Christina Getachew #empoweredWritten

Christina Getachew #empoweredWritten

When I first moved to Columbus, I had to take a terrible job just to make ends meet. Thankfully, I was able to leave within months, and started working for a woman that became one of my personal (s)heroes. 

Christina Getachew didn't just teach me the value of sustainable fashion, but also that it was possible to build a sustainable business on a foundation of transparency, creativity, and philanthropy. 

Lindsay MacDougall #empoweredWritten

Lindsay MacDougall #empoweredWritten

Galentine's Day is less than a week away, so what better time to publicly confess to a long-held girl crush? 

Lindsay MacDougall isn't much more than an acquaintance, but she's such a positive, loving person that today I am overcoming my awkwardness and writing about how she has unwittingly inspired me and #empoweredWritten from afar. 

Izabella Redzisz #empoweredWritten

Izabella Redzisz #empoweredWritten

When I was in the 7th grade, I made a shocking discovery that changed my life: I could choose to not do my homework. 

Slacking off never worked out for me that well, but it was still a tempting option a lot of the time. Being bad just felt so good.... 

It wasn't until meeting Izabella that I saw there was another way. 

Alysia Hansen #empoweredWritten

Alysia Hansen #empoweredWritten

Every summer growing up, my mom, sister and I would spend a couple weeks in Boulder, CO visiting family. I looked forward to this trip all year, and from the moment we arrived, I spent most waking hours inseparable from my cousin Alysia.

Every summer we’d buy new best friend necklaces, to replace the ones we had inevitably lost the year before. We were voracious readers, spending blissful hours reading in lounge chairs while the younger cousins splashed around. We could play for hours with our moms’ old Barbies, inventing fantastical stories of adventure for the dolls. We both loved ballet, and once I even got to see the last 10 minutes of her class -- and that’s when I realized that we weren’t as similar as I thought. I loved ballet, but I was mediocre at best. Alysia had a gift.

Emma Brewer #empoweredWritten

Emma Brewer #empoweredWritten

I grew up on a mountain in rural Vermont, about a 10-minute drive from where Robert Frost lived and wrote. An introvert from the start and an only child until I was 6.5, I spent a lot of time alone as a kid. Whether I was climbing my favorite oak, exploring our woods, streams and meadows, or curled up with a book, it didn’t really occur to me to want company.

But then, one winter, my parents sold some of our land to a family moving to the area. They were going to build a house, and I’d have my first neighbors! They had 2 girls, too. The older one, Emma, was in 7th grade, too.

In my 7th grade yearbook, Emma wrote, “Have a great summer!”

In my 8th grade yearbook, she filled the back page.

My Mother-in-Law Dorothy #empoweredWritten

My Mother-in-Law Dorothy #empoweredWritten

Listen, I don’t mean to brag, but I kind of won the mother-in-law lottery. Sitting down to write about how Dorothy Mullen has inspired, supported or empowered me is a pretty overwhelming task, because there’s so much I could say.

So today I’m going to focus on a moment nearly a decade ago, when Dorothy did something remarkable that set me on my journey to becoming the creative entrepreneur I am today.

My Aunt Peg #empoweredWritten

My Aunt Peg #empoweredWritten

Walking into Peg’s home in the middle of an ordinary, suburban Ohio neighborhood feels like I’ve been transported 800 miles east, back to the quiet Vermont town both she and I grew up in. Her kitchen is stocked with every product The King Arthur Flour Company has ever released, her walls are decked with dreamy landscape photos taken at The Shelburne Museum, and her backyard has been transformed into a verdant oasis, complete with artsy garden shed.

Peg’s home is a beautiful refuge for a homesick Vermonter — but it’s also representative of an important lesson: home is what you make of it.

My Sister Olivia #empoweredWritten

My Sister Olivia #empoweredWritten

I was 6.5 years old when my sister Olivia was born, and I'm ashamed to say that it took me about a decade to accept that she was going to be a permanent fixture in our family. By the time I finally warmed up to her, she had become an adorable 6th grader who loved drawing and wanted to be an architect when she grew up. 

As I write this, Olivia is in a University of Oregon Eugene studio, working towards her Master of Architecture degree.

My Mom #empoweredWritten

My Mom #empoweredWritten

My mom is my lifelong best friend. She’s fun, creative, and always a call away for advice or to dish about embarrassingly bad TV. There are a lot of things I could write about her, but today I want to focus on how she’s a great teacher — in more ways than one. 

I had the good fortune of watching my mother take a big chance on herself, and find success in a new career path. Unfortunately, being witness to her inspiring journey wasn’t enough to set me striding confidently down my own path — first, I needed to be shaken out of self-limiting beliefs that held me back for years. 

Here’s the story of how my mom helped me wake up and get to work.