Frazier Lynn Makes a Southern Style Statement

Frazier Lynn Makes a Southern Style Statement

When you think of Southern fashion, what comes to mind? If its not Frazier Lynn, it will be soon.

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Unapologetically Unique: The Journey, The Success of Mandy Connor & Hummingbird Bridal

Unapologetically Unique: The Journey, The Success of Mandy Connor & Hummingbird Bridal

Mandy Connor built the uber-successful Hummingbird Bridal company from the ground up. She’s been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, and a multitude of others, but it didn’t happen over night, and that’s what she wants everyone to know.

This one has it all: Mandy’s incredible journey of self discovery, breathtaking pictures, career advice, love, and female empowerment.

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Get Ready to Swoon: PlainJanePosy is Your Next Career & InstaFeed #Goals

Get Ready to Swoon: PlainJanePosy is Your Next Career & InstaFeed #Goals

Our interview with Jane Huh, the woman behind the swoon-worthy Instagram PlainJanePosy is our prettiest one yet!

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Currently Coveting: Buttons & Bows & Headbands (oh my!) from Regenerous Designs

Currently Coveting: Buttons & Bows & Headbands (oh my!) from Regenerous Designs

There’s three things we can all agree on:

✅ There’s nothing better than a well-placed bow (or headband)
✅ The perfect scarf is the ultimate all-weather accessory
✅ Being sustainably-conscious is the ultimate way to be fashionable

So now that we’ve come to an understanding, believe us when we tell you that we found the coolest, chicest sustainable accessories brand that meets all of these qualifications.

And it’s called Regenerous Designs.

Started by a woman who found a solution to a problem in an industry she loves, Regenerous Designs sells fashionable, versatile accessories from upcycled fabrics to give a second life to fabric being thrown away.

Talent, passion, and a desire to make a positive impact is woven into every unique accessory.

Meet Alyssa Bird: the CEO, designer, model, & “handmaker of everything.”

Starting her own upcycling fashion brand isn’t something that Alyssa always wanted to do. It was during her studies of Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) that she became dismayed at the amount of fabric going to waste during the clothing production process.

So, being the forward-thinking badass that she is, Alyssa decided to create a solution to the problem rather than contribute to it.

Alyssa modeling the versatility of the headbands she creates.

So how does she do it?

It all comes down to her endless creativity. Alyssa directly visits manufacturers in LA and collects fabric remnants before they get tossed out. This is important because Regenerous Designs saves the fabric before it even touches a landfill.

And Alyssa never knows what kind of fabric scraps she’s going to recover, so every creation is a unique work of art. As the designer and creator, she’s constantly pushing the boundaries to make sure every product is as unique as the wearer.

This is just a small glimpse into the waste coming from clothing manufacturers.
Thankfully, Alyssa uses these fabrics to make her stunning creations!

Accessories that Make Sustainable Fashionable

Regenerous Designs offers a myriad of options for purchase. From button bands, big braided headbands, button bows, button twists, headbands, bracelets, and bow lapels, there’s something for everyone.

These uniquely colorful patterns and intricately detailed designs in each collection are the ultimate testimony to her fashion and sewing talents.

Simply put: We can’t get enough of Alyssa and the brand she created (literally) from scratch.

Shoutout to Jordin Sparks for wearing a Regenerous Designs scarf!

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The Woman Behind the Brand: Nicki Patel of milo+nicki

At news macarons, we pride ourselves on seeking out only the most inspirational, passionate young women to touch our hearts and motivate us weekly. One of these girls, Nicki Patel, captured our curiosity from the very beginning of our site’s existence, back before our current layout was published or before we decided to expand our team and pursue advertising.

It was her (very well-written) article in Darling Magazine that caught our attention; it was all about debunking the myths on sustainable fashion. She made the entire concept sound so unique, so utterly fashionable, that we immediately knew that we wanted to know more about her. And thankfully, we did. Before we officially launched ourselves, we just had to find out more about milo+nicki.

We were so excited when she agreed to work with us; it was an instant connection! Two young brands, led by two young women, working together to make each other’s dreams come to fruition. What could be better? And as it turns out, Nicki’s story about overcoming health obstacles, quitting a job she didn’t enjoy, and then ultimately launching her own fashion line would hit home more than we realized. We heard your outpouring of support for her mission and for her journey, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve collaborated with her yet again! This time, it’s for the milo+nicki Kickstarter campaign, which launches today, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.

(Seriously, if you haven’t read her first story with us yet, read it here!)

So this leads us to where we are today. Nicki’s officially launching her Kickstarter and spreading the milo+nicki love around for other eco-conscious, empowered young women to rock the hell out of. Thankfully, she sat down with us a couple of months ago before the hectic day-to-day preparation that a Kickstarter campaign brings to tell us a little more about the Nicki Patel behind the brand and to show us how she became a kick-ass entrepreneur that refused to let endometriosis win or a disingenuous job bring her spirit down.

Read some highlights from her interview below to discover how she did it!

Let’s start with a brief background. In your earlier article with us, we discussed a little bit about your past, but we want to know more about the girl behind the brand!
Hi ya’ll! My name is Nicki and I was born and raised in New Braunfels, Texas, a small German town between Austin and San Antonio. I have 2 older sisters, Sapna and Sneha. Sapna is an architect in Los Angeles and Sneha is a prosecutor for the Dallas County DA’s office.

My Indian-Zambian parents prided themselves on raising us to have good morals, to celebrate diversity, and to have an equal opportunity in education and growth. Since New Braunfels had little diversity at the time, my sisters and I attended a private Christian school until middle school when we transferred to a public one. I feel like this was a true blessing because it allowed my sisters and I to experience different cultures and religions at a very young age with a Hindu home-base and Christian school-base.

We all attended The University of Texas at Austin and have grown up to be very strong, independent women. I would never be where I am today without my parents, sisters and Milo.

How did you feel starting your own company? What has your experience with entrepreneurship been like?
I was very nervous at first because I am only in my mid-20s and I found myself making a huge leap of faith without any support or help. Emotionally I felt supported by my family and Milo, but from a business perspective, there wasn’t any there. I feel really blessed now because I was accepted into an amazing accelerator program, Factory45, that helped me overcome my nerves, build my confidence, and find that support community I needed.

Milo+Nicki is still very much in its beginning stage, but so far it has been a whirlwind of emotions and experiences. Being an entrepreneur has many highs and lows, but that is kind of why I love it so much. You get to learn, grow, and create something that is your own to share with the world.

Sustainability in the fashion industry is a difficult concept to implement, based on the realities of production alone. How does your label overcome this?
I think fast fashion has created a domineering platform specifically in the USA. We as Americans are swayed by snazzy magazines, tempting TV commercials, flamboyant radio ads, and big block department stores throwing huge discounts and quick trends at us constantly. But why are we being pulled into this blender of media and misconceptions? The change happens as we educate the consumers, and consumers have the power to change the industry.

Thankfully consumers are now asking questions. They genuinely want to know where their clothes come from, why are they made with that fabric, and what consequences their consumption habits have on the world.

Crazy enough, it actually hasn’t been very difficult to build a sustainable fashion line because ultimately people want to help people. We want to help our planet, our world, and our ecosystem. We’ve seen what unsustainable production brings, like the tragedy at Rana Plaza several years ago, for example.

We care about each other whether we admit it or not. And by simply educating and understanding how garments are made, by whom, what material is used, and the effects that this all has our environment motivates customers to make the shift. This change in spending habits is now allowing slow fashion to enter the market and seep into the cracks to break apart fast fashion conglomerates. Major brands like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 are now coming into the spot light and finally feeling the heat.

How do you do it all? Do you have any tips, tricks, or suggestions for others looking into becoming entrepreneurs or starting their own fashion label?
Creating a schedule is a huge help, and sticking with it is very important. I try to plan out my schedule weekly with a little wiggle room. I also think it is important for people to know that, although I am launching milo+nicki and I hope to have it as my full-time role in the future, I am currently supporting my dreams through other part-time jobs. Although temporary, it is important to know that in order to achieve your dreams, you have to put in the sweat and time to accomplish them initially.

Balance and scheduling are key for me.

For entrepreneurs wishing to start their own “made in the USA,” sustainable fashion line, I highly recommend Factory45. It is an accelerator program that takes an entrepreneur from idea to launch with the community and support you need to accomplish your dreams. Shannon is an amazing mentor and I would definitely not be where I am today without guidance from her and Factory45.

What is your ultimate goal for milo+nicki?
I want to empower women wherever they are in the world. I want them to push the limits within themselves and within society to live, to love, and to shoot for the stars. I want to bring light and joy to their lives through my vibrant fashion line and simultaneously make them feel amazing about supporting a sustainable, eco-conscious line that is helping our environment and world.

My final advice to others is to listen to your gut, follow your heart, and anything is possible Don’t let doubt and fear cloud what your heart knows is true and real.

When we do good, we feel good, and I want milo+nicki to embody that. #pawsforchange 😉

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milo+nicki: the indomitable duo

by Nicki Patel

the love of a pup can heal all
I have had more medical procedures and undiagnosed discoveries than a 70-year old woman. To paint a clearer picture, I am only in my mid-20s and otherwise live a healthy and active lifestyle. My health has been a whirlwind since as far back as I can remember. Up until 2 years ago, I had managed to stay afloat, but my body decided to jolt me back to reality and remind who was in charge. It began to collapse on me. Then I was hit by a bus, my safety, my security was stolen from me. My safe haven, my home was burglarized. The fragile infrastructure that I had tried so hard to keep together was cracking and crumbling under my feet. I realized that it wasn’t in my control, but what was in my control was the actions I could take to build myself back up.

No matter what medicine was tried, no matter what procedure was performed, the results came back as inconclusive. I became a medical marvel between my specialized team of 3 doctors who soon began to drift away without clear diagnosis and an unknown conclusion. I knew deep down it was bigger than medicine, but it seemed like my voice was just not loud enough to be heard.

At the same time as I tried to make sense of what was happening to me, Milo, my adorable pup, hit a stump too. He began to show and share similar symptoms. My family joked that it was because we were so close and interconnected. Our story is better left for another time, but we have always been tied together by the hip- or is it tail? The justification for why this was happening to him rattled me to my core because I felt so helpless. The same helplessness my parents and sisters shared towards me. I pulled everything within me to show them courage, resilience, and strived to do whatever was in my power to make them smile, laugh, or even just hear a small giggle.

This gave me hope. They gave me hope. I was determined to not to give-up, which I think is actually in my blood due to how driven both of my parents are. It is in my DNA and I really can’t explain it. I was told numerous times by various doctors that I “just needed to get over it,” that I was “making up my symptoms,” and “I needed to talk to someone.” But, I knew it wasn’t that simple and I was talking, actually very loudly, but no one could hear me. I knew the only person to cure me was me.

turn in health to making the career change jump
Hope combined with faith became my medicine. It consumed me and I loved the feeling. I cleaned my diet, I began to meditate and practice yoga, I began acupuncture, and I ran, I ran like there was no tomorrow (and still continue to run). The journey was long, the cure was painful, and it took 20 pounds and 2 years away from me, but I wasn’t going to be defeated. Surprisingly, I felt no anger or frustration for what I was going through, even to this day, because I feel like ultimately it helped me realize something bigger. It helped me grow and learn how fragile life is, how quickly something can be taken away from you, how valuable the little things are like family and love, and it made me realize happiness, love, faith, and hope can cure anything.

As I grew stronger, I drove my energy into my then accounting career, but I realized I was only driving it into the ground. Plus, it was slowing down and reversing the progress I had made on my health. I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing, I was doing what I needed to in hopes that I would one day enjoy in the future. But, I am not a quitter so I pushed it aside and continued to give it my all. Even though I was so determined, the universe had something else in mind for me. I was given an ultimatum from my employer. I could take some time off to focus on my health and recovery, or if I had to continue to be away from the office (even with the approval of my doctors), they would have to let me go. This was scary and exciting all at once. I felt as if the door slammed in my face, but I was on a balcony overlooking the ocean with a cocktail in my hand. It was sort of relieving.

The decision was tough especially with my traditional parents in the background fearing my TBD future and leaving a financially stable career. I realized that I wanted to live a life of purpose with health and happiness at the forefront, not a life for a pay check. My health was more important to me than anything money could buy, and I knew that I wanted to focus on that. As well as deep down, I knew I wanted to do something that mattered. I wanted to make a difference, live a life where I enjoyed every moment, and I wanted to help empower those around me to do the same. Luckily, my parents couldn’t agree more with my decision.

finding purpose & passion
With my health as my primary focus, I realized very quickly that my passions had always been in front of me. I had just avoided them and pushed them to the back and into the darkness because I feared that they were not realistic. Two years back, I had begun to sketch and design as a way to release my creative energy. I had also begun to work as a personal stylist on the side to help support my medical expenses. I had always been passionate about sustainability going back to college when I worked with green organizations at my alma matar. I just never thought to put all my passions together. The clear vision of putting my health and happiness first brought all these miniature pieces of me back to light. It gave me life, and what I longed most purpose.

Through this realization, milo+nicki was born. Milo and I are an energetic duo that love hard and care deeply. Both of our lives have been full of highs and lows, but we have never skipped a beat on lifting each other up. We want to bring that same happiness, confidence, love, care, and authenticity to women all over the world. Through our brand, we hope to empower the ever-evolving women to conquer her fears, take a leap of faith, never give up on herself, and live a life full of color, even when it seems like it would just be easier to give up.

We personally know it definitely isn’t easy, but we are here and we believe in the power of being stronger together. By combining our vibrant, Indian and Zambian cultural roots with our passion for sustainability, living cruelty-free, and our bold personalities, we hope we can help women feel strong, confident, and empowered while tackling all that is thrown their way while letting their true colors shine.

Because all women are beautiful, tough, and brave. Milo and I know so and want all women to feel so.

Nicki is a personal stylist, avid runner and the founder of milo+nicki, a sustainable women’s ready-to-wear line designed to empower the ever-evolving woman through the vibrant colors of her culture, traditions, and life experiences. milo+nicki advocates for gender equality, sustainable living and animal rights through conscious, cruelty-free design and manufacturing in the USA.

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Brandi Lindoe: As for Me & My Bakery, We Will Serve the Lord

Brandi Lindoe: As for Me & My Bakery, We Will Serve the Lord

Brandi Lindoe is the definition of a #GIRLBOSS. But it’s her desire to show others that anxiety and depression can happen to anybody, that you are not alone if you struggle, that’s truly remarkable.

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diana true: film, fashion, & the importance of a “grind mindset”

diana true: film, fashion, & the importance of a “grind mindset”

Diana True always knew that she wanted to go into the fashion industry, but she never knew exactly how. It wasn’t until she won Pitch Smackdown at Clemson University, traveled to Silicon Valley, and started her own business Saw it on Screen that she realized she had started a career doing what she loves! The mission of Saw it on Screen is ‘to connect you with clothing and accessories from your favorite films,’ and we’re pretty sure you’ll be seeing it everywhere in the coming years. In our interview with her, she discusses the act of faking it till you make it, how to conquer that nasty word ‘networking,’ and the importance of legitimizing yourself as a woman in business. #GIRLBOSS goals, for real.

about diana
I grew up in Augusta, GA and attended Curtis Baptist High School. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go away for college, but ultimately everyone encouraged me to go away for school. Even though I knew that I wanted to go to college, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave Augusta to do so. But looking back, I’m extremely happy that I didn’t stay home for that and attended Clemson University instead.

So far, leaving to go off to college was the best decision that I’ve made in my life, for sure. I have met so many great people here! And I really think that the business program at Clemson is underrated; I’ve pretty much set up my career through the connections that I’ve made and the people that I’ve met here. I took courses on start-ups and entrepreneurship, and it was through these class that that I became close to a couple of my business professors and students, so I was able to bounce a lot of my questions off of them. They had a lot of experience with starting their own businesses and then selling them, so they were there to help me in any way possible. The Spiro Board of Entrepreneurship was also really important in trying to set us up with jobs, internships, and meetings with a lot of great connections. Having all of these people supporting me and encouraging me to pursue what I’m doing, even though it’s really hard, has helped me tremendously.

how Saw it on Screen started
It was an idea between me and my dad. One day, we were watching something on TV and he saw a shirt that he really liked – I think it was from the Penguin brand – and we found ourselves trying to find a way to buy it. It was both of our ideas at first! Initially, we wanted to get the exact shirt that the actor or actress wore and then sell it for a mark-up and give part of it to charity and put the rest back into the business. We never really pursued this part of it because it became clear that it was very unreachable for us. So when I started running it, I would focus on finding looks for less because this was much more in reach. Rather than buying a $20,000 jumpsuit or dress, I was able to find similar looks for much lower because that kind of price point isn’t attainable for most!

I always knew that I wanted to go into fashion, but I never knew if I could. That’s why I started Saw It On Screen, as a way to break into the industry. And it’s been pretty popular and received some good press! Right now I’m not able to post as much, because I’m also helping small businesses with their social media accounts. But with Saw It On Screen, I know that this is what I want to be doing and what I want to monetize one day. I’m going to need to make money somewhere else so that I can pay computer coders to help with the site, but I still try to focus one or two days a week on the site. I have two interns and another that’s in the process of turning into an intern, and I’m really thankful to have them. They really help out with Saw It On Screen when I am unable to publish content myself. I put an ad on for fashion and entertainment bloggers, and there were about 25 people that applied. They’re all super sweet, and great writers. I hope that they will be able to shadow me more following graduation and come to events that I’ve been a part of.

the moment she turned an idea into a career
Last year I pitched my idea to Pitch Smackdown at Clemson against 40 other participants with my then-business partner. And we won! Our prize was a trip to Silicon Valley where we were able to meet several successful companies ranging from the start-up phase to those on the Fortune 500 list. Meeting these people, hearing about their journeys, and seeing how successful they are without regrets was really inspiring. I was so nervous, but meeting with them was amazing. I learned how they deal with risk, losses, and the tremendous gains that they have endured as well. One of them was a cop before being an investor, and this proves that you can be anything that you want to be if you work hard for it. It motivated me to want to work for myself, whether with Saw It On Screen or not!

Ultimately, I decided to pursue Saw It On Screen with my then business partner in August of last year, so we’ve been in business for a little over a year. At the time, she was graduating from Clemson and she went on to work elsewhere, but thankfully we’re still great friends! I give a lot of credit to her because I know that my work ethic was inspired by her work ethic, too. I got started Junior year, this is when I started working on it full time after the pitch competition.

the challenges she faces
Convincing people of the idea has been a challenge for me. While getting them to follow has been difficult, having to work for free has been hardest. I guess 95% of start-ups don’t make it past the first years, and I didn’t realize it was so hard until I did it. It’s so time consuming. People tend to think that if you work for yourself that you’ll have greater flexibility, that you’ll be able to do more, but I haven’t really been able to go out with my friends as much. Trying to be more disciplined, especially during my last year in college, has also been really hard. I usually can’t go out on a Friday or Saturday night because I have meetings scheduled or I have to travel the next day. Some of the events that we’ve gone to, like a 48-hour hack-a-thon, can be exhausting, too. Networking through events like this can be really tough. It can be fun and rewarding, but it’s very tough.

networking: how she overcomes that uncomfortable word
I still cringe when I hear that word “networking!” The first time I was at an event, I was so scared. One of our first events for Saw It On Screen was with SCAD Atlanta TV Fest. We were able to hear the cast of Scandal and Jay Alexander speak, and I was scared to talk to them at first! I had to tell myself, “Okay Diana, you have to stop, you’re going to be working with these people one day.” We were able to meet the whole cast for the new show The Catch, too. It was really cool, and they were all so nice. I learned a lot from these people. It was also a wake up experience. You see these actors living glamorous lives, but they work so hard! They work harder than anyone that I’ve ever met. They’ll go to work at 6:00am and sometimes they won’t even get to put their kids to bed at night. So hearing their journey to success was very humbling.

My best advice is to be yourself and try to be confident. It’s really hard. But honestly? Fake it till you make it. That has been something that I have to tell myself constantly. Even last week I hosted an event for publicity for the film Bad Santa 2, and I’ve never hosted before, but I had to act like I have, now they have asked me to promote the James Franco & Bryan Cranston film, ‘Why Him’. Even when I’m throwing an event that I’ve never hosted before, I have to act like I have. It’s so important to throw yourself into it when you’re trying to break into the industry because you’re going to learn so much along the way!

Another one of my favorite quotes is “If you can Google it, don’t ask it.” That’s the best one that I’ve heard, and it’s something that I have to tell myself when I’m meeting these new people.

her long-term and short-term goals
With Saw It On Screen, our short term goal is to have 5 interns so that we can have content coming out consistently. It’s really important to have content coming from your social media handles when you have a small business! Even if I don’t have time to do it myself, I would love for my interns to help with that.

Long term, our plans are to monetize. It’s simple to set your company up to monetize, but not so easy if you’re not a computer programmer, or if you do not have a loyal audience. I’m working with a programmer now, and he’s been super helpful, but when I graduate I want to get affiliations on there to monetize it. Right now, I just want traffic on the website. You can’t focus on the money right away. I’ve heard that you can’t focus on the money for the first five years, but I really hope that it’s shorter than that. It’s been one year, and you have to work hard for no money!

Starting a business isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. Building your audience is really important, and you can go out and find them!

advice on making it happen
As a student, I had a little more leeway because I had an allowance coming in. Even with student loans, you have that consistent food check coming in so you can work to eat. This can be the smartest time to start a business!

Some of my advice starting it is don’t believe the lies. Lies like “working for yourself gives you your own hours” and “you can travel a lot.” Especially that “you’ll make more money,” because that’s not true. You have to have a grind mind set. Sleep is sometimes secondary (this is the hardest for me).

It’s important to plan your goals and set specific deadlines and dates. That’s something that I never did until my ex-partner showed me “project ownership” forms, and they really changed how I plan now. Right now, I like to make goals like “set up meetings with 5 small businesses,” so that this way even if I set up the meeting, that works. Maybe the next week my goal will be to go to 5 meetings. Never overstate your goals because that can be discouraging.

I also applied to over 100 internships just to get my foot in the door, so I had to work unpaid. I worked with the Clemson Athletic Department so I couldn’t go to football games during my freshman year, which was very humbling. But I definitely don’t regret it and it was a big confidence booster, too. I was also able to get an internship doing the marketing for the movie Deadpool, which was really exciting!

I don’t really feel like I have a handle on it all just yet, but I do try to read a devotional book at least once a day to keep me sane, as well as a marketing or business book on top of that. I’ve read books like Lean In, Girl Boss, and The Trump Card, and they’re all written by great business women that are super encouraging. It’s important to read business books by other women and to learn from them!

For girls getting into a new industry, it’s important to legitimize yourself. Fake it till you make it, but be prepared! If you have a marketing portfolio it will give you that extra push toward the employer you’re pursuing. Network. If you’re in college, use the resources that you have. They can save you a lot of time and money along the way. At Clemson, you can pretty much get your start-up going for free if you utilize all that’s right in front of you. I think a lot of colleges are like that, so look into it! I didn’t look into it until Junior year, but now I’m so glad that I did.

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raven norris: the networking connoisseur

Can you please provide a brief background of Women Who Work?
Women Who Work is a women’s empowerment and networking movement for current and aspiring career working professionals to connect, gather and share knowledge with an evening of networking. We host 3-4 events a year. It was founded September 13, 2014 by me, and we are focused on inspiring others through our actions and integrity. We recognize that a vision and a dream require nurturing and mentoring in order to blossom. Supporting these professionals, no matter what stage their vision is in, proves to be the key in rebuilding a strong community, as well as sustaining a growing economy,

(For more information please like the Women Who Work page on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @womenwhoworkaug!)

When did you realize your talent, and your passion, for PR and marketing? Is this an industry that you always wanted to go into?
I initially wanted to be in the medical field but I found my passion while volunteering for a friend. I was asked to help market an organization on the Ga. State campus and surrounding AUC campuses in Atlanta, Ga. The program was a huge success and I loved being able to see the results that I produced for someone else.

What advice do you have for women looking to get into this field?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Because in the end failure really isn’t failing, it is a learning experience within itself. There’s a constant learning curve in the PR/Marketing industry because no consumer/public is the same nor are the different industries that one may enter. Continue educating yourself and remain current on industry trends. I suggest subscribing to, attending seminars and building your network on LinkedIn.

You’re also the networking connoisseur, and just the word “networking” can freeze people up. What advice can you give to those who are struggling with networking as a skill, or can’t seem to grasp the concept?
If you’re nervous about networking start with the network you already have. Grab a coffee with an old classmate or past coworker. Catch up on what they are doing now, how they got there and advice on what they think you should do next. Be honest about what you’ want when speaking to people that you admire. Whether you are looking for sponsors, a job or a mentor be specific in your wants so that there is no time wasted. Prepare a detailed “elevator pitch” with specifics about what you do or want to do in laments terms. But most of all listen more than you speak.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Khloe?
AHHHHH the love of my life. My motivation is what I call her. I have a soon to be three year old (Jan.3) daughter who is simply my mini me. She walks, talks and laughs just like me. I definitely want her to become a woman of her own but for now I will take her wanting to be my shadow.

How do you balance (if that word even applies) being both a mother and a professional? You’ve found a way to excel in both of these areas, so do you have any tips for other women out there who don’t think that it is possible?
No such thing as balance lol 🙂 You do what you can and execute those things flawlessly. Some things will fall to the back burner so you have to be good at prioritizing but as long you put your all into whatever you’re doing you’ll be fine.

If applicable- what techniques do you incorporate while working with men in high positions? How do you make your voice heard?
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Whatever you’re presenting or whatever the topic of the meeting is go in prepared. Do your research and grasp your own opinion about the matter and be able to back your opinion with numbers and/or statistics. You always want to leave that wow factor with men. Stand your ground, be open to what others have to say and be you. No one thinks exactly the same but as long as you’re able to properly explain your reasoning behind your thoughts you’ll be fine.

What professional advice do you have for women in the workforce, or what common errors do you see?
Most women don’t ask for what they want. Yes, this is cliche but it still holds true today. In order to get where you want to be you have to ask for what you want. No, is not the worse phrase in the world. I believe that “what if” is. You never know unless you try. Go after EXACTLY what you want until you get it, because if you’re willing to work for it then you deserve it.

In your opinion, is there a glass ceiling?
Yes and no. There are glass ceilings set but there is always someone that can break that barrier. If you’re knocking and that ceiling doesn’t collapse then that’s not the place for you. Women and minorities can go as far as they want to go but it definitely takes perseverance.

Where does Raven want to be 5 years, 10 years down the line?
5 years from now I would like to be working with a professional sports league to gain experience in that industry. 10 years from now I would like to open my own PR/Marketing firm.

Do you have a personal mantra or inspiration that gets you through the tougher times?
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build the door.

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abby wiggins: fashionista, stylist, celiac activist.

abby wiggins: fashionista, stylist, celiac activist.

This personal account of discovering & fighting for a proper diagnosis is a must-read.

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i’m a lawyer. a republican. and a feminist.

My involvement with Trump began when I started campaigning to go to the Republican Convention in November of 2015. My whole platform, during my trips to the City, County, State, and the National Convention, was the idea that millennial women are a minority in the Republican Party. What people think of when they envision the GOP is a 70-year-old white man, and that’s really not what our party is anymore. There are a lot of conservative young professionals out there, men and women, and we tend to be more socially inclusive when it comes to controversial, social topics like gay marriage and abortion. These are the issues that were typically seen as “make-or-break” issues for traditional Republicans in the past, but millennials tend to have a different outlook on them now.

Most of the Republicans my age focus more on fiscal issues, student loans, and national security. When I started meeting people at these conventions, we recognized the need to get more young people, more young millennials involved. We feel like our voice isn’t even represented within the Republican Party, and our voices get skewed in the media.

I was a newly elected member to the Savannah Young Republicans in October 2015. At that point, there were 18 candidates who could be our President! But at the time, we didn’t feel like one particular candidate represented us as millennials. To be honest, I started out torn between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and I hadn’t even given Trump a second thought.

I think I became a Trump supporter organically as the other candidates started dwindling down. I will say that, even though I wasn’t a stark supporter at that time, I wasn’t in the “Never Trump” movement. It wasn’t until the convention that I really got on board and got behind him. This didn’t happen just by interacting with him, it was also by interacting with his kids and listening to Don Jr. and Ivanka speak, that convinced me. And it was also because of my experience engaging with many individuals that felt they had been disenfranchised; whether it was because of the previous administration or the Republican Party establishment in general, that convinced me. Seeing how they related to him (and him back to them) became an eye-opening experience that this could be the change that we so desperately needed.

I met Don Jr. and he was genuinely the nicest, humblest version of himself possible. If you didn’t know who he was, you’d think he was just another person from off the street. And I think that says a lot; I’m not condoning anything that Donald Trump has said or done, because obviously the language surrounding the campaign isn’t anything I would say or want my future children to hear, but I do think that there is something to be said about how you raise your children. He didn’t have just one great kid. All four of his children grew into stand-up individuals, and I think that really says something about his morals and values that gets lost in the message sometimes.

I’ve had a couple of personal interactions with people I know calling me anti-feminist, and to that point, I have a very unique view on the subject. I’m a young white female, a newly licensed attorney in the political world, and all of these realms are male-dominated. I would never consider myself anti-feminist. I’m clearly trying to keep up with the boys; I’m surrounded by the good ol’ boys club!

I think that it defeats the purpose of the democracy that we have, and the rights we have to express differing opinions, to call someone an anti-feminist just because they are a woman who didn’t vote for another woman. In my personal opinion, at the end of the day, gender or race should never be the primary reason to vote for someone. You have to look at the issues, and that’s what it’s always been about for me.

I especially struggled with hateful slurs being used against me and my party when the Access Hollywood video came out. I hated the language that was exposed. But I think that there was so much at stake with this election, from the Supreme Court vacancy, to foreign policy decisions, to student debt and health care, that I really had to separate the Trump persona from the issues. I really considered what a Clinton presidency would look like, and I had to do a balancing test between the two evils that both candidates might bring to the table.

To some extent I would chalk his words, and his actions, up to “locker room talk.” But I also think it’s not your typical locker room talk, and I can’t say that I’ve heard that exact language being used whether in the court room or during my time spent on Capitol Hill.

In all honesty I have heard plenty of other alarming things being said, whether it’s talking about a woman’s looks or a male using his place of power on the Hill to get something he wanted from a woman whether it’s a reporter, a staffer, or an intern. I think there’s levels of locker room talk, and I think it got twisted when it came out. There were still women and men supporting him after the tape’s release, but the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media thought that his supporters would surrender after that. When it didn’t happen, they turned it into his supporters “condoning rape culture and sexual assault.”

I truly don’t think that’s what he meant, and I say that as someone who has met him and interacted with him. Was it deplorable language? Absolutely. Was it degrading? Yes. As a woman, was I offended that he would even use that language? Without a doubt. But at the end of the day, I don’t think that he meant it the way that it was spun. This is why I think it was easier for some of us, who had previously supported him, to continue to do so.

You know, I honestly have to say that I didn’t expect for him to get elected. I have a political science background, so I was playing with the electoral college mapping to find a potential path to reaching 270 electorate votes. I think we knew that there was a chance that he could get the votes he needed, but I don’t think that any of us saw him getting Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin. We thought he might get one or two of these states, which would put him on the path to 270, but he clinched multiple battle ground states. He even got Wisconsin, which hasn’t gone Republican since Ronald Reagan was alive. I think that speaks to the fact that the American people, whether Democrat or Republican, had something to say.

It was surprising for both parties.

As a practitioner of the law, I think surrounding himself with good people is the best thing that he has going for him. Throughout the campaign, he’s recognized that politics is a new front for him, so he surrounded himself with experienced politicians like Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, and Jeff Sessions. I think having people familiar with foreign affairs, national security, financial issues, as well as legal issues, will benefit him from a policy standpoint.

As a woman, I think that he has to take a step back and really think about what his presidential voice is going to be. And I really do think, at the end of the campaign, that we saw a different Trump. Hopefully going forward, we will see more of that as he decides what kind of President he wants to be in the next four years.

So, why not Hillary? The big issues for me are the size of government (I want a smaller Federal government), as well as state’s rights. This is the same for a lot of millennials, and when it comes to same sex marriage and abortion and legalizing marijuana, we see this as a state’s right issue rather than a national issue. These are the primary issues with me, but it boils down to the trust factor, too. This was huge. When you look back at the election, you can see not only the Clinton dynasty dying, but the Bush dynasty as well. People completely rejected it! The people are genuinely ready for a change, for new ideas, to move the country forward. We needed new blood in there.

Two years ago, before the election even began, I definitely thought that there would be a change in the country. I thought so because of what I heard from the people I’ve had a chance to interact with and the things that I’ve seen on social media. The majority of American people, regardless of political party, were ready for a change. And I think that they wanted a candidate who wasn’t involved or controlled by the establishment of either party. Going into the election, no matter the political position, people were looking for candidates that were from outside of the Beltway that could come in with fresh ideas and change things up.

I think Trump will push for change and will push the boundaries as far as he can go. It’s who he is as a person, and who I think he will be as a President. He has a good group around him, and some of the people in the GOP who kept their distance are starting to come around, like Paul Ryan. I think he will be the go-between for the White House and senior Republicans who weren’t ready to give in to a Trump presidency. This connection will help us enact the change we want to see.

It was never about gender: to the other women who call me antifeminist. If we vote for a woman, just because of her sex, it isn’t moving us forward. You have to look at the issues. To me, a feminist is someone who stands up for what she believes, no matter what that might be. A woman who works to get things done, to make things better for women, that’s a feminist. There’s a lot of ways women can empower other women, whether that’s working for equal pay or working toward affordable child care.

If we’re going to call each other names and degrade other women, simply because we don’t like the fact that they didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, we’re really only hurting ourselves. We have to come together. We have to stop the bickering. If we don’t stop, we won’t move the country where it needs to be until we find some common ground.

I want people to know that the Republican Party is often painted as exclusive, as a good ol’ boys club, with a bunch of uneducated rural Americans and a few high-paid good ol’ boys in there. But we really are the party of the people. We’re inclusive in ideas; whether it’s freedom of religion, same-sex marriage, and other hot button issues. It’s not about exclusivity, it’s about thinking about it a different way, especially with millennial Republicans.

We’re a new generation and new blood for the party. A lot of us are fighting for state’s rights, for women’s issues, national security, and other issues that people often don’t think of when they think of the Republican Party. At the convention we had our own delegation, the National Republican Youth Caucus, because this was the first time that a large enough percentage of delegates were made up of under 30 year olds. It was so neat to see all of us in one place, and we had the first openly gay delegate from Texas. What a typical Republican looks like is changing, and I hope people can see that as we move forward.

I also want everyone to know that I’m a young woman in a man’s world. Some people may see my vote for Trump as anti-feminist, but I think it’s only going to move women forward. It’s going to move the party forward. It’s a good time to be a young Republican, and in the next coming years you’re going to see a lot of young millennials working for President Trump and on the Hill in various offices.

We’re going to bring a lot of fresh blood to the party, and it’s going to be a very good thing.

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