Boss Lady: Loria Oliver’s Sanity Saving Invention

We are thrilled to share our interview with Loria Oliver, inventor of the Tot Tote! Loria was excited to share her journey and encourage women to be the boss ladies they aspire to be at the quarterly Boss Lady Mixer in February, hosted by i’Mindful Gives Back. Tribe of Women is proud to be a partner for this event and bring you the stories of these boss ladies.

Momspiration

Loria and her husband had their first son in 2011 and quickly added another bouncy baby boy to the family in 2012. With boys so close in age and active, life was beautiful but the car was chaotic. Animal crackers, juice boxes, books, and toys were everywhere in the back seat and Loria set out to find a solution.

Loria Oliver Family Time Two Boys Mom Ventor Harry TV Tot Tote Invention

Back seat car stress soon took a front seat when she discovered that a kid-friendly, fun and creative solution that was also useful did not exist on the market. She knew she was not the only parent experiencing frustration at the extra time it took to stay organized, so she put her empathy to work and began her entrepreneurial journey to solve a problem for herself, and moms and dads everywhere.

Loria’s Tot Tote invention now exists on the market to support families like hers who are seeking to spend less time cleaning up and more time being together. It’s versatility as a traditional tote bag or backpack surprises and delights anyone with a desire to keep the car tidy when it also opens up to become a back seat organizer! 

A Matter of Perspective

“My perspective as a woman is a huge part of how I think about developing a product, promoting it, creating partnerships and selling. Being a mother inspired me and reminded me that there are still opportunities to create, to take risks, and to continue to believe and encourage myself like I do daily for my children. I don’t put boundaries on what success looks like for them, so why should I do that to myself?”

And if your perspective on the world is calling you to do something about it?

“For other ladies looking to develop ideas, my advice is to not give up, to be flexible in making edits, connect with people who have different skill sets than you, be able to take critical feedback, and have fun with the process.”

Tribe it Forward

Creativity Colorful Designs Women Entrepreneurs Tot Tote Bag

The tribe of women who supports Loria is comprised of the women in her family who still catch her when she falls, her childhood friends who she has had for over 25 years and tell her the truth even when it’s been hard, and women who she has met in adulthood who have cheered her on when she didn’t know how to cheer for herself.  Loria says, “Recently, I’ve collaborated with two women on an exclusive line of Tot Totes for downtown Bentonville boutique Rollie Pollie. It was an awesome process and I look forward to doing it, again!”

Women are so powerful when we come together. Aren’t we? Go Team Tot Tote & Rollie Pollie!

Why do you believe in tribes of women?

“Having women who believe in you is a gift but it doesn’t come without work. Finding those women starts with you. Be a woman who supports, listens and encourages. Be a woman who is honest, transparent and gracious. Build your network of women by being the woman you want to attract.”

Boom! You are so boss, lady. Thank you for sharing your journey and story with us, Loria. We’re looking forward to all that is ahead for you.

Do you know a Boss Lady? Comment and share a little bit about her here!

Tribe Stories: Reflection, A Daughter’s Story

We hear so many wonderful Tribe Stories from women all over the world and do our best to capture and bring them to you. They are a path to connection and feeling seen, heard, and felt by others. While we love the recorded stories we are able to share on the Tribe Talk podcast, the written stories are equally powerful. Especially when the words and story are coming from the heart of the author herself.

I was so fortunate to meet Constance Anne. She is an ageless beauty with an undeniable presence that speaks with an honesty that only a life-well-lived and loved can support.  When she learned that we collect Tribe Stories, she said, “I have one for you.” And now, in her words, we have it to share with you.

Love, Amy

Is that you?

It was such an unexpected surprise seeing mom today. It literally took my breath. Hers too it seemed.  We gazed at each other… taking in the moment, a mixed sense of wonderment and disbelief reflected in our faces.  It has been a little over 12 years since I last saw her, the last time I ever expected to see her, and yet … here she was, looking at me… staring at me.  Her hair, wisps of silver-grey, wildly dancing among the dark waves and soft curls; her eyes, bright… enveloped in gentle folds and creases, reflective of the passing of time; fine laugh lines giving the appearance of a shy smile…  her face, freckled from the sun.    

I guess it was the dress she was wearing that had caught my attention… had me suddenly see her as I turned around.  It was the familiarity of it; a princess cut, collared, turquoise in color… it was not unlike her self-styled work uniform.  Mom was a nurse, a ‘Sister. She worked for years running a small, on-site clinic at one of the big manufacturing companies in South Africa.  I think she liked that particular dress style, not only for its simplicity but because it gave shape to her slightly larger size.  Mom had always been pleasantly plump… ‘more of me to love’ she would say, each time she gathered me in for a hug.  But she was never entirely comfortable with her weight; her love of food, desserts in particular… a constant nemesis.  It would seem the sweetness and lure of sugar has become my nemesis too… gone are the days where my youth and active metabolism wage war on everything and anything I choose to eat.

Mom, is that you?  Where did you come from?  What are you doing here?   I reached out… our fingers touched briefly, and in that moment reality regained order.  The glass was cold, hard, the room small, the lighting soft. I blinked… the mind reconfigured.  I was in the dressing room of a favorite clothing store; the particular dress being tried on, the fall of the fabric, the way it looked, the way it fit my burgeoning, aging body, its color, and its style perhaps the trigger.  It was me… I was looking in a mirror at a reflection of myself… but it was mom who stood before me.  How did this happen?  How could this be. I’m my mother’s daughter… not my mother!  Where did time go … how is this possible?  A collision of emotions welled; disappointment, regret, sadness… not so much in the sense that the likeness I saw was that of mom, but rather that is was only a likeness, and in fact not her… only me growing older.  In that singular moment of realization, incongruent feelings of warmth and joy enveloped too; perhaps the comfort of her seeming presence, a realization that she was not gone from this world entirely; I carried her within me… everyday… and the older I got, the more visible that essence of her materialized.   

A hint of jubilance

My mother passed away May 13, 2005.  She was a beautiful woman, inside and out… her nature, gentle and kind… her presentation of self, shy.  She had wisdom beyond her years, her time even.  I long for her stories, her 20 page letters sharing news of life in Africa; family goings-on, dad’s funny escapades, commentary on the ever-changing political landscape… her perceptive, unfiltered, perspective on life. I miss the unconditional love bestowed, the careful counsel imparted; even in her strictest lessons taught, she was always an inspiration to me.  My mother was not perfect by any means, but she was and remains my most significant touchstone, my ultimate measure of a genuinely good person.  I am today the age mom was the year I left South Africa… she gave shape to my character and flight to my dreams… and for that I will forever be grateful.  I loved her deeply, I miss her terribly, still.

The dress being tried, while pretty, was not well suited for me.  Not yet anyway.  I carefully placed it back on its hanger, gathered my things and left the change room, glancing back at the mirror as I stepped out.  She was gone… her image replaced with a likeness more like my own… hair pulled back, no makeup, a little tired looking perhaps, but eyes still bright… with a hint of jubilance.

The first day of the rest of my life

Jubilance, because today was the last day of my radiation treatment.  Finding a new outfit to wear for a celebratory date with my darling husband is how I found myself to be in that dressing room.  Since my initial diagnosis, and as I have traveled the road to recovery, I have received amazing support; from him, from my family and several close and dear friends… they have been my strength, my stamina. I must admit though, there have been times during the last several weeks that I have withdrawn… shut life out, isolated myself and my mind to a quiet space, a place to reflect and to process the wild assortment of emotions that at times have overwhelmed.  It has been in these quiet moments that I most longed for my mom. 

My mind turned wistful as I left the store; perhaps she knew, perhaps it is why she came to me today… to celebrate with me as I step into the future… to let me see that she too has been by my side on this journey and will, in her way, always be with me… and to remind me, that despite the ups and downs of life, growing older is better than the alternative.   

Today, October 13, 2017, was the last day of my radiation treatment for breast cancer… and the first day of the rest of my life.  It is a day I will long remember.  Not only for the journey just completed, but because today, as it so happens, is also Mom’s birthday.  If still with us, she would be celebrating 91 years of age.  

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Constance Anne

Tribe Stories

Thank you, Constance Anne, for your story of the power our tribe of women has in our lives. If you would like to help support breast cancer research and awareness, Constance Anne shared that her local Susan G. Komen affiliate was incredibly supportive in her journey. You can donate to Komen, or find your local affiliate at https://ww5.komen.org/Affiliates.aspx

Do you have Tribe Stories to share? Email us at info@tribeofwomen.modthink.net and put “Tribe Stories” in the subject line.

Being Boss: i’mindful Bringing Boss Ladies Together

“A great way to bring women together and create a space for empowerment, learning, and support.” ~ Jay Amargos

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with i’mindful Studio and their Boss Lady Mixer quarterly event hosted at their location in Bentonville, AR. We attended in the event August and knew that we wanted to help support this networking mixer for driven boss ladies in Northwest Arkansas.

The next event on November 18th features Boss Lady, Loria Oliver, founder of Tot Tote, speaking about her journey and encouraging women to be the boss lady they aspire to be. We look forward to talking with her and future featured speakers. We’ll be collecting Tribe Stories from presenters and attendees experiencing all stages of life so we can share them with YOU throughout the year!

We had the privilege to sit down with i’mindful’s boss lady herself, Jay Amargos, to do a short interview on the purpose and background of how i’mindful got started and her Boss Lady inspiration.

Passion With a Purpose

Jay’s meditation practice began in 2006 after being diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. Ever since this diagnosis, Jay has valued and developed her relationship with self-care, mental health, and self-acceptance. She formed i’mindful to establish and inspire this lifestyle in others.

i’mindful focuses on the individual human’s well being, meditation, and mental health in order to promote living out a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally. Their in-studio and on-site classes offer people in the community the benefits of mindfulness, nutrition, and yoga meditation.

“In 2012 I was diagnosed with Lupus in my nervous system and Fibromyalgia. I did not want to take a passive approach to my illness and did not want to take drugs to ease my pain. I started looking for natural ways to help me cope with my pain and better my quality of life. Throughout my research, I came across Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). MBSR was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. After endless MBSR courses, training, and research, I had found something amazing that would improve my quality of life forever. As I experienced the many benefits of Mindfulness, I started to become excited about teaching this to others. In 2015 I decided I needed to share my practice and in April 2016, i’mindful was born.”

Health Benefits of Mindfulness

Jay had the opportunity to share with us some of the key struggles people face in life that can be helped by practicing mindfulness.

“Mindfulness has been proven to be effective in helping to treat, along with medical and psychological treatments, people who suffer from many challenges, including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety & depression
  • Cancer & chronic disease
  • Work, family and emotional stress
  • Eating disturbances
  • Heart disease
  • Sleeplessness

There are over 40 decades of research showing how mindfulness is helping with treatment and showing people how to live a better life.” 

Mindfulness is the basis of i’mindful because Jay saw the value in her life to practice a healthy lifestyle and had a passion and drive to bring the wisdom she has learned from her experiences to the people around her.

Women Supporting Women

Jay’s three biggest passions are:

  1. Teaching mindfulness 
  2. Developing, empowering and mentoring
  3. Cooking

“I have always had mentors, advisors, people empowering me. It’s now my turn to do the same for others.” And this was a way for her to tribe it forward to others.

This exciting event brings women from different sectors together to network and learn and support one another. We believe that there is nothing more empowering than women supporting women. Jay’s philosophy when it comes to women is: “Collaborate don’t compete. Support don’t tear down. Empower don’t restrict.” Why Do You Believe in Tribes of Women?

“Because your tribe will get you through your toughest times in life. Throughout my experience, I have learned that it is so much more difficult to go through it all alone. We all need a tribe!”

Connecting women to empower and support one another, and help evolve each other’s lives for the better. Do you see why we love Jay and are so gung-ho to partner and support the  i’Minful and The Boss Lady Mixer?

We are thrilled to be part of Jay’s journey and support her supporting women. Stay tuned for Boss Lady stories on our blog and Tribe Talk podcast.

In Northwest Arkansas? Tickets are going fast.

Buy them today!

Not in the area or want to know more? Follow i’Mindful or subscribe to Jay’s new podcast “Mental Health & Pie”.

Has mindfulness helped you? Share your mindful journey story with us in the comments!

Gender Harmony: The 2017 World Woman Summit

In the last few years a number of conferences have sprung up around a common theme: bringing women together increases the power of our collective voice. The United State of Women, The S.H.E. Summit, The Women’s Convention, and at the end of this month, the World Woman Summit. Convening in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Clinton Presidential Center on September 3oth, the World Woman Summit will bring women together (with some good men) to discuss key issues facing women across the globe and work to increase “Gender Harmony”. Tribe of Women will be there to hear from leaders from around the world and collect their Tribe Stories. The World Woman Summit is a global stage for raising women’s voices and inspiring people around the world, and we look forward to sharing the learning and wisdom we gather.

Who Will Be There?

We look forward to sharing the stories of women and men from around the globe during and after the summit. We are fortunate to already have relationships with a few of these amazing women who have supported and helped grow Tribe of Women. We’re thrilled to be able to be supporting them right back and are proud of their accomplishments and journeys to this global stage.

Holly Fish, founder of Women in Networking, will be giving incredible advice on accelerated networking. A few of Holly’s accomplishments are winning the Women in Business Champion of the year award along with being voted one of the most powerful women in Arkansas by AY magazine for her impact through her volunteer efforts. She has been an integral part of our Tribe from the beginning and we are excited for her to share her light with others. 

Sandy Wright will be moderating the panel discussing “Violence Against Women” during the Summit. Sandy’s personal experiences of domestic violence and abuse led her to form the Brave Woman organization. Sandy aims to help people throughout the country lift up the voices of survivors to help overcome their past and to push people towards a future of freedom. We’re also pleased to announce that she is our featured interview on the TribeTalk podcast in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Lynette Watts was executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas for 6 years and an advocate for women everywhere throughout her career. She has cheered and supported the women of Arkansas and beyond with her passion and leadership for decades and will be presenting the opening remarks for the conference. We are honored to have these women in our lives and see them speaking and impacting the lives of others while continuing their work of awareness, encouragement, education, and inspiration for women around the world.

Why a Summit? 

The World Woman Summit grew out of the World Woman Foundation, a movement started in 2013. The co-founder and CEO, Rupa Dash holds this conference every year to discuss the influence on global issues and hold a global mentorship program for Women in Film. We have been fans of Rupa’s for a long time and were happy to catch up with her before the summit to gain insight on the World Woman Summit and what people can expect.

The World Woman Summit is a “global conversation aimed to get people informed, inspired and ready to impact the world in a positive way.” 

One of the expressed goals of the Summit is to bring a diverse group of women and men together in a place that has both global and local impact. Rupa mentioned how this event is “intended to help bridge the socio-economic inequalities and provide direct engagement in the World Woman Foundation Global Leadership Institute.” The World Woman’s Foundation will also “provide a framework for Gender Harmony ™ which will be a new pathway for co-creating a better world together by accelerating women’s leadership for increased economic sustainability” that attendees can take back to their communities and begin implementing. 

Networking and connecting with other attendees and speakers will be a critical part of the summit as well. In her career, Rupa has seen a need for partnerships to be “more organic and natural” in order for groups to come together and create a better world. She emphasizes the importance and collaboration with women supporting women and is looking forward to seeing women in all stages of life come together and work to address the issues of Economic Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Global Health Equity, and Violence Against Women discussed throughout the Summit. It is important for women to break the cycles of struggle in their life and move forward with confidence.

Bringing the World to You

While at the World Woman Summit, Tribe of Women is looking forward to connecting with people from all over the globe who want to support women. We will collect interviews from conference speakers and attendees to share with you as these women lift up one voice to society and say, “We are here and we stand together!” 

Want to learn more about the World Woman Foundation and the World Woman Summit? Check out their website and social media for more information. Will you be at the Summit? We’d love to meet you! Let us know in the comments below.

Tribe of Women Loves Mood and Market

Tribe of Women is proud to announce our latest partnership with Mood and Market!

Mary, the founder of Mood and Market, had been dreaming of running her own business for years. As a wife and mother, she rarely found time for herself in her hectic schedule. Being a mom felt like her only role, and while she loved it, she knew that she wanted something in her life to take ownership of. After being a stay at home mom for 15 years, she decided it was time to start doing something simply for herself. In 2015, Mary began her own interior design business and saw intense growth. The business was successful, but it removed her from the home more than she liked. It was impossible to strike the balance between running a successful business and being an attentive wife and mother. Who hears that? (Me! Me! Me!)

Passion & Repurpose

She quickly decided that her family was more important than her business, and spent a year transitioning back into “mommy-dom”. Mary began to wonder if it was possible to stay at home and still have a “thing” outside of the home that would also help support the family. That “thing” stems from creativity and love of all things transformable. Mary likes to say that her mother was a junker before it was cool. That habit that once embarrassed Mary eventually turned into her passion. Now, she has adopted her mother’s love of “junk” and turns antique furniture and vintage housewares into something new and beautiful. One thing that sets her work apart from other junkers is her eye for authenticity. Mary has a knack for recognizing historical characteristics of pieces, from how old they are to the type of wood they’re made from. She finds joy in making trash into treasure, and, as her mom used to say, “being able to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.

Mary’s idea for Mood and Market was born from the combination of her love, gifts, and desire for work/life integration. She also wanted to lift up and create a community of other local artists that could not only help with production but feature their skills and talent. Since there’s not enough time in the day to be a wife, mom, find antique goodies, or learn different trades (welding, painting, etc.) to transform them… she decided not to. Mood and Market allows Mary to find beautiful pieces and create a vision of transformation while relying on other local artists to bring them to life. She loves to spotlight the artists she partners with on her website and support local business.

Tribe it Forward!

Mary brings the Mood, and her best friend, Loray, brings the Market. Loray understands the ins and outs of how to run a business and happily brought that knowledge to the table. Loray also has strong ties to Tribe of Women, knows our belief in women entrepreneurs being vital to economic growth, and our desire to walk our talk of women supporting women. We are proud to be working with Mood and Market and are so grateful that a portion of their women’s equality “Under Wear” line of clothing sales go to support our “gift one” Tribe Talks.

Women supporting women. Shop Mood and Market and let’s tribe it forward, together!

Tribe Talk: Brittany Galla, Editorial Director of ‘Teen Boss’ Magazine

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In this episode, we are bringing you some conversation with two women who are inspired by our newest generation of change-makers – Generation Z. [/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]

Gen Z Sees No Limit to Their Options

Brittany Galla, Editorial Director for Teen Boss Magazine (published by Bauer Media) tells us why she considers herself a “Lifelong Teen” and how she’s inspired by Gen-Z. In a conversation with Amy Robinson and Courtney Lawless, she describes how initial conversations with teens and tweens that were held in small groups and large led to the publication of Teen Boss Magazine.

Hint: It’s not just lipgloss and boy bands.

When we were young, we all wanted to be the same things when we grew up – a teacher, a nurse, a fashion model… but girls today are watching Shark Tank  and selling their handmade crafts during lunch hour at their middle school. They’re not just planning to be entrepreneurs – they already are.

Teen Boss is on the shelf across the United States and Canada in bookstores and larger grocery stores. If you don’t see it, be sure to ask for it!

Tribe Tip: Listen to Gen Z

EA Chica Strong Girls Womens ClothingIn this episode’s Tribe Tip segment, we chatted with Kym Rodda of Ea Chica. We are super excited how perfectly her “fashion line with a purpose” aligns with the Tribe of Women mission, but aimed at girls and young women.

Kym was a teacher for almost twenty years and has two tween and teen daughters of her own. She knew she had a heart for helping teen girls, and wanted to make a positive impact by helping girls build and maintain their own confidence and inner strength. Like Brittany, she launched her brand after being inspired by teen girls.

We LOVE that Brittany and Kym are working with the Gen Z demographic to create tools they can use to be successful – not telling them how to be successful. They are outstanding examples of our mantra: Tribe it Forward!!

Did anything else stand out to you in this episode? Check out the list below of other fun things we referenced in the podcast![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

Find Teen Boss on Social Media:

https://www.instagram.com/teenbossmagazine/

https://www.facebook.com/BeATeenBoss/

Find EA Chica Online:

Ea Chica’s Website

Ea Chica on Facebook

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