Woman Wednesday: Kristin

*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 Kristin, Blogger of  The Tiny Red TornadoAnnapolis, Maryland

“There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you! Trust in yourself.” 

 

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A:  This is a tough question; I have so many passions! My two biggest passions are women’s empowerment and art. My mom is a fiercely independent person, and my dad has always allowed her the freedom to be that. Throughout my entire life, I have appreciated that my parents were very clear that I could do whatever I set my mind to as long as I worked hard. They made it even more clear that I could do it by myself. Although my mother was super great at the encouragement part, she was not so great when it came to fashion choices. This one outfit always sticks out in my head; it consisted of purple corduroy pants and a white turtleneck with poodles all over it. It was, and it still is, 100% the most hideous outfit ever known to humankind. I am convinced that outfit is the reason I am so deeply passionate about art, more specifically, the beauty and fashion industry.

 

30227053_440907323033298_3013583010332147712_n

 

Right now, I am a store manager of an ALDO shoe store by day and a lifestyle blogger at The Tiny Red Tornado by night. It is the holiday season in retail; a lot of my time is spent at my store. In regards to my blog, I am currently working on a body positivity series centered around women’s empowerment and self-love. This is very special to me because all women of all sizes have felt some sort of discomfort in their own skin for various reasons. It is my hope that we can all come together on this one issue and show the world that there is more to women than the outward appearance. We are CEOs and mothers. We are hardcore businesswomen, and at the same time, we can be guests at a stuffed animal tea party. We play with the big dogs, and we play with Thomas the Tank Engine. We watch Ted Talks and we watch Mickey Mouse Playhouse. Full disclosure, I am not a mom. I am an aunt to a wonderful ginger dude. My mom is a working mom, my sister is a working mom, and I am a working aunt. There are days I babysit all day long, and I am typing up things for my blog while watching Moana on repeat and pushing toy trucks around the floor. We can do it all, and we should love ourselves while we do it!

 

 

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

A: Trust yourself. You know what is best for you and for your passion, whatever that may be. There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you!

36750190_492403147883715_602470026275979264_o

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years! Oh gosh, I loved my childhood! I don’t have any sad stories that shaped me or brought me to my passion. I have two very loving parents that let a small girl dream big and supported her through that. I also grew up with two super cool sisters that were my built-in best friends. My parents helped me pay for a summer program when I was in high school at the fashion school I later attended! I did a fashion merchandising and design program for high schoolers at VCU Arts, and it was genuinely life-changing. I was obsessed with the school, with the city, and with the education. I had always wanted to go to fashion school after high school, but my very practical dad could not see how that would support me in life, and he viewed it more as a hobby. Long story short, I applied to VCU Arts, and I was accepted and off to fashion school. I went with my dad cheering me on every step of the way! Honestly, my parents and my sisters are my biggest supporters. My little sister has always looked up to me (even though physically she looks down because I am the shortest of all three of us). We have always been close. Most of the time, she is the person I hang out with. My older sister has always been an old soul, so a lot of times she would act as a mother to me. She is the one I have had my definite ups and downs with throughout life, but I think it is because we are way more similar than we would like to admit. I would never admit this to her face, but I admire her. She made a life plan for herself at age three, and she fulfilled everything she set out to do. I have issues sticking to a diet, and she has never missed a step!

 

40205780_542892349501461_3276523485173645312_o

 

Similar to my older sister and I, my mom and I have not always seen eye to eye. We found our footing around the time I turned 21, and for that, I am forever grateful. We have a lot in common that I didn’t always realize. Some of it great and some of it not so great, but weirdly the not so great stuff bonds us in a way that only we understand. My dad is the person I get my personality from. My childhood was amazing, and I have many things that have shaped me into who I am today, but nothing more than my dad. He taught me the value of a dollar, the value of hard work, and the value of myself. My family and I found out that my dad is battling Melanoma. I would say that this is the biggest thing that has shaped me because it puts life into a whole new perspective. My passions are still the same, but now they mean even more to me because my dad has always supported them even when he may not have understood. I work hard for myself because I have dreamed since I was a little girl to build a business doing something I love, but also to do something meaningful that helps others. I  work hard for my dad and for my family because life is short and they believe in me. Even on my days when I am exhausted and ready to fall asleep at my computer, I keep typing because my support system is downstairs cheering me on.

19225326_10209673648623658_1408131282218905406_n

Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: If there is only one thing you gain from my story, then I hope you learn that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you work hard and keep a solid support system while doing it! Secondly, you can fall in love and have a family, but still be a feminist.

 

i-6CTL3xS-X4

Photography by: Chanel Photography

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: This is my favorite question! I am a pretty hardcore feminist! I get so angry when people frown upon feminism or call women who identify themselves as a feminist, “man-haters.” I don’t hate men. I do not run around screaming that women are superior to men, and I certainly don’t demand things that I haven’t worked hard for and are well deserved. I define feminism as someone who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. We are equals. One is not superior to the other. I am a feminist because I believe that women are members of society that deserve a voice, and that voice deserves to be heard. We are strong, courageous, capable, and intelligent. Feminism is being independent and loving yourself for that. It is believing in yourself that you can do it all on your own and then doing it! Feminism is empowering and supporting other women.

13932809_10207136586838699_4554050329511572661_n
Get in touch with Kristin:

 

 

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

Follow us on Instagram.

Connect with us on Facebook.

 

Woman Wednesday: Caitlin

*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 Caitlin, College Park, Maryland

 

“Even the person who seems to have it the most together has problems, and we are all one big mess. I learned that what I considered to be a weakness was actually a strength that allowed me to help others with the same issues. I remember saying that I hated my life, that I wanted to be someone else, someone normal. Your day is coming. You just have to take those baby steps until they become great strides. Then one day, you will look back and only have some memories of that time, long ago, when you were struggling. If I can do it, you can do it. We are no different. Set your mind, and keep it set.” -Caitlin 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I currently work as a Kitchen and Bath Designer, and I absolutely love the ability to get creative and face challenges head on with my clients. I enjoy painting, hiking, and reading in my free time. Yoga has always been something that helps ground me and keeps me energized for the day ahead.

But let me tell you about my real passion— my family! I have a super energetic seven-year-old who LOVES arts and crafts! We have a poodle named, “Georgia” who keeps us busy and loves cuddling with us! As a single mother, there is never a dull moment! I am passionate about many things. As far as being a mother, there is nothing more rewarding and challenging all at the same time. My daughter has taught me 2 things. #1 to ALWAYS have fun no matter what and #2 to never stop asking questions.

 

939F3AB6-959F-4B83-8095-A5515C2C4F59.jpegPictured: Poodle, Georgia 

 

5F0936A8-10E3-4D61-AD4D-77AF4BFFCBF9.jpegPictured: Caitlin and her daughter 

 

 Q: What were your younger years like?

A: First, let me tell you that I am the oldest of 6 children. Oldest child + Big family = Great responsibility. There is a really large age gap (16 years between me and my youngest brother). I assumed title of “mothers helper” around the age of ten. This meant changing diapers, babysitting, meal prep… the whole nine yards. My youngest two siblings were high risk pregnancies so my mom was at UMD after they were born for awhile. Due to her absence, I really had to step up and help my dad take care of the other children still left at home. As much as I resented my childhood being “cut short,” it taught me a lot. I attribute my OCD responsibility and “take charge” attitude from that point in my life. At a very young age I took on the responsibility of “mother” and learned very quickly that waking up in the middle of the night with a 4 year old who’s having night terrors and a 1 year old who’s hungry, isn’t the best of predicaments. I learned about balance, how to put others needs first, and how to work as a team with my parents to achieve an expected end result.

 

983F0DED-FA93-46D1-8346-CF80D178C33F.jpegPictured: Caitlin and her daughter 

 

 Q: What were your experiences in school like?

A: As far as schooling goes, I bounced around a lot from school to school. By the time I entered high school, I had been to a private school, public elementary school, and homeschool. I was never in one select school for longer than 2 years at a time. I was a competitive figure skater through middle school, and skating was LIFE.

 

Because of other family circumstances, I had to give skating up. I went in to a new school, once again, making a new set of friends. By the time I finished 11th grade, I just wanted to go to college. I pulled myself out of school, enrolled in a homeschooling group and completed my senior year over the summer before my senior year in high school would have started. I left for college that fall and attended Marymount University for Interior Architecture and Design.

 

Looking back, I was sad that I never established a consistent “friend base.” I will never know what it’s like to go through 12 years of schooling with a group of friends, creating that forever bond and the countless memories over the years. I will never have a class reunion, a senior yearbook to look back on, or the experience of walking across the stage for my High School graduation.

 

 

Q: What’s something you learned by constantly moving?

A: While being sad about not creating a consistent “friend base,” I am extremely grateful for the constant “bouncing around” during my school years. It allowed me to see many different walks of life and forced me to be an extrovert. I made many friends along the way, and I am very grateful that I never fit into a “mold” but rather was able to get along with everyone by being myself.

 

Moving around a lot made me very adaptable to life and change, which helped me get through my divorce. My senior year of college, I found out I was pregnant. My then-boyfriend and I immediately got married in the courthouse to please our very religious families. To me, this was just another change. We got married, I graduated 3 months later, and had our daughter 2 months after graduation. We had a home built and moved from VA to MD 8 months later, all the while planning our big “church wedding.” We were in the house for 5 months. Four days before our church wedding, my ex-husband said he didn’t want to be married, he wanted to be single. He handed our daughter to me and told me to leave.

 

We called off the wedding 4 days before, having to still pick up flowers, my dress, pay the caterer and call 180 guests. Panic set in and completely consumed my life. I had just turned 24 years old and set into a deep depression. I did not understand why this happened to me. I had always been a “good kid.” I got good grades, went to church, and obeyed the rules of being a decent person. I gained nearly 30 pounds in a month from stress eating and spiraling downhill.  To this day, 6 years later, after many court battles, custody battles, fighting for child support, I look back at it all and realized that in the midst of all the struggle, the depression, the debilitating anxiety, I found my faith.

 

33A45576-48E9-4FF7-8F1A-67BC851292E9.jpeg

 

I learned that you have to chose to be happy, even on your worst day. I learned that it’s OK to carry around a brown paper bag when you feel like hyperventilating and it’s OK to be HUMAN. It’s okay to be real and have real feelings.

 

 

Q: What would you like others to know from your story?

A: Even the person who seems to have it the most together has problems, and we are all one big mess. I learned that what I considered to be a weakness was actually a strength that allowed me to help others with the same issues. I remember saying that I hated my life, that I wanted to be someone else, someone normal. I was in church one day and everyone was giving the “sign of peace” where we shake hands. I was recently divorced and was by myself. Ironically, everyone at church that day seemed to be a couple or a family. I was so angry the entire service, sitting there, in the back row, looking around at all the people I considered lucky—because they looked like happy families. I sat there boiling over with anger. I watched as everyone was shaking hands during the “sign of peace.” The service continued, and I just wanted to leave. All of a sudden, a very old man tapped me on my shoulder (I was so annoyed at this point that I just turned and gave him that “what, do you need me to move?!” look). He just took my hand and said “peace be with you, you know… I always save the best for last.” He smiled and just walked away. I left the church that day bursting into tears. That day, I decided that no matter what happened, the best was going to be saved for last, and if my life wasn’t what I wanted now, it was only going to get better. This has carried throughout my life and now, entering my 30’s. I am more grounded in faith than I have ever been. I can honestly say I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything else in the world. It was through them that I came to appreciate the little things and little blessings in life. Most importantly, I learned to be thankful for the hard times. If there is one piece of advice for anyone dealing with anxiety or depression, it is to fight the good fight and never ever EVER give up. Your day is coming. You just have to take those baby steps until they become great strides. Then one day, you will look back and only have some memories of that time, long ago, when you were struggling.

 

If I can do it, you can do it. We are no different. Set your mind and keep it set.

 

7E25B0C4-1BA7-4032-BB75-6421AFF58BAB.jpegPictured: Caitlin happy today with her daughter and Matt, her significant other.

 

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

Follow us on Instagram.

Connect with us on Facebook.

“By Women, For Women” Movement

The “By Women, For Women” movement has started spreading like wildfire.

And boy oh boy, do we feel proud to be women!

Lately in the media, women are in the spotlight! You may be hearing more and more about women taking on roles in leadership and in business.

As more and more women join businesses, start businesses, and become Founders of companies, women are gaining momentum in the business world.

This is truly, a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Women- founded retail companies are taking pride in stating they are by women, for women.

What does that mean exactly?

It means exactly what you may think “by women, for women” means.

It means that we are creating products by women (women created them) and for women. The benefit lies in the fact that women know women.

Our brand stands for women empowerment, and part of our goal is to build women’s confidence. We believe you can and should do anything you desire or feel passionately about! So believe in yourself, because we believe in you, and we believe you should, too!

Is there a business you’ve wanted to start up? Is there a new project or company that you feel passionately about?

At My Lilianas, we support you and believe in women supporting each other. We believe with a having a dream in mind, goal setting, and hard work, you can achieve what you aspire to achieve.

We’d love to hear from you! What do you think of this “By Women, For Women” movement? What are your goals? What is something you are working towards?

What’s your story?

Comment below. 🙂

Thanks for reading, lilies! ❤

Feminism

Feminism.

Is it a political view, a skin color, a gender?

No.

Feminism at its most simplest and truest form (the form it is meant to be) is the belief in the equal freedom and rights of women.

It follows the ideology that no matter what your genitalia may be, whether you’ve got a penis or vagina (or identify as male or female or other), you have the same rights as anyone else, and you receive equal treatment (or at least you should).

It is the belief that you should have the same freedom, rights, and respect as anyone. These rights should not be based on whether you were born male or female.

Do you believe in that? Is that something you would fight for? Then welcome, new advocate!

What is your opinion on feminism? We’d love to hear your perspective!

 

 

 

 

My Lilianas is offering women 100% cotton shorts with deep pockets and fashionable patterns available for purchase online! It is a small business that will be launching online this August, first on Kickstarter, then again–an online storefront via Shopify at www.mylilianas.com.

To get exclusive rewards when My Lilianas launches, as well as updates and more information, check out the Krowdster Prelaunch page, and send us your email! See you there!