a group of people; however, if it would compromise your character, your true self, for the sake of it, it’s not good.

I learned it the hard way. I had a lot of excuses to deny who I truly am, which lead to my inner demise. Even at present, I am in constant agony in every aspect of my life because of trying to be someone others want me to be. I beat myself spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally just to get out of the black hole inside me.

These are outcomes of trying so hard to make an identity that society finds acceptable. Rather than embracing myself, I chose otherwise, which was wrong. When you feel different, keep in mind that your uniqueness is special. From there, you can express yourself in art uniquely as well. In a way that is only you.

 

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Instead of loathing yourself for being so different—even in your marriage—show how unique you are in your own way. So as a word of advice, it’s best to embrace who you really are rather than trying to change yourself for the sake of satisfying the crave of social life. Be the real you.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

Many people praise my notebooks because they’ve never seen anything like them before. Some are willing to pay the high price to get them. Again, this business is an outcome of reflecting on the worst circumstance of my life in a deeper way. In my early years, I could have played a lot with other kids and enjoyed life in my teens. I didn’t. I wasn’t able to do it as part of a sacrifice to be the overachiever of the family. But look where it has brought me.

The pain got me here. The pain of economic distress and the pain of being unable to connect with other people easily brought me to where I am now.

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: I grew up in an Asian family, so I have a different view of how feminism is for me. So, I am not sure how this works for Western culture or for others in other parts of the world who might be reading this blog.

Where I grew up in a part of the Philippines, we have this stigma in which women aren’t able to express themselves completely. Our country might be rapidly progressing; however, not so much for our culture. Even in our own homes, the issue of inequality among women exists today.

I remember my mother wasn’t able to have a career or do things she enjoyed when she was younger because my father prevented it. She had to be a mother, not a single woman. There were expectations that she could no longer do the same things she used to enjoy because she had to take on the new role marriage cast upon her.

Where I grew up, only the men had the right to show how angry they would get or how pissed they were that they could lash out without warning. There, only the men have the right to do whatever they want. A woman, on the other hand, has to keep her emotional turmoil to herself and resolve it on her own. I’ve seen my mother and my aunt (who taught me binding) on the verge of a breakdown many times, but they managed to keep going with suppressed emotional turmoil. While doing so, they had to do their roles our society had assigned to them.

I guess we’re all familiar with a high percentage of women suffering from different eating disorders, self-harm, and other destructive ways than men. Why am I so familiar with it? You might be asking. This is because I, too, am suffering from these. For more than 10 years, I suffer from an eating disorder and have problems with my emotional regulation. By acknowledging suppression, it became a way to become stronger.

 

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For me, women have to urge themselves to stand for what they think is right for themselves. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married or widowed. We can’t just fight our emotional battles alone and in a dangerous way. We’ve got to love ourselves as much as we can and be equal with men in enjoying what we want to enjoy. In my case, it’s my notebook-making that saved me. Otherwise, I would have succumbed to deeper negativity and worthless life. A life without direction.
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Disregard what other people say. As my sister told me this morning, “Keep yourself first.” I guess this is what feminism is all about. It’s not about the gender, it’s about the message we’ve got to share to the world.

 

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Pictured: A journal created by Mecyll. Click here to check out her Etsy shop. 

 

I’d love to connect with you! 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Erika

*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 Erika, Memphis, Tennessee 

“Your happiness, your purpose, and your success belongs to you in every aspect of your life! People will judge you, hate you, and simply write you off, all based on their feelings towards you, but their feelings or validation of you does not control your destiny!” 

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I really enjoy helping others. If I can impact and make a difference in just one person’s life, then I feel as if I am making a world of a difference! As a child, I was always the kind friend who enjoyed helping my friends out, and it drove me to want to be (and later becoming) a registered nurse! With a new sense of empowerment after releasing my first book, Not Easily Bothered: From a Vengeful Driven Divorce to a Much Happier Life. I have recently released my second book, Their Validation, Your Success Powered by Purpose! I have had others question the purpose of my writings. I’ve had strangers publicly speak negatively of me because they thought I had malicious intentions, but at the end of the day, my books were successful; thus serving their purpose to help someone learn from my experiences!

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was very sheltered as a child; my parents did not allow me to venture out much, but I managed to have a few select friends that they approved. And we would spend time doing things that kids with running imaginations do! We would write out our own screenplays and act them out during playtime. I remember being the shy one, but my friends would always enjoy my ideas. I kept a journal, which allowed me to express my thoughts in writing without being judged by my parents or friends. But I never thought I would become an author sharing some of my most personable moments. I remember as a kid being taught to do the right thing and me being the one who typically did what was right versus being easily influenced by others and choosing to do what was wrong! I’ve always been a person who thought for herself!

 

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

A: Simply to believe in yourself and never allow the misconceptions that others may have of you to ruin your happiness or your success! Your happiness, your purpose, and your success belongs to you in every aspect of your life! People will judge you, hate you, and simply write you off, all based on their feelings towards you, but their feelings or validation of you does not control your destiny! Never allow someone who has absolutely nothing to do with your purpose to hinder it for you!

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me means that every woman is entitled to live and carry out her very own story all while not being judged for it because she is a woman! Women are powerful and deserve to be treated equally all while supporting, empowering, and uplifting one another!

 

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I’d love to connect with you! 

Click here to connect with me through my page.

 

 

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