Marcela Del Sol is an Australian/Chilean bestselling writer and is known for her views against Patriarchy and abuse towards children and women.
1. Marcela, you were born in Chile but now, you live in Australia. Tell us more about your experience in Chile. How did your experiences in Chile and Australia shape up the personality that you have?
I am very grateful for the opportunities to explore such different ways of living. It has helped me understand how cultural bias is still a tremendous enemy of emotional progress. How, even nowadays, people are concerned with preserving what was instilled as “right”, rather than conceding validity to ways of expressing, living, other than their own.
I wish territory and identity weren’t as bonded as they are. Perhaps people like me, migrants, would not have to face the tribulations that come with belonging “elsewhere”.
These things, alongside many others, have taught me to listen and observe, to accept differences. Having lived more than half my life in Australia, I have been able to learn a lot of practical things that perhaps I wouldn’t have accessed if I stayed in Chile. Being away from my native place has also shown me the importance of returning, the greatness that resides in the origin and in the affection that is so underestimated in the first world.
However, my experience has been extremely challenging, permanently so, as my children are Australian but my whole history derives from my motherland, where I would love to live with them one day. That is how you realize that home really is where the heart is.
You are known for your strong feminist voice along with your views on how to fight child and women abuse. How do you think we can fight against the evil of abuse towards children and women?
Wow! Women fight every day, tirelessly so. Living in a patriarchal state means you leave home having to fight for a dignified and rightful place everywhere. However, I believe silence is the strongest accomplice violence has and that is why is so important to speak up.
As a community, we all have the responsibility to eradicate the stigma and negative attention that is placed upon victims and redirect it to the perpetrators of these despicable acts.
There is a strong need to implement services that allow survivors of all types of violence to live safely. It is also time that punitive measures are accordingly adjusted, giving tougher sentences to the guilty, which will impact in an elevated sense of safety and a more comfortable time for healing for those who endure this type of torture. Sexual violence, gender violence is a torture, an endless pain you learn to tuck inside a box somewhere, but that comes flying out eventually.
Kindly describe what being a successful author is like for you.
It is such a lonely profession, yet I am always full of stories and scenarios that I collect almost incessantly. It is like living into a silent world, even for people who have many people inside their head!
Every person I meet has something that I would like to incorporate into my work. Writing has been my exorcism and, after my children, my greatest reason to keep on going: there is always an unfinished manuscript that needs attention. The past few months have been very “dry” in a literary sense because my father, a cousin and then my uncle died and I still cannot mourn properly.
Poetry is proving to be quite benevolent with my soul and perhaps that is where I will find space to finish enough work to publish again soon.
I think the act of writing is very brave on its own and bravery is a faithful example of success.
Your Book Kaleidoscope: My Life’s Multiple Reflections is highly appreciated by critics. Tell us more about it.
Kaleidoscope was a labor of painful love. A therapy without knowing it. It tells the story of a Lucia, voraciously sexual and atypical as she lives with Dissociative Identity Disorder (like I do) as a result of a series of traumatic experiences in her life.
The book has highly explicit sexual content but you need to read beyond that, you have to be an insightful reader and discover where all the angles intersect. It is a book that leads you into deep despair but with many shades of bright colours that accompany you through.
I must reinforce the fact that the book isn’t biographical, despite Lucia and I sharing the same personality disorder.
You have launched “InmorTal”, a book that is currently only available in Spanish. Can we expect an English version soon?
It is not in my immediate plans but it is certainly something that I will look into. InmorTal contains real life stories of sexual abuse suffered by Chilean women in their childhoods and also their stories of strength. It highlights how women have an almost indefinable power to raise after almost anything. However, it almost always is because or for someone else and we need to shift the focus towards ourselves, women must live for and because of us, firstly, and for what we determine to be our reasons, beyond those that we have been tamed to believe as such.
For more Information on Marcela, visit her website.
Bryn Carden, Founder of Styles for Smiles and BF Hats Thinks Business and Philanthropy can go Hand in Hand
Bryn Carden is a versatile young entrepreneur with a deep sense of compassion and the desire to help make the world a better place. In 2017, she founded Styles for Smiles – a company selling bracelets to support the Smile Train Organization. The proceeds from selling Bryn’s designs have already helped fund cleft palate repairs for 16 children in developing countries.
BF Hats, another design brand Bryn is engaged in, donates a portion from every purchase to Ronald McDonald House of Dallas – combining Bryn’s passion for style and philanthropy.
Bryn is a Neeley School of Business student at Texas Christian University and an active member of the Delta Gamma sorority – an organization empowering women to stand up to their full potential. Ms. Carden values mentorship and donates her free time to make an impact in other people’s lives as a participant of the Neeley Mentorship Program and Riff Ram Reading Program.
Ms. Carden leads other women by example with a kind, compassionate and authentic approach, promoting health and wellness, strong ambition, and generosity. She is a proud Miss Kemah Teen USA, inspiring others with her beauty, positive attitude, and love for people.
When she has free time, Bryn can be found modeling, traveling, skiing, paddle boarding, exercising, and spending time with her friends and family.
Bryn, Thanks for talking with us. You are a college student and an entrepreneur. How do you find the time for all your projects? What’s your secret?
If you love what you do, any project- work or not- is never a job. With each entrepreneurial activity I take under my belt, I make sure that it is backed with passion. Further, any business backed by passion is already on track for something amazing at the core of its being! Prioritization is important, and what I’ve found to work best for me is prioritizing things by DAY. Some days I spend focusing on studying, schoolwork, etc. whereas some days I spend more focus and energy on self-care, marketing, and growing my businesses and personal brand.
I’ve also found time management to not always be about the daily increase, but about decreasing what is unneeded in the day. Hack away at the unessential, and stay far away from procrastination. I place emphasis on tasks in order of priority. The app Trello is something I cannot live without. Being a list maker, this app/website allows me to create lists of what I need to do, order the tasks in the level of importance, and archive them when completed. For example, one of my lists on Trello is “Free Time to do” – complete with “create a new vision board, organize the pantry, go through clothes and donate car wash…”. This allows me to always have something to do, and never sit there with empty time.
Why did you decide to pursue your college major?
I love math and numbers because it is a problem with a definite answer. I declared a Business Finance major to mix real-world problem solving with my passion for people and growing my own brand. I love and adore the field of business for what it is. I find joy and curiosity in knowing that you can take your own ideas and from nothing, grow a vast brand, company, and new adventure, shaping it into the mold you desire! There is a competitive edge to the world of business that I also find fascinating.
What are the projects that you most enjoy working on, and why?
One of my favorite projects has been finding recipes deemed to be unhealthy, and reworking them through healthy alternatives. Some of my favorite swaps consist of regular rice to Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower, flour to almond flour, and noodles to zucchini noodles. Here are two of my favorite recipes I created through trial and error!
I’ve also started to recently take clothes that sit in the back of my closet and find new ways to rework them. I’ll take Pinterest and magazine inspiration, and work pieces into something of a modern-day trend. It also sounds funny, but one of my recent projects has been helping style, my friends, as they come to me with an event where they need a dress or outfit, head to toe. Styling and taking what I love about my friends, and formulating fun fashion finds for them is another great adventure.
I also LOVE organization and after getting inspiration from watching the Home Edit on Netflix, I’ve found new ways to organize my closet, desk, and fridge/pantry.
What has been the most important part of your college journey?
Finding my forever people… the girls that have laughed, cried and shared irreplaceable memories with me. Coming into college, I made an effort to become friends with everyone I met. You are never “too cool, too popular, or too busy”, to smile, chat with, or be kind to someone. Everyone is in the same boat when coming into college… We all are from different areas of the country, with different and similar stories that have shaped us into the individuals we are today, all starting with a new blank slate. These girls have taught me the power of true, genuine, love for others- SO incredibly important.
What was your biggest ‘a-ha’ moment?
During my freshman year of high school, it all came together. In high school, many teens “find themselves”, and craft the person that they want to be. Society has depicted what we girls should look like, talk like, and act like. It was then that I realized the most valuable version of myself is the unapologetic version. As Miss Kemah Teen USA, I placed an emphasis on expanding my platform of helping girls feel confident and comfortable in their own skin-one of the most important aspects of a young girl’s life. Before high school, I struggled with self-confidence and was a victim of insecurities. After my ‘a-ha’ moment of simply being true to ME, I then realized the importance of not seeking outside validation. When ignoring others’ opinions of me and instead surrounding myself with people who accept all of what you are, life becomes more joyous! Through TCU, I read and simply chat with the little children at a local, economically disadvantaged elementary school. One of the little girls asked me, “How are you so happy all the time?”…. The answer was simple. I pour my energy into positive affirmations, self-love, and spreading love to others. Anything that drains my energy and holds me down, such as insecurities, is immediately replaced with positive thoughts.
Do you have a role model or an entrepreneur you admire? Why?
Without a doubt, my role models are my parents. I can still remember clear as day, looking forward to our evening walks when growing up. What made these evenings so special was my parents smiling and laughing as I tiptoed in my beloved long, yellow, never washed Princess Belle gown. In the eyes of my seven-year-old self, the world was innocent and I was lucky enough to be the center of their world. My parents have also always been unapologetically themselves. My father’s jokes, the mind of an encyclopedia, and knowledge of every Rolling Stones album release date fascinate me. But ask him for the Netflix password… and forget it. My mom never fails to be a shoulder to lean on, something I plan to mirror as a mother one day. Society pressures today’s youth to conform to what is considered “cool”, but my parents always remind me to stay authentic.
When was the last time you totally lost yourself in doing something?
Hiking with my family in Sedona, Arizona, my mind became completely revolved around the scenery, as I took everything in. I was in awe and simply felt as if I was in another world! The beautiful view made the miles on miles of hiking way easier.
How do you recharge your batteries after a long day?
One thing I have struggled to master is letting myself fully rest! I love to be on the go, and my mom always jokes with me that I only rest when I am simply EXHAUSTED! However, after a long day, I crave my nightly routine which calms my mind and prepares me to wind down. I engage in nighttime yoga that benefits the brain, body, and all-around soul. As I wind down at night I spend 5-10 minutes stretching out and detoxifying the tenseness of my body from the long day on the computer, working out, and everything in between. Further, a good face mask and lather of skincare (Drunk Elephant Night serum, bio-oil, Malin + Goetiz eye cream, and more all listed in Vitamin B), do wonders to the skin. I keep a few of these in the fridge overnight, the most calming addition to the eyes at bedtime. I LOVE a good sauna session, and when I have access to one (the TCU recreation center makes it convenient), it would be my ideal wind down!
What would you do with unlimited resources?
If my resources were unlimited, I’d start by sharing my resources, getting everyone involved in this share. Each person has some sort of passion that they would be able to spread their own greatness like wildfire if able… If unlimited money was on the table, I’d mirror companies that have made it big such as Google, or Ikea, who take their funds and spend a large portion not only expanding their businesses but giving back. These companies would be a great reference to the power of contributing to charity to a great extent… While doing so, I would travel. Italy, Spain, Thailand… While doing so, I’d certainly place an emphasis on expanding educational availability worldwide when traveling. I’d contribute to schools in developing countries by donating supplies, teachers/role models, food, etc. Where schools are not available, I’d bring in the resources to build from the start.
How do you feel you make a difference in the world?
Simply by showing kindness and compassion to everyone I meet. You never know the exact measure of how great you will impact someone by just a smile, but kindness is a domino effect.
11 Small Business Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs
If you are a woman looking to start her own company, you’ll be glad to hear that there are plenty of options out there. However, as starting a business is never an easy endeavour, you need to carefully consider what you would like to do and what you are qualified for. If you are open to going back to school and expanding your skillset, the choices are countless. So, here are some business ideas for women entrepreneurs to get you thinking.
If you are good with numbers and happen to have an accounting or bookkeeping degree, the choice seems pretty obvious. You can start a company from home that offers financial services such as producing financial reports, handling payroll, and tracking income. Keep in mind that you will have to familiarize yourself with the best accounting/bookkeeping software if you want to compete with the leaders in the field.
While the tech industry is famous for being dominated by men, if you have a knack for app development, you can still find companies that will love your services. What is more, you can surely find other companies that are run by women that are in search of a woman-led business they can work with. Maybe you have some cool ideas for apps that no one else seems to be producing and the technical knowledge on how to make them, so why not give this a go?
If fashion is your passion, you can think about opening a tailoring boutique. You can do this from the comfort of your home or rent a space where you can fit a sewing machine at the least. Set up a page for your business online and show off your skills and designs. Other than creating pieces from scratch, you can also offer other tailoring services to people.
You can also sell your garments purely online. What is more, it doesn’t have to be only clothing. If you are crafty and creative, you can make everything from furniture to various kinds of supplies. Platforms like Shopify are great for newbies as they are easy to use and allow entrepreneurs to reach a bigger audience. This approach is very popular as you get to make what you love and earn money by doing it. Plus, you can do it from home and sell to people from all over the globe.
Do you have a way with people? Why not consider opening a company that deals with marketing and public relations? Many businesses out there are in search of a good storyteller that will come up with a truly visionary marketing campaign which will help them reach a brand new audience. On the other hand, with the rise of influencers, more and more people require a publicist. Perhaps you can be the one that helps them out.
If you’re looking for a way to enter the beauty industry, there are many paths you can opt for. Opening your salon where you will offer everything from haircuts to manicures and pedicures to skin treatments is one way to approach this. However, keep in mind that having some sort of degree or certificate to display will help you with attracting customers. If you can’t afford to go back to school, you can look into VET Student Loans or a similar program that can assist you with paying tuition fees.
In case you always wanted to help people but you feel like you are not making a difference at your current law firm, you might want to consider starting your practice. When opening a law firm, you should concentrate on the field of law you have the most experience in. However, you can also choose to expand your interests and add another area such as immigration, family, or entertainment law to your offer.
Something else you can do if you’re good with people and make connections easily is to go into the HR sector. While some companies decide on having an in-house human resources department, others would rather cut their overhead costs and outsource this part of running a business. This is where you can step in. From hiring and training new staff members to lend a helping hand in resolving various workplace issues, there are plenty of jobs an HR manager handles, so ensure your interpersonal skills are on point.
Content creation involves all sorts of jobs you can do online. From writing, editing, and proofreading blog posts to taking photos and creating videos, you can decide what you want to do as companies are always in search of content that will attract an audience. If these things are something you like doing as a hobby, it even means that you will not have to invest a lot in equipment and further education.
Women are often lauded for multitasking and managing to accomplish so much in a single day. If this is something you can relate to, perhaps event planning is the career choice for you. For example, you can manage personal events like birthdays and weddings, opt for business events like conferences, or do it all. Proper time management, being able to deal with various vendors, and knowing how to accommodate the many wishes of your clients are the skills that will be necessary for succeeding in this line of work.
Finally, if you are much better at dealing with animals than with people, you can opt for opening a pet-related business. Pet owners are increasingly in search of groomers for their little furry friends, so consider offering this kind of service. On the other hand, you can go back to school and get your veterinary degree if you want to help pets in need of medical care. Finally, you can even make various kinds of treats or clothing items for pets. Hopefully, these eleven suggestions gave you the boost you needed to start thinking about ideas for starting your own business. Find something you are good at or invest in yourself to become even better and give opening your own company a ch
An Interview with Mariana Toncu, Founder of Bestyn, a Social Media App for Neighbors
Bestyn is a multifunctional app that makes it easy for neighbors to connect, share information, and collaborate. Apart from helping neighbors connect, Bestyn also acts as a marketplace for neighbors located in the same communities and enclaves. Bestyn also ensures that users never miss local events like garage sales, birthday parties, charity events, and more serious community events, like death or accident.
In short Bestyn is meant to change the way communities interact. We recently interviewed its founder Mariana Toncu to know more about the app.
Mariana, Thank you for talking with us. Bestyn has just entered the market. What is your number one goal with this app?
Thanks for having me. Our number one goal is to enable easy connections between neighbors. A lot of apps that are available right now don’t have the ability to use maps tactfully to understand who is around. You may have neighbors with special skills that you are looking for. For instance, they can advise you for free just because they are in your area and they can help you with your needs as a good neighbor. But how do you get to them? This is where our app comes into the picture. Apart from this, we also want to reduce costs for the people in the neighborhood for different tasks. Using our app, people will have to pay less for marketing and advertising which can be really helpful for small businesses.
What were the initial challenges that you faced in your endeavor?
Right now there’s a lot of information everywhere and it’s kind of hard to select the right information and also it’s kind of hard to find the team and explain to build the right app that people can join and stay connected with their community. It’s not that there is a dearth of good people but it’s very hard to put to them to work together for one idea. Moreover, when you are launching a new app, it’s another challenge to find what exactly people are experiencing using your app and what exactly is their feedback about the app.
How and when did you come up with the idea of Bestyn app?
I am an immigrant from Eastern Europe and I came here a couple of years ago. I was stuck when it came to communicating with neighbors and connecting with the community where I’m living. In the market, there are a couple of apps but because they do not have a friendly interface, people don’t want to use them. People want something like easy access and at the same time stay updated with news and post news.
One of the biggest issues in modern day society is the fact that a neighbor does not know his or her own neighbor. How does Bestyn solve this problem and help people connect with their neighbors?
Bestyn has come up with some features that no app has. For example, a user can post events. This, I think is one of the amazing things that the user can share with his community. Another amazing feature is that you can access the map and you can instantly see who is around you and also you can message him and ask for a piece of advice or ask for help.
A lot of features are still under development but we are more than happy to receive the feedback and get more information about what has to be done and what people want from their community and neighborhood.
Bestyn is more than connecting people with their neighbors. Tell us more about those features.
The closest person to your house is basically your neighbor. In case of emergency, your neighbor can be of great help. Your neighbor is around you. By accessing the map you’ll be able to see all your neighbors around you and for safety. For obvious safety reasons, you will not be able to see the exact address of your neighbors. However, your neighbors will be able to know about it. You don’t have to go to their doors and knock them. That’s why you can ask through Bestyn app for advice and help instantly.
App security is a major concern nowadays. What preventive measures have been taken by Bestyn?
It’s true that app security has become a cause for concern. When it comes to Bestyn, you are going to share your address with the app which will help us serve you better, but when somebody will take a look at your profile, they are not going to see the exact address where you are. So the app is going to indicate just the street in the city where you are. Thus your exact location is not going to get divulged.
Also, you will be able to see people in a radius of 10 miles. Thus the concept of neighborhood remains intact.
Which locations do you serve?
We designed this app to cover all areas and countries so pretty much everyone who has a phone and wants to join this community. By joining this app now, you may help other people that will join this app later. We encourage everyone to join this platform and also the people who use this app to invite their neighbors and stay connected during this tough time.
What plans do you have regarding the expansion of Bestyn. Especially during the ongoing pandemic.
Bestyn App is going to come up with more features for the users. It’s going to be hard initially so we are going to first translate our app in the most spoken 15 languages, and bring more features that will reduce the cost of everything from services to ride-sharing, sending money, and just selling products and scaling businesses.
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