Woman Wednesday: Kathy


Q and A with Kathy, Katy, Texas

“The world is literally waiting for you to go out and be all you can.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: We all have an amazing counselor ready and willing 24/7 to direct our steps, just ask! I am most passionate about God. I am passionate about many things, including my family and friends. I truly love learning new things, traveling, writing, trivia, reading, beauty, health, having fun, fine dining, and so much more. I am currently extremely passionate about floral designing. In the last two years, I have taught myself through videos, a mentor, and hands-on trial and error. I am the owner of aellasfloral.com, and my Facebook group is Wooden Roses Texas. I always say success follows your last meltdown because as it turns out, this advice is so true. I became frustrated at wearing “all the hats” and contemplated quitting. Just as my frustration grew, I got a message out of the blue from a TV producer that had viewed one of my designs on the internet and invited me to be featured on TV introducing my floral company! Feel free to view my full 10-minute interview here: https://vimeo.com

I have been an entrepreneur for 25 years and have experienced many ups and downs, but I would not change a thing; I love being my own boss and anyone else’s that will let me [she laughs]. My awesome husband of 25 years and I have successfully owned our construction business for over 20 years. However, not all of my many “mini businesses” have been successful and each one has a common reason! Just a few I have started include bath bombs, sport towels, wooden roses, postcards, gift/spa baskets, eBay selling, Avon, Mary Kay, and there were others. Truthfully, I never thought I had any talent whatsoever until the Lord, through amazing mentors, encouraged me and showed me I do have talent…that actually, I’m very talented and always have been. Fear had sold me short over and over again. Please don’t ever let this happen to you; face it, speak to it, and get rid of it!

When I started the gift/spa basket business, I spent literally 6 months straight doing nothing but teaching myself how to write code and design my own website. I ordered hundreds of products, took photos, and set up an amazing website. I had no skills in finding customers, so after I paid for hosting 3 months and never received 1 order, I quit. As it would turn out, a month after I quit, I got an order from (not family or friends that buy because they love you) but a complete stranger, a grandfather looking for a gift for his granddaughter! It was too late for me to go back; I had completely quit! This business could have been wildly successful if I had not given up.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in East Texas with my grandparents, Dad, and sister. I’m forever grateful my Mammaw had me in church three times a week. It was there I met Jesus and was saved. My sister and I were like most siblings having fights, but we were always close and still are. I was a bit of an entertainer as a child…always seeking attention. I’m told that when I was 5 years old, I brought a water hose in the house and sprayed my grandma’s guest Tupperware so the guests would leave and I would get all of Grandma’s attention back on me! I loved riding motorcycles, horses, and playing in the woods until dark. I moved to the city as a teen to live with my mom and siblings. I got married and pregnant at 16 and remained a stay-at-home mom until my youngest of three left for college. Being an entrepreneur allowed me this choice. One thing I’m very proud of is the fact I was able, with my two girls, to break the teen pregnancy cycle in our family. Both of my girls graduated college. My son, at age 39, has a two-year-old that we adore, and one of my daughters, at 35, has a 6-month-old that we’re proud of.

One of the greatest compliments of my life came when I was giving advice to a friend and she jokingly said, “Okay, Mother Teresa.” And I thought, “Wow…thank you…if only.” I admired her very much and could only hope to be like her! I’ve learned so many valuable lessons in my 56 years; I could write a book and who knows…maybe I will.


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

A: I would say to my children, grandchildren, and all of you that the world is literally waiting for you to go out and be all you can. Go to your great Counselor with any and all concerns. He truly loves you. Never let bitterness grow in your heart, forgive quickly. Know your self-worth and please, please always keep your sense of humor.

Wearing all of the hats is not easy, but the good news is that eventually, you will be able to hire help and do what you love most. It is totally okay to quit for a day or two, but after that, go back to it with a new perspective!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about ‘ism’ words, but for me personally, feminism means to just do it, feel good about it, and know “it’s my best and it is worthy.” For women around the world, feminism means supporting each other and demanding equal treatment to that of men rather it’s accolades, salary, or anything else. You are a beautiful, smart, talented, and amazing human being. Life is short; enjoy it in increments of pleasurable moments. Go out, smile, and encourage someone today. We are all super stars!


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Woman Wednesday: Shaliah


Q and A with Shaliah from Dolton, Illinois

“I’ve always had a “plan B,” but there are so many others who weren’t prepared for their lives to change in such a way [during the pandemic].”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: One of my biggest passions in life is helping others. I’m a licensed financial advisor. I love what I do simply because I’m able to educate my potential clients on ways to create generational wealth for themselves and their families.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a very close-knit family. Education and religion were two things that were at the top list of importance. I’m grateful for all the lessons learned because it helped me to become a better person and who I am today.


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

A: 2020 was a huge wake-up call for me, and I’m sure for a lot more families as well. I was laid off from my job of 15 years. Luckily for me, I’ve always had a “plan B,” but there are so many others who weren’t prepared for their lives to change in such a way. My advice would be to never solely depend on one stream of income. Keep multiple streams coming in in order to keep your family afloat.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Being a woman, I think, is about being strong. It’s about continuing to move forward in all of life’s endeavors. I definitely have to keep a positive mindset and stay 100% committed to making all my life dreams a reality. I have two daughters that look up to me, and I want them to grow up stronger and better than I am. I love to see my ladies succeed! There was once a time when women were told we couldn’t do certain jobs or we couldn’t make a certain amount of money, but look at us now! Kudos Ladies! Let’s keep it up! God Bless.


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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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Woman Wednesday: Tania


Q and A with Tania, Manchester, England

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


Q: What are you passionate about? 

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


Q: What were your younger years like?

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

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


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

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


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

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


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Woman Wednesday: Katia

*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 Katia, Montreal, Quebec

“The good part is the more energy and excitement you have about your business, the more people gravitate towards you and the more opportunities come your way.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I have been a photographer for a long time. I wasn’t always a food photographer, but right out of college, I knew I wanted to do photography. It is however a tough, tough industry and decided to work in marketing instead since there was a lot more employment opportunities. Having gone through an extremely negative work culture and some really nasty colleagues, I decided that I was done with working for someone else. In this destructive process I had also gone through some pretty severe health problems and needed to rebuild myself. I decided to focus on my health and well-being rather than focusing my energies on someone else’s business. Through my lens, I was able find a lot of self healing potential by creating delicious wholesome recipes and beautiful pieces of artwork with them. Since 2017, my plates have been my canvases.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Growing up, we would always eat healthy. My mother instilled in me respect for the food that we ate by growing our own vegetables and taking care in creating wholesome meals made from scratch. We would never eat prepared, microwaveable meals nor take out, it was always made from scratch. As I grew up, I continued that tradition and I think it is why I love to cook so much. In a lot of my blog postings, I reminisce about mom’s cooking. I often put in my own little touch, but it is usually something that is dear to me.

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

A: Starting a business is not as glamorous as or as easy you might think. Unless you find that miraculous product that has no competition and everyone has just always knowingly needed it, it’s a struggle to the top and to get known. Yes, there are a lot of advantages for being your own boss, but there are a lot of disadvantages. One of my biggest personal downfalls is my discipline. If I don’t see an immediate benefit, I tend to get lazy and put it off, especially with a blog. You just gotta work and work and work….and when you think you have done enough and can’t do any more, well, double the amount of work that you have just done, then you’re good and you can sleep at night saying, “I did everything that I could do.” Then do that every single day of the week. You have to find that fire in you, the one that wants to prove to everyone that you can do it cause if you don’t, you will fail. The good part is the more energy and excitement you have about your business, the more people gravitate towards you and the more opportunities come your way.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is about believing that women are just as good as men and should be treated as such. I feel there is some kind of an amazonian stigma attached to naming yourself as a feminist; therefore, a lot of women are afraid to be associated with that stereotype in fears of being perceived as a man hater. It’s a positive movement, not a negative one. Everyone should be a feminist. Whether or not you choose to actively fight for women’s rights, you are still a feminist. It’s not about being extremist and protesting shocking ways or hating men…not at all. They are people (men too) who believe that women are equal to men in all the important aspects.    

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