Visionistas

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!

March 08, 2015

Today we are celebrating International Women's Day by introducing a few of the amazing VISIONISTAS I've gotten in touch with within the past month. I've been blessed to connect and link with inspirational women around the world. These women are young, beautiful, ambitious, and just like you. Please continue reading and learn some of their stories <3 If you or anyone you would know want to be feautured on this ongoing blog, don't be shy and contact me!

Thank you ladies for taking the time to share your dreams and advice with us all. I appreciate all you beauties!! <3

xoxo Stephanie Anne

♥ STEPHANIE SPEER ♥


Freelance Artist, Designer of FOXGLOVECOLLECTIVE

Connect: @okitssteph / @foxgloveollective / Etsy Shop

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
Libra

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Positive, Ambitious, Driven

How did you decide to start on your venture?

I never felt fulfilled with working a 9-5 job or working under someone else. I am an artist at heart and was always creating something when I had a moment or two to myself. So that kind of nudged me into trying out small things here and there, which eventually led me to creating the brand that I have whole heartedly dived into.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

My influences and inspirations come from the human connection with stones and crystals. Adorning oneself with the beauty of mother nature. Crystals are not only beautiful, but the power they hold is equal to none. Jewelry is personal, and connections with crystals are personal. This creates jewelry that means something different to every person that wears it and that is one of my greatest inspirations.

What are you biggest dreams?

The dream that I have is to continue to excel and never stop dreaming. I have been able to accomplish so much so far with the effort that I put into all of the products I create. I hope to never lose that and to live everyday appreciating my accomplishments and being ready for what the future has to offer.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Some of the challenges I have faced is learning to let go. I put my whole self into my business and although the feedback I receive is always positive in rare times I receive less then positive remarks back too. I have to strive to realize that I will not be able to make everyone 100% happy. As long as I am trying and making an effort I am doing my part as a business owner. I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I see myself serene in my studio creating, and knowing I am surrounded by people I love.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

Just do it. If there has ever been a thought in your mind, no matter how small, that you want to do something you need to do it. Your subconscious is telling you something and you need to listen. It's so easy in todays culture to get swept into the high and dry ways of the average person. But you are not average. No one is average. You are capable of anything you set your mind to. You are a woman, you are you and you are worth it all.

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

Some things that I would be excited to see in our culture in 2015 is the mass acceptance of every single orientation of person there is. Being highly involved in social media I have seen a lot of cultural hate going around. I would love for it to get to a point where everyone is accepting of everyone else no matter what race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. We are all influenced by each other and we need to celebrate culture as a whole and not as a contest for superiority.

♥ Myra Michelle ♥


21, Self-employed, homemaker

Connect: Soundcloud / @shopthebakery

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
Totally! My sun sign is Virgo, but my moon is in Aquarius and I have a Cancer Ascendant.

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Perfectionist, Silly, Fabulous

How did you decide to start on your venture?

In high school, I knew I wanted to start a brand. I was into the whole sweet urban theme and I played around with different ideas until I found my niche. I didn't pursue it until I started college and needed some extra change. I just wanted to be a young girl, shining, getting money.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

My influences and inspirations come from everywhere. A lot of it has came from trap music, particularly Gucci Mane. But, it also comes from other upcoming designers, the cultures of foreign places and peoples, and any random art I like, I've even been inspired by Breaking Bad.

What are you biggest dreams?

I want to make amazing art with amazing people that will be remembered forever. I want to be recognized in fashion, music, and Pop and hip-hop culture as a visionary and a beautiful soul. Traveling the world, helping people, and being able to live somewhere tucked away and free.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Time is a big challenge for me I have a 2yo and a 8mo old and any time to create is left to nap time, bed time, and any time I can find (which is very limited). Another challenge has been funds for supplies, everything I make comes out of my pocket so sometimes I have to put things off to take care of more important things.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I honestly can't say, I evolve so much everyday that even by next year I may not be the same me I am now. Hopefully at 26 I'll have all my shit together and be in a much more stable place in my life. I enjoy the flashing lights but I also enjoy quiet living so it could go either way for me.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

WRITE IT DOWN. If you have goals you are pursuing put it on paper, jot down every little detailed step you need to take to reach it. Post it somewhere big and bold to remind you every second what you have to do. It helps a lot! Don't listen to the haters. People will tell you that you can't do something, or that this is best for you, all sort of bs. Please don't let that get to you let that be the fuel to take you to heights that will shut them all up. Especially if you're a young woman with a child, the pace you are able to work at might be slowed down, you might have to sacrifice a lot of things you aren't comfortable with, but the reward will be even greater.

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

I would love to see more international and indigenous influences, more of who people are, where they come from etc. Also more movements like these where we support and collab with each other and get on our "let's all grind" wave.

"Queens recognize queens, queens support queens, I appreciate all my queens out there"
- <3 Myra Michelle

♥ Kahya ♥


Designer, Krown Jewels by Kai
Toronto, CA | 24, student, receptionist and designer...the hustle is real!

Connect: @kahyamc_ / Shop / Facebook

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
Aquarius!

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Creative, determined & daydreamer

How did you decide to start on your venture?

I decided to start my venture because it felt like a desire that needed to fulfilled. There’s a simple quote from Grace Jones I’ve always loved—“do what you feel, when you feel like it, if you feel like it.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

As a fellow Bajan & Guyanese island girl, Rihanna has always been very relatable to me. She is always dressed in jewels and I love the way she takes fashion risks and makes every look her own. She is my ultimate muse when designing new pieces. My list of inspirations is never ending, my camera roll looks like a tumblr page and is filled with pictures of things that intrigue. For me inspiration occurs daily and comes in the forms of feelings, images, people, places etc.

What are you biggest dreams?

My list of dreams is forever expanding but one of my biggest dreams would be to design jewellery for Balmain. I'm in love with Olivier Rousteing's vision and the brands bold design esthetic. Their pieces always looks like walking art.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Since launching in the summer, some of the challenges I sometimes face include having ideas but not always the right resources to execute them or bring it to life. To overcome this challenge I am always researching and getting creative with different ways to achieve my end goals. This keeps me innovative and on my toes.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Krown Jewels will always be my passion project and creative outlet so in 5 years I would like to see myself still designing on the side. I would love to branch off into design collaborations with other designers or retailers.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

Be lead by passion and guided by your intuition. Do it because you love the process, and not just because you are looking for a profit. Stay authentic, don't just follow the hype.

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

I would love to see more women being praised for what they bring to the table and not just how they look. I would also love to see less 'IDGAF' attitudes. More people standing up for passions, social issues and topics of substance would be nice.

♥ Aretha Sack ♥


Brooklyn, NY | 27, President of Floss Gloss

Connect: @ponymaane / @flossgloss / Shop

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
Cancer

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Love to dance

How did you decide to start on your venture?

Food service was hell.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

Music-rock and rap but never together.

What are you biggest dreams?

Floss Gloss becoming bigger and better.

What are some of the challenges you face?

No business training, living on the poverty line, etc.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Flossin with Floss Gloss, running this nail game

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

Drink more caffeine.

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

Considerate men, longshot though.

♥ Dani Constable ♥


Atlanta, GA | Radio personality, event host, and model

Connect: @ninjanoize / Soundcloud Ninja Noize radio show every Friday at 9am and 8pm

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
Aquarius

How did you decide to start on your venture?

I knew I wanted to work in the entertainment industry but I didn't know one. A bunch of random internships later I am a radio show host, event host, and plus size alternative model.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

Nelson Mandela is actually a huge influence of mine and of course my mother. I am inspired career wise by Oprah, Ryan Seacrest, and Ellen DeGeneres.

What are you biggest dreams?

To be the millennial version of Oprah and to be able to change lives.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Fear of people not accepting me and my message, people letting my queerness distract them from the bigger picture.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Traveling and generating income while sitting on the plane.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

Just go for it. Try everything and don't be afraid to fail. If you at least try it you can truly know what you are capable of. I know I gave some many cliches but they are all incredibly true.

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

Respectability Politics. I want to see a conscious effort in humanity to respect all difference. You don't have to understand a person but you should always respect them. I would also like to see more stereotypes broken in corporate media.


"Tune into my radio show Ninja Noize every Friday at 9am and 8pm. I am @ninjanoize on all social media. If you just want someone to talk to feel free to let me be that person. You can listen to my past episode on soundcloud.com/ninjanoize I love all of you!"

♥ Christina Rinaldi ♥


New York | Creative

Connect: @thisisprima / PRIMA CREATIVE

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
TAURUS

Describe yourself in 3 words:
HONEST, LOYAL, CREATIVE

How did you decide to start on your venture?

JUST WANTED TO BE HAPPY

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

ART HISTORY, MUSIC HISTORY, FILM HISTORY

What are some of the challenges you face?

MAINTAINING LIFE / WORK BALANCE

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

DO WHAT YOU LOVE EVERYDAY

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

COMPASSION

♥ Dyneesha Bradley ♥


Memphis / Maryland | 21, Student, Fashion Designer

Connect: Shop

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
I'm not into zodiac signs like that, but I am an aquarius.

Describe yourself in 3 words:
The 3 words I would describe myself would be: determined, creative, and free spirited.

How did you decide to start on your venture?

I decided to start on my venture when I was in middle school. I've always been into art and creativity. I started designing clothes in middle school (around the 6th grade). I branched out started turning myself into a business 5 years ago. It is still a learning process for me, but I have all the time to learn and improve as time progresses.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

My influences and inspirations come from Michael Jackson and Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (better known as Coco Chanel). I'm easily inspired by Michael's costumes (especially his jackets). I wish I could own all of his jackets lol. His style was impeccable and he motivates me to change the fashion world. Coco Chanel inspired me with her classic pieces. I want to be able to impact the fashion industry even from beyond the grave. She was a daring designer and broke barriers. She inspires me to always be better.

What are you biggest dreams?

My biggest dream is to become a fashion mogul. Not just a designer. I want to leave a mark on the fashion industry forever.

What are some of the challenges you face?

The challenges that I face is money lol. Being a college student is tuff. Finances are a big problem for me. I want to be able to make alot of things now, but saving money is helpful. I love to be able to spend money on fabric and things needed for me to get myself out there. I also have a challenge with marketing myself. My type of designs are not always pleasing to people, so it's hard to make a profit.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself in 5 years graduating from grad school. Hopefully at FIDM, FIT, or The Arts Institutes. I also see myself in an internship for fashion design.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

I would tell young women who are trying to pursue their dreams to keep working to improve yourselves. Continue to get better at your craft. Always be willingly to learn about your craft. Remember that there is always someone out there that can help you in any way. Be confident in your work not arrogant. (There is a big difference). And always remember love yourself!

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

I would love to see our women empowering other women. It's too many women always frowning upon each other or belittling one another. We have to do better. Instead of talking bad about a female because she's doing her thing, why not applaud her? Up-lift one another, never bring them down.

"Be proud of yourselves! We are women! Empower one another, up-lift one another and dont forget to love one another."

♥ Lili NGUYEN ♥


Paris, FRANCE | 23, Nail Artist, Real PIMP

Connect: @ThisisVenice / Web / Tumblr / Facebook

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
I'm an Aries ! Full one !

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Wow hummmm I'd say creative, friendly

How did you decide to start on your venture?

I decided to start doing nails about 4 or 5 years ago when I saw pictures of Nail Art on Tumblr, I tried, I never stopped and here I am !

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

My friends and Nail artist friends are always a great influence and inspiration, music as well, art of course, prints and patterns I see on clothes or accessories... FOOD ! Food is my favorite inspiration !!!

What are you biggest dreams?

To have my own Nail Salon in Paris and in Los Angeles, to succeed in everything I do of course and be able to provide for my family so my parents won't ever have anything else to do but lean back on the beach and sip on cocktails.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Ugh so many !! But it's those challenges that leads us to success and to where we need to be in life.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Where I belong. (Or on Forbes' cover, which is kind of where I belong too !!!)

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

To do everything with passion and love, never lose focus and NEVER EVER GIVE UP ! It's gonna be hard but hold on you're almost there !!

"Real Pimps recognize Fly Gurlz !!!"

♥ Janine ♥


Brooklyn, NY | 26, Co-Founder/CEO/Business Boss Baby of Floss Gloss Ltd, Inc. aka @FLOSSGLOSS

Connect: @FGBOSS / @FLOSSGLOSS / Shop

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
LEO baby

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Motivated, determined, hapa

How did you decide to start on your venture?

I saw the potential in Aretha's colors in college & after I was gettin tired of bartending! I bought the biz lisc without even telling Aretha (but never ever thought it would take off like this when I bought it in 2011) and just sold the shit out of myself to our current manufacturers to get them to work with us! Its hard to trust a 22 year old! But they did and I was serious about it!

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

Music is a huge influence at Floss Gloss, rap, rock (but not at the same time- v rare), girl groups, soul & rnb. I'm influenced by vintage fashion & textiles. Alot of inspiration from all over the place tbh.

What are you biggest dreams?

So Drake- but literally just successful & comfortable. I want to do so many things, write books, direct films, set design, be a real chef ( i love to cook). I just want to live my life to its fullest potential. Im grateful for everyday, but everyday I want to get better, stronger, faster.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Having no formal business training, and/or any direct mentor that did the same thing we're doing now but like 20 years earlier. Its tough to make decisions & plan. Especially with the business side. I handle more of the admin/business side & I went to art school! But we're doing it !

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully making more $ than we're making now! Selling more than we're making now. Just acting on a larger platform. My goal is for Floss Gloss to not plateau- but to advance. I hope we can expand even into other products.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

So much advice tbh. But biggest would be to trust your gut. Know you're going to make mistakes and you have to live thru them- there is no way around it. Be diligent even when it seems hopeless. And raise/get as much money as you can!! You will always need more $-- trust! & MORE COFFEE.

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

Respect. I just wish people would respect themselves and others more. Judgement free zones!

♥ Rachael & Tynera ♥


Philadelphia PA| 20 & 22, Rachael: Videographer, Photographer, Editor / Tynera: Public Relations for 580 Films

Connect: 580 Films / Twitter

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?

Rachael: Pisces!

Tynera: I'm not really into horoscopes, but I am an Aquarius.

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Rachael: Ambitious, Passionate, Fearless

Tynera: Determined, Cheerful, Sincere

How did you decide to start on your venture?

Rachael: When I was sixteen I really wanted to go to concerts and my parents were really strict and wouldn't let me. I started getting photo passes for shows so my parents couldn't stop me from going. I realized that I actually really enjoyed taking photos at concerts and wanted to find a way to involve creating videos too. This eventually evolved into me starting to create music videos for different artists I met at shows.

Tynera: Rachael reached out to me about taking our love for concerts, music, and film and combining them into a business. Together we started covering events and making visuals and eventually realized we wanted to do this full time.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

Rachael: I had an opportunity to meet Childish Gambino and he was very supportive of our work and told me to keep working hard because the film industry needs more talented women of color. I really like his music videos and this was a huge compliment to me and inspired me to keep going after my goals.

Tynera: After meeting Big Sean and spending an entire day with him, he inspired and told me I can do whatever I want. He was really the first person to make me believe in myself.

What are you biggest dreams?

Rachael: My biggest dream has always been to create a music video for Kid Cudi! His music videos have always been some of my favorites. I also want to do music videos for artists across all genres and have unique style unlike any other director.

Tynera: My biggest dream is for me and Rachael to have a well known videography company that will work with the top music artists.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Rachael: Because I started 580 when I was just a teenager, a lot of people have doubted my credibility since I was so young. Even now people are surprised when they find out how old I am.

Tynera: Finding artists to work with in the Philadelphia area that are talented and serious about their work is one of our biggest challenges.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Rachael: In five years I'll be making music videos and other visuals for my favorite artists.

Tynera: Working with a record label as a publicist and being a music video director with 580.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

Rachael: Write down your goals and post them somewhere you can see them to stay focused.
Tynera: Don't doubt yourself no matter what!

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

Rachael: I hope that 2015 is a year of progression and that more people will become aware of the social injustices in our country and fight against them. I believe that resistance through art is extremely important and it would be cool if more people used their art as a way to fight against oppression.

Tynera: I also want for people to come together and combat racism, sexism, and other big issues.

♥ Hanna ♥


London, UK | 28, Jewellery Designer

Connect: @dixiegraze / Shop

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
Scorpio baby!

Describe yourself in 3 words:
creative,blunt,funny ( i know people always say they are funny but im actually funny)

How did you decide to start on your venture?

I always loved making things i was alone having, this slowly started a demand. People wanted what i made, and when the demand was high enough i just knew i could start a real business from it. And without any expectations i did. I say that because i think if you dont have too high expectations you actually end up gaining more in the end. It will be like a surprise gift from yourself to yourself.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

The world! different cultures and countries inspire me. For example, Im obsessed with Indian culture, the beautiful Indian women in their saris and all their jewels, its so amazing to see how much they express themselves wearing their outfits with pride.

What are some of the challenges you face?

People who dont respect my work and lack originality. Basically someone who copies other peoples designs. Women shouldn't do that to one another, i believe in girl power and unity. But its something that challenges me because in the end it just makes me want to push further and come up with even more unique designs.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I'll have my first dixiegraze shop, and make my first mill! haha, or before that.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

Be YOU! be original. If you dont believe in your own dreams/ designs nobody will. Dont be afraid of failure or making mistakes, its all part of the process. In fact if you dont make mistakes you will never grow. And lastly always have a plan B, its good to have dreams and follow them but its important to have other plans and dreams too, be diverse. Dont limit yourself to just one plan.

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

Social media is too much based off looks and likes and not the real life things. It can be utilised in so many better ways.

♥ Charmaine Adrina ♥


Sacramento, CA | 25, Full-time swimwear designer and Creative Director for IMNOTYOURTYPE

Connect: @shopimnotyourtype / Shop / Tumblr

If you're into horoscopes, what's your zodiac sign?
Libra!

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Introvert, Indecisive, hungry.

How did you decide to start on your venture?

Basically, I didn't like where I was at. I hated my job. I was tired. I was bored. If there is a list of things that make life dull and redundant, I'm pretty sure I checked off all of them. I was a VM and stylist full-time, working at 4-5 different places at a time plus freelancing on the side. My schedule was ridiculous. I was always exhausted which in turn made me extremely uninspired, even if I lived in one of the most amazing cities in the world (San Francisco, <3). One day I realized that I was tired of just 'getting by' and I knew I would never forgive myself if I never took that chance to actually do something for me, for once. That's when I started IMNOTYOURTYPE. The foundation of my business is a reflection of me, and I knew from the beginning I wanted to stay true to that. My message has resonated with my customers, and I intend to always stay humble and always push myself to do more.

Who and what are your influences and inspirations?

Easy answer-- My mom. My mom is my breath of fresh air everyday, and I truly don't know where I'd be without her. She's been down for me since day one (literally). She was there when I had to break it to my dad that I didn't want to be a nurse anymore. She was there for me when I needed to move out of my apartment in a hurry and carry a futon down 8 flights of stairs. She was there for me when I was bussing tables and serving food for a living. She was there for me when I was $200 short for rent and had to pawn some of her jewelry just to help me get by that month. She was there for me through all of my bad decisions and all of my good ones. She was there for me when my life hit an all time low, and she took me back into her house with open arms. I am SO thankful to have this badass woman in my life as a mother, friend, mentor and now... Business partner. She's our head crocheter and I'm lucky to have her on my team.

What areyour biggest dreams?

For as long as I can remember, I've always dreamt big. Big house, nice car, travel the world.. But as I've gotten older, it's changed a bit. Now, my biggest dream is to do something great with my life, so that I can make my family proud. I want to be a good wife. I want to be a good mother. I want to be the best older sister and daughter I And I want to provide and give to my kids even more than I was provided. One of my biggest fears is that I would just be forgotten forever when I'm gone, and honestly that's probably going to be the case. But I'm not scared of that anymore. All I want to do is the most I can in the time that I have, and not regret that I didn't take every opportunity given to me.

What are some of the challenges you face?

The biggest challenge I've faced in my first few months of business is keeping up with production. This is a damn good problem to have, but it does get stressful. Being a handmade business with a small team and small budget is a struggle, but we're working on expanding the team and our production within the next few years. Another challenge is time management.. Man, this one is still a work in progress. Now that I'm my own boss, I'm even harder on myself than I was before when I was working for someone else. Sometimes I find myself working 16-20 hour days not even realizing I hadn't eaten anything all day. I'm also in a long-distance relationship, so trying to find time to get away has been difficult too. I haven't had much of a social life ever since I launched the business, but that's not really a priority of mine anymore. My friends and family know the stress I'm under and they've all been really supportive. Right now I'm trying to find the perfect balance of work, school and me time.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully done with school, living in Canada with my beau, married, and still managing my own business from there. I'm sort of taking in life in small doses right now and just trying to digest and manage the day ahead of me. Sometimes I stress myself out trying to think too far ahead.

What piece of advice would you give to other young women trying to pursue their dreams?

Seriously, just do it. Whatever it is that you're passionate about, do it and don't waste it, because it's a shame. There is nothing holding you back besides your own fears. I started my business with $100, a pair of scissors, and a computer. Don't let life intimidate you. Don't compare yourself to others. Stick with what you know, do it well, and don't stop.

What themes do you wish to see in our culture in 2015?

I like where we're headed to be honest. I see so much good happening in our little world.. Big businesses partnering with independent brands, popular ambassadors in the industry endorsing mom and pop shops. It's more united. I hope we keep going this direction because it gives everyone a chance to be seen and heard.

Thank you ladies!!


If you want to be feautured, please feel free to copy and paste the questions and email them with your answers, a selfie, and photos of your work to vsxnsta@gmail.com!