Woman Wednesday: Olivia

*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 Olivia, from Charleston, SC, living in St Louis, MO

“You will always have a problem if you look for one.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am most passionate about people and natural disasters. I love helping women come out of their shells and become the person they want to be.

My obsession with natural disasters came after I lost 80% of my possessions in Hurricane Michael, Panama City Florida, October 10th, 2018. In December of 2018, I partnered with a close friend and helped with the #ComeBackStrongProject. We hosted the event at a local mall in Panama City. We gave toys and supplies to those in need at the event. It was a kick start to my humanitarian efforts. 


In February of 2020, I volunteered in the Bahamas to help with the hurricane Dorian relief efforts with the organization All Hands and Hearts. I plan on volunteering every year going forward. I am also writing a hurricane survival guide for tips and supplies after the storm. 

 

IMG_20200220_112549Olivia has lived in a lot of places; her husband is in the Air Force. She’s lived in Charleston, South Carolina; Panama City, Florida; Atlanta, GA; and St Louis, MO. But her favorite place is wherever she is helping rebuild communities after natural disasters.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born a Buddhist in South Carolina. My mother was born Catholic and converted before I was born. My father was an atheist. His parents were Jehovah’s witnesses. Needless to say, I have much respect for people with different religious views. 
We were not wealthy by any means. We always had the cheapest house in the best school district. My mother and father were very big in our education. Despite the lack of funding, my parents always found ways to share life’s experiences with us. We went on vacations and tried a variety of foods. 
My father was addicted to drugs, and my parents divorced when I was 8. A little about my family dynamics. My mother was 35 when she had me, and I’m the oldest of 3. She didn’t have children in her first marriage. My father was also married previously, but did not have any other children. When my parents were first divorced, my mother went to college. She actually got her double masters while being a single mother of 3 with minimal family help. (That is part of the reason I have the drive that I do. I honestly feel extremely privileged to be able to build my dreams without the same obstacles she had.)   

 

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I started working when I was 15. My father moved back into the house when I was 16 for two years to help my mother co-parent. They weren’t together; they just loved us more than they disliked each other. They were actually friends “sometimes.” I did pageants and went to 6 proms and was relatively popular in my town and city. My dad moved out when I was 18, and I moved in with him when I got out of high school. My father passed away when I was 20, and I paid for his funeral. I was also in an abusive relationship at that time. 
I did a lot and learned a lot on a little, but it is definitely a part of what made me the woman I am today. 
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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Never give up. No matter how hard it gets. You will always have a problem if you look for one. Your perception is your reality and sometimes you get in the way of your own growth.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Equal treatment of men and women. I’m very textbook definition when it comes to this topic. My thoughts have developed over the years and I fear that women are losing touch with their individual power.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Lea Ann

*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 Lea Ann, Jeffersonville, Vermont

“A valuable lesson I have learned through my journey is to just keep working on things little by little and be patient with myself.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about food, community, and bringing people closer together. I am currently working on my food truck, which is in its 2nd year. Business is doing great and I am expanding quickly. I have always been a chef and I seek validation through my food. But I thoroughly enjoy making people happy with the food.

 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were a mess. My twenties were crazy, but I learned how to focus and work on my goals (even though mentally and emotionally I was very unstable). I have an anxiety disorder that was a graveyard by drug use. Now, I am more centered, but it’s really because I’m so busy. I thrive in high pressure.

 

 

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

A: A valuable lesson I have learned through my journey is to just keep working on things little by little and be patient with myself. I have learned a lot and continue to learn a lot about validating my own work and learning to delegate. I can’t do it all myself, and I’ve created this amazing momentum that makes people want to work with me!

My dreams have become my reality through my actions. Learning to love myself and consider myself worthy of a good life, a loyal and loving partner, and family has been a journey that I will continue to travel. Overcoming fear and becoming the person I am meant to be on this planet: spreading love and inclusion, being one with all my brothers and sisters, lifting up the downtrodden, and creating magic.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism means living in a world where I have access to the same opportunities as anyone else as a woman of color. Feminism means I will fight for everyone to have the same access to resources and respect from one another. A world where liberty is truth. Strength comes in numbers and women lead, guide, and support humanity as it should be.

 

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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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Woman Wednesday: Kripa

*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 Kripa, from Fiji, living in Melbourne, Australia.

“Whilst the struggle was raw, real, and overwhelming, it was one of the best things that happened to me. It was the start of a deeply personal and spiritual transformation that brought me back to who I am and what I stand for.”


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about empowering women to be seen and heard with confidence through authentic self-expression and wellbeing. There is nothing more captivating than seeing another woman show up in her truth, authenticity, and wholeness. For those that love Netflix and have watched Self Made and Becoming, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

I grew up in a conservative family and culture where women stayed at home, made sure meals were available on time, and looked after children whilst men went to work to earn an income to provide for the family. A woman was seen through her meals, upbringing of her children, and upkeep of the house. Her role was to work behind the scenes and not be seen or heard for who she really was and what she desired. This way of living was defined by customs and traditions which were passed down for many generations and shaped a lot of who I was and who I became in my earlier years.

 

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Following the tradition, at the age of 22, I found myself in an arranged marriage to a man who neither my family nor I knew much about. I moved from Fiji to New Zealand with my then-husband and 12 months later, I moved to Australia. After being married for three years, moving to two countries, having bought a house in Australia within 12 months of arriving, and having a good job, I was deeply unhappy and felt unsafe and unloved. This marriage was not built on love; the idea of an arranged marriage is to fall in love once you are married and as you get to know each other. My parents, grandparents, my great grandparents, uncles, and cousins have been in arranged marriages, which have been quite successful.

Unfortunately for me, I was married to a narcissist who knew my family and friends were far away and the only person I could rely on was him. I tried marriage counseling, personal coaching, changed my work arrangements, and no matter how hard I tried, there was nothing I could do to save this marriage. When we divorced (culturally a big no-no), I found myself homeless on the streets of Melbourne with no roof over my head in a foreign country with $0 in my bank account and no family or friends. I hit rock bottom.

The only thing I had was my job. At that time, I had two options, to stay or to move back to Fiji with my family. I chose to stay.

Whilst the struggle was raw, real, and overwhelming, it was one of the best things that happened to me. It was the start of a deeply personal and spiritual transformation that brought me back to who I am and what I stand for. Through my struggles, experience, and journey, I met so many other women who were going through similar experiences who needed help and support and most of all wanted to be seen and heard for who they truly were.

My own journey and experience became my passion and has been for many years except, I did not fully realize it until I found more and more women asking me for help, support, and guidance which gave birth to my business.
I help my clients by sharing the same tools, techniques, and resources that have helped me to go from:
✨Being homeless to owning two properties
✨$0 to multi-six figure income
✨A narcissist relationship to soul-mate love
My biggest achievement by far has been my ability to be myself 24/7 and unapologetically show up in my divine truth in alignment with my purpose, passion, and path-priceless.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: On 28 December 2019, I lost my father, my best friend. He passed away with stage 4 cancer. He was such a brave man and he never gave up. My father was my champion, my mentor, and my greatest supporter. He taught me to value education (he was a top performer in his class, but he was forced to drop out because he failed English being his second language). Among many other things, he taught me the values of kindness, care, love, and independence.

Losing him has been the biggest wake-up call for me. In his last days, I learned many things; he wanted to travel, retire (he was 65), spend more time with mum and his children (we all live in different countries). His passing has made me realize that LIFE IS TOO SHORT and enough with the excuses.

After being back from his funeral, I hired two coaches so I could start to serve more deeply and do what I am here to do in this lifetime which is to empower 5 million women to be seen and heard and to protect the planet and its inhabitants (around the same time as the Australian Bushfires). This is what motivates me, this is why I show up, and this is why I do everything I do.

Getting this clarity for me has been priceless and being able to serve and support other women on their journey a blessing.

PS My grandmother passed away on 7 May 2020 (she was the last grandparent alive for many years and was a pillar of strength for me and my family). She was a strong woman who lived through hardship and poverty and raised seven children. She was one of the strongest women I knew and her passing has made me even more determined in my mission to serve, empower, and show up for women who know there is more to life and want to live a full, happy, and healthy life which is their birthright.

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

A: Happiness is not something you seek; it is something you feel. It is available to you whenever and wherever you choose whilst being you.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me is being who you are and showing up in your wholeness, fullness, and being-ness. It is about embracing all parts of yourself; the feminine and masculine while being AUTHENTIC to who you are at the very core of your being. It is about embracing and living in alignment with your divine truth with ease grace and flow.

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Camila

*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 Camila, Uruguay–>Montreal, Canada

Sometimes, I just want to stay in my comfort zone and ignore what might help me and my business grow. However, the outcome is so positive that you will be proud of yourself.


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: My passion is to help people live a simpler life. As a professional organizer, I love to bring solutions to clients’ spaces by decluttering and organizing in a way that is functional and aesthetically pleasant. 

Growing up, I admired my dad’s taste in interior design (he was a notary though) and my mom’s sense of minimalism. I hadn’t heard of my profession until 2016 when I read Marie Kondo’s book and started researching about it. I studied to become a Certified Professional Organizer at POC (Professional Organizers in Canada), and I quit my full-time job as a daycare teacher to open my company Tidy Up.Solutions in Montreal.

I also combined my two passions—teaching and organizing—by teaching workshops to kids and adults.

I can’t wait to go back to clients’ homes! But in the meantime, I am giving webinars and virtual organizing sessions. 

 

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Photography credit: Laurence Campbell

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a beautiful tiny country with the best beaches in South America! Uruguay. I’m the second oldest of 6 kids. Both of my parents had full-time jobs, and my house was always in order. Yes, believe it or not. But I’ll tell you why: First of all, we didn’t have any clutter at all—very few toys and clothes. Secondly, we had help at home, so when my parents arrived from work, the laundry was done, dinner was ready, and the house was clean. What a privilege!

I got married in 2006, and one year later, I moved to Montreal, Canada, to study and have the experience of living abroad. Life is different here in many ways. Having help at home is not as common and a lot more expensive. I always thought of having 6 kids, but 3 is a good number.

Having an organized home is key for living with less stress and more joy.

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

A: In 2016, I knew I wanted to become an organizer. But there was an inner thought that didn’t let me ‘jump in the water’ for two years.

That was fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of ‘what if’; what if I fail?; what if no one hires me?; what if I suck?; what if I don’t make money and have to go back to my previous job?…etc.

I learned and I am still learning to confront and overcome my fears. It’s not easy. Sometimes, I just want to stay in my comfort zone and ignore what might help me and my business grow. However, the outcome is so positive that you will be proud of yourself.

Believe in yourself and work hard.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: For me, feminism is having the same rights and opportunities as men.

 

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