Photos c/o Kat Harris
How did you find The Refined Woman?
It was the last week of 2016, and I had taken a few days off from a busy holiday season so I could reflect on the year and set intentions and goals for 2017. I stumbled upon The Refined Woman’s manifesto, instantly gravitating toward it. So began my binge reading of articles about empowered women, and those stories inspired me that it’s okay to be strong and vulnerable. I printed the manifesto and hung it above my desk where I looked at it everyday. A few months ago, TRW was serendipitously looking to fill a position, I hesitated but then went for it! And now I’m part of an amazing tribe of women. The manifesto still hangs on my vision board as a reminder of how certain things in life can work themselves out.
What does being “a refined woman” mean to you?
It means embracing every unique element that makes you an authentic person, including being brave enough to recognize you aren’t perfect. It means being an unapologetic dreamer and a courageous leader who thrives on helping others succeed and grow.
What’s an area in which you’d like to grow this coming year?
Saying no just a bit more. I’m a people pleaser in the sense that I just hate to see people hurting. So I say yes to everybody, even if time for me disappears. I definitely need to work on strengthening that balance this coming year.
What does legacy mean to you?
It’s not necessarily about what I leave behind, it’s what I’ll be most remembered for. I want to leave others inspired to feel empowered to follow their dreams, and to recognize that a little bit of kindness can go a long way. You never know how a simple gesture of selflessness might completely transform someone’s day, or life. I want to be known for that, for inspiring others to continue to do good and put more good out there.
Which three pieces of advice would you tell your younger self?
- Girl, stop being so hard on yourself. Seriously stop it.
- Stop doubting yourself! (Sometimes I need to tell my present self this, too)
- Don’t settle. Let your true self shine. Don’t be so scared of opening up a bit and showing everyone who you really are. Who cares if they think you’re weird or you don’t connect with them. Be proud of all your little unique quirks — because you have plenty and there will be others who will love you for you.
Who is a real life hero for you?
My family. Each one has a strong or endearing quality I hope to carry with me, like my grandfather’s connection to mother nature, or my aunt’s kindness and strength. Most of them have endured their own struggles and hardships, including migrating to other countries to make a better life for themselves, like my mother who at the young age of 17 left home to come to this country. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to appreciate their stories of the past much more. So much of who I am is a bit of each person I’ve grown up knowing.
What’s your idea of fun on a Friday night?
A casual dance party — in the living room with my pup or at a backyard bonfire relaxing with loved ones — dance breaks are a given!
What was the last TV show you binge-watched?
I’m almost always watching something set in another time period; 1920’s, 17th century, I love it all. But most recently I just finished the special series Alias Grace, it will make you think and question everything until the very end, the lead is just amazing in her role.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Chaveiral, my family’s home town in Portugal. Most of my family lives in this small farm village nestled within the mountains, and it’s where I feel the most like myself. The town is surrounded by nothing but pure nature, yet it’s a short drive to Porto and the hustle of a true European city. It’s one of the few places where I have a sense of belonging.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
It all depends on my mood, it can range from the Fugees, to Of Monsters & Men, to Abba. But my favorite song to sing is “Sem Ti” by fado singer Mariza, it’s basically my love song to Portugal.
Guilty pleasures… Go
‘Tis the season, because you’ll most likely find me watching Hallmark Christmas movies on repeat. It’s totally my guilty pleasure, especially now as I begin to decorate for the holidays and cookie orders are in high demand. They’re cheesy and slightly unrealistic, but they just make you smile and feel good, especially when there are so many other things going on in the world. How can you not feel happy when that corporate father or busy single mother finds the magic of the holiday spirit again? It gets me every time.