Ep. 31: Jamela Acheampong
Having been raised overseas as a third culture kid, diversity has always been an important factor for Jamela. She attended boarding school on the east coast, then went on to pursue a B.A. in economics from the University of Southern California and a Masters Degree in Finance & Accounting from Kingston University in England. She started Kahmune shortly after when she noticed a gap in the market for skin tone products for dark skinned women such as herself. Having spent the majority of her childhood overseas in the Middle East, it is this international experience that Jamela cites as the reason she is so passionate about diversity and inclusion. With no formal background in fashion design, she credits her desire to fill a much needed gap in the market and life long love of fashion as driving factors in her quest to create change in the industry.
Ep. 30: Elana Meta
Elana is a storyteller through movement, an intimacy, sex and empowerment coach, and community builder from New York City. She has made it her mission to protect, catalyze and empower the feminine, to awaken humanity and our connection to the planet.
Elana is the founder and CEO of Wild Vessel - an event series designed to re-define the feminine narrative in society as well as the founder of Meta Method - a globally recognized dance technique using the natural elements to advance emotional intelligence and well-being. As a dance and movement catalyst, she has performed at venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheater and Lincoln Center alongside artists such as Beyonce, the Glitch Mob, Michael Franti, and Nahko. She’s led workshops on the Wanderlust Tour, at Esalen, Summit Series and Burning Man.
Elana is a trailblazer who’s on a mission to use her entrepreneurial genius, fearless heart, and liberated spirit to bring a message to the masses around sexuality our human potential and our connection to the planet.
Ep. 29: Jennifer Choi
Jennifer is a Korean-American mother and wife who followed the traditional path working in finance until she couldn't ignore her love for the creative arts any longer. Jennifer was hyperaware of aesthetic quality and constantly searching for ways to channel her creativity. After many years, a little curiosity about baking quickly became a full-blown obsession, and Jennifer found herself spending hours poring over recipe books, up late at night baking experiments, and making many educational visits to the best bakeries to sample one of everything.
She soon enrolled in culinary school to learn the fundamentals of pastry. With her passion grounded in technique, Jennifer launched her professional career in a busy retail bakery and a Michelin-starred restaurant in NYC. Working behind the scenes in the kitchen gave Jennifer valuable experience, insight, and refined skills, but she longed for more creativity and artistic expression. The launch of Sugarsuckle brings Jennifer the opportunity to share her sweet vision with you.
In this episode, we talk about how she was able to transition from a corporate job to owning her own bakery, how she hired a high-functioning and collaborative team, breaking away from family expectations, and that taking risks is really not a big de
Ep. 28: Desha Peacock
Desha Peacock is a published author, lifeSTYLE design coach & retreat leader. With a background in career development & intuitive sense of style, Desha helps women create their Sweet Spot: a self-defined place of success and beauty.
Her first book Create the Style you Crave, was listed by the Huffington Post as one of the best books to buy your girlfriend & has sold over 10,000 copies. Her second book, Your Creative Work Space can be found in bookstores around the nation and online. Desha holds a Master’s degree from The School for International Training, is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator & leads retreats across the globe. She’s been quoted or featured in Origins Magazine, Design Sponge, Flea Market Décor Magazine, The Jungalow, ABC.News, The Huffington Post, The Houston Chronicle, YahooNews.com, Career Rookie, US News Money, Where Women Create and many more.
Message from Desha: MY CALLING IS TO HELP YOU SEE THE BIGGER POSSIBILITIES THAT EXIST IN YOUR LIFE SO YOU CAN THRIVE IN YOUR SWEET SPOT: A SELF DEFINED PLACE OF SUCCESS AND BEAUTY.
Too often we are pressured by family and society to live a certain way, but there is a paradigm shift in thought teaching us that it’s okay to listen to our inner heart and spirit to guide us and have faith that we are on the right path. Designing a life + biz that reflects your creative and authentic self is a direct reflection of who you are and will help draw more of your desires to you.
Whether you want to start a business, expand your current business, or create a home that reflects your authentic style and values, I’m your gal.
Ep. 27: Maryam Ajayi
Maryam Ajayi in an Energy Healer and Business Growth Strategist on a soul's mission to merge the healing and modern business worlds by helping socially conscious people and companies grow into their full potential. Maryam's passions include advocating for inclusive spaces for underrepresented communities, de-stigmatizing the wellness industry, and using her voice to empower and uplift others around the world. While she's not doing the work, she enjoys collecting passport stamps, tacos, dancing big, and pairing turtlenecks with "mom jeans." Currently a nomad, the world is her oyster and her body is her home.
Ep. 26: Hayley Nivelle
Hayley is the founder of ellie, an app for parents. When she was pregnant with her first boy she quickly realized the immense value of parenting groups--the shared advice and the shared camaraderie, but knew parents needed a better place to connect than Facebook or email. On ellie, parents or expecting parents can create customized groups, curate topics for their group and start connecting with other like minded parents. Best of all, there is no wall clutter. She also started a blog to start delivering high quality content to parents. She hopes that ellie will soon be the go-to resource for parents
Hayley has a 9 month and 2.5 year old boy. She recently left her career as a corporate lawyer to dive head first into the start-up world.
Ep. 25: Adelle Archer
Adelle Archer is the co-founder of Eterneva, a startup that's introducing a new way to memorialize our loved ones and pets by turning their cremated ashes into memorial diamonds. Adelle started out in politics because she was always drawn to impact work but she knew she was made for entrepreneurship. It was through grieving for her friend and mentor's passing that the idea of Eterneva was born. Eterneva's goal is to open up the conversation of death, grief and change how we memorialize our loved ones. All while disrupting the diamond industry.
Eterneva & the Market for Cremated Ashes into Diamonds
Besides being on the cover of Inc. magazine last year for a 30 under 30 accolade, the company has also been featured on the Kardashians.
Eterneva is and saw a 250% growth in its first full year of business.
Eterneva offers an intricate eight-month celebration of life storytelling journey that includes the creation of a diamond from loved ones' cremated ashes. The goal is to keep their legacies alive both through their stories and the diamond. The diamond itself is personalized--color, cut and setting--and filled with meaning of the memories it symbolizes.
The market opportunity is huge.
Modern day society needs better options to stay connected at a time when moving to new cities makes it harder to visit cemeteries.
Approximately 3M people pass away every year and cremation rates are skyrocketing - we just passed 50% cremation nationwide and many states are as high as 90%. By 2025, the National Funeral Directors Association is forecasting that 63.8 percent of the people who die in the United States will be cremated, and by 2035, 78.8 percent.
If Eterneva connects with just 1% of the market, we are making a big change in the way we remember loved ones who’ve passed away.
That doesn't include that 1/3 of people keep their loved one's ashes at home post-cremation. It's estimated that there are 8.5M urns that are sitting in families homes since 1970 who might consider this.
2M pet cremations / year
Eterneva has a larger vision and goal to be more than a diamond company and offer multiple options with the latest technologies for celebrating lives well-lived. Ultimately, Eterneva aims to be the premier company for celebrating the legacies of individuals, learning from them and capturing their stories for future generations.
Ep. 24: Melissa Burr
Melissa Burr was raised in the Willamette Valley. After completing her Bachelor of Science degree, Melissa intended to practice naturopathic medicine before discovering her true passion was in wine. She studied winemaking and fermentation science at OSU and interned during harvest for several local wineries before becoming production winemaker for Cooper Mountain. In 2003, Melissa joined Stoller Family Estate as the winery’s first dedicated winemaker.
During our chat, Melissa talks about getting her dream job at Stoller only to find out she was pregnant with her first child. What it's like being in a male-dominated industry and how she balances her work and life. The only thing missing from our conversation was a glass of pinot noir!
Ep. 23: Yuna Chung
Yuna, aka mom, is my role model. She was the first woman I knew who decided to take a risk and start her own business despite people telling her she was crazy. Her dream was to have her own hair salon but she also needed her benefit job that offered her and her family security. She worked two jobs for over twenty years while being a mother and a wife. Just three months ago, she finally retired from her full-time job and now, she is focusing solely on her side-hustle. It hasn't been an easy road but through passion and grit, she always had faith that one day she would fulfill her childhood dream.
Ep. 22: Angel Quintana
Angel Quintana is a business mentor, astrologer, holistic health practitioner, and author. As the founder of Holistic Fashionista, her mission is to support Lightworkers in bringing their message with the world. Supporting soulful brands around the globe in the growth of their online businesses since 2010, Angel is passionate about sharing the rituals and strategies she’s used to grow her own business so your rise to success is smooth and prosperous.
The former fashion designer (and once 22 year battler of psoriasis), has written several books on spiritual business practices, holistic healing, and 5th dimensional living, is the originator behind the concepts Signature System® and Kismet Client® and credits much of her creativity to deep conversations, utilizing the power of tarot and astrology, and performing rituals to manifest anything her heart desires with her divination tools and handmade elixirs.
We met on the wonderful vortex of Instagram!
Ep. 21: Laura Chung
I really wanted to keep myself out of this podcast and focus on sharing the stories of the women that I meet. However, so many of you, the listeners have messaged me and asked me to share some of my experiences that have led me to quit my job, start this podcast and become an entrepreneur. So this episode is for you. Hopefully, I answer your questions and you get more insight into my story. Thank you all for your continued support.
Some things we talk about in this episode:
Where I grew up, where I went to college and what I studied. Where I really wanted to go to college.
How I started podcasting and why I started it.
All the jobs I had before entrepreneurship.
The secret reason why I had to quit my first corporate job in private equity.
How I stay motivated.
How I deal with the negative people.
How I started my blog back in 2010 (in the episode, I accidentally said 2018).
What I would tell my 25 year old self, which Susie knew me at 25!
Ep. 20: Mary McCarthy
Mary McCarthy is the face behind the hand behind Not Engaged. Since its inception, her comedy has appeared on Good Morning America, The Skimm, Rachael Ray, Sunrise Australia, Elite Daily, and many more. Mary is also the creator behind the series The Goodpie Girl, which was a Network Notes selection at the HBO sponsored ITV Fest. She is a New York based actor and writer.
Mary has become an accidental feminist who has created a supportive community of single women everywhere. Her main message is that even though society pressures us to couple up, being single is ok.
Ep. 19: Melissa Slaughter
Melissa has lived in all four time zones in the contiguous United States. A former actor in Seattle, WA, Melissa now resides in NYC as a content creator. She produces and co-hosts the We're Not All Ninjas podcast with Alex Chester and Rachel Liu. The Asian American ladies watch Hollywood films that either features an Asian director or Asian actors. Then they critique it and rate how well the movie represented Asians. She is also the managing editor of The Hapa Mag.
In this episode, Melissa speaks about being HAPA (Half Asian/Half White) in America and educates us on how we can be more inclusive. She also shares her opinions on Asian American men, tokenism, and her favorite movies in Hollywood featuring Asians right now. This chat was so educational for me and as an Asian American and lover of movies, I’m so glad I found this podcast! Meet this wild heart, Melissa.
Connect with Melissa:
For people interested in starting a podcast, she recommends Transom.org
Her favorite show featuring Asian actors right now is Kim’s Convenience which you can find on Netflix.
Ep. 18: Adrienne Hill
When it comes to the world of fashion and beauty, there aren't many rocks that creative director Adrienne Hill has left unturned. She started her career in the fashion and beauty industry as a hairstylist and makeup artist for film while obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in Arts Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College Chicago.
While attending the prestigious Miami Ad School for her master's studies, Hill launched her first beauty blog and youtube channel, Boss of Beauty in which she did hair and makeup tutorials, hauls and OOTD videos. Shortly after launching her blog, Hill began selling vintage wear under the Boss of Beauty brand, later transitioning the blog into a full online boutique.
A self-taught web and graphic design artist, Adrienne built her entire online boutique herself. As Boss of Beauty Vintage grew, other boutiques and fashion brands began contacting Adrienne about the branding and graphic design for Boss of Beauty, not realizing that she was doing it all herself.
Hill then recognized an opportunity and launched Brand My Boutique, a branding firm that provided web, graphic and print design services specifically catered to fashion and beauty brands. In the five years of it's existence, Brand My Boutique garnered clients in over 40 countries and Hill's work was featured in a number of publications and media outlets including VH1, CurlyNikki, The Shaderoom and more.
The Brand Box Club was birthed out of Hill's own desires as a fashion and beauty entrepreneur. It has been a lifelong dream to build a creative space to create, connect, learn, and grow with other dreamers that are passionate about their brands, and the most fulfilling part is knowing she is creating a space where entrepreneurs can truly feel supported in their industry-specific journey. Entrepreneurship can be tough and no one should go at it alone. Adrienne has since launched two other businesses by solving problems for her clients.
I met Adrienne at the Fearless Moguls pitch competition back in September 2018 in Atlanta. I sat next to her and we began chatting. I was so inspired by her ability to just start businesses left and right. Meet this wild heart, Adrienne.
Connect with Adrienne:
Brand My Bundles - Luxury custom packaging company
The Stockbox - An open-sourced melanated stock photography resource
Flick Inc. - An influencer agency that offers monetization contracts to influencers through merchandise endorsements and brand management.
The Brand Box Club - A co-working space for fashion and beauty entrepreneurs.
Ep. 17: Susy Oludele
Susy grew up in the Bronx, NY and learned how to braid from the age of 9. She slowly garnered a following by word of mouth and putting her own creativity into traditional braids. She got the attention of Solange Knowles and then eventually did Beyonce’s iconic cornrows on her Lemonade album. It wasn’t all easy. Susy opens up about her dark period when she was homeless in New York City and how she risked it all to open her salon in East New York, Brooklyn.
We also talk about the struggles of doing something non-traditional and being different; how hair is the ultimate expression of resistance and power; and how to stay humble while enjoying success. Listen to her inspirational story of how she went from homelessness to being a celebrity hairstylist. Meet this wild heart, Susy.
Ep. 16: Anna De La Rosa
Note from Anna:
Let me start by formally introducing myself as I am Anna Leigh De La Rosa and will be going back to my maiden name: Anna Leigh Svetlik as soon as my divorce is final. I am the Founder of De La Rosa Insurance Services LLC, The Meditation and Mindfulness Project as seen in Mantra Magazine and My Blog, Anna De La Rosa, where I empower and inspire women all over the world. I have the ability to spark something deep within my clients and give them practical tips and tools so they can forge their own paths in life. It took me awhile to reach that point, but I am so grateful and thankful that I have had the opportunity over the last decade to embrace my entrepreneurial spirit and build my insurance firm from the ground up. That in itself has been a journey of self-discovery and has taught me how to not give up even when things get in my way.
Not to mention, it has helped having a long family line filled with entrepreneurs, successors, innovators and community builders. They have instilled in me stamina and drive at a very young age and that you can create anything from nothing so get up and start working. In addition, I have created 3 Instagram pages. The 1st two IGs that I created was @theannadelarosa and @empowerwomenquotes and they were structured to empower women to rise the FUCK UP, be themselves and work hard to make their own dreams become a reality. The final IG that I created is @manifestingjunkie and will be celebrating its year anniversary in December 2018 is for the WooWoo Gal that loves☽ Mantras, Meditations & Moon Dust Rituals and then Uncut, Funny Raw Shit that just comes straight from the muthafukin heart and I say it.
It is funny, because growing up I wanted 2 things: A sisterhood to be apart of and I always wanted to be a internationally known fashion designer, having a global empire and my luxurious designs worn religiously, lol! We all have our dreams and for 1, I was the youngest of 3 brothers so the sisterhood thing went out the door at that young age until now because I decided to create my own sisterhood. Then as far as fashion designer, as I got older and started my transitions into life and the corporate world. I gravitated towards building my own brand with a cult following. I started my entrepreneurial journey & decided to become a successful business women that could afford to buy my favorite designers, travel, lux living and shopping whenever I wanted. Or if I got a wild hair and wanted to treat people to diner and surprise them with gifts, then I totally would.
*Be Authentic, Persistent, Real, Unapologetic and Slap it all out on the table because your tribe is waiting on you and what you have to offer. Listen and be guided by your intuition
*Also letting go and saying yes to what you know is meant. Go with the flow and what feels right deep down! So if you want more clients or more money in your day/life etc then allow it to flow in!
*Make a to-do list, every single night. Write at least 3 things on that list that you will accomplish the next day to further your dream.
*Self care is a must
I turn 40 on Dec 20, 2018 so the sky is the lining! I am starting a new chapter in my life personally, professionally and financially so I am soooooo excited!
Ep. 15: Sirey Moran
Sirey grew up in Honduras and has always been a girl with big dreams. She began her career modeling and side hustling in New York City. Sirey became Miss Honduras in 2016 and competed in the Miss Honduras Universe competition in 2017. She utilized her worldwide platform to bring awareness to Honduras and to her philanthropy efforts. She continues to use her social media presence to share her passions of entrepreneurship, giving back, and redefining beauty. In this episode, we talk about the scandal that almost prevented her from competing in the Miss Universe competition, how she deals with setbacks, the situation in Honduras, the caravan, and what it means to live the American dream.
I met Sirey in 2016 at a Foundation for Education in Honduras (FEIH) event and have since traveled to Honduras together. We got to know each other on that trip and I asked her about her story. I was so inspired by how she came from humble beginnings to being an ambassador for her country all over the world. I love Sirey because she has a beautiful soul. She is fueled by giving back to children and to her country. When we were in Honduras, the people would light up at the sight of her. She gives little girls in Honduras hope that they too can achieve their dreams. Meet this wild heart, Sirey.
Ep. 14: Shannon Hill
Shannon has always had an interest in women's advocacy. She earned her Master's degree from Yale University in women's studies and religion. She worked in non-profit management for several years. It wasn't until she moved to Finland that she realized she wanted a more flexible working schedule that would allow her to travel whenever she wanted. She also started her popular travel blog, Tramontane Travel which fueled her passion for writing and photography. When Shannon and her husband moved back to the US, she knew she didn't want to go back to a traditional 9 - 5 job so she followed in her mother's footsteps and became a flight attendant. Her followers on Instagram love the behind-the-scenes life of a flight attendant as well as her travels around the world.
I met Shannon in Mallorca on a press trip this past June. We instantly bonded over our mutual love of travel, dancing, eating and manifesting sangria! She asked me if I wanted to take a trip sometime in the Fall and I obviously said yes. I asked her if she wanted to meet me in India in October and before we knew it, we were traveling the Golden Triangle together. She’s a flight attendant you see, so flying halfway across the world is really NBD. We spent 6 days, 5 nights, 24/7 together so we got real deep real fast. We talked about everything from entrepreneurship, spirituality, to relationships and of course, travel. What I didn’t know about her before this trip was that she’s a women’s advocate. She educated me on the power dynamics between men and women and what we as women should ask for. Meet this wild heart, Shannon.
Ep.13: Noor Qwfan
Noor was born in a small village in Yemen and raised in the Central Valley of California. As a Muslim woman and a child of two immigrant parents, Noor wants to debunk the stereotypes of Muslim women by giving them a voice. She hosts This Muslim Girl Podcast; a platform to share the stories of Muslim women of all backgrounds as well as her own. Noor shares her experience growing up in America as a Muslim woman, how she manages a full time job and her side hustle, and her advice for entrepreneurs.
I confessed to Noor that I didn’t know that much about Muslim culture and more specifically, about her native country Yemen. That’s what attracted me to her podcast because even though her audience is predominately Muslim women, it’s beneficial for the rest of us to listen and to learn more. From our appearances, we look nothing alike and on a surface level, we might not have anything in common. BUT WE DO! We are both American women who are children of immigrants and who have podcasts providing a platform for women to share their stories. Even with our differences, we can find a common thread. Listen to this wild heart, Noor.
Ep. 12: Xiannie Peynado
The Barking Muse was created out of pure necessity by Xiannie Peynado. When her Yorkie puppy Deuce was diagnosed with liver dysfunction disorder and skin dermatitis, Xiannie investigated alternative methods of treating her pup in a natural and holistic way. From her research, she created a unique blend of essential oils to treat her pup's skin. She also fed Deuce real food and not manufactured pet food which often contains chemicals. Thanks to Xiannie, Deuce is 5 years old, healthy and thriving today. Word got around about her natural pet products and Xiannie realized that there was a need for natural products for pets made by a pet mom. The Barking Muse is a stellar example of a woman with passion, grit and love for her pet.
I met Xiannie at a pitch competition at the Spanx headquarters in Atlanta, GA. Her company, the Barking Muse was selected to pitch in the final rounds. I had never pitched before but I learned a lot by watching Xiannie. She didn’t have a powerpoint presentation or charts, she just told her story. Even though I don’t have a dog, I felt the passion she had for helping pets and I believe in her brand. I talk to Xiannie about how she manages her full time job, her side hustle and her advice for entrepreneurs. Meet this wild heart, Xiannie.
Ep. 11: Alexandra Bozic
Born in Toronto and taking her first steps in Slovenia, Alexandra is a world citizen. She discovered her love of travel through spending her Summers in Slovenia and using that as a home base to discover other destinations. At the age of 13, Alexandra was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (IBD) which led to multiple trips to the hospital, dramatic weight fluctuations, and a roller coaster ride of flares and symptoms. Her diagnosis did not stop her. In 2015, she started teaching in Germany and from there, found her current business partner and boyfriend Jonathan. Nowadays, she can be found running a Bed & Breakfast in Killarney Ireland, traveling 4 months of the year, building her personal brand, developing her app, The Official Killarney App, whilst launching 2 more business endeavors and most importantly, being in remission from her Crohn’s. Alexandra is a family woman with a strong desire to succeed in life. What’s her advice to entrepreneurs? “Don’t let the fear of uncertainty hold you back.”
I woke up one morning to a DM from Alexandra on my Instagram. She wanted to connect on our mutual love of travel and podcasts. I told her that we should take our online chat offline and record it for this podcast. Two hours later, we were speaking on Skype. Meet this wild heart, Alexandra
Ep. 10: Helen Ngo
Helen believes that when you take control of your money, you take control of your life. She works full time as a financial planner advising people on how to manage their money so that they can live their best lives. Through her work, she realized that discussing money can often be difficult and uncomfortable because our society and culture have dictated money as a measure of success. However, people's stories say otherwise. On her podcast Made, Helen interviews women from all financial walks of life - entrepreneurs, single moms, divorced women, widows, and multi-millionaires. She shares these women's' stories about how they live, how they earn, and what it means to make it in life.
I found Helen on Instagram while searching for other podcasts hosted by women. I was immediately drawn to her because she’s an Asian American women who is talking about money! Money is such an interesting topic and I’m getting more comfortable talking about it. We all have differing money mentalities but the truth of the matter is, we need to take control of it in order for us to live the life of our dreams. I talk to Helen about savvy financial moves to get us one step closer to handling money honey. We also talk about our experiences being Asian American. Meet this wild heart, Helen.
Ep. 09: Ashley Sperber
Ashley started her career in restaurant management in New York City. She left the industry after she realized the adverse effects the restaurant lifestyle was having on her well-being. She began immersing herself into the health and wellness space and got her holistic health coaching certification. As Ashley was healing her past wounds, she realized that it was much more than prescribing a diet or an exercise regime, it's looking deep within yourself. She began offering her clients the spiritual component of her coaching practice through reiki, chakra readings, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), aromatherapy and essential oils. She has rebranded her coaching business into a spiritual one.
I met Ashley during our Reiki I and II training at the Open Center in New York City. I was blown away by her honesty and vulnerability as she was sharing her story of trauma and abuse. She’s using her experience in a positive way by helping others cope with their traumas and coach people to live their best lives through spirituality. Meet this wild heart, Ashley
Ep. 08: Shauna Faulisi
Shauna is a holistic nutritionist and founder of Soul Wellness Method in Los Angeles. Soul Wellness Method is a nutrition and wellness concierge practice specializing in weight loss, clear skin and slow aging. Shauna’s approach to nutrition and wellness has garnered her clients across the globe including high profile celebrities. She's been featured in Vogue, Pop Sugar, HuffPost, and Elite Daily. Her wellness retreat company, Soul Wellness Travels hosts all-inclusive retreats in beautiful destinations like Portugal where guests experience new cultures while focusing on well-being.
I immediately connected with Shauna on our mutual love for wellness, spirituality and travel. We had such a lovely conversation, we decided to speak again a 2nd time. Shauna talks about entrepreneurship, the importance of mindful eating and living. Meet this wild heart, Shauna.
Ep. 07: Ashley Nelson
Ashley has every American girl's dream life; she works in PR, manages her own fashion and travel blog On the Ten, lives in New York City and attends the best events and parties. Ashley shares her story of how she went from corporate PR maven to going out on her own. She also shares that being an entrepreneur is not as glamorous as one might believe. However, living life on your own terms no matter where you are in life, is what a dream life is all about!
Ashley and I connected on Instagram because we are both in our thirties living in New York City. After 10 year long careers in our respective fields, we decided to branch off and do our own thing. Ashley and I talk about our past careers, entrepreneurship and how we survive social media. Meet this wild heart, Ashley.
Ep. 06: Marcella Kovac
Marcella is partner at The Bananaland, your destination for unforgettable ideas, design, and development experiences. Her expertise includes 10+ years of branding, marketing, graphic design, and serial entrepreneurship. She is also co-founder of B:Hive Coworking, shared workspaces designed to help you get #$%! done. Her and her husband are proud Airbnb hosts, check out their bungalow Maid + Butler. Outside of all this, she is either a. being a mom to her 6 mos. old baby Zion and stepmom to 18-yr-old Noah and 15-yr-old Jasper b. championing women and moms c. spreading the love for Bridgeport and volunteering in her community d. working on side projects like The Seasides e. traveling and exploring interesting places.
I met Marcella while I was kayaking in the Hudson River in 2014. We instantly clicked during the trip but we didn’t exchange our phone #’s or emails. She found me on Instagram through a hashtag I used #bannermancastle - funny right? She messaged me and asked me if I would like to meet her for dinner in the city. I was thrilled because they always say, you meet new people doing the things you love. We have been close friends ever since. Marcella and her Bananaland team have redesigned my blog Miss Buttercup and Kumi Dreams. She designed my logo for Chase Wild Hearts and continues to be my mentor and guide through entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, and navigating through life.
Marcella is my ultimate wild heart because I met her at a time when I didn’t think any of my dreams could be a reality. Last year, before I came back to the USA from a long trip through Asia, I told her I didn’t want to come back home to reality. She kicked me in the butt and said, “make a new reality.” It was the tough love I needed to start this Podcast. Please meet my beautiful friend and wild heart, Marcella.
Ep. 05: Rebecca Ann
Rebecca began her career in fashion management in Milan, Italy. She thought she had her dream career and dream life until a family tragedy left her sad, broken, and lost. She started gaining weight and was in and out of medical doctors with various medical problems (acid reflux, IBS, PCOS etc.) Her physical ailments were a reflection of what she was going through emotionally. Rebecca was sad with a grieving heart and held a tremendous amount of anger. Her relationship to her family and friends were in shambles. This tumultuous time inspired her blog, The Blue Empath which launched her coaching program. Rebecca helps others face their own pain, anger, and heal wounds because ultimately, this is where you grow.
Through her own forgiveness journey, she found that forgiving the ones who hurt you is what ultimately will set you free. Rebecca is now known among her clients as the Forgiveness Guru. Her mission is to help others return to love through forgiveness and find themselves so that they can live their best life. She created an 8 step guide to forgiveness that’s free! She guides you through each step towards forgiveness because it’s all about using forgiveness to take you from fear-based thinking to love.
I met Rebecca at Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie masterclass this past June while I was still going through my forgiveness journey. I thought it was divine intervention that she sat next me and my sister. I couldn’t believe she was sharing her story that was so painful and vulnerable with thousands of women she didn’t know. I had never put myself out there like that before. She inspired me to have the courage to share my forgiveness journey and it was really freaking scary! I literally feel like I jumped off a cliff of vulnerability and I’m swimming the rough seas by myself. It’s not the happiest of topics but I wanted to share our stories with you because I ultimately believe, we cannot live our dreams lives without digging deeper and dealing with our sh*t. Listen and get to know this wild heart, Rebecca
Ep. 04: Tracy Komlos
Tracy grew up in Canada with very supportive parents who exposed her to travel. She traveled to India at the age of 19 on a volunteer trip and had an epiphany that living in North America, we live very privileged lives. That sparked her passion for giving back. During her many travels, Tracy started building her own brand online by capturing content in beautiful destinations around the world. Many brands started gaining notice and asked Tracy to create content for their social media. Her entrepreneurial journey began.
As Tracy’s social media presence grew, she was being asked by hundreds of women from around the world how she was able to sustain her travels while growing her business. With her innate love of sharing and helping people, she created Pangea Dreams. She created a community of creative and entrepreneurial women who wanted to follow their dream careers. On the retreats, she along with other industry experts, teach women the tools and skills they would need in this digital age e.g. photography, social media, marketing and etc. Basically, she’s your career coach in a beautiful and exotic location!
As you will learn in this episode, Tracy has a passion for this planet, women’s empowerment, inclusion, community and travel. I met her at the New York Times travel conference this past January and immediately connected with her on our mutual love of travel and spirituality. Tracy is just one of those humans who is genuinely a good person who wants to help women achieve their dream lives. Meet this wild heart, Tracy.
Ep. 03: Michelle Halpern
I could go on and on and tell you about how beautiful Michelle’s travel blog Live Like It’s the Weekend is, how beautiful her photographs are, her impressive 72k+ followers on instagram but the reason I love Michelle is for her vulnerability and her honesty with what is going on in her real life. I discovered her Instagram page last year when I too felt completely lost with my life (the Instagram post is below). I had never met this girl but I found myself sitting at home, crying and feeling very connected to her.
Six months later, I met Michelle at the New York Times travel conference. I literally ran up to her and expressed how much that post meant to me at the time. She showed me that it’s better to be honest and real on social media than only showing beautiful and perfectly staged photos. That above all, people crave connection.
Michelle shares her story of how she quit her corporate job and started traveling around the world and getting paid for it. She also talks about how she’s moving forward while honoring her parents. Listen now and get to know this wild heart, Michelle.
livelikeitsthewknd: "I’ve been avoiding writing this. In fact, it’s probably the hardest post I’ll ever have to write. But going about my happy travel photos without sharing what's really going on in my life right now wouldn't feel in line with my authentic self, or honest to you guys, so I'm just going to say it and get it out quick. Both my parents passed away from cancer...within the last 2 months.
If I could create a resume of my current life right now, it would read a little something like this: No home. No car. No boyfriend. No full-time job. And now no parents. The two people who were totally OK and even supportive of all those aforementioned nos.
Does it absolutely f*cking suck? Um, yes. Do I cry a lot these days? More than ever. And I'm a long ways away from fully processing what has happened. But guess what? I'm choosing to believe that there is a greater plan for why this is happening and that I'm going to be OK. Life is going to go on and it’s going to be beautiful, because I have the choice to make it so. We all have that choice.
Things that I still have: My self worth, my brain, 2 legs to carry me all around the world. Not to mention an incredible support system of friends who have gone well beyond the call of duty to be there for me.
So why am I telling you all this? Well, because this is a real part of me, just as much as my love of travel is part of me. And while Instagram is an incredible creative outlet, it's also made it harder than ever to seek the truth of our human experiences when all we see is the highlight reel of each other's lives (guilty). I want you to know that if you’re going through the loss of a loved one, I’m here to support you in any way that I can and I promise to be more open and real with you guys from here on out. I hope this community can be one that supports each other not just through the successes and epic travel moments, but through the hard times too. Love and light to you all."
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Eat Pray Love (yes I know so cliche!) by Elizabeth Gilbert
Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Connect with Michelle:
Christine Poupis (My college roomie)
Podcast Edited by:
Our friends at the Podcast Shop
All photos provided by Live Like it's the Weekend
Ep. 02: Chrissie Lam
Armed with her fashion industry experience combined with her love of travel and connection, Chrissie Lam founded Love is Project. In 2014, Chrissie was on a flight to Moscow and the LOVE bracelet inspired a conversation with two girls from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan about love. She asked what love meant to them and recorded their answer on her phone. Upon landing in Moscow, she uploaded a photo of them wearing the bracelet to Instagram.
The response to the photo was overwhelmingly positive and so the Love is Project was born. Chrissie began her adventures around the world, asking couples and singles, grandparents and children, young and old, "What is love?" She got answers from 100 nationalities in 45 countries, from Mongolia to Palestine, Nepal to Bali and everywhere in between. What started as a personal passion project began to blossom into a global movement of love. During such divisive times, social media and the conversation of LOVE was connecting people from around the world. What people craved was connection.
The Love is Project bracelets are crafted by women from all over the world like Kenya, India, Indonesia, and Guatemala just to name a few. Proceeds from sales benefit local artisans and go towards education, trainings, heath and community development along with helping fund other micro businesses in each country.
I met Chrissie at a Love is Project "Summer of Love" photoshoot in Bali 2017. Listen to this wild heart, Chrissie!
Ep. 01: Jordyn Kraemer
Born in California and raised in Minnesota, Jordyn's aspirations in a journalism career brought her to New York City. From being a fit model to working with the Yacht Week, Jordyn's innate ability in leveraging her skills have led her to working with some of the world's most renowned brands. A personal setback became a catalyst that fueled her love to travel and led her to write her travel blog, The Blonde Vagabond. Her blog features wanderlust-worthy photography and clever writing that entices her readers to truly experience a destination. Jordyn shares how she made a career out of fusing her passions of travel, writing, and sharing her experiences with the world. She may look like a blonde bombshell but what most people don't know about her is she's incredibly funny. Listen to this Wild Heart, Jordyn Kraemer!