Woman Wednesday: Annie

*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 Annie, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“We know that if it isn’t pleasurable, we aren’t going to stick with it.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about helping people through food. My biggest joy in life is creating a combination of clean and healthy, festive and flavorful cuisine that nourishes both the human body and spirit.

I love being a part of someone’s special event. Great food with amazing service is my goal for every client. I come to where you are, bring groceries, cook, serve, and clean up on the way out the door, allowing you to give your loved ones the gift of time. I get joy from watching people enjoy dishes that they initially thought they wouldn’t.

 

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After years of following and learning fad diets riddled with destructive information, I could see the damage it was doing to my own body. This prompted me to research what an actual healthy diet looked like. The last 15+ years, I burnt up my library card reading information on everything that I could on all types of different eating regimes and scientific studies, and eventually, it clicked to me.

If whole food, plant-based eating has the highest number of people worldwide living without assistance well into their 90’s and into their 100’s, then there had to be something there. As I studied, I learned dishes everywhere and from anyone who was willing to teach me. I joke with my friends that “I cooked with your grandma.”

 

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As I thought of how the groups of people worldwide that still lived by the diets of their ancestors it became to clear to me. A diet full of rich, vibrant fruits and vegetables and natural, lean protein was the way people ate 100’s of years ago, before processed food or “easy foods” were available became my mission.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Growing up, I was raised on and off by my grandma, who was not only an amazing person but also an amazing cook! She let me cook with her from a young age. There is a story they would tell me growing up that when I was four or five, my mother’s blood sugar started to get to low. I got the idea to make her an egg sandwich while scrambling the eggs I decided to put popcorn kernels in the eggs, because I love popcorn so why not. My mom used to tell me that if I ever wrote a cookbook that the title should be “Popcorn & Eggs.” It is in my business plan to write a cookbook with that exact title. My grandma raised me with her passion to help people and to care for humanity.

I am a military brat. I grew up a little of everywhere and nowhere. I spent a lot of my early childhood with my grandparents on a farm in Burlington, North Carolina, and the rest of my time traveling. I moved back as a teenager to remain in North Carolina until the beginning of this year, when I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to open Kiss Creations Personal Chef.

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Kiss Creations Personal Chef has been my passion project for over half of my life. I continue to study, listen to information, and research healthy living because there are a few pieces of the puzzle that come together to reach the goal of a healthy life and it is my mission. One piece of the puzzle is the fact that if it doesn’t taste good, then it won’t work. We know that if it isn’t pleasurable, we aren’t going to stick with it. For myself, I began to take old recipes that my grandma had made and removed some of the ingredients that lacked a nutritional base and replaced them with nutrient-dense foods. I played around with different styles, different techniques, different concepts, creating new ways to give the comfort of people’s favorite home-style meals and cultural favorites, while also creating my own personal style along the way.

Another piece of the puzzle is physical activity. I personally love lifting weights, walking, running, hiking, anything I can do outdoors invigorates me, but that’s my personal story. Taking a 30 minute walk every day on top of your regular schedule can work miracles for both your physical and mental health, get outside and garden, play with your kids, whatever it is that brings you joy and gets you moving.

 

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The other piece is taking care of your mental health, having people around you that inspire you, care for you, and treat you well. Everyone deserves this in their world and if you don’t have it, listen to these words, babe…everyone deserves these things in their world, that means you! Back in North Carolina I would cook for friends, dinner parties, making food for charity events and my favorite event, Girl Parties, learning along the way how much fun it is to take care of people who take care of everyone else.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to move to Myrtle Beach to assist people in their journey with healthy living. I have met some amazing women who have inspired me to fight for my dreams and help where we can. With this ongoing crisis that we are facing as humanity, being a personal chef that comes to your home to cook meals isn’t the most popular service at the moment. In my first week and a half, I did a dig into my business what was working and what I needed to improve on. I formulated a plan of action around these lists and what I needed to do after this horrible crisis that we are in finally ends concerning my business. I’m also a state-licensed life insurance broker, so I am lucky that has still been an avenue to financially survive this crisis and reopen. I believe we should all help where we can throughout our communities during these times. Everyone is going through their own thing right now, so let’s be kind towards ourselves and each other.

 

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

A: Something valuable I have learned in my life that I would like to share is that you are worth so much. Never let anyone make you feel like you don’t deserve to be completely healthy in mind, body, and spirit. As women, if we stand together lifting each other up as we journey through this life we have been given, there isn’t anything that we can’t accomplish.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me is the idea that whatever it is that makes you feel powerful and like a female should be supported by society. It is also the fact that, as women, we shouldn’t have to fight to be given the same rights and equal pay as our male counterparts. We shouldn’t have to be twice as good as the man standing beside us for the same pay. Feminism to me is this idea that women should support other women throughout our journey and understanding that our paths aren’t all going to be the same. Women are powerful beings, and if we would stand together, there is absolutely nothing we can’t create. 

 

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I’d love to connect with you! Click here to connect with me! 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Darlene

*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 Darlene, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

“You become a light in the world when you step into your own innate wisdom and purpose.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: If I stood on a street corner and shouted my truth, I would say to women to find your power and love within yourself. It is there! Your real, wonderful self is waiting for you to discover it! You are God and Goddess. You are divine. Find that within you and live from there. All else then falls into alignment. When you know that you are divine, you live joyfully. We are all here to learn our purpose and then give it to others to fulfill ourselves. It’s a neverending circle.

My clients want a clear plan forward, based on what they really want.  Finding their passion and their path forward is always easier than they think. It’s usually staring them in the face…they just can’t see it yet. Their path forward then serves as a roadmap to know how to bring in the success they’ve wanted with life and business.  Especially for women who are starving/hungry for meaning in their lives after being defined by outside parameters. A source of inner peace.

 

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I guide women to find a joyful, deeper connection to what really matters to them. The women that find me often have deep, self-worth wound(s) that have held them back. They believe they are “not enough.” I use proven methods to help them identify exactly what is holding them back. 

Then together, we create a simple plan forward. They end up feeling confident in their choices and happy in what they are doing. (Actually I get tremendous joy from this, but don’t tell anyone!)

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I remember growing up feeling insecure and an outsider. I did the “good girl” things that were expected of me–and was deeply unhappy–always pleasing others. I realized later that so many of my life choices were based on what I was “supposed” to do. Be the “good daughter,” “good wife,” “good employee,” no matter what I felt inside.

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The final straw was working in human resources at a bank. Employees were considered literal “resources” to be used as needed by the big corporation. I’m amazed how bad it had to get before I had the nerve to quit and stop selling out my soul, but I finally did.


It took me years to have the compassion with myself and the clear perspective to choose another way—a way that was based on what spoke to my soul, not what I was “supposed” to do. I shorten that time for women to find their own self-compassion and perspective. It doesn’t have to take years!

 

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

A: That putting yourself last doesn’t serve anyone.  You become a light in the world when you step into your own innate wisdom and purpose.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: That women can choose to know they can own their own greatness.  A greatness that comes from integrating all the pieces of themselves and letting go of what does not serve them. To know deep within they have a choice to thrive. To make their lives rich, abundant, and deeply satisfying.  Women can choose to make their lives WHAT THEY WANT IT TO BE.


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Woman Wednesday: Allison

*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 Allison, Denver, Colorado

“I believe that if we let ourselves be paralyzed by our fears, we’ll never achieve our full potential.”

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about documentary filmmaking because of the ability to connect people through stories. I’m currently touring the film festival circuit with a documentary about two elderly, married entomologists. I’ve filmed digital content for clients like National Geographic, the BBC, the Travel Channel, Lonely Planet, NBC, and a host of others.

Steve Jobs famously said, ‘The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation to come.’ I fully believe that! Stories have such incredible power to inspire, to reveal our shared humanity, to bring about positive change, and to create empathy and emotion (humor being one of my favorites).

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I’m also really passionate about helping female entrepreneurs acquire the skills to create their own video content from home. With the development of the COVID-19 coronavirus, I think a lot of women will be working from home over the next few months, doing more video conference calls, and trying to incorporate DIY video into their business to bring in clients. I wanted to help other women continue to succeed with their businesses! So, I recently began sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years from big-budget film shoots and digital storytelling content and modifying it to help women create high-quality DIY videos from home. I’m really dedicated to helping them learn to make videoes and storytelling their business ally. I’m passionate about showing them not only learn how to use gear but also how to map out the story arc, messaging, and branding in each of their videos and conference calls with clients; how to develop a strategy before they begin putting up videos; and how to map out the way in which each video plays into the larger story of their business. Once they have that knowledge and skill set, they will have such incredible power to inspire and connect with clients!

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was a major introvert as a child. I was very quiet and spent an enormous amount of time reading. I loved stories, and I read everything from Roman mythology to the history of Dorothea Lange, to the latest science fiction novels. At 15, I began taking summer school classes at Stanford, and I later received both my undergraduate and master’s degrees from Stanford. My early fascination with storytelling influenced my decision to become a newspaper reporter after graduation. After a time, I transitioned to telling stories through film and video and incorporated the skills of a print journalist into my approach to documentaries and digital content.

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

A: When I first picked up a camera, I remember being very intimidated by the technical aspects of it. And I remember being similarly daunted by all of the logistics and crafting of a story arc when I made my first film. But I believe that if we let ourselves be paralyzed by our fears, we’ll never achieve our full potential. I steadily acquired the storytelling and production skills and the knowledge of film gear, and I would love to help other women out with that—especially female entrepreneurs who are working at home and need to incorporate DIY video into their business. I definitely empathize with how video can initially feel very formidable. My message is: Don’t let that fear paralyze you! There are so many ways to DIY it. And I’m more than willing to help anyone out that needs advice. There are many statistics about the power of videos and storytelling, but for me, it all comes down to the ability to connect with others, to inspire and motivate them, and to foster our shared humanity.

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: To me, being a modern feminist means supporting those who identify as women, lifting each other up, amplifying our voices, and having the right to personally choose how we live our lives. I also think it’s crucial to consider feminism through an intersectional lens if we want the movement to be truly inclusive and representative of the voices of women of all races, classes, religions, abilities, and orientations.

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Woman Wednesday: 100th Post!

*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.  


For our 100th post, we’ve gathered 35 quotes of advice from our featured women on The Woman Wednesday Blog. Enjoy!

 

Jessica L., Beijing, China

“When you start to doubt yourself is when you will fail. Follow your heart and believe in yourself and your calling–wherever or whatever that may be–one hundred percent.”


Chante, Richmond, Virginia

“The only excuses you have are the ones you make.” 

 

Cait Scudder, Los Angeles, California 

“Spend time getting quiet and getting clear on what you want to create and bring into the world. Vision is the birthplace of all creation, so you need to take the time to do this.” 

 

Lorie, Cincinnati, Ohio

“There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.”

 

Deasha, Manchester, United Kingdom

“You do not have to have tons of money. You do not have to have knowledge or experience. If you have enough drive, ambition, and vision, then you can create any life that you want.”


Marae, Cuba 

“Impossible, after all, is only an opinion.”


Marina, County of Međimurje, Croatia

“Make brave decisions and just start before you are ready because “the right time” is just an illusion. Don’t wait until you will have time–create time for things that are important to you.”


Laura, Morris County, New Jersey

“I try to challenge myself daily, to develop different parts of who I am and who I want to be. I’m a work in progress. We’re all works in progress, and I think that’s a really beautiful thing.” 


Chelsea,
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

“If you don’t have a plan, don’t fret! Try new things. Travel. See things. Do things. Live. And it will come to you, babe. And when it does, just go for it!” 

 

Jerusher, Atlanta, Georgia

“Time is priceless. Experiences are priceless. Memories are priceless.”


Lisa Maslyk, Winnipeg, Manitoba

“I truly wish I had gotten into it when I was younger, but it felt like such a big leap that I wasn’t ready to take at the time. Now that I am in it, I realize that it wasn’t such a big leap at all.”


Kidron, Baltimore County, Maryland

“I’ve realized that in my life, for me to overcome what holds me back, and to be happy, I have to let some things rest in the shadows. If they don’t contribute to the betterment of myself and/ or humanity, they probably aren’t worth holding onto. I decided I had to push forward for what I wanted (and deserved) if I had to be what I envisioned for myself.” 


Valerie, Wolfratshausen, Germany

“Remember when times get tough, toughen up. Just know that you are stronger than you think you are.”


Lucia, Montgomery County, Maryland

“From my story and from my family story, I hope that others, especially women, are empowered to keep dreaming and to not lose hope even if there are many obstacles in the way. Because by achieving their dreams, they will inspire a new generation of women to keep dreaming (and with dreams and hard work, succeeding).” 


Leilani, Fairfax, Virginia

“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.” 


Alysha, Berks County, Pennsylvania

“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.”


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.” 


Caitlin, College Park, Maryland

“Even the person who seems to have it the most together has problems, and we are all one big mess. I learned that what I considered to be a weakness was actually a strength that allowed me to help others with the same issues.”


Jessica, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

“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.”


Mary, Baltimore County, Maryland

“If you find the positive in every day, you will be so much happier. Also, when you have goals and put them into the universe, you are speaking them into existence. Finding the positives and putting them out to others will get you into the right mindset to achieve your goals.”


Raquel, King of Prussia, Pennslyvania

“You never really know what someone is going through despite their outward appearance or your depiction of them.” 


Megan, Baltimore, Maryland 

“I had a college professor who, day one of class, talked about how we introduce ourselves to other people by telling them stories about our lives so far. It’s sort of how we package and present ourselves. I think it’s a good idea to look at those tales we’ve curated and see what they say about us, and also, to realize that the stories society tells us impacts which narratives are worth keeping.” 


Jen, Green Bay, Wisconsin

“You can do what you set your mind to. Everything takes work, and learning is a constant part of life. If your dream is to one day own a business that makes money, you need to make sure you have all the skills and knowledge to make that happen.”


Tabatha, Washtenaw County, Michigan

Having a team is the cornerstone to success.” 


Jessica, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada  

“We are human. We can only learn from that and try to be better next time.”  


Ioana, Cluj, Romania

“What I would like everyone to know and apply is passion! Find something that you love doing and go for it. Take time for it, show what you do to other people, involve your loved ones in your passion. Whenever you feel completely disappointed, desperate, and that life is completely pointless, turn to that color or canvas, pot or music, or whatever makes you feel joy.”   

 

Kelly, Toronto, Canada

One thing I’ve learned is this: You cannot control what happens in your life, but you can control how you react to it. I think if I continued to sulk and think negatively, nothing significantly positive would’ve happened in my life. Changing my perspective and immersing myself in hope and positive thinking only resulted in positive changes in my life.”   


Carly, Melbourne, Australia

I used to give up on projects too early without enough feedback to see it through, and I attribute my giving up too early mostly to self-limiting beliefs. You can have the best business model and the best-looking website and great marketing strategy, but if you don’t believe in yourself first, you will fail every time. So for me, first and foremost is get your mindset right in the beginning, and set the foundations to build an amazing life for yourself and stick at it! The only way you will stick at anything is self-reliance, discipline, and self-belief.”   


Idoia, Barcelona, Spain 

“Once you are on stage, there is this magic, that it makes you shine even though you are under pressure. If you miss a step, the key is to continue. No one is expecting you to be perfect but you! It’s about forgiving yourself and continuing. A mistake is an opportunity to grow.”


Lasheika, Miami, Florida

“Nothing is a mistake. Everything happens for a reason, and don’t regret a thing because it’s all a part of your journey.” 


Helen, Phoenix, Arizona

“Feel through the fears, and make moves anyway.”


Emily, Denmark

“There is a whole life out there to be lived. No matter what and how much has been taken away from you, maybe you’ll never get over it, but you can get on!”


Chloe, Sydney, Australia

“Resilience has been essential for me in the past few years to really go for my dreams, fall on my face, and get back up.”


Nancy, Puerto Rico

“Life is all about working with what bothers us, not giving power to the problem but looking for solutions. And it is precisely why I tell my story. I had all the reasons to give up and be a ‘no one’ in life. Seeing the transformation in people is something incredible. Many times, people just need help, a word of motivation to help them take a step and get out of their current situation, turn their passions/ideas into a business, or make decisions. I like to work for causes, give a voice to those that can’t talk, help the needy, put on the worker’s boots, and reach out to those who feel lost. These things bring me emotion.”


Maria Tan, Philippines 

“I felt something was missing. I needed to be more and think beyond what to sell next and how to make more money. I talked to my mom about the meaning of life and she pretty much dismissed my question as something frivolous and overreaching. I can’t blame her though; she comes from a generation where having a white picket fence was the dream. After that talk, I went even deeper into depression. I was living my life void of any life. I would go from one task to the next and have no memory of doing so.” 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Thao

*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 Thao, Newark, California

“It’s best to live life to the fullest of our ability, and it’s critical to keep going and get back up when life knocks you down.”

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about connecting with and helping people! I have been a stay-at-home mom with a home-based business, but prior to that, I was working in corporate in the human resources field. Despite being great at my HR jobs, I was not fulfilled. Then I became a full-time stay-at-home mom, and that has been challenging. For years, I felt guilty about not fully enjoying being at home with my kids as much as I thought. The thing is, I know to my core that I’m made for more. It was not until I decided to take a huge leap of faith last year and started my home-based business that I finally feel empowered to create my own joy.

I now have a balanced life in that I get to be home with my children but also have something of my own! Aside from the flexibility, what I love about my current job is I get to help and impact other people’s lives in ways I never knew I could. It brings meaning and purpose back to my life all because I learned to listen to my gut instincts and did it despite uncertainties.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States when I was 9 years old. Growing up, my parents had a successful home-based bakery and were extremely busy with their business that there was no family structure and minimal quality time. Needless to say, I was an unhappy child and didn’t feel I had anyone to go to. My upbringing definitely had a huge impact on the person I’ve become. I struggled with self-esteem and insecurities as a child, and this played well into my adulthood despite having a bold and outgoing personality. However, I’ve done well academically and achieved both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the age of 24.

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I was ambitious, focused, hardworking, and driven. It wasn’t until after finishing my master’s and entering the real world and workforce that I became more lost than ever. For the first time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life! I went into HR, left it, came back to it, and then finally left it altogether after having kids. I desperately tried to figure out my purpose and direction in life, but I wasn’t able to do it for years. I think my self-awareness, resilience, and persistence have been instrumental to my growth and overcoming challenges. After I became a mom, I have been secretly living with depression and anxiety. Finally, I had the courage to share my story last winter on Facebook. It’s mind-boggling what these mental disorders can do to someone’s self-belief and ability to enjoy life. I realized during my darkest moments that the one person who was always there for me despite anything has been God. My struggles have indeed deepened my spirituality and commitment to redefining my life. The only person who could bring real change to my life is me and only me. I am not a quitter!

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

A: I have learned that no worldly achievements will bring lasting meaning and happiness to my life if I don’t make an effort to develop myself and become the best version of who I am meant to be. Self-growth is the best gift anyone can give to themselves and has personally helped me cope with my mental disorders and life challenges in general. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma in our society and in most cultures about mental illness. I want to be the voice of people living with mental illness and show others that it is definitely possible to thrive in life despite your mental conditions. I also want young people to know that it’s okay to not know what you want to do in life. Some of us still couldn’t figure it out in adulthood! It’s best to live life to the fullest of our ability and it’s critical to keep going and get back up when life knocks you down. I also wish I was less fearful of trying new things for most of my life. Now, I’ve learned that doing things despite fear is the key to unlocking my best self and best life. It’s never too late!

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: For years, women have been limited by what we can do, and feminism to me is about breaking boundaries and glass ceilings. I see the ideal world of equality, and if that is desiring the same rights and privileges as men, then call me a feminist!

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