If you think you can… YOU CAN.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to photograph this beautiful boss-babe, Sarah Michelle, owner and CEO of Honey Map Agency as part of my 30-Women-Over-30 campaign, and it was such a pleasure to get to know her a little deeper than what I’d already learned through our public networking events.

Sarah is a March baby - an Aries… which means she’s creative, fiery, independent and stylish. Having met her, I can attest to all 4 of these qualities! Sarah lives in Columbia Connecticut with her two beautiful snuggly dogs, and works in her DREAM JOB as a CEO Business Consultant.

While she’s pretty busy with clients, networking and helping other business owners find their brands and identities, when Sarah gets some free time, she takes advantage of it by exploring local culture, reading, hiking, trying new coffee shops with friends, watching terrible TV, singing in her kitchen, and exercise.

If she just needs to relax, she’ll enjoy a good book or really anything she can read (her favorite book is Glass Castle, and she also loves memoirs and self-help books). Sarah will also sing, sleep, write, talk to friends, meditate, pray, or find other creative outlets to unwind.

Also- she’s my spirit animal- a coffee lover just like me- and she loves Gilmore Girls (which maybe is also why she’s a coffee drinker like me?) . Her all-time favorite meal is really anything that has lots of starch and carbs- if she had to choose, she’d like chicken, potatoes, asparagus and homemade bread and butter. (literally, the Queen would not approve- fun fact: Queen Elizabeth doesn’t allow potatoes, rice or pasta in ANY dishes prepared at Buckingham palace!)

Sarah opened up with use about her insecurities about herself and her past which has been a major stepping point in the woman she has become today. She grew up in an abusive home and somehow continued into an abusive marriage. Everything she’d ever done or had been was criticized. It has taken years for her to feel ok with being herself. Most of her life, her insecurities were that she felt obnoxious to others or that she frustrated people. She was (and still is at times) insecure in that she doesn’t know what she’s doing and will mess everything up. (spoiler alert! I don’t think anyone really does!!) . Physically Sarah is very insecure about her body. This is so important to know because WE ALL FEEL THIS. We all need to hear someone else share this to realize we are not alone and it’s ok. Sarah’s gone through some personal therapy and growth along with some long talks with God to better understand how much He loves her. Running her own business has taught her a lot because it requires confidence. She has also spent a lot of time researching and understanding abuse and trying to replace her community with healthy people (ALSO HUGE! Surround yourself with people you admire and those you trust). Sarah is inspired by people who can stand securely, and perhaps she doesn’t have one specific role model in life, but she feels a connection to Leah from the Bible- she was unloved and undesired and wrestled through dismissing her need for praise in place of total contentment and acceptance from God.

I always ask my clients to share with me what they would tell the 13 year old version of themselves if they could go back in time. This was Sarah’s response:

“I could write a book. Beauty is subjective. Know that God made you the way you are and that He doesn't make mistakes. Don't give other people power to dictate your beliefs. You are beautiful and amazing because you are different. Don't trade your unique beauty for fickle and undependable temporary praise.”

This photoshoot was a way for Sarah to remind herself how strong and fierce she is…to remind herself that she can be beautiful and desirable without any other human having to desire her.

HMUA: Makeup by CG