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: 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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Get in touch with Kristin:

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Leilani

*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 Leilani Romero, Fairfax County, Virginia

Website: www.leilaniromero.com

WATCH LEILANI HERE VIA A SHORT VIDEO CLIP.

Author/illustrator of The Little Things: A Collection of Happy Things

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“Since I was a little girl, I loved all things artistic. I would draw people for fun since I could remember and gift them the drawings just to make them smile. I would create cities out of art supplies and colored cardboard…creating my own little world. I would spend hours on Microsoft Paint drawing pretty things simply because I enjoyed it, and little did I know that this was called design.”

 

Q:What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m a graphic designer, international portrait and wedding photographer, an illustrator, and most importantly an entrepreneur. I graduated from the school of art and visual technology at George Mason University with a concentration in graphic design and a minor in art history. Although this might sound very cut and dry, my college career was far from it. I changed my major three times, and for a while I thought I’d be an architect…It took a little soul searching to find my passion, but in the end I chose happiness over all.

Since I was a little girl, I loved all things artistic. I would draw people for fun since I could remember and gift them the drawings just to make them smile. I would create cities out of art supplies and colored cardboard…creating my own little world. I would spend hours on Microsoft paint drawing pretty things simply because I enjoyed it, and little did I know that this was called design.

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In high school, I began to explore photography and in college a friend gave me my very first canon camera because I was really good at photography. I later learned dark room film photography and continued to take portraits of the people I loved because I didn’t want to forget a thing about this beautiful life. As I took more and more photos, I began to receive requests, and friends and family pushed me to launch a Facebook page. Next thing I knew, I was starting an official creative business: Leilani Romero Co. and taking portraits and shooting weddings professionally! It’s been five years since and I wouldn’t have it any other way. After that, I began to expand the design side of my business and launched The Flower Shop, a place for handmade prints. Pretty soon I published my very first book, an illustrated work— The Little Things: A Collection of Happy Things.

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While running a business became my passion, in order to support it, I worked in the professional world for five years in the non profit, corporate, and consulting spaces. As a consultant, I was able to learn about marketing strategy, communications, and social media marketing. It was through these many corporate career opportunities that I became a digital marketing subject matter expert. Although I’m only 23, I’m proud to say that I have worked professionally in this space for five years, and it was well worth it.

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Q:What things have you learned that have been valuable to you?

A: One of the most valuable lessons I learned is to always be clear and open with others. In business it’s very important to always be professional, learn as much business knowledge as you can, and always educate yourself. Business law is crucial, and drafting the appropriate contracts can really be the best decision in the long run.

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Q: What do you want others to learn from your story?

I want others to learn to never stop working on their dreams, and always follow them with all their hearts, because it is so worth it.

The grass is always greener where you water it. 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.

The biggest takeaway is to focus on what will make you happy, and live life to the fullest. If you have a dream, you need to listen to it, and chase it with passion!

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

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The Trap These Mega Brands Want You to Fall Victim to…Don’t Fall for it!

There is a new trap many shoppers are falling victim to. It’s cheap prices on apparel. Yes, that may seem like a good thing, but for many in recent years, that is not the case.

Mega brands (big name brand stores—both storefront and online) are selling you clothing at such low prices that you may think they are doing you a favor, when it is often a disservice to you.

Just like a fine wine, a good pizza, a comfortable pillow, a long-wearing lipstick, some things are worth paying a little extra. Clothing is no different.

Yes, that five dollar top may be quite tempting, and I have fallen victim to buying so many cheap-priced clothing items myself that I have lost count. But not anymore. You should not either. Here is why:

 

  1. It will not last very long. That $ 5 top you bought that shrunk after one wash, got a hole in it when it got stuck to your purse, the color faded, it stretched out, the stitching came undone, it felt uncomfortable….I could go on and on. Don’t let that $ 5 mislead you, you will soon be throwing it away—and wasting more money on another cute, yet cheap top that will also face the same fate.

 

  1. It is not good for the environment. Often these cheap clothes are made with harmful chemicals, dyes, and they are manufactured in an unnatural way that sends pollution into our air. Most clothes need dyes and some chemicals, but pricier options often are made with low-impact dyes and chemicals that are environmentally safe. Make a cleaner choice, and opt for more natural material—like cotton. It is healthier for the Earth, and healthier for you!

 

  1. You will spend more money in the long run. This goes back to number 1…You may think you are getting a great deal with cheap clothing, but you aren’t. Spend a little more to get that well-made $25 top made of 100% cotton, and it could last you several years or longer (and actually save you money).

 

  1. Support small businesses instead—Often many small businesses will not give you clothes at a super cheap price, because a variety of reasons. One reason being that they cannot compete with the big brand names. Another reason being that they might be made better or more ethically. Also ask yourself, do you want to live in a world where we can only shop at 5 stores, because that is all that is left (because the little guys couldn’t compete)? That would be pretty boring. So instead, support small businesses when you can.

 

The next time you purchase clothes, ask yourself, “Am I really getting a good deal? Or am I falling into the trap that big name brands want me to fall into?”

 

Every $1 you spend is towards the businesses of tomorrow.

 

 

 

Next month, My Lilianas will be selling quality, 100% cotton loungewear shorts with pockets for $18 on Kickstarter. It is our pleasure to offer healthy, quality, environmentally friendly loungewear at an affordable price to you soon.

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