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! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Lasheika

*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 Lasheika, Miami, Florida

“Everything happens for a reason, and don’t regret a thing because it’s all a part of your journey.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Hi, my name is Lasheika. I am a mom of five boys and an author of experiences. I recently began my blogging journey, but my love of writing was recognized in middle school. I love to write and now that I’ve had experiences in love, life, family, and marriage. I choose to share those experiences with other moms in the hopes of them gaining more insight, support, and encouragement.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was raised by my mom and step father. Just having a nonexistent relationship with my biological dad was enough for me to go looking for love in all of the wrong places. I became a mom at the age of 17, which was one of the most scariest and happiest times of my life. Two weeks after giving birth, I returned back to school. I graduated three months later. The birth of my son was a true game-changer for me. Seeing this little human made me push past my own emotions and shoot beyond the stars. Now, five kids later, I was more determined than ever to find my purpose. I felt that by having five kids and being able to maintain my sanity was something that I could share with the world. Me feeling neglected and then me finding love in my marriage and through the births of my children have me wanting to share my experiences with those who faced similar challenges.

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

A: I would want other women to stay encouraged, continue pushing forward in faith. Believe and know that God will never leave nor forsake you. Most importantly, nothing is a mistake. Everything happens for a reason, and don’t regret a thing because it’s all a part of your journey.

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is our unique flawlessness. It’s the strength that we possess that no other has. It’s our ability to bear weight that only we can carry. It’s our boldness, our beauty, our courage and strength to overcome.

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

Comment below!

 

Woman Wednesday: Ariel

*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 Ariel, Collin County, Texas

“I signed up for one design class and absolutely loved it! I found that I not only had a passion for interior design, but I had a God-given gift to envision a space based off my clients’ wants and needs.”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am an interior designer who helps homeowners feel empowered through design. My passion is writing your story through fabric, furniture, architectural elements, and your personal items. I never planned to be an interior designer.
After high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. As a young child, I had developed a love for animals. My parents told me that I should be a veterinarian because I loved animals so much. After graduating, I got a job at a vet clinic before school started to get my feet wet. It was my first surgery to watch with the vet, and I was so excited. Sadly, I soon learned that I was not meant to be a vet. I asked my parents and friends what I should do because I had no idea what to do next.
They told me because I love kids that I should be a teacher. I got to the end of my junior year and realized that I wasn’t passionate about teaching. At the time, a lot of my friends were teachers and would come home stressed out complaining about the kids and then have to bring work home on the weekends. I just couldn’t see myself working that hard to deal with other people’s misbehaving kids. After I realized these things, I dropped out and quit my job. I had no idea what I was going to do. I just knew that I kept doing things my way.
So, I told my family and friends to pray for me because clearly, I kept trying to do things my way instead of trying to do what God was wanting. Maybe a week or so went by and my aunt called me saying she knew what I was supposed to do because God kept her up the night before. I was very skeptical and just told her “Sure he did.” She was serious and began telling me future plans of being an interior designer. I was still skeptical but began to argue with her saying that I’m not passionate about it nor do I like interior designers (because I thought they were stuck up and rude). She told me to go to one class before I said no. If I didn’t like it, then we would start over. I signed up for one design class and absolutely loved it! I found that I not only had a passion for interior design, but I had a God-given gift to envision a space based off my clients’ wants and needs.

 

 

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This is my first year stepping out to do my own thing. I am currently working on two projects. The first project is almost complete. It is a remodel of a kitchen and fireplace. This homeowner had tried to make things feel like home, but it just wasn’t working. The space now speaks his style and spunk. He loves coming home to a space that relaxes him instead of depresses him. The second project is just starting. It is a remodel of the master and two Jack and Jill baths. This one is going to be an eye catcher after it is completed! This homeowner was tired of having such an empty house that didn’t feel like home. He loves to entertain, but he was embarrassed to bring people over because of the lack of furniture.
On the weekends, I work on writing books. Currently, I am in the editing phase of my first book. It is my personal story to help teenagers with their parents’ divorce. The second book will be a series of books about my dog and her adventures. I am very excited to become an author and share my knowledge while having fun.

 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were tough. I come from a background of two generations of divorce. My parents had me while they were still in high school, and my grandparents raised me–not my parents. This helped set me up to be completely different than anyone my age. I was taught that you only reap what you sow, and nothing in life is handed to you. They instilled this mindset into me, and I am forever grateful. I have changed my family tree and the future generations. Also, I grew up in the country, so I am just a country girl who loves to hunt and fish, but don’t think for a second I don’t love to get dressed up!
I am a first generation to: not have a child at a young age, be married before 20, go to college, get a college degree, get two college degrees, become a business owner, and be completely debt free. I have two associate degrees. One is in childhood education and the other in design. I can’t tell you too much or it will ruin my first book’s story line. 😊

 

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

A: My clients aren’t just a onetime transaction. I design around their wants and needs, which means that I get to know them. They get to know me and become like family! I want them to know that I treat each and every client’s project as if it was my own. They all are books to me, and I have to read them to know what they want. I want them to become my lifetime clients. God’s plans will always be greater and more beautiful than we could ever plan for.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I believe that men and women were created equal. God created us all to be unique, and we shouldn’t try to be something that we aren’t. Be what God created you to be.

 

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Let’s connect! 🙂

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rusticsimplicitydesigns/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rusticsimplicitydesigns/

 

I reside in Texas, but I will travel for bookings.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Sona

*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 Sona, Orange County, California 

 

“Don’t dull your shine for someone else.”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about teaching women how to manifest their dreams with flow and ease. There are a lot of women that are trying to manifest desires, and they are stuck. I provide guidance on how to truly manifest anything you want. I help others continue the mindset.

 

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

A: I’ve learned that people’s opinions of you don’t mean a thing. Don’t dull your shine for someone else. Be true to yourself. Be honest with yourself and others and find peace within. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like? 

A. I’m going to be honest…I didn’t have a good childhood. I grew up in a bad neighborhood where my mom had a government job and stepdad sold drugs out the door. I was a live-in nanny to my half-siblings. I’ve suffered lots of abuse–mentally, emotionally, and physically. As a small child, I vowed that my child would never go through this. I got abused by my ex-husband. But I got the courage to walk away. My mom that adopted me was my rock; she taught me how to really stand on my own two feet. I have two licenses in skincare in two different states. I have two bachelor’s degrees, one in business and one in marketing. I was a single mom at 30 years old. I left my husband when my son was 2 years old. I was not happy, so I got the courage to live my life on my own terms. Yes, I made a lot of mistakes on the way, but I don’t regret it at all.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means we should be equal to men. But in this day and age, we are not. God created man, but a woman can create life, nurture the baby in her womb and bring it forth, men can’t do this. I feel women should be empowered, not put down by men. A woman can do the same job as a man, probably even better. That’s my take on it.

 

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

 

Follow me on my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/c/Sonasunni

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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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