Woman Wednesday: Holly R.


Q and A with Holly R., from a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA

Be your own advocate.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about serving others. I have always been drawn to helping others. I am a scientist in a pharmaceutical company and have been so lucky to have been part of teams that brought three transformational drugs to the market to treat arthritis, IBD, and psoriasis. Now, I am also a ketogenic lifestyle coach–I believe strongly in the lifestyle to not only help people lose weight without feeling deprived, but it also is used to treat debilitating diseases like my son’s intractable epilepsy. I have a very holistic approach to living this lifestyle. I feel that it is very important not only to help my clients lose weight, but we also work on repairing their relationship with food with meditation, subliminal guides, and a program that is the most advanced human healing technology and a proven fitness and nutrition system that will make you love the process of looking and feeling your best.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I had a very loving upbringing. I grew up next door to my grandparents and other relatives, so I was always around a large family. My parents were very young and very involved in all aspects of my life from volunteering at my (and my sister’s) schools to coaching our sports teams and anything where they could participate. I didn’t have brothers, so I think that I became a surrogate son for my dad–he taught me how to work on cars, how to do home repairs, how to lift weights and scuba dive. It really affected my confidence–he raised me to believe that I can do anything. He gave me the strength to excel in college, buy my own house, start my own business. I never had any fears about raising my sons on my own, and I always had the support of my entire family behind me.


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

A: I want others to learn that we all have a badass successful woman inside of us–we just need to let her shine. All it takes is courage and believing in yourself. Another very important lesson I have learned from raising a son with a disability is that you have to be your own advocate. He didn’t have his first seizure until he was 14, and once he was diagnosed with epilepsy, everything changed. School didn’t want him taking the bus, playing sports, going on class trips. He has had job offers rescinded. I had to research disability laws and educate myself so that I could be his advocate. Everything would have been so different if I let others make decisions based on what is best for them.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is the belief in social, economic, and political equality of the sexes. I believe that since I was raised to believe that from the start, I never thought about it much until I was older. When I began existing in corporate America, I realized that there is a huge inequality that needs to be addressed. As a manager, I became aware that men who reported to me make more money than I do and tend to get promoted much quicker. I can make a suggestion in a meeting, and it is dismissed. The same idea is mentioned by a male colleague a few minutes later and he is seen as genius! To call it frustrating is an understatement, but I am confident enough to call people out when it happens. I don’t always get a solution that I am happy with, but I still speak my mind.




MORE FROM HOLLY: If anyone wants to reach me or learn more about the ketogenic lifestyle, they can join my FB group Hot Mess Mamma’s Guide to the Ketogenic Diet (because you don’t have to be perfect to look and feel your best! It’s okay to be a hot mess).





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Woman Wednesday: Nicole


Q and A with Nicole, Spokane, Wa

“There are going to be a lot of people who don’t like you, not because you’re a bad person, but because there is something you have that they want.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am super passionate about supporting women in business and being able to live a life full of ands. When we grow up, I think a lot of society teaches that we can’t have it all. I want to prove we can balance happiness, success, freedom, family, and money just fine with the right support and strategies! When it came to starting my marketing agency, Diedrich Marketing Strategies, I was passionate about be of service! I knew I wanted to make good money, but the impact I could make on women-owned businesses mattered more to me. This moral has tremendously changed the landscape of my business and also help me reach the goals I was wanting. Now that I get to support clients daily on their visibility, I wanted to start something completely new! Even though COVID-19 set us back a bit this year, we will be hosting a virtual and in-person retreat in Lake Tahoe from September 6th—9th. This retreat will be all about our amazing women-in-business speakers supporting other women in growing their multi 6-figure businesses! Currently, I just have a waitlist link for those who are wanting to buy tickets! And here it is; people need to confirm their subscription though through their email. Sign up here.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Growing up, I struggled with being bullied more so because I was never afraid to stick out. I loved being in school and knowing the answers. I worked hard to be accomplished in academics and graduated with my AAS the same time I graduated high school. I’ve always been probably too mature for my age, so being young never really interested me. Now, I wish I could go back and enjoy it a little more. My parents were a huge part of my life and helped me grow into a stable and successful woman, but they definitely dealt with some attitude along the way. I’ve never been someone to take opinions as facts, so I’ve always rubbed people the wrong way at times, and I still do. But owning a business does have its perks! Something I learned over the years, especially when I was younger, is that I didn’t need a lot of people in my life. I’m a firm believer in keeping your circle small and being around people who make you better. I always knew I wanted to go out and do big things when I was younger. But I believed that route would be from being a famous news anchor or actress/singer. Those dreams haven’t come true, but my business’ success is my most prized possession. To know I grew the business from my knowledge and no one’s monetary support is everything. It has helped me realize that no matter what, if we want something bad enough, we will go out and make it happen.


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

A: There are going to be a lot of people who don’t like you, not because you’re a bad person, but because there is something you have that they want. Try not to take this personal. And trust me, it’s very hard to do. But once you realize a lot of the hate we receive in life usually has nothing to do with us, it helps you continue to grow and try to do better not just for yourself but to prove to others they can do it too. I’ve realized that good relationships are very hard to find, so when you do find them, hold onto them. For most of us, our natural instinct is to be selfish, so if you can find your path living to serve others and not just yourself, you’ll realize true happiness and the reason you were put on this earth!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, means standing up for equity and sharing how women have every ability to create their dream lives alone, let alone create it with an amazing partner. I’m passionate about supporting as many women business owners as I possibly can and so, have created multiple FB groups for ladies to learn how to market! If you’re looking for support with marketing and Facebook ads for free, I’d love to have you join us here.


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Woman Wednesday: Charli B.


Q and A with Charli B., from Sydney, Australia; born and raised in Brisbane, Australia.

“We are growing in a world that is rapidly changing and open to change. It’s time, now more then ever, to start believing in yourself and creating a life you’re proud of.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about changing the way women view the lifestyle we are trained to believe is the way of life. I don’t believe we have to go to university to get a degree to then work a 9-to-5 job we hate to survive. I believe in living—living to your worth, your passions, and doing what you love, which is why I became a business coach. [I want] to teach women that there’s more to life than the 9-5 and to help them to believe in themselves and to take a chance on themselves. I’m a 19-year-old entrepreneur who skipped university to create a life for herself and family. At 19, I was given the position of head of marketing as the marketing and engagement manager in a financial company. I also run my own successful, international business and run it all by myself. I’m not saying this to show of; I’m saying this to show you it’s possible. Trust yourself and believe in yourself enough to take a chance.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Four years ago, while I was in high school, my life was accompanied by loneliness and depression. Life felt so ordinary, empty, and predictable. It was mundane, and I felt unfulfilled. I started to notice the negativity I was surrounding myself with and the life I had built. I realized that I was merely surviving. I was annoyed at the world and above all, annoyed at myself. I felt alone, unwanted, and betrayed. How do all of these people have such beautiful lives, living peacefully with themselves, and I am stuck with me?

I took my frustration and self-hatred out on boys and partners, becoming obsessed with the need to have someone love me, whether it be for a night or a couple of months. I started attaching myself to guys no matter how they treated me; at least it took my attention away from having to deal with myself. But I knew there was more to life. I knew this was not what I wanted my future to look like. The idea that “this was it” made me angry. I was unwilling to settle for “this.” It led me on a path to question my life.

I was seeking advice, looking for solutions, and finding out who I was. I started back at the beginning and stripped every layer back. I looked at my root cause and every experience that had led me to where I was, and I started one after the other to work through them and accept it for what it was. I started to find and discover who I was. I become a YouTuber, a social media influencer, a model, all of which had a great impact on who I am today.

With the skills I learned from these businesses, I started to understand business and understand what makes you stand out from the rest, how social media can have a great impact on your business and influence. Not too long after, I found the personal development world where everything started to make sense, which is when I became a mindset coach. Using the skills I had learned through my own personal experience and trainings I had, I started to develop a greater understanding for how people work, how sales work, and how much of an impact our mindset has on our success. After two years of being obsessed with growth and development, I was able to allow myself to love and accept myself. I finally was able to run my own business, and do it properly…without the obsessive negative talk, mindset, and lack of self trust holding me back. In 2020, I moved from mindset coach to business coach! I developed my own strategies and systems for my business now having nailed it through my periods business, which is how I help my clients grow and develop their businesses and get constant leads and clients.

While working a full-time job and with the effects of COVID-19, I knew it was now or never. I invested $5k into my first coaching business while, living payday to payday with little than $4 left in my account each month. I was determined to give myself and my loved ones the lives they deserve, and to help my clients provide an incredible life for themselves and their families as well! The time and love you put into your business will allow you to share that with others. Self-hatred and your internal battle stops you from living. Stops you from creating what you want and living true to your passion. It keeps you in survival mode and doesn’t allow you to grow and thrive. I want to share this because I once suffered from anxiety and depression; I once lived in self-hatred and with limiting beliefs; I wasn’t an A grade student. I was able to get conquer dyslexia. And I have taken life lessons from everything I did to improve myself and utilized this to propel my business. Growing a business will test everything you have, and it’s important to have the backup support and strategies to do it right! Now, I stand here and in front of you, grateful and fulfilled, to lift and inspire you and to testify that I was once there too. Now, I have created a life for myself. I am not special or any different than you.


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

A: There is another way; life doesn’t have to be this stereotypical life cycle. We are growing in a world that is rapidly changing and open to change. It’s time, now more then ever, to start believing in yourself and creating a life you’re proud of. I spent a lot of my year stuck in a nasty, negative relationship with myself, including self-hating, putting myself down, and self-blaming, which then created the life I had. Dull, boring, depressing, unsuccessful. I was sick and tired of it. I was annoyed that ‘this was it,’ so I made a really big change and started my self-love journey. I’m very proud to say that, two years later, I have created a life I’m proud of. I love and am excited about all because I knew it stopped and started with me, my mindset, and what I focused on.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, means the art of a woman understanding her power, worth, and respecting herself. I believe it’s a woman coming into her own, having that ‘I’m a boss a** b**ch’ feeling and giving herself the permission to be fully self-expressed.


Thank you for reading!


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Woman Wednesday: Annie A.


Q and A with Annie A., South Carolina

“Vulnerability is beautiful.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am interested in people. I love intense connections and people who overshare. I’ve also always been drawn towards the spiritual—and I’ve always been an artist. All of those things seemed to funnel me into launching Sweetgrass & Sage.

This year, as violent as it has been for all of us, has been a major catalyst for change for me. I found myself going through an amicable divorce with two sweet babies who I needed to be able to keep at home (both because I am high risk and because my son has special needs), a cross country move, and a 10 year gap in my work history. It was a make it work moment, absolutely. More than that, though, I am a helper, and I realized that I had the opportunity to help other women who are also trying to make it work. We rise by lifting others, and right now so many can use a lift. I believe that the work of women’s hands is it’s own kind of magic, and it is valuable.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and grew up in and around Orangeburg. I went to both public and private schools, my dad was a Methodist minister, my mom was an attorney. They’re both full-time grandparents now.

I was adopted at a day and a half old. I always knew it—my birth mother was a phenomenal woman and force of nature; I met her when I was 16. She was also a pagan, something which kind of spurred on my own quest for understanding, for lack of a better way to put it. I was an anxious child and have always found peace in nature and through working with my hands. I love the smell of sawdust; I think it takes me back to working on projects with my dad as a child.


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

A: Don’t try to fit a mold that wasn’t made for you. Authenticity is contagious. Vulnerability is beautiful. Give yourself permission to be you, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Just be as kind as you can along the way.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I come from a long line of feminists. My grandmother was quite an athlete. She had mostly brothers and thought that she could do anything they could do and refused to be told differently. My mother, her daughter, was the first female sports editor of a daily newspaper in South Carolina. She was the first woman in the Clemson Press Box and in Clemson basketball locker room, and remembers the then coach, Frank Howard, as saying, “They’ll let anybody up here now!” She went on to become an attorney. My aunt, Kate Salley Palmer, was one of only three syndicated political cartoonists in the nation—she worked for the Greenville News. Feminism, to me, means the freedom to follow your happy, however you find it. It means the ability to follow your authentic self, whoever you are. You love traditional gender roles? Excellent! You’re a woman welder? Rock on! My focus was on woodworking in college. Want to mix it up? You do you. Women are strong and capable. The badass in me recognizes the badass in you. Feminism means being able to do your thing and supporting other women doing theirs.


Q: What would you like others to know about Sweetgrass & Sage?

A: Sweetgrass & Sage Box has different business model from others because I find the traditional subscription box model to be a little predatory. Integrity is super important for me. I believe, whole heartedly, in the value of artisan quality work, and whereas most of the big name subscription boxes make the businesses pay to be in the box AND provide their product for free, I pay for the product, and my promotion of the woman-owned small businesses I work for is free. They get a little stimulus from box sales, and new people to try their product. The box recipients get a great deal on things they actually want, and each piece is intended to be something they can have as a tangible reminder of their own inner strength. I’m focused on people over profit, and the quality of each piece is top-notch. You’re not going to wind up with 400 jars of moisturizer you’ll never use.

Spring boxes will be fully customizable and tailored to you so that you only get what you want.

Thank you for reading!



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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.

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