Woman Wednesday: Ruby B. Johnson

*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 Ruby B. Johnson, Sierra Leone, West Africa

“Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a mining engineer and currently work at a gold mining operation. I am also the founder and editorial director of STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. Premiered in September 2018 with its autumn issue, STEMher Magazine is a print magazine showcasing the education and experiences of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) academia, careers, and programs. STEMher celebrates women thriving in their careers and inspires others to fuel their curiosity and interests in STEM; the status of individuals featured range from middle school through retirement. In one year, STEMher has featured more than 50 STEM girls and women worldwide from countries like the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, Canada, South Africa, India, France, Nigeria, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Sierra Leone, and England. All magazine issues are available for purchase on stemher.com and Amazon Marketplace.

 

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Summer 2019 Cover

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone [in West Africa]. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old, which meant growing up and completing my middle school and high school education in Maryland. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSc in mining engineering and a minor in women’s studies leadership. While in college, I founded When You Believe Foundation, a program that empowers women and girls through social media engagement, workshops, and donations. In 2012, I competed in my first pageant, Miss Sierra Leone USA, with the platform of advocating for the recruitment and retention of girls and women in STEM fields, since I was a STEM college student at the time and women’s empowerment was something I was passionate about. I won the pageant and with that title, I was able to travel across the country as well as in Sierra Leone, encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM. After the crowns and titles, STEM advocacy and women’s empowerment continues to be my lifelong platform. I wanted to take this platform to another level to be able to reach women and girls I may never cross paths with, so I created STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine last year. 

 

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

A: Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research. (1) From Monday through Thursdays, I work ten-hour days and a two-hour commute to and from work. Additionally, I am an entrepreneur who runs her own business creating content and putting together each issue for STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. I also serve in a couple of ministries at my church. Life gets busy. In the last year, I’m being intentional to prioritize my mental health. Making time to rest and slow down when necessary. In order to be productive with work, I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work. It’s okay to say “no” or “not yet” sometimes. I cannot fill the cups of others when my cup is empty. It’s also okay to ask for help—whether it’s in prayer, family and friends, community, or therapy.

 

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(2) As I navigate through the professional world and life in general, I’m realizing how important it is for one to control their narrative. Of course we cannot fully control what people say about us or how they feel about us; however, I believe we can play a role in those things. The way we carry ourselves is very important. We have to learn wisdom on when to speak up or be silent. We must be our biggest defenders and tell people how we want them to treat or address us. (3) Running a business is no easy feat and it’s time-consuming. In college, I learned to not study hard but study smart. I believe that’s important to do when you are a business owner. Being that I don’t have a business or journalism background, I spend a lot of time learning—asking questions, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and everything else in between. I want this magazine to go beyond, so that means I have to put in the work. I may not see harvest immediately, but sowing seeds each day counts. All in all, I believe it’s important to know who you are, stand firm on your values, always remember your why, and never lose your humanity no matter what environment you are in. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means being my authentic self, living out my God-given purpose, and being intentional about making a difference in the community. While working on my women’s studies leadership minor in college, I learned about intersectionality. I am a Christian woman, born and raised in Sierra Leone, a naturalized American citizen, a woman in STEM, usually one of few or only black people in some professional settings, and a family-oriented individual. I thrive because of these lived experiences but also have a heart and a curious mind to learn about those who are different from me. Feminism to me is never compromising my faith and also being compassionate to others. To me, feminism means to reach for excellence and nothing less.

 

I’d love to connect with you!

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Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

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Woman Wednesday: Carly

*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 Carly, Melbourne, Australia

 

I used to give up on projects too early without enough feedback to see it through, and I attribute my giving up too early mostly to self-limiting beliefs. You can have the best business model and the best-looking website and great marketing strategy, but if you don’t believe in yourself first, you will fail every time. So for me, first and foremost is get your mindset right in the beginning, and set the foundations to build an amazing life for yourself and stick at it! The only way you will stick at anything is self-reliance, discipline, and self-belief.”   

 

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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am most passionate about creating personal and financial freedom for not only myself and my family, but also empowering women to create the same for themselves.  For me, it’s always been about being able to live my best life on my own terms with the flexibility and freedom to be able to help and inspire others in my own unique way. I have always been passionate about the online business space, and I started my own affiliate marketing site back in 2002 and never looked back since. From there, I went into web development and search engine marketing and helped businesses grow their online presence. I also studied personal and business coaching and assisted a mentor of mine to build an online course that helps people to change self-limiting beliefs and mindset coaching. I now own and operate one of Australia’s largest Christian dating websites and have just started compiling all my knowledge to build a platform for women to grow personally through an online business called InspireHer Online. InspireHer Online will help positively change the lives of millions of women around the world giving them the most effective path to their personal and financial freedom on their own terms.

 

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

A: I love to share my skills, failures, and successes with others in an effort to help them avoid the pitfalls and misdirection that is rampant in the online business world.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned that you can apply to both personal and business is consistency and self-belief! Never give up on your dreams! Realize that lots of failures lead you closer to success. I used to give up on projects too early without enough feedback to see it through, and I attribute my giving up too early mostly to self-limiting beliefs. You can have the best business model and the best-looking website and great marketing strategy, but if you don’t believe in yourself first, you will fail every time. So for me, first and foremost is get your mindset right in the beginning, and set the foundations to build an amazing life for yourself and stick at it! The only way you will stick at anything is self-reliance, discipline, and self-belief.

This was a big one for me, and it is what lead me to learn how to remove and change the old belief patterns I had and replace them with ones that align with my values. Developing a set of values for yourself is so important; they are your foundations and backbone that guide you through your life. Having no/a poor set of values or compromising your values to suit your needs at that moment will always create self-doubt, lack of direction, lack of purpose, and anxiety for you. Not correcting your old beliefs that don’t serve you will have you chasing your own tail and repeating the same old behavior and ultimately, lead to self-sabotage. So, I would say this is the most valuable lesson I can pass on and teach with my passion to help others finally achieve the long-term success they deserve.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like? 

A: I grew up in a small town near Melbourne, Australia, as an only child, and my mother was a hard-working single mum. During my younger years, I was always painting and drawing and ran art classes for other younger kids to raise money to go on a 12-month student exchange trip to Sweden which had a huge impact on my life—showing me that life experience and experiencing different cultures and people are things you can never learn in a classroom. I backpacked all around Europe afterward and have now traveled to 21 countries and counting! I started online marketing back in 1999 and developed a long-standing background in I.T. and digital design and marketing. 

I combined both talents and first began designing websites in 2001 as a web designer for a Melbourne-based company, then started my own business developing online businesses for clients, and then later studied and taught coaching and consulting. Since then, I have been married and divorced, I have a wonderful 12-year-old son, and I have started many businesses (some that failed, some that succeeded). I have been flat broke, I have had wealth, and I have come through it all into total prosperity now, and I feel so privileged to be able to help other women achieve the same and more.

 

 

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Pictured: Carly and her son. 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I have never been a fan of labels, so to me, feminism means being a good human and treating each other as equals. I don’t believe women should have to be a certain way due to societal beliefs, and I also think men should be able to show emotion and cry without being perceived as weak. We are all human in the end—no matter what kind of body parts we have, I hope in time we can love and respect each other for the individuals we are and celebrate that.

 

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Carly’s collage to remind herself of her path to success.

 

 

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

Business Links:

www.inspireheronline.com

www.instagram.com/inspireheronline

 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Ioana

*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 Ioana, Cluj, Romania

 

“What I would like everyone to know and apply is passion! Find something that you love doing and go for it. Take time for it, show what you do to other people, involve your loved ones in your passion. Whenever you feel completely disappointed, desperate, and that life is completely pointless, turn to that color or canvas, pot or music, or whatever makes you feel joy.”   

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Since I was very little, I loved playing with stones, rocks, mud, wood, and pretty much anything I could find on the ground of my parents’ garden. When I was about 12, my parents introduced me to a well-known visual artist here in Cluj, a sculptor.

 

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From that moment on, I started creating carved pieces out of stone, wood, clay, resin, bronze, and many other materials. This began as a childhood hobby but soon became a lifelong dream and career. I applied to the arts high school, followed by arts university, then a master’s degree in cultural management and then another master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels.

 
I traveled a lot, this being one of my greatest passions in life—discovering new places and cultures and becoming inspired by other ways of living. Through many of these travels, I also organized exhibitions, cultural events, theater and performance events in countries such as Morocco, Armenia, Belgium, France, Spain, Sweden, and I also made a lot of friends everywhere. All of these experiences have shaped me, both as an artist and as a human being.

 

 

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Pictured: Art by Ioana.

 

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

A: None of it was easy. Each time I left, moved, traveled, I did it alone. I enjoyed traveling alone because this allowed me to discover the world in a very personal way. I lived in France for one year, didn’t speak the language very well, and didn’t know anyone in the city I moved to. It was very hard at times, and I wanted to come back home more times than I can count, but slowly, I learned the language, started meeting people, people began interacting with my art, and so, by the end of my stay there, I had an exhibition, friends, and a new language under my belt.

 

Armenia was another challenge, as I went there in an Artist in Residence program (AIR), without any idea of what to expect. My great-grandmother was Armenian, and I had this strong desire to visit the place I also had roots in. At that time, I was still working on war-themed art pieces and was deeply inspired by the history of Armenian people, both during the genocide in 1915 and the more recent one committed by Azerbaijan in 1988. I had this drive to show people what has happened before in our history because I believed that this could change mentalities and ensure a better present and future for people. I was quite rebellious and hardheaded in regards to my beliefs.

 

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When I came back from Belgium, where I got my master’s degree in sculpture, I was 25. At that time, I started craving order and responsibility in my life, so, because I was surrounded by doctors in my family, I started working in an oncology clinic as a manager. One year later, I started working at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy here in Cluj, and by the time I was 27, I had two jobs, no creative time, and a big hole in my life. I missed the sculpture and the arts. I missed my years of creative events organizing, so I started, slowly but surely, infiltrating my creative side into the business part of my life. I started designing posters and commercials for the institutions I worked in, developing promotion campaigns, and started making soap to giveaway to our oncology patients.

 

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Soap making was actually the moment of my awakening—as I was quite numb since I returned to my country. The colors, the essential oils…it’s a true therapy, this soap making activity. After that, I started making jewelry and slowly grew back my inspiration for sculpture. As I moved to a new house with a tiny garden, I rediscovered my love for gardening as well, and this became one of my biggest passions. Growing plants! And landscape design. This month I decided to start growing a vegetable garden for my family and am constantly reading about seeds, soil, and getting inspiration on landscape architecture sites. I guess I get this from my mother, who is a professor in landscape architecture and my grandfather who was a phytopathologist (doctor in plant disease).

 

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Pictured: Hand-crafted, natural soap by Ioana.

 

At the moment, I still work two jobs, but when I get home in the evening, I create something. This is my goal every day, whether it’s a silver ring, 20 soaps, or just transplanting plants, every day is a creation day! My dream is to be able to quit all jobs and only focus on my passion: art! So, I have these 3 things as creative pillars: sculpture, soap-making, and gardens. And the one thing I was lacking also arrived in my life, once I regained trust in myself and my creative side, my boyfriend.

 

What I would like everyone to know and apply is passion! Find something that you love doing and go for it. Take time for it, show what you do to other people, involve your loved ones in your passion. Whenever you feel completely disappointed, desperate, and that life is completely pointless, turn to that color or canvas, pot or music, or whatever makes you feel joy.

 

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Have faith in yourself. Also very important: Will is a self-training thing–if you don’t stimulate yourself, you won’t pursue your goals, so find things that stimulate you! Be it that one extra like on Facebook, a kind word from your partner, or selling one of your crafts at a fair, just do it! Be brave!

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: If we ask ourselves, “Is feminism important?” Just check this little historical fact: Women in Switzerland gained the right to vote in federal elections after a referendum in February 1971.

1971! One of the “most civilized” countries in the world!
So, what does feminism stand for? I believe that if we were not forced to live in a world ruled by men, in which we were treated as subhuman, pets, or worse, we would not have been obliged to react. Feminism is a reaction to oppression, demanding equality in rights, equality in perception, and equality in labor. This is what it means to me:
a necessary movement and attitude in the 21st century.

 

 

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

 

Personal contact:

ioanas.tanasescu@yahoo.com

www.facebook.com/ioanas.tanasescu

 

My pages:

https://www.facebook.com/ArtfusionTransylvania/

https://www.facebook.com/SoapySculpture/

https://www.facebook.com/desculptura/

 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Jessica K

*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 Jessica from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada  

 

“We are human. We can only learn from that and try to be better next time.”  

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about so many things! I’m an enthusiastic person by nature, and everything I discover is always “the best thing ever” [laughs]. Things I love that have stuck are reading, cooking, red wine, and hiking.

I’m also super invested in (and passionate about) helping other women succeed in their own entrepreneurial businesses. Once upon a time, I was a freelance copywriter and found such success that I was able to quit my full-time job to focus on my writing. Now, I’m giving back and helping other women achieve success like I once did, and girl, it feels amazing!

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: It’s funny because I don’t really feel like my younger years influenced where I am now. I’m completely different from my family and have always marched to the beat of my own drum. My family is very much the “you get a good job, work all day, come home to live your 4 hours of normal life until it’s time to wake up and do it again” mentality, whereas I’ve always been extremely expressive, creative, and nontraditional.

My mom often asks where the heck I came from [laughs]!

But you know what? I really enjoy that part of me. I love being able to teach my family new things and hearing the surprise in their voices when they hear my latest endeavor because it’s just so different from anything they are used to. We certainly learn from each other!

 

 

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

A: I’m an extremely positive person by nature and genuinely love helping others find their way. Over the years, I’ve really learned to be accepting of others and keep the judgment at the door because you never know what someone else has been through. Above all, always be kind!

Of course, I’m not perfect and neither are you. Try and practice these things, and if you catch yourself being judgmental, don’t beat yourself up. It happens, we are human. We can only learn from that and try to be better next time.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism is about equality. No matter what gender we are, we all deserve to be treated as equal human beings. And that’s it. It’s quite simple really. Treat others with kindness, respect, and equality. Women are strong, and we deserve the same treatment as any man. Girl power!

 

 

Connect with me!

You can find me here:

Facebook

Instagram

Website 

https://www.bravedigitalcoaching.com/

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Tabatha

*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 Tabatha, Washtenaw County, Michigan

 

Having a team is the cornerstone to success.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Baking! Confections Factory has been a part of my heart for well over 20 years. The concept of what we do is simple. Love in every slice. The mission is for every client to feel like they are [ back in their childhood years ] sitting at the foot of their mom’s apron tasting the delicate treasures that come from her oven. If I had to define my passion, it’s the smile I get from each customer with every delivery. There is no greater feeling than a good slice of heaven and a smile to go with it.

 

52744559_393016344592510_903654981570134016_nPictured: Culinary baker and businesswoman, Tabatha. 

 

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Pictured: A delicious buttercream birthday cake by Tabatha from Confections Factory. Shipping is available in all U.S. states! 

 

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Chocolate strawberries, anyone? 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I have loved baking since the age of 8. Spending time with all the women in my family baking was the release we had and the bond we built together. Sharing recipes and watching them create sparked a fire I could never put out.

 

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Pictured: A peanut butter chocolate lover’s best friend!  

 

Pictured: Some of the delicious goodies you can order from Confections Factory! Their number one best seller? The cake named “Sexual Chocolate!” It is pictured on the bottom left. 

 

 

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

A: Having a team is the cornerstone to success. I used to do all of this solo. I never had outside support. I just thought this was a hobby. Then I attended a class in 2017 called “E-Series,” and it gave me my fire back. It showed me how to gradually put the right pieces in place and excel. Since then, I have been on a mission with God on one side and my team on the other. Right now, we are only a team of three, but it’s a mighty one. One person handles production and development so that we keep the flavors fresh, one handles the strategy, and I handle the baking. Then of course let’s not forget our pop-up staffers that assist with events and more.

 

 

Pictured: Tabatha, Graphic Designer Sheryl Morton, and Business Manager Brandi C. Shelton.
Not pictured: Christopher McGhee’ Kelly (but a special shout-out goes to him as Tabatha’s business partner)! 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I like this quote by Coco Chanel:

“The most courageous act is to think for yourself. Aloud.”

 

 

 

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Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you have a special occasion coming up?

Confections Factory ships anywhere in the United States! Click here to check out her bakery! Call or contact her on her page to order!

Click here to follow Confections Factory on Facebook!

 

 

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