What does owning your womanhood mean to you? From speaking your mind in a room full of men to wearing a gown on a casual Tuesday night, we’re exploring what it means to own your you. The RTR community is made up of savvy women from across different industries, demographics and locations who are all owning it in their own way. We sat down with six of these incredible women who are breaking down boundaries and creating their own version of success.
Meet the Founders, Movers & Shakers:
Founder, Nuwa Marketing
Art Curator & Dealer
Owner, Jack’s Wife Freda restaurants
Manager of Production, Man Repeller
Creator, The Joy of J
President & CEO, Aronow Communications LLW
What does “owning it” mean to you?
Summer: Taking ownership of your own mistakes and learning from them in the future.
Jani: It means being yourself. Owning who you are. Owning what you believe in, following your moral compass, being a good person.
Maya: It’s not just about owning your power or owning your greatness, it’s also about owning all your the darker aspects that are innately part of who we are.
Veronica: Wearing something that you know you look damn good in and having that confidence is really all you need.
Crystal: It means stepping out in all of my womanness, in all of my blackness, all of my queerness. It’s letting who I am precede me before I step into a room.
Lolita: Not following trends. I think that the women who don’t copy and come up with their own ideas are the people who are truly owning it.
Do you have a mantra that you live by?
Summer: Do things that scare you. Like if you really want something but feel like you have imposter syndrome or that you are not good enough, you have to do it. Because once you get there you will feel so good.
Jani: “The only moment that belongs to us is right now” Emperor Marcus Aurelius said that. That quote reminds me to live in the moment and enjoy everything.
Maya: We can’t control the ocean, but we can learn to surf the waves.
Veronica: Everyday I try to remind myself of how worthy I am. Even if it’s just like showing up to a photoshoot and being so nervous but just reminding myself you’re worthy enough for it.
Crystal: Before we left the house everyday, my dad used to say ‘no wooden nickels.’ Which basically means that you shouldn’t always take what someone gives you as the final answer. You should feel empowered to push back and ask questions.
Lolita: I tell myself to remember that no one really cares and that I shouldn’t really worry about what other people are thinking. That sounds negative but it’s actually really positive.
You get to have dinner with three women—dead or alive—who would they be and why?
Summer: I would say my grandma from my mom’s side, she passed away last year and I would love to have dinner with her again, Amal Clooney, because she didn’t settle in her life, and my future mother-in-law (even though I’m single!)
Jani: Michelle Obama, I’m reading her book right now and I just admire her so much, Hillary Clinton, because she is a person who really truly believes in doing good for the world, and my mother, a true modern woman woman before her time.
Maya: Pema Chodron, famed Buddhist teacher, Azita Nahai, my healer who helped me with a lot of my life, and maybe one of my great great great great grandmothers who I’ve never heard of just to understand where so much that’s in me comes from.
Veronica: Maya Angelou, Erykah Badu and Michelle Obama. I’d love to chat with them about what being a woman was/is like in their day and age.
Crystal: My grandmother passed away about 10 years ago so I’d love to sit with her again. It’s cliche, but Oprah can do no wrong–she’s like the beacon of how she moves and how she lives, I’d love to just sit down and talk to her a little bit.
Lolita: There’s an artist called Nancy Holt who passed away in 2013. I spent an entire year writing my senior project on her, so I would love to sit down with her. Then maybe, Paula Cooper or like one of those big gallerists who’s done her own thing and just loved what she was doing, and then Michelle Obama seems pretty cool [laughs].
We’re in an era of redefining what we wear to work as women. What is your go-to work look?
Summer: Because I’m in the startup space, I don’t have to go to the corporate office everyday and I can choose whatever I like. I prefer to wear dresses, I like to wear colors, I like to wear high heels. I always dress to impress myself first.
Jani: Fashion has always been a huge passion of mine. Dressing for success, going out the door and feeling so good about myself. I always reach for a slightly edgy but sophisticated suit.
Crystal: I guess it depends on what kind of powerful I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I lean into really heavily the femme aesthetic of who I am, and then there’s other days that I lean into the more masculine parts of who I am.
Veronica: I love a two-piece suit. Like I love to collect them, I love shopping for them, because when I wear them I’m like yep this…I mean business.
Lolita: Whenever I have a busy day with a lot of meetings, I wear a white collared shirt and a cashmere shirt and then I always have a pair of flats because they can be comfortable during the day and elegant at night.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Summer: Do things that can scare you. Push yourself!
Jani: You can accomplish anything if you do not fear failure. Visualize your success and move passionately toward that vision.
Maya: Reminding yourself not to panic is the first step, not just to get through a tough day, but a way to embrace the day.
Crystal: Run your own race! Don’t be so caught up in the notion of where you should be and focus on where you are and what your present can do for your future.
Veronica: Always stay true to you.
Lolita: Don’t take things too personally.
Being a woman is…
Summer: Awesome, fascinating, amazing, wonderful [laughs].
Jani: Having an amazing lust for life. Following your passions and your dreams.
Maya: Being in touch with your true self and being able to practice that not matter what.
Veronica: Being worthy, beautiful, and powerful.
Crystal: Owning all that I am and not making apologies for being powerful and successful.
Lolita: All about walking your own path without thinking too much about who’s looking at them.
You Don’t Have to Own It—to Own It.
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