Here at LIVELY, we’re constantly surrounded by swoon-worthy women that are killin’ it in their businesses. We're launching #WomenCrushWednesday to celebrate the boss babes who provide us with a constant flow of inspiration, support, and endless girl-crushes.
Where are you from and what was your childhood like?
I’m from eastern Connecticut — a small town called Mansfield! I grew up in a very regular family. My dad is in sales and my mom is a nurse. I was bullied when I was younger and I knew I didn’t fit in to the traditional mold from a young age. I wasn’t the girl who wanted to party with other girls and play sports. I adored writing and I had a very determined head on my shoulders. My parents definitely weren’t supportive of me failing out of high school and pursuing my blog, but I was so determined to prove that I could break the mold of having to go to college and get straight A’s to be “successful”.
What inspired “This Is Life Unfiltered” and what were the keys to its success?
You know, I’ve always been so passionate about showcasing real life issues. I’m not talking about issues like being tired after work — I’m talking about stuff like depression, eating disorders, depression… and I try to showcase that through my blog. I wanted to evolve that message through my podcast by interviewing other entrepreneurs who have incredible stories and manage to battle so many different obstacles and become so successful. I think that we as a society need to be more open and honest about the issues young people are dealing with so that issues like depression and rates of suicide don’t continue to increase.
I’m only 16 episodes in so far, but the key to success for anything is passion. If you’re passionate and determined, people will see that. If you’re not, they see right through you.
In your experience, what does it mean to lift up and support other women?
It means doing something and not just saying something. I get really uncomfortable when I see people on social media use body image issues and mental health disorders as a way to get more followers and fit in with the current social media trends. I’ve dealt with all of the above, and you shouldn’t necessarily talk about something that you haven’t dealt with or have an attachment to. Of course, promote body love and self-love, but just because it’s trendy to talk about these issues doesn’t mean they necessarily apply to you. Find your own voice and what you stand for!
Do you have a favorite episode of your podcast? If so which one and why?
The one with Catt Sadler and Lulu Eschelman is one of my favorites. Catt is such a badass, and Lulu is such an incredible human being. I love Kimberly J.Brown from Halloweentown too. She was a blast to chat with!
What is your process when approaching your work?
I take everything very seriously! But I try and have fun with everything I do too. Doing TV segments and creating content, working with brands, and negotiating deals is exhausting. It takes a lot out of you. I realize how valuable time is and I think trying to keep a very even and healthy balance between your personal life and your work life is crucial. Always put your mental health first!
When do you feel most empowered?
When I’m speaking in front of a group of young people. All I ever wanted when I was in high school was to be able to look on the Internet and in the hallways and feel like I could relate to one of those people. I want to fill the void there and be the person young adults can look up to and feel empowered by!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to walk in your shoes?
Stop trying to be me, or the pretty girl you see in your Instagram feed, because you’re you for a reason. I spent way too much time when I was younger analyzing other people and why I wasn’t as rich, as pretty, as tall as them. I became the most confident and successful version of myself when I started living for me.
We are a brand that values doing what you love with the people you love. What do you love to do and who with?
My job! I’m so darn lucky to meet and network with people like Michelle, along with so many other young empowering teens during my day to day life. It’s crazy what a difference surrounding yourself with kind and uplifting people can make in your overall happiness!
I really love cooking too. There’s nothing that makes me happier than being home in Connecticut with my best friend Gabe eating all of the chocolate you could potentially eat in one night.
When feeling discouraged, how do you pick yourself back up?
I talk to my therapist every week. I try and make that a really important part of my schedule. I call my boyfriend when things get rough, and I try and turn my cell phone off if I feel overwhelmed. I like going MIA every once in a while — it keeps everyone on their toes ;)
Who is you female hero and what character traits do you take on from them?
My hero is Michelle Obama. I can’t think of one more person who I want to be more like. She’s such an honest and sensible individual, and has a really fresh perspective on culture and the world.