Women of Vision Making a Difference in the North State
● By Christy Milan
Story by Christy Milan
Photos by Sarah Marie Spectrum
SOMETHING IS HAPPENING in the North State. It is a force that is connecting women with themselves, with one another and with their dreams. Women are coming together to empower one another and make a positive impact. They are becoming united with one another and the struggles of being a woman in this world. It is
a movement that is popping up in all parts of
Mariz Brown is the forerunner to the movement in the North State. In 2016, she discovered women’s empowerment groups in the form of blogs, podcasts and social media. During this time she became involved with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Through the sport, she gained confidence and realized a passion – that she wanted to help people. She wanted to cheer them on and encourage them to take actions toward their goals, even if it meant taking them by the hand.
“Just as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu helped me with confidence, I thought that if I joined a women’s empowerment group, it might help me build new connections in the community and allow me to help encourage women to pursue their dreams,” Brown says. “I decided to join a women’s empowerment group in Redding, but there was none. It was then that I came across the quote by Abbie Hoffman, ‘The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.’”
Brown summoned up the courage to organize an event to see if the community would embrace a women’s empowerment group. This was the beginning for Women of Vision.
“Women of Vision has become my tribe and my supporters when I am in need of encouragement or just feel like I have hit a wall,” says fashion designer and seamstress Kerri Medel of Kerri Bren Clothing. “They are also the first to celebrate with me any victory, big or small. This community of fellow businesswomen has become pivotal in my life both personally and professionally.”
Dana Grant, a life coach and co-founder of Califlour Foods, adds, “I am so blessed to be part of this community. A group of women entrepreneurs connecting and growing their businesses with structure and sisterhood – that’s exactly what Women of Vision represents. We rise by lifting each other up.”
The third Friday of each month is a vision development meeting, in which a main speaker discusses various topics such as goal setting, harmony vs. balance and developing speaker skills. The spotlight business speaker can promote upcoming specials and discuss their journey and personal stories of succeeding. “This meeting is all about how we can develop our mindset to achieve our goals, dreams and passions,” Brown explains. “It is helping women develop their mindset as well as sharpening their skills to become more successful.”
The upcoming small business Saturday Scavenger Hunt on Nov. 24 places women-owned businesses on a map with other vendors located inside. Shoppers collect raffle tickets to increase the chances of winning one of three gift baskets, which each contain more than $500 worth of goods, products and services. This event encourages support for women-owned businesses as well as shopping local.
Women of Vision also maintains the Thrivers Blog Series, which is written by members of the organization. “The premise is on self/personal development, stories on business and self growth, educational and tutorial posts and how-to’s of running a business,” Brown says. The Women of Vision radio show is also broadcast on Hella 87.7FM, every Saturday from 10 to 10:15 am. Podcasts of the show can be found on SoundCloud and iTunes.
As for the future of this group, Brown says, “My vision is to develop change agents – members who go out into the community and make positive impacts not just to women, but to people in general.” •
Women of Vision
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