Happy International Women’s Day! When I reflect on this day, I know there’s still much work to be done around the world for all women to have equal opportunities and rights. However, I can’t help, but feel that women empowerment is the highest I’ve ever felt.
From my friend Hoang-Kim launching her two tops with Nordstrom she designed to celebrate today to seeing women celebrate one another by sharing fellow boss ladies on their social media platforms, it’s been one inspiring day.
To be transparent with you, this year’s International Women’s Day feels different…in a good way.
You see, I never had a lot of female friends until these last couple of years.
In high school, I didn’t get along with girls very well. The ones I encountered were catty, brought drama into my life and some even let me know of their jealousy by threatening to beat me up.
During my early adult years, a guy lied to me, which forced me to become “the other woman” and the result? His girlfriend he cheated on believed his version of the story: I came on to him (when that wasn’t even the truth). And boy, did she hate AND talk about me. On top of that, although it was his fault, it took me so long to forgive myself.
Around the same time, I was also put down by other women (who shall remain nameless), including those in my family. At one point, I was told by one of my closest friends that I was heartless for leaving my family to go to college while several female family members told me that I’d never make it without my daddy.
After these experiences, I didn’t trust women…for a long time. And a part of me thinks that the other reason why I didn’t fully commit to my blog (I had been blogging on and off for 11 years) is that I didn’t want to deal with women within the same industry.
However, I just couldn’t keep my love for writing and fashion to myself anymore. I HAD to share, so I officially launched my blog, but with reservation towards others in the industry.
When I started my blog, it was so hard for me to reach out and make female friends because of my past experiences. How was I supposed to do what I love and get past this feeling of competitiveness, drama, and jealousy?
Answer: Run towards the root of the pain and create a solution, even if it’s just for myself.
I knew I wanted to create a place to honor, inspire and encourage women, something I felt that I never fully received.
So when I set out to create She Sweats Diamonds, I wanted to build a community where like-minded women could gather to be vulnerable without judgement, share our struggles, support each other through the good and bad and how we’re changing the world for the better in our own ways. I also wanted it to be a place for women to nerd out on things like fashion, beauty, travel, decor, all while living a high performance lifestyle.
And within the last two years of launching my blog, the women I’ve found have voided out all of my past experiences.
The work they do, their support of me and other women has proven to me that there are women who WANT to see one another succeed.
And the women I’ve found and met thus far through my blog and social media have influenced me in ways they’ll probably never know. Not only do I get to build great relationships with these women, we GET TO support one another in our dreams and endeavors from afar!
Aside from our women in the armed forces, public servantship, and those in the education and medical profession, I wanted to share women in my own life who embody and live She Sweats Diamonds‘ mantra: heart, hustle and hard work.
The following women are my HERoes I follow, adore and/or actually use their products/services:
FASHION INFLUENCERS / BLOGGERS / YOUTUBERS
Emma is blogger and a former Miss USA (Hawaii) contestant. I met her through Hoang-Kim when they competed at Miss USA several years ago and have loved getting to know her! She’s so supportive of my content!
I’ve been following Camila’s fashion adventures for awhile now. When I say she inspires me, she really inspires me! The woman travels the world, stays at the most luxurious places and can wear anything and still look good!
My girl, Kim, is a freelance journalist by day and a blogger by night. I love that she’s a hustler! Her high work ethic is why I love this babe and consider her one of my closest blogger friends.
Erica’s wardrobe is edgy and sleek with a feminine touch. And I LOVE it. Hit that follow button! You won’t regret it!
This sweet and genuine girl. It’s been so fun to watch Megan’s personal and home style evolve over the years. She knows what’s important in life (i.e. supporting others, being present with loved ones, etc.) and proves that by always taking the time to respond to my DMs and comments.
Another one of my good friends from across the pond! I love Hannah’s “keep it real” captions and her everyday style. She’s been so supportive of me and I know when I’m visiting, she and I will definitely be meeting up!
My ultimate girl crush! This woman works SO hard and the content she puts out is extremely evident! I love that she’s an “all-around” woman. On the outside, she has classy, sophisticated style and on the inside, she’s hilarious, silly and so genuine. She appreciates what she has, loves the heck out of life and has taught me to work hard so I can live my best life.
I consider Mara one of my good blogging friends. She’s so grounded and real with you. And on top of that, she’s such a wonderful wife, mom to her son, Augustine (I feel like I’m his aunt!) and newborn daugher, Corinne.
I’ve been following Olivia for awhile now and the more I watch her Instagram stories, the more I get to know who she is. Her style is ah-mazing that it’s not a wonder she was Miss Universe! I love how happy she is and is always smiling.
I recently discovered Olivia on Pinterest and love how she’s so passionate! Her images are so fun and I love that she shares her love for Christ and her journey of being a Christian women in fashion.
Caitlin is so sweet! I’ve followed her for years and have found her to be very genuine. I’ve never wanted a blogger to succeed so much than her because of her kind heart. It’s very evident that she’s a hard worker.
Ashley is a former teacher now fashion blogger right here in Dallas. She’s one of the few who have responded to my emails and messages when I sought some blogging advice or asked the brand of a product she was sharing. If that doesn’t speak to who she is as a person and professional blogger, I don’t know what does.
Annabelle is fashion goals. The woman is glamorous and her content is absolutely beautiful!
BEAUTY INFLUENCERS / BLOGGERS / YOUTUBERS
Sabrina is a beauty blogger who specializes in reviewing mid to high-end products. My love for beauty grew because of her work!
I can’t say enough about Marianna. It’s been so fun to watch her grow her blog/brand! She and her friend/business partner, Lauren (she’s total mom goals, btw) launched an incredibly successful indie beauty brand, Summer Fridays. They’re both such genuine women and major boss babes!
I found Paula on Pinterest and love, love, love her content! If you love beauty, personal development and blogging, she’s a great influencer to follow!
Women-Owned Brands I LOVE and Use
I’ve never known of a woman who gives back as much as Kendra! I LOVE that she’s a Texas gal and I’m so proud to support the KS brand. Pretty sure I have about ten pairs of earrings from her brand, haha!
Vicky Tsai of Tatcha
Vicky is my life-saver! I discovered my favorite sunscreen last year and it was from her skincare line. Go figure! My skin thanks you, Vicky!
Another female-founded beauty brand that I love SO much! I’ve already used and LOVE four of her skincare products and am about to try more. They’re that good!
I met Kipenzi years ago on social media and it was such a pleasure to meet her last year to support her pop-up shop at Neiman Marcus. I got a chance to truly get to know her and her drive behind her brand. She was so sweet to gift me one of her pieces that I will treasure forever!
I met Dale on social media years ago before blogging really took off. She had just started her baby, Savvy Sleepers and talked about her amazing pillow cases. I finally got a chance to meet her in person a few years ago when she hosted an event in Dallas. I own one of her silk pillow cases and it feels so amazing to hit the hay with it after a long day.
Jen is the reason why I love emotional intelligence. I am a certified in emotional intelligence because of the training she provided me several years ago. To this day, I cannot thank her enough! Jen is a woman who is confident in herself, knows what she wants and loves to help others succeed. I’m SO thankful to call her a friend!
These babes! The quotes they post are wonderful reminders for me. Much of their content is very fiery, bold and blunt, so if you’re like me, hit that follow button! Here’s my most recent favorite quote they posted, haha!
My faith is important to me so to find a community of women who support you spiritually is needed. If you need something like this in your life, I’d start when these ladies.
Another one of my top favorite quote accounts. Not only is the imagery phenomenal, but the actual content is a kick in the butt we all need to get back up when we’re down. If you’re needing to gain some confidence, I’d check out their blog if I were you!
I found Katherine on Pinterest when I was searching for some resources for my blog. I’m so glad I clicked through her website because this woman provides value that packs a punch! She trains bloggers in influencer marketing from a PR perspective and her Summer Camp program is my go-to resource! Katherine also founded and runs a podcast called Swipe Up and is made for influencers!
Leah and I have been Facebook friends for a long time and finally met last year when she put together Kipenzi’s event! This woman is making MAJOR waves and I mean scouted-to-become-a-model major! She’s pure fire and I loveee her grind!
I “met” Erika through a blogging group I’m a part of and love how much she wants to help influencers navigate YouTube. When the time comes for my YouTube channel, I will be looking to her for sure!
Julie is also another strong woman I found through my blogging group. If you’re a brand new blogger, she’s the perfect place to start! And if you want to learn more on your commutes to your day job, I’d tune into her podcast called the Influencer Podcast, if I were you!
Health & Wellness
I found Kayla and her BBG program four years ago this April and I don’t regret it one bit! Although I haven’t completed her program, I’ve done it enough to say that it works! The vast community she’s built over the years is nothing short of amazing. I can’t wait until she and her fiance, Tobi have their little girl!
Alexia is a new follow to me and she reminds me so much of Kayla by the way she looks. Her workout videos she posts are so inspiring yet not intimidating one bit. I love her that her reason for working out is spiritual-based too.
Liv Lo Golding of Fitsphere
I started following Liv after seeing her husband, Henry Golding, on Crazy Rich Asians. Liv is very inspiring to me not just in the wellness realm, but as a partner in a long-distance relationship. Since Henry is traveling for work, she’s doing her own thing with her online fitness program. I love that they have such a strong bond no matter how far apart they are from each other.
Jen’s content is definitely one of a kind. I found her on Instagram a year or so ago and I love that her wellness focus is recovery. If you ever have an injury, she’s the one I’d go to and seek advice.
I “met” Lisa through Jessi Malay (who’s a blogger/influencer from California), on social media nearly two years ago this fall. We were supposed to meet at her book signing event that Kate Spade was hosting here in Dallas this past fall, but Lisa couldn’t make it due to flight delays.
If you dream of having a DREAM closet, she’s the woman to follow. She has customized closets of stars such as Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Tyra Banks, Monique Lhuillier and Olivia Culpo to name a few so head on over to Instagram and hit that follow button!
If you love feminine home decor and interiors, Randi’s work is amazing! I’ve been following her for future inspiration for awhile.
I follow Jennifer purely for her eye for design. I loveee her home decor style: modern with character and a bit of a twist…and a ton of marble. Haha! I’m pretty sure I’ll give her a call in the future when I build my home!
Design / Art
I’ve known Jess for about five years now and I’m just so thankful for her and our friendship! She’s a super talented designer and I love using her Christmas tags she designs every year. I count her as a close blogger friend of mine.
Kristen is another friend of mine I met on social media. She’s an incredible artist and just gave birth to her baby boy, Landon! I cannot wait to do a commissioned piece with her one day. I just adore having decor in my home either reminds me of special moments or have some kind of meaning.
Jen Ramos was one of the first artists I followed when I first started using Instagram. She is so inspirational and I’m happy to say I own her Inspirational Print. Jen’s not only a gifted artist, but a strong woman of God, cancer survivor and mom. And today, she’s also a holistic health coach. I love how she’s took her experience and turned it around to help others!
Women empowerment has become so important to me.
And to me, #InternationalWomensDay is about bringing awareness to women who don’t have the same opportunities and rights as some of us do. However, I feel that this day celebrates women in every way possible. IWD celebrates strong and determined women who hustle and persevere and that’s something I’ll always stand for.
I honestly don’t know where She Sweats Diamonds will end up someday.
What I do hope is that She Sweats Diamonds will be a go-to community where women feel safe to be vulnerable without judgement, a place where they can be their real selves and share their passions about things they love all while living a high performance lifestyle.
I hope you all had a great International Women’s Day!
If you’re new here, welcome! I want you to know that you are enough and that the only person you should be competing with is yesterday’s version of you. My goal is for you to walk away inspired to take action, fail forward and live your life on purpose because intentional living is the most fulfilling and humbling way to live.
Happy International Women’s Day to each of you who are reading this because what a day it’s been for HERoes all over!
Image via Modeison