Q and A with Courtney R., Vancouver, Washington
“We all need a great circle of empowering strong women to push us on all the hard days but also celebrate our wins.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I’m a mom of three; two boys ages 13 and 11, and a girl age 6. My kids are my whole world. I own a women’s clothing store in Vancouver, Washington, and we specialize in size inclusivity and ethnic fashion. All things girlie is who I am; I love personal shopping and styling my clients and myself (give me all the fun hot tools to play with my hair all day and bright lipstick because it’s a staple) because showing up feeling my best is important. It also empowers other women to do the same.
Personal styling and shopping is what I do because fashion is for everyone and we always feel better when we like our outfit. The store was a dream I had with my best friend from middle school; that’s what bonded us. (Funny story) she didn’t like me but loved my outfit and her mom made her hang out with me [she laughs], we’ve now been best friends for over 17 years! I’m also the girl who loves to get dirty and camp (any outdoor activity hiking and swimming the river is what I do all summer here in the PNW, where I was born and raised). Count me in on long weekends with my girlfriends because we are the tribe we keep! We all need a great circle of empowering strong women to push us on all the hard days but also celebrate our wins. I love to travel. Hawaii is my favorite but Japan, Africa, New York, and Italy are on my long bucket list. I’m also a adrenaline junkie, so skydiving, roller coasters, all those things…count me in. My goal is to have my store in multiple locations where I can shop a little differently for each location. (Depending where its at…weather and all that).
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I have one older brother. My parents are divorced, so childhood was different in each house. At my mom’s, I was an only child. At my dad’s, we had a blended family and I had a step brother and 2 step sisters. I was the oldest. I graduated from high school in 2007 and became a mom shortly after. I stayed home with my kids until I opened my boutique. Coming from a divorced home had its challenges, but it made me the strong, independent mother and friend I am today.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: Being a business owner isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you always go back to your core values and stay humble, you can get through any hard day and you always appreciate the wins. (That’s what I’ve learned.) Believe came about because we wanted to inspire women to follow their dreams (that’s what we did), and when you put your whole heart into something, anything is possible.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: Feminism, to me, is rejecting stereotypes and expectations put in place centuries ago to keep women in their “place.” And replacing those expectations with love, acceptance, support, and encouragement. There are millions of women in the world and there are millions of ways to embody womanhood. Feminism is cheering for every woman in whatever way she chooses to be a woman.
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