Girl em[Power]ment – Sabrina

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[don’t miss a post–follow along on insta @girlempowerment]

For this week’s influencer’s [Sun + Mon], I’ll be featuring lady doctors that both have their own establishments. These women have done incredible things and have accomplished so much, so I’m ecstatic to share them with you.

Our next influencer is someone I’ve known for a while, as she’s one of my mother’s good childhood friends. When I first met Sabrina, the first thing I noticed was her awesome style and then how intelligent she was–which I really admired. She also is hilarious with dry humor that only some people get, but that’s the great thing about knowing her. Oh, and she was recently named one of the best plastic surgeons in America–I’m so excited for you all to learn about and hear from Sabrina.

Introducing Sabrina Lahiri , of Lahiri Plastic Surgery
Website – Lahiri Plastic Surgery 

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: I have been a Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon since 2002. I own my solo practice which includes a full service facility. During my years in private practice, I developed and built a facility which houses my practice, full service medical spa, overnight stay hotel, certified and licensed surgery center. My career path started at a young age. I knew early that I wanted to become a doctor. I attended University of California, Berkeley receiving a bachelor’s degree in Bioresource Science. I then attended University of Arkansas Medical School, followed by 5 years of General Surgery training at University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio and 2 years of Plastic Surgery training at University of Miami.

After all of this training, I opened my private practice in 2002 – It has been a busy whirlwind since.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: Negativity toward me specifically as a woman has been apparent during my schooling, training, and private practice. Women are still expected to maintain very traditional roles. These expectations are difficult to change in our modern society. Because many ambitious women balance family and career they are perceived as not serious about success. Because many women are accomplished without a family they are perceived as unusual.

I handled negativity with the best attitude that I could. It is important to perceive negativity as the other person’s problem/issue not yours. You can’t let it affect you personally, have to learn to process it mentally and move forward. It is important for women to prove themselves with their intelligence, drive, and insight and not get caught up negativity.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: I think everyone has insecurities about themselves at times, but that is normal human nature. Successful women learn that life will have up and downs, successes and failures. We learn important lessons from all of these. It is important to maintain confidence in your talents and passion.

Q: Who are your role models or mentors that you look up to?
A: My mom and dad.

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: I have had many interests and hobbies outside of work, it is important to maintain balance in your life. I love horseback riding. I have a passion for attending any sporting event, collecting artwork, and fashion.

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: Exercise, watching sports, reading, studying fashion.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: Follow your heart and passion in life and work. If you don’t have a true passion for your career choice, it will be difficult to enjoy work on a daily basis. Enjoy every day to its fullest. Be confident. I am lucky to have found a career that is my passion.

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: Girl em[Power]ment means that women and girls can achieve anything a man can. Women influence the world everyday and in countless ways.

There you have it. I think it’s so important to remember that women and girls really can achieve anything a man can. Stay tuned for Wednesdays post, featuring another [awesome] lady Dr.
Xo, Flannery

Girl em[Power]ment – Chloe Curnel

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics.They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[be sure to follow along on insta for updates – @girlempowerment]

Our next influencer is a fellow blogger, and a gal with serious style–Chloe Curnel. I’ve been following Chloe on insta for a few years now, after initially seeing her fab style via a boutique she worked at. It’s been so fun following along as she’s graduated, moved to a new place + started a cool job, and recently got engaged! Keep reading to learn more about this fab fashionista who’s with it.

Introducing Chloe Curnel, of Dillard’s Corporate 
Insta – @chloeelisec
Blog – Nomad en Vogue

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: I am a fashion stylist for Dillard’s corporate advertising. I graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2013. Before graduation, I went through the career center at the University and interviewed for Dillard’s Executive Development Program (EDP). I landed the job and in June, started working in the Div. 4 buying office as an assistant buyer as part of the program. Phase two of the program, I was sent to work as an Area Sales Manager at the Dillard’s flagship store in Little Rock. It was when I was out at the store that I decided I did not want to return to the buying office. So I left the program, and voiced to upper managment that I wanted to work in the advertising department. I interviewed with the Vice-President of Advertising, Creative Director, and Studio director at Dillard’s and was offered the position of fashion stylist this past January.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I was an apparel studies major at the University of Arkansas.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: Luckily, I haven’t many encounters with this, but I am a firm believer in actions speak louder than words. Work hard, be kind, be professional, and that is what will make you successful in your career. Don’t give anyone a reason to treat you differently just because your a women. A co-worker gave me some wise advice. She said that “As women, we have to build each other up. Make each other stronger, and praise each other for accomplishment.” This is SO true and SO important. Women have a tendency of letting envy and jealousy get the best of them in the workplace. We can’t do that, we have to stick together and help each other learn and grow.

Q: Who are your mentors or role models, and why?
A: My mom, Karen Curnel, for her caring and loving spirit, and her ability to follow her passions. She just decided to take up horseback riding in her fifties! She is not afraid to try something new.

My sister, Kelly Stuckey. She is driven, artistic, and stays true to herself. She has the most giving spirit and makes an amazing leader. It has been so inspiring to see her career path grow. [see Kelly’s profile here]

My old boss and dear friend, Becca Brisiel. She also, has such a kind, giving spirit. She was the best boss I will ever have. She lead by example. She taught me the importance of staying true to yourself, as well as the importance of kindness in the workplace and giving back to your community.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: When I was working as an area sales manager at Dillard’s, I had multiple times where I felt unsure about my managing skills. I had 18 employees under me, and at times, was in charge of the whole store. I had employees of all ages and backgrounds, and sometimes it was difficult for me to be confident, demand respect, and feel in charge. I am by nature not a confrontational person, and being a manger puts you in some confrontational situations where there is a need to be authoritative. I had to overcome the fact the I was young and lacked experience. Everyday I learned something new about my team and myself. When I would make a mistake, I would do my best to learn from it. I sought out help from my bosses and fellow co-workers when I needed it, asking “How would you handle this situation?”. I learned that I couldn’t manage everyone the same and that it would take different tactics to gain respect from my employees. It was the most difficult job I think I will ever have to do, but it is the job that taught me the most.

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: Yoga, photography, fashion, antique shopping. I also have a style blog called Nomad en Vogue. It is just a hobby, but it is a great creative outlet. I’m planning a wedding right now, which has turned into my biggest hobby, or should I say “time consumer” at the moment! Hah!

Q: Is there anyone you think that is making a difference in women empowerment that you think we should all know about?
A: My sister, Kelly Stuckey! She owns a small business in Fayetteville called Crown Beauty Bar. She empowers women everyday at work and through social media!

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: Just give me HGTV, a glass of wine and some cheese. Just kidding! But, not really. I love to antique shop, usually alone. I could wander around looking at antiques forever. But I feel the most relaxed when I’m with my fiance and our dog, Bella.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: Don’t sweat the small things, and don’t worry about what you can’t control. Also, don’t worry so much about what others think because you can’t make everyone happy. Stay true to who you are, be kind, work hard, and always look for the positive. Also, take care of your body and wear sunscreen everyday because the wrinkles will come!

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: Girl em[Power]ment is all about us gals supporting each other and building each other up. The internet is can be such a positive or negative tool. With all the negativity that resides on social media, it is SO important for girls to take a stand and not take part in it. Life is hard enough, we need to use the tools we have to empower one another.

As Chloe said, it’s so important to support each other + build each other up, which really is what Girl em[Power]ment is all about!! Stay tuned for the next influencer, and be sure to follow along on our insta–@girlempowerment.

[graphic by the talented Courtney Ulrich]

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Girl em[Power]ment – Katy Nelson

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics.They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

The next influencer is the spunky Katy Nelson, whom I’ve had the privilege of knowing through my mother for a few years now. I’ve always known Katy was with it, and when I came to college I was able to figure this out even more. She’s helped to guide me through several challenges throughout my college career and help me grow along the way. She’s such a smart and giving woman in way more than one way, so I’m thrilled to share her profile.

Introducing Katy Nelson, with the University of Arkansas. 

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development at the University of Arkansas – After I graduated from college in 1987, I moved to Washington, DC because there were several alumni who also lived there. I held several administrative jobs and decided I should get a graduate degree because the job market was so competitive. I really wasn’t that good at administrative work and I didn’t enjoy it.  I received a graduate assistantship and moved back to Fayetteville in 1990  to get a Master’s Degree in Communication. While in graduate school, I taught two freshman level communication courses and tutored athletes. I discovered there are staff careers in higher education and decided to move to Austin, Texas in 1993 (again because I had several friends who lived there). I also tutored athletes until I landed a job as an Academic Advisor in the College of Natural Sciences.  I joined the Academic Counselor’s Association and volunteered to be on the planning committee for our annual conference. I got to know my colleagues and built my professional network.

After a few years in this role, I became the Coordinator of High School Outreach and Recruiting for the McCombs School of Business at UT. I met with prospective students, parents, hosted admissions sessions, and traveled to cities throughout Texas. We had an emphasis on diversity, and I had to raise money for our programs. This is how I got my introduction to fundraising. The Dean of McCombs reorganized the Development Office and I was hired as the Director of Corporate Relations. I was in this role for eight years before I moved back to Arkansas in 2007 to be the Senior Director of Development and External Relations for the Sam M. Walton College of Business. In 2013 I was promoted to Assistant Vice Chancellor. I manage the fundraising efforts of the colleges and Corporate and Foundation Relations. I also provide strategic oversight of interdisciplinary, strategic objectives, and manage relationships with key donors.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: University of Arkansas, B.A. and M.A. in Communication

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: I have been fortunate in that I really have not experienced negativity because I am female. One reason could be that there are generally more women in student service and development roles in higher education than men. I have also had many colleagues who are“strong”, competent women who have been recognized for their accomplishments.

Q: Who are your role models or mentors, and why?
A: Char Dison was one of my mentors at UT Austin. She taught me two very valuable lessons: 1) pick your battles; 2) never burn your bridges. The first one is important because there are always going to be processes, procedures, and people who bother you in the workplace and you simply can’t fight them all. You have to let the little annoyances go and focus on what you really believe in and how you can make a difference. The second one is important because you may be opposed to one person on any given day but have to work with them in a team the next. You also never know who your boss might be one day. I know of colleagues who acted unprofessionally toward another person, and that person became their boss later. Needless to say, they were fired shortly thereafter.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: There have been several occasions when I have been working on a special project and I wasn’t sure how to approach it. Sometimes it was due to lack of confidence in my ability, other times the task seemed overwhelming and daunting. I like to talk through issues, challenges, etc. with others to get their ideas for solutions. Others can offer a fresh perspective.

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: I like to ride on the Razorback Greenway, hike, and do yoga. I also like going to classes at Clubhaus gym. I am a social person and the group classes are a good fit for me.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: Your first job out of college does not have to be your career job. If I had not had the administrative positions in DC, I may not have gone back to graduate school. Graduate school led me to a career in higher education. I think finding the right career can involve trial and error. Try something and if you don’t like it, move on. Be respectful and professional to everyone, even if they drive you crazy and you don’t like them.

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: Girls can be confident leaders.

[don’t be left out – @girlempowerment has you covered]

graphic by the talented Courtney Ulrich

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Girl em[Power]ment – Kelly Stuckey

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

Our next influencer is someone I’m so excited to share with you all, as she was one of the inspirations for the entire Girl em[Power]ment series!! I have known Kelly Stuckey for about four years now, when I first met her via instagram stalking and just HAD to get her to help my hair. She has a heart of gold, she is a giving soul like none I’ve ever seen, and her strong faith  inspires those around her, myself included. Oh, and she’s a small business owner + wife + puppy mom, to all of which she excels tremendously. Those around her feel her radiance on a daily basis, which is why I’m so glad she is today’s influencer.

Introducing Kelly Stuckey, owner of Crown Beauty Bar 
Insta – @hellokellystuckey + @crownbeautybar
Website – CrownBeautyBar + SheSitsPretty

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: My current title is Senior Hairstylist, makeup artist and co-owner of Crown Beauty Bar with my husband, Zac Stuckey.  I am also a certified educator for Davines Hair Color and She by Socap Hair Extensions. My career path started at a young age of 14 working for my Dad’s photography studio and has taken so many turns from salon receptionist to Interior Designer to PepsiCo modular planner to CitiScapes advertising sales to restaurant hostess while attending beauty school and now a small business owner.  It’s incredible and encouraging to see the way it has all come together in my life, and how each step paved the way for the next.  Every place I worked I met people who played into my next role and even met my husband along the way!

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I first attended the University of Arkansas Fort Smith and received an Associates of Art.  Then I transferred to the University of Arkansas and graduated with a Bachelors of Interior Design.  Three years later I attended Paul Mitchell The School Arkansas for my Cosmetology License.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: Thankfully I work in a female dominant environment where we get along and lift each other up!  The most negativity I ever deal with is when a client doesn’t like things about their own hair and or looks.  I love enhancing each woman’s individual beauty and teaching them ways to carry that home.  I want to shatter any negative images they have about themselves.

Q: Who are your role models or mentors, and why?
A: My first impactful role model is my Mother, Karen.  She was and still is always there for me.  I know stories of how she worked hard and did what she could to provide and take care of me after my parents split at a young age.  She always made me feel beautiful and supported especially during times when I struggled with my weight, career, or life choices. 

I’ve also been blessed with a Spiritual mentor, Kristen Davis, pastor at Life Connection Church in Rogers, AR. She came along at the perfect time in my life, helped me see the power of Jesus’ love and grace, and was instrumental in helping me learn more about how to study the Bible.

I would say my biggest mentor is my husband, Zac. He is a strong, steady constant in my life and has a true servant heart.  He pushes me to be better and is always incredibly supportive.  It’s incredibly cheesy to say, but he does make me feel like anything is possible so long as we do it together; he gives me wings! I love owning a business with him, doing life, and can’t wait to become a parent with him next April!!!

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: Oh yes, a lot when I was younger. In fact, I still struggle with this insecurity from time to time. I didn’t know my true identity until I really let God into my life and got serious about pursuing a relationship with Jesus at age 28. Anytime I allow the lies of this world to fill my mind, I stumble into insecurity. I remind myself the truth is I was made by God and for his purposes… before I understood that, nothing made sense.  Now I read and reflect on what his Word says about me for affirmation on who I am.

Q: Is there anyone you think that is making a difference in women empowerment that you think we should all know about?
A: It’s amazing to live in a community with so many female small business owners and creatives in my local community!  Here’s a few businesses to check out: Kirsten Blowers owner of Riffraff, Amy Hannon of EunaMae’s, Valere Gregory of Valere Rene Handbags, Becca Brisiel of Maude Boutique, Chelsea Hermez of Pigmint. Another woman shaking things up in California is Shanna Noel, creator of Illustrated Faith, helping creative women express themselves and learn more about God’s Word through a journaling bible.

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: Walk my dogs, jeep rides with my husband, read, doodle in my journaling bible, zone out on social media.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: Be patient, work hard, do not expect anything, and be thankful for every opportunity to learn. We all graduate and think “okay, I made it.. now where is my awesome job and salary?” It’s just not that easy all the time!  I truly believe in hard, honest work and being a self-starter.  The other thing is: your 20’s are just awkward!  I had so much fun in my 20’s, but so much confusing unknown too.  It’s not that I have it all figured out in my 30’s now, but I am more secure in myself and truly trust God has plans for me.

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: Girl em[Power]ment means looking past the stereotypes created by the world and other people to see who I am and what God created me to be.  I have been given gifts and talents to use to help others and it’s up to me to make that happen with every opportunity that I am presented with! I love working in an industry where I can make women feel beautiful and teach them tricks they can use at home to create their look on a daily basis.  I also want to empower my employees to be self-starters, find the lesson in every situation, and take ownership of the career and life they have a heart for.  You can’t sit and wait for everything to fall into your lap.  You gotta hustle while keeping your eyes and ears open.

All I can add is that this is so good. As I myself will soon be graduating, it is easy to just assume that I’m a graduate so I should be able to easily find that awesome job and even more-awesome paycheck. But as Kelly said, “you gotta hustle while keeping your eyes and ears open.”
Stay tuned for next week’s influencer–these ladies just keep rocking it!
Xo, Flancake

Girl em[Power]ment – Linda Denton

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics.They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

Our next influencer is Linda Denton, an amazing women I’ve known for as long as I can remember from my hometown. She’s a small business owner but has been in several different fields, so she’s knows a thing or two about success.

Introducing Linda Denton, of Pony Express Printing & Supplies

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: I am the owner and operator of Pony Express Printing & Supplies in Mena, AR. This spring will be my 20th anniversary and I feel blessed to have a business I enjoy and continually get to meet new people- some have watched my family grow and been there for each milestone.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: My background is in science. I graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX in 1991 with a B.S. in Biomedical Science. Seems like a stretch doesn’t it? I love science and attended college with the desire to become a veterinarian. After working in some ‘kill’ clinics and with numerous heart-breaking cases I declared NOT to continue with that career goal. I enjoyed the coursework though and remained in a pre-medical science background. This led to a lot of research work which in turn helped me land a job with Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. I loved it! I also found myself in charge of typing proposals, research presentations, and proposals [at that time it was a hobby- typing/formatting/design].

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: My focus is on doing the best job I can. There are occasions where I think the situation lends better for male-to-male interaction and truthfully it raises my blood pressure but I am not sure I want to change that. I have to focus on me: be plain-spoken, have good intentions, state the nature of my concern, and prove that I am capable of providing or performing the task[s] asked of me. An “I CAN” attitude goes a long way.

Q: Who are three of your mentors or role models, and why?
A: My father. He taught me I can do anything I set my mind on and not to sell myself short. Jean ‘Tex’ Narlo, my friends mother, who had a Merle Norman store in Tyler, TX. She was successful as an entrepreneur but was driven to keep exploring her passions and business opportunities [some a success and some just another lesson]. My final mentor is ever evolving. There have been a number of women that I have admired and consider worthy of mentioning mostly because they seem to effortlessly balance motherhood/career/household/and Christian role model.

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: I love to complete crafting projects. The DIY channel is my downfall and addiction. To make or build something [my headboard for example] lets me relieve stress, work through emotions and end up with a project I can take pride in completing.

Q: Is there anyone you think that is making a difference in women empowerment that you think we should all know about?
A: At my age, I am thankful for the grey haired ladies who spent their years being a mother and being happy with that title. There is job that we females take on when we have children. My most important position is that of Mother. I want to instill love, family and hard-work in my children and that ‘home’ is a cherished institution. My hat is off to all women and I realize we each have our own goals, dreams, and desires.

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: I love being outside and enjoying walks, fishing, or just playing with my youngest child.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: Listen more, talk less. Give more and recognize your blessings and say ‘thank you’.

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: Girl em[Power]ment means feeling comfortable with who you are, striving for more, and taking on challenges that you believe in – make a difference.

I think we could all take Linda’s advice to give more, recognize our blessings and say ‘thank you’. I know I can!

Stay tuned for our next influencer–be sure to follow along on insta @girlempowerment.
Xo, Flancake

[graphic in collaboration with Courtney Ulrich of Alligator Food Design]

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[don’t be left out – follow @girlempowerment for updates]

Girl em[Power]ment – Hope Cavell

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

I’m so excited to be sharing with you all our next influencer, Hope Cavell. I’ve known this fab + funny gal for about three-ish years now, first through school and then through working together at Lola. She’s a ball to be around, and always exudes kindness + confidence, with such creativity and grace it’s hard to not have if rub off on you.

Introducing Hope Cavell, of Lola Boutique
Insta – @hopecavelll + @lolaboutique

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: I am the store manager at Lola in Fayetteville, Arkansas and also work as a stylist under my own name doing closets, etc. Within Lola, I dabble in social media and visuals [you often wear many hats in a small business!] I started working retail when I was 16 and have been doing so ever since. I’m lucky enough to have worked at two fabulous local boutiques prior to Lola. Different products, different clientele…but always fashion forward women’s clothing. My career path is foggy right now but I hope to transfer from the retail sector of things to more styling and creative work. 

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I went to the University of Arkansas and majored in Apparel Studies and Product Development. I also have a minor in Beer.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: Overall, I’m a glass-half-full gal so I have that working for me. Sometimes you can ignore it and other times you can’t. Those times that you cannot, it may be time to reevaluate your situation or talk to someone in charge. Sometimes a little bit of action is all that’s needed. I’ve yet to be exposed to a male heavy work environment where women feel that negative pressure…let’s hope I never do!

Q: Who are your role models or mentors, and why?
A: My parents. They are amazing. And Lena Dunham.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: Yes….who hasn’t!? I still struggle with this. Comparing myself to others gets me in a dark place sometimes. I have to yank myself out of it and remember that everyone’s path is different and I am on the right one for me.

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: Fashion, art, friends and family. 

Q: Is there anyone you think that is making a difference in women empowerment that you think we should all know about?
A: As earlier mentioned– Lena Dunham. She is smart but that creative smart that makes you think and laugh and feel. I don’t always agree with her politics or opinions but I respect her and look up to her for them. She’s taken her fame and created this platform for young women….that being themselves and having their own opinions is cool and sexy. Because it is!! Check out her newest venture in all this– Lenny Letter– an online newsletter via email.

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: Sometimes it’s a glass of wine, chatting with my momma while loving on my dog. Other times it’s a run outside full of explicit rap music.

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment meant to you?
A: Lifting one-another up. That is so cornball but true. Girls are too hard on themselves so anytime you find yourself thinking something nice about someone, tell ’em! We all are going through hard stuff so spreading the girl power is vital. I think about my mom, my sister, my friends, my coworkers…So. Many. Bad. Bitches. I am truly inspired everyday and made better because of them.

Girl em[Power]ment – Nina Copeland

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

Our next influencer is Nina Copeland, who I’ve gotten to know over the years at Johnson Dermatology. She not only gives great skin advice and has a must-read blog, but is a working mom who’s also got killer style. Nina always has a positive energy about her, and never fails to make me feel at home when visiting her. Keep reading for her [amazing] answers and advice for twenty-somethings.

Introducing, Nina Copeland, of The Skinny On Skin + Johnson Dermatology
Blog – TheSkinnyOnSkin

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: I’m a dermatology nurse practitioner at Johnson Dermatology. I do surgical, cosmetic and general dermatology. I started as a certified nursing assistant at age 16. I worked in hospitals eventually becoming an RN and then a Nurse Practitioner. I have experience in OB/GYN, outpatient surgery, forensic nursing, ICU and the ER. Finally, I’m at my home in dermatology.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I went to the U of A in Fayetteville where I recieved my Bachelors in the Science of Nursing. I attended UCA in Conway where I earned my Master in the Science of Nursing. I am certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: I currently work in an office with over 30 women and one man so I don’t encounter this often. But I approach negativity with positivity. I am proud of myself and where I’ve come in my career. While I was pregnant I was often asked if I was going to stay home when the baby arrived. I always responded, “no way! I love my job! I’m going to teach my girls how to juggle it all by example.”

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: Everytime I try something new! It’s life and that unknown, unsure feeling is what makes you work hard, learn new things and become a little stronger, smarter and wiser. I definetely use that insecure feeling as fuel.

Q: Who are your role models or mentors that you look up to?
A: My first female role model is my Mom. She came from nothing, put herself through college and became an electrical engineer. She has worked for Texas Instruments, NASA, mulitple colleges and now is a teacher. She worked while my Dad stayed home raising us, now that’s a boss lady! Second is my collaborating physician Dr. Sandy Johnson, she always has a positive attitude. She is my constant reminder of how to be better all around. She is a business woman, a doctor, a wife, a mom and happy. Lastly, Brittney Spears, because if she can get through 2007 I feel I can do the impossible no matter how bad a hair day I have (only sort of kidding, kind of serious).

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: I have a 5 month old and a 2 year old so right now my passions include potty training and breastfeeding. My interest include getting a shower and my teeth brushed before going to work. And sleep is a real project. Although, I do remember a time when traveling, volunteer work, road biking, barre, wine with friends and running with my husband were all on my favorite to-do list.

Q: Is there anyone you think that is making a difference in women empowerment that you think we should all know about?
A: I think women empowerment is really blossoming in Fort Smith. Look around at all the local women starting their own businesses. Hazels Haven, Suite One, Indie, Roots Salon, Belle Starr Antiques, Baby Chic and Kens & Co. are just a few of my favorite Fort Smith girls that own their successful businesses. Know who your local women business leaders are and support them, that’s what women empowerment is all about!

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: I love the lake, the pool and massages. I like to meditate. If I get a break I like to just sit outside and think while sipping a cup of vanilla chai tea latte.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: Your actions will follow you and have consequences. Make decisions based on the consequences. Think about where a job will take you not just what that job is. Your twenties are just the beginning and even though it feels like it takes “forever” to get through college or move up in a position or get married or whatever I promise it is just a very brief moment in your life. Time keeps getting shorter and days will seem like hours before you know it!

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: Owning it. By that I mean be confident and own your brand, what you represent. Be humble. Share what you are good at with other women and encourage them to be amazing too. If we support each other the sky is the limit. Have you heard the saying the woman is the neck that turns the head in a family? The truth is women are the brain! We can turn the head and shake the hips simultaneously, heck we run it all!

Stay tuned for Wednesday’s influencer, and I hope you enjoyed hearing from Nina!
Xo, Flancake

[don’t be left out – follow @girlempowerment for updates + inspo]

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[graphic in collaboration with Courtney Ulrich of Alligator Food Design]