Empowering Women....It's a wrap!
This year I had the privilege of working and getting to know some of the most amazing women in our community. Some of them have been my long-time friends and some I met through mutual friends. At the beginning of this past year, I wanted to highlight some women in our community that are doing amazing things either to achieve a passion or challenge for themselves, for others, or for their community. I wanted to mix my two passions for this project…fashion and empowering other women. I soon reached out to Mike Aguilar, a local photographer, and pitched this idea. I have seen Mike’s work and loved his creativeness. And knowing that each woman would be different and telling a different story, I knew Mike could convey that in his photography. We got to talking and Mike was just as excited about this project as I was and he was more than happy to lend his talents to me as a contribution. I am so grateful for all the energy, time, and effort that Mike has provided for me to share these women’s story.
Starting at a young age, I have always felt so empowered and full of strength mentally. I never felt a handicap for my abilities even if there was one. It was not because I am the smartest, strongest, toughest, or even brightest girl in the room or that I have never felt failure or challenged. It is because I was constantly surrounded by my parents, who knew no limits to what they could accomplish together.
They never gave up and took every failure and challenge to push harder. My parents are two of the strongest people I know. They taught me to be tough, dedicated, a hard worker, know your own worth, and ask for help when needed. And most importantly, always helps others when you can. They both grew up in a time when women were not treated equally and being from a traditional Asian culture, it was very rare for women to be independent and to have a voice. However, this was not the case in my family. My Father encouraged my mother to open up her own business, even when she knew very little English. They were each other’s support system and he was her biggest cheerleader. My mother knowing very little English did start her own business with the help of my Father. She faced many challenges and hardships, but continued to strive to make it successful. She has inspired me so much with everything she has overcome and everything that she has accomplished. But she did not grow her business and become successful by herself. She has had the same network of women that have supported her from the day she opened her doors. Some are clients and some are friends and family. I have grown to know these women and they have been a part of my journey as well as my mother’s.
With Nhu Avenue, I have met so many great women and built so many new friendships. I have clients that have become like family to me. Having this store has been better than I could have imagined and it is because of the women that has all helped me make it successful. Whether they actually shop in my store, tell other friends about our little place, or just give encouraging words when needed most, it all helps in so many ways.
This year has been filled with so many blessings for me personally and professionally. It was not a perfect year by all means but there were too many blessings, big and small, that makes me feel grateful and excited for 2019. As the holiday season comes to an end and we embark on a new year today, I hope that you will try to inspire and empower others around you but most importantly always try to keep inspiring yourself to continue to do what you love. And sometimes being inspired means surrounding yourself with the right people that are there to lift you up when needed, to give you encouraging words, and to be there to cheer you on. I hope you find that in 2019 and much more!!