Woman Wednesday: Faith

*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 Faith, White Marsh, Maryland 

 

“Look back to when you were younger, and see if what you love now is what you loved back then. Often, the things we loved when we were kids are the things we have a true passion for.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?  

As a mom, wife, and a full-time manager, I have a very busy schedule every day! I love every minute, and yes, sometimes everything can go up then down, but it all seems to manage itself out. I love being a mom to a wonderful 10 month old as well as a stepmom to 2 kids- both 8 and 9 years old. I love every second I can be with them. I am a full-time manager with a company geared towards children for 9 years. I’m very thankful for the love and support of my husband, mom, and sister so that I can do what I truly love– which is photography. I have been a photographer for around 7 years, and I seriously started doing it as a business two years ago in 2016. Over these two years, I have grown so much. Photography is a skill you can learn and teach yourself by doing it hands on and watching videos. I started my passion of photography originally by shooting nature photography. I loved capturing the waterfront where I lived plus the woods and animals all around me. Especially when I went on trips, I loved taking my camera and capturing every moment. Photography can be so relaxing whether during a session or event or when editing the images.

 

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I love all the support and feedback I get from not only family and friends, but from my loyal clients as well! Some have been with me since 2016 and through my growth. I hope they stick by me through many more years. I also hope to be full time with photography in at max 5 years and not just part time- like I am now. I would love to have my own studio one day. I do sessions and events for all kinds from family, newborn, maternity, birthdays, weddings, and much more! Recently, I started a new venture in my career and started shooting weddings! This has been a huge step to further my career, and I can’t wait for all the new adventures this brings me. If you ever need any photography done, you can contact me through my Facebook page Faith Nicole Photography. I’m located in White Marsh, Maryland, but willing to travel in Maryland or another state. I would love to capture your family memories for you to keep forever.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I come from of a family of three kids. As a middle child, I always found way to keep myself busy in addition to playing with my siblings and cousins. We lived an outdoor life, which consisted of always playing games, fishing, and anything under the sun. If I wasn’t outside, I was indoors playing school or doing arts and crafts (especially painting and drawing). I was a very shy and quiet kid when I was younger. I worked really hard in school and was mostly on the honor roll. I graduated in 2010 from Eastern Tech High school where I was a part of the culinary program. After high school, I didn’t go to college like most of the kids I graduated with. I wanted to, but I really wanted to work and become independent. I wanted to make sure I could pay for what I wanted and needed without having to ask my parents for it. Even now, working full-time, plus running my own business, I work very hard not only to support myself, but also my family. I think being so creative and independent when I was younger helped me grow to where I am now and it especially has helped with running my own business. I still have a lot to learn, but as I tell others, you can only learn best by doing it and trying.

 

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

A: The most important thing to know is to always follow your dreams and passion. Even when I get discouraged and want to give up, I always try to remind myself that it will all work out. I look back at my work from the past, and I honestly cringe to see how different and little I knew back then. I’m still learning until this day about how to take photos. I even have severely upgraded my equipment from a simple cheap camera to now a professional DSLR camera along with a lot of other equipment, props, backdrops and more. I will grow and grow every year the more I practice and work on my passion. I organize throwbacks next to current work to show my clients and others the difference from time to time. I love and appreciate my clients that have stayed with me throughout my growth, and I truly appreciate it from the heart. Basically what I’m saying is… don’t give up as it will be a struggle at times, but you will make it through. Keep working on everything you want, and you will get it one day! Despite a bad review here or there, you will get many more good reviews. Keep doing what you love, and I support you along the way too!

 

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The best way to learn from my story is look back to when you were younger, and see if what you love now is what you loved back then. Often the things we loved when we were kids are the things we have a true passion for. Mine was photography throughout the years among doing many other things such as girl scouts, soccer, gymnastic, karate, and being an adventurous and crafty kid. Even through high school and then when I started working, I always admired photography and seeing everything in a creative point of view. In 2016, my passion clicked in my head, and I started doing what I loved to do again. I enjoyed seeing the faces and reactions of my clients once they saw their images. Now with the growth I have had, the reactions are even greater, and I hope they will be further down the road. Doing what you love to do will make your life that much greater. But to add to that, it is your family and friends who make it even much greater. Capture those memories forever, because everyone grows up too fast and changes. I love being able to capture the memories for all people to keep and look back on years from now, and for your kids and grandkids to see many, many years from now.

 

Click here to reach Faith about Photography services and inquires. 

Follow and like her on Facebook.

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Jessica

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.


 

Q and A with Jessica, Hunterdon County, New Jersey  

“I remember flipping through a magazine one day (out of boredom), and I came across an article about hiking. And the editor decided to highlight “Legs strong enough to hike all the way to the top.” This statement resonated with me, because I started hiking with my friends around that time. On day 1, day 2, day 3…and okay let’s say up to day 30, I felt pretty weak. But every time we went, I was a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, and I was not running out of breath. I could see and feel the progress I made. So, I was not the best I could be on day 1, but to keep up with my friends, I had to keep going even when I was tired. I had to eliminate the mental barrier that said, “I can’t do it today, so I shouldn’t even try.” If you have a goal in mind, keep going, because you might be surprised by what you can do.”   

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: There are two ways I can answer this question- professionally and personally.

Professionally, it is marketing. I was really lucky to have found this passion at the age of 18. At the time, I was working at American Eagle Outfitters and taking two AP classes I enjoyed- drawing and psychology. I loved my job at American Eagle, but I was not a pushy sales-woman. I like getting creative, but I was not an artist. I found human behavior to be fascinating, but I wasn’t the next psychologist. Marketing was a combination of various things that already interested me.

 

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And personally, my passion has become traveling. I have been able to visit some exciting places including Sri Lanka, India, and the UK. The best part about traveling is remaining quiet behind a camera and snapping a photo of the architecture and people. Recently, I was getting lost in London. Exploring is a liberating feeling. I’m either alone with my thoughts and camera or meeting someone new.

Next on my list is Greece!

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was somewhat quiet; I didn’t come out of my shell until I was about 16-17. I hated large group gatherings, being on a team, class projects – you name it, and I felt uncomfortable. In school, I’d rather zone out or people watch. I hope my former classmates didn’t think I was a creep for staring.

Overtime, I became an extroverted person. I have no doubt that there is correlation between finding my passion(s) and finding my confidence. When I finally found something that I was both good at and had fun doing, I wanted to talk to other people. I wanted to reach out and connect with the people who enjoyed the same things.

Side note: I don’t stare as much. I now read about industry trends and user behavior. Unless I am a tourist behind a camera.

 

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

A: You are stronger than you think you are.

I am not only talking about physical strength.

I remember flipping through a magazine one day (out of boredom), and I came across an article about hiking. If you don’t live under a rock, typically a strong statement will be enlarged and bolded. And the editor decided to highlight “legs strong enough to hike all the way to the top.”

 

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This statement resonated with me, because I started hiking with my friends around that time. On day 1, day 2, day 3…and okay let’s say up to day 30, I felt pretty weak. But every time we went, I was a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, and I was not running out of breath.

I could see and feel the progress I made.

So, I was not the best I could be on day 1, but to keep up with my friends, I had to keep going even when I was tired. I had to eliminate the mental barrier that said, “I can’t do it today, so I shouldn’t even try.”

If you have a goal in mind, keep going, because you might be surprised by what you can do.

Almost ten years ago, I tore out that statement and put in a book. It’s still on my desk.

 

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

A: Do not be afraid to make decisions to improve your life, and do not be afraid to seek help.

Over an extended period of time, I experienced one unfortunate event after another. Even when things were going well, I sometimes wondered if I will, metaphorically speaking, fall…again. I did not surround myself with the right people that could fully understand what I was going through and support me. Unfortunately, this caused me to battle with depression.

I decided to go to counseling and remained in it for about 3 to 4 years.

I noticed there was a common theme during my sessions. I need to navigate through the current situation and keep my end goals in mind. To me, this meant I could not put my entire life on pause. I could not call in sick and distance myself from the entire world like I wanted to.

I’m no longer enrolled in counseling, but when faced with stress, I adjust and make decisions for my own mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. I frequently wear a compass necklace as a reminder to navigate through life and keep moving in the right direction.

 

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As I answer this question, I wish I could turn to the counselor I met with during high school and the counselor I met with during college who both helped me and just say, “Thank you.”

 

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Q: What does Feminism mean to you?

A: I do not consider myself to be a feminist. I simply believe that if an individual has the desire and capability to do something, they should be treated fairly.

What I would like to start to see from women is female-to-female empowerment in the workplace. Many of us talk about it (#girlpower), but I often find that women often target and act malicious towards other women. If a female employee wants to be seen as an equal to her male peers, she should not spend time knocking down another female employee. From a male supervisor’s point of view, he might associate your comments with women all together.

 

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We need to put aside our differences, get our job done, and empower one another. Until then, we will still be talking about the need for feminism.

 

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I highly recommend getting together with other women in your industry, place of employment, or with a female who has a similar job function. You could end up learning something new and/or experience a happier environment which you both may share.

Grab a drink, get a smoothie, or do whatever you both might find to be easy and comfortable.

 

Q: Why should women take roles in business?

A: I am going to follow up with a (sassy) question…or two.

  1. Would a company like to limit themselves?
  2. Is it a women’s obligation to stay at home with no option to pursue a career?

I can answer both questions for you, no.

A company requires diversity to fuel new ideas and enhance the potential for profitability and expansion. If they would rather limit themselves to only about half the population, that is their choice and their risk. But nobody can deny the fact that there are female leaders and entrepreneurs that are driving economic growth.

Not all women desire to be caretakers.

As someone who works in a business environment, I feel that I bring value to my team and to my employer (at least that is what my paycheck tells me). If I propose a campaign idea that my male peers did not think of and it directly results in sales (and yes I actually have), then I deserve to be there.

What I do brings me joy, so I’ll be sticking around as long as I bring value.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Brittany

*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 Brittany, Mercer County, New Jersey 

 

“Life is short, and you should do anything and everything you want to/love. Whether you are miserable at your job, doing things that don’t serve you, or you want to do things that seem out of reach, whatever that is…work toward your goals, do the things you love, and don’t stop loving your life.”

@BlissfullyBritt_

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My passion is practicing yoga and bringing it to others. I came to yoga after being interested in it for a long time and never having the time to pursue it. For a long time my sole focus was on school, and then college and then finding a 9-5 job. I started to feel like I was losing myself and didn’t have any hobbies or things just for me. I eventually became so miserable with the lifestyle I was living, left my job and threw myself into all of my interests, yoga being one of them.

After continuously practicing yoga for a couple of months, I felt like a new person and realized just how much I was neglecting myself.  I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program and graduated this past June. My new focus is bringing yoga to others. I truly believe there is something in it for everyone- whether it’s the exercise through holding poses, learning how to breath, or the spiritual aspects to it. I think the general skills you learn in a yoga class can help any individual be more present and mindful in every day life. I’m working on brainstorming how exactly I want to do this while teaching/subbing occasionally at the studio I trained at!

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: In my younger years, my mom got me involved in lots of extra-curricular activities. At the time I hated it and always felt busy.  Later in life, when I was looking for a hobby for myself, I appreciated that I had some exposure to different things to try out. One of my favorites was gymnastics, and I believe my childhood love for this is what drew me to yoga and made me start this path toward a career in yoga! I also used to play the piano and guitar, was very artistic and liked to paint/draw. Exploring different extra-circular activities led me to finding my passion.

 

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

A: Life is short, and you should do anything and everything you want to/love. Whether you are miserable at your job, doing things that don’t serve you, or you want to do things that seem out of reach, whatever that is…work toward your goals, do the things you love and don’t stop loving your life. This realization smacked me right in the face when I left my job that I only have one life and I realized how I was getting caught up in all the wrong things, trying to live in this box that society teaches you to live in, and I wasn’t truly enjoying life. Smile, be happy, travel (if that’s your thing), love, do, create! Just find whatever it is you love to do and do it, and get rid of/leave behind anything that does not serve you. Listen to your heart and not other’s people’s opinions if they bring you down.

 

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

A: I would like others to know that you can start over at any time. The things you want are within reach if you visualize and work toward them. Be patient and work in baby steps.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism is important to me. I think a lot of people can take feminism as a negative thing, but I see it as being proud of being a woman, or (if you are not a woman) recognizing all of the positive and beautiful things that women bring to the table.

 

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Q: Why should more women take roles in business?

A: It has taken a few decades, but there are more and more women in business now than ever before! We are equal inhabitants of this Earth and should be involved in all of the things we’ve created as a society.

 

You can reach Brittany via email at: Brittthatcher314@gmail.com   or  on her instagram @BlissfullyBritt_. She is trained in Aerial Yoga and floor yoga and is available for one-on-one sessions or group sessions! Feel free to contact her about questions, inquiries, or to just say hello! 🙂

Professional photos: Credit to Dennis Pike Photography

 

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Woman Wednesday: Alysha

*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.  


 

 

“Don’t look at someone’s life and think you should be doing what they’re doing – you should do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about. I think life is too short not to live in a way that makes you approach each and every day with a full sense of joy and enthusiasm. There is always something to be grateful for and that can bring a smile to your face.” -Alysha 

 

 

Q and A with Alysha, Berks County, Pennsylvania 

Connect with Alysha:  

Blog: https://alyshathekitchenologist.com/

Instagram

LinkedIn

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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: In a broad sense, I am very passionate about helping individuals. More specifically, I have always believed that information is power. I knew that I wanted to work in a career that provided individuals with information so they could make the best well-informed decisions for themselves and their lives. This definitely intermingles with two things career-wise I am involved in: working as a clinical writer for a nonprofit organization in the healthcare field and as a recipe developer/food photographer for various projects that fall under my blog: The Kitchenologist©.

 

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Read and see more at  The Kitchenologist©.

 

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As a food recipe developer /photographer, I love showing people what to do with a “mystery vegetable” they may have or how to make a dish they love in a healthier version. I believe if you are able to educate someone or expose someone to something they have never done before, it could change the way they think and affect the way they act, which may ultimately influence their lives as a whole in a potentially positive way. In regards to food, maybe someone could make a healthier diet change at home by cooking more now that they have some recipes they enjoy versus grabbing fast food or eating out. I was inspired by the impact nutrition can have on your life after taking a class entitled “Sustainable Food Systems” in college where I had the opportunity to read food system research and work in our community garden, in addition to living abroad in Australia for a semester where I ate a lot of very simplistic, fresh foods. I felt a completely new appreciation for food, where it comes from and how it affects our lives as a whole after these experiences. There are so many information gaps that exist in our world today, whether it be healthcare or food, and I love being able to help bridge some of those gaps through what I work in.

 

 

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As a clinical writer, my career allows me to break down dense scientific information into key facts and data individuals can grasp and understand. I view what I do as “scientific translation” in a sense, and I love knowing the work I do helps individuals make better decisions for their hospitals and patients. I credit a speech I gave my sophomore year of college at Susquehanna University for the Honors Program as the reason why I was drawn to scientific translation and presentation. The speech was entitled: “Vaccines and the Childhood Autism Scare: Solely a Media-Generated Correlation.” A community member from the audience came up to me after the speech and thanked me,because she believed that she had given her son autism because she chose to vaccinate him and now knew that the facts proved otherwise. I later went on to work with Johns Hopkins Medicine on a research project looking at supplement manufacturer claims and was blown away by the evidence gaps existing. I have been incredibly excited to attend a few conferences for work this summer, allowing me to interact with a wider audience on these types of topics and facilitate these types of informative discussions.

 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a very loving and nurturing environment. My parents really balanced each other out when I grew up, with my dad really encouraging my younger brother and I to do well in school and my mom always asking us if we were happy (and making sure we were) in addition to fostering other passions like reading and drawing. In retrospect, having both of those perspectives was incredibly important to where I am today,because I have realized how important it is to work hard to be able to succeed. However, I also know that happiness is truly the key to everything. And if you aren’t happy, nothing else really seems to matter.

 

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My parents also made large decisions in regards to their careers before they started a family. My mom decided to leave her management job to raise a family full time, and my dad found a different executive position that would allow him to spend time with his family and not work 24/7. I did not realize how impactful that was in my life until I got older. My parents were at every soccer match, swim meet, softball game, honors ceremony, chorus concert, etc. I knew if I would look out in the stands, they would be there enthusiastically cheering me on. That really taught me the importance of supporting individuals you love. I have really strived to do that in my adult years by always making the trip to see a friend, visiting with family, sending out a check-in text or mailing off a snail mail letter. It truly means the world to know you have people who care about you and want to make that time to be with you and care about you.

 

 

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I also would like to credit my parents for always showing my younger brother and I that money is not everything. My younger brother and I were incredibly fortunate to grow up in a home where we never needed for anything, but my parents were also not quick to buy us that “new thing.” Instead, they really emphasized the value of experiences by going on trips and going out to meals. As an adult, I find that I want to spend my money on travel and seeing the world. I would rather spend my money and time experiencing things and meeting new people versus getting a fancy car or new outfit. These experiences I find have made me grow and look at the world in ways I never thought I would, and it is a really beautiful and empowering thing.

 

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Moraine Lake in Banff, Canada

 

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

A: The first thing I have learned is don’t be afraid of not living up to other’s expectations – at the end of the day, you should only be living up to your own. Especially in your 20s, I just find there are a lot of things being thrown at you question-wise from a variety of people or what you see on social media in regards to topics like getting married, having kids, buying a house, going back to school, switching careers, earning more money, etc. All I can say is to do what makes you happy! Don’t look at someone’s life and think you should be doing what they’re doing – you should do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about. I think life is too short not to live in a way that makes you approach each and every day with a full sense of joy and enthusiasm.

 

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The second thing I have learned is to always try to understand and help people. People will have opposing views from you, different life stories, varying backgrounds, etc. but you should never miss out on the opportunity to have a conversation with someone who has different views than you or looks at something through a different perspective. Conversation and understanding is an opportunity to grow. Additionally, if someone needs a helping hand and you can provide it, don’t be afraid to pitch in and offer help. Doesn’t matter how simple it is. It could be just running to grab extra napkins for a coworker who spilled there coffee everywhere or helping to pick up someone’s spilledchange at the grocery store. Try to put out in the world what you want to receive back. I am always game for putting more goodout there.

 

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

A: I truly believe you attract the people and things you are supposed to in life through your actions and words. And I think that if you are doing what you love, you will attract the rightopportunities. I believe if you are a good friend, you will also attract great friends in your life. And I believe if you give love, you will receive it. I always think of this concept when I am having a really bad day. I always try to put positivity out there through my actions and words despite how bad things are. And I really do believe this has served me well in life. I know that it is definitely easier said than done, but I really have felt it has made such a huge impact on my life by acting in this fashion. Every day isn’t good, but I have always believed there is a piece of good in every day. And on days when it feels like absolutely nothing is going right, I am always thankful for my family, boyfriend, friends, pets and the good experiences I have had. There is always something to be grateful for and that can bring a smile to your face.

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Woman Wednesday: Leilani

*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 Leilani Romero, Fairfax County, Virginia

Website: www.leilaniromero.com

WATCH LEILANI HERE VIA A SHORT VIDEO CLIP.

Author/illustrator of The Little Things: A Collection of Happy Things

LeiLani

“Since I was a little girl, I loved all things artistic. I would draw people for fun since I could remember and gift them the drawings just to make them smile. I would create cities out of art supplies and colored cardboard…creating my own little world. I would spend hours on Microsoft Paint drawing pretty things simply because I enjoyed it, and little did I know that this was called design.”

 

Q:What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m a graphic designer, international portrait and wedding photographer, an illustrator, and most importantly an entrepreneur. I graduated from the school of art and visual technology at George Mason University with a concentration in graphic design and a minor in art history. Although this might sound very cut and dry, my college career was far from it. I changed my major three times, and for a while I thought I’d be an architect…It took a little soul searching to find my passion, but in the end I chose happiness over all.

Since I was a little girl, I loved all things artistic. I would draw people for fun since I could remember and gift them the drawings just to make them smile. I would create cities out of art supplies and colored cardboard…creating my own little world. I would spend hours on Microsoft paint drawing pretty things simply because I enjoyed it, and little did I know that this was called design.

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In high school, I began to explore photography and in college a friend gave me my very first canon camera because I was really good at photography. I later learned dark room film photography and continued to take portraits of the people I loved because I didn’t want to forget a thing about this beautiful life. As I took more and more photos, I began to receive requests, and friends and family pushed me to launch a Facebook page. Next thing I knew, I was starting an official creative business: Leilani Romero Co. and taking portraits and shooting weddings professionally! It’s been five years since and I wouldn’t have it any other way. After that, I began to expand the design side of my business and launched The Flower Shop, a place for handmade prints. Pretty soon I published my very first book, an illustrated work— The Little Things: A Collection of Happy Things.

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While running a business became my passion, in order to support it, I worked in the professional world for five years in the non profit, corporate, and consulting spaces. As a consultant, I was able to learn about marketing strategy, communications, and social media marketing. It was through these many corporate career opportunities that I became a digital marketing subject matter expert. Although I’m only 23, I’m proud to say that I have worked professionally in this space for five years, and it was well worth it.

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Q:What things have you learned that have been valuable to you?

A: One of the most valuable lessons I learned is to always be clear and open with others. In business it’s very important to always be professional, learn as much business knowledge as you can, and always educate yourself. Business law is crucial, and drafting the appropriate contracts can really be the best decision in the long run.

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Q: What do you want others to learn from your story?

I want others to learn to never stop working on their dreams, and always follow them with all their hearts, because it is so worth it.

The grass is always greener where you water it. Fairytales and daydreams are possible as long as you work hard for them. Nothing comes easy, even if it seems that way, but if you believe in yourself, good things will come. Always be passionate, true to yourself, and constantly search for motivation.

The biggest takeaway is to focus on what will make you happy, and live life to the fullest. If you have a dream, you need to listen to it, and chase it with passion!

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