Woman Wednesday: Jourdan

*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 Jourdan, originally from Honolulu, HI, and currently thriving in New York City.

“We rise by lifting others. It’s so important to bring others up with you.”


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about helping others and telling stories. I have a heart for people and a heart to serve. As humans, I believe it’s our duty to help one another and it really is the driving force of love. I stumbled into helping others through my career in television. My journey began in 2010 working for NBCUniversal at a nationally syndicated talk show and from there it took off. I’ve been in the entertainment industry for 10+ years, I’ve cast network shows, acted in national commercials, and sold a web series I co-created to BET Networks.

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Click here to watch Two Grown, the BET series: 

I am on fire for helping others find their voice and build their brand. That is why I founded Vera Jean Media. Named after my grandma, it is a boutique agency specializing in content creation, social media strategy, email marketing, and branding for individuals and small businesses. Authenticity is key.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were built on the strength of evolution. I was born and raised in Hawaii. My grandfather was in the military and retired there. I was raised by my grandmother and a single mother. When I was ten, she married my step-dad, who was also in the military. We moved all over the country growing up. I think seeing the work ethic of my mom and grandmother truly molded me. I’ve been working since I was in middle school. I started a dog walking and lawn mowing business when I was around 13 years old. Being an entrepreneur has always been in my heart.

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

A: We rise by lifting others. It’s so important to bring others up with you. Know that you can’t do everything alone and there is so much abundance to gain through collaboration over competition.

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: We are a force to be reckoned with. There is nothing stronger than a strong, determined, fearless, woman. Feminism means to empower one another and that there is strength in numbers. When we are gathered with a mission on the brain…good luck stopping us. Period.

Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

Website:www.verajeanmedia.com

Instagram: @jourdanguyton

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

 

Woman Wednesday: Chelsea

*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 Chelsea, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

If you don’t have a plan, don’t fret! Try new things. Travel. See things. Do things. Live. And it will come to you, babe. And when it does, just go for it!” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about creativity and connection! I do my best to use these passions to guide me in my business and in my life in general. I’ve always been interested in art, DIY, lettering, costumes, decorating, any means of creating. I love hand-lettering and watercolor painting and had always dreamed of finding a way to make it into a viable business.

I tried a number of different career paths before realizing that I just don’t fit into a box, and it suits me best to think outside of it. The career I truly wanted wasn’t really a traditional job option, so I made it up! I am now self-employed as a virtual and creative assistant, which means if you’ve got a business, a project, or an event on the go and you need some help, I’m your girl. My clients are so diverse, and I love that so much. I may be creating websites or designing content, expense reporting or scheduling meetings, hand-making wedding favors or greeting cards, personal shopping or managing social media, planning parties or working on audiovisual projects, or anything and everything in between. I get to coordinate and be creative, while also creating meaningful connections and providing much-needed support to my clients. I love the feeling that my passion helps others to fulfill their passions.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I have always felt a bit different from those around me because it took me a while to find my path. I still feel like I’m “behind” in my life, and it’s a daily challenge not to compare myself to others. 

I went to university immediately out of high school without much of a plan. I wanted to go to art college, but I couldn’t envision a fine arts career, so instead, I bounced around trying to find what felt right. Everything seemed driven by a nagging voice telling me I had to be practical and choose something safe that would provide a stable career. Teaching? Too many teachers in our province. Clinical psychologist or English professor? Too expensive to do a Ph.D. Could I become a famous children’s author? Not likely. 

 

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I worked full time and went to uni part-time. I ended up graduating with an arts degree in English and psychology and still not much of a plan. I was proud of myself for getting that piece of paper, but I was essentially qualified for nothing. I did learn a few things though, like the value of money, how to balance school and work, administrative skills, insight into the human psyche, sweet bartending and barista skills, proper grammar, and the gravity of really listening to oneself. 

But now what? I tried moving to another city, then to South Korea to teach English, then I returned to Halifax. I helped my sister with her wedding, then did an internship with a local wedding planning company, and from that point on, I focused my attention on planning and coordination. I began a position as a post-production coordinator for film and television, and I loved it! I loved being the one to organize all of the stray parts of the post. I moved into a producer role at an audio production boutique and wore many interesting hats, but I still wanted to create! 

 

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A close friend of mine, Tonya, had launched her career as a virtual assistant and she became my mentor. She encouraged me to offer lettering services and sell greeting cards. She sort of opened my eyes to the world of the create-your-own-career mentality, and I began to take on VA client work during evenings and weekends. I began to attend a quarterly gathering of women in business called Leading Ladies Networking, and it was so inspiring to meet local women who had followed their passions and made their own success. Meeting all of these wonderful women gave me the push I needed to venture out on my own, and here I am!

 

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

A: I have a wonderfully supportive family, partner, and close friends, and I feel so incredibly lucky for that. I know I would not have even attempted this journey without these special people in my world who have helped me to see my own potential. But ultimately, your drive has to come from within. Don’t waste time doing what you think you should do or doing things that don’t make you happy. 

If you don’t have a plan, don’t fret! Try new things. Travel. See things. Do things. Live. And it will come to you, babe. And when it does, just go for it!

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me means 100% equality. It totally means girl power in a rockin’ Spice Girl way, but to me that doesn’t mean “down with men.” Have I experienced “mansplaining?” Definitely. Have I felt the burning cheeks of rage and embarrassment when a male co-worker labels me “bitchy” for having an assertive opinion? Many times. Have I had “me too” moments? Oh, girl. Too many. Do I wish our society wasn’t still dominated by white males? Absolutely. But, does this mean that we must condemn all males? I think not. Many are our allies. Many, despite their societal conditioning, agree with us. 

So, feminism to me means we are all equals, ♀ women, men, and ⚨ genderqueer alike, we all have value. The sooner we can truly embrace that, the sooner we can all thrive.

 

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Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

I’m currently working on my online presence and polishing up my website.
Please stay tuned, and follow me @chelseajanecreative on Instagram or facebook.com/chelseajanecreative.

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

 

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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