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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Woman Wednesday: Ramona

*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 Ramona, Bucharest, Romania

“Art can give us strength to carry on, courage to push through.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about empowering, uplifting, and bringing joy into people’s lives through art. During the lockdown, I started a series of paintings called Urban Queen. Initially, I gave up my studio and planned to relax at home for a month or so. I was planning to do all the things I never have time to do like reorganize my wardrobe, read, and drink cocktails on my terrace. It didn’t last long. One day I read an article in Forbes magazine about the 7 women head of states and how they dealt with the pandemic. I started thinking about all the women in lockdown, all the unsung heroes, and the women who are leaders in their own way, whether it’s in their home or in their community. I had an urge to paint these women, so I set up a home studio and ended up working 12-hour days for 2 months straight. I took over the living room, and my family got used to fending for themselves.

Through my paintings, I want to bring every woman into the spotlight who runs her household, raises her children, puts up with her boss, looks after her health, and shows the strength and courage in her everyday life. I started sharing my art online and the response I had from women all over the world was incredible. Art has the power to move people at a very deep level and women connected with the paintings in a way I didn’t expect. I had hundreds of messages from women telling me what these paintings mean to them and how they make them feel. Stronger, powerful, self-confident.

A deeply moving experience was talking with Kristen, a nurse on the front lines in San Francisco. She was working crazy hours, doing loads of overtime when the hospital needed her, only taking breaks and resting in her car when she was on call. We messaged each other and spoke a lot. She told me, “I’m scared, inspired, and empowered raising girls during this time! These paintings spoke to me on such a deep level as a nurse on the front lines and mother of two daughters. Seriously, these paintings blew my mind on so many levels.” This expresses what I paint for: the power of art to lift our souls. It reminds us that we are magnificent beings capable of doing so much good in the world. Art can give us strength to carry on, courage to push through.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a totalitarian communist regime where ‘freedom’ was nonexistent and food shortages, fear, and persecution was part of the daily life. I hated the system that imprisoned my grandfather, I hated the fact that everything was grey. When I was about 12, I saw a book on Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. I was so moved by the art, the colors, the beauty that I decided there and then that if I can get out of the country, I would leave and never come back. That chance came when I was 18 years old, so armed with big dreams and a bag full of clothes, I made it to London, UK, all by myself.


I wanted to finish my education, so I was going to college during the day and working evenings and weekends. It was then when I discovered painting. I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. I would stay up really late at night to finish my paintings assignments. However, the mentality I grew up with was that of the ‘starving artist,’ so instead I pursued a career in fashion where I thought, worst case scenario, I can get a job as a seamstress. Instead, at the age of 25, I opened my business, a fashion label that expanded rapidly selling in 300 boutiques all over the UK.
Time passed, I fell in love, got married, and had our daughter. In 2009, my family and I moved back to my native Romania. This was now a totally different country I didn’t recognize.


Liberated from communist regime, the country was flourishing and exciting. I started an interior design business that made six figures in the first year. Still, painting was something I was called to do all my life, so I started painting again, at night time and during the weekends. In 2013, I was invited to exhibit in Miami, during the famous Art Basel. That was all I needed to get me to pursue my long life dream. Shortly after I walked into my office and told all my staff that I would be closing the business in order to pursue a career as an artist. I was 40 years old! It was a bold, crazy move and what followed was a few years of really hard work. As a self-taught artist, I made a point on working extra hard on my technique as well as finding my artistic voice. And still, I didn’t feel “worthy” unless my art was validated by the “art establishment.” When my family and I moved back to the UK in 2018, I got the validation I thought I needed by working with some well established art galleries, exhibiting in central London, selling my art to important collectors.

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

A: Life is about constantly learning, growing, and evolving. Painting the Urban Queen series has taught me my latest lesson: I don’t need the art establishment to validate me or my art. I am a queen and I wear my crown with pride. At the same time, my biggest lesson that I’ve learned is that I am on Purpose.” I have been searching for purpose, for the best part of my life, and asked myself many times, “How can I live on purpose?” I think Urban Queen has provided me with the answer. When you are passionate about what you do AND you serve others, you are living with purpose.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is reestablishing the balance between feminine and masculine. It’s recognizing and honoring our differences. It’s understanding that vulnerability, sensitivity, intuition, creativity, and nurturing are very important qualities the world needs. They are not weakness as we were raised to believe. We don’t need to be like men. We need to connect to our own inner feminine qualities and lead from there.

Q: Would you like readers to know anything else?

A: I would say honor yourself. Women are used to doing everything for everyone else first, and we leave ourselves last. I am also guilty of that sometimes, and it’s something I’m still working on. To me, honoring yourself means working on your mindset, learning to appreciate what’s important in life, being grateful, being inspired, treating yourself, and most importantly, loving yourself. Find the Queen within!

Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

Website: https://ramonapintea.com/

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Woman Wednesday: Elizabeth

*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 Elizabeth, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

“Your passion isn’t always obvious.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about so many things, but my main one these days is writing. When I was a young girl around 10 years old, I remember using a child-size blue typewriter and writing a short story. I found it a few years ago, and it wasn’t half bad! I’d like to pick it up and finish it one of these days. While I raised my children, writing fell off to the side as there was no time or energy to do it, but now that they are 12 and 14 years old, I have the time to dedicate myself to it again. As a result, I’ve started three businesses that revolve around writing—a mom lifestyle blog, a handmade business, where I knit and crochet character hats and write children’s books to tell each character’s story, as well as a marketing business, where I specialize in content writing for other businesses, specifically newsletters, blog posts, social media, and WordPress website content writing and SEO.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My paternal grandmother was an avid reader and life-long-learner and she shared that with me. She also encouraged me to pursue an English degree in university, and I’m so glad that I did because I feel it has helped me be a better communicator. This skill has been used in all my endeavors.
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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Something valuable I’ve learned is that your passion isn’t always obvious. It took me quite a while working on my business before I woke up one morning with a lightbulb moment that I love writing.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means equal opportunity, respect, compensation for work, and [treatment] as a person in general regardless of gender. 

 

Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

Elizabeth Ruth Marketing, Facebook 

Mom Lifestyle Blog

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Woman Wednesday: Olivia

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


Q and A with Olivia, from Charleston, SC, living in St Louis, MO

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


Q: What are you passionate about? 

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

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


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

 

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

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

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

 

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

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

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

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

 

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Woman Wednesday: Jacqueline

*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 Jacqueline, Eastover, South Carolina

“There is a purpose in your pain.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am the pastor of Healing in the Vessel Ministries and an author. I am passionate about seeing people heal spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I have a passion and heart for the youth, which has led me to various positions within the ministry and career field.

Since 2002, I have served as youth director, a mentor, and a Sunday school teacher within my local church. I am a former paralegal, educator, and substance abuse counselor. I use my gift of empowerment to transform lives within my ministry and career field. I found this passion as the Holy Spirit began to reveal itself to me through dreams and the doors that God began to open.

I have just currently finished my new book, From Bitter to Better.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I have earned a Master of Arts in practical theology from Regent University, Master of Counseling from Webster University, Columbia SC, a Master of Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg VA, an Associate Degree of Paralegal, graduating Magna Cum Laude from South University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Francis Marion University, Florence SC.

My family includes both of my parents, who empowered me by their love and prayers. I always had a journal since the third grade, which later led me to discover my gift of writing and becoming an author. My various positions led me to become a pastor as God was calling me into that arena.

 

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

A: I have learned that there is a purpose in your pain. Every tear that I have shed has allowed me to become a more reliable vessel so that God can use for His glory to empower, equip, and encourage His people. I would love for others to learn from my story that God still performs miracles.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism symbolizes the empowerment of women.

 

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Q: What else would you like others to know?

A: My hobbies include running, walking, meditating, and writing, counseling youth, and working in the community. I am the author of Healing in the Vessel: A Mother’s Love A Daughter’s Journey of Faith, and From Bitter to Better. I am the co-author of several anthologies: Grief to Grind Anthology: How did I lose Myself in a Relationship, Meant for My Good, Women of Power II, Hearing God’s Voice Above The Chaos, and It takes Money Honey. I am an international speaker for the I AM Her Women’s Conference. I am an Amazon bestselling author. I have been featured on the cover of I AM Queen Magazine.

 

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Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

Connect with me on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/lenisegoodwin

Instagram: lenisegoodwin

Twitter:  Jacquel58497682

Website: www.healinginthevesselministries.com

 


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