Woman Wednesday: Deasha

*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 Deasha, Manchester, United Kingdom

“You do not have to have tons of money. You do not have to have knowledge or experience. If you have enough drive, ambition, and vision, then you can create any life that you want.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about helping female business owners to leverage their time and scale their impact and income. I love taking care of the planet and recycling and exercising as much as possible, which is why I work with women that have similar values and want to create a life of freedom for themselves.

I manage a business called Social Treats. Social Treats is a social media management and coaching business. We help wellness entrepreneurs to build organic strategies that really help them to get more reach, engagement, and think outside of the box to reach their target clients.

I wrote a book called She Did It. This book is about me, the story of how I struggled with creating a life that was different from the norm, how I overcame imposter syndrome, and how I focused on creating a life that is different, unique, and on my terms. And I want to help other people do the same.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I am a traveler at heart and that is because of my father. Together, we have traveled a lot of the world. My dad is more than happy to stay in hostels, ride on night buses, and go volunteering. I spent 5 years traveling and working and learning about myself and the business I was capable of running. I knew that I wanted to create a path for myself that was different from others, that did not tie me down to a location, and that did not have me working a strict schedule and that allowed me freedom. 

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I think my favorite place to travel with my dad was Costa Rica. We spent New Year’s Eve in San Jose (had our passports stolen from the hostel) and went to a monkey park to volunteer to rehabilitate spider monkeys. It was so much fun and so different from most people’s father-daughter holidays. And my favorite place that I’ve visited on my own is Thailand. I have spent so much time there, and the people are just amazing—plus the food is to die for!

 

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

A: You do not have to have tons of money. You do not have to have knowledge or experience. If you have enough drive, ambition, and vision, then you can create any life that you want.

And some tips for helping the world is just to be more conscious with every decision you make, take a refillable bottle and cup with you everywhere. Try to recycle or reuse anything you have, and try to reduce the amount of plastic you have in your bathroom. Do you need to buy all that shampoo and conditioner or is there a local place where you can refill your bottles and not have to buy more plastic?

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism is the freedom of choice—to choose how you live your life and to not be defined or put in a box by anyone. 

 

I’d love to connect with you!

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Thoughts, questions, or comments?

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Woman Wednesday: Chante

*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 Chante, Richmond, Virginia

“The only excuses you have are the ones you make.” 

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about service. I love to help people in any way I can. I’m very passionate about women’s outreach. I believe that I have experiences that I can share with other women that can help them. I believe in being the change I want to see in the world. I currently work as an admin assistant with a third party workforce program for women offenders in the prison system. The majority of the women there have gone through some type of substance abuse, which goes right along with my personal journey. I am currently working on developing a women’s program called “Victors!” Its purpose is to reach women like me in ways I wish I could’ve been reached. I also have my own event and floral design business called C-Unique Designs.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were pretty rough. Before the age of 15, I was raped by 4 different men. I was so scared to tell anyone; I just kept it all to myself and tried to handle the issues on my own. Leaving bruises, hickeys, and hand prints on me. I felt useless and helpless. My parents divorced when I was very young and could not get along to save their lives. I tried my hand at sports, but I was bullied a lot until about my junior year of high school. I started off as a social butterfly that could mingle with any group of people. I knew all the jocks, the basketball players, the cheerleaders, the goths, the preppy kids, the nerds, and the “popular kids.” But life kinda has a way of throwing a curve ball at you. I now spend my days rebuilding my life. I believe that I am a victor and not a victim. I specifically remember one very hard time in my childhood. At the age of about 11 yrs old, I was admitted to Tucker’s program (suicide watch) at the hospital. I spent a week there, which felt like a lifetime. I connected with other men and women that also wanted to end it all. This is where I decided people like me need help. Not hospitalization. We’re not all the same, and we’re not science projects, test dummies, or animals. Long story short: you choose what defines you. My situations and experiences do not define me. Anything is possible, and the only excuses you have are the ones you make.

 

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Pictured: Chante and her fiancé celebrating their recent engagement. 

 

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

A: Something valuable I’ve learned is to play the cards you’re dealt with. I’ve heard many people say “Control what you can and learn to overcome what you can’t control.” That is so profound to me because yes, there are times we won’t be able to control some of the things that happen in our lives, but we must keep moving and keep going. I’d like for others to learn that you can do whatever you put your mind to. You’re only a statistic if you allow yourself to be! No matter what kind of curve ball life throws at you, you can get through it. Also, it is very important to know when to get help!

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me means power! I do indeed believe that women have a lot harder of a time getting things done because of all they are expected to do. I believe that this is also a superpower. Women can do unbelievable things! I love leaving a shocked expression on people’s faces.

 

I’d love to connect with you!

 

Check out C-Unique Designs in my floral and event design page.

Facebook

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

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Woman Wednesday: Dana

*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 Dana S., Huntington Beach, California

“All the things I’ve overcome have brought me to be the strong woman I am today.” 

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: My passion is to serve others as much as I can before I leave this beautiful Earth. After becoming sober, I went (and continue to go) through a transformation of my heart. I currently work as a licensed life insurance broker helping others through those difficult conversations. Two projects I am working on launching this March 2020 are my podcast with my husband and my wellness coaching venture. With so many years doubting myself and participating in wrong behavior, I want to show others they’re not alone. The story hasn’t ended yet.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up with my grandparents raising me. My parents fell into their addictions, and I followed their footsteps at an early age. I was able to be in my addiction while living what others thought to be a “normal life.” I finally came to grips with my problems and was able to celebrate my 1 year of sobriety in November of last year. I also finished my degree in business in December. All the things I’ve overcome have brought me to be the strong woman I am today.

 

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

A: I think the most powerful thing to learn early on in life is to love yourself for the good and bad. Coming into your own helps with the foundation of what you do and don’t allow to happen in your life.

 

Pictured: On the right and left are members of Dana’s family. 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: To me, feminism is the utmost act of love to extend to women. Fighting for the rights of women to be equal and not be predisposed to the inequality we face today.

 

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I’d love to connect with you!

Reach out to me on Facebook! 

Facebook, Agent Profile

Facebook, Podcast Coming March 2020

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

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Woman Wednesday: Alison

*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 Alison W., Virginia Beach, Virginia

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” 

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about helping women feel beautiful in their own skin. I am the owner of Wanderlust Dream Hair, and I sell hair toppers for women with thinning hair, women with hair loss due to medical conditions, and women who just want that extra volume! I have always had fine, thin hair and tried everything to make it appear thicker: hair extensions, volumizing spray, et cetera, but nothing really worked for me because traditional hair extensions do not address thinning on the top of your head. I also started medical treatment for chronic migraines that created even more hair loss, so I was motivated to find a solution. Then I discovered toppers! Toppers clip to the top of your existing hair and create the appearance of thicker, fuller hair.

 

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Body image is such a big issue for a lot of women. Most of us don’t realize that those celebrity hairstyles we covet are just wigs, toppers, or extensions. Hollywood paints a false picture of what a naturally beautiful woman looks like.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were volatile. I was born with a limb difference (Poland syndrome), which means I only have two fingers on my right hand. So, confidence was a big issue for me growing up. Add thin hair to that, and you have a recipe for a wallflower. My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away when I was 13. I remember when she brought home her first wig from the wig bank. She hated it. It was hot and because it was made for someone else, it never fit her comfortably. She was embarrassed to leave the house somedays because of how she looked. I really wish that we had known about toppers back then. I think she would have loved them. My mom is a big part of my “why” when it comes to my business.

 

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Pictured: One of Alison’s clients using her Wanderlust Dream Hair topper

 

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

A: Something valuable I learned from a young age, due to my limb difference, is that sometimes you have to find your own way. You have to figure out how to do things yourself and not try to imitate someone else’s process because it might not work for you. I think this idea is helpful in life and in business. Comparison is the thief of joy. We are resilient, and it is amazing what we can do when we let go of traditional mindsets about how to do things and figure out what works for us. I’ve also learned to laugh at myself more. I started taking improv/comedy classes a couple of years ago. Being on stage is one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done. It has also boosted my confidence in general. The first rule of improv is to make your partner look good, which means saying yes to whatever they say. So, if they tell you that you are an alien, you are an alien. I’ve learned a lot about teamwork and confidence doing improv. I highly recommend improv; it is so good for the soul.

 

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Pictured: Before and after of one of Alison’s clients using her Wanderlust Dream Hair topper. Hair topper is shown on the right. 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism is a word that has always had a bit of a negative connotation to me. I am more of an egalitarian; meaning in my marriage, we share all of the responsibilities. There is no such thing as woman’s work or man’s work. My husband is the better cook anyway! And I can lay a tile floor. I love busting through those gender expectations. I am definitely not anti-man, but I am definitely pro-woman! I think it is important for women to support other women. Yes, we have disadvantages in the workplace. Yes, we are not always treated equally. So, I think it is important to support and encourage each other as women instead of tearing each other down. We women can be super competitive, but I want to cheer on my competition. I want us all to win.

 

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I’d love to connect with you! 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wanderlustdreamhair/

Website: https://www.wanderlustdreamhair.com/shop

 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Ruby B. Johnson

*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 Ruby B. Johnson, Sierra Leone, West Africa

“Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a mining engineer and currently work at a gold mining operation. I am also the founder and editorial director of STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. Premiered in September 2018 with its autumn issue, STEMher Magazine is a print magazine showcasing the education and experiences of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) academia, careers, and programs. STEMher celebrates women thriving in their careers and inspires others to fuel their curiosity and interests in STEM; the status of individuals featured range from middle school through retirement. In one year, STEMher has featured more than 50 STEM girls and women worldwide from countries like the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, Canada, South Africa, India, France, Nigeria, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Sierra Leone, and England. All magazine issues are available for purchase on stemher.com and Amazon Marketplace.

 

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Summer 2019 Cover

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone [in West Africa]. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old, which meant growing up and completing my middle school and high school education in Maryland. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSc in mining engineering and a minor in women’s studies leadership. While in college, I founded When You Believe Foundation, a program that empowers women and girls through social media engagement, workshops, and donations. In 2012, I competed in my first pageant, Miss Sierra Leone USA, with the platform of advocating for the recruitment and retention of girls and women in STEM fields, since I was a STEM college student at the time and women’s empowerment was something I was passionate about. I won the pageant and with that title, I was able to travel across the country as well as in Sierra Leone, encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM. After the crowns and titles, STEM advocacy and women’s empowerment continues to be my lifelong platform. I wanted to take this platform to another level to be able to reach women and girls I may never cross paths with, so I created STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine last year. 

 

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

A: Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research. (1) From Monday through Thursdays, I work ten-hour days and a two-hour commute to and from work. Additionally, I am an entrepreneur who runs her own business creating content and putting together each issue for STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. I also serve in a couple of ministries at my church. Life gets busy. In the last year, I’m being intentional to prioritize my mental health. Making time to rest and slow down when necessary. In order to be productive with work, I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work. It’s okay to say “no” or “not yet” sometimes. I cannot fill the cups of others when my cup is empty. It’s also okay to ask for help—whether it’s in prayer, family and friends, community, or therapy.

 

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(2) As I navigate through the professional world and life in general, I’m realizing how important it is for one to control their narrative. Of course we cannot fully control what people say about us or how they feel about us; however, I believe we can play a role in those things. The way we carry ourselves is very important. We have to learn wisdom on when to speak up or be silent. We must be our biggest defenders and tell people how we want them to treat or address us. (3) Running a business is no easy feat and it’s time-consuming. In college, I learned to not study hard but study smart. I believe that’s important to do when you are a business owner. Being that I don’t have a business or journalism background, I spend a lot of time learning—asking questions, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and everything else in between. I want this magazine to go beyond, so that means I have to put in the work. I may not see harvest immediately, but sowing seeds each day counts. All in all, I believe it’s important to know who you are, stand firm on your values, always remember your why, and never lose your humanity no matter what environment you are in. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means being my authentic self, living out my God-given purpose, and being intentional about making a difference in the community. While working on my women’s studies leadership minor in college, I learned about intersectionality. I am a Christian woman, born and raised in Sierra Leone, a naturalized American citizen, a woman in STEM, usually one of few or only black people in some professional settings, and a family-oriented individual. I thrive because of these lived experiences but also have a heart and a curious mind to learn about those who are different from me. Feminism to me is never compromising my faith and also being compassionate to others. To me, feminism means to reach for excellence and nothing less.

 

I’d love to connect with you!

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