Happy International Women’s Day! I’m so excited to share this collaboration I worked on with the talented Jenn of Fiori Floral Studio in honor of this holiday.
We were inspired by the saying, “Real queens fix each other’s crowns.” We invited women in our Charlottesville community to join us for a portrait wearing a floral crown. With these portraits, we wanted to commemorate something that they were proud of – whether that was something simple and meaningful to them or a big milestone they had been dreaming about.
We also wanted to raise awareness of a cause, and I’m thrilled we chose Kurandza, an organization I’ve supported since the early years of my business. I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the opportunities I’ve had to take charge of my education. I want to pay that forward and help this group of girls in Mozambique stay in school.
I recently organized all of the work I’ve done in the last two decades into a year-long program that teaches household leaders how to mindfully build a Home Culture that does not deplete them–even in challenging times. Empowered People™ Deliberate Love School helps families strengthen their relationships and sense of whole-being wellness by developing their awareness, intentionality, communication and partnership skills. My clients are looking for the ways to thrive, have a healthier home life and support their family members’ success without offering up their own sanity, joy, peace, pleasure and health as sacrifices. I get to apply my years of personal and professional experience–the highs, lows and everything in between–to powerfully support them in doing just that. -Yolonda; Healing, Wellness & Empowerment-Centered Coach; Education Consultant
I am proud of how I have kept in touch with my close friends despite the pandemic. I felt like I have taken more time to call and text and just keep all of my amazing friends in my mind and in my heart. I am excited about debuting my new spring cocktail menu at Sal’s it’s very berry and flower inspired and I can’t wait to see people enjoy them. -Joellen Hirschey
I would like to commemorate the beginning of a new year full of hope, prosperity and good health for all of my family and friends. I am proud to know so many dynamic women in our community and come from a line of strong women who have paved the way. I hope we will continue to support and lift one another up. Happy International Women’s Day! -Nancy Finazzo Bingler
Carrying and giving birthday to my beautiful daughter, Josephine. Also grateful for this collaborative project celebrating the power of women! -Sarah of Day by Fay
I’m proud of finally after 32 years feeling like I’m finally fully loving myself… flaws and everything! Self love is so important. I’m also proud of being a mother to my amazing five-year old, and showing her that it’s okay to take up space in this world as a woman. You can be kind & strong. We rise by lifting others is something I think of each day. What can I do to lift someone else up today? It can be something as small as reaching out to a friend or family member. Doing one thing to brighten someone else’s day has a domino effect. -Kate, Content Creator & Creative
Like many of the business owners who joined us, I’m proud my business not only survived but grew during a pandemic. But most recently, I’m just so proud and excited Jenn and I pulled off this project! This all came from an idea Jenn had and messaged me about last Sunday evening. We hopped on call the next day, started planning, and it all came together over the next few days. I loved getting to meet these amazing women in Charlottesville, and I can’t help but be proud for them and the accomplishments they shared! -Xiaoqi of Xiaoqi Li Photography
Stepping out of my comfort zone to do what makes me genuinely happy as I continue to learn new things everyday. I’m proud of my family, friends and all of the small business owners for getting through such a very challenging year. -Jenn of Fiori Floral Studio
I am finally understanding that I am not magic and giving myself true credit for things I have done and am learning to do. I succeed at lots of things, creatively and professionally. But in the past, accomplishments didn’t feel satisfying because I felt like it was only luck and I was fooling people. Giving myself credit for what I am good at is new and feels like a big deal. And I still get to be my joyfully flamboyant self. -Amy of Get Amy Lemley
I am very proud that I was able to retire from my corporate career job after 20 years and now work for myself! I now own my own Soul Food Restaurant and Food Truck. My next goal is to help other Entrepreneurs grow! -Angelic of Angelic’s Kitchen
This past year, I’ve spent more intentional time than ever before loving my body. My skin. My curves. My rolls and wrinkles. My dimples. All of it. Speaking words of love over myself. Talking to myself the way I would a friend. Giving myself grace. Accepting. Encouraging. And it friggin shows. Inside and out. I’m so proud of the way I’ve grown in loving all of myself. -Linnea of Darling Boutique
My business is celebrating 9 years this year! I’ve grown tremendously as an artist and cake designer. I’ve worked with the most amazing couples and built a business that I’m so proud of. -Tiffany of Commonwealth Cakes
I’m proud to be a part of the burgeoning Charlottesville community of amazing women who make a splash in their fields. My goal for 2021 to continue to empower women and young professionals to continue their work towards their accomplishing funding their dreams. To enable people to know that their voice and contribution does shift the landscape of business and human interaction everywhere – even when it feels small. –Kirstin
I’m proud and thankful for the gift God provided me with: helping other people, helping women to take care of themselves, helping women to be confident, strong, healthy and embrace their flaws. I built Beyond Fitness with Sabrina in 4 years! I’ve been able to build a platform to help others get active and healthy. Women are powerful and strong! –Sabrina of Beyond Fitness with Sabrina
As a professor of psychology at JMU, I’m proud that I’ve continued to meaningfully connect with my students throughout this last year of Zoom classes. Although I would much rather see my students in person, I’m proud that I’ve come up with creative ways to teach, connect, and – I hope – inspire. I’ve also created new opportunities to inform students about strategies for happiness, social connection, and resilience – and I’d like to think I’ve made an effort to use some of these strategies in my own life, too. Many thanks to the inspiring women in my life: Tiffany Smith, Mary Kurtz, Kelly Kurtz, Kate Lambert, Lydia Killos, Michelle Majorin, Vera Virginia Smith, and many more! – Jaime, Professor Psychology at JMU
I am proud of my perseverance threading the needle in 2020/2021 with a small business. I am proud of the hustle it takes to keep my staff, customers, and vendors in a healthy and safe environment. I am grateful for the foundation of trust I have within that community. It takes a village, right? I am here because of the women that came before me and the women that are here today. I am proud, but also grateful. While it may be small; bringing the gifts to the people made an impact. We never closed a day and we are so proud to serve our community. I’d like to thank the women that helped me: Jaime Kurtz, Kathryn Deppmeier, Kate Bishop, Lucretia Blythe, Brenda Rose, Mary Ellen Browne, Ciera Burton, Erica Burton, Julie Shrek, Jessi Rogers, and Vera Virginia Smith. -Tiffany of The Virginia Shop
I’m proud today that my business has persevered for 30+ years through both private and societal ups and downs… from events like 9/11, 2008 crash, to 2021 to create a joyful place for people to experience. –Lynne of Lynne Goldman Elements
I am most proud of my family. Over the years they have helped me in so many areas of my life, especially in my business. Cracking eggs, running to the store at 3AM, helping with deliveries, and talking me off a ledge. This past year they took the lead with our family work with The Haven, feeding 30-60 of our homeless neighbors every single week. My kids grocery shop, research recipes online, chop, dice, and slice vegetables, package up the meals and deliver them every Monday in between zoom classes for school. I hope they carry their love for community and humanity wherever they go into this world. I am so grateful to the support of friends and neighbors in Charlottesville and beyond for supporting my children in their efforts to serve their community. -Anita of Maliha Creations
Xiaoqi ('cho-chee') is a Charlottesville wedding photographer who captures the unique story of her couples through genuine moments & timeless portraits. Xiaoqi and her team specialize in weddings and engagement sessions in Virginia cities like Charlottesville & Richmond as well as Washington DC and destination weddings around the world.