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March 8th is International Women's Day, and this year the theme is #ChooseToChallenge, based upon the idea that "A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world."

Each of the women creatives we serve here at WSW is changing the world by spreading joy and inspiration, sharing her skills and entrepreneurial spirit with her those around her, and blazing a trail by running her own business.  We admire and honor each and every one of these empowered and empowering women.

As part of our celebration of women, we'd like to share with you 4 creatives (or creative teams) who we've had the pleasure of working with and getting to know over the past few years. We asked each of them about their creative journeys and inspirations, and to share a personally defining characteristic. Here's what these brilliant women had to say:


Twine & Twig: Jacquelyn Tugwell & Elizabeth White

Twine & Twig interview for International Women's Day, by WomanShopsWorld

Q: How do you use your creativity to inspire other women?

A: Women tell us all of the time that they are inspired by how we took an idea and started a company. They comment on how watching our company grow and seeing the journey on Instagram inspired them to pursue their own passion or idea. When you see the passion, drive & success in someone creating it can have a domino effect.

Q: Name some women who inspire you, & why?

Jacquelyn: Michelle Obama - she has shown incredible determination throughout her life. I’m so looking forward to reading her biography. “When you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you," Mrs. Obama wrote in Becoming. "You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed." We always take the time to talk to other female entrepreneur’s and share insight of things we’ve learned along the way - you have to pay it forward.

Greta Thunberg - I have loved learning about her through my children. She came and spoke at their school and they came home inspired and full of questions of how to do better for our world. How incredible for our kids to see someone her age push back against policy holders and take a stand!

Elizabeth: My group of best girlfriends. To know them is to love them. We are all so very different, but we show up and love each other when we need it the most. We have raised our children together and have been there through thick and thin over the years and I could not do it without them. I think its truly important to find a group that knows you to your core and lifts you up.

Q: What inspired you to start your own business?

A: We had no intention of starting a company. We were just designing original jewelry for ourselves and friends started to ask for pieces so we had a launch party. From there we had tremendous luck and everything grew very fast, almost too fast for us to keep up. So I would say passion inspired us because it was something we loved doing with no other initial intention but to create.

Q: Tell us something about you that makes you awesome.

Jacquelyn: My bravery. I had some medical challenges in life that taught me to embrace the “you’ve got one life to live” philosophy. I live open & full hearted & stay true to myself & try to find joy with everything I do

Elizabeth: My drive. Pretty sure this quote sums me up word for word. “She was fierce, she was strong, she wasn’t simple. She was crazy and sometimes she barely slept. She always had something to say. She had flaws and that was ok. And when she was down, she got right back up. She was a beast in her own way, but one idea described her best. She was unstoppable and she took anything she wanted with a smile.” - R.M. Drake

To learn more about Jacquelyn & Elizabeth, visit them on Instagram, or on their website, www.twineandtwigstyle.com/

Charlie on Park: Amber Brown

Charlie on Park by Amber Brown, interviewed by WomanShopsWorld

Q: How do you use your creativity to inspire other women?

Amber: It’s my belief that I am here to spread light to all those I encounter. From the way I get my family’s day started, to every opportunity I have running errands and the love I pour into my creative business, I hope everyone leaves an encounter with me a bit lighter. I am a firm believer in “We rise by lifting others.” This mindset is my way of being an inspiration to others.

Q: Name some women who inspire you, & why?

A: My whole life I have loved Dolly Parton. I grew up in Nashville down the street from her home and each day as my school bus would pass her house, I would dream of meeting her and soaking in some of her kindness (and sass!). Her ability to not take life too seriously and to have a good time, but work hard and give back, is something I admire.

Now, I feel incredibly lucky to be located in Charlotte, surrounded by a community of insanely creative and talented women. I have many artistic small business owner friends who constantly share ideas, trends and struggles. When you have Bakers, Artists, Photographers, Fashion bloggers/Influencers, Artisans, Foodies and World Travelers in your life, it’s next to impossible to not be inspired!

Q: What inspired you to start your own business?

A: I have always been a “crafty-maker-person.” About 9 years ago, I took an earring making class and right away ran to my local craft store to buy everything I needed to make earrings. And boy, I did! I made earrings everyday and handed them out to everyone I came in contact with! Practice makes better and over the years, with encouragement from women in my community, I started Charlie On Park. They haven’t let me fail. I especially love that my 3 daughters watch their mom work hard and do what I love. They also see their dad, my husband of almost 16 years, be an incredibly supportive and encouraging spouse.

Q: Tell us something about you that makes you awesome.

A: I am a singer! I come from a musical family and have sung my whole life. You’ll find me singing my heart out for my church, weddings, funerals, doing dishes, folding laundry and for Naturalization Ceremonies in Charlotte.

To learn more about Amber, check her out on Instagram

Copper Crown Studio: Claire English
Copper Crown Studio's Claire English, Interview for International Women's Day, by WomanShopsWorld

Q: How do you use your creativity to inspire other women?

A: Positivity is key. There’s a lot of pessimism and negativity circulating in news and social media lately, but we always have the ability to move beyond that space and think bigger and brighter. Creating and crafting was part of my childhood and I feel fortunate to have had time to cultivate an artistic ability that we all naturally possess in different forms. As a former graphic designer, I’ve always been attracted to beautiful design elements and the influential power of advertising. Why not make the message positive and inspiring when possible? Surrounding myself with a worktable of happy, bright, colorful jewelry elements triggers that creative urge, and mindfully sharing it on social media platforms is a gift. 

Q: Name some women who inspire you, & why?

A: My mother, Judy. She studied piano and met my dad in graduate school. They were concert pianists and taught music for years. I grew up in a house with constant music. My mom nurtured creativity by teaching me to sew and encouraging me to paint, bead, craft, journal, draw and read whenever possible. One thing I gleaned from her is that down time is very important. We don’t allow ourselves much of that these days, but a solid spell of quiet time, sometimes disguised as boredom, can stir up lots of creativity.

My daughter, Rachel. Seeing life through your child’s eyes is unbelievably inspiring, and from an early age Rachel was bombarding us with wisdom, wit and wonder. She could think of adventurous ways to create well beyond my imagination. She has never shied away from trying new things, and as academically and athletically active as she was, she would always find time to create artistically. Her huge heart is inspiring: for her senior year she signed us up for a mother daughter mission trip to Peru. It was a beautiful experience and of course more meaningful than we could have ever imagined. That adventure was something completely unexpected, but being able to experience with her, the excess of love and devotion at the orphanage, was life-changing. She is now married and thriving as an artist in Dallas. She paints breathtaking skies and celestial images. And, she’s about to become a Mommy herself…first baby due in just a couple of weeks!

My girlfriends. The very best friends in the universe. They are inspiring beyond belief. We’ve laughed and cried together, shared everything ranging from most vulnerable moments to milestone events. These women had better know who they are when they read this, because I’m forever grateful to know, love and constantly be inspired by each of them.

Q: What inspired you to start your own business?

A: I attribute completely the start of this business to a dear friend, Kate. Several years ago she asked me to partner with her to start her dream company, Kate and Co Jewelry Designs. In the beginning I helped with marketing and quickly re-discovered how much I loved beading and working with my hands. When she moved on to a different career pursuit, I aimed to keep the momentum but with a rebrand shift to Copper Crown Studio. Etsy has been a terrific marketplace for Copper Crown Studio, and I am still grateful today for the wonderful nudge from Kate to help make this little one woman company evolve.

Q: Tell us something about you that makes you awesome.
A: I absolutely LOVE working with color and it’s probably no surprise that I adore the vibrant, colorful world of WSW. Bright vivid colors are real mood lifters, and to me, the visual effect when certain colors are combined is simply fascinating. The love and support I’ve been so fortunate to experience throughout my life has helped cultivate a very happy and fulfilling place in my little part of the creative process. And for that, I am forever grateful. 

To learn more about Claire, visit her on Instagram, or on her Etsy Shop, www.etsy.com/shop/CopperCrownStudio

Gems by MKOL, Margo Lewis

Margo Lewis of Gems by MKOL, interviewed by WomanShopsWorld

Q: How do you use your creativity to inspire other women?
A: I love to inspire woman through my (Instagram) squares using color, health motivation, and fun styling videos to help inspire woman to express their inside selves on their external canvas!

Q: Name some women who inspire you, & why?
A: My wife! I have literally never met anyone like her. She has the ability to adapt and change for the better more than anyone I have ever met. Throughout her career, she has managed teams rolling up to her, consisting of hundreds of people, mostly men. She is kind and fair, and people love to work for her.  She was an ex professional and college basketball player, and is completely mentally and physically fit.  She blows me away how she has broken through the ‘glass ceiling’ and inspires me every day. 

Q: What inspired you to start your own business?
A: I have always been an entrepreneurial spirit.  I love making people feel good about themselves, and Jewelry is one way we can outwardly express ourselves! Nothing makes me happier, than someone purchasing a piece of my Jewelry.  Not because it is a ‘sale’, but because I know they are vibing off of the energy I’m putting out there: living positively, with color, kindness, and beauty!

Q: Tell us something about you that makes you awesome.
A: Ha!  What a great question!  I never meet someone I don’t like. I believe I have a gift of seeing the good in people, which makes it easy to connect with them!

To learn more about Margo, check her out on Instagram 

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