When did you get inspired to create Uniquely Bella Movement?
At the end of 2016, when I was unemployed for approximately 7 months, which I may add, were the longest yet most productive months of my life. My career is female driven. I went from state non-profits, to schools, to corporate- and in every setting, no matter the age; I realized all the pressures a woman/girl/teenager experiences thorough their journey. Society and Social media have portrayed beauty in the most superficial way- physical beauty is defined by shape, size, facial beauty etc. Although we are starting to see a shift in social media- we still have a long way to go.
My professional journey took me to the education system, at the time I was working as a Resource Specialist Assistant. I had the opportunity to work closely with students, teachers and staff. A second grader approached me during lunch time and said “I can’t eat today” when I asked her why? She answered “because I’m fat; I’m not beautiful”. She broke my heart. How is it possible that we have 7 year old girls worrying about body image? Uniquely Bella’s mission is to celebrate our individuality and uniqueness – we are all beautiful- beauty is not defined by our size, color, or shape. Uniquely Bella’s vision is to educate and inspire women so they can empower our young girls. Only then can we build stronger more resilient girls for the future of tomorrow. True Happiness starts with self-love; our focus needs to start there.
There are so many wonderful women creating their own brands and sharing their stories,
What drives you to share yours with others? What makes your story unique?
I am sharing my story and UB Inspirational Apparel to raise awareness. Many women are already inspiring other women and this is absolutely amazing; it is a movement. However, this is only the beginning. What are we really doing for our young girls? How are we empowering them? How are we making sure to inspire our young mujercitas? My goal is to start at an early age- “UB role models” meaning, Successful Latina professionals and entrepreneurs can assist in strengthening our young girls and empowering them to want more, to have ambiciones and to believe in themselves.
UB apparel is to raise awareness and make a statement. The earnings from my boutique will eventually be used to begin a community and school based “Mini UB empowerment workshops”.
What drives me to share my Unique story- my experiences growing up and in my professional field. I don’t want our young girls to go through the same struggles many of us went through growing up. Lack of self-esteem, lack of acceptance, not feeling supported, being put down, not having the resources necessary to thrive. The goal is to enable them to dream big, having ambition and hunger for success. I want young girls to be inspired and empowered now, so they are resilient, diligent, and driven at a young age. It only starts with one; let’s start the chain of change.
How do you see Uniquely Bella Movement evolving in the coming year?
As I mentioned earlier, this is more than apparel- when you wear a UB inspirational top you are joining a movement; you are sharing a powerful message. I can’t express the feeling I get when I see that support. In the coming year, I want my message to reach schools, communities, possibly other states. I hope that many successful women- form part of this movement and share this message with their loved ones. I also hope they inspire younger girls with their stories and encourage feeling comfortable in their own skin; educate them, support them- this is the only way to make them feel Bellas and Poderosas.
Let’s make sure our young girls embrace their individuality; let’s make sure they feel that fire in their soul now. I want them to dream and feel that anything is possible.
What brings you ALEGRIA?
Life challenges and meeting genuine souls. Challenges keep me on my toes. They make me feel Viva! Challenging life experiences opened my state of mind, feelings of possibilities and they gave me the drive to keep moving forward. I have fallen and I have learned. I became a stronger woman – a determined woman…. Now I feel I can do it all and no one will stop me. Without challenges we don’t change, we don’t progress and we don’t inspire. My challenges brought Uniquely Bella to life- and now, I want to bring it to the lives of many.
We are not lucky to meet genuine souls on a regular basis. But when I feel a genuine connection with a human being, I cherish it. Genuine souls are transparent, they are willing to get to know you, support you and share special moments with you. The conversation and similar interests naturally flow and your positivity feeds off of each other; it’s truly magical.
You can connect with Monica via uniquelybellamovement.com
and also via instagram @uniquelybellamovement