Woman Wednesday: Emily

*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 Emily, Denmark

“I hope others will read this and find out for themselves that there is a whole life out there to be lived. No matter what and how much has been taken away from you, maybe you’ll never get over it, but you can get on!”

 

Q: What is your story?

A: Hi! I’m Emily and I live in Denmark, Europe.

I learned from an early age that you never ever say “no” to people, and I learned to never think for myself. From when I was about 4 years old and till I was about 16-18, my parents cruelly abused me both physically and emotionally. I learned to become invisible and to not be noticed, and my life was a living hell. I’ve been living with anxiety and depression ever since.

As an adult, I’ve discovered that I’m quite creative and I like a lot of things, and my biggest passion is jewelry–the making of it. At some point, we had a break-in, and among other items, all of my jewelry got stolen. I was devastated and swore that from then on, I would never ever buy myself a new piece of jewelry ever again, and that I would make everything myself. I’ve kept that promise ever since.

 

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I started out small with a few pairs of earrings, and things have really changed since then. I decided to learn all that I could about jewelry making and to constantly better myself. I still have a long way to go, but I’d dare say I am actually excellent at what I do, and I’ve never ever had any help in learning. I’ve done it all myself, and that is what I am most proud of.

 

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My all-time fave female singer, whom I have the pleasure of knowing in person, is the first person ever to say “I believe in you and I know you can do it.” She introduced me to “LAW OF ATTRACTION,” and though I still have bad days, it is changing everything for me one small step at a time.

 

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I can do many different styles of jewelry, and I’ve fallen absolutely head over heels in love with the Japanese style called KAWAII. Kawaii is a Japanese expression for “CUTE.” And Kawaii IS cute. Its pretty colours, its cats, its pink, its glitter, its…..[you get the idea]. So, I started making Kawaii jewelry, and I know now that it’s exactly the right thing for me. So, I’ve recently started selling online, and I hope to make a living on it.

 

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I hope others will read this and find out for themselves that there is a whole life out there to be lived. No matter what and how much has been taken away from you, maybe you’ll never get over it, but you can get on!

 

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I am slowly finding my kind of power and getting ready to start living – living the life that I should’ve had, but never got.

Please check out my website at https://catchykawaii0.webnode.dk/ or find me on Instagram at instagram.com/catchykawaii.

 

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Comment below!

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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:
And the Facebook site for the novel:

 

 

Megan & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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Woman Wednesday: Raquel

*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 Raquel, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

“You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I would say I am passionate about many issues and problems, but I am most passionate about freedom for farmed animals. I have always been a huge animal lover, and dogs have been my best friends in my life when I felt alone. I always fought hard to raise awareness for the cruel dog meat trade in Asia and never realized I was being hypocritical when it came to my diet. I became vegan once I educated myself about how these animals are abused and tormented and how selfish it is for me to decide my taste buds are worth more than an innocent being’s life. Pigs are more intelligent and just as emotional as dogs, if not more, so who am I to take their life? My passion has driven me to decide to one day have my own animal sanctuary for these innocent beings once I am successful enough in the modeling industry to support these animals.

Click here to watch a short video on the similarities between animals and people. 

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

My interests include mostly spending time with my family and dog, going on long walks, sewing, and helping others when I can.

I work as a full time model and travel, which has been amazing so far!

 

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Pictured: Raquel and her younger sisters.

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

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

A: I have learned to truly not judge someone for what I think their life seems to be. You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.

 

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood has been something that was hard at the time, but now I am so glad that I went through these things to build who I am today. My dad was never a great father figure, and he was not home most of the time. If he were, it was just miserable. I became an extremely anxious person which has stayed with me. In high school, I did not have many real friends, and it was really hard for me when it came to lunch time. I always sat alone or in a teacher’s room, because I hated being alone in the library or lunch room. It really killed me emotionally, at the time. My mom has always been there for me helping me everyday when I feel like everything is spiraling, and I am forever grateful for her impact and support in my life.

 

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Pictured: Raquel and her younger sisters.

 

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Pictured: Raquel modeling My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

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

A: I would like others to educate themselves and truly research how corrupt the meat and dairy industries are and how this hell is ruining the environment, their health, and torturing millions of animals each year. Animals are no lesser than humans and deserve to roam happily. I would also like people to take away that you never know what someone is going through.

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Pictured: Raquel modeling a faux blanket and My Lilianas. Photography by Ollie Productions. 

 

Check out Raquel on the My Lilianas Commercials:

 

 

 

Follow Raquel on Instagram! Click here.

 

Raquel & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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Woman Wednesday: Katherine

*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 Katherine, Hunterdon County, New Jersey 

“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.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: There’s a few things in my life that I’m really passionate about. The first thing is my faith. My faith is something that has always been important to me, but recently, I’ve really been trying to grow in my relationship with God and allow my faith to inform all aspects of my life. God is so good, and I’m so grateful for how I’ve seen Him work in my life. In my free time, I share a lot about my faith on Instagram and on my blog, Loves Jesus & America too!  I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we recently bought a house & farm in the town we grew up in. We’re really passionate about farm living and renovating our home! I work as an occupational therapist in a school for children with special needs and also at a hospital with elderly patients. My job is really fulfilling, and I love being able to help people everyday.

 

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Katherine in Paris, France. Read more about Katherine by clicking here. 

 

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Pictured: Katherine on her wedding day.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A:  My younger years are really special to me. I was so blessed to grow up in a big family, being the oldest of 4 children. I had such a wonderful childhood. The home my husband and I bought is actually right next to the house I grew up in, and we are so excited to be so close to family! Growing up, I was always hanging out with neighborhood friends, playing outside, and volunteering. Volunteering from a young age really instilled in me the importance of giving back to my community & serving others.

 

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

A: Something valuable I’ve learned that I would like for others to know is that it is more important to cultivate meaning in your life than it is to rack up accomplishments. I used to be so concerned with achieving things. I never found time to rest and to enjoy the present moment. Working hard is incredibly important, but we need to find balance and meaning in our lives beyond that, whether it be through relationships, faith, hobbies, or rest. That’s why I love My Lilianas so much! It is a company all about women working hard and supporting one another, but also living their lives fully and enjoying the present moment.

 

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Pictured: Katherine wearing her Lilianas

 

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

A: Something I would like others to learn from my story is that at the end of the day, what matters most is how we love those around us. Saint Mother Teresa once said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” 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.

 

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Pictured: Katherine, and her high school sweetheart ~ husband, Dominic. 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: To me, feminism is embracing the beauty of being a woman and the person God created me to be. God created women with beautiful talents, gifts, and capabilities that are unique. True feminism to me is embodying and embracing these gifts that are unique to women and using them to benefit our world and help others.

Check out Katherine’s Blog! 

LovesJesusandAmericaToo.com

 

Katherine’s Instagram Profile to Follow: 

@katherineocello

 

 

Katherine & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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Woman Wednesday: Sam

*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 Sam, Sunshine Fields, New Jersey 

“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.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: My largest passion is people- helping people and working with people. I think that’s partially why I wanted to start up my own businesses (so I could do that all of the time).

 

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My two current businesses are Forest & Farm and Sunshine Fields NJ (both I’m working on with my other half and partner of 4 years, who totally also deserves credit)! His name is Matt.

 

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Forest & Farm is our woodworking and home decor business. It basically started by us building all of the furniture for our first apartment together. Matt is an engineer, and I’m an artist. Together, we figured we’d DIY our way through everything (coffee tables, shelves, dinner tables, dressers…), and eventually, everything in our home became handmade! We wanted to share that with others, so we started wholesaling, retailing, and opened up our own Etsy shop. We are constantly doing custom made projects for people.

 

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Sunshine Fields is a 115+ acre family flower farm (Matt’s parents primarily grow wholesale flowers there, but we decided to open up to the public for the first time ever this year!) The two of us planted pumpkins together, cut a 5+ acre corn maze together, and crafted all of the games and activities for this two-month long fall festival. Again, we wanted to share this with others. This farm is such a peaceful place, filled with beautiful flowers and family, and we felt it was so worth opening to the public.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: As a young kid, I heavily enjoyed four (…well, five) things: art, animals, music, being outdoors 100% of the time, and being a tomboy. I had fears, but generally, I always identified myself as a strong girl capable of learning anything (from learning how to play guitar in middle school to learning how to skate in college.) There’s never really a limit to what you can do.

 

When I was 14 years old, I ended up entering a beauty pageant (pretty unlike my tomboy self) for Filipino-Americans in the US (I’m half Filipino, half Irish), and I ended up winning that thing. I’ve always felt sensitive talking about it, mostly because I never wanted to feel any sort of entitlement or be different than anyone else. I really only wanted to win to break this negative facade of pageants and complete the charity work. I think it was a huge pivotal moment in my teen years and in becoming who I am. I had this opportunity to actually do something. When you’re that young, and you fly to the Philippines, and you live out this dream of helping others and donating yourself and your heart to others, it’s a little wild. I’ve always had that in the back of my heart (this feeling of a desire to be a part of something greater than myself).

 

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Fast-forward to me sitting at a desk in an office in the corporate world. It just couldn’t cut it for me. I had multiple internships and jobs in New York City. I left those for smaller non-profits, and I tried out a whole bunch of career opportunities. As cool as the experiences were, there was just something that never really felt right. I couldn’t shake this feeling that I could really do something and really start something, so I left those jobs to try to figure it all out. It’s still a little crazy to say that [laughs], but I figured it’d be worth a shot.

 

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

A: 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.

 

If I had gone to college and if someone would have told me that starting up two businesses at 23 years old would be difficult and impractical, maybe it would have made me want to do it more (…maybe)! I mean, just to know that the thought would even possible at all would have been pretty cool. We should feel more empowered to do this. I think I’ve been going through this process of both losing and finding myself throughout the things that I’ve done. It’s really (really) hard to put yourself out there and chase an idea, or a dream, in a vulnerable state. It takes courage, and it’s underrated.

 

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

A: Take the plunge, and do what you like to do. You have nothing to lose. Trust me, literal blood, sweat, and tears and every penny I have has gone into everything I’ve done. Im still terrified. Its still really dang hard, but there is still nothing to lose (…& I should really take my own advice)! There is nothing more rewarding than doing it.

 

Check out Sam’s shop!

ETSY: www.etsy.com/shop/forestnfarm

 

Sam’s Instagram Profiles to Follow: 

@sunshinefieldsnj & @forestnfarmco

 

 

 

Sam & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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