Just Another CaliGirl

Can I just say that March Madness is a real thing.... we apologize for not being able to do a March Woman of the month. Life has thrown us some unexpected curl balls, but we are back and excited to continue on this journey of discovering Empowering Women!

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This April we would like to spotlight the owner of CaliGirl. CaliGirl is a beach inspired jewelry & clothing line created by Miss Carolyn Jean, also known as CJ. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet CJ through a mutual friend. It wasn't until last summer though that I was really able to connect with her on both a business and personal level. Early last summer I put together a beach shoot in Huntington Beach and was in serious need of wardrobe help! I instantly thought of the CaliGirl line and reached out to CJ. She immediately said yes! During the shoot, Carolyn and I totally hit it off and I left the shoot feeling inspired by her as a fellow female business owner. Before long we were meeting up regularly to discuss different business ideas and have developed a great friendship in the process. 

Today, I have the pleasure of doing a little Q&A with CJ. As someone who has been in the Small Business Industry for the last 10 plus years, I believe we all can learn a little something from her experience. She has been through some crazy ups & downs that could have completely stirred her off from continuing her business, but chose not too. Let's start...

CJ, thank you for being a part of our Woman of the Month project. Tell our readers a little about yourself.   

Well my name  is Carolyn Jean, that's where Cj comes from. My mom, sister and I all have Southern California names... I love it! I have a big heart for people and I love Jesus. Along with Caligirl, I am very actively involved in my community and church. I'm actually a counselor at my church and apart of many healing ministries. It's exciting to bring life to people and help get them back to living life with joy.

I have a Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology Pedagogy and a passion to educate people about fitness & nutrition. On any given day you can catch me running outside, catching some morning rays, or creating a fun workout for my clients. 

So CaliGirl, what was it that inspired you to start this business? 

After many years of working in education as a teacher, it was time for  change in my life. I have always been a very creative person. It is very important to me to be in a career where I have fun with my creativity and bless people..... and this is where Caligirl emerged.

What has been one of the hardest obstacles to overcome in owning your own business?

I don't even know where to start with this question, because there are hundreds of obstacles in owning your own business. The number one thing right now would be not to allow the economy to affect you personally.  You have to stay positive in everything and you cannot allow situations or things to bother you. #1, if you allow criticism or a decline in sales to bother you, it will affect the way your business is managed. #2, it will affect your creativity. Your creativity is precious. Creativity allows your business to shine and flourish in ways others do not.  If your business lacks in creativity it will be difficult for it to stand out and be special. #3, as a small business owner you are in charge of everything. You have to keep your mental attitude upbeat. For example, I take dance classes weekly. Any fun activity or hobby that keeps you happy and positive is always a good idea. If you love to run, put your running shoes on and go for a run first thing in the morning. If you love to draw, join a local art class. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing make it a part of your life weekly. This applies to everyone in every field of work. It is good to keep a balance and do what ultimately enjoy. 

What is it that motivates you to keep growing the CaliGirl brand?

As I said before, I have a big heart for people and I have awesome and loyal customers. I get emails and calls from people who call me for every birthday, holiday and sometimes I have customers who just want to talk about life. Recently, one of my customers that I have had for 7 years started a non-profit organization called Vision for Hope. This organization consists of her going into the jungle of Quinto, Ecuador and meet with families to donate reading glasses. The people in this village do not have any materials, let alone reading glasses. In some cases, this is the first time they have ever seen what eyewear looks like. Caligirl is now a supporter of this non-profit organization. Along with new eyewear, they also have Caligirl jewelry that inspires them. It's so amazing to be able to be a part of. This is just one of the many reasons why I love and continue to grow my Caligirl brand.

If you can give one piece of advice to young girls thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?

Honestly I would say to start journaling and getting your ideas and dreams flowing.  Before you know it those dreams will turn into a reality for you. When you want to do something NOTHING will get in the way of you chasing your dreams. The #1 key advice the I can give is to always BELIEVE in yourself!!

 

CJ, thank you again for your willingness to share your life and business experiences with all of us.  You truly are the definition of a true Boss Babe! You inspire me and everyone you come in contact with! We can't wait to see what's in store next for CaliGirl! 

Want to learn more about CaliGirl?? Follow her @caligirlbycj

For more photos fro CJ's shoot with Beautified Artistry, check out or Instagram's @beautified_artistry & @mzpris_ba

Thank you to everyone that collaborated with us on this month's blog post!

**Photographer -www.instagram.com/claudecreative 

**Photographer -www.instagram.com/photo.tonelson

Till next time babes,

~Priscilla M

January's Woman of the Month -PRISCILLA MIRANDA

Brave, strong, beautiful, courageous, pretty, funny, tough, inspiring..... These are all words that were spoken to me and about me by people throughout my life. Words that I never really believed were true. I always felt like people gave me constant affirmation to assure me that despite my imperfections, I was still all of these things. Growing up with a physical disability made me feel as though I constantly had to prove to everyone that I was good enough, despite my limitations. This mindset of needing to prove myself only intensified as I entered adulthood and the workforce. During my late teens and early twenties I encountered several instances of discrimination while interviewing for positions that I was clearly qualified for on paper. Even in instances when I was employed in a 9 to 5 job, I always felt like I should be so lucky that they gave me a chance considering my disability. So I was still having to be the best, make no mistakes, and settle for less pay than I was qualified to receive with my level of experience. At one point, I wasn't only trying to prove my worth despite being disabled, but despite being a disabled woman working in a 'man's world'. Constant situations like this caused me to take matters in my own hands and become a Certified Freelance Makeup Artist. In the past 7 years of being in the beauty industry, I have had the opportunity to build a solid portfolio, grow in my artistry, and gain confidence not only in my work, but in who I am as powerful woman. Yes, I have and still at times encounter awkward moments when a client did not realize that I was disabled until I showed up for the the actual appointment. When this occurs I no longer feel instantly discouraged. I simply pull out my tools and get to work while making casual conversation and taking an interest in every person that sits in my chair. Before long, the awkwardness is gone and I'm seen for who I am.... an everyday woman, no different than anyone else. There is no greater feeling than seeing my client look into the mirror and to see delight in their eyes. Not only was I able to make someone else feel confident & beautiful, but I have created a life where I am able to surpass my limitations and empower someone in the littlest way. In this moment, I finally truly believe that I am brave, strong, beautiful, courageous, pretty, funny, tough, and inspiring. 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story! Keep your eyes peeled for our February Spotlight! 

XOXO

Priscilla