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: Olivia

*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 Olivia, from Charleston, SC, living in St Louis, MO

“You will always have a problem if you look for one.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am most passionate about people and natural disasters. I love helping women come out of their shells and become the person they want to be.

My obsession with natural disasters came after I lost 80% of my possessions in Hurricane Michael, Panama City Florida, October 10th, 2018. In December of 2018, I partnered with a close friend and helped with the #ComeBackStrongProject. We hosted the event at a local mall in Panama City. We gave toys and supplies to those in need at the event. It was a kick start to my humanitarian efforts. 


In February of 2020, I volunteered in the Bahamas to help with the hurricane Dorian relief efforts with the organization All Hands and Hearts. I plan on volunteering every year going forward. I am also writing a hurricane survival guide for tips and supplies after the storm. 

 

IMG_20200220_112549Olivia has lived in a lot of places; her husband is in the Air Force. She’s lived in Charleston, South Carolina; Panama City, Florida; Atlanta, GA; and St Louis, MO. But her favorite place is wherever she is helping rebuild communities after natural disasters.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born a Buddhist in South Carolina. My mother was born Catholic and converted before I was born. My father was an atheist. His parents were Jehovah’s witnesses. Needless to say, I have much respect for people with different religious views. 
We were not wealthy by any means. We always had the cheapest house in the best school district. My mother and father were very big in our education. Despite the lack of funding, my parents always found ways to share life’s experiences with us. We went on vacations and tried a variety of foods. 
My father was addicted to drugs, and my parents divorced when I was 8. A little about my family dynamics. My mother was 35 when she had me, and I’m the oldest of 3. She didn’t have children in her first marriage. My father was also married previously, but did not have any other children. When my parents were first divorced, my mother went to college. She actually got her double masters while being a single mother of 3 with minimal family help. (That is part of the reason I have the drive that I do. I honestly feel extremely privileged to be able to build my dreams without the same obstacles she had.)   

 

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I started working when I was 15. My father moved back into the house when I was 16 for two years to help my mother co-parent. They weren’t together; they just loved us more than they disliked each other. They were actually friends “sometimes.” I did pageants and went to 6 proms and was relatively popular in my town and city. My dad moved out when I was 18, and I moved in with him when I got out of high school. My father passed away when I was 20, and I paid for his funeral. I was also in an abusive relationship at that time. 
I did a lot and learned a lot on a little, but it is definitely a part of what made me the woman I am today. 
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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Never give up. No matter how hard it gets. You will always have a problem if you look for one. Your perception is your reality and sometimes you get in the way of your own growth.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Equal treatment of men and women. I’m very textbook definition when it comes to this topic. My thoughts have developed over the years and I fear that women are losing touch with their individual power.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Jacqueline

*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 Jacqueline, Eastover, South Carolina

“There is a purpose in your pain.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am the pastor of Healing in the Vessel Ministries and an author. I am passionate about seeing people heal spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I have a passion and heart for the youth, which has led me to various positions within the ministry and career field.

Since 2002, I have served as youth director, a mentor, and a Sunday school teacher within my local church. I am a former paralegal, educator, and substance abuse counselor. I use my gift of empowerment to transform lives within my ministry and career field. I found this passion as the Holy Spirit began to reveal itself to me through dreams and the doors that God began to open.

I have just currently finished my new book, From Bitter to Better.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I have earned a Master of Arts in practical theology from Regent University, Master of Counseling from Webster University, Columbia SC, a Master of Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg VA, an Associate Degree of Paralegal, graduating Magna Cum Laude from South University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Francis Marion University, Florence SC.

My family includes both of my parents, who empowered me by their love and prayers. I always had a journal since the third grade, which later led me to discover my gift of writing and becoming an author. My various positions led me to become a pastor as God was calling me into that arena.

 

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

A: I have learned that there is a purpose in your pain. Every tear that I have shed has allowed me to become a more reliable vessel so that God can use for His glory to empower, equip, and encourage His people. I would love for others to learn from my story that God still performs miracles.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism symbolizes the empowerment of women.

 

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Q: What else would you like others to know?

A: My hobbies include running, walking, meditating, and writing, counseling youth, and working in the community. I am the author of Healing in the Vessel: A Mother’s Love A Daughter’s Journey of Faith, and From Bitter to Better. I am the co-author of several anthologies: Grief to Grind Anthology: How did I lose Myself in a Relationship, Meant for My Good, Women of Power II, Hearing God’s Voice Above The Chaos, and It takes Money Honey. I am an international speaker for the I AM Her Women’s Conference. I am an Amazon bestselling author. I have been featured on the cover of I AM Queen Magazine.

 

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Connect with me on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/lenisegoodwin

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Website: www.healinginthevesselministries.com

 


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