Woman Wednesday: U’ilani


Q and A with U’ilani, Kalaoa, Hilo, Hawai’i

“I think my journey and passion was guided not only by myself, but through the past events of my ancestors.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My name is Uʻilani Macabio. I am from the Island of Hawaiʻi. I was born and raised on this island my whole life. I am a mother of two boys, a 14-year-old [boy], and 5-year-old [boy]. Naturally, my interest is my Hawaiian culture. Being raised on this island, I was always immersed with the natural beauty of this island and the ocean as well as my culture. Therefore, my passion and interest comes from my foundation for the love of my land, culture, history, and language. I am currently a teacher at Honokaʻa High and Intermediate School, and I teach social studies and Hawaiian language. I find so much joy and pleasure in supporting my community with knowledge and helping raise the next generation to also love the language and culture of Hawaiʻi. I also support my students through social-emotional learning through the Foundations of Aloha. My goal is to support my community with problem solvers, effective communications, and community contributors that understand who they are, love their environment, and are willing to support.

I also have been gardening and supporting small farms on the Hāmākua and Kohala Coast on the Hawaiʻi Island. It has been enriching to ground myself in the land and to continue that positive reciprocal relationship to land. I also have been promoting self-healing with plant-based CBG and CBD products to support the mind and body. Hemp extract is so important for humans to operate at the best optimal level, and [being able] to use and promoting the products brings so much happiness to know that people are on the positive journey to feeling good and operating at the best level possible. I also dance hula for Hālau Nā KĪpuʻupuʻi in Waimea, Kohala. Hula has connected me to my culture, it allows me to share my ancestors’ stories and knowledge, and it awakens my spirituality. I paddle canoe with Kawaihae canoe club. My coach, Uncle Manny Vicent, has taught me so much as an athlete and as a person. Paddling has been a family sport for over 10 generations. Lastly, my family and I are surfers, fishermen and fisherwomen. The things we do in the ocean bring us together and continues the family knowledge and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, my passion comes from my upbringing. I am forever grateful for my parents, my ancestors, the land and ocean of Hawaiʻi, and all my teachers and mentors for always being there and supporting me.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a small little town called Kalaoa in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Life was so fun. I had family always around me. My cousins and I would play in the rivers, bushes, and trees. We would stay out all day and come home for dinner. We would drink water from springs and water hoes. Later, in high school, I was a surfer girl always at the beach or in the farm. I started to value education in my high school years because I started to make connections from my Hawaiian culture to the things I was learning in school. Subjects like math, science, and history I could always find a connection someway or somehow to my Hawaiian culture. I graduated from Pāhoa High School. I want to say I am so blessed with my upbringing; I would say I am lucky. I went to college and got my bachelor’s degree in anthropology and minor in Hawaiian studies at UH Hilo. I then got my master’s in education at Grand Canyon University. I want to say there has been so many teachers, mentors, and friends that I have made [who have] helped me become the person I am today. During my time at UH Hilo, I have been in so many great programs. One was Wahi Kupuna internship with Huliauapaʻa, and PIPES, who allowed me to learn and practice cultural resource management as a Hawaiian and a Hawaiian practitioner. I think this was such a pivotal moment not only in my life, but for archaeology in Hawaiʻi. Where it was a shift in perspective of how archaeology in Hawai’i should be conducted in a Hawaiian perspective and methods, where it is less invasive to the cultural sites and cultural remains. Also, during that time, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher to promote more students to be the new innovators, shifters, and movers in Hawaiʻi.


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

A: I think my journey and passion was guided not only by myself, but through the past events of my ancestors. There is so much of why I do and believe what I believe in is because of the rich Hawaiian culture I live in, but also because of the stories of my ancestors continues to live within me. Meaning, I am the product of the story, and my children and grandchildren will continue the story as well. If I could leave something valuable, it would be to be the person, the story that your children or grandchildren can learn, value, and use in their future.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I think feminism is a new or Western terminology. I never felt less than or unequal to [men]. Women here can say, do, and make big movements, and it’s not a big thing. I think a lot of women that came before might have done something to make things so much easier for us. However, because around 1820s and 1830s, the Hawaiian Kingdom adopted the European style of ruling; that’s when a lot change happened, and now, women are identified as less, invalid, even to our royal queens and princesses. Although these women lived in a new Hawai’i, they still carried on their duties. Most if it would be considered heroic or would be consider a feminist movement.

One of the events was the Kūʻē petition, where both women and men went around each island in Hawai’i asking them to sign this a petition to be against the illegal annexation of Hawai’i. At the time, only men with land could vote. However, these women went so that all voice is valid. Another example is of princess Kai’ulani. Her story is widely known. Her mission [was] to share the story of her people throughout some of the United States. She did it during a time of man-driven world. Soon after, President Grover Cleveland sent James Blunt to investigate about the illegal happenings in Hawaii done by the provisional government. Therefore, women today and before me are risk-takers and go-getters. Therefore, feminism is new because we have nothing to fight for besides just voice our thoughts and do what we need to do, and we get it done.


Q: Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

A: Hawaii is my home, and I hope it will continue to be the home of my future grandchildren for many generations. Our culture is living and thriving, and some people might not know that. However, please learn the history and culture of any place, and I know there will be value to gain from it.

Thank you for reading!

Connect with me:

Facebook

Instagram



Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Let us know! Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Tania


Q and A with Tania, Manchester, England

“I think if I started training just to get abs, I would have stopped after 2 weeks.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about self improvement. My motto in life is, “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” This has been so evident in my life since I decided to take my health and fitness seriously. As I started exercising, I saw myself getting stronger and fitter, and when I would reach a new personal best on an exercise, I would ask myself, “What else am I capable of?” This made me want to take risks and try new things in other areas of my life, including my career and relationships. I got out of a toxic relationship and made so many new friends. I also made the leap to become self-employed as a personal trainer helping other women and showing them what can happen when you decide to improve your health and fitness.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I moved a lot when I was young, moving between my mum in Zimbabwe and my dad in Scotland. I finally settled in Aberdeen, Scotland, at the age of 8. I went to school there and did a year of civil and structural engineering at Aberdeen University, but I realized it wasn’t the course for me, so I dropped out and, shortly after, moved to Manchester where I launched a fashion App, but sadly, [I] couldn’t get funding to grow the business, so I got a job. At this time, I was in a bad relationship and wasn’t happy with my career either so I started reading about personal development.

I just wanted to feel better about myself, so I decided I would do something every day that would make me proud of myself. I knew that if I wanted to stay consistent with it, I needed to make it so easy for myself so that I couldn’t make excuses. So, I started running for just 10 minutes a day. Fast forward 6 months later, I was doing 30 minutes plus a day with some rest days here and there. I then made a decision to join the gym, and 5 years later, I’ve never looked back and never will! Health and fitness is part of my life; it made me a better person.


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

A: I think one thing that made me stick to exercising regularly and ultimately transforming my whole life is that I focused on something deeper than the physical. I think if I started training just to get abs, I would have stopped after 2 weeks. I just want to help other women realize what limitless potential lies within them only if they dedicate to improving themselves: physically, mentally, and emotionally.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means equality for all people regardless of gender, sexuality, or background. It means women supporting one another and empowering each other in an effort to achieve this goal of equality together.


Thank you for reading!



Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Let us know! Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Cha


Q and A with Cha, Philippines

“Success is not about money. It’s about fulfilling the little things that make you YOU.


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I love to learn new things every day, but what I am most passionate about is creativity. I am Cha Consul, and I graduated in visual communication arts from a small province in the Philippines. I graduated in 2019, and I worked in corporate companies as a graphic artist but never felt satisfied with it. As young as 20 years old, I knew the career path I’d been taking was not for me. So, I started a part-time job as a freelancer while working on my 9–5 job.

I slowly felt I that was in the right place, and before I knew it, my little studio called Risseia was born! Now, I work as a freelance book illustrator and brand designer for female entrepreneurs. I am now working on a children’s book illustration project that will be released this 2020 worldwide!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a very traditional and cultured family. My parents are religious and strict, but despite that, they were hard-working. I never really got that trait though. I used to be a slacker when I was in high school. I never got to be a top student and almost failed in every college application. I love making art though. It was like my sanctuary even when I was a little girl. My parents wanted me to be an architect, yet the only thing I achieved during that time was disappointing them.

When I luckily passed one college application, I took an art course instead of the one they wanted me to take. I was planning to shift on architecture after one year, but I guess the artist in me got in the way. I continued being an art student and I grew fond of it. I loved how art made me motivated to learn. Before long, I was acing all of my subjects! I was one of the top students in class without realizing it, and slowly, I am finding what I am truly capable of.

I graduated last year in 2019 and started working on a famous cosmetic brand as a graphic artist. While I was really having fun with it, living in a third-world country became hard. My salary was minimum wage and I had to travel 6 hours a day to get to my work. It was a crazy experience and I realized it wasn’t worth it. I decided to resign in less than a month knowing of the situation. In between those days, I kept thinking of what could happen if I become a freelancer instead. Well, my anxious self discouraged me.

Fast forward, I successfully worked at another company, but I decided to become a part-time freelancer. I never realized how exciting it was to work for other brands and challenge myself to execute a great design! I worked secretly on my freelancing projects when my boss wasn’t around. My mother wasn’t also supportive of the idea of me working as a full-time freelancer, so I knew I had to prove something to her.

It was the pandemic when my career changed its course miraculously. Despite the horrible events happening, it helped me become stronger and made me more self-reliant! My current company wouldn’t let me work from home, so I decided to try freelancing as a temporary ‘full-time’ job. It was then when I realized the vast opportunities waiting for me outside my day job, I worked harder and made my mom realize that this path is helping me release my true potential. Before I knew it, I took the biggest risk and resigned again to become my own boss. To be honest, my partner Jupert, was the one who really inspired me to take this risk. He was so supportive, and I’m glad I could rely on him every day.

Now, my parents are the proudest, and I realized that all the things that happened were all there for a reason. I am blessed with all these projects I am handling right now and I can’t wait to learn more in the next coming years! I believe that when you want something, you just have to trust yourself and the process!


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

A: Some people might not support you right away, even your loved ones might not support you, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up. We tend to feel discouraged when someone disagrees with us. Honestly, not everyone should matter to you. Analyze those people who are valuable to you and focus on them instead. It’s okay to prove yourself to others who are important to you, but know that you should prioritize how to prove yourself wrong. Anyway, our greatest enemy is ourselves.

It won’t be an easy process, but if you believe in yourself enough, your true potential will automatically shine! Trust your process, and as long as you love what you are doing, that is enough reason for you to keep going. So, quit that job you hate, start doing what you love, risk for freedom, risk for happiness…risk for yourself.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism for me is about fighting for equal rights. Most people think that Feminism is just about us fighting on how women are more superior to men, but I think we need to voice out what the true meaning of this advocacy is. It’s not about who is better or who is more valuable; it’s about learning to respect each other’s potential and lifting each other up no matter who you are!


Q: Is there anything else you would like the readers to know?

A: I’d like to use this platform to simply encourage anyone out there who is struggling with their careers. I know a lot of people who aren’t happy with what they are doing right now. I hope you find the strength to finally choose what you really love to do. For once, don’t think about the money and don’t think about what others might think; just think about how content you will become if you love the path you are taking. I believe that money will run after you when you are doing what you love. I hope you get excited to wake up one day because the dream you’ve always wanted to do is already happening. Success is not about money. It’s about fulfilling the little things that make you YOU.

I am Charisse Consul, a 22 year old Filipina illustrator and designer who is the founder of Risseia Studio. I chose this career for myself and to help others fulfill their dream career with my skills & services. I hope this interview inspired you. Talk to you again soon!

Thank you for reading!



Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Let us know! Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Chitra


Q and A with Chitra, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

“I definitely have come to realize my outer world is a reflection of my inner world.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about living life to the fullest; doing what makes me happy. My husband, kids, and I love traveling and being in nature, so that is something we do quite often.

I have loved natural skincare since I was young. The Body Shop used to be my favorite shop to hang out in. Even if I could buy a small jar of lip balm from there, it used to make me happy. I somehow knew I always wanted to do something with natural ingredients as I love the smell of shea butter, cocoa butter, and essential oils, but I didn’t know where to start. About 6 or 7 years ago while reading Dr. Oz’s website, an article on ’99 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil’ (one was on how to make lotions bars), I had a lightbulb moment. Immediately, I started researching this. I started off by making lotion bars, but it didn’t do that well in Malaysia as our country is quite humid, and it was not suitable to use lotion bars in our weather. Then about 2 years later, when I was looking for something for my skin and couldn’t find anything that helped, I decided to make it on my own and this time, I formulated a balm to be used on my face to reduce freckles and scars. I also made one for my mother and she introduced it to her friends. As I wanted to do it right, I studied on natural skincare formulation. I took a few courses before I started it as a business. That is how Esha CG Beauty & Health started. We are into our third year now. It brings me so much happiness that I can be of service to people and when I get messages from our customers saying that our products have helped them or their children heal certain skin issues that they had.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: There are 6 of us in our family. Mom, dad, and 4 children. I am the eldest, and I have 2 sisters and a brother. I grew up in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Being the eldest and helping out with my siblings from a young age has made me a responsible person. What I find really hard now is our brother passed away last year from cancer and he was 29 years old. This has impacted me a lot, but this has also made me realize I know I want to do what I love as long as I can.


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

A: I have learned that it is important to believe in yourself, do what you love, and don’t give up. I have made mistakes, but I learn from them.

When I first started, I had a few people telling me what I was doing wrong. I started off with my own pocket money, so I didn’t have a big budget to start with great photography or proper packaging. It was basic, and that was what some were talking about. Slowly, I reinvested the sales money into the business and changed the packaging, took better pictures, bought better quality ingredients. Even if you have to start small, it’s okay. Just start with what you have. If I would have waited until I had more money so that I could do it 100% right, I may have not started until today. Last year, we were nominated for two of our products and one of it won the Readers Choice Award from BabyTalk and MamaPapa magazine. For the employee of the magazine to call me alone was a surprise, as I had no idea how they found me. My marketing is just not one of the best. It’s from word of mouth that our business is growing.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, means equal rights for women in every opportunities. I do not consider myself to be a feminist, but at the same time, I don’t keep quiet when someone tells me it’s okay for a man to do that but not me because I am a woman.


Q: Is there anything else you would like the readers to know?

A: Life has its ups and downs. It’s not always a bed of roses. There are days where I am just not strong; I cry if I want to, but I pick myself up and don’t stay there for long. I do the best in what I am doing; do it with love and trust the universe knows what’s next for me. I definitely have come to realize my outer world is a reflection of my inner world. The moment I started loving myself and working on myself and stopped judging myself so much, I attracted better circumstances in my life.

Thank you for reading!


Facebook

Insta


Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Let us know! Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Ashley I.


Q and A with Ashley I., Asheville, North Carolina

My dad told me that I had two options—I could allow the statistics to govern who I would become or I could recognize that those statistics were BS and define life on my terms.


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: First and foremost, I am massively passionate about empowering women. Not even just empowering them but ingraining in them their infinite possibility that can only come from intimate relationships with oneself. I am so completely obsessed with reminding women of how incredibly powerful and needed they are in the world, exactly as they are. I believe that when women are empowered, they show up in a way that completely changes the way we operate as a collective whole. On the flip side, my other passions include food, baking, cooking, and feeding people. Feeding people, to me, is absolutely a love language and allows me to nourish people from the inside out. I have also found that if you truly want to know people, share a meal with them. Some other passions include photography, being outside, going on adventures, travel, fitness, and being present in life. Meditation is my jam! Life is what happens when we disconnect from this version of “reality” and connect back into the truth of ourselves.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up seeing two sides of the coin. Being a child of divorce, I had the unique opportunity to experience life in two different ways. On one side, I saw what it was like to live in a balanced partnership through my dad and stepmom. They got married almost 30 years ago, and they’ve been together through it all. They’ve been an amazing example of how it’s done and what it takes to build a real partnership that is equal in all parts. On the other side, I learned what being a strong, independent woman was from my mom. There literally wasn’t any situation that she couldn’t make it through. She always reminded me, as did my dad and stepmom, that anything was possible on this planet as long as I put my whole self into it. I definitely grew up always being told that there were no limits to what I could do in my life. This, in turn, really prepared me for the moment my life did change. When I was 16, I dropped out of high school, acquired my GED, moved to NC from FL and found out I was pregnant (with my now 15 year old daughter). All of this happened within three months. My dad told me that I had two options—I could allow the statistics to govern who I would become or I could recognize that those statistics were BS and define life on my terms. It didn’t matter what the world said or how anyone else showed up in it. What mattered was how I chose to show up every single day, and that’s how I chose to live life from then on. I knew that I would do more, and I would change the space that I was taking up so that my daughter wouldn’t continue fighting the generational battles passed down to us. Fifteen years later, I can testify that all chains are broken, contracts voided, and ancestral lines healed. We are not victims in this family.


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

A: As cliché as it may sound, anything is possible once we figure out what we’re here for and what it is we truly want to do in this world. Not what anyone else tells you, what you tell you. I always tell people that I get what I want and that has proven true 100% of the time when I am fully invested in the direction I am placing my intentions and energy into. It doesn’t necessarily look like how I see it, but it always works out in my favor with far better outcomes than I could’ve created. On the other side of that, once you have an idea of what you want, START TAKING ACTION! Don’t worry about the how. Know your why, and start taking action right now. The ‘how’ will present itself. The universe loves a determined heart. Before I manifested my TV show, I spoke about it for the year I was operating it on FB and YouTube. I would tell everyone that I am the next Oprah, and one day, this will be a globally syndicated TV show. I didn’t know how that would happen. I didn’t have connections, money, or anything that told me it was a possibility for me, but I still knew. I knew that if I kept speaking it, showed up, and took action, the rest would fall into place. As of next week, The TUF Woman Table airs, GLOBALLY, on Amazon TV, Apple TV, and Roku. Best part is, it’s just the start. Seek that which is in your heart and then take the next step, even if it seems miniscule in the moment. Sow seeds continuously, and I promise you they will harvest when the time comes. You cannot fail when you bet on you.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism to me is empowerment, equality, and freedom of the feminine to exist and take up space. It means creating a space for all people who resonate to feel safe, seen, heard, and allowed to be, as is. Feminism doesn’t say that you must show up in this way to be included, instead it allows space for you to just be. Feminism is saying that you are worthy, equal, and important in all capacities. Feminism is the most beautiful space when we begin understanding that it’s about embodying the fluidity, compassion, inclusiveness, and true balance of both the masculine and feminine working together in harmony. Neither one being more or less, simply equal as they are right now. I think everyone has the capacity to be a feminist and the world would be a better place if we were.


Thank you for reading!



Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Let us know! Comment below! 🙂