It's International Women's Day — can we get an a-freaking-men to that?! — so we rounded up the most influential #girlbosses of 2018. These ladies may be from all walks of life, but their sole purpose is the same: To empower women.
While two of these influencers felt stuck in a career that just wasn't right for them, another's health scare prompted her to create a tool that's now saving lives. Get to know these women below — and prepare to be inspired AF.
Marilyn Dans — Pink Luminous Breast
Your doctor found a benign lump in your breast. How did that experience change you?
I had just turned 17 at the time and the terrible experience left an imprint in my life forever. I remember the fear leading up to the diagnosis and not knowing what to expect. I was one of the lucky ones, and there was a sense of relief when I received the good news that it was benign. That experience, along with similar stories from family members, fostered my passion for empowering women to be proactive with their health. Living a health-conscious lifestyle is the premise of my latest venture as an entrepreneur. At SilkProUSA, we are dedicated to helping women worldwide live longer, healthier, and more fulfilled lives through better health awareness.
Can you go into detail about Pink Luminous Breast and how it works?
Pink Luminous Breast by SilkProUSA is a breast health familiarity assistance tool designed to put the power of early detection in the palm of your hand. It provides the unprecedented ability to monitor blood vessels, identify abnormal tissues, and spot potential tumors and lesions, all from the comfort of your own home. Pink Luminous Breast uses a breakthrough technology designed to give women a never-before-possible look at the inner workings of their breasts — illuminating deep breast fibers and tissues through Red LED light technology.
Amplified by hemoglobin in the bloodstream, tiny fractions of light pass through the breast to reveal potential problem areas including dark clusters that may indicate potential abnormalities and lumps that increase blood supply to dense areas.
Pink Luminous is meant to complement your monthly self-breast-exam. In addition to regular visits to your doctor, Pink Luminous can be a powerful tool in giving you an early edge in detecting any irregularities. It is important to point out that Pink Luminous Breast is not a diagnostic device, and is not intended to substitute mammograms, routine breast screenings, or visits with your physician.
Where can people purchase the product?
You can purchase Pink Luminous Breast online by visiting pinkluminousbreast.com or by calling 1-800-940-9106. We ship internationally and offer free shipping for purchases within the United States. You can also find Pink Luminous Breast in other online retailers such as Shop.com, Amazon.com and SharperImage.com.
Orianne Collins — OC Jewellery
You started your career working for a capital venture firm. What was it about this job that made you realize your passion for design?
I have a Master’s degree in International Management with that I started as the Communications Manager for the capital venture firm. I have always been passionate about design and I always wanted to be a stylist. However, in my country [Switzerland], there is not much opportunity and my father fell sick with cancer. I had to finish with my studies and take care of his business.
Your jewelry is beautiful! What is it that inspires you?
I am inspired by my surroundings and from my family, friends, and travels.
You also have a foundation, Little Dreams. What makes you so passionate about this cause in particular?
The Little Dreams Foundation is 18 years old this year, and the aim is to support talented children around the world to achieve their dreams in the world of arts, music, and sports. My heart work is in the foundation and it makes me so proud to see all this young talent achieve their goals and to be able to live from their passions.
Yara Bashoor — YARA BASHOOR
You were a lawyer for 15 years. Why the sudden change in career?
It was time, a now-or-never feeling, to change my path after 15 years. The transition was a process. I had a lot to learn. Also, it was as if I had to announce to all that I identified more with designing than with practicing law, even though the latter sounded more respectable. It helped that I felt accomplished as a lawyer, and I had just enough confidence to go after my dream.
Your bags are known for their vibrant colors, and the attention to detail is astounding. What's the process like to make one piece — from start to finish?
Working with expensive materials, such as American alligator and ostrich skins, requires great attention to detail if you want an excellent product. After I design a piece and approve the prototype developed by the manufacturer, I am given the final patterns for each part of the bag: front, back, gussets, pockets, handles, etc.
It should be noted that her designs are handcrafted in a small family workshop in Hong Kong using American Alligator and South African Ostrich — which are farm raised, sustainably sourced, and regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), according to a press release that was sent to Life & Style exclusively.
Knowing what that particular style entails, I hand-pick the alligator and ostrich skins. I match them carefully because each hide has different natural markings, and there are variations within the same color lot. The craftsman cuts the skins. He stitches all the parts and attaches the hardware components, such as clasps and zippers, all in a predetermined sequence. The edges of the handbag are sanded down for a smooth finish and hand-painted in matching colors. It takes anywhere between 10 to 15 hours to complete one of my handbags depending on its size and complexity. The making of my handbags is slow fashion, and the result is beautiful.
Is there any advice you have to other women who feel stuck in a job they're not happy with?
My advice is to honestly assess what you think is best for your particular situation and to actually do something about it. In doing so, find the support you need. I actually had to do a little therapy to get "unstuck."
Making any change in one's career is a calculated risk. I have made many mistakes in my new venture, and I often lose sleep at night. The financial and time commitment is bigger than I had anticipated. I have the means and determination to continue, however.
The upside is that I love my work and am thrilled beyond belief when any woman wears one of my handbags. And very importantly, at the end of my life, I won't be saying, "What if?"