April 2012 Blogs

Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

The first time I laid eyes on Jamie I knew I was going to love her. Jamie has this gorgeous smile that is a cross between a daisy picking, tambourine shaking hippie girl and a wise and gentle Fairy God Mother. We met at a Jessica Burkhart art show and since then our friendships has filled my life with interesting books, Girls Nights, discussions about the moon, wine, and the benefits of living off the beaten path. I think my love for Jamie stems from how much respect I have for her, which I think has started with how much she respects herself. I hope you enjoy reading about this beautiful woman as much as much as I have enjoyed sitting on her couch and eating all her chocolate.  

Irvina: Hello beautiful one! Please tell all of our Rewrite Beautiful friends about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Jamie: Yoga! I'm currently getting my teaching certification, and loving every minute of it. Yoga has changed my life and opened my heart, and I can't wait to be able to share that experience, in my own way, through teaching.

Irvina: How amazing! You are going to be an INCREDIBLE teacher! I can’t wait to take a class from you! Tell us, what are you passionate about?

Jamie: I am crazy about reading. I mean, I really believe that if everyone would just turn off their TVs and computers and open a book, we could make some major changes in the world. Reading sparks your imagination, it takes you to new places, it introduces you to interesting people--it's all about expansion. I've been hosting a book club for a few years now. It's a girls-only monthly event, and it has been such a beautiful experience! We meet in the evening, and start out gathered around this one story we've all read, but the conversation gradually unfolds into an intimate dialogue about everything else--ourselves, our loved ones, our lost ones. Life. Stories bring us together and make us feel less alienated and solitary. So, yeah, I guess I'd say I'm passionate about reading.

Irvina: As one of your Book Club members I can say your passion for reading has created so many beautiful conversations and friendships! I love our Book Club, The Gypsy Snipers because we get the opportunity to hear so may perspectives on the same topic. Being open to hearing another persons point of view makes the world so much larger and exciting! Jamie, tell everyone what do you do for fun?

 

Jamie: I like to MOVE! I love to dance, ride my bike, or take a walk outside. If I can do any of those with people I love, even better!
Also, when I'm driving, I like to sing along to a good song, at the top of my lungs. This, too, is even more fun when I'm doing it with a friend.
Really, I think good company can make any good thing even better.

Irvina: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Jamie: Everything I can think of involves travel, ADVENTURE! Like zip-lining through a rainforest in Costa Rica, flying to Paris alone for a summer, road-tripping around the country with my favorite person. There's nothing as exhilarating as venturing out into new territory.

Irvina: You’ve live life BEAUTIFULLY  Jamie! You’re such an inspiration to me! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Jamie: I am proud of my relationships. I am honored to have the opportunity to be a good friend to the precious people in my life. I am grateful for love.

Irvina: Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you exhibit most and why?

Jamie: CREATE is my favorite verb. I want to create my own life. I want to build it by hand, with my own ideas and dreams and visions. And I want to open up and share my life with the world. Every day.

Irvina: LOVE it! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Jamie: My mama! My mother is very brave, and she is eager to learn, and leaves her heart open wide to her family and friends. My mother's voice is beautiful. It is gentle and comforting, and she always knows exactly the right thing to say.

Irvina: I can’t wait to some day soon meet your mama! She created quite a BEAUTIFUL woman with you in each and every way you can create a person. One last question, what do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Jamie: Beauty is all over you! It's in your heart, and in your mind. It's in your history, and it shows up in your hands, and what they hold. It's on your feet, and where they take you. Beauty is in the music you share with your friends, and in the stories your life writes. Every woman is always only growing into her own beauty. And the work is never finished.

 

What actions make you beautiful?

Are you a reader? A club creator? A yoga lover?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: Apr 24, 2012
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Over the past year my inbox on Facebook, Twitter and Email has piled up with questions from girls all over the world (World meaning, United Kingdom , Australia and Brazil wink ) Half of them want to start their own business, non-profit, magazine, writing career and want some advice from none other than Cest Moi! I’m flattered. But, often times I have found myself answering the same questions over and over again, so cue Lightbulb Moment!enlightened I decided to start a blog series called, Beautiful Courage about what it takes to have a beautiful vision and execute it. Debuting in the next couple weeks (here or procrastination there. )

The other half of girls who reach out to me are struggling. They are battling an eating disorder, depression, low self-esteem and sometimes are suicidal – never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the suicide hotline on speed dial next to my best friends. These girls are at their wits end going to therapists, counselors, acupuncturists and God, yet they’re still in pain. They don’t know what to do, so they reach out to me, the crazy Street Artist lady – Might as well give it a shot right? This weekend, I received one message through Facebook that I have seen many times before; a girl who didn’t feel beautiful and was in severe pain. With her permission she has allowed me to share our convo with you, in the hopes that maybe you can benefit from it and understand why Beauty Does Not Always Feel Beautiful. Our Facebook messages to each other are below:

Hi sweet Irvina,

This might sound weird but I need to share my truth with someone. And you were the only person that comes to my mind. I’m extremely sad and have a really low self-esteem. I feel ugly and not good enough for my boyfriend. I love him and no one’s perfect but he has said a lot of things to put me down. I feel terrible. I’m focusing so hard on trying to make myself feel beautiful that I think I’ve forgotten what it means to be and feel beautiful. Help! I f eel sad and want to be happy again. I guess this is my way of reaching out!  I don’t feel good enough period.

Love,

Anonymous

 

Hello Beautiful Girl,

Let me start with first off saying thank you so much for reaching out to me.  I know it takes a whole lot of courage to speak up when we’re not feeling so hot. It inspires me when I see girls like you being brave enough to seek a healthy way out of pain- so many girls don’t. Sadly, over the past couple years I have received several messages like yours. A lot of girls are struggling in the same way-You’re not alone in your thinking, but the problem IS in your thinking.

The more I reflected on how I would reply to you, I kept thinking about this marriage series by Tim Keller that I’ve been listening to (nope, not even close to marriage, homegirl  just has issues ;) ) The thing that made me think of you is when he said,

“We marry people because we like the FEELING of being in love. We like how they make us FEEL. But, the funny things is nowhere in the marriage vows does it talk about even being in love with the other person. The marriage vows are all about promises that say,

I PROMISE to be faithful,

I PROMISE to be there when you’re healthy and sick,

I PROMISE to be there in the good and bad times,

I PROMISE to be there in your joy and your sorrow

I PROMISE to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

These marriage vows are promising to do these acts of love even when the person DOESN’T feel loving.“

This reminds me so much of beauty because a lot of the time I don’t feel beautiful either. I’m lucky because, I actually don’t need to FEEL beautiful because I KNOW I am beautiful. Feeling and knowing are two different things. I disregard how I feel about beauty, because I get the benefit of falling back on the FACT that I KNOW I’m beautiful. How do I know?

Here’s the thing, I know I didn’t get to choose how I got on this planet. I didn’t get to choose who my parents are, the country I live in, the color of my eyes or the size of my shoes. Just like the colors in a piece of art, the circumstances and the body parts I was born into are completely out of my control and in the hands of some crazy painter. I stand under the belief that the chances that I have an eating disorder, divorced parents, a loud voice, a flare for writing and was born a brunette with green eyes, in Orange County, California are all paint strokes on a canvas that go together for a reason. I didn’t get to choose which paint strokes put me together, but I’m here and I have faith that all the parts that put me together ARE BEAUTIFUL, therefore I AM BEAUTIFUL. I understand that the dark parts of my life are just as significant as the bright parts. I appreciate that all of me is a work of art and I wouldn’t change any of it. When you can embrace your weaknesses and your strengths you can see your beauty and eventually KNOW it.

You don’t feel beautiful, because feelings are so fickle ( I love that word! Rhymes with pickle!) feelings don’t last. Just like how a marriage won’t last if two people base their relationship on how they feel. You can’t base your beauty on how you feel or you’ll be at the mercy of the weather.

Something I have found to be very effective in helping me to KNOW my beauty has been through my actions. Rewrite Beautiful says beauty is an action of creativity, kindness and strength. I’ll tell you when I am creative; I write, I get to know my beauty. When I am kind; help one of the girls I mentor, I get to know my beauty. When I am strong; tell people when they have hurt my feelings; I get to know my beauty. You said that you have really low self-esteem right now. I used to have low self-esteem too. A really wise and amazing women named Jenny J. once told me, “If you want self-esteem you have to do estimable things.” I can promise you that if you do estimable things like acting out one creative, kind and strong thing a day your self-esteem will rise. I guarantee it.

One STRONG thing you could start with is by sticking up for yourself and  telling your boyfriend that he has hurt your feelings. I’m guessing you haven’t told him that he’s hurting your feelings because most guys I know would stop if they knew they were hurting me. Sometimes we’re too scared to tell them though. You might try saying, “When you say X,Y,Z. I feel hurt and sad.” See how he responds. In my experience, most guys want to be good to their girlfriend, help her, protect her, but if we don’t show them how to help and protect us they’re left in the dark.”

I think you would benefit from our next Street Art Workshop on Sunday, May 6th from Noon to 2pm. It’s free and has lunch provided. We’ll be helping people find their own creativity, kindness and strength and then giving them the opportunity to share that message with others. You can sign-up HERE: http://www.rewritebeautiful.org/get-involved

In the meantime, remember the marriage vows. Even though two people don’t feel in love, they know they have to act in love. It doesn’t matter if you feel beautiful, remember what you know makes you beautiful. I challenge you to find your creativity, kindness and strength this week, those are the things that make you beautiful. Let me know how it goes. BTW: I’m thinking of sharing this email with you on the Rewrite Beautiful blog ( I would keep your name anonymous of course.) Your pain and willingness to be vulnerable right now could actually help a lot of girls going through the same thing. 

You’re BEautiful,

Irvina

What do you think?

Do you understand why beauty can’t be a FEELING? What do you KNOW makes you beautiful?

Join the conversation below.

Posted: Apr 23, 2012
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Hey Beautiful friends!

Here’s a new easy way to raise money for your favorite cause, Rewrite Beautiful!  Starting Monday, April 30th Rewrite Beautiful is going to be partnering with DealGooder.com to raise much needed funds.  If you haven’t heard of Dealgooder yet, you need to get up on it peeps! It’s a new website that features incredible daily discounts on fun things to do in Orange County like restaurants, spas, etc. (And it was founded by a Newport Harbor High graduate like me! Go Sailors!) The best part is that on top of offering really great deals, they give HALF of their profits back to local nonprofits. 

Please sign-up with this referral code:www.dealgooder.com/ref/rewritebeautiful We get $2 for each sign-up! (Dude, I don’t even care if you decide to unsubscribe after the week is over. I just REALLY want you to check out the deals the week of April 30th to help out Rewrite Beautiful!)

Thank you so much for your support!

You’re BEautiful!

Irvina

Posted: Apr 20, 2012
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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

Lindsey AKA “MY LGF” is my star-crossed sister from a different mister! We met in Orange County, CA when I was at the beginning of my eating disorder recovery. Regardless of my sanity, Lindsey has been my best friend in my great moments (starting Rewrite Beautiful) and worst moments (breaking and entering). She’s one of those friends who just gets me. When I tell her my crazy thoughts she doesn’t squint her face in confusion, she nods and says, “Oh I’ve been there.” And when I asked her to help me host the TELEIOS Art Show she eagerly found quite a few 2 hour time slots in her calendar for me. Not easy for this globe trotter! Lindsey has not only taught me the value of friendship, but also about the world outside of Orange County. Our passions are quite different and create some of the most colorful conversations I’ve been blessed to have! I hope you enjoy getting to know my brave, strong, beautiful friend; you’ll be better for knowing her, I know I am.

Irvina: Hello lova! Thanks for taking a study break to chat with me! Please tell all of our fine Rewrite Beautiful peeps about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Lindsey: I am currently working on my Masters in International Public Health at Boston University. I am about to begin my second semester, so on top of working on school I am also working on getting a part-time job or internship as well as getting to know the amazing city of Boston better.

Irvina: I am gushing with pride! I am so proud of you lady! Getting into Grad School is not easy!  I remember the Saturdays we spent in Starbucks, you working on your Grad School essays, applications, rec letters and me working on all things Rewrite Beautiful. Amazing to look at us now, hard work and faith really does pay off! Who knew?!  So tell us, what are you passionate about?

Lindsey: I am passionate about a variety of things, however the one that takes the cake is my passion for Public Health (hence my decision to return to school after 6 years). I have an unquenchable desire to help people, especially in developing countries, better their quality life. I desire to help educate, empower, and equip other people to make a difference in their lives and those of their community.

Irvina: Facts – You have a head of red and a heart of gold! Good combo! So, what do you do for fun?

Lindsey: I've realized the older I get the more of a nerd at heart I am. And I love that I live in such a huge city that offers a plethora of fun for nerds of all types... That being said, I love going to museums, art shows, seminars, movies, plays, and historical monuments. I also love reading and learning, traveling and seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and food, and photography. But I've also been known to enjoy a good night out on the town with friends, dancing, laughing and people watching... all of which I consider fun.

Irvina: Pocket protector and all, I think you make a pretty interesting nerd!  I can’t wait to visit you in Boston! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Lindsey: "Crazy" is a rather subjective word... And in the last 28 years I'm sure I've done many things considered "crazy," but to just pick one to share... hmmm. I've been skydiving, twice in one day. I've been to Uganda, 3 times in 2.5 years. Most recently though... after nearly 28 years of living on the left coast, I packed up & moved to the right coast - with only 8 boxes and 3 suitcases - knowing not a single soul in the city.

Irvina: You are incredibly brave my friend! BTW: I think moving across country and not knowing a soul is much crazier than your past Vegas antics. Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Lindsey: This is a hard question. I suppose however, that I am most proud of the volunteer work I've done in Uganda. I've been 3 separate times with my church ROCKHARBOR back in Orange County. Each trip was a 2 week missions trip focused on bringing love, aid and medical clinics to remote villages in northern Uganda. On the last two trips I was fortunate to serve as a co-leader, which meant I got to not only love on the people of Uganda, but also my teammates from the US. Each trip was an amazing, hard, growing, unforgettable experience - which also highly fueled my desire to return to school.

Irvina: Amazing how a little volunteering can lead you to your purpose in life isn’t it?! How true the quote is, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be” Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you exhibit most and why?

Lindsey: I think I exhibit Strength the most in my community. Not exactly how to answer the "why" though. I suppose I say Strength because I know I am very stubborn young woman, and while this character trait can get me into some trouble, when it comes to certain things it's an asset. For example, my stubbornness in my desire for more in life has challenged me to constantly step out of my comfort zone and not live the status quote most are after. Thus, the action of Strength I portray is one of pushing forward, regardless of how many times I fall, or fail, or hit a wall.

Irvina: As someone who knows you, I can vouch that you are one of the strongest women I have ever met! And I know a whole lot of women! So being a strong chick, who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Lindsey: Thankfully today, I have so many different beautiful women in my life it makes answering this question nearly impossible. Every woman I can think of is amazingly unique and beautiful for completely different reasons. I have an amazingly beautiful best friend who has an endless amount of grace and kindness who is also courageous fighter - starting a non-profit and applying to go back to school herself. I have another friend who's greatest pleasure in life is to serve others, and who is so selfless that it often leaves me baffled. She also has a huge heart for helping people living with HIV/AIDS and is also returning to school to get further education to compliment her RN degree. And then there are the mentors and the confidants I've been fortunate enough to have had throughout my years. Again all beautiful for their unique reasons, such as passion, determination, grace, gentleness, wisdom, compassion, and creativity.

Irvina: Well said woman! You have a good eye for beauty! And one last question, what do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Lindsey: I wish young women knew that beauty - TRUE beauty - has so SO little to do with the outside. I wish they knew that despite what our media says, what our world says, what they even think about themselves - THEY are beautiful! I wish they knew that when we're all old, wrinkled and looking back on our life, beauty will be evident based on the actions we took - because of what we accomplished, who we helped, & how we made our communities a better place - it will NEVER be based on our waist size, bust size or hair color... no matter what the magazines say!! I also wish they knew that they have POWER - they have the opportunity to change our culture, our media, our current messages about beauty... all they have to do is find their voice, unite, and fight.

***Update! Lindsey has most recently accepted an internship in Ghana with Vestergaard Frandsen

  Follow her journey on Twitter HERE!  (If she'd ever update the friggin' thing ;)

 

 

Posted: Apr 17, 2012
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I’m on the 3rd drafts of my book How To: Rewrite Beautiful. It’s a series of essays on how to be Creative, Kind and Strong on a daily basis. It’s a preventative and restorative book for young women.

The book is preventative in that it will be used as the curriculum in our Beautiful Action Clubs in High School’s and Colleges. It’s restorative in that it’s also an inspiring read for any woman in her 20’s and 30’s. We’re talking about issues like self talk, following your dreams, success in life, sex and relationships....the youngin's will love it because we're talking about topics that parents and teachers feel a tad awkward talking about. It's the inside real deal, in Irvina-fashion all political correctness has been thown out! For us 20 somethings it's stuff that seems to never get old chatting about and I'm a pretty funny writer wink

This project has been a ton of work and so fun! I am stoked to be working with the amazing writing coach and editor Jeannette Encinias. Not only is Jeannette push me to do my best and kick my butt into gear on my grammar, but she’s an uber fabulous inspirational person to be coaching me through this book! Jeannette is a big follower of her dreams and has definitely done her work rewriting beauty for herself in our world. Check out her site www.jeannetteencinias.com and have a BEautiufl day!

You’re Beautiful,

Irvina

Posted: Apr 9, 2012
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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

How do I know so many talented, creative, brave, beautiful girls? Like must attract like ;) Haha! Well Kelsey pretty much just showed up on my door step! She's an old roommate of mine who was always baking up something good for her lady friends! These days Kelsey is getting ready to bake for quite a few more and it might be you! Check out the woman behind the scrumptidy yumptious KutiePies, Kelsey! 

Irvina: Please tell us about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Kelsey: Currently I am in Florence, Italy going to Culinary School with a focus on Baking & Pastry. I am having a wonderful time being surrounded by a new culture, making new friends, and spending the whole day doing something I love – baking! In conjunction with this, I am figuring out exactly what I want my business, KutiePies, to evolve into when I return to America. I look for inspiration and new ideas daily that I will incorporate into my own business.

Irvina: Wow! What an amazing opportunity! I can’t wait to see what direction you take KutiePies in! If you need a taste tester, I’m your girl! So besides baking delicious, adorable treats, what else are you passionate about?

Kelsey: God. Family. Friends. Creativity. I believe that God is behind every passion that stirs up in my heart. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the path He has provided me, the free will He has given me, and the friends and family he has surrounded me with as a support system. I think imagination and creativity are things that should be carried on way past childhood, but somehow we get lost in the hustle and bustle of adulthood. I have always had a huge passion to maintain that childlike imagination and encourage others to do the same.

Irvina: I love that! That’s a beautiful approach to life! So, what do you do for fun?

Kelsey: At the moment, I bake every day in school, and that is fun! Aside from that, I like to travel to new places, play tennis, hike, and journal. I love to write as it allows me to get my thoughts out. One of my favorite things to do it actually to look back at my writings from years at a time to see how much change has taken place in my life.

Irvina: Isn’t that the truth? I’m a big journaler too! I love to go back and remind myself of lessons I’ve learned. I also love to reference my journal when I’m in moments of chaos (the Latina in me can be a tid bit dramatic, so it happens often) and remind myself what I believed when I wasn’t in the middle of a crisis.  Anyways, so whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Kelsey: I am most proud of my decision to start catering while I was still working. Although I was just baking, I feel like I was able to contribute to memories that many people will have for a lifetime. A goal I have in catering events is to adapt to the theme and make eating desserts more of a full experience versus just having a sweet treat. I had the opportunity to cater weddings, baby showers, corporate events, etc., and I always made sure that the desserts not only tasted how they were expected to, but that they added a visual memory of every event I catered. I look forward to enhancing this goal as I move forward with my business.

Irvina: Wow Kelsey, you sound like a TRUE artist! The culinary world is lucky to have you! You take craft seriously! I love it! So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Kelsey: This is a tough question to answer, but I’d have to say I exhibit kindness the most. I have always had a passion of helping others, in whatever way that looks. I believe that a simple act of kindness can go a long way, and it doesn’t hurt to spread love throughout the world.

Irvina: Amen sistah! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Kelsey: The most beautiful woman I know is my Mom, LeAnn Richards. She is the strongest woman I know; full of passion in everything she does, and could be the definition of integrity. My parents own a business with hundreds of employees, but my Mom’s passion is “growing people”. She touches every life she comes into contact with, and she has always been the voice in my head telling me to follow my dreams no matter what the world says or tries to do to stop me. She doesn’t care how hard a situation may be, she will always be honest to herself and others. I go to her on advice for all aspects of my life whether it is my business, my dreams, my relationships - I don't know what I'd do without her!

Irvina: She sounds amazing and very loved! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Kelsey: Beauty truly does come from within. Confidence shines through, and confidence comes from knowing that you are the woman God created you to be, you are exactly where He wants you in life at this exact moment, and you will get through whatever comes your way. One of my favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. Dreams are so powerful, and I believe every woman has dreams in her heart. We are meant to follow those dreams and to pursue what we are passionate about. One question my Mom always asks me is, “why not?” Why not go after your dreams? Why not live every day to the max, full of passion, and doing what you love? Beauty shines through when you allow yourself to be the woman God called you to be, the woman who follows those dreams she has had since a child and the woman that you really are.

Irvina: I’m so INSPIRED by you and your mom! Thank you for sharing your life with us today! Ciao bella! 

Posted: Apr 4, 2012
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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

Once upon a time, 2 ½ years ago I traveled to Southern India with a bunch of Jesus People from ROCKHARBOR and Harvest India. While there I saw with my own eyes some of the most devastating human conditions in the world. I saw girls as young as 12 prostituting themselves to feed their families. Others worked as hired help in homes, their only job being to kill rats and mice. The caught rodent was their salary. They then cooked the rodent as a MEAL for their family. People have very different reactions when they see this kind of poverty. Some change their own spending habits and sponsor children to go to school and stop the cycle of poverty. Personally, I became even more passionate about Rewrite Beautiful. I saw how my education, personality and charisma could help so many people in India on this side of the pond. It made me think of how many blessings and resources American women have and how vital it is that we stop eating disorders so we can focus on helping others instead of harming ourselves.

Stephanie Pollaro’s approach was a little different. She was incredibly touched by seeing child prostitutes and wanted to do something to get them education and out of this trade. Seeing that need and utilizing her own passions Stephanie started a jewelry line called International Sanctuary (iSanctuary.) iSanctuary gets the girls out of the sex trade, sends them to school and teaches them how to make jewelry. I’ll let Stephanie tell you the rest!

Irvina: Oh my gosh, I’m so stoked to talk to you today! I know you’re so busy bouncing from Bombay to Orange County! Thank you! Thank you! Please tell us about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Stephanie is Beautiful! Stephanie: Along with Wendy Dailey, I co-founded International Sanctuary, a US based non-profit that advocates for the oppressed people of the world, educates communities about human trafficking and equips survivors with the skills to be integrated as valued members of their communities. I am proud to be apart of iSanctuary and serve along side some of the most fascinating and dedicated people in the world! Right now we are in the middle of launching iSanctuary's India Jewelry line: Strength & Beauty into the Indian market.  This is a huge undertaking as we have to build new branding, contacts and customer base.  It also has the potential to create an even greater level of self-sufficiency that will directly benefit the iSanctuary artisans in India. At the same time we are trying to streamline production so that we can be more efficient with our manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of our purposeful jewelry.

Irvina: Wow! That’s a lot of work! How exciting to see your business growing! I’m so happy to hear that! So Stephanie, besides jewelry and abolishing sex trafficking, what are you passionate about?

Stephanie: I am passionate about helping women realize and embrace their individual strength and abilities hidden inside them.  Globally, most women believe the lies that society, families, boyfriends tell them: that they are weak, good-for-nothing and just overall incapable. Nothing is more gratifying than to join a woman on her journey from that reality into the actual truth: that she is a beautiful, hand-crafted, strong, and amazingly gifted individual.

Irvina: So true! I love how you have made that passion apart of your entrepreneurial adventure with iSanctuary. It’s seriously INSPIRING! So, what do you do for fun?

Stephanie: I love long drawn out dinners at home around the table with my family.

Irvina: Awe! I’m sure! I love those too! I’m sure with doing so much international travel for work you miss them a lot. So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Stephanie: The answer depends on who you ask... I guess creativity is exhibited as I do most of the designing for iSanctuary jewelry.  Strength because it isn't easy to give up your creature comforts for a life in a developing country. Kindness cause this isn't just a business, we truly care about the women we serve and employ.  

Irvina: Love it! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Stephanie: One of the most beautiful women I know is my sister Sara.  Her beauty goes well beyond her physical attributes.  She has always been her own person--guided by her own ideas and desires.  She has a sense of humor that could make a sailor laugh and she doesn't apologize for it.  She cares deeply for others and works as an advocate for developmentally disabled adults.

Irvina: She sounds incredibly beautiful! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Stephanie: That different isn't wrong it's just different. There is so much beauty in how we are each specifically and uniquely created.  And with that understanding we as women should be able to walk confidently and proudly just the way we are.   

 

Posted: Apr 4, 2012

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