Last month I was interviewed by HerIdeaBlog.com. They feature creative women each week and I was very excited to participate in this. I have put my interview below, but be sure to go to the website to read about more amazing women!
How would you describe yourself?
In describing myself, I’ll borrow from one of my cards that says, “Live Loud”. I believe that we should live our life with intention and grab it with both hands, living with gusto. I call myself “The Queen of Sparkle and Shine” because I’m passionate about sharing truth, encouragement, shining my light, and giving big sparkle hugs. I’m often seen wearing a tiara (I’m Queen after all).
I’m a retired elementary school teacher and I’ve already enjoyed a lot of living in my years. Currently I am the only parent of two teens, I teach reading to kindergartners who were ill-prepared to enter school, I’m writing my first book, I’m a blogger and Instagram “encourager” shining my light and truth to uplift others, I’m a bi-monthly contributor to the Women2Women Michigan magazine, and the owner/designer of Empowordment Cards by Mimi.
I’m also an inspirational speaker. My business is called Passionista At Large, which is the “umbrella” for all my other interests. “Passionista” describes my zest for living and my intense desire to share with individuals how they can rise above negative beliefs to be empowered for making positive choices in their lives. The “at large” part is a way of poking fun at myself, as I am 5’10” tall. When I was teaching I’d refer to myself as large and in charge. But it also means that I’m on the prowl to Inform, Inspire, and Ignite. Everything I learned on my journey to self-empowerment I long to share with others.
Tell us a little bit about your Etsy shop.
Words are absolutely powerful–whether spoken, written, read, or heard in our minds. I have found that having a visual reminder of truth helps us to focus on that truth. And that is how my EmPOWordment Cards began. I wanted cards that would uplift and build self-esteem by providing affirmations and positive words to live by.
Two years ago when I started designing cards, I knew nothing about Etsy and Instagram or all the quotes that are so prevalent now, so was completely pulling from my own creativity and experiences.
Memes had just become popular, and I’d been designing them for my blog posts. My sister commented that I should make them into cards to sell. I wasn’t really sure about that idea, but because I wanted something to take to speaking engagements, and give out to others, I began to design cards to empower and build self-esteem—with words—thus the name EmpoWORDment.
I was a novice designer, using PicMonkey to create backgrounds and designs to showcase the all-important words. Many of my cards reflect my own journey. For example, “Don’t Let Anyone Ever Dull Your Sparkle” is very meaningful to me because formost of my life I allowed others to control and dim me. “I Was Born To Shine” is something I realized only a few years ago, and now I purposely tell everyone that we all have a unique light to shine in this world. I had just designed “Queen of Courage” when my sister was diagnosed with cancer. I dedicated that card to her. Every card has a personal meaning (and story) for me.
I truly love designing, and soon branched out into mugs, journals, note cards, a cute card deck that can be made into a garland, and this year I created a Sparkle & Shine calendar. It has monthly affirmations that are to be repeated every day of the month. Doing so will change your thoughts and help to create positive energy in your life.
My designs are colorful and sometimes quirky. They capture attention. They provide others with encouragement, self-esteem boosters, empowering words, and positivity. They often create emotion, because words ARE powerful!
What does empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment to me means living fully as your authentic self, free from self-limiting beliefs that control your behavior and hold you back. Empowerment can be a huge deal like the women’s march, or small, personal steps toward freedom.
My own empowerment began when I realized I’d believed lies about myself all my life. I believed that I was too emotional, not very smart, not worthy of love, was broken and unlovely, to name a few. One day, in an act of courage and boldness, I finally told the lies in my head to “shut up!” and began purposely replacing them with what I call truths. If you care to read about that, go to https://particularpassions.me/2016/04/05/the-lies-that-bind-us/. The truths I began saying to myself are universal: I am enough, I am creative, I am amazing, I am powerful and strong, I deserve good things in life, and I am loveable. Our brains are quite amazing, and even if we don’t believe these words at first, when repeated often, our brain will begin to store them as part of our belief system. And that’s what happened to me! It sounds very simple, but it took me several years to get there.
All of my life I’ve been in love with words. A person can create visual images, emotions, and life and death, with words. The lies I’d been allowing to blow through my brain had been creating death to who I was created to be. When I began believing and acting upon the new truths, I became a powerful force to be reckoned with! I can now shine my light with purpose. And I know that I am “Amazing With A Side of Sprinkles”!
What is a quote that has inspired you lately and why?
Asking me, someone whose business is designed around quotes, to pick out a favorite quote is pretty tough. But I will tell you the one that has guided me for these last six years. “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon!” by Buzz Aldrin, one of the first astronauts on the moon.
This speaks to me about not being limited. About doing those things I might think are impossible or out of my reach. And it says that there are amazing opportunities that I don’t see yet, just waiting for me.
If you could spend a day with any creative woman, who would you choose and why?
If I could spend a day with any creative woman in history we’d need a conference!! There are so many, many women that I respect for their abilities, their hearts, and their authenticity. Sue Monk Kidd, a favorite author, wrote a book that transformed my life. Maya Angelou inspires me with her guts, strength, passion, and incredible ability with words. Meryl Streep continues to amaze me with her acting ability, her humor, her ability to embrace aging, and her love and compassion. Carole King began my journey of poetry set to music and she continues strong. See? There are so many. And what a conference THAT would be!!
What are some of your other creative interests?
I enjoy many other creative activities besides designing and writing. I love gardening and creating beautiful flowerbeds from which I can make “yard gatherings” bouquets. I write poetry. I sing. I paint on rocks. I sew. I have created a lovely home. I create memories for my children, through camping especially, and travel.
What do you enjoy most about being a creative woman?
What I enjoy most about being a creative woman is that days are never, ever boring! There is always something new to learn and try. I feel resourceful and I’m very grateful for the abilities that are mine. I try not to take them for granted, but use my gifts for the betterment of others. And I suppose that is one of the things I love most about being creative—I can help others see truth and become empowered. And I pray that as the creative force flows through me it will pour out onto others in a way that positively affects their lives.
Most of the cards shown above are available in my Etsy shop. The link is below.
You didn’t sign up for my blog to receive news about my Empowordment Cards, but because positive self image and encouraging others is my THING, these cards are a part of ME. Sooooo….
I won’t do a bazillion posts about them. BUT….
I have put a bunch of cards on 50% off sale, and I thought you might want to know.
Some of these designs are the first ones I created TWO years ago! And while I love them–they are like my babies, after all–I need to make room for some new designs. Sixty-three cards is a lot to manage, especially when they decide to throw a party behind my back! And let’s not talk about carrying them around when I do shows and such! Ugh! Can we say weighsalot?
This is a great time to stock up on cards for the year. I mean, where can you purchase a colorful, unique, glossy, heavy-weight, Mimi-designed 5×7 greeting card for $1.50? These are works of art, people. Well, some folks think so!
I mean they are all the rage in NYC!!
I have cards on sale that are fitting for birthday,
Valentine’s and Sweetest Day or anniversary,
and just plain ol’ encouragement.
Take a walk on the wild side and browse on over at my shop to choose the ones you want to stock up on.
NOTICE: once they are out of stock, they are gone! Unless you want to order a 10-pack and then I’d be happy to re-order you some. 🙂
Thanks for letting me pitch a sale in your inbox. 🙂
Click right HERE to gain entrance to the much-coveted SALE section of my Etsy shop.
Shhhhh, you are the first to get a shot at it. But tomorrow I’m tellin’ the WORLD!!
And thank you soooo much for being my READERS!! I can’t even tell you what it means!
Love and really big sparkly HUGs to you,
P.S. My watermark (logo) does not appear on the front of the cards you buy. It’s just for copyright purposes that it’s on them here.
Perhaps you’ve noticed I’ve been a bit MIA lately. Hmmm?
Well one thing for sure, I haven’t posted in a while. You see, I’ve been just a tad busy.
“Doing what?” you may ask. SOOO glad you did! Because I have an announcement to make!!
Say WHAAAT? What kind of word is “EmPOWordment”, anyway?
It’s a Mimi kind of word. It means
“words that empower and encourage“!
And that is the kind of person I am. My goal is to help you empower and encourage others too, because, for goodness sake, we NEED it these days!!
As Passionista At Large (my speaking-for-events business) my goal is to uplift, empower, inspire, ignite, inform, and give hugs to as many women (and some men too) as I possibly can. Thus, I signed up for a vendor show,
to “get myself out there”.
As I pondered how to draw people to my otherwise-empty booth,
“If I have something to attract them to my table,
then I can talk to them, they will fall in love with me, and invite me to speak!”
Great plan, right?
In no time at all the idea of creating inexpensive cards for people to give to others just burst from my heart into my computer and I had designed several cards. Then as the idea grew into a full-blown forest fire I designed even more, thinking of the people these cards could touch.
~Parents can put them in lunch boxes, back packs, on the bathroom mirror, or their child’s door or bed to support and congratulate.
~Teachers can hand them out as encouragement.
~Lovers can leave them in conspicuous spots.
~Workers can drop them on their friends’ desks.
~Military families can mail them to their loved ones.
~Those who send cards as a ministry will find them useful.
My brain kept seeing new ways for these words to bring light into people’s hearts and lives.
As Passionista, I designed many of them for the women I’ll be speaking to.
To help them understand how amazing and awesome they are!
To reassure them that they are not alone in their struggles and walk.
That many of us have been through it.
We survived. We blossomed. We are united.
But I know that everyone’s spirit blossoms with encouragement so these are for YOU too.
I hope that you feel encouraged just reading them!
And if you’d like to pass them along via sharing and liking and pinning, that’s great! Please do!
If, like me, you prefer the paper variety, something tangible you can hold, return to and reread when you need it, then I actually have these for SALE!! Can you believe it?
It’s my sister’s fault. I’ve got computer neck, squinty eyes, laundry piled up, books unread…yep, I’m going to blame her.
Here’s the deal. Mindy, my little sister, came to visit. She’s four years younger than I am, so even though she is almost 58 she will always be my “little” sister. And I miss her terribly. She lives a minimum of eleven hours away in Missouri (she and her husband drive it in one day–but it takes my kids and me two!) and that is just too far. So when she came to visit for a week (a WEEK, eeeeek!) I enjoyed and soaked up every minute of it.
One night she was crocheting, something she is a marvel at, and I sat by her on the couch, showing her the pictures–or graphics, or memes, or whatever a person calls these things I create and post on this blog– and she just loved them. A couple in particular she wanted to give to people as cards. She suggested I print them to sell.
Now, I have been telling Mindy that she should sell her amazing creations for a couple of years now, but for ME to sell stuff? What? Really? Do you think people would buy these cards? They are just my words (and sometimes others’) on pretty backgrounds.
She said that yes, she would, and she was sure others would too. Mindy is wonderful at mailing cards, something that many of us fail at. Maybe I can help to turn that around by providing nice, inexpensive cards so people WILL send them to their loved ones.
Thus… “computer neck”. I thought I’d try a couple and see how they looked. Problem is that all of my memes have my “watermark” PassionistaAtLarge.org at the bottom to identify them as mine. Well, mostly it’s to direct people to my website, because I really don’t care if others use them. That’s what Pinterest and the internet is actually for, right? To borrow ideas from each other? And if someone can make money off of them, then good for them. There is enough to go around, for sure. Anyway, I digress, or chase rabbits, so hopefully I won’t lose you. (Ooooh LOOK! There’s a sparkly!)
Back to the watermark. I can’t have that on the front of the card, now can I? It kind of interferes with the design. So, I have to redesign them all. At least the ones I want to use. (Insert big sigh here). And then, because I am so new at this, I’m trying to find a place to print them that doesn’t cost a ton. Because if I’m going to sell these at my workshops, if I believe the words I put on them are important enough to “card” them (hahahaha), I want others to be able to afford them.
And then I have to make my designs work within the constraints of the company I’m using. (Insert another big sigh here.) Did I mention that I am new at this? Self-taught through the “search-and-find” method?
Anyway these two designs were her favorite, and I tried them first to see the quality of paper and how they actually look in person. I’ll be gifting them to my sister for her birthday next month, if they look nice.
And that, my dear readers, is why I claim it’s all my sister’s fault. 🙂
If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. And let me know what you think. I know I have readers out there. How about letting me hear from you?