Living Radically: Graduating Early

Hey readers,

This past weekend, I graduated college! Well, almost. It’s story time.

Three years ago, I graduated high school with every intention to either, A) Travel the world on my own, or B) Move across the country and attend college on the west coast. Instead, I ended up going to college fifteen minutes down the road from my house.

My father is a professor, which means an opportunity for a debt-free education. He works at a business school, which while great, was never a path I wanted to go down. What’s more, I wanted to adventure!!! But with no money saved up and no other prospects, I went to the last place I wanted to be on earth–school with my parents and living at home.

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I have always been the type of person to make the best of any situation, and that is exactly what I did. Freshman year, I joined clubs and found my place learning Mandarin Chinese with an awesome group of people. Sophomore year, I got a job as resident assistant, which allowed me to fulfill my dream of living on campus. That really changed everything, because up until that point, I was trying extremely hard to make friends on campus. The good friends I made in freshman year had graduated or left altogether and like many college students, I had to find some more. While being a resident assistant put me on campus full-time, I can honestly say it is the reason I made my next move: graduate college one year early.

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They say that your vibes attract your tribe, and in my case, I was trapped in a bubble were there were either zero vibes or I wasn’t vibing right. Either way, I didn’t make anymore strong connections at school, and I decided to make the most of my college opportunity in a new way: use my free tuition to take a ton of extra classes and be done with school forever. And so, I did it. I found my class of 2018 gear and changed it all to 2017. I made school about classes and not about making strong connections on campus, and I spent more time on projects like Feminine Boutique (which is way more fun than school).

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Finally, this semester came around. It was the hardest yet, probably because I was so close to the end, and also because I was amidst lining up a job for after I graduated. I kept my head down, worked hard, and managed to make the honor roll for every semester since the beginning of this ride. I chugged through the busy work, the work that actually mattered, and then some. And now, with two summer classes left, I can already say I have crossed the stage and truly took advantage of every opportunity given to me. And, in about two months, I get to finally pursue that dream of traveling the world by serving in the Peace Corps with my partner in crime.

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Moral of the story? No matter the cards you are dealt, keep playing the game. Keep trying, and keep hacking at whatever wall stands in your way, because most walls are worth knocking down. Remember, you are in charge of your destiny.

Living radically,

Marta

Living Radically: Graduating Early

Living Radically: Starting My Own Business!

Hey everyone!

Last time, I talked about my (possibly) crazy decision to cancel my phone plan. You can read it here. This week, I will be talking about why I started my own business!

I had been working a new job for about a month when one week they took me off the schedule and sent an ominous email to call them when I was available. And then… well, for the first time in my entire life, I was fired. I had already gone through three jobs in less than eight months, and the world of employment was beginning to look bleak. The thought of going through yet another pile of applications to work was soul-crushing. I then decided that I was done with it. I was going to pursue a bucket list item: start my own business.

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I have always been quite crafty, and love creating artistic products. I decided to combine my skills in crochet with my passion for creating stuff, and came up with Crochet All May. In one evening, I made a crop top, and the next day I posted it on social media. I wasn’t sure what to expect–Would people be willing to buy my stuff? Things I made myself?

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The response was astounding. People loved it! I took in four orders in less than three days, and was crocheting every spare minute I had. The next week, I created a new design: a bikini top. Crochet is trending, and so many people were interested in this. Now I am working on designs for bikini bottoms, clutches, beach bags, headbands, and any other bohemian item I can think of.

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Being in charge of my income is especially empowering. Being in charge of a very small business is incredible. I have pride in what I create, and connect with my very own clients. I am even fulfilling a long-time dream: being an entrepreneur. All I had to do was get fired (check), create something of value to others (check-check), and go for it (triple check). I get to challenge myself everyday, apply my business education, and do something I love for hours on end.

My end game here is this: if you are thinking of starting a business on your own, go for it. Put yourself out there, because you will never know if it will work if you never try. So far, I have found my own little success, and I am enjoying every second of this new project.

Living radically,

-Marta

P.S. If you need some motivation, read/watch Girlboss. The main character, Sophia, becomes 10x more relatable when you start doing your own thang. 😃

 

Living Radically: Starting My Own Business!

Tuesday Spotlight: Gianna Salazar

Gianna Salazar is a writer here on Feminine Boutique, as well as actress extraordinaire, environmental advocate, and bookworm. She studies Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. When she isn’t working at Whole Foods and Guess, she spends her time dancing, playing guitar (electric, specifically), hiking, learning languages, and swimming. Without further ado… I give you the fabulous Gianna!

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You never know what the day is going to hold for you… if you wake up and you get ready and you open yourself up, something amazing can show itself.

Gianna is the second in a mini Tuesday Spotlight series on the women that make Feminine Boutique shine. A close friend of mine since high school, she is a constant inspiration to me to keep doing amazing things and let nothing hold me back. She writes about everything from hair care routines to environmentally friendly shopping. This is your go-to gal for candid conversations and fun adventures.

Gianna exudes good vibes. Every day at 7AM, she hits the ground running with the notion that something she does today will matter. “There’s always a possibility for learning and growth in every day,” she explains. She finds these opportunities is everything she does, whether it’s at school, work, and even in the things she does for fun.

A large part of Gianna’s motivation is that she loves what she gets to do every single day. Most of her time is spent on acting and film (her greatest passions), so she is constantly growing and improving her skills in this area. “When I was in high school… I would dream of the day when I would get up and just act.” She follows this with saying that she really is realizing her dream—she wakes up, and she goes acting, dancing, singing. Now her dream is to get up and go to set, and have that be her career.

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When you’re doing something that you’re passionate about and that you are meant to do, the feeling that you get when you are doing it is… indescribable.

Passion is at the center of everything Gianna does, whether it be in what she does every day, or what she hopes to do in the future. When she is acting, she says, “I feel like every cell in my body is celebrating like, ‘yes, go Gianna!’” This is what inspires her to keep trekking down the path she is on. She loves every second, and every ounce of work it takes to get to the next phase in her plans to take the performing world by storm is worth it.

Her future plans and dreams are multi-faceted. “When I was younger, I knew I wanted to be a performer… but, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that there are so many other things I want to do.” Through her studies, Gianna found that she loves being in front of the camera as much as behind it. Dancing and singing are also central to her career goals. Self-sufficiency is key to her plans; as an actress, she wants to be in charge of some portion of everything she creates.

Another piece to her future is being able to make a true impact on the world. “I want to be able to inspire people through my art.” She wants to make a difference in terms of how people view the planet, themselves, and others. Our society tends to close its mind to the things it does not want to hear, namely knowing the effects of what we do on a daily basis to our environment. “I think that artists especially have a duty to raise awareness and… enlighten people.”

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If you’re gonna watch me, if you are going to see what I do, you’re going to see something that’s important. You are going to see who I am and what I believe in.

“I think that the biggest challenge I have faced so far as a woman… I think is realizing how much misogyny really runs deep in this society.” Gianna grew up thinking that being a woman is the greatest thing ever; she was lucky to come from a family of strong, empowered women. While she still feels this way, she has also become aware that the world we live in tends to demonize femininity.

Having gotten into the dating scene, these patriarchal tendencies come through quite clearly. “I think that if I brought this up to a lot of [guys], they wouldn’t even think that what they are doing is wrong.” The depth at which being female is considered bad, and being male is considered powerful and good, is shocking. “That just proves that [misogyny] runs so deep.”

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Everybody comes from a woman. If you deny feminine qualities… then what do we think of ourselves?

Gianna knows that while the intention to put women down is not always there, the expectation that women will step down is. “They get mad at you for speaking your mind, or they want you to just shut up and just be pretty.” She has even experienced that while men might compliment your intellect and personality, as soon as a woman begins to talk, their voice is drowned out in misogyny. Women shouldn’t be ‘that smart’ or ‘too sure of themselves’.

On top of this, Gianna says that as people, we need to be honest with ourselves, no matter who or what we are dealing with. “I’m gonna be polite to myself and speak my mind.” Being polite doesn’t equate to disregarding your own feelings. No matter what kind of relationship you are in, honesty is key. “I’m not going to sit down. I’m not going to do something that I am uncomfortable with simply because I’m a woman and I shouldn’t say anything.”

She delves into how women have always been a force in history—it is when we speak up that amazing things can happen. “There have always been women that have said, ‘Eff the status quo, I’m going to do what I want to do because this is what I was called to do as a human being.’” She then demonstrates what she referred to as ‘hater-blocking’. Just swat away the bad vibes!

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Be a badass ‘cause you are a badass!

Gianna likes to encourage other women to keep growing and to push for their dreams against any odds. She makes a good case for the kind of people to keep in your life, stating, “If someone is in your life and they’re not supporting you and they’re not trying to help you grow… it’s not worth it.” No matter what path (or paths) you choose to take in life, those surrounding you should be cheering you on, not bringing you down.

Adding to this, being empowered does not mean being the next big ‘thing’ in any industry. “Where do you feel like you shine?” Whether it’s homemaking, or science, or business, go and do that thing that makes waking up in the morning the most exciting part of your day. Wake up, and go do the things you love. Most importantly, don’t let anyone, or anything hold you back. “If you feel it in here,” she says, gesturing to her heart, “you’re supposed to do it.”

There is something spectacular inside of you that is trying to get out, and I think the most spectacular thing someone can be is themselves.

Tuesday Spotlight: Gianna Salazar