Freedom Friday: Atlanta Snowpocalypse2014 Edition

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So, in case you live under a bridge (like I often do) and aren’t aware, Snowpocalypse2014 hit Atlanta this week. I’d just like to start off by saying that it’s really not a wonder the entire northern half of the United States makes fun of us poor southerners. We called it Snowpocalypse, for cryin’ out loud. It was two inches of snow!! 

Now, don’t take my declaration of Southerners being silly for calling it a Snowpocalypse as taking the situation light-heartedly at all. It wasn’t snow – it was ice. The entire metro-Atlanta area, in which somewhere around 6 million people live, was covered in ice in just a matter of two hours. All of those people were at work and school, and left their jobs and schools all at the exact same time, to head down the exact same highways…ON ICE. Atlanta has some of the worst traffic in the nation in perfect weather, with staggered ‘release’ times from work and school…but releasing 6 million people upon the same skating rink at the same time? It was a disaster- a disaster that caught several of my own family members and left them stranded in the streets overnight.

I, on the other hand, picked up my kids by 11 and was back home at 12:20. It took almost two hours to pick my kids up and get back home, from 4 miles away from the school. We’ve been stuck here ever since. I’ve heard that the roads are finally clearing up, but school is out for the third full day in a row, so we’re staying put unless we run out of almond milk for the toddler.

And there. That’s been my week. Snowpocalypse (ICEpocalypse!)2014.

In other news, I have a worksheet that I’m about to release for blog and newsletter subscribers, am slowly putting together an awesome little community (which I will post more about next week!), and am spending this weekend on Italian, calculus, and bracelet orders.

How has your week been?

Freedom Friday: Kiirstin Marilyn, Bombshell Bride

Kiirstin Marilyn

Because I have very little shame, I will outright say I have an absolute girl crush on Kiirstin Marilyn. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, but her music makes me smile and I get to make her wedding flowers. Lucky me, right? If you haven’t heard of Kiirstin or her music, I highly suggest you check her out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiirstin happily obliged when I asked if I could interview her for Freedom Friday. Here’s what she had to say!

TVS: Tell us a little about yourself

Kiirstin:  About myself…hmmm…well…I find this to be the toughest question. I’m a pretty laid back, go-with-the-flow, type of person.  I’m somewhere between a type-A and type-B personality. I’m not organized at all, but every once in a while when the mess gets too overwhelming, I go on a cleaning/organizing spree and reach my personal quota for the next 3 to 4 months.  I really just want to get to the point where I can hire someone to organize everything for me.

I’m definitely a city girl. It doesn’t need to be NYC forever, we’ve actually talked about moving to Paris, but I can’t do the suburbs – been there, done that – and the country just scares me.  When I go visit places that sit on huge acres of land with no other houses in sight for miles, I’m always afraid some hillbilly is going to come out of the corn field with his pitchfork and stab me to death. It’s irrational I know, but I always feel much safer in the city.
I’m also super into horror movies. They scare the sh*t out of me, but for some reason I keep going back for more.  Actually my best friend and I just went to see The Conjuring a couple weeks ago, and it kept me up all night (I have a very active imagination, or so I’m told).  I told her the next day I would never go see another scary movie because I just don’t have time for these sleepless nights, but she called my bluff…we’re going to see Insidious 2 when it comes out.

TVS: As a singer, you have a very unique sound that, personally, reminds me of little tidbits of many different incredible, legendary artists wrapped into one while sounding completely eclectic and unique. How do you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before? 

Thank you! It’s really hard for me to describe with genres what my music is because like you said, I’ve pulled from a lot of different genres to create my songs.  When I’m describing my music I usually say Lana Del Rey meets Amy Winehouse meets Gwen Stefani.  I can also tell you that while I was working on my first EP I was listening to a lot of Lana Del Rey, Kanye West & Jay-Z, Portishead, Skrillex, Lilly Allen, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, The Gay Blades, Coheed and Cambria, Glassjaw etc. I’m interested in so many different styles of music that its really hard for me to stick to one genre exclusively.
I also have a musical theater background and in a lot of standard musical theater you will find jazz standards that were in a lot of the old musicals, hence the jazz influence in my sound.

TVS: You’ve won RAW:NYC’s Musician of the Year, twice, and have toured both in the states as well as overseas. Do you have your sights set on something next, or do you just go with the flow and grow as an artist as opportunities present themselves?

You hear over and over “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” which is a saying that is probably true, but I barely listen to.  I really tend to just go with the flow and take opportunities as they come. At this point, I try to say “yes” to everything from a show booking to collaborating with an fellow artist unless it seems completely impossible or waaaaay more trouble than its worth. When the opportunity to play in Dublin, Ireland came about I said “yes” right away and then figured out how to get there.  Anyone that contacts me about collaborating on a song I will work with unless I feel that their music, or their personal message rather, is really not my thing, e.g. I was contacted by a rapper who wanted to collaborate, but his current music is all about “gettin’ money and b*tches,” and I’m just not about all of that.
Another thing I hear all the time from people in the industry is “no one knows what they are doing,” which is a mantra I subscribe to a little more, haha. I’m just doing as much as I can, throwing as much spaghetti on the wall as possible, putting eggs in different baskets and hoping one of those many different things pans out. In the end the bottom line is about gaining fans, and I’m trying to reach as many people as I possibly can on my own until someone finally takes notice and says, “with my thousands of extra dollars I will put you on tour and help you gain more fans than you can on your own.” Either that or I gain enough fans on my own to sustain a music career and put a tour together myself while still being able to pay the bills.  I’m not looking to get famous, just to have music and performing be the thing I do full time.
Kiirstin Marilyn

TVS: What has been the greatest challenge as an artist, and what keeps you going?

The greatest challenge…well there are many challenges, but I think the greatest challenge is overcoming my self doubt.  Almost everyday I’ll have at least one moment, if not several, of “what am I doing?”  ”Am I doing it right?” “Am I doing it well?” “Should I be doing this?” And then I have to get through those moments and move forward with the next thing on the agenda.  First and foremost my friends and family keep me going, my fiancée keeps me going, my fans keep me going, and people like you who stumble upon me or my music online and say, “I really like what you’re doing and I want to tell other people about you.”  I couldn’t make it without the support of others. No one makes it alone in this business. Hell, no one makes it alone in life, but it’s intriguing to watch people try.

TVS: What are the greatest positives to your career? 
My performances internationally definitely rank up there in the positives.  I love traveling, and then getting to perform in a different country on top of it is that much more rewarding.
Just putting out my EP has been a great positive. Getting to work with Brian DeNeeve and Todd Weinstock was amazing and to be able to call them friends is even greater.  Recently I recording some ambient backing vocals on an EP of theirs for their new band Get Involved.  I flew out to LA and got to be a fly on the wall in their recording sessions with legendary producer Ross Robinson (Glassjaw, Korn, At the Drive-in) which was worth it enough for my whirlwind trip totaling about 32 hours there and back.  But then I got to go into the booth and record with Ross Robinson on the other end, and honestly that’s probably one of the highlights of my singing career so far.  I will of course keep you updated as to when Get Involved’s EP comes out. I STILL haven’t heard the songs myself so I’m super excited.
 
TVS: We met by chance, because you’re getting married in October (Congratulations!!!) and using The Vagabond Studio bouquets in your wedding. What made you decide to go with upcycled/keepsake bouquets? Are there any other elements of your wedding that are more eco-friendly than the typical options?
YES! Thank you! And I’m soooooo excited for these bouquets!  I’m so glad I found you. I think without knowing it The Vagabond Studio was exactly what I was looking for.
Well for my bridal “unshower” as my aunt and mother coined it, rather than gifts I asked all the women to donate to the New York Nature Conservancy.  I didn’t want the opening presents time, which I do also feel is a major waste of paper, and my fiancée and I live in such a small apartment in Manhattan that we don’t really need anything anyway.  We also did Evites for the “unshower” which was against my mother’s wishes, but also something that I feel is so wasteful. I also didn’t do shower gifts for the women because they are usually something small and crappy that no one wants anyway and will get thrown out.
 If we could have done Evites for the wedding we would have, but that was definitely a losing battle. But, we went as minimal as possible for the wedding invitations: minimal paper, none of that crazy four-flaps & ribbon stuff. Just a simple 4×6 piece of ivory paper from the craft store, not recycled to my knowledge sadly, hotel info printed on the back, and the RSVP card and envelope. I bought stamps for the RSVP envelopes that donated to Multinational Species Conservation Funds – they were 55 cents per stamp rather than 46 and the extra was donated.  And in lieu of gifts for the guests we will be donating to an organization of our choice in their names. We just have agree on what organization that will be.
I can’t really think of anything else off the top of my head that we are doing that is Eco-friendly. I tried to get our entire cuisine to be vegetarian at one point, but that was quickly shot down by my mom and fiancée.  The Liberty House, our venue in Jersey City, buys most of its produce from local farmers and I’m trying to find out where the meat comes from.  I don’t mind people eating meat as long as it comes from local farms and is cage free.  I would feel terrible knowing I’m feeding my guests factory bred meat.
 
TVS: What message would you send out to big souls like you who want to follow their dream?
Go for it! Whatever it is! I think the world would be a better place if we had more dreamers that work hard for what they want. Too many people give up or settle, and then they get bored, and then they start worrying about other people, and that’s how some wars are started.  But also remember with dreaming comes work. It’s not just going to happen because you wish it. You have to work everyday for what you want. And then once you get what you want keep striving for more. And when I say more, I don’t mean money or fame or power. I just mean never settle.  Never get complacent. Hit a goal and make another goal. If you do that you will always be happy, always fulfilled and never bored. And lastly remember on your way to what you want always treat other people with respect and be good to people. If you put out more love than hate you will reap the benefits tenfold.
You can find Kiirstin on her website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

 

Freedom Friday: Connolly and Daughters Farm!

As most of you know by now, I have a fundraiser on IndieGogo to help fund my trip to a week-long peace leadership training this summer. Well, after setting up the fundraiser a few weeks ago, I decided to browse around IndieGoGo and see what others were doing. I happened to run across Claire and Victoria, and their mission to start an organic farm in Colorado. Since I first talked with Clarie and Victoria, they have reached their fundraising goal and moved forward with their project – yay for fundraising success!!  I decided to ask them a few questions, and let my readers get to know these amazing women a little better.

Here’s their video from IndieGogo! 



Tell us a little about yourself!


We are two women from Denver, Colorado who are taking over my folks’ farm in Keenesburg, CO (about an hour northeast of the city). The farm mostly produced feed and hay for the past 15 years and was admittedly a bit neglected. My mother grew up on a farm in Amboy, IL and moved to Denver 30 some years ago- she was not interested in going back to the farm life and so my parents stayed in Denver and tried to hire out the farming after they bought the land. About 6 months ago, Victoria and I offered to take up operations on a few acres and grow organic produce to sell at farmer’s markets in town. They agreed. And here we are.

Before all this, we both were artists/musicians living in the Baker neighborhood in Denver. We both had pretty rockin’ bands, and I was really into the slam poetry scene in the city and had met with some success nationally. Strangely, we met on Craigslist and, not so strangely, fell in love. I think that’s when we both started to realize we wanted more from life than the young bohemian lives we had been leading, but we were unsure how we were going to get out and live with the land like we’d both always dreamed. It was like winning the lottery when we realized my parents had so much acreage out east and could really use some farmers.


On a side note (because you can’t just let “we met on craigslist” slide), whenever Victoria is on my nerves, I tell her I’m going to put her back on the site under “free stuff.”


You had an indieGoGo fundraiser for your farm,  can you tell us a bit about your vision?
First of all, it was very, very important for us to keep the farm organic and begin to make it environmentally AND economically self-sustaining. This will always be our vision. So, we really had to learn a lot about organic gardening/permaculture and sound business practices before we entered into our venture. Once we filled our brains with good stuff, we realized that a lot of our startup costs were rising because of the greenhouse/construction projects that come with operating in this manner.

Traditionally, farmers go to the government for loans/grants to help get their businesses off the ground. As young as we are, we still have student loans and other debt looming over our heads, so we didn’t think this would be a good option for us. This left us stuck for awhile and a bit depressed. But once we embraced how we are different; we are young, we are women, we are lesbians, etc., we realized it shouldn’t KEEP us from funding, but HELP us with it. So we did things a little differently- and that’s where indiegogo came from. We think the idea of blending the old (farming, living off the grid, etc.) with the new (crowdsourcing, facebooking, etc.) is what we want to be all about. We truly want to embrace this balance and have it be a revolution of its own sort.


We live in a very technologically centered world today, where you can buy anything with the click of a button and everyone seems to want to work in the money-making corporate world. What makes you want to stick with something so close to our roots? 

Well, I really like to try and stay away from umbrellas. The money-making corporate world is a big one; and it is right for some people and it isn’t for others. Victoria was a bartender for 10 years and I have been in the coffee industry for about the same amount of time, and we have seen a lot of people with office jobs in our lives. Just like a lot of farmers are probably unhappy and unkind, so are plenty of corporate workers. But a lot are the opposite. I think the real problem is a lot people in general not taking the time inside themselves to find out what will fulfill them before it is too late to change. Maybe, if they did, they’d find out that they really want an office job in the corporate world. Who knows? Who cares? Just be happy.

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been introspective. I wanted to know who I was, what I wanted, why I wanted it, why I am who I am, etc. Throughout this process, I came to discover that my human parts needed the nature parts to feel whole. I feel called to a simpler, quieter life. I’m 25 and I don’t have a house, kids, good credit, shiny hair, and a lot of people would say that puts me behind. But now that I know what I want and took the time to figure it out, I’m digging myself in deep.

The Vagabond Studio seeks to encourage others to chase their dreams, and live creative, inspiring, sustainable lives. What advice would you give Vagabond readers about chasing dreams and reaching goals?Oh, all the clichés. Go for it! Do it! Stop thinking about it! Do it!
But also, know what your dreams truly are. I had lots of dreams, still do. I was going to be a rockstar, a world-class poet, a yoga instructor and I tried all these things for a few years. But for some reason, they didn’t stick. And I think that’s because of two things; a lack of foundation, and a lack of something esoteric like “rightness.” My farm dream has a HUGE foundation now that is based on hard work. I have put 40+ hours a week into it and I’m not even out there working the land yet. I also have support from my parents, my partner, a whole group of funders, and, most importantly, myself.

And then there’s the elusive “rightness.” Dreams fulfilled also have an element of good timing to them. When you are on the right path, I find that the Universe supports you wholeheartedly and in occasionally creepy ways. Things sometimes feel like they complete themselves.

What has been the hardest part about trying to reach your goals? What was the most rewarding?Going into business with your parents and partner—it can be the hardest AND most rewarding thing you ever do. I’d say that it’s largely rewarding. The hard stuff has taught me a lot about myself and forced me to improve in little ways I would’ve never thought of (I over-use post-it notes and it drives everybody crazy, for example).
It’s also extremely easy to get down on yourself. You can be your own worst enemy or your finest comrade. Choose the latter and thank me later.
What are some eco-friendly things you do in your personal/business life?

Personally, I make almost all my own body products myself; chapstick, lotion, soap, etc. I also dabble in medicinal herbs. It is such a simple, fun, and rewarding way to make a difference and it hardly takes any time or materials to do it. Don’t let those beauty supply companies tell you how you’re supposed to be beautiful AND put formaldehyde in your mascara—yuck! Sometimes these big companies can be so rude.

We also do little things that everyone can do. When we shop at the grocery store, we only buy Colorado Proud items. We buy our gifts and clothes locally, even though it can be more expensive (but watch local businesses surprise you, often things are not more expensive). We’re also big on trade, especially since the dollar bill is becoming more and more like a figment of our imaginations. Trade is a wonderful thing, and it creates a sense of generosity and community that fills your heart to the brim.   

You can follow Claire, Victoria, and their farm adventure on their Facebook and Blog!



Freedom Friday: Colin Wright of Exile Lifestyle

Earlier this week I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with TEDTalk speaker and Kiva co-founder, Jessica Jackley (more on that later). Today, I’m bringing you TEDx speaker Colin Wright. Maybe I should make this TED cutie thing a theme? They’re both adorable but, more importantly, they lead incredible lives. Lives so inspiring, in fact, that I feel the need to blog about them. 

Colin is only 27 years old and has already traveled the world, written several books, and has been interviewed both on and off of television. He left his glam, six-figure design job to, well…live. Every four months, he packs up everything he owns (it all fits into a carry-on, and was at 55 things at last count) and moves to whatever city his readers vote for. While doing this, he runs a publishing company, a blog, and a myriad of other endeavors. Inspired? In awe? Read on! 
Colin Wright, Interview, Exile Lifestyle
Colin Wright, Exile Lifestyle
Tell us a little about yourself: 
My name is Colin Wright. I’m an author, entrepreneur, and full-time traveler. I run a blog called Exile Lifestyle, a travel-story-laden newsletter called Exiles, and a publishing company called Asymmetrical Press. I’ve written a bunch of books and am an above-average yo-yoist.

What made you decide to go minimalist and travel the world?

I found myself living the American Dream in Los Angeles about 4 years ago, and realized that the race I wasn’t running wasn’t the race I wanted to win. I changed tracks and decided to focus on happiness first, rather than money, which I hoped to someday turn into happiness. Travel was something I’d always meant to do but never got around to doing, so I got rid of everything I couldn’t fit into a carry-on bag and hit the road. It ended up being one of the smarter decisions I’ve made.

So many of us have problems keeping up with our businesses while living the same daily schedule. How do you manage to keep working and writing while relocating every four months?

Really it’s a matter of doing something that you love. If you’re able to focus on your passions, everything you do somehow relates back to it, and you wake up in the morning thinking ‘What do I get to do today?’ rather than ‘What do I have to do today?’. That distinction is incredibly important, and is the reason why I’m able to stay on track with my projects: if I wasn’t doing them, I wouldn’t be having a very good time. All the details fall into place from there.

Here at The Vagabond Studio, I promote eco-friendliness, peace, and compassion. How, if at all, do you incorporate those into your travels? As a traveler, do you see compassion differently than you did when you were strictly stateside?

You know, a lot of the standards we have about eco-friendliness and the like are very American things. Most are fantastic ideas, even if they aren’t world-changing by themselves, but most also aren’t at all practical overseas, especially in developing countries.

That being said, there are some things that are almost almost more ideal than the alternatives. Buy locally whenever you can. Eat less meat, because in general it takes a lot fewer resources to get non-meat food from ground to plate. Stay healthy, because then it will take fewer resources to keep you alive and contributing. These aren’t mind-bendingly complicated things, but they’re easy to overlook, because dramatic changes are sexier and tend to make better headlines. I say get a solid handle on the fundamentals, THEN rebuild your house according to LEED Platinum standards (actually, scratch that: do both, if you can afford it).

None of these things are absolutes in my mind, because again, some eco-friendly habits simply aren’t practical while traveling, and trying to enforce your beliefs and standards on people who have no way to uphold them is a really great way to come across as a jerk. But make little changes where you can, and start with yourself. If enough people do the little things, it adds up to something much larger (and frankly, you’ll enjoy life a whole lot more in the meantime).
What is the hardest part about traveling as often as you do?
Logistics can be complex, but the first few weeks in a new place can be really tricky, especially when you don’t know anyone or speak the language.

Those first few weeks are the most difficult, but they’re also the most satisfying. Everyone you meet is a brand new friend. Every food you eat is a brand new flavor. There are so many new experiences in those first weeks that if you apply yourself, you can build a whole life from new things and enjoy it for the rest of your stay. It’s sometimes lonely and difficult and uncomfortable, but the upsides far outweigh the downsides.

If you were to add one book to your travels to take with you everywhere you go, what book would it be and why?

I’ve got two answers, and both are tricks so that I don’t have to answer the real question (because I don’t think I could choose just one book).

I’d either bring a blank book, so I could fill it with my own writing, or a Kindle, so I could read any book, anytime.

You’re big on branding, which I love – what advice would you give TVS readers on establishing their brand and why is this important?

Be honestly, boldly, excessively yourself all the time. Do anything else and you’re trying to fit yourself into someone else’s mold. If you’re the best version of yourself you can possibly be, however, and become very good at expressing that in whichever ways make sense for who you are, then no one can ever copy you. No one can be a better you than you can.

Last question – You’ve been all over the world in your travels. What region would you really like to visit next?

I’ve been a lot of great places, and I would really love to go everywhere at some point, but Africa is endlessly fascinating to me, as it’s the one (non-Antarctic) continent I haven’t visited, and I’ve met so many wonderful people from the countries that it’s composed of. In a lot of ways, it’s also the continent with the most — largely untapped, at this point — potential. I like seeing pieces of big movements before they happen.

If you’d like to find out more about Colin, you watch his TEDx video or check him out in any of the links in the interview, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
Colin Wright, Exile Lifestyle, Interview

Remember, I have my awesome fundraiser going on over at IndieGoGo. If you would like to help me spread peace by attending Peace Leadership Training with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, you can donate a couple bucks, or Tweet/Share the fundraiser with your friends and family!

The 30×30 Project: A Movement of Hope

Remember last week when I accidentally ran across the author of my favorite book and wrote about his new book, The Fear Project? Remember how I found him through a blog called The Skool of Life? Fastforward to this week, and I ran across this incredible woman through the very same blogger. I found Amy’s struggle with depression and drug abuse, as well as her new organization and project, to be so inspiring that I had to share it with you now rather than wait until Freedom Friday. She is a woman on a mission, and I know my readers will find themselves inspired enough to help!

Tell us a little about yourself:

Hello there! I’m Amy Clover, personal trainer and blogger at Strong Inside Out. I live in sunny LA with my fiancé, and I love love love reading young adult fiction; Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray, you name it. I’m now on A Discovery of Witches: Shadow of Night, and I am hooked! Hurry up, Deborah Harkness! ;)

Tell us about your blog/career:

Strong Inside Out exists to empower people to overcome any setback. I personally grew up with clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. After a near-suicide, I decided to turn my life around and found that exercise was what really helped me make my practices into habits. I fell in love with it so much that I decided to become a trainer. I’d never felt so fulfilled in my life as I did helping others make their dreams a reality!

I went to the first World Domination Summit in Portland in 2011 on a whim, and knew that I wanted to take my training online, but wasn’t sure how. I met so many amazing people who inspired me to make it happen, and who helped me find my unique selling point (which was interestingly enough, the part of my life I didn’t share with anyone).

When I posted my story for the first time, only 5 people knew about the darkness of my past. It was when I started getting emails from people I’d known for years, thanking me for bringing light to something they had also struggled with, that I knew I was reaching people in the way I was meant to.

Strong Inside Out was born in July of 2011 and has been growing stronger ever since.

You recently launched The 30×30 Project – can you tell us exactly what that is, and what you’re hoping to do with it?


The 30×30 Project is a movement of hope.

To celebrate the 30th birthday I almost didn’t have, I’ll be touring across the US & Canada, teaching 30 donation-based bootcamps in 30 different cities to benefit To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), a nonprofit that helps people who struggle with depression, self-injury, substance abuse and suicide.

I discovered TWLOHA and immediately knew I wanted to help them. They offer peer support in schools, when in the past it was only adults lecturing at kids, making it uncomfortable to reach out for help. They invest in treatment and recovery for those who feel lost. They even host rock concerts that appeal directly to the person who is getting swallowed by the darkness. TWLOHA makes it cool to reach out for help, and I wish they were around when I was struggling.

The 30×30 Project is raising money on IndieGoGo right now. If you have a bit of time right now, please take 2 minutes and  nineteen seconds to watch the video there. If the movement speaks to you, please donate to the cause, and/or share with your loved ones.

How did the 30×30 project go from an idea to a full-on plan? It seems like such a monumental task on which to take, what did you do to make it happen?


A LOT of action-taking. :)

I first reached out to TWLOHA to see if they would be interested and they were. Then, I asked a few friends who had done book tours or similar multi-city tours for any tips they would give, and how much they think I should ask for. I looked up all plane/amtrack tickets and averaged out hotel prices. When I finally came up with a number, I put it together and said, “Holy S***,” then sucked it up and moved on. :)

I was really lucky to have a super-talented friend like Eric Kaufman who believed in the movement enough to shoot the video for me. He’s so incredibly talented and helpful at the shoot. Then, I traded personal training sessions for editing with Alex Gans, which was super cool because I would have gone way into debt just editing!

When I started showing the video to others, they would immediately offer to help if they were interested. I was really taken aback by the generosity of people who believed in the movement!

I took each step at a time, really, and I punched fear in the face quite a few times. I had to get over my fear of asking for help and of not being enough. I had to remember that it wasn’t just me I was doing this for.

When are you announcing locations for the project, and how can my readers keep up with whether or not you’re going to be coming to a city near them? Also, will you need anything/help/volunteers as you travel?


I could always use help! ;) I am not posting the locations until I have most set in stone. I’m talking to a few locations at the moment, but I am happy to talk to anyone who has ideas/connections that could help!

I hope to know about the locations within the next couple weeks, and you can sign up to receive updates about the tour as well as check when the dates/locations are posted at http://StrongInsideOut.com/30x30project.

Please do come out and support when I come to a city near you! I really hope to see you there!

$18,000 is a big goal for some, though it seems small for such a huge task – what are the funds being used for?


The funds are broken down pretty precisely into my very modest expenses: travel, lodging, food, living expenses, and fees charged by IndieGoGo. I’ll be posting a pie chart on the IndieGoGo page here pretty soon to show contributors exactly where their money is going, so be sure to check it out!

What advice would you give someone who wants to take on a big goal like this, or who wants to take their message across the US?


Dreams will stay dreams until you take action to achieve them. No one is going to do it for you, and you don’t need permission from anyone else to make it happen. Stop waiting and go DO.

What’s your favorite color and food?

Ooooh! I love these questions!

My favorite color is purple at the moment… which is funny because my hair is purple and so are most of my pieces of clothing, so I’m known affectionately as “Crazy Purple Lady” at the gym.

My favorite healthy food is my lazy-healthy breakfast. My favorite “opportunity” food is a chocolate chip cookie from M Street Cafe in Santa Monica… or a croissant au noir at Laduree… or yogurtland…

And the question I (try to remember to) ask all of my Freedom Friday features: The Vagabond Studio encourages others to be inspired and chase their dreams but, at the heart, we also focus on eco-friendliness and sustainability. Do you have any eco-friendly or sustainable habits or goals?


I was brought up in a hippie-scientist blended home, so I’m with you on this one!

I always recycle, I walk most places (I’m about half a mile from my gym), and I reuse my plastic and paper bags as much as I can. As far as eco-friendly/sustainable goals go, I’d really like to get compost bins at my apartment building. They’re rare in LA, but I’m going to work on it! 

So, how can you help? You can donate toward her cause, of course, by visiting her on IndieGoGo! If you can’t donate, please share her message!

Click to Tweet!

click to tweet the movement
And you can Pin the badge as well as Email the movement from her IndieGoGo page as well! 


If you would like to follow Amy and her amazing project, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog! You can also keep up with her progress and donate through the widget below!