Woman Wednesday: Valentine


Q and A with Valentine from Kenya, Africa

Be the driver, but let passion be the drive.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about helping aspiring service-based entrepreneurs who are stuck and confused to stop going round in circles, gain clarity, formulate a strategy whilst leveraging digital marketing to continuously generate leads, and create a wildly successful business while they live the life they choose. Over the years, I have always been interested in marketing, and at the time, I didn’t know much about digital marketing. I started my job as a waitress in Dubai in 2012, whilst learning online about marketing. It took a lot of hustle, tears, hard work, rejections, training, and a huge mindset shift for me to finally land my first job in a marketing department in one of the fastest-growing cities (Dubai) and grow to become a marketing manager. Once I started, there was no stopping me; I read many books, learned everything I could, attended so many webinars. I worked successfully in the marketing field up to when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we had to stay at home. At this point, I realized there was a lot digitally that I had already accomplished and a lot more that I needed to learn. So, once again, I decided to use quarantine time to study. That is how my journey with digital marketing started. It was quite easy because I had already had the basics, so it was more of just advancing my knowledge and thinking bigger.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a small village in Kenya, Africa. I lost my mum when I was 5. Honestly, I don’t know much about my background as I didn’t get to know my father to date. I grew up with my loving grandparents. There isn’t much to say about my background, except that I also had this fire within me that made me feel like I wasn’t extraordinary. I tried to fit in; I always wondered why I was different. Most of my skills are self-taught as I didn’t get a chance to study anything I wanted in college. I have always had a huge affection for orphans, which led me to start my foundation called TOF(Talented Orphans Family), which is geared towards developing orphans’ talents to make them independent and also teaching them skills that can make them dependable in society. This was the most fulfilling thing I had ever done, but as I was the sole financier, it came to a stop as I had an accident that caused a fracture that disrupted my earning and functioning capabilities. This would just be a tip on the iceberg to what I have endured over the years and also achieved. Everything has led me to my destiny. I am strong now, unstoppable, and ready to conquer then change the world. My experience has taught me to overcome any situation, to understand people’s situations, and to relate easily to them. I believe that this is the right time for me to make an impact.


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

A: When you are at the saddest and lowest, most painful level you can be, that is where you get sharpened. That is the time you can become reborn. That pain is what, when used the right way, can turn you into someone very powerful. We all have this greatest strength buried deep inside each one of us; only a few people get the chance to fully experience this strength. The feeling of being unstoppable. When you have lost it all and there is nothing else to live for, you have a choice to give up or to dig deeper than ever before for your hidden strength. It’s more like a superpower. Digging and tapping into that inner strength will change you and make you as strong as steel. You will then be ready to become anything you set your mind to and there is nothing that can put you down because you already know how to get back up.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: When I talk about feminism, this comes to me on a personal level, coming from a background where women are known to stay in the kitchen and learn to be wife material. I do not want to be put in a box of what I am supposed to become or who I am supposed to be as a woman. Being a woman is just my gender; I should be judged by my capabilities, my skills, and my intelligence. When I am talking to fellow entrepreneurs, I need them to understand that being a woman or a man has nothing to do with how intelligent one is. If I succeed in something, it’s because I am just that good, not because of favors or because I am a woman.


MORE FROM VALENTINE: Something I have learned and would like to share: You do not need to make it perfect; just start and keep learning, keep improving. If you keep going, you will keep getting better.





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Woman Wednesday: Claira


Q and A with Claira from Helena, MT, living in Missoula, MT

“You deserve to thrive, simply because you are alive.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about pro-social living, ethical business, health, food, luxury, freedom, spiritual evolution, my long-term partner (Zac), our animal babies (bearded dragon, Shanti) and (axolotl, Cosmo), and Zac’s kids. I have two businesses founded on ethical principles.

My first business is called Holistic Contentment. It is a caregiving agency in which we offer a sliding fee scale, pay a living wage to everyone on the team, and give 20% of our profits back to the local community. I founded a care model called the Client Liberation Model. You can find out more about that here: https://www.holisticcontentment.com/client-liberation. When I started HoCo, it was on $125 and a dream. I was told that I was too progressive, offered too much for too little, that I looked like I came from a circus, and we would never succeed. The business has grown to 14 times its size in the last 10 months. I’d say that’s proof that those were false and limited beliefs on other people’s parts.

I have also recently started a second business called Claira Kruse Coaching. The premise is teaching bosses to level up their self-care, self-love, and their company culture. My theory is that bosses and workers have been taught to grind, to not take care of themselves, to take on responsibilities that are not their own, to place blame where blame is not due, etc. In that, leaders and teammates get burnt out. Turnover rates are higher. Health declines. This all leads to an overall leak in profits. As a boss, I can empathize with bosses, but as a progressive who came from poverty, I can empathize with workers. I help others in bridging the gap, to make business beneficial for everyone involved. I am here to change the world in serious ways.

I also love food and health. I had a binge eating disorder as a child and gained 130lbs between the ages of 7 and 8 (or 8 and 9, I don’t remember exactly). I went from 70lbs to 200lbs and started wearing my mom’s clothes because mine did not fit. Food was a means of control where I felt I had none. When I was 11, my only two friends decided we could not be friends anymore and I hit a hard spiral, completely losing my appetite and losing 30lbs in one month. After that, I dealt with the “yoyo weight swings” for a while, but I learned about vegetarian, gf, paleo etc. and have found better ways to enjoy food, while also taking care of my body. At this point, I expect to always be curvy, but between style, eating healthy, and daily movement practice, I feel great in my body. My partner and I primarily follow the Eat Right 4 Your Type food protocol.

Luxury and Freedom come after the above. If business isn’t flowing, and balance isn’t found, there is very little space for luxury and freedom. If you don’t have enough money to do what you want, and are not comfortable in your body, it is challenging to fully reach for either. I like the finer things in life. Vacation, travel, nature, fancy pants (literally, I love slacks in bright colors), jewelry, skin care, being able to do what I want, when I want. I love being my own boss and finding ways to implement healing techniques for what I mentioned above in my coaching profession. I am deeply spiritual. I was born and raised pagan and am completely non-denominational. I was sent to Sunday schools on and off as a kid, but it never stuck. My grandparents on my mom‘s side are pagan; my mom is now pagan, and my dad and stepmom are agnostic. I study spirituality, love spiritual podcasts, have a regular spiritual practice, and I am a spiritual channeler. At one point, I was studying to become a priestess, but I left that behind in part because I am not good at following other people’s instruction; I am a bit of a rebel. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, as they who are themselves say.

My direct family is Zac, who I have been with for over 4 years, and he is amazing. He’s so intelligent, funny, cute, and cozy. He also challenges me to be a better person and to always be true to myself and my principles. He’s really passionate about the game Dragon Dice and the community it comes with. It’s a great and diverse game. I love him a ton. We have a 5-year-old bearded dragon, a 1.5-year-old axolotl. Our bearded dragon Shanti loves to snuggle and gets sad if we do not snuggle him. He also loves TV, watching us do stuff, and the sunshine and garden. Cosmo loves to dance, eat, swim around, and be cute. Zac’s kids are 10 and 13, and they are both highly intelligent, creative, and hilarious. I am lucky that they love me.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were a can of worms. My parents separated when I was 4. My mom was pregnant with my little brother, and I was conditioned to be a disciplinarian to him. This was not healthy for either of us. My mom had a hard time with healthy relationships, but she did her best. My mom has always been playful, free spirited, and wanting to help everyone. My dad was a bit of a rocker, long hair, rock shirts, played in bands etc. My dad is helpful, soulful, and all about personal accountability. My dad and stepmom met when I was 7, and they are together to this day. I have two half sisters: an older sister and a younger one. I have my one full brother. I grew up with my big sister Ana in Oregon, but would visit her typically once a year (because I’m in Montana), and I lived with my little brother full-time until I moved into my dad and stepmom’s house at 14, at which point, I was living with my little sister until I was 18. I started planning ethical businesses at 11, but I was failing school from the time I was 8. I had a serious struggle between “I will change the world” and “I am incapable and no one likes me. I am a freak.” I struggled with self harm, codependency, substance abuse, challenges with gender identity and sexuality, failing grades, and serious anger and depression issues. I got into a lot of abusive friendships and relationships very young. My anger and depression started letting up when I moved into my dads, and my grades went from F’s to A-Cs within six months, but I did not have a genuinely happy year until I was at least 18. I have a belief that every year gets better than the last because I learn more, open up more, and live more as my authentic self. I did love when my mom would take me to Washington and Oregon to meet with her friends. They showed me a lot about being yourself, loving yourself, and loving humanity.


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

A: I would like for others to know that no matter where you start, what conditioning you are given, or beliefs you have about yourself, you can be open to support to heal, you can work on being kind to yourself, and in time, things change. You are capable. You are here for a reason. Find what you are avoiding in yourself, what dream you fear because it is too large, or because you feel unworthy, and go for it. You deserve to thrive, simply because you are alive, and scarcity is a lie meant to keep us small.


Q: What does feminism mean to you

A: To me, feminism means true equality between all genders, female, non-binary and male. It means letting go of gender boxes and allowing people to be who they truly are. Not taking any gender away, but simply being you, and not being bullied or shamed for your true expression. It means Black Lives Matter, POC lives matter, and recognizing where women who are not white have less privilege than those who are historically, and to this day. It also means paying fairly for stereotypically feminine labor. It means supporting families and using pro-social means to allow everyone a fulfilling and supported life.


MORE FROM CLAIRA: I am in a monogamous relationship with my partner, but I continue to identify as a non-binary queer woman. I will always stand up for the rights of others, and I think that the planet is better when we and the planet thrive. Follow me at https://www.instagram.com/claira.kruse.coaching/ and DM to schedule an application call for Liberate to Elevate, my coaching program.

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Woman Wednesday: Tammi


Q and A with Tammi, USA

“Start now!”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about many things. I am an initiative creative and I love creating new content. I am launching a new program around empowering women to balance out in multiple ways, including understanding and shifting their dream state to make a bigger impact on their lives and biz.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a big family. I was the oldest of six kids, and I helped take care of them. My family taught us to work hard and value being a good, honest hard worker. Life was our education. We worked and played hard as a family. Service to others was valued and important as well.


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

A: Learn to have balance now. Do not put it off. Being over busy and being out of balance can effect your ability to retire in peace and abundance. Start now!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism shouldn’t be hard or coarse. It is not demanding. It’s soft, receptive, and kind, but it sets healthy boundaries and gets important matters taken care of properly.


MORE FROM TAMMI: I am a certified ThetaHealer and I love empowering women to make bigger shifts than they can ever dream possible even faster! Struggling to overcome hormonal imbalance and PTSD has been a challenge, and I love empowering other women feeling out of balance to balance naturally so they can live their dreams.

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Woman Wednesday: Brie


Q and A with Brie, Burnsville, MN, USA

“I don’t want to be known for what I look like, and I don’t want to be treated any differently just because I am a woman.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: There are a lot of things I am passionate about. One is my job. I started my career as a correctional officer in a large metropolitan jail in Minnesota. While I loved the setting and population, I decided to leave to pursue higher education and a career in psychology. Thereafter, I earned a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology, and I worked in several state and federal prisons throughout my training. Now, I work as a forensic psychologist. I complete competency, criminal responsibility, civil commitment, patterned sex offender, and risk assessment evaluations. My work consists of reviewing police discovery (e.g., crime scene photographs, video and audio recordings, legal documents) and other records, interviewing defendants, administering and interpreting psychological tests, writing a report, and then testifying in court as an expert witness. Recently, I started a private practice, through which I also provide supervision, serve as a business consultant, and review research proposals. Given that my work can be mentally and emotionally draining, I maintain balance with activities I am passionate about. Specifically, I always need to have both physical and creative outlets. For example, I train in boxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) and I have another business as a freelance makeup artist. Other things I am passionate about are cooking, traveling, salsa dancing, and gardening.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My parents started a business planning performing tours for high school music groups when I was three years old. My father brought my sister and me on the road with him and taught us about the business from an early age. This has hugely impacted my life, as I am now a business owner myself. The business also allowed us to travel as a family. By the time I was 18 years old, I had visited all 50 states and dozens of countries. Aside from travel, however, my parents made sure we were exposed to other cultures, customs, and languages. We had very close friends from Nigeria and three exchange students (they were from Mexico, Argentina, and Poland). I, too, studied abroad twice, spending a semester each in Mexico and Spain. I also backpacked around Europe for one month. I feel so fortunate to have had these opportunities. Travel has taught me independence and confidence. I have gained a new perspective in life and appreciation for what I have. I also learned the value of speaking another language. My goal is to always have traveled to at least as many countries as I am years old.  Another significant and related aspect of my childhood was cooking. My father loves to cook and he shared his love of it with me. It was something we often did together. He cooked two new dishes each week, and often, we tried foods from all over the world. Cooking for friends and family brings people together and is an act of caring and giving. It was also way I could connect with my Italian heritage and explore other cultures.


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

A: I hold several important lessons with me. One is to be humble, ask questions, and always be open to feedback. At the same time, however, know your worth, believe in yourself, and walk the world with confidence. Despite holding a doctorate in clinical psychology and being considered an expert witness in court, it took me a long time to feel confident. I always assumed there were so many other, more experienced clinicians than I. Likewise, it has always been hard for me to ask for the compensation I deserve. Nevertheless, you have to be your own best advocate. Second, as an introvert, I hated the idea of networking. It felt so disingenuous. Inevitably, however, most career opportunities arise via word of mouth. Also, it doesn’t have to be inauthentic. Form friendships, reach out, ask questions, and make an effort to stay in touch. Third, it really is a small world. This is especially true in my field. There are only two state agencies that employ forensic psychologists, so we all know one another. This is also the case throughout the country. Therefore, it’s so important to comport yourself professionally and never burn any bridges.

Your reputation matters. Fourth, I have learned I must always find balance. I have taken on a lot of endeavors and am always busy. I work full-time, own two companies, have several side gigs and contracts, develop professional presentations, write manuscripts for publication, and am seeking board certification. I also dedicate my time to several hobbies and need to set time aside for my family, my friends, and myself. This is a constant juggle and I am often overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s important for me to stay in tune with those feelings, self-care, and prioritize so I don’t get burned out. Lastly, I am always pushing myself to do things that scare me or that I don’t believe I can accomplish. Whenever I have doubts, I want to prove to myself that I am capable of achieving what I set out to do, even if it’s hard. As a result, I have earned a doctorate, started two businesses, run an ultra marathon, gone skydiving, and gone scuba diving in narrow cave passages, among other things. It is my perseverance in the face of self-doubt that I am most proud of.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: When I was younger, I hated dresses, the color pink, and anything else I perceived to be “girly.” I felt that the only way I could establish myself on equal footing with the boys and find acceptance was to reject my feminine side. As an adult, I have always worked in male-dominated environments and participated in male-dominant sports (e.g., hockey, mountain biking, boxing, BJJ). This led to a lot of inaccurate assumptions, unwanted attention, and unfair treatment. Being told I couldn’t do something because I was a woman was also a frequent occurrence. An ex-boyfriend once told me I couldn’t be a forensic psychologist, and my uncle told me girls don’t play hockey or box. Unfortunately for them, I like to challenge people’s assumptions and prove them wrong, so I did all three. As a correctional officer, my male co-workers didn’t think I was capable of performing my job as well as they were. I was dismissed as just filling a quota and I was the subject of sexual harassment. When I resigned from my position, they admitted they made bets about how long it would take before I cried and quit. Despite making a significant effort to dress professionally and conservatively while working in prisons, my physical appearance was the topic of conversation. People were always surprised when I told them where I worked, as if I didn’t fit the mold. I once had a female supervisor suggest I wasn’t even like the other female correctional officers because I didn’t play hockey (I did). Similarly, on the mats, men did everything they could to prevent being beat by a woman or they were patronizing. I don’t want to be known for what I look like, and I don’t want to be treated any differently just because I am a woman. Therefore, I am particularly interested in paving the way for other women working in correctional environments or joining male-dominated sports. My goal is to help women garner respect, rather than be patronized or objectified. I make it a point to try to address these issues whenever they come to my attention. I want to challenge people’s assumptions, or at the very least, advocate for what I believe in. I also want women to be able to both embrace their femininity and find success and respect in male-dominated arenas. As cliché as it is, I had to learn to accept myself, rather than trying to prove my worth or and what people expect of me. Who I am is a quiet, unassuming makeup artist who is trained in mixed martial arts and interviews murderers for a living.


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Woman Wednesday: Claire

*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 Claire, from Olongapo City, Philippines, living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“You must be able to accept all the choices you made in life, forgive yourself for all of the mistakes you’ve made, move on, and just grow from it.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a very creative person, so I love to create and visualize things. As a photographer, I am very passionate about capturing the beauty in every person and showing the world their true beauty. I often tell my clients my job is to show the world your true beauty and the beauty you have never seen in yourself before. I do not take pictures; I capture memories and I save them for you. As a life coach, I am very passionate about helping women find their voice, strength, and beauty while overcoming past hurts. With faith in God, I help women and anyone in need fill their God-given purpose in life. I developed these passions solely based on my life experiences on earth; it is what drives me to be the best I can be, so I can help more people in the world. I am currently in the process of finishing my 6 weeks program (Release, Reflect, Release, and Restart), my women’s empowerment BBBM website/blog page, and my book, Broken But Beautifully Made, which is based on my story, the stories that birthed my women’s empowerment platform.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a 3rd world country, the Philippines. Life was very simple, yet hard. My mom did her best raising 3 daughters as a single mother. I grew up in an environment that is all about family. All our relatives were always around and we did everything together…birthdays, holidays, and just simply hanging out after school and eating (Miryenda) afternoon snacks in Tagalog. Mom raised me as a God-fearing woman; I was very active in my home church in the Philippines. I was a worship leader, youth leader, and a vacation Bible school teacher for the kids. I have always been very passionate about helping others and making a difference…no matter how big or small it is. I graduated high school at the young age of 15 years old and college by 16. I love learning, reading, and just trying to become the best version of myself. I saw struggle at such a young age that I promised myself I would do whatever it took to be better than I was yesterday.

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

A: I have learned a lot of lessons from everything I had gone through in life. The one lesson that I find very valuable to me is understanding that it is not selfish to care for yourself first and to set healthy boundaries in your life. I learned to put God and myself first in everything I do in life. I learned to love me for who I was, for who I am now, and who I am to become. This is the one lesson I want anyone to learn from my lesson. You cannot love or help others if you are unable to do that for yourself. You must be able to accept all the choices you made in life, forgive yourself for all of the mistakes you’ve made, move on, and just grow from it.

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism for me is fighting for equality for women. Seeing us not by our gender, but by our ability to perform just as any other person can.

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Q: Is there anything else you would like to share? 

A: I am married to my amazing husband of 10 years now; his name is Richard Torres. We have one fur baby kitty named Mew. We have lived in NM for 11 years now, but my husband was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. I am also working on getting my bachelor’s degree and only have 2 years left. I will be graduating with a bachelor’s in business administration with a concertation in project management. I am also publishing my first book in July 2020. I will be coauthoring with 10 other amazing women for a devotional book called The Heart of God for Her.

I am a creative entrepreneur specializing in life coaching and professional photography. As a certified life coach, I specialize in transformational coaching with a keen focus on breaking harmful patterns and overcoming guilt and shame. With a compelling backstory of my own, I am very passionate about helping women find their voice, strength, and beauty while overcoming past hurts. With a backdrop of faith in God, I help women and anyone in need fill their God-given purpose in life. I founded Broken But Beautifully Made Women’s Empowerment Platform in March 2019; God has had this mission in my heart for 2 years. I created BBBM as a platform that allows women to speak, share, and see that she is not alone! I have overcome many trials and tribulations in my life that allows me to relate with other women and to testify how God saved me every single time…As a coach my mantra? “I help you release, reflect, refocus, and restart—Are you ready?”

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Mailing list 

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