Thursday

Girl Talk Leader Reflects on Her Girl Talk Story

Hi! My name is Mackensie. I'm 18 years old and live in Atlanta, GA. When I was in middle school, I loved participating in Girl Talk, and looked to my leaders for advice regarding friends, family, and school life. I remember wanting to be just like them. Now, as a senior in high school, I am honored to fill my leaders' shoes as a second-year Girl Talk Leader for sixth grade girls. Being a Girl Talk Leader is one of my favorite activities and I truly look forward to seeing the girls each week and getting to know them, while also teaching them valuable lessons they’ll use for the rest of their lives.

As a trained Girl Talk Leader, some of my responsibilities are to teach confidence, leadership, and life lessons to middle school girls. A few of my favorites lessons I’ve taught have been Choosing to Be Kind, Stop Comparing Yourself to Others, and How to Talk to Your Parents without Screaming. It’s so fun to have the girls answer the discussion questions and hear their opinions on everything. It’s also meaningful for me to provide insight to them, and I hope that they take it to heart.


Girl Talk has truly made a difference in my life and I can't imagine my life without it; I’m not looking forward to my being a leader ending in a few weeks when I graduate! Girl Talk is a great organization and out of all my friends who have done it, I don’t know one who hasn’t been impressed. If you’re on the border about joining Girl Talk – whether you are a parent, middle schooler, or high schooler looking to become a leader – I can’t recommend enough getting involved. Girl Talk has had such a positive impact on my life and I know it will for you, too.

Tuesday

Julie Campbell: a woman making history!

It is Women's History Month and we have been thinking a lot about women who are currently making history! There are so many women heroes hiding in the shadows and doing the work to effect positive change in all industries.

We caught up with Julie Campbell, Vice President of Marketing at Astral Health & Beauty. She has been with the company for almost 12 years. Astral is the parent company to PÜR, COSMEDIX and Aloette - three beauty brands with a commitment to customers that goes deeper than surface level! Julie is amazing and we are so excited to let you in on some of her wisdom. Read on, girl! 

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Be kind. Lead with your heart. Never give up. 

In your opinion, what qualities make a great leader?
In my opinion, there are many characteristics that make a great leader but there are three key traits that I believe have helped me flourish: 1) Focus, 2) Passion, 3) A desire to see others succeed.  
Focus: The path to great things can be tough. My work days can be long where I feel like a rubber band being pulled and stretched in so many directions. Keeping a sharp, clear focus on the most important tasks at hand is essential.    
Passion: I am a passionate leader where I promise to walk the talk and stay committed despite setbacks. I have a true desire to serve others and find tremendous satisfaction in doing the best work possible. 
A desire to see others succeed: I can truly say that my most lasting and fulfilling achievements are earned by seeing others fulfill their goals.

What challenges or obstacles have you had to overcome to make it to where you are today? 
In thinking about my career, I have faced more setbacks and obstacles than I ever thought imaginable. However, the single biggest challenge has been nothing but myself. Often striving for perfection, I am my worst enemy. It’s taken me years to learn how to overcome self-defeating behavior and today I try to live by a few key mottos:
Just do it. Jump in and once the momentum starts, there’s no stopping what you can do.
Fail fast. Failure is inevitable, but the key is to recognize your failure quick enough to stop the loss and correct the course of action.
Build a pipeline. Absolutely nothing lasts forever: No client, no project, no service agreement, no fame, fortune or trend. Make sure you have a constant flow of sales leads, ideas, innovations and relationships to help get you to where you’d like to go. And when you slip, and slide backward, it will be for just a moment because you have that network and team that will help you climb back.

How are currently giving back to the next generation of women leaders? 
As a member of the executive team at Astral Health & Beauty I work closely with our brand leaders, all women, to offer ideas and solutions to everyday situations. The constant flow of communication helps to develop confident, successful women. I am also a participant in the Cosmetic Executive Women mentor program where I have the unique opportunity to provide mentoring in a structured way to women in the health & beauty industry.

What do you wish people knew about the good work being done by Astral Health & Beauty? 
At the core of Astral Health & Beauty is our ability to offer superior skincare and makeup products that help make life a little bit better for men and women around the globe. I have personally seen transformative results with our products. Whether we are correcting debilitating skin conditions, providing an outlet for self-expression or offering a fulfilling career opportunity, Astral is at the core of people’s lives.  

Why are you passionate about the work you do? 
As a mom of two teenage daughters, I am so honored to be able to be a role model to my girls. Contributing financially to the family, while helping myself professionally with a job I love, has helped my girls grow up to be strong, independent women. 
I am also proud to work for a progressive beauty company that has thrown out the traditional philosophies of perfection. If we can help young girls celebrate one another, embrace diversity, and applaud unique and different looks, then we have succeeded.  

In your eyes, what is true beauty? 
A true beauty has zero to do with looks and 100% everything to do with attitude. My definition of a true beauty is someone that: 
- Glows from within 
- Sticks to her values
- Acts with kindness and goodness
- Never, ever gives up

Many thanks to Julie Campbell for these fabulous nuggets of wisdom! We hope you are inspired and energized - because just like Julie, you too can be a woman making history. 

To learn more about the Astral Health & Beauty family of brands, visit www.astralbrands.com!
PÜR
COSMEDIX
Aloette


Thursday

Beauty on the Inside

Today's society has placed a great deal of importance on what young women should look like. Sometimes the stress of being told what dress size you should be overpowers the significance of what lies inside your heart. This shouldn’t be what happens.

Growing up always being told to "Stay strong and be kind," I knew that I was doing something right if I was going out of my way to show unconditional kindness to someone else. Never before middle school had how others view me been important. However what should be meaningful and important is not others' superficial view of you. What should be important to you is the content of your character and the quality of your heart.


Girls shouldn't have to constantly be worried with how they look to feel accepted by their peers. The standard of beauty is constantly changing, so in turn what's considered beautiful now could possibly change in a few years or even just a few months. What's truly significant and constant is how beautiful you are on the inside.


The way you treat others says more about how beautiful you are than how you appear in a mirror ever could. Keep beauty in your heart. Be kind. Be gracious. And above all, know that you were created for a purpose that far exceeds the plan you could ever have for yourself.

Olivia Burger
Miss Columbus' Outstanding Teen

Wednesday

Be a Girl with Goals!

Happy new year, everyone! 

As you toss out your old calendars and replace them with new ones, think about what the New Year means to you. I like to look at the change from one year to another as tearing a marked up, scribbled sheet of paper out of a notebook and starting over on a new, clean sheet of paper. That's what the New Year is for a lot of people--a clean slate and a fresh start!

The New Year is the perfect time to reevaluate things in your life and make changes. In addition, it's also a great time to start setting goals for yourself and thinking about what you can do in order to accomplish those goals. 

First, I'd like to start by saying that whatever goals you want to set or things that you may want to change in your life, you should do because YOU want to, not because others want you to. The best thing about reaching a goal is the self-satisfaction you get when you accomplish something that you really set your mind to and worked so hard to achieve. It's nice to have others be proud of you and happy for you, but that shouldn't be your sole reason for reaching goals. 

Another thing about goals is that they really help you grow as a person, and setting and reaching a goal is a sign of maturity. When you set goals for yourself that you are really serious or passionate about, it teaches you to have clearer focus, persistence, and to make more effective use of your time. These are three things that teach responsibility and help you grow as a person! There is nothing worse than setting goals for yourself that you don’t work hard enough, or take out the proper time, to meet. This is why it’s important to really sit back and think about the things you desire and want to achieve; keep working toward reaching your goals, even when it seems nearly impossible; and set aside and better manage your time to put into reaching your goals.

No goal is too big or too small. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Sometimes, really big goals take a little more time to achieve. This is why you want to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to reach these larger goals. It also helps to break up bigger goals into smaller ones. For example, if you want to bring your GPA from a 3.1 to a 3.4, it would be pretty tough to accomplish within a year. A suggestion is to break this goal into smaller ones. Maybe set a small goal for each semester until you make it to your desired GPA. Setting realistic and reasonable goals can help prevent disappointment and help you to stay focused and dedicated by seeing that your goal isn’t as far out of reach as you may think. Don't forget to celebrate each small victory of meeting each small goal!

Again, the best and most rewarding part about setting goals for yourself is the feeling you get when you reach them! Whether your goal is to make the honor roll, become vegan or join a team at your school, each achievement should be taken heavily and should be celebrated! Not everyone is able to stick it out and reach their goals, so when you do, give yourself a pat on the back because you deserve it!

Sincerely, 

Tatyana Phelps

Girl Talk Marketing Volunteer


Friday

Good Friends are Good for the Soul!

Making friends is a crucial part of school. Thirty years from now, you may have the same best friend or even look back at all the good times that you shared with your inner circle. Whether you surround yourself with one or two close friends or prefer to have a large group around you, friends add a bit more depth to our normal, routine lives. 

When making new friends, it’s important to remember to surround yourself with positive people who uplift you and support you. Although we are each responsible for our own decisions and in control of our actions, it can be very easy to get influenced by the people around us. The best thing is to often be friends with people you share common values and goals with. Have you ever heard the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together”? It’s much more than a cute rhyme! It means that people usually hang around like-minded people—people who are quite similar to them. Despite the way the saying goes, this isn’t always the way things play out.

We’ve all had a bad friend or two. Not that they were a bad friend to you, but they were doing bad things or getting into trouble. Sometimes, they may have even involved you in it. Since these are the people we call our friends, we may get sucked in to joining in on those bad things. Does this kind of friend sound familiar?

If you realize that you may have a friend like that, don’t worry—you aren’t alone! Trust me, I have been there. We all have been there. Sometimes, it’s easy to get blinded by these negative influences in our lives. People like this may be really good friends to you and it may even be pretty exciting to try new, adventurous things that are outside of your norm. But I’m here to tell you that people like that aren’t our real friends. Real friends accept you for who you are and don’t try to change anything about you. True friends would never put us in the position to do things we aren’t comfortable with or potentially get us into trouble. 

If you have a friend or multiple friends like this, you don’t necessarily have to forget that they exist and never talk to them again. Instead, express how it makes you feel. One of the keys to a good friendship is communication. Tell your friend that allowing her to look at your test answers made you feel uncomfortable, or that picking on another student at lunch was not okay with you. It might put you in an awkward position, but if someone is really your friend, then he/she will listen to what you have to say and take into consideration how certain things make you feel. If he/she can’t do that, then it may be time to reconsider the friendship. 
 
A true friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are. 

Sincerely, 

Tatyana Phelps

Girl Talk Marketing Volunteer