This Connecticut Designer Empowers Me

In partnership with Connecticut designer, Les Coeurs Sauvages

I grew up in a small town in Connecticut called Mansfield. Growing up in a small town is always an interesting conversation for me to have with people because there is this assumption that you have to or want to “escape” a small town. Growing up in a small town is probably the reason I’m so fearless and unfiltered. Since I didn’t grow up having access to a big city or opportunities that people who grew up in big cities have, I’ve had to pave my own way and put in a little more effort. There is no downside to remaining in a small town or leaving a small town: the decision comes down to what inspires you and what kind of life do you want to lead?

Since I started as a fashion blogger, fashion has remained an integral part of my DNA since the beginning! Most of the time you can catch me in workout clothes or a simple dress/ my Golden Goose sneakers with a cool sweater out and about or working. Back when I was working fully in fashion interning and blogging, I’d dress up every single day. Fashion is an expression of your personality! Now that I’m old and 24 (lol) I’m about comfort and practicality.

When I travel, I usually wear the same Everlane matching jumpsuit because I know I won’t lose track of it. Now that it’s hot outside and even hotter in different places I’m going to, I’m obsessed with silk dresses and slips.

You can pair them with heels or sneakers, even espadrilles as pictures below. Connecticut Les Coeurs Sauvages sent me dresses to showcase on Life Unfiltered and in my daily life, which I’ve been taking full advantage! I not only adore these dresses but everything on LCS screams fearless and unfiltered. Is it safe to assume this designer is disrupting the fashion industry in Connecticut?

I’d say so!

Legacy, Love & What Truly Matters

A few weeks ago I was at a meeting with a large VC fund in Austin, and someone in the meeting was so sweet and seriously inspired ME! Tanaka is a young adult with a podcast and his own mission to inspire more people to be fearless and unfiltered. In this episode we discuss everything from my background and childhood, to the evolution of my blog and Radio Disney show plus everything in-between.

Lately I’ve been getting asked super deep questions about my own thoughts on relationships and love on podcasts I’ve been interviewed on and I’m seriously loving answering those questions. I’m the most confident version of myself at this point in time and though I’m learning something new every single day, I feel very strongly about leading you guys towards figuring out your own purpose and mission through the experiences I speak so candidly about.

Hope you listen and learn something from Tanaka and myself on this episode of Campus Cuts!

 

Taking Control of Your Mental Health as a Young Entrepreneur

The pandemic highlighted the need for everyone to pay more attention to their mental wellbeing as crises – like Covid-19 – can increase the rates of developing mental illnesses. Statistically, one in five people will show symptoms of different conditions during these periods.

While being a young entrepreneur alone can be stressful as you pave your way to success, it can be more trying and tiring to do so now amidst a global health calamity. You should do what you can to take matters into your own hands and take charge of your mental health.

Here are a few ways you can alleviate any distress you may experience to make you feel like the boss that you truly are:

Seek professional help


Regularly attending sessions with mental health professionals will allow you to lift a weight off your chest and help you cope with different stressors in your life. As a young entrepreneur, you might not have the time to visit a physical clinic due to your busy schedule. Telemedicine can make this easier for you, and just as effective. Licensed remote therapists are equipped with the right education and experience to aid you through different mental health issues, offering personalized and effective advice. They have the same credentials as traditional practitioners, and offer a convenient alternative for busy entrepreneurs looking to fit an appointment into their schedule.

Try meditation


Meditation has become extremely popular over the last few years as it allows people to practice mindfulness techniques, increase cognitive functions, and reduce stress. It has other mental health benefits such as controlling anxiety, building a sense of self, and improving overall relaxation. Taking a few minutes out of your day to sit in silence and focus on your breathing can make a big difference. The benefits for those who need to network and work in teams are also huge. In one study, “153 adults who used a mindfulness meditation app for 2 weeks experienced reduced feelings of loneliness and increased social contact compared with those in a control group”. If you have more time on your hands, you can do this as a relaxing ritual to start or end your day.

Practice self-care


There are many things that people can consider “self-care.” This can range from doing some aromatherapy or taking time in your day to watch your favorite movies. As a young entrepreneur, you should try out different activities that make you feel happy and relaxed so you can be more well-rounded, effectively making it easier for you to be more productive in your work. Make sure to eat healthy as much as possible and to try and get some physical activity in at least three-times a week. Small actions like treating yourself to a nice cup of coffee or a facial can also be a method of self-care. Showing appreciation for yourself can certainly do wonders when it comes to taking charge of your wellbeing.

Get enough rest


Rest is another important aspect of mental health. Not getting enough can lead to mood instability, irritability, and even bouts of depression. Having quality sleep can be a deciding factor in how well you cope with stress and anxiety. It is essential to regulate your hormones through rest to help you deal with your mental health, as this ensures that your body is strong enough to tackle many challenges. Young entrepreneurs should get enough sleep despite their heavy workload so they can truly take charge of their mental health.


Utilizing all of the strategies mentioned above can make a true difference in taking care of your wellbeing. Remember to not put too much pressure on yourself and to take a breather now and then. This will make you become a much better person as a whole and one ready to take on the world.

Heather Emerson: The New Unfiltered

Heather Emerson and I met at a mentor workshop we are a part of in Austin. We were instructed (as mentors) to lead an intro exercise where we all say 2 truths and 1 lie. One of Heather’s truths was that she was in prison, and that automatically caught my attention because I had an experience with my family when I was younger. I’ve very familiar with the justice system and all of the problems it has, so I pulled her aside following the meeting to invite her to coffee.

Heather’s story is fascinating. At 18, she was locked up for 18 months for a crime involving drugs that was part of a setup to lock up other people in the military using substances. She left prison and felt very lost for years, until she founded Prep To Your Door. It’s Texas’s only zero waste meal delivery service.

Everything is 100% organic, plant-based, gluten and dairy free. Just like the milk man, they pick up all containers and packaging each week when new delivery is made. PTYD also retails other items like juices, kombuchas, vegan cheeses, nut milks, yogurts, cookies and more. All zero waste. Good for you and the planet!

I love stories like Heather’s because I always ask people what made them go one direction when they could’ve so easily followed another direction? The trauma I experienced as a child could’ve set me up to go in a completely different direction with my life yet I persevered and built a life for myself.

What makes someone go one direction and one person another direction?

 

How To Be Fearless After You Make A Mistake

I have made mistakes, continue to make them in my personal and business life, and thrive off of every mistake I make. It takes time to get comfortable making mistakes and admitting to making them. I take myself incredibly seriously especially in business and so when something goes awry, I don’t always take it well mentally. I feel my heart start to beat and my anxiety come on. When that happens, I take a deep breath and turn my phone or laptop off for a bit. I’ve found that working to ground myself again after realizing I offered too little money or lost a deal because I asked for too much sometimes comes down to luck. You’ll never know what someone is thinking behind their computer screen so you might as well not even think about it and move on to the next.

If you go out and have fun with your friends and then text someone you shouldn’t (we’ve all been there…) don’t text them again the next day. Or ever.

Be fearless and delete their number. You don’t need it. If someone isn’t texting you when you’re already out wanting to talk, they just ain’t worth your time.

I’ve done this (and sometimes do it now!) but every time I get a little less anxious the day after because I’ve prepared myself for the scenario and the feeling of texting someone you shouldn’t have!

Here’s what I ask myself every time I’m anxious after making a mistake:

Will I remember this in 10 years? 10 days? 10 weeks?

I’ve never once been able to answer that sentence with a yes. So move the f*** on and stop overthinking.

BUY THE FEARLESS STICKER COLLECTION HERE.

Business is a tricky game because there are so many obstacles to jump over to get certain business deals. I’ve negotiated back and forth, sometimes for weeks with a company, and still get a no. I find myself asking myself if I should’ve asked for less money, followed up less or offered them more options (like a Tik Tok and a social media post) yet each time a deal goes wrong, another deal pops up that was even better than the one I was eager to land. There’s this remarkable thing called success once you work hard. Once you walk away from something or accept the word no when you get it, you’ll find yourself looking back at the moments where you thought you’d never recover and realizing that what isn’t meant for you isn’t meant for you.

I’ll say it again: stop overthinking and be fearless enough to move the f*** on.

Anticipate the days and weeks where you will find yourself frustrated that you’re not further along in whatever you’re pursuing and when those feelings hit, go do something that reminds you why you started. Walk, run, write, drink tea…because everything else is just noise.

Business Is A Game: Here’s How To Win

Business is a game and there’s one way to win: play hard.

 

Yesterday, Business Insider profiled me on how I pitch and secure brand deals.

 I hate the term micro influencer or “nano” influencer because it’s stupid. I mean, I’ve been doing this for years and I’m too successful to have the word micro in front of my name but the influencer world is a game, more than any other part of business I’ve seen. I know people who make $0 and have millions of followers and I know people who have 15K and make solid money a month. It’s a game, and what the whole world of “influencing” comes down to is:

how good you can play

can you play better than the others?

and most importantly: what makes you different?

This piece is really well-written and goes into many of my tips and tricks for pitching, many I’ve shared on Life Unfiltered and The New Unfiltered before. I advise those just starting out in the social media/influencer territory to secure smaller brand deals and get solid testimonials from those brands before seeking larger brands with more budget. One of my mentees in Austin has been successfully landing brand deals with her TikTok page with me by her side leading the way – from how to pitch to how to negotiate.

I always negotiate. I won’t say yes to a $2,500 deal before I ask for $2,550. Why?

I’m neurotic obviously but I think you fail when you do not ask. The more you negotiate, the harder it shows you can play. To be successful and maintain a career like I have for an infinite amount of time in this industry you have to be willing to ask for what you want, negotiate every deal well, and get better and better at business every step of the way.

When do you play the game wrong? If you expect someone to give you money when you haven’t proven yourself (AKA, if you’ve never worked with a brand and go and pitch one at $5K with no case study backing you) you can’t be mad if they say no.

You have not yet won at business because you are viewing yourself above other people in the industry who have those case studies. There’s just too many smart savvy people to think you’re going to win when you’ve barely started.

If you aren’t able to answer what sets you apart, you’re going to struggle. A few ways you can determine what sets you apart is analyzing your competition (if you’re into fashion, what makes you better than Aimee Song?) or if you’re discussing crypto, what makes your edge stronger than the next Youtuber with more followers than you?

If you have less than 50K followers, it’s even more critical you know the answer to this question because people judge so heavily based on one number without even asking what sets you apart, so answer it for them.

Get good at business: win every deal.

 

Sharing My Debt Journey With Yahoo!

I’ve been candid about my debt journey over the past year as I’ve acknowledged working to get out of $30K in debt as a young founder. Most of the debt was accumulated back when I lived in Boston and was doing TV segments every week to make a living to be able to pursue blogging. BUT, most of the time I wasn’t paid for 30-60 days so in the moments I’d have to buy food (bananas all day everyday!) or pay my rent, I’d put those expenses on a credit card until I was paid. The cycle became more and more negative for me because once I’d get paid, I’d have to take the money to fund my life at that point, without being able to pay off what I had put on the cards in the 30-60 day time period.

Sharing my story about debt is so personal, and I hope that it helps you understand the downsides of credit cards. Most importantly, be smart with your money. Have savings. And if you get to a point where you realize you’re in debt like I was, take care of it.

Read the full piece here.

The Roe V. Wade Decision Sickens Me

A statement from Be Fearless Summit and myself below.

This opinion is my own and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

I avoid discussing politics on my platform. 

I will however speak about women’s rights, the justice system and gun policy openly.

I am opposed to guns, however my wish of guns being abolished will never be passed SO I’d like for the purchase of a gun to be near impossible unless you pass a f*** ton of tests (mental health tests & more) and other obstacles before you’re allowed to buy a gun. Europe has a significantly lower amount of school and mass shootings because people can’t go into a gun store and London and walk out with a rifle in a matter of minutes. Ugh. This topic makes me so heated. 

Unless you live under a rock (I’d like to go live under a rock if this actually happens- anyone with me?) you know what the Roe V. Wade case is about and what was recently leaked to media.

In 1973, a case brought to the Supreme Court enabled a law to be passed that gives women the right to her own body: birth control and termination.

Never once in my young adult/early 20s life did I anticipate the right for me, a woman in a country with so much opportunity, to go away for a decision so personal.

Roe V. Wade being overturned will make it criminal for you to have a termination, even if the pregnancy came about by (rape) or (incest). I have had many conversations over the years with people about this topic, many people in support of women having the right to do WHATEVER the F they want with their bodies, and I’ve had conversations with people very anti-choice. I’m fascinated by people anti-women’s choice. It’s not my business to convince you, but it’s not your business to be in support of people making choices for people they’ve never met.

I’ve interviewed health professionals (see video below with my OBGYN about birth control) to educate women about all of the resources, including birth control, available to them. I had an IUD for 7 years before getting it removed, and the idea that a young woman out there won’t have access to that in the near future as she goes through experiences in her teens/20s and so on disgusts me.

I hope this law banning abortions and birth control doesn’t get passed, but having a plan for a future where it is passed is probably smart. I’ve never had a termination, but I’ve been there through thick and thin with friends who have – supporting their choice 10000%.

I can tell you that is one of the most personal and serious decisions a young woman has to make that a man never will understand. No one wishes to be in that situation: there’s this thing called life that happens.

No man should try and even understand any element of that decision.

WHAT DOES THIS LAW MEAN?

Educate your siblings, your cousins, and the severity of how this affects women. This isn’t just about abortion: this is about women’s rights being revoked.

Get Paid For Your Idea

Be Fearless Summit put together a list of tons of companies focusing on women founders that will give you money for your idea.

 

If you follow me on social media, you know that I’ve been focusing on raising money! I’m in the process of working with a co-founder who launched another incredible company and we are planning to merge both companies in the next few months. Because of this potential merge, we are determining the best route to raise money, whether that’s via angel investors or a full round. To raise money properly, you need a proof of concept. Before looking into any of the above outlets, I highly encourage you to create a deck that showcases the proof you have that your idea works (check this deck here) as that proof is encouraging to investors. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t hear yes immediately – timing is critical when it comes to funding. Don’t give up!

 

How To Be Fearless When Going Out

I’m kinda LOVING this new series. It’s inspiring me to be fearless every single day so that I can report back to you guys!

Earlier this week, I posted about how to be fearless when dating. There’s a lot to unpack there but ultimately confidence and the ability to say yes or no to someone in a specific scenario is how to win the dating game. Until you’re confident enough to be able to sit at a table and talk freely about yourself and what you like and don’t, keep working on yourself until you are. The reason I say that is because to have a successful relationship you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. You can certainly learn those along the way but I’ve found that the ability to know what you like and don’t like upfront reduces so much bullshit and games while dating. You only have a certain amount of time: be wise with it. There is no rush to find your person. Because when you find that person, there will be less issues since you’ve already found your identity.

On Tuesday morning, I was invited to a dinner in Austin via a CEO who I haven’t met but have been connected with via socials and LinkedIn for quite some time. They had a founder drop out of their weekly founders dinner and wanted to invite me.

Initially, a few things went through my mind:

I don’t go out on Tuesday nights and I may be out past my bedtime

What if it’s super awkward and I don’t feel comfortable leaving?

Who are these people!?

Before I even had the chance to let myself say no, I replied to his email and said count me in. Step one to being fearless: don’t allow your mind to spiral before you say yes.

I would’ve gone alone, but my friend Kendall wasn’t doing anything so I asked her if she wanted to join. In the case the dinner was awkward or boring, at least she’d be there to talk to. I’m still getting used to the process of being fearless and confident in certain situations, so bringing a friend can be really helpful so that you don’t say no to something just because you’re nervous of what the outcome could be.

The dinner was lovely, and though I didn’t stay super long because I was already getting anxiety about being out late, I felt proud of myself that I said yes to a dinner with people I didn’t know.

How can you have a similar mentality surrounding going out? Look at every experience as an opportunity to learn something about yourself. Even if the dinner had been boring and awkward, I would’ve tested myself by being honest with the group and allowing myself to leave the dinner (while saying thank you) so I’m not wasting my time or theirs.

It’s OKAY if you get in a scenario that isn’t benefitting you, and it’s even more okay to leave. You took a chance and did something that made you uncomfortable. Reward yourself for that.

I’m very confident, especially in social settings, so I don’t get too nervous about being around people I don’t know. Since I have so much background in entertainment and podcasting, I’m good at interrogating people with questions, especially in times where there’s that dreaded awkward silence. During this dinner, I decided to take a seat back and listen and allow others to ask me questions. The need to fill that “awkward” space during conversation is a defense mechanism to avoid thinking YOU look awkward, but it’s the opposite. Don’t view those awkward spaces in conversation as a bad thing: allow yourself to take some time and think before you ask another question, and perhaps in that spare time you may be asked a question.

How were you fearless this week?

BE FEARLESS SUMMIT 2022 FALL ANNOUNCEMENT IS COMING NEXT WEEK!