Woman Wednesday: Annie A.


Q and A with Annie A., South Carolina

“Vulnerability is beautiful.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

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

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


Q: What were your younger years like?

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

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


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

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


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

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


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

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

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

Thank you for reading!



Check out Sweetgrass & Sage here.

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Woman Wednesday: Maja


Q and A with Maja from Croatia, living in Paris, France

“I learned to trust my inner guidance; whenever I followed it, it led me to amazing places and opportunities I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about inspiring people to follow their heart and live their best life! I teach meditation, breathwork, energetic alignment, and law of attraction [in order] to manifest a life of your own design that is aligned with your purpose. I’ve been living this way for a really long time, and I honestly couldn’t imagine my life in any other way.

Take a completely FREE meditation class with Maja by clicking here.

Ever since I broke through my fear of visibility as a teenage girl, I have been able to tap into my passions and share my gifts with the world. I’ve been pursuing my passion for music and singing for a long time and teaching others to free their voice, which led me to coaching and healing work. I’ve had my first spiritual awakening in my late teens and living in a spiritual way has truly helped me manifest amazing things from magical opportunities, performing in front of thousands of people, having my on radio show on national radio, traveling to amazing places, my life in Portugal and to today in Paris! I believe it’s all about energy and what you emit into the world. When you are aligned with your heart’s desire, everything flows effortlessly. In the past year or so, I have decided to expand my visibility so I started my podcast and YouTube channel, published several meditations on Insight Timer, I’ve been featured on many summits, blogs, and have done many guest-speaking gigs. I feel like that’s a better use of my energy, as I am able to help more people, so this where I’m heading next.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a socialist country, and I have been through many hardships, [including] war, which affected me deeply and turned me into apatriot and a hippie. Ever since that moment, I stand for peace, love, compassion, and kindness towards all beings. I believe we all deserve to be loved and there is plenty of abundance for everyone. That is what everyone really wants: to be loved and accepted, and I like to help people find that love and peace within. Happy people=happy world, and that’s the kind of world I want to live in. I realized that if we work on ourselves and become better people, we are able to influence our inner circle and possibly more if we’re willing. One person can make a difference, and we all matter.

There was one activity in particular that helped me break through my fears quite a bit, and that is improv theatre! By making a fool of myself in front of other people many times, I realized I can do anything. It gave me a confidence boost I needed and honestly, without it, I wouldn’t be able to do anything I loved…as everything I do involved interacting with people. I also learned that by facing my fear over and over again, I get better at what I do and am able to handle it much easier.


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

A: Anything is possible if you believe it is. I was surrounded with nonbelievers who tried to put me in a box many times (some still do!). I learned to trust my inner guidance; whenever I followed it, it led me to amazing places and opportunities I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. A big part of my success is faith, trusting in Divine timing and that I’m being guided all the time. I observe, listen, and act when inspired. It just works! It’s not always easy, as our mind and doubt interferes, but if you learn to be in the present moment and tap into your intuitive guidance, it becomes easy. I have manifested things many thought were impossible or unrealistic, just because I believed. Many told me that my example inspired them to do the same and pursue their dreams. That, to me, is worth the effort.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I have been supporting women for many years now and believe that, if women support each other, we can do amazing things! We have a long way to go to get equal rights, but we are doing the work and I feel more and more women are stepping into their power and owning it. This is what is needed to take our place in the world, which is why I am very passionate about helping women tap into their inner power. We are much more powerful than we think, yet we have been lead to believe we are the “weaker sex.” I’d like to contribute to changing that perspective and doing whatever I can to inspire women to be their own superheroes.


Thank you for reading!


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Woman Wednesday: U’ilani


Q and A with U’ilani, Kalaoa, Hilo, Hawai’i

“I think my journey and passion was guided not only by myself, but through the past events of my ancestors.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My name is Uʻilani Macabio. I am from the Island of Hawaiʻi. I was born and raised on this island my whole life. I am a mother of two boys, a 14-year-old [boy], and 5-year-old [boy]. Naturally, my interest is my Hawaiian culture. Being raised on this island, I was always immersed with the natural beauty of this island and the ocean as well as my culture. Therefore, my passion and interest comes from my foundation for the love of my land, culture, history, and language. I am currently a teacher at Honokaʻa High and Intermediate School, and I teach social studies and Hawaiian language. I find so much joy and pleasure in supporting my community with knowledge and helping raise the next generation to also love the language and culture of Hawaiʻi. I also support my students through social-emotional learning through the Foundations of Aloha. My goal is to support my community with problem solvers, effective communications, and community contributors that understand who they are, love their environment, and are willing to support.

I also have been gardening and supporting small farms on the Hāmākua and Kohala Coast on the Hawaiʻi Island. It has been enriching to ground myself in the land and to continue that positive reciprocal relationship to land. I also have been promoting self-healing with plant-based CBG and CBD products to support the mind and body. Hemp extract is so important for humans to operate at the best optimal level, and [being able] to use and promoting the products brings so much happiness to know that people are on the positive journey to feeling good and operating at the best level possible. I also dance hula for Hālau Nā KĪpuʻupuʻi in Waimea, Kohala. Hula has connected me to my culture, it allows me to share my ancestors’ stories and knowledge, and it awakens my spirituality. I paddle canoe with Kawaihae canoe club. My coach, Uncle Manny Vicent, has taught me so much as an athlete and as a person. Paddling has been a family sport for over 10 generations. Lastly, my family and I are surfers, fishermen and fisherwomen. The things we do in the ocean bring us together and continues the family knowledge and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, my passion comes from my upbringing. I am forever grateful for my parents, my ancestors, the land and ocean of Hawaiʻi, and all my teachers and mentors for always being there and supporting me.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a small little town called Kalaoa in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Life was so fun. I had family always around me. My cousins and I would play in the rivers, bushes, and trees. We would stay out all day and come home for dinner. We would drink water from springs and water hoes. Later, in high school, I was a surfer girl always at the beach or in the farm. I started to value education in my high school years because I started to make connections from my Hawaiian culture to the things I was learning in school. Subjects like math, science, and history I could always find a connection someway or somehow to my Hawaiian culture. I graduated from Pāhoa High School. I want to say I am so blessed with my upbringing; I would say I am lucky. I went to college and got my bachelor’s degree in anthropology and minor in Hawaiian studies at UH Hilo. I then got my master’s in education at Grand Canyon University. I want to say there has been so many teachers, mentors, and friends that I have made [who have] helped me become the person I am today. During my time at UH Hilo, I have been in so many great programs. One was Wahi Kupuna internship with Huliauapaʻa, and PIPES, who allowed me to learn and practice cultural resource management as a Hawaiian and a Hawaiian practitioner. I think this was such a pivotal moment not only in my life, but for archaeology in Hawaiʻi. Where it was a shift in perspective of how archaeology in Hawai’i should be conducted in a Hawaiian perspective and methods, where it is less invasive to the cultural sites and cultural remains. Also, during that time, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher to promote more students to be the new innovators, shifters, and movers in Hawaiʻi.


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

A: I think my journey and passion was guided not only by myself, but through the past events of my ancestors. There is so much of why I do and believe what I believe in is because of the rich Hawaiian culture I live in, but also because of the stories of my ancestors continues to live within me. Meaning, I am the product of the story, and my children and grandchildren will continue the story as well. If I could leave something valuable, it would be to be the person, the story that your children or grandchildren can learn, value, and use in their future.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I think feminism is a new or Western terminology. I never felt less than or unequal to [men]. Women here can say, do, and make big movements, and it’s not a big thing. I think a lot of women that came before might have done something to make things so much easier for us. However, because around 1820s and 1830s, the Hawaiian Kingdom adopted the European style of ruling; that’s when a lot change happened, and now, women are identified as less, invalid, even to our royal queens and princesses. Although these women lived in a new Hawai’i, they still carried on their duties. Most if it would be considered heroic or would be consider a feminist movement.

One of the events was the Kūʻē petition, where both women and men went around each island in Hawai’i asking them to sign this a petition to be against the illegal annexation of Hawai’i. At the time, only men with land could vote. However, these women went so that all voice is valid. Another example is of princess Kai’ulani. Her story is widely known. Her mission [was] to share the story of her people throughout some of the United States. She did it during a time of man-driven world. Soon after, President Grover Cleveland sent James Blunt to investigate about the illegal happenings in Hawaii done by the provisional government. Therefore, women today and before me are risk-takers and go-getters. Therefore, feminism is new because we have nothing to fight for besides just voice our thoughts and do what we need to do, and we get it done.


Q: Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

A: Hawaii is my home, and I hope it will continue to be the home of my future grandchildren for many generations. Our culture is living and thriving, and some people might not know that. However, please learn the history and culture of any place, and I know there will be value to gain from it.

Thank you for reading!

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Woman Wednesday: Christine


Q and A with Christine, Boulder, Colorado

“When I did say ‘yes’ to trying something new and get out of my comfort zone, I almost always had a blast and was so proud that I accomplished something new.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about many things such as business, health, family, God, and helping people thrive by bringing them up and helping them see their potential that they have lost seeing. I currently am a project control analyst at Ball Aerospace, and I love my job so much. I get to work for an amazing company that provides crucial ideas, objects, and units that help keep our country safe from the ground up. As a young woman, starting my career at a place like Ball is empowering. I feel respected, I feel valued for all my opinions, I’m learning so many new things every day, and I get to use my passion for helping those around me by leading team meetings that remind everyone that even though we are working from home, we are a team and we are here for each other. I get to facilitate Q&A’s that the team have and haven’t voiced since working remotely has made people lose their voice that much more. By leading these team meetings, I help rebuild and restore our strength as a team, I get to build people back up and give them a place to vent all their worries, questions, and concerns, while also allowing them to have a place to speak their mind and say what’s working best for them and what they want to see happen in the future. From these meetings, management gets to hear from us all and everyone’s ideas, concerns, and voices all get heard and people couldn’t be happier, which makes me so happy. I thrive knowing I’m helping others to thrive and feel confident too!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were amazing; I couldn’t of asked for a better childhood. I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, in a great area and apartment complex where all us kids would constantly play outside together, explore what nature had to offer, and we all felt safe even though there wasn’t always a parent watching over us all. I’m the youngest of two; I have an older brother and having him made me feel as though I got interested in what men liked too like sports, video games, and wrestling around with one another. I am very girly, but because of him, I also am a girl that doesn’t mind getting her knees dirty, playing videos games with my boyfriend, and watching sports. My mom was a stay at home mom when we both were very young. She cooked and cleaned the house daily, she took naps with us, and really just made the house so warm and loving. My dad owned a restaurant at the local mall that was down the street from our house and, because of that, we went to the mall often for the free food and the really fun arcade place they had there. Having the freedom to be around so many kids in my community and then being able to run around the mall knowing everyone knew my brother and I (that we were my dad’s kids), they all would watch over us and we always felt so safe and a huge sense of community.

There is truly nothing better than being exposed to a diverse group of people at such young ages. It helped us understand other cultures. I grew up as both Christian and Catholic. God has always been at the forefront of my life. I have a big heart, and growing up with my dad owning a restaurant, whenever other kids from my school or neighborhood were hungry, my brother and I would take them to eat at my dad’s restaurant and my dad was always more than happy to feed anyone for free that needed the help. I learned how to give and help others in their time of need at a young age. My dad was always helping anyone out that truly needed it. God has always placed me where I needed to be in order to help the people He needed me to help and in order to thrive in areas He needed me to thrive in. Being able to help people and to motivate them and spread positivity in this world has always brought me so much pleasure, and I know that that comes from my religion and love for God and the love He has placed in me and the compassion and love He gave me for other people.


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

A: Something valuable I’ve learned that I want others to know is that life is too short. As we’ve all heard this many times in our life, it’s true. I blew off group gatherings before because I was tired or wasn’t in the mood that night. I’ve wasted some opportunities to go out and try new things because I was nervous to do so or too scared, and I’ve said no to potential job opportunities because I wasn’t sure if it was for me. We’ve all done things like that, and what I’ve learned was when I did say ‘yes’ and push through to go out with friends even though I was so tired, I almost always ended up having such a great time. When I did say ‘yes’ to trying something new and get out of my comfort zone, I almost always had a blast and was so proud that I accomplished something new. And when I did allow a random job opportunity to come into my life, it didn’t always work out, but sometimes, even if I left with just meeting inspiring and wonderful people, that was worth it to me. Life is too short to be unhappy, to over stress, to worry and be anxious. We don’t truly take advantage of every day, every minute, and every waking breath we are given by God. We need to let go of the nonsense, worry and stress less, get rid of toxic people and habits in our lives, and learn to take advantage of our everyday gifts of life. Meet new people, try new things, say ‘yes’ to the chances you do have to hang with the people you love, put yourself out there every once and a while, and don’t waste your life. You never want to look back and say, “I wish I did that, I wish I said yes, I wish I could hang with that person just one more time, etc.” You want to know that you lived a good life, made your mistakes, but came back stronger every time and really love that life you are living with the right people in your life and the right career. Life is too short, be happy, love hard, giggle as loud as you want, and eat that piece of cake!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means a few things to me. It means equal pay and equal rights amongst men and women, but it’s also more than that. When females come together and build each other up instead of tear each other down, I love that. I love seeing women who feel weak be empowered by other women, have their crown readjusted and put back together by other women helping them and rebuilding them to be the strong, confident queens. I hate seeing women tear each other apart through their own insecurities. When we come together, help each other out, build each other’s confidences back up, and stay strong together, we are one heck of a tight force that no one can then mess with. Empowering each other, inspiring and motivating one another, and pushing each other further than our comfort zone makes my heart full and that to me is what feminism should be all about.


Q: Is there anything else you want to tell readers?

A: I want to thank Samantha for reaching out to me and giving me this opportunity to be a part of this wonderful website. When she did that, it reiterated how I love when people are so kind to one an another and when you can inspire people you don’t even know is watching. I love inspiring people for the positive and knowing I somehow did that to her by posting my usual posts, that felt amazing. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this!

Thank you for reading!



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Woman Wednesday: Lea Ann

*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 Lea Ann, Jeffersonville, Vermont

“A valuable lesson I have learned through my journey is to just keep working on things little by little and be patient with myself.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about food, community, and bringing people closer together. I am currently working on my food truck, which is in its 2nd year. Business is doing great and I am expanding quickly. I have always been a chef and I seek validation through my food. But I thoroughly enjoy making people happy with the food.

 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were a mess. My twenties were crazy, but I learned how to focus and work on my goals (even though mentally and emotionally I was very unstable). I have an anxiety disorder that was a graveyard by drug use. Now, I am more centered, but it’s really because I’m so busy. I thrive in high pressure.

 

 

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

A: A valuable lesson I have learned through my journey is to just keep working on things little by little and be patient with myself. I have learned a lot and continue to learn a lot about validating my own work and learning to delegate. I can’t do it all myself, and I’ve created this amazing momentum that makes people want to work with me!

My dreams have become my reality through my actions. Learning to love myself and consider myself worthy of a good life, a loyal and loving partner, and family has been a journey that I will continue to travel. Overcoming fear and becoming the person I am meant to be on this planet: spreading love and inclusion, being one with all my brothers and sisters, lifting up the downtrodden, and creating magic.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism means living in a world where I have access to the same opportunities as anyone else as a woman of color. Feminism means I will fight for everyone to have the same access to resources and respect from one another. A world where liberty is truth. Strength comes in numbers and women lead, guide, and support humanity as it should be.

 

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Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

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