Woman Wednesday: Valerie


Q and A with Valerie from Cherry Hill, New Jersey

“I have learned that the ability to pivot in business is the way to survive.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about quality of life, finding balance, and working hard to enjoy the things you want! I have never really wanted to do anything else but fashion since I can remember; even as a little girl, I played “boutique“ by setting up “stores“ in my room. My twin bed was the counter, dolls or my mom or little brother were the customers, and I would take my mother’s shoes, clothes, jewelry and set up displays. I played like this for hours! Even if I was at my grandmother’s house. All I ever wanted was my own boutique. After a career in accessory design, import, and wholesale, I decided to move to retail and open my own store. I felt there was a missing component in my area…there were a lot of shopping centers and malls but no true specialty boutiques with personal service and simple things like actually being waited on and someone making suggestions to help you find the perfect outfit that makes you feel amazing. Everything had turned chain store OR to get great customer service the store was very expensive. I set out to have what I considered affordable pricing (mainly under $100) and great personal service that you would expect in a much more expensive store.

At present, I am working on moving my store into (gulp) a shopping center!

I never thought or felt my store was that “type.“ We are stand-alone, a bit private, sort of pride ourselves on “if you know, you know“ specialty boutique that is not cookie cutter. However, surviving Covid-19 in business has led me to realize some things, and learning to pivot is one of them. Right now, the location and ease are huge. I was offered a really great situation to grow and I took it! (Hence looking for a rebranding on the woman’s site.)


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I went to art school albeit I wanted to go to fashion merchandising school. My parents thought that was impractical. My dad later retracted that when he saw my growth for my business.

My mother and both grandmothers were all really beautiful and very trendsetting. Their style impacted me a lot, and I played dress-up and store in all of their closets while other kids played soccer. I used to “style“ my friends or anyone who would let me! [She laughs.]


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

A: I have learned that the ability to pivot in business is the way to survive. And working hard to enjoy things that are important to you is priceless. Covid made me realize how little control we have. I no longer really say, “I can’t do XYZ because of the business this or that.“ During those first years of building the business, I worked 24/7 and never stopped. I missed out on a lot. I don’t do that anymore.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means to me that I am in control of my decisions emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially, no matter what.


MORE ABOUT VALERIE: I am a proud mom of four and love the beach! I am from Cherry Hill, NJ, where I reside currently. I was born in Philly, and I lived previously in Los Angeles, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ.

Shop Haute Bungalow is my store!

13 East Main St, Marlton, NJ

Yes, we do have an online store as well!!

Online Shop: www.shophautebungalow.com

Insta

Thank you for reading!

Woman Wednesday: Heather


Q and A with Heather from Prairieville, Louisiana

“If your heart is in it, you will find a way to make it work. I’m cheering you on!”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m very passionate about art and design! I grew up doing crafts and having a genuine love for creativity. I fell in love with web design when I was a teenager and started building websites for fun. After art school, I worked as a video game designer until I decided to start my own business in 2008. At that point, I had been creating websites in my spare time for about 10 years. I was more than ready to use my education and passion for web design and turn it into a thriving business! I’ve now worked with over 500 female entrepreneurs by helping them launch beautiful brands and websites. I absolutely love what I do and that I get to work with so many amazing women from all over the world!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My mother was always very supportive of my hobbies and crafts, and we often did a lot of them together. To this day, we are still working on projects for my kids or for ourselves. Once I discovered websites (and Myspace), I fell in love with web design and wanted to learn everything that I could. I taught myself how to code, how to run a business (aka wear #allthehats), and how to market myself. Well, I’m still working on that one. [She winks.] I’m a big advocate of online courses.


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

A: My business has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and yours probably will be too at some point. I think that this is normal and something that not many business owners talk openly about. Finding your path in business and in life can be hard and discouraging at times, but don’t give up! There are many tearful details that were not mentioned above, because my journey was not a direct path to success and six figures. But if your heart is in it, you will find a way to make it work. I’m cheering you on!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means supporting and empowering other women. I’m honored to support my female clients through my services and products, but also by just being someone they can chat with about all things business and life.


MORE ABOUT HEATHER: I’m a mom of three, queso critic, crime junkie addict, and purple lover.

Thank you for reading!

Let’s be friends! Reach me here:

PERSONAL WEBSITE: www.heather-jones.com

INSTA: www.instagram.com/heatherjonescreative

Woman Wednesday: Ashlee

*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 Ashlee, Boca Raton, Florida

“When you have the strength to ask for help, you will see how far you can go.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Passion is what makes you persevere through setbacks, unhappiness, and fear of failure to achieve your dreams. It is the core drive of your motivation. There are two things I am passionate about: mediation and yoga. I love practicing yoga because the act of relaxation makes me remember what I value the most in life: happiness and independence. Unfortunately, with so much clutter in today’s society, it is hard to concentrate on your mental health. The reason I enjoy cleaning is that I become less stressed and breathe again. When I clean, I create a welcoming environment every time someone walks into that home. As Marie Kondo says, “The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.” 

 

My bedroom is my office

 

Currently, I am working on optimizing google analytics for my home cleaning business, Aurora Professional Cleaning Services. I started out naive about online marketing. However, by studying educational courses and reaching out to seasoned veterans, I am becoming more confident knowing I can be a strong business owner. When you have the strength to ask for help, you will see how far you can go.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My parents, extended family, and friends were very supportive of me and my younger sister growing up. I am grateful for the experiences my parents provided for me. We had Sunday family dinners and neighborhood pizza nights. I would volunteer at church and school events. I would attend local small-town fairs and support local businesses. It is about family. My father was my soccer coach, which grew my love for sports and friendly competition. And my mother was constantly dedicated to her career, which I admired.  

 

Thomas Family

 

I was fortunate to have traveled around the world to learn about different cultures and my own ancestry in Norway and Sweden. After graduating from Kean University with a B.A. in communications/public relations, I backpacked across Scandinavia–couch-hopping at family and friend’s homes, learning about how I became who I am today. It was an eye-opening experience that will forever be imprinted on me. Plus, it was an amazing experience before I started building my career and life in Southern Florida.

 

Hill Top Mandal, Norway overlooing the North Sea

 

Pictured below are some photos from homes that utilized Ashlee’s Aurora Professional Cleaning Services.

NJ House 11

 

20190406_101249.jpg

 

20190406_101332

NJ House 17

 

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

A: There are TWO valuable lessons I have learned through building this cleaning company. One, create homemade products. Keeping it eco-friendly is a safe way to clean and live because you know exactly what you are touching every day. Plus, combining your own ingredients is cost-efficient. Yes, sometimes you need brand name products, but consider DYI first and foremost.

 

NJ House 2.jpg

 

NJ House 4

 

20190406_101231.jpg

 

Two, do NOT sell your services for less than you are worth. There are too many stories, some of my own, that after the service is done, you do not ask for enough money. This is a physical labor service, so take pride in your work and make sure you let the clients know it is about quality. Since each job is different, I have learned to pay yourself by the situation NOT by the hour. The person behind my rise in confidence to become an entrepreneur told me, “Give me 1% of your trust, and I will prove the other 99%.”

 

Ashlee and Thor

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism is about having the opportunity to speak up and have a choice without fear of animosity. Women should hold their heads high with respect for themselves and value the strengths of other women. Feminism means (to me) there are no boundaries, we are all human. One of my favorite songs/quotes is by John Lennon–

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one.”

 

ashleethomascleaninglogo

 

I’d love to connect with you!

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/auroraprocleaning

Instagram: www.instagram.com/aurora_pro_cleaning

Website: www.auroraprocleaning.com

 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Ellen

*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 Ellen, Pemberton, British Columbia

 

“I have learned that not making a choice is a choice in itself. If you want something specific and you have a vision for your life, just take some action. Take small steps towards that vision…even if you’re not 100% ready. If you wait until you’re ready, you will forever be waiting.”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’ve always had a drive to create and express myself in different artistic ways. I’ve had a blog, dabbled in acting, singing, drawing, writing, and am a huge yoga lover! Finding my purpose inside of those things that alight my soul has been so important to me.

 

When I became a mom to my one little guy, I stayed home from building my career as a hairstylist. I’ve always had a drive to build something of my own. So, I started exploring ways to build a business from home. Everything is starting to transition into the online space! New ways of marketing is a hot need for businesses now! So, that’s where I found my place. I’ve been building a thriving digital marketing business for almost a year now, which has also opened up so many other doors of opportunity and ideas to expand my business and my brand.
I have been able to help other beautiful women reignite from within and harness their confidence and power to be their own boss and build businesses online alongside me. We are very supportive of each other and keep in contact almost daily in our mastermind group chats. Keeping in regular contact in group chats and through video calls, where we can share our journeys and lessons, has been probably one of the most important factors in each of our own successes and growth as entrepreneurs!
I initially started my own business for myself but only did I start to see it really take off when it stopped being about me and started being about sharing the opportunities out there with other women, connecting and really learning that we are all so much more connected than we are aware. The internet has been the most amazing way to meet each other and become great friends and biz associates!

 

2372F044-FC5F-468C-9670-93DBD913B2B2.jpeg

 

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

A: It’s taken me many years of trial and error to get to where I am today. I’ve been through many business ideas–none of them really sticking until I found affiliate marketing, where I’ve finally been able to build a secure, sustainable business from scratch!

 

I have learned that not making a choice is a choice in itself. If you want something specific and you have a vision for your life, just take some action. Take small steps towards that vision…even if you’re not 100% ready. If you wait until you’re ready, you will forever be waiting. We’ll always find an excuse that it’s not the right time to start that business, quit that job you hate, move to a new town, et cetera. I used to roll my eyes when I heard that, until I had to live it myself.

 

0A2400FA-5B64-4669-A589-F4E541790DA6

 

There will never be a better time than the present. If you’re unable to get a dream out of your head…go get it. Maybe it’ll take some time! But what’s a couple years rather than waiting your whole life for the “right time”? And the right time, if no action is taken towards something–will never come on it’s own.

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: In my own mind, I would rather call it women’s empowerment.  When I think of what it means to me, it expresses itself as more of a feeling deep-rooted inward. To me, it means giving women the right to be themselves–to be what and who they want to be. I believe when we step into our own power by following our hearts and our passions that we are taking back our power to be women and human beings. If we tap into our own inner strength, that there’s not much if anything that can stand in our way.

 

5227C699-35DF-4450-B6F5-467BE91CD293

 

As women, we have a strong and unwavering tie to the Earth and its power. To heal, to regenerate, and to be able to withstand pain and suffering that the outside world can impose upon us. I believe when we stand up for ourselves, our beliefs, our rights in whatever setting, we keep that momentum moving forward as a collective consciousness for women everywhere.

 

I feel such a strong connection to all of the women I come in contact with. We have a deep-rooted connection to each other and should support and stand up for one another in any way another may need. We are stronger when we are supportive and work to empower one another. It starts with us being able to see each other as we are, without judgment, and to see one another as a different form of ourselves. Then will the rest of the world follow our lead.

That’s what feminism means to me!

 

Let’s connect! 🙂 Follow me on Facebook! https://facebook.com/ellenjbarbeau/

 

 

 

Ellen & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below!  

Follow us on Instagram.

Connect with us on Facebook.

Woman Wednesday: Tabatha

*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 Tabatha, Washtenaw County, Michigan

 

Having a team is the cornerstone to success.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Baking! Confections Factory has been a part of my heart for well over 20 years. The concept of what we do is simple. Love in every slice. The mission is for every client to feel like they are [ back in their childhood years ] sitting at the foot of their mom’s apron tasting the delicate treasures that come from her oven. If I had to define my passion, it’s the smile I get from each customer with every delivery. There is no greater feeling than a good slice of heaven and a smile to go with it.

 

52744559_393016344592510_903654981570134016_nPictured: Culinary baker and businesswoman, Tabatha. 

 

52663162_861574290900865_3183769689276809216_n.png

Pictured: A delicious buttercream birthday cake by Tabatha from Confections Factory. Shipping is available in all U.S. states! 

 

Capture

Chocolate strawberries, anyone? 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I have loved baking since the age of 8. Spending time with all the women in my family baking was the release we had and the bond we built together. Sharing recipes and watching them create sparked a fire I could never put out.

 

PeanutButterchoco

Pictured: A peanut butter chocolate lover’s best friend!  

 

Pictured: Some of the delicious goodies you can order from Confections Factory! Their number one best seller? The cake named “Sexual Chocolate!” It is pictured on the bottom left. 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

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

A: Having a team is the cornerstone to success. I used to do all of this solo. I never had outside support. I just thought this was a hobby. Then I attended a class in 2017 called “E-Series,” and it gave me my fire back. It showed me how to gradually put the right pieces in place and excel. Since then, I have been on a mission with God on one side and my team on the other. Right now, we are only a team of three, but it’s a mighty one. One person handles production and development so that we keep the flavors fresh, one handles the strategy, and I handle the baking. Then of course let’s not forget our pop-up staffers that assist with events and more.

 

 

Pictured: Tabatha, Graphic Designer Sheryl Morton, and Business Manager Brandi C. Shelton.
Not pictured: Christopher McGhee’ Kelly (but a special shout-out goes to him as Tabatha’s business partner)! 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I like this quote by Coco Chanel:

“The most courageous act is to think for yourself. Aloud.”

 

 

 

52303905_383650972425379_5896557834719461376_n

 

 

 

Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you have a special occasion coming up?

Confections Factory ships anywhere in the United States! Click here to check out her bakery! Call or contact her on her page to order!

Click here to follow Confections Factory on Facebook!

 

 

Tabatha & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

Follow us on Instagram.

Connect with us on Facebook.