“I would travel only by horse, if I had the choice.” -Linda McCartney
“I would travel only by horse, if I had the choice.” -Linda McCartney
Marie Curie is one of the most inspiring women in history. Not only was she the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, she was the first person to win two. She lived a passionate life of discovery and hard work, leading the way in the the field of radioactivity, forever leaving a mark on humanity for the better.
It’s all about the hard work. That’s how we better ourselves, our skills, and the world.
“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” -Marie Curie
Detroit artist, Tiff Massey, is a powerhouse creator. Her ability to hop from one medium to next and absolutely kill it had a profound affect on me as I walked around her studio. Tiff’s work is bold, vibrant, and demands your full attention.
She’s taken her training as a metal worker and expanded her reach into wearable works of art, larger than life wall hangings, and striking sculptures unlike any you’ve ever seen. Tiff’s latest venture is turning half of her studio into a metalsmithing classroom to teach and house workshops specific to jewelry fabrication. She even plans to offer residencies to the most talented new jewelers.
Inspiration runs rampant in her creative space. Strong hints of fashion, African adornment, music, and the all encompassing spirit of Detroit drive her voice and vision. When I asked Tiff to explain the vibe of the city as of late, this was her response,
“HOT AND READY! Detroit is/was amazing! I can say, things are changing and changing at an alarming rate only in specific areas. I mean, don’t blink too long. Or just don’t blink. Good or bad, things are happening. There’s more art programming, resulting in exhibitions and performances taking place every weekend, which is great…Detroit is a gem. A city like no other, from it’s architecture, residents, and style. Preservation is what Detroit needs or it will end up being another basic city, void of culture. Detroit is no longer used as a pejorative. Everybody loves Detroit.”
I’d take it from Tiff Massey, this girl knows her gems.
Aviation is not all passenger jets or Blue Angels whizzing around in the sky, there’s a lot more to it than that. Laura Laster, Director of Flight Operations at LeTourneau University, helps young people find their path to becoming a pilot. She’s been flying for 14 years and enjoying the unbeatable view along the way.
Women are typically the minority on the tarmac, but as Laura says,
“I do believe aviation is one big community, and women are a part of that community. I once flew with another pilot who commented after the flight that he wasn’t sure what to expect when flying with a woman, but he was happy that I turned out to work well with him to accomplish our job. That sums it up: aviation is both men and women working together to accomplish the objectives.
Don’t fixate on the fact that you’re a woman in a man’s world. The airplane does not know if you’re male or female. Focus on learning to fly the best you can, and people will respect you for it!”
Ladies, one of the most inspiring jobs on the planet is calling your name. Put in the hours of hard work and make your way to the sky.
Stepping into the front room at Stephanie Revennaugh‘s house, I knew I had happened upon a tremendous artist. Her work thoughtfully placed among her beautifully Montana inspired living space played a melody between rich colors, textures, and elements of nature. Different projects were sprawled out, not quite finished, but still breathtaking. She captures a perfect moment of movement in her sculptures, full of life and resounding with a peaceful power.
Stephanie began her career as an artist in oil painting. After a few years, she took a sculpture workshop and felt she’d finally found her native medium. In the thick of the thrill of starting a new piece loaded with endless possibilities, she relishes the challenge of embodying the clay with a spirit all it’s own. Then in turn, seeing the finished work speak to and affect others.
Stephanie’s advice for other women hoping to get into the arts as a full time career is to “start right now clarifying your desires and acting on them consistently. The road is guaranteed to be full of challenges. Keep showing up through them. Build the best support network around you that you can (which often starts with family) and stay dedicated. The most challenging part for me is balancing creating work with running the business end of an art career. My Mom has stepped into a business manager position for me, which has been wonderful. I’m all about hiring people who have skills in areas I don’t. It relieves frustration, saves time and usually money as well. “
That being said, if you’re dreaming of it now, get after it! There’s no sense delaying when you could be finding your way and building skills as you go. Focus and hard work can get you places. Take it from Stephanie and “trust your creative instincts and passionately create what is in your heart.”
There is so much to appreciate about fall: crisp air and crunchy footsteps, soft earthy tones and speckled foliage. It marks the start of bonfire season and cuddle-up in-warm-blankets season. I’m a big proponent of surrounding oneself with the great outdoors. That being said, it feels natural to pluck up a few flowers from the yard and put them in a vase, but what about leaves? They can be just as lovely, with free flowing branches and freshly turned hues. Why not give it a try? It’s a free way to decorate for the season and it challenges you to see the beauty in what most consider mundane.
In a time when men outnumber women in films 3 to 1 on screen, unequal pay based on gender still unfairly affects females on a day to day basis, and social media and advertising outlets are repeatedly beating women down with unrealistic and often times contradictory expectations about beauty, health, and happiness; it’s time we stand together and let out stories and experiences bring about an era of change. Let’s applaud the women who are out there defying stereotypes and pushing forward in careers and fields where they are outnumbered. From one woman’s triumph shared to another’s inspiration spurred, small changes will amount to larger ones that can eventually redefine what it means to be a working woman.
Ona Magaro’s glass creations and her life story are quite the achievements to admire. She has turned her passion into a thriving business. After years of fine-tuning her craft, her work is breathtaking and unlike any I’ve seen. Take a look at the glass sculpture Ona created for us, from start to finish. She envisions the body of a bird by utilizing the simplicity of a single color and an elongated curve, free flowing and elegant. But don’t let the airy nature of her art fool you. It’s hard work, requiring a tremendous amount of physical strength and a heaping load of creativity. Her advice to anyone hoping to follow in her footsteps is to study marketing, accounting, and writing to build a successful business around the artistic talent.
As Oscar Wilde would say, we live in a world where “life imitating art” is an everyday occurrence. May Ona’s art and experiences be something that young women can look up to and hope to emulate as they grow and discover what path they’ll pursue. When I asked Ona what she wanted to teach her children about the arts, and how she hoped her work will affect the way they interpret the world around them, her simple response is what I hope to share with you, “That anything is possible.”
Wake up early. Analyze lab results. Prepare reports for clients. Go to scheduled air inspections in commercial and residential environments. Submit samples to a lab in Washington. Then back to office work and equipment maintenance. That’s the typical day in the life of an Indoor Air Quality Inspector. Meet Jennifer Philipps of ERA Test, LLC in Montana. She and her mom, Lisa, own and operate the business. They test air to detect threats like mold, asbestos, radon, and methamphetamine. Together they are able to work across the entire state. The dynamics of the mother/daughter relationship in a work environment have brought the family closer together. They are able to lean on and learn from one another. It’s much more common to come across family businesses that are passed from father to son. I must say, it was really exciting to come across a multi-generational family trade that not only involves the women, but is entirely run by them. What an awesome gift of knowledge and skill to bestow. Jennifer’s work wear: Carhartt Women’s Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt & Women’s Sibley Denim Cropped Pant
When you think of a wilderness ranger, who do you think of? Do you picture a big burly bearded man, covered in plaid? Would it blow your mind to see a woman ranger, wearing pink, with a pickaxe in tow? If so, consider your mind blown.
Meet Kat Barker, a trails and wilderness supervisor. She and her crew head to the backcountry for 8 day long trips of 10-hour work schedules, consisting of clearing downfall, maintaining drainage structures, trail and bridge construction, etc. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and wherewithal to perform the daily tasks and move camp every night. The job may be tough, but it comes with the best office space around. Every night ends with a good meal at the campfire with friends, and rest is sweetest after collapsing into a sleeping bag, every limb aching from the typical routine.
It’s inspiring to see this role, historically dominated by men, being filled by strong, independent women. Kat’s advice for young girls who hope to follow a similar career path is that, “You can do it! If you love being in the mountains and enjoy working really, really hard and sweating a lot, there is nothing stopping you. It can be difficult to get your foot in the door with public land management agencies, but do your applications, and call, call, call! Making actual connections with the people in charge of trails and wilderness programs goes a long way in getting hired. Or there are many other arenas like firefighting, range work, biology technicians, etc. that are open for newcomers as well. Once you get hired on, even more doors will open.”
Nothing beats a barrel of determination and love for nature. Let your passions be your driving force in life.
It’s fair to say that most people would prefer an early morning routine of rolling out fresh chocolate croissants to a 9 to 5 desk job. But how do you get there? How do pin down your dreams fast enough to make a career out of them?
After realizing she wasn’t cut out for the daily grind of cubicle life, Sandra Holl decided to buckle down and follow her heart by attending culinary school. At that time, she knew she wanted to be her own boss and make the food she wanted to make. Seeing the opportunities at Chicago’s Green City Market, Sandra decided that opening her own booth would be a low-risk way of starting a business. There she and her husband, Mathieu, used it as a venue to test out their rustic, French pastries and built a name for themselves. Eventually, a brick and mortar space was next step. In 2010, Floriole Café and Bakery’s doors opened in Chicago’s quaint Lincoln Park neighborhood.
When I asked Sandra what the most rewarding part of her job was, she replied,
“I love that I have a family business. I work with my husband and can bring my daughter to work with me. She sees how hard I work and is so proud of her mama. She often tells customers, “This is my mom’s bakery.””
There is no greater feeling than to bring creativity and light to the world through the smile a chocolate hazelnut cookie can yield, while inspiring your own daughter and nudging her along to the discovery that she too can do the same with a little elbow grease and determination.
Here are a few tips from Sandra for anyone striving towards a similar path:
1. Find a chef you admire and work with her or him. Absorb as much of their knowledge as you can, then move on and learn more.
2. Perfect the basics before you get creative. No one really wants a wasabi curry cupcake but everyone wants a perfect slice of peach pie.
3. Everything breaks. Learn how to fix things yourself.
4. Know that you will work seven days a week. Even when you are off, you will run errands for the business, answer calls and emails and when the security alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you will go make sure that it was only a false alarm.