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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Elevate, Empower, Getting it Done, Inspiration, Resources, Soul Food, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

Woman on the RISE ~ Joanna Bailey

Woman on the RISE ~ Joanna Bailey

My good Bio Shot from Cheryl Ungar

Joanna Bailey | Founder & CEO of Women Who RISE and Joanna Bailey Designs | T: @womenwhorise @joannabailey @jbaileydesigns |

My 140 Characters: Elevate, educate, empower while connecting unforgettable women to their full potential. Women Who RISE together RISE infinitely.

My Elevateher Pitch: I work with women to create opportunity, connect great minds and challenge the status quo. I believe we all have a mission {or two} and deserve the resources required to accomplish it. We design positive spaces for women to RISE to their full potential. I believe we are meant to live by design, not by default.

What do people think you do? Socialize, make things pretty & cook a lot.

What do you actually do? Raise four children, develop relationships, spark conversations, celebrate successes, design unforgettable events, advocate for children, women, education and safe food & water worldwide, make things pretty & cook a lot. “)

Tell us about your passions! My kids are #1. They rock. I sometimes wonder why God gave me these four remarkable people to lead through life, and then one of them does or says something that reminds me that they are likely here to lead me.

I’m a foodie, and huge advocate for small farms, artisan food makers and the folks cultivating smart, safe, healthy and delicious cuisine.

People with bold vision; they knock my socks off!

Travel… I intend to see the majority of the world before I leave it, minus the really really cold parts.

Connecting amazing people. While challenging to believe at times, there really are so many extraordinary people in this big ole world.

Who|What inspires what you do? My family. The responsibility to be my best for my children is immense, in a good way that I appreciate. They truly are what sharpen and strengthen me. My grandmothers are big role models, my mama and a handful of other women in my life, who inspire me to practice what I preach, live my best life and share my lessons with others. Women who are held captive by fear, self-doubt, stress, shame, and/or an absence of faith inspire me to share my story and work hard.

Was there a turning point in your life that led to your current career? Yes indeed. My ‘turning point’ lasted about 4 years. It went something like this, give or take a few whammies: Gave up my career, got divorced, bad rebound relationship led to resurrecting said career, survived the Recession {barely}, got waterboarded by mistakes made early in life, learned a few big lessons about relationships & myself, fell out of love with my career, baked a lot of bread {and ate it all}, fought a battle everyone said I’d lose… and won.

Laced through that time were a handful of major eye-openers. One happened at my kitchen table, with my friend Wendy, the night that the Big Girl Panty Tour was conceived. We talked about sitting down with women and talking about the challenges we face in life, how we get through them and what ‘starting over’ really looks like. I knew at the time though that I needed to make some big changes in my life; and I was scared of being that vulnerable. Fast forward about 9 months… I decided it was time. I knew it was time to change my perspective, so I climbed one of the giant mountains that I had lived among for more than a decade. The summit {14,270ft} was a spiritual awakening of sorts. That day was a substantial reminder that we are all meant for more than we demand|expect|know of ourselves. That day was the shift I needed to design the life my heart is meant for.

If money weren’t a factor, what would you be doing? Exactly what I do now… this is everything I have ever wanted and more. But if I had unlimited funds, I would setup a business to refurbish homes & give them away to families in need.

What’s in your Bucket List? Buy an island and turn it into the ultimate getaway for my family? :)

Develop a completely sustainable small family farm, then franchise the model. Build healthy, happy, safe homes for orphaned children waiting for families. Cook dinner with Bobby Flay. Host a dinner party with my wish list of 20. {I love dinner parties.} Hire a real version of Rosie from the Jetson’s. {I don’t love laundry.}

Knowing all you know now, what would you tell your 20 year old self?  Believe you can. You are enough. Real friends tell you the hard truths. Yoga pants are liars… remember this in your 30s. Fear is a gremlin; if you feed it, it will grow. Forgive yourself now; things get heavier the longer you carry them. Wear sunscreen & hydrate. Trust that love can conquer all.

Your go-to stress reliever? Fresh air & sunshine. And beach sand… I have vases, jars and bowls of sand from everywhere.

How do you perceive retirement? A less demanding version of my current life. The women in my family live long, rich lives… I have big footsteps to follow! Maybe a little more sleep. All the wine & carbs I want… lots of cheese grits! Big hats, bright lipstick.

Do you have a personal philosophy you’d like to share? Eliminate the words ‘can’t’ and ‘balance’ from your vocabulary {they are both equally ridiculous}. Know you are perfectly designed. Be good to yourself, work hard & be nice. Practice gratitude. The answer to any religious, spiritual or philosophical question you may grapple with is: God is love.

What would you like your legacy to be? One of service & family. I intend to create solutions and help others do the same. I am blessed to be connected to a lot of incredible people and intend to put that to good work here. I am raising my children to understand & embrace their role and responsibility in the world. I pray that they always know that I love my life, and them, dearly.

Rising together – Joanna