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#ModernMuse: Social Entrepreneur Nikki Duong Koenig

Modern Muse Nikki Koenig

This week’s Modern Muse Nikki Duong Koenig learned how to sew from her mother at the tender age of seven. Ever since, she has been inspired and motivated to help others through her passions, founding the stylish and socially responsible handbag and accessory company Cykochik Custom Handbags in her SMU dorm room 14 years ago.

According to Nikki, “Cykochik’s vision is to create a more compassionate, sustainable, and happy world for all living beings.” In fact, in 2013, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) recognized Cykochik on a global stage with the ‘Compassionate Business Award.’ Fashion and compassion all wrapped into one exciting line!

What we love about Cykochik and Nikki is the dedication to bringing together the creativity of local artists, environmental and animal-friendly materials, craftsmanship and community to a now global social enterprise that has truly made an impact on the world. Check out more of Nikki and Cykochik’s story below!

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#ModernMuse: Soul Seeker Vonda Dyer

Modern Muse Vonda Dyer

As Senior VP of Creative Services for Minerva Consulting, our latest Modern Muse Vonda Dyer helps organizations “get to the heart/DNA of their work and help them expand their influence and messaging through storytelling and integrated communication services.” Even in her spare time, Vonda helps individuals  – singers, artists, fellow church members, family and friends – “find their voice and tell their stories with greater clarity and effectiveness.”

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#ModernMuse: Catching Up with STEM Renegade Mess Wright

Back in December, we highlighted STEM Renegade Mess Wright as one of Modern Muses. She was in the midst of piloting her technology camp programs called Renegades of Code. Last week, we had the pleasure of joining Mess at the official grand opening of her newly reinvented Mess Labs science lab, tinker space and code studio! Read more

Wonder Woman: Beauty, Brains & Brawn

Last weekend we saw the best opening ever for a film directed by a woman – and we couldn’t be more excited! “Wonder Woman” was not only a long overdue project, it was really a breath of fresh air as far as the superhero genre goes. It was inspiring, empowering and is definitely making an impact in so many ways.

If you check Rotten Tomatoes religiously like I do, then you knew that the critics already had a lot of positive things to say about this film. From the casting to the script to the epic scenery, the list of accolades could go on and on.

But what was really compelling about “Wonder Woman” was its balance of action and the female spirit that anyone can appreciate. Our heroine, portrayed by the gorgeous Gal Gardot, exemplified the message behind one of our favorite UGauGrrl shirts, “Beauty, Brains and Brawn.” She showed physical as well as inner strength, compassion and a level of elegance that commanded respect.

Was the success of this movie because people have been waiting so long for another comic book-based film featuring a woman? Is it because the director is a woman? Or is it because it’s Wonder Woman, who we all wanted to be growing up?

Yes, yes and yes! And so much more. When you watch the movie, you’ll see that everything just came together perfectly to provide a film that makes women proud, entertains like heck and brings respect to female directors and superheroes alike.

We could tell you the plot, but I highly suggest that you just grab anyone and everyone you know, not just the girls, to enjoy this epic movie. We are so proud that this has all the makings of going down in film history for audiences to enjoy years and years from now as a new classic. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page!

#ModernMuse: Renaissance Woman Laura Burford

Modern Muse Laura Burford

Few people are able to balance well a multitude of passions with their everyday responsibilities. Laura Burford from Richardson, Texas, is one such Modern Muse whom we call a modern-day Renaissance woman. Mother, wife, entrepreneur and actress, this lady proves that sharing your gifts and inspiring others can come in many forms and even from one person at any age!

Here is her story in her own words.

“As an entrepreneur, I am proudly partnered with Shaklee Corporation. We are the number one natural nutrition company in North America and a global leader in our industry. For 60 years, and we have been known for the purity and potency of our products, our integrity, and innovation.

“In my Shaklee business, I guide others to improve their physical health and also, for those who choose to join our team, I mentor them in creating an income while crafting lives of meaning and purpose.

“As entrepreneurs, we offer women a vehicle for achieving their own goals of financial stability rather than being a cog in a corporate wheel. Our team is supportive of one another’s growth – inspiring each other to reach higher to achieve whatever dreams we have imagined.

“I also work as a freelance actor. I have taught acting and voice for the stage, co-founded a theatre company, and performed in several original one-person shows portraying notable women of arts and letters.”

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#ModernMuse: Change Champion Jesse Ihde

Modern Muse Jesse Ihde

Trade Last Founder Jesse Ihde is no stranger to what we here at UGauGrrl stand for. In fact, her organization, which works with nonprofits, conscious companies, activists, churches, artists, writers, entrepreneurs and leaders who desire to live a life for the sake of others, is all about inspiring, empowering and making and impact through those whose life revolves around our very mission!

Here is her story in her own words.

“The definition of the word Trade Last is to share with a person the affirming words you’ve heard about them from others, to give away a compliment.

“Here at Trade Last, we want to turn a mirror back onto you or your organization so you can find your center, define your core and move forward towards success that is meaningful. We want to be the wind at your back that gives you the courage, confidence and clarity you need to change the world.

 

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#ModernMuse: Gender Wage Gap Advocate Jacqueline Twillie

ModernMuse Jacqueline Twillie

Jacqueline Twillie is the Founder and CEO of ZeroGap and also the best-selling author of Navigating The Career Jungle : A Guide for Young Professionals. Her focus on the gender wage gap and empowering women is one that we just had to let her tell herself. You can see immediately why she is this Monday’s Modern Muse!

“A few years ago I learned about the gender wage gap through an the Levo League. I was in disbelief, but, after researching and learning the wage gap was real, I got ticked off and decided to do something about it. That’s when I began studying the science and techniques of negotiation up to three hours a day. Later, I began teaching negotiation workshops, and I knew I was on the right track with my life. I just couldn’t shut up about the wage gap and women needing to speak up and ask for what they are worth.

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Happy International Women’s Day! My Tribute to You

Happy International Women's Day! My Tribute to You

In honor of International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to the essence of womanhood. To all those beautiful ladies out there who have a dream, keep working at it and never ever give up. To all my sisters who are facing serious hardships, you are not alone, your fight is important. You are an inspiration to us all. To the younger females, speak up, assert yourself and know that you are valuable. You can achieve anything you set your mind and heart to. Read more

#ModernMuse: “Power Broker” Carmin MacMillan

Modern Muse Carmin MacMillan
When you think “power broker,” you probably think politics or economics. But when we talk about Carmin MacMillan and her work as Executive Director of the Wesley Mission Center in Mansfield, Texas, power broker takes on a whole new meaning.
Carmin builds strategies and leads a team that is committed to helping their neighbors who are experiencing financial hardship. With the help of the Wesley Mission Center, families work through their financial crises so that they can move ahead in their financial future. Coaching, employment help and supportive social networks are the tools to making this happen.
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Copyright © 2016-2017, UGauGrrl, LLC. All rights reserved. UGauGrrl is the owner of the UGAUGRRL™ family of marks and logos included in this website, and of this website\'s trade dress, including the overall look and feel, design properties, distinctive color combinations, typography, graphic designs, photographs and imagery. Created by YumeCommerce.