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Small Business:
Womens Creatives Chat
Emelda De Coteau & Ebony Westbrook
Interview Date:
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Emelda: “I left my full-time job in 2015 and started my journey as a creative entrepreneur. I used to be at the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts and by that time I had been in a series of jobs that were not my calling.

I also left that job because my daughter, who has specialized health needs, started to have problems with sleep. I was working full-time, homeschooling her and in grad school.It was overwhelming.

I feel like God always gives us signs and it was just sign after sign that it was time for me to move on and do something new and different.

After leaving my job, I did a lot of freelance writing and activist work through my other Instagram page, Pray with Our Feet. Pray with Our Feet has evolved into a podcast and community that uplifts at the intersection of progressive Christian faith and activism.

I wasn’t as overwhelmed with work anymore, but I felt isolated. I couldn't just get up and go to a museum, or a play. I couldn’t hang out with friends, and so those friendships started to dissolve.

I talked to God about it, about the gifts I have in me and how I wanted to give and share them in community with other women. I wanted to know how I could do that from home while caring for my daughter.

Connecting with other women online was the answer to that prayer and the start of the community now known as Women Creatives Chat.  

It started as a Twitter chat, turned into a Facebook group and evolved into an Instagram page.

In 2017, three other women and I hosted the first in-person event for Women Creatives Chat. The event was centered around creative women using their voices, caring for themselves and coming together as a community.

Before I became a creative entrepreneur, I would go to events that focused on women in business, but there wasn’t a focus on women who were creatives: poets, writers, and artists, and I always felt left out.

So I decided to create a space for women creatives to connect with other creative entrepreneurs and cultivate sisterhood.

The focus of our community is helping creative entrepreneurs and moms center self-care and well-being through events and products in the Women Creatives Chat shop, like our affirmation cards, mugs and Power of the P.A.U.S.E journal.”

Ebony (left), Emelda (right)

Ebony: “I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My mother passed away when I was seventeen.

I had to grow up fast. I had to learn to trust myself, my instincts and have a personal relationship with God.

Years later, I took a leap of faith and moved to the Baltimore area. I was engaged, but it didn't work out. I decided to stay here and the following week I got a job.

I am also a creative entrepreneur. I am a meditation coach, vegan chef/author, jewelry designer and singer.

I needed some positive women in my life who were also entrepreneurs because it can get challenging.

E and I met five years ago at a Women Creatives Chat event. I'm so happy and grateful that I crossed paths with E, not just because I love her business, but she also supports, highlights and helps other creative entrepreneurs grow.

Our connection has grown into a friendship and partnership in business. This year, we decided to collaborate on the first Power of the P.A.U.S.E. Retreat, which will be an annual event.

I’ll be doing several sessions: the mind garden, where I’ll talk about how certain thoughts are seeds you plant into your mind which is your garden. I’ll lead a session about chakra alignment, and understanding how you can protect your aura.

I’ll be cooking recipes from my cookbook, Taste and See It’s Vegan, and I’m also doing a mantra beading workshop. 

E’s vision was for us to combine our gifts and I am so excited to be creating this wellness space for women with her.”

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Emelda: “The retreat was inspired by the Power of the P.A.U.S.E. journal, and that acronym breaks down to, P for prioritizing your self-care, A for awakening to the present moment, U is about taking the time to understand yourself and do self-reflection, S is being selective with how you use your energy, so you're not depleted, and E is for appreciating how far you come with evolving.

The retreat is virtual this year and takes place over two days. I’ll be leading a session on mindfulness-based stress reduction, which was originally started by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, to help people who were dealing with chronic pain.

I’ll also take us through a journaling exercise focused on how we use our energy, and we're going to create an energy map together.

We’ll have a yoga session with Pastor Kelsey Beebe, yoga practitioner and founder of Dancing Pastor Ministries, 

Then towards the end of the retreat, I am going to lead us in a mantra-based meditation, called rooted in resilience.

This meditation reminds us that we are strong, that there is so much within us, and that as long as we stay grounded and present, we can move through life's challenges.

When I think about the legacy of Women Creatives Chat, I want it to be a space for women to flourish and thrive and this retreat will be a part of that legacy.

I want them to know that their creative voice, their vision and the way they show up in the world matters.

I also want them to know they are not alone, that there are other women on this same journey of creativity, of entrepreneurship, of self discovery, and that you don't have to be Beyonce to make an impact. 

You can trust that whatever gifts, talents and dreams God has put in you, matter. You don't need external validation, you can just show up and create from your heart and that is enough”

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Womens Creatives Chat
We cultivate community for creative Mompreneurs to connect and gain clarity on centering wellness: mind, body, & soul through intimate live and online events (workshops, networking, etc., mindful products / services, resources on our blog and social media platforms. We believe deeply in our power as women to cultivate change within ourselves, and by extension, the larger community.
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