Woman Wednesday: Katie

*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 Katie, Madison County, New York 

“In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t! I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’ll answer this with what is probably a very broad, cliché answer: I am passionate about love and happiness. There isn’t anything more important in life than these two things, and they mean something different to each person you talk to.

 

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For me, being passionate about love means building a life around the people and animals who are special to me and making sure I dedicate enough energy into spending quality time with them. Just like anybody, I have suffered the loss of beloved relatives, friends, and animals. I’ve grown stronger from these experiences, and I have realized just how precious the present is and how immensely my relationships affect my inner peace. Love is a nice segway into the “happiness” portion of my answer – the two go hand in hand for me.  It can be difficult to pin down what brings you genuine happiness in life, and I think I am finally starting to understand the meaning of it for myself! For me, happiness comes from finding fulfillment and joy in the things I do every day. I came to this realization through working on my career in jobs that weren’t completely fulfilling or positive for me and my quest for happiness. They may be right for other people, but not for the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been building inside me.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

I left my office job at the beginning of 2018 to pursue my own design & illustration business, K. Marie Design Co., and I have since found a genuine sense of happiness and fulfillment I always knew was missing. This change put a lot into perspective for me and it’s been a challenge, but I can tell you one thing; I’ve been able to focus on my passions for love and happiness a lot more since I made the jump. I’ve never felt surer of anything. Working for myself also meant having the flexibility to accept a position teaching a design class at my alma mater, Cazenovia College, during the fall 2018 semester. You never know what may happen when you take brave new steps. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, including the process of making your abstract dreams and passions part of your everyday reality.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

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

A: This is something I have learned recently, something very important. It is okay to change course! It’s okay to change plans, and it’s okay to question yourself. I grew up desperately wanting to be part of the equine industry, and then it blew up in my face when I went to do that in college. I then spent my time honing my design skills hoping for the perfect 9-5 job after college, and that expectation ultimately failed me, too. In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple of horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t. I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.

 

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Pictured: Designs by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Don’t limit yourself by what you, your peers, or society tell you your life “should” look like at any stage in your journey. Take your time, try different things, and learn when it is time, to be honest with yourself by recognizing that something may not be right for you… and make a change. You will find your way – it may be hard to believe when you’re in the low points, but as long as you keep pushing forward, things will work out for you.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood was wonderful – very family oriented, which has definitely had a big impact on the person I am today. My parents are very nurturing and generous people, and I never understood just how much that really meant at the time! My mom stayed home with me, my sister, my brother, and our dog. We didn’t have a lot of the material things other kids had, but I never once felt alone or unloved. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. My mom and dad continue to be a huge influence on me today. They have always been very supportive, and they encourage me to do things that make me happy.

 

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Pictured: Artwork by K. Marie Design Co.

 

This family support has been vital since I left home for my freshman semester of college at The University of Findlay in Ohio, where I was planning to be an equine business major. Things didn’t work out at Findlay due to a lot of personal things I was going through at the time, but my family was behind me through it all. I eventually went home to NJ, spent the spring semester of my freshman year at the community college, and then transferred to Cazenovia College in the fall of 2012. After about two weeks at Caz as an equine business major, I realized that my lifelong love for horses was better off as a hobby rather than a career in a fast-paced, unforgiving industry. I changed my major to visual communications to chase my other love besides horses, which has always been art. I’ve always loved to draw, and the community at Cazenovia helped me find my feet and discover smart ways to marry illustration and graphic design together. I’ve been through quite a lot since I left home eight years ago, and it’s all played a part in making me into the creative, free business owner I am today! I can confidently say that I am excited rather than terrified by a future of unknowns and constant development in myself and in my creative career.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I’d like others to learn that you have to do things that make your soul happy. Don’t settle for a job, a relationship, a major, or anything that does not feel right to you. You are the only one who can make good things happen for yourself, but you are also the only one who can prevent good things from happening by becoming complacent and accepting less than you know you deserve. Evaluate your life and your happiness. Do some brainstorming and soul searching and think back to the dreams that lit up your eyes when you were younger. What do you want your life to look like when you’re 90 years old and thinking about your past? Is this what you want to remember? Maybe it’s time for a change!

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Pictured: Design by K. Marie Design Co.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means pride and equality. It means building other women up and encouraging other women to pursue their passions and make their marks on the world. A lot of people out there will use feminism as a shield to hide behind while they try to tear men down. Those people are not true feminists. Feminism is important to me because we have been pushed around and treated like we’re lesser than men in a lot of different ways. I see a lot of progress for women in the modern world, and I think it’s fantastic that men and women are joining together to make the world a more justified place for people of all genders. There will always be room for improvement, as with anything, but the fact that there is more awareness and more action is a great start.

 

 

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Pictured: Sketch by K. Marie Design Co.

 

Connect with Katie:

 

Website: www.kmariedesignco.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmariedesignco

 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kmariedesignco

 

Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/kMarieDesignCo

 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: 2018 Words of Wisdom

*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.


 

We’re starting 2019 the right way! We’ve selected some of the best words of wisdom from all of our past featured women from our 2018 Woman Wednesdays! This post is not meant to be read once; it is meant to be read again and again to be applied to everyday life. It takes constant practice in order to form new habits. Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make it the best year yet! 


 

Challenge yourself daily. 

“I try to challenge myself daily, to develop different parts of who I am and who I want to be. I’m a work in progress. We’re all works in progress, and I think that’s a really beautiful thing.” –Laura, Morris County, New Jersey

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Let go of grudges, negativity, and your worst past moments. 

“I’ve realized that in my life, for me to overcome what holds me back, and to be happy, I have to let some things rest in the shadows. If they don’t contribute to the betterment of myself and/ or humanity, they probably aren’t worth holding onto. I decided I had to push forward for what I wanted (and deserved) if I had to be what I envisioned for myself.” –Kidron, Baltimore County, Maryland 

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Stop complaining.

“My whole life I’ve been surrounded by strong women who fight for what is right and for what they want for their future. There are so many amazing women out there getting shit done. I only wish that women continue to stand together and speak their truth. My advice for women is to remember when times get tough, toughen up. Just know that you are stronger than you think you are. I think sometimes we forget that we can make a difference, and we can make anything happen with enough drive.” –Valerie, Towson, Maryland

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Keep dreaming.

“From my story and from my family story, I hope that others, especially women, are empowered to keep dreaming and to not lose hope even if there are many obstacles in the way. Because by achieving their dreams, they will inspire a new generation of women to keep dreaming (and with dreams and hard work, succeeding).” –Lucia, Montgomery County, Maryland 

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Work hard. 

“Fairytales and daydreams are possible as long as you work hard for them. Nothing comes easy, even if it seems that way, but if you believe in yourself, good things will come. Always be passionate, true to yourself, and constantly search for motivation.” –Leilani, Fairfax County, Virginia

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Stop comparing yourself to others.

“Don’t look at someone’s life and think you should be doing what they’re doing – you should do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about. I think life is too short not to live in a way that makes you approach each and every day with a full sense of joy and enthusiasm. There is always something to be grateful for and that can bring a smile to your face.” –Alysha, Berks County, Pennsylvania

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Break down your dreams into goals, and break down your goals into achievable steps. 

“Life is short, and you should do anything and everything you want to/love. Whether you are miserable at your job, doing things that don’t serve you, or you want to do things that seem out of reach, whatever that is…work toward your goals, do the things you love, and don’t stop loving your life.” –Brittany, Mercer County, New Jersey

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Look at your weaknesses as strengths, and use them as such. 

“Even the person who seems to have it the most together has problems, and we are all one big mess. I learned that what I considered to be a weakness was actually a strength that allowed me to help others with the same issues. I remember saying that I hated my life, that I wanted to be someone else, someone normal. Your day is coming. You just have to take those baby steps until they become great strides. Then one day, you will look back and only have some memories of that time, long ago, when you were struggling. If I can do it, you can do it. We are no different. Set your mind, and keep it set.” –Caitlin, College Park, Maryland

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Find something that inspires you that you can look at every day. 

“I remember flipping through a magazine one day (out of boredom), and I came across an article about hiking. And the editor decided to highlight “Legs strong enough to hike all the way to the top.” This statement resonated with me, because I started hiking with my friends around that time. On day 1, day 2, day 3…and okay let’s say up to day 30, I felt pretty weak. But every time we went, I was a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, and I was not running out of breath. I could see and feel the progress I made. So, I was not the best I could be on day 1, but to keep up with my friends, I had to keep going even when I was tired. I had to eliminate the mental barrier that said, “I can’t do it today, so I shouldn’t even try.” If you have a goal in mind, keep going, because you might be surprised by what you can do.”–Jessica, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

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Think about what made you happy as a child. 

“Look back to when you were younger, and see if what you love now is what you loved back then. Often, the things we loved when we were kids are the things we have a true passion for.” –Faith, White Marsh, Maryland

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Look for the positives in everything. 

“If you find the positive in every day, you will be so much happier. Also, when you have goals and put them into the universe, you are speaking them into existence. Finding the positives and putting them out to others will get you into the right mindset to achieve your goals.” –Mary, Baltimore County, Maryland

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Be different. 

“I want others to know that it’s okay to be different; it’s okay to not fit into traditional molds. Your story is still just as important, and people will most definitely listen to it. You just have to believe in yourself enough to share it.”– Kerry, Baltimore County, Maryland 

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Don’t be hard on yourself. 

“I wasn’t a failure or a quitter for changing my major. I was making myself happy. I also learned that it is very hard to stick with something when people are against you, but in the end, it is worth it. –Corrie, Baltimore County, Maryland

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Choose to surround yourself with people who support you. 

“I have dealt with so much, but I am so happy because I have chosen to surround myself with positive, amazing people. Know that there is always good even with the bad.”–Christen, Baltimore City, Maryland 

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Believe you are valuable. 

“Believe you are valuable. Invest in yourself. Work toward your goals, and be proud when you accomplish something.”–Miriam, San Diego, California 

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Understand that you don’t have to do what everyone else does. 

“There’s such a disconnect now with the way we ‘should’ live our lives and the way we want to live our lives. I graduated college, received a degree, got a good job in a good city, and I’m sure to many that would be a total success story, but it wasn’t the end of mine.” –Sam, Sunshine Fields, New Jersey

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Change your life by being kind. 

“I believe we can really change the world through kindness and how we treat those in our daily lives. In order to make a difference in the world, we don’t always have to do grand gestures. Doing small things with great love can have just as great of an impact on the world.” –Katherine, Hunterdon County, New Jersey 

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Know that you can do more than one thing. 

“I want others to know that it’s OK to do more than one thing. People thought I was crazy in college for playing more than one sport, and people think I am crazy now for having three jobs. I love what I do, and I enjoy all of it. If you can find a healthy balance, do everything. Be a jack of all trades. Know a little bit about all things.” –Steph, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

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Understand that you don’t ever truly fail unless you give up. 

“I recently wrote a letter to Sherry Lansing, a retired film executive who ran Paramount Pictures until about 2004. She’s my role model. I was so excited when I got an email back from her! One of the things she said is: “Be persistent. Never give up. Success doesn’t come easily, but hard work always pays off.” If she rose to the top in this crazy industry, that advice must have worked for her, and I really value it.” –Rachel, Los Angeles, California 

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Always look for ways to improve yourself. 

You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there. So take action. There’s no success without failure. There will always be bad days and even worse days. Learn to accept it, deal with it, and ride that wave!” –Hilary, Milford, New Jersey

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Treat others the way you want to be treated; what you put out into the world is what you get (more or less). 

“You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.”–Raquel, King of Prussia, Pennslyvania

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Understand that you choose who you want to be each and every day. 

“I had a college professor who, day one of class, talked about how we introduce ourselves to other people by telling them stories about our lives so far. It’s sort of how we package and present ourselves. I think it’s a good idea to look at those tales we’ve curated and see what they say about us, and also, to realize that the stories society tells us impacts which narratives are worth keeping.” –Megan, Baltimore, Maryland 

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Remember that only you know what is best for you, and remind others if needed.

“There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you! Trust in yourself.” –Kristin, Annapolis, Maryland

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Learn every single day. 

“You can do what you set your mind to. Everything takes work, and learning is a constant part of life. If your dream is to one day own a business that makes money, you need to make sure you have all the skills and knowledge to make that happen.”– Jen, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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There you have it! Those are the words of wisdom from our 2018 featured women. Read them again and again. Pick and choose what you like or what resonates with you. There will be new women and new words of wisdom in 2019. 

 

Let’s make this the best year yet! 

 

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If you would like to be featured next, send us a message via the “GET FEATURED” tab! 

 

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Continue reading “Woman Wednesday: 2018 Words of Wisdom”

Woman Wednesday: Jen

*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 Jen, Green Bay, Wisconsin

“You can do what you set your mind to. Everything takes work, and learning is a constant part of life. If your dream is to one day own a business that makes money, you need to make sure you have all the skills and knowledge to make that happen.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: In a few words, my passions are my family (including my collies and cat), my business, and flyball. I own Candy Social Media. I am a digital marketer helping real estate agents and mortgage brokers generate exclusive prequalified leads. I also offer social media management, social media strategy, and social media marketing and consulting. My main focus, however, is on generating leads for real estate agents.

 

 

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I found this passion when I realized that my previous passion for technology simply wasn’t there anymore. I felt the fire burning out. Back in 2003, I was overwhelmed with technology, and I was excited to help people. I finished my degree in network security from the local technical college. I was president of the computer science club there for two years while attending college. I really enjoyed being in charge of the club, and I enjoyed the extra responsibilities involved of being president.  I moved on to get my bachelor’s degree in business management. I enjoyed learning about business management. I yearned to be in front of technology. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and learn more about it.  From 2007, I have worked in the technology field in various roles from being level 1 support to network administrator. All of these required some sort of certification requiring me to renew it every three years. As if spending 10k on my education wasn’t enough, Corporate America wanted me to spend another $500 to $10,000 dollars to show that I know my stuff.

 

 

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Pictured: Jen and her collie, Candy.

 

I was tired of not being recognized for my knowledge and education that I worked hard for. I wasn’t able to move up in management positions because of my lack of certification.  One day, the job that I enjoyed required the support team to learn to programme of C++ or C#. I knew that it was too detailed for me to do. I quit my job and decided that I wanted to work for myself. I wanted a career change.

 

I saw this 9-5 killer ad on Facebook. I signed up for the webinar. I didn’t have the money to pay for the course, but I talked with other people who joined the course. It changed their lives, and they were able to make a living. The business involved creating websites that focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is difficult to keep up with because of the fact that almost every second, it’s changing. By the time I finally knew what I was doing, something new came out. I tried that for about 6 months. It didn’t work out. I went back to work for someone else at a college. The people there showed me that I didn’t have a passion for helping people in technology. I was reminded that I didn’t want to work for someone else. I wanted to make myself money; I did not want to make money for someone else. I saw another ad for a social media manager. People pay you to play on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et cetera. I spent the last year learning about how to engage, the software required, the content required, et cetera. This is all great, but you aren’t making money from your knowledge. It’s an expensive hobby. From there, I signed up for one more class of how to prospect your clients and reaching out to our potential clients. Then I jumped in! 

 

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Up until about October, I was friends with a digital marketer who was looking for different people to complete his challenges. I signed up for his challenge and immediately was blown away. The first thing I learned was sales. I learned about how to get the clients. And from October, I have been able to gain the knowledge and confidence for me to put myself out there connecting with real estate agents and mortgage brokers. I was too scared to reach out to clients. I thought if I friended them on Facebook and made nice with them and offering them advice about social media, they will ask me to be their social media manager. Nope. This isn’t the way things work. You have to put yourself out there constantly to make yourself known. I have reached out more to potential clients in the past three days than I have in the past year.

 

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Outside of business, I am passionate about health and pets! I have three collies and one cat.  My company is named after my dog, Candy. Candy is a 14-month-old border collie who gets to travel the country with me (attending flyball seminars and tournaments). Flyball is the past time passion that I enjoy doing when I am not working. It’s something that makes me happy.  I was able to train Candy from my past experience training with Gunner. Gunner is a 2-year-old border collie who knows flyball, but he seems to have a jock mentality [laughs].

 

Q: How has your past experience shaped you?

A: All of my past experiences and education and personality really helped to develop who I am today. The motivation and ambition have to be there every day. Also, never let your disability get in the way of your dreams! I have a stuttering disability and rather than hiding behind it, I use it to my advantage to work harder! I am sacrificing time being spent on training my dogs and time with my boyfriend, but in the end, I am putting time into my company, which means that I am putting time into myself. I am finally living the life that I want to without having to worry about paying those bills or worrying about my cell phone bill being cut off! And it’s nice knowing that if I need an extra day off, I don’t have to call my boss hoping that she or he will give me the time off.

 

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: You can do what you set your mind to. Everything takes work, and learning is a constant part of life. If your dream is to one day own a business that makes money, you need to make sure you have all the skills and knowledge needed to make that happen. If you would like to do what I do, you will also need the right software. It is also important to have the capital to put into your business. I worked a part-time job to have money to put into my business.

Also, always make time for those who matter in your life.
Happy Holidays from my family to yours!
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Woman Wednesday: Kristin

*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 Kristin, Blogger of  The Tiny Red TornadoAnnapolis, Maryland

“There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you! Trust in yourself.” 

 

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A:  This is a tough question; I have so many passions! My two biggest passions are women’s empowerment and art. My mom is a fiercely independent person, and my dad has always allowed her the freedom to be that. Throughout my entire life, I have appreciated that my parents were very clear that I could do whatever I set my mind to as long as I worked hard. They made it even more clear that I could do it by myself. Although my mother was super great at the encouragement part, she was not so great when it came to fashion choices. This one outfit always sticks out in my head; it consisted of purple corduroy pants and a white turtleneck with poodles all over it. It was, and it still is, 100% the most hideous outfit ever known to humankind. I am convinced that outfit is the reason I am so deeply passionate about art, more specifically, the beauty and fashion industry.

 

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Right now, I am a store manager of an ALDO shoe store by day and a lifestyle blogger at The Tiny Red Tornado by night. It is the holiday season in retail; a lot of my time is spent at my store. In regards to my blog, I am currently working on a body positivity series centered around women’s empowerment and self-love. This is very special to me because all women of all sizes have felt some sort of discomfort in their own skin for various reasons. It is my hope that we can all come together on this one issue and show the world that there is more to women than the outward appearance. We are CEOs and mothers. We are hardcore businesswomen, and at the same time, we can be guests at a stuffed animal tea party. We play with the big dogs, and we play with Thomas the Tank Engine. We watch Ted Talks and we watch Mickey Mouse Playhouse. Full disclosure, I am not a mom. I am an aunt to a wonderful ginger dude. My mom is a working mom, my sister is a working mom, and I am a working aunt. There are days I babysit all day long, and I am typing up things for my blog while watching Moana on repeat and pushing toy trucks around the floor. We can do it all, and we should love ourselves while we do it!

 

 

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

A: Trust yourself. You know what is best for you and for your passion, whatever that may be. There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you!

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years! Oh gosh, I loved my childhood! I don’t have any sad stories that shaped me or brought me to my passion. I have two very loving parents that let a small girl dream big and supported her through that. I also grew up with two super cool sisters that were my built-in best friends. My parents helped me pay for a summer program when I was in high school at the fashion school I later attended! I did a fashion merchandising and design program for high schoolers at VCU Arts, and it was genuinely life-changing. I was obsessed with the school, with the city, and with the education. I had always wanted to go to fashion school after high school, but my very practical dad could not see how that would support me in life, and he viewed it more as a hobby. Long story short, I applied to VCU Arts, and I was accepted and off to fashion school. I went with my dad cheering me on every step of the way! Honestly, my parents and my sisters are my biggest supporters. My little sister has always looked up to me (even though physically she looks down because I am the shortest of all three of us). We have always been close. Most of the time, she is the person I hang out with. My older sister has always been an old soul, so a lot of times she would act as a mother to me. She is the one I have had my definite ups and downs with throughout life, but I think it is because we are way more similar than we would like to admit. I would never admit this to her face, but I admire her. She made a life plan for herself at age three, and she fulfilled everything she set out to do. I have issues sticking to a diet, and she has never missed a step!

 

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Similar to my older sister and I, my mom and I have not always seen eye to eye. We found our footing around the time I turned 21, and for that, I am forever grateful. We have a lot in common that I didn’t always realize. Some of it great and some of it not so great, but weirdly the not so great stuff bonds us in a way that only we understand. My dad is the person I get my personality from. My childhood was amazing, and I have many things that have shaped me into who I am today, but nothing more than my dad. He taught me the value of a dollar, the value of hard work, and the value of myself. My family and I found out that my dad is battling Melanoma. I would say that this is the biggest thing that has shaped me because it puts life into a whole new perspective. My passions are still the same, but now they mean even more to me because my dad has always supported them even when he may not have understood. I work hard for myself because I have dreamed since I was a little girl to build a business doing something I love, but also to do something meaningful that helps others. I  work hard for my dad and for my family because life is short and they believe in me. Even on my days when I am exhausted and ready to fall asleep at my computer, I keep typing because my support system is downstairs cheering me on.

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: If there is only one thing you gain from my story, then I hope you learn that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you work hard and keep a solid support system while doing it! Secondly, you can fall in love and have a family, but still be a feminist.

 

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Photography by: Chanel Photography

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: This is my favorite question! I am a pretty hardcore feminist! I get so angry when people frown upon feminism or call women who identify themselves as a feminist, “man-haters.” I don’t hate men. I do not run around screaming that women are superior to men, and I certainly don’t demand things that I haven’t worked hard for and are well deserved. I define feminism as someone who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. We are equals. One is not superior to the other. I am a feminist because I believe that women are members of society that deserve a voice, and that voice deserves to be heard. We are strong, courageous, capable, and intelligent. Feminism is being independent and loving yourself for that. It is believing in yourself that you can do it all on your own and then doing it! Feminism is empowering and supporting other women.

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Woman Wednesday: Megan

*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 Megan, Baltimore, Maryland

“The future. Earth’s governments have fallen, succeeded by a unified military order. An elite group of soldiers, the Sentinels, protect Cotarion from marauders and neighbors alike. Within, shadowy forces at the highest levels conspire for the power they need to enact a mysterious agenda.

But now, something has changed.

Men and women have emerged, displaying superhuman abilities powerful enough to threaten the established order, and the High General commands Sentinel Cameron Kardell to track a superhuman gone rogue. A superhuman who holds the key to these powers’ origin. Who happens to be Kardell’s best friend. Who will reveal the truth of Cameron’s own origins.

The Altered now wake.” –Megan Morgan, Author of “The Altered Wake”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Stories are definitely my passion! I love reading them, writing them, and listening to them. I love figuring out what makes a story work and picking apart why some stories don’t work. I love discussing what stories mean to people. They’re everywhere, and we are all telling ourselves stories all the time about who we are and how we impact the world. They’re almost so ubiquitous that we often don’t realize just how important they are.

That impact of stories on our personal and larger social psychologies are why I’m so focused on writing stories that defy conventions. As a kid, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and I loved how these kinds of stories could invert our perspective of the world. A lot of the main characters in the stories I read were male, and women usually had supporting roles. Things are better these days, but I still crave women as leading characters who drive the narrative of the stories they’re in, so that’s what I write. In fact, all of my characters defy stereotypes, or at least, that’s what I hope.
Now that my first novel, “The Altered Wake”, is out, I’m working on the second in the series, “The Altered Rise”. And like a lot of storytellers I know, I have more story ideas than I will ever have time to write!

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

A: I’ve been an army wife, and later, a single working mom to two awesome kids while writing my novels. I’ve written during ideal circumstances and completely awful circumstances. I’ve written when the words were easy and when they were hard. I’ve received heartbreaking rejection letters and even an email from a friend who was devouring my novel in a dental office. I boxed up all my manuscripts and put them on a shelf more than once. And eventually, I made the decision to get my work out into the world, even if I had to do it myself.

 
If there’s a lesson in all that, it’s that you just never stop. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. And don’t be afraid to work your butt off on what you believe in. Keep that little ember burning in the dark times, so that when there’s some kindling, it can ignite.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in Fairmont, West Virginia, which is a really beautiful place. As a kid, I spent a lot of time catching frogs and swimming. My mom loves to read, and so she took my siblings and I to the library on the weekends. My dad was a schoolteacher, and he read us books every night before bed with the most amazing voices. I was so lucky to grow up with two parents who believed in the value of reading and who encouraged me so much as I began to write my own stories.

In junior high, I started writing longer mini-novels for my friends, and as they devoured the chapters I supplied to them, I was hooked. I could make my own narratives, worlds, and characters. Then other people would believe in them. I found that, for me, it was the best way to reach other people. And sometimes, putting words down on paper is the best way for me to understand myself.

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I think it’s really important to pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we surround ourselves with. Not just books, TV shows, and movies, but the stories that are there in our minds. We all have narratives about who we are and what our value is, and we can absolutely change ourselves for the better by nudging those stories in different directions.
I had a college professor who, day one of class, talked about how we introduce ourselves to other people by telling them stories about our lives so far. It’s sort of how we package and present ourselves. I think it’s a good idea to look at those tales we’ve curated and see what they say about us, and also, to realize that the stories society tells us impact which narratives are worth keeping.

Question that!

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means (to me) that people can be who they are without shame or ridicule. To me, it means we all have opportunities to fulfill our goals. The idea is that we have an even playing field, and “feminine” qualities aren’t ridiculed, and men aren’t shamed for having complex feelings. I see it as equality.

So, feminism means that my daughter can play in the mud (or not, as she prefers), and my son can paint his nails. We can be the complex people that we are. I think that’s good for everyone.
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Here are links to my social media places and the Clickworks Press site for the book! All the links for purchasing the book are right here:
My Twitter:
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