I love being a woman in business, and accepting my ability to utilize the gifts that God has blessed me with, has been one of the most exciting parts of this journey. But I can honestly say that the best part of my journey has been creating, invaluable connections with some amazing women. Creating a balance that allows me to focus on my business in order to grow, and still be able to make time for friends, family, as well as for new connections with other women in business has been challenging. Yet, these connections have been important to me, because I have learned something new, with every new meeting, and conversation.
One thing that differentiates women in business is our ability to understand the power in creating genuine connections with other women. The need to support and to empower one another has taught me to be selfless, and break out of my shell, in order to recognize the strengths, in others as well as in myself!
I spent the last two weeks, reaching out to women in, creative industries, in order to gain an understanding of the challenges that they experience, and how they overcome these challenges.
After my interview, with the fabulous Kimberly for our piece Bad Ass Chicks Challenging The Status Quo, An Exploration of Women in Animation, I knew that I wanted to speak with other women about their challenges. It's not only a learning experience, but a great way to raise awereness of the challenges many women face, in 2015! I had the opportunity to interview 4 wonderful women, about their inspiration, achievements, and to some about the challenges that they have experienced.
My first interview with Edith Jochinke, an artist who is currently a member of The Craft Gallery, owned by Akshaya Borker, the Winner of the 2015 Brilliant Biz Mom Award, is a creative, marketing, Femme Fatale, who helps artists increase their online exposure by creating amazing PR opportunities.
Social media is redefining what success means to the average artist, and those that have the ability to leverage the power behind this unconventional energy, are able to find unexpected fame. Akshaya Borkar, has been able to do just that, as an award winning Mompreneur, her authenticity and genuine passion for her fellow artist, is clear within minutes into our conversation.
Shaya's brand is an exact reflection of that very passion. Think of The Art and Craft Gallery, as an alternative to Etsy, very much aligned with Etsy's original vision, creating a great platform for the many artists who believe that the platform that was once known for its authentic approach to celebrating the artist is no longer in line with it's own vision.
An Unconventional Online Gallery, The Art and Craft Gallery is on a mission to make artists famous.
NL-How long have you been in business as an artist?
EJ-I have always been an artist in some form, as a hairdresser and make-up artist.
Home decorating,creating and designing costumes and cloth dolls in many mediums.
The work that I create now using my art work started in 2010.
NL-What is your inspiration?
EJ-What inspires me is the memories of places I have been, people I have had the good fortune to meet and there stories they share with me from all decades.
Ideas that come from books that I read and imagination to add detail and weave it into my projects, artwork and themes. [vintage] " I am a memory traveller "
I like to write stories that relate to my creations, so that they too, may have a story to tell.
NL-How have you been able to combine your inspiration with your brand and what are some of the challenges that have arisen?
EJ-To date I have been able to project my inspirations onto products that are practical, and useful that can blend into any decor.
To create themes that inspire, to remind people the value of Hand crafts. Having the opportunity to print my designs onto wrapping paper, fabric for your craft projects and wall paper.
Some of the challenges are that, today, we live in a world of products that are all too easy to access and no time to value the time and effort that goes into creating and that many of these projects can become heirlooms.
NL-How does your brand make a difference?
The care that goes into each piece of work, the creativity and beauty that I am able to put into my art, is something that my client's appreciate.
This where my brand too makes a difference the opportunity to teach others these skills using my designs and patterns.
Time management has been a huge challenge for me right off the bat. I'm constantly having to check my social media, order supplies, update the website, answer emails, do my own marketing and advertising, carve out time to actually make my products, etc. I've never been great at prioritizing tasks so learning to not procrastinate and to keep a handy checklist around me is quickly becoming a part of my new routine.
Being a woman in a male dominated field certainly has it's challenges. I have certainly been disrespected on set by men who felt I needed to be micromanaged. But what I think is the worst, is when I have been hired to do a job based on my credentials only to be questioned about my abilities every step of the way. I remember one job, where the company hired me right away because they were impressed by my resume and portfolio (they even told me this), we had meetings prior to the film date, various emails and discussions. I was highly prepared to execute the video, but when film day arrived and I showed up to film, the company had hired a "producer" without informing me. We never met before, and he questioned every single decision I made. From my equipment choices, to my lighting design, to the way I directed, he wanted to do the opposite of everything I had worked out with the client prior. In the end, I stuck to my guns (for the most part, you have to pick your battles) and in the end the company was very happy with the end result. I also have a ton of interview horror stories. It's a very rewarding career, but there definitely are challenges!
Olivia Johnson, Silver Iris Entertainment LLC
When I was young, I knew I was very different from other people. I've always cared deeply about my freedom and being in charge of my life. Being my own boss and not really answering to other people is something I craved. There's something so exciting about being able to work your own schedule and make your own decisions. Plus, the creative aspect of business is amazing! Every creative idea or inspiration I have can be pursued without restraints or limitations. Being an entrepreneur allows me to really live out my life on my own terms in a way I've always dreamed of.
Darlene Bimbai, Mustard Seed Apothecary
I came from a family where boys were highlighted, it was cultural, the women were home-makers and basically were at the mercy of their "fixed income" from work or the money from their spouses. However I noticed how talented the women were. My aunt was a seamstress, she made all of her own clothes, she had a very nice sewing machine and was really good at fashion, she would sew and make things for free. She dressed so nice. However she never charged or monetized it, she did home-maker jobs and the sewing was just a gift and hobbie. She was really good! I wish she had turned it into a business, before she died.
I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I remember starting my Life Skills for teen girls, Consulting business KB Associates. I got contracts from nonprofits, that serviced youth. At that point I got the bug and did not want to work for anyone else ever again.
Kimberly Jesika, Celebritypreneur
I am inspired by all of the talented people that have come before me and made it possible for me to do what I do today. I am inspired by my colleagues that are creating beautiful and innovative films and documentaries and writing thought-provoking articles. Lastly, I am inspired by my purpose, and the life that I envision for myself!
Olivia Johnson, Silver Iris Entertainment LLC
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